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StuG III Thread (and also other German vehicles I guess)


EnsignExpendable
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I really dig seeing destroyed and captured German equipment in the hands of Allied troops, particularly American GIs.

 

Each photo or film is a story in itself of Everyday Eddie who grew up in the Great Depression, working some hard-scrabble farm, who probably volunteered to fight overseas and who triumphed over Hitler's Aryan Supermen in single combat. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I wonder if that's a photoshop job, because who would use such an unreliable base vehicle for something like that? It seems like a bad idea for that and several reasons.

Hard to get or impossible to find spare parts being the biggest problem.

Would it be feasible if someone swapped in - let's say - an American power plant and tranny?

The Panther body would be useful since it is so big and heavy.

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I also considered that it might be a photoshop.  I found it in a thread on the armorama forum.  That forum has enough rivet counters in it that I figure they would recognize a fraud.  Anyhow, once much of the weight of the superstructure and turret were removed, the panther powertrain might work well enough for a crane.  Remember, cranes are never driven long distances, they are almost always transported to the work site.  

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Why would you want a crane that has a suspension that springy?  As Meplat has pointed out, the requirements for tracked construction equipment is pretty different from a high-speed military track layer.

 

I dunno.  Look forward to finding out.

Cost savings of using a pre-existing chassis?  Kinda like all those logging vehicles using Sherman hulls.  

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Some Puma photographs, mostly related to it's armor protection:

 

Panzer.jpg

 

Side armor without ERA, parts of it have been dismanteled. There are two layers of (passive) armor, most probably ceramic armor. It is possible that just one layer is required for protection against 14.5 mm AP ammunition and the second layer is part of the armor protection required against 30 mm APFSDS or larger. The engine vent is also having an additional armor module, made of sloped and spaced metal plates (presuambly armor steel is used).

 

The normal hull side armor has gone through four or five iterations during the development. Originally it consisted of passive armor on the prototypes. When the production of the first pre-production vehicles was announced, the Puma instead used another type of passive armor (different thickness, different looks), but with slat armor extending further to the center of the roadwheels. Then there were two versions which seemed to be using ERA only. The final configuration utilizes ERA at the upper portions, passive armor in the center and slat armor in the lowest sections (i.e. to the roadwheels). The rear armor is also using slat armor.

 

The ERA is supplied by Dynamit Nobel Defence and uses composite plates without metal. It provides 10 times the protection per weight as "conventional armor", but cannot defeat tandem warheads on it's own. There have been light and heavy versions of the ERA; apparently the Puma uses the heavy one (based on the thickness and weight), which also uses ultrax plates from Verseidag Indutex (which might be part of Rheinmetall Verseidag nowadays) to protect against 30 mm APFSDS and EFPs.

 

soAhIh5.png

 

Puma turret, made from aluminium. Composite armor not fitted yet.

 

aSaZ0Nl.jpg

 

Puma glacis armor. It seems to consists of a highly sloped NERA layer, which is spaced above the main composite armor. According to Rheinmetall and IBD Deisenroth, the Puma utiilizes AMAP-SC composite armor, which provides between 8 and 10 times as much protection per weight against shaped charges than steel.

 

TrdDUnq.jpg

 

Puma hull. It is made from steel. Welding and bending the steel plates together took four months on the initial models (pre-production or low-rate initial production). Parts of the hull are constrcuted with the "Dünnblech-Biegetechnologie" (thin metal bending technology), which also has been used on the Boxer. Instead of using multiple steel plates and welding them together, the plates are rather bend. This allows to use thinner steel plates (increasing the weight efficiency when fitted with composite armor) and creates less weak-spots and breaking points against AP ammunition and mines.

 

The lower hull compartment houses some components for the drivetrain/transmission/etc., but based on some older CAD graphic, this only covers the uppermost part.

 

JZ5OW6r.jpg

 

The actual thickness of the Puma frontal hull armor (without slope) can be seen here. On the completed vehicles, the vision blocks of the driver extrude from the glacis, the steel edge in the photograph is not visible. I'd guesstimate that about half the thickness is empty space.

 

8OFXAnq.png

 

The Puma turret can be fitted with additional armor to provide protection against 30 mm ammunition and bomblets. Except for the curved section behind the gun (which moves when the gun is elevating), the add-on armor for the roof consists of "Igelpanzerung" (hedgehog armor), which utilizes many rubber-spikes to damage the shaped charge warheads of artillery bomblets. Below the bomblets there is additional passive armor on same cases (supposedly ceramic armor), while the hedgehog armor above the ammunition compartment is spaced for some reason. Above the crew positions the roof armor appears to consists of thicker composite plates or two thinner ones.

 

The Puma still needs to be fitted with the MELLS missile system for the Spike-LR ATGM, but there have been numerous delays with this (beginning with the original missile failing to meet the German requirements, then the launcher had issues and now the budget is used for other things). The TSWA secondary-armament still needs to be fitted, but it has been modified; the original design saw the usage of six 76 mm grenades (lethal and non-lethal) wiith a relatively short range; the system has been extended by a ring containing (iirc. 24) 40 mm low-velocity or medium-velocity grenades with air-burst capability.

 

2016-05-14_LFS2016_02c_JPW_IMG_9875.jpg

 

Furthermore there are other upgrade plans. There is a tender for replacing the 5.56 mm MG4 machine gun with a 7.62 mm MG; apparently Heckler & Koch (MG5) and Rheinmetall (with the three-barreled RMG 7.62) are interested in the contract. The Puma also should be fitted with a situational awareness system, probably Rheinmetall's SAS 360 system. Furthermore there are planned enhancements to the computer system, allowing to operate UGVs. Shephardmedia wrote "The aim is to have operation of UGVs integrated into the vehicles.", which for my poor understanding of the English language doesn't exactly specify wether the Puma's crew should operate other UGVs or the Puma should be convertable to a UGV.

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