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:
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.