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Tanks take a beating in Iraq

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posted on Apr, 5 2005 @ 06:41 AM
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"Abrams' heavy armor is up front, however, insurgents sneak up from behind, fire from rooftops above and set off mines below."

WASHINGTON — The U.S. military's Abrams tank, designed during the Cold War to withstand the fiercest blows from the best Soviet tanks, is getting knocked out at surprising rates by the low-tech bombs and rocket-propelled grenades of Iraqi insurgents.



In the all-out battles of the 1991 Gulf War, only 18 Abrams tanks were lost and no soldiers in them killed. But since the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, with tanks in daily combat against the unexpectedly fierce insurgency, the Army says 80 of the 69-ton behemoths have been damaged so badly they had to be shipped back to the United States.

The Army will not discuss details of how tanks have been damaged by insurgents, lest that give tips to the enemy. "We have been very cautious about giving out information," says Jan Finegan, spokeswoman for Army Materiel Command.

A favorite tactic: detonating a roadside bomb in hopes of blowing the tread off the tank. The insurgents follow with rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and gunfire aimed at the less-armored areas, especially the vulnerable rear engine compartment.

source:
usa.today

The same problem had the Russians in Afganistan - heavy weight tanks have no chance against small attack units of soldiers - especially in Urban zone. If you remember the Soviet invasion of Afganistan, then you know that the fighting Mujahedeen used ambushes and attacked tanks from all sided with RPG's in the open mountain terrain.

Sure Abrams is a good tank - if there is a fight againts other armor - and ofcourse in the first Gulf war, where fighting was done mostly in the desert, they were very successful. But in urban area abrams Tank stands no chance against ambushes with roadside bombs and RPG attacks.

[edit on 5/4/05 by Souljah]




posted on Apr, 5 2005 @ 07:21 AM
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You would have probably have received a greater and quicker response if you had posted this in the Weaponry Forum.







seekerof



posted on Apr, 5 2005 @ 07:25 AM
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Originally posted by Seekerof
You would have probably have received a greater and quicker response if you had posted this in the Weaponry Forum.


You are probably Right!

Do you think We should move it there?

EDIT: Thanks!

[edit on 5/4/05 by Souljah]



posted on Apr, 5 2005 @ 07:26 AM
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I'll see what I can do.
Will ask for a move.




seekerof



posted on Apr, 5 2005 @ 08:48 AM
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Originally posted by Souljah
Sure Abrams is a good tank - if there is a fight againts other armor - and ofcourse in the first Gulf war, where fighting was done mostly in the desert, they were very successful. But in urban area abrams Tank stands no chance against ambushes with roadside bombs and RPG attacks.


lol ok, so by your reckoning every time a tank is attacked then it has no chance of survival. I'm not sure exactly how many tanks have been destroyed ( 20-30 ? ) but for everyone destroyed you can probably rack up 50-100 insurgents.

You should read a book called Thinder Run about US tanks entering Baghdad. They took a beating but completely anihilated the Iraqi forces opposing them, over 1000 men in extremely close street fighting. I tihnk the US lost several men killed.In this instance though the heavy firepower and survivability completely overwhelmed the enemy.



posted on Apr, 5 2005 @ 08:51 AM
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tanks have more survivability than any other military vehicle, im not surprise tanks either damaged or destroyed, they are though just tougher to kill, in any case anything that is built by man can be destroy by man.



posted on Apr, 5 2005 @ 09:14 AM
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Well, I've known that tanks a susceptible since I saw Rambo blow the threads off a tank with a grenade


I thought modern military doctrine call for personal escort of armoured vehicles. its not as if the tanks are rolling around on their own in the cities.



posted on Apr, 5 2005 @ 09:25 AM
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Originally posted by BenWang

I thought modern military doctrine call for personal escort of armoured vehicles. its not as if the tanks are rolling around on their own in the cities.


Not just modern, the lesson was learnt in the early days of WWII. Armour cannot survive without infantry support.



posted on Apr, 5 2005 @ 09:43 AM
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I was a tanker and its true tanks are vulnerable from the rear. When we're in a suburban environment, tanks are supposed to be supported by Infantry for the exact reasons your threads states.


Maximu§



posted on Apr, 5 2005 @ 10:46 AM
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Originally posted by rogue1
lol ok, so by your reckoning every time a tank is attacked then it has no chance of survival. I'm not sure exactly how many tanks have been destroyed ( 20-30 ? ) but for everyone destroyed you can probably rack up 50-100 insurgents.

You should read a book called Thinder Run about US tanks entering Baghdad. They took a beating but completely anihilated the Iraqi forces opposing them, over 1000 men in extremely close street fighting. I tihnk the US lost several men killed.In this instance though the heavy firepower and survivability completely overwhelmed the enemy.

MY point was, that a Tank is very obsolete in an urban area - without any support from infantry troops. As it says above, there are around 80 destroyed Abrams tanks after the years 2003. I am sure that they were very effective in breaking the frontlines and attacking the defensive positions - but now they are under attack, and just about eveyr building can be used as a bunker fo fire at armor.

Maybe the US Army should rethink their strategy with urban warfare.



posted on Apr, 5 2005 @ 12:01 PM
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Originally posted by Souljah

Originally posted by rogue1
lol ok, so by your reckoning every time a tank is attacked then it has no chance of survival. I'm not sure exactly how many tanks have been destroyed ( 20-30 ? ) but for everyone destroyed you can probably rack up 50-100 insurgents.

You should read a book called Thinder Run about US tanks entering Baghdad. They took a beating but completely anihilated the Iraqi forces opposing them, over 1000 men in extremely close street fighting. I tihnk the US lost several men killed.In this instance though the heavy firepower and survivability completely overwhelmed the enemy.

MY point was, that a Tank is very obsolete in an urban area - without any support from infantry troops. As it says above, there are around 80 destroyed Abrams tanks after the years 2003. I am sure that they were very effective in breaking the frontlines and attacking the defensive positions - but now they are under attack, and just about eveyr building can be used as a bunker fo fire at armor.

Maybe the US Army should rethink their strategy with urban warfare.


tanks aint obsolete yet, they just need to use better tactics and also they are putting up a new urban kit on the abrams. similar to the Israelis, they dont lose that many tanks as U.S. does. they learn from decades of guerilla warfare. merkavas are the best urban combat tanks design for all 360 degree warfare compare to abrams 180 warfare against soviet tanks during cold war.



posted on Apr, 5 2005 @ 12:07 PM
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It would be interesting to see how the Israeli tanks would fare in Iraq against a properly armed enemy. My bet is that they would lose just as many tanks as the Americans.



posted on Apr, 5 2005 @ 12:19 PM
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I agree with rogue1; Iraqi resistance is a little more armed then Palestinians, that throw rocks against tanks. Now in Iraq a tank first hits a roadside bomb, then when its immobilized, it gets multiple rocket attacks. I dont think even Merkava cant survive this kind of ambush;they are not against children with stones.

[edit on 5/4/05 by Souljah]



posted on Apr, 5 2005 @ 12:24 PM
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Wouldnt then be a place for a tank with its amour more spread around and not centered around the front?



posted on Apr, 5 2005 @ 12:28 PM
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What else would you suggest troops ride around in? A Toyota?
I'll take my chances in the tank, thanks...



posted on Apr, 5 2005 @ 01:58 PM
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a toyota could at least escape quickly

Any more armour to the abrams would render it useless due to the weight penalty



posted on Apr, 5 2005 @ 02:26 PM
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Lets look at the bright side here, Souljah:
The US is a major military power.
Though the Abrams is getting 'banged up' in the urban environment, lessons are being learned by the US, those tank crews, and tank manufacturers, aren't they?

Besides Israel, what other major military powers is/are learning from real life urban combat? Experience translate into better future designs, better applied tactics, etc., correct?

The new modifications on the Abrams are a direct result of Iraq and its involvement in urban conflicts. Here:
US Army releases brand new photos of upgraded Abrams

BTW, check the date on the article from the link I have given above: those upgrades are fairly recent.
As such, is your article beating a dead horse, because it appears to me that the military is learning from these urban engagements and has begun to retro-fit and upgrade current Abrams for such environments.


I have a picture of a conceptional urban warfare upgrade package on my home computer....its conceptional, but if looks could kill, it would OwNz!

Post it when I get home from campus.





seekerof



posted on Apr, 5 2005 @ 02:28 PM
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A Toyota would escape quickly? I can freaking take out a Toyota with a damn pistol.
Tanks are not made to be rolling around in Alleyways its not the problem of the tank its the way they are used. And 65 Tones doing 45mph what more do you want any faster and the tracks fall off.


[edit on 5-4-2005 by WestPoint23]



posted on Apr, 5 2005 @ 02:31 PM
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I think the future tanks should have :
1. more modular construction - that means you can take off armor from the front (where I think it is too good against RPGs) and give it to the sides and rear if necessary (for urban combat).
2. completely unmanned replaceable turret - what does it mean? It will be smaller =lighter, and for missions like Iraq the turet can be relatively quickly replaced with turret designed specially for urban operations (for example gatling canon instead of 120mm gun, or smaller caliber.)
3. some kind ofiactive anti ATGM/RPG system to destroy incoming misilles.



posted on Apr, 5 2005 @ 03:08 PM
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In the future war will be fought with robots or remote controlled mini-tanks. Kind of sad how war has evolved to the point where bravery, valor, glory is going to be replaced by emotionless chunks of metals with guns but what can you do.

Here's link check them out
www.engadget.com...

[edit on 5-4-2005 by Taishyou]



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