Top 5 of the best next-gen main battle tanks in the world

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PANAHYURISHTE, (BM) – If you ask the question, which country has the best tanks, then the patriots will answer that in Russia, then they will remember about Germany and the USA. Those more advanced in military technology might mention Israel.

Let’s see the best five fourth generation tanks in the world:

#5 – Altay AHT, Turkey

Photo credit: Wikipedia

In 2007, the Turkish Ministry of Defense signed an agreement with Otokar to create the Altay AHT main battle tank. The tank received its name in honor of General of the Army Fakhrettin Altai. The new tank is intended to replace the German Leopards and American M60s.

There are several reasons for creating a new tank. Firstly, an in-house combat vehicle will be cheaper. Secondly, Turkey’s policy has led to complications with NATO countries, which can completely stop the supply of weapons and components for the Turkish army.

In addition, Turkey hopes that in the future the tank will be supplied not only to the army, but will also be exported.

When creating the tank, foreign experience was used, more than 60% of the technologies were borrowed from foreign companies (Germany and South Korea). After displaying “Altay” at the exhibition, many noticed the similarity of the Turkish tank to the South Korean K2 Black Panther [Black Panther].

Nothing fundamentally new in the Turkish Altay tank is yet to be expected. The mass of the new vehicle will be 60 tons.

Altay is armed with a 120mm MKEK120 smoothbore cannon assembled under license from Hyundai Rotem (South Korea). The aimed firing range is 3 km. Additionally, a remote module with a 12.7mm machine gun is installed on the turret.

Serial production of the tank has already begun and an order for 250 vehicles has been received.

In general, the opinion of experts agrees that while the Altay looks quite impressive, it loses to the Russian T-90A and the German Leopard-2. Turkey will need time to gain experience in the creation of tanks.

#4 – Type 10, Japan

Photo credit: Pinterest

The Type 10 is a Japanese main battle tank with a cost of approximately $ 6.5 million. The Type 10 was developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Lid from the early 2000s and was first introduced in 2008. The tank should replace the obsolete Type-74 and complement the Type-90 tank fleet.

Mobility – Type 10 of the standard configuration has a mass of 44 tons, with additional protection the mass will reach 48 tons, and in the lightest version (some security elements are removed) only 40 tons (the mass of the Russian T-90A is 46.5 tons). The tank has a hydropneumatic suspension, which allows you to change the clearance and tilt it left, right, forward and backward.

The Japanese has an engine with a capacity of 1200 hp, which allows it to accelerate to 70 km / h on the highway. Thanks to a powerful engine and low weight, the specific power is 27 hp / t.

Armament – The Type 10 is armed with a stabilized 120mm smoothbore cannon JSW120. Recharging is carried out using a conveyor-type autoloader (AZ) located in the aft recess of the turret. The autoloader can accommodate 14 shots, a total of 28 shots. The tank also has a remotely controlled anti-aircraft gun.

The gun can use 120 mm NATO ammunition. About specifically Japanese BOPS, there is no information, but the Japanese themselves say that they are more powerful than the German ones, it is not known for sure. Mostly Japanese Type 90 used German DM-33 or DM-53 ammunition, with armor penetration in 470 mm and 650 mm, respectively.

The Type 10 tank’s fire control system is at a high level thanks to its good electronics. The tank has a panoramic sight that makes it easier to find targets on the battlefield. Thanks to the modern Type 10 ballistic missile system it can hit a target the size of a soccer ball.

Armor – Usually, tanks have good armor in the forehead, but Type 10 has all-aspect protection, which is realized thanks to the use of ceramic (composite) modular armor. Thanks to such a reservation, with a relatively small mass, the side projections are protected from cumulative ammunition with armor penetration up to 500-600 mm.

Since the tank has all-aspect protection, its frontal armor, respectively, will be weaker than that of modern NATO or Russian tanks, but the side armor is noticeably stronger.

Japanese Type 10, it is difficult to compare with modern counterparts from other countries, because its method of application is very different.

The military doctrine of Japan’s self-defense forces is based on the defense of Japan and no more, that is, it is not planned to conduct military operations in other countries.

The tank itself is adapted for use on the territory of Japan, which is why it has a small size and weight. Also, the high secrecy of the tank does not allow it to be adequately compared with others, since we do not know the exact characteristics, but the high technologies of the land of the rising sun do not give a reason not underestimate Type 10.

#3 – Leclerc XLR Scorpion, France

Photo credit: Army Recognition

The Leclerc Scorpion [Leclerc XLR Scorpion] is an upgraded version of the French Leclerc main battle tank. This upgrade option was developed and manufactured by the French company Nexter Systems by order of the Defense Forces Agency of the French Army. The modernization of the main battle tank of France is carried out as part of the SCORPION military program.

From 2020, it is planned to deliver 200 upgraded Leclerc tanks and 18 armored evacuation vehicles. The contract is worth approximately 330 million euros. The French army is armed with about 406 Leclerc tanks, so the remaining two hundred tanks are planned to be upgraded by 2028.

There are several directions for the modernization of the AMX-56 Leclerc tank.

The first area includes:

  • Additional armor plates on the sides of the hull;
  • advanced software;
  • a climate control system that is designed to work in both cold and hot regions.

The second direction of modernization contains:

  • improved passive armor over the front and side projections of the tower;
  • new sights for the commander and gunner to improve target detection in almost all weather conditions;
  • A new battle management system.

Weapons will not be affected by the upgrade, so the updated Leclerc Scorpion will be armed with a standard 120mm auto-loader cannon.

The main ammunition will be APFSDS armor-piercing shells and HEAT (High-Explosive Anti-Tank) HEAT shells. Additional armament will consist of two 12.7 mm and 7.62 mm machine guns.

The updated protection of the tank will include additional modules of normal and active armor on the hull and turret. The feed and engine compartment of the tank will be additionally protected by lattice screens to protect against RPG shots.

In addition to updating the armor, the tank will receive an update of its electronic systems:

  • BARAGE system allows you to jam signals and prevents remote detonation of land mines near the tank;
  • the system of passive protection GALIX, when the tank is irradiated with lasers of guidance systems, hides the tank in a smoke screen temporarily making the tank invisible to thermal imagers;
  • a new combat control system that not only simplifies the crew’s work by combining all devices into one network, but also includes all armored vehicles in a single combat group.

Interestingly, the modernization concerned only electronics and protection systems. The new 130 and 140 mm guns from the German company Rheinmetall never decided to massively install on tanks. The mass of the renovated Leclerc Scorpion will slightly increase and amount to 57 tons.

The SCORPION program includes not only the modernization of tanks but also the creation of new armored personnel carriers and reconnaissance vehicles EBRC Jaguar. The Scorpion project is a multinational armed forces modernization program that uses new military experimental equipment and tests new military strategies, such as the Multimedia War Strategy.

#2 – K2 Black Panther, South Korea

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Today, the situation on the combat vehicle market is such that some of the best tanks are produced by South Korea. And the best confirmation of this is the ultra-modern K2 [Black Panther] tank.

The K2 tank is the main combat vehicle of the new generation of South Korea today. The combat vehicle was developed by the Defense Development Agency and the Rotem Department (subsidiary of Hyundai Motors), while the rate was made only on their internal developments.

Officially, it is reported that the Black Panther is a descendant of another Korean K2 tank, which, in turn, was a redesigned M1 Abrams. But the reality is that the K2 Black Panther is a hybrid that takes the best of four tanks: Abrams, Leopard II, Leclerc and the Soviet T-80.

For example, active dynamic defense is almost completely taken from the T-72 and T-90 tanks. But At the same time, the electronic equipment is completely developed in Korea. The K2 tank cannot be called any revolutionary, on the contrary, it combines the best qualities of existing combat vehicles.

The combat weight of the “Black Panther” is 55 tons and the dimensions are 3.1: 7.5: 2.2 meters. The tank is controlled by a crew of three people: commander, mechanic and gunner. There is no loader; it was replaced by an automatic loader system, as in domestic tanks.

The tank is equipped with a hydropneumatic suspension (ISU), which allows an isolated effect on each suspension balancer, and therefore can tilt the tank to its side, make it “sit down”, “stand” and “kneel”. The maximum speed of the tank on the road is 70 km / h. The K2 tank is armed with a 120 mm German smooth-bore gun L55, which has a barrel length of 6.6 meters.

An interesting feature of K2 is the presence of a millimeter range radar. This system allows you to find missiles and shells flying in K2 and automatically try to destroy their electronic filling, or shoot smoke bombs to get a curtain from the side of the threat.

But the tank, along with a lot of advantages and bells and whistles, has one big drawback – its price. The price of the Black Panther is $ 8.5 million.

Tank K2 is good, of course. But K2 has one powerful plus, this machine has already been released into series and is even exported.

#1 – T-14 Armata, Russia

Photo credit: National Interest

There is currently no tank in the world to defeat the Russian technology giant T-14 Armata. The tank is so good that it is being written about all over the world, including Russia’s biggest competitors – the United States. They also emphasize the fact that the Army is something different from the available arsenal in the world.

Russia has even been able to test it in real combat conditions in Syria, consolidating its characteristics. And they are mind-boggling.

In addition to the fact that the T-14 tank has significant combat power, rate of fire and firing accuracy, it is capable of performing network-centric tasks: reconnaissance, target designation, remote control through a single control system.

In combat conditions, the vehicle receives operational data online and provides automatic determination of ballistic parameters for controlling the fire of the entire tactical link.

The main advantages of the tank: use of a universal platform; placement of tankers in an armored capsule, separate from the ammunition compartment; the possibility of operation with an uninhabited tower; the use of a pulse-Doppler radar that reliably and quickly determines the target velocity vector; active protection capable of protecting against various types of ammunition.

The main performance characteristics of the tank: mass in combat configuration – 48 tons; crew size – 2-3 people; multi-layer armor with complex protection “Afganit” and dynamic protection “Malachite”; engine power – 1600 hp from.; travel speed on a highway – up to 90 km / h, off-road – 70-75 km / h; running stock (highway) – at least 500 km; firing range – up to 8 km; the possibility of shooting on the move; ammunition – 45 shells.

The tank has a system for launching and controlling an unmanned aerial vehicle “Pterodactyl”, which has an autonomous radar and an infrared sight. The drone’s mission includes reconnaissance and target designation.

T-14 design – The tank has a classic layout of the main elements, when the power plant (engine compartment) is located in the rear, aft part of the vehicle.

In front there is a control compartment with seats for the crew, instruments and control devices. The combat compartment is in the center. It houses a turret, ammunition compartment and an automatic loader.

Armament – The T-14 tank is equipped with modern weapons that allow it to hit targets on the ground and in the air. A fire control system is used to increase the effectiveness of shooting.

It provides accurate determination of the coordinates of the target, its capture and tracking in automatic mode, guidance of weapons, adjustment of ballistic parameters of fire. Information is taken by sensors mounted on the roof of the tank.

These include: GLONASS receivers and navigation devices; gyroscope of angular orientation; sensors for wind parameters, temperature and humidity of the external environment, as well as barrel oscillations during warming up during firing.

Cannon – The main weapon is a 125 mm smoothbore gun, type 2A82-1M. Shooting is done remotely, loading is automatic. The firing range is 7-8 km. Rate of fire – 11-12 rounds per minute.

The resource of the gun is increased due to special alloying of the internal channel of the barrel. An automatic charger allows you to increase the length of the shells up to 100 cm.

Compared with similar guns of Western countries, the cannon of the T-14 tank has increased barrel energy and higher firing accuracy (an average of 18-20%). The tank can be easily converted to a 152 mm 2A83 cannon.

This significantly increases the armor-piercing abilities, but at the same time the ammunition load decreases. At the same time, experts believe that a 125 mm caliber is sufficient.

Machine-gun armament – Machine-gun armament was also installed on the T-14 tank. First of all, it is a Kord-type anti-aircraft machine gun (12.7 mm caliber). It is housed in an individual tower with robotic mechanisms receiving signals from tank radars and thermal imagers. The machine gun is controlled remotely.

It hits air targets at a distance of up to 1.5 km, even at high speeds. Anti-aircraft installation is connected with the active protection system of the tank, which makes it possible to hit rockets. The second machine gun of the PKTM type is paired with the gun. Its task is to defeat the enemy’s manpower. The caliber is 7.62 mm.

Detection and guidance system – The basis of the reconnaissance and guidance system in the T-14 tank is a radar complex, which includes a radar with an antenna in the form of an active phased array (AFR).

It can be considered an integral part of the KAZ “Afghanit”. Similar radars are used on the latest generation combat aircraft. The antenna is located on the tower and provides all-round visibility.

It consists of four panels. The radar of the tank has the ability to simultaneously hold more than 20 air and 40 ground targets. The detection range is 100 km. Radar protection is provided by a shield that is not pierced by bullets and shrapnel. The radar of the tank is able to determine the trajectory of the projectile, and along it the point of the location of the gun or launcher.

The obtained coordinates are transmitted to the computer, which further makes it possible to ensure high-precision suppression of enemy firing points. The detection of air targets is quite effective.

The radar determines the coordinates of the aircraft and the trajectory of its flight, the signal is transmitted to air defense systems such as “Wasp”, “Pine” or “Arrow”, and even “Shell C1”. In addition to the indicated radar, two radars are installed on the tank to detect close targets.

Their main difference is an ultrafast response to detected objects. Additional radars are needed to combat ATGMs and BOPSs.

Stealth – In the army, camouflage methods are increasingly being used that can make military equipment invisible to enemy radars and visual observation, i.e. stealth technology.

The following stealth means are used in the T-14 tank: a special heat-insulating coating of the hull from the inside; masking exhaust distribution system; a special shape of the tower and platform, including such an arrangement of flat edges that reduces radio signature due to diffuse reflection; special painting of the hull from the outside, while the paint has the ability to absorb radio and protect it from heating under the influence of sunlight, which distorts the magnetic and thermal fields induced on the tank.

A special system installed on the T-14 tank is capable of seriously disrupting the possibility of its identification by enemy radars. It distorts the resulting fields.

Homing devices of ATGMs are programmed for a specific image of the tank, and therefore, when the signal is distorted, the missile loses its target. Distorted signals are transmitted in the radio and infrared range, and are also provided by heat sources.

The cloaking system is combined with the KAZ “Afganit”. For its triggering, signals from AFR antennas are used. The jamming is provided in all directions, including upward to make it difficult to observe aerial reconnaissance.

Read more: Top 5 fastest tanks in the World


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