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Tjay

Upgrading the CR2.

98 posts in this topic
On 14.6.2016 at 10:09 PM, 12Alfa said:

Well that being said they (the British industry) are still building sub and warships, so some industrial tech/workforce/ production is still there. And if a nation want to build anything bad enough they find a way as in the past.

 

We are lead to believe that once one stops building something all is lost.

 

My utterly subjective two cents on this:

 

Note that I wrote that it's possible to redevelop this know-how. It's just going to be more costly than the UK has, so far, demonstrated to be willing to pay for it. Two carriers are being built at the moment, but there's only money to equip one of the two with an F-35 squadron, and all Harriers have already been scrapped/sold off. Nobody seems to have a clear answer why the other carrier is being built, other than the vague hope to maybe find some other customer for it to sell it after completion, and as a means to keep the naval shipyards in business to retain the capacity ... to build more carriers for which there are no aircraft, it seems. Doesn't make a lot of sense, but then again we're talking about Britain here. Making sense seems to be strictly optional.

 

"History", since you brought it up, may tell us that the US managed to develop a tank fleet practically from scratch between 1935 and 1945.

Note however that

  1. the initial designs weren't very successful, and thousands of tank crews had to pay a steep price for lessons to be learned from them
  2. tanks were infinitely simpler to build back then (and still there were plenty of ways to concoct a flawed design; now we have infinitely more options to screw up, particularly in the software field)
  3. the industrial capacity of the US was infinitely broader and deeper than that of the UK right now

 

The Challenger 2 was the last, and potentially final Hurrah of the British AFV industry.

The rot started much earlier however, arguably when it was seemingly in its prime, ca. mid 1970s.

 

The "Chobham" armor was developed in Dorset in the early 1970s; it was revolutionary; it was so good that after the MBT-70 project was written off and the Leopard 2 project was well under way the armor concept of the Leo 2 was completely redesigned to incorporate these new laminate armor concepts. The Dorset armor was so good that it put an end to the domination of HEAT warheads as the primary anti tank rounds.

 

And the UK?

 

Didn't want the Abrams. Couldn't accept the Leopard 2. Didn't order the development of a new indigenous MBT design. So the local industry developed the Challenger 1 for Jordan, and when that deal didn't work out, the Challenger 1 was bought not because it was exactly what the British Army wanted, but it was still "good enough" and suitable to help the industry which, at that point, no longer had the cash reserves to start an entirely new tank design (like the French did, pretty much exactly at the same time). Which set the whole British Army on a course to keep a rifled tank cannon design; a technological dead end that, for budgetary reasons alone, also defined the main armament for the Challenger 2, simply because of the existing war stock of 120mm tank rounds for the rifled cannon manufactured for the Conqueror, Chieftain, and then the Challenger 1.

The Challenger 2 came too late to become a serious contender in the international tank market, and received little to no support in international tank trials from a British government that was focused on transforming Brtitain into a "post-industrial economy" where banging metal was an old-fashioned habit best left to the Germans while the banking and services sector would somehow solve all problems. A two-piece ammunition design for a rifled gun bore could not simply be replaced by single-piece cartridges and swapping out the gun assembly. It would have meant to redesign the entire Challenger 2 turret layout and ammunition storage concept. Also, NATO 120mm smoothbore ammunition commonality started to demonstrate the power of economies of scale. Which in turn helped to fund ammunition R&D, while Royal Ordnance withered away.

And in the meantime no other AFV design actually materialized. FRES was first pitched around the time when the Challenger 1 was designed for Jordan. It might still have resulted in an actual production without the collapse of the Soviet Union. But as it was, it came too late, and generally not much happened during the 1990s in pretty much all major tank-building nations at the time. But since much bigger numbers of the Leo 2 had been built, there was now a massive fleet of slightly used tanks of contemporary design available at unbeatable prices. If you don't agree with any of the previous reasons, this was the final nail in the coffin of the British tank industry. Of maybe equal importance was the utter lack of direction from the MoD about what it actually wanted (e.g. the MRAV debacle).

 

Since then companies have disappeared, production lines scrapped, experienced personnel retired or transferred to other industrial jobs. Now you would REALLY start from scratch, or nearly from scratch. Hard-won institutional memory has been wiped out, whether it's about design concepts, relevant material science, production know-how, and above all, systems integration.

 

This isn't just a matter of sheer willpower. Willpower may provide the motivation to shell out enough money to start from scratch. But mistakes will be made, budgets overrun, delivery deadlines busted, flawed designs pushed through just to keep the industry going until, one day, a really good design might emerge from it. Hopefully there won't be any wars to fight in the meantime.

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Well the best outcome would be no more wars. Seems like the current gov has no interest in any at the moment, but then again if you know who should find some wpns of mass destruction some where who knows.

 

If I offended some one, just move on.................

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On 6/15/2016 at 7:33 PM, Ssnake said:

But since much bigger numbers of the Leo 2 had been built, there was now a massive fleet of slightly used tanks of contemporary design available at unbeatable prices.

 

Honestly if I were a UK bean counter, I would probably just call up Germany and ask them if they had any leftover Leopard 2s.

Since they had over 2,000 Leopard2A4s at one point, they must still have some available.

 

Even a base model 2A4 would be preferable to me than a Challenger 2, since at least the main gun is still competitive...

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Sorry, too late. Maybe Switzerland has a few. The Bundeswehr has actually found itself short of 100 Leo 2s, which will need to get ordered from KMW.

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I believe the British Army looked into the costs of replacing the CR2 with the M1A2 and Leopard A6 with a maintenance contract over 10 years. Can't remember the figures quoted but came in around £2.1 billion for M1 and £2.9 billion for Leopard.

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3 hours ago, CR2_Commander said:

I believe the British Army looked into the costs of replacing the CR2 with the M1A2 and Leopard A6 with a maintenance contract over 10 years. Can't remember the figures quoted but came in around £2.1 billion for M1 and £2.9 billion for Leopard.

 

Not knowing the details of the contracts were there the same number of tanks offered etc

Buts that's some price difference between GD and Krauss Maffei.

If the GD proposal came with the new diesel engine developed for the M1.

That would be my choice purely on cost grounds.

I read an article last week,

In a recent report by the British army about its ability to meet  shall we say modern threats

Its stated the British army would be out gunned  not only in numbers, but modern equipment as well by its most likely opponent.

But with the whole uncertainty about the financial effects of Brexit,

I really cant see the UK government spending billions to update the army

There spending it on trident instead.

I suppose you could say Trident is the ultimate weapons system.

But is it worth denying your ground forces what they need right now to fight a conventional war.

If needed.

 

 

Edited by Marko

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And what would the most likely opponent be? Russia with Cold war style major tank battles?

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with regard to the carriers, the reason was the cancellation fees were more than the project completion total (Supposedly)

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On 8/12/2016 at 5:45 AM, Ssnake said:

Sorry, too late. Maybe Switzerland has a few. The Bundeswehr has actually found itself short of 100 Leo 2s, which will need to get ordered from KMW.

 

Did they already sell them all off?  Or were some scrapped?

 

I still think Leopard 2 (Or Abrams, but Leo2 seems more likely to me somehow) would be a good replacement in the future.

Edited by Maj.Hans

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24 minutes ago, Maj.Hans said:

Or were some scrapped?

 

Well as per the link (reader advisory warning - Grenny, Duke and others should not look):

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2612347/Where-tanks-die-The-German-graveyard-dismantled-15-000-armoured-vehicles-Europe-countries-strip-military.html

 

When you tell an efficient people to scrap surplus kit, it tends to get scraped. :)

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2 hours ago, Gibsonm said:

 

Well as per the link (reader advisory warning - Grenny, Duke and others should not look):

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2612347/Where-tanks-die-The-German-graveyard-dismantled-15-000-armoured-vehicles-Europe-countries-strip-military.html

 

When you tell an efficient people to scrap surplus kit, it tends to get scraped. :)

 

:|

 

I'd have the guy who decided to scrap that material scrapped.

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The Leos were all sold. To the best of my knowledge none were scrapped.

Old East German equipment on the other hand, the Luchs recce vehicle for which no customer could be found, etc - these all ended up in Rockensußra. And who knows, maybe even a large part of the Marder fleet will end up there, one day. There are only so many that Chile can buy, or which will be held in long-term storage by Rheinmetall (which, by the way, is the biggest private owner of a fleet of armored combat vehicles worldwide with about 700 Marders).

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If UK would seek Challenger 2 replacement quickly, their best bet is M1A2SEPv3, meets or exceeds all armor protection and crew surviability requirements, meets or exceeds all firepower/FCS requirements, meets or exceeds all mobility requirements, and diesel engine configuration is avaiable. It's a no brainer, and US Army already says that they will equip M1A2SEPv3 with hard kill active protection system, and there was some talk about soft kill active protection system as well (this year one of prototypes was to be integrated with laser warning receivers), we can assume that if APS integration for tests will be done next year, then when vehicles will be fielded, they will come with APS as standard equipment.

 

Simple as that.

Edited by Damian90

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4 hours ago, Damian90 said:

If UK would seek Challenger 2 replacement quickly, their best bet is M1A2SEPv3, meets or exceeds all armor protection and crew surviability requirements, meets or exceeds all firepower/FCS requirements, meets or exceeds all mobility requirements, and diesel engine configuration is avaiable. It's a no brainer, and US Army already says that they will equip M1A2SEPv3 with hard kill active protection system, and there was some talk about soft kill active protection system as well (this year one of prototypes was to be integrated with laser warning receivers), we can assume that if APS integration for tests will be done next year, then when vehicles will be fielded, they will come with APS as standard equipment.

 

Simple as that.

I still think simply replacing the turret with say a Leclerc turret or even a M1A2 SEP not sure if this is technologically possible.

 Or even copy the Russians, put the crew in the hull in an armoured module and fit a unmanned turret with a autoloader less weight less crew less running Costs. the Jordanians tried it with the CR-1 I believe they called it the Falcon.  

 

 

falcon_turret_l3_zps2b82612a.jpg

Edited by Marko

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Turret race ring of Challenger 2 should be able to accept M1A2SEPv3 turret.

 

Also the turret can be moved with electric drive instead of electro-hydraulics. Actually I wonder why US Army still didn't replaced electro-hydraulics with fully electric drives, there is space inside vehicle for that.

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21 minutes ago, Damian90 said:

Turret race ring of Challenger 2 should be able to accept M1A2SEPv3 turret.

 

IF the ChallyII can really accept an M1 turret, then I think slapping an M1 turret on NOWer rather than later would be the best idea.

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23 minutes ago, Maj.Hans said:

 

IF the ChallyII can really accept an M1 turret, then I think slapping an M1 turret on NOWer rather than later would be the best idea.

Well considering the ties between the two nations they tend to fight side by side.

I could see definite advantages if both nations shared the same turret

It would also be an advantage sharing the same ammunition turret parts trained technical staff etc.

But are American cousins would have to fit a boiling vessel.

No tea no war. LoL

Edited by Marko

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8 minutes ago, Marko said:

Well considering the ties between the two nations they tend to fight side by side.

I could see definite advantages if both nations shared the same turret

It would also be an advantage sharing the same ammunition turret parts trained technical staff etc.

But are American cousins would have to fit a boiling vessel.

No tea no war. LoL

 

Marko, you know that for a long time M1's and M2's have a boiling vessels installed? ;)

M1 have it installed on turret basket floor near drivers legs. ;)

 

M2's have it in the back in dismounts compartment.

 

As for turrets, all NATO and similiar tanks have the same turret ring diameter, simply because they use 120mm guns that can use the same ammunition and are based on the same technology.

Edited by Damian90

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i'd go for the falcon turret personally, or rather the falcon 2.
falcon14zm4.jpg
17 ton turret with full armour kit, and 13 tons with reduced protection,  vs over 24 tons on the latest M1A2. 

 

suddenly you wouldn't need to upgrade the engine anymore..

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6 minutes ago, Damian90 said:

The problem is low ammo capacity, and unprotected secondary storage in hull.

 

ammo capacity is 11 or 17 rounds from what i've read, which likely depends on if it's falcon 1 or 2. 

i'm sure you could improve ammo capacity a bit more by swapping out the revolver mags with a leclerc style autoloader. 

but that's 2 more ready rounds than leopard 2. 

abrams has a secure ammunition storage in the hull, so doing 2 secure ammo storages for the challenger shouldn't be an issue either. put some blowoff panels on the bottom hull or side hull, and there you go. 

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