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Early Abrams armor package confusion


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I am rather confused about the armor packages given to each variant of the M1 prior to the adoption of the M1A2 (so we're talking about each Abrams variant from the M1 up to and including the M1A1 HC)

 

It is my understanding that each variant listed had an armor package as follows:

M1 (1979): First gen Chobham/composite, 470mm/650mm KE/HEAT on hull and turret - per Steven Zaloga and USSR intelligence estimates

M1IP (1984): Increased turret thickness, now 600mm KE/1100mm HEAT on turret - SB wiki was only available estimate, hull thickness remains same

M1A1 (1985): Several sources here differ. The official wikipedia page mentions a BRL-2 Composite armor array for the hull, and Zaloga (M1A2 MBT, 1993-2018) gives his estimate of M1A1 hull thickness at 600mm KE for the hull and 700mm HEAT. SB Wiki claims effectively same as M1 1978. In other words the M1A1 retained the turret thickness of the M1IP but gained some hull thickness.

M1A1 HA/HC (1987): Again some differences in the source. The official wikipedia page does not mention an increase in hull thickness over the M1A1, only turret thickness through the addition of DU inserts. But the SB Wiki claims the same driver's plate hull thickness as the M1, but considerably increased protection near the sides thanks to the armored fuel tanks surrounding the driver. Zaloga seems to think the turret estimates of both SB Wiki and Wikipedia are accurate but thinks the minimum thickness on the hull should be 600/700 KE/HEAT. Theoretically the M1A1 HC should have better protection than the HA as it used gen 2 DU inserts on the turret, similar to the M1A2.

 

So several "sources" (read: random people) seem to think the M1 series did not receive any increase to its hull armor from the M1 until the M1A2 SEPv1. All sources - SB Wiki, Zaloga, Wikipedia, and a few others - seem to agree there was an increase of armor to defeat projectiles like 3BM42 sometime between 1979 and 1997 but there seems to be a disagreement on which tank received this armor increase.

 

Any reading or links GREATLY appreciated. Thanks.

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4 hours ago, Richardguy said:

"Theoretically the M1A1 HC should have better protection than the HA as it used gen 2 DU inserts on the turret, similar to the M1A2."

 

 

I can say categorically, that there's no difference in armor package between M1A1HA and HC variants.  I personally experienced the conversion process in excruciating detail. ¬¬

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5 hours ago, MAJ_Fubar said:

I can say categorically, that there's no difference in armor package between M1A1HA and HC variants.  I personally experienced the conversion process in excruciating detail. ¬¬

You should find a source that agrees and correct the wikipedia page as it says that the HA used gen 1 armor, the HC and M1A2 used gen 2 DU, and the M1A1 SA and M1A2 SEP all used gen 3 DU

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On 7/24/2022 at 12:24 PM, Mirzayev said:

Sometimes bad public information is a good thing. 🙂

Is it though?

As I understand it there isn't a single remaining M1 or M1IP, and no M1A1 with the original armor package in the active US inventory (only FEPs slated for divestment and SAs for the National Guard). There shouldn't even be that many un-upgraded M1A1s in export use either.

 

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On 7/24/2022 at 2:51 AM, Grenny said:

yupp:

 

 

Don't be lame and pretend I was saying something that I was not.  

 

It's reasonable to wonder out loud if the armor models are up to date or if the info that floats around the internet from including declassified documents isn't clear or saying what we think it does.

 

The Challenger 2 is a good example.  Some sources say it has slightly inferior KE protection to the Abrams  DU armor package in the early 1990s.  It seems that in 2022 the view that us desk jockey enthusiast could reasonably have is that in the late 1980s early 1990s most western tanks had reasonably close levels of protection across the frontal arc (for the turret at least).

 

Either this view is wrong and ESim has info we can't know about, and the image below is reasonably correct, or it is correct, and it isn't a priority for ESim right now. Both are fine.

 

Don't be so dismissive though.....I am not sure if you have noticed but the Ammo vs Armor interaction is of huge interest to lots and lots of younger people and other types that would be great to have in our little community. 

 

 

 

 

This video has over 240k views. 

 

This doesn't mean Esim needs to devote attention to this that some of us may want. It does suggest we shouldn't be glib about what others find interesting about this very unique area of the world. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ch2 400m.jpg

14433_2000.jpg

Challenger2protection.jpg

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3 hours ago, Richardguy said:

Is it though?

 

Considering that knowing exact information on previous models can help foreign intelligence formulate a better baseline estimate for upgraded models, yes. 

 

I prefer for 'trade secrets' to remain 'trade secrets' when it could legit mean life and death in the future. 

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42 minutes ago, Mirzayev said:

 

Considering that knowing exact information on previous models can help foreign intelligence formulate a better baseline estimate for upgraded models, yes. 

 

I prefer for 'trade secrets' to remain 'trade secrets' when it could legit mean life and death in the future. 

 

Agreed.

 

EEFIs  (Essential Elements of Friendly Information) any one?

 

The potential adversary doesn't need to know the exact details of a friendly AFV's armour protection.

 

Nor do any friendly AFV crewman that I know of go around saying "I can take a hit in location X because I have 123 mm of ERA and the enemy only has 122mm of penetration".

Edited by Gibsonm
typo
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1.

eSim Games operates strictly on the basis of unclassified information

 

2.

The purpose of the armor model is to deliver plausible results that help novice crew members and staff officers from non-armor branches to develop an intuitive understanding of  where and when they can trust their armor, and where and when things get dicey, or impossible.

The model delivers a bit more. But that doesn't change what its meant to deliver.

 

3.

eSim Games documents to a reasonable degree sources and methods (see the Appendices of the User's Manual) to let Steel Beasts users judge for themselves to which degree they can trust the simulation results.

 

4.

Steel Beasts is a tool for

a - gunnery and crew procedure training; here, the accuracy of armor models is of lesser importance

b - tactical training/exercise support; here, you want reasonable outcomes for the scenario and the orders given

 

5.

Steel Beasts is not

- a tool for quantitative statistical analysis on armor models

- a tool to predict range overmatch limits for any given pairing between combat systems and munitions

- a tool for quantitative statistical analysis on battle outcomes (aka The Crystal Ball)

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6 hours ago, Ssnake said:

gunnery and crew procedure training; here, the accuracy of armor models is of lesser importance

Is there a game out there that has more accurate armor models than SB?

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I don't know. I don't have the time to check out what others are doing. I can't comment on the quality of their documentation, which is of equal importance since computer simulations are effectively opaque. You just don't know what's happening under the hood.

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24 minutes ago, F.T said:

Is there a game out there that has more accurate armor models than SB?

Who knows since lot of informations are classified ;) 

"All models are wrong, but some are useful" is the saying in statistics.

 

Anyway, even World of tanks proposes an armor model of its own. Is it accurate? I'd say no, but still, it is good enough for what it does.

 

Now, is there a game with a better armor model?

Well, there isn't much tanking game out there using "advanced" armor model : GHPC & Warthunder. Are these better than SB in that particuliar topic? I have no idea...but does it matter that much?

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27 minutes ago, BlackDeath said:

Anyway, even World of tanks proposes an armor model of its own. Is it accurate? I'd say no, but still, it is good enough for what it does.

In terms of gameplay, World of Tanks does a good job.

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6 hours ago, F.T said:

In terms of gameplay, World of Tanks does a good job.

Just that gameplay has nothing to do with tanks really....could be melon-slinging elefants instead of tankmodels, and it wouldn't make a difference

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All models are wrong, some are useful.

WoT may be leaning heavily on the entertainment side of things, but that doesn't mean that the underlying damage model is completely bogus. If at all, I would expect that WW2 era equipment is better understood and documented than contemporary combat vehicles and munitions by simple virtue of being declassified.

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15 minutes ago, Ssnake said:

All models are wrong, some are useful.

WoT may be leaning heavily on the entertainment side of things, but that doesn't mean that the underlying damage model is completely bogus. If at all, I would expect that WW2 era equipment is better understood and documented than contemporary combat vehicles and munitions by simple virtue of being declassified.

 

Its also entirely under their control.

 

As I understand it they adjust penetration and protection values as required in order to maintain game balance / competitiveness.

 

Its based on a entirely different premise.

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ironically, world of tanks doesn't look fun to me either- for all i know, world of tanks could have the most scientific approach to its model and the developers have access to sensitive data from the source- the game design still looks 'wrong' at least for me to have fun with it. very small view window and fog-in envelope, which i would be willing to accept for a  multi-player shooter but there is also no infantry- that's a severe deficit. the tanks are a conceit really, these aren't tanks so much as they are race cars with some kind of armament, sure the models look like tanks, but that's the end of it- and the gameplay is more like a destruction derby mixing and matching vehicles from different eras like a world of junkyard swap meet sale, with the player aids- the magic radars, the sensory overload of information cues all over the screen, and this has been typical of many FPS designs over the last 20 years or so, you might be driving a ww2 tank but with all these sensors and visual aid graphics all over the screen makes even a tank from 100 years ago seem to have futuristic sensors amd capabilities- this is also why i stayed away from the mechwarrior FPS shooters, because of the magic radars and aids which make little sense with technology that is basically point and shoot and supposed to be primitive and put together from available scrap.

 

what's the point of machine guns and autocannons mounted on vehicles without soft targets to kill; what is the point of older generation of applique reactive armors without a compliment of infantry AT weapons. a tank is a compromise in its very design of mobility firepower and protection, but much of the reasoning to design the tanks or the roles a tank could assume have been eliminated in WOT to be just a short ranged death match. someone says, 'well it's a type of casual game for players to jump in and out' -- which i would understand except it was done better in older games like battlefield 2 and the first red orchestra- which was really outstanding, and i wish that game was still around being played today.

 

there is something almost sinister about these free to play games, or rather, pay to win games which somehow sucks players in as a kind of addiction which causes them to overlook very flawed gameplay. evidently consumers rejected tater tots when companies had excess scraps from potatoes and were trying to offload them- then someone figured out that by increasing the price, it made this kind of food much more attractive and people began buying, a phenomenon demonstrated elsewhere, with cheap clothing suddenly becoming designer brands by increasing the price and the perceived value, with blind taste tests of wine where subjects judged the same wine as better when they were told it was a more expensive brand- is there something to this with WOT and pay to win gameplay- well, at the very least it does seem to get players psychologically invested because they have something to win or lose tied to real world consequences- their money, because from all that i see, the gameplay is actually a step backward from what multiplayer games were doing long ago. it's the pay to win factor which is driving a loyal consumer

Edited by Captain_Colossus
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I'm sorry about the clusterfuck that has become this thread.

 

All I wanted to know is - Did the M1A1 get the BRL-2 Composite in the hull? If not, which tank before the M1A2 SEP received improved hull armor over the base M1?

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42 minutes ago, Mirzayev said:

Might want to look elsewhere, since this goes outside the bounds of Steel Beasts discussion. 

Thanks, I tried Steven Zaloga's books, and as I mentioned in the original posts he thinks the KE protection went up to 600mm on the M1A1 from 470 on the base M1. I'm not sure where else to go now.

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14 hours ago, Richardguy said:

Thanks, I tried Steven Zaloga's books, and as I mentioned in the original posts he thinks the KE protection went up to 600mm on the M1A1 from 470 on the base M1. I'm not sure where else to go now.

 

Contemporary Western Tank Rumble! - Page 5 - Mechanized Warfare - Sturgeon's House (ipbhost.com)

 

This isn't a bad place to see a discussion on the issue.

 

A few things to note right away. 

 

1: RHA estimations are an approximation that can have a great deal of variance depending on what you are shooting at the target. Ie Round construction, velocity, angle of impact. 

1:1 Different estimations from different nations running different test, using different criteria will cause confusion for any RHA estimation. 

 

Example 

On 7/23/2022 at 8:56 PM, Richardguy said:

 

It is my understanding that each variant listed had an armor package as follows:

M1 (1979): First gen Chobham/composite, 470mm/650mm KE/HEAT on hull and turret - per Steven Zaloga and USSR intelligence estimates

 

The armor packages of most western tanks in the late 1970s early 1980s were certainty designed with the threats posed to them at the time. 

 

The USSR estimation could be correct if the round being fired at the armor package is a BM-22 type round. 

The British felt that the threat posed by Soviet tanks would involve monoblock apfsds rounds. Their tests and thoughts were that the M1s armor could be estimated to around RHA 320-340mm from across the frontal arc.  Important to note this is for early monoblock Tungsten rounds similar to the L-23.  Chance are, that against DU monoblock, ie M774 rounds the M1s armor would perform far far worse. 

 

In the end, looking back the decisions were sound ones. The USSR for many reasons didn't introduce monoblock or BM-42 like rounds in any number until the late 1980s. If you were in an M1 in 1985 and a T-72A hit you with a APFSDS round, it in all likelihood would something like a Bm-15/22. 

 

It is probably worth moving this discussion to the ground zero section. 

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