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The M1A2 Abrams: Obsolete or Battleworthy?

Discussion in 'Post-World War 2 Armour' started by Blaster, Jul 23, 2006.

  1. Blaster

    Blaster New Member

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    As soon as the US military funds get the money, I strongly advise putting a new and extremely improved MBT before their armored forces are blasted to scrap. The M1A3 would probably be a good idea. Or they could start mass-producing A10 Warthogs. Not even the best tank can survive a Maverick missile or a few hundred armour-piercing rounds courtesy of the 30mm Avenger cannon.
     
  2. Cdat88

    Cdat88 recruit

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    Blaster, you cannot park an A-10 on property. You lose your hold as soon as you are off site. An M1A2, a squad of grunts and that ground is mine. I do agree the M1 series needs more attention paid to defense. skirt charges (Hammers Slammers) miniguns,grenade launchers, roof mortars (IDF)
     
  3. Siberian Black

    Siberian Black New Member

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    If it weren't for the fact they would never listen to me (on top of my idead being either too expensive or just not cost effective) I'd send 'em a whole new version of the M1 series that would kick butt. (assuming I remember to use real weapons.....don't ask.)
     
  4. Grieg

    Grieg New Member

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    For the use that they get the current MBTs of all the NATO countries are perfectly adequate. MBTs in the kinds of low intensity warfare that is likely to occur in the foreseeable future have limited use anyway.
    As you noted no MBT can stand up to concentrated air and missile attacks. A combined arms team is the answer. Airpower alone is too limited. MBTs and armored vehicles alone are too limited and too vulnerable. Infantry alone lacks the punch that armor can provide.
    A true combined arms team with in theatre and outside surveillance capabilties, sophisticated command and control and extensive logistical support are all needed to wage war on a large scale and to project force at long distances from secure bases.
    The fact is that only a few countries in the world can accomplish this so most conflicts will continue to be small scale local disturbances. Unless, of course, some major destabilizing event occurs that puts two world powers in conflict. That is always possible but hard to predict.
     
  5. Boba Nette

    Boba Nette New Member

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    Wouldn't this apply to all modern MBT's?
     
  6. Anton phpbb3

    Anton phpbb3 New Member

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    Anton schreef:
    The abrams is only battleworthy within the us tactical use. In tank to tank battle hard to defeat (is capable in gaining the ground) but in the aftermath easy target (it can´t hold the ground) by ied´s and unconventional tactics as seen in iraq.
    Conclusion very useful in standard fighting situation, piece of junk in a-symetrical war. (it´s like trying to hit a bug with a cannon)

    Kind regards,

    Wouldn't this apply to all modern MBT's?


    Actually you are correct Sturmtiger.
    Unfortunately almost every mbt is vulnerable in non-conventional battle.
    But used in the concept of combined arms the tank is indeed essential and almost unbeatable.

    Kind regards,
     
  7. Blaster

    Blaster New Member

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    That 's a good point. And I think the US is pretty well combined. Powerful MBTs like the M1A2+tankbusters like the A10+good attack choppers like the AH64s=a good team. Not to mention Eagles and Fighting Falcons also packing some Mavericks and bombs.
     
  8. Cdat88

    Cdat88 recruit

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    Thank you Blaster. Though I am no longer active duty, it is nice to nice words about my old "school"
     
  9. Siberian Black

    Siberian Black New Member

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    I don't understand the concept of an MBT if they're more 'killable' than a heavy tank. Wouldn't logic force you to produce more heavies to counter the weaknesses of the MBTs (Although why the Abrams is counted as an MBT when it is also the heaviest tanks in production)
     
  10. Grieg

    Grieg New Member

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    There is no valid distinction. MBTs are heavy tanks. The days of light, medium and heavy tanks were superceded by the MBT accompanied by lighter multipurpose armored vehicles like the Bradley or Warrior.
     
  11. MikeGolf

    MikeGolf New Member

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    Hmmm, every weapon is only battleworthy if it is used by capable personnel within the equipments strengths. Point a rifle the wrong way and it is ineffective, at least to the user.

    The Challenger II and M1 series are the only true combat proven effective tanks in the world. Deploying a few LEOs in lands formerly known as Yugoslovia isn't proof of anything. They didn't do anything there and wasn't under any threats. It was actually a waste of money sending them there.

    The M1A1/2 has been used in every form of conflict in Iraq and has been complimented in it's performance. Commanders have placed the successes of fights such as Fallujha on the performance of the M1s and Brads that were brought into the fight.

    Has a few tanks been hit? of course. Have a few tanks been lost? Of course. The lost of crewmen has been very low compared to past conflicts. The M1 series has proven in combat its ability to reach out and touch threats even in the worst environments possible. It has also proven that when hit or disabled the crews come home, 99% of the time upright.

    The LOEII is a damn fine tank. I've been in several different versions including the A6. I wouldn't have no problem taking one into combat if they fixed a just few things. There are several things I would like to see taken from the LEO II redesigned into the Abrams as well. However, the reasons why some of the Abrams losses in Iraq are more pronounced in the LEO. As good as the LEO is, more crewmen would be lost if it were abused as much as the M1s have seen in Iraq.

    There are several areas taken into consideration when comparing MBTs. Which one is the newest isn't one of the areas, nor is how fancy or how many colors the displays can generate. There are some areas that the M1 series isn't the best in. However, when one compares all the varibles combined the M1A2 SEP is the best. I just wish it was more reliable.
     
  12. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    Hey MikeGolf, welcome to the forum. It looks like you have some interesting views and some real-world experience, so we are glad to have you!

    Please pop in to the Member's Lounge and introduce yourself! :D
     
  13. MikeGolf

    MikeGolf New Member

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  14. Anton phpbb3

    Anton phpbb3 New Member

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    Hello MikeGolf,


    This is very true. That is also why it is difficult to measure the M1 according to its victories in Iraq.
    The opponent, the iraqi army and now the freedom fighters, are by no standard any match in terms of capability and advance of the weapons used. In the regular war the iraqi army vehicles showed lack of basic maintenance, spare-parts trained and capable crews and absence of support units.
    The iraqi t-72 was certainly not the type like the polish pt-91 or the chech/slovak ZTS Martin t-72M1 for example.
    The score of M1 Abrams against an iraqi T-72 says not much in general.
    That is also the problem for ATGM´s. Iraq did had HOT and Milan AT-4 and AT-5 atgm´s.
    Neither were used properly. Most of the iraqi freedom fighters use outdated weapons like the rpg-7 with the old pg-1 rocket propelled grenade. Still they have managed to disable or destruct M1´s. (vulnerable areas are motorcompartment, tracks and hatches)
    Basicly the M1 is not opposed by serious, modern and effective anti-tank weapons. Most kills on M1´s were roadside bombs. So to say it is batlle proven weapon defines only the battle against an opponent that is ill-armed, badly trained and has an outdated armoury.

    The M1 is a good tank for its purpose. But it is heavily dependent on its tactical counterparts and support units. It functions well within the us tactical use.

    Stand alone it is a heavy, thirsty beast. The LEO is basicly desigend and built to hold it out against a vastly superior opponent and is not so heavily dependent on support units like the M1.
    The gas-turbine engine for example makes the M1 a fast but unreliable en logistic nightmare to keep it running.
    Given an opponent keen on leaving the ground, burned earth style, to the us with smal bands of fighters disrupting logistic will make it hard to keep the M1 rolling.

    Like to hear your opinion.

    Kind regards,
     
  15. Revere

    Revere New Member

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    They need to have a Abrams Vs Chalanger Duel but not with real bullets...i dunno large paintballs?
     
  16. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 New Member

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    Forgive me if I'm wrong but all tanks prove vulnerable when separated from their tactical elements. CIS AFVs in Chechnya proved highly vulnerable under less than ideal cirsumstances for example.

    In any case the supply of fuel is more a logistical consideration rather than tactical and one the US Army seems more than up to the task of maintaining it.

    I can't imagine any modern force of MBTs being able to hold it's own against an enemy force (In the case of Iraq you're talking insurgents using IEDs in urban areas rather than a situationally inferior force in "...burned earth earth...") when deprived of their tactical elements. An MBT is still vulnerable to even a militia force armed with improvised devices, but that has been true of tanks since their inception. I severely doubt the Leo is any different despite the fact that it has not been tested in such demanding circumstances.
     
  17. Revere

    Revere New Member

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    You think the Germans would let the US to borrow it to test it for them?
     
  18. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 New Member

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    I'm not a diplomat however in a similar way that the US for example has not allowed the RAF to "test" any aircraft operationally, I can imagine even less circumstances under which Germany would allow the US to test the Leo. "Buy", maybe if they thought for a second it might compare substantially better for the international arms market than the M1 whilst on public display... ...but to give a few away for such purposes when they could stand to lose anything, not likely.
     
  19. Siberian Black

    Siberian Black New Member

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    Laser sights? (Brass Eagle could make a killing with those paintballs)
     
  20. MikeGolf

    MikeGolf New Member

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    I don't measure tank performances based solely on a win/loss record. There are far too many factors outside of the tanks's and their crew's control to do a balanced analysis. I base mine opinions on the performance of the vehicle itself and the effects of its weapons. In addition I weight in survivability.

    This is slightly outside of proving my point but I feel it should be a side note. You discussed the Iraqi "pratices", or lack of, in handling their armor. Let me remind you that in the winter of 1990 every open source, and a few classified, judged the Iraqi army as competent and "well" eqiuiped with the T-72M1 as the backbone of the fourth largest army on the planet. The resaon we deployed the way we did was due largely in part to the preceived experience and abilities of Iraqi tanks and their crews. You are correct that a great deal of Iraqi units were left to die in the desert as cannon fodder. Some even question if this was not a similar tactic the Soviets might has used in the European WWIII scenerio but that could be a different thread. The five republican guard divisions were not so misfortunate. Most of their tanks were in good working order. In fact those that did not receive a small in the turret drove back to Iraq. You discription of the invasion of Iraq and the condition of their forces was right on the mark.

    The M1A1/2s as well as the Challanger IIs has been hit with far more than IEDs and RPG-7s. They have endured some very good AT weapons. I can't go into details about what, where, and results but the Abrams has earned its reputation for a good reason. It is true that some have been "disabled" but over 80% are either recovered, return under own power, or destroyed in place by friendly forces. A very small number have been destroyed. Less than 5 have been determined to be "destroyed" by threat forces. Of those only a couple of them were destroyed while it was occupied or actually in action. About 75% of destroyed M1s were done after the crews abandoned the tank and the bad guys got to have their will with it. Out of the several thousand tank crews that have been in combat on the M1 series, over 98% of them come home with nothing more than war stories. The tank was designed to close with and destroy while protect the crews. The M1s and Challangers do that far better than any tank in combat and it has been proven in the best lab in the world, combat. That statement has nothing to do with the competence of the threat but the capabilities of the weapons they have used versus the results they have had on the tanks.

    Soviet based tank designs have flaws that are shared by all. The T-72M1 and all its cousins will have the same results reguardless if it was hit by a M1A1, ChallangerII, LEO II, Merkava III, and even Leclerc. The crews die almost every time.

    All tanks are a logistics nightmare. The M1 series is a very thirsty beast. I disagree with whomever said it wasn't a tactical issue. A common concept in the Soviet doctrine was to destroy the log trail to stop the enemys tanks. Its a concept I share deeply. You don't have to kill the tank to stop it. That is the basic misconception of most Infantry forces. So then the question isn't how much does a tank need but can the forces support it. The U.S. and British forces connducted the fastest, deepest assault in the shortest amount of time in history. Yes, the log trail was challanging and even attacked by proficient forces and yet the beans, bullets, and ammo got through. The turbine engine has proven very reliable even in the worst conditions. Having said all that I do agree with you though. The M1 drinks a lot of gas and I do want it to change to a diesel engine but for a different reason. Thermal sight technology has made it around the world now and its success is well advertised. The thermal signature of the turbine engine is begining to be a liability. I would like to see the LEO IIs engine in the M1.

    Only fools deploy combat elements without support or in combined arms. Tanks and Infantry work together but are not entirely dependant on each other either. Its a balance that is learned in training. This returns to my earlier comment on pointing a rifle the wrong way.

    Scorched earth doctine will not hurt professional armies. In the case of NATO tank designs, it would probably help them. Tankers like it best when there isn't any threat aircraft in the air and they can see for miles in every direction. We train to destroy things out to the limits of eyesight. The fewer obstacles the better. When things get close and tight is when it gets nervous.

    There are on going discussions on whether or not tanks a benefit in urban environment. The Russians have been burnt bad. The British and Americans have had a lot of success. There are commanding Generals that continue to praise the M1s work in fights like Fallujha. A great deal of that is due to how they were deployed so it can be arguementive. However, the survivability rate of our crews is unquestionable.

    The LEOII is a damn fine tank. I have been in them, all versions, many times and talked to the crews. There are several areas I feel are better designed on the LEO than on the Abrams. I wish we could combine the two tanks into a common NATO design. However, too many contractors would loose out on money. WE have several "shared" ideas but the differences are why we went different directions in tank design. However, when you compare firepower, manueverability, and survivability the Abrams desin come out ahead. In addition, the LEO has not been challanged by a combat scenerio and as long as the green party has its way in Germany it never will. Perhaps the Dutch or Danes will be able to answer those questions. I will predict it will perform well but also share some of the concerns people here are associating with the M1s.
     

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