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There's no point in trying to figure him out, Sparks does not deserves anyones' attention. 

 

Making a mockery of Sparks/BTD and his clearly ahead of their time ideas and their nonsense, constant topic changing rants is a favorite past time of the older members here however.

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Well mocking him is no problem  :P

 

I'm saying he ain't worth our time in regards to "figuring him out". MS is almost certainly a fraud. 

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I think I was more trying to go with the ever lingering debate of whether or not BlacktailDefense is an alter ego of Sparks as opposed to trying to figure out what makes him tick, which would be all but impossible.

 

The reason I bring up Sparks being Schizophrenic (probably) is that even those who are clinically insane online can make themselves look like someone else (Insane doesn't mean stupid, not that Sparks isn't stupid or anything..) via trying to type different and using different behavior, but usually some of your past habits will betray you and catch up to you, knowingly or not eventually.

 

TLDR: 100% sure BTD is either a sock puppet he made to try and get a clean slate on his terrible reputation, only for that to backfire on him eventually for reasons listed above among others, is genuinely an alter ego, or at the very least is just another reformer he met at some point in his life and became friends with and now spreads his bullshit on his behalf.

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Black Tail Defense appears to be linked to Mike Sparks. Yes the bloke who devised the name "Gavin" for the M113 and insists it be referred to as such, even though in reality it never has been given that designation. Frankly those who have had any kind of dealings with the man on Tank Net et al, believe he has some mental health issues. I wouldn't take anything written by Black Tail Defense, as being worth analysis or rebuttal.

 

 

I've been following his content for many, many years now (not to say I agree with it outside of a few things) and BTD doesn't seem to be connected with Sparks. They share a general opinion, but Sparks had his own channel for a while and just died off eventually. 

 

BTD raises a few good points on the validity of decisions US politicians and Army officials make, besides that it can be a lot of fluff.

 

For the new guys who may not be aware, here at SH beating up on helpless idiots like Sparky and BTD is not only our favorite pastime, it is how the founding members of the forum all were forged into an unbreakable brotherhood. ;)

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"As for the armor, instead of using a large amount of steel and other metals, most of the Tigerwolf's armor is made up of thick panels and blocks of woven fabric Carbon 60 and 70 --- which are genarically[sic] known as "Fullerine". [sic]

Fullerine has ove 100 times the tensile strength of steel, it's 10's of times lighter, and theoretically could be manufactured quickly and inexpensively. Essentially, the Tigerwolf has a sort of "Super Kevlar" armor, but unlike current Kevlars (which are made of polimers[sic] or composites), fullerine does not have a molecular structure that distorts or melts under heat or pressure --- a single piece of this new type of armor can withstand MANY direct hits from rounds with tank-killing power, KE and CE alike."

 

 

Ah yes, fullerenes; every hack futurist's favorite crutch.

 

Fullerenes have many interesting and useful properties, but their large-scale bulk mechanical properties may not be that amazing.  Many materials have amazing strength at small scales, but disappointing strength at macro scales.  Sapphire whiskers are an example.

 

Moreover, high tensile strength (which is what fullerenes have going for them), does not necessarily imply that a material will make good armor.  The properties that make materials effective against high-velocity threats are somewhat esoteric.  Aluminum alloys, for instance, have a better strength to weight ratio than does steel, and while several of them do protect better on a weight basis than steel against lower velocity threats like artillery fragments and small arms fire, suffer badly against high-velocity penetrators and HEAT threats due to sheer failure modes that only exist at those higher velocity ranges.

 

Also, why the fuck does Blacktail think that "Kevlars" melt under pressure?  Aramids don't melt.

 

Whiskers in general are an example of calculated theoretical strengths, since there's a lot less room in the whisker to fit flaws than in an object. I like how he claims that fullerene's structure doesn't distort under pressure, when it actually switches from hcp packing of the spheres to fcc. Or that theory claims fullerene can be manufactured easily, that's a good joke

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The thing that jumps out to me with those superstrength materials is that it's all good and well how strong one thing of it is (whatever a thing may be), but how do they get turned into something bigger and how does that structure hold together?

 

BTD: Gee I dunno that sounds cool let's do it.

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All being said, this 'vehicle' he drew up lowers his already bottom-level reputation.

As a response to him;

A crew of five would be a disaster and everyone knows it. Combine a smallish-vehicle with a mid-size turret and five crewmen...yeah it doesn't work well. Low profile vehicles like the T-72 and T-90 can get away with having a small crew compartment because they don't need to store a fourth crewman. Having two loaders means the turret needs to accommodate at least three crewmen, AT LEAST, along with a load of armor per the Abrams and Leopard 2. That simply won't work...and why have two loaders in the first place? NATO rounds are exclusively single-piece in tanks, and two men aren't needed to lifting a single rounds. All that will do is make the turret more crowded, making it harder AND slower to load as a result. Being as I've followed his content for the past seven years; I can tell you his argument for more crew is that if need be, you have more man-power to be mobilized outside of the vehicle...but they are in a vehicle, mobilizing them is pointless and risks more lives. All that means it more people will be fatally injured if the vehicle is penetrated or destroyed.

T-72's take half of fourteen seconds to reload, and one would be hard-pressed to find a loader that could reload in four seconds...never mind in repetition.

By "smaller less powerful" ammunition he was referring to Soviet & Russian carousels, which have historically had a maximum length cap of the ammunition, namely APFSDS. Still no reason for him to generalize, as almost every other type of autoloader (note this problem lies in the way of storing munitions....not even the AL) can fire long-length projectiles. And while autoloaders introduce a new possible failure point, manned vehicles have one too; it's called the loader. Heavy ammunition breaking the AL is so off it almost isn't funny.

Diesels do not have sparkplugs but a lot of them use a 'hotplug' (whatever they are called) which are basically elements....but they almost never need replacing, and I'd be worried if the average tanker couldn't replace one (a decimated engineer is just...without words).

Referring a tanks armor profile with percentages is beyond retarded. 20% Chobham....whhhaaaaaaa?

Colli nailed the problem with such nano-particles. They are strong at the nano-scale, because of their carbon bonds... At the larger scale, imperfect bonding would be numerous and the quality of the material low. It's just like steel armor; simple imperfects at the smallest of levels can compromise performance. This is why RHA was developed, and also why steel continues to be improved with changes in grain. The difference is that Carbon won't be easy to worth with, like steel...

Larger than an Abrams but much lighter... Must be that 60% Carbon :/ Why bother making the vehicle larger *even it were lighter*, simply put it means a larger target, and one that's considerably harder to transport...yet BTD hates on weight, for making vehicles harder to transport... Once again, there are no words to describe this insanity.

Low-ground pressure from the vehicle being LOW? Please.... He doesn't seem to realize that wider-tracks are *heavier*, and actually lower the agility of said vehicle. Ground pressure is important not that important...and since is making a vehicle unrealistically wide a good thing? At 16 feet wide, it could hardly fit on a road regardless of lanes, never mind bridges, tunnels, or dare I say it; aircraft! In regards to thinking ground pressure will solve all the vehicles problems; I....just....don't...know...

Has more power and torque and weighs less; in his imagination. Yes, no current tank could catch up to one that is in mans' head.

Wankels by themselves are on the boundaries of being failures for any use... They guzzle fuel and oil like nothing else out there. - His main argument against the Abrams was it not being fuel efficient. Oh, the irony. (Oh, and it being a diesel....)

And a howitzer....it's like he removed his brain and threw it out the window. To begin, the gun he is describing would not be a howitzer... The 2A82-1M gun (still 125 mm) has 17% more muzzle energy than the LONGER L/55 gun, which itself has noticeable improvements over the L/44. Euro 140 mm guns would have even more power than the 2A82, never mind a 145 mm... Honestly he must have made this all up on the spot. Muzzle energy =/= effective range, at least not directly.

Didn't a Chally or Chally 2 nail a tank at over 5 km once? The effective range of the L/44 probably isn't much over that, especially with heavy ammunition like the M829A3 (it travels at under 1600 m/s point-blank...so I doubt it'll go very far out past 4 km). Newer FCS/gun could probably manage a hit on an Abrams before the Abrams could directly hit it...but the chances of a penetration are almost nil. As for areas of engagements where this would be possible; don't ask me.

BTD also apparently doesn't understand rifle ammunition. Surprise surprise.

How can a MANNED TURRET be stabilized? That's stupid beyond belief....and exactly what is a hull stabilizer? Torsion bars are used because they are cheap and easy to maintain, if needed they can be further improved with hydro-pneumatic add-ons, as rumored to be on Armata.

I laughed when he claimed a tank-mounted autocannon lessens the need of SPAAG systems... Whatcha going to do, point it in the air and blind fire? This sounds less and less like a tank design and more of toddlers creation. He even acts like it will fend off fixed wing aircraft, sure it will...just...sure...

In the comments he actually made it SIX crewmen...not five, SIX. I guess the whole engineer thing was serious. I also love how he came up with fake figures, like the turret being 20 tons and able to traverse 360 in four seconds. Must have taken BTD 'four seconds ' to think that up.

He also continues the argument that if one crew member in killed in a T-62, you lose 1/3 of the crew. He fails to mention that in the "T-Wolf", two crewmembers would be lost...at least... Then he claims rifled guns are superior to smoothbores...

BTD posted this eight years ago, but he deserves no mercy. An absolute idiot he must be...

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Mike E, all of his thinking is visibly based on military reformer boilerplate, which is so baroque at this point that it's basically an alternate reality.

 

It's a shame; for all the effort he's spent learning military reformer nonsense, he could have made good headway into understanding how things actually function.

 

A wankel engine for a tank is attractive on paper; like I said, three companies have tried it (although none made it work).  Turbines have improved a lot since the AGT-1500 and GTD-1250 series, but I think a turbocharged wankel would still enjoy a bit of an edge in specific fuel consumption.

 

Also, the Warsaw Pact 125mm were only weak by comparison to the mighty, mighty Rheinmetall 120mm.  They are comparable in raw horsepower to the Brit 120mm rifled guns.  Of course, BTD fudges this in his other videos; sometimes the 125mm are considered directly equivalent to the NATO 120, and sometimes they're considered weaker.  Whatever data he need to fit his preconceived conclusion.

 

Wider tracks would lower ground pressure, but he doesn't realize that all tanks are close to being the same width and all existing designs are at the maximum practical width, which is dictated by railroad dimensions.  Since he harps on and on about the strategic mobility of tanks, this is indeed an odd oversight.

 

There have been three-axis stabilized tank turrets; even one I think was manned.  They look weird because they have a rolling turret ring or the entire bottom of the turret is a ball-and-socket joint.  Existing designs are two-axis stabilized, and it works just fine.  BTD clearly does not understand how stabilization and director-type fire control systems work.  If you watch some of his other videos, he thinks that the abrams has three-plane stabilization.  

 

A torsion bar is just a type of spring.  Saying a tank has "torsion bar" suspension doesn't tell you jack shit about its performance.  You need to know bound and rebound figures, harmonic frequencies, unsprung mass and damping coefficients.  However, that sort of information is hard to find and doesn't fit in the tiny stats blocks in Jane's, so very few people know them, or know of their significance.

 

Military reform is for people who read Jane's and never think about what those figures and words in the stats blocks mean.

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Thank you for completing my thoughts.

Wankels have a few advantages (very compact in size & literage, light weight, and a high torque curve IIRC) but they also require a load of maintenance when stressed. They also are legendary for burning oil (probably due to the simple yet complex design they use) and not being the most fuel-efficient thing out there. Making a diesel version would be more of a pain, because the diesel requires high-pressures to ignite. The inherit design of Wankels mean the gas gets super-compressed into one of three stages, and then ignites. It is seemingly possible for the diesel to hence ignite early, and cause engine failure. The fact that diesel Wankels have not been produced says it all, IMO.

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I'm pretty sure wankels have a lower compression ratio than most comparable piston engines.  That's why you can run 'em on low octane fuel.

 

Also, all piston engines compress the fuel-air mixture prior to ignition (either by spark in Otto, or by compression in Diesel), and as such all are sensitive to incorrect ignition timing.  This is why you don't put diesel in gas engines or vice versa.  A diesel wankel would not be particularly problematic in that way, although the rotor tip seals would probably be a bitch.  Also, this is why BRAYTON CYCLE MASTER RACE STRONK!

 

I don't think the idea is necessarily hopeless though.  The John Deere SCORE was supposed to be pretty close to something workable, and it wouldn't be the first time that an idea was temporarily shelved as marginally viable prior to some impetus pushing it to mass-production.  Reactive armor was the same way.

 

Did anyone else notice that the commander's cupola is DIRECTLY BEHIND the gun and in about the middle of the turret?

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Diesels do not have sparkplugs but a lot of them use a 'hotplug' (whatever they are called) which are basically elements....but they almost never need replacing, and I'd be worried if the average tanker couldn't replace one (a decimated engineer is just...without words).

 

The line of thought that lead to that idea is hilarious - somehow, important parts of the engine can be struck by small arms fire at a tank, yet he still thinks this is a good design. Then, with that part of the engine still exposed to small arms fire, he wants a crewman to also expose themselves to the SA fire to fix it.

 

Colli nailed the problem with such nano-particles. They are strong at the nano-scale, because of their carbon bonds... At the larger scale, imperfect bonding would be numerous and the quality of the material low. It's just like steel armor; simple imperfects at the smallest of levels can compromise performance. This is why RHA was developed, and also why steel continues to be improved with changes in grain. The difference is that Carbon won't be easy to worth with, like steel...

 

He's claim is like arguing that because some brand of ping-pong balls are very strong, then a pile of the balls is also very strong. The bonds involved are very different and are actually very weak - the shear strength of bulk fullerenes (at least when it's hcp) is low enough for them to operate as a promising lubricant

 

Wankels by themselves are on the boundaries of being failures for any use... They guzzle fuel and oil like nothing else out there. - His main argument against the Abrams was it not being fuel efficient. Oh, the irony. (Oh, and it being a diesel....)

 

The oil consumption is because there are bearing surfaces without a crankcase full of oil to lubricate them - normally piston rings get oil splashed inside the cylinder around top dead centre to keep them happy, but the seals on a wankel don't have oil around to do this. The only option is to add oil to the fuel, like a two-stroke - a diesel wankel might get away without this, as diesel is a better lubricant than petrol, but I'm not certain. diesel two strokes in tanks don't need oil added to the fuel, but I suspect they don't use the crankcase pressure for induction like two strokes do so they might be able to be lubricated in the normal way.

 

Didn't a Chally or Chally 2 nail a tank at over 5 km once? The effective range of the L/44 probably isn't much over that, especially with heavy ammunition like the M829A3 (it travels at under 1600 m/s point-blank...so I doubt it'll go very far out past 4 km). Newer FCS/gun could probably manage a hit on an Abrams before the Abrams could directly hit it...but the chances of a penetration are almost nil. As for areas of engagements where this would be possible; don't ask me.

 

It was only a T-62 Vs a chally 1, so a modern fin round from the L44 ought to reliably pierce a T-62 out to much greater range. M829A3 isn't that much slower than a fin round from L11, and it's a hell of a lot longer so should retain more energy. Effective range against a modern MBT would of course be a lot lower, T-62's don't really count as armoured any more.

 

 

I'm pretty sure wankels have a lower compression ratio than most comparable piston engines.  That's why you can run 'em on low octane fuel.

 

Also, all piston engines compress the fuel-air mixture prior to ignition (either by spark in Otto, or by compression in Diesel), and as such all are sensitive to incorrect ignition timing.  This is why you don't put diesel in gas engines or vice versa.  A diesel wankel would not be particularly problematic in that way, although the rotor tip seals would probably be a bitch.  Also, this is why BRAYTON CYCLE MASTER RACE STRONK!

 

I don't think the idea is necessarily hopeless though.  The John Deere SCORE was supposed to be pretty close to something workable, and it wouldn't be the first time that an idea was temporarily shelved as marginally viable prior to some impetus pushing it to mass-production.  Reactive armor was the same way.

 

Did anyone else notice that the commander's cupola is DIRECTLY BEHIND the gun and in about the middle of the turret?

 

Wankels don't just lose out on compression ratio, the combustion chamber shape is all wrong. Since no-one's made a carnot engine yet, heat transfer during the combustion cycle is significant and so you need to minimise the surface area of the combustion chamber. This is why hemi heads are the best things, and anyone who likes squish heads should go home and think about what they did.

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It was only a T-62 Vs a chally 1, so a modern fin round from the L44 ought to reliably pierce a T-62 out to much greater range. M829A3 isn't that much slower than a fin round from L11, and it's a hell of a lot longer so should retain more energy. Effective range against a modern MBT would of course be a lot lower, T-62's don't really count as armoured any more.

 

 

A Soviet model T-62 or even a Nork one with all that additional armor are still pretty decently armored for tanks of their time

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This thread is now the third google result for "Blacktaildefense," and fourth if you search "Blacktail defense."  Truly, my plan to harvest e-fame from lunatics with inflammatory forum postings is going well.  Soon, innocent people who just wanted to learn a thing or two about tanks will read my evil writ, and my plans can enter Phase Two.

 

This also means it's time to point out more of the knee-slapping idiocy in Blacktail defense's horrible, horrible youtube videos.

 

We'll start with one of his screeds on aircraft, just to show that, in addition to tanks, he doesn't know jack about any other military equipment either:

 

 

 

 

This is, in the Frankfurtian sense, bullshit.  It incorporates elements of truth and lies indiscriminately, because its author's purpose is indifferent to the truth.  The author's purpose is to impress you and tell a story, and bask in the adulation of the bamboozled.

 

The most obvious illustration of this insouciant attitude towards research is that there are several basic chronological errors.  The Carter Administration policy decision on the export of advanced weapons dates from March 1977, not February 1979 as the video repeatedly states, which means that any causal relationship with the Iranian Revolution (which did happen, or at least wrap up in February 1979) is clearly impossible.  He states that the Mirage 2000 was an earlier design than the F-16, despite the F-16 first flying four years earlier.  Finally, he states that the J79 turbojet was still in production in the United States at the time of the development of the F-16/79, when actually it ceased the same year that the F-16/79 project was initially announced.

 

There's also a puzzling lack of knowledge about basic airplane mechanics, for a video that purports to educate on the history and function of warplanes.  The Mirage 2000 is stated to lack "Dynamic Instability," which so far as I can tell is an actual technical term, but one that is used in chemistry, not aeronautics.  For the record, the instability of the F-16 and Mirage 2000 are completely qualitatively equivalent.  In both aircraft the center of lift in subsonic flight is in front of the center of gravity, a condition which will amplify any deviations from straight and level flight and requires the plane to essentially be flown by computers.  In fact, instability is just as essential to the design of the Mirage 2000 as it is to the design of the F-16, if not more, because the unstable relationship of the center of lift and center of gravity is what allowed Dassault to return to the tailless delta configuration after ditching it with the Mirage F1.  Instability mitigates many of the flaws of a pure delta-winged aircraft (such as poor takeoff and landing performance) while preserving all of its merits.  Without that breakthrough, Dassault would never have gone back.

 

There are two other errors that are telling enough to be worth mentioning (and a whole lot more that aren't worth mentioning).  The first is where Blacktail wonders why the TF30 wasn't used as a downgrade engine for the F-16; a question one would only ponder if they were unaware that:

 

1)  The TF30 had, by that point, developed a completely deserved reputation as an unreliable and dangerous piece of crap.

 

2)  The TF30 is physically wider than an F100 and thus will not fit in an unmodified F-16.

 

Also, Blacktail described the F-16's fly by wire system as "duplex."  This is a particularly telling error because it shows that Blacktail is just throwing around technobabble and does not understand what it means.  The F-16 is unstable in cruise flight and thus must by flown by computers.  But suppose the computer should bluescreen or something, wouldn't that mean the aircraft would depart controlled flight and smash into the ground?  Yes, yes, it would mean just that, if there were only a single computer flying the plane.  The F-16 uses parallel quadruple-redundant computers, and their output is cross-checked before being fed to the aircraft's control surfaces.  If a single computer goes tits up and starts spitting out nonsense, the cross-checking system can see that there are three signals agreeing with each other, and one that's disagreeing.  It knows to toss out the numbers from the lone dissenter, and the aircraft does not flutter out of control and smash into the ground.  In the extremely unlikely event that two computers go tits up simultaneously, there would be two channels returning random gibberish and two that still agreed with each other, so those two channels would be given priority and the plane would continue to fly.  The only way this system can fail is if three of the four computers crash simultaneously, which is unlikely enough that it need not be worried about.  A duplex, or doubly redundant system wouldn't help; in the event of failure the cross-checking system would have no way of knowing which channel was in error and which channel was still working properly.

 

Blacktail gets facts wrong because he's allergic to basic research.  However, there could be individual errors in a piece, and they still might not invalidate the greater thesis of the piece.  Near as I can tell, he has two points to make:

 

1)  The F-16/79 would not have helped prevent the proliferation of advanced technology because it was still packed full of it, downgrades to the engine and radar notwithstanding.

 

and

 

2)  The F-16/79 could easily have been upgraded to equivalent or better than the F-16A with parts from other countries.

 

Both points enormously overestimate how easy it is to design modern warplanes.  How does weapons compatibility in an export aircraft equal weapons proliferation?  How exactly are people supposed to reverse-engineer weapons from pylons that fit them?  Who, in 1979 would have been both interested in fly-by-wire systems and would also be capable of making them?  The Soviets might learn a thing or two by picking over an F-16, but only a thing or two.  By the late seventies they'd already been flying their own unstable, fly-by-wire prototype fighter for years (which would become, after extensive redesign, the SU-27).

 

The second point is dubious as well.  The Snecma M53 is at least physically capable of fitting into an F-16, but it's not a match for the F100.  Specific fuel consumption is dramatically inferior.  More saliently, putting a new engine in an existing fighter is a tricky bit of surgery.  To accommodate the F110, the F-16's air intake needed to be entirely reshaped to meet the engine's different air flow needs.  To accommodate the J79, the Kfir's air intakes needed to be redesigned and the entire aft fuselage redesigned in order to provide enough cooling for the new engine.  These are non-trivial operations, to say the least.

 

So, no, nothing to see here.  Blacktail doesn't understand aircraft either.

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"

+dalek14mc _"First of all, the Abrams doesn't just use RHA+DU.  Did you forget about those composites that cover a large majority of the tank.?"_ Laminated Steel is a type of Composite Armor."

 

...........................................................................

 

How does Blacktail even manage to function in daily life without getting hit by a bus?

 

It's seriously just fucking astonishing that someone can be so wrong with such certainty all the fucking time and never learn from it, what is broken in his brain that allows this to happen?

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Wait... He is comparing the fact that the Arjun apparently has an exterior phone for infantry like it's fucking 1950 Korea and brushing off the fact that the US has - you know - radios and computers incorporated into a land warrior communication program showing users the location of friendliest and badguys which are simultaneously up linked to air, artillery and headquarters assets?

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      F.      IEDs

      In light of the known resistance of tanks to standard 10kg anti-tank mines, both the Perfidious Cascadians and the Mormonhideen have taken to burying larger anti-tank A2AD weaponry. The Cascadians have doubled up some mines, and the Mormons have regularly buried AT mines 3, 4, and even 5 deep.

      2.      General guidelines:

      A.      Solicitation outline:
      In light of the differing requirements for the 2 theaters of war in which the new vehicle is expected to operate, proposals in the form of a field-replaceable A-kit/B-kit solution will be accepted.

      B.      Requirements definitions:
      The requirements in each field are given in 3 levels- Threshold, Objective, and Ideal.
      Threshold is the minimum requirement to be met; failure to reach this standard may greatly disadvantage any proposal.

      Objective is the threshold to be aspired to; it reflects the desires of the People’s Auditory Forces Armored Branch, which would prefer to see all of them met. At least 70% must be met, with bonus points for any more beyond that.

      Ideal specifications are the maximum of which the armored forces dare not even dream. Bonus points will be given to any design meeting or exceeding these specifications.

      C.      All proposals must accommodate the average 1.7m high Californian recruit.

      D.      The order of priorities for the DPRC is as follows:

      a.      Vehicle recoverability.

      b.      Continued fightability.

      c.       Crew survival.

      E.      Permissible weights:

      a.      No individual field-level removable or installable component may exceed 5 tons.

      b.      Despite the best efforts of the Agriculture Command, Californian recruits cannot be expected to lift weights in excess of 25 kg at any time.

      c.       Total vehicle weight must remain within MLC 120 all-up for transport.

      F.      Overall dimensions:

      a.      Length- essentially unrestricted.

      b.      Width- 4m transport width.

                                                                    i.     No more than 4 components requiring a crane may be removed to meet this requirement.

                                                                   ii.     Any removed components must be stowable on top of the vehicle.

      c.       Height- The vehicle must not exceed 3.5m in height overall.

      G.     Technology available:

      a.      Armor:
      The following armor materials are in full production and available for use. Use of a non-standard armor material requires permission from a SEA ORG judge.
      Structural materials:

                                                                    i.     RHA/CHA

      Basic steel armor, 250 BHN. The reference for all weapon penetration figures, good impact properties, fully weldable. Available in thicknesses up to 150mm (RHA) or 300mm (CHA).
      Density- 7.8 g/cm^3.

                                                                   ii.     Aluminum 5083

      More expensive to work with than RHA per weight, middling impact properties, low thermal limits. Excellent stiffness.

       Fully weldable. Available in thicknesses up to 100mm.
      Mass efficiency vs RHA of 1 vs CE, 0.9 vs KE.
      Thickness efficiency vs RHA of 0.33 vs CE, 0.3 vs KE.
      Density- 2.7 g/cm^3 (approx. 1/3 of steel).

      For structural integrity, the following guidelines are recommended:

      For light vehicles (less than 40 tons), not less than 25mm RHA/45mm Aluminum base structure

      For heavy vehicles (70 tons and above), not less than 45mm RHA/80mm Aluminum base structure.
      Intermediate values for intermediate vehicles may be chosen as seen fit.
      Non-structural passive materials:

                                                                  iii.     HHA

      Steel, approximately 500 BHN through-hardened. Approximately twice as effective as RHA against KE and HEAT on a per-weight basis. Not weldable, middling shock properties. Available in thicknesses up to 25mm.
      Density- 7.8g/cm^3.

                                                                  iv.     Glass textolite

      Mass efficiency vs RHA of 2.2 vs CE, 1.64 vs KE.

      Thickness efficiency vs RHA of 0.52 vs CE, 0.39 vs KE.
      Density- 1.85 g/cm^3 (approximately ¼ of steel).
      Non-structural.

                                                                   v.     Fused silica

      Mass efficiency vs RHA of 3.5 vs CE, 1 vs KE.

      Thickness efficiency vs RHA of 1 vs CE, 0.28 vs KE.
      Density-2.2g/cm^3 (approximately 1/3.5 of steel).
      Non-structural, requires confinement (being in a metal box) to work.

                                                                  vi.     Fuel

      Mass efficiency vs RHA of 1.3 vs CE, 1 vs KE.

      Thickness efficiency vs RHA of 0.14 vs CE, 0.1 vs KE.

      Density-0.82g/cm^3.

                                                                vii.     Assorted stowage/systems

      Mass efficiency vs RHA- 1 vs CE, 0.8 vs KE.

                                                               viii.     Spaced armor

      Requires a face of at least 25mm LOS vs CE, and at least 50mm LOS vs KE.

      Reduces penetration by a factor of 1.1 vs CE or 1.05 vs KE for every 10 cm air gap.
      Spaced armor rules only apply after any standoff surplus to the requirements of a reactive cassette.

      Reactive armor materials:

                                                                  ix.     ERA-light

      A sandwich of 3mm/3mm/3mm steel-explodium-steel.
      Requires mounting brackets of approximately 10-30% cassette weight.

      Must be spaced at least 3 sandwich thicknesses away from any other armor elements to allow full functionality. 81% coverage (edge effects).

                                                                   x.     ERA-heavy

      A sandwich of 15mm steel/3mm explodium/9mm steel.
      Requires mounting brackets of approximately 10-30% cassette weight.
      Must be spaced at least 3 sandwich thicknesses away from any other armor elements to allow full functionality. 81% coverage (edge effects).

                                                                  xi.     NERA-light

      A sandwich of 6mm steel/6mm rubber/ 6mm steel.
      Requires mounting brackets of approximately 10-30% cassette weight.
      Must be spaced at least 1 sandwich thickness away from any other armor elements to allow full functionality. 95% coverage.

                                                                 xii.     NERA-heavy

      A sandwich of 30mm steel/6m rubber/18mm steel.
      Requires mounting brackets of approximately 10-30% cassette weight.
      Must be spaced at least 1 sandwich thickness away from any other armor elements to allow full functionality. 95% coverage.

      The details of how to calculate armor effectiveness will be detailed in Appendix 1.

      b.      Firepower

                                                                    i.     2A46 equivalent tech- pressure limits, semi-combustible cases, recoil mechanisms and so on are at an equivalent level to that of the USSR in the year 1960.

                                                                   ii.     Limited APFSDS (L:D 15:1)- Spindle sabots or bourelleted sabots, see for example the Soviet BM-20 100mm APFSDS.

                                                                  iii.     Limited tungsten (no more than 100g per shot)

                                                                  iv.     Californian shaped charge technology- 5 CD penetration for high-pressure resistant HEAT, 6 CD for low pressure/ precision formed HEAT.

                                                                   v.     The general issue GPMG for the People’s Auditory Forces is the PKM. The standard HMG is the DShK.

      c.       Mobility

                                                                    i.     Engines tech level:

      1.      MB 838 (830 HP)

      2.      AVDS-1790-5A (908 HP)

      3.      Kharkov 5TD (600 HP)

                                                                   ii.     Power density should be based on the above engines. Dimensions are available online, pay attention to cooling of 1 and 3 (water cooled).

                                                                  iii.     Power output broadly scales with volume, as does weight. Trying to extract more power from the same size may come at the cost of reliability (and in the case of the 5TD, it isn’t all that reliable in the first place).

                                                                  iv.     There is nothing inherently wrong with opposed piston or 2-stroke engines if done right.

      d.      Electronics

                                                                    i.     LRFs- unavailable

                                                                   ii.     Thermals-unavailable

                                                                  iii.     I^2- limited

      3.      Operational Requirements.

      The requirements are detailed in the appended spreadsheet.

      4.      Submission protocols.

      Submission protocols and methods will be established in a follow-on post, nearer to the relevant time.
       
      Appendix 1- armor calculation
      Appendix 2- operational requirements
       
      Good luck, and may Hubbard guide your way to enlightenment!
    • By Collimatrix
      Shortly after Jeeps_Guns_Tanks started his substantial foray into documenting the development and variants of the M4, I joked on teamspeak with Wargaming's The_Warhawk that the next thing he ought to do was a similar post on the T-72.
       
      Haha.  I joke.  I am funny man.
       
      The production history of the T-72 is enormously complicated.  Tens of thousands were produced; it is probably the fourth most produced tank ever after the T-54/55, T-34 and M4 sherman.
       
      For being such an ubiquitous vehicle, it's frustrating to find information in English-language sources on the T-72.  Part of this is residual bad information from the Cold War era when all NATO had to go on were blurry photos from May Day parades:
       

       
      As with Soviet aircraft, NATO could only assign designations to obviously externally different versions of the vehicle.  However, they were not necessarily aware of internal changes, nor were they aware which changes were post-production modifications and which ones were new factory variants of the vehicle.  The NATO designations do not, therefore, necessarily line up with the Soviet designations.  Between different models of T-72 there are large differences in armor protection and fire control systems.  This is why anyone arguing T-72 vs. X has completely missed the point; you need to specify which variant of T-72.  There are large differences between them!
       
      Another issue, and one which remains contentious to this day, is the relation between the T-64, T-72 and T-80 in the Soviet Army lineup.  This article helps explain the political wrangling which led to the logistically bizarre situation of three very similar tanks being in frontline service simultaneously, but the article is extremely biased as it comes from a high-ranking member of the Ural plant that designed and built the T-72.  Soviet tank experts still disagree on this; read this if you have some popcorn handy.  Talking points from the Kharkov side seem to be that T-64 was a more refined, advanced design and that T-72 was cheap filler, while Ural fans tend to hold that T-64 was an unreliable mechanical prima donna and T-72 a mechanically sound, mass-producible design.
       
      So, if anyone would like to help make sense of this vehicle, feel free to post away.  I am particularly interested in:
       
      -What armor arrays the different T-72 variants use.  Diagrams, dates of introduction, and whether the array is factory-produced or a field upgrade of existing armor are pertinent questions.
       
      -Details of the fire control system.  One of the Kharkov talking points is that for most of the time in service, T-64 had a more advanced fire control system than contemporary T-72 variants.  Is this true?  What were the various fire control systems in the T-64 and T-72, and what were there dates of introduction?  I am particularly curious when Soviet tanks got gun-follows-sight FCS.
       
      -Export variants and variants produced outside the Soviet Union.  How do they stack up?  Exactly what variant(s) of T-72 were the Iraqis using in 1991?

      -WTF is up with the T-72's transmission?  How does it steer and why is its reverse speed so pathetically low?
       
       
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