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Manic Moran

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    Blowing things up, scale modelling, wargaming.

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  1. Manic Moran

    Tank crews

    I suspect the EPA or Health has much to do with it as well, and not only in Germany. Environmental regulations on training sites tend to mean "no destroying trees, no driving in these locations. You want to dig a fighting position?! You must be joking. Only on that designated digging range over there, and I don't care that it has no relationship to the mock battle you're about to fight. No, you can't have a slit trench latrine, you have to use the porta-potties"... And so on.
  2. You're looking for something like the Faller Car System (Mainly European vehicles, though), Viessman CarMotion, or maybe Magnorail. There may be other options.
  3. OK, I saw that one over a year ago when I was at Warren to film the M10. At the time, it was still a 'don't talk about it' design, I guess that's no longer the case. Thing's made of fiberglass. It is literally a conceptual model. Note the hatches in the bottom photo. It is an unmanned-turret concept, similar to TTB or Armata. There's no reason it can't become an 'optionally manned' vehicle in the future, but note how in the Ronkainen twitter photo the 'front part' between the tracks and forward of the turret is missing. Looks like they just pulled that part of the module away. Not sure why they did that, they may as well add armor or whatever. Otherwise those front side plates holding the wheels together are going to have to be very thick.
  4. So I had a gander at the original slide last night. The title on the quad is “M1E3-NG MBT” At the very bottom of the slide is an asterisk, which says “Digital designs not representative of prototype vehicles”. In effect, it’s a cool image for the sake of putting something on the screen instead of an empty space.
  5. Yes and no. They do have a particular design concept in mind. I may have been a little less forthcoming in my video than I was allowed to be, but erred on the side of caution, especially since I know more than I'm allowed put out and decided to make it a "these are considerations/possibilities" video. However, my understanding, and I'll watch the brief in a few days when it is made available online, is that the exact implementation of the design hasn't been nailed down yet. Thus I believe (esp from the wording of the Breaking Defense article), that what is shown on the screen is more of a 'placeholder' drawing for the sake of not leaving the powerpoint empty than an actual representation of what is envisioned. I'll be able to watch the briefing in a few days.
  6. Yes, but it's basically off the road for two reasons. 1) I live in central Texas, and there's a lot of the year you don't want to drive a car with broken air conditioning. Fixing it is an engine-out repair. 2) The car had a design flaw that the guides for the timing chain fall apart after about 125,000 miles. I've broken 135,000 miles. Replacing the chain guides is an engine-out repair. I don't have the money to pull the engine, and I haven't for about five or six years. Always a more pressing priority.
  7. They're twice my size, but I guarantee you, they're making a lot more than twice my income! (If I were, I'd be driving something snazzier than the current car...)
  8. I recorded it on Friday afternoon, so when did you do your Pedanting?
  9. There was a paper I ran across in the archives a while back which gave serious consideration to building the M1A2 turret in Titanium. (This was in the mid/late 80s). It listed the benefits, and then the costs. Mainly financial. Decided the merits just weren't worth the expense, but that it was an improvement.
  10. Only if it's a derivative of the variant in question. It's not that they're taking an M1A2 and making engineering changes to that, which would be M1A2E1; they are, in effect, making another branch of the M1 family tree by ripping apart the M1A2 blueprints, and creating a new M1 variant unrelated to M1A2.
  11. Correct. “E” is an engineering variant. FWIW, as it says in the press release, the Army has been looking at this for a couple of years, AbramsX has nothing to with the decision. However, given they haven’t been very specific as to how they are reducing weight (and upon my asking, this was deliberate), an AbramsX or TTB type thing is not off the cards. The question is just how many tons are they trying to shave off? By ripping the guts out and starting over with something more modern than warmed-over 1990s internals, they can probably knock a good couple of tons off the tank without changing a single thing about the shape or armor or capability. If they’re looking to knock a score of tons off, then more radical solutions will be required.
  12. Yeah, I don't know where you're getting that from. How many countries use multicam or the old US woodland on their uniform? The markings are the little flags on the shoulder or the 'US Army' tag on the left pocket, much as they are the cross or star or whatever painted on the vehicle. It'll get even sillier if you start comparing shades of green or desert tan on monocolor vehicles, after a bit of time fading in the sun. Then you get to aircraft, where 3/4 of F-16 operators use the same three-tone grey color pattern...
  13. "A turret with an integral rangefinder was designed and built for the T29 in 1945." And on T25 as well. The problem with comparing 'what the Germans did' with 'what the Allies did' is that the Allies weren't desperate enough to throw anything they could think of into the fight in an effort to stave off inevitable defeat. If it wasn't reliable and sufficiently useful to be worth putting onto the vehicle, they didn't do it, which is why, for example, American tanks didn't come equipped with navigation trackers (think inertial navigation system), infra-red lights or lead calculators, all trialed and shown to work on AFVs by 1942. The Germans stuck IR onto some of their Panthers, and to quote Hilary Doyle, "the Germans themselves realised it was worthless... [...] and after the first trials with combat units they realised it was a total waste of space and all the stuff was stripped out and hidden away and Panthers went into battle without their infra-red equipment." It's worth noting that no tanks really came with IR systems for a decade after the war. If the German systems were that good, they'd have been copied and used immediately. The US's Army Ground Forces position was made very succinctly clear: "We do not consider the combat zone to be a testing agency". So while the Germans would build a few of these and a few of those to see what happened, the Americans flat refused to give their troops anything other than equipment that they were absolutely confident would reliably perform to the extent advertised.
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