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Russian tank firing demonstration results in fiasco

26th August 2020 - 16:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Russian MBTs underperformed badly when firing ATGMs from main armament at the Alabino firing range, in a live demonstration on 24 August during the Army 2020 event.

MBTs fired at large static tank mockups at distances of 2,400m and 2,700m, using the 9K119M Refleks-M ATGM (which has a range of 5,000m).

T-90A tanks fired first: out of three shots, only one reached its target. This hit rate was repeated by T-80U MBTs, the first of which was notable for an unusual vibration of the gun during preparations for firing, which could indicate technical problems.

T-80UE-1 tanks hit the target twice out of three shots and of all the demonstrated vehicles, only T-72B3 MBTs scored a 100% hit rate with their four shots. T-80BVM tanks were the last to fire but they missed all three times.

Therefore, only eight hits were made from 16 Reflex-M shots: 50% accuracy for a modern laser-guided ATGM, against a static target on a firing range, borders on the disastrous.

Several factors could account for such low efficiency. The first is an extremely low level of crew proficiency. This is strange, considering the performance was at a public event: the best crews should have been chosen.

The second possible explanation is that the missiles were defective. This may indicate poor production methods at the enterprise manufacturing the Refleks-M missiles, or inefficient replacement of Western components with Russian or Chinese ones (due to sanctions imposed against Russia).

Another possible reason for failure is the use of out-of-date ATGM ammunition, which is also very strange given that Army 2020 is the most important defence equipment show in Russia. 

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The Shephard News Team


The Shephard News Team

As part of our promise to deliver comprehensive coverage to Premium News and Defence Insight …

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