Tanks, but no tanks

Army says no to more tanks, but Congress insists

It’s the inverse of the federal budget world these days, in which automatic spending cuts are leaving sought-after pet programs struggling or unpaid altogether. Republicans and Democrats for years have fought so bitterly that lawmaking in Washington ground to a near-halt.

Yet in the case of the Abrams tank, there’s a bipartisan push to spend an extra $436 million on a weapon the experts explicitly say is not needed.

“If we had our choice, we would use that money in a different way,” Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army’s chief of staff, told The Associated Press this past week.

$7.5 million for each upgraded M1A2SEPv2. Murdoc’s usually in favor of more better equipment, but pumping dollars into the good old military industrial complex while simultaneously cutting budgets to the point where the Army is planning to cut 8 brigades is a bit much.

Abrams Main Battle Tank platoons position themselves on the battlefield in order to lay suppressive fire during Hammer Strike, a brigade level live-fire exercise conducted by the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, at the Udairi Range Complex near Camp Buehring, Kuwait, Wednesday. During the mission, the brigade combined ground maneuver, field artillery, attack aviation and Air Force assets to engage and destroy targets, displaying its lethal firepower to the many Kuwait military counterparts on hand. Hammer Strike was a culmination of the training the Sledgehammer Brigade and their Kuwaiti counterparts have been conducting for the past four months.

Abrams Main Battle Tank platoons position themselves on the battlefield in order to lay suppressive fire during Hammer Strike, a brigade level live-fire exercise conducted by the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, at the Udairi Range Complex near Camp Buehring, Kuwait, Wednesday. During the mission, the brigade combined ground maneuver, field artillery, attack aviation and Air Force assets to engage and destroy targets, displaying its lethal firepower to the many Kuwait military counterparts on hand. Hammer Strike was a culmination of the training the Sledgehammer Brigade and their Kuwaiti counterparts have been conducting for the past four months.

Comments

  1. Not only that, but we’re also more than 20 years overdue from fielding an M1 Abrams replacement. Not only have we not even started on one, but the Armor Branch can’t even find it’s own @$$ with a flashlight to even *plan* for one.

    The last of the 8800 M1s rolled off the assembly line in the mid-1990s…;
    http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/m1.htm

    …and given the fact that only about 7800 of the 8800 M1s were built by 1990, that makes 86% of the fleet more than 20 years old;
    http://www.acq.osd.mil/ara/am/sar/1990-DEC-SARSUMTAB.pdf

    Also, one of the dirty secrets behind the “new” M1A2s is that they devour their elders. Of the thousands of M1A2s used by the US Army, only 77 were actually built from scratch;
    http://www.army-technology.com/projects/abrams/

    The rest were converted from every single IPM1 kept in storage, and thousands of earliest 1980s M1s. The only surviving IPM1s are museum pieces and gate guards — all others are now M1A2 SEPs. On top of that, hundreds of the oldest M1A1s have been recycled into M1A2s.

    You can also tell a new-built M1A2 and an IPM1 conversion from the M1 conversion, by the tracks they use. Both of the former use the T158 “big foot” track, while the latter uses the obsolete T156 track.

  2. Check out this video of them rebuilding an M1 at Anniston Army Depot. The sandblasting they do to the hull is incredible. The tank really looks like it is brand new.

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