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And it was a failed project. Although there were reports of them intercepting a couple RPGs in combat, those systems were still very limited, dangerous, and cost a lot, so were not sufficiently cost effective. This is what's called "technological immaturity".

I don't think installing an APS then dumping it for 40 years can be considered a success.

 

I don't think it should be considered a failed project. Original Drozd got developed into Drozd-2 but USSR first ran out of money and then collaped. Back in the 90s was offered with T-80U in an improved version, so it wasn't really "dumped".

 

Developed into Drozd-2, yeah, but itself was dumped. None used those T-55AD after that, and 40 years later there is not a single AFV with an APS in service in Russia. First to use one is the Armata family

 

umm, BMP-3M with Arena?

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Seems like a pretty convoluted way to avoid giving credit where credit is due. Drozd was not a mere experiment under any reasonable criteria. It was accepted into service, mass produced, fitted to tanks on a large scale, and saw more combat than the entire T-64/72/80 series combined in the hands of the Soviet Army.

 

T-55AD was "dumped" due to arms reduction agreements. Lack of APS on Russian tanks since 1991 is due to one simple reason - not enough money. This is pretty self evident, really. For example, a lot of Russian tanks are still using Kontakt-5 ERA, which is 35 years old this year. And only the very latest (T-90M) have a CITV. And since this thread is about IFVs, it is also worth mentioning that the BMP-2M that is being procured now is a derivative of the BMP-2M offered by KBP in the late '90s. The list of products compromised by budgetary restrictions is very long.

 

In short, the discontinuation of Drozd was purely due to external factors.

Edited by Interlinked
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Seems like a pretty convoluted way to avoid giving credit where credit is due. Drozd was not a mere experiment under any reasonable criteria. It was accepted into service, mass produced, fitted to tanks on a large scale, and saw more combat than the entire T-64/72/80 series combined in the hands of the Soviet Army.

 

T-55AD was "dumped" due to arms reduction agreements. Lack of APS on Russian tanks since 1991 is due to one simple reason - not enough money. This is pretty self evident, really. For example, a lot of Russian tanks are still using Kontakt-5 ERA, which is 35 years old this year. And only the very latest (T-90M) have a CITV. And since this thread is about IFVs, it is also worth mentioning that the BMP-2M that is being procured now is a derivative of the BMP-2M offered by KBP in the late '90s. The list of products compromised by budgetary restrictions is very long.

 

In short, the discontinuation of Drozd was purely due to external factors.

 

And yet you can see that since 1981 Russia has managed to produce even more T-90 tanks, upgrade them multiple times plus upgrade the T-80 and T-72, and develop 3 brand new families of AFVs. It also had huge expenses since then on aviation, shipbuilding, and air defenses. Tanks it's producing 30 years hence are still lacking any form of APS.

APS may be a monetary problem only if the tanks are not actually expected to see combat. I've already given a long explanation why a tank equipped with an APS is cheaper than a tank without one, even if only a small portion (less than 10%) of the tanks actually see combat. But if you don't build them to see combat, it's better to not produce them at all, or just fake an upgrade.

 

Whatever kind of excuse is made up, for a fact there is not a single Russian or ex-Soviet tank in service anywhere with a hard-kill APS. And I really don't understand what this whole argument is about. The point was made, no need to argue about semantics.

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IMO a very good and underrated vehicle was the AIFV, YPR 765, or the South Korean K 200 KIFV and Turkish Variants ACV - AIFV .

 

Cheap - M 113 derivate. Up - motorized and improved.

 

On the gun:

 

20 mm was too small, see Marder.

 

Over 35 mm seems to be too big, too expensive.

 

So 25, 30 mm seems to be the best compromise.

 

And yes, some specialized variants are fine: keep the basic vehicle SIMPLE ( 25 mm, perhaps mixed with .50 Variants ), and add Mortar Carriers, AT, AA, HE thrower ( no, not 105 mm low recoil, rather mount the Saladin or Scorpion or French 90 mm turret )

 

Numbers count, and Money is always tight.

 

Hermann

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And yet you can see that since 1981 Russia has managed to produce even more T-90 tanks, upgrade them multiple times plus upgrade the T-80 and T-72, and develop 3 brand new families of AFVs. It also had huge expenses since then on aviation, shipbuilding, and air defenses. Tanks it's producing 30 years hence are still lacking any form of APS.

T-80s were not upgraded until recently. Early T-72s upgrade were very basic, you would rather call them an overhaul (T-72BA). Even T-90s acquired in the 1990s (probably with available componentes) were simpler than the ones available for export - Russian T-90s in the 90s and early 00s lacked a thermal sight, which was installed in the ones exported to India. As Interlinked has pointed out it was only recently they started to install CITVs.

 

Whatever kind of excuse is made up, for a fact there is not a single Russian or ex-Soviet tank in service anywhere with a hard-kill APS. And I really don't understand what this whole argument is about. The point was made, no need to argue about semantics.

 

I just don't get this whole argument. Drozd was developed in the 70s and as other Soviet weapons passed state tests in 1981-1982. It was adopted into service and 250 T-55 were upgraded with it. The system was produced for several years. In the late 1980s vehicles were retired as part of CFE treaty. Designers were working in a more advanced version and on integration in T-62, but no funding was available. Why is this a failure?

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Because Israel MUST be first. Simple as.

 

It's certainly not the first time I'm seeing you turning to nationalism to validate your non-existent arguments, so I can't say I'm surprised. Just disappointed.

 

 

I just don't get this whole argument. Drozd was developed in the 70s and as other Soviet weapons passed state tests in 1981-1982. It was adopted into service and 250 T-55 were upgraded with it. The system was produced for several years. In the late 1980s vehicles were retired as part of CFE treaty. Designers were working in a more advanced version and on integration in T-62, but no funding was available. Why is this a failure?

When you cut a project short, it's a failure. In the same way, the Zumwalt is in itself not much of a failure, but many aspects of it are. Its ultra advanced gun and munitions are in-service, they exist, but the project was cut short and now they won't even use them to their potential. If there will be, in the future, a Zumwalt 2.0 with an AGS 2.0, that will be produced in large quantities and used for the mission it was developed, then I'd definitely agree with the idea that it's the first proper full stealth ship with a first truly long range land attack gun, because the current Zumwalt and AGS have met a dead end and are, IMO, failed (or mostly failed) projects that aren't fulfilling their intended purpose.

If you face problems in your project, e.g too dangerous frag grenades, poor target discrimination, too narrow protected area, or protection against a limited type of threats, you improve on them. After using them, they canned the project, not returning to it for the next 30-40 years. In the 1970's the T-72 were in service. In 1980 so were the T-80. With the T-80 supposed to be their elite, it would make a lot more sense to put their latest APS tech on these tanks. But they put it on T-55 tanks that were close to being obsolete. That is what would be logical in an experiment. You won't mind messing with tanks that you have in the thousands in storage. New tanks though? Not really when you paid top bucks for them.

 

There were many experiments in different countries, in APS tech. Some have shown positive results, but their cost effectiveness was not good enough, they were not mature. That is why it took so long until APS were first mass produced.

Edited by Mighty_Zuk
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Drozd was installed on T-55A tanks because that's what the Naval Infantry was using due to weight restrictions. That's all there is to it. Given that ~250 T-55AD tanks were procured, all T-55 tanks operated by the Naval Infantry were upgraded to this standard. The tank force of the Naval Infantry in the mid to late '80s therefore consisted of PT-76B and T-55AD tanks and nothing else. In short, it wasn't an experiment. Comparisons with the Zumwalt are completely inappropriate.

 

The T-55AD was later discontinued due to arms reduction agreements and its successor could not progress due to a lack of funding related to the economic collapse of the USSR. By extension, Drozd was discontinued due to arms reduction agreements. Again, the downfall of Drozd was not its technology, but rather the collapse of the entire country.

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The economic and geopolitical collapse is the main culprit. If the USSR had remained whole and with an intact economy, but there was also some detente and numerical arms controls (which is what Gorbachev wanted btw) then it is likely Drodz or similar would have found it's way onto some T-72B/T-90 or T-80U variants as part of a shift from quantity to quality imposed by the arms reduction agreements (making quantity a breach of the agreement) and also made possible by a better economic situation which would permit modernisation even without a huge focus on the military.

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Many other projects were still funded at the time of the collapse and shortly after it, and yet the reality is that it took them more than 40 years to get another system. Otherwise, what's preventing them from introducing one right now? Why is Russia still so reluctant to add an APS to an operational vehicle?

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Many other projects were still funded at the time of the collapse and shortly after it, and yet the reality is that it took them more than 40 years to get another system. Otherwise, what's preventing them from introducing one right now? Why is Russia still so reluctant to add an APS to an operational vehicle?

 

Money.

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Many other projects were still funded at the time of the collapse and shortly after it, and yet the reality is that it took them more than 40 years to get another system. Otherwise, what's preventing them from introducing one right now? Why is Russia still so reluctant to add an APS to an operational vehicle?

 

Money.

 

Re-read my comment. I've thoroughly explained why AFVs with an APS are much cheaper than those without one, and I'm not planning on doing so again.

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Re-read my comment. I've thoroughly explained why AFVs with an APS are much cheaper than those without one, and I'm not planning on doing so again.

Your explanation is ultimately irrelevant. Again, money was the issue and still is the main issue. More specifically, the shortage of it.

 

It is a provable fact that the Drozd was the first mass-produced hard-kill APS to enter service and see widespread use under every reasonable definition of these terms. Your definitions are contrived.

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Re-read my comment. I've thoroughly explained why AFVs with an APS are much cheaper than those without one, and I'm not planning on doing so again.

Your explanation is ultimately irrelevant. Again, money was the issue and still is the main issue. More specifically, the shortage of it.

 

It is a provable fact that the Drozd was the first mass-produced hard-kill APS to enter service and see widespread use under every reasonable definition of these terms. Your definitions are contrived.

 

Even if I were to concede and say the Drozd was indeed the first APS in service, which itself is also wrong because ships and planes used APS for ages, my point remains that making top X lists of things is wrong because the program behind them is far more relevant.

The US is currently the only country that operates only modern tanks with full separation of ammo from the crew. But, terrible bureaucracy and inconsistent demands are slowing down progress.

Germany is the first in the west to take the kinetic aspect seriously, for a very long time now. But, by far most of the initiative comes from the MIC and not the government/army.

France is steadily modernizing not only its vehicles but also doctrine. But, it chose to postpone implementation of some of the revolutionary technologies developed now, putting it at a disadvantage in the coming decades.

UK is now modernizing its Challenger 2 tanks, Warriors, and overall also modernizes its ground forces. But the ground forces have been neglected for too long and still not enough is being done.

Israel is implementing revolutionary tech at a steady enough rate. But for some reason has no plans on fixing the now repairable flaws of its tank fleet (ammo stowage specifically).

Russia has developed 3 new families of AFVs. But the APS design leaves a lot to be desired, and they are massively behind schedule.

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If you face problems in your project, e.g too dangerous frag grenades, poor target discrimination, too narrow protected area, or protection against a limited type of threats, you improve on them. After using them, they canned the project, not returning to it for the next 30-40 years.

Again, USSR carried on development, working on Drozd-2 which was then installed in upgraded T-80U.

 

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If you face problems in your project, e.g too dangerous frag grenades, poor target discrimination, too narrow protected area, or protection against a limited type of threats, you improve on them. After using them, they canned the project, not returning to it for the next 30-40 years.

Again, USSR carried on development, working on Drozd-2 which was then installed in upgraded T-80U.

 

 

And how many are in service or were in service?

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So bringing up the T-80 with Drozd 2 is really irrelevant if it's not bought.

 

You might just carry on changing the argument for the sake of it. This started with "Russians did not install Drozd from T-55AD in T-80s", then moved into "development was stopped and more modern tanks never got it", and now it seems that it does not count if it was not bought.

 

You can twist the arguments, but bottom line is that USSR was first to field tanks with APS. The system passed state tests and it was installed in 250 tanks.

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When I look at "best" I look at what it did, what it can do, how it can be modified, how it can be upgraded, and how long it lasts in service. The basic M-113 meets many of these. As do the various BTR-70/80/90 type vehicles.

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When I look at "best" I look at what it did, what it can do, how it can be modified, how it can be upgraded, and how long it lasts in service. The basic M-113 meets many of these. As do the various BTR-70/80/90 type vehicles.

Both the M113 and BTR series were developed too early for that. They can no longer be modified to prolong their service in their current roles, and instead are only filling the niche of RCVs.

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Why is a discussion of an arbitrary ranking of APCs/IFVs now exclusively a pointless argument about APS on tanks?

 

I vote for any APC over any IFV, because the latter inevitably compromises with protection or mobility to gain a marginal increase in lethality which is situational at best and results in the absence of proper direct fire support vehicles at worst.

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Why is a discussion of an arbitrary ranking of APCs/IFVs now exclusively a pointless argument about APS on tanks?

 

I vote for any APC over any IFV, because the latter inevitably compromises with protection or mobility to gain a marginal increase in lethality which is situational at best and results in the absence of proper direct fire support vehicles at worst.

IFVs used to trade mostly internal capacity (i.e reduced number of passengers), now it's no longer necessary with an abundance of mature overhead turrets. Any decrease in protection no longer has to occur with such overhead turrets, and any decrease in mobility is marginal. How much of a difference will a 3-ton turret have on a 40-ton vehicle?

 

The increase in firepower is not marginal, though. It allows the IFV to engage MBTs when there is no other option (e.g retaliatory fire while retreating), allows the IFV to support its infantry better especially in urban environments, and some capability to destroy light armored vehicles and eliminate soft targets without dismounting the infantry and using much larger and more expensive rocket launchers.

But most importantly, it allows you to use a different doctrine.

If you prefer concentrated firepower, you'll prefer an APC. If you prefer organic firepower and more distributed forces, you'll prefer an IFV.

 

I was in the "concentrated firepower" camp once, because I thought it saves money. Little did I know at the time just how much of a hindrance on operations it was, and how little it actually costs to distribute the capability.

 

Think of it like this - you may not want a revolutionary vehicle and that's fine. Don't have to lead anything, cheaper but mediocre works for some, depending on geopolitics and stuff. With every passing year, mature technologies become cheaper. At some point simple RCWS with 12.7mm HMGs were expensive and not many had these, so to save money some just used fully manned MGs on simple mounts. Now you see an RCWS on basically every vehicle. Unmanned turrets have also reached a similar point. The market is now filled with turrets that fill the high end and low end niche, and everything in between, with some companies offering a wide variety. Some turrets are also very light, with the old Samson Mark 1 weighing 1,600kg (3,500lbs) with a full load of ammo plus missiles. It sticks some high end capabilities in a low end package and can significantly boost the capabilities of an APC with minimal impact on mobility.

Edited by Mighty_Zuk
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