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    General Main Battle Tank Technology Thread:

    Mike E
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    Post  Mike E on Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:56 am

    magnumcromagnon wrote:
    Mike E wrote:
    Vann7 wrote:
    Not having no autoloader today is incredibly retarded and not justified..
    The performance of the crew will significantly decrease after a couple of days of fighting ,specially if the crew
    do not have proper rest and no sleep because of the war.

    It all honesty it depends on the person you are talking to (opinionated). I myself believe that while autoloaders are great, they can fail in which case they are useless... That being said, human loaders are slower, can wear out, and risks yet another life in the process.

    Well I'll have to make an analogy here, I would compare 'not' having a autoloader vs 'having' a autoloader with a person who 'runs' from San Diego to New York City, with a person who 'drives' the same journey. There a people who are skilled enough and who happen to be in good enough shape to run that distance, and there are cars that are in bad shape and drivers who are too incompetent (terrible drivers who can't read a map or use GPS) to drive that journey, but the people who are capable of running the journey are few-and-far-between and significantly outnumbered by people who could drive the same journey.
    Good point, and that is the main problem with ammunition loading via people. Even having half of the process being automated (PZH 2000) is a huge improvement.
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    Post  Werewolf on Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:52 am

    Autoloaders are far more reliable than human loader. Not only will autoloaders keep up the same reloading time regardless if they drive 30km/h over really rough terrain where a human had to hold himself up right with both hands. If the tank is hit and not penetrated the impact and explosion create a shock wave some people can pass out through the shock, if that is the commander it is not that big of a problem if that is the reloading guy well than you have kind off a problem. The communication of a 4th Soldier is also eleminated with autoloader because the Commander or Gunner has not to tell the Loading soldier what round he has to load next time, they just set it themselfs. Also injuries for loaders are not that uncommon, actually if someone gets hurt inside the tank without enemy involvement than it is most of the time the loading guy, who either jammed his hand somewhere or didn't paid attention and got injured in the loading process or even worse in the tank shell ejection. He has also to stand up right during drive and reload and when the tank is on rough terrain he could get shaked through or hit against some of the metal parts at his "workdesk".

    So yes an autoloader is far better than a soldier for exact this job.
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    Post  higurashihougi on Mon Sep 15, 2014 10:01 am

    Werewolf wrote:Autoloaders are far more reliable than human loader. Not only will autoloaders keep up the same reloading time regardless if they drive 30km/h over really rough terrain where a human had to hold himself up right with both hands. If the tank is hit and not penetrated the impact and explosion create a shock wave some people can pass out through the shock, if that is the commander it is not that big of a problem if that is the reloading guy well than you have kind off a problem. The communication of a 4th Soldier is also eleminated with autoloader because the Commander or Gunner has not to tell the Loading soldier what round he has to load next time, they just set it themselfs. Also injuries for loaders are not that uncommon, actually if someone gets hurt inside the tank without enemy involvement than it is most of the time the loading guy, who either jammed his hand somewhere or didn't paid attention and got injured in the loading process or even worse in the tank shell ejection. He has also to stand up right during drive and reload and when the tank is on rough terrain he could get shaked through or hit against some of the metal parts at his "workdesk".

    So yes an autoloader is far better than a soldier for exact this job.

    And an autoloader does not get drunk, does not need coffee, does not protest, does not quite the job, and we do not need to hold a ceremony for a KIA autoloader.

    Not to mention that we need 20-25 years to create a human loader while an autoloader may need less than 1 year to be created.

    After all, technology is meant to do the same or more works with fewer and fewer humans.
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    Post  Austin on Mon Sep 15, 2014 10:17 am

    Mechanically how reliable is autoloader ? Does it gets jammed or broke ?
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    Post  GarryB on Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:16 am

    The Soviets/Russians have 40 years experience with autoloaders in large calibre MBT main guns and also heavy calibre artillery guns on land and at sea.

    Reliability is not 100% and never can be, but the fact that their next generation MBTs in heavy armoured (armata), medium tracked (Kurganets) and medium wheeled (Boomerang), and light wheeled (Typhoon) will all have autoloading main guns with unmmanned turrets suggests they are confident...

    Their main heavy artillery vehicle (152mm Coalition) is also fully auto loaded with no crew in the turret....
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    Post  Werewolf on Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:17 pm

    Austin wrote:Mechanically how reliable is autoloader ? Does it gets jammed or broke ?

    I remeber BitnikGr mentioned that T-72 autoloader during its early years already had every 500 +/- reloading cycles a malfuction which is already far higher reliability than a human can perform without incidents like injuries from loading,driving or not focusing on the job. And the current autoloaders most probably have even higher reliability.
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    Post  Mike E on Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:40 pm

    Werewolf wrote:
    Austin wrote:Mechanically how reliable is autoloader ? Does it gets jammed or broke ?

    I remeber BitnikGr mentioned that T-72 autoloader during its early years already had every 500 +/- reloading cycles a malfuction which is already far higher reliability than a human can perform without incidents like injuries from loading,driving or not focusing on the job. And the current autoloaders most probably have even higher reliability.

    500? That is very impressive... The T-90 is probably even better!
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    Post  GarryB on Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:16 am

    Of course the negative is that in a 24hr conflict the autoloader never does their share of the guard duty for the vehicle....

    I remember when the T-62 came out with a 115mm smoothbore main gun and it was largely panned in the west as too inaccurate and a stupid move.

    These days most western MBTs have smoothbore guns simply because the two most useful and most powerful main gun rounds.... APFSDS and HEAT actually don't like being spun rapidly in flight... while the extra muzzle velocity for the former from a shorter, lighter cheaper gun makes it more effective.

    As main gun ammo gets heavier and longer manual loading becomes less practical and eventually the west will come to realise what a great idea it is and how wonderful their tanks are for using it. Rolling Eyes
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    Post  Mike E on Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:22 am

    GarryB wrote:Of course the negative is that in a 24hr conflict the autoloader never does their share of the guard duty for the vehicle....  

    I remember when the T-62 came out with a 115mm smoothbore main gun and it was largely panned in the west as too inaccurate and a stupid move.

    These days most western MBTs have smoothbore guns simply because the two most useful and most powerful main gun rounds.... APFSDS and HEAT actually don't like being spun rapidly in flight... while the extra muzzle velocity for the former from a shorter, lighter cheaper gun makes it more effective.

    As main gun ammo gets heavier and longer manual loading becomes less practical and eventually the west will come to realise what a great idea it is and how wonderful their tanks are for using it. Rolling Eyes
    I thought that the "commander" of the vehicle did that job, at least for the US.

    It was a stupid move, I've heard that its main fault. (The 115)

    Yeah, but rifling has its own advantages as well.

    I doubt people will be loading in the next generation of tanks.
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    Post  higurashihougi on Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:15 am

    Mike E wrote:
    GarryB wrote:Of course the negative is that in a 24hr conflict the autoloader never does their share of the guard duty for the vehicle....  

    I remember when the T-62 came out with a 115mm smoothbore main gun and it was largely panned in the west as too inaccurate and a stupid move.

    These days most western MBTs have smoothbore guns simply because the two most useful and most powerful main gun rounds.... APFSDS and HEAT actually don't like being spun rapidly in flight... while the extra muzzle velocity for the former from a shorter, lighter cheaper gun makes it more effective.

    As main gun ammo gets heavier and longer manual loading becomes less practical and eventually the west will come to realise what a great idea it is and how wonderful their tanks are for using it. Rolling Eyes
    I thought that the "commander" of the vehicle did that job, at least for the US.

    It was a stupid move, I've heard that its main fault. (The 115)

    Yeah, but rifling has its own advantages as well.

    I doubt people will be loading in the next generation of tanks.

    ...and the turret will be controled from within the hull, like Armata.
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    Post  GarryB on Tue Sep 16, 2014 11:02 am

    I thought that the "commander" of the vehicle did that job, at least for the US.

    When the vehicle is not in action and it is time to have a sleep it is generally standard procedure to guard the vehicle from the outside, with each crewman taking a turn. In a platoon of 4 Soviet or Russian tanks that means 12 men to share guard duty.... 4 less than a western unit... because of the autoloader.


    It was a stupid move, I've heard that its main fault. (The 115)

    From people who claim smoothbores are inaccurate, yet the modern Abrams with its German smoothbore can hit the balls of a fly at 4km range?

    Yeah, but rifling has its own advantages as well.

    Only for HE shells... which is why the 100mm gun of the BMP-3, which is specifically designed to fire HE rounds as standard and also artillery weapons like 152mm and 155mm artillery also use rifled barrels.

    For a tank gun it is much more expensive to make and more difficult to keep clean and it needs to be longer and heavier than an equivalent smooth bore and in terms of HEAT and APFSDS round it REDUCES their performance dramatically.

    No level of tight rifling will impart enough spin to stabilise a javelin or a dart or an APFSDS projectile... they simply can't be spun fast enough to properly stabilise in flight so small fins are used instead.

    With the HEAT round the problem is the focused beam of plasma the shaped charge is creating... centrifugal force rips it apart and makes it less effective on target because it is trying to spread instead of trying to concentrate like it should.

    Again fin stabilisation keeps the round on target to a degree that is good enough, while the performance improvements were substantial.

    The only round that likes being spun is the HESH... an obsolete round still in use by the British requiring them to cling to their out of date rifled guns.

    Against a hard target HESH is defeated easily with spaced armour... as used on most modern tanks as standard armour and available as an add on package of armour aplique.

    Evidence is shown when pride of the British Army Challenger tank mistakenly fires on British Army Warrior IFV. Warriors super armour protects it from super deadly weapon. In actual fact standard armour upgrade for light vehicles defeats obsolete British tank round.


    The HESH round needs to be spun in flight for stabilisation but when it hits a target it splatters and then detonates sending a huge shockwave through the armour it hits.

    A WWII tank would find the inner armour of their vehicle scabbing off and bouncing around inside the tank with lethal effect on crew, ammo, and fuel... very hot razor sharp metal fragments flying around the crew compartment at supersonic speed...

    Of course anti spall linings are standard and have been for half a century, while any cavity in the armour stops the shockwave dead.
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    Post  Mike E on Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:17 pm

    higurashihougi wrote:
    Mike E wrote:
    GarryB wrote:Of course the negative is that in a 24hr conflict the autoloader never does their share of the guard duty for the vehicle....  

    I remember when the T-62 came out with a 115mm smoothbore main gun and it was largely panned in the west as too inaccurate and a stupid move.

    These days most western MBTs have smoothbore guns simply because the two most useful and most powerful main gun rounds.... APFSDS and HEAT actually don't like being spun rapidly in flight... while the extra muzzle velocity for the former from a shorter, lighter cheaper gun makes it more effective.

    As main gun ammo gets heavier and longer manual loading becomes less practical and eventually the west will come to realise what a great idea it is and how wonderful their tanks are for using it. Rolling Eyes
    I thought that the "commander" of the vehicle did that job, at least for the US.

    It was a stupid move, I've heard that its main fault. (The 115)

    Yeah, but rifling has its own advantages as well.

    I doubt people will be loading in the next generation of tanks.

    ...and the turret will be controled from within the hull, like Armata.
    Correct...
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    Post  Mike E on Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:19 pm

    GarryB wrote:
    I thought that the "commander" of the vehicle did that job, at least for the US.

    When the vehicle is not in action and it is time to have a sleep it is generally standard procedure to guard the vehicle from the outside, with each crewman taking a turn. In a platoon of 4 Soviet or Russian tanks that means 12 men to share guard duty.... 4 less than a western unit... because of the autoloader.


    It was a stupid move, I've heard that its main fault. (The 115)

    From people who claim smoothbores are inaccurate, yet the modern Abrams with its German smoothbore can hit the balls of a fly at 4km range?

    Yeah, but rifling has its own advantages as well.

    Only for HE shells... which is why the 100mm gun of the BMP-3, which is specifically designed to fire HE rounds as standard and also artillery weapons like 152mm and 155mm artillery also use rifled barrels.

    For a tank gun it is much more expensive to make and more difficult to keep clean and it needs to be longer and heavier than an equivalent smooth bore and in terms of HEAT and APFSDS round it REDUCES their performance dramatically.

    No level of tight rifling will impart enough spin to stabilise a javelin or a dart or an APFSDS projectile... they simply can't be spun fast enough to properly stabilise in flight so small fins are used instead.

    With the HEAT round the problem is the focused beam of plasma the shaped charge is creating... centrifugal force rips it apart and makes it less effective on target because it is trying to spread instead of trying to concentrate like it should.

    Again fin stabilisation keeps the round on target to a degree that is good enough, while the performance improvements were substantial.

    The only round that likes being spun is the HESH... an obsolete round still in use by the British requiring them to cling to their out of date rifled guns.

    Against a hard target HESH is defeated easily with spaced armour... as used on most modern tanks as standard armour and available as an add on package of armour aplique.

    Evidence is shown when pride of the British Army Challenger tank mistakenly fires on British Army Warrior IFV. Warriors super armour protects it from super deadly weapon. In actual fact standard armour upgrade for light vehicles defeats obsolete British tank round.


    The HESH round needs to be spun in flight for stabilisation but when it hits a target it splatters and then detonates sending a huge shockwave through the armour it hits.

    A WWII tank would find the inner armour of their vehicle scabbing off and bouncing around inside the tank with lethal effect on crew, ammo, and fuel... very hot razor sharp metal fragments flying around the crew compartment at supersonic speed...

    Of course anti spall linings are standard and have been for half a century, while any cavity in the armour stops the shockwave dead.
    Ok, that makes sense...

    I mention that becuase I've heard that the gun and ammunition themselves were terrible, not the fact that it was a smoothbore.

    You said it all...
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    Post  GarryB on Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:23 am

    The Israelis used up stock of captured T-62s and compared the gun favourably with the British 105mm.

    I would suggest the state of optics and distances in combat the 115mm was quite comparable to the 105 British which at the time was a western standard... the 125mm smoothbore was in service as the west started introducing rifled 120mm guns and smoothbore 120mm guns.

    In practical terms the west had better optics but the Soviets had smaller lighter faster better armed tanks.
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    Post  higurashihougi on Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:31 am

    GarryB wrote:The Israelis used up stock of captured T-62s and compared the gun favourably with the British 105mm.

    I would suggest the state of optics  and distances in combat the 115mm was quite comparable to the 105 British which at the time was a western standard... the 125mm smoothbore was in service as the west started introducing rifled 120mm guns and smoothbore 120mm guns.

    In practical terms the west had better optics but the Soviets had smaller lighter faster better armed tanks.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but in an article, Steven Zaloga said that the Soviet upgunned and uparmoured the T-64 project because they concluded that the 105mm gun is a threat.
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    Post  Mike E on Wed Sep 17, 2014 4:03 pm

    GarryB wrote:The Israelis used up stock of captured T-62s and compared the gun favourably with the British 105mm.

    I would suggest the state of optics  and distances in combat the 115mm was quite comparable to the 105 British which at the time was a western standard... the 125mm smoothbore was in service as the west started introducing rifled 120mm guns and smoothbore 120mm guns.

    In practical terms the west had better optics but the Soviets had smaller lighter faster better armed tanks.
    Huh, I'll go spend more time investigating this then...
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    Post  GarryB on Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:54 am

    Just look at WWII... the Panther is a direct copy of the T-34 except its rear armour has the opposite slope to the T-34... the real difference is that the Panther had a gun optimised specifically for destroying enemy tanks while the guns on the T-34 were general purpose with a good HE shell... and of course the Panther weighed more than a KV-1 heavy tank yet was called a medium tank in German service...
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    Post  higurashihougi on Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:13 am

    Soviet-Russian doctrine of armoured vehicles: simplicity, reliability, high mobility, heavy firepower, and very high cost-effectiveness.

    GarryB wrote:Just look at WWII... the Panther is a direct copy of the T-34 except its rear armour has the opposite slope to the T-34... the real difference is that the Panther had a gun optimised specifically for destroying enemy tanks while the guns on the T-34 were general purpose with a good HE shell... and of course the Panther weighed more than a KV-1 heavy tank yet was called a medium tank in German service...

    The problem is that pro-West and pro-US "analysists" frequently compare Panther and Tiger with the T-34 and then conclude that Soviet tanks are bullshits, but they do not know they are comparing a heavy and mid-heavy tank with a medium tank...
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    Post  im42 on Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:27 am

    The problem is that pro-West and pro-US "analysists" frequently compare Panther and Tiger with the T-34 and then conclude that Soviet tanks are bullshits, but they do not know they are comparing a heavy and mid-heavy tank with a medium tank...

    That isn't a problem, not with Panther especially as of both the Panther and T34 were medium tanks and used as such ... more or less. The question is of course their weights and consequences of those. It is rather obvious for average intelligent person that difference of 10 metric tons will show up sooner or later in the battle. But it is not the testimony of superiority of one design over the other and vice versa, it is the outcome of needs. To make it simple T34 was far more efficent tank in almost any scenario I can think of, id est as a mean of support, maintaince, production, using more commonly available materials etc. ... darn it is better as a monument if you think of it. But in the clash mano'a'mano Panther had thicker armor and more potent gun ... which I'd like to remind you brought a new cartridge to the logistical system. If it was up to me as a decident I would prefer more then less. The tactics, crews competency are quite a different topic. I recall one specific example when an experienced crew in T34/85 eliminated three Tigers B ! ...unfortunately I remember partly name of the gunner, Abu Bakir who knew exactly where to place the gunsight ... and most ironic thing was they thought it were some sort of new Panther models.
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    Post  GarryB on Sat Sep 20, 2014 6:07 am

    It is very similar to talking about late model Russian tanks compared with their behemoth western equivalents... with ARENA and SHTORA and modern ERA a T-90 offers the equivalent protection to its crew as the much more expensive much heavier western equivalents, yet it manages it in different ways.

    Obviously the key comparison for the Panther and the Tiger with the T-34 was production rate...
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    Post  Mike E on Sat Sep 20, 2014 6:11 am

    Journalists don't know crap about armored vehicles... Your "average report" would include something like "because the M1 weighs more than its main competitor the T-90, it has better overall protection". This leads your average Joe Smoe to believe that, you get the idea. That is where misconceptions begin.


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    Post  higurashihougi on Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:09 am

    GarryB wrote:Obviously the key comparison for the Panther and the Tiger with the T-34 was production rate...

    Tiger is a heavy tank, Panther is a mid-heavy tank, T-34 is a medium tank. Comparing a heavy tank with a medium tank is not very suitable.

    The pro-West "analysists" usually forget the fact that, the Soviet equivalent of Tiger is the IS-2, and the German equivalent of T-34 are the P-3 and P-4 medium tank.

    We already know that IS-2 can defeat a Tiger, and T-34 is completely superior than P-3 and P-4.

    Mike E wrote:Journalists don't know crap about armored vehicles... Your "average report" would include something like "becuase the M1 weighs more than its main competitor the T-90, it has better overall protection". This leads your average Joe Smoe to believe that, you get the idea. That is where misconceptions begin.

    M1's frontal armour is very thick and has a very tough uranium layer. But then t-90 has additional ERA and modular armour, and a set of active defense system, which provide similar protection with much less cost, i.e. very cost effetive.

    The US frequently fells into the sweet trap of "100% capability" and "one-size-fit-all", although it is clear that we cannot create a supergun which repalces all kinds of AK, submachine, machine, pistol, sniper rifle... that's why we have a disaster named F-35.
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    Post  Mike E on Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:30 am

    higurashihougi wrote:
    Mike E wrote:Journalists don't know crap about armored vehicles... Your "average report" would include something like "becuase the M1 weighs more than its main competitor the T-90, it has better overall protection". This leads your average Joe Smoe to believe that, you get the idea. That is where misconceptions begin.

    M1's frontal armour is very thick and has a very tough uranium layer. But then t-90 has additional ERA and modular armour, and a set of active defense system, which provide similar protection with much less cost, i.e. very cost effetive.

    The US frequently fells into the sweet trap of "100% capability" and "one-size-fit-all", although it is clear that we cannot create a supergun which repalces all kinds of AK, submachine, machine, pistol, sniper rifle... that's why we have a disaster named F-35.

    It is, but Chobham is severely overrated, and even defeated by RPG's one *multiple* occasions. - The M1 technically has a "worsened" variant of it compared with the Chally 2. I thought the T-90 didn't have a hard-kill APS.... - It was discussed in a different thread.

    The US falls into lobbyists, money, crap we don't need, and the MIC. - THAT is the root of our military problems.
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    Post  im42 on Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:55 am

    Chobham is just a different name for the layer sandwich armor, something that happened back in the T-64. But saying that Challenger armor is somewhat superior to Abrams is false by itself, that is on what factors that statement is based upon ?.
    T-90 unfortunately needs to await its test as all kind of military hardware but hopes are high not without reason and I want to remind that F-35 isn't fully fielded to start with to be a judge in its case but I can't deny it won't excell in any role, no doubt about that. For example I am a big supporter of a superiority heavy fighter as MiG-31Ms that was precisely crafted for that reasons with no rivals in the world that might come even close. Federation surely need to develop its successor to keep that edge sharp.
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    Post  Morpheus Eberhardt on Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:59 am

    Mike E wrote:Journalists don't know crap about armored vehicles... Your "average report" would include something like "becuase the M1 weighs more than its main competitor the T-90, it has better overall protection". This leads your average Joe Smoe to believe that, you get the idea. That is where misconceptions begin.

    +1 for being one of the most intelligent comments that I have ever seen on the internet.

    M1 family is heavier but has weaker passive armor; one thing Joe Shmoe doesn't and can't realize is that, for a number technological and scientific reasons, this makes perfect good sense and is natural.

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