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SH_MM

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SH_MM last won the day on July 11

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  1. No, it should be the 120 mm XM360 tank gun. Look at the low-quality photo from the presentation, the image at the lower right shows 120 mm main gun ammo. Same muzzle break..
  2. They just haven't finished replacing ADS with RAP at all places (or they replaced ADS too often). Take a look at the menu titles on the product page: "RAP functional principle", "RAP development" and "RAP series production".
  3. ADS, formerly known as AMAP-ADS, has apparently be renamed to RAP (Rheinmetall Active Protection): http://www.ads-protection.org/
  4. MBDA's proposal for the German NNbS program/qualified air-defence system is to use the MPCV turret on either the Boxer or the Dingo 2 6x6: This system will compete against Rheinmetall's self-propelled anti-air gun system wtih a 35 mm gun. Rheinmetall is also planning a variant with the IRIS-T SLS surface-to-air missile and a seperate fire control/radar vehicle, all based on the Boxer (potato quality rendering): The 35 mm Millenium gun has a maximal range (when firing AHEAD ammunition) of less than 4,000 metres; the Mistral 3 MANPADS used on the MPCV turret have an effective range of 6,000 metres (against fast moving targets). The IRIS-T SLS missile has a range of more than 10,000 metres. IMO the proposal with the MPCV turret is interesting, if it can be modified to work with larger guns than the currently offered 12.7 mm M2 HMG. The German army is looking to replace the old Stinger models either with the newest production model of the Stinger or the Mistral 3 - although it appears that Stinger will be prefered. In the ideal case, all three systems would be purchased to provide the best possible air defence, but budget reality will probably make sure we'll see only one of them becoming adopted. Here are a few photos from the recent Bundeswehr day:
  5. Notice how the hull weight simulators also used to consist of three plates, but on the later US Army tank (with Trophy) only one plate is left (and none is fitted to the USMC's M1A1 tank!). That already tells us that these weight demonstrators are not used solely to simulate additional armor weight, if they simulate armor weight changes at all. The fact that an earlier M1A2 SEP v3 prototype without Trophy is fitted with these weight simulators also doesn't mean that the US engineers didn't add them in expectation of an APS. Also note that the steel plates on the USMC's prototype and the US Army's SEP v3 have different sizes. The M1A2 SEP v3 after mounting Trophy is left with three large steel plates and a smaller one moutned ontop, which covers only about half as much surface area.
  6. Suspension travel is the total vertical distance that the roadwheel can move in the vertical direction; that is why it is a metric to measure suspension performance independent of the suspension type. It would make more sense to differentiate between bump and rebound values, but unfortunately I haven't found these separated values for tanks with hydropneumatic suspensions like the Challenger 1 and Challenger 2. Yes, you can make hydropneumatic suspensions with more travel than currently achieved on tanks like the Leopard 2 and M1 Abrams (and that is actually easier than making a better torsion bar suspension), but these systems always have issues. The MBT-70 had 600 mm total suspension travel (but the design was unreliable), the 1980s German design (that was never adopted due to the 250 kg weight of each suspension element) provided even 650 mm travel. In case of tanks like the Challenger 2 and Leclerc, the total wheel travel is limited to 450 mm. The in-arm suspension offered for the M1 Abrams has a total travel of 21 inches (533 mm), the earlier hydropneumatic suspension of the T95 medium tank had a travel of 19 inches (482 mm). I don't know anything about the performance data of the Japanese and South Korean HSUs, but the Arjun's suspension is slightly better than the Leopard 2's in terms of suspension travel (535 mm vs 526 mm. Then again the Arjun's suspension is claimed to be extremely unreliable... No, I am saying that one has to make a trade-off. If a hydropneumatic suspension would be the perfect solution, every tank since the 1950s (the T95 and the Leopard 1 prototype of work group "B" had HSUs) would have been fitted with such as a system. It is not possible, to make a hydropneumatic suspension that performs better than a current torsion bar design, while being lighter and equally/more reliable. You can make a lighter and reliable hydropneumatic suspension, but this won't offer more performance than a torsion bar suspension (which was done on the Challenger tanks, the Leclerc and the hybrid systems adopted on K1 Type 88 and the Type 90 tanks) You can make a HSU with greater suspension travel and low weight, but this system will then be less reliable than a torsion bar suspension (see MBT-70, XM803 and Arjun) You can make a reliable hydropneumatic suspension with greater travel, but this will then be heavier than a torsion bar suspension (like the rejected West-German design of the 1980s) It would be possible, but increases the complexity of the system. You answered your own question; faster wear, higher localized pressure, etc. The Merkava's springs seem to be rather heavy in order to be sturdy and reliable enough. That depends on the exact implementation. While torsion bars are indeed an additional hazard in case of a mine strike, the in-arm suspension offered for the M1 Abrams and the hydrogas systems used on the Challenger tanks and the Leclerc are not optimized for increasing underbelly protection. These systems make use of external elements, that are bolted ontop of pre-cut holes on the hull sides, thus they still require a ballistic hole (a detonation of an IED or mine will simply tear the connection apart, this also happened on a VBCI in Mali). For future AFVs designed with mine protection in mind, hydropneumatic suspensions (ideally with a fully decoupled running gear) are the way to go. That is indeed true, Hilmes for example mentioned that the Leopard 2's torsion bar system was only possible due to advancements in metalurgy; but I think that these types of high-grade steel alloys had more possible applications in industry and therefore were an expected evolution in the 1950s-1990s. Hydropneumatic suspensions capable of dealing with a 50-70 ton vehicle were however not very practical outside of military vehicles, as simpler HSUs didn't necessarily suffer from the same issues (although early hydropneumatic systems in civilian cars were often leaky). Note that it also got these "weight simulators" on the turret front. I've never read about the USMC also planning to upgrade their tanks with the new armor package within the next decade, so maybe these are just counterweights for Trophy and have nothing to do with simulating the increased weight of a new armor package?
  7. SH_MM

    Britons are in trouble

    DefenseNews.com claims that the UK MoD's Contract Bulletin suggest the value could be up to £700 million. https://www.defensenews.com/land/2016/01/16/uk-surges-ahead-with-challenger-2-upgrade/ A news article by Shephard Media from 2016 (now behind paywall) suggested a projected contract value of £643 million. Rheinmetall lists a value of "greater than £0.5 billion" in its online accessible presentation for investors about potential future contracts. £240 million is by far the lowest value I have ever seen for the CLEP.
  8. SH_MM

    Britons are in trouble

    The longer L/55A1 is only required to defeat the latest Russian armor, i.e. the T-14 Armata and potentially the T-80BVM/T-90M. Against other targets such as infantry, structures, lightly armored vehicles and most other tanks (including modernized T-72s), the L/44 gun is considered enough. Due to its shorter barrel, a Leopard 2A7 tank with the L/44 is better suited for peace-keeping missions, because it fits easily into aircrafts and a longer barrel could cause problems when operating in tight spaces (such as the narrow streets of some African and Middle Eastern cities). My understanding is that the 16 Leopard 2A7V tanks with L/55A1 gun will be used only for home defence, i.e. kept in Denmark and be used in NATO show-of-force missions in the Baltics, while the other tanks also would be used in peace-keeping missions like ISAF in Afghanistan. According to the same article from The Independent that you linked to, the Challenger 2 LEP is budgeted with up to £700 million. If the British army decides to upgrade all of its 227 Challenger 2 tanks currently in service (which has been questioned), this would be (up to) £3 million per tank; still a Challenger 2 after LEP probably remains less capable and more expensive to operate than a Leopard 2A7(V) (unless the issues with armor, powerpack and gun are also addressed). I don't think that the article from The Independent is entirely correct. First of all - based on other British newspapers/tabloids - the 200 Leopard 2 tanks offered for £2.5 million per tank (£3.5 million after upgrade) were Leopard 2A6 tanks. Upgrading a Leopard 2A4 to the Leopard 2A7V costs a lot more than just £1 million. Germany is paying €760 million to buy 104 Leopard 2A4s, 32 hulls and upgrade 68 Leopard 2A4s, 16 Leopard 2A6 and 20 Leopard 2A7 tanks to the 2A7V configuration! Unfortunately only British newspapers have reported on KMW's offer to the UK MoD, but reading some of the articles makes me think that this is an older offer, which unlike claimed by The Independent might not be on the table anymore. Furthermore other articles mention that the upgrade was offered to the 2A7 standard instead the newer 2A7V, which again would imply that this is an older offer. Germany sold its Cold War stocks, but not only to other countries - the industry (in particular Rheinmetall and KMW) also bought a few tanks. KMW also seems to have contracts for the resale (or arranging the resale) and refurbishment of used tanks with different countries (which makes sense, given that KMW is one of a few companies that has the equipment to properly refurbish a Leopard 2 to mint condition). If my understanding is correct and the mentioned offer by KMW is not current, but was made a few years ago, then one could assume that these 200 Leopard 2A6 tanks included the 100 Leopard 2A6NL tanks that were sold to Finland for an average unit price of $2.66 million according to Army Guide (which is reasonable close to £2 million per tank + £500.000 for refurbishment). The Dutch Army upgraded 180 out of its original 445 Leopard 2 tanks to the Leopard 2A6 standard. These 180 Leopard 2 tanks were sold to Canada (20 tanks that were given to Germany as replacement for the 20 leased Leopard 2A6M tanks, they were directly upgraded to the 2A7 model), Portugal (37 tanks) and Finland (100 tanks). 16 Leopard 2A6NL tanks remain in service (as part of the Dutch contingent of the German Panzerbataillon 414). Depending on when the offer was made, it might have included some of the 105 Leopard 2A5 tanks sold to Poland in 2013 (turning these into the 2A6s just requires switching the gun barrel). Aside of that, there are still a lot of 2A4 tanks available, but I doubt that these could be modernized to the Leopard 2A7(V) configuration and could be sold for £3.5 million without a loss. Spain's Leopard 2A4 tanks are as far as I know out of service - they are at least available for sale, but in a very bad condition (more money and time would be required for refurbishment). The situation of other tanks is not entirely clear, because some of them are converted into support vehicles or cannibalized for spare parts. I am not sure if that makes sense. First of all the 2012 contract never was finalized, the official order for the M1A1 SA was made in 2015 - General Dynamics reported that it was contracted to refurbish and upgrade 150 tanks to the corresponding version for a budget of only $358 million USD, but as the US government apparently acts as a seller, this would be excluding the price of the tanks per se, which Morocco would pay to the United States of America. Didn't Morocco get a rebate on the tanks for political reasons? You also need to consider that the M1A1 SA is hardly a cutting edge tank, buying this variant would require further upgrades. The US is paying $2.6 billion to upgrade up to 786 M1A1 (AIM SA) tanks to the M1A2 SEP v3 configuration, which would be somewhat less (due to the fixed price contract also including upgrades to Saudi tanks) than an additional $3.3 million USD (currently about £2.5 million) over the purchase of the M1A1 AIM SA. I don't think the 200 Leopard 2 tanks are being offered anymore.
  9. Well, modern tanks are more accurate. At common combat ranges - at least those common in Central Europe (where over 50% of all combat is expected to take place at 1,500 m range or less) - it will make a rather small difference wether only the turret or the complete vehicle is visible.
  10. SH_MM

    Britons are in trouble

    The main work for the Leopard 2A7V uppgrade is done by KMW. The contract was not awarded to Rheinmetall, this company acts only as a sub-contractor (i.e. parts for the Leopard 2A7V like the gun and FCS are made by Rheinmetall). The lion's share of the work is done by KMW and the schedule is mostly a result of their work backlog: Source: https://www.rheinmetall.com/de/rheinmetall_ag/press/news/latest_news/index_12992.php Before the first Leopard 2A7V will be delivered to Germany, a part of the Danish order (who are upgrading their Leopard 2A5 tanks to Leopard 2A7DK) has to be finished. They already received their first Leopard 2A7DK tank: There are two models of the Leopard 2A7DK; one is pretty much identical to the Leopard 2A7V, the other will retain the shorter gun barrel and might lack other features as well. The only reason why I think one could blame Rheinmetall for the slow delivery is the fact that the whole deal was delayed by two years - originally the contracts were to be signed in 2015, but it was signed in 2017 after Rheinmetall and KMW couldn't agree on how the money was split between the two companies. As far as I understand KMW's production capacity is limiting the upgrade. KMW doesn't have a fully operational Leopard 2 production line in Germany, which is why some parts for the Leopard 2 tanks ordered by the Qatari military were in fact made in foreign countries. I.e. the basic hull structures for the Leopard 2A7Q were made in Greece, which then were transported to Germany. The turrets were made in Kassel (KMW's facility in Kassel is very close to Rheinmetall's Kassel facility, where the gun and FCS were made) and then send to Munich. In Munich the Greek-made hull structures were fitted with all components and the turrets. Qatar ordered its 62 Leopard 2A7Q tanks, 24 Panzerhaubitze 2000 artillery systems, unknown number of Dingo 2s and 32 Fenneks in 2013, but in 2016 only about half of the vehicles had been delivered. If you add the Danish contract to the mix aswell as orders from the Bundeswehr (Dingo 2s, Fennek JFST, and some of the Boxers are made by KMW) and other NATO countries, then it is easy to see why KMW needs so much time to deliver the German Leopard 2A7V tanks. Rheinmetall also has lots of orders (most Boxers and most parts of the Puma + the final integration are made by Rheinmetall), but it is a much larger company (~23 thousand vs ~2.7 thousand employees) and much more open for international cooperation (only 25 out of 211 Boxer CRVs for the Australian army are being made in Germany, the work for only 8 full and 12 partial Leopard 2PL upgrades out of 128 tanks will be made in Germany).
  11. SH_MM

    Britons are in trouble

    Rheinmetall also has the capacity to upgrade tanks, they have actually running production lines for the Leopard 2RI and Leopard 2PL - unlike RUAG - and don't have an excessive backlog for ordered upgrades - unlike KMW (the Leopard 2RI order will be finished soon, most of the Leopard 2PL tanks will be made in Poland; meanwhile KMW is busy dealing with the upgrades of German and Danish tanks). There are no leftover M1A2 (SEP v2/v3) tanks available; the British army would need to buy old M1A1 Abrams tanks from the 1980s, which are currently sitting in the US Army's long-term storage depots, and then pay for the same 30-40 years of upgrades that a Leopard 2A4 would require. There is no real difference, except for the M1A2 SEP being more expensive to run and having less upgrade options available.
  12. Yes, the photo seems to support that the armor at the hatch might be thinner than the rest of the UFP. But the picture quality is so low... I think these photos currently lead to more questions than they answer: What was the reason to cut a hole into the upper front plate of the M1 Abrams? Was this used to access some components mounted into the (former) fuel tanks? There seems to be an acess hatch or "plug" covering a hole on the left side. If the cut-out wasn't made straight, but rather tampers down (so that a simple "plug" could be used), then it would appear thicker when seen from this persperctive, although this overall seems rather unlikely. Last but not least the question should bbe asked, wether the greater armor thickness is limited to the fuel tanks or also covers the center section of the glacis (i.e. the section in front of the driver). There are three main reasons why hydropneumatic suspensions have been fitted to armored fighting vehicles: hydropneumatic suspensions double-act as shock absorbers, so they can deliver a smoother ride unlike torsion bars, the height of the supsension units can often be variable adjusted, thus allowing the make a tank "kneel" in order to keep a lower profile on uneven ground due to their compact nature, hydropneumatic suspension systems require no penetration of the hull floor Arguably points 1 and 2 are pretty much irrelevant with modern electronics and fire control systems. Being able to fire accurately on the move is not a result of suspension performance anymore, but rather of gun stabilization and electronics. Specifically the advantage of point 1 can be minimized by simply using more/better shock absorbers. Hydropneumatic suspensions are not automatically better than torsion-bar or even spring-based designs, it always depends on the exact implementation. The Leopard 2 for example has more suspension travel (i.e. it can negate greater variation in terrain height without letting a "shock" hit the chassis) than the Challenger 1 and Challenger 2, despite the latter two having hydrogas suspenions from Horstmann. The Leopard 2's swing arms and torsion bars are optimized for traveling over terrain at fast speeds, which lead to a combined travel (bump + rebound) of 526 mm, while the Challenger 2 has only 450 mm combined suspension travel. While hydropneumatic suspensions have been around for multiple decades, they tend to have their own issues with reliability, sturdiness and weight efficiency. In Germany hydropneumatic suspensions were found to be unreliable in the Leopard 1, the Schützenpanzer - Neu (project that lead to the Marder IFV), the MBT-70 and the Leopard 2 (PT 11), thus the all the tracked series production vehicles from the 1960s to the 2010s were made with torsion bar suspensions. A project in the 1980s supposedly solved the reliability issues, but it got extremely heavy (250 kg per module or 3.5 metric tons for a vehicle with seven roadwheel pairs), so the only realistic applications would have been a hybrid system as fielded on the Type 90 tank in Japan (i.e. only use HSUs at the front and rear, but keep torsion bars in the center section). Unlike torsion bars, most/all types of hydropneumatic suspensions are temperature dependent - at low temperatures, the track tension and ground clearance of vehicles can decrease, in hot environments they can increase. During fast travel over rough terrain, the liquid/oil inside the hydropneumatic system and the seals can be damaged by overheating (temperatures of 200°C and above can be reached inside the hydropneumatic suspension when having to absorb lots of shocks under heavy load). High localized pressue can lead to high wear of certain elements. Last but not least HSUs tend to be a lot more complex. These are some of the problems of hydropneumatic suspensions mentioned by Hilmes in his 2007 book. Modern engineering has managed to reduce or completely solve most of the issues, but I think to some extend they will prevail, thus always making torsion bars a more reliable, less complex and cheaper option. The Challenger 2 for example introduced a semi-active track tension adjusting mechanism in order to lower the influences of temperature on the tracks (but ground clearance still might vary). The Puma uses energy-absorbing end stops in the hydrostruts, which are used to spread the thermal energy on a larger surface area and thus preventing overheating. The main reasons speaking for a hydropneumatic suspension are mine protection (no penetration of the hull, specifically in combination with a decoupled running gear) and easier transportability (in case of wheeled vehicles, where HSUs are much more common: lowering the suspension allows air transportability in aircrafts with cargo height restriction). Actually the Puma uses Horstmann's Hydrostrut system: https://horstmangroup.com/horstman-products/horstman-hydrostrut/
  13. SH_MM

    The Leopard 2 Thread

    Leopard 2 KWS prototype (AFAIK one of the two TVM tanks, but could also be the IVT) being refurbished and repainted before going into a museum. It will probably go to the Panzermuseum Munster (or maybe is already there?), which has requested a replacement for the old Leopard 2A4 (because children and young adults would be used to the wedge-shaped turret armor of the Leopard 2). Note the layered hatch construction: NERA spaced over the normal steel hatch Photos via the otvaga forum.
  14. SH_MM

    APC/IFV armor in details

    Oh, it was the NL model. Sorry for that, I somehow brainfarted. I don't think they are identical, AFAIK they use armor from different suppliers.
  15. SH_MM

    APC/IFV armor in details

    For the sake of completeness, here are some details about the CV90's armor: Basic steel structure, armor of UDES 09 and Strf 90 armor: Never purchased MEXAS kit for the Strf 90 (a similiar kit was bought by Finland, Norway and Switzerland): On the Swiss Schützenpanzer 2000 (CV9030 Mk II), the MEXAS armor panels have a maximum thickness of 70 mm. Armor measurements on the CV9035NL without add-on armor done by @Bronezhilet CV9035 turret during production: (this seems to be just 20-30 mm thick steel, but it is often fitted with composite armor on top of that) CV9035NL engine bay: CV9035NL add-on armor (SidePRO, RoofPRO and MinePRO from RUAG): RoofPRO composition (thickness might be different depending on application): Might post something regarding ASCOD, Boxer, Puma, BMP, etc. over the next days...
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