Status Report has posted a translation of an interesting article from Czech news source natoaktual.cz reporting on recent observations by the former Czech army chief of staff on lessons learned from the fighting in Ukraine. The article contains a rather harsh critique of Soviet/Russian designed tanks, criticizing them for their lack of interior space and poor crew safety. The author of the article concludes the article with the recommendation that the Czech Army should get rid of their Soviet designed vehicles and replace them with Western designs.
The Soviet armor concept is built around small dimensions and low silhouettes. Combined with the relatively high quality of armor as well as sharp armor plate angles, when these vehicles were introduced, they were considered highly effective. The development roots however reach back to the 50’s with the development continuing in 60’s and 70’s.
This Soviet concept required many solutions that were far from optimal. Especially the inside of the vehicles is so cramped that the crew often does not have enough space to perform their functions. This increases the crew fatigue especially during longer operations, leading to tiredness and mistakes. The worst issue however is the fact that the crew was limited to three members by replacing the loader with an automatic loading system.