Byłem już od miesięcy ‘pożegnany ze służbą’ gdy dostałem zaproszenie przedstawienia prezentacji na wewnętrznej konferencji firmy.
Miała się odbyć na początku 2018, miałem, wiec ze cztery miesiące na przygotowanie.
To był mój ostatni ‘występ profesjonalny’ i zdążyłem o nim zapomnieć jak i o wielu innych szczegółach tamtego życia, co nawet zaczęło mi sprawiać pewną przyjemność.
Przez ostatnie pół roku, czasem cos, czasem ktoś ciągle mi przypominał poszczególne zagadnienia poruszone w tej prezentacji.
Musze coś z tym zrobić.
Najlepiej rzucić na ladę.
Samej prezentacji nie mógłbym przedstawić, nawet gdybym ją sobie “sprywatyzował” ale draft tekstu do niej ‘się zachował’
Przytoczę go poniżej z drobnymi ‘ocenzurowaniami’ do jakich zmusza mnie klauzula lojalnościowa.
Tekst jest po angielsku i na razie w takiej formie pozostanie ale napisze parę odwołań do niego po polsku, wiec ci co nie lubią czytać po angielsku będą mogli też coś z tego wynieść.
A dziś zacznę od karuzeli.
To piramidalnie paradoksalne, że dopiero tak ciulowy minister obrony jak Blaszczak, uwolnił polskich czołgistów od czołgów z karuzelowym automatem ładującym.
Oczywiście, Blaszczak nigdy by o tym nawet nie pomyślał, gdyby PiS-owscy spindoktorzy nie przekonali Kaczyna, że sprzętowe wsparcie dla Ukrainy, przysparza poparcia PiSowi i podważa (w oczach niektórych) tezę o moskiewskich korzeniach kaczystowskiej władzy.
Cały typoszereg sowieckich powielający architekturę podyktowaną karuzelowym automatem był pułapka. Szczególnie dla czołgistów.
Z całym szacunkiem dla twórców czołgu PT91 twardy, on również jest taką pułapką, ponieważ żadna z naprawdę dobrych modyfikacji dostępnych w PT91 nie przeważają grzechu pierworodnego wozów karuzelowych.
Koncept czołgu z karuzelowym automatem ładującym jako pierwsi zaprojektowali Niemcy w 1944.
Filozofia pomysłu zasadzała się w tym, ze Niemcy wytracili bezmyślnie zbyt wielu doświadczonych czołgistów, więc potrzeba było czegoś co przeskoczy niedostatki treningu nowych i może jeszcze zmniejszy liczbę załogantów w każdym czołgu.
Karuzelowy automat ładujący miał pochodzić z projektu Kriegsmarine.
Jak wiadomo nawet mały okręt jest znacznie większy od dużego czołgu.
W niemieckiej karuzeli scalone pociski stały pionowo, wiec wóz miał być bardzo wysoki nawet jak na standardy Drugiej Wojny Światowej. Niemcy na szczęście dla swych czołgistów, nigdy tego projektu nie zrealizowali.
Gdy Moskale przypomnieli sobie o dokumentacji naszabrowanej w Niemczech razem z jej twórcami (najprawdopodobniej), koncept ich urzekł bezprzytomnie ale….
Ale wysoki czołg na początku lat 1960tych nie wchodził w grę.
Można było amunicję położyć horyzontalnie ale wtedy wóz stawał się za szeroki. Pamiętajmy, że logistyka moskalska, czy to w 1905, czy 1915, czy 1945, lub 2022, stała i stoi na transporcie kolejowy. Szerokość czołgu jest limitowana przez standardowe rozmiary platform kolejowych.
Moskale nie dość, że sięgnęli po niesprawdzoną ideę promującą pół-kompetencje, to jeszcze byli dumni z faktu pokonania jej drugorzędnych niedostatków (przez zastosowanie amunicji rozcalonej ) kosztem upośledzenia cech pierwszorzędnych. W kilkanaście lat po stworzeniu automatu okazało się, że rozcalony nabój już nie jest żadnym trzeciorzędnym osiągnieciem, lecz ślepą uliczką i to niebezpieczną.
Nie chcę zanudzać detalami, ani tych, których bardziej interesuje obraz ogólny ani tych, którzy te detale znają z powodu zainteresowań, czy profesji.
Przytoczę więc tylko fakt, że walki w dolinie Bekaa (1982) wykazały iż automat karuzelowy znajduje się w najgorszym miejscu w jakim można rozmieścić amunicję współczesnego czołgu.
Jak wspomniałem, architektura całego typoszeregu jest niejako obudowana wokół tego automatu a zatem nie ma gdzie go przenieść.
Dodatkowe zabezpieczenie samej amunicji, było pomijane w modernizacjach, co najmniej do lat 1990tych. Moskale twierdzili, iż zabezpieczyli amunicję w T90 i gdyby nie zaczęli tej idiotycznej wojny, prawdopodobnie niewielu by tę deklarację kwestionowało. Sądząc po tym losach T90 w Ukrainie, owa deklaracja była… deklaracją. A to w szerszym planie wskazuje, iż brak zainteresowania problemem (co najmniej od 1982) był spowodowany tym, że jest to nierozwiązywalny problem. I „wszyscy święci” wiedzieli o jego nierozwiązywalności.
Oczywiście nie czuję się całkiem szczęśliwy z powodu faktu, że nasze ‘karuzelniki’ będą teraz zagrożeniem dla Ukraińców.
Cóż, taka potrzeba chwili.
Oni znają te i inne wozy karuzelowe, mają gotowe załogi, mechaników i zaplecze remontowe (PT91 trochę się różni ale takie różnice Ukraińcy potrafią przeskoczyć w parę dni albo i godzin. Dodatkowo, Ukraińcy jak dotąd wykorzystują czołgi niemal wyłącznie w charakterze wozów wsparcia ogniowego a nie czołgów jako takich. Niektórzy pewnie pamiętają wysiłki, by przekonać naszą generalicję do wprowadzenia takiego środka walki/modyfikacji doktryny użycia czołgów ( w domyśle dla zastąpienia ‘karuzelników’). Pamiętacie PL01?
Ukraińcy wypracowali nową doktrynę w praktyce realiów walk w Donbasie i zatrudnili do niej sowieckiego autoramentu wozy z braku alternatywy. Dobrze na tym wyszli, o czym świadczą straty 2-3 razy niższe od Moskalskich. [Ktoś tu zaraz powtórzy ten slogan, że broniący-się naturalnie ponosi niższe straty od atakującego… niech spojrzy w tabele strat kampanii polskiej albo francuskiej.]
Mam też dobre powody sądzić, że Ukraińcy nie posiedzą długo na ‘karazulnikach’, gdy tylko doprowadzą tę fazę wojny do wystarczająco dobrej ‘konkluzji na polu bitwy’.
Jakby nie było, to oni już dawno temu zaprezentowali yatagan, czyli pierwszą funkcjonalną przebudowę wozów sowieckiego typoszeregu T64/72/80 do automatu analogicznego z takowym francuskiego czołgu Leclerc oraz natowską armatą 120mm. Istnieją pewne wątpliwości, czy taka przebudowa wytrzyma kalkulację koszt-efekt, a dodatkowo będzie tu grał rolę czas, więc nie zdziwiłbym się, gdyby Abramsy szybciej dojechały do Ukrainy niż do Polski (co też by mnie ucieszyło).
A co będzie dalej?
Przestałem śledzić na jakim etapie jest obecny ‘menuet zakupowy’ ministerstwa obrony kaczystów. Czy jeszcze Abramsy, czy już czarne pantery koreańskie a może skończy się panterami, lub leopardo-panterami niemieckimi(?) To w sumie drugorzędna sprawa. Teraz ważna jest nowa doktryna i to nowsza niż tamta propozycja z przed paru lat postulująca przekazanie części zadań wozom wsparcia jak PL01.
Nowe doktryny (pancerne) nowoczesnych armii (a ukraińska będzie jedną z nich i my mamy window of opportunity, by nas przygarnęli jeśli nie będziemy warcholić) zmienią przede wszystkim naturę pododdziału pancernego dopasowując go do użycia gąsienicowych dronów (o jakimś stopniu autonomii, prawdopodobnie).
Nowy game-changer, to będzie nowy pluton, może nowa doktryna zastosowania ciężkiej brygady a NIE nowy MBT[czołg podstawowy].
Nowa generacja wozów MBT nie zmieni się bardzo. Automaty w układzie Leclerc staną się standardem, chyba że pojawi się wóz o skrajnie niekonwencjonalnej architekturze.
Pewne jest natomiast, że załogi nie będą redukowane, nawet jeśli automatyzacja pozwoli na dwuosobowa, ponieważ operator dronów najprawdopodobniej też stanie się standardem.
Nowy pluton i nowa doktryna stworzą game-changer broni pancernej tak jak u schyłku lat 1970 były nimi MBT nowej generacji na Zachodzie.
Częściowo ocenzurowany tekst prezentacji przygotowanej w drugiej połowie 2017.
Two years ago I had arranged series of meetings with my Old Mentor. The date day of the first one was 2 May 2015. Suddenly just before our meeting the Internet started boiling of photos made during the Moscow-victory-parade’s rehearsal. More precisely- of “veiled” latest military-hardware pieces. Then between the first and the second our conversation Russians “unveiled” them (3-4 of May). So this topic overwhelmed our talks despite they were planned for different subject. The original subject was Russia’s informal war on the West and its allies/wannabe allies which we have named War by Available Means (WAM)
At that first day we were discussing “Russian novelties” instead of the planned topic and then over the course of few subsequent discussions (within 2015) where these novelties played some role in, we came to realisation that actually we didn’t abandon the original subject even for a short moment – that discussions series upon Russian novelties (including T14) was in fact mostly about a psy-ops being a dominating part of the WAM, yet.
The thesis of my essay inter-actively reflects a paradigm chosen by Mr. Roblin for his writing and it is:
The T14’s case is worth of diligent observation even after two years without considerable development of the thank (MBT) per se. Even despite the fact, that every piece of information (including photographs) is probable instrument of manipulation and everyone (except photographs) is a product of fabrication (doesn’t matter if this, or that is not, because we cannot distinguish one from another with satisfying certainty).
The T14’s case should be observed because it is unique case study- Not just like any other case study hinted somehow by analyst’s metaphorical mood, but the case study effectively indicated by Russians themselves.
The “case” is the key-word. And this accentuation prompts automatically a few additional postulates. – Notably, not the tank, but the broadly understood case of T14 or a multi-domain and multilayer phenomenon should be the subject of observation or scrutiny. In other words the truth of T14’s case rarely can be find where it supposed to be.
It has to be embraced exactly as the case due to unique circumstances of its introduction process not easily approachable for regular readers, nor even for some number of professionals of relevant domains (what was observable in plenty of publication over the course of last two years).
Almost from the beginning of its true (or not-true) media-story we know that the latest Russian tank by itself isn’t worth of a huge interest.- A sober appraisal shows that it scarcely meets standards of 40 years old western MBTs and even this isn’t certainly granted.
Whatever is true about T14 it is not a milestone of tanks’ design in any respect whereas those 40 years old MBT-grandpas were. They came on the military rivalry scene as game-changers though it hadn’t been practically confirmed until the operation Desert Storm happened.
They were game-changers whilst T14 isn’t – it is that simple.
This simplicity crashes a narrative about T14 as a tank of 21century on technological and military level. But it isn’t the end of story – the case/phenomenon of T14 remains very alive despite any sober assessment and this is a beginning of actual true/untrue story.
However the tank may appear even to some extent insignificant component of the case/phenomenon, though a proper analysis cannot be performed without the tank per se.
It is because in this piece of weaponry are deposed some “cryptographic” hints. It is crucial to discern what is “an encoded truth” and what is just “a code” or something else.
The first purpose is deposed in a case-study character of this phenomenon. The case-study signals one thing vital for us even without any Russian context.
The thing is: A tangibly increasing need for some new formulation or/and -for abandoning traditional templates. Templates being still in fact more-or-less “de-professionalised” form of old-fashioned strictly professional reports. Professional reports which by themselves are obsoletely tied to 19th century perception of technology and its applications generally or application to industrial-type of wars, in particular.
The 19th century paradigm demands very strict and dry approach to a subject of description. Factually this approach had never been the most adequate but its vices become really counterproductive, or even detrimental only recently in 21th century.
Now, a realisation that we do not write for readers living in vacuum or wonderland (except hobbyists who do or try to do this way fuelled by professional/semi-professional publications) becomes crucial as never before (because of Internet).
Alike important is a parallel realisation, that we do not write about technology being run in the vacuum (even if one is just writing about the space industry).
Both these realisation are not new at least since the times of George F. Kennan. Nevertheless probably a proportion between a given physical subject vs. its “cloud” has never been like it is happening currently and a power of the last one never been such overwhelming. It is because the broadly understood manipulation became a branch of civil economy relatively late and its technology has been systematised even later while “the biggest guns” or sub-branches of this economy (like digitalisation, Internet or Big-Data-industry) are completely newly emerged.
In Russia this is even more overwhelming than in democratic world though for different or rather for antithetical reasons.
Notable: Russian reasons are not easily comprehensive or even not approachable for common sense/knowledge of regular Westerner. Thus fresh and unconventional solutions are so vital to address the unique circumstances. Especially now when the War by Available Means (WAM) is so much in the process.
What attributes these circumstances in scope of T14 is a sort of game, derived rather from psy-ops’ playbook then from marketing and certainly not -from field-manuals.
However the game exploits all three and not only these.
Factually Russians plays some equivocal game around this particular project (notably: not around the rest of 2015’s premieres). The game is played in two seemingly contradictory modes:
The first is aimed to make public (internal and external) believing, that the extinction of Russian defence-industry (industry enclosing a lion’s part of entire high-tech-economy of Russia) doesn’t happening or they [Russia’s rulers] are able to revers it by creating wunderwaffe-like field-weaponry.
The second is an inclusion of this very material weapon into battlefields of the informal psy-ops war (what would encompass also some limited physical fielding in undefined future).
On this war’s battlefields we are facing paradoxical situations where the new tank is redundant and indispensable at the same time.
We don’t need PhDs in Russian peculiar patterns to comprehend this idiosyncratic rationality – What we need the most is a critical thinking and a bit of universal historical perspective.
The history is saturated by cases of outstanding weaponry.
A rising fame of one such weapon was usually bringing some additional measurable advantages for its users -material benefits from immaterial sphere. In all such cases inevitable condition has been that the fame was starting on some real battlefield though it would be developed then by other (non-military, non-technological) means. Still however, the development was supposed to enlarge efficiency of given weapon back on the next real battlefield.
Here is the colossal difference between e.g. hyperbolised fame of T34 and phenomenon of T14.
The last one not only already got its “fame” but it is currently fighting in just happening war regardless the fact, that as a physically existing tank (multiplied prototypes most likely) it did not take part in any real battle(!) – did not get to field unites(!) – and even did not get to mass-production(!) .
It sounds insane. Yes, but this is entirely feasible in such type of war like WAM, though on other hand it raises a bunch of agonising questions :
Is this tank for such type of war only?
And if not only, then for what type except that ?
Or maybe it is fully universal one? Maybe it is set to turn upside-down entire art of war and draw new boundaries of future battlefields -set to impose new principles what would make it the fully universal one ?
All the above must lead to assumption that a very idea to take Russian revelations as they were just mixture of a truth and a sells pitch, is a fundamental misconception not only under Putin&co.
Although the last nearly 2 decades long fabrication of reality is undoubtedly unprecedented even in comparison to Soviet Union reality. Nevertheless Cold War episodes should be still considered as “goldmines” of ideas for the reformulation of our discourse upon defence issues (not only Russians ones).
As it was a common practice during SU-era, a focus should be kept on reading data from photographs, or indirect sources contextualise with universal physics principle and circumstantial premises, instead of Russian data (both, from official sources either “private” media).
Russian publications are not only over-optimistic like any other sells pitch in the world. They are not only falsified for reasons oscillating between propaganda and paranoia as it was happening in the SU. They are instrument of multi-layered weaponised disinformation and manipulation.
What definitely has changed amid these measures since SU-times is an appearance of “Russian ping-pong method”.
In short: This method employs perpetual modifications responding to external reactions. As far we know about centralised institutions fabricating and coordinating emission of weaponised information, in most cases we shouldn’t contextualise one media-source by another (indifferently what country it is from) because there exists the primeval source, or a sources-converter which is one of Russian government-dependent institutions.
It is basic principle of any research – to not contextualise one source by the same one. Although in real life it is much more difficult than it seems to be in principle. Amiss often, we cannot just simply separate Russian and non-Russian sources.
Nonetheless we are not powerless.
Liars and cons are not so skilful if their products are consequently contextualised through a deeper perspective.
To avoid sheer speculations, I prefer to adduce one almost anecdotical true story.
The story is about fabrication of technical-data by Russian media and/or -by specialized agencies:
In May 2015 and over the course of several mouths none of Russian sources did mention a hovering observation platform called (later) PTERODACTYL. Soon after a fragmentary transcript of our discussion (with my Old Mentor) had been published on open platform.
My interlocutor recalled his innovation idea which he had (unsuccessfully) proposed to his superiors at turn of 1970s-1980s. Amid this conversation he (unpretentiously) compared his old idea with much more modern resolution of the same issue presented 10-15 years later by some British desk-study. The British concept was exactly the same as this what Russian media described as element of T14’s development called PTERODACTYL, today.
The British concept had been repeatedly published by several professional magazines some 20 years ago, thus Russian professionals should be familiarized with that long time ago.
In reality however it looks like they weren’t till some people (me and my Old Mentor among others) started talking/writing about T14’s missing features of real innovativeness, or prospectiveness.
Why I am so sure that they weren’t familiar with these old publications?
Maybe they just tried to keep the PTERODACTYL in secrecy?
Maybe. Then why they ceased the secrecy after people around the world started “complaining” about absent features of prospectiveness in their latest tank?
Why research upon such equipment must be kept in secret at all, seeing that the desk-study had been already published long time ago in a couple of languages and by completely unrelated [to Russia] designers/analysts?
How to explain this and many others inconsistencies environs T14 for 2 years?
The most moderate explanation would be:
A significant part (or more) of revelations about T14 is not originating in the designers team of Uralvagonzavod. It looks like that most of these rumours pretending to be professional, are (at best) a sells pitch fabricated by PR-team, or even just fantasies being produced by so called “journalists”.
Although not only media or low-profile officials play the game – time to time even top officials act as “megaphones” of Russian psy-ops.
A perfect case-study is minister Shoygu’s declaration quoted by Mr. Roblin (unfortunately without adequate commentary)
It is about: ‘How the latest main gun 2A82 ( amid several others sub-systems) would be transplanted into being modernised T72/90’
There are however some bitchy technicalities, which we can employ to protect ourselves against being duped.
The 2A82 gun doesn’t have a bore evacuator. A fume extraction makes little point with an unmanned turret (T14) while it is essential for crews of T72/90.
But this is still an easy part.
Much more bitchy is an ammunition-issue. The 2A82 gun uses single-piece ammunition while 2A46 gun of T72/90 two-piece what demands subsequent changes in the gun, though it is still not the nasties problem.
The nasties is fact that T72/90 has no space to accommodate autoloader for such new ammunition and 2 crewmen together.
Only these facts above make Shoygu’s declaration about an upgrade of T90s with T14’s technology quite amusing puzzle.
There is no space for illusions – The adaptation of the new gun to old tanks implies a designing of ANOTHER NEW GUN or A NEW AUTOLOADER, or NEW MUNITION.
There cannot be other option in terms of enginery… except designing a new tank… but the new tank (allegedly) already exists… doesn’t it? Maybe doesn’t(?)
Let stay focused on two initial options. A development of new gun requires time and money, so a fast-track-application of T14’s technology into t72/90 is just a delusion, or a lie.
But carousel-system isn’t the only one known way. Indeed there is an available thoroughly tested autoloader-system suitable for T72/90 which requires less space and fewer changes in the gun itself . This one demands instead redesign/rebuild of the tank – this option demands “in exchange” a completely new turret (at least)… so time and money
On the margin: Russians probably were trying to exploit this option in 1990s in project called Black Eagle, so it looks like another techno-historical-loop.
Hence, if Shoygu’s statement about acquisition of 400 upgraded T90 is true, this implies, that there are two (or even three) advanced time-and-money-thirsty programs to be financed instead of one. Subsequently, it means that project T14 is death as the new weapon-system of Russia’s land forces . – Or in other words, – that the T-90-upgrade-program has factually replaced the T14’s one and the last will remain in history as an example of multi-media-weaponry only.
Russians (ministers alike lowest rank trolls) are continuously pumping their poisoned puzzles into the worlds info-space. A quantity of these puzzles is being multiplied then as collateral effect of mutual contradictions between those intentionally fabricated “facts”. Time to time, there appears some real information most often as a collateral effect too, but as indistinguishable from fabrications is usually worthless.
Whether thus, writings upon Russian defence issues are factually materials for observers of Russian-ping-pong scheme, not for observers of the defence-issues or developments?
Nonetheless, in boundaries of military/technological domain, all these and several others factors are causing total chaos which plays in favour of the Russian non-kinetic measures being components of the War by Available Means (WAM)
Traditional techno-military-writing-convention is becoming more and more helpless, day by day because of its simplistic structure is easily penetrable and susceptible for manipulation.
Therefore I am postulating to rethink our concepts in proportions and dislocation of accents. Such restructuring is not condemning our writings to be long and boring (like my text most likely will be qualified by some number of readers).
I do not see my text as template of new-approach. I am just sharing several indications for the new formulation with descriptions substantiating their necessity.
Let’s take one more exemplary sample from my Old Mentor’s recordings:
[quote]… In 1970s and early 1980s endurance of T72’ barrels was lamentedly poor. A main gun accuracy was falling below any standards after firing approx.100 (put together) live-rounds.
What is our prospect to find out real endurability of T14’ barrels? Practically ZERO.
This is not my speciality but even such dinosaur like me knows that, there are only two hypothetical occasions able to fill in this info-gap with reliable data.
The first would be a foreign purchase of T14s. However we cannot be absolutely certain of a foreign user’s sincerity. Especially if Russians would succeed in trick like this done unsuccessfully to India (in case of PAK-FA) – No one would like to be seen as a fool.
The second hypothetical occasion would be provided by Russian soldiers via social-media. A probability of such event is low and a quality of data provided in such way rather dubious.
Do we really need to solve such dubious puzzles?
Not in 21th century.
Time to abandon the obsolete reactive mode chasing Russian chaos. Time to define what we really need on given moment, or given task
Military community has intelligence-sources. So, what they want from us or open-sources is not “an alternative intelligence-ish staff” but samples of unconventional embracement of current situation even if they are derived from historical perspective.
Everyone who need to explore Russia’s defence domain should relay rather on critical thinking and manageable data. – all of these is available within our world. I would like to say: just connect dots. But it isn’t that easy. We must examining dots-like elements before we can recognise them as what they supposed to be. Even critically attituded western mind is ex posed for traps in unexpected areas – sometimes even common sense may lead us to such trap.
We had accustomed probably too much to such way of thinking where all Russian idiosyncrasies are treated as negligible attributes of local colourfulness. And because of that we are naturally inclined for skipping such details, while instead focusing on more rational components of information. However, even this problem is reparable through knowledgeable examination.
One of the most common causes of misinterpretations observable in plenty of texts is a seemingly logical assumption:
As Soviet R&D system had been doing well enough in competition with the West for long time and failed due to underinvestment and lack of access to world market [COCOM], therefore improvements of these two parameters must have revitalised Russia’s R&D during Putin’s era. Actually not only “revitalised” but even made Russia’s R&D more efficient than the Soviet one.
The seemingly logical construct is almost entirely wrong.
To make our thinking immune for such traps we need a little more historical perspective than we can in find analogical analysis of western processes.
Saying in extremely compacted form: Soviet R&D system has not been capable to be dehibernated (over last two decades course) just by adding two revitalising components (mentioned above) because of variety of factors.
Factually it did not happen.
The Soviet system cannot be considered as deposited/inherited potential at all because it had been completely dismantled (after COCOM dissolution). Furthermore, it happened without replacement. Although Russians has tried create completely new system absorbing already existing relics of Soviet one what (among others factors) made their efforts inefficient or rather counterproductive. This is not going to be changed anytime soon.
Thus, If having all these in mind we take a look at one narrow aspect of T14’s story, we can realise that there is no need to sunk into Russian conundrums.
For instance: Russian metallurgy is almost on the same level like in 1980s.
‘Russian allegedly have new main gun in their new MBT made with new metallurgy’s technologies’… Where from we know this?
Where from are allegedly existing new Russian metallurgical technologies while their R&D system is only able to re-re-re-adaptation of Soviet blueprints?
What is their viability without western components’ supplies?
There would be of course a German-Russian-metallurgy but this is a blind road anyway, the road just approaching its very end.
Maybe it would be wiser to ask western providers of these technologies(?)
Even if they (e.g. Germans) are to lie, we have our own investigative journalism capable to deal with such lies whiles we don’t have such device towards Russia’s reality and we cannot rely on this type Russian journalists because they are being instrumentalized by Russian psy-ops institution when needed (sometimes being unaware of it).
Therefore the new-formulation should not be seen as negligible in domain of Russian queries but not only there. The new-formulation, a new redefined and re-structuralised approach of differently located accents (located sometimes out of seemingly obvious spots) are a challenge but simultaneously – also an opportunity of our own future even without any kind of Russia in proximity.
Stop – recon – rethink – regroup
The need of approach re-structuring met very telling illustration in commentaries referring to the famous T14’s breakdown during a 2015 parade’s rehearsal. As far I know, all commentators have employed only two types of approaches to this occurrence (plus the third one being a mix of those two). However many clues had been reported, no one has explored properly a really informative area which is:
How Russians were dealing with the very problem on Red Square and what NOT-engineering/NOT-technological deeds conveyed such problem there?
Paradoxically, the most intend to the NOT-engineering analysis were commentators belittling significance of the breakdown.
Since 8 May 2015 I was repeatedly expressing my equal irritation over both dominating group of comments -those thoughtlessly celebrating “an own goal”, a self-harm of a Russian hubris, alike over those trying to erase humiliating facts.
Nonetheless the event probably encapsulating all factors decisive for the Russia’s defence’s present and its future, has remained unpacked.
Let me quote original record of my Old Mentor’s comment:
[quote]…Undoubtedly, the single T14 suddenly stopped passing central spot of Red Square.
Undoubtedly, its engine was functional during the incident (within boundaries of approx. 20 minutes).
Undoubtedly, a recovery vehicle (based on T72/90) was vainly trying to taw malfunctioning T14 away from the spot.
Undoubtedly, none of observable reparations had been done before the tank moved from the spot.
(almost) Undoubtedly, an official explanation of incident was: ‘an inexperienced driver accidently pushed a button of handbrake/parking brake’
First of all, some moron ordered the recovery tank (designed for T72/90) to tow a heavier vehicle with blocked chassis. Apparently without any evaluation of the malfunction’s reasons neither a contact attempt with someone competent.
This fact alone tells us several unfavourable things about “basic tissue” of Russian defence and even of more general things as well.
Secondly, We do not know exactly what happened but we know, it did not required observable reparations what hints, that the issue was small (this time). Although it doesn’t exclude big problems for a T14’ battle-efficiency (at least in proximate perspective). – Small thigs are bitchy capable to cause big problems, especially under fire.
Russia (deservedly or not) has been famous for weaponry largely independent from a burdens which could be called “small-thing-big-problem” , e.g. AK47 manufactured (for military) as “a brand-new-clunker”.
This time Russians have entered mostly uncharted territory. Uncharted yet not only for them – no one army relies on MBTs with unmanned turrets, alike no one have dared for the crew-capsule/pod application, mostly because of “small-things-terror”(Swedes ones went very close of accomplishment and they gave up). Hence, reading (here and there) about “insignificances of small electronic malfunction of T14” (conveyed in absolving tone) I am getting amused… a bit
It must be ultimately emphasised – This tank has no chance to act as a tank without absolutely perfectly functioning systems, or subsystems depended on a pyramid of small things, which none of Russian weaponry had not been ever depended on.
Maybe the official version tells the truth?
Maybe, but it is even worse.
In Warsaw-Pact-armies ( SU-army too) prime series of new armament had never been staffed by inexperienced soldiers. – On the contrary, there were extraordinary arrangements to complete crews of the best and most trustful servicemen, available.
Furthermore, even these extraordinarily selected soldiers were acting in accordance to uncommon regulation over the course of introductory period.
Russian army consists of some 800 000 service people plus definitely experienced manufacturer’s test crews, whereas for the parade were required some 20 of them what makes 0,0025% or even less.
If somebody try to make me believing that current Russian decision-makers (military or civilian) are not able to arrange and conduct properly a highest-profile presentation… OK then.
However it means that they are more incompetent than their predecessors back in Warsaw-Pact’s times.
OK then, I am happy with this info – adversary sloppier than was the Warsaw-Pact’s average can win only in case of West’s unconditional capitulation.
Is this a part of Russian “cunning plan”?
This or another way, the official version is a stupid lie or exemplifies mendacious stupidity of entire Russian decision-system (both, civilian and military).
There is also one more (more general) obvious thing :
The T14 is supposed to be fielded before 2020 (declaratively). So, it would happen some 40 years after Merkava, Leopard2, M1Abrams or Challenger1 and over 20 years after Type90, Leclerc or Challenger2.
Then, where is T14s superiority over these “grandpas” ? – T14 is scarcely equal with all these above… And even this equality cannot be taken as granted.
Hence, certainly it is not the tank of future.
This is tank of the past made for future.
Then what is this really for?
Is this like British Churchill – the best tank of the First World War designed and fielded some 20 years afterwards? The tank which showed its superiority over others only ones when in Tunisia happened the heaviest rain of century(?) Is T14 that “unique”?
Maybe T14 is designed for next looting of Georgia or for a similar scenario’s repetition in Estonia, or for a Russian civil war? Its max-speed would be useful in a looting-action while the hard-kill component of AFGANIT APS (after attaching a manual-mode) could be effective in demonstrations-crushing.
Maybe it is for battlefields of psychological war extorting unconditional capitulation of adversary?
One would say that, I am ignoring some applications which does not have any other MBT on the Earth.
I am just compering the revolutionary turn brought by new tanks’ generation of 1970s-1980s with absent equivalent which should be brought by fairly modern tank in 2015 or 2020s.
No turn, no glory – paraphrasing an old proverb.
The historic turn 40 years ago was truly revolutionary because that generation of western tanks was designed to fight efficiently against overwhelming numbers of adversary’s tanks. They were game-changers 40 years ago and still are fully capable competitors even in their basic versions.
On the margin: a hypothetical future game-changer-tank will have some innovative sub-systems (maybe even a capsule detaching itself from vehicle’s structure in ultimately lethal situation) but not features of single vehicle will make the future weapon system ceiling-breaker. This will be an innovatively set platoon as basic entity of such revolutionary weapon-system.
What such usefully revolutionary attributes the “Russian panzer-wunderwaffe T14” has ?
None – Because it is not the game-changer in any respect.
T14 has nothing in respect to warfare and technological issues… So, in these both respects it belongs to the past. T14 belongs to wars which had happened (e.g. looting of Georgia in 2008) or were supposed to happen but didn’t (e.g. a war on NATO in 1980s).
Unless, there is some third one, but if the third option exists it doesn’t belong to domain of mine.
Amiss, in real terms all these observations above don’t make war less probable (even the last option doesn’t rule out low-intensity kinetic actions) because as somebody concluded ones ‘The most stupid people are not aware of their own stupidity’, thus they are more inclined to do terrible things, due to being not able to anticipate even consequences unpleasant for themselves. Such people are capable to re-enact episodes of the past by instigation of a war without really developed T14s or even without any underdeveloped T14 fielded.
To be ultimately honest, there is one game-changing thing in T14. This is not game-changer from a potential opponents’ perspective, but it would be eternally important for Russian tank crews. All conflicts involving Russian tanks with carousel-automat in battle compartment proven, that this device is ‘an executioner’ of tank crews. Whereas in T14 they are separated. Hence, if mas-fielding of this type happened there will be major change of game for Russian tank crews. This fact would gradually translate into improvement of these crews quality, but this long fetch.
On this stage I would add my own remark to my Old Mentor words:
Continuously kremlin’s tries to intimidate stronger countries despite Russian army is not going to be able to fight on such adversary. So, it looks like they want to make us “miserable and weak” or at least to perceive ourselves in this way.
What would make EU/NATO countries “miserable and weak” enough for Russian army?
Only we by ourselves can provide kremlin with this, so Russian need us suffering Stockholm’s Syndrome before we even get to be caught by them.
Is this that much nonsense as it seems to be at first glance? … In 1940 British-French-coalition was unquestionable winner of emerging confrontation in every rational anticipations or betting, whereas eventually they lose after battling only one week longer then underinvested Polish army being attacked by the Hitler-Stalin coalition (1939). It is always worth of a few minutes of meditation as overture of any defence issues analysis.
There are a few things which haunt me.
Any factual development of the very tank apparently has stuck some 2 years ago (or even earlier), alike a development in availability of (more-or-less) credible data.
Almost everyone chunk of available information is more or less directly linked to government which had built its power on a propaganda and which is just conducting (at least) an information/cyber-war on the West.
Even if among information from these sources are true particles they are indistinguishable amid mendacious mass. Or even if sometimes we can distinguish good-ones, then only after very complicated critical process giving rather limited certainty.
Sometimes happen lucky accident telling a little more, with a little stronger certainty, but still we cannot forget about conditionality of the running information-war.
The latest of such lucky accidents was probably a downgrade in initially claimed engine-power.
The piece of data had not been reduced because of Russians modesty or fairness. There are (rather rare) situations when a sells-pitch is being (at least partially) replaced by hard data, These situations emerge usually from within advanced trade talks. The most probable occasion for a leak about underdeveloped engine were talks with Egyptians or some potential buyers from Asia.
Or maybe the source was somewhere else?
Maybe, such “meddlesome” analysts like Pavel E. Felgenhauer who allegedly has his own sources in Russian military, just confronted official claims with factual assortment of engines (available now or very soon) by Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant(?)
Or maybe, some countries intelligence made “a controlled leak” ? But what for? Maybe because the NORINCO and its government are keen to quash their closest competitor?
I chose a little more speculative mode for the section above, deliberately.
It is to illustrate – What credibility of data are we facing with (at best).
Summarising this stage: There is actually nothing to talk about in terms of technology or armoured warfare, whereas there are plenty of motives to talk about T14s’ “staring” as murky phenomenon in the War by Available Means (WAM) spectacle.
Paradoxically, we have to talk about this “nothing” to penetrate issues really crucial for us. So after all there must be discussed What hypothetical changes would bring eventual T14’s fielding from our perspective? and What these potential changes mean for our security, defence preparations, investments or our coexistence with Russia as whole (still in boundaries readable from T14’s case or related topics)?
Now is the time to portrayed the issue by prism of details.
On this stage it is time to dive even deeper.
The way leads through contextualisation the T14s’ crews survivability-level by analogies to entire line of Russian carousel-tanks predeceasing this one.
However I haven’t expected vast panoramas of historical backgrounds from any text about Russian 2015-novelties, nonetheless the utter lack of references to the lamentable misconception which has been the carousel-tanks-family must be considered as serious deficiency. It is why I will write a bit too much about autoloaders.
1944 Germans were straggling with shortage of experienced tank-crews. This fact pushed designers to create a concept of tank based on a naval auto-loader. The automation was supposed to reduce number of crewmen and (what even more important) a pace of new crews training.
The autoloader was using a carousel-magazine. It is exactly where Russian concept came from, though this German project has never materialised as far it is known.
Just after 2WW the German project had been analysed by French researchers. Eventually they abandoned it. Possibly the most important reason why French dropped this idea was the survivability of crews. This interpretation is supported by fact what system of auto-loader was eventually chosen by them – The system which transferred munition feasibly out of crew’s compartment (AMX13, AMX50).
The heritage of those French research is affecting tanks design to present days even in types not-equipped with autoloaders. The very idea of crews-protection by isolation from ammunition prompted other inventions e.g. reportedly fully effective (in this respect) munition-storage structure of M1 Abrams.
Generally speaking, “a holy grail” of western engineers-researchers became a transfer ammunition out of crew’s compartment, or -crew’s out of ammunition compartment.
At the turn of 1950s-1960s Russians took different lessons from German concept. Possibly they understood this very literally – apparently they recognised a fewer crewmen and -quicker training as most beneficial factors of a victorious war’s conducting.
Only problem with German design they recognised was a height of machinery which was determining the tank’s height or unacceptable augmentation of all dimensions (if munition is stored horizontally). The problem has been resolved by separation of cartridges into 2 segments. This move has had its cost in effectiveness of energy-kinetic-penetrators though in 1960s it wasn’t as much harsh cost as it became in 1970s-1980s.
The genius Russian solution had deposed in “carrousel family” one more cost which remained unrecognised until battle of Bekaa Valley (1982). Even after this episode, very few professionals in the world had realised meaning of this lesson until it has been confirmed by Desert Storm’s aftermath almost 10 years later.
In 1982 within soviet-bloc access to some information was often restricted even for these professionals who should have such for absolutely obvious reasons – There was very complicated way to obtain special permissions and high secrecy regime afterwards for these who got one. Furthermore, many of them who were preparing reports for highest officials either majority of those officials were not keen to believe simplest facts about T72 ( what means in extension, about all types equipped with carousel autoloader). This is why during some period fallowing Bekaa Battle had been produced so many reports founded on “a creative” analysis/a politicized science. These reports are repeatedly echoing in various forms and domains to our days especially in Russia.
The knowledge has remined unpopular and vastly downplayed to our days not only there. Possibly it has been uncomfortable for number of reasons, for various users, manufacturers and even for their rivals (in some perverse way) – reasons often contradictory motivated within the same countries or organisations.
Nonetheless not everyone within soviet-bloc went this way – some professionals or even officials absorbed the lesson and some of these few (much fewer) started thinking about new tank… a tank without “the carousel of death” [it found its partial embodiment in black eagle project of 1990s].
Since 1982 my Old Mentor developed “his new custom”. When some of acquaintance professionals was initiating discussion about new tank version being proposed by one of carousel-tanks-manufacturers, my mentor was instantly asking: Is there still the “carousel of death in”? Are there “kids” on it?… Then it isn’t new version if this couple still remains in place…
Each single time the same repetition, till appeared Ukrainian Oplot M/Yatagan.
Over 50 years ago soviet designers put crews into deadly trap. Then after realisation of 1982 the “politicized engineering” restrained their own honesty even in that basic-extent to admit mistake and move on other direction. And finally the long-lasting dreadful trap become “new normal” after collapse of SU.
Even such serious modernisation programs abroad former SU like Polish PT91 TWARDY didn’t tear this “vicious circle” of “carousel-family”. This time have decided money-shortage and old inert habits of decision-makers – Who knows which of these two was more appalling? The crews’ survivability has been left behind…ones again.
Discussing the Russian tank of future we cannot skip those two bitter questions set by my old mentor:
Is there still the “carousel of death” in?
The answer is – There is one.
In this respect nothing has changed. Nothing except form of munition. T14’s auto-loader is just closing a techno-historical-loop returning to the original German concept working with one-piece-ammunition in vertical position. Exactly like in 1944.
The munition is still stored in bottom turret section what practically means – in very centre of tank’s hall, ergo, potential munition explosion must turn a tank to practically irreparable scrap or more exactly – irreparable neither quickly nor within front support area.
A consequence of this fact is necessity to establish a very high reserves’ level (somehow around 100%) what subsequently implies a huge acquisition of T14… so, time and money.
And the second:
Are there “kids”[crew] on it?
The answer is – Not.
Luckily for Russian crews this has been changed. Instead of transferring munition storage out of crew’s compartment they moved crew to the separate capsule-compartment located in the front section of (still) the same hall. However, there is one significant difference – there are not “kids” in the same compartment. Still, if I was to buy this tank for my army I would demand to conduct a test which Russian sources did not mentioned about. How react the crew capsule in case of explosion in autoloader compartment(?)
The idea of capsule/pod is very old. All known studies of this concept came to binary conclusion that the capsule has to be technologically absolutely perfect, or it shouldn’t be taken under consideration at all.
In opinion of my Old Mentor it is impossible that these days Russian industry had reached that level of perfectness, thus this new compartment cannot be a real capsule. He made reservation that this is mostly intuitive opinion though based on professional expertise – not on a hunch. He added also such remark:
[quote] The theory that Russians just arranged the peculiar crew-compartment instead of real capsule (just to isolate crews from munition) is an optimistic version, because if this is wannabe-capsule reflecting their current technological capabilities then a fate of crews would be horrible. [unquote]
There cannot be ruled out that one deadly trap has been replaced by another deadly trap, but this dilemma would be resolved only by some ‘future 1982’ which perhaps will never happen for mixture of reasons.
Turning back to the most “meddlesome” question:
What kind of war is the T14 really for?
Let work out this thing trough prisms of chosen technological, industrial and military queries or in other words, decrypt it by the tank itself and its background .
As it was aptly pointed by Mr. Roblin, an inconsistency between declared total mass of T14 and its armour-protection-level indicates that highest protection got only the special crew’s compartment. In other words it benefits the crew’s survivability only. Whereas the survivability of Russian crews is irrelevant for a hypothetical NATO field-officer whose job would be to defeat Russian opponents.
A battle is not about killing enemy servicepeople.
In real terms the field officer prepares his/her unite not to the kill but to strip the adversaries of their ability to perform their tasks, what is defined here by knocking-out tanks, not by killing their crews. NATO officer sees actually every specific issue by prism of questions: Is the T14 bringing some massive shift in combating it? Or, just any shift?
Is there anything we have to change in procedures worked out against T72/90?
Is the T14 more likely [than T72/90] to knock-out us before we knock-out it?
Under such examination most of means undertaken by Russians to increase survivability seem rather counterproductive for endurance of T14’s offensive capabilities in confrontation with NATO troops.
For NATO soldiers T14 is equally capable/incapable opponent like T72/90.
Furthermore it could be even inferior to its predecessors in several considerable battlefield’s situations.
On the margin: This potential inferiority implies some unconventional use of T14 but also contradicts very concept of MBT and subsequently generates long list of unusual expenses.
In some circumstances the T14’-crews-survivability would be seen as linked to the query of Russia’s tanks’ manufacturing capabilities.
If Russians would be able to transfer every survived crew to spare tank of the same type, then must be considered other means aimed to reduce the transfer. What implies to restrain the adversary-crews-survivability as one of available options. This would be game-changing-factor brought by the T14’s case despite that the T14 tank isn’t the game-changer per se. However it is unenforceable without a re-transformation entire country into very form of Soviet Union and additional decades of time.
Thus ones again – T14 is not to fight war on NATO due to its dependence on Russian industry/front-support-area capabilities which must be enormously magnified to do so… And again – time and money, at least.
A list of arguments – Why T14 is not for battle against NATO? – is much longer.
Let’s skip them to analyse options of low-intensity-conflicts:
My Old Mentor used to say that: A cooperation with infantry, a tactics and recon are three initial layers of tank’s armour, often much more crucial than actual/phisical one.
At least the first one is existentially important amid guerrilla-like-war-environment and an usefulness of AFGANIT-hard-kill applies mostly to this type operations. Ergo, there is probable contradiction in T14’s very concept (potentially interested for tacticians or strategists ).
Israeli who have similar system already operational are declaring 99% security guaranty for personnel (outside an armoured vehicle). Contextualising this sells pitch by Israelis’ highest-standard-approach to their soldiers security we would be sure, that such assurance is (at worse) narrowly overrated if it is at all. Whereas, similar certainty cannot be considered as indicator in Russian reality.
As we can responsibly take assumption, that Israeli APS is not less capable then Russian one, than logically we must reject Russians’ claims about their system’s efficiency against kinetic projectiles. Israeli declared only initial R&D-efforts to extend their APS’s capabilities to make it useful against kinetic-projectiles whilst Russians just declare such capability of their APS as fully operational… True or false?
Even rational authors who had detected this aspect’s regularity are associating it in most cases automatically with a hypothetical tanks battle. This atomized intellectual reflex perfectly illustrates, how western common sense/common knowledge misses crucial components of Russian reality in pre-conscious way.
A western mind is automatically inclined to associate exclusively a kinetic-projectiles-theme with tanks’ encounters skipping some endemic facts.
One of such facts is a peculiar feature of Russian-Ukrainian war in in Donbas:
A big part of both sides artillery there are towed anti-tank guns.
Specialised anti-tank-guns had been decommissioned from western armies long time ago. – A number of observers rightly sees this category as a relict.
Military/political observers obviously know about this weaponry use in Donbas, but they qualify this fact only as a make-shift substitution of proper artillery pieces. Or, as a trick bypassing restriction of the Minsk’s Cease-Fire Agreement.
All of these is also true but there is something much more important for T14’s context.
Here is encrypted very crucial middle-long-term-clue referring to low-intensity-conflicts of approaching future or potential battlefields for T14.
In Donbas towed anti-tanks guns play usually role of general-purpose artillery using mostly ammunition effective against personnel or battle-shelters but they are design to fight on tanks using kinetic projectiles. The most modern and ipso facto the most ominous for T14 is type 2A45, which is being on Ukrainian inventory too.
If T14 appeared in Donbas, its most deadly enemy would turn out not Ukrainian tanks but ambushes equipped in such towed guns.
Just imagine ‘a bounty-hunters’ spirit’ and enthusiasm rising among Ukrainian soldiers prompted by a rumour about T14s’ presence in Donbas. – Sending T14 on this war weren’t be good idea, especially in limited numbers (as a propaganda-campaign-element).
It would be equally stupid like show-off which killed the Kursk-submarine though probably less murderous.
On the ambush occasion T14 desperately needs excellent cooperation with own infantry while the infantry would be not really motivated to cooperate with the tank which could kill own infantry (by hard-kill-AFGANIT APS).
There is also another related factor shaping characteristic of potential battlefield for T14. The largest user of anti-tank 2A45 guns is Russian army. In case of potential Russian civil war this fact implies that it is statistically impossible to avoid a transfer of such guns into hands of hypothetical insurgents.
Neither on low-intensity-battlefield, nor on regular one, cannot be downplayed an impact of small-calibre-guns on tank that much dependant on its sensors as T14. Especially when a development of intelligent-small-calibre-ammunition just accelerates.
As it had been pointed by my Old Mentor, this tank cannot do anything without perfectly functional sensors. Whereas it would be easily deprived of them even by small-calibre guns.
There is no means available yet to protect sensors with satisfying efficiency and this is probably the main reason why no other MBT in the world has unmanned turret.
In practical terms it means that in battle NATO IFVs are perfectly capable to suppress T14s using their guns. Blinded tanks can only retreat being exposed on attack of guided anti-tank missiles.
There is also variety of other munition in NATO service capable to make T14 inoperative even if it would avoid destruction – it must be constantly kept in mind that this tank cannot even basically defend itself without functioning sensors while nothing really protects these sensors especially against attack from upper hemisphere.
It looks not much better on battlefield of low-intensity-conflict. – Probably there T14s would escape ultimate destruction after being blinded. However it is only matter of time when on such battlefields will appear more modern missiles operating from upper hemisphere (where AFGANIT APS is practically useless).
Only one type of battlefield where T14 remines very strong competitor remains… the multi-media or non-kinetic one.
Hence, Whether T14 is really a tank (in real military sense) or just a prop? – The prop in Russian informal (only partially kinetic) war on the West and its allies/aspiring allies?
Or still the prop but employed to something less sinister like imperial global bullying spectacle?
If this is not real MBT but the prop, it makes T14 scarcely linked to its seemingly obvious applications.
But I must recall my Old Mentor’s reflection ones again : Inability of T14 or entire Russian war machine to battle on NATO doesn’t make the war less probable because not a reasonable assessment is to be the decisive one.
In the same 1982, in the same location, during the same Israeli operation occurred something what partially overshadowed horror of carousel-tanks defeat – it was defeat/disaster of Syrian air force (equipped in Russian aircrafts) and Syrian ground-air-defence (not only using Russian SAMs but entirely staffed by Russian military personnel).
Israeli had achieved magnificent victory employing completely new tactics based on AWACS-category aircrafts and surveillance UAVs/drones.
The AWACS-category was theoretically already in service in Russian military though their usefulness was largely downplayed/neglected whereas surveillance UAVs/drones were a novelty for everybody. The Bekaa Battle-aftermath significantly accelerated development of both means in SU.
35 years had passed since that event. Thus, as we can observe over few recent years Ukrainian pictographic materials about Russian surveillance UAVs/drones shot down in Donbas we should see as well largely developed Soviet designs of 1980s… Whereas they are made by IAI or under Israeli licence just assembled of Israeli parts in Russia. Everything what relay on modern expertise and technology in these drones is Israeli-made.
Of course you can find by internet also cases of use Soviet-rooted drones in Donbas, but this is rather sample of the ping-pong-method in actual action. Most probable motive for “excavation” old soviet drones is fact that western media started showing Israeli-made Russian ones. Even a camouflage of these “excavated artefacts” hints that they were in possession of some underinvested research-facility or just museums.
The example presents what these-days Russian defence industry really is.
The old Soviet R&D ,or more precisely, a technology-russification-system [enforced autarchysation] was obtaining technologies from abroad, sometimes more or less legally [2WW] sometimes completely illegally [2WW and spy-wars during the Cold War] and subsequently processed adjustment of them in accordance to Russian capabilities. In the third step, each of subsystems was assigned to particular factory by central planning.
Why this system died and why Russians failed in building sustainable replacement of it(?) – this is material for a colossal monograph.
Nevertheless, even without such monograph we have enough material to be sure of several simple conclusion:
At first – T14 is a media-tank.
Second – It has zero-perspective to become tank of kinetic battlefield, possibly besides rare isolated episodes when a battle-appearance would be part of media-narratives.
Third – the most sinister offensive ability of T14 are probably malware codes encrypted within footages of it and other materials posted on Internet.
Broadly understood defence issues of any country do not function as isolated from politics and marketing creating hyperbolised postures, or national sentiments, but nothing of these in the West doesn’t compare to Russian “equivalents”.
It isn’t a new phenomenon – This has always been there at least since Romanovs’ era. Then Soviet Union brought additional nationwide hyperbolicities which were “upgraded” in Russian Federation by western media/marketing/digital technologies. And that way Russian version entered a sort of “warp speed”.
We cannot effort in building “USS Enterprise” to chase their centrally conducted nationwide simulacra with global ambitions…But, do we really should try?
Let them fly to the end of universe on their own expense.
The entire new Russian military hardware doesn’t change much from our defenders perspective, or possibly changes even nothing.
We have to develop means to fight the Russian War by Available Means (WAM) but what has to be done in this domain is mostly irrelevant to the new Russian military hardware.
Closing my overview I must highlight one more postulate:
Looking for impartial balance between multiple lies, untruths and rare truths we are condemning ourselves to produce only additional untruths. The impartiality isn’t worth of that.
 We do not use a notion „Hybrid Warfare” to Russian action because it is factually misguiding as indicator of special category of war and especially in this domain.
(1) It is rather difficult to find a non-hybrid war over the humankind history.
(2) The dynamic of Russian WAM is too endemic to understand it by general patterns of the term ‘hybrid warfare’ as it is understood by majority of recent publications.