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Everything posted by Damian90

  1. M1A2C

    Opposed piston diesels are better than V type diesels. The problem is you need to design them properly. As for designation. It's simple, simply it's still M1A2 platform and system, M1A3 most likely will have a new turret, that is being designed by GDLS, it will be a new platform and a new system.
  2. M1A2C

    Ok I noticed something. M1A2C turret had changed, I mean geometry is slightly different at front and armor is thicker. https://www.toledoblade.com/politics/2019/03/16/abrams-titan-tanks-plant-lima-ohio-defense-spending-army Watch video under this link. And now the photos. Ok, it's confirmed, both turret front and hull front are thicker.
  3. M1A2C

    Maybe because new FLIR needs a development cycle, something completely normal in real world of adults... As for armor, of course it can be upgraded, NERA efficency can be increased by changing reactive layer to more energetic one, with plates made from better steel or different metals with better properties. And who says there is NERA or NxRA left in the armor? What if it's a completely different design? But yes I am perfectly aware that some people are completely oblivious to such simple truths... but hey Gaijin was incapable to even properly model M1A1 armor considering how realistic they pretend to be. On the other hand not surprising considering that this is not necessary non secret data, but people that know had a good laugh. Tough it's funny they even ignored fact that M1A1 have improved front hull protection, even tough M1E1 prototype have a weight simulator on hull front, clearly implying armor was improved there. Of course I know this obvious evidence would be ignored as it's contradicts the narrative of the Russian company the Gaijin is. So in regard of vehicle protection, SB Pro PE is far closer to the truth, even if it's not intended to be for obvious reasons. Just my little rant here. On topic tough, here is a photo of a fresh new batch of M1A2C's in JSMC facility. Interesting that it seems US Army returns to woodland camouflage pattern as standard.
  4. Arjunk Mk1/Mk2 "Kanchan" Armor.

    @dejawolf You remember DFI and the talk about Arjun Mk1/Mk2 and it's "Kanchan" armor? Well, we now know what it is exactly... and not very impressive at all.
  5. M1A1 Questions (just curiosity)

    It's worth to note that the end of connection line next to a CITV mounting point (used of course in M1A2 series), have two connector plugs. My guess is these can be used for AN/VLQ-6 and AN/VLQ-8 "soft kill" active protection systems, which is mounted around there on M1A1 series).
  6. Poland Armed Forces Modernization.

    Thanks. From 11th Armored Cavalry Division facebook fanpage.
  7. 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.
  8. M1A2C

    In general M1A2C is 1st step in a very major modernization. It focuses both on electronics, new APU, improvements in FCS and also significant, significant improvement in armor protection. Next step will be M1A2D, and here it will be more focused on FCS, CITV will be replaced, GPS will be replaced with new designs that have 3rd gen FLIR, new day color cameras, new laser range finders and laser pointers... yes commander CITV or rather ICITV will have now a day color camera and laser range finder besides 3rd gen FLIR, same for new gunner IGPS. ECP1A is M1A2C (M1A2SEPv3), and ECP1B is M1A2D (M1A2SEPv4). So in general, lots and lots of improvements. As for engine, transmission and also suspension, there is a lot of development work, but nothing is decided yet. In terms of suspension I guess US Army would be happy to replace torsion bars with hydropneumatic suspension system, that is developed and ready for M1. In terms of engine and transmission, well the variant with MTU MT883 diesel and Allison 5250MX transmission was designed, integrated and tested but, again replacing engines in the entire fleet is expensive + US Army have other priorities as AGT1500 is simply good enough. Besides US Army invested a lot of money for Cummins and Achates Power opposed piston two stroke modular diesel engines called ACE (Advanced Combat Engine), ACE is lighter, smaller and overall better performing than MT883. This is because opposed piston two stroke diesels, in general have for example better heat rejection characteristics than V type diesels, opposed piston two stroke diesels also have better power density. They did not get popular because they are difficult to design properly, but currently with CAD, simulations and new materials, it is possible to design a reliable two stroke opposed piston diesel. The first variant designed is ACE1000 generating 1000HP, it is meant for vehicles in 30-40 metric tons weight. On the grahics you can see how much space ACE1000 engine takes in Bradley IFV engine compartment compared to it's current V type diesel. Now imagine how much less space next in development ACE1500 variant generating 1500HP designed for platforms in 50-70 metric tons weight will take in engine compartment of MBT like Abrams.
  9. 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.
  10. History of US Tanks.

    Yuma Proving Grounds presented M1A2C (M1A2SEPv3) with Trophy HV APS mounted... but there is something more interesting on that photo. Turret front seems to receive addon armor plates, these are around ~100mm thick. We can assume that hull front could receive similiar addon armor.
  11. History of US Tanks.

    All M1A2SEPv2's have the M153 CROWS-2 variant being replaced with new CROWS-LP variant that is +/- 50% smaller. Also new M1A2SEPv3/M1A2SEPv4 will use this new CROWS variant.
  12. Challenger 2 LEP.

    Rheinmetall just presented their proposal for Challenger 2 Mk2, and I must say I am impressed. It's a completely new turret, made from welded rolled plates + probably a new modular special armor on top of it, I wonder if hull special armor will be replaced as well? Armament is 120mm smoothbore Rh120/L55A1 gun, and it's said ammunition is stored in the rear turret bustle, probably isolated with blow off panels. Really impressive, IMHO a better upgrade than BAE proposal.
  13. History of US Tanks.

    First and foremost, people that draw absolute conclusions from Swedish documents, rush in to them, and do not even question, how accurate these documents are, and on what they are based on. But hey, it's typical for the internet.
  14. Poland Armed Forces Modernization.

    Not at the moment I am affraid. It's said however that 18 vehicles will be operational and 2 used for training.
  15. Poland Armed Forces Modernization.

    Polish MoD announced that at wednesday they will sign contract with US, for 20 M142 HIMARS MLRS with GMLRS and ATACMS missiles and logistics equipment. It can be expected to be the first batch, and probable follow on batches will use Polish Jelcz trucks instead of FMTV ones. Contract cost is said to be 414 mln USD.
  16. History of US Tanks.

    As far as I know, Swedes never actually got real data from US, nor from France. Heck Frenchmen claims that Swedes just madeup armor data on their own, at least for Leclerc. And no, Export Armor Package definately is not equivalent to Heavy Armor Package, neither 1st, 2nd or 3rd generation. But yeah it seems that the entire thing is very, very fishy... I would say extremely fishy.
  17. History of US Tanks.

    M109A8 turret during firing trails.
  18. Challenger 2 LEP.

    IMHO the best for entire NATO would be to abandone European designs that have such flaws, and either work with US to further upgrade the M1, what I would want to see in M1A2D (M1A2SEPv4) is a new powerpack with diesel, for example either the new US ACE-1500 diesel, or MT883 (the latter was integrated and tested allready, altough ACE-1500 is more future proof design), hydropneumatic suspension system, and a proper dep water fording kit allowing for underwater driving + perhaps a new turret with autoloader and new gun (be it US XM360E1 or Rh120/L55A1) and voila. Or upgraded Challenger 2 Mk2 with that new turret and upgraded hull.
  19. Challenger 2 LEP.

    It's immposible to fix hull ammo storage problem in Leopard 2, and Leclerc without completely redesigning these vehicles. Blow off panels alone won't help if you don't isolate ammunition storage with blast proof armored sliding doors or bulkhead. Much easier solution in such case would be to use more compact engine, and move hull ammo storage in to a compartment between powerpack and turret. In such case lot's of space would be made free in hull front, I would then move the driver station to the hull center axis, in my interactions with Leopard 2A5, I noticed that due to wedge armor, it's very difficult to use driver hatch to get in and out. If driver could be moved to the center axis of hull, then especially if gun is elevated, it's much easier to get in and out using driver hatch. I noticed during my familirization with M1A2SEPv2, that due to driver station placement in hull center axis, it's rather easy to get in and out, especially if main gun is elevated. I would also try to eliminate weak zones in turret frontal projection like the gunner sight weak zone. Leclerc would be much more difficult with such modification. Honestly I would completely remove hull storage, and simply move driver station to the center axis of the hull + modify the turret to eliminate it's weak zones like in Leclerc variant proposed for Turkey. Tough it's far easier to upgrade M1 or Challenger 2, due to their inherently better designed turret and hull shells.
  20. 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.
  21. History of Soviet Tanks.

  22. Challenger 2 LEP.

    More photos:
  23. T-55AM Armor "leak"?

    Hit in the TC cupola base should do the trick in some way, at least killing TC. Cupola base is ~100mm thick.
  24. History of US Tanks.

    So my estimations about 2000 M1A2SEPv1/M1A2SEPv2 tanks in US military service were correct. Now the numbers of the M1A2 tanks will grow with M1A2SEPv3/M1A2SEPv4 as they will be builded through rebuild of stored M1A1's. M1A2 fleet may grow to ~4000-5000 in the end depending how many M1A1's will be upgraded in the end, but at the moment, first batch of more than 400 M1A1's being upgraded to M1A2SEPv3 were contracted.
  25. Challenger 2 LEP.

    Good question!