Modern Armour

Discussion in 'Postwar' started by von Poop, Feb 7, 2021.

  1. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    'Challenger III' it is, then.
    The future UK Main Battle Tank fleet

    Beute PzKpW Leopard Ausf Challenger (e) :unsure: :D

    I can feel a certain amount of WW2 serviceman wincing ever so slightly at the British MBT being substantially a German 'big cat'. :ninja:

    Now wonder how this will all shake out.
    I believe we don't have large armoured castings capacity any more.
    See if they push it as the old political/jobs compromise or an actual military programme.
    JimHerriot likes this.
  2. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    Now we build tanks together instead of shooting each other to pieces - I think that's a very desirable development.
    IMHO certain national "disputes" are much better settled in football arenas anyway :box: (we haven't forgotten Wembley 1966, Sons of Albion!).:cheers:
    CL1, Tom OBrien, SDP and 3 others like this.
  3. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

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  4. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Challenger 3 order confirmed today.
    148 tanks with a 2027 service date.
    JimHerriot likes this.
  5. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    Wonder if that means three regiments with 44 tanks and 14 tanks for training and spare. If I am not wrong, some of British tank regiments did have 44 Challenger 2 tanks earlier. Other options would we 48 tanks per regiment but that would leave only 4 spares or just two regiment with more tanks.
    JimHerriot likes this.
  6. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

  7. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Can't help feeling it would be less embarrassing to just throw in the towel and decide we aren't going to be needing the things anyway. If there was another big war, we'd have to build bulldozers to clear the old airfields before we could even think about remembering how to build tanks.

    It might make more sense to bite the bullet and permanently amalgamate the tanks with mechanised infantry battalions on a battalion/squadron basis or whatever. It might even increase the MBT requirement, but I'm too scared to see what's left.
  8. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Last edited: May 8, 2021
  9. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron


    After the First Gulf War there was a much reduced role for Apache attack helicopters in a "tank busting" role. From memory this was due to their deployment in the desert against an Iraqi armoured formation, which had ample ant-aircraft weapons (23mm quad) and defeated them. This may be the incident: 2003 attack on Karbala - Wikipedia

    In a counter-insurgency role they were lethal, so that is the role they were used for.
    Last edited: May 8, 2021
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  10. JDKR

    JDKR Member

    Politicians like tanks in the same way that they like aircraft carriers. Whether either will be of much use in the next war remains to be seen. Glad to be no longer part of the experiment.
    Chris C and JimHerriot like this.
  11. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Try this short article by Nicholas Drummond on the latest design for the British Army, within ware several points on armored vehicles: The Good, Bad and Ugly - The British Army and the Integrated Review % and his paper for the House of Commons Defence Committee:

    If you want despair at how the Army and MoD have mismanaged our £ read their 2021 report Obsolescent and outgunned: the British Army’s armoured vehicle capability: Obsolescent and outgunned: the British Army’s armoured vehicle capability - Defence Committee - House of Commons

    A Canadian paper on the UK's choices: .
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  12. idler

    idler GeneralList

    I still tend to think any excuse has been taken to run down the forces until we were forced to beg our continental mates to protect us. Now our glorious leaders have got to grow up and decide what to do, all on their own. It won't be pretty but maybe they will start to realise whose interests should come first.

    I'm not smart enough to know if MBTs should be part of that but who is likely to be driving them up our beaches? Not that they'll get very far if they get all those dinghies caught in their tracks...
    von Poop and Chris C like this.
  13. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    Isn't that sort of what the French did in 1940? :)
  14. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    Managing a unit with such wide differences in equipment would be a nightmare. Tankies and infanteers have different skills you could not easily swap a tank gunner for a light machine gunner in an infantry section or vice versa.
  15. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Having spent some time in and around Kerbala its pretty flat and open and movement of any sort can be seen for miles. So it would therefore I guess depend on the type of terrain you were in, and so if it was Northern Europe I would still suggest that at potentially a smaller unit cost. and using less manpower (2 in an Apache - 5 or 6 in a Battle Tank) there is still a very good basis for purchasing more Apache Helicopters than investing in Battle Tanks

    Assuming that support in terms of manpower and facilities would almost be the same for either

    Unit cost of a Battle Tank is ? - + how many crew (5?)
    Unit cost of an Apache Helicopter is ? - + 2 crew


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    Last edited: May 8, 2021
  16. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Armies are already complicated, we could just not bother with them...

    There is an assumption that the vehicles would be broadly comparable, if not variations on a theme. The infantry appeared to cope with the FV432 to Warrior transition, and even the Guards managed tanks once upon a time.

    The point, such as it was, is that maybe we first need to think what we want to do and how best to do it, then go from there. Even the die-hardiest Tankie isn't likely to claim that our two or three armoured regiments are likely to be employed en masse.

    Additional tasks or trades within a composite unit might enhance career progression - start as an infantry man, stint as a crewman, section commander and so on. Of course, that may contradict the perceived war on recruitment but allowing everything to wither away to unsustainable numbers doesn't sound like a great plan.

    How long before the guns go the same way as land mines because indirect fire is portrayed as indiscriminate and unsporting?
  17. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    Modernisation of 38 British Apaches to AH-64E and procurement of 12 new AH-64E, for total of 50, was covered by $2.3-billion contract. So getting more Apaches would not be cheep. Also training Apache crew is very hard and expensive.

    I don't think that attack helicopter could replace tanks or any other heavy support vehicle. If you go that way why not replace all helicopters with drones?

    If I'm not wrong US Army did replace classic Armoured and Mechanised battalions with Composite Armoured and Mechanised battalion with 1-2 tank companies and 2-1 mechanised companies depending of unit.

    But British Army successfully operated similar combat groups during the Gulf War and Iraq Invasion in 2003, so it is questionable how much creating a new mixed unit could improve that.
  18. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Cross-attachment of arms into battalion-size 'battle groups' of company-size 'combat teams' is nothing new. But if that's the way most of the fighting is done most of the time, why not formalise the arrangement? This is in the context of infantry mechanised and armoured to a level commensurate with the big guns.
    We might decide we need heavy- and light-armoured units as well as light-role, foot-borne infantry units. There just seems little point in having formations on paper that are undeployable without robbing men and kit from others.
  19. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Last edited: May 8, 2021
  20. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Lots of cooperative training is clearly important, but on the other hand does it make sense to have a mixed unit when it comes to the specific training for the individual arms? And then there's maintenance etc - if you have mixed units and thus tanks in every one, then maybe every one needs the equipment and personnel to do all the repairs on tanks. I'm kind of assuming that when you have a regiment of armour, there's better opportunity for someone to specialize in the training of tankers (tankies) and to deliver that training to the soldiers. You obviously need both, really.

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