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Old November 20th, 2012, 11:03 AM   #71
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I think there's an important point that's been missed thus far in the debate - and that's the inability of aircraft to take out tanks.

'No, you're talking rubbish' I hear you shout, however, in my defence I'd like to point to not one, but two incidents which left NATO and the Allied air forces with egg on their collective faces.

The first is the prelude to Operation Desert Storm, or the 1st Gulf War. The Allies had unquestionable air superiority and the Iraqi surface to air defences were woefully inadequate; however, despite having control of the airspace above Iraq, the Allies were unable to completely nullify Iraqi armour from above.

The vast majority of Iraqi armour 'kills' in that war were as a result of superior Allied armour, tanks and ground tactics.

The second your honour, is the NATO air bombing of Serbia (then Yugoslavia) in 1999. The Allies were again unable to nullify the Serbian armour completely, and indeed, there were several intelligence reports made available at the time which hinted at the Iraqi's giving the Serbian's pointers on how to hide their armour from NATO.

In short, my opinion is that tanks are the single most effective ground weapon available in conventional warfare which, when coupled with armoured or mechanised infantry and adequate air and combat (i.e field artillery) support pose a very serious threat.

Yes, they can be taken out. The MILAN 3 and ER and indeed the Javelin are very effective infantry packed anti-tank weapons which can all take out reactive armour - but, having had the dubious pleasure of humping MILAN about for a couple of years, they are not as numerous nor, certainly in the British Army, are there enough fully trained troops within an infantry battalion to make them anything more than a nuisance to large armoured formations. They are typically restricted to the Anti-Tank Platoon which is normally part of Support Company.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 11:26 AM   #72

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You make good points, though i would question that aircraft have an inability to take out tanks. They are certainly effective at takeing out tanks, provided they can find them. Airpower not only has the power to take out tanks, it has the ability to effect the ground commanders use of tanks. The Normandy campaign is a prime example.

I would question your assesment of the numbers of trained AT operators (as i am sure you know, MILAN was replaced by Javelin in the British army a number of years ago). Given the size of a British Inf battalion, and that the AT platoon is, at least on paper, larger than a rifle platoon, i think it is just about right. And again, the effect it can have on the enemy can be higher than the actual effect of the weapon. And of course, AT units do not work alone
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Old November 20th, 2012, 11:30 AM   #73

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Yes been keeping an eye on the altay,if we didn't have a MBT programme of our own we could have considered it i guess as a heavy breakthrough option to complement the t-90 ad upgraded t-72s.,though turkey may not have sold due to relations with pakistan.
In my opinion India shouldn't have bought T-90, instead India should have focused on developing Arjun with the help of Russia/France/Israel etc. from the start. You spent too much time on developing Arjun without a solid outcome, starting from scratch without any help was a bad idea. Anyway past is past, good luck with Arjun MK2.

As for selling Altay to India, i'm not sure what would our government do. Turkey and Pakistan have close ties, they wouldn't want to ruin that, on the other hand they wouln't want to turn down a customer either.

Last edited by KUZGUN; November 20th, 2012 at 11:39 AM.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 11:43 AM   #74

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In my opinion India shouldn't have bought T-90, instead India should have focused on developing Arjun with the help of Russia/France/Israel etc. from the start. You spent too much time on developing Arjun without a solid outcome, starting from scratch without any help was a bad idea. Anyway past is past, good luck with Arjun MK2.

As for selling Altay to India, i'm not sure what would our government do. Turkey and Pakistan have close ties, they wouldn't want to ruin that, on the other hand they wouln't want to turn down a customer either.
yes, politics will prevail in sales rather than profit. as it happened with leopard 2. i am sure Krauss-Maffei wouldn't care at all to sell to turkey. but then again they're selling to greeks as well. so the german state and possibly EU intervenes and restricts the sales. actually i am a bit glad that happened, otherwise altay project wouldn't have been conceived.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 11:47 AM   #75
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I'm not saying aircraft can't take out tanks; they can if, as you point out, they can find them. Which they were unable to do effectively in either the first Gulf war or Serbia. They can also affect a ground commander's decision on whether to risk their armour or not; however, aircraft, whilst an effective tool, have limitations which can severely limit their participation.

In my experience Support Company platoons are slightly smaller than rifle platoons. Heavy Machine Gun and Mortar Platoons would typically field between 9-12 gun or mortar teams and the Anti-Tank platoon would field a similar number of MILAN teams.

Anti-tank will typically work with the mortar platoon whilst HMG will be farmed out for rifle company support. Occasionally, HMG and mortars would work together, something they do very effectively against infantry.

In a purely infantry role, both MILAN and Javelin are hampered by the number of rounds that the teams can carry. Once you put any of the systems into a vehicle, AV432 or Bulldog for instance, then they negate that at the cost of presenting a larger target.

Against small numbers of armour Anti-tank can be very effective, but, I still maintain that against large armoured formations, without either air or friendly armoured support they are nothing more than a nuisance.

In the bad old days when the Russians were the 'baddies' our life expectancy was given at 3 minutes once contact was made with Soviet armour.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 11:50 AM   #76

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Western powers are underestimating the tank because they have got used to air superiority,take out air superiority and apaches taking potshots and tanks with trained crews and not conscripts like the arab armies are still very very good in land warfare,you see in russia[armata being developed],china,pakistan,india are all updating and building newer mbts in the thousands .That because they don't take air superiority for granted.
now that's a good point, western armies have gotten so used to having airsupport all the time they may forget to think that it may not always come so easily. its fine when your fighting outdated armies like Iraq or other third world countries yet when facing a major superpower then they may find that the air force can not do it all on its own, however many drones and guided missiles you use when it comes time for ground forces to move in they need the mobility and firepower of tanks to either brake through heavy resistance or outmaneuver the enemy. do not Israeli many wars with the arab states over the last few decades not show this?
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Old November 20th, 2012, 11:54 AM   #77

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yes, politics will prevail in sales rather than profit. as it happened with leopard 2. i am sure Krauss-Maffei wouldn't care at all to sell to turkey. but then again they're selling to greeks as well. so the german state and possibly EU intervenes and restricts the sales. actually i am a bit glad that happened, otherwise altay project wouldn't have been conceived.
Do you know T-155 Fırtına?

T-155 F

Azerbaijan is interested in buying Fırtına. But Fırtına has a German engine and Germany prevents the sale of Fırtına to Azerbaijan, because of Azerbaijan-Armenian conflict. Turkey plans to develop a new engine for both Fırtına and Altay, so we can sell them to whoever the **** we want. Unfortunately the first batch of Altays will have a German engine as well. BS...
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Old November 20th, 2012, 11:59 AM   #78

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Originally Posted by irishcrusader95 View Post
now that's a good point, western armies have gotten so used to having airsupport all the time they may forget to think that it may not always come so easily. its fine when your fighting outdated armies like Iraq or other third world countries yet when facing a major superpower then they may find that the air force can not do it all on its own, however many drones and guided missiles you use when it comes time for ground forces to move in they need the mobility and firepower of tanks to either brake through heavy resistance or outmaneuver the enemy. do not Israeli many wars with the arab states over the last few decades not show this?
Quote:
Originally Posted by harbinger View Post
Western powers are underestimating the tank because they have got used to air superiority,take out air superiority and apaches taking potshots and tanks with trained crews and not conscripts like the arab armies are still very very good in land warfare,you see in russia[armata being developed],china,pakistan,india are all updating and building newer mbts in the thousands .That because they don't take air superiority for granted.
good points.
also air superiority is really effective on flat terrain like in iraq, libya, egypt and syria. on mountainous terrain i think it is less effective (afghanistan?).
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Old November 20th, 2012, 12:18 PM   #79

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Originally Posted by KUZGUN View Post
Do you know T-155 Fırtına?

T-155 F

Azerbaijan is interested in buying Fırtına. But Fırtına has a German engine and Germany prevents the sale of Fırtına to Azerbaijan, because of Azerbaijan-Armenian conflict. Turkey plans to develop a new engine for both Fırtına and Altay, so we can sell them to whoever the **** we want. Unfortunately the first batch of Altays will have a German engine as well. BS...
yes, i had heard about it. but i really didnt pay much attention to it except it was a s. korean K-9 variant (i mean, who really cares about howitzers?). they both have MTU Friedrichshafen diesel engines (MT 881 Ka-500 model). also the engine in altay will be a supercharged MTU diesel (MB-883-Ka500). they're both "old school" diesel engines thus reliable. although both engines are "old school", it is not easy to create a good/reliable engine from scratch. but i hope in the near future they replace those MTU engines with turkish models. right now, afaik there is only one company makes engines in turkey and that is TÜLOMSAŞ. but they only produce for rolling stocks. i think they already have the know-how with large capacity diesel engines, though. it will be costly to create a new armored vehicle engine but it can be done in turkey.

also, georgia and azerbaijan are good customers. they have small amount but modern equipment and they want to keep it so. turkey should take advantage of this.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 01:03 PM   #80

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Originally Posted by HBT View Post
I'm not saying aircraft can't take out tanks; they can if, as you point out, they can find them. Which they were unable to do effectively in either the first Gulf war or Serbia. They can also affect a ground commander's decision on whether to risk their armour or not; however, aircraft, whilst an effective tool, have limitations which can severely limit their participation.

In my experience Support Company platoons are slightly smaller than rifle platoons. Heavy Machine Gun and Mortar Platoons would typically field between 9-12 gun or mortar teams and the Anti-Tank platoon would field a similar number of MILAN teams.

Anti-tank will typically work with the mortar platoon whilst HMG will be farmed out for rifle company support. Occasionally, HMG and mortars would work together, something they do very effectively against infantry.

In a purely infantry role, both MILAN and Javelin are hampered by the number of rounds that the teams can carry. Once you put any of the systems into a vehicle, AV432 or Bulldog for instance, then they negate that at the cost of presenting a larger target.

Against small numbers of armour Anti-tank can be very effective, but, I still maintain that against large armoured formations, without either air or friendly armoured support they are nothing more than a nuisance.

In the bad old days when the Russians were the 'baddies' our life expectancy was given at 3 minutes once contact was made with Soviet armour.
Its not my experiance that MILAN and mortars worked together. A MILAN Det would normally be assigned to each rifle Company as would a Mortar MFC. But the rest of the Mortars would be further back. MILAN needs to be up front.

Yes, the number of missiles carried in limited, but then once rounds are fired, you want to be moving to a new position, during which time you can pick up fresh rounds from your vehicle. yes vehicles present a larger target, but the vehicles for AT teams are generally nothing more than taxi's. With modern vehciles such as warrior, you have a degree of fire support with you. But when AT teams are deploying, the vehciles should be out of sight.

Yes, AT teams alone can only have minimal effect. Thats what they work in conjunction with other arms, such as armour. They can't stop a large armoured attack, despite what we may have been taught, but they can make them look the other way and cause major problems.

The biggest threat to a tank is not another tank, or a plane. It is a single soldier with a hand held AT weapon.
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