Dumpster fire thread

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by HippoCrushEverything, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. The performance of T-80s in Chechnya or Merkavas in Lebanon was even more abysmal but it doesn't make either one of those a bad tank. And sending any tanks in heavily forested Finnish terrain that rarely yields lines-of-sight of more than 50m would likely result in a similar outcome. There's really no question which tank is more survivable when hit, the T-72 or the Leo2A4. The former one has a notable tendency to zippo.

    According to operational studies conducted by the Allies shortly after WW2, the single most important factor determining the outcome of a tank vs. tank engagement was initiative; which side got to fire the first shots. A mediocre tank in a mediocre tank sitting in an ambush position had an advantage over an excellent crew in an excellent tank advancing forward. In this day of sophisticated fire control systems, main gun stabilization and laser rangefinders the sophistication of these systems is key in maximizing the probability of shooting first.

    The T-72 has pretty rudimentary fire control systems by today's standards. Only the B3-version has been upgraded with (French) FLIR and modern fire control systems. It still lacks the commander-gunner hunter-killer capability, the commander's ability to fire the main gun or a panoramic sight, all of which came standard in Western late 80's tanks, such as the Leo2A4. The rest of the T-72 fleet operate active infrared torches that are just absolutely horrible.

    I haven't found any evidence for or against the claim that the T-72 would have superior mobility in "terrain found near Russia"=pretty much every terrain, save for tropical forest. I'll revisit the Armour Museum meeting next saturday so I'll be able to confirm then. Lots of old cronies there with plenty of experience from both types. All I know it's slow af to reverse.

    Logistics don't really favour the T-72 because it's a maintenance nightmare. In a post earlier in this thread I elaborated the difficulty of replacing the Soviet tank's drivetrain. Although the T-72 is lighter, both tanks have similar fuel consumption, roughly 3-5l/km depending on the terrain. If the T-72 was a miracle of cost-effectiveness and not an aging platform nearing the end of its not-totally-obsolete-when-upgraded-life, surely the cash-strapped FDF would have kept the T-72s operational. In reality they weren't considered useful enough to be mothballed and moved to the reserves, instead they were scrapped and the spares were sold to CZ.

    No, it's not a long-range air defenst system. There are probably some reasons why it was preferred over the longer-range MBDA Aster, or why the United States of A chooses to protect the airspace of Washington DC with the same system.

    Vanilla Ice is good at coming up with reasons I hear.
     
  2. no more trannies in the military! Woohoo, keep guns out of the hands of America's most suicidal demographic.
     
  3. #628 Vanilla Ice, Jul 27, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2017
    Mostly bullshit reasons though.

    The US reason for using the "SLAMRAAM" leverages geography. If a hostile aircraft were to attack DC from outside of the United States, it would have to make its way past both the Navy's Aegis-equipped ships and the Air National Guard - neither is so easy. If an attack was launched from in the United States, but outside of DC, that role would once again fall to the ANG and not a SAM system. Their HMMWV-mounted missiles are mostly to defend against helicopters and small aircraft operating from within DC. Relying on the ANG has become much more reliable since 9/11, since NORAD now looks 'inside' (on 9/11 that was strictly the purview of the FAA), as opposed to strictly external defense.

    Western SAMs, like Patriot and Eurosam (and naval systems like Aegis) are extremely capable, and offer similar anti-air and far superior ABM defense to Russian advanced SAMs, at a higher cost of course. But there's a big difference between Chinese and Russian doctrine of area denial versus NATO. Part of that is the view that big SAMs are a juicy target that are more expensive to see blow up than they are valuable when they're still operational, part of that is NATOs superiority in defeating area denial, and part of it is that the Russian and Chinese air forces aren't really that intimidating to NATO. The Russians and Chinese are afraid of NATO's air power, so that's what they spend their defense dollars preparing for. We worry about the Russian and Chinese ground and nuclear forces.
     
    HippoCrushEverything likes this.
  4. I'm not sure whether you're being

    a) facetious

    b) edgy and trying to provoke a reaction for the glory of satan

    c) actually rejoicing about this


    My gut tells me it's A but my gut is filled with poo-poo and can't be trusted.
     
    WhiteChocolateWorld likes this.
  5. This might be worth an interesting discussion. Its context was forgettable, and Lizardmech was talking some nonsense. However, time and time again we see middle- and great-powers declare the death of the tank. Many recent battles won by large tank forces have been overwhelmingly superior to their enemy (eg: US + NATO versus Iraq in Desert Storm, Canada / Denmark in asymmetric war in Afghanistan, etc). Those without such immense advantages, such the Lebanon War, saw Israeli tanks suffer pretty harsh losses. However, in these defeats armor was unsupported by infantry, artillery, or air support -- essentially overconfidence in the tank force and the abandonment of combined arms.

    Some middle powers have all but abandoned their tank force. The Netherlands, as discussed. Canada nominally had it as a policy goal to replace its tank force with IFVs, but ultimately decided against it. Even Great Powers, like France and the UK, support just a couple hundred tanks each. While countries I'd only nervously call a middle power like Egypt might still operate several thousand.

    Tank warfare, as an independent art, is dead. But I'm wondering what people think about the extent to which the tank still forms the backbone of combined arms and the modern mechanized unit? Could a tankless state, in a peer conflict, ever get the upper-hand on mobility's sake alone? (Or alternatively the idea that a direct-fire hit scored on any armored vehicle, tank or IFV or other, is going to be a kill)
     
  6. Surely tanks will become of more importance again as anti-missile system proliferate. I don't know if the capabilities are exaggerated but the t-14 armata supposedly has 3 layers of hard kill APS plus some sort of ECM and automated smoke grenades. It has at least 4 radars, supposedly the commanders MG is linked to it and can engage slow moving ATGMs, afghanit under the turret and some claims something resembling arena APS on the hull sides.

    Countries relying heavily on ATGMs may have to adopt new strategies if that sort of thing becomes the norm.
     
  7. Tanks have a disadvantage in rugged terrain + guerilla warfare, which is what happens in Lebanon. But they'd still fare better in a flar/desert (i.e rugged but not wet/forested) environment, which is why they're still being developed. I don't think they have very good anti-missile capabilities. We have seperate systems for those.
     
  8. It's debatable whether tank warfare as an independent art ever existed. Successful German armoured offensives in early WW2 were never really tank-only affairs, (a Panzer division 12000 strong had about 300 tanks) and all of them were conducted under Luftwaffe air superiority.

    Erwin Rommel said that: "Anyone who has to fight, even with the most modern weapons, against an enemy in complete command of the air, fights like a savage against modern European troops, under the same handicaps and with the same chances of success". He died in 1944.

    Doctrinal lag that resulted in a severe lack of infantry anti-tank weapons early in the war made possible the sort of pushes where tanks temporarily outran infantry support, artillery and logistics. However, even in these circumstances, careless use of armour resulted in severe losses; The Soviets lost a similar amount of tanks in 3+ months of fighting against an ill-equipped force in 1939-40 as the invading Axis forces fielded at the initial stages of operation Barbarossa.

    By 1943, and definitely by 1944 tanks had become very vulnerable to infantry anti-tank guns and rockets. Claims of the obsolescence of the tank were made as early as this.
     
  9. I suppose it would make little sense to assess this question in regard to main battle tanks exclusively. Modern IFVs are light tanks for all intents and purposes, save for the extra troop carrying capacity. According to some sources, M2 and M3 Bradleys killed more Iraqi AFVs during Desert Storm than the M1s did.

    A tankless state could prevail against a tank-heavy peer state, particularly on defense. Conducting any major offensives into enemy territory with road-mobile forces alone would present problems though, especially without heavy air cover. Tactical mobility of wheeled units is poor in many types of terrain, that's the main reason why most of FDF logistics are on tracks instead of trucks and why anything with four wheels is reserved for civilians. Derpy-looking little vehicles:

    [​IMG]


    I'm confident that there will be a need for large-caliber direct fire on the battlefield as long as battles are fought. I'm also confident that not all of that direct fire can be rocket-propelled in the form of missiles or recoilless weapons. Often the most efficient way to deliver pain to the other side is putting propellant and a projectile in a closed tube, we have been doing this for 700-ish years and will likely continue to do for a while.....

    *To be continued, I have to eat now*
     
  10. With the way he's been lately it could really be any of those
     
  11. All of those*
     
  12. I have eaten.

    ...Weapon systems such as these are usually too heavy both in physical weight and recoil-wise to be mounted on light wheeled platforms. Towed anti-tank guns have been retired in every Western army (curiously, Russia still has lots of 2A45 towed 125mm guns in service). Mounting a high-velocity cannon to a vehicle requires a robust tracked chassis to host all the attached equipment (stabilisation, hydraulics, traverse mechanism, sensors&optics, etc.) and to provide enough tactical mobility in diverse terrain to make the weapon system practical on the field.

    Leaving such a system and its crew vulnerable to small arms fire would be foolish but exactly how much protection is needed is not agreed upon. Systems, such as the M1128 Stryker MGS haven't become the mainstay of any army despite greater strategic mobility and lower price. I suspect such vehicles would not survive long in a peer-state conflict with a gun too weak to frontally penetrate modern MBTs and armour too weak to withstand 30mm autocannon fire or light handheld anti-tank rockets. Active protection systems can alleviate the missile threat somewhat but every system can be saturated. I certainly can't imagine a system that could thwart projectiles fired from a BMP at a rate of 550 rounds/minute.

    Making tanks invulnerable has never been an attainable goal. And I certainly cannot say what would be an optimal compromise between price, protection and mobility. I have a suspicion that high-velocity guns and anti-tank missiles will keep on evolving, staying a couple of steps ahead of protective systems designed to defeat them. All modern Western MBTs, despite being heavily armoured, are able to destroy each other at any practical distance with the lastest ammunition. If the already immense power of smoothbore cannons firing KE projectiles will be augmented with liquid propellants and/or electromagnetic propulsion in future, tanks will become even more lethal against each other.

    Another threat is the ever-increasing proliferation of potent precision-strike weapons from the air and top-attack anti-tank missiles. No practical amount of armour will yield adequate protection from such weapons, so radar/laser warning systems and active protection and jamming systems will be needed in order to counter those threats. Piling an enormous amount of fidget spinners and shiny dreidels on top of a tank turret à la this friendly T-90 will adversely affect its protection against small arms- and indirect fire.

    [​IMG]

    Having a sophisticated electronic warfare and sensor suite would increase the price and complexity of an MBT closer to the attack helicopter range. Another reason why leaving such a system completely unarmoured and vulnerable to sand people and their DShKs and RPGs, let alone anything a modern army could throw at you, would be a bad idea.

    Speaking of protection, I have noticed an interesting trend in AFV protection. The newest generation of main battle tanks, such as the Japanese Type 10, Russian T-14 or the Korean K2 are 10-15 tons lighter than their late Cold War Western counterparts, putting them in the 45-55 ton range. But IFVs and APCs are gaining weight faster than my baby. Long gone are the days when M113-type of protection would have been considered adequate. New German IFVs, such as the Puma and Lynx have a combat weight of 40-45 tons. This is a similar class of weight as something like the T-80, and likely similar, if not better ballistic protection.

    (SPz Puma)

    [​IMG]

    The Israelis have gone crazy with their urban warfare needs and came up with a 60-ton APC, the Namer:[​IMG]

    Active protection systems aside, this is the best-protected vehicle in the World by some margin. It's not just some niche development either, this was a serious contender for the cancelled US CGV program, and the IDF is fielding them by the hundreds. A long way from the 10-15 ton M113s and MT-LBs of the Cold War...

    In 1939 the armies of the World were fielding a myriad of tanks from 10+ man land battleships such as this T-35:

    [​IMG]

    to "infantry" tanks, such as this Matilda I, sitting at 11 tons considered to be heavily armoured back in her day:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. To "cruiser" tanks such as this Panzer II:

    [​IMG]

    to tankettes such as this Carro Veloce aka "fast tank":

    [​IMG]

    The war pointed out the uselessness of the first and last type of tank outright, heavily favoured the cruiser tank's ability to outmanoeuvre enemy forces and appreciated the infantry tank's ability to deliver and take punches, seeing these two to merge into classes of "medium" and "heavy" tanks with the two then merging into a single universal main battle tank during the early years of the Cold War. It's mind-boggling after seeing the kind of tanks in service in 1939, to see this kind of tanks being introduced six years later:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Perhaps the current APCs, IFVs, MBTs, mortar carriers, self-propelled artillery pieces, AA platforms, ARV&engineer vehicles, supply vehicles, ambulances and command vehicles will see future merging into universal "light" and "heavy" or tracked and wheeled platforms. Multirole fighters have already taken over several types of aircraft, I don't see why similar developments would not eventually occur with AFVs. Modular design and add-on (reactive) armour packages are already there. The new Russian generation of AFVs demonstrates this sort of "universal combat vehicle" -trend to a degree.
     
  14. A direct-fire hit of what?

    Feces thrown by disgruntled chimpanzees?

    Tungsten carbide-tipped death fired from the ass end of a railgun at Mach=10?
     
  15. I'd also like to add that why is it that every f-ing time a tank is lost somewhere or a newer and nastier generation of some paint-scratching weapon is introduced, the whole concept of armoured AFVs is declared dead and buried by some?

    Did the anti-ship missile make all surface vessels suddenly obsolete? Did sonar, acoustic torpedos, anti-submarine missiles, magnetic depth charges, ASW helicopters, etc. make the submarine suddenly obsolete?

    If anything, they made the various classes of surface vessel and submarine massively better and more lethal. A WW2 U-boat's captain was happy if he could manage to sink a convoy transport, perhaps even an escort ship. Those subs were like children's toys compared to the satanic tubes that can give Chtulhu PTSD and make a nation state not exist.

    Tanks have undergone similar development. I really disagree with the notion that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger but it does seem to hold true with military hardware.
     
    ETB4U likes this.
  16. One interesting thing is how outdated the armor is on the MBTs currently in use. I found a rheinmetall armor brochure a while ago they have products with about 2x - 3x the protection per kg of RHA but so far no MBT really uses them. Another interesting thing is the armor on the Abrams and Challenger does not perform very well against kinetic attacks. They developed the armor on those as a response to t-55 and t-62 firing heat being popular, it offered around 2x the protection per kg against heat but only the same or slightly less than RHA against kinetic penetrators. They had to add the DU-titanium alloy plates to the m1a1 because newer soviet 125mm rounds posed a threat. The leo2 and leclerc are mostly just steel with replaceable inserts on the turret front.

    I'm not sure which way a new MBT developed with the latest materials would go, you could probably maintain existing protection and have it weigh closer to 40tons or keep existing weights and have something with heavy side armor that resembles a heavy tank rather than a MBT.
     
  17. What have I done

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Näyttökuva 2017-08-02 kello 0.38.12.png
     
  19. I've had a ride in one of those, in the back. Fun, but super uncomfortable.
     
  20. [​IMG]

    May as well be the Soviet U-2. A record-setting Myasishchev M-17, CCCP-17401 still holds the altitude record for her class at 72,000ft, left to rot on the outskirts of Moscow.
     
  21. I believe Russian tradition is to address aircraft with masculine pronouns, but it just didn't sound right to me.
     
  22. #648 Vanilla Ice, Aug 2, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
    For openness sake, I do not believe the tank is dead or ever will be in the foreseeable future. But the opposing argument is essentially this: even very lightly armored IFVs are protected against small arms, and even very heavily armored tanks are vulnerable to missiles. It's taken as gospel that infantry need direct-fire, indirect fire, and air support to properly accomplish its aims, and that the direct-fire support requires supporting infantry and aircraft lest they become very vulnerable. Taking those two items as given, does the strategic mobility of larger weapons on smaller armored vehicles yield tactical advantages?

    For instance, a C-17 can carry one combat-ready M1 tank, but four combat-ready Stryker gun systems (pictured). The latter can be air-dropped, while the former cannot (although air-dropping reduces capacity to two in a C-17, I believe). In fact, I believe that Strykers can even be transported by the larger helicopters in the US inventory, like the CH-53 and its derivatives. Can this strategic mobility offset tactical vulnerability?
    [​IMG]

    Prior to their experience in Afghanistan, where IED vulnerability convinced them of the value of the tank, this was essentially the Canadian Army's argument. With their modest airlift, the RCAF could deploy an 'armored' company armed with such gun systems to practically anywhere in the world in 24-hours. With full sized tanks, getting their trip with the Navy instead, it could take up to a month. Right as I post this, the United States and its closest allies (the Five-Eyes members) are training for such a scenario, air-transporting an entire combat element into contested territory as part of current Air Mobility Command exercises. (The Forcible Entry exercise involves air-dropping armored wheeled vehicles and their accompanying personnel and parachuting airborne infantry on about 30 C-130s and 20 C-17s)

    Personally, I believe such a capability is actually pretty significant. However, only great powers really demand such an immediate world-wide response ability. And, in turn, great powers don't need to reduce their tank force to introduce such a capability. Middle powers are defined as much by their political behavior as their available force (Germany and Japan are both middle powers by choice, for example, based on their diplomatic behavior). They move slowly through official forums, and act multilaterally. In turn, a month's notice is usually fine.
     
  23. I completely agree that such a capability is significant. Having lightly armoured-and-armed assets available at a moment's notice is better than not having those assets at all. US/NATO air assault brigade combat teams or the Russian VDV completely rely on equipment light enough to be air-dropped. That's sort of the whole point of such units.

    Emphasis on strategic mobility is nothing new, several nations have utilized light wheeled platforms in IFV and tank destroyer roles since the 70's, notably the South Africans and the French (in Africa) where they have been quite successful (Ratel, ERC-90, AMX-10RC). It wouldn't make a lot of sense to send heavy and costly MBTs to fight a low-intensity conflict in some shithole where there's a 3% chance to run into a T-54A.

    The United States had its (in)famous M551 Sheridan and the Soviets built a ton of vehicles filling similar roles in the BMD/BMP/BTR families. Outside of airborne/air assault/marine units, such vehicles mostly filled reconnaissance roles. For a reason.

    It's really great to transport units to location X so much faster, and they can even be up to their task on paper but usually when the enemy starts shooting back, things go awry. If IEDs and RPGs/SPGs used by a bunch of sand people convinced the CAF of the value of the tank I'd wager that they'd be even more convinced when facing, say, a hostile armoured division.

    "But the opposing argument is essentially this: even very lightly armored IFVs are protected against small arms, and even very heavily armored tanks are vulnerable to missiles"

    I'll counter with saying that there exists a number of threats on the battlefield that sort of fall between a service rifle and a modern ATGM in terms of their armour-defeating capabilities. Avoiding all of those can become a bit of a challenge. Cheap rocket-propelled anti-tank warheads are far more ubiquitous on any battlefield than modern ATGMs, not least because the latter tend to cost about the equivalent of a brand new S-class Mercedes a pop. Add to those all the indirect fire, HMGs, autocannons, recoilless guns, old crappy ATGMs, belt-fed grenade launchers, mines...

    Lightly armoured missile carriers are quite effective as tank destroyers. They certainly have the range advantage and provided with non-line-of-sight attack capability they become very lethal. IFVs, APCs and reconnaissance vehicles have their own roles to fill. But if you slap an antiquated L7 rifled gun on a Mowag Piranha and use it as a tank against anything more competent than sand people, I'd bet on similar amounts of success as the AMX-13 had in Israeli use.
     
  24. Israel is building a wall around Gaza. It will be 6 meters high - and 40 meters deep.
     

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