UK military intelligence issues warning over Russian supertank threat

UK military intelligence issues warning over Russian supertank threat, by Robert Mendick.

British military intelligence has issued a warning over a ground-breaking tank being developed by Russia, according to a leaked document seen by The Telegraph. …

The Ministry of Defence internal briefing paper raises doubts over the UK’s ability to combat the threat posed by the Kremlin’s new Armata tank.  It also questions why the Government has no plans for a rival tank for at least 20 years.

The internal document, written by a senior Army intelligence officer, states: “Without hyperbole, Armata represents the most revolutionary step change in tank design in the last half century.”

The tank is pioneering, according to the document, because of a revolutionary turret design that makes crew less vulnerable under fire. The tank is also reckoned to be lighter, faster and lower in profile than Western rivals. …

For the first time, a fully automated, digitised, unmanned turret has been incorporated into a main battle tank. And for the first time a tank crew is embedded within an armoured capsule in the hull front. …

The turret also looks to have the stretch potential to accommodate a larger-calibre gun of up to 150mm. If fielded, this would overmatch the guns and armour on existing Nato tanks. …

It points out Russia already has a fleet of 2,500 tanks with a reserve of 12,500, which is “35 times the size of the fleet in the British Army”. … the British Army has 227 Challenger 2 main battle tanks, dating from 1998. Germany has 410 Leopard 2 tanks, and France has 200 Leclerc tanks. America has 2,338 M1 Abrams main battle tanks – although just 250 tanks and armoured fighting vehicles are stationed in Eastern Europe.

hat-tip Stephen Neil