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    General Main Battle Tank Technology Thread:

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    ALAMO


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    Post  ALAMO Tue Oct 17, 2023 6:16 am

    GarryB wrote:It is amazing the number of people who think the engine at the front actually adds to the protection...

    It does.
    A whole armor concept is based on that.
    The engine block is very bulk&heavy, with the gearbox located in the front.

    General Main Battle Tank Technology Thread: - Page 23 Main-q13

    Transmission is nothing else other than a bunch of hard steel discs.
    There is also a fuel tank that disperse cumulative stream.

    And that is the point.
    It all together makes a tank relatively well armored, but from a very narrow frontal arc, and only against HEAT ammunition.
    And we are talking a very old standard, because it is not a match to something that pierces 1000mm.

    Relatively modern kinetic rounds will pierce that without any serious issues.

    What's more, this construction makes it extremely vulnerable to artillery fire, and side penetration - take a look at thin steel panels that are there to pretend being armor on th sides.

    Every single penetration, even partial one, will take out transmission. No matter if it will be head on, or a side one - the gearbox is dead meat. Every single hit to the sides, kills the suspension.
    Every single hit to the side font, kills reduction gears located there with no armor at all.

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    Post  Hole Tue Oct 17, 2023 11:08 am

    the gearbox is dead meat.
    Try to drive fast backwards without a gearbox. Wink lol1

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    Post  ALAMO Tue Oct 17, 2023 11:19 am

    Jokes aside, those tanks has been widely acclaimed as state of the art superior western/jew technology wonders that will eat alive every Soviet tank provided.
    The power of western propaganda can beat shit out of any reasonable opinion.
    Until someone will do a hard check ...

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    Post  GarryB Tue Oct 17, 2023 7:52 pm

    Which helps even more because if you believe the hype... super thick frontal armour because Israel cares about its soldiers, plus an entire engine... no point in shooting at it from the front so it wont get immobilised with an engine hit so it seems OK and with only penetrations to the side it looks like any other tank... except if they ignore the BS and shoot from the front with decent stuff.

    Most western kit is idolised because the enemy never had larger calibre double warhead RPGs let alone Kornets... and when they do the Western super tanks seem to burn just like everyone elses do.

    But if they don't have super tanks and they clearly don't have super SAMs what are their aircraft really like... maybe they are not lying about them...

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    Post  lyle6 Wed Oct 18, 2023 7:15 am

    Mobility is also a form of protection. The 2nd most effective one there is actually after stealth. You can't be killed if you aren't there. That's why it makes retarded sense to intentionally use your survivability enabler as inferior armor - with a notable exception.

    And that exception is IFVs/APCs. Why?

    Because if an MBT is stricken on the battlefield you are left with 3 dudes who need an evac. An IFV/APC that is immoblized you have a reinforced squad that can still act as dismounted infantry.

    But in general using the powerpack as armor is as ass backwards as knights dismounting and using their horses as shields. What the **** are you doing? dunno

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    Post  lancelot Wed Oct 18, 2023 9:43 am

    You guys forget the Israelis also use the Merkava as a heavy troop carrier in some instances. Having the engine in the front means they can use it as a heavy troop carrier when they need to. Since they have few vehicles to begin with this makes sense for them.

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    Post  ALAMO Wed Oct 18, 2023 9:55 am

    But it is very far from optimal when used this way.
    First of all, to load the troops, ammunition must be unloaded, leaving the tank with some 10 or so rounds in the front part of the hull.
    Second, it has a very weak armor compared to dedicated Israeli heavy tracked troops carriers.
    That is why I said first that it is not a tank, so can't be judged in tanks category.
    It will fail.
    On the other hand, it will fail as a heavy troops carrier either.
    And as an infantry supportive weapon (mortar on top, specialised antipersonnel rounds), too.
    One more time it has been proved, that if something is made to do everything, it does nothing good.

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    Post  GarryB Wed Oct 18, 2023 9:49 pm

    You guys forget the Israelis also use the Merkava as a heavy troop carrier in some instances. Having the engine in the front means they can use it as a heavy troop carrier when they need to. Since they have few vehicles to begin with this makes sense for them.

    Not forgetting that at all... that was a terrible failure wasn't it?

    Having the engine in front meant they could have a ramp rear door for troops, but in practise BMPs and MBTs are very different things that sit in different places and move in different ways... a tank likes long range shots so it moves around to places that exposes its turret and looks and fires.

    A BMP is more complicated because it has fire power but also troops, when it finds threats it can deal with using its fire power it does so, but its main job is to deploy troops and support them with heavy fire power, the way a tank both can and cannot... a 120mm gun is not the same as an automatic cannon and with a Merkava with troops in the back the ammo load is rather small.

    An interesting idea but a bit like the Hind... most of the time a dedicated troop transport is better and the troop area is better used for extra ammo.

    One more time it has been proved, that if something is made to do everything, it does nothing good.

    I can't agree with that, I think the Hind is a useful helicopter even if it is rarely used as a troop transport... for paramilitary use it is actually rather good, and the armament of the BMP-3 is complex but it gives the commander a choice and variety of solutions to a range of problems he might face on the battlefield.

    Some barriers and defences wont be dealt with using a 30mm auto cannon, where a 100mm HE shell will get the job done in a few shots. Equally in other situations where a 100mm shell wont do the 30mm cannon and 30mm grenade launcher can tick the boxes too.

    Interestingly a 57mm grenade launcher that can fire APFSDS rounds is probably a better solution overall, but the BMP-3 weapon arrangement seems to be rather good.

    An airburst 100mm shell would be rather interesting too... not to mention a heavier barrel and an APFSDS round for the 100mm weapon... the 100mm is essentially a "grenade launcher" with a large shell and small propellent charge so doing with that round what they did with the 57mm APFSDS round would be interesting.

    It wouldn't be effective against modern tanks but should be at least the equivalent to the Israeli 60mm APFSDS round for use against old model tanks and BMPs.

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    Post  higurashihougi Thu Oct 19, 2023 6:38 am

    lyle6 wrote:https://pbs.twimg.com/media/F8jxtPxWsAAvmZn?format=jpg&name=small
    Merkava 4M with the real iron dome. Razz

    When Russia first deployed the umbrella on T-xx in Ukraina, pro-Western fanbois ridiculed it as a sign of Russian weakness and backwardness.

    Now even pro-Western regimes like Maidan and Israel have deployed the umbrella What a Face What a Face What a Face

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    Post  ALAMO Thu Oct 19, 2023 7:22 am

    It ain't a new story bro.
    Using ERA by the Soviets was a signature of a weakness.
    The fact that Israeli used it first was not an issue.
    And the fact that Muricans did just as soon as they challenged urban warfare was not an issue either.

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    Post  Regular Thu Oct 19, 2023 12:37 pm

    lancelot wrote:You guys forget the Israelis also use the Merkava as a heavy troop carrier in some instances. Having the engine in the front means they can use it as a heavy troop carrier when they need to. Since they have few vehicles to begin with this makes sense for them.
    Very rare instances in reality.
    Probably good for evac is injured is not heavy 300. Defeats purpoae of Namers and etc

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    Post  GarryB Fri Oct 20, 2023 1:43 am

    Perhaps like the Mi-28N with the avionics bay allowing enough room for a couple of people to squeeze in in an emergency evacuation, the difference is that with the Merkava when they start their operation that space is taken with ammo, but as ammo is used up you could free up enough space to carry the surviving members of another tank crew whose vehicle has been immobilised to extract them safely from the battlefield perhaps.

    With the upgrades to the Mi-28NM I don't know that there is as much space available in the avionics bay as there was before...

    And of course the Hind was the same in that if a friendly crew or very small group needed rescue the Hind could go in and take them on board and rescue them if nothing else was available.
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    Post  lyle6 Fri Oct 20, 2023 2:38 am

    lancelot wrote:You guys forget the Israelis also use the Merkava as a heavy troop carrier in some instances. Having the engine in the front means they can use it as a heavy troop carrier when they need to. Since they have few vehicles to begin with this makes sense for them.

    Nah, the Merkava's armor design is retarded as an APC too.
    It relies too heavily on sloping resulting in wildly differentiated protection levels across the frontal profile.
    General Main Battle Tank Technology Thread: - Page 23 Images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTufFiW00LIyIy0B3K5RhfwsB2fmqMUJ2VkmQ&usqp=CAU
    General Main Battle Tank Technology Thread: - Page 23 Screenshot_2
    And in general sloping thin plates is not even relevant with monobloc subcaliber arrows that won't shatter or ricochet even at extreme obliquity angles. Any attack from even a slight elevation will just nullify most of the sloping effect.
    Note: This is the Merkava 4 but Namer reuses the same armor design.

    The less said about the lower glacis the better.

    You want heavy APC/IFV done right without exceeding weight limits while still providing adequate protection for an enlarged protectes volume you look at the T-15 IFV.
    The cutaway is the Object 299 but the T-15 copies the layout more or less:
    General Main Battle Tank Technology Thread: - Page 23 GGOn8VV
    General Main Battle Tank Technology Thread: - Page 23 Images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRaOCIHdEfTVxEjEmu0ap_EMnW5TnO4Ih8JnA&usqp=CAU
    Basically the front hull protection can be divided into three parts: an initial disruptor layer, the powerpack, and the composite layer.

    The disruptor layer of Heavy ERA itself is divided in halves. The upper half consists of a disruptor layer with additional spacing because from the POV of the projectile the upper half of the powerpack is the cooling system then the engine while the lower half has the transmission and the engine and the transmission is nearly pure steel. This means the lower disrupter layer can be mounted directly ahead of the transmission with little reduction in efficiency. This initial disruptor layer only needs to be reinforced against autocannon projectiles and single charge HEAT warheads as anything more serious will require the powerpack and the final layer to defeat.

    With this optimization the final weight intensive composite absorber layer on the T-15 can be made much thinner than those of the T-14. The weight saving from the lightened front hull armor and the unmanned turret will now go towards reinforcing the sides, top, and rear resulting in a 55t T-15 IFV that easily beats the crap out of the unarmed 64t Namer APC.

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    Post  The-thing-next-door Fri Oct 20, 2023 6:41 am

    lyle6 wrote:

    You want heavy APC/IFV done right without exceeding weight limits while still providing adequate protection for an enlarged protectes volume you look at the T-15 IFV.
    The cutaway is the Object 299 but the T-15 copies the layout more or less:

    I would hope that the T-15 has somewhat more frontal armour than the 299. if the drawings are to be believed then the 299's engine would be protected against autocannon and older infantry rockets only, meaning almost every frontal hit would be a mobility kill.

    The 299 also has the top of the ammunition being protected by only a rather thin cast turret, meaning that any hit there by ATGMs if APFSDS would cause the vehicle to burn down.
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    Post  ALAMO Fri Oct 20, 2023 6:56 am

    I highly doubt the "1050 LOS" on the Merkava.
    There is nothing there that would make the number.
    It is just the same armor plate, steel for Mk 1, 2 nd 3 and steel with additional package of combined armor, both totaling maybe 20 cm.

    Here is a nice photo showing the general thickness and arrangement of front hull armor before top plate was welded on.

    General Main Battle Tank Technology Thread: - Page 23 Scr6_010

    Pay attention to the hole in the front side of the hull - it is a space where planetary reductors go. The only armor this area has, is a side skirt and a wheel.

    We should really keep in mind, what the Merkava is. Placing aside the whole propaganda assisted.
    It is a tank made with a M60 and Centurion era technology.
    An artefact, considering today's tank making standards.
    Israel was a poor country with no technologies. No heavy industry. No serious metallurgy and chemistry, that would allow them making complicated chemical structures for armor package. No know how to produce serious grade armored steel, like the Soviets did.
    In 20 years of the Russkie tank making, from the 60s till 80s, they implemented THREE principally new steel alloys. Something out of the horizon for the Jews.

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    Post  GarryB Fri Oct 20, 2023 9:54 pm

    It does.
    A whole armor concept is based on that.
    The engine block is very bulk&heavy, with the gearbox located in the front.

    Putting the engine in the front increases the protection in the sense that putting the ammo and fuel there also increases protection, by putting vulnerable flammable things behind the thickest armour you are giving it the best protection on the vehicle, but you are also placing it where it will most likely get hit repeatedly so if the enemy have weapons powerful to penetrate your frontal armour you are not just letting them penetrate your tank but you are giving them a mobility kill so they can keep hitting your tank until your crew is dead.

    Having the engine at the rear means even a penetration that kills a crewmember or two as long as it isn't the driver then the driver can perhaps drive the vehicle out of the line of fire so the surviving crew can bail out.

    Suggesting a hot flammable engine is somehow protection from anti armour weapons, well a sheet of cardboard is also increased protection too but it is not really worth much unless it is 40 metres thick.

    A solid slug from a shotgun will penetrate your average engine and it is soft and is only using its momentum to get through... a weapon designed to penetrate tank armour is rather more optimised to pass through hardened armour plate so it will not even notice an engine in the way.

    And in general sloping thin plates is not even relevant with monobloc subcaliber arrows that won't shatter or ricochet even at extreme obliquity angles. Any attack from even a slight elevation will just nullify most of the sloping effect.

    I have noticed that too with the Abrams tank where the front hull armour around the driver is actually very thin but they claim it offers amazing protection because of the very steep angle it is set at and all the penetration models shown for it show APFSDS darts shattering as they penetrate the surface of the armour horizontally... the way those very same darts DON'T shatter when penetrating a much thicker piece of armour from a more normal angle... US magic armour I guess.

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    Post  ALAMO Sat Oct 21, 2023 3:09 am

    GarryB wrote:
    Putting the engine in the front increases the protection in the sense that putting the ammo and fuel there also increases protection, by putting vulnerable flammable things behind the thickest armour you are giving it the best protection on the vehicle, but you are also placing it where it will most likely get hit repeatedly so if the enemy have weapons powerful to penetrate your frontal armour you are not just letting them penetrate your tank but you are giving them a mobility kill so they can keep hitting your tank until your crew is dead.

    Yes, fuel is considered as a quite effective protection layer against a cumulative charges. It gives a really decent disruption, and has a mass equivalent quite close to glass textolite.
    Japanese worked for the last 20 years to create honeycomb like structure that will soak fuel, and add an additional layered structure against the cumulative stream. Some rumors suggest they have succeded, and a new tank of theirs has tanks filled with it.
    You are missing the whole story. I guess by trying to make a point with Merkava as a tank. Which it is not.
    Placing the power pack in front of the hull was the only way to create a vehicle that can fulfill a different tasks they applied to it.
    Just take a look at the ammunition load it carries. 60 pcs, some say even 64.
    It is an enormous and unexpected load for any other tank, in a whole world.
    Weird, isn't it?
    A concept of 60 mm build in mortar?
    Back in the 70s?
    Weird, isn't it?
    Back door and a deck inside.
    In a tank?
    Weird, isn't it?

    What it was supposed to be, was a universal support platform with extended autonomy.
    The space inside was not used to carry a full ammo load in most of the cases, but ... water.
    It was used as a bloody water truck to deliver water to the troops and store it safely.

    There are technical break-event points in its construction too. Just get back to the project roots and check how they constructed it. The very first approach was ... a cloned Centurion chassis with a new, cast turret.
    Israel in the 70s was not in a position to build an advanced tank. What they did, was matching not the T-72, but ... 62.
    Honestly, they didn't have many options to choose.
    As the vehicle was a part of overall Jewish propaganda and psyops, that included horrifying the Arabs - they applied a huge chunk of that shitload to the poor Merkava.
    A victim of own propaganda Laughing

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    Post  lyle6 Mon Oct 23, 2023 6:29 am

    The-thing-next-door wrote:
    I would hope that the T-15 has somewhat more frontal armour than the 299. if the drawings are to be believed then the 299's engine would be protected against autocannon and older infantry rockets only, meaning almost every frontal hit would be a mobility kill.
    The T-15 has the Afghanit APS to deal with ATGMs. But against MBT subcaliber fire, you still need the massive and heavy composite armor array to effectively absorb the hit and there simply isn't any space left in front of the powerpack to install one.

    The-thing-next-door wrote:
    The 299 also has the top of the ammunition being protected by only a rather thin cast turret, meaning that any hit there by ATGMs if APFSDS would cause the vehicle to burn down.
    The volatile propellant charges are stowed below the turret ring, well away from the line of fire.

    ALAMO wrote:I highly doubt the "1050 LOS" on the Merkava.
    There is nothing there that would make the number.
    It is just the same armor plate, steel for Mk 1, 2 nd 3 and steel with additional package of combined armor, both totaling maybe 20 cm.
    I know.

    GarryB wrote:
    I have noticed that too with the Abrams tank where the front hull armour around the driver is actually very thin but they claim it offers amazing protection because of the very steep angle it is set at and all the penetration models shown for it show APFSDS darts shattering as they penetrate the surface of the armour horizontally... the way those very same darts DON'T shatter when penetrating a much thicker piece of armour from a more normal angle... US magic armour I guess.
    Its amazing protection. If you don't mind the driver getting killed or the front fuel tanks catching fire, or if it actually works, necking your turret ring and converting your tank into a StuG.  Razz

    ALAMO wrote:
    What it was supposed to be, was a universal support platform with extended autonomy.
    The space inside was not used to carry a full ammo load in most of the cases, but ... water.
    It was used as a bloody water truck to deliver water to the troops and store it safely.
    That might be how they are using it in actual operations but I doubt any designer would've intended for their creation to be a mere water carrier.

    But if you ask me I think the Merkava (at least the Marks 1-3) is just Israel's take on the defensive MBT favored by NATO, only less mobile and more reliant on springing ambushes from fixed positions. The giveaway is the rear ramp door that is too small for infantry to storm out of, but is more than enough for someone to hand in 1m long 105/120mm rounds to the waiting loader inside since the Israelis expect their tanks to fight and die holding the same position for the defensive phase of the war.

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    Post  The-thing-next-door Mon Oct 23, 2023 1:53 pm

    lyle6 wrote:
    The T-15 has the Afghanit APS to deal with ATGMs. But against MBT subcaliber fire, you still need the massive and heavy composite armor array to effectively absorb the hit and there simply isn't any space left in front of the powerpack to install one.


    I am sure there was a picture where some ukrops tested an old Soviet APS against something like 3BM42 and it failed to penetrate a rather thin armour plate after being degraded.
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    Post  GarryB Mon Oct 23, 2023 9:03 pm

    Yes, fuel is considered as a quite effective protection layer against a cumulative charges.

    Fuel would defeat solid penetrators, but would detonate with HEAT plasma beams wouldn't it?

    You are missing the whole story. I guess by trying to make a point with Merkava as a tank. Which it is not.

    But it is a tank, they use it as a tank. They don't use it as a troop transport vehicle. The concept was a failure.

    Placing the power pack in front of the hull was the only way to create a vehicle that can fulfill a different tasks they applied to it.

    Yes, to make it a troop transport vehicle it needed a rear ramp door which dictated the engine had to go to the front, but that does not mean it offers better protection having it there, it means that is where it has to go if you want a rear ramp troop exit/entrance door.

    Just take a look at the ammunition load it carries. 60 pcs, some say even 64.
    It is an enormous and unexpected load for any other tank, in a whole world.

    Not really... it is 105mm isn't it... not a huge round.

    It was also a slow tank that is expected to be used mostly defensively where a large volume of ammo makes sense.

    A concept of 60 mm build in mortar?
    Back in the 70s?
    Weird, isn't it?

    Actually it was a sensible idea because it could fire illumination rounds for fighting at night, and also it is more efficient to fire 60mm mortar bombs at enemy troops than to waste a 105mm shell.

    Having a round you can lob over cover also makes sense as seen with the BMP3 with a high velocity 30mm cannon and a lower velocity 100mm gun and low velocity 30mm grenade launcher.

    In a tank?
    Weird, isn't it?

    Stupid actually... it is neither one thing or another.

    Doesn't change the fact that the engine in the front does not offer better protection for the vehicle.

    It was used as a bloody water truck to deliver water to the troops and store it safely.

    So a camel.

    That might be how they are using it in actual operations but I doubt any designer would've intended for their creation to be a mere water carrier.

    It sounds like a plan C when plan A and plan B failed.

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    Post  lyle6 Sat Oct 28, 2023 1:10 pm

    GarryB wrote:
    Fuel would defeat solid penetrators, but would detonate with HEAT plasma beams wouldn't it?
    Fuel is not very efficient armor against subcaliber arrows either. The intense heat generated during the penetration is hot enough to burn heavy metal - it will set the fuel alight too.

    GarryB wrote:
    Yes, to make it a troop transport vehicle it needed a rear ramp door which dictated the engine had to go to the front, but that does not mean it offers better protection having it there, it means that is where it has to go if you want a  rear ramp troop exit/entrance door.
    The rear door on the Merkava is so short and narrow it would have made better sense to place it at the recess on the front left where the driver's station is, and remodel the rear as the now front of the tank with actual proper armor.

    GarryB wrote:
    Actually it was a sensible idea because it could fire illumination rounds for fighting at night, and also it is more efficient to fire 60mm mortar bombs at enemy troops than to waste a 105mm shell.

    Having a round you can lob over cover also makes sense as seen with the BMP3 with a high velocity 30mm cannon and a lower velocity 100mm gun and low velocity 30mm grenade launcher.
    Shooting a mortar is a full time job. It takes serious time and effort spent training just to be able to hit something with one. Time and effort any tanker simply would not have on top of maintaining his competencies in armored warfare.

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    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Sat Oct 28, 2023 10:58 pm

    I always thought the 30mm grenade launcher on the roof of the BMPs as an upgrade with a flat pan of ammo in the turret bustle was a great idea... it elevates independently of the other weapons in the turret but turns with the guns in the turret, so you can aim it with everything else and then elevate it and fire at targets you please... the low velocity round coming down nearly vertically on targets more than 500m or so away, unlike the 30mm cannon shells you fire which are high velocity and just slam into the front protection of whatever the enemy are hiding behind.

    I always thought a similar mount for a tank could use a 57mm grenade launcher in the same position or perhaps a Vasilek 82mm mortar with a belt feed mechanism for simple HE rounds that can be raised or lowered but turned with the main turret gun.

    The 57mm grenade launcher could be a dual feed with HE on one side and APFSDS rounds on the other for use against enemy BMPs so main gun ammo can be saved for significant targets that require its extra power.
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    Post  lyle6 Fri Nov 03, 2023 12:08 pm


    RedEffect needs some prescription glasses stat. If it was a HEAT missile/rocket hit there would be a tell-tale overpenetration plume. Similarly the impact signature is far too loud for it to be a subcaliber arrow either. A mine would have popped the tracks.

    No, this particular Leopard 2A6 was hit by a T-72B lobbing HE shells beyond LOS. A kill made by a true veteran of the grind. attack

    Not that it matters if it was hit on the strongest turret front. Do people really think a ~30 year protection scheme would suffice against modern anti-armor threats some of which are actually that *that* much younger? Rolling Eyes

    The firepower department is tired old garbage too. The Germans are going to use the same 20 year old fucking arrow for their next APFSDS round. Its like they're not even trying. Razz

    At least the Americans had the decency to sink money on two generations of anti-armor shells and actually update the armor on their vehicles. The Germans don't even buy their own crap. They just sell that shit overpriced to any gullible rube who is stupid enough to buy in on the Leopard 2's unearned reputation when in reality it has shat its spaghetti everytime it encountered actual opposition.

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    Post  lyle6 Thu Nov 09, 2023 5:41 am



    Posting this spaghetti 4 years after the Swedish leaks.  Rolling Eyes
    Favela bro's not just late; He's fucking stupid forever.  Razz

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