Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu noted the constantly growing level of technical equipment of tank units and formations. This is stated in his order, dedicated to the Tanker’s Day, which is traditionally celebrated in Russia on the second Sunday of September. The document is published on the website of the military department.

“Continuing worthily the glorious traditions of the predecessors, the current defenders of the Fatherland are constantly improving combat training, and contribute to strengthening the state’s defense capabilities,” said Shoigu.

In a congratulatory message, the Ministry of Defense emphasizes that the tank formations of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation remain the main striking force of the Ground Forces. Domestic combat vehicles have great firepower, reliable armor protection and high maneuverability.

Tanker Day was established by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of July 1, 1946 to commemorate the merits of armored and mechanized forces in the defeat of Nazi Germany. This holiday is celebrated by military personnel, engineers and workers of industrial enterprises.

The Kazan Higher Tank Command Order of the Zhukov Red Banner School (KVTKKU) is training personnel for the tank forces of the Russian Federation. Specialists in the development, production and maintenance of tanks undergo training at the Omsk Automobile Armored Engineering Institute (a branch of the Military Academy of Logistics of the Name of the Army General A.V. Khrulyov).

The main purpose of the tank is direct fire, the defeat of objects in sight. Today's armament allows this combat vehicle to fire from closed positions and over a long range (up to 5 km). In modern conflicts, tanks are used to destroy armored vehicles, engineering fortifications and enemy infantry.

In Russia, tank troops are organized into brigades, regiments, and divisions. Tank battalions are present in the brigades of motorized rifle troops, airborne forces and marine corps.

In 2014, by decree of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the 1st Guards Tank Red Banner Army was recreated. This operational military unit included the 4th Guards Kantemirov Division, the 2nd Guards Taman Motor Rifle Division, the 27th Guards Sevastopol Motor Rifle Brigade, the 6th Separate Tank Czestochow Brigade and other parts of the Western Military District.

  • T-90 tank at the Alabino training ground
  • RIA News
  • © Grigory Sysoev

“Today, these are unique formations in terms of combat strength, which are unparalleled in terms of combat capabilities in the Ground Forces,” said Major Commander of the 1st Tank Army in an interview with the Red Star in the beginning of September, Major General Sergey Kisel.

According to him, units of the 1st Tank Army are deployed in several constituent entities of the Russian Federation. The management bodies and the structure of the association can constantly improve the quality of combat training and successfully solve the tasks assigned by the leadership of the Ministry of Defense.

Incentive to improve

According to the Global Firepower portal, there are more than 21 thousand tanks in the Russian Armed Forces. As Candidate of Military Sciences Sergey Suvorov explained in an interview with RT, the vast majority of military vehicles are stored, about 2.5-3 thousand units are operated in combat units. In his opinion, such a number of tanks is enough to ensure the security of the Russian Federation.

According to Suvorov, "after the collapse of the USSR, our country got the largest number of tanks in the world, but it was impossible to leave them in operation due to economic and political reasons."

“In the 1990s, we actively disarmed along with NATO countries, since the need to prepare for a large-scale land war disappeared. Some European countries withdrew all the tanks from the military, ”explained Suvorov.

The expert recalled that the tactics of using tanks repeatedly changed over the past 100 years. Since the 1980s, the development of man-portable missile (ATGM) and grenade launcher systems has had a great influence on the development of tank troops. They turned the tank into a fairly vulnerable target in the theater of operations (theater of operations).

According to Suvorov, "in the military circles of the western states and our country, before, there was an opinion that the tank lost its previous value on the battlefield."

“The reason is the proliferation of low-cost and highly effective weapons that can be used by small groups of enemy troops or militants. Indeed, one accurate shot from an ATGM can destroy a car worth several million dollars, ”said Suvorov.

At the same time, the interlocutor of RT is convinced that the tanks have not lost their leading importance in the achievement of success by the Ground Forces in the theater of operations. In his opinion, the advent of portable anti-tank weapons became an incentive for improving the complexes of dynamic and active defense. A modern tank is able to intercept an enemy shell or withstand its hit.

Serious measures were taken to save the life of the crew. In the latest tanks, servicemen are in an armored capsule, which separates them from the ammunition and the engine and transmission compartment. In addition, some combat vehicles (for example, the T-14 Armata) have an uninhabited tower. However, Suvorov called the combat coordination of the army grouping the key condition for reliable protection of tank units on the theater.

As Suvorov emphasized, tanks need cover.

“Almost all of the recent cases of tank defeat are a consequence of the mistakes of commanders in command and control. A tank can demonstrate its best fighting qualities only when the interaction of infantry, combat vehicles, artillery, air defense systems and aviation is well organized. In the Russian army, all this is being worked out in exercises, ”the expert said.

  • T-90 tank at the training ground
  • © Ramil Sitdikov / RIA Novosti

According to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, at combat training events, tank units work out interaction with “representatives of other branches of the armed forces: motorized riflemen, artillerymen, reconnaissance, flamethrowers, and engineers”. All participants of the maneuvers are included in a single tactical management system.

Also, Russian tank troops are actively using the capabilities of unmanned aircraft. UAVs provide tanks with reconnaissance information. The latest technology allows you to transfer it "online in a rapidly changing tactical environment."

The future belongs to "Armata"

In recent years, the Russian Ministry of Defense has been carrying out large-scale modernization of the tank fleet. The T-72B3, T-72B3M, T-80BV, T-90M "Breakthrough-3" are coming into service with the Russian army. Until 2022, NPK Uralvagonzavod will transfer to the combat units 132 T-14 and BMP T-15 tanks on the Armata platform. Also, armored repair and recovery vehicles T-16 will be delivered to the tank troops.

Sergei Suvorov said that Russian tanks are being improved to improve driving performance, level of protection, firepower and information security of the crew. According to a number of characteristics, domestic combat vehicles are superior to Western models.

“Russia has a unique design school, which in many respects is a continuation of the best Soviet traditions. The main advantages of our tanks are reliability, maneuverability and reasonable price. Western tanks have good armor, high firepower, but they are whimsical, overweight and inadequately expensive, ”said the expert.

  • T-14 tank at the Victory Parade
  • © Alexander Wilf / RIA News

Meanwhile, in an interview with RT, the chief editor of Arsenal of the Fatherland magazine, Viktor Murakhovsky, recalled that the Ministry of Defense plans to increase the share of modern weapons and military equipment of tank forces by the end of 2020 to 70%. The future of the tank troops, the expert believes, is connected with the arrival of the T-14. According to the analyst’s forecast, in the future, third-generation vehicles will become the main combat units of tank troops.

As Murakhovsky noted, "in recent years, the level of technical equipment of tank units has increased markedly due to the supply of modernized vehicles."

“In the very near future, the army will receive the T-14. For 1.5-2 years, tanks of the third generation will be in experimental military operation. It will eliminate the "childhood diseases" that always accompany the latest technology. After that, we can expect large-scale serial production of machines on the Armata platform, ”the expert summed up.