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Does this seem about right to everyone?

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What kind of damage are we looking at?

If it were mine in CMBS it would be a total flaming write off that would kill a few additional guys as it cooked off.  If it were my opponents, it would knock out the wind sensor...maybe.

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If it were mine in CMBS it would be a total flaming write off that would kill a few additional guys as it cooked off.  If it were my opponents, it would knock out the wind sensor...maybe.

Thats because you have faltered from the path of RNGesus, thereby being cursed with eternal unluck. ;)

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What kind of damage are we looking at?

Hard to say since we don't know exactly at which angle did the jet impacted. From the outside, I would expect most of right side front and top ERA bricks to be off, shtora jammer and both frontal LWR's to be off and and KO on gunner's optical sight. Depending on weather the thermal sight was covered or not, that could be damaged too. If the jet managed to penetrate, perhaps some autoloader damage could have happened too. 

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In this area the armor in LOS is about 400mm of steel, not covered by ERA. So it almost certainly penetrated. The crewman that run away (gunner?) kept his hand to his face... Additionaly, both guys in the turret most likely lost their eardrums and would not hear for some time, because they had their turret hatches opened while at combat position (the TNT equivalent of TOW warhead is about 4kg and it detonated probably little less than 2 meters from open hatches.... ouch...). They were most likely told by Russian instructors to keep them closed, but.... 

Edited by Amizaur

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Speaking as to damage, now I'm less sure.  It's like one of those abstract drawings in which everyone sees something else (having seen the same video posted on facebook in veteran/US Army circles too with commentary).

All we really know for sure is:

1. The missile hit somewhat.

2. A crewman bailed out.

If I was Hamid al-Panzersaurkrautwerfer I'd wait to see if the tank moved, then give it another shot.  Your usual cue for ceasing fire is:

A. Crew is bailing out. 

B. Vehicle has exploded

C. There's a lot of fire

D. Something is obviously broken but not on fire (tank rolls into a ditch and doesn't move again, gun tube is max depressed and dragging, turret appears to have become unseated).

Normally this one would be a case "a" sort of situation, but there's not a lot of other apparent effects.  If I'm an ATGM crew, again I'd watch it to see what it did (still while displacing mind you), but if I was a tank I'd shoot it again just to make sure.  

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I wonder if the driver hatch was closed. The driver would be probably killed if the TOW exploded almost over him... The version of video I've seen ends aty the escape of the gunner. Is there any longer version showing if the tank moved after that ?

Edited by Amizaur

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BTR,

This is allegedly a US supplied BGM-71-E-3B captured byJabhat al-Nusra at Idlib, Syria. And here is the Orxy Blog piece on the TOW's arrival in the war, featuring several shots, one of which is yours. Interestingly, in a February 2016 exclusive, FARS talks about the effective use of the T-90MS as a TOW killer and mentions both the ERA and Arena by name. Additionally, it links the second deployment of this tank in Aleppo as being key to Syrian advances. I do find the characterization of the tank more than odd, but the headline and the article say just that.

Regards,

John Kettler

Edited by John Kettler

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Errata:

It's unsurprising that they're not showing the actual point of impact.  We for instance, were forbidden from taking photos of any damage or even impact marks on our vehicles in Iraq simply because it could have been used by the insurgents to better understand what effects they were having on us.  Basically if a spot was hardly scratched, the bad guys would know it's a poor place to shoot at, while if there was a lot of damage it'd let them know to repeat what might have only been a big dust cloud and an MRAP speeding off into the night.  

So in that regard the propaganda* value of the tank looking almost unscathed after being hit by a TOW is great.  The original video showed the crew evacuating, and it was certainly left abandoned.  In that context alone it's easy for the rebels to narrate the attack as having "Destroyed a T-90."  Publishing a photo that makes it look broadly intact and saying "nuh-uh!" negates that narrative and can be used as sort of a "fear not, we have T-90s!" image.

It does however leave a lot of stuff open as far as damage.  In regards to "killed" it might be the entire FCS is gutted and the breach no longer aligns properly.  So the tank drives, it's not a catastrophic kill, but if this was the battle of Kiev or something, this specific tank would be just as "killed" for the sake of the operation as one that was burned to the ground.  Which gets into an interesting historical tangent about tank kills in general and propaganda resulting (for instance, most German kill total include every tank they disabled, while only counting their total losses at the scene of the battle.  Tanks written off at the depot, lost when they couldn't be recovered in a timely manner, or when the collection point for damaged tanks was overrun are not counted).  Often it's worth claiming a tank was not actually destroyed because German/Soviet/US/Canadian armor supreme....while ignoring that tank had to be shipped back to the home country and rebuilt from the trackpads up before re-entering service.

It's a worthwhile discussion point in strategic terms, but in speaking if a tank is "killed" or not, it's worth asking how long was the tank out of the fight, and perhaps considering while tank 12345 returned to service five months later is not strictly "Destroyed" but for the intents and purpose of the conflict, it is killed, or that even if a weapons system merely short term disables a tank, it has a distinct anti-tank utility** 

*Propoganda doesn't mean "false" as much as it's the better understood term for information operations.  Dropping pamphlets on Nazi troops circa March 1945 telling them how boned they are is strictly speaking propaganda, it's information arranged to drive a population towards an opinion they might not already hold to accomplish an objective.  It can be 100% true, but it is still information prepared and packaged to an end. 

**It's just again, does it disable enough tanks long enough to give it utility.  Like Japanese anti-tank weapons in world war two could often disable American armor, but rarely did they on a level to prevent the tanks from accomplishing their mission, or even making a repeat appearance a few hours/days later.  This while better than nothing did not do enough damage to prevent the armor force from accomplishing its missions at the expense of the Japanese forces on the ground.  

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I have a question about the TOW missle used in this engagement. The missile in flight has a positive angle of attack of about 10-15deg. If the warheads were aligned in the axis of the missile this would effectively make penetration of highly sloped armor even harder as the jest would be going slightly upward. I wonder if the warheads in the TOW missle (or any anti-tank missile) are aligned as slightly "looking down" to correct for the missile "upward" atttiude so the direction of the HEAT jet would be same as flight vector ?

Or maybe warheads are aligned with even more down angle, like -30deg ? The speed of the missile is low enough that the lateral movement of the jest should be minimal and not affect it's performance much. Then warhead would (in most cases) has less LOS armor thickness to penetrate than if it was aligned horizontally. 

Edited by Amizaur

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Did they ever figure out what kind of TOW was used? Pretty sure we discussed it. It just seems like the media doesn't acknowledge that the tank is probably much newer than that specific vehicle.

I also chuckled at the end where the author suggested that Syria would be more happy over the survival of the crew than the vehicle. Given everything else, I doubt that.

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6 hours ago, Codename Duchess said:

Did they ever figure out what kind of TOW was used? Pretty sure we discussed it. It just seems like the media doesn't acknowledge that the tank is probably much newer than that specific vehicle.

I also chuckled at the end where the author suggested that Syria would be more happy over the survival of the crew than the vehicle. Given everything else, I doubt that.

One of the main problem syrian government forces had was manpower. Russia can always supply more tanks , trained crews are a different matter

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Well maybe if they hadn't thought sending T-72s into cities without infantry support was a good idea, then they wouldn't have that problem. 

Or maybe they should have figured out after the first 1000 tanks were torched that should probably rethink a few things.

Not attacking you...just the Syrian goverment's descion on how to use their tanks. 

Edited by Currahee150

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An interesting tendency across the Arab world is to mistake shooting large cannons at things for effective employment of weapons systems.  You see it in both government and insurgent forces, lots of people getting on line, shooting a few hundred rounds, a couple RPGs at some suspected enemy position followed by a few million allah akbards because surely each of those hundred bullets found a target and great success.

In that regard, the regime's employment of armor must be seen through the same perspective.  It wasn't a rational plan, it was simply the idea that something with that much firepower and armor is surely immune to whatever feeble resistance it will encounter.

This is of course somewhat of an exaggeration for comedic effect.  However the Syrian government has had to learn some very hard lessons (that frankly it should have learned many years ago).  

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How possible is it for LWS to be installed on the Bradleys and M1s at a short notice like the scenario for the game... I mean its very annoying enough that tanks lase at close range, And somehow American vehicles can react in short notices deploying smoke very fast and backing off, When all the gunner has to do is press the trigger to fire. I wish there could be made a choice to take off the LWS on the Bradleys and M1s, Because if my knowledge is right there aren't any plans to install those systems on them. 

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1 hour ago, VladimirTarasov said:

How possible is it for LWS to be installed on the Bradleys and M1s at a short notice like the scenario for the game... I mean its very annoying enough that tanks lase at close range, And somehow American vehicles can react in short notices deploying smoke very fast and backing off, When all the gunner has to do is press the trigger to fire. I wish there could be made a choice to take off the LWS on the Bradleys and M1s, Because if my knowledge is right there aren't any plans to install those systems on them. 

There weren't any plans to install Trophy either a month ago and yet here we are. 

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One last question for panzer.  In my mind theres no doubt at all that until Dec 1991 any overt aggression against NATO would have been met with force.  Do you still believe this is true for ALL NATO members  now? I dont mean an armored thrust at Poland or nukes on London. I mean lets say a certain member state of NATO keeps antagonizing Russia shooting down its planes et etc.   And the Russian response isnt ultra Russia stronk invasion of Turkey  but say cruise missiles. Bombing.    Would the US and more Euro NATO states really amp it up and start bombing Russ airfields etc? Opinion only I know. Just curious to your thoughts.

 

 

Also as far as LWR i really firmly believe we should be able to buy lwr or not equipped m1s and m2s. After yes trophy isnt planned to be installed either as noted, but we have the choice. I think if that option was present and BMP2Ms fired their ATGMs or even better we had a toggle option AND they fired we.d see much better Russian performance against US armor. Of course US armor would stil be super deadly formidable foes but it.d be that little bit of difference that makes a huge difference. 

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1 hour ago, VladimirTarasov said:

How possible is it for LWS to be installed on the Bradleys and M1s at a short notice like the scenario for the game... I mean its very annoying enough that tanks lase at close range, And somehow American vehicles can react in short notices deploying smoke very fast and backing off, When all the gunner has to do is press the trigger to fire. I wish there could be made a choice to take off the LWS on the Bradleys and M1s, Because if my knowledge is right there aren't any plans to install those systems on them. 

The engineering work was done likely years ago (someone already sat down and crunched the installation configuration, there's an existing demonstration model showing the mounts on a M1).  In terms of purchashing/installation, again looking how fast the MRAP/DUKE systems went from "the system exists!" to "every unit has them" was notable.

So in terms of possibility, given a need, and a choice to go-ahead, it's quite likely.

As far as "go-ahead" the last ASUA confrence revealed APS as one of the major Army lines of effort for the next few years.  There's a lot of chatter about Trophy either being an interim system in regards to outfitting a few Brigades worth of Abrams, Bradleys, and Strykers with them, while a US "smart" APS matures more.  

Nothing for sure, but again, as always it's a more realistic inclusion than the T-90AM, BMP-3M, BMP-2M, Oplot, etc, etc, etc.

Re: Sublime

In a nutshell, if Russia invaded Turkey without military provocation (like the Turks weren't shooting down Russian planes over Russian soil, or Turkish commando teams weren't operating in Moscow or something), then it'd trigger a NATO response.  Turkey may be the less loved of all NATO...but the US would certainly show up which is the part that really matters, Eastern NATO countries would respond because if NATO sits out a Turkish conflict, they certainly wouldn't show up to a Latvian crisis, etc, etc.  

NATO is built like a moustrap for a reason.  There was a lot of concern starting off that some nations might just decide that really, West Germany wasn't worth a war over anyway and sit it out, so a whole host of mechanisms were built to make it less likely that NATO could be split by deft diplomacy (which frankly was never something the Soviets were good at, let alone the Russians), or by NATO state antagonism (see Greece and Turkey). 

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