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    Russian Ground Forces: News #1

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    GarryB

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    Re: Russian Ground Forces: News #1

    Post  GarryB on Mon Oct 18, 2010 1:44 am

    The Czech 122mm rocket launcher has always been held in the west as superior to the Soviet model because the Czech model has a full reload on the back of the truck and can be reloaded in about 3 minutes.
    The simple fact of the matter is that it is not superior because that 3 minutes should be used to reposition the unit for the second shot.
    After firing the first salvo if the enemy has any counter battery capability the mortar would be tucked up and the unit moved for every shot... so rate of fire would not be so important.

    The Tulip was absolutely loved in Afghanistan because it was the only weapon that could clear mountains and hit mountain caves with enough HE to have an effect.
    Even without guided rounds its accuracy was good enough to be a very effective weapon.

    There was a habit of the Muj and therefore western services to call any Soviet effective weapon a devils chariot. The Mi-24, the Su-25 (also called the german jet), the ZSU-23-4, BM-21.
    They didn't call the Tulip anything because they had no idea what hit them.

    In a shoot and scoot environment having 6 x 130kg HE rounds falling up to 19km away from the mortar the effect on target is similar to an airstrike but at a fraction of the cost and all weather day or night... something that wasn't an option at the time for the Soviets.
    Now they are adding GLONASS guided bombs and digital fire control systems they are just getting more accurate which means rate of fire becomes less important.

    The rate of fire issue is directly related to shell weight and that is probably what killed the 160mm mortar with its 41kg shells which were effective but required a vehicle to operate properly.

    The 120mm is on the border in that a vehicle is not absolutely necessary but improves performance and accuracy and rate of fire and crew protection and mobility.

    For the 240mm is is necessary because although it does not improve crew protection it improves mobility so it can be shoot and scoot.
    For guided shells the laser marking component is seperate from the firing component so the laser marking could be done by a UAV almost 20km away from the battery that fires and then moves.
    A 120mm battery could do the same but over less than half the distance.
    The effect would also be quite different as a 16kg shell does not have the same effect on target as a 130kg shell.
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    Kysusha

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    Re: Russian Ground Forces: News #1

    Post  Kysusha on Mon Oct 18, 2010 5:03 am

    GaryB,

    I guess it boils down to what role you are looking for your support weapons to provide. Granted if you are employing them in and H+I role – a shoot and scoot option probably will save them.

    Being an Infantry guy, I like my support under command and at priority call. When I call it, it comes and for as long as I need it. That was what was so good about Bn mortars – if the CO gave them to you and you then had the MFC – you had HE to get you out of the shit. Silent register on your route, designated DF’s and you felt confident to face the world. You could even have FPF in danger close in real tight spots. Often you would have 105mm as at priority call – so if they were available, you got them too – that way you could get the FO to rotate the fire missions so that you could move the firing lines.

    But to call in that support, you needed to be sure that when you wanted it – it wasn’t mobile! A hell of a lot can happen in the time taken for a mobile unit to get into action! Whereas, the 81mm and 120mm mortars were there and basically only time of flight away – splash over!
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    IronsightSniper

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    Re: Russian Ground Forces: News #1

    Post  IronsightSniper on Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:41 am

    RPGs aside, would the elevation of that 240 mm mortar be locked? The elevation settings of those line of mortars seems to be locked in that video. Asides from that, is there an accuracy rating in CEP for the Smel'chak?
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    GarryB

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    Re: Russian Ground Forces: News #1

    Post  GarryB on Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:00 am

    Not sure I understand the question Austin...

    If you are asking about the angle limits of the Tulip it can fire from 50 degrees to 80 degrees in elevation, and can traverse 23 degrees without moving the vehicle.

    A CEP is not given for the Smelchak but with such a heavy payload I would expect precise accuracy is not totally essential.
    The warhead is comparable to a small aircraft bomb.
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    Vladimir79

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    Re: Russian Ground Forces: News #1

    Post  Vladimir79 on Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:02 am

    Why all this talk about the Tulip Tree? It has far more cons than pros. Lacks mobility, low rate of fire, manpower intensive, set up time is better part of an hour, gets stuck in the mud easily. You have to fire a ranging round to use laser guided shells. The kit is a Soviet style siege cannon. Unless you have your enemy encircled, not much use.
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    IronsightSniper

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    Re: Russian Ground Forces: News #1

    Post  IronsightSniper on Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:30 am

    Well, no shit :p

    I'd wager that if any of us went to serve with Russia, we'd prefer to have the MSTA behind our backs or a series of 82 mm mortars. Tulips there to fulfill it's name, to look pretty (and by that, I mean make big boom!)

    Anyways, I'm not Austin paratrooper

    I asked about it's elevation settings because in the video, there seemed to be something that held the mortar back from gaining more or less elevation. Btw, can't remember where, but I also read somewhere that Smel'chak warhead weighed 32 kg, which would be less than the 130 kg "small aircraft bomb size".
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    Kysusha

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    Re: Russian Ground Forces: News #1

    Post  Kysusha on Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:20 am

    My, my, we are touchy. Really, I can’t see the benefit in Tulip either. From a plain Grunt’s perspective, I’d prefer 81mm /82mm mortar or 105mm Howz. as support weapons. Realistically, how do you think Tulip could operate and provide effective support to the infantry? The size of the shell alone is an obstacle for support fire – what’s the lethal range of that bloody round?

    Mortars on rapid rate, can suppress an area far more effectively than Tulip would and be a bloody sight more accurate in doing it as well.
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    IronsightSniper

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    Re: Russian Ground Forces: News #1

    Post  IronsightSniper on Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:08 am

    At 130 kg, an unassisted frag projectile from the Tulip can go 9.6 km. At 3.1 kg, the unassisted frag projectile of the 82 mm Podnos can go 4 km. Firing at 1 round a minute, the Tulip can place 130 kg down range in a minute. At 20 rounds a minute, the Podnos can throw 60 kg of ordinance down range in a minute. I should make it clear that I would prefer a light mortar or SP-howitzer to provide fire support over the tulip.
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    Kysusha

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    Re: Russian Ground Forces: News #1

    Post  Kysusha on Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:04 am

    Really, it has little to do with the weight of ordinance dropped down rage.

    Firstly, the weight of ordinance is also an obstacle for support weapons as the blast effect of the round limits the Danger Close area; you simply can’t walk it in on your position to clear the uglies off.

    Secondly, suppression is the cumulative effect of multiple detonations – one big bang ever minute or so allows a lot of fire and manoeuvre to be carried out in the intervening 60 seconds – you can also time the rounds for taking cover. Pl mortar fire drops the rounds off in a rapid rate and literally forces the bad guy to stop where he is. If he hasn’t sufficient cover – then he is a goner. Or, while he is he’s head down, bum up, you can manoeuvre to out-flank him and defeat him with small arms. Conversely it may be too hot for you so smoke off the area and get to hell out! All of these are options available to you with small calibre mortar or Howz.

    What’s more, the man-mobility of the mortars allows in and out of service much quicker than you can get with Tulip. If they do get registered fire, they can skip and re-establish quickly.

    Tulip is in my opinion, only effective when:

    You have total air superiority;
    You have a stationary target;
    Time is not a factor;
    The enemy does not have CB capacity;
    You do not call it in as supporting fire.

    When these factors are considered, then the usefulness of Tulip is very limited. It is limited for winkling out the enemy from well prepared positions, when your forces are in a commanding position.
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    GarryB

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    Re: Russian Ground Forces: News #1

    Post  GarryB on Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:41 am

    Why all this talk about the Tulip Tree? It has far more cons than pros.

    It is a very specific tool for a limited range of jobs.
    It was used at a time when Soviet air power was not 24 hour or even very capable in bad weather and really until they get satellite guided bombs into full service that is pretty much where they still are.

    The shell is large enough that a Glonass guided bomb should be perfectly possible and relatively cheap and would not risk a low flying UAV operating a laser target marker let alone a team of soldiers with a LTM on the ground. The target will likely not even know what hit them.
    Its steep trajectory makes it very useful in mountains and in big cities so it can get into targets that other artillery types can't reach.
    It can also defeat targets lighter rounds will not defeat simply because of its weight.

    The kit is a Soviet style siege cannon. Unless you have your enemy encircled, not much use.

    Because of its range it could cover quite an area around a base without needing to be moved. With satellite guided rounds no initial shots need be fired.

    Anyways, I'm not Austin

    Sorry it was your avatar that is the same...

    I asked about it's elevation settings because in the video, there seemed to be something that held the mortar back from gaining more or less elevation.

    It is quite normal for Mortars to not have a full range of elevation because elevation is simply used to change range parameters. With mortars (like Howitzers) there are added charges that can be wrapped around the tail to further extend range when necessary. In this case it would be 80 degrees and no extra charges gives a range of 800m. 50 degrees and the max of charges fitted will send the mortar bomb 9.5km. There is also a rocket assisted bomb that will travel 19km. The nuclear round also had rocket assistance and a range of about 18km.

    Btw, can't remember where, but I also read somewhere that Smel'chak warhead weighed 32 kg, which would be less than the 130 kg "small aircraft bomb size".

    32kgs is the HE content, the entire round weighs 134.2kgs. The standard round weighs 130kgs. The 32kgs of HE is the bursting charge, it is a HE FRAG shell so most of the rest of the weight... about 80kgs is metal that is prefragmented so that it shatters evenly and makes a nice even pattern or razor sharp shrapnel.
    As a comparison the BETAB-500U which is a concrete piercing bomb weighs 510 kgs and has a 45kg HE warhead charge. Now admittedly a concrete piercing round needs a lot of steel to penetrate concrete before it explodes, but a fragmentation mortar shell needs a lot of steel to form fragments from too. These fragments are not a good aerodynamic shape so they don't fly as far as a better shaped object might... like a bullet... so it makes more sense to have a lot of fragments and a relatively small charge than a bigger charge and less fragments or lighter fragments. Heavy fragments will fly further than lighter ones.

    My, my, we are touchy. Really, I can’t see the benefit in Tulip either. From a plain Grunt’s perspective, I’d prefer 81mm /82mm mortar or 105mm Howz. as support weapons.

    The benefit is you get the choice of climbing up that vertical mountain and down the other vertical side to get into a well protected Muj base... or you can sit and watch as the Tulips are set up and fired.
    Another scenario is yo can wander into Grozny and take this particular building where the enemy is doing all its planning... there are no good guys there to save... just go in a kill everyone in the building... or you can sit and watch as the Tulips are set up and fired.

    Realistically, how do you think Tulip could operate and provide effective support to the infantry? The size of the shell alone is an obstacle for support fire – what’s the lethal range of that bloody round?

    We have already gone over this it is one of many options. The standard supporting mortar for airborne forces is a 120mm gun/mortar while the heavier Tulip is more specialised.
    Regarding infantry support roles the lethal range of a Tulip barrage is nothing like the lethal range of a barrage from Buratino. TOS still seems popular for specific roles.

    Mortars on rapid rate, can suppress an area far more effectively than Tulip would and be a bloody sight more accurate in doing it as well.

    Without having compared them myself I cannot say I know enough about both to agree. The sudden impact of 6 rounds of that weight and power landing at the same time followed by another 6 a minute later would feel quite effective to me I would guess.
    The comparison of 6 rounds only a fraction of their weight landing more frequently... well I think the effectiveness would depend largely on the target. I think with troops in the open the lighter 120mm rounds would be more effective till they could get to cover. For targets in trenches however I think the former would be more effective... but I have experienced neither.

    When these factors are considered, then the usefulness of Tulip is very limited. It is limited for winkling out the enemy from well prepared positions, when your forces are in a commanding position.

    And the Russian Armed forces will only ever fight whom?

    Getting back to the topic of the thread the Vasilek automatic mortar is capable of direct fire as well as high angle engagements.
    It can fire at a cyclic rate of well over 120 rpm and fires from a 4 round clip. A battery of 6 guns could move into position fire 200 rounds and then move off in less than 5 minutes.
    On paper an ideal support weapon yet only the VDV seem to still operate it. Their support vehicles like the NONA uses a 120mm gun of lower rate of fire but a heavier shell and longer range.

    As I have pointed out previously each size mortar offers advantages and disadvantages. The old WWII 50mm mortars were very light and mobile but were short ranged and had light bombs that weren't hugely effective. Modern 30mm grenade launchers make up for the small shell weight with rate of fire. The 82mm mortar is easily man portable and offers a moderately effective bomb over reasonable range. These remain in service largely in the Podnos mortar that is simpler and cheaper and man portable. The VDV have lots of vehicles to tow specialist equipment to they operate the Vasilek. The 120mm is at the edge of man portable and is turning up in Russian and Soviet use in vehicle mounts like the Vena and Nona.
    There was also a 107mm mortar but was similar to the 120mm with a lighter bomb and shorter range. There was also a 160mm mortar with a 40kg bomb and it was big and heavy with a much more effective bomb than the 120mm but needed a vehicle mount. The 240mm mortar had an even bigger bomb and a longer range and the option of firing a nuclear bomb. This probably was the main reason that the 240mm mortar survived and the 160mm mortar disappeared.

    For delivering bio or chem warfare agents dropping it in in a 130kg cannister that could probably be designed to carry at least 80kgs of agent with the rest being the strong container that will only rupture above the target (with a dispersing charge).

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    IronsightSniper

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    Re: Russian Ground Forces: News #1

    Post  IronsightSniper on Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:10 pm

    Why are we even arguing? The only thing I like about the Tulip is it's caliber, I agreed it's damn impractical early on unshaven
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    Kysusha

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    Re: Russian Ground Forces: News #1

    Post  Kysusha on Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:46 pm

    Exactly - but remember as they say: it's not what you've got but how you use it that counts!
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    Vladimir79

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    Re: Russian Ground Forces: News #1

    Post  Vladimir79 on Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:43 pm

    Kysusha wrote:Exactly - but remember as they say: it's not what you've got but how you use it that counts!

    With 400+ in the arsenal, it is far more than we need. I saw it used in Chechnya, a howitzer did the same job.

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    IronsightSniper

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    Re: Russian Ground Forces: News #1

    Post  IronsightSniper on Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:43 am

    Oh you know us Americans, the bigger the better! 1 Tulip can make a larger hole than one howitzer.
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    GarryB

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    Re: Russian Ground Forces: News #1

    Post  GarryB on Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:34 am

    With 400+ in the arsenal, it is far more than we need. I saw it used in Chechnya, a howitzer did the same job.

    And that is to be expected.

    When force sizes diminish then the little extra tools become harder to justify. They might be the best choice for very specific roles but when you have a tighter budget and a smaller tool set then it is the very specialist tools that are removed first.

    Of course as I said with GLONASS guided shells it suddenly because rather more capable in the sense that it could be redesigned to set up... fire one shell and then move. The effect of 6 x 130kg shells impacting the target at once accurately would be quite useful.
    Yes I know that modern howitzers can use rate of fire to get 3-4 shells in the air on different trajectories and different shell charges so they all land on target at once and that 3-4 x 152mm shells is actually more weight of shells than the Tulip can fire... ie 3-4 x 40kgs = 120-160kgs. More importantly 3-4 shells spread the effect over a wider area just like a cluster bomb of 250kgs can have a wider effect against exposed infantry than a 500kg HE bomb because a 500kg bomb concentrates the blast and fragments in one point of detonation while several hundred small HE bombs spread over an area spread the HE and the splinters.
    The point is that in some environments the 152mm guns will not be able to get all its rounds on target with different trajectories because of steep terrain.

    I think the Tulip should be kept... but kept in Mountain brigades.
    modifying the design for GLONASS guided shells and for faster loading and for quick deployment and quick withdrawl.
    Tie it into the new network as part of an integrated force and it will be a more useful tool than it has ever been before.
    With 400 vehicles you will have spare parts to keep several batteries operating for years.

    Ask the Americans... they know. Sometimes you just need a bigger hammer... and don't be afraid to use the Sledge Hammer. Smile
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    IronsightSniper

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    Re: Russian Ground Forces: News #1

    Post  IronsightSniper on Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:07 am

    DoesRussia even have GPS guided shells? I thought the Excaliber was the only GPS guided shell out there.
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    Vladimir79

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    Re: Russian Ground Forces: News #1

    Post  Vladimir79 on Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:54 pm

    IronsightSniper wrote:DoesRussia even have GPS guided shells? I thought the Excaliber was the only GPS guided shell out there.

    No, we have laser guided shells. France is leading the European effort for GPS shells, it is called the Impaqt to be ready in 2015.

    http://www.nexter-group.fr/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=107:impaqt-munition-a-precision-metrique-&catid=50:munitions-dartillerie&Itemid=93&lang=en
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    GarryB

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    Re: Russian Ground Forces: News #1

    Post  GarryB on Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:44 am

    Russia has only recently put up the full GLONASS set of satellites.

    The Kh-38 and the Kh-25 series air to surface rockets have satellite guided versions.
    The KAB-500S-E is their first satellite guided bomb and was tested in the early 2000s on their strategic bombers first. (ie Tu-160s).

    The Brahmos has just received its GLONASS satellite guidance receiver, which the Indians seem to be very happy with.

    As I said the Russians were working on GLONASS guided shells for their 240mm mortars. They are also working on similar shells for their 152mm shells too.
    Whether the Russian Army buys them is another question.
    I do know they bought some Smelchak 240mm laser guided munitions because they were used in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

    They would not make them GPS compatible because the US controls that system and can turn off regions at will without warning.
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    medo

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    T-90 MBT: News

    Post  medo on Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:11 pm

    Will russian army now start buying instead of older version of T-90 and BMP-3 newer version T-90M and BMP-3M with thermal imagers in FCS? This will be a very big improvement for BMP-3, which could work in the same capabilities day and night.
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    Vladimir79

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    Re: Russian Ground Forces: News #1

    Post  Vladimir79 on Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:21 pm

    Who the hell knows. It is all in limbo now with no orders for armour in 2011.
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    GarryB

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    Re: Russian Ground Forces: News #1

    Post  GarryB on Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:34 am

    Well they have spent money on production facilities for the thermal sights, I would expect the intention is for installing these in armour.
    Of course with no communication about their plans it might not matter much if it has all been worked out.

    If the military has made all its decisions about its plans for the next 5 years but doesn't tell its MIC then its MIC will lose millions of dollars a year maintaining a capacity they don't need and the result is that when the Military is ready to order large numbers of armour they will find there is no production capacity left for tanks... but a lot of capacity to make trains if you want them... Sad
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    IronsightSniper

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    Re: Russian Ground Forces: News #1

    Post  IronsightSniper on Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:02 pm

    So if Russia already has the capability to install a GPS receiver onto the Tulip, then why not do it now?
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    Vladimir79

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    Re: Russian Ground Forces: News #1

    Post  Vladimir79 on Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:00 pm

    We aren't talking about the Tulip. It will never have GPS guided shells nor is it necessary for a mortar.
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    medo

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    Re: Russian Ground Forces: News #1

    Post  medo on Sun Oct 31, 2010 10:47 am

    I doubt they won't buy any new tank or armor in 2011, when the money is given. Maybe there are negotiations behind the scene about versions ans prices.
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    GarryB

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    Re: Russian Ground Forces: News #1

    Post  GarryB on Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:45 am

    Or with my cynical hat on... which I will call Vlad the Cynical Hat (No offense meant Smile )

    I might say that production of Thermal sights is not at a rate yet that could equip new vehicles and upgrade existing vehicles and equip export vehicles so there will be no new vehicles made and perhaps later on we will be told that 100 tanks will be upgraded per year for the next 2 years and then they will ramp it up to 500 per year plus 100 new tanks and then by 2015 it will be 500 tanks per year getting upgrades and 250 new tanks and it will stay at that till they have enough new and upgraded tanks. (ie about 2,000 and about 6,000 respectively).

    The problem is that there is no point in upgrading the tanks till you have decided on the upgrade for the T-90, which was cancelled.
    This means that any upgrade of older models will be to the standard they have now... which means they have what they call an unsatisfactory tank and they are spending money upgrading obsolete to unsatisfactory!!!
    Even worse all this time the factory is sitting idle costing money in power and heating and even just keeping the place secure from theft and vandals...

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