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SH_MM last won the day on July 17

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  1. If you feel that way, then I apologize. Sorry for that. Ban me if you like, its your forum. I am still not sure how a photo of German WW2 tanks is the correct response to the previous question, but you probably had further thoughts that weren't fully expressed - or fully understood by me - when posting/seeing just that photo. It is explicitly stated in Paul-Werner Krapke's 1986 book. He was former "project manager" (leitender Baudirektor) of the Leopard 2 program. The only common part/dimension (out of 13 or 14 submitted for standardization) that the USA and the FRG agreed upon was the width of the tracks.
  2. Strawman. Tanks alone are useless on the modern battlefield with combined arms doctrine. Tanks alone were already useless in WW2. Abrams' roadwheels have a diameter of 25 inches (635 mm); Leopard 2's roadwheels have a diameter of 700 mm.
  3. I don't think anybody complains that the M1A2 SEP v3 would be a bad tank. The real questions are: Does Poland need 800 tanks (12 tank bataillons + ca. 100 tanks for training etc.)? Does Poland need these tanks instantly? Poland's current government does have very different answers to these question than their previous (and from what I've read, also a lot of Polish journalists & soldiers). That is not the case. The road wheels have different diameters and are made from different materials. While Diehl offered tracks based on the Leopard 2's Type 570 tracks (with altered length) to the US Army in the 1980s, these were no selected; the Abrams uses American-made T158 tracks (or a newer version of them). The USMC's old Abrams tanks had more in common with the Leopard 2 (Wegmann-designed smoke grenade dischargers, Zeiss-made laser rangefinder & Rheinmetall's programmable HE ammunition).
  4. Seems like he is getting a lot of attention now: https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/classified-challenger-tank-specs-leaked-online-for-videogame/
  5. Interesting article on the Leopard 2's future published by the European Defence Review (EDR) magazine: Source: https://www.edrmagazine.eu/krauss-maffei-wegmann-the-ever-lasting-leopard-2 (Underlined text = emphasis added by me)
  6. At that price, nobody would complain. But its "up to 250 Abrams" according to Polish government. I don't think that the M1A2 SEP v3 will become really operational with the Polish Army within less than five years. Polish MoD expects first batch by the end of 2022, but this is very optimistic and likely limited to at most a dozen tanks (which then will be used for training). The argument "Poland needs Abrams now, because Russia has the T-14" is also odd. I've seen speculations in my Twitter feed regarding PiS's right-wing policies being a potential threat to the M1A2 SEP v3 (and the F-35) procurement. People there made analogies to Turkey's F-35 deal, basically stating "if PiS makes another stupid law, then Biden might cancel the deal". There were rumors (no idea how accurate these are), that the deal was already delayed because of some PiS-made law.
  7. Poland did not look to the K2PL; the K2PL was an unsolicited offer by H. CEGIELSKI-POZNAŃ S.A. (a company with no experiences in making tanks or other forms of AFV) and Hyundai-Rotem. It was not an initative of the Polish government/army. It is by all measures a bad deal for Poland. The whole deal is contradictory to the previous decades of Polish defence spending/doctrine. total contract value is supposedly up to $6 billion USD or up to $24 million per tank. Obviously in reality it doesn't work like that, because the contract also contains lots of other items (training equipment, simulators, spare parts, technical documentation, etc.) - but the only reason all of that is needed is the fact that the Abrams is a new type of tank for the Polish Army local industry involvement in M1A2 SEP v3 is apparently terribly low, at least according to Polish Twitter users. Currently it seems to be zero (all tanks refurbished and upgraded in the US with US standard parts, no "polonization"), but there is hope that support/maintenance contracts and production of spare parts could be taken over by Polish industry the M1A2 SEP v3's weight exceeds the maximum weight limit of many Polish bridges. Aside of the costs involved with fitting new torsion bars and running gear elements to the Leopard 2, the capacity of Polish bridges and AVLBs was cited by the Polish Army is a reason for the 60 tonnes weight limit of the Leopard 2PL tank. Poland has reportedly ordered up to 250 tanks, which is enough for four tank bataillons (which in the Polish Army have 58 tanks each), but there is a declared need (based on Polish MoDs plan) for twelve tank bataillons (4 Leopard 2 + 8 other) the Polish Army already had a program for a new generation of MBT as part of the Wilk program. The Polish industry had been working on a new design with unmanned turret and autoloader (basically a Polish Armata-lite) to fulfill the requiremenet in previous tank procurement/upgrade programs such as the Leopard 2PL, Poland handicapped itself (paying more, demanding less) in order to involve the local industry in the program. That also includes the transfer-of-technology and rights to a certain degree. All of this was useless with Wilk being essentially canceled thanks to the Abrams purchase the M1A2 SEP v3 is purchased using a "special budget" that is not part of the defence budget - where the money exactly comes remains unknown. There are rumors that PiS wants to use EU's Covid relief fund for the purchased, but that is tied to certain uses. There are also speculations that this special budget needs to be created by cutting other budgets the Polish military has a much more urgent need for other weapons than tanks the Polish MoD declared that Abrams tanks were needed to counter the T-14 Armata, which has yet to enter production With the $6 bn USD, Poland could have spent one billion on modernizing OBRUM's tank plant and buy the licence to make 250 Leopard 2A7+ tanks, which would have been brand new rather than refurbished, upgraded old tanks. They even could have saved some money, as they wouldn't have the need to set up a complete new infrastructure for a new Leopard 2 variant. Or - which would be even better - a lot of other military projects could have been funded. In terms of combat capabilities, the Abrams is obviously a lot better than the old T-72M1R and PT-91 - with the exception of the gunner's sight; even T-72M1R has third generation thermals by now. Poland already has four tank batallions with Leopard 2 tanks; half of them have the Leopard 2A5 (which is/will be modernized with new third generation thermal imagers made by PCO S.A.) and the other half receiving the Leopard 2PL (which was delayed due to the wish for a greater involvement of the Polish industry). In total there are 249 Leopard 2 tanks in the Polish inventory of which 142 are going to be Leopard 2PLs; not sure where you got the "5 times the number". As for the Polish tank force: it is too large. After the Cold War, Poland kept a huge tank force mostly for industry-political reasons - state-owned workers of OBRUM/Bumar-Łabędy needed to be kept employed. There also was the hope to gain a boost in foreign relations with the sale of Polish-made tanks. From a military perspective, this was a bad decision, as other - more important - capabalities received a lower priority or where even canceled. In reality the obsolete T-72s (and even the PT-91s) had extremely bad avialability rates, broke down often and costed more money than they were worth. Poland should have downsized its tank fleet to a "normal" level (by post-Cold War standards) and modernized the rest of its military. That would have been a lot more reasonable than replacing obsolete tanks that were never needed in the first place. I didn't know that Greece operates the M1A2 SEP v3
  8. Funny how the "tip" of the coaxial machine gun is labelled with "150 mm", but is depicted longer than the "200 mm" of yellow armor
  9. That is not the case. Armor protection was improved by increasing armor thickness and using more modern armor inserts. The moving part of the mantlet was reduced in width, but the rest was not added into the rigid turret cheeks. There are now two additional parts (one on each side of the gun mantlet), that are mounted by "hanging" from the turret roof. They can be swiveled upwards in order to replace the gun.
  10. Based on what? Did South Korea somehow get access to better CPUs and circuit boards in 2008 than Germany did in 2014? Did they somehow produce better thermals years before Germany? How did they end up with a better BMS? The Leopard 2 doesn't have one BMS, it has nearly a dozen. While the South Korean BMS might be better than 1990s IFIS and the old FüInfoSys Heer, there are many different types of BMS integrated into the Leopard 2. Greece uses Rheinmetall's INCHINOS on the Leopard 2A6 HEL, Sweden has the TCCS (Tank Command and Control System), Spain has LINCE integrated into the Leopardo 2E, the German-Dutch Panzerbataillon 414 has tanks capable of operating either with IFIS or with the Dutch ELIAS, Switzerland has a RUAG-made BMS integrated into the Panzer 87WE, Singapore has integrated an Elbit BMS into its Leopard 2SG... the list is long. For the VJTF 2023, Germany has purchased new software from SitaWare... AFAIK the same system is used on the Leopard 2A7DK. In terms of technology, I don't see how KMW's offer should be inferior to what Hyundai-Rotem can offer. The Leopard 2A7 is fitted with a Centurion i7 and a KommServer by ATM Computer (a subsidiary of KMW)... that's already overkill for a BMS. Combined these two computers have basically 100 times (or more) the computational power found on M1A2 Abrams and Stridsvagn 122 (pre-upgrade), which already had working types of BMS. Given that Norway was one of the backers of NGVA, they probably demand a solution compliant with STANAG 4754; this would mean that both hardware and software of the current Korean BMS would be incompatible with the Norwegian requirements, whereas KMW already has a fully compliant solution. Software-wise I am 90% sure, that Norway will demand the incorpation of its own Kongsberg ISC, that has already been fielded on the recently upgraded Norwegian CV9030s. Two things would need to happen before that: KSTAM I or KSTAM II would have to enter production KSTAM I or KSTAM II would have to enter service with the ROKA While KSTAM sounds cool, neither KSTAM I nor KSTAM II has evolved beyond the prototype stage. KSTAM II btw. was developed in cooperation with Diehl Defence of Germany, which would have offered the solution on the European market, if development had ever finished. In terms of firepower, K2 is at a disadvantage. Four NATO countries have already committed to the improved L/55A1 smoothbore gun (with two having already taken delivery of tanks with it), the older L/55 gun of the K2 won't allow firing the same high pressure ammunition. The K2 also lacks an ammunition data link to fire programmable ammunition; currently the ROKA uses the K280 HEAT-MP-T round, a conceptual copy of the American M830A1 MPAT round. This cannot compete against the DM11 HE-ABM round. That is true, but only if equate "future proofing" with "weight until the GVW is reached". In reality, there are a lot of other factors to consider. Who will pay for the development of upgrades for the K2NO, if it was selected by Norway? Thanks to the LEOBEN community and the shared IP, the Leopard 2 will see upgrade options even once phased out by Germany. Rheinmetall already has showcased a new turret design with 130 mm gun and autoloader, which Germany will not adopt. Rheinmetall's Leopard 2 ATD and RUAG Leopard 2 MLU are great examples regarding how there will be upgrade options fo the Leopard 2, that haven't been paid by Germany or any other Leopard 2 user nation. Growth potential will also be dependent on user base (a larger number of user is more likely to fund upgrades or to make the market attractive for third-party upgrade options like the Leopard 2 ATD and MLU) and on compability with the existing architecture. The NGVA is a big improvement for that. In the end the weight will also depend on the configuration selected by Norway. Maybe they'll opt for a Swedish-style configuration with only a few tanks having mine protection kits (for use in peace-keeping missions) and the rest of them being 2-3 tonnes lighter. A lot of claims, but many of them are hardly relevant. Radar/Laser warning systems are available for any tank as retro-fit option, most militaries however do not consider them cost-effective (I'd personally love to see them on every AFV). There are also RWS/LWS available for the Leopard 2. Having a radar integrated into the turret has up- and downsides. A radar actively emitts radio waves that can be detected by the enemy from huge distances (depending on equipment) - that might be less relevant against North Korea, but against Russia Norway might be interested in a less emissive system. The "better placement of the radar" is also a silly argument - then you are comparing a Leopard 2A7A1 with Trophy APS to a K2 Black Panther - without any APS. KAPS is immature and unproven; it is still in the prototype stage. It also likely would fail to be fully compliant with NATO STANAG 4822 and STANG 4686. Auto-tracking is being incorporated into the Leopard 2Ax's FCS (it is also already available on the Leopard 2 ATD), it will be available in time of the Norwegian tank procurement program. I doubt that the hydropneumatic suspension of the K2 offers better recoil dampening than the hydraulic shock-absorbers of the Leopard 2, specifically given that the latter tank has greater suspension travel. The funny thing about the EuroPowerPack is that it might have "Euro" in its name, but it is not used in Europe. There are no spare parts for it in Europe, they would be build-to-order. The Merkava 4's EPP is built in the United States (so that it can be paid with the money of American tax payers), the UAE's Leclerc tanks (contract finished more than a decade ago) and the South Korean K2 tanks (contract handled by an Asian MTU subsidiary) do not warrant a production line of the EEP in Europe. The latest K2 batch still keeps a Renk transmission btw. That is not true, electronic systems can have a massive impact on weight and system complexity, specifically given the usually small power budget available in AFVs. The K2 only has a - rather poor - softkill APS. KAPS development has never been finished, the system is not ready for production. Because Trophy is mature and cheap. You cannot simply look at total contract value and then assume that this is identical to vehicle price. Hungary pays a lot more money, because they also want training of their crews (something that would be cheaper when switching from Leopard 2A4 to 2A7+), spare parts (which in some regards already exist in Norway thanks to the Leopard 2A4, Wisent and Leguan Leopard 2), infrastructure (already existing in Norway), ammunition, technical documentation, used tanks for training, etc. The real costs of a tank become apparent through its lifetime. Developing upgrades, ordering spare parts, training and exercies. The Leopard 2 is the king in this regard, specifically for a country like Norway, which is part of NATO and is located next to its closest - Leopard 2 operating - allies. It might not be common in Asia, but NATO countries have very deep cooperation. Spare parts, ammunition and even new vehicles are often ordered either through OCCAR (a NATO agency) or as part of bi-/multi-national procurement programs in order to drive down costs. Training together with foreign soldiers or even in different countries is common, just like exchanging knowledge and - if required - spare parts. Buying the K2 would mean major disadvantages for Norway. Aside of the fact that KSTAM II only exists as showcase models for old expositions, it would not be able to penetrate the roof armor of the T-14. The T-14 does not have "soft ERA" on the roof. SMArt 155 has a 155 mm diameter warhead and can only penetrate 120-150 mm of steel armor; many modern MBTs can be fitted with add-on armor to stop that (including the Leopard 2). KSTAM II with its even smaller warhead is easy to counter. Defeating TOW-2B is possible with light-weight add-on armor (Roof-PRO and AMAP-R). The T-14 is probably the tank with the best roof armor available today.
  11. Leopard 2PL has an ADL, but AFAIK the American and German solutions are not compatible.
  12. They have mounted their prototypes on many platforms, but every APS supplier has done that - that doesn't mean that the system has been fully integrated into the vehicles, has undergone full trials and was fully qualified. Take the (AMAP-)ADS for example, it has been fitted to the following vehicles in the past: AMV ASV/Commando Boxer Bronco CV90-120T Fuchs Leopard 2 LMV MAN HX series of trucks Marder SEP VAB Yet it has only been purchased once (by "an unspecified Leopard 2 user" aka Singapore) and is on order a second time (for the Hungarian KF41 Lynx). The German Army and the US Army both rejected the ADS as being still immature/not proven enough after the delivery of the (AMAP-)ADS systems for the Leopard 2 user/Singapore were already finished. The Dutch famously ordered the new IF-LD version directly after it was revealed, making it at least seem questionable that the system has undergone full testing. Israel ordered the system months later and only on vehicles that could not support the weight of Trophy...
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