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8 hours ago, SH_MM said:

- in other words, the tank seemed to have a rather consistent level of protection, but the protection requirement was too low in hind-sight.

I wouldn't consider it too low, not in comparison with the M1 for instance.

M1 turret front (straight on): ~400mm KE or protection against 115mm APFSDS from 800m.

Leopard 2 turret front (straight on): ~430mm KE, protection against 38mm HK (which I think now with that swedish report on the 105mm smoothbore with APFSDS is actually the 105mm DM13 APFSDS).

 

And depending on what ammo they used to get these results, the difference could be bigger, if the leo 2 was tested using something like DM33, it would've fared better against older types of ammo, whereas with the M1, we don't know anything but that it was designed to withstand 115mm APFSDS (320-340mm according to some UK documents).

 

Ofcourse, IMO, neither tank is sufficiently protected under 2000m against USSR contemporaries such as T-72M1 with 3BM26.

 

8 hours ago, SH_MM said:

The Challenger 1's lack of a gun mantlet might have been the best solution when only looking at armor coverage

I'm convinced it's not because of that, but because it's essentially a Chieftain with "chobham", it worked on Chieftain, why change it?
Ofcourse, not denying that could've been the intent with the Chieftain's design (and therefore "extended" to CR1).

 

8 hours ago, SH_MM said:

The Leopard 2AV was not a good tank, pretty much a prototype. They couldn't spend lots of time on the design stage and testing all changes, because the deadline to participate at the US trials was too close. The decision to integrate the fuel tanks into the hull armor was however made following a suggestion by the US Army.

 

According to the testimony of a West-German general to the US officials (indirectly to the US Congress) it was a "mistake" that the weight demonstrators in the mobility trials didn't correlate with the true weight of the tank, but their is a large probability that this was a lie. Both sides (US inudstry/Army and the Germans) were focused on doing their best to get the US Army to spend millions on buying their respective tanks. The US government originally agreed to send all design and development papers of the XM1 designs to West-German, but declared them "top secret" after having received the Leopard 2AV designs... such behaviour from both sides is rather counterproductive when trying to make sure that NATO has the best possible equipment - unfortunately it is still common.

According to some CIA document (which I've not had the pleasure of seeing myself, so take this with a grain of salt), the 2AV was winning against the XM-1 on most points, which is when they changed the rules and the XM-1 s tarted winning:

Quote

Of the 117 criteria listed, 77 of which were assessed, the Leopard 2 AV 61 and the XM1 met 48.

After changes to the evaluation system, in 17 assessment groups only six were fulfilled by the Leopard 2, 16 by XM1. Rated according to the German system, in which each criterion was evaluated and evaluated individually, the Leopard 2 was clearly superior to the XM1. So the XM1 lacked the ABC protection system, an independent periscope for the commander and the ability to underwater.

Regardless of what happened, the trials weren't fair and the decision was long made for both countries.

US wouldn't adopt a German tank, Germany wouldn't adopt a US tank.

 

8 hours ago, SH_MM said:

I believe that the Challenger 1 is not a good design in many aspects, which is likely related to the low development effort and its origin as an export tank. The MBT-80 would have been a lot better in pretty much every category bar costs.

Yep, from everything I've been able to gather, CR1 seems to be a Shir 2 (with new suspension and FCS) which in turns is just a Chieftain Mk 5/2 with a decent engine/transmission.

If you look at the armour arrangements on the FV4211 and Mk 5/2, it's basically identical to the CR1 with aluminium instead of steel.

 

8 hours ago, SH_MM said:

Well, the situation is a bit messy, because the original photograph printed in Krapke's book is rather small (whole image is 2.4 x 7 cm) with limited resolution. Maybe you are right and the edges are proturding over the armor block; but by how much? Is the extrusion at the top completely part of the proturding edges (as assumed by you) or only partial? Also note that the center section of the mantlet includes a plate for the gun trunion to screw into, which is actually proturding even further than the edges - but what is it made of? Steel, aluminium, titanium? Is it hollow or solid?

At minimum it's still 390mm, going off other pictures, sources say a weight between 595kg (that Swedish shooting table) and 680kg.

There's atleast two sources that agree on the whole weight of the assembly, both Krapke and that Swedish table say 4290kg for entire gun mount and 3100kg without gun cradle and mantlet.

I doubt the mantlet is hollow, that doesn't make any sense at all, but neither does a solid mantlet, that would make it ridiculously heavy (in the region of 1.2t).

Aluminium doesn't make much sense either, titanium could be, but I would imagine that to be quite costly (though would lower the weight, to the point it might be solid and still only weigh ~650kg).


Exact thickness doesn't matter much IMO, you can get equivalent steel thickness with the weight, height and width, though that still leaves the question how much spacing would improve the effectiveness.

With the information available, I wouldn't consider the mantlet area weak, still going to disable the tank most likely, but atleast it's not tissue paper.

 

8 hours ago, SH_MM said:

If you think so, maybe I am. I am obviously biased in regards to thus statement and I disagree. I'm willing to change my mind, I specifically phrase my sentences carefully when speculating and/or questionable (note that I'm often using words like "supposed", "might", "could", "allegedly") to show that this is either not confirmed or that this is supported by "weak" sources only.

 

I am willing to change my mind and not using outdated or incorrect sources rather than having an opinion set in stone (e.g. I am not considering a table in an overview document citing "Gary's Combat Vehicle Reference Guide" as source to be better and more accurate than official reports from NCR). I also don't dislike any sort of technology (be it a gun, a tank or anything civilian) because of a personal dislike of certain people/countries (unlike our favorite Abrams' fanboy, who hates stuff just because it is German and Germany conquered and occupied Poland during WW2).


I do however not accept incorrect statements or unreasonable bashing. I wouldn't say that I am "protecting the Leopard 2" specifically, due to my language skills, nationality and personal connection/experience it is however the MBT for which I happen to have access to the largest number of souurces and I hope that this way I can provide the most to discussions. If I'd speak French, I'd probably buy and read lots of books and articles regarding their military hardware - just like I would probably have a deeper interest in Soviet/Russian tanks, if I spoke Russian. I however do not and secondary sources (like for example the rather limited "Osprey New Vanguard" books) are often rather bad. I wouldn't mind you posting more information about other tanks, so I'll keep on learning about them. As translated by Cicerio, scio me nescire.

Agreed, I'd add that everyone is biased to some degree, but when everything points to something being good, the bias argument is easily made against everyone that "supports" said good thing, maybe a little bit too easy.

Damian is a different level though, that's clear bias, not "bias by liking something good".

 

8 hours ago, SH_MM said:

The UK however believed that the Leopard 2's armor is a copy of Chobham armor, so it seems relevant to this discussion; if you have better sources, please post them.

UK would believe that, they gave Germany a lot of info on it and from several of their research papers it seems they thought quite highly of themselves, "educating" the Germans in armour technology....

For Germany Chobham wouldn't have been the best choice, given how it's more optimal against CE whereas the Germans always preferred KE protection, Leopard 1A3 being an example.

Their previous research like on the leopard 1A3, Keiler etc, used spaced armour, I don't consider it a stretch to think they saw what the UK did and simply were inspired by it, the depth of the armour package, mounting system, module design, things like that.

 

So, a copy of Chobham? 

I don't think so.

Seems more likely they only used some parts of it and still preferred spaced steel arrays with higher thickness instead of thin steel plates sandwiching plastic.

 

They probably looked at the thickness of the armour package on the hull and applied "their" protection ratios of Chobham.

 

Certainly wouldn't be the first time they make assumptions like that.

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11 hours ago, Scav said:

Their previous research like on the leopard 1A3, Keiler etc, used spaced armour, I don't consider it a stretch to think they saw what the UK did and simply were inspired by it, the depth of the armour package, mounting system, module design, things like that.

 

So, a copy of Chobham? 

I don't think so.

Seems more likely they only used some parts of it and still preferred spaced steel arrays with higher thickness instead of thin steel plates sandwiching plastic.

 

AFAIK using simple, not sloped steel-plastic-steel sandwich improves efectiveness of steel layers of armor

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19 hours ago, SH_MM said:

the overall special armor of the Leopard 2 seems to be have a mass efficiency 1.1 and 1.3 against APFSDS for the left turret cheek.

 

That sounds like the special armor in the turret is a simple multi-layered ceramic armor without heavy armor (f.e. tungsten) package.

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21 hours ago, SH_MM said:

The Leopard 2 with "B" technology armor's lower level of KE protection clearly is a negative factor in real life combat

in terms of "number vs number" it can be lower, in terms of protection vs certain types of APFSDS it can be anything, that is main problem

 

21 hours ago, SH_MM said:

Swedish leaks it seems that the gun mantlet still reaches 350 mm steel equivalent protection vs KE or more when seen directly from the front

try to draw all "%" on blueprint by yourself(without somebody marks, it can give you independent point of view), and you will understand that mantlet will get in "%" area with "less than 300"

 

21 hours ago, SH_MM said:

but made replacing the barrel and accessing the gun a nightmare.

CB8vL6kB_OQ.jpg

pbZhnwELeDw.jpg

zVme_b9Uwog.jpg

?

21 hours ago, SH_MM said:

Btw. according to Hilmes

Hilmes unfortunately  has a lot of strange words and scehemes in the book, embrasure for main gun on T-72/80/90/64 pretty much the same in terms of weakspot.

 

2A46M/M1/M4/M5(M4 and M5 gun uses longer barrel guide tube(160mm longer than previous version like M and M1)) , in russian army 2A46 and 2A46M called "green" and "yellow" gun, because of color of paint on gun breech, symmetrical arrangement of recoil devices etc, but T-72A and B more often have 2A46 gun, not 2A46M(mostly because USSR can't support 3 types of tanks with same guns, FCS's etc...)

 

http://computerland-spb.ru/images/pdf_uvz/Guns_spreads.pdf

 

page №8 and 17

 

21 hours ago, SH_MM said:

Is the extrusion at the top completely part of the proturding edges (as assumed by you) or only partial?

there was a video from some german factory that demil tanks and IFV's , try to find pics from this factory 

DaHhx-bhImk.jpg

 

and there is a pile of this mantlets + other photos and some reports(i will try to find on PC some sort of drawing of whole gun mount)

 

21 hours ago, SH_MM said:

if I spoke Russian

you will be greatly disappointed by persons and decisions behind all of these "great" war machines:)

 

21 hours ago, SH_MM said:

s a copy of Chobham armor,

i have 2 reports something like 400 pages, maybe more, the only meaning of which is the british mourning the loss of the opportunity to sell the chobham under a license, and an attempt to accuse the germans of having stolen the chobham, and then this great secret was stolen by soviets(which know about such type of armour long before british "invention" lol)

 

 

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2 hours ago, Zadlo said:

AFAIK using simple, not sloped steel-plastic-steel sandwich improves efectiveness of steel layers of armor

Not against CE atleast.

I don't doubt they also use plastics or rubber, but I don't think it's in the same manner as the UK or US, we can kind of see that with the add-on for later models, the steel layers are thicker while the plastics (or whatever it is) are thinner compared to the style used on the M1 for instance.

 

41 minutes ago, Wiedzmin said:

?

And how long does that take compared to something like on the M1 or leo 2.

 

46 minutes ago, Wiedzmin said:

try to draw all "%" on blueprint by yourself(without somebody marks, it can give you independent point of view), and you will understand that mantlet will get in "%" area with "less than 300"

No?

Over 60% of the frontal surface is protected against 300mm KE or more, that leaves just shy of 40% under 300mm, LFP accounts for around 20% while the hull roof accounts for 11%, block under mantlet accounts for 2%, driver's hatch for about 1%, that combines into around 34% of the total surface that's pretty much confirmed to be under 300mm KE.

The mantlet isn't 5% of the total surface, it's around 12%.

So if the mantlet was also part of this "under 300mm KE" area, the area protecting against 300mm or more would only be around 55%, not 60-63%.

Besides, that makes little sense in the first place, the mantlet would need to be hollow and just an empty shell for such low values to be possible.

 

3 hours ago, Wiedzmin said:

i have 2 reports something like 400 pages, maybe more

I'd love to see as much as possible on "Chobham".

In specific, I'm looking for these pages:

Spoiler

R5JPJZTOyJ4.png
 

7LJbYoNP5i0.png

 

H4Q_zhNZ4Ok.png

And any others from similar reports (or the same one).

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@SH_MM
So I finally managed to get my hands on the book Waffensysteme Leopard 1 und Leopard 2 by Spielberger thanks to a friend.

 

I found that he actually mentiones only skirt changes with the 8th batch but he words it in a way that makes it look like new integrated armour:

Spoiler

unknown.png

unknown.png


"Schürzenpanzerung" looks and sounds a lot like "Schützenpanzerung" (if that's even a word), perhaps some authors misread this and used it themselves?

 

In any case, he does specifically mention that only the skirts changed (interestingly, both the heavy and light ones).

 

For the 6th batch he does specifically mention new base armour though:

Spoiler

unknown.png

 

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On 1/5/2019 at 1:23 AM, Scav said:

I wouldn't consider it too low, not in comparison with the M1 for instance. 

M1 turret front (straight on): ~400mm KE or protection against 115mm APFSDS from 800m.

Leopard 2 turret front (straight on): ~430mm KE, protection against 38mm HK (which I think now with that swedish report on the 105mm smoothbore with APFSDS is actually the 105mm DM13 APFSDS).

 

And depending on what ammo they used to get these results, the difference could be bigger, if the leo 2 was tested using something like DM33, it would've fared better against older types of ammo, whereas with the M1, we don't know anything but that it was designed to withstand 115mm APFSDS (320-340mm according to some UK documents). 

 

Comparing the turret armor of the Leopard 2 to the M1 Abrams wouldn't really very productive in real world scenarios; both had too low armor protection as a result of incorrect estimates of Soviet firepower.

 

My perspective in the previous posts was focused on the requirements; if they were met and how they were met. As Wiedzmin correctly stated, it doesn't matter how much milimetres of steel equivalent protection an armor array provides, if both can be defeated by the same (common) battlefield threats. Based on available documents, the aim for the M1 Abrams for example was to resist future 115 mm APFSDS with tungsten penetrator ammo along a 50° frontal arc from a distance of 800 m (on the turret) or 1,200 m (in case of the hull). This requirements are based on assumptions that the Soviets would continue to use the 115 mm smoothbore gun with the T-64, the T-72 and other future tanks (i.e. the T-80) - this was wrong. Likewise the penetration was underestimated with the US military using the 152 mm XM578E4 APFSDS developed for the MBT-70 during the 1960s as a reference for the 1980s' Soviet anti-tank projectiles - this was also a failure of the procurement process and US intelligence service.

 

The Abrams has supposedly 320-340 mm steel-equivalent Burlington armor along its frontal arc; this is insufficient to protect against 115 mm 3BM-21 and 3BM-28 APFSDS rounds at distances of 2,000 m. The same applies to the Leopard 2's armor; be it 400 or 450 mm equivalent protection heads-on at the turret front; the hull front and turret armor is insufficient against 115 mm APFSDS rounds along the frontal 50-60° arc. There isn't even a need to speak about how the required protection ("sufficient protection against future Soviet KE rounds at combat distances") isn't given when looking at 125 mm APFSDS rounds.

 

On 1/5/2019 at 1:23 AM, Scav said:

According to some CIA document (which I've not had the pleasure of seeing myself, so take this with a grain of salt), the 2AV was winning against the XM-1 on most points, which is when they changed the rules and the XM-1 s tarted winning:

 

These figures have been published in different German articles, I doubt that they are from some sort of CIA document.

 

On 1/5/2019 at 1:23 AM, Scav said:

There's atleast two sources that agree on the whole weight of the assembly, both Krapke and that Swedish table say 4290kg for entire gun mount and 3100kg without gun cradle and mantlet.

 

Krapke lists the weight of the Leopard 2AV's gun assembly though.

 

On 1/5/2019 at 1:23 AM, Scav said:

UK would believe that, they gave Germany a lot of info on it and from several of their research papers it seems they thought quite highly of themselves, "educating" the Germans in armour technology.... 

For Germany Chobham wouldn't have been the best choice, given how it's more optimal against CE whereas the Germans always preferred KE protection, Leopard 1A3 being an example. 

Their previous research like on the leopard 1A3, Keiler etc, used spaced armour, I don't consider it a stretch to think they saw what the UK did and simply were inspired by it, the depth of the armour package, mounting system, module design, things like that. 

 

So, a copy of Chobham?  

I don't think so. 

Seems more likely they only used some parts of it and still preferred spaced steel arrays with higher thickness instead of thin steel plates sandwiching plastic. 

 

There isn't one type of "Chobham" armor. The UK has designed and tested more than a dozen different types of Chobham armor during the late 1960s and 1970s, which were designed to meet different requirements. For example, one array was designed to improve efficiency against KE rounds from a mass efficiency of roughly 1 to 1.5, but traded a reduction in performance against shaped charges from a mass efficiency of 3 to just 2.

 

We know from patents, German books on the Leopard 2 and Soviet sources, that the Leopard 2 employs some type of NERA or "not Chobham, but armor following the Chobham principle". While the West-German military asked for a higher level of KE protection relative to the US Army, it is still a lot harder to achieve sufficient protection to stop an ATGM with 530 mm penetration than an APFSDS round with 300-350 mm penetration along the frontal arc. By my estimates, the frontal armor would be nearly enough by itself (per weight) to achieve the desired level of protection against KE rounds, so only a "small amount" of additional protection (10-20%) needs to be achieved for it along the whole frontal arc. Meanwhile one needs to achieve a mass efficiency of 1.4 to 1.5 against shape charges for the frontal armor to resist a Milan-1 ATGM warhead and an even higher efficiency for protection along the frontal arc.

 

According to a Soviet report - or at least a Russian book from 2005-2006 claims that there was such a report - West-Germany tested armor arrays making use of five NERA plates, which all had a rather thick front plate (25 mm) followed by a thin rubber layer (5 mm) and thin steel back plate (3 mm). This armor would be much more remiscient of the T-72B's turret armor, but could still be considered a type of "Chobham". The ISL suggested in 1979/1980 that for optimum protection against shaped charges, a multi-layered backplate (made of steel plates with either a glass or a ceramic "core") should be used in combination with spaced NERA sandwich plates. However filling the empty space with low-density compressible plastic or removing it, but layering the NERA directly ontop of the backplate was seen as counter-productive, reducing the protection level.

 

Regarding Leopard 1A3 and Keiler: There never was a requirement for shaped charge protection on these tanks. The designs submitted to England during the early phase of the Kampfpanzer 3/Future Main Battle Tank project show how this "technology" would have been adapted to also protect against shaped charges: MaK's proposal had a spaced arrangement of seven thin steel plates as frontal armor, while Krauss-Maffei's design had six thin steel plates spaced apart, while a fuel tank would have been incorporated between the two outermost layers.

 

On 1/5/2019 at 2:34 PM, Wiedzmin said:



CB8vL6kB_OQ.jpg

pbZhnwELeDw.jpg

zVme_b9Uwog.jpg

?

 

How long did the process take? I know that these are different tanks, but the first photo shows daylight, the sky in the second photo is black from the night. According to Hilmes, it takes about a day to replace the barrel of the Chieftain tank.

 

On 1/5/2019 at 12:47 PM, Zadlo said:

AFAIK using simple, not sloped steel-plastic-steel sandwich improves efectiveness of steel layers of armor 

 

That would maybe provide a tiny bit of additional protection, but likely less than simply using spaced steel plates (which makes it easier for the fragments of the damaged projectile to spread along a greater surface).

 

On 1/5/2019 at 12:51 PM, Zadlo said:

That sounds like the special armor in the turret is a simple multi-layered ceramic armor without heavy armor (f.e. tungsten) package. 

 

"Pure ceramic" armor is rather uncommon on MBTs and more or less never used alone (there were some Soviet designs, but these made use of ERA for achieving sufficient protection against shaped charges).

 

On 1/13/2019 at 12:58 AM, Scav said:

"Schürzenpanzerung" looks and sounds a lot like "Schützenpanzerung" (if that's even a word), perhaps some authors misread this and used it themselves? 

 

In any case, he does specifically mention that only the skirts changed (interestingly, both the heavy and light ones). 

 

Schürzenpanzerung means "skirt armor", so he is refering to the heavy ballistic skirts. Spielberger doesn't mention a change of the base armor, but confirms that both types - heavy and light skirt segments - were changed. Interessting.

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38 minutes ago, SH_MM said:

The Abrams has supposedly 320-340 mm steel-equivalent Burlington armor along its frontal arc; this is insufficient to protect against 115 mm 3BM-21 and 3BM-28 APFSDS rounds at distances of 2,000 m. The same applies to the Leopard 2's armor; be it 400 or 450 mm equivalent protection heads-on at the turret front; the hull front and turret armor is insufficient against 115 mm APFSDS rounds along the frontal 50-60° arc. There isn't even a need to speak about how the required protection ("sufficient protection against future Soviet KE rounds at combat distances") isn't given when looking at 125 mm APFSDS rounds.

I don't think the slug type APFSDS as used on early 115 and 125mm ammo would have an easy time with the turret of either of these (specifically leo 2) as the slug would leave the penetrator body when hitting the first plates after which it would be much easier to defeat. 

To be fair, 3BM26 kinda fixed part of this and 3BM28 is thought to be a DU long rod.

 

43 minutes ago, SH_MM said:

These figures have been published in different German articles, I doubt that they are from some sort of CIA document.

The guy that told me about them said they were from a bribery inquiry on the trials.

(Maybe it wasn't CIA, but some internal agency dealing with it)

 

44 minutes ago, SH_MM said:

Krapke lists the weight of the Leopard 2AV's gun assembly though.

Yeah, but I don't think that much changed for the mantlet specifically, I read something about the roof armour being changed but not much more.

There's ofcourse the hull armour change as well.

 

48 minutes ago, SH_MM said:

There isn't one type of "Chobham" armor. The UK has designed and tested more than a dozen different types of Chobham armor during the late 1960s and 1970s, which were designed to meet different requirements. For example, one array was designed to improve efficiency against KE rounds from a mass efficiency of roughly 1 to 1.5, but traded a reduction in performance against shaped charges from a mass efficiency of 3 to just 2.

Yep, and it seems like they preferred CE protection if we look at the later MBT-80 requirement.

 

49 minutes ago, SH_MM said:

We know from patents, German books on the Leopard 2 and Soviet sources, that the Leopard 2 employs some type of NERA or "not Chobham, but armor following the Chobham principle". While the West-German military asked for a higher level of KE protection relative to the US Army, it is still a lot harder to achieve sufficient protection to stop an ATGM with 530 mm penetration than an APFSDS round with 300-350 mm penetration along the frontal arc. By my estimates, the frontal armor would be nearly enough by itself (per weight) to achieve the desired level of protection against KE rounds, so only a "small amount" of additional protection (10-20%) needs to be achieved for it along the whole frontal arc. Meanwhile one needs to achieve a mass efficiency of 1.4 to 1.5 against shape charges for the frontal armor to resist a Milan-1 ATGM warhead and an even higher efficiency for protection along the frontal arc.

Yeah, I came to the same conclusion.

 

53 minutes ago, SH_MM said:

According to a Soviet report - or at least a Russian book from 2005-2006 claims that there was such a report - West-Germany tested armor arrays making use of five NERA plates, which all had a rather thick front plate (25 mm) followed by a thin rubber layer (5 mm) and thin steel back plate (3 mm). This armor would be much more remiscient of the T-72B's turret armor, but could still be considered a type of "Chobham". The ISL suggested in 1979/1980 that for optimum protection against shaped charges, a multi-layered backplate (made of steel plates with either a glass or a ceramic "core") should be used in combination with spaced NERA sandwich plates. However filling the empty space with low-density compressible plastic or removing it, but layering the NERA directly ontop of the backplate was seen as counter-productive, reducing the protection level.

Do you remember what Russian book that was?

I've been looking for info such as this.

 

54 minutes ago, SH_MM said:

Regarding Leopard 1A3 and Keiler: There never was a requirement for shaped charge protection on these tanks. The designs submitted to England during the early phase of the Kampfpanzer 3/Future Main Battle Tank project show how this "technology" would have been adapted to also protect against shaped charges: MaK's proposal had a spaced arrangement of seven thin steel plates as frontal armor, while Krauss-Maffei's design had six thin steel plates spaced apart, while a fuel tank would have been incorporated between the two outermost layers.

Interesting.

 

55 minutes ago, SH_MM said:

Schürzenpanzerung means "skirt armor"

Yep, I know, but you can see that it could be easily confused by people who don't speak German as a primary language (I had to do a double take as well).

 

 

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Germany is getting Trophy APS for a limited number of Leopards

"According to the planned schedule initial trials of Trophy on Leopard II are expected to begin this year with integration and testing completed by 2021, fielding 17 tanks (a company of 13 plus four spares) to equip the selected company in 2022. The unit will train and qualify to operate with the system in 2022, thus becoming combat ready for its VJTF deployment in 2023. The procurement is limited at this stage to the 17 systems and is not committing the Bundeswehr to a future APS solution."

https://defense-update.com/20190124_germany-to-field-trophy-aps-with-leopard-ii-tanks.html
 

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On 1/5/2019 at 5:34 AM, Wiedzmin said:

you will be greatly disappointed by persons and decisions behind all of these "great" war machines:)

Soviet tanks? Seem to work fine and will keep chugging. Planes, ships and the myriad of other vehicles too are doing fine.Did i miss some context?

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4 hours ago, Pascal said:

Soviet tanks? Seem to work fine and will keep chugging

With this phrasing - you are setting a bar too low, compared to what they (soviet army and especially soviet defense industry) had advertised as achievable, and were paid big bucks (well, roubles and other goods) to provide.

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On 2/3/2019 at 9:59 AM, skylancer-3441 said:

With this phrasing - you are setting a bar too low, compared to what they (soviet army and especially soviet defense industry) had advertised as achievable, and were paid big bucks (well, roubles and other goods) to provide.

To be fair in my humble opinion it is more fault of engine makers(Shitty kharkovite tractor engine, slow development of X Diesels and Turbines) and guys responsible for electronic development(FCS and computational technology )

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    • By SH_MM
      Well, if you include TUSK as armor kit for the Abrams, then you also have to include the different Theatre Entry Standards (TES) armor kits (three versions at least) of the Challenger 2. The base armor however was most likely not upgraded.
       
      The Leclerc is not geometrically more efficient. It could have been, if it's armor layout wasn't designed so badly. The Leclerc trades a smaller frontal profile for a larger number of weakspots. It uses a bulge-type turret (no idea about the proper English term), because otherwise a low-profile turret would mean reduced gun depression (breech block hits the roof when firing). There is bulge/box on the Leclerc turret roof, which is about one feet tall and located in the centerline of the turret. It is connected to the interior of the tank, as it serves as space for the breech block to travel when the gun is depressed. With this bulge the diffence between the Leopard 2's and Leclerc's roof height is about 20 milimetres.
       

       
      The problem with this bulge is, that it is essentially un-armored (maybe 40-50 mm steel armor); otherwise the Leclerc wouldn't save any weight. While the bulge is hidden from direct head-on attacks, it is exposed when the tank is attacked from an angle. Given that modern APFSDS usually do not riccochet at impact angles larger than 10-15° and most RPGs are able to fuze at such an angle, the Leclerc has a very weakly armored section that can be hit from half to two-thirds of the frontal arc and will always be penetrated.
       

       
      The next issue is the result of the gunner's sight layout. While it is somewhat reminiscent of the Leopard 2's original gunner's sight placement for some people, it is actually designed differently. The Leopard 2's original sight layout has armor in front and behind the gunner's sight, the sight also doesn't extend to the bottom of the turret. On the Leclerc things are very different, the sight is placed in front of the armor and this reduces overall thickness. This problem has been reduced by installing another armor block in front of the guner's sight, but it doesn't cover the entire crew.
       

       
      The biggest issue of the Leclerc is however the gun shield. It's tiny, only 30 mm thick! Compared to that the Leopard 2 had a 420 mm gun shield already in 1979. The French engineers went with having pretty much the largest gun mantlet of all contemporary tanks, but decided to add the thinnest gun shield for protection. They decided to instead go for a thicker armor (steel) block at the gun trunnions.
       

       
      Still the protection of the gun mantlet seems to be sub-par compared to the Leopard 2 (420 mm armor block + 200-250 mm steel for the gun trunion mount on the original tank) and even upgraded Leopard 2 tanks. The Abrams has a comparable weak protected gun mantlet, but it has a much smaller surface. The Challenger 2 seems to have thicker armor at the gun, comparable to the Leopard 2.
       
      Also, the Leclerc has longer (not thicker) turret side armor compared to the Leopard 2 and Challenger 2, because the armor needs to protect the autoloader. On the other tanks, the thick armor at the end of the crew compartment and only thinner, spaced armor/storage boxes protect the rest of the turret. So I'd say:
      Challenger 2: a few weakspots, but no armor upgrades to the main armor Leclerc: a lot of weakspots, but lower weight and a smaller profile when approached directly from the turret front M1 Abrams: upgraded armor with less weakspots, but less efficient design (large turret profile and armor covers whole turret sides) So if you look for a tank that is well protected, has upgraded armor and uses the armor efficiently, the current Leopard 2 should be called best protected tank.
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