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  • A question regarding logistics for a MBT!

    I'm curious if anyone could give me me a break down of what logistical support is needed to transfer a MBT(Main Battle Tank). For this scenario I'm going to suggest it's a M1 Abrams and that we need to transport it overseas, let's say from the US to Afghanistan. How much equipment is required to move it from it's base to port/airfield, what is best to transfer it(ship and/or air?), and how much logistics is needed to maintain it once in Afghanistan?

    I ask because it seems to be a complex arrangement with many levels of support for a MBT as you move it with different modes of transport, so I'm interested to see how much is really needed to put a tank on the frontline!
    "In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason."
    Ernest Hemingway.

    "The more I learn about people, The more I love my dog".
    Mark Twain.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Achtung Baby View Post
    I'm curious if anyone could give me me a break down of what logistical support is needed to transfer a MBT(Main Battle Tank). For this scenario I'm going to suggest it's a M1 Abrams and that we need to transport it overseas, let's say from the US to Afghanistan. How much equipment is required to move it from it's base to port/airfield, what is best to transfer it(ship and/or air?), and how much logistics is needed to maintain it once in Afghanistan?

    I ask because it seems to be a complex arrangement with many levels of support for a MBT as you move it with different modes of transport, so I'm interested to see how much is really needed to put a tank on the frontline!
    For Gulf I US VII Corp, then stationed in Germany, shipped most all track and wheeled vichles to port by rail up to North
    Sea ports. Some where only shipped, by rail to inland ports and loaded on barrages then up the Rhine.

    Not sure what ports were used for off loading but much of the track equpment was moved buy tank carriers(trucks) up into the assmbly points.

    Loading on to the trains was almost always done with the crew and some supervison by the RR personal. These operations were routine operations for units here.

    Sealift coordination was done by http://www.msc.navy.mil/ Some of the hulls used were mil others leased.

    Of course we are talking about a whole Corp here. Yes, very complex with a lot of people involved.
    Last edited by Half Pint John; 06 May 10, 08:54.
    "Ask not what your country can do for you"

    Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

    youíre entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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    • #3
      The main logistical need of most MBTs is fuel. Those Abrams may be nearly invulnerable but their fuel trucks are far from that, and because of the **** poor mileage of most MBTs, this makes for a exploitable chink in their armor.
      Standing here, I realize you were just like me trying to make history.
      But who's to judge the right from wrong.
      When our guard is down I think we'll both agree.
      That violence breeds violence.
      But in the end it has to be this way.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Czin View Post
        The main logistical need of most MBTs is fuel. Those Abrams may be nearly invulnerable but their fuel trucks are far from that, and because of the **** poor mileage of most MBTs, this makes for a exploitable chink in their armor.
        All MTB's have to be refueled. Theirs as well as ours.

        The M1A1 is listed with a fuel range of 279 miles.

        The Challenger is listed with a range of 277 miles.

        The Leo II is listed as 340 miles.
        "Ask not what your country can do for you"

        Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

        youíre entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
          All MTB's have to be refueled. Theirs as well as ours.

          The M1A1 is listed with a fuel range of 279 miles.

          The Challenger is listed with a range of 277 miles.

          The Leo II is listed as 340 miles.
          Damned germans and their fuel efficient tanks....What about France's tanks?
          Standing here, I realize you were just like me trying to make history.
          But who's to judge the right from wrong.
          When our guard is down I think we'll both agree.
          That violence breeds violence.
          But in the end it has to be this way.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
            All MTB's have to be refueled. Theirs as well as ours.

            The M1A1 is listed with a fuel range of 279 miles.

            The Challenger is listed with a range of 277 miles.

            The Leo II is listed as 340 miles.
            How does our Leo II get 20% greater range than the Anglo-American tanks? I thought they were all very similar?
            Reaction to the 2016 Munich shootings:
            Europe: "We are shocked and support you in these harsh times, we stand by you."
            USA: "We will check people from Germany extra-hard and it is your own damn fault for being so stupid."

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Acheron View Post
              How does our Leo II get 20% greater range than the Anglo-American tanks? I thought they were all very similar?
              German black magic, that's how.

              In reality, the Leopard II was purposely built to be more fuel efficient than it's American and British competitors.
              Standing here, I realize you were just like me trying to make history.
              But who's to judge the right from wrong.
              When our guard is down I think we'll both agree.
              That violence breeds violence.
              But in the end it has to be this way.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Acheron View Post
                How does our Leo II get 20% greater range than the Anglo-American tanks? I thought they were all very similar?

                Schwabisch engineering. Aren't the motors from MB?

                I took all the data for each tank from Wiki.

                I've always been under the assumption that the M1A1 had a much shorter range than others. I guess it isn't all that bad after all.
                "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                youíre entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Acheron View Post
                  How does our Leo II get 20% greater range than the Anglo-American tanks? I thought they were all very similar?
                  The Leo uses a diesel that is more efficient than the turbine in the M1.
                  ALL LIVES SPLATTER!

                  BLACK JEEPS MATTER!

                  BLACK MOTORCYCLES MATTER!

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                  • #10
                    The French Leclec gets 400 miles, but it has external tanks so we kind of cheated. Still, that's nearly 1.5 times better than the Abrams, and we have a disesel engine that can crank out as much horsepower as the Abram's turbine engine.
                    Standing here, I realize you were just like me trying to make history.
                    But who's to judge the right from wrong.
                    When our guard is down I think we'll both agree.
                    That violence breeds violence.
                    But in the end it has to be this way.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Czin View Post
                      The French Leclec gets 400 miles, but it has external tanks so we kind of cheated. Still, that's nearly 1.5 times better than the Abrams, and we have a disesel engine that can crank out as much horsepower as the Abram's turbine engine.
                      "We" so you have a French passport?

                      Anyways. Transporting an M1 (or any modern tank) by air is not economical and there is not enough airlift to move large units. By ship is the best method, which is why there is/was so much pre-positioned stuff and ships with prepositioned stuff as well. Before OIF there was an entire division worth of equipment at Camp Doha, with 2 more divisions of stuff on ships (at Diego Garcia?)

                      Moving tanks to a port the quickest and most efficient way would be to move by rail, even if it was just from say Fort Stewart to Savannah.

                      It usually takes about 2 days to upload a tank BN on to a train. A day to prepare the tanks and marshal them to load then a long day of guiding the tanks on to the cars then chaining them, then inspection by the train people. Downloading from the trains is much easier as is loading on the ships.

                      Moving that many tanks to the port via HET would be a logistical nightmare.

                      A problem with moving a tank to Afghanistan though is the port/rail situation. There isn't much use of a BN sized maunver element, so a 'Team Heavy' company team, much like the IRC that the XVIII Airborne Corps always had ready to deploy anytime its light fighters went anywhere. The best way would probably be to ship them to a friendly area, then use inter theater airlift to get them to Afghanistan. Not an expert in this field though.

                      When in theater, the fuel is going to be there, an M1 can run on anything. JP-4, JP-8, Diesel, MOGAS, foreign non-NATO standard fuels, ect. The logistical problems would come from getting spare parts. The fuel consumption of an Abrams is easily negated successfully, but there aren't M1 Abrams parts available to be locally procured. Getting pallet after pallet of spare parts in theater is the real logistical nightmare of deploying any modern mech force. Put on top of that parts for the Bradleys, M88s, M113s, M577s, mortar carriers etc. that are part of the task force..

                      This was one of the factors that went into the thought process of creating Stryker brigades. A common chassis streamlined the maintenance logistics issues to a more manageable level.

                      A note on "listed ranges"

                      You could get the max range out of an M1 (or any tank) if you topped off and just drove straight, however that is not how things work. You burn a lot of gas sitting still, especially pulling security as you need engines running to be REDCON 1, though often you drop down to using your EAPU. But in reality if you are scanning all the while you are stopped you need the engine running so you don't have to wait for the aux pump to charge the hydraulic system (that is always charged when the engine is running)

                      The range of MBTs should really be measured in 'hours' just like the engines are.
                      Кто там?
                      Это я - Почтальон Печкин!
                      Tunis is a Carthigenian city!

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                      • #12
                        To transport any MBT, you're going to run into the following logistics needs:

                        Security. Not as important within your own country, as the infrastructure is there, but highly important overseas.

                        Route Recon: Bridge weight limits, rail weight limits, highway weight limits, port sizes, slip space, staging lots, weather.......Remember you're transporting vehicles that are pretty much the heaviest things their size on the planet. Many roads and bridges weren't designed for the weight, especially in countries that don't have a large number of armored brigades, or a large highways budget.

                        Those two are going to determine whether you transport by sea or by air. By air can have an advantage if the AO is far from a port, but within 1 hop (1 tank of fuel) of an airport. It can also have an advantage if there is a river, canyon, or other obstacle where the bridge is not strong enough to facilitate crossing, or security is a major concern.

                        Otherwise you'll prefer sea, as even the largest transport aircraft tend to have a maximum capacity of 1.

                        By sea you'll have to have a dock that can accept ships designed for transporting vehicles, with the accompanying ramps, or cranes that can lift objects in the 90-170k pound range. You'll also need a secure staging lot, immediate fuel storage (tanks are not transported with full tanks except in special circumstances), and HETTs (Heavy Equipment Transporters). The roads to and from the port will have to be wide enough to allow a loaded HETT to make both right and left turns, the bridges will have to be sturdy enough to take the weight of the HETT, and the road itself will have to be able to support the loaded HETT without cracking, buckling, or potholing....unless you want this to be a one way trip. All of this should be determined beforehand, preferably by studying appropriate engineering documents and following it up with an engineering survey of your own.

                        Oh, and you'll have to have HETTs, unless you plan to drive the tanks themselves there, which is death on most roads, especially in extremely hot and cold climates. And those HETTs are normally not locally availible, so you'll have to transport them there in advance, or with the tanks themselves. You'll also need to transport crews, maintenance crews (things just break in transit, call it Murphy at work), security teams, ammunition and its own logistical services, fuel trucks and drivers (which may be locally procurable), fuel (local fuels may not be compatible or of consistent quality), food (local food may not be sanitary), water (same reason), and people to coordinate the operation from start to finish (comm, translators, command element, a professional logistician or two to handle unforseen circumstances, etc.).

                        All of this is public knowledge (or logic) and therefore wholly unclassified, but it should give you some idea as to the requirements for moving tanks overseas.

                        Therefore, you are looking at anywhere from 10-50 people being necessary (not counting air or sea crew) for the transport of a single-4 tanks, with requirements growing somewhat less than proportionately (economies of scale) as the numbers increase.

                        Overland, especially between first-world countries alleviates many of the problems, as a single train can literally house all of the elements necessary to perform the transport, or a single road convoy on AutoBahn or Interstate quality roads. Security and logistical services can be locally procured in first-world countries, and many of these services are optimal for transporting such objects over long distances.
                        Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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                        • #13
                          My pal did three tours in an M1 in Iraq.

                          He says you move the tanks by flatbed to boats that ship them to Kuwait and then flatbed them into Afghanistan.

                          He also says that it would be a nightmare to get them there, but once they had the tanks deployed the logistics of supplying them becomes quite a bit easier....
                          "This life..., you know, "the life." Youíre not gonna get any medals, kid. This is not a hero business; you donít shoot people from a mile a way. You gotta stand right next to them... blow their heads off."

                          BoRG

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Paul Mann III View Post
                            My pal did three tours in an M1 in Iraq.

                            He says you move the tanks by flatbed to boats that ship them to Kuwait and then flatbed them into Afghanistan.

                            He also says that it would be a nightmare to get them there, but once they had the tanks deployed the logistics of supplying them becomes quite a bit easier....



                            See any problem here with your buddys story?
                            "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                            Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                            youíre entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post



                              See any problem here with your buddys story?
                              No.
                              "This life..., you know, "the life." Youíre not gonna get any medals, kid. This is not a hero business; you donít shoot people from a mile a way. You gotta stand right next to them... blow their heads off."

                              BoRG

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