Military

The Fastest Russian Tanks Ever Built

Vitaly V. Kuzmin / Wikimedia Commons

From the infamous T-34 in World War II to the advanced T-14 Armata, Russian tanks have always combined ruggedness, firepower, and speed. Speed has often been a key factor, shaping how these tanks were designed and used. Here 24/7 Wall St. is looking into the history of Russian tanks and checking out some of the fastest models they’ve ever made. (These are the warplanes of the Russian Air Force.)

To identify the fastest Russian tanks ever built, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed a catalog of tanks from Military Factory. We ranked each tank according to the caliber of the main gain and then secondary guns. We included supplemental information from Military Factory regarding the type of tank, year, manufacturer, top speed, and number manufactured. We excluded prototypes, projects and tanks with limited production runs.

Russian tanks really started to take shape between the World Wars when the Soviet Union saw how important these armored vehicles were in battle. The T-34, which came out in 1940, became a symbol of Soviet engineering. It was fast, well-armored, and packed a punch, playing a huge role in the Red Army’s success during World War II.

After the Second World War, the focus shifted to making tanks faster and more mobile without losing firepower and protection. The Cold War brought several fast and agile tanks as warfare evolved. This era saw major advancements in tank tech, driven by the need to effectively counter NATO’s forces.

The modern Russian main battle tank, the T-14 Armata, represents the pinnacle of Russian engineering of not just firepower but speed as well. With the ability to move swiftly, the Armata tanks can support infantry more effectively, outflank opponents, and adapt to changing combat situations. Basically, their speed makes them more versatile and lethal, giving them a big edge in modern warfare. (These are all warship and submarine classes in the Russian Navy.)

Here is a look at the fastest Russian tanks ever built:

Why Are We Covering This?

Source: Kichigin / iStock via Getty Images

Russia’s historical and current tank developments reflect its status as a major military power. Russian tanks have not only been pivotal in wars but also a tool of diplomatic influence, shaping Russia’s standing on the world stage through both their physical might and strategic deployment.

30. T-26

  • Type: Light tank
  • Year introduced: 1931
  • Top speed: 17 mph
  • Armament: 45mm main gun, 7.62mm machine gun, 12.7mm machine gun
  • Total units manufactured: 12,000
  • Manufacturer(s): Factory No. 174 / Stalingrad Tractor Factory

29. KV-1 (Klimenti Voroshilov)

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

  • Type: Heavy tank
  • Year introduced: 1939
  • Top speed: 22 mph
  • Armament: 76.2mm main gun, 7.62mm machine guns
  • Total units manufactured: 5219
  • Manufacturer(s): Kirov Factory

28. IS-2 / JS-2 (Josef Stalin)

Source: David Merrett / Wikimedia Commons

  • Type: Heavy tank
  • Year introduced: 1943
  • Top speed: 23 mph
  • Armament: 122mm D25-T main gun, 12.7mm DShK heavy machine gun, 7.62mm machine guns
  • Total units manufactured: 2,250
  • Manufacturer(s): State Factories

27. IS-3 / JS-3 (Josef Stalin)

Source: Andrew Milligan sumo / Wikimedia Commons

  • Type: Heavy tank
  • Year introduced: 1945
  • Top speed: 25 mph
  • Armament: 122mm D-25T main gun, 12.7mm anti-aircraft heavy machine gun, 7.62mm machine guns
  • Total units manufactured: 2,311
  • Manufacturer(s): State Factories

26. T-38

Source: Stas Kozlovskiy / Wikimedia Commons

  • Type: Light tank
  • Year introduced: 1937
  • Top speed: 25 mph
  • Armament: 7.62mm machine gun
  • Total units manufactured: 1,300
  • Manufacturer(s): Factory No. 37

25. IS-10 / T-10 (Josef Stalin)

Source: Ferran Cornellà / Wikimedia Commons

  • Type: Heavy tank
  • Year introduced: 1953
  • Top speed: 26 mph
  • Armament: 122mm D-74 main gun, 14.5mm KPV machine guns, 12.7mm DShK anti-aircraft machine gun
  • Total units manufactured: 8,000
  • Manufacturer(s): State Factories

24. T-27

Source: ChrisO / Wikimedia Commons

  • Type: Light tank
  • Year introduced: 1931
  • Top speed: 26 mph
  • Armament: 7.62mm machine gun
  • Total units manufactured: 3,000
  • Manufacturer(s): Bolshevik Works / GAZ

23. PT-76

Source: peer_gynt / Flickr
  • Type: Amphibious light tank
  • Year introduced: 1952
  • Top speed: 27 mph
  • Armament: 76.2mm main gun, 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun
  • Total units manufactured: 12,000
  • Manufacturer(s): State Factories

22. T-60

  • Type: Light tank
  • Year introduced: 1941
  • Top speed: 27 mph
  • Armament: 20mm TNSh L/82.4 main gun, 7.62mm machine gun
  • Total units manufactured: 6,292
  • Manufacturer(s): Factory No. 37 / Factory No. 38 / GAZ

21. T-62

  • Type: Medium tank
  • Year introduced: 1961
  • Top speed: 28 mph
  • Armament: 115mm smoothbore main gun, 12.7mm DShKM anti-aircraft heavy machine gun, 7.62mm PKT coaxial machine gun
  • Total units manufactured: 22,750
  • Manufacturer(s): State Factories

20. T-70

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
  • Type: Light tank
  • Year introduced: 1942
  • Top speed: 28 mph
  • Armament: 45mm 20K main gun, 7.62mm machine gun
  • Total units manufactured: 8,226
  • Manufacturer(s): State Factories

19. T-54

  • Type: Medium tank
  • Year introduced: 1949
  • Top speed: 30 mph
  • Armament: 100mm D-10TG main gun, 7.62mm SG MT coaxial machine gun, 7.62mm bow-mounted machine gun
  • Total units manufactured: 50,000
  • Manufacturer(s): State Factories

18. T-55

  • Type: Medium tank
  • Year introduced: 1958
  • Top speed: 31 mph
  • Armament: 100mm D-10 rifled main gun, 7.62mm PKT coaxial machine gun, 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun
  • Total units manufactured: 50,000
  • Manufacturer(s): State Factories

17. T-44

  • Type: Medium tank
  • Year introduced: 1944
  • Top speed: 32 mph
  • Armament: 85mm D-5T main gun, 7.62mm machine guns
  • Total units manufactured: 1,823
  • Manufacturer(s): Factory No. 75

16. T-34

  • Type: Medium tank
  • Year introduced: 1940
  • Top speed: 32 mph
  • Armament: 85mm D-5T / ZiS-S-53 main gun, 7.62mm DT MG coaxial machine gun, 7.62mm DT machine gun
  • Total units manufactured: 84,070
  • Manufacturer(s): State Factories

15. BT-7 (Bystrochodnij Tankov)

  • Type: Light tank
  • Year introduced: 1934
  • Top speed: 32 mph
  • Armament: 45mm main gun, 7.62mm machine gun
  • Total units manufactured: 4,613
  • Manufacturer(s): State Factories

14. T-90

  • Type: Main battle tank
  • Year introduced: 1995
  • Top speed: 40 mph
  • Armament: 125mm smoothbore main gun, 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun, smoke grenade discharges
  • Total units manufactured: 2,055
  • Manufacturer(s): Uralvagonzavod

13. BMP-2 (Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty)

Source: Vitaly V. Kuzmin / Wikimedia Commons

  • Type: Infantry fighting vehicle
  • Year introduced: 1982
  • Top speed: 40 mph
  • Armament: 30mm 2A42 main gun, 7.62 PKTM coaxial machine gun, 9M113 Konkurs mssile launcher, smoke dischargers
  • Total units manufactured: 35,000
  • Manufacturer(s): Kurgan Machine Construction Plant

12. BMP-1 (Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty)

  • Type: Infantry fighting vehicle
  • Year introduced: 1966
  • Top speed: 40 mph
  • Armament: 7.62mm PKT coaxial machine gun, 7.62mm PKT bow-mounted machine gun
  • Total units manufactured: 26,000
  • Manufacturer(s): State Factories

11. T-72 (Ural)

Source: deyanarobova / iStock via Getty Images
  • Type: Main battle tank
  • Year introduced: 1972
  • Top speed: 42 mph
  • Armament: 125mm smoothbore main gun, 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun, smoke grenade dischargers
  • Total units manufactured: 25,000
  • Manufacturer(s): State Factories

10. 2S25 (Sprut-SD)

  • Type: Light tank
  • Year introduced: 2007
  • Top speed: 43 mph
  • Armament: 125mm 2A75 main gun, 7.62 coaxial machine gun, smoke grenade dischargers
  • Total units manufactured: 70
  • Manufacturer(s): Volgograd Tractor Plant

9. BMD-4 (Boyevaya Mashina Desanta)

Source: Пользователь / Wikimedia Commons

  • Type: Light infantry fighting vehicle
  • Year introduced: 2005
  • Top speed: 43 mph
  • Armament: 100mm main gun, 30mm cannon, AT-5 Spandrel anti-tank guided missile launcher, 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, 40mm automatic grenade launcher, 5.45mm general purpose machine gun, smoke grenade dischargers
  • Total units manufactured: 200
  • Manufacturer(s): Volgograd Tractor Plant

8. BMP-3 (Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty)

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

  • Type: Light tank
  • Year introduced: 1987
  • Top speed: 43 mph
  • Armament: 100mm 2A70 rifled main gun, 30mm 2A72 coaxial machine gun, 7.62mm PKT coaxial machine gun, smoke grenade dischargers
  • Total units manufactured: 1,840
  • Manufacturer(s): Kurgan Machine Construction Plant

7. T-80 (MBT)

  • Type: Main battle tank
  • Year introduced: 1976
  • Top speed: 43 mph
  • Armament: 125mm main gun, 12.7mm air defense machine gun, 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, smoke grenade dischargers
  • Total units manufactured: 5,500
  • Manufacturer(s): Omsk Transmash / Malyshev / LKZ

6. T-64

  • Type: Main battle tank
  • Year introduced: 1966
  • Top speed: 43 mph
  • Armament: 125mm D-81 smoothbore main gun, 7.62mm PKT coaxial machine gun, 12.7mm NSVT anti-aircraft machine gun
  • Total units manufactured: 13,000
  • Manufacturer(s): Malyshev Factory

5. BMD-3 (Boyevaya Mashina Desanta)

Source: Mike1979 Russia / Wikimedia Commons

  • Type: Amphibious light tank
  • Year introduced: 1990
  • Top speed: 44 mph
  • Armament: 30mm cannon, 7.62 machine gun, AT-4 ATGW launcher, 5.45mm machine gun, 40mm grenade launcher, smoke dischargers
  • Total units manufactured: 123
  • Manufacturer(s): Volgograd Tractor Plant

4. BMD-2 (Boyevaya Mashina Desanta)

Source: Нацгвардія України / Wikimedia Commons

  • Type: Amphibious light tank
  • Year introduced: 1985
  • Top speed: 50 mph
  • Armament: 30mm 2A42 cannon, ATGM missile launcher, 7.62mm PKT coaxial machine gun, 7.62mm PKT bow-mounted machine gun
  • Total units manufactured: 2,150
  • Manufacturer(s): Volgograd Tractor Plant

3. BMD-1 (Boyevaya Mashina Desanta)

Source: Vitaly V. Kuzmin / Wikimedia Commons

  • Type: Infantry fighting vehicle
  • Year introduced: 1966
  • Top speed: 50 mph
  • Armament: 73mm 2A28 smoothbore cannon, 9M14M anti-tank guided missiles
  • Total units manufactured: 2,000
  • Manufacturer(s): Volgograd Tractor Plant

2. T-14 (Armata)

Source: rusm / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images
  • Type: Main battle tank
  • Year introduced: 2016
  • Top speed: 50 mph
  • Armament: 125mm 2A82 smoothbore main gun, 30mm autocannon, 12.7mm heavy machine gun, 7.62mm machine gun, smoke grenade dischargers
  • Total units manufactured: 45
  • Manufacturer(s): Uralvagonzavod

1. T-99 Armata

  • Type: Multirole tracked armored vehicle
  • Year introduced: 2013
  • Top speed: 50 mph
  • Armament: 125mm smoothbore main gun, 12.7mm coaxial machine gun, 57mm automatic grenade launcher
  • Total units manufactured: 40
  • Manufacturer(s): Uralvagonzavod

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