Home » Weapons » Armor » Video: Russia’s T-90M Main Battle Tank

Video: Russia’s T-90M Main Battle Tank

by John Reed on November 14, 2011

Check out this video of the T-90M, the latest version of Russia’s most modern combat tank. The T-90M features a host of upgrades over its predecessor the T-90S.

Here are those upgrades according to a tipster:

  • Improved front and side armor protection against kinetic energy and high-energy anti-tank rounds.
  • New V-93 1130hp diesel engine.
  • A new version of the Kontakt-5 reactive armor that covers a greater portion of the tank.
  • New “Kalina” automatically target tracking system using a new THALES-made thermal-imaging camera that is integrated with the Sozvezdie tactical battle management system.
  • New 2A82 125mm main gun — abandoning the continuously upgraded 2A46 series.
  • A commander’s independent thermal viewer linked to a 7.62mm machine gun.
  • New communications systems.
  • Active Suspension Control.
  • Anti-RPG grills.
  • Laser warning receivers and the “Shtora” laser and EO/IR rangefinder countermeasure.
  • Safer turret ammunition stowage compartment.
  • GLONASS and GPS satellite navigation system as well as an inertial navigation system.

Click through the jump for the video:

classid=“clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000″
codebase=“http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflas
h.cab#version=9,0,47,0″> value=“http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI
=1″ /> value=“videoId=1275195695001&linkBaseURL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.military.com%2
Fvideo%2Flogistics-and-supplies%2Frussian-equipment%2Fleaked-footage-of–
russias-t-90-tank%2F1275195695001%2F&playerID=791346831001&playerKey=AQ~
~,AAAAEgPl55E~,U85ckMrT9QAbqFBf7jaKBoKCwq74RQ0V&domain=embed&dynamicStre
aming=true” /> /> name=“allowFullScreen” value=“true” /> value=“true” /> src=“http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI=1
” bgcolor=”#FFFFFF“
flashVars=“videoId=1275195695001&linkBaseURL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.military.c
om%2Fvideo%2Flogistics-and-supplies%2Frussian-equipment%2Fleaked-footage
–of-russias-t-90-tank%2F1275195695001%2F&playerID=791346831001&playerKey
=AQ~~,AAAAEgPl55E~,U85ckMrT9QAbqFBf7jaKBoKCwq74RQ0V&domain=embed&dynamic
Streaming=true” base=“http://admin.brightcove.com” name=“flashObj“
width=“486” height=“440” seamlesstabbing=“false“
type=“application/x-shockwave-flash” allowFullScreen=“true“
allowScriptAccess=“always” swLiveConnect=“true“
pluginspage=“http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_P
rod_Version=ShockwaveFlash”>

Share |

{ 204 comments… read them below or add one }

Christopher Bloom November 14, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Link won't work.

Reply

blight November 14, 2011 at 4:34 pm
Stratege November 15, 2011 at 5:45 am

Maybe i am wrong, but the video is speeded up in the part with rotation turret ???

Reply

Tim November 14, 2011 at 4:52 pm

According to some sources, even the Russian military don't want their new tank because, in order to keep strapping on "new updates" to match or appear to better than the Western counterparts, the tank became much more expensive and less reliable than actually buying the Western tank itself.

India is starting to slip away from the Russian's grip due to their high promises and low delivery.

Reply

Stratege November 15, 2011 at 6:55 am

Russians still have not yet decided about the future of T-90M in Russian army. I am very doubt that the heavy mod of T-90 is more expensive than Western tanks. More likely it would have half price of the latest Leo2.
India is not starting to slip away from the Russian tank supplies. They are still producing their licensed T-90s. Their Arjun is clearly disaster.

Reply

major.rod November 15, 2011 at 2:01 pm

HALF the cost? Where did you get that from?

Reply

Stratege November 15, 2011 at 3:34 pm

That's nothing more than assumption

Reply

jhm November 17, 2011 at 10:16 pm

t90s 2.2 million?
leopard 2, 5.7 million
t90m 4.5 million?

Reply

Tribulationtime November 15, 2011 at 2:36 pm

HA HA HA Man don´t believe all what Putin say you by the phone. But yes it s true!! They want buy Chieftains MTB to Jordan or Challenger MTB to UK cause Israel don´t want shell theirs "Tirans" MTB. Russian future objetive is ride horses again and shell the oil overseas.

Reply

Anton December 1, 2011 at 7:15 am

It is not like that, the problem is not that it became very expensive, but because there are already new platforms being under development which will be on track few years later. In this respect Russian MoD believes it is more feasible to run the slight modernization of the existing tank park and than to shift to entirely new platform. Of course some of the deatures shown on T90MS (battle module) are likely to be on the new machine, but I believe there will be very critical differences which in fact are awaited by MoD. As for India, it may be just lobby, as everywhere else)

Reply

Jazzism November 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm

The problems in developing cutting edge new war equipment is not just a problem in the US but other big powers as well. Imagine that.

Reply

Bill November 14, 2011 at 7:47 pm

but it comes with that sweet soundtrack

Reply

So? November 14, 2011 at 5:37 pm

A WWII 500 kg bomb fitted with a modern guidance kit doesn't care if it's a T-90M, an M1 or a King Tiger for that matter. Tank vs tank is history. When peers fight, whoever wins in the air, wins period. Modern tanks should be optimised for blocking, mopping up insurgents. i.e. HE capability, large ammo capacity, maximum protection against HEAT and mines. Mobile checkpoints. Merkava is the probably the closest to the ideal.

Reply

major.rod November 14, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Tank vs. tank is history? Heard that before… It was said when nukes were developed. They were wrong. It was said when guided AT missiles showed on the scene. They were wrong there also. Want to dry double jeaprdy where the scores can really

Merkavas are from from mobile checkpoints and I'd be very interested on how you'd proposed efending against 40lb antitank mines let along buried 152mm shells.

I sense you're an airpower aficionado. During the Gulf War and Iraq armored vehicles on the ground killed the majority of enemy armor. Study and LEARN from history, otherwise you are doomed to repeat it.

Reply

So? November 14, 2011 at 8:16 pm

1973 and 1991 were simply portent of things to come. Now every bomb can be a smart bomb. Merkava can probably be made even better by optimising for HEAT protection. Replacing the smooth-bore 120 mm with a rifled 105 mm. Flood the area with UAVs and UGVs, and IEDs are history.

Reply

major.rod November 14, 2011 at 8:56 pm

The comment below by TMB attests to how that "portent" thing went. You also igored the armor that was destroyed in Baghdad or by Roughneck 91.

The enemy isn't going to just sit and allow UAV's to take them out. You do realize we won't befighting the taliban & insurgents forever? Furthermore UAVs have not proven themselves in contested or even a semi permissive arial environment. You might want to reconsider your opinion. While your at it figure out how to determine if a tank has been knocked out or not and the impact of decoys.

BTW, we went from rifled 105mm to smoothbore 120mm in the M1 because of the 120mm's superiority. Your lack of knowledge of the ground aspect of combat is showing.

Reply

So? November 14, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Firearms co-existed with cross-bows, full-plate armor for some time. And heavy cavalry had major successes now and then during the transitional period. But muskets and cannons won out in the end anyway. The same will happen with UVs.

Would the 1991 war have been won without total victory in the air? Tanks without fuel and crews without food are just about useless, and this is what control of the air gives you.

120mm is obviously the superior anti-tank gun, but not as an all-purpose gun (fewer munitions).

TMB November 14, 2011 at 8:24 pm

"At the beginning of the war, I had 36 tanks. After a month of bombing, I had 32. After 20 minutes against the 1st Cav, I had none." Iraqi Tank Battalion Commander captured during Desert Storm.

Reply

Warfighter November 14, 2011 at 8:50 pm

That is a great quote TMB.

Remember the Kosovo air campaign. Look at Taliban in Afghanistan. Low tech foes are still finding ways to spoof and hide against our supremely powerful sensors using low tech solutions. If you can't find the enemy, you can't drop a PGM on them.

I suspect that despite near miraculous improvements in sensors and precision-guided weapons, there will always appear a new counter measure which will return the relevance to more conventional weapon systems, albeit in a slightly modified role or application.

Until we start developing intelligent hunter-killer swarms of nano-robots which can give people a stroke without even knowing they're in the environment…

Reply

So? November 14, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Kosovo was a victory.

Taliban is simply a matter of political will. Russia has been struggling in the North Caucus for over 15 years. Yet in 1944 the whole population of Chechnya was deported to Kazakhstan in a few months. No helicopters, PGMs, night vision equipment required.

You can't have an insurgency, if you round up the whole population.

Reply

TMB November 14, 2011 at 11:05 pm

Kosovo: 38,000 sorties (10,000 strike sorties), 20,000 weapons released (almost all guided) over 78 days which got us: 500 armored vehicles, 200 artillery pieces, 55 bridges, 17 airfields, and a handful of hospitals, railways, refineries, and other infrastructure. Those equipment numbers constituted about a third of the Serbian Army's toys. We hit a lot of decoys or nothing at all because we couldn't find them.

major.rod November 15, 2011 at 4:08 am

"You can't have an insurgency, if you round up the whole population."

Uh, didn't work too well for the Russians in Afghanistan. Hmmmm, think troops required, mountains and Pakistan might have something to do with that?

Black Owl November 14, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Hot damn! That thing is a BEAST! It's just as good as the M1A2 Abrams with the TUSK system. Now we need a patch for all our brand new Battlefield 3 games to make them current.

Reply

major.rod November 14, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Reminds me of a story…

Back in a makeshift PX two months after the Gulf War I remember two Russian officers (UN Peacekeepers) buying everything of value in sight. Young sergeant walked up to them and asked if they were Russians. They nodded yes. The Sergeant then said, "Love your tanks, they burn really bright".

As the only US officer present, I had to bite my tongue and leave, I drew blood I wanted to laugh so badly.

Reply

Black Owl November 14, 2011 at 10:13 pm

You just made my day. I needed a laugh.

Reply

BlackHeart November 15, 2011 at 1:06 am

Roger That, LMAO!

Reply

John November 15, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Now thats funny!

Reply

major.rod November 14, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Reminds me of a story…

Back in a makeshift PX two months after the Gulf War I remember two Russian officers (UN Peacekeepers) buying everything of value in sight. Young sergeant walked up to them and asked if they were Russians. They nodded yes. The Sergeant then said, "Love your tanks, they burn really bright".

As the only US officer present, I had to bite my tongue and leave, I drew blood I wanted to laugh so badly

Reply

Bent November 14, 2011 at 8:14 pm

What, as in the Iraqi T-72s? as in, tanks made in 1970 and probably refitted to 90s tech at the latest? Yeah I'm real surprised a completely refitted Abrams with recon scout spotters, and full communications and battlefield awareness could take one out…

Now lets put one of these T-90s against a Panama-era M-60 and see what happens…

Not saying Russian tanks are better, but I am saying Americans can make some really douchey jokes sometimes.

Reply

major.rod November 14, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Uh, you may not know it but the M1 was 70's tech.

BTW, in the early 90's the enemy had scouts also. We didn't have digital or freq hopping commo or battlefield awareness. Heck, we only had one GPS per COMPANY and we only got them a week before we crossed into Iraq! Most of us were still trying to figure out how to turn them on.

Reply

Ethan November 14, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Agree there. Export model tanks and that's a measure or Russian metal? America is always setting itself up for a shock loss. Like Afghanistan….

Reply

blight November 15, 2011 at 1:21 pm

I'm amazed you didn't try to spin Vietnam as a "loss"; or Korea.

I imagine the whole "monkey model" thing was well-known, especially when one compared the quality of defector aircraft from the Soviet union proper and those by client states.

Then again, measuring performance of equipment used by client states is a poor measure: Pakistan, our indifferent ally fought several wars with India using American gear, as did the late Republic of Vietnam, which lost because they ran out of supplies before they ran out of equipment.

Reply

PMI November 14, 2011 at 10:02 pm

1st Tank Battalion was still riding M-60A1s….they chewed through T-72s just as easily and were an even older design.

Reply

So? November 14, 2011 at 10:45 pm

I don't think they met T-72s.

Reply

Stratege November 15, 2011 at 6:58 am

It's doesn't matter.
Iraq never had real T-72s.

PMI November 15, 2011 at 11:47 am

I know for a fact that they did. Most engagements were with 55s & 62s but they did meet T-72s when 5th Mech counterattacked on day two.

I was with the 1st MarDiv forward element.

marrs101 November 15, 2011 at 5:53 am

This is an american site. You can't say things like that, even if it's true.

Reply

PMI November 15, 2011 at 11:50 am

Not true, the russkie fanbois are given free reign…we just point and laugh at them.

Reply

major.rod November 15, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Yes, Russia has a long history of a free press and being able to voice one's opinion.

Again, reality sucks if you're a Russian tanker after WWII.

Reply

Dave November 14, 2011 at 10:03 pm

Those M1's burn just as bright after a chunk of c4 and copper. Not so high tech.

Reply

major.rod November 15, 2011 at 1:04 am

Really? Sources? How many tanks have been lost to EFP's? Unless you have access to classified data you don't know. Put enough 152mm shells under an M1 or hit it in a sweet spot with an RPG and an M1 will go down.

BTW, is your middle name Achmed or Ivan?

Reply

Riceball November 15, 2011 at 1:17 pm

I agree w/major.rod, the M1 is damn near invulnerable from the front, I remember reading a story from Desert Storm where an M1 got stuck so they tried to scuttle it by shooting at if with another M1 with no success. The first shot failed to penetrate, the next shot did and set off the ammo but did little to the inside because of blow away panels in the roof; in the end they managed to get a couple of recovery vehicles and towed it away. However, the M1 is just like every other tank in that its far softer in the back, top, and bottom and I seem to recall hearing about one M1 getting taken out by a anti-tank RPG to the side or back.

Reply

blight November 15, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Isn't that an OIF anecdote, and not a ODS one?

Darrel Kemble November 15, 2011 at 11:26 am

Out friggen standing major.rod LMAO.

Reply

major.rod November 15, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Thanks but I'm just relating the story. The kudos belong to that young sergeant.

Reply

So? November 14, 2011 at 9:51 pm

But weren't your M1s recently updated to HA standard, had TI sights, latest DU ammo, whereas the Iraqis had export -grade T-72Ms with thinner armor without composite inserts, old FCS, really crap ammo? They didn't even bother to boresight their guns, AFAIK. The differences between the Iraqi T-72M (Babylon Lion or something like that) and the T-72B is bigger than the difference between the M1 and M1A1.

You also had the benefit of not having been bombed for 6 weeks straight.

Reply

BlackHeart November 15, 2011 at 1:12 am

So? whats your point? the enemy paid with there lives for there lack of planning among other things.

Reply

itfunk November 15, 2011 at 2:25 am

The point is that even with all our wonderful equipment the Iranians still won the war.

Reply

William C. November 15, 2011 at 1:49 pm

I guess I slept through that time when Iran invaded Iraq somewhere between 1991 and 2011.

You honestly think we'd sit by if the Iranians tried to pour across the border of the new Iraq?

Reply

So? November 15, 2011 at 5:03 pm

What border?

Buzz November 16, 2011 at 10:08 am

Most of what you say is true however the old T-72s had less than 1/2 the engagement range of an M-1A and their frontal armor was as good as the soviets ever made. The new T-72 still has only a max range of 3000 meters and thats with the tube launched missile. M-1's are rated at 5000 meters. Russians also have a habit of taking good designs and building crap. Also something that is telling is why do they need protection from RPG's? Tells me they have some serious weak /vunerable areas on the vehicles.

Also the tank still is designed to use bunker oil for fuel so its going to smoke really badly in no time and is still probably a knock off of a 1930's detroit desiel engine made with poor quality iron for a block.

Reply

major.rod November 15, 2011 at 1:00 am

Yes we did. Not what you intially stated. Maybe you should have started out with that?

My unit 3-5 Cav was in solid contact for three days. We overran at least three defensive belts and fought elements from at least three different Iraqi divisions to include Republican Guard units. We easily destroyed three times our number and only one of our companies was a tank company. So much for… "Yeah I'm real surprised…" and I think TMB has already addressed the effectiveness of the bombing campaign on enemy armor.

The M1 is a superior tank no doubt about it but the key difference was the training of the crews.

What's your point or do you just get a chubby trying to diminish the M1/Army's performance?

Reply

So? November 15, 2011 at 1:19 am

My point is that after your infrastructure and logistics have been pulverized, what you have in the field is academic. It may not have been so obvious in 1991, but it certainly is now.

Reply

major.rod November 15, 2011 at 3:56 am

Easy to take that lesson from a book. Not so obvious when you are rolling through Iraqi defensive belts shooting up their tanks before they shoot ours (and they did try).

Again historically we did a great job of destroying German infrastructure yet suffered tens of thousands of KIAs. Not so academic except to an academic.

Reply

Stratege November 15, 2011 at 7:08 am

"Easy to take that lesson from a book. Not so obvious when you are rolling through Iraqi defensive belts shooting up their tanks before they shoot ours"

I believe that Iraqi tankers had literally zero chances to damage M1s with their training(!) and obsolete APDS (early 70s era).

Reply

major.rod November 15, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Stratege – Zero chance? Training was a big part of that. Ammo? Uh, no. Maybe as much chance as a Sherman against a Tiger.

TMB November 15, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Major Rod, correct me if I'm wrong but I think the Iraqis did manage to at least mobility kill a handful of Abrams and maybe a few Brads during ODS. Iraqi tankers' chances weren't zero, but they probably weren't terrible high either.

Josh November 15, 2011 at 4:24 am

Hmm,still building off a chassis that is notoriously deadly to crews because of ammo storage and inherent design flaws? Hmmm,must be better than what the west has to offer…
Reminds me of what the Germans said of our shermans. “lights first time,every time”

Reply

Stratege November 15, 2011 at 4:42 am

"A new version of the Kontakt-5 reactive armor that covers a greater portion of the tank."

AFAIK new T-90M got the new "RELIKT" reactive armor instead of the older Kontakt-5

Reply

Tony C November 15, 2011 at 8:11 am

Seems that the Russian's still love the T-72 chassis, but it has proven no match for later model western designs. The T-72 was built is such vast numbers, the plan was to overwhelm the west with numbers. It worked for the Sherman tank in WWII.
I doubt these tanks would survive in a shoot out with the M1 or Challenger?

Reply

Stratege November 15, 2011 at 9:21 am

"Seems that the Russian's still love the T-72 chassis, but it has proven no match for later model western designs."

When and where?
Note that Iraq and others third-rated armies never had properly equipped "top-notch" T-72s.

"I doubt these tanks would survive in a shoot out with the M1 or Challenger?"

Why?
Both M1 and Chally also has their own weak zones. Western tanks are not invulnerable to the Russia's APFSDS and barrel-launched ATGM for 125mm gun.
T-90M has very advanced FCS with the latest generation of thermal-imaging. Unlike the M1 and Challenger, new T-90 has automatically target tracking system (significant improvement for the anti-tank role).

Also, T-90 is extremely well armored. The comparison of frontal vulnerable zones (from strategypage's discussion board): http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j398/dodo333/

(from left to the right: M1A2SEP / LEOPARD 2A7(A6?) / T-90S / T-90M )

Reply

major.rod November 15, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Why?

Yes, let's just assume all your tank T90 specs are accurate (BIG assumption). Russian tank crews are outclassed by US crews.

After the wall came down Russian tank crews told us ONE tank per company fired live rounds each year. EACH of our crews fired 40 just for their INDIVIDUAL tank certification. I'm not even discussing platoon live fire tank ranges or platoon, company and battalion training that ocured throughout the year.

The facts just keep getting in the way huh?

Reply

Stratege November 15, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Russia is not living in 1990s anymore. Their troops are getting more and more training with a lot of live-firing exercises. Go to youtube for the proofs.

Reply

So? November 15, 2011 at 5:53 pm

I believe this is an article about hardware (of a type which I personally think is no longer as important as it used to be, but that's just my opinion). Why drag training into this discussion? When, say, cars get reviewed, "car A driven by Vettel is faster around the track than car B driven by your paralysed grandma" is somehow never mentioned. Vettel will win even riding a bicycle.
FWIW, I think these tanks are largely equivalent. By that I mean "they are roughly in the same class". i.e. it's not King Tiger vs Sherman. The major difference being that the T-90 is less survivable when penetrated and is pretty much maxed out as a platform. While the M1 has a lot of growth left.

Reply

major.rod November 15, 2011 at 10:05 pm

What? After getting whipped over your ridiculous position that tanks are obsolete now you don't want to discuss training either?

Well I guess when all you have is a white flag you wave what you got.

TMB November 15, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Around the same time we also learned that they could only afford to keep about 10% of their tank force at what we would call 10/20 standards.

Reply

Stratege November 16, 2011 at 3:40 am

Source?

mat November 15, 2011 at 9:03 am

when comparing T72 so western MBT you have to bear in mind its basical madium battle tank at cca 45 tons and at the time of introduction it was advanced enough to compete against much heavier western designs.

Reply

major.rod November 15, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Compete? Loss rates against Israel and Desert Storm tell quite a different story.

Reply

Robert November 15, 2011 at 9:13 am

Appears to me that the tank was upgraded to contain and protect against domestic situations, rather than for application to new battlefields.

Reply

blight November 15, 2011 at 9:30 am

It's a tank that is designed to do well against RPGs and ATGMs, to be more specific. Then again, when tanks start firing top-attack smart munitions out of their barrels, it'll be down to the electronics more than the gun.

Reply

Stratege November 15, 2011 at 3:41 pm

T-90M got the FCS of last generation, new tank gun and tactical battle management system. Those are clearly indications that it's not just a anti-guerilla tank.

Reply

Infidel4LIFE November 15, 2011 at 11:25 am

Having a great tank is good. How much practice do they get? Qaulity of crew is big here.

Reply

Morty November 15, 2011 at 12:06 pm

One Thing about the russians is they always make Quality, They probably finally got ride of the manual rotating Main gun

Reply

gunslinger6 November 15, 2011 at 2:07 pm

could you imagine being that poor bas**** trying to traverse the main gun by hand when an M1 rolled up on you. i am sure his last thought would be about what a piece of sh*t tank he had,

Reply

William C. November 15, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Following the cancellation of the T-95, this seems like a sensible move if the Russians are going to stick with the T-90 series (itself a heavily upgraded T-72) for the immediate future.

I just wish the Russians would actually show the world some photos of the T-95 prototypes, and not hidden under tarps either.

Reply

Stratege November 15, 2011 at 3:36 pm

T-95 was sacrificed for "Armata" (their next gen heavy combat platform) which should be presented in 2015.

Reply

Trevor Thralls November 15, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Starting at about the 1:02 mark, was that thing in a power slide? Or could that be considered drifting?

Reply

Stratege November 15, 2011 at 3:30 pm

"So?" wrote:
"A WWII 500 kg bomb fitted with a modern guidance kit doesn't care if it's a T-90M, an M1 or a King Tiger for that matter."

So what about mobile SAM vehicles?
In accordance with Russian tank combat philosophy, tanks units should have their own air defense vehicles within their formations.
Visual demonstration of this idea: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUUeqSseERo

There are not doubts that tanks should have "air defense umbrella" to not be victims of air threats!

"Tank vs tank is history."

I can't agree. Anti tank is still obvious role for any MBT.

"When peers fight, whoever wins in the air, wins period. Modern tanks should be optimised for blocking, mopping up insurgents. i.e. HE capability, large ammo capacity, maximum protection against HEAT and mines. Mobile checkpoints. "Merkava is the probably the closest to the ideal."

Modern tanks should be multi-role combat machines,
Merkava tank is rather peculiar "mobile pillbox" because it's very specialized tank which is limited for its own seat of war.

Reply

Lance November 15, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Not impressed the T-90 is just a regurgitated T-72 which was a dismal failure. The Ukrainian T-84 is far better than the T-90 series and Russia at the same time is updating T-72s and T-80s with new weapons and targeting systems. I doubt this new tank will see widespread service soon.

Reply

Stratege November 15, 2011 at 4:59 pm

T-84 is nothing special, and of course it's not better than recent T-90,
It has truly obsolete electronics compared to the T-90M.
T-84 has obsolete FCS of previous generation (without automatically target tracking system and late gen thermal-imaging)
Ukrainian tank is not equipped with any kind of tactical battle management system.
T-84 has not fully independent navigation system (T-90M has GLONASS+-GPS+-INERTIAL). Unlike the T-90M, it has out-of-dated communication system.
There are a lot of questions about claimed capabilities of Ukrainian ERA. The Russian ERA developers have tonnes more experience with it.
T-84 has obsolete tank gun, while T-90M got the most modern Russian 125mm tank gun.
The production rate of Ukrainian tank is extremely low, unlike mass produced T-90.
So. T-84 more likely would have a bunch of technological problems due its "one piece production".

Reply

Stratege November 15, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Summarization:
T-84: none of significant advantages
T-90: significant advantages in terms of electronics and firepower

Reply

Babu November 15, 2011 at 7:11 pm

I don't know Boris, are you sure it has the "automatically target tracking system"? Haven't been able to hit moose or squirrel.

Reply

Billy November 15, 2011 at 10:38 pm

Who cares…. Russians won’t be able to buy it like how they only have a couple of Su-27 when they planned to purchase hundreds. America can barely afford JSF.

Reply

Stratege November 16, 2011 at 2:50 am

Soviet/Russian air force got nearly 400 of Su-27s since 1980s. Also they have ordered 50 of Su-35BM (please not thats only first order).

Reply

musclecar61 November 15, 2011 at 11:23 pm

It's amazing how every time Russia introduces a new weapon system it's a carbon copy of our weapon system, they save billions on R&D.

Reply

Chimp November 16, 2011 at 1:40 am

I thought that was the Chinese? Or am I getting mixed up here?

BTW, how about that ZTZ99?

Reply

Stratege November 16, 2011 at 2:21 am

You mean Russians copied the Chinese tank? :P Thats's ridiculous.
Chinese tanks designers usually rely on old Soviet designs as the main basis for their tanks.
ZTZ99 is hardly on par with T-90A and no match for the T-90S.

Reply

Chimp November 16, 2011 at 6:09 am

Heh… no, I was challenging the "copy" meme.

I have *no* idea what a ZTZ99 is like. In terms of most military gear, I don't think the gear itself is the main determinant. It's the quality (training, morale, leadership and cultural underpinnings) of the people that use it, doctrine and planning that make the difference.

Tom Kratman is great on this subject, if you're a fan.

Reply

Stratege November 16, 2011 at 2:06 am

So the new T-90 is carbon copy of your weapon system?
What are you smoking?

Reply

Stratege November 16, 2011 at 10:36 am

Lance wrote:
"Sorry but Iraqi Republican Guards in 1990 has up to date"

Iraqi Republican Guards "has up dated T-72s"… only for Iraqi standarts. Actually, their "most elite" 72s were on par
with initial production T-72A from early/middle 1970's. In terms of armor protection, Iraqi tanks were even worse due to their stripped-down export armor (compared to the early made Soviet model T-72/T-72A).
But the most unlucky part of Saddam's tank force fate was the fact that Iraqi Republican Guards didn't get modern anti-tank shells, barrel-launched ATGMs. modern FCS, adequate optics with sufficient range and night capability. . All of these features were minimally requirement to fight against the most modern Western equipment such as M1. Iraqi T-72 tanks might have the same name as their Soviet relative(T-72), they migh have beautiful paint in cool looking desert colors… But their equipment had came from the 1970s era, their gear were simply intended to fight against tanks of the same era(70's), not against late 80's/early 90's heavily armoured vehicles.
So, those famoust "up-to-dated" Iraqi T-72s were noting more than "monkey model" tanks which were based on the tank of second generation (early T-72).
While in that time, the Soviet Union had T-72B model (1985) – the machine updated to the third generation tank's standarts with a full package of everything required to fight against the best NATO's machines: it got strong composite armor, ERA, ATGMs, modern shells/FCS/optics…

Lance wrote:
" T-72s and they failed so did Syrian tanks against Israeli M-60A1s south a Beirut in 82. The T-80 was Russia best tank the T-72 won because its cheap and easy to make alot of them. "

Ignoring the possibily of Israeli patriotic propaganda, if they had some success with their M-60s, it does not matter and can't change the fact – M-60A1 is no match against Soviet T-72. Israel won in specified tactical situation.

Lance wrote:
"The T-80 was Russia best tank the T-72"

T-80 has its pros and cons just like every design.

Lance wrote:
"won because its cheap and easy to make alot of them. "

That's because T-72 was a truly succesfull design. Yes, it wasn't perfect (just like ANY other tank) but certainly not failure. But all of those "Desert Strom based' myths are ineradicable.

Reply

major.rod November 16, 2011 at 1:19 pm

The T72 has a dismal record against western armor.

"Specific tactical situation"? You are whining now.

Reply

gungslinger6 November 16, 2011 at 4:49 pm

I dont think ivan here wil every get your point major.rod, in one ear and out the other.

Reply

major.rod November 16, 2011 at 10:54 pm

That's kind of like a sabot round through a T72?

Reply

gunslinger6 November 17, 2011 at 1:59 pm

LMAO! Exactly!

grilz142 November 16, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Remember guys, the U.S military was fighting against a third rate force that was using some of the oldest and worst equipment the Soviet Union had to offer. The t-72M a downgraded export version of the t-72 A, which had no composite armor and none of the latest night figting technology (such as thermal sights or flir), E.R.A or active protection systems such as the Shtora or Arena which the russians had on thier tanks before any one else. A third rate force equiped with garbage tanks, obsolete and out dated armor tactics (and tactics in general) and poor training is not going to stand a chance against the most powerful military in the world. If the Iraqis had been given the chance to rebuild thier military and upgrade thier equipment. The Iraqi military would have given a better account of itself than it did in the second gulf war. Imagine Iraqi amored units equiped with T-90 tanks and rebuilt and upgraded T-72 tanks with the latest russian passive and active protection systems,tubed launched long range anti-tank guided missiles and the latest composite armor combined with the latest tactical doctrine in manuver warfare. Thier armored units would have been a lot more difficult to beat. Thier defeat would still have been inevitable, but they would have killed a lot more american troops.

Reply

major.rod November 16, 2011 at 12:56 pm

The Shtora and Arena are AT missile defensive systems. You do know the M1 doesn't fire a missile? The Shtora system wasn't even available until after Desert Storm and based on the results in chechnya, I'm not impressed.

There's been very little discussion of OIF and armor in that fight because there was hardly any left.

Reply

James67 November 16, 2011 at 1:13 pm

The modern Russian tank presents more of a threat to it's own crew, rather than it's opponents in battle.

Reply

major.rod November 16, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Just remembered another anecdote about the T72. Invited to a national modeling exposition I was impressed by a model T72 that had recieved an award for its detail. It really was a thing of beauty.

The builder was standing next to me and I said: "REALLY beautiful and well done model. You deserve the trophy but I just got back from Iraq and the tank isn't accurate."

With great concern the builder asked, "What did I miss?"

I said, "The turret is still attached."

Reply

Stratege November 16, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Buzz wrote:
"Most of what you say is true however the old T-72s had less than 1/2 the engagement range of an M-1A"

The old "exportskiy" T-72…
1980's T-72B got the "1K13-49" sight with a range about 5000 meters (day) / 800 meters (night, passive mode) / 1200 meters (night, active mode)

Buzz wrote:
"and their frontal armor was as good as the soviets ever made. "

It's not nearly true.

T-72M1's (export tank) armor specs:
Against HEAT rounds: 420-490 mm RHA(hull); 490-500 mm RHA(turret)
Against KE rounds: 360-400 mm RHA(hull); 380-410 mm RHA(turret)

Domestic T-72B's armor specs(including the first generation ERA "Kontakt-1"):
Against HEAT rounds: 480-900 mm RHA(hull); 500-950 mm RHA(turret)
Against KE rounds: 470-550 mm RHA(hull); 400-550 mm RHA(turret)

T-72B's armor specs(including the "Kontankt-5" ERA):
Against HEAT rounds: 790-1080 мм mm RHA(hull); 780-1090 mm RHA(turret)
Against KE rounds: 670-720 мм mm RHA(hull); 620-900 mm RHA(turret)

Those specs are from public sources.

Buzz wrote:
"The new T-72 still has only a max range of 3000 meters and thats with the tube launched missile."

Wrong. It has max range of 4000 meters (T-72B). 5000 meters for the T-72BM.

Buzz wrote:
"M-1's are rated at 5000 meters."

What about KE sabot's efficiency at maximum range??? It's extremely low against heavy armor.

Buzz wrote:
"Also something that is telling is why do they need protection from RPG's? Tells me they have some serious weak /vunerable areas on the vehicles. "

Any tank has its own weak/vulnerable zones. M1 Abrams has well-known weak zones on turret – side, rear and top armor. Even old RPG-7(with AT round more modern than PG-7VM) is considered as serious threat for the Abrams.

Reply

crackedlenses November 16, 2011 at 4:15 pm

So Strat, according your account the Russian tanks have never actually been used in combat; all the ones we've seen were crappy export models manned by third-rate crews. If the Ruskies' tanks never got used in action, then why are we so concerned? It's unlikely they're going to invade anyone anytime soon, and they never sell their good stuff to anyone anyway………

Reply

major.rod November 16, 2011 at 10:59 pm

C – You nailed it!

Reply

Andy M November 17, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Actually, they did see action, the Chechnyans saw a few.

Reply

PMI November 17, 2011 at 1:30 pm

…and blew most of them to hell when they assaulted Grozny.

Reply

blight2 November 17, 2011 at 8:59 am

Considering the demographic crunch of Russia, they really can't count on attrition strategies to work for their armies anymore. They'll probably switch to our "heavy tank" model, and as long as they have no interest in shipping them overseas it won't be a dealbuster.

Reply

Rick December 6, 2011 at 10:43 am

A good tank is no substitute for bad foreign policy.

Reply

xfg December 8, 2011 at 5:25 pm

fuck

Reply

PMI November 14, 2011 at 10:05 pm

"Would the 1991 war have been won without total victory in the air?"

-Unequivocally yes.

Reply

major.rod November 15, 2011 at 3:47 am

No doubt its great to have air superiority. Having been a first hand customer of A10/F16 & rotary wing CAS I have a great respect for it.

Would desert storm been possible without a complete mastery of the air? Likely. Our ground to air capability isn't anything to sneeze at. The Patriot is deadly.

What has no doubt is war would in no way have been succcesful and much more expensive without the overwhelming superiority on the ground.

Airpower is great. It isn't decisive and that's a historic fact (much longer than robots).

Reply

So? November 14, 2011 at 10:49 pm

With Iraqi air force given free rein?

Reply

So? November 14, 2011 at 11:38 pm

a) NATO was holding back.
b) In fact a lot less Serbian equipment was destroyed. The number of tanks destroyed was more like in dozens. But it doesn't matter. Political goals were met. That's all that counts.

Reply

BlackHeart November 15, 2011 at 1:05 am

out of all the information these guys have giving you. You still don't get it…

Reply

major.rod November 15, 2011 at 3:50 am

True, we did hold back. If we wanted a decisive battle we would have committed ground forces whose threat on the border caused Kosovo to blink.

Reply

Tribulationtime November 15, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Yes and No. Politics or Warfare? what do you talking about? The Pope stopped Atila at the Rome gates and He wasn 't better than Attila´s horse for a ride….I suppouse

Reply

So? November 15, 2011 at 1:20 am

Explicate for me, I'm stupid.

Reply

Chimp November 15, 2011 at 2:26 am

Let's give it a whirl. You can have your missiles (you know, there's a reason they aren't called "hittiles")and drones, and I'll have Challenger 2's unmasking and advancing at speed on your position, firing on the move.

A brown alert moment (which is one higher than red alert…).

Reply

Chimp November 15, 2011 at 2:27 am

Now I agree with you.

Reply

So? November 15, 2011 at 3:02 am

Monkey see, monkey do.

Reply

So? November 15, 2011 at 3:29 am

Over 100 kms of desert?

Reply

So? November 15, 2011 at 3:34 am
Thomas L. Nielsen November 15, 2011 at 3:42 am

Russia/Soviet Union have typically made more compact, low-profile tanks than the west. The downside to this is a more cramped interior.

The joke when the T-72 came out was the the Soviets had trouble finding drivers, because they needed to be no more than 5 feet 2 inches high, and they had to have one leg 3.5 inches shorter than the other in order to fit in the tank.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxemborg

Reply

Stratege November 15, 2011 at 6:42 am

Soviet/Russian tanks have autoloader instead of additional human crew member (loader). Three-crew member compartment means less armor and less LBH that needed for adequate protection. So their MBTs has less weight and less size/height of profile. Also, because of size and weight Russians tanks has better strategic mobility.

Reply

So? November 15, 2011 at 3:48 am

Finns had no trouble crewing theirs. Neither did Yugos.

Reply

major.rod November 15, 2011 at 4:02 am

Niether did the Syrians or Egyptians. That just means the tanks had full crews when they burned.

Reply

Thomas L. Nielsen November 15, 2011 at 10:14 am

I did point out that it was a joke, didn't I?

But joke aside,Russian tanks (and armored vehicles in general), at least the Soviet era generation, tend to be more cramped then their western equivalents.

Advantage: Smaller profile and lighter and cheaper vehicle.

Disadvantage: Cramped, and more vital stuff together with dangerous stuff in a small space.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

Reply

warfighter November 15, 2011 at 6:32 am

Uhh…comment deleted by administrator the second I posted it? What gives?

Reply

So? November 15, 2011 at 4:58 pm

The USSR was simply gutless wrt Pakistan. They should have cut a deal with India and corrected that geopolitical anomaly once and for all. It's not too late for America.

Reply

warfighter November 15, 2011 at 6:42 am

Not to mention that although Chechnya does not figure in the news in the West, the problems are far from resolved and violence still flares up today.

You can't deport thousands of people without expecting the sort of anger to erupt which leads to violence which can't be quelled by bombs and airpower.

Modern war is about the measured application of force. Not holding back leads to the sort of barbarism which marked the middle ages. Following your line of thought, So?, we might as well just launch nukes every time a minor quarrel erupts somewhere, otherwise, we are holding back invaluable strike power.

Of course, that's a great way to get labelled as the 'bad guy' in a conflict, and end up with a strategic defeat despite wiping the enemy (and everybody else) off the face of the map.

Having been a customer of air power like maj.rod as well as close to the receiving end of it, I can appreciate how powerful an asset it is and will continue to be. However, it alone is not a panacea.
Saying airpower will solve all issues is like saying tanks will solve all issues. The argument doesn't stand up on its own. Air power has strengths and weaknesses, just like ground forces do. That is why we operate in joint and combined arms organizations which allow us to balance off strengths against weaknesses for the best possible effect on the opposition.

Reply

Nmate November 15, 2011 at 7:59 am

There is so much wrong with this that it's not even funny. You do realize that even if the US cut it's defense budget in half, that it would still spend nearly twice as much as Russian and China combined?

Reply

Ryan November 15, 2011 at 9:33 am

Yes, Roy personally I think the lack of attention to preparing for the "GogMagog" battle in the last QDR was criminally negligent….how can you even mention something that ridiculous and expect to be taken seriously as an objective evaluator? Also please cite your statistics for Obama's "weakening" of the military. Partisan hackery at its most reactionary.

Reply

Buzz November 16, 2011 at 10:00 am

Different threats need diferent weapons. Massive tank numbers require few soldiers but provide tons of combat capability/deterence.

Reply

bill cruz November 16, 2011 at 1:41 pm

simple solution,let`s stop buying chinese junk,let`s buy from USA or other countries
that suppord human rights/freedom,and let`s forget about CHINA,just remenber that
if you play with shit,you will smell like shit,it never fails.
As americans we have to show the world that we will protect ourselfs,that we will never forget the harm cause by others,and that we will pay back every drop of blood
but it most be with truth and honesty,we will cut our military in half,but we will make the agressor pay.

Reply

Nmate November 15, 2011 at 8:02 am

Yes, because advertising brochures are always accurate depictions of a weapon system's capabilities in the real world. This thing would be a crew killer. Would it be as bad as the T-64 or the T-72? No, but it would still be much less survivable than any modern Western tank. ERA is a one use item. It's a band aid.

Reply

Matt November 18, 2011 at 4:59 pm

What happens when the ERA panels are blown? Even if they stop the DU round, can the basic armor of the T90M stop what is likely the strongest anti-tank round in existance (I'd guess no)?
Having better (albeit heavier/expensive) composite armor (like the challenger 2 and abrams) lets you take multiple multiple hits with minimal degradation in protection.

Reply

blight November 15, 2011 at 8:27 am

Strategic mobility also comes from compatibility of your tanks with a tank transporter or transport via rails, which the Abrams had problems with. Inability to cross certain bridges in Bosnia and inability to move by rail over the mountains from northern Europe. However, hopefully this has changed since the early '90s.

Reply

major.rod November 15, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Strategic Mobility? Yes, it definitely is easier to move Russian armor. Now the Russians have to invest in the ability to do it.

Reply

TMB November 15, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Strategic mobility hasn't been that big of an issue for Russia since pretty much everywhere they've ever put armor they've been able to drive to it.

Reply

Buzz November 16, 2011 at 10:18 am

Thats a little bit of BS. Its based on using less material to build a tank in an unreliable logistics environment. Big problem especially with the introduction of electronic aiming systems and the 125mm is that the main guns have a horrible problem with traumatically amputating the limbs of the turret crew.

Reply

blight November 15, 2011 at 10:53 am

Tanks designed for mountain/urban use wouldn't use the standard 125mm gun: instead, you'd have to figure out a way to have tanks that could have higher elevation for their main guns. KE isn't as important at close range and in the absence of enemy armor.

Reply

Patrick November 15, 2011 at 1:35 pm

No, it's ODS. It was in Tom Clancy's "Armored Cav" (not a work of fiction) from 1994.

Reply

William C. November 15, 2011 at 2:13 pm

The bulk or Iraqi T-72s were the original T-72 export variant. This was quite similar to the original T-72 "Ural" introduced in the early '70s.

They also had some T-72Ms which featured early laser rangefinders and some other upgrades.

The best model they had was the T-72M1, which was very close to the T-72A and featured additional composite armor, improved fire control systems, etc.

Information regarding the Iraqi built "Lion of Babylon" is rather conflicting. Seems it was generally comparable to the T-72M1, minus the laser rangefinder but with some sort of EO jammer and local modifications.

Supposedly Iraq tried to buy some T-72S models (export T-72B), but I don't know if they got these.

They probably captured some M-84AB models from Kuwait too. I have no idea if they were used against the US or not.

Reply

major.rod November 15, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Doh! Hate when reality comes crashing down on emotional exuberance.

Reply

major.rod November 15, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Similar incident cited I believe in "Thunder Run" by Zucchino. 3rd ID in Baghdad.

Reply

major.rod November 15, 2011 at 2:38 pm

We spend a lot on defense but just comparing the actual amount spent by nations like Russia and China on defense is misleading. First they are much more closed systems, labor costs are not even in the same universe and they aren't superpowers or choose to have the same defense requirements.

We have an unrivaled power projection capability. Almost a dozen carrier strike groups, the capability to deploy an Army and fight a war half a world away are examples of capabilities those who make the spending argument can't address. Want to cut? OK where do you not want to have presence or the ability to influence events?

Makes a good talking point though. Very few would actually want to reduce our capabilities 50%.

Reply

TMB November 15, 2011 at 8:52 pm

If you take the just the personnel budget of the DoD, that number is already higher than the next country's entire military budget. Our troops are probably the best taken care of force in history. Quality has a price tag. So saying "we're spending more than (insert)" requires many qualifications like major rod and PMI describe.

Reply

PMI November 15, 2011 at 2:46 pm

It's mind boggling that when talking about defense spending people somehow forget that $1 spent on goods produced by US labor is very different than $1 spent on ones produced by Chinese labor.

There's a reason Wal-Mart primarily buys from Chinese manufacturing sources.

That is still not taking into account that what China reports they spend on defense is not what they are actually spending.

(Similar issues hold true for other nations as well…China is merely being used as an example as they are most likely to be the primary competitor to the US going forward)

Reply

blight November 15, 2011 at 2:55 pm

If I recall correctly, main gun and Hellfires were used against an immobilized M1 to keep it from falling into Iraqi hands for OIF.

I'm still looking for alt sources for the ODS incident beyond Tom Clancy.GAO notes that two M1s were destroyed to prevent them from falling into enemy hands, but gives no details.

Anyone with AKO access can check CALL. Post 9/11, that stuff is not accessible to civilians (unless they changed things since I last checked during Bush Jr)

Reply

josh November 15, 2011 at 3:28 pm

completely agree,it probably has something to do with it overall size. yes it has a small profile but where do you store ALL of the ammo? ( stratege said you can protect MOST of the ammo yes,but a single unprotected 125 will still kill all of us inside) does it have blowout panels? if not that ammo is still deadly.
the russians never valued survivability as much as the west.period,so they will probably never have as much protection. if this updated t-72 was that good we would be using israeli M-60's

Reply

Lance November 15, 2011 at 3:46 pm

In Lebanon in 1982 and in Gulf War 1991 M-60A1 tanks had a easy time destroying T-72s in Iraqi and Syrian hands the combat performance of the T-72 is poor and the tank was dismal failure. The tank was so small only small crew men can be chosen to man the tank larger men are assigned to T-80 tanks.

Reply

Buzz November 16, 2011 at 12:29 pm

-It was a truly formidable enemy for top-tier NATO tanks in late 1980s, while T-80(and its mods) was "premier" Soviet tank and the direct opponent for the best Western machines (such as M1, Leo).

your not living in reality. Except for the part of a t72 being the same as an M60. That is assuming the T72 was even functional. During the cold war the soviet forces had no better than a 50% functional rate of tanks on the front lines facing the Nato forces. They also had an ammo advantage but almost none of it was usable.

Reply

Stratege November 15, 2011 at 4:08 pm

To blow up the carousel with ammo (it would not be 100% probability of explosion anyway!), firstly it needed to penetrate through late gen ERA and thick "sandwiched" composite armor. But it's not so easy. The armor of Russian tanks is far from being "paper thickness" as many people tend to believe.

"the russians never valued survivability as much as the west"

This is "collateral peculiarity" of their tank designs with its 'pros and cons'.

But this does not means that Soviet/Russian tanks were designed as poorly armored machines in mind.

Reply

Stratege November 15, 2011 at 4:35 pm

1. As "easy time" in Gulf War, we are getting back the story about under-equipped "monkey models" driven by badly trained crews.
2. The "bad performance" of stripped-down Syrian T-72s has not clear proofs.
All of those "triumphal stories" from the Israel's side should be carefully checked to exclude any influence made by Israel's war propaganda. Of course, Israeli had some success against T-72(well-known episode with ambush on the Syrian tank column using ATGMs), but that's clearly not indicates how bad T-72 tank was. That's only indicates that Syrians lose in this tactical situation.

Reply

So? November 15, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Filtration camps are not nukes, and nukes won't do much good in that kind of mountainous terrain anyway. I gather you prefer decades of hand-wringing vs a couple of years of media outrage. The public has the attention span of a gnat.

Reply

major.rod November 15, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Strat – I see your feelings are hurt. I don't think the T72 was third rate. Second rate is probably descriptive enough.

You can make as many excuses as you'd like about the T72's performance. The fact is THOUSANDS of Iraqi tanks failed to kill ONE M1. A tank that has been defeated by RPGs.

We had much better performance out of Shermans in WWII and Korea and they were second rate against Tigers and T34s.

Face the truth dude. These sandcastles you are building are just too easy to knock down.

Reply

major.rod November 15, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Russian armor is robust and cheap. Great for crowd control, invading Hungary or maybe Chechnya. When facing a determined enemy or western tanks… Well, history's battlefields are littered by the facts.

Reply

Stratege November 15, 2011 at 5:21 pm

Under-equipped and obsolete monkey models were not match for M1s.
Those are not excuses, those are straight facts.
With Soviet T-72B and its direct descendant T-90A – its a very different story.

Reply

So? November 15, 2011 at 5:21 pm

OK, the Iraqis have early model 105 mm M1s with 70s ammo and no TI sights. The US have T-72Bs with TI sights and latest ammo. The mighty M1 still wins?

Reply

So? November 15, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Pakistan and Iran were armed with American tanks. Didn't help them.

Reply

major.rod November 15, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Yes, those were realy huge armor battles. LOL

Reply

major.rod November 15, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Good question. I give the edge to the Americans. The best soviet mechanized units were manned by Americans at Ft. Irwin and Hohenfels.

Heck, the Sherman was outclassed by the Germans we still won. Same thing in Korea against T34s.

What's your point? Are you proposing the Russians pay us to man their equipment so they can defeat western tanks?

Reply

major.rod November 15, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Underequipped? They had us outnumbered.

Monkey models? You must be Russian, your racism is showing.

Reply

Roy Smith November 15, 2011 at 7:56 pm

Our European NATO allies cannot afford to keep troops in Afghanistan,& while everybody is patting themselves on the back over the NATO “victory” in Libya,Europe again was running out of money keeping the air war going,& they were very close to running out of bombs. The Afghan/Iraq war has bankrupt us & wore down our equipment. If the “Super committee” cannot come up with a budget,draconian cuts will have to be made to the military. I saw on the news that our army will be cut to 1940′s(pre Pearl Harbor) levels,the navy will be reduced to 1915 levels(I don’t think they had aircraft carriers in 1915),& the air force will be at the lowest level that it has ever been. The F35 will be canceled outright. Forget new weapon systems,ships,vehicles,etc. Look at the U.K’s navy & how far they cut it to the bone. Russia/Iran/Turkey/China/North Korea,with their “s**tty weapons” only have to wait for the U.S. & Europe to commit collective suicide(which we are well on the way to doing),then nothing will stop them from attacking Israel. We’ll be took bankrupt to come to their aid. A simple technical is an awesome weapon if there is nothing to counter it,& that’s what you’ll see coming out of North Africa. hell,they might even attack on horseback & camelback. There will be no “awesome” American or European weapons to stop them.

Reply

So? November 15, 2011 at 8:31 pm

I'm going out on a limb here, but if Egyptian M1A1s clashed with Israeli Merkavas today, the results would be about the same.

Reply

TMB November 15, 2011 at 9:00 pm

I think the Abrams might have been the first tank ever with heating and air conditioning. Besides keeping the electronics cool, crew comfort is important when you're stuck in there for days at a time only getting out to answer nature and refuel.

Reply

Buzz November 16, 2011 at 10:15 am

Was probably more as a result of to many crews dying from the fumes from main guns and poorly designed bore evacuators.

Reply

major.rod November 15, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Nah, I think the soviets deployed overpressure systems first. Helps fan the flames.

Reply

blight2 November 15, 2011 at 11:43 pm

Anecdotally, some Israeli tanks in Yom Kippur had AC whereas OPFOR did not, but Syrian tanks had IR lamps and vision systems (and not all Israeli tanks had them).

Reply

major.rod November 15, 2011 at 10:08 pm

TMB, true. My point was some are strugling to find strengths in Russian armor. I was just pointing out the absurdity of strategic deployment when there's no significant capability to deploy tanks.

Reply

Stratege November 16, 2011 at 2:41 am

?
Sinice when Russians lost all of their transport infrastructure???

Reply

major.rod November 15, 2011 at 10:12 pm

No M1 mobility kills that I know of but they did take out several bradleys. I think 4-7 Cav lost a half dozen and I watched our sister BN lose one (4-32 AR).

Reply

PMI November 15, 2011 at 10:46 pm

One Abrams from the 197th was listed as 'crippled by enemy fire' during the battle at Tallil but I don't think it's ever been conclusively stated what it was struck by.

Reply

So? November 15, 2011 at 11:41 pm

Me:
* Weapon type X was not obsolete in 1600, but it was on its way out. It appears that the modern weapon type Y appears to be in the same historical position, and limited resources should be invested in other areas.
* If you insist on comparing different marks of weapon type Y, you have to compare them with all other things being equal. Otherwise you end up dragging more and more things into a discussion until you get to ICBMs.
You: (I'm being presumptive here, so please don't take offense):
* American tanks are the best, no matter what.
* American tankers are the best, no matter what.

I think we are arguing about different things.

Reply

So? November 15, 2011 at 11:58 pm

You have a good point there. However, per $ spent fighters are the best investment. They can be used against both land and air assets. S-300 and Patriot cost and an arm and a leg and serve only a single purpose. Also the radar equation and gravity favor aircraft. Tanks are defenseless against air attack.

In the early 1500s heavy cavalry, firearms, pikes, cannons, armour, crossbows and longbows could be found on the battlefield at the same time. But only gunpowder weapons endured. IMO, we are at a similar juncture today with many overlapping weapon types. A stealth fighter loaded with PGMs is today's gunpowder.

Reply

So? November 16, 2011 at 12:02 am

Nuclear warfare also figured in the decision to adopt autoloaders. The idea being that radiation exposure would affect the loader's function the most. Others crew members were expected to function for another 24 hours after exposure.

Reply

major.rod November 16, 2011 at 1:16 am

Yeah just read up on that though I'd like to read more as the numbers listed seem much lower than the Yom Kippur and Desert Storm battles.

SO – The Pakistanis had US tanks. The Indians did also along with Centurions. No T55's or 62's as a handicap! The Iranians and Iraqis fought a draw.

Reply

major.rod November 16, 2011 at 1:24 am

The wars between Pakistan and India have been relatively minor in as far as the study of modern armored warfare. The middle east wars have been the primary labratory driving armored warfare tactics (CAS, AT Missiles, the importance of infantry).

Reply

major.rod November 16, 2011 at 2:04 am

I just went back and looked up those numbers. The '65 Indo Pakistan wars had a little less than 1500 tanks involved. That's a pretty pale comparison to the 6 Day war (3300 tanks), Yom Kippur War (5100 tanks) or Desert Storm (over 9000 tanks) but desparation will cause folks to reach for straws…

Reply

TMB November 16, 2011 at 1:31 am

I'm probably mistaken on that post, but for some reason I remember reading that crew comfort was a factor in the M1's design.

Reply

So? November 16, 2011 at 1:51 am

Or a Sherman.

Reply

major.rod November 16, 2011 at 2:35 am

I don't think a Sherman could knock out a T72 but the Israelis may have done it at some point.

Reply

major.rod November 16, 2011 at 2:43 am

American tankers are pretty good. The best is debatable except in comparison to Russians. It just doesn't compare as I've stated (40+ live rounds per tank for individual tank training).

American tanks, generally sound but it would be silly to say they are always the best. Shermans were clearly outclassed by Panzer V's and up along with the T34.

The M1 is probably the best in the world right now but the Germans and Brits don't make crap.

Reply

Stratege November 16, 2011 at 3:38 am

"They had us outnumbered."

Outnumbered by hordes of 40-50's era T-54/T-55 and their Chinese clones?
Yeah, it was truly significant victory.

"Monkey model" term is nothing to do with racism. It's well-known and widely used term.

Reply

Lance November 16, 2011 at 5:55 am

Sorry but Iraqi Republican Guards in 1990 has up to date T-72s and they failed so did Syrian tanks against Israeli M-60A1s south a Beirut in 82. The T-80 was Russia best tank the T-72 won because its cheap and easy to make alot of them.

Reply

major.rod November 16, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Yes it was. Just like the 6 day and Yom Kippur wars. The battlefield was littered with Russian steel now you want to make excuses.

"Monkey model" yes widely used Russian racist term for the export model Russians sell to the "monkey" races.

You're demonstrating an inability to deal with reality. I guess you won the Cold War also.

Reply

So? November 16, 2011 at 6:46 am

And had the Serbs had cruise missiles capable of hitting Aviano, there would have been no war to begin with.

Reply

Buzz November 16, 2011 at 10:13 am

Different mission. The isreali tanks are meant for patrolling and urban combat whereas the abrams is meant for open country warfare. The tanks in combat in open terrain might give the abhams an big advantage but don't forget the israelis are much better soldiers and have a history of kicking egypts behind. In 73 tthe egyptions fared well because they used Sagger Missiles and the Israelis thought the egyptions were bringing suitcases to to battle with.

Reply

major.rod November 16, 2011 at 1:01 pm

The same results? No. A T72 has NEVER defeated an M1. Not saying it couldn't happen, just never has even though there's been AMPLE opportunity.

I'm sure M1s would not be unscathed by a competently crewed Merkava. Heck, they only have to stop ONE M1 to do better than the T72 have in all history.

Reply

Stratege November 16, 2011 at 10:41 am

"125mm is that the main guns have a horrible problem with traumatically amputating the limbs of the turret crew."

Fictional myth.
"Tom Clancy is not reliable historical source" (C)

Reply

Buzz November 16, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Ed,
The Russians first sent in T-80's and T-64's but the chechens found out the tanks have massive weak area's and was taking them out so fast that tankers were refusing to go into battle with those tanks. The few T-72's sent in stud up to attacks well so the russians pulled out the heavy tanks and sent in only 72's. In afghanistan they had to pull them out and replace them with 54's and 62's because the suspensions were built for fighting in europe and they broke quickly and often in that area.

Reply

major.rod November 16, 2011 at 1:07 pm

You raised the issue about strategic mobility. Sorry, I thought you were talking about the significant capability of projecting military power worldwide not simply moving one's tanks around one's country.

I'm sure the Russian rail system works. Strategic must be with a small "s" with Russia's diminshed military capability.

Reply

major.rod November 16, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Yes Russian can move its tanks within its own borders. Big whoop!

Reply

crackedlenses November 16, 2011 at 4:07 pm

The Israelis could have very well done it; the M51 SuperSherman mounted a 105 AT cannon….

Reply

PMI November 16, 2011 at 4:58 pm

"Tom Clancy is not reliable historical source"

Neither are Russian sales brochures.

Reply

crackedlenses November 16, 2011 at 5:33 pm
TMB November 16, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Tom Clancy's Into the Storm which is mostly based on interviews with LTG Fred Franks. Also, a book of Cold War anecdotes called Dirty Little Secrets by James Dunnigan. The book also mentions that most of the Soviet tanks used for training were not "go to war" tanks but older models which were still counted in the Soviet totals. The good stuff stayed in warehouses. Soviet divisions also had a tiered system where Tier A units got the best gear and as you went down in rating your equipment, personnel and supplies were worse. Having four different models of tanks in a front line division also compounded maintenance problems. The front line T-72s and T-80s were in good shape (but not often used in training), and the T-55s, T-62s, T-64s were worn out, still on the MTOE, and still expected to take part in the war.

I don't have an online source to add to this but I'm still looking.

Reply

major.rod November 16, 2011 at 10:39 pm

You know it would be interesting to find out. Who knows? The T72 may be one of the first tanks to be knocked out by the newest AND the oldest American tank. Another one for the record books?

Reply

major.rod November 16, 2011 at 10:52 pm

mel – yes Israeli Pattons and Centurions took casualties. The fact remains that out of FIVE THOUSAND Iraqi tanks not ONE Abrams was stopped. That's darn well incredible whatever nation the M1 was made by or how bad FIVE THOUSAND Iraqi tank crews were!

You're confusing the utter and total outclassing of Russian armor by the M1 for national pride which in this feat of arms is pretty well justified. Maybe you're a little jealous that the Israelis didn't do it first?

Read the thread, we're mostly discussing how bad Russian tanks are specifically the T72, vs. western tanks. Indi-Pak wars? What's the point? They were western tanks against western tanks.

Reply

blight2 November 16, 2011 at 11:44 pm

Viktor Suvorov's "Inside the Soviet Army" isn't a bad source (being a primary source, he did serve in the Red Amy, after all…). There's even a link to it on Wikipedia. Interesting reading…

Reply

major.rod November 17, 2011 at 1:09 am

specify which Indo Pak war you're talking about. The '65 conflict had only a very few PT76s.

Secondly WHY do you keep harping on a relatively small armored conflict? Can't make your point with more modern conflicts where 2-3 times the armor was used and it being a pretty clear western vs. soviet contest?

I'll be happy to acknowledge that not every tank in Iraq was a T72 (though those were quite common in my sector). The fact remains that not ONE M1 was stopped. Not even the Merkava can make that claim.

Reply

Stratege November 17, 2011 at 1:21 am

M1 has NEVER faced an REAL T-72!

Reply

major.rod November 17, 2011 at 2:04 pm

You keep dancing around the fact that not ONE Abrams was stopped by a T72.

BTW, not all of the coalition's tanks were M1s.

Even if you stripped an M1 as described there would be burning T72s. Why do you have to practice these dizzying mental gymnastics to defend an inferior tank?

I know, Russian pride…

Reply

major.rod November 17, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Yep, and the world is flat.

Reply

crackedlenses November 17, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Which is all irrelevant anyways because you are not invading anyone anytime soon, and it doesn't sound like you'll ever sell the real deal to any of the third-rate countries we'll be fighting; fact: the M1 is better than anything you're exporting. That's all that really matters at this point…..

Reply

Stratege November 19, 2011 at 3:40 am

"Except for the part of a t72 being the same as an M60."

No, T-72 is not the same as an Patton (first-gen tank)
Domestic T-72 outperforms M-60 almost in every aspect

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: