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Newly released video of Russia’s T-14 Armata Tank is incredible

Russian Defence Ministry publishes video showing new T-14 Armata tank in action alongside older T-72 tanks.

Alexander Mercouris

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On 10th September 2016, the 70th anniversary of Tankers’ Day – the day upon which the Russian military commemorates its tank forces – the Russian Defence Ministry released a video showing various Russian tanks and armoured fighting vehicles on exercise.

Most of the tanks shown in the video are variants of the T-72, which is the mainstay of the Russian tank force.  However at 0.48 the futuristic new T-14 Armata tank puts in an appearance and is shown in action in more detail than it has ever been shown before.

The Russian army took delivery of 20 T-14 Armata tanks this year.  These tanks are not in front line service.  They are being used in trials to test out the tank and to sort out any problems.

Supposedly the trials have gone well and there are reports that the Russian military has now ordered a first batch of 100 T-14 Armata tanks for next year.  The T-14 Armata is however unlikely to appear in large numbers before 2019 at the earliest.

The major technical advance the Russians have achieved with the T-14 Armata is that it carries its gun in a fully automated unmanned turret.

The Russians have been considering developing tanks with automated unmanned turrets since the 1970s.  What prevented realisation of the concept before was the lack of robust and reliable visual aids to make up for the loss of observation for the tank crew provided by placing the tank commander and gunner in the turret.  The rapid developments in electronics since the 1970s have however finally made the concept possible, enabling the Russians to develop a tank around the concept.

The chief advantage of automating the turret is that it has been possible to move equipment from inside the tank body into the turret, freeing up internal spaces within the tank body, making it easier to organise and rationalise.

The result is that two completely separate internal spaces have been created inside the tank’s body, one in the forward section and one in the rear section, which can be rearranged to suit different vehicles using the same basic tank body.

This has made it possible to create a whole family of vehicles on the basis of the same tank body.  Thus in the T-14 tank version the space in the forward section is used to house an armoured capsule carrying the tank’s 3 man crew, whilst the space in the rear section is used to house the tank’s engine.  In other vehicles the order is reversed, with the engine moved forward from the rear section to the forward section, freeing the rear section for other uses.

Apart from the T-14 Armata tank the Russians are known to be using the same basic tank body to create an infantry fighting vehicle (designated the T-15), an armoured personnel carrier, various engineering vehicles, and various self-propelled artillery vehicles.

The picture below, whilst not coming from an official Russian source, may give some idea of the appearance of some these vehicles.

armata-family-line1

Alongside the T-14 Armata tank and the T-15 infantry fighting vehicle, the picture shows speculative images of a rocket launcher vehicle, a 152 mm self propelled artillery vehicle which is known to exist under the designation ‘Koalitsiya’, and a possible tank destroyer vehicle using an outsized 152 mm tank gun, which is known to have been developed (the standard gun carried by the T-14 Armata tank has a calibre of 125 mm).

Here is a photograph of the T-14 Armata tank with the armoured crew compartment in the forward section of the vehicle and the engine in the rear section.

t14-armata

Here by comparison is a photograph of the T-15 infantry fighting vehicle, which is armed with a 30 mm cannon and Kornet anti tank missiles in the turret, and which has the engine moved forward to the forward section, freeing the vehicle centre body and rear section to carry an infantry squad, which can exit the vehicle through doors in the vehicle’s rear.

t15

The fact the Russians are able to use a single tank body to develop a whole family of vehicles should simplify manufacturing, ease the logistics chain by providing different vehicles with interchangeable parts, and reduce cost.

In addition automating the turret in the tank version comes with other benefits.  The ability to bring the entire tank crew together in one place inside a heavily armoured capsule in the forward section has made it possible to improve greatly the level of protection afforded to the tank crew as compared with other tanks.  It also makes it easier for the crew to communicate with each other and to work together as a team.

The T-14 Armata tank also comes with a host of other modern features, not all of which have been disclosed and many of which have never been seen in tanks before.  For example it is the first tank designed from the outset to carry its own radar as part of its standard equipment.

This is a modern Active Electronically Scanned (“AESA”) radar of the sort now used by advanced fighter aircraft. Many of the features of the T-14 Armata tank in fact seem to derive ultimately from the military aircraft industry, with the T-14 Armata tank representing a convergence of modern tank and military aircraft technologies.

As with modern military aircraft remotely controlled or drone versions of the T-14 Armata are now being considered, and the already highly automated nature of the design makes that in theory possible.  However the very heavy maintenance requirements of tracked land vehicles means that any drone version of the T-14 Armata will have only limited endurance by comparison with aircraft drones.

The Russians have always been at the forefront of tank and armoured vehicle design.  Right at the start of the video there is an overhead shot which briefly shows T-34s, the iconic Russian tank of the Second World War, which with its sloping armour, diesel engine, wide tracks and powerful gun, represented in its day as much of a technical breakthrough as the T-14 Armata does today.

The Russians followed up the T-34 by introducing in the 1960s smooth bore guns, automatic loaders, composite armour (in the T64) and the first truly effective infantry fighting vehicle (the BMP1), created to enable the infantry to keep up with the tanks and go with them into battle.

In the 1970s the Russians introduced reactive armour and gas turbine engines, the latter in the T80 apparently before the Americans, though it proved an innovation that was not entirely successful.

A long period of stagnation in tank development followed, caused by the crisis which overwhelmed the country in the late 1980s and in the 1990s.

With the T14 Armata tank the Russians are however once more back at the forefront of modern tank design.

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Isabella Jones

Wow. Thanks for that AM.

Douglas L Self
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Douglas L Self

Though indeed the Object 148 (T-14 “Armata”) does have a lot of technological innovations, methinks the approach to house the 3-man crew in the hull, though it will enable greater crew protection w/o a significant weight penalty and enhance crew interaction, is fundamentally FLAWED. Even with the best of optics, which can and likely will be damaged in combat, it’s very hard to get around the tank commander sticking his fool head out of the turret to observe! This isn’t all that serious if the tank is in a defensive role, especially if a tank platoon or company is working… Read more »

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Peace on Korean Peninsula within reach, if only Trump can remove Pompeo & Bolton (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 152.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou discuss the results of the Putin-Kim summit in Vladivostok, Russia, aimed at boosting bilateral ties between the two neighboring countries, as well as working to contribute to a final peace settlement on the Korean peninsula.

Putin’s meeting with Kim may prove to be a pivotal diplomatic moment, as North Korea continues to work towards normalizing ties with the U.S. amidst ongoing denuclearization talks with the Trump White House.

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Via the BBC…

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un needs international security guarantees if he is to end his nuclear programme.

Such guarantees would need to be offered within a multinational framework, he added, following talks near Vladivostok in Russia’s far east.

Mr Kim praised the summit as a “very meaningful one-on-one exchange”.

Mr Putin said North Korea’s leader was “fairly open” and had “talked freely on all issues that were on the agenda”.

The meeting followed the breakdown of talks between the US and North Korea in February, when Mr Kim met US President Donald Trump in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi.

Those talks reportedly stalled over North Korea’s demand for full economic sanctions relief in return for some denuclearisation commitments – a deal the US was not willing to make.

Speaking after the talks on Thursday, Mr Putin said he wanted to see full denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula.

But he said this could only be achieved through respect for international law.

“We need to restore the power of international law, to return to a state where international law, not the law of the strongest, determines the situation in the world,” he said.

Mr Kim greeted Russian officials warmly when he arrived in Russia on Wednesday.

The North Korean leader was entertained by a brass band in Vladivostok before he got inside a car flanked by bodyguards, who – in now familiar scenes – jogged alongside the vehicle as it departed.

What do we know about the summit?

According to the Russian presidential spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin believes the six-party talks on North Korea, which are currently stalled, are the only efficient way of addressing the issue of nuclear weapons on the peninsula.

Those talks, which began in 2003, involve the two Koreas as well as China, Japan, Russia and the US.

“There are no other efficient international mechanisms at the moment,” Mr Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.

“But, on the other hand, efforts are being made by other countries. Here all efforts merit support as long as they really aim at de-nuclearisation and resolving the problem of the two Koreas.”

What do both sides want?

This visit is being widely viewed as an opportunity for North Korea to show it has powerful allies following the breakdown of the talks with the US in February.

The country has blamed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for the collapse of the Hanoi summit. Earlier this month North Korea demanded that Mr Pompeo be removed from nuclear talks, accusing him of “talking nonsense” and asking for someone “more careful” to replace him.

The summit is also an opportunity for Pyongyang to show that its economic future does not depend solely on the US. Mr Kim may try to put pressure on Moscow to ease sanctions.

Analysts say the summit is an opportunity for Russia to show that it is an important player on the Korean peninsula.

President Putin has been eager to meet the North Korean leader for quite some time. Yet amid the two Trump-Kim summits, the Kremlin has been somewhat sidelined.

Russia, like the US and China, is uncomfortable with North Korea being a nuclear state.

How close are Russia and North Korea?

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union (of which Russia is the main successor state) maintained close military and trade links with its communist ally, North Korea, for ideological and strategic reasons.

After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, trade links with post-communist Russia shrank and North Korea leaned towards China as its main ally.

Under President Putin, Russia recovered economically and in 2014 he wrote off most of North Korea’s Soviet-era debt in a major goodwill gesture.

While it is arguable how much leverage Russia has with the North today, the communist state still regards it as one of the least hostile foreign powers.

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Putin meets Kim for the first time (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 151.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at the historic meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the city of Vladivostok in the Russian Far East.

The meeting marks the first ever summit between the two leaders.

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Via RT…

Leaders of Russia and North Korea sat down for a historic summit in Vladivostok, expressing hope it will revive the peace process in the Korean Peninsula and talks on normalizing relations with the US.

The summit on Russky Island, just off Vladivostok, started a little late because President Vladimir Putin’s flight was delayed. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had made the trip by train, arriving on Wednesday.

In brief public remarks before the talks, the two leaders expressed hope the summit will help move forward the reconciliation process in the Korean Peninsula. Putin welcomed Kim’s contributions to “normalizing relations” with the US and opening a dialogue with South Korea.

Kim said he hoped the Vladivostok summit would be a “milestone” in the talks about denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, but also build upon “traditionally friendly ties” between Russia and North Korea.

The North Korean leader also made a point of thanking Putin for flying all the way to Vladivostok for the meeting. The Far East Russian city is only 129 kilometers from the border with North Korea.

The historic summit takes place less than two months after Kim’s second summit with US President Donald Trump in Hanoi fell apart without a breakthrough on denuclearization. The US rejected North Korea’s request for partial sanctions relief in return for moves to dismantle nuclear and missile programs; Washington insists on full disarmament before any sanctions are removed.

Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is the main subject of the Kim-Putin summit, but there will also be talks about bilateral relations, trade, and humanitarian aid. The first one-on-one meeting is scheduled to last about an hour, followed by further consultations involving other government officials.

Following the summit, Putin is scheduled to visit China.

 

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Kim And Putin: Changing The State Of The Board In Korea

The future of Korea could be decided by these two men today.

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Authored by Tom Luongo:


Today is a big day for Korea. The first face-to-face summit of Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un takes place.

At the same time the 2nd annual Belt and Road Forum kicks off in Beijing.

This meeting between Putin and Kim has been in the works for a while but rumors of it only surfaced last week. But don’t let the idea that this was put together at the last minute fool you.

It wasn’t.

The future of Korea could be decided by these two men today.

I know that sounds bold. But hear me out.

And while no one seems to think this meeting is important or that anything of substance will come from it I do. It is exactly the kind of surprise that Putin loves to spring on the world without notice and by doing so change the board state of geopolitics.

  • Russia’s entrance into Syria in 2015, two days after Putin’s historic speech at the U.N. General Assembly
  • 2018’s State of the Union address where he announced hypersonic missiles, embarrassing the U.S. Militiary-Industrial Complex which accelerated the Bolton Doctrine of subjugating the world
  • Flying 2 TU-160 nuclear-armed bombers to Venezuela, creating panic in D.C. leading to the ham-fisted regime change operations there.
  • Nationalization of Yukos.
  • The operation to secure Crimea from U.S. invasion by marines aboard the U.S.S Donald Cook during the Ukrainian uprising against Viktor Yanukovich.

Both Putin and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping are angry at the breakdown of the talks in Hanoi back in February. It was clear that everyone expected that meeting to be a rubber stamp on a deal already agreed to by all parties involved.

In fact the two meetings between Kim and Trump were only possible because Trump convinced them of his sincerity to resolve the ‘denuclearization’ of North Korea which would clear a path to rapid reunification.

It’s why they went along with the U.S.’s increased sanctions on North Korea as administered through the U.N. in 2017.

That John Bolton and Mike Pompeo destroyed those talks and Trump was unwilling or unable (who cares at this point, frankly, useless piece of crap that he is) to stop them embarrassed and betrayed them.

They are now done with Trump.

He’ll get nothing from either of them or Kim until Trump can prove he’s in charge of his administration, which he, clearly, is not.

And they will be moving forward with their own agenda for security and Asian economic integration. So I don’t think the timing of this meeting with that of the Belt and Road Forum is an accident.

And that means moving forward on solving the Korea problem without Trump.

It is clear from the rhetoric of Putin’s top diplomat, the irreplaceable Sergei Lavrov, that Russia’s patience is over. They are no longer interested in what Trump wants and they will now treat the U.S. as a threat, having upped their military stance towards the U.S. to that of “Threat.”

If Bolton wants anything from Russia at this point he best be prepared to start a war or piss off.

This is also why Russia took the gloves off with Ukraine in the run up to the Presidential elections, cutting off energy and machinery exports with Ukraine.

To put paid Putin’s growing impatience with U.S. policies, he just issued the order to allow residents of Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics to apply for Russian passports.

This will send Bolton into apoplexy. Angela Merkel of Germany will be none too pleased either. Putin is now playing hardball after years of unfailing politeness.

It’s also why Lavrov finalized arms and port deals all over the Middle East in recent weeks, including those with Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey and India.

Bolton, Pompeo and Pence are ideologues. Trump is a typical Baby Boomer, who lives in a bubble of his own design and believes in an America that never existed.

None of them truly understand the fires they are stoking and simply believe in the Manifest Destiny of the U.S. to rule the world over a dim and barbaric world.

Putin, Xi, Rouhani in Iran and Kim in North Korea are pragmatic men. They understand the realities they live in. This is why I see Putin willing tomorrow to sit down with Kim and flaunt the U.N. sanctions and begin the investment process into North Korea that should have begun last year.

Putin would not be making these moves if he didn’t feel that Bolton was all bark and no bite when it came to actual war with Russia. He also knows that Germany needs him more than he needs Germany so despite the feet-dragging and rhetoric Nordstream 2 will go forward.

Trade is expanding between them despite the continued sanctions.

Putin may be willing to cut a deal with President-elect Zelensky on gas transit later in the year but only if the shelling of the LPR and DPR stops and he guarantees no more incidents in the Sea of Azov. This would also mollify Merkel a bit and make it easier for her politically to get Nordstream 2 over the finish line.

There are moments in history when people go too far. Bolton and Pompeo went too far in Hanoi. He will pay the price now. Putin and Kim will likely agree to something in Vladivostok that no one is expecting and won’t look like much at first.

But the reality is this summit itself marks a turning point in this story that will end with the U.S. being, in Trump’s transactional parlance, a “price taker” since it has so thoroughly failed at being a “price maker.”

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