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New Russian Turtle Tank Equipped with Jamming System Spotted in Ukraine

The transformation of Russian T-72 tanks into "turtle tanks" with anti-drone shells has progressed beyond the stage of a single prototype. As we reported on Army Recognition on April 9, 2024, the emergence of a Turtle Tank has been noted. An increasing number of these awkwardly designed modified tanks have been deployed, as we can see in these new images published on social networks on 16 April 2024.
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A second Russian Turtle Tank was spotted in Ukraine with a jamming system. (Picture source: Open Source Information)

On 16 April 2024, a Ukrainian drone video showed what appeared to be a typical Russian tank equipped with a shell resembling a shed roof. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to determine the exact nature of this tank; previously, it was a T-72 that had been modified, and it is assumed the same model has been modified here, as the T-72 is the most common tank in the Russian army. This new turtle tank was reportedly active near Krasnohorivka in the Donetsk Oblast, engaging Ukrainian forces.

A new feature of the latest turtle tank model is the inclusion of radio jammers, designed to block the signals controlling explosive-laden commercial drones used by Ukraine. These drones pose a significant threat, capable of damaging infantry and armored vehicles. The interest in protecting against drones is clear, but it is evident that a lot of capability is lost due to this added armor.

Ukrainian forces have shown high interest in these jammers, as demonstrated by the capture and examination of a jammer-equipped T-72 by Ukraine's 12th Azov Brigade. This tank had been immobilized near Terny earlier in the month.

Despite these improvements, turtle tanks have inherent weaknesses. Their metal shells limit turret mobility and create gaps that skilled drone operators can exploit. Moreover, the effectiveness of Russian electronic warfare technology, including the jammers, has been inconsistent and often criticized for its poor quality. We have previously explained the various technical features lost due to these "improvements" such as smoke grenade launchers, amphibious capabilities, mounted turrets, etc.

Furthermore, the visibility of these armored tanks on the battlefield has made them targets for Ukrainian forces. After the appearance of the first of these tanks near Krasnohorivka, it was quickly located and destroyed by Ukrainian artillery while it was hidden in a hangar, along with other vehicles.

The continued use of these modified tanks underscores the ongoing challenges and dangers posed by UAV strikes. However, it is clear that with these turtle tanks, the Russians have fallen into a state of drone paranoia, seeking protection at all costs, even at the expense of sacrificing interesting features of their tanks. It is difficult to predict the future of such "improvements," although they greatly reduce the capabilities of Russian tanks, they have a significant impact on the morale of Russian forces, who undoubtedly feel safer in their turtle tanks.

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A video footage of this new Russian Turtle Tank. (Picture source: Open Source Information)


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