By Paolo Valpolini
While the appearance of the Russian T-14 Armata tank in the 2015 May Parade has definitely triggered considerations on future tank armaments requirements in the western world, penetrating the T-14 having become the benchmark, it is safe to say that the slow deployment of that weapon system makes the current threat still represented by the tanks available in numbers in Russian Army armoured formations such as the T-90M Proryv, the T-80 BVM and the T-72 B3M. This picture emerged well from the briefing provided by Rheinmetall on its developments in the tank guns field, the two speakers being Christoph Henselmann, Senior Vice-President and Head of Portfolio Tank Main Armament, and Moritz Walter, Product Manager 130 mm, both based in Unterlüss.
The western knowledge about the Armata MBT layered protection is still incomplete, while the protection level of the three in-service tanks is much better known, which is not true for that of the latest Chinese MBTs. “We consider the T-14 more an available technology rather than a real threat,” Moritz Walter says, confirming that real worries come nowadays from in-service systems. This has led Rheinmetall to a dual approach; on one hand the upgrade of the 120 mm smoothbore weapon system performances, and on the other the development of a bigger calibre gun, the 130 mm smoothbore demonstrator having been exhibited at Eurosatory 2016.
Considering the huge amount of information provided, we would split this article in paragraphs to ease reading; please, click on titles to access the related paragraph:
Considering the huge amount of information provided, we would split this article in paragraphs to ease reading; please, click on titles to access the related paragraph