Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

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Re: Artillery and Armor thread

Postby Dmurphy » 08 Feb 2009 09:08

a little OT here. i came across this pic on some def and dumb forum. It says even the Merkava tanks are as susceptible as the T-72s. Is that true?

Image

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Re: Artillery and Armor thread

Postby rohitvats » 08 Feb 2009 09:51

@Sanjay: The Light Regiments had/have(?) two batteries of 6 guns each.

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Re: Artillery and Armor thread

Postby Wickberg » 08 Feb 2009 10:41

http://**************/2009/0 ... m-mbt.html

In future, the HVF is expected to retrofit all 987 T-90 MBTs with active protection systems (APS) for which Army HQ on April 24 last year issued requests for proposals to six companies (Israel Military Industries, RAFAEL, BAE Systems, Raytheon, Rosoboronexport, Saab, and Germany’s IBD Deisenroth Engineering) for procuring 1,657 active protection systems (APS) worth $270 million. Those taking part in the Indian bid were Russia’s Kolomna-based KBM Engineering Design Bureau with its Arena-E APS on offer, IMI of Israel with its Iron Fist suite on offer, RAFAEL’s Trophy APS, Raytheon’s Quick Kill APS, Saab’s LEDS-150 and Deisenroth Engineering’s AMAP-ADS. Eventually, the LEDS-150 was selected and its procurement contract was inked on January 27, 2009.

The Land Electronic Defence System (LEDS) combines active signature management, soft-kill and hard-kill mechanisms to provide full spectrum active protection to armoured vehicles. Full hemispherical coverage is provided to detect incoming threats and alert the crew. When installed in full configuration, the LEDS-150 offers MBT-comparable protection to light and medium combat vehicles against engagement by weapons like RPG-7s, anti-tank guided-missiles, KE ammunition, mortars and artillery shells.

The LEDS-150 is an active defence system and typically comprises laser warning sensors, ADC-150 active defence controller AD, a number of munition confirmation and tracking sensors, and high-speed directed launchers, which allow the combination of soft- and hard-kill countermeasure deployment capability to the platform, optional displays, and interconnecting harnesses. The hard kill feature of the LEDS-150 product is characterised by its capability to physically destroy the efficiency of the terminal ballistic capability of attacking munitions without residual penetration of the protected vehicle.

The hard kill system detects and tracks a single or simultaneous threats and calculates if the attacking munition will hit the platform or not. The system determines the best inertial intercept position and provides the slew and firing commands to the launchers. The Mongoose-1 countermeasure missile is launched at a predetermined time to intercept and neutralise the detected munition off-board at a distance of between 5 metres and 15 metres from the vehicle to minimise the collateral damage to own forces.

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Re: Artillery and Armor thread

Postby AmitR » 08 Feb 2009 13:04

Dmurphy wrote:a little OT here. i came across this pic on some def and dumb forum. It says even the Merkava tanks are as susceptible as the T-72s. Is that true?

Image


I saw video on youtube that claimed the same thing. It seems that during the last war in Lebanon a lot of Israeli tanks were disabled by the Hezbolla fighters using Russian man portable ATGMs. With the advancement in missile technology tanks are no longer as fearsome as they used to be.

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Re: Artillery and Armor thread

Postby Sanjay » 08 Feb 2009 17:13

Rohitvats, that's correct. Thing about the waste - a full regiment commanded by a Colonel with 12 mortars.

Ray Sahib, two new mortar types with different range profiles are entering production. The 120mm and the 81mm we use at present are based on Brandt designs. The follow on designs are based on the Brandt 81mm long-range mortar and a new Israeli Soltam design respectively. The range profiles change pretty substantially. How long it will take for these designs to replace the substantial existing stock is another story.

Again, the BSF is alleged to have substantial numbers of 120mm mortars just lying in storage - I wonder if the same is true of the army ?

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Rahul M » 08 Feb 2009 19:02

added later : Henceforth this thread is for discussion of armoured vehicles only.

artillery discussion may be taken to the Artillery Discussion Thread.

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Re: Artillery and Armor thread

Postby ParGha » 08 Feb 2009 21:31

AmitR wrote:I saw video on youtube that claimed the same thing. It seems that during the last war in Lebanon a lot of Israeli tanks were disabled by the Hezbolla fighters using Russian man portable ATGMs. With the advancement in missile technology tanks are no longer as fearsome as they used to be.


:roll: The same thing has been said at least since Six Days War, but it has changed nothing. Armor improves, anti-armor catches up, armor improves again; its a constant race. Israel has some unique internal considerations when it employs armor and infantry (it has a very small population and can afford to lose more tanks than it can lose men), and it is a consideration not many other militaries are likely to labor under. The fact is, the tanker has always been as scared as the guy outside the tank - one is protected and another is naked, but one is trapped in a pressure cooker and another is free to move around.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Rahul M » 08 Feb 2009 21:42

the difference between merkava/abrams hits and t-72 hits was that the crew survived in the former cases most of the time. but not so in the later. :(

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Re: Artillery and Armor thread

Postby AmitR » 08 Feb 2009 21:51

ParGha wrote:
AmitR wrote:I saw video on youtube that claimed the same thing. It seems that during the last war in Lebanon a lot of Israeli tanks were disabled by the Hezbolla fighters using Russian man portable ATGMs. With the advancement in missile technology tanks are no longer as fearsome as they used to be.


:roll: The same thing has been said at least since Six Days War, but it has changed nothing. Armor improves, anti-armor catches up, armor improves again; its a constant race. Israel has some unique internal considerations when it employs armor and infantry (it has a very small population and can afford to lose more tanks than it can lose men), and it is a consideration not many other militaries are likely to labor under. The fact is, the tanker has always been as scared as the guy outside the tank - one is protected and another is naked, but one is trapped in a pressure cooker and another is free to move around.


In case of T-72/90 it maybe more appropriate to say that these are tin cans ready to fly.

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Re: Artillery and Armor thread

Postby ParGha » 08 Feb 2009 22:29

AmitR wrote:In case of T-72/90 it maybe more appropriate to say that these are tin cans ready to fly.


The Government of India buys 20 Mi-24s in assemble-yourself kits from Russia. Indian engineers open the kit and assemble it according to the instructions, they end up building a T-72. Indians call the Russians and say that there has possibly been a mix-up in the oder that was shipped. Russians check their inventory and say, "No, we sent you the right kit. Please follow the instructions closely and rebuild it." Indians look at the instructions and figure they have followed it correctly. They call up the Russians again and say there has been a mix-up. Russians say its impossible, that they would send an engineer to assemble one Mi-24 to prove it. So after a while a Russian engineer shows up, demands a hammer, a chisel and 5 bottles of vodka, and undisturbed access to the factory all to himself. Indians humor him. All night they hear drunken singing, hammering and curses. Next day they find a Mi-24 in the factory. As the Betal would ask Vikram, "Now Amit, so whats wrong with T-72s and -90s that can fly?"

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Rahul M » 08 Feb 2009 22:31

whats wrong with T-72s and -90s that can fly?"

only that it is their final act.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby ParGha » 08 Feb 2009 22:37

Rahul M wrote:
whats wrong with T-72s and -90s that can fly?"

only that it is their final act.


Nice! {BTW, in the original joke the delivery recipients were Egyptians. Shamelessly plagarized by yours truly, but who keeps the count?}

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby SSridhar » 09 Feb 2009 09:16

State-of-the-art facility inaugurated

A state-of-the-art facility capable of testing an engine up to 1,500 KW power was inaugurated at the Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment, Avadi, by A. Sivathanupillai, chief controller (R&D), DRDO headquarters, on Saturday. A government press release said other programmes like simulation facility for main battle tank and a battle management system were progressing steadily.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Sanku » 09 Feb 2009 12:06

Refreshing memories

Merk attempting to fly

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Rahul M » 09 Feb 2009 15:35

but still intact on the whole. a t series would have been ripped open like a tin can, as we saw even in the latest conflict in georgia.

and the crew survived which is a crucial difference with russian design philosophy.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Sanku » 09 Feb 2009 16:05

This is despite the overwhelming Armor superiority that Israel had. Who is to say what the Merk would do when faced off with proper Armorer and not hit at extended ranges (before discovered by supporting Infantry -- what ever little) by shoot and scoot tactics Hizb used.

I am not saying that once hit the survivability of Merk is not better than a T (its designed for it); but a low hard to hit silhouette coupled with more suitable tactics (better infantry support in built up areas) may actually serve a force better.

I dont think the debate is cast and stone and settled one way or the other yet (Second world war saw heavier German tanks overwhelmed by relatively lighter Allied tanks)

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Rahul M » 09 Feb 2009 18:02

Sanku wrote:This is despite the overwhelming Armor superiority that Israel had. Who is to say what the Merk would do when faced off with proper Armorer and not hit at extended ranges (before discovered by supporting Infantry -- what ever little) by shoot and scoot tactics Hizb used.

pitched battles against infantry in urban warfare conditions with severe restrictions in ROE constitute perhaps the most difficult operational scenario for a tank, as the russian experience in chechnya amply proves(although the ROE were far far less restrictive than for the IDF)

the possible outcome of a confrontation of tanks of these two philosophies can of course be extrapolated from the events of the GW !!
I am not saying that once hit the survivability of Merk is not better than a T (its designed for it); but a low hard to hit silhouette coupled with more suitable tactics (better infantry support in built up areas) may actually serve a force better.

the low silhouette idea has been pushed too far for its own good. make no mistake, ALL modern tank designers try to keep the silhouette as low as possible.
but to propose that a difference in a few cm(10-15) has anything more than marginal utility(as some DDM fellows would have us believe) is preposterous. not to mention that arjun with its modern suspension has a much better ability of achieving suitable hull-down positions.
of course you are correct about the suitable tactics bit but that is equally true for an arjun like tank too.
the question we should ask is, "everything else remaining the same, which would be better ?"

army's continued refusal to hold comparative trials tells a story of its own in that regard, IMHO.

if anything, with suitable combined arms tactics an arjun would perform much better than a t-series tank.

I dont think the debate is cast and stone and settled one way or the other yet (Second world war saw heavier German tanks overwhelmed by relatively lighter Allied tanks)

somehow, that is the prevailing general impression which unfortunately is totally erroneous.

in WW2 with a few exceptions, battles were always won by the tank with the heaviest armour and the biggest gun.
no competent commander or army equipped with such tanks lost a battle with light tanks.
the light tanks like the M3 were so much outgunned by their german counterparts that they preferred to avoid direct engagement at all costs.
even the much heavier and better armoured shermans didn't fare much better against the newer heavier german tanks and losses were quite heavy.

the T-34, contrary to popular perception was the heaviest armoured tank of its day armed with the largest gun.

The study of armoured vehicles in WW2, if anything shows a steady movement towards heavier and better armed tanks and the increased obsolesence of the light tanks.
in case of the americans, though they failed to match the quality of german tanks(an enemy that was already reeling from the soviet onslaught and deployed its most important forces in the east) they eventually managed to defeat the germans by massive production of mediocre tanks.

therefore, the only way to win with a mediocre tank like t-72/90 is by out-producing your enemy.
since in the Indian context we are unlikely to face that scenario (in the unlikely case russians give permission in the first place :P ) this strategy might not work for us.

not to mention that we would lose many brave soldiers in the process whose lives could be saved. :(

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Rahul M » 09 Feb 2009 18:41

edited.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby rajsunder » 09 Feb 2009 19:10

Sanku wrote:This is despite the overwhelming Armor superiority that Israel had. Who is to say what the Merk would do when faced off with proper Armorer and not hit at extended ranges (before discovered by supporting Infantry -- what ever little) by shoot and scoot tactics Hizb used.

I am not saying that once hit the survivability of Merk is not better than a T (its designed for it); but a low hard to hit silhouette coupled with more suitable tactics (better infantry support in built up areas) may actually serve a force better.

I dont think the debate is cast and stone and settled one way or the other yet (Second world war saw heavier German tanks overwhelmed by relatively lighter Allied tanks)

Check the number of german tanks produced and allied tanks produced, u would understand the importance of heavier tanks.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby cben » 09 Feb 2009 19:50

Sanku wrote:
I dont think the debate is cast and stone and settled one way or the other yet (Second world war saw heavier German tanks overwhelmed by relatively lighter Allied tanks)


The lighter British and American tanks were destroyed like cans sardines by the heavier German tanks ( with the crew having the same fate as sardines in the cans ). The only way a Sherman could disable a German tank would be to get to its tail and hit from behind.

The story was different in the East. The soviet T34s were superior to German tanks and were used effectively ( albiet poor tactics and C & C ) against Germans.
Last edited by cben on 09 Feb 2009 20:00, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Rahul M » 09 Feb 2009 19:53

the shermans employed swarm tactics against the german panthers and tigers.
kill ratios of more than 8:1 in favour of the germans were fairly common.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Singha » 09 Feb 2009 20:25

and there was the redoubtable Flak88 cannon to make life more miserable for the Shermans. the wooded and rolling and villagey nature of western europe did however help the Shermans to sneak around and fire from cover and reduce losses. in a more open ukraine type steppe those Flak88's and PzIVs would have extracted a terrible price...

the US did come up with heavier armoured shermans one of whom had a light
gun in the turret and a heavier gun on a limited traverse mount in the hull
itself.

the british had this joke called Stuart light tank and Matilda tank in the
north africa vs PzIII/IV types. :rotfl:

T-34 had a good gun, good frontal sloped armour, very reliable in the cold
compared to others and was produced in huge nos. precisely the right soln.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby KiranM » 09 Feb 2009 20:31

What few people dont understand is that Shermans were designed to support Infantry. Not engage in anti tank warfare. German tanks were supposed to be dealt by dedicated tank destroyers. Although the reality turned out to be something else.

Hence, the Americans came up with their own manoeuvre warfare. They made do with what they had. But does that mean the light and 'low profile' Shermans were ideal tanks of that time?! No!!!

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Sanku » 09 Feb 2009 21:43

Well the bottom line was the Shermans did destroy the German war machine; the very same factors which made is a easier to destroy the vehicle also had a lot of positives; including the ability to deploy a large number of tanks quickly and turn them around fast.

When considering the higher number of tank casualty --> one point which has to be considered is that the Allies were the attacking side in most battles; where they would be expected to take higher casualty; the overall kill ratio was 3:1 through the war in favor of the germans. However in the battles where Germans attacked they suffered much higher losses too.

The heavier tanks theoretically could outpunch any thing; practically though given everything -- their performance was far reduced than what the simple comparisons of tanks would show.

In the end what counts is that whether the piece of equipment lent itself to diverse doctrine and was a flexible tool of war fighting -- in the end Shermans were that in WWII

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Rahul M » 09 Feb 2009 21:46

tank destroyers were essentially light tanks with upgunned main weapons.

they were so "successful" that US never really employed that tactics or tank destroyers again !

sanku, shermans didn't destroy german war machine, the soviets had already achieved that with their medium and heavy tanks.

much of the credit for what the americans did should go to their assembly lines than to the tank itself.

p.s. we are losing perspective of the Indian POV in this discussion.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Sanku » 09 Feb 2009 22:02

Objection me lor' the title does not say "Indian" it only says Armored Vech Disc!! :-o and yes I wanted to discuss the topic and debate of "heavy" vs "light" tanks and corresponding doctrines free of names which end up causing emotional angst and thus remove the "objectivity" in the discussion.

Panther and tigers with their fairly heavy baggage trains actually ended up being a liability in the bush/hedge country around Normandy, much of their strength was negated by the terrain.

To my mind -- a very expensive and gold standard product; albeit one which really needs a very specific set of circumstances to do better than the competition is not really worth the effort; its like trying to see if a BMW does better than 800 in the streets of Lucknow; probably yes; but you would never really notice.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Rahul M » 09 Feb 2009 22:48

Objection me lor' the title does not say "Indian" it only says Armored Vech Disc!! :-o and yes I wanted to discuss the topic and debate of "heavy" vs "light" tanks and corresponding doctrines free of names which end up causing emotional angst and thus remove the "objectivity" in the discussion.

as long as we keep the idea of relevance to India at the back of our mind. :)
Panther and tigers with their fairly heavy baggage trains actually ended up being a liability in the bush/hedge country around Normandy, much of their strength was negated by the terrain.

:shock:
I'm sorry I haven't come across this "heavy baggage train" datum. do you have a source for that ?
yes, the tigers had reliability problems(panther's reliability problems had been solved by then and the shermans got their **** handed over to them)

sanku ji, I believe we are confusing issues here.
the tiger was essentially the product of a flawed design philosophy that emphasised sophistication over simplicity, not to mention that the design itself was flawed in many ways.

to be fair, the germans never had the time or the leisure to fully iron out the defects in the tiger.
since each and every tank of WW2 including the t-34s and so on has had their share of problems with reliability in the initial stages of operational life, judging the tiger on its operational history of that period alone might be too harsh.

secondly, there is absolutely no co-relation between weight/armour and baggage train/reliability of the type you are suggesting.

panthers didn't have those reliability problems and they were fielded in large numbers (as compared to the total german holdings).

To my mind -- a very expensive and gold standard product; albeit one which really needs a very specific set of circumstances to do better than the competition is not really worth the effort; its like trying to see if a BMW does better than 800 in the streets of Lucknow; probably yes; but you would never really notice.

justified, but only if you want a car that can only be used in lucknow.

secondly, coming back to the t-series vs arjun philosophy, there is NO area where the t-series would perform better.

capability wise, the comparison should be more like :
which one do you prefer, a habib sitara at the cost of a maruti 800 or a BMW at the cost of a maruti esteem.
it's a no-brainer choice.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby KiranM » 09 Feb 2009 22:49

Sanku wrote:Well the bottom line was the Shermans did destroy the German war machine; the very same factors which made is a easier to destroy the vehicle also had a lot of positives; including the ability to deploy a large number of tanks quickly and turn them around fast.


Please do not twist facts to suit your POV. The reason Allied forces could churn out such high number of Shermans is that the production lines were in continental US. Far away from the reach of Germans. This in contrast to the German plants getting bombed the daylights out of it day and night. In spite of that, Germans fielded respectful numbers (considering their situation) of much better tanks.
Also do not forget the other aspect of Allies having air superiority post D Day. Especially, the new fighter bombers and their unguided rockets proved to be the death knell of tanks.
If the supporting factors were the same for both sides, then outcome would have been different.
Also, the later models of Panther and Tiger tanks deployed in considerable numbers were not that problematic in the terrain of Normandy. It is only the outlandish King Tiger class and 'higher' variants that suffered from handicaps; but they were hardly used anyways. The problems were more with regard to maintenance which again was due to sustained Allied bombing as stated above.

And Allies were mindful of German armour superiority. They did not hesitate to use heavy bombers close to frontlines even at the cost of friendly fires. Read about Operation Cobra.


Sanku wrote:yes I wanted to discuss the topic and debate of "heavy" vs "light" tanks

All that is expected at BR is to do a basic open source research, on both sides, before presenting your argument.

My 2 cents.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Sanku » 09 Feb 2009 23:18

1) Lets please leave the Arjun and T series out of it. Spoils the picture -- very difficult to say anything without the standard "you are saying this because you are so and so....."
2) KiranM; mind your tone and dont make assumptions on what the next person knows or does not.

Now lets consider some basic facts
1) One on one in a straight battle Panther is a better tank -- no questions no discussion
2) Despite that the "hordes" of Sherman defeated groups of panther in Normandy --not all of this was due to air power and "other" factors
3) I am fully well aware of the Sherman's cooks when hit reputation -- initially.

So why did Americans produce so many Shermans and stuck with them for most of the war? Were they idiots? Why was Sherman more successful in the end? (it was not only the fact that they could not get a heavy tank in)

1) Most terrain in the war was not the tank terrain than the Panther was built for; hence a lot of design value was negated, its pointless if you can hit your enemy at 2 KM or 5 KM when the terrain never lets him in your sight before 500 ms is it.
2) It was "relatively" difficult to repair and maintain (look up the wiki page for early example citation needed for later examples) I cant post a web link off hand but this is something I have read time and again.
3) A large number could be churned out.
4) It lent itself to a variety of roles by easy modifications like adding a 17 pounder (firefly) gun -- extra armorer etc etc.
5) Was excellent in Infantry support (panther's hatch down vision was terrible)

So what am I saying here -- suppose you have a choice between many Shermans and a few Panthers? Which would you chose? (Not talking of tankman's choice -- but the general's choice)

Is it as cut and dried as that? (Think of Mughal's cavalry of Arab horses and Maratha cavalry of light Indian horses)

As an aside ---

Some points to consider M4 Sherman

The US Army required the Sherman not to exceed certain widths and weights to permit it to use a wide variety of bridge, road and rail travel for predicted strategic, industrial, logistical and tactical flexibility.....However, the M26 could not be landed across a beach and required a fully equipped port with cranes. This disadvantage would have become apparent had it entered service before Normandy


Finally, the Sherman could be built, deployed, maintained and repaired in large numbers; this wasn't true of the German panzers.


------------------

PS> Any Indian tank is better than any phirang one; light heavy whatever; I would take LCAs over MRCA if it came to that; but I stand by what I said before -- if the DRDO/CVDRE/Avadi make a tank which meets the robustness criteria it will be inducted -- there is NO competition for Arjun -- the only tank that Arjun competes with is itself -- much as this thought not liked by many here who prefer alternate theories.
Last edited by Sanku on 09 Feb 2009 23:29, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Sanku » 09 Feb 2009 23:27

Rahul M wrote:which one do you prefer, a habib sitara at the cost of a maruti 800 or a BMW at the cost of a maruti esteem.
it's a no-brainer choice.


On a diff note--
In most of India I would take a 800 over a Audi A4/A8 or a BMW XYZ class; try turning that thing around a U......

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby rajsunder » 09 Feb 2009 23:54

Rahul M wrote:......
much of the credit for what the americans did should go to their assembly lines than to the tank itself.



Forgot to mention the foolishness of Hitler in trying to build bigger and far more heavier tanks(They were ******* huge)
Anyways added to that the Americans using car building factories to produce Tanks and germans using truck manufacturing companies to do the same hurt gemrans a lot.
car manufacturing companies were very much adept at assembly line manufacturing on a massive scale which truck companies of hitler lacked.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby ticky » 10 Feb 2009 00:03

Sanku, just adding my 2c here.
So why did Americans produce so many Shermans and stuck with them for most of the war? Were they idiots? Why was Sherman more successful in the end? (it was not only the fact that they could not get a heavy tank in)


They certainly were not idiots, the factories & assemblies were geared to churned huge number of shermans. Any change in the design would have resulted in slowing down production as changes would have to be made in the assembly line too. So they sacrificed change/improvement for volume of production. Rahul pointed this out too.

So what am I saying here -- suppose you have a choice between many Shermans and a few Panthers? Which would you chose? (Not talking of tankman's choice -- but the general's choice)


That depends on how many Shermans against how many Panthers. 10:1, hell yeah. But, keep in mind amour ratio between India and Pak is not heavily skewed like that. And also, remember its the tankman whose @ss is being shot at.

On a diff note--
In most of India I would take a 800 over a Audi A4/A8 or a BMW XYZ class; try turning that thing around a U......


On a lighter note. An 800, you ll be driving yourself and on a Audi or Beemer you'll probably be chauffeured around in the comfort of a luxurious back seat :D

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Rahul M » 10 Feb 2009 00:55

1) Lets please leave the Arjun and T series out of it.

you simply cannot ! :)

we most certainly can't do better than a tank type vs tank type comparison by case studies, which is what the last few posts do and that is the ONLY way.
the devil lies in the detail after all !!
2) Despite that the "hordes" of Sherman defeated groups of panther in Normandy --not all of this was due to air power and "other" factors

what exactly do you mean by other factors ?
shermans did defeat a numerically much inferior enemy gasping for its last breath with serious shortages of essentials like fuel at HUGE cost to itself.
that's a victory all right !
what is your point exactly ?

So why did Americans produce so many Shermans and stuck with them for most of the war? Were they idiots?

why didn't the germans make copies of the P-51 mustang ?
why doesn't russia build F-22s ?
you can't answer questions like that ! :)

may be they didn't have the capability ?? may be they didn't want to disrupt the production run ?? (they were supplying the entire allied effort remember ?)
or didn't find a need ? because they thought panthers and tigers were too complex to be produced in numbers ?
(they were wrong about the panther and right about the tiger, esp tiger II)

or because of their flawed philosophy of armoured tactics which they quickly rectified after WW2 (in fear and awe of soviet tank superiority) and moved on to the much heavier designs like the pershings and pattons ??

Why was Sherman more successful in the end? (it was not only the fact that they could not get a heavy tank in)

the sherman wasn't successful, period.
the american military industry was.

1) Most terrain in the war was not the tank terrain than the Panther was built for;( :shock: the germans fought a war in europe and common sense says they would design their machine to work there !! what was then the terrain the panther was built for, could you enlighten me ?? ) hence a lot of design value was negated, its pointless if you can hit your enemy at 2 KM or 5 KM when the terrain never lets him in your sight before 500 ms is it.(there is no terrain that NEVER lets you hit at long ranges. such localised features exist, yes. It is the job of competent commanders to choose appropriate locations for battles in order to maximize your strengths. again, we are digressing from the discussion on tanks to that of competence of commanders :) )

3) A large number could be churned out.

also true for the T-34-85 and the stalin-2 tank in the later part of the war.
BOTH had better armour and firepower than the shermans.
4) It lent itself to a variety of roles by easy modifications like adding a 17 pounder (firefly) gun -- extra armorer etc etc.

true for virtually ALL tanks of WW2 including the tigers, panthers, t-34s etc.
not to mention this again has nothing to do with the lightly protected vs heavily protected tank discussion.

5) Was excellent in Infantry support (panther's hatch down vision was terrible)

that's called a design flaw. see bolded sentence above. :)
So what am I saying here -- suppose you have a choice between many Shermans and a few Panthers? Which would you chose?

let me ask an equivalent question in return
suppose you have a choice between the robust US military industry(with all its advantages of location, size and resources) and a battered german military industry (with all its disadvantages of location, lack of resources and labour problems)? Which would you chose?

is that even a question you need to answer ? :wink:

OK, while we are at it, let me ask a couple of questions.
plz answer them sanku ji.
a)would the germans have fared better if they had produced shermans instead of tigers and panthers ? how many more could they have produced.

b)if given a choice of 2000 gold standard tanks and 2000 tin standard tanks for marginal or no difference in prices, which one would you choose ? :D
for this is the question(or a very similar one) facing India at the moment !


PS> Any Indian tank is better than any phirang one; light heavy whatever; I would take LCAs over MRCA if it came to that; but I stand by what I said before -- if the DRDO/CVDRE/Avadi make a tank which meets the robustness criteria it will be inducted -- there is NO competition for Arjun -- the only tank that Arjun competes with is itself -- much as this thought not liked by many here who prefer alternate theories.

at the cost of repetition :

secondly, there is absolutely no co-relation between weight/armour and baggage train/reliability of the type you are suggesting.


there has certainly been NO news/report to suggest that the arjun would be any less maintainable than its competitor.

If anything, the details indicate that every care has been taken to make the arjun as easy to maintain even in the frontlines as possible

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby KiranM » 10 Feb 2009 00:55

Rahul M wrote:tank destroyers were essentially light tanks with upgunned main weapons.

they were so "successful" that US never really employed that tactics or tank destroyers again !


Rahul, I would like to engage in a discourse here. I would draw a little parallel between the expected role of WW2 era tank destroyer and NAMICA.

Considering in WW2 the tank destroyers most of the time sat out, due to not coming across the ideal 'tank destroying situation', wont the same happen along the line of NAMICA/ any such system? If range of ATGMs of such systems is the advantage, we are seeing increasing innovations in tank launched munitions like LAHAT.

Disclaimer: I do not intend to cast aspersions on NAMICA or Nag.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Rahul M » 10 Feb 2009 01:49

IMHO, there are major differences in the prospective roles and improvements in technology.

one note though : what follows is my take on the ability of tank destroyers/ICVs to take on tanks. it doesn't talk of the ICV vs ICV confrontation but in this a well designed ICV should be reasonably succesful anyway. (as is probably obvious)

WW2 tank destroyers were essentially upgunned fast and light tanks with all the trappings of that definition. you can say that tank destroyer (US term) was derived from the brit concept of cruiser tanks with improved firepower.

tactics demanded that they engage tanks on their own, leaving the battle tanks(called infantry tanks) to punch through enemy defences.
NAMICA however would be expected to be part of mech infantry, in order to give these formations much needed tank-killing punch. (and trial balloon floated by me that NAMICA can be part of rapid reaction forces that can't deploy tanks like mtn units and airborne units. VDV for example employs similar vehicles but ones armed with guns rather than missiles)
it is not meant to confront tanks head on. as mentioned it would be very effective against enemy ICVs. the NAMICA vs tank scenario is treated in next paragraph.

clearly, you can't expect a lightly armoured vehicle to survive a direct confrontation with tanks. this is also true today. although you will find that there has been a definite trend towards arming ICVs heavily enough with large bore main guns (e.g 105mm) to be able to take on tanks on their own. I've my reservations about the judiciousness of such moves.
and the reason is that of range. let me explain.

in WW2, it was expected that TDs will engage tanks beyond their lethal envelope. but it didn't happen. why ? because although the large guns of TDs could theoretically penetrate tank armour at long distances, problems with accuracy meant that in actuality they had to come much closer and given their thin skins, they were either dead meat or had to scoot at full speed immediately after firing a hastily taken shot.
no wonder they were ineffective in most cases.
so what would be different now ?
IMHO, nothing if you continue to use guns on your tank destroyers to engage MBTs. both vehicles would have similar accuracy radius and the same problem as in WW2 would continue to haunt gun armed ICVs.
a NAMICA like vehicle however, would be truly able to engage and destroy enemy tanks from outside their lethal envelope. Technology used in it is capable enough to ensure an accurate and lethal hit on an enemy tank. if used properly, NAMICA and similar lethal missile armed vehicles would finally become the stand-off tank destroyers that the WW2 designers had originally envisaged.

potentially, the NAMICA could be as revolutionary as anti-ship missiles were in naval combat, a movement spurred by the sinking of the eilat.
I personally believe there would be a move away from gun armed platforms to missile armed ones.
JMT and all that.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby ramana » 10 Feb 2009 02:28

I think the combination of NAMICA on the ground and HELINA in the copters will prove to be a deadly combination. I recall press reports of German MB105 helicopters with TOWS were able to make mince meat of the tanks in NATO exercises. However all this is pipe dream until DRDO perfects the NAG and the IA accepts in quantity!

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Rahul M » 10 Feb 2009 02:44

I personally believe there would be a move away from gun armed platforms to missile armed ones.

elaborating, with further improvements in technology, tank guns will find it impossible to keep with vehicle borne ATGMs in lethality, accuracy, range as well as versatility.

a question of whenrather than if.

using missiles also open up various innovative modes which are simply not possible with guns.

consider the following scenario :
you have a couple of missile armed TDs deployed in a semi-urban environment. there are enemy tanks in the vicinity, within range but not visible, IOW a deathtrap for yesterday's TDs.

for tomorrow's version however you are likely to have a dedicated small UAV organic to the ATGM TDs which keep an eye on the surroundings and discover the enemy tanks quite quickly.
with some imagination however you can have an ATGM that is fired from the TD which can engage the enemy in NLOS mode, guided by the UAV flying above, without the TD for once exposing itself to the enemy tank.

does this sound too geeky ? :wink:
it might not be so in 2025 !!

***TD -- Tank Destroyer.

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Hexapod

Postby Sanjay M » 10 Feb 2009 05:11

Look at this exotic concept:



From the slow gait, looks like they need a little Moore's Law to speed up computation. I wonder how fast it's gotten now, since this was first filmed?

I also wonder if it could ever make for a useful self-propelled artillery platform?
Those footpads could be engineered to rotate/hinge vertically, to turn into regular wheels for more speed on flat ground.

The legs could be useful for ascending steeper terrain. They would also be less likely to trip landmines than treads would, and would provide more vertical clearance down below.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby somnath » 10 Feb 2009 08:17

Missiles replacing guns on armoured platforms - may happen at some point, but the big factor would be cost. The unit cost of a missile is a many times the unit cost of a SABOT or AFSPDS round. So deploying them in numbers would stretch budgets by quite a bit..Plus, tank guns can operate as supporting arty for accompanying ground troops. Missiles wont be able to do that, not yet in any case....

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby KiranM » 10 Feb 2009 10:44

Rahul M wrote:a NAMICA like vehicle however, would be truly able to engage and destroy enemy tanks from outside their lethal envelope.

Rahul, this where I feel LAHAT type munitions can extend the envelope of a tank. Modern MBTs carrying such munitions, though few in number, can reserve them for use against such tank destroyers at stand off ranges.
Also, just as how UAVs can aid TDs in NLOS engagement, same can be used by tanks for engaging TDs. In fact, UAVs can identify and help tank commanders to effectively use LAHAT type munitions against such targets, rather than waste them on enemy tanks which can be effectively countered using normal rounds.

Rahul M wrote:elaborating, with further improvements in technology, tank guns will find it impossible to keep with vehicle borne ATGMs in lethality, accuracy, range as well as versatility.

But I think this is where the flexibility of tank gun and its shells score over. Considering a scenario where a tank has only APFDS, even it can be used against a cluster of enemy personnel, though may not be as effective as a HE/ fragmentation round. Can we do the same with ATGMs? Also as Ramana pointed out, factoring in the costs and the number of rounds carried by tank vs number of missiles carried by TDs?

This flexibility in firepower, I believe, is the main reason tanks still exist.

My 2 cents.


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