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nkpz.jpg

 

NKPz; Swiss paper project for a Pz. 68 replacement.  They went with Leo-2s instead.

It was supposed to be front-engine, front-drive.  Note, however, that it appears to have a much lower hull profile than the merk.

Crew was 3, thanks to an unusual autoloader design.

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Object 490 is unusual.

img002.jpg

 

img003.jpg

 

      Well, at first frontal armor is not actual main frontal armor. Why it is like this? Because real commie shouldn't show his bodyparts to everybody, this is capitalists stuff! Jokes aside, this reminds me Leningrad Object 299. Main armor is deep inside of a tank hull, after huge frontal fuel tank (in case of Object 299 - gas turbine) and external low-protection armor.

      Then we have a turret/crew compartment with just 2 guys inside, and bustle autoloader (with some ammo storade between einge and crew comp.) with blow out panels on top and bottom of bustle. Sights are also strange - gunner and commander just 2 day-only panoramic sights and one separated night sight on top of the turret bustle, with some sort of active protection radar/sensors on top of that night sight. It does look like Leclerc that was designed by less sane person. 

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bZBZEyh3UsE.jpg

 

You can see from this great picture LooSeR posted one of the problems with the traditional layout.  In order to have clearance for periscopes and the driver's hatch, the armor around the driver can't be as thick as would be ideal.

 

In most modern designs, this creates a weak point in the armor protection that's right in the center of mass of the vehicle when viewed from the front.

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That issue is easily the worst on the Chally 1 and 2. The armor rear of the driver (which, mind you, goes straight into the turret compartment) is only a few inches thick, if that. The driver's location also forces the LFP to be rather thin, hence why the up-armored models like the one shown here, have an external composite layout.

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Not what I'm describing. The Challenger-series has a literal cut-out around the drivers hatch, which creates a massively weak area behind it. This a trait that no other tank shares, AFAIK.

Thinning is almost universal, unless the armor is super-well angled and hence thin to begin with.

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OK, I see what you mean.  Yes, I think the chally 1 and 2 are the only designs that have an actual notch in the glacis plate where the driver's position is.  However, the driver's position also greatly compromises the protection in the center of the hull of an Abrams as well:

 

Abrams_00.jpg

 

Anything that can penetrate that driver's hatch isn't going to have too damn much in its way going through the turret basket.  To the left and right of the hatch are big cellular fuel tanks that add a considerable amount of extra protection.  Obviously, there aren't any centerline because that's where the driver is.  Additionally, the cutout in the armor is going to weaken it there because of free edge effect.

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It's pretty hard to reconcile that picture with the ones of Merkava hulls in the Merkava thread though.

 

But numerous articles over the years have claimed that there are armored bulkheads throughout the Merkava to isolate the crew from penetrations; so whatever the exact configuration is, it seems likely that there are big armored sheets inside the hull and turret somewhere.

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Hi, that diagram was in Rolf Hilms book and was an assessment of the Merkava 1. It was a guess at the time. It was wrong then and even more an underestimate nowadays with later machines. No tank is perfect. Like all others the Merkava has flaws and weaknesses. This is NOT one of them. I can think of two which Hizbollah certainly know as they have used them in the past. They don't try and penetrate Merkavas frontally not with even multiple launches of the lethal Russian ATGMs they have. Forgive me if I don't mention known weaknesses here.

I am not talking about magical composites and NERA, although the Israelis certainly have some of the best.

Israeli society is painfully sensitive to casualties. Far more so than most "Western orientated" countries. MANTAK meet and analyse every hit and its result on a Merkava in great detail. Would they accept such a fundamental mistake? In a culture where you literally get crewmen pounding on the door if they think there is a problem?

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I picked up an english language copy of the Rolf HIlmes book earlier this year. My copy was $50, but I recently saw that there are some copies for $35 on Amazon right now.  $35 is a bit of money for a book, but the HIlmes book has lots of interesting stuff in it.  It's a bit dated but a lot of the information is still completely relevant.  

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how so?

Turret is boxy and long, very long compared to Soviet/Russian tanks. This create a situation when small rotation of the turret reveals plenty of side armor of the ammorack (turret bustle). Side armor in that part is pretty weak and video from Yemen showed how M1A2S was engaged from the front with very old Konkurs ATGMs with very good results for ATGM team, when missile smashed into turret bustle at high angle and still managed to set it on fire.

So this mean that turret layout can provide highest level of protection only in very narrow arc - about 25-35 degrees. If enemy engage this turret outside of this arc, ability of turret to protect insides decrease very rapidly. Soviet MBTs turrets were designed to provide highest level of protection in 60 degrees frontal arc, for example. Reason is simple - turret is more likely place to be hit in combat. This was a reason to not have ammo there, as well. And this is a logic behind T-14 hull-mounted autoloader.

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ide armor in that part is pretty weak and video from Yemen showed how M1A2S was engaged from the front with very old Konkurs ATGMs with very good results for ATGM team, when missile smashed into turret bustle at high angle and still managed to set it on fire.

 

The M1A2S did not have the bustle closed at that time.

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Doesn't matter, Mohamed. Side armor of turret bustle is weak, coupled with turret overal layout will lead to such situations when hull-down tank will loose all ammunition and became combat incapable because of turret turned a bit to left/right. I want add that tank can be knocked out in hull down with pretty weak weapon, fired from frontal arc.

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It's less geometrically efficient than a round turret, but the abrams and Leo 2 both have good side protection:

2gt4rdl.jpg

090324135915_abr.jpg

 

Like the turret front it appears to be semi-modular, so the exact protection would depend on what exact armor package they put in there.

 

The bustle is narrower than the front of the turret, so it's not like it gets exposed if the turret is presented slightly off-center to a threat:
 

m1a2%20top%20view.jpg

You can see the blow-off panels relative to the sides of the turret; the edge of the loader's hatch is close to the edge of the armor.  One of the best giveaways of how thick modern MBT armor is are the positions of the crew hatches, and other things that show where the crew positions are from the top, like gunsights and cupolas.

So the turret is basically well-protected from a sixty degree arc in front.  You could hit the bustle if the turret is turned away slightly from you, but you would have to go through a long LOS of the side armor.  It is a bit of a liability carrying the ammunition so high, but there aren't exactly a lot of other places it can go.

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Colli, Chieftain said that Abrams don't have any armor to speak about at turret bustle. Crew compartment is covered by some armor, but bustle...

Turret layout of Abrams is close to Leo2 turret. Such layout would be more problematic when instead of ancient ATGMs, APFSDS would start flying around.

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      ATTENTION DUELISTS:
      @Toxn
      @LostCosmonaut
      @Lord_James
      @DIADES
      @Datengineerwill
      @Whatismoo
      @Kal
      @Zadlo
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      detailed below is the expected format of the final submission.
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      Again, incomplete designs may be submitted as they are and will be judged as seen fit.
       
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    • By N-L-M
      Restricted: for Operating Thetan Eyes Only

      By order of Her Gracious and Serene Majesty Queen Diane Feinstein the VIII

      The Dianetic People’s Republic of California

      Anno Domini 2250

      SUBJ: RFP for new battle tank

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