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Ukraine Captures First Turtle Tank Along With the Crew

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The captured russian turtle tank. June 2024 / Screenshot credit: brosok_mangusta on Telegram
The captured russian turtle tank. June 2024 / Screenshot credit: brosok_mangusta on Telegram

The first time these vehicles with improvised protection appeared on the battlefield was this year, and now the Ukrainian Armed Forces already have one as a trophy

Soldiers from the 22nd Mechanized Brigade UAF have captured a russian tank of the type colloquially known as "tank shed" or "turtle tank." This is the first known trophy among these creations of the russian invasion forces in Ukraine. The video showing Ukrainian troops taking the russian crew prisoners was shared by the @brosok_mangusta Telegram channel.

There's little additional detail about this incident, which happened in an unknown location in the Donetsk Region, Eastern Ukraine. Having secured the equipment and the crew, the Ukrainians took the vehicle away. Most likely, beneath the improvised protection hides a T-62 main battle tank.

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In general, the russian forces have been converting some of their tanks into such "turtles" or "sheds" to use them in assault missions. The idea is that an improved tank safely carries an assault group of infantry to the enemy positions, they disembark and once the task is finished, return aboard to retreat unharmed. The superstructure is supposed to save the infantry primarily from explosive FPV drones.

The first russian T-72 turtle tank ever seen on the battlefield, April 2024 / Defense Express / Ukraine Captures First Turtle Tank Along With the Crew
The first russian T-72 turtle tank ever seen on the battlefield, April 2024 / Open-source photo

For a reminder, one of the first turtle tank appearances took place around April 2024, it was used by the russians during an assault near Krasnohorivka. The extra-protected T-72 managed to cover over 8 km and fulfill the designated task, but in the end, the Ukrainian Armed Forces destroyed it.

Despite not all of the russian attempts to deploy turtle tanks in battle being successful so far, the russian forces showed a turtle tank 2.0 version with a new approach to armoring the landing compartment and anti-mine protection.

Later, a video appeared online showing the russians experimenting with remote control systems for these improved tanks. As shown in the footage below, it takes three operators to control this tele-tank simultaneously: two are using a device similar to an FPV drone controls, and the third is holding a simple remote controller. Considering the vehicle is tested within the operators' direct line of sight, the remote control might have an extremely small range at the current stage of development.

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