MOSCOW, ($1=75.48 Russian Rubles) – Tensions between Russia and Ukraine are not easing, on the contrary – the world and US intelligence expect Russia to enter Ukraine in early 2022. The reasons for such suspicions are the gathering of numerous troops around the Belarusian and Ukrainian borders.
- Ukraine sent Bayraktar TB2 on reconnaissance over Luhansk
- US discusses fast delivery to Ukraine of Mi-17, Stinger, and Javelin MANPADS
- Ukraine confiscated 500t of Russian weapons for nearly $38M
In the last 24 hours, reports have arrived that at least one Russian tank has entered Ukraine [occupied Crimea – ed]. It is a T-80, which was with improvised anti-drone armor. Video and photos of this statement are being spread in the media.
So far, there is no information on what exactly this Russian T-80 tank is doing in the occupied Crimea, but apparently, more attention is being paid to the improvised anti-drone armor. This armor is nothing new, especially for Russian tank brigades. It is increasingly seen on armored vehicles, and their main purpose is to protect the tank from being hit by an unmanned munition or drone.
Experts say the installation of such makeshift armor has become more frequent due to last year’s Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the lessons learned from both warring parties [Azerbaijan and Armenia] and Russia as a “front-line” observer.
What are makeshift anti-drone bumpers? These are metal structures, lattice or cage type, rough workmanship, and similar to the lamella bumper. It is noteworthy that their installation aims to “protect” the tank from hitting from above. Traditionally, tank armor tries to protect the tank from the sides or front. To be mounted to protect the armored vehicle from being hit from above means that the armor can be designed for both kamikaze drones and Javelin anti-tank missile systems.
Some experts believe that such a design could affect Javelin’s astonishing power by reducing the effectiveness of his tandem warhead. We know that Javelin’s tandem warhead is aimed at striking explosive jet armor. I.e. Javelin’s missile will hit the tank, but the armor reduces the likelihood that the tank’s crew will be killed.
The improvised Russian anti-drone cage has no standardization. However, this implies that such armor can be tested in a future conflict and follow its improvement, after processing the data and the final results of “its possible protection”.
Ukraine has several drones, two of which make an impression: Bayraktar TB2, which is Turkish-made and has done a lot of damage to Russian weapons in Armenia during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and Israeli kamikaze drone Harop. But another reason for such makeshift armor is the fact that Ukrainian forces are increasingly using smaller drones, including quadcopters armed with adapted mortars and other explosive payloads, to attack Russian-backed forces in the east.
Another fact is impressive. In addition to the anti-drone armor, the tank has a similar resemblance to explosive missile armor, which, however, resembles small sandbags and is connected to the improvised anti-drone armor. Experts say that in this way this configuration would provide an additional degree of protection against projectiles approaching from the side.
Experts say that this structure was assembled quickly. Even a large part of it is not painted, but according to some, it will be effective anti-drone protection, especially to save the life of the crew.
The appearance of these cells does not necessarily mean preparation for an upcoming military operation, but maybe the result of an urgent directive calling for new solutions to counter what is a growing and asymmetric threat.
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