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Do Leopard 2 Upgrades Solve The Problems Of The Original 2A4?


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#61 MikeKiloPapa

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 0632 AM

Surely perforated armor loses much or all of it's effectiveness over plain old HHS plates at a high angle of incidence, as the holes can no longer turn the rod into the hole.  I think eg. HHS rods in rubber would work better over a wider range of angles of incidence.

Well idk.....you guys are the armor experts around here ;).....i just know what the actual armor looks like.

 

I have also once witnessed quite thin perforated plate(STANAG 4569 Level 4 armor package) being tested against 14,5mm B32 rounds and even at relatively high angles it successfully defeated the majority of rounds, despite being only about half the thickness of the B32s nominal penetration capability. 

 

Using a bit of common sense, if perforated armor was only effective at 90 degrees perpendicular impacts , it wouldn't be as prevalent in (add.on) armor packages as it clearly is.


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#62 MikeKiloPapa

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 0635 AM

Deleted....dublicate.


Edited by MikeKiloPapa, 02 December 2019 - 0636 AM.

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#63 KV7

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 0652 AM

 

Surely perforated armor loses much or all of it's effectiveness over plain old HHS plates at a high angle of incidence, as the holes can no longer turn the rod into the hole.  I think eg. HHS rods in rubber would work better over a wider range of angles of incidence.

Well idk.....you guys are the armor experts around here ;).....i just know what the actual armor looks like.

 

I have also once witnessed quite thin perforated plate(STANAG 4569 Level 4 armor package) being tested against 14,5mm B32 rounds and even at relatively high angles it successfully defeated the majority of rounds, despite being only about half the thickness of the B32s nominal penetration capability. 

 

Using a bit of common sense, if perforated armor was only effective at 90 degrees perpendicular impacts , it wouldn't be as prevalent in (add.on) armor packages as it clearly is.

ME should fall somewhat against long rods with angle of incidence, as at some point the rod will be hitting the face of the plate and then burrowing a channel closer to perpendicular to the perforations, except now the perforations make the material somewhat easier to push away. But ME could still be much better than a monolithic plate out to 45 deg or so.


 


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#64 lastdingo

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 1405 PM

I have also once witnessed quite thin perforated plate(STANAG 4569 Level 4 armor package) being tested against 14,5mm B32 rounds and even at relatively high angles it successfully defeated the majority of rounds, despite being only about half the thickness of the B32s nominal penetration capability.


That's the issue with perforated armour and meshes. They don't work all the time, for the yawing effect of the perforation depends on point and angle of impact.

 

To work most of the time seems satisfactory against single shot threats, not so much against full auto.


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#65 bojan

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 1433 PM

What is a weight of the Challenger 1/2/Warrior add-on armor single module? Cause we know a composition for those, so that could make a possible point of reference regarding Leo 2 heavy skirts.


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#66 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 0501 AM

I seem to recall a figure of 2 tons for Challenger 1, but I wont swear to that. Thats obviously including the bow reactive armour package.


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#67 bojan

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 0641 AM

I was thinking about single block of the side add-on


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#68 methos

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 1047 AM

@methos

That's a lot more helpful. It would have been nice to know the weight and dimensions of the blocks right off the bat rather than being told "It is physically impossible given the size and weight of the skirt modules".


Sure, it would have been nice. But I cannot remember every detail for every tank without checking my sources. I did remember from the last discussion that it is physically impossible based on measurements and weight of the modules.
For a more detailed answer, I had to search through my files and find the sources (i.e. weight values and photographs of someone measuring the skirt module with a tape measure), which takes time and shouldn't exactly be needed to prove that the heavy ballistic skirts are not made of two 50 mm steel plates, given how little protection that would provide against shaped charges.
 

Well i see how i might have been a bit unclear,.....i DONT know the armor layout of the old heavy ballistic skirts, what i do know is what the internal side armor modules in the hull look like. I know because i have not only seen the armor with my own eyes but also felt and fondled it with own my chubby fingers. :D......To me it would make sense to use the same type of armor layout in the heavy skirts but i could well be wrong.

 
Are you sure that the rubber-filled holes/perforations did completely go through the steel plate?
 
Also I don't believe that the internal armour in the sponsons is necessarily identical to the side skirt armour, as the sponson armour seems to rely on the fuel tanks providing at least some additional protection. As fuel provides decent shaped charge protection by itself, it is not that surprising that the special armour is more optimized against KE rounds. The skirts themselves can provide some yaw/destabilization against KE rounds, even while potentially being more optimized against shaped charges.
 
In case of the Leopard 2AV, there were differences between the left and right sponson armour arrays, i.e. due to the location of the driver's seat/hatch. Which side did you see?
 

What is a weight of the Challenger 1/2/Warrior add-on armor single module? Cause we know a composition for those, so that could make a possible point of reference regarding Leo 2 heavy skirts.


I think it is rather unlikely that the Leopard 2's heavy ballistic skirts resemble the add-on armour of Challenger 1 & Warrior. The Leopard 2's armour was designed to resist 105 mm APFSDS (& 120 mm APFSDS at longer distances) aswell as the MILAN ATGM along the forntal arc, even the armour used on the hull. However protection is limited to a frontal arc with apparently no/very little focus being paid to optimize armour against rounds hitting perpendicularly.

 

The hull add-on armour of Challenger 1 and Warrior is meanwhile designed to stop only 23 mm AP (including the base armour) and to stop a 83 or 84 mm shaped charge at perpendicular impact. Thus the armour is bulky (it has to incorporate sloped layers) and uses thin plates to maximize weight efficiency vs shaped charges.

 

In case of the Chieftain Mk. 5/2, the Chobham armour modules for the hull were 203.2 mm thick, but weight was only on the level of a 20-25 mm thick steel plate of equal width and height (i.e. areal density). The Leopard 2's skirt are about ~2.6 to ~3.4 times as heavy, while having only about 54% of the thickness.


Edited by methos, 03 December 2019 - 1059 AM.

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#69 Harkonnen

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 1653 PM

have any of  Leopard 2AV prototypes survived?


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#70 Interlinked

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 0026 AM

Sure, it would have been nice. But I cannot remember every detail for every tank without checking my sources. I did remember from the last discussion that it is physically impossible based on measurements and weight of the modules.
For a more detailed answer, I had to search through my files and find the sources (i.e. weight values and photographs of someone measuring the skirt module with a tape measure), which takes time and shouldn't exactly be needed to prove that the heavy ballistic skirts are not made of two 50 mm steel plates, given how little protection that would provide against shaped charges.


Well, take your time to look at your sources. This type of forum is conducive to this kind of discussion. It is not a chat room.

 
Are you sure that the rubber-filled holes/perforations did completely go through the steel plate?
 
Also I don't believe that the internal armour in the sponsons is necessarily identical to the side skirt armour, as the sponson armour seems to rely on the fuel tanks providing at least some additional protection. As fuel provides decent shaped charge protection by itself, it is not that surprising that the special armour is more optimized against KE rounds. The skirts themselves can provide some yaw/destabilization against KE rounds, even while potentially being more optimized against shaped charges.


I agree. Based on the weld seams, it looks like the sponsons are just simple single-walled containers for fuel with no additional armour layers inside, or at least nothing that is welded.
 

However protection is limited to a frontal arc with apparently no/very little focus being paid to optimize armour against rounds hitting perpendicularly.
 


Is it not reasonable to assume that the original skirt modules would provide less protection than the so-called "German solution" and "Swedish solution" specified in the Swedish tests? The figures for those were for perpendicular impacts after all. If the original skirt modules were made with little concern for perpendicular hits, it may be similar to the Abrams' skirt modules which have NERA panels that are set parallel to the hull sides, so that they would be completely ineffectual if a HEAT warhead hit the hull sides at a perpendicular angle.
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#71 methos

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 1135 AM

have any of  Leopard 2AV prototypes survived?

 

Probably. One was used to test the AWiSS active protection system during the 1990s.

 


However protection is limited to a frontal arc with apparently no/very little focus being paid to optimize armour against rounds hitting perpendicularly.
 


Is it not reasonable to assume that the original skirt modules would provide less protection than the so-called "German solution" and "Swedish solution" specified in the Swedish tests? The figures for those were for perpendicular impacts after all. If the original skirt modules were made with little concern for perpendicular hits, it may be similar to the Abrams' skirt modules which have NERA panels that are set parallel to the hull sides, so that they would be completely ineffectual if a HEAT warhead hit the hull sides at a perpendicular angle.

 

Not necessarily. The "German solution"* used the same basic Type B Pakete (i.e. armour inserts) as the oriignal Leopard 2 (as it was a proposed solution to only add external armour modules to older Leopard 2 tanks, minimizing work & lowering costs). The question now remains whether the add-on armour included replacing the heavy ballistic skirts or not; the skirts used on the latter Leopard 2A5 (and Stridsvagn 122) were already identical to the ones used on late-batch Leopard 2A4s with Type C and (partial?) Type D armour, i.e. newer generations of internal armour than offered with the "German solution".

 

The available data does not provide enough information to draw a definitive conclusion about the capabalities and generation of the heavy ballistic skirts. A lot of napkin math can be done, but without any clear result. E.g. the Leopard 2 with original armour was believed (by the British) to provide protection equal to 350 mm steel armour along the fronal arc; that would mean that assuming no gain/loss of protection with slope, the heavy ballistic skirts and hull armour together provide as much protection as 175 mm of armour grade steel. At 15° impact angle, that would be 676 mm of equivalent steel armour (assuming perfect scaling again) - a 120 mm APFSDS with 700 mm penetration capability managed to defeat the "German solution"'s skirt and hull armour and punch a 77 mm deep hole into the steel witness plate. That could be interpreted as evidence for the skirt armour being unchanged despite the add-on armour modules.

In reality the situation is a lot more complex, as the efficiency of armour is dependent on angle and the projectile it faces - so it also could be newer skirt armour.

 

I'd like to point out that the "Swedish solution" with newer/better armour actually had worse performing skirt armour at perpendicular impact...

 

 

*[In the end Germany did not choose the "German solution", it isn't entirely clear from the available excerpts of the Swedish tests if Germany actually considered going for such a solution or "German solution" means only something like "solution suggested by Germany"].


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#72 Harkonnen

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 1740 PM

Probably. One was used to test the AWiSS active protection system during the 1990s.

 

 

Thanks, very interesting, where it could be stored now?


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#73 MikeKiloPapa

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 0614 AM

Also I don't believe that the internal armour in the sponsons is necessarily identical to the side skirt armour, as the sponson armour seems to rely on the fuel tanks providing at least some additional protection. As fuel provides decent shaped charge protection by itself, it is not that surprising that the special armour is more optimized against KE rounds. The skirts themselves can provide some yaw/destabilization against KE rounds, even while potentially being more optimized against shaped charges.

Your theory sounds plausible, however whether optimized against shaped charges or KE, the skirt area is very unlikely to have the same protection level as the sponsons, simply due to it allocating less space(thickness) for armor( 160mm vs 220-230mm). 

Are you sure that the rubber-filled holes/perforations did completely go through the steel plate?

 

My gut reaction was yes.......however realizing that its been more than a decade and that my memory might be playing tricks on me, i revisited some of the old pictures i took back then......Aaaand, now im not so sure if you might not be at least partly right after all........due to the heavily deteriorated state of the armor ( corroded) its actually quite difficult to tell ......what it more looks like to me though,  is 2 plates laminated together, one a fully perforated plate, the other a solid back plate,  with the holes filled and the edges around the plates covered in resin/rubber, whatever it is ( it felt hard like resin, but i guess it could just be rubber hardening due to old age).

 

In case of the Leopard 2AV, there were differences between the left and right sponson armour arrays, i.e. due to the location of the driver's seat/hatch. 

Well that is true of the series production vehicles as well, including A4 and A5, the armor cavity around the drivers hatch is obviously somewhat thinner and likely has a different composition. On the A0-A4 the armor is of course angled and follows the outline/shape of the hatch. 

Which side did you see?

What i saw and photographed was the right side sponson armor immediately behind the driver,. which is similar to the left side where the armor cavities are more ore less uniform.


Edited by MikeKiloPapa, 05 December 2019 - 0637 AM.

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#74 MikeKiloPapa

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 0623 AM

Fair enough. Can you provide some kind of description of the armour layout?

Considering that the A4 is still operational with some of our close allies, i prefer not to give too detailed a description. There is already plenty of photographic evidence online (far to much IMO) suggesting the presence of those special armor modules so i am not really revealing any new information.  The lack of concrete evidence from my side also means i could well be making all this stuff up......and i prefer it that way ;)


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#75 MikeKiloPapa

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 0636 AM

 

 
Are you sure that the rubber-filled holes/perforations did completely go through the steel plate?
 
Also I don't believe that the internal armour in the sponsons is necessarily identical to the side skirt armour, as the sponson armour seems to rely on the fuel tanks providing at least some additional protection. As fuel provides decent shaped charge protection by itself, it is not that surprising that the special armour is more optimized against KE rounds. The skirts themselves can provide some yaw/destabilization against KE rounds, even while potentially being more optimized against shaped charges.
 

I agree. Based on the weld seams, it looks like the sponsons are just simple single-walled containers for fuel with no additional armour layers inside, or at least nothing that is welded.

A quick google image search on "Leopard 2 hull armor" will soon clear you of that misconception.

Is it not reasonable to assume that the original skirt modules would provide less protection than the so-called "German solution" and "Swedish solution" specified in the Swedish tests

That is all assuming those "Swedish tests" are actually real.........which is a pretty big assumption :rolleyes:


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