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US Army releases brand new photos of upgraded Abrams

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posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 06:39 PM
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Here is the photo:

www.defenselink.mil...

Some very interesting updates. Seems that they are following the Israeli's tank design strategy.

Here is some info:

"WASHINGTON (Army News Service, March 9, 2005) -- The Abrams tank is growing a TUSK – that’s Tank Urban Survival Kit, a series of improvements, including some still in development.

TUSK will allow Soldiers in the field to improve the Abrams’ ability to survive in urban areas off the traditional battlefield for which it was designed.

Lt. Col. Michael Flanagan, product manager for TUSK, said the goal is to help improve the tank’s survivability.

“You have to remember, the tank was a Cold War design, aimed at a threat that was always to its front. It’s still the most survivable weapon in the arsenal from the front,” Flanagan said. “Today it’s a 360-degree fight, and these systems are designed to improve survivability in that urban environment.”

The TUSK includes additional protection at the loader’s gun station on the turret, the commander’s gun station, reactive armor to protect the tank’s side from attack by rocket-propelled grenades and slat armor to protect the tank’s rear from the same weapon, and the tank/infantry telephone to allow infantry and armor Soldiers to work together in combat.

Flanagan said all the proposed upgrades use “off the shelf” technology, and the goal is for the entire TUSK to be applied by units in the field, without requiring a return to a depot for modification.

“The reactive armor, for example, is a product similar to what’s on the Bradley (Armored Fighting Vehicle),” Flanagan said. “It’s explosive armor that protects the vehicle.”

Another example would be the slat armor designed to protect the tank’s rear from RPG attack. It is similar in design and concept to the slat armor used on the Stryker armored vehicles for the same purpose.

The first TUSK component to reach the field has been the Loader’s Armored Gun Shield, which provides protection to the loader when the Soldier is firing the 7.62mm machinegun on the Abrams’ turret. Flanagan said about 130 of the shields have already been purchased and sent to units in Iraq. Also incorporated into the loader’s firing position is a thermal sight, giving the position the ability to locate and fire on targets in the dark.

“This is the same unit that is used on machineguns carried by infantry troops, and we’ve incorporated it into the loader’s position,” Flanagan said. He said a system that attaches a pair of goggles to the sight, allowing the loader to fire the gun from inside the turret, while seeing the thermal sight’s image, is under development.

Also under development are improvements to the commander’s station outside the turret, although different systems are necessary for the M-1A2 Abrams and its older M1-A1 brethren.

“Because of things we added to the turret in the A2, the commander’s station had lost the ability to shoot the .50-caliber machinegun while under armor,” Flanagan said. “We’re developing a Remote Weapons Station, that will probably be similar to the one used on the Stryker, to allow that weapon to be fire from inside the turret.”

Flanagan said the design could also allow the use of the crewed weapon station used on Humvees, but a final determination hasn’t been made.

Ultimately, most of these add-ons will be incorporated into a kit – installed in the field and removed in the field as a pre-positioned component for the next Abrams unit to take duty in that location. Flanagan said some kits will begin to reach the field later this year.

At least some of the kits’ components may also be included in new Abrams’ production.

“The loader’s shield and the remote weapons station, and the tank/infantry telephone all may be included as regular production items in the tank,” Flanagan said. “It’s important to remember that the Abrams will continue to be the dominant weapons system for the Army until at least 2030.”
"

From: www4.army.mil...




posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 07:07 PM
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I don't know much about tanks but that looks like it would be effective in an urban environment. Nice post Jet....



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 07:12 PM
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How do the reactive tiles operate?
Are they explosives?



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 07:20 PM
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Originally posted by Netchicken
How do the reactive tiles operate?
Are they explosives?


Reactive Armour is designed to defeat mainly HEAT rounds although some may give limited long rod penetrator protection too.

Basically the amour is two plates of steel that sandwich between an explosive. When a heat round ie. RPG, or most anti tank weapons hits the panel, it triggers the explosive the outer plate is exploded outward disrupting the jet effect of the HEAT round, the inner place bounces off the amour of the tank and it to hits the HEAT rounds jet effect. It help take the punch out of the round before it hits the main amour

Disadvantages:

One used the block has to be replaced
Any exposed infantry will be shredded if it goes off near them

Its no coincidence where they are putting it as it is a lightly armored position of the tank.

We had an ATS thread about something penetrating the skirt of an Abrams, maybe this is a lesson learned.

[edit on 3/10/05 by FredT]



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 07:44 PM
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These improvements should be very helpful, as a lot of folk had mentioned before about how the Abrams lack of a phone, like the old M60 tanks (I think that was it) had in Vietnam. A tank's primary armor strength is up front. An Abrams is hard as he** to take out from the front, but if you can get behind it, then you can inflict damage.

When the 1st Marine Division was driving to Iraq at the start of the 2nd Iraq War, one of the columns of vehicles was being led by an Abrams. They came under fire and there was a turn in the road they were supposed to take. However, the Abrams got shot in the transmission somehow and couldn't make the turn, and it just kept going straight, and thus the whole column just kept following the Abrams in the wrong direction (the Abrams had to radio to everyone not to keep following them).

So it was learned at the start of the war that the tank is vulnerable in those senses. But if you read books on tanks, that is even one of the recurring themes: that tanks are great for the battlefield, but they are much more vulnerable in an urban environment.



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 08:16 PM
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Good post! ERA is something pioneered by the Russians I believe, the US is slowly applying it to their tanks now.



As you can see, the Russians use this technology extensively
like their good old vodka


It's about time they upgrade the Abrams...



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 08:24 PM
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ROFL..


That's the funniest picture of a tank i've ever seen.

Mabye the US should follow the Russians and put Reactive armour on the Turret as well.



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 08:41 PM
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as posted by GrOuNd_ZeRo
ERA is something pioneered by the Russians I believe


Erm, no.
Israel did.


The idea behind "reactive armor" is to blow up a roadside bomb or rocket propelled grenade just before it reaches the vehicle. The Israeli military pioneered the concept in the 1970's.

U.S. GETS EXPLOSIVE ARMOR FROM ISRAEL

Question.
Whose brand is better: Russia's or Israel's?






seekerof



posted on Mar, 11 2005 @ 12:45 AM
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Nice....It's kind of wierd they are still using the rear infantry to commaner telephone....you must have lots of balls to do that behind a 40 ton monster.



posted on Mar, 11 2005 @ 01:53 AM
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Doesnt look that good in my opinion.

1) The machine guns dont look they can be operated from inside the vehicle.

2) There is open space below the tank turret. It should be seamless. "put a firecracker in your hand". Any decent round that gets in between there and goes off is going to blow that turret right off the tank (At least a round that a tank would normally be able to survive with it flush).

3) Not enough sloped edges ( especially in the front).

4) Tracks are explosed, should have hinged armor covering them, so if rounds do penetrate it and explode, the armor hinges up to vent the explosion. Should maybe stop an RPG or small rocket from knocking a wheel all wacky or knocking off a track( at least more then the current design).

5) Not very ergonomic. Tons of things a rocket can sheer things right off it. I think a more ergonomic upper hull would go a long ways in making it less prone to losing functionality in an attack. Like the thing housing the visual system looks flimsy, the targeting system and everything else needs to be seamless with the hull more so.

6) Looks seriously light in the front end.

7) By the description it doesnt look like the machine guns can be reloaded from the inside of the tank. That is not good.


That is my criticism.

And ideally these things should be unmanned entirely unless needed other wise (repairing, rearming, or refueling them).





[edit on 11-3-2005 by Ritual]

[edit on 11-3-2005 by Ritual]

[edit on 11-3-2005 by Ritual]



posted on Mar, 11 2005 @ 09:19 AM
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To me it seems a bit of main battle tank changed to meet more of urban warfare requiments, i think it should have gained some series change in whole structure and wouldnt even choose M1A2 as hull. Still have to accept the fact same upgrades are mostly made for already in service vehicles and those US has a lot.

Anyway all possible improvements help, so cant blame for not doing anything, still i see it as bit of half way facelift to meet guerilla warfare requiments. That must be its goal, but tank isnt built for it.



posted on Mar, 11 2005 @ 11:12 AM
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1) The machine guns dont look they can be operated from inside the vehicle.

They can, that's one of the major upgrades in this package.


2) There is open space below the tank turret. It should be seamless. "put a firecracker in your hand". Any decent round that gets in between there and goes off is going to blow that turret right off the tank (At least a round that a tank would normally be able to survive with it flush).

Not at all true. Pretty much every anti-tank weapon short of a Maverick lacks sufficient punch to knock the turret off any tank, even the lighter Russian ones. The reason Russian tanks pop their turrets is because all their ammo is in a circle on the turret floor. A sabot or HEAT jet would just go through the turret ring with minimal spalling. Blowing the turret off an Abrams is nigh impossible (except in that one case with the 50 kilos of HE).


3) Not enough sloped edges ( especially in the front).

What? The slope of the frontal turret armor is almost 70 degrees.


) Tracks are explosed, should have hinged armor covering them, so if rounds do penetrate it and explode, the armor hinges up to vent the explosion. Should maybe stop an RPG or small rocket from knocking a wheel all wacky or knocking off a track( at least more then the current design).

The traks on all tanks are exposed like that. Having armor to the bottom of the track reduces mobility, you can't have your ballistic skirts always hitting the ground.


5) Not very ergonomic. Tons of things a rocket can sheer things right off it. I think a more ergonomic upper hull would go a long ways in making it less prone to losing functionality in an attack. Like the thing housing the visual system looks flimsy, the targeting system and everything else needs to be seamless with the hull more so.

Don't complain about ergonomics unless you are a tank crewmen.


6) Looks seriously light in the front end.

I've heard the Abrams called a lot of things, but never light in the front end.


7) By the description it doesnt look like the machine guns can be reloaded from the inside of the tank. That is not good.

Come up with a viable system for this and propose it.







[edit on 11-3-2005 by Kozzy]



posted on Mar, 11 2005 @ 11:36 AM
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Considering its an upgrade rather than a complete redesign, I would think they came up with very decent additions, working within the constraints posed by an using an existing design.

I liked the photo of the russian tank as well, reactive armour on top of the turret seems to make sense, as top-attack seems all the rage for smart guided munitions, but urban warfar centers around skirt / rear attacks, unless somebody comes up with an affordable top-attack RPG...

Somebody complained about no hinges for the tracks.....ok, but I got the impression this person was just posting for the sake of nagging....

Eager to awaite the outcome of field tests and simulated RPG attacks.

...And an infantery telephone is always a valuable addition to order pizza after a hard days work (allthough I don't understand why it isn't integrated with some bluetooth technology with the commanders headset)...


[edit on 11-3-2005 by Countermeasures]



posted on Mar, 11 2005 @ 04:25 PM
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It doesnt have any short range ballistic defense. Maybe it doesnt come "advertised".

I think if this is WYSIWYG as far as the US's main battle tank, it doesnt belong on the front line. I think wars should be fought by airplanes and surface missiles until we figure out how to 1)detect all mines and planted explosives 2) perfect ballistic defense 3) perfect xray and other visual equipment to indentify targets.

Else riding a tank down the road is just asking for a ton of dynamite up your ass. Or an artillery round to slice through the tank. Or rocket.

Thanks but no thanks as far as me joining the Military. I wouldnt want to be ordered into an APC or Tank to make my way into Iraq. Bad mojo, murphy will kick me in the ass for being so illprepared.

Im better building ICBM's in my basement.



posted on Mar, 11 2005 @ 04:29 PM
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Aircraft can bomb the land

Tanks can crush the land

It takes infantry to take and hold the land.


And PBI`s need support - from armour.



posted on Mar, 11 2005 @ 05:52 PM
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I don't know if this is true or not.

But I've heard that certain sniper rifles can penetrate tanks?

If so, does Reactive armour help against that?



posted on Mar, 11 2005 @ 06:37 PM
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Boys Mk 1

The Boys was the only anti tank rifle used by the British during World war 2, it was introduced in 1937 and remained in production until 1942 when the PIAT was introduced. The Boys was originally to be named the Stanchion but the rifles designer Captain Boys died shortly before production was to begin and the rifle was renamed in his honor. The Boys was moderately successful during 1940 against the early German tanks but remained useful against the thin armor on most Japanese and Italian tanks. It remained in service through the war but was gradually phased out by the PIAT after 1942. The Boys was one of the most successful anti-tank rifles ever designed with more than 60,000 produced, it was also used by the U.S. Marine Corps and has the distinction of being the only anti-tank rifle officially adopted by the U.S. military. A large muzzle brake is fitted and a bipod is included.


Anti Tank rifles date back to WW1 with the British Army.



posted on Mar, 11 2005 @ 07:14 PM
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What about modern rifles & tanks?

I mean if a sniper can take out a tank, why bother with RPG's?



posted on Mar, 11 2005 @ 07:27 PM
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Originally posted by rapier28
What about modern rifles & tanks?

I mean if a sniper can take out a tank, why bother with RPG's?


Hmm...try penetrating an Abrams or even a T-72 with one,Modern armor is much more sophisticated,I think it could say take out a light armored vehicle or something,unless you are going to use 40mm rounds for your sniper rifle.



posted on Mar, 11 2005 @ 08:11 PM
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Originally posted by Ritual
It doesnt have any short range ballistic defense. Maybe it doesnt come "advertised".

I think if this is WYSIWYG as far as the US's main battle tank, it doesnt belong on the front line. I think wars should be fought by airplanes and surface missiles until we figure out how to 1)detect all mines and planted explosives 2) perfect ballistic defense 3) perfect xray and other visual equipment to indentify targets.

Else riding a tank down the road is just asking for a ton of dynamite up your ass. Or an artillery round to slice through the tank. Or rocket.

Thanks but no thanks as far as me joining the Military. I wouldnt want to be ordered into an APC or Tank to make my way into Iraq. Bad mojo, murphy will kick me in the ass for being so illprepared.

Im better building ICBM's in my basement.



You don't know what you're talking about (not to sound rude). You mention the tracks are exposed. Well they have to be exposed somewhat, or else the skirts would hit the ground. To take out the tracks, aside from a mine or something, would require some real balls and some real shooting. You'd have to get close to the tank, which would see you, then aim the weapon at the tracks, then fire and hope it manages to hit under the skirt. That would take some real sharpshooting from a distance, and up close, you'd likely be blown away before you even had a chance to fire. And that's forgetting that the tank is moving along as well (which means you'd ahve to aim fairly fast).

In urban warfare, the tank would be backed up by infantry that would shoot you if you got close. It would be a really lucky shot (and probably a suicide one at that) to hit the track on an Abrams.

As for wars being fought with solely planes and missiles, that is impossible. You HAVE to put boots on the ground in order to use those weapons. People say warfare these days is simply "push-button," but that is far from the truth. How would you utilize your "surface missiles" and your planes if you don't have tanks to go clear the way for you??

As for a tank being a target, yes, they are, but it is fairly difficult to take out a tank like the Abrams. Being in one is one of the safest positions on the ground. Unless you are fighting an enemy that has tanks that can fire back at you and do some real damage, you're pretty fine, but that kind of land warfare is more Cold War-era.

As for these additions to the Abrams, none of thise is new. I mean, the technology is, but the tactics the tech is for are from WWII. Using infantry to back up a tank in an urban environment was used in WWII, Vietnam, etc....just now it is getting a new spin with some better tech.



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