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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:25 pm 
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Craiglxviii wrote:
They claim an “attack range” of 7-8km. For a main gun?


The Main gun can fire anti-tank missiles. I expect that is where the long range shots come from.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:42 pm 
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Calder wrote:
Craiglxviii wrote:
They claim an “attack range” of 7-8km. For a main gun?


The Main gun can fire anti-tank missiles. I expect that is where the long range shots come from.

Yeah it’s the new Sprinter anti-tank missiles under development that has a stated range of 7-12 km. However there’s also some snippets that suggest that the first sights mounted to the T-14 can’t make out tank sized targets at those ranges so it appears to be a more theoretical max range unless new sighta are fitted, or they fire at a larger object such as a building.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:02 pm 
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Micael wrote:
Calder wrote:
Craiglxviii wrote:
They claim an “attack range” of 7-8km. For a main gun?


The Main gun can fire anti-tank missiles. I expect that is where the long range shots come from.

Yeah it’s the new Sprinter anti-tank missiles under development that has a stated range of 7-12 km. However there’s also some snippets that suggest that the first sights mounted to the T-14 can’t make out tank sized targets at those ranges so it appears to be a more theoretical max range unless new sighta are fitted, or they fire at a larger object such as a building.


In addition, there aren't many places where you can see a tank sized object at 7-8 Km.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:36 pm 
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Francis Urquhart wrote:
Poohbah wrote:
OK, same size crew plus insanely more complex gear to maintain is still not an advantage.

Thinking about this logically . . .

If the turret is unmanned, then all three crew members must be in the hull. That must mean that they are much lower (by a meter, possibly two) than in an equivalent tank that has the commander and gunner in the turret. Therefore, their field of vision is much more restricted and target acquisition is seriously impaired. That deficiency must be compensated by using cameras or other viewing devices so that the commander and gunner's situational awareness is not compromised. Which is a lot more to go wrong. Also, separating the gunner from the gun seems a bit dodgy to me.

Why does this sound like some of the projects we had in the 1980s? And I don't mean the ones that worked or even existed.


Problems I see:

1. Field of view limitations with optics of all kinds are NOT inherently obvious until you look away from the objective and out at the real world--only then do you realize how much stuff you don't see on the periphery.

2. Not just visual--you lose things like sensing a shift in the wind with your skin. Instead, you gotta look at a gauge.

This reminds me of the Army STAR 21 study--they posited a tank that looked a LOT like the Armata.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:19 am 
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From a Russian perspective, they've been running three-man crews since the 1960s, and fighting heads-in since the 1940s at least. Relying on company & battalion for maintenance manpower isn't new to them, and nor is relying on vision devices.

Moving to the unmanned turret gives big advantages in crew survival - the hull is less likely to be hit, and armour can be concentrated. End result is a harder tank to kill. It's basically the tank that the West was worrying about in the 1980s, and planned major developments to deal with.

Difference is, the Russians saw the end of the Cold War as granting a temporary reprieve to heavy armour, whilst the West saw it as freezing the need. What's really interesting IMHO isn't the T-14, but the T-15 HIFV.

Of course, if the US Army hadn't abandoned ASM in the 1990s, they'd have equivalent systems in service for ten years now.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:14 am 
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Francis Urquhart wrote:
Why does this sound like some of the projects we had in the 1980s? And I don't mean the ones that worked or even existed.


The Russians also had the same sort of projects - Morozov proposed a tank with an external gun and the crew stations on the forward hull in the early 70's. I think the difference is the Russians kept working on the concept.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:25 am 
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Calder wrote:
Craiglxviii wrote:
They claim an “attack range” of 7-8km. For a main gun?


The Main gun can fire anti-tank missiles. I expect that is where the long range shots come from.
I seem to remember the US Army tried this back in the late '60s with the Sheridan Tank. I remember hearing about the Sheridans with the 82nd during my SBU's "Road Bump" days of early Desert Shield.
So I looked it up and this is what I found this


"The Sheridan’s most unusual feature was its large M81 152-millimeter gun/missile system. Capable of firing enormous caseless shells more devastating to infantry than the 90- or 105-millimeter shells fired by Patton tanks at the time, the short-barreled gun lacked the muzzle velocity to be accurate at long ranges or pierce heavy tank armor through kinetic energy. Against armored threats at medium or long range, the gun could instead launch the newly developed MGM-151 Shillelagh antitank missile at targets up to two or three kilometers distant. It seemed like a brilliant solution to cramming heavy firepower into a lightweight vehicle. Each Sheridan carried nine Shillelaghs and twenty shells as standard, as well as .50 caliber and 7.62-millimeter machine guns mounted on the turret and hull, respectively.

Though not deployed in Vietnam, the Shillelagh missile, too, proved to be a disappointment. It was plagued by numerous technical faults, and its infrared sensor could not lock onto targets closer than eight hundred meters. The Army adapted the M81/Shillelagh combination for the M60A2 “Starship” Patton tank, but found the system so troublesome that these were phased out after only a decade in service."

Being a sailor I would guess the Russians, who pioneered AT Guided Missiles, have come a long way from the failed US Shillelaghs and could make the concept work. If it's such a good idea why isn't it a feature with all of today's tanks?

I wonder if the Light Tank is even a viable concept these days. Has the IFV tracked like the Bradley and wheeled like the Striker
taken over that mission? How about UGCVs ("Unmanned ground combat vehicles)?

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:58 am 
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I don’t know about this vehicle, but in general anything designed to do more than one job is of reduced effectiveness vs a single job design.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:12 am 
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OSCSSW wrote:
I wonder if the Light Tank is even a viable concept these days. Has the IFV tracked like the Bradley and wheeled like the Striker taken over that mission? How about UGCVs ("Unmanned ground combat vehicles)?
I guess I spoke to soon about "Light tanks". ;)
I found this article while looking up the Sheridan in Desert shield. Once I saw the Buford mentioned I had to read it.
I've been interested in Cavalryman John Buford ever since I saw his portrayal by Sam Elliot in "Gettysburg".

About time the US Army did something to honor him.

What I really want to know if the last section of the article "How vulnerable would a light tank be?" makes sense, especially the incorporation of Active Protection Systems (APS). Is APS really a game changer in armored vehicle/tank design? I know it was for navy ASM defense.

Does it mean the day of the 50-60 tom MBT may be coming to an end just like the BB and CA has?


The U.S. Army Is Searching for a New Light Tank

Previous attempts failed from The National Interest



Two decades ago, the U.S. Army phased out its last light tank. Now the Pentagon has decided its infantry could use some lightweight armored firepower, and is looking to choose between at least three off-the-shelf designs by 2019.

This initiative, called Mobile Protected Firepower, intends to outfit infantry brigades with their own 14-vehicle companies of armored fire support vehicles. That way, they no longer depend on separate heavy armored battalions to detach tanks to help them. The new light tanks would assist the infantry by blasting bunkers, fortified houses, machine gun nests and the occasional armored vehicle.

This job is currently performed by wheeled M1128 Stryker Mobile Gun Systems packing 105-millimeter guns, but the 18.5-ton vehicles have suffered from various defects, including breakdowns caused by the recoil of their main guns, so the Army is looking to phase them out.

A light infantry support tank would be easier to deploy rapidly across the globe in an emergency response force, or to backup armor-deficient airborne troops in an airport seizure or combat drop scenario. Once in theater, the smaller vehicles could cross lighter bridges, pass through narrower city streets, and wade through marshier terrain than huge, 70-ton M-1 Abrams main battle tanks.

Airborne troops might also appreciate mobile tank-busting firepower to mitigate their vulnerability to heavy armored counterattacks of the sort dramatized in films like Saving Private Ryan.

For example, when the 101st Airborne Division was scrambled to Saudi Arabia in 1990 to defend against a feared Iraqi tank assault, initially their only armored support came from a battalion of M-551 Sheridan light tanks that could fire anti-tank missiles through their huge 152-millimeter gun barrels. However, the Sheridan was retired a few years later in 1996. It had long been disliked for its finicky gun/missile system and limited survivability.

Indeed, light tanks historically fared quite poorly against better armed and armored opponents, such as the M-24 Chaffee tanks facing North Korean T-34/85s in the initial clashes of the Korean War. On the other hand, light armor such as the M-5 Stuart, or Russian PT-76 amphibious tanks and BMD airborne fighting vehicles proved decisive when they showed up for battle in places thought to be inaccessible to armored vehicles.

Even the much-maligned Sheridan tank was appreciated by the infantry it was backing up in Vietnam, Panama and Iraq. A study by the Dupuy Institute concludes that key considerations for light armor include enhanced protection from mines/IEDs — a chief historical killer of light tanks — and mobility through riverine terrain.

Contenders

There’s no guarantee that the Pentagon will allocate funding to actually procure MPF vehicles, and some commentators are skeptical that the competition will amount to anything. This is because two prior light armor programs, the ill-fated Future Combat System and Ground Combat Vehicle, both fell through after years of development.

However, there’s reason to believe that MPF will be different — the project will proceed on an aggressive schedule with a decision on procurement made by 2019, so companies are proposing solutions based on off-the-shelf hardware instead of developing new vehicles from scratch.

In fact, BAE system is offering a modestly updated version of the M8 Armor Gun System developed back in the 1990s to succeed the Sheridan. Named the “Buford” after the Union cavalry general, the M8 in its basic forms weighs only 19.25 tons, allowing it to be dropped by parachute and transported onboard smaller C-130 Hercules cargo planes — while up to five can cram onboard the Air Force’s massive C-5 Galaxy super heavy transport.

For armament, the M8 has an XM35 105-millimeter gun with a rifled barrel. Its autoloader permits a rate of fire of 12 rounds per minute, drawing from an internal capacity of 21 internally and nine externally-stowed rounds. There is also a 12.7-millimeter pintle-mounted weapon and a co-axial M240 7.62-millimeter machine gun.

The Buford’s lightweight hull, made of fire-prone aluminum, can be upgraded with modular armor. In three hours, an M8 crew can add an additional three tons of appliqué armor that will shield the vehicle from “armor piercing small arms and small cannons.” Then the Level III armor variant, girded with blocky bricks of explosive-reactive armor, maxes weight at 24.5 tons.

This is deemed sufficient to protect against 30-millimeter autocannons and lighter man-portable anti-tank weapons such as an RPG-7.

BAE is offering a few improvements on the original M8 — an upgrade to a second-generation Forward-Looking Infrared sensor, additional external cameras for situational awareness, a modernized power train, digital controls for the 500-horsepower engine, and networked controls. A Thunderbolt variant armed with a 120-millimeter smoothbore gun was tested at one point.

General Dynamics’s offering, the Griffin tech demonstrator, is heavier than the M8 at 28 tons — there’s no talk of parachuting this beast — but it boasts a significantly more powerful XM360 120-millimeter gun, similar to but dramatically lighter than the M256 gun used on the Abrams tank. This could much more consistently bust modern tanks.

The Griffin is a hybrid mating the hull of a British Ajax tracked scout vehicle with an aluminum turret configured similarly to the Abrams. General Dynamics emphasizes the vehicle is a “conversation starter” assembled in a five-month period, with further development possible if the Army is interested.

Lastly, SAIC and the Singapore-based firm ST Kinetics are putting forth a tank-variant of its Next Generation Armored Fighting Vehicle. The basic version is a 29-ton tracked infantry fighting vehicle armed with a 30-millimeter cannon. It will enter service with the Singapore military in 2019. STK is proposing to upgrade the armament with a modular Cockerill turret packing a 105-millimeter gun.

The NG-AFV features thermal cameras offering a 360-degree view around the vehicle, remotely-operated machine guns, and networking capabilities with friendly units. STK claims modular armor would allow protection to be ramped up against specific threats.

Of the three proposed vehicles, the Griffin clearly has superior anti-tank firepower using kinetic armor-piercing rounds, and might be easier to transition to from the Abrams. Meanwhile, the Buford offers the most flexible air transport options and armor configurations, and benefits from earlier development and testing. The SAIC/STK vehicle’s advantages are less immediately obvious, but they may lie in lower costs and built-in networking capability. There also might be additional proposals in the wings from firms in South Korea or Germany.

How vulnerable would a light tank be?

Light tank programs have failed in the past because of reluctance to accept that a lightweight vehicle simply can’t survive the kind of hostile attention that a 70-ton main battle tank can. However, the current MPF guidelines stipulate protection from heavy machine gun fire as a minimum expectation.

Realistically, a light tank will be impervious to small arms fire but vulnerable to tank main guns — resisting 125-millimeter sabot shells simply requires tons more armor. However, there are many weapons in between those two extremes, including rapid-fire auto-cannons commonly found on infantry fighting vehicles like the BMP-2, or the shaped-charged warheads of man-portable anti-tank weapons such as the ubiquitous rocket-propelled grenade.

Small auto-cannons do not penetrate that much armor but require heavier ballistic protection; shaped charge munitions can theoretically penetrate a great deal more armor, but there are several technologies that can negate their effectiveness including explosive-reactive armor, slat-armor, and even Active Protection Systems (APS) which shoot down incoming projectiles.

Indeed, an Active Protection System, like the Trophy APS set to be operationally tested on the M1, might be a relatively efficient solution to significantly increase the survivability of light tanks — at least from the threat posed by anti-tank rockets and missile, but not the kinetic shells of enemy tanks.

Indeed, the MPF guidelines encourage the designers to include room to upgrade the vehicles with an APS system in the future, or even convert them into remotely-operated drones. In any case, the United States is not the only country interested in rapidly-deployable light armor: Russia has produced a handful of 2S25 Sprut tank destroyers for its airborne troops, while China developed its Xinqingtan light tank for deployment in the Tibetan Plateau.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:29 am 
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Poohbah wrote:
The unmanned turret (and, hence, smaller crew size) is not an advantage. Tanks need maintenance. Complicated gizmos usually require more maintenance man-hours. Less bodies to pull maintenance on more complex kit equals insanely more work per crew member.


That rings a bell. The Swedish S-tank(destroyer) would have worked fine with a two man crew but got a third crewmember for this exact reason. As far as active anti defences are concerned my gut feeling says to use the Israeli system because it get's regularly tested in combat.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:39 am 
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RLBH wrote:
From a Russian perspective, they've been running three-man crews since the 1960s, and fighting heads-in since the 1940s at least. Relying on company & battalion for maintenance manpower isn't new to them, and nor is relying on vision devices.

The West, though, including the Israelis, have preferred to have the crew commander heads out. This works very well. It does mean that the CC is vulnerable, especially to sniper fire. On the other hand, it means the tank is less likely to be successfully engaged and is more effective at killing things. That seems to lead to fewer casualties even among crew commanders.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:04 pm 
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Craiglxviii wrote:
I don’t know about this vehicle, but in general anything designed to do more than one job is of reduced effectiveness vs a single job design.


Oh NO! That's Heresy Craig old buddy. ;)
Don't you know the Gold Plated "Swiss Army Knife" approach is the ideal for modern Naval weapons systems and ships.

Don't let the Navy Airedale’s get a hold of you. Multi-mission aircraft like the F/A-18 and F/A-35 and the SH60 EVERYTHING
are now considered essential.

Look at the LCS (oh boy) the DDG do everything, (even mine hunter for a while), the large deck Amphibs/sea control/Mine warfare/Spec ops etc.

I think the "Sojers" still believe in the ancient, "discredited" :roll: single purpose weapons school.
We Bean counters call it KISS (Keep it simple stupid).
It's probably about all they can manage judging by the Jar heads I've known! ;) :lol: :lol: :lol:

Seriously, there is a lot to be said for KISS. Especially when you consider the likelihood very capable, necessarily technically very complex, very expensive MANY purpose systems will fail you at the worst possible time. They are super when they work but given the utter chaos of war and the nature of young sailors, soldiers and Airmen, to say nothing of Jar Heads, they can leave you SOL when you need them most. Their cost means you never have enough redundancy, to say nothing of battle damage and the amount of training to get the best of them.

But I've been out since '95 and things could have changed to meet the slick marketing brochures of the Arms industry.

IF You believe that I have some really nice ocean front property in Death Valley I'll sell you at a real good price
! ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:47 pm 
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I get the cost vs effectiveness paradigm. I understand how that relates to military hardware (well, on a general level). What I’m interested in here is what form of logic the Sovs went through to arrive at a missile- firing- main- gun combo. The gun is a compromise to fire missiles, the missiles are compromised in order to fit 125mm. We in the West removes missiles from tanks and put them on APCs/ IFVs; in doing so (not knowing anything about the design compromises made for TOW & TOW 2 etc) that allowed for those missiles to maintain maximum effectiveness and for the tank’s gun to be optimised for killing other tanks at as long a range as possible. I’m not sure but I’d guess that cost per effectiveness was at the heart of that decision too...

So, is this a demonstration of maskirovka, or the old saying about giving a Russian two ways to do things and he’ll choose a third. Which may be maskirovka in its own right of course.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:18 pm 
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The ”anti-tank missile” from the main gun mainly seems to have started out as an attempt to improve the attack range and accuracy.

The current generation (Refleks: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/9M119_Svir/Refleks ) does not have the same penetration capability as normal main gun rounds do however, but as stated before added range and accuracy is useful at times, plus it gives them a fighting chance to plonk helicopters as well.
The new generation under development (Sprinter) is supposed to improve penetration along with its longer range.
Also, with new anti-tank missiles with long ranges being brought into service in the west it may at least offer some psychological comfort for the crews if they have something they can realistically shoot back with.

All in all it’s a tool in the tool box, they still carry normal rounds as well and those will likely remain as the better penetrating option out of the two.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:41 pm 
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It's interesting how the US tried the gun-launched missile for years (starting with a project at the end of WWII to launch SAMs from the 8"/55!) and leading up to Shillelagh (we don't speak of Shillelagh) at which point it was quietly forgotten for painful reasons without it ever having been made to actually properly work; while the Russians have tried it and have basically adopted it as a standard feature (AT-8/AT-11) for the last 41 years.

Are the Russians just more willing to accept a certain percentage of barbecued tankies, or is there something they figured out that we didn't?

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:06 pm 
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It's intriguing that the Soviets chose to replace unskilled labour with advanced machinery while the West did not. Playing to their weaknesses?

One advantage is that it kept the turrets small, making the tanks lighter and harder to hit with equal armour protection. I think there is a lot to be said for this approach.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:15 pm 
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I actually just watched a video on tanking firing missiles in the last week or two. (IIRC it was one of Nick Moran's tank videos.)

He said that there was a period in the 60s where it was possible that missiles were going to outperform tank rounds and that both sides experimented with using missiles along with main gun rounds. The US even though they deployed one it was supposed to be highly unreliable and was only in service for about a decade before we gave up on it. It looks like the Russians continued to develop theirs so they have overcome a lot of the problems we had. The post above has it correct. Missiles don't have as much penetration as gun rounds but they are more accurate and of course have much greater range. [Shrug] like almost everything it is a trade off. It does look like there are situations where they could prove useful.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:00 pm 
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From the interesting picture that is the second to last post on page 1....

Whatinthehell is a

Quote:
Four cycle, x shaped, 12 cylinder gas turbine supercharger with intermediate air cooling


Last time I checked, gas turbines didn't have cylinders or cycles or x shapes. *EDIT* Or, for that matter, cycles, I think. *EDIT* Do they put superchargers on turbines?

Are they talking about two completely separate power plants?

Belushi TD


Last edited by Belushi TD on Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:11 pm 
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A gas turbine supercharger could be just a turbo.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:28 pm 
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It may also be a turbo-compound engine - it fits the description, although why anybody would build one of those I have no idea - maybe the exhaust pressure is spectacularly high or something.
"Intermediate air cooling" is just an intercooler - cooling the air as it leaves the turbo-/super-/whatever-charger but before it enters the pistons.
"Four cycle, x shaped, 12 cylinder" is just a piston engine with 4 banks of 3 cylinders in an X-formation running a standard 4-stroke cycle.

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