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:
Greeting everyone, many of you are familiar with this very tank, and why shouldn't you be, it's a pretty good tank. Nevertheless, I am here to give a better insight into what this tank has to offer.
Where should we start, I usually like to first start off with protection, if you don't mind.
Unlike T-90A tank which we've seen enough in the past decade, T-90M has new "Relikt" Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA) which offers much better protection when compared to Kontakt-5 present on T-90A tanks.
On top of having better ERA package, it is also much better covered in ERA, because those silly Shtora-1 dazzlers got removed and no longer take majority of space on the turret's front.
As you can see, dazzlers took up a lot of space, on top of that, those ERA blocks between the gun and dazzlers could not have been made the same size as regular Kontakt-5 blocks, because of... dazzlers.
T-90M only retained laser-warning receivers in the place of dazzlers, which gives a much better ERA coverage on the turret.
As you can also see on the picture, the tank now has a proper gun shield which should protect the gun mantlet against unwanted visitors (projectiles, ofc).
The Upper Front Plate is also covered in "Relikt" ERA.
The side of the hull is protected with panels with built-in ERA blocks. The sides can be additionally protected with 4S24 blocks mounted with bags.
The side of the turret is protected with 4S24 ERA blocks, side and rear of the engine compartment are protected with cage or "Slat" armor
On top of external protection, T-90M has some cool features to protect the crew. The insides of the tank are covered with non-flammable aramid fabric which serves to catch fragments formed by projectiles or perforated armor. The autoloader's carousel also received additional protection to protect it against additional fragments. Additional protection is also ensured by moving extra ammunition to safe ammo rack with blow-out panels placed on the rear of the turret which is additionally protected with cage armor.
The tank has 2A46M-5 125mm gun, which is the latest gun from the 2A46M series. The tank received a new feature which was not previously seen on Russian tanks, and that is Muzzle Reference Sensor (MRS) which takes the information of barrel changing its form in cold or hot weather condition and brings them to ballistic computer for more accurate shooting. The ammunition it can fire is of course the best Russia has to offer for the gun, and those are 3BM59 and 3BM60 APFSDS projectiles. There are also reports of 3VOF128 HEF projectile entering service with Russian army, which can also airburst and detonate after penetration. Other projectiles include HEAT and ATGMs.
The Fire Control System is really nice. It of course, has Sosna-U main gun sight, which has automatic tracking ability and uses 2nd generation Catherine FC Thermal Imaging System. The commander has much better time since unlike previous Russian tanks he now has his own Thermal Viewer connected to the 12.7mm Kord HMG (unlike T-90MS (SM) domestic variant has 12.7mm). CITV incorporates Catherine XP Thermal Imaging System which is 3rd generation TIS, which is better than what most modern tanks have. In addition, both gunner and commander can access back-up sight located next to the Sosna-U sight. Commander has access to new multifunction display which on top of other things, show location of the tank. The tank has YeSU-TZ Battle Management System which allows communication with all units on the present battlefield, making warfare much easier. Another small, but important improvement is the commanders cupola, unlike older T-90A, commander now has full 360deg view with larger vision blocks all around the cupola. In addition, the hatch can be rotated for different purposes and there are 4 cameras for additional 360deg view.
The tank weights 48t and it is powered with new V-92S2F 1130hp diesel engine, with 2000rpm and maximum torque of 4521Nm (pretty neat). In addition to such a good engine, the tank received automatic transmission APP-172 which is VERY NICE. On top of that, the tank received an APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) which reduces the fuel consumption when the tank is idle by powering the electrical systems.
That is it for this post, if I find more information I will add it in, and if I made a mistake I will also correct it.
Well known APC Rosomak in Afgan. version armour:
Orginally it was israeli but after that it was produced by polish company "Mikanit":
Now, we know patent draws and description:
2 mm HHS + air + 6,7 mm HHS + 5 mm composite + 5 mm composite + 5 mm composite + 3,5 mm HHS + 35 mm air gap + 3,5 mm HHS + 5 mm composite + 5 mm composite + 3,5 mm HHS + 35 mm air gap + 20 mm aluminium + 5 mm aluminium.
There is possibility that layout could be 4+3 (composite) and single composite layer can have up to 6mm thick and single HHS layer can have 4mm thickness. Layers can be separate up to 45mm.
Accoding to manufacurer this armour can protect against ATGM and RPG's up to 500mm RHA penetration.
Whole armour is combat proven in Afganistan - there are known some "Rosomak" whit 3x RPG's hits diretly in to this armour - no penetration at all, no engine damage.