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Lee_Vincent

Armata soon to be in service.

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On what point? I do not understand what you're saying.

What I'm saying is that you've adopted a position that the economic downturn is not going to have a negative effect on the modernization program. I agree that if Russia continues to prioritize it's military spending at the expense of all other forms of spending, it can indeed keep the program fully funded. I just disagree that is an option that is sustainable beyond a few years.

What you are trying to say here, as I understand, is that they won't be able to refit their entire fleet with new vehicles in a short term, after mass production starts? (post 2019-2020). Correct?

Correct. Russia/Soviet Union has never done this. Ever. Instead it has always had a three tier equipment allocation, though the 2008 reforms have tried to reduce that to two tiers mostly through force consolidation/reduction. Which means for the time period 2020+ I expect there to be at least two forces:

1. Armed with the A/K/B vehicles

2. Armed with T-90, BMP-3, and BTR-82

Depending on economic conditions, the traditional third tier would be:

3. Armed with T-72B, BMP-2, BTR-80

I see no signs, nor ability to have it be otherwise.

Russia was able to produce 500+ BMP-3s from 1990, for it's own Armed Forces. I don't have anything better than Wikipedia at hand this early hour of the morning, but according to it, they've also produced ~1180 vehicles for export. This shows government's ability to buy them vs production capacities of factory in question as a whole. Knowing what kind of economical hell it had to went through between 1991 and 2010, it is not surprising that they didn't buy more. What I was trying to say here is that, still, even with all the faults BMP-3 had, they've still mass produced it (in numbers enough for it to appear in CMSF and CMBS), and fine-tuned/corrected it later down the road. And it become a very successful export vehicle for Russia. Even when "the sum of all parts" sucked at the begging (your argument), it did not stop them from producing it (my argument, based on precedent). Do you get what I'm saying here?

I understand what you are saying, but you are missing my point.

Industrial capacity is not at issue here. The Soviet Union was able to support a massive armed force of its own and exported far more than Russia does today. Yet it's own forces continued to be equipped with outdated weaponry to a very large extent. That is because it has to spend its own money on its own economy, while export production is paid for by others. So the only number that is relevant is the 500 BMP-3s used by Russia, not how many it was able to export.

You are also only seeing the positive side of the BMP-3 story. The negative side is that it struggled, hard, for more than 10 years to get the basic problems worked out. It took a further 10 to come up with the 500 vehicles it now has for its own use. That's 20 years elapsed time to produce a fairly small number (relative to need) of rather modestly improved vehicles based on outdated design thinking. This history does not bode well for a much more expensive, elaborate, technically challenging program being conducted under suboptimal economic circumstances.

The numbers produced for it's own ground forces, with economy of the 90s and 2000s, 500+. Despite whatever some people want to believe here, today's Russian economy is far more capable than it was 25-15 years ago, like 2x or 3x times better (if not more, but I'm being conservative here). Do I need to say more? I would. There might be other factors involved. Chechnya. I've already showed you the pic of BMP-3 turret from Chechnya. Would you keep buying BMP-3s after seeing this? I won't.

Relatively speaking, the Russian economy is better than it was in the 1990s and early 2000s. Or at least it was up until 2014. We'll see how it looks in 2 years. But assuming it doesn't nosedive, as many predict, the simple fact remains that Russia's current national budget exceeds its income by a very large amount. Ask yourself, would you rather earn $30,000 and have $30,000 of expenses or earn $75,000 and have $100,000 worth of expenses?

Also note that the Soviet Union had a lot more resources and relative power at various points in its history compared to current Russia. Yet it always had a 3 tier force structure. Since 2008 Russia has taken very big steps towards reducing it to a 2 tier force, but it's still got a lot of work to do. I don't see it moving to a unified force unless it dramatically reduces its force size. Something that I don't think Russia intends on doing.

No. You did not read what I said. If they start to produce new vehicles, they can decrease the number of older vehicles in service they have. And use some of decommissioned vehicles for parts, instead of producing new ones on the factory. BMP-1/2 are still in service today, so as T-72s, and they do not require production of new spare parts, they use existing mothballed fleet. Supply/logistics wise, this picture will hold for infinity, if you don't do anything at all.

This is simply not true. Have you tried maintaining old vehicles yourself? I have. At one point I had 9 vehicles of the same type to keep 1 running. It certainly helped to have a source of parts, but I still frequently needed new parts. Tearing apart an engine to get a head gasket is not an option. Things like wheel bearings and other high wear parts are probably just as bad on the mothballed vehicles as they are on the vehicle you're looking to fix. And the labor/cost of extracting parts that have almost no life left in them is a foolish drain of resources. Not to mention the costs/problems of storing 9 vehicles instead of 1.

For sure mothballing vehicles helps a lot because it reduces the need to produce some parts. But it is not a full solution. The military still must maintain separate parts streams to the vehicles that are in service. Which means parallel efforts. It also means that for military planning purposes units have to be employed according to things other than basic type (tank, mech inf, airborne, etc.).

Doing something (like producing new, modular chassis/designs) is a way out. Transition period is inevitable in any case. The option of making 3 modular chassis is the easiest one to get out of this mess, IMO.

The only way to get rid of the mess is to fully move to a unified family of vehicles in a fairly short period of time. That is something I can not see Russia being able to afford. It certainly never has in the past.

Even if they'd just replace 2/3 of their inventory with the new vehicles (based on A/K/B modular chassis design) in the next 10-20 years, that still would be a big win, don't you think?

Better than what it has today? Sure, but that's missing my primary point. I believe that a better course of action is to adopt a more modest and less challenging (more certain) program that offers a chance of 100% changeover of vehicles. I do not believe that is what Russia is doing.

I also doubt Russia will achieve 2/3 force transition within 20 years of today. I'm thinking more like 1/3rd.

You do realize that they'd have to be stuck with those vehicles for the next 20-30 years, right?

Absolutely, just as the current plan means having a large portion of its force stuck with 20-40 year old vehicles for another 20 years because it can't afford A/K/B replacements for its entire force.

And this leads us to the meatiest part of this discussion. What would be "the less expensive" alternative? They want their vehicles to have max crew and passenger safety. What designs that are cheap and safe at the same time would you propose?

I didn't say "cheap", but rather "more cost effective" than the current strategy. The laundry list of horrible crew safety designs in current Soviet/Russian vehicles have very straight forward, relatively inexpensive solutions that require fairly modest R&D. Why? Because Western vehicles have had them for decades already. For example, not having the crew surrounded by ammunition or infantry vehicles with tiny exit doors.

I'd rather have some "bets" that can be solved quicker. Like, we have a parade in 5 days. Does anyone have any bets on what would we see unmasked, from under those tarps?

Looks like we don't need to bet on that, thanks to the pictures you uploaded :D

Steve

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Another possibility is that this shell is meant to reduce RCS.

 

Front cut-out is for gunner's sight, but side cutout is a mystery.

 

 

No I don't think so, but might be space to mount autocannon as on Object 195.

I'm thinking along the same lines. This is a "hardpoint" for some other system, be it offensive or defensive. I would expect something to cover the hole when the extra item is not on it. Kinda like low end car models having pieces of plastic to cover up places for controls/gauges available on the higher end models.

Steve

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Is it just me, or two frontal wheels are steerable on Boomerang (1, 2, 3) ? BTR-90 had it, IIRC. And BTR Krymsk had such ehm, "very Combat Mission" feature :lol: :lol: :lol: (tho It's much faster than in CM, duh) :

 

Edited by L0ckAndL0ad

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The only way to get rid of the mess is to fully move to a unified family of vehicles in a fairly short period of time. That is something I can not see Russia being able to afford. It certainly never has in the past.

 

Lets cut it, and focus on the main thing. You propose to do exactly the same that they're doing right now, but with more conservative and less expensive designs, to be able to build more of them. If you had to pick of all the world's existing designs out there, which ones would you pick for Russia in this case that would fit your criteria?

 

At the same time, what features do you think make A/K/B unaffordably expensive for Russians? Most of the stuff is already non mechanically triggered and wired to the vehicle's network system (even chassis, for example on new BMDs). So the stuff is already remote controlled. Does it really matter where you put it?

Edited by L0ckAndL0ad

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I'm reminded of the recent story in the press of the Saudi man marrying a woman in an arranged marriage. After the ceremony he lifted his new bride's veil, took a first look, and immediately filed for divorce.  :D  B)

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Russia/Soviet Union has never done this. Ever.

The only way to get rid of the mess is to fully move to a unified family of vehicles in a fairly short period of time. That is something I can not see Russia being able to afford. It certainly never has in the past.

To be fair, nobody does. Not even the US. The Abrams entered service in 1980 but the USMC went to war in 1991 riding M60s. There are still thousands of M113s in service.

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Lets cut it, and focus on the main thing. You propose to do exactly the same that they're doing right now, but with more conservative and less expensive designs, to be able to build more of them.

Yup.

If you had to pick of all the world's existing designs out there, which ones would you pick for Russia in this case that would fit your criteria?

None :D

A quick check shows roughly $2m for a modernized T-72, $5m for a T-90, and $8m and up for a "Western" style tank. Russia has made less than 1000 T-90s for its own use, which is roughly 20% of Russia's active service tanks (as far as I know). The T-80s are being replaced by upgraded, and much cheaper, T-72s.

I don't know what the cost of an Armata is, but I'm guessing it will be more than a T-90. What they should be trying to do is make a vehicle that is better than an upgraded T-72 but cheaper than a T-90.

 

At the same time, what features do you think make A/K/B unaffordably expensive for Russians? Most of the stuff is already non mechanically triggered and wired to the vehicle's network system (even chassis, for example on new BMDs). So the stuff is already remote controlled. Does it really matter where you put it?

See above. If this thing has anything better on it than a T-90, then it will cost more than a T-90. Russia can't afford to outfit its entire military with T-90s, therefore it won't be able to afford to outfit its entire military with something more expensive than a T-90.

Since I don't know what the costs are for each feature on a T-90 or Armata, I am not in a position to know which feature should or should not be adopted.

And then there are the R&D costs.

Steve

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I'm reminded of the recent story in the press of the Saudi man marrying a woman in an arranged marriage. After the ceremony he lifted his new bride's veil, took a first look, and immediately filed for divorce.  :D  B)

 

:D

 

She rather strange doesn't she? Although her T-15 sister looks like a beast. Otoh I think those kurganetz-25 vehicles look sexy ;-)

 

Wonder what the front turret armor for the T-14 is like.  

Edited by Lethaface

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I'm reminded of the recent story in the press of the Saudi man marrying a woman in an arranged marriage. After the ceremony he lifted his new bride's veil, took a first look, and immediately filed for divorce.  :D  B)

 

To be honest, I'm not even sure now who I don't like the most. I like Kurganets-25 IFV the most, tho. Boomerang IFV comes second, I guess.

 

To be fair, nobody does. Not even the US. The Abrams entered service in 1980 but the USMC went to war in 1991 riding M60s. There are still thousands of M113s in service.

 

Ouch ^_^

 

So, who else agrees that the new Afghanit APS is a Quick Kill analogue?

 

Small sensor next to the radar is probably LWS:

 

0_d21fb_d86cb35e_L4c343.jpg

 

0_d2203_364f1442_XLe76a7.jpg

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To be fair, nobody does. Not even the US. The Abrams entered service in 1980 but the USMC went to war in 1991 riding M60s. There are still thousands of M113s in service.

For sure there is a transition time for all services within a particular nation. But you're mixing apples and oranges here.

The Active component of the US Army quickly transitioned to 100% Abrams, first with 105mm and then the 120mm. The National Guard transitioned form M-60 to 105mm Abrams to 120mm Abrams. But within 10 years the transition had been complete. The Marines were an exception, but that was a budget choice of the Navy. They weren't really sure why they needed Marines with heavy armor in the first place, so why not keep the upgraded M-60 that could defeat most anything out there? It wasn't a large number of tanks anyway.

The M113 was completely removed from its role as an APC rather quickly. They now serve secondary roles which are total overkill or not well suited for the Bradley. It complicates the logistics train, for sure, but the US military has a far more robust and capable logistics capability compared to Russia. So in this case the benefits of replacing the M113 doesn't justify the cost.

This is the sort of transition I am saying Russia should be aiming for, not the one that it is headed for.

Steve

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To be honest, I'm not even sure now who I don't like the most. I like Kurganets-25 IFV the most, tho. Boomerang IFV comes second, I guess.

Ouch ^_^

So, who else agrees that the new Afghanit APS is a Quick Kill analogue?

Small sensor next to the radar is probably LWS:

0_d21fb_d86cb35e_L4c343.jpg

0_d2203_364f1442_XLe76a7.jpg

Those canisters being the size they are and in fixed positions are consistent with a Quick-Kill style missile that maneuvers into intercept position.

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I don't know what the cost of an Armata is, but I'm guessing it will be more than a T-90. What they should be trying to do is make a vehicle that is better than an upgraded T-72 but cheaper than a T-90.

 -skip-

See above. If this thing has anything better on it than a T-90, then it will cost more than a T-90. Russia can't afford to outfit its entire military with T-90s, therefore it won't be able to afford to outfit its entire military with something more expensive than a T-90.

-skip-

Since I don't know what the costs are for each feature on a T-90 or Armata, I am not in a position to know which feature should or should not be adopted.

 

No. Russia have stopped T-90 production because they were working on Obj 195 and Obj 640. And I can't say that T-90 is overpriced for its capabilities. And, certainly, I can't imagine how one can make a vehicle that would be cheaper than T-90 and still better than T-90. So I am very skeptical of your proposition.

 

From what I understand, Armata's price should be between T-90 and Western tanks. Or closer to the latter.

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For sure there is a transition time for all services within a particular nation. But you're mixing apples and oranges here.

Not really. If we are talking logistics, every branch procures parts from the same suppliers. It's true that Russia has much less logistical capacity than the US but they also aren't supporting a global empire ;)

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so what is the advantage of the unmanned turret?

 

I was under the impression that the main advantage of an unmanned turret was to give a lower profile and hence, greater survivability to the tank, but the Armata seems to be as tall as a M1 Abrams.

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so what is the advantage of the unmanned turret?

 

I was under the impression that the main advantage of an unmanned turret was to give a lower profile and hence, greater survivability to the tank, but the Armata seems to be as tall as a M1 Abrams.

 

Crew protection. Then modularity and upgradeability.

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I'll rephrase my previous question. Does "classical"/"conservative" design means less expensive? In age when almost every component is wired/digital. This is a very, very important question, if not one of the most important ones. I am looking at Armata and other newgen vehicles right now, and don't really see anything that isn't necessary for a modern classic vehicle. APS, maybe, but even then, we all now how valuable it is on the battlefield, and that it's just an option (however, it looks like it would be default part, following Israelis).

In terms of looks, my favorite is the Leopard 2

 

Leo 2 and Puma for the win! Boxer, kinda, maybe..

Edited by L0ckAndL0ad

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5TpaZ.jpg

NBnoU.jpg

sabQ6.jpg

ps: the last picture gives me an impression that there's actually something in between those add-on armor packages on Kurganets. Heavy armor panel supported by external buoyant addon?

Edited by L0ckAndL0ad

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No. Russia have stopped T-90 production because they were working on Obj 195 and Obj 640.

Then why is Russia still building even older T-72s? What then is the reason for the BMP-3's low numbers relative to BMP-1/2?

And I can't say that T-90 is overpriced for its capabilities. And, certainly, I can't imagine how one can make a vehicle that would be cheaper than T-90 and still better than T-90. So I am very skeptical of your proposition.

I don't know if it can be done either.

 

From what I understand, Armata's price should be between T-90 and Western tanks. Or closer to the latter.

Then Russia will never see the sort of efficiency of production, logistics, and operational considerations that you say come with A/K/B because it will remain a minority portion of its vehicles. So one of the major selling points of A/K/B is a "pipe dream". In my view this isn't enough on its own to condemn the whole program, but realistically it is not going to happen.

 

Not really. If we are talking logistics, every branch procures parts from the same suppliers. It's true that Russia has much less logistical capacity than the US but they also aren't supporting a global empire ;)

You're still mixing apples and oranges. For sure the US has opted to retain older vehicles (M113 variants, M88, etc.) in support roles because they are the most cost effective solutions for those uses. Does it complicate the logistics chain? Yes, for sure. But 100% of it's infantry carrying capacity (less the Marines amphib units) was quickly transitioned to the Bradely. Since that is what the Bradley was intended to replace, not mobile CPs and maintenance wagons, the plan and the execution synched.

Russia's future won't look like this at all. Not only will it still retain a plethora of support vehicles (more varied than the US, IMHO) that have nothing in common with A/K/B, but unlike the US it will also have to retain a large number of fighting vehicles that have nothing in common with it. Just like when the BMP-3 was introduced. The resulting logistics headaches are proportionally larger than what the US has to suffer AND the Russians don't have the logistics strengths that the US has.

But let's not get ourselves too distracted by just this one aspect. As I said, my skepticism about Russia being able to pull this off is based on multiple potential points of failure. Logistics is just one.

Steve

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Then why is Russia still building even older T-72s? What then is the reason for the BMP-3's low numbers relative to BMP-1/2?

 

They don't build T-72s. They repair and upgrade existing T-72s. BMP-3 numbers? Already discussed in previous posts.

 

I don't know if it can be done either.

 

Either way, basically, you propose them to downgrade their whole fleet. It is silly, because current logistical mess can be endured. Downgrading combat firepower just for the sake of better logistics? Cannot be endured. They barely do now.

 

Even more. They won't be able to compete with Western tanks at all (and I am not talking about NATO, just other tanks in general). At which point there's no need for such tanks in the first place.

 

So your proposition is bad.

 

Then Russia will never see the sort of efficiency of production, logistics, and operational considerations that you say come with A/K/B because it will remain a minority portion of its vehicles. So one of the major selling points of A/K/B is a "pipe dream". In my view this isn't enough on its own to condemn the whole program, but realistically it is not going to happen.

 

Doesn't mean they should not move in proper direction. Or build cheap stuff just because they can build it in numbers.

Edited by L0ckAndL0ad

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