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Is this curtains for the tank?

#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year leases (so what), we contribute to the German economy (how about contributing to our own?), where will we put the withdrawn units in the UK?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.
 

elovabloke

ADC
Moderator
#2
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.
 

maguire

LE
Book Reviewer
#3
'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?
 
#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
 

the_boy_syrup

LE
Book Reviewer
#6
Werewolf said:
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...
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
aS WE KNOW IT DIDN'T WORK
 
#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.
 

elovabloke

ADC
Moderator
#8
the_boy_syrup said:
Haven't they already announced no MBT's will be replacing the CR2 ?
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
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!
 
#15
meridian said:
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?
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.


meridian said:
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.
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.
 
#16
elovabloke said:
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.
Yes. Citizen soldiers should do it. Those armed bobbies at Heathrow look tough and maybe a few extra lessons for scout leaders (they're already good at living of the land and stuff)
 
#17
But if the Israelis use a heavy tank in the type of terrain that we might also find ourselves in then by definition they are of use and as others have said, Basra. I think the US found their M1's rather useful in Fallujah, I read that they were battle winning.

So, if they are of use then shouldnt we be concentrating on making sure we actually have the means of deploying and supporting them, even in small numbers where there presence can have a disproportionate effect.

See your point about light weapons on a lighter chassis, all makes sense I suppose but when that lighter chassis means your multi million pound investment can be taken out by a $20 RPG round then maybe the heavier chassis/lighter weapon combo becomes attractive

Just thinking out loud :D
 

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