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Old 08-25-2020, 03:50 PM
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Default 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!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-25-2020, 05:00 PM
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Default 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.
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Old 08-25-2020, 09:50 PM
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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.
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Old 08-25-2020, 10:07 PM
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Default Myopic and Nearsighted

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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.
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Old 08-25-2020, 10:15 PM
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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.
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Old 08-25-2020, 10:51 PM
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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.
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Old 08-26-2020, 02:08 AM
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Quote:
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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.
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Old 08-26-2020, 02:18 AM
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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?

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Old 08-26-2020, 12:49 PM
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Meanwhile.


https://youtu.be/EnL0Fz-34nA
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Old 09-08-2020, 12:10 AM
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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."
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Old 09-08-2020, 01:38 AM
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Default 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!
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Old 09-08-2020, 06:04 AM
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Quote:
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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.
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Old 09-08-2020, 07:25 AM
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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.
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Old 09-08-2020, 11:12 AM
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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.
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Old 09-08-2020, 11:29 AM
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Default Tanks for the Memories

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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.
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Old 09-08-2020, 11:48 AM
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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.
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Old 09-08-2020, 06:27 PM
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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.

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Old 09-08-2020, 07:17 PM
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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".
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Old 09-08-2020, 08:22 PM
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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?
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Old 09-08-2020, 11:03 PM
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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.
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Old 09-10-2020, 11:24 PM
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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.
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Old 09-11-2020, 08:44 AM
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Default Days of Future Past?

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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.

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Old 09-11-2020, 03:56 PM
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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.
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Old 09-11-2020, 07:52 PM
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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.
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Old 09-12-2020, 01:41 PM
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Default 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.

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Old 09-12-2020, 07:20 PM
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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.
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Old 09-17-2020, 11:27 AM
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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.
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Old 09-17-2020, 12:12 PM
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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
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Old 09-17-2020, 12:22 PM
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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".
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Old 09-17-2020, 04:19 PM
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The whole idea of scrapping the tanks did NOT come from official sources. Was NEVER official policy, or even being seriously considered.
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