Book Alert: T-34/85 Camouflage and Markings 1944-1945 (Green Series)

October 9 is listed as the release date for the latest entry in the Green Series by MMPBooks, T-34/85 Camouflage and Markings 1944-1945 by Przemyslaw Skulski.  This book is listed as 120 pages softcover 8.3 by 11.7 inches.

Publishers Description:

T-34 served in huge numbers with the Soviet Army and its allies, and was also used by their enemies! This book describes the colors and markings applied to the T-34-85 in service with all major users, including unit and tactical markings, individual names and insignia, and air recognition features. Profusely illustrated with photos and color profiles, this is essential reading for armor enthusiasts and modelers.

Video Preview:

Royal Tank Regiment promotional video

This video from the RTR is essentially a recruitment commercial, but it has some nice footage of British Challenger II tanks driving around the countryside and some fun commentary from the crew.  Take it for what it’s worth.

Video of US Marine Corps “Shredder”

Here is some recently released footage of the US Marine Corps “Shredder” Assault Breacher Vehicle (AVB).  For those that like seeing large amounts of earth being pushed around, this is sure to please.

Article declares that PLA has more tanks in service than any other nation

Type99Want ChinaTimes has run an article stating that China has more tanks in service than any other nation.  Putting the number of PLA tanks at 6,500, the article attributes the figure to the Moscow-based website Independent Military Review.

By early 2015, China had a total of 5,900 medium tanks, 640 main battle tanks, 750 light tanks and 200 reconnaissance tanks. In addition, China has 13,000 artillery pieces, 924 anti-tank missile systems, 3,966 recoilless rifles and 1,788 anti-tank guns, making the PLA one of the most powerful ground fighting forces in the world, the report said.

The PLA has also focused on the development of air defense and aviation capabilities. The PLA ground force has about 7,376 anti-aircraft guns and man-portable air defense systems as well as 296 air defense missile batteries. The aviation arm of the PLA ground force has 150 attack helicopters, 351 multi-role helicopters and 338 transport helicopters. Between 2017 and 2018, the PLA ground force is expected replace 70% of its obsolete hardware.

The article does not break down the tanks in service by type, although the use of the term “medium tank” is a bit odd.  It’s probably a fair guess to say that the “640 main battle tanks” refer to the newer Type 99 while the “5,900 medium tanks” refers to all the other older tank types.  It is interesting to note that these figures are quite a bit lower than those provided by the Centre for Land Warfare Studies in 2012 which put the number of Chinese MBTs at 7,950 and Light tanks at 1,200.

Lockheed Martin introduces Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) candidate

2CC5146400000578-3249636-image-a-51_1443221734901At the recent Modern Day Marine trade show in Quantico Virginia, Lockheed Martin revealed their entry for the Amphibious Combat Vehicle (AVC) competition.  The ACV program seeks to find a replacement for the Marines aging AAV vehicles which date back to the 1970’s.  The ACV program follows the unsuccessful Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle program which was cancelled in 2011 amid cost and performance concerns.  The Lockheed Martin entry joins four other competitors, BAE Systems, General Dynamics, SAIC and Advanced Defense Vehicle Systems.  Unlike the tracked Expeditionary Vehicle, the ACV prototypes are all wheeled 8×8 vehicles.  According to an article from Defense News,  the Marine Corps will narrow the field to two competitors by November and an ultimate winner will be selected in 2018.  Lockheed Martin’s entry into the ACV competition signifies a move into parts of the defense sector it has previously not been active in.  While General Dynamics and BAE are the two traditional suppliers of armored ground vehicle, Lockheed Martin is traditionally an aerospace company.   However, Lockheed Martin has been making moves to expand it’s portfolio, including its recent failed bid to win the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program.

The five candidates are:

Lockheed Martin – Based on the photos so far made available, this vehicle appears to be based on the Finnish Patria 8×8.

BAE – This entry is a variant of the Superav 8×8 developed by Italian firm Iveco.

General Dynamics – The GD entry is based on the Piranha 8×8 originally developed by the Swiss firm MOWAG.  This is also the basis of the General Dynamics built Stryker APC used by the US Army.

SAIC – This entry is based on the Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicle developed by Singapore Technologies Engineering and Timoney Technology.

Advanced Defense Vehicle Systems (ADVS) – This is the only vehicle not on display at the Modern Day Marine show.  It is assumed that the ADVS entry is a version of their 8x8x8 vehicle.

It is interesting to note that of the above list, four of the five options are based on vehicles not originally designed by US companies in response to a US government program.  The AVC program is a much less ambitious program than its predecessor, the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle.  Since the end of the Cold War, the US military has not had a successful AFV development program that involved creating a completely new vehicle from scratch (Crusader SPG, Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle/AAAV, Future Combat Systems, Ground Combat Vehicle, etc.)  Every successful AFV program since the Cold War has been either a foreign designed licensed product (Stryker) or an upgrade or derivative of existing weapons systems (M109A7, AMPV.)

More Video from DSEI 2015

Here are a couple more video clips from the DSEI show featuring Christopher Foss from Jane’s 360.  In these two clips, he showcases the Turkish Otokar Arma family of wheeled armored vehicles and the Patria Armored Modular Vehicle.


VMMV Open House Oct 3rd and 4th

The Virginia Museum of Military Vehicles (VMMV) will be holding their 2015 Open House on October 3rd and 4th.  VMMV is an organization dedicated to preserving military history and historic artifacts.  They have in their collection a number of WW2 era armored vehicles, including quite a few US, British and Soviet tanks (view collection here.)

Event details:

The Museum’s 2015 Open House will be held on Saturday and Sunday, October 3 and 4, at the “Tank Farm,” 13906 Aden Road in Nokesville, Virginia. The event will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

Click here to register. Your registration helps us plan parking, food and other accommodations.

As always, educational and entertaining activities will highlight the stories of American veterans as well as the future Americans in Wartime Museum. Activities include:

Dozens of operational military vehiclesIMG_4499
Tactical demonstrations by the U.S. Marine Corps Historical Company

Living history units in action
Helicopter fly-in and display
Voices of Freedom – our mobile oral history studio
Veterans’ roundtable
Kid-friendly activities
Much more!

Children attend for free and we suggest a $10 donation per adult.

A newly restored M10 tank destroyer will be making it’s first public appearance at the open house this year.  Pictures of the restoration process can be viewed here.

From the Vault: 1976 Article on US Coax Machine Guns

Last month our posts on the US M73 and M85 tank machine guns proved rather popular.  We figured people might enjoy this article from an old 1976 issue of International Defense Review on US tests to find a new coax machine gun in the 1970’s.  The tests compared two weapons, the M60E2 and the MAG 58.  The MAG 58 would win the competition and enter US service under the designation M240.

WoT History of Tanks Videos

Here are a series of videos by World of Tanks documenting the history of tanks by country.  The content seems reasonably accurate. The computer graphics seem to be taken directly from the game (unfortunately.) These videos are not new, but we figured they were good enough for a slow news day.

More on the Israeli Pereh Missle Tank

Back in July we posted on the Israeli Pereh missile tank.  That post garnered more views than any other post we have done.  As a follow up, here is a video and some images of the Pereh in action.  Unfortunately, there is no English translation available for the video, but the images alone should prove quite interesting for those that are curious about his rather unusual vehicle.

Gallery of still images from the video