“The 30-ton, tracked vehicles with their 20-millimeter auto-cannons, MILAN anti-tank missiles and steel armor represent a significant upgrade for the Ukrainian army’s mechanized infantry—and, alongside M-2 Bradley IFVs the Americans are donating, could help to give the army the mobility, protection and firepower it needs to launch a major offensive in 2023.
The German government announced the decision on Thursday following a phone call between U.S. president Joe Biden and German chancellor Olaf Scholz. “President Biden and Chancellor Scholz expressed their shared determination to provide necessary financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support to Ukraine for as long as needed,” the government stated.
“To this end, the United States intends to provide Bradley-type infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine, and Germany intends to supply Marder-type infantry fighting vehicles. Both countries plan to train Ukrainian armed forces on the respective systems.”
The Marder isn’t a new vehicle. It actually is one of the world’s older IFVs. But the Marder despite its age remains one of the world’s better IFVs owing to its balance of speed, protection, firepower and capacity. Capable of traveling 40 miles per hour while carrying three crew and six infantry, the Marder can keep pace with the German army’s Leopard tanks, drop off infantry in the middle of a firefight then support those infantry with cannon fire and missiles.”
With Ex-German Marder Fighting Vehicles, Ukrainian Infantry Can Keep Up With The Tanks (msn.com)
Which models? Will training (and deliveries) be complete in time for a February or March counter-offensive?
I’ll recant my earlier denigration of the AMX-10 from France. People I respect have claimed it is low maintenance. And the specifications note it can swim rivers without having to install flotation devices. So it can accompany Ukrainian BMPs in establishing bridgeheads. Her all wheel hydropneumatic suspension is also a benefit allowing high speed in offroad conditions.
40 Marders? That is a only battalion or at most a battalion plus. Maybe more will be in the pipeline shortly. Germany reportedly has 390 Marders, but there are some reports they may be selling many of those to Greece.
I think starting with a battalion’s ‘worth of Marders is a proper way to go. After that first battalion is trained and employed, adjustments in the training and employment of future shipments can be made. How fast they are injected into the Ukrainian Army force structure depends on how many brigades are being created or refitted at any given time. Though I do hope they start getting a brigades worth of new equipment quickly.
Slovenia recently transferred 28 M-55S tanks to Ukraine. These are old T-55s that were radically rebuilt by an Israeli engineering firm with new armor, engine, treads, gun (British L7 105mm) and new sighting/fire control systems. They are forming a battalion in the new 47th Assault Brigade. This is a volunteer brigade with a strong NATO influence. It has a strong NCO corps, even stronger than the rest of the Ukrainian Army equipped with mostly NATO gear. My guess is that this M-55S battalion will be employed like that new US light tank is envisioned to be used – as an infantry support vehicle.
In addition to the Marders and Bradleys, I hope a lot of Leopard 2 tanks start showing up. I think they’re a better fit than the Abrams being lighter and powered by diesel engines. Much of the Ukrainian heavy equipment is wearing out from intense combat. It will need to be replaced. I think refitting brigades with Marders, Bradleys and Leopard 2s is the way to go.
The Ukrainians are also getting the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow missiles for air defense. The Ukrainians have modified their Buk launchers to use the Sea Sparrow. Given the growing shortage of Buk missiles, this is welcome news.
The Brits sent 120 FV103 Spartan IFVs back long ago. Ukraine’s 25th Airborne Brigade used them in and around Kharkiv and they were used at the Battle of Lubiansk resulting in the liberation of that city. A crowd funding effort is going to send 60 more.
You have got to be kidding? I thought Ukraine was winning? A couple of dozen light armour vehicles is going to change the war just like the HIMARS and 777 howiters. Delusional.
IMO, neither side is “winning”. The Ukrainian army however have repulsed many of the ground invasion attacks by the Russian army. Preventing the airborne force assault on Kyiv by preventing capture of Hostomel airport on day 1 of the invasion. Forcing the retreat of the Russian army column coming down from Belarus. The recapture of Kharkiv and Kherson.
HIMARS has made a huge difference for the Ukrainian army. They got 80km range high-precision artillery which played an instrumental role in forcing the retreat of the Russian army from Kherson. The additional hardware they’re receiving will not only replace lost and worn out gear but will strengthen their military capabilities. They’ll need it to continue to prosecute their offensive & defensive operations.
The Russian army is also receiving hardware from other parties like drones from Iran.
Why do pro Ukrainians always assume that Russia intended to take Kiev? There is zero evidence for this theory. The column withdrew under its own steam, not by Ukrainian feat of arms. The Russians never held Kharkov and withdrew from Kherson for strategic reasons. The west hailed the 777 and then HIMARS as game changes. Now all you hear about is the odd HIMAR strike and how fragile and unreliable the 777 is. I predict the same fate for these handfull of light armour.
“…assume that Russia intended to take Kiev? There is zero evidence for this theory.“
One does not need to be a rocket scientist or military combat analyst. Common sense will do, that the airborne assault on Hostomel airport on day 1 of the invasion and the large Russian army strike column coming down from Belarus were for the quick decapitation of Kyiv.
The above analysis of the attack on Hostomel airport should provide the operational color.
Now of course those of you clutching to Putin as vanguard of the anti-American brigade would like to believe that every Russian army loss on the battlefield is victory!
Note that both sides have each lost 100,000 KIA. A large loss of trained soldiers. For the Russian army that is nearly two-thirds of their initial invasion force. But….that is victory for the Putinista.
Wishful thinking is a poor substitute for rational thought.
HIMARS has proved to be a very effective system. Of course, according to Russian MOD, they are being destroyed left and right.
How many have been “destroyed” so far ? 100 ? 200 ? None ?
You conveniently failed to acknowledge any of my points. The Russians where never in Kharkov, there is no evidence that they intended to take Kiev and the 777s are apparently fragile and the Bradleys too few in number and not suitable for this war. I never made any claims to number of destroyed HIMARS.
According to you HIMARS, Bradleys, 777s are breaking apart, insufficient, not suitable for this war etc.
It is like listening to Colonel McGregor, nothing the West does will be enough, the Russians are gonna win, every Russian retreat is in fact part of a plan, regrouping, strategic reasons etc.
The Russians have more tanks, more artillery, more ammo, more aircraft, more drones, a navy, more missiles of all types, a functioning economy, more money, oil, gas… Ukraine on the other hand is being bombarded daily and its economy is in the toilet. Unlike the Russians, they are forced to juggle with dozens of different systems they are getting from the West.
Well, the proof is in the pudding as they say. Close to 1 year later, Ukraine is still here, still fighting.
Despite all the advantages, the Russians have retreated from around Kiev, Kharkiv and Kherson and are unable to make any breakthroughs.
That tells me that the Ukrainians are making good use of the weapons and training they are getting from the West, including 777s and HIMARs you mentioned, and I’m sure they’ll make good use of Bradleys, Marders, French light tanks and whatever else is in the pipeline.
While people have been frustrated about the slow delivery of modern NATO weapons to the Ukrainian army, I think logistical challenges and the training required to effectively use, maintain and sustain these systems in combat explain the delay. Very little has been leaked about the training of new Ukrainian troops in Poland, the UK, Germany, etc. so is it possible that the next wave of new units entering the Ukrainian army have been training and using these vehicles over the past few months which is why they are being introduced now? It seems to me this would be the easiest way to supply new NATO weapons/systems and slowly transition the UAF away from Russian ones. If so, then my question to TTG and the rest of the professionals here is will we see more of this happening with as each successive intake of newly mobilized troops goes through training, perhaps including western aircraft (F-16s) in due course once pilots and mechanics have completed the year or more of required training?
Short answer is yes. One cannot simply inject massive amounts of equipment, especially unfamiliar equipment, into a military force and expect a smooth transition. Force modernization, which is what this is, requires a lot of planning and phased actions. However, I get the impression that the Ukrainians could have handled getting more faster. A lot of the slowness is due to prudence/trepidation on the part of the Western suppliers. At first, we didn’t think Ukraine would last. We are now worried about how Putin will react to every new kick in the groin Ukrainian forces give him with our weapons. We seem to be trying to ease him into accepting a defeat in his Ukrainian invasion.
In addition to what you have said I would think that also it is important to see how a certain combat system performs on the battlefield before you start sending large quantities of equipment, organizing logistics, training etc.
Why waste time and resources sending something that performs poorly or the enemy has well adapted to it.
Saw on Twitter a claim that the Bradley fighting vehicles going to Ukraine are to be M2A2/ODS models. Per Wiki those A2 upgrades are new armor, plus attachments for add-on ERA armor, new spall liners on inside surfaces, plus new engine and transmission. The ODS upgrade came later incorporating lessons learned in Operation Desert Storm, hence the ODS label in the model name. Those upgrades include new rangefinder, new navigation system, new comms, a missile protection system, thermal imaging, and an option of carrying Javelins. And dear to the heart of anyone who ever served in the field, a heater for food prep.
What, you don’t like cold hash and eggs!
A good shake of McIlhenny’s tabasco made even the worst of the C-Rats into something resembling edibility. But I prefer Grandma’s corned beef hash, eggs, and onions that she baked in the oven, or even a can Dinty Moore’s simmered in a skillet.
For those here who understand and think about the mechanics of tank machines and mechanized warfare. 30 old Soviet tanks from Slovenia souped up by some Israelis in the 1990s. The title below is misleading imo. This isn’t my specialty anymore than is soprano opera singing but if you’ll allow me it looks like it may promise a reconnaissance foray regarding gathering data on how Russia handles a smallish blitz using these contraptions. The idea being, it is tempting to speculate, that the Nato command contemplates a far better (modern) and more numerous attack in the mid to distant future. If I can feverishly imagine that, so can the Russian military. And that maybe the point – to confuse them and get them to allocate resources unnecessarily or unwisely. Strelkov commented today or yesterday that now and henceforth, the attrition warfare idea works no longer in Russia’s favor as was discussed in various venues in the past, but in the favor of not precisely Ukraine (it can’t they’re outnumbered) but their alliance. The French equipment move recently looks like Crimean war 2.0 with the US onside.
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How Putin Plans To Pin Down Kyiv’s Super-Upgraded M-55S Tanks l Russia-Ukraine War.
The Ukrainian army’s new 47th Assault Brigade is reportedly upgrading the armour of the recently-acquired M-55S tank. The brigade is reportedly preparing to reinforce Ukrainian positions along the border with Russia, north of Kharkiv.
The Ukrainian army is reinforcing the border regions from where Russia entered Ukraine in February 2022. Recent photos depict some of the 28 M-55S tanks that Ukraine received from Slovenia in training in the muddy Kharkiv Oblast.