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The ongoing war in Ukraine has sparked debate about the future of tanks in modern warfare. While images of destroyed Russian armor dominate headlines, Indian Army officials offer a nuanced perspective, attributing the losses more to “poor tactics” than inherent flaws in the technology.

The battlefield in Ukraine has seen extensive use of drones and man-portable anti-tank missiles like NLAWs, posing a significant threat to unaccompanied tanks. These weapons, coupled with artillery strikes, inflicted heavy losses on Russian tank formations, particularly in the early stages of the war.

However, Indian Army officials assert that these losses stem primarily from “poor tactics” employed by the Russian forces. They highlight the lack of adequate logistics support, infantry and artillery cover, electronic warfare capabilities, and close-air support, crucial elements for effective combined-arms operations.

Despite the challenges, Indian officials maintain that tanks remain crucial for large-scale ground battles. Their unique combination of mobility, firepower, and armored protection makes them irreplaceable assets in certain scenarios.

The Ukraine war serves as a stark reminder of the need for adapting tactics and strategies to counter emerging threats. While vulnerabilities exist, blaming the platform itself overlooks the importance of effective operational planning and combined-arms warfare.

The future of tanks likely lies in their integration with advanced technologies like active protection systems, enhanced situational awareness, and improved communication networks. This, coupled with sound tactical doctrine and combined-arms operations, could ensure their continued relevance in the evolving battlefield.

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