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    • By Monochromelody
      70 years ago, January the 2nd, 1951. To the North of Seoul, in the mountains and hills near Go-yang-tong(高阳洞), British 1RUR dug in and fought against advancing PVA forces. 1RUR got a task force called Cooperforce to support, this is a tank unit from Royal Tank Regiment and Royal Artillery, equipped with Cromwell tanks. 
      When Matthrew Ridgeway assigned the order of withdraw in this afternoon, the US force covering British force's left flank quickly escaped from their sector, leaving the British were completed unawared and uncovered. 
      When the night falls, was cold and dark in the valley. 1RUR had to withdraw in the darkness. All of a sudden, a US spotter aircraft flew over the valley, drop some illumination flares upon the retreating convoy. 
      Fierce battle broke out when flares fall down, PVA firing from all directions, the cold valley became deadly kill zone. Some PVA soldiers put away their rifles, assaulting with hand grenades, satchel charges and Bangalore torpedoes. They even set up mortars on the hill, laying shells with direct fire. 
      200 British soldiers and artillerymen were killed or captured in one night. 1RUR's Battalion Commander Tony Blake was believed KIA. Cooperforce was completely knocked out, all 12 tanks were destroyed or captured by light infantry. Leader Ashley Cooper were also killed. 


    • By CharlieAlphaVictor
      This may have already been answered, but why are so many modern assault rifles gas-operated, when blowback-operated designs are (generally speaking) simpler/cheaper to manufacture and require less maintenance? I've been doing some research and can't seem to figure out why for the life of me. Any assistance is greatly appreciated.
    • By SH_MM
      Found a few higher resolution photographs from the recent North Korean military parade. We didn't have a topic for BEST KOREAN armored fighting vehicles, so here it is.
       
      New main battle tank, Abrams-Armata clone based on Ch'ŏnma turret design (welded, box-shaped turret) and Sŏn'gun hull design (i.e. centerline driver's position). The bolts of the armor on the hull front is finally visible given the increased resolution. It might not be ERA given the lack of lines inbetween. Maybe is a NERA module akin to the MEXAS hull add-on armor for the Leopard 2A5?
       
      Other details include an APS with four radar panels (the side-mounted radar panels look a lot different - and a lot more real - than the ones mounted at the turret corners) and twelve countermeasures in four banks (two banks à three launchers each at the turret front, two banks à three launchers on the left and right side of the turret). Thermal imagers for gunner and commander, meteorological mast, two laser warning receivers, 115 mm smoothbore gun without thermal sleeve but with muzze reference system, 30 mm grenade launcher on the turret, six smoke grenade dischargers (three at each turret rear corner)
       


       
      IMO the layout of the roof-mounted ERA is really odd. Either the armor array covering the left turret cheek is significantly thinner than the armor on the right turret cheek or the roof-mounted ERA overlaps with the armor.
       


      The first ERA/armor element of the skirt is connected by hinges and can probably swivel to allow better access to the track. There is a cut-out in the slat armor for the engine exhaust. Also note the actual turret ring - very small diameter compared to the outer dimensions of the turret.
       
      Stryker MGS copy with D-30 field gun clone and mid engine:

      Note there are four crew hatches. Driver (on the left front of the vehicle), commander (on the right front of the vehicle, seat is placed a bit further back), gunner (left side of the gun's overhead mount, next to the gunner's sight) and unknown crew member (right side of gun's overhead mount with 30 mm automatic grenade launcher mounted at the hatch). The vehicle also has a thermal imager and laser rangefinder (gunner's sight is identical to the new tank), but no independent optic for the commander. It also has the same meteorological mast and laser warner receivers as the new MBT.
       
      What is the purpose of the fourth crew member? He cannot realistically load the gun...
       
      The vehicle has a small trim vane for swimming, the side armor is made of very thin spaced steel that is bend on multiple spots, so it clearly is not ceramic armor as fitted to the actual Stryker.

       
      The tank destroyer variant of the same Stryker MGS copy fitted with a Bulsae-3 ATGM launcher.
       

      Note that there is again a third hatch with 30 mm automatic grenade launcher behind the commander's position. Laser warning receivers and trime vane are again stand-out features. The sighting complex for the Bulsae-3 ATGMs is different with a large circular optic (fitted with cover) probably being a thermal imager and two smaller lenses visible on the very right (as seen from the vehicle's point of view) probably containing a day sight and parts of the guidance system.
       

      Non line-of-sight ATGM carrier based on the 6x6 local variant of the BTR, again fitted with laser warning receivers and a trim vane. There are only two hatches and two windows, but there is a three men crew inside.
       
       
      There are a lot more photos here, but most of them are infantry of missile system (MLRS' and ICBMs).
    • By Monochromelody
      The Al Khalid derived from Norinco Type 90IIM MBT. It was in the early 90s, when India started to test their Arjun MBT. Pakistanis looked for a MBT design that could be produced by herself. 
      Norinco provided their own Type 90IIM prototype, this is an MBT design which comprised many Western components, such as engine and transmission. 

      There were 4 prototypes for Al-Khalid development, namely P1, P2, P3 and P4. 
      P1 has a Chinese tank diesel engine with ZF LSG3000 transmission. 
      P2 has a British Perkins CV12 Condor diesel engine with French SESM ESM500 transmission. 
      P3 has a Ukrainian KMDB 6TD-2 2-cycle boxer engine with its own twin planetary gearbox. 
      P4 has a German MB871 engine with ZF LSG3000 transmission, similar to South Korean K1 MBT. 

      Norinco and Pakistanis planned to adopt one of the Western powerpack at first, but due to CoCom (Coordinating Committee for Export to Communist Countries) restrictions, China is under embargo, which means China would not import weapons form Western countries. Obviously P3 powerplant would be the only choice. All those descriptions on the internet about ESM500 in Al-Khalid is fatally wrong. 
       
      The Al-Khalid pre-production batch and production version all equipped with Ukrainian KMDB 6TD-2 powerpack.
      It is an extremely compact design, the engine laid transversely in engine room, twin planetary gearboxes connect to both left and right end. The 6TD-2 has two crankshafts: the front one drives the mechanical supercharger, while the rear one drives the gearboxes. The cooling system covering the whole engine room, the engine itself has no mechanical connection to the cooling system, and the cooling system doesn't need mechanical drive. The cooling system based on a unique principle: exhaust gas driven ejector. The exhaust gas from the engine is injected through the outlet ducting, produce a low pressure in the outlet side, that will suck in cold air from the inlet side. This principle is also used in the T-64, T-80UD and T-84, but as far as I know, Swedish Ikv 91 is the only western tank that have similar cooling principle. 
       
      As a result, the total length of powerpack is significantly shortened, much more shorter than the European powerpack mentioned above. This leads to a spare storage room between the fighting compartment and the engine compartment. This storage is for extra ammunition and fuel, when turret points 3 or 9 o'clock, the top cover of the storage could be opened from outside, containing 10 rounds for main gun, with projectiles on the outsides, semi-combustible charges on the inside.
      The data table from HIT also describe the ammunition capacity as 39+10, means that 22 ready rounds in the T-72 type carousel autoloader, 17 backup rounds scatter around the fighting compartment, and extra 10 rounds could be carried in the storage room. 
       
      The driver of Al-Khalid control the vehicle via steering wheel and an automatic gear control box. The steering wheel and gear control box send electrical signals to the computer, then computer control the hydraulic servo actuator to perform engage and disengage of brakes and clutches, making steering and gear changes, as well as adjusting the speed and torque of the engine.
       
      Mechanically the gearboxes are nearly the same as T-64s and T-72s, but have different side reducer unit. The KMDB side reducer unit is designed as a secondary gearbox, acting like a forward-reverse selector. When both reducers were put into reverse, the vehicle can reverse using the normal forward ranges. From 1st gear to 4th gear, all could be used as high speed reverse, and that's why KMDB said this is a 7F4R gearbox system. And if only one reducer was put into reverse, the track will be driving in opposites direction, causing the vehicle turns within its tracks, a.k.a. pivot steer or center steer. T-84 also applied this driving and steering system.  
       
      The advantages of Al-Khalid's powerpack is the versatility: all 3 types of MBT in the Pakistanis arsenal, T-80UD, T-84, Al-Khalid, share the same engine and gearbox. 
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