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Challenger 2 getting another batch of 3rd-gen hydrogas suspension:

https://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:15192-2020:TEXT:EN:HTML&src=0
 

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The Land Equipment Vehicle Support Team, part of the UK Ministry of Defence intends to place a contract with Horstman Defence Systems Limited (“the Contractor”) for the repair and conversion of 60 LH & 60 RH Hydrogas Suspension Units (“Units”) used in connection with the Challenger II platform to Generation III build standard.

 

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On 1/12/2020 at 4:26 PM, David Moyes said:

Mk.4 had problems with the aluminium hull wearing out. British testing found this out with MBT-80 but the hull was considered a replaceable part.
Vickers then quickly partnered with KMW for the Mk.7 for the Egyptians. 

Challenger 1's layout is a result of being based on the Chieftain. Challenger 2 is similar because Vickers didn't have the time or money to develop a new hull that would have to compete with the Leopard 2 & M1.

CR1 was expected to serve alongside CR2 and having a hull that could share equipment and upgrades was seen as preferable. Also Cheaper.

 

Thanks for the answer, I was well aware of the use of the KMW chassis on the Mark 7s and the CR2's warmed over CR1 design - I just never really figured out why they totally abandoned the aluminum hull. Wonder if they could have ever solved the wear issue.

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Dstl and QinetiQ complete trials to assess a system to protect combat vehicles and their occupants


VXtRbOR.jpg
 

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October 2019 marked the completion of the Medusa Technology Assessment Programme (TAP), which has been running for the last 3.5 years. As part of the overall Dstl Active Integrated Protection Systems Research Project (under the Land Systems research programme), Dstl contracted QinetiQ Ltd to conduct Medusa, assessing a commercial-off-the-shelf soft kill Active Protection System. The Hensoldt MUSS® system was selected and evaluated by QinetiQ supported by a team of industrial and MOD partners (QinetiQ, Hensoldt, BAE Systems, Frazer-Nash Consultancy, Textron ESL).
 

The performance and utility of the system was evaluated with respect to subsystem and system performance, system integration, human factors integration as well as its safety, security and legality, and the operational impacts associated with use and deployment of such a system. The integration assessment included the installation of a MUSS® system to a Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank, coupled with assessment by the Army to understand the benefits and challenges associated with such equipment across the Defence Lines of Development (DLODs). The laboratory testing and trialling of the system culminated in a full end-end system evaluation during missile live fire trials held in Woomera, South Australia during October 2018, conducted as part of the AUS/UK bi-lateral partnership between Dstl and DST Group (Australia), and also supported by the Anglo-German MOU held with BAAINBw.
 

Medusa has provided vital insights in to the capabilities, benefits and limitations of such equipment, and will be used to inform future direction for both APS research and evaluation activities, and support to potential future acquisition programmes.  As part of the Army’s future APS strategy, the Leonardo-led Icarus programme is developing an open modular architecture specification for active protection as a cross-fleet capability, with a view to publishing the Modular Integrated Protection System (MIPS) standard as a NATO Standardisation Agreement (STANAG). Soft kill subsystems and technologies will form a key part of this future modular and scalable approach to land active protection.
 

Medusa has demonstrated an effective and productive partnership between industrial partners and MOD, and has effectively utilised IRC agreements to deliver a successful and mutually beneficial package of work.

 

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On 1/13/2020 at 12:47 PM, David Moyes said:

Challenger 2 getting another batch of 3rd-gen hydrogas suspension:

https://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:15192-2020:TEXT:EN:HTML&src=0

 

Back in 2010,  they were already trialling a new, lighter, Hydrogas suspension.

 

On 1/13/2020 at 1:26 AM, David Moyes said:

Mk.4 had problems with the aluminium hull wearing out. 

 

I've also heard this rumor.

 

But I'm still very sceptical about this story, knowing that the FV4211 Aluminium Chieftain showed no sign of structural weakness after having covered almost 20 000 km over a period of six months.

 

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British testing found this out with MBT-80

 

This was quite different, the hull of the MBT-80 was constructed of steel and aluminium welded together  (IIRC, the the rear half of the hull was made of aluminium).

 

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Vickers then quickly partnered with KMW for the Mk.7 for the Egyptians. 

 

So, the Vickers Mk. 7 was meant for the Egyptian army, interesting.

 

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Challenger 1's layout is a result of being based on the Chieftain. Challenger 2 is similar because Vickers didn't have the time or money to develop a new hull that would have to compete with the Leopard 2 & M1.

 

Good deduction.

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26 minutes ago, Sovngard said:

 

I've also heard this rumor.

 

But I'm still very sceptical about this story, knowing that the FV4211 Aluminium Chieftain showed no sign of structural weakness after having covered almost 20 000 km over a period of six months.

 

Maybe the issue with the aluminium hull wear could be with the fact that aluminium alloys unlike steel don't have a fatique limit (a cyclic load which can be repeated infinitely without causing any cracks - this is a property of steel or titanium but not of aluminium), i.e. even a very small cyclic load can cause structural cracks in the long period of time.

 

You can't say that when one design worked the other must work too. One design could have had some certain areas with concentration of forces where the cracks would appear much earlier than in the other. Those aren't easy to find and solve without having access to modern computation methods.

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From what I've read, the Vickers Mark 4 was successfully tested in several countries, but its limited protection level resulted in no sales. The Vickers Mark 7 therefore replaced it on the market, using a Leopard 2 hull capable of carrying more weight (and with that armor). The Vickers Mark 7 was only tested in one country - Abu Dhabi - before the West-German government interfered.

 

I've never heard of any intention to sale this tank to Egypt... Egypt at least was trying to get the Leopard 2, the M1A1 was adopted mostly for political reasons.

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The Mk.7 was tested in Egypt afaik, there is a UK report about it floating around because they had to release some information about chobham protection levels to Egypt. This was in 1985/86 iirc. See images of the report that someone on the war thunder forums had:

 

Spoiler

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5 hours ago, Sovngard said:

I've also heard this rumor.
But I'm still very sceptical about this story, knowing that the FV4211 Aluminium Chieftain showed no sign of structural weakness after having covered almost 20 000 km over a period of six months.


I believe the Aluminium Chieftain used a ballasted faux-turret and later an aluminium turret. Various internet sources say the problems occur when using a heavier steel turret.
 

6 hours ago, Sovngard said:

This was quite different, the hull of the MBT-80 was constructed of steel and aluminium welded together  (IIRC, the the rear half of the hull was made of aluminium).


Pretty sure that MBT-80 and Aluminium Chieftain shared the same hull and steel plates were simply welded to various places rather than an alloy chimera.

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19 hours ago, BaronTibere said:

The Mk.7 was tested in Egypt afaik, there is a UK report about it floating around because they had to release some information about chobham protection levels to Egypt

 

This is about a inquiry regarding the tank's capabilities, which happens a lot earlier in the purchase process than actual testing. E.g. the Swiss military also requested informations regarding the AMX-40, Challenger 1 and Merkava 2, but decided to only test the Leopard 2 and M1 Abrams, as based on the informations delivered by the manufacturers, these were considered the most promising candidates for the Swiss army's tank program.

 

Egypt was offered a wide variety of tanks (like Challenger 1, Vickers Mark 7 and AMX-40E4), but based on US intelligence they were only interested in Abrams and Leopard 2 during 1987, i.e. before actual testing of either tank took place. Given that the German government killed the Vickers Mark 7 tank due to the fact that it was trialed in Abu-Dhabi (islamic country & thus considered a threat to Israel at that time), it seems very unlikely that they had at any point of type tolerated tests in Egypt (islamic country & histortically a much greater threat to Israel).

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1 hour ago, SH_MM said:

it seems very unlikely that they had at any point of type tolerated tests in Egypt (islamic country & histortically a much greater threat to Israel).


Israeli-Egyptian relations were improving after the withdrawal from the Sinai peninsula. Enough that the US would allow for the sale of Abrams.

 

I agree that Mk.7 never made it to Egypt but Vickers did try.

 

 

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The Abu-Dhabi test was with a 7/2 was it not? I remember some images of the supposed test of the Mk.7 in egypt that was alongside an AMX-40 and a Challenger 1, I will try and locate them again.

 

Edit: ah no i'm thinking of the Saudi trials with the Osorio. Do you know what year the Abu-Dhabi trials were?

 

Edit 2: old copy of janes MBT says this and given its the same author im assuming the Christopher Foss vickers book also says this (i can check that tonight),

Spoiler

unknown.png

 

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There is a big difference between a demonstration (which means the tank is not handed over to the Egyptian authorities, they are barely witnessing it) and a trial. Puma for example has been demonstrated to lots of different countries (e.g. during hot/cold weather trials by the Bundeswehr, etc. people from other countries were observing and briefed on the IFV, yet trialled in none bar Germany.

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Ajax deliveries to British Army delayed
 

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Deliveries of production standard Ajax armoured vehicles to the British Army have been delayed, missing a key target to allow soldiers to start training to use their new vehicles.
 

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed to Jane's on 15 January that a target for the manufacturer, General Dynamics Land Systems-UK (GDLS-UK), to deliver the first squadron set of vehicles by the end of 2019, had been missed.
 

The ministry told Jane's in March 2019 that the first squadron would begin receiving vehicles, comprised of a mix of all six variants, in mid-2019 and the first turret variant fitted with the CTA International 40 mm cannon would be delivered between July and September 2019. It was then intended that the Household Cavalry Regiment would begin training on the vehicles for a year before the declaration of an initial operational capability (IOC) in mid-2020.
 

To date only six Ares basic troop carrying vehicles, known as the mobility reconnaissance support variant, have been delivered to the British Army Armour Centre at Bovington in Dorset, according to an MoD source. "The seventh Ares vehicle has entered the final stages of testing and will be delivered to the Household Cavalry Regiment in the coming months," said the source. "No 40 mm turreted Ajax has yet been delivered to the army."
 

The first Ajax squadron is expected to require 20-25 Ajax family vehicles, including a mobility reconnaissance support, turreted reconnaissance, command, engineer, recovery, and repair variants before it can declare IOC.
 

An MoD spokesperson told Jane's on 15 January, "our target for Ajax initial operating capability remains July 2020".


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Early Warrior concept:

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DGy2qgL.jpg

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   Penetration mark looks like it was left by a HEAT warhead approaching from the angle, so it had a chance to hit ERA filler and at least 1 ERA module external plate was damaged.

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Vickers Valiant on a muddy track :

 

CywBhv1.jpg

 

 

Barr & Stroud LF 11 gunner sight and the Pilkington PE  Condor commander day/night sight :

 

NJ6gjXe.jpg

 

 

Hull ammo rack (30x105 mm) and driver's compartment, the handlebar features a throttle twist grip :

 

T27QzqH.jpg

 

 

VR 1000 powerpack comprising the Rolls-Royce CV12TCA Condor 1000 hp engine and the TN 12-1000 automatic transmission :

 

wK6hK6o.jpg

 

The pyramidal louvers above the transmission are typical of the Valiant.

 

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YU5ifqC.jpg

MBDA leverages Complex Weapons portfolio in support of British Army CF(L)35 initiative
 

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MBDA Missile Systems is positioning a developmental surface-to-surface effector concept, along with exploiting derivatives of the Complex Weapons portfolio, to support prospective near- and longer-term Land Joint Fires requirements within the scope of the British Army's new Conceptual Force (Land) 2035 (CF(L)35) strategy.
 

"We are looking to innovate and introduce, over the next decade, significant capability that we already have in the portfolio, to illustrate how MBDA can support the Army in the land battlespace, both for near-term opportunities where we have existing weapons like Brimstone, MMP, and Spear, and then in the longer timeframe - 2030 and beyond - where we can generate new solutions that leverage our existing products and technologies," Andy Allen, MBDA Head of Land Domain (Army) told Jane's .
 

Initiated by Executive Committee of the Army Board (ECAB), CF(L)35 is an Army future-planning programme which explores the transformations - including organisation, doctrine for new ways of prosecuting warfare, and exploitation of new and emerging technologies - required by the Army to meet evolving battlefield threats and challenges.
 

According to analyses conducted since 2014 by the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) under the Agile Warrior (AW) initiative, and also drawing on other Dstl and allied sources, British Army surface-to-surface/land joint fires are outranged and outgunned by peer adversaries. Key weaknesses, and consistent themes, include range (of both target acquisition and weapon), target effect mass, weapon lethality, platform and sensor survivability, and the speed of the sensor to shooter link; fires systems should also be interoperable with allies.
 

"The Army needs to be able to attack enemy high value targets which are protected by air defence systems, electronic guidance jamming and manipulation systems, directed energy systems and non-lethal and traditional protective countermeasures," the Army notes in Agile Warrior Quarterly 2019 Edition 2.


https://www.janes.com/article/94844/mbda-leverages-complex-weapons-portfolio-in-support-of-british-army-cf-l-35-initiative

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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.
       
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