I think the different families indicate different roles and therefore I don't expect every vehicle at the division or regiment level to belong just to one of them.
The purpose of the families is to reduce the number of actual different vehicle types in a force... remember that many of the BMP based vehicles are not unified either... there are BMP-1 , BMP-2, and BMP-3 all with different engines and wheels and tracks and transmissions so even if one division has BMP-3s for troop transport they might have BMP-2 and BMP-1 based support vehicles all with different engines and parts... there are at least three versions of the MTLB... the original MTLB, the upgraded MTLBu and now a new model with a new designation...
For forces that don't have to move a lot they might mix up the vehicle types... the Boomerang based vehicles could be used in some roles in Kurganets units simply because the wheeled Boomerangs will be much cheaper and yet will still be amphibious and have the same engine and transmission.... just carry some tires...
But on the whole the point of having a vehicle family is to minimise the logistics tail to make it more mobile and deployable...
They don't need a huge number of heavy forces... compared with the old model, they will actually have a lot more ready to use units available sooner and with modern equipment and systems able to call up massively more capable support units of both tube and rocket artillery and air support in the form of fixed and rotary wing as well as tactical guided missiles...
Armata is too heavy and expensive for any use outside high intensity combat against the best enemy armoured units, Kurganets does not have the protection of T-15 or any advantage as a basis for a tank or a self propelled howitzer, Bumerang cannot go where tracked vehicles go and it is also not protected as a MBT...
Kurganets would have been overkill for Afghanistan in the 1980s, Boomerang probably would have been better suited for that entire conflict... Kurganets would have been better suited to Chechnia with Armata for use in cities...
As I have mentioned the balance of forces will probably be 10-15% Armata, 20-30% Kurganets and 50% Boomerang, with perhaps 10% light vehicles based on Typhoon... light highly mobile recon with excellent communications and fire power and of course drones artillery and airsupport.
In the long run I can see T-14, T-15 working together in tank regiments and divisions (plus maybe some AD / BMPT vehicles based on that platform too, maybe even howitzers in the future because the increased hull size would be an advantage for them),
But not all tank divisions will need heavy tanks... on the border with Mongolia or Kazakhstan they don't need to be Armata based divisions... light amphibious armoured vehicles makes rather more sense and are much more cost effective.
Kurganets + T90M on motor rifle units and Bumerang as wheeled IFV and APC across units as BTRs are used now. Maybe Armatas go to motor rifle units and Kurganets to tank units too, I am not soi sure about that and it seems to me every unit is configured a bit different, probably a certain level of flexibility and capacity to operate on their own is intended.
The make up of the units will depend on the terrain they have to work with and the expected enemy they will be facing... in Syria they wouldn't need Armatas... Kurganets would be fine for frontline stuff... their APS and NERA would render TOWs and RPGs useless... for policing the Boomerangs would be very mobile and fast with excellent fire power... and still pretty decent protection...
I agree on the logistics part, but the price to be paid in terms of capability and development needs is too high.
Developing a suite of weapons and sensors and equipment for a specific role is a good thing... it is like Ratnik... previously each component was considered separately and not as a system that works together... treating it as a system and integrating parts to make them multifunction to eliminate the need for carrying several separate components that could be melded together to form one multifunction component makes sense... it is the same for vehicles... creating an ambulance kit and then applying it to four different vehicle families is a good thing that will likely improve the quality of systems the lighter vehicles use because it is unified and instead of making a Sprut like turret that is different for Kurganets, they can just use the T-14 turret for at least the Kurganets and Boomerang... it works... it has been tested and when fitted to smaller vehicles it might need a tweek or two but applying a tank turret to the other vehicles saves developing four new tank turrets... I would say the Typhoon could use Sprut and could probably be used as an airborne vehicle in that form too.
Think about it this way: why to create an Armata platform and then a Kurganets platform too? What is the difference and what operational requirements and roles impose such differences?
Weight and cost. The Russian military will find itself in an enormous variety of situations... previously it had generations of tanks to help it cope, so it could send T-62s with add on armour to Afghanistan for instance where the enemy only had RPGs and Milan ATGMs, whereas for a conflict in Chechnia they would need better tanks because their anti armour weapons were much better and in greater numbers and being used by an enemy who knew the internal layout of their vehicles so they knew exactly where to aim.
If they chose not to have the Kurganets family that would mean they had two families... heavy tracked and medium wheeled... heavy tracked is expected to be used in built up areas and forests where armour is very vulnerable to surprise attack at short range... they wont need that level of armour on flat open terrain or mountains where enemy vehicles and troops can be seen at great distances... speed and mobility and amphibious performance are more valuable there.
Sure the Kurganets could carry a low recoil cannon, but I don't see it brings any substantial advantage.
Against most enemies a Kurganets with 500mm of ceramic and composite frontal armour plus ERA and APS would be as tough to kill as a T-90 from the front or from the sides or rear... no tank is invulnerable. Reduced costs meaning greater numbers and better mobility... floating across rivers instead of fording them....
Kurganets should be able to use the full power 125mm gun of the T-14 just fine... it would be the Typhoon that would need the long recoil model... perhaps an unmanned version of the Sprut turret... I would think even the Boomerang could use the T-14 turret without problems too.
A Bumerang with this cannon makes sense because of its increased mobility and use in expeditionary forces, but the Kurganets as a tank is slow as a tank proper and weak as a Bumerang.
Why do you think it will be slow... it will be fully amphibious and much lighter than the T-14... it should be able to cross country a T-14 might have problems with because of its weight... or it needs bigger tracks...
In any case we will see, I just give my opinion but I cannot prove I am right.
I can't prove I am right either, but the logical point of developing new vehicle families... why make the T-15 and the B-11? and the K-15?
Surely if the T-14 is the tank and the B-11 is the BMP-4 and the K-15 is the BTR-100 or whatever and the Typhoon is the BRDM-4 then why are they talking about all the other vehicle types they are making?
The Epoch turret was shown installed on all these types of vehicles and has been seen on the BMP-3 as well... we have seen the small APC/BTR turret with the Kord HMG on the Armata and Kurganets and Boomerang platforms too...
The T-14 turret is designed for a heavy platform,
The turret design of the T-14... with no crew or ammo stored above the turret ring would need very little actual armour and should actually be reasonably light as far as tank turrets go. A T-90 turret in comparison would need cheek armour of 900mm plus to protect the tank commander and tank gunner in their positions either side of the main gun but the T-14 just needs armour to protect the gun and the autoloading mechanism which presumably is behind the gun and only pops up when it is loading a round... another advantage of all the vehicles having their crews in the hulls.
Limitations of the platform apply, you will not see a Typhoon with a Koalitsiya turret.
You say that, and I thought that for a while, but we have seen a truck mounted Koalition turret that fires with very little movement of the vehicle... add a couple of the support legs the truck uses for stabilisation and it should be fine on a Boomerang... on a Typhoon you are probably taking it a bit too far... the Typhoon are light recon vehicles that would probably be supported by a separate artillery regiment that would be attached as needed.
I would think a 125mm gun on the Typhoon would also be over the top and in fact its gun based vehicle could be the 6x6 wheeler with the turret from the 2S38 57mm AA gun vehicle... being a light recon vehicle I would think a 57mm direct fire gun would be plenty of fire power for both attack and self defence...
There will be commonality where it makes sense, but there will be also stations designed for specific platforms or roles that simply cannot be used or don't bring advantages in other platforms.
A bucket or a line charge launcher for an engineer vehicle or mine clearing system respectively would be pretty standard across the unit types so having versions in different vehicle families would make sense most of the time.
Good that we agree there needs to be exceptions... of course if your vehicles are wheeled you can perfectly use truck mounted artillery and keep a similar level of mobility for the whole unit with reduced costs.
Well the point is that in many ops a vehicle like a tank... a heavy armoured vehicle designed to penetrate enormous thicknesses of armour plate really only makes sense if the enemy has a lot of them. In a COIN type situation it would make more sense to replace the MBT vehicle in an Armata or Kurganets or Boomerang unit with something like a BMPT or just a BMP with the troops replaced with extra ammo instead of the tanks... all the other vehicles could be the same.
In Afghanistan the Soviets took their forces in without changing them, so they had Chem and Bio warfare troops as well as air defence forces that were never really needed. The point was they were part of the forces that were sent and rather than leave them behind it was more useful to keep them and use them for odd jobs... the air defence vehicles were very useful... nothing blunts an ambush like a four barrel 23mm gun mount where the electronics have been removed and an extra 2,000 23x152mm cannon shells have been added.
Can a wheeled vehicle operate together with tanks in complex terrain?
In Afghanistan the BTRs were very popular... their armour wasn't great but they bounced over all sorts of rough rocky terrain and the loss of a wheel to a mine was not a big problem... they were often used together with tracked vehicles that sat back and used their fire power to support them.
I am not so sure, levels of terrain pressure for wheeled and tacked platforms are still very different...
Don't think of wheeled vehicles as being like a truck that will just bog down as soon as it leaves the tarmac... they have central tire pressure regulation systems and can lower their tire pressure for better grip on mud or sand or snow and are fully amphibious...
A BMP-3 with APS and modern sights and systems will be perfectly ok for many years and I agree too, that they better take their time with Kurganets and mature it into something that actually solves problems for the ground forces instead of creating them.
Keep in mind the BMP-3 is an 18 ton vehicle so we are talking quite a bit lighter than either Boomerang or Kurganets... and APS will blunt an incoming APFSDS round but it wont stop it... the Kurganets and Armata will have enough base armour to stop what is left, but I would suspect the Boomerang and BMP-3 might struggle. Think of an APFSDS round as a nail that is driven into the wood with one hit... the APS makes it yaw a little so when the nail gun fires it into the wood in one shot all the energy that would have gone into hammering it through the armour actually goes into bending and shattering it... it might only make a dent in the armour as it tries to go through sideways which makes all the energy of the round go into destroying the nail instead of penetrating the "wood".
Those numbers are per battalion not per division...
Yeah, just picked those numbers from the air... I vaguely remember 31 tanks in a tank regiment or some such thing.... the point remains that the Tank force has three parts tank and one part BMP and the Motor Rifle force has the reverse one part tank and three parts BMP and also ATGMs and towed anti tank guns and other things attached.
I have not any indication that Russians are changing their basic structure: 10 vehicles for a company, 31/41 for a btg, 94 of the main vehicle type + 31 for the secondary one for a regiment: brigate I know less well so I'll consider them similar to a regiment+ an equivalent share of divisional assets + logistic in order to operate independently.
You are quite right... as far as I know they are not changing their basic structure... what they intended to do was eventually get a brigade with one vehicle type or perhaps two or three depending on the situation, instead of the current situation with 26-27 different types from perhaps 8-15 different vehicle types all mixed in together.
NOW, I consider that the biggest advantages of new vehicles is precisely the one of getting rid of the presence of different vehicles in the same OPERATIVE unit i.e. regiment or brigade lvl.
And I think that is precisely how they will introduce the new vehicles... a division with three regiments of T-90s that is their top tier unit that will fight HATO in cities will get their T-90s replaced with T-14s and their BMP-3s replaced with T-15s and their BREM engineer vehicles replaced with T-16s.
I don't think they will get Kurganets B-11s replacing their BMP-3s and Boomerang K-16s replacing their BTR-82s.
So, instead of having T-55 to T-90 and BMP in a tank regiment one will have ARMATA chassis for both, the same will go with motor rifle regiments that would transitate happily into an all Boomerang force.
They use Tank forces and Motor Rifle forces for different things... if an enemy is well dug in and well equipped they are more likely to use a Motor Rifle force to get them out... perhaps with extra artillery forces supporting them because essentially driving at them with tanks is not a great way to deal with a well dug in and equipped enemy.
On flat open terrain however where there is a chance to manouver against an enemy force that is mobile and moving then a tank force is more useful to engage with the enemy.
That means there will be Armata based Tank divisions and also Armata based Motor Rifle divisions... there will also be Kurganets based tank divisions and Kurganets based Motor Rifle divisions and indeed Boomerang based tank divisions and Boomerang based Motor Rifle divisions too... and I suspect recon forces with Typhoon type vehicles might have 82mm mortar vehicles instead of 120mm ones and a 57mm gun armed vehicle instead of a 125mm gun armed vehicle, but they will be used too for highly mobile forces with very good communications and fire power...
The difference will be the Typhoons are there to get information on the enemy and not to fight unless they have to...
Logistical and operative advantage would be huge, keeping Kurganets in such formations would be just a waste of resources.
Think of the difference the vehicle family concept provides... a Kurganets force will have excellent cross country mobility being fully amphibious and rather lighter than most tanks. Where roads are good quality a Boomerang force could move at speeds no tracked force could even consider... would be fully amphibious too and light and mobile too.
Armata forces are mobile but also heavily protected... picking off the BMPs and BTRs and then swarming over the tanks wont be an option because the BMPs and BTRs and BMPTs will have tank level protection too and weapons optimised for taking out enemy IFVs of all types...
Remember even the Boomerang BMP is going to have a 57mm gun... even if it is the grenade launcher it is going to be a very powerful HE round, and an APFSDS round much more powerful than the 30mm cannon... the case capacity on that round is huge so the propellent should give it plenty of performance, and the 8 Bulat ATGMs each vehicle carries should let it take out enemy IFVs fairly easily and efficiently if they are moving... the 57mm APFSDS if they are not, and the 4 Kornet-EM can take on any enemy MBT to 8.5km range...
These vehicles will have the latest sensors and equipment as fitted to the Armata vehicles including APS systems and NERA as well as drones and artillery and helicopter and fixed wing air support on call...
A.t.m. is already certain that Koalitsya would go on a T-90 chassis and so much support units(engineers AD, logistics, and so on) would have specialized vehicles.
Current MSTA 152mm artillery vehicles are T series tank based... as are their BREM engineer vehicles and their BMO-T tank based engineer troop transport vehicle.
As the new variants of the new vehicle families are developed they will be used in the relevant forces... freeing up existing types to cascade to other units of course or be freed to go into reserve.
In this, I repeat, I keep seeing Kurganets as something with out a precise place to stay, almost when it came to regular units.
Think of the Kurganets as the cheaper lighter Armata tanks for units that need lighter more mobile vehicles that are not as heavy or as expensive.
I would personally use it as a substitute of MT-LB in that units that are actually using it and in marine infantry but I'll take the time to made the necessary corrections to made it really specialized in such roles (wider tracks or snow and powerful pump jets, water screens and ballast changes in order to made it able to operate from open sea instead than in rivers).
It will certainly need modification to allow it to operate in the much harsher marine environment but I don't think the changes would be impossible and certainly unnecessary for the Army to worry about.
Needless to say, with such changes it would also became a wonderful tracked reconnaissance vehicle so cavalry units will be another obvious choice.
It is going to be everything... though their might be a delay, they have no shortage or problem right now...
Also in this last case, however rigorously in an independent unit, NOT in an Armata or Boomerang equipped operative formation.
Of course... putting different vehicle families of the new generation together in mixed forces defeats the concept and the purpose...
Ooh , this is going to become an interesting discussion.
To be clear, this is opinion on my part... I have nothing to back this up, but this is my understanding of what they are doing and why so this is what I worked out would make logical sense. It is all together possible that they might decide half way through that the goals of compact vehicle family forces where all the vehicles use the same motor and transmission parts and wheels and tracks instead of what they have now... a nightmare of a mix of different families... they might have BMP vehicles based in a force but all different BMPs so one vehicle might be BMP-1 based and another BMP-2 based with a different role and of course different tracks and different wheel types and different engines and transmissions, and another recon vehicle in the unit might be BMP-3 based which is OK because the troop transport BMPs in that force are BMP-3s, but they have to carry parts for the older models as well as for the three different versions of MTLB, and the two different T series tanks they are operating... because while they might have upgraded T-72s as their MBT their 152mm MSTA artillery vehicles are based on the T-80 and have different wheels and tracks and engines and transmissions... can you see the problems?
Also when you come to a river your BMP based vehicles might be able to swim but your tanks and artillery and some other vehicles need bridging equipment which is T-55 based with its own engine and wheels and tracks and transmission... Bah!!!!!!!!!!
Brand new vehicle families designed with new modern armour that protect the crew as best they possibly can fitted with new weapons and sensors and defensive equipment... they have had ERA and APS systems for years but actually putting them on their vehicles has been patchy.
Just the new night vision equipment and communications systems alone would make a transformational change, but they are also getting so much more... it is really exciting.