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Russia's tanks in Ukraine have a 'jack-in-the-box' design flaw, the US knew about since Gulf War


Grim Reaper 6
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Russian tanks with their tops blown off are just the latest sign that Russia's invasion of Ukraine isn't going to plan. Hundreds of Russian tanks are thought to have been destroyed since Moscow launched its offensive, with British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace on Monday estimating it had lost as many as 580. But Moscow's problems go beyond the sheer number of tanks it has lost. Experts say battlefield images show Russian tanks are suffering from a defect that Western militaries have known about for decades and refer to as the "jack-in-the-box effect." Moscow, they say, should have seen the problem coming.

The problem relates to how the tanks' ammunition is stored. Unlike modern Western tanks, Russian ones carry multiple shells within their turrets. This makes them highly vulnerable as even an indirect hit can start a chain reaction that explodes their entire ammunition store of up to 40 shells. The resulting shockwave can be enough to blast the tank's turret as high as a two-story building, as can be seen in a recent video on social media. "What we are witnessing with Russian tanks is a design flaw," said Sam Bendett, adviser with the Russia Studies Program at CNA and an adjunct senior fellow with the Center for a New American Security. 

"Any successful hit ... quickly ignites the ammo causing a massive explosion, and the turret is literally blown off." The flaw means the tank's crew -- usually two men in the turret and a third driving -- are sitting ducks, said Nicholas Drummond, a defense industry analyst specializing in land warfare and a former British Army officer. 

"If you don't get out within the first second, you're toast.

https://www.cnas.org/press/in-the-news/russias-tanks-in-ukraine-have-a-jack-in-the-box-design-flaw-and-the-west-has-known-about-it-since-the-gulf-war

 

 

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I've always believed it took a special kind of crazy - or courage - to sit in a moving oven, waiting for the fire to be lit.  Horrible way to die.

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Good thing this flaw is being reported so they can jump on a fix.

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2 hours ago, and then said:

I've always believed it took a special kind of crazy - or courage - to sit in a moving oven, waiting for the fire to be lit.  Horrible way to die.

Depends. Some are almost evaporated, instantly.

Some had time to evacuate. It's not rare for a crew to lose several tanks before their luck runs out.  

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3 hours ago, and then said:

I've always believed it took a special kind of crazy - or courage - to sit in a moving oven, waiting for the fire to be lit.  Horrible way to die.

Your right man, and let me tell from first hand knowledge when a T-72 Russian Tank gets hit and burns it is exactly the oven you spoke about above or actually it’s more like a crematorium. From seeing the after effects I don’t know how they could even find and separate the dead crews from other burned up materials inside the Tank. I have never seen one blow it’s top like the OP says first hand, but I have seen Russian T-72 Tanks with Turret blown off and at least 100 meters or more from the burned out Tank.

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1 hour ago, Helen of Annoy said:

Depends. Some are almost evaporated, instantly.

Some had time to evacuate. It's not rare for a crew to lose several tanks before their luck runs out.  

Your right Helen a burning Tank is just like a crematorium those who don’t get out are just ashes in the end. But, with this design flaw and especially since the US knew about it since the Gulf War in 1990 I am certain the Ukrainians exploit this defect as much as possible. I can’t  believe the Russians are so stupid to build a Tank with ammunition storage in the dam turret. To be honest I have no idea what the survivability of Russian Tank is, but one thing is for certain if this design flaw is exploited the Tank crew has no chance to survive the blast once the ammunition in the turret explodes. 

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3 hours ago, the13bats said:

Good thing this flaw is being reported so they can jump on a fix.

Yup, it’s only been a problem since the 1980s so I am sure they will fix it now Bats like you said!:lol:

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29 minutes ago, Manwon Lender said:

Your right Helen a burning Tank is just like a crematorium those who don’t get out are just ashes in the end. But, with this design flaw and especially since the US knew about it since the Gulf War in 1990 I am certain the Ukrainians exploit this defect as much as possible. I can’t  believe the Russians are so stupid to build a Tank with ammunition storage in the dam turret. To be honest I have no idea what the survivability of Russian Tank is, but one thing is for certain if this design flaw is exploited the Tank crew has no chance to survive the blast once the ammunition in the turret explodes. 

The first thing my tenkist (tank crew member) friend was told when his theoretical part of training started: the average life of a tank in the battlefield is 4 and half minutes. You must use that time. 

Others were told versions with 2 and a half minutes, or 10 minutes, but the point was always the same: you're not there to survive, you're there to inflict as much damage as you can in very limited time.

I always found that amusing, because the terrain in former state wasn't at all suitable for any tank battles a la Kursk. Former Yugoslavia developed M-84 based on T-72, but it was upgraded, you know :rolleyes: Then my country declared independence and developed own modernized versions of M-84, but the most amazing thing is that most of tanks we had were T-55. Seriously. Still they were our army's pride and joy, because you fight with that what you've got, not with that what you wish you had. 

So I completely understand how Ukrainians rejoice each tank they capture, no matter how old and suicidal it is. They need it all and they'll use it all. 

 

Anyway, in the old eastern doctrine (apparently still valid in Russia) - lives are not the priority. You're supposed to die. Your purpose is to inflict damage on the enemy. In that light, ammo in the turret seems completely logical.     

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Helen of Annoy said:

The first thing my tenkist (tank crew member) friend was told when his theoretical part of training started: the average life of a tank in the battlefield is 4 and half minutes. You must use that time. 

Others were told versions with 2 and a half minutes, or 10 minutes, but the point was always the same: you're not there to survive, you're there to inflict as much damage as you can in very limited time.

Well Helen thats very sad and unnecessary, yet unfortunately that’s been Russian philosophy since the revolution in 1917. Today if your a Tanker using Russian Tanks, it’s still obvious that to the Russian leadership people have little importance because of the way they still build their military equipment. What surprises me most is the fact that Russian Soldiers must know how bad their equipment actually is, I mean first hand operators always know their equipment even better than the actual designers of it.

The US M1 Abrams tank is certainly not built that way, crew survivability to the US is more important than the loss of equipment! I have seen M1 tanks that were hit more than once by T-72 Tank Sabot rounds from a little over a 1000 meters and the Russian antitank rounds simply bounced off in the Middle East. I have also seen T-72 tankers jump out of their tanks still running and run like hell abandoning their tanks when this happens because they know return fire is coming and that it will end them! :lol: The M1 Abrams tank doesn’t use the reactive armor the Russian tanks use, that’s old fashioned technology and still being used on the Russian T-90 tanks. The M1 Abrams uses depleted uranium armor which is the hardest and yet still flexible tank armor there currently is.

Three things that make Tanks survivability outstanding are low profile, angled armor with little to no flat areas, and the quality of the armor itself, this is why the M1 Abrams is one of the best battle tanks currently built anywhere in the world, it was also the first tank to be built in this manner with this armor. Now Nations around the world have tried to copy this design to some degree, even the Russians but they refuse to go the extra mile to make their tanks survivability a major concern and this conflict proves it without any doubt.

1 hour ago, Helen of Annoy said:

I always found that amusing, because the terrain in former state wasn't at all suitable for any tank battles a la Kursk. Former Yugoslavia developed M-84 based on T-72, but it was upgraded, you know :rolleyes: Then my country declared independence and developed own modernized versions of M-84, but the most amazing thing is that most of tanks we had were T-55. Seriously. Still they were our army's pride and joy, because you fight with that what you've got, not with that what you wish you had.

That’s a shame any tank built upon a Russian design in my opinion is the death trap you described above. You know up until the late 1960s, the Russians were still using T-55, T-62 and T-64 tanks. During that time frame when the Russians sold tanks to foreign powers, they never sold the T-62 tank model. The T-62 tanks was one if the best tanks they built up until the 1970s so they never exported them, and that’s why they still have so many and are still currently using them in the battle in the Ukraine. I have actually rode around in a T-55 tank at a training center in the United States, that is a cramped uncomfortable tank, but in its day it was certainly an improvement over the T-34 tank which was first built in the 1940s. But, your certainly right Helen because you have to fight with what you have and make the best of it, but even with that said it must crush the confidence of a tanker to know they have nearly zero survivability on a battlefield and this is also very obvious in the Ukraine because it’s why the Russians are abandoning their equipment. 

 

1 hour ago, Helen of Annoy said:

So I completely understand how Ukrainians rejoice each tank they capture, no matter how old and suicidal it is. They need it all and they'll use it all. 

Anyway, in the old eastern doctrine (apparently still valid in Russia) - lives are not the priority. You're supposed to die. Your purpose is to inflict damage on the enemy. In that light, ammo in the turret seems completely logical.     

Yes again your right Helen, live are not a priority for the Russians leadership. But I disagree that ammo in the turret is logical in facts it was and will always be an insane concept, because the turret is a very vulnerable part of most tanks, but hey maybe the Russians like it hot!:lol:

Oh by the way, here is video you may enjoy it’s about the biggest tank battle during the Gulf War. Here the Russian T-72 must fight the M1 Abrams and this battle actually occurred, I was approximately 3 kilometers from the battle when it occurred as the NCOIC of an Infantry Divisions Forward Tactical Operations Center, the engagement was called the Battle of 73 Easting. This will show you how ineffective Russian Armor is against the US M1 Abrams.

 

 

Edited by Manwon Lender
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