Russia could have a secret tank

04/06/2021 at 09:52 CEST

In June 2015, the Russian government unveiled the Armata, which was designed to replace older T-72B3 and T-80 tanks in the arsenals of the Russian Ground Forces. Moscow promised to build 2,300 Armata tanks by 2020, enough for about eight (mechanized) tank divisions. Equipped with a new engine, dual jet armor, lower radar cross section, and the Afghanit active defense system, NATO tank forces saw the Armata as a formidable new threat.

But despite lofty promises, the Armata project was embroiled in financial and technological difficulties that slowed development. Today, the Russian Land Forces have precisely zero Armata tanks, with serial deliveries now promised by the end of this year. A Russian military blog recently discovered another tank design that it apparently lost to the Armata in the late 2000s. The Burlak, is an interesting design that takes advantage of Russia’s huge inventory of older tanks and existing tank technology to produce a vehicle that is almost as good as the Armata.

The Burlak takes a new tank turret and installs on a modified T-80 tank chassis. The turret’s hexagonal geometry is derived from the T-90A tank currently in service, but was lengthened considerably at the rear to accommodate a dual-feed autoloading system for the main gun.