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  #16  
Old 07 May 12, 11:28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
The Soviets have gone through several more RPG types since the RPG-3 and RPG-7 have come out. Just because these are the ones we are most familiar with does not preclude the Iraqis from getting newer models and other foreign types. Modern Battle tanks may be fairly immune to the RPG on ground level, but are still vulnerable to strikes on top of the turret and on top of the engine deck. Start a fire on top of the engine and I bet the crew leaves quickly! The newest antitank systems like the TOW III employ a system where the warhead fires down into the top of the enemy tank.

There is a report out of Iraq in 2006 that a RPG 29 penetrated a Challenger II and wounded several of the crew.

Pruitt
I've also seen so called vid of RPG 29 taking out an Abrams. Not quite sure I believe that either.
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  #17  
Old 07 May 12, 12:15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 98ZJUSMC View Post
Yeah, I read that. There's a recent account, not sure where I read it, of a Challenger II that broke down and was stranded for a couple of days in Injun Country. The crew just sat in the vehicle and waited for recovery. In the meantime, it got hit by some ridiculous number of RPGs (30-40? someone please correct me if I am wrong). Basically, didn't do squat except scratch the paint.

The top tier MBT's are very survivable. With air supremacy, they are essentially, unstoppable.
From wiki Challenger 2 page:
"In one encounter within the urban area a Challenger 2 came under attack from irregular forces with machine guns and rocket propelled grenades. The driver's sight was damaged and while attempting to back away under the commander's directions, the other sights were damaged and the tank threw its tracks entering a ditch. It was hit directly by fourteen rocket propelled grenades from close range and a MILAN anti-tank missile.[11] The crew survived remaining safe within the tank until the tank was recovered for repairs, the worst damage being to the sighting system. It was back in operation six hours later after repairs. One Challenger 2 operating near Basra survived being hit by 70 RPGs in another incident."
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  #18  
Old 07 May 12, 17:42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Patterson View Post
it seems to me that with new and improved aircraft and air to surface weapons..armor may become a thing of the past. i just dont see where armor serves much of a purpose anymore. to all those "tread heads" out there i love armor!! i think it may have out lived its usefulness..if i ruled a nation it would be aircraft and copters!!
When you say "Armor", I take you mean "heavy" formations as opposed to light (airborne/air assault) or medium (US Marines and Stryker Brigades). They are not obsolete by any means.

A US Army heavy combined arms battalion consists of two tank companies (14 M1A2), two mechanized infantry companies (14 Bradleys), and engineer company plus support elements such as mortars, reconnaissance, snipers, etc. The battalion commander typically task organized the four manuever companies into a tank/mech mix. When this unit deploys, certain units are attached to it such as artillery, air defence, etc and the battalion becomes a Task Force.

On a fight in flat terrain, nothing in the world can stand up to a US army heavy battalion task force unless its another heavy battalion task force. Medium and light units do not have enough organic firepower to stand up against a combined arms (tanks and mech infantry) attack nor do they have the mobility to effectively maneuver against them.

The biggest strength of a heavy battalion task force is its ability rapidly concentrating combat power at a point of relative enemy weakness to disrupt enemy defenses. The mechanized vehicles are difficult to kill and can deliver accurate, sustained long range fires, making it difficult for the enemy to close within their effective weapons range. In other words, a mechanized battalion task force can effectively defend or delay, then quickly transition to offensive operations. This capability to seamlessly transition from offense to defense and back again is something the medium and light forces can't match.

Now you speak of close air support and interdiction. They are certainly threats to a heavy task force but they are managable. Air support cannot be on station all the time and their capability can be dimnished through organic air defence or friendly aircraft. Artillery is a much greater threat and a enemy heavy task force is an even greater threat because being caught with your "pants down" by an enemy mechanized force means you will lose the entire battalion in minutes.

Last edited by IDonT4; 07 May 12 at 21:02..
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  #19  
Old 07 May 12, 17:51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
The Soviets have gone through several more RPG types since the RPG-3 and RPG-7 have come out. Just because these are the ones we are most familiar with does not preclude the Iraqis from getting newer models and other foreign types. Modern Battle tanks may be fairly immune to the RPG on ground level, but are still vulnerable to strikes on top of the turret and on top of the engine deck. Start a fire on top of the engine and I bet the crew leaves quickly! The newest antitank systems like the TOW III employ a system where the warhead fires down into the top of the enemy tank.

There is a report out of Iraq in 2006 that a RPG 29 penetrated a Challenger II and wounded several of the crew.

Pruitt
People get caught up with armor thickness and weapon system. What makes a heavy force very capable is its ability to manuever. Say your light infantry front line units armed with Javelin and supported by artillery took out 50 percent of a Chinese mechanized division. However, that same mechanized division has broken through your front lines and is now dozens of miles inside your rear areas causing chaos and damage to your command and control network and your supplies. Who won that engagement?

Better hope you have an armored reserved because that is the only way to effectively stop that force. Air power, without ground direction, will not be as effective and your artillery will not be able to help cause your fires plan is now in shambles.

Last edited by IDonT4; 08 May 12 at 17:19..
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  #20  
Old 08 May 12, 16:57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post

There is a report out of Iraq in 2006 that a RPG 29 penetrated a Challenger II and wounded several of the crew.

Pruitt
IIRC, That RPG 29 penetration was due to the rocket bouncing off the pavement into the front underside of the tank. Typically one of the weakest areas of armour. A bit fuzzy on the details so feel free to correct me on this one.

Besides, rule 1 on armoured warfare: take infantry, lots of them. Tanks are not supposed to be immune to attack, they have enough armour to defend against most threats they face. Another MBT putting a SABOT into them is not exactly defensible.

Immunity to small arms and most infantry/light vehicle weapons is what makes tanks useful, rather than all out armour.
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  #21  
Old 08 May 12, 18:03
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Back in 1992 I had the opportunity to chat with a engineer who had worked for Allison Transmission, in the M1 tank facility. They had five M1 delivered all with mobility killing damage. Allison was to remove the transmission for salvage & the tanks then sent on to facilities for step by step disassemblly. Four of the five had salvageble transmissions, tho some had been hit in the transmission area. the fifth however had the transmission destroyed beyond any possible value. The speculation was the tank had been hit in the rear by a Hellfire missille. The aluminum components were both broken into fragments and melted, the rubber or polymer components burtn to ash or fragmented into grit; the steel & other alloy parts fragmented, cracked, bent, & showing evidence of heat stress. The damage went beyond the transmission area and Allison Corps writ, into the engine area and partition between the engine and crew compartment.
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  #22  
Old 09 May 12, 02:24
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Has we can see tanks can take a beating, the same can not be said for helicopters. Small arms fire and crew weapons(machine guns) are a threat to helicopters.
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  #23  
Old 09 May 12, 14:10
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People vs Machines

The problem hasn't gone away so armor won't go away either.

It's takes a couple of decades and a lot of training, money, planning, and effort to get a good quality soldier out in the field where he makes a difference. A 63 gr bullet will ruin all of that.

Machines are expendable and putting some metal between your people and the incoming fire is going to remain prudent for many years to come.
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  #24  
Old 09 May 12, 22:26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewza View Post
Has we can see tanks can take a beating, the same can not be said for helicopters. Small arms fire and crew weapons(machine guns) are a threat to helicopters.
I worked once at Rotor Aids in Intracoastal City, LA. One day someone left a screwdriver tip on the intake of a UH-1 Huey. The tip finally entered the turbines when the craft was maybe a hundred feet up and had just crossed the beach heading into the Gulf! Thank God the pilot was ex-military and knew how to autorotate down! The helicopter then was settled on top of its large pontoons on the water. One of the oil field workers immediately opened the door and yanked the handle on the raft! The last anyone saw of the raft, it was heading for Florida! A crew boat "rescued" the workers and a barge with a crane lifted the helicopter out of the water and they brought it back to the base! Lots of stuff will cause a helicopter tp crash! At least they no longer use the "Jesus Nut"!

Pruitt
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  #25  
Old 09 May 12, 22:31
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I concur that armor isn't going away any time soon.

I will put forth the caveat though that I will agree that heavy MBT-style armored vehicles are slowly headed the way of the dinosaur. I forsee them sticking around for another 25 years though as front-line units.

What I see replacing them in time is an AFV combining reactive armor, active defense, and Electronic Warfare systems in addition to armor sufficient to absorb blasts from nearby (but not contact) IEDs and small-mid caliber (.50 cal to 30mm) cannon. It will be paired with a smoothbore or rifled gun in the 100-125mm range, and at least 2 MGs. It will be much lighter and more nimble than its predecessor, have a variant built from the ground up as a support weapon, and might even have an IFV or APC built on the common chassis. It will be easier to transport by air or sea, and will be able to traverse 3rd World country bridges. It will be tracked for off-road and ground-pressure purposes, but will likely be driven by a hybrid turbodiesel/electric drive, or another electro-assisted drive currently being used/developed for automobiles.

I also, rather than see the demise of the AFV, forsee even lighter formations, capable of responding worldwide or theater-wide quickly, and equipped with a very light common-chassis vehicle that might be wheeled or tracked, but will invariably be able to be transported by heavy cargolift in platoon strength, or airdropped. This vehicle will be compact, armored against light threats and with active defense against missiles/reactive armor, and equipped with a medium-caliber cannon (possibly one of the ultralight telescoping round variants) and a machine gun, or an MG and ability to haul troops/cargo, or an MG and a multipurpose attack missile (possibly in 25 years we'll have a multiuse missile that can attack designated ground targets, AFVs, and aircraft?).
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  #26  
Old 09 May 12, 22:46
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Tac,

You should not try to make an AFV try to do too much. They tried get around HEAT in the 50's by using fiberglas and other types of armor. they found that while you MIGHT be able to stop a heat charge, the AP round goes right through! You can also use multiple warheads on large antitank missiles. A TOW II would have more than one Heat warhead. Supposedly the first charge would set off the reactive armor and the second one would penetrate. They come back to heavy armor every time. The layered tile and dense metals are the best right now.

Active countermeasures assume the incoming round is guided or they will have enough ammo to hit all the incoming.

They tried to make the LAV do everything and then found they could not load it on a C-130 (one of the requirements!). The chassis was also overstressed.

Another problem is when they try to tout add on armor. They do not realize some people will have to fight immediately and might not be able to bolt on extra armor.

There is no perfect vehicle and there probably will never be one.

Pruitt
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Old 09 May 12, 22:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacCovert4 View Post
I concur that armor isn't going away any time soon.

I will put forth the caveat though that I will agree that heavy MBT-style armored vehicles are slowly headed the way of the dinosaur. I forsee them sticking around for another 25 years though as front-line units.

What I see replacing them in time is an AFV combining reactive armor, active defense, and Electronic Warfare systems in addition to armor sufficient to absorb blasts from nearby (but not contact) IEDs and small-mid caliber (.50 cal to 30mm) cannon. It will be paired with a smoothbore or rifled gun in the 100-125mm range, and at least 2 MGs. It will be much lighter and more nimble than its predecessor, have a variant built from the ground up as a support weapon, and might even have an IFV or APC built on the common chassis. It will be easier to transport by air or sea, and will be able to traverse 3rd World country bridges. It will be tracked for off-road and ground-pressure purposes, but will likely be driven by a hybrid turbodiesel/electric drive, or another electro-assisted drive currently being used/developed for automobiles.

I also, rather than see the demise of the AFV, forsee even lighter formations, capable of responding worldwide or theater-wide quickly, and equipped with a very light common-chassis vehicle that might be wheeled or tracked, but will invariably be able to be transported by heavy cargolift in platoon strength, or airdropped. This vehicle will be compact, armored against light threats and with active defense against missiles/reactive armor, and equipped with a medium-caliber cannon (possibly one of the ultralight telescoping round variants) and a machine gun, or an MG and ability to haul troops/cargo, or an MG and a multipurpose attack missile (possibly in 25 years we'll have a multiuse missile that can attack designated ground targets, AFVs, and aircraft?).
Didn't the US Army already did this with the Stryker Brigade?

The Stryker Brigade has its uses, but pit it against a heavy brigade and it will not do so well.
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Old 09 May 12, 23:06
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Didn't the US Army already did this with the Stryker Brigade?

The Stryker Brigade has its uses, but pit it against a heavy brigade and it will not do so well.
The Stryker Brigade IMHO was a formation before its time and with the wrong vehicle. The LAVIII is an overstressed wheeled vehicle trying to do everything and succeeds in doing virtually nothing well. What I'm envisioning is that we will eventually go to a common chassis (tracked) for our Armor and IFV, more out of this whole 'joint' concept than anything else and for logistical/maintenance concerns.

I'm also projecting 25 years out. I'm not calling for the demise of armor, I'm simply calling for in 25 years the heavy MBT-style armor will no longer be the first formations deployed. Heavy Armor Battalions will be a stateside asset only deployed when there is an extremely high probability of engaging large numbers of enemy AFVs.

In 25 years I forsee the return of the Light Tank, as quality ATGMs continue to proliferate to 3rd World countries. I also forsee new types of armor optimized against their warheads working in conjunction with active defense. Yes the tradeoff is that the main armor plate can only shrug off medium cannon fire. That tradeoff is for better performance, increased range (fuel economy), and more rapid deployment. A question might be "How many Western Tanks were shot at and hit by Iraqi Tanks in 91?" Overall that number is so small that the tankers could have just as well been in unarmored bulldozers armed with the same weapons and won the battles. Yes heavy armor is the best solution to the combination of kinetic and chemical warheads. However, if you cede the match to kinetic warheads a host of lighter options against chemical warheads open up, options that would never resist a sabot round. I forsee gun rounds reaching a capability level that it is no longer economical to armor against them and instead tanks rely on electronic warfare, UAV detection systems, networked battlespace, and extremely rapid maneuver to avoid being hit rather than relying on armor to shrug off said hits.

It's my 25 year prediction. MBTs will still be King of the battlefield for that time, and important supporting arms after that for breaching and other 'heavy tank' operations, but they'll no longer be the cure-all as the battlespace will move too quickly, and larger numbers of cheaper tanks (still tracked mind you) will be able to do the normal tank jobs more quickly and with better overall results.
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Old 09 May 12, 23:18
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Tac,

I also see some utility in a light scout vehicle (I am avoiding the 'Light Tank' label). My idea is to use a Cadillac Stingray Turret with a Buford chassis. This way you get a four man crew and a live loader! The Buford failed in my eyes because they went overboard and tried to use a mechanical loader. If this loader ever failed the commander would have to reach down beside the driver, left handed to grab a shell! Not every one can lift a 105mm shell one handed!

Pruitt
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  #30  
Old 10 May 12, 01:41
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I agree with Tac, A lighter more nimble vehicle types will take the majority of duties of today's MBT, however there will always be a situation where the MBT can and will do work that lighter vehicles can't do well, primarily the Armour-Armour Engagements.
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