Military observers from around the world watched as the Russian Army displayed a new family of combat vehicles at the 2015 May Day Parade in Moscow to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the Great Patriotic War (World War II). These new vehicles represent a new approach to armament, survivability, and modular reuse of systems across platforms (similar to the failed Future Combat Systems of the US Army). One of these tactical vehicles is the T-14 (in development referred to as Object 148) produced on the Armata platform. The T-14 is a new main battle tank that will augment and eventually replace the older designs with manned turrets should the type be produced in sufficient numbers. The vehicle is armed with a 125mm main gun, a coaxial 12.7mm machine gun, and a 7.62mm machine gun mounted in an independent remote-controlled mount atop the turret similar to the US Army’s CROWS II system. The vehicle is manned by a crew of three who all operate the tank from inside the hull – the turret is unmanned.
Panda Hobby is producing the Armata and Kurgonets combat vehicles with this T-14 Armata being the latest in the series. The kit is molded in green styrene and presented on eight parts trees plus eighteen trees molded in tan, one tree molded in clear, and one fret of photo-etched parts. Among the kit’s features and options:
Detailed suspension/drive train
Four-piece track links (see text below)
Nicely detailed hull
Photo-etched grilles on the engine deck
Positionable crew hatches
Flag pole for commander’s hatch (parade version)
Nice molding on slat armor
Detailed remote gun mount
When I first heard about the four-piece track links, I had to grimace as we’ve seen track links where the guide teeth were molded separately and each link had its own separate pin. It was quite a relief when I saw these are two-piece track links – the steel track link is two parts (track plate and guide tooth) and the other two parts are the rubber pads which mount separately.
The decals provide the stylized Russian star on either side of the parade vehicles.
The kit has some great details and possibilities. While the initial batch of vehicles are no-doubt undergoing trials and crew training, some of these might show up in a hot-spot such as Syria for ‘field trials’. The Armata and Kurgonets models will provide nice profile of modern Russian Army armor for your scale garrison.