Latest Russian T-90M tanks with bizarre-looking ad hoc armor fit
MOSCOW ($1=62.25 Russian Rubles) — Russia continues to carry out “in-situ modernization” of some of its armored vehicles in Ukraine. A T-90M Proryv tank, which is one of the latest versions of the T-90 family, was spotted in Ukraine with a bizarre-looking ad hoc armor fit.
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An elongated, hand-made, and welded grille towers over the tank’s turret. Similar “constructions” have not been unknown since the beginning of the war. Even before the war started in Ukraine, BulgarianMilitary.com wrote that a Russian T-80 tank with similar armor was spotted in Crimea. Now the T-90 has apparently received a “field modernization”.
Assumptions vary. Some believe that this armor should absorb the energy of loitering munitions, including drones. Others think the homemade armor is designed to reduce damage from an FGM-148 Javelin missile attack. This missile attacks from above and its warhead has a sequential detonation. That is looking like a shield or cage armor is supposed to affect the detonation sequence. The cage will most likely not stop the Javelin missile, but the probability of reducing its penetration efficiency is high, thus saving the lives of the soldiers in the tank.
Besides the Javelin, one of the other threats is the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drones that Ukraine has. Bayraktar TB2s performed well in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in 2021. These drones are armed with MAM-L precision munitions, which are also dropped from above. The handmade armor of the T-90M can “absorb the energy” and take the impact of the ammunition that will destroy the armor, but it remains unclear what the consequences will be for the tank’s turret.
However, the Turkish MAM-L ammunition has already shown its destructive effects. BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that Bayraktar TB2 armed with this ammunition destroyed two Raptor high-speed patrol boats of the Russian Navy. This happened off Snake Island. Photos later emerged showing one of the patrol boats split in two.
Ukrainian forces are increasingly using simpler, smaller drones, including quadcopters, armed with adapted mortar rounds and other explosive charges. Such armor may be able to counter more effectively against munitions with less charge in their warheads.
BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that the Russian army received a second delivery of T-90M tanks in recent days. The T-90M Proryv is considered by the Russians to be their most capable main battle tank in service. The T-14 Armata is considered a better tank than the NATO ones, but the T-14 has only developed prototypes.
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