Russia suffered an embarrassing PR gaffe on Wednesday, as its much hyped 'Super Tank' promptly broke down in its first public appearance.
The supposedly high-tech battle tank ground to a halt during a rehearsal for the May Victory parade in Moscow, in what was an obvious mechanical failure.
The T-14 Armata tan abruptly stopped in Red Square, and after about 20 minutes the driver emerged and raised a red flag, signalling he had problems.
A tow vehicle attempted to rescue the ailing tank but was unsuccessful. The tank later drove away under its own power some time later.
The parade announcer, in typical communist fashion, announced that the breakdown had been planned to demonstrate how to "evacuate weaponry", which drew immense laughter from the crowd of Russians who are understandably deeply suspicious of official government statements.
The tank, which lacks an obvious battle use given the trend in warfare towards smaller, more nimble vehicles, has a remotely controlled cannon and additional protection for its crew.
State propaganda arm RT news says the Armata will "evolve into a fully robotic battle vehicle",
with plans to manufacture about 2,300 Armatas, starting in 2020.
The move failure of the new tank shows that Russia continues to lack the resources to build modern military equipment while its population starves and freezes. Increasingly desperate dictator Vladimir Putin regards rebuilding Russia's military to Cold War levels despite the world having drastically changed since he was a low level KGB officer in the 80s.
The new tank is an example of this misguided ambition as it seems fit for a battlefield of 30 years ago and not today's dynamic urban combat environments. The U.S. military is increasingly using less main battle tanks due to the vehicles being ill-suited to modern combat. The Russians, as usual, remain undeterred.