Tanks are heavily armed and armoured combat vehicles that move on two endless metal chains called the tracks. Tanks have come a long way since their inception during World War I.
These formidable war machines provide ground support for mobile infantry. Although many of these main battle tanks (MBTs) have undergone serious modifications and has evolved from simple and light to heavy and modernized yet highly mobile, with advancement in firepower and countermeasures well suited for ground support.
According to military sources, here are the top 10 most powerful main battle tanks in the world based on armoured protection, firepower, countermeasures, and mobility.
T-14 Armata is a Russian main battle tank(MBT) designed by the Russian Defense Company Uralvagonzavod (UVZ) for the Russian Army and came into service in 2015, and is expected to be supplied in 2020. It’s a new-generation Russian tank designed and based on the T-95 tank and Black Eagle project tank presented in 1999.
It is fitted with a 125mm 2A82-1M smoothbore gun as its main which is fed by an automatic loader. Its secondary guns include a Kord 12.7mm machine and a PKTM 7.62mm machine gun. The tank can carry 45 rounds of ammunition and fire laser-guided missiles. It also has the ability to fire at a low flying target.
The three human crew members operating the tank are housed in a well-protected armoured capsule in front of the hull. It is also protected by an Afghani Active Protection System that can detect, track and intercept anti-tank munition. It is powered by an A-85-3A turbocharged diesel engine that offers a maximum speed of 90km/h and a range of 500km.
Leopard 2A7+ is a German next-generation main battle tank which came into service 2014. It was presented by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann in 2010.
The Leopard 2A7+ is equipped with 120mm L55 smoothbore gun as its main gun and can fire both standard NATO ammunition and the new programmable 120mm HE-rounds. It is mounted with a 7.62mm/12.7mm machine gun or grenade launcher, which is remotely controlled as its secondary weapon.
Its passive armored system provides all-round protection against anti-tank missiles, RPGs, mines and IEDs. The MBT can be fitted with additional attachments such as mine plow, mine roller, or dozer blade for clearing land mines.
It’s a highly mobile MBT with a maximum speed of 72km/h and a range of 450km
K2 BLACK PANTHER
The K2 Black Panther is one of the most advanced MBT in the world designed by Hyundai Rotem Company for the South Korean Army suited for modern warfare. It came into service in 2016.
The K2 Black Panther is equipped with a 120mm smoothbore gun as its primary weapon capable of firing advanced kinetic energy ammunition with high precision even in rough terrain and it’s automatically loaded.
The MBTs have a similar offensive system with the German Leopard 2A7+. The tank is equipped with composite armour and Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA), and an advanced passive armoured system for all-round protection.
K2 Black Panther has a maximum speed of 70km/h with a range of 450km
M1A2 SEP ABRAMS
The M1A2 SEP ABRAMS is an upgraded version of its predecessor M1A2, fitted with improved defense and offense capabilities. It was designed and manufactured by General Dynamics Land Systems for the U.S Army. It entered service in 1999.
Its primary gun is a manually loaded 120mm XM256 smoothbore cannon, which is capable of firing several rounds of standard NATO ammunition against armoured vehicles, infantry, and low-flying aircraft. The tank is also armed with two 7.62mm M240 machine guns and a 50 Cal M2 machine gun as its secondary weapon.
Although the M1A2 SEP ABRAMS firepower is slightly inferior to that of the Leopard 2A7 and K2 Black Panther it is still considered as a formidable war machine. The MBT exterior armored is reinforced with a depleted uranium layer that protected the tank against anti-tank weapons.
Its multi-fuel turbine engine provides high performance with a maximum speed of 67.5km/h and it has a range of 426km. Although the maintenance level is high.
THE BRITISH CHALLENGER 2
The Challenger 2 armored tank is considered as one of the most powerful and well-protected MBT in the world. It was developed by the British Vickers Defense System based on its predecessor the Challenger 1 tank.
Its primary gun is the 120mm L30 CHARM smoothbore gun which provides it with deadly firepower, foremost for the longest tank-to-tank kill. It’s also armed with a Coaxial 7.62mm chain gun and a turret-mounted with a 7.62mm machine gun as its secondary weapon.
The Chobham armour offers all-around protection against direct fire. It is equipped with the Perkins-Condor CV12 engine which offers the maximum speed of 59km/h and has the maximum range of 5km.
THE MERKAVA MK4
The Merkava Mk4 is the latest Israeli MBT which was designed based on its predecessor the Merkava Mk3 with an advanced improvement. It was built by MANTAK (Merkava Tank Office) and entered into service in 2014.
It is a well-protected tank fitted with an active protection system that offers protection against incoming projectiles. It is armed with an Israeli-built 120mm smoothbore gun and a new fire controlling system.
It’s the engine that is mounted in front of the vehicle which offers additional support for the crews.
THE TYPE 90
The Type 90 is a Japanese main battle tank designed and built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in cooperation with the German Krauss-Maffei and Mak tank manufacturers. It entered into service in 1990.
The Type 90 is an older version of the new generation advanced Type 10 tank. With it rugged modular ceramic/steel composite armor which offers more protection than the Type 10 which is only used for infantry support rather than tank-to-tank combat. This MBT is armed with the German Rheinmetall 120mm smoothbore gun capable of firing standard NATO 120mm rounds. It is equipped with hydropneumatic suspension which provides the MBT ability to lean or kneel.
THE FRENCH LECLERC
The Leclerc is a French main battle tank that entered into service in 1992 and was used in several peacekeeping and military operations. It was manufactured by GIAT Industries.
The French Leclerc is armed with a 120mm smoothbore gun capable of firing standard NATO CN120-26 rounds of ammunition with high precision.
It is also fitted with a Coaxial 12.7mm machine gun and a roof-mounted 7.62mm machine gun as its secondary gun. The tank is fitted with advanced modular armor made of steel, ceramics and Kevlar offers all-round crew protection. However, it offers less protection compared to the M1A2 ABRAMS and British Challenger 2.
The tank has a maximum speed of 72km/h and can hit a target at speed of 50km/h on all terrain.
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Originally posted on 11/01/2021 @ 6:31 AM