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M1 Ecp Upgrades And M1A3 Program.


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#41 Special-K

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 0137 AM

Armoring the top surface gets heavy fast. Increasing the steel thickness by just 1mm over one square meter adds about 8kg to the weight of the vehicle.
The top surface of the turret alone is about 13 square meters, so adding a tonne of steel to the vehicle would give you less than 10mm of additional protection.
You could focus on just armoring the top surface above the crew, which would cut it down quite a bit, but would it be enough to make a difference? The humble PG-7M will penetrate about 350mm. Even with highly mass efficient composites you're not going to make the top surface resistant to that within a reasonable mass budget, and such composites add quite a bit of bulk too.
Active defenses like Trophy (which is effective against high-angle threats) are the way to go.



I don't believe you are wrong in any of this, but I am thinking more to protect vs DPICM bomblets and the like rather than an RPG strike. I don't know if there are any tanks that can shrug off a hit from a real top attack ATGM like a TOW-2b or Javelin, but it seems like other western tanks have quite a bit more topside protection than the Abrams.


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#42 Interlinked

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 0144 AM

Protection from both RPGs and bomblets is completely within the realm of possibility with ERA. Bomblets come straight down from above but RPGs don't.
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#43 GARGEAN

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 0156 AM

I don't believe you are wrong in any of this, but I am thinking more to protect vs DPICM bomblets and the like rather than an RPG strike. I don't know if there are any tanks that can shrug off a hit from a real top attack ATGM like a TOW-2b or Javelin, but it seems like other western tanks have quite a bit more topside protection than the Abrams.


-K

Most, if not all, western tanks are very vulnerable from above, M1 is nothing any special here. As for armored roofs - you should look at T-80U and T-90 line for than.
Note: well, no, M1 is indeed kinda special tbh, but not because of turret roof. Than hull...

Edited by GARGEAN, 28 February 2019 - 0158 AM.

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#44 methos

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 0542 AM

I don't believe you are wrong in any of this, but I am thinking more to protect vs DPICM bomblets and the like rather than an RPG strike. I don't know if there are any tanks that can shrug off a hit from a real top attack ATGM like a TOW-2b or Javelin, but it seems like other western tanks have quite a bit more topside protection than the Abrams.

 

Protection of the roof against bomblets, artillery fragments and even top-attack EFPs (from TOW-2B, BONUS and SMArt) can be achieved at a reasonable weight gain utilizing modern composite armour solutions, though that would require decision makers to be willing to pay for that (while the armour itself might be actually cheap, redesigning hatches, sights and other equipment might not be). Apparently there already has been a roof armour package for the M1A2 Abrams, at least there are photographs of a M1A2 SEP prototype with weight simulators on the roof, while Swedish sources reported that the M1A2 tested in the early 1990s was offered with an optional roof armour (although this might have been a reference to the same roof armour package fitted to Stridsvagn 122 and a few other Leopard 2 versions).

 

The Swiss have developed composite armour for their Panzer 87 upgrade, but never adopted it. Apparently thiis however formed the base for the RoofPRO armour offered by the state-owned Swiss company RUAG, which has been marketed and adopted on several light-weight vehicles. At 28 kg/m² protection against DPICM-style artillery bomblets with shaped charge warheads up to 50 mm diameter can be affored, while a heavier version at 43 kg/m² also allows protecting light-weight vehicles (wheeled 8x8s,light-weight APCs and IFVs) against fragments from 152 and 155 mm artillery bomblets. This armour is for example used on the CV9035 of the Royal Netherlands Army.

 

RoofPRO.jpg

 

Maybe related to this, but heavier and more capable is the roof armour solution developed for the Panzerhaubitze 2000 and Puma IFV, which is also capable of dealing with more powerful threats (it appears to have been original from a German company, which then formed a joint-venture with RUAG). AMAP-R from IBD Deisenroth can protect against DPICM bomblets at 25 kg/m², a heavier version at 120 kg/m² also can deal with EFP warheads.


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#45 GARGEAN

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 0556 AM

Protection of the roof against bomblets, artillery fragments and even top-attack EFPs (from TOW-2B, BONUS and SMArt) can be achieved at a reasonable weight gain utilizing modern composite armour solutions


Disagree. Considering surface area of turret roof of M1 (or most western MBTs for that matter) and considering that HEAT bomblets can pen 160-200mm and EFP of SPBE can pen 70mm at 30 degrees, gaining that level of armor for all upper surface aside blowout panels will weight much more than "reasonable". Best solution considering weight/effectiveness is ERA, but even with it weight gain will be feelable.
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#46 methos

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 0626 AM

Disagree. Considering surface area of turret roof of M1 (or most western MBTs for that matter) and considering that HEAT bomblets can pen 160-200mm and EFP of SPBE can pen 70mm at 30 degrees, gaining that level of armor for all upper surface aside blowout panels will weight much more than "reasonable". Best solution considering weight/effectiveness is ERA, but even with it weight gain will be feelable.


It is not necessary to fit additional roof armour to all surfaces of the roof, only the surface area above the crew positions. That will be about 4 to 6 square-meters, which would mean that something like AMAP-R in the heavy configuration would increase the weight by only up to 720 kilograms.

 

The ERA used on the roofs of Soviet tanks isn't going to be much lighter (the main advantage of Soviet/Russian MBTs in regards to roof armour is the fact, that the driver is covered by glacis armour plate) and cannot be adopted on all surfaces without large gaps. The upgraded T-72 tanks for example have very poor coverage of the roof:

 

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If one is only interested in protecting against DPICM style submunitions, RUAG's RoofPRO-PL and IBD's AMAP-R level 1 (and similar products from other manufacturers) will offer sufficient protection at lower weight than ERA (the coverplate of the ERA is 10 mm thick alone, which weighs more than previously mentioned options), while having a better coverage. German Igelpanzerung can reduce the penetration by DPICM-style sub-munitions with 200 mm penetration to just 10-50 mm, enough that light-weight passive armour can stop it.

 

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#47 Dark_Falcon

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Posted 06 March 2019 - 1936 PM

Readers may need to zoom but this is relevant to the discussion about the Abrams:

 

D1AVjZsX4AAOj23.jpg​


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#48 Corinthian

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Posted 06 March 2019 - 2011 PM

Re: AMPV, are any of these being currently built?


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#49 Dark_Falcon

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Posted 07 March 2019 - 2053 PM

Re: AMPV, are any of these being currently built?

 

Yes, all the variants are currently in Low-Rate Initial Production.


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#50 Ken Estes

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 0415 AM

A bit Trumpian-triumphant in tone and source, but of possible interest.

Tank Terror: Why the U.S. Army's 'New' M1 Abrams Tank Is A Monster on the Battlefield

(Washington, D.C.)

 

Should a mechanized column of heavily armored Russian vehicles launch an aggressive, forward-leaning assault into Eastern Europe 10 years from now, complete with air and artillery support - - just what kinds of specific armored vehicles would best position a US/NATO response?

 

Such a scenario, however likely, incorporates some of the complexities now informing current Army thinking. How much can current platforms, such as the 1980s-era Abrams tank, be upgraded and maintained such that they can provide the requisite force, protection and firepower to meet such a contingency? -- Both now and 15 years from now? To what extent would the Army’s emerging fleet of Next-Generation Combat Vehicles be better equipped to respond?

 

The Army’s most pressing priority, senior leaders explain, is to be ready for war “now” -- “today” -- and in the immediate future.

 

“One of our biggest challenges is to continue to upgrade our current platforms for anything we may go to war with today at the same time making sure we put the proper investments into our future abilities - so we are ready for the fight after next,” Maj. Gen. Brian Cummings, Program Executive Officer, Ground Combat Systems, told Warrior Maven in an interview a few months ago.

 

The thinking is characterized by two intertwined, yet distinct trajectories; future planning is dominated by a need for lighter-weight, expeditionary armored vehicles protected by long-range sensors, advanced fires and Active Protection Systems; the Army has already integrated an APS system called Trophy onto its Abrams vehicles. In this mix of technologies, survivability rests upon the prospect of lightweight armor composites, APS, long range fires, sensors and air defenses.

 

While promising, relevant and fundamental to modernization, these priorities do not seem to displace a corresponding need for heavy armor. In short, both are essential to the future, which means the Abrams tank -- is most-likely going nowhere soon. The Army’s behavior seems to reflect this dual-pronged approach, as the service is deeply invested in both future vehicles and substantial upgrades to the Abrams.

 

When it comes to potential future warfare scenarios, it’s clear that lighter-weight, expeditionary firepower such as the Army’ Mobile Protected Firepower vehicle are entirely necessary to support advancing infantry. However, there may be state-on-state combat contingencies far too dangerous for maneuvering infantry to lead an assault. In this case, heavily protected armored vehicles, equipped with precision long-range fires and advanced sensors, might prove indispensable to the fight.

 

To put it succinctly, today’s Abrams is nothing like it was decades ago. In fact, one could safely say its sensors, firepower and current protection make it almost an entirely new vehicle is some respects. Along these lines, the Army is working on a new SEP v4 variant, slated to begin testing in 2021, specifically engineered as a “lethality” upgrade.

 

The new tank will include new laser rangefinder technology, color cameras, integrated on-board networks, new slip-rings, advanced meteorological sensors, ammunition data links, laser warning receivers and a far more lethal, multi-purpose 120mm tank round, senior Army weapons developers have explained.

 

The US Army’s Multi-Purpose 120mm tank round, to arm the v4, is now being engineered to integrate several different kinds of ammunition into a single, tailorable round -- to include High Explosive Anti -Tank rounds, Multi-Purpose Anti-Tank rounds and anti-personnel canister rounds, among others.

 

The SEPv4 upgrade is, among other things, centered around the integration of a higher-tech 3rd generation FLIR – Forward Looking Infrared imaging sensor.

 

The advanced FLIR uses higher resolution and digital imaging along with an increased ability to detect enemy signatures at farther ranges through various obscurants such as rain, dust or fog, Army developers explain. Improved FLIR technologies help tank crews better recognize light and heat signatures emerging from targets such as enemy sensors, electronic signals or enemy vehicles.

 

Thermal targeting sights, as demonstrated during the now famous Gulf War tank battles including Abrams tanks against Russian-built T-72, can create range mismatches enabling tanks to destroy enemy tanks without themselves being seen.

 

Regarding a need for heavy armor, there is of course also the importance of countering the Russian T-14 Armata -- a new platform armed with now-in-development 3UBK21 Sprinter Missiles and long range 9M119 Reflecks armor-piercing rounds, according to details provided in a 2018 report from Popular Mechanics’ Kyle Mizokami.

 

Furthermore, not only will the Abrams v4 improve range and lethality of the tanks main gun, but it will also bring long-range laser detection and rear-view sensors. Newly configured meteorological sensors will better enable Abrams tanks to anticipate and adapt to changing weather or combat conditions more quickly, Army officials explain.

 

The emerging M1A2 SEP v4 will also be configured with a new slip-ring leading to the turret and on-board ethernet switch to reduce the number of needed “boxes” by networking sensors to one another in a single vehicle.

 

The Army is also engineering new AI-enabled Hostile Fire Detection sensors for its fleet Abrams tanks to identify, track and target incoming enemy small arms fire. This might enable forward maneuvering infantry and Armored Brigade Combat Teams to benefit from both heavy armored protection and ISR-like enemy- locating sensors. Such sensors, now being prototyped and experimented with, can include thermal sensors able to locate the "heat signature" coming from enemy small arms fire, acoustic sensors tracking the sound or even some kind of focal plane array, service engineers explain.

 

Potential integration between HFD and Active Protection Systems is also part of the calculus, according to senior weapons developers. APS technology, now on Army Abrams tanks, uses sensors, fire control technology and interceptors to ID and knock out incoming RPGs and ATGMs, among other things. While APS, in concept and application, involves threats larger or more substantial than things like small arms fire, there is great combat utility in synching APS to HFD.

 

The advantages of this kind of interoperability are multi-faceted. Given that RPGs and ATGMs are often fired from the same location as enemy small arms fire, an ability to track one, the other, or both in real time greatly improves targeting possibilities. This kind of initiative is entirely consistent with ongoing Army efforts to work toward more capable, multi-function sensors. The idea is to have a merged or integrated smaller hardware footprint, coupled with advanced sensing technology, able to perform a wide range of tasks historically performed by multiple separate on-board systems.

 

The overall current picture could well be summarized in one sentence - spoken by a senior Army combat vehicles developer last Fall:

 

"I have no requirements for a replacement tank."

 

Kris Osborn is a Senior Fellow at The Lexington Institute.

Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army - Acquisition, Logistics& Technology. Osborn has also worked as an anchor and on-air military specialist at national TV networks. He has a Masters Degree in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

 


Edited by Ken Estes, 12 March 2019 - 0419 AM.

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#51 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 0516 AM

 

I don't believe you are wrong in any of this, but I am thinking more to protect vs DPICM bomblets and the like rather than an RPG strike. I don't know if there are any tanks that can shrug off a hit from a real top attack ATGM like a TOW-2b or Javelin, but it seems like other western tanks have quite a bit more topside protection than the Abrams.


-K

Most, if not all, western tanks are very vulnerable from above, M1 is nothing any special here. As for armored roofs - you should look at T-80U and T-90 line for than.
Note: well, no, M1 is indeed kinda special tbh, but not because of turret roof. Than hull...

 

 

Challenger 2 isnt.


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#52 bojan

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 0637 AM

How exactly?

Challenger%202%20(34).jpg


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#53 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 0847 AM

Well I was refering to the turret, but if we are counting engine decks, pretty everything but a WW1 MKIV and V is going to be vulnerable. :D


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#54 bojan

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 1026 AM

Even turret. Look at hatches. Other than a thickening on the central part of turret  (which we don't know if it is armor) rest of the roof should be same as hatches.


Edited by bojan, 12 March 2019 - 1026 AM.

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#55 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 1030 AM

Fair comment. So what you are really saying is, any tank without an APS is going to be vulnerable, to one degree or another, to top attack? I wouldn't disagree with that.


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#56 GARGEAN

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 1036 AM

image010.jpg


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#57 Wiedzmin

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 1214 PM

which we don't know if it is armor

E_6OO-db-2Y.jpg

 

it can be spaced armour, but it works mainly as "decoration" that hide real height of commander "tower"(i can't call it cupola lol)


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#58 GARGEAN

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 1225 PM

it can be spaced armour, but it works mainly as "decoration" that hide real height of commander "tower"(i can't call it cupola lol)

 

Hm... Is it covered by main turret face armor at the front in any way? Or commanders "tower" is more vulnerable that it seems?


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#59 Wiedzmin

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 1231 PM

Is it covered by main turret face armor at the front in any way? 

 

no, CR1 and CR2 have a lot of "cosmetic armour" to cover real construction of turret and hull


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#60 Panzermann

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 1424 PM

 

which we don't know if it is armor

E_6OO-db-2Y.jpg

 

it can be spaced armour, but it works mainly as "decoration" that hide real height of commander "tower"(i can't call it cupola lol)

 

 

that roof plate looks thick enough to be a feasible armour plate with that distance. Pretty decent  roof protection I'd say, if it is hrdened armopur plkate, and there is not  much reason to put mild steel there.


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