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Nagorno-Karabagh: Military Balance Between Armenia & Azerbaijan

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  • Re: Nagorno-Karabagh: Military Balance Between Armenia & Azerbaijan

    Speaking of unconventional warfare, how does Armenian forces fare concerning sniper training and sniper rifles (one of the most cost effective and efficient weapons on the battlefield) . There are some amazing long range .50 caliber sniper rifles now that not only are anti-personnel, but also anti armor. Do we have these?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWJp14tkBlU
    Last edited by crusader1492; 09-25-2008, 12:49 PM.
    ԼՈԼ, Փեփսի Ատտիքթ

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    • Re: Nagorno-Karabagh: Military Balance Between Armenia & Azerbaijan

      Originally posted by ZORAVAR View Post
      In an eventual renewed conflict in Artsakh, there will not be massive tank battles. These battlewagons will not be the main player in that kind of warfare. They will be used in smaller numbers in direct fire support missions against enemy positions. In most cases the infantry will move just ahead of the tanks. What we need is something smaller, lighter and with great firepower. In this case "less is more". My choice would be the new Russian SPRUT-SD light tank. It has the same gun as the T-90 with a smaller and much lighter body (18 tons). The only drawback is that it has thinner armour.
      While I agree that due to Armenia's budget restraints we can do good with modified older tanks (preferably T-72s instead of T-62s/T-55), I disagree with your notion that our military should place its emphasis upon thin-skinned armor with heavy firepower. Thin-skinned/high firepower vehicles are for infantry support and for defensive action - not for breaking through enemy lines. Any of the wide array of anti-tank rockets, landmines and indirect artillery shell explosions can knockout thin-skinned vehicles. Regarding weight: Compared to their western counterparts, T-72 and the T-90s are not that heavy and Armenia/Artskah does not have significant numbers of wetlands, bridges or rivers that they can't traverse. In any battlefield, offensive or defensive, a military needs thick-skinned armor with heavy firepower to punch through enemy lines and/or to withstand an assault and be able to counter attack. Currently, I think modified T-72s are just fine for our military, although there are inherent problems with their design (poor ammunition storage). You probably know this but unlike their more modern western counterparts, when these Soviet era tanks get hit they simply blowup; no survivors, just charred remains. Arab-Israeli conflicts of the past as well as the current Russo-Georgia war reveals this ominous fact about Soviet era tanks. And have they done any modifications to their targeting and fire control systems? Nonetheless, I strongly believe that medium weight main battle tanks (T-72/T-90) are a must for Armenia.
      Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:

      Նժդեհ


      Please visit me at my Heralding the Rise of Russia blog: http://theriseofrussia.blogspot.com/

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      • Re: Nagorno-Karabagh: Military Balance Between Armenia & Azerbaijan

        Originally posted by meline View Post
        Excuse me for interfereing in a male domain
        No problem Meline. BTW, there are many female soldiers in Karabagh's self-defense forces.

        Zoravar, you mentioned that in an eventual renewed conflict tanks will not have a major role to play
        Please do not misunderstand me. Tanks will play an important role but they will not be the "make or break" weapons on the battlefields of Artsakh. The infantry soldier with his rifle, RPG and determination will be king (just like in the previous war). The tank support will be needed tough.

        What about jet fighters? And what is the power ratio with the baboons there? (Not in terms of the proclaimed military budget, but in terms of effective fighters fit for battle)
        I plan to make a comparative analysis in a future post. Stay tuned.
        Last edited by ZORAVAR; 09-25-2008, 01:41 PM.
        "Those who beat their swords into ploughshares will plough for those who didn't"

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        • Re: Nagorno-Karabagh: Military Balance Between Armenia & Azerbaijan

          Originally posted by Armenian View Post
          Thin-skinned/high firepower vehicles are for infantry support and for defensive action - not for breaking through enemy lines.
          Yeeeees, isn't that the scenario we are covering in this topic? The Azeris are rearming very fast with an intention to attack us at the right time. We are supposed to defend ourselves.

          Currently, I think modified T-72s are just fine for our military, although there are inherent problems with their design (poor ammunition storage). You probably know this but unlike their more modern western counterparts, when these Soviet era tanks get hit they simply blowup; no survivors, just charred remains. Arab-Israeli conflicts of the past as well as the current Russo-Georgia war reveals this ominous fact about Soviet era tanks
          Even a Russophile like you has succombed to the exagerated anti-Russian propaganda spread by Westerners

          Although it is exagerated and distorted out of proportions, there is some truth about ammo strorage. However, fact is that western tanks blow up just as well. Just look at photos of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war where destroyed tanks from both sides appear on the same picture. Not much difference.

          Nonetheless, I strongly believe that medium weight main battle tanks (T-72/T-90) are a must for Armenia.
          Yes, once the anti-tank defenses stop the Azeri attack, we will need our heavy armour to march all the way to Baku.
          "Those who beat their swords into ploughshares will plough for those who didn't"

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          • Re: Nagorno-Karabagh: Military Balance Between Armenia & Azerbaijan

            Originally posted by ZORAVAR View Post
            No problem Meline. BTW, there are many female soldiers in Karanagh's sel-defense forces.


            Please do not misunderstand me. Tanks will play an important role but they will not be the "make or break" weapons on the battlefields of Artsakh. The infantry soldier with his rifle, RPG and determination will be king (just like in the previous war). The tank support will be needed tough.


            I plan to make a comparative analysis in a future post. Stay tuned.
            Thanks in advance Zoravar. Anyways what do you think of foreign interference in a possible renewed conflict? (Of course Russia and Turkey go per se). How heavily do you think it could sway the balance of powers? Sorry for so many questions

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            • Re: Nagorno-Karabagh: Military Balance Between Armenia & Azerbaijan

              Originally posted by crusader1492 View Post
              Speaking of unconventional warfare, how does Armenian forces fare concerning sniper training and sniper rifles (one of the most cost effective and efficient weapons on the battlefield) . There are some amazing long range .50 caliber sniper rifles now that not only are anti-personnel, but also anti armor. Do we have these?

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWJp14tkBlU
              Yes we do. Early in 2007, we acquired from Serbia some M-93 CRNA STRELA (black Arrow) 12.7mm (.50 cal) anti-personnel/anti-material sniper rifles with an effective range up to 2000 meters. They are in the hands of both the Armenian army and the Karabagh self-defense forces.


              Parade in Stepanagerd an UAZ 4x4 vehicle carrying members of a reconnaissance unit armed with a M-93 heavy caliber sniper rifle (Krupny kaliber snipersky vintovka in Russian). The weapon on top of the vehicle is a FA-GOT antitank missile launcher. These units are the first ones that are going to engage the enemy armour.


              On parade in Yerevan. UAZ 4x4 vehicle with M-93 heavy sniper rifle on the side and a Russian made PKM machine gun on top. A "Made in Armenia" K-3 assault rifle is on the other side of the vehicle.
              Last edited by ZORAVAR; 09-25-2008, 01:39 PM.
              "Those who beat their swords into ploughshares will plough for those who didn't"

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              • Re: Nagorno-Karabagh: Military Balance Between Armenia & Azerbaijan

                Armenia's 2009 budget for the military: $495 million


                The Armenian military will apparently remain the single largest recipient of public funds in 2009, with defense spending projected to grow by almost 20 percent to 149.6 billion drams ($495 million).
                Azerbaboon: 9.000 Google hits and counting!

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                • Re: Nagorno-Karabagh: Military Balance Between Armenia & Azerbaijan

                  Originally posted by ZORAVAR View Post
                  Yeeeees, isn't that the scenario we are covering in this topic? The Azeris are rearming very fast with an intention to attack us at the right time. We are supposed to defend ourselves.
                  Zoravar jan, with all due respects, I believe there are a few flaws in your reasoning... in my humble opinion

                  1) Basing a nation's military doctrine solely on "defense" is dangerous and self-defeating. While a nation's war doctrine can be a defensive one its military has to be able to perform offensive duties as well.

                  2) Main battle tanks, as good as they are in the offensive, are just as good - if not better - than their thin-skinned counterparts in the defensive.

                  3) A military has to have readily available assets on the field of battle to perform regional/spot counterattacks for tactical and/or strategic reasons.

                  4) If a main battle tanks can do both defense and offense, why waste money on light tanks, especially since you are going to need main battle tanks anyway?

                  Even a Russophile like you has succombed to the exagerated anti-Russian propaganda spread by Westerners
                  I understand where you are coming from but all my life I have been very conscious of western propaganda when it comes to the Soviet Union/Russian Federation and its military. I was raised in a Hnchak family. That alone should say enough.

                  Putting aside western propaganda and exaggerations, we can't escape the fact that 'all' the Cold War era main battle tanks of the Soviet Union have proven to be highly volatile when hit. Putting aside older western models such as the M-60, try and compare the late Cold War era Soviet one's to the late Cold War era Israeli Merkava and the American M-1 Abrams (both early 1980s models). In the 2006 Lebanon war Israel lost many (perhaps several dozen) main battle tanks against the Hizbollah. However, of the Israeli tanks that were hit relatively a few seemed to have been total losses. The rest of the tanks were simply removed from the battlefield, repaired and eventually returned to service. Relatively speaking, taking into consideration of the number of tanks hit, survival rate for Israeli tank crewmen was good. There are some pictures of knocked out Israeli tanks from that war, look at them closely and then compare that picture to what we saw in the streets of Tskhinvali. Do you think any of the Georgian crewmen operating their modified T-72s had a chance against a direct hit? Have you realized that Georgia has performed several mass burials of "unidentified soldiers"? Those unidentified soldiers were most probably the chared remains of Georgian tank crewmen sent into South Ossetia.

                  In short, western tanks do excel in crew survivability. Of course this is all relative. A large enough warhead placed in the right location can turn any tank into a charred carcass in mere seconds. But, in general, the western military establishment has placed the importance of crew survivability much higher than their Soviet counterparts. This is no secret. I hope that this particular aspect of Moscow's military doctrine is changing. From what I have noticed in the newer Russian designs it may very well be. Perhaps you can shed more light on this.

                  However, if I had to pick between a fully equipped main battle tank regiment and a regiment of foot soldiers equipped with anti-tank rockets - in a mountainous terrain, I would pick the foot soldiers every-single-time.
                  Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:

                  Նժդեհ


                  Please visit me at my Heralding the Rise of Russia blog: http://theriseofrussia.blogspot.com/

                  Comment


                  • Re: Nagorno-Karabagh: Military Balance Between Armenia & Azerbaijan

                    Originally posted by ZORAVAR View Post
                    Yes, once the anti-tank defenses stop the Azeri attack, we will need our heavy armour to march all the way to Baku.


                    YES... YES... YES... if only I could stay to be alive to see that day!!!!!

                    Incidentally Zoravar jan, you're doing a great job for all the info! Merci.
                    Հա'յ ժողովուրդ, քո միա'կ բրկութիւնը քո հաւաքական ուժի մէջ է:

                    Comment


                    • Re: Nagorno-Karabagh: Military Balance Between Armenia & Azerbaijan

                      Originally posted by Armenian View Post
                      Zoravar jan, with all due respects, I believe there are a few flaws in your reasoning... in my humble opinion

                      1) Basing a nation's military doctrine solely on "defense" is dangerous and self-defeating. While a nation's war doctrine can be a defensive one its military has to be able to perform offensive duties as well.


                      A bit off the topic, but never-the-less relavent...

                      You're touching on a deep, but flawed Armenian mentality. That is, our first instinct is to defend rather than attack.
                      One can see this symbolism when observing the statue of David of Sassoun...his sword is drawn back rather than pointing forward.

                      ...but with the victory in Artsakh, this strictly defensive mentality is going by the wayside.
                      ԼՈԼ, Փեփսի Ատտիքթ

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