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Active Protection System (APS) for tanks

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1 hour ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

1)That's not it. The Trophy on the Merkava doesn't cut into the armor modules, and has the exact same big boxes. It's just that because of the slope on the turret side on the Merkava it's more seamless. 

It seems to me at least, that the Trophy module on the Abrams is larger than that of the Merkava.

 

   I was answering to your first statement. Armored housings on Abrams turret sides look bigger than on Merkava 4s. IDK if Trophy module itself is bigger, IMO Abrams armored boxes/housings may also act as storage bins (closer to turret rear), at least i see storage bin in turret rear with handrail extending from it into side housing (near rear radar).

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19 hours ago, Ramlaen said:

From the FY2017 DOT&E annual report released today.

 

 

Quote

The Army conducted Phase 1 Trophy live fire testing at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, from April through July 2017.  Live fire testing included a total of 46 test events.
-  Twenty-nine performance characterization tests on Abrams to demonstrate basic, vendor-claimed APS capabilities.  If the APS vendor did not project a successful engagement then the program manager either modified or eliminated the engagement.  These tests included seven collateral damage collection events (in conjunction with live threat-countermunition interaction) to assess the potential injury to dismounted soldiers from fragmentation produced during an APS engagement.
-  Eight tests to demonstrate APS performance in operationally relevant and stressing conditions to include three simultaneous (dual) threat engagement tests, two defilade tests, one elevated foliage test, and two tests with metallic clutter on the ground to assess potential radar interference.  The program manager deferred testing of one threat class, tests in urban environments and tests in rainy conditions, originally planned for Phase 1 to Phase 2.
-  Nine additional characterization tests on a Marine Corps M1A1 tank using inert rounds to determine APS system performance on a moving (vehicle and/or turret) platform.

 

 

bw8IFNPv_400x400.jpg

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10 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

That is... odd. The Trophy had no issue functioning in urban environment in 2014, and was said that rain does not cause it any issues, including false alarms.

 

Not the deferred tests part, those are happening in phase 2 which is supposed to be sometime this month.

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https://www.defensenews.com/land/2018/03/08/rheinmetall-intensifies-push-to-enter-us-army-combat-vehicle-fleet-protection-program/

Quote

The U.S. Army program manager for APS has said if more funding became available to qualify another system, ADS would be at the top of the list and came in a close second in a design runoff against Iron Fist.

Quote

Col. Glenn Dean, who is in charge of the program, told Defense News in a recent interview that Iron Curtain turned out to not be as mature as the service originally envisioned and that there was some “friction on the test range.”


Unlike ADS, Iron Curtain uses a projectile-like countermeasure to defeat threats before they have a chance to explode, and similar to the German system, Iron Curtain takes out incoming threats very close into the vehicle.


With Iron Curtain’s fate potentially uncertain, Rheinmetall has an opportunity to swoop in in if it receives FY-18 government funding to qualify its system with the U.S. Army.

 

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26 minutes ago, Toimisto said:

 I dont remember where i got this picture but it is supposedly from afghanistan:

 

https://imgur.com/a/gledLd1

It is not, as was later found it is Azerbaijan. IIRC some of those tanks were than used during events in Azerbaijan in 1988 

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Rafael advances ‘downscaled’ Trophy APS development.

 

Quote

Rafael Advanced Defence Systems is preparing to test a ‘downscaled’ variant of the Trophy hostile fire detection (HFD)/hard kill active protection system (APS) the last quarter of this year.

 

As part of its final qualification, the downscaled variant will be integrated with Rafael’s Samson Mk II remote weapon station (RWS). The company is currently under contract to develop two configurations of the Samson Mk II RWS for customers: one to the standard configuration (main 25 mm/30 mm/40 mm gun, secondary 7.62 mm machine gun, and two Spike anti-tank guided missiles [ATGMs]), which is in serial production for Lithuania to equip its ARTEC GmbH Boxer 8x8 armoured fighting vehicle; a second contract, signed late May 2017 with an undisclosed customer, provides for a Samson Mk II RWS solution furnished for, but not equipped with, a lighter weight variant of the Trophy APS, which will be mounted on an unspecified tracked platform.

 

“The basic configuration of this turret solution will be slightly different to enable it to incorporate the downscaled Trophy system,” Yizhar Sahar, Marketing and Business development director at Rafael Advanced Defence Systems’ Land Division, told Jane’s. “It retains the lethality package, but is configured to optimise the vehicle’s protection with integration of the lighter weight Trophy system integration.”

 

Sahar said that, in comparative terms, the Samson Mk II RWS turret for Lithuania – battle ready and with add-on armour and ammunition – weighs some 2.2 tonnes. The same turret equipped with the downscaled Trophy solution adds only one additional tonne of weight. “We see this as a breakthrough comprehensive RWS solution: a low profile turret equipped with both an enhanced lethality capability and a survivability enhancement/manoeuvring enabler.”

 

Sahar said that the first all-up lighter weight Trophy system – which will be integrated on the Samson Mk II RWS – will ready for preliminary testing in the last quarter of 2018

 

p1635967.jpg

 

I get that the radars and autoloaders have to weigh something, but how is the system one tons on this turret? Even the heavy version on the Merkava 4 weighs less than that. And the launchers don't seem very downscaled to me. 

Still interesting, nonetheless. Just hope they aren't running into any issues with the anti-KE variant.

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It could mean the given weight of the Merkava version is not including something. Like that it’s the weight difference between the old armor module and the new one with Trophy installed, instead of the weight of the Trophy system itself.

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12 hours ago, Ramlaen said:

It could mean the given weight of the Merkava version is not including something. Like that it’s the weight difference between the old armor module and the new one with Trophy installed, instead of the weight of the Trophy system itself.

 

That's probably not it, because the Trophy system does not cut into the armor. It's mounted above the armor module:

Spoiler

ad0aCcs.png

 

11 hours ago, SH_MM said:

Trophy on the Abrams weighs 2.2 tons. There definetly is something fishy with the proclaimed weight of Trophy for the Merkava 4.

Maybe, but then, what could possibly weigh so much? I think even a block of pure armor wouldn't weigh all that much on that turret.

The munitions are very small and obviously light. The autoloading mechanism is also very simple and light. I have seen it in a tour once.

But we can also see that the Abrams has a much larger module, perhaps because they had nowhere to attach the rear facing radars, and they wanted to armor the whole thing. They also said it gave the Abrams some balancing issues, so maybe they had to add some weighs in some places, which could raise the total weight.

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That photo only shows the radar module does not cut into the armor.

 

IDF-Merkava-Mk-4M-2016-Zachi-Evenor.jpg

 

 The unit sitting in the box between the forward radar and the interceptor is the autoloader magazine right? Magazine capacity could play a role in the weight difference.

Edited by Ramlaen

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3 hours ago, Ramlaen said:

That photo only shows the radar module does not cut into the armor.

 

 The unit sitting in the box between the forward radar and the interceptor is the autoloader magazine right? Magazine capacity could play a role in the weight difference.

 

I've seen other footage that shows the entire module doesn't cut into the armor, I'll have to find it again. 

 

Right after the radar there is indeed the magazine. Right below the interceptor is the autoloading mechanism. On the Merkava 4, I believe there is a 3 shot magazine on each side. But it can be changed according to customer requirements. Maybe the US wanted something bigger. Still, a larger magazine shouldn't weigh that much.

 

 

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3 hours ago, SH_MM said:

APS systems and at which range they can be spotted by radar systems according to the ADS manufacturer...

It's a double edged sword. The detectability of a radar is first of all a function of its own range. 

The ADS gets an advantage of low signature, but at the same time is incapable of having its radars used for detection as well. In both aggressive engagement via independent detection of targets, and in returning fire via slew to cue.

I don't think it's a very smart marketing strategy.

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How long till the first home-on-radar anti-tank missile?

 

Whether emitting is sensible or not depends on who you're up against, and whether they have suitable detectors (as they'll always see you long before you can get a decent echo, so can manoeuvrer to avoid counter-detection)

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1 hour ago, Xlucine said:

How long till the first home-on-radar anti-tank missile?

 

Whether emitting is sensible or not depends on who you're up against, and whether they have suitable detectors (as they'll always see you long before you can get a decent echo, so can manoeuvrer to avoid counter-detection)

Not sure that would be a good idea. APS are kind of effective against ATGMs and stuff. 

A better alternative would be radar-homing artillery shells, if that's even viable.

Cheaper to use, capable of launching massive salvos, shorter warning time, etc etc.

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5 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

It's a double edged sword. The detectability of a radar is first of all a function of its own range. 

The ADS gets an advantage of low signature, but at the same time is incapable of having its radars used for detection as well. In both aggressive engagement via independent detection of targets, and in returning fire via slew to cue.

I don't think it's a very smart marketing strategy.

 

The radar emissions are much easier to spot from a distance. The range of a typical launcher based APS' radar is several times smaller than the range at which modern SIGNIT aircraft or ground-based radar systems can spot the vehicle. Also note that a radar doesn't allow you to spot the location of an ATGM squad or artillery system, if they are located outside the maximum range. Then the only option is to calculate the vector of the incoming round and extrapolate the possible location of the shooter based on this; ADS should be able to do the same.

 

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1 minute ago, SH_MM said:

 

The radar emissions are much easier to spot from a distance. The range of a typical launcher based APS' radar is several times smaller than the range at which modern SIGNIT aircraft or ground-based radar systems can spot the vehicle. Also note that a radar doesn't allow you to spot the location of an ATGM squad or artillery system, if they are located outside the maximum range. Then the only option is to calculate the vector of the incoming round and extrapolate the possible location of the shooter based on this; ADS should be able to do the same.

 

I don't think there will ever be a case where an ATGM will have a longer range than the radar of the launcher-based APS. It's just not economical. I don't know about the radars on the Iron Fist (original one) and Trophy, but there were talks of the Afganit's radar being able to track aircraft because of its high range of 100km or so, and that they wanted to reduce the range by a bit.

 

An ADS would probably have a high success today against ATGM squads using TOWs, Metis, Fagots, Milans etc. But against 3rd gen ATGMs that could either appear not so soon, or quite soon (you just don't know, but gotta prepare now and not be surprised later), it just won't do, because the trajectory could not lead to the source because it has a lofted trajectory, and in its terminal stages some are steerable. 

 

Even against 2nd gen ATGMs, if the ADS-protected vehicle is moving, then the missile's trajectory changes as it steers towards the vehicle, so the chances of finding the shooter's location may not always be high.

 

It's just one of the disadvantages that static interceptor based APS has compared with launcher based ones. And it's why the launcher vs static debate probably will never be solved until we see tiered APS like we do with air defenses.

Launchers being able to cover close formations of vehicles, static being able to engage fire from far closer. All have their merits and downsides and radar coverage is what the ADS lacks when IMO it shouldn't, even though it's using static launchers. At least not on MBT applications.

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