The tank at the end of history

The tank at the end of history

Everybody loves the M1 Abrams family of tanks. They’re powerful, fast, tough, battle-proven and endlessly upgradable — Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli says the Abrams’ history of improvements provides an ideal blueprint for what he wants out of the new Ground Combat Vehicle. The only problem is, the Abrams might not need to exist anymore. It’s getting harder to imagine a scenario in which the Army would fight a big set piece tank battle, and although no one is seriously contemplating giving up heavy armor, the Army does want to bring its tank production to a halt. For awhile.

Army officials would like to shut down the Ohio factory that builds Abrams tanks for three years, which the Department of the Army says would save more than $1 billion. According to the Army’s plan, the line would close from 2013 to 2016, then start back up to begin upgrading existing tanks. It’s an usual situation: The U.S. government owns the tank factory in Lima, Ohio, but it’s operated by General Dynamics Land Systems, which is not pleased with the shutdown proposal.

G-D argues that although the government may continue to own all the equipment at the factory, it will lose the expert workers who know all the secrets in the art of tank construction. And a shutdown would also have ripple effects beyond Ohio, G-D argues; more than 500 other contractors would lose work and might also need to lay people off. The defense giant has set up a special website to make the case for the Abrams, which includes lushly produced movies and interviews with the salt-of-the-earth Midwesterners about why the Abrams needs to stay in steady production.


Although the Army’s plans for a production freeze have been in the works for a few years, they could get additional momentum given that DoD has been asked to find $400 billion in cuts over the next decade. Given that lawmakers barely seemed to understand the need for the GCV in a House Armed Services Committee hearing earlier this year, it may be politically difficult to support building more and more main battle tanks when the Army already owns more than 5,000 of them, and the Marines operate more than 400.

Then again, don’t count the Abrams out yet. The chairman of the HASC air and land forces committee, Maryland Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, was scheduled to travel to Lima this week with Ohio Rep. Michael Turner, so Turner could make G-D’s case for a compromise in which it could keep the line running. As soon as we hear more about the trip, look for an update.

 

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The next target of Barry Obama. No tanks.

any news on the GCV? maybe what they turned in this time?
i think they should just upgrade the bradley with the 30 or 40 supershot or 40cta and some nifty electronics (they already built a tech demo when the fcs fell apart — reuse of its tech basically).
moneys is the problem right now am i rite

apparently Boehner has asked McHugh to review the decision, see InsideDefense story http://​insidedefense​.com/​I​n​s​i​d​e​-​t​h​e​-​A​r​m​y​/​I​n​s​i​d​e-t

you’re right on. heck no will GD eat cost. this proposal doesn’t seem to make sense. i wonder what is behind it. it could go down as one of the dumber moves the Army makes, and the field is ripe…

This could be one of those cost saving proposal efficiencies that never actually gets realized. The whole point is just for politicians to brag that they are saving money.

On one hand, I think any decision on American heavy armor is abrupt until the Pentagon sits down and really decides what the future of U.S. land warfare doctrine is in the post-FCS world.

That said, General Dynamics’ leading edge appeal to keep the lines running seems to be economic, as opposed to strategic. Turning military equipment into a jobs program is a surefire way to get yourself in trouble.

When is the last time that we deployed tanks at strategic levels? Can America do with a smaller tank force and larger infantry force?

America should never lock itself into any one “doctrine” because the world is too uncertain. We need to constantly adapt if we are to survive. We need an intended strategy (which is full spectrum dominance), and mold emerging events into an effective realized strategy. There is no one best solution or doctrine, and the more people buy into any one way of thought, the harder it is to adapt to changing circumstances. US Army is already more organized into infantry BCTs (no tanks, no bradleys, no tracks, nada) than Heavy BCTs. Something like 50 to 20 out of the total 70 or so total BCTs. The key to organization and acquisition strategy is to help the Nation be more adaptable to the full spectrum of situations in the future. We task force into joint teams to meet contingencies. We need to constantly learn to organize these ad hoc teams tailored to whatever mission requirements. It makes no sense to drop off Abrams production (not just building new Abrams, they are re-setting them). We need sustained production of all our systems as hedges against all kinds of uncertainty & risk we face.

This plan is just what it is…stupid. Shutting down tank production in light of the facts that (A) Russia has a heavy tank force…although the Russian military is in disparate states right now, does not mean they are not selling tanks to countries that we might be engaged with in the future. (B) China also has a large tank force, as does North Korea…and they will eventually use their land forces in the future. Its a god given. The fact that the DoD and congress wants to shut down this factory tells me that someone is smoking some serious crack…because any one with a right mind would not even consider shutting down this factory. But face it.…USA is no longer a mighty land…instead it is a land of liars and money grubbers.

Tanks are tanks, and suffer from all the pros and cons of such things. If you don’t have air superiority, they are extremely vulnerable to air attack. Even a small infantry team can carry and use missiles that will take out a tank quite nicely. On the other hand, with air superiority tanks can rule a battlefield.

Completely shutting down a production line is often a penny wise/pound foolish move. It’s less expensive to keep it going at a low rate, and helps preserve the core of skilled and experienced workers needed. During the shutdown, all the production equipment and facilities still must be maintained. That can cost more than keeping them in low volume production. I have seen many a sole source of spares shut down, never to resume production of the needed items. Skills were lost, new laws prevented restart of the old production lines and methods, etc. due to EPA rules. Actually, the equipment that goes on or in a tank may be a greater problem than the basic tank when it comes down to shutdowns.

Who says they need to build whole new tanks? Have them rebuild the old and worn out ones into new M1A3s. That will give them a lot of work.

I have little doubt some people will start talking about the death of the tank again, just like they did when ATGMs became common and when dedicated attack helicopters became common. Yet the truth is there is always a need for that type of direct fire support and dozens of tons of armor.

I suppose they think all those workers will just sit around for three years? Nope. *If* the plant ever opened up again they’d be working with all new hires, many of which would be hard pressed to distinguish between a tank and a bulldozer. In the end it will cost more by the time you factor in all the rework and late deadlines because of this coast “saving” measure. I know politicians in general are pretty f–king stupid when it comes to anything other than keeping themselves in power but this borders on criminal.

Part One:

Them Obama still president behind 2012 everything will be cut, the single hope is a GOP President like Mitt Romney he is the only chance to prevent this disaster in form of 400 Billion Dollar defense cuts.

Them Obama is no more the M1A2 can be restarted but them Obama wins the election 2012 the M1 line is gone and not only the M1 line, every big ticket program will be cut like F35, DDG51, the Virginia Class SSN, the next gen bomber, the GCV is will cut simple everything.

Part Two:
The problem is Obama is not alone with is radical progressive idea, he controlled the Senate and the Congress is not strong enough to resists Obamas Plans why fiscal tea party hawks are also strong in the Congress. I reaped the only hope for the DOD is the End of Obamas Leadership and the end of the Democrat Majority in the Senate. You must understand this review is not a real review is only an excuse to slash everything in the DOD and the conclusions of this review will the fallowing.

1.The Navy of 313 ships is dead and the Navy will get only 220–230 ships.
2.2–4 Carrier Air Wings and 3 carriers will slash immediately the Navy will have only 8–7 Carriers in the Future.
3.The procurement of the Virginia class SSN will reduce of one in two Years, and the Number of SSNs will fall to 30 our less SSN in Year 2020–25.
4.The DDG51 will be slashed
5.The V22 Program will be terminated by 288 Units.
6.The THAAD Program will be slashed.
7.The M1 Line will be permanently close and the Numbers of Heavy Armor will be reducing by half our more.
8.The GCV will be terminated.
9.The F35B will be immediately kill, The F35A and C Procurement Number will be cutting in half our also possible the F35 will terminate completely.
10.The Air force will lose 50% of their Air Wings
11.The Next Gen Bomber will be also cancel.
12.The Number of planed SSBN (X) will be slash from 12 to 7.

In 8 Mounts you will official read exactly this things remember my words, guys.

So?

Will the drastic cuts you described above prevent the US military from protecting all 50 states and territories?

If not, who cares? It will mean lower taxes for us all and a chance for my unborn grandkids to not have to learn Mandarin in primary school.

Come on. Those cuts are crazy. Cutting the USAF to a third of it’s strength, cutting the Navy even further, and killing all of these high-technology programs? Those leave O development occurring in the way of AFV development. It isn’t good from a national security or industrial / technological perspective. You can’t rebuild these lost capabilities at the flip of a switch.

And your taxes won’t be lowered, because politicians will be using that money to pay for some pork projects back in their districts and buy votes.

Sorry that should say ‘NO’ development occurring.

@Dog Face Liberal,

Sorry but them this cuts become reality you children will have to learn mandarin why china will rule the World if not worse. Is also possible that these cuts will cost our children one day their lives, why the history teaches us the weakness is often rewarded with war for example the World War two or the Korean War. Weakness creates possibilities for them how will kill us and fear was this cuts will the beginning of the Chines Millennium! Defense cuts will not solve your Debt problems hi will only reducing your power and security.

Sorry but them this cuts become reality you children will have to learn mandarin why china will rule the World if not worse. Is also possible that these cuts will cost our children one day their lives, why the history teaches us the weakness is often rewarded with war for example the World War two or the Korean War. Weakness creates possibilities for them how will kill us and fear was this cuts will the beginning of the Chines Millennium! Defense cuts will not solve your Debt problems hi will only reducing your power and security.

Sigh. It will always be that those at the tip of the spear are doomed to shed unnecessary blood for the bonehead fiscal policies and political decisions of those that have never served.

If those cuts happen, there will be no one LEFT to keep your grandkids from being forced to learn Mandarin.

Obama has been doing his Job. It is Wall Street and the Senior Leadership at the Air Force, Mullins “I need a Stealth Ship” Morons.

All Senior Leadership at the Pentagon including Gates need to be Fired and Keelhauled. Pretty Sick considering I am a Repblican. But you must admit Old Lady Clition was correct. 8 Years of Bush will mean 20 Years of rebuilding.

“Defense cuts will not solve your Debt problems”

That sounds like the same thing they were saying in the Central Committee and Politburo in 1985. How did that economic policy work out for the Soviets?

This is either criminally ignorant or diabolical. If the people who want to shut down the line really believe then can just close a single source industry like this for three years and then just open the doors again and take up where they left off they’re too stupid to have such a responsible job.
But on the other hand if as I suspect they are just trying to do to the military what they done to schools, journalism, publishing, and government give away programs; this needs to be taken seriously and worried about.
I’ve seen comments about the vulnerability of tanks on a modern battle field. That’s a meaningless argument used against tanks in this case and other weapons systems in the past. Any weapons system in vulnerable without support from other components of balanced attack. The germans in world war ll first demonstrated how effective a balanced ground attack can be. Most anyone criticizing the effectiveness of tanks has probably never been around tanks much less actually maneuvered with them. I’ve been around them and consider myself fortunate that they were always on my side. Tanks are a frighteningly effect weapon system and need to be a big part of our ground force for the foreseeable future. And those tanks need to be maintained at the highest levels of readiness. Right now we’re on the M-1A2. I hope the A3 is just around the corner.

I agree with you completely.

But, and it is a very big “but”, if those type of defense cuts do come as part of a massive austerity package that includes all parts of the federal budget what would we do? Where would our new priorities lie if we were suddenly forced to do less with less?

“Everybody loves the M1 Abrams family of tanks.” Do they? When they use three times as much fuel as any other tank on the modern battlefield, hence three times as many tankers full of fuel to attack in any asymmetric environment!

What “family” they still use the M88 for recovery, an M48 variant?

The M1 has more BS attached than a sewage farm, compared to its competitors. Who would use a gas turbine at sea level, adjacent to infantry attempting to move in stealth?

Your unborn grandkids aren’t the issue. In case you’ve forgotten one of the motto’s that made this country worth living in was God, Country, Family. This country and the people living in it right now have to worry about the country FIRST. Defense of the country and whats left of the original intent is the most important thing. If your concerned about your taxes worry a little more about the trillions that poured into the absolutely hopeless war’s on drugs and poverty in this country. The left has wishing and hoping things will get better by throwing money and segments of the our society that need a kick in the pants not a hand out.
Reduce your taxes by drastically reducing the size of the bureaucracy in this country. It people that feel sorry about their own success and want to “help” people. You don’t help a person with a lifetime of hand outs.Focus on what’s important and less on what makes you feel good.
Hard work and self reliance is what made this country great. And that left time for the government to do the only thing they do well. Defending the continental United States.

It’s insane the liberals would have degrade the only thing the government does well — defending the United States. We could go a long way toward balancing the budget by getting rid of the Department of Education, Commerce, Agriculture, and the EPA. Like unions those organization have out lived their usefulness. And like unions all they do now is spend money and get the way of the job they are meant to help.
Defense of the US is job ONE. Without a guarantee of a strong country we and our children will not continue to have the freedom and life style we’ve become accustomed to.

General Dynamics appeal is both economical and strategic. Economically it is not feasible for the company to just pay all their employees while making no product, or try to restart a died production line an unknown amount of time later. Those that had the knowledge will be gone. If you want another example, just look at the naval ship building community. So unless the taxpayers are willing to fit that bill, then the nation will be effected on the long run. Strategically, if you lose that line of workers, it will takes years upon years to regain the lost footing.

And tanks do have their place on the battlefield aside from a strategic force on force scenario. Just ask the troops that get their support from them

Good Evening Folks,

To the DoD a thumbs up. Good decision. This discussion has been gong on for about a month now and the Daily Teaspoon gas had its input and is quite happy. Also but not mentioned was to keep the OH-58 Kiowa instead on buying a new light RAH.

To the editors of dod buzz your letting posters pot racial slanders against the president of the United States is a big part of the reason that you no loner enjoy the influence you once had.

I heard for one staffer awhile back when I was discussing dod buzz, that they already know what the racists and Heritage think. Editor Ewing, if you want to be a player, cut the racism, it is hurting you and mil​.com.

ALLONS,
Byron Skinner

Australia replaced its aging Leopard 1s with M1A1 AS. One of the smart things they did was convert them to run on diesel much quieter and cheaper to run. Given Oz only bought 59 perhaps it is time to purchase some more as we used to have 103 Leos.

Who would use a gas turbine at sea level?? You are kidding me, right. Every single gas-fired power plant. Most chemical and gas production plants. Many types of merchant ships. And of course, most of the US Navy’s offensive surface fleet. And the turbine power plant in the Abrahms has proven itself in 2 wars (3 including Afganistan), in the harshest of conditions. Tanks are NOT stealthy. They never have been, and they probablly never will be. What is important is speed and maneuverability, both of which also play a part in the equation of survivability.

In support of Tritium this is why tanks are escorted by well equiped and armed LAV type vehicles or IFV which carry Infantry and can protect MBTsfrom anti tank missiles and other threats. It is a well documented fact that a synergy beteen dismounts or able to dismount infantry who are transported and protected in LAV/IFV type vehicles will reduce infantry causalities and assist in stopping hunter killer teams from turning MBTs from becoming 70 tonne immobile roadblocks. At the same time MBTs will protect LAV/IFV and their infrantry loads.

I think everyone is a little shrill. Iraq and Stan aren’t being funded with supplementals anymore. They are in the baseline budget. As the two wind down over the next 10 years I would imagine that is going to be counter as a large chunk of that $400 billion. They are also ways to shave programs and save money. There was the one option from GAO I think that paired a reduced F35 buy with advanced legacy teen purchases that save something like $25 billion alone. I don’t buy the doom and gloom arguments that not a penny can be cut or we are China’s eastern colony.

But then you cut the F35 you lost the only 5 Gen Fighters what you have. This wills the End of your Air Superiority in a conflict with China our Russia behind 2020. You have to understand the F35 is not an Aircraft for the Treatments of the next Five our Ten Year is a invest to prevent future treatments in the next 30–40 Years. Will you think really you can fly 2030 with a Plane how based on this time on a 60–70 Years old design (F18, F15, F16) them enemies are PAK FA, J20 our other stealth J-XX and more advance Air defense Systems them today?

But yes you can buy more legacy Jets to close the gap between the IOC of the F35 but you cannot replace the F35 with Legacy Fighters this is impossible them if you do not end up like many European countries how have lost the Skills to fight Wars our to defense yourself.

The only alternative strategy what make sense is to cut the F35 Program completely and buy 500 more F22 parallel with invest in new Drones like X47C and buy of new Legacy fighters (F16Block60 and F18 E/F/G). But this will be not cheap. I think this Option will be better them to continue the F35 program but this is a no go for Gates (how kill the F22) and Obama.

Sorry but see the reality in the face! Social security and Medicare cost the United States about 3200 billion in year and the cost rise year two or more faster them the economy. This is a simple mathematic fact. The pentagon base budget is also 530 Billion dollar big, you can cut the entire Defense budget and you will still have a Debt from more them 800‑1000 Billions! You can kill everything (security spending all over spending and by 2025 you will still bankrupt! The DOD is not the problem, the Problem are the progressive projects was eat the entire Budget, the United States los there Greatness and become more and more an socialist European country what cannot defend himself, what cannot do great things for example to land on the Moon !

You need to modernize continuously, or your industrial base will wither and you will end up with tanks built 75 years ago. M60s still roaming the world started out in the late 40s. As it is, the Abrams uses a 70s vintage gas turbine that has been long out of new production.

GD is just getting the jump on competitors for the cash in the Defense till. The Army is also trying to maintain an oversized industrial base at Anniston Army Depot as part of the tank program. So, you either keep Lima alive or Anniston alive. You can’t do both.

If we want to save money, lets pull out of everywhere we have boots on the ground and bring them home to take care and clean our house.
We are like the ancient Romans..we are extending ourselves to far from home, hence home suffers.
Hopefully we won’t fall like Rome.
We are spending more and more and for what?
In ten years after we pull out..it will go back to where it was and all was for naught.
If the Russians could not do it in 13 years..what makes you think we can?
I say screw those ragheads and their beliefs. IF they want to kill themselves, let them. If they attack us or any attempt is made, send our aitforce over there for a day of bombing practice.
Just randomly drop here and there..oh yeah a cruise missle or two would be nice..then come home.
Call it positive or negative reinforcement…if it works with mentally challenged people it SHOULD work with these people.

Just my Two Sheckles worth

2003 to be exact. How much smaller you wanna get ? Ever take a look at the Military Balance to see how many tanks are actually out there ?

There was Warren. Nothing like following the auto industry south…but Kassel will still be there for us…

They’ve got to make room in the budget for those big development programs somehow. Might as well get rid of soldiers and tanks. They clearly aren’t putting enough free money in the hands of DoD contractors. Let’s never stop paying contractors profit on development. That’s working out so well for us all.

Bye-Bye Abrams if this happens, like GD stated “Once the expertise is gone, you won’t get it back”.
This is the same argument used to keep the few shipyards going that are left. People will not wait around fro the plant to reopen, they have families to support. This is another ill advised way to save money in DOD. If they want to get serious about saving money, cut the number of personnel at the Pentagon.

Rebuilds already being done at Anniston Army Depot.

Lets see, go to combat in an Abrams, or a Stryker with a big gun on it. Take a vote of tankers and see what they would choose. Sure, we don’t need to keep cranking out new tanks, but why wait to start using the factory to re-fit existing tanks. Our vehicles are worn out period at this point. But hey, i am not a politician, just an old army vet who does not know as much as some staffer who uses google to base his reports.

We are in the middle of three different conflicts and they want to stop tank production? They feel there is little chance for ‘set piece’ combat actions?

Reminds me of the opinions of the whizzbang club of the sixties who felt that mounting guns on the then current fighter aircraft would not be needed. That air to air missiles would be the bees knees.

STUPID!

Kiowa is too slow. It needs to be replaced. I voted for Obama, I do not hate him. Tank line should be kept open, until the next generation M1 with a German MTU diesel engine is used. A tank spends most of its life idling, and a gas turbine burns too much fuel at idle.

@ARAYA: All your base are belong to us.

Not having tanks may be a real dumb idea. The history of warfare is about the performance of heavy formations. Empires, kingdoms and nations have survived or fallen based on the performanve of their heavy formations, from phalanx ‚to legions, to Prussia’s and Napoleon’s infantry and Germany’s Army in two world wars. Any future engagement with Russia, China or North Korea will involve heavy, armored formations. And the best tank killer is still another tank.

Do some mod work and make the Abram’s a heavy MIFV, SP or AAA/SAM launcher.

Both sides through money at the war on drugs, please don’t blame that on the left. Now, me I’m right down the middle, I have been saying for years that the war on drugs is a sham. It’s police welfare at best. We have so many prisoners in jail for simple drug charges at an average rate of 50k per year. It’s retarded to fight drugs at its last stop to the customer. That is like trying to fight aids after you got it instead of preventing it all together. There are billions if not trillions to be made by just stop incarcerating people for nonsense. Also hemp is a very useful product that , could be produced by farmers and taxed. Just imagine, if they taxed all the other drugs like they do cigarets and alcohol how much money they would make. And who decided that cigarettes and alcohol are safe and all the other drugs bad anyways? I don’t remember being asked, nor any of my parents or grand parents. If people want drugs they do them, we can’t stop them, but we can make a profit, not like we aren’t doing it anyways for you nay sayers.

Sadly our leadership has lead us into a DEEEEEP fiscal hole with no clear way out of it…short of including gutting an increasingly hollow military worn out by ten years of fighting. Those “Rough Men” who step forward to defend the latte crowd in our future will once again pay in blood for want of the proverbial “nail”.

Drone em’ small to large!

I would be interested to know how many of the line workers are going to retire in the next three years.

Anyone who thinks armored warfare is over is a freaked stupid idiotic Moron like some in the pentagon are. Hay we got enough MBTS right now to fight other army this is a temporary pause. we got over 10,000 M-60A3s in storage so if we need more in a hurry we can get them. The GCV is dying but that’s not a MBT its another APC. So this buzz this blogger on this post is merely fear mongering and he like a idiot is predicting the future which no mortal man can predict.

Word up

These dumb pentagon Generals keep trying to be the one who knows the future.

In the 50s these men said tanks were gone because atomic bombs would dominate the battle feild, they where wrong.
In the 60s it was guns on aircraft and the need or train pilots in dog-fighting. They where wrong again.
In the 70s many said the kind a guerrilla warfare used not just in Vietnam but in Nicaragua, and Africa mad traditional infantry obsolete, they where wrong.
In the 80s it was war on none aircraft carrier ships they weren’t needed Desert Storm proved there wrong.
Tanks have been always said to be obsolete by idiot Generals even in the 1990s they said no tanks like desert storm ever again! Iraqi Freedom proved them wrong. There were tank battles in the first months of the war.

Tell the proselytizing Generals to shut up they don’t know what will happen even 2 months from now.

Ohh I forgot the Russians are building there tank force up too over 7000+ tanks including updated T-80Us and T-90s MBTs. With Britain gutting its whole military at a fast rate and the USA following do you suspect only Germany to fight the Russian in tank warfare w/o US support? 1300 vs 7000+? YEAH RIGHT.

Where did you study grammer. Good job representing the public education system.

I can hardly even tell what you are trying to say. Why don’t you take some night classes in English at a community college or something.

I agree. Trying to keep ragheads from killing each other is like trying to keep lions from eating antelopes. Sometimes you just have to let nature take it’s course.

That was my thought, exactly.

William, The army already rebuilds M1A tanks, strip them down to bare shiny steel frame and rebuild with all new or rebuilt part.….….…They do this in Anniston Alabama.….

That’s funny. He was harder to understand, but made sense, and was worth understanding. Yo , on the other hand, were an easy read and not worth it.

There hasn’t been a new tank built since 1993. All currents tanks are remanned from old chassis into M1A2 SEP.

The author doesn’t know anything about the current Army tank fleet. There are less than 2500 total tanks in the fleet, with 1/3 of those in the Army National Guard. The 1/3 in the Guard are 3 generations behind in technology and cannot accept the new battle command systems of the future. So, that means our soldiers will have to face a significant numbers mismatch against any of the current near peer threats. We have always said that we don’t want to participate in a fair fight, we want overwhelming superioity. That is not what we will have if we don’t continue to make our limited combat systems the most advanced, most lethal and most survivable on the battlefield.

Majority of North Korea’s tanks are outdated; most of which are based around the T-62 design.

Majority of Russia’s tank fleet sits in disrepair, as does their fighter airfleet.

I know I won’t be influential on this one, but as someone who doesn’t like armor and greatly prefers light forces — I think the shutdown is unforgivably stupid.

We are going to have to have at least a small number of tanks around for the foreseeable future. While I don’t think we should have as many as we do right now, in the absence of higher production rates attrition will eventually get the ranks down to where I think they should be.

Shutting down the facility entirely will mean quality problems down the road and possibly the total lack of an effective tank force a decade or two from now.

I’m with those who recommend low rate production and concentrating on upgrading the somewhat obsolete units in our force. We may not even have to be high rate on refurbishing — but you have to do some. Some of those Guard tanks are getting pretty old and outdated.

Let them keep making the tanks and line them up at the Mexican border. Keeping the illegal aliens out, would save the tax payers enough from the false claims of unemployment, illegal hiring which equates to non taxable income and free medical for them plus the monies paid for the free education and meals for their chidren to pay for the tanks.

Also as the old ones break down and need replacement then just move one of those at the border into active duty to replace it. A fast replacement. No waiting. Then make another to put along the border.

Also, I would think we’d have to re-hire back the skilled technicians and engineers at a premium… further adding to the restart costs.

Few nations possess tanks that are on par with our M1 Abrams, and the majority of them are US allies.

In the 1990 Gulf War, Iraq had 4,700 tanks while the Coalition had 3,500. While they had quantity, they were overmatched in quality, tactics, training, discipline, and fair support.

The only non-allied nation that may provide a match to US armored forces is China. And China won’t go to war with it’s largest market, as well as the source of majority of it’s investments. If either the US or China falls overnight, the other would soon follow.

So the only two nations with large-scale armored forces that we would likely encounter in the coming two decades would be Iran and North Korea. Against them, we have overmatch.

I’m not saying to dismantle our tank forces, nor to stop modernizing them, or even shrink them. I’m just saying we should take the above into consideration when planning the size of our tank forces.

7,000 tanks… the majority of which are outdated or out of service. The Russians possess about 400 T-90’s and around 1,400 T-80’s are in active service with the bulk of them in storage. The T-80 is outdated, with the last Russian update having occurred in 1990. The latest upgraded T-80 variant, the T-84 is produced solely by Ukraine for the use of Ukraine.

Realistically, only 400 of those 7,000 tanks are serious contenders for our M1 Abrams. The rest are cannon fodder not just for our Abrams, but for our combined-arms forces.

Russia is experiencing a similar problem. They have so much ammo stockpiled the military wants to stop buying bombs and artillery shells for 3 years to save money. The factories that make them are correctly pointing out that not only would it potentially kill russias ability to produce ordnance but also most of the ammo in the storage areas is either unusable or obsolet.

Wrong, aside from some alternate radio equipment & none-DU armor, the Australian M1s are IDENTICAL to US AIM v2 (aka M1A1 SA). The AGT1500 has ALWAYS been able to run on diesel ( actually almost ANY liquid fuel, even gasoline). In fact jet fuel & diesel are quite similar, both being based on Kerosene with different additives.

Same BS arguments were made in 1990…look what happened in 1991.

I have listed the project brief for Australia under LAND 907. Australia had the DU removed, we don’t use DU in anything and ADI and the Defence Science Technology Organisation (Australian Defence Industries now Thales Australia) invented and patented the tungsten round firstly for the CWIS on ships and moved onto Tank rounds. This was to stop DU being spread across the Great Barrier Reef and avoid any future health concerns. Keep in mind Australian Leos were only 105mm guns. Having the Abrams in Australia operate on JP would have required a new fuel stock not used in the Australian Defence Force. Given we like to plug into civilian sources diesel was the way to go! My understanding from speaking to the Spanners and the Project team was that minor modifications had to be made only so to enable the Aussie Abrams to operate on Diesel.

The M1A1 Abrams Integrated Management (AIM) Main Battle Tank (MBT) procured under LAND 907 Phase1 provided the ADF with a more modern, survivable and interoperable tank capability in order to support the combined arms team in close combat. Fifty-nine M1A1 AIM MBTs and seven M88A2 Hercules Recovery Vehicles have been introduced into service under LAND 907 Phase 1. LAND 907 Phase 2 will maintain the operational capability edge provided by the M1A1 fleet out to 2030.
Phase 2 is to continue the land force warfighting advantage afforded by LAND 907 Phase 1 through delivery of enhancements in knowledge, lethality, mobility, survivability and sustainability of the M1A1 Main Battle Tank to its LOT of 2030.
Phase 2 will provide integration of developing Network Centric Warfare interface control systems; operator, supervisor, instructor and support training; training and simulation equipment and technical support and training technology review.

“Having the Abrams in Australia operate on JP would have required a new fuel stock not used in the Australian Defence Force.”

Our M1’s operate on JP-8 (and can operate on JP-4 or JP-5), the same jet fuel the USAF uses on all of it’s jets. A large amount of US/NATO support equipment (gas-turbine powered compressors or electric generators such as the A/M32A-95 or A/M32A-60) also operate on JP-4, 5, or 8.

I find it hard to believe that JP-5 or JP-8 is not found at all within the Australian Defense Force, especially as the Royal Australian Air Force used to have F-111’s not too long ago and still flies F/A-18’s.…. the former using JP-8 and the latter using JP-5.

Who would use a gas turbine at sea level, adjacent to infantry attempting to move in stealth?

Diesels make a lot of noise even with advances in quieting them, I do not believe they are as quiet as a M1. Maybe you believe the M1s sound like a jet plane taxiing. The M1 is a fuel hog but it is fairly quiet for such a large vehicle.

The USA is terminal. Like the UK, it is running its natural course and will just start adjusting to its new condition of ex-imperial power in decline. Nothing left there since China and India will take over. Thank your corrupt politicians and all the crooks in the country. Unfortunately the harworking middle-class does not have a say and will be wiped out.

Meant to say Australian Army not ADF and yes we have Classic and Super Hornets, F-111 retired at end of 2010. JP-8 not used by army and home of Armour is Country Victoria and 1 Armoured Regt is in Darwin not to many jets there! Diesel is pretty much available every where on the 4th largest land mass we call home and is pretty cheap compared with JP-8. Armour in Australia does long runs on train flat cars and truck transports which both use the same fuel as Oz Abrams. Logistical sense for area they need to cover keeping in mind our population is only 23 million and it was a struggle to get the bean counters and lefties to bend for replacement for the Leos in the first place. Remember more is spent on welfare in Australia than on defence! A sad state of affairs and priorites here in our wonderful welfare State!

I have heard this argument over and over again. After the 1973 Arab-Israel war, the tank is dead on the battlefield replace by cheap, hand held guided weapons. The tank is the best technology we have for the break through operation and for the pursuit. It also works well in an urban environment and frankly just scares the hell out of the bad guys. I also have heard stories that ground forces will no longer be needed as air power will conquer all every time. This folks is a combined arms team, infantry, armor field artillery, engineers, signal, MI and all of the support corps and branches, do not forget the airman both army and air force. It is interesting that each generation has to try and reinvent war and how it is waged. I sometime thank that they have forgotten to teach history to our junior leaders of yesterday.

In 2010 Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid spending totaled 1438 bln. or 40,5 % of the federal budget. DOD budget is 18,7 of the federal. ALL of them need to be cut and the revenue rased, if you want balanced budget.

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
“We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower

you can not have a free and open society if you get rid of these
Department of Education, Commerce, Agriculture, and the EPA. these groups are there to establish and protect rules and regulations that help to better all instead of few. the military is nice but its not the answer to why this country is a great nation.

Horse hockey. All these agencies just soak up valuable resources and continue to grow and do little that wouldn’t be done with out them. We had an excellent education system before the department of education was put in place and the same went for farming, and business. As for the EPA it’s out lived it usefulness. Polluting is bad business and whole new types of businesses had sprouted up to deal with those problems. In a capitalist democracy the best solution is always a market solution. All these agencies have run wild adding staff and spending money.

Actually, the bulk of the USAF are aircraft maintainers and do deploy with their aircraft into the AOR.

CAS: A-10, F-15E, F-16, B-1, AC-130
ISR: U-2, RQ-4, MQ-1, MQ-9
C2/3: E-3, E-8
Refueling: KC-10, KC-135
Special Operations: MC-130, CV-22
Rescue: HH-60
Airlift: C-130, C-17, C-5

There’s many others that I probably forgot.

Good Evening Folks,

Hi Lt. Colonel Fritts, its been awhile. While I can’t disagree with your observations on the USAF and USMC I can’t with what we should do wit them.

Most of the active Air Force could very easily be Moved into the Air National Guard. The small force you mentioned to defend CONUS would be more the enough for the mission.

The imagined threats from either China or Russia just can’t be sustained by evidence. Both are on a downward aerospace technology trend curve while the US is still firmly in the positive.

The Marines, I think your still trying to find them a home. They have had ten years of being the one and a third Army and they just are not needed. Besides the logistical problems you mentioned they are just to expensive to maintain. Break down their three Divisions in Brigade size units and deploy in company size as Naval Infantry as the Navy needs them. Close out their air wing, it is just a duplication of what the Navy can do.

I wouldn’t merge marine and Army units. Although it was done in Iraq it was not all that successful. The Marines and Army fight two different wars, plane and simple even to include the much vaulted Marine Amphibious operations. The Army tried doing an amphibious operation Marine way at Anzio, it was not a success. The Marine way works OK for small Pacific Islands where you are going to take heavy casualties at the Battalion level regardless because of confined space, but when you are invading on a broad beach it is best to move rapidly inland and not linger building a supply and support on the beach before moving out.

The Marines as they are have seen their day as has the manned air force. Pilots are expensive and with UAV’s the Army has shown that EM’s can handle the job as well as or better then a trained pilot that cost $3 million to put in the cockpit.

In Nam the Cav. had a lot of 19D’s and a lot of them got killed, I believe they had or were among the highest or the highest in percentage killed by MOS, or busted up pretty bad, they just didn’t want to dismount. Being a 11B, every time I got hit I was on a track, my 201 has in it 9 Medic Treatment cards for ouchies and there are a couple for big ones. Frankly I would rather walk then ride.

ALLONS,
Byron Skinner

The US has recently tested the Rafael Trophy I self protection system for application with the Abrams which has proven itself in combat with Israeli forces. Recently, a Merkava fired an IMI Lahat missile through the barrel of its 120mm tank gun. This eliminates the need to retrofit another system onto the tank and reduces the exposure of the tank meaning it can remain in a hull down position when firing the missile which has a range of 8km. UAVs, Helicopters, another tank or ground crew can also provide data link. Modifications of the warhead will see the reduction in the need to carry a wide variety of different tank rounds. Israel is working towards making the Merkava MK4 suitable for asymmetric combat, e.g. stealth, survivability, firepower, protection and networked Coms. Given how much $$$ and support the US provides Israel it is feasible similar assistance would be provided to the USA with MBT technology and capabiity wise.

The Russian Kornet E turned up in Iraq II and recently in Lebanon. Designed specifically as Abrams, Leo II, Merkav IV, Challenger II and Le Clerq killer it remains a deadly weapon in which appropriate counter systems are generally now in place and further developing. The Second Gulf War e.g Baghdad Thunder Run saw the exploitation of the engine grill stricking fuel lines on the M1 via dual warhead RPGs — installation of chains/protection and improved fire suppression saw the removal or limiting of this threat. Tanks are here to stay and yes they do often require joint arms support to operate in different environments. Modern systems/platforms are flexibale and adapatable to threats = will and cash = outcome!

Getting rid of the Army’s Abrams Tank is like the Navy getting rid of it’s Nuclear Aircraft Carriers! What the **** are they thinking in the pentagon? There is nothing more chilling to the enemies of the U. S. than the thought of M1 Abrams Tanks rolling into their cities! There are few weapons in the field that can defeat an Abrams Tank at this time.

How do you suggest that those tanks are going to get here?

If the mission is defending CONUS, then strategic air and sea forces are far more important than massive land forces.

While I acknowledge the use of strategic-scale tank forces during the invasion, I also feel the need to point out that the land forces composition really didn’t matter. Iraq never adequately rebuilt after Gulf I, and joint air power really crushed any centers of resistance during the land operation. It could have been done just as easily with mechanized and light infantry forces.

I think the better idea would be to look at what makes the M-1 so expensive in the first place. Ask question like how much does the plant that produces the M-1 use in energy every year? Are there less expensive ways to manufacture the tank? Taking the M-1 out of production is stupid. We will lose a bunch of valuable experienced people who help manufacture the tank. Investments in new infrastructure even though more expensive over the short term can lead to long terms savings.

I’m not very sure what you said, your use of English was quite poor.

We don’t NEED to be the world police force anymore. We don’t NEED most of this equipment, though Navy I’m more willing to give on, they protect our sea lanes and as we make nothing anymore but debt that is an important thing to protect. Then again I’m more of a constitutionalists, I believe in not having a standing army. We also don’t have much threat from any major military force out there. We would have weeks of warning before we got invaded. Enough time to call up the militia (ohhh, right, not reserves, militia! Neat!)

The next gen bomber, so more then 2 billion per copy for very little gain? Thanks, no. More B1s would be fine though.

What country are you boneheads from? Can’t speak or write English properly. Shut up and keep your commie comments to yourselves. Remember my words, you will see them again. This is pre-election pandering by both sides, of course it makes sense to go to low production instead of an outright closure, regardless of which way it goes, they both will have had their say and the only things that truely gets hurt is the American way of life and our service members because we will not have the heavy armor to protect our service members and civilians when needed, and they will be needed. As long as this POTUS is place, expect our defense to plummet, kind of like Clinton did to us. What is new here except a new election cycle.
Wake up America, oust all incumbants and start with a new set, if they don’t work out, then oust them until they get on board with what America wants and needs. We don’t need term limits, we need voters with brains.

i THINK YOU GIVE THE PRESIDENT TOO MUCH CREDIT. Meaning he is one man. Do you even understand how government works. Before any program is shut down it does before committee after committee. Armed Services committee etc. etc.. Robert Gates is the secretary of defense and is a republican yet Obama picken him as he Defense Chief. Being an American and informed on all levels I find it mind boggling that people like you can dish out your nonsense and others think you know what your talking about or agree with you. I bet you can’t even name the three branches of government.

It’s a good thing we don’t have a hostile manchurian president in office,hmmmm,on second thought.Our enemies will become our friends and our friends will become our enemies.Our military will wear rainbow uniforms with pink berets and their weapons will be vibrating condom covered dildoes.He’s not a muslim,but he acts like one.He’s not a commie,but he acts like one.He’s not a racist,but he acts like one.He’s not an American,no,he is an American,but he doesn’t act like one.our enemies will find us to be easy pickings when this guy is done with us.You know these leaders of ours are importing hoards of muslims from the middleeast and they are seeding them all over the USA.They are also letting hostiles from Mexico invade the US who have hopes of establishing a modern AZTEC nation,in US territory,called AZTLAN. Political and economic NGOs are running America into the ground.But smile i hear that the M16 rifles will soon have a new replacement,it’s called a Springfield trapdoor 45/70.Custer had them.

tanks are disambled at Anniston but the bare hull and turret are shipped to Lima by rail.

tanks are not built at ANNISTON I have worked at LIMA for over 30 years

I operated tanks in iraq and the infantry loves having tank support. The gas turbine is actually pretty quiet compared to many diesel tank engines

Just a lot of G-D scare tactics. If the plant is shut down all the skilled workers would be lost? LMFAO. With the jobs in skilled labor non-existant in Ohio, in 3 years G-D is afraid the workers will go back as direct Tank and Automotive command employees. Would be a great move to cut the Big defense Corps out of the equation.

Wow 2030, by then the “Hercules” (M48 Based) will be an 80 year old design! And the M1 procurement was meant to modernise? I’d best polish my sabre and spurs…

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