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Lee_Vincent

Armata soon to be in service.

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Judging by what's in the video, rather than the article, there are at least three in firing tests. Three as we all know, is not the same as one of a kind. Regardless, this is, as the British say, a nasty bit of kit. Tons of firepower in a small platform: the type of thing JasonC would probably categorize (as he did in describing WW II German Marders), as eggshells with hammers. In this case, though, instead of a powerful cannon, the real punch lies in the ATGMs, which, if I understood correctly, were not Kornet but the considerably less unpleasant and way older Ataka. "Less unpleasant" being decidedly relative.

Regards,

John Kettler

 

Edited by John Kettler

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Armata T-16 ARV spotted!  This AFV wasn't in the Victory Day Parade and had previously only been fleetingly seen on Zvezda TV. The Russians are deadly serious about keeping this thing alive, too: Afghanit, unidentified APS and Malachit ERA. At least, that's how it's written.

https://warisboring.com/spotted-a-new-version-of-russias-armata-combat-vehicle-e1fb1011eb8e#.72e6vilis

When I searched under "Afghanit," I found this Defense Update preliminary analysis of the Armata family. One tidbit I was utterly new to me still--the fitting of active mine countermeasures under, apparently, all the versions.

http://defense-update.com/20150509_t14-t15_analysis.html

Regards,

John Kettler

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IMHO,

That was good as far as it went, but get a load of this! Afghanit, in addition to the expected threats, apparently is designed to defeat KE traveling as fast as 2000 m/sec. There is an enormous amount of military technical information in the below video.

Regards,

John Kettler

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16 hours ago, John Kettler said:

That was good as far as it went, but get a load of this! Afghanit, in addition to the expected threats, apparently is designed to defeat KE traveling as fast as 2000 m/sec.

...and it will be able to shoot down Death Star orbiting the Earth :D I'm kind of sceptical about T-14 developers statements. For so many years some of them were not able to produce a mere diesel-transmission block, others managed to put ERA blocks in a pattern leaving large zones undefended AND stupidly used wrong projectiles for ERA development itself... And now all of a sudden these guys promise to build something of a tracked aircraft carrier :D Let's see...

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IMHO,

Drozd KA3 (Imoroved Drozd) stopped a BM-12 from penetrating a naked armor plate. Standard MV on the 125 mm guns which fire this round used to be 1800 m/sec for KE. 1800 m/sec a is awfully close to 2000 m/sec, so Aghanit's claim doesn't, on the face of it, seem all that far fetched.

Испытания КАЗ "Заслон"

Regards,

John Kettler

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Something went with with the link, I see. Let's try this again. Yay! The BM-12. engagement segment begins at 9:45, and what happened, and didn't) should prove revelatory for you and others, I suspect.

Regards,

John Kettler

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10 hours ago, John Kettler said:

Something went with with the link, I see. Let's try this again. Yay! The BM-12. engagement segment begins at 9:45, and what happened, and didn't) should prove revelatory for you and others, I suspect.

Well I'd pay close attention to how it's tested :D

  1. They don't shoot the tank itself but an armour plate placed 1.5-2.5 - BEHIND Zaslon. That's done to artificially double the distance between detection and target.
  2. Zaslon is put in an unnaturally ideal point along the projectile trajectory - very close to it.

It's all done to mitigate design limitations inherent to such systems - be them Ukrainian, Russian or Ethiopian :) That's exactly why Afghanit is to integrate long-range radar and more powerful counter-projectile canisters. I'm sure APFSDS interception is doable given time to perfect the design it's just no piece of cake especially if the objective is real life application rather than artificial laboratory experiments. So IMHO the percentage of wishful thinking in Armata claims might be... unnaturally high :D

Edited by IMHO

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IMHO,

Fair points. To me, everything not shot directly at the tank seemed to be more impromptu than planned, with another consideration being the damage to the tank from all earlier firings being a valid reason to switch targets, so that terminal effects could be seen and penetration measured. Would say the target array next to the tank was fine for all but the BM-12 and the almost as fast, relative to other weapons shown, 125 mm HEAT round, or was that fired earlier. Head's in a fog bank. I know how little time there can be to detect, react and intercept an incoming threat, not least because of something, I learned from a Hughes Missile Systems Group colleague named Jack Pratt. He'd long held high security clearances, but years before, after resolutely pushing a point about the AA-6 ACRID AAM's design and refusing to back down, those tickets got yanked for two years before he was ultimately vindicated. What's the AA-6 got to do with Zaslon? A lot. The AA-6, you see, was developed as the primary armament for the MiG-25/FOXBAT, whose prey was the ultimately canceled in 1961 XB-70 strategic bomber. Relevant how? In order to engage and destroy the XB-70, the missile attack had to come from the forward aspect, resulting in terminal engagement velocities I forget how far north of Mach 6. A super tough fuzing requirement for any country, but what to do if your electronics aren't very speedy? You buy yourself as much time for the proximity fuze as possible by--wait for it--putting the warhead in the rear and the motor in the middle! This was Jack Pratt's great intel heresy. Notice the exhaust nozzles aren't in the rear. Front to rear, the AA-6 is laid out: seeker, guidance and control, rocket motor and warhead, whereas the usual AAM design was: seeker, guidance and control, warhead and rocket motor. Thus, to give their prox fuze the best possible odds of success, the Russians took the radical step of moving the warhead to dead aft as a way of compensating for slow electronics. 

AA-6/ACRID

AA%206%20and%20AS%2010.jpg'

By having the target behind Zaslon, Zaslon sees earlier, engages earlier and achieves a hit earlier than would be possible with the unit on the tank and the armor essentially flush with the radar. The question then becomes one of how much time that buys and whether its absence would prevent engagement of the 1800 m/sec BM-12 long rod penetrator altogether. Concur that engagement geometry with offset described helps Zaslon by exposing the length of the penetrator to the weapon's effects, as opposed to the more design stressing 6 o'clock shot. That's about all my brain can handle on this for the moment.

Regards,

John Kettler

Edited by John Kettler

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Nice demonstration in that Zaslon video of velocity difference between PG-7VL and PG-7VR (or nice demonstration of very poor ammunition quality, which calls into question other results).

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@John Kettler,

  1. Thanks, AA6 story is really interesting.
  2. Answering your question of how much this can affect long rod penetrator one can do simple back of the napkin calculation:
    1. Distance between mounted Zaslon units needs to be such as to prevent one activated unit simply disable adjacent ones just like Zaslon disables projectiles. So even "beauty parade" pictures give a rough idea of what distance is considered "low probability to hit" by designers. Bearing in mind that it's way way easier to disable Zaslon than a long rod penetrator.
    2. A more exact approach to calculate probability to hit. Long rod muzzle velocity is 1650-1750 m/s with a speed decrease of 50-60 m/s for every 1'000m (I take American/German APFSDS here). So at practical distances long rod comes at Zaslon at 1'500-1'700 m/s. Zaslon's detection distance is about 2m and its 500-600 fragments travel at speeds of 1'700-2'000 m/s. Long rod length is 750-800mm with the thickness of 20-25 mm. I'd assume effective profile of 10-15mm since a fragment glancing a long rod will have absolutely no effect on it. So this gives enough information to calculate the probability to hit the long rod. AND it gives another very important point: in practical situations Zaslon fragments meet long rod less than half a meter before it hits the armour. If they ever meet :) Disclaimer: fins are omitted. 
    3. We have the long rod velocity and it's weight will be about 5-6kg so we have the energy. The weight of a single Zaslon fragment is 2g and we have the velocity for them so we can have the energy as well. So like spitting at a bullet trying to shatter/deflect it :D
  3. I missed an important point at long rod test - the armour plate is positioned at very helpful 28 degrees :D Does not mean so much for measuring post-effects of CE penetration but for KE? WTF? :huh: So being honest I'm kind of sceptical of what we see in this test. Putting aside an idea of total fake my best guess would be they actually used caliber AP rounds.
  4. And the napkin calculations tell us there's a reason why Trophy makes no promise of protection against KE penetrators and Quick Kill was designed with long range radar and a separate more powerful missile for defeating KEs. But Mikrotek guys seem to find a way around the laws of physics :D

Disclaimer: I have enormous respect for Ukrainian tank school. Totally share the opinion a dirty win of T-72 over T-64 in Soviet Union wasted decades of progress in tank development.

Edited by IMHO

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I am leery of any video tests. Just because a projectile comes out of a gun does NOT mean it came out at combat velocities. It is COMMON for tests to decrease to the propellant so that the test geometry is more like a longer-ranged test.

Instead of taking a 4km shot, put your cannon 100m away and reduce the propellant so the velocity of the projectile is equivalent to what it would be at 4km. At 4km, you're likely to miss the exact path you want. The tests need precise pathing. At 100m you can do that: at 4km, you're likely to waste a lot of time and money. (4km is made up for this example...as is 100m. Just sayin'.)

That's just one, off the cuff, reason not to extrapolate performance parameters from looking at a video.

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1 hour ago, c3k said:

I am leery of any video tests. Just because a projectile comes out of a gun does NOT mean it came out at combat velocities. It is COMMON for tests to decrease to the propellant so that the test geometry is more like a longer-ranged test.

I believe you're absolutely right! I couldn't figure out how to reduce the projectile energy and somehow missed the obvious - the powder charge :( It all comes together. First, you put the target way behind Zaslon to help with reduced detection/effect radius and allow projectile some distance to deflect. Second, you position Zaslon very close to the projectile trajectory to rely more on blast wave energy rather than fragments' KE to deflect the projectile. Third you reduce the powder charge to "massage" the difference between projectile KE and the energy of Zaslon affecting the projectile. Actually with reduced powder charge the results might even be better with APFSDS. Zaslon will be very late to effect the projectile so with the long rod the force will be applied somewhere at the tail and that will give an excellent leverage with the high elongation. And reduced powder charge explains why the penetration was mere 66mm :)

Edited by IMHO

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IMHO, c3k,et al.,

Have to say you've radically reframed my views on what the video really showed. Am curious where the Zaslon munition frag weight and velocity came from. Also, in looking at the munition itself, I see the frags are in the form of pre-scored diamonds. But there's a problem, for the discovery was made way back in the 1950s, I believe, that external scoring didn't do what people thought it did; that the way you got the desired frag mass consistency was internal scoring. That's why you find frag grenades full of things like notched hardened steel wire and the like. The US 40 mm HE grenade looks as though most of the fill containing body is formed by winding and welding something akin to that, and the scoring is on the inside. The more I think about the tank defense problem with something like Zaslon, the more it calls to mind a need for a CRW (Continuous Rod Warhead) in some form. Short discussion of various aerial warheads here  in Waggener, "Evolution of Air Target Warheads." CRW is on page 69. While the CRW was certainly never intended to deal with hypersonic penetrators, it is inarguable that today's KE is an aerial target in terms of trying to defend against it. Would expect some tweaks would have to be made to the basic design, ones intended to put sharp cuts into the projectile body to either induce outright failure prior to impact or cause enough damage as to cause projectile breakup on impact. For sure, if I'm supporting the tank, I'd infinitely prefer a fairly contained CRW to blast/frag with artillery type effects.

Regards,

 

John Kettler

Edited by John Kettler

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@John Kettler,

Have a look at the pic. That's not Zaslon though looks pretty much like it, does it no? :D

400764_3_pic_65.jpg

Zaslon's basically a copycat of a late Soviet development model that is one of the grand grand children of Drozd. There was a very extensive research and Ukrainian Kharkiv Tank Plant was responsible for mating APS and the tank. Kharkiv plant was not developing the system itself but by the time Soviet Union dissolved they had a few working prototypes and enough testing experience. That's how Mikrotek - the producer of Zaslon - was born :)

These systems were simple in the design, reliable enough and performed excellently against RPG-like light AT missiles. But they showed insufficient (though still tangible) results against HEAT/Heavy ATGM (I'll call them just HEATs thereafter) and certain problems with radar calibration against clutter (like stones flying from under the tracks etc.) As the people knew the laws of physics back then no one ever had any expectations about defeating APFSDS :D Since anti-HEAT performance was still serious there were many attempts to redesign the system. But in the end they all failed and none of them went into service as it was decided that inadequate results against HEATs did not outweigh somewhat disastrous effect on the supporting infantry nearby. It's also helpful to remember that it was a different kind of war that the systems were developed for back then. No COIN patrols in cities, no RPG-armed jihadi lurking behind a corner nearby - "good old" long range engagements across German plains with set battle lines :) So excellent RPG protection was considered relatively useless.

The problems with HEATs were inherent to the design. First, to shoot down a HEAT with frags you should achieve multiple penetrations with high-energy particles. Akin to anti-ship missiles that require many hits from CIWS to be defeated. But with a curved-band-like fragmentation field the frag density decreases as the radius grows. And the residual energy falls quickly too, we cannot use high-energy particles - no plans to obliterate every infantryman within tens of meters from the tank. Second, the millimeter-radar has too short a range of detection to allow enough distance between the armour and a forced explosion of the HEAT warhead. Basically a side-skirt against TOW or Cornet - does not work.

To solve these problems at that level of technology one has to strap formidable FRAG warheads to the tank. Too much energy and too dense a frag field near the charge to achieve enough effect on the fringes. Bad for the tank, bad for infantry - programs were finally discontinued. In theory Mikrotek could stand a chance to reasonably increase the engagement distance and solve the problem of radar calibration as electronics made a quantum leap since those times. But they could not circumvent the problem of wasted energy of counter-charge. And I'm saying in theory as it requires multiple tests and field application experience. Something they're lacking altogether as they're terribly cash-strapped.

Edited by IMHO

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12 hours ago, John Kettler said:

Have to say you've radically reframed my views on what the video really showed

Thanks for your kind words.

12 hours ago, John Kettler said:

I believe, that external scoring didn't do what people thought it did; that the way you got the desired frag mass consistency was internal scoring

No it should not. Wave propagation velocity, inner layers of metal cracking/yielding/becoming fluid under pressure of the blast wave I believe... I'm sure Mikrotek's is more than qualified enough to be aware of the scoring. My best guess it may look like a minor problem compared to the lack of testing / field trials.

12 hours ago, John Kettler said:

The more I think about the tank defense problem with something like Zaslon, the more it calls to mind a need for a CRW (Continuous Rod Warhead) in some form

Yeah, it puzzled me for years as well. I'm sure they must have tested it - it's such an obvious choice. My guess would be side-effects and velocity. Rods need to be strong enough to withstand the blast wave and still preserve the ring. Means enough weight to retain energy for certain distance with an extremely deadly frag pattern. And the velocity of the ring opening - we have to moderate the blast wave to keep the continuity. MEFP, compared to CR, has incomparably higher speed, pointed direction and controlled particle pattern. Frag-free HE counter-warhead would have an unmatched speed advantage too and trade MEFP's direction for reduced side-effects radius. But that's just my speculation.

Edited by IMHO

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Guys,

From what I can tell, the real point of the first APS was to severely degrade, perhaps nullify, the West's punishing ability to hit and destroy Russian/Warsaw Pact tanks with ATGMs from ranges where they couldn't hit back, while generally using light, cheap launch platforms to do so with widely proliferated highly accurate systems. If you read the Russian military writings of the period, such as Biryukov and Melnikov ANTITANK WARFARE, the material presented explicitly shows the Russians absolutely understood they were facing a deadly threat and showed just how huge was the performance gap vs the GPW type ATGs. Speaking as someone who was directly involved with a number of TOW threat assessments and analyses while at Hughes Missile Systems Group in the Operations Analysis Department, I can tell you that our assessment was that the integrity of NATO's ground defense lay in the ability to get those long range kills. Thus APS, ERA and things like broadband obscurants were, and justly so, Grade One stomach churners for us. Worse, I can tell you, having seen the reporting myself, intel analysts shockingly determined that a somehow obtained Russian field exercise map supposedly of an area in Russia and with Russian names throughout, was actually of the Minden area of FRG! The Russians had performed a reverse map analysis and determined where all the long range ATGM shots could be made from and planned their FS accordingly.

The resulting and highly credible scenario, one that made me, along with others, practically vomit, was of a force with vast numerical superiority, not being disrupted and cut up at long range by ATGMs (and highly survivable if fired upon); a force substantially immune to effects of tank cannon fire (caused by overall inability to see and shoot at distances which significantly outranged REDFOR); a REDFOR that, in essence, then would roll into a knife fight for it was very well prepared  and had the numbers, too. I've written probably thousands of words on the Forums about just how bad the whole armor/anti-armor situation really was at the time, All in all, this was a problem for which we then had no conventional solution. Plain old TOW had twice the effective range of the T-62 and almost the same vs the other T-series tanks more modern than that. Our tanks could do at least that, though at greatly reduced hit probability, so at a veritable stroke the target servicing problem became insuperable, let alone killing what was targeted and hit.

Contrast that with what the TOW did at An Loc, RSVN and the devastating effects ARVN M41s and M48s had vs vanilla NVA T-54/55s and PT-76s at I forget where. In any event, the enemy was speaking in clear, and ARVN tanker monitoring of those NVA transmissions when taken under fire revealed they initially thought the killing blows weren't the result of tank fire but mines! They simply couldn't initially conceive any other explanation, since the fire was coming from "impossible" distances. These two things showed what sort of long range lethality NATO (for the ARVN crews were trained by the US) possessed if allowed to operate unimpeded, and would have more of over time. Having understood these things, the Russians then set about figuring out, and implementing, solutions to NATO's high leverage, high tech defense.

Recapping, Russia's single biggest ground warfare concern was the ATGM, especially the super mobile armed helicopter version, for the basis of Russia's combat power was its mighty tank forces, upon which victory depended. ATGMs were what spawned APS, with defense against lesser threats included by virtue of the design vs a more system stressing threat. The ability to defeat cannon launched projectiles, especially the KE familiar to us, was an add-on to the threat array to be degraded or defeated at high confidence by the APS.

Regards,

John Kettler 

Edited by John Kettler

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@John Kettler,

  1. Very interesting information! If I may add something from this side of then an Iron Curtain...
  2. USSR was capable of producing reliable millimeter-wave radars but not a longer range one especially if tank radio signature constraints were imposed. Plus an inability to guarantee accurate counter-warhead targeting with short reaction time and multiple threat processing. Given these limitations Soviet designers were bound to follow this particular route of Drozd improvement that failed in the end. Certainly as with any R&D they had not known in advance that it would not come to fruition. The initial results for HEAT/Heavy ATGMs were quite promising but it turned out the performance could not be pushed much further.
  3. It's funny that to a certain extent the concept of tank armadas was born not as an entry into ATGMs/tank race but as a RESPONSE to the long range capabilities of the Western equipment. We could not hit from afar, attrition rates were high and we could not close the technological gap so the end result was the creation of an unbalanced force structure where the predominance of one component was meant to mitigate the inability to create a capable combined force on par with Western armies. The same factor was instrumental in skewed force structures of Soviet Air Force and the Navy - though to different degrees. It's very interesting how higher echelons of Soviet leadership had very sober assessment of its technological and economical weaknesses. And it's a pity how irrational mutual distrust learnt at mother's knees led to so much time and effort of almost two generations wasted on building and maintaining such an expensively unbalanced overwhelming force :( And it seems like the history may repeat itself now at least in terms of distrust and misunderstanding of decision making factors :( "I am convinced that whenever we exaggerate or demonize, oversimplify or overstate our case, we lose" - Barack Obama. 
  4. From an orgbehaviour point of view it's also remarkable how the interests of the Soviet military-industrial complex and inefficiency of talent management inherent to the Soviet system of 70s pushed back the Soviet Union from the 50s-60s' position of leadership in some areas of weapon design to a looser's approach of trying to replicate almost ALL and EVERY Western weapon system later on. An approach with no chance of success since a steam engine can never win a race against starship even if moving in the same direction :( An accurate rational assessment of Soviet limitations did not result in obvious decisions - cold-headed understanding but not an emotional acceptance :( 
Edited by IMHO

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IMHO,

The below puzzles me, since it was Russian Tank Armies which were the basis of Russian striking power from the GPW on. To protect those forces, Russia invested a fortune in creating, by hook or by crook, a mobile IADS covering that force and supported by a huge static one. This is, of course, a simplistic characterization, not least because there was a whole lot more going on. The response you mentioned, in terms of the Russian armored force lay, I would say, in the OMGs operating in conjunction with the Air Corridor in order to rupture NATO's defenses and allow those armored forces to run wild. 

10 hours ago, IMHO said:

It's funny that to a certain extent the concept of tank armadas was born not as an entry into ATGMs/tank race but as a RESPONSE to the long range capabilities of the Western equipment.

Sgt.Squarehead,

Am unsure whether you're talking about a layered antitank defense, such as the one I've described faced Russia if it attacked NATO, or whether you're on the extreme opposite end of the scale and are talking about a tank's layered defense. Pray elaborate. 

Regards,

John Kettler

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14 hours ago, John Kettler said:

The below puzzles me, since it was Russian Tank Armies which were the basis of Russian striking power from the GPW on.

You are right - I used an incorrect wording. What I mean is the technological gap was one of the main driving forces that resulted in imbalances in Soviet Union force structures. I didn't mean precedence in time but rather a cause and effect relationship. Starting with tank armadas as a result of WWII mindset then the Soviet Union was left with tanks as the only way to counter US nuclear superiority (especially in delivery vehicles) and still effect an unacceptable damage to the European allies. Then the technological race began and the numerical superiority was considered as the only way to counter the gap. The tank overproduction was actually driven by extremely high estimated attrition rates. So in the end it was a kind of track that the Soviet Union was not able to turn away. With dire economic consequences :( A similar situation was in AAD - inability to achieve a balance in fighter force capabilities led to over-reliance on SAMs. Though here it had positive technological effect rather than churning out "dumb iron" :) Choosing cheap but less technological advanced T-72 over T-64 had negative effect on Soviet technology in tanks, IMO.

Edited by IMHO

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IMHO,

Thanks for clarifying what you were trying to say. Makes sense now.

Guys,

This popped up in my YT sidebar and was new to me (or maybe I just forgot!). In any case, in this Winter 2016 clip,I believe there's much to be learned here, for there's detail galore on displays previously not readily observable in earlier video. There is no blathering commentator, just the crew at work. How I wish there wasn't a throbbing rock soundtrack, but just the actual sounds.

Regards,

John Kettler

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