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Everything posted by Damian90

  1. We love photos

    Assad Babil might indeed be a local name for T-72, but otherwise, these tanks were made in former WarPact member states, Iraq never produced them, and there are serious doubts they even assembled some from knock-off kits.
  2. History of US Tanks.

    Ok so let's start another interesting topic. US Armor is actually my black horse, and it's a very interesting story in itself, however and funny enough sometimes not very well known to general public, and sometimes shrouded by myths. So where we start, I think the best is to start with M1 and then move to the other vehicles some more, some less obscure. However here I will not talk about FCS of M1's, simply because we can all check it out in Steel Beasts, but focus more on it's development history, design solutions and some upgrade proposals. Also there are some former and/or current M1 crew members, please if I will make any mistakes, give me a hint. So let's start, as we know the XM1 program started after the failure of MBT-70/KPz-70 program and it's simplified US variant XM803, but this is entire different story in itself, worth separate post. Initially Congress provided 20mln USD for development of new tank, and in February 1972 in Fort Knox was created MBTTF - Main Battle Tank Task Force under command of General Major William R. Desobry, MBTTF primary function was to create initial requirements for new vehicle, to support MBTTF TACOM involved their advanced concepts unit which resulted in choice of first 8 initial concept projects prepared by J.B. Gilvydis. First 3 concepts were sended to MBTTF and 5 other were sended to Main Battle Tank Project Manager’s Office in the time period between February to August 1972 and were completed in March 1973. Also commander of Army Materiel Command General Henry A. Miley Jr. showed great enthusiasm for the project in his letter to Department of Army. For vehicle development two companies were choosen, General Motors and Chrysler Defense (later known as General Dynamics Land Systems), and here it starts to get interesting, initially GM was ordered to research a possibility for further development of a new tank based on experiences and technology gained with XM803, while Chrysler was ordered to research a potential evolutionary development from the M60 lineage. Initially program received designation XM815 but soon it was changed to XM1, the development work also was fast, first results was presented to MBTTF just 25th February 1972, and first concept design was codenamed LK 10322, which was a conventional design with driver compartment in front, turret in center and engine compartment in the rear. At this stage the project was focused on researching possible protection solutions against various threats, as much as 14 different combinations of various design solutions were presented with various armor thickness, different armor materials, armor designs, vehicle dimensions and weight, in the end vehicle weight could vary from 34 metric tons to 57 metric tons, and protection could be provided against 23mm AP ammunition allaround and against 120mm HEAT ammunition from the front. Armor development was done by Ballistic Research Laboratory, and here a bit funny bit, the development of various armors was so fast that both armor designs and vehicle designs were changed constantly to adapt these new technologies. Open was also question of engine, two engines were considered seriously in the end, the AGT-1500 gas turbine and AVCR-1360 diesel. What is interesting is that first drawing of the LK 10322 shows the tank being powered by AGT-1500. Other thing we can notice is also some sort of special armor protecting turret and hull front. There is also a commander panoramic sight with remote weapon station armed with 12,7mm machine gun, it was design very ahead of it's time. However at this point there was no ammunition isolation in separate ammunition magazines with blow off panels. There were also attempts to reduce vehicle weight and depending on variant engineers were able to reduce weight from nearly 3 to around 3,5 metric tons. Also lenght of hull was later increased by 685-698cm which would allow to increase fuel storage from 1135l to 1324l, and would only increase weight by around 272kg. This type of lenghtened hull could contain two types of powerpacks, the AGT-1500 with XHM-1500 transmission or AVCR-1360 with X-1100 transmission. 20th June 1972 MBTTF asked TACOM to create 3 analyzes concerning vehicles protection and weight in 72 different combinations (sic!) which were earlier created for modified LK 10322. MBTTF also made a specific list of components that were part of these 72 combinations. Armament: 105mm Rifled Gun M68. 110mm Rifled Gun (British Design) 120mm Smoothbore Gun (German Design) Fire Control System: Modified FCS from XM803 but without commander panoramic day/night sight Modified FCS from M60A1 with integrated day/thermal sight Engines and Transmissions: AVCR-1360 with X-1100 AGT-1500 with XHM-1500-2 DB1500 (later known as MB873) with RENK HSWL-354 Suspension: Torsion bars Hydropneumatic Tracks: T142 Alternative Diehl tracks New lightweight tracks with witdh of 71cm. Studies were perfomed in two ways, first was done to calculate armor weight and it's protection levels within vehicle weight limits, there were several weight limits selected, 43, 45, 47 and 49 metric tons, second was to calculate vehicle weight in each of 72 selected design combinations within a single tight protection level requirement. It was concluded that most optimal protection level would be for vehicle frontal arc a 115mm APFSDS from 800m and 81mm shaped charge warhead. Ok here will be a controversial theory from me. The above protection requirement was before US intended to use new special armor developed by British within "Burlington" program, it was intended for original US developed armors at the time. So a good question is if someone just didn't used these requirements to later describe protection levels offered by BRL-1 armor package used in original M1, which were secret, and most likely higher because vehicle was also in the end, heavier than it was in original requirements. Food for your thoughts. Besides original 72 configurations, additional 15 were made, configurations numbered from 73 to 80 were transferred for further work to General Motors, while ones with numbers 81 to 83 to Chrysler, while the ones with numbers from 84 to 87 were projects of improved M60A1. Also MBTTF from 72 configurations, eliminated ones which included use of the British 110mm main gun, mainly because in MBTTF opinion, it did not presented significant improvement over 105mm, also projects armed with German 120mm gun were eliminated, mainly because at the time MBTTF expected it not be ready within required time. What is also extremely interesting is at this stage, also projects with AGT-1500 gas turbine were eliminated, as it was considered as too risky compared to a diesel. This meant that from original 72 combinations only 16 were left, and these 16 combinations were different only in used engines, transmissions, fire control systems and other minor equipment. In the end it was decided to use only AVCR-1360 engine or DB1500 (from Daimler-Benz company, later taken by MTU when engine changed it's designation to MB873), also then another problem emerged, the weight and protection requirements were contradicting each other, in such situation MBTTF proposed AMC two solutions, first was to just loosen protection requirements, second was to loosen strict weight requirements, in the end it was decided it's better to sacrifice lower weight and keep greater protection levels. In July 1972 TACOM received another design proposal codename LK 10352 it received new redesigned hull, especially it front, the lower front plate was angled at 60 degrees, the upper angled at 65 degrees, and it seems both contained some sort of special armor, also turret was of new design. Weight of such vehicle was calculated to be 52 metric tons with required protection levels of frontal arc against 115mm APFSDS from 800m and 81mm shaped charge warhead. In August and September project was again modified, this time with armor only, and here interesting thing in the source material, it's said that this special armor used was sort of glass in between steel plates, which says it was most likely Silicieous Core Armor developed in the past for XM60! And later this armor was replaced by new design made by BRL which included multiple layers of steel and aluminium. BRL also provided armor for tests, and tests were performed against 3 levels of threats, level 1 also called light, was 115mm APFSDS from 800m, level 2 called medium was 115mm APFSDS from 800m + 81mm shaped charge warhead, level 3 called heavy was 115mm APFSDS from 800m + 127mm shaped charge warhead. This last level was later choosen as pattern of threats against which new tanks armor must provide protection during later studies. Again problem was encountered when wood mockups in 1:1 scale were intended to be build, BRL was sending new armor designs such quickly that TACOM personell could not keep up with constant redesigns in turret and hull shape. Also at that time it was decided to develop two final concepts for isolated ammo storage, and here also there were several concepts, one of them intended to use automated 18 rounds turret bustle magazine (isolated of course) and the rest would be stored in two rotating drums in hull on both sides of the driver, and these magazines would also be isolated, all magazines would be isolated with 25mm aluminium bulkheads with small ammunition ports. Additional 6 round ammo box was placed on turret basket floor, made from 63mm thick armor plates. Later design was changed to what we know from the original M1. Now something about the main gun, it would be 105mm M68 rifled gun, however, important thing to note, this gun is not, and I repeat it's not a license version of the British L7. M68 is a series variant of the US made T254E2 105mm rifled gun, however due to US/UK agreement both guns can fire the same ammunition, have interchangeable barrels, and during development period, both started to share the same, British designed bore evacuator, this is why externally both look so similiar, but inside, they are completely different. Additional armament would be coaxial 7,62mm M73 and 12,7mm M85, there were also some ideas to install 25mm automatic cannon Bushmaster, in the end however it was eliminated so main gun ammo storage was increased to 55 rounds. What is interesting at some point, engineers also considered to install 2 TOW launchers on the turret sides. Let's back to the vehicle armor. During and after Jom Kippur war, NATO started to receive data from IDF about the use of new Soviet anti tank weapons, it was a final proof that conventional armor will not provide sufficent protection, while BRL designs were not completely satisfactionary, however at that time US and UK were already in talks about new British invention, or rather I should say, inventions. To clear something out, within the program codenamed "Burlington" not single special armor model was made, but several, some of them very exotic, declassified documents talks for example about special armor with integrated explosive reactive armor layer. Also these armor didn't had any codenames, codename was used only for development program, while armors were called simply "Special Armor no.1" or "Special Armor no.6" or simply as "Buiscuits" no. 1 or no. 2 etc. So apllying both codenames like "Burlington" or "Chobham" to these armors, is not entirely correct. So about the armor itself, actually it's descriptions provided for general public in the past were clever disinformation, considering what can be find in declassified British documents. Descriptions for public said that armor was combination of steel, ceramics and similiar exotic materials in a passive form, now we know that this armor was actually more similiar to NERA - Non Energetic Reactive Armor or NxRA - Non Explosive Reactive Armor, where there are layers of steel or other materials with reactive non energetic/explosive layers in between them. About the US and UK armor development programs, I can only provide two excellent article by Polish historian Paweł Przeździecki, links below: http://wceo.com.pl/images/Dokumenty/WBBH/PHW/PHW_3_2011.pdf -> PDF reader page 112. http://wceo.com.pl/images/Dokumenty/WBBH/PHW/PHW_4_2011.pdf -> PDF reader page 106. Both are unfortunetaly in Polish only, you can try to use translator, however author provides all sources he used, so if anyone can, he can search for them himself. Now let's return to prototypes, we know that even if gas turbine was considered as a risk, Chrysler chief engineer dr Philip W. Lett decided to take that risk, there were some good reasons for that, first the torque and power of gas turbine in very compact package, so more weight could be saved for something else... for example more armor. Another reason was that gas turbine is trully multifuel, so no problems with loosing too much power when switching to a different fuel or problems like with Leyland L60 diesel used in Chieftains. I am sure there is more to that story, but up to this day it's all a bit shrouded in mystery, what standed behind some decisions. GM prototype was still tested only with AVCR-1360 diesel, however, and this is not widely known, Chrysler prototype also could change engines, it was both designed for gas turbine and diesel. There is actually a drawing showing vehicle in slightly later prototype phase, which shows two final configurations with two different hull configurations, one for gas turbine and second for diesel. So from left to right we have mid prototype, then late prototype in the middle, this one also with gas turbine, and in the right there is late prototype with diesel. After series of trails GM prototype was discarded and superior Chrysler prototype was selected for further work. In december of 1979 also Leopard 2AV was accepted for trails, it's a story in it's own right, so I will only say that Leopard 2AV did not meet requirements considering armor protection and crew safety/survivability, or in general XM1 meet all major requirements, Leopard 2AV meet all minor requirements, besides XM1 was cheaper, it costed only about 750K USD back then compared to 1mln USD of Leopard 2AV. Final tests of XM1's armor protection as well as internal crew safety/survivability meassured were done during Development Test - II with prototype PV 11, it was fully loaded with ammo and fuel, and dummies were placed in crew positions, and later at various ranges the tank was hit by various types of armor piercing munitions. These tests were complete success, the tank was not only not destroyed, but also was able to move under it's own power from the test stand, may 7th 1979 XM1 was approved for service and 110 low rate initial production vehicles were ordered, two first vehicles taken part in ceremony when they were named by the then SecDev in honour of General Creighton W. Abrams as M1 Abrams. However some problems were found with these LRIP vehicles, there were problems with air filters, which resulted in damage of the engine during Operational Tests - II, also due to hurry and lack of quality control, engine manufacturer provided several faulty engines, also problems with throwing tracks during drive in mud were found, but quickly solved by simple retainer rings on sprockets. Another interesting problem was encountered with welding, or rather lack of qualified personell in welding of entire turrets and hulls, simply because in the past vehicles were made from large castings or smaller casting welded together, not high hardness rolled steel plates welded together, this problem however was also quickly overcome. February 19th 1982 Chrysler Defense was sold to General Dynamics and renamed General Dynamics Land Systems, however chief engineer dr Phillip W. Lett stayed and continued his work on further development of the M1. On this photo in the center to the left we can see chief engineer dr Phillip W. Lett in front of one of the LRIP M1's. Ok I think it's enough for now, let's call it part 1, it's getting late and this post starts to take huge size. However stay tuned for more, and as always I hope this bit of informations is interesting and also entertaining for all of you guys. * My primary source of information is R.P. Hunnicutt „Abrams A History Of The American Main Battle Tank volume 2”, I strongly recommend this book as it's fantastic source of information about M1's development and what happend before it. I also strongly recommend other fantastic books of this author.
  3. History of US Tanks.

    So Achates Power and Cummins developed the Advanced Combat Engine. It's a two stroke, opposed piston diesel engine or rather a family of modular engines. The first variant and a prototype is a 1000hp one which is intended for use in tracked IFV's, APC's, SPH's etc. As we can see on the graphic it reduced the space it takes inside Bradley engine compartment by ~50% compared to currently used engine. Prototype will be tested this year or 2020, and next step is 1500hp variant for MBT's.
  4. We love photos

    Khem khem. Assad Babil variant is kinda a myth. Iraq never produced T-72's on their own. Their tanks were either early T-72M, late T-72M or T-72M1, purchased in Soviet Union, Poland, Czechoslovakia. I guess if we would have theirserial numbers, and then dig in to archives, we could know where and when these tanks were made.
  5. About that deleted thread

    Perhaps because NERA or NxRA types of armor might differ in efficency due to different polymers used as their reactive layer. Who ever said that M1's NERA uses rubber instead of some more energetic polymer material? And who said it is NERA? Why it can't be NxRA for example? Burlington program in UK and Starflower program in US was much wider in scope than most people realize, it included also such things as ERA builded in vehicles armor, similiar in concept to Soviet Kontakt-5 etc. It's very easy to say, oh it's old, so documents must be true! I readed it, and I actually know many sources of these revelations, these are as credible as Bible for example. Let's say I know exactly what kind of people mostly talk about such subjects, and it ain't pretty. Who says entire humanity needs to progress? I definately do not want some humans to progress over our western civilization, especially the ones that are hostile to it. Besides with my background in military, I rather preffer to keep things to myself, and you should also. Did ever sad gentlemen from counterintelligence visited you? I know some people that had such visit due to various reasons, sometimes it's better to keep silent than say too much. But I digrece from topic.
  6. History of US Tanks.

    Seems like everything is ok now, there are no "classified" stuff here from what I seen.
  7. About that deleted thread

    The general layout or rather type of armor is true. However these drawings are not technical drawings, just generic information ones, so assume lots of stuff is off the scale, geometry is wrong, and even proportions might be wrong.
  8. About that deleted thread

    And there is one more aspect. Disinformation, who says that some documents are not released to public on purpose and are on purpose modified with certain information. I can say one thing, a lot of such people that treat these documents as gospel, would be very, very surprised about the truth, and that's all I have to say.
  9. About that deleted thread

    And I fully agree. The problem tough is different, and fueled by some... let's call them "circles" of internet warriors fighting for "their country is the best and rest sucks". As a researcher and military journalist I decided some time ago to leave these people, I made the same mistake, making discussions about the subject, which is pointless with this kind of people. It's just waste of time. And if I get to know something through my own research, I tend to mostly not share it with other people, my own curiosity is fullfilled.
  10. About that deleted thread

    The problem is that the actual data, is also an estimation more or less, because various armor types will interact differently with different types of ammunition, heck if we fire two different APFSDS rounds in to a same armor module, this armor module might interact differently with each round depending on armor and round design and implications this comes with. Same with shaped charges, there is no single and same shaped charge warhead, more newer shaped charges use wave shapers, have better explosives that propels shaped charge jet faster which have it's own implications on the armor performance. This is a very complex subject.
  11. History of US Tanks.

    Interesting project from late 1970's and early 1980's to develop a heavy IFV based on M1 tank chassis. There is some more data about these designs. Important! These are unclassified documents, I hope they do not violate forum rules.
  12. About that deleted thread

    First and foremost, before posting some "estimations" or "secret data" for armor protection, be sure these are actual facts and are real. For example Swedish docs about M1A2 protection. 1. Sweden did not tested US armor in M1A2, heck they didn't done ballistic tests on actual M1A2 at all. 2. Sweden ballistic trails contained only models of hull and turret front with Swedish made armor, not US made armor. Tough I know there are people that like to make conclusions based on this, that M1A2's armor was weaker than other estimations imply. @lavictoireestlavie You know what an actual researcher do? Admits that without an actual direct documents from US DoD, GDLS, TACOM, TARDEC etc. he does not know protection levels. Simple as that. What I can conclude? I seen a video from Iraq where export M1A1M with Export Armor Package was capable to withstand on turret front, hit from Metis-M ATGM, Metis-M is known to penetrate ~900-950mm of RHA, so we can conclude that front turret protection provided by Export Armor Package in Iraqi M1A1M, is greater than ~900-950mm RHA, but we know that Kornet ATGM capable to penetrate ~1100-1200mm RHA is capable to pierce it, so we can conclude also that Export Armor Package provides less protection than that vs CE. We also know that US M1A1/M1A2 tanks were hit by RPG-29 in the lower front hull armor module, most likely these tanks were protected by 2nd or 3rd generation Heavy Armor Package. We know that RPG-29 can penetrate ~650-750mm RHA, so we can conclude that 2nd/3rd generation Heavy Armor Package can provide protection vs CE greater than that. Also some people meassured one M1A1 in museum, so we know it's front turret and hull armor thickness. Which means that my estimations were more or less correct. So turret front armor both left and right is ~700+mm 30. degrees from turret longitudinal axis and ~800-900+mm at 0. degrees from turret longitudinal axis. Front lower hull armor is ~600-700+mm thick from weld to weld. However these meassures are done by this person (dunno who he was) from weld to weld, and do not include full thickness of the turret and hull front backplates that are ~100mm thick. Altough I am quiet happy, than once more my estimations were confirmed by real meassurements. Anyway I would be very carefull with lots of these estimations. Not to mention that outside a few people that know how US armor evolved, nobody would tell how it changed, and it changed a lot compared to a bit inaccurate drawings from CIA.
  13. History of US Tanks.

    These were not done in Sweden, this is first thing, and neither Swedes exactly knew what was inside these models. And as you can see it clearly says about "Swedish armor" in these test modules, not US armor, be it Heavy Armor Package or something else.
  14. Poland Armed Forces Modernization.

    First 5 Leopard 2PL are in Poland + 1 prototype, so 6 in total.
  15. I was thinking that this might be interesting for some of you guys, both in regards to current unfortunate developments in Europe, as well as in case of possible SB Pro PE scenarios. Here are MoD video about current modernization of our armed forces. This one is in HD but only in Polish. And here the same video, in lower resolution, but with english subtitles, dunno why MoD just didn't posted it also in HD. Anyway I will later on post here informations about current equipment as well as the one in development and soon to be in mass production. Also as a reservist I might share some of my experience with small arms, mainly AKMS and wz.96 Beryl + photos from Armed Forces Day and museums. So yeah, hope it will be interesting and enjoyable.
  16. History of US Tanks.

    A real GDLS Griffin II prototype.
  17. History of US Tanks.

    So? Namer is larger yes, have more armor yes, is heavier yes, what's the point comparing a 60+ tons heavy vehicle with 30+ tons heavy vehicle? And again, so? T-15 is larger, heavier, have larger engine than Bradley, look at it's engine compartment lenght, it alone is larger than in Bradley. Really? A BMP would be better for recon? So in your mind recon is more efficent when you have problems detecting enemy and the enemy can detect you easier because he have thermal sights for example. Not to mention other factors like ergonomics of the workplace, if you would be inside such a recon variant of a BMP and inside a for example M7 Bradley which is a proper modern recon variant, you would appreciate the M7 more. Yeah, AMPV is direct replacement for M113, the IFV M2 was never intended as a direct replace for M113. By the way you know what AMPV APC variant will as per US Army requirements, carry only 6 dismounts? So what it is again inferior to M113 or perhaps you will finally realize that US Army might have different experiences and requirements than some armchair experts? You see more dismounts not necessary mean a better decision, there are other factors that you need to take in to account, like ergonomics, seats design even, if you replace simple benches with safe seats that protect soldier from effects of mine blasts etc. You will have less room for less soldiers, with benches you might have 11 spots for 11 troops, with safe seats this is reduced to 6. But that was a requirement and a priority. Really? So you think CV90 didn't needed evolution? And I honestly still think CV90 is not that great, considering it's limited firepower. For me a proper book about M2's development is Hunnicutt book, everything else is not worth time and money. 1. I am not an ex tanker. I am an ex AirCav soldier. But I work as military journalist now. As for my knowledge, let's say I have friends in US, we share information, we talk about stuff, some other stuff I take from various sources. What I know is not necessary thing I want or I should share. Oh and believe me, there are people in Poland that actually seen for example M1A1 armor arrays. Of course you can say what you want, I really do not care, especially considering what I know, I do not need to get in to nonsense dialog. And yes yes, about me, I know I am an example of an absolute evil for some people, I am not nice etc. yes I know that for a long time. And the point of posting these drawings is? By the way I posted them here long time ago, but still want to know what is the point? Did M1 had NERA? Yes, do we know it's exact protection? No, and if someone know this, such person will definately not share it. So again what is the point?
  18. History of US Tanks.

    No, US didn't need to have an IFV carrying as much troops as M113. And there are reasons for this. To have a quiet well protected vehicle with turret that have heavy armament and capable to carry so many dismounts + crew, it means vehicle would have very large internal volume and would be insanely heavy. Jesis look at Namer or T-15! Namer carry only 3 man crew + 9 dismounts and weights above 60 metric tons, T-15 carry 3 man crew + 8 dismounts and also weights most likely way above 50 metric tons. Do you imagine how heavy an M2 would be if it would carry 3 man crew + 11 dismounts?! Namer is larger and heavier vehicle than M2, and it carries only 2 dismounts more than M2A3, it's 9 vs 7 total, altough in practical terms, M2A3 carry 6, while Namer probably would carry 8 if we count soldiers equipment and other stuff that is needed to be stored inside. And these vehicles were designed for different requirements and doctrine. It's like comparing apples with oranges. It is best IFV in it's weight category, which is around 30+ metric tons. Of course amateurs will compare a 30+ tons vehicle with 60+ tons vehicle, because fuck logic right? Oh wow, and other vehicle designs do not evolve eh? They are perfect from the start? Jesus Christ, come on. Oh I get it, you base your knowledge about M2 development on this idiotic film "Pentagon Wars" that is nothing more than a lie? The reality is that all IFV's designed in that era, BMP-1, BMP-2, BMP-3, Warrior, Marder, CV90 store ammunition and fuel inside. By the way US Army actually tested M2 variant with external isolated ammunition and fuel storage in the 80's, but there were other more important priorities, and budget is not from rubber. And the idea returned with Bradley NG chassis. Oh and by the way, just like Ssnake said, at that time no IFV was well armored... well actually there was, I will remind you that M2A2 which was uparmored variant and yes ERA for it was developed in the 80's, so M2A2 was actually that Bradley protected vs 30mm APDS and perhaps also APFSDS and with ERA vs RPG's, ATGM's and tank HEAT rounds. No, there are simply different recon tactics and different vehicles will fill the role. By the way you realize that Warsaw Pact also intended to use BMP's and their variants for force recon? No, for several reasons. First is that I ended any discussion with people in the internet about this subject. I might or might not know some things, and if I know something, I will definately not share this with you or anyone else. Especially considering that I know that NATO counterintelligence agencies started to be interested in such people that share such informations here and there. And I definately do not want a small talk with sad gentlemen from my countries counterintelligence agency, because I told too much to some random guy in the internet. Not matters if what I said was truth or not. I speak only about non OPSEC stuff. Besides these discussions in the internet among armchair "experts" just make me laugh these days.
  19. History of US Tanks.

    I seen it and I disregard it. Sweden never tested M1A2 armor, even without DU, what is in this PDF is simply Swedish estimates based on some incomplete data they received from US. In general US was not very willing to share such data, and general consensus was that if Sweden would choose M1A2 these tanks would be builded with Swedish made composite armor. M3 is not your traditional scout vehicle. M3 was designed for combat recon, or force recon, or recon through fight. Again, no. Current M1A1SA/FEP and M1A2SEP series of MBT's as well as M2A2ODS-SA and M2A3 (as well as M3A3ODS-SA and M3A3) have same quality 2nd gen. FLIR. However in the 80's it was M2A2 and M3A2 that had better thermal sight than M1's. No, M2 is not mediocore. When M2 was first fielded it was the most advanced IFV in the world. Look at Warrior or Marder, both had unstabilized armament, no integrated ATGM's, no LRF or any FCS, same with BMP-1 and BMP-2. The M2A2 in late 80's was not only most advanced IFV but also best protected one. Heck I dare to say that even these days M2A3/M2A4 with it's uparmor kits is better armored, more survivable than CV90's for example. As for M113 vs M2, again I think you are one of these people that do not understand the concept of the APC vs the concept of IFV. IFV is not APC, it's not battle taxi designed only to transport troops, IFV is par of squad, it transport troops but also fight with the troops, providing them with increased firepower. Besides this show me IFV that transports 11 dismounts? M2 have 6 or 7 depending on variant, CV90 have on avarage 7, Puma have 6, BMP-1 have 8, BMP-2 have 7. M2 is not worse in this regard than other IFV's. As for amphibious capability, it's useless anyway, it's a Soviet and later Russian folly. IFV is designed to fight in the first line supporting MBT's and infantry. This means it needs increased survivability, if not against tank guns APFSDS, at least at minimum against 30mm APDS/APFSDS rounds. And M2A2 and newer variants meets this criteria. Honestly if I would have to choose an medium weight IFV, I would take M2A3 or new M2A4 over things like Warrior, Marder or CV90. M2A3/M2A4 have FCS with comparable capability to M1A2SEP FCS. Firepower still can be improved, standard TBAT-II turret can be upgraded with 30mm Mk44/Mk44S or M813 30mm chain guns replacing 25mm M242 chain gun. Mk44/Mk44S and M813 chain guns also can be quickly upgraded to 40mm calliber if needed. Survivability can be also further improved. US is allready testing increased passive armor on the Bradley NG chassis increasing layers of high hardness steel plates. I would dare to say that Bradley NG chassis with additional modular passive armor and ERA modules provides protection similiar to new German Puma IFV. Chassis and turret upgrades considered by the US Army. Experimental Bradley NG chassis being tested with additional passive modular armor protection. Such protection can either consit of 3x layers of ~30mm high hardness steel plates, or for example the array can use steel/ceramic/steel configuration bolted to the base hull chassis. M2A2/M2A3/M2A4 have also efficent and effective ERA modules kit, providing increased protection vs medium calliber KE threats and RPG's, ATGM's and tank gun HEAT rounds. M2A2/M2A3 was allready integrated and tested with Mk44/Mk44S 30/40mm chain gun as a quick and easy replacement for 25mm M242 chain gun, such swap demands minimal changes in turret subsystems. Unmanned turret with 30/40mm M813 chain gun can also be mounted with relative easy, also freeing up additional space for more dismounts. Cummins with Achates Power is developing new family of opposed piston two stroke diesel engines. First 1000HP variant will soon be tested as possible replacement for current Bradley engine. 1500HP variant is now developed for MBT's and considered as possible replacement for AGT1500 gas turbine for future M1A2 upgrades. So as you can see there is a lot of life and upgradability left in M2 just like in M1. Even tough their replacements are being designed as well, altough... hmmm perhaps future might surprise people a bit with possible alternative routes choosen for NGCV program.
  20. History of US Tanks.

    M109A7 armed with M284 L39 155mm gun, compared to a future M109A8 turret armed with M907 L58 155mm gun mounted on a modified M109A6 chassis test bed.
  21. History of US Tanks.

    M1A1SA and M1A1FEP allready have hunter-killer capability. However AIDATS system for M1A1FEP is simply there to further improve SCWS cupola capabilities.. As for US Army, I think they decided they want to go pure active fleet of M1A2SEP series, and ARNG seems to want to ride the same horse. It does not mean M1A1SA's disappear being upgraded, no they gonna go to reserve, while older M1A1's from long term storage are being upgraded first to the M1A2SEPv3 standard and later M1A2SEPv4.
  22. History of US Tanks.

    It's not the problem with the design, but about how you use a specific design. And ATGM's on IFV are always usefull, it's further increase of firepower. Yeah, it's not reserve it's in NTC. And no, M1A1's do not need CROWS, US Army and ARNG uses M1A1SA with SCWS (Stabilized Commander Weapon Station), which is also a quiet good panoramic sight for TC. It have good day and thermal optics with 3x, 6x and 9x zoom for both + SCWS have capability to display view from gunner primary sight in to the SCWS display so TC does not need to use GPSE. And of course SCWS still have remotely controlled MG.
  23. History of Soviet Tanks.

    Both welded turrets for T-90A and T-80UD/T-84 are developed from the same general NII Stali welded turret design. However special armor inside is different, T-90A uses NERA arrays, while welded turret for T-80UD/T-84 uses metal/ceramic/metal arrays.
  24. History of Soviet Tanks.

    Was kinda thinking about such thread made properly for a long time ago... so yeah, let's start, especially with the most interesting period, the Cold War. The History of Soviet Tanks during their Cold War development starting with T-64 is in majority of cases not well known, shrouded in myths or blatant lies, why? Well the Soviet state was deeply corrupted, mainly due to it's system where money prizes, medals, and other privilages were given to individuals or whole organizations like factories, not by the actuall accomplishements, but many times also due to political connections, and ambitions of individuals standing high in state hierarchy.This problem was also faced by tank industry.In Soviet Union during Cold War there were several design bureaus and factories connected to them, these were:KB-60M design bureau, later known as KMDB, placed in Kharkiv within Malyshev factory, this is where chief engineer Alexander Morozov worked, as well as his son and various others engineers. Responsible for vehicles like T-34, T-44, T-54, T-64 series, T-80UD and T-84 series as well as prototypes like Object 490/490A, Object 477/477A, Object 477A1/A2 and various other.UKBTM design bureau placed within UralVagonZavod factory complex in Nizhny Tagil. Responsible for T-55, T-62, T-72, T-90, Object 195 and T-14.LKZ design bureau and factory placed in Leningrad. In the past responsible mainly for heavy tanks development, and after heavy tanks development disbanded, focused on gas turbine versions of T-80.ChTZ in Chelyabinsk. Responsible for various prototypes that never actually entered production like Object 775, but was mainly just manufacturing plant.OZTM/KBTM (OmskTransMash) placed in Omsk, currently primarily repair facility, in the past it was connected with LKZ work on T-80 series, as well as some prototypes like Object 640 and other R&D work.Now about the Soviet Main Battle Tank program origins.Maybe let's start with the people. After the war the most influential and considered the most briliant tank designer in Soviet Union was Alexander Morozov, he was actually a former protege of Mikhail Koshkin, a man who created T-34. Morozov in Koshkins team was reponsible for development of T-34's engine and transmission, and after Koshkins death (which is still unclear, official story is he died after getting sick on pneumonia, it happend during his famous presentation of first T-34's to Stalin and Soviet officials, however some people theoretize that Stalin might had his hand in his death due to problems with T-34 prototypes). After Koshkins death Morozov become chief engineer and further worked on T-34 development as well as more advanced projects like T-34M, T-43 and several others like A-44, one of the first medium tanks with front mounted engine. A-44 mockup. One of the obsession I think Morozov had was to create possibly lightest, while well protected and heavy armed tanks possible, and this obsession lead to many breakthroughs in tank designing especially concerning vehicles engine and transmission. At 11:00 it's explained in a simple way what was the difference in powerpack design between older tanks and Morozov's idea realized finally within T-64.Now about where it all started, and it started with competition for new medium tank, intended to replace older T-44, T-54 and T-55. New tank was intended to be as lightweight as possible, as mobile and possible, and have both very good protection and firepower. This competition lead to creation of Object 430. It had a crew of 4, with still manually loaded 100mm rifled gun U-8TS. Weight was up to around 35 metric tons. It's armor was still a well sloped homoegeneus rolled and cast steel armor, with very significant thickness. But the most breaking part of the tank was it's engine, the 4TD/5TD diesel, generating 580HP in a very compact package. This type of diesel engine is opposed-piston engine type, thanks to which it could be made so compact, thus weight reduction of the whole engine compartment was achieved as well as size reduction, and in the end, also the whole mechanism become simpler with the use of planetary gearboxes, as could be seen on video above.Of course Object 430 had it fair share of technical problems, as well as due to technology improvements, it quickly become obsolete, so the work on more advanced Object 432 started. What are the main differences between Object 430 and Object 432? There are several, first the engine, now it's newer 5TDF engine, which could produce 700HP, another difference is main armament, now it's 115mm smoothbore 2A21 gun, derivative of 115mm smoothbore 2A20 gun used on T-62. And third difference is crew, now instead of 4, 3 crew members are present, loader was replaced with autoloader, which in itself is very interesting design.The T-64 series uses 6ETs series of autoloaders, same autoloaders family is also shared by T-80 and T-84 series. As we can see the projectiles are stored horizontally, and propelant charges vertically, thus creating form of basket around the crew, this is why this type of autoloaders are nicknamed "Korzina" which means "Basket".Such autoloader have advantages and disadvantages. Primary advantage is that autoloader is very compact and in fact is part of turret, creating a separate module to the tanks hull. Also due to a loading scheme, a projectile and it's propelant charge are loader in a single cycle, which means that in general, such autoloader is faster. Also this autoloader was designed with nuclear battlefield in mind, this is why stub cases ejected from gun after fire, are not ejected by autoloader outside, but are returned to autoloaders ammo cassettes during loading cycle, to not compromise NBC protection seal.Disadvantage of that autoloader is however that due to ammo placement, propelant charges are very exposed, so any penetration of tank, will most likely end with catastrophic ammo cook off, and due to fact that ammo stub cases are not ejected outside, with the fact that both ventilation and fume extractors in these tanks (especially when worn out) is rather poor, means crew will be forced to inhale not very healthy propelant fumes, which is bad even with hatches opened, now imagine it with hatches closed. This can be seen here.Another problem is, that effectively driver is completely isolated from the turret and rest of the crew, of course he can move from his position to the turret, but only when turret is rotated properly and two ammo cassettes are removed. In case of this T-80B, two ammo cassettes from autoloader were removed to create a corridor for driver to move from his station in to the turret.Now let's compare this to AZ type of autoloader used in T-72 and later T-90 series. In the AZ autoloader both projectiles and propelant charges are stored horizontally, thus autoloader is flat, and it's top cover creates floor for crew. However autoloader does not create a single module with the turret, and to take turret off the hull, autoloader needs to be disconcented from turret. Also stub cases in this case are ejected from the tank completely, so opening created by the stub cases ejecting system, provides some extra ventilation for the crew, this however breaks the NBC protection seal, and also it does not help that much afterall. Which we can see here, even despite open hatches and additional ventilation created by stub cases ejector, there is a lot of unhealthy smoke inside.The loading cycle of AZ autoloader is slower than 6ETs family of autoloader, as you could seen on animation, projectile and propelant charges are loaded in separate cycles, instead of single one.Advantage of AZ autoloader is it's lower profile, so ammunition in it is not as much exposed as on tanks with 6ETs autoloaders, and there is no need to remove ammunition cassettes to provide corridor for driver to move from his station to turret... on the other hand it's still very cramped inside, and it's more comfort able to actually move from drivers position in T-64 and T-80/84 when ammo cassettes are removed from autoloaders mechanism.Another difference is ammunition capacity, 6ETs autoloaders for 115mm gun could store 30 rounds, for 125mm gun 28 rounds, the AZ autoloader for 125mm gun can store 22 rounds. Here at 35:45 some comparrision of autoloaders.Now what about armor?It is a myth that for example T-72 had a better armor than T-64, or T-80B had better armor than T-64B and T-72A. The general requirements were that each tank series, this is T-64 series, T-72 series and T-80 series in the 1970's, would provide more or less same protection. Of course it was realized in different ways.Let's start with T-64.Frontal protection would be realized by composite armor codenamed Combination K, and there were several variations of this armor protection.The initial one was made from twi different solutions, for the hull front, glacis plate would be made from two steel plates and in between them layers of glass textolite would be placed. Turret would be casted with empty cavities in front armor which would be filled with alluminium alloy. This is Object 432/T-64 armor scheme that was initially used, it was similiar in case of Object 434/T-64A and also T-64R variant which was T-64 refurbished to T-64A standard.Later few other variations of turret armor would be tried, while hull armor would not change much. One of the later design included high hardness steel plates instead of alluminium alloy placed in armor cavities. This design was used in Object 434/T-64A.The final and most famous one was Object 447/T-64B design. In this case turret cavities are filled with alluminium alloy in which ceramic spheres/balls are placed. This armor was also used on some Object 432/T-64 and Object 434/T-64A tanks.So in the end all 3 versions of Combination K armor for turret, were used on T-64, T-64A and T-64B in various production batches of these T-64 variants. Not a very economic approach.The T-72A and T-80/T-80B used a simpler armor, in west known as "sand rods", in fact it does not have a form of rods, but in turret cavities, a form of kvartz or ceramic is placed. There is a mistake here, the second protection value should be for HEAT, not APFSDS.Same armor was used in T-72M1 export variant of T-72A, as well as in T-80 and T-80B. A bit different is question of hull armor, here also some improvements were made over time. But in general materials used where the same, a combination of steel and glass textolite. This is how it looks like for T-72M1, actually these glacis plates are for Polish PT-91 modernization of T-72M1. And here destroyed T-64, probably T-64BV. Ok enough for a single post, gonna continue later.
  25. History of US Tanks.

    Also something interesting. My friend found a US patent from 1971 about titanium and ceramic armor array for tanks. He noted it is extremely similiar to a 1992 Polish CAWA-2 armor. So he started to dig in. As he is a student at Military Technology Academy (WAT - Wojskowa Akademia Techniczna) and he studies various armor technologies, he asked about it one of his proffesors. It appears that this proffesor was in US few years ago and become privy with basic M1A1 armor, and he said that besides NERA arrays in armor, ceramics were also added, and there was some cooperation between US and Poland in 1990's for development of metal/ceramic armor arrays, and this is why there is such similarity between a US titanium/ceramic armor and Polish CAWA-2. A US 1971 patent. A Polish CAWA-2 armor design.