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The (Many)

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posted on Jan, 1 2008 @ 08:27 PM
Been reading the Challenger II thread, seems a lot of contention about whether or not Iraqi T-72s were representative of Russian armour etc - well what surprises me is that the debate always centres around the M1A2 Abrams, T-90 and Challenger II.... it surprises me because there are many many comparable tanks around the world. Which is best? - I don't know, but there's not a lot in it.

"Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest tank of them all?"

"well, there's Princess Ariete from Italy...

"and then there's this Chinese cutie.... Type-99 will blow your socks off given half the chance!

"Staying in Asia, why not test drive of an over-priced Korean family hatchback; the Black Panther?

"Or if you prefer a Mitsubishi, how about a spin in the Type-90:

"and for curry lovers, the Indian Arjun

"or the great unknown quantity, the Iranian Zullllfigar-3

"and even though she's been mounted by just about every tanker in NATO, there's still plenty of go in this German minx, the Leopard II

OK, I'm bored now, but you get my drift.

[edit on 1-1-2008 by planeman]

posted on Jan, 2 2008 @ 01:07 PM
these two would like to join the fray;

Olifant Mk2 (South Africa)

Al-Khalid MBT (Pakistan)

can they play? please...

[edit on 1.2.08 by toreishi]

posted on Jan, 2 2008 @ 06:14 PM
I'm guessing the Iranian is a knock-off of the Abrams?

Shattered OUT...

posted on Jan, 2 2008 @ 08:27 PM
you'd be guessing wrong I think although the outward resemblance is remarkable.

posted on Jan, 2 2008 @ 08:56 PM
What a fluke that the silhouette produced so closely resembles that of the M1 and so does the design of the turret and tank hull.

Shattered OUT...

posted on Jan, 3 2008 @ 02:46 PM
reply to post by ShatteredSkies

I believe they ARE M-1's. not M-1 A1's but the original 80's M-1s. During the mid and late 80's we supplied Iran with all sorts of goodies. Tanks were just one of the items we gave them. I do think they have made them their own with indigenous technology, not sure about the armor and the engines on the Iranian produced versions either.

We also gave them F-16's and supplied Israel with F-15's that they later sold to Iran!

It's a strange world.

posted on Jan, 3 2008 @ 02:59 PM
reply to post by Tinhatman

Theres no evidence that the U.S. supplied the Iranians with M1s. Its possible that they designed the tank based on the M1 because they LOVED it.

posted on Jan, 3 2008 @ 03:51 PM
reply to post by deltaboy

Yeah, I have looked into it. Seems the Iranian MBT is made up of bits and peices of M-60's, T-72's, and Challengers.

There is circumstantial evidence that many M1's that did not recieve the DU upgrade and weapons upgrade were "knowingly" sold on the blackmarket to all sorts of customers around the world. Also it is reported that Egypt sold under 50 units to Iran prior to September 11th 2001 under a deal that was "supervised" by the CIA. Of course, the sources for such things are questionable. To doubt the ability of the US government, who is well known to be the largest arms dealer in the world, to sell items to foreign countries that should not be sold to them is to not truly understand what the US government is capable of.

But alas, the Zulfiqar 3 is not an M1

posted on Jan, 3 2008 @ 04:33 PM
I was merely stating that it had striking similarities to the M1.

Shattered OUT...

posted on Jan, 3 2008 @ 11:02 PM
Here are some thoughts of a Russian general whose entire life is all about tank warfare.

The clip of the original interview is somewhere on youtube, but I’m too lazy to look for it now.

He flat out said that the only two Western contenders that present a real threat are Leo-II and Leclerc.

He specifically pointed out that surprisingly Leo-II is still following the King Tiger philosophy, thus making it a powerful, well armored and heavy defensive tank.

The main problem with tank use in European theater is the any tank over 60 tons is limited to defensive operations only.

Roads are to narrow, bridges are also narrow and too old to hold the weight, while soft top soil takes classic maneuvering tactics out of the equation as it was clearly documented in the end of WWII.

Allied tanks outflanked and hit King Tigers from sides/rear by hopping across soft fields while Tigers were locked to paved roads.

Leo-II is a heavy, hard hitting tank that can only operate from well prepared, well known and marked positions.

Second serious problem is the lack of an autoloader, which severely limits tanks firepower and ability to fire on the move, thus forcing it to fire from level ground and low speed in order to allow the loader to operate. Numerous injuries and even deaths occur to this day when the cannon recoils into the loader if he gets bounced around and does not get into his position in time.

While loader can initially provide fast fire rate, he’s only human, he can’t sustain continues fire rate and other then fatigue, any kind of injury will simply leave the tank completely useless.

Other serious problems are dropping of the round and having to secure it, which happens often on maneuvers and dummy rounds are used to train loaders to properly secure a loose round.

That’s why that Russian General regarded the Leclerc as a very serious opponent. It is actually in the medium 50 ton weight category, it is very maneuverable, it has a very sophisticated and advanced FCS, sensors, a good autoloader, and while initial power pack problems were quiet serious in early models, it seems like they have been worked out.

Mitsu also has a good autoloader and an even better FCS system which is said to be simply the most sophisticated in the world, it’s VERY maneuverable, but its armor strength and defensive suit has been questioned and though as outdated.

All in all, as it stands, T-90 Vladimir (or is it Barce?) holds the world record out shooting Leo-2 in both fire rate, distance and accuracy, it outmaneuvers every current MBT over rugged terrain (T-80 outruns it in speed on milder terrain though), has the longest reach with main gun launched ATGMs and has proved its ability to reliable engage and destroy armored targets from 6,000 meters, it has the best passive and active armor/defensive systems which proved them selves against every attack imaginable.

Correct me if I’m wrong because I haven’t been up to speed lately, but so far only T-80/90 are able to defend them selves against air attacks by using ATGMs and air burst rounds, a round which is also very successfully been used to clear RPG teams in Chechen wars.

As usual, just my two cents.

posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 03:33 AM
Just wanted to add, in joint filed field competition trials Merkava 3 completely dominated and outperformed Abrams units in every respect.

FCS, sensors, suspension stability/strength, engine service life, total operational hours before required maintenance, damage absorption and crew survivability (both HEAT and kinetic), and operational range.

Ironically, after the Lebanese disaster, even Merkava 4s will no longer be produced. Instead Israel will be purchasing the very tank that the previous generation Merkava completely dominated over and over. That’s politics for you.

Even conceptually Abrams is completely unacceptable for IDF. It’s just too big to maneuver in their areas of operations, and is simply softer then M4. At least M4s bounce RPG-7s like they were pencils, while Abrams letting RPG-7s through even now.

Even though having the ability to carry 8 troops is absolutely outstanding for urban warfare, I still think it’s the front engine mounting that resulted in such losses to Russian ATGMs.

As I said before HEAT blast will almost always stall diesel or gas turbine engine, it’s how fast a tank can restart and continue to fight back that matters.

This is where solid APU is extremely important.

Abrams M1A1s APU was located in the left rear of the bustle rack and was easily taken out by shrapnel or a 12.7mm round.

M1A2s APU was not relocated even after it was specifically identified as a major soft spot.

Only after mounting losses the final M1A2SEP modification relocated the APU under the main armor, under its current designation of UAAPU.

All A2SEP are rebuilt variants of A1s and A2s, and the “modification” was basically getting rid of the generator and replacing it with a voltage regulated battery pack.

How about that?

One change in store for the M1A2 SEP, based on lessons learned from Operation Iraqi Freedom, will be a new auxiliary power supply, Szydlosky said. That basically means adding batteries to a voltage regulator on the SEP, he explained.

"The regulator now is older technology, and by tweaking that we can get more out of the batteries," he said. By using batteries, the tankers can run the vehicle's electronics without turning on the engine.

All of the SEP mods were supposed to be completed by 07, but how many were actually done and made it to Iraq is still a mystery, unless somebody knows and can let me know.

This is how it is as far as I know, even though is an OLD sarticle;

The Army has funds through 2007 to finish outfitting the M1A2 SEP tanks, said Harris, who noted that it is possible that funding could be stretched out for a few more years. In the fiscal year 2005 defense appropriations bill, the SEP program received $292 million.

"We are not converting all the M1A2s into SEP," Szydlosky noted. A few years from now, the 1st Cavalry Division, 4th Infantry Division and 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment will be the only ones to have the SEP, he said.

By fiscal year 2009, a good chunk of the remaining tanks will be converted to M1A1 AIM tanks, while other M1A1 tanks will receive certain modifications, according to Szydlosky. The AIM is a completely rebuilt M1A1, Szydlosky explained. The 2005 defense appropriations bill allotted $116.9 million for M1A1 modifications.

I remember that between 2004 and 2005 129 M1A2s were supposed to be upgraded to SEP, and know for sure that 1st Cavalry Division began switching to SEPs back in 2001, but don’t know how many of them they actually have at the time.

Why is external APU such a problem? Because it’s a soft spot that allows foot soldiers to kill the tank.

Iraqis would use NSV to blast the rear of the bustle with a burst which busts the APU, fuel leaks out and ignites over the battery pack, and then an RPG hit stalls the turbine, leaving the tank completely immobilized. With out the APU the turbine can’t be restarted, all of which results in total power loss, thus turning 70 tons of metal into a sitting duck.

And this is what the Israelis are buying after their Merkava 4s were blasted by Russian made ATGMs.

Here’s what the target looks like, and that’s what Iraqis are aiming for to this day;

Hull mounted APUs were used up until about 1993, after that the turret mounted APU was introduced in the M1A1 Heavy Common. Original M1A2s still had turret bustle APUs as well. The M1A2 SEP (Systems Enhancement Program) has an internal APU mounted in the left side of the rear hull.

About a year ago I’ve seen a clip on CNN where an Iraqi was firing a 14.5mm PTRD at an Abrams and he was obviously aiming for the APU.

From that point RPG teams engaged from the side and burned the stalled tank down.

If Iraqis get their hands on RPG-29s, then the “conflict” will turn into a massacre of all allied armor vehicles.

ATGMs hit the Israelis again when they attacked Lebanon.

Plenty of YouTube clips show arguably the best HEAT armored “Western” tank taking hits and burning down.

Here’s one of them;

Merkavas front mounted engine while protecting the crew and allowing room in the rear for 8 troops, takes the brunt of the hit and immobilizes the tank for an easy follow up kill shot.

So far the only tanks tested against dual warheads and passed are all of Russian origin.

If anybody knows of any testing done on Western armor against dual warheads let me know, I’m really interested.

posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 06:50 AM
One more, here it is;

Another Abrams was disabled near Karbala after a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) penetrated the rear engine compartment and one was lost in Baghdad after its external auxiliary power unit was set on fire by medium-calibre fire.

And for the open minded;


The Abrams tank armor system was not really put to the test during military operations in Iraq. There were virtually no reported hits on the highly protected frontal arc or on the “heavy” ballistic skirts; all tank losses to enemy fire were defeated from the top, side and rear. Iraqi soldiers had clearly familiarized themselves with the capabilities of American tanks during operation Desert Storm and avoided engaging them in direct battle. For example, there were no reported cases of anti-tank guide missiles (ATGM) being fired at any US army vehicle. At the same time, Iraqi resistance fighters, whose ranks were bolstered by scores of trained Iraqi soldiers, have clearly learned to exploit the vulnerabilities of the US systems. They managed to destroy up to 20 enemy tanks even with their antiquated light anti-tank weapons, mostly Soviet rocket-propelled grenades such as the RPG-7 or its Chinese and Egyptian variants, with rounds developed in the 1970s-early 1980s. The results of combat operations show that the side armor of the Abrams tank is completely inadequate to fire from light anti-tank weapons, including older generation weapons, making these tanks unsuitable for operations in built-up areas.

For example, in a widely-discussed incident, an M1 tank from the 2nd Battalion, 70th Armor Regiment, 1st Armor Division was hit and disabled during a routine patrol on 28 August 2003. The American press, deluded by its own reports of the “invulnerability” of the Abrams, claimed that some kind of “secret weapon” was responsible for the damage. In fact, published photographs clearly show that the offending weapon was none other than a simple RPG. The hollow-charged jet penetrated the side skirt and turret ring and continued into the crew compartment as it disintegrated before finally coming to rest after boring a cluster of craters 30-50 mm deep in the hull on the far side of the tank. The crew was lucky to have suffered only minor shrapnel wounds as the projectile passed through the gunner’s seatback and grazed his flak jacket. On April 2, 2003 an RPG attack from the side disabled another tank by penetrating the turret’s hydraulic drive.

The side protection of the M1 turret is also inadequate. On 7 April 2004 an anti-tank RPG penetrated the side of the turret resulting in serious wounds to two crew members. The top of the tank is equally vulnerable, and even the glacis was easily defeated by anti-tank weapons. For example, on April 10, 2004 a tank was hit on the right side of the glacis by an RPG fired from an overpass and destroyed. Additional measures designed to increase protection for the Abrams tank have showed mixed results. Halon firefighting gear has proven largely ineffective. Practically all secondary fires resulting from enemy fire, engine breakdown or overheating destroyed the tank completely. For example, the 7 April attack noted above ignited the tanker’s personal effects attached to the outside of the turret, and since the crew had abandoned the vehicle, the fire was left unchecked, while on 10 April, fuel leaked out of a damaged fuel tank and ignited. Externally stored items, including on one occasion an external auxiliary power unit (EAPU), caught fire on several occasions and led to catastrophic losses. On the other hand, the vulnerability caused by externally stored items only underlined the wisdom of storing ammunition in a separate compartment protected by blast doors, which contained fires and saved the crew when the main rounds ignited.

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