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Sturgeon's House


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Everything posted by Mighty_Zuk

  1. I still don't see it as a practical solution. The stability issues (i.e how to fire a fragmentation warhead mid-air without inducing the tilt and yawing effects an APS would attempt to induce on the rod) seem like too much of a challenge.
  2. Your deduction is the opposite of common wisdom. Although not necessarily, a higher turret with specifically more height between the top of the gun and the turret roof, allows for MORE gun depression.
  3. 50 tanks per year sounds like a good rate. You keep production running for at least 20 years and you still get to re-equip units fairly quickly. 5 years per batch is also a good amount of time to develop new kit for the tank and certify it. Deviate too little from the 50 mark and you get odd numbers of tanks per year. Deviate too much and you get messy development. So 50 makes sense.
  4. Can anyone explain what in their opinion a guided missile offers to a tank, that would be important enough to eat up some of the space for HE-MP and APFSDS shells? IMO, the maximum level of guidance should be minor unpowered, wing/fin-enabled course correction similar to the one done for mortars or artillery shells. But is it sufficient within the kinetic envelope of unguided tank shells?
  5. Those Malyutkas were later in service with the IDF for a short time, forming approximately 1 AT battalion.
  6. If speaking in absolutes, then no. It's not for protection. But absolutes don't really exist. There are always numerous reasons to do something. Protection was one of those reasons, but not the absolutely only one. It may have been a dominant reason for the Merkava 1, but that does not explain why to this day the Mark 4 has a front engine. It's not like the Abrams family that you can just grab an M1A1, refurbish it, and replace kit to make it an M1A2C. Nothing in the Mark 1 and 4 is interchangeable. It also doesn't explain why the Kaliyah AFV, which was not presented in an APC version at all, has a front mounted engine. The IDF's relevant bodies have wealth of experience with both front engine and rear engine designs, and probably including the in-house development of a rear engine tank in the 90's.
  7. Pre-serial production variant. Prototype: Noticeable differences: Lower (fog?) lights are protected. Storage boxes on the sides appear to be somewhat extended downwards, with the central one being significantly enlarged. UFP has a little bump in the middle. Rear sponsons were somewhat changed. Smoke grenade launchers were removed. New commander's cupola? Sides are now protruding outwards, due to the installation of the new armor modules. New tires and wheel design. Different headlights.
  8. Eitan to be accessible to the public in an expo:
  9. I've considered it. What next? Several designs were shown here, including one with an armored LFP in an Abrams-like fashion. https://yadlashiryon.com/news/התובה-של-טנק-המרכבה-סימן-4/ Are you even aware that the Namer and Merkava 4 are using the SAME armor module on the hull front? The Namer is able to achieve that, however, by increasing the height of the vehicle. I don't know what their considerations were. They at least tried it on the Merkava 3 in a demonstration for the Mark 4, but no figures about weight, or weight distribution, were given in that demonstration. What is it with you and the constant need to insult people to overcome deficiencies? If you want to have a proper debate, engage with the person you want to debate with. Yes, you are correct about the length, but perhaps I should have rephrased. In the relevant parameters, the new powerpack is smaller than the Merkava 3's, and organized better. It allows for more room for armor. But what's bothering me about these figures is that it seems as though the transmission is taller than the engine, when in reality it seems the other way around: The new powerpack, at least externally seems more suitable for the task because of its shape, and according to your own figures, is quite substantially lower. Indeed, I was incorrect about length. I am more used to talk from my gut about info I remember from a long time ago, and don't keep track of every single piece of data I stumble across. The more relevant parameter seems to be height, with length also being important but to a lesser extent, and with width being the least important parameter. Correction on the figures - 50%-55% is the usual in the west, and 70%-80% in the Merkava. Finding a source on this claim is also difficult, because again it's a very old one. But I'll do my best to find it in the morning. So far all I've found is that the source is David Eshel's "Merkava 3: Israel's New Spearhead". The Abrams is so far the only MBT that fully separates ammo from the crew compartment. Back in the 70's it was deemed a good solution to keep the ammo below the turret ring, because an Abrams-like setup made a K-kill still quite likely, as a piercing APFSDS would have a chance at piercing the armored doors, in which case the blow-out panels are not going to fulfill their task. It remains one of the only points of criticism I have towards the Merkava's design, and the decision to still place the ammo in the hull in the Mark 4, but at least at RAPAT they've realized that this is an issue, and any future AFV is going to have a separated ammo. The very close cooperation they have with allied nations' tank and AFV programs? Sure, the IDF hasn't really done anything with rear-engine tanks since the light tank project in the 90's, but why do something twice when you can draw from the experience of others? Define roof. If you mean the "tunnel"-like setup it has, similar to the Leopard 2A0-2A4's gunner's sight, then no. It compromises the turret's protection. What I mean is something along the lines of what the Merkava 4 has. As I've said, every major variant of the Merkava has seen substantial amounts of combat, and enough to draw conclusions from. Throughout its entire history, the Merkava has performed as expected, or above expectations, at least in terms of crew survivability. https://yadlashiryon.com/news/התובה-של-טנק-המרכבה-סימן-4/ I'm not sure what you're trying to show me here. All these photos show, on the hull front, a UFP modular armor kit, and an LFP-attached mount that holds the belly armor. None of these has an LFP armor kit. What is it you're trying to compensate for, with all these attempts to insult me? We've had quite a few disagreements so far, you and me. Have you seen me trying to insult you for that? No. But I've witnessed quite a lot of outright childish behavior coming from you, and I expect better if you wish to maintain a debate. Please revise your strategy when approaching a debate.
  10. If you actually bothered to read anything, or watch the video, you'd know the debate is specifically about the Mark 4. So right off the bat you've allegedly started a debate with the following: An insult with no logical addition to the debate. An offtopic debate. I don't remember seeing any thermal view of the Merkava 4 online. True, but the grate is hot, which wouldn't really make sense as when idling, the tank uses an APU instead of the engine. But we can't just assume they used the APU, so that begs the question - even though it's idling, shouldn't at least SOME heat be radiated from the front? As I've said, I don't have any other available thermal image of the Merkava 4. But we can see here that there is no heat emitted from the UFP at least. As soon as we get more footage, then we can properly debate this. The point of that argument was that it makes no sense to list it as a downside, or a problem, in the Merkava. Of course the engine is more vulnerable, but it is at least going to result in a mobility kill while otherwise it would be a mission kill. The LFP is indeed a weak spot, as a penetration of roughly 50% of its area can result in substantial damage to the transmission, but statistically it's not considered vulnerable enough to be prioritized for additional armor compared with areas like the belly, sides, or top. You're assuming the Merkava 4 has no armor on the front, an assertion that is objectively incorrect considering the vast evidence presented in this very thread. If you wish, I could link these photos again. I thought the consensus here was that engines and associated components are made of materials that are too light to make any substantial addition to protection against KEPs. I just rolled with that consensus, as it was explained by members more knowledgeable than me. I believe it was Bronez who explained it, though I don't remember entirely. Why are you keen on breaking that consensus? And why are you not offering any information to dispute it? The transmission that is more dense? So the Abrams keeping fuel tanks around the driver is a sign of an incompetently designed tank? The point also wasn't that any tank keeps fuel tanks with a potential to leak into the crew compartment. It was to ridicule the maker of that video. The sources you're repeatedly asking me for, are a few articles written over 15 years ago. I've only read them a few times, so my memory is not the best. Now that I've found the articles, I'd like to make a correction - they overcame certain "basic" compromises or limitations, but these are irrelevant to this topic. So if you were trying to argue about absolute values in an inherently relativistic statement, then you've absolutely won that one. The article about the Mark 4B having upgraded armor is very old. Not 15 years old, but old enough to get lost, and Yad La Shiryon didn't document it and save it like it did with the older articles you've asked me to link here. However, since the only time we've seen the internals of the Merkava's armor was in 2006, and the upgrade came in response to that, we can't know for sure what the armor modules contain now. But since the context given was exactly the vulnerability of the armor to repeated hits, I assume a burster plate addition is a possible upgrade. Not entirely sure about the source of this image: But basically Switzerland and IMI cooperated on the project, with Switzerland developing the gun, and IMI developing the APFSDS round. IMI was a government-owned company back then, and only took part in projects that would directly benefit the IDF. Yes, I am aware of the implications of introducing a larger gun to a tank. Is there anything NEW you'd like to add? Because you really need to stop speaking in absolutes all the time. It's not a point in favor. It shows that at one point he takes issue with a side effect of the design that impacts its survivability by a certain margin, and then proceeds to talk about the Trophy so eagerly despite its radars actually being, in many cases, substantially more impactful in that regard. An Mk 4B doesn't really technically exist. It's just a conglomeration of different upgrades implemented simultaneously around 2011-2012. If you're so eager to find a source on this, I promise I will do some digging among the 50+ issues of the very long Shiryon magazine, but I can't promise much, and it certainly doesn't help that you once again choose to insult me to mask an inability to maintain a proper debate.
  11. That part of the UFP was entirely steel. Below it is a fuel tank.
  12. Iron Dome was, from the very beginning, capable against fixed wing aircraft at mid-high altitude (up to 10km IIRC). Its first successful test against cruise missiles was done years ago. The C-Dome is actually far less suitable for export than the standard Iron Dome because the naval IADS market is dominated by the high end interceptors, and shore defense revolves mainly around ABMs. The US is buying the Iron Dome because its industries do not yet have a proper competition.
  13. I say sufficient because I don't think there was ever a proper comparison, or at least one available to public, on how the Merkava and other tanks compare to each other in different types of terrain, especially on mud. Judging by the plentiful available footage, I don't see any ground to claiming the Merkava falls short to any MBT in this category. It WAS not possible. Today it's possible. The much smaller MT883 engine greatly helps in that regard. With the AVDS-1790 it wasn't possible. Since basically every tank other than the T-14 had started its life long before compact but powerful enough engines existed, it truly wasn't really an option, and still isn't an option to most as it would require a serious redesign of the tank. With hybrid or electric engines, this problem is basically reduced to dust. You can place the transmission in the front and then either a small generator or some batteries in the front to beef up the protection, and whatever remains that would take up crucial space, could be placed elsewhere. This was partially also done with the Merkava 4, as in that same interview they've also said that other than using a smaller powerpack, they moved other stuff around like filters and batteries, so they won't get in the way of armoring the UFP. The "problems" of pointing the barrel, or heat waves for the thermal sights, are just myths and completely baseless, and I've already explained why. A quick diving at negative slopes could be somewhat of a problem, which I've never heard Merkava drivers complaining about. And no idea why a hull down position could be in any way endangered by this design. The Merkava was designed from the very beginning with a British approach to protection, which revolved more around a static defense, especially in the Golan that offered vast spaces to fire on from above. Yes, but I'm talking about the hull in its entirety, as its design is still dependent on the engine. As shown here above, an Abrams-like approach to armoring the hull could be taken with any engine setup, but traditionally the IDF hasn't really armored the LFP of even tanks with rear-mounted engines. Another prime example is the Namer. Because of the height of its hull, its armor design was engine-agnostic, so to say. They chose the AVDS-1790 engine because it was cheaper and would not hinder the protection of the vehicle. The armor was basically identical as the Merkava 4's - LFP is un-armored, UFP is of the same thickness.
  14. Don't know its name, but referring to this one: About what vehicles have thermals, maybe I was wrong.
  15. I believe plans were to modernize all of them. But Russia's definition of 'modern' is not a particularly good one. It's mostly a "produced after year X is modern, even if shit standard". The T-72 was the first to hit the modernization effort. First batches of T-72B3 were rolled out in 2013, but until 2017 lacked panoramic sights, which has been standard equipment on western tanks for decades. And apparently thermal imagers aren't even a standard equipment in Russian AFVs yet. That is, not nearly widespread enough yet.
  16. Please re-read what I said about the Iron Dome. I said that its export potential is hindered by the US's involvement, but not hindered in the context of selling to the US itself. Perhaps the US provided the same funding (and it most certainly does fund the Iron Dome) but refrained from demanding a share of the intellectual property, because its own industries do not produce any VSHORAD system that it can compete with, while the David's Sling is a very dangerous opponent to the Patriot in the long range air defense market. If the US sees it as an interest, they will demand some IP in return for the funding.
  17. Thanks for the correction on the cost. The David's Sling is not unique here, as the Iron Dome's R&D was also paid in part by the US. It could, however, explain why outside the US, these systems have been marketing failures. It can also be further used as an example to debate whether or not Israel should continue accepting US monetary aid. Back in the 80's it was needed, but today not as much. There is a solid case to be made that the aid program now hurts Israel's defense industry, and the monetary gain may be overshadowed by a net loss on vetoed sales.
  18. For now only in Hebrew: https://www.israeldefense.co.il/he/node/38228 The David's Sling system is out of yet another competition, this time worth $8 billion. Rafael needed a permit from the MoD, which the MoD didn't supply. They also failed to comment on why the export permit was not granted. The Swiss competition, Air 2030, is the 2nd competition in which the David's Sling was supposed to participate, and brings its total immediate export potential to a whopping $20 billion. It bears extreme similarity to the Polish program, in that Israel voluntarily withdrew from the bid, or did not participate in the first place, most likely by the request of the USA. It then means the US is likely to include the Stunner interceptor as part of the deal as a compensation. In the Polish program, the Stunner interceptors were 10% of the cost.
  19. I've already addressed this in a reply to Loser. There are more wheels in the front than the rear, as a consequence, to restore balance. And as you could have seen from past footage here, the Merkava has sufficient mobility in muddy terrain. Mud is where it's going to drive anyway, 50% of its service. This is a context you added that did not exist in the article, so you're only estimating. The different generations of Merkava were certainly evolutions of their predecessors, but clean sheet designs were not lacking. Mark 1-2: Same tank. Mark 3: Clean sheet design turret. Clean sheet design drivetrain. Mark 4: Clean sheet design hull. Clean sheet design powerpack. Clean sheet design turret. As both the hull and turret had to be changed drastically to apply the new changes, for example a new hull to account for the new engine+transmission, and support the new heavier turret. And a new turret to support a roof-mounted sight, a substantially larger cannon than Mark 3, and higher coverage of modular armor. With that level of rework on the tank, and a rather substantial amount of combat for any of the main versions of the Merkava until the Mark 4, one could expect the IDF to realize a rear-engine tank would be the better alternative, if properly armoring the front was no longer possible. Additionally, they wouldn't have been so keen to install the engine on the front of their brand new, entirely clean sheet designed MBT, if they didn't believe they could provide sufficient crew protection.
  20. It's very easy to inflate or deflate the cost of an MBT, if you choose to include or exclude certain even small aspects of the project's costs, because there's a lot of money revolving such projects indirectly.
  21. In terms of volume, quite a lot. The AVDS-1790 interfered with armoring the hull by simply being too big. Any more armor and the driver would have poor visibility. In the Merkava 4, that's not the case. And there's even enough length to spare in terms of visibility for the driver, as the new engine offered a significant reduction of the length of the powerpack unit. Not rear-turreted in an absolute sense, but a relative one. Relative to other tanks, its turret is located far closer to the rear than any other tank. That affects the balance of the tank relative to other tanks. Ammo was just one example. RAPAT cite a figure of 50%-55% of the overall mass of the tank being utilized for extra protection of the crew, compared with an average of 20%-25% in contemporary designs. That's a rather extreme comparison. The design philosophy of the Merkava, at least in terms of armor, is much closer to the British one than, say, the German or American one.
  22. I don't see how a front mounted engine interferes with armoring the front. A lot of the mass still goes to the back, such as the turret and ammo. There is still some inbalance favoring the front, but it's not necessarily an issue. It helps in gaining traction over sloped surfaces. What is really a factor is the volume. However, as I've said, in an interview given by a RAPAT official, the use of the MT883 engine allowed them to allocate enough armor to the front. @Sovngard The sights have indeed changed, but there is no indication yet that the loader's hatch addition is directly related to the 4B model. The 4B model entered service around 2011-2012, long after that hatch was added.
  23. Externally, I haven't really paid much attention to it. But the difference in armor construction is visible here: Mark 4A - armor is perforated: Mark 4B - armor is not perforated:
  24. Time to play smack-a-gentile. This absolute madlad called @RedEffect put out a video with quite a few claims about, specifically, problems with the Merkava. I know the problems with the Merkava, and what he raised is either inaccurate, or misunderstood. Here's the video: The claims are, as following: Significant heat signature on the front. Engine can get easily damaged. Heat can obscure the thermal vision of the gunner, so gunner has to turn away the turret. Fuel tanks can catch fire. LFP bad, UFP not so bad. Can't stop APFSDS or ATGMs though. Does not have any blow-out panels. Armor is "fragile" so hits in the same area can damage it. Wedge shaped armor is bad, only strong in the center. Still uses L/44 gun, while L/55 is better. Trophy is god-tier amazing but the Merkava is still held back by its thermal signature. And here's the rebuttal: 1. Not true, and it's flawed logic if one arrives at this conclusion by looking at photos of other tanks' rear sections and seeing their apparent thermal signature on the engine compartment. The reason is very simple - on conventional tanks, it's not nearly as important to mask the thermal signature from the engine, because when looking roughly at the front of the tank (the deviation from the front grows smaller as the range increases), the engine's signature is masked. For the Merkava it's more important, and the engine is not covered by thin sheets, and the exhaust isn't just blown wherever. The entire area above the engine is thick armor, and the exhaust air is cooled and thrown downward. The engine cover is not hot, but the exhaust is. It adds only a very small portion to the heat signature. You can see it here: 2. In the Merkavas 1-3 I would say that it is true. The engine is overly vulnerable. In the Merkava 4 that has proper armor in the front, that's not the case. If the engine is damaged by a penetrating shot, then in a conventional design it would have been a dead crew. Against an APFSDS the engine indeed would not add much protection, but even today the most proliferated threat to armor is ATGMs. Even in a peer-peer combat, due to the nature of combined arms combat, the tank would still be highly threatened by many different assets other than tanks - helicopters and infantry employing ATGMs, planes employing either ATGMs or JDAMs, artillery, etc. Against these, protection against HEAT is extremely valuable. 3. Unsubstantiated, and so far I haven't heard of any firing drill that involves rotating the turret away from the exhaust. 4. Fuel tanks in any tank can catch fire. That's not unique to the Merkava. In the Merkava it may fry the engine. In another tank it could fry the driver. 5. RAPAT (Israeli equivalent of TARDEC) believe the armor suit they developed for the Merkava 4 is one where they didn't have to make any compromises, and could make it work against the perceived threats. None tried to fire an APFSDS against this tank so I wouldn't know. Additionally, he mentions the Kornet ATGM, and that one specifically was said to have been fired at the front section of the tank but without success. They didn't specify what "front" means, but since Hezbollah were smart enough to fire not only at the sides, but specifically at the ammo stowage compartment at times, makes me believe they were also smart enough to occasionally fire specifically at the hull. 6. Entirely false. The hull isn't equipped with blow-out panels but the turret is. Since he mentions the Leopard as an example of a tank with such panels, despite having a huge ammo rack at the front with no panels, makes me believe he did not mean the entire ammo, but even parts of the ammo. So again, false. 7. That was a problem with the Merkava 4A, but not the Mark 4B and subsequent variants. 8. Theoretically true, but the upper portion of the turret is completely inert because it's actually just the roof armor and storage bins, and the lower portion is to some extent covered by the hull. Yep, the hull's armor extends above the actual roof of the hull to hide the turret ring. You have to actually be on a pretty nice elevation to see the turret ring. 9. L/55 is better if you only take raw penetration into account. But that is not the only consideration. With urban combat growing in frequency, shorter barrels still show some clear advantages. An L/55 is a whole 1,320mm longer than the L/44, and that makes it hard to traverse in narrow city streets. That is, when considering that any tank with the L/44 is already pretty bulky for streets. The Merkava's turret was built in a way that allows for substantial growth in firepower - up to 140mm. Accepting an L/55 gun is a no biggie. But there is no operational need for such a gun, and it's possible the IDF will skip right to the 130mm or whatever the next gun may be. 10. Similar to point 1, but you can see in the photo I added there that the radars are actually just as hot, if not hotter than the exhaust air.
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