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M1 Abrams currently with not APS?

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Pouring over the manual until the game is released and thought this was an interesting assumption in the game:

 

"APS Variant:

The M1 Abrams can be equipped with an Active Protection System (APS) such as the Trophy system that can defeat incoming projectiles. Although there are United States Army APS programs in development, within the timeframe of this game and facing the prospect of a well-equipped enemy military, it is likely that commercial off-the-shelf APS such as Trophy would be procured for tanks and AFVs."

 

Does that mean if deployed today there is no APS available for the Abrams?  If so i think it is quite a leap of faith to think an off the shelf system could be purchased, supplied, installed and tested in time for a conflict.  Based on my experience of military procurement if they started now they would probably have the tenders submitted by 2017 :).

 

I think it would be more realistic to assume there would not be an APS system available in 2017, (although i am happy for anyone with more knowledge to tell me otherwise)

Edited by Placebo

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Military acquisition processes get fast tracked, or thrown out the window during a conflict. There are provisions for sole source procurements that would likely make this an overnight contract. The question is can this be installed quickly, or in country in the rear maybe third line vs factory installs. And how many does the manufacturer have sitting on the shelf. I'm gonna guess and say some tanks at present could have this in 30 days if the right strings are pulled so its entirely plausible.

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We have our sources on this stuff. And that's as much as I will elucidate on that in deference to their privacy. (and no, we don't accept classified information)

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We have our sources on this stuff. And that's as much as I will elucidate on that in deference to their privacy. (and no, we don't accept classified information)

Interesting.  For the sake of national security i will not ask any more :) , but good to know there is a good reason for this appearing in the game and not just boosting up one particular side.

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There is evidence out there that Rafael has already performed some integration work on with Trophy on US platforms, so it is not that much of a stretch. It is really no less plausible then Russian or Ukraine fitting APS to large numbers of vehicles. And its an option in game for everyone.

Abrams-Trophy-Model.jpg

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The MRAP proves programs can get fast tracked, and that was a mostly from the ground up endeavor. Also historically weapon systems get through much faster than say vehicles/platforms (Trophy being closer to a weapon than a vehicle) so I'd say this is totally feasible. Hell given the Russian economy, I'd say that even with the late start, the US would be able to field more APS to deploying units than the Russians would have already set up.

I have a couple questions about Trophy in this game. First, it was mentioned you only get two shots per side. That seems so low for high intensity conflict. How many shots in a given arc does Arena have? I know they're totally different in methodology, but I know you can deplete an area with multiple shots in close proximity. How many shots is that? In game, is there a reload function modeled for the APS, like how crew transfers ammo from stowage to ready? Surely a tank crew would have spares stowed. Unless it's a much more complicated reload than I've inferred in videos of Trophy operations. Also, let's say that both my charges on the right have been used, but I still have one on the left. If Trophy detects an inbound and counterable launch towards the right side, will it slew the turret to the point where the left launcher can cover that area? Or will it just allow the impact?

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The MRAP proves programs can get fast tracked, and that was a mostly from the ground up endeavor. Also historically weapon systems get through much faster than say vehicles/platforms (Trophy being closer to a weapon than a vehicle) so I'd say this is totally feasible. Hell given the Russian economy, I'd say that even with the late start, the US would be able to field more APS to deploying units than the Russians would have already set up.

I have a couple questions about Trophy in this game. First, it was mentioned you only get two shots per side. That seems so low for high intensity conflict. How many shots in a given arc does Arena have? I know they're totally different in methodology, but I know you can deplete an area with multiple shots in close proximity. How many shots is that? In game, is there a reload function modeled for the APS, like how crew transfers ammo from stowage to ready? Surely a tank crew would have spares stowed. Unless it's a much more complicated reload than I've inferred in videos of Trophy operations. Also, let's say that both my charges on the right have been used, but I still have one on the left. If Trophy detects an inbound and counterable launch towards the right side, will it slew the turret to the point where the left launcher can cover that area? Or will it just allow the impact?

 

Reloads: not in game. I don't think in real life, either. I believe it's somewhat more complex to reload than just attaching a plug.

 

Real life:

Arena: segmented circle, with each segment protected by one charge. (Some overlap.) Multiple intercepts will leave more and more gaps.

Trophy: left side/right side coverage. Overlap on front and rear. 2 shots per side. Period. So, front or rear could intercept 4 shots. (Narrow overlap sector, 15 degrees front and rear. Rare to have 4 shots in that slot.)

 

In game:

Well, that's under the NDA. :)  Even a working system (either variety) will not stop all possible inbounds, even if it's fully functional. Salvos help.

 

 

Speed of an ATGM/RPG: ~300m/s (or more for the newer ones). Speed of a turret to rotate? Not even close. No, it would not rotate to present the other Trophy launcher.

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Seeing all the talk about russian equipments it would only make sense to not allow us player to purhase APS equipment. If I remember correctly Battlefront stated that APS was added only because it would be fun to play with. The game would be quite balanced if Russian were able to hurt us armour.

Edited by jep

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A quick search on APS will bring up several discussions on it

 

Pouring over the manual until the game is released and thought this was an interesting assumption in the game:

 

"APS Variant:

The M1 Abrams can be equipped with an Active Protection System (APS) such as the Trophy system that can defeat incoming projectiles. Although there are United States Army APS programs in development, within the timeframe of this game and facing the prospect of a well-equipped enemy military, it is likely that commercial off-the-shelf APS such as Trophy would be procured for tanks and AFVs."

 

Does that mean if deployed today there is no APS available for the Abrams?  If so i think it is quite a leap of faith to think an off the shelf system could be purchased, supplied, installed and tested in time for a conflict.  Based on my experience of military procurement if they started now they would probably have the tenders submitted by 2017 :).

 

I think it would be more realistic to assume there would not be an APS system available in 2017, (although i am happy for anyone with more knowledge to tell me otherwise)

 

 

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Seeing all the talk about russian equipments it would only make sense to not allow us player to purhase APS equipment. If I remember correctly Battlefront stated that APS was added only because it would be fun to play with. The game would be quite balanced if Russian were able to hurt us armour.

 

At the same time though, Russian T-72BM3 and T-90AM with APS are also on the same line of stretching, even though the Russians do have more experience when it comes to evaluating active protection systems, only few variations of the arena we got in game were created, one based on a T-80 and one on the BMP-3 (which was intended for export) - not a case the only APS vehicle correctly represented in 3d is that BMP-3 Arena, same goes with UA T-84 Oplot. So, I'd say APS for all or nobody.

Edited by Kieme(ITA)

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At the same time though, Russian T-72BM3 and T-90AM with APS are also on the same line of stretching, even though the Russians do have more experience when it comes to evaluating active protection systems, only few variations of the arena we got in game were created, one based on a T-80 and one on the BMP-3 (which was intended for export) - not a case the only APS vehicle correctly represented in 3d is that BMP-3 Arena, same goes with UA T-84 Oplot. So, I'd say APS for all or nobody.

 

APS for nobody would be my choice. APS does not really help Russian player but renderers US vehicles immune against Russian AT - missiles. Man-portable anti-tank systems would be realistic enought  solution to T90 versus Abrams problems. Quick Battles are problematic because you really can't (or should not need to) prevent cherry picking.

Edited by jep

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APS for nobody would be my choice. APS does not really help Russian player but renderers US vehicles immune against Russian AT - missiles. Man-portable anti-tank systems would be realistic enought  solution to T90 versus Abrams problems. Quick Battles are problematic because you really can't (or should not need to) prevent cherry picking.

 

Maybe for scenario design, just give it to Russian tank platoon command tanks?  Granted, its going to sort of broadcast "I AM THE COMMANDER PLEASE DONT SHOOT ME :)" , but it could kind of illustrate the rarity.

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Armata appears to be a showcase of U.S. R&D work. :) From crew-in-hull concept to overhead gun to machinegun RWS to modular armor. It all looks familiar. I once happened across a mediocre photo of a Bradley fitted out for APS testing and the closest equivalent I can think of is the Armata setup, not Trophy. I think - I spotted that pict like a year ago and memories fade. 

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It's bad enough that 4 platoons of T-90s equipped with Thales thermals, modern fire control systems and in well concealed treeline edge positions cannot spot 1 platoon of moving-in-an-open-field  M1s at ~1.5 km before M1s proceed to spot them with their magic laser vision and 1-shot  the whole party one by one without ever being seen (or stopping for that matter).   Lets give the OP death machines an active protection system for the sake of fairness, and make them a tad bit more invincible. 

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Remember that in a world of Thermal vision devices a tree line is not any kind of concealment.

 

Besides, there are all the soft factors to be taken into account, such as conditions, crew experience etc. and in that "example" I don't see any real information.

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It's bad enough that 4 platoons of T-90s equipped with Thales thermals, modern fire control systems and in well concealed treeline edge positions cannot spot 1 platoon of moving-in-an-open-field  M1s at ~1.5 km before M1s proceed to spot them with their magic laser vision and 1-shot  the whole party one by one without ever being seen (or stopping for that matter).   Lets give the OP death machines an active protection system for the sake of fairness, and make them a tad bit more invincible. 

 

1. Thales optics are not that good, especially compared to US/non-export Western optics.

 

2. Fire control systems are entirely irrelevant if you cannot locate the target before being murderized.

 

3. Could all of your tanks get LOS on the Abrams, or were you instead only having a small number of your net total of tanks able to acquire a LOS to begin trying to spot?

 

4. The Abrams is well known for accuracy on the move, and why stop in an open field?

 

5. As alluded to, treelines are not that great for concealment if you're talking about thermal imaging.  They're good if you're looking in the purely visual spectrum (green tank, green trees) but unless you have totally removed LOS to possible heat sources from the tank, you're going to stand out pretty good.

 

On topic:

 

The APS was included as a not too out of left field upgrade the US might pursue.  There's precedent for large scale short notice purchases of foreign or low previously uncommon equipment purchases by the US military (see the M2A2 ODS and M1A1HA theater upgrades for 1991, the various C-IED and armor upgrades in 2003-2012), and Trophy is both mature, and already has most of the engineering work done to mount onto an Abrams/Bradley.  It's properly very expensive to include in your force though, so I frequently forgo it (or equip a small portion of my force to initiate contact and allow the not-APS tanks to maneuver on the enemy).  

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Picture is worth a thousand words, so fire up the BF's very own Valley of Death scenario from the Red side. About 45 mins into it you'll most likely have several platoons of recon infantry, command elements, spotters, AT-14 team and about 15 T-90 barrels (with ample time to set up and stay still) positioned in the treeline about 1/3 across the map, with all the support vehicles parked in terrain dips behind the trees. AI appears to be herding Bradleys behind trees by the Blue starting area without much activity until Red enters the village and starts setting up there, that's when the cloaked death stars appear on the left side of the map and proceed to destroy those meticolously positioned 15 T-90s  without even having a courtesy to stop. There is plenty of time to set up the treeline ambush and let the whole Red formation rest and conceal for a while. In my game, a couple of radio equipped infantry teams got a spot on 2 M1s, but could not relay it to tanks sitting 20m away from them for several minutes). Towards the end of the massacre my reinforcing group of a 4 more T-90s managed to get a few shots off...which all missed....at a fairly comfortable 2km range (hence the modern fire control comment).

 

I reloaded and tried the another way of quickly surging my T-90s into the village instead of the failed medium-range ambush, so that I could position them on an incline, with guns facing right at M1s bellies at point blank range once the start rolling downhill. The surge worked; I even managed to get 3 platoons of infantry with BMP-3s on scene, loaded with RPGs and in buildings before M1s appeared. Result was about the same just at close range, with M1s happily rolling down the hill and 1-shotting my blind T-90s at point blank  range. Infantry, BMPs, T-90s all destroyed in several minutes of heavy cursing from my side.

 

 

You seriously don't think that about 100 eyes with binos and 15 sets of more-than-adequate thermals probing an open field 2km away from a concealed positions with sighted firearcs on a hot summer day  will have a serious spotting and firepower advantages  over a platoon of M1s rolling in blind? I've only used infantry tripod thermals once in 2005 (celebrity kit in the Canadian Forces), and on a +30C day nobody could make out coherent human shapes in a treeline 250m away without some very heavy coaching by the attached signals guy. Tanks have the more powerful stuff, but the amount of background noise would still be significant, especially at 2km, and those T-90s had 15-20 mins to cooldown their engines. Mk1 eyeballs should've been the primary spotting tool in such a scenario, with Infantry binos, especailly two recon platoons and a platoon worth of specialists and command elements worth, providing a serious advantage and not more static target dummies. I used to think that spotting was situational in this game, with maybe a slight advantage to the US side during daytime, until playing this scenario. At 3km+ and nighttime I would not argue a clear US advantage, but what transpired in Valley of Death just felt artificial. 

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Well Red Rage, we gotta admit, and I will probably lose my beta tester magic decoder ring for this confession.  BF only designed it that way to make you step out of the shadows and post, and it worked!!! Welcome to a more active forum! :D

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You seriously don't think that about 100 eyes with binos and 15 sets of more-than-adequate thermals probing an open field 2km away from a concealed positions with sighted firearcs on a hot summer day  will have a serious spotting and firepower advantages  over a platoon of M1s rolling in blind? I've only used infantry tripod thermals once in 2005 (celebrity kit in the Canadian Forces), and on a +30C day nobody could make out coherent human shapes in a treeline 250m away without some very heavy coaching by the attached signals guy. Tanks have the more powerful stuff, but the amount of background noise would still be significant, especially at 2km, and those T-90s had 15-20 mins to cooldown their engines. Mk1 eyeballs should've been the primary spotting tool in such a scenario, with Infantry binos, especailly two recon platoons and a platoon worth of specialists and command elements worth, providing a serious advantage and not more static target dummies. I used to think that spotting was situational in this game, with maybe a slight advantage to the US side during daytime, until playing this scenario. At 3km+ and nighttime I would not argue a clear US advantage, but what transpired in Valley of Death just felt artificial. 

 

I'll fire up the scenario when  I get a minute.  It does sound more than a little like you're doing it wrong/trying to engage the Abrams frontally which tends to end poorly.  Before I hop in though, T-90A or AMs?

 

Additionally I was an M1A2 tanker until 9 months ago or so.  The only time we reverted to day optics would have been with the CROW,* and this includes shooting and operating in weather far in excess of 30 c (38 c on one day at least).

 

Further the amount of actual cooling you get from stopping the tank is overstated.  The head reflecting off the metal surface of the tank will appear very distinct from the vegetation around it (hot metal, much less hot trees).  You get some false positives off of rocks, metal objects (there was a broken down bulldozer in one of our training areas that threw folks off for like, ,5 seconds every time), but a tank parked in a treeline at 1.5 KM is not especially well disguised against the generation of thermals the M1A2 Sep v2 mounts, even if it's the dead of winter and the tank has been there for an hour+.  

 

On the other hand, you've already sampled the slightly better than Thales thermal optics so your points are entirely valid to why the T-90's couldn't see anything especially well.

 

 

*It uses a progressive zoom vs a set of fixed zooms, which can lead to all sorts of absurdities in trying to get the focus to behave like you want to.  In practice at least for the .50 cal engagements for qualification we'd use the tank's primary thermal optics to find the target while keeping the CROW broadly aligned against the lay of the main gun.  Once we were in the neighborhood you'd have to futz with the CROW's optics less.

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I'll fire up the scenario when  I get a minute.  It does sound more than a little like you're doing it wrong/trying to engage the Abrams frontally which tends to end poorly.  Before I hop in though, T-90A or AMs?

 

Additionally I was an M1A2 tanker until 9 months ago or so.  The only time we reverted to day optics would have been with the CROW,* and this includes shooting and operating in weather far in excess of 30 c (38 c on one day at least).

 

Further the amount of actual cooling you get from stopping the tank is overstated.  The head reflecting off the metal surface of the tank will appear very distinct from the vegetation around it (hot metal, much less hot trees).  You get some false positives off of rocks, metal objects (there was a broken down bulldozer in one of our training areas that threw folks off for like, ,5 seconds every time), but a tank parked in a treeline at 1.5 KM is not especially well disguised against the generation of thermals the M1A2 Sep v2 mounts, even if it's the dead of winter and the tank has been there for an hour+.  

 

On the other hand, you've already sampled the slightly better than Thales thermal optics so your points are entirely valid to why the T-90's couldn't see anything especially well.

 

 

*It uses a progressive zoom vs a set of fixed zooms, which can lead to all sorts of absurdities in trying to get the focus to behave like you want to.  In practice at least for the .50 cal engagements for qualification we'd use the tank's primary thermal optics to find the target while keeping the CROW broadly aligned against the lay of the main gun.  Once we were in the neighborhood you'd have to futz with the CROW's optics less.

You were in a M1A2 SEP v2? Wow that's kind of cool. Now everything you said regarding the M1A2's optics is true, Except for the T-90AMs thermal which is also new generation, Probably will be using the one on the T-14. Which is supposedly to be in the same generation of thermals the M1A2 SEP V2 has. The T-90AM uses a new developed domestic technologies, Where as the only foreign component on the T-90A is the Thales imager, Which you are correct in saying it isn't as good as the ones on the M1A2 SEP v2.

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What would those technologies entail to give it improved performance?  Increased magnification, image clarity, resolution etc?  

 

On the topic of the Abrams: http://www.generaldynamics.com/news/press-releases/detail.cfm?customel_dataPageID_1811=17962

 

Is there any info yet regarding what the armor upgrades will be?  

Edited by Nerdwing

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You were in a M1A2 SEP v2? Wow that's kind of cool. Now everything you said regarding the M1A2's optics is true, Except for the T-90AMs thermal which is also new generation, Probably will be using the one on the T-14. Which is supposedly to be in the same generation of thermals the M1A2 SEP V2 has. The T-90AM uses a new developed domestic technologies, Where as the only foreign component on the T-90A is the Thales imager, Which you are correct in saying it isn't as good as the ones on the M1A2 SEP v2.

 

The imager is the important part, and the component that'll impact visual quality, acquisition range, and resolution while moving.  It'll be interesting to see what the Armata has if it ever comes to be a common tank, but given the state of Russian electronics there's reason to doubt it compares to the current generation elsewhere. 

 

But yeah.  I was on what is the current generation of M1A2 SEP v2s.  The main difference between them and the in-game ones is the ERA is a theater-equipped kit vs standard issue (basically the one part of TUSK that the M1A2 SEP didn't pick up), the data-link for rounds isn't a installed system, and the ammunition family is still the M829A3/MPAT/Cannister/ORD family vs the M829A4/AMP mix.

 

  Re: Nerdwing

 

 

 

Is there any info yet regarding what the armor upgrades will be? 

 

Dunno.  I'm off active duty now and in the National Guard, so even if I wasn't a staff toolbag now I'd be on an M1A1SA.  If I had to conjecture it'd be better integration of the ERA racks, some sort of upgraded boat-hull armor upgrade and possibly might be someone figured out a new layer for the armor array or something (every now and then they'll crack the turrets/hulls and insert "something" that I have no idea what it's made of.   

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