Russia has deployed its new T-14 Amata main battle tank with remote-controlled guns to help its dismounted forces in Ukraine, according to a report by the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.
The revelation comes after a UK intelligence report claimed that Russian soldiers were reluctant to accept the armored vehicles because of their “poor” conditions.
RIA stated that the Amata has been fitted with extra flank protection and crews have completed combat coordination in Ukraine.
It also features an unmanned turret for reduced crew workload and boasts a maximum speed of 80 kilometers (50 miles) per hour.
However, the report clarified that the tanks have not seen action on the frontlines but instead fire on Ukrainian positions from a distance.
“Russian troops have begun to use the latest Armata tanks to fire on Ukrainian positions,” an unnamed source told the outlet. “They have not yet participated in direct assault operations.”
‘A High-Risk Decision’
Described by Moscow as the world’s best tank, the T-14 Amata has been displayed at countless military parades in Russia to show that it is ready for deployment.
However, because of cost and complexity, the 11-year Amata program has faced numerous problems, particularly in manufacturing.
In 2015, a T-14 suddenly stopped on Red Square during a Victory Day parade rehearsal, and the driver raised a red flag to signal he had problems.
Russia is also facing a challenge in adjusting its logistical chain because the tanks are larger and heavier than other armored vehicles in the Russian military inventory.
In January, the UK Ministry of Defence said deploying the Amata tanks in Ukraine would be a “high-risk decision” for Moscow since Russian commanders are unlikely to trust the vehicles during combat.
“If Russia deploys T-14, it will likely primarily be for propaganda purposes,” it stated. “Production is probably only in the low tens.”
Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 19 January 2023
Find out more about the UK government's response: https://t.co/HRZcI9ke7Y
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) January 19, 2023