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Light, Mobile, and Many: Rethinking the Future of Armor[W:54]

Rogue Valley

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Light, Mobile, and Many: Rethinking the Future of Armor - Modern War Institute

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By Capt. Harrison (Brandon) Morgan
1/3/19

Since victory in World War II, the United States Army has leveraged the nation’s economic prowess to invest in increasingly heavy, technologically complex combat platforms. Our appetite for armor is clear, and comes from the belief that maximum protection, firepower, and technology, combined with the cognitive skill of the all-volunteer force, will produce the most supreme mechanized units on the battlefield. During Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom, and portions of Operation Enduring Freedom, this concept proved valid, as American Abrams tanks, Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, and later Stryker armored fighting vehicles twice devastated Saddam Hussein’s army and helped seize Taliban-controlled territory in Afghanistan. These campaigns, though, will likely be markedly different than the multi-domain battlefield against a peer adversary the Army anticipates in the twenty-first century. Rather, the struggle for temporary periods of supremacy in air, sea, land, cyber, and space, coupled with the increasing vulnerability of battlefield supply lines, will prove increasingly challenging for our current armored formations, requiring a fundamental shift in the acquisition, training, and employment of our mechanized forces.

The article goes on to examine some of the future challenges facing US battle armor and relevant suggestions
 

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Light, Mobile, and Many: Rethinking the Future of Armor - Modern War Institute

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The article goes on to examine some of the future challenges facing US battle armor and relevant suggestions

This is largely pointless because of how the US military is configured. And the M1 is not a "Heavy Tank", it is a "Main Battle Tank". That means it is a more versatile tank which tries to fulfil many needs at once (not unlike how the M16 series of rifles can fulfil roles ranging from a submachine gun, battle rifle, and machine gun among others).

At one time we had multiple tanks. Even as recently as Desert Storm, we used 4 different tanks. The M551 Sheridan, the M48 Patton, the M60 Patton, and the M1 Abrams. But since then because of budget cuts, mission overlap and to simplify logistics we have settled on a single platform.

Now I do not see "drone tanks" being a thing, there is simply little need or purpose for one. If you remove all of the space for the crew on a modern tank, you still have a freaking huge vehicle. Take the cannon out of a tank and tow it instead, then transportation for it's ammo and you still have the same mass as a tank (or something like the M109 Paladin), and roughly the same size. So you really save nothing by removing the personnel from inside and replacing them with electronics and servos.

Because of the widespread use of anti-tank missiles on the battlefield today, I can not see the "light tank" ever making a comeback.
 

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This is largely pointless because of how the US military is configured. And the M1 is not a "Heavy Tank", it is a "Main Battle Tank". That means it is a more versatile tank which tries to fulfil many needs at once (not unlike how the M16 series of rifles can fulfil roles ranging from a submachine gun, battle rifle, and machine gun among others).

At one time we had multiple tanks. Even as recently as Desert Storm, we used 4 different tanks. The M551 Sheridan, the M48 Patton, the M60 Patton, and the M1 Abrams. But since then because of budget cuts, mission overlap and to simplify logistics we have settled on a single platform.

Now I do not see "drone tanks" being a thing, there is simply little need or purpose for one. If you remove all of the space for the crew on a modern tank, you still have a freaking huge vehicle. Take the cannon out of a tank and tow it instead, then transportation for it's ammo and you still have the same mass as a tank (or something like the M109 Paladin), and roughly the same size. So you really save nothing by removing the personnel from inside and replacing them with electronics and servos.

Because of the widespread use of anti-tank missiles on the battlefield today, I can not see the "light tank" ever making a comeback.

The Striker MGS is almost a light tank. There are a lot of areas in the world in which the Abrams is too large and heavy to operate. Or would take to long to deploy. The Striker might be too light (under armed with a 105 mm gun, and under armoured for what they are looking for however
 

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The Striker MGS is almost a light tank. There are a lot of areas in the world in which the Abrams is too large and heavy to operate. Or would take to long to deploy. The Striker might be too light (under armed with a 105 mm gun, and under armoured for what they are looking for however

The Stryker IFV is not a tank at all. It is a light Infantry Fighting Vehicle. At it's heart is the M1126 Infantry Carrier Vehicle, based on the Canadian LAV III. It fulfills the same role as the BMP, M113, AMPHTRAK, M2 Bradley, and every other armored personnel carrier in use around the world. They may have some decent firepower, but they are not tanks, and should never be used as tanks. They are to take a fire team from one place to another quickly, and provide protection from small arms and give some more offensive punch than from conventional carried weapons.

Nothing more, nothing less.
 

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The Striker MGS is almost a light tank. There are a lot of areas in the world in which the Abrams is too large and heavy to operate. Or would take to long to deploy. The Striker might be too light (under armed with a 105 mm gun, and under armoured for what they are looking for however

That's why we maintain light infantry units. And mechanized infantry units have to be trained and ready to transition to a light infantry organization.

We tried the "light, fast" armor doctrine in WW2 and it was a failure. I'm not sure why anyone would think it would work, now.
 

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The Stryker IFV is not a tank at all. It is a light Infantry Fighting Vehicle. At it's heart is the M1126 Infantry Carrier Vehicle, based on the Canadian LAV III. It fulfills the same role as the BMP, M113, AMPHTRAK, M2 Bradley, and every other armored personnel carrier in use around the world. They may have some decent firepower, but they are not tanks, and should never be used as tanks. They are to take a fire team from one place to another quickly, and provide protection from small arms and give some more offensive punch than from conventional carried weapons.

Nothing more, nothing less.

The Stryker MGS is not the same vehicle as the Stryker IFV, and doesn't have the same mission. I agree that even the MGS is not a tank.
 

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The Stryker IFV is not a tank at all. It is a light Infantry Fighting Vehicle. At it's heart is the M1126 Infantry Carrier Vehicle, based on the Canadian LAV III. It fulfills the same role as the BMP, M113, AMPHTRAK, M2 Bradley, and every other armored personnel carrier in use around the world. They may have some decent firepower, but they are not tanks, and should never be used as tanks. They are to take a fire team from one place to another quickly, and provide protection from small arms and give some more offensive punch than from conventional carried weapons.

Nothing more, nothing less.

The Stryker MGS is essentially an anti armor platform, it only carries vehicle crew. My brother was a driver for the Stryker unit out of Ft. Lewis. As for you supposition that ground based rpv/drones cannot or are not able to take a more active role in combat, you are quite mistaken. You need only armor vehicle with enough armor that it is resistant to small arms fire up to say 20mm and arm the vehicle with a VLS type of armaments system that can hold say 10 or so anti vehicle missiles, and make sure the unit is fast and cheap. Use it as a scouting/ harassing unit. Or for massed attacks. In any case drones are by their nature eminently more disposable and replaceable than human beings and so can be used for more aggressive and suicidal type tactics. There lots a of uses to them, especially if they are more autonomous and not simply a RPV. The thing is autonomous warfare is coming and there will be many surprises along the way. I predict that guns are going to make a comeback in aerial warfare and I would not be surprised to see missiles of all types mitigated to a degree that the gun comes unto its own again. We already are mounting in chaff and flare dispenser racks small disposable recon drones. It aint hard to figure out that engineers are working to make those flares and chaff more effective, maybe by say intercepting incoming missiles. They dont even have to explode just have the missile run into them by being in the missiles path.
 

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That's why we maintain light infantry units. And mechanized infantry units have to be trained and ready to transition to a light infantry organization.

We tried the "light, fast" armor doctrine in WW2 and it was a failure. I'm not sure why anyone would think it would work, now.

It actually was not a failure except when used to compete with heavy armor, the light tanks like the sherman were designed to attack swiftly against the enemy rear, not to complement infantry or to combat other armor.
 

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This is largely pointless because of how the US military is configured. And the M1 is not a "Heavy Tank", it is a "Main Battle Tank". That means it is a more versatile tank which tries to fulfil many needs at once (not unlike how the M16 series of rifles can fulfil roles ranging from a submachine gun, battle rifle, and machine gun among others).

At one time we had multiple tanks. Even as recently as Desert Storm, we used 4 different tanks. The M551 Sheridan, the M48 Patton, the M60 Patton, and the M1 Abrams. But since then because of budget cuts, mission overlap and to simplify logistics we have settled on a single platform.

Now I do not see "drone tanks" being a thing, there is simply little need or purpose for one. If you remove all of the space for the crew on a modern tank, you still have a freaking huge vehicle. Take the cannon out of a tank and tow it instead, then transportation for it's ammo and you still have the same mass as a tank (or something like the M109 Paladin), and roughly the same size. So you really save nothing by removing the personnel from inside and replacing them with electronics and servos.

Because of the widespread use of anti-tank missiles on the battlefield today, I can not see the "light tank" ever making a comeback.

On the bolded russia has already proven that concept wrong, as heavier tanks like the abrahms are very vulnerable to anti missiles as much as light tanks, but reactive armor has proven to be more effective against ied's and anti tank missiles than even the best traditional armor, while traditional armor has proven better in tank on tank battles where kinetic energy is the key force.

The russians use the t-90 as well as upgraded t-72 tanks with such armor, in such environments as the middle east performing the sam job as the abrahms, the reactive armor medium tanks outdone the bigger abrahms by leaps and bounds. Russia is not the only one using that concept either, israel uses similar concepts with their modified m-60 tanks, as well as their in house designed tank.

Kinetic armor heavy tanks are great for tank on tank battles but are aweful for insurgency fighting as well as combat that is in urban areas that lack open spaces, having a small to medium tank with reactive armor would fill any shortcomings the military has in tank warfare, until then the m1 is the king of a battle no one is fighting, and the loser of the one every is fighting.
 

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It actually was not a failure except when used to compete with heavy armor, the light tanks like the sherman were designed to attack swiftly against the enemy rear, not to complement infantry or to combat other armor.

Our in ability to kill anything on the battlefield cost more lives than necessary. The failure was armor doctrine that was too heavily specialised. The lessons learned then are what gave us main battle tanks that could fulfill a multi-purpose role, including killing anything in the battlefield.
 

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Our in ability to kill anything on the battlefield cost more lives than necessary. The failure was armor doctrine that was too heavily specialised. The lessons learned then are what gave us main battle tanks that could fulfill a multi-purpose role, including killing anything in the battlefield.

That is the problem, main battle tanks as the one size fit all have performed worse than muktiple tank types, israel has the merkava and the m-60 as well as a few other types, the merkava has had during the last lebanon war 42 out of 50 tanks hit taken out of war, that is a pitiful ratio. In iraw the us lists only few abrahms as being destroyed, but the us uses a lenient determination meaning if the hole crew dies and 50% of the tank is destroyed and it can be salvaged it is not destroyed.


Meanwhile russia took epic losses with their t-80 tanks in chechnya in both wars, yet lost very few t-72 n tanks and zero t-90 tanks, and even to this day in proven combat there has been only one t-90 lost, however the t-90 is used in combat it was geared for. Fyi the russian t-80 is the russian equivilent of the m1, originally turbine powered then later switched to piston diesel, in all instances they found the bigger tanks were death traps in anything but tank on tank battles in open areas.
 

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That is the problem, main battle tanks as the one size fit all have performed worse than muktiple tank types, israel has the merkava and the m-60 as well as a few other types, the merkava has had during the last lebanon war 42 out of 50 tanks hit taken out of war, that is a pitiful ratio. In iraw the us lists only few abrahms as being destroyed, but the us uses a lenient determination meaning if the hole crew dies and 50% of the tank is destroyed and it can be salvaged it is not destroyed.


Meanwhile russia took epic losses with their t-80 tanks in chechnya in both wars, yet lost very few t-72 n tanks and zero t-90 tanks, and even to this day in proven combat there has been only one t-90 lost, however the t-90 is used in combat it was geared for. Fyi the russian t-80 is the russian equivilent of the m1, originally turbine powered then later switched to piston diesel, in all instances they found the bigger tanks were death traps in anything but tank on tank battles in open areas.

Nothing is 100%. No single piece of equipment is without limits. The three things thst must be taken into consideration with any fighting vehicle are mobility, firepower and protection.

A "tank" that can be destroyed, or at least be inflicted with a mobility kill with a machine gun, or large bore rifle (Barret 107 BMG), is useless as a "tank", no matter how it may out-perform an M-1 Abrams in certain scenarios.

Some terrain just isn't suited for armored warfare. That's a reality that has to be accepted and planned for. Tactics are the root of all military operations. In the case of the IDF losing 42 out of 50 tanks, that's a problem with their tactics, not the tank, since Hezbollah doesn't have armored forces.

There are always tweaks that can be made to the M-1, but as far as size, mobility and firepower go, there isn't much than can be done to improve the system. The only exception I would note is that if there was a way to create an equally powerful system, with smaller overall dimensions, especially height, that would be a better tank.

The infantry fighting vehicle, the Bradley, is a brilliant concept, pure tactical genius, especially if the proper tactics are empliyed. The only problem was the vehicle itself and primarily it's size. It was too big for it's mission. Height being the biggest problem. The Bradley is about 18 inches taller than the M-1. That doesn't sound like much, until you're trying to find cover and concealment from enemy fire.
 

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Nothing is 100%. No single piece of equipment is without limits. The three things thst must be taken into consideration with any fighting vehicle are mobility, firepower and protection.

A "tank" that can be destroyed, or at least be inflicted with a mobility kill with a machine gun, or large bore rifle (Barret 107 BMG), is useless as a "tank", no matter how it may out-perform an M-1 Abrams in certain scenarios.

Some terrain just isn't suited for armored warfare. That's a reality that has to be accepted and planned for. Tactics are the root of all military operations. In the case of the IDF losing 42 out of 50 tanks, that's a problem with their tactics, not the tank, since Hezbollah doesn't have armored forces.

There are always tweaks that can be made to the M-1, but as far as size, mobility and firepower go, there isn't much than can be done to improve the system. The only exception I would note is that if there was a way to create an equally powerful system, with smaller overall dimensions, especially height, that would be a better tank.

The infantry fighting vehicle, the Bradley, is a brilliant concept, pure tactical genius, especially if the proper tactics are empliyed. The only problem was the vehicle itself and primarily it's size. It was too big for it's mission. Height being the biggest problem. The Bradley is about 18 inches taller than the M-1. That doesn't sound like much, until you're trying to find cover and concealment from enemy fire.

The Striker MGS I expect can withstand hits from rounds less than 30 mm.

A light tank would not be something the US would have in large quantities. But a few hundred, to allow for rapid deployment or to have heavier equipment in areas which the Abrams can not be used (terrain limited).

As for Hezbollah, they have operated older tanks (I believe either T64's) in the past. But the loses on Israeli tanks were due to the tanks operating in confined locations, with little foot soldier support. That allowed Hezbollah to get behind the Israeli tanks and hit them in the most vulnerable locations (rear) or create mobility kills. Tanks in urban locations are easy targets unless supported by foot soldiers, the majority of Russian losses in Chechnya were in Grozny, when Chechens held the high ground (buildings) and fired down on top of the T84 tanks
 

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The Striker MGS I expect can withstand hits from rounds less than 30 mm.

A light tank would not be something the US would have in large quantities. But a few hundred, to allow for rapid deployment or to have heavier equipment in areas which the Abrams can not be used (terrain limited).

As for Hezbollah, they have operated older tanks (I believe either T64's) in the past. But the loses on Israeli tanks were due to the tanks operating in confined locations, with little foot soldier support. That allowed Hezbollah to get behind the Israeli tanks and hit them in the most vulnerable locations (rear) or create mobility kills. Tanks in urban locations are easy targets unless supported by foot soldiers, the majority of Russian losses in Chechnya were in Grozny, when Chechens held the high ground (buildings) and fired down on top of the T84 tanks

A 30mm would make swiss cheese out of a Stryker. A 50 BMG round can disable it, at the least and probably kill the crew.

Easier, quicker deployment is useless if the tank lacks the survivability to hold the ground.


As for Hezbollah, they have operated older tanks (I believe either T64's) in the past. But the loses on Israeli tanks were due to the tanks operating in confined locations, with little foot soldier support. That allowed Hezbollah to get behind the Israeli tanks and hit them in the most vulnerable locations (rear) or create mobility kills.Tanks in urban locations are easy targets unless supported by foot soldiers, the majority of Russian losses in Chechnya were in Grozny, when Chechens held the high ground (buildings) and fired down on top of the T84 tanks


That' what I meant by a problem with their tactics. The most dangerous threat to an armored vehicle is a dismounted infantryman with anti-armor capabilities.
 

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Nothing is 100%. No single piece of equipment is without limits. The three things thst must be taken into consideration with any fighting vehicle are mobility, firepower and protection.

A "tank" that can be destroyed, or at least be inflicted with a mobility kill with a machine gun, or large bore rifle (Barret 107 BMG), is useless as a "tank", no matter how it may out-perform an M-1 Abrams in certain scenarios.

Some terrain just isn't suited for armored warfare. That's a reality that has to be accepted and planned for. Tactics are the root of all military operations. In the case of the IDF losing 42 out of 50 tanks, that's a problem with their tactics, not the tank, since Hezbollah doesn't have armored forces.

There are always tweaks that can be made to the M-1, but as far as size, mobility and firepower go, there isn't much than can be done to improve the system. The only exception I would note is that if there was a way to create an equally powerful system, with smaller overall dimensions, especially height, that would be a better tank.

The infantry fighting vehicle, the Bradley, is a brilliant concept, pure tactical genius, especially if the proper tactics are empliyed. The only problem was the vehicle itself and primarily it's size. It was too big for it's mission. Height being the biggest problem. The Bradley is about 18 inches taller than the M-1. That doesn't sound like much, until you're trying to find cover and concealment from enemy fire.

The us military believes the light and mobile is worth it, the abrahms m3 is going to be smaller medium armor, which is to adress where the m1 lacks and where the m-60 used to fill the role. The reality is you do not need 20 tank designs to be effective, but the one size fits all design has failed badly whenever tried, it failed the russians in chechnya when the t-80 could not maneuver through the streets, it failed for israel in the same urban environments, it even failed with the m1 between america in iraq part two, for iraq against isis, and the uae and qatar against houthi rebels.

The abrahms by itself would have been great if we engineered wars towards it's capabilities however that is impossible, for urban combat you need smaller tanks with reactive armor or some other form of anti tank missile protection as kinetic armor is worthless against them. Russia has used the t-90 which is a mod of the t-72 with one of the best track records for tanks in combat against insurgencies and urban combat using reactive armor, israel has widely used the m-60 tank to much success in urban combat, israel often uses the trophy system over reactive armor which shoots down the missile with a oversized shotgun rather than reactive armor. I am not sure the m60 has the trophy system but the merkava has it.
 

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The us military believes the light and mobile is worth it, the abrahms m3 is going to be smaller medium armor, which is to adress where the m1 lacks and where the m-60 used to fill the role. The reality is you do not need 20 tank designs to be effective, but the one size fits all design has failed badly whenever tried, it failed the russians in chechnya when the t-80 could not maneuver through the streets, it failed for israel in the same urban environments, it even failed with the m1 between america in iraq part two, for iraq against isis, and the uae and qatar against houthi rebels.

The abrahms by itself would have been great if we engineered wars towards it's capabilities however that is impossible, for urban combat you need smaller tanks with reactive armor or some other form of anti tank missile protection as kinetic armor is worthless against them. Russia has used the t-90 which is a mod of the t-72 with one of the best track records for tanks in combat against insurgencies and urban combat using reactive armor, israel has widely used the m-60 tank to much success in urban combat, israel often uses the trophy system over reactive armor which shoots down the missile with a oversized shotgun rather than reactive armor. I am not sure the m60 has the trophy system but the merkava has it.

Tanks are death traps in an urban environment. It's a mistake to use tanks, or any kind of armored vehicle in a roll other than fire support, from a position that's already been secured.

This is a good example of why armored vehicles in an urban area are a bad idea.



The US armed forces has already been down the specialty tank road. It didn't work then and it won't work now.
 

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Tanks are death traps in an urban environment. It's a mistake to use tanks, or any kind of armored vehicle in a roll other than fire support, from a position that's already been secured.

This is a good example of why armored vehicles in an urban area are a bad idea.



The US armed forces has already been down the specialty tank road. It didn't work then and it won't work now.


you are also using a t-72 as an example, which if not using reactive armor is a lesser armored tank even more vulnerable to attack. The t-90 based off the t-72 used in chechnya and syria has only suffered a single loss, the t-90 was so good with it's reactive armor it surprised the russians in grozny when one took an absurd number of direct rpg hits and not only did it not destroy the tank but it still remained in service to continue fighting. It shown that the t-90 was specialized against insurgent fighting and urban combat, while it may lose head on against an abrahms, it vastly outperforms it in the wars the us is currently fighting.

The military leaders are not blind to this problem, they want a tank that is at minumum on par and ideally far better than the t-90 at insurgency and urban combat roles. The abrahms m-3 is shaping to take that role, and to say we only need the heavy tank is absurd as tank on tank warfar other than in iraq 1 against cheaply made soviet copycats has only been a big mode of warfare in ww2, this leaves most ww2 history using tanks for things besides tank on tank battles, and the military needs to expand it's tank forces to match the fights it has not the fights it wants.

Fyi the specialty tank road worked quite well for the us, the reason it was ended was not because it was inneffective, but to simplify logistics, the same way they are pushing the f-35 as a one size fits all jet even though it does not perform any specific role any better than a specialized jet and in many cases far worse.
 
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On the bolded russia has already proven that concept wrong, as heavier tanks like the abrahms are very vulnerable to anti missiles as much as light tanks, but reactive armor has proven to be more effective against ied's and anti tank missiles than even the best traditional armor, while traditional armor has proven better in tank on tank battles where kinetic energy is the key force.

But it takes larger missiles to do so.

A light missile like a LAW or RPG-7 can not penetrate the hull of an MBT like the M1, it is far to small and light. At best, you might get a lucky shot with a DRAGON or a similar missile, but you really need something on the scale of a TOW to do any real damage.

A light tank or APC on the other hand (BMP, LAV, M2, etc) can be seriously damaged by a LAW or RPG-7, and a DRAGON will destroy it.

There are enemies all over the place with the RPG-7. But you rarely see them running around with the AT-7 SAXHORN or the AT-14 SPRIGGAN.

This is why whenever we did training with our light anti-tank missiles (LAW, AT-4, Mk-153 SMAW) we were trained to ignore the Soviet battle tanks (T-62, T-64, T-72, T-80, etc) and instead go for the "Bimps". Our weapons were simply not powerful enough to do damage to them, so we concentrate on the support vehicles. The DRAGON and TOW gunners went after the tanks (or if we had them they would light them up with the AN/PAQ-3 MULE and get them with the M712 COPPERHEAD).

There have been many changes in equipment over the years, the MULE is gone and they use the AN/PED-1 LLDR, the DRAGON is replaces with the JAVELIN. But the principle for when and how to use anti-tank missiles has not changed. You do not go hunting lions with a .22 rifle, you use that against the smaller game as the big guns go after the big game.
 

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But it takes larger missiles to do so.

A light missile like a LAW or RPG-7 can not penetrate the hull of an MBT like the M1, it is far to small and light. At best, you might get a lucky shot with a DRAGON or a similar missile, but you really need something on the scale of a TOW to do any real damage.

A light tank or APC on the other hand (BMP, LAV, M2, etc) can be seriously damaged by a LAW or RPG-7, and a DRAGON will destroy it.

There are enemies all over the place with the RPG-7. But you rarely see them running around with the AT-7 SAXHORN or the AT-14 SPRIGGAN.

This is why whenever we did training with our light anti-tank missiles (LAW, AT-4, Mk-153 SMAW) we were trained to ignore the Soviet battle tanks (T-62, T-64, T-72, T-80, etc) and instead go for the "Bimps". Our weapons were simply not powerful enough to do damage to them, so we concentrate on the support vehicles. The DRAGON and TOW gunners went after the tanks (or if we had them they would light them up with the AN/PAQ-3 MULE and get them with the M712 COPPERHEAD).

There have been many changes in equipment over the years, the MULE is gone and they use the AN/PED-1 LLDR, the DRAGON is replaces with the JAVELIN. But the principle for when and how to use anti-tank missiles has not changed. You do not go hunting lions with a .22 rifle, you use that against the smaller game as the big guns go after the big game.

An rpg can disable an m1 if used right, but you are correct one will not penetrate the hull, it would take multiple rpg's to do that and that would be considering the were all hitting in the same general area.

However tow missiles the rusian konkurs and kornet are all widely available, The us has handed tow missiles to proxy forces for a long time, and russia has done the same with their missiles. The game changer is iran, they have reverse engineered and produced their own kornet missile, which is the one shredding saudi and uae m1 tanks in yemen. Those same missiles the kornet were also used by lebanon with far less success when israel started using the trophy system, which shot the missle before it could hit, which is impressive since the kornet does not follow a strait path but bounces around wildly in an unpredictable path until right before it's target.

In todays age simple ied's and things like iranian copies of russian anti tank missiles has made traditional tanks with kinetic armor an easy target. The tactics have been changing and all militaries must adapt to it, it is no longer vietnam where an rpg2 and anti tank mines were the biggest threat to armor.
 

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An rpg can disable an m1 if used right, but you are correct one will not penetrate the hull, it would take multiple rpg's to do that and that would be considering the were all hitting in the same general area.

Which has actually happened a single time, with an upgraded RPG-7V2. One time, it hit a weak spot just perfect and penetrated the hull and punctured the fuel tank of an M1, rendering it a "mobility kill". But the tank was recovered and returned to service in short order.

And yes, I am also familiar with volley-fire tactics. We were also trained for that with the LAW-AT4-SMAW. As in "If you absolutely have no other choice but to do this, this is how you try to take out a tank". In the hopes that enough of us could get accurate hits in the same location before the support and machine guns on the tank took us out (or their supporting Infantry dismounted and swept us from the area).

However tow missiles the rusian konkurs and kornet are all widely available, The us has handed tow missiles to proxy forces for a long time, and russia has done the same with their missiles. The game changer is iran, they have reverse engineered and produced their own kornet missile, which is the one shredding saudi and uae m1 tanks in yemen. Those same missiles the kornet were also used by lebanon with far less success when israel started using the trophy system, which shot the missle before it could hit, which is impressive since the kornet does not follow a strait path but bounces around wildly in an unpredictable path until right before it's target.

Which is not the same thing as being commonly used.

Yes, at the Platoon and Company level, we had the AT4, LAW and SMAW. But if we wanted DRAGON or TOW, we had to call on help from Battalion. On average, you have maybe 1 AT4 per Platoon, and 1 SMAW per Platoon. But Dragon, then you might have 2 gunners per Company, and 1 TOW gunner per Company. And this is the general average on a regular Marine TO&E Infantry Battalion (circa 1990, I doubt it has changed much since then).

It takes a lot more logistics and training to support DRAGON or TOW gunners. I have not said they are not around, but there are far fewer of them than of the RPG-7. Yes, we have heavy .50 cal sniper rifles in use in the military. But outside of a Dog & Pony show most in the military will never see one (let alone see one used).

Oh, and I am also aware of the use of the AT-14 in Egypt, Iraq, and Yemen. Those were stockpiles looted from Libya, and date to no later than 2015. And from all appearances they have all been expended and have not been used in years. Almost all of those kills were on M60 tanks, other than a single Iraqi M1A1 (base model without armor upgrades). It was struck with what is reported to be 5 AT-14, and 10 other anti-tank missiles ranging from RPG-7 to M70 OSA rockets. It is doubtful that a US force would allow itself to be put into a position where a single tank could be targeted with that many missiles at one time.

And yea, the US sold the TOW to both Iraq and Iran. Over 30 years ago, any such missiles have long degraded to being worthless. And the missile itself is worthless unless it is still serviceable, with the required launcher, launching equipment, and trained personnel top operate it.
 

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Which has actually happened a single time, with an upgraded RPG-7V2. One time, it hit a weak spot just perfect and penetrated the hull and punctured the fuel tank of an M1, rendering it a "mobility kill". But the tank was recovered and returned to service in short order.

And yes, I am also familiar with volley-fire tactics. We were also trained for that with the LAW-AT4-SMAW. As in "If you absolutely have no other choice but to do this, this is how you try to take out a tank". In the hopes that enough of us could get accurate hits in the same location before the support and machine guns on the tank took us out (or their supporting Infantry dismounted and swept us from the area).



Which is not the same thing as being commonly used.

Yes, at the Platoon and Company level, we had the AT4, LAW and SMAW. But if we wanted DRAGON or TOW, we had to call on help from Battalion. On average, you have maybe 1 AT4 per Platoon, and 1 SMAW per Platoon. But Dragon, then you might have 2 gunners per Company, and 1 TOW gunner per Company. And this is the general average on a regular Marine TO&E Infantry Battalion (circa 1990, I doubt it has changed much since then).

It takes a lot more logistics and training to support DRAGON or TOW gunners. I have not said they are not around, but there are far fewer of them than of the RPG-7. Yes, we have heavy .50 cal sniper rifles in use in the military. But outside of a Dog & Pony show most in the military will never see one (let alone see one used).

Oh, and I am also aware of the use of the AT-14 in Egypt, Iraq, and Yemen. Those were stockpiles looted from Libya, and date to no later than 2015. And from all appearances they have all been expended and have not been used in years. Almost all of those kills were on M60 tanks, other than a single Iraqi M1A1 (base model without armor upgrades). It was struck with what is reported to be 5 AT-14, and 10 other anti-tank missiles ranging from RPG-7 to M70 OSA rockets. It is doubtful that a US force would allow itself to be put into a position where a single tank could be targeted with that many missiles at one time.

And yea, the US sold the TOW to both Iraq and Iran. Over 30 years ago, any such missiles have long degraded to being worthless. And the missile itself is worthless unless it is still serviceable, with the required launcher, launching equipment, and trained personnel top operate it.

The at14 aka the kornet was not just stockpiles from libya, iran produces them to this day and has widely disttributed them, currently in yemen the kornet is the favorite of houthi rebels, and has been shown in viedeo taking out mraps abrahms and m60 tanks, they literally proved to be devastating.

Prior to iran reverse engineering them, the kornet was not in very wide circulations, and it's capabilities are the same as the javelin but with a different approach, where the javelin hits from the weak spot on top, later konkurs and kornet missiles used multi level explosions to both wipe out conventional and reactive armor.
 

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That is the problem, main battle tanks as the one size fit all have performed worse than muktiple tank types, israel has the merkava and the m-60 as well as a few other types, the merkava has had during the last lebanon war 42 out of 50 tanks hit taken out of war, that is a pitiful ratio. In iraw the us lists only few abrahms as being destroyed, but the us uses a lenient determination meaning if the hole crew dies and 50% of the tank is destroyed and it can be salvaged it is not destroyed.


Meanwhile russia took epic losses with their t-80 tanks in chechnya in both wars, yet lost very few t-72 n tanks and zero t-90 tanks, and even to this day in proven combat there has been only one t-90 lost, however the t-90 is used in combat it was geared for. Fyi the russian t-80 is the russian equivilent of the m1, originally turbine powered then later switched to piston diesel, in all instances they found the bigger tanks were death traps in anything but tank on tank battles in open areas.

Jesus Christ this post is so full of inaccuracies it physically made me cringe.

For starters, Israel doesn't keep different tank types because they like using them for different roles, at least that's not the overaching reason. Israel keeps whatever military hardware it can get it's hands on because Israel knows that a large portion of the world doesn't like it, and it may one day face embargoes that cripple it's ability to procure arms overseas. So maintaining stockpiles of old equipment and dozens of different models allows them to have something in reserve.

In Iraq the US lost so few Abrams because they faced no credible threats. Iraqi resistance offered no reliable method of defeating the Abrams. The tank itself isn't invulnerable or difficult to destroy, you can find Youtube videos of Houthi rebels destroying dozens of Abrams in Yemen.

T-80s took a bad hit in Chechyna because the quality of their crews were abysmal. The collapse of the Soviet Union had degraded the training standards of Russian troops so severely the troops that were sent into Chechnya were so haphazardly organized they were bound to be decimated.
 

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For starters, Israel doesn't keep different tank types because they like using them for different roles, at least that's not the overaching reason. Israel keeps whatever military hardware it can get it's hands on because Israel knows that a large portion of the world doesn't like it, and it may one day face embargoes that cripple it's ability to procure arms overseas.

Not really true.

Like the US, Israel has settled on a single line of tanks, the Merkava series In variants Mark I though Mark IV).

And yes, they do still have other tanks in inventory, just like the US does. But it no longer uses them in the role of "tank". Like the US they still use the venerable M60 in the role of the M60AVLB. But this "tank" does not even have a turret, it is literally a moving bridge. They also use the M60 in the role of the M88 Recovery Vehicle. Once again not an actual "tank", the turret is gone and it is a recovery vehicle.

The only active tanks that they use that are not variants of the Merkava are legacy ones they have like the M60, T62, and others. Those are for use as OPFOR in training exercises, not for actual combat use ever. The last of the Magach 6 combat tanks that Israel used were scraped or sold in 2014 (and they had been in storage since 1996).

The last use by Israel of the Magach chassis in a combat vehicle was the M48 Patton based Pereh. However, this also was not a tank. It was actually a guided missile carrier that was intended to look like a tank. It had a pop-up missile launcher with 12 SPIKE missiles, and a non-functioning fake cannon in the front. They were removed from service in 2017.

6oe0tqfq2qg01.jpg
 

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Jesus Christ this post is so full of inaccuracies it physically made me cringe.

For starters, Israel doesn't keep different tank types because they like using them for different roles, at least that's not the overaching reason. Israel keeps whatever military hardware it can get it's hands on because Israel knows that a large portion of the world doesn't like it, and it may one day face embargoes that cripple it's ability to procure arms overseas. So maintaining stockpiles of old equipment and dozens of different models allows them to have something in reserve.

In Iraq the US lost so few Abrams because they faced no credible threats. Iraqi resistance offered no reliable method of defeating the Abrams. The tank itself isn't invulnerable or difficult to destroy, you can find Youtube videos of Houthi rebels destroying dozens of Abrams in Yemen.

T-80s took a bad hit in Chechyna because the quality of their crews were abysmal. The collapse of the Soviet Union had degraded the training standards of Russian troops so severely the troops that were sent into Chechnya were so haphazardly organized they were bound to be decimated.

The quality of crews in chechya wre terrible, however the t-72 in the same environment faired far better. The t-80 lacked proper protections from the side, and was designed to go head to head with tanks like the abrahms and the leapard, not for urban combat. Besides poor range which left many dead in crowded urban areas with few safe ways to refuel them, they suffered a massive problem with ammo storage, a single rpg hit near the tracks could take out a t-80 due to a ammo cook off, this is an epic issue when fighting in irban environments.

The t-80 was also too big to maneuver through urban areas, making it much easier to pin it down and hit it with volley fire from buildings near the tank. By contrast the t-72 faired quite well, and the t-90 in the same operating environments there performed perfect. The t-72 was not designed for urban warfare either but was designed close enough for the task, the t-90 was designed with insurgency fighting ied's guerilla warfare etc in mind, and they took the lessons from afghanistan, and later further lessons from the first and second chechnya wars to upgrade the tank further.

In iraq it depends on what you define as lost, because quite a few had to be destroyed by aircraft as they were rendered inoperable by ied's. Yes the houthis have torn abrahms apart, but holy crap the saudi's are so incompetent you could hand them a full fleet of the best equipment on earth and they would still lose to everyone they fought.

Israel does not keep anything they can get, their main tanks are the merkava the m-48 and m-60, the m-48 has been retired, the m-60 is in reserves with some active, and there are variations of those tanks still in use. If israel took anything they could get they would be rolling around with captured t-72 and t-62 tanks, or french tanks also common with middle eastern countries. Their preferred tank is the merkave though. Israel also does not take arms wherever they can get them because a constant supply of replacements and parts is needed, america has been a fairly reliable ally hence their favor of american equipment which they modify. They have used other nations gear in smaller numbers, and has avoided russian gear which to be truthful israel and the soviet union were not on good terms until putin, and prior to putin the relations between israel and russia has been a roller coaster depending on who was in power.
 

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The quality of crews in chechya wre terrible, however the t-72 in the same environment faired far better.

I don't know where you're getting your information from but it's nonsensical.

The T-80s did so poorly in Chechnya because when they were first deployed the quality of their crews was terrible. The T-80s ended up being withdrawn not because of design flaws but of fuel consumption. The better performance of T-72s had everything to do with the Russians being in far better place in 1999 when it came down to tactics and leadership.

the t-90 was designed with insurgency fighting ied's guerilla warfare etc in mind, and they took the lessons from afghanistan, and later further lessons from the first and second chechnya wars to upgrade the tank further.

No, it wasn't. The T-90 was supposed to be a holdover tank designed to fill the gap between the T-80 and Russia's next generation tank, which was supposed to be the T-95. Funding dried up and it became cheaper just to keep upgrading T-90s and T-72s.

If israel took anything they could get they would be rolling around with captured t-72 and t-62 tanks, or french tanks also common with middle eastern countries.

You mean like re purposing their hulls for other uses?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IDF_Achzarit
 
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