New ‘Mantiya’ Armor said to Make Russian T-14s MBTs Invisible to Infrared Anti-Tank Missiles

By | May 19, 2017 11:46 AM EDT

T-90MS wearing a Nakidka RAM cloak. (Photo : Russian Army)

Some of the Russian Army's new T-14 Armata main battle tanks (MBTs) expected to see service in the 2020s will be equipped with stealth technologies that hinder their detection by electronic sensors.

One of these stealth technologies is called "Mantiya" (cloak in English), which is being described by Russian state-controlled media as an invisibility armored cloak for the T-14.

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Mantiya is said to be a loose covering combining the functions of a radar-absorbent material (RAM) camouflage called "Nakidka" and slat armor to counter shaped-charge warheads. Russian Army sources claim Mantiya provides protection against precision anti-tank guided missiles  and close combat weapons such as man-portable anti-tank rockets.

Mantiya is worn by a tank; an infantry fighting vehicle or other armored vehicles.

Mantiya is said to provide a triple defense. It absorbs radar waves. It also reflects and scatters these waves, thus effectively reducing detection of the vehicle. It also reduces the thermal signature of a running engine to that of its background, so one is blurred into the other.

Mantiya consists of slat armor panels embedded with "discrete metallic volumetric protective elements," which is combined with Nakidka to reduce a tank's infrared signature. Mantiya slat panels are installed at distances ranging from 50 mm to 1,500 mm from the hull of a tank.

Once an anti-tank guided missile hits the panel, "the protective elements operate against the grenade body and its cumulative unit. The small surface density of the panel prevents the grenade operation as the fuze contacts the base. This breaks the fuze electric circuit and partially destroys the cumulative unit."

As a result, the warhead fuze fails and the jet of fire that should penetrate the armor is dispersed.

The Russian Army said the use of a dedicated masking cover such as Mantiya reduces the probability of detection and acquisition by infrared anti-tank missiles by two to three times.

An experimental lot of T-14 Armata-MBTs has been equipped with the Mantiya system.

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