The Russian military is planning to carry out a
large-scale rearmament of its armored units with new-generation main
battle tanks (MBT) in 2014-2020, the Defense Ministry said on Saturday.
“At present, the Russian scientists are developing
a new-generation tank, and in 2014-2020 we are planning to replace the
current fleet with new tanks on a large scale, so that the new models
will constitute 70% of the total,” Defense Ministry spokesman Lt. Col.
Sergei Vlasov said.
According to leading Russian military experts, two
models, tentatively dubbed the T-95 and the T-99, are being developed.
Both projects are highly classified, and it is still unknown which model
will be selected for mass production.
The new tank will feature better firepower, maneuverability, electronics and armor protection than the T-90 MBT.
The Russian Ground Forces are equipped with T-72, T-80
and T-90 MBTs and their variants. The existing state arms procurement
program envisions a thorough overhaul of T-72 tanks until 2014.
The T-72 is one of the most widely produced
post-World War II tanks, second only to the T-54/55 family, and its
basic design has been further developed as the T-90.
“A fully modernized T-72 can easily compete with the most advanced MBTs of our time,” Vlasov said.