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SH_MM last won the day on September 9

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  1. http://www.janes.com/article/75743/challenger-2-trialled-with-rosy-iron-fist-aps
  2. The Leopard 2 Thread

    No, the figure is misleading. Only 36 (16 Leopard 2A6 and 20 Leopard 2A7 tanks) will be upgraded to the 2A7V configuration, but also 62 Leopard 2A4 tanks. The number used in the report (57 tanks) includes the parallel upgrade of Leopard 2A6M tanks to the Leopard 2A6M+ configuration. Of the 36 2A6 & 2A7 tanks to be upgraded to the Leopard 2A7V, the majority remains still in service and will be upgraded later (in fact 18 of the 20 Leopard 2A7 tanks will be the last tanks to receive the upgrade!). At the same time 68 Leopard 2A4 tanks are also being upgraded, the upgrade of these tanks takes longer (because more work has to be done), but AFAIK at least some of them have already been sent to the industry. France ordered the upgrade of 200 Leclerc tanks in 2015 as part of SCORPION programme. The number of active tanks is probably be greater. The United Kingdom has only 227 Challenger 2 tanks left in inventory, of which 168 tanks are belonging to active units; probably a few of these are in need of repair. After the introduction of the Ajax, the British Army might downsize from three active tank battalions to only two. Belgium has given up on tanks. They never bought a modern tank (only Leopard 1s) and decided against modernizing them in the late 1990s/early 2000s. Instead Belgium operates a handful of Piranha IIIC 8x8 vehicles, of which 40 are armed with a 90 mm gun, while 32 are armed with a 30 mm ATK Mk44 gun. Poland has one of the largest tank fleets in Europe, consisting of 247 Leopard 2 tanks (of which half are supposed to be modernized by Rheinmetall & Obrum to the new Leopard 2PL variant), some 230-240 PT-91 tanks and more than 150 operational T-72 tanks. The The US military has some ~2,000 M1A1/M1A2 Abrams tanks in active units with a similar amount of modern tanks in reserve/storage. I haven't kept up with the latest US Army plans, but supposedly they want to have something between 10 and 17 armored brigade combat teams (ABCT). Latest informations suggests that there were 14 ABCTs in 2016 with a new (15th) ABCT being set up in October 2017. Each ABCT has 90 M1A1/M1A2 Abrams tanks, hence there should be 1,350 Abrams tanks operated by the Army. The National Guard has either 5 or 6 ABCTs (there were originally six, but one was deactivated in 2016), adding 450-540 M1A1/M1A2 Abrams tanks over the Army's operational tank fleet. Supposedly the USMC bought a total of 403 M1A1 tanks, but it appears that not all are operational. Incomplete list: Germany (50 Leopard 2A6M+, 104 Leopard 2A7V), Poland (128 Leopard 2PL, PT-91M2 amount TBD), Denmark (38 tanks to Leopard 2A7/V), France (200 Leclerc Scorpion XLR), UK (Challenger 2 LEP bidding under way, amount TBD), Russia (T-90M), US Army (90 M1A2 SEP v2 to be fitted with Trophy, M1A2 SEP v3), Indonesia (Leopard 2RI) etc. In factory are German tanks for conversion to Leopard 2A6M+/2A7V tanks, Leclerc tanks,Polish 2A4 tanks to become Leopard 2PLs and probably the M1A2 SEP v2 aswell as maybe the Danish tanks. Rheinmetall has been upgrading 2A4 tanks to the Leopard 2RI configuration for Indonesia, I don't know if they finished this contract already. Also Russia might have already started upgrading the T-90A to the T-90M variant. Those are not all 2A7V tanks. This is a mixed value, most of the tanks are understood to be Leopard 2A6M tanks being upgraded to the 2A6M+ model (inofficial name). The Leopard 2A7V deliveries are set to begin in 2019. The very first two of these tanks are taken from the 20 Leopard 2A7 tanks and will be used for testing if everything works as expected. After these two initial Leopard 2A7Vs, the next 16 will be created from Leopard 2A6 tanks, which will be ready for service in 2020. Directly after the conversions of the 2A6 tanks are finished, 68 Leopard 2A4 tanks will be converted to the Leopard 2A7V. The last remaining 18 Leopard 2A7 tanks are scheduled for the 2A7V upgrade after the Leopard 2A4 tanks. 68 Leopard 2A4 tanks will be converted to the 2A7V configuration. 32 tanks will remain in the Army's stock for conversion to support vehicles (recovery vehicles, engineering vehicles, bridgelayers), used as spare parts or upgraded at a later time (if there is a requirement for a larger tank fleet); AFAIK the final decision hasn't been made yet.
  3. The Leopard 2 Thread

    Unfortunately the document is not available for the public and no timetable has been agreed upon yet. In general Focus is a rather reputable source, but one has to distinguish between their website and the printed magazine. They got sued for copying too much web-content from other news agencies (including paraphrasing content from other sites that is hidden behind paywalls...). In this case the article is correct, but ignores a few aspects. I.e. it doesn't include the upgrade of the 2A4/2A6/2A7 tanks to the new 2A7V configuration. Therefore it appears that most tanks would be lacking spare parts, while in reality the largest number of tanks are currently being upgraded. That said, the amount of tanks in need of spare parts is too high. The problem is that the German military has to worry about too many things at the same time. This includes issues finding new recruits (the job is not considered attractive in the largely pacifist German society), getting money for new arms purchases, getting money for upgrading existing systems and some of our "special" politicans. Last year defence spending increased by 7.9% compared to the previous year, but the money was mostly invested into higher wages (the private sector including private military contractors pay much better than the military). The fact that the German Minister of Defence, who has been critized for her incompetency, prefers to insult the soldiers and even sue some of them is not helpful either. The lack of a new government (parties have yet to agree on a coalition) might be actually good for the military, given the outlook... The German MoD is pretending that the numbers are good, because this are enough tanks for the land component of NATO's Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (aka "NATO's spearhead" in German news), of which Germany will take the lead beginning in 2019. Still the MoD announced that keeping (a larger number of) the Leopard 2 tanks running is one of the focuses of the MoD. Honestly I wouldn't be surprised, if the situation became worse in the next years. Not only due to funding issues, but also given that the reason for the Leopard 2A7 receiving the ATTICA thermal imager being the fact that no new spare parts for the OPHELIOS-P (thermal imager used in the Leopard 2A5/2A6 commander's sight) are being made. Even after the introduction of the Leopard 2A7V, there will be only 154 tanks with ATTICA thermal modules... so there need to be follow-up contracts for upgrading the older tanks or half of the tanks won't have a working commander's sight during night. It should be noted that other countries have similar problems with spare parts. In 2010 it was reported that only 57 out of 114 Austrian Leopard 2A4s were combat ready following a lack of spare parts. Even worse was the situation with the ASCOD Ulan, where only 22 out of 112 were combat ready during a few weeks in Fall 2010. In 2016 the Italian Army supposedly had only 30 combat ready Ariete tanks (out of 200). The data from Focus (it was actually originally reported by the Funke media group) is not including the Leopard 2A7V tank, so it will rather be 312 Leopard 2 tanks in 2019/2020. The British Army has 168 Challenger 2 tanks in operational units (59 of the 227 current Challenger 2 tanks are used for training or stored in reserve).
  4. General AFV Thread

    Maybe this would also fit into the German armor topic... Rheinmetall still plans to build the Agilis vehicle in Romania, which was developed in cooperation with the local (AFAIK state-owned) industry. They are expecting a contract worth €234 million. https://www.armyrecognition.com/november_2017_global_defense_security_news_industry/rheinmetall_could_manufacture_agilis_new_8x8_armoured_in_romania.html
  5. Rheinmetall told the Czech authorities that they could also make a light tank based on the Lynx. However the article from DTR seems to be very much limited to speculation only (specifically the part of the Leopard 2 style turret). While not confirmed by Rheinmetall, the Lynx seems to be based on the Marder hull - maybe new built ones, but honestly I suspect that they also use refurbished ex-Marders. The Marder has been used for various light/medium tank prototypes in the past (and the series production model of the TAM tank). The last prototypes used Oto-Melara HITFACT turrets, but aside of the TH301/TAM, there also have been prototypes with low-profile turrets and with the AMX-13 turret. I don't think that Rheinmetall should try to compete for the MPF project, given the historic trend in US arms purchases speaking clearly against Rheinmetall-made solutions. Also the Lynx might have a hard stand against the competition, if it really is based on old Marders. The company however announced that sometime in 2017 the L/47 LLR (lightweight, low recoil) smoothbore tank gun should be ready for production.
  6. Back to the Wiesel: The Wiesel 1 upgrade apparently has started. Details still remain unclear, but it seems that the offer from the company FFG Flensburger Fahrzeugbaugesellschaft was chosen. At least FFG has contracted the British company Morgan Advanced Materials to deliver packages of the CAMAC armor system for three variants of the Wiesel 1 (hint: Germany operates only three variants of the Wiesel 1 - the recon version, the MK20 variant and the tank destroyer with TOW missiles). Earlier this year the magazine Wehrtechnik/Military Technology reported on the planned upgrade of the Wiesel. The number of active Wiesel 1s will be reduced, the vehicles will be cannibalized for spare parts. The other Wiesel 1s would receive upgrades regarding protection, ergonomics, command & control systems, optics and other minor aspects. The service life should be extended to at least 2025. Back then the plans included the upgrade of one hundred of the currently operational 190 Wiesel -m 16 recon vehicles, 2/3 of the rest gun-armed Wiesel 1s and 1/3 missile-armed Wiesel 1s. The schedule from earlier this year saw the work starting in 2017 and being finished in 2019/2020. The TOW missiles are meant to be replaced by MELLS (EuroSPIKE-LR), because newer TOW variants (such as the TOW-2B) would need to be qualified for use in the German Army. The 20 mm Rh202 autocannon is to be retained, as the 20 mm ammo stocks of the German military are still pretty decent. The lifetime extension aspect of the upgrade includes changes to the mobility. The up-armored Wiesel 1s are meant to be at least as mobile as the current models, in ideal case even better. The ride in the Wiesel is rather unstable, so the shock absorbers, tracks and running gear might be changed. Tests/plans in Germany already included rubber band tracks, new composite-fibre roadwheels. Armor protection shall be provided according to STANAG (original Wiesel 1 pre-dates the STANAG 4569 documents), although no protection level has yet been revealed. It also is meant to include IED and mine protection, as long as the weight remains acceptable. My guess is STANAG 4569 level 2 or level 3 ballistic protection in best case. The FFG Flensburger Fahrzeugbaugesellschaft presented their Wiesel 1 DIOK (demonstrator for innovative and optimized tracked system) several times during the last year(s). This vehicle was developed in cooperation with Koni, Diehl and the university of the Bundeswehr. It features a 340 mm stretched chassis and an additional roadwheel. Furthermore a large idler wheel was added to the back of the running gear for evaluating the possibility of fitting the Wiesel 1 DIOK with an electric drive system. The longer tracks and addiitonal roadhweel resulted in a much more stable ride, specifically when the vehicle is reversing (something that was really bad on the original model). The DIOK was equipped with a 86 hp Volkswagen diesel engine an Diehl 622C tracks. However Wehrtechnik reported that changes to the size of the Wiesel 1 are not expected, as the schedule is too harsh for long reworking.
  7. According to a report from the German website hartpunkt, the Boxer will be used in Germany as vehicle for the heavy joint fire support team (JFST), for which about 20 to 30 vehicles are required, and as a dedicated fire support vehicle in the fifth company of the light motorized/mechanized infantry (Jäger) units, which would require something around 100 Boxers. Supposedly the German Army is focusing on a 30 mm calibre, but has yet to decide which turret configuration (manned vs unmanned) and which crew configuration (only 3 men crew or should the vehicle also carry dismounts like an IFV?) is prefered. It is understood that the RCT 30 turret (Puma turret) from KMW and the Lance turret from Rheinmetall are being considered. Meanwhile the Boxer is competing in several official tenders from other European countries. England (300 to 900 vehicles) will decide in late 2017 wether it wants to buy the Boxer directly or prefers an open evaluation with other competiting designs (Patria AMV, VBCI, Piranha, ...). Bulgaria is looking for about 600 new wheeled 8x8 vehicles to equip three new battlegroups. Bidding for the contract started in May already. Slovakia is interested in buying some 81-100 new 8x8 vehicles, while Slovenia might buy 50. Also Japan requested informations on the Boxer's performance, although it seems questionable that they'd buy such a heavy vehicle instead of a lighter amphibious design.
  8. The Leopard 2 Thread

    Btw. when the Leopard 2A7V was developed, the German Army created a document with all desirable upgrade options and then investigated the possible upgrade paths - specifically in regards to schedule and the budget. This document already included several upgrades beyond the Leopard 2A7V, such as a harkill active protection system and automated tracking function for the optics. However by the assessment of the German military no currently available systems on the market would have the maturity/technical readiness level to become adopted now. The current proposed features of a "Leopard 2Ax" (future upgrade after 2A7V, so essentially 2A8 or if adopted in several parts an even higher number) include: 1,200 kW engine active hardkill protection system all round vision thanks to additional digital optics automated tracking feature for the (main?) optics improved ammunition a remote weapon station Essentially the Leopard 2 is meant to become equivalent to Rheinmetall's Leopard 2 ADT, but with a more powerful engine and made by KMW as main contractor...
  9. Speaking of the M60... M60 upgrade developed by the Italian company Leonardo.
  10. Not really. These are actually diferent weapon systems. The newly adopted weapon is known as Wirkmittel 90 by the manufacturer. While designated RGW-90 (recoilless grenade weapon) LRMP (long-range multipurpose) in the German Army (MATADOR variants are also known as RGW-90), they are not identical. The RGW-90 LRMP/Wirkmittel 90 is not compatible with current MATADOR ammunition and MATADOR ammo might not work on the RGW-90 LRMP launcher (essentially the LRMP uses a sight with its own fire control system integrated into the unit, while the corresponding ammunition has an electronic interface to set the firing mode). The RGW-90 LRMP has a range of up to 1,200 metres, but above 600 metres distance it is limited to the air-burst mode. Essentially there are only three types of ammunition available (multipurpose round, training round and also IR-illumination, but the latter type might not have been adopted yet). The multipurpose round can be fired either in a HE-fragmentation mode (impact fuze), a special HESH mode and an air-burst mode.
  11. This is just a typical comment from you... "current systems are perfect!!!". Weapons like SMArt 155, BONUS, etc. will strike the tank's roof armor from a nearly vertical angle; the EFP warhead will detonate 50 to 150 metres above the vehicle and strike downwards. There is no way for Trophy or other APS to deal with that. Even dumb artillery/mortar sheels can be easily fitted witha nose section for course-correction/guidance and strike tanks from nearly vertical angles, way above the maximum elevation of current APS. Javelin and Hellfire (and pretty much all top-attack ATGMs launched from helicopters) will most likely have no issue with currently existing systems. (FM 3-21.71 Appendix F, Javelin Employment). AGM-114A Hellfire trajectories. Then there is a big question in functionality of sensors and software. APS are designed to ignore ATGMs/RPGs which would not impact on the vehicle, because otherwise valuable countermeasures are lost. This is a general problem of APS vs top-attack weapons, but it could also mean overfly top-attack systems such as TOW-2B and BILL-2 won't be engaged by them. Your theory about "rotating systems defeat[ing] top attack munitions" because "they dont need to shoot straight up" is wrong for a multitude of reasons. First of all, these system don't know where the top-attack weapons are, because the radar coverage of current system doesn't include the upper sections of the hemisphere. How should the APS intercept a threat that it cannot see? Aside of this issue, not all launchers can be elevated so far, because the There are also issues with the detection range required to spot most types of top-attack missiles and the interception distance required for the APS to properly work. Trophy's launchers cannot be turned enough to cover the roof (thanks to their location and the fixed blast shields), while Iron Fist/AVePS and similar systems require greater standoff to not damage the system when the HE warhead explodes.