German Leopards, US Bradleys Become ‘Guinea Pigs’ As Russia Develops Anti-Tank Shells By Studying War Trophies

Russia’s state arms manufacturer has notified that it is developing a new line of upgraded tank shells based on the study of captured Western armored vehicles.

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Bekhan Ozdoev, the industrial director of the Russian state corporation Rostec, which oversees conventional weapons, ammunition, and special chemistry, announced that the company was developing a new range of upgraded tank shells based on an extensive study of captured Western armored vehicles, TASS reported.

He further stated that Rostec would produce new ammunition when Russia’s adversaries developed new tanks with improved protection.

“Rostec will create a new ammunition, which will multiply their efforts by zero.”

The development comes after Russia managed to destroy three US-origin Ukrainian Abrams tanks in under a week last month. One of these tanks “was knocked out” by the crew of a Russian T-72B3 in “one shot.”

The Russians said this validated its theory that these Western tanks were just “empty tin cans.”

Although Moscow’s troops have not captured any Abrams tanks yet, they released footage last year that showed seized German-origin Leopard-2 tanks and US Bradley Infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs).

Military analysts noted that the adversary platform captured by Russia is used for reverse engineering and studying military secrets.

In late February, Russia also paraded a captured Ukrainian M2A2 Bradley IFV. The vehicle was reportedly strapped to a train bound for Moscow in late February. Social media posts suggested that the train arrived in the capital city for the American-supplied IFV to be transferred to a military museum in Moscow.

According to Oryx, a Dutch open-source intelligence website that tracks equipment losses on both sides, Russia has so far captured about 131 tanks, 82 Armoured Fighting Vehicles, 123 Infantry Fighting Vehicles, and 98 Armoured Personnel Carriers.

Developing countermeasures after studying the equipment collected from the combat zone is a fairly rampant practice. As the Rostec chief noted, the capture of these cutting-edge war machines belonging to the West would allow Russians to develop tank shells that will pierce right through these tanks and armored vehicles whenever they are deployed by the adversary.

However, since such studies and experiments on rival defense technology go on for years before that equipment is fully decoded, there is a good chance that the development of these shells will take several years before they are ready to be fielded by Russian forces.

Besides making concerted efforts to develop tank shells that could annihilate Western-origin vehicles in the future, Russia has also been working on the development and production of controlled detonation shells for its cutting-edge Terminator BMPT tank-support vehicle.

State Tests Of Guided Explosion Shells For BMPT Complete

Rostec State Corporation has completed tests of controlled detonation shells and a remote control system for their detonation time for the Terminator BMPT, Bekhan Ozdoev said in an interview with TASS.

“This is a very promising direction, and, of course, such work is underway. For example, a 30-mm high-explosive shell shot with a remote-controlled fuse was created. For combat vehicles, a remote-control complex for the detonation time has been developed, which provides a command detonation of the projectile at the right point in the flight trajectory. Last year, the state tests as part of the BMPT were successfully passed: they confirmed the correctness of engineering calculations,” Ozdoev said.

BMPT “Terminator” is a heavily protected tank support combat vehicle based on the T-90 tank, developed by the Uralvagonzavod business, a division of Rostec state corporation. The vehicle’s main weaponry consists of automated 30 mm 2A42 cannons and four attack-T supersonic guided missiles on launchers.

BMPT-72 Terminator

The complex also includes a machine gun paired with automatic guns and two 30 mm automatic grenade launchers in armored compartments.

The machine is equipped with a highly automated fire control system that ensures effective detection and defeat of targets at any time of the day. The vehicle’s all-in-one protection provides the necessary level of protection on the battlefield. Significant ammunition and a highly effective weapon complex ensure the possibility of hitting a large number of targets.

The addition of a high explosive shell would then boost the overall capability of the vehicle, especially as Russia makes an effort to advance into Ukraine after its victory over Avdiivka.