How did Russian tanks learn to defend themselves against American Javelins?

Plot Russian special operation in Donbass and Ukraine

Russian tanks deployed in Ukraine received an ERA system to counter the US-made FGM-148 Javelin systems. New means of defense are capable of detecting and destroying missiles moving at a speed of 360 km/h on approach. These systems led to a serious overrun of anti-tank missiles supplied to Ukraine from the United States and other NATO countries.

The use of the system in combat conditions can be seen on footage from Mariupol, where an anti-tank missile fired at close range was destroyed by the system, while the tank retained its full combat capability, having received minor damage. The operation of the tank protection system is also described, it detects an anti-tank missile moving at a speed of 100 m/s and destroys it at a safe distance for an armored combat vehicle. 

For the first time “Arena”

Last year, it was reported that the Russian T-72B3 and T-90M tanks will receive a new active protection against Javelin and Spike anti-tank missile systems called Arena-M, which is capable of repelling an attack from any direction. This Russian active defense system can destroy almost all homing missiles, including the most advanced anti-tank systems that attack the weakly protected top of the tank. To combat them, the system received a modern radar and maneuverable ammunition to destroy the attacking projectile.

How it works

“Arena-M” works in automatic mode. At the first stage, the radar of the active protection complex detects missile launches towards the combat vehicle and accompanies the target. Having detected a danger, the system fires a protective projectile at a distance of 20 to 50 m, it turns towards it. Ammunition “Arena” are equipped with special impulse correction engines, which allow, if necessary, to change the trajectory in a minimum time. When approaching an attacking ammunition with a combat vehicle, an explosion occurs, and a directed stream of fragments destroys an enemy missile.

Other systems

It was also reported that other systems of dynamic tank protection under the name “Relikt” are being developed in Russia. and “Malachite”. The latter is used on the most modern Russian tank T-14 “Armata”. It is stated that “Malachite” able to protect armored vehicles from an anti-tank missile attack at an approach angle of up to 60 degrees. This makes it possible to repel a missile attacking from above into the most unprotected part of the tank.

In addition, the Afghanit active protection complex is being developed, which can destroy incoming projectiles with protective ammunition and release smoke-metal aerosols that mask the tank from guidance channels ATGM.


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