The British Ministry of Defense estimates that the Russian Armed Forces have had 508 of their main battle tanks destroyed since the start of the conflict in Ukraine. Part of the reason for the defeats suffered by Russian troops is, according to experts, a defect in the design of their tanks, known as the jack-in-the-box effect.
The name, which refers to the children’s toy in which a clown puppet breaks free from a box, occurs when explosives stored inside the armored vehicle are detonated. The force of the internal blast propels the tank’s turret out and kills everyone inside.
“Any successful hit quickly ignites the ammunition causing a massive explosion, and the tower is blown up,” Sam Bendett, a member of the Center for a New American Security, told the American television channel.
The way ammunition is stored in older Russian tanks, stored close to artillery turrets, increases the chances of this effect.
The design problems of Russian tanks have been known since the Gulf War, when Russian vehicles used by Saddam Hussein’s troops suffered from similar problems. According to Bendett, however, the Russian design still offers some advantages, such as space savings and a lower profile, which makes it harder to hit.
A survey carried out by the website Oryx, with data gathered through Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) techniques, which work only with data found on the internet, indicates that by April 28 at least 300 Russian tanks had been destroyed. Another 279 would have been damaged, abandoned or captured by Ukrainian troops.
Enter the Last Second channel on Telegram and see the main news of the day in Brazil and in the World.