Ukraine: Artillery destroys Russian rocket launchers
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The new armoured vehicle, the Panther tank, has been developed by defence company Rheinmetall. The tank has more firepower than its predecessor, the Leopard, which was thought to be the world’s most powerful battle tank. The Panther is also far more mobile than the Leopard.
Weighing in at just 59 tonnes, the Panther is lighter and can travel around 500 kilometres.
The updated armoured vehicle is thought to be able to compete with Putin’s Armata tank.
The calibre of the new tank – the internal diameter of the gun barrel – is larger than the Armata.
The Armata has a calibre of 125 millimetres, while the Panther sits at 130 millimetres.
According to Rheinmetall, the increased calibre of the tank’s gun should lead to a 50 percent increase in effectiveness.
The Armata tank is said to have encountered issues in recent months as a result of a lack of special materials and parts.
Military expert Gustav Gressel of the European Council on Foreign Relations told Der Spiegel these subcomponents of the tank would have typically been supplied by the West.
According to Business Insider, Eastern European countries have already expressed interest in the tank.
Meanwhile, Rheinmetall boss Armin Papperger is thought to be keen to supply the tanks to the German armed forces, which has a 100-billion-euro budget.
The threat to Putin’s armed forces comes as the Russian leader appears to be taking heavy losses in the war in Ukraine.
Since the invasion of Ukraine began on February 24 2022, a total of 25,100 Russian soldiers have been killed, according to Ukrainian estimates.
The UK Ministry of Defence’s more conservative estimate puts Russian casualties at at least 15,000.
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This is the same number of soldiers that were killed in the Afghanistan war, which lasted for nine years.
Chemical weapons expert Hamish de Bretton-Gordon previously claimed the Russian army is now “down to low stocks of weapons” as a result of sanctions on Russia.
He told Express.co.uk: “The challenge is going to be that the most sophisticated weaponry requires some pretty high tech and high tech is sanctioned.
“I think it’s very interesting because apart from the early days of the war, we haven’t seen many high-tech [weapons].
“The precision strike missiles, the cruise missiles, all this – they’re getting fewer and far between.
“I think on this sophisticated weaponry, he’s probably down to low stocks.
“He will have a lot of artillery shells and a lot of tank shells, but those tanks and artillery are just being decimated by the Ukrainians.
“He can have as many tank shells as he likes but if he’s got no tanks to fire them that’s a fat lot of good.”
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