T-14 to Ukraine: Why?
While the T-14s have yet to be used in any assault operations, they are likely to prove a valuable addition to Russia’s remaining supply of advanced tanks following months of severe shortages on the battlefield.
With such a small supply of new tanks, however, Russia could be taking a huge risk deploying its most valuable and modern weapons to the battlefield.
According to British military intelligence, Russia has remained hesitant to deploy the first batch of tanks because of their “poor condition,” despite 11 years of development on the machines.
“Production is probably only in the low tens, while commanders are unlikely to trust the vehicle in combat,” a report from the British military explained.
“Eleven years in development, the programme has been dogged with delays, reduction in planned fleet size, and reports of manufacturing problems.”
More On the T-14
The exact number of T-14 tanks deployed to Ukraine remains unknown, but according to a report from the Interfax news agency in December 2021, only 40 of the tanks were in production and due to be delivered after 2023.
Manufacturer Rostec, a Russian state-owned defense conglomerate, was originally due to deliver 2,300 of the tanks by 2020, but the deadline was later extended to 2025.
The T-14 features an unmanned turret, and the tank itself – along with its armaments – can be operated from an isolated armored capsule found in the front of the hull.
The T-14 can also reach a maximum speed of 50mph, but the most interesting feature boasted by Russia’s newest tank is the fact that it is technically invisible to radar and infrared detection.
By utilizing radar-absorbing paint, as well as special components designed to prevent the generation of heat signatures in the hull, the tank is harder to spot from a distance.
The turret itself is also designed to minimize its radio signature, though given that the tanks have not been seen by Western military officials, manufacturers, or scientists, it’s hard to know how well the technology works.
Russians saw the T-14 for the first time in 2015 when it was displayed during the annual Victory Day parade in Moscow.
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.