TechUkrainian forces seize elusive Russian tortoise tank in Donetsk

Ukrainian forces seize elusive Russian tortoise tank in Donetsk

"The 'tank-turtle' of the Russians in Ukraine"
"The 'tank-turtle' of the Russians in Ukraine"
Images source: © X | NEXTA

5:19 PM EDT, June 17, 2024

After two months of the so-called Russian tortoise tanks appearing in Ukraine, the defending army managed to seize one of these machines from the aggressor for the first time as a trophy. This equipment remained elusive for an extended period, and despite unflattering comments regarding its appearance, it fulfilled its function.

The changing situation on the front forces both sides of the conflict to improvise in modernizing military equipment. Therefore, it is not surprising to see constructions such as the combination of an MT-LB carrier with a naval missile artillery system or the hybrid of the old T-62 tank with the modern T-90M Proryv.

Both of these constructions are attributed to the Russians, who recently introduced a machine peculiar in appearance to the front. This is the so-called tortoise tank, which was first spotted during battles in mid-April 2024. Internet users quickly ridiculed the gigantic machine, but shortly afterward, emotions were cooled by a US expert who pointed out that the tortoise tank indeed fulfills its function and, most importantly, remained elusive to Ukrainians for a long time.

Ukrainians captured a Russian tortoise tank

According to photos shared on social media, Ukrainians finally managed to capture the Russian "tortoise." This achievement is credited to soldiers from the 22nd Mechanized Brigade, who seized this specific tool from the Russians in the Donetsk region.

This is a valuable capture for several reasons. First and foremost, acquiring the tortoise tank will allow the Ukrainians to familiarize themselves with the technology used in this construction. They will be able to examine what the Russian Federation hides under the massive structure and how to combat this potential weapon or electronic warfare measures.

Furthermore, the Ukrainian armed forces will be able to take a closer look at the armor built on the tank. This way, they will learn what specific ammunition is capable of penetrating the armor.

Another reason the trophy in the form of the first captured tortoise tank is important for the Ukrainians is that it is a construction with significant battlefield capabilities. The expert above from the American Foreign Policy Research Institute, Rob Lee, explained this, stressing that "sacrificing observation and turret rotation in one tank for the benefit of a platoon that can simultaneously disrupt many drones makes sense."

Tortoise tanks are likely equipped with electronic warfare systems inside the massive structure. The Russians have ensured that among several (or more) vehicles in one position occupied by the aggressor's army, the tortoise tank is responsible for jamming potential threats coming from the air, such as the popular kamikaze drones at the front.

Due to its armor, a jammer-equipped tank is difficult to destroy. The tortoise tank's overall offensive capabilities also remain significant. The thick armor does not easily succumb to small-caliber fire, which allows the vehicle to move relatively safely on the front.

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