How war in Ukraine makes future of tanks uncertain

  • Frank Gardner
  • security correspondent

People inspecting abandoned tanks in Irpin

Credit, Getty Images

photo caption,

Russia is estimated to have lost 700 tanks this year

The many images of Russian tanks destroyed in Ukraine have led to the question of whether anti-tank weapons have rendered these war vehicles obsolete on the battlefield.

“This is an issue that comes up every time a tank is destroyed,” says David Willey, curator of the Tank Museum in Dorset, UK, which houses the world’s largest collection of tanks.

“As the tank is a symbol of power, when it is defeated people are quick to conclude that it has lost its usefulness.”

We’re watching a Soviet-designed T72 main battle tank test its engines and head to the gas station before a demonstration. This is the same model tank that crossed Russia’s borders with Ukraine in February and was destroyed by the hundreds by small groups of Ukrainians well-trained in the use of drones, Javelin missiles and the so-called New Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapons (Nlaws, in acronym in English).

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