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21 minutes ago, Lord_James said:

 

 

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? 

The ol' reliable:

Spoiler

MS Paint

 

If you want something free and easy to learn, I've been using SketchUP for a short while on small projects I made. It's free, and much easier to learn if you don't want to spend hours just getting somewhat accustomed to the more 'professional' programs.

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On 4/30/2018 at 8:39 PM, Sovngard said:

 

I demand to see the transmission of this thing.

photo of this model with open rear door:
J3DAEeV.jpg
 

 

it's a vehicle based on Kharkovite's tank with compact "suitcase"-shaped Kharkovite engine and two gearboxes
T-84 cutaway:
n1Y79IN.jpg

oQyRVgG.jpg
T-80UD:

P029YJQ.jpg


Achzarit has passageway above some parts of the transmission, and next to both an upper half of its transversely-mounted engine (which is shorter than V2-derieved diesel, so it leaves some space for lower part of passageway) and cooling system

5C7RZMI.jpg

On the other hand it seems like if this Kharkovite BTMP-84 has passageway (judging by what it shown on model's photo above - it's floor panels are entirely horizontal, unlike some of those on Achzarit) located above left part of its engine and one of the gearboxes, and next to a cooling system. Which sould've been redesigned to make it narrower (albeit higher, probably, - but passageway's roof should be somewhat higher anyway), and also they've probably removed that red boxy thing and put it somewhere else

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9 hours ago, Lord_James said:

 

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

 

  Reveal hidden contents
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? 

I would say, if you intend to do proper, advanced drawings, use a proper CAD. SketchUP is  very easy to use, however, it is also quite a pain in the ass when making more advanced models. I am currently learning Solid Edge, which is free. It can generate drawings too, so that you can get a drawing like the one of the BMPT-84. 

 

Welcome to the forum by the way.

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On ‎3‎/‎10‎/‎2015 at 5:31 PM, LoooSeR said:

Photo from Afghanistan, T-55s with Drozd.

uhjBtPT.png

 

I believe that picture is actually from a depot in Baku, Azerbaijan, here's another one:

 

1242890_800.jpg

 

I'm actively searching for confirmation that the T-55AD actually served in the Afghan conflict and (due to the constant mislabelling of images) I'm having serious doubts that it ever did.

 

PS - Apologies for dragging this back from the distant past, I'm just trying to get to the bottom of the Drozd in Afghanistan story once and for all.....I figure if anyone can discern the truth/untruth of this, it'll be you lot.  ;)

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5 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

 

I believe that picture is actually from a depot in Baku, Azerbaijan, here's another one:

 

1242890_800.jpg

 

I'm actively searching for confirmation that the T-55AD actually served in the Afghan conflict and (due to the constant mislabelling of images) I'm having serious doubts that it ever did.

 

PS - Apologies for dragging this back from the distant past, I'm just trying to get to the bottom of the Drozd in Afghanistan story once and for all.....I figure if anyone can get to the bottom of this, it'll be you lot.  ;)

Yeah, after some time that photo was found to be from Azerbaijan. 

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Which of these hull designs would be best for under-belly blast protection? 

 

https://imgur.com/I8U9JDW

 

I have a feeling it's between 5 and 6. My gut is saying 5 is better, but I'm slightly partial to 6's shape... and I don't know why... 

 

 

Also, I'm having a weird bug where when I try to post a picture, it overlaps the message box. Any suggestions? 

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5 hours ago, Lord_James said:

Which of these hull designs would be best for under-belly blast protection? 

 

https://imgur.com/I8U9JDW

 

I have a feeling it's between 5 and 6. My gut is saying 5 is better, but I'm slightly partial to 6's shape... and I don't know why... 

 

 

Also, I'm having a weird bug where when I try to post a picture, it overlaps the message box. Any suggestions? 

5.

 

6 is actually the worst because you trap the overpressure below your vehicle and because you focus the pressure on a single seam.

 

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4 hours ago, Bronezhilet said:

 

5.

 

6 is actually the worst because you trap the overpressure below your vehicle and because you focus the pressure on a single seam.

 

Don't you mean number 3?

 

Also, out of curiosity, does a curve spread the force better than a V.  Doesn't the tip experience more force and risk breaking the weld, also a slightly sideways explosions would hit a flat side?

 

Wouldn't this theoretically make the rounded belly the best shape?
rrDqRR8.jpg

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1 hour ago, Ramlaen said:

Is the goal to make the vehicle as robust as possible or to minimize the acceleration felt by the people inside?

 

3 and 6 seem to be based on double V hulls.

 

Yes, the goal was for crew safety. 

 

That's what I based 3 and 6 off of. I wonder why they use double-V hulls on the new Strykers if it would cause problems like the hull splitting open, unless there's something else going on. 

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1 hour ago, Lord_James said:

 

Yes, the goal was for crew safety. 

 

That's what I based 3 and 6 off of. I wonder why they use double-V hulls on the new Strykers if it would cause problems like the hull splitting open, unless there's something else going on. 

 

To clarify, 3 and 6 are more of an inverted V hull than a double V.

 

Double V allows you to retain ground clearance without being excessively tall.

 

I’m phone posting so I can only point you at cursory reading material.

Edited by Ramlaen
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6 hours ago, Lord_James said:

 

Yes, the goal was for crew safety. 

 

That's what I based 3 and 6 off of. I wonder why they use double-V hulls on the new Strykers if it would cause problems like the hull splitting open, unless there's something else going on. 

 

I am not sure why you would think that 3 or 6 would be a double-V hull. Mirroring that design to produce a full hull would result in an inverted trough running down the middle of the vehicle, a great weakness. 5 is the best, and a true double-V.

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I think this shape would be simple and effective:
eLVGwzt.png

Belly is composed of two sloped plates, spaced apart with air between to work as a cushion. Preferably the plates would slope upwards until they are vertical, where they would be welded to the side armor. Either a cast or bent plate could be used.  The underside of the sponsons are curved upwards and outwards to direct the blast away from the hull. Double hull could be used here, but I am not sure if it is worth it.

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4 hours ago, TokyoMorose said:

 

I am not sure why you would think that 3 or 6 would be a double-V hull. Mirroring that design to produce a full hull would result in an inverted trough running down the middle of the vehicle, a great weakness. 5 is the best, and a true double-V.

 

A double V has a trough.

 

oQKZDoB.jpg

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16 minutes ago, TokyoMorose said:

 

I stand entirely corrected, and yet this design baffles me. That central trough is going to act as a stress concentration for the blast wave.

 

Hazell explains the "W" hull thus:

 

Quote

For vehicles where it is simply not possible to introduce a V-shape to the hull due to height and handling problems that may arise, it is possible to introduce a ‘double V’-shape (or essentially a ‘W’-shape). With this concept, instead of the blast being solely directed to the outside of the vehicle, a double V–shaped arrangement means that some of the blast is directed into the centre of the vehicle (Lee 2013). The blast is then spread fore and aft along the vehicle’s central axis using a suitably reinforced ‘duct’ that is concave downward. The deformation of the internal angled parts leads to a downward ‘pull’ on the central concave part thereby countering some of the upward impulse from the blast. Therefore, this provides a route to provide some meaningful blast protection in vehicles that would otherwise not be able accommodate a full ‘V’-shape.

 

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16 minutes ago, Collimatrix said:

For vehicles where it is simply not possible to introduce a V-shape to the hull due to height and handling problems that may arise, it is possible to introduce a ‘double V’-shape (or essentially a ‘W’-shape). With this concept, instead of the blast being solely directed to the outside of the vehicle, a double V–shaped arrangement means that some of the blast is directed into the centre of the vehicle (Lee 2013). The blast is then spread fore and aft along the vehicle’s central axis using a suitably reinforced ‘duct’ that is concave downward. The deformation of the internal angled parts leads to a downward ‘pull’ on the central concave part thereby countering some of the upward impulse from the blast. Therefore, this provides a route to provide some meaningful blast protection in vehicles that would otherwise not be able accommodate a full ‘V’-shape.

 

Hmm, that weight penalty for reinforcing the duct seems to be a disadvantage, I wonder if it is really worth it vs raising the vehicle.

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4 hours ago, TokyoMorose said:

Hmm, that weight penalty for reinforcing the duct seems to be a disadvantage, I wonder if it is really worth it vs raising the vehicle.

 

Probably because on some older design (understand before IED protection became a major concern) with low ground clearance, you simply can't raise the suspensions (or not easily at least).

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Has any design tried to simply make a huge shock dampener? 

I guess double hull bottom with air in between technically works as a pneumatic shock dampener, but has any hydraulic, hydro pneumatic or proper pneumatic shock dampeners been tried?

So far it seems designers only use thick slabs of composite material, and some slope to direct away the explosions.

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35 minutes ago, Xoon said:

Has any design tried to simply make a huge shock dampener? 

I guess double hull bottom with air in between technically works as a pneumatic shock dampener, but has any hydraulic, hydro pneumatic or proper pneumatic shock dampeners been tried?

So far it seems designers only use thick slabs of composite material, and some slope to direct away the explosions.

I know that it was/is common practice to fill the tires of vehicles with water and stack sandbags on the hull floor specifically to act as shock absorbtion.

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7 minutes ago, Toxn said:

I know that it was/is common practice to fill the tires of vehicles with water and stack sandbags on the hull floor specifically to act as shock absorbtion.

How does filling wheels with water act as a shock dampener? 

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    • By N-L-M
      ATTENTION DUELISTS:
      @Toxn
      @LostCosmonaut
      @Lord_James
      @DIADES
      @Datengineerwill
      @Whatismoo
      @Kal
      @Zadlo
      @Xoon
      detailed below is the expected format of the final submission.
      The date is set as Wednesday the 19th of June at 23:59 GMT.
      Again, incomplete designs may be submitted as they are and will be judged as seen fit.
       
      FINAL SUBMISSION:
      Vehicle Designation and name

      [insert 3-projection (front, top, side) and isometric render of vehicle here)



      Table of basic statistics:

      Parameter

      Value

      Mass, combat


       
      Length, combat (transport)


       
      Width, combat (transport)


       
      Height, combat (transport)


       
      Ground Pressure, MMP (nominal)


       
      Estimated Speed


       
      Estimated range


       
      Crew, number (roles)


       
      Main armament, caliber (ammo count ready/stowed)


       
      Secondary armament, caliber (ammo count ready/stowed)


       

       
      Vehicle designer’s notes: explain the thought process behind the design of the vehicle, ideas, and the development process from the designer’s point of view.

      Vehicle feature list:
      Mobility:

      1.     Link to Appendix 1- RFP spreadsheet, colored to reflect achieved performance.

      2.     Engine- type, displacement, rated power, cooling, neat features.

      3.     Transmission- type, arrangement, neat features.

      4.     Fuel- Type, volume available, stowage location, estimated range, neat features.

      5.     Other neat features in the engine bay.

      6.     Suspension- Type, Travel, ground clearance, neat features.

      Survivability:

      1.     Link to Appendix 1 - RFP spreadsheet, colored to reflect achieved performance.

      2.     Link to Appendix 2- armor array details.

      3.     Non-specified survivability features and other neat tricks- low profile, gun depression, instant smoke, cunning internal arrangement, and the like.

      Firepower:

      A.    Weapons:

      1.     Link to Appendix 1- RFP spreadsheet, colored to reflect achieved performance.

      2.     Main Weapon-

      a.      Type

      b.      Caliber

      c.      ammunition types and performance (short)

      d.     Ammo stowage arrangement- numbers ready and total, features.

      e.      FCS- relevant systems, relevant sights for operating the weapon and so on.

      f.      Neat features.

      3.     Secondary weapon- Similar format to primary. Tertiary and further weapons- likewise.

      4.     Link to Appendix 3- Weapon system magic. This is where you explain how all the special tricks related to the armament that aren’t obviously available using Soviet 1961 tech work, and expand to your heart’s content on extimated performance and how these estimates were reached.

      B.    Optics:

      1.     Primary gunsight- type, associated trickery.

      2.     Likewise for any and all other optics systems installed, in no particular order.

      C.    FCS:

      1.     List of component systems, their purpose and the basic system architecture.

      2.     Link to Appendix 3- weapon system magic, if you have long explanations about the workings of the system.

      Fightability:

      1.     List vehicle features which improve its fightability and useability.

      Additonal Features:

      Feel free to list more features as you see fit, in more categories.

      Free expression zone: Let out your inner Thetan to fully impress the world with the fruit of your labor. Kindly spoiler this section if it’s very long.


       Example for filling in Appendix 1
    • By N-L-M
      Restricted: for Operating Thetan Eyes Only

      By order of Her Gracious and Serene Majesty Queen Diane Feinstein the VIII

      The Dianetic People’s Republic of California

      Anno Domini 2250

      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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