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Smart Bombs: Military, Defense and National Security

Army’s Abrams X vs. Russia’s T-14 Armata: Which Tank Dies in a Battle?

Abrams NextGen or Abrams X
General Dynamics promo image of Abrams NextGen.

A new U.S. tank technology demonstrator called the next-generation Abrams X has many improvements over the latest Abrams main battle tank upgrades. The Abrams X is lighter to save on fuel. Further, being 10 tons lighter makes its transportation to battle zones easier. The Abrams X will have better maneuverability. Survivability is enhanced with an unmanned turret. While the Abrams X is not ready for battle, how would it compare to Russia’s T-14 Armata next-generation tank?

Abrams X Is Ready for the Future

First, let me share some more details on the Abrams X. The new tank will use artificial intelligence for its fire control system. The AI will also improve the way sensors spot other tanks – quickly determining friend or foe and rapidly marking an enemy tank for destruction. The hybrid electric diesel engine is 50% more fuel-efficient than the latest Abrams M1A2 SEPv3/SEPv4 upgrades. The current Abrams burns a gallon of fuel each mile it travels.

The Abrams X features an autoloader, so one fewer crewman will be on board, and operators are better protected while riding in the hull. A remote 30mm cannon will supplement the main gun. The new tank will be able to run quieter than the current M1A2. Additionally, the Abrams X will be able to team with unmanned ground combat vehicles as that technology matures.

The Abrams X engine will allow for a silent watch function in which the tank can remain stationary and fire its weapons. Silent watch results in a reduced acoustic and thermal signature. Since the Abrams X is so similar to earlier Abrams iterations, it can be assembled at the same General Dynamics Land Systems plant in Lima, Ohio. An entirely new tank design would likely take over a decade to get to the troops.

Russian T-14 Takes to the Battlefield

While the Abrams X likely has a few years ahead of it until serial production, Russia’s T-14 Armata is already fighting in Ukraine. The T-14 has a new ChTZ 12N360 diesel engine that enables 1,500 to 2,000 horsepower and a speed of up to 50 miles per hour on roads.

The T-14 has improved survivability. It can shoot down enemy anti-tank missiles with its Afghanit active protection system. This defensive system works in tandem with the Malachit dual-explosive reactive armor

Like the Abrams X, the turret is unmanned, and it boasts the 125mm 2A82-1M smoothbore main gun. This has an auto-loading feature, and the magazine holds 45 rounds. The main gun can fire laser-guided munitions. The three-man crew is positioned in the front of the hull, away from the auto-loader and magazine, for better survivability.

Which Tank Wins?

While both the future Abrams X and the current T-14 Armata have interesting features, a head-to-head match-up is difficult to predict. They both have excellent specs. The tanks are well-protected and well-armed. Their designs protect their crews. The T-14 may have better armor, should the Malachit system work as advertised, but the Abrams X will have superior mobility.

The main determinant of success between the two tanks, should they ever meet on the battlefield, is the skill of the crew. Russian tanks have been destroyed repeatedly in the war, but their crews have learned valuable lessons in combat. Russia is understanding that it must integrate infantry into its battle plans to root out enemy anti-tank missile crews. American tankers have not experienced such a baptism by fire, as the war on terror did not feature tank-on-tank warfare. U.S. maneuver warfare specialists are thus watching Ukraine closely to see how the Armata performs in combat. Then they can incorporate new techniques and tactics based on the Russian experiences.

Hopefully, the engineers and designers at General Dynamics Land Systems can improve the Abrams X even more based on feedback from Army intelligence on lessons learned in Ukraine.

Abrams X vs. T-14 Armata: Photos

Armata Tank

Armata Tank. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Russia T-14 Armata Tank

Russia T-14 Armata Tank. Image Credit: YouTube Screenshot.

T-14 Armata Tank

T-14 Armata Tank. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Russian Military

Image of T-14 Armata tank in the Russian Military. Image Credit: Vitali Kuzman.

Russia T-14 Armata

Russian Armata T-14 Tank. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Russia T-14

Russian Armata T-14 Tank Prototype from above.


Abrams NextGen Tank. Image Credit: YouTube Screenshot.

Abrams NextGen or Abrams X

General Dynamics promo image of Abrams NextGen.

Expert Biography: Serving as 1945’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.

Written By

Now serving as 1945s New Defense and National Security Editor, Brent M. Eastwood, PhD, is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer.



  1. WAYNE

    November 1, 2022 at 6:25 pm

    No one seriously thinks the T-14 could take an Abrams let alone the new super duper one

  2. Dr. Scooter Van Neuter

    November 1, 2022 at 7:49 pm

    I have a feeling this would not be much of a contest as Russian hardware has proven to be second-tier to that of the West.

  3. Jack

    November 1, 2022 at 9:31 pm

    The best trained and most motivated tank crew will be victorious….

  4. Bender

    November 1, 2022 at 10:46 pm

    if the Abrams X will enter production, it will win for sure,
    simply because the T14 Armata will never enter production..

  5. Tomb

    November 1, 2022 at 11:00 pm

    Kudos to Mr Eastwood.
    Abramsx tank has crew in hull,
    With autoloader and apparently
    45 shells in turret.
    I initially was relieved …

    After more thought, I am concerned that anti tank missiles will blast the unmanned turret with the 45 shells to Smithereens.

    The lesson from Ukraine is that any tank however modern
    Is vulnerable without some
    Revolution in armor or missile defense…

  6. Arick

    November 2, 2022 at 1:21 pm

    Tanks right now are not fairing well against anti-tank ammunition, drones, ext. It is probable that by the time the new abram hits productin, drones will be powerful enough, cost effective enough, and wide spread enough to effectively annihilate any tank found on the battle space. Not to mention beyond sight anti-tank weapons and E.W.

    If tanks want to be kept they will have to be unmanned, you are a sitting duck otherwise. And will probably be relegated to holding strong points instead of attacking.

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