Many great minds agree that the most innovative ideas first come out when countries face each other in war. Great technologies like the invention of RADAR, radio communication and use of nuclear energy came out of the two massive world wars we fought. All generals agree that in the midst of war defence is as important, if not more, as offence. The early civilisations can be seen using this principle by using shields side-by-side with their swords.

In the age of weapons like guns, the use of shields is not really amicable. After much thought, armoured vehicles called tanks were invented around the World War 1. They are large behemoths with armour plating and a large cannon in front with the capacity to move over all kinds of terrain with their use of caterpillar track. Many have made variants of the original design over the years, incorporating new technology in them. Following are some of the most expensive tanks in 2018.

10. T90, Russia ($2.23 Million)

Most Expensive Tank

The T-90 tank is classified as a third generation battle tank and has been in service since 1993, with its variation T-90A in service since 2004. The offence strength of the tank lies in the 125mm 2A46 smoothbore main gun which paired with 1A45T fire-control and gunner thermal sight gives optimum firing capacity. The defence of the armoured vehicle lies in the steel and composite blend armour, Shtora infrared ATGM jamming system and smoke grenade discharger.

9. CTC-99, China ($3.8 Million)

Most Expensive Tank

Also known as the Type 99 tank, these armoured vehicles are a third-generation main battle tank made in China. The tanks have been in service since 2001 and they recently launched a new model 99A, which has been in service since 2011. The 54-ton tanks were designed and constructed by Norinco. The offensive chops of this tank come from its 125mm ZPT-98 smoothbore gun and a secondary Type 85 heavy machine gun. The specifications of the armour have been classified; however, it has been speculated to be a composite/reactive armour type.

8. Arjun, India ($3.8Million)

Most Expensive Tank

A 58.5-ton heavy third-generation main battle tank, Arjun first came into service in 2004, designed by CVRDE and DRDO but manufactured by Heavy Vehicles Factory. The design was ready in the March of 1974 but the first model was produced in 2004. The main offensive equipment on board is a 120 mm rifled gun capable of firing kinetic energy penetrator rounds, high explosive squash head rounds and laser-guided LAHAT missile. The armour of this tank has been named Kanchan, which is essentially a modular composite armour.

7. Leopard 2, Germany ($4.2 Million)

Most Expensive Tank

Created by Krauss-Maffei, the Leopard 2 is the main battle tank first created for the West German Army in 1970 and joined service in 1979. It is a heavy 62.3-ton monster fitted with 120mm Rheinmetall L/55 smoothbore gun, capable of firing 42 rounds. The armour of the tank is a third generation composite and high hardness steel blend material with some tungsten and plastic fibre.

6. Merkava, Israel ($5 Million)

Most Expensive Tank

Merkava, which is Hebrew for a chariot, is the main battle tank created by MANTAK and has been in service since 1978. The main offensive strength of the tank lies in its primary 120mm MG253 smoothbore gun. The armour is a composite/sloped modular design and capable of seating 6 passengers.

5. M1A2 Abrams, United States of America ($6.21 Million)

Most Expensive Tank

This third-generation main battle tank is constructed by the US-based Lima Army Tank Plant but designed by Chrysler Defense. The designing process was finished between 1972-1979 and the manufacturing began from 1979. The tank has been in service since 1980 and participated in wars like Persian Gulf War, the war in Afghanistan and Iraq War. The M1A2 weighs about 72 short tons and requires only 4 people to operate it. The offensive prowess of the tank depends on the 120mm L/44 M256A1 smoothbore gun and can fire about 40 rounds. The armour is made of Burlington composite armour.

4. C1 Ariete, Italy ($7.5 Million)

Most Expensive Tank

An Italian main battle tank, C1 Ariete first came into service I the year 1995 and remains in service until present. The tank was constructed by a collaboration of Iveco-Fiat, who designed the chassis, and Oto Melara, who designed the turret and fire-control. Though Italy has never been known to be weapon manufacturers, they have gone all out with this tank providing it with the latest optical imaging and firing control. This means the tank can fight through day or night and has the capacity to fire while moving. The tank comes with the offensive power of 120mm L44 Smoothbore gun, capable of firing 42 rounds. The armour composition, however, remains classified.

3. FV4034 challenger II, United Kingdom ($7.291 Million)

Most Expensive Tank

Manufactured by Alvis plc and BAE Systems Land and Armament, the FV4034 Challenger 2 is a British made main battle tank which first into service in the year 1998. They were involved in the Iraq war. The tank weighs about 62.5 ton and has the capacity of seating 4 passengers. the primary armament involves an L30A1 120mm rifled gun which has the capacity to fire about 50 rounds, whereas the secondary weapon involves a Coaxial 7.62mm L94A1 chain gun. The armour composition remains classified and has never been made public. The off-road range of the armoured vehicle is 250 kilometres.

2. K2 Black Panther, South Korea ($8.5 Million)

Most Expensive Tank

K2 Black Panther is a South Korean made main battle tank and entered the service of the Army in the year 2014. The tank is the latest model, designed by Agency of Defence Development. The production started in the year 2013. The tank has a total weight of 55 ton and has a maximum range of 450 kilometres. The offensive power of the tank comes from a 120 mm 55 calibre smoothbore gun and a secondary K6 heavy machine gun. The armour is made of a composite material, the specifications of which remain classified.

1. AMX-56 Leclerc, France ($27.183 Million)

Most Expensive Tank

AMX-56 is a main battle tank created by GIAT industries, which have changed their name to Nexter. The armour is made of modular composite armour which includes titanium, tungsten and semi-reactive lasers. The primary armament involves a 120mm GIAT CN120-26/52 tank gun.

Tanks are an essential vehicle in any powerful army and provide the heavy firepower required to infiltrate any territory. It was the Soviet Union tanks that incapacitated the Afghanistan defensive line in the 80s. the inclusion of many new technologies has increased the price range for these vehicles and given them a winning edge in battle.

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