Monday, January 25, 2021

Know Capabilities, Not Names

Just as on the naval side of things, the Communist Chinese may call something a destroyer that is clearly a cruiser, the Europeans call something a frigate that is clearly a destroyer, and the Americans call a Littoral Combat Ship what is really a national disgrace, etc ... there are even more challenges figuring out capabilities on the land side.

A classic example, "How many divisions do they have?"

You might get a simple answer, but that may not be the answer you need in order to really understand what you are looking at.


When asked if, in 2025, a British war-fighting division will be capable of ‘overmatching the forces of a peer opponent such as Russia’, Minister for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin replied ‘absolutely’. This assessment runs counter to the MoD’s own evidence. This is illustrated by the graphic below, which compares the anti-armour and artillery capabilities of the 3rd Division − as required by the 2015 SDSR − with an IISS assessment of the capabilities found in the Russian Army’s 4th tank division and the ‘reduced division’ that now represents the limited capability that the British Army could mobilise in 2025. It is highly likely that a Russian tank division would overmatch this much weaker British formation.

Details ... always ask for the details.

Crossposted to substack.


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