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"Attrition: Barrel Wear Eliminates Remaining Russian Tanks" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP02 Feb 2023 8:40 p.m. PST

"Russia reported that they had 2,600 tanks available at the time of February 2022 invasion of Ukraine. There was visible evidence that nearly 1,600 were lost during the first few months of the invasion. While 924 were destroyed, another 664 were damaged and abandoned. Most of these tanks were undamaged and captured intact after their crews abandoned them. These were repainted to identify them as Ukrainian and used against the Russians. Many of these tanks eventually became unusable because Ukraine did not have replacement parts for them. Ukraine used similar tanks but not all of the replacement parts for Ukrainian tanks were suitable for the captured Russian ones.

Russia had a similar problem with the thousand tanks that survived the invasion and over a thousand more that were brought in as replacements. The replacement parts problem was even more acute for the Russians because they changed their tank tactics in the face of the numerous Western top-attack ATGMs (Anti-Tank Guided Missiles) that quickly destroy Russian tanks because of the way these tanks use their autoloaders, which puts many exposed shells and their propellant charges in the turret. If the turret is hit by a top attack ATGM, all those propellant charges explode, killing the three-man crew and often blowing the turret off the tank…"

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Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2023 12:04 p.m. PST

Yes, as some don't know … barrel wear happens with all weapons. E.g. the M60A1s' & M1IPs' standard NATO 105mm could fire about 4000 rds. before the barrel had to be replaced with barrel wear, back in the Cold War. Barrel wear makes is less accurate, etc.

E.g. At the NTC, the Tank Bn my Mech Co. was attached to was live firing Training Practice(?) Rds. Not DU ! One of the M60A1s' or M1IPs' 105s pretty close to 4000 rds. fired. About 3ft. of one side of the 105 cracked, split and flew off. And landed a good distance away. Glad I was in a bunker. As Grunts we knew not to be anywhere near the front of an MBTs when firing. The "blast wave"(?) could kill you.

ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa03 Feb 2023 3:56 p.m. PST

Interesting that they only have one facility capable of relining tank gun barrels – they must be mighty busy at the moment. I bet its on Ukraine's 'careless smokers' list. I'm not totally sold on the idea Russia is using its tanks as direct artillery purely because of ATGMs as there is some suggestion they aren't exactly flush with artillery ammo at the moment and barrel wear must be an issue for artillery pieces as well. Certainly some anecdotal evidence came up last year for barrel blows and inaccurate fire. Though the latter may be down to drunk gunners!

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2023 4:28 p.m. PST

not totally sold on the idea Russia is using its tanks as direct artillery purely because of ATGMs
FA used in that mode is generally a last resort … But it seems right now everything they do is on that level.

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