Russia sent a small number of new T-14 Armata battle tanks to the front in Ukraine amid discussions in the West about supplying Kyiv with modern Leopard 2 and Abrams tanks. But Russian armored units were reluctant to accept the new tanks, as they were in very poor condition. writing British intelligence in its latest report.
The UK MoD said, “It is not clear why specific aspects of the vehicles have caused such a reaction, but over the past three years, Russian officials have publicly described problems with the T-14 engine and thermal imaging system. “
At the same time, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in 2021 that the production of experimental batches is planned for the next year. “Thus, it is unlikely that any deployed T-25 tank will meet the normal standards by which vehicles are considered combat-ready,” British intelligence concluded.
Earlier, the British Ministry of Defense had warned that sending the Armata to the front would be risky, as it was not known how reliable they would be. Despite 11 years of development, the tank had many production difficulties, and the means of repair and evacuation were not adapted to their enormous weight.
In addition, in order to send T-14s to the front, it is necessary to optimize logistics for them, as they are larger and heavier than other Russian tanks. But still, Russia has no more than a few dozen combat vehicles. “If Russia does deploy the T-14, it will be primarily for propaganda purposes,” wrote the British Ministry of Defence.
The T-14 is considered a new generation tank, which in its characteristics surpasses the German Leopard 2 and the American Abrams. The state corporation Rostec, which is responsible for its production, announced the start of mass production of the T-14 in February 2021. The pilot batch was supposed to be ready in 2022 for testing in military units. After that, the Ministry of Defense had to decide on the purchase of vehicles worth about 250 million rubles. for one unit.
On the eve it became known that the United States will supply Ukraine with about 30 Abrams tanks, and Germany will send a tank company – 14 Leopard 2. Poland, Norway and the Netherlands are also going to be involved in the supply, which could send a total of 40 tanks.
In response, the head of the State Duma Defense Committee, Andrey Kartapolov, stated that the Russian T-90s are superior to the Abrams. and Leopard 2. “Leopard tanks are not bad, I would even say that they are more effective than Abrams in many characteristics. But still, when compared with our T-90, they are significantly inferior in firepower and armor protection, including its active component, ”Kartapolov said on the air of Rossiya 24.