Let me posit this question...
What if we just got out of the MBT game altogether? And focused the armoured corps on armoured recce?
Now don't lump me in with Hillier just yet, I'm not trying to sound short sighted. I know there are many problems with my question...
But in terms of NATO and what NATO's primary function has been over the last several decades...
If we can only deploy hypothetically 4 to 12 MBT's to an urgent NATO tasking, and it would take us quite some time to get them to where they need to be anyway...why bother keeping that capability at all?
4 tanks showing up in Poland, for example, 1 or 2 months after they've been deemed needed...isn't going go do anything. It won't change the direction of a conflict at all.
Take the PY's from those dedicated tank crews, and use them to flesh out the armoured recently troops if need be. And if those are fleshed out, use them to flesh out the infantry units.
Tanks are clearly not a thing of the past, as we've all seen for the last year or so.
But if we can't deploy the tanks we have, what is the point of spending all that money to train crews, ammo, simulators, spare parts, etc??
Instead of spending money on a capability we can't deploy or use, why not take that same money and put it towards AD systems or reinforcing the infantry units + buying more LAV's for them to use?
Ideally I would like to see more money put into making sure they are maintained at a higher state of readiness than this.
But I also don't see a point in spending money to maintain a capability which can't be used.