In the annual Victory Day Parade (an occasion that marks the anniversary of the defeat of Germany in WWII) in Moscow there will be a new piece of Russian military hardware on display, Russia’s new ‘Armata’ main battle tank. In a recent dress rehearsal for the event, it was the first time the tank was displayed and photographed in public. Many experts say if the tank is as advertised that it could very well be the best tank in the world. It will be interesting to see if that opinion holds true now that the pictures can be analyzed and new data will most likely be forthcoming on the tank model in the next few months.
Unveiling the tank for the Victory Day Parade is most likely no coincidence as Moscow continues to shake off sanctions and disregard the west’s unhappiness with how they seem to be enacting a land grab policy in Ukraine. They have been both defiant and emphatic in showing off their military hardware and capabilities over the last year and a half. Unveiling their new and improved main battle tank certainly is keeping in line with that policy. Russia’s President Putin has shown zero signs of backing down to the west, even as the Russian economy is floundering under the weight of the sanctions the USA and European Union have placed on them.
It is the first new tank model the Russians have produced since the fall of the old Soviet Union. The old main battle tank, the T-72 (T-90 is the upgraded version) performed very badly in the Gulf War when it went up against the top of the line US M-1 Abrams Tank. In the so called “Mother of all Battles” the American and Allied forces obliterated the T-72 units that were manned by the elite Iraqi Republic Guard. This alerted the Russians that something new must be done in tank design in order to even up battlefield capabilities with the west.
Design of the new tank started way back in 2009. The ‘Armata’ (which means ‘Army’ in several different languages) is a 55 ton beast that is reported to have multi layers of armor, an independently armored crew capsule, and a self-loading 125 millimeter cannon that can fire both standard and laser guided munitions. It looks to be a big improvement over the T-90.
The advanced chassis has also been designed to support versions that can be made into armored personnel carriers, heavily armored fighting vehicles, combat engineering vehicles and even a platform for mobile artillery.
Russia has ambitious plans to build over 2300 of the Armata tanks by 2020, but that scenario seems highly unlikely as sanctions continue to take a toll on the Russian economy. Declining oil prices around the world are not helping the Russian economy either. It is definitely a tank that the world’s military analysts will be taking a serious look at over the next few months. At the moment, it appears it could even things up on the armored battlefield and may even surpass some western armored capabilities and turn the balance in favor of Russia.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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