Russia appears to have begun testing the Arena-M hard-kill active protection system (APS) on T-72B3 main battle tanks.
The pictures circulating in the local media shows the Arena-M undergoing trials equipped on the modernised T-72 tank. The APS utilizes a doppler radar to detect incoming projectiles and directs a rocket launcher onboard the tank to intercept incoming munitions. It will be available for T-72 and T-90 MBTs to serve as a first layer of defense against anti-tank munitions, such as the TOW.
“The Arena-M is a new system albeit bearing the Arena name. Preliminary trials of the Arena-M are on. Kolomna-based Engineering Design Bureau (KBM) and Uralvagonzavod have reached an agreement to equip T-72 and T-90 MBTs with the APS,” Valery Kashin, KBM's Managing Director and General Designer, was quoted as saying by TASS in 2017.
“At the end of the 20th century it's generally assumed that the main battle tank in itself is an obsolete concept with the development of more powerful and smart anti-tank guided missiles. But the profuse use of MBTs in battles fought in Iraq, Syria and Libya proves otherwise. Countries like USA, Israel and Russia are working on active armour systems for modernization of their present tanks and these systems are expected to be carried over to future designs as well,” Ruslan Pukhov, director of the Moscow-based Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST) and member of the Public Advisory Board of the Russian Defense Ministry, told Defenseworld.net.