Video: SU-76M Test Run

Not much in the news today.  Here is some video from Yuri Pasholok of a restored SU-76M being test run.

Video: ISIS ATGM strikes Iraqi Abrams tank

Over the past couple days some dramatic footage of ISIS forces firing an ATGM at an Iraqi Army M1 Abrams tank near Mosul has been circulating the internet.  The footage appears to show the missile striking the rear of the turret, setting off a catastrophic explosion.  Little other information is available at this point concerning the incident.

Photo of the Day: House versus Tank

This picture comes from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.  It shows an unsuccessful attempt to drive a tank through a house belonging to celebrity Penn Jillette as part of an independent film project.  Oddly, the news article refers to the tank as a “T-90”, which it obviously is not.


From the Editor: War is Boring blog on Russian tank history

In the last couple weeks, a couple articles on Soviet tank history have appeared on the War is Boring blog.  One is a somewhat critical look at the WWII era KV tank while the other is a brief examination of post war Soviet heavy tank development.  By themselves, we didn’t really feel they merited posting about, but since they keep showing up in our daily searches for tank related articles, we did want to raise one point concerning them.

It seems both articles are based in part on an old ARMOR magazine article by Stephen “Cookie” Sewell titled Red Star – White Elephant.  As part of our “From the Vault” series of posts, we posted that particular article, as well as another ARMOR article by Sewell called Why Three Tanks?  in 2015.  Sewell is a well known figure in the AFV model building community, being the founder and first president of the Armor Modeling and Preservation Society.  He is also known for his model kit and book reviews which have appeared in Fine Scale Modeler magazine or online at the forum.

It is worth noting that Amazon has listed for release next summer a new book by Sewell on the Soviet T-10 Heavy Tank and Variants.  All we know about the book at this point is that it will be published by Osprey and will be a 144 page hardcover.


Female Soldiers To Crew UK Tanks In 2017

According to an article from Forces TV, female soldiers will be allowed to join British Army tank crews starting in January 2017.

a_british_royal_scots_dragon_guards_challenger_2_mbt-editFemale soldiers are to be allowed to join British Army tank crews for the first time.

Starting in January 2017, the King’s Royal Hussars, Queen’s Royal Hussars, and the Royal Tank Regiment will permit female recruits to begin tank training, with around 70 interested.

It follows a decision in July to allow women to serve in combat roles.

The rest of the Army is due to follow suit in 2018, according to the Sun.

The Royal Navy and RAF already allow women to be fighter pilots and submariners. The Army, meanwhile, aims to increase the number of female soldiers to 15%, double its current figure, by 2020.

Although all female tank drivers will have to pass through 14-weeks of basic training, critics have still claimed that frontline female soldiers could damage ‘unit cohesion’.

Read the full article here.

Below The Turret Ring: Chinese Armor at Zhuhai

The blog Below The Turret Ring posted recently about Chinese armor on display at the China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition 2016 in Zhuhai, China.  As usual, this is a rather detailed post with plenty of images.  This blog is quickly become one of our favorites for reading on modern armor.


At the China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition (Airshow China) 2016 in Zhuhai, the Chinese military and the state-owned defence company Nornico, which manufactures pretty much all Chinese armored fighting vehicles, have presented a number of current and new vehicles.


VT-5 tank fitted with ERA and slat armor

Among the vehicles is a new tank, which has supposedly been designated VT-5. This appears to be an export designation, it seems to be very unlikely to be the final designation for the Chinese Army version, if it chooses to adopt the VT-5. Supposedly the VT-5 is the export version of the Chinese light tank currently only known as the ZTQ light tank. Usually a tow-digit number should be added behind the na,e- The ZTQ has been operational with the Chinese Army in Tibet for an unknown amount of time. First photographs of the ZTQ started to appear beginning in 2011, but the existence of the tank was first officially confirmed in 2016 – the exact name is still unknown to Western media. The new Chinese light tanks are supposedly weighing only 35 metric tons – about as much as a fully loaded Boxer A1 – and are claimed to be optimized for fighting in mountainous terrain.

Read the full post here.

Mosul: Iraq tanks crush suicide cars on bloody road

iraqi-tank-crewAn interesting article appeared yesterday in The Australian on the recent fighting in Mosul.  Titled “Iraq tanks crush suicide cars on bloody road”, the article tells the story of an Iraqi M1 Abrams tank battling Isis suicide bomb trucks.  The one odd part of the story is the bit about the gun “jamming.”  Any comment regarding this from current or former Abrams crew would be much appreciated.  The full article can be read here.

Article excerpt:

The Isis suicide bomber raced down a potholed road at the wheel of a home-made armoured car with bolted-on sheets of metal. Manoeuvring the main gun on a US-made M1 Abrams tank, Captain Mustafa Khaleel, a commander in the Iraqi army’s 9th Armoured Division, watched calmly as the vehicle flew towards him at full speed. Exhaling slowly, he aimed at his target and pulled the trigger.

Nothing happened. The gun had jammed. Stiff with panic, Khaleel, 29, watched as the car carried on towards him. The impact, when it came, threw him against the tank’s white-painted metal interior — the explosion so loud it deafened him.

After coming to, Khaleel looked through the sights again. The car was gone, crushed beneath the tracks of the tank, which itself was barely damaged. Climbing out of the hatch he saw burnt pieces of the Isis fighter’s body scattered around him on the road.

“We were scared for a second,” he grinned, leaning back in the commander’s seat. “But I’ve destroyed 200 of these suicide cars. They can’t touch us. In Mosul I’ll make it 300.”

The pride of the Iraqi army, the 9th Armoured Division, has played a vital role in the liberation of the cities of Tikrit, Ramadi and Falluja from Isis since early last year, smashing through the waves of suicide vehicles that protect the Islamists’ front lines.