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the REAL M1 Abrams


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Scolopax #61 Posted Feb 27 2012 - 22:39

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The reason they spend so much money on it isn't just so it out-performs the competition, but also to ensure the crew stays alive.  Taking casualties in war is something no one wants, so some people wouldn't mind paying a bit more to be more safe.  Something that I hear about that the Israeli commanders make a strong point of is that they would rather loose the tank than the crew; not just to keep men from dying, but to keep the veteran tankers around.  I think we all can agree that a tank with a combat experienced crew is going to perform better than an inexperienced one.

Mechanize #62 Posted Feb 28 2012 - 01:58

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View PostPablo237, on Feb 27 2012 - 11:39, said:

Maybe I am having a hard time making my point clear and making you people understand.

If you ask the US Army how the M1 Abrams performs in combat, they'll tell you its just peachy.

Ask the manufacturer and they'll tell you what their pocket books want you to hear.

Ask Congress and they'll tell you what the manufacturer's campaign contributions want you to hear.

Ask the troops and they'll tell you what they have been ordered to tell you, under unspoken (but clear) threat of court martial.

Ask the Media and they'll tell you what their "corporate sponsors" paid them to tell you.

And you yet again post nothing at all to back yourself up or prove any of the vastly inaccurate information in the OP's videos as true.

Great job! Are you really this dense or just trolling?

Dominatus #63 Posted Feb 28 2012 - 02:22

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So, please explain just how exactly the M1 Abrams is bad? Of course it's got faults, but nothing's perfect.

The_Chieftain #64 Posted Feb 29 2012 - 00:04

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Just going through that...

Video 1.

1:04. True. Though somewhat rectified now, particularly in the USMC which doesn't have Bradleys working in conjunction with their Abrams.
1:20. True. Though that's hardly the fault of the tank.
1:45. Questionable without frame of reference or support. And mis-spelled.
2:00. Again, questionable.
2:05. True
2:14. Not true. I remember guarding the tank in the background for quite a few hours: The M88 behind it also sank, we needed to get another.
2:18. True, but being rectified by M1A1 AIM(SA) and M1A2 SEP. And being 'as good as its contemporaries' doesn't imply 'bad.' I note he used a Steel Beasts computer game picture since he couldn't seem to find a good real one.
2:39. True. So what? The US has a larger logistical capability than any other nation.
2:46. Not true. The property book value on my M1A1 was $2.384m. Granted, more recent ones are a bit pricier, I need to check a newer property book.
2:54. Who cares? The tank was built for the US needs.
3:02. Seriously?
3:12. OK, he's smoking something.
3:51. Because the collective US Miltary obviously doesn't have his amazing wisdom and insight.

Video 2:
1:57. I thought it was its acceleration, personally.
2:26. Erm. I've had my A1 up to 45.
2:52. If it takes longer to get to speed, that doesn't mean that the same speed cannot be attained.
3:05 "Whoppertanktard?"
3:34. True. So what?
4:23. Really? Do explain...
4:35. Meh, ask your local DMV about how the tanks fared when they crashed into something at 30mph.
5:04. True. Who's claiming it?

Video 3:
0:39. Cool factoid, though!
00:54. True
1:04  True
1:17. True. And the results speak for themselves.
1:27. Not entirely true, though we did tend to keep to roads primarily to avoid destruction of crops. BTW, that's my old platoon sergeant's tank.
2:14. Actually, it was about 25 feet. Since my feet bogged down in that field as well (my tank is the third one back) I'm not convinced any vehicle could traverse that ground.
2:19. Yep, we did. That's me in the TC's hatch. Took a stab at it, dug into the ground, we were out again in a few minutes.
2:34. We also self-unentrenched ourselves. (The last tank never sank) That's why we have tow cables.
2:48. Holy crap! Falling off a bridge is dangerous!
3:04. Probably true. Happily, all the ones I tried held the weight.
3:10. I will admit to a bit of pucker factor, but it's not true. I took the odd risk and drove a tank over the occasional unproven bridge.
3:30. If memory serves, the driver actually messed up and drove off the side. The tank falling is what damaged the bridge, not the weight of the tank
3:51. Weight distribution. He's not heard of it.
4:01. Damnit, I feel cheated now. I never rammed through any buildings.
4:24. True
4:45. Ouch.
5:08. To this day I'm still not entirely sure what that field was. It wasn't mud, just a very soft soil under a crust.
5:15. How many photographs of my tanks is this guy going to use? I really should have put a watermark on them. It's true though, the embankment gave way under the weight. Didn't stop us patrolling that area though.
5:36. That page in my manual is 'Gunner's Station', and it's in the -1. -2 "Unusual conditions" mentions nothing I can see on the matter, but blocking the air intake on any vehicle is liable to starve it.


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Yeah I'm clueless asto to the whole "Gavin" thing

As an aid to push M113 to become the next airborne armoured vehicle, he decided to name it "Gavin" in the hopes that if it was associated with an Airborne general it would be more appealing to the 82nd.

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In various pictures of the Abrams, I've seen a strange box-like extision on the back right side. I have another toy model of which the box is again present. Anyone know what it might be? From what I can figure, its some type of auxiliary power unit.

Correct. It was never very popular, so it was abandoned after a few years. The current APU is now mounted in the bustle rack.

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If you ask the US Army how the M1 Abrams performs in combat, they'll tell you its just peachy.

In fairness, whatever the deficiencies M1 has as a tank today, it hasn't done badly at all so far.

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Ask the troops and they'll tell you what they have been ordered to tell you, under unspoken (but clear) threat of court martial

Erm...

Scolopax #65 Posted Feb 29 2012 - 01:21

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Oops, -1 ya Chieftan.  Can someone fix that?

Thanks for answering the box question though, and good commentary on the videos.

blurr91 #66 Posted Feb 29 2012 - 01:47

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View PostSkunkone, on Feb 23 2012 - 02:54, said:

You made a seriously good point then killed it by making a dumb assumption... Are you a republican?

Nope.

At the risk of detracting the current discussion, ever noticed that the "tolerant" left, the "openminded" democrats, always assume those with a different opinion to be stupid?  They may not use the word "stupid" but instead they accuse others of lacking "critical thinking."

Dominatus #67 Posted Feb 29 2012 - 01:58

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Not like the right side of the spectrum is much better. There's a reason we don't allow politics here.

blurr91 #68 Posted Feb 29 2012 - 02:00

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View PostDominatus, on Feb 29 2012 - 01:58, said:

Not like the right side of the spectrum is much better. There's a reason we don't allow politics here.

But the conservatives never claimed to be "openminded" or "tolerant." :P

__SNIPER__74 #69 Posted Feb 29 2012 - 02:33

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I'm no M1 fan boy,

But throwing out of bunch of statements without even attempting to provide supporting facts/evidence doesn't even make for a credible video/argument/life etc.

BlacktailDefense #70 Posted Mar 01 2012 - 03:31

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It seems my work has stirred-up a hornet's nest here, which is good. There is far too much complacency on the "information" superhighway.

That said, I've seen a lot of Ad Hominems, dismissals, and exclamatory rejections of my arguments in this thread, but few actual disputes to their claims --- and fewer still of the premises of my presentations.

Now that the users of this forum can no longer bravely "argue" with me behind my back, which of my claims do you dispute?

Killertomato #71 Posted Mar 01 2012 - 03:44

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View PostBlacktailDefense, on Mar 01 2012 - 03:31, said:

It seems my work has stirred-up a hornet's nest here, which is good. There is far too much complacency on the "information" superhighway.

That said, I've seen a lot of Ad Hominems, dismissals, and exclamatory rejections of my arguments in this thread, but few actual disputes to their claims --- and fewer still of the premises of my presentations.

Now that the users of this forum can no longer bravely "argue" with me behind my back, which of my claims do you dispute?

Did you not see the response by an actual US army tanker, who commanded many of the M1s in the pictures you took, a mere 6 posts above you? Or does the mighty Mike Sparks choose to ignore it, because it doesn't fit his viewpoint?

BlacktailDefense #72 Posted Mar 01 2012 - 03:58

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View PostKillertomato, on Mar 01 2012 - 03:44, said:

Did you not see the response by an actual US army tanker, who commanded many of the M1s in the pictures you took, a mere 6 posts above you? Or does the mighty Mike Sparks choose to ignore it, because it doesn't fit his viewpoint?

So, I should give him a free pass just because he crewed a tank? That does not entail that his assertions are correct.

Nor is this reply in any way, shape, or form a challenge to my argument. It is merely an Appeal To Authority Fallacy.

You're attacking the arguer, not the argument --- in other words, you're hiding from the ACTUAL argument, which suggests that you can't disprove my claims.

__SNIPER__74 #73 Posted Mar 01 2012 - 04:25

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View PostBlacktailDefense, on Mar 01 2012 - 03:31, said:

That said, I've seen a lot of Ad Hominems, dismissals, and exclamatory rejections of my arguments in this thread, but few actual disputes to their claims --- and fewer still of the premises of my presentations.

Assuming that is your video -
You made many statements, but did not provide your source for any of them.

"As it turns out, they aren't all that protective..."  
- which protection systems, dangerous to the crew how? What are the sources?

"losses totally out of proportion..."
- These are direct references to numbers, what numbers? How many were lost? What was the proportion? Are you talking about total losses? Vehicles knocked out? etc.

"The M1 mobility is massively overrated.."
- If it's not faster than it's contemporaries, what are the speeds actually involved? How do you quantify reliability? Do you have access to US Army maintenance records, and the records of the Russian Ground forces? Bundeswehr? The British Army? How did you compare which army has more reliability issues with it's tank?

"world's largest and heaviest..."
- Probably true, but most NATO/western tanks are between 60-70 tons. Again, the issue isn't whether or not you are right. The point is you didn't actually list any information, no weights, nothing. Just a statement.

"obtain surprise very well.."
- Do you have some sort of formula for weight/size and how that effects "surprise"? I would have thought noise levels, sensor equipment, battlefield communications equipment would effect "surprise" more than how much the tank weighs.

"half no longer operable."
- Source?

"$10 million dollars a pop."
- Source?


"running of by themselves to go play 'Battleship' with enemy tanks"
- According to who, a US army tactics manual, some tank general? SOURCE?

I could go on but you get the point - all you've done is make assertions, you've provided zero evidence to support ANY of your claims. If you want people to take you seriously, then properly back up your arguments. It's impossible to "argue" with someone when you have no idea where they are drawing their facts from.

Perhaps you would be better served to write a thorough and well annotated article on the subject, complete with bibliography. These little Youtube videos with cool pictures and cheesy music may not be the best vehicle for trying to make a serious presentation.

The_Chieftain #74 Posted Mar 01 2012 - 05:14

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View PostBlacktailDefense, on Mar 01 2012 - 03:58, said:

So, I should give him a free pass just because he crewed a tank? That does not entail that his assertions are correct.

Nor is this reply in any way, shape, or form a challenge to my argument. It is merely an Appeal To Authority Fallacy.

I'm a pretty good authority though.

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You're attacking the arguer, not the argument --- in other words, you're hiding from the ACTUAL argument, which suggests that you can't disprove my claims.

As the one challenging the accepted wisdom, I would submit the burden of proof is on you. However, let us humor you. What is the suggested outcome of your position? You submit that the M1 tank is of questionable utility these days. Do you advocate that all tanks in the Class VI weight class are of limited utility, or is your focus purely on M1? Do you propose that there are no situations in which the M1 series (or any MBT) is one of the best tools for the job?

As for some of the pictures of the sinking tasks, that set of fields also took the locals by surprise. The digger we borrowed, which is not exactly designed to avoid soft ground such as construction sites, didn't do a whole lot better. It was able to claw itself out though.

http://data.primepor...t/iraq/JCB2.JPG

BlacktailDefense #75 Posted Mar 01 2012 - 05:52

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View Postgabriel, on Mar 01 2012 - 04:25, said:

"As it turns out, they aren't all that protective..."  
- which protection systems, dangerous to the crew how? What are the sources?
...
- These are direct references to numbers, what numbers? How many were lost? What was the proportion? Are you talking about total losses? Vehicles knocked out? etc.

See the "Protection" chapter on my Youtube channel. This video was the overview, which simply points-out what those following it would reveal.

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"The M1 mobility is massively overrated.."
- If it's not faster than it's contemporaries, what are the speeds actually involved?
That would depend on the tank...
M1: N/A (No longer operational)
IPM1: N/A (No longer exists)
M1A1: 41mph (http://afvdb.50megs....brams.html#M1A1)
M1A2: 42mph (http://afvdb.50megs....brams.html#M1A2)
Leopard 2 (all models): 45mph (http://www.inetres.c...k/Leopard2.html)
T-80: 43mph (http://www.inetres.c.../tank/T-80.html)
T-90: 43mph (http://www.fprado.co...rsite/T-90S.htm)
Merkava Mk.IV: 40mph (http://www.inetres.c.../tank/T-80.html)
Type 99: 50mph (http://www.deagel.co...a000157001.aspx)
EE-T1/T2 Osorio: 43mph (http://www.fprado.co...E-T1-Osorio.htm)
K2 Black Panther: 43mph (http://en.wikipedia....2_Black_Panther)
Leclerc: 45mph (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leclerc)
Arjun: 45mph (http://en.wikipedia....ki/Arjun_(tank))
...but this is enough to demonstrate that the M1 is neither the fastest, nor unusually fast.

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How do you quantify reliability?
In MMBF (Mean Miles Between Failures). The MMBF of a tank goes down over time, due to wear, but when M60A3s were old and M1s were new, the M60A3 demonstrated substantially greater reliability;
http://www.pogo.org/...90.html#Chart_C
Also, see the "Logistics" chapter on my Youtube channel for all the ugly little details.


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How do you quantify reliability? Do you have access to US Army maintenance records, and the records of the Russian Ground forces?
I have this, for one;
http://www.pogo.org/...1tank-1990.html

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- Probably true, but most NATO/western tanks are between 60-70 tons. Again, the issue isn't whether or not you are right. The point is you didn't actually list any information, no weights, nothing. Just a statement.
That's because the overview chapter is just that --- an overview of the M1, not a comparison, nor a bibliography of the series.


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How do you quantify reliability?
- Do you have some sort of formula for weight/size and how that effects "surprise"? I would have thought noise levels, sensor equipment, battlefield communications equipment would effect "surprise" more than how much the tank weighs.
See the "Surprise" chapter for the details. An overview is not a detailed explanation.

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How do you quantify reliability?"half no longer operable."
- Source?
I don't recall my source on that issue, per-se, but in one US Army division a few years ago, more than 90% of it's M1s were "Non-Mission-Capable";
https://www.leathern...ead.php?t=44628

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"$10 million dollars a pop."
- Source?
I lost track of my source that indicated a $94 Billion Project Cost for the M1 ($94 Billion / 8800 chassis' = $10.68 Million), but I *do* have two sources that prove a price tag in excess of $8.1 Million --- the Selected Acquisition Reports, and this site (which confirms that new-build M1 production was teminated before 2000, at 8800 chassis' built);
http://www.fas.org/m...sys/land/m1.htm
Follow the money, and observe that the program was re-baselined (twice!), which removes every prior expense;
http://www.acq.osd.mil/ara/am/sar/
$71.75 Billion / 8800 units = unit cost of $8.153 Million --- not $3 Million.


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"running of by themselves to go play 'Battleship' with enemy tanks"
- According to who, a US army tactics manual, some tank general? SOURCE?
The US Army's official Tank Doctrine;
http://ciehub.info/R...-21.10/appc.htm
It states that "The tank is the best antitank weapon on the battlefield", which demonstrates the mindset that shaped the M1 --- which is pretty amusing when you also consider that elsewhere, the US Army says that ATGMs are the biggest threat to tanks;
http://www.fas.org/m...and/row/weg.pdf

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I could go on but you get the point - all you've done is make assertions, you've provided zero evidence to support ANY of your claims. If you want people to take you seriously, then properly back up your arguments. It's impossible to "argue" with someone when you have no idea where they are drawing their facts from.

Perhaps you would be better served to write a thorough and well annotated article on the subject, complete with bibliography. These little Youtube videos with cool pictures and cheesy music may not be the best vehicle for trying to make a serious presentation.

You've so far slammed me on the introduction to the introduction to this series --- not it's contents. You also failed to notice that my most recent videos have tons of citations in the description boxes.

BlacktailDefense #76 Posted Mar 01 2012 - 06:30

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View PostThe_Chieftain, on Mar 01 2012 - 05:14, said:

I'm a pretty good authority though.

As the one challenging the accepted wisdom, I would submit the burden of proof is on you. However, let us humor you. What is the suggested outcome of your position? You submit that the M1 tank is of questionable utility these days. Do you advocate that all tanks in the Class VI weight class are of limited utility, or is your focus purely on M1? Do you propose that there are no situations in which the M1 series (or any MBT) is one of the best tools for the job?

That would depend on what the tank in question delivers for the risk involved. These risks include deployability, mobility, inertia, surprise, and so on; a tank that provides enormous firepower, protection, support, and so on could be worth the risks.

But on the other hand, the risks are seldom necessary to achieve the desired results --- observe the space/weight/mass efficiency of the AMX-40, EE-T1 Osorio, Lince, Ocelotl, Type 90, Ariete, MB-3 Tamoyo III, Leclerc, and many other tanks that have comparable firepower protection to the M1, but without excess weight (which reduces mobility, deployability, etc).

This is especially relevant when you consider that US military policy is one of "Forward Defense" --- i.e., "Fighting them over there". As it happens, the battlefield "over there" is the Undeveloped World, where networks of paved roads are a rare luxury, and bridges seldom support anything heavier than a T-72. In Iraq, an M1A1 has already fallen through a road bridge;
http://www.militaryc...aq/1704995.html

Also consider the fact that the Osorio's small size and weight was the result of a requirement for a tank that could fit into a Brazilian road tunnel without getting stuck, and drive over a Brazilian overpass without falling through it. Said Developing World infrastructure is a case study in the terrain a US tank must be able to surmount.

Another issue is getting tanks over there and back. If it can be assumed that volume is not an issue, air or sealift capable of carrying 100 M1A1 HAs could have instead carried 134 M60A3s; if we're talking about a 45 short ton tank, like the AMX-40 or EE-T1, this vessel could carry 155.

These are important considerations, because this is where the US fights, and this is how it gets it's equipment over there. Success of the current US military policy depends on being, to dust-off an old chestnut, "Light enough to get there, and heavy enough to win".

In fact, a very heavy tank would likely prove inadequate for defending the US *itself*, despite this nation having some of the best transportation infrastructure the world has ever seen. This is because the geography of the US is some of the most wildly-varying in the world. Tanks aren't armored trains on railroad tracks. They don't fight from paved roads, and that means maneuvering through rough country --- and US terrain can be VERY rough.
If you think driving M1s though Iraq was hard, imagine if you had to hold the line in the middle of this;
http://www.magnumpho...th-valley-1.jpg

_Freddy_ #77 Posted Mar 01 2012 - 08:56

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@BlacktailDefense

Having a quick skim through the report you posted it is

Project on Government Oversight , The M1 Tank, 1st Jan 1990

a - Not up to date so can not really be used completely about the M1A2 as it appears to have been written in 1989 using the latest data from 1988 (from what I could tell). How many of the 'faults' have been rectified and indeed are there new ones?

b - Does have some obvious wrong parts like the M1 being the only tank in the world to have ever fielded a turbine engine.

c - States the M1 has no APU when it had one mounted on the rear and now in the turret bustle I believe (when mounted I do not know).

BlacktailDefense #78 Posted Mar 01 2012 - 10:20

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View Post_Freddy_, on Mar 01 2012 - 08:56, said:

a - not up to date so can not really be used completely about the M1A2 as it appears to have been written in 1990 using the latest data from 1988 (from what I could tell). How many of the 'faults' have been rectified and indeed are their new ones?
There's one stat on that list that I can confirm to have catastrophically worsened --- cost/mile.  I can confirm that the cost/mile of an M1A1 has increased to $294/mile in just 8 years, as confirmed by this letter from Brigadier General Phil Bolte (a former Abrams Project Manager) to Leslie Weinstein, dated April 2nd 1998;
http://www.true-lock... TL 02Apr98.pdf

The M1A2 is far, far worse. According to "Cost Effectiveness of Embedded Training On Army Ground Vehicles", by L. Bruce McDonald, Hubert Bahr, and Claude Abate, dated on or about 1998, the M1A2's cost/mile was $443.

Recall that the cost/mile of an M60A3 in the POGO report was just $6.

There's more than that, but I'm not made of free time.

View Post_Freddy_, on Mar 01 2012 - 08:56, said:

b - Does have some obvious wrong parts like the M1 being the only tank in the world to have ever fielded a turbine engine.
That is true, but not a single new FOV since the M1 has been turbine-powered, and no others are projected nor planned. There are also no projected gas turbine *engines* for AFVs either, other than recycled AGT1500s, and successive attempts to pass-off the early 1990s LV100 as being somehow "new".

Moreover, of the only 2 other turbine-powered AFVs ever to see service, all Strv 103s have been retired, and Russia has officially abandoned all further development of gas turbines for use in land systems, following the embarrassing results of the T-80 in Chechnya; http://www.fas.org/m...d/row/rusav.htm

View Post_Freddy_, on Mar 01 2012 - 08:56, said:

c - States the M1 has no APU when it had one mounted on the rear and now in the turret bustle I believe (when mounted I do not know).
The APU as a pound of cure for the AGT1500 is a recurring theme in the US Army. Exactly what kind of tank, what kind of APU, and when, are a more interesting subject that you might have suspected.
A UUAPU was promoted by Armor Magazine, "Under-Armor Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) For the M1A2" by Lieutenant Colonel Peter Borosky, in a 1993 issue (I can't recall which).
It was promoted again in 1994;
http://ciar.org/ttk/...4.nd/6APU94.pdf
...and AGAIN, in the May-July issue of Armor Magazine, in "The M1A2: Current and Future Program Plans" (notable for it's claim that the UUAPU can power the M1A2's NBC System --- which is FALSE, because it generates no bleed air);
http://www.benning.a...June1996web.pdf
It wasn't actually until 2002 that the M1A2 got it's much-vaunted UUAPU;
http://ciar.org/ttk/...jf/1UAAPU02.pdf
...and for all that effort, the Army ultimately decided to install extra batteries instead of an APU;
http://modelshipwrig...77&page=1&ord=0

BlacktailDefense #79 Posted Mar 01 2012 - 10:35

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On a side-note, it's also very revealing of the character of this forum's users that I have as many minus points as replies.

Someone obviously has a deficit in Moral Courage, to just boo my claims and not make an attempt to challenge them --- the latter is what forums are for, is it not?

The_Chieftain, Gabriel, _Freddy_, and Killertomato at least had the guts to challenge me.

_Freddy_ #80 Posted Mar 01 2012 - 10:56

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View PostBlacktailDefense, on Mar 01 2012 - 10:35, said:

On a side-note, it's also very revealing of the character of this forum's users that I have as many minus points as replies.

Someone obviously has a deficit in Moral Courage, to just boo my claims and not make an attempt to challenge them --- the latter is what forums are for, is it not?

The_Chieftain, Gabriel, _Freddy_, and Killertomato at least had the guts to challenge me.

Not quite challenge lol more some clarification, like the 3 RTR lads who did a couple of day trial with the Abrahms, some people would use that as a comparison between the M1 and Challenger and in reality it was (the Chally 1 had a terrible gun system set up) but most people do not differentiate between the Chally 1 and Chally 2 which are almost completely different beasts.

The Chally 2 basically keeping what was good with the 1 (engine, transmission, drive train) and changing the bad (the rest lol) and adding improved armour (Dorchester instead of or in conjunction with Chobham).

I have never been a fan of the high fuel usage of the Abrahms and did speak to quite a few US personnel in Europe and the the Middle East, Afghan, Iraq who said it was the biggest problem with the tank.

Brit Sapper so not completely ofey with US kit.




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