Russia's new Armata T-14 tank will eventually be armed with a cannon larger and more powerful than the standard Soviet-style gun mounted on current models, said Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, newspaper Izvestia reported Thursday.
Izvestia reported that the new gun will fire a 152mm shell, which would make the Armata the most heavily armed tank in the world. Western tanks such as the U.S. M1 Abrams and German Leopard 2 fire a NATO standard 120mm shell.
Though Armata's current 125mm cannon is technically a larger calibre than that carried by Western tanks, the ammunition it fires was designed for the older Soviet-designed T-72 tanks.
This means that in its current form, Armata fires shells that have shorter ranges and lower impact velocities than Western tank ammunition.
The Armata's new 152mm shells will “burn through a meter of steel,” Izvestia quoted Rogozin as telling President Vladimir Putin and members of the nation's Military-Industrial Commission at a meeting on Wednesday.
The Armata tank, which Russian officials have touted as the best in the world, was publicly displayed for the first time Saturday as part of a parade celebrating 70 years since the end of World War II.