The LORD was with the men of Deseret. They took possession of the hill country, but they were unable to drive the people from the plains, because they had chariots of steel.
—The Book of Latter Day Saints, Ch 8, vs. 3:10, circa 25th Century CE
BULLETIN: ALL INDUSTRIAL-MECHANICAL CONCERNS
SOLICITATION FOR ALL-TERRAIN BATTLE TANK
The Provisional Government of the Lone Free State of Texas and The Great Plains issues the following solicitation for a new All-Terrain Battle Tank. The vehicle will be the main line ground combat asset of the Lone Free State Rangers, and the Texas Free State Patrol, and will replace the ageing G-12 Scout Truck, and fill the role of the cancelled G-42 Scout Truck. The All-Terrain Battle Tank (ATBT) will be required to counter the new Californian and Cascadian vehicles and weapons which our intelligence indicates are being used in the western coast of the continent. Please see the attached sheet for a full list of solicitation requirements.
Submissions will be accepted in USC only.
Supplementary Out of Canon Information:
I. Technology available:
The following armor materials are in full production and available for use. Use of a non-standard armor material requires permission from a judge.
Basic steel armor, 360 BHN. The reference for all weapon penetration figures, good impact properties, fully weldable. Available in thicknesses up to 4 inches (RHA) 8 inches (CHA).
Density- 0.28 lb/in^3.
ii. Aluminum 5083
More expensive to work with than RHA per weight, middling impact properties, low thermal limits. Excellent stiffness.
Fully weldable. Available in thicknesses up to 4 inches.
Mass efficiency vs RHA of 1 vs CE, 0.9 vs KE.
Thickness efficiency vs RHA of 0.33 vs CE, 0.3 vs KE.
Density- 0.1 lb/in^3 (approx. 1/3 of steel).
For structural integrity, the following guidelines are recommended:
For heavy vehicles (30-40 tons), not less than 1 in RHA/1.75 in Aluminum base structure
For medium-light vehicles (<25 tons), not less than 0.5 in RHA/1 in Aluminum base structure
Intermediate values for intermediate vehicles may be chosen as seen fit.
Non-structural passive materials:
Steel, approximately 500 BHN through-hardened. Approximately 1.5x as effective as RHA against KE and HEAT on a per-weight basis. Not weldable, middling shock properties. Available in thicknesses up to 1 inch.
Density- 0.28 lb/in^3
Mass efficiency vs RHA of 1.3 vs CE, 1 vs KE.
Thickness efficiency vs RHA of 0.14 vs CE, 0.1 vs KE.
v. Assorted stowage/systems
Mass efficiency vs RHA- 1 vs CE, 0.8 vs KE.
vi. Spaced armor
Requires a face of at least 1 inch LOS vs CE, and at least 0.75 caliber LOS vs fullbore AP KE.
Reduces penetration by a factor of 1.1 vs CE or 1.05 vs KE for every 4 inchair gap.
Spaced armor rules only apply after any standoff surplus to the requirements of a reactive cassette.
Reactive armor materials:
A sandwich of 0.125in/0.125in/0.125in steel-explodium-steel.
Requires mounting brackets of approximately 10-30% cassette weight.
Must be spaced at least 2 sandwich thicknesses away from any other armor elements to allow full functionality. 81% coverage (edge effects).
A sandwich of 0.25in steel/0.25in rubber/0.25in steel.
Requires mounting brackets of approximately 10-30% cassette weight.
Must be spaced at least 1 sandwich thickness away from any other armor elements to allow full functionality. 95% coverage.
The details of how to calculate armor effectiveness will be detailed in Appendix 1.
i. Bofors 57mm (reference weapon) - 85,000 PSI PMax/70,000 PSI Peak Operating Pressure, high quality steel cases, recoil mechanisms and so on are at an equivalent level to that of the USA in the year 1960.
ii. No APFSDS currently in use, experimental weapons only - Spindle sabots or bourelleted sabots, see for example the Soviet BM-20 100mm APFSDS.
iii. Tungsten is available for tooling but not formable into long rod penetrators. It is available for penetrators up to 6 calibers L:D.
iv. Texan shaped charge technology - 4 CD penetration for high-pressure resistant HEAT, 5 CD for low pressure/ precision formed HEAT.
v. The subsidy-approved GPMG for the Lone Free State of Texas has the same form factor as the M240, but with switchable feed direction.. The standard HMG has the same form factor as the Kord, but with switchable feed direction.
i. Engines tech level:
1. MB 838 (830 HP)
2. AVDS-1790-5A (908 HP)
3. Kharkov 5TD (600 HP)
4. Detroit Diesel 8V92 (400 HP)
5. Detroit Diesel 6V53 (200 HP)
ii. Power density should be based on the above engines. Dimensions are available online, pay attention to cooling of 1 and 3 (water cooled).
iii. Power output broadly scales with volume, as does weight. Trying to extract more power from the same size may come at the cost of reliability (and in the case of the 5TD, it isn’t all that reliable in the first place).
iv. There is nothing inherently wrong with opposed piston or 2-stroke engines if done right.
i. LRFs- unavailable
iii. I^2- Gen 2 maximum
vi. Texas cannot mass produce microprocessors or integrated circuits
vii. Really early transistors only (e.g., transistor radio)
viii. While it is known states exist with more advanced computer technology, the import of such systems are barred by the east coast states who do not approve of their use by militaristic entities.
Armor calculation appendix.
SHEET 1 Armor defeat calculator 4in-54 1200 yd
SHEET 2 Armor defeat calculator 4in-54 2000 yd
SHEET 3 Armor defeat calculator 6in HEAT
This is the competition entry thread.
Please submit your complete entries here (all entries will be judged complete when judging begins in the first week of November) and keep the other competition thread for discussion and chatter.
Once judging is complete I will make a post here to discuss the entries and announce a winner.
Best of luck!
Update: final submissions should be in hand by the 22nd of November 2020.
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).
You are an engineer at an Italian locomotive and tractor-making company in early 1943. The writing is on the wall for the Italian army in North Africa, with a lot of equipment having been lost and the enemy on the brink of kicking the axis out of Tunisia and then heading across the Mediterranean. In short, things are looking more than a little desperate.
However, all is not lost. Il Duce himself has stepped in and, with the assistance of the Germans, procured both some of their finest captured vehicles for use in the upcoming defense of the homeland. Since many of these vehicles have been... gently used, and the existing firms like Ansaldo are flooded with orders, your firm has been asked to work on them in order to bring them up to the standards demanded by modern warfare.
In addition to these vehicles, the Germans have also graciously agreed to sell weapons from their existing stock of captured equipment, as well as providing production licenses for some of their more modern equipment. You have also been given permission to work with local weapons manufacturers in order to modify existing artillery to suit your needs. Italian automotive and engine manufacturers are similarly available to help. Finally; your firm's experience in locomotives and tractors means that you can modify hulls and put together turrets and turret rings. You can also produce castings (although not very large ones) and weld armour plates.
Your job, which you have no choice but to accept, is to choose a vehicle from among the captured stock being offered for sale, and propose a series of plausible fixes in order to give it a fighting chance against the American and British equipment currently in the field (specifically light tanks and light anti-tank weapons).
It is not foreseen that any of these vehicles will be able to plausibly take on modern medium or heavy designs head-on. Instead, what is wanted are general, implementable improvements to the characteristics of the chosen vehicle. These improvements should be aimed at making these vehicles more useful in the initial battles which are foreseen taking place against airborne and landing forces, in general cooperation with infantry, and as scouts.
The submission should include one or more drawings or blueprints (at least a side view of the vehicle, but preferably a 3-point view and isometric view), a description of the modified vehicle, a description of how the modifications would be accomplished and a description of how the modifications would improve the design overall. The text of the submission should short and descriptive rather than long and exhaustive, and should not exceed 1000 words in total. Images may be photoshopped using existing pictures.
Judging will be done on the basis of plausibility and effectiveness, with innovative solutions being encouraged in order to get the most bang for buck out of the base vehicle. Beyond implementation, the fixes should prioritise combat effectiveness while also improving reliability, crew ergonomics, communication, mobility and protection as much as possible.
The foreign vehicles available for modification are:
Renault R35 (already in service) Hotchkiss H35/39 Somua S35 (already in use for training purposes) T-26 BT-5 T-28 (only available in very small numbers, so need to be extremely effective) Panzer II Ausf.C
The foreign weapons immediately available for purchase are:
15mm ZB-60 25mm Puteaux and Hotchkiss 3.7cm KPÚV vz. 34/Pak 34 (t) 3.7cm ÚV vz. 38/KwK 38(t)
3.7cm Pak 36 4.0 cm Pak 192 (e) 45mm M1937 (53-K) 4.7cm KPÚV vz. 38/Pak 38 (t) 47mm APX 7.5cm Pak 97/38 7.62 cm F.K.297(r) and 7.62 cm PaK 39(r) 8.8cm Raketenwerfer 43
Licenses are also available for the manufacture of foreign engines (Maybach HL62 TRM, Maybach HL120 TRM and Praga Typ TNHPS/II), periscopes, sights, radios, cupolas and automotive subassemblies. All foreign vehicle weapons, subassemblies and components are available for reverse engineering and manufacture.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This competition hasn't been finalised, and is waiting on your input! Vote to participate by giving this topic a 'controversial' (grapefruit-induced tears being the only currency of value), and if we get enough participants we'll pull the trigger. Ask any questions you want below, and when/if the competition goes forwards I will make a new thread for entries.
Edit: thanks to excellent feedback, the competition proposal has been somewhat edited. If you want an idea of what my mindset is here, read up on the battle of Gela (bearing in mind that the wikipedia entry is shite) and ask how much better the counter-attack could have gone if the Italian vehicles had been equipped with radios and had the ability to move faster than jogging speed.
Edit 2: since I failed to mention this above - this is not a one-man, one-entry sort of competition (although I'm not keen on the ten-men, one entry approach either).
If you have two good ideas then you can submit twice. The only rules are not to test my patience and to keep it within the bounds of good taste.