Nov 7, 2016
The British military intelligence has issued an internal warning about Russia’s advanced new main battle tank (MBTs), criticizing London’s inability to offer a competing solution, according to a new report.
The UK ministry of defense calls the T-14 Armata a “revolutionary step” in terms of design and technology and slams the government for having no plans to come up with a response in the next 20 years, The Telegraph reported on Sunday.
“Without hyperbole, Armata represents the most revolutionary step change in tank design in the last half century,” notes the document, which was issued after a prototype of the tank was put on display in May last year.
“Unsurprisingly, the tank has caused a sensation,” the paper said of Armata, while going on to conclude that it was “the most revolutionary tank in a generation.”
Apparently, the senior British Army officer who wrote the document was amazed with the tank’s “fully automated, digitized, unmanned turret” and sophisticated radar systems that it was going to get.
The paper then turns to London’s military strategy, suggesting that the British government has been so busy with the threat from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that it has forgotten the danger posed by tanks.
“Are we on the cusp of a new technological arms race? Has an understandable focus on defeating the single threat of IEDs distracted Western military vehicle designers?” it asked.
The British officer then voices concern over Russia’s superior arsenal of 2,500 active tanks, which is backed by a reserve force of 12,500 more. Moscow plans to produce 120 Armatas annually from 2018, according to the paper.
UK Army Brigadier Ben Barry, who specialized in land warfare before resigning in 2010, said the tank would easily overmatch NATO’s MBTs. It would also pose a real challenge to the US-led military alliance’s infantry forces, Barry noted, referring to the tank’s armor and its unmanned turret.
This was not the first time that British military commanders were warning against a rising military threat from Russia.
Over the past few months, London has been constantly calling on the EU to unite and repel the “Russian aggression” by deploying more military forces in Eastern Europe.
The anti-Russian rhetoric has angered the Kremlin, with Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov dismissing the allegations as “Russophobic hysteria.”