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John Kettler

Modern armor internal arrays & what defeated them or might

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Looking at those curved plates I get the 'no actual info' impression that these are fixes for a problem of some sort that cropped up.

My *speculation* - TUSK ERA might be damageable by HMG fire. These are perhaps meant to detonate DShK-size incendiary rounds before they pierce the ERA and set off the charge. Usually when you see a curved plate like that its designed to absorb the impact of a MG round. The plates being mounted on a pivot is an odd detail. perhaps some freedom of movement helps with energy dissipation. It looks as though as the plates break they can be replaced by removing a pin and sliding the old plate out of the mount and sliding a new plate in.

Abrams keeps getting heavier and heavier. What's next, the long L55 gun?

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Looking at those curved plates I get the 'no actual info' impression that these are fixes for a problem of some sort that cropped up.

My *speculation* - TUSK ERA might be damageable by HMG fire. These are perhaps meant to detonate DShK-size incendiary rounds before they pierce the ERA and set off the charge. Usually when you see a curved plate like that its designed to absorb the impact of a MG round. The plates being mounted on a pivot is an odd detail. perhaps some freedom of movement helps with energy dissipation. It looks as though as the plates break they can be replaced by removing a pin and sliding the old plate out of the mount and sliding a new plate in.

Well from my source and it is good source, this is ERA or something that supports ERA. HMG rounds are probably ineffective to ERA as cassettes are preatty thick, besides this, to activate ERA You will need high presure, and I don't think that HMG rounds can afford such presure.

Abrams keeps getting heavier and heavier. What's next, the long L55 gun?

I don't think tank is heavier than 64 to 65 metric tons with T.U.S.K., I saw a video from Iraq and M1A1SA's are ****'in fast in rough terrain with all that stuff on them.

L55 gun is no needed anymore, with M829A3 APFSDS ammo, L44 have better armor penetration performance than L55 with DM53/63 APFSDS ammo... Besides this, AKE or M829E4/A4 (probabale designation for the new round) is under development... but damn, if US decide to accept L55 this tank will be overkill even for some modern tanks.

Besides I waiting for first M1A3 concepts, or new MBT that will be developed under GCV (Ground Combat Vehicle) program as right now there are under development new IFV/ICV that will replace M2 and M113 vehicles in active units.

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It really seems like i mixed something up...

I just made a test with a M1A2 SEP against two AT-14 at 2000m

The M1 took 8 hits at the front before he was unable to move and the crew was still alive.

I played no CMSF for nearly a month so it looks like i mixed something here.

fascinating thread.

On the link with CMSF, it is hard to kill a M1/CR2 with a straight frontal shot, but an ATGM/T-72/T-90 shot can still wipe out tracks resulting in an immobilization, damage the main gun/optics/sensors and it does not take much of an angle to get a side penetration resulting in a destroyed tank.

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I cannot imagine Abrams TUSK not gaining significant weight. The added belly armor alone must weigh tons. I recall an ERA package developed for Stryker was held back because the additional eight tons was more than the suspension was designed for.

Let's recall the results of other vehicle modifications. Stryker had started in the 35,000 pound range. Its said to weigh well over 50,000 lbs now. Uparmored Humvees have become notorious for breaking suspension components and limited payload. LAV-25 A2 upgrade included wider tires, beefier suspension, and necessitated careful inspection of the vehicle shock mounts for signs of cracking. One British report placed Challenger 2 (enhanced) in the 80 ton class. So adding more 'stuff' does mean adding more weight.

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A full M1A2TUSK Variant, with a half tank of fuel and loadout (readied for air transport on a C-17) tips the scales very close to an even 140,000 pounds. That is 70 Tons. It is also incidentally the max weight that the C-17 can carry at any one time. Which is to say that the TUSK is quite possibly the heaviest model of the Abrams that can be fielded by the US in any expeditionary manner, with the rest needing to fly by C-5(aging rapidly) or travelling by ship.

Anyway, the M1 is overkill for even the average conventional threat, as we learned in GW1. Only the most modern, and well maintained Soviet-bloc tanks, operating with highly trained crews, can match the M1 on the battlfield at all. Heck, considering the threats the US has had to deal with in the past 15 years, the M60A3 is still not completely obsolete.

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Anyway, the M1 is overkill for even the average conventional threat, as we learned in GW1. Only the most modern, and well maintained Soviet-bloc tanks, operating with highly trained crews, can match the M1 on the battlfield at all. Heck, considering the threats the US has had to deal with in the past 15 years, the M60A3 is still not completely obsolete.

Techincally, I would agree with you, but in an asymetric war, where western citizens place such a high price on their soldier's lives, "good enough" isn't a publically acceptable option.

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MikeyD,

You may be right, but modern ERA is supposed to be immune to anything short of light cannon, specifically to prevent "stripping" the ERA by hosing the tank with assault rifle and MG fire. The Gen One Blazer armor the IDF had in Lebanon suffered from exactly this problem, and the Russians certainly factored that in when they fielded their tweaked version thereof. Those rocker mounts strike me as a good way to put unplanned for stresses on projectiles hitting them, potentially breaking them up or at least somewhat deflecting them from their natural flight paths.

taccovert4,

Welcome aboard!

Many years ago, my brother informed me that a fully loaded M1A1 HA weighed 73 tons, so it's easy to see why C-17s don't carry a fully loaded and fueled M1A2 series tank, let alone one in TUSK configuration.

As for the M60A3 combat experiment, I'll let you be the guinea pig, seeing as how the best U.S. 105 projectile was unable to penetrate a monkey model T-72 frontally at any tactically usable range!

LuckyDog,

Welcome aboard!

Excellent point. Of course, our infantry's now so protected it can barely move. The tanks are luckier, in that they have so much motive power to begin with and are better able to take on additional loads. That said, in engineering, nothing's free. All that additional armor is accelerating wear and tear on tracks, suspension and especially the drive train. This is why Patton hated the field expedient "armor" American tankers piled on their Shermans and even Stuarts.

Regards,

John Kettler

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The added belly armor alone must weigh tons

Actually 1-1,5 ton, not really heavy.

Let's recall the results of other vehicle modifications. Stryker had started in the 35,000 pound range. Its said to weigh well over 50,000 lbs now. Uparmored Humvees have become notorious for breaking suspension components and limited payload. LAV-25 A2 upgrade included wider tires, beefier suspension, and necessitated careful inspection of the vehicle shock mounts for signs of cracking. One British report placed Challenger 2 (enhanced) in the 80 ton class. So adding more 'stuff' does mean adding more weight.

Strykers were up-graded to LAV-H standard with better suspension and vehicles are ready to accept integration of ERA packadge, it isn't integrated because SBCT's are now operating in Afganistan, there are no modern RPG's so slat armor is good for such threats. HMMWV was never designed for such up-armoring, this is why it is replaced in patrols by M-ATV.

Challenger 2 with Street Fighter kit (no not that interim design as seen in game) is weight less than 70 metric tons, more likely 65 tons as same as M1's with T.U.S.K.-1/2, You must know that even as such kit's look big and bulky, they are designed to protect against HEAT warheads, so there is no need for it to be so dense as frontal armor, so it weight less.

Many years ago, my brother informed me that a fully loaded M1A1 HA weighed 73 tons, so it's easy to see why C-17s don't carry a fully loaded and fueled M1A2 series tank, let alone one in TUSK configuration.

M1A1HA weights ~58-60 metric tons. C-17 can carry one fully loaded and fueled M1 in any variant, the whole confussion is made by different weight systems, here in Europe we use metric (mostly) in US there are short tons etc. So in fact the best way for weight messurements are kilograms. ;-)

As for mobility, I saw M1A1SA with T.U.S.K.-1 when tanks were at demonstration for Iraqi officials... I was shocked when I saw how tank with all that things on it is that fast in terrain.

Conclusions: suspension was reinforced in all up-graded tanks, engine with 1500HP is good enough to provide enough power for fast movement in rough terrain for behemoth that weights 65,000kg. ;-)

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You may be right, but modern ERA is supposed to be immune to anything short of light cannon, specifically to prevent "stripping" the ERA by hosing the tank with assault rifle and MG fire. The Gen One Blazer armor the IDF had in Lebanon suffered from exactly this problem, and the Russians certainly factored that in when they fielded their tweaked version thereof. Those rocker mounts strike me as a good way to put unplanned for stresses on projectiles hitting them, potentially breaking them up or at least somewhat deflecting them from their natural flight paths.

Hmmm, this gives me some point to theory, that this is first attempts for first western Heavy ERA, but this is only my thoughts, it can be something completely different.

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Could anyone shed some more light on what the Street Fighter kit for the CR2 is? I realise it adds certain external features such as the RWS and bar armour but I don't really understand what else is on it. The MoD seem to like to keep things quiet.

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Street fighter kit?

Simply a better enchanced version, in most things they are same but, there are completely new side hull additional armor. It is a mix between Dorchester armor panels known from earlier versions, and additional attached to them Israeli ERA, probably same as in T.U.S.K.

Tanks also got IED jammers, in opposition US tanks even without T.U.S.K. were equiped with Warlock or Chameleon IED jammers or some newer ones.

Here are some pics of FV4034 Challenger 2 tanks with Street Fighter Kit:

081117a6851o219.jpg

081117a6851o360.jpg

cr2current.jpg

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And interesting comparrision!

Early Street Fighter:

UOR37.jpg

And again fielded kit (yes I know that pic is posted above):

CR2current.jpg

Look at the side hull skirts, on fielded kit there is additional ERA on Dorchester modules.

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Cheers Damian, knew I could count on you:)

This must be the British Army's version of an urban enhancement kit then as opposed to an upgrade for things like FCS and communications, as I originally thought. Excellent photos too.

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Michael Emrys,

Er, hate to disappoint, but your "Zimmerit" would appear to be a leaf pattern camouflage net. See bottom corner of turret front nearer the viewer.

Damian90,

Any idea what the forest of antennae does on the last pic you posted? If that's a command tank, all it needs is a big "Target me!" sign. Any further insights on the TUSK "legionary shield" armor?

Regards,

John Kettler

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Zounds! Shades of Zimmerit!

Nope, in fact this is Saab Barracuda MCS, but it is not on tank to improve camouflage but because it is also isolating tank from the sun. ;-)

FV4034 Challenger 2 doesen't have any sort of air condition unit, so it was needed or crw will be cooking off inside, and using NBC air filtration system to coll tank inside is not to economical, well Yanks seem to also buy Saab Barracuda because M1A2SEP v.2 turrt that was shown on AUSA 2009 also was equiped with that thing + they show many interesting new features inside turret, like HUD in vision block's and CROWS-2 + some othr up-grades, I wonder if hull recieve more upgrades than just of integration of TIP, rear camera and etc.

Cheers Damian, knew I could count on you

This must be the British Army's version of an urban enhancement kit then as opposed to an upgrade for things like FCS and communications, as I originally thought. Excellent photos too.

Thanks, well actually CR2 doesen't need any FCS up-grades, it uses up-graded FCS from M1A1/A2 tanks, still it is older than new FCEU FCS from M1A1SA/FEP and M1A2SEP.

The only internal up-grades in CR2 would be VUDT and maybe new comms.

Any idea what the forest of antennae does on the last pic you posted? If that's a command tank, all it needs is a big "Target me!" sign. Any further insights on the TUSK "legionary shield" armor?

John, as I said earlier, this is IED jamming system, there is antenna on the turret, two big antennas over front side hull, two small jammers or something near headlights + a thermal camera for driver in the center of front hull (You can see it on pics) for detecting IED's.

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And about T.U.S.K. Nope, unfortunetly we don't know to much about new side armor, it seem that first intention was to improve protection against EFP's, but maybe something more like tandem HEAT warheads, well I wrote everything I know. Besides this I saw couple of vids with insurgents attacking M1 tanks with RPG-29. From the front RPG-29 was completely useless, from the sides it could perforate armor but tanks were intact, only crew's suffer injuries or there were KIA's. So reality is a bit different than in CMSF where if M1 is hit by something in the rear or side it just explodes sometimes, well in fact even ammo doesen't explode, there is just intense fire, same goes for fuel (here fire is not so intense).

To be hones, Canadians and Danes got big luck on A-stan, there are no modern RPG's so slat armor's are enough but, if Leo2 of any version, get hit somewhere over glacis or side turret/hull espeially near front hull ammo magazine, well crew can be dead in a couple of seconds after ammo starts to cook-off, and presure of gases can lift of turret in to air so even tank can be over repair status. Oh so the important news for Battlefront com. Germans also considered such danger and they redesigned hull magazine. All Leo2A6's (and maybe A5's) in German Army and Canadian Army should have 5 less rounds because hull magazine is lower.

BTW I think about changing ammo placement in tanks.

What I mean.

M1A1HC should have 17 ready rounds (I don't know how many APFSDS and how many HEAT/MPAT), 17 semi ready and to use them loader should reload them to ready ammo rack, but from what I know, loaders in combat often use them just from semi ready rack + 6 rounds in stowage, to use them tank should be covered, stop and rotate the turret to proper position so the loader can use them.

M1A1SA/FEP, M1A2 and M1A2SEP same but in ready and semi ready racks there are 18 rounds, racks were redesigned in M1A2's and know all up-graded tanks recieve them.

Challenger 2 have all ammo ready to use but not in isolated compartments with blow off panels so there is bigger danger of ammo explosion (HESH rounds) but propelant charges are inside of armored bins, still if bins are perforated there is catastrophic cook-off of propelant charges.

Loe2 got 15 rounds ready in magazine similiar to that on M1's, but after firing these 15 rounds tank must stop, rotate turret to proper position and loader must reload ammo from stowage rack/ammo magazine (un-protected) in hull.

Russian/Syrian tanks with loader got all ammo ready to use, tanks with mechanical loader have only 22 rounds ready to use, rest are in stowage and need to be loaded in to carousel after ammo inside carousel will be fired.

Same goes for IFV's, not all ammo is ready to use.

So I think it be more realistic and challenging for players, that they should remember that they need to control ammo in ready rack's to not send tanks in to battle without ammo. ;-)

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Wouldn't it be cool if the A/I could handle that? It shouldn't be hard to program, the game counts when the available rounds are gone, it makes the tank cease fire, a .wav comes - "Gotta get more shells!" - and then the game counts however much time the developers decide that should take. The player's job is to get the tank off the firing line or whatever, until there are more reader rounds, which of course should have its own .wav "Up!", "Let's get some!", "Show me the bad guys NOW!" or whatever.

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Wouldn't it be cool if the A/I could handle that?

Interesting, yes. Cool, I do not know.

If I am not mistaken, the program does not even have a concept of the ready-round that is supposed to be pre-loaded before going into battle. Feel free to correct me on this.

Best regards,

Thomm

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Damian90,

Just so we're on the same page in the discussion, I'm referring to the apparent tripod mounted stepped circular structure behind the commander's position in your last pic from your 01-12-2010, 01:02 PM post. That structure appears to support several antennae on short mounts, as well as something which, when seen from the front, looks like it may have small optics in it near the top. Are you saying the whole shebang is part of the IED jamming system, or are we talking past each other?

Regarding the Barracuda MCS, I think it would be a big help in reducing insolation, in turn, keeping the tank from heating up and thus reducing thermal emissivity. I think your points about ready ammo stowage and fighting the various tanks are well taken. Any further word on the "Roman legionary shield" panels for the TUSK?

Bigduke6 and BFC,

This is a concept with direct application to WW II as well as modern CMx2 games. See, for example, ammo stowage arrangements on the T-34/76, where, once the ready racks were empty, it was necessary to tear up the floorboards to get at remaining ammo. Also, once we're back to WW II accuracy, a serious armor fight at long range would require rotating tanks out of the fight for resupply--while the battle rages. A ticklish process, to be sure!

Regards,

John Kettler

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Just so we're on the same page in the discussion, I'm referring to the apparent tripod mounted stepped circular structure behind the commander's position in your last pic from your 01-12-2010, 01:02 PM post. That structure appears to support several antennae on short mounts, as well as something which, when seen from the front, looks like it may have small optics in it near the top. Are you saying the whole shebang is part of the IED jamming system, or are we talking past each other?

Yes, that tripod thing behind turret hatches is IED jammer antenna, there are additional 4 (two big on side skirts and two small near headlights) antennas at front hull.

Regarding the Barracuda MCS, I think it would be a big help in reducing insolation, in turn, keeping the tank from heating up and thus reducing thermal emissivity.

Barracuda MCS on CR2 is mainly used to reduce heat inside by isolating tank from sun. :-)

It is not used to camouflage it, as You can see it only covers very small parts of a tank, not like on Leo2's where it covers whole tank. Also Australians wan't to purchase Barracuda for their M1A1SA's, I've seen photos of prototype netting and it covers whole tank. From what I know, M1A2SEP v.2 turret showed on AUSA 2009 also was equiped with Barracuda MCS.

I think your points about ready ammo stowage and fighting the various tanks are well taken.

Yeah, I think that would make using armored vehicles more interesting and harder. Also IFV's with autocannons have ready to use ammo and stowage with the rest of ammo somwhere in turret basket, under it or in hull.

Well but this in BFC hands if they wan't to implement such system in to game.

Any further word on the "Roman legionary shield" panels for the TUSK?

Nope. :-(

Well in fact XM32 cassette's (Legionary Shields) were fielded to late to see how well their boost protection, of course they probably were tested and also battle tested but with such short period of time and thight OPSEC we don't have any info's not to mention that there are very small numbers of M1's left in Iraq (less than 500) and soon these tanks were back to Kuwait and then to US.

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Damian90,

The whole shebang it is! As for the Barracuda BCS, I'm not sure who's twitting who, what with your emoticons and my use of a specialist thermal term I frankly thought was a typo the first time I ran into it. I don't understand what you're saying about the XM32 cassettes. Did the insurgents cease using EFPs or something? If not, why the use of the phrase "fielded too late" in your statement? You might be interested to know that "xm32 cassette" returns this thread as the top Google search. Also, this thread turned up, which is how I learned that the XM32 cassettes are called ARAT II, for Abrams Reactive Armor Tiles II and found a good discussion of M1 versions in the same thread.

http://208.84.116.223/forums/lofiversion/index.php/t26751.html

Regards,

John Kettler

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I don't understand what you're saying about the XM32 cassettes. Did the insurgents cease using EFPs or something? If not, why the use of the phrase "fielded too late" in your statement? You might be interested to know that "xm32 cassette" returns this thread as the top Google search.

I mean that it was fielded too late to stop many cases of EFP penetrations of hull (and also we can't say much about these cassette's)... but in the other hand normal XM19 cassette's are also capabale of that, so reason of fielding XM32 is different and statements from soldiers about EFP's are probably desinformation... I assumpt that, becuase in Iraq is preatty calm right now, M1's that stayed in Iraq are mainly sit in bases so my source is not interesting in their current operational use and I don't have the lates possible news.

You might be interested to know that "xm32 cassette" returns this thread as the top Google search.

Well, We start to be popular. ;-)

Also, this thread turned up, which is how I learned that the XM32 cassettes are called ARAT II, for Abrams Reactive Armor Tiles II and found a good discussion of M1 versions in the same thread.

http://208.84.116.223/forums/lofiver...hp/t26751.html

Ah, TankNet thread, I remember that I looked long time ago at it with great interest.

As for XM32, it is a part of ARAT-2, ARAT-2 is builded from XM19 base cassette and XM32 cassette attached to it.

And about M1 variants, well discussion is a bit... hard, because of so many types and the whole desinformation and OPSEC things, well I remember I have a hard time to get any clue about variants and their characteristics.

The whole shebang it is! As for the Barracuda BCS, I'm not sure who's twitting who, what with your emoticons and my use of a specialist thermal term I frankly thought was a typo the first time I ran into it.

Oh... well yeah, sorry maybe this is my fault, English is not my first language and I still make mistakes. Sorry again for that. :-)

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Damian 90 might've meant XM32 (ARAT II) was 'fielded to late' because we're now packing up to go home. No more city patrols. I believe last month (or was it the month before?) was the first casualty-free month ever. I don't know how frequently Abrams patrols are being conducted in hostile territory these days. Last time I heard Abrams hadn't made it into Afghanistan, perhaps due to its accompanying looooong logistics tail.

[EDIT] - Ooops! Damian 90 posted while I was typing. :)

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