Ukrainian Leopard 2 Damaged by Drone

A Ukrainian Leopard 2 tank is struck by a Russian drone, somewhere in Zaporizhia. Many pro-Russian observers, and even the Sun, stated that the tank had been “destroyed.” A primary detonation can be seen as the drone strikes the after part of the turret, but no secondary explosions can be seen, no little volcano erupting from the crew hatches. In fact, the drone strikes squarely in the turret bustle where the ammunition is stored, and the blowout panels are, well, blown out, essentially doing their jobs. The ammunition compartment billows smoke, but there is little indication of the crew compartment being consumed by fire. This is not a K-kill.


Anti-armor weapons and tactics are designed to defeat a tank’s armor at its weakest areas. A shaped charge projectile focuses explosive energy to penetrate armor at a verry narrow point, sometimes a hole smaller than the diameter of pencil. Spall, consisting of explosively formed liquid-metal, shoots through that hole, along with steel fragments from the tank itself. Anti-tank gunners often aim for the sides, rear, and tops of tanks, where armor is weakest. Explosive energy penetrates the armor, wreaking havoc on everyone and everything inside – this is known as a “K” kill. When an anti-tank munition strikes a tank, one can see the primary detonation as the missile warhead contacts the tank and explodes. After a few seconds one often sees a secondary detonation as the fuel and ammunition ignite, immolating everyone within the tank, or, at least, making them very sad. This did not occur in this case, although the crew couldn’t have been happy.


About the Author

Author's Photo

Cam

Cam served as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps, deploying to the Horn of Africa and participating in combat operations in Iraq. He currently works in the maritime industry and in the defense sector as an instructor of combined arms planning and operations. An avid sailor, Cam founded and directs a nonprofit that supports veterans and first responders through sailing.

Published 7 months ago

A Ukrainian Leopard 2 tank is struck by a Russian drone, somewhere in Zaporizhia. Many pro-Russian observers, and even the Sun, stated that the tank had been “destroyed.” A primary detonation can be seen as the drone strikes the after part of the turret, but no secondary explosions can be seen, no little volcano erupting from the crew hatches. In fact, the drone strikes squarely in the turret bustle where the ammunition is stored, and the blowout panels are, well, blown out, essentially doing their jobs. The ammunition compartment billows smoke, but there is little indication of the crew compartment being consumed by fire. This is not a K-kill.


Anti-armor weapons and tactics are designed to defeat a tank’s armor at its weakest areas. A shaped charge projectile focuses explosive energy to penetrate armor at a verry narrow point, sometimes a hole smaller than the diameter of pencil. Spall, consisting of explosively formed liquid-metal, shoots through that hole, along with steel fragments from the tank itself. Anti-tank gunners often aim for the sides, rear, and tops of tanks, where armor is weakest. Explosive energy penetrates the armor, wreaking havoc on everyone and everything inside – this is known as a “K” kill. When an anti-tank munition strikes a tank, one can see the primary detonation as the missile warhead contacts the tank and explodes. After a few seconds one often sees a secondary detonation as the fuel and ammunition ignite, immolating everyone within the tank, or, at least, making them very sad. This did not occur in this case, although the crew couldn’t have been happy.


About the Author

Author's Photo

Cam

Cam served as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps, deploying to the Horn of Africa and participating in combat operations in Iraq. He currently works in the maritime industry and in the defense sector as an instructor of combined arms planning and operations. An avid sailor, Cam founded and directs a nonprofit that supports veterans and first responders through sailing.

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