PANAGYURISHTE, (BM) – Until today, the main infantry weapon in the fight against enemy tanks is anti-tank missile systems (ATGM), the effectiveness of which is several times higher than the effectiveness of hand-held grenade launchers, which have been used for quite a long time.
Particularly famous in this regard is the famous American portable ATGM of the 3rd generation FGM-148 “Javelin”, which is one of the most advanced systems among its foreign counterparts.
Its uniqueness lies, first of all, in the automatic missile guidance system [according to the “fire and forget” principle], as well as in the variability of flight trajectories depending on the nature of the target [the missile can fly both horizontally and with a bend, while falling into the upper weakly protected part of the tank].
The question arises, how can you protect yourself from such a seemingly perfect weapon? And will the newest Russian T-14 tank on the Armata platform be able to oppose it? This is what we have to talk about!
Almost all ATGMs, despite their impressive characteristics (approx. Flight range and armor penetration), have an Achilles heel in the form of electronics, which can be deceived or blinded by various complexes of optical-electronic countermeasures (COEP) [the same “Shtora-1”, for example].
Almost all 2nd generation ATGMs are semi-automatic and are directed along a laser beam (the operator must keep the sight mark on the tank until the missile hits the target).
The Javelin missile is homing and uses an infrared seeker [IR seeker], which, roughly speaking, flies towards heat. There are no heat traps like a fighter on a tank, which means it is more difficult to deceive such a missile.
On “Armata” for these cases there is a multifunctional active protection complex (KAZ) “Afganit”, but there is one more BUT!
Mortars “Afganit” [these same pipes on the sides of the tower], which shoot their own explosive charge towards a flying rocket, grenade or projectile, work only in a horizontal plane, like almost all KAZs, be it the domestic “Drozd” or the Israeli “Trophy” [the mortars of the “Arena”, despite the fact that they shoot upward, also detonate only ammunition that fly horizontally].
So if the vaunted KAZ “Afghanit” is unable to save the “Armata” from the almost vertically flying Javelin missile into the tower, what then will come to the aid of our tank? Is the newest “Armata” not capable of opposing anything to the American ATGM of the 90s?
Well, of course, there is a miracle remedy – it is not just that KAZ “Afghanit” was named above as multifunctional! In addition to the aforementioned mortars and all kinds of radars / sensors, this complex also includes a system for setting up an aerosol curtain (yes, almost like in Shtora-1).
You probably thought: how can some kind of curtain hinder the rocket? Aerosol is simple – this is when a huge number of small particles are in suspension in the air [or in another gas]. In the case of the aerosol curtain of the tank, the role of small particles is played by the so-called. hollow aluminosilicate microspheres – millions of microscopic hollow metal balls!
It is they who block the entire range of infrared radiation from the Javelin missile’s homing head, which contributes to the missile’s target loss! The tank simply becomes invisible to the ATGM!
The “Armata” has three such smoke systems. Two of them are located on top of the tower and are intended for setting curtains around the tank (the units rotate):
For ammunition similar to the Javelin missile, the Armata has a third smoke system hidden behind the turret. Grenades from it rush up and create a curtain over the tanker.
However, to be objective, let’s assume that Russian countermeasures do not work.
T-14 armor, due to the use of a multilayer protection system, varies from 900 to 1.5 thousand millimeters. If we consider that the jet of a cumulative projectile of the American ATGM burns through up to 1 thousand millimeters, it turns out that if it hits vulnerable points, the tank’s armor will have a through penetration.
The Javelin ATGM missile does not fly in a straight line. First, it gains the required altitude, and then approaches the target at an angle of 40-45 degrees. This ensures maximum penetration.
Suppose the T-14’s defense system did not work and the missile hit right on target. As a result of the hit, the cumulative jet burns a hole in the armor up to 8 centimeters in diameter and up to 9 centimeters deep.
However, the damage received will not be critical for the T-14. The tank’s crew is in a special armored capsule, nothing threatens them. The damage will be significant, but the tank should not be destroyed. In addition, we assumed that the Afghanit active protection system malfunctioned. In reality, the direct hit is probably has not too high possibility.
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