Q & A with Jim Warford about Soviet/Russian Armor

T 90 armor magTank and AFV News recently had the chance to do a Q & A with retired US Armor officer and writer James M. Warford.  Mr. Warford was commissioned in Armor in 1979 as a Distinguished Military Graduate from the University of Santa Clara, Santa Clara, California. Mr. Warford has held a variety of Armor and Cavalry assignments, ranging from tank platoon leader to brigade S3, and has served as a tactics instructor both at Fort Knox, Ky. for AOAC, and at CGSC, Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Upon retirement in September, 1996, he was awarded the Silver Medallion of the Order of St. George. He has written numerous articles for ARMOR, the official journal of the Armor Branch, many of which focus on Soviet and Russian armor.  He is also a regular contributor at the online forum TankNet.com.

T&AFVNews – You served in armor from 1979 to 1996.  Can you tell us what positions you held during your career?  What vehicles types did you command?

[Read more…]

British Army has twice as many horses than tanks

horsesThe Mirror is reporting that the British Army has twice as many horses than tanks currently.  Obviously, these horses are not used in actual military service but rather are for ceremonial purposes.  The Mirror is a tabloid and the article is written in a rather sensationalist style, including a rather ridiculous online poll asking people “What would you rather ride into battle, a tank or a horse?”  That said, the article does point out the effects that budget cuts have had on the British Military, which currently has a total number of 227 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks with another 141 Challenger variants in use.  The article notes that currently there are 485 horses in service with the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, the Household Division and at the Defence Animal Centre.

Armata tank purportedly filmed

International Business Times is reporting that the new Russian tank Armata has purportedly shown up in a video released on Monday.  According to the article, the video was uploaded to YouTube by a user named Alexander Smirnov, who captured the video at an undisclosed location using a handheld video camera from the drivers seat of a vehicle. The actual type of tank in the video has yet to be verified.  The article notes that Oleg Siyenko, general director of Uralvagonzavod, which developed the Armata system, told ITAR-TASS that “a whole family of armored vehicles based on the Armata platform” would be displayed at this year’s Victory Day parade. Still photos of vehicles purported to be Armara tanks are available here.

Tanks in the Antarctic: Unidentified US light tank?

2026120_originalStatus Report has an interesting article about three M2A2 light tanks sent to the Antarctic in 1939 as part of an expedition.  Russian tank researcher Yuri Pasholok was able to find a Soviet report about the expedition in the Russian archives detailing some of the technical issues encountered with the light tanks in the rather harsh climate of the Antarctic.  These details are translated and available over at the Archive Awareness blog for those that are interested.  The Status Report article can be read here.  Pictures of the rusting M2A2 tanks can be found on the photography websites of Kevin Raber and Martin Grace.

Kevin Raber Pictures: Tanks in Snow, Antarctica ,Tanks and Ice , Rusty Tank treads and gears, Antarctica

Martin Grace Picture Gallery here

The photos by Martin Grace reveal that while one of the vehicles is an M2A2 as stated in the Status Report article, the other vehicle is not.   [Read more…]

Painful Birth of the BMP-2

object_680_in_kubinkaOver at Armored Warfare, they have published a two-part article on the history of the BMP-2 IFV.

“The concept of an infantry fighting vehicle (also known as the IFV) is not a new one. It evolved from the original armored personnel carriers that in turn appeared – in some cases – even before WW2. It was however only much later before this class of vehicles became prominent on the battlefield, thanks to its massive use by NATO and Warsaw Pact forces. There are many vehicles of this class both in and outside of NATO and the former Warsaw Pact countries, but there are two vehicles representing the teething issues of this vehicle class very well – and those are the Bradley IFV and the Soviet BMP.”

To read the complete article, please click on Part 1 and Part 2.

Book Alert: IHS Jane’s Land Warfare Platforms AFVs

download (2)For the tank enthusiast who really wants to impress his friends and has far too much disposable income, allow us to suggest the IHS Jane’s Land Warfare Platforms: Armoured Fighting Vehicles Yearbook.  Written by Christopher Foss, this book provides descriptions and technical data for over 430 land warfare platforms from over 60 countries and the newest edition will be released on July 10, 2015.  All for the low low price of $1025.00!  If that is not enough to impress your friends, then may we recommend also getting the Land Warfare Platforms Yearbook set, which includes the AFV Yearbook, the Artillery & Air defense Yearbook, the Logistics, Support & Unmanned Vehicles Yearbook and the System Upgrades Yearbook.  The 2013-2014 edition will only set you back a mere $3123.75.

Obviously, these books are typically only purchased by government and industry and are well outside the price range of the typical armor enthusiast.  However, since these books are published annually, older copies can sometimes be found for reasonable prices online.  While not up to date, these older editions still contain a great deal of information that will interest  tank and AFV enthusiasts.  Here at Tank and AFV News.com, our copy of 1992-1993 AFV Retrofit Systems gets thumbed through regularly for information.  Early 90’s copies of the AFV Retrofit Systems book can be found for as little as $15.99.  Jane’s also publishes a Tank Recognition Guide written by Christopher Foss intended for the general public.

Article on Russian Object 477, 775, and 640 experimental tanks

SJLyPpjRussia & India Report has published an article giving brief descriptions of three experimental Russian tanks that never went into production.  The article frames these three vehicles as unique innovations that formed the basis for development of the new Russian Armata universal combat platform.  The three vehicles described in the article are the Object 477 Molot (Hammer), the Object 775 and the Object 640 Chyorhiy Orel (Black Eagle.)  The Object 775 is the oldest of the three, having been developed in the 1960s as missile tank.  Object 477 was developed in the 1980s and featured a large 152mm cannon mounted in an unmanned turret.  Object 640 was developed in the 1990s and featured a bustle mounted auto-loader and new generation Kaktus ERA.  Full article here.