Jump to content
Sturgeon's House

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 1.3k
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

A new article from "Ynet News" adds new info on the Barak and other programs. Just a reminder, Barak is an upgraded Merkava 4M.    https://www.yediot.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-5043863,00.

Couple more of the Mk.3-based Ofek    

12 hours ago, Laviduce said:

Ayy sorry mate, that's all I could find. It was from an article on the life work of a deceased personality in MANTAK (Tank administration) and RAPAT (Tank development authority). No other photos than some of the more well known photos of the Sholef. 

 

I would like to add, however, that according to MANTAK, the Merkava 4 was the first tank without any limitations or compromises, specifically when talking about armor protection. It was talked a while ago, and still talked about, that the Merkava's front mounted engine limits the quality of armor protection of the hull front section, and while it's true for the Mark 1-3 tanks, it's no longer true for the Mark 4. So that explains that MANTAK has viewed that specific armor profile as ideal for Israel's needs - unprotected LFP, no overlapping of UFP protection with LFP, but very good protection of the low-mid to higher section of the UFP. 

It's quite interesting, considering how different many armor profile concepts are in different countries.  US prefers a heavily protected and very large LFP but well angled, thin, and very small UFP. Leo goes for a similar design but with an arrow shape. T-tanks armor the entire UFP very well but keep a poorly armored LFP. Chally goes for a Merkava-like concept but its UFP overlaps with the LFP, and same can be said for the Leclerc.

 

 

By the one, one of the guys in the picture is an MTU representative, probably there to see which powerpack can be fitted there and how, to achieve the desired armor profile.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Israel's artillery-oriented magazine shared an interesting article by Lt Col Rafi Almagor that shares insights from the past development of the Sholef, that could be implemented in the development of the new, yet-unnamed howitzer in development.

Lt Col Rafi Almagor was one of the heads of the Sholef program.

 

The article is in Hebrew and translated to English by me:

Spoiler

Development of the future self propelled howitzer of the artillery corps, one of the main projects of the ground arm, began last year in the company Elbit Systems. This isn't the first time Elbit's plant in Yokneam develops a howitzer for the IDF. In fact, in the days of Soltam, in the 80's of the last century, a new howitzer was developed under the name "Sholef". That project did not materialize to serial production, but the technology of the Sholef and its development technique were studied and implemented by German companies for the sake of the development and manufacturing of the Panzer 2000 howitzers, sold across the world.

The demand to develop the Sholef came after the Yom Kippur War, tells Lt Col Rafi Almagor, that served as the head of the development department.

At the time, there were only 2 battalions of the Rochev (M109A5), that was the best howitzer in the corp. All the other howitzers were either towed or self propelled, but even the self propelled ones were almost like towed ones, for example the M-50 (Sherman based L-33 cannon).

The requirement was for a cannon that was better propelled, with higher rate of fire, with longer ranges, and better protection. After a long round of debates it was decided that the Sholef project would be based on the Merkava and handled by MANTAK (Merkava Tank Administration).

The idea was to developed a turret that is all artillery, and on the other hand use an existing hull that was developed for the Merkava. The Merkava was suitable because its engine was in the front. At the time, the idea to put the M-50's engine at the front was revolutionary and allowed converting a tank hull to a howitzer's hull. In essence, it was the beginning of the conception of a universal platform for all corps.

The Sholef's characteristics included among other things a 52 caliber gun, a range of 40km and a high rate of fire of 9 rounds per minute. The cannon included a semi-robotic system, meaning the shells were moved by a robotic system, and the charges were moved manually, because at the time it wasn't known where the future of charges would go - liquid, modular, or electro-magnetic. Thus, the line of thought was that we need to be prepared for everything. Additionally, for the Sholef to be more available in all combat scenarios, improvements were made tot he protection, and means against bomblets, shrapnel, and small arms fire were added.

In his opinion, similarly, the development of the new howitzer requires creative thought that would provide a long term solution. 

In the framework of development you have to understand 2 things:

1)You never really know what they'll demand of you in the end.

2)When you have a good weapon that can move everywhere, outranges everything, and can fire in direct firing mode - you can do special things during combat that the enemy won't expect.

That's what accompanies me all the time when I think about the future howitzer.

During his time in the project, Almagor commanded on the team that did the field testing. In his opinion, if the Sholef was operational, it would still be a world leading howitzer. In the end, it didn't become operational, but its demonstrators have shown impressive capabilities in all parameters - firepower, mobility, and protection.

Now that he's aware of the development of the new howitzer, he asks the new development team to learn from his experience.

According to media releases, the demonstrator that Elbit develops will be based on the ATMOS, but will be better and more innovative, explains Almagor.

The ammunition handling system will be fully robotized; From the automatic loading of the fuze, the modular charges, the loaded shell, and the firing - all will be done without human intervention. The soldiers will be in the cabin, as is in the MLRS today. They will input all the data to the mission computer, and the howitzer will commence the loading and firing sequence automatically. This is an innovative approach that shows technological advancement. In comparison with the tools we have today, we understand that the new howitzer will bring an improvement in almost every parameter. What interests me is if the howitzer will provide a long term solution, or are we settling for what is trendy in today's market?

 

I learned about the importance of mobility only through the Sholef, and my insistence on the Merkava. In one of the exercises in the Golan we ran into a tactical problem when the Sholef was stationed in Katzrin, and the exercise itself was in Yosifon. About 6 hours before the drill, when the howitzer was ready in position, a safety directive was received, according to which, we couldn't conduct the firing as planned, and they were about to cancel the artillery support. The section commander received a path, and through the inertial navigation system, the Sholef 'cut' through the Golan Heights with the Merkava's treads, and arrived at peak speed in the staging zone of the assault forces.

Meaning, the Sholef's mobility allowed it to conduct this unexpected move and managed to prevent the abortion of its participation in an exercise.

During my work with the Sholef, I ran into many cases where the Rochev (M109A5) had trouble going through certain terrain, whereas the Sholef wasn't bothered by it.

During my days as an instructor in a battalion commanders' course, I witnessed how better the mobility of the Merkava was compared to the other AFVs that were there, in every terrain. Even good artillery will be required to do some unexpected actions.

We had a few exercises when the Sholef was driving alongside the tanks to solve a certain scenario in a very 'special' terrain conditions. Had it not had the tracks that allowed it to 'sprint' with the tanks, and the large belly (ammo storage), it would have been a significant disadvantage. So the mobility allows me to go 'wild' on the battlefield and do things the enemy wouldn't expect me to be able to do.

It's obvious the new howitzer will be much better than the Rochev, but it's important to see how limited it will be in certain conditions.

 

Another important aspect in the conception of the new howitzer is its firing and loading systems, with emphasis on their reliability. In the technological age of today, Almagor explains, automatic systems are far more reliable than they were in the Sholef's days, and they know how to locate and analyze almost any fault. With that in mind, we need to be careful so that technology wouldn't dictate our actions and cripple our forces when the reported faults don't need the reality on the field.

When we asked Aviel to insert new capabilities, we had to make sure that the addition brings an operational advantage, and that we control the technology and not it controls us, he adds.

When we're talking about weapon systems, the ability to override the automatic systems is critical. That is, I must be able to tell the robot "I understand you, there's a problem but keep going". In the Sholef we dedicated a lot of thought into that. If the robot tells you, for example, that there's no shell in the barrel, but you can see that there is, and there's a problem with a small sensor - does the commander have the ability to override the problem and continue the mission, or should the whole system be shut down?

Will the howitzer only work when it's 100%? Or will it work when there are malfunctions? All this needs to be considered. Even if today's systems are more reliable sevenfold, the new howitzer will be 20 times more complex, and thus the expectancy of malfunctions will not reduce.

 

In the battlefield, the howitzer is of course more exposed to dangers than sand and mud. Almagor identifies the aspect of self defense as a potential weakspot. Historically, we can put less emphasis on protection because few are the times when we're hit with counter-battery fire. But whoever fears counter-battery and wants to increase his range, deploy on larger areas, and quick movements after firing, must also provide an answer against short range shrapnel, small arms fire in case of commando attack, and protection of the charges' bin.

I think the new howitzer must have means of self protection for the crew. Whether it is machine guns, a mortar, or other means. The howitzer cannot be dependent on another protective force. 

From my experience, I'd recommend it have a few minimal protective capabilities. In the Sholef we had 2 machine guns on the roof that provided us great protection against infantry. We pondered whether to add a mortar like they had in the armored corps - but we didn't adopt the idea in the end.

According to the media, the new howitzer will present improved rate of fire, that will allow few vehicles to provide high concentrations of fire with high accuracy. In Almagor's opinion, in order to have a high rate of fire, the the importance of the belly (ammo storage) is critical.

Other than having just a wide belly that will allow a large number of shells that will support a high number of missions, a high variety of types of shells is also important. A howitzer with many shell types will be more flexible.

Today's developments in the artillery world present a high variety of innovative ammunition. With that in mind, there also needs to be the capability to fire old types of ammunition. If we look at the military history of Israel, it seems that in every lengthy war we had to receive support from friendly states in order to refill our ammo stocks. So that the importance of backwards compatibility is significant in this regard.

Another aspect of the ammunition belly is the 'ground shells' (shells provided by the ammo carrier that are usually just dropped on the ground near the howitzer) . At the time we thought the Sholef should fire these. That is, if I am in a safe position, it's best I fire these before I start consuming my internal ammo, and only consume it when I maneuver. I suggest the developers look into this aspect as well.

 

Screenshot_1.png

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

Oh no.

  Reveal hidden contents

29597542_998371233653096_536587909800855

 

 

Also, this:

  Hide contents

1a_cDdmcXjo.jpg

 

I know what you're thinking, lads. But stop drooling over Mr. Tal. I need to know what's the meaning of this picture. What are we seeing there? Whose armor it is, is unknown. Date is unknown. What holed it is unknown. It's no APFSDS nor HEAT.

At first glance, this appears, as has already been pointed out by Kylie, the left flank of an Achzarit. If so, then it's forward of the Toga mesh armour. Yet, I am not sure. I do wonder if it is some proof of concept, ballistic test rig, rather than the heavy APC itself. I have seen something similar when the Namer was being developed. 

 

There is another thing. I have met Tal a couple of times. He was a physically small man, as am I. The roof of an Achzarit  towers well above our hight, yet on this photo it is at head hight. Something odd here. 

 

I am looking at the image on a mobile phone not computer, but isn't that hole an exit rather than entry point? 

Cheers

Marsh

Edited by Marsh
Clarity
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

Mind explaining how so? It's not very intuitive for me.

 

When the rod smacks into armor it starts cratering the armor.  The armor material isn't just being sheared into, it's being pushed outwards as well, so the diameter of the hole formed in the armor is a bit larger than the diameter of the rod.

Depending on what the rod is made out of this effect can be more or less pronounced.  DU projectiles make smaller-diameter holes than tungsten alloy projectiles.

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Collimatrix said:

 

When the rod smacks into armor it starts cratering the armor.  The armor material isn't just being sheared into, it's being pushed outwards as well, so the diameter of the hole formed in the armor is a bit larger than the diameter of the rod.

Yes, but the question is « how large ? ».

Is it large enough for the fins to pass through ? I don’t think so. 

 

12 hours ago, Collimatrix said:

Depending on what the rod is made out of this effect can be more or less pronounced.  DU projectiles make smaller-diameter holes than tungsten alloy projectiles.

DU is self sharpening while you have a mushroom effet with tungsten. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Similar Content

    • 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
      Disappeared for a long period, Mai_Waffentrager reappeared four months ago. 
      This time, he took out another photoshoped artifact. 

      He claimed that the Japanese prototype 105GSR (105 mm Gun Soft Recoil) used an autoloader similar to Swedish UDES 19 project. Then he showed this pic and said it came from a Japanese patent file. 
      Well, things turn out that it cames from Bofors AG's own patent, with all markings and numbers wiped out. 

      original file→https://patents.google.com/patent/GB1565069A/en?q=top+mounted+gun&assignee=bofors&oq=top+mounted+gun+bofors
      He has not changed since his Type 90 armor scam busted. Guys, stay sharp and be cautious. 
       
    • By Beer
      I am sure there are many very interesting stories to share about this topic. Let's start with couple of articles about the weird and sometimes downright crazy history of Czechoslovak assistance which helped Israel to survive its early days. It's true that Czechoslovakia asked a lot of money for bypassing the UN embargo but it doesn't change the fact that it helped in the critical time - before the change of course was ordered from Kremlin in 1949. It's also worth mentioning that the arms-smuggling to Israel brought up to 1/3 of all foreign currency income of Czechoslovakia at that time! It's all in Czech but well understandable with the google translate. 
       
      Here in short the story of the secret Czechoslovak operation DI - the military asistance to Israel from the website of the Czech Institute of the military history. The article contains rare historical photos from the covert military training for army specialists (pilots, tankers, mechanics and even an infantry brigade made of volunteers from the former Czechoslovak Army Corps in USSR). 
      https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=cs&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.vhu.cz%2Fprubeh-a-podrobnosti-cs-vojenske-pomoci-izraeli-na-konci-40-let%2F
       
      If you really like the topic, you can learn many more details from these six chapters of this superlong article (sure worth studying for anyone interested in the topic).
      https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=cs&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.valka.cz%2F14222-Ceskoslovensko-a-jeho-vojenska-pomoc-statu-Izrael-v-prvnim-obdobi-jeho-samostatne-existence-I%3Futm_source%3Dvalka_cz%26utm_medium%3Darticle%26utm_campaign%3Dserial
      https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=cs&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.valka.cz%2F14223-Ceskoslovensko-a-jeho-vojenska-pomoc-statu-Izrael-v-prvnim-obdobi-jeho-samostatne-existence-II%3Futm_source%3Dvalka_cz%26utm_medium%3Darticle%26utm_campaign%3Dserial
      https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=&sl=cs&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.valka.cz%2F14230-Ceskoslovensko-a-jeho-vojenska-pomoc-statu-Izrael-v-prvnim-obdobi-jeho-samostatne-existence-III
      https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=&sl=cs&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.valka.cz%2F14236-Ceskoslovensko-a-jeho-vojenska-pomoc-statu-Izrael-v-prvnim-obdobi-jeho-samostatne-existence-IV%3Futm_source%3Dvalka_cz%26utm_medium%3Darticle%26utm_campaign%3Dserial
      https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=&sl=cs&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.valka.cz%2F14242-Ceskoslovensko-a-jeho-vojenska-pomoc-statu-Izrael-v-prvnim-obdobi-jeho-samostatne-existence-V%3Futm_source%3Dvalka_cz%26utm_medium%3Darticle%26utm_campaign%3Dserial
      https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=&sl=cs&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.valka.cz%2F14246-Ceskoslovensko-a-jeho-vojenska-pomoc-statu-Izrael-v-prvnim-obdobi-jeho-samostatne-existence-VI%3Futm_source%3Dvalka_cz%26utm_medium%3Darticle%26utm_campaign%3Dserial
       
      After that we have the totally crazy story of the Cairo bombing raid actually performed from the communist Czechoslovakia in 1948. Why don't we have yet any movie about three B-17s smuggled from USA, crewed by American-Jewish airmen, armed with former German machineguns and bombs and operating from an airfield located in then communist Czechoslovakia? If that doesn't deserve to be filmed than what does? 
      https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=cs&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.idnes.cz%2Fzpravy%2Fdomaci%2Fnalet-zatec-kahira-b-17-izrael.A130712_105045_domaci_jw
       
      Most of you likely know that the first combat aircraft of the Israeli airforce were Czechoslovak Avia S-199 fighters. This stillborn stop-gap modification of the leftover Bf-109G airframe was rather useless in fact (Czechoslovakia had loads of Bf-109 airframes but no spare DB-605 engines whose reliability was absurdly low due to bad late-war steel, so the engines were replaced with Jumo-211 bomber units - completely unsuitable but available) but nevertheless it helped to stop the Egyptian attack on Tel Aviv and brought a very important psychological advantage on the Israeli side. More about these planes here. 
      https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=cs&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.idnes.cz%2Ftechnet%2Fvojenstvi%2Fizrael-ceskoslovensko-vyroci-izraelske-letectvo.A180526_235424_vojenstvi_erp
      https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=cs&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.idnes.cz%2Ftechnet%2Fvojenstvi%2Fceskoslovenske-letectvo-stihaci-letadlo-avia-s-199.A200116_174150_vojenstvi_erp 
       
      To add to the absurdity of that time... the man behind the support for the Israel was Czechoslovak FM Vladimír Clementis who was executed just few years later as a result of an intra-communist power struggle.  
       
       
       
       
       
       
       

×
×
  • Create New...