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Armata soon to be in service.


Lee_Vincent
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Hype? I can't say for everyone, but I'm personally hyped because Russia's been stuck with awful tanks and IFVs/APCs for ages. Despite what some of you might think they know, Russian media are full of critical articles and discussions about how bad Russian military equipment is. Including criticism regarding the new stuff. So, when there are developments that can potentially make things better, people get interested and hyped.

 

Also note that Kurganmashzavod, Uralvagonzavod, KBM, Kalashnikov Concern, Arzamas, etc, these are not State owned, but they are all JSCs/private corporations that make money by selling arms, both export and locally. They also create a lot of hype, as a part of their marketing. Cuz they need to make a living.

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LOckAndLOad,

 

I didn't see the allegation it was shot in Moscow, but I knew full well it had to be taken a Nizhniy Tagil, a place whose tanks ready to be picked up apron made for gut churning viewing from satellite photos during my Soviet Threat Analyst days. I know we're in a very much different reality now, but despite all the manufacturer's vids out there of all manner of weapons, it's very hard for my brain to process the notion of someone sitting in a car in a parking lot at Nizhniy Tagil and videoing the latest tank driving across the parking lot at practically spitting distance, never mind come pelting up onto a road in apparent full war array, throwing snow everywhere. I am by no means alone in this reaction. Other Cold War types are having the exact same reaction. We come from a time when a single ground level pic would've been practically priceless. And gathering that kind of stuff could and did cost lives. Frankly, I marvel people aren't arrested on the spot by Russian security for taking such videos, Yet not a guard anywhere in sight. Ditto for the heavy IFV.

 

There's a lot of people who're simply envy western military for their better equipment. It creates a certain moral need for stuff that's better. Russian defense industry is supposedly envy modern German military equipment, cuz they mention it a lot, including when comparing their own new generation things. I've said it quite a few times, but I am crazy about Puma IFV and latest Leopard 2 versions myself.

 

As for those pictures, they must have been taken by either manufacturer, or by military personnel, specifically to create a hype. There's Vitaly Kuzmin with his high res military photos, so lets take a look at dates when some of the rehearsals took place in Alabino in previous years:

 

April 13th 2012: http://vitalykuzmin.net/?q=node/449

April 12th 2013: http://vitalykuzmin.net/?q=node/496

April 9th 2014: http://vitalykuzmin.net/?q=node/557

 

But these are high res professional photos, and not some Cold War Spy kind of images that we've seen so far.

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I don't see how Russian military equipment is awful. Soviet-style IFVs and tanks are among the bests you can find, they are never topnotch but that is not their philosophy, that's western philosophy. Why the Abrams is so good? Because it was made to beat all eastern armor. Why is the Leopard so good? Same reason.

 

Why is Soviet armor much worse? It isn't, it has good or very good protection, mobility and power and it is much cheaper, it's the same as with the T-34 and German tanks, German tanks were better or much better... or were they? In the end they weren't.

 

Why all the hype when a new Russian IFV or tank comes arround? Because they are one of the biggest weapon manufacturers, you can't put a T-72 commercial on TV (It would be cool though) so they create all the hype.

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The hype is there because under GPVs finally a new generation of weapons desighned by Soviet/Russian school is released (and this is not only AFV related, look at all the hype T50 generates). Armata itself is the -next big thing-, as it departs from classical tank layout in a simmilar way T64 did and would probably define Russian AFV desighns for years to come.

Edited by ikalugin
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I don't see how Russian military equipment is awful. Soviet-style IFVs and tanks are among the bests you can find, they are never topnotch but that is not their philosophy, that's western philosophy

 

Russian IFV/APCs don't serve their purpose, really. If they did, Russian infantry wouldn't be riding ON top of them more often than inside, which nullifies the whole purpose of having an armored vehicle in the first place. You can ride on motorized carts with weapons mounted on them with the same success. At the same time, there's quite a few articles that talk about why T-90 is bad, why T-72B3 is bad, while they could've been made better, but they weren't.

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Riding on top is a stupid tradition, which is difficult to eradicate, not a problem with the desighn of the vehicle.

 

Conceptually older BTRs and BMPs are indeed outdated, as their desighns no longer reflect the current combat employement needs of such vehicles, hence why they are upgraded and replaced by newer ones. T90A desighn is of 2004 vintage at best (or older if we look into 187), hence is outdated by now (no wonder it needs upgrade/replacement). T72B3 is a logical stop gap upgrade (solving the largest issue - scopes) before Armata comes (with added benefit of keeping the workforce busy and starting the production of new generation scopes).

Edited by ikalugin
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Riding on top is a stupid tradition, which is difficult to eradicate, not a problem with the desighn of the vehicle.

 

Oh, come on! "Traditions" don't appear out of thin air. People started doing it because they don't want to die inside. Because in their infinite wisdom, Soviet designers went for mobility and amphibious capabilities, rather than crew/passenger protection and ease of disembarking. There's always too little space, and BMP-3s passenger exit in particular is a crying shame.

 

You know how they use BMP-3 in Venezuela? One might have thought that it's harder to ride on BMP-3..

 

CAsvDNxWUAE93fY.jpg

 

CAsu_73WQAA3ZW-.jpg

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Russian IFV/APCs don't serve their purpose, really. If they did, Russian infantry wouldn't be riding ON top of them 

 

I think the reason for that is that on assimetrical warfare mines and IEDs are more dangerous than enemy fire, also the top of the vehicle is more confortable than the inside.

Many western IFVs are neither prepared for mines or IEDs, they are prepared to provide with protection from small arms fire and shrapnel and to provide with firepower, same as Russian IFVs. That's the reason so many vehicles which are better suited against IED have been bought by western countries, these vehicles are much safer but wouldn't be adecuate for an actual battlefield.

 

So I think that yes, ergonomically they are infamous but they are well designed to fight a war.

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LOckAndLOad,

 

Those are some great pics. I look forward to seeing what he has for us this April. A lot. I have to say, though, that the first set has me worried. It looks as though the Russian Army has dangerously outpaced the US and NATO in the deployment of these. So great is the concern that CIA, DIA and NGA have all pulled analysts from other projects to address this potentially dire situation. There's a belief in some quarters that special metallurgy may be incorporated, an issue hotly contested among the various US intelligence agencies and fully expected to be reflected in dissenting footnotes in the upcoming NIE

 

Djiaux,

 

A lot of difference has to do with the fundamental design approach taken. Russia, unless something has changed, designs tanks with the expectation that once committed to battle, they'll have a service life of 24 hours. The tanks and AFVs are also specifically designed to have very low profiles so as to be survivable on the steppes. US, German and other armor isn't specific terrain centric and must be able to operate on all sorts of ground, including mountains, where gun depression is important. Frontline US and NATO armor has very long service lives, too. Such armor doesn't spend most of its service life in a tank shed, either. It's out in the field, being exercised, not at the usual scale of one tank per company a la Russe, but in entire formations operating in ways and on a scale which would horrify a Russian commander who must husband the brief service lives of his tanks. Nor does it help that QC used to be so bad that the Czechs, following a rash of engine problems, discovered the engines in their Russian-supplied T-72s were full of highly abrasive metal particles, typically a liter per engine. Once this was known, it became SOP to tear down the engine of each newly arrived T-72 and clean it thoroughly before reassembly. This greatly helped tank reliability. Whether things are that way these days I couldn't say, but it is very much indicative of a major difference in how things are done. The US has such sophisticated tracking of what's in the engine oil and transmission fluid of the Abrams that it can tell which part is involved and determine with considerable accuracy when it's going to need replacement. If you don't expect or need your tank to last, then doing this is simply a waste of money and resources.

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler 

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Bad ergonomics is a bad design. Mines, RPGs and urban combat existed long before terms "IED" and "asymmetric warfare" came into existence. Soviet designs might be cost effective, but their cheapness comes at a price of lives. It's that simple. M1 Abrams is 1980s product, and for some reason, it does not explode violently with it's crew and turret flying away when hit. M2 Bradleys are also from 1980s. Here's what Wiki says about them:

 

In the Iraq War, the Bradley proved somewhat vulnerable to Improvised explosive device (IED) and rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) attacks, but casualties were light—the doctrine being to allow the crew to escape at the expense of the vehicle. As of early 2006, total combat losses included between 55 and 150 Bradleys.

 

Now compare this to both Chechnya wars. Ergonomics, huh?

 

2 John Kettler:

 

Metallurgy. You mean the usage of the new "44С-св-Ш" steel?

 

As for "a la Russe" training, I don't know what you're talking about. There's been a lot of mass scale maneuvers in both SU and Russia. With Russia in particular, there came the new kind of surprise readiness checks that lead to large scale training maneuvers starting from like 2011, few times a year.

Edited by L0ckAndL0ad
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Riding on top being safer is a myth, a myth that is sadly not eradicated so far.

 

Stock M2/M3 (ie without ERA package) is as vulnerable to the RPG (and high end AT weapons) hits as the BMP2 or any other classical IFV is. The reason for this is the core -classical- IFV concept, which is now outdated.

Edited by ikalugin
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1

Soviet designs might be cost effective, but their cheapness comes at a price of lives

 

 

2

Now compare this to both Chechnya wars. Ergonomics, huh?

 

1

It depends, the US make the best weapons possible so they will be able to crush their enemies, Soviets made the best weapons possible so they could crush their enemies AND their enemies couldn't crush them. The URRSS was not far from wars were its own survival was in the balance, it made weapons that it was able to supply in large numbers.

 

If Nazi Germany invades you and you have only foot soldiers you will lose millions and millions, if you have some T-34 you will lose way less soldiers, if you have loads of T-34 you will loose still less soldiers and you will smash Nazi Germany soon, shorter war and more lives saved. The Tiger was not the right tank, the T-34-85 was.

 

So cost-efficiency can save lives. It's not the philosophy that I want for my army, but you can't tell if they are wrong that easily. 

 

 

2

Hm, do you have any numbers about IFVs lost in Chechenya wars?

 

BTW 50-150 Bradleys lost? That's vague

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Hype? I can't say for everyone, but I'm personally hyped because Russia's been stuck with awful tanks and IFVs/APCs for ages. Despite what some of you might think they know, Russian media are full of critical articles and discussions about how bad Russian military equipment is. Including criticism regarding the new stuff. So, when there are developments that can potentially make things better, people get interested and hyped.

 

Awful? Actually, I'am not trying to say it is not (I'am not an expert). But once I've tried to find some data for comparsion. And that what I've found:

 

In Second Lebanon War Israel has lost 29 of Merkava tanks (Mk.2, 3, 4). 30 tankers were killed inside their vehicles.

Tankers that has escaped their vehicles and were killed afterwars are not counted.

 

During infamous  First Battle of Grozny Russian Forces has lost 30 tanks with 31 casualties among tankers.

 

As you see, crew survivability is almost equal.

However, Merkavas are widely considered to be safest tanks in the world, while Russian tanks are "awful".

 

Did anybody have just said "prejudice"?

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Awful? Actually, I'am not trying to say it is not (I'am not an expert). But once I've tried to find some data for comparsion. And that what I've found:

 

In Second Lebanon War Israel has lost 29 of Merkava tanks (Mk.2, 3, 4). 30 tankers were killed inside their vehicles.

Tankers that has escaped their vehicles and were killed afterwars are not counted.

 

During infamous  First Battle of Grozny Russian Forces has lost 30 tanks with 31 casualties among tankers.

 

As you see, crew survivability is almost equal.

However, Merkavas are widely considered to be safest tanks in the world, while Russian tanks are "awful".

 

Did anybody have just said "prejudice"?

 

What sources for those numbers?

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What you said for russian weapons and T-34 can be said for US weapons (what about the development of Chobham armor?) and Sherman tanks.

Ok, Shermans were also good and easy to provide in large numbers.

I'm just saying that Soviet tanks and IFV are in no way awful, they are quite good and yes, worse than western ones.

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What sources for those numbers?

 

Battle of Grozny: http://forums.airbase.ru/2010/11/t73561--belogrud-poteri-tankov-v-groznom.html

Attachment to first message. Author provides data for every lost tank with crew fate known.

 

Actually, 30 tanks are not all lost tanks, but tanks with known crew fate.

 

2nd Lebanon War: http://www.waronline.org/IDF/Articles/history/2nd-lebanon-war/acv-losses/#3

 

Both sources are in Russian. I can translate some pieces if you want.

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Before jumping into numbers, I must ask a simple question - do you really want to argue about Soviet designs being bad at protecting crew and passengers at all cost? BMP-2 with worthless side armor that can't help against HMGs, which had to be increased in Afghanistan in 1981 at the cost of it's amphibious ability, but never actually been upgraded this way in large numbers at home, because they value amphibious capability more than lives of the passengers? Cramped BMP-2, with unprotected fuel tanks in doors. BMP-3 with 100mm rounds in the middle of passenger compartment? BTRs that can protect only against small arms and also have crazy designed doors? There's a reason why these are called "Братская могила пехоты". There's a reason why people started riding on top of them, and not inside. So, do you really want to challenge that opinion?

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Stowage of ammunition and especially charges on the floor of tank turrets (up to T-90), and on the side of turret crew compartment, stowage of ammunition on the front part of the tank (T-54/55/62), and in all occasions with no blast doors between said ammunition and the crew.

Edited by Kieme(ITA)
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Generalizing "Russian" as a single entity that claims something is one of the most serious mistakes I've seen so far.

I think you misunderstood what I said. I am not saying that all Russians are creating hype. I know that is not the case. What I am saying is, from a practical standpoint, that they hype that is being created is largely coming from Russians. Therefore, it is not wrong to say it is "Russian hype". Even that is, of course, a generalization but it's a defendable one.

And let's not lose sight of the point. There was a direct accusation made that Westerners (or at least those on this Forum) have a negative view towards Russian improvements in military technology. The counter to that, and it was my point for sure, is that there's a long history of Russian (and Soviet before it) claims of producing weaponry which either fails to live up to its hype or even fails to be produced. So my comments, in the correct context, are justified and defensible. Obviously over simplified, but the point is still sound.

Steve

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I think we are discussing different things.

 

Do I want to discuss if Sovier designs were bad at protecting crew and passengers? No, not really, they were bad, even when not SO bad in my opinion.

 

Thing is that those machines were made not to have the soldiers safe in the battlefield but to ride them there safely and to fight along with them, I think that they were pretty good for that purpose hence their design is not awful as awful means completelly worthless. Anyhow you just have to take a look at how many countries are using those designs, they use those because those are cheap so they can buy more but that is the point, cost-efficiency.

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Before jumping into numbers, I must ask a simple question - do you really want to argue about Soviet designs being bad at protecting crew and passengers at all cost? BMP-2 with worthless side armor that can't help against HMGs, which had to be increased in Afghanistan in 1981 at the cost of it's amphibious ability, but never actually been upgraded this way in large numbers at home, because they value amphibious capability more than lives of the passengers? Cramped BMP-2, with unprotected fuel tanks in doors. BMP-3 with 100mm rounds in the middle of passenger compartment? BTRs that can protect only against small arms and also have crazy designed doors? There's a reason why these are called "Братская могила пехоты". There's a reason why people started riding on top of them, and not inside. So, do you really want to challenge that opinion?

Well said.

In WW2 the AFVs can be boiled down into four broad categories:

1. Technically superior, expensive, difficult to maintain

2. Technically good, medium priced, reasonable to maintain

3. Technically inferior, inexpensive, very easy to maintain

4. Technically inferior, inexpensive, difficult to maintain

Roughly speaking Germany when with #1, the Western Allies went with #2, Soviet Union went with #3, and Italy and Japan went with #4.

For the most part the Western Allies and the Soviet Union had equipment strategies that worked well with their other strategic assets and liabilities. Germany's choice, ultimately, did not. Italy's was even worse, Japan's was inbetween Germany's and Italy's.

Russia has largely stuck with #3 despite a major change in its strategic assets and liabilities. Specifically, it no longer has the population nor the resources to field a force large enough to compensate for its technical deficiencies. At least against any force outfitted with Western equipment and backing. Clearly the Russian government realized this and it resulted in the 2008 reforms that are still in progress.

The Armata is a huge test of a significant sub component of the reform strategy. If Armata is not significantly better than the T-90 *AND* affordable to field in large numbers (including maintenance), then Russia's strategic military capability will still come up short against a conflict with the West. If Armata is technically par or better than a Western tank, but can only be fielded in small numbers, then it faces the same issues that Germany faced in WW2. If it remains inferior to Western tanks then large scale adoption won't likely be enough to win a war with the West.

It is entirely possible that Russia will eventually come up with a viable tank that can go toe-to-toe with a Western tank *and* field enough of them to matter. Will that be the case with Armata? Way too soon to tell. We'll have to revisit this discussion in about 10 years to have a better sense of it.

Steve

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I think we are discussing different things.

 

Do I want to discuss if Sovier designs were bad at protecting crew and passengers? No, not really, they were bad, even when not SO bad in my opinion.

 

Thing is that those machines were made not to have the soldiers safe in the battlefield but to ride them there safely and to fight along with them, I think that they were pretty good for that purpose hence their design is not awful as awful means completelly worthless. Anyhow you just have to take a look at how many countries are using those designs, they use those because those are cheap so they can buy more but that is the point, cost-efficiency.

This is all true, but what good is a cost-effective military that can be destroyed in a couple of days by a Western force? Iraq had one of the largest mechanized forces in the world and we know how that ended both times that Iraq went up against the West. We also know how badly things went in the war against Iran. A country that was not well equipped compared to Iraq. Obviously there's a lot more reasons for Iraq's major defeats than the quality of its Soviet based equipment, but the quality gap certainly caused the defeats to be worse.

If the national interests are limited to waging low intensity war against inferiorly equipped enemy forces, then inexpensive and outdated equipment is viable. But if the intention is to be able to fight against a decently or better equipped force, or engage in a high intensity war, then inexpensive and outdated equipment is unlikely to produce victory.

This is the position Russia has found itself. Chechnya was fought against an inferior foe but it was high intensity and prolonged. Russia lost the first war and might have lost the second one if Kadyrov had not switched sides. The war against Georgia went fairly well, but enough went wrong that the Russian military establishment realized Georgia was about the upper limit of what it was capable of waging war against. Hence the reform program started in 2008. Until the reforms are successfully completed, I don't think Russia has much reasonable hope of changing it's strategic chances of securing its national aims through military conflict with the West or even a large nation like Ukraine.

Steve

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there's a long history of Russian (and Soviet before it) claims of producing weaponry which either fails to live up to its hype or even fails to be produced

 

Your exact words were:

 

Russian claims about what their military equipment is capable of doing

 

Hype is not the same as official claims regarding exact vehicle specs that turned out to be false. Did they ever trick anyone into buying something that turned out to be not working at manufacturer's stated specs? Hype is just a dirty marketing, but I do not remember hearing about them actually lying. Lying means making an official statement that turned out to be false. And so far, there were no official statements regarding new generation of vehicles. If you've seen anything like that, please do provide.

 

What I have seen in this thread is how western people laugh at some fan made pictures and 3d models as if they were from Putin himself, and how they are laughing at "Russian claims" that are in fact rumors and not official statements, or misinterpreted official statements.

 

 

I think we are discussing different things.

 

Do I want to discuss if Sovier designs were bad at protecting crew and passengers? No, not really, they were bad, even when not SO bad in my opinion.

 

Thing is that those machines were made not to have the soldiers safe in the battlefield but to ride them there safely and to fight along with them, I think that they were pretty good for that purpose hence their design is not awful as awful means completelly worthless. Anyhow you just have to take a look at how many countries are using those designs, they use those because those are cheap so they can buy more but that is the point, cost-efficiency.

 

I disagree. After WW1, front lines can shift fast. This means that IFV role is to protect infantry while carrying it around the front line (knowing that you can be fired upon at any time), and to support infantry in combat. That's why IFVs have better protection than APCs. APCs are just taxis, but even taxis can have better doors, you know.

 

Moreover, lets go back to BMP-2D. This side armor upgrade:

 

1024px-BMP2D-Kubinka.JPG

It came out of necessity during Afghanistan war! BMP-2D needed that upgrade. But what did they do with all those BMP-2Ds when they came home? They've UNUPGRADED existing BMP-2Ds back into the usual base models. Like, infantry suddenly stopped needing more protection while riding inside that vehicle. They wanted their amphibious capability back. To hell with protection. And then came Chechnya war. And people had to come up with side armor upgrades again, in the field. Why? Because IFVs are riding around battlefield and face danger. Their passengers face dangers.

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