More on tank warfare in Syria


Daesh tanks, including some with most unusual, and possibly quite effective, camouflage:
One should keep in mind that the running gear gets very hot by friction, and is the key giveaway of a tracked AFV on a thermal imaging sensor. They didn't cover that so well.*

Syrian active (soft kill) protection system series "SARAB", introduced since early 2016:
This is similar to the famous Russian "Shtora", apparently effective against SACLOS guided ATGMs. An important difference is that the individual radiators are smaller and the sum of all radiators covers a much greater angle - SARAB-3 appears to cover 360°, and we can expect about 80-90% effectiveness against SACLOS guided missiles. The crippled Syrian regime was able to build this, imagine what a peer threat to NATO could do!
Such quite cheap devices could be stored in the thousands in depots, together with 360° IR/UV missile approach sensors and IR-opaque smoke munitions.
This would be devastating to almost all anti-tank guided missiles' effectiveness against vehicles with such protection.


*: Don't worry, I have practically no Middle Eastern readers. :-)


  1. ATGMs have already countered this. So it is useless against modern ATGMs.

    In Syria however, with lots of old TOWs, spiggots and Sagger missiles, it is very good.

    1. Newest production models have encoded tail lights that allow the launcher to keep track of the missile among false signals, but I am not aware of a single large retrofit program for missiles and launch posts, and relatively few new SACLOS missiles with anti-tank warheads are getting purchased.
      The new TOW models that use radio instead of wire signal transmission even added the vulnerability to radio jamming.

      Imaging infrared seeker ATGMs like Javelin, Spike or Trigat LR are immune to Sarab, but can be defeated with multispectral smoke and some movement.

      So in the end a tank crew can use an IR jammer whenever the tank is exposed and deploy its own smoke cartridges whenever the TC thinks an attack is imminent or ongoing.

      The wire guided SACLOS ATGMs that have the jammer-proofed encoded tail light are either vulnerable to radio jamming or wire/fibreoptic-controlled. The latter restricts the velocity so much that the button for smoke deployment only needs to be hit about 350-600 m prior to impact, which puts into question the lethality of shots past 1 km distance.