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The T-80

 
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The T-80 - 5/13/2012 4:05:44 AM   
Mad Russian


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Does anyone else find the T-80 to be next to worthless in the game?

Is this just because I haven't played the game enough or is the T-80 for the most part toothless?

Good Hunting.

MR

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RE: The T-80 - 5/13/2012 1:12:52 PM   
junk2drive


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Looking at the pdfs Armaments List and Platform List

M1A1 has 120G gun rated at accuracy 5, max 5000, effective 3000, AP 10, HEAT 11

T-80 has 125G gun rated at accuracy 4, max 4500, effective 2500, AP 9, HEAT 10

The game has 1-6 accuracy and 1-15 strength. I don't know why the T-80 seemed so weak unless it is the crew delay or ?

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RE: The T-80 - 5/13/2012 2:53:32 PM   
Mad Russian


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quote:

ORIGINAL: junk2drive

Looking at the pdfs Armaments List and Platform List

M1A1 has 120G gun rated at accuracy 5, max 5000, effective 3000, AP 10, HEAT 11

T-80 has 125G gun rated at accuracy 4, max 4500, effective 2500, AP 9, HEAT 10

The game has 1-6 accuracy and 1-15 strength. I don't know why the T-80 seemed so weak unless it is the crew delay or ?



Then the T-80 with an advanced fire control system misses targets 1/3 the time. Is this against targets sitting in the open not moving?

See my, Blindly We Fight AAR. In that scenario I take Warrior IFV's against the T-80 and if I go back and look wouldn't be surprised to see that the Warriors killed more T-80's than the other way around.

Good Hunting.

MR

< Message edited by Mad Russian -- 5/13/2012 4:29:32 PM >


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RE: The T-80 - 5/13/2012 10:08:43 PM   
Capn Darwin


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As J2D, points out the values for the various platforms is pretty decent given the range of game values to the real life values. I think the biggest issue in FPG are the impact of the soft factors (morale, training, readiness) on the the combatants. I think in most cases the scenarios bias those factor toward NATO. I know in the modifed scenarios we used for Origins we moved those factor more to even. If I had some free time right now I'd look in the scenarios and see what is what. Feel free to pop open the files from the editor (it is highly recommended to export the scenario to a CSV file and do the edits in Excel and then import the file) and tweak away.

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RE: The T-80 - 5/13/2012 10:39:20 PM   
junk2drive


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I found this in one of the docs and maybe the Soviet tanks suffer from one or more negative attributes set by the scenario designer.

quote:

Training. An integer value from 2 (worst) to 6 (best). These values map in a general way to Militia, Green, Average, Veteran, and Elite.

Ammo. An estimate of the number of ‘bursts of fire’ the unit is carrying for its dominant armament for its dominant subunits. Since not all subunits will be firing during all firing ticks, this concept is pretty elastic. The intent is to impose a reasonable ammo limitation on the maneuver units. The lesson of the 1973 Arab Israeli war was that ammo gets used up far faster than expected, and it is an important part of the command dilemma to be able to ration it out effectively. Right now most NATO units default to 18 and most WP units to 12, although in both cases arty gets more. That means they can fire for a total 18 or 12 five-minute time ticks before needing resupply.

Morale. An integer representing increasing loss of morale. “0” is the best rating and increasing values mean decreasing morale. Crew quality declines as morale values increase. Morale is recovered by resting

Fatigue. An integer representing micro damage short of outright subunit losses. “0” means totally unfatigued. Fatigue increases from there due to movement, combat, suffering from barrages, going out of command range, etc. Fatigue is recovered by resting.


< Message edited by junk2drive -- 5/13/2012 10:40:39 PM >

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RE: The T-80 - 5/14/2012 8:31:34 AM   
Lieste

 

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Hmm. Well a Leopard or M1 has 11-13 ready rounds. A T72/T80 has 20-22, plus the mechanical loader is less inconvenienced by NBC or cross-country movement.

M2/M3 have 70 rounds of AP, 130 rounds of HE loaded. A BTR has all 500 AP as ready rounds, BMP1 has 40 ready rounds of 2A28/PG15, BMP2 has 160AP and 340 HE ready.

The NATO tanks have slightly more semi-ready and stowed rounds, so total ammunition is similar. Collecting the ammunition and reloading the carousel loader is slightly more awkward than restocking the ready rack, but neither are convenient in action, and should require a vehicle to displace to turret down position for 5-10 minutes - reloading from a resupply vehicle is faster than transferring ammunition.

NATO IFV/APC have more stowed rounds, but these are not available within a typical action ~ they take upwards of 15 minutes to prepare and load the belts. NATO missiles are usually faster to prepare and load, and can be done from under armour, although most require a roof hatch open. (true of both the M2/M3 and the M901/M150 - the Jaguar retracts the firing arm and reloads inside the hull - Marder requires the turret crew to expose themselves in the same manner as a BMP2 commander/gunner.)

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RE: The T-80 - 5/17/2012 8:06:06 PM   
PK Krukov

 

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Put bluntly: This is the scenario that NATO armour is designed for and had been designed for since the 1960s. Precision guns, strong frontal armour and excellent optics/sensor fits are all designed to allow first hit capability at maximum battle ranges (ground permitting) and begin the attriting of large Soviet tank formations as early as possible. From the perspective of defence analysis, and being naturally inclined to take the Russian side (my mantra: "They are not as stupid as Tom Clancy makes out. Desert Storm was not representative of their capabilities. We need to stop underestimating them."), the fact is that Soviet vehicles had inferior targeting and sensor equipment. They cannot detect NATO vehicles before NATO vehicles can detect them, and will generally be shot at first and often killed first as a result. This includes T-80, which while it theoretically is a top of the line vehicle, isn't really much better than T-64 and the biggest issue is the total lack of thermal imaging equipment or good quality light amplification night vision gear.

In addition to this, "soft" factors include: FP:G represents superiority of NATO gunners. They fired more rounds per tanker than the Soviets did. Simply a limitation of the Soviet recruitment/conscription and training programs. Soviet units would fire on targets as coordinated by platoon or company commanders, that means three tanks would often engage one target. This is very dangerous to the guy getting shot at, but it takes longer to do that than to snapshoot as individual tanks, at targets that present themselves briefly. I do not know if the developers took this Soviet technique into consideration or not, but it seems to me that for the volume of fire my Soviet tankers put out, they get few hits, and part of my rationalization is that they are attempting coordinated fires on single targets.


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RE: The T-80 - 5/17/2012 8:53:29 PM   
Lieste

 

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Yet with a (real-world) average maximum engagement range of 1.5km, there is no real advantage to enhanced optics or FCS, and frontal engagement cannot be relied on - the closer the range the wider the spread of angles that a fixed threat frontage will cover. From the flank any Russian weapons will be more than sufficient at all ranges - excepting a hit near the extreme front of the side armour of an M1 (which is a hit on the edge of the frontal array).


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RE: The T-80 - 5/18/2012 3:48:54 AM   
Mad Russian


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quote:

ORIGINAL: PK Krukov

Put bluntly: This is the scenario that NATO armour is designed for and had been designed for since the 1960s. Precision guns, strong frontal armour and excellent optics/sensor fits are all designed to allow first hit capability at maximum battle ranges (ground permitting) and begin the attriting of large Soviet tank formations as early as possible. From the perspective of defence analysis, and being naturally inclined to take the Russian side (my mantra: "They are not as stupid as Tom Clancy makes out. Desert Storm was not representative of their capabilities. We need to stop underestimating them."), the fact is that Soviet vehicles had inferior targeting and sensor equipment. They cannot detect NATO vehicles before NATO vehicles can detect them, and will generally be shot at first and often killed first as a result. This includes T-80, which while it theoretically is a top of the line vehicle, isn't really much better than T-64 and the biggest issue is the total lack of thermal imaging equipment or good quality light amplification night vision gear.


In the 1973 Battle for the Golan Heights the Israeli's felt they were at a disadvantage to the T-62's IR sensors. The Soviet Army didn't go backwards in it's capabiity.

quote:


In addition to this, "soft" factors include: FP:G represents superiority of NATO gunners. They fired more rounds per tanker than the Soviets did. Simply a limitation of the Soviet recruitment/conscription and training programs. Soviet units would fire on targets as coordinated by platoon or company commanders, that means three tanks would often engage one target. This is very dangerous to the guy getting shot at, but it takes longer to do that than to snapshoot as individual tanks, at targets that present themselves briefly. I do not know if the developers took this Soviet technique into consideration or not, but it seems to me that for the volume of fire my Soviet tankers put out, they get few hits, and part of my rationalization is that they are attempting coordinated fires on single targets.



The fact that there is a unit targeting SOP just highlights the issues with the T-80. If an entire tank platoon is firing at a Warrior IFV where are the hits? And if hit why aren't they knocked out? I'm not comparing the T-80 to the NATO MBT's....I'm saying in the game they can't knock out NATO's IFV's on anything like even odds and that's wrong.

Good Hunting.

MR

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RE: The T-80 - 5/18/2012 11:22:32 PM   
Mad Russian


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Maybe I'm the only one that's noticed this. Or maybe the rest of you don't play the Soviets or it doesn't bother you that your BMP's are the main offense punch and not your tanks.

If the T-80 was so bad that it couldn't take out NATO IFV's at even a 1 to 1 ratio no wonder the Soviets never attacked.

I would say that;

1) I believe that the Soviet crews were trained to a much lower level than NATO tank crews.

2) Soviet optics aren't as good as NATO optics.

3) When the Soviets use unit fire it is effective in hitting the target. Whether or not it penetrates is a different story. When a tank company fires at an individual target it should receive at least one hit. Against an IFV that should mean instant death from a 125mm gun.

4) Even at point blank range the T-80 causes no damage that I can see relative to it's status as an MBT.

When FPG executes a turn are firing and reload times taken into affect? How detailed are the simulation times for FPG?

Good Hunting.

MR


< Message edited by Mad Russian -- 5/18/2012 11:25:42 PM >


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RE: The T-80 - 5/20/2012 8:17:47 AM   
Lieste

 

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I'd say that the exchange rate between IFV and MBT would depend a lot on the tactical situation.

If the IFV are in cover/hull down, have a long range heavy ATGM and the tanks are exposed, then better than a 1:1 exchange rate for the tanks is probably unattainable except at mid-close ranges, where the accuracy of the tank gun has improved to the point that IFV turrets are easy to hit (~700m or 1000m at most). Any closer than this, and the dismounted infantry can also fire light ATGM and heavy RPG weapons - with sufficient numbers and close ranges it is almost assured that some of these shots will be into flank armour - even if oblique these will be quite lethal.

If the IFV are fully exposed, then they will be vulnerable at longer ranges - basically whatever can be hit... during ODS direct clashes within visual range between M3 and basic T72/BMP were not happy for the M3s ~ however the longer range visibility of TIS and reach of the TOW/M242 combination allowed many engagements to be made against 'blind' targets.

A shorter ranged combination such as Milan/Marder, or a gun-only IFV such as LAV-25 or Warrior will be much less capable in open terrain, and will be broadly similar once troops are on the ground at shorter ranges.




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RE: The T-80 - 5/20/2012 2:11:29 PM   
Mad Russian


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The problem is that we have combat examples on both sides of the 1980's time period.

In the 70's we have the Arab Israeli conflict in 73 that changed all the theories and actual practices.

On the other side we have Operation Desert Storm in 1990.

That leaves us a gap of 17 years. There was a tremendous upheaval in the evolution of both tactics and equipment brought about by the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Nothing after 1973 would really look the same again.

The problem is that all our examples are from Western trained armies fighting Arab ones. An Arab army is nothing like fighting the Soviet one. In the first place the equipment is far less capable. The Soviets don't sell fully capable equipment to other nations.

For a better idea of what fighting the Soviets would be like pick up one of the books written by Daniel Bolger. There are a couple of Dragon's at War, that show US units going against units trained to use the Soviet art of war at the NTC.

This too is a bit of a rose colored view because the OpFor units at NTC train constantly and are probably the best trained Soviet battle operational unit in the world. They have a record of winning that is second to none. They routinely beat all comers.

They do this with equipment that the is rated as accurately modeled by the US Army as to what Soviet military units will have operationally available to them and the application choices they would use to employ it.

There are no joy rides through the NTC. The US Army expects Soviet equipment to be more than deadly. This is in a desert environment with long ranges possible. Nothing like the close in fighting expected in NWE.

Training of the units are the main quantifier in any combat situation. We all pretty agree on that. For those that don't I recommend reading a history of the France 1940 campaign. OpFor units at the NTC are the best trained in the world. So, they do extremely well.

But the equipment is a different story. In those wide open spaces they routinely beat US forces with Soviet equipment that this game system seems to downgrade. We are talking hitting targets and getting in close enough to kill them.

If the US Army thinks that a Soviet unit could operate it's equipment in a desert environment, NTC could have been created in any environment, then I think it safe to say they expect it to do well in a NWE environment as well.

A huge mistake is think your opponent is "dumb as a rock" and couldn't hit the side of a barn. There will be Soviet units that are going to be elite as well. Those units will do well in combat.

Again, I don't know if what I'm seeing is an equipment issue or a factor that can be "tweaked" by the designer.

From what I'm hearing from those of you that play the game you think that the ineffectiveness of the T-80 in the game is what should be expected on the battlefield. I am of the opposite opinion. That's the nice thing about opinions. We all have them and they don't have to always agree with each other.

As to the defensive capacity of the T-80 a little research would show I think that Soviet T-80's with Kontakt-5 ERA would be more than capable of holding it's own against either the ATGM's of IFV's or the main guns of NATO MBT's.

Introduced on the T-80U tank in 1985, Kontakt-5 is made up of "bricks" of explosive sandwiched between two metal plates. The plates are arranged in such a way as to move sideways rapidly when the explosive detonates. This will force an incoming kinetic energy penetrator or shaped charge jet to cut through more armour than the thickness of the plating itself, since "new" plating is constantly fed into the penetrating body. A kinetic energy penetrator will also be subjected to powerful sideways forces, which might be large enough to cut the rod into two or more pieces. This will significantly reduce the penetrating capabilities of the penetrator, since the penetrating force will be dissipated over a larger volume of armour.

The effectiveness of Kontakt-5 ERA was confirmed by tests run by the German Bundeswehr and the US Army. The Germans tested the K-5, mounted on older T-72 tanks, and in the US, Jane's IDR's Pentagon correspondent Leland Ness confirmed that "when fitted to T-72 tanks, the 'heavy' ERA made them immune to the depleted uranium penetrators of M829 APFSDS, fired by the 120 mm guns of the US M1 Abrams tanks, which were among the most formidable tank gun projectiles at the time." This is of course, provided that the round strikes the ERA, which only covers 60% of the frontal aspect of the T-72 series tank mounted with it.


Since this was introduced in 1985 and the game takes place in 1989 it is reasonable to assume that large numbers of Category I units would have their main battle tanks equipped with it. In that case the T-80 should be a tank to be reckoned with.

And of course the cycle continues:

Newer KE penetrators like the US M829A2 and now M829A3, have been improved to defeat the armor design of Kontakt-5. The M829A2 was the immediate response, developed in part to take on the new armor bricks. The M829A3 is a further improvement of this as well and designed to fight future armor protection methods.


Which created yet another cycle:

As a response to the M829A3, the Russian army have designed Relikt, the most modern Russian ERA, which is claimed to be twice as effective as Kontakt-5. It detonates on command before the round hits based on information from radar. It can be installed on T-72B and T-90 tanks and is being tested in the Leningrad Military District, although Relikt is not actually in service on any Russian tank.

Kontakt-5 armor is employed by Russia and Ukraine.

Ideas have been drawn up for a new type of ERA called Kaktus which has been developed, although it has yet to be deployed.



This is a never ending cycle of offensive firepower vs defensive armor. It is unsafe to think that your enemy doesn't have an answer to a lead in an area you think you may have.

With the deployment of Kontack-5 in Category I divisions in 1989 I think the results would look far different than those I can get in FPG. I don't view the T-80 as a paper tiger; and as the US Army found out with it's own testing, it wasn't.

Good Hunting.

MR

< Message edited by Mad Russian -- 5/20/2012 2:14:20 PM >


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Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

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RE: The T-80 - 5/26/2012 2:12:37 AM   
PK Krukov

 

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Mad Russian: The Israelis may have felt a disadvantage in '73 versus the T-62's IR equipment. I have used Russian light amplification equipment (primarily NPSU rifle optic), it is not very good even by comparison to contemporary Western equipment such as the "Starlight" scope. I do not know what quality their tank imagers were at, I know that they did not have thermals and were relying on infrared illumination well into the 1980s and this makes them very vulnerable to NATO units equipped with second and third generation NV. They did not go backwards, but they didn't go ahead either.

Lieste: We're not dealing with the real world, we're dealing with FP:G and I routinely have 2000-2500m engagements. The Soviets actually tend to do better at those ranges when they have barrel launched ATGM available or have BMPs handy.

Mad Russian: I don't think the Soviets could have generated elite tank units given their conscription and retention practices. The necessary training time simply was not there. If the war lasted four years, as the Great Patriotic War did, then there's a chance enough experience could accrue to create a genuinely elite unit, but I think we're all going to agree that modern tempos won't allow for that. With regards to T-80, only well trained units got this vehicle.

I routinely play as the Soviets. I don't have any success with my tank units until they get in under 1500 meters. The loss rate always favours NATO; I generally expect to trade most of a company for a NATO platoon under ideal circumstances.

I do not recall any instances of the US Army being able to test T-80. The vehicle was not exported and no models were made available to the US at the end of the Cold War. All other examples of Soviet technology with the exception of T-64 were, however, made available and tested by the US Army.

ERA is one of my pet topics. I agree fully that K5 should provide good protection to tanks equipped with it. The bulk of Soviet tanks in 1989, if they have ERA, are fitted with K1 ERA which provides not-so-great protection against APFSDS. I would suggest that to represent K1 adequately, their CE protection be increased with a KE increase of one third that value. K5 would have a equal-proportions increase in KE and CE protection.

My rationalization for the poor performance by T-80 MBT here is crew training, platoon fire, firing against hull down targets while on the move or short halts in the open / light cover, inferior sensor equipment. Should this change? Probably; there's no qualitative difference for me between Soviet tank models at the moment, they're all just flaming wrecks waiting to happen.

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RE: The T-80 - 5/26/2012 8:27:00 PM   
Mad Russian


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quote:

ORIGINAL: PK Krukov

Mad Russian: I don't think the Soviets could have generated elite tank units given their conscription and retention practices. The necessary training time simply was not there. If the war lasted four years, as the Great Patriotic War did, then there's a chance enough experience could accrue to create a genuinely elite unit, but I think we're all going to agree that modern tempos won't allow for that. With regards to T-80, only well trained units got this vehicle.


This assumes that NATO's training is at a much higher more realistic level. When training with the BAOR we saw "DOZENS" of Soviets tanks registered as killed by Chieftain's at no cost to themselves. How is that training doing any good?

And before anyone takes exception to that either being only a British issue, or that what I saw wasn't representative of the whole I trained with German, British, Canadian and US units. The training was the same throughout.

NATO would win every tactical engagement hands down. Great. If you read much about WWII you can see the same thing in Wehrmacht After Action Reports. And then read the last few pages of the book. The part where the Soviets won the war.

The T-80 is a modern battle tank. It's not a T-26.

The T-34 was a modern tank in WWII it wasn't a T-26.

If I understand your POV, what you are trying to tell me is that the Soviet equipment being inferior to NATO tanks would make them ineffective. I don't see any precedent for that in history anywhere. Especially not using the Soviet style of combat tactics and operational deployment.

They are ineffective in FPG.

As far as closing the range goes I have closed to the point of being in the same hex with NATO units. Makes no difference. The slaughter continues.

Good Hunting.

MR

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Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

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Post #: 14
RE: The T-80 - 5/26/2012 10:25:24 PM   
Lieste

 

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I might suggest taking a look at Armored Brigade - though it lacks any MP mode, the AI isn't very imaginative... and NATO equipment is vastly superior to (most) of the Soviet equivalents, it is still difficult to obtain sustained successes even when the enemy is using obsolescent material (T55/T62/T72M/T72A with steel (subcalibre) penetrators) against TIS equipped M1A1 and Leopard 2A4 - in a frontal engagement the superiority is evident, but as soon as the terrain becomes more complex, the 'better' tanks start to exchange at far less favourable ratios.

Give the Soviets T72B/T64B/T80U with DU or WHA long rods, and possible CL ATGW, and the situation is worse for NATO - frontal engagements are more even, (though still probably favour NATO), but any flanking opportunity will cost NATO dearly.

(It's also free, so little risk in looking at it..)

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RE: The T-80 - 5/27/2012 3:07:37 AM   
Mad Russian


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I'm hoping any update of FPG will possibly consider the facing of the unit and that would help to even things out a bit in this game as well.

Good Hunting.

MR

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Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

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RE: The T-80 - 5/30/2012 12:30:52 PM   
Mad Russian


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lieste

Yet with a (real-world) average maximum engagement range of 1.5km, there is no real advantage to enhanced optics or FCS, and frontal engagement cannot be relied on - the closer the range the wider the spread of angles that a fixed threat frontage will cover. From the flank any Russian weapons will be more than sufficient at all ranges - excepting a hit near the extreme front of the side armour of an M1 (which is a hit on the edge of the frontal array).



Missed this the other day....

This is what Soviet tanks were designed for. The Meeting Engagement. To get in close and from all sides and to take out superior enemy tanks at extremely close range.

The Soviets have believed in this tactic since July 1943 when they first used it at Kursk. I'm not sure how it would work if the entire Soviet Army was using it other than a single tank army. That tank army was given one of the worse defeats in the history of warfare. So, the get in close and slug it out tactic may, or may not, be a good idea.

In this case I would think the automatic loader on Soviet tanks would be a hindrance. That a human gunner could load faster than the auto-loader during tank vs tank duels. Most tank duels are won by the tank that fires first. Of course they must hit the other tank with that first shot.

Good Hunting.

MR


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Founder of HSG scenario design group for Combat Mission.
Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

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RE: The T-80 - 5/30/2012 12:38:08 PM   
Mad Russian


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quote:

ORIGINAL: PK Krukov

I do not recall any instances of the US Army being able to test T-80. The vehicle was not exported and no models were made available to the US at the end of the Cold War. All other examples of Soviet technology with the exception of T-64 were, however, made available and tested by the US Army.



There was no reference to the T-80 being tested. K-5 was tested. Using those test results, I'm the one that said, if K-5 was available to Soviet units, the T-80 it would be a tank to be reckoned with.

Good Hunting.

MR


_____________________________

The most expensive thing in the world is free time.

Founder of HSG scenario design group for Combat Mission.
Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

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Post #: 18
RE: The T-80 - 6/25/2012 4:18:38 PM   
PK Krukov

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mad Russian


quote:

ORIGINAL: PK Krukov

Mad Russian: I don't think the Soviets could have generated elite tank units given their conscription and retention practices. The necessary training time simply was not there. If the war lasted four years, as the Great Patriotic War did, then there's a chance enough experience could accrue to create a genuinely elite unit, but I think we're all going to agree that modern tempos won't allow for that. With regards to T-80, only well trained units got this vehicle.


This assumes that NATO's training is at a much higher more realistic level. When training with the BAOR we saw "DOZENS" of Soviets tanks registered as killed by Chieftain's at no cost to themselves. How is that training doing any good?

And before anyone takes exception to that either being only a British issue, or that what I saw wasn't representative of the whole I trained with German, British, Canadian and US units. The training was the same throughout.

NATO would win every tactical engagement hands down. Great. If you read much about WWII you can see the same thing in Wehrmacht After Action Reports. And then read the last few pages of the book. The part where the Soviets won the war.

The T-80 is a modern battle tank. It's not a T-26.

The T-34 was a modern tank in WWII it wasn't a T-26.

If I understand your POV, what you are trying to tell me is that the Soviet equipment being inferior to NATO tanks would make them ineffective. I don't see any precedent for that in history anywhere. Especially not using the Soviet style of combat tactics and operational deployment.

They are ineffective in FPG.

As far as closing the range goes I have closed to the point of being in the same hex with NATO units. Makes no difference. The slaughter continues.

Good Hunting.

MR


Ah, I see what you're saying now. Concur.

What I'm saying is that Soviet sensor equipment was inferior to NATO equipment. Since you can't hit what you can't see, against a dug in, prepared opponent this means even large Soviet units are just so many targets for the NATO gunners. Hence Soviet tank ineffectiveness against halted NATO tanks in FP:G.

Because when those (large) NATO tanks are on the move they are much easier to see, roughly comparable Soviet hardware (gun, armour) and superior (mobility) characteristics should tell in their favour in meeting engagements or any other fluid fight. The Soviets appear fully aware of this; hence their emphasis on the meeting battle since Field Service Regulations 1936 and their rehabilitation following the initial 1941-1942 debacles. In these circumstances NATO tanks should take heavier losses. They seem to, at least on my screen versus AI. Is the exchange rate as favorable or equitable as it arguably should be? Probably not.

A moderating factor is that Soviet tankers simply are not as good as NATO tankers. The NATO tankers all got more rounds and jerrycans allocated for training and could simply practice more. Their NCOs and other leaders were professional soldiers with a great deal of accumulated experience. In positional battles this translates to more accurate gunnery, enhanced by being stationary and having ridiculously good FCS. In mobile battles this means more likely to get first round hits.

Compensating factors are that if you're fighting a mobile battle you are most likely fighting as the Soviets want you to, so your platoon will probably be facing off against a company of Soviet tanks in the context of a tank battalion attack or meeting engagement. I would not argue that this means a 4:10 exchange ratio is possible for NATO.

As to automatic loaders, well:
- They never get tired. Human loader performances drop over time or while bouncing over really bad ground. The automatic loader does not care. Though every time I point this out some American tanker always likes to tell me how his heroic, herculean loader could hoist the known universe using nothing more than the fingernail of his ring finger...
- They allowed for smaller tanks which had better armouring at lower weight than tanks without, which had to have increased internal volume to accomodate a human loader, who is the only member of the crew who needs to be standing and able to swing about with a shell in his arms. Smaller tank = Harder target. Lighter tank = better hp/ton ratio, better mobility, generally speaking. Lighter tank = less ground pressure = much better mobility.
- Automatic loaders aren't that slow. They'll take twelve seconds if you tell them to change ammo type every time you fire, but if you leave them loading on a cycle they can have the next round ready to go in four seconds which is about as long as it takes a good gunner to acquire, laze and fire on any target.
- Carousel automatic loaders as used on T-64, T-72, T-80 all had a ready ammunition count of some 25-30 rounds. Not all NATO tanks had comparably high ready round ammo counts.

Definitely in the 'knife fight' this should count in a Soviet tanker's favour, where greater dispersion from the main gun and weaker ammunition also count less against the Soviets.

Amplifying a point about your historical (Kursk) example: Soviet ammunition quality during WWII was demonstrated to be extremely variable. Even though such tactics should have worked, theoretically, it's entirely possible that the ammunition those tankers had was not up to the job even at close range, and so the tanks were exposed for no gain trying to engage the Germans whose ammunition quality remained high throughout the war, against very skilled German tank crews suddenly presented with a "target rich environment." That may account for the massive defeat of that tank army.

_____________________________

Ac her forş berad; fugels singağ, gylled grœghama. Wyrd biğ ful aræd.

(in reply to Mad Russian)
Post #: 19
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