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Russia to equip T-80BVM and T-90M tanks with Arena-M Active Protection System

According to reports released by ROSTEC, the Russian state defense agency, the Russian Ministry of Defense is expressing interest in equipping their Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) with the Arena-M Active Protection System (APS), developed by the High Precision Systems holding company. The plan is to first install the APS on T-80BVM and T-90M Proryv tanks.
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Russian T-72 MBT Main Battle Tank fitted with the Arena-M APS Active Protection System. (Picture source Army Recognition)

The modernization of various Russian tank models is progressing, despite concerns voiced by Ukrainian officials regarding Russia's ability to maintain its production capacity amidst numerous sanctions. According to these officials, Russia is currently producing several dozen tanks daily.

The Arena-M APS is designed to protect tanks from projectiles, anti-tank grenades, and guided missiles. The Arena-M has been reported to offer improved performance, enhanced reliability, and reduced weight compared to the original Arena system. It is also designed to be more adaptable for integration with a wider range of armored vehicle platforms. However, specific details about the Arena-M system may be limited due to the nature of military technology and classification.

The Arena-M is an improved version of the original Russian Arena active protection system (APS). Designed by the Kolomna-based Engineering Design Bureau, the Arena-M is an advanced APS intended to protect armored vehicles such as tanks and infantry fighting vehicles from anti-tank rockets, guided missiles, and other incoming projectiles.

Similar to its predecessor, the Arena-M system uses radar to detect and track incoming threats. It features specialized directional-action munitions placed around the turret perimeter, providing 360-degree protection for the tank from incoming threats. The APS also includes a multifunctional radar system with a high degree of interference protection, capable of operating even when the enemy attempts to use electronic warfare systems. This radar detects flying targets and sends a signal to initiate a directional action of the specialized munitions, intercepting and neutralizing the threat before it can damage the tank.

The Arena-M system has several key components that work together to provide effective protection including radar and control system, countermeasure launchers, and specialized munitions.

Upon activation of the Arena by the tank crew, the radar system continuously scans the surroundings, searching for incoming projectiles or threats. When a threat is detected, the radar system tracks its trajectory and provides data to the control system.

The control system calculates the optimal point for interception and selects the appropriate countermeasure launcher, which fires toward the incoming projectile. The munition intercepts and neutralizes the threat before it can reach the vehicle's armor, protecting the tank and its crew.

This process occurs in a matter of milliseconds, providing a quick and effective defense against various types of anti-tank munitions. By integrating the Arena-M system into their armored vehicles, militaries can significantly enhance the survivability of their tanks and other armored platforms in a range of combat scenarios.

The range of detection for the Arena-M active protection system (APS) has not been disclosed publicly in exact terms. However, active protection systems like Arena-M are generally designed to detect and engage incoming threats within a few hundred meters. The detection range is limited by the need for the system to respond quickly and effectively to incoming projectiles, as the time window for intercepting and neutralizing a threat is very short.

Russia to equip T 80BVM and T 90M tanks with Arena M Active Protection System 925 002
Close view of the Arena-M APS Active Protection System mounted around the turret. (Picture source Army Recognition)

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