Military Review

The problem of Soviet technology in NATO countries

42

Latvian soldiers with imported rifles. Latvia abandoned Soviet machine guns in favor of European ones, and Tanks just copied. US Army Photos


One of the main factors determining the high combat effectiveness of NATO as a military organization is the existence of uniform standards for weapons, equipment, communications, command and control, etc. When joining the Alliance, a country must reform and re-equip its army so that it can effectively interact with its allies. However, such processes are faced with well-known problems, and a lot of NATO member states are forced to use the material part of other standards.

Lack of uniformity


The problem of incompatibility of the material part appeared and became relevant at the turn of the nineties and two thousandths. Then the so-called. 4th enlargement of NATO, during which the countries of the former socialist bloc and the Warsaw Pact Organization were admitted to the organization for the first time. Subsequently, there were four more expansions, as a result of which a number of other Eastern European and Balkan countries entered the Alliance. As a result, by now all the members of the ATS, as well as the republics of the former Yugoslavia and the USSR, have entered NATO.


The former T-72 of the GDR army as a target is another radical way to solve the problem of incompatible technology. Photo Wikimedia Commons

Leaving the former alliances and joining NATO, these states retained armies built according to Soviet standards and equipped with appropriate equipment. In preparation for entering the Alliance, armies underwent partial modernization, but such processes usually affected the contours of management, charters, etc. The renewal of the material part was limited and stretched over time.

A significant part of the new members have already managed to re-equip the infantry in accordance with NATO standards. However, in other areas, the situation was more difficult. Most of these countries are still forced to operate Soviet or licensed armored vehicles, in fact, without being able to replace them. All this creates a host of organizational and operational problems, and also imposes restrictions on the combat capability of the army.

Armored legacy


Consider the situation with the mismatch of materiel using examples of armored combat vehicles - tanks and infantry fighting vehicles. In the last decades of its existence, the USSR actively helped future NATO members by supplying BMP-1/2, T-72, etc. A significant part of such equipment is still in service with no real prospects for replacement.


Army of Bulgaria on exercises along the NATO line. NATO technology is combined with Soviet machine guns and machine guns. US Army Photos

According to The Military Balance 2020, Poland remains the largest operator of Soviet tanks. In line units there are up to 130 T-72A and T-72M1 tanks. More than 250 were transferred to storage. A smaller fleet is retained by the Bulgarian army - 90 MBT versions of the T-72M1 / M2. Hungary continues to operate 44 MBTs of the T-72M1 type. North Macedonia operates 31 T-72A tanks. The Czech ground forces have kept 30 modernized T-72M4 CZ in service, and up to 90 more vehicles are in storage. Slovakia uses up to 30 T-72M.

As in the case of the MBT, Poland has the largest BMP-1 fleet in NATO - more than 1250 units. Almost 190 machines of this type serve in Greece. OK. 150 BMP-1 and more than 90 BMP-2 were kept by Slovakia. The Czech Republic uses 120 BMP-2 and approx. 100 BMP-1, not counting dozens of vehicles in storage. The Bulgarian army has 90 older BMP-1s, while North Macedonia was able to obtain and retain 10-11 BMP-2s.


Tankers of Bulgaria and the United States on joint exercises, 2005. Photo by US Army

Over time, the overall situation has not changed. Most of the operators are forced to keep the old Soviet equipment in service and are unable to change it with modern models that meet NATO standards. The only exception to this is Poland, which managed to purchase a large number of German Leopard 2 tanks and even bring them to the first place in its army.

It should be noted that similar trends are observed not only in the field of armored vehicles. Combat aircraft and transport helicopters, artillery systems, etc. remain in service with the new NATO members. Soviet or licensed production.

Typical problems


Continuing the operation of old samples weapons and technology, new NATO members face serious challenges. First of all, it is incomplete compatibility with the materiel of foreign partners. For example, the guns of tanks and infantry fighting vehicles of Soviet and NATO production use different ammunition, and unification is fundamentally impossible. Different standards make it difficult to organize communication within the division and with higher levels.


Polish tank crews and their T-72. Photo of the Ministry of Defense of Poland

Soviet-made equipment and weapons are of considerable age and need regular maintenance and refurbishment. Some NATO countries have the necessary production capacities, as well as have a stock of units, which so far allows such work to be carried out and to maintain an acceptable state of technology. This is facilitated to some extent by the limited size of the vehicle fleet.

However, such stocks are not endless. As they are used, armies have to look for suppliers of the necessary products. A wide range of products can only be purchased from Russia, which is a potential threat to the army and national security. Other countries can act as suppliers, but this does not solve all the problems and is often associated with difficulties.

Attempts to solve


NATO countries cannot put up with the existing problems in the field of materiel and are trying to take certain measures. Some of them, not having the necessary funds, simply got rid of samples of old standards, are selling them right now or are planning such measures.

The problem of Soviet technology in NATO countries

Upgraded T-72M4 CZ of the Czech Army. Photo of the Ministry of Defense of the Czech Republic

In other countries, equipment is being modernized. For example, Poland, the Czech Republic and some other countries have previously proposed several projects for updating the T-72 MBT with the replacement of communications, fire control, etc. This made it possible to extend the service life, to include the equipment in the standard control loops of the Alliance, and also to slightly improve the combat qualities. In theory, such projects can be brought to the international market, helping new allies at a reasonable price.

A good way out of this situation is the radical replacement of old samples with new ones. This rearmament has been successful in the area of ​​small arms, but there are serious difficulties in other areas. So, only a few NATO countries can produce and sell tanks, and their products are not cheap. In addition, one should not forget about the internal NATO "customs" and the influence of political processes. As a result, small and poor countries cannot count on modern imported samples.


Upgraded BMP-1 of the Slovak Army. Photo Wikimedia Commons

Ally help


The United States, being the largest, richest and most influential NATO country, sees the problems of its allies and, according to the old tradition, is forced to help them. In 2018, the European Recapitalization Incentive Program (ERIP) was adopted. Its purpose is financial and other assistance to the Alliance countries in order to accelerate their rearmament and abandon Soviet models in favor of American industrial products.

To date, there are less than a dozen European NATO members participating in ERIP. Together with the United States, these countries draw up a procurement plan, defining the types and quantities of equipment ordered. Then the American side pays for a part of the new order and provides other benefits. As reported last year, having invested approx. $ 300 million, the United States provided its industry with orders for $ 2,5 billion.


Self-propelled anti-aircraft gun based on the BMP-1 of the Greek army. Photo Wikimedia Commons

It is curious that the ERIP program has not yet led to a radical change in the situation. The number of its participants is still not very large, and the volumes and structure of orders leave much to be desired. The reasons for this are simple: while receiving American aid, the country must still invest in its rearmament.

An obvious future


New NATO member states are trying to update their armed forces and bring them in line with the requirements. However, they face financial difficulties that seriously limit the pace and results of rearmament. Aid from the more developed countries of the Alliance has an impact on this situation, but cannot provide a fundamental turning point.

Apparently, the observed situation will not change in the foreseeable future. The armament of the NATO countries will remain Soviet-made samples, in the original or modernized configuration. This will lead to the persistence of the current problems and challenges, which will continue to have a negative impact on the combat capability of individual countries and NATO as a whole. One can expect some small positive processes, but dramatic changes are not expected.
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  1. Ros 56
    Ros 56 11 March 2021 18: 26
    +11
    This is not our smut. request But seriously, it doesn't matter what you are fighting, it is important how.
    1. WHAT IS
      WHAT IS 11 March 2021 18: 36
      +19
      I agree that the problems of rearmament to NATO standards are not our problems, but the former member states of the Internal Affairs Directorate. Now let America help them. Our problem here is that the former allies in the Warsaw Pact have become under the banner of our main enemy ..
      1. Machito
        Machito 11 March 2021 18: 43
        +5
        You are not my brother .... (C) Brother.
      2. Vladimir_2U
        Vladimir_2U 12 March 2021 03: 48
        +5
        Quote: WHAT IS
        that the former allies in the Warsaw Pact stood under the banner of our main enemy
        It was the mediocre and treacherous leadership in the person of Gorbi Shevardnadze, etc., that allowed them to get up.

        In the last decades of its existence, the USSR actively helped future NATO members by supplying BMP-1/2, T-72 vehicles
        What, is the USSR to blame for this too? And the last decades is how many years out of 70? Well, about tanks, the main Russophobe of Europe, Poland, independently riveted tanks, like Czechoslovakia, before the division. Under license, but independently.
      3. Ros 56
        Ros 56 12 March 2021 07: 52
        +4
        Well, for starters, they lay down under the striped ones, and did not stand under their banners. Is the difference felt? And most importantly, what did it give them all? The leadership became rich, so they were never beggars. Did the people get rich ?, not at all, they have to drag themselves out of the house over the hill, earn a penny to wash other people's toilets. Countries began to develop ?, the answer is negative, on the contrary, almost all of their production was ruined and they live on handouts from geyropes, like a beggar on a porch, like the same Poles, tribals and other Bulgarians with Czechs. What have you achieved in the end? Even vaccinating your population requires permission from high-ranking officials, not even of their countries, but take the above, gay-European striped lackeys. And they stand like rogue with an outstretched hand. No honor, no dignity.
      4. Narak-zempo
        Narak-zempo 13 March 2021 16: 38
        0
        Quote: WHAT IS
        these are not our problems, but the former ATS countries

        Unfortunately, this will become our problem when the time comes to collect these very limitrophes under the arm of Russia. We need to look ahead and think about how to solve this problem with minimal costs, right now.
      5. The comment was deleted.
        1. EvilLion
          EvilLion April 26 2021 08: 56
          0
          If your enemy is in the Kremlin, then leave Russia.
          1. The comment was deleted.
    2. SovAr238A
      SovAr238A 11 March 2021 19: 44
      +8
      Quote: Ros 56
      This is not our smut. request But seriously, it doesn't matter what you are fighting, it is important how.


      This is the greatest delusion.
      When the home front service confuses (and it will certainly confuse, there are tens of millions of such examples from ancient history to the most recent wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria) the nomenclature of dispatches to specific units - then the units become incapacitated from the word "Generally" ...
      Armed with 7,62 assault rifles? Here are 308 NATO cartridges, well, sorry, there are no others now, yours are lost ... We will look ...
      What are you going to do?
      The zoo in the types of weapons is a nightmare of rear personnel, supply personnel and, as a result, of soldiers and generals ...

      I will say more than that.
      There was an experience of communicating with the staff of a very combat-ready unit, which departed for India for a month.
      And fed from the same kitchen as the Indians.
      After 3 days, the entire unit became incapacitated.
      Just from someone else's kitchen.
      Disabled!

      And you say ...
      1. lucul
        lucul 11 March 2021 20: 21
        -6
        This is the greatest delusion.
        When the home front service confuses (and it will certainly confuse tens of millions of such examples from ancient history to the most recent wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria) the nomenclature of dispatches to specific units, the units become incapable of fighting from the word "General".

        Don't make people laugh - weapons are primarily distinguished by the criterion - efficiency. If this weapon outperforms similar systems utterly, then they simply turn a blind eye to logistics, efficiency decides. And when you have a choice of 10 types of weapons with identical characteristics, then yes, logistics comes to the fore.
        In the case of NATO, everything is there according to the precepts of the Reich - the NATO troops should only have racially correct equipment, nothing else is given.
        1. SovAr238A
          SovAr238A 11 March 2021 20: 55
          +5
          Quote: lucul
          This is the greatest delusion.
          When the home front service confuses (and it will certainly confuse tens of millions of such examples from ancient history to the most recent wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria) the nomenclature of dispatches to specific units, the units become incapable of fighting from the word "General".

          Don't make people laugh - weapons are primarily distinguished by the criterion - efficiency. If this weapon outperforms similar systems utterly, then they simply turn a blind eye to logistics, efficiency decides.


          The war is won by logistics and rear!
          Anyone who does not understand this is doomed to failure.

          Well tell everyone. as
          - quickly and efficiently refuel Russian / Soviet-made aircraft with a NATO refueling tanker?
          - quickly and efficiently change the wheels of Russian / Soviet-made trucks to NATO-standard wheels?
          and such examples of the incompatibility of technology, which in battle will show complete failure - millions of examples ... It was only among bearded men and partisans that it was possible to run with a ragtag.
          In normal controlled armies, this is unacceptable.
          1. lucul
            lucul 11 March 2021 21: 18
            -6
            and such examples of incompatibility of technology, which in battle will show complete failure

            Don't tell me, a fresh example is Turkey with the purchase of the S-400. She doesn't care about logistics - efficiency comes first.
            Well tell everyone. as
            - quickly and efficiently refuel Russian / Soviet-made aircraft with a NATO refueling tanker?

            Do you even read to the end? ))))
            It's written
            And when you have a choice of 10 types of weapons with identical characteristics, then yes, logistics comes to the fore
          2. marat2016
            marat2016 11 March 2021 22: 53
            +2
            There are many examples when in the armies equipment from both the West and the Russian Federation / USSR + their own + Brazil some kind of ... And this systematically for many years and everyone was happy ...
          3. Narak-zempo
            Narak-zempo 13 March 2021 17: 12
            0
            Quote: SovAr238A
            Well tell everyone. as
            - quickly and efficiently refuel Russian / Soviet-made aircraft with a NATO refueling tanker?
            - quickly and efficiently change the wheels of Russian / Soviet-made trucks to NATO-standard wheels?

            How?
            That's how!
            Send NATO away with all their standards and be with Russia.
        2. Ivan Nail
          Ivan Nail April 1 2021 12: 00
          0
          Funny. Components, ammunition and spare parts. Without them, even the most advanced weapons will not be able to fight. And if the former allies do not have ammunition production, the decommissioned equipment has to be disassembled for components, and the components are worn out. The means of communication must be mated, otherwise the detachment is blind (does not receive intelligence data), deaf (does not receive orders) and mute (cannot share intelligence information), for example, about the detection of targets threatening the level of the battalion company), and, as a result, is useless, - and our old and their modern are mated through a stump-deck.
          NATO equipment - it is standardized, as a result, all radio communications, control systems and so on are guaranteed to interact correctly, the equipment has standard ammunition, again, there is no need to invent where to get it, because the equipment, in the event of major battles, does not stand idle, for example, due to the fact that the wrong ammunition was brought up. Standardization of weapons and especially ammunition is critical. All NATA artillery uses the same shells, all weapons - the same cartridges, almost all tanks (at least the most massive ones - Abrams and Leopard) - again the same shells (here the Americans gave up - put on Abrams Rh -120). So they live. And discord over armaments is not a problem for Russia, but rather a joyful fact - because potential adversaries, in the event of a collision with him in some kind of local war, may have problems with supplying at least part of the army.
      2. Ros 56
        Ros 56 12 March 2021 07: 55
        +2
        But they did not try to put the organizers and intendants against the wall, they say it helps a lot to organize the procedure for the supply of troops. am
        And carelessness, it is almost always either self-interest, or impunity.
    3. Alexfly
      Alexfly 12 March 2021 17: 51
      0
      I would also add WHAT and in abundance of this WHAT ...
  2. pytar
    pytar 11 March 2021 18: 31
    +3
    A smaller fleet is retained by the Bulgarian army - 90 MBT versions of the T-72M1 / M2.

    T-72 is a good car! In 2020, the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense signed a contract worth 39 million euros for TEREM-HOLDING EAD, for the modernization of 44 tanks according to the Israeli Elbit project.
    1. pytar
      pytar 11 March 2021 23: 39
      +8
      I think the T-72 is one of the most beautiful tanks in the entire history of tank building! According to my subjective classification, without taking into account performance characteristics and other other characteristics ...

      T-55 to the first place! A work of art, a masterpiece! The most harmonious looking tank of all time!


      In second place is the T-72! Ostremny, looks like a drawn bow! The T-80 can argue with him, I will put both in 2nd place in appearance!


      And in third place, Tiger! It looks impressive, frightening! How concrete is the block!
  3. tralflot1832
    tralflot1832 11 March 2021 18: 32
    -4
    Our friends do not break the mobile version of the site by chance, I have some kind of heresy in notifications.
    1. OgnennyiKotik
      OgnennyiKotik 11 March 2021 18: 38
      0
      With them, it constantly breaks itself. The site is ancient, the database is made on MySQL, the CMS DataLife Engine is not surprisingly buggy.
      1. tralflot1832
        tralflot1832 11 March 2021 18: 44
        -2
        In topics where I do not participate, everyone's notifications go to me.
  4. knn54
    knn54 11 March 2021 19: 08
    +2
    Due to the lack of new technology, there is a loss of qualifications of technicians, pilots, etc.
    Good.
  5. Lara Croft
    Lara Croft 11 March 2021 19: 19
    +1
    In 2018, the European Program stimulating recapitalization (European Recapitalization Incentive Program or ERIP). Its purpose is financial and other assistance to the Alliance countries in order to accelerate their rearmament and abandon Soviet models. in favor of products of the American industry.

    Achinea, some kind of European program, but why are the products American?
  6. Ryaruav
    Ryaruav 11 March 2021 19: 49
    +3
    that the squirrels got into the NATO wheel? sweat but twist
  7. Soldatov V.
    Soldatov V. 11 March 2021 20: 23
    +1
    All together, there are about 700 tanks and 1900 BMP. And what if we buy them out at the price of scrap metal or at a reasonable price, restore and sell them to our real allies, for example Cuba, Syria, Vietnam, Venezuela
    It is not known whether they will go for it, but you can troll them.
  8. tralflot1832
    tralflot1832 11 March 2021 20: 54
    -1
    No one will tell you where Greece got the BMP. Like a NATO country?
    1. Lara Croft
      Lara Croft 11 March 2021 21: 56
      +1
      Quote: tralflot1832
      No one will tell you where Greece got the BMP. Like a NATO country?

      In the 90s, the FRG used to drink to everyone from the warehouses of the former NNA of the GDR, for example, at the Turkish gendarmerie, there are a lot of armored personnel carriers - 60 - 70, don't you read periodicals, or what?
      1. tralflot1832
        tralflot1832 11 March 2021 22: 18
        0
        I read about the Turks with their armored personnel carriers 60, when I came across the photos. I did not know the Greeks until today. Thank you.
    2. marat2016
      marat2016 11 March 2021 22: 54
      +3
      From Germany.
    3. marat2016
      marat2016 11 March 2021 22: 56
      +2
      Under the contract in 1991, we received 92 units of BMP-94 in 501-1.
  9. xomaNN
    xomaNN 11 March 2021 21: 58
    0
    That is why armored vehicles and uk..r shells are "poured" from the new NATO members. troops wassat In any condition lol
  10. Eroma
    Eroma 11 March 2021 22: 18
    +2
    If their rearmament program is stalled, then it is not so much necessary what
    Hence the conclusion: the threat from Russia is, to put it mildly, an increase, since they do not itch lol armies are supplied for economic reasons and for reasons of agreement on the size of the army!
    It's a good sign for us, they are relaxed smile
  11. Nitarius
    Nitarius 12 March 2021 07: 26
    0
    ours are smarter right now .. began to make weapons under the patron of NATO))) in case of war ... we can use their arsenal))
  12. Diverter
    Diverter 14 March 2021 14: 46
    +2
    On the topic of diversity, I am more worried about the state of our videoconferencing, for example. Take the regiment in the Guards. In service there are Su 24 and Su 25. Absolutely different complexes. Why not remove the Rooks to Akhtarsk and replace them with the Su 24? When the technique is monotonous, the supply is not only easier but also cheaper.
  13. Consul
    Consul 16 March 2021 14: 49
    +18
    By joining the Alliance, a country must reform and re-equip its army

    Money from countries must somehow be siphoned off by the Americans smile
  14. Consul
    Consul 16 March 2021 14: 51
    +16
    A significant part of such equipment is still in service with no real prospects for replacement.

    No problem! They leave NATO, establish good relations with us, and everything with the replacement of equipment is in perfect order. laughing (joke though ...) laughing
  15. Consul
    Consul 16 March 2021 14: 52
    +17
    Combat aircraft and transport helicopters, artillery systems, etc. remain in service with the new NATO members. Soviet or licensed production

    Conclusion: one of two things, either NATO cannot start mass production of equipment, or the new NATO members have no money bully (sarcasm again) bully
  16. Consul
    Consul 16 March 2021 14: 52
    +15
    In theory, such projects can be brought to the international market, helping new allies at a reasonable price.

    Well ... Here's how it grit: Nothing personal, just business laughing
  17. serge siberian
    serge siberian 27 March 2021 15: 07
    0
    Are the former allies waiting to return back to the OVD? Suddenly again the war and Russia again piles on the occupants. And as usual, freeing evuroppuu, again under its wing, and feed them like after THAT, brutal war. ... hi
  18. Basarev
    Basarev April 10 2021 23: 53
    -1
    The problem is solved very simply: let NATO let Russia into the bloc, then purchases of components for old Soviet equipment will cease to be a problem and a threat.
  19. wow
    wow April 11 2021 16: 10
    0
    USA as "... the richest country ..."!? Even if I do not enter in any way - if I have cosmic debts in relation to everything and everyone, then I am the richest ???
  20. Bogatyrev
    Bogatyrev 6 May 2021 21: 43
    -1
    Let's put it simply.
    These rogue countries cannot afford a serious army, and their new patron, unlike the generous USSR, does not want to finance them.
    Therefore, they will not have serious armies, cannot have, and should not have.
    And therefore - what kind of "difficulties" are we talking about? There are no difficulties as well as problems.