Was new Russian battle tank made for Arctic?

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New Russian Armata tank is driven during the Victory Parade marking the 70th anniversary of the defeat of the Nazis in World War II, in Red Square, Moscow, Russia, Saturday, May 9, 2015. (Ivan Sekretarev/AP)
New Russian Armata tank is driven during the Victory Parade marking the 70th anniversary of the defeat of the Nazis in World War II, in Red Square, Moscow, Russia, Saturday, May 9, 2015. (Ivan Sekretarev/AP)
Russia’s new battle tank is designed for operations in extremely low temperatures. It could be based in the Kola Peninsula, near the borders to Norway and Finland.

Talks about Armata, the first new battle tank prototype developed in post-Soviet Russia, reach new heights as a fleet of the armoured vehicle rolled down Red Square in this year’s 9th May parade.

According to military experts, the new vehicle is specially designed to maintain its specifications in extremely cold temperatures. That indicates that Moscow plans to deploy them in the Arctic, Radio Free Europe reports.

If that appears to be the case, the Kola Peninsula will be the place. Murmansk Oblast is the stronghold of the Northern Fleet and has a wide range of military installations and infrastructure. Furthermore it is the only Russian Arctic region with a land connection with neighboring countries, including NATO member Norway.

The Kola Peninsula also houses the new Russian Arctic brigade, units based in Alakurtti and the Pechenga Rayon and subordinated the Northern Fleet. The region shares 196 km of border with Norway and close to 500 km with Finland

25 tanks completed, 100 more to follow

During the 9th May parade, a total of 25 Armatas were displayed, all of which will be sent to regional units in the course of this year, Oleg Bochkarov, Deputy Head of Russia’s Military-Industrial Commission, says. “Another 100 vehicles of the kind will soon follow”, he adds to Vzglyad.ru.

The Armata will be the prototype of Russia’s next generation heavy military tracked tank. It will be produced in a series of different purpose vehicles, among them a battle tank, heavy infantry fighting vehicle, infantry fighting vehicle and personnel carrier.

In the 9th May parade the Armed Forces displayed two versions of the vehicle; the battle tank-version and the personnel carrier.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  Indigenous leaders warn international community, continued tensions with Russia will harm Arctic, Eye on the Arctic

Denmark:  Nordics to step up security cooperation on perceived Russian threat, Yle News

Finland:  16 Finnish jets join NATO-dominated exercise over Arctic, Yle News

Norway: Norway must ramp up military in response to Russia: report, Barents Observer

Russia: Russian governor praises role of Barents Cooperation, Barents Observer

Sweden: Security expert: “Russia seeks to block Baltic energy independence”, Radio Sweden

United States: U.S. Arctic rep: Russia’s Arctic buildup not necessarily martial, Alaska Public Radio Network

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Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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