The T-25 is a seventh-generation main battle tank employed by the Mecharussian Armed Forces. Designed by defence contractor ERVOYSIS and entering service in 2125, it is widely recognised as a pinnacle of 22nd-century tank engineering. Consequently, the T-25 appears prominently on ERVOYSIS' logo, being the Mekh corporation's pride and joy.
The baseline T-25 is armed with the powerful 2A118 railgun, with a 125-millimetre cannon bore and 6.5 metres in length. Its mainstay anti-armour round is the 3VBM42 fin-stabilised discarding rail-accelerated sabot (FSDRAS) round. With a metre-long penetrator and a muzzle velocity of approximately four kilometres per second, the round is reportedly able to punch through two metres of rolled homogeneous armour equivalent at a distance of 3.5 kilometres. The autoloader is also capable of accepting a wide variety of other rounds, such as programmed high-explosive airburst (HEAB) and plasma explosive anti-tank (PEAT) warheads.
For anti-infantry purposes, baseline models are armed with a coaxial PT-2 9.3x68-millimetre medium machine gun. Additionally, a 2A84-M2 30x165-millimetre remote-controlled autocannon is mounted atop the turret to engage lightly armoured targets and low-flying VTOLs. The coaxial and top weapons are controlled by the gunner and commander respectively.
Command variants, such as the T-25K, come fitted with a hatch to launch an Mi-124 Falkonet reconnaissance drone. The commander takes direct control of the drone, and can use its onboard camera to survey the area around the tank for potential threats.
The T-25 is shrouded in armour fashioned from a nanolathed titanium carbide-cermet composite, reinforced on the turret and sides with the new Markazit electroreactive armour. The tank is also armed with several soft and hard-kill active protection systems. Among these are the Falanga millimetre-wave RADAR system able to spot and intercept incoming rounds travelling at speeds as high as three kilometres per second. The RADAR works in tandem with the tank's other primary APS, the Uragan-M. Similarly to the TROPHY system employed on Imperial main battle tanks such as the M3 Edwin, the Uragan uses several small shaped-charge nodules which detonate and destroy incoming anti-tank weapons. Other countermeasures include electric smoke grenade launchers, which double as close-range antipersonnel weapons able to stun or kill enemy infantry, and thermal camouflage designed to hide the tank from IR sensors.
Newer models of the T-25 are rumoured to also deploy laser-based active protection systems and even plasma arc forcefield generators. Some specialised models are also known to be fitted with cloak-field generators able to hide them from visual light, making them exceptionally difficult to spot and shoot first.
The crew of three (driver, commander, gunner) sit side by side inside of an armoured capsule in the tank's hull. The turret is entirely unmanned, allowing additional space for the autoloader and ammunition storage while improving crew survivability. The tankers have two methods of controlling the tank – the first is through the usage of conventional levers and joysticks to, for example, rotate the turret. The other, much more notable method of controlling the war machine, however, is through a mind-machine interface: using a specially-designed cybernetic augmentation, the tanker can plug himself into the tank and merge his own consciousness with the tank's onboard AI. The tanker is awarded an unparalleled degree of command and control over the war machine, able to quite literally feel every part of the tank as if it were attached to his own body.
Some specialised models do away with the crew altogether, with the onboard AI taking full control of the tank. Although still effective, a drone tank is less so than a fully-crewed machine.
Unlike most foreign main battle tanks, which use hydrogen internal combustion engines, the T-25 is driven by a 3,000-horsepower electric engine. Its two 50-megawatt doped-graphene matrix capacitors allow it a range of up to 450 miles before a full recharge is required – a process that (using a truck-mounted fusion reactor) takes between two minutes and half an hour, depending on how much power the tank's capacitors have expended. Although this can be problematic in the middle of a battle, it dramatically reduces the tank's maintenance costs compared to a HICE engine, which requires hydrogen fuel that may be difficult to procure. A T-25, on the other hand, quite literally only needs to be plugged in to refuel. (The railgun uses a separate capacitor/battery system in the turret.)
One feature that ERVOYSIS has been infamously quiet about, however, is the transmission, which is based upon an Israeli design.
Versus other tanks
The T-25's Imperial counterpart frequently clashes with it for the title of best tank in the world, and for good reason. The Edwin, with its 140-millimetre main cannon and 40-millimetre coaxial autocannon, is better armed than the T-25, and its DU-reinforced reactive nanocomposite armour and kill countermeasures are at least as effective as the T-25's own. In a head-on confrontation with the two tanks facing each other, the Imperial tank would likely come out on top more often than not.
Where the Edwin lags behind the T-25 is speed and engagement range. The T-25 outpaces its opponent with a top road speed of 85 kilometres per hour (compared to the Edwin's 64). The greatest strength that the Russian tank possesses, however, is that its higher-velocity 125mm railgun can fire at greater distance than the 140mm Gauss cannon – a vulnerability that even many Imperial military engineers concede.
In almost every regard the T-25 is a completely superior machine to the Baltic Iron Wolf. It is faster, better armed and is far better protected. During the third Mecharussian invasion of the Baltic Union, every instance where the T-25 confronted an Iron Wolf head-on saw the Mekh machine defeat the latter with barely a scratch. Baltic tankers were aware of this huge disparity of power, however, and saw to outflank or avoid the T-25 whenever possible.
In high-cover areas where it could utilise its unique agility, such as forests, the Iron Wolf proved to be much more effective against the T-25. It was found to be something of a nuisance in ambushes, oftentimes de-tracking a T-25 with a well-placed shot before retreating behind cover, allowing infantry to deliver a catastrophic kill with anti-tank fire.