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2 hours ago, Xoon said:

What did you dislike about the AMX-10RC, or armored vehicles in general? 
Everything counts, even lack of space for snacks for that matter. 

Generaly speaking, I never answer to such a question because it’s the start of unrealistic discussions of technology fanboys unknowing real. But, I can say :

- never forget AMX-10RC is a very 80’s light tank. So, any improvement must be cheap provide. 

- the world famous Serge AFV belief is : an AFV chassis push, carry and tow. 

- having a good AFV is good, but without its environment, it’s useless. 

 

FCS, sights, weapons were good.

 

So, I would have :

- modified the seats to have something more confortable and armored. Maybe an harness to sleep ;

- introduced a new TC hatch with an umbrella opening (my priority) ;

- rearrange external storage to increase them ;

- suppress river crossing (both useless and dangerous) to have more storage ;

- add spall liner and mine proof plates under pilot seat and turret floor. 

 

Considering chassis, I would have add :

- 2 rear fuel drop barrels like the Leclerc ones. Fuel drums are compulsory ;

- front tools connector to push mine rollers...

 

Considering it’s environment, I would have :

- add a fourth 10RC per troop (In France, reccon tanks troops are 3 tanks troops. Leclerc : 4 MBT troops) ;

- adopted AMX-10RTT as command post and ARVs instead of VAB and ARV based on trucks.

c080b9187ce9aa61fe7302c881f145e3.jpg

 

With diminution of 10RC number, I would have transformed some of them in general purpose vehicles able to carry dedicated teams for special tasks such as EW....

When dimounting the barrel and ammo racks, you have plenty of room. 

 

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The specs required a highly mobile tank capable to destroy any Warsaw pact (PAVA) tanks at long range with a high hit probability on first shot. This led to the crafting of highly precise system. To

Well it's just a certain nuance. Obviously there is a stabilisation system but it is limited to the stabilisation of the line of sight (within the sights). The turret itself has no stabilisation s

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On 16/04/2018 at 9:43 AM, Alzoc said:

 

I remember reading that they payed a particular attention on mass balance around the trunnion for the Leclerc's gun, so that the strain on the electric drive of the gun would be as limited as possible.

  Reveal hidden contents

 

 

Don't know the final performance level they reached, but Nexter/GIAT commonly marketed the Leclerc as the only tank with a true fire on the move capability (describing the M1, Leo 2 and Challenger 2 as tanks that have merely acquired this capacity at limited speed and only in the frontal arc).

 

When reading on the history of it's development one have the really distinct feeling that they went full retarted on having the best stabilization possible.

The initial aluminum tracks that had awful service life were chosen for their light weight but mostly because they generated less vibrations, for example.

 

Dunno if the M1, Challenger 2 and Leo 2 still use an hydraulic drive for their guns or if their most recent versions switched to electric.

 

 

A sort of mechanical arm that would measure the angular difference?

Well that's a question for a crewman for once. Does the gunner lose the target when the gun is reloading?

@Serge Aren't you the one who knows an ex Leclerc TC?

Or was it @Laviduce?

 

The specs required a highly mobile tank capable to destroy any Warsaw pact (PAVA) tanks at long range with a high hit probability on first shot. This led to the crafting of highly precise system.
To be honnest with you there is no stabilisation on the Leclerc. The gun is slave to the ballistic computer which computes the ideal LOF from the stabilised LOS.
When reloading, the gun goes to the reloading elevation. Meanwhile the LOS is still stabilised to the direction of observation (in the limits of the mirrors amplitude). Unless you release the palm switches, the mirrors go to their mechanical neutral positions.

The gunner sight is mechanically mounted to the main armament. When the gun goes up and down; the sight bows up and down.
Since the both move along with the exact same angle, boresighting can be done automatically with a deviation measurement laser (AMX 10 RC being the first french AFV to be equiped with such device).
Crews do some alignments (what we call "harmonisation" where we keep the parallax in check), but that's not the bullshit stated by Sergei Suvorov where crews were forced to boresight everytime they move their tanks...
 

On 16/04/2018 at 4:06 PM, Alzoc said:

 

There was a shitload of concept for the Leclerc (same for any 3rd gen MBT I guess).

Take your pick:
 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

948baa2e8a4ae5304082a3e24b9f8dcc

c2a0af58e19ef91f9b4d00ae3e3d6659

dacb53df9ff04e126e9e56c34b16aae9

67403526cad3d05ca951b20ae286c18f

d9ef28c84fa495f9adc6d3d325d839a2

0068Ayuagy1fc6caf4g2vj31kw23vb2b.jpg

 

 

At the time engineers were open minded on what could replace the classical tank. Once they defined that their platform was still an AFV, they assessed every kind of compromise to take what was the most favorable and compatible to their specs guideline.
 

20 hours ago, Alzoc said:

On the mass balance topic, here's a citation of a book I (and probably other French speaking members) own.

Even if you don't speak French it's quite a nice book to have with plenty of pictures (all those pictures of the various early EPC concept comes from here), though you have the impression that nobody ever proofread it (screw grammar and the orthograph^^).

 

P58:

 

Comme pour la fonction mobilité, une mécanique de haute technologie est requise pour la fonction feu. Celle-ci est entièrement conçue pour faire du tir en roulant le mode normal d'engagement des cibles.

La précision de la stabilisation est donc au cœur des performances du système. Stabiliser un objet dans l'espace (en l’occurrence la tourelle et son canon) est un défi technique qui requiert de la part de l'ingénieur en mécanique le respect des trois règles d'or:

 

-La recherche des équilibres ;

-Le contrôle des élasticités et des déformations dynamiques ;

-La chasse au jeu entre les pièces.

 

Ces équilibres sont obtenus par conception du canon de 120mm et de la tourelle dont les centres de gravité sont respectivement situés sur les axes de rotation site et gisement.

 

Canon et tourelle sont mis en mouvement à l'aide de moteurs électriques transmettant leur puissance à des boîtes mécaniques de pointage dont les élasticité sont contrôlées en permanence grâce à un montage utilisant des barres de torsion.

Enfin des roulements à billes sans jeu assistent le mouvement du canon dans l'axe vertical.

Sans ces technologies mécaniques particulières, la meilleure électronique du monde ne saurait conserver le canon en direction de la cible sans une débauche de puissance peu compatible avec les contraintes d'emport dans une tourelle.

 

Google trad doesn't make too bad of a job translating it but the main points are:

 

-The gun center of gravity lay on the level of the trunnion

-The turret center of gravity is on the axis of rotation of said turret

-The elasticity of the mechanical parts driving the gun and the turret are monitered in real time reduced using torsion bars (don't know exactly how) The backlash is nearly suppressed.

-Ball bearings with minimal backlash (and same apply for most moving parts) are used.

-No hydraulics, everything is electrically driven.

 

20 hours ago, Serge said:

Yes.

The Leclerc MBT barrel is very rearward compared the manualy loaded turret. This way, artillery is naturally balanced. 

 

Yes.

Leclerc MBT was the first tank designed to achieve fire on the move at hight speed. Firing off road at 40km/h to a mobile target is basic.

Maybe Type-10 and K2 are better today. Maybe. 

 

Yes. 

Aluminium tracks can’t last as long as classical steel ones. They were found too much expensive to support for peace time. 

 

You have such a mechanical link. I don’t know the exact purpose. 

 

I was AMX-10RC tank commander. I never served with Leclerc MBT. So, I can’t help for very detailed data. 

In France, you have Leclerc, Darklabor, Totochez, Rescator. They are not bullshiting. 

Fun fact regarding the tracks. They spent quite some time to switch to steel tracks. They initially used the same arrangement as the aluminum alloy tracks (the shape of the rubber trackpads were supposed to reduce the stomping effect). Surprise, surprise, the vibrations at high speed were strong enough to be a handicap. This explains why we transition from V2 (alloy) to V5 (steel). Apparently V4 was also a disappointment.

Even with V5 or DST 840 the vibration is quite awkward compared to V2.

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Thanks a lot for your answers, and welcome to SH.

 

45 minutes ago, DarkLabor said:

To be honnest with you there is no stabilisation on the Leclerc. The gun is slave to the ballistic computer which computes the ideal LOF from the stabilised LOS.
When reloading, the gun goes to the reloading elevation. Meanwhile the LOS is still stabilised to the direction of observation (in the limits of the mirrors amplitude). Unless you release the palm switches, the mirrors go to their mechanical neutral positions.

The gunner sight is mechanically mounted to the main armament. When the gun goes up and down; the sight bows up and down.
Since the both move along with the exact same angle, boresighting can be done automatically with a deviation measurement laser (AMX 10 RC being the first french AFV to be equiped with such device).
Crews do some alignments (what we call "harmonisation" where we keep the parallax in check), but that's not the bullshit stated by Sergei Suvorov where crews were forced to boresight everytime they move their tanks...

 

So if I understand well, the gunner sight is normally linked to the gun (as it follow the gun when it move up and down) but the mirror inside it can be decoupled from it to allow to keep the LoS intact when for example the gun elevate to reload?

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1 hour ago, Alzoc said:

Thanks a lot for your answers, and welcome to SH.

 

 

So if I understand well, the gunner sight is normally linked to the gun (as it follow the gun when it move up and down) but the mirror inside it can be decoupled from it to allow to keep the LoS intact when for example the gun elevate to reload?

Just like any contemporary tank, the mirrors are decoupled from the turret/armament in order to offer a stabilised view.
As long as the gunner pushes the palmswitches, the turret is "active", the mirror will compensate the movement of the tank. When you release the palmswitches, the mirror will return to the mechanical zero. In the case of this happenning during a reload, where the gun is mechanically locked in a certain position; means that the LOS will move to realign with the gun (the LOF will certainly not move since the palmswitches are the elementary security switches for turret movements).
 

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13 hours ago, DarkLabor said:

switches, the mirrors go to their mechanical neutral positions.

The gunner sight is mechanically mounted to the main armament. When the gun goes up and down; the sight bows up and down.

Crews do some alignments (what we call "harmonisation" where we keep the parallax in check), but that's not the bullshit stated by Sergei Suvorov where crews were forced to boresight everytime they move their tanks...

Rezun said this about soviet tanks or french?

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2 hours ago, That_Baka said:

Rezun said this about soviet tanks or french?

The french ones in UAE (Gulf 2005???).
The documentary was totally bullshit with russian bias.
He also claimed that the emiratis were in love of the BMP-3 (but we know what happenned when they used them in Yemen).

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On 4/17/2018 at 9:30 AM, DarkLabor said:

To be honnest with you there is no stabilisation on the Leclerc. The gun is slave to the ballistic computer which computes the ideal LOF from the stabilised LOS.
When reloading, the gun goes to the reloading elevation. Meanwhile the LOS is still stabilised to the direction of observation (in the limits of the mirrors amplitude). Unless you release the palm switches, the mirrors go to their mechanical neutral positions.

The gunner sight is mechanically mounted to the main armament. When the gun goes up and down; the sight bows up and down.
Since the both move along with the exact same angle, boresighting can be done automatically with a deviation measurement laser (AMX 10 RC being the first french AFV to be equiped with such device).
Crews do some alignments (what we call "harmonisation" where we keep the parallax in check), but that's not the bullshit stated by Sergei Suvorov where crews were forced to boresight everytime they move their tanks...

 

On 4/17/2018 at 11:21 AM, DarkLabor said:

Just like any contemporary tank, the mirrors are decoupled from the turret/armament in order to offer a stabilised view.
As long as the gunner pushes the palmswitches, the turret is "active", the mirror will compensate the movement of the tank. When you release the palmswitches, the mirror will return to the mechanical zero. In the case of this happenning during a reload, where the gun is mechanically locked in a certain position; means that the LOS will move to realign with the gun (the LOF will certainly not move since the palmswitches are the elementary security switches for turret movements).
 

 

Welcome to SH, DarkLabor.  Always good to have someone who can talk specifics.

 

Could you explain more of what you mean when you say that "there is no stabilization on the Leclerc?"

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3 hours ago, Collimatrix said:

 

 

Welcome to SH, DarkLabor.  Always good to have someone who can talk specifics.

 

Could you explain more of what you mean when you say that "there is no stabilization on the Leclerc?"

Well it's just a certain nuance.
Obviously there is a stabilisation system but it is limited to the stabilisation of the line of sight (within the sights).
The turret itself has no stabilisation system.
A stabilisation system uses a set of gyroscopes located at specific points (hull, turret, armament).
The angular informations gathered by the different gyros is computed by the FCS which gives a set of corrections to the elevation and traverse mechanism (the most early stab systems where the armament remains to the same position no mater how the tank behaves). In addition the FCS adds on top of this another set of corrections related to the ideal LOF (later stab systems that introduces the concept of correction of the position of the tank).

On the Leclerc, the sight being how it is, the number of variables is kept as minimum as possible. You only compute the angular variation between the current LOS and the ideal LOF. The set of values is then dispatched to the "guidance system" (asservissements) which monitors the actual movement of the turret (traverse and elevation) and assess the need to power the electric motors or revert them into generators to brake the movement.
In itself the tank knows on its own the position of the differents elements (hull, turret and armament) with the closed loop elevation and traverse. The sight give the angle of the whole.

Hope it is clear. It's not a whole lot but we make this distinction.

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Thank you for taking the time to explain this.  Technical discussions across a language barrier are often difficult, because technical terminology rarely translates well!

It sounds like the fire control system on the Leclerc works very similarly to other, modern MBTs.  In English technical jargon it would be described as having a feed-forwards, two-plane, gun-follows-sight stabilization system, but it sounds like the literal translation of the French terminology would give an English speaker a very misleading idea of what's going on.

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On 4/16/2018 at 11:57 PM, Serge said:

- modified the seats to have something more confortable

 

I've heard that this is especially the case regarding the commander's seat (in terms of lack of comfort).

 

On 4/16/2018 at 11:57 PM, Serge said:

- rearrange external storage to increase them ;

- suppress river crossing (both useless and dangerous) to have more storage ;

 

For what purpose ?

 

More tools ?

More space for the crew personal equipment ?

Or just fitting the tools currently mounted outside (towing cable, entrenching tool, sledgehammer, ...) inside ?

 

 

On 4/16/2018 at 11:57 PM, Serge said:

- add spall liner and mine proof plates under pilot seat and turret floor. 

 

So, it would be a  kind of lightened version of the SEPAR kit ?

 

On 4/16/2018 at 4:06 PM, Alzoc said:

 

There was a shitload of concept for the Leclerc (same for any 3rd gen MBT I guess).

Take your pick:
 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

948baa2e8a4ae5304082a3e24b9f8dcc

c2a0af58e19ef91f9b4d00ae3e3d6659

dacb53df9ff04e126e9e56c34b16aae9

67403526cad3d05ca951b20ae286c18f

d9ef28c84fa495f9adc6d3d325d839a2

0068Ayuagy1fc6caf4g2vj31kw23vb2b.jpg

 

 

 

Notice the difference in weight between the TC 2 (53 metric tons, two-man turret) and the TC 3 (58 metric tons, three-man turret) concepts.

 

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1 hour ago, Sovngard said:

I've heard that this is especially the case regarding the commander's seat (in terms of lack of comfort).

Both commander and gunner’s seats are identical.

The only difference is the commander adjustment’s got a rear stopper to reduce the setting by 3 cm. Why ? To avoid to pierce fuel tanks. Without the stopper, the seat can protrude from the turret basket. 

My goal is to protect the crew from shrapnel. So, I would have manufactured seats with ballistic materials. 

 

We have to remain that in France, people above 185cm were not permitted to become tankist, but tank commanders.

So my knees suffered a little bit against the gunner’s seat. 

 

Quote

For what purpose ?

 

More tools ?

More space for the crew personal equipment ?

Or just fitting the tools currently mounted outside (towing cable, entrenching tool, sledgehammer, ...) inside ?

Look at any tank at war. You never have enough place.

The only external storage you have (on the RC standard, not the RCR), is a basket designed to carry 4 of the old butyl waterproof tank crew pack. During the Gulf war, crewmen stored MREs between the hull and the add-on armor.

In the French troop, you have a truck per troop to carry burden. But, in the real life you must be as autonomous as possible. 

My solution would have been a mixt between the TML-105 storage for the front and the sides and a Merkava like rear basket. 

amx2.jpg

 

Quote

So, it would be a  kind of lightened version of the SEPAR kit ?

SEPAR is too much heavy. 

I’m just thinking about internal layer on some dedicated places. AMX-10RC can’t be burdened. It’s very dangerous considering its steering system.

In 2002, Australian SAS LRPV received 4cm thick anti-mine composite floor plates. This kind of solution would have been acceptable. 

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2 minutes ago, Serge said:

SEPAR kit is so heavy, 10RCR is beyond its limits. 

It was designed during Afghanistan but it’s no more used.

 

Well the 10 RCR will be put out of service in a few years anyway.

I doubt we will see any more upgrades on the platform.

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8 minutes ago, DarkLabor said:

The arrival of Jaguar will not come instantly, there is still room for "operational emergencies"...

 

True.

 

What I said is simply that I doubt that the government will be willing to spend money on upgrades for a vehicles on it's way out.

Especially now that they finally understood that keeping old vehicles in services cost more in the long run than accelerating the delivery of the new ones.

 

There seem to be a will from the actual government to increase the defence budget but 5 years is a short time to make up for the lack of investment over decades and we don't know what will be the stance of the next government.

We'll see I guess.

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8 minutes ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

So will they be scrapped or just sent to get dust in some remote long term storage?

 

With the habits of the French army, I would say sent to long term storage.

I guess that the first to be retired would be cannibalized for the maintenance of those still in service.

After some time it's possible that they will end in the open market.

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1 hour ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

So will they be scrapped or just sent to get dust in some remote long term storage?

I think scrapped. 

They will be very old. The upgrade capability is poor and the barrel is not NATO compatible. It fires a light 105mm shell. 

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On 4/16/2018 at 5:57 PM, Serge said:

Generaly speaking, I never answer to such a question because it’s the start of unrealistic discussions of technology fanboys unknowing real. But, I can say :

- never forget AMX-10RC is a very 80’s light tank. So, any improvement must be cheap provide. 

- the world famous Serge AFV belief is : an AFV chassis push, carry and tow. 

- having a good AFV is good, but without its environment, it’s useless. 

 

FCS, sights, weapons were good.

 

So, I would have :

- modified the seats to have something more confortable and armored. Maybe an harness to sleep ;

- introduced a new TC hatch with an umbrella opening (my priority) ;

- rearrange external storage to increase them ;

- suppress river crossing (both useless and dangerous) to have more storage ;

- add spall liner and mine proof plates under pilot seat and turret floor. 

 

Considering chassis, I would have add :

- 2 rear fuel drop barrels like the Leclerc ones. Fuel drums are compulsory ;

- front tools connector to push mine rollers...

 

Considering it’s environment, I would have :

- add a fourth 10RC per troop (In France, reccon tanks troops are 3 tanks troops. Leclerc : 4 MBT troops) ;

- adopted AMX-10RTT as command post and ARVs instead of VAB and ARV based on trucks.

 

With diminution of 10RC number, I would have transformed some of them in general purpose vehicles able to carry dedicated teams for special tasks such as EW....

When dimounting the barrel and ammo racks, you have plenty of room. 

 

 

9 hours ago, Serge said:

Both commander and gunner’s seats are identical.

The only difference is the commander adjustment’s got a rear stopper to reduce the setting by 3 cm. Why ? To avoid to pierce fuel tanks. Without the stopper, the seat can protrude from the turret basket. 

My goal is to protect the crew from shrapnel. So, I would have manufactured seats with ballistic materials. 

 

We have to remain that in France, people above 185cm were not permitted to become tankist, but tank commanders.

So my knees suffered a little bit against the gunner’s seat. 

 

Look at any tank at war. You never have enough place.

The only external storage you have (on the RC standard, not the RCR), is a basket designed to carry 4 of the old butyl waterproof tank crew pack. During the Gulf war, crewmen stored MREs between the hull and the add-on armor.

In the French troop, you have a truck per troop to carry burden. But, in the real life you must be as autonomous as possible. 

My solution would have been a mixt between the TML-105 storage for the front and the sides and a Merkava like rear basket. 

amx2.jpg

 

SEPAR is too much heavy. 

I’m just thinking about internal layer on some dedicated places. AMX-10RC can’t be burdened. It’s very dangerous considering its steering system.

In 2002, Australian SAS LRPV received 4cm thick anti-mine composite floor plates. This kind of solution would have been acceptable. 

 

Might as well make a new bloody vehicle with all those changes. Maybe something like a 105mm armed VBCI or the Vextra 105? Or maybe just build a totally new vehicle from the ground up specifically for urban/sub-urban combat. Could probably give it MRAP capabilities stock and not have to worry about a damn 2 ton upgrade package... 

 

Thinking about it, the newest Centauro sounds like a pretty good fit, just add some extra boxes to the hull sides/turret bustle and you’re pretty close to those requirements. 

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2 hours ago, Sovngard said:

 

I demand to see the transmission of this thing.

 

1525108473-btmp-backl.jpg

 

I would think it's similar to the Achzarit's transmission, considering they both have a rear transmission and door: 

 

Spoiler
1280px-Achzarit_APC_rear_view.jpg
File:Achzarit armored personnel carrier, 2011.jpg

 

 

 

On a separate note: what kind of (preferably free) drawing software could I get, or what do you guys use, for making some of these designs? Or would my Mk.1 Hand and Mk.2 Ruler suffice, and I could just scan it into my computer? 

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      SUBJ: RFP for new battle tank

      1.      Background.
      As part of the War of 2248 against the Perfidious Cascadians, great deficiencies were discovered in the Heavy tank DF-1. As detailed in report [REDACTED], the DF-1 was quite simply no match for the advanced weaponry developed in secret by the Cascadian entity. Likewise, the DF-1 has fared poorly in the fighting against the heretical Mormonhideen, who have developed many improvised weapons capable of defeating the armor on this vehicle, as detailed in report [REDACTED]. The Extended War on the Eastern Front has stalled for want of sufficient survivable firepower to push back the Mormon menace beyond the Colorado River south of the Vegas Crater.
      The design team responsible for the abject failure that was the DF-1 have been liquidated, which however has not solved the deficiencies of the existing vehicle in service. Therefore, a new vehicle is required, to meet the requirements of the People’s Auditory Forces to keep the dream of our lord and prophet alive.


       
      Over the past decade, the following threats have presented themselves:

      A.      The Cascadian M-2239 “Norman” MBT and M-8 light tank

      Despite being approximately the same size, these 2 vehicles seem to share no common components, not even the primary armament! Curiously, it appears that the lone 120mm SPG specimen recovered shares design features with the M-8, despite being made out of steel and not aluminum like the light tank. (based on captured specimens from the battle of Crater Lake, detailed in report [REDACTED]).
      Both tanks are armed with high velocity guns.

      B.      The Cascadian BGM-1A/1B/1C/1D ATGM

      Fitted on a limited number of tank destroyers, several attack helicopters, and (to an extent) man-portable, this missile system is the primary Cascadian anti-armor weapon other than their armored forces. Intelligence suggests that a SACLOS version (BGM-1C) is in LRIP, with rumors of a beam-riding version (BGM-1D) being developed.

      Both warheads penetrate approximately 6 cone diameters.

      C.      Deseret tandem ATR-4 series
      Inspired by the Soviet 60/105mm tandem warhead system from the late 80s, the Mormon nation has manufactured a family of 2”/4” tandem HEAT warheads, launched from expendable short-range tube launchers, dedicated AT RRs, and even used as the payload of the JS-1 MCLOS vehicle/man-portable ATGM.
      Both warheads penetrate approximately 5 cone diameters.

      D.      Cascadian HEDP 90mm rocket
      While not a particularly impressive AT weapon, being of only middling diameter and a single shaped charge, the sheer proliferation of this device has rendered it a major threat to tanks, as well as lighter vehicles. This weapon is available in large numbers in Cascadian infantry squads as “pocket artillery”, and there are reports of captured stocks being used by the Mormonhideen.
      Warhead penetrates approximately 4 cone diameters.

      E.      Deseret 40mm AC/ Cascadian 35mm AC
      These autocannon share broadly similar AP performance, and are considered a likely threat for the foreseeable future, on Deseret armored cars, Cascadian tank destroyers, and likely also future IFVs.

      F.      IEDs

      In light of the known resistance of tanks to standard 10kg anti-tank mines, both the Perfidious Cascadians and the Mormonhideen have taken to burying larger anti-tank A2AD weaponry. The Cascadians have doubled up some mines, and the Mormons have regularly buried AT mines 3, 4, and even 5 deep.

      2.      General guidelines:

      A.      Solicitation outline:
      In light of the differing requirements for the 2 theaters of war in which the new vehicle is expected to operate, proposals in the form of a field-replaceable A-kit/B-kit solution will be accepted.

      B.      Requirements definitions:
      The requirements in each field are given in 3 levels- Threshold, Objective, and Ideal.
      Threshold is the minimum requirement to be met; failure to reach this standard may greatly disadvantage any proposal.

      Objective is the threshold to be aspired to; it reflects the desires of the People’s Auditory Forces Armored Branch, which would prefer to see all of them met. At least 70% must be met, with bonus points for any more beyond that.

      Ideal specifications are the maximum of which the armored forces dare not even dream. Bonus points will be given to any design meeting or exceeding these specifications.

      C.      All proposals must accommodate the average 1.7m high Californian recruit.

      D.      The order of priorities for the DPRC is as follows:

      a.      Vehicle recoverability.

      b.      Continued fightability.

      c.       Crew survival.

      E.      Permissible weights:

      a.      No individual field-level removable or installable component may exceed 5 tons.

      b.      Despite the best efforts of the Agriculture Command, Californian recruits cannot be expected to lift weights in excess of 25 kg at any time.

      c.       Total vehicle weight must remain within MLC 120 all-up for transport.

      F.      Overall dimensions:

      a.      Length- essentially unrestricted.

      b.      Width- 4m transport width.

                                                                    i.     No more than 4 components requiring a crane may be removed to meet this requirement.

                                                                   ii.     Any removed components must be stowable on top of the vehicle.

      c.       Height- The vehicle must not exceed 3.5m in height overall.

      G.     Technology available:

      a.      Armor:
      The following armor materials are in full production and available for use. Use of a non-standard armor material requires permission from a SEA ORG judge.
      Structural materials:

                                                                    i.     RHA/CHA

      Basic steel armor, 250 BHN. The reference for all weapon penetration figures, good impact properties, fully weldable. Available in thicknesses up to 150mm (RHA) or 300mm (CHA).
      Density- 7.8 g/cm^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 100mm.
      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- 2.7 g/cm^3 (approx. 1/3 of steel).

      For structural integrity, the following guidelines are recommended:

      For light vehicles (less than 40 tons), not less than 25mm RHA/45mm Aluminum base structure

      For heavy vehicles (70 tons and above), not less than 45mm RHA/80mm Aluminum base structure.
      Intermediate values for intermediate vehicles may be chosen as seen fit.
      Non-structural passive materials:

                                                                  iii.     HHA

      Steel, approximately 500 BHN through-hardened. Approximately twice as effective as RHA against KE and HEAT on a per-weight basis. Not weldable, middling shock properties. Available in thicknesses up to 25mm.
      Density- 7.8g/cm^3.

                                                                  iv.     Glass textolite

      Mass efficiency vs RHA of 2.2 vs CE, 1.64 vs KE.

      Thickness efficiency vs RHA of 0.52 vs CE, 0.39 vs KE.
      Density- 1.85 g/cm^3 (approximately ¼ of steel).
      Non-structural.

                                                                   v.     Fused silica

      Mass efficiency vs RHA of 3.5 vs CE, 1 vs KE.

      Thickness efficiency vs RHA of 1 vs CE, 0.28 vs KE.
      Density-2.2g/cm^3 (approximately 1/3.5 of steel).
      Non-structural, requires confinement (being in a metal box) to work.

                                                                  vi.     Fuel

      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.

      Density-0.82g/cm^3.

                                                                vii.     Assorted stowage/systems

      Mass efficiency vs RHA- 1 vs CE, 0.8 vs KE.

                                                               viii.     Spaced armor

      Requires a face of at least 25mm LOS vs CE, and at least 50mm LOS vs KE.

      Reduces penetration by a factor of 1.1 vs CE or 1.05 vs KE for every 10 cm air gap.
      Spaced armor rules only apply after any standoff surplus to the requirements of a reactive cassette.

      Reactive armor materials:

                                                                  ix.     ERA-light

      A sandwich of 3mm/3mm/3mm steel-explodium-steel.
      Requires mounting brackets of approximately 10-30% cassette weight.

      Must be spaced at least 3 sandwich thicknesses away from any other armor elements to allow full functionality. 81% coverage (edge effects).

                                                                   x.     ERA-heavy

      A sandwich of 15mm steel/3mm explodium/9mm steel.
      Requires mounting brackets of approximately 10-30% cassette weight.
      Must be spaced at least 3 sandwich thicknesses away from any other armor elements to allow full functionality. 81% coverage (edge effects).

                                                                  xi.     NERA-light

      A sandwich of 6mm steel/6mm rubber/ 6mm 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.

                                                                 xii.     NERA-heavy

      A sandwich of 30mm steel/6m rubber/18mm 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.

      b.      Firepower

                                                                    i.     2A46 equivalent tech- pressure limits, semi-combustible cases, recoil mechanisms and so on are at an equivalent level to that of the USSR in the year 1960.

                                                                   ii.     Limited APFSDS (L:D 15:1)- Spindle sabots or bourelleted sabots, see for example the Soviet BM-20 100mm APFSDS.

                                                                  iii.     Limited tungsten (no more than 100g per shot)

                                                                  iv.     Californian shaped charge technology- 5 CD penetration for high-pressure resistant HEAT, 6 CD for low pressure/ precision formed HEAT.

                                                                   v.     The general issue GPMG for the People’s Auditory Forces is the PKM. The standard HMG is the DShK.

      c.       Mobility

                                                                    i.     Engines tech level:

      1.      MB 838 (830 HP)

      2.      AVDS-1790-5A (908 HP)

      3.      Kharkov 5TD (600 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.

      d.      Electronics

                                                                    i.     LRFs- unavailable

                                                                   ii.     Thermals-unavailable

                                                                  iii.     I^2- limited

      3.      Operational Requirements.

      The requirements are detailed in the appended spreadsheet.

      4.      Submission protocols.

      Submission protocols and methods will be established in a follow-on post, nearer to the relevant time.
       
      Appendix 1- armor calculation
      Appendix 2- operational requirements
       
      Good luck, and may Hubbard guide your way to enlightenment!
    • By Collimatrix
      Shortly after Jeeps_Guns_Tanks started his substantial foray into documenting the development and variants of the M4, I joked on teamspeak with Wargaming's The_Warhawk that the next thing he ought to do was a similar post on the T-72.
       
      Haha.  I joke.  I am funny man.
       
      The production history of the T-72 is enormously complicated.  Tens of thousands were produced; it is probably the fourth most produced tank ever after the T-54/55, T-34 and M4 sherman.
       
      For being such an ubiquitous vehicle, it's frustrating to find information in English-language sources on the T-72.  Part of this is residual bad information from the Cold War era when all NATO had to go on were blurry photos from May Day parades:
       

       
      As with Soviet aircraft, NATO could only assign designations to obviously externally different versions of the vehicle.  However, they were not necessarily aware of internal changes, nor were they aware which changes were post-production modifications and which ones were new factory variants of the vehicle.  The NATO designations do not, therefore, necessarily line up with the Soviet designations.  Between different models of T-72 there are large differences in armor protection and fire control systems.  This is why anyone arguing T-72 vs. X has completely missed the point; you need to specify which variant of T-72.  There are large differences between them!
       
      Another issue, and one which remains contentious to this day, is the relation between the T-64, T-72 and T-80 in the Soviet Army lineup.  This article helps explain the political wrangling which led to the logistically bizarre situation of three very similar tanks being in frontline service simultaneously, but the article is extremely biased as it comes from a high-ranking member of the Ural plant that designed and built the T-72.  Soviet tank experts still disagree on this; read this if you have some popcorn handy.  Talking points from the Kharkov side seem to be that T-64 was a more refined, advanced design and that T-72 was cheap filler, while Ural fans tend to hold that T-64 was an unreliable mechanical prima donna and T-72 a mechanically sound, mass-producible design.
       
      So, if anyone would like to help make sense of this vehicle, feel free to post away.  I am particularly interested in:
       
      -What armor arrays the different T-72 variants use.  Diagrams, dates of introduction, and whether the array is factory-produced or a field upgrade of existing armor are pertinent questions.
       
      -Details of the fire control system.  One of the Kharkov talking points is that for most of the time in service, T-64 had a more advanced fire control system than contemporary T-72 variants.  Is this true?  What were the various fire control systems in the T-64 and T-72, and what were there dates of introduction?  I am particularly curious when Soviet tanks got gun-follows-sight FCS.
       
      -Export variants and variants produced outside the Soviet Union.  How do they stack up?  Exactly what variant(s) of T-72 were the Iraqis using in 1991?

      -WTF is up with the T-72's transmission?  How does it steer and why is its reverse speed so pathetically low?
       
       
    • By Sturgeon
      This is the place for flame wars about rifle-caliber MGs versus autocannons for tank coaxial weaponry. First, we have Ensign's blog post about tank machine guns:
       


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