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"British military looks to the ‘Eurotank’ as it weighs..." Topic


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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2021 9:16 p.m. PST

… its hardware options

"The British Ministry of Defence has opened discussions with France and Germany about signing up as an observer on their next-generation Main Ground Combat System program, according to government and industry officials in the U.K. and Germany.

Details of exactly what access the British will get to the program remain unclear, as a possible pact wouldn't be signed until later this year. "Observer status is being granted to the U.K. for the Franco-German Main Ground Combat System program," an MoD official in London said…."
Full article here
link


Amicalement
Armand

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2021 11:22 p.m. PST

Hmmmm, to an outsider, British defense planning and spending seems to be chaotic at best, given they're retiring/scrapping their own tanks, and what seems like gutting their forces to the bone, and yet there seems to be interest and possibly even money to spend on new programs, which are for the same items they've just eliminated.

newarch12 Jan 2021 3:08 a.m. PST

@Thresher it depends which clickbaity Tango articles you read.

The general trend in the last 70 years or so has been a progressive reduction in the size of the British Armed Forces to reflect the changes how they are expected to operate.

I'd expect tank numbers to be reduced but some form of MBT capability retained, the British Armed Forces tend to go for quality over quantity so a new design will probably be preferred.

The Leopard 2 is widely regarded as the best tank in the world at the moment so that is one option, a future 'eurotank' design would be a good option from a cost point of view.

Legion 412 Jan 2021 9:26 a.m. PST

a future 'eurotank' design would be a good option from a cost point of view.
That could be the bottom line for many of the cash strapped Western European Nations. Even Canada bought the Leo[or at least the copywrites ?] over their neighbor, the USA's M1. I know during REFORGER, '88 they tried to attack us a few times. evil grin

newarch12 Jan 2021 9:33 a.m. PST

Germans do build some of the best tanks, they were looking at re-equipping Challenger 2s with German guns but that was nearly fifteen years ago.

I suspect the lack of tank action in the intervening period has put the brakes on any developments or decisions in the meantime.

Sounds like fun Legion.

Legion 412 Jan 2021 10:03 a.m. PST

It was, we did a night raid on a Canadian LEO Co. laagered in a little Germany village., one night. But the Evaluators/Controllers stopped us for "blowing" things up. Didn't want to wake out the villagers.

The next morning the LEOs we would have destroyed the night before overran our positions. There were some other "fun" engagements with them during that FTX.

Good training overall and we got to go to Octoberfest in Munich after the FTX was over. A good time was had by all !

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2021 10:52 a.m. PST

(smile)

Amicalement
Armand

newarch12 Jan 2021 11:18 a.m. PST

But the Evaluators/Controllers stopped us for "blowing" things up. Didn't want to wake out the villagers.

Excellent, I bet national/interservice rivalries add real spice to these sorts of training exercise.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2021 12:09 p.m. PST

Oh, I agree, the West Germans/Germans do build some of the best armor, and tank cannons.

IIRC, the M-1s finally got West German 120mm cannons, instead of the 105mm pop guns they originally were fielded with. A pity congress didn't approve that from the get-go for the design, but we suffer from the "not-built-in-America" syndrome when it comes to defense contracts, sadly.

However, if you are cutting Chally 2 formations due to concerns over cost, it doesn't seem consistent to then purchase, or plan to purchase Leo 2+s.

Perhaps there are cost savings in operating them, and/or better overall design and reliability. Then again, perhaps they just consider the Challies to be old and worn out.

I just find the schizophrenic defense policy/policies to be quite interesting.

newarch12 Jan 2021 1:30 p.m. PST

I just find the schizophrenic defense policy/policies to be quite interesting.

It is interesting and instructive to compare how different countries go about equipping their militaries. I'm always quite interested in countries like the US who never quite seem to let any of their equipment go, so all the stuff like A10s I was lucky enough to see flying over my home in the Welsh Borders in the 80s is still in service, whereas all the RAF Jaguars, Tornadoes etc have now gone.

I think leaving the EU has shaken things up in some respects too, but I still think we will maintain strong links with Europe, economically and probably militarily.

In gaming terms I think the UK is more of an allied force, intended to take part in joint operations with one or more allies rather than as a standalone entity. This probably makes a reduction in numbers in things like tanks and warships easier to justify.

arealdeadone12 Jan 2021 1:45 p.m. PST

Newarch, British Jags and Harriers were let go because of ongoing massive cutbacks. All of Europe has experienced this which has resulted in most NATO militaries being reduced to token forces.

newarch12 Jan 2021 2:01 p.m. PST

@arealdeadone But this has been a general trend since the end of the Second World War, reflecting the changes in the way wars are fought and the UK's diminished importance on the world stage.

I can't really speak for the rest of Europe, but France, Germany, Spain and Italy do have up to date militaries, they're just quite compact and/or specialised.

I'd forgotten about Harriers, you rarely saw them, but they were a real British icon, even if the later version was a joint US/UK design.

Legion 413 Jan 2021 9:50 a.m. PST

Excellent, I bet national/interservice rivalries add real spice to these sorts of training exercise.
Oh yes, e.g. one day one of my Mech Plts was chasing down a Canuck Recon Plt in a village. They were using M113s too.

About lunch time their Plt Ldr's track pulled up to my CP. And asked if we could break for lunch. I said sure, and he waved as his M113 drove away. Called over the radio to all my Plts to stand down and take a lunch break …
😎

We are allies after all … 😁

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2021 8:37 p.m. PST

"I'm always quite interested in countries like the US who never quite seem to let any of their equipment go…".

Sorry, but that's just NOT true.

We abandoned literally cargo ship-loads of kit in Iraq to their military, and even some jihadi terrs have seized and are sporting M-1 tanks there.

Someone in the Pentagon apparently deemed it "too expensive" to ship back home, or to move to Europe or Israel, so it was given to the Iraqi army, which is really just a proxy force for the Iranians.

Apparently, the Iraqis also have an Air Force, and no doubt, helo gunships and other stuff too, courtesy of "Uncle Sam", which REALLY means American taxpayers are paying for it.

Clearly, the "bean counters" may know what it costs to ship it overseas, but don't know a thing about what it costs to produce, or what the "real" cost will be if we don't have it in our army when it is needed in the future.

Legion 414 Jan 2021 7:53 a.m. PST

The Iraqi military abandoned 42 M1 MBTs and 52 M109 SPFA pieces, plus hundred of HMMWVs and other vehicles. When they first encountered ISIS in 2014, IIRC. huh?

Personal logo javelin98 Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2021 9:57 a.m. PST

I suspect the lack of tank action in the intervening period has put the brakes on any developments or decisions in the meantime.

Did you miss that little shindig in Iraq?

Legion 414 Jan 2021 2:57 p.m. PST

Yeah … a lot of MBTs, etc., there …

williamb15 Jan 2021 8:58 a.m. PST

The reason for adopting Leo 2's to replace the Challenger is the Leo being a less expensive replacement than upgrading the Challenger. link
link

Heedless Horseman Supporting Member of TMP15 Jan 2021 10:23 a.m. PST

I just hope we Mothball kit that we could never replace in a hurry. OK, it will degenerate, as proper maintenance costs.. but, in a push, better than starting from scratch or trying to procure new items which might not be available. Given the UK prediliction for selling/scrapping, not likely.

newarch16 Jan 2021 2:14 a.m. PST

@javelin98

Did you miss that little shindig in Iraq?

No, I said;

Germans do build some of the best tanks, they were looking at re-equipping Challenger 2s with German guns but that was nearly fifteen years ago.

I suspect the lack of tank action in the intervening period has put the brakes on any developments or decisions in the meantime.


meaning that apart from the initial stages of the Iraq War in 2003-4 Challenger IIs have not been in operational service. They were retained in Iraq until c. 2011 but patrols were generally carried out on foot or in smaller vehicles more suitable for urban use.

So British tanks haven't been in operational service since about 2008 and haven't been used for their intended purpose since 2003-4. The UK involvement in Iraq was and still is hugely controversial and I will be surprised if any politician commits us to any similar future conflict.

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