Russian 'Turtle' Tanks

Dave Ward

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Seen quite a few grainy videos of these things - but no clear pictures. It almost looks like each 'shell' is cobbled together from whatever is available, so no standard pattern. There are I believe APCs, as well as tanks. Whilst I understand the use of stand-off armour to combat kamikaze drones, they must make visibility from inside very difficult - Anyone found any more pictures and info?
Dave
As soon as I posted, I found this..............
turtletank.jpg
 

Tim Marlow

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Must admit I’m a bit confused by the need for this approach. The tank is designed to defeat ballistic rounds travelling at a far greater velocity than a drone strike, or to effectively defend against hollow charge or shaped type charges, so why is a kamikaze drone so effective? Is it because of the accuracy, or can they carry a far greater payload than an AT round?
 

wasdale32

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Must admit I’m a bit confused by the need for this approach. The tank is designed to defeat ballistic rounds travelling at a far greater velocity than a drone strike, or to effectively defend against hollow charge or shaped type charges, so why is a kamikaze drone so effective? Is it because of the accuracy, or can they carry a far greater payload than an AT round?
The most vulnerable area of a tank is the upper surface of the hull, particularly over the engine compartment. A relatively low yield high explosive hitting the engine deck can result in a mobility kill or even a hard kill if the drone hits an open hatch.
 

Tim Marlow

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The most vulnerable area of a tank is the upper surface of the hull, particularly over the engine compartment. A relatively low yield high explosive hitting the engine deck can result in a mobility kill or even a hard kill if the drone hits an open hatch.
I get that, but why cover the whole tank? Surely spaced armour or some sort of cover over just the vulnerable areas would suffice? That looks like they’ve built a shed over the whole vehicle?? I’m obviously missing something logical here? Is it to do with the variable trajectory of the drone itself?
 

A_J_Rimmer

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Anti Drone? (Which yes I know it is) or some strange form of shed camouflage? ''Is it a tank? nah it's a shed...''

Didn't we try that in WWII?

1464686171_1.-variant-maskirovki-m-4-sherman-pod-gruzovik.jpg
 

Jakko

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why is a kamikaze drone so effective? Is it because of the accuracy, or can they carry a far greater payload than an AT round?
AFAIK, it’s partly because they drop an explosive charge on the thin roof armour, and partly because drones dropping explosives are often accurate enough to do so into an open hatch, in which case the vehicle might as well be unarmoured:


Oddly, though, there don’t seem to be any Russian soldiers around despite this video showing a tank that was clearly being recovered, but still, it illustrates drones can drop simple explosives into open hatches.

Top-attack ATGMs like late-model TOW and Javelin cause similar problems. Here is a video of an American test of a TOW missile with top-attack warhead (that would be a TOW-2B, off the top of my head) against a T-72:


You can see the missile fly a few metres above the tank when it detonates. This fires a charge downward into the roof armour, and … well … the result speaks for itself. Javelin is even worse, that dives headlong down into the tank, as you can see in this test firing:


The point of these “cope cages” (the mesh roofs) and “turtle tanks” (the ones that look like mobile sheds) is almost certainly to try and detonate warheads before they reach the actual tank. It proved totally ineffective against top-attack missiles, because those probably strike at such velocity that they punch through before detonating against the main armour anyway. The charges dropped by drones, though, should be easy enough to catch and detonate relatively safely — at the very least, on the outside of the vehicle. People derided the Russian cope cages two years ago, but oddly, nobody seems to when the Israelis quickly put them onto their vehicles as well in Gaza:

Swords-of-Iron_-_Merkava_Mk_4M_01.jpg


AFAIK, the “turtle tanks” seem to be limited mostly to tanks used as artillery, mine-clearing, etc. where turret rotation isn’t all that important, but keeping drone attacks off the main armour, is.
 

Steve-the-Duck

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I thought one of the points of them was defeating forms of automatic target recognition? Autonomous drones don't 'recognise' a square box, mobile or not, as a tank? Same as when the Russians put tyres over the wings of, 'Bears' I think, a couple of months back not as armour, as news services said, but to say 'not a 'plane Mr Drone.'
 

Dave Ward

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I found files for 3D printing the 'shed/shell' ...........................
turtle 01.jpgturtle 02.jpg

It seems that they can be fitted to T-62, T-72 & T-80 tanks - I'll have to look in the stash to see what I've got - doesn't have to be very detailed, as the shell will cover up 90% of the upper hull & turret!
Dave
 

Tim Marlow

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AFAIK, it’s partly because they drop an explosive charge on the thin roof armour, and partly because drones dropping explosives are often accurate enough to do so into an open hatch, in which case the vehicle might as well be unarmoured:


Oddly, though, there don’t seem to be any Russian soldiers around despite this video showing a tank that was clearly being recovered, but still, it illustrates drones can drop simple explosives into open hatches.

Top-attack ATGMs like late-model TOW and Javelin cause similar problems. Here is a video of an American test of a TOW missile with top-attack warhead (that would be a TOW-2B, off the top of my head) against a T-72:


You can see the missile fly a few metres above the tank when it detonates. This fires a charge downward into the roof armour, and … well … the result speaks for itself. Javelin is even worse, that dives headlong down into the tank, as you can see in this test firing:


The point of these “cope cages” (the mesh roofs) and “turtle tanks” (the ones that look like mobile sheds) is almost certainly to try and detonate warheads before they reach the actual tank. It proved totally ineffective against top-attack missiles, because those probably strike at such velocity that they punch through before detonating against the main armour anyway. The charges dropped by drones, though, should be easy enough to catch and detonate relatively safely — at the very least, on the outside of the vehicle. People derided the Russian cope cages two years ago, but oddly, nobody seems to when the Israelis quickly put them onto their vehicles as well in Gaza:

Swords-of-Iron_-_Merkava_Mk_4M_01.jpg


AFAIK, the “turtle tanks” seem to be limited mostly to tanks used as artillery, mine-clearing, etc. where turret rotation isn’t all that important, but keeping drone attacks off the main armour, is.
The Israeli example is more what I would have envisaged Jakko. Must be a fair bit of redesign work going on in tank workshops the world over by now though. First Person view Drones have certainly changed the face of warfare.
 

Jakko

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I found files for 3D printing the 'shed/shell' ...........................
I think you would be better off building it from some plastic card and profiles. I mean, the real things are — except for using steel instead of plastic :smiling3:
 

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Realistically, in some of these examples the ability of the vehicle's crew to implement all-round surveillance is severely compromised - the crew must pray their dedicated infantry protection is more than superb!
Steve
 

AlanG

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Realistically, in some of these examples the ability of the vehicle's crew to implement all-round surveillance is severely compromised - the crew must pray their dedicated infantry protection is more than superb!
Steve

Also realistically it stop the filthy scumbags from escaping when their tank is hit. A win win situation
 

Waspie

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Anti Drone? (Which yes I know it is) or some strange form of shed camouflage? ''Is it a tank? nah it's a shed...''

Didn't we try that in WWII?

1464686171_1.-variant-maskirovki-m-4-sherman-pod-gruzovik.jpg
Funny you should mention WW2, I was watching a program the other day and it showed a couple of our (UK), tanks with a cover over the top to make it look like a heavy lorry. That was more to do with camo than anything else.
 

A_J_Rimmer

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Funny you should mention WW2, I was watching a program the other day and it showed a couple of our (UK), tanks with a cover over the top to make it look like a heavy lorry. That was more to do with camo than anything else.

I've seen that - they used it out in the North Africa if I recall.
 

Jakko

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tanks with a cover over the top to make it look like a heavy lorry. That was more to do with camo than anything else.
That was known as Sunshade, and as Arnold says, was commonly done in North Africa because you can’t really hide anything from aircraft in the desert there, so they decided to change the appearance of tanks instead. Here’s a Crusader:

Crusader with Sunshade.jpeg

Sherman VC tanks (“Fireflies”, but that’s an inaccurate name) were also intended to have this, under the code name Houseboat, and early conversions have fittings along the hull sides for fitting it. Several kits include those parts because they were based on the one in Bovington, but in service most didn’t, and the actual camouflage was never used in the field anyway. Compare:

Bovington Sherman VC.jpgSherman_Firefly_Vc_‘T232568’_“Little_John”_(49902605811).jpeg

The first one is Bovngton’s, and it has those little things on the hull sides as well as a similar thing on the front plate outboard of the lifting eye. The second tank doesn’t have those fittings.
 

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Must admit I’m a bit confused by the need for this approach. The tank is designed to defeat ballistic rounds travelling at a far greater velocity than a drone strike, or to effectively defend against hollow charge or shaped type charges, so why is a kamikaze drone so effective? Is it because of the accuracy, or can they carry a far greater payload than an AT round?
The IDF have proven that this method does not defeat the guided drones, they (IDF) are getting so good they just fly in the 'front door' and the resulting explosion is driven downwards by the covering metal and into any open hatches - result is internal explosion...
 
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