This could happen.
With its ongoing campaign in Syria proving to be a useful live-fire operational test and evaluation process for its latest weapons, it is perhaps not inconceivable that the Kremlin might eventually deploy the T-14 Armata main battle tank to that war-torn country.
The Russians are currently building 20 prototypes of the new tank and could build as many as 100 of the new vehicles for the Kremlin’s elite Taman Division. If the Kremlin did deploy some number of T-14s to Syria for operational evaluations under genuine combat conditions, there is a possibility the machines could face off against Israeli Merkava tanks if Tel Aviv chose to make a ground incursion into Syria.
The latest Israeli Merkava IVm Windbreaker is an excellent tank that is equipped with the Trophy active protection system (APS), Tzayad battlefield management system and advanced survivability features such as modular armor. Moreover, the Merkava IV will likely continue to improve—perhaps incorporating a revolutionary feature in the form of the Elbit Iron Vision helmet-mounted display system, which would allow crew members to “see” the world outside the tank via a series of external cameras without opening the vehicles’ hatches. The system, which provides unprecedented situational awareness, was tested in 2017 but it is not clear when it will be fielded—but it will be soon. Israel is the first to develop such technology, but Russia could eventually field similar hardware.
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