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Polish Armoured Vehicles


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1 hour ago, Żółć said:

The tanks of the Polish Armed Forces are not the most modern ones, I have to agree with that, yet they are still adequate for our needs. And of course, Abrams is a superb vehicle. In itself it is not a "bad buy", but when put into perspective, it's pretty clear that it doesn't necessarily correspond to our needs. Our mechanized forces are using the BMP-1 IFV, air defence is compromised of SA-3, SA-6, SA-8 and SA-5, and the Navy is also in a dire situation with only two "Perry" frigates being, in theory, able to provide some other air defence than 23mm guns and MANPADs. In the aforementioned sectors, the acquisition of new equipment and systems is already delayed, and with additional money being spent on Abrams, it seems we will have to delay programs such as "Narew" - new AD, "Miecznik" - new frigates, even further. At the same time we just recently started to refurbish and modify our old T-72M/M1 to a new M1R variant, and although modernization of Leo2A4 is moving rather slowly, it is still something. So yes, Abrams is a great tank but the whole acquisition comes completely out of the blue. Lastly, with the acquisition of Abrams, the prospects for our tank production sector is dim, to say the least, as currently, there is no information about the participation of Polish industry in the process of maintenance not even mentioning production. This is sad as we exported our last tanks only 14 years ago and still have necessarily capabilities, no to build a great vehicle of course, but a good enough one.

 

You've got a long way to go, I agree, but you gotta start somewhere. Maybe US milproc has just made me very low expectation, but I think it's a little weird not to take the wins when you get them.

I wanted to address a couple of other things:

1. Nobody said anything to the contrary (and I appreciate you for not going there), but obviously my enthusiasm for the Abrams here is primarily that they will be available much sooner than Leopards. If the situation were reversed, I'd be in pretty much the same position. As I like to say:

0TCu9Pq.jpg

2. "Poland has a tank development project". OK, but, give me a break? Poland's government is wrong when it's procuring tanks from the US, but it's right when it's got some slush project to develop a new tank that won't see service for 15 years? That's a little bit of dissonance, I think, unless I'm missing some key ingredient to the idea. Not that I have anything against Poland creating domestic tanks, but if your entire military industrial complex is riddled with grifters and cons, then maybe putting your eggs in the "buy tanks from the Americans" basket makes more sense than the "undertake a big long development project where all the incentives are there to stretch it out as much as possible to milk the Polish taxpayers for cash".

3. I'm not sure I understand the objection that there's no involvement of domestic Polish industry. Poland will be purchasing the tanks and maintaining them. No, they're not making them themselves, but that's because they need the tanks right now (again, for the sake of argument ignoring that there may be other military priorities that are more pressing, you need tanks). Also, the complaint that you're running multiple types of tanks is... A bit weird considering the tanks in question. Abrams and Leopard are sister tanks. They share most of their wear parts like roadwheels, tracks, etc.

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Just now, BaronTibere said:

I've seen posted elsewhere that poland is severely lacking in transports for heavier tanks, and garages for even the existing leopard fleet.

 

I doubt the US would foist off Abramses to someone if they didn't also get support equipment, so I bet the buy includes a lot of ancillaries.

The bridges point someone else mentioned is perfectly salient but I think ultimately not that big a deal. There's a couple of reasons, but the biggest one is that the US has been operating in Europe with Abramses with this constraint (which is a big mobility obstacle on that continent) for literal decades. So they've figured it out, and the Polish Army will obviously be working closely with US forces in any case. So the opportunity for equipment and training transfer is there, and also in a real war chances are fairly good they will literally drive on US pontoon bridges etc.

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I don't think anybody complains that the M1A2 SEP v3 would be a bad tank. The real questions are:

  1. Does Poland need 800 tanks (12 tank bataillons + ca. 100 tanks for training etc.)?
  2. Does Poland need these tanks instantly?

Poland's current government does have very different answers to these question than their previous (and from what I've read, also a lot of Polish journalists & soldiers).

 

10 minutes ago, Sturgeon said:

Also, the complaint that you're running multiple types of tanks is... A bit weird considering the tanks in question. Abrams and Leopard are sister tanks. They share most of their wear parts like roadwheels, tracks, etc.

 

That is not the case. The road wheels have different diameters and are made from different materials. While Diehl offered tracks based on the Leopard 2's Type 570 tracks (with altered length) to the US Army in the 1980s, these were no selected; the Abrams uses American-made T158 tracks (or a newer version of them).

 

The USMC's old Abrams tanks had more in common with the Leopard 2 (Wegmann-designed smoke grenade dischargers, Zeiss-made laser rangefinder & Rheinmetall's programmable HE ammunition).

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6 minutes ago, SH_MM said:

I don't think anybody complains that the M1A2 SEP v3 would be a bad tank. The real questions are:

  1. Does Poland need 800 tanks (12 tank bataillons + ca. 100 tanks for training etc.)?
  2. Does Poland need these tanks instantly?

Poland's current government does have very different answers to these question than their previous (and from what I've read, also a lot of Polish journalists & soldiers).

 

Does Poland need 800 tanks?

main-qimg-1c0fdc1a1f46f44e44533ec141911a

 

Oh, I dunno.

 

13 minutes ago, SH_MM said:

That is not the case. The road wheels have different diameters and are made from different materials. While Diehl offered tracks based on the Leopard 2's Type 570 tracks (with altered length) to the US Army in the 1980s, these were no selected; the Abrams uses American-made T158 tracks (or a newer version of them).

 

The USMC's old Abrams tanks had more in common with the Leopard 2 (Wegmann-designed smoke grenade dischargers, Zeiss-made laser rangefinder & Rheinmetall's programmable HE ammunition).

 

Diehl 570s fit on an Abrams. You need a different sprocket, but other than that they work fine. I've never heard anything about the Leopard 2 having different diameter roadwheels.

"Share parts" was strong language on my part. They share basic interfaces and standards, would be more exact. 

Regardless, I don't see this as a huge issue, especially since in the long run they'll be trying to get rid of their older tank types.

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24 minutes ago, Sturgeon said:

Oh, I dunno.

 

Strawman. Tanks alone are useless on the modern battlefield with combined arms doctrine. Tanks alone were already useless in WW2.

 

24 minutes ago, Sturgeon said:

Diehl 570s fit on an Abrams. You need a different sprocket, but other than that they work fine. I've never heard anything about the Leopard 2 having different diameter roadwheels.

 

Abrams' roadwheels have a diameter of 25 inches (635 mm); Leopard 2's roadwheels have a diameter of 700 mm.

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11 minutes ago, SH_MM said:

Strawman. Tanks alone are useless on the modern battlefield with combined arms doctrine. Tanks alone were already useless in WW2.

 

Ah yes insult the Admin more.

bold.gif

No, I was not strawmanning you, and it's interesting to me that from something I said that was pretty vague, you decided that I must be doing that. And then you took it further by suggesting that I was saying tanks aren't combined arms assets?

This is not a wise course you're on right now.

 

20 minutes ago, SH_MM said:

 

Abrams' roadwheels have a diameter of 25 inches (635 mm); Leopard 2's roadwheels have a diameter of 700 mm.


Since you've decided to make this a point of contention, and you attacked my character, and because I have shit to do in the real world, you get to dig up actual drawings of M1 Abrams and Leopard 2 roadwheels to prove me wrong, instead of just pulling numbers out of your ass. Chop chop!
 

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1 minute ago, SH_MM said:

How is this an insult?

 

How is it not? You accused me of bad faith argument or at least being too stupid to avoid a fallacy, you did it when I committed no such fallacy, and you committed the fallacy you accused me of to accuse me of it.

 

I'd say that's VERY insulting.

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17 minutes ago, Sturgeon said:

How is it not? You accused me of bad faith argument or at least being too stupid to avoid a fallacy, you did it when I committed no such fallacy, and you committed the fallacy you accused me of to accuse me of it.

 

I'd say that's VERY insulting.

 

If you feel that way, then I apologize. Sorry for that.

 

Ban me if you like, its your forum. I am still not sure how a photo of German WW2 tanks is the correct response to the previous question, but you probably had further thoughts that weren't fully expressed - or fully understood by me - when posting/seeing just that photo.

 

13 minutes ago, Ramlaen said:

25" is a verified roadwheel size for Abrams, where does 700mm for Leopard 2 originate?

 

It is explicitly stated in Paul-Werner Krapke's 1986 book. He was former "project manager" (leitender Baudirektor) of the Leopard 2 program. The only common part/dimension (out of 13 or 14 submitted for standardization) that the USA and the FRG agreed upon was the width of the tracks.

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36 minutes ago, SH_MM said:

It is explicitly stated in Paul-Werner Krapke's 1986 book. He was former "project manager" (leitender Baudirektor) of the Leopard 2 program. The only common part/dimension (out of 13 or 14 submitted for standardization) that the USA and the FRG agreed upon was the width of the tracks.

 

Hah, that's interesting. Hunnicutt makes it seem like they standardized most/all of it. Thank you, my mistake.

 

Thank you for the apology. I'm not going to ban you, of course. I know your posting record here and BTTR. But, you know, be nice to the admin hahah.

 

My meaning was simply "Poland has gotten invaded before". Nothing beyond that, not even an intent of "something something nazi tank blitzkrieg."

 

How many tanks does Poland need? That's for them to decide. With this buy of Abrams, it will be easier for them to justify divesting their older vehicles. Like I said, maybe it's just my attitude but I would take the wins where I could.

 

You and I should talk Leos sometime, I'm still learning about it (and modern tanks in general).

 

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I have been summoned.

Please keep it civil, guys.

We like high quality posters spreading their knowledge, and there's a difference between disagreeing and being an ass about it, so please everyone take a moment to read through your posts before pressing that button, k? We've had enough friction here over the years.

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Coming back to the topic.

 

From a strategic points it is not bad to have Poland focussing on MBTs.

I think from a NATO (or EU - to take Sweden and Finnland into account) perspective it makes actually sense that way.

Sulwalki gab is our most important defence line which was not able to hold for more than a few days acc. to Polish simulations - which will significantly change based on that M1 deal.

Whereas the Baltics have 0 chance to hold line in that scenario as well which is why their acquisitions focus on howitzers (K9, M109, PzH2k) which are used to delay enemy movements.

Germany is in that role to bring in quick response forces (which is maybe not their key ability) but they are training that together with Poland and US (Noble Jump). Further this is a key element of every eFP rotation.

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3 hours ago, SH_MM said:

Tanks alone are useless on the modern battlefield with combined arms doctrine. Tanks alone were already useless in WW2.


I disagree. Tanks (and specifically MBTs) are still exceptionally useful assets on a battlefield for pier vs. pier engagements. Unlike counter-insurgency, the enemy is (or is nearly) equal to you, and probably has the same capabilities, which would make having tanks necessary for success. 
Let me elaborate: 

 

Let’s say 2 first world, pier nations hate each other enough to actually wage war. Each deploys it’s armies to fight on the front, in essentially the same combined arms format that everyone is familiar with. Well, how do you counter their armored divisions?
With your aircraft? No, they’re your pier, and probably have their own aircraft loaded to shoot your aircraft down because they know it’s a threat.

Helicopters? No, again they’re your pier and probably have manpads or shorad close to their armored divisions to counter such threats.
ATGMs and ATGM launch vehicles (M1134 or Shturm-S)? Maybe, but both are nullified somewhat by APS, ERA, and other such countermeasures, if not by the brute force of the MBT’s base armor. 
Ok, so how are you to route an opponents tanks? With your own! In a similar fashion to using a shield, a tank is a necessary piece of equipment for a well equipped military and adds another capability to your force that the enemy MUST account for if they even want to hope to be successful. 
 

I took a lot of liberties with my argument, for the sake of brevity and because I don’t want to derail this topic more, but I’m open to continuing it somewhere else. 

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4 hours ago, SH_MM said:

The USMC's old Abrams tanks had more in common with the Leopard 2 (Wegmann-designed smoke grenade dischargers, Zeiss-made la

The USMC M1A1s were fitted with M257 66mm smoke dischargers (pretty sure not designed by Wegmann), so regardless of designer, the consumables weren’t compatible with Leopard 2 76mm systems. 

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@Lord_James I think his argument was that you do not deploy tanks by themselves, but rather mix them together with mechanized infantry, anti-air vehicles, mortar carriers etc. in combined arms formations. So X number of tanks, let’s say 2000, might actually be too many if you cannot raise/fund enough supportive elements for more than half that number.

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3 minutes ago, Laser Shark said:

@Lord_James I think his argument was that you do not deploy tanks by themselves, but rather mix them together with mechanized infantry, anti-air vehicles, mortar carriers etc. in combined arms formations. So X number of tanks, let’s say 2000, might actually be too many if you cannot raise/fund enough supportive elements for more than half that number.


What do you mean I can't just throw my entire tank fleet into a breakthrough point? 

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52 minutes ago, Laser Shark said:

@Lord_James I think his argument was that you do not deploy tanks by themselves, but rather mix them together with mechanized infantry, anti-air vehicles, mortar carriers etc. in combined arms formations. So X number of tanks, let’s say 2000, might actually be too many if you cannot raise/fund enough supportive elements for more than half that number.


I may have misunderstood what @SH_MM was trying to argue. If I did, I’m sorry. 
 

You may now return to your regularly scheduled armored-kielbasa-carrier discourse. 

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From this article, it appears that the Army had little to no say in this and that it was wholly orchestrated by the PiS party leader Jarosław Kaczyński, even the Prime Minister is opposed to it, so, the deal appears to be entirely political.

 

https://wiadomosci.gazeta.pl/wiadomosci/7,114884,27334615,abramsy.html#s=BoxOpMT

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12 hours ago, Sheffield said:

From this article, it appears that the Army had little to no say in this and that it was wholly orchestrated by the PiS party leader Jarosław Kaczyński, even the Prime Minister is opposed to it, so, the deal appears to be entirely political.

 

https://wiadomosci.gazeta.pl/wiadomosci/7,114884,27334615,abramsy.html#s=BoxOpMT

 

I had sort of assumed that when I saw how things were being done - no tender, no contests, not even a trial. Generally military brass are going to want to at least run a round of trials to ensure they are getting the best option. A sole-source negotiated-in-backrooms deal is usually not great for procurement.

 

(And I am of the opinion that had the government stuck to their ludicrous timetables, even running a sham of a competition would have resulted in everyone but Abrams being disqualified - I don't see how the Leo 2 or K2 could be delivered in the numbers wanted as fast as they want them. I even doubt the Abrams can be delivered that quickly, but at least there is a chance there.)

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14 hours ago, TokyoMorose said:

Generally military brass are going to want to at least run a round of trials to ensure they are getting the best option. A sole-source negotiated-in-backrooms deal is usually not great for procurement.

 

First at all military brass has to be involved into the procurement. But it's not obvious where there are two main commanders - one supported by MoD but with no power and authority among soldiers and second with power and authority among soldiers but not supported by MoD. And only one of them is responsible for this while the other one wasn't even asked for. Guess who is who.

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On 7/15/2021 at 11:59 PM, Hal said:

Agreed. Don't involve Poland in MGCS, don't take the hint when they look to the K2PL... Okay, you get nothing.

Poland cannot wait for MGCS. If it comes in 2035 it comes so late that the Polish MBT fleet is pretty outdated. BTW German MBT fleet, too, if they do not an upgrade to a Leo Ax version.

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I think this decision has a lot of different reasoning behind it. So in no particular order...

 

No reasonable source of more Leo2s to upgrade to get a uniform force.

 

Buy new Leo2s from the Germans? Get screwed on the price, no significant industrial bump, and it would still take as long or longer than the M1s. (No, no industrial bump from the Abrams deal either, they're in a hurry - see below)

 

Time. Leo2s would take longer to deliver in significant numbers and the best of them is arguably not at the level of the very latest M1s. (as long as the Poles are getting the newest armor package and ammunition) The MGCS isn't even planned to start deliveries until 2035 - 13 years after Poland plans to start taking delivery of the Abrams.

 

A very satisfying thumb in the eye of the Germans and the French (who doesn't like that?). Ignored by them even though the Polish market is at least as large as the planned combined fleets of those countries.

 

Diversity of suppliers. Despite the logistical challenges, changing political winds are less likely to cut you off from two sources of arms than from one.

 

The Wilk project doesn't seem on it's way to put tracks on the ground anytime soon.

 

More trust in the US/Polish relationship than the one that they have with the Germans (historically and currently). Also, a desire to cement that relationship even tighter.

 

The M1A2C is in production, it's real, it's having the final bugs worked out now. The MGCS is currently electrons and paper. Let's count how many multinational armor projects have failed to produce usable hardware. No, let's make it much easier and count how many have not failed. MGCS may be the best tank ever, it may never actually exist at all. Similar issues with the K2PL (though to a much lesser degree) a new, so far unbuilt, version of a design that still has at least a few issues.

 

Poland wants to replace most or all of their Soviet derived tank fleet. You might disagree on the need, but it's not your call. Replace the T-72s, then the upgraded T-72s, then the PT-91's - now your tank fleet is down to two types, both Western.

 

I'm sure I will think of more. That's what I have for now. Worth every penny you paid for it...

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