The Russian Black Eagle tank is back on the scene, but it was defeated by the T-14 Armata

The Russian Black Eagle tank is back on the scene, but it was defeated by the T-14 Armata
The Russian Black Eagle tank is back on the scene, but it was defeated by the T-14 Armata

The USSR developed and produced a very good T-80 tank towards the end of the Cold War, which was superior to the extended T-72. Its production continued even after the dissolution of the union, and a successor based on the T-80U was also in the process. It was supposed to be about advanced machine and striving to match or even surpass western counterparts. The Russian tank was designated Object 640 and was known by the nickname Black Eagle; however, the project was cancelled, although it is not excluded that it will be partially renewed.

The Black Eagle was replaced by the T-14 Armata

The Black Eagle tank project was the work of the Russian company Omsktransmash, which was a competitor of the better-known Uralvagonzavod behind the T-90 tank (today it is part of it). MilitaryToday reports that a mock-up of the tank was shown by the company in 1997, and two years later its prototype appeared. However, the development was canceled and priority was given to the competing T-14 Armata. But MilitaryWatchMagazine reports that Omsktransmash has plans for some sort of production resumption, so it’s not out of the question that at least Black Eagle elements will appear eventually.

Not much information is known about the Black Eagle tank itself, but it was supposed to have some modern features. One of them was, for example, a kind of armored separate space for the crew, which is a concept also used in the Armata prototypes. It could solve a classic weakness of Russian tanks, when the ammunition in the crew compartment explodes after being hit, and the people inside are of course killed. However, a separate space would give them a much higher chance of survival.

The Black Eagle could fire up to 152mm ammunition

The armament of the Black Eagle tank was supposed to be similar to the Russian standard – its main weapon would be a 125 mm smoothbore gun, according to Wikipedia, but it was possible to install a larger caliber gun, up to 152 mm. It would be complemented by a coaxial machine gun and a heavy machine gun on the turret, while it had automatic charging and thus a crew of 3. However, the automatic loader would be different from the types currently used in Russian tanks. It would not limit the size of the ammunition, so it would be possible to use longer and more powerful ones that would cope with Western armored vehicles.

The Black Eagle was also supposed to have next-generation reactive armor and even an active protection system or various countermeasures. Its weight is estimated to be 48 tonnes and its speed 70 to 75 km/h, as it would be powered by a gas turbine. Of course, it is impossible to say how he would end up doing on the battlefield, nor what its price would be. And although there is talk of reviving the project, it is more likely to be a matter of several years – unless there is only some improvement of the T-80.

There may be more reasons for the renewal of the projects, but the main one probably remains that the T-14 Armata was not very successful, and even the Russian army refused to take it over. Since the beginning, it has been accompanied by one problem after anotherNewsWeek elaborates, stating that its biggest weakness is the engine and the too high production cost, and possibly the imperfect armor.

Footage of the Black Eagle tank

The article is in Czech

Tags: Russian Black Eagle tank scene defeated T14 Armata


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