Friday, February 1, 2013

Russian tanks in the cold Arctic

Kourganmachzavod, the leading manufacturer of Russian armored infantry combat (VBCI), embarked on the construction of a new vehicle: Rytsar (which means knight in Russian). It is intended for the polar regions. Early drafts show a vehicle quite unusual and nothing like the armored vehicles that were built in Russia before.

The Rytsar will be equipped, in addition to a conventional diesel engine, a gas turbine engine. These engines start easier and are more reliable in conditions similar to those of polar climate. Russia is the second country in the world, after the United States, to master the development and construction of turbine armored vehicles.

More importantly, the Rytsar be equipped with an electromechanical transmission and will consist of a body divided into two parts. It is obvious that the goal here is to ensure sufficient space for the installation of heavy weaponry, but also for the infantry and a large fuel reserve.

The VBCI Rytsar is still at an early stage of its development, which has continued in parallel with that of the meanest VBCI Kourganets-25 (Kourganets is the name we give to the people of Kurgan). But why are there two vehicles at the same time study? It is clear that the VBCI Rytsar is extremely complex and that its production can not be launched later this decade. The development of this vehicle is currently funded through the strengthening of the Russian military presence in the Arctic, and saw his little advanced stage of development, does not require too many resources. However, Russia has already taken costly measures to strengthen its military presence in the Arctic Circle.

The Russian defense minister plans to review the proposed closure of the aerodrome polar military Tiksi.Moreover, the aerodrome will be upgraded by 2015. In 2013, a group of interceptor aircraft MiG-31 should be installed on the polar archipelago of Novaya Zemlya. According projects already announced by the Russian authorities, special troops will be created in the Arctic to defend Russia's interests in the region.New icebreakers, nuclear or not, and infrastructure are being built and the number of border guards deployed in the region are increasing.

Disagreements about the future of the region among countries vying Arctic resources worsen. Russia claims to be an important part of the Arctic continental shelf and requires a priority right to the use of these resources. In this area, it faces some non-regional countries, such as China, which are in favor of access to resources in the region for all countries of the world. Major military maneuvers and techniques that engages Russia to defend its Arctic borders clearly demonstrate that it has no intention of backing down in its battle for resources from the North Pole.

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