Before the start of the war and in the first stage of the Russia-Ukraine War, the light anti-tank weapons of Western emergency assistance helped the Ukrainian army to defeat the huge Russian armored columns. One of the important reasons which led to the easy destruction of the Russian Armoured Vehicles was that the Russian army convoys were not protected by infantry and air support.
In the early days of the war, the “Javelin” anti-tank missile “made a great contribution” to the Ukrainian army. This missile destroyed hundreds of Russian Army Tanks and other armoured vehicles.
Photos and videos of burnt Russian armoured equipments have surfaced on the Internet, making the shoulder-fired missile a star weapon in the Western media and providing Ukraine with a versatile and efficient means of warfare. These tanks became easy targets for the Javelin, NLAW, Stugna and other anti-tank missiles.
At the same time, in many ways, this image is created by the media. According to many experts, many tanks and other armored vehicles were not only hit by man-portable anti-tank missiles, but also destroyed by precision artillery strikes.
After retreating from Kyiv, when the Russian army concentrated on attacking the Donbass in the east, the artillery systems of the Ukrainian army became one of the important means of fighting against Russian tanks and other armoured vehicles.
First of all, the Russian army has changed its tactics, and now they are adopting a joint operation method, that is, the tanks advance with the support of infantry, light armored vehicles and artillery.
When used properly, the battle tank becomes the basis of the battle group, and the infantry in turn protects it from shoulder-fired missiles and other threats.
Ukrainian tanks also actively participated in defensive operations and suffered losses. However, it is difficult to assess in war conditions. The Ukrainian army needs to replenish its number of tanks and has already received hundreds of tanks from western countries such as Poland, etc.
The M113 armored personnel carrier is one of the main armoured vehicle of the US military since the Vietnam War in the 1960s, and later participated in the Iraq War, which has an important position in modern military history.
Soviet-made infantry fighting vehicles, armoured personnel carriers, and amphibious fighting vehicles only save weight by reducing protection. Their Light armored vehicles are more vulnerable to enemy fire.
Both the Ukrainian and Russian troops lost a large number of light armored vehicles and needed to be replenished. However, the stockpile of Russian armored vehicles is much larger than that of Ukraine, so Ukraine needs a large number of armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles from the West.
Which armored vehicles have Ukraine acquired or will acquire?
1) Poland: T-72M1 main battle tank (240 units)
2) Czech Republic: T-72M1 main battle tank (number unknown)
3) United States: M113 tracked armored personnel carrier (200 units)
4) Denmark: M113 belt armored personnel carrier (50 units)
5) Poland: BMP-1 armored infantry fighting vehicle (dozens)
6) Czech Republic: 501A (BMP-1) armored infantry fighting vehicle (56 units)
7) Australia: Bushmaster armored vehicle (20 units)
8) United States: M1114 HMMWV Humvee armored vehicle (about 100 units)
9) UK: Mastiff, Hound and Husky armored vehicles (80 units)
10) Canada: Roshel Senator armored personnel carrier (8 units)
11) Spain: URO VAMTAC armored vehicle (number unknown)
12) UK: FV103 Spartan tracked armoured personnel carrier (35 units)
13) Denmark: Piranha III wheeled armoured personnel carrier (25 units)
Armoured vehicles that are likely to be offered but not yet finalized.
1) Germany: Leopard 1A5 main battle tanks (88 units)
2) Germany: BMP Marder infantry fighting vehicle (100 units)
How did Western aid of armored vehicles change the tide of war?
In fact, Ukraine only gets one type of tank from abroad – the Soviet-made T-72M1. This tank comes from two countries, and the composition of the equipment is slightly different.
But in general, Ukrainian military expert Andriy Tarasenko said, the Ukrainian Forces are very familiar with this tank.
The disadvantage of these tanks is that there is no dynamic protection device. Now the tanks need to be retooled, the expert said. Even before the war, Ukraine was already producing such protection devices. But he believes that it is really difficult to produce such a large number of upgrade matching devices in a short period of time.
Ukraine may get the German BMP Marder infantry fighting vehicle.
Among the aided light armored vehicles, the American M113 tracked armored personnel carrier and the Humvee armored vehicle dominate due to the simplicity of maintenance and the supply of spare parts.
In addition to this, several countries have delivered and are ready to supply the Armed Forces of Ukraine with various armoured vehicles in small batches. The maintenance and repair of these armoured vehicles is logistically a difficult task.
However, according to Tarasenko, “in combat conditions, the consumption of armament is so great that any vehicle capable of saving the lives of personnel, crew members is necessary.” But the repair and maintenance of vehicles is also a big problem.
In addition, Ukraine will also need to train a large number of drivers for foreign and former Soviet-made armored vehicles.
“Even with tanks, without proper training, without simulators, training grounds and auxiliary materials, the combat potential of the crew cannot be increased by 60-70%,” the expert said.
According to Tarasenko, the U.S. training system is superior to the Soviet one because the U.S. has more modern simulators.
Ukraine also has modern training bases. However, the training of tank soldiers will take at least a few weeks or maybe a few months.