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About modern MBT design philosophy, angled armor and modern ammunition


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Audie_L_Murphy #41 Posted Apr 23 2015 - 19:56

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So when the bad guy shoots the MBT in the front with a HEAT round & doesn't get pen does he yell:  "Fxxxxing RNG!!!"?



blurr91 #42 Posted Apr 23 2015 - 20:10

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View PostAudie_L_Murphy, on Apr 23 2015 - 10:56, said:

So when the bad guy shoots the MBT in the front with a HEAT round & doesn't get pen does he yell:  "Fxxxxing RNG!!!"?

 

Yes.  Yes he does.

KaiserMartens #43 Posted Apr 23 2015 - 20:21

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He probably yells something about allah, actually.

NutrientibusMeaGallus #44 Posted Apr 24 2015 - 00:31

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I wonder what would happen if they filled those spaces between the inner and outer armor with water.... or ballistic gel?

Alceister #45 Posted Apr 24 2015 - 00:56

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View PostJyarbro28, on Apr 22 2015 - 18:53, said:

And I'm still not sure how the Merkava's fuel tanks work as armor, but the Israeli's love them.

 

I also think the Merkava is a sexy tank, does that make me a deviant?

 

  1. the energy behind an exploding shaped charge warhead dissipates rapidly against anything that isn't completely solid. The fuel tanks in the Merkava double as spaced armour more as a way of throwing another obstacle in the way of a shaped charge jet, as part of the Merkava's design philosophy. As for the diesel fuel, I'm not too sure about how effective it is.
  2. The fuel tanks are spread around the entire tank with the exception of the rear. They are arranged in such a way that even if they somehow catch fire, it's not likely to leak into the fighting or engine compartment, as they are heavily compartmentalized and separated from those critical areas by an armoured bulkhead.
  3. The Merkava has a rear door, with ammo stowage in the rear as well.

 

The Merkava does have some appeal, I will admit. That said, I'm more of a fan of the Leclerc.

 

View PostNutrientibusMeaGallus, on Apr 24 2015 - 00:31, said:

I wonder what would happen if they filled those spaces between the inner and outer armor with water.... or ballistic gel?

 

Would add potentially unnecessary weight.

 



NutrientibusMeaGallus #46 Posted Apr 24 2015 - 02:55

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View PostAlceister, on Apr 23 2015 - 18:56, said:

Would add potentially unnecessary weight.

 

   

    Yes but would it help dissipate force better than air currently does? Like would it be enough to be worth the weight?



SquareCanine #47 Posted Apr 24 2015 - 03:06

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I doubt the Diesel fuel is of any importance to the Merkava. They're just making use of the potential available to them, and it just happens the engine runs on diesel, so that's what the tanks are full of. It probably works even better (marginally) when the fuel tanks are full of air.

 

I'd love to be able to fly over to Britain and take a look at some of those documents. Going through what little is readily available to me, it seems pretty likely that each tank is using a different armor composition, though it seems fairly certain that the Americans and British both include ceramics of some sort since the 80's.

 

From stories on encounters, the Challenger 2 would seem to be extremely well protected, even considering the crew injuries. At least against HEAT rounds (which would presumably make up the bulk of the rockets being used against them). It's got to be pretty frustrating to fire a few dozen rockets at a tank and not even disable it.

 

I am surprised tanks don't use more standoff armor though (bars, cages). Keep replacing the expensive wonder armor, or detonate the missile early and make it useless. I mean, the armor is great to have, but why is it plan A?


Edited by SquareCanine, Apr 24 2015 - 03:09.


Alceister #48 Posted Apr 24 2015 - 03:40

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View PostNutrientibusMeaGallus, on Apr 24 2015 - 02:55, said:

   

    Yes but would it help dissipate force better than air currently does? Like would it be enough to be worth the weight?

 

If we are talking about the Leopard 2, then it could actually make the spacing less effective. The arrowhead shape is designed so that the penetrator hits the inner layer at a more oblique angle, if it manages to penetrate the outer layer. A relatively viscous mass inside would interfere with that.

 

View PostSquareCanine, on Apr 24 2015 - 03:06, said:

I doubt the Diesel fuel is of any importance to the Merkava. They're just making use of the potential available to them, and it just happens the engine runs on diesel, so that's what the tanks are full of. It probably works even better (marginally) when the fuel tanks are full of air.

 

I'd love to be able to fly over to Britain and take a look at some of those documents. Going through what little is readily available to me, it seems pretty likely that each tank is using a different armor composition, though it seems fairly certain that the Americans and British both include ceramics of some sort since the 80's.

 

From stories on encounters, the Challenger 2 would seem to be extremely well protected, even considering the crew injuries. At least against HEAT rounds (which would presumably make up the bulk of the rockets being used against them). It's got to be pretty frustrating to fire a few dozen rockets at a tank and not even disable it.

 

I am surprised tanks don't use more standoff armor though (bars, cages). Keep replacing the expensive wonder armor, or detonate the missile early and make it useless. I mean, the armor is great to have, but why is it plan A?

 

Stand-off armour still adds considerable weight. More importantly, it adds bulk, and MBTs have difficulties manoeuvring in urban environments as it is.


Edited by Alceister, Apr 24 2015 - 03:41.


collimatrix #49 Posted Apr 24 2015 - 06:13

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View PostAlceister, on Apr 22 2015 - 02:54, said:

 

The fuel tank is used as a form of semi-spaced armour. From what I've read, it's actually quite interesting: the intent is that the liquid fuel actually helps resist projectiles and shaped charge jets, though I can't explain exactly how. In any case, the fuel tanks are placed in such a way that they're not really right next to the crew compartment.

 

Diesel fuel in a confined cell is surprisingly effective armor against shaped charges.  Ogorkiewicz's Ye Domesday Booke of Tankes has exact figures.  Off the top of my head, I think it's something like 30% more effective, pound for pound, that RHA.  In practice this is lower since you want fancy cellular fuel tanks that don't asplode from the hydrostatic shock of getting nailed by a shaped charge, but since your tank is going to have enormous fuel tanks anyway, it's basically free armor AS LONG AS YOU REMEMBER TO EMPTY THE FRONTAL FUEL CELLS LAST!

 

View PostBlackhorse_Three, on Apr 21 2015 - 21:40, said:

 

The Wikipedia article gives it heavy reference.

 

Also, according to that article, Burlington and Dorchester are informal alternate names for Chobham armor.

 

(Although all of them together may reflect an evolutionary process in the concept - but that's just conjecture on my part).

 

My understanding of the steel foundation of Chobham armor is that the elongated grain-structure, resulting from mill-rolling, is set at an axis perpendicular to the traditional application of rolled plate. That implies that the steel foundation of Chobham is not "plate" at all, but would have been first applied as numerous small blocks as opposed to a simple slab of plate armor. Any tool & die man who ever drilled or machined special-application steels knows how much tougher the steel can be when they're drilling or machining "against the grain".

 

My understanding has always been that the ceramic aspect started-out as an over-laid laminate. The ceramics would have great resistance vs HEAT while the cross-laid mill-roll of the steel would have greater resistance vs APFSDS.

 

But, I'm just an operator, not an engineer.

 

Interesting.  That's the first I'd heard about grain structure manipulation in armor applications.  They do it for jet turbine blades, don't see why not for armor.

 

But generally, everything I've seen that's leaked out, e.g. pictures of battle-damaged tanks, old papers from the '70s, previously classified cross-sections, all suggest that Chobbham armor is mostly NERA*.  So, basically what alternaive said.

 

*With the latest abramses doing some sort of trick with a "DU mesh," which I strongly suspect is a perforated yaw-inducer thingie.



collimatrix #50 Posted Apr 29 2015 - 07:43

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OK, I looked it up, and apparently correctly designed fuel containers can have a mass efficiency of over 3 vs HEAT threats!

LoooSeR78V #51 Posted Apr 29 2015 - 14:40

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View Postcollimatrix, on Apr 29 2015 - 09:43, said:

OK, I looked it up, and apparently correctly designed fuel containers can have a mass efficiency of over 3 vs HEAT threats!

 

How far we are from Explosive Fuelcells Armor? Ukrainian FMBT already use it to protect sides, from inside!

DeRuyter #52 Posted Apr 29 2015 - 17:53

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Another observation about the M1 is the addition of composite panels on the side skirts and the massive shielding on the M2 and the loaders M240. Additions likely brought on by the Iraqi - Afghanistan experiences fighting insurgents armed with RPGs. Note the absence of protection for unbuttoned crew on the Leo and Challenger.

The earlier versions of the M1 (M1 & M1a1) that I trained on didn't have these features.



Strigger___ChatBanned #53 Posted Apr 29 2015 - 22:19

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View PostRaynorShyne, on Apr 14 2015 - 09:18, said:

 

There are thousands of tanks in the world.  T-34/85's Centurions, an even relics from the old IS series are still out there in addition to every dictator in the word grabbing a couple thousand left over T-55's to compliment their front yard.   New developments are constantly evolving.  The best thing to defeat a tank is a tank.   No doubt this very simple, well grounded Army axiom will be lost on the children and arm-chair generals of the videogame world.  I can hear the cries of "but air-fired-anti-tank-missiles-from-drones" now.  Predictions of the death and obsolescence of the tank started about 15 minutes after the Battle of Cambrai and continue to today.   In the infamous words of TF Fehrenbach, "...you may fly over a land forever; you may bomb it, atomize it, pulverize it and wipe it clean of life—but if you desire to defend it, protect it and keep it for civilization, you must do this on the ground, the way the Roman legions did, by putting your young men in the mud."

 

I think Zimbabwe keepw employing T-34-85's as their MBT's, like 10 of them

alternaive #54 Posted Apr 29 2015 - 23:24

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View Postcollimatrix, on Apr 29 2015 - 06:43, said:

OK, I looked it up, and apparently correctly designed fuel containers can have a mass efficiency of over 3 vs HEAT threats!

That must be quite an ellaborate fuel container design.

Normal diesel fuel offers against shaped charges protection on a thickness ratio of 7 to 1 compared to steel (70mm diesel equal 10mm steel) according to M. Gelbart citing General Tal (the man responsible of the Merkava MBTs). Given the density of diesel fuel (~0.83 grams/cm³ ) and armor grade steel (~7.85 grams/cm³ ) this would lead to a mass efficiency of 1.35 vs HEAT. According to a study water has a weight effiency of only 0.7 to 0.75 compared to RHA.

 

During the development of the FV4401 Contentious the British designers incorporated sloped & spaced steel plates into the fuel tanks which they found to be quite effective (link to report number). Unluckily I don't have any figures the performance of this fuel tank design against HEAT warheads, but it supposedly provided about 1.2 to 1.3 times as much protection as RHA of the same weight against 120mm APDS/APCBC.

It has been mentioned in one of the previously mentioned articles about the British armor development from the Polish army magazine citing the report on this fuel tank, that it was able to survive a 152mm shaped charge warhead during tests in 1964. This is a bit problematic, as the penetration performance of the warhead aswell as the total length of the fuel tank are unkown - but it could have a mass efficiency of above 2 considering the steel content. 

 

View PostDeRuyter, on Apr 29 2015 - 16:53, said:

Another observation about the M1 is the addition of composite panels on the side skirts

The additional skirts of the Tank Urban Survival Kit consist of ERA manufactured by Ensign-Bickford Aerospace & Defense Company, although I think it is an Isreali design made under licence.

 

View PostDeRuyter, on Apr 29 2015 - 16:53, said:

Note the absence of protection for unbuttoned crew on the Leo and Challenger.

That is mostly a question of doctrine. The Isreali Merkava IV also doesn't have armored shields for the machine gun operators, despite them probably having most experience in urban/assymetrical wafare in the past decades.

It is however possible to add such shields for unbuttoned crew members:

View PostAlceister, on Apr 23 2015 - 23:56, said:

The Merkava has a rear door, with ammo stowage in the rear as well.

Honestly, I think putting the ammo stowage into the rear is a horrible idea. The ammunition is exposed at a much greater arc from the centerline of the tank.

 

View PostSquareCanine, on Apr 24 2015 - 02:06, said:

From stories on encounters, the Challenger 2 would seem to be extremely well protected, even considering the crew injuries. At least against HEAT rounds (which would presumably make up the bulk of the rockets being used against them). It's got to be pretty frustrating to fire a few dozen rockets at a tank and not even disable it.

I don't think that the Challenger 2 is really better protected than the other tanks. The British army has been using the Challenger 2 (and also the Challenger 1 during ODS) only with extremly heavy addon armor packages. The latest versions of the Challenger 2 with additional armor weigh about 75 metric tons.

That such a tank survives against old 1960s and 1970s missiles is not really a surprise. I remember reading an article about the Challenger 2 being hit a few dozen times by RPGs and missiles, where the author specifically mentions how the Challenger 2 survived a MILAN missile. The MILAN ATGM was not designed to take out the latest enemy tanks from the front and the Iraq army only had the oldest version from the 1970s.

 

View PostSquareCanine, on Apr 24 2015 - 02:06, said:

I am surprised tanks don't use more standoff armor though (bars, cages). Keep replacing the expensive wonder armor, or detonate the missile early and make it useless. I mean, the armor is great to have, but why is it plan A?

Bar/cage/slat armor is not ideal. The Danish ministry of defence reported that in their experience from ISAF slat armor provides about a 60% chance of detonating the warhead of a RPG. Slat/cage/bar armor really works only against certain types of RPGs with certain diameters - if you design slat armor against a warhead with 90mm diameter and the enemy uses a RPG with 60mm diameter the chances of the slat armor failing against the RPG are very high.

Against the old RPG-7 it works extremely well, because the wiring of the RPG-7's fuze runs along the walls of the ballistic cap/windshield. So it will likely get disconnected/cut before it fuzes.

 

 

 


Edited by alternaive, Apr 29 2015 - 23:40.


Alceister #55 Posted Apr 30 2015 - 08:33

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View Postalternaive, on Apr 29 2015 - 23:24, said:

Honestly, I think putting the ammo stowage into the rear is a horrible idea. The ammunition is exposed at a much greater arc from the centerline of the tank.

 

Well, it's not exactly exposed: the rear hull is slightly recessed inwards. I would imagine that there's some protection for that area as well.

 

With that said, the Merkava IV apparently has blow-out panels for the turret storage, while the hull storage has individual armoured containers for each shell.



collimatrix #56 Posted Apr 30 2015 - 10:21

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View Postalternaive, on Apr 29 2015 - 23:24, said:

That must be quite an ellaborate fuel container design.

Normal diesel fuel offers against shaped charges protection on a thickness ratio of 7 to 1 compared to steel (70mm diesel equal 10mm steel) according to M. Gelbart citing General Tal (the man responsible of the Merkava MBTs). Given the density of diesel fuel (~0.83 grams/cm³ ) and armor grade steel (~7.85 grams/cm³ ) this would lead to a mass efficiency of 1.35 vs HEAT. According to a study water has a weight effiency of only 0.7 to 0.75 compared to RHA.

 

 

 

Technology of Tanks

 Similarly, some liquids are very effective, in relation to their mass, in resisting
the penetration of shaped charge jets. One of them is diesel fuel which, typically,
has a density of 820 kg/m3. In theory, therefore, its mass efficiency is 3.09 but
experiments show that in practice it can be more than that. This indicates that fuel
cells can be used to increase significantly the protection of tanks against shaped
charges, which has been done in some tanks built since the 1950s, including the
Swedish S-tank and the Israeli Merkava

 

Sadly, no further details were given.



IosacBroc #57 Posted Aug 12 2015 - 18:01

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View PostThe_DireWolf, on Apr 13 2015 - 14:11, said:

I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to modern military stuff, but I have a question- are tanks still actually needed? I don't mean that they are obsolete, but I can't imagine tank v tank warfare im the current age. 

Tanks- a mobile, heavy unit for use in main battle- have always been needed and we've always had them, after a fashion. The earliest civilisations had chariots, later ones used huge horses or even elephants. Getting rid of our tanks- as the Brits and Dutch are doing- is extremely short sighted and will come back to haunt us, I have absolutely no doubt about that. This isn't anything new for the Brits- we've been doing things 'on the cheap' forever, usually at considerable cost to the boor bastards putting their lives on the line.

View PostSquareCanine, on Apr 24 2015 - 03:06, said:

I doubt the Diesel fuel is of any importance to the Merkava. They're just making use of the potential available to them, and it just happens the engine runs on diesel, so that's what the tanks are full of. It probably works even better (marginally) when the fuel tanks are full of air.

 

I'd love to be able to fly over to Britain and take a look at some of those documents. Going through what little is readily available to me, it seems pretty likely that each tank is using a different armor composition, though it seems fairly certain that the Americans and British both include ceramics of some sort since the 80's.

 

From stories on encounters, the Challenger 2 would seem to be extremely well protected, even considering the crew injuries. At least against HEAT rounds (which would presumably make up the bulk of the rockets being used against them). It's got to be pretty frustrating to fire a few dozen rockets at a tank and not even disable it.

 

I am surprised tanks don't use more standoff armor though (bars, cages). Keep replacing the expensive wonder armor, or detonate the missile early and make it useless. I mean, the armor is great to have, but why is it plan A?

 

Like this, you mean? ;)



Zythalin #58 Posted Aug 12 2015 - 19:07

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View PostIosacBroc, on Aug 12 2015 - 18:01, said:

Tanks- a mobile, heavy unit for use in main battle- have always been needed and we've always had them, after a fashion. The earliest civilisations had chariots, later ones used huge horses or even elephants. Getting rid of our tanks- as the Brits and Dutch are doing- is extremely short sighted and will come back to haunt us, I have absolutely no doubt about that. This isn't anything new for the Brits- we've been doing things 'on the cheap' forever, usually at considerable cost to the boor bastards putting their lives on the line.

 

Like this, you mean? ;)

 

Elephants didn't cope with aerial attacks and served mainly intimidation. Armoured horsemen compare better to tanks.

 

Ancient wars focused on melee and cuirasses... So times change.

 

There are many large scale wars possible: bombs, electronic shutdowns, biologic, etc...

 

Additionally infantry weapons improved. Eventually, you're only making yourself a bigger target.

 

At one point they'll become obsolete unless you consider "mobile cannon platform without protection" = "tank".



IosacBroc #59 Posted Aug 14 2015 - 21:16

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"Armoured horsemen compare better to tanks." Y'think? ;)

 

No, I think you're missing the point I was making, Zythalin. There has always been a need for a heavy unit to use in main battle. Even in environments where mounted warfare was impractical- some parts of feudal Japan, or the Scottish highlands during the Age of War, say- a heavy unit has advantages. In the Japanese case, users of odachi/nodachi on foot, usually wearing armour, could effect shock upon the enemy, as could chainmail wearing highlanders weilding claidheamh dà làimh, two handed claymores. Saxon huscarls had a similar role in England prior to the Norman invasion. It doesn't have to be a mounted knight or a Parthian Cataphracti to fulfill that role, the weapon system isn't important, the concept of a heavy main battle unit is.

There were always counters available to regular infantry- spears and pole arms, slings, arrows, quarrels. 'Anti-tank' weapons are nothing new.

We still need a main battle unit. So far, there isn't anything better than a main battle tank available. When there is, it might have a fancy new name (Mech? Titan? Gundam? ;)) but it'll still be a main battle unit. The concept- a heavy maneuver unit- will be the same, regardless of the shape or technology used.

 

On a more serious note, the Brits scrapping their tank fleet, when we have a distressing habit of sticking our nebs into every barney going, is worse than just stupid- it's criminal! If and/or when we get our arses handed to us, the politicians responsible will do exactly what legions of their forebearers did and bay for the blood of the men in charge, hanging out our generals to dry.



Donward #60 Posted Aug 14 2015 - 21:29

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I see Lert has gone pretty far out on a limb with his controversial opening statement. Where would we be without Lert digging deep to discover information on these little known armored fighting vehicles, the Abrams, Challenger and Leopard.




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