So in your clearly learned opinion how would you rate the F-14? Yeah, you might say sticking TF30s in the A-model birds was a "small problem." Only something like 375 or so TF30 A models made into the sky to try and kill their crews for staring at the throttle the wrong way.
Every single Super Bug that will likely ever fly has gigantic, toed-out pylons because of unanticipated store separation issues.
It's not even clear if your criticism is with issues due to specific engineering decisions that are liable to occur in any new aircraft program, let alone three as with the F35s, or with the general configuration of the aircraft. To the latter possibility, why is it even useful to compare the F-35 to the F-22, Su-57, or J-20? They all have very different design criteria, different missions, and fight in different organizations. I bet you're fun discussing WWII armor too.
And like, dude, Kopp was trying get F-22s for Australia. Have you noticed that APA stopped trying to stir shit up after F-22 production ended in 2012?
Posting decade old Slides and Data to critique something that has made so much progress in that time isnt really valuable or valid in 2020 anymore.
Maybe post some more recent slides and data to critique something.
This is the version of the Leopard 2A7+ purchased by Qatar, i.e. the Leopard 2A7Q (aka Leopard 2A7 QAT). No idea if this is really identical to the variant ordered by Hungary, but compared to the German Leopard 2A7(V), it has the full armor kit (including additional roof protection), the PERI RTWL-B from the Puma in place of the PERI R17A3, a third generation thermal imager and improved LRF for the gunner's EMES 15 sight, cross wind sesnor and the FLW-200 RWS on top of the turret.
It is basically KMW's late Leopard 2A7+ demonstrator with minimum changes. Qatar purchased the best possible configuration, while Germany initially didn't want to spend as much money, only to implement some of the lacking features in the Leopard 2A7V (and possibly in the follow-up variant, because both a LRF for the commander and a RWS are still on the Bundeswehr's tank crews' wish lists...).
I don't think the L/55A1 tank gun variant was available at the time of the Qatari purchase, but this is just my speculation.
Technical analysis/evaluation of the VJTF 2023 configuration of the Puma has been finished at the WTD 81. Note the hull mounted cameras/thermal imagers for 360° coverage, mounted at the corners of the hull.
It is still a headache, but the values from Mr. Alex Luck are not supported by the linked official report from the German MoD. It seems that he didn't actually read it, but only glanced over it.
The Puma's readiness is not mentioned. Instead it is stated that the availability/readiness of new weapon systems is ranging between 30% and 93%:
"Beispiele für neue Systememit einer im Verlauf hohen Schwankungsbreite der materiellen Einsatzbereitschaft zwischen 30% bis 93% - sind u.a. SPz PUMA, A400M, H 145M LUH SOF, Geschützte Transportfahrzeuge (GTF) Zuladungsklasse (ZLK) 15t und NH 90."
The readiness of old systems meanwhile is really not different, ranging between 26% and 89% depending on the exact weapon system:
"Beispiele für alte Systememit einer im Verlauf hohen Schwankungsbreite der materiellen Einsatzbereitschaft zwischen 26% bis 89% sind u.a. TORNADO, CH-53, P-3C ORION, Betriebsstofftransporter."
Thus it appears that the "troubled" new weapon systems are actually a bit more reliable than their worn-out counterparts. This becomes even more clear when looking at average readiness rates - on average the eleven new weapon systems have a readiness rate of above 70%, while the 26 old weapon systems have a readiness rate of 67%.
However the exact situation for the Puma certainly isn't great. The Puma IFV belongs to the four new weapon systems with the lowest availability - for all of these systems special programs have been started to improve availability. A problem is that when the original contract was signed, spare parts and tools required for maintaining the Puma were reduced to a minimum in order to cut costs. As a result the spare parts order for the Puma IFVs meant for the VTJF 2023 also included lots of tools required to maintain/repair the vehicle that are lacking at many German Army sites in the relevant numbers.
The stated 80% readiness of the MRAP is also not mentioned in the document. The figure 80% is only mentioned twice: first in a passage mentioning that the availability of the helicopters used for flight training is 80%, and that Germany wants to purchase more market-available - so called "80% solutions", i.e. solutions that do not meet all requirements, but are already available and don't require a costly and risky development - in the future.
Edit: the last time the Puma's readiness rate was openly mentioned, it was 39% and according to reports, the situation is getting "better". A big issue according to the new official report is the low quality of "fresh from the factory" weapon systems, specifically for the Puma and the F125 frigates, which often results on systems being rejected by the Bundeswehr and then being fixed (a few times) before officially accepted.
That is a very emotional response to the topic. You cannot call bullshit without knowing the Austrian requirements and test conditions. Maybe the Austrian military used smaller targets, wanted an acceptable hit probability while firing on the move, wanted to engage targets at longer ranges or where expecting firing performance closer to the Leopard 2 or M1A1D/M1A2?
That the fire control system of the M60A3 wasn't on par with the newer tanks is well known. In CAT it managed to get a third, an eight and a ninth place...
It isn't really a matter of interpretation. The NP105 APFSDS wasn't tested with one single gun, it already was accepted for service in 1985 after demonstrating its ability to defeat the required targets (including an arrangement of three spaced steel plates). The complaints about the unsatisfactory dispersion with the NP105 lead to the investigations criticized by the Rechnungshof.
The waffenseitiger Fehler either refers to all M68A1s being faulty or all M60A3s being considered faulty in regards to meeting the Austrian requirements. Not the single (?) M68/M60A3s in the trials, as otherwise the common soldiers would never have complained about the lack of accuracy in 1989 and 1990.
So 1 for refernce at one of the Testing Centers and 6 at the Training Center together with the 8 Driver Training Vehicles.
Currently there are 9 Active Bataillons and 2 non Active Bataillons.
So you have 2 Bataillon sets of Pumas worth to spare.....
Other tidbits from the Newsletter mainly Engineering related:
-New System for Minelaying is in the concept phase
-Introduction in 2028
-Ability for Friend/Foe Discrimination
-New Amphibious Bridging System to replace the M3
-MLC 100 and in special cases MLC 130 for exceptional Loads
-600m worth of Vehicles + 160m worth of Vehicles for Training
-Due to cooperation on the M3 with the Brits there is a possibility of cooperation on developing the succesor system
-Replacment of the AEV Dachs
-Either Kodiak from Rheinmetall or Wisent 2 from FFG
The weight figure is from spring of 1991, when the KVT's mobility tests were made, so it already featured the actual armor modules (which it received in 1990). Five tonnes of wood (at least the cheaper sorts of wood that grow in Germany) would also have a much greater volume than the simulated add-on armor modules.
You are speculating, the Swedish leaks say nothing like that. They say that the German model - such as the model that Germany wants to buy - has Type B base armor. That they analysed the TVM (rather than relying on armor modules and informations supplied by Krauss-Maffei) or that the German model would be equal to the TVM is never stated there.
According to Hilmes, only constant "nagging" of the German army lead to the construction of "hybrid tanks" (i.e. combining hulls from the last production batches with upgraded turrets) with maximized protection, before that a cheaper option was considered. Given that the "German model" in the Swedish leaks has better hull armor than the Leopard 2A4 with Type C armor, what does this tell us about the turret armor...
That is because these are prototypes. The Swedish leaks show the side armor of the wedges to be identical between the German model (which you claim to be the TVM, which had flat sides during the Swedish trials) and the Swedish model. Both have the flat sides based on the thickness visible in the top-view. The sloped wedges were first added to the TVM 2 mod., developed between 1991 and 1992. The main focus of the TVM 2 mod. was weight and cost reduction in order to stay within the weight limit agreed upon by the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland during a conference in Mannheim (hence it was called the Mannheimer Konfiguration). This didn't improve protection, but downgraded protection (by e.g. removing the hull and turret roof add-on armor modules), i.e. it doesn't make sense to speculate that the turret add-on armor was improved over the original TVM 2 configuration with flat-sided wedges.
Prototypes of the Leopard 2A5 were completed at the time, but the decision to eliminate the Leopard 2 from the competition was already made years earlier. We know from declassified UK documents (aka government reports) that "Leopard 2 won British trials" is a lie.
The add-on armor at the turret and hull doesn't have different thickness. If you read R. Lindström's presentation and the old version of his website (via web archive), you'll notice that he never stated that the add-on armor of the Leopard 2 was replaced/improved. He only stated that all tanks were tested with armor developed by Åkers Krutbruk and IBD Deisenroth. A short look at the old website of Åkers Krutbruk (via web archive) reveals that they acquired the MEXAS licence from IBD Deisenroth.
The term "swedish armor" by itself doesn't mean "they replaced the add-on armor with identical looking one, which somehow happens to be better despite having the exact same dimensions and weight" nor does it mean that the actual armor was developed by Sweden, given that Åkers had the licence for MEXAS. It can also mean that this was the armor chosen for Sweden.
That said, Hilmes suggest that the main changes in survivability between the Leopard 2A5 of Germany and the Stridsvagn 122 is the hull, i.e. among other facts that it features spall liners, supposedly some titanium elements for weight saving and the hull and roof add-on armor modules. According to a Danish tanker (Denmark choose the Leopard 2A5DK based on the Swedish trials, after they were given access to the test data), the side armor of the hull is different between the Leopard 2A5 and Stridsvagn 122.
That's the thing with RHAe: It is depending on the exact interaction between armor and projectile: there is no way to estimate the performance of modern ammo just by looking at one single generic RHAe figure. E.g. when fired from the L/55 smoothbore gun, the DM53 can defeat certain armor arrays that reach 1,000 mm RHAe against older types of APFSDS ammo, despite it being only able to defeat 700 mm steel armor.
Unlike claimed by you, LKE1/DM43/OFL-1/KEW-A1 was designed with optimizations against special armors and ERA. That's why the round is still in use today and even has been ordered just this year by Taiwan for their future M1A2 tanks. That it performs better against Kontakt-5 than M829A1 is no wonder, because it has a thicker rod (26 mm) and is made of tungsten, which has a higher stiffness than DU, i.e. it is less likely to be deformed/shattered by heavy ERA.
For the sake of this discussion, lets ignore "Leopard 2A4 with Type D armor" discussion. We had that often enough and not moved past. You'll say "but the books mention it was only the skirts that were Type D armor", I'll point out that that the books do not say the base armor remained unchanged/old. You'll argue with the weight of the M1A2, I'll point out that the late Leopard 2A4's weight has been stated as 56.5 metric tons by multiple source and that it has a much narrower turret... this goes on and on and we won't find a consensus.
So let's move on and ignore the Leopard 2A4 for a few moments:
- Even if the Leopard 2 from 1991 still was fitted with Type C armor, this doesn't change the fact that there could have been Type D/fourth generation base armor as mentioned by Hilmes. It remains a fact that a flat, box-shaped armor module was able to resist LKE1/DM43 without the penetrator reaching the last ~quarter of the armor array and that this was offered as upgrade option to several countries operating older versions of the Leopard 2 (which is why I know about this: the relevant documents were classified at a relatively low level because said countries didn't buy the armor upgrade, so informations could be leaked even by lower levels of the respective armies) Maybe this armor was never fitted to the Leopard 2A4 as base armor - this doesn't change the fact that the Leopard 2A5/Stridsvagn likely has such base armor, based on its weight.
Yes, but it would have been a new turret rather than a redesign.
At the time this was written, it might have been perfectly reasonable to assume that the designation would changed, based on the history of the Leopard 1 and Leopard 2, which had received lots of new designations even for less deep modernizations/upgrades.
The KVT has a combat weight of 60.51 metric tons including 1.3 metric tons roof armor, ~1.2 metric tons hull armor (est.) and a bunch of additional components that didn't make it into the series model. This means that the naked KVT (i.e. the tank without add-on armor modules) weighed less than 56 metric tons. The Leopard 2A5 as formerly operated by Germany and currently operational in Poland has a weight of 59.7 metric tons or roughly 58.2 metric tons without add-on armor modules at the turret. The KVT mounted more new components than the series production model, has the same changes regarding mantlet and gun sight placement, also has the EWNA (which btw. is supposed to be lighter than the previous hydraulic system), spall liners (incl. spall liners in the hull), the new storage boxes, the new track skirts, etc,
Comparing the Leopard 2A5 to the Leopard 2A4 with Type B armor doesn't make sense, given that we do not know the exact weight of the non-armor changes - e.g. how much each change beside the turret add-on armor adds to the weight difference. Hardened steel roadwheel caps, spall liners, EWNA, the rear drive camera, the extended storage boxes made of aluminium, etc. all are unknown factors. These factors are irrelevant for comparing the KVT with Type B base armor and the series production model (with apparently Type D base armor), as there likely wasn't any change in weight regarding them (aside of the fact that the KVT mounted a few additional components like the suction ventilation system for the engine and the compartmentalized hydraulic system).
It is very simpple to see that the 2.1 metric tons weight differences that you seem to have identified cannot be attributed to the EWNA, storage boxes, spall liners, etc.: the KVT weighed only 60.51 metric tonnes. A naked KVT minus 2.1 tonnes "unaccounted weight" would end up lighter than the Leopard 2A0 from 1979! Btw. the weight difference between an empty Leopard 2A5 turret and an empty Leopard 2A4 turret is 4.25 metric tons, not 3.6...
The plan was to have hulls with Type C armor + add-on armor along the road. That's better than Type B armor + add-on armor.
Sure, every author makes mistakes. But you are just speculating on him exactly making a difference at this place. Your examples for his previous mistakes are also bad. You are using his original book from 1984 and argue that it is wrong without even having a proof that the sections your criticize contain any errors.
Yes, HOT didn't penetrate 800 mm with built-in stand-off, but it can penetrate that much armor at optimal stand-off (based on the British interpolation of test firings conducted at different stand-off). I posted the graph earlier in this exact topic:
Between 6 and 7 calibers stand-off distance, the HOT ATGM should reach about 800 mm. This is also the value which is listed as penetration for HOT at the WTS Koblenz, which is run by the Bundeswehr. It doesn't represent battlefield conditions, but that is likely a value used by its manufacturer to appraise the system ("up to 800 mm penetration"). In his original book, Hilmes provides sources for pretty much everything he claims (unfortunately he stopped doing that after working for the BWB, because a lot of his sources weren't public). Merkava 1's armor layout is sourced from an Israeli source and it is clearly stated that it is a sketch. Maybe he made an error when drawing the sketch due to an incorrect understanding of the translation, but that is completely irrelevant to the discussion, as you are using a book from the 1980s citing tons of sources to discredit his statements about a program where he was actually involved in...
The author from the article of the ARMOR magazine is a Dutch freelance photographer called Gerard van Oosbree. He has no authority on the matter. The source he cites for the the replacement of the base armor is a brochure written by a German journalists. It is not bad, but hardly an authority in itself.
A contemporary special of a German military magazine on the Leopard 2A5 written by Michael Scheibert, a Bundeswehr officier who served 73 years before retiring and wrote numerous articles on German military hardware, tactics and other military related topics wrote in regards to the armor: "Einbau von Schutzpaketen neuer Technologie im Turmgehäuse und Anbau von Vorsatzmodulen an der Front und an den Flanken des Turmes;" (Integration of protection modules [made with] new technology into the turret structure and addition of external add-on modules at the front and flanks of the turret). He furthermore mentions that despite using the newest (!) armor technology, the weight of the Leopard 2A5 had to be increased to nearly 60 metric tons to meet the demanded protection levels. Newest armor technology doesn't sound like Type B armor from 1979...
There was only a photograph of an armor module representing the turret front, it included the ERA. No photograph of the armor module after penetration, but a sketch comparing the penetration depth of LKE 1 and LKE 2 prototypes against the turret armor. Based on the sketch, both rounds passed through the simulated Kontakt-5.