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5 hours ago, Toxn said:

 

Not for technical reasons, but because the footage will be so freaking cool.

 

I made a comment the other day that i was looking forward to completely unmanned ammunition carriers for a similar reason.

 

Specifically because i know that we will get at least one absolutely hilarious video of a rampaging ammunition carrier marauding through a village while panicked soldiers frantically try to put the beast down with Carl Gustavs.

 

As you stated, this footage will be incredibly cool.

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14 hours ago, LoooSeR said:

 

   Yes and effect from single 120/125 mm HE round are much higher than several 30/35, especially at long ranges. T-90 can launch HE at 12 km range, including in indirect fire. Maybe this will be a new tactics - to shell each other from long range before getting close enough for APFSDS?

 

 

 

At the end, a 4x SPH's battery, with a MRSI volley, is the simpliest and most effective solution to disable (with a high probability) all enemies' sensors, without so many complications.

 

A 130/140mm long barrel MBT (with APS, autoloader, heavy armor and all needed electronics and sensors) would already be  a damn huge vehicle, without complicating it with a further (and dual feed !) autocannon ... IMHO, if necessary, it's better a two vehicle solution : an HMBT + a "begleitpanzer" (on the same hull), with high elevation, dual-feed autocannon and missiles.  

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4 minutes ago, rob89 said:

 

At the end, a 4x SPH's battery, with a MRSI volley, is the simpliest and most effective solution to disable (with a high probability) all enemies' sensors, without so many complications.

 

A 130/140mm long barrel MBT (with APS, autoloader, heavy armor and all needed electronics and sensors) would already be  a damn huge vehicle, without complicating it with a further (and dual feed !) autocannon ... IMHO, if necessary, it's better a two vehicle solution : an HMBT + a "begleitpanzer" (on the same hull), with high elevation, dual-feed autocannon and missiles.  

Again, that's only a part of the solution.

The concept of distributed firepower has been successfully implemented over the years in many armies, and it's a damn solid concept. But it needs to be pushed further and further because there's a lot of room to keep it going. Air raids are first response. Artillery is second. Then come the maneuvering forces like tanks and infantry. All of them should have the capability to deal with certain common threats. And all of them should have the right set of tools to deal with those threats at ALL ranges at which they are expected to initiate contact with enemy units.

 

You have to distribute the firepower, and you gotta layer it, like an ogre.

 

14 hours ago, LoooSeR said:

 

  Reveal hidden contents

jbGQh8P.jpg

 See! Autocannons against APS were already done! :D

 

   Anyway, 

   It is an option. Coating penetrator or/and reshaping it can be done without losing penetration. Slightly increased leight can counter decreased mass, some changes in internal design also can be done to accomodate changes in shape/size. Not only that but adoption of new slightly bigger caliber cannons also can be done if problems are way to bog, thanks to not so big size of European tank fleets. Not sure about our side, we don't have good modern APS.

 

   Optical systems are not as accurate as radar-based sensors AFAIK, especially with tracking fast moving projectiles with accurate position data extraction from an image. I think that optical sensors can't be used as basis for reliable APS that works against KE reliably as well. Also, how about camouflaged projectiles, kek? 

 

It doesn't really matter. Optical systems are part of the evolution of APS (albeit, not of all of them), and their reliability, on the conceptual level, should not be taken into account. If they have the potential to guide the APS to defeat the KEP, then they have to be dealt with as well. Although the idea of jamming radars of an APS doesn't seem like a viable solution to me. Jamming radars, or attempting to overcome them through stealth, is only really effective at range. The closer you get to the radar, the less effective it becomes. The optical sensor only has to identify a shot was fired, and the radar will eventually see the KEP. Actually you don't even need the optical sensor to do anything here.

 

14 hours ago, LoooSeR said:

   Duplex APFSDS! Hmmm.. how about APFSDS that consist of 2 similar penetrators flying near each other? AFAIK during ERA design tests it was discovered that if single penetrator was cut to 2 pieces by ERA, overal penetration remains roughly about the same. Although making them hit same spot will be a problem i guess. APS maybe even will not be triggered by that contraption.

   Or adopt 152 mm cannon and fire 2+ normal KE penetrators per shot, haha.

Perhaps, but I don't think you can really apply a "Metal Storm" concept here.

 

14 hours ago, LoooSeR said:

   Yes and effect from single 120/125 mm HE round are much higher than several 30/35, especially at long ranges. T-90 can launch HE at 12 km range, including in indirect fire. Maybe this will be a new tactics - to shell each other from long range before getting close enough for APFSDS?

 

These are not necessarily conflicting ideas. Every platform with firepower should ideally have different layers of response and firepower. What you're describing is a different layer, and I am a proponent of using guided HE shells to 'soften' targets as well.

20 hours ago, Bronezhilet said:

You want them to impact them at about the same time as to not give him time to react.

 

But that doesn't even matter if you can't get them to hit in the same place in the first place. Both projectiles are so ballistically dissimilar it's hilarious.

 

Lets just quickly compare the data of two projectiles I have a bunch of data of, M829A1 and M830. Lets say you have everything dialed in so that they should hit the same thing at 3 km, but lets say you...:

  • calculated crosswinds wrong, it's 10 m/s more than you thought. The impact point of M829A1 shifts by about 1 meter, the impact point for M830 shifts 16 meters.
  • calculated the wrong muzzle velocity, it's 20 m/s more than you thought. The vertical impact point of M829A1 shifts by about 0,5 meters, for M830 it's 2,8 meters.
  • used a wrong expected amount of drag, it's 5% less than you thought. The vertical impact point of M829A1 shifts by about 10 centimeters, for M830 it's 3 meters.

Lemme rephrase that last one, for only a 5% decrease in drag, M829A1 will still hit the target, but M830 overshoots the target by about... 76 meters.

 

I appreciate the well calculated and presented data, but I am talking, after all, about typical engagement ranges of 3km. I still hold the belief that beyond that range, or at a range where APFSDS cease to be effective against the encountered target, lobbing HE shells or coordinating a shifting artillery barrage is the way to go.

From what you're saying here, I am inclined to believe that at a range of 3km, at which 30mm autocannons are said to be effective, their dispersion is far too great to consider them even close to being effective.

Don't forget I'm talking here about not the current state, but what will be when we'll be approaching the 2030's. By that time, I assume many will try to make a shift towards larger medium calibers such as the British-French 40mm CTA which doesn't necessarily take more space per desired fire volume, and a shift will be made to a limited use of guided munitions, partly driven by the recently realized threat of cheap and dispensable drones, and perhaps to also reduce the dependency on ATGMs as precision strike weapons.

With some form of guidance and an ABM mode, there is no reason why an autocannon cannot be effective with a single short burst at a range of 3km.

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For serious, though: missiles are only getting cheaper and cheaper to make. Firing them four or five at a time should be enough to saturate any APS not based on future-lasers. And they're accurate out to maximum range.

 

Fuck sticking twin 40mm guns or whatever onto the turret.

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6 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

/.../

It doesn't really matter. Optical systems are part of the evolution of APS (albeit, not of all of them), and their reliability, on the conceptual level, should not be taken into account. If they have the potential to guide the APS to defeat the KEP, then they have to be dealt with as well. Although the idea of jamming radars of an APS doesn't seem like a viable solution to me. Jamming radars, or attempting to overcome them through stealth, is only really effective at range. The closer you get to the radar, the less effective it becomes. The optical sensor only has to identify a shot was fired, and the radar will eventually see the KEP. Actually you don't even need the optical sensor to do anything here.

/.../

   It does matter. Reliability of things on conceptual level also matters, you don't want to waste your time developing a system that was obvious on a conceptual level to not work most of time. Not considering reliability during designing vehicles leads to Ferdinands and similar shit.

 

    Optical systems are not as capable as AESA radar for APFSDS penetrators detection. Optical systems can't be as accurate with measuring position of objets as other means, thats why all robotic cars/vehicles have LADARs and/or radar sensors to guide them through enviroments.

   Very fast moving objects with lots and lots of background "noise" in form of foilage, buildings, weather (snow, rain) etc. etc. and a lot of them have sophisticated texture with different way of how light interacts with them, creating even more sophisticated picture for software to go through. It requires a lot of computing power with very high rate of image cross-analysing from at least 2 cameras to extract object position from those images. This mean you need to have 2 rather high-quality cameras placed in different parts of tank to cover same arc, all of which needs to be caibrated in relation to neighboring cameras. Each camera should have system to avoid degradation of image quality from condensate, mud, rain drops and so on, you basically end up with sophisticated and rather pricey system that also have serious problems with a fact that vehicles operate on Earth. 

   What happens if there is a rain, wind, smoke, dust or their combination around the vehicle? You optics is not going to picture flying penetrator with good enough quality for image analyzing software to extract any workable information. What happens if there are raindrops on camera protective glass? Dust from a tank moving nearby or smoke from diesel engine, mirage from hot metal surfaces of tank hull, dust kicked by cannon fire or by nearby explosion, flying debris, etc. are also a problem for optical-based solutions.

 

   So detecting flying shell with optics is not a best solution accuracy and reliablity of detecting-wise. Detecting a shot with optical systems? Radars can detect incoming rounds already. And how optical system will determine if a shot was made against our AFV or against nearby vehicle? What if enemy infantry fires round from deep and dark places of a building, or with RPG with special blackblast supression system? Will explosions on enemy positions make this system to activate radars/give false alarms?

 

   If we go IR/thermal imagers, situation becomes less predictable - at first you need to put very high quality cooled thermal imagers around your vehicle which is also a rather costly solution. If you will use them to detect incoming rounds/extract positioning you will need to have high clarity of thermal picture that computer receive and very high level of frames per second, plus as i noted - 2 sync thermal imagers should cover same arc. What if enemy start to cover frontal part of rounds in some sort of coating that manages heat from round to a levels that thermal imagers can detect too late to activate radar and for APS to react? What if your tank soft kill systems that detected enemy tank laser rangefinder fires smoke grenades, that also blocks IR emmision? Using thermal imagers to detect shots will be about as tricky as with optical systems, in general.

 

7 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

/.../

Perhaps, but I don't think you can really apply a "Metal Storm" concept here.

/.../

   I'm not speaking about Metal Storm, inspiration for me were flechette rounds developed in late 80s in USSR for test smoothbore PK. One of such rounds had 3 flechettes in it.

 

7 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

I appreciate the well calculated and presented data, but I am talking, after all, about typical engagement ranges of 3km. I still hold the belief that beyond that range, or at a range where APFSDS cease to be effective against the encountered target, lobbing HE shells or coordinating a shifting artillery barrage is the way to go.

From what you're saying here, I am inclined to believe that at a range of 3km, at which 30mm autocannons are said to be effective, their dispersion is far too great to consider them even close to being effective.

Don't forget I'm talking here about not the current state, but what will be when we'll be approaching the 2030's. By that time, I assume many will try to make a shift towards larger medium calibers such as the British-French 40mm CTA which doesn't necessarily take more space per desired fire volume, and a shift will be made to a limited use of guided munitions, partly driven by the recently realized threat of cheap and dispensable drones, and perhaps to also reduce the dependency on ATGMs as precision strike weapons.

With some form of guidance and an ABM mode, there is no reason why an autocannon cannot be effective with a single short burst at a range of 3km.

   Balistics of autocannon don't much APFSDS rounds from 120-125+ guns so much that using autocannon as coaxial means will need to fire autocannon, wait until rounds fly to target and hit it so main gun ammo will not be wasted if enemy target is not hit and APS is still active, and then lase target again (target can be moving during fire or start to move after AC rounds lanind nearby/on it), aim main gun and fire it.

 

   Problem 1

   AC rounds are flying way slower at distance than APFSDS, which means 2 things - they are much more liable for wind and air condition; second - enemy can detect AC firing and start to do something maybe even before rounds from AC burst will start to land nearby, which means that enemy can do something to counter your attempt to kill him. AC fire can give away not only your position, but also your intention, so enemy can try to do something against it. This means that firing main gun will happen in different conditions as target moved/changed direction and/or put a smoke screen, fired back at us etc. 

 

   Problem 2

   Firing solutions for main gun and autocannon are very different, so if AC is mounted coaxially - than whole gun system or/and turret will need to move (if there is a wind for example) when gunner switch weapons and FCS needs to give new firing solution against target that is probably is trying to move away/accelerating and maybe even firing back, putting pressure on gunner. The whole mounting system and feed for high-power autocannon will take plenty of space + ammunition for AC. All this complicates things, limits upgrade potential ofa vehicle, adds a hazard for crew as AC rounds will be moving through sleeve inside of crew compartment (if we speak about manned vehicles).

   If autocannon is mounted separately, it needs to mounted in a way that firing it will not move main gun away from target - wich is already rather hard to do now, as AC in question should be something reasonably powerful. So it needs to be mounted along center line of turret, on roof. There is already a lot of things on top of turret, autocannons are not really going to fit there well. For example 2A42 AC mounted on RCWS on T-80 that was tested was done line this (and it was creating a rotation momentum on turret during firing):

 

Spoiler

aQqcjEC.jpg

 

   All this mean that mounting AC powerfull enough for engaging targets at ranges where KE projectiles are used is a problem - not much space, a lot of cost as AC needs almost its own FCS at this point that is capable of aiming and firing this weapon against targets far away with accuracy enough to hit them reliably with bursts, while being mounted outside of main cannon mount and probably outside of main turret.

 

   Problem 3

   Let's say that previous problem is solved - we managed to put good AC at our vehicle without any serious pain in the ass, AC is mounted well enough so burst fire produce good groups of hits and so on. 

   First thing - even if we will manage to damage APS radars on one vehicle, APS system on enemy tanks can work as a network, with nearby tank's APS taking a job of detecting incoming projectiles to first tank and giving order to use counter-munitions or using them on their own if it close enough. Enemy can change tactics and move 2 tanks close enough so APS on one vehicle can defend second vehicle.

   Second - enemy can try to mitigate this problem in several ways. It can make components of APS smaller and harder to hit, change their placement to be better protected or installing additional/back up systems that can be quickly react and activate if main systems were damaged. It can make radars more survivable against fragmentation damage, protected launchers (like on Arena versions) and so on. 

 

   Also enemy can use radars to detect incoming fire and use this to avoid taking any serious damage at all:

 

    Yeah, a system similar to what was mounted on T-55 will make AC fire to be nearly useless against APS components. 

 

 

   Overall autocannons are rather hard to mount well on existing tanks, will be a problem to put on new tanks, create bunch of problems with enemy counteractivity and all positive effects of AC in intendent role could be rather easily nullified with almost 1950-s level of tech.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Toxn said:

For serious, though: missiles are only getting cheaper and cheaper to make. Firing them four or five at a time should be enough to saturate any APS not based on future-lasers. And they're accurate out to maximum range.

 

Fuck sticking twin 40mm guns or whatever onto the turret.

   Not sure what you mean under "cheaper". Different SACLOS and Beam-riders - probably yes, but using them even today is kind of last day level of tech. FF missiles are not exactly cheap to fire several of those per tank, if we speak about big war. For local conflicts - probably yes, like 2-3 Kornets flying in a salvo, but problems will be with enemy having time to react and deploy smoke/move away from exact position on which he was when missiles were launched, fire back to damage guidance systems on launcher and so on.

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@LoooSeR and @Bronezhilet mentioned a lot of downsides, but there are even more. This idea is not a good one.

For a start, you're willingly throwing away the ability to destroy the enemy at extreme ranges; There's a reason every MBT designed since the 1980s has a LRF with a range of at least 4 km, and that's because effective ranges increase with time, and the Gulf wars already had armor engagements at around 4-5km. limiting yourself by concept to 2km range is just flat out stupid.
Secondly, properly crewed MBTs are fleeting targets. Sending a burst of autocannon ammo downrange and waiting until its almost arrived before firing your main gun greatly increases the exposure time needed to nail a target, and leaves you exposed for longer than is ideal, particularly as much of this exposure is after you've announced your presence in a less-than-subtle manner.

Thirdly, 35mm KETF just isn't that impressive against armor. ~5mm dia tungsten fragments just don't go through all that much armor at all. so small motorized shutters tied in to the APS radar can effectively 100% counter both that and PROX artillery threats at very little additional cost. Such a shutter system could probably be retrofit on to existing tanks with APS within half a year of such a threat materializing. and protip- if your basic design concept can be subverted by an afterthought retrofit you should get better ideas and better taste.

Another major point against such a layout is that the single greatest advance in tank ammunition in the past 30 years has been MP HE rounds, capable of reaching out to 5+km and destroying any target other than current-gen MBTs in one shot. small bore autocannon simply do not have the range with HE rounds, nor can they fully fill the MP role- 35mm HEAB will not bring down buildings or penetrate and wreck IFVs. Likewise, 35mm HEAB has a hard time reaching out to extended ranges to counterfire on ATGM teams- more rounds are required, dispersion is worse, and time to target is significantly worse. Displacing fullbore MP HE rounds for less capable autocannon rounds is a non-starter.

And on a further note, future threat IFVs are likely to be immune to 35mm APFSDS, at least at extended ranges, as that is the current standard armament for many NATO IFVs. This means that the coax 35mm will be almost completely useless and redundant and therefore does not belong on future MBTs. (and for the ones that wont be immune to 35mm APFSDS, 120/130mm MPHE on PDD will destroy them more thoroughly and faster than a burst of autocannon APFSDS).

And on a final note, why would a switch to the new 130mm mean lower ammo capacity? the base diameter is the same as the NATO 120, and most stowage is horizontal. Extend the bustle of an Abrams and it'll hold just as many 130mm rounds as it holds 120mm rounds today (seldom used hull rack excluded).

 

So in conclusion, this seems like a bad idea all around.

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What about a simple mission kill round? 

 

Use a shell or rocket with a small shotgun charge and flechette that detonates outside the APS's range, covering the enemy vehicle in high velocity flechettes that ruin all exterior equipment.  To maximize range, a tiny charge would separate the flechettes downrange  so that they cover a wider area. 

Something along the same line as kinetic energy ATGMs, or a air burst. Just way more powerful. 

 

 

How hard is it for a FCS to dumbfire a volley of rockets at a enemy MBT at 4km?

 

 

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46 minutes ago, Sturgeon said:

What do you think about having an 8.6-10mm coax?

What is this MG intended to achieve? increase effective range vs 7.62 MGs?
Currently 7.62mm coax weapons are considered effective for suppression effects out to roughly 1-1.2km. I'm not entirely sure what the actual objective ideal suppression range would be, but it would be reasonable to assume that you want to be able to suppress infantry out to the effective range of small man portable ATGMs, or around 1.5-2km, in which case a slightly longer effective range may be desirable. The availability of MPHE for destructive fire vs suppressive fire may however render this a moot point, and such a specialized MG sounds like a waste of effort.

13 minutes ago, Xoon said:

that ruin all exterior equipment.

If the enemy's tank has shutters, you're going to need some pretty massive darts to damage stuff, and that means you're going to need a pretty massive rocket. and what you get for your trouble is limited destruction of external equipment, with no guarantee of a mission kill. For example, an Abrams-style secondary sight location and reserve panoramic cameras renders any "optics kill" approach unworkable.

And if you're already resigned to flinging LOSAT sized rockets, you may as well make a proper LOSAT as that's more liable to actually kill the target. Carting around large numbers of dumb rockets to maybe annoy an MBT isn't a good way to go around countering them.

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38 minutes ago, N-L-M said:

If the enemy's tank has shutters, you're going to need some pretty massive darts to damage stuff, and that means you're going to need a pretty massive rocket. and what you get for your trouble is limited destruction of external equipment, with no guarantee of a mission kill. For example, an Abrams-style secondary sight location and reserve panoramic cameras renders any "optics kill" approach unworkable.

And if you're already resigned to flinging LOSAT sized rockets, you may as well make a proper LOSAT as that's more liable to actually kill the target. Carting around large numbers of dumb rockets to maybe annoy an MBT isn't a good way to go around countering them.

I am very certain those shutters are made to resist fragments and small arms fire.  I am pretty sure flechettes could punch through that.  Though it is for the most part brainstorming. The success rate could be low. 

 

A even more crazy idea would be a gunk shell. Pretty much a shell with a substance that would cover exposed optics, making them unusable, and try to jam shutters. A type of smoke shell, could also work, if it blocks the view from the thermal sight. I believe similar tactic was used by the M4 crews on the western front? 

 

Honestly, shit tons of missiles sounds like the best idea. A MBT build around the missile concept would be interesting.  What is the cost effectiveness of a 120mm gun compared to a missile? The gap can not be that big in modern times, considering that electronics are dirt cheap and that modern anti-tank guns are not just a steel tube. 

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1 minute ago, Xoon said:

I am very certain those shutters are made to resist fragments and small arms fire.  I am pretty sure flechettes could punch through that.  Though it is for the most part brainstorming. The success rate could be low. 

 

A even more crazy idea would be a gunk shell. Pretty much a shell with a substance that would cover exposed optics, making them unusable, and try to jam shutters. A type of smoke shell, could also work, if it blocks the view from the thermal sight. I believe similar tactic was used by the M4 crews on the western front? 

 

Honestly, shit tons of missiles sounds like the best idea. A MBT build around the missile concept would be interesting.  What is the cost effectiveness of a 120mm gun compared to a missile? The gap can not be that big in modern times, considering that electronics are dirt cheap and that modern anti-tank guns are not just a steel tube. 

1. Making more resistant shutters is stupidly easy. STANAG 4569 level 3 KE equivalent can even be done with transparent materials.

2. It depends what sized flechettes and what shutters. but if you're trying to spam 25mm APFSDS -equivalents, well that gets real heavy real fast.

3. Accepting such a low success rate is not a good way to go about developing weapons.

4. Tanks are already mud-resistant, this also sounds like a non-starter.

5. Multispectral smoke is a thing, but all you do is blind the opponent's optics (and not their radars) for a short amount of time. The long ToF for heavy shells means the opponent has a long time to shoot down this shell in flight and to counterfire before it arrives. Going to all this trouble just to blind them for a short time also sounds like a non-starter.

6. Missile spam is a legitimate strategy, particularly if the missiles themselves are designed for the express purpose of defeating APS. This solution is not cheap, however.

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7 hours ago, LoooSeR said:

   Not sure what you mean under "cheaper". Different SACLOS and Beam-riders - probably yes, but using them even today is kind of last day level of tech. FF missiles are not exactly cheap to fire several of those per tank, if we speak about big war. For local conflicts - probably yes, like 2-3 Kornets flying in a salvo, but problems will be with enemy having time to react and deploy smoke/move away from exact position on which he was when missiles were launched, fire back to damage guidance systems on launcher and so on.

 

All good points, but we're talking about a conflict a decade from now when FF tech is as cheap (or cheaper) as SACLOS is today. The trend is towards cheaper, more capable electronics overall.

 

Which also makes fancy main gun rounds ever more feasible as well, but then I'm not talking about replacing the main gun in this case. I'm simply considering a potential better use of weight/volume than a pair of autocannons mounted to the turret sides.

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Why does it seem like a twin gun system is a winning option for defeating APS? Though, I suppose some kind of autoloading system that can *double tap* the target could work. 

 

*maybe an autoloader system that has a mode that loads a shell, then holds a second shell near the gun, and reloads it rapidly when firing at APS protected tanks. Something like FASTDRAW for the M1. 

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3 hours ago, Lord_James said:

Why does it seem like a twin gun system is a winning option for defeating APS? Though, I suppose some kind of autoloading system that can *double tap* the target could work. 

 

*maybe an autoloader system that has a mode that loads a shell, then holds a second shell near the gun, and reloads it rapidly when firing at APS protected tanks. Something like FASTDRAW for the M1. 

 

The AN-94 of tank guns?

 

It's a better idea than two actual main guns, which is likely not going to end well if the Russians already had issues with unwanted rotation mounting autocannons.

 

At that point your best bet is likely supersizing the 76 & 90mm CT autocannons we already developed.

 

I can't really speak to the quality of this suggestion, but it's a way to pound out two shots really fast.

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Get a very low velocity MP-HE round, for easier multiple rounds simultaneous impact

 

Hell, stick an 80mm mortar in the turret roof to fire guided airbursting HE. Top attack (so not all APS will see it coming), and it can be used for other mortar things too

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35 minutes ago, Xlucine said:

Get a very low velocity MP-HE round, for easier multiple rounds simultaneous impact

 

Hell, stick an 80mm mortar in the turret roof to fire guided airbursting HE. Top attack (so not all APS will see it coming), and it can be used for other mortar things too

   I am not sure if 80 mm mortar with airburst will be able to damage sensors, as for APS that can't see above, those sensors can be protected from above attacks rather well, as they don't need to see in that direction. 120 mm mortar or bigger can do serious damage to turret roof anyway, but again, why would you take out space for big mortanr and big mortar rounds if your main gun is capable of using HE in a first place (including long range indirect fire), which also can be used by tanks in many other direct combat situations.

 

   I do think that working on solutions with minimal changes to tanks and some changes to projectile/the way how projectiles are appraching to tanks protected by this "future APS" is less problematic approach.

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I think I am being misunderstood here all over again, which seriously harms any practical debate on the topic. Few things to clarify:

  • My proposal for an autocannon to be mounted coaxially to the main gun (horizontally but not vertically aligned), is only one layer of a solution to APS. This is supposed to be the lowest tier defense, for ranges from point blank to the maximum range at which a burst of medium caliber munitions can accurately hit a turret sized target and reliably neutralize an APS. Higher tiers are HE-MP shells from the main gun, going up to ATGMs either from the MBTs or from IFVs with an ABM-like effect, and at the top just good old shelling of tank units with artillery munitions to generally just soften them up. 
  • Diversification of the means of firepower is just as important as the diversification of the sources of firepower.
  • The changing architecture of AFVs, and MBTs especially, should free up a lot of resources (in terms of weight and volume alike) to add additional weaponry to better engage with additional threats. 
  • The main function of a coaxial MG is to allow the MBT to engage with targets that would not be deemed "worthy" of a main gun shell, whether from an economical standpoint, or a practical one. An autocannon will expand the spectrum of targets that an MG previously allowed to engage with.

 

23 hours ago, N-L-M said:

 

 

@LoooSeR and @Bronezhilet mentioned a lot of downsides, but there are even more. This idea is not a good one.

For a start, you're willingly throwing away the ability to destroy the enemy at extreme ranges; There's a reason every MBT designed since the 1980s has a LRF with a range of at least 4 km, and that's because effective ranges increase with time, and the Gulf wars already had armor engagements at around 4-5km. limiting yourself by concept to 2km range is just flat out stupid.

 

I'm not really following your rationale here. Adding a means of firepower does not limit the capabilities of the other means of firepower. The main gun shouldn't automatically become weaker because an autocannon was added. It could theoretically be somewhat hindered if the main gun munitions are reduced significantly, but the idea of using an autocannon should only slightly decrease the amount of actual shells, and increase dramatically the number of effective shells. That is, it may cost a few shells in terms of space, but it will spare the crew from firing off 2 main gun shells instead of 1.

As I said, an autocannon may only be effective to 2-3km, but the tools to defeat an APS at greater threats still exist, and are not hindered in any way. It just allows the tank to be more effective at defeating an APS at closer range.

 

To me, your argument sounds a lot like claiming a soldier's efficiency is reduced because his pistol is only effective to 80 meters, even though he's clearly still packing a rifle able to send lead up to 400 meters.

 

23 hours ago, N-L-M said:

Secondly, properly crewed MBTs are fleeting targets. Sending a burst of autocannon ammo downrange and waiting until its almost arrived before firing your main gun greatly increases the exposure time needed to nail a target, and leaves you exposed for longer than is ideal, particularly as much of this exposure is after you've announced your presence in a less-than-subtle manner.

 

True, but the alternative is worse. Think of it like this:

The FCS lays the main gun and autocannon on target, each vertically laid differently because of different ballistics. The target is 3km away, basically where the autocannon is still considered effective. You fire a burst, and within 3 seconds all shells hit the enemy tank. You immediately fire at that point through the main gun, with a delay of 3 seconds.

Alternatively, you can get it down to 2 second to account for horizontal laying of the main gun, and have the main gun fire its round in a way that all shells impact at nearly the same time, with the main gun ammo arriving just slightly after the medium caliber shells. 

To implement such a mode, one only needs to utilize a not-very-new technology that allowed artillery guns to perform MRSI. Delayed firing and automatic coordination of fires is definitely existing technology, and should not be complicated if human supervision is added (IIRC there is a ban in many states on systems that fire autonomously).

 

If you decide to fire off 2 shells from the main gun, you're not gaining any advantage from being at short range, and the theoretical engagement time would be as long as the loading time. The T-14 boasts a rate of fire of 12 RPM, which means 5 seconds to load the gun. So already you're advocating for a solution that is theoretically longer to perform and thus more threatening to the crew in terms of exposure time.

 

23 hours ago, N-L-M said:

Thirdly, 35mm KETF just isn't that impressive against armor. ~5mm dia tungsten fragments just don't go through all that much armor at all. so small motorized shutters tied in to the APS radar can effectively 100% counter both that and PROX artillery threats at very little additional cost. Such a shutter system could probably be retrofit on to existing tanks with APS within half a year of such a threat materializing. and protip- if your basic design concept can be subverted by an afterthought retrofit you should get better ideas and better taste.

 

Would shutters not negate the core functions of the APS's sensors and interceptors? How reliably would a radar be able to detect and discriminate various threats through a thick shutter? And even if the shutters don't create a disturbance for the radars in their entire sequence of operation, how quickly can the shutters be removed to allow the interceptors to fire upon the incoming threat? Because I don't think any APS will be able to fire through shutters. 

 

Not to mention that existing APS would already feature shutters as small arms fire is very much an issue for such systems, because they have 0 armor. 

The Trophy has shutters, but these are only put in place when tanks are parking, and removed prior to driving off.

 

23 hours ago, N-L-M said:

Another major point against such a layout is that the single greatest advance in tank ammunition in the past 30 years has been MP HE rounds, capable of reaching out to 5+km and destroying any target other than current-gen MBTs in one shot. small bore autocannon simply do not have the range with HE rounds, nor can they fully fill the MP role- 35mm HEAB will not bring down buildings or penetrate and wreck IFVs. Likewise, 35mm HEAB has a hard time reaching out to extended ranges to counterfire on ATGM teams- more rounds are required, dispersion is worse, and time to target is significantly worse. Displacing fullbore MP HE rounds for less capable autocannon rounds is a non-starter.

 

Neither can a 7.62mm do any of these, and yet MGs are practically a MUST for any AFV. Sure, against any other AFV, barring lightly armored vehicles, a main gun shell will always be better, but against infantry it should be a more economical (in terms of ammo stowage) choice. 

In urban scenarios it's doubly important as quite rarely are vehicles needed to bring down whole buildings, as opposed to just smacking a hole in a wall and obliterating everyone inside without causing the building to collapse, or bring it close to collapse (in case the troops need to take the building for shelter or as a post).

There are many downsides to main guns compared to autocannons in urban settings, to the point that some even thought of refitting existing tanks with ACs just for that limited scenario.

 

23 hours ago, N-L-M said:

And on a further note, future threat IFVs are likely to be immune to 35mm APFSDS, at least at extended ranges, as that is the current standard armament for many NATO IFVs. This means that the coax 35mm will be almost completely useless and redundant and therefore does not belong on future MBTs. (and for the ones that wont be immune to 35mm APFSDS, 120/130mm MPHE on PDD will destroy them more thoroughly and faster than a burst of autocannon APFSDS).

And on a final note, why would a switch to the new 130mm mean lower ammo capacity? the base diameter is the same as the NATO 120, and most stowage is horizontal. Extend the bustle of an Abrams and it'll hold just as many 130mm rounds as it holds 120mm rounds today (seldom used hull rack excluded).

 

IFVs are hardly the most common target for MBTs. Not even in a high intensity conflict.

130mm ammo is substantially longer and that may cause problems. An ammo rack could definitely be designed to hold the same amount of ammo as a 120mm, but definitely not more.

 

41 minutes ago, LoooSeR said:

 

   I do think that working on solutions with minimal changes to tanks and some changes to projectile/the way how projectiles are appraching to tanks protected by this "future APS" is less problematic approach.

 

There aren't many approaches to alterations of the munitions themselves, that can be future-proof for a good enough amount of time, and simultaneously not terribly hindering the projectile's core function. At least, not one approach that I know of.

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12 minutes ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

To me, your argument sounds a lot like claiming a soldier's efficiency is reduced because his pistol is only effective to 80 meters, even though he's clearly still packing a rifle able to send lead up to 400 meters.

 

the argument is more the soldier already has a rifle why give him a pistol.

 

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7 minutes ago, holoween said:

 

the argument is more the soldier already has a rifle why give him a pistol.

 

Beats me, but apparently some armies find it necessary to equip certain types of soldiers with pistols for higher efficiency in close range engagements. 

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34 minutes ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

 

  • My proposal for an autocannon to be mounted coaxially to the main gun (horizontally but not vertically aligned), is only one layer of a solution to APS. This is supposed to be the lowest tier defense, for ranges from point blank to the maximum range at which a burst of medium caliber munitions can accurately hit a turret sized target and reliably neutralize an APS. Higher tiers are HE-MP shells from the main gun, going up to ATGMs either from the MBTs or from IFVs with an ABM-like effect, and at the top just good old shelling of tank units with artillery munitions to generally just soften them up.  

 

Ooh, good point - at longer ranges getting a HE-MP shell and a fin shot on the same target at similar times would be easier

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2 minutes ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

Beats me, but apparently some armies find it necessary to equip certain types of soldiers with pistols for higher efficiency in close range engagements. 

 

Yet 99% of combat troops dont carry pistols.

seriously though this analogy really starts breaking down and the is a pistol usefull is an entirely different debate to be had.

 

The problem i have with your argument is that youre arguing under the premise that the APS has to be destroyed to be rendered ineffective. With that premise i doubt anyone drastically disagrees with the idea of autocannons as APS killer. But noone accepts the premise that APS are infallable and there are a lot of easier ways of defeating non perfect (read: real) APS than adding an autocannon to an MBT.

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