That is very very interesting combat footage. It shows advancing LPR rebels taking fire in the middle of field, and later - a UAF tank 500 meters away, driving right into the middle of advancing forces. As i understand this was recorded in 2014.
You must watch it, i am serious.
The last few centimetres of a metre-long projectile don't do much to change its penetration. Colour me amazed.
Also: a golden opportunity for testing stone arrowheads against small, yappy dogs was missed.
Where do you see tank design going in the next few decades? Where do you think it should go?
Here is where I think things will go:
-Western tank development will be depressing. Every country will want their own indigenous tank design, and upon learning that they are lolnotevenclose to competent to actually make a first-rate MBT, they'll ask someone who is and end up making something that is practically identical to a Leo 2 or Leclerc, only without parts interchangeability.
-Except for the tracks, ammo and engine, because all new Western MBTs will have the same Diehl tracks, MTU powerpack and Rheinmetall 120mm cannon.
-Anyone who deviates from this formula will soon learn that all the engineers who actually design tanks hung up their hats in the early 1990s, and that re-building that knowledge base is hard. Being unwilling to put actual work into the problem, any tank designed that isn't based around these proven components will be a gigantic shitshow, and having wasted hundreds of millions of dollars, the country in question will throw up their hands and quietly buy T-90s or T-14s.
-The vast majority of tank armor will be increasingly refined NERA, possibly with perforated stand off screens or those wedge thingies from Leo 2A5 to improve performance against LRPs. This fact, abundantly evinced by pictures of damaged tanks and tanks undergoing repair and overhaul, will continue to baffle and elude journalists.
-The USA, Turkey, Franco-German consortium, South Korea and Japan will be the only "Western" countries still able to produce MBTs, and all will heavily lean on German-designed tracks, engines and guns. Turkish MBTs and other AFVs will be materially designed by South Korean firms to Turkish specifications. Italy and the UK will both lose their ability to design MBTs, the UK will actually lose their ability to make them, which will be rationalized by saying that MBTs are obsolete. Crystal ball cloudy for Poland, Czech Republic, and whatever tank production capability remains in Romania and former Yugoslavia.
-The Russians will re-acquire the lead they had in tank design throughout most of the Cold War, with the Chinese playing second fiddle. Chinese first-line tanks will be quite good, but they will sell hilarious, hot-rodded type 59s to export customers (alongside hilarious hot-rodded J-7s) instead of their good stuff. Russia will sell the good stuff, and once they manage to replicate the parts they needed to source from abroad, it will be really good. The Ukrainian tank industry will remain gutted, and the glorious Kharkiv tank design lineage will fade into obscurity.
Year later Nathaniel will post a TFB article, where he will trick people to panick buy MAS rifles, just to inflate prices! And at a pick of price, he will sell his rifle, became rich and we will never ever hear about him.
I raised an eyebrow at a comment Weaponsman made about the Iranian nuclear program:
This isn't true. The vast majority of reactor designs require fuel with varying degrees of enrichment. Natural uranium is only .7% fissile material, and light water reactors typically need around 3% enriched material as fuel. The British CO2-cooled designs need about the same level of enrichment for their fuel. The Soviet RBMK used to be able to use natural uranium, but there was a hasty redesign to make them less explodey, so they cannot anymore and require fuel enriched to 2% or so. Only the CANDU reactor can use natural uranium, and even they often do not because fuel enriched to 2% makes their operation safer and more efficient.
Generally speaking, designs that use natural uranium have problems with positive void reactivity coefficients. Some of the Iranian reactors are heavy water units which might be able to use natural uranium, but would be happier and safer using mildly enriched material. However, at least one of their reactors is a light water plant, which would definitely need material to function at all.
Fast-neutron reactors require much more enriched fuel, usually upwards of 20% to 50%. That's still far shy of weapons' grade material, however, which is upwards of 85%.
Now, I don't expect Weaponsman to know everything; although he knows an awful lot. Seriously; history, asymmetric warfare, weapons, and crypto; he knows a whole lot about those things. So I don't hold it against him at all that he doesn't have in-depth knowledge of nuclear reactor technology.
In fact, Weaponsman is usually about the best, most-informed discourse on any matter it is he chooses to write about. In fact, after reading his piece I decided to do a little digging around on various public fora to see what people had to say about nuclear technology. The results were predictable, and I was filled with despair and rage.
So-called policymakers clearly do not understand this shit, and it's really easy to understand. I understand it; ergo it cannot be that hard. They're all either lazy or stupid. Nothing that Obama has said about the Iranian nuclear deal gives any indication that he or his speechwriters know what enrichment is or what it does. As for the general public, I'm not convinced that the majority of them know what the word "nuclear" means.
Public thinking on nuclear energy is constructed of bad, fuzzy analogies by people who lack familiarity with the most salient facts about it. Take for example this article on the international politics of uranium supply. It's obvious that the people that this article is about, and the people who wrote it are thinking of uranium as being analogous to oil; that in order to use it for power a continuous, large-volume supply of the stuff has got to be secured and guarded.
But nuclear fuels are thousands of times more energy dense than chemical ones; with breeder cycles and fuel reprocessing it's hundreds of thousands of times denser, getting on a million times (theoretically it's 1.5 million times denser). That changes everything! Indeed, the technology is slowly approaching the point where it will be economically feasible to produce electrical power from uranium extracted from seawater. The logistics of supplying uranium for power are completely different than for fossil fuels, and they should not be thought of as analogous.
Similar failure to comprehend energy density, you know, the thing that makes nuclear energy interesting in the first place, dominates public discourse on nuclear waste disposal, leading to vast overestimations of just how much waste is produced per unit energy. No, you're wrong, that's how fossil fuels work.
Anyway, nobody knows what the fuck about anything and everything is fucked.
You've seen them before; poorly edited videos with an alternating loop of John Phillips Sousa and Weird Al, purporting to tell you about the various design mistakes armored fighting vehicle designers have made over the years:
But does the maker of these videos one Blacktail Defense, know shit about AFV design himself?
Haha, no, no he does not.
Because of Sturgeon's House strict hate-speech enforcement laws, I am compelled to mention that Blacktail Defense is a furry. So know that should you click any of the links to his material, you will need to decontaminate yourself per protocol DG-12-23A with bleach.
Blacktail Defense is a military reformer, a storied and interesting political movement in the United States that has gone from being a force of some consequence to being a ragtag group of scoundrels. I'm not going to say that they weren't idiots and scoundrels when they were of consequence, n.b.
Military reformers are at they're strongest when they're on the attack. They're a lot like creationists that way; when they can hurl invective at (mostly imaginary) weaknesses within whatever it is they hate, they can look like concerned citizens campaigning for the taxpayer's right to have their money spent wisely and the soldier's right to have the best practical equipment.
But give a military reformer some lined paper and a slide rule and tell them to come up with a design, rather than tear down an existing one, and you will quickly see that these people have no idea what they're talking about.
This is taken directly from Blacktail's furaffinity page. Careful analysis shows that, no, this man has no idea what the everliving fuck he's talking about.
Are you ready? No, you're not, but let's go ahead anyway.
"The Tigerwolf may look vaguely similar to contemporary MBTs, such as the ubiquitous M1-series Abrams, but is in fact wrapped around a lot of design features and technology that are comlpetely alien to today's tanks."
Blacktail is going to prove to you that he's a better tank designer than all those idiots at Chrysler by designing a tank using technologies that didn't exist at the time of the design of the Abrams.
"For starters the crew is quite large, with a Commander, Driver, Gunner, TWO loaders, and an Engineer. Many designers favor a smaller crew, usually adding an autoloader to eliminate the Loader from the crew (like in the Russian T-64 through 90, the French Leclerc, and the Chinese Type 85 through 99)."
"However, there are a lot of problems with a smaller crew. First, autoloaders work at a painfully slow pace (14 seconds to reload in a T-72), which gives manual-loading tanks a huge rate-of-fire advantage (just 4 seconds in the M1A1 Abrams)."
"There's no autoloader either, as that only slows the ROF, requires smaller, less powerful and versitile ammo to be used, adds another complex, delicate set of moving parts to break, and only serves to expand the guantlet of things that can hurt you inside the vehicle.In fact, the Tigerwolf's main gun ammo is extremely large and heavy, and probably would break an autoloader --- it's would be an incredible feat of strength for a single Loader crewman to load in under 10 seconds."
The Leclerc uses the same ammunition as the Abrams and Leopard 2. As for his 145mm smoothbore howitzer ammunition breaking an autoloader, does he not know that the Pz 2000 SPG has an autoloader for its 155mm gun? Of course he doesn't know that; Blacktail doesn't know what he's talking about.
"The engineer is useful as well, because the large size of the Tigerwolf --- coupled with it's simple drivetrain (most modern tracked vehicles have a deceptively simple drivetrain) and small, flat engine (compred to a "Vee" or gas turbine) make for easy engine maintnance[sic] and repairs from inside the tank --- there's no need to abandon it if you lose a sparkplug while under small arms fire."
Simple drivetrains, eh?
Note that per the graphic, the Tigerwolf has a diesel wankel. Does Blacktail not know that diesel engines don't have spark plugs? Of course he doesn't know that; Blacktail doesn't know what he's talking about.
(Diesel wankels don't exist. Three companies have tried making them; Rolls Royce, John Deere and some Japanese company I CBA to look up. None of the three ever got them to mass production. I'm not sure what the problem was.)
"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.
"Even though it's much larger than an M1A1 Abrams, the Mk.75 Tigerwolf is over 30% lighter, and can swim over water obstacles, rather than slog though on the bottom. And because it floats, there are no depths that it cannot cross."
This is how big a 40 tonne boat is.
"Also important is it's low ground pressure, stemming from it's low 40-ton weight, super-wide tracks, low height, and enourmous horizontal size --- it has the ground pessure of a "Light Track" vehicle, like the M113 Gavin. This is important because almost half the world's surface is closed to heavy tracks (again, the M1A1 Abrams), due to thier height, ground pressure, and high centers of gravity.
The Tigerwolf can directly cut across many areas that no existing or projected MBT will ever be able to --- not to mention traverse certain terrain features, such as bridges and paved roads, without damaging them."
Is Blacktail under the impression that it's ground pressure that damages bridges? Jesus, if that were true the last thing you'd want to get anywhere near a bridge is a car.
"As the Tigerwolf has 40% more power and torque than the M1, and weighs 30% less, it is 40% faster and could probably accelerate as quickly as a Humvee. This would make contemporary tanks very hard-pressed to cut-off a Tigerwolf, and no current or projected tanks could ever hope to pursue a Tigerwolf.
Other advantages offered by the powerpack include a small number of moving parts, extremely low vibration and ocillation (inherent to Wankel Rotaries; not in piston engines), low heat emissions (less than in 700+ degree piston engines, or 1500+ degrees in Gas Turbines), a very small, flat, light engine block, and stonger individual components than in any current or projected tank engine, and a 5-speed AT, to take advantage of the high engine output. "
So this is a magical wank(el) engine that has equal SFC to a diesel, rather than falling between a diesel and a turbine as existing ones do.
"Other advantages offered by the powerpack include a small number of moving parts, extremely low vibration and ocillation (inherent to Wankel Rotaries; not in piston engines), low heat emissions (less than in 700+ degree piston engines, or 1500+ degrees in Gas Turbines), a very small, flat, light engine block, and stonger individual components than in any current or projected tank engine, and a 5-speed AT, to take advantage of the high engine output."
WHAT THE FUCK KIND OF TURBINE REJECTS HEAT AT 1,500 DEGREES?! The highest turbine inlet temperature on record is 1,600C!
Per Honeywell, AGT-1500's exhaust temperature is 500 C, but it's unclear if that is before or after it enters the recuperator.
And if he's using bullshit Imperial units he's still wrong.
If you don't know the difference between heat rejection temperature and turbine inlet temperature, you have no business discussing turbines.
"All tanks require high firepower, and the Mk.75 Tigerwolf has plenty of it. The large size of the Tigerwolf's hull and turret enables a heavier-caliber howitzer to be used than on any tank currently in service --- a 145mm Smooth-Bore Howitzer. Because the German-designed M256 120mm smoothbore (M1A1, M1A2, Leopard 2, etc.) has a 40% larger punch than the British-designed M67 105mm Rifled-bore (the standard to which ALL other tank guns are judged --- used on too many tanks to list), the Tigerwolf's gun probaly has at least 20% more punch than the M256 --- enough to outrange any of today's tank guns, with enough penetration to destroy an M1A1 from well beyond it's maximum gun range."
Any fictional Main Battle Wank needs to have a smitey, terrifying weapon... I'm not sure why Blacktail has saddled his design with a howitzer.
Also, how many places on Earth are there where you can even see further than the engagement range of an M1's armament?
"The Co-Axial MachineGun (COAX) fires 7x50mm rifle rounds, which combine the low cost and recoil of the 5.56x45mm NATO round, with the accuracy and penetration of the 7.62x51mm NATO round. 7mm rounds would also have a smaller casing daimeter than a 7.62mm round, which when coupled with significantly larger magazines and canisters, means the Tigerwolf totes one hell of a lot of MG ammo. As such, it is unlikely that a Tigerwolf will have to resupply MG ammo during a battle, and may even have thousands of rounds to spare --- if it is supporting friendly troops, the Tigerwolf may be able to spare a few thousand rounds for them."
Someone doesn't know the difference between case head diameter and caliber.
"A smooth ride and steady aim are achieved through hydropneumatic suspension and stabilization (versus the comparatively rougher torsion and hydraulics used in current and projected tanks) . The gun, turret, and hull each have thier own stabilization. While each of these are mechanically independant, they are balanced and co-ordinated via computer (which also feeds stability data to the gunnery computer, adjusting the GPS crosshairs in real time). This is unlike current tanks, whose ballistics comuters only react indirectly to the actual stability of the vehicle."
I don't know what any of this means, except that Blacktail doesn't know how suspension and stabilization work.
That's all I can stand. I'm done. Go read it if you want to, or not, whatever.