Russia?s massive military mobilization in Ukraine has prompted analysts to warn of a WW3 as Moscow is hell bent on destabilizing the Eastern Europe front. Lately, rumors have it that Russia is planning to move into the Baltic nations of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
The United States and NATO have reaffirmed their commitment to defend the Baltic nations from Russian aggression. NATO is set to deploy an additional 4,000 soldiers in Poland and the Baltic states in May 2017. The sending of additional NATO troops in Eastern Europe indicate war preparations against nuclear-powered Russia.
As the imperialist powers escalate their intervention in the war-torn Syria, these additional measures increase the chance of fueling a direct clash with Russia. A Russia-U.S. war, hence, seems quite imminent in the near foreseeable future.
United States vs Russia War
Since the United States and Russia hold on to immensely powerful nuclear weapons, they would ?look to avoid a direct nuclear clash. Should Kremlin try annexing the Baltic States, a war is likely to ensue but it might be limited to ground troops alone. In such a scenario, tanks would play an important role in the likely WW3 pitting NATO against Russia.
For landlocked power like Russia, tanks are immensely important. Tanks were what allowed the Red Army to counterattack the German army during WW2. They have formed the backbone of Russia?s conventional defenses against imperialist powers in the Cold War and the post Cold-war era.
Russian Armata T-14 tanks
The Russians lately announced the first deliveries of supposedly super tanks, the Armata T-14. The T-14 is actually part of something called ?The Armata Universal Combat Platform.? This consists of the T-14 main battle tank, the T-15 heavy infantry fighting vehicle and the T-16 armored recovery vehicle, among a host of other vehicles.
With the introduction of Armata tanks, the comparison of these with America?s popular M1 Abrams tanks is inevitable. A National Interest article clarified how Russia?s new tanks would fare against the United States?s Abrams in a hypothetical war scenario.
Armata vs Abrams
Russia?s Armata platform is a departure from previous Soviet practice of developing simple and inexpensive tanks. The past Russian strategy?focused on?producing tanks in large numbers to overwhelm the enemy. The new T-14 Armata tanks, on the other hand, lay emphasis on crew survivability.?The T-14 is fitted with highly advanced features never seen before in an operational tank.
Armata has a completely unmanned turret. The advantage of this aspect is the crew compartment is physically separated from the ammunition. Moscow?s new tank equipped with the Afganit active protection system, uses a combination of sensors and kinetic energy projectiles to knock down incoming rocket propelled grenades, anti-tank missiles and subcaliber projectiles. The Armata T-14 is similar to Abrams in terms of crew protection.
The tank armor is a composite incorporating a new steel alloy known as 44C-SV-W. The steel is lighter than normal and as such it weighs around just 50 tons. Armada has lot less armor than the Abrams which weigh around 70 tons.
However, the Armata may pose a problem since the crew has to entirely rely on their sensors for situational awareness and targeting. If the ?sensors or electronics are knocked out, it would mean mission kill even though the tank may still be driveable. The tank performance may ultimately depend on the development efforts of putting in sensors and data network.
Additionally, there is the question of whether or not the T-14 can be produced in large numbers. Given the Russian economy, it seems quite difficult for the communist state. But the news have it that the Russians have already ordered 2,200 of T-14 tanks.
The Abrams, on the other hand, is proven to have a reliable design that is still being upgraded. New guided projectiles might also enable the Abrams to hit targets as far away as 12,000-m. The forthcoming M1A3 will be somewhat lighter and more mobile. The U.S. Army also plans to replace the 120mm M256 smoothbore gun with a lighter version.