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Sturgeon's House

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  1. General AFV Thread

    "Bitch", I will tell the others here some facts, so they see how much nonsense you write. The 30+ kg quote was in the context of the 142 mm ACRA gun. 120 mm cartridge weights are irrelevant. One should abstain from discussions if one cannot muster the attention and concentration to follow them. Here's another example of Collimatrix failing at paying attention: I wrote (where he linked to) of a "30+ kg HESH warhead" in a never edited forum post, and he replied "What? Only the malkara ATGM had that much explosive." http://forum.worldoftanks.com/index.php?/topic/427314-french-142mm-acra-gunlauncher/page__pid__8686951#entry8686951 http://forum.worldoftanks.com/index.php?/topic/427314-french-142mm-acra-gunlauncher/page__pid__8687144#entry8687144 So either he doesn't know the difference between warhead (= "shell" or "projectile" in this case) and explosives or he failed grossly (and evidently today as well) at mustering the attention and concentration to read properly. And that's the kind of discussion that I really dislike; when people are hostile, go ad hominem, are arrogant, and insult me for their own inability to understand simple texts. An excerpt from the link that Collimatrix provided to show what utter nonsense he spouts: RPG-29 fires the PG-29V tandem HEAT munition which has 1.6 kg of explosives. That's not "ginormous" in the context of tanks. http://defense-update.com/products/r/rpg-29.htm an example 105 mm HESH has 3 kg explosives. http://armscom.net/products/105mm_tk_hesh_t_m393a3_e an example 120 mm HESH has 4.1 kg explosives and weighs 17.86 kg (projectile, not cartridge) http://jcammo.com/large-calibre-120-mm-l31-a1-hesh-t/ 165 mm HESH had about 18 kg of explosives. PG-29V is nowhere near representative for tank gun HESH, not even from the mere filler weight. A linear enlargement of the 120 mm HESH shell to 142 mm would be 17.86 kg * (142/120)^3 = 29.59 kg. There's no reason why the fuse or cage would need to grow like that, of course. 155 mm shells are typically around 42 kg, historical 140 mm naval guns had 82 lbs = 37 kg HE shells (as well as even heavier shells). The 82 lbs /37 kg figures in this line were shell weight, not filler weight. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- And to settle the question of mobility kill, here are test results of what a tiny 76 mm HESH (whole shell weighs only 5.6 kg, explosive likely well below 1.5 kg) does to an AFV's wheels, idlers and tracks: http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/348021.pdf That's not "impotent", even at such a relatively small calibre. That HESH ineffectiveness against AFVs is about penetrating or spalling behind thick layered armour; the effect on stuff on the outside is usually devastating, as is the effect on thin armour (typical BMP/BTR/BMD vehicles) and of course buildings. Thick skirts can protect a running gear against HESH/HEP to some degree, but them getting blown into the running gear can cause mobility kills as well. Hardly any Russian tanks have thick skirts (though Armata has). ----------------------------------------------------- I understand one may prefer a modern HE shell like the German DM 11 over HESH -and with smoothbore guns there's not even much of a choice, but there's a problem with the alternative of a modern HE shell; Back in Chechnya in the late 90's Russian tank companies had a rotation of a few MBTs providing direct fire support and others resting and reloading. They spent hundreds of HE shells on some villages each. The Americans spent hundreds of shells on single villages with 90 mm armed tanks in Vietnam, despite the flimsy construction of Vietnamese villages. We're not going to procure enough DM11-like modern HE shells for MBTs because these shells are expensive and the (political) deck is stacked against a good ratio between platform procurement and supplies procurement, but HESH is dirt cheap by comparison and could be procured in huge quantities. Plain HE without a modern ET fuze is not really superior to HESH. So a solution could be a hi/lo mix, with low cost shells to achieve munition stock sizes that properly contribute to our deterrence effort. HESH is an option for this, and it is the best choice in those scenarios where the consumption of tank gun munitions is the highest; shooting at buildings.
  2. General AFV Thread

    GMTI long range radars like ASTOR and J-STARS are long range only till they are jammed. The Russians have had such jammers for a long time already (SPN-4, for example). It's questionable whether they would survive far enough forward in face of supercruising fighters with long range missiles anwyway. Substantial forces slip through picket lines even on rather confined training areas. This is in part about counter-reconnaissance efforts and deception efforts. I didn't write about penetrating or spalling the hull of Armata with 105 mm HESH. I wrote about firepower or mobility kill. That requires to affect the turret or blowing up the running gear. Frankly, anyone who doesn't know what HESH/HEP blast does to roadwheels, tracks, optics should read and ask questions instead of pretending to know better. The very fact that I wrote explicitly about mobility and firepower kill shows that I knew about the issue that HESH has with thick non-homogeneous armour packages. To not know about the effects that HESH/HEP has on road wheels, tracks, sensors and even gun alignment is disqualifying for a discussion on tanks and HESH. "not everywhere on Earth is Eastern Europe " True, but there's no rational reason to look at any other terrain if you are a Western European. Morocco isn't going to invade Europe, Egypt isn't going to, Algeria isn't going to, Turkey is still allied for now, and Iran isn't going to attack Turkey either. The only not utterly nonsensical defence scenario is about Eastern Europe, particularly the Baltics and North/East Poland. Every single scenario in which European forces are on a different continent is nonsense, and not about defence at all. So either European NATO forces should orient themselves mostly to Eastern Europe or shrink to a core competencies-retaining skeleton force to save public funds. I don't have more time for this. Too much nonsense here.
  3. General AFV Thread

    Oh boy, this condescension is all-too well-known. People assuming they know what I know or don't know - even after I told them they cannot have such knowledge. The all-too obvious unwillingness to comprehend texts is all-too typical as well. -------- "essentially it wouldn't be fitting inside a tank. So the HVMs would need to be carried outside " Congratulations, you just repeated what I wrote in the first place. HVMs carried in merely bulletproofed launch tubes at the rear of the turret. It's annoying that you pretend to know this better. -------- "With current armor technology, there is a big difference between protecting against KE penetrators and shaped charge rounds " Congratulations, you again repeated what I wrote. Same. -------- "That's basic knowledge that you'll learn in every armor school in NATO. " I can't learn this because I learned it decades ago already. Too bad you didn't understand my point at all (keyword text comprehension). A threat in a 30° cone leaves only 30° for manoeuvring left or right before one leaves the 60° near-immunity cone, and that's impractical. Especially taking into account that the commander doesn't know the threat cone for sure and must not be restricted by an unreliable guess. Even the most-protected tanks are going to expose soft spots when they manoeuvre on a battlefield between covers. Even an immune glacis would thus be degraded in its utility by the necessity of individual tank manoeuvre. Besides, the trend goes towards more dispersion and thus towards smaller and smaller elements of manoeuvre. Lone platoons as small as 4 vehicles have very limited flank security. Essentially, with every turret facing into a different direction you will have 3 turrets facing the wrong way. Which in itself means 3/4 are exposed. Or they only observe different directions, then 4/4 are exposed if they guessed the threat direction wrong. -------- "They fought against badly organized and in many regards incompetent enemies, which hadn't fully understood how to utilize modern technology (such as the tank, radios, etc.) to their maximum potential." They sure shot well with their 25, 40, 47 and 75 mm guns and knocked out many tanks. This did still not matter much because tanks don't need to be impenetrable or come close to being so. Their protection is already valuable when they reduce the density of threat weapons and munitions to a tolerable one. The successes in '40 weren't only on the operational level either. The breakout at the Sedan bridgehead and many other actions were victories of the thinner-protected tanks in face of many weapons that were capable of penetration. T-34s also kept being the mainstay of the Red Army's tank force at a time when their protection had become flimsy. Same for Shermans in '44, and Panzer IV soldiered on despite being very vulnerable. These were tanks that must have been "useless for offensive actions" except that military history proved the opposite. -------- "Hilmes didn't state that a 40-50 tons tank is well protected enough for the modern battlefield nor did he claim that any of these tanks would meet your protection requirements. He has mentioned several weight-optimized tanks (usually without a turret or with an un-armored unmanned turret) that can achieve a protection level similar to your requirements." I'm not talking about a single video. That dude published books and articles for decades. He made that remark years ago in the context of FCS already, for example. --------------- By the way; the original blog post wasn't really about keeping the weight down first and foremost. People get drawn to the weight issue by some invisible hand. I was thinking much more about keeping the costs of the electronics (hard kill APS, for example - which is as much about protection as passive armour is) at a modest level. Combat aircraft had a development in which avionics rose to more than half of the fly-away price (much of the rest is the price of the engines). Tanks are following on that path, and it leads into the same death spiral.
  4. General AFV Thread

    Hello, I found this in my blog's traffic, so I'll get the opportunity to provide clarifications: @SH_MM; that's decent job at tracking, but you missed some other places. I posted very little at the gaming forums and I left WHQ much longer ago (no ban; feel free to check the account) on my own. Regarding Collimatrix's irrelevant Soviet MRD inventory case; (line of sight) combat troops are a minority among overall troops in the field and an even smaller minority in entire armies. A brigade may nowadays be tasked to operate on its own in a 50x50 km area, or even 100x50 km. Even back in the Cold War it was about 77 brigade equivalents for 1,000 km frontage in Central Europe. The planet did not shrink, but there are now few brigades in the field until a bloc (or India, China) mobilised fully. This means that the few powerful AT systems would rarely even only encounter hostile MBTs before those could wreak havoc among support elements. Slow ATGMs don't cope well with multispectral smoke that deploys in less than a second. Their effective range may be well below a km, even for those with a much greater nominal range. (That's part of why I argue for HVMs.) My hypothetical compromise tank is marginally less protected against RPG-29 than a Leo2 or Abrams. It's about as capable of defeating slow ATGMs as them. It's different -though not necessarily weaker- against MBTs. It's far from being as vulnerable as the example tanks of 1939-1941 were relative to their threats, in quantity matchup, qty/area and in qty/frontage. "lightweight shaped charges" = about 40-75 mm calibre HEAT (rifle grenades, UBGLs, RPG-26). This would add little weight in addition to the requirement for 30 mm APFSDS proofing because spaced armour is available on hull sides. "hull front 60° protected against portable threats" = Eryx (137 mm tandem HEAT). One should probably make the cut at 120 mm tandem HEAT, though. That would be about 850 mm RHAeq CE (assuming the rule of thumb multiplier of 7.2 that applies to the optimum shape, tantalum liner and best explosives used in HEAT). I explicitly mentioned HVMs (things like LOSAT, CKEM) in the example for a more modest tank design. This means the MBT would -despite 105 mm gun- still be able to penetrate as well as with a 130 mm gun, though not at very short ranges (approx. 0-500 m or so) since the HVMs first need to accelerate. It might actually end up being MORE able to penetrate than a MBT with a 125-130 mm gun. Furthermore, T-14 Armata appears to use rather weak turret protection that is likely not be impervious to 105 mm. The important turret component are on the outside and can at most be bulletproofed anyway. Even a 105 mm HESH hit could easily mission kill a T-14 (mobility or firepower kill, depends on where it hits). HVMs also offer advantages that even a 130 mm gun couldn't offer. There's a much higher rate of fire, possibly including the ability to arrange for two impacts with 0.2-0.3 seconds delay, so even a hard kill APS that could defeat long rods would fail to defeat the second incoming HVM. Ambush situations on road marching tanks would allow the gunner or commander to target & track four tanks, launching four HVMs in ripple fire for up to four kills with less exposure time than any detection-to-kill drill for tank guns (~7 seconds depending on type, crew and circumstances) could exploit. The main disadvantage of HVMs is the long acceleration distance (which is undisclosed but a couple hundred metres). Published LOSAT tests were done at 700 m and longer distances. About protection; MBTs need to sprint from cover to cover. It's rarely possible to expose only the frontal 60° during this (even if threats are limited to a 30° cone), so even the heaviest-protected MBT is going to expose areas in combat that a 105-130 mm gun can penetrate. This is particularly true for the hull, which has to be oriented into driving direction, unlike the turret which can be stabilised in (one) threat direction. The hull can also be protected in hull down positions, so there's a good case for preferring a compromise in glacis protection over turret front protection (unless the latter is unmanned, then the case is reversed, see T-14). That's why I pointed out the potential compromise of not hardening the hull against high-end KE threats. "essentially his tank would be useless for offensive actions" Explain how German tanks succeeded in 1939-1941. They were inadequately protected against every single ATG and field artillery piece, for sure. I pointed this out in the blog text, which makes it kinda frustrating to see someone insist on a prejudice that appears to be in an irreconcilable conflict with an already stated fact. "The author is supremely confident in pontificating about things he clearly has no technical knowledge of." That remains to be proven, but it's self-evident that you have little knowledge about what I know and what I don't know. I have knowledge about what I do know, and nobody has much knowledge about what I don't know. "I want to see the calculations showing that frontal turret protection against 125mm APFSDS, frontal hull protection against HEAT and engine compartment protection against 14.5mm plus ten degrees of gun depression is possible at 40 tonnes." MUCH higher protection levels are possible at 50 tons, this has been stated by experts like Hilmes repeatedly. The Japanese Type 10 has a bigger gun and some other weight-increasing extras and still only 44 t empty weight. PLA 125 mm are no doubt the threat that the Japanese looked at. Glacis protection against HEAT is fairly simple and not terribly heavy because the sloping makes reactive amour very effective on the upper glacis and much depth is available for a very weight-efficient CE protection. Such a glacis would weigh much less than the T-14's because the latter is no doubt also meant against 120 mm L/55 U-238 KE threats. Besides, I wrote "at about 40 tons". That would be anything from 37-43 metric tons. Finally a note before I leave: Target the message without misrepresenting it, don't try to shoot the messenger.
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