Look . This is how Ukraine exploited a “fatal” flaw in Russian tanks

The sight of Russian tanks exploding along Ukrainian roads is an indication of a design problem known as a “jack-in-the-box”. The mistake has to do with the way in which Russian tanks store ammunition.

In these tanks, including the T-72, the Soviet-designed vehicle that saw widespread use during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, all shells are placed in a ring inside the tank body. When an enemy bullet hits the right spot, the ammo store can quickly “explode” causing the tank to explode in a fatal blow, according to the Washington Post, which prepared an illustration of the tank.

“For the Russian crew, if the ammunition compartment is hit, everyone dies,” said Robert Hamilton, a professor at the US Army War College, adding that the force of the blast could “instantly vaporize the crew and everyone would die. “.

And British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace estimated this week that Russia has lost at least 530 tanks, destroyed or captured, since the invasion of Ukraine in February.

“What we are seeing now is that the Ukrainians are taking advantage of the tank flaw,” said Samuel Bendet, consultant of the Center. for Naval Analytics, a federally funded non-profit research institute, with Ukraine’s Western Allies providing anti-tank weapons in large quantities.

Ukraine, for its part, also uses Russian-made T-72 tanks, which face the same problem, but the Russian invasion was based on large-scale tank deployments and Ukraine was in able to respond better than expected. Analysts say the flaw speaks of a wider difference in methods between the Western and Russian armies.

“American tanks have always given priority to crew protection in a way that Russian tanks don’t have, “Hamilton said.” It’s really just a difference in the design of the ammunition compartment and the difference in the definition of priorities “.

“The ammunition on most Western tanks can be stored under the tank turret and is protected by the heavy hull,” added Hamilton. “Even the prime versions of the American M1 Abrams tanks in the 1980s had sturdy blast doors that separated the crew inside and stored ammunition. “

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