Why T-14 Armata tanks did not participate in the war in Ukraine?

Rostec leaders said Russia did not send the T-14 Armata to fight in Ukraine due to its high cost, even though this tank has many outstanding features.

“The Russian army already owns the T-14 Armata main tank,” Sergey Chemezov, leader of Russia’s Rostec defense corporation, said on March 4. “The Armata surpasses all existing tanks in terms of features, but it is a bit expensive.”

Mr. Chemezov explained that the high cost is the reason why the Russian military “cannot yet use Armata tanks for special military operations”, the term the country uses to refer to the conflict with Ukraine. “The army can easily buy T-90s with similar features,” he said.

“We need money to build new tanks and new weapons at cheaper prices,” Mr. Chemezov said. “Why not buy weapons or combat vehicles at cheaper prices when you have the opportunity?”.

Western experts estimate that the T-14 Armata supertank costs 5-9 million USD each, significantly higher than the older main tank models that Russia is using. The T-72B3 variant costs 750,000-1.2 million USD each, the T-80 is about three million USD, and the T-90M is about 4.5 million USD.

The T-14 Armata tank weighs 55 tons featuring a remote-controlled turret mounted with a 2A82-M1 125 mm smoothbore gun. The West evaluates the T-14 Armata’s turret as a pioneering innovation in the tank manufacturing industry, overcoming the weakness of the turret easily blown away on previous Russian tanks.

The three-person crew of the T-14 Armata sits in a solid armored compartment, completely separate from the ammunition compartment and turret, helping to increase their survivability when attacked by the enemy.

The T-90M tank, the latest variant of the T-90 series, has new complex armor and integrated Relikt explosive reactive armor modules on the front and side of the vehicle, helping to reduce the penetration ability of APFSDS bullets by 50%. as well as disabling dual-explosive HEAT warheads.

The T-90M is the most modern tank model of the Russian armed forces today because the T-14 Armata is only produced in small quantities and has not yet been mass-staffed. The Russian military has tested the T-14 Armata in Syria and Ukraine but has not deployed them to the front line.