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mpow66m
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certainly it depends on context. all things being equal, a t-72a model is obsolete vs. a modern leopard 2 or m1a2. but these matches never occur in a vacuum; are they intended to fight during a low level insurgency in africa or a high intensity battlefield against a first rate nato opponent. or perhaps a poorer country can afford to buy a few american units with more difficult maintenance schedules vs plenty more t-72s with access to more spare parts and can keep them running longer. perhaps the enemy the t-72 is expected to fight doesn't have much in the way of C3, is not particularly well equipped, organized or skilled, motivated or whatever.

 

in general i think the design is too vulnerable strictly from the standpoint of the vehicle crews. i would feel more comfortable in a tank which isn't designed to be as disposable; in a conflict where the situation it is more or less equalized- that is, t-72 vs. t-72, all the advantages of the t-72s in terms of the numbers-they were supposed to attack in large volume- are moot if they are fighting more or less on 'equal' terms. in that sense, none of the advantages are retained and you have a tank which is also a liability. if it were a report card grade i give it a C- ; you could conceivably do a lot of damage with it, it may do the job, but you'll probably have a lot of traumatized crews after the battle is over

 

from a simulation standpoint in steel beasts, it is a lot of fun for those reasons- it is challenging, it gives a good feeling if you win because it does feel vulnerable. you either got lucky or you performed particularly well to beat a superior opponent, in either case, it is a different form of satisfaction if you win in a t-72 instead of m1a2, say.

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The main weakness of the T-72 is the impossibility to separate the crew from the ammunition, and that, over the decades, no adequate uparmoring has happened to protect it (because, in the end, the ammunition is everywhere - so any perforating hit is likely to trigger a cascade leading to catastrophic destruction). That is, however, the main weakness of every tank in Steel Beasts except the M1 family, TTB, and T-14 Armata. The next issue is the lack of a thermal imager, arguably the biggest tactical deficiency. But that variety makes it an interesting challenge - if your life isn't on the line, like in a Steel Beasts game. Finally, the available range of munitions. While the BM32 and BM42 are potent rounds, all others are not so much (to different degrees). What Steel Beasts is lacking are a wider variety of playable 1960s tank models like the M47, M48 - but then again, you have the Centurion and the Leopard 1 as proxies (arguably, also the T-55) if you disable certain functions and give them older munitions.

 

That the tank has become obsolete on today's battlefield shouldn't come as a surprise; even the Leopard 2A4 can no longer be considered adequately protected (unless, maybe, you eliminate or at least severely reduce the amount of ammo in the hull stowage). But as long as the other guys don't have modern anti-tank equipment, even a T-55 reigns supreme in a confrontation with lightly or unarmored opponents.

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Do you think there is a balance between ATGMs and MBT armour?Or is one better than the other and in the long run who ll be the victor?Will MBTs go the way of the dinosaur because of modern ATGMs?

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i don't think so in the short term- although what we may call a main battle tank will look different of course- this is simply because offense and defense co-evolve together. a stronger MBT design implies stronger anti-armor solutions- which in turn implies a stronger MBT design, which in turn implies better anti-tank weapons and so on. they go together. so even if the anti-tank missile made the tank obsolete and disappear from the battlefield, at the same time that would virtually make the anti-tank missile disappear for lack of need- which would imply the tank to come back again to fill the vacuum

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I think that T72s biggest lacks are in mobility. - thermal imager. And in future - limit of ammunition Length due to carousel. 

 

It is very good and effective tank even on today's battlefields (with right tactics and good users) sadly, what were witnessing all around the world's conflicts is that one just cannot choose the battle or even place. Hence where it's poor ability to reverse becomes terrible hinterance. 

 

Ammunition on carousel is actually in a sense very well protected. It has cover above and it is very flat and placed low unlike (t80 or t64)

 

And about extra ammunition. One gotta remember those are two piece where explosives are on separate from inert pieces.   There are "wet" stores for ammunition around carousel on fuel tanks.

Though as Snake mentions problem is it increases surface area of ammo (and fuel) storage  and as we know.. explosions or impacts have tendency to cause burst of fluids and likely catch fire too.   However to my understanding all this kind of makes it survivable for crew.. okay you may be in fire.. but you probably have some time to escape before catastrophic explosion. That is as long as you don't have all the extras ammunition stored on walls.. having explosive charge between your feet..  >.> (What a brilliant location for such)

 

 

 

So i suppose... If one thinks it from point of view of most insides being filled with flammable stuff...  Even if not explosive not so good or survivable... : /   On contrary M1 and leopard have comparatively smaller areas or rather.. snug areas for ammunition and fuel.  

 

Either way. My biggest grief with t72 is lack of thermals and reverse mobility. 

 

Maybe in future models we will see fuel tanks more snug and ammunition placed on behind turret like M1.

 

Extra armor? Uuum... Sorry. I just don't see point for additional armor behind ability to resist IFVs kinetic energy ammunition.  

 

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I think T-72 is flumsy and heavy. When I tested it first time, I don't see any good of it. Maybe I gotta train more. Its turret is damn hard to control. For beginner I don't recommend it. But if you like to do everything hard way go ahead. Maybe later when I have more experience I could try to get control of T-72 or I need guidance. Only positive thing I can say is T-72 has power of firing.

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6 hours ago, mpow66m said:

Will MBTs go the way of the dinosaur because of modern ATGMs?

No. The real threat are fully autonomous tank-hunting kill bots, but they will be hunting any kind of military vehicle and the heavier protected ones will still have better chances of survival, require heavier drones - which will make it more difficult to scale attacks into large swarms.

All ATGMs share the characteristic that you have high precision combined with a high effect, but at the same time a relatively low volume of fire (launchers and missiles cannot be procured and distributed in huge numbers (because the better the missile, the heavier and the more expensive it is)), and more importantly, a very limited time during which it must be brought on target. Loitering munitions on the other hand have ample time to find a target and choose the moment of attack.

 

Anyway, historically we already had a moment when it was believed that "ammunition had won". It didn't stop us from fielding new tanks. Instead, we got the Leopard 1. High mobility (at the time), excellent firepower (at the time), enough passive armor to handle the lesser threats (IFVs, mostly), and a doctrine that emphasized a rapid change of firing positions to maintain the moment of tactical surprise. Would it have worked? We will never know, but at least the Leopard 1 user nations believed that it could be done, and nobody had a better idea what to do.

 

The MBT is, abstractly speaking, the embodiment of "mobile, protected precision fire". That is the unique combination that it brings to the combined arms mix. There will always be a need for this, even if the implementation and ther relative emphasis of its three components may change. Since tanks have appeared on the battlefield pundits have predicted that they will soon be made obsolete or that they were obsolete already. And here we are, and still have no idea with what to replace it, except a newer, better MBT.

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i would say the T-72 is an excellent balance between weight and armour. 

there's no western tank which is able to pack that much armour into so little weight. 

with only 41.5 tons, the T-72M1 entire front turret and hull has a uniform(almost) 420mm, and sides are 80mm+.

this with a simple cast turret with a bit of sand thrown into it is an absolutely brilliant feat of armour engineering.

 

for comparison, a western design of equal weigh, (leopard 1) disregards almost completely all armour. 

and any design with equal protection in the west, is usually 15-18 tonnes heavier, or more. 

 

there has been multiple improvements and upgrades done to the T-72 to maintain it's competitiveness. 

 

the czech T-72M4CZ has an improved drivetrain with decent reverse gear, modernized FCS, and improved armour. 

the russian T-72B3 similarly has improved armour, and modernized FCS. 

both of these vehicles are quite capable in this configuration. 

as for the ammunition storage... there was some proposed export variants which stored extra ammunition in a bustle bin instead of in the hull. 

 

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Agreed.

 

Also For some bizarre reason. I think T72 as a sort of proxy to modern  "light tank" that is able to take IFV fire frontally and still intimidate troops. Problem is... It has those lacks. Or some of those depending of version. 

 

Also... 125 even with older ammunition was punchy enough to modern armor from side.  Though...  Active protection systems probably mitigate this threat to some extent... Making T-72 possibly obsolete unless.. turret bustle will help with ammunition related problems. 

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t-72 has 125 mm gun. western tank has 120 mm gun. advantage: t-72

t-72 has a crew of 3 + autoloader, western tank has a crew of 4 with human loading projectiles. advantage: t-72

t-72 is lighter than western tank, has relatively easy fuel requirements, can cross more bridges than western tank. advantage: t-72.

t-72 is cheaper to produce, cheaper or easier to maintain, requires less materials, less manpower, therefore an army can field more tanks for the cost. advantage: t-72

 

the specs can betray a sort of bias where we talk our way out of real world results, which tend to show something else going on where youu often see over the last 30 years t-72s blown up left and right in conflicts even where the opponent doesn't have to be an m1 abrams; even where the other tanks are t-72s or RPGs you come to expect images of wrecked t-72s when the cell phone films of the battles trickle in.

 

of course it doesn't occur in a vacuum- there may be a syndrome which produces this effect- the t-72 doesn't simply appear on a battlefield without context- maybe the armies which have them tend to be less capable, or have less in the way of support or what have you, after all the t-72 was not so much designed to fight in a civil war, it was designed to overrun nato on an NBC battle field with under-educated, disposable conscripts, survive just long enough to achieve objectives before the crews eventually die from radiation or what have you. and this back in the 1970s and 1980s, not in the present era. there are opinions and vague anecdotes that the t-72 performed as well if not better than its opponents in lebanon or during the iran-iraq war of the 1980s, which may be true to varying degrees, but i think in general the design obsolete, even if it was good for its time, times have simply changed

 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Captain_Colossus said:

t-72 has 125 mm gun. western tank has 120 mm gun. advantage: t-72

t-72 has a crew of 3 + autoloader, western tank has a crew of 4 with human loading projectiles. advantage: t-72

 

These 2 are debatable

A) depends what your putting down the tube.

B) Allows a physically smaller size

but,

you'll miss that loader when you're track bashing, Gun tube cleaning, Standing watch.

 

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A pure caliber comparison isn't particularly revealing, if not obfuscating. Caliber directly translates to penetration power in the case of HEAT rounds, assuming a similar degree of precision manufacturing of the liner and the same liner material. The autoloader's design has seriously limited capability growth for the APFSDS rounds once that the maximum penetrator length was reached; the latest Russian rounds are no longer restricted by this but the BM-32 is about the maximum of what could be squeezed out of the old design. As long as the T-72 keeps the existing autoloader (and that's the only economical option), no better APFSDS rounds can be fielded with it.

 

The crew size restriction reduces the armored volume, which is good, but it also reduces the available manpower for anything that is not a direct combat activity. Maintenance was already mentioned, pulling local security while you're not in battle (which is the default mode even in war) is another, finally a T-72 that loses a single crew member is effectively out of action. Certain repair tasks will require support from an external repair crew if you have only three to work on something.

 

The T-72 has operational mobility advantages, true. It is hampered tactically however with its super-slow reverse gear which is fundamentally incompatible with military doctrine that emphasises frequent change of firing positions.

 

The T-72 may be cheaper to produce, but what good does that do when pretty much any penetrating hit will result in a catastrophic loss of the vehicle? Feeding wave after wave into the grinder is not exactly a winning strategy. Rapid turnaround times with repairs has, on the other hand, been proven to win some battles. This is where the T-72 fails dramatically. The super-dense integration of components makes fast repairs beyond superficial damages basically impossible.

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15 minutes ago, Hedgehog said:

These 2 are debatable

A) depends what your putting down the tube.

B) Allows a physically smaller size

but,

you'll miss that loader when you're track bashing, Gun tube cleaning, Standing watch.

 

right, it is simply argument; and that is my point, since you could set up the argument as if the t-72 should conquer the world; it would be one thing if all we had to go on were to extrapolate from a set of design specs. but we have real world material to draw from where the proof is in the pudding and all the inductive reasoning has to recognize to some extent that real world tests have occurred; take from that what you will, but ask yourself whether you would feel more confident with a t-72 versus a modern design if you had to take one into a real battle; through various life extending programs they squeeze out more life from the design, but i think it is a lagging indicator of tank design at this point. it's not cutting edge for sure

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I was reading the T72 was built as an assualt MBT not a defensive tank.As CC said It was meant to come in a great red wave over the hills and swarm over NATO with disposable MBTs and conscripts.I see its biggwst weakness being the way the ammo is stored.The T72 cant compare to most MBTs in that area.I mean who wants to go to work surrounded by Powder and HE shells,lol.Does the 125mm gun really mk a diff?I mean US,for example uses a 120mm SB gun,but the US,DE,UK ect ammo is better than Russias ammo,so I see that as a moot point I guess.

  Isnt also easier to replace a loader than fix a auto loader?Western MBTs have superior FCS,even their secondary back up sights are better than aa T72s GPS.I think the superiof FCS and crew survivablity are major pluses.If your in a M1A1 HA you know your in a MBT that was built with crew surviablity in mind and also a easy to use,fast FCS.No MBT is perfect but western and Eastern MBTs I suppose were built for 2 different tasks and puposes.

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20 minutes ago, mpow66m said:

The T72 cant compare to most MBTs in that area.I mean who wants to go to work surrounded by Powder and HE shells,lol.Does the 125mm gun really mk a diff?

 

Well when it was fielded most NATO tanks had the 105mm L7 (or US version built under license):

 

image.png.6e7094d66468d38110a4a4dc4e1c158a.png

 

Only the Chieftain had a comparable gun.

 

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For a tank designed in the late 60s the fact that even being a threat on the modern battlefield is an option is still impressive. Also keep in mind that when the t72 entered service it was mainly up against tanks like the m60 and sacrificed some things in order to get more tanks and more shots out there, that was the theory anyways. Also it was never meant to be the king of tank versus tank warfare and really in that era (i believe) the idea of directly engaging tanks with tanks is something done more out of necessity when air strikes, gunships, ambush with dug in tank destroyers and atgm teams etc isnt an option. But also as we know things usually dont go the way you want. 

 

Im a little hesitant to go forward as years ago in my operation flashpoint group saying that a t72 could penetrate an m1 and therefore could defeat one given the right situation and was still a probable threat even though it is at a disadvantage caused a massive shitstorm and I dont want to offend anyone.

 

Its a shame my personal favorite the t64 wasnt exported more widely as the team having access to model the 64/80 family would be cool. Hopefully we will get a t55 am2 with atgms someday as I have a thing for both retrofitted old equipment and atgms.

 

Also playing this has taught me the insane ridiculous advantage thermal imaging equipment gives. Being able to spot a tiny bit of a vehicle through foilage or a rocket motor light up on a hillside 2km away against an enemy who does not have the same capability is almost trivial. In a tgif game a single challenger 2 stuck in a treeline that was disabled put an entire hault to a t72 column as we continued feeling that our extreme numbers would win out.

Edited by Poofydoodle
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3 hours ago, Poofydoodle said:

For a tank designed in the late 60s the fact that even being a threat on the modern battlefield is an option is still impressive. Also keep in mind that when the t72 entered service it was mainly up against tanks like the m60 and sacrificed some things in order to get more tanks and more shots out there, that was the theory anyways. Also it was never meant to be the king of tank versus tank warfare and really in that era (i believe) the idea of directly engaging tanks with tanks is something done more out of necessity when air strikes, gunships, ambush with dug in tank destroyers and atgm teams etc isnt an option. But also as we know things usually dont go the way you want. 

 

 

tank design on both sides informed the other; they do not occur in a vacuum; if you look at the combat load of the t-72, there is a large emphasis on high explosive shells, since the t-72 and bmp are conceived to attack with inconceivably high density formations in order to conquer foreign territory; because of the brutal experience of fighting ww2 in its own territory, the soviet mindset is to invade before being invaded. so the soviet main battle tank is conceived somewhat differently than the western mbt- a much more dedicated tank killer, since the expected role is to fence off the armored attack rather than presumed to lead the attack into the soviet union. the soviet concept of an invasion isn't to per se attack and destroy armored units, but to go deep into enemy territory and make a mess, hence the need for more high explosive shells, whereas at the same time, rather than to destroy infrastructure and so on western tanks have more need to prevent and destroy the enemy from doing just that and are obviously designed with that in mind; furthermore it is presumed the attacking soviet forces are using weapons of mass destruction in the form of tactical nuclear warheads and chemical bombardments, so in theory defenses are already reduced where the soviet tanks appear. the t-72 was designed to operate under those assumptions; since that version of ww3 did not pan out, instead you see the t-72 operating in conventional, more limited forms of warfare- which is where it is having its problems. in a nuclear war, the more primitive technology installed in soviet equipment might be more or less immune to nuclear EMP bursts where sophisticated western radar and sensors are knocked out, or at least the playing field is more leveled under that conceit- but since the t-72 is operating without all that going on in the background, it is tasked for duties which it doesn't seem to particularly do well without its troubles

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