What Explains The Huge Damage To Captured Russian T72S?

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Russia’s Tank Losses Mounting in Ukraine War. Shattered T72S Catch Attention of Experts. T-72 Takes a Pounding Because of its Design?

Russia’s equipment losses in the Ukraine war have far exceeded the expectations of military analysts. Over 2,300 Russian military vehicles have been destroyed, abandoned, or captured by Ukrainian forces. as per open-source data alone. These include 395 tanks (destroyed: 184, damaged: 6, abandoned: 42, captured:163), according to Oryx blog, an open-source site.

However, what has caught the attention of experts is the manner in which some Russian tanks, like the T72S, have been completely shattered. Experts say this is not because of powerful anti-tank weapons, but a calculated design decision.

Does A design Chink Make T72S Vulnerable?

Most Western tanks, including the most modern M1 Abrams, have a crew of four: commander, driver, gunner, and loader of the four crew roles in the tank, the loader is the simplest and the easiest to automate, as per experts. The autoloader repotedly reduces the number of personnel needed by 25%. It also significantly reduces the space needed inside the turret as rounds are not being manhandled.

The autoloader makes the turret smaller and contributes to the much lower profile of the T-72, almost a foot shorter than the Abram. Autoloaders are also supposed to be faster, cheaper, and more efficient than humans. One disadvantage of having an autoloader is that it reduces the crew available for field maintenance and repairs.

No Barrier Between Crew and Ammunition

The Russians opted with the T-72 to have their ammunition storage in the form of a carousel in the body of the tank immediately under the turret. The t-72, therefore, has no barrier between the crew and the stored ammunition.

The Abrams ammunition storage, in contrast, is separate to the crew compartment and is fitted with special blow-out panels With the Russian design, there are no blow-out panels because the ammunition is in the same space as the crew. Any penetrating hit in the turret or hull can set off the ammunition with a result sometimes described as a jack-in-the-box effect.

The force of the blast from the ammo tears the tank apart from inside, after detaching the turret with such force that it is thrown clear. Reports suggest that such events are instantly fatal to the crew. The location of the T72-s ammunition storage is well known, and it may even be deliberately targeted. In a viral video, a Ukrainian BTR4- gunner destroyed a Russian T72-by aiming at the thin side armor over the ammunition storage at close range.

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