Prototype of the tank T-95
|Type||Main battle tank|
|Place of origin||Russia|
|152 mm 2A83 smoothbore gun|
|30 mm coaxial gun|
|Engine||12N360 X diesel engine
A-85-3, 1650 h.p.
The project was first reported in 1995 and announced by Russian official sources in 2000, but no concrete data had been released. It was due to be introduced in 2009, but was perpetually delayed. The Russian government terminated its involvement in the project in May 2010 and withdrew all funding.
Most information about this tank was speculative. The design was presumably a significant departure from the Soviet-era tanks currently in service. In particular, it was expected to have a new hydropneumatic suspension with adaptive features, and the entire crew was apparently going to be placed in a sealed compartment inside the hull, isolated from other tank components.
T-95 was a name given to the tank by media; it was not an official name. According to published sources, development of a new tank called "Object 195" began at the Uralvagonzavod design bureau in the early 1990s.
The prototype tank was announced by the Russian Minister of Defense Igor Sergeyev in 2000. On July 10, 2008 the Russian government announced that the Russian armed forces would start receiving new-generation tanks superior to the T-90 main battle tank after 2010. "The T-90 MBT will be the backbone of the armored units until 2025. T-72's and T-80's will not be modernized and will be eventually replaced by new-generation tanks, which will start entering service after 2010", a news conference with Sergei Mayev, head of the Federal Service for Defence Contracts.
On the first day of Russian Defence Expo 2010 in Nizhny Tagil, The Director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation of the Russian Federation, Konstantin Biryulin, announced to the press that the Russian state monopoly Federal Service for Defense Contracts was unveiling the prototype of new battle tank called "Object 195" (T-95) in a private showing to selected VIP guests, though the tank has yet to be seen by journalists or confirmed publicly by any of the participants.
However, in May 2010, deputy defense minister and chief of armaments Vladimir Popovkin announced that a number of programs for development of new armor and artillery weapons would be canceled. The main victim is the Object 195 program. Popovkin said the military will focus on modernization of the T-90 instead. The reason given for this was the fact that the T-95 was already obsolete, as it had been in development for almost two decades, but some sources speculated it had more to do with the recent reduction in Russia's military budget, requiring substantial cuts across the board.
Popovkin confirmed this decision in a June 2010 Interview, stating that Russia would no longer fund and was not going to buy the T-95, but that Uralvagonzavod might continue to work on the tank without government support. In early July 2010, as reported by "Ural Information Bureau" : the Minister of Industry and Science, Sverdlovsk region, Alexander Petrov said that Uralvagonzavod would soon finalize a T-95 prototype, entirely independently. However without state funding or export permits, the company would be unable to proceed to production. The Chinese have a "T-95" tank that draws very heavily on this latest Russian prototype. Known as the T-95e, it does indeed have a hybrid diesel/electric drive system. This is only a prototype, the production model, if any, is to be the 99/4e, with the "e" noting electric drive. The primary advantage of an electric, or hybrid drive is the ability to be able to move on a moments notice. The engine need not be started, with its visible diesel exhaust smoke. Again, the tanks in question are prototypes and were produced in very limited numbers for testing.
Given on December 1, 2010, a translated interview with Oleg Sienko, Chief Executive Officer of the Uralvagonzavod shed some light on the project's current and future status:
"In April the Deputy Minister of Defense, Vladimir Popovkin, stated that the military will cease financing for the development of their newest tank, known by the name T-95, and do not object to its declassification and showing to the public, which wants to see it as much as it wanted to see the fifth generation "Sukhoi" jet fighter in January. When will this be possible?"
"I personally want it to be shown, but for now we cannot do this without having received all the necessary permissions. All I can say is that no one has developed anything similar. As far as the fate of this fighting vehicle and other new fighting vehicles is concerned—I hope that clarity will be brought in for the new military state program."
"Meaning, in the following year the fighting vehicle will not be declassified?"
"I cannot comment on that right now."
"Is it possible a simplified fighting vehicle based on the T-95 will be developed? It is often said similar programs are very complex and that the industry would not be able to deal with it."
"We are currently intensively developing a unified combat platform. I can say we've reached a new level of quality. Of course, we are developing it on military request."
"And the T-95 experience is being taken into consideration in this project?"
"This new platform will probably be revealed 2015 or later, right?"
"We will not wait for 2015, this is too late. We are working on it, and on other types of platforms. We are also developing new engines in the 1500 hp and 1800 hp range, and they are being tested. Most importantly, there was no problem with their production. We are also working on electric drives, which provide a large fuel economy and smoother motion. These are great advantages compared to older designs."
"Then the new unified platform will use an electric drive?"
"Yes, it's quite possible."
According to the interview, it seems with high probability that after possible cancellation of the project, a successor could be the T-99, which uses partial designs and experiences gained from both T-95 and Black Eagle projects.
- The Russian definition of tank generations differs from that used in most other countries: In Russia (and, formerly, Soviet), 1920-1945, first generation; 1946-1960, second generation; 1961-1980, third generation; and 1981-present, fourth generation. —Sewell, 1988.
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- T-95 Main Battle Tank page with updated information.