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A history of excellence: British tanks

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posted on May, 5 2006 @ 10:21 PM
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Thank you for the prompt response. I am embarrassed that I let the "multi fuel" designation pass me by. I generally recognize that and know what it means. I was dead set on the Leopard having a gas turbine whether or not. More proof people “see” what they want to see. Ugh!







[edit on 5/5/2006 by donwhite]




posted on May, 5 2006 @ 10:56 PM
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You have voted planeman for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month.



posted on May, 5 2006 @ 10:57 PM
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Future British tanks

I am on the search for any British next generation tank technology projects that might hint at what is to come next.

Current leads:
Claverham: developing a 140mm autoloader for the "UK Future Tank"
QinetiQ: Describe themselves as expert in "electromagnetic (EM) and electro-thermal chemical (ETC) guns" -what does this mean? They describe it as: "The electro-thermal chemical gun
When we test fired the gun in the company's unique electromagnetic launch facility, we achieved more than 50% greater performance than a conventional gun with the same internal dimensions."
QinetiQ website quote: "Current programmes include IST 120mm system enhancement, targetry and special projects."
QinetiQ: Warhead fuzing imnprovements: "Members of our Surface to Surface Systems team have developed new concepts for fuzing Ottawa-compliant anti-vehicle mine systems, using a combination of seismic, acoustic and infra red techniques. They provide passive detection and identification, and can provide a firing solution that?s suitable for a variety of lethal mechanisms."
QinetiQ: Pladtic tank - see new thread(!)

BAE Systems, who have taken over Vickers are also a good place to look. I think that we should all set out to find out what cutting edge technologies the Brits have up their famously innovative sleeves.

[edit on 5-5-2006 by planeman]



posted on May, 5 2006 @ 11:20 PM
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Originally posted by donwhite
...

The German's Leopard powerplant is by MTU. Followed by the initials, MB. Mercedes-Benz? But it is rated at 1500 hp.


Mercedes-Benz is only a car brand by Daimler-Benz (now Daimler-Chrysler). If anything then MB would stand for "Maybach Benz", which was the name of MTU before the company was reorganized. But I really dont know it exactly, but it certainly doesnt say "Mercedes-Benz"



The powerplant in the Abrams is by AGT. I guess AGT stands for American Gas Turbine. I thought Chrysler made this engine at the outset. Rated at the same 1500 hp as the Leopard. This sounds to me like it’s the same engine as used in the Leopard.


The turbine is by the Allison Engine Company, now a daughter of Rolls Royce. I´d rather say that "AGT-1500" refers to "Allison Gas Turbine, 1500hp". But again, I dont know for sure.


Pictures make me think the Leopard and Abrams came off the same drawing board.


They "did". Both are influenced by experiences from the failed Kpz/MBT-70 project. Given the history of sub-par tanks the Americans had made before that, some say that the MBT-70 project mainly was tto milk the german tank knowledge. In the end the Abrams became to a degree a collection of parts from others, and I say this without malice. The gun first from the Brits, then German, british armor technology, german gearbox design by Renk, the tracks are designed by Diehl...


Both tanks weigh 62 tons. Or tonnes as the Brits like to spell it. So why is the Leopard's top speed given as 72 kph (45 mph) but the Abrams at the same weight and same power is given as 67 km/h (42 mph.) I guess it is gearing, if these numbers are accurate and not just PR for the consuming public. Maybe the Germans use the Autobahn? The lower top speed would give the Abrams fractionally better acceleration. Fractionally.


Not necessarily, it also depends on the torque. However, max speeds are always road speeds, and never accurate. The speeds are only the official figure, and also the speed at which operation is safe. Every Leopard 2 for example can drive 80km/h, and a well-maintained one can scratch the 100km/h on a flat road with enough space. You can however hear the tracks, wheels and gears wince in pain



More important is the range. Leopard is given at 500 km. (310 miles.) A suspicious number. The Abrams is given at 391 km, (240 miles) a more believable number although not a guarantee that either is correct. After hearing about the short range of the Abrams, I'm inclined to believe its number, but dubious of the Leopards.


The numbers are correct. The Leopard 2 has a road range of 500km/h. Older versuions even up to 550km/h, but that decreased somewhat because the weight of the tank increased with the update programs. In any case one has to keep in mind that these ranges are under ideal circumstances.

There is a reason why the MTU 781 line and its successors can be found in the Korean K1 tank, the Merkava IV, the Leclerc tropicalisée, the chinese Type 99, probably the Challenger 2 after the next improvement programme... and maybe a few more I dont know of



posted on May, 5 2006 @ 11:45 PM
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Another find through internet research; the BAE Systems CV-90-120 "tank"

Basically this is the originally Swedish CV-90 vehicle with a 120mm main gun(!). It would be air-mobile and have the same firepower as an MBT but presumably less arrmor although BAE Systems (who own Vickers and Alvis) has access to numerous advanced armours including the "plastic armor", electronic armor and Chobham.


Interesting fact: BAE Systems own the companies that manufacture the Bradley, M113, Paladin and numerous other US armored vehicles including future programs.



posted on May, 6 2006 @ 02:34 AM
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Originally posted by planeman
I can't be bothered with a pointless Challenger-v-Abrams-v-Leopard argument but i can add this in to the pot:

It's a Challenger with a fully automatic L50 120mm main gun in a crewless turret.


But still the leopard has a better main gun L55. Besides, a fully automatic gun can't be count as an advantage. Normally, it makes them fire slower than with the use of common crew mussles.

[edit on 6-5-2006 by Mdv2]



posted on May, 6 2006 @ 02:39 AM
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Given that most of these near-future tanks will be air mobile, I'd like to hear your speculations about armor. Will smaller and potentially cheaper tanks lead to a new era of hard-to-kill-vehicles, or, will they be somehow more vulnerable to main gun rounds?

I take it as a given that near future man-portable systems will be able to kill almost any tank. M1A2 Abrams in Iraq are vulnerable to the old but trusted RPG-7 when those are used in large numbers.

From where I sit, doing research for my next book, it seems likely that future tanks will rely on composites and applique to do what traditional thick alloy has done with Chobham. Even if we assume the development of some sort of active area defense, and ECM, I still wonder abou the survivability of these vehicles.

Will we be trading quality for quantity?



posted on May, 6 2006 @ 02:40 AM
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Originally posted by donwhite
Thank you for the prompt response. I am embarrassed that I let the "multi fuel" designation pass me by. I generally recognize that and know what it means. I was dead set on the Leopard having a gas turbine whether or not. More proof people “see” what they want to see. Ugh!



The gas turbines makes the Abrams more silent, which is really an advantage in some situations.

[edit on 6-5-2006 by Mdv2]



posted on May, 6 2006 @ 04:45 AM
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have you actaully heard an M1? i can safely say they are far from silent!



posted on May, 6 2006 @ 06:03 AM
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Originally posted by planeman
Future British tanks
:
Claverham: developing a 140mm autoloader for the "UK Future Tank"
QinetiQ: Describe themselves as expert in "electromagnetic (EM) and electro-thermal chemical (ETC) guns" -what does this mean? They describe it as: "The electro-thermal chemical gun
When we test fired the gun in the company's unique electromagnetic launch facility, we achieved more than 50% greater performance than a conventional gun with the same internal dimensions."


Electrothermal-Chemical (ETC) technology is an advanced gun propulsion candidate that can substantially increase gun performance with less system burden than any other advanced gun propulsion technology. It has been under development since the mid 1980s.

ETC uses electrical energy to augment and control the release of chemical energy from existing or new propellants, and can significantly improve the performance of existing conventional cannons, both direct fire (e.g., tanks) and indirect fire (e.g., howitzers and Navy guns). The electrical energy is used to create a high-temperature plasma, which in turn both ignites the propellants and controls the release of the chemical energy stored in the propellants during the ballistic cycle.

en.wikipedia.org...



posted on May, 6 2006 @ 07:35 AM
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absolutely measured M1 is loud as hell, but when compared to older tanks it purrs like a kitten.
You can hear T-55 coming 5km away
(btw sounds scary)
and a T-72 about 2km away, Leo-2 from 1km... M1 probably 500m away

(leclerc is quiet too, in my personal opinion)



posted on May, 6 2006 @ 08:50 AM
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Originally posted by Justin Oldham
Given that most of these near-future tanks will be air mobile, I'd like to hear your speculations about armor. Will smaller and potentially cheaper tanks lead to a new era of hard-to-kill-vehicles, or, will they be somehow more vulnerable to main gun rounds?

I take it as a given that near future man-portable systems will be able to kill almost any tank. M1A2 Abrams in Iraq are vulnerable to the old but trusted RPG-7 when those are used in large numbers.

From where I sit, doing research for my next book, it seems likely that future tanks will rely on composites and applique to do what traditional thick alloy has done with Chobham. Even if we assume the development of some sort of active area defense, and ECM, I still wonder abou the survivability of these vehicles.

Will we be trading quality for quantity?

A book? You must know far more than me already on this topic but since you ask, I think you are about right. Several countries/companies (notably in UK and USA) are already working with composite armored vehicles.

Another likelihood is "electric armor", another British invention (cough) which makes a compariatively lightly armoured vehicle almost imune to shaped charge warheads.

We are already seeing the increasing adoption of "slat armor" such as on the STRYKERs deployed to Iraq. This is lightweight and can be added to almost any armored vehicle.

Other factors will be crewless turrets to increase survivability and active defence, which now even the US is playing with.


Originally posted by Justin MdV2
But still the leopard has a better main gun L55. Besides, a fully automatic gun can't be count as an advantage. Normally, it makes them fire slower than with the use of common crew mussles.
Well as you know most Leopard 2s have the L44 not L55. both the L44 and L55 are excellent guns and yes they are arguably better than the challenger's rifled gun but it's a two way road. As previously discussed the British approach is that having a rifled gun allows you to fire HESH rounds which are useful for general purpose use like against buildings, where APFSDS is both expensive and less effective. Also HESH is longer ranged. This philosophy has been proven of some merit in Iraq.

Re autoloaders, you are correct, especially when compared to older auto-loaders which existed when the Challenger/Leopard2/Abrams were being developed. Autoloaders are getting quicker and have aditional advantages in terms of crew numbers and, in the future, crewless turrets.

Autoloaders will also be essential if we go down the 140mm route simply because of the weight of the round.

Lastly, some Challengers have been fitted with L50 smoothbore and autoloader.



posted on May, 6 2006 @ 09:10 AM
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Originally posted by planeman


Originally posted by MdV2
But still the leopard has a better main gun L55. Besides, a fully automatic gun can't be count as an advantage. Normally, it makes them fire slower than with the use of common crew mussles.



Originally posted by planeman
Well as you know most Leopard 2s have the L44 not L55.


You are right, most SERIE II models have the L44, however the newest model, the 2 A6 has the L55 gun, which is on the market for 2-3 years now.



posted on May, 6 2006 @ 09:26 AM
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Originally posted by Mdv2
You are right, most SERIE II models have the L44, however the newest model, the 2 A6 has the L55 gun, which is on the market for 2-3 years now.
Has anyone bought it?

at the end of the day all these guns can fire APFSDS and potentially gun-launched ATGWs. and they are all made to look less good when compared with 140mm weapons and/or electrothermic-chemical guns.

To summarise, the Leopard 2's L44/L55 gun has a better muzzle velocity than the Challenger 2's rifled gun, and is generally more accurate. But the Challenger's gun is more versitile (HESH) and the UK, unlike most (all?) Leopard 2 operators, uses DU rounds which have better AP capabilities than the Tungston ones (I'm not a fan of DU BTW).

The HESH round gives the Challenger 2 a greater effective range against 'soft' targets, certainly than the L44 (L50 & L55?).

We must remember that there are several European gun manufacturers all building generally equivilent smoothbore guns: Rheinmartel (sp?), RAUG, GIAT, OTO-Melara and IMI. These weapons all have about the same technology, all have versions that can use autoloaders, and most Western MBTs can be fitted with ANY of these guns. If the customer wanted a Leopard 2 with a GIAT gun it could be done.

At the moment neither the Challenger 2 nor Leopard 2 deploy gun-launched ATGWs although both could in theory (the Israeli's have such a weapon and fire it through a 120mm smoothbore gun which is generally comparable to European 120mm guns).

The biggest disadvantage of the Challenger's gun, IMO, is the two part charge-round which prohibits autoloading as an option. But some say that the two part assembly reduces the risk of combustion in the event of a direct hit because the charge bags are in the turret floor. The validity of that kinda depends on the circumstances I guess.

[edit on 6-5-2006 by planeman]



posted on May, 6 2006 @ 09:37 AM
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Originally posted by planeman

Originally posted by Mdv2
You are right, most SERIE II models have the L44, however the newest model, the 2 A6 has the L55 gun, which is on the market for 2-3 years now.
Has anyone bought it?



Yes:

Germany
Netherlands
Greece
Spain

I'll comment on your reply in detail as soon as I've time



posted on May, 6 2006 @ 09:56 AM
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posted by planeman

Future British tanks

I am on the search for any British next generation tank technology projects that might hint at what is to come next. BAE Systems, who have taken over Vickers are also a good place to look. I think that we should all set out to find out what cutting edge technologies the Brits have up their famously innovative sleeves. Current leads: Claverham: developing a 140mm autoloader for the "UK Future Tank" [Edited by Don W]


At the risk of stating the obvious, over here, annual reports are often a source of “light” data. By -light- I mean data calculated to energize the stock buying public. Hyperbole. But based on reality. Most corporations will forward you an annual report and some are available PDF via the internet.

Since everybody outsources everything nowadays, maybe it would be helpful to construct a block diagram of companies feeding into other companies just for ready reference. One tier supports another tier.

Last, I’d like a list accessible 4 ways, by the person’s name, his school, his degree and his company. Again, for reference. You may already do all this Planeman, but I was just thinking out loud.



posted on May, 6 2006 @ 07:41 PM
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Planeman: After several years of re-inventing myself, I am finally turning in to an independent author. I saw your message, and I like the illustrations. For some reason, I cannot reply, so I'm talking here.

My first book was a political thriller. Google ISBN 1933538325 and you'll see what I've been doing.

In my book I speculate that America will still be at war in 2014. I've written a sequel, but that needs to sit on the shelf for a while. I'd like my next book to be military fiction. I'm still researching, and looking for an agent. No luck with the agent, but my research is going great.

Now, then...somebody mentioned outsourcing. That was my next question. Here in the States, we seem to have no qualms at all when it comes to outsoucing pieces/parts of our military. The same commercial entity that controls Dubai Ports World just bought a UK firm that makes a part for our Joint Strike Fighter.


My question is...will the UK guard its tank production more closely? The Abrams MBT now sports a German gun, Chobham (under license), and other parts coming from other countries. In a 'real' war, we'll have to dust off our old M-60's if things get bad.

I like a good international arms agreement as much as the next guy, but some of this seems to be a little to thoughtless. How does any country fight a serious war when it doesn't make its own gear?



posted on May, 7 2006 @ 12:48 PM
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Originally posted by planeman
As previously discussed the British approach is that having a rifled gun allows you to fire HESH rounds which are useful for general purpose use like against buildings, where APFSDS is both expensive and less effective. Also HESH is longer ranged. This philosophy has been proven of some merit in Iraq.


HESH rounds really are a throwback, the Americans don't use HESH because they have the MPAT a far more versatile High Explosive round.
HESH rounds could be quite easily built to be used with a smoothbore cannon, rifling isn't a prerequisite to being ablr to use HESH.
Also, the main problem with the rifled cannons come to the fore when using AP ammunition. The effectiveness of a sabot is reduced significantly if it spins during flight, the Brits have fixed this problem at considerable expense by developing the DU CHARM-III round, which I believe uses some type of collar which will spin with the rifling but will not spin the DU penetrator.
So anyways the advantages of a smoothbore cannon far out weigh those of a rifled gun.



posted on May, 7 2006 @ 10:43 PM
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a tank is useless once you take out the tracks....

you could have all the armour in the world, hit the tracks

time and time again it will blow off= 1 static tank

[edit on 7-5-2006 by diveplane]



posted on May, 8 2006 @ 03:44 AM
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actually justin the US and the UK will be working on the FCS and Future tank together for a long time to come iirc, rail guns, particle beams, stealth armour...etcI havent heard any new info in a long time.

back in 2000 there was a romur of the us developing a manless 90mm rapid fire tank as the replacement for the abrams then it was the deisel powered abrams m1a3 or m1a4 but as far as i know those have been dropped but I have been out of the loop for several years now.

wish the us would field a warrior like apc, i have never been a big fan of the bradley, I love the one-two punch of the Abrams and the chall2 just wicked.



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