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M1 Abrams MBT Replacement

Foo Fighter

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If the UK is lucky we can get in early on a joint development deal. Minus the Europeans we might actually get something done this time.
 

Kat Tsun

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Foo Fighter said:
If the UK is lucky we can get in early on a joint development deal. Minus the Europeans we might actually get something done this time.
If the UK is lucky it will be allowed to build Leopard 3 hulls or something. Where Germany is the height of good acquisition policy and Israel is the height of weapons technology development; America is the height of rent-seeking.

The last thing the UK needs is another trainwreck amount to nothing deal with USA. Future Scout and Cavalry System led to a bunch of money being burned on nothing more than trade show props and newspaper ads. While the obvious ideal is to make things yourself, as Germany, Israel, Japan, PRC, and Russia show; but that's not possible for AFVs in the UK. The next best thing is to ask the Germans for help and try to negotiate some sort of military-industrial cooperation deal to produce SPz Pumas and partake in Leopard 3 to keep what little institutional remnants of AFV engineering experience that still exists in Britain alive.

After all, now that the Britonization of ASCOD is finished with Scout-SV, those guys need something to work on. Maybe they can contribute Special Armor design to the Leopard 3. OTOH Challenger 2 hasn't had a Special Armor upgrade for decades, unlike Abrams and Leopard 2, but maybe there's still something they can do. Even if it's the tankineering equivalent of busywork.

Getting European NATO to use the same vehicle would go a long way towards improving its ability to actually work together. France can be discarded, but a lot of European NATO countries use the same tank. Sure, it would be boring seeing a bunch of NATO countries with SPz Puma and Leopard 3s painted different colors with different flags on the sides, but it would be good for Allied cooperation. It worked for the Warsaw Pact and it was a major weakness of NATO armies in the Cold War, and one that can be rectified today thanks to the grand decay of Allied military-industrial complexes outside of Germany.

Germany's on board with F-35 now, so the rest of NATO should be either working on a serious system (much as France has with VBCI and Britain with FRES, which means they won't be needing Boxer; or Puma for France) or buying someone else's stuff if they aren't. Britain can't really afford to make a tank and it would be kind of a crummy one since it's been out of the game for decades, like France. Germany and USA have both been hammering away at Leopard 2 and Abrams modernizations for decades, OTOH, which is Germany has absorbed the heavy armor portions of the French MIC and why France will use Leopard 3 instead of Leclerc 2.

As long as America doesn't have a successor to the M1 lined up, and it won't for many years (at least 6), the UK should be throwing its hat in with Germany for two reasons: the first is that Germany is actually making heavy armor and is successful at it, both in terms of keeping up with the Jones's (the only people with more experience developing new, modern tanks than the Germans and Americans are the Russians) and in actually fielding equipment. So their stuff is modern and we know it works, because we've seen it working with the Heer. The other reason is that we don't really need to drive anymore wedges between the Atlantic Alliance than we already have, so by agreeing to a joint development program you're winning abroad because you're solidifying a defense relationship with the continent that's kept European peace for the past 50 years. The last thing the democratic world needs are Iskanders in Calais or Kent or something.

But mostly it's because the Germans are the only people making new tanks in response to T-14. Because France and Britain can't, Israel doesn't care, and America went off its medication again.
 

dan_inbox

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There are several valid points within this piece of, erm, bistro-level bout.
Wouldn't the same points be carried across better, and be more readily receivable, with simple cold rational language and without the emotional/not-so-professional bits thrown in?
What a pity...

Whichever level each poster want to manage his own image, this forum deserves better.
 

Foo Fighter

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I really have to be careful with tongue in cheek comments but hey ho. Not convinced with the Germany best suggestion but yes, they are the only ones currently developing armour but the Panther has had no test worth taking note of.

With note to the reference on meds, many national governments are in the same position, many associated with the EU senior idiot guild.

Anything that is fit for use will have to be extremely advanced at conception and no doubt the coalition working on it will screw it up so badly it will end up being a boy scout with a catapult. Take not of the Tornado and Typhoon to name two.
 

kaiserd

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Foo Fighter said:
If the UK is lucky we can get in early on a joint development deal. Minus the Europeans we might actually get something done this time.
Re: your second line;
1. Leaving aside EU membership/ Brexit you know the UK is part of the European continent, right? Even after Brexit the UK will literally still be in Europe and residents of the UK will still be Europeans.
2. Don’t understand the relevance of your comments to the topic; the UK has never developed a tank in partnership with any other nation (European or otherwise) as far as I am aware (maybe the parallel evolution of Shermans in WW2 the closest?). Hence they’ve never delayed or impacted the development of a specific British Tank.
In terms of partnership with European countries in other defense projects they have been largely successful, certainly more successful than the many failed UK-only projects that immediately preceded them.
 

Grey Havoc

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I should interject here and note a couple of points:

1. The British Isles are not part of Continental Europe.

2. Some examples would include the Liberty tank project of WWI (with the United States and initially, France), T14 Heavy Tank of WWII, again with the United States, and the FMBT program with Germany, 1970s. Also, serious consideration was given to getting on board the Leclerc program in the late 1980s as a fast replacement for the ill-starred Challenger tank. Incidentally the baseline Leclerc was then put forward for Staff Requirement (Land) 4026, but passed over (alongside the Abrams and Leopard 2) in favour of the 'Improved Challenger' that would become the Challenger II tank.
 

kaiserd

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Grey Havoc said:
I should interject here and note a couple of points:

1. The British Isles are not part of Continental Europe.

2. Some examples would include the Liberty tank project of WWI (with the United States and initially, France), T14 Heavy Tank of WWII, again with the United States, and the FMBT program with Germany, 1970s. Also, serious consideration was given to getting on board the Leclerc program in the late 1980s as a fast replacement for the ill-starred Challenger tank. Incidentally the baseline Leclerc was then put forward for Staff Requirement (Land) 4026, but passed over (alongside the Abrams and Leopard 2) in favour of the 'Improved Challenger' that would become the Challenger II tank.
So in summary;

1. Leaving aside the Brexit/ EU question I forgot that for some English people that question is still debatable (wouldn’t consider themselves a “European” country and to be their own continent?).
I can only say that is that here in Ireland there is concensus across the board (a very rare thing) that the island of Ireland is part of Europe, I presume the Welsh and Scots would have majorities if not total consensus that they too are part of Europe.

2. So the answer is no and not really, but that “joint” options were proposed and considered but never pursued, so the UK doesn’t actually have a tale of woe to tell about the joint development of a tank with an international partner.
 

zen

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So firstly pleasedon't drag this down with current politics and your preferences / prejudices. That's to both sides.
Secondly. ....
There is no European continent, there is a eurasian continent and curiously enough it can be argued a iberian continent, but Europe is not a single seperate continent.
 

Foo Fighter

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kaiserd said:
Foo Fighter said:
If the UK is lucky we can get in early on a joint development deal. Minus the Europeans we might actually get something done this time.

2. Don’t understand the relevance of your comments to the topic; the UK has never developed a tank in partnership with any other nation (European or otherwise) as far as I am aware (maybe the parallel evolution of Shermans in WW2 the closest?). Hence they’ve never delayed or impacted the development of a specific British Tank.
In terms of partnership with European countries in other defense projects they have been largely successful, certainly more successful than the many failed UK-only projects that immediately preceded them.
OK, minus the poor geography and the politics. My point was not about tanks specifically, it was an example of cooperative efforts. Always late and close to cancellation with constantly changing specifications like the Tornado and Typhoon. Cutting down the number of participating nations may allow the specifications to be fixed earlier and a tank being designed and built before it goes out of technological date. How many times was the Nimrod AWACS spec altered?

"I really have to be careful with tongue in cheek comments but hey ho. Not convinced with the Germany best suggestion but yes, they are the only ones currently developing armour but the Panther has had no test worth taking note of.

With note to the reference on meds, many national governments are in the same position, many associated with the EU senior idiot guild.

Anything that is fit for use will have to be extremely advanced at conception and no doubt the coalition working on it will screw it up so badly it will end up being a boy scout with a catapult. Take not of the Tornado and Typhoon to name two".

Context is everything.
 

kaiserd

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Foo Fighter said:
kaiserd said:
Foo Fighter said:
If the UK is lucky we can get in early on a joint development deal. Minus the Europeans we might actually get something done this time.

2. Don’t understand the relevance of your comments to the topic; the UK has never developed a tank in partnership with any other nation (European or otherwise) as far as I am aware (maybe the parallel evolution of Shermans in WW2 the closest?). Hence they’ve never delayed or impacted the development of a specific British Tank.
In terms of partnership with European countries in other defense projects they have been largely successful, certainly more successful than the many failed UK-only projects that immediately preceded them.
OK, minus the poor geography and the politics. My point was not about tanks specifically, it was an example of cooperative efforts. Always late and close to cancellation with constantly changing specifications like the Tornado and Typhoon. Cutting down the number of participating nations may allow the specifications to be fixed earlier and a tank being designed and built before it goes out of technological date. How many times was the Nimrod AWACS spec altered?

"I really have to be careful with tongue in cheek comments but hey ho. Not convinced with the Germany best suggestion but yes, they are the only ones currently developing armour but the Panther has had no test worth taking note of.

With note to the reference on meds, many national governments are in the same position, many associated with the EU senior idiot guild.

Anything that is fit for use will have to be extremely advanced at conception and no doubt the coalition working on it will screw it up so badly it will end up being a boy scout with a catapult. Take not of the Tornado and Typhoon to name two".

Context is everything.
Pardon the continued partial divergence from the actual topic.
The point I would emphasize about international cooperation in the defense realm is that without this the UK wouldn’t have had the Typhoon or Tornado; you would have bought American equivalents.
They would have probably been bought quicker at a smaller up front sticker price but would have cost the guts of your military aircraft industry; greater more brutal decline.
And these aircraft were actually successful; more than you can say of the TSR2s of the world.
There are pro and cons to these international cooperation projects and purely or largely domestic projects (various Nimrods etc.) are equally vulnerable to mismanagement and cost overruns.
And international projects then to be harder to cancel.
I would suggest you leave your apparent anti-EU prejudice to one side.

Relating to new British tank I would have thought a Challenger III the most likely outcome; either that or just buying the latest incarnation of the M-1 or its replacement design, a Leopard III buy seems unlikely.
If it is a foreign tank the likely UK content is likely to be VERY low (doubt a joint project would be on offer from any likely reliable partner) and the UK will effectively be giving up the capability to design and build its own tanks.
That could be the most sensible decision (limits to how much good money can be thrown after bad) but doubt post Brexit UK politicians will be looking to sell such a decision to the public.
 

Foo Fighter

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Sadly, I'm not so sure the will is there for a Challenger III. There would have be a lot of growing up for a Challenger 2.5. Far from being entirely against the EU alone, I believe they are all blessed with the ignorance of a stone. Sadly. On the topic in hand, perhaps they should consider a gun of some kind. That would be fair would it not? After all, pea shooters are too darn eco friendly.

Just to be clear. Pot kettle black. Your views on the UK are just as apparent, mate.
 

Kat Tsun

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Britain is in the same boat as France with regards to tank development: They abandoned their ability to create heavy armor in favor of medium weight vehicles. Neither Britain nor France have the institutional experience or ability left to produce main battle tanks. They stopped making main battle tanks in the 1990s. Which is why Britain is building Scout-SV and France is building VBCI, and neither are building any tanks. Any "Challenger III" made with a modern British engineer's tankineering expertise would resemble a Warrior MICV with a 120mm slapped on it, or the Scout-SV Direct Fire variant.

The only options for the British are purchasing Abrams tanks as an interim solution towards buying a new tank in the far future, or participating directly in the Leopard 3's development and getting a new tank in the 2030s or 2040s. It's possible that both may happen. It's nothing to do with "will" and more to do with "we've literally forgot how to make these things because the factories have been closed for 20 years, the engineers are dead or retired, and we've focused all our efforts on making 30-ton vehicles instead". This is essentially the same path that France took as well, which abandoned Leclerc in the mid-1990s in favor of bulling through VBCI and CTA40 for the AMX-10RC.

It is quite unlike the United States and Germany, who have kept a simmer of continuous tank production/upgrade programs running since the end of the Cold War, which is why these countries are the only two NATO powers left with the ability to produce main battle tanks. Germany is making Leopard 3. America hasn't decided what is going to make yet, but it is continually upgrading the M1 tank while it does so.

kaiserd said:
If it is a foreign tank the likely UK content is likely to be VERY low (doubt a joint project would be on offer from any likely reliable partner) and the UK will effectively be giving up the capability to design and build its own tanks.
Unfortunately, this has already happened. While it's possible to resurrect a tank industry ex nihilo, as any industry, that is expensive and takes substantial amounts of time. The cheapest option would be to simply acquire a foreign-built tank or participate in a foreign tank development program, with the intent of developing a future MBT after the next MBT. This is more or less what Japan did during the 1960s in aviation, with the United States, and it is returning dividends 50 years after the fact with the first fully indigenous Japanese stealth fighter program.

Doubly unfortunately and as noted, it is also unlikely that the UK will be willing to participate in the Leopard 3 program. On the other hand, its contributions to such a program would likely be little more than a bit of money and a flag on the Powerpoint slides, which is about all that France is able to contribute.

kaiserd said:
either that or just buying the latest incarnation of the M-1 or its replacement design, a Leopard III buy seems unlikely.
As it stands, the most likely replacement for the M1 is going to be Leopard 3. The US Army is entering an even numbered decade, which means the pendulum has swung from "heavy armor" to "air-mechanization". We're ready for a new FCS.
 

Foo Fighter

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I apologise to anyone I have offended. Most of my comments are meant either less than entirely seriously or completely tongue in cheek and as an older and disabled ex soldier, find emotives etc completely baffling so do not use them. I am still trying to create a personal treatise on the development of the armoured vehicle. This has changed over the years and if I can get it done will include paper/card models of certain game changing vehicles as well as diagrams and text. Not sure if I will get it done to my satisfaction but I am trying.

If there is enough harm done and folk want me gone then I will go but the signal ignorance of which I sometimes see should be addressed too.
 

kaiserd

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Foo Fighter said:
I apologise to anyone I have offended. Most of my comments are meant either less than entirely seriously or completely tongue in cheek and as an older and disabled ex soldier, find emotives etc completely baffling so do not use them. I am still trying to create a personal treatise on the development of the armoured vehicle. This has changed over the years and if I can get it done will include paper/card models of certain game changing vehicles as well as diagrams and text. Not sure if I will get it done to my satisfaction but I am trying.

If there is enough harm done and folk want me gone then I will go but the signal ignorance of which I sometimes see should be addressed too.
No offense taken, would just note I’m not anti-UK, just find some off the more jingoistic expressions of nationalism of any kind hard to stomach. Every country or international entity equally capable of foolishness, incompetence and at times malice on a bad day.
I appreciate your comments meant injest and happy to shake hands .

By the way I think Kat Tsun comprehensively blew our points away anyway; I bow to an evident expert in this area.
 

sferrin

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Kat Tsun said:
As it stands, the most likely replacement for the M1 is going to be Leopard 3. The US Army is entering an even numbered decade, which means the pendulum has swung from "heavy armor" to "air-mechanization". We're ready for a new FCS.
You'd think they'd have learned from the last debacle (FCS). The only truly useful new design since 2000 was the Crusader and, in their infinite wisdom, we saw what they did with that. Can't have any of that "Cold War relic" stink around ya know.
 

Kat Tsun

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kaiserd said:
By the way I think Kat Tsun comprehensively blew our points away anyway; I bow to an evident expert in this area.
I am the layest of laymen with an overly verbose writing voice, a keen interest in the topic of "main battle tanks", and a pessimistic outlook on the future of Western tank development. I hold no special knowledge or esoteric training in the fields of engineering, tanking, or anything of the sort. I'm just a dour sourpuss who is upset that things like Crusader were killed, cut up, and put into cardboard boxes.

Foo Fighter said:
I apologise to anyone I have offended. Most of my comments are meant either less than entirely seriously or completely tongue in cheek and as an older and disabled ex soldier, find emotives etc completely baffling so do not use them. I am still trying to create a personal treatise on the development of the armoured vehicle. This has changed over the years and if I can get it done will include paper/card models of certain game changing vehicles as well as diagrams and text. Not sure if I will get it done to my satisfaction but I am trying.

If there is enough harm done and folk want me gone then I will go but the signal ignorance of which I sometimes see should be addressed too.
For what it matters I am not offended at all, I am merely verbose and intensely interested in engaging in a discussion about something that I find exceptionally interesting. Were I upset I would have been far more terse. That's not to say I am upset now, in this relatively terse reply, but rather that there's simply not much to say beyond what I've already said.

sferrin said:
Kat Tsun said:
As it stands, the most likely replacement for the M1 is going to be Leopard 3. The US Army is entering an even numbered decade, which means the pendulum has swung from "heavy armor" to "air-mechanization". We're ready for a new FCS.
You'd think they'd have learned from the last debacle (FCS). The only truly useful new design since 2000 was the Crusader and, in their infinite wisdom, we saw what they did with that. Can't have any of that "Cold War relic" stink around ya know.
It isn't clear what is going to happen, I'm just being snarky.

The US Army seems to always become infatuated with air-mechanization around the turn of even-numbered decades: the '60s saw M113, M107, M551, and M110; the '80s saw 9th Infantry Division (MTZ) and the emergence of the High-Technology Light Division and the LAV-25; the '00s saw FCS. The first time it was drowned by the Vietnam War. The second time it was drowned by the U.S. Cavalry and heavy armor. The third time it was drowned by its own overly optimistic timetable. Air-mechanization is always going to be an undercurrent that has to be guarded against in all militaries, liberal or despotic, as the PLA seems to be rather taken by the idea; but it has a special home in the United States which has the twin sins of a strong cavalry tradition comparable to Russia and a place in the world that demands the ability to move quickly overseas. And nothing is faster than a jet plane. Or an intercontinental helicopter.

Obviously, you can pull out any number of actual '50s (M113?!), '70s (HTLD?! Various Sheridan-based BMD-analogues), and '90s (Stryker) weapons and ideas that support the reverse argument.

Lobbyists like RAND, and the Senate themselves, have been yammering away for 10 years about the need for new heavy armor, actual SHORADS, and a new field piece. Among other things, like cyberwar capability, REC, and better mine protection for our vehicles. Contrary to popular belief, this doesn't fall on deaf ears. The Army has also pushed back the Abrams death date from "post 2070s" to "at least the 2050s". OTOH, CSA Mark "Silly" Milley has made statements about future tanks of the US Army needing to be lightweight, have heavy armor, lasers, and microwave weapons at AUSA; while simultaneously this year TARDEC has been ordered to start conceptual study for a future MBT in the 55-ton range, incorporating technology from GCV as a springboard.

FWIW, Crusader was not so much "Cold War relic," as the tightening of the budget belt that is inevitable when liberal democracy wins the next war, combined with the need for colonial "expeditionary" warfare weapons. After all, tanks stopped in 1918, too. It took twenty years for tanks to happen again, beyond the gasoline equivalents of FCS aka Carden-Loyd and Vickers 6-tons. If need be they can probably pilfer Crusader's or NLOS-C's prototypes and design documents for ideas to crib/copy from FMC's defense division. We might even be able to have a new howitzer ten years earlier than a new tank.

I guess the difference between now and then is that the time it takes to make a tank has increased by an order of magnitude. People talk about the world "speeding up" but it's more accurate to say "slowing down". The only thing being outstripped is our ability to see into the future, but even among the blind the West has never been very good at absconding with some dark, secret, future knowledge. The late Brig. Gen. R. Simpkin once said "the peacetime military establishment of the most advanced countries enjoys an unrivaled and largely deserved reputation for blinkered thinking". Still as true today as it was in 1980, 1950, or 1930.

So it's really up in the air. Will TARDEC hand built the next American tank, as the Army Ordnance Department slaved over the M4 Sherman? Or will it build some CGI models to be promptly discarded in favor of "doing nothing" because all the engineers are too busy making upgrades for the M1 to spare the work hours to build a new tank? Or will they take the next tank into the hands of private industry, who run the risk of being undermined by Chinese influence/investment as happened at Mountain Pass and with Norsat? Does BAE still have enough engineering expertise left to even make a new tank? The [unfortunately formerly] United Defense people have not made a new vehicle in over a decade.

There are really too many unanswered questions that could swing in any number of directions to draw any firm conclusions, so it really depends on gut world outlook. A dour person would say that it's likely the US Army is going to repeat FCS because of Milley's statements at AUSA; that it will cast aside the TARDEC work because TARDEC works out of a small office building in Detroit; and that private industry is too vulnerable to exploitation by the Communist Party, which has repeatedly won many victories in the economic sphere of war, to be trusted with a new tank design. An optimist might say that the fact that TARDEC is working on a new tank heralds something good; or that materials technology is so advanced we can fit the protection of a 55-ton MBT into a 30-ton chassis, we just need a better timetable than the 1998-2008 one that Shinseki gave Congress; or that the rule of law or some common universally liberal strand of thought will permeate the Chinese or the Russians and motivate them to follow rule of law instead of corporate raiding entire nations like it's 1980.

My personal hope is that the US Army will work as well as the Germans have on SPz Puma and are working on Leopard 3, but my greatest fear is that America is too far gone to be able to avoid the FCS siren song.
 

Foo Fighter

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For what it is worth, I hope whatever our nations build, the future soldiers manning them do not have to come to the realisation that leadership did not have the courage to get the right vehicle at the right time for the right cost. I would hate to see the future soldiers get to the late reality that what they are fielding is nothing more than a can of spam in the face of future threats. 38mm of side armour on a supposedly superior vehicle and the aluminium side skirts would not stop a decent long rifle round now (I am talking Chieftain as an example).
 

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The French do have some Tank development and production capability left, though more by accident than by design.
 

Kat Tsun

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Foo Fighter said:
For what it is worth, I hope whatever our nations build, the future soldiers manning them do not have to come to the realisation that leadership did not have the courage to get the right vehicle at the right time for the right cost. I would hate to see the future soldiers get to the late reality that what they are fielding is nothing more than a can of spam in the face of future threats. 38mm of side armour on a supposedly superior vehicle and the aluminium side skirts would not stop a decent long rifle round now (I am talking Chieftain as an example).
Futurology is already difficult enough. I don't believe that blaming the designers or planners, or attempting to find "lessons learned" from hindsight, is a reliable method of avoiding future failure.

You can't blame the M1's designers for not going with a systems engineering approach to the AGT-1500 and making the whole power pack 50% smaller and 15% more fuel efficient, the M1 is closer to the Korean War than Desert Storm; or the Leopard 2's designers for not anticipating the need for protection against diving top attack missiles like Norinco's HJ-12 or Texas Instruments' Javelin. Saying that planners have the need to give people "the right weapon" is true only to the extent that the obvious is true. Quite often, the obvious is wrong, but the reasons why become obvious only in hindsight.

For example, with hindsight today, we know that both the Warsaw Pact and NATO were inherently defensive alliances, with the Warsaw Pact's large tank armies being misinterpreted by NATO planners as a Nazi-esque prelude to aggressive imperialism. On the contrary, the Soviet Union was perfectly patient enough to wait for the internal contradictions of capitalism to cause its inevitable collapse, followed by rioting in the streets al a the October Revolution, and then the Red Army is welcomed as liberators and heroes of the proletariat with nary a shot fired.

The same sort of Soviet hyper!optimism manifested itself in 1941, when the Soviet soldiers initially didn't shoot at advancing German and Nazi soldiers, under the impression that they were similar in mindset as themselves (secret proletariat revolutionaries) and fully willing to cooperate for peace and brotherhood of mankind, since they were working class. As can be imagined, that impression died quite literally, and the Soviet Union had to institute a substantial overhaul of its propaganda apparatus to mentally prepare their fighting men, among other overhauls.

On the other hand, the Soviet Union also misinterpreted the re-arming of West Germany, the buildup of democratic armies, and stationing of armies on the border of East Germany as an aggressive move. Again, akin to the aggression of Hitlerism in Poland. The Soviets actually walked out on the Allied Control Council as the Western Allies became closer to generating a new German state. Much as Margaret Thatcher (very wrongly) anticipated a return of "Prussian militarism" in 1991, the Soviets anticipated a return of Hitlerism and imperialism on par with the 19th century European empires of France and Britain: the Western Allies were no doubt preparing to invade, exterminate, and colonize Soviet territory.

So consider the Soviet policy preference towards Germany to be one of a weakened Germany, which can no longer threaten the Soviet Union with literal genocide and extermination; while we consider the American preference towards Germany to be one of free trade and economic well-being, in line with its lack of "personal experience" with the genocidal Hilterite war machine and belief that economic free trade/liberal capitalism solves all problems in the world. The Soviets wanted the stick, the Allies the carrot; the question was the same: how do we keep Germany from doing it a third time?

Cue 50 years of misunderstanding and misinterpretation by both sides. Contrary to the belief of the Western Allies, the Soviet Union did not want to "rule the world like Napoleon/Hitler", quite the opposite: they wanted to seal themselves off from the world and continue living as an autarky/closed economy forever, in accordance with Marxist thought. Contrary to the belief of the Soviet leadership, the Western Allies did not want to "genocide all Russians like Generalplan Ost", quite the opposite: they wanted to open up the Soviet economy so that Russians could live in prosperity, in accordance with Keynesian thought.

Anyway Cold War planners anticipated that infantry fighting vehicles would be used in a nuclear battlefield for wide tactical-operational maneuvers through contaminated zones, under armor. Obviously this isn't how IFVs were used in, say, Somalia. Or Iraq. Or Desert Storm (although Desert Storm comes closest to what the planners envisioned, the enemy was not particular competent, and neither were nuclear weapons used). Or Afghanistan. Or Mosul. Or Debaltseve. Rather, these vehicles should have been designed with all around protection against hollow charge ammunition, up to bore diameters of 84-100mm; the ability to detect and destroy or divert incoming wire-guided missiles; and possibly shot detectors or muzzle flash detectors that could discriminate types of ammunition based on spectral signature (i.e. chemical additives in gunpowder) or gunshot sound to locate enemy snipers and destroy them from afar.

You can't really expect nor blame men focused on the plains of Europe in the 1970s to fail to predict that future wars would be fought on scales where battalions occupy the same space as armored divisions of the 1970s, where urban combat is the norm rather than the exception, and where the mine threat and not the BTR's cannon/machine gun is the greatest anti-tank threat to mechanized infantry. Well, maybe the last one could be predicted. After all, anti-vehicle mines were the second largest killer of Allied armor in the last world war, after anti-tank guns.

So really, it's nothing about courage or will to give soldiers "the best". I doubt there are engineers and generals scheming away in cigar smoke filled rooms discussing ways to kill soldiers in the next war. Rather, it's a case of predicted future not anticipating or meeting the actual future.

Had you told someone with the power to change it, and they believed you, that the USSR would explode in 1991, that the United States would emerge as a unilateral superpower until the early '00s when it is challenged by a rising PRC, and that urban warfare would become the norm; you might see the Western Allies design a vehicle similar to the Israeli Namer in the 1970s. Such a heavy IFV concept existed (as I've been told) for the M1 Abrams tank, although it wasn't produced in quantity (or at all) for want of money and production capacity.

Perhaps "poorly" suited to the battlefield of European countryside, because of its high cost and inability to mass produced in the tens of thousands, but a far better weapon for a future where an armored division has a frontage of 100 kilometers, a battalion task force has a frontage of 50 kilometers, and where soldiers are routinely fighting within relatively dense urban areas. Especially for a future where cities have become the true nexus of all economic activity (this was obvious even in the '70s) and where 60% of human beings live in cities. After all, in 1975 Bombay's population was a mere 6 million, while 50 years hence it will be closer to 26 million. That is fairly typical of the former Third World's population and economic growth, too.

Grey Havoc said:
The French do have some Tank development and production capability left, though more by accident than by design.
What capability exists? As I understand, Leclerc XXI is the last major upgrade program for the AMX Leclerc and it was initiated sometime in the early '00s and completed in the mid-late '00s. So it's been about ten years since the French have grappled with a main battle tank. Twenty for the British, as I've read that Challenger 2 hasn't seen a Special Armor upgrade since it was introduced in '98. So it's quite old and perhaps comparable to the M1A1(HA) or M1A2's armor array, at best.

Ten years is enough for men to retire or machine shops to shut down, and making VBCI isn't really as difficult as making a main battle tank. Twenty is enough for all institutional knowledge to vanish. I'm not sure what contributions that the French will be able give to Leopard 3 that the Germans don't already have a significant understanding of, since they've been producing constant armor and ammunition upgrades for the Leopard 2s since the end of the Cold War.

So it seems a more that the French will be learning how to make tanks again, courtesy Rheinmetall AG, than anything else. I might be low-balling the amount of vehicle experience left in British industry, but it seems very much so that they've doubled down on turbine engines and warship construction than land vehicles; barring ASCOD's Britonization, of course. But that's still in the same boat as VBCI.
 

marauder2048

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Kat Tsun said:
Ten years is enough for men to retire or machine shops to shut down ...
Twenty is enough for all institutional knowledge to vanish.
Semi-related; (re)starting 105mm XM35 production for MPF


Zayhowski said that to move the MPF program quickly to prototype development,
he tapped into the experiences of well-tenured machinists who are still active on
the production floors, as well as to Arsenal retirees who once worked on the
AGS program in the 1980s and 1990s.

Ryan Scrum, who is the Arsenal's general foreman for tube production, said
that what has been a big help in shaving time off of a proposed prototype production
schedule is that the 105mm tube is nearly identical to the tube the Arsenal
machined for the AGS program in the 1990s.

https://www.army.mil/article/193706/arsenal_digs_into_its_history_finding_shovel_ready_program_to_enhance_soldier_readiness_lethality
 

Foo Fighter

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Attacking an armoured vehicle from above has been known since at least ww2. There was at least one weapon that utilised copper slugs from mini muitions that had detectors for large armoured vehicles and fired the slug through the top armour. I cannot find my research on it and it may have been lost when my external hard drive went beep and died. These threats were known, that later weapons utilising the same tactic were not is immaterial. Attack from the air has also been known and has been an accepted part of the trilogy of armour, where do you see the 'greatest' threat coming from and where do you put the greatest protection in the form of thicker armour?

Blaming people involved for not being better prepared from historical knowledge/experience for the process itself which always follows the delays and extra cost cycle. Usually multiple times in each project. I think they can not only be held accountable but there are times when tacit involvement in these delays is highly likely considering what comes out later, here and other sites/sources. many times it is called mitigating losses in one project by increasing costs in another.

"For example, with hindsight today, we know that both the Warsaw Pact and NATO were inherently defensive alliances, with the Warsaw Pact's large tank armies being misinterpreted by NATO planners as a Nazi-esque prelude to aggressive imperialism. On the contrary, the Soviet Union was perfectly patient enough to wait for the internal contradictions of capitalism to cause its inevitable collapse, followed by rioting in the streets al a the October Revolution, and then the Red Army is welcomed as liberators and heroes of the proletariat with nary a shot fired".

Soviet soldiers were under the impression they were allies with the NAZI soldiers and had already cooperated with the seizure of Poland.

Militarily the Warsaw pact tactical doctrine could be taken as an extension of Blitzkreig, using massed armour, artillery and aviation assets to smash through weaker parts of the NATO lines and bypassing resistance centres. They would give reserve and extra assets to thos points that achieved success in the shortest time. The goal as we knew it was to reasure the French that they would left alone if they stayed out of the conflict. The goal being the French border. Read the Third World War by General, Sir John Hackett and others, this showcases the Warsaw Pact tactics. So, far from being a defensive pact, their doctrine was one of defence by strong offence and intimidation.

"in 1991, the Soviets anticipated a return of Hitlerism and imperialism on par with the 19th century European empires of France and Britain: the Western Allies were no doubt preparing to invade, exterminate, and colonize Soviet territory".

And your point is? The Russians of whatever flavour you/we brand them with have a lot of in their terms, recent history of attacks from the west. This paranoia is demonstrated by the weapons they deploy on their western and eastern and eastern borders. The T-44 serving on the eastern front for a considerable time and they share modern technology with the PRC despite the big threat to the PRC being their lack of what the NAZI's called "Living space" and a chronic and long term shortage of resources of which there are a lot of in Siberia/eastern Russia. Logically speaking they have more to lose from an attack from the east. Where are the best fo the current regime formations oriented? Why were they so sensitive to EU membership by the Ukraine?
 

Kadija_Man

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In their East, they have two valuable commodities which they lack in their West - Space and Time. They can trade both to allow them to move forces eastward to counter any supposed conventional threat from the PRC. They would also be much more likely to use nukes on the PRC, compared to Europe. In the West, most of their population and a great deal of their industry is vulnerable and remains vulnerable to invasion.

However, this is straying out from the thread raison d'etre - which is about replacing the M1 Abrahms. We have seen it wander into British, German, French MBTs and their replacement to now, Soviet/Russian MBTs. While interesting, I feel this is not the thread to explore what are essentially strategic and political questions. They belong elsewhere.'
 

Foo Fighter

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I see, as in confusing soviet and warsaw pact doctrine/tactics.
 

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https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2017/11/26/new-army-tests-put-a-tank-crew-in-charge-of-a-mini-formation-of-unmanned-vehicles/
 

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So it seems a more that the French will be learning how to make tanks again, courtesy Rheinmetall AG, than anything else. I might be low-balling the amount of vehicle experience left in British industry, but it seems very much so that they've doubled down on turbine engines and warship construction than land vehicles; barring ASCOD's Britonization, of course. But that's still in the same boat as VBCI.
[/quote]
French doesn't need Rheinmetall AG to make tank.
 

Foo Fighter

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If we want to make tanks in the UK, competitive tanks, we can and will.
 

bobbymike

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https://www.army.mil/article/198005/army_developing_improved_active_protection_systems_for_vehicle_armor
 

Kat Tsun

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Foo Fighter said:
Soviet soldiers were under the impression they were allies with the NAZI soldiers and had already cooperated with the seizure of Poland.
Not really. They were under the impression that Nazi troops were, like them, broadly citizens of the world and internationalist, being led by exploitative classes in the higher levels of Nazi government. The incidents this happened were isolated and small scale, and the Soviets quickly learned that Marxist optimism about the workers of the world uniting and singing The Internationale don't go very far when the enemy is driven by ethno-nationalism and genocidal imperialism.

The culture clashes didn't last long and the Russians quickly learned that "shoot the enemy" is a better way of dealing with the problem.

Foo Fighter said:
Militarily the Warsaw pact tactical doctrine could be taken as an extension of Blitzkreig, using massed armour, artillery and aviation assets to smash through weaker parts of the NATO lines and bypassing resistance centres. They would give reserve and extra assets to thos points that achieved success in the shortest time. The goal as we knew it was to reasure the French that they would left alone if they stayed out of the conflict. The goal being the French border. Read the Third World War by General, Sir John Hackett and others, this showcases the Warsaw Pact tactics. So, far from being a defensive pact, their doctrine was one of defence by strong offence and intimidation.
"Blitzkrieg" is, in modern terms, "fake news". The 1940s term is "Italian phraseology". It's a nonsense term that was invented by English journalists who don't understand how battles work. Or wars. Sitzkrieg was better. Or "cult of the offensive", but that was the Allies' problem in 1940, rather than the Germans'.

Anyway Soviet "doctrine" is literally just a rehash post-Kursk Ostfront with T-72s and BMPs. This is unsurprising, their last major war was WW2, so they would take all their knowledge from what they did there. It has nothing to do with the fact that the Warsaw Pact was defensive. It's just that the Soviet idea of defense was "defend Eastern Europe inside Western Europe", which seems to have been misinterpreted as imperialism by the West. A good book about this is Soviet AirLand Battle Tactics by LTC William P. Baxter, U.S. Army. It goes into some detail about how Marxist worldview influences how the Soviets view war, and does it in a way that I couldn't because I am neither eloquent enough nor do I understand my own political philosophy enough to give you a brief rundown on it.

The gist of the book is that the Soviets knew nothing and didn't care to know anything about "blitzkrieg". The Germans lost, the Soviets won, and the future will be the 1921 civil war encirclements and vast empty voids punctuated by meeting engagements and bypassing, instead of the 1944-45 type breakthrough (proryv) attacks against fortified strongpoints layered in a defense in depth, because NATO has no defense in depth, fortified strongpoints, or layering. It's one line of guys that if you can punch through will disintegrate into small little chunks that can be bypassed and avoided with ease, and then you drive into Bonn and the democratic countries surrender.

Red Army is a better book than Third World War, tbh. It's suitably pessimistic, yet the micro-scale of individuals makes it politically ambiguous enough to be plausible. It also abandons the techno-thriller's greatest weakness, obsessiveness over minutiae and dating political tracts, in favor of talking about being stuck in traffic and making stop-motion movies.

Foo Fighter said:
And your point is?
That the Soviets were incapable of understanding their own role in generating the positive feedback loop that formed the Cold War. Ditto NATO. Once the arms race ball gets rolling there are two possible outcomes to dropping out:

1) Someone stops, breaking the cycle, and ends peacefully.
2) Someone stops, breaking the cycle, showing weakness, and is conquered.

The trick is realizing that both of these outcomes are identical.

The USSR couldn't actually have dropped out, though, since its entire economy was based on "tanks" and "nuclear missiles". The West could've, perhaps should've, and it's doubtful the outcome would be much different. The USSR collapses when it stops hyperventilating that the NATO tank divisions in Germany are going to start putting on totenkopfs and waving swastikas around, because it can't actually make anything useful to trade, because it industrialized around building massive tank divisions. OTOH, the West ends up a mite bit richer and healthier and longer lived because it spends money on railroad and highway infrastructure improvements, space exploration, and the civil economy, instead of tank divisions.

Meanwhile the communist autarky evaporates in the most ironic way imaginable: by its own internal contradictions.

But that whole scenario requires hindsight. It might also not apply to the PRC, since the PRC is capable of being a legitimate and true autarky.

Foo Fighter said:
recent history of attacks from the west.
"Hitlerism" and "Napoleonism" are not "the West", except in the loose geographical sense of the term. Russia's biggest enemy is the PRC, followed by internal factionalism between the Big Men, not NATO. Factionalism and PRC swap places every few months/years, though, and they may merge into a single issue when the demographic situation in Siberia becomes wholly untenable for ethnic Russians. The same thing was thought to be happening in Ukraine in 2014. Turns out it wasn't the case, but it's a useful indicator of how a PRC annexation of Siberia might look.

I suppose if you're talking about NATO's expansion eastwards since 1991, with the inclusion of the Baltic countries and Poland as members, then yes that would be interpreted as an attack by a Russian planner. Mostly because, well, it is an attack. But most Westerners would consider it to be a peaceful expansion of free willed men making their own choices. The problem is that this in itself is contentious and debatable, and not at all a universal value, but a form of cultural chauvinism and imperialism. Not that I disagree with it, but recognizing it for what it is makes it easier to understand why Russia says what it says and does what it does.

Foo Fighter said:
Why were they so sensitive to EU membership by the Ukraine?
Because Sevastopol might be taken away from them, which would close Russia's access to their only warm water naval port, and a major shipping yard, which would kind of suck. Putin also needed a distraction and a boost in polls. So a combination of somewhat legitimate concern (albeit rooted in Cold War misconceptions) and a Panama-style booster shot al a George Bush. Crimea is, to use a loose analogy, Russia's version of the 1983 Invasion of Grenada. The hostages are the naval base, the mysterious threat is EU membership, and the end goal is to bolster internal support for a flagging regime. Unfortunately for Putin, and unlike Reagan, Russia is still contributing some troops, but Putin achieved his goal of "being hero" and saving the naval base from the EU, and Ukraine is left battered and bruised with an eternal civil war that will stymie NATO/EU attempts to continue advancing East. Finally, EU membership is tantamount to invasion by NATO, since the Russians are still chafed over NATO "breaking the promise" Reagan made about "not one step East".

So a combination of paranoia and misunderstanding, as usual. Russia sees NATO's expansion of its protection as being tantamount to imperial conquest, while NATO views it as pulling people who politely asked for help under their wing. Both are correct, since the important thing is that you can support a case for either with sufficient terminology and the proper mindset. The only real truth is "NATO expanded eastwards after it said it wouldn't", which either torpedoed the West's relationship with Russia, or proved that Russia would never accept Western support in the first place. The reality is that both are true. Russia wants buffer states, it's mad NATO "took them away", Russia doesn't want NATO's "liberalism" or "democracy", and NATO isn't going to offer help without a conditional acceptance of liberal democracy.

Had NATO not expanded Eastwards, Russia would be just as obstinate and impertinent as ever, perhaps only slightly more likely to cooperate with NATO, and not without reaching a compromise solution that satisfies no one (leading to deadlock/inaction) or only accepting a plan that benefits Russia to the detriment of NATO (leading to deadlock/inaction).

The root cause of the disagreement has shifted from "communism" and "capitalism" to "liberalism" and "illiberalism". The old word for illiberalism might be "autocracy" or "despotism", though. The hypothetical "Group of Russian Forces in Narva" might still happen, or it might not. Both Russia and NATO remain defensively aligned, but Russia is probably feeling increasingly cornered/caged in by NATO.

It could abandon Europe and fortify its border. Or it could lash out and do a decades long "bite-and-hold" attack on NATO countries, taking small nuggets of territory to form Transnistria-style frozen conflicts in NATO countries. It successfully achieved this in Moldova in the 1990s, and the strategy works in Ukraine so far. It might work in NATO, but NATO is also gaining a lot of experience in busting insurgencies from Afghanistan and Iraq. But looking at Syria, Iraq, and Ukraine especially, it seems that the NATO armies are learning the wrong lessons in fighting insurgencies. Russia also has friendly relations, for the moment, with the PRC. It could serve as a route for advanced weapons like the Norinco HJ-12 (a copy of the U.S. Army's Javelin) finding their way into the hands of Narvan partisans in the year 202X. They might also find "insurgents" armed with 2A82 anti-tank guns on a Sprut-style towed mount.

That's bad news bears for any NATO tankmen without the most modern protective suites. Advanced 125mm rounds will probably defeat the oldest NATO tanks, like Challenger 2 and Leopard 2A4, and HJ-12 will beat any NATO tank today.

marauder2048 said:
Kat Tsun said:
Ten years is enough for men to retire or machine shops to shut down ...
Twenty is enough for all institutional knowledge to vanish.
Semi-related; (re)starting 105mm XM35 production for MPF


Zayhowski said that to move the MPF program quickly to prototype development,
he tapped into the experiences of well-tenured machinists who are still active on
the production floors, as well as to Arsenal retirees who once worked on the
AGS program in the 1980s and 1990s.

Ryan Scrum, who is the Arsenal's general foreman for tube production, said
that what has been a big help in shaving time off of a proposed prototype production
schedule is that the 105mm tube is nearly identical to the tube the Arsenal
machined for the AGS program in the 1990s.

https://www.army.mil/article/193706/arsenal_digs_into_its_history_finding_shovel_ready_program_to_enhance_soldier_readiness_lethality
This makes me happy, but it's also sort of depressing, because we've gotten to the point where the Western AFV industrial capacity is relying on "please don't be dead" instead of a "regular work schedule". At least all those retired engineers didn't die in the 20 years since their program vanished, I guess? It's a bit icky. I suppose the alternative is a bit problematic in its own right, since a chronic low level of work gets to be hard to track and ends up being wasteful, redundant, or outright embezzled, as was the case with a lot of money in the Soviet Union.

But at least with the alternative you aren't left short on the materiel side of things.

cador said:
French doesn't need Rheinmetall AG to make tank.
You're right, it was KMW, not Rheinmetall. Sorry, I mixed up which one was teaching Nexter how to make tanks again.
 

Colonial-Marine

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Kat Tsun said:
The West could've, perhaps should've, and it's doubtful the outcome would be much different. The USSR collapses when it stops hyperventilating that the NATO tank divisions in Germany are going to start putting on totenkopfs and waving swastikas around, because it can't actually make anything useful to trade, because it industrialized around building massive tank divisions. OTOH, the West ends up a mite bit richer and healthier and longer lived because it spends money on railroad and highway infrastructure improvements, space exploration, and the civil economy, instead of tank divisions.

Meanwhile the communist autarky evaporates in the most ironic way imaginable: by its own internal contradictions.
I fail to see how that would be a risk worth taking. The Warsaw Pact may have been "defensive" in nature but as the communist system begins to crumble who is to say the communist hard-liners wouldn't see the disarmed West before them as an opportunity to "liberate the workers from the yoke of capitalist oppression" and, conveniently enough, extend their own survival?

I think it's a bit far to dismiss all of "Blitzkrieg" as "fake news", the attempts by individual German officers to take credit for it all was however. I'd say instead what occurred was a matter of all of the pieces simply falling into place in the coordination of mechanized warfare. The Soviets (at least when their officer corp wasn't being purged) had an advanced understanding of all the necessary concepts which was probably the genesis of the German understanding of the "greater picture". The British, Americans and almost certainly the French (I am least familiar with intra-war developments there) had their own share of officers with innovative thoughts on how to utilize armor too, the Germans simply implemented it first. As far as I know not one German officer had this overarching vision of "Blitzkrieg" in place, events simply happened in such a spectacular manner that it was attributed all to them.
 

Foo Fighter

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One of the things the Nazi's did right was the organisation of their principle assault units with organic support, something which only became more so, if with reduced unit size due to the deteriorating military situation.

If the PRC is the biggest enemy of the current and past Russian confederation etc why have there been the periods of cooperation interms of military technology? If THEY saw the PRC as their main competition, this would not be so. The PRC have the second Russian aircraft carrier in it's class and it is in better condition than the Russians can keep theirs which is demonstrated by the huge smoke plumes in the English channel.

Where did the Russian revolution get it's instigation? Germany, Lenin was encouraged and assisted in his agitation by the German state and if this is thought not to be a factor then you do not realise how long a memory for this kind of thing there is in Russia etc. The end of WWI was a treaty/surrender of Russia to Germany and the paranoia continues with many opposition figures either murdered outright or dying in decidedly suspicious circumstances.

"Had NATO not expanded Eastwards, Russia would be just as obstinate and impertinent as ever, perhaps only slightly more likely to cooperate with NATO, and not without reaching a compromise solution that satisfies no one (leading to deadlock/inaction) or only accepting a plan that benefits Russia to the detriment of NATO (leading to deadlock/inaction)".

Poland, on the road towards the EU and NATO, then the Ukraine starting on the same road and constant talk from certain EU politicians ranting about a standing EU army and where from there?

The Javelin is an interesting unit, having seen a closed test against what was suggested was a T-72 with full war load it LOOKS good. Whether it will succeed against the current and forthcoming defensive measures remains to be seen and the armour that has little to do will always do better than one relied on as a first line of defence.

As I have mentiioned before, we thought our Chieftains were the dogs danglies and would stand well against any opposition but were less so when the opposition could throw so many units forward in a short space of time. BTW, combined arms groups with organic support, bypassing resistance choke points and aiming for maximum penetration ot the enemy sounds exactly like Blitzkreig. Odd that the Soviet Union would use such a tactic and it be called something else. The current methods and tactics would be something I would like to find more information on, information rather than opinion for a balanced perspective.

I do not mean to sound argumentative for the sake of it but I find this thread to be more beneficial than anything that just drones on about equipment or military vehicles without considering the why, where and how. Without that we are all talking batteries here.
 

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Still nothing about a supposed replacement for the M1. A great deal of discussion about the Soviet Union/Russian strategic viewpoint but not about the US's. Nor about what is going to replace the M1.

I'd suggest more M1s, actually. Up the power, up the armour, up the gun. Perhaps the new Rhienmettal 130mm gun? Alternatively, reduce the power of the gun and put in place, as the armour killer, a battery of ATGWs. Bill or Spike like. Use the gun for the direct support of infantry.

So, let us discuss that idea, not the Russian views about China (which are BTW, incorrect as far as I can tell) nor the Chinese views about Russia.
 

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Upgrades to the M1 is what they are doing... M1A2 SEPv3 now and work on v4 has started.
 

Foo Fighter

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Considering that the M1 is a fine place to start, I mentioned that the armour aspect would be less of a function when active defence was included, and that is being addressed in the M1 improvements. Therefor the M1 and Challenger have a relatively good prospects for remaining operational and effective for some time to come. The utilisation of drone vehicles, which would be more effective as smaller units carrying sensor extensions and secondary weapons launchers. Indirect fire support with area denial weapons would also prevent the flanks of units from being turned and provide notice of such movement.

Essentially put, the better the situational awareness, the more effective the units involved and the better the chosen manouvres will be for the units involved.
 

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The M1 may be a good place to start with yet there is a whole lot to do in my opinion. I think the basic turret layout could use some rework at this point due to the need to fit an active protection system and all that involves. I have to give the Israeli's credit for doing a really good job at seamlessly integrating Trophy onto the Merkava IV.

Whatever happened to that 140mm gun tested by the US and others that several NATO countries hoped to utilize on a future main battle tank?
 

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Colonial-Marine said:
The M1 may be a good place to start with yet there is a whole lot to do in my opinion. I think the basic turret layout could use some rework at this point due to the need to fit an active protection system and all that involves. I have to give the Israeli's credit for doing a really good job at seamlessly integrating Trophy onto the Merkava IV.

Whatever happened to that 140mm gun tested by the US and others that several NATO countries hoped to utilize on a future main battle tank?
Or even an L55 with a DU round (M829A4 if it would work).
 

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Dear God....

I remembered that there was a lot of work done on a 140mm ETC cannon for future M1s.

I found a pic of the ammo next to a standard 120mm.



http://soapbox.manywords.press/2017/12/19/m1-cattb/
https://soapbox.manywords.press/2017/12/12/on-the-140mm-tank-gun
 

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Telescoping ammunition/rounds will significantly reduce impact on turret and hull stowage while retaining efficacy.
 

sferrin

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Foo Fighter said:
Telescoping ammunition/rounds will significantly reduce impact on turret and hull stowage while retaining efficacy.
They're much fatter though. Also the dart isn't going to get shorter as it already goes almost to the base of the case.
 

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All reasons why an autoloader would be necessary. While the US may have a surplus of large muscled men, most other Western European nations were looking at a decrease due to the end of the baby-boom when the Cold War ended. They were looking seriously at the need to introduce female soldiers to make up the shortfall.
 
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