What Happened to the Russian “Armata” Tank?

09.17.2023 – Translated from Russian via Google and OFP

For a long time, the mythical T-14 “Armata” was considered one of the calling cards of the military-industrial complex of the Russian Federation, which mainly exploited Soviet reserves, but did not create completely new, unique models. This tank was not only credited with supernatural qualities, but was also predicted to be ordered by the thousands.

Just think, in September 2015, the General Director of the Uralvagonzavod Research and Production Corporation (UVZ) Oleg Sienko said that by 2020 the Russian army will receive 2,300 tanks based on the Armata armored platform! Meanwhile, it’s September 2023 and the Russian army only has an experimental batch of two companies at its disposal.

The T-14 Armata tank, despite officials’ promises of large orders and mass production, is not widely available in the Russian army. Despite the assurances of Russian propaganda, it is not used in combat operations in Ukraine. And it never received a single export order.

So what’s wrong with this tank?

When the Armata was presented on Red Square in Moscow in 2015, during the parade rehearsal, everyone could see how the combat vehicle simply stalled and had to be evacuated. Even then it was clear that the product was crude and had a number of technical shortcomings, for example, with the transmission. And these problems have manifested themselves regularly, right up until now.

Armata on the Red Square, being prepared for towing away.

In August of this year, at the Army 2023 forum, the organizers decided to roll out the T-14 Armata to a training ground and show what the tank is capable of. At first glance, the tank drove and fired – but this is, at first, an unprofessional glance. The tank, on an almost flat surface (concrete and crushed stone), swayed, skidded, and fired at low speeds.

All this indicated that the Armata, since 2015, has not been able to get rid of its “childhood diseases” that have become chronic. In addition, the tank’s demonstration raised many questions about the fire control system (FCS).

Now let’s imagine a tank that is not able to drive over rough terrain, has problems with the fire control system, and may stall in the middle of a field. What kind of tank is this? That’s right, this is not a tank, but an ideal target.

In addition, the T-14 “Armata” has other problems – not of a technical nature.

The fact is that the T-14 “Armata” is a tank that stands out from the general concept of Soviet main battle tanks due to its excessive profile. This is largely due to the dead-end development of the engine-transmission system (MTS), but not only that. The tank has a hull length of about 11 meters, which is 1.5 times longer than the T-72 and T-90.

As strange as it may sound, size matters—and being big creates big problems. And we’re not just talking about a high profile that an enemy can see from afar. All tank hulls are adapted to contain the Soviet line of main battle tanks – T-72, T-80, T-90.

In addition to the problem with the hull, the size also raises the problem of maintaining the tank, taking into account its extremely high level of gas emissions and the peculiarities of servicing the engine, which requires special equipment. For example, the process of cleaning injectors must be carried out outside the hull, using a repair and recovery vehicle (BREM). Such difficulties are caused by the fact that on the 2V-12-3A engine, the cylinders are located both above and below, while there is a radiator on top of the power plant itself.

Therefore, even the process of servicing a tank in a military unit, not to mention in the field, is a very labor-intensive task. Their mass production adds headaches in the form of the issue of keeping them in hulls that are not adapted for them. So is a mass production of these tanks possible?

Tank from the garage

Remembering Sienko’s statement about serial production of 2300 tanks by 2020 – is it even possible? Even until 2030?

The fact is that in Russia, mass production of tanks from scratch has long been discontinued. For example, the T-72 and T-80 tanks have not been produced since 1998, and the T-90 was suspended in 2011.

During this time, the production lines were dismantled, sold, and melted down. The molds were scrapped, and the tools, likewise, were thrown around the world. And, the most striking confirmation of this is the words of the General Director of Uralvagonzavod, Alexander Potapov, that UVZ will resume production of T-80 tanks from scratch. But, the question arises, what happened before that?

There was a repair and modernization of Soviet reserves, hundreds and thousands in storage, which only confirms the lack of tank production in Russia from scratch. And it will not be so easy to resume it. There are no molds anymore, no tools, no machines, and no specialists, whose training and basic experience will take at least 4 to 5 years.

In fact, to produce a tank such as the T-80, it is necessary to apply up to 30 thousand technical and technological chains. In the case of the T-14 “Armata” there are more required. The Armata tank itself was assembled piecemeal, not by automated processes, but, let’s say, manually. There is no established process for the operation of thousands of molds, no tools, and no assembly line. The T-14 “Armata” is more of a tank from a garage than a tank from a factory. 

Each element is a hand-assembled piece. For example, the 2V-12-3A engine is not assembled on a production line; it is made by a group of technicians, and there is no corresponding line for its mass production.


The T-14 “Armata” is a tank that will never be able to be brought to a combat-ready state. It will not be able to be mass-produced due to the lack of appropriate production lines. To integrate it into the army, it is necessary to create all the infrastructure where it will be used [training, maintenance, spare parts, etc].

This is a huge number of shortcomings with dubious outcomes, which are again covered by shortcomings.

From this, we can conclude that this tank will never see the promised series of 2300 units. And there are even doubts about 230 units.



  1. “What Happened to the Russian “Armata” Tank?”

    It’s dying a quiet and inglorious death. Too bad. I wanted to see them popping turrets into low earth orbit, like their brothers.

  2. “Now let’s imagine a tank that is not able to drive over rough terrain, has problems with the fire control system, and may stall in the middle of a field. What kind of tank is this? That’s right, this is not a tank, but an ideal target.”

    Being an ideal target works for me. Let’s just get a few hundred orcs around it when we open fire on the silly machine. B

  3. It is rather telling that Putler claims the T90M is the best tank in the world, rather than this latest “invincible” weapon. It will never see action anywhere near Ukraine, because the propaganda coup for Ukraine destroying or capturing this junk would be too much to bear.

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