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Iranian Tanks - Revisited


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#421 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 0201 AM

I seem to recall they gave great store over building a new shipyard, which went on to build only 3 ships, 2 of them defective if memory serves. They must have an entire military industrial establishment based on the Soviet model.


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#422 KV7

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 0309 AM

I seem to recall they gave great store over building a new shipyard, which went on to build only 3 ships, 2 of them defective if memory serves. They must have an entire military industrial establishment based on the Soviet model.

The Soviet military-industrial complex was reasonably efficient, perhaps at the cost on inefficiency elsewhere.


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#423 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 0325 AM

If you count having 3 MBT's in production at the same time reasonably efficient. :)

 

Alright, you have a point, a bad comparison. Much of what the Soviet military industrial complex built proved, in combat, pretty good. The same usually cannot be said of Iran. But, if you read The Collapse of the Soviet Military by William Odom, they were building equipment that wasnt needed, even developing equipment for requirements that were not issued (SS20 is a case in point).

Which has a very Iranian feel to it. They dont need these tanks. They dont even need nuclear weapons. They certainly dont need SA2's. They could sell the F14's off to collectors in America tomorrow, which would be a healthy income stream for them. But they need  all of these things,  partly for show, partly I suppose because they have a large and unhealthy Bureaucracy that has to procure something to feel needed.

 

I still think a Rubicon was crossed when Iran showed off a Stealth Fighter they built which was seemingly rolling on golf cart wheels....


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#424 KV7

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 0829 AM

If you count having 3 MBT's in production at the same time reasonably efficient. :)

 

Alright, you have a point, a bad comparison. Much of what the Soviet military industrial complex built proved, in combat, pretty good. The same usually cannot be said of Iran. But, if you read The Collapse of the Soviet Military by William Odom, they were building equipment that wasnt needed, even developing equipment for requirements that were not issued (SS20 is a case in point).

Which has a very Iranian feel to it. They dont need these tanks. They dont even need nuclear weapons. They certainly dont need SA2's. They could sell the F14's off to collectors in America tomorrow, which would be a healthy income stream for them. But they need  all of these things,  partly for show, partly I suppose because they have a large and unhealthy Bureaucracy that has to procure something to feel needed.

 

I still think a Rubicon was crossed when Iran showed off a Stealth Fighter they built which was seemingly rolling on golf cart wheels....

SS20 is hardly the worst example. R-12 was obsolete and solid fueled theater ballistic missiles made sense at the time as there were plenty of strategic targets in Europe and to a lesser extent in Asia.

As for multiple projects, it was one way to avoid the political-economic problem of giving too much power to one enterprise. The US is doing similar in keeping Boeing in the game.

The USSR had some advantage in that the state owned and directed the arms manufacturers, which the US does not, but the advantage only goes so far, and it is reasonable (maybe still sub-optimal, maybe not ?) to have competing designs.

Then we also have the standard risk attenuation arguments. T-64 and T-80 (and T-95 and other prototypes from this era) were risky designs, but the importance of armor to the Red Army meant that the risks needed to be taken. But in this case having a fall back made sense, and indeed the decision to develop the T-72 turned out to be correct. Even if you had one bureau, there might have been a case for two designs.

A counterfactual world where you have a single incrementally improved and mass produced T-62 (which was more or less the US model of development till the Abrams) would not have been better for the USSR.
 


Edited by KV7, 07 May 2019 - 1018 AM.

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#425 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 0856 AM

 

If you count having 3 MBT's in production at the same time reasonably efficient. :)

 

Alright, you have a point, a bad comparison. Much of what the Soviet military industrial complex built proved, in combat, pretty good. The same usually cannot be said of Iran. But, if you read The Collapse of the Soviet Military by William Odom, they were building equipment that wasnt needed, even developing equipment for requirements that were not issued (SS20 is a case in point).

Which has a very Iranian feel to it. They dont need these tanks. They dont even need nuclear weapons. They certainly dont need SA2's. They could sell the F14's off to collectors in America tomorrow, which would be a healthy income stream for them. But they need  all of these things,  partly for show, partly I suppose because they have a large and unhealthy Bureaucracy that has to procure something to feel needed.

 

I still think a Rubicon was crossed when Iran showed off a Stealth Fighter they built which was seemingly rolling on golf cart wheels....

SS20 is hardly the worst example. R-12 was obsolete and solid fueled theater ballistic missiles made sense at the time as there were plenty of strategic targets in Europe and to a lesser extent in Asia.

As for multiple projects, it was one way to avoid the political-economic problem of giving too much power to one enterprise. The US is doing similar in keeping Boeing in the game.

The USSR had some advantage in that the state owned and directed the arms manufacturers, which the US does not, but the advantage only goes so far, and it is reasonable (maybe still sub-optimal, maybe not ?) to have competing designs.

Then we also have the standard risk attenuation arguments. T-64 and T-80 (and T-95 and other prototypes from this era) were risky designs, but the importance of armor to the Red Army meant that the risks needed to be taken. But in this case having a fall back made sense, and indeed the decision to develop the T-72 turned out to be correct. Even if you had one bureau, there might have been a case for two designs.

An counterfactual world where you have a single incrementally improved and mass produced T-62 (which was more or less the US model of development till the Abrams) would not have been better for the USSR.
 

 

 

 

Not so much in the 1970's when it was introduced. In fact, not only did the Army not ask for it, there was apparently evidence that the first anyone in the Politburo knew about it was when the KGB were asked to be aware of sabotage efforts against it! Which would mean that the military procurement ministry (VBK I think?) was operating wholly independently of the military it served, and at least elements of the Politburo. Which is almost as bad as the LCS procurement at the DOD. :)

They were also awarding export contracts to foreign countries, again without consulting the Politburo. For example, the Su24 was supplied to Libya without anyone even bothering to ask Gorbachev.

 

Yes you are right, it was political economic reasons why they had so many weapons in service, and being developed and built. We thought it was because of the pending big tank parade in Paris. In reality, it was the only way to give economic assistance to outlying areas that would otherwise be bankrupt. It was the only part of the economy that worked halfway properly. Im thinking there is something similar occuring in Iran, except the weapon systems they come up with are markedly less effective.

 

Well, its just a theory on my part. I cant think of other reasons why they are building this stuff, unless they actually think some misguided people will be impressed.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 07 May 2019 - 0857 AM.

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#426 KV7

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 1029 AM

 

 

If you count having 3 MBT's in production at the same time reasonably efficient. :)

 

Alright, you have a point, a bad comparison. Much of what the Soviet military industrial complex built proved, in combat, pretty good. The same usually cannot be said of Iran. But, if you read The Collapse of the Soviet Military by William Odom, they were building equipment that wasnt needed, even developing equipment for requirements that were not issued (SS20 is a case in point).

Which has a very Iranian feel to it. They dont need these tanks. They dont even need nuclear weapons. They certainly dont need SA2's. They could sell the F14's off to collectors in America tomorrow, which would be a healthy income stream for them. But they need  all of these things,  partly for show, partly I suppose because they have a large and unhealthy Bureaucracy that has to procure something to feel needed.

 

I still think a Rubicon was crossed when Iran showed off a Stealth Fighter they built which was seemingly rolling on golf cart wheels....

SS20 is hardly the worst example. R-12 was obsolete and solid fueled theater ballistic missiles made sense at the time as there were plenty of strategic targets in Europe and to a lesser extent in Asia.

As for multiple projects, it was one way to avoid the political-economic problem of giving too much power to one enterprise. The US is doing similar in keeping Boeing in the game.

The USSR had some advantage in that the state owned and directed the arms manufacturers, which the US does not, but the advantage only goes so far, and it is reasonable (maybe still sub-optimal, maybe not ?) to have competing designs.

Then we also have the standard risk attenuation arguments. T-64 and T-80 (and T-95 and other prototypes from this era) were risky designs, but the importance of armor to the Red Army meant that the risks needed to be taken. But in this case having a fall back made sense, and indeed the decision to develop the T-72 turned out to be correct. Even if you had one bureau, there might have been a case for two designs.

An counterfactual world where you have a single incrementally improved and mass produced T-62 (which was more or less the US model of development till the Abrams) would not have been better for the USSR.
 

 

 

 

Not so much in the 1970's when it was introduced. In fact, not only did the Army not ask for it, there was apparently evidence that the first anyone in the Politburo knew about it was when the KGB were asked to be aware of sabotage efforts against it! Which would mean that the military procurement ministry (VBK I think?) was operating wholly independently of the military it served, and at least elements of the Politburo. Which is almost as bad as the LCS procurement at the DOD. :)

They were also awarding export contracts to foreign countries, again without consulting the Politburo. For example, the Su24 was supplied to Libya without anyone even bothering to ask Gorbachev.

 

Yes you are right, it was political economic reasons why they had so many weapons in service, and being developed and built. We thought it was because of the pending big tank parade in Paris. In reality, it was the only way to give economic assistance to outlying areas that would otherwise be bankrupt. It was the only part of the economy that worked halfway properly. Im thinking there is something similar occuring in Iran, except the weapon systems they come up with are markedly less effective.

 

Well, its just a theory on my part. I cant think of other reasons why they are building this stuff, unless they actually think some misguided people will be impressed.

 


Terms like 'bankrupt' or 'adding jobs' is a misnomer is a socialist economy as the state bears the opportunity cost of unemployment in a way that private firms do not. In backward regions it still makes sense to push people to work as much as possible, even if only low productivity work can be created. Indeed there were labor shortages almost everywhere due to taut planning (aka pushing for more than is feasible). Moving barely productive peasant into an industrial plant that is 30% less productive then one elsewhere in a developed region is still a step forward - even if wages are the same, the real cost of employing someone in the backward region is lower, as they are less productive elsewhere.

There was a PE problem but it was much like the one faced in western military contracting - in awarding a high priority contract and a lot of resources to some enterprise they end up having a lot power over the state - i.e. in the west they can demand more money but in the USSR they can also make demands for more workers or input allocations.

This is entirely consistent with your story about SS20 - i.e.e the centre was partially beholden to the bureaus and enterprises.


 


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#427 DB

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 0732 AM

Actually, private firms take on the burden of unemployment through taxation. Even with personal taxation the money comes from the workers' pay...


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#428 Wiedzmin

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 0849 AM

 

A counterfactual world where you have a single incrementally improved and mass produced T-62 (which was more or less the US model of development till the Abrams) would not have been better for the USSR.
 

 

the thing is, we don't need T-62 and 115mm. but we need good ammo for 100mm, but instead we have crappy 100mm, crappy 115 and crappy 125mm. which ended up with "we can't penetrate new tanks" with all 3 calibers, and spent money for 3, and we don't need T-64 alike requriment for protection, because protection against 105mm L7 could be achived even on T-55, but instead of that we have....

 

1,4K - IS-3

18,1K - T-54

13,7K - T-55

1,4K - T-10

20K -T-62

11-10K T-64(T-64A and B, not early versions with 115 etc)

17,8K T-72

7K T-80

 

and the complete inability to modernize anything due to the amount, the main problem of our tank industry is a complete lack of understanding of  "life cycle" of the tank, 

 

"let's  build a lot of new tanks!"

"but what we will do with all of those old tanks, omitting the fact that we can get a level of protection similar to "new" ?!"

"let's build a lot of tanks!"

"and what we will do with all this tanks after 5,10,20 years?!"

"we build a lot of new tanks!"

"but we even don't have hangars for that much tanks?!"

"let's build a lot of tanks and put them in to storage base"

 

 

btw maybe i get some reports about L7 vs T-62,but it is still unclear


Edited by Wiedzmin, 12 May 2019 - 0857 AM.

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#429 Interlinked

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 1146 AM


the thing is, we don't need T-62 and 115mm. but we need good ammo for 100mm, but instead we have crappy 100mm, crappy 115 and crappy 125mm. which ended up with "we can't penetrate new tanks" with all 3 calibers, and spent money for 3, and we don't need T-64 alike requriment for protection, because protection against 105mm L7 could be achived even on T-55, but instead of that we have....
 


I'm not sure how the need for the 115mm could have been met by the D-10T in the early 60's. I suppose one way might have been to put a hypothetical 100mm APFSDS round into service, but was the technology there? Maybe there were good reasons why APFSDS for the D-10T wasn't available until the early 70's.
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#430 GARGEAN

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 1408 PM

I'm not sure how the need for the 115mm could have been met by the D-10T in the early 60's. I suppose one way might have been to put a hypothetical 100mm APFSDS round into service, but was the technology there? Maybe there were good reasons why APFSDS for the D-10T wasn't available until the early 70's.

 

First APFSDS for D-10T was essentially resaboted APFSDS for T-12, which was around since early 60s. Tho doesn't mean I agree with all bashing above. While soviet system wasn't particulary great and productive, it was doing a good job in many aspects, modding old equipment included (like combined programms for new APFSDS for all three calibers, T-62M/55AM being one of the best tank upgrades I can remember in whole, ammo for main caliber being sufficient for whole SU history with drops started already after fall).


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#431 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 0952 AM

Its not bashing to point out the Soviet procurement system broke the Soviet Union. It did indeed work very well at producing lots of military equipment. As far as fulfilling the needs of what the end user wanted? Not so much.

 

Its worth pointing to most of the Western procurement systems being, and still being, broken in one respect or another. The main difference from the Soviet model is that they could say no when it got out of hand (or not, as in the case of LCS or F111).


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