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Sturgeon's House


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Posts posted by Mighty_Zuk

  1. https://www.israeldefense.co.il/en/node/37870


    Israel and the USA completed a test of the David's Sling system, in a "newly developed configuration", that is said to expand its envelope of targets, and prepare it for more complex types of targets.


    I'll remind that this system is currently being integrated to the Patriot architecture as part of a contract with Poland.



  2. Sorry I don't have anything of value to add, but I'd like to point out the IDF is also in some way looking at turning into a professional force. Unfortunately, the debate is too limited in scope.


    2 points, however, that will have to be part of that debate, are the maintenance of large formations, and technological advancements.


    The IDF wants at least 10 BCTs of the Gideon type, and 3 BCTs of the Yeshuron type, plus an unknown amount of Yiftach brigades (not BCTs likely) that will have worse equipment and do lower priority missions, as a form of backup as either reserves or for guard duties.


    That requires a serious amount of manpower on the field alone. Add to that a twice larger manpower base for support duties (logistics, human resources, and anyone who doesnt see combat). 


    There are, however, the advancements that could make manpower reductions substantial in all these areas, AND necessitate a professional army.


    In the field, you got AFVs that get a reduction in manpower by about a half. Artillery that can now use only a third or a quarter of the manpower they used to.

    Ships will become unmanned in at least some roles, primarily in ASW, offshore patrol, and more roles soon enough.


    Infantry will not be reduced in any substantial matter, but it does not need to be.


    Support units will be reduced due to improvements in AI, Big Data, and UI.


    Many technologically heavy services will be handled by companies, rather than continuously newly trained conscripts. This includes cyber, data management, and maintenance of complex systems such as avionics.


    A balance is yet to be determined by any special committee or research, in the context of the IDF's structure.


    The big problem is reservists. Israel relies heavily on its reserves for any war. In the current state, you can get an average man fully equipped, with his unit, and mobilized, in less than 24 hours. Backing him are anything from a few days of training, to a month worth of training, on an annual basis after his 3 year service.


    Without some form of conscription, the IDF loses a significant portion of its reservists.

  3. Upgrading old tanks like M60 and T-55 is still somewhat economically viable, but only for poor states, or those with very old fleets. For example Taiwan, Turkey, or the Philippines.


    The two big issues are the all steel construction and integrated armor, and the design that accounted for decades old tech.

    Another issue that could arise is cracked hulls but those can be fixed in relatively cheap refurbishment processes. 


    Indeed the integration of the heavy steel armor into the construction of the hull, adds a ton (actually, tens of tons) of weight. Parasitic weight. It cuts into the weight of upgrades that can be added thus limiting any sort of applique armor. 


    And the tank is obviously not built to accommodate any of the new tech built after its entry to service. Things like NBC may already have been standard on all tanks we can see on the battlefield today, but proper air conditioning was not. Any new sights, sensors, or gadgets, will require a completely new electrical grid coupled with a new generator, for which a new compartment must be made.

    The ammunition has to be carried outside a safe compartment or is just placed in a horribly vulnerable place. 

    The engine is likely no longer supported by the manufacturer, or any other part really.

    The ergonomics were shitty even before any new stuff were added to the turret or driver's station.



    You either replace so many things that you're ought to buy a new tank at that point, or you make enough cost cutting compromises that your tank is no longer worth shit.


    I believe that in about 5 years, upgrades like the Sabra but for any tank built prior to the 1970's, will no longer be viable. Economically-wise, that is.

  4. 42 minutes ago, holoween said:


    This is a terrible way of distinguishing generations.


    The only almost official list of generations of AFVs was invented by Rolf Hilmes, in which he identified 3 different generations of MBTs at the time, corresponding to different technological leaps.


    Leaps like composite armor, smoothbore guns, thermal visors, automated firing processes (stabilization, laying, etc), and so on. Current day leaps include active protection, automated target identification, sensor and data fusion, and networking.


  5. 4 hours ago, SH_MM said:

    The US likely could reuse the old concept offered as part of the GCV program with a lengthened hull, raised roof and GVW of up to 50 metric tons. I'd love to see Germany also picking up this variant for the next batch (250 vehicles planned), as there certainly isn't a need for every Puma to be air-deployable.


    I disagree with your opinions; while the Puma still has some teething issues (that apparently are rather common with modern equipment) and didn't turn out to be perfect due to mismanaged (mainly on the government's side of things - instead of paying more than billion for external consultants, the money could have been used to fix some of the Puma's current issues), it still is the only true next generation IFV design in the Western world. It has the highest protection level among Western IFVs - aside of the twenty metric tons heavier Namer -, it is made using more efficient manufacturing techniques, has been designed with new design aspects and technologies in mind and still serves as benchmark compared to more modern IFV (upgraded old generation vehicles). 


    While I líke the CV90 and Lynx, their ancestry in the last generation of vehicles is undeniable, specifically in case of the Lynx KF31. Even the CV90 Mk IV and Lynx KF41 still retain more old design concepts than they introduce new ones. The US Army can choose to buy one of them (or the Ajax), they'd still get a very capable vehicle. But pretending that the Puma offers no advantages over the current versions of them isn't really true. The high costs of the Puma are its Achilles' heel, but if the Czech Republic and Hungary really opt for it (even though it is questionable), it could become a lot cheaper.


    The Puma may have included from the beginning some components that were more capable but more expensive, but bear in mind that quite a few key components are going to be replaced in the Americanized version. Utilizing more expensive but more capable gear is not a merit of any vehicle, but a customer's choice, so it could be gone out the window as soon as the US decides what level of modifications they want for it.


    Additionally, that alone does not constitute "next gen" capabilities. The "generation" of an IFV or any AFV can be determined not by the quality of its components, but by its architecture and the concept behind that architecture. It's any added capability that is non incremental.


    More armor on the front or sides? That's incremental. 

    APS? Revolutionary.

    Giving the commander or gunner more backup sights? Incremental.

    Giving them a 360° vision system? Revolutionary.

    You get the idea.


    In any iteration, whether existing or offered, the Puma does not offer revolutionary capabilities. It would be required to do so for the US Army, but then it cannot be judged by its components. It will be judged by its modularity. In this case, I don't see how it possesses any advantage over the competitors.

  6. 5 hours ago, VPZ said:


     The gun's recoil mechanism is composed of two hydraulic retarders and a hydropneumatic assembly.



    Maybe you should have read what Ramlaen posted above your comment. The Rh-120 and M256 are NOT the same gun. The M256 is based on the Rh-120, but at some point it diverges.

    It's sort of a K2 vs Altay case. One is based on the other, but the differences are still substantial.

  7. 2 minutes ago, DIADES said:

    Some of this comes down to basic differences.  An IFV is not a tank, not quite!  Though lethality is getting up a long way.  IFV drivers can exit via the back, not a lot of fun but doable, and not prevented by turret orientation.  Turret crew can only exit via the back if the turret is oriented over a narrow range, basically at zero.  In peacetime, no issue - actual injuries in training much reduced if you can keep crew off the roof!.  Entry and exit can be conducted at leisure and the turret can be where ever you want.  But is operations, you don't get to choose turret orientation at the point where your armour is over matched and everybody needs out fast.  A loaded IFV is going to have an infantry section going out the back door, probably the driver trying to go that way too (many drivers hatches will not open enough for access unless turret is dead ahead).  The turret crew can't even join that scrum unless they were lucky and the turret basket doors are oriented exactly right.  Hatches in the turret roof are the quickest most direct route out


    One more reason why I think unmanned turrets are the way to go, but that's actually easily fixed. Either reorient the turret via a joystick (FCS), or use any manual override. If the manufacturer does not include a manual override, ask them why they didn't include it, not why they didn't want another hatch.

  8. 1 minute ago, DIADES said:

    Unmanned turrets are not yet militarily viable - in my view.  The basic problem is that the sensory data fusion a commander has when head out has no technological alternative when head down.  Head out, the brain intrinsically integrates data from eyes, ears, nose, skin.  Head out, peripheral vision works, head down, it does not.  Peripheral vision is where we see least but detect most.  In the pure wonderful world of engagements at weapon limits, say 3k, head out has little value - head down using the tools (sight) is the way to go.  But real engagements are at much shorter ranges, often very short range and the sense of threat that our senses give us if we let them is invaluable.

    Here's one concept that was posted here a month ago:




    This is a kit developed by Rafael for the Carmel project, in which Elbit also presented its IronVision system. 

    According to Rafael, it's ready for integration on existing vehicles. 


    Elbit's IronVision is already being integrated to multiple vehicles for service by 2021. 




    The idea here is not to merely augment the vision of the crew, but to allow them to complete the mission completely buttoned down. It's designed to keep them sealed in that capsule because having the crew separated from the turret adds substantially to the protection.

    Imagine being able to isolate the ammo completely from the crew, like in the Abrams, but actually making a very small turret with a tiny profile. Some call it the T-14 or TTB, whatever you prefer to look at for reference.

    Except by placing the crew in the back, it's possible to allow them to quickly enter and exit the vehicle under any condition of the turret, quickly resupply, allows creating a universal family of vehicles on the same platform, and almost as importantly, allows shielding the crew from top attack munitions and mines in a substantial increase over what any front-crew design would allow.



  9. On 3/10/2019 at 12:45 AM, DIADES said:

    Yes, there are various sight configurations shown on the various public domain EOS turret images but in all cases, I can only see one hatch.  The turret seems to have Commander and Gunner (two sights) so one hatch seems to make no sense at all


    Seems like a show of customizability again. The trend is clear - unmanned turrets. But those who want a manned turret can often get that option from the same manufacturer, even within the same turret.


    A single hatch may be less comfortable for exit and entry, but it's doable, and more importantly it saves a ton of space on the roof to add things. On such small turrets, every square inch is valuable real estate. Even on the large turrets of MBTs you will more often than not see an issue of over-crowded equipment.


    For normal exit and entry, I suppose they'll just have to take turns unless the Aussies decide they value ergonomics highly enough to sacrifice available space.


    In any case when that's not possible, one can lock the turret in place, and exit through a hole in the basket. Not all designs permit that. In some it can be very dangerous, but it's also doable if there's will. Not complicated either, as it takes just not welding a piece of metal to the basket, and adding a simple interruption command to the turret controls.


    On 3/10/2019 at 4:51 AM, DIADES said:

    ..I did not know about the single hatch Mk4.  How is the gunner supposed to exit?   Goes down with the ship I suppose.  Optimize protection for RPG at the expense of KE.  Then again, the Merk as been progressively optimized for urban use and I guess somebody saw an easy trade-off - providing you are happy to toast gunners in the event somebody goes off script and brings a real gun to the party.


    In the Merkava 4 there are now 2 hatches - TC's and Loader's.

    The single hatch variant was an early production one. 

    The idea was maintaining the integrity of the roof armor.

    How he got out is fairly easy: Use the back door. It's actually more comfortable in a lot of cases, and allows for a safe evac when the tank's exposed. Only the driver has to actually rely on his hatch.


    I'm now advancing the idea of a rear-placed hatch-less crew capsule with a back door, center placed unmanned turret, and front placed powerpack.

  10. 2 hours ago, SH_MM said:

    Carmel is not supposed to be a real MBT though, or did they change the weight target?



    The US also has no MBT development program running, so Norway is either going to buy the K2 Black Panther or wait for the MGCS, if Leopard 2 upgrades aren't chosen.


    Again, Kaliyah or FGCG, not Carmel.


    And you're taking this photo and early parameters at face values. The FGCG program was supposed to be a decision between a wheeled solution or a tracked solution. The Eitan was a byproduct of this program, so things obviously change.

    The 30 ton weight category probably talks about the core family of vehicles which will center around the APC variant. 


    An MBT is part of that program but not yet developed, or shown, because as they've said, they don't know what kind of requirements they want to put forward. Yet. The requirements will be worked out when the key technologies of the FGCG are further developed, and alongside them the concept they want to build a new MBT around.

    The same approach is taken by the US. Develop a whole bunch of relevant technologies, bunch them all up, try to build a viable doctrine that takes all of them into account, then try to build a chassis and turret that would fit them all.


    There is absolutely no sense in starting an MBT development program either in the US or in Israel, right now, when there is already a lot of progress being made in the NGCV and FGCG projects respectively. As soon as these are done, run a short program to design a hull and turret, and that's it. 


    Again, just because an official program doesn't exist, doesn't mean there's no progress being made that is specifically relevant to it.

  11. 51 minutes ago, DIADES said:

    They're showing multiple options the customer can go with. The focus on this one is killer-killer capability. They're also offering the turret with a COAPS with a hunter-killer capability instead. 

    A smaller looking sight only indicates it's a day channel. They showed the RWS in one configuration with a night channel as well.

  12. 37 minutes ago, Lord_James said:



    I have to disagree (from CV-90 thread): 



    New Kongsberg MCT-30-based turret has built in ATGM/missile launcher, while also having same gun and RWS. I doubt it would be that hard to change the MMP launcher to an FGM-148, Spike, or FIM-92 (or the TOW series, if the army wants to handicap themselves). Unless the army is looking for something similar to the Namer turret, I don’t think they’re going to find much better. 

    I disagree with your disagreement. This is an entirely new turret from Kongsberg.


  13. 13 hours ago, Clan_Ghost_Bear said:


    What is Israel developing? I was under the assumption that the Camel was going to be a lighter vehicle similar to the FCS, and the Merkava Mk.4 was going to stay in service for the foreseeable future.

    The Carmel program seeks to create a family of vehicles by 2027.


    Much like the NGCV, the star of the program is an IFV, because it is the most prone to doctrinal changes and thus required to be the most adaptive combat vehicle type.


    And again similar to the NGCV, a tank development program is included there.


    And I should clarify again that Carmel is a program for technology demonstration and cockpit concept design. It ends in 2019.

    The full program is named Kaliyah (bullet). It stands for Future Ground Combat Group.

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