World's Top 10 Main Battle Tanks - Sub 50 tonnes

T-14 Armata (Russia)
T-14 Armata

Armament: The main armament of the T-14 is the 2A82-1M 125 mm smoothbore cannon with (45) rounds. A firing rate of 10 rounds per minute. The secondary armament consists of a 12.7 mm Kord machine gun with (300) rounds and a 7.62 mm PKTM machine gun with (1,000) rounds. The Vacuum-1 round which is currently being developed for the 2A82-1M cannon is capable of penetrating RHA equivalent at a distance of 2 km.

Protection: In addition to dual-reactive armour (Malachit) the T-14 features an active protection system (Afghanit), this system includes a millimeter-wavelength radar to detect, track and intercept incoming anti-tank munitions, both kinetic energy penetrators and tandem-charges. Currently, the maximum speed of the interceptable target is 1,700 m/s. Afghanit main sensors are the four panels mounted on a turret's sides, which are probably the AESA radar panes spread out for the 360° view, and possible one more on top of the turret.

The system consists of both a hard kill and soft kill elements, first of which actively destroys the incoming projectile, while the second confuses the guidance systems of ATGMs and such, causing it to lose the infrared or laser guided target lock. They believe that it would be effective against most modern ATGMs, including Hellfire, TOW, Javelin, Spike, Brimstone, JAGM, etc.

The detection range of the tank's optical sensors is 5 km for tank-sized targets at day, and 3.5 km at night through the thermal imaging channel.
The most significant new feature is the use of an unmanned turret.
  • Engine: 1,500 hp
  • Unit Cost: $7 – $9 million USD (2015)
  • Weight: 48 tonnes

Al-Khalid I (Pakistan)
Al-Khalid I

Armament: It is upgraded variant of Al-Khalid with Ammunition capacity increased to (49) 125 mm rounds, (1,500) 12.7 mm rounds and (4,100) 7.62 mm rounds. Rate of fire increased to 9 rounds per minute. And effective range from 200 meters to 7 km. It also has an auto-loader and Al-Khalid is designed with a 125 mm (length: 48 calibers) smoothbore, auto-frettaged and chrome-plated gun barrel which is manufactured by Heavy Industries Taxila of Pakistan (founded by Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto in 1971) with highly stiff electro-slag remelting steel.

Al-Khalid also fires a Pakistani DU (depleted uranium) round, the Naiza 125 mm DU round (armour penetration: 570 mm in RHA at 2 km). One of the features of Al-Khalid is that it is equipped with auto tracker system. It also has hunter killer capability which can track and engage more than one targets while on the move.

Protection: Al-Khalid has modular composite armour and explosive reactive armour (ERA), high hardened steel plates over rolled homogenous layers. The composite armour includes classified elements and NERA inserts. Vehicle also has overpressure NBC (nuclear-biological-chemical) defence system, an effective thermal smoke generator, internal fire extinguisher and explosion-suppression system.

Incorporates modifications made to the fire-control system which is now a more advanced multi process fire control computer with up to 7km effective identification range. The engagement range is also improved which is up to 3.5 km.

It also includes Sagem third-generation thermal imagers and improved air conditioning system. It is the most heavily weaponised tank by tonnage. It is fitted with a 1,200 hp engine. Al-Khalid I's top speed is 72 km/h, and it weighs 47 tonnes. Its Power to weight ratio is 27 hp/ton.

It has digital driver panel, IBMS The tank is equipped with the "Integrated Battlefield Management System" (IBMS) named 'Rehbar', a digital communications system developed domestically by HIT and CARE (Centre for Advanced Research in Engineering), side-skirts, track pads, digitally controlled FPGA based solid state auto-loader with bidirectional tray movement and ammunition availability information on screen, information on empty and full trays and types of available rounds, bigger carousel for longer rounds, and Varta electro-optical jammer (disrupts laser rangefinders, laser designators and anti-tank guided missile tracking systems).

Laser Threat Sensor LTS786P is an early warning device which gives audio and visual alarms of threat by sensing a laser beam aimed at it from any direction. The exact location of the threat (incoming beam) is indicated by nine LEDs, covering all directions above the horizon. It has the capability to differentiate between a Laser Range Finder, Laser Target Designator or a Laser Target Tracker Signal.

It uses a data-link to facilitate secure communication of battlefield information between units, including tank video footage and information from unmanned aerial vehicles.
  • Engine: 1,200 hp
  • Unit Cost: $3-5 million USD (2012)
  • Weight: 47 tonnes

Type 10 (Japan)
Type 10

Armament: Type 10 Main Battle Tank uses 120 mm smoothbore gun cannon with automatic loader, which was newly developed by Japan Steel Works. The gun will fire newly developed APFSDS which is a significant increase compared to JM33 APFSDS. Its secondary armament includes M2HB 12.7 mm machine gun Type 74 7.62 mm machine gun.

Protection: The use of modular components significantly improves the side armor compared to the Type 90. The Commander's Panoramic Sight has been moved to the right and is located at a higher position than the Type 90, giving the commander a wide range of view. Its armor consists of Nano-crystal steel, modular ceramic composite armor, light-weight upper armor.

The Type 10 tank is equipped with C4I system (Command, Control, Communication, Computer & Intelligence). This can be incorporated into the JGSDF network to enable sharing of information among tanks, as well as connected to the infantry's outdoor computer network.
  • Engine: 1,200 hp
  • Unit Cost: $8 million USD (2015)
  • Weight: 44 tonnes

T-80UD (Ukraine)

Armament: 125 mm 2A46-2 smoothbore gun, with (45) rounds, 9M112 Kobra ATGM 4 missiles, 9M119 Refleks ATGM 6 missiles. It can fire the 9M119 Refleks (AT-11 Sniper) guided missile and the Long-Rod penetrator (HVAPFSDS) 3BM46. IT also has 7.62 mm PKT coaxial machine gun, 12.7 mm NSVT or PKT anti-aircraft machine gun.

Protection: T-80U is protected by a second generation of explosive reactive armour called Kontakt-5, which can severely dissipate the penetrative capabilities of an APFSDS round, such as the M829A1 "Silver Bullet". The Kontakt-5 is integrated into the design of the turret, hull, and Brod-M deep wading equipment.

Like all of the previous T-80 models, the T-80U has full length rubber side skirts protecting the sides but those above the first three road wheels are armored and are provided with lifting handles. A special camouflage paint distorts the tank's appearance in the visible and IR wavebands.

The engine support systems make it possible to operate the tank at ambient fuel temperatures of up to 55 °C and to ford to a water depth of 1.8 m. T-80UD shares most of the T-80U's improvements, but can be distinguished from it by a different engine deck and distinctive smoke-mortar array and turret stowage boxes. It retains the remotely controlled commander's machine gun.
  • Engine: 1,000 hp
  • Unit Cost: $2 million USD (1997)
  • Weight: 46 tonnes

Type 96B (China)
Type 96

Armament: Its main armament includes 125 mm smoothbore gun, capable of firing ATGM and depleted uranium round. And secondary armament consists of 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun 12.7 mm air-defence machine gun.

Protection: It uses Classified armour (later models are fitted with armour modules and ERA plates)

It features thermal sights aiding the commander and gunner. The three crewmembers have night vision. The commander is also able to target for the gunner. A laser defense system similar to the Shtora has been installed as well. Electro-optical jammers are found on the tank, which are able to jam enemy guided missiles, rangefinders, and designators.

"Arrow shaped" modular armor similar to the Type 99 is installed on the turret front. The Type 96A is a third-generation upgrade of the Type 96. Its internal electronics may have been upgraded to Type 99 standards.
  • Engine: 1,000 hp
  • Unit Cost: n/a
  • Weight: 43 tonnes

MBT 2000/VT-1A (China/Pak)
MBT 2000/VT-1A

Armament: It is an improved version of VT-1/MBT-2000. Main armament consists of a 125mm smoothbore gun capable of firing (39) rounds various types of ammunition including HEAT, HE-fragmentation and APFSDS. The gun may also be capable of firing the Russian 9M119 Refleks.

Additional armament comprises the 7.62 mm coaxial general-purpose machine gun and 12.7 mm anti-aircraft heavy machine gun.

Protection: VT-1A is protected by a Main armor and modular composite reactive armor. It has two sets of six-barrel smoke/HE grenade launchers which are mounted on the turret sides.

It has a scan-targeting type Fire Control System. It can also lay a smoke screen by injecting diesel fuel into the exhaust outlets at the rear of the hull. But the VT1A is not packaged with the 2nd generation ERA, active defense protection systems, D-3 infra-red jammer nor a laser-dazzler device of Type 99.

It has 1200 hp water-cooled turbocharged diesel engine. Maximum operational range of 450 km with top speed of 64 km/h. And its Power to weight ratio is 24 hp/ton.

  • Engine: VT-1A (1,300 hp)
  • Unit Cost: $2 million USD (2011)
  • Weight: 49 tonnes

T-90MS (Russia)

Armament: The T-90's main armament is the 2A46M 125 mm smoothbore tank gun. It has an effective range of 100 meters to 6 km, and takes 17.5 seconds to reach maximum range. It can fire rounds at the rate of 8 rounds per minute. The NSV 12.7mm remotely controlled anti-aircraft Heavy machine gun can be operated from within the tank by the commander and has a range of 2 km and a cyclic rate of fire with 300 rounds available. The PKMT 7.62mm coaxial machine gun ammunition box carries 250 rounds (7,000 rounds carried)

Protection: The T-90 is fitted with a three-tiered protection system.
The first tier is the composite armour in the turret, consisting of basic armour shell with an insert of alternating layers of aluminum and plastics and a controlled deformation section.

The second tier is third generation Kontakt-5 ERA (explosive reactive armour) which significantly degrades the penetrating power of kinetic-energy APFSDS ammunition and also these ERA blocks give the turret its distinctive angled "clam shell" appearance.

The third tier is a Shtora-1 countermeasures suite, produced by Elektromashina of Russia. This system includes two electro-optical/IR "dazzlers" on the front of the turret (which gives the distinct Red Eyes), four Laser warning receivers, two 3D6 aerosol grenade discharging systems and a computerized control system. The Shtora-1 warns the tank's crew when the tank has been 'painted' by a weapon-guidance laser and allows the crew to slew the turret to face the threat. The infrared jammer, the TShU1-7 EOCMDAS, jams the semiautomatic command to line of sight (SACLOS) guidance system of some anti-tank guided missiles. (Exported Russian T-90S to other countries does not have Shtora-1).

T-90MS has ERA Relict. Relict defends against tandem warheads and reduces penetration of APFSDS rounds by over 50%. Relict can be installed instead of Kontakt-1/Kontakt-5.
  • Engine: 840 hp
  • Unit Cost: T-90MS: $4 million USD
  • Weight: 46 tonnes

Al-Zarrar (Pakistan)

Armament: Al-Zarrar's primary armament is a 125 mm smoothbore tank gun with an autofrettaged, chrome-plated gun barrel. It is capable of firing APFSDS, HEAT-FS and HE-FS rounds as well as anti-tank guided missiles and a Pakistani DU (depleted uranium) round, the 125 mm Naiza. Naiza is capable of penetrating 550 mm of RHA armour at a distance of 2 km. Reloaded by a semi-automatic autoloader, the gun has a dual-axis stabilisation system and thermal imaging sights for the commander and gunner.

The secondary armament consists of an external 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun mounted on the roof of the turret, which can be aimed and fired from inside the tank, and a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun.

Protection: Al-Zarrar uses modular composite armour and explosive reactive armour to give improved protection from anti-tank missiles, mines and other weapons. The Pakistani ATCOP LTS-1 laser threat warning system is fitted to inform the tank crew if the tank is targeted by a laser range-finder or laser designator. Smoke grenade launchers are fitted to the sides of the turret. An automatic fire-extinguishing and explosion suppression system is installed to improve crew survivability.
  • Engine: 730 hp
  • Unit Cost: n/a
  • Weight: 44 tonnes

PT-91 Twardy (Poland)
PT-91 Twardy

Armament: The Twardy is armed with the same 125 mm smoothbore gun 2A46, fitted with an automatic reloading mechanism which reduced the tank crew by one as it replaced the gun loader, and gave a rate of fire of 8 rounds per minute.

Additional armament comprises the 7.62 mm (2,000 rounds) PKT coaxial general-purpose machine gun and 12.7 mm (250 rounds) NSVT anti-aircraft heavy machine gun.

Protection: It is composed of composite armour; front and side armor laminated; front, side and top armor behind ERA, steel side anti-cumulative screens.
The Drawa fire control system, developed by Polish engineers, contains the gunner's day sight PCD and the TES thermovision night sight. The PT-91 has a thermosmoke device generating smoke screens from fuel and 24 grenade launchers fitted with smoke or anti-personnel frag grenades.
  • Engine: 850 hp
  • Unit Cost: n/a
  • Weight: 48 tonnes

M-95 Degman (Croatia)
M-95 Degman

Armament: It has 125 mm 2A46M5 smoothbore gun and Samson Remote Controlled Weapon Station which consist of a 12.7mm caliber heavy machine gun and 40mm grenade launcher is another upgrade. This Remote Controlled Weapon Station acts also as the commander's independent thermal viewer.

Protection: Explosive Reactive Armor developed by Elbit is one major upgrade and gives a distinctive look to the M95 tank.
  •  Engine: n/a
  • Unit Cost: n/a
  • Weight: 48 tonnes