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The next-generation Russian T-14 tank makes its debut in Ukraine

While Western nations are working to improve Ukraine’s land game with American M-1 Abrams and German Leopard 2 tanks, Russia has now introduced its latest generation tank to the war in Ukraineaccording to Russia’s state-owned RIA.

The new Russian tank is the Armored T-14what features an unmanned turret, with a three-man crew operating the vehicle from what RIA describes as an “isolated armored capsule located at the front of the hull.” The tank has a top road speed of 50 miles per hour.

A T-14 Armata on Tverskaya Street in Moscow before a Victory Day parade (TASS before Daily Mail)

It is equipped with a 125 mm smoothbore main gun with a reported autonomy of 8 kilometers. The weapon is fed by an automated magazine with a capacity of 45 rounds and can also fire laser-guided missiles.

Defensively, he has both reactive armor which explodes outward with the impact of a projectile, and a “Active Protection System” (APS), which the BBC has described as “essentially an anti-tank missile system, with radars capable of tracking the incoming anti-tank missile and projectiles launched to disrupt or destroy it”. The T-14 is also distinguished from its predecessor T-90 tanks by having a greater ground clearance.

A developer also claimed that the tank would have technology to hide it from radar targeting and heat-seeking systems: “We basically made the tank invisible.” RIA reports that the deployed T-14s have received “additional side protection from anti-tank ammunition.”

Bye now, Appearances of the T-14 have been largely limited to a series of Moscow Victory Day parades dating back to 2015, although RIA says they have been “tested in Syria”.

The next-generation Russian T-14 tank makes its debut in UkraineT-14 Armata tanks roll through Moscow’s Red Square in the 2020 Victory Day parade (Host photo/Evgeny Biyatov via Reuters)

Why has it taken so long for this alleged cutting-edge weapon to appear in Ukraine? Especially when it comes to military procurement, it turns out that the Russians are not so different from the United States.

“Eleven years of development, the [T-14 Armata] The program has been dogged with delays, planned fleet size reductions and reports of manufacturing problems,” the British military said in January.

T-14 “Armata” tank platform

— Spriter (@Spriter99880) April 25, 2023

The initial order called for 2,300 of them to be delivered in 2020. However, states the United Kingdom “Probably production is only in the low tens, while commanders are unlikely to trust the vehicle in combat,” and suggested that their introduction into Ukraine may be largely for propaganda purposes. Of course, this blow may itself be propaganda.

Giving some credence to the commander’s claim of hesitation, the RIA source says that Russia is gradually proceeding with the use of the T-14 in Ukraine: “Russian troops have started using the latest Armata tanks to fire on Ukrainian positions. They have not yet engaged in direct assault operations.”

In the meantime, The Ukrainians are scheduled to begin 10 weeks of training with US M-1 tanks in the Grafenwoehr training area in the coming weeks. This means we could see M-1 vs. T-14 combat in early fall — assuming the West continues to frustrate attempts to reach a negotiated peace.

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