Main Battle Tanks: East vs West

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knowan

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Unread post06 Mar 2020, 15:51

boogieman wrote:Gotcha. Would be welcome news (if true) to know that the second best TOW variant can get the job done against Russia's premier tank. The next (perhaps pedantic) question would be where the T90s were struck as there are plenty of anecdotes that describe T90's surviving TOW hits across the frontal arc.


All tanks have weak areas in their frontal armor protection; the Russian tanks are no exception. Eg, mantlet, upper turret, turret ring, lower glacis, driver viewports are all weak areas on the T-64/72/80/90 tanks.

I'm doubtful a TOW-2 or TOW-2A could penetrate the main frontal armor arrays on a T-90, but if the missile hit one of the weak areas, a penetration is much more likely.


boogieman wrote:I was more referring to a future crisis but yes this is a valid point. Even so, one would hope that healthy stocks of M829A4 would be both a.) sufficient to reliably defeat modern Russian ERA and b.) readily available to Abrams crews in theatre.


Even M829A3 should be able to defeat Relikt, as it was reportedly designed to do so.



boogieman wrote:It is also easy to get bogged down in the armour vs penetrator race and neglect the fact modern MBTs are networked nodes in the joint force - information dominance is likely just as important for them as it is for combat aircraft.


It's also a mistake to compare the quality of tanks by the armor penetration of their gun and their frontal armor protection. Frontal slugging matches between tanks are actually quite rare, and AT weapons like ATGMs are usually used in ambush position against the sides or rear of a tank.

In reality, the firepower/protection aspects of a tank are frequently less important than the optics and fire control systems.

The way tankers see it, armor and protection systems are nice to have when you're getting shot at, but it's better to spot the enemy first and take them out before they can return fire so you never get shot at.
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boogieman

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Unread post06 Mar 2020, 21:28

knowan wrote:
boogieman wrote:Gotcha. Would be welcome news (if true) to know that the second best TOW variant can get the job done against Russia's premier tank. The next (perhaps pedantic) question would be where the T90s were struck as there are plenty of anecdotes that describe T90's surviving TOW hits across the frontal arc.


All tanks have weak areas in their frontal armor protection; the Russian tanks are no exception. Eg, mantlet, upper turret, turret ring, lower glacis, driver viewports are all weak areas on the T-64/72/80/90 tanks.

I'm doubtful a TOW-2 or TOW-2A could penetrate the main frontal armor arrays on a T-90, but if the missile hit one of the weak areas, a penetration is much more likely.


boogieman wrote:I was more referring to a future crisis but yes this is a valid point. Even so, one would hope that healthy stocks of M829A4 would be both a.) sufficient to reliably defeat modern Russian ERA and b.) readily available to Abrams crews in theatre.


Even M829A3 should be able to defeat Relikt, as it was reportedly designed to do so.



boogieman wrote:It is also easy to get bogged down in the armour vs penetrator race and neglect the fact modern MBTs are networked nodes in the joint force - information dominance is likely just as important for them as it is for combat aircraft.


It's also a mistake to compare the quality of tanks by the armor penetration of their gun and their frontal armor protection. Frontal slugging matches between tanks are actually quite rare, and AT weapons like ATGMs are usually used in ambush position against the sides or rear of a tank.

In reality, the firepower/protection aspects of a tank are frequently less important than the optics and fire control systems.

The way tankers see it, armor and protection systems are nice to have when you're getting shot at, but it's better to spot the enemy first and take them out before they can return fire so you never get shot at.


Agree on all counts. I can see how it will become increasingly important for MBTs to be hooked up to the broader ISR network so that they can track enemy movements in real time and ensure they are the ones to get the first shot off.
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madrat

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Unread post07 Mar 2020, 02:17

Not just the first shot, but the first shot on the correct target via a priority chain.
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boogieman

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Unread post07 Mar 2020, 02:33

madrat wrote:Not just the first shot, but the first shot on the correct target via a priority chain.


Exactly :thumb:
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charlielima223

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Unread post07 Mar 2020, 02:49

boogieman wrote:
madrat wrote:Not just the first shot, but the first shot on the correct target via a priority chain.


Exactly :thumb:


That is pretty much what veteran tankers of the 1991 Gulf War echo. While the US M1A1 was vastly superior over the Iraqi T-72s and their older model tanks, most of the success was attributed to the M1A1s ability to engage the T-72s outside their effective engagement ranges and be able to do so accurately.

Also from my understanding most if not all current APS used are only able to engage threats at the horizontal plane. This is where Spikes, Javelin, and similar ATGMs have an advantage. Their top attack profile essentially bypasses the APS defenses by attacking at an angle/sector that they cannot defend against (yet). Couple their top attack profile with their dual-shaped charged warhead and these newest ATGMs pose a serious threat to modern MBT. In some infantry circles the Javelin is referred to as "the can opener".
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boogieman

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Unread post07 Mar 2020, 03:06

charlielima223 wrote:
boogieman wrote:
madrat wrote:Not just the first shot, but the first shot on the correct target via a priority chain.


Exactly :thumb:


That is pretty much what veteran tankers of the 1991 Gulf War echo. While the US M1A1 was vastly superior over the Iraqi T-72s and their older model tanks, most of the success was attributed to the M1A1s ability to engage the T-72s outside their effective engagement ranges and be able to do so accurately.

Also from my understanding most if not all current APS used are only able to engage threats at the horizontal plane. This is where Spikes, Javelin, and similar ATGMs have an advantage. Their top attack profile essentially bypasses the APS defenses by attacking at an angle/sector that they cannot defend against (yet). Couple their top attack profile with their dual-shaped charged warhead and these newest ATGMs pose a serious threat to modern MBT. In some infantry circles the Javelin is referred to as "the can opener".


IIRC, Afghanit and Shtora can defend against ATGMs coming from above, although to what elevation I'm not sure (Shtora responds with a smoke screen, Afghanit also has hard-kill capability). If memory serves, the Javelin top attack profile "only" produces a ~45 degree dive angle which would potentially make it more vulnerable to APS. The latest versions of Spike (LR2, NLOS) are supposed to have anti-APS functionality via the use of a steeper 70 degree dive when in top-attack mode.
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geforcerfx

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Unread post07 Mar 2020, 21:30

Afghanit on the T-14 and T-15 only have tubes facing forward, no side protection and no above protection.
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knowan

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Unread post07 Mar 2020, 22:50

Shtora has a lot of limitations for defence against top attack; the laser warning receivers are limited to +25 degrees elevation, and the IR dazzlers (only effective against SACLOS missiles like TOW), has only +4 degrees elevation coverage.

With such limited elevation coverage on the dazzlers, Shtora would most likely be unable to defend against helicopter launched SACLOS missiles.

As for Afghanit, it likely has minimal elevation coverage due to the interceptor launch tubes being horizontal. Even the earlier Arena-3 had an elevation limit of +20 degrees, and that had angled launchers.
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boogieman

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Unread post08 Mar 2020, 09:33

knowan wrote:Shtora has a lot of limitations for defence against top attack; the laser warning receivers are limited to +25 degrees elevation, and the IR dazzlers (only effective against SACLOS missiles like TOW), has only +4 degrees elevation coverage.

With such limited elevation coverage on the dazzlers, Shtora would most likely be unable to defend against helicopter launched SACLOS missiles.

As for Afghanit, it likely has minimal elevation coverage due to the interceptor launch tubes being horizontal. Even the earlier Arena-3 had an elevation limit of +20 degrees, and that had angled launchers.


Did some more reading and it looks like Afghanit probably has soft kill (smoke screen) capability against top attack weapons.

According to Russian claims, the APS provides protection against ATGMs, RPGs, longrod KE penetrators and top-attack missiles. However these claims should be taken with a grain of salt. It is understood only the softkill components of Afghanit are capable of dealing with top-attack missiles. Claims about the ability to defeat KE penetrators is questionable, but it must be noted that most of the informations about this are speculations or from rather biased and "patriotic" websites. The defeat mechanism of Afghanit seems to be based on MEFP or HE-fragementation warheads, which can affect APFSDS penetration only by a limited amount.

https://below-the-turret-ring.blogspot. ... rview.html


Not sure about Shtora but I thought I read that it could deploy smoke in response to top attack as well.
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milosh

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Unread post08 Mar 2020, 10:13

geforcerfx wrote:Afghanit on the T-14 and T-15 only have tubes facing forward, no side protection and no above protection.


T-14 Afghanit is on turret itself so it can be rotated which mean 360deg can be cover:
https://defense-update.com/wp-content/u ... aps725.jpg

In case of T-15 it is fixed to chasis but tube arrangement is little wider so it covers somewhat more then T-14 tubes:
https://defense-update.com/wp-content/u ... 15_725.jpg

Also both vehicles have lot of chaffs, for example T-15 have two rear boxes with chaffs dedicated for top attack, and lot heavy ERA roof tiles about crew compartment and roof its self have armored uperstructure:
https://defense-update.com/wp-content/u ... iew725.jpg

Only weak spots are hatches but it would be hard to target them even with newest sensors in ideal situation while in real scenario almost impossible (chaffs fog).

Transport compartment is protected from top down attack with remote turret.
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boogieman

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Unread post08 Mar 2020, 10:42

milosh wrote:
geforcerfx wrote:Afghanit on the T-14 and T-15 only have tubes facing forward, no side protection and no above protection.


T-14 Afghanit is on turret itself so it can be rotated which mean 360deg can be cover:
https://defense-update.com/wp-content/u ... aps725.jpg

In case of T-15 it is fixed to chasis but tube arrangement is little wider so it covers somewhat more then T-14 tubes:
https://defense-update.com/wp-content/u ... 15_725.jpg

Also both vehicles have lot of chaffs, for example T-15 have two rear boxes with chaffs dedicated for top attack, and lot heavy ERA roof tiles about crew compartment and roof its self have armored uperstructure:
https://defense-update.com/wp-content/u ... iew725.jpg

Only weak spots are hatches but it would be hard to target them even with newest sensors in ideal situation while in real scenario almost impossible (chaffs fog).

Transport compartment is protected from top down attack with remote turret.


I think your links are broken :?
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milosh

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Unread post08 Mar 2020, 11:39

boogieman wrote:I think your links are broken :?


It opens fine for me?

Okey here are photos from links:
Attachments
T14_aps725.jpg
T-14 heavy APS
t15_725.jpg
T-15 heavy APS
T15_top_view725.jpg
T-15 heavy&soft APS and roof ERA
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knowan

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Unread post08 Mar 2020, 21:13

boogieman wrote:Did some more reading and it looks like Afghanit probably has soft kill (smoke screen) capability against top attack weapons.

Not sure about Shtora but I thought I read that it could deploy smoke in response to top attack as well.


Smoke is definitely better than nothing, but it is only a temporary measure with limited effectiveness.

IIRC, multi-spectral smoke grenades are standard in most/all modern militaries; the advantage Shtora and Afghanit have is automatic deployment due to their laser warning receivers and/or radar.
But those missile warning systems have disadvantages too; they can be triggered by false alarms, and radar emissions gives the vehicle's position away.
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Unread post08 Mar 2020, 22:29

knowan wrote:
boogieman wrote:Did some more reading and it looks like Afghanit probably has soft kill (smoke screen) capability against top attack weapons.

Not sure about Shtora but I thought I read that it could deploy smoke in response to top attack as well.


Smoke is definitely better than nothing, but it is only a temporary measure with limited effectiveness.

IIRC, multi-spectral smoke grenades are standard in most/all modern militaries; the advantage Shtora and Afghanit have is automatic deployment due to their laser warning receivers and/or radar.
But those missile warning systems have disadvantages too; they can be triggered by false alarms, and radar emissions gives the vehicle's position away.


Yes I also have my doubts about just how effective a smoke screen would be against passively guided top attack weapons like Javelin or Spike. The first and only indication the APS would get about the inbound ATGM would be its radar picking up the missile itself. The effective range of APS radars (AFAIK) tends to be quite short so it seems likely that the missile would simply plough through the smoke into the tank regardless. A smoke screen ought to function much better when deployed at or before the time of missile launch rather than in the final moments before impact...
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milosh

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Unread post09 Mar 2020, 18:14

T-14 turret is just gun so investing in some hard kill APS for top down attack wouldn't be useful as in case of classic tanks.

T-14 is designed to be ultimate tank killer, crew is better protected compared to any tank in world, armor capsule inside composite armored chassis with heavy ERA, low position of crew compared to tank with crew in turret. Hard kill APS which can deal even with DU sabots, and gun&round combo which goes trough more then 1000mm at 2km.

So we can say Russians resurrect heavy tank destroyer.

On other hand it would suck in urban combat, no wonder they developed T-15. Last thing I read they are planning to have Terminator turret on T-15 chassis so that is their choice for urban warfare.

But in reality do Russians rely need T-14? For export of course but for them selfs? I doubt that, with nice number of new T-90 and many modernized T-72/80 there isn't need for one more tank no matter how good it is. Especally when NATO reduced its tank force a lot.

But they need T-15. They need it in 1990s! They had good lesson from A-stan they even start making something similar but then 1990s happened. In first battle of Grozny IFV based on tank with 2x30mm and Shmel rockets would be lot more effective then tanks which act more as targets then real danger for enemy. BMP-3 was also useless, thin armor and full of 100mm rounds it didn't fare much better then tanks.

Btw US army also need something similar, IFV on tank chassis would make troops lot more safe in urban combat then high tech wheels IFV.
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