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That's extremely off BTR and I've been noticing that, I hit an M1A2 on the front of the hull where the hull meets the side and it caused a catastrophic explosion on the M1A2 when it should have just took out the engine. Also I highly doubt that the M829A4 can defeat relikt above a 50% rate due to the fact that US hasn't any ERA like that to test it on, Nor base their design on. But against K-5 and its upgraded variants why not. Also the T-90A's turret LOS varies highly on area, On the mantlet its stated to be 455 right before the armor connects to the mantlet is 680 LOS and beyond that it goes to 715 LOS toward the sides it becomes 815. And the T-90MA assuming them to be fresh builds would have a better armor array arangement, Which makes me highly doubt penetration of turret at 4 KM, I mean that is a joke.

 

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Vlad: I was looking for a reaction ;) i do believe its off too and by a good margin. I would say the M829A4 should have a 45-50% chance of defeating Relikt (the base armor is irrelevant , it will get penetrated at less than 3500m but probably not at 4000m) . The round was designed to have a chance at defeating Relikt but having a chance probably means 45% instead of 0 or 5% . Right now in the game  it is 80% of the time which is highly doubtful and very optimistic.

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Also I highly doubt that the M829A4 can defeat relikt above a 50% rate due to the fact that US hasn't any ERA like that to test it on, Nor base their design on.

If you did not want us to get out mitts on it, you should stop offering it for sale to people who might be equally interested in Russian equipment and American dollars.  

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Panzer: so you claim that the US had access to Relikt .. Funny since it wasnt deployed on any tanks before the t-90AM except the Rogatka T-72 upgrade  the Indians had kontakt-5 in their T-90s .. The T-90MS has Relikt and India recently bought some but too recently to design a new round based on tests. I'm very skeptical and you woulldnt tell us anything that is classified.

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Relikt's been in the public eye since around very early 2000's, so I'm sure US had plenty of time to at least theoretically come up with a solution. Which is probably why Relikt has been cleared for export in 2011 with a small scale  Kazakhstan BMPT contract (10 vehicles). On the other hand, that means that US couldn't have had any significant amount of testing samples prior to 2011. RHA methodology and penetration success rate differences between Russian and US calculations are a lot of times not considered though, leading to under-protection or over-penetration in theoretical scenarios like we have in CMBS.

I hope no radar-command junk is present for the Relikt in CMBS like it is on the M829A4 wiki page :D.

 

Edited by BTR

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speaking of underprotection:

 

T-90A numbers in steel beast for frontal hull armor indicates a base armor protection against HEAT of 900-1000mm when removing ERA. WIth ERA its 1450 and 1600mm. Right now it gets penetrated by stuff with 600mm of penetration  (tandem warhead) in the game.

 

I know you've based your models on Fovanov's numbers but they are very old and dated and for an original vanilla T-90. It's like modeling armor protection for a T-72B3 on a plain vanilla T-72 from the early seventies. It has increased much since then.

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I believe Armor Basics book, on which SB is based no longer represents reality. I've also heard Paul Lakowski mentioning he is now working on new estimates, but I can't find the references to that anymore. 

Edited by BTR
*not to now

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It is more complicated than simply right of wrong. Some materials (and therefore densities) are not what they are IRL as well as LOS armor coverage is over/under estimated. I would think that BF needs to run their own analysis if they have used SB values, that is all I was saying. Also, please note I am not saying that the book is bad, it provides a great theoretical framework, just the actual values are all under question now. For instance Leopard-2 armor is both too thick and too light at the same time. I also don't think the book takes in account difference in methodology for RHA valuation between east and west which gives around 5-8% difference in absolute RHA mm values. 

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Interesting , so whats your opinion BTR on front Hull HEAT protection for the T-90A and T-90AM . Should a direct fire javelin or ukrainian Corsar penetrate the front Hull of a T-90A ? (Kontakt-5 being defeated by the tandem warhead) or penetrate the T-90AM once Relikt is stripped off ? (Relikt is effective against tandem but the low HEAT protection numbers fir the front Hull enables everything 900mm and higher to penetrate both Relikt and the base armor). Btw I did many tests .

Edited by antaress73

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What's javelin's direct guaranteed penetration in mm RHA CE? T-72B '89 LOS glacis was 573mm without ERA, and had triple polymer inlay. With that Korsar would have trouble delivering any damage (reliably or at all) since its quoted guaranteed penetration is said to be 550mm RHA CE, and as we know, composite armors usually have a higher RHA rating against CE then LOS allows. It is much easier here, since no discrepancy between valuation methods exists. Caeteris paribus for T-90A and AM (really a stretch), and there you have your answer. Can't say anything about the Javelin though. 

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Interesting , so whats your opinion BTR on front Hull HEAT protection for the T-90A and T-90AM . Should a direct fire javelin or ukrainian Corsar penetrate the front Hull of a T-90A ? (Kontakt-5 being defeated by the tandem warhead) or penetrate the T-90AM once Relikt is stripped off ? (Relikt is effective against tandem but the low HEAT protection numbers fir the front Hull enables everything 900mm and higher to penetrate both Relikt and the base armor). Btw I did many tests .

Front turret of T-90A estimated 800 mm RHA, T-90AM - 830 mm RHA w/o ERA. But wasn't signed this is against CE or KE. "Korsar" can penetrate in front projection only in "upper hull superstructure" (driver triplexes), under turret and in gun mask. 

Lower picture - T-90A glacis (all from Otvaga-2004). 

 

Т-72Б_БМ_башня_ВЛД.jpg

Т-90_ВЛД.jpg

Edited by Haiduk

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Front turret of T-90A estimated 800 mm RHA, T-90AM - 830 mm RHA w/o ERA. But wasn't signed this is against CE or KE. "Korsar" can penetrate in front projection only in "upper hull superstructure" (driver triplexes), under turret and in gun mask. 

Lower picture - T-90A glacis (all from Otvaga-2004). 

 

Т-72Б_БМ_башня_ВЛД.jpg

Т-90_ВЛД.jpg

what does it gives, the lower graphic ? Equivalent protection ? For glacis ? Against HEAT ? It gives 277mm total but the angle should change that to 540 LOS agaibst kinetic but against HEAT it is surely higher because it is a sandwich like chobham.

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everything i've read (zaloga, armor basics) gives 900-1000mm for the NAKED T90A's front hull plate against CE (HEAT). Right now, a javelin with 600mm of penetration in DIRECT attack mode can penetrate the front hull (anywhere) of a T-90A all the time (I did tests). A PG-7VR round will penetrate it also (650mm). So protection against HEAT (CE) is under 600mm.  Protection values are around 573mm LOS against KE (sabot) rounds for the T-72B front hull which is probably what they used. That's very questionable. It's like modelling the T-72B3's armor by using the numbers from a plain vanilla T-72 from the late sixties.  As it stand right now in the game, the ceramic "sandwich" composition of the front hull has no effect whatsoever in augmenting protection against CE warheads. This is not possible. Did you use the old armor model for Shock Force's syrian T-72s ? If that so, no wonder. They didnt have ceramic special armor anywhere (export). I guess the turret is also undermodelled against both CE and KE.

 

As for the T-90AM. A Skiff (1000-1100mm) will penetrate both Relikt (effective against tandem warheads) and the base armor of the front hull  everytime in the game (again, I did many tests). That means less than 1000-1100mm of protection against CE with base armor and Relikt COMBINED. Relikt augments protection against CE by 50% So base armor protection on the T-90AM would have to be less than 700-750mm against CE for that to be possible.  I find this very hard to believe. I hope this is revisited in a future patch. Numbers for the front Turret should also be verified with new sources since if it was that much mistaken for the front hull, it likely is for the turret too. 

Edited by antaress73

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I still don't see how the US has been able to get their hands on Relikt... If someone would clear it up with me in detail I'd change my mind of course.

Again, it's been publicly shown often enough.  We borrowed a whole Soviet satellite for a few hours back in the 60's from an exhibition, and the Brits got especially cheeky with BRIXMIS.  You put a piece of military hardware out there, especially in a space that isn't especially well secured and it's bound to have someone at the least getting some good measurements for eggs heads to crunch the numbers on.

There's not much revolutionary about Russian ERA.  Which isn't to say it is bad, just simply it is a generational system.  If newer generations did something wild like used diffused plasma buffers and electrically charged plates to cause incoming rounds to phase into the underverse, then that's pretty hard to figure out.  However it is just ERA with some new tricks, nothing that is so far removed from what is already within the state of the art to disable, just historically it was not cost-effective to build without a threat.  As the case is though between the wages paid to Russian engineers, aggressive Russian sales demos (and letting military personnel from third party countries crawl all over the gear being pitched) and a respectably competent technical intelligence capability in the west, there is nothing that you have that we cannot possess (or at least get a real good look at). 

We are at a bit of an impasse.  There's very few things left in armor design that represent a decided technical edge (western optics and some of the more advanced armor arrays mostly), mostly it is a matter of budgets and design philosophy.  No one has what composite armor or the first run of thermals any more was in the 1980's, or a tank that frankly surpasses all other tanks in all ways like the T-55 did for a time.  And Russian ERA remains firmly locked in a sort of Red Queen situation in which it is running as fast as it can to keep up.

Not to mention anything claimed in public for a weapon that is for sale should be taken with a grain of salt the size of a small mountain.

As an additional tangent, if we absolutely need our mitts on Relikt in order to know how to defeat it, how in the world is it possible that Russian armor can have a prayer to stop the M829A3/A4 if they haven't yet gotten their mitts on it*



*For clarity, I'm being sarcastic.  They don't need a M256 with rounds to figure out how to try to counter modern sabot rounds.  More to the point having the piece of equipment is excellent....but outside of stuff that operates using techniques not well understood, or relying on specific composition, you can make pretty reasonable guesses to performance.

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As for the T-90AM. A Skiff (1000-1100mm) will penetrate both Relikt (effective against tandem warheads) and the base armor of the front hull  everytime in the game (again, I did many tests). That means less than 1000-1100mm of protection against CE with base armor and Relikt COMBINED. Relikt augments protection against CE by 50% So base armor protection on the T-90AM would have to be less than 700-750mm against CE for that to be possible.  I find this very hard to believe. I hope this is revisited in a future patch. Numbers for the front Turret should also be verified with new sources since if it was that much mistaken for the front hull, it likely is for the turret too. 

Regular Skif is said to have a guaranteed penetration of 800mm behind ERA by the manufacturer. That should give it a chance to do some damage to T-90 and T-72B3 frontal projection weakspots (as pretty much any ATGM). I think that's it though, blunt frontal hits to glacis and turret shouldn't have any effects according to what we know about general T-90A protection. Against Relikt though, regular tandem warheads should have generally reduced effectiveness due to counter-coursing explosion directions. Counter-tandem technology is one of the centerpieces of Relikt development. According to NII STALI, TOW-2A was taken as the archetype munition for RnD. 

Edited by BTR

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Regular Skif is said to have a guaranteed penetration of 800mm behind ERA by the manufacturer. That should give it a chance to do some damage to T-90 and T-72B3 frontal projection weakspots (as pretty much any ATGM). I think that's it though, blunt frontal hits to glacis and turret shouldn't have any effects according to what we know about general T-90A protection. Against Relikt though, regular tandem warheads should have generally reduced effectiveness due to counter-coursing explosion directions. Counter-tandem technology is one of the centerpieces of Relikt development. According to NII STALI, TOW-2A was taken as the archetype munition for RnD. 

You're right , in the game it's the 130mm version not the 152mm , so 800mm. I did a test with the T-90AM where Skiff penetrated the front glacis anywhere  (front hull ) everytime despite Relikt. Same with AT-13 and other robust direct attack missiles. The Kornet and Krysanthema I can believe it. But not Skiff or AT-13. There's a problem. T-90A's and T-90AM's Front hull protection against CE warheads is vastly underestimated.

 

Edited by antaress73

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I think it does come down to under-modeled CE protection on the T-90 series after all. Not the first time lack of armor surfaced up though, I believe pre-patch there were significant issues with .50 being too useful against T-90A in particular. 

There is another thing to discuss, namely trophy (HV an LV) APS. Below is a video sent to me from Winking, unfortunatly in Russian only. First minute describes the setup, one AT-14C, a couple of disposable RPG's on infantry and one Shturm. If you want to skip to the action in question start from 1:00.

So what we have are three intercepted projectiles over the course of four seconds and one rear turret impact. Knowing how Trophy is advertised to work, I find that hard to believe since the munitions need to undergo a reload process that is far from instantaneous. If you skip to 2:47 you can see a rear-turret impact with a subsequent penetration. Assuming all safety protocols are met, wouldn't such impact cause a mission kill or at least some serious shock to the crew with the bustle rack venting its ammo load through the blowout panels? I don't want to bring Yemeni videos as proof here, since I believe not all safety protocols on those Abrams were met prior to engagement. Moving on, at 3:35 you can see a second ATGM impact into the rear turret. If first hit can be counted as survivable with the bustle rack acting as a giant ERA panel, this second hit should have burned through now empty rack entered the turret. Or am I missing something? 

 

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Panzer, Sure you can get measurements, But do you have the actual Relikt ERA to test on? You can of course improve the M829A3 by strengthening the penetrator. Making it longer, Or what ever. Which if done correctly could indeed bypass the Relikt ERA with good success. But if you ask me the actual success rate would be 40-50% if optimistic 60%. Relikt is certainly not the god of ERA at the moment, But it is of the best. By the way, Just asking because I want to hear it from an actual US tanker, Was the M829A2 made to defeat K-5, Or was that the M829A3? I'm sure I could find it if I searched it but I'd rather hear from you. Also do you have any penetration figures for the M829A4? Estimates of course will do

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1. Again, it isn't as dicey as you're making it out.  The "how" is fairly well established, the physics are fairly standard, as is the performance of the various pieces that get assembled into the ERA tile.  The exacts likely have been validated by some wayward or "borrowed" tiles, but there is nothing Relikt does that is so left field to require destructive testings.  

2. The M829A2 was tested extensively against K-5 tiles.  

3. I have very little idea on the M829E4.  The last time I was on a tank was late 2014, and the new sexiness for us was that we no longer used HEAT training rounds having entirely converted to MPAT.  The E4 was still a "hey this thing is coming" for us.  

The actual penetration values were not something we trained on extensively, more where to shoot.  When I was on Bradleys generally the points of aim revolved around avoiding armor, but with the Abrams the point of aim entirely was "this is where to shoot to make this thing explode" vs concerns about penetrating in the first place (we're big fans of the side shot just under the turret for the obvious reasons, although center through the lower armor was also popular.  Turrets were not regarded as especially resistant to M829A2/A3 fire, although Relikt was not something in common enough issue for us to have to worry about).   

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Thanks for talking about the training, I did assume already that tankers would be taught where to shoot instead of can we penetrate. It does of course make sense that they can base the M829E4 against Relikt type ERA, As the 2A82M is designed for shooting shells to penetrate NATO's advanced armors' (which I'm sure the armor on them are classified) But the thing is, Is it really effective against ERA like it is in the game, An 80% success rate seems doubtful, Maybe 40-50%?

 Not only that is the problem in CMBS, But there are some issues with Russian tanks and Ukrainian tanks that need to be solved. They identify and engage very slowly at ranges they should be able to with ease, Their armor gets penetrated when it shouldn't. 

 

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The range at which you spot things is often less relevant than the terrain you're spotting in, and crew experience/work load.  If you ever sit on a live fire, or even just a "force on force" type setting you'll be surprised at what does not get acquired, or at how long the process from target presentation to target destruction can take.

So what is often "obvious" is frequently much less so staring into an optic inside an armored box.  This is partly the reason why the US still puts (on occasion) some emphasis on being able to open the hatch and take a look around, simply because the naked human eye is better than sensors at painting a cohesive picture of the surrounding terrain.  It's not helped by poor ergonomics and control layout and the crew fatigue issues that come from T-72/T-64 derived platforms.  I do think this might be a systems wide flaw, the ROK seemed to have a much more permissive engagement time and larger targets for their T-80U equipped unit than their K1/M48A5 guys.  Then again it could have been a bit of a showcase vs an honest gunnery training exercise*.

In regards to armor composition, this is however, where having the actual physical thingy is pretty valuable.  There's less mystery to how it accomplishes its mission, but especially in the case of what the actual contents do to the penetrator, or how it breaks up armor piercing effects using whatever the contents are, this is certainly something that remains with some mystery.  Maybe the .5 CM gap between DU rods within the mesh allows for a degree of flexibility that better absorbs the forces of KE rounds.  Maybe .4 is too hard, while .7 is too ductile.  Who knows?  What it does or does not do happens inside a non-publicized realm between the inner wall of the tank and the outer layer.  

As the case is with Relikt the main difference is the range at which the ERA engages (as it is cued by a sensor last time I checked vs contact), and the effects of the ERA itself are fairly well understood, as are the capabilities of most, if not all Russian ERA tiles.  This is largely a result of both technical intelligence, and the Russian advertisement of the system.  Also again it comes down to maths in a lot of ways, if using a selected Russian sabot type round for the test, an efficiency of 50% reduction in penetrating value occurs and the primary difference is range of interception, given known variables (weight of tile, size of tile face, velocity of tested rounds and composition), some assumptions (proportion of tile "shell" to "filler" based on knowns of Russian ERA construction) you can work out broadly the optimum intercept distance, the required velocity and throw weight of the ERA etc and come up broadly with what Relikt can do and what is required to defeat it.

Unless the Russians have an Abrams they've cut open to poke and prod at the armor arrays (they have, it's just almost certainly one of the Egyptian ones that lacks the US specific armor) though, just what's happening within the passive armor arrays will remain somewhat a mystery.  Massive HEAT type rounds are effective from some directions, KE works from some angles, but the actual thickness, and how that effective thickness is accomplished remains a secret specifically to frustrate folks trying to figure out just what they need to do to build an Abrams killing device (and fuel internet speculation too I am sure). 

*On a scale of 1-10 for Propoganda, with 10 being the DPRK's training events (all filler no killer), and 1 being a US NTC exercise (a ruthless exercise in the "good guys" losing 80% of the time), ROK stuff seemed to float around a 4-6 depending on the audience.  They still seemed to train realistically within a budget, but they did often modify certain parts of the exercise to mug for the cameras (one of the infantry units I worked with totally departed from their part of the training lane to "assault" a camera crew that'd come out to film the event before returning to the mission).  They also do not like looking bad in front of their US counterparts, so sometimes you could tell the event was hyped up, but rather than being an event with a possible outcome of "failure" it'd been practiced and adjusted to ensure 100% mission accomplishment of amazing destruction of DPRK aggressor targets.  So the very large targets, with cessation of target presentation during smoke/dusty conditions, and long target presentation times might not have been "this is what the tank is capable of" and more "this is to ensure  we don't look stupid in front of our allies"

Of course, equally of note is the US tanks completing the training were not so impacted by the dust/smoke, and did not require the larger targets to accomplish similar results on the same range.

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AFAIK, no sensors exist for Relikt, and higher ERA sensitivity is an attributed to a more responsive explosive component. It is still contact triggered, just with better response times and some clever layering/timing of metal casing mixed with several explosive layers. 

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