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Damian90

History of US Tanks.

192 posts in this topic

Or the US could simply licence build Puma (with its own radios etc.), save a staggering amount of money and have something in service comparatively quickly.

Edited by ChrisWerb

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5 hours ago, ChrisWerb said:

Or the US could simply licence build Puma (with its own radios etc.), save a staggering amount of money and have something in service comparatively quickly.

Should be waited till all issues with the PUMA are fixed. Also if you don't have that dumb: "Must be loaded into an A400M" requirement...you can build a much better IFV

Edited by Grenny

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And much cheaper - didn't Puma have to use titanium construction or other expensive lightening techniques to make that requirement? To be fair, ridiculous air transport requirements were not unique to Puma.

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Puma is too small for US Army requirement to have a 9 men squad as dismounts.

 

IMHO the best and most logical is to build MBT and IFV using the same components like suspension, road wheels, sprockets, idlers, return rollers, tracks, engine, transmission, exactly the same seats, controls, displays etc.

 

The only difference would be the chassis, MBT would use chassis with rear mounted powerpack, and IFV would use chassis with front mounted powerpack, and voila you have two base models for family of heavy tracked vehicles. And you can now move from these two base models to build up this family of vehicles.

 

For example MBT chassis would also serve as base for ARV, engineering tank, bridge carrier etc. While IFV chassis would serve as base for APC, C2 vehicle, mortar carrier, self propelled howitzer, ammunition carrier for both, medical evacuation/treatment vehicle, SPAAG and so on.

 

The thing people need to realize is that the vehicle shell is one of the simplest and cheapest component of vehicle itself and it does not need to be common for all variants, instead each variant can have a shell that is optimized for it's role. If there is commonality that should be searched, it's in and around mechanical components, electronics etc.

And to reduce costs and risk of failure, use existing technologies, for example we already have plenty of engines and transmissions developed, tested and ready for use, same with suspension systems, we already have designed and tested autoloaders, we already have weapon systems, electronics and many other components, what is really needed as completely new is new shell (preferable would be crew completely in hull, turret unmanned) in to which all these components could be integrated.

What I think would be logical is.

 

MBT with base weight of 50 metric tons and growth potential to 60+ metric tons (addon armor, new base armor, etc.)

IFV with base weight of 40 metric tons and growth potential to 50+ metric tons (addon armor, new base armor, etc.)

 

Of course other variants would have weight depending on their role and configuration.

Edited by Damian90

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57 minutes ago, ChrisWerb said:

Or the US could simply licence build Puma (with its own radios etc.), save a staggering amount of money and have something in service comparatively quickly.

To many jobs at stake,

 

8 minutes ago, Damian90 said:

Puma is too small for US Army requirement to have a 9 men squad as dismounts.

 

IMHO the best and most logical is to build MBT and IFV using the same components like suspension, road wheels, sprockets, idlers, return rollers, tracks, engine, transmission, exactly the same seats, controls, displays etc.

 

The only difference would be the chassis, MBT would use chassis with rear mounted powerpack, and IFV would use chassis with front mounted powerpack, and voila you have two base models for family of heavy tracked vehicles. And you can now move from these two base models to build up this family of vehicles.

 

For example MBT chassis would also serve as base for ARV, engineering tank, bridge carrier etc. While IFV chassis would serve as base for APC, C2 vehicle, mortar carrier, self propelled howitzer, ammunition carrier for both, medical evacuation/treatment vehicle, SPAAG and so on.

 

The thing people need to realize is that the vehicle shell is one of the simplest and cheapest component of vehicle itself and it does not need to be common for all variants, instead each variant can have a shell that is optimized for it's role. If there is commonality that should be searched, it's in and around mechanical components, electronics etc.

And to reduce costs and risk of failure, use existing technologies, for example we already have plenty of engines and transmissions developed, tested and ready for use, same with suspension systems, we already have designed and tested autoloaders, we already have weapon systems, electronics and many other components, what is really needed as completely new is new shell (preferable would be crew completely in hull, turret unmanned) in to which all these components could be integrated.

What I think would be logical is.

 

MBT with base weight of 50 metric tons and growth potential to 60+ metric tons (addon armor, new base armor, etc.)

IFV with base weight of 40 metric tons and growth potential to 50+ metric tons (addon armor, new base armor, etc.)

 

Of course other variants would have weight depending on their role and configuration.

There's a part of me thinking what's the point in building heavy armour platforms at all.

It will only be a mater of time before somebody designs a new type of ATGM that can penetrate it.

Why not make your new generation of AFV light, say (fifty cal proof) fast and stealthy incorporating Active and passive defence systems.

don't get me wrong i love the heavy's but the costs involved to manufacture and maintain them are huge.

So much so most armies tend to store them to reduce costs.

That's one argument, on the other hand light IFV,s and medium tanks have not fared to well in post war conflicts

Even the Russians have abandoned the make them light and cheap approach opting for expensive well armoured high tech platforms like the T-14/15.

But IMO, Active and passive defence systems will be the game changer as the become more and more sophisticated and effective

I have no idea how effective they currently are, its hard to get accurate information on them all I can find is promo videos from the manufacturers.

 

 

 

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@Marko

Heavy AFV's are actually cheap when compared to modern fighters, ships etc.

Besides you are making grave mistake attributing costs increase to armor, armor itself is cheap. What is most expensive are the electronics.

 

As for protection, ATGM's and APFSDS munitions have their limits too, at some point they become too large to be able to defeat armor of a modern tank.

 

And by modern tank I mean design where almost all armor protection is focused on hull, while turret is unmanned, small and lightweight.

 

Besides protection is not armor itself, the problem with existing platforms is, that they still do not have, what I would call, protection system.

 

And protection system is simple. Step 1. Don't be detected (camouflage), Step 2. Don't be hit (active protection system), Step 3. Don't be penetrated (armor both composite, ERA and other solutions), Step 4. Don't be killed (crew in isolated capsule, isolated main gun storage with blow off panels etc.).

 

Another problem is, are you ready to sacrifice protection vehicles offer for soldiers because of costs, but in the same time risking that more soldiers will die in case of war? I am not!

 

And if any politician would be willing to do so... well I would shot such bastard on sight.

 

General McMaster also described it well.

 

https://www.army.mil/article/177652/4_myths_about_combat_vehicles_debunked_by_lt_gen_mcmaster

Edited by Damian90

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I think your misinterpreting what I am trying to say.

According to some well informed posts I have read were very near the max weight limit for tanks as things stand.

designers need to be thinking of new ways to improve survivability speed and stealth and active protection systems could be the answer

And yes cost should be a factor to a degree the cost of new systems keeps spiralling you have to ask your self why spend x amount of millions on a state of The art AFV when it can be taken out by a single soldier with a ATGM costing a few thousand is this the best use of available funds

don't get me wrong if I were in the military I would want the best platform there was and if I were charged with providing such equipment I would spend what ever was needed.

I stared taking a interest in this subject after reading comments from a top Israeli general who was questioning was it worth developing and manufacturing very expensive high tech platforms that could be taken out by relatively cheap ATGM this stems from the Israeli losses the last time they went in to Lebanon

Using ground forces. there losses where higher then expected due to there combatants getting there hands on newer more lethal RPG and ATGMs types

Its no coincidence work started on development of new protection technology's for the Israeli army and have been adopted.

 

 

 

 

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All good points. To add.

 

I agree with Damian's unified approach IF it were to actually happen. There have been steps in this direction - the M109 SPH is gradually using more and more Bradley components for example. My worry is that the world situation is rapidly deteriorating and we risk going down yet another blind alley that results in either results in either a 80 ton behemoth or a super lightweight everything deployable rubber-tracked, electric drive technology demonstrator, neither of which ultimately gets fielded.

 

To be fair to Marko, he did state that his proposal had active and passive defences which have already proven to be game changers in the real world. Remember that modern ATGW already get by the super heavy frontal armour by going for various forms of top attack. It is not hard to imagine munitions intelligent enough to identify a vehicle and seek out its most vulnerable points - for instance autonomous drones with EFP warheads. Attacks are going to come from all direction in future. You cannot constantly be perfectly hidden or moving and Ukraine demonstrated that once a drone spots you standing still you have about 10 minutes until Russian top attack munitions and thermobarics start to rain down on you. In a heavy armoured vehicle, top attack protection is no longer optional. As to future ATGM developments, I would also hope to see kinetic ATGW enter service after many years of trials and testing. You can still buy lots of ATGW for the price of a tank.

 

Re the race between armour and anti armour - it is important to remember that tanks are only one part of an army. They need to be supported by infantry, artillery and air defences and resupplied, refuelled, repaired etc. You cannot put all these fancy active/passive defences on everything and an army, like that of Finland that has a strategy of drawing an invader in and then hitting him with (mostly) light forces with mines, snipers, ATGW and accurate, powerful IDF is going to cut off the enemy's super advanced MBTs where they cannot be resupplied. 

 

If you can afford fewer super duper things, the enemy can afford to focus more systems against them. A super MBT with a broken track is still essentially useless in most circumstances.

Edited by ChrisWerb

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PS: the Russian precision targeting+area attack approach used successfully to destroy two Ukrainian mechanised(armoured?) infantry battalions in under three minutes would presumably have saturated any form of active defence system and (unless intelligent munitions were used) a passive defence system would have had no effect against it.

Edited by ChrisWerb

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9 minutes ago, ChrisWerb said:

PS: the Russian precision targeting+area attack approach used successfully to destroy two Ukrainian mechanised(armoured?) infantry battalions in under three minutes would presumably have saturated any form of active defence system and (unless intelligent munitions were used) a passive defence system would have had no effect against it.

I have not read any details of this attack.( have you any links  I would like to know more details)

I wonder if say a battalion of warriors or Bradleys would have faired any better in such a devastating barrage.

My guess is the Ukrainians' were in BTR types vehicles.

 

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" For example, at Zelenopillya, in a combined MLRS fire strike that lasted no more than three minutes, two Ukrainian mechanized battalions were virtually wiped out with the combined effects of top-attack munitions and thermobaric warheads."

 

Page 18: https://prodev2go.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/rus-ukr-lessons-draft.pdf

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zelenopillya_rocket_attack

 

http://www.unian.info/war/1099656-ukrainian-troops-near-zelenopillya-burnt-to-the-ground-by-russian-grads-year-ago.html

 

 

Edited by ChrisWerb

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There are a few things that strike me as odd about this attack.

 

1. The very low number of human casualties given the stated outcome.

2. None of the photos show anything like two mech battalions worth of kit  it's mostly burned out softskinned vehicles and tents.

3. 40 Tornado salvos would have put down 17280 unguided submunitions - that seems an improbably high number for a fire mission of this nature. Perhaps a mix of guided and unguided was used?

4. Wiki has the total number of Tornado launchers in Russian service at "over 76". It seems unlikely that 40 of them would have been used in the same attack.

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41 minutes ago, ChrisWerb said:

PS: the Russian precision targeting+area attack approach used successfully to destroy two Ukrainian mechanised(armoured?) infantry battalions in under three minutes would presumably have saturated any form of active defence system and (unless intelligent munitions were used) a passive defence system would have had no effect against it.

Massing AFV in such a small area as they did was their error, not the targeting+area attack approach. Dispersion is the key, they have not learned/used this many times, they are now howevere!

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The Russians also have Smerch and Uragans in large numbers in the Ukraine. "Tornado" is just using a unified transport platform with variable launchers on top that each can fire missiles of established calibers.

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The reactive armour on the T-64s did not seem to provide much protection either.

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Ssnake, I meant is was unlikely to be 40 Tornados as stated in wiki, given their rarity - not that it could not have been 40 MRLS per se. 40 salvoes does seem incredibly wasteful and likely to inflict casualties on a far greater scale than appear to have been inflicted if there indeed were two battalions in the impact area.

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22 minutes ago, Marko said:

The reactive armour on the T-64s did not seem to provide much protection either.

 

We don't know exactly which munitions were used in which combination. Could be HE-FRAG, top attack bomblet, intelligent top attack and/or thermobaric. Karber claims "top attack munitions and thermobaric warheads".

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Vehicle armor needs to provide protection against variety of threats, not only ATGM's.

 

As I said vehicle protection must be a system, not a single solution.

 

The best example is Russian "Armata" platform. For example T-14 have a heavy frontal armor, as well as heavier side, top and belly armor around crew compartment, while other places have lighter protection, and of course vehicle have additional ERA protection and all this is supplemented by active protection system, for further survivability increase vehicles main gun ammo storage is isolated from crew and engine compartments. While inmanned turret is small and lightweight.

 

So T-14 have extremely high protection levels, while still maintaining weight below 55 metric tons.

 

This is the way of future development for heavy armored fighting vehicles, and not only them, but also medium armored fighting vehicles, and light armored fighting vehicles.

 

So I do not understand why we would risk or 80 tons heavy behemot or lightweight vehicle with paper armor?

 

What we should do is simply keep it simple, make clear requirements, and avoid both aiming at gold plated design or worse, a family of vehicles based on single type of chassis shell that won't be well optimized for any role.

 

Another factor, at least in case of US (but we could probably find same problem elsewhere) is that Air Forces and Navies eat incredible amount of money for their pet projects, while the same amount of money would be used much more efficently by ground forces, because ground forces equipment, like AFV's are dirt cheap compared to fighter jets or ships.

 

Quote


The reactive armour on the T-64s did not seem to provide much protection either.
 

 

It's Kontakt-1, by todays standards this type of ERA is absolutely obsolete, besides Ukrainians made plenty of mistakes, like grouping armor in tight places, using stationary defenses etc.

 

Quote


I think your misinterpreting what I am trying to say.
According to some well informed posts I have read were very near the max weight limit for tanks as things stand.
designers need to be thinking of new ways to improve survivability speed and stealth and active protection systems could be the answer
And yes cost should be a factor to a degree the cost of new systems keeps spiralling you have to ask your self why spend x amount of millions on a state of The art AFV when it can be taken out by a single soldier with a ATGM costing a few thousand is this the best use of available funds
don't get me wrong if I were in the military I would want the best platform there was and if I were charged with providing such equipment I would spend what ever was needed.
I stared taking a interest in this subject after reading comments from a top Israeli general who was questioning was it worth developing and manufacturing very expensive high tech platforms that could be taken out by relatively cheap ATGM this stems from the Israeli losses the last time they went in to Lebanon
Using ground forces. there losses where higher then expected due to there combatants getting there hands on newer more lethal RPG and ATGMs types
Its no coincidence work started on development of new protection technology's for the Israeli army and have been adopted.

 

Who says next generation tanks will exceed weight limits? Look at T-14, weighting below 55 metric tons, it offers greater armor protection and crew survivability than any other existing tank, simply because armor is concentrated on the hull, and turret is unmanned, smaller, lighter.

 

As for IDF, their losses were mainly effect of improper tactics, defficency in training and mistakes of higher ranking officers, lessons were learned.

 

And guess what, that high ranking officer was wrong, IDF will not replace heavy Merkava Mk4M and Namer, in fact they are manufacturing more and more of them (heck IDF is not even using it's full production capabilities for these vehicles), and these will be supplemented by Eitan 8x8 that is larger and heavier armored than M113 it will replace, and then there is also Rakiya program for other new platforms that will also not replace Merkava Mk4M and Namer, but only supplement them.

By the way you know how many tanks IDF lost in Lebanon in reality? 50 Merkava tanks of various versions were hit, but IDF lost only 2 Merkava Mk4, 1 Merkava Mk3 and 2 Merkava Mk2 tanks. 5 tanks from 50 hit by Hezbollah, yeah really incredible "efficency" of ATGM's, and one of these Mk4's were destroyed by over 100kg's heavy IED.

 

Considering problems with crews and infantry training, problems with higher ranking officers plans and decisions made, it's incredible testimony for tanks protection levels against modern ATGM's and RPG's.

 

BTW my source is this fantastic book I purchased recently.

 

ok%C5%82adka-WBS-merkawa-prz%C3%B3d-96.j

Edited by Damian90

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Damian, to be fair, Hezbollah were not using modern top attack ATGW - you're comparing systems/munitions generations apart here, and that, as you know, often makes a huge difference. Marsh Gelbart gifted me a copy of his wonderful book on the Merkava - its only failing is it's obviously a little dated now (2005), but it's otherwise highly recommended. Unfortunately copies seem to be going for silly money now though. :(

 

http://www.ebay.ie/itm/Tankograd-MERKAVA-History-of-Israel-s-Main-Battle-Tank-by-Marsh-Gelbart-IDF/141888665236

 

PS: When talking of 80 tonne behemoths, I was talking specifically of IFVs. You can't have the passengers sit outside in one of those :)  They also now wear body armour and need to carry lots of gear and munitions - inside the vehicle - so you are limited as to how small you can make one and still have MBT level protection.

 

PPS: I would also wager that most of the shots made by Hez vs the Israelis were at very disadvantageous angles.

 

 

Edited by ChrisWerb

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In case of ATGM's with top attack mode, here both active protection systems, camouflage and additional modern ERA are required for adequate protection.

 

In case of IFV's, it's simple, base vehicle with adequate frontal protection should weight 40 metric tons, and modular armor should be used when necessary for additional front, side protection.

 

By the way, one of that destroyed Merkava Mk4's, it was destroyed only after 20 ATGM's hit it, nobody survived due to ammo cook off, but then again if Merkava Mk4 would have total main gun ammo isolation from the crew, it could ended differently. Still very impressive that Hezbollah needed 20 ATGM's to destroy a single tank. It happend during battle for Wadi Saluki.

Edited by Damian90

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I'm not aware of an upward firing APS, other than the cancelled US SLID, but there is no reason one could not be created. It's another big expense to add to a tank and has some pretty severe operational problems in that you might well end up hitting infantry and vehicle commanders around you which would not sell well to the general public as a concept. Top attack ATGW are generally already designed to defeat ERA as most also have a direct attack mode that requires the additional penetration. Camouflage is fine vs any anti tank system, but has its limitations if you want to move around and ATGW are getting thermal and in some cases even radar CLUs/seekers. If a Merkava survived 20 frontal hits by traditional ATGW I am not really surprised - I'm sad for the crew though. How heavy is your base vehicle once you fit a 30mm gun and make it ATGW (conventional and top attack) proof?

 

PS: I'm not going to claim the use of active radar in an APS is a severe disadvantage, although some might disagree with me :)

Edited by ChrisWerb

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There is several active protection systems providing protection against top attack ATGM's, like Quick Kill, AMAP-ADS (if the modules are placed on turret roof), Akkor, KAPS, LEDS-150, Trophy-HV/MV also have some degree of capability to protect against some top attack ATGM's like TOW-2B.

 

As for my IFV idea, it's 40 metric tons base weight with unmanned turret armed with 30mm automatic cannon, 7,62mm coax and ATGM launchers and APS. It would grow up to 50+ metric tons with addon armor kit.

 

As for APS interceptors and sensors, the best solution is what US Army MAPS (Modular Active Protection System) program aims at, where MAPS is in reality only central computer and software, while interceptors and sensors can be attached to it via Plug&Play principle.

Thanks to that you can for example combine both IR/UV electrooptical sensors with AESA radars, as well as for example Trophy interceptors with Quick Kill or LEDS-150 interceptors in to a single system.

Edited by Damian90

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MAPS indeed looks good Damian. Does it incorporate Iron Fist as was mooted some time back?

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MAPS will be using various systems best suited for specific platform, however each vehicle will have exactly the same central computer and software. So for example Abrams will have Trophy-HV while Bradley will have Iron Fist, depending which system will be better suited for specific platform.

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44 minutes ago, Damian90 said:

Vehicle armor needs to provide protection against variety of threats, not only ATGM's.

 

As I said vehicle protection must be a system, not a single solution.

 

The best example is Russian "Armata" platform. For example T-14 have a heavy frontal armor, as well as heavier side, top and belly armor around crew compartment, while other places have lighter protection, and of course vehicle have additional ERA protection and all this is supplemented by active protection system, for further survivability increase vehicles main gun ammo storage is isolated from crew and engine compartments. While inmanned turret is small and lightweight.

 

So T-14 have extremely high protection levels, while still maintaining weight below 55 metric tons.

 

This is the way of future development for heavy armored fighting vehicles, and not only them, but also medium armored fighting vehicles, and light armored fighting vehicles.

 

So I do not understand why we would risk or 80 tons heavy behemot or lightweight vehicle with paper armor?

 

What we should do is simply keep it simple, make clear requirements, and avoid both aiming at gold plated design or worse, a family of vehicles based on single type of chassis shell that won't be well optimized for any role.

 

Another factor, at least in case of US (but we could probably find same problem elsewhere) is that Air Forces and Navies eat incredible amount of money for their pet projects, while the same amount of money would be used much more efficently by ground forces, because ground forces equipment, like AFV's are dirt cheap compared to fighter jets or ships.

 

 

It's Kontakt-1, by todays standards this type of ERA is absolutely obsolete, besides Ukrainians made plenty of mistakes, like grouping armor in tight places, using stationary defenses etc.

 

 

Who says next generation tanks will exceed weight limits? Look at T-14, weighting below 55 metric tons, it offers greater armor protection and crew survivability than any other existing tank, simply because armor is concentrated on the hull, and turret is unmanned, smaller, lighter.

 

As for IDF, their losses were mainly effect of improper tactics, defficency in training and mistakes of higher ranking officers, lessons were learned.

 

And guess what, that high ranking officer was wrong, IDF will not replace heavy Merkava Mk4M and Namer, in fact they are manufacturing more and more of them (heck IDF is not even using it's full production capabilities for these vehicles), and these will be supplemented by Eitan 8x8 that is larger and heavier armored than M113 it will replace, and then there is also Rakiya program for other new platforms that will also not replace Merkava Mk4M and Namer, but only supplement them.

By the way you know how many tanks IDF lost in Lebanon in reality? 50 Merkava tanks of various versions were hit, but IDF lost only 2 Merkava Mk4, 1 Merkava Mk3 and 2 Merkava Mk2 tanks. 5 tanks from 50 hit by Hezbollah, yeah really incredible "efficency" of ATGM's, and one of these Mk4's were destroyed by over 100kg's heavy IED.

 

Considering problems with crews and infantry training, problems with higher ranking officers plans and decisions made, it's incredible testimony for tanks protection levels against modern ATGM's and RPG's.

 

BTW my source is this fantastic book I purchased recently.

 

ok%C5%82adka-WBS-merkawa-prz%C3%B3d-96.j

How many of the fifty tanks/AFVs or so hit required extensive repair.

Also I would be dubious about Israeli  statistic's its not in there benefit to admit  there armour is vulnerable if I remember correctly they were trying to sell the Merkava to turkey.

I remember the Israeli government of the time made a compliant to the Russians as RPG 29 or 32 cant remember were used against them.

As for the high ranking officer who was simply putting it out there.

 Does it make sense to build such an expensive asset that is still vulnerable

Armour in its self is not enough, it needs to be complimented with additional defence to protect the crew and asset.

I happen to agree with that.  

Would I like to see tanks removed from military arsenal's hell no.

such innovations as electric armour I think it was called mite just be the way forward

 The British have even experimented with very hard plastics and other materials there's even a story floating around about experimentation with a device that blends (no idea how it works ) the vehicle in to the terrain to make it harder to see smoke and mirrors I should imagine.

Remember the battleship once ruled supreme on the seas, aircraft carriers and then missiles all but made it redundant

Tell me one Tank type that can servive a direct hit from a hellfire 11 missile.

 

 

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