Suhkoi Su-57

Anatomy of War: Return of the Tank Destroyer and Death of the Su-57

Ever since the closing days of WWII, nations have eschewed the tank destroyer concept in favor of deploying fleets of main battle tanks that are designed to meet most military requirements on the modern battlefield. It was felt that the tank destroyer concept could just as easily be managed by battle tanks equipped with traversable turrets, thereby making them more versatile and less cumbersome to operate. And with the introduction of low-flying attack helicopters, the need for a dedicated tank destroyer was dubious at best.

Russia, however, sees things differently and plans to soon deploy a purpose-built tank hunter designed from the ground up to deal with two of the most feared pieces of armor in the western inventory – the M1 Abrams and Leopard 2 tanks. According to Defence Blog, “Since 2013, the KBP Instrument Design Bureau is developing a new long-range anti-tank missile system called the Kornet-D1. The Russian tank hunter is based on tracked chassis of the BMD-4M airborne combat vehicle.

Is expected that in 2018 the Russian Airborne Troops to receive first Kornet-D1 tank hunter to increase their ability to combat modern tanks on the battlefield.

The new tank hunter will able to destroy advanced and modern tanks fitted with explosive reactive armour, light-armoured vehicles, and fortifications. It is a simple and low-cost anti-tank missile system which has a range a range of up to 10 km.

Kornet-D1 is a laser-beam-riding system with a ‘fire-and-forget’ (*according to a press release of the KBP Instrument Design Bureau)capability that can penetrate explosive reactive armour and then penetrate 1,100-1,300 mm of conventional armour.”

Recently, Russia deployed their unmanned drone tank, the Uran-9, to Syria, to gauge its effectiveness in close quarter battles. The results were disappointing at best, oftentimes breaking down or maneuvering out-of-range of its handler, and many defense experts believe the vehicle was sent packing and is now undergoing further field testing before it can be deployed as a feasible weapons system.

In other news, Russia confirmed today that their Suhkoi Su-57 fighter — billed as a fifth-generation stealth fighter intended to take on the F-22 and F-35 — will not enter mass production as originally planned. Incorporating cutting edge radar technology that could be retrofitted onto other existing aircraft, military analysts believe that the Su-57 was a stealth fighter in name only, unable to overcome several design flaws to make it a match for either the F-22 or F-35. Twelve aircraft have been produced to date, and despite undergoing testing over the skies of Syria earlier this year, it never saw combat against a likely air-to-air opponent. India was supposed to accept the fighter into their own inventory but declined to do so recently and refused to pay for further testing and aircraft procurement. Without an export market and unable to compete with other fifth generation aircraft, the Su-57 was essentially doomed leaving Russia in the lurch and without an aircraft capable of staying apace with the West.

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