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  #331  
Old 09-19-2022, 02:23 PM
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Default More Brinksmanship

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The problem with rattling a nuclear saber is it's only scary once unless you actually use a nuke. After nothing happened after Putin's nuclear talk back in February I think it's apparent he has no intention of ever using nukes.
So if a dictator doesn't immediately follow through on a threat, that threat should no longer be taken seriously?

That seems like a very risky maxim to follow.

The saber rattling continues, with both sides issuing veiled threats.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...in-on-nuke-use

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  1. Putin has a decent enough lock on power within Russia. Even if Russia pulled out of Ukraine tomorrow the internal spin would just say "Mission Accomplishski" and the majority inside Russia would cheer.
  2. People outside of Russia don't care about Russia. Russia only is concerning to some ex-Soviet satellites that are now backed up by NATO. Russia won't invade them. Russia is also ruined economically and militarily for decades now. Putin will be gone before they're able to threaten anyone again.
  3. The US likely has a pretty good handle on Russia's nuclear arsenal and isn't worried about them using it. Like the rest of Russian equipment it's been rotting since the 90s. Hydrogen bombs need constant maintenance (tritium expires) lest they become just low yield fission bombs.
  4. Putin nuking anyone runs a very real risk one of several nuclear armed powers says "screw it" and drops a ground burst on whatever dacha he spends the most time at. The rest of the world would probably give that country a mulligan and a sternly worded letter of thanks.
1. You might be right. Putin's control of information within Russia is pretty tight.

2. Sweden and Finland don't seem to agree with that assessment; Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Moldova definitely don't. Russia's invasion of Ukraine turned what's been a looming threat for the past 20 years or so into a present-day reality for former Soviet republics no longer aligned with the Russian Federation. To say that Putin wouldn't launch a military action against another former SSR flies in the face events since February of this year. That said, can Russia invade another SSR, given it's massive recent losses in Ukraine? Probably not.

3. The US isn't worried about Russia's nuclear arsenal? Where did that conclusion come from? I haven't come across that assessment from any reputable military analyst, so if you have a reliable source that back's that up, I'd be very interested to see it.

4. Would Russia allow a decapitation nuclear strike on its own soil, without, at the very least, retaliating in kind? That's a huge gamble.

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  #332  
Old 09-19-2022, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
So if a dictator doesn't immediately follow through on a threat, that threat should no longer be taken seriously?

That seems like a very risky maxim to follow.

The saber rattling continues, with both sides issuing veiled threats.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...in-on-nuke-use
Launching nuclear attacks takes preparation, if for no other reason than to make sure your forces can absorb a retaliation. Russia hasn't changed their posture to one that is preparing for nuclear retaliation. So the threats (to me) ring pretty hollow.


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2. Sweden and Finland don't seem to agree with that assessment; Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Moldova definitely don't. Russia's invasion of Ukraine turned what's been a looming threat for the past 20 years or so into a present-day reality for former Soviet republics no longer aligned with the Russian Federation. To say that Putin wouldn't launch a military action against another former SSR flies in the face events since February of this year. That said, can Russia invade another SSR, given it's massive recent losses in Ukraine? Probably not.
Russia won't attack another former SSR even if they could specifically because they're in NATO. They wouldn't have moved on Ukraine if they were a NATO member, likely not even if they were just an EU member. The EU is as much a defense pact as a trade pact. Sweden and Finland are joining NATO because membership guarantees safety from Russian aggression.


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3. The US isn't worried about Russia's nuclear arsenal? Where did that conclusion come from? I haven't come across that assessment from any reputable military analyst, so if you have a reliable source that back's that up, I'd be very interested to see it.
I should clarify my assertion to not suggest the US isn't concerned with Russia's nuclear arsenal to instead say they're not so worried that Russia has the devastating first strike capability they might have had forty years ago. It costs a lot of money to maintain nuclear weapons. We spend just on our nukes about what Russia spends on their entire military. The level of support given to Ukraine, despite nuclear threats from Putin, infers NATO's intelligence says he's not about to use nukes anywhere.


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4. Would Russia allow a decapitation nuclear strike on its own soil, without, at the very least, retaliating in kind? That's a huge gamble.

-
My point is that if Putin decided to use nukes in Ukraine there would be no political fig lead to hide behind. He personally doesn't want to open the can of nuclear works because he knows he's unlikely to personally live to regret it. With Putin gone how much of the leadership wants to follow him in a suicide pact?
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  #333  
Old 09-19-2022, 05:58 PM
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Thanks for clarifying. For what it's worth, I agree with you on most points.

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Launching nuclear attacks takes preparation, if for no other reason than to make sure your forces can absorb a retaliation. Russia hasn't changed their posture to one that is preparing for nuclear retaliation. So the threats (to me) ring pretty hollow.
To clarify my counter-point, I don't think, at this stage, anyone in places of power is overly concerned about a Russian strategic nuclear attack on Ukraine or any NATO member nation. The concern at present seems to be about Russian use of battlefield tactical nuclear weapons on Ukrainian soil.

Battlefield tactical nukes require much less preparation than strategic nuclear weapons do. They're reasonably easy to deploy and conceal, and launch-warning is minimal. AFAIK, there's no way to differentiate between the release of a nuclear-armed air-launched missile and a conventional one (of which the Russians have used hundreds so far). The Russians have a sizeable arsenal of tactical weapons, some of them of quite recent vintage, with several means of delivery at their disposal.

If Putin decides to avoid a major operational/strategic defeat in Ukraine by the application of one or more TBNs, would he be particularly concerned about retaliation in kind? Probably not. Ukraine is not a NATO member, so NATO would not be obligated to respond directly, or with nuclear weapons. NATO's not going to nuke Russian forces on de jure ally Ukraine's home soil, and it's probably not going to risk an escalation with Russia by nuking Russian troop concentrations on Russian soil. Putin's a cunning fellow, and we all know he's willing to take big risks to achieve his geo-political goals. Who, in the Russian hierarchy, is likely to stop him? At this point, he's surrounded by yes-men. That's a real worry.

What's the red line for Putin? No one knows, but I think some analysts believe that any threat to Putin's grip on power in Russia, a particularly destructive attack on Russian soil, or the impending loss of Russian territory (read: Crimea), could provoke a [tactical] nuclear response. Desperate people, take desperate measures.

A not un-reasonable fear is that if and when the Pandora's box of tactical nuclear weapon use is reopened, things could quickly spiral out of control. The USA does not have an established post-Cold War nuclear doctrine/strategy, so there's no playbook.

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  #334  
Old 09-20-2022, 01:58 AM
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Thanks for clarifying. For what it's worth, I agree with you on most points.



To clarify my counter-point, I don't think, at this stage, anyone in places of power is overly concerned about a Russian strategic nuclear attack on Ukraine or any NATO member nation. The concern at present seems to be about Russian use of battlefield tactical nuclear weapons on Ukrainian soil.

Battlefield tactical nukes require much less preparation than strategic nuclear weapons do. They're reasonably easy to deploy and conceal, and launch-warning is minimal. AFAIK, there's no way to differentiate between the release of a nuclear-armed air-launched missile and a conventional one (of which the Russians have used hundreds so far). The Russians have a sizeable arsenal of tactical weapons, some of them of quite recent vintage, with several means of delivery at their disposal.

If Putin decides to avoid a major operational/strategic defeat in Ukraine by the application of one or more TBNs, would he be particularly concerned about retaliation in kind? Probably not. Ukraine is not a NATO member, so NATO would not be obligated to respond directly, or with nuclear weapons. NATO's not going to nuke Russian forces on de jure ally Ukraine's home soil, and it's probably not going to risk an escalation with Russia by nuking Russian troop concentrations on Russian soil. Putin's a cunning fellow, and we all know he's willing to take big risks to achieve his geo-political goals. Who, in the Russian hierarchy, is likely to stop him? At this point, he's surrounded by yes-men. That's a real worry.

What's the red line for Putin? No one knows, but I think some analysts believe that any threat to Putin's grip on power in Russia, a particularly destructive attack on Russian soil, or the impending loss of Russian territory (read: Crimea), could provoke a [tactical] nuclear response. Desperate people, take desperate measures.

A not un-reasonable fear is that if and when the Pandora's box of tactical nuclear weapon use is reopened, things could quickly spiral out of control. The USA does not have an established post-Cold War nuclear doctrine/strategy, so there's no playbook.

-
TBNs are definitely easier to deploy than strategic weapons but the posture of the Russian forces would still need to change. They would need to distribute MOPP gear to their forces and prep border cities (on the Russian side) for the inevitable literal fallout. As we've seen Russian OpSec is terrible so any such preparations would be broadcast on Telegram immediately.

But in terms of danger to Russia, them using even a single TBN would likely see "the west" taking the gloves off for assistance to Ukraine. I would imagine a naval blockade and no-fly zone would be the minimum response. There would also be little reason not to give Ukraine long range weapons.

If Russia pulled out of Ukraine tomorrow there's a number of countries that would drop sanctions against them by the end of the week. While the lower classes in Russia are screwed for the next few decades the oligarchs would be back on their yachts by October.

Even these Russia agnostic (if not friendly) countries would not be so forgiving if Russia used nukes in Ukraine. This would mean the post-war economic pain would affect Putin and the oligarchs.

The threat of being in range of Ukrainian weapons and a total destruction of their wealth might finally be enough to turn the Russian ruling class against Putin. I think he's well aware as long as he only inflicts pain on poor Russians and minorities he doesn't need to worry about falling out of a window onto some bullets.
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  #335  
Old 09-20-2022, 06:19 PM
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Lot of rumors today about Putin preparing for a mobilization of some kind. We'll see how much the Russian people tolerate, but this seems like a serious gambit for him if true.
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  #336  
Old 09-20-2022, 06:45 PM
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In the "that belongs in a museum" category and the "hey Paul, I found something obscure that's not on your site" category, Slovenia is transferring the remaining 28 of its M-55S tanks to Ukraine. What's the M-55S? It's a T-55. A heavily, heavily upgraded T-55.

First, replace the D-10T with a British L7 105mm gun with 36 rounds of ammunition. Then add Super Blazer ERA to the tank. Give the gunner a two-axis stabilized sight with a laser rangefinder, and give the commander a similar sight with hunter-killer capability. Give the driver a combined day/night periscope. Add a laser detector that's linked to the smoke launchers so they can be set to automatically obscure the tank if it's lased. While you're at it, modernize the radio and the running gear, and increase the engine's horsepower from 520 to 600. And for all of that, it gains only two tonnes in weight.
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  #337  
Old 09-20-2022, 06:58 PM
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It's an exciting time for Ukraine, with Russia commencing deliveries of T-90M MBTs to Ukrainian forces.
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  #338  
Old 09-20-2022, 07:55 PM
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It's an exciting time for Ukraine, with Russia commencing deliveries of T-90M MBTs to Ukrainian forces.
Russia has been Ukraine's #1 arms supplier in the war. Discount tanks, never fired, only dropped once.
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  #339  
Old 09-24-2022, 08:54 AM
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Default Updates from Perun

Here is Perun's update from last week

www.youtube.com/watch?v=B93tLs39pQo&featui
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  #340  
Old 09-24-2022, 08:58 AM
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Default Salvage In Ukraine By Perun featuring The Chieftain

This one is DEFINATELY worth watching guys. The Chieftain and Perun are teaming up for this presentation.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNLTE75B0Os&feature
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  #341  
Old 09-24-2022, 09:07 AM
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Default Kings & Generals Update

Here's an update from the kings & Generals channel. I like the movement of the units to give us a clearer idea of just how the battles are progressing so I'm posting this here. Keep in mind, these guys give monthly updates so you can go back and watch the entire war as a series of maneuvers from this channel's perspective.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hZoQ4xebGw&feature

Swag

Last edited by swaghauler; 09-24-2022 at 09:09 AM. Reason: fix link
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  #342  
Old 09-24-2022, 02:39 PM
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Default Ukraine's Improvied Marine Suicide UAV

Here is a "suicide UAV" for the Ukrainian Navy using a Starlink receiver, a commercial marine thermal imager, and a kayak or canoe.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8CeJ3QUeHs&feature

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  #343  
Old 09-26-2022, 02:17 PM
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Default Escalate to De-escalate

A brief piece on the growing possibility of Russia using a battlefield tactical nuke in Ukraine.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...ons-in-ukraine

The gist of it is, Russia probably won't use nuclear weapons to try to win the war (i.e. defeat the UAF)- although that's still a possible Russian goal. Instead, Putin might employ tac-nukes in an effort to quickly "freeze the conflict", and secure a stronger position at the bargaining table.

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  #344  
Old 09-29-2022, 10:06 AM
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Default Ukrainian War Update from the Kings & Generals Channel

Here's another update with a tactical display of Ukraine's offensive.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=gJRjKuss_Co&feature=sh

Swag
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  #345  
Old 09-29-2022, 10:17 AM
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A brief piece on the growing possibility of Russia using a battlefield tactical nuke in Ukraine.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...ons-in-ukraine

The gist of it is, Russia probably won't use nuclear weapons to try to win the war (i.e. defeat the UAF)- although that's still a possible Russian goal. Instead, Putin might employ tac-nukes in an effort to quickly "freeze the conflict", and secure a stronger position at the bargaining table.

-
I highly doubt Russia will use a nuke. The UN and international community would come down on Putin so hard that it would destroy Russia as a member of the international community. In addition, any strike on Ukrainian soil becomes Russia's problem if she wins. The fallout would also be an issue and Russia's troops don't even have basic kit let alone MOPP gear.

That being said, I worry more about a non-persistent chemical weapon. The effects of such a weapon would be gone in just a few days and chemical defense is much easier to deal with than radiological defense. There are also indicators in the international community based on their use in places like Syria that the UN members consider them "less of a sin" than a nuke. Putler also has a history with them. During the Second Battle Of Grozny, he asked about using Chemical Weapons but was told the "political fallout" would be too great. So the Chechens got free cremations instead. Since Russia is already under sanctions, the use of a non-persistent agent really wouldn't harm her economically. I don't think that they would have much impact tactically, but I see them used as a "terror tool" to break Ukrainian civilian morale.
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  #346  
Old 09-30-2022, 04:28 PM
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Looks like Lyman is now encircled, along with the 208th Separate "Cossack" Motorized Rifle Regiment (LPR) and the pro-Russian Kuban Regiment (militia). Curious to see what this does to already terrible Russian morale in the theater.
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  #347  
Old 10-01-2022, 10:12 AM
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Default Demining Robot Fails

I guess this Russian "demining robot" did technically clear those mines.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=U4ynRbsr8_Y&feature=

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  #348  
Old 10-01-2022, 10:21 AM
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Default Perun On Russian Mobilization

Here's Perun's take on mobilization. As an Australian logistics expert (I find that just a little ironic), he really does put the Russian mobilization into perspective. I love all the Australians in the comments talking about annexing NZ too. I didn't know the Aussies were so into planning on "absorbing" the Kiwis.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=6hXnQNU8ANo&feature=

Swag
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  #349  
Old 10-01-2022, 10:27 AM
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Default Russia's Remaining Tank Strength

As many of you know, I have always espoused a "come as you are" war for Twilight2000 based upon a much shorter time frame. As we enter the 6th month of the War In Ukraine, it looks like my assumptions about material expenditure and the worldwide adoption of "Lean Manufacturing" are coming true. Russia is now issuing T62s to her new MRDs. Here's an attempt to count Russia's remaining tank reserves.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=ZNNoaRp5lz0&feature=

Swag
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  #350  
Old 10-01-2022, 10:31 AM
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Default Laserpig's Take on Russia's Arms Stocks

Here's Laserpig's take on Russia's tank forces.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=kT_ljkO3adY&feature=

I'd also recommend his video on the Moskva's sinking as it has some seriously scary details about Moskva's condition, including the lack of firefighting gear and the fact that her SAM systems DIDN'T WORK and the Russians KNEW IT!

Swag.
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  #351  
Old 10-01-2022, 04:40 PM
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I'd also recommend his video on the Moskva's sinking as it has some seriously scary details about Moskva's condition, including the lack of firefighting gear and the fact that her SAM systems DIDN'T WORK and the Russians KNEW IT!
I guess to be fair to the Russians, their chosen method for firefighting on the Moskva did eventually put out the fires.
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  #352  
Old 10-01-2022, 08:19 PM
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I guess to be fair to the Russians, their chosen method for firefighting on the Moskva did eventually put out the fires.
Did they put out the fires by letting them burn to the waterline?
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  #353  
Old 10-01-2022, 11:56 PM
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Did they put out the fires by letting them burn to the waterline?
They just promoted the cruiser to single-use submarine. All the fires went out. The same tactic also solved their air defense problem. Let's see a Bayraktar target the Moskva now!
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  #354  
Old 10-02-2022, 01:39 PM
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As many of you know, I have always espoused a "come as you are" war for Twilight2000 based upon a much shorter time frame. As we enter the 6th month of the War In Ukraine, it looks like my assumptions about material expenditure and the worldwide adoption of "Lean Manufacturing" are coming true. Russia is now issuing T62s to her new MRDs. Here's an attempt to count Russia's remaining tank reserves.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=ZNNoaRp5lz0&feature=

Swag
I'm still a little surprised they haven't tried to swap T-62s for the newer tanks of their puppets in Donetsk and Luhansk. The T-62 has a different caliber gun from everything else Russia uses, complicating logistics that Russia already has problems with, and with no autoloader it needs an extra crewmember, exacerbating Russia's manpower shortages.

Even Ukraine hasn't reactivated their ~300 T-62, sticking to the T-64, T-72, and T-80/84 from domestic stocks (and donations), along with captured T-90 and donated PT-91 and M-55S.
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Old 10-02-2022, 04:08 PM
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I'm still a little surprised they haven't tried to swap T-62s for the newer tanks of their puppets in Donetsk and Luhansk. The T-62 has a different caliber gun from everything else Russia uses, complicating logistics that Russia already has problems with, and with no autoloader it needs an extra crewmember, exacerbating Russia's manpower shortages.

Even Ukraine hasn't reactivated their ~300 T-62, sticking to the T-64, T-72, and T-80/84 from domestic stocks (and donations), along with captured T-90 and donated PT-91 and M-55S.
As far as I've seen in the news, both Republics are using T62s, just like Syria has been getting. In fact, when I first saw them (T62s), I thought they were DPR tanks until they showed up with Russian units that appeared in late August. I do have a theory though. I'm wondering if they aren't using T62s because they bought ammo from North Korea. NK has only a handful of T72s with the 125mm, but they have THOUSANDS of T62s. Maybe Russia is "buying time" with untrained conscripts and second-line tanks until they can get their T72s refurbished and rearmed?

Why this theory? Multiple sources inside Russia as well as open source video intel suggest that up to 1,000 T72s have been pulled from mothballs and are being "reconditioned" by Russia at her tank factories. T90 production has stopped (probably because of sanctions). If sources are correct, Russia has lost HALF of its tank force in Ukraine to everything from casualties to simple breakdowns. Heavy logistical supply is pretty suspect according to POWs who have been interviewed and many tanks are deploying with less than HALF of a combat load of ammo. Could Russia rebuild its force structure? I don't see why not. There are something like 3k "deadlined" T72s and another 3k that are basically scrap at this point. Using the scrap to relife the deadlined units seems like a no-brainer to me.
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Old 10-02-2022, 04:12 PM
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I'm still a little surprised they haven't tried to swap T-62s for the newer tanks of their puppets in Donetsk and Luhansk. The T-62 has a different caliber gun from everything else Russia uses, complicating logistics that Russia already has problems with, and with no autoloader it needs an extra crewmember, exacerbating Russia's manpower shortages.

Even Ukraine hasn't reactivated their ~300 T-62, sticking to the T-64, T-72, and T-80/84 from domestic stocks (and donations), along with captured T-90 and donated PT-91 and M-55S.
I heard that there was some discussion about pulling the 300+ T62s out of Ukraine and rebarreling them with the 105mm and new fire controls. The T55S tanks are already equipped with NATO 105mm cannon, so that would allow new units to transition to NATO tank ammo without having to pull out and retrain tank crews on NATO equipment. Ukraine really wants Leopard II though.
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  #357  
Old 10-02-2022, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by swaghauler View Post
As far as I've seen in the news, both Republics are using T62s, just like Syria has been getting. In fact, when I first saw them (T62s), I thought they were DPR tanks until they showed up with Russian units that appeared in late August. I do have a theory though. I'm wondering if they aren't using T62s because they bought ammo from North Korea. NK has only a handful of T72s with the 125mm, but they have THOUSANDS of T62s. Maybe Russia is "buying time" with untrained conscripts and second-line tanks until they can get their T72s refurbished and rearmed?

Why this theory? Multiple sources inside Russia as well as open source video intel suggest that up to 1,000 T72s have been pulled from mothballs and are being "reconditioned" by Russia at her tank factories. T90 production has stopped (probably because of sanctions). If sources are correct, Russia has lost HALF of its tank force in Ukraine to everything from casualties to simple breakdowns. Heavy logistical supply is pretty suspect according to POWs who have been interviewed and many tanks are deploying with less than HALF of a combat load of ammo. Could Russia rebuild its force structure? I don't see why not. There are something like 3k "deadlined" T72s and another 3k that are basically scrap at this point. Using the scrap to relife the deadlined units seems like a no-brainer to me.
That makes some sense, although North Korea's more split on ammunition caliber than a raw reading of their tank numbers would suggest. They've upgraded some T-62 to the 125mm (Chonma-ho V), while the Pokpung-ho has both 115mm and 125mm variants and the Songun-ho is 125mm only.

For the Ukrainian T-62, an upgrade to 120mm might be more effective overall. Egypt did that with the RO-120 Mark III, which uses an FSUE-developed 120mm gun that's compatible with NATO standard ammunition. A decent modern ERA would probably also be helpful, given that the T-62 is modestly armored at best and only Kontakt-1 was adapted to it. The M-55S is the only thing they've received that uses the 105mm round, and I doubt it will remain in Ukrainian service for long, given its obsolescence in other tank forces. With only 28 vehicles using that caliber, there's not much momentum in its favor.
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Old 10-03-2022, 01:28 AM
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Originally Posted by swaghauler View Post
Why this theory? Multiple sources inside Russia as well as open source video intel suggest that up to 1,000 T72s have been pulled from mothballs and are being "reconditioned" by Russia at her tank factories. T90 production has stopped (probably because of sanctions). If sources are correct, Russia has lost HALF of its tank force in Ukraine to everything from casualties to simple breakdowns. Heavy logistical supply is pretty suspect according to POWs who have been interviewed and many tanks are deploying with less than HALF of a combat load of ammo. Could Russia rebuild its force structure? I don't see why not. There are something like 3k "deadlined" T72s and another 3k that are basically scrap at this point. Using the scrap to relife the deadlined units seems like a no-brainer to me.
I don't doubt Russia will try refurbishing their deadlines T-72s but it will be very interesting to see how well they actually perform. Between sanctions and thirty years of grift I'd bet those warehoused T-72s are going to lack optics, radios, and basically anything resembling modern kit. Combined with their piss poor combined arms it seems like they'll just be fodder for St. Javelin.

Russia has lost thousands of tanks that were supposedly mission capable and used by supposedly capable units. More tanks aren't going to do much good if they're used as poorly as all the ones they've already lost. We're however many months into their three day special operation and Russia still hasn't figured out pallets, fork lifts, or combined arms.

I hope Ukraine's booster club keeps up with the ATGMs, they've done a great job blunting Russia's tank advantage thus far.
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Old 10-03-2022, 01:15 PM
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For T-62s, a Javelin seems like a bit of an overkill. Just drop some 40mm HEDP on the top of the turret from a tiny quad-drone and call it a day.
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Old 10-03-2022, 01:28 PM
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For T-62s, a Javelin seems like a bit of an overkill. Just drop some 40mm HEDP on the top of the turret from a tiny quad-drone and call it a day.
Especially early on in the war, I used to get rather frustrated with the "wasting" of Javelins on BTRs, BMPs, and other light AFVs. I've even see video of them being used against soft-skinned trucks. Seems like a misuse of a very expensive weapon system to me- but that's easy for me to say from behind the screen of a my very distant-from-the-battlefield, very safe home computer. As long as we can keep making/shipping Ukraine said Javelins, whatevs, right?

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