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SH_MM last won the day on July 5

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  1. The AN/VSG-2 thermal imager of the M60A3 TTS. Just 2.6x and 8x magnifcation. The Thermal Imagining Sight of the M1 Abrams' gunner offers 3x and 10x magnification. The WBG-X thermal imager used in the Leopard 2's EMES 15 gunner's sight provides options for 4x and 12x magnification. TOGS (II) also offers 4x and 11.5x magnification. All these devices are based on the same 120 line variant of the Texas Instruments (US) Common Modules first generation thermal imaging array. In case of the M60A3 TTS, the recognition range (NATO vehicle target) was limited to 2,300 meters.
  2. I annex this old topic as the optics and FCS resource topic. Discussions welcome. Relevant other topics: Relevant old posts: Basic thermal imager talk: German night sights for the Leopard 2 PT: M60A2 gunnery instructions, including description of several FCS functions. Article about the FCS from COBELDA. The article uses this as the name for the FCS, but it actually stands for Compagnie Belge d'Électronique et d'Automation, a joint-venture between SABCA (Société Anonyme Belge de Constructions Aéronautiques) and Hughes: This is the "SABCA FCS" used on Australian, late Belgian and early Canadian Leopard 1 tanks. Regarding M60A3 and M1 Abrams: This seems a bit odd for the following reason: The M21 ballistic computer used as part of the M60A3's fire control system only took a limited amount of into account, such as ammunition type, cant, parallax, pressure, wind and range data. The XM1's digital computer took into account the same factors: Apparently both solutions required manual input for most factors, in case of the M60A3 wind and pressure needed to be entered manually just as well as range data in case of the laser rangefinder picking up multiple echoes (which due to the older laser rangefinder could happen somewhat often, requiring the commander to pick a reading). Then again the M1's FCS required an "extensive series of pre-operational computer programming steps": Based on the Jahrbuch der Wehrtechnik, the the FLER-H ballistic computer used on the early Leopard 2 prototypes (and in a somewhat modified form on the Leopard 1A4 and TAM tanks) was able to automatically retrieve data for air pressure, cant, exterior temperature, parallax, propellant temperature, tilt, wind and other factors, resulting in the need to only enter range data manually (as the laser rangefinder's readings was to be checked by the gunner with his optical rangefinder).
  3. Not so contemporary, but historically relevant. Regarding the tripartite gun trials from 1976:
  4. This is the version of the Leopard 2A7+ purchased by Qatar, i.e. the Leopard 2A7Q (aka Leopard 2A7 QAT). No idea if this is really identical to the variant ordered by Hungary, but compared to the German Leopard 2A7(V), it has the full armor kit (including additional roof protection), the PERI RTWL-B from the Puma in place of the PERI R17A3, a third generation thermal imager and improved LRF for the gunner's EMES 15 sight, cross wind sesnor and the FLW-200 RWS on top of the turret. It is basically KMW's late Leopard 2A7+ demonstrator with minimum changes. Qatar purchased the best possible configuration, while Germany initially didn't want to spend as much money, only to implement some of the lacking features in the Leopard 2A7V (and possibly in the follow-up variant, because both a LRF for the commander and a RWS are still on the Bundeswehr's tank crews' wish lists...). I don't think the L/55A1 tank gun variant was available at the time of the Qatari purchase, but this is just my speculation.
  5. The DTR article goes a bit more into detail, though I am still quite a bit sceptical. The fact that it is lighter seems mostly related to the fact that it is not armored? The amount of armor required to cover the same box-shaped volume will be the same. The only thing that has changed is where the box-shaped volume is located inside or outside the turret in "a void inside the Lance turret envelope" on the starboard side. As far as I know, this void currently does not exist - at least not with sufficient volume to mount RAMP within the LANCE 1.0 turret. The hazard of tree strikes is an odd one. Seems like this never was a problem with IFVs. In case of the Puma IFV, the launcher does not extend over the hull sides, so at most turret rotation there isn't really the possibility of a "tree strike". In case of LANCE 1.0, Rheinmetall also designed a dual missile launcher with vertical arrangement rather than horizontal, which has been showcased on the Lynx KF31 demonstrator. While this won't completely prevent the likelihood of tree strikes, it would reduce it. Btw. MELLS is the designation for Spike-LR, not a designation for the launcher. The Puma and Boxer CRV use different launchers; the latter's is a variant of the former's, but they are not identical. Armor protection is one major difference, but not the only one. I don't think that the information released by Defence Technology Review magazine (both in their current issue and on Twitter), actually supports your statements. While DTR writes that the operational temperature range for the RAMP is -40°C to +80°C, no comparison to the earlier launcher is made. My understanding is that the Spike-LR (II) missile would be the limiting factor. Likewise it is stated that the Supacat RAMP is dampened, but it is not mentioned in the article nor in Twitter that it is dampened to a higher degree than the previous options (and that any dampening beyond the one offered on the existing launcher would actually make a difference). However the weight difference, reduced overall volume and reduced tree are mentioned. Last but not least: in the article DTR specifically mentions that RAMP is to be added to the KF41 Lynx, but the previous comparison is related to the launcher used on the Boxer CRV demonstrator. On Twitter it is stated that RAMP (might/will) be mounted on the Boxer CRV aswell, but I am highly sceptical of that statement. I am 90% sure that the Boxer CRV will enter production with the LANCE 1.0 turret, rather than the newer LANCE 2.0 design. This is based on the fact that according to in 2019 Rheinmetall was in the process of implementing some changes to the LANCE 1.0 turret based on Australian requests and one the fact that the Bundeswehr announced that it will cooperate with Australia to speed up its procurement process of the heavy weapons carrier (Boxer with LANCE 1.0).
  6. We have to wait until the industry proves that it can bring Puma's readiness rate up to 50% this year. But why? Aside of putting something Australian into these vehicles - to please some Australian politicians - there is little sense in integrating RAMP into LANCE 2.0. It only bulks up the turret while providing no real advantage (protection, signature management, capacity) over the modular mission pods already part of LANCE 2.0.
  7. Defence24 has published a number of English-language articles regarding the Polish RPG-7/RPG-76 replacement program. Among the contenders are the Czech RPG-75, the German RGW 90 and the Bulgarian Bullspike. Weight and capabilities of all these systems varies quite a lot. RGW 90 vs T-72
  8. Technical analysis/evaluation of the VJTF 2023 configuration of the Puma has been finished at the WTD 81. Note the hull mounted cameras/thermal imagers for 360° coverage, mounted at the corners of the hull.
  9. Easy calculation: 160 kg per square meter divided by 32 kg per square meter equals 5. Nano ceramics from IBD Deisenroth (nowadays part of the Rheinmetall Group) provide five times as much protection than steel per the same weight when aiming for STANAGB 4569 level 3 ballistic protection. This is most likely the best case performance, as marketing material is usually aimed to demonstrate the biggest possible gains in performance. Armor based on "standard ceramics" provides only 2.67 times the protection of RHA in this example, though the term "standard ceramics" is very open for interpretation and likely a weaker configuration to exaggerate the performance gain provided by nano ceramics (it's marketing after all...). I.e. IBD Deisenroth itself claimed that MEXAS (without nano ceramics) could reach a mass efficiency of 3.5 when incorporating a spall liner in the armor array.
  10. Contracts have been signed to improve Puma's readiness from about 30% to 50% within just a year. Let's see if that will happen...
  11. Boxer with anti-drone system - i.e. a Kongsberg RWS firing 40 mm air-burst grenades and a Hensoldt Spexer 2000 radar unit, being purchased by the Bundeswehr as an interim solution for the VJTF 2023 Spexer 2000 is a new AESA radar working in the X-band. Maximum range is 40 kilometers when using a single beam or 2.5 kilometers when using 16 beams at the same time. Three radar panels are required for a full 360° coverage. Comparable solutions from other vendors would require four radar panels instead. The IOC variant will have only one radar panel for 120° coverage, but it is prepared ("fitted for, but not with") to be upgraded with two further panels for full 360° coverage.
  12. These specifications are preliminary and to some extend speculations. The official explanation article to the MKS 180 program from the Bundeswehr originally included these figures for length, displacement and crew complement, but it was updated after the contract was approved by the Bundestag. The length is now 160 meters, displacement "up to 10,000 tons" and the crew consists of 114 sailors but additional bunks for 80 further men are provided. The key difference between MKS 180 and F125 is the modularity. The MKS 180 is designed to be fitted with different mission modules to conduct various different types of operations. The MKS 180 will also feature a TRS-4D radar just like the F125, but given that this is a X-band radar, a futher radar must be included for the guidance of the ESSM block 2 anti-air missiles.
  13. I cannot say when it was actually fielded, but according to an article written by Dieter Haug, who worked (maybe still works) as a protection expert for the Armament Directorate (then BWB, today BAAINBw) of the German Ministry of Defence, the B-technology armor was followed by C-, D- and E-technology armor as a reaction to the ever increasing penetration potential of newer weapons. The article is dated 2009 and provides a very good overview on the development of armor technology (including indirectly describing B-technology armor and Chobham armor as NERA). If I had to guess, I'd say the E-technology armor was developed for the Leopard 2A6 EX demonstrator (simply based on the fact that it was designed to surpass the existing Leopard 2 variants in pretty much every aspect). It also might be related to the Leopard 2A7, which was in early stages of development by 2009 (first presented to the public in 2010). This should be a PERI R17A3L4 (L4 for Leopard 2A4).
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