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1980 CIA Assessment of Soviet armor

M60 T-64 T-72 Chieftain #YOLO Quality CIA

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indoctrinated #1 Posted Jan 07 2018 - 06:09

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Interesting document that I found.
https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000624298.pdf
-Author seems pretty pessimistic about the currently fielded M60 tank compared to the T-72. The T-72 is rated to be completely superior to the M60, with respects to armor, fire control, main gun, mobility, night vision, NBC protection.
-On page 16 it's pretty bleak. The Soviet T-64 and T-72M are considerably superior to the M60A1 tank in usage. Author estimates a 40% advantage to the Soviet Red Army.
-It seems like the T-72 would be quite an intimidating opponent being very difficult to destroy using the 105mm M-735 APFSDS round. The TOW and  DRAGON missiles don't seem to be all that good either. Probability of a kill (if it hits) is dismal, being .22 (or less!). This is all considering the lower bound (best case scenario).

Not like the British Chieftain was much better off either.

It's own armor wasn't good considering even the British estimated that their legacy 105mm APDS shell could punch thru it's armor at 1200 (!) meters or less. This doesn't look like it's much better off than the M60 against those newer Soviet tanks.

Any reason it took the Americans so long to field the M1 Abrams tank to at least even up the playing field?

TsarCidron #2 Posted Jan 07 2018 - 06:58

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Well, there was a time that the Soviets were a convenient bogeyman.  They were the first to space (Yuri Gagarin), the first satellite (Sputnik), there was the Mig-25 scare, the Backfire bomber scare, (both over-hyped), the mass of their armor and apparent quality..    Alot of sabre-rattling went on back then, using the military (all arms, airforces, navies, and army) and space back then. And, some wasn't just sabre rattling with some flareups (Soviets in Afghanistan, US in Grenada, and other proxy skirmishes), a few oops (KAL-007 which was 'mistakenly shot down for' for the plane I worked on back then - RC-135).

 

That said, Soviet/Russian tanks will always be a thing to be reckoned with.  Infantry is the heart and soul of any army, but the spear-tip of the Soviet/Russian army (armor) will always be sharp.



SnowPanzer #3 Posted Jan 07 2018 - 07:37

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Some one wanted to sell the M1tank. besides the A3 was the main tank then. Agree completely about the Tow and Dragon

 



indoctrinated #4 Posted Jan 07 2018 - 15:56

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View PostTsarCidron, on Jan 07 2018 - 01:58, said:

Well, there was a time that the Soviets were a convenient bogeyman.  They were the first to space (Yuri Gagarin), the first satellite (Sputnik), there was the Mig-25 scare, the Backfire bomber scare, (both over-hyped), the mass of their armor and apparent quality..    Alot of sabre-rattling went on back then, using the military (all arms, airforces, navies, and army) and space back then. And, some wasn't just sabre rattling with some flareups (Soviets in Afghanistan, US in Grenada, and other proxy skirmishes), a few oops (KAL-007 which was 'mistakenly shot down for' for the plane I worked on back then - RC-135).

 

That said, Soviet/Russian tanks will always be a thing to be reckoned with.  Infantry is the heart and soul of any army, but the spear-tip of the Soviet/Russian army (armor) will always be sharp.

I get that but I don't think the disparity in tank quality was "overhyped" in any way. The M60 and Chieftain were both legacy designs having to face opponents with advanced smoothbore guns and composite armor while those two models had legacy rifled guns and ordinary steel armor. Had the Soviet Union invaded Western Europe the American/British tank forces would be at a -huge- disadvantage.

View PostSnowPanzer, on Jan 07 2018 - 02:37, said:

Some one wanted to sell the M1tank. besides the A3 was the main tank then. Agree completely about the Tow and Dragon

 

Why not buy the M1 tank? The M60 is behind the curve technology wise, having a legacy gun and regular steel armor compared to it's Soviet competition.



YANKEE137 #5 Posted Jan 20 2019 - 04:44

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1st Marine Division[edit]

Task Force Ripper under Colonel Carlton W. Fulford Jr led the 1st Marine Division straight into Kuwait City. Smashing through enemy armor and enemy delaying actions.[11] As the Marine 1st Division edged nearer the city, commanders heard reports of two developing counterattacks by Iraqi forces. "We fired on the two gathering points and it wasn't 30 minutes before we scattered them like rabbits out of the bush," said Myatt, the division commander. "The Cobras {helicopter gunships} and the LAVs {light armored vehicles} had a field day" as a "hunter-killer package" to search out and destroy Iraqi equipment.[1] On the way to their objective, the Kuwait International Airport, Task Force Ripper M-60A1 Patton tanks destroyed about 100 Iraqi tanks and armored personnel carriers, including about 50 top-of-the-line Soviet T-72 tanks. 1st Marine division commander Maj. Gen. J.M. Myatt said,[1] "During the first day of combat operations 1st Platoon, D Company, 3rd Tank Battalion destroyed 15 Iraqi tanks".[6] The Marines also destroyed 25 APCs and took 300 POWs.[12] The 1st Marine Division's Task Force Shepherd lost 14 killed in action during combat operations en route to Kuwait International Airport. Task Force Taro was also a participant in the 1st Marine Division's combat operations. Task Force Papa Bear, C and D Co, 1st Marine Division, who as the division reserve repelled a huge enemy counter-attack while defending the minefield breach. The 1st Marine Division also destroyed around 60 Iraqi tanks near the Burgan oil field without suffering any losses.[13]

 

https://en.wikipedia...ational_Airport



TheManFromKekistan #6 Posted Jan 20 2019 - 05:27

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View Postindoctrinated, on Jan 07 2018 - 00:09, said:

Any reason it took the Americans so long to field the M1 Abrams tank to at least even up the playing field?

 

The promise of davy crockett tactical nukes irradiating the invading tank columns and blunting the advance till nato could fully mobilize did wonders on checking soviet expansion or thoughts of all out war. The fulda gap was going to be the only real way in for any successful soviet push and that was completely covered by them along with crushing air superiority and dug in heavy defenses. They had plenty of time to make the abrams.

 

 

 

 

 



Gothraul #7 Posted Jan 20 2019 - 07:30

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I wouldn't trust using a T-72 due to the nature of the ammo rack and it has killed crews, there are videos of T-72s going up in flames on youtube.

 

Jump to 7:20 and watch the top pop

 






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