Friday, September 22, 2017

Russia Says Its Armata T-14 Tank Can Fight on Mars

Russia's new T-14 Armata is one of the most advanced tanks in the world. So advanced, in fact, that Western nations worry that older tanks like America's M-1 Abrams may be rendered obsolete.

But the T-14 is not only extraordinary, it’s interplanetary. The Armata tank can operate on Mars, according to Russian media.

The technology allows the tank to carry smaller batteries, which frees up space to carry more fuel and ammunition. Does the United States have similar technology? The U.S. Army’s Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center didn’t respond to queries. Honeywell, the company that makes the AGT1500 gas-turbine engine on the M1 Abrams, refused to discuss its cold-weather start capabilities.

Yet a Russian breakthrough in cold-starting tanks would not be particularly surprising. If any nation knows about operating tanks in freezing weather, it’s Russia. The Nazis were amazed at the Russian knack for keeping their vehicles running in the most brutal blizzards.

An internal-combustion engine would also be choking for oxygen in the thin Martian atmosphere. And in any event, landing a fifty-ton tank on Mars would be challenging: NASA’s 1976 Viking lander weighed only 1,300 pounds, while the plucky little Mars rover Opportunity—a vehicle that has traveled around Mars for thirteen years—weighs about 400 pounds.
Russia Says Its Armata T-14 Tank Can Fight on Mars Rating: 4.5 Posted by: Minato Namikaze