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2 hours ago, VertigoEx said:

 

There have been a few T-90s destroyed in Syria and in the Donbass iirc. The Tow-2 should not be that effective against anything with K5. A Tow-2A should have little issue against K5 armored tanks.  A captured T-90A was knocked out by a T-72 for example. APFSDS impact from the side. I suspect it was probably a BM-22/42. That said their combat performance seems to have been very good, and excellent in certain roles. 

 

 

The videos we see are selection bias, tank hunter killer teams in Yemen knew rather well that shooting an Abrams from the front was a death sentence, as you would be spotted by the very good thermal sights rather quickly, a kill not being all that likely. The videos I have seen suggest that the hits to the Abrams occur from the side and near oblique angles to the turret armor. The Abrams reputation for crew suitability seems to be intact. 

 

The Leo-2A4 used in turkey have very poor armor protection, and its likely that it is Type-B. Not sufficient for even the late 1980s. It isn't being used as it would be in the late 1980s however. 

 

There was one Lecerc driver killed with a ATGM hit the hull front. Not sure where the impact was, some suggested it was near the edge of the composite array. 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately You didn't get the point of my post. I wanted to say that it's extremely difficult to define what does it mean to be the best and that even one against one comparison is not a good one. Even the very same thing can be the best for someone and a pain in the ass for someone else. Of course I also didnť try to claim that the T series tanks are the best :) 

 

With the T-90A example I tried to show an example of a scenario where such tank works maybe better than for example Abrams. The use of Abrams by similar military of Iraq has been rather problematic mainly due to claimed very low serviceable numbers. Regarding the actual combat loses I would say in both cases most of them can be attributed to an incompetence of their users. I know some T-90A were destroyed in Syria but despite having thousands of ATGM strikes on youtube we don't have any of a catastrophic explosion of a tank of late Soviet or post Soviet origin in Syria while we have tons of them with old T-72M1 or A models. 

 

By the way no T-90A loss is documented in Donbas among more than thousand of documented destroyed armoured vehicles. Only several T-72B3 and 72B mod.1989 from the relatively modern tanks. From what I have read the T-90A were used only briefly during the summer 2014 ofensive in Lugans area where they defeated the 1st tank brigade of Ukrainean army equipped with T-64BM in a night fight.  

 

Sure I understand that the Abrams M1A2S and Leopard 2A4 spectacularly destroyed on the videos were hits from side onto a tank sitting in the open. However to claim that the reputation for crew survivability of Abrams stayed intact after that is a bit too bold claim. In that very case if the crew was inside it was sure killed by the explosion. I am not saying the tanks are bad, I'm saying that a large part of their reputation comes from the fact that they have been mostly used by very potent militaries. When they are being used by less competent users the story changes. I think some Izraeli general said after Six day war that even if the militaries switched their hardware the result of the war would be most likely same. 

 

Thanks for the info about Leclerc in Yemen. 

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Today the first Leopard 2A7V was handed over to the Bundeswehr by KMW. The troops must still be a bit patient since the first went to the BAAINBw ( BWB was just to easy *sigh*).

KMW-Leopard-2-A7V-Rollout-05.jpg

More pictures: https://www.kmweg.de/mediacenter/pressebilder.html

While Germany got it's first of 104 A7V which will be  delivered untill 2023, Denmark received it's first of 44 A7 which will be delivered untill 22.
source:https://www.kmweg.de/fileadmin/user_upload/news/KMW_Pressemitteilung_Daenemark_und_Deutschland_erhalten_modernste_Versionen_des_LEOPARD_2.pdf

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As far as I know the version 2A7V has the new German C4I and can fire a new ammunition type but it is intended to replace the naming 2A7V by 2A7 once all German vehicles have the same configuration.

 

Right now they have 20 2A7 and a total of 104 (some A4, A6, A7) will be brought to 2A7V. After that all will be named 2A7.

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6 hours ago, Rico said:

As far as I know the version 2A7V has the new German C4I and can fire a new ammunition type but it is intended to replace the naming 2A7V by 2A7 once all German vehicles have the same configuration.

 

Right now they have 20 2A7 and a total of 104 (some A4, A6, A7) will be brought to 2A7V. After that all will be named 2A7.

@KaramazovIn march this year additional 101 A7V were ordered, so alltogether 205.Afair the A7V upgrade also includes a stronger APU, the same like the A7Q uses. Furthermore at least the older A4s will receive the L55A1 instead of the L44 in the process. This  enables the tank to use the programmable fuze of the DM11 HE which replaces the DM12 HEAT-MZ and other future programmable ammunitions (KE2020?). No Idea if or how many of the second order shall be refitted wit the L55A1.
This press release:http://www.bundeswehr-journal.de/2017/rheinmetall-beginnt-panzerumruestung-auf-leopard-2-a7v/#more-8269 also speaks of a new thermal imaging system, a new eye save rangefinder and the removal of obsolescences ( fire control e.g)


 

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2 hours ago, 2805662 said:

Computers is the 4th C

yep and that is what you correctly posted " Command, control, communications, computers, intelligence."  It was originally C2 meaning command and control then some idiot added communications making C3 thus beginning the confusion between command and control and systems and technologies that enable command and control.  Along come computers and now we get C4 etc, etc.

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12 hours ago, DIADES said:

yep and that is what you correctly posted " Command, control, communications, computers, intelligence."  It was originally C2 meaning command and control then some idiot added communications making C3 thus beginning the confusion between command and control and systems and technologies that enable command and control.  Along come computers and now we get C4 etc, etc.

Does anyone know what is the 5th dimension ?

For me, radio and EW were the 4th but someone very serious in France was talking about the 5th. 

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And because I stumbled across it, here the versions which will be in german service:
Leopard 2 A5 (@ Gefechts Übungs Zentrum)
Leopard 2 A6 MA2 (@ DE/NL PzBtl. 414)
Leopard 2 A6 A3 (brought to the same operating concept as A7 as a preparation for the switch to A7)
Leopard 2 A7 (Addition V gets removed like Rico said).

The first two A7V are converted A7 while the remaining 18 A7 will be the last ones to be upgraded. The A4 conversions of the A4 started this yearand will take untill
2023 - the turrets are (re)build in Kassel and this is the bottleneck of the industries capacity. Untill 2019 they were busy with 62 A7+ for Katar and in 2023 it is planned

to start with the order of 44 A7+ for Hungary.
The upgrade for the 2 A6MA3s will start in 2023 and will be finished in 2026.

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On 10/26/2019 at 11:53 AM, Wiedzmin said:

not Leo2, but

 

Cz04BtppMTA.jpg

 

one of test rigs with ERA(german made ERA) tested in Germany 

 

Interesting, from when is this document? Seems to be a very early array.

 

On 10/27/2019 at 2:06 AM, 2805662 said:

Interesting. From a purely combat-tested crew survivability perspective, I’d rate the Abrams series as superior to Leopard 2. Leopard 2’s completely exposed hull ammunition wine-rack stowage is an inexcusable flaw. 

 

It doesn't matter how a layman, an enthusiasts or even a member of a tank crew rates the survivability of tanks on purely subjective impressions. We know that a part of designing a modern MBT is a survivability analysis, both in terms of simulation and real life-firing tests and we know that every tank aside of the Abrams and Armata has opted for a "wine-rack stowage". This is not an inexcusable flaw, but a intentional design decision, as every tank design is a trade-off between negatives and posivites. As it turns out, every tank design team bar Chrysler's one for the Abrams program has ended up with "wine-rack stowage" in the hull, even on new tanks like the K2 Black Panther and the Type 10, which were designed decades after the Abrams.

 

Using combat experience to access crew survivability is not bad, but given that only a dozen or so Leopard 2 MBTs have been hit by ATGMs and these were fitted with an outdated armor package from 1979, this is hardly a proof of limited/lower crew survivability, not to mention that crew survivability also can be higher/lower for each tank depending on what enemy it faces.

 

Seeing the videos from Yemen where a Saudi M1A2S Abrams tank's turret is hit by an ATGM, penetrated by the warhead, yet the crew is saved by the isolated ammo storage and the blow-out panels doesn't actually tell us much about crew survivability (not to mention that these videos are usually cut before anybody can see what happened to the crew) in comparison to a Leclerc, Leopard 2 or K2 Black Panther.

As it stands there has been not one example that clearly shows a tank being destroyed due to its "wine-rack stowage" for the hull ammunition. There is no case of a M1A2S Abrams hit in Yemen at an angle, where the "wine-rack" would cause trouble, but the isolated hull ammo of the Abrams is safe. There is no video of a Leopard 2 being hit and penetrated by an ATGM at the hull front or in such a way that one can say the crew would have survived in an Abrams. There are videos showing singular incidents that are not comparable, yet people are pretending they can serve as a valid base for a comparison. Just two weeks ago a video of a Turkish Leopard 2 tank surfaced, which is hit at the turret front; the missile penetrates the armor and despite the isolated turret ammunition, the tank turns into a big ol' fireball, because 20-30 mm steel were not sufficient to keep the ammunition isolated against the penetrating shaped charge jet.

 

Documents from the British-German tank design cooperation as part of the FMBT program suggest that according to a British analysis, wet-stowage was considered to be better for crew survivability than isolated ammo stowage in the hull.

 

Either all tank engineers bar Chrysler's team are dumb or crew survivability isn't as one-dimensional as you seem to pretend.

 

On 10/27/2019 at 2:06 AM, 2805662 said:

In terms of sensors, the gen 2 FLIR on Abrams (about to be superseded by gen 3 FLIR), is highest performing thermal currently available. My experience with European sensor systems is that they are available, expensive, and adequate, but underperform US systems, remaining a generation behind in performance. My most recent exposure to leading US AFV sensors is 2015, so a little dated, but I’ve heard nothing that would convince me that there’s been significant changes in this regard. 

 

I don't know what your experience with the thermal imagers from European manufacturers are, but this might just be up to US military/manufacturer just utilizing better screens for displaying the output. Technologically, there is no lead on either side.

 

But okay, lets talk thermal imagers and MBTs.

When the Leopard 2A5 upgrade was developed, there were two second-generation thermal imaging sensors available in Germany, both designed as part of the tri-national TRIGAT (third generation anti-tank) missile program that lead to the failure that is PARS 3 LR. A small, low-cost IRCCD sensor using a 40 x 4 detector array for the short-range variant of TRIGAT meant to replace MILAN and a large sensor utilizing a 288 x 4 detector array meant for the long-range version (which ended up being PARS 3 LR).

At the time, the latter sensor was considered unreasonable expensive, specifically given that the change in the political landscape had a negative impact on the military budgets in Germany and other LEOBEN countries, while the smaller sensor array was considered to provide insufficient resolution. As a result using the US-German Common Modules for the Leopard 2A5's commander periscope or developing a new IRCCD with lower cost than TRIGAT's larger option, but better resolution than TRIGAT's small model, was considered. Both these systems were tested on the Leopard 2 prototypes (TVM min with the US-German Common Modules, TVM max with a new sensor).

 

The new sensors was developed by AEG and uses a 96 x 4 IRCCD detector array and was installed into the new Optischer Passiver Hoch-Empfindlicher Leichter Infrarot-Optischer Sensor (OPHELIOS) thermal imaging system developed by a cooperation between Carl-Zeiss, Atlas Elektronik, AEG, TEMIC EZIS and Eltro. This rather low sensor resultion was somewhat negated by a using a special sensor layout, where the detector array was split into two blocks, slightly shifted in alignment, apparently for better image quality. The software of the OPHELIOS thermal imager was already designed to accept the larger sensor developed for TRIGAT with 288 x 4 detector elements, but this upgrade was never made for Germany's tanks at least following the improved relations with Russia and later the focus on assymetrical warfare. An upgrade of the Leopard 2's thermal imager would likely have occured with the KWS III originally planned for 2008, as this would have required a new FCS and new optics.

 

The US Army settled for a much larger detector array with 480 x 4 detector elements, which was partly possible due to adopting second-generation thermal imagers at a later point of time; this means that more mature manufacturing techniques and smaller process nodes could be used for manufacturing, which are some of the main drivers of the costs of electronics. This detector array is clearly better than the one utilized on OPHELIOS in terms of resolution per scan. In terms of the signal-to-noise ratio (i.e. the most important factor for image quality besides sharpness/resolution), these sensors are all on equal terms, as they all have a TDI of 4 (they rely on scanning each position four times). This allows reducing the noise compared to a first generation thermal imager by half (the square root of the TDI).

It must be noted that there are further fators that need to be accounted for such as the aperature, the quality of the lenses and prisms, the scan rate, thermal sensitivity, etc. These factors for example allowed the EMES 15 with WBG-X to provide better results (according to the US evaluation of the Leopard 2AV) than the Abrams' TIS despite both relying on Common Modules with a 120 x 1 detector array. Nased on what I've read, both Raytheon's second gen FLIR aswell as the AEG-designed IRCCD array for the OPHELIOS rely on CMT with similiar thermal sensititvity (7.5 to 10.5 µm); in theory using a smaller detector in combination with a higher scan rate and larger scan amplitude could provide the same output resolution as a larger detector array scanning slower/less.

 

The larger detector array of Raytheon's second-gen FLIR is nothing special and not related to the Americans "just being better at making thermals". I.e. in 2000 - one year after the US adopted second generation FLIR - a new thermal imager made by the German industry around Carl-Zeiss was tested on the Leopard 2 called the HDIR. This was designed around a 576 x n detector array (n being 4 for the model tested on the Leopard 2) and provided an output resolution of 1,920 x 1,152 without using inter-lacing. In a comparison with WBG-X and OPHELIOS, it was found that HDIR allowed to detect (persuambly NATO standard) targets at up to 60% further distances. They made a thermal imager with 20% more detector elements one year after Raytheon's second generation FLIR entered service, but hey, "the Europeans are always a generation behind in thermals".

 

However component discussions make little sense when talking about a tank like the Leopard 2 which has proven to be very adaptable to the customer's needs and has been adopted in countless different configurations, specifically when talking about thermal imagers: the Spanish Leopardo 2E and the Greek Leopard 2A6HEL both utilize the same second-generation FLIR detector from Raytheon as the current M1 Abrams models, which has been integrated by the Spanish company Indra into the Leopard 2's FCS.

 

The idea that European thermal imagers are in terms of performance one generation behind US systems is laughable. All these systems are following the same laws of physics. Hendoldt's ATTICA thermal imager was designed as a modular family, coming in different shapes and sizes (i.e. small, medium and large detector arrays), which is the standard approach on the market today. Even the "small version" of ATTICA as fitted to the Puma IFV has 57 times as many detector elements as the Abrams' second generation FLIR. The medium versions use a 640 x 512 detector array, while the large one offers a 1,280 x 1,024 detector array, i.e. up to 682 times as many detector elements. As common with third generation thermal imagers, they are available either based on CMT or InSb, i.e. in different wave-lengths. For the Puma an upgrade to a larger detector has been proposed (as the Puma A1 configuration already will upgrade daylight cameras and flatscreen displays, so Hensoldt thinks that upping the thermals is the next step), while the Leopard 2A7V's new thermal imager for the gunner's sight has been adopted for its "long range", implying that they maybe didn't reuse the Puma's system.

For the third generation thermal imagers, Raytheon has developed two variants of the 3rd-Generation FLIR Sensor Engine; one with a 640 x 480 detector array and a 1,280 x 720 elements detector array, as the US military favors the 16:9 wide-screen format, so I don't see how this should enable them to stay a generation ahead of Europe. Safran, Thales, Leonardo, Hensoldt, etc. are all making similar-sized detector arrays.

 

On 10/31/2019 at 4:56 PM, Jägerlein said:

Leopard 2 A6 A3 (brought to the same operating concept as A7 as a preparation for the switch to A7)

 

Leopard 2A6MA3

 

On 10/30/2019 at 11:21 AM, Karamazov said:

What are the differences between 2A7V and 2A7?

 

  • new ATTICA thermal imager for the gunner's sight, new eye-safe laser rangefinder
  • add-on armor on the hull
  • new SPECTUS driver's sight (including rear-facing night vision/thermal imager)
  • some tanks receive the L/55A1 tank gun
  • changes to the final drive to regain some mobility that was lost when the tank got heavier (however this reduces top speed a bit)
  • stronger torsion-bars and optimized tracks, so the tank is qualified for a combat weight of 70 tonnes
  • more powerful APU
  • replacing the air-conditioning unit that was first adopted with the Leopard 2A7 (it worked fine, but a new system was developed that also double-acts as NBC protection system). The old NBC protection system is retained and acts as additional air-conditioning unit for the driver
  • changes to the ammunition racks, so the DM11 round can be stored in all places
  • modifications to the SAAB Barracuda kit
  • new digital flatscreen display for the commander
  • digital control unit for the electric turret drives
  • fully refurbished engines that are prepared for up-rating

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3 hours ago, SH_MM said:

 

Just two weeks ago a video of a Turkish Leopard 2 tank surfaced, which is hit at the turret front; the missile penetrates the armor and despite the isolated turret ammunition, the tank turns into a big ol' fireball, because 20-30 mm steel were not sufficient to keep the ammunition isolated against the penetrating shaped charge jet.

 

 

 

 

Link to the video? Haven't seen that one.

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No, this tank is being hit from behind. I'll try to find the one I meant, it was floating around twitter the past weeks. It is shot with higher zoom/shorter distance, so one can clearly see the missile hitting the frontal turret.

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The defense comittee of the German parliament has requested that a further 80 Leopard 2 tanks will be purchased for the Bundeswehr, bringing the German tank fleet up to more than 400 Leopard 2s. The buget comittee of the parliament has still to approve the decision, so knowing how they try to keep costs down, it might lead to nowhere.

 

https://augengeradeaus.net/2019/11/verteidigungspolitiker-wollen-80-zusaetzliche-leos-haushaltsentscheidung-steht-noch-aus/

 

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@Laser Shark With all the news of new Leos being upgraded and bought: Any news on Norway upgrading their Leo2A4s?


On the same note there are talks in Austria of upgrading their A4s and the czech are also looking to replace their T-72s.
Poland is probably also in the upgrade market with their A5s and A4s.

Its probably getting very busy for KMW and RHM
 

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7 hours ago, Willy Brandt said:

@Laser Shark With all the news of new Leos being upgraded and bought: Any news on Norway upgrading their Leo2A4s?
 

 

Afaik nothing has changed since this information was released in March:

Quote

Project number and name: 9360 New main battle tank capacity

Background and Overall Objective: The Norwegian Army shall maintain three mechanized battalions, all which is to have a modern main battle tank capacity. A concept study is ongoing, which, amongst other, will evaluate the number of vehicles and their combat capability

Scope: To be defined.

Project status: MP (i.e. “possible project”)

Cost estimate: 4000-8000 mill. NOK

Implementation period: 2025-?

 

 

Meanwhile the Leo 2A4NOs are only getting a limited life extension, which mostly focuses on replacing worn out parts/parts that are difficult to source:

Quote

Project number and name: 5050 End life upgrade of the Leopard 2 A4 NO

Background and Overall Objective: Life extension of existing Leopard 2 A4 NO system

Scope: Existing inventory.

Project status: PP (i.e. “planned project”)

Cost estimate: 75-200 mill. NOK

Implementation period: 2019-2024

 

 

Source: https://www.regjeringen.no/contentassets/7635ac0d48d44fc180fac57f58be7518/faf-2019-2026-english---final.pdf

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11 hours ago, Willy Brandt said:

@Laser Shark With all the news of new Leos being upgraded and bought: Any news on Norway upgrading their Leo2A4s?


On the same note there are talks in Austria of upgrading their A4s and the czech are also looking to replace their T-72s.
Poland is probably also in the upgrade market with their A5s and A4s.

Its probably getting very busy for KMW and RHM
 

 

Well, there is a strong claim from Chief of the Army to have more MBTs.

I think the aim is to have 5 MBT Batallions but there is not much ressources available right now since KMW is pretty overbooked with Leo2 DK, HUN, GER.

 

Leguan production is on max load as well.

 

Regarding Rheinmetall - hard to say. Based on what can be read the Leo2 PL project is running quite bad so I don't know if other Leo2A4 nations are looking for this option to upgrade their fleets. But this seems to be the only valid option if NOR, AUT whats to improve something in the next 5 years.

 

If its just about maintaining the current systems for NOR, AUT - I don't know if FFG is an option as well. The Wisent Platform is on Leo2A7 level (drive line) and they are doing maintenance for the Leo2 of GER. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Rico said:

Regarding Rheinmetall - hard to say. Based on what can be read the Leo2 PL project is running quite bad so I don't know if other Leo2A4 nations are looking for this option to upgrade their fleets. But this seems to be the only valid option if NOR, AUT whats to improve something in the next 5 years.

 

I don't think that Rheinmetall's upgrade would be a bad option, many problems of the Leopard 2PL seem to be related to Polish industry involvement and incorrect expectations. However Rheinmetall is also busy with the Leopard 2s for Denmark, Hungary and Germany, as they are responsible for most of the turret upgrades.

 

RUAG however could be a solid alternative.

https://www.ruag.com/en/products-services/land/vehicles-weapon-systems/vehicle-upgrade-integration/leopard

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On 10/27/2019 at 2:06 AM, 2805662 said:


Interesting. From a purely combat-tested crew survivability perspective, I’d rate the Abrams series as superior to Leopard 2. Leopard 2’s completely exposed hull ammunition wine-rack stowage is an inexcusable flaw. 
 

In terms of sensors, the gen 2 FLIR on Abrams (about to be superseded by gen 3 FLIR), is highest performing thermal currently available. My experience with European sensor systems is that they are available, expensive, and adequate, but underperform US systems, remaining a generation behind in performance. My most recent exposure to leading US AFV sensors is 2015, so a little dated, but I’ve heard nothing that would convince me that there’s been significant changes in this regard. 
 

 

 

Pretty sure the new Attica 3rd Gen FLIR system on the Leopard 2A7 is beyond anything ever put on or even planned for the Abrams. You should read up on it.

 

Also the Leopard is consistently scoring better in gunnery competitions between the two during SETC, and the scores given include the time taken to correctly ID targets before engaging. It isn't just about who can hit most accurately, but also about how fast they can do it whilst distinguishing "friendly" from "enemy" targets.

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