Object 195, which is sometimes also known under its marketing name T-95, is a result of the same line of thought as the Black Eagle, but with one significant difference. It has a really, really big gun so it can deal with literally anything it comes across.
Object 195 was originally designed to become the future fourth generation Main Battle Tank. It was developed in Nizhny Tagil by the experienced Uralvagonzavod design bureau (UKBTM), which was responsible for such legendary tanks as the T-72 and T-90.
The actual development was probably initiated in the Soviet Union in the late 1980s as part of the “Sovershestvovanie-88” (Improvement-88) military program to upgrade the Soviet tank fleet with something more powerful that would completely outclass its western opponents – the ultimate battlefield predator with unparalleled firepower and protection levels.
The program had four cornerstones:
- Maximizing the probability of knocking the enemy target out with the first hit
- Maximizing crew survivability against enemy armor-piercing and HEAT tank shells
- Integrating the vehicle into the future command and control system of the Russian forces
- Making the chassis versatile enough to be usable for various other vehicle classes (such as heavy ARV) and to be upgradeable over the next thirty years
Several decisions were made based on these requirements. The vehicle had to have multiple weapons systems. These weapons would be using as advanced ammunition as possible and were to be operated remotely. The fire control system was to include advanced optics and a thermal imager. Protection levels were to be twice or even three times as high as that of its contemporaries. The engine was to be a diesel or gas turbine of at least 1500hp with hydro-dynamic suspension to ensure the best off-road characteristics achievable and high fire accuracy on the move. And last but not least, the vehicle was to be equipped with an internal electronic management system capable of signaling any issues to the crew.
The developers hoped each of these vehicles would be able to carry out three times as many combat missions from deployment to eventual destruction in combat compared to other tanks of the time.
The development progressed well but seems to have been interrupted after the fall of the Soviet Union due to a lack of funding. Interestingly, unlike other Soviet era projects, it was revived after approximately a decade. The second development phase took place approximately between 2000 and 2008.
The most important feature of Object 195 was its unmanned turret armed with a massive automatically loaded 152mm 2A83 gun. The ammunition was not fed into the gun from a bustle, but from a carousel located below the turret. The vehicle was also armed with a 30mm 2A42 autocannon for softer targets.
The crew was completely isolated from the weapon system. The two crewmembers (reduced from the standard three of other Soviet tanks) were located in the frontal part of the vehicle, where they were protected not only by massively thick frontal armor but also by the armored capsule they sat in. This layout protected the crewmembers not only from enemy shell hits, but also from ammunition explosion or burning fuel.
The project counted on an undisclosed type of newly-developed diesel X engine producing around 1500hp and – as mentioned above – on hydro-pneumatic suspension. Officially, the engine type is not known, but some sources speculate that it might be the A-85-3 12-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine from Chelyabinsk, producing some 1650hp (or even 2200hp in its supercharged version).
The suspension was of a new type – it probably used some T-72 components but generally was not copied from any other tank.
One of the reasons for the development of such an advanced vehicle was the need to develop a very well-protected tank within the weight constraints specified by Russian military requirements. As a result of these considerations, the vehicle, weighing around 52 to 55 tons (sources vary), was quite light for its weapons category. With some 27 hp/t power-to-weight ratio, the acceleration, maximum speed and agility were very likely quite impressive, although all three remain classified. The numbers published (80 km/h maximum speed etc.) are very likely little more than general estimates.
A single prototype was built and it allegedly passed state trials between 2008 and 2010 (sources vary), but by 2010 the project was discontinued due to a lack of financing. On April 7 2010, the deputy defense minister, Vladimir Popovkin, publicly announced the termination of the project because the then more than two-decade-old project was obsolete.
The prototype was shown to several journalists in July 2010 and Uralvagonzavod released several ambiguous statements but no more information appeared on the vehicle until the appearance of the Armata platform. Much like the Black Eagle, Object 195 development served as a source for some of the Armata solutions and elements.
In Armored Warfare, Object 195 will be a Tier 10 progression Main Battle Tank. Its massive 152mm gun will allow for a different style of gameplay compared to other Tier 10 Russian tanks armed with 125mm guns.