Author Topic: New MBT(Leo 2, M1A2, or Challenger 2), new light tank (Stingray), or new DFSV (M8 or MGS)?  (Read 365126 times)

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Offline Malcycee

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Okay Let's have a look? Sorry the time lag between lands is so large!!!

Disembarking at Esbjerg Denmark - 1978 for EX Bold Guard - 1st Tonka off - 10 mins - next was nearly 2 hours thanks to some nifty parking problems incurred by Hong Kong marshalls when loading at Southampton - Ship = RFA Sir Lancelot.



Closer to home - C Squadron 3RTR - Chieftain Dozer 1979 BATUS Suffield.



This too was BATUS when my Panzer broke before we left BATUS- Got a visit from (I think) the SALH - Most impressed by Cougar and Grizzly.



I even got to have a cabby - unfortunately no pics of them driving my Chieftain.



Hope you enjoyed? I have more - probably too many more - Strangely.








« Last Edit: June 18, 2009, 12:27:47 by CSA 105 »
Malcycee
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Offline Colin P

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Ha, the Sir Lancelot & Sir Galahad used to tie up in Vancouver and we would go down and drink Red Lion on them.  It was the Galahad that was sunk in the Falklands correct?

Offline Colin P

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Ha, the Sir Lancelot & Sir Galahad used to tie up in Vancouver and we would go down and drink Red Lion on them.   

Offline NFLD Sapper

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Offline Babbling Brooks

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Heads-up, gents!  This thread may have become instantly relevant:

http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,59522.msg552151.html#msg552151

What sort of MBT replacement can you buy on short notice with over $600M?
I believe most problems can be solved with weaponry of a high enough calibre.  Take me seriously at your own peril.

Offline Malcycee

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Ha, the Sir Lancelot & Sir Galahad used to tie up in Vancouver and we would go down and drink Red Lion on them.  It was the Galahad that was sunk in the Falklands correct?

My only experience was the photo occasion when it took 3 days to get from Southampton to Denmark because...................we damn well broke down in the middle of an extremely choppy North sea!!!!!! Combined with us only being allowed 2 beers per man - totally miserable time between chundering over the side and not being able to walk in a straight line across the ship's beam - when still sober!!!!!
Sir Galahad did indeed go down in the Falklands, there was/is a third LSL - Sir Bedevere, all of them being the only ship not to come under the Navy but, the Army!!! :o
Malcycee
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Offline Colin P

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Thanks, I have been having problems posting with the site hanging for 10 minutes at a time.

Offline Malcycee

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Malcycee,

Ref your photos - "I love this crap!"

CSA 105
Never had em reffered to as crap before!? i'll take it as some sort of compliment?
My photos aren't exactly reference to which is the best new MBT for you chaps - perhaps I should start another thread for those of you who want to beat up on an old fashioned Brit Tankie? Incidently, I have a hobby doing artwork of AFVs etc for my pals, anyone interested in seeing some examples? I could post them up too!

Either way, i would certainly say, from reports from Iraq that, we Brits are supremely confident about Chally 2 - to date no penetrations! Of the tank either! I've just been getting involved in a debate over here between an American and a Non Tankie Brit over various design differences between MIA2 and CR2 all to do with ammo stowage protection and a 'trade off' on power/weight ratios!! Don't think so. Any one any ideas for me to clarify on Brit design concepts?

One last pic on this thread -
Plastic CR1 ie: Training tank only - not real chobham armour - taken at the seat of all 'Goonery' gods - Lulworth Ranges 1987!

 
Malcycee
No Battle Plan survives contact with the enemy!!!

Buy my book: Armoured Farmer - ATankie's Tales,
at www.woodfieldpublishing.co.uk

Offline Tango2Bravo

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Welcome aboard and great pictures.  I love the disembarking tank photo.  Who says you can't get tanks where you want em?

Speaking of plastic tanks,

Sorry, since they took my Leopard away this is what I'm reduced to.

Well-trained, older Panzer crews are the decisive factor for success...It is preferable to start off with fewer Panzers than to set out with young crews who lack combat experience.

 - Verbal report of Gen Balck 1943

Offline NFLD Sapper

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CSA 105
Never had em reffered to as crap before!? i'll take it as some sort of compliment?
My photos aren't exactly reference to which is the best new MBT for you chaps - perhaps I should start another thread for those of you who want to beat up on an old fashioned Brit Tankie? Incidently, I have a hobby doing artwork of AFVs etc for my pals, anyone interested in seeing some examples? I could post them up too!

Either way, i would certainly say, from reports from Iraq that, we Brits are supremely confident about Chally 2 - to date no penetrations! Of the tank either! I've just been getting involved in a debate over here between an American and a Non Tankie Brit over various design differences between MIA2 and CR2 all to do with ammo stowage protection and a 'trade off' on power/weight ratios!! Don't think so. Any one any ideas for me to clarify on Brit design concepts?

One last pic on this thread -
Plastic CR1 ie: Training tank only - not real chobham armour - taken at the seat of all 'Goonery' gods - Lulworth Ranges 1987!

 


Interesting drivers hatch. Right below the main gun.
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Offline Malcycee

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Interesting drivers hatch. Right below the main gun.

UK after Centurion went central for the driver in Chieftain. The principle was adopted partly to lower the overall height of the tank by allowing the driver to fully recline when closed down, it also allows great sloped armour on the glacis plate. It is very comfortable!!! And allows for good spare ammo stowage utilisation with the driver being able to pass it directly behind him into the turret from either each side of him or slightly behind. This principle was carried over onto CR 1 and 2. There is very little danger of the MA 'fouling' the drivers head there was......(not now with TIS), more danger of the gunner's TLS fouling his head giving him a neat 'capbadge' imprint in the front of his skull.
Ammo stowage has always been a controversial issue with the UK having opted for split proj and charge ammo. This has allowed the profile to be kept low(See earlier pic of Grizzly/Cougar alongside Chieftain MBT allows good comparison CR is same overall height as Chieftain roughly) as you don't have to accomodate tall pieces of ammo, more importantly you don't have to worry about spent cases, the only residue post firing is the spent Vent tube - about the size of a shotgun cartridge.
Malcycee
No Battle Plan survives contact with the enemy!!!

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at www.woodfieldpublishing.co.uk

Offline Colin P

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Gee, and I thought the driver was below the main gun so the TC could bonk him on the head with it when he was being an idiot.  ;D

Offline Malcycee

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Gee, and I thought the driver was below the main gun so the TC could bonk him on the head with it when he was being an idiot.  ;D

Now there's a concept!! On Chieftain it was possible for the MA to depress onto the Dvr's head if he wasn't sat low enough - CR the Glacis armour is higher so the gun kit limit switches are set so the dvrs 'bonce' can't cop for it!!!! Half the time on FTX in the German countryside, we TC's were too busy chalking up scores against how many roadsigns we could 'joust' down with the MA. AAAAAHHHHH those were the days.
 :warstory:Mind, when I was a TC, One night on a very long road march - my driver Tommo was continually whistling into the Live Microphone on his crew helmet over the IC. After many times, telling him to stop to no avail  :threat: my patience wore thin and, having climbed out of my hatch, I ran straight down the front of the turret and swung my right boot smartly into his head...........the whistling stopped. And yes, luckily his helmet stopped us swerving violently off the road.  :salute:
Malcycee
No Battle Plan survives contact with the enemy!!!

Buy my book: Armoured Farmer - ATankie's Tales,
at www.woodfieldpublishing.co.uk

Offline TCBF

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Heads-up, gents!  This thread may have become instantly relevant:

http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,59522.msg552151.html#msg552151

What sort of MBT replacement can you buy on short notice with over $600M?

- Short notice? Depends on your definition of short notice!

A few people may have been waiting for the public announcement so they could finally start to talk about it!
"Disarming the Canadian public is part of the new humanitarian social agenda."   - Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axeworthy at a Gun Control conference in Oslo, Norway in 1998.


"I didn’t feel that it was an act of violence; you know, I felt that it was an act of liberation, that’s how I felt you know." - Ann Hansen, Canadian 'Urban Guerrilla'(one of the "Squamish Five")

Offline Malcycee

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Okay guys

Bringing us upto date, I notice Infanteer has asked the question about Tanks with Infantry carrying abilities. 'I have a friend' who works for a military defence contractor - he is shortly to become heavily involved in the UK's FRES programme. The concept is to make a medium armoured vehicle with multiple capabilities? I've seen this before when 'Warrior' came about as a MICV - the truth is that the 30mm Rarden is an excellent weapon but, not able to compete with modern MBT capabilities in both defence and offence!! Even now, the automotive duties of driving and maintaining the damn things are being trained over to Tankies so you will end up with Tankies acting as chauffeurs for the infantry in effect. Anyway, here's an article/review on where the UK is with FRES.

A Crisis in the making
The centrepiece of secretary of state for defence Geoff Hoon's strategic defence review, announced recently, was a new military system about which very few people know anything. The system is the "Future Rapid Effects Systems" (FRES) and, on the basis of its introduction, Hoon is confident that he can dispense with 19 mainly Shire infantry regiments.

Before discussing FRES in detail, however, it is necessary to set a political framework into which this system fits, and this is best illustrated by recent comments from Javier Solana, the EU's "foreign minister, talking to a meeting of Italian Ambassadors. He told that that "the US must treat the European Union as a full partner in an effective and balanced partnership", and "The European Union has to show the US that it is worthy of that title."
These comments were important because they illustrate a mindset in the EU which, despite the inherent anti-Americanism, displays an intense jealousy of the US. The outward manifestation is an almost child-like determination to prove that "Europe" is at least as good as, if not better than, the US, in every possible way.
It is that ethos, as much as anything, that has driven the EU to commit £3 billion or more to the Galileo satellite navigation and positioning system - despite the provision by the US of their "free-to-all" GPS system. Much the same thinking drives the determination of the EU to maintain its own space programme, and to fund Airbus with such generous subsidies.
But this thinking is also driving the EU military procurement programme, to the extent that anything the US has, the EU must have too. This is most obvious in the pursuit of the A400M large military transport aircraft, despite the availability of proven US designs, which are undoubtedly cheaper and in many respects better.
However, this drive to match the US now seems to be pushing the EU - and the UK in particular - into making another blunder in military procurement, of Eurofighter proportions in expenditure terms, and drive UK defence up a cul-de-sac from which it may never recover. That "blunder" is FRES.
Nevertheless, despite it having formed the centrepiece of defence minister Geoff Hoon's recently announced Strategic Defence Review, very few people know anything about FRES. All we know is that Hoon is relying on it as the technological fix that will enable him to cut back on human resources - like soldiers. That so few people are aware of what FRES actually is can hardly be surprising. Two years ago, Gregory Fetter, a senior land-warfare analyst at Forecast International/DMS, observed that it was "too early to try to figure out what FRES will look like ...It's like trying to grab a cloud of smoke."
And, as late as March of this year, Nicholas Soames, shadow defence secretary - in a debate in the Commons on defence policy - noted that defence contractors had been "anxiously awaiting a decision from the Government on the future rapid effects system battlefield vehicle that the Chief of the General Staff requires to be in service by 2009, but for which there is not yet even a drawing".
Small wonder that, in the report of the defence select committee published recently, the committee expressed concern that the proposed in-service date of 2009 "will not be met".

So what is FRES?
The quote from Soames actually give some clue. He calls it a "battlefield vehicle", but it is more than that. It is a whole family of vehicles that are intended for the Army of the 21st Century, equipping it for its role as a rapid reaction force. It will enable it to deal quickly and effectively with trouble spots around the world, with maximum efficiency and the minimum expenditure of manpower. At least, that is how the propaganda goes.
For that, the government is preparing to sink around £6 billion into buying 900 vehicles, with an estimated budget for the total costs of ownership over the expected 30-year service life of almost £50 billion. That is a staggering £6.7 million average cost to buy each vehicle and an unbelievable life-time cost per vehicle - yes, each vehicle - of £55.5 million. To say that it would be cheaper to drive our troops into battle in a fleet of top-of-the-range Rolls-Royces hardly begins to illustrate the extravagance.
Whatever the merits of the vehicles - and these will be discussed shortly - the point is that FRES is not a British, or even European idea. It is copied from a US military programme known as FCS, or "Future Combat System". This is an armoured vehicle family designed as a "system of systems", operating in a network, fully equipped with the latest in electronics, combat systems and weapons, all inter-linked through satellite communications. And because the Americans are having it, "Europe" must have it as well.
Furthermore, although Hoon is highlighting it in his own defence review, FRES has very much become a "European" project. Such are the vast development costs that no single European nation can afford them, so it has become another of those joint programmes of which the Eurofighter project is the model.
Already, the European skills at designing just what is needed are coming to the fore. A fore-runner of FRES was the tri-nation programme to develop what was known as the MRAV - the " multi-role armoured vehicle", funded by the UK, German and Dutch governments and managed by the European armaments agency, OCCAR (Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation).
In a mirror image of the Eurofighter project, the French were also originally involved, but they pulled out to produce their own vehicle called the VBCI. Perhaps this was just as well for, after the expenditure of untold millions, the tri-nation consortium produced a prototype which they named the Boxer, only to find that at 33 tons, it was too heavy for airborne rapid deployment.
But the European involvement has not yet ended - not by any means. Despite honeyed words from the DoD to UK manufacturers, the leading contender for building FRES is a German firm, Rheinmetall DeTec. Should its designs be accepted, the outcome will undoubtedly be the formation of another European consortium to build it, as national sensibilities would not allow British forces to be equipped with German-built machines. And, with costs already escalating, we have another Eurofighter in the making.

I apologise for it being somewhat long winded chaps but, it gives a fair insight as to the 'European dilemna'. You can have the damn things, they can be flexible and transportable but, do you have the air capability to transport them? If not how much does it cost. You guys have had Leo 1 and, by all accounts you'll get Leo 2 and a fine beast it is even if a 'used car lot'. Let's also not forget, when the Bundewehr got Leo 2, what did they do? They decided that Leo 1 could be used in a Medium Recce role and set it up as so. Spahpanzer 'luchs' suddenly found itself almost superseded. So where does the modern world go?

Malcycee
No Battle Plan survives contact with the enemy!!!

Buy my book: Armoured Farmer - ATankie's Tales,
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Offline Chris Pook

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http://www.brugesgroup.com/news.live?article=227&keywordhte=1

Hello Malcycee - I believe this is the link to the article you cited - produced by the Bruges Group in 2002 when Geoff Hoon produced his new chapter for Robertson's 1998 Strategic Defence Review.

Have you heard if the FRES is still on track?

Cheers.
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Offline TCBF

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"...They decided that Leo 1 could be used in a Medium Recce role and set it up as so. Spahpanzer 'luchs' suddenly found itself almost superseded. ..."

- They Modified early Leo 1A1/1A2 to Leo 1A5 for the heavy companies of their ten PzAufklaBns.  Each heavy company was made up of  heavy recce patrols of three Leo 1A5 tanks each.  The light patrols in the other companies consisted of patrols made up of two Spahpanzer Luchs each.  The ten German Armoured Recce Bns thus operated Luchs and Leo 1A5 concurrently. 

- During the work-ups for the Boeselager Competition in 1992, the heavy patrols began converting from Leo 1A5 to Leo 2, which were cascaded down from re-roled tank bns.  They appreciated the additional firepower and armour of the Leo 2, but it had  an inferior thermal system and a much greater size and weight compared to the Leo 1A5.  The 1A5 tanks were kept in storage until Canada FINALLY made up her mind to use the turrets for the Leo C2.
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Offline Malcycee

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http://www.brugesgroup.com/news.live?article=227&keywordhte=1

Hello Malcycee - I believe this is the link to the article you cited - produced by the Bruges Group in 2002 when Geoff Hoon produced his new chapter for Robertson's 1998 Strategic Defence Review.

Have you heard if the FRES is still on track?

Cheers.

Hi Kirkhill
You sir, are indeed correct as to source.
My chum being on the FRES sales and info team for a very LARGE defence contractor says it is still on track but, within the MOD people are still arguing about what exactly they want which, for all the contractors, is making life difficult.
With Tankers retraining to crew Warrior and transport the Infantry, it seems like the MOD are thinking ahead to FRES - BUT, what really worries me is, another chum who's a Squadron Leader in the RTR is quite vehement about poor recruiting levels into the RAC and the Army in general. At times it is pushed to put fully crewed MBT's into the field at home due to everyone getting swapped to make up numbers in the 'foreign theatres'. This means that, as the government continues to stretch our Armoured forces, they are going to find it extremely difficult to fulfill all the roles envisaged. If, as claimed in the Bruges article, the Government expect to SAVE and REDUCE manpower through FRES...they're gonna have to think again, the manpower is already 'not there' to be saved on.
When they announced to a pleased public how 3000 troops would be extracted from Iraq soonest this year, we awaited the announcement of extra troops to Afghanistan, we gave it 2 weeks before they'd brave it and, I think it took less than a week before the Afghanistan solution came!!!!!
Either way, I am heavy armour through and through and really don't see a 'Non MBT' world ahead of us. It simply gives us that 'extra punch' with the ability to sit and 'slog it out'.
Malcycee
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Offline Colin P

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Malcycee
Didn't get a chance to read the links, but the Russians were playing with a T-64 or 80 that could carry 4 dismounts and still have a main gun turret, having seen the pictures, cocoon, cubby hole and coffin all leap to mind. The troops each had a hatch behind the turret.

The Merk is likely the most successful adaption of this idea and gives a flexibility to their tank force and the rear door is useful for other stuff. Also it would appear that the IDF is the clear leader in HAPC's and any design should incorporate their lessons. I wonder if the Brits still have any Chally 1 hulls lying around that could be used. The Germans have access to both older Leos and T-72's that could be converted and the US has early M1 that could be used.

Offline Malcycee

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Malcycee
Didn't get a chance to read the links, but the Russians were playing with a T-64 or 80 that could carry 4 dismounts and still have a main gun turret, having seen the pictures, cocoon, cubby hole and coffin all leap to mind. The troops each had a hatch behind the turret.

The Merk is likely the most successful adaption of this idea and gives a flexibility to their tank force and the rear door is useful for other stuff. Also it would appear that the IDF is the clear leader in HAPC's and any design should incorporate their lessons. I wonder if the Brits still have any Chally 1 hulls lying around that could be used. The Germans have access to both older Leos and T-72's that could be converted and the US has early M1 that could be used.

Hi Colin
Given, during the coldwar according to intel from Brixmis, Russian crewmen were recruited at a max height of 5'3" - I dread to think what, as infanteers they were planning on putting in the back - possibly Hobbits?
Agreed on the Merk - outstanding panzer but, we never really seem to get to the root of what the rear compartment is for - The wounded, a small section of infantry or just extra room for huge C Ration storage - Ha Ha.
I've a book (humorous) due out in June about the life of a tankie (me) for 15 years in the RTR, I've taken the history of the Tank and put it into my terms (I'll edit the swearing) in one chapter to break up the personal anecdotes. I suppose it may bring a little light entertainment to all you trusty Armour guys it may take us off thread for a little while (and make my post too long, but hopefully you'll forgive me so, I'll paste it in and hopefully you may enjoy?? Apologies in advance if it's not the Canadian sense of humour but, Tankers are Tankers and all love a bit of a lark.

Chapter 31

Design what?

While in Paderborn I used to vent my interest in our Regimental history by, helping out occasionally in the small Regimental museum. This was contained in a room in RHQ. It wasn’t a grand affair but held a lot of information on the men and machines of the Regiment through the years. I had, even as a child, a great interest in Tanks. Over the years I’ve spent many hours at the wonderful Tank Museum in Bovington, pondering and investigating Tank development. I said earlier in the book, I’d like to write about this subject, so here we go! These observations are seen from my soldier’s perspective, based on fact but seen through my eyes.

Okay so everyone knows that with WW1 came the advent of trench warfare and the machine gun, that efficient killer of men. This had the boffins at the War office scratching their heads in dismay. The trick of soldiers standing up and walking slowly towards the enemy didn’t work. Why? Well because that was exactly what the Hun expected them to do! “Bugger!” Said one boffin to another, “We’d better try something else!” Dismally that failed too, after all, just because the men now stood up and ran quickly at the Hun, didn’t make an iota of difference. The German machine guns were a hell of a lot quicker than the Infantry. “B*llocks!” Exclaimed the boffin; “we’re in trouble if we don’t think of something new, and quick!” he said as he scratched his oversized bald head. His colleague, who had been thinking to himself, resignedly muttered, “ I wish I was as clever as that old twat Leonardo Da Vinci!” The first boffin looked up and suddenly shouted; “ Bloody bugger! Of course! Didn’t he draw some sort of land machine to protect its crew?” They now scoured their reference library, eventually finding the design they sought. “****, we can’t build that, it looks so stupid that we’ll be laughed off the battlefield!” Said one to the other. His colleagues reply came; “I never said we’d build that,” he laughed, “all I want to do is steal the idea, modify the design to modernise it, and then when it’s finished tell the sceptics it was us, and ask who the **** was Leonardo da whatsisname any way?”

Having thought carefully about their problem they threw down their pencils in disgust. “Jesus” said one, “how the hell are we going to do this? These flippers we’ve drawn will be as much use as tits on a fish for a land vehicle! We may as well take one of those new fangled American agricultural tractors designed by that fellow.. Holt, with its thingies, oh you know... tracks, that’s them, and use that!” He laughed. “Hey, that’s not such a bad bloody idea,” said his partner scribbling furiously with his pencil. “We’ll cover it in iron or steel plate which we’ll call armour, but what do we call the vehicle?” He intoned as the pair now stood at the urinals. His pal, glancing down nosily at his neighbours appendage laughed; “what you’ve got there is a little Willy!” “Bloody good name that!” retorted the other boffin thoughtfully. “The Boche would never guess what the **** it is from that name!” And the first prototype Tank, ‘Little Willy’ was born.


When the trials were finished and the Admiralty had accepted the concept of a ‘Little Willy’, they decided that a machine named after a scientist’s penis was a little distasteful. So after due consideration and their knowledge being mainly to do with water, they hit on the name ‘Tank’, after all that’s what it looked like, a huge water tank! So it was, that in due course, the first Mark 1 ‘Mother’ Tanks rolled from the production line onto the French and Belgian battlefields, scaring the **** out of the Germans on the way.

Since the Tanks inception, British ‘men in white coats’ seem to have struggled with the design of Tanks. Okay, we invented it and we built it! The ‘others’ have always ‘copied’ it. So why then, have we continually ‘bodged’ it? Well, we know what the three main characteristics of the Tank are, after all we thought of them! There’s firepower, protection and mobility, when all three are correctly balanced this leads to the ultimate battlefield characteristic of flexibility. To look at some of the fledgling designs that we’ve come up with, you could be forgiven for thinking that we didn’t have a clue!

After the ‘Mother’ had taken to the field, it was quickly modified to increase its trench crossing and steering capabilities by, putting a huge pair of wheels on the back! This only met with limited success, after all, the ferocity of German artillery barrages that met the appearance of Tanks in an attack, soon ripped the wheels off! The boffins drew, modified and thought up all manner of things. Tanks suddenly became ‘Male’ or ‘Female’, the difference being that ‘Males’ had larger pieces of field artillery fitted, ‘Females’ on the other hand were armed with machine guns. Later in the war newer designs were built, the rhomboidal shape of the Tanks was lengthened by adding a ‘Tadpole tail’ which did, successfully increase the Tanks trench crossing ability. Tanks appeared one day, lumbering slowly forward, their ungainly shapes carrying, perched on top, huge bundles of wood. These were known as ‘Fascines’ and when a Tank approached a deep trench, the fascine would be rolled into the trench, and the Tank could drive safely across it. This was, the fore runner of the modern Royal Engineers AVRE with its demolition gun or ‘dustbin chucker’.

The newspaper articles of the time hailed the Tank as ‘The War Winning’ machine! I, as a Tankie, do believe this even though the sceptics say that it was not. Let’s face it, imagine you are a German foot soldier in your trench. The continual barrage one morning lifts and, there before you trundles a huge metal box, heading straight for you spitting fire and lead in every direction, smoke belching from its exhaust. Crap yourself? I should think so! The Tanks may not have been much faster than walking pace but, unlike the Infantry, they couldn’t be stopped by machine gun fire. Then they are on your position, travelling up and down your trench line raking your previously safe haven with, thousands of unstoppable machine gun bullets. Behind them come the enemy Infantry, and there are thousands of them, they’ve come safely through your defences, and having now emerged from behind the cover of the advancing Tanks, they can’t wait to stick their bayonets right up your arrse!

Now, while this mayhem was happening all along the front line, where were the Cavalry? Well, with the advent of WW1 they had, in the face of artillery and MG fire, found themselves literally blown from the battlefield. Certainly in many Tank actions, the reason for eventual failure of the attack was, that the cavalry were so sceptical about ‘breakthrough and exploitation’ that, they simply chose to remain undercover. The cavalry officers deemed Tanks as a ‘flash in the pan’, sat as they were, behind a wood out of sight, their officers were heard to say; “Let the Tanks **** this one up, we’ll rest a while, Rupert pass me another glass of port, there’s a good chap!” The Tanks speed did not match its ‘shock action’. The mechanical technology that existed at the time could not exploit the effect that Tanks could have on the enemy. Not to matter, the boffins were working on the ‘cavalry solution’.

Once more the boffins were stood at the urinals.
“Did you read in the Times, that the bally cavalry were sat on their arrses again at the Somme?” asked one of the other, “ Oh yeah, they’re lazy barstards all right!” Replied the other guy buttoning up his fly. “What do you say we come up with something that’ll really **** up the cavalry’s brains?” queried the first guy wiping his hands on his trousers. “Like what for example, a fast Tank?” Asked his chum. “God, but you are full of absolutely fantastic bloody ideas!” Enthused the first guy. Off they went and started to beaver away at their drawing tables. In due course one stood up from his work. He grabbed the other fellow by the arm pointing at his drawing and said; “Here James, take a look a look at this!” James, confused at the question said, “Oh all right, if I must, whip it out then!” The colleague, also confused now exploded, “WHIPPET! **** me how do you think up these names? It’s perfect for this Tank… fast as a Whippet!” He slapped his pal, who was hurriedly re-buttoning up his fly, hard on the back. “You are great!” He continued, “B*llocks, thought my luck was in!” Was James’ only mumbled comment.

So the Medium A. ‘Whippet’ was born, armed with three machine guns and a top speed faster than a man could run, it was soon seen running ‘rampant’ around the battlefields. The advent of these Tanks created something of a race. The different nations involved in this conflict, not to be outdone by either friend or foe, were busy concocting their own designs. The French came up with vehicles such as the St. Chamond and the Schneider. The Germans spent most of the time repainting captured British Tanks and throwing them back into the fray. But eventually they too came up with an example of Teutonic might in the shape of the A7V. This was a monster of a vehicle, cramming every available inch of space with a huge crew of eighteen men, it sallied forth into the maelstrom. Its future did not bode well, its huge bulk and slow speed made it vulnerable and unreliable. In fact an infantryman with body armour and a peashooter would have achieved more success. Looking at this machine, nobody could have possibly foreseen the massive impact that Germany would, in the future, have on Tank design and tactics! During the latter stages even the Americans, ‘never one to be out done’ had a crack at designing and building Tanks. They mainly copied our designs but, they were bigger of course! The war ended in 1918 with a bit of a fizzle, with it the Tank race petered out too. As I’ve already explained, the Cavalry were now to be found at the War Office plotting the demise of, “ Those f*cking upstarts in the Tank Corps!” even though the King intervened, the huge financial burden levied on the nation meant that our two friendly boffins were, ‘put on the backburner’.


What of Germany? Well, the German army felt that they had been stabbed in the back by their politicians. “Ready to stop fighting the stinking Tommies?” Said a General one evening. “I should think not!” He continued while topping up his and his companions schnapps glasses. His companion, a disenchanted government official said; “What were we doing? The barstards had the Panzers, und we sat with unser thumbs up unser arsches! I will never let this happen again!”
The General responded with; “**** the world, we will schau them! What we need now ist a complete **** to lead uns to world domination!” Listening outside the door stood a diminutive greasy looking fellow, his hair a black oily slick swept over one eye, his moustache, now smaller in size since the shaving accident, a toothbrush sized bush under his nose. His name? Oh do come on! Adolph Hitler of course! He sneered; “Oh yes, we will show the world what a tw*t I can be!” In that instant the world’s future was being re-written.

Now, under the terms of the Versailles treaty the allies had sought to ensure that Germany, would never be able to muster enough military might to once more become a threat. In theory this was great, in reality it had holes in it big enough to, strangely enough, drive a Tank through! Hitler’s rise to stardom brought with it money for armaments. His ‘build agricultural tractors’ in Sweden policy should have had us screaming in the stalls! After all, we got the damn ideas from tractors! But did it ring alarm bells? Did it hell. War? Unthinkable in the average British mind of the late 20’s and 30’s. Our men were back home, what was left of them! So, who wanted another war? Not the stupid Hun, we’d right royally whipped their arrses in 1918, they wouldn’t be stupid enough to start another one, would they?



It was this totally ignorant and blasé attitude in Britain that ruled the roost. Oh yes everyone acknowledged what an important part the Tanks had played ‘except the cavalry’ of course. But now was a time for singing and dancing and long may it continue. If only it had, who knows what the modern world would now be like? British Tank designers and builders such as Vickers were scratching their heads. James and Frederick, our two WW1 designers were now working for Vickers, their time at the W.O had come to an end. One morning while in the toilet James turned to Fred and said, “I’ve come up with a whizzo idea for a new Tank, it’s got one turret and two engines giving it a top speed of forty mph!” “How big’s the gun?” Enquired Fred. “It’s a 20inch supplemented by two MG’s!” Replied James. “Well, you can forget that as a f*cking idea then, can’t you, the bosses these days are only looking at designs which have a minimum of three turrets, a peashooter being in each one as a gun, an engine driving the Tank at 15mph maximum and NO f*cking machine guns!” Came the response from Fred. Having finished at the urinals they stood facing each other pondering, eventually Fred said; “James, put your f*cking dick away!” James did as asked and they left. “B*llocks!” Mumbled James.. “Thought my luck was in!”

So it was that between the wars we as a nation fell behind in the race which was continuing, unchecked, behind the scenes. We even fell behind in the tactical race, even though our great minds such as Swinton were advocating the shape of things to come. As usual the Germans, in the shape of Generals such as Guderian, were stealing our ideas and seeing how they could fit in with their plans. We were playing on Salisbury plain with great ideas such as radio communication and inter-arm co-operation. The Germans on the other hand, were taking these same ideas and fully integrating them at an alarming speed. We were churning out a bewildering array of different Tank types. We had everything from small two man, Carden ‘Tankettes’ through light and medium Tanks to heavy and even heavier Tanks.

But all were a combination of moderately protected, poorly powered and dreadfully armed vehicles. Our design principles said that the size of the gun is governed by the size of the turret. But we were reluctant to build bigger Tanks to facilitate the larger weapons required for effective shooting of other Tanks. We seemed to concentrate on ‘Infantry support’ Tanks, forgetting the possibility of ‘Tank versus Tank’ combat. Anyway, nobody had anything ‘that we knew about’ to beat us. Of course as the German military build up became blindingly obvious, peoples ideas changed somewhat. Suddenly Fred and James’ life became quite frantic. One morning at the urinals, Fred said to James; “Hells a poppin’, I’ve been told to build something that works! What shall I do?” James instantly replied; “Me too, I’ve come up with the idea of armour plating an Austin seven sticking a 2 pounder out the front and calling it a ‘matilda’!” he said. “F*cking good idea James, and you’re so full of them too!”responded Fred. “I think I love you!” Crooned James to Fred, but it was too late, the toilet’s swing door was already settling into the doorjamb.

‘Matilda’ was born as a Tank, but it certainly wasn’t based on an Austin Seven, it was a thickly armoured Infantry type Tank. It was impervious to all but the biggest German guns. The Germans actually quite admired it when eventually they came up against it. But as usual, its design was not conceived with Tank combat in mind. When Britain declared war on Germany in 1939, it found itself faced with some stark truths. Firstly our Tank force was woefully under strength for the task ahead. Secondly, our Tanks themselves, with a couple of exceptions were, very inadequate for their allotted jobs. Our tactics were fairly well practised but, not as modern or effective as the German ‘Blitzkrieg’ doctrine. So here we were with our inadequate armour being hurriedly shipped abroad as part of the BEF, to France and to face the advancing, well equipped German army. The history books do say that the German army was possibly not as well equipped as the common belief says. I know it relied still, on large quantities of horse drawn power but, the spearhead, which after all counted most, was mechanised. The British army was deposited into a nearly hopeless attempt to halt the German flow.

3RTR was thrown across the channel at short notice with its Tanks but with very little or, no ammo. Once our Regiment found its way out into the open countryside, due to confusion in the BEF command structure, it found itself isolated and unsure of what was happening. Never the less, once the decision was taken to evacuate the BEF, 3RTR distinguished itself by stemming the German advance, at great sacrifice to itself, and protecting Calais to allow evacuation. The remnants of the Regiment managed to just escape capture leaving its broken Tanks and equipment strewn across the French countryside.

Throughout WW2 the design leaders remained, the Germans with their vast industrial might. The Russians though, had surprised the Germans when, the Blitzkrieg had run into the outstanding Soviet T34 Tank. This was designed to incorporate all the best features of the Tank. It was fast, well armoured and packed a sufficiently potent punch to be able to stop the average German Panzer in its tracks. What’s more, it was simple to build and operate, cheap to build and very reliable. When one considers the vast logistical problems involved with the size of Russia, the Tank was ideal. The Germans quickly realised that they now faced a problem large enough to make them think again. The answer? Capture a T34, ship it to Germany and let the boffins take a look. One day at the Krupps factory, stood two scientists, Jan and Friederich, at a urinal. “ ****, but ze T34 ve haf ist damn goot!” Exclaimed Jan. “Ja, but ve vill make somethink tvice as gut!” retorted Friedrich. He continued; “It cannot be so very difficult as, ze T34 vas built by stupid communistisch scum!” “But, it can be crewed by ze vomen!” explained Jan. “Ha, who needs ze f*cking vomen!” Sneered Friedrich as he did up his trousers. Jan immediately said; “Ja, I agree, who needs ze f*cking vomen, Friedrich I zink I luf you!” But as he turned it was too late, Friedrich had left, the toilets swinging door already settling in the doorjamb. “Shiiiit!” Was Jan’s only comment.

But in due course the Germans produced the ‘Panther’ and its big brother ‘King Tiger’ to beat the crap out of anything that got in the way, thereby joining the already successful ‘Tiger 1’. Industrial attrition would eventually bring Germany to its knees. It was great having the best Tanks in the world but, you need steel and an economy to build them, and oil, fuel and ammunition to run them. So even though they were the best Tanks of their era, hammering forth and conquering all, there were, in the end, simply not enough of them to alter the course of the war. This was also combined with the Germans knack of ‘over engineering’ everything they touched. They had missed the fact that the T34 was simplicity itself. Consequently both the Panther and King Tiger were slow and expensive to build. I would argue that without doubt, Panther was the outstanding Tank of WW2. Had it been built alone and without a confused Hitler prevaricating about also building King Tiger, it could possibly have turned the war around, if produced in large enough quantities! But it was not to be, and the war’s outcome is confined to the history books. And thank god it ended in our favour!

Britain during the war, had frantically been trying to redress the balance. Relying on the lend-lease Tanks, such as the Sherman, from America, it was desperate to prove it could build a successful Tank. The odds however were not in our favour. The war thus far had taken its toll on our great nation. Some designs in the ‘Cruiser’ class had met with limited success but, also with their share of disaster. Later in the war having learnt lessons against the German Afrika Korps in the desert struggle. We seemed to pull back a little, but still a big failing was our lack of sufficient firepower. Not until we retro fitted the Sherman Tank with a larger gun, renaming it ‘The firefly’, could we attempt to take on the ‘Tiger’ threat with any chance of winning! By the end of the war we had designed some fairly successful Tanks, the ‘Cromwell’ and ‘Comet’ being two noteworthy examples. The Comet actually served into, I believe the early 80’s with the Irish army.

By 1945 Britain, having got its act together, had laid down plans for what was to be Centurion. This Tank would prove to be the mainstay of our Royal Armoured Corps until the early to mid sixties. Its reliability and effectiveness becoming the benchmark for the other nations of the world. Too late for service in WW2 it was to prove itself in Korea and conflicts around the world, especially as it was bought by many nations, Israel having been a particular fan. Building on its reputation, Britain in due course decided to modernise and commissioned Chieftain which, even though it was dogged with many problems. The concept of a Main Battle Tank came about as, even during Centurions era, we had experimented with heavy tank technology in the form of Conqueror, which was not a great success. So it was simple, one main Tank with other tasks being carried out by ‘specific to task’ vehicles.

I have during the course of this book, highlighted some of Chieftains problems. But I don’t wish to be unfair to what was essentially, ‘not a bad old bus’. Its problems really only concerned its ability to move from A to B in a military fashion i.e. without breaking down. It always seemed unfair to us that, so much emphasis had been placed on its various systems but not enough on it’s mobility. Fine I understand that our doctrine was based more on ‘stay and fight’. But to stay we first had to get to where we were meant to be staying! Once there the fire control system was superb and, we were led to believe that our protection was second to none. But a chilling thought was that when boffins talk about ‘survivability’ they mean the weapons platform and not the crew inside. We knew we could sit and hit targets at ranges way in excess of our potential Soviet foes maximum range.

We knew also that Russian Tank crewmen were recruited, at a maximum height of 5’ 3’’. We also knew that Russian vehicles that were fitted with Auto-Loaders were unreliable as the machinery couldn’t differentiate between the ammunition and the commanders forearm! Of course, the other thing we knew was that the Soviets had a lot of Tanks, so many in fact that we would have to kill four of theirs before we ourselves were killed. On the bright side we had also learnt that Russian Tank crews had a propensity for drinking their vehicles’ anti-freeze which was alcohol based!

So in the 1970’s the world’s status quo in the Tank stakes was fairly even. Britain’s Chieftain with its technical advances was mechanically, less than reliable but, fantastic at all the other arts of Tank virtue, it’s gun could hit a gnat at 3500 metres using its computerised fire control equipment, its armour was deemed impervious to all known types of ammunition and it’s crews were the best in the world. Germany’s Leopard 1 was adequate in protection, punchy in its firepower(the tried and tested British 105mm gun) and supremely efficient in its mobility, but only because it was the lightest tank of its type. American Tanks came in a vast array of types and sizes but, their mainstay Tank, the M60 was mechanically questionable and the Tank in general was undergoing massive refits to modernise its technology.
Israel with all its experience of relatively modern Tank warfare in the middle east had been very busy. I feel that it is easy to forget the Israeli’s and their contribution to tank warfare. At this time they were operating British Centurions but, decided to fit more efficient diesel powered units. They had modified the American Sherman into what became the ‘Super Sherman’. They also used the Americans M60 and older M48. So as can be seen, Israel was invaluable in testing various designs from different countries and through battlefield experience, modifying the vehicles to optimise their salient features.

But, in a urinal somewhere in Israel, stood two boffins. The first looked at his colleague and said; “David I’m a bit p*ssed off with sorting out the **** ups of the other countries tank designers!” David replied, “Samuel, I know exactly what you mean, but what can we do? Design our own?” “****, David! Of course we could, We’ll nick all the best bits off the ones we have and combine them in ours’!” Samuel excitedly replied and then continued; “we’ll change bits round so they don’t guess what we’ve done, like, putting the engine in the front instead of the back. Then in the back we’ll put a compartment for carrying Infantry or wounded”. David now chirped; “but what’ll we call it, all the good names and numbers have been used already!” Samuel now pondered and then; “I know! we’ll call it Merkava, the thick Westerners won’t know it simply means Chariot!” David turned and said “Samuel, do you know how much I’ve always loved you?” It was too late, as the toilet door had already shut as Samuel rushed down the corridor, pencil in hand. “Bugger!” Was David’s only comment. Thus the concept of Israel’s MBT was born, and a very successful tank it is too!

The seventies passed, the eighties dropped onto the Tank world like.. a big... dropping thing! Bang! The Tank race took off again. It was started by NATO’s German, British and American members joining together to develop a joint Tank project. However the project was unsuccessful, apparently everybody concerned felt their own bits were best. The project broke up, each country taking their technology with them. Britain then cruised for awhile until; the Germans launched Leopard 2, shortly followed by the Americans with their M1 Abrams.

At the MOD alarm bells rang. Boffins were seen running in every direction, buttoning their flies and departing hurriedly from the toilets, cries of “Bugger!” screaming through the air. As a throng gathered in the meeting room someone said; “What the **** is going on?” The reply came loud and clear, “The f*cking Yanks and Krauts have got the drop on us, brought out new Tanks haven’t they, the barstards!” “B*llocks!” chorused the gathered crowd. “What will we f*cking do now?” Asked a guy with fifteen pencils balanced behind one of his ears. Another studious looking chap had been rubbing his chin in thought, then he looked up and said; “Well, we could be sneaky! Iran is, as we know a **** up! But before the Shah was kicked out he paid us to develop that.. what’s its name.... ah yes... the Shir Tank. I know there’s a job lot of them laying around somewhere!” “Yes! In Leeds!” Interjected someone else. The government ‘think tank’ now buzzed with excitement, many suggestions flying around the room. Eventually one chap jumped up on the table top and calling for silence, made a statement; “We’ll take the Shir and put Chieftain's gun kit in the turret, change the number plates, make a few other modifications, paint it green and black and give it a name! What name though? Anyone need a p*ss?” When the crowd returned from the urinals, a name had been chosen, after much toilet debate and unheard declarations of love for each other. The name? Oh yes, Challenger of course!

Challenger is without doubt the best British Tank ever. It has achieved (not without problems), the nearest balance of characteristics in any British Tank to date (I can’t comment on Challenger 2). The Chieftains, steel being replaced by Chobham composite armour, Horstman suspension being superseded by Hydrogas suspension units and the BL L60 at last in the bin, the engine now being a thoroughbred Rolls Royce CV12 Turbo charged power pack. Of course as I mentioned, the gun control equipment came from Chieftain in which, it had been great. But it had been designed for an MBT that on roads, was pushing it to get to 30mph. The guns stabiliser had only to cope with around 20mph during travel ‘cross country’. Now it sat like a malignant growth in a ‘new generation’ MBT which could achieve around 30mph over bumpy terrain! The result was a mismatch of technology which I’m glad to say has been rectified. The engine and gearbox could now be replaced in well under an hour in battlefield conditions. This is a far cry from Chieftains cumbersome procedures for repairs. But, Chieftain was not yet dead! There was not enough money nor Challengers to replace the Chieftains in service! So back in the MOD toilets, someone came up with the cracking idea of retro fitting the remaining Chieftains with ‘Stillbrew’ supplementary armour. The first time I saw this I laughed. The front of the turret looked as if a YouthTrainingScheme welding team had spot welded a huge metal bulge to the front of the turret. Oh dear, not the best of ideas!

Both Challenger and the ‘Stillbrew’ Chieftains were fitted with TOGS (Thermal Observation Gunnery System), now the commander and gunner had TV monitors through which to view the world and its targets. The Thermal sight head was able to read the ambient temperatures of its surroundings building a perfect black and white effect picture in the monitors! This system is impervious to all weathers, darkness, smoke and in some instances the terrain. A vehicle or persons, heat glows like a neon light on the screen. The accuracy of the picture enabling the crew to recognise a comrades or enemies face in the dark at immense distances. Warfare now is no longer dawn to dusk in a Tank, it is literally 24/7 (as the modern terminology expresses it!). This places more strain on the already exhausted men who man our tanks.

The future? Its now 2056, a shout goes out in the halls of the Department of Earth Defence, Whitehall, London; “Bloody ****, the Saturnians have got a new Tank!” the reply echoes in the corridor; “Anyone need a p*ss?” Running footsteps are heard on the polished floor!


__________________








Malcycee
No Battle Plan survives contact with the enemy!!!

Buy my book: Armoured Farmer - ATankie's Tales,
at www.woodfieldpublishing.co.uk

Offline 3rd Herd

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"The notion of armour, as I believe in it, is encapsulated in the following statement which is often quoted in armour magazines: "Armour is a concept it is not a tank or a specific weapons system but rather a state of mind, an approach to combat that stresses firepower, mobility and shock effect."

I believe one could also add `versatility' to this definition, even if this were to supplant the traditional shock effect; our experience in deploying armoured cars has reinforced our belief in their practicality and versatility.

I believe in Clausewitz's dictum that "war is the continuation of state policies by other means". Among other things, this places the armed forces of a nation safely in the hands of the politicians! If the political view or perception of the threat changes, so will the relative role and stature of the military. The army is part and parcel of the military, and the armoured corps is part of the army. We must be under no illusion that to be employed or not employed is above all else a political decision and that the defence budget in a democracy in peacetime is nearly always under pressure." (Maj-Gen W G Lombard, Chief of Army Staff Intelligence Published in Monograph No 2: Mailed Fist, March 1996)

"if he was to be hanged for it, he told his brother, he could not accuse a man whom he believed had meant well, and whose error was one of judgment, not of intention"
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Offline 3rd Herd

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Malcycee
Didn't get a chance to read the links, but the Russians were playing with a T-64 or 80 that could carry 4 dismounts and still have a main gun turret, having seen the pictures, cocoon, cubby hole and coffin all leap to mind. The troops each had a hatch behind the turret.


Colin,

"The BMT-72 is based on the T-72 MBT and is actually a comprehensive upgrade of the latter. The unique compact design of the Ukrainian-developed tank diesel engines made it possible not only to considerably increase the power capabilities of the vehicle, but also to introduce into the vehicle design a new compartment, viz. troop compartment. The troop compartment is located between the fighting compartment and the power pack compartment. In the troop compartment roof there are hatches that allow the troops to get in or dismount the vehicle."

Source: Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau: BMT-72 Heavy Infantry Fighting Vehicle (T-72 MBT Upgrade Version)http://www.morozov.com.ua/eng/body/bmt72.php?menu=def2.php

Edit to add:

"Taking into account the need for increased protection of tracked armoured infantry fighting vehicles whose armour has fallen well behind that of the tanks with which they are expected to co-operate, the KMDB has developed a heavy infantry fighting vehicle under the designation BTMP-84. The BTMP-84 is intended to carry out all types of tactical operations in interaction with battle tanks. The vehicle provides the mechanised infantry units with the mobility, protection and firepower equal to those of tank units. The BTMP-84 is based on the chassis of the T-84 main battle tank. This retains the two-person turret armed with a 125mm gun fed by an automatic loader. The specific feature of the vehicle design is that there is a troop compartment for five infantry soldiers. A door at the rear of the vehicle opens to the left, steps fold downwards and the hatch above this is raised to allow the troops to rapidly leave the vehicle. A firing port is provided in either side of the troop compartment, as are roof hatches."

Source: Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau http://www.morozov.com.ua/eng/body/btmp.php?menu=m1.php









« Last Edit: April 11, 2007, 15:02:33 by 3rd Herd »
"if he was to be hanged for it, he told his brother, he could not accuse a man whom he believed had meant well, and whose error was one of judgment, not of intention"
Wellington

Offline Malcycee

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The Russian concept that 3rd Herd very ably describes.............HHmmmmmm it raises a couple of questions in my mind. Having served so long on MBT I am more than aware of the effects of noise and vibration on the human body and senses. To place Infanteers in such close confines to the powerpack sounds, conceptually, fine but. Cramped, very hot (due to powerpack proximity)confined conditions may, leave the Infanteers with less than a 100% will to fight.
Okay, no-one is suggesting that they will be in the compartment for a prolonged time but, by the nature of armoured warfare, they COULD find themselves in there for some time!!
The addition of 'Versatility' is very apt indeed. At the Armour school in Bovington, now sadly closed, when I did my MBT AFV Commanders course, we were told firmly about the carachteristics of 'Tanks'. Firepower, Protection and Mobility when correctly combined will give ultimate 'flexibility' leading to Shock Action.
We tried, on Salisbury plain in the late 70's - Infantry Armour co-operation A La Russian - ie - troops riding on the tank etc. Gave the commander a nightmare - couldn't see whether we were going to traverse and injure our Paratroop passengers etc, etc!! Then..................it rained and, they were so ensconced on our engine decks keeping warm we could hardly get them off into the assault!!!!

I feel strongly that Armour/Infantry co-operation should be in seperate vehicles - Tanks are offensive - not defensive weapons. I should think that, once debussed, any Infantry would become a burden on the mobility of armour having to 'stay and protect' their charges. There went your key of flexibility! Better that the Infanteers remain a cohesive force in their own right, no matter how powerful the Infanteers arsenal - it is not truly compact enough to fit with them into an MBT compartment allowing the Tank freedom once debussed without badly compromising the Infanteer.
We Brits gave the Infantry 'Warrior' to deliver them safely on objective with a sufficient punch to enable their own flexibility. This allowed Tanks to assume their natural role of 'Queen of the Battlefield' roaming free and allowing exploitation. As I understand it FRES is not to supercede the MBT but, to complment it.

Armour School were adamant that the MBT would remain in the future - the new concept would be a hull with a telescopic arm with nothing more than the main armament showing above a ridge. 'Turret down' engagements via TV screen being the way forward!! Who knows?
Malcycee
No Battle Plan survives contact with the enemy!!!

Buy my book: Armoured Farmer - ATankie's Tales,
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Offline Thucydides

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The Ukranian design is one of many throughout the world looking to provide either maximum protection to the Infantry during the assault or close protection of the Armour in close terrain.

Tha Achzarit is the premier "HAPC" design, while the Merkava "can" carry a section or a litter casualty if the rear ammunition racks are removed (not really a great idea, over all). The Italian Centurio can also hold a four man "close protection section" if the rear ammunition racks are removed, so the idea isn't confined to tanks alone. The BMP-3 crams a huge amount of weaponry into a small vehicle (don't stand near when it brews up), while the UAE is considerring placing the BMP-3 turret on a Finnish 8X8 platform somewhat bigger than a LAV III that can carry a section of troops.

In certain circumstances the ability to carry troops would be beneficial, and if you look at the UAE or Centurio as a "Cavalry" vehicle there is a place for that kind of thinking. Still, if you are going to carry troops, their needs have to be considered during the design phase, and not just slipped in any spare spaces you happen to find! As noted, the effects of noise, heat and vibration will reduce the ability of the troops to do their jobs once they dismount.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline geo

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3rd... I tend to agree with Malcycee
Having troops next to an engine all of the time OR even better yet, right behind the main gun when it fires would / should rattle some cages...
Was looking at the Israeli solution with their merkvah MBT(sp?) where the engine is up front - pulling the vehicle along, adding steel to the frontal armour and reducing the noise and mayhem that a large diesel power pack would produce with the infantry riding in back... also permits for a rear door that would enable the infantry to dismount without exposing / injuring themselves
Chimo!