Russian T-14 tank enters service after years of delay

By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

Armata, the long-awaited, state-of-the-art Russian tank, has been confirmed to have entered service, the British Ministry of Defence announced on social media.

The Armata, also known as the T-14, was first unveiled at the Moscow military parade in 2015, but its entry into service was delayed for years after missing several target dates.

According to a statement from the Russian manufacturer in early March, the tank will not be deployed in Ukraine because it is too expensive to produce and replace.

British intelligence also says the tank has not yet been sent to the frontline, although it was reportedly seen in training drills as recently as 2022 when the Kremlin promised it would be deployed to warzones. According to the British assessment, they are reluctant to take that step because if such a state-of-the-art weapon was destroyed by the Ukrainians, it would be a huge loss of prestige. Moscow also claimed it would be very difficult to replace them when there are so few available.

Russian state media had earlier reported that the Armata had temporarily appeared and even fired on the Ukrainian front, Business Insider recalled. The Ukrainians have always denied this. The business news portal also pointed out that the situation is very similar to another high-tech Russian weapon, the fifth-generation Su-57 aircraft. There is little evidence that these have ever been deployed in Ukraine, and probably only from a fair distance, because they did not want to risk falling victim to Ukrainian air defenses or falling into NATO hands.

The cost of the Armata is estimated at $5-9 million per unit.

The tank is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including a 360-degree camera system, thermal and infrared targeting, a remote-controlled gun, radar-absorbing paint, and a multi-layer armor coating. It can be a serious challenge to Western tanks such as the Challenger-2, Leopard-2, and M1-Abrams, which are currently deployed in Ukraine.

However, no tank is invincible

The Ukrainians have repeatedly demonstrated during the war that they are capable of inflicting significant losses on the Russians, thanks in particular to Western anti-tank systems such as the Javelin. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense recently shared video footage of what they claimed was the shooting down of four Russian tanks and two infantry fighting vehicles.

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