Expert: Russian tanks helpless against US-made Javelin anti-tank missiles

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Russian defence reporter and military expert Alexey Khlopotov fearing that Russian main battle tanks would be helpless against man-portable fire-and-forget anti-tank missiles like the Javelin.

Alexei Khlopotov clarified that in the existing versions all Russian serial tanks are practically defenseless against a US-made Javelin anti-tank guided missile (ATGM). Khlopotov noted that even with a lot of disadvantages, Amercian ATGMs can confidently hit modern and upgraded tanks of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

The Javelin anti-tank missile is capable of defeating modern tanks by attacking them from above at the top armor, which is generally thinner and has weak protection. It uses a fire-and-forget, automatic infrared guidance that allows the user to seek cover immediately after launch.

More: US Department of State approves possible sale of Javelin missiles to Georgia

The Javelin employs a long-wave infrared (LWIR) seeker for guidance to destroy tanks, bunkers, buildings, small vessel and low-speed helicopters with a high hit probability. It carries a tandem shaped charge enabling a maximum range of 2,500m.

According to the expert, it is urgent to carry out a number of measures that could reduce the effectiveness of such anti-tank weapons. This, above all, installation of active protection systems on tanks, which could reliably defeat ATGMs.

More: Algerian T-90 tanks receive Shtora-1 optical-electronic countermeasure systems

Also, of course, need to improve the means of reducing thermal visibility and it is necessary to fundamentally revise the principles of installing dynamic protection on top armor, the expert emphasized.

Only an integrated approach will significantly reduce Javelin’s threat, said Alexei Khlopotov.


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