Photos shared on Russian social networks show that the country may be preparing to send “super tank” T-14 Armata to fight in Ukraine.
The evidence shows the combat readiness training of the T-14 Armata’s crews. Another video posted on Telegram also shows at least four Armata tanks being moved in convoys towards the Ukrainian border. It is not clear how many tanks are about to be deployed to the combat area.
Russian media once published information about a batch of 20 T-14s that were delivered to the Russian Armed Forces in 2021. To date, no official information from the Russian armed forces has been released about the deployment of T-14 Armata tanks in Ukraine. Since the Russian-Ukrainian conflict broke out, there has been skepticism about the combat ability of this tank, as it has never been used in combat. The Ukrainian battlefield is an ideal place to test new weapons, and it is likely that the T-14 will soon enter the war.
Т-14 Armata is a promising Russian main battle tank. The project was launched in 2009, and was unveiled for the first time to the public during the military parade of Victory Day, on May 9, 2015. The vehicle incorporates “unprecedented design solutions”, including an unmanned turret and a separate armor capsule for the crew.
Armata’s main armament is a new generation 125 mm 2A82-1M smoothbore gun with an automatic loader and 32 rounds ready to use. The main gun can fire also a new laser-guided missile with a range from 7 to 12 km. The roof of the turret is equipped with a remotely operated weapon station armed with one 12.7mm Kord heavy machine gun.
Russian media hailed the Armata as one of the best protected MBTs in the world. It has newly-developed base armor, made of steel, ceramics and composite materials. Also Armata has a new Malakhit add-on explosive reactive armor that is claimed to be of new generation. As usual this MBT is fitted with NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems. The tank has a new countermeasures system that reduces the chance of being hit by enemy ATGW with semi-automatic guidance. This new Russian tank uses smoke grenade dischargers of new type.
Designed in a modular form, the T-14 Armata tank can be easily repaired and upgraded as needed. The T-14 Armata is also equipped with the Active Protection System (APS) Afghanit which seems similar to the Israeli Trophy able to intercept and destroy incoming missiles and rockets.
Russian armored forces had to face a lot of losses in Ukraine because of the firepower of anti-tank weapons provided by the West to Kiev. Therefore, the fact that the T-14 Armata tanks are being actively prepared for combat will significantly supplement the combat capacity of Russia’s armored forces in the near future.