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Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe

suffolkowner

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Russia would have one advantage in that NATO is fielding a large collection of platforms that I think would be a logistical nightmare. It's mentioned many times that the counter attack through the Suwalki Gap and the difficulties therein. Considering the state of war that would exist what limits the counter attack to the narrow Suwalki Gap?

A Canadian Armoured Brigade  in Europe is a nice idea if Canada was a mature responsible ally but I think just establishing that full capability in Canada would be a great leap forward
 

Edward Campbell

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:highjack:

An aside, if I may: a Russian attack on NATO will be a certain signal of a massive failure in and imminent disintegration of the Russian state. See, for example, 'Toria' Nuland's piece in Foreign Affairs, under RUSTING RUSSIA, or The Economist's analysis, from a year ago, of the "China trap."

Any number of things can and likely will go wrong in Russia, and its dying gasp may be an attack on the West ... but it will be fairly easily beaten back, maybe requiring the use of tactical nukes, and Russia will become a weak, poor, backwards far-Eastern European state, while Siberia ~ everything East of the Yenisey (I've banged on about this before) ~ will become two to three or even four "independent" states, all Chinese clients.

Russian military adventures remain very likely in the non-NATO periphery: Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Serbia and Ukraine, for example. That is where the US-led West, should be most concerned.

 

FJAG

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suffolkowner said:
Russia would have one advantage in that NATO is fielding a large collection of platforms that I think would be a logistical nightmare. It's mentioned many times that the counter attack through the Suwalki Gap and the difficulties therein. Considering the state of war that would exist what limits the counter attack to the narrow Suwalki Gap?

A Canadian Armoured Brigade  in Europe is a nice idea if Canada was a mature responsible ally but I think just establishing that full capability in Canada would be a great leap forward

Two thoughts. In my article I wasn't looking at a counterattack through the Sawalki gap but instead was contemplating a prepositioning site/assembly area in Poland which would necessitate "moving" through the Sawalki Gap and crossing Lithuania to get to Latvia. I assume that this would be in a time of heightened tensions and therefore the road move would be a) provocative; and b) moving through a sensitive choke-point.

The kaleidoscope of equipment and logistics is significantly reduced by common ammunition and POL needs. Spare parts is a horror show and will depend very much on national logistic elements in theatre. I toyed with the idea of changing equipment to US types so as to tie in with them but even with them there have been so many version upgrades of the M1, M2, M3 and M109 line that actual one-for-one spare parts support is probably just as difficult as with the Leo2 line.

If there is one thing that my last six months of writing and research has done is tell me that Canada's and much of Europe's maintenance (mostly spare parts) system is not robust enough to deal with serious conflict. I remember one particular spring practice camp with 3 RCHA in Shilo when our M109s were ingesting vast quantities of poplar fluff which would quickly block air filters and overheat engines to the point of needing engine replacements. We ran out of spares and needed replacements from Cummins. Luckily the M109's engine was a Cummins Detroit Diesel 8V71T 450 hp which is used for many civilian heavy highway uses including busses and heavy fire engines and the supply system was able to source a few of those before the exercise ended. Pretty sure we'd have problems doing some of that these days.

:cheers:
 

MilEME09

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The auditor generals report on the CAF supply system alone shows in a shooting war we are in a bad position for spare parts and supplies. We also lack the internal manufacturing capabilities that our doctrine sets out RCEME should have in order to produce minor components in theater. Creating that capability would go a long way towards solving our problems. This used to be handled by Mat techs, given how complicated equipment is becoming it may require a new Manufacturing Technician trade, dedicated to CNC machines and small scale production shops.
 

FJAG

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MilEME09 said:
The auditor generals report on the CAF supply system alone shows in a shooting war we are in a bad position for spare parts and supplies. We also lack the internal manufacturing capabilities that our doctrine sets out RCEME should have in order to produce minor components in theater. Creating that capability would go a long way towards solving our problems. This used to be handled by Mat techs, given how complicated equipment is becoming it may require a new Manufacturing Technician trade, dedicated to CNC machines and small scale production shops.

There are two reports I've come across. This one from 2011 and this one from 2016

:cheers:
 

FJAG

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suffolkowner said:
another
https://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_oag_202007_03_e_43574.html

Thanks. I hadn't seen that one. Guess my keyword search "maintenance" was broad enough. Did come across this CFC paper from 2018 on the Air Force's supply problems though.

Edited to add: As I started reading it I said to myself "this sounds familiar" and sure enough I found a copy in my research from a few months ago. Thanks anyway.

:cheers:
 

tomahawk6

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Work out a deal with the US to share Abrams tanks that are in storage in Europe and buy some Abrams for use in Canada. Or center your brigade around the LAV with no tanks.
 

MilEME09

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tomahawk6 said:
Work out a deal with the US to share Abrams tanks that are in storage in Europe and buy some Abrams for use in Canada. Or center your brigade around the LAV with no tanks.

And orphan our leopard fleet? Not going to happen, we would be better off justing buying new leopard 2A7's from the Germans, and upgrading our entire fleet to A7 standard.
 

CBH99

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MilEME09 said:
And orphan our leopard fleet? Not going to happen, we would be better off justing buying new leopard 2A7's from the Germans, and upgrading our entire fleet to A7 standard.


I think he was saying just transition to the Abrams, since it's readily available both in theatre and here in North America.

And since the US has over 2000 in storage, many of them straight out of the factory -- the cost, from a capital acquisition perspective, would be minimal. 


I think that's what T6 was getting at?
 

FJAG

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I like both tanks. While I do like the M1 concept, I couldn't see sharing tanks in storage in Europe because they either are or will be designated for US flyover units. There are, however, many M1s in storage in California.

Realistically I tend to think that a new or even upgraded tank is not in the cards. But, if I were allowed to dream I think that I would shy away from the European vehicles. The European arms industry is fragmented and inefficient with far too many marks and models to provide stability. Here's a brief paper on the subject. Refurbishment and upgrading costs are pretty close to new model costs so why tie ourselves to an existing type other than experience with a previous version.

While the M1 isn't exactly free of version upgrades, it at least is on one type and has a large fleet and manufacturing base behind it. If for no other reason than to create a North American standardization, I would dearly love to see us buying into American fleets if for no other reason that economy of scale and parts availability. By that I mean no one-of Canadian customization, but pure off-the shelf. Cheaper and could very much increase Canadian manufacturing also being part of the US supply chain (kind of like a NAFTA automobile arrangement)

:cheers:
 

suffolkowner

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not sure where I picked this up or how accurate it is
 

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reveng

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I think modern GBAD assets, long-range precision fires, and 5th gen fighters would be far more useful to our allies than a smattering of LAVs and second hand MBTs. I like the idea of a forward-deployed GBAD Bty and HIMARS Bty. Coupled with a similar deployment of F-35, and perhaps a detachment of something else that could be of real use (P-8, Wedgetail, Rivet Joint...)

 

Colin Parkinson

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The new 130mm gun claims a 50% increase in AT performances and a potentiel for an autoloader. The demonstrator is based on a Challenger II , but they indicate that many of the upgrades are meant for other tanks as well.
 

CBH99

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So far, we've ignored the RCN's contribution of a frigate to the NATO standing groups.

Between the enhanced forward presence in Latvia, and a ship deployed to one of the TWO standing groups sailing around Europe all the time - we're sinking a fair bit of money and effort to thwart the imaginary Russian invasion already.


Given our budget, and Canadian politicians' complete lack of sense of adventure (probably a good thing) -- do we want to spend more money reinforcing our presence in Europe, in the slim chance Russia does invade?  (Which, again, I highly doubt they will as it makes absolutely no sense for them to do so.)

Or, should we be focusing our efforts elsewhere? 



Since this thread is broadly about reinforcing Europe in a situation of Russian aggression, some good suggestions were made above.  Perhaps fighter aircraft or ISR aircraft would be more valuable to the fight? 

Or instead of increasing the amount of heavy armour we have deployed there, what about making the forces we do have significantly more lethal?  A decent AT missile system, along with GBAD (even in the form of some of the latest MANPADs) would seriously change our game.  Both of which would be cheaper and faster to acquire, train people on, and deploy. 



I don't mean to derail the thread at all.  I understand the conversation is about what could be done to forward deploy enough equipment to support an Armoured Brigade.  Perhaps, though, as has been mentioned above - our contribution could be more effective, more lethal, and actually more affordable if we look at other options. 

(Aircraft, including fighter jets, probably being cheapest the asset anybody can contribute) 

:2c:
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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CBH99 said:
So far, we've ignored the RCN's contribution of a frigate to the NATO standing groups.

Between the enhanced forward presence in Latvia, and a ship deployed to one of the TWO standing groups sailing around Europe all the time - we're sinking a fair bit of money and effort to thwart the imaginary Russian invasion already.

SNMG1 and SNMG2 are not tasked with deterrence of Russian invasion. They remain at the same level of force and readiness regardless of the level of threat of invasion from said Russia. Their purpose is to provide the NATO leadership with a high readiness squadron at all time for any maritime operation that may be required in NATO's operational areas. It also aims at demonstrating that we have sea control over "our" waters of the North Atlantic and Mediterranean.

CBH99 said:
(Aircraft, including fighter jets, probably being cheapest the asset anybody can contribute) 

Wouldn't that require Canada to acquire an interim fighter? Oh, wait! D'Oh!  :facepalm:
 
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stellarpanther

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SNMG1 and SNMG2 are not tasked with deterrence of Russian invasion. They remain at the same level of force and readiness regardless of the level of threat of invasion from said Russia. Their purpose is to provide the NATO leadership with a high readiness squadron at all time for any maritime operation that may be required in NATO's operational areas. It also aims at demonstrating that we have sea control over "our" waters of the North Atlantic and Mediterranean.


Wouldn't that require Canada to acquire an interim fighter? Oh, wait! D'Oh!  :facepalm:

While not mentioning Russia by name, OP REASSURANCE is clearly meant to deter Russian aggression which I don't think will happen against a NATO country, SMNG2 is part of OP REASSURNACE.  I think we're spending a ton of money that could be better used elsewhere.  Just my opinion.

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/corporate/reports-publications/transition-materials/caf-operations-activities/2020/03/caf-ops-activities/op-reassurance-europe.html

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/news/2019/06/canada-assumes-command-of-standing-nato-maritime-group-two.html



 

LoboCanada

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A point i'd like to make is that why even bother having Canadian tanks in Europe at all?

How many NATO tanks are there already in Europe?

1000s i'd say, and what would a small and expensive squadron really do there that a few dozen other countries' tanks couldn't?

As an aside, what has NATO done for Canadian security to warrant us taking a leadership position in Latvia? I don't see a NATO Air Policing Mission in our North to counter frequent Russian bombing 'runs'.

 

Colin Parkinson

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Latvia alone has 800+ km of land border to defend. Poland has roughly 600km, not counting most of Ukraine or Romania. Ukraine has 2,000km of border, much of which is indefensible to a sustained assault.   
 
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