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panzersaurkrautwerfer last won the day on May 18 2018

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  1. Small arms like the MGs on the roof have certain rules regarding being left unattended. It's likely just easier to keep plywood weapons mounted and not have to mount/dismount the real MGs each time the garage is closed for the day. This is rather obviously a "US Army future platforms" exhibit of sorts judging by the M1's stablemate in any event.
  2. It's pretty close to a chow truck/maintenance vehicle. Both US Mech infantry and Armor companies have the M113 in the Company HQ, but in practical terms it's a way for the Company 1SG and HQ personnel (mechanics, clerk, chemical protection NCO etc) to have a protected ride. You also generally have an M113 ambulance attached. By 2014 the M113 was really very rare outside of HQs from my experience. 1 ABCT 2 ID back when that existed (2014 weirdly enough!) only had them in the Company HQs in the base model, plus ambulances and the various command post/mortar carrier variants. The engineers
  3. You poor bastards. Like no sarcasm at all there. Whatever gripes I might have about MTV/LMTV/etcs, at least it's not a that.
  4. Try this one for size: Who's after Putin? The state really doesn't have anyone on the bench. And from the not-state factions, well, they keep dying. Somehow. So Putin dies in a car crash. Not even a "car crash" just an errant Lada falls off a building onto his limo and explodes. Who steps up? There's a few answers to that question. But that's the problem, there system and means to put those folks into a position to be elected can be more than a little messy.
  5. Pfft. My wife would have been pumped to tank. She's a bit small to do manual loading but the rest is right up her ally (she's a country girl, shooting and off roading are kind of her thing). Again, my concern is stupid games and stupid prizes. I don't think Russians realize how isolated they've become, nor how much weaker they are "alone." It's not even a matter of sanctions at some point, its a matter of a bad harvest, or internal strife/crisis and Russia just doesn't have the strategic depth economically or politically to weather that well.
  6. I don't think the Armata was ever intended as a serious piece of hardware. Least cynically, I think it was a test bed for some ideas for future tanks and upgrades. More cynically it was a propaganda stunt to make it look like Russia's conventional forces are on the march to parity. It never really made a lot of practical sense though (especially in light of the concept of it being a "universal" platform relative to available resource/production capability). Russia's primary means of achiving it's national goals remain largely in the information warfare realm, use of proxies/unconventiona
  7. Kinda gets to the point of having modular systems vs complete upgrades for systems that are not always required. The boathull armor from the TUSK kit, and the commander's protective kit are really super useful...in Iraq/Afghanistan. Otherwise it's just added weight. Same deal with the APS, while it's pretty useful in many settings, it's most optimal in conventional settings where long range ATGMs are an issue. Realistically in a more COIN or urban fight the ERA fit is a better choice for the flanks. Conversely if weight/transport is a premium, or it's a "as many tanks as possible" sort o
  8. Looking at how they're mounted, its likely just a series of lugs onto the bars on the exterior of the sponson boxes (these are usually used for hanging gear off of). Power supply likely just branches off of the other roof top harnesses. There's some stuff that draws power external to the tank's main armor on the roof so there's some wiring up there to work with. If you wanted the ultimate in ghetto-rig you could just mount one of the bustlerack APUs and run the wiring directly through that, but that seems more complicated than linking into the CROWS/BFT/other equipment on the roof "grid" an
  9. It's worth keeping in mind this is the initial/test fielding on otherwise unmodified Abrams. Additionally there's some rumblings that this might be similar to the TUSK kit in that it's not part of the tank, but an additional capability that can be mounted as mission/theater requires. If I had to conjecture, the side sponson storage might go away in the future, or the system might be better distributed under/over armor in a built in-vs bolted on application.
  10. The contractors had basically two roles as I saw them: 1. They'd check your ID and make sure you had your weapon before going into the dining hall/other locations. This was largely to keep out contractors/local nationals not allowed to use those facilities out. It made a lot of sense because otherwise there'd be some US guy or two protecting our cantaloupe from pilferage. Anything that was actually a no joke secure location (command post or something) had US soldiers guarding it. 2. Some FOBs had them in the towers/gate areas. This was sort of hit or miss, and there was usually a US
  11. Canadians: Generally rather quiet, professional, but they tend to react with shock and horror during live fire exercises the first time we reload, under the impression we have already shot our entire annual ammunition allowance in that round/magazine and should be stopped before we empty the entire budget with a second engagement. Also constant apologies ("it appears we were not budgeted for food for this exercise, sorry," "We actually were denied procurement for the systems we're supposed to have that replace the 1950's era equipment you gave us for Korea, but we are all out of vacuum tube
  12. That's kind of the direction I took it too. If you looked at my old Company at a few weeks into a gunnery/training exercise, we'd only be slightly better shaved (because the US Army is still pretty serious about that, although tanker mustaches wouldn't be uncommon), a lot of our gear would look pretty trashed (well worn, but also knocked around/we'd wear our most torn up stuff to the field). Simply a lot of dirt, lowered hygiene, some unbuttoned pouches doesn't make for a non-functional unit. The German solider has a highly inflated opinion of his own capabilities from my experience, but
  13. Which is rather rage inducing on some level, because much of the stability Germany relies on isn't the result of German political masterstrokes*, but of a security stability underwritten by other people's spending on greenly painted equipment of narrow utility, young Americans living overseas in various oddly located gated communities, and so forth. It's a bit like in arguing you don't need to bother with road taxes any more because you can do everything over the internet now, you don't really have the internet without the physical infrastructure to allow it to exist. And it's very frustra
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