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The M1A3.


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Lateral #1 Posted Oct 25 2011 - 00:19

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What changes will occur in the M1A3 variant, in your opinion?

I predict:

Obligatory armor increase.

Possibly a new main gun.

Maybe a different, newer, more efficient turboshaft model- possibly something from a helicopter like the GE T700?

Mechanize #2 Posted Oct 25 2011 - 07:05

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From a few Articles I read a while back at armytimes.com some of the desired new features are.

Fiber optic cables for the entire tank's wiring. which is both lighter and much faster/more reliable then standard wiring, Along with the latest top of the line electronics to go with it.

The 120mm gun from the Cancelled FCS Program. (Memory serve me It's a bit longer at about 50 calibers and also can handle higher pressures then the current M256, Which itself can handle much higher pressures then the original German built version, Feel free to correct anything here that's inaccurate.)

Lightening the tank to around 60-65 tons tops with TUSK 2 yet still upgrading the armor and other passive defense systems that would be simply unmatched compared to other tanks. (Likely with new super hard/light composites I'm guessing like Titanium Diboride and Silicon Carbide which erodes HEAT warhead jets very effectively, Though who knows.)

Additional active defense systems and damage control/mitigation systems to protect against ATGM's. Large IED's and other threats.

New ammo types which will be ready by the time It's rolling off the production lines, (The M829E4, The Successor the the infamous M829A3, The Advanced Multi Purpose Cartridge or AMP which is replacing both of the old heat rounds the M830 and M830A1 and a demolition version of the M830A1, and supposedly the M1111 Mid Range Munition which is a guided munition designed to kill tanks and other hard targets at much greater distances then current rounds with either a shaped charge or kinetic energy top attack projectile.)

That's all that was written but like I said, that's only what they want so far, not the final product, and the only people who really know for sure can't tell us.

IronsightSniper #3 Posted Oct 25 2011 - 07:57

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The M1A2 Abrams already has Silicon Carbide in it's present array. It won't have a lot of it, though, as high-grade ceramics cost a fortune and armoring more than key areas is unfeasible (the M1A2's Side Turret does not have Ceramics).


Everything else is about right, though.

Mechanize #4 Posted Oct 25 2011 - 08:05

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View PostIronsightSniper, on Oct 25 2011 - 07:57, said:

The M1A2 Abrams already has Silicon Carbide in it's present array. It won't have a lot of it, though, as high-grade ceramics cost a fortune and armoring more than key areas is unfeasible (the M1A2's Side Turret does not have Ceramics).


Everything else is about right, though.

Well the thing is if they want to hit their desired weight limit while increasing the armor to unmatched levels they'd more or less have to.

I doubt they'd do it to the entire tank but maybe replace the DU plating on the turret with something like titanium diboride or, If they're trying to save money, Titanium Carbide which is cheaper and easier to make while still being much stronger and harder then DU while having about a fifth of the weight.

IronsightSniper #5 Posted Oct 25 2011 - 23:44

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If they removed the DU in their turret they've basically removed the most important part of the array.

Mechanize #6 Posted Oct 26 2011 - 06:13

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View PostIronsightSniper, on Oct 25 2011 - 23:44, said:

If they removed the DU in their turret they've basically removed the most important part of the array.

The thing DU has going for it is It's density, and while's it harder then steel It's still not nearly as hard or strong/tough and extremely heavy compared to super hard ceramics.

I'm not saying they would remove the DU plating, But if they truly want to shave a whopping 10-15 Tons off the Abrams while Increasing the Armor levels I really don't see any other way they could possibly do it without coming up with ways to reduce the amount of DU currently used in armor array.

Fiber optic cabling would cut about 2 tons, but that still leaves 8-13 to go.

IronsightSniper #7 Posted Oct 26 2011 - 07:26

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It's not about that. The nature of a DU plate, when combined with a Steel-Encased Ceramic component, multiplies the penetrator defeat capability by many fold.

The easiest way to lighten the weight of the Abrams is upgrading it's Steel to UHHS (Ultra High Hardness Steel, >650 BHN from Swedish manufacturers). Since the Abram's armor array composition is around 50% RHA (~300 BHN), replacing it with UHHS, which is around the same density as RHA, will increase the Abram's protective capability by around 50%. But since you need less UHHS to be equivocal to RHA, you can thus, reduce the amount of UHHS needed, thus, reducing overall mass.

You can then therefore, supplement the rest of the Abram's array with Spaced Armor components (perhaps Aluminum w/ Rubber + AIr with Steel Encased SiC), which, thanks to the material's relatively small density, will allow the Abrams to hover around the same mass it has now, except with better overall armor protection, from all sides.

starknight97 #8 Posted Mar 24 2012 - 16:44

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Things they wanted was too get back too original m1 weight. They wanted active defense systems on the tank. Allot the FCS electronics like the living battle field network(real time network and displays like stat feeds and net work up link. Live vid back and forth).
So if they were smart the m1a3 will have systems like this.
#1 Chobham level 2( Dorchester armor) or maybe a even newer Chobham a nano crystal Chobham armor to lighten things up allot and harden them all over some too. Added too this a 3rd generation of DU alloy as a key points reinforcement like the m1ha up.
#2 the 140mm CATTB or XM1203 155mm gun second would be better as it could be both a tank and arty preforming both roles. Yet it'll need a auto loader too lighting things up. If it goes with 140mm gun then a form of the xm1111 missile will be needed for extra range. Of course the living network made in FCS will be part of the electronics upgrade to target out of site or over horizon targets. Then a drone bay( small drones) or pad on top be nice for long range targeting beyond the 5 or 6km horizon.
#3 active defenses yeah the u.s. can catch up finally. Hard kill would most likely be the prefected or 2cd gen trophy system as this system has proven too be the best of the west in tests and the newest can shot down AP rounds. This since quick kill seems such a flop and is so late too the battlefield. Add too this a soft kill systems of HARD HATT( AN/VLQ-6(2cd gen)) Missile Countermeasure Device (MCD) of course a more prefect 2cd generation system though. Then hopefully Improved ERA blocks for soft spots like TUSK package.
#4 all remote machine guns with a manual override. Commanders like too be outside some times it'll be a bit this less with this generation of video gamers though. Maybe replacement for the .50 cal with a Mk 19 auto Grenade Launcher. This will pack a bit more punch and mid range support say vs 3000 Chinese troops on it's own. Move the .50 over too the gunner hatch or keep the 7.62mm. Even a mini gun be nice too yet uses way too much ammo.
#5 electric transmission like the type 10 Japaneses tank so it can pull off a tactical retreat at full speed yet keep front armor on target. Motor a tough one that turbine sweet but is a gas hog and was too big for the tanks transmission and tore it up so the engine got governed down. So lets say the same engine new parts match engines power so she'll be back too full speed 72kph forward and back. Then is a bit more fuel effectiveness on the engine too much ask since it's really the same engine with better parts. Also a Hydropneumatic suspension this is just useful and adds a stronger platform plus you can go hull down easier or just get lower too the ground.
#6 we rule the skies yet every day stuff gets closer too the f22. so some kinda of AA system besides a .50 cal lol. say if you use a 140mm with a mod of XM1111 for it have it as a AA system too. then if you go 155mm then a stinger system even.

Allot of this is wishful thinking but their no reason not too get these systems on her. As we had 2 canceled prototype replacements now the 40ton FCS and xm1203.

Kebab_Removal_Service #9 Posted Mar 26 2012 - 20:48

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when I was in the raf, ive heard rumors of a new generation of tanks, for example a Challenger, modified for Urban Combat with extra protection and Chobham armour all over the vehicle.
So I think the M1A3 will be a example of using Open-Field Combat systems, with Urban Combat elements, not like a Urban Survival Kit, but a new system and armour that can protect it from anything. Ive also heard about a new kind of armour, based on Chobham but with elements of kevlar and something that would stick to any projectiles that penetrates the armor, I think it was just a test or something, maybe it got cancelled. I dont know.




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