Russia began deploying its most modern tank, the T-14 Armata, to Ukraine, according to a report from Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.
The T-14 Armata, which has been in development since 2012, was heralded as a super tank in the press in 2016, and even Western experts feared that the new Russian tank could outperform its NATO rivals such as the US M1 Abrams, the British Challenger 2 or the German Leopard 2. However, until recently, these tanks were not used in the war in Ukraine, which could be because they were too expensive and featured too many technical issues.
Now, however, RIA Novosti has reported that Russia has started using Armatas on the front. According to Reuters, the Russian state news agency reported that the T-14s fired at Ukrainian positions on several occasions, with the tanks being used like conventional artillery pieces. However, so far, they have not participated in any frontal armored assaults.
Reuters also noted that the T-14’s turret and cannon are operated remotely by the operator, with the crew sitting in an armored capsule inside the tank. The vehicle is capable of speeds of up to 80 kilometers per hour. Back in January, British intelligence reported that Russian forces were not happy with the first tanks they received because they were in poor condition.
Although the Kremlin ordered 2,300 Armatas in 2015, in 2020, it pushed back the end date for procurement to 2025. In December 2021, the Interfax news agency reported that the Russian state-owned Rostec company had begun production of 40 tanks, some of which are likely to arrive on the Ukrainian front.
Some social media users have been skeptical about the tank’s ability to perform, with users citing alleged gearbox issues and predicting the tanks would perform poorly against modern battle tanks from the West, such as the Challenger.