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Norway ditching Javelin...

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On 5/30/2017 at 0:44 PM, MikeyD said:

Tell me if I'm mistaken. It seems like APS radar would need to be continually on to provide coverage, making it into a virtual radio beacon to track the movement of enemy armor - A potential issue when facing a techologically savvy opponent.

I have always wondered just this sort of question. By "broadcasting" all these active radar signals, how hard is it for an enemy to develop a receiver to locate where your vehicles are? Same principle as submarine warfare. Any sub using active sonar instantly gives away it's location.

Maybe I can't "see" your vehicles hidden in the woods or that town, but I would certainly know once you turn on your APS system. General location, maybe how many...and even potential routes of attack based on movement of signal. 

Which brings up the possibility of aircraft armed with modified Hellfires or Brimstones fitted with homing seekers tuned to APS freq. Passive RF seekers are MUCH cheaper than active ones...

Just my thoughts...

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The reason (IMHO) the Israelis aren't worried about their opponents tracking their APS Merkavas is...

1. Most of their expected enemies currently(Hamas, Hezbollah, etc) don't have the technology needed for this sort of RF tracking/jamming. 

2. The short distances involved (mainly urban) don't give that much of an advantage. The Israelis aren't normally attacking from outside visual distance.

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4 hours ago, Michael Emrys said:

Measures, counter-measures, counter-counter-measures, etc. ad infinitum.... And the money river keeps flowing into the pockets of the contractors.

Michael

Yes, it's like Xmas never ends for us...  "Scuse me while I rise slightly from my chaise lounge to motion for another cocktail from my yacht's steward.  Ahhh....  B)

(Unfortunately, everything you say is true of course.)

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On ‎2‎/‎06‎/‎2017 at 4:29 AM, cbennett88 said:

I have always wondered just this sort of question. By "broadcasting" all these active radar signals, how hard is it for an enemy to develop a receiver to locate where your vehicles are? Same principle as submarine warfare. Any sub using active sonar instantly gives away it's location.

Maybe I can't "see" your vehicles hidden in the woods or that town, but I would certainly know once you turn on your APS system. General location, maybe how many...and even potential routes of attack based on movement of signal. 

Which brings up the possibility of aircraft armed with modified Hellfires or Brimstones fitted with homing seekers tuned to APS freq. Passive RF seekers are MUCH cheaper than active ones...

Just my thoughts...

To be honest, the fact that a tank is big lump of metal means that most battlefield surveillance radars can find them pretty easily based on that alone rather than from any APS or other emissions.

Here is what the UK's MSTAR can do for example:

http://www.leonardodrs.com/media/2245/mstar_v4_datasheet.pdf

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c3k,

FASCAM was a known Russian concern to the OMG, and I can well believe it. Just imagine the fun of dropping them inside the herd of AFVs and soft-skins while it's surging forward! Quite the momentum killer. Read in IDR decades ago that the drop down dozer blade on the T-72, but fitted from the T-64A on, was designed for self-emplacement, and was useful in dealing with such a threat, but I've seen no direct information since.  Mine rakes could also be fitted, but that would really slow down any attack and would do precious little if FASCAM were dropped inside the formation. 

Regards,

John Kettler

Edited by John Kettler

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6 hours ago, Combatintman said:

To be honest, the fact that a tank is big lump of metal means that most battlefield surveillance radars can find them pretty easily based on that alone rather than from any APS or other emissions.

Here is what the UK's MSTAR can do for example

Combatintman...

I don't doubt that battlefield radars have come a long way, but no matter what the brochure says...they still can't see past the first hill that blocks LOS(unless you get them airborne...which is a whole different matter). Same with urban environments. Not sure about trees. 

The Israelis have good luck with them because of the open spaces of their environment. In cases like the Golan heights, they have specifically held on to that terrain just so they could see farther into the approaches they expect their enemies to attack from. It is an ideal area for battlefield radar since you have the high ground. 

And...there is plenty of terrain in this game where it could be used(although most of our maps are too small to fully exploit what those radars can do).

So "yes", these radars are great if... you a military that can afford them...and have troops trained to understand and operate them. They also require a significant power source. Most likely a vehicle based electrical supply. "Manportable batteries" would be unlikely to operate the radar at full power for longer than a few hours if that. 

I also researched at what frequency this radar operates at. It is the KU band. Here are limitations on that band...

"Ku Band Difficulties

When frequencies higher than 10 GHz are transmitted and received in a heavy rain fall area, a noticeable degradation occurs, due to the problems caused by and proportional to the amount of rain fall (commonly known as known as “rain fade”) 

A similar phenomena called “snow fade” (when snow accumulation significantly alters the dish’s focal point) can also occur during Winter Season.

Also, the Ku band satellites typically require considerably more power to transmit than the C band satellites."

My source...http://www.tech-faq.com/ku-band.html

I still stand by the idea that a "passive receiver system" that detects APS is more practical for so many more reasons...

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2 hours ago, cbennett88 said:

Combatintman...

I don't doubt that battlefield radars have come a long way, but no matter what the brochure says...they still can't see past the first hill that blocks LOS(unless you get them airborne...which is a whole different matter). Same with urban environments. Not sure about trees. 

The Israelis have good luck with them because of the open spaces of their environment. In cases like the Golan heights, they have specifically held on to that terrain just so they could see farther into the approaches they expect their enemies to attack from. It is an ideal area for battlefield radar since you have the high ground. 

And...there is plenty of terrain in this game where it could be used(although most of our maps are too small to fully exploit what those radars can do).

So "yes", these radars are great if... you a military that can afford them...and have troops trained to understand and operate them. They also require a significant power source. Most likely a vehicle based electrical supply. "Manportable batteries" would be unlikely to operate the radar at full power for longer than a few hours if that. 

I also researched at what frequency this radar operates at. It is the KU band. Here are limitations on that band...

"Ku Band Difficulties

When frequencies higher than 10 GHz are transmitted and received in a heavy rain fall area, a noticeable degradation occurs, due to the problems caused by and proportional to the amount of rain fall (commonly known as known as “rain fade”) 

A similar phenomena called “snow fade” (when snow accumulation significantly alters the dish’s focal point) can also occur during Winter Season.

Also, the Ku band satellites typically require considerably more power to transmit than the C band satellites."

My source...http://www.tech-faq.com/ku-band.html

I still stand by the idea that a "passive receiver system" that detects APS is more practical for so many more reasons...

I've worked in the ISR game for the past 32 years so I understand how it works and sometimes doesn't work. I'm in no mood to get into a urinating competition about it, I'm just saying that from my experience, battlefield surveillance radars work. So either accept the fact or don't accept it.

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@Combatintman

Bahaha! I apologize if you took this as "urinating competition". Not at all. I appreciate your input. I read what you wrote...looked over the info on the link...and then gave what I thought was a well presented different opinion of the discussion. I even tried to provide data on what I found after researching the subject. I never said you were in any way wrong. I just feel differently than you do about "active systems vs passive systems".

I do enjoy learning about any and all military technology from anyone who has experience in the related subject. I've made comments on this forum about various artillery matters...and then had "real cannon-cockers" (I was US infantry & Air Force) help me understand their field better. 

You've been in ISR for 32 years. Help me(and others reading this forum) understand how to overcome some of the difficulties I saw with battlefield radar. How do you discriminate military vehicles from civilian ones in say a semi-urban environment (example might be...watching a medium size town at night)? Do trees (forests of say Germany) hinder spotting? Do the operators of the radar worry about having artillery dropped on them (sorta like counter-battery fire) b/c they are transmitting?  

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Depending on the radar band, they load libraries of known military vehicles and run algorithms to suss them out. A tank has a lot of roadwheels. A car has two. There are other, more advanced, techniques.

My personal preference would be an APS-seeking guidance system on an energetic kinetic penetrator. 

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6 hours ago, cbennett88 said:

You've been in ISR for 32 years. Help me(and others reading this forum) understand how to overcome some of the difficulties I saw with battlefield radar. How do you discriminate military vehicles from civilian ones in say a semi-urban environment (example might be...watching a medium size town at night)? Do trees (forests of say Germany) hinder spotting? Do the operators of the radar worry about having artillery dropped on them (sorta like counter-battery fire) b/c they are transmitting?

He could tell you.....But then he'd have to kill you.  ;)

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Maybe...but if that were true, "half" the people posting on here would never say a word! :ph34r:

I think I kept my questions within the realm of "available from open sources" and generic enough to not give away any technical secrets... 

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The US Army is going all-in on APS, to the extent budgeting allows.

I'm sure someone will come up with a workable and effective counter to APS eventually, but if it was easy it would have been done by now.

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@Vanir Ausf B

I had started to read something recently on this...but then realized it still sounded like what we've been hearing for years about the US fielding APS...that they stubbornly refuse to "buy" proven Israeli systems, and instead just want to drag their feet and develop their own! :blink:

"The Army is currently fast-tracking an effort to explore a number of different APS systems for the Abrams. General Dynamics Land Systems is, as part of the effort, using its own innovation to engineer an APS system which is not a “bolt-on” type of applique but something integrated more fully into the tank itself, company developers have told Scout Warrior."

http://www.scout.com/military/warrior/story/1745414-army-starts-on-new-tank-after-abrams-2030s

They are talking M1A2 SEP v4 to "start testing in 2021"...and that didn't sound like it would include APS till after! :(

Do you have any good sources that say differently? I would LOVE to hear they are getting it sooner!

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On 2017-6-3 at 4:31 AM, cbennett88 said:

they still can't see past the first hill that blocks LOS(unless you get them airborne...which is a whole different matter). 

Sounds like the next military drone evolution - suspending/dispersing radar and other sensors above the armor component. 

I could see a radar&cam drone mounted on the bustle, pops up to scan OTH. 

Sorta like battleship carried seaplanes from back in the day. Same function and execution, different machine. 

 

 

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Great minds think alike...;)

"John...What do you think about this idea?

What if (IRL) the better equipped militaries of the world considered issuing each tank something like one of those small roto-copter drones that are all the rage with the public nowdays? They have them that can "follow" you automatically. They are very cheap...almost disposable even. To have the commander be able to see the  area surrounding his tank...to see what's on the other side of the hill...etc"

 

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10 hours ago, c3k said:

My personal preference would be an APS-seeking guidance system on an energetic kinetic penetrator. 

And a dozen or two of such penetrators dropped from a bomber at 30k feet ;). Or fired ballistically by MRLS rocket engines (like rocket propelled JDAMs). Such penetrator may be a solid rod of metal or just a concrete filled 500lb bomb :).

That's quite energetic thing (better yet, it has lot's of momentum) and there is no APS system that can defend a tank from it :) No warhead to detonate, no fragile construction to damage/distort.  Only thing possible to damage would be the seeker, but it can't be done at the last moment - the massive thing would hit the target anyway...  a task for a SAM rather than an APS :).

Edited by Amizaur

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4 hours ago, cbennett88 said:

@Vanir Ausf B

I had started to read something recently on this...but then realized it still sounded like what we've been hearing for years about the US fielding APS...that they stubbornly refuse to "buy" proven Israeli systems, and instead just want to drag their feet and develop their own! :blink:

"The Army is currently fast-tracking an effort to explore a number of different APS systems for the Abrams. General Dynamics Land Systems is, as part of the effort, using its own innovation to engineer an APS system which is not a “bolt-on” type of applique but something integrated more fully into the tank itself, company developers have told Scout Warrior."

http://www.scout.com/military/warrior/story/1745414-army-starts-on-new-tank-after-abrams-2030s

They are talking M1A2 SEP v4 to "start testing in 2021"...and that didn't sound like it would include APS till after! :(

Do you have any good sources that say differently? I would LOVE to hear they are getting it sooner!

I don't know when anything will appear on vehicles outside of testing, but the testing has already begun. The Army is evaluating at least 4 systems that I know of, 2 of which are Israeli.

Edited by Vanir Ausf B

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12 hours ago, cbennett88 said:

@Combatintman

Bahaha! I apologize if you took this as "urinating competition". Not at all. I appreciate your input. I read what you wrote...looked over the info on the link...and then gave what I thought was a well presented different opinion of the discussion. I even tried to provide data on what I found after researching the subject. I never said you were in any way wrong. I just feel differently than you do about "active systems vs passive systems".

I do enjoy learning about any and all military technology from anyone who has experience in the related subject. I've made comments on this forum about various artillery matters...and then had "real cannon-cockers" (I was US infantry & Air Force) help me understand their field better. 

You've been in ISR for 32 years. Help me(and others reading this forum) understand how to overcome some of the difficulties I saw with battlefield radar. How do you discriminate military vehicles from civilian ones in say a semi-urban environment (example might be...watching a medium size town at night)? Do trees (forests of say Germany) hinder spotting? Do the operators of the radar worry about having artillery dropped on them (sorta like counter-battery fire) b/c they are transmitting?  

No worries - I just wanted to nip it in the bud because a lot if threads in the CMBS forum tend to go that way ...

So to answer some of your questions bearing in mind I'm a planner rather than an operator.

The most common mistake people make with ISR is to focus on the platforms - by saying, 'I want a UAV' or suchlike. ISR should be viewed as a system and the starting point is 'what do I want to know'.

I touch on that point in this thread here ...

So - once you're worked out what you want to know, you then work out how you're going to do it using standard military planning techniques.  For more detail on planning, have a look at my planning tutorial here:

As you can see, a fair amount of analysis is involved but if you frontload it you reduce the risk of the enemy getting the drop on you. Key things relevant to ISR planning are the assets you have available and how you factor them into the Collection Plan so that they are covering the right NAIs. The Situation template, the Event template and the associated matrix are also important.

Understanding platform capabilities is also important and matching those to the area and the information that you want to collect against should be factored into your plan as outlined in the planning tutorial. The example you touched on is that battlefield surveillance radars need LOS - so if you need to collect against an NAI in dead ground you are not going to use a battlefield surveillance radar to collect against that NAI.

The best ISR plans have redundancy - so you need to avoid a scenario where you have say, a recce section as the only collector against an NAI because if that gets zapped, then you are effectively blind. The basic rule therefore is to have a minimum of two platforms/assets/capabilities collecting against a single NAI. This also helps you to discriminate between civilian and military vehicles in your example - the solution could be to have a radar with a manned OP or maybe a UAV overhead. The radar tells you something is there, the 'eyes on' tell you that it is military or civilian.

I hope this helps.

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CsK,

"Artillery and air delivered anti-tank mines...by the bucket load."

Sort of; the MRLS round has roughly the same dimensions as a Hellfire, so I'd try putting the UK Brimstone front end on an extended range MRLS round and target with MALE UAV's or the JSTARS replacement.

All you need to do is avoid the longer range Russian Artillery!

Peter.


 

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5 hours ago, Lee Vincent said:

Newest Russian APS on eg Armata uses AESA, very difficult to track.

True...AESA is more difficult to track. It's the basis for most of the newest 4th gen fighter A/C. 

But...that also means it costs much more...so we will see less of systems on fewer Russian tanks. Unlike explosive armor, which has been for the most parts universally adopted on all their MBTs.

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I'm reminded of the T64 which came out under a cloak of secrecy in 1964 and really unnerved the NATO allies. M48, M47, Centurion would have all been meat-on-the table for that 'supertank' at the time. At least in theory. Leopard 1 was still a year away from production and looked inferior in all aspects. The then-new M60A1 was like a slowly-rolling cathedral in comparison and its 105mm APDS round would have had great difficulty defeating T64 frontal armor. The introduction of TOW ATGM was still six years away and 105mm APFSDS was even later. But we survived and eventually countered the T64 threat while Russia found production of their 'supertank' burdensome. T64 itself had been designed as a counter to the US's own 'supertank', the T95, and borrowed many of its design features. But T95 never entered production. it was too great a technological leap and was considered a failed design. M60A1 design was much more conservative. 'Supertanks' do not have a particularly good track record it seems. The pattern is usually 2 steps forward, one step back. Abrams and Leopard 2 are both 'austere' designs that came on the heels of the failed MBT-70 program. T-72 was an 'austere' design to compete with the more complex and expensive T64. Armata resembles any number of late-80s Abrams replacement design projects that never got off the ground.

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