On September 15, 1916, during the Battle of the Somme, 49 British tanks hit the German troops during the battle. At that time, many of these new military units broke down, but about one-third passed through the Neutral Zone and put the German troops to flight. Since that day, the tank has become an important part of the armament in the military of many developed countries. From the fields of Western Europe, to the Russian steppe, tanks have become an integral part of weapons. The biggest tank battles of the past 50 years are striking in their scale.
As with any other military weapon, from that day in September, during the First World War, an arms race began in terms of building tanks. The developers went beyond the technology in an attempt to achieve the highest rating in three characteristics: mobility, protection and firepower. To create the fastest, most powerful and best tank, you need a huge amount of money. Tank armor has gone through drastic changes over the years, from steel plates to a composite material made up of steel, plastics, ceramics and other secret materials. Engines have improved in power and reliability, from a simple World War I tractor unit to a turbine-powered diesel engine with over 1,000 hp. With. Tank guns have become larger and more accurate, and the range of projectiles has changed, from conventional bombs to guided missiles. High-class computers and optics, advanced location systems and protective devices began to be introduced. All this makes today’s tanks very dangerous and very expensive. Your attention is presented to the 10 best tanks, which, for obvious reasons, are also the most expensive.
Tank ZTZ-99 (China) – $2.6 million
The ZTZ-99 was introduced to the Chinese army in 2001. Like previous Chinese tanks, the ZTZ-99 borrowed most elements from Soviet-era designs, sharing similarities with the Soviet T‑72 and using a 125mm main gun. Corner welded turret and 1500 hp diesel engine. With. reflect Western influence, which also left its mark on the latest Chinese tank. Chinese designers have also fitted this vehicle with a laser defense system that warns of incoming missiles and a host of other advanced systems. A special armor package was developed, including explosives. It is designed to protect the crew of this 58-ton tank.
T‑90AM (Russia) – $4.25 million
During the Cold War, the Soviet Union built two types of tanks: a cheap mass-produced version suitable for export (T‑62, T‑72) and an expensive high-end version (T‑64, T‑80). In recent years, this policy proved too expensive, so the decision was made to focus on one type of tank. The result was the T‑90. There are various models of this tank with cheaper T‑90s being exported to other countries. A more advanced model (and almost twice as expensive) T‑90AM is currently entering service with the Russian army. This tank is a development of the T‑72 with a newer 125 mm gun, a new 1230 hp engine. With. and advanced protection and armor systems. The T‑90AM has the latest equipment and advanced armor effective against Western weapons. Like the T‑72, the T‑90 has a crew of three and uses an automatic loader for the main weapon.
Merkava IV (Israel) – $6.0 million
Until the 1960s and 1970s, the Israel Defense Forces used exclusively Western tanks, after which they decided to design and build their own. The result was the Merkava series. The current version today is the Merkava IV armed with a 120mm main gun. The Merkava IV tank is built with defense as the number one priority. The armor is a combination of steel and ceramic of a modular type, which allows for the rapid removal and replacement of damaged parts. The engine is placed at the front, adding extra protection to the team. This armor is capable of withstanding most anti-tank weapons. The active defense system significantly increases the likelihood of detecting and eliminating incoming enemy missiles.
Arjun Mk II (India) – $6.0 million
The Arjun first entered service with the Indian Army in 2004. The latest version, the 55-ton Arjun II tank, has been tested in the past two years and is now entering service. This latest Indian tank has many modern features based on the latest Russian and Western designs. A 120 mm main weapon is used, accepting both conventional ammunition and guided missiles. The armor is provided with modular components, with steel and ceramic material. Defense equipment includes laser defense systems, infrared jammers, and a variety of other systems capable of countering incoming guided anti-tank missiles. Arjun MK II has the best protection, navigation equipment and optics to help a team of four in the operation of the machine.
Leopard 2A6 (Germany) – $6.79 million
The oldest tank on this list, the Leopard 2 first entered service in 1979. Since then, it has gone through many upgrades and the 2A6 is the one in use today. Like most Western tanks, the Leopard 2A6 uses a 120mm main gun with extremely accurate rounds. The 63-ton Leopard uses an advanced armor package that is made up of steel, ceramic, tungsten and plastics. Armor is strongest on the front of the turret, hull and sides. The engine is a 1500 hp diesel. with., allowing the tank to gain a very decent speed. As with most Western tanks, ammunition is stored in a separate compartment to prevent the catastrophic effects of an ammunition explosion. One of the most successful designs, Leopard 2 is used by several countries. Modification 2A6 is currently used by Germany, Canada, Finland, Greece and Portugal. The newer 2A7+ is currently being tested and is priced at around $12 million per unit.
M1A2 SEP (USA) — $8.5 million
Of all the tanks on this list, the Abrams M1 is the most battle-tested. In 1991 and 2003, Abrams proved to be superior to any Soviet tank of that era that the Iraqis had. In fact, the biggest threat to Abrams comes not from enemy tanks, but from insurgent anti-tank systems that hit weak spots in the armor. Abrams’ latest version is the M1A2 SEP. This model weighs more than 69 tons, and most of the weight is armor made from a combination of uranium and graphite. Abrams is armed with a 120mm weapon that, with the help of advanced electronics and optics, can fire with a high level of accuracy. The Abrams tank can be upgraded with the Tank Urban Survival Kit (TUSK) for urban warfare.
Challenger 2 (GBK) – $8.6 million
The Challenger 2 is considered one of the most reliable and best protected tanks in the world and has been in service since 1998. The tank participated in the battles in Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq, where, together with the M1 Abrams, it showed itself at a very high level. The tank is equipped with the latest form of Chobham armor, the composition of which is classified. The protection is complemented by additional groups of reactive armor on the sides and front, as well as slats at the back. The 69-ton monster is equipped with a 1200 hp engine. with., which makes it one of the least maneuverable on this list. But the armor and accuracy of the 120 mm gun more than make up for this shortcoming.
K2 Black Panther (South Korea) – $8.8 million
The latest South Korean tank, the K2 Black Panther is one of the most modern and best tanks in the world. He’s never been in combat before, so it’s hard to gauge his abilities, but on paper, the technical requirements are impressive. K2 combines all the best features of Western and Russian projects. Like the Leopard, the K2 uses a 120mm gun and a 1500hp diesel engine. With. Armor is a classified composite material with additional modular reinforcement. Special protection allows you to detect approaching anti-tank missiles and disorient them by deploying a protective smoke screen. Like the T‑90 and Merkava, the K2 is equipped with an active protection system, a three-man crew, with automatic weapon loading.
Type 10 (Japan) – $9.4 million
The Type 10 is the latest Japanese tank, entering service in 2012. Weighing only 48 tons, the Type 10 is highly maneuverable, with a top speed of over 70 km/h. The tank has a 120 mm smoothbore weapon that is compatible with both Japanese and NATO projectiles. Armor protection is modular and uses a complex mixture of hardened steel and ceramics. Compared to other tanks on this list, the Type 10 is weaker than others, but very resistant to portable anti-tank weapons like RPGs. Like Russian tanks, the Type 10 seats three crew members and uses an autoloader instead of a fourth crew member. The warning system and smoke dispensers provide passive protection against any approaching guided anti-tank missiles.
AMX-56 Leclerc (France) – $12.6 million
This is the main fighting vehicle of France and is currently the most expensive tank in the world, as well as one of the best tanks. The cost of the AMX-56 Leclerc is not known for certain and may vary depending on the configuration and source. Critics of the French government say each Leclerc cost France $23 million or more. The companies that build and improve these tanks give a more conservative figure of $12.6 million. Leclerc entered service in 1992 after 15 years of development and testing. It uses modular armor that can be removed and quickly replaced. Armor is a combination of steel, ceramic and Kevlar. The protection on the roof of the tower and on the sides is very thick, and additional systems guarantee viability. Leclerc uses a 120 mm smoothbore gun and a 1500 hp engine. With. The autoloader allows the tank to fire 12 rounds per minute. Advanced optics and computer systems make Leclerc, one of the best tanks in the world, the most expensive.