Sunday 2 August 2015

Reactive Armour Testing

Reactive armour is good, of course, but it doesn't come as a free bonus. The damage it does to your own tank definitely makes it a "lesser of two evils" kind of situation. Here are some pictures from T-80U trials featuring this kind of armour.

T-80's side. The track guard with everything on top of it has been blown away by the explosion.

The front of the turret. The explosion tore off another reactive armour block, damaged some observation devices and the smoke grenade launchers.


  1. I would like to know whether this reactive armour and older one can beounce (without exploding) projectilles from the heavy machine guns like 12, 7 mm and even 14, 5 mm.

    1. Fairly well, I presume. Kontakt-5 (most likely the type of ERA installed on that T-80), the most common ERA currently in Russian service, has a 15 mm hard steel frontal plate, with the help of sloping, it should fare fairly well against heavy MG fire. Earlier lighter systems may not perform equally well, though, I do doubt a heavy MG is enough to trigger even the earlier types.

    2. Actually, even if it can penetrate the steel plates it'll go right through to the base armor, Kontakt-5 and newer Russian ERA are designed so they aren't triggered by smaller calibers (some sources say up to 30mm AP), so things like shrapnel or autocannons can't just knock out the blocks. Some NATO sabots have been designed with this in mind, with small blunt tips which are designed to punch a lower caliber hole in the explosive which is gradually widened around the penetrator, theoretically preventing it from triggering. In the US, the M829A2 and later have this feature, although you can't see it except in cutaways as the needle tip is actually a ballistic cap and not the actual penetrator. And then Relikt and later are supposed to have been designed to still trigger for these cases, as the Soviets had designed sabot tips which exploited this weakness as well. A lot of theory vs theory with no actual battlefield observation so far, though.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.