This question was asked in this subreddit a few years ago, seems like they are indeed rubber designed to lessen the effect of mines and help defeat HEAT rounds after a quick google. https://www.reddit.com/r/TankPorn/comments/22tbii/question_what_is_the_purpose_of_the_rubber_skirt/ ...
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Some random comments on reddit about The fist of the Soviet armored corps, the T-80U [2248x1422]
- After a quick google this question was asked in this subreddit a few years ago, seems like they are indeed rubber designed to lessen the effect of mines and help defeat HEAT rounds. https://www.reddit.com/r/TankPorn/comments/22tbii/question_what_is_the_purpose_of_the_rubber_skirt/
- More to do with reducing the dust kicked up by the tracks, the Turbine engine would suffocate if a ton of sand got in the filters. The M1 Abrams has the same issues, in the invasion of Iraq, M1s had to stop every couple of hours to clean the filters, which was a ~90 minute job.
- ehh its tedious but it is not a 90 minute job just to bang out V-packs
- Of course it's not 90 minutes for one tank, but for a company of tanks, it can take a damn long time before they are up and running again. Russians had a similar problem with the T-80, which is the reason why most of them were modernized and fitted with V-92/93 Diesel engines. The dust ingestion for turbine engines is a massive problem that can't really be fixed. Not to mention the horrific fuel efficiency, which is simply wasteful.
- I don't disagree with you on that one. I really hate the turbine. I hope to see the A3 go with the diesel
- Sounds amazing though, and it's intimidating to hear. Both the US Army and the British RTR used thunder runs in Iraq to scare the utter hsit out of would be combatants. I mean, I'd give up my hopes of fighting after hearing a ~65ton tank run down the road at 60km/h
- Rubber I imagine.
- Hmmm I'm still trying to figure out why. For the longest time I assumed they placed steel there to protect the lower frontal plate from HEAT warheads since the way it's hanging would make it act as spaced armor.
- Maybe it's to make the lower glacis harder to target? Someone pointed out earlier that the rubber flaps on the turret ERA was to make the turret ring harder to see, same for the Leos
- Turret rubber flaps were fitted for multiple reasons AFAIK. -to make the turret ring harder to see (as you said), and make it harder to recognize -to act like spaced armour against tandem-warhead HEAT missiles -apparently to help against thermal imagers western tanks were beginning to use, as the rubber flaps don't heat up the same as the tank armour itself
- I'm personally skeptical about that since by the time the T-80U rolled around it would be fighting at around 2km against forces that would use thermal scopes. Not the best environment for specific targeting. Of course this is conjecture and I have no knowledge of the T-80Us design or field manual to back up what I said. Read more comments