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Firepower vs Protection vs Mobility

Discussion in 'Post-World War 2 Armour' started by Zhukov_2005, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    According to my tank book:

    Aiming the gun was by moving the tank (traverse) and adjusting the hydronumatic suspension (elevation) which was a little complex. It also meant that, it order to get a decent field of fire from a hull-down position you actually had to expose a far greater frontal area of the S-tank than you would with a conventional turreted tank.
     
  2. Oli

    Oli New Member

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    but near in mind that Strv 103 was far better sloped than most tanks of its day and the gun height in the hull meant that there was relatively little to be seen, it was all at a very sharp slope or horizontal. Admittedly it was wider than the average turret, but my reading, particularly Ogorkiewicz, Design and Development of Fighting Vehicles, indicates that hit chance is far more to do with target height than width - and gives some pretty impressive formulae to prove it.
    Compare and contrast as they say:
    PS the "railings"on the front is an anti-HEAT grid, not somebody's garden fence!
     
  3. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    But, in order to get room to give the ability to traverse & (especially) depression & elevation, you have to show a fair chunk of the hull, whereas with an ordinary tank you just have the turret.

    I take the point re: height vs width, but I'm not sure that the height of a turret would be much greater than the height of hull needed.
     
  4. Zhukov_2005

    Zhukov_2005 New Member

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    Right, probably not much more, but than again with the mechanics to turn the turret, the added electronics, and the turret itself would undoubtedly add more of a hit probablity than was wanted for a defensive tank.

    I'll accept the fact that the Strv 103 was no good for offensive, but I'm positive that if they (Sweden) had offense on their minds, they could have built quite the fixed-gun tank for that very role.
     
  5. Oli

    Oli New Member

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    because a turret is necessarily higher to give space for gun recoil at full depression, and allow loading of the round in such a position. If the gun is fixed in the hull then it can be mounted higher up, not having that requirement. The hydropneumatic suspension gave the elevation and depression. And in this case the exposed hull even at maximum gun depression is still at a massive relative slope to incoming projectiles, whereas a turret always displays the same frontal aspect.
    And don't forget that firing effectively on the move is a relatively recent event. So it's a choice of one inaccurate shot at a small target while moving or more shots, (autoloader :lol:), that are accurate and against a larger target, while halted.
    I agree that S-Tank was a good defensive vehicle, but am not totally convinced that it wouldn't have been good on the offense.
     
  6. CometFan

    CometFan Member

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    Well why not ask the men who used to drive these machines ?

    I've found two sites (in Swedish unfortunately) discussing the S-tank from a users point of view :

    'The S-tank : An ace in the armoured figthing game :
    http://www.forsvarsframjandet.org/fmf-03-3/Strv_103_-_ett_Ess_S_i_stridsvagnsleken.html

    "The S-tank : A secret disappointment :
    Strv_103_-_ett_Ess_S_i_stridsvagnsleken.html :
    http://www.forsvarsframjandet.org/FMF-98-4/Strv-103.htm[/url]

    These pages contain some ver interesting information, but not being a native Sede I'm not able to provide a proper translation, maybe one of our Swedish friends will help ?

    I really like concept of the S-tank, but main failing is definitely the fixed gun.
    IMHO a 55 ton tank low profile tank,with hydro pneumatic suspension (able to 'knee'') and similar crew configuration in the hull would be awesome.
    BUT the armament should be mounted in a low profile unmanned and heavily armoured cupola/turret (able to traverse at least 120 degrees, preferably all-round).

    Gentlemen : What is your opinion ?
     
  7. Oli

    Oli New Member

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    You're asking the wrong guy on that one! :lol:
    I've neen a fan of externally-mounted guns for decades http://www.fun-online.sk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2308 - second one down.
    A 55-tonner MBT would have phenomenally thick armour. Current turrets, IIRC, run about 25-30% of total vehicle weight, a gun and mounting pod with the necessary electronics should be far less than that, letting the extra mass be used for armour.
    My own preference is for external mounts on lighter vehicles, somewhere in the 30-35 tonne range giving a better air transport mobility, but I'm currently in the firepower/ mobility/ armour school of thought with a leaning toward mobility/ firepower/ armour.
    An advantage of external mounts, provided somebody can make the electronics effective (if they can't then the idea's a no-go because the crew won't be able to see anything to shoot at :x ) is that some of the gun size constraints are removed. A larger gun than normal for the weight class could be fitted since a longer recoil is allowable - no turret rear to bump into.
    Apart from vision electronics there's also the problem of ammo feed - I've seen solutions requiring the gun to return to the 12-6 o'clock line for a new round, and another with a rotating arm mechanism to track round to the breech. Both of these methods, and having a longer recoil reduce the rate of fire - oh well, can't have everything :-?
     
  8. CometFan

    CometFan Member

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    Oli Wrote :

    "A 55-tonner MBT would have phenomenally thick armour. Current turrets, IIRC, run about 25-30% of total vehicle weight, a gun and mounting pod with the necessary electronics should be far less than that, letting the extra mass be used for armour. "

    Yes It would be extremely useful in close combat (street etc,) and difficult to knock out, especially if configured like the S-tank.

    Oli Wrote

    "My own preference is for external mounts on lighter vehicles, somewhere in the 30-35 tonne range giving a better air transport mobility, but I'm currently in the firepower/ mobility/ armour school of thought with a leaning toward mobility/ firepower/ armour."

    Point taken, maybe we should consider the old english system of a mix of fast agile criuser tanks and slower more heavily armoured infantry tanks/breakthrough tanks ?

    Oli Wrote :
    "An advantage of external mounts, provided somebody can make the electronics effective (if they can't then the idea's a no-go because the crew won't be able to see anything to shoot at"

    it must be possible to make a robust and efficent eletro optical system (EO) for surveilliance and fire control in tanks, after all, modern submarines use non penetrating masts witk EO instead of traditional periscopes.
    Maybe it a question of costs invovled , reliability, robustness to schock and resistance to battle damage?
     
  9. Oli

    Oli New Member

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    That's the killer, a massive spray of automatic weapon fire or a large HE burst and the camera's dead :lol: I suppose something like a rotatable array of CCD cameras that brings the next one into position when the first gets disabled might work. And then there's the question of achieving 360 degree vision, a couple of devices that rotate means that the housing is either vulnerable or heavily protected=expensive, or a full array which just means expensive electronics and room inside.
    Personally I have little doubt the problem could be solved to a workable extent today, should there be a requirement (note to self - have a word with ALL of the opto-electronics manufacturers at Farnborough next year).
    I use external-mount designs in some of our wargames camapigns, but we don't quite get into the sort detail that requires seeing if the vision blocks still work. Maybe I should write a far more detailed system to explore that... hmmm, where's my spreadsheet/ CAD package/ MathCad/ :eek:
    On the cruiser/ infantry tank thing: it's more or les reached the stage where an MBT main gun will kill anything except frontally, and 30-35 tonnes is protection against anything smaller than about 100mm. If I used the saved weight for the (is it real or is it not) Russian 152mm smoothbore then I'd be killing the big stuff before it could engage me. And therefore not needing a heavier vehicle... I feel another rules system coming.
     
  10. CometFan

    CometFan Member

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  11. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    External Armament:

    Pro: smaller & lighter than a traditional turret, plus you can get a larger caliber gun on a given hull.

    Con: the gun is more open to combat damage, and sighting is an issue.

    I suggest a silly compromise. Have a one-man turret - just one guy to aim the gun. :grin:
     
  12. CometFan

    CometFan Member

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    GOOD THINKING !
     
  13. Oli

    Oli New Member

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    The problem with EO is that it must be at the gun's sight height or better, and it must provide 360 degree coverage. It's not so much the cameras themselves as the wiring feeds, and interface to the crew station - the turret should be able to rotate freely while the feed is to the crew maybe not directly under the turret, wires will get twisted etc.
    For urban combat, a 55 ton vehicle or a far cheaper 35 tonner with the Israeli electric armour? I know which I'd go for. Or even add-on panels for varying threat levels.
    Cost equates roughly to basic weight (disregarding electronics) and IIRC logistic requirements varies as somewhere around the square of basic weight, ie a 40 tonner costs twice as much as a 20 tonner but requires 4 times as much logistic support.
    One guy to aim the gun will give a turret that is not symmetrical in weight distribution or shape, or both, which will give loading problems on the turret ring. If a symmetrical turret is used then there's room for two crew, commander and gunner.
     
  14. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    Hence silly compromise :wink: .
    Unless you stash something heavy (like the bulk of the auto-loader?) on the other side of the turret?
     
  15. Oli

    Oli New Member

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    Could do but then you have a tank with a turret- and only one man - ie no commander or no gunner. If the autoloader is in the turret the weight of the turret armour must be enough to protect the autoloader and whatever crew is in there - no overall advantage, and a reduction in control of movement and firing - the driver can't see enough to judge the tactical situation and the gunner is left to spot and shoot targets, as well as command the vehicle and maybe the troop. WWII French tanks?
    As far as I can tell the projects for external guns are a result of two things, reducing overall vehicle weight by losing the need to armour the gun and gun crew/ commander, and reduce the profile when hull down.
    I'll see if I can find my photo of UDES-XX20 in the hull-down fire position - all you can see is the gun muzzle, there's nothing at all besides that to hit!
     
  16. CometFan

    CometFan Member

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    Hi Oli
    Do you have any links or specs of this kind of armour ?

    And what is your opinion regarding th optium number of and disposition of crew?

    I guess three is the absolute minimum and 4 is the better (Situation awareness - work-load in general etc.)
     
  17. Oli

    Oli New Member

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    I can't even remember what the Israeli armour is called, I remember doing a "technical appraisal" of it for a friend sometime around the late eighties. Will dig through my notes and see what I can find.
    Crew number. Aaargh. :lol: The old problem, four crew has been touted as the minimum number for field operations since they all work on the vehicle for general mainatainance, cut the crew to 3 and those that are left have extra work to do. Which I agree with, it apparently makes quite a difference to day-to-day running on campaign.
    But if the crew is 4 then the total armoured volume is higher than a 3 crew tank, hence the weight and overall size (if you design for minimum volume - most 3 crew AFVs aren't noticeably smaller cf Leclerc vs Abrams). And having a crew of three means that you can save on training costs - you only need to train 75% as many men (or women).
    This is something I haven't decided for myself yet, but I do lean towards 3 crew (for vehicle size reasons) and more mobile maintainance units...
    As to three being the absolute minimum, ever played a tank command game on the computer? There was only you doing the driving, spotting, gunnery. I think that with better opto-electronic feeds, more reliable autoloading etc the day may come when a viable 1 man defensive vehicle may be possible.
     
  18. Oli

    Oli New Member

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  19. Jeffrey phpbb3

    Jeffrey phpbb3 New Member

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    If the electrical armor really worked all tanks would have it right now :lol:
     
  20. Oli

    Oli New Member

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    If reactive armour worked we'd all have it now (USA/ France/ UK/ Germany???)
    If anti aircraft guns worked we'd all have them now (UK??)
    Etc etc.
    Adoption or not of equipment by any country/ army is dependant upon a huge number of things, budget, doctrine, technological capability, upgradability of current equipment, current threat level etc.
    That's like saying the 88 L/70 on Tiger II was rubbish, simply because nobody else used it, or 150mm of armour in WWII was a waste of time because not all nations had it.
     

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