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    Tank Warfare: Russian Armour vs Western Armour

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    GarryB

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    Re: Tank Warfare: Russian Armour vs Western Armour

    Post  GarryB on Sun May 08, 2016 12:42 pm

    Hasn't armour almost always been at a disadvantage to anti-tank weapons (be it MBT rounds, ATGMs etc.). I don't recall a time when any tank has been "safe" short of perhaps the heaviest tanks back in WW2 and even then aircraft could take them out.

    Actually at certain times tanks could have been considered safe... the KV-1 and T-34 were a surprise for the Germans and their dedicated anti tank weapons were useless... but the Germans are not stupid and they brought up 88mm anti aircraft guns and 105mm howitzers for the job. The Tiger was also invulnerable for a while... and Saving Private Ryan notwithstanding actually taking out a Tiger was not that easy for aircraft... anything accurate enough like 20mm cannon fire was not powerful enough to reliably kill a heavy tank and anything powerful enough like a small bomb or rocket was not accurate enough to reliably kill a heavy tank.

    An exception were bomblets carried by Il-2 ground attack aircraft, but delivering them accurately was a skill too.

    Even the heaviest tank can be immobilised by shooting off its track and no tank has 360 degree protection from heavy AT weapons. Destroy both tracks and then move around to its sides or rear and just hammer it with RPGs... you will get a penetration eventually even if you aim for the turret rear...

    Look at the Abrams. In the hands of a well supplied, well trained crew it's an excellent tank. Put in the hands of poorly trained Iraqis it becomes a battlefield trophy for ISIS.

    Of course any weapon is a component of a system and the performance of that system is dependent on how well those components work together and are used.

    Fly some Apaches into an enemy held area and they can get shot down... I loved when the western media scoffed at Iraqi suggestions that an Apache was shot down with rifle fire... yet the previous decade Soldier of Fortune magazine continually boasted that Hinds were getting shot down with accurate rifle fire...

    Of course tanks will not be safe places... but I would argue with the Russian Air Force and their SAMs and the Russian Army and their SAMs I rather suspect the airspace over the battlefield will not be filled with NATO aircraft for long...
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    x_54_u43

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    Re: Tank Warfare: Russian Armour vs Western Armour

    Post  x_54_u43 on Mon May 09, 2016 3:26 am

    Elbows wrote:Hasn't armour almost always been at a disadvantage to anti-tank weapons (be it MBT rounds, ATGMs etc.).  I don't recall a time when any tank has been "safe" short of perhaps the heaviest tanks back in WW2 and even then aircraft could take them out.

    I appreciate that we, as countries, have to design tanks to be as survivable as possible, but I don't think any army plans on tanks surviving very long in open combat against a similar opponent.  Look at the Abrams.  In the hands of a well supplied, well trained crew it's an excellent tank.  Put in the hands of poorly trained Iraqis it becomes a battlefield trophy for ISIS.

    In a real engagement with top of the line modern tanks (T-90's, Armatas, Abrams, Leopard II's etc.) it'd be a matter of serious attrition, and that's assuming opposing aircraft didn't flatten most of them before the tanks even started engaging each other.  Sure we might have crews which survive, but in the modern battlefield, the tank is still a dangerous place to be.

    I'm guessing you are one of those people who think that tanks are obsolete and Javelins are the best thing since sliced bread?
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    Militarov

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    Re: Tank Warfare: Russian Armour vs Western Armour

    Post  Militarov on Mon May 09, 2016 3:28 am

    x_54_u43 wrote:
    Elbows wrote:Hasn't armour almost always been at a disadvantage to anti-tank weapons (be it MBT rounds, ATGMs etc.).  I don't recall a time when any tank has been "safe" short of perhaps the heaviest tanks back in WW2 and even then aircraft could take them out.

    I appreciate that we, as countries, have to design tanks to be as survivable as possible, but I don't think any army plans on tanks surviving very long in open combat against a similar opponent.  Look at the Abrams.  In the hands of a well supplied, well trained crew it's an excellent tank.  Put in the hands of poorly trained Iraqis it becomes a battlefield trophy for ISIS.

    In a real engagement with top of the line modern tanks (T-90's, Armatas, Abrams, Leopard II's etc.) it'd be a matter of serious attrition, and that's assuming opposing aircraft didn't flatten most of them before the tanks even started engaging each other.  Sure we might have crews which survive, but in the modern battlefield, the tank is still a dangerous place to be.

    I'm guessing you are one of those people who think that tanks are obsolete and Javelins are the best thing since sliced bread?

    Tanks are not obsolete, tanks are very vulnerable. And slightest mistakes in way they are deployed or used ends up badly aganist decently armed enemy.

    Elbows

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    Re: Tank Warfare: Russian Armour vs Western Armour

    Post  Elbows on Mon May 09, 2016 4:49 am

    x_54_u43 wrote:
    Elbows wrote:Hasn't armour almost always been at a disadvantage to anti-tank weapons (be it MBT rounds, ATGMs etc.).  I don't recall a time when any tank has been "safe" short of perhaps the heaviest tanks back in WW2 and even then aircraft could take them out.

    I appreciate that we, as countries, have to design tanks to be as survivable as possible, but I don't think any army plans on tanks surviving very long in open combat against a similar opponent.  Look at the Abrams.  In the hands of a well supplied, well trained crew it's an excellent tank.  Put in the hands of poorly trained Iraqis it becomes a battlefield trophy for ISIS.

    In a real engagement with top of the line modern tanks (T-90's, Armatas, Abrams, Leopard II's etc.) it'd be a matter of serious attrition, and that's assuming opposing aircraft didn't flatten most of them before the tanks even started engaging each other.  Sure we might have crews which survive, but in the modern battlefield, the tank is still a dangerous place to be.

    I'm guessing you are one of those people who think that tanks are obsolete and Javelins are the best thing since sliced bread?

    I'm merely perplexed by the attitude which I see come across on a lot of these threads where people seem to think current tanks or next-gen tanks are going to be impervious to battlefield threats. You build the best tank you can within a reasonable budget and you expect losses. The pedantic arguing over which ATGM is better, or which armour certain tanks have is pretty pointless. It's all well and good to study the advancement of technology, but let's be realistic. The battlefield is a dangerous damn place regardless how fancy your equipment is.

    Cyrus the great

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    Re: Tank Warfare: Russian Armour vs Western Armour

    Post  Cyrus the great on Mon May 09, 2016 5:11 am

    Elbows wrote:
    x_54_u43 wrote:
    Elbows wrote:Hasn't armour almost always been at a disadvantage to anti-tank weapons (be it MBT rounds, ATGMs etc.).  I don't recall a time when any tank has been "safe" short of perhaps the heaviest tanks back in WW2 and even then aircraft could take them out.

    I appreciate that we, as countries, have to design tanks to be as survivable as possible, but I don't think any army plans on tanks surviving very long in open combat against a similar opponent.  Look at the Abrams.  In the hands of a well supplied, well trained crew it's an excellent tank.  Put in the hands of poorly trained Iraqis it becomes a battlefield trophy for ISIS.

    In a real engagement with top of the line modern tanks (T-90's, Armatas, Abrams, Leopard II's etc.) it'd be a matter of serious attrition, and that's assuming opposing aircraft didn't flatten most of them before the tanks even started engaging each other.  Sure we might have crews which survive, but in the modern battlefield, the tank is still a dangerous place to be.

    I'm guessing you are one of those people who think that tanks are obsolete and Javelins are the best thing since sliced bread?

    I'm merely perplexed by the attitude which I see come across on a lot of these threads where people seem to think current tanks or next-gen tanks are going to be impervious to battlefield threats.  You build the best tank you can within a reasonable budget and you expect losses.  The pedantic arguing over which ATGM is better, or which armour certain tanks have is pretty pointless.  It's all well and good to study the advancement of technology, but let's be realistic.  The battlefield is a dangerous damn place regardless how fancy your equipment is.

    I don't think anyone here has argued that tanks are "impervious", so this seems like a straw man argument on your part. People have consistently reaffirmed that tanks will continue to face potent and deadly threats on the battlefield even as multi-layered countermeasures are developed and deployed to address these challenges.
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    x_54_u43

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    Re: Tank Warfare: Russian Armour vs Western Armour

    Post  x_54_u43 on Mon May 09, 2016 6:21 am

    Elbows wrote:

    I'm merely perplexed by the attitude which I see come across on a lot of these threads where people seem to think current tanks or next-gen tanks are going to be impervious to battlefield threats.  You build the best tank you can within a reasonable budget and you expect losses.  The pedantic arguing over which ATGM is better, or which armour certain tanks have is pretty pointless.  It's all well and good to study the advancement of technology, but let's be realistic.  The battlefield is a dangerous damn place regardless how fancy your equipment is.

    Nobody intelligent has ever stated that tanks are impervious. Or that the battlefield is safe while inside a tank.

    However, your statement that tanks would get flattened by air power before engaging each other is hilarious and the sign of a feeble and Hollywood-influenced mind.

    Remove the fanciful notions such as the F-35 or B-1B completely demolishing tank fleets with SDB-IIs. It will never happen, even if the tanks are without air cover or air defenses. Such notions have been hilarious to watch as they fall apart, especially the B-2 and the ICBM tracking fantasy, which was completely forgotten in the legendary SCUD hunting clusterfuck in the Iraq war.

    Tanks may be a danger to be in, but relatively, they are far less risky to be in than other positions, especially in a new Russian tank such as the T-14. Consider the threats it faces, old TOWs and Milans and the laughter-inducing Javelin, with a hilariously low penetrating potential against a 3.5 gen T-90A, much less than a 4th generation T-14, with SIX radars, fully duplicated commander and gunner FCS with new generation thermal imagers and laser rangefinders, all-around camera system and laser warning system. Even if the T-14 is catastrophically hit, mostly likely in its turret, then I will be safe within the armored capsule.

    It's good to be a tanker. Especially a Russian one.

    Elbows

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    Re: Tank Warfare: Russian Armour vs Western Armour

    Post  Elbows on Mon May 09, 2016 6:56 pm

    x_54_u43 wrote:
    Elbows wrote:

    I'm merely perplexed by the attitude which I see come across on a lot of these threads where people seem to think current tanks or next-gen tanks are going to be impervious to battlefield threats.  You build the best tank you can within a reasonable budget and you expect losses.  The pedantic arguing over which ATGM is better, or which armour certain tanks have is pretty pointless.  It's all well and good to study the advancement of technology, but let's be realistic.  The battlefield is a dangerous damn place regardless how fancy your equipment is.

    Nobody intelligent has ever stated that tanks are impervious. Or that the battlefield is safe while inside a tank.

    However, your statement that tanks would get flattened by air power before engaging each other is hilarious and the sign of a feeble and Hollywood-influenced mind.

    Remove the fanciful notions such as the F-35 or B-1B completely demolishing tank fleets with SDB-IIs. It will never happen, even if the tanks are without air cover or air defenses. Such notions have been hilarious to watch as they fall apart, especially the B-2 and the ICBM tracking fantasy, which was completely forgotten in the legendary SCUD hunting clusterfuck in the Iraq war.  

    Tanks may be a danger to be in, but relatively, they are far less risky to be in than other positions, especially in a new Russian tank such as the T-14. Consider the threats it faces, old TOWs and Milans and the laughter-inducing Javelin, with a hilariously low penetrating potential against a 3.5 gen T-90A, much less than a 4th generation T-14, with SIX radars, fully duplicated commander and gunner FCS with new generation thermal imagers and laser rangefinders, all-around camera system and laser warning system. Even if the T-14 is catastrophically hit, mostly likely in its turret, then I will be safe within the armored capsule.

    It's good to be a tanker. Especially a Russian one.

    A feeble mind huh? Hmmm, that's a shame. I guess I should take your insulting posts with a grain of salt. Curious, what made you think I was referring to Russian tanks being flattened by US airpower? Or is that because I'm a "Western Devil" and I can't possibly be applying that logic to all forms of armour/aircraft?

    Vann7

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    Re: Tank Warfare: Russian Armour vs Western Armour

    Post  Vann7 on Mon May 09, 2016 7:34 pm

    Isos wrote:
    Russia doesn't need to invade Turkey if a war happen, just destroy their navy and their airplanes. A major ground batlle wouldn't happen..


    Turkey is armed with nuclear weapons, yes you heard that right. Right now there are a dozen or more nuclear warheads in Turkey from Americans. It also can get nukes from Israel or Pakistan or "Saudi Arabia".  in reality weapons supplied by Americans ,Pakistan or Israel passed from hand to hand and end in Turkey.

    So this is just one of the many potential scenarios.
    So if Erdogan Army invades Syria or attack Russian airforce again, killing a dozen of Russians ,Russia will be forced to retaliate their airforce and shut down a couple or more of planes . Then Turkey close the hormuz strait to Russia , cutting Russia from the mediterranean sea. then Russia is forced to declare war on Turkey and do what you say , destroy their navy , then Turkey retaliates with tactical nuclear weapon supplied by "mysterious hands" who could they be?  ,or simply attack Crimea with chemical weapons.

    In all this people needs to understand Erdogan is not a rational man. He is a muslin terrorist , he is an extremist . and such kind of people do not think in consequences . Look how he give the order to shot down Russian plane. with the full support of Americans. So such people are very unpredictable. This means that you cannot say.. it will never happen. because it can.
    and this is because Erdogan is not a rational man. he is today arming ISIS to overthrow Syrian government and put ISIS in control of it, Something that could provoke a major world humanitarian crisis with millions killed. If ISIS takes control of Damascus. in short erdogan is a monster. So you cannot say for sure he will not do the unthinkable because he is already risking the life of millions in Syria. So predicting what an irrational and sick man like Erdogan can do or not is impossible. He could be capable of attacking Crimea with nukes or chemical weapons if humiliatted as you say and its navy destroyed.

    So sinking the navy of turkey will NOT remove Erdogan from power. The war of Russia with Nazis did not end until Russia planted a flag in Berlin. that said. if Russia face a full scale war with Turkey. it will have no option but to invade Turkey and take control of Istanbul to reopen the Bosphurous strait at least. The only other option will be to nuke ankara and sacrifice millions innocent civilians. So thats is not an option. Russia will simply need to be prepared for the unthinkable like an invasion of Turkey to remove erdogan. This is why is really important for Russia to have fully modernized Army with Armatas in big numbers in service ,to minimize as much as possible the casualties of Russian army ,by providing them the best military hardware possible in Russia inventory. remember Russia vs georgia war of 5-6 days. Who will have thought such weak nation will kill hundreds of Russian soldiers and start a war against Russia without any provocation?

    Dont underestimate Americans , they can manage to get wars to happen. another front Russia can face very easily a war is on moldova if attack trasnistria will force Russia to help their Russian soldiers peacemakers there. . and Turkey is not an exception ,with Erdogan will be even more easier because he is an islamic extremist. it will be totally foolish if Russia is attacked by Turkey ,and hundreds or thousands civilians die and they do not invade Turkey.  Putin will have 100% support to finally stop Erdogan , and save Europe and the world from that terrorist.
    it will also send a message to NATO. it could finally put an end to the dictator Erdogan and take control of Istanbul for once and no longer allow NATO to have any effective use for Turkey against Russia. The entire world will also backup Russia war against turkey and finally kick the Turks from Cyprus ,from Constantinople and from Syria and IRAQ.  allowing Erdogan to continue ruling after Turkey declares full scale war against Russia will be a serious mistake ,because he will only increase its hostilities and attacks. just like hitler did to Russia. he could be re armed and continue more attacks and give more support to ISIS.
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    Werewolf

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    Re: Tank Warfare: Russian Armour vs Western Armour

    Post  Werewolf on Mon May 09, 2016 7:57 pm

    Turkey, Italy, Germany and Netherlands do not posses those nukes they are only and exclusivley in US hands, so if any nuke is used it is a direct US act. Those military bases are Americans exclusive, no germans are allowed in Ramstein base where they have their nukes, except authorized personal which have no hands and have no procedures within the base whatsoever.
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    Militarov

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    Re: Tank Warfare: Russian Armour vs Western Armour

    Post  Militarov on Mon May 09, 2016 8:12 pm

    Vann7 wrote:
    Isos wrote:
    Russia doesn't need to invade Turkey if a war happen, just destroy their navy and their airplanes. A major ground batlle wouldn't happen..


    Turkey is armed with nuclear weapons, yes you heard that right. Right now there are a dozen or more nuclear warheads in Turkey from Americans. It also can get nukes from Israel or Pakistan or "Saudi Arabia".  in reality weapons supplied by Americans ,Pakistan or Israel passed from hand to hand and end in Turkey.

    So this is just one of the many potential scenarios.
    So if Erdogan Army invades Syria or attack Russian airforce again, killing a dozen of Russians ,Russia will be forced to retaliate their airforce and shut down a couple or more of planes . Then Turkey close the hormuz strait to Russia , cutting Russia from the mediterranean sea. then Russia is forced to declare war on Turkey and do what you say , destroy their navy , then Turkey retaliates with tactical nuclear weapon supplied by "mysterious hands" who could they be?  ,or simply attack Crimea with chemical weapons.

    In all this people needs to understand Erdogan is not a rational man. He is a muslin terrorist , he is an extremist . and such kind of people do not think in consequences . Look how he give the order to shot down Russian plane. with the full support of Americans. So such people are very unpredictable. This means that you cannot say.. it will never happen. because it can.
    and this is because Erdogan is not a rational man. he is today arming ISIS to overthrow Syrian government and put ISIS in control of it, Something that could provoke a major world humanitarian crisis with millions killed. If ISIS takes control of Damascus. in short erdogan is a monster. So you cannot say for sure he will not do the unthinkable because he is already risking the life of millions in Syria. So predicting what an irrational and sick man like Erdogan can do or not is impossible. He could be capable of attacking Crimea with nukes or chemical weapons if humiliatted as you say and its navy destroyed.

    So sinking the navy of turkey will NOT remove Erdogan from power. The war of Russia with Nazis did not end until Russia planted a flag in Berlin. that said. if Russia face a full scale war with Turkey. it will have no option but to invade Turkey and take control of Istanbul to reopen the Bosphurous strait at least. The only other option will be to nuke ankara and sacrifice millions innocent civilians. So thats is not an option. Russia will simply need to be prepared for the unthinkable like an invasion of Turkey to remove erdogan. This is why is really important for Russia to have fully modernized Army with Armatas in big numbers in service ,to minimize as much as possible the casualties of Russian army ,by providing them the best military hardware possible in Russia inventory. remember Russia vs georgia war of 5-6 days. Who will have thought such weak nation will kill hundreds of Russian soldiers and start a war against Russia without any provocation?

    Dont underestimate Americans , they can manage to get wars to happen. another front Russia can face very easily a war is on moldova if attack trasnistria will force Russia to help their Russian soldiers peacemakers there. .  and Turkey is not an exception ,with Erdogan will be even more easier because he is an islamic extremist. it will be totally foolish if Russia is attacked by Turkey ,and hundreds or thousands civilians die and they do not invade Turkey.  Putin will have 100% support to finally stop Erdogan , and save Europe and the world from that terrorist.
    it will also send a message to NATO. it could finally put an end to the dictator Erdogan and take control of Istanbul for once and no longer allow NATO to have any effective use for Turkey against Russia. The entire world will also backup Russia war against turkey and finally kick the Turks from Cyprus ,from Constantinople and from Syria and IRAQ.  allowing Erdogan to continue ruling after Turkey declares full scale war against Russia will be a serious mistake ,because he will only increase its hostilities and attacks. just like hitler did to Russia. he could be re armed and continue more attacks and give more support to ISIS.

    Nuclear weapons under "Nuclear sharing agreement" are being "hosted" in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Turkey, however they are not under control of their armies but US Air Force, stop spreading missinformations on this forum for once.

    NORAD is to supply the codes and fuses to hosting country in case of need for such weapons to be deployed, and they are to be launched from hosting country aircraft, some of which are adapted to deliver nuclear warload. Whole time weapon deployment is to be handled by mixed crews of US servicemen and host country.

    Now, if you are trying to claim that NORAD would supply Turkey with means to deliver nuclear warload on their own... just....no. Actually there are rumors US is planning of retrieving remaining warheads from Turkey and transfer them to Germany and Netherlands due to instability in the region.

    I am not sure whats up with you people and all this BS talk about nuclear war and nuclear apocalypse. Grow up, its not going to happen any time soon. Everyone is aware of how dangerous nuclear weapons are, and how grave the consequences would be for whole human kind. Stop flooding forum with crap like this, its getting very annoying.

    wilhelm

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    Re: Tank Warfare: Russian Armour vs Western Armour

    Post  wilhelm on Mon May 09, 2016 10:48 pm

    Elbows wrote:
    x_54_u43 wrote:
    Elbows wrote:

    I'm merely perplexed by the attitude which I see come across on a lot of these threads where people seem to think current tanks or next-gen tanks are going to be impervious to battlefield threats.  You build the best tank you can within a reasonable budget and you expect losses.  The pedantic arguing over which ATGM is better, or which armour certain tanks have is pretty pointless.  It's all well and good to study the advancement of technology, but let's be realistic.  The battlefield is a dangerous damn place regardless how fancy your equipment is.

    Nobody intelligent has ever stated that tanks are impervious. Or that the battlefield is safe while inside a tank.

    However, your statement that tanks would get flattened by air power before engaging each other is hilarious and the sign of a feeble and Hollywood-influenced mind.

    Remove the fanciful notions such as the F-35 or B-1B completely demolishing tank fleets with SDB-IIs. It will never happen, even if the tanks are without air cover or air defenses. Such notions have been hilarious to watch as they fall apart, especially the B-2 and the ICBM tracking fantasy, which was completely forgotten in the legendary SCUD hunting clusterfuck in the Iraq war.  

    Tanks may be a danger to be in, but relatively, they are far less risky to be in than other positions, especially in a new Russian tank such as the T-14. Consider the threats it faces, old TOWs and Milans and the laughter-inducing Javelin, with a hilariously low penetrating potential against a 3.5 gen T-90A, much less than a 4th generation T-14, with SIX radars, fully duplicated commander and gunner FCS with new generation thermal imagers and laser rangefinders, all-around camera system and laser warning system. Even if the T-14 is catastrophically hit, mostly likely in its turret, then I will be safe within the armored capsule.

    It's good to be a tanker. Especially a Russian one.

    A feeble mind huh?  Hmmm, that's a shame.  I guess I should take your insulting posts with a grain of salt.  Curious, what made you think I was referring to Russian tanks being flattened by US airpower?  Or is that because I'm a "Western Devil" and I can't possibly be applying that logic to all forms of armour/aircraft?

    Don't stress about it too much, Elbows. Smile

    x_54_u43, Elbows was pretty neutral, and didn't exactly pick on any nation over another.
    I really can't see why he deserved the slight dig? dunno

    Either way, I was glad when I was a soldier back in the day that I was an infantryman. Twisted Evil

    On that note, forgive me if I haven't been following as closely as I should the progression of Armata, but is it still in State Trials, or have those been concluded now?
    If they are concluded, is there a date that it is to be inducted into service? I seem to recall reading on this site that a production order was announced the other day.
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    x_54_u43

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    Re: Tank Warfare: Russian Armour vs Western Armour

    Post  x_54_u43 on Mon May 09, 2016 11:53 pm

    wilhelm wrote:
    Don't stress about it too much, Elbows. Smile

    x_54_u43, Elbows was pretty neutral, and didn't exactly pick on any nation over another.
    I really can't see why he deserved the slight dig? dunno

    Either way, I was glad when I was a soldier back in the day that I was an infantryman. Twisted Evil

    On that note, forgive me if I haven't been following as closely as I should the progression of Armata, but is it still in State Trials, or have those been concluded now?
    If they are concluded, is there a date that it is to be inducted into service? I seem to recall reading on this site that a production order was announced the other day.

    Anyone who thinks air power can significantly affect ground power is a retard, simply put.

    Russian air force or American, it makes no difference.

    Contract for Armata have begun.
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    PapaDragon

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    Re: Tank Warfare: Russian Armour vs Western Armour

    Post  PapaDragon on Tue May 10, 2016 12:28 am

    Elbows wrote:.....'Western Devils'.......

    Don't get too worked up over harsh tone Elbows, it's just the flavour of this forum. Problem is that low quality of discussion and amount of stereotypes on other forums and comment sections makes people here go into ''shoot first ask questions later'' mode quite often.

    There are only so many videogame-grade ''experts'' you can tolerate at any given time before preemptively going ballistic.

    Just roll with it and feel free to shoot back.Very Happy

    Oh, and expression you were looking for is ''West Stronkian'' or ''West Stronker''. Nobody outside East Asia uses expression ''Western Devil'' as far as I know. Cool
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    max steel

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    How the Pentagon is Preparing for a Tank War With Russia

    Post  max steel on Sun May 29, 2016 9:57 pm

    How the Pentagon is Preparing for a Tank War With Russia

    Reactive armor and cross-domain fire capabilities are just some of the items on the Army’s must-have list.

    When Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster briefs, it’s like Gen. Patton giving a TED talk — a domineering physical presence with bristling intellectual intensity.

    These days, the charismatic director of the Army’s Capabilities Integration Center is knee-deep in a project called The Russia New Generation Warfare study, an analysis of how Russia is re-inventing land warfare in the mud of Eastern Ukraine. Speaking recently at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., McMaster said that the two-year-old conflict had revealed that the Russians have superior artillery firepower, better combat vehicles, and have learned sophisticated use of UAVs for tactical effect. Should U.S. forces find themselves in a land war with Russia, he said, they would be in for a rude, cold awakening.

    “We spend a long time talking about winning long-range missile duels,” said McMaster. But long-range missiles only get you through the front door. The question then becomes what will you do when you get there.

    “Look at the enemy countermeasures,” he said, noting Russia’s use of nominally semi-professional forces who are capable of “dispersion, concealment, intermingling with civilian populations…the ability to disrupt our network strike capability, precision navigation and timing capabilities.” All of that means “you’re probably going to have a close fight… Increasingly, close combat overmatch is an area we’ve neglected, because we’ve taken it for granted.”

    So how do you restore overmatch? The recipe that’s emerging from the battlefield of Ukraine, says McMaster, is more artillery and better artillery, a mix of old and new.

    Cross-Domain Fires

    “We’re out-ranged by a lot of these systems and they employ improved conventional munitions, which we are going away from. There will be a 40- to 60-percent reduction in lethality in the systems that we have,” he said. “Remember that we already have fewer artillery systems. Now those fewer artillery systems will be less effective relative to the enemy. So we need to do something on that now.”

    To remedy that, McMaster is looking into a new area called “cross domain fires,” which would outfit ground units to hit a much wider array of targets. “When an Army fires unit arrives somewhere, it should be able to do surface-to-air, surface-to-surface, and shore-to-ship capabilities. We are developing that now and there are some really promising capabilities,” he said.

    While the full report has not been made public, “a lot of this is available open source” said McMaster, “in the work that Phil Karber has done, for example.”

    Karber, the president of the Potomac Foundation, went on a fact-finding mission to Ukraine last year, and returned with the conclusion that the United States had long overemphasized precision artillery on the battlefield at the expense of mass fires. Since the 1980s, he said last October, at an Association for the United States Army event, the U.S. has given up its qualitative edge, mostly by getting rid of cluster munitions.

    Munitions have advanced incredibly since then. One of the most terrifying weapons that the Russians are using on the battlefield are thermobaric warheads, weapons that are composed almost entirely of fuel and burn longer and with more intensity than other types of munitions.

    “In a 3-minute period…a Russian fire strike wiped out two mechanized battalions [with] a combination of top-attack munitions and thermobaric warheads,” said Karber. “If you have not experienced or seen the effects of thermobaric warheads, start taking a hard look. They might soon be coming to a theater near you.”

    Karber also noted that Russian forces made heavy and integrated use of electronic warfare. It’s used to identify fire sources and command posts and to shut down voice and data communications. In the northern section, he said, “every single tactical radio [the Ukrainian forces] had was taken out by heavy Russian sector-wide EW.” Other EW efforts had taken down Ukrainian quadcopters. Another system was being used to mess with the electrical fuses on Ukrainian artillery shells, ”so when they hit, they’re duds,” he said.

    Karber also said the pro-Russian troops in Donbas were using an overlapping mobile radar as well as a new man-portable air defense that’s “integrated into their network and can’t be spoofed by [infrared] decoys” or flares.

    Combat Vehicles and Defenses


    The problems aren’t just with rockets and shells, McMaster said. Even American combat vehicles have lost their edge.

    “The Bradley [Fighting Vehicle] is great,” he said, but “what we see now is that our enemies have caught up to us. They’ve invested in combat vehicles. They’ve invested in advanced protective systems and active protective systems. We’ve got to get back ahead on combat vehicle development.”

    If the war in Eastern Ukraine were a real-world test, the Russian T-90 tank passed with flying colors. The tank had seen action in Dagestan and Syria, but has been particularly decisive in Ukraine. The Ukrainians, Karber said, “have not been able to record one single kill on a T-90. They have the new French optics on them. The Russians actually designed them to take advantage of low light, foggy, winter conditions.”

    What makes the T-90 so tough? For starters, explosive reactive armor. When you fire a missile at the tank, its skin of metal plates and explosives reacts. The explosive charge clamps the plates together so the rocket can’t pierce the hull.

    But that’s only if the missile gets close enough. The latest thing in vehicle defense is active protection systems, or APS, which automatically spot incoming shells and target them with electronic jammers or just shoot them down. “It might use electronics to ‘confuse’ an incoming round, or it might use mass (outgoing bullets, rockets) to destroy the incoming round before it gets too close,” Army director for basic research Jeff Singleton told Defense One in an email.

    The T-90’s active protective system is the Shtora-1 countermeasures suite. “I’ve interviewed Ukrainian tank gunners,” said Karber. “They’ll say ‘I had my [anti-tank weapon] right on it, it got right up to it and then they had this miraculous shield. An invisible shield. Suddenly, my anti-tank missile just went up to the sky.’”

    The Pentagon is well behind some other militaries on this research. Israeli forces declared its Trophy APS operational in 2009, integrated it onto tanks since 2010, and has been using it to protect Israeli tank soldiers from Hamas rockets ever since.

    Singleton said the United States is looking to give its Abrams tank the Trophy, which uses buckshot-like guns to down incoming fire without harming nearby troops.

    The Army is also experimenting with the Israeli-made Iron Curtain APS for the Stryker, which works similarly, and one for the Bradley that has yet to be named. Raytheon has a system called the Quick Kill that uses a scanned array radar and a small missile to shoot down incoming projectiles.

    Anti-Drone Defenses

    One of the defining features of the war in Eastern Ukraine is the use of drones by both sides, not to target high-value terrorists but to direct fire in the same way forces used the first combat aircraft in World War I.

    The past has a funny way of re-inventing itself, says McMaster.

    “I never had to look up in my whole career and say, ‘Is it friendly or enemy?’ because of the U.S. Air Force. We have to do that now,” said McMaster. “Our Air Force gave us an unprecedented period of air supremacy…that changed the dynamics of ground combat. Now, you can’t bank on that.”

    Pro-Russian forces use as many as 16 types of UAVs for targeting.

    Russian forces are known to have “a 90-kilometer [Multiple Launch Rocket System] round, that goes out, parachute comes up, a UAV pops out, wings unfold, and they fly it around, it can strike a mobile target” said Karber, who said he wasn’t sure it had yet been used in Ukraine.

    Karber’s track record for accuracy is less than perfect, as writer Jeffrey Lewis has pointed out in Foreign Policy. At various points, he has inflated estimates of China’s nuclear arsenal from some 300 weapons (based on declassified estimates) to 3,000 squirreled away in mysterious tunnels, a claim that many were able to quickly debunk. In 2014, he helped pass photos to Sen. James Inhofe of the Senate Armed Services Committee that purported to be recent images of Russian forces inside Ukraine. It turned out they were AP photographs from 2008.

    “In the haste of running for the airport and trying to respond to a last-minute request with short time fuse,” Karber said by way of explanation, “I made the mistake of believing we were talking about the same photos … and it never occurred to me that the three photos of Russian armor were part of that package or being considered.”

    No Foolproof Technological Solution

    All of these technologies could shape the future battlefield, but none of them are silver bullets, nor do they, in McMaster’s view, offset the importance of human beings in gaining territory, holding territory, and changing facts on the ground to align with mission objectives.

    As the current debate about the authorization for the use of force in Iraq shows, the commitment of large numbers of U.S. ground troops to conflict has become a political nonstarter for both parties. In lieu of a political willingness to put troops in the fight, multi-sectarian, multi-ethnic forces will take the lead, just as they are doing now in Iraq and Syria.

    “What’s necessary is political accommodation, is what needs to happen, if we don’t conduct operations and plan campaigns in a way that gets to the political accommodation,” he said. “The most important activity will be to broker political ceasefires and understandings.”

    Sometimes that happens at the end of a tank gun.
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    sepheronx

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    Re: Tank Warfare: Russian Armour vs Western Armour

    Post  sepheronx on Sun May 29, 2016 11:30 pm

    They will have to come up with something newer than Abrams Laughing
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    max steel

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    Re: Tank Warfare: Russian Armour vs Western Armour

    Post  max steel on Sun May 29, 2016 11:34 pm

    Well M1A3SEP design is still on the board. Rest US most advanced tank till date performance among european nations : http://www.russiadefence.net/t3396p75-nato-discussion-and-news#165157
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    VladimirSahin

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    Re: Tank Warfare: Russian Armour vs Western Armour

    Post  VladimirSahin on Mon May 30, 2016 12:30 am

    sepheronx wrote:They will have to come up with something newer than Abrams Laughing

    Abrams is an expensive tank to maintain, and the weight makes it a bum to move around to war when it needs too. Although combat wise it is very capable, M1A2 SEPs are better than T-72B3s. T-90As would face problems fighting this tank. I was hoping the MoD would atleast buy T-90Ms but no signs of the orders. So we are kind of left with the T-14, which is a totally new design.
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    max steel

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    Re: Tank Warfare: Russian Armour vs Western Armour

    Post  max steel on Mon May 30, 2016 12:33 am

    Then it means German tanks are much more capable than russian mbt's.
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    VladimirSahin

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    Re: Tank Warfare: Russian Armour vs Western Armour

    Post  VladimirSahin on Mon May 30, 2016 12:40 am

    max steel wrote:Then it means German tanks are much more capable than russian mbt's.

    That is not to say the T-72B3s cannot face it, or the T-90As cannot face it. Specs wise the T-72B3 falls under the M1A2 SEP Abrams. The T-90A can face it better so, T-90A has better armor compared to the T-72B3. The thing that is lacking on the T-72B3 is the commander's sight. Armor can be penetrated either way, the T-72B3 can destroy M1A2s as well. It is the optics that matter, as well as to a certain extent armor. In Europe the average combat range for tanks is estimated to be 1.6-2 KMs so it wont matter much, the T-72B3 should be able to fair good against NATO tanks, in the 1-2 KM range. And if it is able to spot NATO tanks first farther it can use ATGMs to engage NATO heavy armor. Let me be more specific, The T-72B3 is a capable tank. But it lacks stuff like a commanders independent viewer. It's also lacking against NATO APFDS rounds. The M1A2 can have success at penetrating the T-72B3 @ 2KM from the turret. Where as the T-72B3 has to hit the hull of the Abrams to ensure a kill at that range.


    Last edited by VladimirSahin on Mon May 30, 2016 12:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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    sepheronx

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    How the Pentagon is Preparing for a Tank War With Russia

    Post  sepheronx on Mon May 30, 2016 12:48 am

    Heavy tanks wont fare very well in marsh land and other parts of Russia's western regions.

    Add to that, with their large and bulky design, they are much easier targets for atgm crew. Tanks never fight 1 on 1 anymore. That said, the tanks the west have are good, but extremely expensive and apparently maintenance hungry.
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    KomissarBojanchev

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    How can a few HE shells rip apart a T-72?

    Post  KomissarBojanchev on Sun Jan 22, 2017 7:23 am

    Apparently this happened to a T-72A.http:http://ftr.wot-news.com/2014/03/04/what-an-ammo-explosion-can-do/

    How the hell can 3 125mm HE shells completely shred a tank into a crater? Seriously even if the ammo is sealed off, its simply unreal. Was it poor quality?
    The way HE shells ripped apart this tank makes me think for a moment that APSFDs isnt needed and lobbing HE at tanks will easily punch holes through them. If 3 shells can obliterate a tank into tiny pieces, can 1 shell puncture its armor?
    I also wonder that if HE shells are indeed so destructive, how can blowoff panels even hope to protect their crew? It looks like even a single HE shell will rip through the bustle barrier killing the crew.
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    GarryB

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    Re: Tank Warfare: Russian Armour vs Western Armour

    Post  GarryB on Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:08 am

    How the hell can 3 125mm HE shells completely shred a tank into a crater?

    It is called physics.

    BTW the standard HE shell for the 125mm gun has a 23kg projectile... so practically 70kg HE shell would be devastating for any vehicle.

    Seriously even if the ammo is sealed off, its simply unreal. Was it poor quality?

    Pour powder propellent onto a table and ignite it and it will disappear in a flash and puff of smoke. Put the same amount of propellant into a shell case and enclose it in the chamber of a firearm and ignite it and you will not only get a definite bang but also accelerate a projectile to enormous speeds...

    Place explosive inside a sealed container and the pressure can build up dramatically which intensifies the explosion enormously.

    The way HE shells ripped apart this tank makes me think for a moment that APSFDs isnt needed and lobbing HE at tanks will easily punch holes through them.

    HE takes the line of least resistance... a HE shell hitting flat armour plate directs the blast away from the tank. If HE shells could defeat armour there would be no need for APFSDS and HEAT shells.

    If 3 shells can obliterate a tank into tiny pieces, can 1 shell puncture its armor?

    Standard HE shells don't penetrate armour.

    I also wonder that if HE shells are indeed so destructive, how can blowoff panels even hope to protect their crew? It looks like even a single HE shell will rip through the bustle barrier killing the crew.

    It is all about pressure. Propellent stubs burning... just burn in the open air or through an open hatch. Inside the gun barrel the pressure builds up rather more and the burning propellent blowing past the shell as it exits the muzzle appears to be exploding... but in actual fact explosives burn much faster than propellent could ever burn... a propellent powder generates a lot of pressure and pushes the projectile down the barrel... which is what it is supposed to do. Replace the propellent with HE and the projectile will not be pushed down the barrel... the chamber will be shattered by the explosive detonating.... just the way this tank was detonated.

    I have seen similar images of Tiger tanks from WWII that have driven over a mine that set off their main gun ammo and shattered the tank.

    The same ammo explosion in any western tank would have the same effect...
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    The-thing-next-door

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    Re: Tank Warfare: Russian Armour vs Western Armour

    Post  The-thing-next-door on Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:06 am

    Well if that is the case and upgrading the armor is so difficult I suppose they should just build 5000 Armatas and put everything else in reserve.

    Until then they could just say something like "Don't try anything until we get our new supertanks online or we will nuke you down to the last man"
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    Interlinked

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    Re: Tank Warfare: Russian Armour vs Western Armour

    Post  Interlinked on Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:22 am

    The-thing-next-door wrote:Well if that is the case and upgrading the armor is so difficult I suppose they should just build 5000 Armatas and put everything else in reserve.

    Until then they could just say something like "Don't try anything until we get our new supertanks online or we will nuke you down to the last man"

    Who said anything about supertanks? You were the one who was proposing to get 80+ ton heavy tanks in another thread.

    If they could field 5000 vehicles on the Armata platform, they would, but you must understand something first and foremost: Russia does not have infinite wealth. Even so, that doesn't mean that the military should be disbanded because it's not the best in the world and better than everybody else's 10x over. They must make do with the flawed tank fleet that they have at the moment, and that also means that we have to make do with it as well.
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    The-thing-next-door

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    Re: Tank Warfare: Russian Armour vs Western Armour

    Post  The-thing-next-door on Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:35 am

    Interlinked wrote:
    The-thing-next-door wrote:Well if that is the case and upgrading the armor is so difficult I suppose they should just build 5000 Armatas and put everything else in reserve.

    Until then they could just say something like "Don't try anything until we get our new supertanks online or we will nuke you down to the last man"

    Who said anything about supertanks? You were the one who was proposing to get 80+ ton heavy tanks in another thread.

    If they could field 5000 vehicles on the Armata platform, they would, but you must understand something first and foremost: Russia does not have infinite wealth. Even so, that doesn't mean that the military should be disbanded because it's not the best in the world and better than everybody else's 10x over. They must make do with the flawed tank fleet that they have at the moment, and that also means that we have to make do with it as well.

    I am suggesting a more rapid retirement for everything based on the T-64 platform since Russia needs vastly superior tanks.

    The T-14 Armata is a supertank in the MBT realm it has all the wunderwaffe and Soveit super weapon requirements (new and innovative design ,superior firepower,designed to destroy freedom and democracy wherever it goes)

    Did I say "freedom and democracy" sorry I meant fiendom and demonocracy.

    A super tank is not necessarily a heavy or superheavy tank it is an advanced or exceedingly powerful tank.

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    Re: Tank Warfare: Russian Armour vs Western Armour

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