(Reuters) – Russia has started using its new T-14 Armata battle tanks to fire on Ukrainian positions, “but has not yet participated in direct attack operations,” RIA news agency reported on Tuesday, citing a closely related source. Theme.
RIA said the tanks had been given additional protection on their sides and that their crews had undergone “combat coordination” at training grounds in Ukraine.
The T-14 tank has an uninhabited turret, with the crew remotely controlling the armament from an “isolated armored capsule located at the front of the hull”.
RIA news agency reported that the maximum speed for tanks on the highway is 80 kilometers (50 miles) per hour.
In January, British military intelligence reported that Russian forces in Ukraine were reluctant to accept the first batch of tanks due to their “poor condition”.
It also said any deployment of the T-14 would likely be a “risky decision” for Russia, and one made primarily for propaganda purposes.
“Production is likely to be only in the low tens, while commanders are unlikely to trust the vehicle in combat,” the British Army said.
Eleven years into development, the program has faced delays, planned fleet downsizing, and reports of manufacturing problems.
The Kremlin ordered 2,300 tanks — first unveiled in 2015 — by 2020, but was later extended to 2025, according to Russian media reports.
Interfax news agency reported in December 2021 that state group Rostec had begun production of about 40 tanks, with deliveries expected after 2023.
(Reporting by Lydia Kelly from Melbourne); Editing by Simon Cameron Moore
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