Russians equip Cold War-era tanks with improvised anti-Javelin armor

Several Cold-War era Russian T-62 medium tanks with bizarre-looking screens have been spotted in southeastern Ukraine near the current front lines of the conflict in the country.

T-62 medium tanks were fitted with what looks like a type of raised slat armour over the turret specifically designed to protect against a top-down attack like the Javelin anti-tank missile systems. Russians equipping its older tanks with added armor on top, where they are typically most vulnerable, even with additional defenses.

Such screen-like structures also were added to the turret tops of Russian T-72 and T-80 tanks. It is a crude metal screen, similar to slat armor, that provides protection against attacks from directly above.

According to Janes, these screens appear to be designed to defeat top-attack weapons such as the US-made Javelin anti-tank guided weapon or guided missiles fired from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) by detonating high-explosive anti-tank warheads before they contact a tank’s turret roof.

The 1960s-era T-62 is a Soviet medium battle tank. The first prototype of the T-62 was completed in 1959. In 1961 this tank was officially accepted to service with the Soviet Army.

Russia is likely facing “a shortage” of modern tanks and trying to make up the deficit with outdated combat vehicles.

Dylan Malyasov

U.S. defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog’s coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.


  1. This is the 2nd most powerful army in the world’s, response to N’Law, Javelin and Stugna P. All I can say is it looks more like a cover to keep their stolen goods dry, and about a effective.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Slat armor works against single charge weapons like the RPG 40, but not Javelin. The US used slat armor in Iraq and it was effective against RPGs and similar weapons.

      Liked by 3 people

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