Should Europe Rebuild Tank Forces?

Discussion in 'Europe and Russia' started by AVERAGE INDIAN, May 28, 2014.

  1. AVERAGE INDIAN

    AVERAGE INDIAN EXORCIST Senior Member

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    Europe, most notably the massing of armor and mechanized units along the border with Ukraine, has prompted defense officials in Europe and the United States to do something they haven’t done in nearly twenty years: assess the balance of military power on the continent. While most public discussions of the changing balance of forces between East and West have focused on the shrinkage that has occurred in nuclear capabilities, the most dramatic reduction in military power has been in conventional forces.

    Just take the heart of modern land warfare, the main battle tank. At the end of the Cold War, Russia had nearly 60,000 tanks in its fleet. The majority of these were in Eastern Europe and the Western military districts. The Warsaw Pact countries possessed nearly 20,000 more. On the other side of the line that divided Europe down the middle, NATO possessed some 30,000 tanks, although a substantial fraction of these were deployed in Southern Europe and Turkey. Germany alone had 3,000 tanks. The U.S. immediate military commitment to NATO consisted of two heavy corps with several thousand tanks. In addition, the United Kingdom had the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) centered on three armored divisions with some 600 main battle tanks.

    Today the armies in Europe are a faint shadow of their Cold War heritage. Russia now deploys around 3,000 tanks, with another 18,000 in storage. Germany’s tank fleet today is a little over 10 percent of its Cold War size. The U.S. ground combat presence in Europe has been reduced to two light brigade combat teams with virtually no tanks. The British Army has a little over 200 tanks total and the number on the continent will drop to zero when the BAOR returns home in 2015. Other NATO allies such as Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark have essentially exited the armored warfare business entirely. The largest tank forces in NATO now reside in some of the former Warsaw Pact countries. Poland has a tank fleet three times that of Germany.

    Ironically, despite having gone through the collapse of the Soviet Union and nearly two decades of Spartan defense budgets, the Russian military today compares relatively well to its erstwhile NATO adversary particularly with respect to ground forces. Over the past five years it has reorganized and modernized its ground forces. Virtually all its tanks are more modern T-72s and T-80s.

    Without question, NATO still holds the advantage in the quality of its tanks. The M-1 Abrams is the world’s best tank. Enhancements added over the past decade have made it even more capable. The British Army’s Challenger tank and German Leopard are also quite good. The trouble is that most of these are not in Europe.

    There is no better symbol of the demilitarization of Europe than the decline in its armored ground forces. Given the long history of warfare on the continent, this seemed like a good thing. However, now that Russia is reverting to old patterns of behavior, the balance of conventional military power on the continent is again important. The West may yet come to regret its decision to disband most of what had been the most capable conventional land force the word had ever seen.

    Read more: Should Europe Rebuild Tank Forces? | Army & Land Forces News at DefenceTalk
     
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  3. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    I wish I could widen the scope of this discussion and include the debate whether a tank force is needed to counter, or capable of countering, the threats Europe might face.
     
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  4. militarysta

    militarysta Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    To know about what we are talking, modern tank potential in Europe:

    GERMANY (Plan for 2015)
    Tank Batalions (on line):
    - Pz.Bat.93 (Munster)
    - Pz.Bat.203 (Augustdorf)
    - Pz.Bat.104 (Pfreimd)
    - Pz.Bat.392 (Bad Frankenhaisen)

    4x 44 = 176 Leopard-2A6


    "Local trening center": in Panzer Batalions:
    - Augustdorf
    - Pfreimd
    - Bad Frankenhaisen

    eacht whit 4 taks Leo-2A5 = 12x Leo-2A5

    Mixed PanzerLehr company in Munster:
    (5 A6 i 8 A5) = 13 (14?)tanks


    Hidden PzBatalion in:
    OA-blt w Munster
    (circa 44 Leopardy-2A6.) -no idea in active servise or in reserve

    Summary:
    Tottal: 245 tanks, in "front line": 176 tanks.

    FRANCE
    Ces forces disposeront notamment d’environ
    200 chars lourds, 250 chars médians


    So:
    200x Leclerc
    250x AMX

    In fact: 200 Leclerc in active service

    GB (plan 2020)

    4 active tank regiments:
    1) Royal Tank Regiment (Tidworth)
    2) King's Royal Hussars (-//-)
    3) Queen's Royal Hussars (-//-)
    4) Royal Wessex Yeomanry (AR) (Bovington)

    4x 56 = 224x Challenger-2 in four (4) regiments
    +
    circa 20 tanks in trening unit

    Summary:
    224x Challenger-2 in active service, tottal circa 250 CR2 tanks

    FINLAND
    114 Leopard-2A4
    now bought 100 Leopard-2A6

    Leopard-2A4 will be move to wery quick rection reserve so:

    summary:
    Tottal: 214 tanks, in active service: ~114

    TBC...
     
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  5. AVERAGE INDIAN

    AVERAGE INDIAN EXORCIST Senior Member

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    The Decline of Europe’s Military Might @militarysta

    “Britannia’s 19 Ships Can’t Rule a Single Wave” was a recent headline in London’s Sunday Times. “France To Cut 34,000 Military Personnel Under A Proposed Six-Year Defence Budget” ran a Reuters headline in August. “In Medium Term, German Defence Budget Will Decline to 32.5 Billion Euros by 2015/16” ran another last November. “UK Armed Forces Smallest Since the Napoleonic Wars” reports London’s Daily Telegraph. Meanwhile the NATO “rule” that every member country spends at least 2% of its GDP on defence is now recognized more in the breach than the observance, with Germany running at roughly 1.5%, Italy at 1.2%, and Spain less than 1%. Yet taken as a whole, the European Union has a GDP that outstrips either China or the United States. Never in the field of human conflict avoidance has so little been given by so many for so much.

    With the United States spending over 4.2% of her GDP on defence–there are any amount of ways the numbers can be presented, so it’s not impossible to get the figure up to nearly 5%–what becomes very clear is that NATO is something of a European racket. The nuclear umbrella that the U.S. threw over NATO countries under Article Five of its constitution–which states that an attack on one is an attack on all–back in the late 1940s has now become a financial umbrella too, protecting Western European countries from having to stump up properly for their defence to anything like the degree that they would have to if there were no such thing as the USA. President Obama has rightly said–and it’s very rare I ever start a sentence with those five words–that it’s high time that Europe becomes an overall “provider” rather than just a “consumer” of security.

    A glance at the past shows that at 2.5% of GDP, British defence spending is now at its lowest since 1931, when it was at 2.1% under the so-called “Ten Year Rule” which weirdly stated that the nation wouldn’t be at war within ten years. Fast-forward a decade from 1931 in British history and you’ll appreciate how moronic that rule was. Fortunately, after World War II Britain didn’t take refuge under the umbrella held out by America. She spent an average of 9% per annum of her GDP on defence in the 1950s, with the Korean War and the Suez Crisis, and over 4% during the Cold War in the Sixties, Seventies, and Eighties, where she could just about look the United States in the eye on spending levels.

    The rot set in after the fall of Margaret Thatcher, when the demand for a “peace dividend” in the 1990s brought the figure down to 3.5%. Yet even that was better than the 2.5% average seen since the year 2000. In recent years, British defence cuts have been so savage that the United Kingdom National Defence Association (UKNDA), a group of very distinguished former admirals, generals, and air chief marshals, has warned that the British Government “have reduced our armed forces personnel and equipment to the lowest levels in living memory.” Key capabilities such as Maritime Patrol Aircraft, Theatre Missile Defence, and Carrier-Based Air have been axed altogether. In terms of personnel numbers (including reserves), the most recent IISS publication “The Military Balance” shows Britain as possessing the world’s 31st largest armed forces, behind Spain and Argentina. From being the 4th largest in the world in terms of absolute military spending, Britain is set to slip to 6th by 2017. Britain, which depends on keeping her sea-lanes open for survival in any conflict, has to spend more than most countries simply because she’s an overcrowded island unable to feed her own population from national stocks and agriculture. Yet successive Governments slash defence because it has no political clout in the way that the National Health Service or the public sector unions do.

    Vestigial memories of quite how good the Germans are at warfare kept Western policy-makers perfectly happy about their under-performing in terms of numbers and spending until the 1970s: no one wanted to see an autonomously strong German military in the centre of the European continent again, least of all the Germans. They have been model NATO members in many ways–except that today’s spending of around 1.5% of GDP on defence is a wholly pathetic contribution to an alliance that underpins their security as much any anyone else’s. German pacifism of the Sixties has given way to extreme financial hard-headedness, as the German economy struggles to keep much of the rest of Europe, and its euro currency, above water.

    German politics–which is presently dominated by issues such as the proposal to give every one-year-old a place at a taxpayer-funded crèche–is so antipathetic towards higher defence spending that it’s a sure-fire vote loser even to propose it. The Germans have long been effectively blackmailing the United States into continuing to provide their security on the cheap. It is now a long-standing, much-loved tradition that every retiring NATO secretary-general delivers a farewell speech in which he says that European countries need to spend more on defence, but frankly until the United States starts to make credible threats there’s simply no incentive whatever for Europeans to become net providers of security as opposed to inveterate, addicted consumers of it.

    France’s history of treating NATO like a revolving door got her special dispensations for decades, but she does at least top the 2% of GDP minimum expected of NATO members, though at 2.2% hardly by much. The French have also been encouragingly proactive in Libya, Mali, and now Syria (the last two of which were former French colonies). Unlike in most Western countries, there’s hardly any overlap in France between socialist domestic politics and pacifist internationalist ones. Their nuclear deterrent (the splendidly-named force de frappe) has broad cross-party support, and the left-wing Hollande Government seems just as committed to liberal interventionism as was Sarkozy’s. Yet 2.2% of GDP is hardly going to see the resurrection of the Grande Armée; the latest French strategic review, examining the country’s defence priorities for the 2014-19 period, anticipates a 12% cut in defence ministry staff, a severe slowing of the pace at which the air force takes delivery of Rafaele jets from Dassault Aviation, and a freezing of the budget for the next three years at 31.4 billion euros, the same as for this fiscal year.

    So is it all doom and gloom for the future of European defence capabilities? “Yes, but” is probably the best answer. The good news is that the Eurozone financial crisis must surely come to an end sometime, perhaps with some countries getting ejected from the system, which would bring some financial relief to France and Germany. More good news is that Mr. Obama’s repeated interest in “rebalancing” American interests towards the Pacific Rim might scare European finance ministers into appreciating that the American umbrella might not always be there forever, or at least not to the same ultra-generous degree as before. French willingness to get involved in her former colonies has already proved helpful in Mali in the War against Terror, and might well be so again. At least Britain does have the UKNDA putting out hard-hitting and well-sourced memoranda that are picked up and generally supported in the media. As memories of the Second World War–which, after all, ended over 68 years ago–fade, the Germans might become more willing to flex their military muscles in a more self-confident way. Similarly, Vladimir Putin’s strategic ambitions, aggression towards Georgia and occasionally the Ukraine, naval building programme and general sabre-rattling (Russia’s military budget increased by 25% in 2012/13!) might encourage Europeans to spend more. Thin gruel in terms of reasons to be cheerful, admittedly, but it’s not quite Munich 1938.

    Another positive phenomenon is Poland, whose military budget has grown by 7% this year, placing it higher than Italy, Germany, and Spain in terms of percentage of GDP spent. The Poles are buying a new missile defence system, new ships, better tanks, military training aircraft, 70 helicopters, some unmanned aerial vehicles, and better equipment for their infantry. Their charismatic foreign minister, Radek Sikorski, who the West should hope will one day be prime minister, has described Poland’s relations with Russia as “pragmatic but brittle” and war in Europe as “imaginable,” considering Putin’s unpredictability and past behavior. (The last set of Russian military manoeuvers simulated full-scale assaults on Poland and the Baltic states.) If some of the other European countries also increased their budgets by 7%, NATO would not be in its present financial crisis.

    The countries of the world that are significantly increasing their military spending–Russia, China, India, Japan, Brazil, the Gulf States–are putting short-term fiscal priorities to one side in order to pursue capabilities that clearly aren’t obsolete in our still-dangerous world, one where threats have historically tended to appear suddenly and without warning. It is hard to think of historical parallels for a great conglomeration of trading nations such as Europe which for decades piggy-backs off an ally without any ultimately negative result.

    Is it too much to hope for the day when an American president who understands brinksmanship visits NATO headquarters in Belgium, looks the Europeans in the eyes, and says: “Please could everyone from countries not spending at least 2.5% of its GDP on defence kindly leave the room, and not come back till they are. In the meantime, as far as America’s concerned, Article Five only covers those of us who remain.”

    The Decline of Europe’s Military Might | Hoover Institution
     
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  6. militarysta

    militarysta Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    now, they are two battalions structure "german" and "old":

    I. strukture - 58 tanks in batalion (Leopard-2A4, Leopard-2A5)
    II. strukture - 53 tanks in batalion (PT-91, T-72M1)

    Tank Unitts:

    - 1.Warszawska Brygada Pancerna im. Bohaterów Westerplatte - (1-batalion PT-91)
    - 21.Brygada Strzelców Podhalańskich im.gen.bryg.Mieczysława Boruty-Spiechowicza - (1-batalion T-72M1)
    - 10.Brygada Kawalerii Pancernej im.gen.broni Stanisława Maczka - (2 batalions Leopard 2A4)
    - 34.Brygada Kawalerii Pancernej im. Hetmana Wielkiego Koronnego Jana Zamoyskiego - (2 batalions PT-91; untill 2015 this unit will be rearmed in Leopard-2A5 tanks)
    - 2.Brygada Zmechanizowana Legionów im.Marszałka Józefa Piłsudskiego - (1-batalion PT-91)
    - 9.Brygada Kawalerii Pancernej im.Króla Stefana Batorego - (2 batalions T-72M1)
    - 15. Giżycka Brygada Zmechanizowana im.Zawiszy Czarnego - 1-batalion T-72M1)
    - 20.Bartoszycka Brygada Zmechanizowana im.Hetmana Polnego Litewskiego Wincentego Gosiewskiego - (1-batalion T-72M1)

    Generall numbers:
    2x batalion on Leopard-2A4 (eacht 58 tanks) so 116 Leopard-2A4 in units + 12 in tank trening center.
    4x batlion on PT-91 (eacht 53 tanks) so 212 PT-91 tanks + ~20 in trening center
    5x batalion T-72M1 (eacht 53 tanks) so 265 T-72M1 tanks + reserve on stock

    All 625 tanks, modern only 128, quite modern next 222

    Plans for 2015-2016:
    4x batalion Leopard-2PL/2A5 (eacht 58 tanks) so 232 Leopard-2PL/2A5 + 16 tanks in trening center
    4x batalion PT-91 (eacht 53 tanks) so 212 PT-91 + 20 in trening center

    All T-72M1 will be propably scraped or sent to junkyard.

    All in 2016: 480 tanks, very modern: 248 tanks


    ps. All polish Leopard-2A4 will be modernisated to circa 2A5 level whit elements of the 2A7. Whole program will be end before 2018.
     
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  7. rock127

    rock127 Maulana Rockullah Senior Member

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    The days of large tank battles are long gone and the reason there are less tanks today. I think there was a serial on Dis/NGC about the same about how tanks would lose importance in future which they had in past.

    btw EU needs to fight a much bigger and serious "battle" where tanks would not work ie. changing demographics where whites would be outnumbered and subjugated if proper actions are not taken in time.
     
  8. AVERAGE INDIAN

    AVERAGE INDIAN EXORCIST Senior Member

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    Obama admin removes all battle tanks from Europe

    Amidst the still-ongoing crisis in Ukraine, the Obama administration is moving the last U.S. battle tanks from Germany and, thus, from Europe.

    At the same time, the Pentagon also is disbanding two of the U.S. Army’s heavy brigades in Germany. Last year, the 170th Infantry out of Baumholder disbanded, while the 172nd Separate Infantry Brigade at Grafenwöhr is in the process of doing the same.

    John Vandiver reports for Stars and Stripes, April 4, 2014, that the U.S. Army’s 69-year history of basing main battle tanks on German soil quietly ended last month when 22 Abrams tanks, a main feature of armored combat units throughout the Cold War, embarked for the U.S.

    On March 18, the remaining tanks were loaded up at the 21st Theater Sustainment Command’s (TSC) railhead in Kaiserslautern where they then made the journey to the shipping port in Bremerhaven, Germany. There they boarded a ship bound for South Carolina.

    “There is no [U.S.] tank on German soil. It’s a historic moment,” said 21st TSC spokesman Lt. Col. Wayne Marotto.

    From World War II on through the Cold War, tanker units were a heavy presence in Germany. At its peak, Germany was home to 20 NATO armored divisions, or about 6,000 tanks, according to the 21st TSC.

    In an Army story about the tanks, Sgt. Jeremy Jordan of the 529th Military Police Company said, “It is an honor to be one of the soldiers escorting the last battle tanks out of Germany. As these tanks sail back to the U.S., we are closing a chapter in history.”

    The vacating of the battle tanks from Germany and their transport to South Carolina prompted Dave Gibson of Examiner.com to observe that “all of this occurs amid Russia’s recent annexation of Crimea, and their ongoing invasion of Ukraine. It is obvious that Russian President Vladimir Putin is well on his way to reconstructing the former Soviet Union, it is equally obvious that neither Europe nor the United States is going to lift a finger to stop him.”

    Gibson wonders if “there may be more to this move than simply leaving our decades-old ally unprotected and vulnerable to an invasion from the East.”

    Obama admin removes all battle tanks from Europe | Consortium of Defense Analysts
     
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  9. militarysta

    militarysta Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    Belarus
    - circa 360x T-72B



    Other counties (data from wiki, not my job):
    Serbia
    - 212x M-84

    Boshnia:
    85x M-84

    Croatia:
    72x M-84

    Slovenia:
    54x M-84

    Romannia:
    303x TR-85
    226 T-55 (in reserve?)

    Bulgary:
    80x T-72M1
    200x T-72M1 (in reserve)
     
  10. militarysta

    militarysta Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    Ukraina
    Ukraina:

    106x T-64BM Bułat
    224x T-64BW
    320x T-64BW was in reserve now mobilisated

    tanks used in costal defense where captured by Russians.

    Summary:
    Tottal: 650 tanks, quite-modern 106 tanks...



    RUSSIA

    modern or able to fight in night (in limited way of course)
    ~225 T-90A
    ~130 T-90
    ~250-270 T-72B3
    ~90 T-72B1
    ~725-756 T-72BA
    ~200-400 T-80U

    So in active service in Russia there is circa 1500 tanks.
    But able to fight on circa Leopard-2A4 level: T-90A (termo ESSA), T-90, T-72B3 (Sosna-U sight), T-80U whit PLISA sight:
    all circa 800 tanks able to night fight whit passive sight.

    In fact on circa western level (leopard-2A5, CR2, M1A2 etc) are ONLY T-90A tanks. So circa 225...

    After active service we have in Russia circa 800-1200 tank in stocks whit rather not operational status or in low operational status (T-72B, T-80B)

    Summary:
    All: circa 2200-2600 tanks
    In active service and whit operational status: circa 1500 tanks
    very modern: circa 225 tanks
    able to fight in night: circa 800 tanks (inluding previous 225 T-90A)
     
  11. AVERAGE INDIAN

    AVERAGE INDIAN EXORCIST Senior Member

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    Then again, it may be premature to write off the tank. For a weapon that has been dismissed as obsolete for decades, it still survives. The idea of having a tank on a battlefield isn't dead. However, main battle tanks in their current configuration probably are a dying breed. Future tanks will probably be lighter, less expensive, have a lower profile, better fuel economy and have better armor and weapon systems than current generation tanks have today.
     
  12. militarysta

    militarysta Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    Spain:
    -219 Leopard-2A6E + 104 Leopard-2A4 (soon only 52 Leo-2A4)

    Portugal:
    -37 Leopard-2A6

    Italy:
    -200 C1 Ariete (doubt it is modern tank...)

    Greece:
    -170 Leopard-2A6HEL + 183 Leopard-2A4 (Im not writing about Leopard-1 -it's not modern tank)

    Turkey:
    -354 Leopard-2A4 (soon Altay)

    Denmark:
    -51 Leopard-2A5DK

    Norway:
    -52 Leopard-2A4


    Sweeden:
    -120 Strv-122 (propably withdrawn 160 Strv.121)

    Austria:
    -114 Leopard-2A4 (soon only 56 Leopard-2A4)
     
  13. rock127

    rock127 Maulana Rockullah Senior Member

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    Tanks cant be removed fully but only it's form can be changed as you said lighter,faster etc.

    Tanks basically strengthens the presence on ground and were used as land grabbers in WW's.

    The scene today is more of fast pace action with air force and missiles being the spearhead.
     
  14. AVERAGE INDIAN

    AVERAGE INDIAN EXORCIST Senior Member

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    My own view is that the MBT, as it is improved over time, will remain an integral part of any fully capable national military force over the foreseeable future. In essence, the equation remains as it has always been: offensive force v. defensive counter measures. Modern armor is very resistant to weapons designed to take it out, the M1 A2 Abrams being a prime example of that. Yet anti-tank weapons continue to improve in both power and accuracy, and sooner or later the counter-measures will catch up to, and ultimately overcome, the defensive capabilities of the tank. Before that occurs, it behooves us to develop still more efficient materials for armor protection and more effective main gun armament to keep the tank a viable and survivable weapons system @rock127
     
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  15. AVERAGE INDIAN

    AVERAGE INDIAN EXORCIST Senior Member

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    @militarysta

    On the European side things are looking far less rosy for the armour fan, with all the divesting of armoured assets going on. While, at least in the case of the Dutch forces a traditionally large user of the Leopard family this would typically be paired with qualitative improvements in the remaining fleet, that does not seem to be the case now, certainly now that the Leopard seems to have reached a relative ceiling in term of it's capabilities in dealing with other armoured vehicles. This trend seems to be spread among many if not all european users of the Leo2, and with Germany and ergo KMW not leading or pushing active development of a new series number, it seems highly unlikely that Europe/Germany is going to develop a new MBT anytime soon either. While there was, if the web is to believed, some tentative movement towards a 'Leo3' during the latter days of the cold war, it seems to not have been as radical as the name suggest and I would rule out that such a concept would make a return given the change in operational requirements since the end of the cold war and the dissapearance of a real armoured threat to Europe. Like the US, the EU countries will evolve their current MBT's, but more slowly. Though the Leo2 seems to be leading at the moment with the PSO variant/pack, it seems that there have been no new orders as of yet.
     
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  16. militarysta

    militarysta Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    @up
    In fact existing now MBT in Europe - so CR2, Leopard-2A5/A6, Leclerc are still on world top list. They are still modern, and in most countries tank fleet is young and still modernisated.
    For exmaple geman Leopard-2A6 will be modernisated to 2A7 level - propably includin armour replacment agian.
    All polish Leo-2A4 will be mod.to 2A5 level whit 2A7 "addons".
    France will upgrade all Leclerc in "Scorpion" programe
    etc.
    In all europeean countries the Armed Forces are cut and small in compare to the Cold War, but if they are really weak? :)
    Leopard-2A5/A6 is (acoding to KMW sources) 2.5 more combat effective then Leopard-2A4.
    So in fact 170 active german leopard-2A6 is like 425 older Leopard-2A4.
    In Poland here is very good compare between NATO and WarPac tanks. Poland is using PT-91 and T-72M1 (India in T-72 Aleya too...) and even during Cold War polish analyst claimd that for ONE destroyed leopard-2A4 in attack Poladn will loose 8 T-72M1 and in defense for for ONE destroyed leopard-2A4 Poland will loose 4 T-72M1.
    So in theory small forces doesn't mean "weak". Those 170 german Leopard-2A6 whit german army and forces are able to stop not hundrets but thousands old T-72M1...
    Next think is RMA (Revolution in Military Affairs) wchich incarase a lot militray strenght of NATO countries. Combat Command Control is now more important then numbers of the guns.
    Tank still have a "key role" in land warfare.
    In what bigger conflikt whit modern armed forces tank have been used? In all of them:
    1999 -second chechenua war
    2003 - invasion on Iraq
    2006 - lebanon war
    2006 - Phanthom Furry in Irak (re-capture Al Falujah)
    2008 - the Osetia War
    Even now in Ukrinian Conflikt Russia concentrate hundrts of the tanks near Ukrainia borders and say to Kiev: "be cerfull, and don't even try to re-capture Crimea!"

    Naxt factor is colective defense in NATO.
    Russia is tank superpower: 1500 tanks in active service, able to fight in night circa 800, very modern 225 of them. In theory it's mucht more then in any other single NATO country.
    But in fact any three bigger Europeean "tank" country have bigger potential here then Russia, or just enought to protect against sucesfull invasion.
    Imposible?
    Checkt numbers for (as exmaple): Poland + Germany + Dennmark
    Or Poland + France + Spain
    or Poland + GB + Dennmark etc.
    Not even mntioned about USA -where we have the younges tank fleet on whole world (!) and whey are startiong to tottal upgrade to ECP1 level 1600 M1 tanks now(!).

    Now we have the "armored renaissance" wchich was started after 2003 War and got fully speed in 2006...


    I
     
  17. Damian

    Damian Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    The problem is not a tank, the problem is not anti tank weapons, the problem is politicians. Let's be honest, most of them are morons, a side effect of current democratic system, where everyone can be a politician despites he's or she's capabilities to be one.

    In past decaes not only tanks were reduced in numbers, everything was reduced in numbers, soldiers, helicopters, fighter jets, navy vessels, even anti tank weapons, APC's, MBT's, literally everything. It is just very convienient for some people to say that only tanks were reduced in numbers, that they are obsolete and such kind of BS.

    I will put this problem from a perspective of Poland, as I know this perspective the best.

    Yeah, here we have similiar "great strategists" and "visionaries" focused on drones and such toys, but the big army, well they are currently all armor again.

    The problem is, we have too much obsolete vehicles right now. Of course we are improving, and this is how situation will look like.

    Poland will have a single, premiere division, it is 11th Armor Cavalry Division also known as Black Division, this will be our armored fist.

    In near future, division as Militarysta said, will have two manouvere brigades, 10th Armor Cavalry Brigade, and 34th Armor Cavalry Brigade.

    10th will have Leopard 2A4 tanks that are scheduled to be improved Leopard 2PL standard. Leopard 2PL in minimum version is improved Leopard 2A5, however in maximum version if funding will allow, it will be equivalent for Leopard 2A7.

    34th is currently rearmed with Leopard 2A5 tanks, these will also be most likely modernized to Leopard 2PL standard when A4's will be upgraded, and this modernization should be cheaper as there will be less work with A5's, as there will not be needed cutting and welding work on turrets and hulls, it is allready done.

    So in the end we will have 250 Leopard 2 tanks, a formidable force when we consider that our doctrine is focused on defence.

    As a second tank type, we will have 230 PT-91 tanks, modernized T-72M1, these vehicles have still some potential, and are good for defence.

    We also still have around 500 T-72M1's, these are considered as completely obsolete and must be withdrawn from service, these tanks will be replaced by new de facto medium tank, codenamed "Gepard".

    Ok why medium tank and not main battle tank you ask, recently a currently former vice minister of defence explained, that this is because we do not have time and experience needed to develop a trully modern MBT. Medium tank on the other hand is within our grasp at the moment.

    However "Gepard" is not a purpose build vehicle. It will use universal modular tracked platform chassis. This UMTP is intended to be base for various different vehicles that will replace currently used fleet of ex soviet vehicles. This means most likely more than 1000 vehicles ordered.

    So, 250 Leopard 2 MBT's + 230 PT-91 MBT's (after 2020 we will most likely look for replacement) + ~500 Gepard MT's = ~980 tanks total, a very large fleet of tanks for European standards.

    You can addo to this more than 1000 Rosomak wheeled modular platform variants (APC's and other specialized variants) + around 1000 different variants of UMTP platform excluding it's Gepard MT variants.

    In the end Poland will have after 2020-2025 a fleet of 2000+ armored fighting vehicles, and I not include here our artillery programs like SPH Krab, SPH Kryl, SPM Rak, MRLS Langusta/Langusta 2, MRLS Homar and so on.

    This incredibly huge fleet of combat vehicles for a mid size European country with relatively small, but stabile and growing economy.

    Why you ask? Because security paradigm in Europe changed, which means that not only Poland will react to it. Many European states are changing their defence policy, increase spending and so on.

    What is more important, US Army again have it's tanks in Europe, only battalion, but it is a start, they can send another two battalions and they have a full strenght brigade.

    United Kingdome, they stopped withdrawing Challenger 2 tanks from service, and do opposite, they solved their problems with ammunition for tanks, and are preapring their modernization, which is again a start.

    France, again, there is in development, upgrade for Leclerc tanks, codenamed "Scorpion".

    USA, again next year will start modernization of their tanks, and order for the first batch is huge for today situation, more than 1600 tanks will be upgraded, and project is ahead of schedule by 4 years! Originally upgrade program would start in 2018.

    As I said, paradigm has changed, situation has changed.

    I would be carefull to predict incoming decade or decades.
     
  18. militarysta

    militarysta Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    And we can't forget about Armata in Russia.
    It will be first IV gen tank whit operational status in whole world.
     
  19. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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  20. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    AVERAGE INDIAN likes this.
  21. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    Where is the manpower to man the tanks?

    Unless you wish to employ all above 60 as crew ??

    Younger ones wouldn't even make a full division !!

    Gone are the days of tanks in Europe !!
     

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