[video] Russians transform tanks into armored turtles to protect against Ukrainian drones

But does it actually help?

War footage features an increasing number of strange armored vehicles scrambling to get through Ukrainian defense lines. These are Russian main battle tanks T-80 and earlier versions which are covered with sheets of armor to protect them against drones – the dominating deadly weapons of modern warfare.

The tanks inside these armored barns, which the Russians call “Tsar Mangal” – due to its brazier-like form, remind of the first World War I battle machines. They can perform only limited functions such as breaching the defense lines and shuttling a small landing force – given that they no longer can rotate their turrets or engage in full artillery fire.

Videos show that such armor enhancing may spare the crew from a few small drones but a direct hit from a howitzer shell or missile can severely damage or even destroy the tank despite its armor cocoon.

The same is valid for anti-tank mines, therefore a mine-clearing roller is often attached in front of the vehicle.

The modification is unlikely the result of a directive from tank designers or Russian military leadership – apparently, it’s an initiative of tank crews who are trying to save themselves from almost certain death from the encounter with Ukrainian drones.

Whether this is working will be clear within the next few weeks.

Before the drones took over as a successful anti-tank weapon, the Russian crews of armored vehicles used to be terrified by the US-made FGM-148 Javelins, the iconic portable fire-and-forget weapon systems that can hit targets accurately as far as 2.5 miles.

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