US Marine Corps could make a big mistake if it refuses to use tanks
WASHINGTON, (BM) – The command of the US Marine Corps in the spring officially announced its intention to abandon heavy armored vehicles, as we reported earlier this year.
And in July, the decommissioning of tanks and the reform of tank units began. The plans for the development of the corps do not include the use of this technique.
In the American combat and reserve units in the ranks were about 450 “Abrams”, which were used in three tank battalions. But in connection with the change in the strategic military situation, reduction and change will occur in almost all structures.
The American command believes that in the near future the main events will develop in the Asia-Pacific region, which has some peculiarities – because of them, the requirements for the actions of the marines are changing.
This region is distinguished by a large number of small islands and, accordingly, a long coastline. For operations in such conditions, armored vehicles such as amphibians are more suitable, and heavy tanks are not taken into account in such a strategy due to their low mobility.
Therefore, it became necessary to optimize the structure and size of the corps. Instead of tanks, five batteries of cannon and rocket artillery will operate, twelve reconnaissance companies and four paratroopers will be created, which will operate on amphibians.
The US command considers abandoning tanks a useful measure, but it is nonetheless controversial. For many decades, the paratroopers used tanks in various conditions and no one was going to get rid of them. Yes, optimization of the organizational structure and savings on equipment will reduce costs in some areas, but the tank strategy has defenders.
Despite their age, the tanks in service have good fighting qualities, which modernization would only enhance. The argument about weak mobility is not credible – there are many amphibious ships carrying various equipment, which actively support the main forces on land. It is not clear why the assault-tank combination is considered ineffective.
If the command of the US forces abandons heavy equipment, then they will have light and medium vehicles that are inferior in technical characteristics to tanks. It is possible that these parameters will negatively affect combat capabilities. It could be a serious mistake for the US Marines to abandon tanks.
But time will show how correct were the calculations on which the reform strategy was based. While the savings overshadow all the arguments in favor of heavy tanks, how it will end – we’ll see. It is possible that tank units will have to be rebuilt.
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