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United States Military Vehicle General: Guns, G*vins, and Gas Turbines

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I wouldn't read too much into Marvin's website on things outside of their 'area of expertise'.

 

2 hours ago, Clan_Ghost_Bear said:

Has the Army ever made definitive plans for the next numbered Abrams upgrade? I don't think I've seen mention of it outside of Wiki.

 

If they do it isn't public info.

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9 hours ago, Clan_Ghost_Bear said:

Has the Army ever made definitive plans for the next numbered Abrams upgrade? I don't think I've seen mention of it outside of Wiki.

Yes and no. The M1A3 is part of the NGCV project.

The NGCV can be split between vehicles that are in service, or close to entering service, and vehicles that are only in early stages of development. All these vehicles are included in the NGCV because the Army plans to incorporate some of the core technologies developed in that project, into every AFV. Whether the vehicle is "new" or "old" only affects how much of the less important and more peripheral tech can be added as well.

 

So in a way, they DO have some definitive plans for the M1A3 Abrams, and you can pretty much guess them by following the requirements of the OMFV. The process is similar in Israel and Germany+France (I assume, because the european project is still under wraps), where a unified architecture is pursued for multiple vehicles at once.

 

So my take on it is that the M1A3 is very likely to have:

1)2-man crew.

2)automatic and unmanned turret.

3)autonomous driving.

4)automatic cuing to target.

5)multi-sensor pre-firing and post-firing target detection.

6)automated target recognition.

7)360° vision system.

 

And perhaps I'm missing a few. Overall can be seen as very similar, if not identical to Carmel. It could be that RAPAT and CCDCGVSC (formerly TARDEC) are cooperating on requirement setting and technological demonstrations. First physical evidence for that was a substantial American presence during the Carmel's demonstrations.

 

It was said, I believe around 2016-2017, that a new M1A3 might have a 3rd crewman to operate unmanned or special systems. If so, it does not yet mean the 2 man crew part is untrue. The Carmel is also said to have a 2-man crew, but in every demonstration video it was shown to have 3 seats, with 1 belonging to a person that may not be present at all times. That is, you can expect the M1A3 to drive with a core 2 person crew, and in certain missions where unmanned vehicles are required, a specialist will enter a special station in the vehicle and operate the systems.

 

After reading the same about the Carmel, I've hypothesized it could be just a special version for the platoon commander level (and above).

Alternatively, a special drone operating crew could hitch a ride on a recon unit's vehicles.

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Hi guys small update on my M1A3C visual study. I made two distinct LOS thickness estimations, one with reference to the 66mm smoke grenade launcher (not a perfect solution, since because of picture perspective, the grenade launchers appear as bigger than they actually are) which yielded a LOS increase of aprox. 287mm over the older M1A2 turret. The second estimation, assuming an LOS thickness for the M1A2 turret thickness of 860mm resulted in an estimated 973mm for M1A2C turret. This second solution, IMO, is more trustworthy but there is some margin of error since it´s not that easy to estimate the exact spot where the armor module starts, to do so i used the 3d model as used in the game Warthunder, which yes, as a game has its issues but at least the developers did have access to a real Abrams to measure it.

 

UPDATE: I just realized that i may have f*cked up the second estimation, i will need better techniques for estimating the reference LOS 860mm on the M1A2 turret, expect news in a few days or some hours depending on real life stuff.

 

 

VcusBen.png

 

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8 hours ago, Long_Rodney said:

Yes and no. The M1A3 is part of the NGCV project.

The NGCV can be split between vehicles that are in service, or close to entering service, and vehicles that are only in early stages of development. All these vehicles are included in the NGCV because the Army plans to incorporate some of the core technologies developed in that project, into every AFV. Whether the vehicle is "new" or "old" only affects how much of the less important and more peripheral tech can be added as well.

 

So in a way, they DO have some definitive plans for the M1A3 Abrams, and you can pretty much guess them by following the requirements of the OMFV. The process is similar in Israel and Germany+France (I assume, because the european project is still under wraps), where a unified architecture is pursued for multiple vehicles at once.

 

So my take on it is that the M1A3 is very likely to have:

1)2-man crew.

2)automatic and unmanned turret.

3)autonomous driving.

4)automatic cuing to target.

5)multi-sensor pre-firing and post-firing target detection.

6)automated target recognition.

7)360° vision system.

 

And perhaps I'm missing a few. Overall can be seen as very similar, if not identical to Carmel. It could be that RAPAT and CCDCGVSC (formerly TARDEC) are cooperating on requirement setting and technological demonstrations. First physical evidence for that was a substantial American presence during the Carmel's demonstrations.

 

It was said, I believe around 2016-2017, that a new M1A3 might have a 3rd crewman to operate unmanned or special systems. If so, it does not yet mean the 2 man crew part is untrue. The Carmel is also said to have a 2-man crew, but in every demonstration video it was shown to have 3 seats, with 1 belonging to a person that may not be present at all times. That is, you can expect the M1A3 to drive with a core 2 person crew, and in certain missions where unmanned vehicles are required, a specialist will enter a special station in the vehicle and operate the systems.

 

After reading the same about the Carmel, I've hypothesized it could be just a special version for the platoon commander level (and above).

Alternatively, a special drone operating crew could hitch a ride on a recon unit's vehicles.

 

What is the supposed crew layout? In the current Abrams the driver sits between two fuel tanks. Where would be the other crew memeber(s) placed if there is an unmanned turret? 

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1 hour ago, Beer said:

 

What is the supposed crew layout? In the current Abrams the driver sits between two fuel tanks. Where would be the other crew memeber(s) placed if there is an unmanned turret? 

My claim on the unmanned turret is based on modern trends seen on IFVs, and also the T-14 MBT. Therefore I assume that when it comes to the 'metals', the M1A3 will look a lot like the TTB. Except the automotive technologies have changed quite dramatically, so the crew can be placed in an armored capsule either in front of the turret, or behind it.

 

I also want to add that another issue to think about when considering whether a turret should be manned or unmanned, is the topic of space. The next generation of AFVs will utilize a much more extensive package of sensors than today's AFVs, which multiple crew hatches will surely bother.

 

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15 minutes ago, Long_Rodney said:

My claim on the unmanned turret is based on modern trends seen on IFVs, and also the T-14 MBT. Therefore I assume that when it comes to the 'metals', the M1A3 will look a lot like the TTB. Except the automotive technologies have changed quite dramatically, so the crew can be placed in an armored capsule either in front of the turret, or behind it.

 

I also want to add that another issue to think about when considering whether a turret should be manned or unmanned, is the topic of space. The next generation of AFVs will utilize a much more extensive package of sensors than today's AFVs, which multiple crew hatches will surely bother.

 

I think that you take it as a little bit too easy task to shift the internals inside the hull. 

 

The front hull was never designed to have a power pack inside. IMHO there is not the space for that. Also how would you do it with transmission? You can't power the rear sprocket without having a propshaft under the turret and the rear capsule or electric motors (which would again interfere with the rear capsule). If you place the sprocket in the front you may need to redesign the complete suspension. Hence for me an armoured capsule in the back of the vehicle would mean a basically new vehicle. IMHO it's also completely unpractical because withou cameras such vehicle can not be even driven by the driver. 

 

To place a capsule in the front would be easier but still difficult. You have to place the fuel tanks somewhere. In this case they would need to be placed under the turret. Is that practical? I don't know. It sure means that all ammo has to be storred in the turret which means that the capacity would be rather limited and it would be farse worse protected than in said T-14. 

 

T-14 was designed from the beginning as a vehicle with unmanned turret and its layout follows the idea. It's not a comparable case. 

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1 minute ago, Clan_Ghost_Bear said:

Would a hybrid electric drive system correct this? 

 

I don't really know. Electric motors able to swiftly move the mass of Abrams would not be small either. If they are still at the back they would interfere with the supposed crew capsule as well. If they are in the front it means the suspension redesign would be likely needed and that they would be in place where the armor package is today, i.e they would be badly protected. IMHO a complete redesing of the whole vehicle would be needed anyway. 

 

I forgot one thing. If all ammo is storred in the turret it means that the ammo is much more vulnerable than in the said T-14 and that the turret neeeds a lot more armor than in the T-14. For me that somewhat defeats the purpose of the unmanned turret. 

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Good news is that i managed to unf*ck my estimation. Bad news is that the extra steps taken were not really necessary (won´t go into detail) because at the end of the day i only needed a good indication of the percentage of thickness increase in M1A2C, which ended up being 13 percent. Anyways, being able to see the 3d model in WT helped me a lot realizing what i was doing "wrong", however the only measure that really needed correction was the height of the turret face. In the end, the thickness goes from 860mm in M1A2 to 971mm in M1A2C.  Of course,there is an obvious margin of error but this is the best i can do with an horizontal picture and the tools i have, surely more trustworthy measurements will be possible once we get a top-down view of M1A2C.

 

YxoSWv7.png

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14 hours ago, Long_Rodney said:

My claim on the unmanned turret is based on modern trends seen on IFVs, and also the T-14 MBT.

 

 

EMBT and XM1299 will have manned turret

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https://www.defensenews.com/smr/reagan-defense-forum/2019/12/09/heavy-equipment-out-unmanned-logistics-in-for-the-marine-commandants-wishlist/

Quote

“We have to get rid of legacy things in the Marine Corps. We’ve got to go on a diet” he told reporters during the event, noting that a large-scale review of the service will be rolled out in roughly 60 days. “We’ve got to become expeditionary again, which we know how to do.”

Asked to highlight the type of equipment he thinks the Corps must dump, Berger called out “big, heavy things” such as manned counter-armor assets.

 

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Quote

M1297 A-GMV 1.1 - US Army Special Operations Command's Mobile Vehicle.

In the photo, green berets from 3rd SFG during exercises using this machine.

Twentynine Palms, California, USA.

October 17, 2019

kPZMSH6.jpg

 

Spoiler

L8GOgV5.jpg

 

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https://breakingdefense.com/2019/12/army-revs-high-tech-tank-engine/

 

Just outside Detroit, home of the muscle car, the Army’s put together a powertrain as potent as three Trans Ams strapped together — with an electric stealth mode that sounds more like a lawnmower than a tank. The 1,000-horsepower Advanced Powertrain Demonstrator packs more diesel horsepower in less space than current engines, along with a 160-kilowatt generator that can power advanced electronics – like a drone-killing laser or anti-missile defenses – and even move an entire 50-ton vehicle for brief periods.

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