Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Clank, clank, I'm a tank...

T-14 Armata, photo from Wikipedia.
The CNN piece on the new Russkie tank claims a crew of two, while the Wiki article says three. There appear to only be the two hatches up front in the AP photos, but there's a vision block between them.
The turret is apparently unmanned. The height of the turret roof above the axis of the gun's bore shows that Russian tank designers might have decided that being able to depress the main gun anough to fire from a hull-down position on a reverse slope is more important than that last six inches of height reduction.

If it's a two man crew, they're going to be two very tired dudes. There's a lot of unsexy work involved in keeping a tank running, which is partly why US tanks have that fourth guy along. (He can help out by loading the gun while he's at it.)

The turret shows the distinctive flat slablike facets of Chobham-style composite armor. I guess that milspec R2 unit where the commander's cupola would be on an Abrams is stuffed with sensors intended to replace a dude with his head out the hatch.