Russia’s T-14 Armata Tanks will be capable of operating in temperatures as low as -50 degrees Celsius with the installation of mobile power stations that ensure the immediate and smooth engine starts even in extremely cold weather.
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Russian manufacturer Renova has come out with a technology that enables supercapacitors to store a large quantity of electricity, which can be used to power the tank even before the engine starts, similar to the “start-stop” technology used in cars like the Toyota Prius.
Renova expert Mikhail Lifshits told Russian newspaper Izvestia, “We conducted a full-scale testing of a supercapacitor for the cold start of a tank’s diesel engine.”
“The vehicle stood for several days in the cold. Its batteries have completely lost capacity. Nevertheless, using a mobile power station on a supercapacitor…we were able to run a cold motor several times in a row.”
However, contrary to the claims by Sputnik News, the technology still doesn’t make the tanks capable of functioning on Mars. The news portal reported that ‘Magic Starter: Armata Engines Make It Fit for Martian Temperature’.
With an atmosphere too thin to retain heat, the average temperature on Mars is -80 degrees Fahrenheit, and winter temperatures in the polar regions can dip as low as -195 degrees. Oymyakon, the Siberian town, that’s rated as the coldest permanently inhabited town on earth, typically has winter temperatures of -60 degrees.
Michael Peck’s article in The National Interest, stated that “an internal-combustion engine would also be choking for oxygen in the thin Martian atmosphere. And landing a fifty-ton tank on Mars would be challenging”.
According to The National Interest, the technology allows the tank to carry smaller batteries, which frees up space to carry more fuel and ammunition, and wonders if the US has similar technology.
However, the US Army’s Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center and Honeywell, the company that makes the AGT1500 gas-turbine engine on the M1 Abrams, has not made any comments as yet, indicating that the US may not be there yet.
The T-14 Armata is a new generation main battle tank developed by Russian company Uralvagonzavod (UVZ); it was officially unveiled for the first time during the Moscow Victory Day Parade in May 2015.