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1 minute ago, Karamazov said:

For example LAHAT

Laser homing, low energy and sad 105mm caliber, and inferior in every way to the Spike family. Literally why would you use that missile, and more to the point why would you saddle a tank with one and what round would you replace in the rack to make room for it?

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5 hours ago, Karamazov said:

1 - Infantry often walks with a tank. Hit into ERA is dangerous for infantry near the tank.

 

ERA is more dangerous to surrounding infantry than a 6in ATGM like Kornet or TOW? 

 

 

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5 hours ago, LoooSeR said:

1. NERA and ERA don't exactly operate in similar manner, there are different ERA types. 

2. What kind of APS Ukraine have? Russia don't have APS on any vehicle in service.

3. Reference threats. T-72Bs don't really NEED an expensive ATGMs in the roof to be destroyed. 120 mm guns with modern shells are more than enough.

4. Artillery shells in tank front are pretty random in their effect, it depends on exact hit placement and tank layout/design features in that place. Roof hit on the other hand is almost sure to do something noticeably bad for vehicle.

5. Is Duplet some sort of super ERA that needs super weapons to be penetrated?

1- I saw it here: https://defensepoliticsasia.com/nera-understanding-non-explosive-reactive-armour/

NERA seem to operate in the same manner as common ERA:

Quote

NERA usually consists of two metal (steel, aluminium or titanium) layers with a confined/compressed layer of an elastic material such as rubber sandwiched inbetween. Upon impact, the rubber will expand and the armor will bulge. This is highly effective against shaped charge jets, which are used on rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs). The bulging moves more material into the path of penetration and has a disruptive effect, which will weaken the shaped charge jet.

Source: Puma IFV armor and upgrade speculations

main-qimg-8e71a2338210573cbb7c5c2c538e2c

 

2- As far as i know Oplot tank has Zaslon hard kill protection

T-55 was equipped with Drozd

T-72 and T-80 are equipped with Arena

T-90 seem to have nothing?
T-14 will get  Afghanit 

 

3- How about T-80, T-84 Oplot, T-90, T-99, Type 96 and even future T-14 ? beside as i understand it APDS round lose significant penetrating power at long range, at range greater than 3 km, it is very hard to penetrate frontal armor of MBT,  whereas the penetrating capability of ATGM is range independence.

4- If the round hit the turret front, wouldn't the explosion fragments always damage or penetrate the frontal upper hull, which is extremely thin? i heard the upper glacis of M1 is only 30-40 mm thick

5- It seem pretty capable, able to cut APDS round into dozens smaller pieces and what not

 

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6 hours ago, N-L-M said:

.

3. ATGMs do not fly further, unless you're talking about ATGMs like Spike NLOS, which don't fit in tank guns. Also read what I wrote the first time about effective engagement range.

If you take a look at ATGM footage from Syria you'll see that SACLOS or beam riding ATGMs bounce a lot in flight so you cant aim them at weak spots.

Most tanks since 1982 or so have been destroyed by missiles, because all battles were curbstomps, and missiles are common as dirt. Tank on tank engagement has been rare, but where it has happened, since the dawn of time, KE ammo has been the primary choice and the most effective one.

None of that makes it a good idea to shoot a missile out of a tank gun.

4. I too have seen the Field Artillery Journal. A more critical look at the damage shows damage no worse than would be caused by an AT mine on side hits, and damage no worse than is caused by a full size ATGM on frontal hits. 152/155 HE isn't all you seem to think it is.

 

 

3- How about LAHAT? 

4-I think a frontal hit by a full size ATGM such as AGM-65 likely wreak the tank as well 

 

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2 hours ago, Ronny said:

3- How about LAHAT? 

4-I think a frontal hit by a full size ATGM such as AGM-65 likely wreak the tank as well 

Lahat is a shitshow, low caliber and requires laser designation, ie someone with a line of sight to the target illuminating it for the duration of the engagement, which against modern tanks is suicide.

This illum LOS requirement means that in practical effect it's a LOS only weapon, same as APFSDS, excluding niche cases in which someone else designates for the launcher- which begs the questions of a. Why isn't the designator engaging with their own weapons and b. If the designator is calling in other weapons anyway why not call in something more effective like a Spike, which also has the benefit of not attracting the enemy's attention via lasing.

Lahat is fundamentally not a good idea for engaging modern tanks, and the 105mm dia isn't doing it any favors either.

AGM 65 is a big fucking ASM. Theres very little you can do against a 300lb SAP warhead (though the single shaped charge variant is low energy and sad). Mav is not however an efficient weapon, as it's fucking huge. For reference, it's slated to be replaced by triple JAGM racks. Hell at this point why not talk about 500lb AP bombs, if you want to full retard on tank busting?

Bottom line is that it's not a good idea.

 

Also your SNR is terrible, please learn to post:

 

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2 hours ago, N-L-M said:

Lahat is a shitshow, low caliber and requires laser designation, ie someone with a line of sight to the target illuminating it for the duration of the engagement, which against modern tanks is suicide.

This illum LOS requirement means that in practical effect it's a LOS only weapon, same as APFSDS, excluding niche cases in which someone else designates for the launcher- which begs the questions of a. Why isn't the designator engaging with their own weapons and b. If the designator is calling in other weapons anyway why not call in something more effective like a Spike, which also has the benefit of not attracting the enemy's attention via lasing.

Lahat is fundamentally not a good idea for engaging modern tanks, and the 105mm dia isn't doing it any favors either.

AGM 65 is a big fucking ASM. Theres very little you can do against a 300lb SAP warhead (though the single shaped charge variant is low energy and sad). Mav is not however an efficient weapon, as it's fucking huge. For reference, it's slated to be replaced by triple JAGM racks. Hell at this point why not talk about 500lb AP bombs, if you want to full retard on tank busting?

Bottom line is that it's not a good idea.

 

Also your SNR is terrible, please learn to post:

 

1- I got that if a tank which used LAHAT is only 2-3 km away from enemy then sure its enemy can retaliate with an APFSDS round, which is much faster and harder to defend. However, i can't see how that could be suicide if you use LAHAT to engage enemy tank from 6-8 km away?  yes you have to illuminate target for the whole duration, so what? if enemy tank have no ATGM then they will have no way to retaliate . How is it any different from an AH-64 launching Hellfire  at enemy tank? a helicopter have negligible armor yet they can be fairly effective tank hunter 

cuba.png

http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/m-114.html

2- I mentioned Maverick because you said damage by 155 mm hitting the turret is no worse than a full size ATGM. AGM-65 is a full size ATGM. AGM-65 was originally an anti armor missile with 125 lbs shaped charge warhead: AGM-65A, AGM-65B, AGM-65C, AGM-65D all use shaped charge warhead, the 300 lbs warhead only integrated in AGM-65E, AGM-65F and AGM-65G. I don't think mentioning AGM-65 is retarded though, it was a very popular anti tank weapon of F-16, F-4 and A-10

Lrmbn4a.pngxXELhOW.png

 

 

Though, I am quite curious why you call the  shaped charge variant  low energy and sad,  56 kg HEAT is still pretty massive is it not?

 

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1 hour ago, Ronny said:

be suicide if you use LAHAT to engage enemy tank from 6-8 km away?

Laser designation is extremely problematic at those ranges, which is part of the reason why the later Hellfires are MMW. The laser versions did not work very well with ground level or even heli based designators at extended ranges. If you then choose to designate on remote with someone closer, well it's suicide for them.

Laser illumination for the long TOF at those extreme ranges gives the enemy ample time to react, popping smoke and maneuvering to cover, as well as counterfire. Kicking up a dirt cloud with a HE round between the designator and the targeted vehicle will cause the beam to dissipate and the missile to lose guidance.

Hellfires switched to MMW for this reason and others, and currently many heli operators are switching over to NLOS missiles to overcome the vulnerability of helis to MPHE even at extreme ranges, so that's not a point in your favor right there.

Maverick is quite a bit larger than a full size ATGM. Full size is TOW or Kornet or at the larger side of things Hellfire; Maverick is a multipurpose air to ground munition kind of in a class of its own. To put it bluntly it is extremely large, with a much larger warhead than a 155mm shell by a factor of more than 3, which literally 2 seconds of googling would tell you if you'd bother to look things up before posting.

Compare that to a TOW or Kornet which have similar explosive content to a 155mm shell.

And if we're comparing large aircraft carried weapons, why stop with the Mav? Go straight for SAP 500lb bombs, because youre clearly not interested in comparing like to like.

Single shaped charges are low energy and sad because all modern armor is very well optimized for defeating them, so you get a shockingly low Pkill compared to the size of the Maverick, which is again retardedly large for what its used for, hence its replacement with a missile literally 1/3 the size.

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7 hours ago, Ronny said:

 

2- As far as i know Oplot tank has Zaslon hard kill protection

T-55 was equipped with Drozd

T-72 and T-80 are equipped with Arena

T-90 seem to have nothing?
T-14 will get  Afghanit 

 

3- How about T-80, T-84 Oplot, T-90, T-99, Type 96 and even future T-14 ? beside as i understand it APDS round lose significant penetrating power at long range, at range greater than 3 km, it is very hard to penetrate frontal armor of MBT,  whereas the penetrating capability of ATGM is range independence.

4- If the round hit the turret front, wouldn't the explosion fragments always damage or penetrate the frontal upper hull, which is extremely thin? i heard the upper glacis of M1 is only 30-40 mm thick

5- It seem pretty capable, able to cut APDS round into dozens smaller pieces and what not

 

2. What? Did you even looked at Oplot tank?

T-72 and T-80 equipped with Arena? Are you sure about that?

 

3. Those tanks also have questinable protection against modern "Western" ammunition. Not sure about Type 99A, but it is not exactly on top of the list of possible threats. GL-ATGM penetration capabilities are very limited with guidance channel, caliber and increasing number of APS.

 

4. Again, depends on exact situation - how close to UFP it exploded, is it happened near driver hatch and so on.

 

5. Kek. 

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7 hours ago, Ronny said:

2- As far as i know Oplot tank has Zaslon hard kill protection

T-55 was equipped with Drozd

T-72 and T-80 are equipped with Arena

T-90 seem to have nothing?
T-14 will get  Afghanit 

The problem is, neither are in service.

T-55AD withdrawn long ago. T-72 and 80 never received Arena serially. Oplot also doesnt have anything, barely a few are in service, and the ukrainians are struggling to even keep them in running condition. Absolutely no money for APS. And finally, T-14 is a prototype, which is still in (probably mid) development stage, and will not be completed in the foreseeable future.

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12 hours ago, Lord_James said:

 

ERA is more dangerous to surrounding infantry than a 6in ATGM like Kornet or TOW? 

 

 

ERA responds not only to ATGM. On the battlefield, many threats to the tank. If any of them cause an ERA detonation, the infantry will suffer.

Look at the Israeli tanks. They had many ERA models. But in the end: they only use NERA. Because their infantry always interacts with the tank. Always nearby tanks

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14 hours ago, N-L-M said:

Laser homing, low energy and sad 105mm caliber, and inferior in every way to the Spike family. Literally why would you use that missile, and more to the point why would you saddle a tank with one and what round would you replace in the rack to make room for it?

I give it as an example because it can be launched from a gun. They can shoot a leopard 2. 

Spike can't do it yet. Anyway - its caliber is not important. Because he hits the target from above

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14 hours ago, LoooSeR said:

   You don't need that in our age of MMPs, Spikes, ALAS, AFT-10s and so on.

This is what I am talking about. With the advent of the 3rd generation of ATGM, the situation changes.

 

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1 hour ago, N-L-M said:

Laser designation is extremely problematic at those ranges, which is part of the reason why the later Hellfires are MMW. The laser versions did not work very well with ground level or even heli based designators at extended ranges. If you then choose to designate on remote with someone closer, well it's suicide for them.

Laser illumination for the long TOF at those extreme ranges gives the enemy ample time to react, popping smoke and maneuvering to cover, as well as counterfire. Kicking up a dirt cloud with a HE round between the designator and the targeted vehicle will cause the beam to dissipate and the missile to lose guidance.

Hellfires switched to MMW for this reason and others, and currently many heli operators are switching over to NLOS missiles to overcome the vulnerability of helis to MPHE even at extreme ranges, so that's not a point in your favor right there.

Maverick is quite a bit larger than a full size ATGM. Full size is TOW or Kornet or at the larger side of things Hellfire; Maverick is a multipurpose air to ground munition kind of in a class of its own. To put it bluntly it is extremely large, with a much larger warhead than a 155mm shell by a factor of more than 3, which literally 2 seconds of googling would tell you if you'd bother to look things up before posting.

Compare that to a TOW or Kornet which have similar explosive content to a 155mm shell.

And if we're comparing large aircraft carried weapons, why stop with the Mav? Go straight for SAP 500lb bombs, because youre clearly not interested in comparing like to like.

Single shaped charges are low energy and sad because all modern armor is very well optimized for defeating them, so you get a shockingly low Pkill compared to the size of the Maverick, which is again retardedly large for what its used for, hence its replacement with a missile literally 1/3 the size.

As far as i know, later Hellfire was equipped with MMW to give multi target engagement along with the Longbow radar plus the Fire and forget capability 

But i have never seen report of laser designation difficulty for early version of Hellfire though.

I mean, if targeting pod on fighter can designate target from 72 km away  i would expect helicopter laser designator at least 1/8 as good as that.

https://www.raytheon.com/capabilities/products/atflir

Beside, there are many long range weapons with SAL guidance: for example SPEAR, Brimstone II, AGM-65, JAGM, SDB II ..etc so I really skeptical that laser designation is problematic at merely 8 km

Regarding the switch to NLOS missiles, i don't think the reason is MBT's MPHE. There are others threat to helicopter which are far far more dangerous to helicopter than tanks, for example: SHORAD such as Tor-m1 or Pantsir-S1. Compare to their missiles, the capability of MBT's MPHE is rather pathetic. 
Also what if we use something like this:

Quote

679blog1317385855.jpg

 

The KOMBAT missiles can be loaded into the tank gun’s carousel-type automatic loader together with all other round types employed by the gun. The KOMBAT missile body consists of two parts: the head end/tandem warhead and aft end (accommodating sensor/control aids and propulsion), both being stowed in the automatic loader in the same way as conventional ammunition. The two parts get united into one body in the gun bore at the moment of firing. The missile’s tandem warhead enables it to defeat targets fitted with explosive reactive armor with a first-round hit probability of 0.8-0.9.

The KOMBAT has four fold-out fins at its extreme rear, and offers an effective range of 5,000 m which it covers in 17 seconds. With a mass overall of 30 kilos, the missile is far heavier than Russian counterparts, such as the 125mm REFLEX with a maximum range of 5,000 meters, and the BASTION which fires from 100mm rifled guns to ranges of up to 4,000 meters. A tandem shaped-charge warhead makes up almost half of the KOMBAT’s length, allowing a heavier explosive payload to be delivered to the target. The warhead weighs 9kg, including a 3kg explosive charge (it is by far heavier than the warhead featured in the REFLEX), contributing considerably to the missile’s armor piercing capability, which, again, much exceeds that of the REFLEX. The KOMBAT is a laser-beam-riding guided missile, the laser beam being directed onto the tail of the flying missile rather than on the target proper. The missile’s control system allows for a few guidance modes. One such is so called “lead-on” mode, whereby the laser beam is directed frontward the designated target without actually illuminating it. The laser beam is only brought into coincidence with the target (tank or helicopter) for 0.3 seconds prior to impact, effectively leaving the enemy with no time to activate a laser-warning system. At a range of 5.0 km, miss distance does not exceed 0.5 m. The missile has been accepted as standard issue for the Ukrainian Armed Forces.



Any way,  about full size ATGM, there isn't really a fix definition i think, so when you said full size atgm, i just instantly think about F-16, A-10 weapons.

What was the PK of AGM-65 anyway? i thought it got enough power to penetrate turret front of M1?

d3.jpg

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, LoooSeR said:

2. What? Did you even looked at Oplot tank?

T-72 and T-80 equipped with Arena? Are you sure about that?

 

3. Those tanks also have questinable protection against modern "Western" ammunition. Not sure about Type 99A, but it is not exactly on top of the list of possible threats. GL-ATGM penetration capabilities are very limited with guidance channel, caliber and increasing number of APS.

 

4. Again, depends on exact situation - how close to UFP it exploded, is it happened near driver hatch and so on.

 

5. Kek. 

2. I have, but i honestly have no idea , they said it is equipped with Zaslon so...
https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/ukraines-tough-t-84-oplot-m-tank-wont-fight-russia-being-17817

3. was't K5 very good ? beside, APS still quite unpopular now so i guess GL-ATGM will be very useful in the past

4. Let say it hit the middle of the turret front? can the tank survive that

 

Edit: ok you are right, i just realized now that Zaslon has very distinct shape so clearly they don't put it on Oplot (the operation seem pretty lame though)

 

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1 hour ago, Ronny said:

3. was't K5 very good ? beside, APS still quite unpopular now so i guess GL-ATGM will be very useful in the past

Kontakt-5 is completely obsolete since quite a while. It had only a few years while it was an effective form of protection. In the mid 90s americans already had the M829A2 which was able to defeat it. A few years later germans introduced the DM53, which also defeated K5. Also all ATGMs with tandem warheads are effective against K5 protected targets.

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On 6/11/2019 at 12:37 PM, Ronny said:

I hope my question is not very stupid, anyway, i have always curios about the design philosophy of Western tanks such as Leopard, M1, Challenger versus Russian tank such as T80, T-90.

 

22803554249_3bd49c5f91_k.jpg 

 

Vs
1280px-T-72B3_-_Parad2014NN-08.jpg

 

 

1- Why do Western tank mostly use NERA instead of ERA? Isn't ERA more effective than NERA, especially against KE and they are also much lighter and replaceable ?

2- Why don't Western tank mostly have active hard kill protection? I know there are some recent plans to integrate Trophy on M1A3 but why is it so late? On one hand, even ancient Russian tank have active hard kill countermeasure. On the other hand, very new Leopard 2A7V still doesn't have active hard kill countermeasures 

3- Why don't Western tank use ATGM like Russian? they can reach much further than Sabot round and there are also top attack option that allow them to penetrate the tank roof, where there are almost no armor? I understand that APDS round fly much faster and more resilient against countermeasure so they are probably better option at short range, but i think ATGM is better at long range.
4- Is there any modern MBT that can survive a hit from 152 mm HE round? such as one fired by KV-2?

kv-2-central-armed-forces-museum-moscow.

 

5- For tank on tank combat, which one is better between Leopard 2A7 and Oplot-M equipped with Duplet? Is there any known counter for HEAT warhead and APDS round against Duplet? 

 

Those aren't stupid questions. Unfortunately some people here are too conservative and early to bark at people for raising questions for which the answers only seem obvious to them.

 

1)The question of ERA versus NERA is a matter of design philosophies, and wargame analysis.

In absolute terms, neither ERA nor NERA are more effective from one another.

 

They both have a linear tradeoff of capabilities. It is a function of single-hit protection, i.e how effective would one type be against only 1 shot, and the total number of shots that armor can take. 

In a very rough comparison, an ERA can interact with 1 projectile resulting in X penetration reduction. And a NERA armor would defend from 2 projectiles, with only X/2 penetration reduction at a time.

On average, they are mathematically equal. On the battlefield, certain scenarios will show the superiority of one over the other.

 

To better understand the situation, you must first understand that actually both western and eastern tanks use NERA of some form, as the key component of their armor. Only for a short time was ERA ever dominant over NERA, and that was at the time of tanks like Leopard 1, AMX-30, and M48/60, because proper composite armor did not exist yet with the quality needed to defeat HEAT or APFSDS.

 

Next comes the impact probability analysis.

If a certain area is considered likely to be hit multiple times in tight groupings, over the course of a single engagement, then NERA is the preferred solution, even though again the Soviet tanks used NERA as much as western tanks.

If a certain area is only likely to be hit once in a single engagement, then ERA is preferred.

 

This is why on most western AFVs, the first type of applique to appear for side protection was ERA, and only after certain advancements, it moved on to NxRA (will get into that later).

 

And finally is the system's longevity analysis. Or basically how long the tank is expected to survive in either case.

 

Soviet tanks were considered more disposable than NATO tanks. Although fiercely competing with the west to create the higher quality tank, part of the philosophy was that even an advanced tank won't survive for very long on the battlefield. Minutes at best.

Thus ERA, being more effective for a single hit, would basically double the number of shots required to take out the tank, in some of the more likely scenarios.

And when you double some capability, for seemingly no cost at all, that's something worth doing, and is no longer an incremental upgrade.

 

In the west, tanks were expected to be more survivable, hence for example the human loader that was more of a spare than an actual necessity for normal operation of the tank.

With a focus on higher overall longevity of the platform on the battlefield, the ERA would not be more than a minor addition over potent NERA. It would be a single use item in an environment in which designers believed a tank needs to be able to sustain many hits, even if only for the sake of recovery.

Plus, it would encourage a bad culture of crewmembers' false reliance on a single use item, perhaps not fully understanding the extent of the danger in such belief.

 

But wherever sufficient NERA was not possible, western philosophy did not exclude ERA at all, and you can see the Bradley for example entirely covered in ERA

 

2)Depends who you're looking at.

 

USA - Wanted Trophy more than a decade ago but Raytheon lobbied hard enough to delay its acquisition until it can complete its own system, which it eventually never has. 

Reallocation of funds was also time consuming. Army doesn't always get what it wants, and almost never on time, unless Congress is especially generous.

 

Rest of NATO - For three reasons mainly.

First, they are very much disconnected from their MIC and will more often try to subvert the MIC than help it, because of a perceived sense of security.

 

Second, rest of NATO are being led, not leading new technological trends. Their innovators are their MIC which they don't do nearly enough to support.

 

Third, the acquisition of arms in Europe is done with the intent of deterrence, not the actual usage of said equipment in combat. Hence why you can still see Leopard 2A4 as the main MBTs of certain countries.

I've explained a long while ago, in depth, the economical effects of an APS. One of the conclusions was that it is economically unviable to buy AFVs without APS, if the AFVs are to be used during their lifetimes at least once in a medium to high intensity combat scenario. Most combat today is hybrid warfare, which is medium intensity. So basically for most of the combat we see globally, an APS is a must.

It is only viable to buy a tank without an APS if the tank is not expected to see combat.

 

That is why countries like the US, Israel, Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey, are seen investing in APS. Even poor Syria does. 

 

A Leopard 2A7V, and its ancestor the Leo 2, form a lineage of 40 years of service in Germany. At no point were they used in serious combat by the Bundeswehr. Only the VJTF is supposed to be deployed abroad and expected to see combat on short notice, which is why the VJTF tanks will receive an APS. It just didn't get much publicity.

 

Of course, there are some within NATO who see the importance of capability maintenance and building regardless of the probability of war, and are investing in APS as well. The Netherlands for example are probably going to be the first in Europe to use an APS, on their CV90.

 

3)Russian ATGMs are not really a good comparison. They simply were never really effective weapons. Only effective within a small range of conditions.

 

A proper GLATGM would be something like a Spike downsized to 120mm, but today it's hardly necessary. There are two main considerations to this - tools, and tactics.

 

Tools - a tank battalion never drives alone. It will have infantry support. Infantry on the battalion level will always have an AT element capable of launching ATGMs at standoff ranges, and their vehicles have ATGMs as well, to multiply the output. Other than that, available tools include artillery, that in the modern day use long range guided missiles (+20km range), guided rockets, and guided/unguided shells.

 

Tactics - when spotting a tank formation of any size, 6-8km away, other options are preferred. Ambush with short range engagement from prepared positions is ideal.

The next best alternative is actually calling artillery or aviation, because the effects of a sudden barrage are going to be far greater, as opposed to an ATGM volley that would have the core of the formation maneuver away and screening their maneuver, when they see the first missile flying.

The third best option would be to lob HE shells, not ATGMs, at enemy tanks too far away.

The reason is that HE can do a lot of damage to the optics, gun, stabilizers, and other external equipment that is key for the effective use of the tank. It could even outright disable tanks by hitting the tracks or the UFP close to the driver's hatch.

ATGMs pack an HE payload as well, but are far less versatile and substantially more expensive, to the point where it's worth asking whether allocating vital space for them inside the ammo rack is even worth sacrificing other ammo types. HE-MP is just too versatile to not want it in greater numbers.

 

4)Basically all current MBTs can take a hit from a 152mm howitzer. That is, the crew will live, but the tank will be disabled.

 

This question is perhaps irrelevant, because howitzers on the battlefield are used in direct mode only rarely and in emergencies.

 

 

BONUS: Today there is something called NxRA. It differs from NERA and is somewhat of a replacement to it, rather than a competitor.

 

Anyone can feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but basically:

NERA - Non Energetic Reactive Armor. It does not produce any energy on its own. It relies on the energy produced by the projectile and impacts the projectile with proportionately produced energy.

It's reactive, but more often than not regarded as passive because of its lack of independently energetic components.

 

NxRA - Non eXplosive Reactive Armor. Much like ERA, and unlike NERA it produces its own energy. However, it's not the blast you'll see with an ERA. It's more tame.

And the results are an armor that is as survivable as the NERA, but quite substantially more effective per shot than it. Not as effective per shot as ERA or SLERA (self limiting ERA), but it's somewhere close.

 

Because of this, NxRA is considered more effective than the NERA and ERA, because its per-shot-effectiveness to survivability ratio, is higher than both of them.

 

You can even see that the NxRA is gaining traction, and is now armoring tanks like the Merkava 4 entirely (or almost entirely), is offered for advanced variants of the Leopard 2, and armors the UAE's Leclerc. 

It's also used on a plethora of medium AFVs like the CV90, Ajax and ASCOD, etc.

 

It's just not going to replace ERA everywhere because of a not too good volume efficiency that could make certain vehicles too large.

 

14 hours ago, Lord_James said:

ERA is more dangerous to surrounding infantry than a 6in ATGM like Kornet or TOW? 

 

It really was one of the dumbest arguments I've ever heard when rationalizing combat capability degradation programs.

Basically every army that saw actual combat, decided the potential risks posed by ERA to infantry are greatly outweighed by the risk reductions it offers.

 

When APS became operational, only then has this idea become a frequent talking point. But APS is far less dangerous than ERA because it neutralizes the projectile's warhead without initiating it.

All because Raytheon couldn't deal with their loss.

 

6 hours ago, N-L-M said:

Lahat is a shitshow, low caliber and requires laser designation, ie someone with a line of sight to the target illuminating it for the duration of the engagement, which against modern tanks is suicide.

This illum LOS requirement means that in practical effect it's a LOS only weapon, same as APFSDS, excluding niche cases in which someone else designates for the launcher- which begs the questions of a. Why isn't the designator engaging with their own weapons and b. If the designator is calling in other weapons anyway why not call in something more effective like a Spike, which also has the benefit of not attracting the enemy's attention via lasing.

Lahat is fundamentally not a good idea for engaging modern tanks, and the 105mm dia isn't doing it any favors either.

AGM 65 is a big fucking ASM. Theres very little you can do against a 300lb SAP warhead (though the single shaped charge variant is low energy and sad). Mav is not however an efficient weapon, as it's fucking huge. For reference, it's slated to be replaced by triple JAGM racks. Hell at this point why not talk about 500lb AP bombs, if you want to full retard on tank busting?

Bottom line is that it's not a good idea.

 

LAHAT is only a shitshow if you insist on analyzing its capabilities OUTSIDE of its historical background.

It was devised for the Merkava 2 tank, long before the Spike even had half the capabilities it has today.

 

At the time, you needed LoS to the target to fire off a Spike, while the LAHAT allowed you to fire it off without LoS.

 

Another point you've forgotten is that a helicopter is not required for remote designation. It can be done via infantry. In any event of invasion into Israel, the first line of troops will be border brigades, not equipped with tanks and heavy weapons, but with a great deal of observation and intelligence capabilities. They, and the spearhead units', have plenty of infantry they would allocate to target spotting and designation either for artillery, AF, and whatever. They can easily designate targets for MBTs or helicopters using LAHAT. And they themselves would have a low combat signature.

Caliber is of course a non-factor because of top attack, hence why Spike missiles (except for SR) always had a relatively weak warhead compared with contemporary designs, even other similar sized missiles developed by the same company.

 

Only today are LAHAT missiles irrelevant, hence their withdrawal from service a long time ago, and their marketing to non modern armies.

 

1 hour ago, Karamazov said:

ERA responds not only to ATGM. On the battlefield, many threats to the tank. If any of them cause an ERA detonation, the infantry will suffer.

Look at the Israeli tanks. They had many ERA models. But in the end: they only use NERA. Because their infantry always interacts with the tank. Always nearby tanks

It's not very accurate. The Namer and Merkava 3 and 4 may have ERA in some places.

It's not confirmed but the Mark 4 has armor plates with the inscription "explosive", and the Mark 3 and Namer have armor modlues with box shapes, suspiciously ERA-like. 

Besides, certain Nagmachon variants can still be seen with the old Blazer ERA.

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1 hour ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

 

Those aren't stupid questions. Unfortunately some people here are too conservative and early to bark at people for raising questions for which the answers only seem obvious to them.

 

1)The question of ERA versus NERA is a matter of design philosophies, and wargame analysis.

In absolute terms, neither ERA nor NERA are more effective from one another.

 

They both have a linear tradeoff of capabilities. It is a function of single-hit protection, i.e how effective would one type be against only 1 shot, and the total number of shots that armor can take. 

In a very rough comparison, an ERA can interact with 1 projectile resulting in X penetration reduction. And a NERA armor would defend from 2 projectiles, with only X/2 penetration reduction at a time.

On average, they are mathematically equal. On the battlefield, certain scenarios will show the superiority of one over the other.

 

To better understand the situation, you must first understand that actually both western and eastern tanks use NERA of some form, as the key component of their armor. Only for a short time was ERA ever dominant over NERA, and that was at the time of tanks like Leopard 1, AMX-30, and M48/60, because proper composite armor did not exist yet with the quality needed to defeat HEAT or APFSDS.

 

Next comes the impact probability analysis.

If a certain area is considered likely to be hit multiple times in tight groupings, over the course of a single engagement, then NERA is the preferred solution, even though again the Soviet tanks used NERA as much as western tanks.

If a certain area is only likely to be hit once in a single engagement, then ERA is preferred.

 

This is why on most western AFVs, the first type of applique to appear for side protection was ERA, and only after certain advancements, it moved on to NxRA (will get into that later).

 

And finally is the system's longevity analysis. Or basically how long the tank is expected to survive in either case.

 

Soviet tanks were considered more disposable than NATO tanks. Although fiercely competing with the west to create the higher quality tank, part of the philosophy was that even an advanced tank won't survive for very long on the battlefield. Minutes at best.

Thus ERA, being more effective for a single hit, would basically double the number of shots required to take out the tank, in some of the more likely scenarios.

And when you double some capability, for seemingly no cost at all, that's something worth doing, and is no longer an incremental upgrade.

 

In the west, tanks were expected to be more survivable, hence for example the human loader that was more of a spare than an actual necessity for normal operation of the tank.

With a focus on higher overall longevity of the platform on the battlefield, the ERA would not be more than a minor addition over potent NERA. It would be a single use item in an environment in which designers believed a tank needs to be able to sustain many hits, even if only for the sake of recovery.

Plus, it would encourage a bad culture of crewmembers' false reliance on a single use item, perhaps not fully understanding the extent of the danger in such belief.

 

But wherever sufficient NERA was not possible, western philosophy did not exclude ERA at all, and you can see the Bradley for example entirely covered in ERA

 

2)Depends who you're looking at.

 

USA - Wanted Trophy more than a decade ago but Raytheon lobbied hard enough to delay its acquisition until it can complete its own system, which it eventually never has. 

Reallocation of funds was also time consuming. Army doesn't always get what it wants, and almost never on time, unless Congress is especially generous.

 

Rest of NATO - For three reasons mainly.

First, they are very much disconnected from their MIC and will more often try to subvert the MIC than help it, because of a perceived sense of security.

 

Second, rest of NATO are being led, not leading new technological trends. Their innovators are their MIC which they don't do nearly enough to support.

 

Third, the acquisition of arms in Europe is done with the intent of deterrence, not the actual usage of said equipment in combat. Hence why you can still see Leopard 2A4 as the main MBTs of certain countries.

I've explained a long while ago, in depth, the economical effects of an APS. One of the conclusions was that it is economically unviable to buy AFVs without APS, if the AFVs are to be used during their lifetimes at least once in a medium to high intensity combat scenario. Most combat today is hybrid warfare, which is medium intensity. So basically for most of the combat we see globally, an APS is a must.

It is only viable to buy a tank without an APS if the tank is not expected to see combat.

 

That is why countries like the US, Israel, Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey, are seen investing in APS. Even poor Syria does. 

 

A Leopard 2A7V, and its ancestor the Leo 2, form a lineage of 40 years of service in Germany. At no point were they used in serious combat by the Bundeswehr. Only the VJTF is supposed to be deployed abroad and expected to see combat on short notice, which is why the VJTF tanks will receive an APS. It just didn't get much publicity.

 

Of course, there are some within NATO who see the importance of capability maintenance and building regardless of the probability of war, and are investing in APS as well. The Netherlands for example are probably going to be the first in Europe to use an APS, on their CV90.

 

3)Russian ATGMs are not really a good comparison. They simply were never really effective weapons. Only effective within a small range of conditions.

 

A proper GLATGM would be something like a Spike downsized to 120mm, but today it's hardly necessary. There are two main considerations to this - tools, and tactics.

 

Tools - a tank battalion never drives alone. It will have infantry support. Infantry on the battalion level will always have an AT element capable of launching ATGMs at standoff ranges, and their vehicles have ATGMs as well, to multiply the output. Other than that, available tools include artillery, that in the modern day use long range guided missiles (+20km range), guided rockets, and guided/unguided shells.

 

Tactics - when spotting a tank formation of any size, 6-8km away, other options are preferred. Ambush with short range engagement from prepared positions is ideal.

The next best alternative is actually calling artillery or aviation, because the effects of a sudden barrage are going to be far greater, as opposed to an ATGM volley that would have the core of the formation maneuver away and screening their maneuver, when they see the first missile flying.

The third best option would be to lob HE shells, not ATGMs, at enemy tanks too far away.

The reason is that HE can do a lot of damage to the optics, gun, stabilizers, and other external equipment that is key for the effective use of the tank. It could even outright disable tanks by hitting the tracks or the UFP close to the driver's hatch.

ATGMs pack an HE payload as well, but are far less versatile and substantially more expensive, to the point where it's worth asking whether allocating vital space for them inside the ammo rack is even worth sacrificing other ammo types. HE-MP is just too versatile to not want it in greater numbers.

 

4)Basically all current MBTs can take a hit from a 152mm howitzer. That is, the crew will live, but the tank will be disabled.

 

This question is perhaps irrelevant, because howitzers on the battlefield are used in direct mode only rarely and in emergencies.

 

 

BONUS: Today there is something called NxRA. It differs from NERA and is somewhat of a replacement to it, rather than a competitor.

 

Anyone can feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but basically:

NERA - Non Energetic Reactive Armor. It does not produce any energy on its own. It relies on the energy produced by the projectile and impacts the projectile with proportionately produced energy.

It's reactive, but more often than not regarded as passive because of its lack of independently energetic components.

 

NxRA - Non eXplosive Reactive Armor. Much like ERA, and unlike NERA it produces its own energy. However, it's not the blast you'll see with an ERA. It's more tame.

And the results are an armor that is as survivable as the NERA, but quite substantially more effective per shot than it. Not as effective per shot as ERA or SLERA (self limiting ERA), but it's somewhere close.

 

Because of this, NxRA is considered more effective than the NERA and ERA, because its per-shot-effectiveness to survivability ratio, is higher than both of them.

 

You can even see that the NxRA is gaining traction, and is now armoring tanks like the Merkava 4 entirely (or almost entirely), is offered for advanced variants of the Leopard 2, and armors the UAE's Leclerc. 

It's also used on a plethora of medium AFVs like the CV90, Ajax and ASCOD, etc.

 

It's just not going to replace ERA everywhere because of a not too good volume efficiency that could make certain vehicles too large.

 

 

It really was one of the dumbest arguments I've ever heard when rationalizing combat capability degradation programs.

Basically every army that saw actual combat, decided the potential risks posed by ERA to infantry are greatly outweighed by the risk reductions it offers.

 

When APS became operational, only then has this idea become a frequent talking point. But APS is far less dangerous than ERA because it neutralizes the projectile's warhead without initiating it.

All because Raytheon couldn't deal with their loss.

 

 

LAHAT is only a shitshow if you insist on analyzing its capabilities OUTSIDE of its historical background.

It was devised for the Merkava 2 tank, long before the Spike even had half the capabilities it has today.

 

At the time, you needed LoS to the target to fire off a Spike, while the LAHAT allowed you to fire it off without LoS.

 

Another point you've forgotten is that a helicopter is not required for remote designation. It can be done via infantry. In any event of invasion into Israel, the first line of troops will be border brigades, not equipped with tanks and heavy weapons, but with a great deal of observation and intelligence capabilities. They, and the spearhead units', have plenty of infantry they would allocate to target spotting and designation either for artillery, AF, and whatever. They can easily designate targets for MBTs or helicopters using LAHAT. And they themselves would have a low combat signature.

Caliber is of course a non-factor because of top attack, hence why Spike missiles (except for SR) always had a relatively weak warhead compared with contemporary designs, even other similar sized missiles developed by the same company.

 

Only today are LAHAT missiles irrelevant, hence their withdrawal from service a long time ago, and their marketing to non modern armies.

 

It's not very accurate. The Namer and Merkava 3 and 4 may have ERA in some places.

It's not confirmed but the Mark 4 has armor plates with the inscription "explosive", and the Mark 3 and Namer have armor modlues with box shapes, suspiciously ERA-like. 

Besides, certain Nagmachon variants can still be seen with the old Blazer ERA.

Thank you for your thoughtful reply, it answer many of  my questions. 

One thing though

1-What is the range of HE round on tank? Shouldn't it be shorter range than APFSDS since it is slower and draggier? 

2- the question about Howitzer round vs modern MBT is because i was thinking, if poor countries can't make tank with proper armor and proper APFSDS rounds, then it probably better for them to design a thin skin armor and 152 mm HE

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1 hour ago, Ronny said:

Thank you for your thoughtful reply, it answer many of  my questions. 

One thing though

1-What is the range of HE round on tank? Shouldn't it be shorter range than APFSDS since it is slower and draggier? 

2- the question about Howitzer round vs modern MBT is because i was thinking, if poor countries can't make tank with proper armor and proper APFSDS rounds, then it probably better for them to design a thin skin armor and 152 mm HE

The range of HE is lower than that of APFSDS, in a consideration of only the flight characteristics of the projectile.

However, what limits APFSDS range is not really how long it can fly. It can go for tens of kilometers with ease. It just won't retain the necessary velocity to penetrate a target. 

A specific APFSDS could be effective to 3km for one target, 1.5km for another more armored target, and completely ineffective to another even more armored target.

HE is not range-limited, and with fin stabilizers could fly out to a pretty good range. Russia (UVZ) claims the T-90 can fire its HE shell out to 12km.

 

It's physically possible, but the bottleneck would be the sights that probably won't even recognize the pixel they're looking at, at that range.

 

So if you can see a target 6km away, you can be sure lobbing HE shells is possible. In the IDF it's fairly routine to practice firing them out to 5km, and that's not really an exceptional feat in the west or anywhere.

 

2)That would never be necessary. 60's era tanks with 105mm guns, with APDS/APFSDS are abundant on the market right now. Even the poorest countries have these.

If munitions are still an issue then worry not. A 105mm will do a crap ton of external damage as well, but with a much better RoF and actually existent munition stockpiles.

 

And if it comes down to fighting against a more technologically capable enemy, then tanks are actually a liability. Guerilla warfare becomes key.

 

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7 hours ago, Ronny said:

2. I have, but i honestly have no idea , they said it is equipped with Zaslon so...
https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/ukraines-tough-t-84-oplot-m-tank-wont-fight-russia-being-17817

/.../

4. Let say it hit the middle of the turret front? can the tank survive that

/.../

2. nationalinterest - ow, i see a problem with your sources, lol.

 

4. Gun barrel will not like that for sure.

 

3 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

 

Those aren't stupid questions. Unfortunately some people here are too conservative and early to bark at people for raising questions for which the answers only seem obvious to them.

/.../

   Who and why?

 

3 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

/.../

3)Russian ATGMs are not really a good comparison. They simply were never really effective weapons. Only effective within a small range of conditions.

/.../

   Reality show otherwise. Yemen, Syria, Ukraine showed pretty well that even old Soviet ATGMs are capable weapon system.

 

3 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

/.../

It really was one of the dumbest arguments I've ever heard when rationalizing combat capability degradation programs.

Basically every army that saw actual combat, decided the potential risks posed by ERA to infantry are greatly outweighed by the risk reductions it offers.

/.../

   Russia, US and UK, UAE, Turkey + some others decided to put ERA on their tanks when they saw combat. We still use ERA on every tank we make.

 

 

   Overall, i don't understand why people now are thinking about using GL-ATGMs, when external launchers with ability to be reloaded from inside can offer much more than any GL-ATGM in the first place. Just ability to launch missiles from closed protected positions and not being limited by gun barrel caliber and autoloader design/ammorack space layout is already huge reasons to consider those options over yet another GL-ATGM.

 

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34 minutes ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

/.../

HE is not range-limited, and with fin stabilizers could fly out to a pretty good range. Russia (UVZ) claims the T-90 can fire its HE shell out to 12km.

It's physically possible, but the bottleneck would be the sights that probably won't even recognize the pixel they're looking at, at that range.

/.../

   UVZ don't just "claim", training exercises are conducted with T-90 firing in inderect mode (i posted videos of that on SH). Also, when firing at such ranges (up to 12 km) pixels in sights don't matter, but coordinates and fire correction is what make such firing mode capable of doing damage.

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7 minutes ago, LoooSeR said:

   UVZ don't just "claim", training exercises are conducted with T-90 firing in inderect mode (i posted videos of that on SH). Also, when firing at such ranges (up to 12 km) pixels in sights don't matter, but coordinates and fire correction is what make such firing mode capable of doing damage.

Yes but with the onboard systems on the T-90 the input must be either from one of the crewmembers catching a target with the sights, or some external source with 3D coordinates generator.

The latter is irrelevant for the current discussion. 

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16 minutes ago, LoooSeR said:

2. nationalinterest - ow, i see a problem with your sources, lol.

 

4. Gun barrel will not like that for sure.

 

   Who and why?

 

   Reality show otherwise. Yemen, Syria, Ukraine showed pretty well that even old Soviet ATGMs are capable weapon system.

 

   Russia, US and UK, UAE, Turkey + some others decided to put ERA on their tanks when they saw combat. We still use ERA on every tank

 

 

You definitely misunderstood what I said. We are in agreement. What I said, to make it more clear, is that these countries saw more benefits to ERA than cons.

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4 minutes ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

 

You definitely misunderstood what I said. We are in agreement. What I said, to make it more clear, is that these countries saw more benefits to ERA than cons.

   In regards of ERA and combat - i wasn't opposing your point, just showed that different countries with different takes on AFV design coming to same conclusion during/after combat experience.

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4 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

When APS became operational, only then has this idea become a frequent talking point. But APS is far less dangerous than ERA because it neutralizes the projectile's warhead without initiating it.

1909497_800.jpg

 

 

   Better word will be "a chance to neutralizes the projectile's warhead without initiating it." 

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      A sandwich of 6mm steel/6mm rubber/ 6mm steel.
      Requires mounting brackets of approximately 10-30% cassette weight.
      Must be spaced at least 1 sandwich thickness away from any other armor elements to allow full functionality. 95% coverage.

                                                                 xii.     NERA-heavy

      A sandwich of 30mm steel/6m rubber/18mm steel.
      Requires mounting brackets of approximately 10-30% cassette weight.
      Must be spaced at least 1 sandwich thickness away from any other armor elements to allow full functionality. 95% coverage.

      The details of how to calculate armor effectiveness will be detailed in Appendix 1.

      b.      Firepower

                                                                    i.     2A46 equivalent tech- pressure limits, semi-combustible cases, recoil mechanisms and so on are at an equivalent level to that of the USSR in the year 1960.

                                                                   ii.     Limited APFSDS (L:D 15:1)- Spindle sabots or bourelleted sabots, see for example the Soviet BM-20 100mm APFSDS.

                                                                  iii.     Limited tungsten (no more than 100g per shot)

                                                                  iv.     Californian shaped charge technology- 5 CD penetration for high-pressure resistant HEAT, 6 CD for low pressure/ precision formed HEAT.

                                                                   v.     The general issue GPMG for the People’s Auditory Forces is the PKM. The standard HMG is the DShK.

      c.       Mobility

                                                                    i.     Engines tech level:

      1.      MB 838 (830 HP)

      2.      AVDS-1790-5A (908 HP)

      3.      Kharkov 5TD (600 HP)

                                                                   ii.     Power density should be based on the above engines. Dimensions are available online, pay attention to cooling of 1 and 3 (water cooled).

                                                                  iii.     Power output broadly scales with volume, as does weight. Trying to extract more power from the same size may come at the cost of reliability (and in the case of the 5TD, it isn’t all that reliable in the first place).

                                                                  iv.     There is nothing inherently wrong with opposed piston or 2-stroke engines if done right.

      d.      Electronics

                                                                    i.     LRFs- unavailable

                                                                   ii.     Thermals-unavailable

                                                                  iii.     I^2- limited

      3.      Operational Requirements.

      The requirements are detailed in the appended spreadsheet.

      4.      Submission protocols.

      Submission protocols and methods will be established in a follow-on post, nearer to the relevant time.
       
      Appendix 1- armor calculation
      Appendix 2- operational requirements
       
      Good luck, and may Hubbard guide your way to enlightenment!
    • By Collimatrix
      Shortly after Jeeps_Guns_Tanks started his substantial foray into documenting the development and variants of the M4, I joked on teamspeak with Wargaming's The_Warhawk that the next thing he ought to do was a similar post on the T-72.
       
      Haha.  I joke.  I am funny man.
       
      The production history of the T-72 is enormously complicated.  Tens of thousands were produced; it is probably the fourth most produced tank ever after the T-54/55, T-34 and M4 sherman.
       
      For being such an ubiquitous vehicle, it's frustrating to find information in English-language sources on the T-72.  Part of this is residual bad information from the Cold War era when all NATO had to go on were blurry photos from May Day parades:
       

       
      As with Soviet aircraft, NATO could only assign designations to obviously externally different versions of the vehicle.  However, they were not necessarily aware of internal changes, nor were they aware which changes were post-production modifications and which ones were new factory variants of the vehicle.  The NATO designations do not, therefore, necessarily line up with the Soviet designations.  Between different models of T-72 there are large differences in armor protection and fire control systems.  This is why anyone arguing T-72 vs. X has completely missed the point; you need to specify which variant of T-72.  There are large differences between them!
       
      Another issue, and one which remains contentious to this day, is the relation between the T-64, T-72 and T-80 in the Soviet Army lineup.  This article helps explain the political wrangling which led to the logistically bizarre situation of three very similar tanks being in frontline service simultaneously, but the article is extremely biased as it comes from a high-ranking member of the Ural plant that designed and built the T-72.  Soviet tank experts still disagree on this; read this if you have some popcorn handy.  Talking points from the Kharkov side seem to be that T-64 was a more refined, advanced design and that T-72 was cheap filler, while Ural fans tend to hold that T-64 was an unreliable mechanical prima donna and T-72 a mechanically sound, mass-producible design.
       
      So, if anyone would like to help make sense of this vehicle, feel free to post away.  I am particularly interested in:
       
      -What armor arrays the different T-72 variants use.  Diagrams, dates of introduction, and whether the array is factory-produced or a field upgrade of existing armor are pertinent questions.
       
      -Details of the fire control system.  One of the Kharkov talking points is that for most of the time in service, T-64 had a more advanced fire control system than contemporary T-72 variants.  Is this true?  What were the various fire control systems in the T-64 and T-72, and what were there dates of introduction?  I am particularly curious when Soviet tanks got gun-follows-sight FCS.
       
      -Export variants and variants produced outside the Soviet Union.  How do they stack up?  Exactly what variant(s) of T-72 were the Iraqis using in 1991?

      -WTF is up with the T-72's transmission?  How does it steer and why is its reverse speed so pathetically low?
       
       
    • By Proyas
      Hi guys,
       
      I recently read about upgrade packages to old tanks like the M-60 and T-55, but kept seeing comments from people saying they would still be obsolete. Is this because the M-60 and T-55 are made entirely of steel (and not composite) armor?  
       
      I have this theory that thick steel armor is probably totally obsolete, and is just dead weight in the age of lighter weight composite armor. You can bolt on upgrades to an M-60 or T-55, but you're still hamstrung by the fact that either tank will be carrying around tons of useless steel. Am I right? 
       
      Also, if we wanted to upgrade old tanks like that, wouldn't the best idea be to develop a new turret--with lighter, modern composite armor and better technology inside--and just drop it into the old tanks? The hulls would still be made of heavy steel, but that could be helped a bit by adding applique armor. 
       
      Here are some of the upgrades I read about: 
       
      https://youtu.be/NG89Zh9qQrQ
       
      http://www.army-guide.com/eng/product1907.html
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