Is this curtains for the tank?

Discussion in 'RAC' started by Jorrocks, Nov 22, 2009.

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  1. It looks like the Conservatives have finally woken up to what should have been done years ago, withdraw the British army completely from Germany. Yellow Handbags, Wolfgang and Snow Queen aside, BAOR/BFG had its day and has been a huge drain on resources in terms of housing, LOA and all the other niff naff involved in maintaining garrisons in foreign parts. The usual irrelevant arguments have already appeared on ARRSE: we´ve just signed 30 year leases (so what), we contribute to the German economy (how about contributing to our own?), where will we put the withdrawn units in the UK? That is the interesting one. We are talking about predominantly heavy units, so we need to ask, do we need heavy units? If we no longer consider it to be strategically necessary to maintain heavy units in Germany, why have them at all? If our strategic focus is to be on light, rapidly deployable expeditionary ops, why do we maintain CR2? So I put it to you that the age of the MBT is over. It´s had a good innings, but probably won´t make its century. Just as the Cavalry regiments have spent the last 70 odd years on a nostalgia trip for the days of the horse, the RTR will soon know how it feels to hanker after an obsolete way of life.
  2. elovabloke

    elovabloke LE Moderator

    Or is it the beginning of the end for the armed forces in its current make up. Yes tanks are expensive and because of that we cannot even afford to send them where they are needed.

    Tanks disappearing because of costs, heard that one before. Tanks disappearing because of no need - if that’s true, let’s make sure we have something in place before they all disappear.
  3. maguire

    maguire LE Book Reviewer

    'So I put it to you that the age of the MBT is over.'

    so you get rid of all the CR2s and concentrate on the type of kit being used now in sandy climes - what happens when the opposition (wherever or whomever they happen to be) know this, and rustle up a dozen or so T-55s? what would you expect to be used as a counter? harsh language?
  4. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    Haven't they already announced no MBT's will be replacing the CR2 ?

    What will we do in Korea and Iran next time round?
  5. IIRC, the powers that be made the same kind of judgement/mistakes after WWI. Kit was scrapped or mothballed because The War to End All Wars was over and we would never have to fight another one...

    In more recent times, the Falklands, Gulf War 1 and 9/11 all came out of the clear blue sky and caught the military and politicians completely unaware. Noone can say for certain exactly what enemies we will face in the future.

    "It is better to keep an army for a hundred years, even if you only need it for a single day."

    - The Art of War by Sun Tzu
  6. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    IIRC that was one of the reasons the UK fell behind in tank advances during the inter war years
    Senior officers saw them as a war only weapon
    Cavalry would use horses in peace time and would use tanks in war
  7. Don't worry. Our 30 tonne reconnaissance vehicles with their 40mm wonder-gun will save us!

    Still, CR2 is due to be around for another 25 years (it's not yet a third through its projected life)
    Whether that life is in any kind of operational capability or languishing in an air conditioned hanger is another question entirely.
  8. elovabloke

    elovabloke LE Moderator

    No British replacement if my memory serves me but given the date and the fact I have only had two days to recover I could be wrong.

    I remember Field Marshal Carver in the late 70's telling a bunch of old comrades how the day of the tank were dead now that GW and SMART weapons were coming to the fore.

    I hope we do not forget the lessons of Gulf War 1 but the MOD and politicians are not great at history.
  9. perhaps FRES has the answer?

    wouldnt be surprised to see an upgunned swb WR with say a 90mm gun, with the emphasis on ammo development and a few javalins in the back
  10. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    Doesnt the FRES concep call for a fire support vehicle?

    If FRES Scout goes CV90 then the CV90 range comes with a 120mm gun version which would seem a logical choice for the fire support version.

    Ask the Israel if it thinks heavy tanks are redundant in urban warfare/coin and then ask them why they have developed armoured personnel carriers from MBT chassis?

    The demise of the tank has been rumoured since they were invented

    What I could see happening is the CR2 turret changing for something more useful in the type of conflicts were are likely to see, smaller or no main gun and cannons and missiles replacing it. I think the russians have something similar.

    Not sure that would be ti right thing though but change is constant as they say
  11. It'll be the same deal as the Australian Army. They bought Abrams tanks to replace their Leopards. Not that they're ever likely to be of the slightest use in defending Australia, not unless the Indonesions are capable of staging a D-Day type assault on Darwin. So that's 550 million dollars wasted that could have bought some badly needed helicopters or fixed wing transports to replace the Caribou.

    Of course there's a reason why we had to buy the poxy bloody things. It was a Pentagon pressure point move to make sure that the Army couldn't make the excuse that they didn't have a thing to wear when we're invited to attend the next big American military ball(s-up).
  12. MBTs could always be kept on standby, in storage.

    Lighter Tanks could be used for everyday training, etc. But with the ability to 'go large' should the requirement be there.

    Perhaps Armoured Regiments of a Sqn of MBT, and the remainder a light tank.
  13. didnt the gulf 2 show us we still need a tank capability?
    i know herrick there isnt any use, but with iran, korea, russia, china still playing up, and im not surgesting for a minute that we would dare challenge the big boys but there still playing up when they want to!
  14. Are we all forgetting the large number of Chally's that roled into Basra?

    Or did just dream all that up.
  15. I thought Israel would come up in the discussion. The difference between us and Israel is that their strategy is based on fighting conflicts that they can drive to such as Lebanon and the West Bank. And that is the whole point of my post. In the days when we faced a credible threat from the armoured Russian hordes, it made sense to sit in our Chieftains in the Minden Gap waiting for them. Getting to the war was relatively simple; Antar/Mojo/Train combo.

    A lot of people have quite rightly pointed out that there are possible threats out there that can best be met by heavy armour. But unless that threat arrives in Kent, we just don´t have the means to get our heavy armour in position in time. Hence the requirement for lighter, more agile forces and also the reason why the Israelis stick with their MBTs.

    The whole point of a 70 tonne tank is to provide a suitable platform for a kinetic weapon, in the case of CR2, the 120mm gun. Cannons and missiles would be better used on a smaller platform that can wing nimbly around the battlefield, something CR2 is not known for.