Merkava Tank - what do you think?

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    rayra
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    (4/13/02 5:15:17 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del All Merkava Tank - what do you think?
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    Took a peek at the IDF's Merkava a decade ago during the Gulf War. Interesting design choices (I thought).

    Primary design consideration was crew survivability.
    The engine was placed up front, like the US Bradley IFV and the Marines' LAV. Up front to soak up damage, but more importantly, opening up the rear of the vehicle to use as a troop compartment.

    One thing that surprised me, considering it's sleek appearance - it's height is 9'6", almost two feet taller than the chunkier-looking Abrams.

    www.army-technology.com/p...index.html

    So, any thoughts / comments?
    Anyone have a good link for Armor / MBT comparisons?


    polishshooter
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3410
    (4/14/02 1:00:16 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Merkava Tank - what do you think?
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    Yeah, Rayra, I have the link to Janes, its a subscriber sight, but much on it is free to a certain point...I'll put it up when I get around to it...

    Interestingly, I used to know a guy who was a National Accounts Rep for Sensormatic, who had dual citizenship, and was a Major, and had a battalion of armor in the IDF...when they went into Beirut in 83 I think it was, he got orders and a ticket on the Concorde, in like less than 24 hours he joined his battalion that was rolling already in Lebanon...he was in M60s at the time if I remember right, had just got refitted from "Super Shermans," I remember that, I was surprised that in his unit some companies still had them... (later I read that an IDF Super Sherman killed a WWII PZKW IV on the road to Damascus the Syrians were using as a "pillbox..." In the EIGHTIES...talk about anachronisms!)

    That was when the Abrams was almost fully deployed, and the Merkava was being developed, he and I after that had a talk about MBTs over some drinks that pretty much followed the British/Israeli model of speed doesn't matter, armor and long range accuracy while STOPPED is what wins tank battles...versus the US model, that ANY armor is vulnerable, what wins battles is MOBILITY, (Speed and surprise is "Armor") and accuracy ON THE MOVE with advanced fire control systems, reliability, and extending battlefield effectiveness because of better crew "comfort," (I've heard reports that on long "road marches" the ride is so smooth that one of the problems is M1A drivers falling asleep in that soft reclining drivers seat...)

    The argument was never really settled until Iraq, even in all the "Reforger" exercises when the Abrams kept causing the games to stop to have the rules changed...they were simply showing up in places ready to fight where it was "impossible" for any "normal" MBTs to have made it so far, so fast...

    But I think Desert Storm answered it...as long as there is room to maneuver, speed and shoot on the move, beats slow and stopped no matter HOW accurate the gun is...but even where there is NOT room for maneuver, the Abrams is NOT outclassed in a slug fest, and can shoot from stopped as accurately, and still scoot after better than them too...

    The Merkava MAY be a better AFV for what they are using them for now, in the towns and built up areas...having infantry support in your back pocket, but I'm not sure risking an MBT in close quarters is wise or cost effective...a Bradley or IFV would be as effective... and it might be good in the Golan Heights or the Bekaa...where it gets pretty close...but in the open, the Sinai, or the Jordanian, Saudi or Iraqi desert? The Abrams has it....IMO...and has proved it.

    The other thing is that I'm not sure MBTs arent a dying breed after all...maintaining armor heavy corps sized units is expensive, and right now only western democracies can afford them...and they are NOT likely to be enemies of any other similar nations...the battles WILL be between the haves and have nots, with few Tank v. tank battles, and if the "have nots" have ANY armor, it will probably be old combloc stuff, and even the most modern T-80s were shown to be vulnerable to the West's "old" technology like the 60s, the Centurion, the Leopard I, heck, the Super Sherman even...

    The future will be in smaller, lighter, faster, air transportable "Multi Purpose" IFVs, kinda like the Old Sheridan Tanks, but with infantry hauling capabilities...maybe "Bradley IIs" with some having MBT type turrets or guns...instead of just TOWs like they do now...but even THAT combo is pretty deadly on any "typical" enemy MBT likely to be encountered by them....

    With Apache style Attack Helicopters, forward based, and as an intrinsic part of the unit...(i.e., the "Armored" company commander commands 2 platoons of Bradley type IFVs, and 1 platoon of Apaches, and one platoon of mixed recon/attack/slick helicopters) to be the actual "MBT" to take out any heavy enemy armor that could be encountered...and NO MBTs....
    "Don't hear him call you an ---hole, hear WHY he's calling you an ---hole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"

    the real fredneck
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    (4/14/02 1:26:49 pm)
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    Polishshooter you left out the A-10 unless the armor support units have lots of Stingers being a tanker w/the other guys is not a long-term carrer move

    rayra
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    (4/14/02 4:11:49 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Merkava Tank - what do you think?
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    Polish didn't leave anything left to say





    Kidding!

    I think you hit the mark with your 'infantry in your back pocket' comment - either by design, or happy coincidence, the Merkava is a good compromise for Israel's situation. The Merkava has the speed and the shoot-on-the-move capability for open warfare, while being able to provide organic transport capability. Beats hauling your troops around in light trucks, or even M113s.

    I'd hate to have to take any MBT on a house-to-house fight. An RPG from a 2nd story balcony / window makes hash of pretty much any turret or engine top-deck.

    I'm rooting around for info / accounts of Merkava armor strength or composition. Wondering how it compares to the M1 / Challenger chobham (sp?) composite / laminated system.
    Also see that the Mk3 Merkavas have additional sloped armor added to the turret, wondering if it's reactive armor...

    Weren't the Israelis the first to field bolt-on reactive armor blocks to M60s? I mean in massive amounts, I know that USA was developing such, wondering what the level of interaction was on the reasearch - which way did the info flow?


    polishshooter
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3415
    (4/14/02 6:59:40 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Merkava Tank - what do you think?
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    We worked on it at about the same time, but rejected it while the Israelis took it operational...last info I had is that we MAY be trying it again, may have fitted some on 60s in the Gulf, but we still aren't high on it...

    And I also heard it's hell on accompanying infantry when it world as designed...

    Ray, it's funny about the Merkava/IFV role...on all the pics from the West Bank you still see about 5-8 M113s for every Merkava you see...

    That design is getting pretty long in the tooth, and I'd hate to be behind that aluminum armor after an RPG hit...

    ...but that tells me they don't have near as many Merkavas as they need, or else they are saving them for elsewhere...(Lebanon/Syria?)

    (And I wonder if in the event of all out war, any of those old "Super Shermans" are still in reserve... )


    Fred, A-10s really are not part of what I'm talking about...yes they are efffective as heck, and will be doing most of the killing behind the lines, but they are still "old school" support for the grunts on the ground...on call, there only "when available"...they will be used to hunt targets of opportunity, and controlled by AF FACs just like they are now...

    What I'm talking about is intrinsic to operations down to the company level...part of the company, under command of the "leg" or Cavalry Captain on the ground, just like another platoon of M1As or Bradleys...based and fueled and rearmed right on or right behind the moving "line" or line of assault, a whole "new" concept...that's not that new either, been discussed since Apaches came on line. That was one of the selling points of the Apache vs retaining the Cobra....the Cobra still needs extensive avionic support from an airbase or carrier...not designed for rough "field" maintenance and support...

    The Marines have the same concept, kinda, the Harriers can and if needed will be based on unimproved fields right up front if necessary...because when a Gyrene wants CLOSE air, he wants Marines flying it, right Ray?

    Don't think it's actually been done yet in operations, been a while since Marines were deployed out of range of Marine Carriers, but they train for it....

    You know, where he used to have 4 platoons, 3 line and 1 HQ, with a recon element, and he used to have either two platoons (5 tanks) of M1As and one of 5 Bradleys each carrying a squad of Infantry...if he was "Armored," 2 of Bradleys one of M1As if he was "Armored Infantry..."

    He now will command 2 Bradley platoons, and one Apache Platoon...and STILL be considered to have the power of the old "Armored" one....and his headquarters platoon will have a mix of helicopters/IFVS, and his "recon" element will be LOHs...literally "combined arms" at the company level....

    The A-10s and other support. like arty, will be gravy if he can get them, but he won't count on them...


    But, and again, sorry for the long post but I get off on armor stuff ( ) my point is the Apache and even more advanced attack helicopters coming WILL replace the MBT on the battlefield of the future...the rest of the ground war will be Infantry and various IFVs...and the IFVs and Apache combination will be able to take on ANY heavy armored force, and have the advantage of being able to be deployed anywhere in the world in DAYS, instead of weeks or months, waiting for the diplomats to find a port nearby we can use and the Ships to load, transport at 15 knots, and deliver the MBTs....wars in the future may be over in days, we probably WON'T have the luxury if a 6 month "build up time" like Desert Shield ever again....
    "Don't hear him call you an ---hole, hear WHY he's calling you an ---hole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"

    17th FA Bn
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    (4/15/02 7:59:52 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Merkava Tank mortar
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    One feature I like on the Merkava is the mortar. This would be very handy in hilly terran against infantry.

    I don't know if he was right, but one of the young guys who was a U.S. Army M-1 crewman, told me they had no H.E., or white phosphorus rounds for the 120mm gun only Sabot, and H.E.A.T. rounds. If so they would actually have less fire power than the old M-60 or M-48 against infantry that was dismounted. You could use H.E.A.T. rounds against dismounted infantry but that would be much less effective than H.E. or even the Beehive rounds the 90mm M-48 had.

    polishshooter
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3430
    (4/16/02 12:34:04 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Merkava Tank mortar
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    I don't know where I heard that before, maybe from you, 17th, but I guess I don't see why they wouldn't have an HE round for it...especially after our experiences in WWII, where more HE was fired from tank tubes than AP...

    But I did hear somewhere that M1 crews say their main anti-personnel weapon is their Ma Deuce.....so maybe you are onto something...

    I'll check Janes, maybe they will give a "basic load" for an Abrams....
    "Don't hear him call you an ---hole, hear WHY he's calling you an ---hole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"

    polishshooter
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3431
    (4/16/02 12:35:45 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Merkava Tank mortar
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    BTW, saw some "new" footage from the West bank tonight, in all the pictures, the IDF tanks were M60s.....
    "Don't hear him call you an ---hole, hear WHY he's calling you an ---hole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"

    17th FA Bn
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    (4/16/02 5:10:51 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del 50 cal is great but....
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    The kid on our department said they were trained to use the 50 cal as their anti-personnel weapon + the 7.62 mm machine guns.

    But if you have no H.E. or white phosphorus rounds for your main gun, in situations where you have no armoured opposition and are facing only enemy dismounted infantry your main gun is worse than useless, it actualy gets in your way in tight situations. Take Somolia for instance. The clinton adminsitration did not let our troops have the tanks they had requested. If they had had them in the fire fight featured in Black hawk down a 120mm H.E. or better yet a white phosphourus round would have done wonders to keep the bad guys heads down (or better yet take them off).

    The 50 cal and 7.62 machine guns are great weapons, but they lack the range of the 120mm gun. And the white phosphorus round is great for incindary work or quick smoke.



    rayra
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    (4/16/02 5:21:04 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: 50 cal is great but....
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    Anyone have details on the Merkava mortar? Like where it is mounted, how is it (crew-)served? Forgot about it. Curious.


    striderteen
    Member
    Posts: 4
    (4/16/02 11:55:40 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Urban MBTs = Dead MBTs
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    The Abrams is perfect for what it was designed for, that being the Cold War -- heavy tank warfare on a massive scale across the mostly flat fields of Europe. There, it's high-speed mobility and advanced fire on the move capabilities give it a HUGE edge over the simpler, cheaper Soviet tanks -- American tankers can outflank, outmaneuver and outshoot their opponents.

    Abrams vs. T-72 is rather like the Germans' Royal Tigers against Shermans, with the one major difference that the Abrams is not just heavily armed and armored up the wazoo but fast as greased lightning. But it has the same Achilles heels as well -- it burns up gas at a frightening rate (3 gallons per mile, which makes the Tigers' 2 gallons a mile look tame when you add it up over battlefield distances), and it's too heavy for most bridges (70 tons!!).

    In an URBAN fight, though, the Abrams has major problems. In urban fights, you need close coordination between infantry and tanks; the infantry are primary, with tanks providing fire support. This is impossible with the Abrams because of its gas-turbine engine's super-hot exhaust; infantry can't get close to an Abrams, much less ride on top of it like they did with the older M-60s and M-48s.

    Furthermore, the Abrams is just too freaking big to maneuver well in city streets. Again, same problem the Royal Tigers had -- the Abrams is a bit shorter than the Tiger, but it's just as wide and nearly ten feet longer.

    Finally, the armament of the Abrams is pretty lousy for urban warfare. The big M256 120mm smoothbore cannon is devastating against enemy tanks, but it's not so hot in urban because the only ammunition types available for it are the M829 series armor-piercing sabot rounds or the M830 series high-explosive anti-tank rounds. In urban, an ordinary high-explosive round is far more useful, as the bulk of tank work is to demolish enemy fortifications.

    Then you have the machine guns, which also need some serious work. The only gun you can fire while buttoned up is the single coaxial 7.62mm, which has pretty limited firepower -- it's only a medium machine gun (they're STILL ignoring Patton, who always said tanks needed TWO coax machine guns). There's a bigger .50-caliber machine gun on top of the commander's hatch, plus a second 7.62, but both are naked mounts with no gun shield or cupola. Another unlearned lesson there, or maybe a choice of sleek looks over battlefield practicality -- they SHOULD have learned from the Vietnam War, where they had to retrofit the M113 APCs with gun shields for their .50-cals becuse of VC snipers.

    My suggestion would be to take some of the surplus M1 and IPM1 tanks we have lying around and retrofit them into Urban Engineer Tanks. Fit them with dozer blades to clear debris, load them with a mix of high-explosive and "beehive" flechette rounds -- the former for blowing stuff up, the latter for REALLY putting the hurt on massed infantry, and replace the hot gas turbine engine with an ordinary diesel engine (like EVERYONE ELSE uses in their tanks). Put gun shields or better yet cupolas on both of the top-mounted machine guns -- and while you're at it, replace the 7.62mm with a Mk-19 automatic grenade launcher. Or better still, dispense with the flexible-mounted machine guns altogether and put in a couple of servo-controlled mini-turrets with GAU-19 .50-caliber Gatling guns, allowing the tank crew to wipe out infantry while safely buttoned up inside.

    warpig883
    *TFF Staff*
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    (4/17/02 12:04:20 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Urban MBTs = Dead MBTs
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    Hey Strider that exhaust isn't so hot you can't be around it. It is not like a jet. Granted you cannot sit on top of the exhuast but you can safely walk behind it. The ears will take the worst beating. The gas turbine is LOUD.

    striderteen
    Member
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    (4/17/02 12:23:16 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Nope
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    With all due respect, you're wrong on both counts.

    A gas turbine IS a jet engine. It's basically the same thing as a turboprop engine, i.e. a jet engine harnessed to a rotating shaft. It IS jet exhaust, it's four times hotter than a diesel -- 1000 degrees F.

    Also, the gas turbine is much quieter than diesel engines are; it sounds rather like the world's biggest vacuum cleaner. The M1 won the nickname of "Whispering Death" in early war games, because it was so much more quiet than diesels and could literally sneak up on enemy units!

    I've discovered that General Dynamics has actually tested a diesel engined version of the M1 tank and concluded that, "The tank moves as well as the standard turbine-powered tank with no difference in target detection, identification or main gun accuracy. The testing confirms that the tank's performance is not changed by the diesel engine and that it has a significantly lower operating cost".

    warpig883
    *TFF Staff*
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    (4/17/02 12:38:06 am)
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    Got to differ with you. I turned wrenches on many gas turbine engines. Particularly Avco-Lycoming T-55's which are used on the tanks. The gas engine is the same in theory only to the jet. The difference comes in the part where the exhaust is used to turn the rotating shaft and not to creat thrust. When the jet creates thrust is puts TONS more HOT exhaust out the back.

    I have stood behind a running gas turbine engine and not been blown over or scorched or anything. This is not something to be done with a running jet engine. You can run a gloved hand behind the exhaust on a running gas turbine.

    I had the opportunity to help some fellow mechanics out who worked in a turbine engine test facility. The engine testing ws done inside a building and there were times they would run without venting the exhaust outside through the big vaccum cleaner line. Just open the garage doors and let her run.

    The Army Ch-47 uses the T55L712, it puts out 3750 shaft horsepower. These are mounted on pylons well forward of the rear of the aircraft and do not melt anything or even burn the paint off.



    And "quieter than a diesel" you got to be crazy. While they do not put out the heat and exhaust of a jet they do make the screaming noise. Double hearing protection is mandatory around one. Even a itty bitty one like a T63.

    Edited by: warpig883 at: 4/17/02 1:44:14 am

    striderteen
    Member
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    (4/17/02 12:59:12 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Exactly
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    You are correct in stating that a gas turbine is a jet engine where the exhaust runs a power shaft via a big fan -- but that's EXACTLY what I said already, a gas turbine is the same thing as a turboprop engine, a jet engine harnessed to a rotating shaft.

    The engine on the M1 series tanks is a Honeywell AGT 1500 gas turbine, not an Avco-Lycoming T-55 as you state. The only vehicle I know of powered by a T-55 is the "Turbinator II" used by Don Vesco to set the land speed record for wheel-driven vehicles last year.

    As for the temperature, I got that from Carlton Meyer, who is a Marine Corps officer. Mr. Meyer states that "The Abrams gas turbine engine puts out 1000F degrees of heat, four times more than diesel engines." and that "The Abrams blows out 1000F degree heat from its rear, making it impossible for infantrymen to follow behind or ride on top."

    A comment on the M1 from the US Naval Institute Military Database: "...the jury remains out on certain performance factors on which data have not been thoroughly analyzed. The high fuel consumption of the M1 remains an open question because the lack of an enemy air threat reduced the risk of bringing fuel supplies forward in unarmored trucks. By the end of 100-hour war, however, fuel demands were noticeably straining VII Corp's logistics system. An observer later told Periscope: "If the unit did not have a top-notch S-4 (staff officer in charge of supply), it was almost out of gas."

    polishshooter
    *TFF Senior Staff*
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    (4/17/02 1:00:37 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Nope
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    Strider, there are other advantages to the turbine, such as it CAN be fueled by Gas, Diesel or JP2 with little modification, in fact just swithching a regulator if I remember right...that was one of the original selling points in the 70s....

    The other advantage of gas over diesel is heat signature...Diesels have to idle incessantly, can not be counted on to fire up on demand, so the tank while idling under cover is emitting a heat signature constantly...the Abrams only when running and shortly after shutdown...but the other end is that after laguering in for the night, when they fire up in the morning there is NEVER any doubt visually where the diesels were hiding...the gas ones don't leave the telltale black cloud rising over the woods...and the fuel consumption comparison is more moot when you consider the amount of fuel consumed by the diesels from all the idling...when the Abrams is on APU or battery....also, the Abrams uses more fuel as a result of it's vastly superior PERFORMANCE, the Merkava for example is still a third generation, 30mph road speed tank....I'm sure the M1A on the highway at 60mph gulps more....just like any vehicle would...and the question was the Merkava, which IS bigger than the Abrams...

    Its never as cut and dried as it first appears, there are trade-offs to everything....

    And I too have heard that the "exhaust heat being too high for accompanying infantry" is overblown, it was first raised in the Congressional debates over the Abrams adoption in the 70s, obviously by the side that didn't want to spend the money on it....Pig I think is right, it is vectored up, negating riding ON the deck, but away from directly behind....and Tank riding in actual battle as a tactic went out with the Soviets...BEFORE they adopted the BMP series AFVs....Yes it is a Turbine, but NO it is not an "aircraft engine," any more than Andy Granatelli's was....

    And finally, you are negating the fact that ALL tanks are NOT suited for "urban warfare...." you mention Georgie Patton, he would be having a fit over even talking about it...and Old Georgie wasn't right all the time either, whether it was the uniform and helmet he wanted for the tank corps, or the fact he said the 76mm was not needed on Shermans before DDay, the 75 dual purpose was the better tank gun...

    The Russian T-54/55 series was arguably the best tank in the World in '56...but we all know how a relatively few untrained citizens with molotovs brought Russian Armor to a halt, and they pulled it out, and went back in with Infantry alone and cleaned Budapest out....

    The one thing everyone is forgetting is that the Abrams is ALWAYS accompanied by the best IFV in the world, the Bradley...the Infantry if dismounted would probably be following IT, IF they were dismounted....and the 25mm chain gun is a helluva anti personnel as well as antiarmor gun...the deal in Somalia is that they had no BRADLEYS either, which would have been just the ticket....

    And your analogy to the M4 vs. King Tiger is flawed too...as comparing the Abrams to the T-72 and T-80s, the King Tiger was a behemoth that was worthless except as a pillbox, and was too mechanically unreliable for any extended mobile action...the M4s (Remember, only the Brits referred to them as Shermans during the war...) actually had little problems with it...they just ran around them, and the Tigers could not traverse fast enough to get a second shot....the tank that gave them trouble was the Panther, THAT would have been a more apt analogy...even if it was inferior mechanically to the M4 too....





    "Don't hear him call you an ---hole, hear WHY he's calling you an ---hole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"

    striderteen
    Member
    Posts: 8
    (4/17/02 1:05:09 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Noise
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    Quote:
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    Another revolutionary feature of the first M1 tanks were their turbine engines, replacing the diesels that powered the M48 and M60 series tanks. The engine change, despite a penalty in fuel consumption, resulted in much quieter operation, so much so that soldiers encountering the tank in early maneuvers dubbed it “Whispering Death.”

    - Global Security Database, www.globalsecurity.org/mi...und/m1.htm


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    The Abrams' gas-turbine engine is very different from the aircraft gas-turbine engines you are familiar with -- same technology, but the design constraints are completely different.

    striderteen
    Member
    Posts: 9
    (4/17/02 1:19:49 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Shermans, oh please.
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    If Shermans only had "little problems" dealing with the Tigers as you claim, why are the kill ratios ten to one or better in favor of the King Tiger? The Tiger's big Krupp KwK 43 L71 eighty-eight millimeter cannon can kill the Sherman at 1800 meters, while the Sherman's little 76mm can't penetrate the Tiger's frontal armor at all, and the side armor only at point-blank range.


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    "Our column engaged three Panzer 6 tanks at a ranges of between 200 - 800 yards. We stopped one of the Tigers by sustained fire on its tracks. This was after repeated shots against the upper armour which had no effect even at short range. The Tigers destroyed 8 of our M4 tanks & we were forced to retreat., even the disabled enemy tank was still firing at us as we retreated..... "

    "Our commanders have decided on a new tactic. If the Germans send a Tiger tank we will send out 8 Shermans to meet it & we expect to lose 7 of them "

    " I drove my Sherman column directly at a hidden Tiger tank near Beauville. The Tiger tank destroyed 7 of my company before it retreated. We fired constantly at the Tigers front armour with AP & HEAT rounds at ranges as short as 100 yards. None of our rounds penetrated the thick front armour... "

    "We sighted two Tiger tanks of the Das Reich division at a range of 600 yards. We fired 4 shells which all bounced off. The Tigers subsequently turned around & headed straight for us. We pulled back after losing 6 Shermans. One of our Firefly tanks managed to score a direct hit on the left flank of one of the Tigers before it too was destroyed by the surviving Tiger. We saw the crew escape from the crippled Tiger & climb onto it's comrade before the tank retreated. There were no survivors from our tanks which simply burst into flames......"

    "Our company engaged three Tiger tanks which were moving towards our right flank. We fired 12 AP rounds at the Tigers side armour at ranges of 100 - 600 yards. apart from the the removal of the rippled paste coveing no significant damage was done to the enemy tanks. We lost 4 shermans & a number of halftracks before the Tigers escaped. I identified one of the attacking vehicles as a Liebestandarte Panzer division number 331...."

    "We sighted a column of enemy armour consisting of 2 Tigers, a Panther & 2 Panzer 4 tanks. We called for armour support which arrived in the form of around 20 Firefly tanks. They manged to destroy the Panther & one of the Panzer 4 tanks before the 2 Tiger tanks began to pick them off. We lost 6 firefly tanks in as many minutes before the Germans retreated. We provided fire support using heavy machine guns, mortars & PIAT rounds all of which were ineffective..."

    "It is my opion that the Panzer 6 Tiger tank is far better than our own Sherman tanks. Their high velocity gun enables them to far outrange our own 76mm guns. they easily knock out our tanks at ranges over & including 1000 yards. I know of no instance where a Sherman has knocked out a Tiger or a Panther at over 300 yards. The vast majority of German tanks lost on the battlefield are as the direct result of Air attack or mechanical problems however 85% of our losses are atributed to German tanks & Anti-Tank guns. Our guns don't have the penetrating power of the German high velocity guns. To prove this I give an instance at El Beouf during August 1944 where our AP shells fired from Shermans bounced off the front of a Tiger at point blank range & the German tank was only stopped after one of our Shermans rammed the Tiger destroying its track & preventing it's gun from trav
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    warpig883
    *TFF Staff*
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    (4/17/02 1:29:41 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Noise
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    I might be wrong on the current crop of engines installed. When I was working on gas turbines in the 80's and 90's the Army had t55's.

    I work around an oven all day at work that is 900 degrees. At times I lean my body over the open topn and reach into it with only long sleeved shirt and a hardhat. Granted not for long but I do not get burnt. I am sure the temp at the outlet is 1000 deg. but it is not blowing out very hard. It would blow a soldiers soft cap off at 5 feet but not at 10 feet. And at 5 ft. if he had it cranked down on his head good it wouldn't do a thing except make him smell the exhaust and get the hell out of the heat.

    Have you ever stood behing the exhaust of a big diesel? It smells much worse and is also quite hot.

    The abrams gas turbines are the SAME engine design as what is used on helicopters. Neither one of them is a jet, they are more similiar to a turbo-prop than they are to a jet. The disign constrainst are not different, both have the same basic goal to put out mass amounts of shaft horsepower. How do you propse they are different?

    The US Army mechanics who work on the turbine engines on the tanks go to the exact same school as the US Army mechanics who work on the helicopter engines. The MOS is 68B and the school is the US Army Aviation Logistics School at Ft. Eustis, Va. I have been there and done it. I graduated from the USAALS in Ft. Eustis in 1985 as a 68D Aircraft Powertrain mechanic.

    Heck a jet is closer to a rocket when it comes to exhaust output

    rayra
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 287
    (4/17/02 1:39:27 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Noise
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    I'd thought that the turbine in the Abrams was the same base model / family as that used in the Apache (Cobra?) ?

    BTW, on the issue of the Abrams exhaust temp - I have no idea what the actual temps were, but I personally witnessed the results of one of my unit's LCpls edging his humvee far too close to an M1 at a FARP - he melted his fiberglass hood.
    He'd violated all the rules / guidelines on clearance, and out of boredom / eagerness, he'd edged right up to the rear of the M1, tailgating. This was during a CAX at 29 Palms in July. Temps were already at 110F.

    Here's a website that lists several 'facts' on the M1 engine issue: www.g2mil.com/abramsdiesel.htm

    And the Army's own page: www.army-technology.com/p...index.html

    anywho, Merkava!
    ?


    warpig883
    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 3175
    (4/17/02 1:51:45 am)
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    Yep I am sure it would melt it. I am not saying it is not hot. It is and it is hotter than a diesel. But it is not so hot you can't be around it as compared to jet blast.

    Forgot to add I do agree with the main intent that diesel is the way to go. I was only arguing with


    Quote:
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    A gas turbine IS a jet engine. It's basically the same thing as a turboprop engine, i.e. a jet engine harnessed to a rotating shaft. It IS jet exhaust.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    By the way the Russians are also into the turban on tanks
    www.milparade.com/2000/39a/03_01.shtml



    Have a nice day and hope to see you around TFF some more

    Edited by: warpig883 at: 4/17/02 3:10:02 am

    polishshooter
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3443
    (4/17/02 9:10:00 am)
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    I am NOT disagreeing that one on one, the Tiger was a tough kill....I am also not disagreeing that the Tiger DID have a 10-1 kill ratio...what I'm SAYING is that when at any one time the Germans MIGHT have about a few DOZEN Tiger IIs UP on any given day, that kill ratio is insignificant, and may have CONTRIBUTED to the Germans losing the war! Look at the TOTAL number of M4 kills during the war, and you will find your beloved dinosaur WAY down on the list...sorry...by far more were lost to Panzerfausts and towed 75mm ATG....

    ,,,,and the fact that MOST of the time the M4s were attacking, which automatically meant higher casualties, especially when the Tigers were used the onbly way they were effective, as pillboxes...

    How did the Tigers fare when THEY were attacking? Oh sorry, I forgot, they COULDN'T attack in any meaningfull numbers, they broke down....

    A kill ratio of 2-1 with a Tank capable of a 75% up rate produced by the thousands would have materially affected the war...

    The Tiger simply did not...and if you want to get into trading quotes, we can....German crews abandoning Tiger IIs after being hit by 4.2" mortars with WP....German Crews abandoning because of relatively minor breakdown...German crews complaining of fumes, the inability to traverse, the inability to SEE...

    And the 76mm "Hypershot" COULD penetrate the TIger...the problem was it was never made a priority, and even until the end of the war, it was uncommon for any M4 to have more than TWO rounds at any time...because Tanks are most effective when used against INFANTRY...so the most effective tanks are the ones firing more HE than AP....I will repeat from the other post, the Tiger did NOT materially affect the war, in fact may have hurt Germany more than helped....and the argument is moot...there has not been a tank that could NOT be knocked out by its own gun since the Matilda....

    The Gun will ALWAYS beat armor, even when you load up on TOO MUCH armor like the Germans did at the end...

    BTW, what was the AFV with more Tiger II kills than any? The M18 Hellcat, NOT even the M36....even though the M36 could kill it, and did....the Hellcat ran circles around it....and the Tiger II WAS vulnerable to the 76 from the rear or rear quarter, as well as to the .50 cal Browning from the TOP, which is another issue, right?...

    It STILL comes down to doctrine, and EVERY successful strategic armored operation involves MOBILITY...the Tiger II had little to none.

    Your original post here, where you gave the Abrams credit for it's ability in the Plains of Germany and in the desert, but poohpoohed it for battle in built up areas, shows you need to revisit the History of armored warfare and DOCTRINE.

    Armor is the tip of the combined arms SPEAR...that must KEEP MOVING.

    And it is just ONE cog in a wheel containing many parts...logistics, coordination between services, air superiority, artillery, even industrial capability of the nation....

    Individual tank versus tank "duels" which seem to captivate "small picture" people, REALLY were and are insignificant to the larger campaign...putting YOUR tanks where the enemy has NONE, or is unprepared to meet them, is what wins wars...PERIOD.

    THAT is the MAIN use for any MBT, still is, and the ABRAMS is the standard by which all other designs are measured today. and are found wanting....


    "Don't hear him call you an ---hole, hear WHY he's calling you an ---hole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"

    Xracer
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 1990
    (4/17/02 9:28:43 am)
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    Boy.......you guys are waaaaaay too good for me.

    However....Polish, when you say: "Yes it is a Turbine, but NO it is not an "aircraft engine," any more than Andy Granatelli's was...."....you're wrong. The engine used by Andy Granatelli in the STP Turbine in '67 and '68 was a Pratt & Whitney (Canada) PT6 (turboprop).....designed for, and used in the, Beech 1900D King Air.

    I wonder how well those Merkava's would function in an urban setting if the Palistinians had something better than just AK-47s and M-16s to use against them.

    warpig883
    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 3179
    (4/17/02 11:30:43 am)
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    There was also a race I am sure it was the Indy 500 one year when a team had a gasturbine tuns their tires. Were way out ahead and broke down or ran out of fuel or something. After that was when the CFM restriction was put one.
    I was told this second hand so I have not verified it. Have any of you heard it also?




    It was in the early 60's I believe that Chrysler was experimenting with them in cars. I think they had a little tiny one in a Valiant (I saw a picture but do not remember), anyway the fuel consumption was WAY too high and the thing screamed like a banshee.

    Tailgunner1954
    Member
    Posts: 10
    (4/17/02 12:18:41 pm)
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    Memory says it was the 1967 Indy 500
    Owned by Andy Granitelli, driven by Mario Andretti, sponsered by STP, intense red in color. About 5 laps from the end it broke a bearing that was worth about $7. I hate to admit that I am old enough to remember listining to that race.

    Edited by: Tailgunner1954 at: 4/17/02 1:25:35 pm

    Tank commanderA24
    Member
    Posts: 1
    (4/17/02 1:28:20 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re:The M1 tank
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    Hey gents, I am new to the forum and I want to put in my 2 cents. I read everyones posts but noticed no one had any first hand tank experiance.

    I am a M1 tank commander in the National Guard and have been tanking for 25 years.

    1. the exhaust is not that hot, it is unpleasant behind the tank but you can stand within 10 feet without too much trouble at idle. When revved up it gets worse. The exhaust only comes out of the center grill the others vent cooling air.
    When we get rained on we start a tank to warm up and dry out, it makes a hell of a blowdryer. Standing behind an M60 was not pleasant by any means, the diesel fumes were choking. The most difficult job is hooking up a tow bar between M1s, when your that close the heat is unbearable, with M60s you just choked with the M1 you choke and cook, but you have to stand right behind the tank.

    2. the grill doors on an M1 vent down to the ground not up.

    3. an M1 is smaller than a king tiger or tiger 1. it is still a large tank but not that bad.

    4.Willy pete has to be stored vertically it liquifies at normal temperatures. There is an air pocket in the shell and if stored on its side it would get off center and throw off the flight of the round. The M1 only has horizontal stowage. So no WP.

    5.More 120mm ammo on the way, top attack as well as anti-helicopter and beehive.

    6. M1 is quiet as tanks go, I drove one through a town and people did not realize a tank was coming down the street until they looked behind them, and the new tracks make them even quieter.
    I have been to long winded I will be looking for any questions you guys may have. TCA24

    rayra
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 288
    (4/17/02 3:15:13 pm)
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    Xracer said:

    Quote:
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    I wonder how well those Merkava's would function in an urban setting if the Palistinians had something better than just AK-47s and M-16s to use against them.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    Guess they used all their comp-b/ cemtex / plastique on chicken-shit suicide bombers ( )

    welcome, TCA24. Interesting bit about the WP!

    Everyone, Merkava? I'm enjoying the discussion on Mobile Warfare Doctrine, comparing / contrasting WW2 relics and all, but I'm back to digging for info on the Merkava - anyone know any good books on the IDF Armor corps ?



    Xracer
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 1991
    (4/17/02 6:00:41 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Re:The M1 tank
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    Tank Commander.....Welcome to TFF. Nice to have someone with your expertise here......jump right in with both feet and start kickin'!

    Warpig and Tailgunner....in '67 the STP turbine was driven by Parnelli Jones and was well ahead when a transmission bearing failure put it out three laps from the end. In '68, USAC required the inlet area to be reduced.....three turbines were entered by STP, driven by Joe Leonard, Art Pollard and Graham Hill. None finished the race.

    In both years it was a rear wheel drive car.

    In '69, Mario Andretti won the Indy 500 in an STP entered car, but it was powered by a 2.6 liter turbocharged 4-cam Ford V8.

    Rayra.....what I was wondering was how well a Merkava would hold up against shoulder-fired anti-tank weapons at close quarters, such as an urban setting.

    Edited by: Xracer at: 4/17/02 7:06:33 pm

    Tailgunner1954
    Member
    Posts: 11
    (4/17/02 7:06:27 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Re:The M1 tank
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    Thanks X-racer for the correction
    Not to bad for working out of my head from 35 years ago, off 2 laps and wrong driver.

    rayra
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 289
    (4/17/02 8:08:04 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Re:The M1 tank
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    Xracer, that's the kind of anecdotal info I'm looking for, too. Touched on it earlier when wondering about the Merkava's armor composition.

    Still poking around the web...

    polishshooter
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3448
    (4/17/02 8:26:50 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Re:The M1 tank
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    A24 WELCOME!!!

    This is EXACTLY what I envisioned when we started this forum..."booklearned historians" rubbing elbows with "buffs" and collectors leavened by the "I was there's."

    You are welcome more than you know...


    BTW, I had a kid that worked for me in the late 80s that just got out of the Army, was an MP in Germany...

    Told me a story that to this day I have not verified, but was interesting nonetheless...

    We were talking about Tanks over a beer, after work, I mentioned M1As were listed as top speed of 45mph, he laughed and told me a story of driving into some German city (Munich? I forget...)to transport some drunk GIs back to base, he was driving a jeep foot on the floor on the autobahn, said they were governed for like 55mph, his Sergeant was dozing next to him, (said the German police were pricks and would sometimes ticket jeep drivers for goin too SLOW...)

    He said he noticed flashing lights in the mirror, thought it was just some kraut driving crazy, payed no attention, then almost went off the road when the first of several M1As blew by in the passing lane going at least 70-75mph, crews on top grinning and flipping him off...I remember he said he didn't hear them over the jeeps engine either...

    And I heard sometime around the Gulf War the Army put out a regulation forbidding tank crews from fiddling with the Abrams to get them to go faster than specs, because of "high rate of wear..."


    True or not?

    Thanks....
    "Don't hear him call you an ---hole, hear WHY he's calling you an ---hole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"

    polishshooter
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3449
    (4/17/02 10:32:03 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Re:The M1 tank
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    And now X, you'll probably try to claim the ALLISON was an aircraft engine, too...



    Shoulda known NEVER to mention powerplants when you were around...


    And I remember watching the STP Tubine car at Indy (Break )...

    I cheered, it WAS a boring race until then, if I remember right it was like a .35 nut or bolt that failed too...

    (shows how old I am too...but I was a KID then... )


    This whole discussion is pretty neat, thanks Rayra....

    And BTW, I'm trying to remember where I heard about the reactive armor on the Merkava...and the reports that Infantry do NOT want to be around in case it works as designed....
    "Don't hear him call you an ---hole, hear WHY he's calling you an ---hole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"

    rayra
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 292
    (4/17/02 11:29:27 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Re:The M1 tank
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    Polish, sounds like an armor-mounted anti-personnel system I'd read about somewhere, it was a design study, talked about a segmented strip surrounding a vehicle (think long skiny claymore). It worked off either proximity fuses, or via command-detonation from inside the vehicle. Some sapper comes running at your vehicle with a satchel charge, that quadrant's strip goes BANG!, down goes the attacker in a hail of pellets.
    Sounded interesting. Lots of built-in conflicts, though (friendly personnel, bushes, forgetting to disarm before dismounting, etc.)

    Were you able to pull anything from Jane's? (and what does something like that subscription cost (I'd LOVE to have access).



    polishshooter
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3458
    (4/17/02 11:48:36 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Re:The M1 tank
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    Go to www.janes.com and you can subscribe...

    Now there are TWO types of "subsciptions..."

    The "Free" one in which you register and get a password and access to SOME (very little) reference stuff on the site, and most are tough to get to, and when you finally find what you want they want you to BUY it for some astronomical figure...but I find even the snippets pretty useful...it's intended for us regular schmucks or guys needing references for books or articles they are writing but are too cheap to buy Janes books...even I only have a couple of Janes books, and mostly about WWII stuff...even the books are pretty pricey....

    You can even sign up for free "updates" they send to your mailbox once a week, like the latest "landforce" update I got talks about the new French MBT being designed, and the new 8x8 wheeled "Tank Destroyer" China is developing with the 120mm gun...but only like one paragraph before you have to buy it...

    You can sign up for free updates in like 5 areas, land, sea, air, intelligence, and security....I get them all, it takes like half a day to read them when they send them..


    The OTHER subscription you don't want unless you are independently wealthy...it's like $1500 or more each, I think, and is intended for government agencies, or defense contractors, THAT must have the REAL good stuff...

    Maybe we can get TAC to put up a "Community Chest" so we can all chip in and get THAT one for the board!


    Here is the link to the specific one you can try to get stuff you want, but you have to register to get access to it, but this is some of the "free stuff..."

    www.janes.com/defence/land_forces/

    I confess, I haven't had much time to go there yet to look it up, I may do it later tonite or tomorrow....It IS a pain to access anything, but they have "samples" you can download too which are sometimes fun to get...but usually leave you hanging...
    "Don't hear him call you an ---hole, hear WHY he's calling you an ---hole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"

    Edited by: polishshooter at: 4/18/02 1:18:26 am

    Tank commanderA24
    Member
    Posts: 2
    (4/17/02 11:59:29 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Merkava
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    What I remember reading about the Merkava was it used pieces of equipment and fuel between the crew and the enemy to absorb any attacks. The later models, they are up to the MerkavaIII and IV is in the works, have some type of laminate armor similar to Chobham like the M1. If you check the pics coming out of Israel the M60s are totally covered in an an up armored package without any reactive armor.

    I have seen some tanks with reactive armor packages but I would bet they are reserve units without the latest equipment. From what I have observed they saved the reactive stuff for older tanks.

    FYI only the Marines used the American reactive armor in the Gulf War. The Army wanted to put its money into M1s.
    Also Most WW2 German tanks had power traverse, but it was
    operated by a pto system from the engine, so engine rpms governed traverse speed. The gunner and driver would have to co ordinate their actions to get a fast lay on target and use manual for the final sight picture. The Sherman was much faster.

    TC

    polishshooter
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3459
    (4/18/02 12:22:58 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Merkava
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    A24, I was on the janes site just now getting frustrated as hell trying to find anything, but stumbled on a "brief" about a new M60A3 "upgrade" both Israel and Turkey are competing to sell to anyone who uses them, from the little they offered free until they want you to pay like $500 for the rest of the article it sounds like it is mainly a new thermal sight and a new armor package....
    "Don't hear him call you an ---hole, hear WHY he's calling you an ---hole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"

    polishshooter
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3460
    (4/18/02 12:53:33 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Merkava
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    And A24? What do you think of my earlier "hypothysing" about the future of Armored Warfare?

    I kind of gree with some modern "experts" who are predicting the MBT will shortly become obsolete, nobody but the rich democracies can REALLY afford to maintain "modern" tanks, and properly train crews, and those same "Modern" armored forces will PROBABLY never fight each other...

    The rest of the third world, and of course China will still HAVE tanks, but never any better than 2nd generation Ex-soviet stuff, which we now know is pretty bad...and MOST will simply not be able to afford to keep them "up," since a Tank is useless unless "exercised..."

    SO in reality right now TODAY, talking about who has the best MBTs is like talking about who had the best Battleships or Horsed Cavalry in 1938....

    Probably the last Armor heavy Corps sized action the world will ever see took place in 1991...

    In the future we won't have TIME to get MBTs to the battle, and even we can't afford to preposition EVERYwhere that could conceivably be a problem area...

    So in the future it will Air Transportable Light AFVs, possibly wheeled, and tracked or wheeled IFVs operating with intrinsic battlefield based attack helicopter assets that will be the "Armored Fight" of the future....run whatcha brung, and we probably just won't bring any MBTs...and even more so with the world changing polarization...no longer east -west, future wars will be mostly the rich industrialized countries in the Northern Hemisphere fighting back incursions from the manpower rich, equipment and cash poor 2nd and 3rd world countries mostly from south of the equator, or in the Middle East and Asia...on THEIR land and on THEIR timetable...

    In other words, war will MORE be like today in Afghanistan, than like in '91 in Iraq....

    It will be interesting to hear your response to these "experts..." especially since you have so much "invested" in the M1.... I don't know if you will be like the last "Cavalry" Generals who thought the Horse was STILL viable in '38 or '39, and take my head off, or may actually AGREE with me, to a point....

    Now I think there will always BE MBTs, but used rarely if at all, and certainly not anywhere near the numbers we were brought up to think were "normal" for the typical expected NATO/Warsaw Pact fight of the 60s-70s-80s....

    ID White was right, the "cavalry" function was passed to Armor in WWII, but I believe the torch now has been passed completely to helicopters....even Infantry in IFVs, will be too slow do the traditional "Cavalry" function anymore in future conflicts....


    What do you think?
    "Don't hear him call you an ---hole, hear WHY he's calling you an ---hole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"

    Tank commanderA24
    Member
    Posts: 5
    (4/18/02 10:00:32 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del The future of the MTB?
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    Polishshooter,
    That is a tough question to ask a tanker. We love our mounts old and gray as they may be. But I think the Army is going along the right lines for now with a heavy force, medium force and light force. But the second rate powers with say T-72s could chew up and spit out the Stryker vehicles they can barely keep out 14.5 MGs let alone 30mm cannon fire from a BMP2.

    Look what happened to the Apaches in Afgahanistan they got chewed up by ground fire and RPGs not lost but out of action. A chopper cannot do what a tank can, attack with force sped and utter violence and over run and occupy an enemy position while taking nearly everything the enemy can throw at you. Good artillery laid down on a missle lauching chopper can destroy it with near misses. a tank can survive all but a direct hit and it moves out of the area.

    I have to say that the next tank needs to be lighter but still retain as much protection as possible. Have the boys in blue buy bigger planes and more of them.

    The Chinese are working pretty hard to field a decent MBT
    probably the equivalent of the T80. and North Korea has a large Armor force. We could maintain a few heavy Brigades
    for major battles to be ready and deploy the light fighters to handle the light clean ups.

    I have always been iin favor of intergrated units that have all arms working and living together in small units. You build cohesion from day one. Unlike the current practice of task organizing units from pure battalions. The learning curve is to steep. I was in a CAV unit with a mixed platoon with tanks scouts and mortars always together. If you added some air assets you could have the perfect unit. Maybe an Air Troop per battalion for maintaince and supply issues but you would always work with the same choppers. It builds trust respect and team work.

    The concept of the tank, mobile protected firepower will never be obsolent. the package that delivers it may change but the concept is sound. It could be battle suits like Starship Troopers(the book not the movie) or hover tanks aka Hammer's Slammers but the concept will go one.

    Armor Rules TC


    rayra
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 293
    (4/18/02 10:35:48 pm)
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    I have always been iin favor of intergrated units that have all arms working and living together in small units.
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    Oo-rah Marines!

    Best point about the Attack Helo vs Tank argument - sure the Helos can range deep, (relatively) easy to transport, and have a strong offensive punch (I think that's the core of the 'flying tank' characterization). But TC just made the key counter-point - The tank can withstand a tremendous amount of counter-attacking.



    17th FA Bn
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 100
    (4/19/02 2:23:45 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Not much use buttoned up
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    Tank commander A24, if you have no H.E., W.P, Or beehive rounds for the 120mm, when you are buttoned up you have only a single 7.62 mm machine gun for use against enemy light infantry on foot. Not much bang for the two million or more bucks spent! An M-4 Sherman in 1945 buttoned up would have two .30 machine guns and the 75 or 76mm main gun would have had H.E. and W.P. available. So a buttoned up Sherman in 1945 would have had at least three times as much fire power than a M-1 in 2002!

    I'm not sure if I buy the argument that white phosphorus is liquid at room temperatures, the hazmat books list it as a flammable solid. White phosphorus will ignite spontaneously at room temperature.

    And why isn't there a H.E. 120mm round? (not to put you on the spot, I know that decision is made way up the chain of command)

    rayra
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 294
    (4/19/02 2:59:10 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Not much use buttoned up
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    Liquid WP - maybe not sloshing-around liquid, but it probably has some 'flow' at higher temps(?)

    No HE for our modern armor, probably due to our Doctrine - visualize the sweeping hordes of tanks, roaring (whining?)across the countryside at 50mph, crushing all who oppose them! Hear the lamentations of their women! Death to all that oppose u/... sorry, where was I? Oh yeah. Doctrine says our integrated Armored Corps has Bradleys right on our shoulders to shoo off those pesky enemy ground troops.



    Merkava?

    17th FA Bn
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 102
    (4/19/02 4:21:54 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del What if you are alone
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    Rayra what happens when your Bradleys don't show up for what ever reason? Or shipping is limited and you don't have your IFVs available and the foot infantry is counting on you for heavy support. You can't always count on air support due to a variety of factors such as weather and range.

    My whole point with the 120mm gun only firing H.E. and H.E.A.T. is why limit such a major expensive weapon to only the anti-armour role (which it does extremely well)? H.E., W.P. and beehive rounds would give the main gun much more flexibility.

    Edited by: 17th FA Bn at: 4/19/02 5:23:31 pm

    rayra
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 295
    (4/19/02 6:14:36 pm)
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    (stinkin' one-dimensional Intarweb)

    I was mocking the Doctrine.
    I agree with your points.
    We should be cramming in max weaponry / capability into every system we field.

    Specialty ammo loadouts would be great for urban / mixed-thread enviroments. Would be problematic in the heat of combat to dick around picking the right bullet out of the ready-storage... and if I was a TC, I'd be driving down the streets of Mogadishu (sp?) with a HEAT round up the spout.

    A cupola for the TC (on the Abrams) would be nice. Maybe the A3 Mod?
    Look at the way the Marines have upgunned the AMTRACs - cupola / gunner station with either M2-.50 or a Mk19 40mm grenade launcher (I think the Mk19 mod even has a M240 coax?).

    I think it's safe to say that Big Armor Planning and Procurement has a heavy Cavalry / Knight in Shiny Armor complex, and the vision of sweeping across open land at speed, killing a T-72 every 5 secs at max range drives the Development & Procurement process, and Doctrine (to some degree).
    Those with mixed field experience, or decent study of historical urban combat have a much different viewpoint.

    Maybe we need a dedicated Urban / Close Quarters Combat MBT?
    What were those massive tracked assault howitzers we and the Soviets used in Berlin?
    Picture a hulking, Chobham-armored, big-bore-barreled, thick-top-and-side-armored, 360degree field of engagement, howitzer-barreled, twin-cupola'd Killing Machine, crawling over the rubble / barricades... (Tim Allen grunt)

    Tank commanderA24
    Member
    Posts: 7
    (4/19/02 6:48:20 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: defending the M1
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    WP May not be quite liquid but our TM says store it up right it it doesn't fly staight. Also the ammo compartment in an M1 can get quite warm out in the sun 120+.

    The TCs cupola which I have always hated by the way on the M1 and M1A1 is fired from inside. The M1A2 is fired from outside which was supposed to be an improvement. The TCs weapon is dfficult to boresight and zero and not a percision weapon at all. I like the Israeli method of mounting a 50 cal on the mantlet for the gunner to use. Also 120mm heat has a considerable blast effect and was supposed to have an anti-personnel effect. It would be your round of choice in urban combat. the gunnery manuals mention using sabot against heavily reinforced concrete it would penetrate and have a spalling effect inside, then follow up with heat.

    Also an M1A1/2 only carrys 40 rounds of 120 and I believe only 18 are in the ready rack. Once that is empty the tank has to pull back and swap rounds from semi ready to ready.
    Not an easy process. Ammo doors have to be moved manually. Open TC door pull out round, close door open loader door stow round, close loader door, open TC door Repeat 18 times.

    So since the M1 was a tank killer it was optimized to fight tanks. Our army doesn't like urban battle. We are moving in the right direction, a brand new MOUT sight in FT Knox to practice urban combat and work out doctrine.

    Israelis have built heavy APCs on old tank chassis probably for just such a reason.

    Parting shot how would infantry feel in the defense with choppers flying around in the rear instead of next to them giving instant support. Or in a convoy situation, a chopper can't ride in front and trip the ambush and have the strength to run through the kill zone turn around and attack the ambush.and an M1 would fair better in urban battle than a LAV.
    TCA24

    polishshooter
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3487
    (4/20/02 12:38:47 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: defending the M1
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    A24 you are a CREDIT to our Armor Branch and I expected nothing less from you.

    I think too there will ALWAYS be a need for SOME heavy armor, but it will get increasingly limited.

    In places like Korea, or Israel, or maybe the India and Pakistan border, where stuff can be prepositioned and be ready, it WILL be an asset, maybe the decisive one.

    BUT, I guess I foresee more and more of an unstable world without the USSR and it's cronies on the other side to stare down over the various passes in Germany and Europe, and more and more 18th Century type "limited" wars fought at the drop of a hat over specific issues, or "Quick and dirty" wars like we see in Afghanistan...we simply will NOT have the 6 weeks or so minimum to ship an armored division there with transport ships, THEN acclimatize the crews, repaint with appropriate camo, then say "OK, we're ready now, let's fight!"

    We got SO lucky in the Gulf War, Saddam could NOT have picked a WORSE time to fight...when we have TRAINED and well equipped armor troops in Germany just about ready to stand down because of the Soviet collapse...and even THEN it took 6 months of "Desert Shield" until we were ready...

    He waits a year, we would have had 1/4 of the M1s available...

    Even now with the stuff prepositioned in Saudi/Kuwait, because we left it there, we have No crews left trained in M1s and M1A1s...we would STILL need a minimum of 6 weeks to "train down" M1A3 crews to that equipment...

    My point I guess is that where armor CAN be got in time, it WILL be invaluable...

    But we just WON'T have that luxury of time to deal with in future wars so we BETTER find a way to deal with it....

    And Light AFVs with INTRINSIC attack helicopter support will be the answer...




    17th? You say "what if the Bradleys don't show up..." The question should have been what if the INFANTRY doesn't show up? And MANY times since 1916 the Infantry asked the same thing, what if the TANKS don't show up? And sometimes they DIDN'T.

    Bradleys are INTRINSIC to any formation (Correct me if I'm wrong, A24) Armored Companies have 2 platoons of M1A3s, with one platoon of Infantry in Bradleys...Armored Infantry companies are the other way around...1 platoon of M1s and 2 platoons of Bradleys...

    If they DON'T show up it is the Company Commanders fault...and it IS just the same old same old...Tanks without Infantry support are vulnerable to Infantry AT weapons, and cannot hold ground....just like Infantry without tanks are vulnerable to Tanks, and will likely run...it's been that way since Cambrai, and the hedgerows, and in all the towns across Europe in WWII, WHY is it any different now?

    The Infantry just happen to be in Bradleys now...instead of walking, riding trucks, or halftracks....same old same old...

    EXCEPT they are a helluva lot more effective in the Bradleys....

    IFV means just that...if you have US Army INFANTRY you have IFVs, it's NOT an "extra," except in specialized units like the 10th Mountain, Etc.

    A dismounted Infantry squad of 5 men on the ground with AT rockets in addition to their regular arms, supported by the rest of the Squad in the Bradley with TOWs if the Tanks DIDN'T show up and the chain gun for support is a helluva combination...they may not NEED Tank support....
    "Don't hear him call you an ---hole, hear WHY he's calling you an ---hole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"

    Edited by: polishshooter at: 4/20/02 2:31:00 am

    rayra
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 297
    (4/20/02 1:01:16 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: defending the M1
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    Quote:
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    But we just WON'T have that luxury of time to deal with in future wars so we BETTER find a way to deal with it....

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    But that's just it, Polish - we already have Army light brigades, and (particularly) Marine Expeditionary Units available for rapid response to the kinds of Brush War scenarios you're referring to.

    The Gulf War was the biggest land battle / theatre of operations in ~25 years. Those type / size of fights require troop & material buildups no matter where they are fought.

    The Marines have been looking forward to the Future Conflicts or Conflicts-Other-Than-War for several years. The Army has been nipping at their heels with competing concepts for their Ranger / Light Infantry brigades.

    The whole global issue of Brush Wars is one that requires a combined services approach. Every US service has something (necessary) to contribute. Trans-global redeployment of air wings, combined with regional MEU deployments, combined with regional allies for basing requirements (and coalition duty) gives us our base camps. Then (as in Afghanistan) the appropriate assets are applied.

    Look at the wide range of tools employed so far in Afghanistan. If heard / read some denegrators call it an Ad Hoc approach. Looks to me more like we've been using the forces we first had available, flown in whatever else we've needed, AND we've been using it as a testbed for new tech (Hellfire equiped Predator RPVs ).

    Slather on a nice thick layer of politics (which in my opinion have almost always been the limiting / harmful factor in US application of force), and you have the mistakes like lack of Armor / ACV support in Somalia.


    Tank commanderA24
    Member
    Posts: 9
    (4/20/02 9:05:56 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: defending the M1
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    Polish Shooter'
    Right now infantry and armor units are pure at the battalion level. Only Cavalry is mixed at the company level with when last I checked 2 tank platoons and 2 Bradley platoons.

    In combat a brigade command would cross attach the armor and infantry battalions into a mix they felt would be necessary. usually companies swap platoons. Infantry gives up a IFV platoon and recieves a tank platoon. You get an infantry heavy task force and an armor heavy team. one tank company might be kept pure. Problems arise when the infantry does not have the organic assests to support the thristy m1s. Really problem when attached to leg infantry.
    Also ideally you would change with units in own brigade and you should work with them, we did this when I was in the 24th Infantry Div. Mech. But it doesn't always work that way.
    If not use to working with each other units can do badly.

    Good source for breaking info, Armor Magazine, comes out of Ft Knox its our Branch semi official publication all the changes pro and con are discussed there.

    Marines God Bless Them, my dad was one, and a name sake uncle, Do not have enough heavy vehicles one platoon to support a battalion MEUSOC is a little thin. They are mostly leg infantry and do not have the heavy units to make it stick.

    But even one tank company or platoon in the right place at the right time could make the difference. Somolia as a case in point. What if a tank platoon had lead the convoy. They could be flowen in with current assets. Boys in blue need more C-17s

    Answer lies in more Airlift, and a vehicle in the middle of the M1 and Lav. With tracks because wheels are for weenies.

    TC

    17th FA Bn
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 103
    (4/20/02 1:09:12 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Blast radius?
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    TankcommanderA24 do you know what the blast radius of a 120mm H.E.A.T. round is? If I remember right the blast radius of a 105mm howitzer round is 25 meters. Were the H.E. rounds for the old 105mm tank guns the same as the 105mm howitzer rounds?

    White phosphorus (W.P.) does spontaneously combust at around room temperature, if (real big if here) oxygen (O-2) is available. When it is shipped it is usually kept under water to keep O-2 away. In Artillery, or mortar rounds, and bombs with white phosphorus in them are sealed, so no O-2 is available. So a W.P. round subject to 120 degree temperature would not auto ignite if the round is structurally intact.

    My father in law was a tank turret repairman in Vietnam. He said they had occasional problems with the W.P. rounds cooking off if they got busted up. This sounds like poor manufacture of the round and its packaging, back at the makers end.


    striderteen
    Member
    Posts: 10
    (4/20/02 6:52:05 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Turbine Engines
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    The abrams gas turbines are the SAME engine design as what is used on helicopters. Neither one of them is a jet, they are more similiar to a turbo-prop than they are to a jet. The disign constrainst are not different, both have the same basic goal to put out mass amounts of shaft horsepower. How do you propse they are different?


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



    A turboprop engine IS a jet engine. It's a jet engine where you stick a fan into the exhaust pipe; the exhaust turns the fan, which turns your power shaft.

    striderteen
    Member
    Posts: 11
    (4/20/02 6:56:44 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Tanks
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    Oh, there will always be some need for big heavy tanks and heavy IFVs like the Abrams/Bradley pair. However, a medium IFV/tank combo -- or a single vehicle that can fill both roles, like the BMP-3, is going to be the primary offensive armor of the future.

    warpig883
    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 3235
    (4/20/02 7:10:19 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del
    ezSupporter
    Re: Tanks
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    no no no. If a gas turbine is a jet then why aren't helicopter's using the exhaust for forward speed?


    They work on the same principle but a jet has extra stages of turbine blades that create thrust. With the addition of fuel pumped into the last stage and lit you then have a jet with afterburner.

    The thrust of a gas turbine will not even move an aircraft on the ground. A gas turbine makes horsepower and torque but almost ZERO thrust.

    We all know what kind of thrust a jet makes.

    If they are the same why do they even have the name gas turbine.

    Ther are many kinds of internal combustion engines. Inlines,radials,v's,opposed,jet,gas turbine. All of them share similarities even if only in theory. But they are all different. All of them except the JET have a common denominater- they are used to make horsepower.

    The gas turbine is close to a jet but without the back end of a jet.

    Trust me I have worked on them.
    I'm a man of means by no means

    striderteen
    Member
    Posts: 13
    (4/20/02 7:14:17 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Another idea...
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    I'd propose something like a massively updated version of the early M1 and M2 Combat Cars -- a very compact, ultra-light baby tank with a two or three man crew, designed specifically for urban close-quarters combat. Armament would consist of a turreted GAU-19 .50 cal Gatling gun, plus an Mk-19 automatic grenade launcher. Oh, and a dozer blade.

    With enough armor to shrug off small-arms fire, the Urban Light Support Vehicle is basically a super-mobile armored heavy machine-gun nest.

    Paired with the ULSV would be the UHSV, Urban Heavy Support Vehicle. Similar idea, but armed with more powerful weapons -- I'm thinking that multiple externally mounted 106mm recoilless rifles, like the old M50 Ontos had, would be ideal for this. Maybe add Javelin missiles to give a viable anti-tank capability, too.



    striderteen
    Member
    Posts: 14
    (4/20/02 7:29:37 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Jets
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    Quote:
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    They work on the same principle but a jet has extra stages of turbine blades that create thrust. With the addition of fuel pumped into the last stage and lit you then have a jet with afterburner.

    The thrust of a gas turbine will not even move an aircraft on the ground. A gas turbine makes horsepower and torque but almost ZERO thrust.

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



    I hate to presume to teach an engineer, but we seem to be going around in circles with different definitions of the same thing. Therefore, I will define things as I understand them, and you can (and will, I'm sure) correct me where I'm wrong.

    The simplest of jet engines, a ramjet, is basically just a tube with spark plugs and fuel sprayers in it. Air goes in one end; flaming gas comes out the other end, producing thrust. The only problem is, you have to be moving pretty fast to even start up a ramjet, because at slow velocity not enough air comes in to sustain operation.

    To solve this problem, they then invented the turbojet engine, which adds compressor blades in front of the combustion section (which works like the basic ramjet) in order to suck in more air. Unlike a ramjet, a turbojet doesn't require speed to work, because the compressor fan pulls in all the air it needs. Modern turbojets use multiple compressor fans to maximize their effiency.

    Now, a turboprop engine takes a turbojet engine and basically sticks a windmill on the back of it. Instead of just rushing out the back to provide thrust, the exhaust turns the windmill fan, thereby producing rotational power to a power shaft attached to a conventional piston-engine type propellor (and gearbox, yadda yadda). Modern turboprops can harness most of the energy from their turbojet cores, so very little direct jet thrust is produced; most of the power goes into the drive shaft.

    At some point, some smart person noticed that you could use a turboprop engine to power something other than a propellor. He also decided to call it a gas turbine, probably because he thought it sounded silly to call it a turboprop if it didn't have a propellor.

    warpig883
    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 3237
    (4/21/02 5:00:53 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del
    ezSupporter
    Re: Jets
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    THAT IS WHAT I HAVE BEEN SAYING


    You yourself have just listed a differance between a jet and a gas turbine

    They are similiar but not the same.

    At least we got this one settled.
    I'm a man of means by no means

    polishshooter
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3497
    (4/21/02 10:56:36 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Jets
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    Yep, gotta go with that, the ORIGINAL argument was "nobody can stand in back of the jet" or something, in regards to heat and blast, not allowing Infantry to use the M1 for cover...

    And Piggy and TC proved that incorrect, you CAN stand behind the M1, maybe not LEAN directly against it...just like you can with any OTHER turbine, such as Piggy's running Shithook engines he played with for years...and TC used the example of having to chain a running M1 backed up to a stuck one...somebody has to get between them to hook it up, it's pretty close...and they do it all the time and survive...

    But you CAN'T stand anywhere behind a lit Jet nozzle...or you fry as you are blown away...

    So there IS a BIG difference between a turbine and a jet, in regards at least to exhaust...which was one of the reasons given for why the M1 wasn't the best MBT in the world today, which it IS.

    As well as demythisysing (hey, new word! )the fact Infantry can't use the M1 for cover...

    And Piggy ain't no stinkin' engineer, he WORKS for a living...

    Always trust the guy who takes them apart, fixes them, and then puts them back together, coupled with the guy that has to OPERATE the thing every day more than the guy who DESIGNED the thing.... Learned THAT one YEARS ago with heavy construction equipment...



    Bulldozer blades on an M3 scout car? Hhmmm...I guess it would depend what you wanted to "bulldoze..." My guess it would end up more like a Meyer Hydro-turn....



    "Don't hear him call you an ---hole, hear WHY he's calling you an ---hole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"

    warpig883
    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 3257
    (4/22/02 11:09:30 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del
    ezSupporter
    Re: Jets
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    Polish is absent for the time being as he is sequestered away in the confines of his garage hurriedly turning his company car into the best MBT of all time.


    Will the Taurus have one or two turrents?


    Will it have cupholders?



    Will he make his own tracks out of log chain?
    I'm a man of means by no means

    Xracer
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 2031
    (4/23/02 8:52:45 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Jets
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    Well, the Taurus has a front engine.....just like the Merkava. I wonder if it has a sunroof so he can mount a .50 cal. MG up there?

    warpig883
    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 3272
    (4/23/02 10:42:05 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del
    ezSupporter
    Re: Jets
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    Probably be duel fuel too.


    P sausage and JP4
    I'm a man of means by no means

    Tank commanderA24
    Member
    Posts: 12
    (4/23/02 9:44:00 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Sun roof mounted MG
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    Guys its a must have. you have to be able to stick your head out of the beast and ride in the sunshine,(rain, snow, dust and mud). Seriously its a feeling hard to put into words but riding in the TCs hatch charging down the road at 40mph is a real rush. Who needs drugs when you have tracks. Going cross country is amazing as well.

    I've riden and driven Sheridans, M48s and 3 types of M60 and m113s and M88s, none compare to the cross country and road performance of an M1. The M60A3 actullay had a better thermal sight then the M1 and M1A1. I heard this was addressed in the M1A2SEP but I don't know if they did it better.

    TCA24

    ARMOR RULES

    warpig883
    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 3289
    (4/24/02 12:17:29 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del
    ezSupporter
    Re: Sun roof mounted MG
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    Polish is heard muttering from under the armour plate welded to the dash of the Taurus MBT.


    "thermal sight I don't need no steenking thermal" as he gazes lovingly at the large mirror and magnifying glass duct taped to its bracket.
    I'm a man of means by no means
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