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SURPRISE: Russia's T-14 Armata Tank Is Already in Serial Production

Production start left unaffected by recent defense cuts

MORE: Military

The Wall Street Journal just did what must be a fascinating and revealing interview with one of the key people in Russia's defense industry and then promptly put it behind a paywall  thus it's only people who hold a subscription to that usually horrible outpost of neoconism that will ever get to read the entirety what the chief of Russia state-owned defense industry giant Rostec told them.

Fortunately we can get the key bits from elsewhere:

While Moscow displayed early developmental models of the new the combat vehicles in public during the 2015 Victory Day parade, most Western analysts had believed that the Armata family was still in its developmental stages. However, according to a top Russian defense industry executive, the Armata family is already in serial production.

Asked recently if the Armata main battle tank would be among the projects that the Kremlin would put on hold as Moscow reduces its defense outlays as oil revenues suffer, Sergei Chemezov, chief executive officer of the Rostec state corporation, told the Wall Street Journal that only new developmental efforts would be halted. “That’s already in serial production,” Chemezov said, when asked specifically about the Armata.

According to Chemezov, the Kremlin has decided that projects that are well into their development will be continued. “You can’t quit when you’re halfway there,” Chemezov told the Journal. “Money has already been invested, and if we stop without finishing, then that will be lost money. Everything that has been started will be finished, and money will be allocated to it.”

Once again "Western analysts" believe one thing about Russia and reality turns out to be something else. Defense cuts or not the world's first tank boasting an unmanned, remotely controlled turret is arriving in series. Germany, France better speed up that answer of theirs to what is the most technologically advanced, albeit as of yet untested, tank in the world.

That said it's not all rosy for the Russian army either. Reuters which also read the interview says Rostec chief revealed the volume of orders for new equipment has already been reduced 10%:

"There will be a reduction. There already is one," Chemezov said. "I think government defence orders will be reduced by about 10 percent." 

Putin insisted last week that the new 5% reduction of defense budget would not affect procurement, but it seems he may have decided that because procurement had already taken a hit in preceding months.

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