Russian Army/Ground Forces Discussion and Updates

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
On day 42 of the Russia-Ukraine war, the Pentagon assessed that Russian forces have completely withdrawn from the Kyiv and Chernihiv areas, senior defense official says. Pentagon has seen reports that Ukraine has surrendered Mariupol, “but we do not assess that that has happened,” senior defense official says.

One of the reasons the Pentagon announced last night another US$100 million in weapons transfers to Ukraine is because there was an “urgent need” for Javelins in the Donbas and the Ukrainians want to be ready.

Meanwhile, I am still waiting release of latest day 42 deployment maps from the open source community, including by Jomini of the West and Nathan Ruser. Things are going to get even more complicated for Russia.

The Armata I believe is intended to rectify various shortcomings; for one it has a bustle loader and if I'm not mistaken ammo and charges aren't placed unprotected.
Really?

Please explain a lot more, because I am not buying the glossy Russian brochure for the Armata — I don’t believe they have all the kinks worked out in this new technology.

@Feanor will know more than me on the production status.

The Armata claims for its 2A82-1M 125 mm main gun to be superior to the Rheinmetall L55A1,120 mm gun seem to be incredible (or borderline science fiction). The claims imply a ‘break through’ in materials science that is very unlikely.

The Rheinmetall L55A1’s pressure increase is vital to obtain the performances increases that the the DM73 round will bring (i.e. a 8% performance increase over current DM53/DM63 rounds). Qatar placed an order with the Germans for 62 Leopard 2A7+s and Hungary ordered 44 Leopard 2A7+s — the above is a lot of modern electronics in a latest generation German tank. Not sure how much access Russia has to electronics after all the sanctions and attempts to prevent tech transfers to Russia.
 

danonz

Member
Reports of tests by Ukrainians suggest that they're ineffective against NLAW & Javelin.
Yes I was going to say that but then again how many have been taken out With Javlin and on tanks with roof cages - one on the other the stugna p seams to get the job done and keep the operator safe for the trade off of setting Up and ambush type scenario.
if any one has a link to javlin hitting a tank in Ukraine please share
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
I will say again what I said previously; that it's supposed to have a bustle loader and unlike other designs; ammo and charges are not intended to be stored on turret walls and in the hull to reduce the possibility of a catastrophic explosion the event of a hit penetration. It's also telling that after decades of relying to a large extent on ERA modules Armata is intended to have a mix of ERAs and also composite armour on certain parts.
1. You have not answered the question. You have deflected the issues raised by referring back to the Russian brochure on supposed Russian tank production capability for quality control not previously seen. By way of general description, a bustle loader like a conveyor belt that can take whatever shell is needed to the feed mechanism.
A4E08B94-E808-473E-80A8-52626219D8EB.jpeg
Pros:
  • High storage density
  • Can be protected by blowout systems
  • Easy ammunition replenishment
  • Can be modified as an assistance system
Cons:
  • Mechanically complicated
  • Large system
The Armata I believe is intended to rectify various shortcomings; for one it has a bustle loader and if I'm not mistaken ammo and charges aren't placed unprotected.
2. A bustle loader due to its mechanical complexity needs to be extensively tested, like the system in the K-2 Black Panther; and the Armata needs a level of quality control not often seen in Russia’s tank factories. It’s not impossible, just very difficult to achieve a high MTBF. This is why I think the technology in the Armata needs years to mature, to become more reliable. This is why I asked you to explain.

3. In this post, I have done the courtesy of exposing the engineering limitations faced by the makers of the Armata. Achieving higher MTBF is not magic but will take time to improve quality control such that the MTBF of the bustle loader will not be too low. This is a technology maturity issue that Russian weapons fanboys will never understand.

Of course. But Soviet tanks have horrible post-penetration protection. Situations where 1-2 crewmen would be killed in a western tank, turn into a catastrophic kill of all crewmen and probably anyone close enough nearby, in a Soviet tank.
4. Agreed. Thank you for leading the discussion on post-penetration protection. Soviet era T-72 tanks for example, have two piece rounds that are arrayed in a carousel around the gun — these are inferior to one piece German APFSDS rounds.

(a) The T-72 tank commander or the tank’s computer keeps track of what rounds are located at certain points, and the system cycles until that round is put under the loading mechanism. The Soviet era auto loader design is ingenious but it does have engineering trade-offs.

(b) In the war in Ukraine, the limitations of the carousel design, post-penetration (from battle damage), is captured by numerous photos of the turret being blown off.​

5. In other news, Ukrainian and open sources have accused Russia’s 64th Motorized Rifle Brigade of many of the crimes against humanity that took place in Bucha.
 
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STURM

Well-Known Member
You have not answered the question. You have deflected the issues raised by referring back to the Russian brochure on supposed Russian tank production capability for quality control not previously seen.
I have not read or had access to any Russian brochures on Armata. What little I know about it has been picked up over the years from various sources on the internet; including some discussions here on DT in the past.

I wasn't deflecting anything; merely pointing out some of main points the Russians are intending to achieve with the design to - in my opinion - overcome some of the inherent weaknesses in Soviet era designed MBTs.

In this post, I have done the courtesy of exposing the engineering limitations faced
That courtesy is well appreciated. Thank you.
 

Big_Zucchini

Well-Known Member
Largely due to unprotected ammo and charges stored in the turret and hull; as well as a low baseline protection level. The Armata I believe is intended to rectify various shortcomings; for one it has a bustle loader and if I'm not mistaken ammo and charges aren't placed unprotected.
On all T-tanks including the Armata the autoloading and ammo stowage are similar with only slight conceptual difference in approach.
On the Armata the whole thing is just physically separated from the crew for the first time.

But the war will likely turn a mere decade of delays into much more than that, and Russia will likely focus on upgrading old ones in the same way it has done so far, and defund the Armata and keep it as another mothballed project to take out 20-30 years from now in a revamped form.
Similarly Russia is likely to defund most developmental projects in a sweeping motion.
Another miss in policy, west-wide, is that Russia has already had a substantial lag in technological development, yet none made it a policy to use it to their advantage. This cannot be missed again.

If we look at Turkey, they took effort to develop things that were trivial for us but which we (the west as a whole) didn't seek to acquire for some unknown reason. My assumption is no MIC-government ecosystem.
They developed things which they immediately put into service, like their drone fleet and accompanying ammo, and used them to great effect on the modern battlefield.
The fact that technologically inferior countries can put into service systems that are more advanced than what we use, will possibly repeat itself with Russia if we relax.
Industries may keep advancing the tech in the meantime, but we are creating years of gap in the ability to employ advanced capabilities.

If and when Russia rehabilitates, it will make the same technological blitz we've seen before, in others, and surprise us.
 

Ananda

The Bunker Group

UVZ deliver the new build T-90M that being claim retain the advantage of T-90 operation. However in the same time already incorporate enough adjustment on survivability that made them different class from previous T-90 family.

Well at least now Russia has chances to field them against the some of the best western ATGM environment that being supplied to Ukraine. If they choose to do it.
 

Big_Zucchini

Well-Known Member

UVZ deliver the new build T-90M that being claim retain the advantage of T-90 operation. However in the same time already incorporate enough adjustment on survivability that made them different class from previous T-90 family.

Well at least now Russia has chances to field them against the some of the best western ATGM environment that being supplied to Ukraine. If they choose to do it.
At least one T-90M has been recorded destroyed in Ukraine.
Due to the nature of the threat, the T-90M provides no advantage in protection over its predecessors. The primary vector of improvement that could make it stand out from the others is situational awareness, but it was not really improved upon.
At its core, it is a very old design that aged like milk and incorporated no defensive measure against even 20 year old munitions.

Russia would be wise keeping them away from Ukraine and instead rely on older MBTs to maintain its post-war combat effectiveness.
 

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
At least one T-90M has been recorded destroyed in Ukraine.
Due to the nature of the threat, the T-90M provides no advantage in protection over its predecessors. The primary vector of improvement that could make it stand out from the others is situational awareness, but it was not really improved upon.
At its core, it is a very old design that aged like milk and incorporated no defensive measure against even 20 year old munitions.

Russia would be wise keeping them away from Ukraine and instead rely on older MBTs to maintain its post-war combat effectiveness.
The one destroyed T-90M was taken out by RPG fire from different angles, not by top-attack ATGMs. We've also seen tank-on-tank engagements, and Russian and rebel armor getting hit by regular ATGMs and RPGs (note the Stugnas that Ukraine takes pride in). I suspect that on average a T-90M would indeed have better survivability then a T-72B or even B3mod'16 in this conflict despite it's lack of protection against things like NLAWs. Overall I think Russia needs to transition to a more modern MBT regardless, and the T-90M is in principle not a bad choice. The only thing it needs is a main gun upgrade (the new 2A82 would be appropriate), and an APS with some top-attack protection.
 

Big_Zucchini

Well-Known Member
The one destroyed T-90M was taken out by RPG fire from different angles, not by top-attack ATGMs. We've also seen tank-on-tank engagements, and Russian and rebel armor getting hit by regular ATGMs and RPGs (note the Stugnas that Ukraine takes pride in). I suspect that on average a T-90M would indeed have better survivability then a T-72B or even B3mod'16 in this conflict despite it's lack of protection against things like NLAWs. Overall I think Russia needs to transition to a more modern MBT regardless, and the T-90M is in principle not a bad choice. The only thing it needs is a main gun upgrade (the new 2A82 would be appropriate), and an APS with some top-attack protection.
The protection of T tanks is severely limited by both volume and weight considerations. Weight is quite obvious, so I will move on to volume straight away.

On basically every area of the tank, putting significant armor would somehow severely hinder the tank's capabilities. For example:
  • Front - driver's visibility unacceptably hurt.
  • Top - turret already very small and overcrowded.
  • Sides hull - anything rigid would be too small.
Basically any addition would be disproportionately large as opposed to western MBTs, and this would require quite some retraining on driving with full kit.

There's a good reason why we see bags on T-72B3M tanks.

Better or worse protection, it doesn't really matter. All are ill suited for the war in Ukraine. But Russia must maintain at least some readiness in the western military district, and for that it better rely on its more modern machinery because those will have to keep being serviced for at least 40-50 years to come. Expending T-90Ms and running around in T-72s at that time would be quite unrealistic, meaning Russia's armored units readiness could take a sharp decline within 20 years.
 
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STURM

Well-Known Member
I suspect that on average a T-90M would indeed have better survivability then a T-72B or even B3mod'16 in this conflict despite it's lack of protection against things like NLAWs.
If it didn't have a bustle loader which left it vulnerable in the event of a penetration; a higher baseline protection level or new generation ERAl; how would it be more survivable compared to a T-72B?

Better or worse protection, it doesn't really matter. All are ill suited for the war in Ukraine.
Better it does matter; especially if you're in it or if that extra protection can make a slight difference ....

All are ill suited for the war in Ukraine.
If you go on the basis that they are Soviet era designs based on Soviet operational requirements and doctrine; then they would be ''ill suited'' anywhere but as it stands despite the new gen top attack munitions the Ukrainians employed; a lot of MBTs; despite their vintage/age; would have survived had they been fitted with a APS and new generation armour. Add on applique and bar armour [seen on some vehicles] would also have negated the effects of shoulder fired weapons and even some types of ATGWs.
 
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Big_Zucchini

Well-Known Member
If you go on the basis that they are Soviet era designs based on Soviet operational requirements and doctrine; then they would be ''ill suited'' anywhere but as it stands despite the new gen top attack munitions the Ukrainians employed; a lot of MBTs; despite their vintage/age; would have survived had they been fitted with a APS and new generation armour. Add on applique and bar armour [seen on some vehicles] would also have negated the effects of shoulder fired weapons and even some types of ATGWs.
Applique is a difficult subject on Soviet tanks because of volume constraints. Ukraine toyed with the idea of large applique on the Oplot-M, but for some reason it didn't apply it to any of the actually in-service MBTs.

APS is a matter of whether you have available energy on the MBT to power it, and if you have the doctrine capable of working around its vulnerabilities such as its naturally high emissions that can pop up on enemy SIGINT.

Russia has no solutions available to it for immediate production.

For its own sake Russia needs to commit fewer AFVs, fewer light forces, and more artillery and ISR. Or in other words, do not commit to any new offensive. Try to consolidate.

Even if Russia somehow magically gained a massive advantage in MBT tech and numbers, it wouldn't matter much because every other item around it needs to advance as well.
 
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STURM

Well-Known Member
Ukraine toyed with the idea of large applique on the Oplot-M, but for some reason it didn't
Was under the impression that it did have some applique armour. I guess not.

APS is a matter of whether you have available energy on the MBT to power it
On top of power concerns you also have to realign certain things on the turret to fit the APS and space has to be found in an already tight turret to fit the controls.

The point I was making is that slight extra protection could have a made a difference in preventing some losses/casualties and despite inherent limitations Russian tanks could have performed better had they been better equipped/fitted out. Not to mention the poor infantry support many MBT units had.

Or in other words, do not commit to any new offensive. Try to consolidate.
Which they might soon be forced to do.

 

Big_Zucchini

Well-Known Member
The point I was making is that slight extra protection could have a made a difference in preventing some losses/casualties and despite inherent limitations Russian tanks could have performed better had they been better equipped/fitted out. Not to mention the poor infantry support many MBT units had.
Would hardly make a dent.

Ideally, a soldier gets hit, a comrade pulls him to safety, then he gets first aid, casevac/medevac, and finally treatment.

An AFV gets hit, another AFV tows him to safety or the area is cleared of hostiles, then recovery, repair, and finally back to combat.

This chain requires multiple factors to play out correctly. There have to be accompanying combat units to either win the local battle or tow the vehicle to safety, then there must be repair units with their logistics to repair it, then there must be a framework to put the AFV in (same unit, or a nearby unit if the previous became ineffective).
  • We have seen many instances of non-fatal damage done to Russian MBTs, only for them to be abandoned because there is none nearby that could patch them up and make em ready for combat.
  • Even something as minor as a few destroyed bogies or a torn track.
The logistics and doctrine just aren't there to support any more sophisticated or protected MBTs.
 
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STURM

Well-Known Member
We have also seen many instances where tanks were completely destroyed; circumstances which might have been prevented if certain criteria has been met; namely a APS and new gen ERA.

We can go on about the inherent limitations and weaknesses with Russian armour; as well as problems they face in fielding APS and certain deficiencies regards to combined ants tactics but ultimately some of the losses could have been avoided.
 
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