26 September 2008

This can't be good news on the Horn of Africa

According to BBC NEWS:
Pirates off the coast of Somalia have seized a Ukrainian ship carrying T-72 tanks, an official has said.
Ukraine's foreign ministry said the ship had a crew of 21 and was sailing under a Belize flag to the Kenyan port of Mombasa.

Now, while this can't be good news out there on the Horn of Africa, simply owning the hardware isn't nearly the same as using it. Beyond the obvious ammunition issues, there are significant maintenance problems with older Soviet-era tanks. The autoloaders on those tanks are complicated to repair if you know what you're doing. Does anyone really think a handful of Somali pirates are going to be able to keep 'em working? And if not, what good it a tank with no ammunition? At that point you have a heavily-armored battering ram.

By: Brant

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