July 27, 2015

Russia may put lasers on some Armata T-14 tanks and plans new missiles in Baltics

After more than two decades and a generation of technology development, the Russian military is reportedly considering bringing back tanks equipped with lasers. Word of the plan comes after Russian media has spent months teasing the capabilities of the Armata T-14 tank, the Kremlin's new high-tech war machine.

For nearly 20 years, from the mid-1970s through the end of the Cold War, the Soviet Union invested heavily in expensive T-80 laser tanks designed to track and eliminate American satellite systems, high-powered missiles and other advanced weapons.

Blinding equipment lasers on old T-80 tanks

Retired U.S. Army Maj. Ray Finch, an Army Foreign Military Studies Office analyst, in the July 2015 issue of OE Watch said “Yet merely hearkening back to (and exaggerating) the glory days of the Soviet weapon design – without the requisite investment in the country's technological infrastructure – will not produce the next wonder-weapon.”

Russia plans to station missiles in the Baltics

Missiles placed in Baltics would threaten Poland, Romania and Germany

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg sharply criticized Russia for plans to station Iskander-M missile complexes in Kaliningradskaya Oblast. “This will fundamentally alter the balance of security in Europe,” Stoltenberg noted. He called our country’s actions “destabilizing and dangerous.”

At first glance NATO has something to fear. Missiles of the complex are capable of hitting targets at a distance up to 500 km and it is practically impossible to shoot them down. But it should be taken into account that the Russian leadership’s decision more likely was forced. The Alliance decided to use MK-41 versatile vertical launch system launchers in the Aegis-Ashore ground-based missile defense (PRO) complexes being stationed in Poland and Romania, but with such launchers the PRO systems become not only defensive, but also offensive, since they are capable of employing Tomahawk cruise missiles.

Western systems cannot intercept Iskander missiles, since they are very maneuverable.

Iskander-M missile

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