Video: Merkava 4 fire

This video of an Israeli Merkava 4 on fire inside a hanger appeared on youtube yesterday.  The video appears to have been taken with a phone camera and no details are given in the video description.

Photo of the Day: 3/18/2016

From the Oryx Blog comes this picture of a BTS-5B ARV converted to a fighting vehicle by Islamic State.


Marine AAV Survivability Upgrade Demo

DefenseNews has posted a video on the new US Marine Corps AAV Survivability Upgrade.  Click on the image below to go to the page with the video.

Marine AAV SU

Photo of the Day: Harbor of Toulon

Tank vs Ship?  Not exactly.  This photo is of a Panzer IV at the French Port of Toulon, observing helplessly as the French scuttle their ships to prevent them falling into German hands.

Toulon, Panzer IV



Russia to upgrade 150 T-72 tanks

The National Interest is reporting that Russia is planning on modernizing one hundred and fifty additional Soviet-era T-72B main battle tanks to the T-72B3M standard. According to the article, the upgraded vehicles would offer performance comparable to the much more modern T-90, but for a fraction of the price.

Tank_t72_030611_2 (1)According to Uralvagonzavod deputy general director Alex Zharich, who spoke to theRussian-language daily Izvestia, Russia plans to spend 2.5 billion rubles to upgrade one hundred and fifty T-72Bs to the new B3M standard for an average of 17 million rubles per tank.  In U.S. dollar terms, that’s a total of $35 million for an average of $234,000 per tank—which means the T-72B3M upgrade is a relative bargain for the capability the vehicle is expected to deliver.

According to Izvestia, the upgraded tank will get a new 2A46M5 125-millimeter smoothbore gun along with a new sighting system called the Sosna-U, which will be paired with the 1A40-4 fire-control system. The tank will also receive a new ballistics computer to help increase its accuracy. Perhaps more significantly, the T-72B3M will receive an independent PK PAN sight for the tank commander, which has its own thermal imaging system.

Full Article here.

Tank Chats #16 Panther

Video of the Day: T-34 vs Tractor

For those that enjoy tractor pulling contests, this video may be of interest.

News from around the web

Here are some news stories pertaining to AFVs from the last week.  Click on the headline to read the full article.

IHS Jane’s: British Army ditches Warthog armored vehicle

1650413_-_mainThe British Army has retired is ST Kinetics Warthog articulated tracked armored vehicles from service, IHS Jane’s can reveal.

In total, 115 Warthogs (an improved version of the ST Kinetics Bronco) were purchased by the United Kingdom as an urgent operational requirement (UOR) for use in Afghanistan instead of the less-well protected BvS 10 Viking articulated tracked vehicle.


Defense News: Poland Eyes $21B Program To Replace Fighting Vehicles

635936545856285476-DFN-Poland-armored-vehiclesThe Polish government is planning to spend up to 80 billion zloty (US $21 billion) to replace its military’s Soviet-designed BWP-1 and BWP-2 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) with new tracked vehicles, Deputy Defense Minister Bartosz Kownacki told local news agency PAP.

“This is a major undertaking for the next dozen years which, according to various estimates, will generate a cost of between 20 and 80 billion zloty if we decide to acquire two types of infantry fighting vehicles, lighter and heavier units,” Kownacki said.


IHS Jane’s: USMC receives first upgraded Assault Amphibious Vehicle

aav-outside-5-750xx3264-1836-0-306The US Marine Corps (USMC) in early March received the first of 10 initial redesigned Assault Amphibious Vehicles-Survivability Upgrade (AAV-SU) platforms from contractor SAIC.

AAV-SU is “just one of the paths that the marine corps has chosen to upgrade the capability of the current AAV”, John Garner, USMC programme manager for advanced amphibious assault, told IHS Jane’s on 15 March.

The AAVs have long been due for replacement, but the USMC is slowly fielding a new amphibious tractor capability with its emerging Amphibious Combat Vehicle 1.1 (ACV 1.1) programme, so meanwhile the AAV upgrade will commence.


Motley Fool: General Dynamics Tank Rival Wins a Big Contract in Poland

t72-poland_largeWith nearly 600 units in service, the Soviet T-72 main battle tank serves as the backbone of the Polish Army today. There’s just one problem: These tanks, built by Russia and requiring Russian spare parts to maintain them, are currently pointing their guns at Russia — which became an increasingly urgent threat after its 2014 invasion of Poland’s eastern neighbor, Ukraine.

Now, Poland does have some tanks of its own manufacture — more than 230 homegrown PT-91 tanks in various derivations. But in an effort to further integrate itself into NATO’s self-defense forces, Poland’s recently been turning to the West to supply an increasing number of its heavy weapons.


Sherman tank on Ebay

For those with a half-million dollars to spare and the desire to be the envy of all their tank loving friends, there is a M4A2E8 Sherman tank for sale on Ebay right now.  This vehicle is listed as “complete, running and driving.”  There are no live guns on the vehicle, but the tank is described as having every accessory it was issued with as well as a stack of manuals.  The vehicle is located in Texas.  Below are some photos, there is a larger photo gallery at the ebay listing for the tank.

Yuri Pasholok articles via Archive Awareness

The Archive Awareness blog has recently translated and posted several articles by Russian tank researcher Yuri Pasholok.  We have posted the first paragraph of each article below with a link to the full version over at Archive Awareness.

Cromwell: English Dictator in Soviet Fields

Over the years of the Great Patriotic War, over 5000 British and Canadian tanks were sent to the Soviet Union. Most of them were so called Infantry tanks, with thick armour and low speeds. Light tank shipments were limited to 20 Tetrarchs. As for Cruiser tanks, they never made it into the Red Army. Despite an initial desire to receive Cromwells, they only made it to the trial stage. Read on to discover why these tanks were rejected.


AMX 50 120: Long Road to a Dead End

At an unusual parade in Paris on July 14th, 1951, the French military showed off all their newest vehicles that was adopted by the army or still undergoing trials. EBR armoured cars and ARL 44 tanks drove along the Champs-Élysées. The parade was concluded with the passage of two Foch tank destroyers and two AMX 50 tanks. Only a chosen few knew that these tanks will not enter mass production and that superior tanks are already on the drawing board.


M6A2E1: Heavy Clownshoe

The Heavy Tank M6 had the worst fate of all mass produced heavy tanks of WWII. A decent vehicle with competitive characteristics became another victim of work dragging on too long. The tank was accepted into service, but only 40 vehicles in 3 modifications were produced, and none of them saw combat. By 1943, the M6 was obsolete and its road to the front lines was closed. However, a heavily modified version of the tank was soon once again in demand, and urgently. This is the modernization covered by this article.


Valentine Mods in the USSR

The Infantry Tank Mk.III, or Valentine, was the most produced British tank of WWII. However, the British themselves actively used Valentines from 1941 to the first half of 1943. The Soviet Union, who received almost half of these tanks, used them much more actively. Known as “Valentin” or MK-3/MK-III, these tanks debuted in the Battle for Moscow in the fall of 1941 and survived until the end of the war in some units. The Valentine was one of a few foreign tanks that saw a large scale conversion effort.