The Russian military has shown off a record number of new armored vehicles during the parade and has given a serious homework to the western military industry. During the history there were only a few cases when so many new types of weapons were presented at a parade.
Besides “Armata T-14” tank, which attracted the greatest attention of the public, the Parade of winners presented a number of military vehicles, crawlers and the ones with wheels. Their appearance shows that the Russians completely abandoned the Soviet Union era.
After eliminating the flaws that vehicles from the Soviet Union era had, Russians applied solutions from other armies, primarily from western armies.
The first Russian “universal armored platform”
“Armata” tank is, by the way, the first Russian tank declared as “universal armored platform”, with the modularity as its basic attribute.
So far, the Russians have published photographs for two types of vehicle domes – with anti-aircraft guns and machine guns – but only the first version has been presented.
“Armata” becomes an infantry combat vehicle, with the prefix “heavy”, and we can say that this vehicle is very dangerous against enemies. Although Russians have been constructing this kind of vehicles in the past, this is the first time they have shown a whole range of solutions at once.
An interesting fact is that the Israeli army uses the same solution. Their experience, especially in fights in urban areas, is more than positive.
Heavy fighting vehicles are armored like tanks, so they are resistant to light antitank launchers that rebels or terrorists use in urban areas.
Even though it hasn’t been demonstrated, “Armata”, according to the media, can be used to assemble lifters for the retraction of damaged tanks and large caliber howitzers.
New Russian armored crawler “Kurganec-25” is also a kind of universal platform. Basically, it is an infantry combat vehicle, and its main task is to monitor and support the onslaught of tanks.
“Kurganec” is equipped with the gun caliber 30 millimeters or with a machine gun. It also has a fire control system, meaning that it can shoot while moving. It carries four antitank missiles “Cornet EM”, and its basic armor can be upgraded, depending on the specific task.
The Russians are going to the West
The vehicle that resembles western vehicles the most is armored transporter with wheels, “Boomerang”. It is like American “Striker” or Finnish “Patria”. The bottom part of its chassis is in the form of the letter V in order to reduce the effect of anti-tank mine explosion.
Like its western competitors, “Boomerang” can easily be transformed into a command, ambulance or scouting vehicle, antitank or antiaircraft missile carrier, mortar or cannon.
This new armored vehicle will significantly affect the organization of some parts of the Russian army, primarily infantry, which is about to become completely armored. At the moment, not all of the ambulance and mortar vehicles are armored, as well as some scouting units.
The difference between new vehicles and those from the Soviet Union era is the new position of the engine. The engine is now placed in the back of the vehicle, and the door for landing troops is also in the back of the vehicle. The Soviet Union vehicles had doors on the sides, which turned out to be bad because in this case soldiers were literally running out in front of the guns of enemies.
Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAP) represent the concept which is completely overtaken from the western world. This kind of vehicles showed up after the bitter American experiences from Iraq, which included mines and improvised explosive devices.
Russians are obviously planning to completely equip their ground and air landing troops with new tanks and armored vehicles, as soon as possible. Estimated deadline is 2020.
On the other hand, the western countries and the United States dominantly rely on the upgrade of tanks and armored transporters from the eighties and nineties.
Americans, for example, cannot decide for years which armored vehicle is the infantry vehicle of the future.
All Russian armored vehicles displayed in the parade are a combination of superior technology, the experience of the Russian army and the experience of other armies. They are made in a way that they can be converted into several different combat platforms.
Russians have another big advantage as well. It is unlikely that anything we saw during the parade will be used soon in an armed combat. The public and the media will be able to test the reliability of their new weapons on the training ground and during the military exercises – where, by the way, all weapons are good and reliable.