Is the era of tanks over? .. Light weapon technology stops Russian bear’s progress in Ukraine | technology

Images of destroyed Russian “tanks” and destroyed convoys in Ukraine have filled social media in recent weeks, but are these images a bigger trend or just isolated incidents?

According to some reports, such as the one published by Insider, Russia has definitely lost tanks and other equipment captured or destroyed by the Ukrainians, and the news organization estimates that 10% of Russian military equipment has been destroyed. But that may not be accurate.

Most of these losses appear to be caused by Javelin or FGM-148 missiles from the West and the next generation of light anti-tank weapons called NLAWs, which are specifically designed as Anti-tank weapons. The Russian losses should therefore come as no surprise.

Is this the end of the era of tanks?

Some experts claim that we can see the end of tanks as an effective military weapon. Some claim that the tank will soon be preserved with the chariot and riders in museums.

One of the main problems is to distinguish what is a “real” tank from other “tank-like” military vehicles. While the definition of a tank has changed over time, the term today generally refers to what are known as main battle tanks.

Other armored vehicles, such as armored personnel carriers, self-propelled artillery and other motorized infantry vehicles, are often categorized in news reports as tanks, although they should not be technically so.

The Oryx website, which records losses in the war, divides Russian vehicle losses by technical category, making it much easier to determine the extent of Russian losses.

According to Oryx, Russia lost 279 tanks somewhere in Ukraine, of which 116 were destroyed, 4 damaged and 41 abandoned. Ukrainian forces captured about 118. This number may seem large, but the Russian Federation has 12,240 combat tanks.

However, most of these 12,240 tanks are old Soviet-era designs, such as the T-72, which is more than 50 years old.

Turkish drones such as the “TP2” were used by the Ukrainian (German) forces.

Why is Russia losing so many tanks in Ukraine?

As many military experts have pointed out, the biggest problem seems to be Russia’s inability to adequately supply and maintain hardware. So far, most of the combat vehicles we have seen in action have not been well maintained, and the supply lines appear to be near breaking point.

Not only that, but large units like tanks seem to have been exposed without either infantry or air support, a critical point for these powerful war weapons.

There is the hostile organizational factor. The United States, for example, lost some of its most advanced tanks during the Battle of Medina Ridge, one of the longest tank battles in modern times that took place on February 27, 1991 during the Second Gulf War. between the Division The first U.S. armored vehicle and the second brigade of the Iraqi Republican Guard, and this was due to the strict organization of the Iraqi forces along its lines.

Light technology eliminates tanks

All of these hypotheses may be the reason why the Russians lost many battle tanks, but the hypothesis that experts believe holds the answer to this question is technical advances in the field of tank weapons.

Modern tank missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles have a significant impact on the resolution of current battles. The use of drones has aroused the interest of military analysts in the conflict in Ukraine.

Turkish drones such as the TB2 are used excellently by the Ukrainian forces, as these drones can attack tanks directly or be used for surveillance.

“We are actually seeing a significant impact of the Ukrainian military’s use of Bayraktar drones, and other smaller aircraft, against Russian armored vehicles,” former U.S. Army officer Paul Schaar told Insider. “UAVs can be very effective in controversial airspace, partly because of this, due to its ability to fly at low altitudes, and partly because you do not dare to be a pilot.”

The administration of US President Joe Biden has sent 100 “Switchblade” drones to Ukraine, a one-time backpack the size of a backpack, and which can take armored vehicles out of combat by flying over them and colliding directly with them to to make them explode. in a “kami-kaz” style. “.

The other technical weapon that analysts expect to help Ukrainian forces prevent Russian tank columns from invading Kiev is the Next Generation Light Anti-Tank (NLAW).

The Swedish-designed British weapon is the next generation of light anti-tank weapons and is relatively easy to use. Lightweight and portable on the shoulder, the trigger follows a target within half a mile for a few seconds and then shoots. A technical system directs the missile to the target.

NLAW is designed exactly for urban warfare as it is in Ukraine.

“The NLAW can attack from almost anywhere, from the top of a building to behind a tree or in a hole,” the arms manufacturer SAAB states on its website. A building, from the basement or from the second floor of a building outside the range of most tanks. “

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