Theo Spark: Video: TOW vs Tank (T-72)

Via Theo Spark: Video: TOW vs Tank (T-72)Top attack is attractive because that’s where3 the armor is thinnest on a tank. The TOW 2B uses two explosively formed penetrators to breach the tank’s armor. You’ll notice in the slow-mo, the missiles explosion is actually pretty small. The big explosion is from inside the tank. The T-72 uses and auto-loader for the main gun, and the ammo is stored in an open carousel on the floor of the turret. Set off just one little bit of that ammo, and the result is the “flying frying pan” you see here.

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8 thoughts on “Theo Spark: Video: TOW vs Tank (T-72)”

  1. The hellfire on HBIED video I just watched (close CAS) now looks ho hum at best. This vid should be required viewing before any Bradley crew executes a Bradley Table VIII! Set to the appropriate sound track and lets go!
    What is up with the opening graphics which seem to imply this was a 4.2 km shot? Looks like a 400 meter increase in range?

  2. I thought the TOW was a 3 klick weapon. The weapon did not seem to make contact with the Tank and still set off the secondary detonation. The weapon’s explosion did not seem to be minor at all. I don’t recall the warhead size, but it isn’t all that small to do what it did in the way it did it. I had thought the TOW’s warhead was a shaped charge, but may be misremembering.

    1. Most TOW missiles have a conventional HEAT warhead. But there are exceptions. There are actually several configurations of warheads for conventional TOWs, but for now, let’s just focus on the non-HEAT warheads.

      Unlike most TOWs with a contact fuze, the TOW2B overflies the line of sight the gunner sees, and uses a sensor to fuze the weapon. It has two EFPs to attack the thin armor. So, no, the missile never actually strikes the target. It looks for a standoff of about 6-10 feet to allow the EFPs to forge properly. Mind you, the EFP is a very close cousin to the HEAT warhead.

      The other non-HEAT variant is the TOW bunker-buster, which uses a blast-fragmentation warhead. It is just the ticket for putting through a window in a city fight.
      As for the extended range, the range limit for the TOW has always been the length of the guidance wires. The original BGM-71A only had 3000m of wire. The ITOW and later variants had 3750m of wire. But the TOW2B “Aero” variant has 4.5km of wire.

      There is also a “wireless” variant of the TOW2B, which has radio control system built into the launch tube. No modifications are needed to the launch platform.

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