T-84 MBT - Protection
The T-84 is fitted with an integrated vehicle protection system, which includes passive armour, explosive reactive armour array as well as a number of other tank protection devices that are optimised against modern anti-tank weapons and make the tank considerably less vulnerable to the full range of anti-tank weapons.
The armor protection of the T-84, which includes advanced multi-layer armour and built-in third generation explosive reactive armour package for the turret and chassis, provides to the T-84 a high level of battlefield survivability. The main armor is a laminated 'sandwich' of armoured plate and ceramics which gives the tank superior ballistic protection against most forms of attack greatly reducing penetration and behind armour effect. The hull and turret of the T-84 over the forward arc are fitted with the latest generation Nozh explosive reactive armor package which gives protection against both chemical energy and kinetic energy attack (APFSDS and HEAT-type projectiles). In addition to being fitted to the hull and turret, explosive reactive armor panels are also fitted either side of the hull front to provide lateral protection to each side of the driver's compartment. The explosive reactive armor is so efficient against the chemical energy attack that sometimes the tank can be hit by an enemy HEAT projectile without the crew being aware of the damage until much later. The explosive reactive armor system is of a modular design so that it can be easily replaced or upgraded allowing new explosive reactive armor developments to be incorporated in the future when this becomes available. The main armour and the explosive reactive armor together ensure superior protection against sophisticated modern anti-armour weapons.
As top attack weapons pose now a series and deadly threat to battle tanks, the turret roof between the commander's and gunner's hatches is provided with additional protection against top attack weapons.
The tank hull sides are covered with large rubber skirts to give additional protection against man-portable anti-tank weapons of enemy infantry.
The tank overall survivability of the T-84 is further enhanced by an optronic countermeasures system which is designated Varta (which means Guards). The Varta system consists of three key subsystems: the laser threat warner (to give warning of impending attack by laser-guided weapons), the infra-red jammers and the smoke/aerosol screen laying system.
The laser threat warner includes a control panel, a control unit and four laser threat warning sensors (two precision sensors installed on the forward part of the turret roof and two coarse sensors mounted on the top of the turret in its rear part) activated by laser range-finders, laser designators or precision-guided munitions fitted with a laser guidance device. The warner enables the tank react to threats in a timely manner.
The infra-red jammers introduce a spurious signal into the guidance circuitry of the incoming missile through continuously generated coded pulsed infra-red jamming signals. This makes it possible to decoy away incoming anti-tank guided weapons.
The smoke screen laying system can operate either as a part of the above-mentioned Varta optronic countermeasures system or as a self contained unit. The smoke screen laying system includes 12 smoke grenade launchers and a control panel with grenade firing buttons. The grenade launchers are electrically operated and are grouped into two banks mounted on either side of the turret, each bank being provided with a cowl. The grenades can be launched either automatically (in case of receiving a signal from the laser warning system about a potential threat) or manually (from the commander's or gunner's station).
Taking into account the ability of thermal imagers to operate through conventional smoke screens and some other obstacles to vision, aerosol grenades can be used instead of smoke ones to lay an aerosol screen that the thermal imagers cannot see through.
The T-84 can lay its own smoke screen by injecting diesel fuel in the engine exhaust (i.e. by using so-called smoke emitter).
As an attack by laser weapons becomes a growing danger on the modern battlefield, the T-84 vision devices are designed so that the operator's eye is protected from direct attack by laser damage weapons.
The overpressure-type NBC protection system protects the crew and inner equipment of the tank against the nuclear weapon effects, radioactive dust, toxic agents and bacteriological materials. The radiation shielding is designed in the form of a liner fixed on both internal and external surfaces of the tank to give protection against radiation from nuclear explosions. Spall liners are also fitted greatly reducing behind armour effect.
To the right and to the left of the driver's seat are pillars which strengthen the hull in the event of the vehicle running over a mine.
In the overall vehicle design, the designers have laid great emphasis on the urgent need to reduce the signatures (thermal, radar, acoustic etc) of the tank. In particular, the T-84 MBT power pack compartment features thermal signature reduction technology, as its top deck is fitted with special heat insulation devices, this resulting in a low thermal signature of the tank.
To defeat detection by battlefield radar, anti-radar coating is provided and the tank turret is fitted with a collar of rubber skirts which hang from the turret front and reduce the radar signature of the T-84.
Fire suppression system control panel Very considerable precautions are taken to protect the crew from the effects of internal fires: the rapid action fire detection and suppression system enables internal fires to be detected and suppressed in both crew compartment and power pack compartment.
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