The most spectacular Russian military failures of all time

There are some projects that the Kremlin would love us to forget.

Russia boat in beach

Photo: Youtube

The Russian military has long been a bogeyman for the West, with Cold War memories lingering even after the fall of the Soviet Union.

However, over the years Russia’s fierce competition has produced a number of duds alongside its successes, as the country has scrambled to stay one step ahead of its geopolitical rivals.

The following is a collection of some of the most ambitious military projects that resulted in spectacular failures.

The Tsar tank has achieved almost mythical status since the unusual vehicle was first tested in 1914. Due to weight miscalculations, its tricycle design often resulted in its back wheel getting stuck and its lack of armor left its operators exposed to artillery fire.

The Tsar tank has achieved almost mythical status since the unusual vehicle was first tested in 1914. Due to weight miscalculations, its tricycle design often resulted in its back wheel getting stuck and its lack of armour left its operators exposed to artillery fire.

Photo: Wiki Commons

But it wasn’t Russia’s only tank failure. The Soviet Union’s T-80 was the first production tank to be equipped with a gas turbine engine when it was introduced in 1976.

But it wasn't Russia's only tank failure. The Soviet Union's T-80 was the first production tank to be equipped with a gas turbine engine when it was introduced in 1976.

Photo: Wiki Commons

However, when it was used during the First Chechen War it was discovered that when the tanks got hit on their side armor, its unused ammunition exploded. The performance was so poor that the Ministry of Defense cancelled all orders for the tanks.

However, when it was used during the First Chechen War it was discovered that when the tanks got hit on their side armour, its unused ammunition exploded. The performance was so poor that the Ministry of Defence cancelled all orders for the tanks.

Photo: Wiki Commons

The Raduga Kh-22 air-to-surface missile was designed as a long-range anti-ship missile to counter the threat of US aircraft carriers and warship battle groups.

The Raduga Kh-22 air-to-surface missile was designed as a long-range anti-ship missile to counter the threat of US aircraft carriers and warship battle groups.

Photo: Wiki Commons

What it wasn’t designed to do was hit friendly territory, but that’s exactly what happened in 2002 when one of the rockets misfired during Russian military exercises and struck the Atyrau region of western Kazakhstan to the great embarrassment of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov (pictured below).

Sergei Ivanov

Photo: Wiki Commons

The Mikoyan Project 1.44 (MiG 1.44) was the Soviet Union’s answer to the US’s development of its fifth-generation Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) in the 1980s.

The Mikoyan Project 1.44 (MiG 1.44) was the Soviet Union's answer to the US's development of its fifth-generation  Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) in the 1980s.

Photo: Wiki Commons

Thirty years later and the status of the MiG 1.44 remains something of a mystery after it performed its first and only flight in February, 2000. The only known prototype was put in long-term storage in the hangar of Gromov Flight Research Institute in 2013.

Russia’s flagship, the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, is the only aircraft carrier of its type to enter service after its sister ship was scrapped due to the fall of the Soviet Union.

Russia's flagship, the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, is the only aircraft carrier of its type to enter service after its sister ship was scrapped due to the fall of the Soviet Union.

Photo: Wiki Commons

Unfortunately, it has been beset with problems over the years. Due to problems with its powerplant, tugs used to have to accompany the ship whenever it is deployed to tow it back to port. In 2009, a short circuit aboard the vessel caused a fire that killed one crew member, before an attempt to refuel the vessel at sea a month later caused a large oil spill off the coast of Ireland.

Admiral Kusnzov

Photo: Wiki Commons

On February 17, 2004, President Vladimir Putin boarded the Arkhangelsk, an Akula-class submarine, to watch the test launch of a newly developed ballistic missile.

Unfortunately, the R-29RMU Sineva missiles failed to launch from the nuclear submarines Novomoskovsk and Karelia because of unspecified technical problems leaving a lot of red faces all around. Putin subsequently ordered his defense minister to conduct an urgent review of the program.

Unfortunately, the R-29RMU Sineva missiles failed to launch from the nuclear submarines Novomoskovsk and Karelia because of unspecified technical problems leaving a lot of red faces all around. Putin subsequently ordered his defence minister to conduct an urgent review of the programme.

Photo: Wiki Commons

In 2013, shocked sunbathers on Russia’s Baltic coast were confronted with a giant military hovercraft bearing down on them. A spokesperson from Russia’s navy said the beach was supposed to have been cleared for the exercise.

https://youtu.be/rGCO6bOOKpo

The satellites of Russia’s “Tundra” program, designed to be early-warning system capable of tracking tactical as well as ballistic missiles, were first scheduled for launch in 2013.

The Soyuz TMA-15 crew in front of their spacecraft

Photo: Wiki Commons

Yet due to technical problems the launch has suffered a series of delays forcing the country to rely on its outdated existing satellites. In February two satellites, which were operational for only a few hours each day, finally went offline leaving Russia unable to detect missiles from space.

The T-14 Armata tank was billed as the “world’s first post-war, third-generation tank.” So you can imagine the disappointment when the new, high-tech piece of military hardware broke down during May’s rehearsal for the Victory Day parade in Moscow and had to be towed with ropes by another vehicle.

File:T-14 in Alabino sideview.jpg

Photo: Wiki Commons

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