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  1. #1
    CQMS
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    Question MBTs for us?

    No its not a bad joke...
    Browsing through in the past i notice it is mentioned often,and the concensus always is we dont need them.
    However I have it on good information that many MBT Types are being offered to us,including
    Leopard 2 A4s,British Challenger 1,M1A1,and a lot of Dutch and British stuff.
    It seems the Poles got similar for free recently.

  2. #2
    Sergeant Major Thorpe's Avatar
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    What would we us them for??? we`re not exactly going to attack some other country on a whip?? Although the Challenger 1 would be nice, but we really have no use for them. we could do with more apc`s and the mowag eagles plus a good replacement for the aml`s
    Only the dead have seen the end of war - Plato

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  3. #3
    LordFlash
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    Don't forget that these could be reasonable re-engineered to carriers once the turret is removed.
    Never look a gift horse in the mouth anyway.

    I'd doubt Ireland would accept cos, they would have to pay for the parts and the lefties would scream "NATO bribe".

    We could use warriors and the like though.

    Perhaps we could use MBT's in the EURRF?

  4. #4
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    Problem, as always, is support. Tanks would need ARVs, bridge layers, transporters and a very heavy maintenance/logistics supply train.

    BUT

    Presuming we got them for free, something like the Leo 2 A4/A5* would make a hell of a fire support vehicle. Deploying them abroad will always be a pain, but if we're moving equipment by sea anyhow, the extra weight of a few tanks won't really matter all that much (volume is usually more of a concern). And given the choice between a 105mm MGS/LAV III as support, and a MBT with 120mm smoothbore and three machine guns, I know what I'd prefer if it was my ass on the line.

    And if the CAV are to get 105mm equipped AFVs in the near future anyway, the training areas for one could be used for the other.

    Perhaps they could be used in a similar way to the manner in which the USMC has traditionally used/deployed M1A1s, with (say) 4 being deployed afloat with some of the MEU as fire support/anti armour. In other words, to provide a contingent and organic anti tank capability. So for RRF missions that require such a capability, they could simply be added to the slate.

    They'd be handy for training too.

    There really wouldn't be much point in getting the usual 12-14 of them though, to make the supply and servicing/training worthwhile it might make more sense to go all out and get (say) 45-50 (hell, they're for free). Would be enough for a battalion (I think?!?) if necessary, and plenty to ensure that there'd be a company's worth available for training or deployment when needed. All that we'd need then was a few ARVs.

    *Aren't the Swedes considering disposing of their Strv 121 (Leo2A4) as soon as they have their full complement of Strv 122 in service?

  5. #5
    King Monkey FMolloy's Avatar
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    Who says these MBT's have to be stationed here?

    Let assume we're getting these MBTs for free from a European power ot enhance our RRF capability. Why not leave them on the continent & deploy them from there?
    A school could be established in Germany, for argument's sake, where the crews can train alongside their RRF partners. When needed, these MBTs can be shipped out with the German contingent to wherever they're going.

    A small number could be held here for familiarisation & basic training.
    "The dolphins were monkeys that didn't like the land, walked back to the water, went back from the sand."

  6. #6
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    "A school could be established in Germany, for argument's sake"

    Or Poland, for that matter

  7. #7
    LordFlash
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    Excellent idea there, after all we would never be on operational missions on our own, why not be attached to another army.
    another good idea to get as many as possible is because we can butcher excess MBT's if the money dries up for parts etc.

  8. #8
    Commandant Come-quickly's Avatar
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    Actually in a discussion on future cavalry and fire support vehicles one person has argued that Leopard 2A5s would be cheaper to run and operate than the kind of wheeled heavy FSV that people might normally consider more in Irelnad's natural preserve.
    The issue of support vehicles is my main objection to MBTs and I feel that theres a line between being useful or token that would be crossed by relying on allies for ARVs etc.
    "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke

  9. #9
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    Acquiring 30 Leopard2 A5 second hand would be cheaper than buying 14 centauro's brand new, they're interoperable, used by Germany, spain, Switzerland, Greece, Holland, Poland (second hand), Denemark (second hand), Norway (second hand), Austria(second hand), Sweeden, Finland(second hand), no shortage of spare parts, whereas the Centuaro is only used by Italy and Spain; as for support vehicles they also could be acquired surplas. You could have regiment with a PDF and an RDF squadron with 12 MBT and let it not be forgotten the DF has experience of operating tracked vehicles with the scorpion. Its essentially the Battlecruiser vrs Battleship question, the battlecruiser had the same weapon as a battleship, but not the armoured protection, and while the idea was good in theory, a look at british losses at Jutland in 1916 or the Bismark vrs Hood shows how dangerous that can be. But than again, the chances of it actually happening are non-existant
    Last edited by paul g; 29th May 2003 at 20:38.

  10. #10
    6-40509-04014-7 yooklid's Avatar
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    I don't think the Swedes are about to give them away
    Meh.

  11. #11
    Sergeant Major Thorpe's Avatar
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    The Brits and the Germans are selling them very cheep and this idea is growing in stature and I have to say Im now preswaded to the idea.
    Only the dead have seen the end of war - Plato

    "Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory" Proverbs 11-14
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  12. #12
    6-40509-04014-7 yooklid's Avatar
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    Yes, this idea is growing in stature, however, only among members of this board.
    Meh.

  13. #13
    Der Wustenfuchs Rommel's Avatar
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    Rather than tanks, we actaully need more anti-armour weapons, mines, and training.
    "In the absence of orders, go find something and kill it." Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel

  14. #14
    My tank is bigger... California Tanker's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Rommel
    Rather than tanks, we actaully need more anti-armour weapons, mines, and training.
    In fairness, the best anti-armour weapon is another tank...

    If they're just giving the things away.. (I don't believe Jordan paid anything for its Challenger 1s), I don't see how it would hurt that much. Yes, there would need to be some increase in the support structure, but I wonder how much, in practice, of an increase there would need to be for such a thing compared to buying Centauros and such?

    NTM
    Driver, tracks, troops.... Drive and adjust!!

  15. #15
    Closed Account Goldie fish's Avatar
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    A few Heavy trucks and low loaders..I recon a scania T cab 550 should be fine..nothing too dramatic anyway...that and a few more recovery vehicles..

  16. #16
    Commandant Come-quickly's Avatar
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    There'd still be the issue of tracked APC's and weapons carriers to keep up with them, I can't see anyone wanting to use Piranha's in a Warrior's role.
    "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke

  17. #17
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    No, they'ld be used as fire support vehicles, rather in the way the USMC uses the Abrams. If the defence forces were to have fighter jets, there is no reason why it shouldn't have tanks.

  18. #18
    Potential Liability yellowjacket's Avatar
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    The way'd I'd look at it these vehicles wouldn't be used for large scale armoured warfare. Ireland is not going to be mounting a Barbarossa style invasion of Russia any time soon.

    As paul g says, they would make superior fire support vehicles on peace enforcement missions. As the Germans discovered in former Yugoslavia (in the 1990s not the 1940s!), a big dirty MBT can make people think twice about arguing with you.

    .
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    Guns don't kill people, bullets kill people.

  19. #19
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    I remember reading an article in RAIDS magazine, that when the French first went into Yugoslavia, their most valuable asset was their..... Leclercs.

    When one consider the use the French make of light, wheeled armour, you could probably say they are the pioneers of this concept, and even with their 105mm armed AMX10s, they still appreciate the additional impact that an MBT makes in a peace enforcement role.

    As Farel' says "No its not a bad joke... "

    IAS

  20. #20
    Commandant Come-quickly's Avatar
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    Alright so what sort of force construction would these MBTs be in?
    "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke

  21. #21
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    They'd be used like the scorpions of the armoured cav squadron, which have never been deployed overseas; they are retained because they are such a valuable training tool, and potentially MBT could be utilised the same way, as training tools, with the ability to deploy in especially high risk overseas missions. Tracked vehicles are already in service meaning that some of the expertise needed to operate MBT is already in place, officers and men are trained in tank tactics, there are track mechanics. If MBT were acquired second hand, or surplus, the capital costs would be lower then brand new vehicles like the Centauro. Assuming that there would essentially be a force for training and only deployed on certain missions, then you could have a Regiment, something like the following.

    1 regiment HQ with 2 Leopard 2A4

    2 Squadrons with 12 Leopard 2 A4 MBT, 1 ARRV, 1 AVLB. (1 Command troop, 3 tank troops each with 3 and 1 Service troop) and support units.

    This unit would be essentially a cadre/training unit, from which sub units, either an individual troop of 4 or a squadon of 14 MBT would deploy as part of a battlegroup . Basically you could have one of the squadrons as a PDF unit, rather like the Air defence regiment, using those vehicles for training, rotation etc, while the other squadron could be an RDF unit. Given that the army will potentially never have more than a battalion of mechanised infantry overseas at any time, that gives the ability to field a squadron if necessary on missions like kosovo in the early stages. As for cost, yep, fielding 30 MBTwould be expensive, but they offers immense capability in training and undertaking potentially high risk missions, and lets face it, fielding only 14 scorpions, especially as its a bit dated, is also pretty expensive(the british got rid of their 76mm gun ones years ago, belgium is planning a replacement, while the Leopard 2 will be in service till 2030,) , MBT offer more capability. Support and training areas, well tank transporters are essentisally very big trucks, and have a lonmg shelf life, 12 would be nedded, but even then, given that the tanks would operate either relatively close to the curragh or as part of a combined arms battalion sized battlegroup, then there wouldn't really be the need for add that much to the logistics element of a battlegroup, which would already have DROPS, etc. The Piranha, well the South African army used the Ratel and the Oliphant combination in Angola to great effect, the Olpihant tipping the balance for the SADF, and despite having the Rooikat in service, the SANDF are looking at acquirieng new MBT. And are the french not planning a wheeled replacement for their AMX-10P to work with the leclerc?

    Training areas would be a problem, a 120mm round can travel for over 150kms if it misses its target, but this situation could be easily rectified by the use of modern technology, and there are training schools in Canada etc. for gunnery practice. However, keeping tanks in Poland or overseas defeats the pioint of getting them, since they would be such a good training tool for the entire army. Weight, yes MBT are heavy, but the centauro is over 30 tonnes.
    Last edited by paul g; 5th June 2003 at 22:44.

  22. #22
    Commandant Come-quickly's Avatar
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    Alright I'm fairly convinced, the role you outline is certainly similar to what I'd envisaged for the Centauro type vehicles.
    "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke

  23. #23
    6-40509-04014-7 yooklid's Avatar
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    but would the GOC honeslty give any of the new prescious MBTs to the RDF?

    -Y
    Meh.

  24. #24
    Commandant Come-quickly's Avatar
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    Who says any of the Tank crews would be RDF, there's plentiful other roles in the proposed unit.
    "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke

  25. #25
    LordFlash
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    Great, that decided then, we get those Leopards and Challenger I's.

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