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-   -   British Army With No Tanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (http://forum.juhlin.com/showthread.php?t=6155)

Ramjam 08-25-2020 03:50 PM

British Army With No Tanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Just saw this on the BBC News web site.

Don't know what to say...................

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-53909087

After some research about the USMC doing away with their tanks..............

https://www.stripes.com/news/marine-...m1a1s-1.639355

What is the world coming too!!!!!!!!!

Raellus 08-25-2020 05:00 PM

Check Another Item Off Russia's Wish List
 
Vladimir Putin has got to be over the moon right now. A major political rival falls seriously ill and then news that the Russian military will likely be facing 270 less MBTs in the near future? It's been a great week for Putin.

Legbreaker 08-25-2020 09:50 PM

Ditching tanks isn't going to happen. There's a demonstrated, historical NEED for a battlefield bully, and the tank fills that role nicely.
Yes, they're expensive, complex and difficult to move from one region to another, but without them the remaining forces could well be just so much minced beef.
In the unlikely even they do ditch them, it will be for political reasons and against military advice. A few years later the Brits would be chewed up in a combat zone and tanks hurriedly rushed back into service.

Raellus 08-25-2020 10:07 PM

Myopic and Nearsighted
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Legbreaker (Post 84874)
Ditching tanks isn't going to happen. There's a demonstrated, historical NEED for a battlefield bully, and the tank fills that role nicely.

But, crazy as it sounds, it is happening. Read the article. The Dutch have already gotten rid of theirs. The USMC is moving quickly in that direction. The UK, apparently, is next.

It strikes me as an incredibly short-sighted policy/strategy. Tanks are indeed expensive to develop, build, maintain and operate, but they're still the best anti-tank weapon. Infantry both love having tanks on their side (see the battles of Fallujah or the more recent battle for Mosul), and hate fighting against them for good reason. NATO could one day rue its members' cost-cutting evisceration of their MBT forces when the Russians roll their thousands of T-whatevers into Ukraine or the Baltic States.

Legbreaker 08-25-2020 10:15 PM

The way I read it is certain people are considering it as an option. I heard similar chatter back in the early 90's re the Australian's - we ended up a decade or so later with M1s.

I don't think they'll be as many tanks as 20+ years ago, but there'll always be some on hand with any competent military. Without tanks your force isn't really capable of more than counter insurgency and other low level conflicts. Admittedly that's the bulk of the last couple of decades, but there's still plenty of nations out there with T-72's or whatever who could become a problem in the not that distant future.

Vespers War 08-25-2020 10:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Legbreaker (Post 84878)
The way I read it is certain people are considering it as an option. I heard similar chatter back in the early 90's re the Australian's - we ended up a decade or so later with M1s.

I don't think they'll be as many tanks as 20+ years ago, but there'll always be some on hand with any competent military. Without tanks your force isn't really capable of more than counter insurgency and other low level conflicts. Admittedly that's the bulk of the last couple of decades, but there's still plenty of nations out there with T-72's or whatever who could become a problem in the not that distant future.

Back in 1995 there was chatter about replacing the Abrams with Future Combat Systems vehicles small enough that a C-17 could carry two (about the same mass as a Stryker MGS). It's 25 years later, and the Abrams is still being upgraded while the replacement program (OMFV) to the replacement program (GCV) of FCS was canceled at the beginning of this year.

Rainbow Six 08-26-2020 02:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Legbreaker (Post 84878)
The way I read it is certain people are considering it as an option.

I see it the same way - it's one of several options that are under consideration. We'll just have to wait and see where it goes.

mpipes 08-26-2020 02:18 AM

And as soon as there is a new Marine Commandant after a few years of flailing about without a tank and finding out the army does not really want to play the same way as the Marines and the tank will be back.

After all, if I remember correctly, did not the Marines give up their tanks before in the '50s?

Hybris 08-26-2020 12:49 PM

Meanwhile.


https://youtu.be/EnL0Fz-34nA

Askold 09-08-2020 12:10 AM

a) Although I am convinced that no matter how warfare changes, infantry will still have a place on a battlefield, I am not that certain about tanks. Who knows if in a few centuries there will be hover-plasma-DVD-whatever things that have replaced the tanks we see today. It is not like the tank is an old invention either, it's been here for a relatively short time in human history.

b) When the Dutch sold their tanks, they sold their old obsolete versions of Leopard 2 rather than spend money on upgrading them (and they immediately regretted it when Russia invaded Ukraine and Finland made the totally unfair decision to not give the tanks back because we also share a border with Russia.) They had plans to buy new tanks to replace the old ones even back then, it was never about completely abandoning tanks. Though their eventual solution was a novel one, they offer crews for German tanks in a form of combined military unit between the two countries (with EU integration slowly advancing, this type of thing will likely become more and more common.)

c) As for USMC, much like the Netherlands, even if they have no tanks of their own this does not mean that they go into combat without tanks. US military is huge and they have simply made it so that marines use their budget for things that they consider important and in case of a war, the army will fight alongside them with tanks. It's not like USA would go "Yeah, we will send these marines to die in that battle because they have no tanks of their own and there is no reason for other armed forces to help them even though we are perfectly capable of doing so. Sucks to be them."

micromachine 09-08-2020 01:38 AM

Tanks for the Memories
 
The scariest thing about this is the loss of manufacturing capability and the brain trust of the designers. Let us remember that after World War I, the British thought that the tank had seen its day and the antitank gun was going to put the tank on the shelf. It took until the mid-1940s and the Centurion tank for them to get the equation back into equilibrium, as the thinking in the design department was firmly cemented in the last war.
While wheeled alternatives seem to be the way forward, the lack of survivabilty and mobility will fast be shown in the next conventional or unconventional conflict. Antitank helicopters, missiles and rockets do offer a persistent threat that cannot be disregarded, however, they are more defensive in nature.
I foresee a future where the light to medium tank will have a place at the table, with active protection systems and graduated levels of protection dictated by the threat level. To lose the main battle tank would be a defeat without a shot being fired.
After all, the best way to fight a tank is with another tank!

StainlessSteelCynic 09-08-2020 06:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by micromachine (Post 85018)
The scariest thing about this is the loss of manufacturing capability and the brain trust of the designers. Let us remember that after World War I, the British thought that the tank had seen its day and the antitank gun was going to put the tank on the shelf. It took until the mid-1940s and the Centurion tank for them to get the equation back into equilibrium, as the thinking in the design department was firmly cemented in the last war.

This is probably the most significant factor, something similar occurred with the RAF after the 1957 Defence White Paper which concluded that manned, air-defence fighters and manned bombers where going to be obsolete due to advances in SAM technology.
That view was wrong and they finally got back on track but not before some potentially promising aircraft projects were cancelled and various aeronautical companies were "encouraged" to merge (thus reducing the number of people involved with R&D). The British lost the opportunity to operate, in the 1960s, a Mach 3 capable recce & bomber aircraft in the Avro 730.

The Avro 730 could very well have provided the United Kingdom with the same sort of reconnaissance capabilities as the SR-71 did for the USA as well as being a bomber capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

Legbreaker 09-08-2020 07:25 AM

It's my belief the only reason there's talk of getting rid of tanks is because there isn't currently a credible threat that APCs and wheeled IFVs can't handle - it's all low level, counter insurgency stuff and peace keeping really.
It's a very big mistake long term to remove the heavy armour capability. Sure, there may be sufficient warning and lead time to obtain the hardware, but the skills and experience using them could well be gone. Without continual training, experimentation and practice, there's going to be some very hard, very bloody lessons to be learnt all over again made even worse by the continuing march of time and technical development.

pmulcahy11b 09-08-2020 11:12 AM

I can understand wanting a more mobile, deployable force -- that was the driving factor behind the Stryker program. But sometimes, you do need heavy armor, as the use of Stryker Brigades in Iraq has shown that there are situations they can't handle, and the M1s have to be called.

Raellus 09-08-2020 11:29 AM

Tanks for the Memories
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Legbreaker (Post 85020)
It's my belief the only reason there's talk of getting rid of tanks is because there isn't currently a credible threat that APCs and wheeled IFVs can't handle - it's all low level, counter insurgency stuff and peace keeping really.
It's a very big mistake long term to remove the heavy armour capability. Sure, there may be sufficient warning and lead time to obtain the hardware, but the skills and experience using them could well be gone. Without continual training, experimentation and practice, there's going to be some very hard, very bloody lessons to be learnt all over again made even worse by the continuing march of time and technical development.

You're right, but if the British government doesn't consider Russia a "current" credible threat, then it's just not paying attention. If Russia rolls into one of the Baltic NATO member states, it's going to be too late for the UK and/or other NATO members who've gotten rid of their MBTs to build new ones.

I can kind of see why countries that only anticipate COIN ops in the future to offload their MBTs, although, as recent experience in Iraq has shown, there are certain jobs that MBTs do better than other options. To completely discount the possibility of war with another great power (one still equipped with thousands of MBTs) seems incredibly short-sighted, naive, and/or defeatist.

I hope the UK doesn't go through with it.

Legbreaker 09-08-2020 11:48 AM

The Curator of the Bovington Tank Museum mentioned in one of his recent videos https://youtu.be/8vDdOgG5CTc?t=285 the Brits are going ahead with a Challenger 2 major upgrade on the turret. The idea of getting rid of tanks is just a brain fart by those who would rather spend the money on arts and social programs.

mpipes 09-08-2020 06:27 PM

One thing I know; I am getting VERY resentful of NATO partners not spending even 2% on their military and depending on the US to save them in the next war.

The thing that really worries me is that I know I am not alone. Sooner or later, if these trends continue of our foreign partners just letting their militaries degrade to ineffectiveness, then the US is just going to say your on your own. NATO will exclusively become European. It is also going to lead to nuclear proliferation. I mean really, what do you think Poland or the Baltic States are going to do. Wait for Russia to reassert its traditional territory borders? All you need to do is look at how Russia is nibbling away at Ukraine to see the long term goals and trends.

StainlessSteelCynic 09-08-2020 07:17 PM

I feel too that the focus on Europe has made some of those countries shortsighted. While they may think Russia is not a "current" threat, China is a cause for concern.
While those countries might never directly get into a conventional war with China, they might need to go to the aid of an ally in the region. So having a military with good abilities for conventional war is a useful deterrent - you want to negotiate from strength, not from "We can get tank production online 10 months after the war starts".

mpipes 09-08-2020 08:22 PM

If they think they can just get rid of tanks one year and then have a tank force the next year, they will end up with a rude awakening. A viable tank force takes years to build up. If they get rid of tanks now, it will most assuredly leave the UK as a third tier land army for years. They may never recover. They have already slashed the fighter force to absurdly low levels. So 25 years from now, what do they do if Argentina annexes the Falklands? Or if Spain finally seizes Gibraltar? Lodge a strong diplomatic protest or just wave bye bye?

RN7 09-08-2020 11:03 PM

It was an idea put out by the mandarins in the British MOD to save money due to the economic impact of the virus.

The MOD has been taken for a ride a few times by the spivs working for British defence contractors such as with Nimrod and the Airbus tanker aircraft leasing deal. The accountants in the MOD are also notoriously tight about spending money. Just ask the Royal Navy who had to make due with warships that were far to small for their purpose for years because the MOD believed that extra steel meant extra money.

Upgrading the Challenger 2 is not really that expensive in the scheme of current British defence programmes. In the worst case scenario some tanks might be transferred to the Territorials and kept in readiness until they are needed. The Challenger 2 is sort of a deterrent in its own right to the likes of Russia. Its the most powerful tank ever built although other countries would dispute that fact. In reality it could take on five or more Russian and Chinese tanks and win.

ChalkLine 09-10-2020 11:24 PM

Devil's Advocate:

The idea has merit.

People have noted for a long time that tanks are becoming too specialised and are heading full speed for The Battleship Paradox (this is where an asset is worth too much to risk).

What is it that a tank is supposed to do?

Well, it's there to rapidly move and supply the heavy hitting power. However as the Nazis discovered in The Second World War tank-heavy formations have little use, they had to increase their infantry component and decrease the tank component . The big problem is that APCs/IFVs don't have the protection ability of an MBT and can't survive in their environment. The very reason the tank is there, to take ground so the infantry can hold it, doesn't work if the enemy can slaughter your battlefield taxis with over-the-horizon munitions.

So the problem isn't that tanks are vulnerable, that pendulum is always swinging, but that they can't fulfill the role of getting the infantry there any more.

Raellus 09-11-2020 08:44 AM

Days of Future Past?
 
Devil's Advocate to Devil's Advocate

So if APCs and IFVs are obsolescent, thereby rendering MBTs anachronistic, are we headed back to the days of relatively static trench warfare? How is infantry supposed to move around the modern battlefield? Despite advances in personal body armor, infantry on foot are still extremely fragile. In a peer adversary conflict, helicopters are way more vulnerable than APCs and IFVs.

-

mpipes 09-11-2020 03:56 PM

Lets see....APCs and IFVs are now obsolete. Tanks are too specialized. So all wars now are to be fought by drones, aircraft, and infantry?

My my..... Patton and Guderian are weeping and rolling in their graves.

Legbreaker 09-11-2020 07:52 PM

There will ALWAYS be a need for a "battlefield bully". It my not have tracks or a 120mm gun, but it will still be mobile, protected and carry a shitload of firepower.
AKA, a tank in one form or another.

Raellus 09-12-2020 01:41 PM

Hungary for Armor
 
Are reports of the death of the IFV premature? Hungary recently placed an order for Lynx IFVs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynx_(...ghting_vehicle)

According to Wikipedia, Australia, the Czech Republic, and the US are looking at it too.

-

StainlessSteelCynic 09-12-2020 07:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raellus (Post 85056)
Are reports of the death of the IFV premature? Hungary recently placed an order for Lynx IFVs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynx_(...ghting_vehicle)

According to Wikipedia, Australia, the Czech Republic, and the US are looking at it too.

-

And regardless of whether Australia decides to buy the Lynx, there are two points to consider: -
1. Australia wants to replace aging APCs with newer vehicles and those vehicles could be APCs or IFVs
2. Lynx was not the only vehicle for consideration, another IFV was shortlisted as well, the Korean K21

All of which means that some countries still see a need for IFVs in the military.
If you have IFVs, then you will probably want a vehicle to support them when their own armament isn't enough firepower to get the job done. Something with better armament and better protection, something which regardless of wheels or tracks, is pretty much a tank.

Fallenkezef 09-17-2020 11:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mpipes (Post 85026)
One thing I know; I am getting VERY resentful of NATO partners not spending even 2% on their military and depending on the US to save them in the next war.

The thing that really worries me is that I know I am not alone. Sooner or later, if these trends continue of our foreign partners just letting their militaries degrade to ineffectiveness, then the US is just going to say your on your own. NATO will exclusively become European. It is also going to lead to nuclear proliferation. I mean really, what do you think Poland or the Baltic States are going to do. Wait for Russia to reassert its traditional territory borders? All you need to do is look at how Russia is nibbling away at Ukraine to see the long term goals and trends.

The only time NATO's article 5 was invoked was when America asked for help in Afghanistan and NATO lived up to it's commitments. Let's cut the hyperbole about America saving Europe thankyou very much.

Secondly the Crimean conflict arose from the EU's interference in Ukraine and the possible risk to the continued use of Crimean black sea ports so the Russians moved into secure those ports and destabilise a potential threat.

Now I'm not saying the Russians are the good guys or not a credible threat but they have been a credible threat since the great game of the mid 19th century. However Russia isn't bloody stupid, they got away with Ukraine due to very specific circumstances. They will continue to do what they do best and fight proxy wars, looking when and where to stir things up to their best advantage such as we saw in Syria.

As for Britain phasing out tanks, I think it's a matter of cost. Britain post-covid is basicly broke right now, we can't afford to upgrade the Challies. I wouldn't be surprised if we sell one of the QE class carriers over the next few years to be honest.

I can't say I agree with the decision but I do understand it. Classic government blindness, we have thought counter insurgency for the last 2 decades so we will always fight counter insurgency. This thinking was an indirect cause for the Falklands war back in 1982.

The lessons of Syria have been conveniantly ignored. We relied on politics and air power while Russia put boots on the ground and front line equipment in Assad's hands. Russia won.

The west will regret the trend to favour aviation and counter-insurgency warfare but it won't be in the Baltics we get our arse handed to us.

Rainbow Six 09-17-2020 12:12 PM

FWIW the British Government is now denying it plans to scrap all of its tanks

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...crapping-tanks

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/u...o-b431482.html

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54126146

https://news.sky.com/story/defence-s...tanks-12069861

Fallenkezef 09-17-2020 12:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rainbow Six (Post 85134)

Of course, PR nightmare.

They will continue to phase out Challies in favour of "light cavalry". My prediction will be a token force in the form of one armoured brigade built around the RTR with the rest of the British army either infantry or the new fangled "light cavalry".

Legbreaker 09-17-2020 04:19 PM

The whole idea of scrapping the tanks did NOT come from official sources. Was NEVER official policy, or even being seriously considered.

swaghauler 09-20-2020 08:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Legbreaker (Post 85143)
The whole idea of scrapping the tanks did NOT come from official sources. Was NEVER official policy, or even being seriously considered.

And I'm betting the idiots who are pushing such an agenda have NO IDEA how maintenance or logistics work. Here's the big argument I have with people who think the A10 should be retired. They ALWAYS say "you have Apaches don't you?"

Logistics 101:

If you fly, then every so many hours OF FLIGHT you WILL NEED to do certain types of maintenance. There are 100-hour, 250-hour, 500-hour, 1000-hour, 5000-hour, and 10,000-hour maintenance procedures that you MUST perform to keep the aircraft flying. Different aircraft will have different maintenance cycles and fixed-wing CAS planes tend to have longer times between maintenance. This means they can fly longer between mandated maintenance and that they cost less to fly per FLIGHT HOUR. A FLIGHT HOUR is a cost to fly a plane per hour that integrates the maintenance cost in with the fuel cost per hour to come up with the FLIGHT HOUR COST. An OV-10 Bronco costs $1,000 to $2,000 per Flight Hour based on electronics installed (a big maintenance cost). An F16A (block 10) costs $10,000 per flight hour while a block 40 F16C can cost $30K per flight hour. An F15 can cost more than $60K per Flight Hour. A typical rotary-wing Apache can cost north of $40K per Flight Hour and require a disproportionately greater amount of time in maintenance than even a Jet (a failing of ALL helos).

In addition, due to the time some of these maintenance regimes take, your availability for aircraft can be less than 50% flightworthy. Combine this with refuel and rearm times and a country with 150 helos might have only 40 or 50 available for missions at any given time.

By comparison, most vehicle maintenance on even the most sophisticated ground vehicle will only climb into the HUNDREDS of dollars per operational hour and can exceed a 90% availability rate. Even when you factor in refuel and rearming times, at least HALF of a vehicle fleet will be available for operations at any given moment.

Contrary to what the airpower boys want to believe, armor will ALWAYS trump airpower for cost-of-operation and operational unit availability. The age of the equipment also adversely affects aircraft more than ground vehicles. Tanks are simply more economical that either Helos or Aircraft.

mpipes 09-20-2020 08:41 PM

Swaghauler!

Amen brother.

One of the reasons the A-10 is sticking around is because when all the whiz bang toys are grounded waiting on parts, you can usually just kick the tires check the fluids and your ready to fly.

An oversimplification to be sure, but more than a grain of truth in that.

Legbreaker 09-20-2020 09:21 PM

Fixed wing aircraft simply have less moving parts than rotary. It's just logic that they require less maintenance time and effort.
Ground vehicles have the added advantage of not needing to fight gravity. If something fails, you don't have multimillion dollar machines falling rapidly earthward to smash into a million very expensive bits. A ground vehicle can often still be function and add at least something to the battle, while putting a less than perfectly maintained aircraft into the fray is quite likely to result in the complete loss of the machine and crew - if it's even able to get off the ground and into the battle in the first place.

That said, adding a third dimension to the battle is ALWAYS a good thing, but it comes at a cost.

Targan 10-04-2020 06:09 PM

The tank is dead. Long live the tank.

Interesting article.

Fallenkezef 10-06-2020 04:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Targan (Post 85235)

I find that article very interesting and I do quite agree.

Sooner or later the MOD has to realise the Chally 2 needs to be scrapped (I'd say the same about the Tornados). They can not compete against modern armour and ATGM systems and we just can not afford to upgrade them.
In a conflict that doesn't involve third world enemies using kit that would of been seen on a 1970's battlefield, the Chally will be slaughtered.

This leaves 3 options:

1) Buy a better tank from NATO allies such as the Leo
2) Build a better tank using modern tech and lessons learned
3) Scrap tanks entirely and go for other solutions.

StainlessSteelCynic 10-06-2020 07:02 PM

If the Challenger 2 had been continuously upgraded like the Leo 2, it would be on par. They Leo 2 is an older design than the Chally 2 so it serves as a good example of how the base design can be kept effective.
I would have included a 4th option for your list - upgrade the Challenger 2 to levels comparable with the Leo 2

Raellus 10-06-2020 10:20 PM

Back to the Trenches
 
Thanks for posting that thought-provoking article, Targan.

Perhaps the MBT is headed in the same direction as the battleship c.1941. Sometimes, it can be hard to let go of orthodoxy and envision a novel alternative.

Having seen some recent combat footage out of Nagorno-Karabakh of UAVs hunting MBTs with apparent impunity, it's not hard to imagine a future where MBTs become little more than incredibly expensive mobile crematoriums (I don't mean to sound cold or trite- I really feel for the crews of stricken tanks on both sides of the conflict). I just wonder how infantry are going to move around on a battlefield where armor has been rendered obsolete by precision-guided smart weapons, ATGMs, and UAV-directed artillery.

Are we headed for a reprise of WWI-era static warfare?

-

Adm.Lee 10-07-2020 09:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raellus (Post 85255)
Perhaps the MBT is headed in the same direction as the battleship c.1941. Sometimes, it can be hard to let go of orthodoxy and envision a novel alternative.
...
Are we headed for a reprise of WWI-era static warfare?

-

Not so sure, myself. I just saw a vid of a US Army colonel who spent some time with the Ukrainians in Donbass recently. He thought tanks were the only way to generate mobility. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CMby_WPjk4&t=3s

Tanks, IMO, are still useful, but the days of blitzkrieg are long over. 1940-41 was a narrow window of time, before defenses could bog things down. After that, combined-arms forces could overcome defenses for a limited time-- August 44 in France, June 44 in Belorussia & Poland-- but only for a limited time. Most of Ww2 was not blitzkrieg, but closer to trench warfare (not the same, but closer). I think now isn't too different.

mpipes 10-07-2020 09:46 PM

".....the days of blitzkrieg are long over."

Tell that to the Iraqi Army and Saddam!

Raellus 10-07-2020 10:16 PM

The Times, They Are A-Changin'
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mpipes (Post 85259)
".....the days of blitzkrieg are long over."

Tell that to the Iraqi Army and Saddam!

Point taken, but that was 31 (Desert Storm) and 17 (Iraqi Freedom) years ago. Times change. We might be in the midst of a paradigm shift, which is seldom recognized by most people when it's happening. It's only in retrospect that it becomes obvious (like in France, 1940, or Midway, 1942).

-


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