Several Cold-War era Russian T-62 medium tanks with bizarre-looking screens have been spotted in southeastern Ukraine near the current front lines of the conflict in the country.
T-62 medium tanks were fitted with what looks like a type of raised slat armour over the turret specifically designed to protect against a top-down attack like the Javelin anti-tank missile systems. Russians equipping its older tanks with added armor on top, where they are typically most vulnerable, even with additional defenses.
Such screen-like structures also were added to the turret tops of Russian T-72 and T-80 tanks. It is a crude metal screen, similar to slat armor, that provides protection against attacks from directly above.
According to Janes, these screens appear to be designed to defeat top-attack weapons such as the US-made Javelin anti-tank guided weapon or guided missiles fired from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) by detonating high-explosive anti-tank warheads before they contact a tank’s turret roof.
The 1960s-era T-62 is a Soviet medium battle tank. The first prototype of the T-62 was completed in 1959. In 1961 this tank was officially accepted to service with the Soviet Army.
Russia is likely facing “a shortage” of modern tanks and trying to make up the deficit with outdated combat vehicles.