Jump to content
Sturgeon's House


Contributing Members
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by Laviduce

  1. On 1/14/2021 at 4:18 PM, BaronTibere said:

    AFAIK the one at Greek trials still had TOGs installed but the CR2E spec at that point was to remove it, it just hadn't been done yet - I think the one on display was later on.


    The strange CR2E pictured above is for the South African proposal, idk much about it but it appears to be a slightly more austere version compared to full CR2E spec - euro powerpack but standard optics. In any case I believe it lost out to the Leclerc but neither went ahead.


    Source: Simon Dunstan,


    So the Leclerc wont the South African competition ? How did it win it ? I never heard of that competition until now. Is there any more information floating around out there ?

  2. 9 minutes ago, SH_MM said:


    This excerpt was published on @Molota_477's blog, he probably can provide you the exact name of the document.



    I am not disagreeing with the fact that making a smaller tank allows to either save weight or to improve protection while staying at the same weight. As far as I can tell, nobody in this topic question that and thus it never was the issue.


    But I don't think that this is relevant to the topic; the statements regarding the questionable protection of the K2 were not related to its lower weight, but to the limited armor thickness and armor coverage. The fact that the K2 is a bit smaller and lighter than other contemporary tanks doesn't negate the fact that it indeed has thinner armor at certain angles.



    I see a few problems with your way of choosing sources arbitratrily like that:

    • The British documents containing the armor protection estimates for the Leopard 2 and Leclerc are all from 1987 and thus provide a look at two contemporary armor packages. Unless the French armor technology was less advanced than the German, it would provide the cleanest point of comparison.
    • The Type C armor for the Leopard 2 was ready for production by at least 1988. After that it didn't change. We cannot say the same about the Leclerc's armor package, which probably was further improved (hence explaining the higher level of protection in the Swedish trials).
    • Comparing the armor package that entered service in 1988 and stopped improving (as a newer one had already entered development) with a newer one is silly. It removes the whole point of the discussion, i.e. showcasing that by reducing the physical size, a higher level of protection can be achieved. The Germans also offered the Type D armor to Sweden which was still in development - comparing that to the Leclerc would make more sense. In the end, West-German officials were sure that they could reach 600 mm RHA equivalent protection by 1994 (I previously wrote 1995, but I checked the source again. Sorry for that mistake). By 1990/91, a Leopard 2 with Type D prototype armor might have reached the same level or a higher level of protection than the contemporary Leclerc (specifically given that reaching a level of protection might be the first step in development; then making sure that it matches all constraints regarding weight, price, multi-hit capability, manufacturing capacities, etc. becomes relevant).
    • All values are subjective. The values for the Leopard 2A4's protection with Type B, Type C and Type D armor are based on data supplied by the manufacturer. The computer analysis of the Leclerc, Leopard 2A5 and M1A2 Abrams is based on (to us) unknown data. How do you know that the steel grades and penetration criteria a identical/comparable? It makes sense to compare the computer analysis data for each of the three aforementioned tanks, because it is based on the same criteria. Comparing the data for the Leopard 2A4 to any of them is questionable.
    • Greece tested a Leclerc Series 2 tank. Comparing that to the Leopard 2A4 with armor that entered production in 1988 makes even less sense.



    The difference will be less pronounced once the whole 60° frontal arc is taken into account. The side armor stays the same in your graphic.




    Thanks for the feedback and additional information. I am trying to figure out what prototype could have been used in 1987. The earliest prototypes besides the 1986 Mulet Systeme Complete (MSC) was the Leclerc Ares prototype. The second prototype, Leclerc Bayard came into being in 1988. Frankly, the Ares prototype is the only Leclerc prototype I have never ever seen an image of in any publication or any other media. I have no idea how that thing looks like. 


    Having said that, in 1987 the only vehicles available for an evaluation would have probably been the MSC (and maybe Ares). As BaronTibere already mentioned the values mentioned by British in their documents might have been initial projections of what was currently (1986/1987) available.


    Concerning the two sources, I selected them because they are among the potentially more reputable ones out there. I think for the most part, we are all aware that any special armor will offer different protection values when ballistically tested against different KE threats or CE threats. So none of us are really expecting to see one consistent protection value across multiple projectile types.


    For the Leopard 2, I would be not really surprised that a D-tech equipped Leopard 2A4 could potentially reach protection values approaching  exceeding 600 mm RHAe in the frontal arc against KE threats by 1994. I would think that the mass of the vehicle would start to exceed 57 metric tons.


    In my graphic i kept the side turret armor the same to illustrate the ability to maximize frontal (0o) protection: The 2 man flat turret design has ballistic holes (the hump in particular) when not directly facing a threat projectile from the front as pointed out before by MoritzPTK and others.





  3. Here is another diagram to illustrate the idea of the 2 man flat turret design concept being able to use "denser" special armor arrays:




    Although the modules on both turrets have the same constructive depth, the flat turret design can get away with adding another 3 NERA plates in its special armor array without a volume (really mass) penalty. In this case the flat turret design is even slightly "lighter"  (0,176 m3) than the full turret design ( 0,192 m3) while still theoretically improving the protection by 50%.

  4. 1 hour ago, SH_MM said:


    I disagree. You should look at the actual tank and then wonder, where the actual armor is located. The existing K2 tank and a few details from the K2PL might reveal this.


    Note the position of the actual add-on armor at the roof in front of the commander's panoramic sight (the first two plates from the front are "cosmetic armor" jugding by the lack of attachement bolts to the roof). This gives us a clear idea how far back the frontal armor cavities in the K2PL extend - very similar to the K2 tank (which is not a bad thing).




    But now please take a look at the "corners" added to the left and right sides of the frontal armor cavity. They house the radar panel arrays and possibly assorted electronics. Note that they are attached using much smaller bolts, just like the very frontal element attached to the frontal armor (which is a thin cover to make the tank look "flush" and reduce RCS while having openings for the optical sensors of the APS), the plate covering the area next to the smoke grenade launchers (there is obviously no armor below there) and the area under the APS/turret bustle (which is clearly not armored to the same level as the rest of the turret). Such a cover is also added to the hull nose/beak in order to hide the cables running to the driver's night sight and head lights.





    This suggest that the "corners" - or at least the outermost section of them - are fitted with cosmetic armor - i.e. pieces of sheet metal or plastic added to make the tank look more flush. We don't know if there is actual armor inside or not. Maybe there is some inside the "corners", we cannot say at the moment (and just from looking at a scale model). But what one can see from the exterior is clearly a cover to hide external components and possibly protect them against splinters/bullets.


    From the K2PL's scale model, I don't see any indication that the protected frontal arc was definetly enlarged. There is additional side armor, but jugding from the enlarged coverage and the way it is attached, I would assume that this is the K2's equivalent of the German PSO, the French AZUR and the US-American TUSK kit, rather than armor designed to increase frontal arc coverage. Why would they use such externally mounted armor modules (and such a hugely increased hull coverage), if they wanted to provide protection on the frontal arc. The turret is a new design - yet the built-in armor for frontal arc protection wasn't extended.



    Not according to the British evaluation.



    This is based on estimations and combining differnet sources with different criteria with proection values achieved against different projectiles. It doesn't seem like a reliable way to compare the protection levels.


    The British Army evaluated the Leopard 2 and the Leclerc as part of the GSR(L) 4026; i.e. the Chieftain replacement program. They attested the Leclerc's protection level to be inbetween the Leopard 2 with Type B armor (350 mm along the frontal arc) and the Leopard 2 with Type C armor (420 mm along the frontal arc):



    Both Leopard 2 (Type B) and Leclerc were considered inferior in armor protection when compared to the Chieftain with Stillbrew armor.




    Your logic doesn't work here, as the armor thickness wasn't increased compared to other tanks. Surviving the K279 is indeed impressive, but given that West-Germany claimed that they would have an armor package for the 55 ton Leopard 2 with protection equivalent to 600 mm RHA along a 50° frontal arc ready by 1995 (projected), it isn't exactly impossible thanks to achieve such a protection level at a similar weight thanks 20 years newer technology and some size reduction.


    I was explaining the idea of a 2 man flat turret according to GIAT/Nexter. The illustrations show that heavier(denser) modules can be allocated towards the front of a turret without much or any additional weight penalty. In case of the 3 man turret i might only be able to insert 6 special armor plates where as in case of the 2 man flat turret i can insert another 2,4 for the same mass.  I rather go with the 8.4 special armor plate design than with the 6 special armor plate design.


    36 minutes ago, MoritzPTK said:

    Hey, i can't add much to SH_MMs reply, he already made it clear what i was referring to regarding the Leclerc vs Leo armor, because taking those british documents as a source is problematic.

    I still also want to add that there never was any clarification or actual source for the claim of the K2 stopping a K279 projectile. (Feel free to prove me wrong on this issue)


    These British snippets are indeed problematic because they contradict what has been reported in the Swedish tank trials (Lindström presentation) and the Hellenic tank trials. What Leclerc version was tested ? Was it an early series 1 model , a prototype , if so, which one?  In case of the Swedish and Greek trials we  know which versions were evaluated, in case of the British Chieftain replacement program we do not.

  5. 14 hours ago, MoritzPTK said:


    Sorry, but K2 seems rather poorly protected. 





    (Credits to Wiedzmin)


    This tank was overall very badly protected (paper thin side armor) yet still 55t. Together with awfully sloped turret roof as an invitation for any semi modern APFSDS.


    And for Leclerc vs Leo. The Leclerc offers better protection for bustle and turret side. Apart from that i can‘t get the notion of being better protected significantly elsewhere. For hull i think we both agree that Leo is way better, already design wise, and latest model base armor for Leo in early 90ies withstood LKE I so...





    Thank you for your reply. Here is my rebuttal:


    Lets focus on KE protection. The Leclerc Series 1 turret frontal arc protection is rated around 550 mm RHAe against KE projectiles. Where as the Leopard 2A4 equipped with C-Technology armor is rated at around 420 mm RHAe against KE projectiles.  The Leopard 2A4 (C) front hull is rated around 400-450 mm RHAe against KE projectiles, where as the Leclerc's seems to be around 500 mm RHAe for the same threat.

    Sources: Lindström Presentation (Leclerc protection and Leo 2 protection) and declassified British Documents (Leo 2 protection). Marc Chassilan and DarkLabor's book mention that the compact design allowed for the use of the freed up mass to enhance the protection of the hull and turret of the Leclerc.




    Here is a graphical explanation of the flat turret design concept protection scheme:





    Although both turret concepts have the same volume (mass) the 2 man flat turret design increases its constructive depth (protection) from 600 mm to 850 mm at the front!   IMHO, against a generic frontal 700 mm RHAe KE threat I rather be in the flat turret design than the conventional  turret design.  


    Here are the early EPC (Leclerc) design concepts:


    3-man full turret:




    and the 2 man flat turret:




    TC3 has a projected mass of 58 metric tons where as the TC2 has a projected mass of 53 metric tons. These 5 metric tons (or less) could be allocated to increase the vehicles protection. That is the route the French went.


    The K2 went to extremes it seems where the side turret protection was sacrificed to improve the frontal protection even more!  This would also partially explain how a 55 ton vehicle can actually stop a K279 APFSDS round fired from the Rh L55. Using the generic turret concept I was able to allocate the new volume to improve the frontal protection by around 73% from 600 mm to 1040 mm !


    I hope this clears things up a bit!


    P.S.: This would also make make the rumor more plausible that the K1 and K1A1 turret (cheeks) have a KE resistance of around 450 mm and 600 mm RHAe respectively while having a relative low overall vehicle mass of just around 51-53 tons.

  6. 7 hours ago, SH_MM said:

    It is obviously a bit different. But the shifting of the sensors/radars to the outer corners of the turret front, the reshaping of the hull front including the driver's night sight, the center hull driver's position, the hull add-on armor and the gun mantlet are all similiar to a certain degree. The arrangement of RWS and APS launcher is also identical - though obviously the chosen components for each tank are very different.


    Seeing the K2PL proposal, I am still not sure that it actually meets a homogenous 60° frontal arc protection due to the odd "corners" of the turret.


    The 60 degree frontal arc protection is not as consistent but directly from the front it has its advantages. Having a 2-crew autoloader flat turret design has the advantage that armor can be concentrated and protection improved by up to 74% compared to a 3 crew conventional turret of the same mass. That is what the South Koreans seem to have done. The French did it with the Leclerc to a slightly lesser extent. That also explains why the Leclerc has a similar mass to the Leopard 2A4 yet superior protection in terms of KE and CE resistance. This would also explain to some extent how a 55 ton vehicle (K2) can have similar head on protection than a vehicle that is 5+ tons heavier (M1A2 SEP v1).

  7. On 6/21/2020 at 11:26 AM, Gun Ready said:

    The development of the E -technology started 2002 as a private initiative of KMW to cover the expected threat of PG's fired from RPG-7. The design covered turret and chassis with add-on armour modules adapted to Leopard 2.

    This technology was proved by German Army and sold by KMW to the Canadian Army for their Leopard 2 A4M CAN. A few vehicles were sent in 2010 to Afghanistan and performed pretty well. This technology can also be attached to Leopard 2 A7V as the attachment points have been foreseen at this MBT.

    So E- technology armor packages are not meant to be armor inserts to replace the D-technology armor packages, they are meant just as add-on armor packages ?

  8. FYI , concerning the NP 105 A2 round:  "Land Forces of the World" (Christopher Chant, 1990, Crescent Books / Crown Publishers / Brian Todd Publishing House Ltd, ISBN 0-517-69128-0),
     on page 146 the book describes an NP 105 A2 tungsten APFSDS round with a complete weight of 19.3kg (mid-1980s Jane's A & A suggests a penetrator length of 980mm and penetrator weight of 3.7kg Tungalloy T176FA) and a muzzle velocity of 1485m / sec, giving 150mm @ 60degrees @ 5800m performance (almost 6 inches at just over 3 & 1/2 miles).


    And the glacis of that T-72M1 was able to stop this round ?



  9. 3 minutes ago, Wiedzmin said:

    the problem is "470mm pen" could mean anything, for example 160mm/70 deg is almost 470, and 235/60 is 470, and so on, what kind of steel was used etc, so it's very hard to compare "some penetration numbers" with "some protection numbers" IMHO

    Yes, exactly. I might have jumped the gun by just looking at the numbers and not knowing anything about the testing conditions (e.g. range to target,etc.).

  10. 3 minutes ago, Wiedzmin said:

    numbers have nothing to real protection/penetration on complex structures capability, every APFSDS will work different against different structures and will give different "numbers" due to design features of each round, for example conqueror APDS often quted as "400+mm pen" but it can't penetrate T-72 with more ore less "same" numbers for protection level.


     that's why correct way of showing protection level for tank is indicate striking velocity for specific round at which tank will be penetrated/not penetrated.



    I was aware of that and did take into account. I was just surprised that the rated value against APFSDS threats and the given penetration value were off like that. Just like in the case of the Swedish tank trials I would expect to be given resistance figures or at least a certain range with a given margin of safety. 

  11. In other news:


    "Marines to Shut Down All Tank Units, Cut Infantry Battalions in Major Overhaul"


    In the next decade, the Marine Corps will no longer operate tanks or have law enforcement battalions. It will also have three fewer infantry units and will shed about 7% of its overall force as the service prepares for a potential face-off with China.


    More here:






    "New Marine Corps Cuts Will Slash All Tanks, Many Heavy Weapons As Focus Shifts to Lighter, Littoral Forces"


    The Marine Corps will soon lay out its path to achieve a 2030 force optimized for conflict with China in the littorals – a force that will completely divest of its tanks and slash most of its artillery cannon battalions, instead focusing on developing light mobility options to get around island chains with the assistance of unmanned systems and mobile anti-ship missiles.


    from here:



  12. Not sure if you all have seen this before. This is a chart that shows of the technical details of the BM Oplot tank and VT4 tank.  Richard Gao over at the SinoDefense Forum was so kind enough to translate the original chart:




    I am not sure if about the protection values.  According to the chart, the turret front and hull front of the Oplot are rated at:


    KE(3BM42/OFL120F1)>= 1100 mm**
    CE(<Kornet-E>) >= 1300 mm**  


    As far as I know, the 3BM42 has the ability to penetrate roughly 500 mm of RHA (260 BHN?) at 2000 m. The OFL120F1 penetrates around 560-600 of RHA (260 BHN?) at 2000 m. Could anyone  please explain this information?

  • Create New...