T-14 Armata operates in Ukraine, but fires from afar – media
Russian media have published information that the latest Russian tank T-14 Armata is participating in the zone of “special military operation” [Russia uses this term for the war] in Ukraine. The Russian online portal Izvestia published the news, citing RIA Novosti. RIA Novosti cited an unnamed source.
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“The Russian armed forces have started using the latest T-14 Armata main tanks to shell Ukrainian positions, but these tanks have not yet participated in direct assault operations,” an informed source told RIA Novosti.
According to the disseminated information, the tank received additional side protection [armor]. It was placed to protect the chassis and tank from enemy anti-tank missiles. According to RIA Novosti, the T-14 Armata has been operating in Donbas since the end of last year.
Kazan training grounds
At the end of November last year, BulgarianMilitary.com shared a video of the training of the Russian ground forces at the training grounds in Kazan. Then, together with them, a tank crew trained with a T-14 Armata tank in the Kazan mud. The video captured a moment in which the Russian tank moves alongside the soldiers, passing through the muddy section of the training process. Even then, such training was interpreted by observers as Russia preparing to test [send] the tank to the front line in Ukraine.
A month earlier, Russian media claimed that the first T-14 Armata tank was spotted in the village of Midginskaya, Luhansk region. However, the photo they shared as evidence in no way supports such a claim. The T-14 gun was filmed, but it is not known where and when. I.e. this tank in this picture could have been taken not only in Luhansk, but at any training ground in Russia, or the former Soviet republics that continue to provide their training grounds for Russian military training.
Since the beginning of this year, however, it has been claimed that Russia is ready to vaporize a small batch of tanks in the area of the Russian “special military operation”. This information was released by British intelligence in its daily intelligence report, which it published on Twitter. Other sources say Moscow is still hesitant to use them in Ukraine because “their technical condition is in doubt.”
Western analysts do not specify what is questionable about the technical condition of the tanks. According to rumors and unconfirmed information, most likely the T-14 Armata has a problem with the power unit powering the fighting machine.
The claim of the RIA Novosti source that the Armata is in Ukraine was long assumed by British intelligence. However, London said earlier this year that sending the T-14 Armata to Ukraine would be more of a propaganda act than for the purposes of Russian expansion.
The lack of a photo or video of the T-14 Armata in Ukraine to support the claims of the RIA Novosti source cannot at the moment guarantee the credibility of the news. However, let’s not forget that we live in a world where taking pictures of what is happening around us with our mobile phones is now normal, but also mandatory.
There is no official information on how many manufactured T-14 Armata tanks there are. There is not even information on how many of the produced tanks are prototypes or pre-series produced. Russia has high hopes for its new main battle tank. However, Moscow was having trouble developing the tank long before the war began.
Manufacturer of T-14 Armata is UralVagonZavod. However, the largest tank manufacturer in Russia, which is located in the city of Nizhny Tagil, is experiencing difficulties. Already in the past year [citing Ukrainian intelligence], it became clear that the capacity to produce T-90 or T-14 tanks has decreased dramatically. Earlier this year we reported on the problems plaguing UralVagonZavod, and they are not limited to a lack of materials or components.
However, if it turns out that the T-14 Armata is on the front line, it would be interesting to track its performance. A tank is famous [at least in words] for being the best tank in the world. According to sources, the tank will be able to launch mini nuclear projectiles, the capsule with the crew detaches when called, and in case of immobility, the tank has a developed unmanned version. However, these are only claims for now.
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