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One of the next generation tanks' trend

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posted on May, 1 2006 @ 11:43 PM
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In pass time fightingships and fighter aircraft all has fixed heavy armor, which lead to tonnage of fightingship reach almost 80 thousands tons, and cause fighter aircraft to be too heavy to make maneuver, F4F vs. Zero for example. Although by powerful engine following fighters as F6F has better maneuver, but now we know even much heavier armor couldn't defense attack from missile, no matter that is anti-ship missile or A2A missile. So all of warplanes and fighting ships has already abandond heavy armor to pursue powerful strick capability for fightingships and higher maneuverability or speed for warplanes.
Let's turn to tank. Todays superiorer tank has been over 60 tons. which cause it is too heavy to obtain enough range and enough capability of traverse. We know the super tank M1A2 using turbine engine that burn so much oil than others that is very uneconomic in this period of high oil price and future. Even the ABRAMS tank that only has armor at foreside, but flank side, the amor is much less than foreside and backside almost no armor. Yes, I admit MlA1 is successful in past war, but if US's air domination will be challenged by CPLA. I have to strongly suspect that MIA2's armor will still withstand strike from air. Futhermore, China has already equiped ZTZ-99 tank. These tank has much more thick armor than M1A2 and the gun on it can strick through the armor on M1A2 foreside, whereas ZTZ-99 is lighter than M1A2 over 10 tons.
We have already known that US had developed 140mm gun but China too. I have had a photo showed 140mm gun was fixed on ZTZ-99 be tested. Yes, the auto-mechine could transmite cannonball instead of man-made. But such big as 140mm would cause the amount of cannonball tank carried was reduced drastically that has no enough cannonballs could sustain the range which even has been too short.
So why we design tank in future giving up heavy armor?

[edit on 2-5-2006 by emile]




posted on May, 1 2006 @ 11:48 PM
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In the future, tank armor and weapons will be stronger but lighter.

By the way, those are not cannon balls, they're called shells. Some tanks (like Russian ones) actually shoot missiles out of their cannons.



posted on May, 2 2006 @ 12:11 AM
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Originally posted by emile
We know the super tank M1A2 using turbine engine that burn so much oil than others that is very uneconomic in this period of high oil price and future.

Are you implying that the Type-98 or "ZTZ-99" tanks are even remotely more efficient or economical? IMHO, I do not think there is a MBT in anyones inventory that would be considered remotely economical.




Even the ABRAMS tank that only has armor at foreside, but flank side, the amor is much less than foreside and backside almost no armor.

Okie Dokie.....






Yes, I admit MlA1 is successful in past war, but if US's air domination will be challenged by CPLA. I have to strongly suspect that MIA2's armor will still withstand strick from air.

This can be said for any MBT in service, including the Type-98 and "ZTZ-99."





Futhermore, China has already equiped ZTZ-99 tank. These tank has much more thick armor than M1A2 and the gun on it can strick through the armor on M1A2 foreside

You have any legit armor specs on that "ZTZ-99" tank so as to compare and make sure that what you are saying is correct?




whereas ZTZ-99 is lighter than M1A2 over 10 tons.

Must be all that armor that "ZTZ-99" is utilizing, which ironically, would make it LESS economical than the M1A1 or M1A2, huh?





We have already known that US had developed 140mm gun but China too. I have had a photo showed 140mm gun was fixed on ZTZ-99 be tested.

That larger caliber gun will also reduce the economy of the "ZTZ-99" tank.
The added weight and caliber size may allow greater pentration, but the U.S Army has determined that the 120mm/M256 that is currently in use is sufficient enough of a main gun armament to destroy any MBT that it may encounter.





Yes, the auto-mechine could transmite cannonball instead of man-made. But such big as 140mm would cause the amount of cannonball tank carried was reduced drastically that has no enough cannonballs could sustain the range which even has been too short.

Okie Dokie....





So why we design tank in future giving up heavy armor?

Who is "we"? The U.S. or Russia and China, etc?
Heavy tanks are slowly going the way of the dreadnought.
The U.S. has been working on MBTs of a lighter scale.







seekerof

[edit on 2-5-2006 by Seekerof]



posted on May, 2 2006 @ 01:02 AM
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Good topic.

My personal observation is that near-future tank design will follow two separate and directly opposed evolutions.

One evolution, led by US, UK and France, leads to lighter more deployable systems suitible to global deployment b heavylift aircraft (MBTs are generally too heavy).

The other evolutionary trend is led by countries like Israel and Jordan who are continuing to develop the super-heavy MBTs.

The heaviest MBTs in service are the US’s Abrams, Britain’s Challenger(s) and Israel’s Merkava 4, all weighing in over 60 tons.

The same trend is apparent in infantry fighting vehicles also. Whilst Israel, Jordon and Russia are converting obsolete MBT chassis’ into super-heavy infantry combat vehicles, US has introduced the comparatively lightweight STRYKER wheeled infantry combat vehicle and is working on hybrid electric APCs (as is France). France is replacing its tracked AMX-10P MICVs with the wheeled VBCI which weighs significantly less.

The Challenger and Abrams have been very successful in combat but they are slow and expensive to deploy into theatre because they are not air-transportable. Therefore nations who engage in the latest fad of “regime change” are looking to lighter and more deployable solutions, like putting a 105mm gun onto a wheeled infantry combat vehicle (such as the STRYKER). These MBT alternatives do not have the firepower or protection of MBTs but they serve a similar purpose.

On the other hand not all countries need to go deploying around the world. Jordon is ahead of the curve designing a “super-MBT” in the form of fitting the Falcon 2 (/3) turret to a Challenger 1 chassis. The new turret has a fully automatic 120mm gun with the crew housed below the hull line (i.e. under the turret not in it). It's arguably the best tank out there and emphasises crew survivability. Jordanian Falcon:


Russia's tank development is largely stagnating, China and Iran are still playing catch-up whilst Japan and Korea are spending mega-bucks on something, but we'll have to wait and see which way they'll jump.

Personally, I think the edge will la with the heavy weight MBTs. The crunch will come if the regime change brigade suddenly invade a country who is deploying heavy MBTs, and their new fangled lighter future MBT alturantives face off against 60 ton chunks of Chobham.

But that sooner or later a weapon will come along that will make tanks obsolete. Maybe it’ll be lasers, maybe fuel-air-explosives.



[edit on 2-5-2006 by planeman]

[edit on 2-5-2006 by planeman]



posted on May, 2 2006 @ 08:19 AM
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Originally posted by Seekerof

Originally posted by emile
We have already known that US had developed 140mm gun but China too. I have had a photo showed 140mm gun was fixed on ZTZ-99 be tested.

That larger caliber gun will also reduce the economy of the "ZTZ-99" tank.
The added weight and caliber size may allow greater pentration, but the U.S Army has determined that the 120mm/M256 that is currently in use is sufficient enough of a main gun armament to destroy any MBT that it may encounter.


Still the 140mm approach seems to be considered by several militaries... apart from chinese and american tests, also the Russians did experiment and there are also 2 independent demonstrators on Leopard 2 basis by Germany and Switzerland:








Originally posted by planeman
Good topic.

My personal observation is that near-future tank design will follow two separate and directly opposed evolutions.

One evolution, led by US, UK and France, leads to lighter more deployable systems suitible to global deployment b heavylift aircraft (MBTs are generally too heavy).

...


When it comes to tactically air-transportable equipment, I´d rather say that Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall have the developmental lead... with little exceptions all their development - since the reorientation of the Bundeswehr (or most other western militaries) following the reunification of Germany - has focused on products that emphasize air-transportability, mod-ability, automation (autoloaders, crewless turrets, remote weapon stations etc...) and rapid insertion. Many of these are pushing the envelope, and unlike many other designs all of these (apart from the AGM) are in service or will enter shortly.


A400m (some also C-160/C-130) optimized:
Puma IFV, with modular armor. If this does well on the export market, it is considered to try and develop a semi-MBT from it.
GTK Boxer APC, with changeable mission modules
AGM, a selfsufficient PzH 2000-adopted turret module that can be mounted on any vehicle that carries its weight, comparable performance to the full-blown PzH 2000 (which is not tactically air-transportable)
Fennek, scout vehicle with good protection, high independence and low visibility
Dingo 1 and 2, mine-protected, fully armored against 7.62mm Nato AP, on UNIMOG chassis -> cheap to maintain, great performance


Also transportable by CH-53 (and the upcoming Eurocopter HTH):
Wiesel 1 and 2, IMO the most radical airborne troop support vehicle in service (8 of those can fit into an A400M!)
Mungo, mine-protected, semi-armored airborne troops "mothership"

(Note: all these links are from the Krauss-Maffei Wegmann site, but most of them are co-developed/produced with Rheinmetall DeTec)

Now dont get me wrong, I dont say that any of these are capable of performing the roles of current MBTs, but in order to develop an extreme design like an airtransportable MBT, one has to explore the possibilities and limitations of each of its system components independently; and I don´t think that anyone denies that post-war german MBT technology has to hide before anyone else. IMO this full-scale development is being lead by "ze Germans".

On another note, KMWeg and GIAT might develop a 15-20t 6x6 modular multirole vehicle, which should go into the design direction of the GTK Boxer. This would be a direct contender to the swiss Piranha (Lav, Stryker...). The interesting implication here is that this might lead to a permament cooperation in the line of Airbus and Eurocopter...





[edit on 2/5/2006 by Lonestar24]



posted on May, 2 2006 @ 08:35 AM
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Future tank trends are leading to the reintroduction of light/medium weight tanks. Tank gun technology, APFSDS technology and ATGM technology are evolving very rapidly and currently the only way to stop these are by putting more armour blocks on your tank. Even the Challenger 2, Leo 2A6 and the M1A2 can only defend against real APFSDS on the frontal turret area where its armour is thickest but anywhere else, it would be easily penetrated by modern shells and missiles. Especially with the introduction of new top attack ATGMs where the missile can be lighter and would still promise a deadly result because the top armour of tanks are only a few inches thick which can be easily penetrated by a warhead.

Future tanks will be lighter, more agile, retain the same firepower however able to engage enemies far away from what itself can be engaged. Future tanks would only need 30mm APFSDS protection, it must rely on network eccentric combat management and battlefield intelligence softwares to engage enemies at stand off ranges. Additional protection shall be provided by a variety of active defense and passive defense systems. All these traits can be seen in the FCS program on the future tank that would replace the M1A1s and A2s.

140mm gun tested by China is said to be able to produce 2x the impact energy as a 55 calibre 120mm gun, that would mean it could probably penetrate up to 1500mm RHa using tungsten penetrators and probably using more with special alloy penetrators. Current L55 can achieve 1750ft/s muzzle velocity and the newest Chinese 125mm smoothbore can achieve 1780ft/s muzzle velocity, the truth is in tank gun technology, the world is pretty much on the same level with a few countries having a little head start by developing possible evolutionary tank guns like the 140mm guns and the 152mm guns, it seems that America has no interest in going into a bigger shell diameter of a bigger calibre tank gun, but America is relying on the developement of different tank shells like the ATK. The following is an article on the ATK:

ATK Achieves Success in Mid Range Munition Test

ATK Demonstrates In-flight Maneuverability at Mach 4

ATK's Rocket Motor Design Enhances Lethality at Beyond Line of Sight Range

Minneapolis, May 1, 2006 ・ス Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK) announced today that it has successfully demonstrated maneuverability of its guided Mid Range Munition Kinetic Energy (MRM-KE) precision projectile. The test took place at the Yuma Proving Grounds, Yuma Ariz.,

ATK fired the round from an M1 Abrams main battle tank. After exiting the barrel, the rocket motor ignited to propel the round to a speed of approximately Mach 4. During the test flight, the projectile performed a series of pre-programmed maneuvers designed to assess its agility in a high Mach regime. All test objectives were achieved. In addition to maneuvering, the round achieved its range target of more than five and one half miles.

ATK・スs unique projectile design employs a number of embedded thrusters that give it significant maneuvering capability at high speeds. At the same time, by limiting the number of moving parts, the round is capable of surviving the significant G-forces associated with gun-launched projectiles. The MRM-KE projectile will provide the U.S. Army with an advanced weapon system designed to defeat enemy targets at significant stand-off ranges.

・スThis test is a significant milestone in the MRM program and clearly establishes ATK as a leader in the development of next-generation precision kill weapons,・ス said Dave Wise, Vice President and General Manager, ATK Mission Systems Advanced Weapons Division.

ATK will use the test data from this successful flight to continue development of the program. The company plans to perform a first-ever guided and boosted test flight of its MRM-KE later this year.

The MRM program is jointly developed and managed by Army Research and Development Command (ARDEC) and the Office of the Project Manager ・ス Maneuver Ammunition Systems (OPM-MAS) at Picatinny Arsenal, NJ.





posted on May, 2 2006 @ 10:36 AM
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Some good posts with good info.

Lonestar, I agree that Germany is up there with US, UK and France re air-deployability, I just culled the list for ease of reading.


Still the 140mm approach seems to be considered by several militaries... apart from chinese and american tests, also the Russians did experiment and there are also 2 independent demonstrators on Leopard 2 basis by Germany and Switzerland

Indeed. Us Brits are also looking towards 140mm. Few details are available except to say that this is an image of a 16 round 140mm auto-loader for the "UK Future Tank" developed by Claverham in UK (same guys who designed the autoloader for the Falcon turret):







[edit on 2-5-2006 by planeman]



posted on May, 2 2006 @ 05:54 PM
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Just ran across these mentions from a 2005 Globalsecurity.org article:


The 120 mm XM291 Gun used enhancements developed by Watervliet Arsenal (WVA) and Benet Laboratories to improve gun performance. Compatibility for refit to the M1A1 or M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank was another design requirement. Gun enhancements include improved breech design, thermal shroud, modular recoil design, and improved firepower. The cannon can be increased in caliber, if required, to 140mm with a simple tube change.


And:


The latest tanks are already well armed with guns of 120mm or 125mm, which are capable of defeating heavy armor, and their performance can be stretched further. However, there are indications that, even at their best, these guns will not be able to defeat the kinds of armour that are being developed for future tanks. In that situation, it is necessary to resort to guns of larger calibre, and several countries have been working for some time on 140mm guns that fire APFSDS projectiles with twice the muzzle energy of those fired by the current 120mm tank guns. As part of this development, the German firm of Rheinmetall has mounted its 140mm gun in a Leopard 2 tank. The Swiss Federal Construction Works has also mounted its 140mm gun in a Leopard 2.

These experiments indicate that the retrofitting of 140mm guns in the existing tanks is possible. But it presents a number of major problems. In particular, 140mm rounds are large and heavy, which makes them difficult, if not impossible, to manhandle. As a result they require automatic loading systems, and this implies major changes to tank turrets and a reduction in the size of tank crews from four to three men.

The UK, Germany and France are working on a 140mm tank gun. While these can be fitted to tank turrets, the size of the rounds and the need for an autoloader make the practicality of this doubtful. One option may be to adopt an assault gun configuration capable of high elevation fire. A 140mm high velocity gun could be at least equal in range to a 155mm howitzer [5.5" (140mm) were the standard medium field piece of the British Army in the Second World War]. A 140mm gun on an assault gun body could be a useful weapon system both for divisional artillery and to reinforce armored or infantry attacks. The only problems with this idea at present is that the prototype 140mm gun is smoothbore, and no 140mm Guided projectiles currently exist.
Future Combat System (FCS)


So basically, both the M1A1 and M1A2 are upgradable to accommodate a 140mm main gun armament.






seekerof



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