You and I both know that this is a loaded question. Who even knows how many spare ERA panels are provided during a conflict?
ERA bricks are like rounds of ammunition... you know you are going to use them so you keep the different shapes in stock and replace as needed.
A hull penetration near the engine does that require the entire side hull replacement?
It was said previously that plenty of vehicles in Chechnia rumbled around the place with holes in their rear simply because the location meant there was no real need to replace the armour section.
In fact most of the time I suspect that a penetration of base armour that does not penetrate to the crew compartment is just as likely to have its ERA brick replaced and put back into service most of the time... unless they have plenty of temporary replacement vehicles in which case the damaged vehicle will be withdrawn and properly inspected and repaired and a substitute vehicle will immediately replace it on the battlefield.... of the force will operate with one less vehicle.
Sure, ERA can be replaced in minutes by the crew themselves. I do not dispute that. However, the notion that composite armour requires weeks or even months to repair or replace is absurd. The tools and specialists are available along with mobile workshops in rear echelons.
Unless it is a mobility hit the vehicle will withdraw from battle when it has run out of ammo... a hit that penetrates the ERA but does not penetrate to the crew compartment will likely continue fighting until it has run out of ammo or the battle ends and all vehicles are withdrawn for refuelling and rearming.
In such a situation if every tank with a hit is sent back to rear echelons you might find you have no tanks available... situations in Chechnia where tanks were hit dozens of times by HEAT rounds of RPGs or other weapons and continued to fight... most of the time they would like not even be getting new ERA blocks... they just continued fighting... there is no World of Tanks auto repair kits and no bar showing current health... if there is a hole in the tank and it is full of fumes and hot fragments from a penetration everyone gets out. If you lose a track or the engine is hit you get out. If you run out of ammo, or the gun is jammed then you try to move back to get repairs... of if you complete your mission or are ordered back you fall back.
When you get hit you move to a safer place and try to determine who hit you and kill them. If you retreat to get repaired the next tank to occupy your position will get hit too...
That is perfectly true, but then again, all tanks have relatively weak armour on the sides, rear and top. Even the T-14 only has slat armour to protect the engine compartment when the rest of the hull gets ERA.
Exactly, in fact there is no tank in existence that is safe from enemy fire... except from about 60 degrees of dead straight on... and even then safe means the crew is safe... any tank gun is vulnerable... The Armata is probably the safest because of its heavy frontal hull armour and APS system, but nothing will stop a hit from something like Kh-29 or Kh-25 or Kh-38...
I am not The-thing-next-door...
No, thankfully you are not... one is certainly enough.
Oh really so when I order an expensive new car that is claimed supposed to be top of the line and it is made to the lowest standards the manufacturer can get away with it is my fault?
Not the same.
If you ask this top of the line car maker for a car that meets these requirements for this price... they will create a prototype for you to test and evaluate... if you say it is good enough they will give you a contract to sign and expect payments and a schedule for delivery.
You already said the T-72 upgrade was good enough... if you buy three cars they are not all going to be two seat sports cars now are they? A big SUV for sports trips or grocery shopping or taking the kids to sports, a little runaround that is cheap when someone is using the other vehicles and a nice sedan for dad or mom to take to work to look nice and professional.
In the case of the tanks the T-72 upgrades are the gap fillers, the T-90s are for the best units, and T-14 and K-14 and whatever else the other tank models are called will eventually replace both T-90s and T-72 upgrades... and likely T-80s as well.
As the new generation tanks arrive in service the T-72 upgrades will go into storage and be replaced most likely by T-90s that come from the important units that will be getting new generation tanks or the armata, kurganets, boomerang, and typhoon designs.
As numbers of the new tanks increase the T-72s will eventually move from storage to export to allies.
With improved sensors and optics and command and communications systems these will be very good vehicles, and if the new users want better protection then add on armour packages and APS options are plenty and available...
Ural are just putting new ERA made by NII Stali on thier shitty tank and pretending that they are overhauling it.
The main upgraded features of the upgraded T-72s is full long range night vision and proper command and communications equipment... anything else is only minor in comparison.
Even a new gun with new more powerful ammo is less important than better vision and new command and control equipment...
What is this APS you talk about? It is clearly not present on the T-90AM!
They have several APS systems that are mature and ready to be fitted to any tank...
And Relikt ERA uses very large bricks that can easily be striped of in a few hits while more durable methods of protection like NERA, BDD or other composite armors can survive dozens of hits to the same square meter of armor before protection is compromised.
Yes, because combat has proven that the enemy always hits tanks in one place and one place only and repeatedly hits them there, which is why next generation T-14M only has one ERA block in that location...
And I am not saying ERA is a bad thing just that the tank should not be completely relient on it for protection.
Then what I am saying is that all Russian tanks have something called BASE ARMOUR so when they fucking put ERA on their tanks they are not completely reliant on ERA then are they?
If an enemy can fucking hit one ERA brick repeatedly then they can fucking hit the main gun from the front or any part of the side or rear of the tank... which is normally fatal on a western tank but not always with ERA plus base armour.