While Russia continues to bomb Syria, senior U.K. Army officers urge the government to tackle the growing threat of ground war against Russia by investing in its fleet of main battle tanks.
Senior British Army commanders see a threat in Russia’s actions in Syria and its ever-developing military hardware, including Moscow’s latest development the T-14 Armata main battle tank, which is said to be able to withstand all NATO’s modern weapons.
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The calls to invest in the fleet of tanks comes amid growing tensions between NATO and Russia, after the Kremlin threatened with “nuclear counter measures” as well as “dangerous consequences” over U.S. intentions to station new nuclear weapons in Germany.
Meanwhile, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron is trying to reach a “compromise deal” with Russian President Vladimir Putin to coordinate actions against ISIS in Syria.
And while there are no signs that such a deal will be reached anytime soon, senior British Army officers agree that a possibility of a ground war against Russia must be something the U.K. would be prepared for.
The British Army is equipped with 2 main battle tanks but they are rather outdated compared to Russia’s T-14 Armata tank. As a result of military drills, Britain learned that it’s not able to deploy a squadron of 14 tanks along with two tanks in reserve within the regulation 30-days time limit.
NATO is extremely slow at deploying troops
It took the British military more than three months to make combat-ready some of its tanks because they had been either mothballed or picked to pieces.
NATO’s military drills earlier this year showed that the Western forces need at least a month to deploy military groups comprising of 30,000 soldiers, while Russia is capable of deploying up to 100,000 troops within 24 hours.
General Sir Nick Carter, head of the British Army, has recently confirmed that the future of the Challenger 2 main battle tank was being discussed at the top levels of the government.
“We have got issues with the tanks we’ve got and if we don’t do something about it we will have issues – what we will do is in discussion,” he said, speaking at DSEI in London.
According to the Sunday Express, senior Army sources confirmed last night that Russia’s Armata T-14 main battle tank had “focused minds” on the issue.
NATO must prepare for war with Russia – senior U.K. official
Russia made a statement last week that it would be forced to respond with “counter measures” in order to “restore the balance of power” in Europe if the U.S. increases its nuclear presence in Germany by placing 20 new B61-12 nuclear bombs later this year.
Major General Patrick Cordingly who was the commander of the Desert Rats 7th Armoured Brigade and led U.S. and British forces to victory against Iraq forces in 1991, said on Tuesday:
“There are 100 nations in the world who have battle tanks – they have them for a reason and for us not to invest in our main battle tank now would go against logic,” according to the Sunday Express.
An increase in NATO airspace incursions by Russian bombers have shown that NATO “must be prepared to revisit Cold War scenarios, and this includes conventional, symmetric warfare in Eastern Europe,” a source was quoted as saying by the Sunday Express last night.
Russia’s tank is able to withstand all NATO’s weapons
So what’s all the fuss about the 3rd-generation T-14 Armata main battle tank? The tank’s armor is well protected from all modern and even upcoming models of anti-tank missiles.
The developers of the tank even noted that it would be protected even from rocket launchers and anti-tank missiles with a caliber of up to 150 mm.
The T-14 Armata also features an advanced version of explosive reactive armor (ERA), which is able to withstand all modern NATO’s anti-tank missiles, according to Russian sources.
The Russian media also reported that the T-14 Armata tank is able to survive any attack from a U.S. Apache helicopter, which is a four-blade, twin-turboshaft attack helicopter with a tailwheel-type landing gear arrangement.
With such characteristics, the tank is undoubtedly one of the most advanced and impenetrable tanks in the history of tanks. The tank model has already attracted the attention of India and China, while Vladimir Putin vowed that Russia would purchase 2,300 T-14 Armata tanks by 2020 with the estimated cost for one tank being more than $7 million.
Russian airstrikes kill 36 people: 5 women and 6 children
Russia has launched its first airstrikes in Syria near the city of Homs today, as a result of which 36 people were killed, including five women and six children, according to rebel opposition groups.
Many analysts are worried that Russia’s uncoordinated bombings in Syria could results in an accidental clash between Russian and Western forces, including British forces that joined the U.S.-led coalition in September 2014.
During an address to the Senate, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work confirmed on Tuesday that Russia has violated a missile the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) with the U.S., but said that the Obama administration does not plan to take any action at present.
The INF treaty was signed in 1987 between the U.S. and the Soviet Union to govern the elimination of medium-range missiles.
Russia’s airstrikes in Syria on Wednesday came just two days after U.S. President Barack Obama and Putin met at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, where they criticized one another over Syria.