Jump to content
Sturgeon's House
2805662

Land 400 Phase 3: Australian IFV

Recommended Posts

42 minutes ago, Serge said:

No. My point is a little more complex. 

If I were you, I would read this :

https://www.monch.com/mpg/news/land/4059-hanwhaaussz.html

and compare the date of this article and the date of my claim.

I understood your point. But you misunderstood the text you were presented with.

Allow me to just assume for a moment that you referred directly to this short excerpt:

Quote

According to the spokesperson, Hanwha will either build a new turret for the REDBACK or it will select an existing turret for installation on the vehicle from companies such as Rheinmetall or Rafael.

 

Am I right? Sure, it DOES seem like they may have taken Rafael's turret because of the Trophy, but if you consider this piece from DTR, then you can see that Rafael is pitching its Samson 2 turret, as is, and independently from the platform. Overhead turrets are usually platform-agnostic. 

If Hanwha would have went for an integration with Rafael's Samson from the get go, they would not have shown a turret that only resembles it in APS and nothing else.

 

Let's also not forget that the Namer's turret is an Israeli MoD product, designed and built by RAPAT and MANTAK respectively, and only utilizes components from the defense companies, including and dominantly Rafael and Elbit as sub-contractors.

We don't really see a mortar on Rafael's Samson, do we? Or a center-rear mounted ATGM launcher. Or even Elbit's optics.

 

It seems to me that Hanwha first designed the thing in CAD with how they wanted their own turret to look like (after all they do say there that one of the options is a new domestically made turret for the Redback), and would only opt for a different turret if the total package would not seem favorable enough relative to other offerings, from an economical and technical stand-point.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can we discuss the DTR article on the AJAX/ASCOD 2? I actually like the DTR magazine, but the "coverage" of the AJAX feels more like an advertorial, which includes exaggerated and sometimes incorrect statements. Maybe the coverage of the Boxer was also a bit biased, but it at least some to be based on facts (which were widely available due to the Boxer being an in-service vehicle with two users and a third customer), while the AJAX article seems to repeat too many advertising slogans from General Dynamics.

 

Let me just quote some of the statements:

"From what DTR undersands, Ajax protection levels appear to be higher than any other IFV currently in service and are on par with many NATO main battle tanks."

 

The Ajax has better protection than any other IFV currently in service? First things first: the AJAX does currently not exist in an IFV variant, so it is really a comparison between apples and oranges. As previously mentioned in this topic, the IFV variant requires a raised roofline and a stretched chassis to accommodate both turret and dismounts. That means that the article is quite misleading to begin with, as there would be less growth potential left for armor protection.

 

However I don't believe that both underlined parts of the statement are true even for the actual AJAX as purchased by the British Army. The Namer IFV seems to be in service, it is a lot heavier (60 tonnes combat weight without the turret) and has much thicker armor than the AJAX (with a combat weight of 38 metric tons and a GVW of 42 metric tons). The Puma IFV is also heavier (combat weight level C is 41.5 metric tons, GVW is 43 metric tons), has much thicker armor and has a smaller protected volume (due to the unmanned turret and the limited height of the dismount compartment). The Puma most likely makes use of more weight-efficient armor, as it reportedly uses SICADUR for its ballistic protection (with modified nano-structure by IBD Deisenroth), ERA and AMAP's NERA products. SICADUR is a brand for silicon carbide ceramic tiles for ballistic protection by ETEC, which stated that SICADUR is 7 times as expensive than aluminium oxide; given that the AJAX was designed to be very cost-effective and isn't known to make use of any weight saving construction techniques, it seems reasonable to believe that it doesn't use as expensive (and weight efficient) armor as the Puma.

 

AUrtfSt.png

 

The T-15 Armata is not in service yet, but I also cannot see a possible explanation why it should be less armored against ballistic than the AJAX, given its huge weight and massive armor thickness. Mine protection and the turret armor (is the unmanned turret of the T-15 armored at all?) might be better on the AJAX, but even then it would be hardly justified to claim that it is overall better protected.

 

 

Protection levels on par with many NATO main battle tanks? How does the author of the DTR article come to this conclusion? Did he fall for the "best protected vehicle in class" statement that GD made (ironically PSM, Rheinmetall and BAE Systems also claim that their current IFVs are the best protected vehicles in their class)?

Now arguably reaching a higher level of ballistic protection than a MBT isn't hard, given that the AMX-30 and Leopard 1 exist - but the AMX-30 isn't in active service with a NATO country anymore, while the Leopard 1 is only used by Greece and Turkey in the later variants with upgraded armor (1A1A1 and 1A3 sub-variants). Based on the armor thickness (more on that later), I doubt that the AJAX's frontal protection is enough to resist impacts from a 100 mm APCBC round at 1,000 m distance.  Given that the Leopard 1 is just a single tank type, speaking of "many NATO main battle tanks" wouldn't really make sense... so what would be "many NATO tanks"? M48, M60 and T-55/TR-85 are also operational with NATO, but these have even thicker (physicially) armor than the Leopard 1, it would be very silly to assume that the AJAX reaches a better level of frontal protection than those against ballistic threats.

Okay, most NATO MBTs don't feature any type of mine protection and have very weak side armor, so there might be some truth to this statement when it comes to the up-armored variant of the AJAX with thicker side armor - but then again, why bother making this statement regarding the AJAX, as it would also be true for a dozen other IFVs? Any IFV with ERA, composite armor skirts at the sides or side armor to resist more than just 14.5 mm AP rounds would be better armored than "many NATO main battle tanks". This would include the Warrior IFV with Chobham armor, the Bradley with ERA, the Strf 90C with AMAP, the CV90 Mk III with their mine protection kits, and many other types of IFVs.  So DTR might have smoked some serious stuff when writing this phrase..

 

Based on photographs, there appear to be three different armor configuration for the AJAX/ARES hull - there might be more when accounting for facts like the location of screws etc. on the different prototypes, but that shouldn't matter. They can be identified by the different thickness of the frontal glacis plate of the hull in relation to the height of the headlights.

 

One configuration as used on the ARES - lets call it the "light configuration" based on the thickness of the glacis plate - is the thinnest. Note that the headlights are protruding over the armor.

2-AJAX.jpg

 

This version honestly seems to have thinner armor than the ASCOD Ulan with MEXAS. Note that the armor on the ARES is spaced, but the overall thickness seems to be identical near the driver's hatch. The engine cover appears to be thicker on the ARES (if the empty space is included), but that seems to be the result of the ARES featuring a composite fibre material cladding on the inner side of the UFP for thermal insulation, which the Ulan lacks.

 

9Y4CU36.jpg

KjTSWFs.jpg

 

Given that the Ulan with MEXAS does not meet STANAG 4569 level 6 - it is designed to protect against an unspecified type of 30 mm APFSDS from a distance of 1,000 m instead of the required 500 m, I'd also assume that this armor configuration for the AJAX/ARES fails to meet the level 6 requirements of STANAG 4569.

 

The "medium configuration" is used in most of the 3D renderings by General Dynamics of the AJAX and ARES variants for the British army and also used in the 3D renderings and models of the ASCOD/AJAX (and variants) offered to Australia. It also seems to be the configuration that is used for the series production model, though this is a bit harder to tell due to the Barracuda camouflage used on the pre-production vehicles. The headlights and the glacis plate have a similar height, resulting in them being one the same line.

 

razvedivatelnaya-mashina-ayaks-8.jpg

 

There is a further configuration with thicker armor, but this seems to be limited to prototypes. Maybe the greater armor thickness is meant to be an upgrade option, part of an urban combat armor kit or result of different armor technology, which wasn't used on the final production model. The glacis armor is thicker, so that it is higher than the upper edge of the headlights. The turret armor thickness however remains identical to the previous configuration...

 

Weaponry_Ajax_Scout_SV_British_513216_12

 

So who does make the armor for the AJAX? The armor for the AJAX - or at least some of the ballistic armor panels - are made by Permali-Gloucester. Permali-who? You've never heard of this company? Well, there is a reason for this: Permali-Gloucester pretty much exclusivley delivers armor solutions to the British Army (at least when it comes to land vehicles) with the exception of spall liners for the French VBCI. I've also never heard of them before, but according the Military Technology magazine (international version of the German Wehrtechnik) and according to press releases from Permali-Gloucester, the company was contracted by General Dynamics to deliver armor modules/materials for the AJAX family of vehicles.

According to Permali-Gloucester, the applique armor products from the company consist of "glass, aramid or UHMWPE materials and thermoset resin systems or advanced thermoplastic matrices" and can incorporate "ceramic tiles, for protection against armour piercing rounds, and aluminium or steel skins for greater rigidity or increased protection levels. " In other words they seem to make either make armor made of composite fibres/plastic or the generic ceramic-polymer armor arrays that pretty much every armor manufacturer offers and have been sold since the 1990s.

 

 

 


Permali-Gloucester armor applications:

12_up_armoured_spartan.jpg

44_scimitar_2_bovington_credit_copyright

17_warthog1.jpg
 

 

 

Now there are two big questions that should be asked:

  1. Why does Permali-Gloucester deliver armor to the British military only?
  2. Why was this company chosen to deliver the armor for the AJAX?


I think the answer to both questions might be related, but that is speculation on my side. Maybe I am wrong and there are other reasons, but given that the company is not state-owned, one would assume that it is interested in selling its product abroad to as many customers as possible. The fact that only British vehicles are protected by their armor (and the VBCI by their spall liners), implies that something about their armor is not competitive enough. That might be the price, the performance or other, unknown factors. Given that the AJAX is designed to be cost effective, the former explanation wouldn't make much sense, which is why one could assume that the armor from Permali might not be entirely capable of competing against the  products from the big players like Tencate, Rafael, RUAG, IBD, etc., which all have sold some of their armor solutions to multiple export customers. So why does the AJAX use this armor then? Probably because the company is British and the ASCOD/AJAX was marketed with its high local industry involvement to the British government/army. Now, in theory the AJAX offered to Australia might be using armor of a different supplier, but the model seems to indicate that it is pretty much based on the AJAX with only some modifications.

 

Based on the armor thickness of the AJAX (and the assumption that the AJAX uses the same steel hull thickness as the ARES, which seems to be roughly identical to the original ASCOD, i.e. protecting frontally against 12.7 mm ammo only, when not fitted with applique armor), I don't see anything that would warrant the claims made in the DTR article regarding the armor protection. It is not really thicker than the armor used on other IFVs - the Puma and Strf 90C with AMAP-SC have thicker, multi-layered NERA arrays (in case of the Puma in combination with ceramic armor at the upper hull section and apparently also the LFP) for the frontal hull, the CV90 is also offered with similar armor thickness for the later models (CV90 Mk III and Mk IV). The Lynx KF41 armor thickness is hard to estimate, we also don't know which configuration has been displayed. AJAX for Australia and the AS-21 Redback are paper designs ATM, so armor also remains . The Namer's armor is also undoubtely better than the Ajax's.

 

 

 


s_cv9040c.jpgde-cv90-is-uitermate-geschikt-voor-bosri

7qskgkS.png
 

 

 

I've seen no reason to doubt that the AJAX with the "medium armor configuration" reaches STANAG 4569 level 6 ballistic protection and exceeds the requirements for STANAG 4569 level 4 (like the Puma). I have however seen no reason to believe that it is better protected than any other current top-of-the-line IFVs. Given that the hull armor is not NERA, but ceramic-polymer armor, I don't believe that protection against RPGs is possible for the hull front and turret front. Aluminium oxide with polymer backing and encased in steel has a thickness efficiency of 1 or even below 1 (depending on the relation between backing and ceramic tiles) against shaped charges according to papers based on different tests made in China and Switzerland. Nano-ceramics and more expensive ceramics (silicon carbide, boron carbide) might perform better (IBD's AMAP-B can reach a thickness efficiency of more than 1 vs KE), but there is no indication that the AJAX makes use of such materials (and it would be contradictory to the aim of making a cost-effective vehicle). So the only option I see for saying that the AJAX's frontal armor is protected against RPGs is by counting the engine compartment and its rear wall as armor. The side armor when fitted with the add-on armor might have a better chance against RPGs, but I still wonder where all the stuff that is in the external storages boxes of the AJAX/ARES is supposed to go, when the add-on armor is fitted... or maybe the add-on armor isn't actually all armor, but also partly storage boxes.. There is probably a reason why the Tarian RPG net and slat armor were fitted to some AJAX/ARES prototypes.

 

PS: I actually wanted to talk about more than just one statement from the DTR article, but given the wall of text I've produced, I think it might be better to do that at another time.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/13/2018 at 6:44 PM, SH_MM said:

Can we discuss the DTR article on the AJAX/ASCOD 2? I actually like the DTR magazine, but the "coverage" of the AJAX feels more like an advertorial, which includes exaggerated and sometimes incorrect statements. Maybe the coverage of the Boxer was also a bit biased, but it at least some to be based on facts (which were widely available due to the Boxer being an in-service vehicle with two users and a third customer), while the AJAX article seems to repeat too many advertising slogans from General Dynamics.

Business as usual. 

Journalists need access to their subjects and are unable to control facts by their own means.

 

Quote

The Ajax has better protection than any other IFV currently in service? First things first: the AJAX does currently not exist in an IFV variant, so it is really a comparison between apples and oranges. As previously mentioned in this topic, the IFV variant requires a raised roofline and a stretched chassis to accommodate both turret and dismounts. That means that the article is quite misleading to begin with, as there would be less growth potential left for armor protection.

I’m partially agree with you. 

We think the same about the limited growth potential of a stretched variant but, considering it’s an IFV is of no interest.

 

Structuraly, Ajax is an IFV. If it’s not long enough to carry an 8 men section, the ASCOD chassis wasn’t shortened. The point to take into account is the chassis and the chassis only. 

Consider an Ajax with the turret removed. What is the difference with a SPz-Puma internal volume ?

 

Quote

However I don't believe that both underlined parts of the statement are true even for the actual AJAX as purchased by the British Army. The Namer IFV seems to be in service, it is a lot heavier (60 tonnes combat weight without the turret) and has much thicker armor than the AJAX (with a combat weight of 38 metric tons and a GVW of 42 metric tons).

Families of armored tracked vehicles are divided into different classes of weight. So, looking for differences between Ajax and Namer is non sens. It would be like comparing an Audi R8 to a Renault Clio car. Both of them are cars, that’s all. 

Namer must be weighted with a T15 chassis. 

Ajax belongs to the same class as KV41 Lynx, the SPz Puma or a CV90 MkIV. Even the CV90 can be considered belonging a lower class. 

Quote

The Puma IFV is also heavier (combat weight level C is 41.5 metric tons, GVW is 43 metric tons), has much thicker armor and has a smaller protected volume (due to the unmanned turret and the limited height of the dismount compartment).

Maybe not.

To compare Ajax must have a raised roof with a stretched chassis, the SPz-Puma too. 

On the other side, can we integrate Autoflug seats into an Ajax ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To some extent, families of vehicles are also divided in cost class.  So namer is a fair comparison, for users who have not airlift as important.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Serge said:

Weight is cost. 

Not with ifv, apc

 

Same ceramics, Replace lightweighting aluminium, magnesium, titanium, fiberglass with good steel, weight up, armour up, cost down.

 

Take a namer, change the steel to aluminium and the weight would drop drastically.  Cost would increase

 

Take a korean k21, change the aluminium to steel, weight would increase, not so much cost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok. I take my suit of Captain Obvious and here I am.

 

SH_MM was dealing with armor thickness comparaison between Ajax and Namer. So my reaction was to stress they belong to different classes of weight. 

The cost is of no interest here. 

 

Quoting Namer is like the famous internet M113 VS Bradley talk, it’s only real on internet. 

It’s like :

«- Kaplan MMWT is well protected.

- No, Leopard-2 is better protected.»

Obviously internet dedicated. 

 

Maybe you can’t see the differences between a 45t and a 60t chassis. If so, I can’t help you. 

 

A country purchasing a KV41 like chassis to replace an M113 will have many changes to consider whatever the kind of armor is chosen. 

Car parks will be rebuilt, road access to barracks and training areas will be reinforced or rebuilt. 

A new class of assault bridge, of train will be purchased. The logistic burden will change too. 

So, weight is the cost. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/13/2018 at 11:16 PM, Serge said:

Families of armored tracked vehicles are divided into different classes of weight. So, looking for differences between Ajax and Namer is non sens. It would be like comparing an Audi R8 to a Renault Clio car. Both of them are cars, that’s all. 

Namer must be weighted with a T15 chassis. 

Ajax belongs to the same class as KV41 Lynx, the SPz Puma or a CV90 MkIV. Even the CV90 can be considered belonging a lower class. 

Are there any, erm, general consensus on weight of T-15 (and also T-14) and it's weight class? (Which is even more interesting now, given that KF41 was described as vehicle with "maximum GVW being fixed at 50 tonnes")

I mean, for example, there were several claims on weight of Boomerang 8x8. Some articles (including one from Sergey Suvorov, and wich was published in July 2016 issue of Technika i Vooruzheniye magazine) said that it was about 25 tonnes, that there were some other articles which said about weight of 22 or 22,5 tonnes (AFAIK, that's weight of some late version of BTR-90), than several mounth ago TV Zvezda's Voyennaya Priemka said about "more than 30 tonnes", and finally two weeks later there was an article (in russian) where Sergey Suvorov claimed that Boomerang was tested (with sandbags as ballast) with weight up to 34 tonnes. And I don't think everyone (even russian-speaking) with opinion on Boomerang has seen that Suvorov's article.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At 48 tons, the T-15 is only 4 tons heavier than the 44-ton KF41. 

There are, however, no indicators that either of them has especially high protection levels at the moment. 

Although intuitively and visually it seems the T-15 is better protected by quite a significant margin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

At 48 tons, the T-15 is only 4 tons heavier than the 44-ton KF41. 

There are, however, no indicators that either of them has especially high protection levels at the moment. 

Although intuitively and visually it seems the T-15 is better protected by quite a significant margin.

Stop that, 48 tons is BS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

I can agree with you, but can you at least tell me the more accurate figure? Telling me I just got a wrong number isn't really helpful.

There is no accurate figure. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/13/2018 at 5:44 PM, SH_MM said:

Based on photographs, there appear to be three different armor configuration for the AJAX/ARES hull - there might be more when accounting for facts like the location of screws etc. on the different prototypes, but that shouldn't matter. They can be identified by the different thickness of the frontal glacis plate of the hull in relation to the height of the headlights.


From the General AFV thread:
 

Spoiler



Naked:
 

Spoiler

7sxttaF.jpg
SFIvfHa.jpg


Base Armour (Spaced Steel?):
 

Spoiler

J9FmvHq.jpg
pEhfC5f.jpg
Y4dlHNG.jpg

Side Storage
B1Uwlav.jpg

Diffrent side storage:
gvtYSOt.jpg


Expanded Armour (Composite?) & Blocks
 

Spoiler

Bolted on-top of Replaces base armour at the front. Comes as standard at rear and bottom(?):
fTGaT6Q.jpg
mkts7pb.jpg
jWSy00n.jpg
pHSvxjr.jpg
qHpEyn2.jpg

Turret slabs:
1IXwQ5R.jpg

Bar/Mesh:
LhJlfg0.jpg
xH4WpX8.jpg


Barracuda camo:
 

Spoiler

GxCH8IN.jpg


Testing Ballast Weights:
 

Spoiler

cbzfwZK.jpg
eJGQsxa.jpg


There's only one thickness type of base armour for production models. Any others are a result of test armour or optical illusions.
The MCO armour seems to use the base config.

I doubt Permali make all the armour. The contract is only for £15 million, which seems too little for nearly 600 vehicles. In an older blog post you mention that RUAG provided some armour but I can't find any other reference to this:
https://below-the-turret-ring.blogspot.com/2017/08/which-new-ifv-for-czech-army.html

I wouldn't focus too much on the known armour configs anyway. Whenever the Army sends vehicles into a hostile environment they send out a Urgent Operational Requirement and buy a bunch of armour to bolt on (like Chobham Warrior). I'm expecting to see armour modules on the front glacis  one day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • By delfosisyu
      I can't read russian or ukraine language so the range of information is very limited for russian AFVs.
       
       
      I'd like to have information about how fast turrets of soviet IFVs rotate.
       
       
      Especially BMP2, BMP3, BTR-82
    • By Belesarius
      http://www.janes.com/article/53057/boxer-the-favourite-for-lithuanian-ifv-buy
       
      30mm Cannon and Javelins for armament.
      Is that the first vehicle mounting the Jav?
       
    • By Belesarius
      http://www.janes.com/article/52476/german-army-receives-first-production-standard-puma-aifv
       
      30mm with airburst capability, and supposedly better mine protection than a Leo 2.
       
    • By LostCosmonaut
      There are some who believe that Infantry Fighting Vehicles, such as the CV90 or BMP, are an inherently flawed concept. These people contend that IFVs try to be both a tank and an armored personel carrier, and fail to effectively perform in either role. As a result, were a sustained high-intensity conflict to occur, they would fare poorly. To my uninformed eye, this argument appears to have some merit. However, I am curious to hear to opinions of those more knowledgable than myself (or heck, anyone with an opinion at all).
×