Russia vs NATO: Tanks and subs compared as Moscow says it is ‘in war’ with alliance

Donald Trump discusses Russia and nuclear weapons

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Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has claimed NATO is engaged in a proxy war by plying Ukraine with military aid. He told the country’s state media on Tuesday: “NATO, in essence, is engaged in a war with Russia through a proxy and is arming that proxy. War means war.” Moscow’s aggressive rhetoric comes as defence ministers are meeting in Germany for US-led talks about how to bolster Ukraine against Russia’s invasion over the coming weeks.

So far, NATO countries have only supplied military aid such as ammunition to Ukraine, as well as a limited number of tanks and other vehicles in recent weeks.

Members are not obliged to defend the eastern European country because it is not part of the 30-member military alliance.

The bloc, which is propped up by the US, fears that sending troops into Ukraine to fight Russia could spark an all-out global conflict.

As the war in Ukraine rumbles on, Russia and NATO’s military capabilities have been compared to see how they would stack up on the battlefield.

Russia commands an army of around 900,000 active personnel, around 200,000 of which were at the Ukrainian border before the invasion on February 24.

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NATO can call on around 3.4 million troops, 1.4 million of whom are from the US, while 205,000 are from France, and 194,000 from the UK.

In terms of heavy weaponry, Russia possesses 339 intercontinental ballistic missile launchers, while the US has 400.

Russia has thousands more infantry fighting vehicles than the US with 5,180, compared to 2,931.

Russia’s 2,927 main battle tanks also outnumber the 2,645 the US has, while Russia has at least 4,894 pieces of artillery compared to 5,123 in the US.

Russia’s T-14 Armata tanks may be outclassed on the battlefield by the US’ upgraded M1 Abrams.

The two tanks can operate at similar ranges, the Armata at 310 miles, compared to 265 miles for the Abrams.

However, the US machine may have the edge thanks to its modern technology, according to Kris Osborn, managing editor of Warrior Maven.

In an analysis earlier this month, he wrote: “Newer variants of the Abrams tank, for example, will include new laser rangefinder technology, colour cameras, integrated onboard networks, new slip-rings, advanced meteorological sensors, ammunition data links, and laser warning receivers.”

He also added: “The Abrams is being engineered with AI-capable computer processing and a fast-emerging ability to operate nearby drones and function in a manned-unmanned teaming capacity.”

In terms of sea power, Russia boasts 11 ballistic-missile nuclear-powered submarines and 38 conventional subs, compared to the US’ 14 nuclear subs and 51 conventional subs.

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The submarine race between the two dominant powers in this area has ramped up in recent years.

In July, Russia launched its newest submarine, the K-571 Krasnoyarsk, while the US is building at least eight of its Block V Virginia Class subs.

The Krasnoyarsk is armed with three types of cruise missiles, normal torpedoes and anti-submarine missiles, according to a Naval News report from August.

The Russian vessels have capacity for 32 cruise missiles, which may include the Zircon hypersonic anti-ship missile that has been tested in the Arctic.

Russia’s latest subs are ‘Yasen-M’ class types and are considered to be similarly powerful to their western equivalents.

The new US subs that are in development are more similar to the ‘Yasen-M’ vessels than previous models.

These updated Virgina models are able to carry 66 weapons aboard, which marks a 76 percent increase on their weapons carrying capacity.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Krasnoyarsks have more total slots, with around 72 torpedo-sized weapon spaces.

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