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Everything posted by Red6

  1. Aluminum IMHO is not only viable, but a great choice "under" the primary outer armor that isn't suseptable to a simple molotov, and used where ceramics are sandwiched between the outer armor and this inner skin since some of these ceramics or special alloys spall like mad. From a cost, ease of fabrication, resistence to oxidation, weight to protection ratio (1/3 the weight at 2/3rds the protection in an oversimplified RHA comparison), resources nationally available, ability to modify or repair if damaged, low spall with the correct alloy... perspectives, aluminum is hardly this obselete material. It just needs used where it gives you the best it can, while not exposing this materials weaknesses (low melting point etc), and this is achieved in a layered armor where the lighter low spalling aluminum allow is used on the inside.
  2. Sometimes people write something really profound, and over time things get obfuscated, but what they wrote is still factually correct regards certain technical aspects.
  3. Oh crap... I mentioned the Stryker. Strike that, he uses steel armor, but even he uses aluminum in many non-armor parts.
  4. Read King of the Killing Zone. http://www.amazon.com/King-Killing-Zone-Kelly/dp/0393026485 http://www.amazon.com/King-Of-The-Killing-Zone/dp/0393332934 Not a new book, and no cool pictures, but it explains some things that you would benefit from in your discussions.
  5. You're going to see a mix of alloys being used on most MBTs and APC/IFVs today. Different alloys have different desirable or undesirable properties. Aluminum spalls little, is very light and compared to the protection per pound it is actually very good, it is very weather, and wear and tear resistant. Aluminum as used on APC/MBTs today isn't the cheapest material, but it's by far not the most expensive either, it has low magnetic properties and is conductive, it's heat resistant (by far not the best, but not horrible either - although a Molotov cocktail will cause it to melt - but it's far better than say a UHMWPE), it's something that can be welded, drilled, or shaped, and it can be mass produced using nationally available resources (i.e. no dependencies). It doesn't have crazy expansion/contraction coefficients, and it's rigid (the alloys used). Just like the ammo bunker doors are a titanium alloy on the M1, because for that application that material has the best mix of properties, aluminum has it's role in modern armor design, i.e. wheels, inner armor plating where it acts as part of the spall protection... For example, while the Bradley was mocked in movies like "The Pentagon Wars," unlike most of it's peers, because it used that silly aluminum, you didn't get the spalling you had on near all IFVs of the time, and they were able to get a level of protection that would have made the vehicle much heavier had they used steel all the way. But it does make for a funny sight when an M2, M113, HMMWV etc melts away into a puddle. Certain alloys of aluminum spall very little, but they still provide some ballistic protection (~2/3rd of RHA steel at 1/3rd the weight) and it won't go bad if it gets wet, nor will it rust, or degrade over the years like an aramid fiber pressed into resin will (which is used on the Bradley as well). While aluminum will melt ~450C (depends on alloy), if you heat up the inside of the crew compartment long enough for that to happen (It's not instantaneous), it's all a moot point anyhow for the crew. You can have hydraulic fluid splash on it, paint it, sand blast or step all over it, shock it through impacts, or expose it to sun and salt water, and you have no issues. Realize, these vehicle have to be built not only for today, but to last for the next 30+ years and that will include repair, upgrades and refurbishment as well, and aluminum as a material on the inside armor of a vehicle does very well, just like it does well for road wheels (despite melting - that's why you see the M1s laying on their bellies, they get lit up in a Molotov party usually if abandoned).
  6. Maybe it's kryptonite with a red gummy bear filling?
  7. Newer: http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a481408.pdf Here's a simple online tool that can make the comparison: http://www.onlinemetals.com/calculator.cfm To make the comparison: 2.74 inches of steel RHA or 4.72 inches of (7075) aluminum have near identical ballistic protection. The Aluminum will provide the same level of protection as the steel, stopping the round. But the weight is 68.65 pounds per square foot, while the steel plate weighs in at 112.06 pounds. If we penetrate the same plates with a more powerful round, the aluminum will spall less. See the advantage of using that weak, pathetic, and unmanly aluminum? It's not always about achieving the most protection in the least volume. It's also important to achieve a level of protection and stay under a weight threshold, or to avoid spall... Aluminum: Weight savings Corrosion/oxidation properties National manufacturing base Nationally available elemental/base resources Relatively easy to work with in production High volume of production possible Cost effective Good/low spalling material with proper alloy selection or layering Material that has a long life and is repairable, i.e. can be welded (patched) etc. Electrically conductive Low magnetic properties Aluminum has its application: M1126(Stryker family), M2, M113, HMMWV class, yes even the M1 uses Aluminum to at least "some" degree.
  8. Aluminum isn't all the same. Aluminum is light, has excellent corrosion properties, can act as a back plate to improve other armors effectiveness while providing some ballistic and spall protection in case of perforation. What do you think is a bigger hazard when exposed to heat, Aramid/resin spall liners, or aluminum plating? Some of these aluminum alloys actually have a substantial ballistic protection, much more than you would think from an aluminum. http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/153139.pdf Some other things one must consider is availability of raw materials and source of these materials, ability to mass produce (some things are hard to work with), and cost. Example: If you use titanium, the source nations will be China, Russia, Kazakhstan and the Ukraine. The only country that is a significant titanium producer that is an ally is Japan. Titanium is very expensive. Smart idea to use titanium in armor? Maybe only in small quantities, for those specialized applications.
  9. Wow- Thank you for the links and the translation. I can only do English, German and a very little bit Korean. What is important to remember when reading this, isn't that the Merkava's were knocked out (well that matters too - sad for the guys), but as it pertains to this discussion, that they are dealing with a huge (pun intended) IED/Mine threat. "Merkava" was undermined landmine containing 900-1,100 kg (!) BB." "and the tank was blown Guy landmine containing 300-350 kg of explosives." There is a difference between a 6, 8 or 10Kg blast and 1,100Kg. That is about 110 times what a Western MBT is really designed for. When you're dealing with so much force that the turret is thrown 130 meters, not from secondary explosions, rather from the initial blast, you are far exceeding anything that any sort of vehicle is designed for. If you run over something that size with a Buffalo, made for clearing IEDs/mines, you are done. Pointing the finger at the Israeli Merkava and stating that this vehicle is not very apt at dealing with mines or IEDs, is ignoring the level of threat that these machines are exposed to. Of course the Israeli's got pummeled with ATGMs and RPG style weapons as well. The problem with Lebanon is that Syria, Iran, and others have been backdooring all sorts of goodies to the bad guys.
  10. We managed to discuss the idea of sacrificial armor and what that is. Now let's discuss the importance of interior geometry, and compartmentalization. Interior geometry relates to not putting crew members in the same axis from either the front or the sides. This doesn't prevent penetration, but it reduces the extent of damage when penetrated, i.e. you tend to lose less people with a single event. With the M1 you have separation along all three axis so that crew members are separated (x, y, z). It's not perfect, of course here you're dealing with the reality of limited space and the constraints of how you can lay things out inside the vehicle. If two people are beside or in front of each other, then the probability of a single event taking both of them out is higher than if they are separated. Since the hull is narrower, tracks take up a great deal of the volume, you are very limited if you put people in the hull, plus you lose the y axis. An excellent picture of this concept: http://www.inetres.com/gp/military/cv/tank/M1/M1A1_internal.gif Unfortunately this picture isn't 3D, there is also separation from left to right, with the loader being far left, the driver in the middle, and the gunner and TC on the right, however, the TC is elevated over the gunner (y). While this looks cool, this is a violation of this basic principal: http://www.nemo.nu/ibisportal/5pansar/5sidor/5bilder/tjorniritn.jpg A quick search of future MBT brought this. The personnel on the left side of the vehicle are "in line." (A simple google search under future MBT) Wrong: http://www.oocities.org/area51/rampart/1966/tless1.jpg Wrong: http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/101/55379291.jpg These are designs where a penetration from either side if it is in the axis of a crew member, it will likely take out multiple in a single event. Both from the front and the side, no two men are in the same axis (at least not entirely) in an M1 in order to minimize casualties if you have a penetration. That is another "basic" concept. Another concept is compartmentalization. Like a submarine. It is not without reason that in events where turret crew are injured or killed, the driver of the M1 survives, often unscathed. It is also not without reason why if the driver is hit, the turret will likely survive. Unfortunately, here too are constraints, and the open turret layout (sort of necessary) at least when the M1 was developed is less than ideal.
  11. (extensive time) M1A1 (a lot), M1A2SEP, M2A2ODS (a lot), M2A3 (limited time- touring, joy rides, or crap we shot apart) M1A2, Leo2A4, M60A3, BMP1, BMP2, BTR60, BTR70, T72M1 (Iraq had the Polish export model among other variants), T55, T80U (Korea), K1 (Korea), M113, M577 (or whatever the TAC vehicles nomenclature is), M88 (I had a buddy CW3 and that's what he rode around in, so I joined him occasionally) But the coolest tank ever was one my unit built for the local Iraqi's to help them guard a fire-base in a bad area of Baghdad. Yes, it had power and A/C. The the machine gun and the optics worked and our mechanics and the locals helping were able to even get it to where the turret would traverse. That turret had a massive construction I-beam frame underneath it, and was sandbagged all around. The building underneath was an Iraqi air defense bunker, so it was solid. The local Iraqi's that took over inherited this "contraption." It eventually had two operational MGs. To answer the likely question: Main gun wasn't operational.
  12. That's not what I said. The front is where you want to get hit, but the rear will also protect fairly well using a sacrificial concept in how it protects you. You can't armor everything like the turret front. While possibly or even likely to cause a mobility kill, I "personally" would rather take a hit (without the special sauces added) from an advanced RPG in to the rear than hull side. My argument is one of lesser evils when things don't go the way you want.
  13. It never hurts to study/learn more.
  14. I don't think so. Unless someone else took a pic as well or its a similar pic that's not the same (benefit of the doubt). That's my pic. My camera was my hobby while deployed.
  15. I guess I'm not that knowledgeable.
  16. No penetration. 1-37 had a tank in Karbala take 16 hits in April/May 2004. The point is that the tank uses the concept of sacrificial armor, it's nothing new.
  17. So, have you found the pic yet on the Internet?
  18. There is a difference between a mobility kill and a catastrophic kill. Hit in the front you keep fighting and driving, that's ideal. Yes, you want the front towards the enemy. Can you control everything that the bad guys do? Can you see everything all around you in a city? The idea of a machine being sacrificial isn't new.
  19. My pics. Unless you know someone else that was part of RFCT OIF1 and 2 and decided to take pics.
  20. A Western MBT with it's ammo, fuel, weapons, commo equipment, power plant, optics etc. is a large vehicle, roughly 12/144 (w) x 31/372 (l) X 9/108 (h) feet/inches. A vehicle this size if it were armored with 18 inches of armor all the way around (a level of armor that would only stop older RPGs, older penetrators at longer distances of 1,600 meters or more) would weigh only 388 tons. Total armor volume would be: 2,939,328 cubic inches at .2904 pounds per cubic inch = 853,580.8512 US pounds = 387,991.296Kg Without offering any real protection against modern RPGs, and only marginal protection against APFSDS, you'd have a 388 ton tank, built of very manly steel. If you want to build this tank so it can stop every APFSDS or HEAT round at any range and angle of impact, any mine or IED ever built (IEDs can get very large, into the 500 or even 1000 pounds) out there, the tank would weigh roughly twice that, 776 tons. Yes, with a tank like that, you could drive over the biggest IEDs, and be fine, but I suspect it wouldn't work to well for some reason we still haven't figured out in this forum. 70 tons is about the absolute maximum limit of what a tank can weigh. This figure hasn't changed since WWII with the King Tiger ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiger_II ). It is not without coincidence, that German, US, UK, Israeli etc tank designs generally don't exceed this magical weight limit. There are some special purpose built exceptions, but they are not the norm. Don't waste my time with your Russian WWII BS tanks that were heavier yet. Unless you can miracle your tank over a bridge, or miracle it over the seas on an airplane, or miracle it across a river, miracle it to the shore from a boat, or miracle it down the road on the back of a flatbed (at 70 tons you are already "way" over what is normally allowed), miracle it onto a barge, or miracle it out of the mud once mired, 70 tons is already the outer most limit of what a tank can weigh. To simplify things, we won't even discuss the dimensions of such a vehicle or how small the interior would become when making those trade-offs. Now, let the compromises begin- Angles, the use of advanced materials, laminates, spaced armor, advanced geometric designs inside the armor, sacrificial design, how a tank handles penetration, and the concept of armoring certain areas of a tank according the to probabilities of hit and the likely specific threat faced (front, vs side, vs. underbelly vs rear vs top) while armoring other areas less, are all compromise solutions. Good armor design includes these tenets to maximize the protection, because the basic limitations of weight and dimensions dictate this be done if you want to have a tank that provides some semblance of protection. A uniform level of armor would actually be a very weak armor all around if you stay within a reasonable weight limit. It doesn't make a tank a bad design to make these compromises, rather it optimizes the characteristics of a vehicles protection based on mutually exclusive variables (armors capabilities vs. weight/dimensions). Now, designing a tank that blows up if hit with an RPG, killing all inside, or designing it to where anyone that can mix together a molotov cocktail can take your tank out, that is bad design, just like the Sherman running on gasoline was a bad design. And yes, quite literally if I were in a city at a TCP or blocking position etc, I would rather sit in an old M60A3 than a T-72. While the M60A3 is surely in a tank on tank battle an inferior tank compared to the newer evolutions of T-72s, in a city where I can get hit from any direction potentially, and the reality is that I am vulnerable, that M60A3 is more survivable (assuming no ADS/ERA on either). The M1 uses sacrificial armor on the turret rear (ammo bunker), rear of hull (engine), and fuel cells on the side of the driver. I would rather be hit into the rear of the hull by a RPG, than hull side. Though the tank will possibly shut down on me (depending on what gets hit), the crew will be OK. Between the rear armor, and inner hull there is too much "crap" and distance. That jet rapidly loses penetration with distance. As to the fuel cells, they are behind a ballistic skirt, followed by a hollow space, possibly road wheels or track (depending on exactly where hit), an outer hull, and then the plastic fuel cells that are basically in an encased box. They are hard to set afire (no air) even when they are penetrated or if the outside is set afire, and then they are still separated from the crew compartment by another inner hull. Do you see what's happening here? Outer hull, inner hull, and everything flammable and explosive is sandwiched between those and because of that, things that can go boom, or burn can actually add to the protection of the crew. This is different from placing a thin skinned fuel tank that can catch on fire with WP arty, a Molotov cocktail, etc on the rear exposed, or having ammo stored the way it is on a T72. The ammo bunker turret rear of an M1 actually provides protection. Even vehicles specifically designed to deal with mines and IEDs (MRAP for example) are destroyed by them, but they still provide a much higher degree of protection and statistically are more likely to have the occupants walk away. The Israeli's and South Africans were dealing with a mine and IED threat long ago, while Western Europe and the US were thinking about how to fight an armor on armor battle, on the flat rolling plains of Western Europe (home turf) where a mine and IED threat was limited. The Merkava isn't invincible, but he had a uniformly greater level of underbelly armor compared to Leo and M1, and has a slightly V shaped hull. Furthermore, the drive train components were designed to where repair would be easier and the vehicle can be turned around quicker when it is damaged form an IED/mine. Much of the US mine resistant technology is based on South African designs and this includes the MRAP, Cougar, Buffalo and Husky. The point in discussing the Balkans, or Somalia was that ATGMs and RPG style weapons are everywhere and advanced ones proliferating. You denied this. Point made, you believe what you want on this as well.
  21. The M1 and Leo were designed for a mobile defense and basically are offensive tanks. An expert like you shouldn't be confused by the word defense in the name mobile defense. But just in case you need a refreshing in doctrine: http://www.nuui.com/Sections/Military/Field_Manuals/FM3-90/ch10.htm The Merkava was designed as a defensive tank, and the Israeli's have been dealing with a greater mine and IED threat since the 60s. Even today there are mines in the Sinai, along the Jordain border, etc... IEDs were a viable threat to them, but for NATO forces in Western Europe in a Cold War scenario, it was a limited concern. You're on friendly territory, and many of the artillery or aircraft dispensed mines are light. The risk of a 100 -1000 pound blast from underneath wasn't really present. Command initiated IEDs weren't a real risk either. Most mines would be lighter types if dispensed in friendly areas, and they will be either magnetic, pressure plate, or tilt rod, detonating on the front of the vehicle. Guess where all the mine protection on a M1/Leo type tank is? Paper/cardboard, Styrofoam, or cotton can defeat modern HEAT and APFSDS with enough material. This is one advantage of a diesel, a lot of steel. Is it homogenous armor with highly predictive results? No. Have there been several cases were the engine has prevented a driver from being hurt/killed on a M2 or M113? Yes. Russian jumping and shooting tanks, and Russians inventing everything, yes- very cool. Blaser was one of the first fielded ERAs, and the first real wide spread use was in 1982 in the Israel/Lebanon war. Russian tanks are low quality, flawed in design, low tech solutions, and their grease/rubber armor is not what is a concern/interest. The Russians developed the first ADS or whatever we want to call it. They conceptually came up with the first IFV, but they weren't the first with ERA unless we begin playing with semantics. While the performance disparity between Western and Russian MBTs narrowed since the end of the Cold War, it still persists today. It is their ATGMs and RPGs that are proliferating all over the place that pose a concern. But the Russians are not alone. Chinese, Indian, even Western systems are of concern since over the years weapons as well as the leadership in various nations has changed several times over in some cases (Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Iran...). Look at Syria today (RPG22s, 29s, HJ-8), or Egypt, will they be an ally in 3 years? TOW2 and I think even the TOW2B (which BTW is top attack). And even if the government and military in Egypt holds up (lets hope they do), what weapons slipped out while Morsi was in power. While not everyone can buy a T-90, and we will not go to war with Russia anytime soon, you'll find good RPGs in the weapons bazaars in the poorest of countries. The German Armbrust was a threat when we were in the Balkans (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armbrust_%28Panzerabwehrwaffe%29), how did that happen? After the event of Black Hawk Down (1993), we temporarily sent armor to Somalia and the "at the time" new ERA which you see often mounted on Bradley's today, had to be mounted because of the RPG threat (http://24thida.com/24th_division/division_history_tredway_long.html forgotten in the annals of time). This is one of the poorest places on earth, but you could literally shop for an RPG at a bazaar and walk away with it hanging off your shoulder. Yes, but the Israeli's have a system (Trophy) that works fairly well, and they have it fielded in sufficient numbers to make an impact, while others brag about their theoretical systems they don't have. Read what I wrote about Quick Kill early on. The problem with some Russian systems especially complex electronic and optic based is that even if they have some good ideas, translating them into actual products is where things go wrong. Russia isn't Japan. But the M60A3 doesn't use combustible casings, so it's a moot point. You're talking hypothetical what if, as if that changes what is. It's a design flaw of the Russian tanks. But in reality there is more to it. The M60A3 is also less flammable and has its fuel cells under some armor, while simple WP arty/Molotov will take out a T72 because of the exposed fuel tanks horizontally mounted on the rear. It's just a poorly designed tank that gave survivability consideration but in a way that makes one wonder what the engineers were thinking. These weren't new concepts or ideas that they violated.
  22. The Merkava is from its stock design better consistently armored on the underbelly (not just a certain region), has a slight V-shape, and is easier to repair (drive train) once damaged from a mine or IED. Yes, it was designed to deal with those threats more so than Leo or M1 which were designed for a different type of fight and are today receiving upgrades to their underbelly as an afterthought. The Israeli's are among the leaders in armor design, ERA and ADS development. Collaboration between the US and Israel is extensive, and much of the US systems (our first ERA) was basically their stuff. Much of US ERA today is Rafael. It's truly hard to fall below the poor design of the T-72, a tank that loves to blow its top and has fuel exposed on the rear upper hull, or where the crew has to immediately get out in a real fire... It's almost as if that tank was designed to kill the crew. Maybe the chief engineer hated the Soviet Union, maybe he was drunk, I don't know, but even an M60A3 is a more survivable tank, without exaggeration. A large part of survivability is what happens if the tank is penetrated, i.e. spalling, fire potential/suppression, compartmentalization of crew and geometry, secondary explosions, or ability of crew to remain in the tank for some time even when the vehicle is afire, ability of crew to get out, systems still operating for some time and the tank being able to fight even as engine is knocked out, burning etc. (shooting back at the bad guys is the best defense)... One of the real pluses of an M1 isn't that he can stop everything (he can't), but it's now well he handles when he is penetrated or set afire. That doesn't mean he won't also end up a black sunken half molten heap, but at least in 90% of the cases the crew made it. Much of the success of the US Army in Iraq was from crews that knew what they were doing, i.e. training, experience, good solid tactics and procedures, willingness to fight... Had you given them an old M60A3, they would have brought nearly the same results. Most ADS systems and ERA have limitations and things to consider if using them. Surprisingly, this isn't only true for the Israeli's and something I attempted to explain earlier. Ironically, Israel has one of the better ADS systems currently fielded (really operational and in any meaningful numbers) and they are among the leaders in ERA development. No one with any clue ever considered it to be anything other than an RPG, but it was evident that newer and more effective warheads were in the game even with a rudimentary analysis of the impact holes. Advanced RPGs were in Iraq from day one, with vehicles being hit by them already in 2003, in fact even TOW was likely to be in Iraq (they had them from Kuwait when they overran them in the earlier war). http://www.mashpedia.com/videoplayer.php?q=x2TLS1sqMl8〈= (Was he taking a dump?) The bad guys know a few things too, they have a say in the matter, there are all sorts of nasties out there today, and in an urban or mountainous fight, it's 3 dimensional. The reality is that the MBT was parked for much of the war in Iraq, Afghanistan, or in other engagements because it was mismatched for the mission. The real work trucks in the last years have been the HMMWV, Stryker, and purpose built mine and small arms protective vehicles, not the M1. They had some limited usefulness, and in some areas where because that's all we had to make it work, but it was a far from ideal scenario. A front engine design is another sacrificial armor concept. It works. A big diesel, radiator, etc. will add to the protection of the crew and there were several cases where the engine in a M2 saved a driver. The real issue with a front engine is the heat produced. It's wrong for a tank that you want to use in a tank on tank battle where you're moving a lot (thermal signature and it throws off optics). Again, the Merkava is a pure defensive tank.
  23. Well, hello again. 12 years... wow- Is the Brad in the sim? Heck, I might play around with the sim just for that reason.
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