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Still Waters

Why does the MOD have more horses than tanks?

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Britain's armed forces are undergoing huge changes.

Redundancies have been confirmed ahead of the release next week of a UK government spending review which is expected to announce a 1% increase in military equipment budgets, but also 5% reduction in spending overall.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has praised the MoD's plans to shave millions of pounds off its procurement budget.

The MoD's official figures show the British Army does indeed have more horsepower of the four leg variety, than the heavy metal.

http://www.bbc.co.uk...slands-22951548

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Horses know the way from the pub to the barracks, tanks don't.

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You can't eat a tank.

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Unless its a cake

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Horses are much cheaper than the 5.6M pound price tag for a Challenger 2 tank.

The reality is that the MOD was saddled with Challenger because Thatcher decided she wanted a British Tank - despite the fact that it was inferior in every trial to the Leopard Tank. MOD was offered the Leopard Tank (cheaper and more reliable) and also the rights to produce it in - country (I.E. 100%Offset) and to sell the British version across the world to actually make a very impressive profit, but Thatcher wouldnt have it.

Thatcher, blinded by jingoism, selected the worst option, so now you have a Main Battle Tank that on average, will break down every 80 Kms. Additionally it has such a high thermal signature that it can be detected at extreme distance in an Operational Scenario that you have plenty of time to plant anti - tank mines in its path.

It was not the tank that the MOD wanted., but Politicians know best???

Today, the MOD has won out by ordering the SV in various versions, based on the ASCOD 2, not a main Battle Tank, but ideally suited to all projected needs for the next 30 yrs. Reliability is an exponential improvement.

In what is the best news that I have heard in a long time is that the MOD are no longer going to be able to send out Troops that are underequipped for the Mission they are sent on. They no longer have Crown Immunity if they send troops out underequipped for their various missions, they can be sued for Negligence! So no more lack of personal armour, no more Haig-esque decisions....

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Unless its a cake

the cake is a lie.

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The horses are needed to pull the tanks when they break down.

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the cake is a lie.

Sorry, this is way off topic, but you opened the door with your comment :)

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Posted (edited)

MOD was offered the Leopard Tank

Which version at that time, a Leopard one variant or the two, with it's flawed frontal turret armour due to poor design of sight appertures. which by co-incidence ties in with the video above, so maybe not so offtop.......

Edited by Tutankhaten-pasheri

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They must be preparing for the fossil fuel shortages...

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I honestly cant see a Tank pulling the Queens carriage up the Mall.

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Unless she's dual weilding 2 AK's!! Now that would be a something..

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I honestly cant see a Tank pulling the Queens carriage up the Mall.

I am told the automobile is a useful means of being transported on the highway; seem to recall the Royal Firm have a few at their disposal.

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Posted (edited)

Current tanks and the amount of them were deemed what was right for a cold war in Europe. Tanks are of limited use and a pain in the neck in deserts and totally useless in the mountains of Afghanistan. They served little to no purpose in the Falklands war as well.

Defense reviews are designed to access likely scenario's for the next 6-10 years based on intelligence and political circumstances. There is no doubt we could ideally do with more of everything (maybe not more horses) but we don't have the defense budget of the USA. Saying that we are are in the top 3 or 4 countries in defense spending.

For many years the UK armed forces have relied on quality rather than quantity, few would argue there are many armies if any trained better than the UK.

We should also remember there is not much that can take on a challenger 2. The M1 Abrams and the German leopard but many countries still field things that were around in the 1950's/1960's. A majority of Iraqi tanks were T54, however they had a handful of T72's. The M1 and Challenger 2 made mincemeat of them.

A far cry difference to WW2 when we relied on the quantity of M4 Shermans to overpower the superior quality of the Panzer/Tigers.

Edited by skookum

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Posted (edited)

A majority of Iraqi tanks were T54, however they had a handful of T72's. The M1 and Challenger 2 made mincemeat of them.

But don't forget they were old export models with only steel armour, lower powered amunition and demoralised crew. I don't pretend that T-80 and T-90 are not now obsolete, but they, with Russian crews, would not have been "mincemeat". And I already know the arguments about performance of T-80 in Chechnya, but as you will know, urban warfare against enemy, some of whom would have served on those tanks in Soviet Army, is somewhat different to mobile tank warfare. Also the overwhelming airpower employed in both Gulf wars would make it difficult for even the best tanks in the world to operate in, as Germans found out in Normandy.

This is not military type forum, so to show what I mean to any who are not familiar with this argument, a picture. There are many technical differences, some obvious, some hidden.

e72b510c72a5.jpg

Edited by Tutankhaten-pasheri

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Posted (edited)

But don't forget they were old export models with only steel armour, lower powered amunition and demoralised crew. I don't pretend that T-80 and T-90 are not now obsolete, but they, with Russian crews, would not have been "mincemeat". And I already know the arguments about performance of T-80 in Chechnya, but as you will know, urban warfare against enemy, some of whom would have served on those tanks in Soviet Army, is somewhat different to mobile tank warfare. Also the overwhelming airpower employed in both Gulf wars would make it difficult for even the best tanks in the world to operate in, as Germans found out in Normandy.

This is not military type forum, so to show what I mean to any who are not familiar with this argument, a picture. There are many technical differences, some obvious, some hidden.

e72b510c72a5.jpg

T-80/T-90 are probably part of the reason for investing hundreds of millions in Apache AH-1's. Imagine how useful they would have been in the Falklands.

Saying that the T90 still lacks explosive reactive armour, a decent high velocity gun and lacks speed. The Russians say it is capable of fighting 95% of modern tanks used. You can bet the M1, challenger 2 and Leopard are the other 5%. An M1 was known for knocking out T72's at 4km. The challenger 2 has an even better gun being rifled and far more accurate. I bet they could easily ad another 1km onto the kill range.

Urban warfare is the worst place for tanks. When Iraq war started getting into urban areas the USA started to lose M1's at an alarming rate. They apparently even consulted the Israeli's on the best way to fight without such heavy losses. They just bulldoze all the buildings and roll the tanks in. Not something the US/Uk would have like to have seen doing.

Edited by skookum

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Posted (edited)

Saying that the T90 still lacks explosive reactive armour

What you say is true for Iraqi T-72, but not Russian. I do not dispute that an M1 or Challenger is a better individual tank, but Russian tanks are not the death traps so often very inacurately portrayed as in Western media. It is simply propoganda. All Soviet/Russian tanks from T-64 in late 1960s to T-90MS have composite armour, not seen on any Western tank until M1 many years after T-64. No export model T-72 has composite armour, only the steel outer shell, that is why they were defeated at the ranges you state. A Russian tank will not be defeated over the frontal quadrant at those ranges, or closer....

Another picture, and not even the latest model. It shows the reactive armour and two box shaped objects either side of gun. These are the Shtora system that by electronic and optical means, disrupt laser sight and other targetting devices used by ATGM. Iraqis never had this, and neither does any Western tank. What is unseen is the composite armour behind the steel outer shell of the turret and hull. It is not a bragging game, Soviet tanks could have been as big as any Western ones. That they are small is because that is what was required a long time back when design of T-64 and T-72 started. That and interferrence by Krushchev......

This is T-90A with cast turret, behind is newer T-90S with welded turret

e3f1ad6bf1c8.jpg

Edited by Tutankhaten-pasheri

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The Challenger 2 gun being rifled was simply to allow it to fire HESH rounds which the MOD believes is an essential element of the armament capabilities. In terms of making it more acurate is a misnomer as I can find no relative data to support that statement. The UK withdrew from International Tank Trial days back in 1987 so getting a solid comparison between the main contenders is very difficult.

It was the Leopard 2 that was offered to the UK but was not selected because it was "not a British Tank". With the Leopard 2 offer came full license rights to build and export it to other nations which would have paid for its own procurement needs, as well as turn in some impressive profits. Challenger 2 has only sold to 1 other nation (Jordan I think, but could be wrong) whereas leopard 2 is in service with 13 nations.

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Posted (edited)

The Challenger 2 gun being rifled was simply to allow it to fire HESH rounds which the MOD believes is an essential element of the armament capabilities. In terms of making it more acurate is a misnomer as I can find no relative data to support that statement. The UK withdrew from International Tank Trial days back in 1987 so getting a solid comparison between the main contenders is very difficult.

It was the Leopard 2 that was offered to the UK but was not selected because it was "not a British Tank". With the Leopard 2 offer came full license rights to build and export it to other nations which would have paid for its own procurement needs, as well as turn in some impressive profits. Challenger 2 has only sold to 1 other nation (Jordan I think, but could be wrong) whereas leopard 2 is in service with 13 nations.

The 1987 British tank was the Challenger 1. It was due to be withdrawn from service because of performance issues stated above. Although many see the Challenger 2 as an upgrade of Challenger 1, less than 5% of parts are said to be interchangeable. So essentially a massive upgrade or a totally different tank.

However Challenger 1 still holds the record for the furthest distance tank to tank kill.

Although I think the British have to ultimate piece of equipment that gives them the edge over anything else.

Similar to every British tank since the Centurion, and most other British AFVs, Challenger 2 contains a boiling vessel (BV) also known as a kettle or bivvie for water which can be used to brew tea, produce other hot beverages and heat boil-in-the-bag meals contained in ration packs.[9] This BV requirement is general for armoured vehicles of the British Armed Forces, and is unique to the armed forces of the UK.

Afternoon tea in your tank, how very eccentric and British :clap:

Edited by skookum

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