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  #11  
Old 08-20-2006
Mk23 Mk23 is offline
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When did I ever claim that the M1A2 Abrams was a deployable main battle tank? You need either a beach landing or a fully established airfield to move the things in theatre!

The M1 Abrams was designed for essentially the same purpose as the Merkava. Defensive actions out of established bases, in the case of the Abrams, bases in Western Europe.

ALL modern main battle tanks have incredibly poor mobility and deployability, it's just not that apparent because the only thing natural to compare them to are... other main battle tanks designed around the same outdated strategic purposes. Tank designers don't even think about what the tank is going to be used for nowadays, they just compare it to the M1 Abrams or the Leopard 2.

There's no doubt that the sweeping armored thrusts that the Abrams performed in both Gulf wars were incredibly effective, but compared to a vehicle designed specifically for the purpose of high-mobility armored warfare (a vehicle that doesn't exist in the modern world!), the performance would be found to be poor in comparison.

I'd stop trying to build tanks that are both the ultimate street-fighting tank and the ultimate tank vs tank vehicle (such as the Merkava undoubtedly is, combat-wise), at the expense of actual strategic usefulness.

For a tank-vs-tank vehicle, I'd sacrifice armor protection (because let's face it, as it is there isn't a tank armor out there that can't be penetrated by /some/ form of attack, not even the Merkava's) for a more powerful main gun, and naturally have a lighter weight, better mobility, and lower cost. It'll level the playing field combat-wise. A single shot from a Merkava's ultra-powerful 120mm gun would knock one out, but put a gun big enough that a single shot can knock a Merkava out too... sounds even to me.

For urban fighting, that ultra-powerful 120mm gun is OVERPOWERED. You don't need that much penetration to blast an improvised bunker, or strong point. A lighter weapon such as a 76mm with a load of both low-trajectory high velocity rounds, and high-trajectory mortar-type rounds (eliminates the need for a seperate 60mm mortar like in the Merkava) would be effective enough. A smaller engine would also keep the weight lower to facilitate more effective transport in-theatre, as high vehicle top-speed isn't as critical when commited to clearing an urban area of enemies.
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  #12  
Old 08-20-2006
Mk23 Mk23 is offline
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Default And the Ariete is a joke.

Main gun: Standard 120mm, inferior to the Merkava's and the Leclerc's

Armor: Its armor is only focused on its frontal arc. It's less well protected than either an Abrams or a Leopard 2A6.

Mobility: it is no faster than an Abrams or Leopard 2. Coupled with the inferior armor...

Fire Control: It's capable of engaging ground targets on the move. Big whoop, the Merkava Mk4 can engage helicopters for chrissakes.

Size: It's no smaller a target than any of the other main battle tanks. Again, couple this with the inferior armor...

Cost effectiveness: With only 200 built, the per-unit cost is still affected greatly by the development costs. It would've been cheaper for Italy to buy 200 Leopard 2s, and they'd have a better tank to boot.
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  #13  
Old 08-21-2006
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UZI4U UZI4U is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mk23
When did I ever claim that the M1A2 Abrams was a deployable main battle tank? You need either a beach landing or a fully established airfield to move the things in theatre!

The M1 Abrams was designed for essentially the same purpose as the Merkava. Defensive actions out of established bases, in the case of the Abrams, bases in Western Europe.

ALL modern main battle tanks have incredibly poor mobility and deployability, it's just not that apparent because the only thing natural to compare them to are... other main battle tanks designed around the same outdated strategic purposes. Tank designers don't even think about what the tank is going to be used for nowadays, they just compare it to the M1 Abrams or the Leopard 2.

There's no doubt that the sweeping armored thrusts that the Abrams performed in both Gulf wars were incredibly effective, but compared to a vehicle designed specifically for the purpose of high-mobility armored warfare (a vehicle that doesn't exist in the modern world!), the performance would be found to be poor in comparison.

I'd stop trying to build tanks that are both the ultimate street-fighting tank and the ultimate tank vs tank vehicle (such as the Merkava undoubtedly is, combat-wise), at the expense of actual strategic usefulness.

For a tank-vs-tank vehicle, I'd sacrifice armor protection (because let's face it, as it is there isn't a tank armor out there that can't be penetrated by /some/ form of attack, not even the Merkava's) for a more powerful main gun, and naturally have a lighter weight, better mobility, and lower cost. It'll level the playing field combat-wise. A single shot from a Merkava's ultra-powerful 120mm gun would knock one out, but put a gun big enough that a single shot can knock a Merkava out too... sounds even to me.

For urban fighting, that ultra-powerful 120mm gun is OVERPOWERED. You don't need that much penetration to blast an improvised bunker, or strong point. A lighter weapon such as a 76mm with a load of both low-trajectory high velocity rounds, and high-trajectory mortar-type rounds (eliminates the need for a seperate 60mm mortar like in the Merkava) would be effective enough. A smaller engine would also keep the weight lower to facilitate more effective transport in-theatre, as high vehicle top-speed isn't as critical when commited to clearing an urban area of enemies.

I misunderstood what you were saying. Agreed on almost all points... A highly mobile tank is something that has been needed for a decade and everyone has ignored.

Armor is really only useful in urban combat. A lightly-armored, high speed wheeled light tank makes a lot more sense on the open battlefield these days. Especially when you can mount very light active anti-missile systems on them. When it comes down to a 120mm vs 120mm fight, the odds of either side surviving a hit are low. The Merkava actually has a decent chance of being able to keep its crew alive against either a 120mm or 125mm frontal sabot hit, but it's engine would be wiped out in the process, removing the tank for combat.

However that doesn't mean I don't see a role for the Merkava... If you're fighting a defensive or delaying action, the Merkava is second to none. You don't really need a speed advantage in those cases, and its extra armor gives it the edge of keeping more of your crews alive, which can actually be more important than the tank itself in defensive or delaying combat.

At the same time for offensive roles, you need a fast, lightly armored and wheeled tank designed for speed and deployability, as already mentioned.

In urban combat, except for its weight making it hard to deploy, I think the ideal vehicle would be something Merkava-based... But with a different turret design. Imagine a Merkava chassis, but with a 2' tall steel wall canted at a 45 or 60 degree inward angle mounted around the hole where the turret would have normally been. Now make some firing portals for crew-served weapons [likely miniguns] in this wall... Probably four of them, mounted at 1:30, 5:30, 7:30 and 10:30 locations, allowing two of them to converge fire either forward, back, left or right. Atop this little 'gun deck' should be a light 75/76mm multirole rapid-fire cannon like you suggest. In addition to all of this some flamethrowers mounted around the tread-skirts might be a good idea, in case anyone manages to get too close. A special type of plow might be mounted to the front, looking somewhat like the cattle-catchers on old steam-engine-trains. This could be used to destroy buildings when needed or, more likely, just crash through walls and barriers... Heck mount a powerful electro-magnet on the bottom of it and use that to pre-detonate anti-tank mines.

Now for the final touches... The cabin should be lighted by dark-red lamps, to provide the most evil look possible. Powerful megaphones could be mounted to blast heavy metal and whatever other psychological warfare mixes we can come up with. Large and painful spikes should be mounted wherever it is possible to put them without interfering with operation, placing skulls and bodies on them [fake or real, doesn't matter] would be a good idea. Splatterings of red blood [probably fake, since real blood turns brown] would be a good idea. Smoke generators might also be handy, especially if used in combination with dark red floodlights, but one would have to be careful when using that to make sure it doesn't degrade the crews situational awareness... This might be solved in part by using thermal imaging.

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  #14  
Old 08-21-2006
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Cool Hmmm...

...seems a pretty good idea for what the Neo-Sparta's MBT should be. Does this concept already has a name
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  #15  
Old 08-21-2006
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Uzi's tank might be fitting too much in too small an area, the ammunition supply might run low to quick. Then again, using 6.5 Grendel miniguns instead of 7.62 NATO ones could add back some supply.

I think a heavy duty from of snow plow should be on the front of it. Make it so it can tilt up. That way it could push debris aside in the streets to help clear the way, or if the plow won't work you can tilt it up and try to climb over. And the traditional snow plow shape would also be fine for wrecking buildings.

The drive should be hybrid electric, for various tactical reasons. There are fewer linkages, and most of those are cables, meaning engine replacement could be lightning fast without complex mechanical design to accomplish it. Cheaper. The tanks could sit around with charged batteries and engines off, allowing instant response without requiring an idling engine... or producing any heat or sound signature. Handy for ambushes. Also, in an HED system both the engine and batteries would have to be disabled before the treads couldn't be powered; meaning even if the engine was taken out they could crawl a few miles out of harm's way. Which is also handy to keep your tech from falling into other hands, not to mention your crews out of enemy hands as well. Also, the HED drive could provide lots of electricity for other toys.

As for the main armament, I don't think 120mm is bad at all, only the way they are currently employing it. A shorter barreled lower velocity 120mm gun would be fine. Perhaps half the barrel length of the current tanks. But the shells it would use would be anti infantry, airbursting HE shells and flechette cannisters. A 120mm HE airburst shell put through a window can knock down all the walls of a house outwards. I might make the gun capable of using the standard high velocity NATO shells in a pinch, in case of supply problems or whatnot, but it would be intended for the shorter range anti-infantry shells.

The other way to make the gun would be some form of howitzer/mortar. Something useful for direct fire out to 400 meters or so, or indirect fire to however far. I know tricks like this haven't worked out well in the past but now... with computerized targeting it could be doable. Especially if an effective variable velocity firing technique could be used. I'm thinking about the electric-water-plasma eperiment I read about a few years ago. Put water behind the projectile, then dump a massive current through it, and it accelerates a projectile like crazy. There are some technical hurdles there, but a fluid propellant could be measured precisely for the velocity needed, and water has the side benefit of not exploding like other propellants can. And it only takes a small amount of water to do this so it saves space. You could also try railgun type launchers, but if I'm correct this uses less electricity and is a bit easier to get the physics tame enough.
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  #16  
Old 08-21-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCoyote
The drive should be hybrid electric, for various tactical reasons. There are fewer linkages, and most of those are cables, meaning engine replacement could be lightning fast without complex mechanical design to accomplish it. Cheaper. The tanks could sit around with charged batteries and engines off, allowing instant response without requiring an idling engine... or producing any heat or sound signature. Handy for ambushes. Also, in an HED system both the engine and batteries would have to be disabled before the treads couldn't be powered; meaning even if the engine was taken out they could crawl a few miles out of harm's way. Which is also handy to keep your tech from falling into other hands, not to mention your crews out of enemy hands as well. Also, the HED drive could provide lots of electricity for other toys.

See my post in the private chamber about this.
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  #17  
Old 08-22-2006
Mk23 Mk23 is offline
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Default I'd still use tracks for my tank-killer.

Mainly because I intend to put the biggest feasable cannon in the turret (155mm most likely) so it can outrange a 120mm armed tank, and tracks would help keep the vehicle sliding around from recoil.


A gross oversimplification of the concept would be to take a Cadillac Gage Stingray 2 and plant a 155mm into the turret in place of the 105mm gun.

That'd still probably end up at a comparable weight to a Bradley IFV.
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  #18  
Old 10-10-2006
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Default chains on the turret of the merkava?

what are those chains for?
the little dangling things off of the turret?/
are they made to detonate rockets before they touch the tank??
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  #19  
Old 10-15-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris_armyboy_sas
what are those chains for?
the little dangling things off of the turret?/
are they made to detonate rockets before they touch the tank??

At the end of each of those chains around the back of the turret, there is a small [~1"] steel ball.

That steel ball is only a shell, it is filled with a semi-sensitive high explosive. The chain itself is also connected to a primer on one end of the ball.

If an enemy HEAT cannon round hits the chain, it will yank on the primer, which will set off the explosives inside the ball, which will then detonate the HEAT round before it hits the tank.

It can work on RPGs too.


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