Russian T-14 tanks drive during rehearsal for the Victory Day parade in Moscow. (Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin)
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.
The technology sounds like a lethal Rube Goldberg machine: an electrical circuit generates high voltage pulses, that ignites a plasma cartridge that then triggers explosives to propel projectiles at extreme velocity. But this technology, referred to as an Electro-Thermal Chemical (ETC) gun, might become a silver bullet for NATO when it comes to penetrating the next generation of advanced Russian tanks.
Moscow will build 100 T-14 Armata main battle tanks by 2020 according to a senior Russian defense official, putting to rest the fanciful notion that the Kremlin would build a fleet of 2,300 of fearsome new machines by that time.