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Sturgeon's House

SH_MM

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Everything posted by SH_MM

  1. Not at all in the current configuration. They might add ERA or slat armor at some time to deal with the latter.
  2. SH_MM

    The Leopard 2 Thread

    This is how the ammo storage looked in the Leopard 2AV or early T14 mod. (before the turret was used to test an autoloader). Drawings from 1975.
  3. SH_MM

    Land 400 Phase 3: Australian IFV

    The Brits ordered no IFV based on the ASCOD 2 hull, because they want to keep the Warrior...
  4. SH_MM

    Land 400 Phase 3: Australian IFV

    The Ajax is one very specific vehicle based on a modified ASCOD 2 hull, which certainly will not be offered. The Ajax uses many special adaptions made to fit the British requirements, is not an IFV (IIRC it can carry only two additional soldiers and utilizes a wrong calibre put into a turret based on Rheinmetall's LANCE system (meaning Rheinmetall could simply block it). The Griffin never had a composite-hull. I somehow started this rumor based on speculations on my blog, but apparently it just looked different because of a new type of paint coating in combination with the poor image quality of the original photos of the vehicle. Apparently the Griffin was/is a mock-up mostly, the prototype presented at AUSA was supposedly making use of an old hull from a prototype of the original ASCOD program, rather than a newer ASCOD 2 hull, which would be used for a production variant. This is an ASOCD 42 hull with Kongsberg MCT-30 turret, the same turret didn't really make an impression when mounted on the LAV (CRV). Please note that this is based on the raised roof variant of the ASCOD 2, rather than the normal variant used for the Ajax. The original IFVs based on the ASCOD 1 (the Ulan and the Pizarro) aswell as the British Ajax all have the low roof line, which is not providing enough interior space to transport dismounts and their equipment while having decoupled seats and a mine protection kit installed. The Ulan and Pizarro therefore do not provide any noteworthy protection against mines, while the Ajax does not carry infantry. For the Australian army and the Czech army, GDELS has only offered variants of the ASCOD 2 with raised roof, as these countries want mine-protected IFVs. The CV90 Mk. IV however is very far away from being a budget approach. It has the weight reserves, the engine output and the armor kits to have a fair chance. AFAIK the ASCOD 2 PSO technology demonstrator was the first vehicle based on the ASCOD 42 chassis. The British PMRS Ares is based on this vehicle. The ASCOD 2 tested in the Czech Republic exceeded the weight limit of the ASCOD 35 chassis; it has to be an ASCOD 42. The question is not wether an Australian company could have manufactured the vehicle, but rather if the Sentinel II would have managed to reach the advertised performance. A lot of issues in combat vehicles become only apparent several months or even years after they were designed, so you'll need very though testing or experience gather by another military (that operates said vehicle) in order to be sure that everything will work as promised. The Bionix is not in production anymore, it also would be too small and be unable to compete in terms of armor and firepower. The new NGAFV from the same manufacturer might be offered instead, but it also would only have outside chances.
  5. The Puma is a joint venture, because back then the market looked very different and both companies lacked the available systems to create an own solution. The decision was also supported by politics. Back when the Puma's predecessor project was under way, there were four teams bidding, each consisting of multiple companies. KUKA, Henschel, Wegmann, etc. were all still their own companies, rather than being purchased or merged into KMW and Rheinmetall. KMW is also not involved in the Lynx. This situation with the EMBT is very different for KMW: they already have a product for the market and have zero competition (for example the Czech Republic has the choice between the M60 Sabra upgrade or Leopard 2 tanks... not really a hard choice). You can read the interviews of the German newspapers with the KMW managers - they do not want to keep developing the EMBT into a proper product, but see it as a gesture towards politics: KMW wants to become prime contractor for the MGCS, where Rheinmetall is currently in a better position. The governments of France and Germany have revealed that a German company will be in charge of the MGCS, while a French company will serve as prime contractor for the next-generation aircraft system of both countries. Given that Rheinmetall has more technology and is about 10 times larger than KMW, KMW feels the need to appease politicians by creating the EMBT. Yes, that is the only problem of the EMBT compared to a Leopard 2A7...
  6. SH_MM

    The Leopard 2 Thread

    I don't think the six squares have to relate to the armor thickness of the hull side; they are part of the mounting mechanism for the side skirt elements. Leopard 2A7 at Eurosatory
  7. A few more Eurosatory pics from various websites. Rheinmetall announced that they have been contracted by an Asian nation to deliver "a few hundred" of their modular Mission Master UGVs. A Mission Master UGV was presented at Eurosatory in the cargo configuration, previously an armed variant and a scout variant were already presented.
  8. SH_MM

    Land 400 Phase 3: Australian IFV

    The Patria AMV-35 had the same insufficient level of protection (or even less, if the ST Engineering/Elbit proposal to use the turret in an unmanned configuration and use the save weight for more hull armor was considered by the Australian military), yet it was shortlisted. The turret is one of the higher risk components of the Sentinel and therefore was one of the reasons why the offer was rejected instead of the AMV-35. It would be rather odd of the Australian military to say: "one year ago, we didn't like it for being too risky, but now it's perfect for our requirements". If I was a manager of GDELS, I would look for an alternative turret for Australia. Are you sure that this was the result of distrust? Given the fact that ST Engineering, the company that supplied the Terrex 3 hull for the Sentinel 2 vehicle, is manufacturing several Elbit components under licence, one should assume that these companies have rather good relationship. IMO it seems that turret and hull were first mated in Tasmina for practical reasons (with the turret probably being made in Israel, while the hull was made in Singapore).
  9. SH_MM

    Land 400 Phase 3: Australian IFV

    I'm not really sure about GDELS's overall strategy with the ASCOD 2. They have presented two different configurations in Czech camouflage painting (makes sense, given that the Czech tender is starting earlier), but they never try to maximize the capacity of the chassis. The IFV from Eurosatory is based on the ASCOD 35 chassis (ASCOD 2 designed for a maximum gross vehicle weight of 35 tonnes) and seems rather limited protection. The rubber band tracks are limited to STANAG 4569 level 3a, the ballistic protection is below STANAG 4569 level 6 (i.e. it has been claimed to feature protection against 30 mm APFSDS from 1,000 m distance instead of the required 500 m). IMO that places GDELS at a disadvantage compared to the potential offers from BAE Systems, PSM and Rheinmetall. The turret is intriguing and having a hardkill APS and an integrated ATGM launcher is nice, but Australia already rejected the Sentinel II with exactly the same turret configuration, so I don't think that this would be a good option for trying to get a contract in Australia... The older IFV variant offered to the Czech Republic was based on the ASCOD 42 hull (ASCOD 2 hull with 42 tonnes maximum gross vehicle weight), but was limited to just 38 tonnes thanks to (also) relying on rubber band tracks from Soucy Defence. I don't think that the Samson Mk 2 RWS is as advanced as Elbits turret used on the other model, but it recently was said to receive Trophy APS as an optional upgrade offer. This ASCOD 2 IFV has better protection, including passive armor against RPGs on the upper half of the hull. IMO the CV90 Mk IV is a much more likely candidate to be offered to Australia: the AMV-35 came reasonable close to winning the competition (it got shortlisted, unlike the Sentinel II with Elbit turret and the LAV-CRV from GDLS) and has more potential (1,000 hp engine, more proven components, their own turrets, etc.).
  10. They are not serious, they don't plan to offer it on the market. Also a KMW employee told the German press (which has been copying his words in most news articles), that the company (behind closed doors) considers the Leopard 2 a much better tank than the EMBT, so they have no reason to push for any production. Just think about it from KMW's perspective: why should they create their own competition and agree to take only 50% of the revenue? KNDS is not a single company. Its a cooperation of two companies, who try to split up the market (by not competing against each other) and help each other (by making joint projects).
  11. It is not 6 tons lighter. It has 6 metric tons growth potential (to the qualified weight of 68 metric tons). The combat weight of the EMBT is 62 metric tons, the empty weight is 60 metric tons as reported by different media outlets. - http://www.janes.com/article/80889/eurosatory-2018-knds-presents-joint-franco-german-tank-demonstrator Compare this to the Leopard 2A7 (the EMBT is clearly based on a Leopard 2A7 hull, although the sign in front of it said Leopard 2A6 hull) at 64 metric tons combat weight for the German version (which lacks the hull applique armor, which probably adds 1 to 1.5 metric tons of weight). The EMBT saves just 2 to 3,5 metric tons over the Leopard 2A7... The thing is that weight reduction options for the Leopard 2 have been designed and some also have been tested. The Leopard 2A6 EX from 1999 already had the EuroPowerPack from MTU for a major weight reduction (880 kg). Larger ammunition storage can be implement with the new engine if desired. A powerpack using a hypothetical " MT 893" would result in even lower weight (the engine itself has only have the weight of the MT 883 used in the EuroPowerPack).
  12. SH_MM

    The Leopard 2 Thread

    I am not sure about that. First of all the countermeasures seem to be a lot smaller (so they either cover a larger cone or can be directed towards the impact point) and not based on a linear shaped charge. The drawings also show a very small area for detecting the impact of the RPG (or the penetration by a shaped charge), which probably is not the case in a real life application. Compared to Nozh (or rather Duplet) this armor should be lighter but require some base armor to stop the precursor warhead. http://defense-update.com/20180612_eurosatory_day2.html The DM23's tungsten penetrator has a 32 mm diameter and a total length of 360 mm compared to the 120 mm DM13 with 26 mm diameter and 315 mm effective penetrator length. Given its velocity it really won't penetrate much armor, probably something about 400-440 mm against 60° sloped steel plates at 2 kilometres distance.
  13. Lynx KF41 has been reconfigured from IFV to the command post variant:
  14. Well, if you include TUSK as armor kit for the Abrams, then you also have to include the different Theatre Entry Standards (TES) armor kits (three versions at least) of the Challenger 2. The base armor however was most likely not upgraded. The Leclerc is not geometrically more efficient. It could have been, if it's armor layout wasn't designed so badly. The Leclerc trades a smaller frontal profile for a larger number of weakspots. It uses a bulge-type turret (no idea about the proper English term), because otherwise a low-profile turret would mean reduced gun depression (breech block hits the roof when firing). There is bulge/box on the Leclerc turret roof, which is about one feet tall and located in the centerline of the turret. It is connected to the interior of the tank, as it serves as space for the breech block to travel when the gun is depressed. With this bulge the diffence between the Leopard 2's and Leclerc's roof height is about 20 milimetres. The problem with this bulge is, that it is essentially un-armored (maybe 40-50 mm steel armor); otherwise the Leclerc wouldn't save any weight. While the bulge is hidden from direct head-on attacks, it is exposed when the tank is attacked from an angle. Given that modern APFSDS usually do not riccochet at impact angles larger than 10-15° and most RPGs are able to fuze at such an angle, the Leclerc has a very weakly armored section that can be hit from half to two-thirds of the frontal arc and will always be penetrated. The next issue is the result of the gunner's sight layout. While it is somewhat reminiscent of the Leopard 2's original gunner's sight placement for some people, it is actually designed differently. The Leopard 2's original sight layout has armor in front and behind the gunner's sight, the sight also doesn't extend to the bottom of the turret. On the Leclerc things are very different, the sight is placed in front of the armor and this reduces overall thickness. This problem has been reduced by installing another armor block in front of the guner's sight, but it doesn't cover the entire crew. The biggest issue of the Leclerc is however the gun shield. It's tiny, only 30 mm thick! Compared to that the Leopard 2 had a 420 mm gun shield already in 1979. The French engineers went with having pretty much the largest gun mantlet of all contemporary tanks, but decided to add the thinnest gun shield for protection. They decided to instead go for a thicker armor (steel) block at the gun trunnions. Still the protection of the gun mantlet seems to be sub-par compared to the Leopard 2 (420 mm armor block + 200-250 mm steel for the gun trunion mount on the original tank) and even upgraded Leopard 2 tanks. The Abrams has a comparable weak protected gun mantlet, but it has a much smaller surface. The Challenger 2 seems to have thicker armor at the gun, comparable to the Leopard 2. Also, the Leclerc has longer (not thicker) turret side armor compared to the Leopard 2 and Challenger 2, because the armor needs to protect the autoloader. On the other tanks, the thick armor at the end of the crew compartment and only thinner, spaced armor/storage boxes protect the rest of the turret. So I'd say: Challenger 2: a few weakspots, but no armor upgrades to the main armor Leclerc: a lot of weakspots, but lower weight and a smaller profile when approached directly from the turret front M1 Abrams: upgraded armor with less weakspots, but less efficient design (large turret profile and armor covers whole turret sides) So if you look for a tank that is well protected, has upgraded armor and uses the armor efficiently, the current Leopard 2 should be called best protected tank.
  15. Patents are not a good source for accurately scaled drawings, but if you look at scale drawings from other sources, interior photos of the tank or photos from the upgrade process, you'll see that the location of the gun trunnion is essentially the same as in the patent drawing. This is the result of wanting a thick mantlet armor block recessed into the turret armor (the gun shield is optimized for frontal impacts only, hitting it from the side would result in lower protection, I suppose due to the arrangement of the NERA sandwich plates). There is a German documentary which includes footage from a KMW factory from the Leopard 2A5 upgrade. The trunnion seems to sit slightly in front of the turret ring and to overlap it at the center section.
  16. SH_MM

    Contemporary Western Tank Rumble!

    Yes, some countries like the Ukraine even have competitions to decide which crew will be send to Grafenwoehr. However as mentioned earlier, the German unit didn't know one year ahead of time that they will participate at SETC 2018, because the original plans saw another unit participating.
  17. SH_MM

    The Leopard 2 Thread

    The article from Jane's daily. Same text, but a better illustration of the working principle. No primary sources, but it is not going to be very much.
  18. Denel is testing improved interceptors against heavy ATGMs and KE penetrators. Previously the cooperated with SAAB (delivering the interceptors for the LEDS-150 APS), but it was canceled after nobody wanted to fund it.
  19. SH_MM

    Contemporary Western Tank Rumble!

    On the website of the Austrian Truppendienst magazine (the official magazine of the Austrian military), a summary has been published by the Major of the Panzerbataillon 14: https://www.truppendienst.com/themen/beitraege/artikel/die-setc18-im-rueckblick/ The Swedish team didn't finish first, because one of their soldiers got an injury during the last task, the "tanker olympics". Sweden got the last place in this discipline as a result. The Polish team didn't bring its own training ammunition (is there a shortage in the Polish army?), so they did all live fire tests with high explosive ammunition (!). As this was proper HE ammo and not HE training/practice ammo, they were always the last to shoot (the hosts didn't want to replace the targets in the middle of the competition). This might also explain the poor score compared to other Leopard 2 users... Leclerc required more maintenance than other tanks, but French army send more/better people to take care of that Aparently the rules of the competition were slightly changed, so that having a three men crew wasn't indirectly punished (i.e. three men crews had to do less in certain competitions than four men crews). The Leclerc did a poor job at spotting targets. The UK might reconsider the idea of equipping one tank regiment with AJAX vehicles, because the Challenger 2 performed quite well. Supposedly the better shooting results of tanks with smoothbore guns might affect the decision wether the Challenger 2 LEP will adopt such a gun or keep the old rifled one. The T-84's fire control system did not perform (significantly) worse than that of NATO tanks. The old Soviet-derived autoloader provided similar reload speeds compared to the manned tanks.The crews had combat experience and knew how to properly deal with drones (something that the US team apparently didn't knew). Originally another German team was meant to participate, but a short time before the competition it was swapped. Still they were giving some preparattion. The Germans had higher physical fitness than others. The stabilizer of (one or multiple) Leopard 2A6 tanks from Germany failed due to the unexpectedly high temperatures (and probably because they weren't replaced in the past years, as spare parts are low...). The gunners of the Leopard 2A6 tank(s) could compensate the lack of a stabilizer to some extend. Germany will co-host next year's SETC aswell, but the Bundeswehr decided that they will only send teams to the challenge, which never participated before. Canada, Croatia, Denmark ,Greece, Switzerland and the Netherlands had observers at the competition. Canada and Denmark will definetly not participate next year (Canada has no tanks in Europe, Denmark is switching from Leopard 2A5 to 2A7), the other countries might. It doesn't? Given that half of the participants are former members of the Warsaw Pact, I would expect that it might include some... I've read different things regarding this shoot-off. Some sources say that it was the "inofficial" 14th task (the SETC however only included 13 rated tasks, unless something was changed from last year), which not all contenders did serious (like the Swedes according to the Truppendienst article). Based on videos the "shoot-off" seems to be done from static positions at a shooting range with the targets being clearly visible. The offensive and defensive ops (for which exact scores were leaked) are also including gunnery, but from the move and without always knowing the location of the targets (the crews have to spot them).
  20. SH_MM

    The Leopard 2 Thread

    That is not what Hilmes wrote. According to him the aim was to defeat armor array providing protection equivalent to 1,000 mm RHA (depending on range). That is a big difference. There is a graph in a classified document, which shows how the armor protection of future enemy tanks was expected to increase, it would have reached 1,000 mm by 2010. The area covered by the graph is divided into three colors: one is representing reactive armor, one is representing ceramic armor and one is representing steel armor. The DM53 and DM63 are believed to be segmeneted penetrators, which would fit well to such an "armor array", as Rheinmetall's patents specifically mention that they've improved the segmented penetrator design to work better against ceramic armor. It is worth mentioning that the company has said on multiple times that they do not want to measure penetration into RHA anymore, because modern MBTs use special armor and RHA does not reflect the protection properties of such armor (IMO implying that Rheinmetall's ammunition does relatively worse against RHA than special armor targets).
  21. Unless the gunner's sight was moved forward (which is not easy to do given that it's channel has to be cut within the steel structure of the tank), the armor thickness in front of the gunner's sight is a lot lower, because it is missing the latest version of the armor block.
  22. It's missing the additional armor block under the gunner's sighter, probably due to the location of the driver's hatch... not clever.
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