Israel won’t make the same blunders with heavy armor as Russia did in Ukraine, commander says, as the country mobilizes 1,000 tanks – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

Israel won’t make the same blunders with heavy armor as Russia did in Ukraine, commander says, as the country mobilizes 1,000 tanks

An Israeli Merkava tank in the Negev desert in November 1997.

Antoine GYORI/Sygma via Getty Images

Israel’s top tank commanders say they’ve learned a lot from Russia’s military failures in Ukraine. “We no longer see the tank as being capable of doing everything,” one brigadier general told The Economist.As Israel prepares to invade Gaza, it is understood to be readying about 1,000 tanks. 

Israel’s military leadership has vowed to learn from the mistakes made by Russia’s commanders as it gears up to send tanks into war, the commander of its Armored Corps said in a recent interview.

“We saw how the Russians fought in Ukraine and the mistakes they made,” Brigadier General Hisham Ibrahim told The Economist.

“They fought there in a single-corps fashion, instead of using combined arms tactics,” he said of Russia’s tank deployments.

Ibrahim’s current role is to prepare the Israel Defense Force’s main battle tanks — understood to number about 1,000 — for the expected ground invasion of Gaza.

The move comes in reaction to Hamas’ terror attacks on October 7, which left more than 1,400 Israelis dead and 199 taken hostage.

At least 2,750 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s retaliatory strikes, according to Gaza’s health ministry.

Ibrahim said he’s been closely watching events unfold in Ukraine over the last 20 months.

In February 2022, Russia sent more than 3,000 tanks into Ukraine in the hopes of quickly capturing Kyiv. What happened next is well documented: Ukraine’s then-underestimated armed forces were able to pick off Russia’s lumbering tank columns before they could reach the capital.

The bruising encounter sparked doubts on the tank’s continued central role in warfare, as Insider’s Sem Fellman and Mattathias Schwarz reported.

But Israel’s tanks, Ibrahim said, have been trained on combined-arms tactics for several years now. This means operating in close cooperation with infantry, artillery, and air support, and being highly coordinated by intelligence, rather than being sent in alone in formations, he said.

“We no longer see the tank as being capable of doing everything,” Ibrahim told the outlet. “The battlefield has changed; it’s much more crowded and built-up.”

The battle in Ukraine has provided plenty of lessons on both sides of the present conflict between Israel and Hamas. Drone footage has circulated showing a strike on an Israeli Mervaka-4 tank, in a move that appears to be taken straight from the Ukrainian playbook.

Ibrahim told The Economist that recent strikes on tanks caused some damage but did not destroy the vehicles.

The drone was estimated by private drone intelligence outlet DroneSec to be an armed DJI quadcopter drone, which retails off-the-shelf for a couple of thousand dollars — an extraordinarily cheap way to take out an advanced tank.

Ukraine’s tactics of using cheap drones and Next Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapons (NLAW) exacted a high price on Russia’s tanks. As of July this year, Russia is estimated to have lost 2,000 tanks in Ukraine, The Moscow Times reported.

Crucially, the Economist reported, Hamas is not thought to be supplied with NLAWs.

Nonetheless, reports have since circulated of some Israeli tanks being equipped with “cope cages,” additional armor strapped to the top of the vehicle at its most vulnerable point, a tactic Russia adopted last year in a desperate attempt not to be picked off by Ukrainian anti-tank weapons.

“There are many challenges to these big platforms and I expect the infantry and engineers to make up for my disadvantages,” Ibrahim said.

He added: “Our soldiers in all the courses and exercises are now accustomed to fighting in a combined-arms environment.”

Read the original article on Business Insider
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