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Russia is installing toilets in the wildly expensive T-14 Armata battle tanks it can't afford
It's hard to wage war when nature calls, so Russia is installing toilets in its troubled third-generation T-14 main battle tanks, Russian state media revealed Thursday.
The days of relieving themselves in fuel and ammo cans or hopping out to dig single-use latrines are apparently over for Russia's tank crews, at least those manning the T-14 Armata tanks, Ilya Baranov, a senior official at the Ural Design Bureau of Transport Machine-Building in Yekaterinburg, told TASS News Agency.
"A major hassle for [tank crews] is that they cannot relieve their natural functions," Baranov explained, "That is, water and field rations are available in the tank, but all the other conveniences are, unfortunately, absent."
The Armata has solved this problem. "This tank provides this possibility for a crew to perform lengthy combat missions" without having to stop, he said.
The T-14, presented as a devastating supertank featuring upgraded armor, armaments, and engine technology, made its public debut at the 2015 Moscow Victory Day Parade, where one embarrassingly broke down and had to be towed away during rehearsal.
Russia had initially intended to mass produce and field as many as 2,300 Armatas by 2025, but, as has been previously reported, that number has been reduced to no more than 100, The War Zone reported last year. Russia has less than two dozen prototypes available for testing.
State trials for the T-14 are expected to begin this year, and the first Armatas will be delivered to the 1st Guards Tank Regiment of 2nd Guards Tamanskaya Motor Rifle Division, according to The Diplomat.
As early as 2015, there were signs that the cost of this state-of-the-art tank, which includes an unmanned turret and other expensive features, was way over budget. The actual cost of the Armata was estimated to be 2.45 times the figure in the State Armaments Program for 2020.
The T-14 program never took off like the Russians hoped. Instead of buying more Armatas, Russia has opted to upgrade and improve its older T-72, T-80, and T-90 tanks, capable armor but nothing like what Russia promised for the Armatas.
The decision to invest elsewhere came with excuses similar to those made for the country's problematic Su-57 fifth-generation stealth fighter, the mass production of which has been put off in exchange for improvements to the country's fourth-generation fighters.
"These models are quite expensive in relation to existing ones," Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said of the T-14 tanks last July. "Why flood all the armed forces with the Armata tanks?" Repeated budget cuts simply put mass production of the much touted supertank out of reach.
But even with the tanks being over budget, it appears that Russia considers onboard lavatories a priority for the next-generation battle tanks.
Read more from Business Insider:
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- Russia scrambled another fighter to intercept a U.S. spy plane over the Baltic Sea
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Police arrest suspected terrorist for 1985 hijacking in which Navy diver Robert D. Stethem was murdered
ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police have arrested a 65-year-old Lebanese man suspected of involvement in the 1985 hijacking of a Trans World Airlines (TWA) plane in which a U.S. navy diver was killed.
A Greek police official said on Saturday the suspect had disembarked from a cruise ship on the island of Mykonos on Thursday and that his name came up as being wanted by German authorities.
The last time the world saw Marine veteran Austin Tice, he had been taken prisoner by armed men. It was unclear whether his captors were jihadists or allies of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad who were disguised as Islamic radicals.
Blindfolded and nearly out of breath, Tice spoke in Arabic before breaking into English:"Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus."
That was from a video posted on YouTube on Sept. 26, 2012, several weeks after Tice went missing near Damascus, Syria, while working as a freelance journalist for McClatchy and the Washington Post.
Now that Tice has been held in captivity for more than seven years, reporters who have regular access to President Donald Trump need to start asking him how he is going to bring Tice home.
SAN DIEGO — John Timothy Earnest didn't hide his smirks as he sat in a San Diego courtroom on Thursday, watching surveillance video of Lori Gilbert-Kaye being shot down inside the lobby of a Poway synagogue.
Earnest also smiled as a synagogue congregant testified about running toward the shooter, screaming "I'm going to kill you!" and seeing the gunman "with a look of astonishment or fear" turn and run.
Earnest, 20, is facing one count of murder and three counts of attempted murder in the shootings at Chabad of Poway on April 27. He also faces an arson charge related to an Escondido mosque fire in March, when several people who were sleeping inside escaped unharmed.
Sometimes a joke just doesn't work.
For example, the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service tweeted and subsequently deleted a Gilbert Gottfried-esque misfire about the "Storm Area 51" movement.
On Friday DVIDSHUB tweeted a picture of a B-2 bomber on the flight line with a formation of airmen in front of it along with the caption: "The last thing #Millenials will see if they attempt the #area51raid today."
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey is ready to act on its southern border with Syria, President Tayyip Erdogan said, after warning that it could take unilateral steps if the U.S. does not establish a "safe zone" in northeast Syria this month.
"Our preparations along our borders are complete," Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul on Saturday before departing to attend a U.N. General Assembly meeting.