Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA) Evolution and Impact on Tank Warfare

With the live coverage of the war in Ukraine from media all around the world, it is easy to run into photos or videos of Russian tanks. In Ukraine, Russia’s main battle tank (MBT) is the T-72, but they also deployed some T-80s and some T-90s. By carefully looking at these units, it can be noticed that Russian, but also Ukrainian tanks are equipped with small blocks all around their armour. These blocks are an additional defensive armour, which serves the purpose to protect the tank and its crew from anti-tank weapons. This additional armour is called Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA).

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Poland Gears Up with new M1 Abrams Tanks

Amidst the war between Ukraine and Russia, Poland obtained 116 Abrams Tanks after sealing the deal with the United States, which constitutes the supplier.

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Entering the Age of Tanks: The Evolution of Tanks in Land Forces

The tank’s earliest predecessors can be traced back to horse-drawn war chariots of the 2nd millennium BCE in the Middle East and, later, to the protected vehicles of the Middle Ages in Europe. Both ideas fused in the 14th and 15th centuries when Guido da Vigevano and Leonardo da Vinci developed battle cars. However, more practical forms emerged in early 20th century England with the first self-propelled armoured vehicle— an armoured steam traction engine— and the first motor vehicle mounted with a machine gun. The operational push to develop such vehicles arose from the vulnerability of horse-drawn carriages in the infantry, which were needed to improve the mobility of the heavy machine guns that dominated battlefields.

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New Developments for MBTs: Dutch LEOPARD 2 A6 MBTs to Join eFP

The latest events in the field of international security have led to a demand for an increase in the development of tools and weapons used in defence. After 2014, when Russia started the Crimean War, both NATO and the EU reviewed the need to expand their heavy armament component. In this sense, a particular focus has been directed to the category of Main Battle Tanks (MBTs). However, the growing demand for MBTs goes hand in hand with relentless technological development. Currently, to be truly effective, a squadron of tanks must meet certain characteristics and standards on active protection systems, vetronics and optronics, and automation (Marrone et al, 1, 2020). However, these standards are currently impossible to meet on a European level. Currently, the European armies possess a squadron of MBTs inadequate to deal with present conflicts. Moreover, the availability of MBTs is minimal and insufficient. This, in turn, makes the EU a fragile target from the perspective of heavy weapons (Hoffmann, 2010).

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Read more about the article Challenges For Europe’s Armoured Deterrence
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Challenges For Europe’s Armoured Deterrence

Deterrence – the practice intended to discourage an adversary from taking unwanted actions, mainly concerning military aggression – has been the main subject of European defence policies. However, much of the ex-isting dialogue on deterrence is focused on space and cyber, which are considered to be the new domains of warfare. Although these domains complement the conventional ones, they do not replace them. Therefore, possessing reliable military capability at sea, in the air, and on land is still crucial to any deterrence strategy. Considered that, this Info Flash will fo-cus on land forces, specifically on the importance of armour for increasing both European military power and deterrence.

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