While the developmental T-14 Armata captures the spotlight, the bulk of Russia’s armored forces consist of upgraded T-72B3 main battle tanks. Other tanks like the T-90 and the legacy T-80U are still relatively rare. Nonetheless, Russia’s current armored force meets Moscow’s requirements even without the Armata—which is both expensive and potentially unneeded. In fact, Russia might get more bang for the buck by addressing the two key weaknesses of its armor—a new gun design and new ammunition.
“The Armata is a capable looking platform, however it remains to be seen what the tank variant of it actually looks like—the final version” Michael Kofman, a research scientist specializing in Russian military affairs at CNA Corporation, told The National Interest. “It’s going to field trials. It’s still in development, and, frankly, it will take another two years to see what changes it will go through.”