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Everything posted by SH_MM

  1. So the M1A2C weighs ~66.7 metric tons (73.6 short tons) or ~2.2 metric tons more than the M1A2 SEP v2 (with Trophy?). The same time could be used by other competitors to replicate the turret... As far as I undeerstand, the weight is not limited as long as it meets the protection requirements. The Lynx KF41 (at 50 metric tons at most) falls quite a bit short of the Ground Combat Vehicle (the proposed designs weighed 60-70 metric tons), it is actually closer to the Griffin III (at nearly 40 metric tons with armor package fitted) than to the GCV. The original/planned requirement for the NGCV was apparently to carry at least a crew of two and five dismounts, but this was toughened to carry at least a crew of three and six dismounts. The US Army's decision makers could very well change their mind and prefer a lighter or heavier vehicle by 2026, when the NGCV is scheduled to enter service. The Lynx KF41's design is modular, so a lower weight can be achieved, but this might require lower protection levels.
  2. 4.3 and 4.4 is about disalignment of the optics after being hit by an undefined tank gun. Under point 5. a hit by a 90 mm M71 HE round hitting the turret at 11 o'clock (i.e. right cheek of the turret front) is mentioned, the warhead of the is fuzed without delay and impact angle (relative to armor) is about 45°. The round is fired from 100 meters away, hitting 200 mm left and 500 mm below the optical range finder. Following the hit by the HE round under 5., the following happened: a) the gunner's sight is disaligned even more b) the commander's sight's alignment couldn't be measured, because it broke c) the following damage could be noticed at the rangefinder: The left opening already broke away after a hit form the 40 mm (Bofors) gun, now after being hit by a 90 mm HE round, the right optical opening of the rangefinder has broken away too. The shockwave of the detonation was enough to tear away the six screws(diameter 12.7 mm) holding in the (armored) protection cover in place. After removing the rangefinder and examining its status, it became apparent that all mirrors inside the rangefinder broke away from their mounting points. The dots and patterns inside the reticle weren't visible anymore, even though the illumination was still working. None of the mirrors was actually unfastened from the bonding, but the glass mountings broke. d) Five vision blocks of the commander were damaged. Two are completely useless (the glass in one is broken, the glass in the other has become misty), while the others are broken, but still can be used to some extent. 5.1 The shock caused damaged to the optical connection of the commander's sight, again a mirror was knocked out of the mounting. 5.2 Further test firing according to the (planned?) hit pattern was not possible, because the hits from the 90 mm gun damaged the turret mechanically in such a way, that it couldn't be turned anymore. These damages are mentioned in the report of the test facility 91 Meppen. 4. Firing of a 90 mm HE round from the M48 tank and a distance of 50 m. One hit occured at the right turret side at the lower section, total distance to the rangefinder of the impact location was 600 mm. Result: Armored cover of the rangefinder torn away, right port of the rangefinder broken away. Turret slewing gear loosened (several screws torn away), no hydraulic operation (i.e. turning of the turret) possible anymore. Turret bearing blocks after turning a few degrees. No visible damage caused to the crew (simulated by cardboard cylinders). The tank is for the time being not fit for action. Conclusion: The results of the hit on the optical equipment show that the rangefinder should be mounted elastically in the turret. Wether this can be achieved on the standard tank (i.e. later Leopard 1/AMX-30) without restricting the aiming by the gunner, is being investigated. It is planned to use a prototype of the standard tank's turret W 4a with fitted rangefinder for the same test firings. ___ This is a rather loose translation.
  3. So has the crew to go on a diet or did they move some internal components to the vehicle's exterior? This post was not meant to criticize you, I just raised some questions. It just seems odd from the perspective of an outsider that the maturity problems would be related to not new, but old "components". Who knows, maybe the decision to develop (and use) the LANCE 2.0 turret was made only very recently and not at the beginning of the three years of development that've already been put into the Lynx KF41. Given that different business units create hull and turret respectively, there shouldn't be an issue with ressource usage delaying one or the other development. Obviously the Boxer is a lot more mature than the Lynx KF41, that is not what I meant - qualification of sub-components can happen at different times of the development cycle. In current times, armor development is mostly happening independent of vehicle development, in most cases only armor modules are being tested, because full vehicles are expensive. The Lynx KF41 is not meant to be a breakthrough, but an affordable next-generation IFV. It is a the first really modular IFV (in terms of being reconfigurable), a system developed for the Boxer that has proven to be somewhat successful. Unlike its main competitors on the market, it was designed with composite armor in mind, which might be advantageous (possibly having less weakspots and using the steel structure more weight-efficiently). It has a suspension designed to carry a lot of weight, was designed with mine protection from the start and has integrated driver's night vision system, rear drive camera and 360° vision system. The Lynx KF41 might not be a breakthrough vehicle in terms of technology, but it does a lot of smaller things better than the upgraded older generation of IFVs (i.e. ASCOD 2, CV90, M2A4, etc.). The Lynx KF41 with the same protection level as the M2A4 Bradley would only weigh 1,000 kg more than it - which is quite a lot given its greater payload, 1.2 meters longer hull, increased engine power and more powerful armament. As for the mobility: It depends on the configuration. As you said, the Lynx KF41 relies on proven components form companies with a good track record. The suspension is from Supashock and is one of the very few new components. It is "reconfigurable" to adapt to the weight changes between different variants, which together with website of Supashock might suggest an active suspension system (at least Supashock advertises active suspension technology for military vehicles). Mobility might be one of the areas where the performance of the Lynx KF41 is the closest to existing vehicles, but it still offers a greater payload. What is the problem with the Catherine thermal imagers from Thales? They seem to have good contrast levels and resolution based on photographs. In the end Catherine-FC is a 2nd gen thermal imager and Catherine-XP is a 3rd gen thermal imager, current Bradley and Abrams still use 2nd gen FLIR with a similarly sized sensor. In one of the video interviews at AUSA, GD said that the hull is currently pretty much a mock-up, not a real offer. The turret seems to be feature great capabilities, but there honestly is nothing that would prevent a similar (or the same; but that will never happen due to the arms industry competing against each other) turret could easily be fitted onto other IFVs. Honestly the Griffin II seems to be least impressive offer for the MPF. The only mock-up shown was apparently based on one of the original ASCOD 1 hulls and lacked any sort of applique armor on the hull, while the turret also doesn't seem to be as feature complete as the ones offered by SAIC and BAE Systems. Honestly a modernized M8 AGS should be much better suited for all US Army requirements over a turret strapped onto an IFV hull.
  4. SH_MM

    Polish Armoured Vehicles

    I've got the photos: I thought the turret is made in Italy and only mated with the hull in Poland. The website from Bumar Łabędy says: "The HITFIST-30P combat turret is a combat compartment for two persons and is manufactured in collaboration with Oto Melara s.p.a. The turret is furnished with the 30 mm ATK Mk 44 automatic cannon with a dual-feed chain system of ammunition. The additional weapon installed in the turret is the coupled coaxial machine gun of UKM-2000C make." - http://bumar.gliwice.pl/production/strefa-militarna/uzbrojenie/wieza-bojowa-hitfist-30p/?lang=en I understood this as "made in Italy and fitted with the Polish components by Bumar Łabędy", but maybe I was wrong. What alloy is it made of?
  5. Panzerfaust-3T is very heavy, but DND has adopted the same ammunition to the RGW concept (then called RGW-110), which weighs "only" 10 kg.
  6. All failed to meet the requirements... https://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article182047984/Nachfolger-fuer-G36-Neue-Sturmgewehre-fuer-Bundeswehr-scheitern-im-Test.html
  7. SH_MM

    Polish Armoured Vehicles

    You are right, I made a mistake. Jenoptik makes all APUs aswell as the initial batch of gun & turret drives. All later drives are made in Poland. First of all, the Puma uses the RCT-30 turret from Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and not the LANCE turret from Rheinmetall. The construction of the turret isn't extremely complicated, but it is made of aluminium - if you take a look at the Polish arms industry, you'll notice that they don't actually make use of any aluminium constructions in their armored fighting vehicles. The Puma was developed with the idea, that it would integrate several "next-gen" technologies (at the time of its design) to later reuse on a future tank program (the original NGP program, from which the Puma is derived, was meant to also include a MBT and a support variant based on the same hull). The basic structure of the unmanned turret is made from AA7039 T6 aluminium armor and this requires special tools to weld, as the material has to have a constant temperature even during the process of welding, otherwise it will deform and loose some of its protective abilities. Therefore special heating plates (which are rather large due to the size of the turret) are required at the welding stations. Given that Poland currently doesn't make armored vehicles out of such aluminium alloys and also doesn't have a big aircraft industry, specialized welding equipment and heating equipment has to be purchased and integrated into the factories. Producing the hull of a next-gen MBT, if it makes use of the same manufacturing techniques as the Puma's hull, might be even more troublesome. Germany has pioneered the so-called "Dünnblechbiegetechnologie", where most of the hull is not welded together, but made of large pieces, that are bend. Rather than using armor steel, construction steel is used, which can hold a greater amount of weight for a given thickness, a fact that allows to reduce the thickness of the steel walls for a given carrying capacity (the protection is mostly provided by the composite armor). While steel bending is nothing new, it isn't particular common in the AFV industry, especially bending large parts (such as the floor plate of the Puma) with high precision (some tolerances > 0.1 mm). The Leopard 2PL doesn't require the tools for making a modern vehicle like the Puma, which might be the closest thing (manufacturing-wise) to the MGCS. If the decision is made to upgrade the Polish facilities a year or two before a potential licence production, then it might not be a problem. But based on the current situation, it most likely wouldn't be possible to make the MGCS in Poland.
  8. SH_MM

    Polish Armoured Vehicles

    You seem to have a very incorrect idea about the Main Ground Combat System. it is not a design by Rheinmetall (or KMW), but a state-run or state-managed program, just like the Leopard 2 for example wasn't a design from one company, but a project managed by the German state, where components were sub-contracted and a main contractor (i.e. Krauss-Maffei) was chosen after the design was finished. The MGCS will be similar. For this at first a concept has to be developed and chosen. This work consists of multiple steps: at first several companies focused on analysis and consultation such as Industrieanlagen Betriebsgesellschaft mbH (IABG) of Germany and the Franco-German institute in Saint-Louis (ISL) were tasked with wrok for a pre-design analysis and conception phase - i.e. the IABG was tasked to create studies about potential use scenarios and theoretical threats encountered in these. The German and French militaries then accessed these scenarios and based on these come up with a weighing system and requirements. The specified tank threat reference for the MGCS is the Russian T-14 Armata main battle tank. If Rheinmetall presented anything to Poland, then this is not directly related to the MGCS - simply because it has not been defined how the MGCS will look. At the time of Eurosatory 2018 it was still not decided which armament concept out of four being considered is to be chosen; aside of different guns (130 mm & 140 mm smoothbore guns, ETC technology), other concepts suggest that a relatively large autocannon (bigger than the usualy 30 x 173 mm) with missiles (either top-attack or hypervelocity missiles) might be adequate armament. At this point of time no decision had/has been made regarding combat weight (at some point a 35 tonnes tank was considered to be more air-deployable, but also heavier tanks with ~60-70 tonnes of weight) or crew configuration (two men, three men or four men crew per MGCS tank?). Above is the schedule shared between MGCS and CIFS. As you can see the concept studies last until mid 2018, but it seems that it had been extended by a few weeks given the late signature of a Franco-German agreement. Technology demonstrators will be made for the different concepts, as no final decisions for one specific concept has been made. At the same time studies regarding the available technologies and production capacities are made. When a concept has been chosen and key technologies have been demostrated, a first set of system demonstrators will be made. A first proper prototype follows later, it is expected by 2025, but KMW/Nexter claimed that they could finish one by 2023, if nice enough funding is approved for this. Rheinmetall has only shown concepts of its own MBT suggestions, which they want to use as basis to propose for the MGCS. Rheinmetall - and KMW & Nexter - are probably keeping their R&D department busy with creating such next-gen tanks, given the potential contract value. That Rheinmetall did not offer Poland to join the MGCS, is very simple to see in this topic. I posted an interview of Defence24.pl with Otmar Schultheis, who is currently COO of the recently funded subsidairy Rheinmetall Polska. Just listen and see him confirm that they did suggest a different tank for Poland only: The fan-art is completely bullshit. Most of the MGCS are either turretless or have an unmanned turret, as achieving the desired protection levels is not possible with a manned turret, unless the a very high weight limit is chosen. First of all: yes. The MGCS will feature next generation thermal sights and sensors. The electric drives for turret and hull of the Leopard 2PL are made by Jenoptik in Germany. Aside of that, PCO S.A. wasn't the only Polish company having issues. Before they even started, Bumar Łabędy S.A.had to upgrade its facility, as they lacked the machinery to handle the upgrade, delaying the whole program by multiple weeks.This can happen again, for example if the MGCS design uses a turret construction similar to the Puma's.
  9. I don't think that it has been decided yet. First of all, Trophy hasn't been tested on the Leopard 2 yet and from what I have heard, they will test multiple types of APS. Maybe their are plans to purchase Trophy independently as urgent material request, which would sideline most of the testing, but it wouldn't mean that the system would automatically be adopted in larger numbers - in the past urgement material requests (mostly for the German ISAF contigent) have also resulted in small numbers of equipment being purchased, that later (after a proper tender and more testing) weren't purchased in larger numbers in favor of a competing system. Furthermore a widespread adoption of an APS is scheduled/planned for the Leopard 2Ax (project name, probably going to turn into 2A8 when adopted), which also will feature several other enhancements and won't be ready by 2023. There are also three potential APS offers from German manufacturers, which might have some advantages in lobbying (and ADS is being integrated into the Leopard 2 for a costumer since June 2018). it is still questionable wether the Leopard 2A7V will actually be part of the VJTF or an older variant will be used instead. While the current batch of Leopard 2A7V upgrades will be finished by/in 2023, there are still questions about the status of crew training, available spare parts and other relevant factors. Older statements suggested that the 2A6 or 2A6M might be deployed instead. According to an older article written by two former soldiers working for the German military acquisition and material agency BWB (nowadays called BaainBW), each autoloader holds three rounds, which is also what Damian said on the Armored Warfare forum. There shouldn't be an option for manually inserting an interceptor into the APS, the ready round should be loaded from the autoloading system's magazine. I don't know why he suddenly talks about 10 interceptors, but he isn't always very consistent. I discussed the Arjun prototype turret back on the DefenceForumIndia quite a few years ago, where he agreed that it - after at first believing that it might be better than the series production version, which he just claimed agian on Twitter - that due to the armor layout it is actually a worse design.
  10. SH_MM

    Land 400 Phase 3: Australian IFV

    Theses weight classes are irrelevant for potential users who do not set a maximum weight limit (or like Australia set such a high limit, that the mentioned vehicles all would manage to meet it). There is no clear definition of these weight classes, so each manufacturer can claim that its vehicle is the best one of its class, simply by (implicitly) defining the classes in such a way, that other, better vehicles are excluded. BAE Systems can define the weight class as "up to 37 tonnes", which then would exclude the ASCOD 2/AJAX and Puma, that might offer better protection in certain areas, when offered at the same weight. Just look at the Puma: It is offered with a weight ranging from 31.45 tonnes in the air-deployable "protection class A" configuration to the heavily armored version with "protection level C class" add-on armor at a weight of 41.5 tonnes (43 tonnes GVW). While Germany currently has only defined these two classes, nothing would prevent any other customer to demand any armor configuration lying inbetween, i.e. a customer could ask for the reactive side armor or the additional roof armor of the "protection class C" to be excluded, which would lower the combat weight by several tonnes. Likewise the Lynx and ASCOD 2/AJAX could be offered within various weight classes, depending on what armor kits are mounted. Depending on how much the protection of each part/sector is valued, one can argue that the Puma thanks to its multi-layered NERA array in the hull front can even be considered better armored than the CV9035 Mk III at 31-32 tonnes, so all these statements regarding "best in class protection" are usually marketing talk. The weight difference to the Namer is obviously huge, yet it depends on whom you ask, wether it really should be considered a different weight or even vehicle class than some of the other mentioned vehicles. Well, I am not sure. While £15 million doesn't seem to be very much, there are numerous factors that should be considered. Is this contract valid for all Ajax vehicles or will the purchase of armor kits be split into batches (i.e. like Germany did with the Puma)? When did Permali-Gloucester release this press release - is maybe the figure valid for the prototypes/pre-series vehicles only and they just didn't bother to write another press release at a later time? I agree with £15 million being not very much, but it might not be too far off overall; Permali might provide the ballistic armor modules, while mine protection kits could be delivered by a different vendor (or be part of a different contract). Canada paid $13.5 million Canadian dollars (about $10.3 USD million, i.e. £7.84 million) for IED protection kits for 550 LAV 6.0 vehicles (although it seems that they retain some of the existing MEXAS armor kits, so that might explain the relatively low cost of the armor). I tried to find the source for the blog post again, but I haven't found it yet. If I remember correctly, it was an interview with a representative of RUAG published in a German defence magazine, where he specifically told about MinePRO and RoofPRO armor being used on numerous Bundeswehr vehicles like the Boxer, Puma, Panzerhaubitze 2000 and Leopard 2A6M. Then he mentioned the where working on providing some armor for the "British ASCOD 2" (AJAX) - at the time however the AJAX wasn't in service, so maybe the specifications and armor supplier of the AJAX might have changed afterwards. Permali-Gloucester wrote that they provide armor for ballistic protection, i.e. it should either be roof armor (which seems unlikely given the other case studies on their website) or the main armor protecting against medium caliber and heavy machine gun fire. For IFVs, both of these vehicles should have a rather high level of protection. The Lynx KF41 meets the highest currently existing STANAG 4569 requirements and also seems to offer quite a bit of additional capability (AMAP-SC against shaped charges, roof armor against artillery bomblets [at least they mentioned that for the Lynx KF31, I guess the KF41 should also have that]) with several tonnes of additional payload being available for optional protection features. The T-15 Armata is an odd design, but it seems to be heavily armored at most places aswell. The unmanned turret doesn't seem to feature much armor and the hull armor wasn't properly redesigned to compensate for the increased volume/surface area caused by the frontal engine: But it good an hardkill APS, ERA protecting the roof against top-attack weapons, ERA at most of the front and sides of the hull that also provides some protection against tandem shaped charge warheads and KE ammunition and it got a mine protection plating, which however might noto be up to the competition. The Namer also heavily relies on (hybrid) ERA, at the hull sides, but it provides better coverage. Here is quote from an article containing a statement from Major General Gus McLachlan: http://adbr.com.au/rheinmetall-lynx-lines-up-for-land-400-phase-3/ Well, it depends on what is meant with "curtain-style APS". If this means all box-based/distributed active protection systems are excluded, then it might narrow down to just these systems. If the term however means something like "systems with downward-facing countermeasures mounted along the edge of the roof, incapable to protect the same spot twice or to defeat threats coming from eleveated postiions", then the ADS would still be an option. When the US Army announced its plans to make a new "APS rodeo" to replace Iron Curtain in its evaluation, they got responds about five companies being interested to offer their APS designs - even if one of them was ADS and another was Trophy-VPS, there still would need to be three more active protection systems being offered on the market. Denel is not in a position to offer an APS by itself, but maybe SAAB restarts the developement of the LEDS-150 APS. In the end they stopped works because there was no sign, that APS development would be funded by states in the near future - this obviously has changed. Most likely not. The ROKA is not interested in buying a widely different vehicle from the K21 IFV, which was purpose-made to meet their requirements. They might purchase another batch of K21s, when the current one is finally finished and also seem to have plans for a product-improvment (upgrade) using ERA, an APS and the 40 mm CTAS of the AJAX. The basic hull of the K21 is an aluminium construction reinforced with glassfibre-reinforced plastics, so Australia's steel industry cannot really help. The AS-21 Redback probably uses a steel hull, because aluminium hulls aren't well-suited for mine protected vehicles.
  11. SH_MM

    The Leopard 2 Thread

    Leopard 2RI production line.
  12. SH_MM

    Polish Armoured Vehicles

    This is not up to Rheinmetall to decide, but the French and German governments. The problem is that the Leopard 2PL is not representative of how a next-generation MBT will look like. During the Leopard 2PL program, the Polish industry had problems at using the same manufacturing techniques and processes that have been mastered by other countries decades ago. A next-gen tank will make use of future manufacturing techniques, which aren't required for the Leopard 2PL. The Puma (being developed in such a way, that new technologies are developed for next-gen tanks aswell) might be an indicative for what can be required for the MGCS. They upgraded numerous Leopard 2A4 tanks to the Leopard 2A5/2A6 configuration, just like KMW. Back in the 1970s, when the Leopard 2 was developed, Krauss-Maffei was the largest company capable of manufacturing tanks, so they won the contract (became primary contractor), while MaK (having a smaller military division than Krauss-Maffei) ended up secondary contractor. In the past decades, Krauss-Maffei has rarely expanded - they merged with Wegmann to become KMW, but the overall number of employees and faciltiies has increased only by a rather small amount. That is also related to ownership, as KMW is a family-owned business, which doesn't really try to maximize profits/market share under all circumstances. Rheinmetall however expanded drastically - in the 1970s, the company didn't even manufacture its own military vehicles. But it has expanded much more than KMW and purchased essentially all other armored vehicle manufacturers aside of KMW and FFG and numerous component providers. Rheinmetall is including Thyssen-Henschel, MaK, KuKa, Oerlikon, Atlas Elektronik, MAN's military divison, etc. Nowadays Rheinmetall is nearly 10 times bigger than KMW (by number of employees) and is doing more of the heavy work for Boxer and Puma - most Boxers are made by Rheinmetall, while they also make the Puma's hull. KMW does provide components (i.e. the decoupled running gear) and the turret for the Puma. The larger company also has a wider product range, being able to offer armor systems, active protection systems, armament, fire control systems, optics, electronics, etc. There always will be a primary contractor like Krauss-Maffei was/is for the Leopard 2. The Puma and Boxer are different, because these are cooperations started by the industry: KMW and Rheinmetall decided to develop these vehicles together and to bid together with a joint-venture being responsible to negotiate with the German government and to manage the project. It was the decision of the industry, not the one of the German government. For the MGCS - at least based on rumors and statements from representatives of the companies - both Rheinmetall and KMW will make separate bids, competing against each other.
  13. So the M2A5 variant of the Bradley was apparently canceled to make funding available for the NGCV program. That means it will stick with a 25 mm Bushmaster I autocannon for the rest of its days. I wouldn't say that the Lynx KF31 properly competed against the Puma and CV90. It was a first test done in a very limited time, not a proper evaluation or trial. It also didn't perform stellar - all vehicles execept the Puma (which was leased from the German army) had reliability issues (each of them had to repeat at least one test, because something relevant to it - i.e. the engine/transmission during mobility trials or the gun/FCS during the firing trials - broke down) and only weren't actually fitted with all electronics and sub-components. As for the KF41 variant, I have to ask you again for your source. Did somebody at Rheinmetall' booth at these events tell you this? Is this hearsay, speculation or an observation? I honestly don't see much reason for complaining about these specific points. The armor might not have been directly tested, but Rheinmetall Chempro is producing AMAP for various German and international fighting vehicles. A very similar looking add-on armor kit was developed for the Swedish CV9040 Evolution (providing better protection than the current CV9040C) and according to R. Lindström was being tested in 2014. So even if the exact armor package wasn't tested - which I quite frankly doubt, given that they were willing to put a weight figure onto the Lynx KF41, then the technology behind it is well proven and actually fielded. The armor protection of the Boxer CRV and the AMV-35 btw. wasn't tested on the full vehicles, but selected armor modules were send to Australia for ballistic tests. As for the turret drives, the situation seems to be even more odd, if your claims are correct. Rheinmetall doesn't make turret drives and turret rings by itself, it uses components from other manufacturers. The Lynx family of IFVs is claimed to be making use of as many off-the-shelf components as possible to reduce cost, so it wouldn't actually make sense to use a new turret ring & new drive systems (specifically given that such components could be taken from the LANCE 1.0 turret or the Skyranger turret). I also don't seen any reason why such systems on the electronics' side couldn't be carried over from the LANCE 1.0. I don't have any experience in hand cranking anything that could be described a turret rather than weapon station, but in the marketing video published during Eurosatory, the turret seems to move very smooth. From what I've seen, having the ability to manually turn a turret with electric drive systems is really uncommon. Its a really odd partnership. I understand the need for cooperation in the air-defence business, because both companies have a limited product portfolio with gaps, that can be closed with this cooperation. However when it comes to the components that Raytheon could integrate into the Lynx, we see totally overlapping capabilities with Rheinmetall's offers. It is essentially just an option to "americanize" the Lynx: Rheinmetall offers the ADS, Raytheon QuickKill. Rheinmetall has integrated a third generation SAPHIR thermal imager into the opics, Raytheon offers to replace them with an American-made thermal imager. Rheinmetall has integrated the Spike ATGM into the turret (the company is part of the EuroSpike consortium with licence to manufacture the Spike missiles in Europe), but Raytheon offers to replace it with the TOW. Last but not they offer a fire detection system based on optical sensors and microphones, but Rheinmetall's SAS offers the same capabilities when including the acoustic sniper locating system. So this variant features an independent sight for the commander. If I remember correctly, the first version of the Dragoon lacked such a sight, because the turret was solely operated by the commander. Now that a new sight has been added, does this mean the Stryker A1 Dragoon will feature a dedicated gunner? Will this result in less dismounts being transported per vehicle? No offense, but the US Army Generals really need to get its shit together. The Ground Combat Vehicle program was based on IFV designs with a projected combat weight between 60 and 70 tons and had the unchangeable requirement to carry nine soldiers in addition to a crew of three. I understand that the requirements were based on different times and operating scenarios, but did the US Army completely forget about Russia when starting the GCV program? Or did they completely forget about their experiences in Iraq when coming up with the NGCV? The GCV was canceled 2014 still at the paper design stage, but the first prototypes should be finished and ready for field tests by 2017. The Lynx KF41 is now at a more advanced state of development than the GCV ever was and suddenly it is questionable that it will be ready for service in eight years? I mean seriously? With the exception of the Puma IFV, how many IFVs need eight years from first prototype to series readiness? I also don't understand the critique regarding the combat weight. How often would an IFV be used in combat actions against Russia or North Korea without any Abrams MBTs or a South Korean K2/Polish Leopard 2 accompanying it? I mean, it would make more sense if the NGCV's top priority wasn't being able to deal with future Russian vehicles and there wouldn't be a lighter pseudo-IFV in the USAREUR in form of the Dragoon.
  14. Everytime the Lynx KF41 is mentioned, you seem to write a comment about it being a "napkinpanzer". Aside of the terminology being subjectively wrong (I've only heard this term before related to actual paper designs, but for the Lynx KF41 there is indeed a working prototype), you never bother to provide any reasoning for it being a so-called "napkinpanzer". Yes, the exterior is very smooth and lacks any signs of storage racks, but that is related to the new stealth characteristics mentioned by Rheinmetall and the DTR magazine. They even embedded the bolts and washers into the armor to minimize the radar signature - that is not a new concept, but hasn't been widely adopted. You complain about the interior being too clean and mostly empty, but the vehicle was used to showcase the available room to potential customers at an international exhibiition. If this vehicle went to actual field tests in this way, it might be valid to criticize it for having an unrealistic interior configuration - but expos are not meant to showcase realistic configurations. Sometimes AFVs are fitted with under floor lighting before such an expo, in order to make them look cooler. Someitmes non-functional mock-ups are presented, because it is not financially viable to ship a whole AFV to another country just to showcase it for two days - or because the actual working prototypes aren't available at the time. KMW has done that with the Leopard 2 a few times: they once weren't allowed to export (even temporary) a German Leopard 2A7 to showcase at IDEX, so instead they leased a Leopard 2A6 form another user country, shipped it to IDEX and added non-functional mock-up parts to replicate the look of a Leopard 2A7. If your only reason for calling it a "napkinpanzer" is the interior layout, which actually will be modified on user's specific requirements, then it is a poor decision to whine abou the Lynx KF41 everytime somebody posts about it. When the CV90, Lynx KF41, ASCOD 2 and Puma were tested in the Czech Republic, only the latter was actually fitted with all components, storage options for weapons and equipment, radios, BMS, etc. The reason behind this was the Puma being a German army vehicle, while the industry-owned demonstrators/prototypes all would only be fitted with user- and mission-specific equipment, once a choice had been made by the user. if you have other reasons to call it a "napkinpanzer" and those are actually valid, then I'm willing to support this claim. What exact reasons do you have to believe that it doesn't work and is an unfinished paper/napkin design? Do you have any reason to believe that some of the components are not functional, that they are mock-ups? It's not like Lynx KF41 is a second PL-01. It has been in development for three years, makes use of existing and working components and the technology used for it actually exists, while the PL-01 was a mock-up based on another chassis fitted with visual representations of non-existing armor modules, turret and APS launchers.
  15. SH_MM

    Polish Armoured Vehicles

    Your whole argument is silly. Rheinmetall purchased MaK's military division in 1990; MaK built 45% of all Leopard 2 tanks for the German army and a similar fraction of Leopard 1 tanks. Rheinmetall also purchased Thyssen-Henschel and KUKA's military division; Thyssen-Henschel has been responsible for developing and producing vehicles like the Marder IFV, the TAM tank and the TH 495 IFV. KUKA has delievered turrets for various AFVs . Rheinmetall has all the capabilities as a system integrator that are required for making MBTs; there isn't much difference between putting a modern AFV (like the Boxer or Puma) or a modern MBT together. Btw. the upgrade of various German Leopard 2 MBTs, maintenance and production of heavy support vehicles (like for example the Kodiak) are also a tasks that Rheinmetall has been responsible for. No company in the world is capable of developing a new tank completely by itself - designing, developing and manufacturing a main battle tank is a task that requires multiple companies to cooperate; e.g. no tank manufacturer in the world has the knowledge and capacities to produce modern engines and transmission. "Tank manufacturers" take the role of system integrators, i.e. their task is to make sure that all components fit together and to put everything together. That's what KMW, Rheinmetall, UralVagonZavod, General Dynamics, MANTAK, etc. all do. Some system integrators - like Rheinmetall - produce some of the parts by themselves, while others - like for example KMW and General Dynamics - design and use only a very limited number of self-made components, they rely heavier on cooperation with other vendors. _____ As far as the rumors of Poland manufacturing a Rheinmetall-designed MBT are concerned, I wouldn't put that much faith into them. While there have been talks between Rheinmetall and Polish officials, there are tons of reason why one should be careful at first. Poland's budget doesn't really allow funding and purchasing a new tank without exterior cooperation (they could only afford a scaled-back, downgraded Leopard 2 upgrade...). Rheinmetall is also interested in the MGCS, which would be a far more lucrative deal and has good chances to win a contract. While Poland has requested to join the MGCS, these requests have currently been denied (but they may allow Poland to join at a later stage). Given the limited ressources of the company (there aren't many people with in-depth knowledge in tank and AFV design), there might be a need to make a choice between the MGCS and the Polish program, unless Poland joins the MGCS project. Furthermore the claimed schedule is extremely unrealistic. The MGCS project has been started in 2012, but series production is expected to start after 2030 (some estimates say 2035 might be more realistic); a tank design for Poland would start several years after 2012 - it is extremely unrealistic to get a new tank into production by 2027. Furthermore the Polish industry lacks the capabilties to make a true next-gen tank, even if the design is provided by Germany - just look at the Leopard 2PL, which has been delayed by 1-2 years because Bumar Łabędy and other Polish companies lacked the tools and know-how to modify the Leopard 2. Add to this any next-gen manufacturing process (or current gen ones) and it seems pretty much impossible for Poland to manufacture a new MBT by 2030.
  16. On its way to AUSA 2018. Claimed to have been taken in Virginia. The gun is designed to shoot down fast-moving aircraft, mortar rounds and cruise missiles at a longer distance (up to 3.5 kilometres against fast targets, 5 km against slow-flying targets), the test area however limited the maximum range to 1-2 km. That's why it looks like an overkill, because at this distance and the low velocity of the targets, it is indeed an overkill. There are 200 rounds ready to fire, enough for approximately 20 engagements of aircraft or munitions (between 18 to 24 rounds should be fired against jets to maximize the kill probability) - that is not that far off from other self-propelled anti-air guns. The Gepard had 2 x 320 rounds of 35 x 228 mm APHE (and later FAPDS), but could engage only 25 fast-flying aircrafts due to the lower kill probability of dumb rounds. Rheinmetall demonstrated three different types of AHEAD/KETF rounds, fine-tuned to defeat different threats (i.e. the size and amount of tungsten sub-projectiles differed). That is nothing special. Rheinmetall demonstrated high energy lasers (including the HEL on Wheels based on the Boxer) five years ago, also in Switzerland. A 100 kW laser might sound nice, but it is not practical for armored fighting vehicles; the power supply is limited and there isn't enough space to fit a larger generator into a Boxer (or any other AFV for that matter). That is why realistically the size of lasers for AFVs is limited to 5-30 kW at most, which impacts performance and range. If you've seen footage of such lasers being tested against drones or other targets, you should know that they are short-ranged (a 100 kW laser has an effective range of about 10 km, a 5-30 kW laser has a much shorter range) and require quite a bit of time (multiple seconds) to defeat a drone; Rheinmetall named 3 km as effective range against mortars (for a 30 kW laser). That limits the usefulness of HEL (high energy lasers) quite a bit. The laser integrated onto a Stryker for the US Army has an output of just 5 kW! On naval vessels, where space and energy allow integrating larger lasers, they make sense. For AFVs they are not efficient enough. There just isn't enough space to have a 35 mm gun and missiles in a single vehicle, unless you meant something like taping a few MANPADS to the gun barrel. There will be dedicated Boxers with surface-to-air missiles (at least that has been proposed by various companies); either IRIS-T-SL or NASAMS or Mistral-3.
  17. Rheinmetall's air-defence guns, recent firing demonstration in Switzerland. After 1:11 the gun is fired against the simulated optics of a combat vehicle.
  18. According to the latest issue of the DTR Magazine, Germany will test Trophy on the Leopard 2 MBT in 2018. http://defencetechnologyreview.realviewdigital.com/?iguid=99aac7a1-5fdd-46c2-9a7e-0116ede0fbf3#folio=4
  19. 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.
  20. SH_MM

    Contemporary Western Tank Rumble!

    A few days ago the folks from Warthunder went to Minnesota and measured some details regarding the physical thickness of the armor of an original M1 Abrams tank, something which was already mentioned in the United States Military Vehicle General topic. The English version of the article can be found here. I decided to take these values and combine them with the schmatics of the original composite armor (aka "Chobham", "Burlington" & "BRL-1") fielded on this version to estimate the overall armor thickness. The scan quality of these schematics is low (the paper wasn't flat when scanned, so the lines are not always straight), but I tried to adjust for this as good as possible. It seems that these schematics are not for scale or the measurements were wrong (though that doesn't seem likely). Overall it seems that the armor thickness has been exaggerated quite a bit; some people said it would be 700 mm or even 750 mm, but most results end up being below 600 mm. I guess the most damning argument against the overall thickness being in the 650-750 mm range is the claim, that the distance between weld lines on the hull floor is just 22 inches (558 mm). Even though it isn't clear wether this includes or excludes the weld lines, it more or less means that overall cavity thickness is way below 558 mm. Add to this a 101 mm backplate and a 31.75 mm frontplate (both sloped) and 700-750 mm armor thickness becomes impossible, IMO 650 mm aswell, but I've never seen exact angles for the LFP and the hull floor. WT also measured the thickness of the turret's armor cavities, but they didn't mention if that includes slope and they didn't mention the exact thickness of backplate, but it also doesn't seem to warrant the 700-800 mm thickness sometimes claimed. Armor cavity thickness was 19.5 inches on an unspecified side of the turret (the horizontal slope of the turret front is assymetrical), but the front plate is 1.5 inches (38.1 mm) thick.
  21. SH_MM

    Israeli AFVs

    Puma was both a contender for the GCV (a modified variant, but the Army didn't believe it was worth funding over the paper designs from BAE and GD) and chosen as best option (in an unmodified form) by the CBO. The CBO suggested that the US Army should scrapp the nine men requirement (they also did that, but at a later point) and instead buy more Pumas. That was considered to be the most cost-effective solution by the CBO.
  22. SH_MM

    Israeli AFVs

    As I mentioned, it was lackluster in several categories. Even if you give them Puma's grades for firepower (which would be too much, because Puma was analyed as the ordered configuration including the TSWA), it still would fall short of the Puma in overall outcome due to the higher price that the US' CBO expected to need to pay and its lower mobility.
  23. SH_MM

    Israeli AFVs

    That is something very different. They evaluated these vehicles to see what is possible with current tech, something necessary to come up with the requirements for the GCV. They did however at no point consider this an alternative to the GCV.
  24. I'm fairly certain Mr. Drummond posted exactly the same photo and the same incorrect predicitons about a year ago, just with a different announcement date.