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Russian army under equipped?

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14 minutes ago, DerKommissar said:

Curious to see those bottom hull shields on one and the ERA on the other. I've always been curious about those bottom shields. I've never seen them outside of later T-80s. How useful are they?

Both tanks have ERA but the one in the second picture (and background of first) has a dust flap, the T-80 designers appear to have been hideously paranoid about dust ingestion by the turbine (hence all the flaps & screens, plus the huge intake filters on the turret).

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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The BVM is a mistake out of expansionist views on the army and the desire to meet AFV numbers "here and now". Also the turbine lobby refuses to die at our MoD. 

Edited by BTR

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1 hour ago, BTR said:

The BVM is a mistake out of expansionist views on the army and the desire to meet AFV numbers "here and now". Also the turbine lobby refuses to die at our MoD. 

I can understand the need for the tanks here and now though, especially if the new divisions use "heavy" OOB.

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32 minutes ago, ikalugin said:

I can understand the need for the tanks here and now though, especially if the new divisions use "heavy" OOB.

Right, there aren't enough T-72Bs left over from post dissolution to fill the 90+ btn. requirement even in the most optimistic scenario (around 4.1K T-72B left to RSFSR post dissolution by my calc). At the same time, I think the desire to expand the ground element was premature.  

16 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Turret armour on the BVM looks better than the T-72B3, to me at least.

One major boon of the 80BV is the full relikt installation on the UFP and turret, but the underlying passive armor is arguably a worst package on the 80BV. In any case, there isn't much one tank can do that the other one can't therefore a completely different vehicle type with extremely low part commonality is unnecessary in my eyes. 

Edited by BTR

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BTR Ive always wondered - now mind I cant read cyrillic - everything Ive managed to find specific to T80s doesnt point to the turbine being bad, to my American eyes it looks like the tank just got named as junk when some crap general rolled a ton of T80s without infantry into Grozny and that the tanks gun elevation limits sucked and they couldnt hit rooftops.

I point this out because Abrams turbine engines seem to have worked pretty well,  from what I gather, being quiet and making the tanks fast.

Can you please elaborate what about the actual tank made it so hated and almost phased out immediately after 94?

What are the advantages besides gas use of a diesel over a turbine? Diesels probably more robust and in line with Russian tradition of field tough equipment?

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2 hours ago, Sublime said:

BTR Ive always wondered - now mind I cant read cyrillic - everything Ive managed to find specific to T80s doesnt point to the turbine being bad, to my American eyes it looks like the tank just got named as junk when some crap general rolled a ton of T80s without infantry into Grozny and that the tanks gun elevation limits sucked and they couldnt hit rooftops.

I point this out because Abrams turbine engines seem to have worked pretty well,  from what I gather, being quiet and making the tanks fast.

Can you please elaborate what about the actual tank made it so hated and almost phased out immediately after 94?

What are the advantages besides gas use of a diesel over a turbine? Diesels probably more robust and in line with Russian tradition of field tough equipment?

The beauty of the Abrams is that it's a one-stop solution for TANK. The Soviets wanted to transition to the turbine with the T-80 as their new MBT, the T-72 being the budget T-64. After the fall, that transition was halted. So, to this day, they have both diesel and turbine MBTs in service. **** or get off the pot, as the say. Either go with diesel, or go with turbine. They both have their pros and cons.

From the bean counter's perspective, the T-80 was an unnecessary luxury since '90s. They tried to stop upgrading them, and get rid of them for a while. Ukraine replaced their T-80s turbines with diesels, that seems to have worked. Why don't the Tank Forces do just that?

I think if they switch to diesel and give it a welded turret, it can be better than the T-90. A Commander's TI and ammo bustle would make it near-peer.

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3 hours ago, Sublime said:

What are the advantages besides gas use of a diesel over a turbine? Diesels probably more robust and in line with Russian tradition of field tough equipment?

The turbines are built more robust and they can operate without breaking for longer, but when they do break it's a lot tougher to repair. In brief other disadvantages of GTDs include - 

  • Higher sensitivity to poor-quality fuel. 
  • High sensitivity to water in fuel thus requiring extra attention to how water tight the whole system is. There is even a dedicated sensor for this on the 80s.
  • Moreover extreme sensitivity to dust of the whole powerplant, resulting power-loss and the subsequent maintenance nightmare. The whole VZU intake on the back of the 80U is rather telling of how problematic dirty air is. Other more esoteric disadvantages are - 
  • Lower power output on lower revs;
  • Slower acceleration up to 15kph;
  • APU as a requirement. You need it for proper operation and sensible fuel consumption which adds another crucial element to take care of. With loss of malfunction you can end up with problems like the 80BV had in Chechnya where a formation ran out of fuel before even getting to the fight. Granted it was a special circumstance, but still a bad outcome. 

Most of the traditional comparative shortcomings of diesel engines have been solved and the power outputs per volume of serial diesel engines has approached serial turbines.

Edited by BTR

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On 9/20/2018 at 6:00 PM, DerKommissar said:

I think if they switch to diesel and give it a welded turret, it can be better than the T-90. A Commander's TI and ammo bustle would make it near-peer.

What welded turret exactly? Switching to a unified turret with the T-90M would require a complete rework of the ammo storage, ammo loading mechanism and hull floor. At that point you are better off just getting a refurbished T-72 or two. Getting a diesel into the old hull requires about the same amount of rework from the hull, to a complete change of key components like transmission. T-80UD and T-80 hulls are not compatible because the former's chassis is derived from object 476 and is essentially a T-64 hull with T-80 suspension setup. This means you can't just rip leftover 80UD hulls and install a V-46-based engine in them. 

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On 9/20/2018 at 12:00 PM, DerKommissar said:

The beauty of the Abrams is that it's a one-stop solution for TANK. The Soviets wanted to transition to the turbine with the T-80 as their new MBT, the T-72 being the budget T-64. After the fall, that transition was halted. So, to this day, they have both diesel and turbine MBTs in service. **** or get off the pot, as the say. Either go with diesel, or go with turbine. They both have their pros and cons.

From the bean counter's perspective, the T-80 was an unnecessary luxury since '90s. They tried to stop upgrading them, and get rid of them for a while. Ukraine replaced their T-80s turbines with diesels, that seems to have worked. Why don't the Tank Forces do just that?

I think if they switch to diesel and give it a welded turret, it can be better than the T-90. A Commander's TI and ammo bustle would make it near-peer.

So its just Americas enormous military budhet and wealth that allows us to operate turbine M1s, diesel Marine M1s, diesel M2s, etc?

 

I mean at one time, in the mid to late 80s there were a lot of T80s in GSFRG and they were expected to be the prime time break through to the channel troops.  One would imagine they must have had a fu*kton of turbine gas around for that little party no?   Unless of course its like the shocking nugget I got when my father told me in the late 90s that " I suppose I can tell you this since the Cold War is over but it was a dark secret amongst the fighter pilots in NATO in the late 70s early 80s that NATO ONLY HAD ENOUGH A2A MISSILES IN THEATER FOR 3 DAYS OF COMBAT!!!"

After that it woulda been guns only fighter combat until more supplies! 

i dont know if this speaks to how truly the ppwers that be thought we.d all be tossing nukes by then anyways or the insanity of some of what was going on in the West during the Cold War

Edited by Sublime

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ok so BTR and D Kommissar fuel expense aside is the turbine T80 the better tank engine wise? Are turbines the future?

And this doesnt answer my question. I know the Russian military has some really smart people. People who would see how the battle of Grozny played out and I literally know as much as I said above about T80s in Grozny. How did they end up to blame for poor tactics unless

Theres actual real performance problems im unaware of id like to know

This is a rare instance of an awesome tank gttn trash because the time peripd was a perfect storm of rapidly shrinking military and corruption and so to cynicaly save jobs for generals and not lives for young draftees a machine got blamed for a humans errors?

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3 hours ago, Sublime said:

ok so BTR and D Kommissar fuel expense aside is the turbine T80 the better tank engine wise? Are turbines the future?

I just gave you a list of things that aren't related to fuel expenses. The particular problem of low autonomy under idling has largely been tackled from T-80U onward with an on-board APU. As far as tactical level is concerned the T-80s were (and a big emphasis on the past tense here) a better tank dynamically because they were easier for the driver (only four gears) and the turbine was smoother in operation under changing revs.

As for the future, it's a mixed answer from me. In the immediate future I don't see any alternatives to complex diesel power plants with a automatic gearboxes. Modern tank diesels when compared to turbines

  • have a similar or greater level of hp/cm^3,
  • have equally adaptable power-curves,
  • are equally easy to operate because of the software and automatics in between the driver and the powerplant,
  • have no problems running in the cold,
  • have a lower and more manageable heat signatures, something that wasn't of a concern back when first tank turbines appeared,
  • have the same or longer working cycle and operational hours before repairs,
  • they are good enough for all heavy platforms based on a tank chassis without being excessive. 

Perhaps in the far future turbine once again will become an appealing alternative as part of a "diesel-electric" chassis where the turbine is always operated at the most efficient level and is used to generate electricity for the electric drives. There have been such plans from at least three countries, but they were all too complex and/or expensive back when they were developed. 

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5 hours ago, BTR said:

I just gave you a list of things that aren't related to fuel expenses. The particular problem of low autonomy under idling has largely been tackled from T-80U onward with an on-board APU. As far as tactical level is concerned the T-80s were (and a big emphasis on the past tense here) a better tank dynamically because they were easier for the driver (only four gears) and the turbine was smoother in operation under changing revs.

As for the future, it's a mixed answer from me. In the immediate future I don't see any alternatives to complex diesel power plants with a automatic gearboxes. Modern tank diesels when compared to turbines

  • have a similar or greater level of hp/cm^3,
  • have equally adaptable power-curves,
  • are equally easy to operate because of the software and automatics in between the driver and the powerplant,
  • have no problems running in the cold,
  • have a lower and more manageable heat signatures, something that wasn't of a concern back when first tank turbines appeared,
  • have the same or longer working cycle and operational hours before repairs,
  • they are good enough for all heavy platforms based on a tank chassis without being excessive. 

Perhaps in the far future turbine once again will become an appealing alternative as part of a "diesel-electric" chassis where the turbine is always operated at the most efficient level and is used to generate electricity for the electric drives. There have been such plans from at least three countries, but they were all too complex and/or expensive back when they were developed. 

Sorry i had missed your post with the turbine specific reply

If you had like Stalin like power ad it were over Ru Army and its future what would you choose for current andnfuture tanks and apcs and assault rifles?

Do you agree the strategy air wise of going after hi value western assets (nato/awacs) and more robust A2/AD than say the western traditional wrest control of the air approach? Or a hybrid?

Edited by Sublime

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10 hours ago, Sublime said:

If you had like Stalin like power and it were over Ru Army and its future what would you choose for current and future tanks, apcs and assault rifles?

I'm always so bad at things like this because it's a question that has so much that needs to be established before answering. I guess the quick and dirty answer is I'd hold the expansionism of the ground element so there is no need to add more refurbished AFV types to the already diverse inventory list and concentrate on getting new families of vehicles into service.

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6 hours ago, BTR said:

If you had like XXXX like power and it were over XXXX Army and its future what would you choose for current and future tanks, apcs and assault rifles?

The challenge with these (altho interesting) hypotheticals is that it ignores the RW issues of politics.  ie:  You may be top dog but there is always someone you owe something to... and that chap may often be the guy who is a defense contractor who will persuade you to award the contract to his company regardless of the fact that he produces an inferior product.

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On 9/21/2018 at 2:34 PM, BTR said:

At that point you are better off just getting a refurbished T-72 or two. 

Oh, yeah. Those improvements don't make economical sense past the 90s, the fate of the T-80 is sealed (T-72s will outlive it). I'd probably do what the Ukranians did with the T-80 Oplot-M -- it certainly wouldn't make sense logistically. It'd be a decent platform though -- what's the point when you are already producing T-90Ms? 

On 9/22/2018 at 8:20 AM, Sublime said:

Theres actual real performance problems im unaware of id like to know

This is a rare instance of an awesome tank gttn trash because the time peripd was a perfect storm of rapidly shrinking military and corruption and so to cynicaly save jobs for generals and not lives for young draftees a machine got blamed for a humans errors?

I think we often forget 1990's Russia. Can you imagine if the USA broke down into independent warring States during the Great Depression? Space Shuttles were being used as salvage. Mil tech factories started manufacturing pots and pans. It was a complete ****show, inflation made the currency absolutely worthless. Military decisions, especially ones in the Caucuses, were very much part of the times.

Had that not happened, maybe T-80s would have had the production run that was intended and would outnumber the '72s. I'd say their biggest failing is being in the wrong country, at the wrong time. They even sold a bunch to South Korea. South Koreans generally like it, but they did need to bring them up to date in terms of fire control and optics (something that improved considerably in the dark years of the 90s).

On 9/22/2018 at 5:30 PM, Sublime said:

If you had like Stalin like power ad it were over Ru Army and its future what would you choose for current andnfuture tanks and apcs and assault rifles?

I think the organization of the Ru Army needs to be improved. Their communication equipment, supply system and finally actually choose if they want a professional or a conscript army. New toys are nice, and some old toys can be improved -- but there's a very long list of other, more pressing, improvements. With what's happening in Syria, I'd think the VVS and the VMF need some love.

Now, if you were an R&D guy and a Stalin-like power ordered you to design new tanks, ifvs, apcs, small arms, what have you -- what would you design? Or what current designs would you recommend for modernization/purchase?

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4 hours ago, DerKommissar said:

 and finally actually choose if they want a professional or a conscript army.

I'm absolutely against this. It keeps cost down, mobilization capability up and makes sure the ****ty positions get filled while maintaining fighting units staffed with supposed professionals. 

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9 hours ago, DerKommissar said:

Oh, yeah. Those improvements don't make economical sense past the 90s, the fate of the T-80 is sealed (T-72s will outlive it). I'd probably do what the Ukranians did with the T-80 Oplot-M -- it certainly wouldn't make sense logistically. It'd be a decent platform though -- what's the point when you are already producing T-90Ms? 

I think we often forget 1990's Russia. Can you imagine if the USA broke down into independent warring States during the Great Depression? Space Shuttles were being used as salvage. Mil tech factories started manufacturing pots and pans. It was a complete ****show, inflation made the currency absolutely worthless. Military decisions, especially ones in the Caucuses, were very much part of the times.

Had that not happened, maybe T-80s would have had the production run that was intended and would outnumber the '72s. I'd say their biggest failing is being in the wrong country, at the wrong time. They even sold a bunch to South Korea. South Koreans generally like it, but they did need to bring them up to date in terms of fire control and optics (something that improved considerably in the dark years of the 90s).

I think the organization of the Ru Army needs to be improved. Their communication equipment, supply system and finally actually choose if they want a professional or a conscript army. New toys are nice, and some old toys can be improved -- but there's a very long list of other, more pressing, improvements. With what's happening in Syria, I'd think the VVS and the VMF need some love.

Now, if you were an R&D guy and a Stalin-like power ordered you to design new tanks, ifvs, apcs, small arms, what have you -- what would you design? Or what current designs would you recommend for modernization/purchase?

Thanks. 

First I agree Id choose between one army or the other. And frankly given the investments Russia has made since the 2008 war Id move the conscripts into units modelled more on like a hybrid US natl guard/reserve status and pour my money into my professional military and best units.

Part of the issue or problem is Im taking an entirely western mind on the next part - Id really have a sit down and get real about where any real prospect of invasion could happen (east not west) and that likelihood is so low Id free up a lot of what I see as unnecessary units and downsize and use the extra money, etc to also help my reforms along.

This is all given mind I really would have changed the Russian militaru after the 08bwar but I would have gone back to a more Soviet style. i wouldnt shy away from mass conscription and Id get away with it to. id realistically know noone, even if they were dumv enough to invade would survive such an endeavour, and spend the next ten years building an absolutely gargantuan army that nearly crushes my countries economy but thats ok because half the men are in the army and thr other half are on call and the women are too tired from 12 hr shifts.

Then Id set about bullying the hell out of my neighbours and generaly giving the finger to the west and using extreme scare tactics in every situation.  Im talking Stalin acting like a Nork the Soviets actually were pretty conservative

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19 hours ago, BTR said:

I'm absolutely against this. It keeps cost down, mobilization capability up and makes sure the ****ty positions get filled while maintaining fighting units staffed with supposed professionals. 

I see your point, a hybrid system has benefits. I recently read a US Army article about the potential challenges with Russia's diverse military and paramilitary forces. I think it could work, if done right. My problem with the current system is that it lacks the meritocracy of a proper professional system, while also having a corrupt conscription process. So, you're not giving much incentive for career soldiers/officers and meanwhile letting anyone with money/connections skip conscription.

A lot of the top brass, including Shoigu have questionable credentials. I would not consider them for the positions that they occupy, based on merit alone (more on backroom politics, corruption, etc.). I believe the saying goes, "The fish rots from the head." 

Maybe one thing I would take from Marshal, is to fire a good portion of top commanders. Introduce some sort of meritocratic framework for advancement, and somehow bring back prestige to the service. Everything from the Branches down to the NCO corps, everything needs rigorous standardization. No matter if a professional, conscription or a hybrid system is best -- the fat needs to get cut.

We have these problems in the West, plenty too. Our own Minister of Defense arrogantly lied, and took credit for an operation that he had almost no participation in. I think Russia has been improving on these points, in recent years. Yet, they are fighting the symptoms, not the disease.

13 hours ago, Sublime said:

Part of the issue or problem is Im taking an entirely western mind on the next part - Id really have a sit down and get real about where any real prospect of invasion could happen (east not west) and that likelihood is so low Id free up a lot of what I see as unnecessary units and downsize and use the extra money, etc to also help my reforms along.

This is all given mind I really would have changed the Russian militaru after the 08bwar but I would have gone back to a more Soviet style. i wouldnt shy away from mass conscription and Id get away with it to. id realistically know noone, even if they were dumv enough to invade would survive such an endeavour, and spend the next ten years building an absolutely gargantuan army that nearly crushes my countries economy but thats ok because half the men are in the army and thr other half are on call and the women are too tired from 12 hr shifts.

Then Id set about bullying the hell out of my neighbours and generaly giving the finger to the west and using extreme scare tactics in every situation.  Im talking Stalin acting like a Nork the Soviets actually were pretty conservative

Not sure how sustainable that is. I'd roll it more subversively and attempt to create an unofficial hegemony. I would attempt to salvage relations with the west, while funding and arming enemies of my enemies. Attempt to kick-start the arms industry by modernizing my own forces, while putting a lot of equipment on the market for cheaper than the competition. As for the armed forces, I'd focus on the VMF and VVS. The key here is rapid mobilization. I want to be able to intervene in hotspots before the US can. I'd try to join NATO, just to screw with everyone. xD

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49 minutes ago, DerKommissar said:

I see your point, a hybrid system has benefits. I recently read a US Army article about the potential challenges with Russia's diverse military and paramilitary forces. I think it could work, if done right. My problem with the current system is that it lacks the meritocracy of a proper professional system, while also having a corrupt conscription process. So, you're not giving much incentive for career soldiers/officers and meanwhile letting anyone with money/connections skip conscription.

A lot of the top brass, including Shoigu have questionable credentials. I would not consider them for the positions that they occupy, based on merit alone (more on backroom politics, corruption, etc.). I believe the saying goes, "The fish rots from the head."

I'm not sure where this assessment comes from. Who aside of Shoigu lacks credentials in your opinion? At the very least in the General Staff.

As for meritocracy there are completely different development paths within the body of the armed forces (in many ways more similar to western schools) but Grau and Bartles handle their description and typing with a much more elegant command of written English language so I suggest you read them. The current professional system is designed and dedicated solely to creation of a specialist in equipment handling, tactical operation and low-level command. You are not going to grow beyond that without dedicated studies so your possible "merit" level is directly linked to the education ceiling you have.  

There are deeply rooted problems with the contract system like constant overwork, non-competitive salaries at lower positions, plus all the beauty that's associated with military life like insane pressure to deliver at all costs and the bureaucratic system executed with the "army method™". Hell, there are people on this forum who've done their contract work and they'll tell you a lot more about it than I can. These problems are however not related to the perceived conscription process inefficiencies and I don't even think these two are related. 

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41 minutes ago, BTR said:

I'm not sure where this assessment comes from. Who aside of Shoigu lacks credentials in your opinion? At the very least in the General Staff.

Has the current commander of the Aerospace forces ever flown a plane? I forgot his name, but I remember reading some shady stuff about him. The previous one was an Afghanistan vet, eh?

I think they need intensives to retain enlisted men, to encourage more experienced NCOs. Either with more money or some sort of benefits.

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24 minutes ago, DerKommissar said:

Has the current commander of the Aerospace forces ever flown a plane?

Surovikin? Yea, he's never flown a plane in his life but he participated in almost every conflict in commanding roles since 'Stan. 

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@DerKommissar im sure its totally unsustainable. After all theres a reason Im not in charge.

Yes that Defense Minister incident was sad really, he tried to say he completely planned and commanded a major operation in Afghanistan

Edited by Sublime

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De-facto the end game objective is to make the bulk of the troops in combat roles to be contract troops, across the board. Conscripts get rear or non-combat duties unless they are exceptionally talented.

Currently we have 126 BTGs that are both at constant readiness and staffed with contract troops only (there are around 150 BTGs staffed with contract troops at this time, with 2-3 per unit meaning that the force is being ~2/3 professional in combat roles).

I would suggest reading Grau on the career paths, etc.

Edited by ikalugin

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