The end of tanks as we know it?

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wm
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The end of tanks as we know it?

Post by wm » 16 Mar 2022 16:52

It is the end of tanks as we know it or not? I think it is. The Leo 2s in Syria taken out by ATGMs was the first clue and now the monumental Russian losses to ATGMs. The tanks as we know it are still designed to fight other tanks. But these pesky missiles are much cheaper and far more mobile and deadlier. It is very easy to update $100,000 missiles than the $1-$2 million tank.
The need for APS is paramount here because reliance on tactics has proven to still have holes where ATGM teams get through and kill tanks.
from: Battle Machines

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Re: The end of tanks as we know it?

Post by Cult Icon » 16 Mar 2022 17:34

I think the war in the Ukraine is highlighting the importance of air power (US spent a month bombing Iraqi military targets), limitations of tanks/AFVs and the importance of high tactical density- large numbers of infantry to occupy the front line and to screen the vehicles. It is dangerous to invade a medium-sized country like UKR, along a broad front with an mounted army (with few infantry) and only a quarter of million large. It might inform people that invading medium sized countries like UKR with predominantly ground forces and an incomplete air campaign is harder than it appears and that few political-military states can support million man invasions needed for quick, decisive success.

In WW2 the mass issued PzFaust/PzsH was limited in its effectiveness due to very short range. Modern RPGs have effective ranges that rival or exceed that of small arms. It seems like the infantry screen that is needed to protect the vehicle fleets can become prohibitively large. Also, attacks by cheap drones..

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Re: The end of tanks as we know it?

Post by Cult Icon » 16 Mar 2022 18:27

In researching the Russian BTG I found that the basic doctrine of the unit. By nature the unit has few infantry (2 or 3 small mech. companies) and does not prioritize it.

The Russian infantry are closely tied to the vehicles and support the vehicles' heavy weapons. This low priority of infantry explains why images and videos of the Russian infantry show that they do not even carry optics and some of the etc. equipment of Western forces.

The tanks & IFV/APCs of the unit form the manuever element. The MLRS/152mm SP artillery batteries are the key striking power of the force, with the manuever element supporting the artillery rather than the other way around.

The Russian doctrine sees the Artillery as being the King of the battle.

Also it appears that the tanks deployed in the UKR are predominately low-cost/modernized T-72, with the lesser portion being the T-80 (in higher priority units like the 4th Guards Tank Division) plus even smaller numbers of T-90. So the T-72 is a way the "T-34" of the war. IFV/APCs have shown themselves to have particuarly high losses.

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Re: The end of tanks as we know it?

Post by wm » 16 Mar 2022 22:14

Another T-64BV (easily) destroyed:

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Re: The end of tanks as we know it?

Post by Peter89 » 16 Mar 2022 22:19

wm wrote:
16 Mar 2022 22:14
Another T-64BV (easily) destroyed:
I see a lot of such videos when an armoured vehicle enters an urban area alone; and gets hopelessly destroyed. Can we explain that?
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Re: The end of tanks as we know it?

Post by Richard Anderson » 16 Mar 2022 22:30

Poor training in combined arms tactics and general stupidity may have more to do with it, albeit modern MBT are not really "tanks" in the original sense, but are closer to being specialized anti-tank vehicles. In other words, much modern MBT design and the tactical thinking behind them is a self-licking ice cream cone.
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Re: The end of tanks as we know it?

Post by Cult Icon » 17 Mar 2022 05:26

A basic weakness of the BTG is the lack of infantry to protect its flanks/rear. The predominance of BTG in Russia is related to the financial problems in the Russian army, particularly the shortage of funds to staff sufficient professionals and contract personnel.

Due to this the BTG is intended to be deployed with the support proxy troops and paramilitary screening their flanks/rear- hence we hear of reports of "40,000" Syrians, Chechens, militias, and other groups arriving to help the Russians. This must entail some coordination issues.

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Re: The end of tanks as we know it?

Post by Cult Icon » 17 Mar 2022 05:53

Demonstration of a Russian attack, uploaded by the Russian ministry of Defense in Feb 2022.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBZVe0ZjH0Q

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Re: The end of tanks as we know it?

Post by PunctuationHorror » 17 Mar 2022 12:20

This Azov T-64 video: Did you see the bodies falling from the sky? One comes down on the left side of the tank (0:52); the second torso comes falling down after the last explosion in the vid (1:19).

There is track damage visible on the asphalt (0:05), so there was at least one other tank on this road before the one that got hit multiple times. Looks like they caught the next tank, too (1:30).

What are they supposed to do in such a situation?
The ambushers probably are scattered and sit in these multi storey buildings or on the roofs. Infantry wouldn't be helpful in this situation because there would be machine gunners, snipers and frag grenades. Cleaning the houses/area by foot would take a long time and cost a high body count. Once the infantry leaves, the enemy can infiltrate the area again. Rinse and repeat. Welcome to Groundhog Day.
APCs or MRAPs wouldn't be helpful either, as they are more vulnerable than a tank. A tank theoretically can survive a modern anti-tank missile - a BMP would be instant toast. Therefore Israel and other nations use tank based APCs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Namer https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IDF_Achzarit. Russia has BTR-T and BMPT but they probably would be as helpless as the tanks seen in the vid.

Leveling all the buildings is not possible in a reasonable amount of time and (suicidal aka 'motivated') ambushers can infiltrate the ruins if they are not guarded permanently - which again costs infantry casualties.

The only way to be successful in such situations is not to get in such situations at all. However, they can't bypass and besiege all urban areas, so they have to send something. Tanks at least offer protection against everthing but antitank missiles.
Sending tanks into urban areas is very costly but may cost less manpower than any other existing option on the ground.

----
Tank runs on mine or IED:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2H6129yY4w

Attackers suicidally close, probably didn't survive:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0i1gobp4TM
Thermal vision? Helicopers? Why are they driving so close to the woods if there are open fields without cover on the other side of the highway? Infantry bailing out of BMPs sans cover and getting gunned down while BMPs speed offroad. Unclear why they don't engage the ambushers with their 30mm autocannons - maybe surprise and panic.

A whole company of tanks flock together and get hit:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-nJ52aUGdE

Ambush on a truck:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I09fBeM_g0E

Miss the ALLAHU AKBAAR ALLAHU AKBAAAAAAAAAAAAR so typical for videos of this type.

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Re: The end of tanks as we know it?

Post by Cult Icon » 17 Mar 2022 13:10

The Russians' recent track record in house to house fighting is a distinct reliance on artillery and a sparing use infantry. Given the latter is their sore weak point/extreme shortage they will be putting a lot of vehicles in harms' way. BTG has some 10 tanks and 40 IFV/APC.

Ultimately with the big aid that's going on with AA and Anti-tank weapons, etc. it's up in the air whether the US/NATO shipments will make a material difference. Currently the URK are losing ground everyday.

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Re: The end of tanks as we know it?

Post by James A Pratt III » 17 Mar 2022 18:34

Poor combined arms in urban terrain result: lots of knocked out tanks.

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Re: The end of tanks as we know it?

Post by wm » 18 Mar 2022 08:46

Up-armored BM-27 Uragan.
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Re: The end of tanks as we know it?

Post by wm » 18 Mar 2022 14:41

More tanks (+ situation awareness)

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Re: The end of tanks as we know it?

Post by Cult Icon » 20 Mar 2022 20:15

commentary on Tanks in the context of the "future war" between Ukraine and Russia: 50:00

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CMby_WPjk4&t=365s

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Re: The end of tanks as we know it?

Post by LineDoggie » 21 Mar 2022 01:05

Cult Icon wrote:
20 Mar 2022 20:15
commentary on Tanks in the context of the "future war" between Ukraine and Russia: 50:00

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CMby_WPjk4&t=365s
I remember reading after the 73 Yom Kippur war how tanks were dead as the dodo thanks to the ATGM Sagger Missiles.

Yet here we are 47 years later still with them and they still have uses a infantryman cannot do afoot STANO is superior to this day
"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here".
Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

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