Jump to content
Sturgeon's House

Britons are in trouble


Mighty_Zuk
 Share

Recommended Posts

20 hours ago, BaronTibere said:

Those are very likely just ballast or filler. IIRC LEP originally didn't require improved armour, that came with the CR3 specifications (LEP+), so there is no reason the demonstrator would reflect that.

 

I don't see any indication that armor was added (as claimed by the Twitter user), however it also might have been existing Dorchester armor rather than weight simulators or "fillers". Weight simulators are usually thick blocks of steel, not spaced plates.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, SH_MM said:

I don't see any indication that armor was added (as claimed by the Twitter user), however it also might have been existing Dorchester armor rather than weight simulators or "fillers". Weight simulators are usually thick blocks of steel, not spaced plates.

 

I was just implying that the only mention of different armour is with the CR3 and the twitter implies the "CR3" has similar armour, but the demonstrator is not really a CR3.  Also doesn't appear spaced at all, but the weight simulators might also just be a series of stacked plates (metal or otherwise).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does anyone know the combat weight of a Challenger 2 ?    I have three sources that point to 63-64 metric tons instead of 62,5 metric tons. Given the alleged armor upgrades (i.e. 300 mm RHAe to around 500 mm RHAe KE) from the CR1 hull to the CR2 hull, is the CR2 hull heavier than the CR1 hull ?

 

As far as i know, Challenger 1 Mk1 has a turret mass of 20,3 metric tons, while the Challenger 2 is supposed to have a turret mass of around 20,5 metric tons.

 

If the hull weight stayed the same, could it be that hull components were just rearranged/taken out to compensate for the additional mass of the new hull special armor package for CR2 ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Laviduce said:

Does anyone know the combat weight of a Challenger 2 ?    I have three sources that point to 63-64 metric tons instead of 62,5 metric tons. Given the alleged armor upgrades (i.e. 300 mm RHAe to around 500 mm RHAe KE) from the CR1 hull to the CR2 hull, is the CR2 hull heavier than the CR1 hull ?

 

As far as i know, Challenger 1 Mk1 has a turret mass of 20,3 metric tons, while the Challenger 2 is supposed to have a turret mass of around 20,5 metric tons.

 

If the hull weight stayed the same, could it be that hull components were just rearranged/taken out to compensate for the additional mass of the new hull special armor package for CR2 ?

The whole premise of most of the CR2's improvements were simply switching in and out components, the armor was improved but you're comparing 1960's first generation crappy spaced steel composite to a more modern ceramic, high hardness metal composite which achieved more for less.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Does anyone here have the attached image in high res, please? Or, point me in the direct I may find it? It is from ATDU and shows the most current digital camo of the Challenger 2. Thank youS8enwYC.jpg

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Korvette said:

Given the alleged armor upgrades (i.e. 300 mm RHAe to around 500 mm RHAe KE) from the CR1 hull to the CR2 hull, is the CR2 hull heavier than the CR1 hull ?

 

As far as I know, it was never entirely confirmed that the Challenger 2 reached that level of protection on all places. In the statements I've read, it has been stated that the Challenger 2 was better protected than the Leopard 2A4 and M1E2 based on the British point of view, not that it necessarily met all requirements.

 

The required protection was 500 mm vs monobloc penetrators, the Challenger 1 supposedly already reached 340 mm vs unspecified KE rounds (but given that monobloc penetrators were already considered as a threat during the MBT 80's development, this figure might also have refered to them).

 

12 hours ago, Laviduce said:

If the hull weight stayed the same, could it be that hull components were just rearranged/taken out to compensate for the additional mass of the new hull special armor package for CR2 ?

 

Unfortunately there aren't any declassified/publicly regarding the Challenger 2's development available, thus we have to fall back on mere speculations.

 

There are many different options including:

  • the Challenger 2 hull not reaching the required protection level, but Challenger 2 being chosen because it comes closest at meeting UK MoD's requirements
  • weight savings being achieved through the use of lighter/better arranged internal components
  • weight savings being achieved through a more optimized armor layout e.g. by reducing the thickness of the steel plates by a few milimeters (with higher grade steel being used to compensate for the loss of armor thickness)
  • the layout of the armor array having been optimized to use the available weight more effictively
  • more weight efficient materials being used as part of the Dorchester composite armor - i.e. somewhat contemporary tanks such as the Leopard 2A5 and M1A2 SEP introduced titanium as armor material
  • higher grade/hardness steel being used for the general construction of the steel shell of hull & turret as well as material in the Dorchester armor
  • most likely: a combination of some/all previous mentioned options

 

In case of the Leopard 2, there have at least been three updates in steel grade (Leopard 2 to early 2A4, late 2A4 and 2A5 all using different steel grades). During 1977 it was possible to shave 2,806 kilograms of weight from one of the Leopard 2AV prototype without reducing frontal armor protection, i.e. by reducing the protection of non-critical parts (track covers, engine cover, engine exhaust vents), min-maxing the thickness of the steel plates, using more optimal composite armor arrangements and using more weight efficient component/component layouts. Other changes (among them: different vision blocks, engine improvements, longer tracks, altered fuel tanks, ...) lead to a simultaneous increase of weight by 739 kilograms - leading to a total combat weight of 55.15 tonnes.

 

7 hours ago, Korvette said:

The whole premise of most of the CR2's improvements were simply switching in and out components, the armor was improved but you're comparing 1960's first generation crappy spaced steel composite to a more modern ceramic, high hardness metal composite which achieved more for less.

 

Why should a tank that entered service in the 1980s be still using "1960's crappy spaced steel composite"? The research on Burlington was never halted and improved armor arrays were designed as late as 1977/78 for the MBT 80 program.

 

I also doubt that "modern ceramics" are a part of Dorchester, given how RARDE reacted to the (inofficial) statement that the Type C armor of the Leopard 2A4 incorporated ceramics (i.e. claiming that multi-hit capability would be insufficient).

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There was a certain member of a certain game related forum who was leaking like a broken faucet and provided this text excerpt from the challenger 2 aesp in regards to the mantlet armour. Can't say anything about its authenticity but it would suggest the use of higher grade metals was indeed part of challenger 2

 

[image removed]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Newtonk said:

 

Does anyone here have the attached image in high res, please? Or, point me in the direct I may find it? It is from ATDU and shows the most current digital camo of the Challenger 2. Thank you

 


That is the highest resolution available. Taken directly from the CO of ATDU twitter account.
It's one of several camouflage experiments rather than an official Theatre Standard.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, SH_MM said:

Why should a tank that entered service in the 1980s be still using "1960's crappy spaced steel composite"? The research on Burlington was never halted and improved armor arrays were designed as late as 1977/78 for the MBT 80 program.

 

I also doubt that "modern ceramics" are a part of Dorchester, given how RARDE reacted to the (inofficial) statement that the Type C armor of the Leopard 2A4 incorporated ceramics (i.e. claiming that multi-hit capability would be insufficient).

 

 

Other than steel and rubber, there isn't indication of any other element within chobham armor other than air.

 

CR2's armor has a lot of high hardness backing plates in its armor but there aren't many other options for filler for the rest of the composite. There could be simply all RHA sandwich which to me wouldn't make sense in terms of weight because it'd weigh a lot more than about 1-2 tonnes extra from CR1 and also increase its protection level on hull and turret increasing by such a large factor. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, David Moyes said:


That is the highest resolution available. Taken directly from the CO of ATDU twitter account.
It's one of several camouflage experiments rather than an official Theatre Standard.

Ah, ok then, now I'm really curious as to those other "several camouflage experiments" and what those look like. Thanks for the reply, I'll keep searching... 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Apparently the Ajax is unable to fire accurately on the move, as the stabilizer is underpowered in relation to the gun's weight and recoil.

 

 

 

20 hours ago, BaronTibere said:

There was a certain member of a certain game related forum who was leaking like a broken faucet and provided this text excerpt from the challenger 2 aesp in regards to the mantlet armour. Can't say anything about its authenticity but it would suggest the use of higher grade metals was indeed part of challenger 2

 

I've seen that snipplet and the corresponding topic in that forum... people there think that tungsten steel alloy means tungsten and titanium steel alloy means titanium - while these are just terms for steel alloys with relatively high W and Ti content respectively.

 

12 hours ago, Korvette said:

Other than steel and rubber, there isn't indication of any other element within chobham armor other than air.

 

CR2's armor has a lot of high hardness backing plates in its armor but there aren't many other options for filler for the rest of the composite. There could be simply all RHA sandwich which to me wouldn't make sense in terms of weight because it'd weigh a lot more than about 1-2 tonnes extra from CR1 and also increase its protection level on hull and turret increasing by such a large factor. 

 

Chobham armor stopped including simple rubber already during the 1960s. In 1969, a type of (ballistic) nylon was used. More modern versions like Dorchester and possibly 1970s version of Burlington developed for the MBT 80 program are likely using more advanced inter-layer materials. The Leopard 2 supposedly used special composites developed by the German chemical industry rather than rubber, while the Leopard 2A5 apparently uses optimized inter-layer materials developed by Ingenieurbüro Deisenroth

 

I'd expect Dorchester to include some fiber-composites such as Dyneema or laminates of multiple materials as elastic layer of the NERA arrays. Research suggests that weaving kevlar into rubber improves the protection provided by a NERA panel.

 

As for "there [not being] many other options for filler" for the Challenger 2's (hull) armor array - I disagree. We know so little about the actual layout and composition of the armor of the Challenger 1 and 2, that the options are nearly limitless. Does the Challenger 2 have the same back and front plate thickness? Or was it reduced? Does the Challenger 2 use titanium, higher grades of steel or other materials? Did it actually meet the 500 mm protection requirement? How exactly did the reference threat look like?

 

Even when keeping the same amount of steel, just changing the layering can result in a drastic change in armor protection. Here are Polish computer simulations regarding one of their prototype APFSDS rounds against six targets - the first four targets have the same amount of steel (280 mm steel at 60°), but it is distributed in different amounts of layers:

 

... and that is not even using armor arrays designed to optimize protection against the specific APFSDS round. A thick enough front plate made out of high-hardness steel (to break the penetrator), some steel/titanium/NERA plates at different angles to spread the fragments of the shattered rod and a sufficiently thick blackplate to absorb the spread fragments could be a more optimal solution.

 

Titanium also can be a major (but expensive) factor for improving protection against KE rounds while staying at a similar weight. Ti-6Al-4V for example has 56% of the mass of steel for a given plate thickness, but provides approximately 90% of the protection. As per Hazell, the EM ranges between 1.5 and 1.8 against tungsten heavy alloy and DU penetrators with a L/D ranging between 10 and 20 to 1.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, SH_MM said:

 

One of the assumptions we can possibly make is that the CR2 did achieve a protection level at least close to or meeting/exceeding the required amount. Consider that the early 90's late 80's somewhat unofficial report where they compared the prototype (probably) V9 to the M1A1HA/1A2 in which the armor on the turret in the realm of 650-700, but also that the hull array is theoretically identical to the turret array due to construction photos seen using some form of high hardness RHA backing plate that would then have the rest of the array bolted on. This would mean that the effectivity on the turret, is similar to that of the hull.

 

The layout of the array is important but these polish tests while provide a lot of insight to composite array effectivity, also change in physical dimensions. In the confines of the CR2's turret, there is a portion of the LOS taken by RHA around the filler array, for example the 2 plates welded together at the very front of the array and then the thick backplate. The same form of space taken is seen on the hull as well. 

 

Compare hull here to the turret, you can see backing plate (which in my opinion look similar if not identical to DU plates) in the same fashion that is on the turret. All that is left is to take some measuring and compare effectivities to see if they match.

unknown.png?width=1190&height=670

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Laviduce said:

My take on Challenger 2 based on what I have read about the Greek Tank Trials, the Chasillan Tank Encyclopedia book, UK docs, Taylor CR2 book,etc.:

 

CR2_estimate_2021.jpg.2d3acea78a8c513ef2

I appreciate how you specifically avoided the mantlet, quite amusing..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Korvette said:

I appreciate how you specifically avoided the mantlet, quite amusing..

Not totally sure about the mantlet without having taken a closer look at the boundary geometry and potential layout. So I rather say nothing about it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/23/2021 at 10:22 AM, Newtonk said:

 

Does anyone here have the attached image in high res, please? Or, point me in the direct I may find it? It is from ATDU and shows the most current digital camo of the Challenger 2. Thank youS8enwYC.jpg

 

Brits finally switching to Flecktarn?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, Korvette said:

One of the assumptions we can possibly make is that the CR2 did achieve a protection level at least close to or meeting/exceeding the required amount. Consider that the early 90's late 80's somewhat unofficial report where they compared the prototype (probably) V9 to the M1A1HA/1A2 in which the armor on the turret in the realm of 650-700,

 

Which unofficiall report suggested that? Declassified documents claim that the M1E2's frontal turret armor was significantly better armored than that of the Challenger 2. Dick Taylor suggests that it was a 15% (!) difference against APFSDS rounds.

 

However the M1A2 fell short on protection against shaped charge warheads, protection of the turret sides when being shot from within the frontal arc and hull armor in general. Even with just hull armor providing 400 mm steel-equivalent protection against APFSDS rounds and turret armor barely meeting the required protection (along the complete frontal arc), the Challenger 2 can be considered

 

21 hours ago, Korvette said:

but also that the hull array is theoretically identical to the turret array due to construction photos seen using some form of high hardness RHA backing plate that would then have the rest of the array bolted on. This would mean that the effectivity on the turret, is similar to that of the hull

 

When seen directly from the front, the hull array occupies ca. 25-30% less volume, it seems rather unlikely that the hull armor array will be identical, though it might have a similar armor array/arrangement. The differences in slope also are relevant factors, which would specifically matter when using ceramics (as ceramics lose efficiency with increased slope).

 

21 hours ago, Korvette said:

Compare hull here to the turret, you can see backing plate (which in my opinion look similar if not identical to DU plates) in the same fashion that is on the turret. All that is left is to take some measuring and compare effectivities to see if they match.

 

I don't see any indication that the back plate would be made out of DU. It has the same greyish color as half a dozen other metals (and the actual color could be quite different, depending on how the plate was treated). The plate thickness also seems to speak against the use of DU. Both British research regarding DU armor and American sources regarding the processing of DU for use in armor suggest that thin plates (less than 1 inch) are used.

 

The most obvious factor speaking against the use of DU in the Challenger 2 tank is the weight: In case of the Challenger 1, the Burlington armor for the hull weighed 1,427 kilograms. The heavy armor package for the M1A1 HA added 1,995 kilograms in addition to the already existing armor.

 

The Challenger 2 hull armor array doesn't seem to be much heavier, that is why @Laviduce asked for input how such a significant increase in protection (~ 300-340 to 500 mm vs monobloc APFSDS rounds) was possible. Basically the Challenger 1 hull's composite filler weighs as much as the add-on armor developed for the Leopard 2 hull during the late 1980s/early 1990s (and fielded on the Leopard 2A5 tanks of Denmark and Sweden, as well as the Leopard 2A6 tanks of Greece and Spain) - without the Leopard 2's base armor. As DU wasn't found to be a very weight-efficient material (according to Swedish research at least), it seems unlikely that this was the option chosen by the UK.

 

9 hours ago, Laviduce said:

My take on Challenger 2 based on what I have read about the Greek Tank Trials, the Chasillan Tank Encyclopedia book, UK docs, Taylor CR2 book,etc.:

 

According to a Greek article on their tank trials, the Challenger 2 was found to be only barely better protected than the Leclerc Serie 2 (at nearly 7 tonnes more weight) and to have a significantly lower level of protection than the M1A2 (SEP) and Leopard 2 Improved. Taylor wrote, that the M1A2 (non-SEP) had 15% better frontal turret armor.

Your graphic doesn't seem to factor in these things.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, SH_MM said:

 

Which unofficiall report suggested that? Declassified documents claim that the M1E2's frontal turret armor was significantly better armored than that of the Challenger 2. Dick Taylor suggests that it was a 15% (!) difference against APFSDS rounds.

 

However the M1A2 fell short on protection against shaped charge warheads, protection of the turret sides when being shot from within the frontal arc and hull armor in general. Even with just hull armor providing 400 mm steel-equivalent protection against APFSDS rounds and turret armor barely meeting the required protection (along the complete frontal arc), the Challenger 2 can be considered

 

 

When seen directly from the front, the hull array occupies ca. 25-30% less volume, it seems rather unlikely that the hull armor array will be identical, though it might have a similar armor array/arrangement. The differences in slope also are relevant factors, which would specifically matter when using ceramics (as ceramics lose efficiency with increased slope).

 

 

I don't see any indication that the back plate would be made out of DU. It has the same greyish color as half a dozen other metals (and the actual color could be quite different, depending on how the plate was treated). The plate thickness also seems to speak against the use of DU. Both British research regarding DU armor and American sources regarding the processing of DU for use in armor suggest that thin plates (less than 1 inch) are used.

 

The most obvious factor speaking against the use of DU in the Challenger 2 tank is the weight: In case of the Challenger 1, the Burlington armor for the hull weighed 1,427 kilograms. The heavy armor package for the M1A1 HA added 1,995 kilograms in addition to the already existing armor.

 

The Challenger 2 hull armor array doesn't seem to be much heavier, that is why @Laviduce asked for input how such a significant increase in protection (~ 300-340 to 500 mm vs monobloc APFSDS rounds) was possible. Basically the Challenger 1 hull's composite filler weighs as much as the add-on armor developed for the Leopard 2 hull during the late 1980s/early 1990s (and fielded on the Leopard 2A5 tanks of Denmark and Sweden, as well as the Leopard 2A6 tanks of Greece and Spain) - without the Leopard 2's base armor. As DU wasn't found to be a very weight-efficient material (according to Swedish research at least), it seems unlikely that this was the option chosen by the UK.

 

 

According to a Greek article on their tank trials, the Challenger 2 was found to be only barely better protected than the Leclerc Serie 2 (at nearly 7 tonnes more weight) and to have a significantly lower level of protection than the M1A2 (SEP) and Leopard 2 Improved. Taylor wrote, that the M1A2 (non-SEP) had 15% better frontal turret armor.

Your graphic doesn't seem to factor in these things.

Yes that report is, literally what I was quoting. And as I precisely said, the CR2 directly met the MoD requirements I didn't say that it exceeded the M1A2 at any point in time. The issue is that as I said its somewhat unofficial is that it can probably contain inconsistencies like with other British reports on the NATO tanks, specifically leo 2 that don't match with the criteria stated by the original user.

 

I don't see your point that the occupied volume of the hull array makes it less likely to be similar/identical to the turret? You can compare hull backplate to turret backplate and see that their thicknesses are very similar. I'd also like to see a source on why 'thin plates' are used for DU, the context is important. The plate we see on the CR2's turret and hulls are backplates, something that must absorb the last amount of energy and force imparted upon it or in general, keeping the array in front unable to be compromised by resonating forces, and having a thin plate wouldn't bode well to withstand the possible threat against it, plus the possibility that these could be the only set of RHA plates within the array apart from the front plates encasing the entire tank, it wouldn't add up to be very heavy. Other materials could have been used as the backplate but the specific mounting procedure on how it its attached to the hull and turret to me resemble other examples of DU being mounted as a plate. The other thing is that we have no context other than the possibly the armor of what else the CR2 saved weight upon to achieve better protection over the CR1, Vickers marketing states almost a hundred or so 'improvements' to the tank, all of these changes to components could be contributing to a long term weight savings. It's not like the M1A1 to 1A1HA where effectively only the armor array was changed for a formula that was considerably different, we are also comparing that the CR1 is a 1960s/early 70s tank to the CR2's development which expanded for reasonably long time from the mid 1980s to the mid 1990's, with the prototypes unveiled in mid 1990, it is possible to conceptualize what was done to keep weight similar but to also improve upon the tank, keep in mind that while the hull received improvements as well despite being effectively identical to the CR1, the turret is entirely clean sheet design that is able to incorporate a multitude of weight savings 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, SH_MM said:

According to a Greek article on their tank trials, the Challenger 2 was found to be only barely better protected than the Leclerc Serie 2 (at nearly 7 tonnes more weight) and to have a significantly lower level of protection than the M1A2 (SEP) and Leopard 2 Improved.


Got a link or similar of the Greek article?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/25/2021 at 9:32 AM, Laviduce said:

ok, UK docs, Taylor CR2 book,etc.:

xU4axoyn2kM.jpg?size=815x534&quality=96&

 

frontal packs of turret much smaller with huge weak zones + there is no proves that any real improvement was made for front hull armour since CR1 

 

  

On 5/25/2021 at 9:40 AM, Korvette said:

avoided the mantlet

and what you expect from mantlet ? 

 

SMk3pNbS2Qk.jpg?size=1200x900&quality=96

 

O2wUtI6Xj9c.jpg?size=1200x900&quality=96

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, SH_MM said:

 

According to a Greek article on their tank trials, the Challenger 2 was found to be only barely better protected than the Leclerc Serie 2 (at nearly 7 tonnes more weight) and to have a significantly lower level of protection than the M1A2 (SEP) and Leopard 2 Improved. Taylor wrote, that the M1A2 (non-SEP) had 15% better frontal turret armor.

Your graphic doesn't seem to factor in these things.

A new non-DU armor package seems to have been used that seem to have improved protection significantly. Using "new geometries" it seems possible that this armor package could have been similar in performance to the 3rd Gen HAP, meaning that it could have been used on later US Abrams tanks.  Some turrets do show the XXXXM designation instead of the typical XXXXU designation (for DU equipped turrets):

 

 

Defense Daily, 30 May 2000

 

GD, U.S. Army Sweeten M1 Offers to Greece, Turkey With New Armor Package

 

By Vago Muradian

 

 

General Dynamics [GD], with the blessing of the U.S. Army, has offered Greece and Turkey a highly-sophisticated armor package to entice the countries into buying the company's M1-series tank.

The new armor, developed by the Army, offers the same level of protection as the depleted uranium armor used by U.S. forces, but without using the controversial material.

"At the time we adopted depleted uranium, it was the only material that gave us the level of protection we wanted," Peter McVey, vice president for international business at GD's Land Systems Division, told sister publication Defense Daily International during a telephone interview last week. "The new armor we are offering for the first time to Greece and Turkey offers similar protection through a combination of metals and geometry without using heavy metals. We're confident that after testing the new armor package, Greece and Turkey will be very pleased with it."

GD and the Army are pulling out all the stops in the bid to win the Greek and Turkish competitions for more than 1,200 tanks, recovery vehicles and bridging equipment. While Turkey has traditionally bought American tanks, Greece's fleet includes Leopard-series tanks built by Germany's Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, a newer version of which is competing against the M1A2 in both countries. The Leclerc by France's Giat Industries and the Challenger II by Britain's Vickers are competing against the M1A2 in Greece for about 250 tanks, while the competitors for the Turkish order for as many as 1,000 tanks includes a diesel-powered version of the M1A2 System Enhancement Package, the Leclerc, the Leopard 2A6 and the T-84 by Ukraine's Kharkov Design Bureau.

The Army launched the effort to develop the new armor package after GD in 1993 lost the competition to supply Sweden with a new tank in part because of the U.S. government's refusal to allow export of the depleted uranium armor package. Sweden chose the Leopard 2 Improved tank equipped with a new armor package that did not use heavy metals, but was superior to the U.S. armor offered at the time. The composite armor developed by Sweden, dubbed the Swedish armor package, has become Krauss-Maffei Wegmann's export standard and has been offered to Greece and Turkey.

 

"The new armor is a much better package than provided in Sweden because we and the Army are smarter than we were then," McVey said. "We have learned how to use materials and geometry to improve the armor protection from previous generations without having to get into the DU [depleted uranium] material. We have passed along technical details to both customers through classified channels, and I would say we are equal, or better than, the competition in terms of protection."

 

The armor is referred to as the third-generation package because the protection system is the third type fitted to the M1-series since its introduction nearly three decades ago. The first versions of the M1 were equipped with composite Chobham armored developed by Britain, which at the time was considered the best in the world. The British armor was succeeded by the DU, or heavy armor, which equips front-line versions of the M1. The third-generation armor, however, is intended for export because the Army sees no need to assume the cost of replacing the DU armor in existing tanks with the new protection package.

 

McVey added he is confident GD is offering not only the best protection, but also the best price and industrial package in both competitions. In Greece, GD has offered a comprehensive workshare package to Greece's state-owned armored vehicle-maker, ELVO, while in Turkey the company is allied with BMC, part of Turkey's Chicarova Group and Nurol.

The question is politics, which is a factor in every overseas weapons competition, he said, adding that the dynamics are different in Greece and Turkey.

Greece in particular, as a member of the European Union, has in the past come under intense pressure from fellow members to buy European, lobbying pressure that has successfully cost U.S. contractors.

For example, in 1998 senior Greek defense officials promised their U.S. counterparts that Northrop Grumman [NOC] would be awarded the country's order for four airborne early warning aircraft. But less than a week after Greek political leaders were confronted by E.U. leaders who challenged why Greece continued to buy American, the radar plane order was shifted to the Erieye by Sweden's Ericsson and France's Thomson-CSF.

Several months later, in early 1999, E.U. lobbying pressure convinced Greek officials to embrace the multinational Eurofighter combat jet over the F- 15 fighter by Boeing [BA]. The loss of the Greek order, coupled with Israel's decision to buy more F-16 fighters by Lockheed Martin [LMT], doomed production of the F-15.

Greek officials downplay the importance of E.U. pressure, adding that the Erieye and Eurofighter were selected on merit, not politics.

That said, McVey continues to closely watch political developments in both Greece and Turkey.

Greek officials have indicated that before the winning tank is selected, the country must first gain formal entry into the European Monetary Union. That is expected to happen on June 19. The European Parliament recently approved Greece's membership in the Euro group of nations. Second, a new armaments director must be appointed to replace Toannis Sbpokos. Until Sbpokos is replaced, it is unlikely a winning tank will be selected, sources said. Analysts and executives have said, however, they expect a winner to be announced during the Defendory 2000 sea-air-land exposition to held in Athens Oct. 3-7.

 

 

14 minutes ago, Wiedzmin said:

 

.....+ there is no proves that any real improvement was made for front hull armour since CR1 

I suspected this as well that CR2 has the same hull protection as the CR1, but I was not sure. According to this chart, which is in the Chasillan tank encyclopedia book supposedly, CR2E had the "weakest" hull protection out of all contenders:

 

Greek_armor_trial_47456.jpg.c8b93191ec25

 

It was the aim of the British to improve the ballistic protection of the hull (glacis) "to a minimum of 500 mm" RHAe KE on a future "Challenger II and III" :

 

1280549_1000.jpg.fad0857715a07c2d476c5bf

 

 

I suspected the KE protection of the various contenders during the Greek tank trials to have been roughly as follows:

 

Leclerc UAE/ S1/S2 front hull/glacis KE protection: ~500-540 mm RHAe

Challenger 2E front hull/glacis KE protection: ~500 mm RHAe  <- could also be 275-300 mm RHAe (CR1).

Strv 122 front hull/glacis KE protection: ~650-750 mm RHAe

T-80UD front hull/glacis KE protection: ~600-700 mm RHAe

M1A2 (with improved armor package*) front hull/glacis KE protection: ~550+ mm RHAe    (this could also be around 470 mm RHAe KE)

 

Given that the export M1A2 front turret armor was rated at "very good", second only to the Strv 122,  I would rank the turret Cheek armor around 700-800+ mm RHAe. Not Quite Strv 122 levels of protection but still considerably better than Challenger 2E and Leclerc UAE at around 600-650+ mm RHAe.

 

One question: Could the Leclerc S1/S2 have a better hull protection than CR2(E) ? As mentioned by SH_MM In the article, the Leclerc was "similar or never far behind" the CR2E in terms of protection. I am not sure how to interpret this.

 

 

Link to comment
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.

 Share

  • Similar Content

    • By delfosisyu
      SH_MM once uploaed this piece of image on this thread
      and I want to know where this is from.
       
       
       
       
       
      Is there anyone who can tell me the name of the book?
       
       

    • By SH_MM
      Well, if you include TUSK as armor kit for the Abrams, then you also have to include the different Theatre Entry Standards (TES) armor kits (three versions at least) of the Challenger 2. The base armor however was most likely not upgraded.
       
      The Leclerc is not geometrically more efficient. It could have been, if it's armor layout wasn't designed so badly. The Leclerc trades a smaller frontal profile for a larger number of weakspots. It uses a bulge-type turret (no idea about the proper English term), because otherwise a low-profile turret would mean reduced gun depression (breech block hits the roof when firing). There is bulge/box on the Leclerc turret roof, which is about one feet tall and located in the centerline of the turret. It is connected to the interior of the tank, as it serves as space for the breech block to travel when the gun is depressed. With this bulge the diffence between the Leopard 2's and Leclerc's roof height is about 20 milimetres.
       

       
      The problem with this bulge is, that it is essentially un-armored (maybe 40-50 mm steel armor); otherwise the Leclerc wouldn't save any weight. While the bulge is hidden from direct head-on attacks, it is exposed when the tank is attacked from an angle. Given that modern APFSDS usually do not riccochet at impact angles larger than 10-15° and most RPGs are able to fuze at such an angle, the Leclerc has a very weakly armored section that can be hit from half to two-thirds of the frontal arc and will always be penetrated.
       

       
      The next issue is the result of the gunner's sight layout. While it is somewhat reminiscent of the Leopard 2's original gunner's sight placement for some people, it is actually designed differently. The Leopard 2's original sight layout has armor in front and behind the gunner's sight, the sight also doesn't extend to the bottom of the turret. On the Leclerc things are very different, the sight is placed in front of the armor and this reduces overall thickness. This problem has been reduced by installing another armor block in front of the guner's sight, but it doesn't cover the entire crew.
       

       
      The biggest issue of the Leclerc is however the gun shield. It's tiny, only 30 mm thick! Compared to that the Leopard 2 had a 420 mm gun shield already in 1979. The French engineers went with having pretty much the largest gun mantlet of all contemporary tanks, but decided to add the thinnest gun shield for protection. They decided to instead go for a thicker armor (steel) block at the gun trunnions.
       

       
      Still the protection of the gun mantlet seems to be sub-par compared to the Leopard 2 (420 mm armor block + 200-250 mm steel for the gun trunion mount on the original tank) and even upgraded Leopard 2 tanks. The Abrams has a comparable weak protected gun mantlet, but it has a much smaller surface. The Challenger 2 seems to have thicker armor at the gun, comparable to the Leopard 2.
       
      Also, the Leclerc has longer (not thicker) turret side armor compared to the Leopard 2 and Challenger 2, because the armor needs to protect the autoloader. On the other tanks, the thick armor at the end of the crew compartment and only thinner, spaced armor/storage boxes protect the rest of the turret. So I'd say:
      Challenger 2: a few weakspots, but no armor upgrades to the main armor Leclerc: a lot of weakspots, but lower weight and a smaller profile when approached directly from the turret front M1 Abrams: upgraded armor with less weakspots, but less efficient design (large turret profile and armor covers whole turret sides) So if you look for a tank that is well protected, has upgraded armor and uses the armor efficiently, the current Leopard 2 should be called best protected tank.
×
×
  • Create New...