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    • By Monochromelody
      The Al Khalid derived from Norinco Type 90IIM MBT. It was in the early 90s, when India started to test their Arjun MBT. Pakistanis looked for a MBT design that could be produced by herself. 
      Norinco provided their own Type 90IIM prototype, this is an MBT design which comprised many Western components, such as engine and transmission. 

      There were 4 prototypes for Al-Khalid development, namely P1, P2, P3 and P4. 
      P1 has a Chinese tank diesel engine with ZF LSG3000 transmission. 
      P2 has a British Perkins CV12 Condor diesel engine with French SESM ESM500 transmission. 
      P3 has a Ukrainian KMDB 6TD-2 2-cycle boxer engine with its own twin planetary gearbox. 
      P4 has a German MB871 engine with ZF LSG3000 transmission, similar to South Korean K1 MBT. 

      Norinco and Pakistanis planned to adopt one of the Western powerpack at first, but due to CoCom (Coordinating Committee for Export to Communist Countries) restrictions, China is under embargo, which means China would not import weapons form Western countries. Obviously P3 powerplant would be the only choice. All those descriptions on the internet about ESM500 in Al-Khalid is fatally wrong. 
       
      The Al-Khalid pre-production batch and production version all equipped with Ukrainian KMDB 6TD-2 powerpack.
      It is an extremely compact design, the engine laid transversely in engine room, twin planetary gearboxes connect to both left and right end. The 6TD-2 has two crankshafts: the front one drives the mechanical supercharger, while the rear one drives the gearboxes. The cooling system covering the whole engine room, the engine itself has no mechanical connection to the cooling system, and the cooling system doesn't need mechanical drive. The cooling system based on a unique principle: exhaust gas driven ejector. The exhaust gas from the engine is injected through the outlet ducting, produce a low pressure in the outlet side, that will suck in cold air from the inlet side. This principle is also used in the T-64, T-80UD and T-84, but as far as I know, Swedish Ikv 91 is the only western tank that have similar cooling principle. 
       
      As a result, the total length of powerpack is significantly shortened, much more shorter than the European powerpack mentioned above. This leads to a spare storage room between the fighting compartment and the engine compartment. This storage is for extra ammunition and fuel, when turret points 3 or 9 o'clock, the top cover of the storage could be opened from outside, containing 10 rounds for main gun, with projectiles on the outsides, semi-combustible charges on the inside.
      The data table from HIT also describe the ammunition capacity as 39+10, means that 22 ready rounds in the T-72 type carousel autoloader, 17 backup rounds scatter around the fighting compartment, and extra 10 rounds could be carried in the storage room. 
       
      The driver of Al-Khalid control the vehicle via steering wheel and an automatic gear control box. The steering wheel and gear control box send electrical signals to the computer, then computer control the hydraulic servo actuator to perform engage and disengage of brakes and clutches, making steering and gear changes, as well as adjusting the speed and torque of the engine.
       
      Mechanically the gearboxes are nearly the same as T-64s and T-72s, but have different side reducer unit. The KMDB side reducer unit is designed as a secondary gearbox, acting like a forward-reverse selector. When both reducers were put into reverse, the vehicle can reverse using the normal forward ranges. From 1st gear to 4th gear, all could be used as high speed reverse, and that's why KMDB said this is a 7F4R gearbox system. And if only one reducer was put into reverse, the track will be driving in opposites direction, causing the vehicle turns within its tracks, a.k.a. pivot steer or center steer. T-84 also applied this driving and steering system.  
       
      The advantages of Al-Khalid's powerpack is the versatility: all 3 types of MBT in the Pakistanis arsenal, T-80UD, T-84, Al-Khalid, share the same engine and gearbox. 
    • By LoooSeR
      BM "Oplot"
       

       

      Ukrainian designers managed to make biggest panoramic sight i ever saw - overall weight of it is reaching 500 kg.
       
       
             Oplot-M, or BM "Oplot" after addoption to service in Ukrainian army, is Ukrainian MBT based on another Ukrainian MBT - T-84 "Oplot", which is Soviet-designed T-80UD with some modifications. BM Oplot was designed by Morozov Kharkiv Machine Building Design Bureau and produced by Malyshev factory. Chief designer of BM Oplot - Mikhail Dem'yanovich Borisuk (he was born in 1934, BTW).
       
       
             It have several features, separating it from T-80UD, T-90A and T-84. Engine is new 6 cylinder 6TD-2E 1200 HP diesel with lowered smokiness and exhaust toxicity (wich is a problem for Kharkov engines) in new engine-transmission compartment (which is 2 part - lower is for engine itself and upper part is for big airfilters, which are needed because of how much air 6TD "eats"), new sort-of automatical transmission. Tank is equipped with new navigation systems, FCS, panoramic sight for commander with day and night (thermal imager) capabilities, new remotely controlled KT-12.7 12.7 mm HMG for commander, new gunner sights, which bring it to modern level of how tank should be equipped. A lot of that equipment is made not in Ukraine.
       
       
      From the side BM Oplot looks different from Soviet T-64-like MBTs.
       
            Main gun is not really different from 2A46 125 mm guns of T-72/ T-80/T-90 series of tanks, 125 mm KBA-3 L48 gun with autoloader for 28 shots (46 in total is carried). Main gun can fire HE, HEAT, APFSDS, GL-ATGMs (Ukrainian "Kombat" missiles). AFAIK part of ammunition is carried outside of the tank, in turret "basket", mounted to the rear part of it. Nothing really fancy here, 5 km range with ATGMs, up to 2.5-2.8 km effective range with APFSDS, which is standart for late Soviet and current Russian MBTs like T-72B3, T-80UE and different models of the T-90. 
       
           Vehicle is also equipped with Ukrainian version/local variant of Shtora system - "Varta", with additional laser-warning sensors on the turret sides. 

       
       
           BM-Oplot use somewhat unusual type of ERA (which is most interesting feature of that tank) - ~layered ERA named "Duplet". It is rumored that it can defeat tandem HEAT warheads like PG-7VR and PG-29V. Vehicle sides are also covered by Duplet ERA. 
       


            Note that the hull UFP is covered by differently shaped blocks of ERA (long and narrow). How much it is effective is unknown, but designers claim that it can defeat tandem HEAT warheads, EFP and APFSDS projectiles.  
       
      Upper frontal hull armor layout:
       
      Side ERA modules:
       
            Overall, BM Oplot is tank with better perfomance than T-80UD thanks to improvements in electronics and FCS, engine, transmission, driver controls, new ERA and better side armor, and in some areas this vehicle can be superioir to T-72B3 (latest Russian serial produced modification of the T-72 MBT, although it wasn't best proposed modification for it).
            But..., there is always "but" -  it is vehicle that Ukraine can not produce in any serious numbers, as their one and only contract with Thai army showed - out of 95 BM Oplot ordered in 2011 only 5-6 were delivered to this day. During trials in Thailand Kombat GL-ATGMs also showed not very good results - AFAIK out of 5 test firings, 2 missiles exploded before reaching targets. Another interesting fact about that tank is that no BM Oplot MBTs are presented on battlefields of Eastern Ukraine - T-64 and T-72s are primary tanks of the VSU. Seems to me Ukraine is either can't service them, or simply can't produce them in a first place.
       
      Oplot-BM on trials in Pakistan. No accurate information on results, rumors say that Chinese VT-4 won that competition.
       
      Oplot-BMs for Thai army on prooving ground.
       

    • By T___A
      This thread is for all things Ukrainian Civil War. I will start off by posting this analysis from SA:
       
       

      Link
    • By Collimatrix
      I confess; when EE or Looser or whoever characterized the Ukrainian government's muscle as fascists, I thought this was Russian hyperbole.  I was aware of the presence of far-right elements during the protest period, and had no doubt that there were some neo-nazis in the ranks currently, the characterization seemed exaggerated.  After all, the Soviets had accused NATO of similar things, and surely the Ukrainians wouldn't be so dumb as to openly play into the role of villains in the Russian cultural monomyth of the Great Patriotic War?
       
      I am reconsidering this view.
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