MOSCOW, May 25. /TASS/ Europe will be able to give a worthy reply to Russia’s Armata tank only in 15 years, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said during the Voskresny Vecher (Sunday Night) program on Russian television.
"The French and Germans said they will build a tank similar to Armata by 2030, that is in 15 years," Rogozin said.
"Russian tank construction has been one step ahead since the times of T-34," he said.
The German web publication Welt Online reported Friday that the German Defense Ministry, jointly with the French government, plans to design a modern battle tank that in the future is to become a competitor to Russia’s T-14 Armata tank.
The new military vehicle is to be ready by 2030 and replace the Leopard 2 tank, which is currently in operational service with the armies of several European countries.
According to Welt Online, the reference point for such plans could have been reports by Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) on Russia reinforcing its combat strength.
BND analysts said T-14 tanks presented during the Victory Parade in Moscow on May 9 were only experimental prototypes, and that their serial production could start in a few years.
"But when they are completely developed, it will be time to face a tank of the highest level," the publication said.
A special report prepared for the Bundestag (parliament) defense committee by Defense Ministry parliamentary state secretary Markus Gruebel says that "technical specifications for the new combat system have already been submitted and defined in the framework of the German-French cooperation."
The sides also plan to jointly study technologies and developments of the German industry by 2018. The report, however, does not specify whether the new tank will be based on the Leopard 2 platform or it will be a totally different combat system.