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IOW, hit on that location will produce catastrofic ammo fire. So how is Leo 2 safer then T-72 other then a fact ammo is not stored all around?

 

A direct hit on that location will produce catastrophic ammunition fire, however to do so you have to penetrate the glacis armour (600 - 650 mm by estimate/scale measurement on the basic Leopard 2) or the side armour. In a frontal engagement the largest possible impact angle at the side should be 30° from the turret/hull centerline, which means that you have to penetrate 300 mm composite armour (15 cm side skirts at 30°), empty space (twice as large as the tracks are wide) and then 160 to 200 mm hull armour (side armour in the frontal area should be 8 to 10 cm steel)... in the end the armour protection might be very close to that of the glacis.

 

In unconventional warfare, where the tank is in danger of being hit from the sides, it is rather likely that larger RPGs, ATGMs and APFSDS won't have much trouble penetrating the armour (esp. at 90° impact on the heavy side skirts). There are quite some Leopard 2 variants optimized for unconventional warfare, like the Leopard 2A4M, the Leopard 2 Evolution and prototypes of the Leopard 2A7 with much thicker side armour. Rheinmetall also claims that the Leopard 2 Revolution has a hull ammunition bunker and CGI of it also show that...

 

Incinerating the ammunition via spall after hitting directly behind the heavy side skirts is impossible when attacking from the frontal arc (unless the spall angle of steel would be twice as large as that of Aluminium, which is not true).

Even in the conventional warfare, I think the cost for a slide door like the M1 turret is cheap. Just an inch of steel wall and venting holes and it is much safer when penetrated, consider only propellant will likely burn. Add the slide door and venting holes to wherever ammo is stored is easy, but I think that was not the design philosophy when Leopard 2 was designed. The useful of isolated ammunition can only be seen after the M1s were penetrated, in the old days they thought place ammo under heavy armor is the safest solution.

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Claiming that IM reduces/eliminates the need for improved layout, ammunition segregation, etc is an incredibly foolish premise in my opinion.

 

In new MBT designs yes. In old ones in use no.

 

IM won't eliminate need of improved layout, but it will help reduce the vulnerability of current design similar way as moving away from hydraulic turret control to electronic one has done.

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The problem is not where you store ammunition, the problem is if the ammunition is isolated in it's own compartment with blow off panels.

 

The general consensus among tank designers (at least from former Soviet Union, USA and Germany) when it comes to IV generation MBT's prototypes, technology demonstrators and concept drawings, was to place ammunition in hull, in isolated from crew and engine compartments, ammunition compartment with autoloader, under the unmanned turret. And it seems that this is design scheme with best perspectives for future.

Can you show some concept and tech demo layout?

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One recent factor which affects some of these issues is the introduction of Insensitive Munitions: propellants and explosives which are unlikely to be initiated by projectile hits. These are rapidly becoming a standard requirement for newly-developed loadings.

 

Isn't binary propellant safer, is it? Is there any effort in total binary munition for both warhead and propellant and mix them just in time before launch?

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Well, me + Russians

I remember a statistics from a Russian source stated that shots likely hit the turret than the hull, thus they Russians love to store ammo under the turret ring. Maybe it was from WW2 experience but i think that logic applies to modern tanks as well, consider hull down and at distance + natural obstacles, the turret is far more visible than the hull.

You'll now explain why they're trying to get the ammo out from under the turret to be hung on the back of the turret.
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Isn't binary propellant safer, is it? Is there any effort in total binary munition for both warhead and propellant and mix them just in time before launch?

Was tried during the 1980s. As I recall the amount of propellant being mixed, and the ignition front, could never be consistent enough to bring round to round dispersion to an acceptable tolerance. I want to say that one of the parts was fairly corrosive which led to its own problems. Could be wrong, could be thinking of something else.

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Even in the conventional warfare, I think the cost for a slide door like the M1 turret is cheap. Just an inch of steel wall and venting holes and it is much safer when penetrated, consider only propellant will likely burn. Add the slide door and venting holes to wherever ammo is stored is easy, but I think that was not the design philosophy when Leopard 2 was designed. The useful of isolated ammunition can only be seen after the M1s were penetrated, in the old days they thought place ammo under heavy armor is the safest solution.

Maybe trivial, but the doors are closer to two inches thick.

 

AFAIK, the Leopard 2 has always had a blast door and blowout panels for the turret stowed ammunition.

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Well, me + Russians

I remember a statistics from a Russian source stated that shots likely hit the turret than the hull, thus they Russians love to store ammo under the turret ring. Maybe it was from WW2 experience but i think that logic applies to modern tanks as well, consider hull down and at distance + natural obstacles, the turret is far more visible than the hull.

You'll now explain why they're trying to get the ammo out from under the turret to be hung on the back of the turret.

 

 

It's the style of the time. T-90MS bustle is just an addon to move the rounds scattered around the tank to somewhere safer for the crew, it's not accessible from inside the tank (dunno what they'll do in NBC conditions though). Ob 640 has an autoloader with replaceable magazine, and it's a whole lot harder to replace the carousel under the turret than the bustle.

 

Even in the conventional warfare, I think the cost for a slide door like the M1 turret is cheap. Just an inch of steel wall and venting holes and it is much safer when penetrated, consider only propellant will likely burn. Add the slide door and venting holes to wherever ammo is stored is easy, but I think that was not the design philosophy when Leopard 2 was designed. The useful of isolated ammunition can only be seen after the M1s were penetrated, in the old days they thought place ammo under heavy armor is the safest solution.

Maybe trivial, but the doors are closer to two inches thick.

 

AFAIK, the Leopard 2 has always had a blast door and blowout panels for the turret stowed ammunition.

 

Isn't the door aluminium as well?

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Guest Jason L

One recent factor which affects some of these issues is the introduction of Insensitive Munitions: propellants and explosives which are unlikely to be initiated by projectile hits. These are rapidly becoming a standard requirement for newly-developed loadings.

 

Isn't binary propellant safer, is it? Is there any effort in total binary munition for both warhead and propellant and mix them just in time before launch?

 

There aren't really any "binary" explosive systems that are suitable for military use. They are either weak, or unstable, or both. With the exception of a few systems, there is really no such thing as an inert binary explosive either, one of the components is generally detonable, just not very easily.

 

There are some binary propellants but they again aren't especially performing and often involve flammable liquids. Flammable liquids aren't going to make things safer than a pre-packaged propellant

 

Finally, I can't imagine the infrastructure required to fill shells before shooting them would make for a very compact autoloading system.

Edited by Jason L
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The problem is not where you store ammunition, the problem is if the ammunition is isolated in it's own compartment with blow off panels.

 

The general consensus among tank designers (at least from former Soviet Union, USA and Germany) when it comes to IV generation MBT's prototypes, technology demonstrators and concept drawings, was to place ammunition in hull, in isolated from crew and engine compartments, ammunition compartment with autoloader, under the unmanned turret. And it seems that this is design scheme with best perspectives for future.

Can you show some concept and tech demo layout?

 

 

 

All of these repeats the same general vehicle concept with unmanned turret, and crew in isolated, heavy armored compartment. Just like FMBT made by DARPA on drawing above.

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Isn't the door aluminium as well?
Which door for which tank? M1 and M1A1, all the doors were steel. Leopard 2, I have no idea.

 

M1. That's odd, hunnicutt sez the doors in the designs leading to the abrams were aluminium - wonder why they changed it?

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Isn't the door aluminium as well?

Which door for which tank? M1 and M1A1, all the doors were steel. Leopard 2, I have no idea.

 

Leopard 2 turret has steel door that open with electronic motor (secondary method manual)

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Probably they resigned from alluminium, because due to high temperature, alluminium is melting. We all seen M113's and M2's that were partially melted after they catch up fire. So it was definetely better idea to use steel.

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There were a number of deaths in Abrams Tanks earlier in their use was there not? Something on the order of 500 fatalities until teething issues and "things you should NOT do" were learned...? I'm recalling a comment made by one of my Military buddies. I wonder if resulting fires and the Aluminum not being resilient enough was part of the change..?

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M1. That's odd, hunnicutt sez the doors in the designs leading to the abrams were aluminium - wonder why they changed it?

Doors in the design he saw and what was actually fielded are apparently different. Two points, the doors on the M1A1 uses hydraulics to move the door, it then uses a mechanical lever* applied to notch in the door to fully close it. If doors had been of aluminum, this final closing mechanism would quickly wear out the door. Both the M1 and M1A1 have mechanical locks and levers to open and close the doors which would lead to the same phenomenon of wearing out the doors. Then there is the rust build up when the paints wears off or is chipped. That additional clue shouldn't be lightly overlooked.

 

*A mechanism not found on the M1.

 

Here's an M1A1 ready ammo door. The box next to the flashlight covers an hydraulic ram which insurts into slot and pulls then wedges the door closed n a postive lock position. Lower left of the door just above the wheel, that is a slot into which a manual pry bar can be inserted into, both open and close the door. Now imagine if this door was aluminun, just how much damage and wear would occur during normal use?

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There were a number of deaths in Abrams Tanks earlier in their use was there not? Something on the order of 500 fatalities until teething issues and "things you should NOT do" were learned...? I'm recalling a comment made by one of my Military buddies. I wonder if resulting fires and the Aluminum not being resilient enough was part of the change..?

News to me. I know of less than ten that died during or as a result of an ammunition fire. In none of those cases was there a failure of the ammo doors. There was failure of the human brain in two cases, a round burning up in a chamber of a third incident. 1/37AR had a number of tanks lost one night in 1991, no fatalities and no injuries because of ammo door failure. Maybe there were some incidents in the past ten years, but 500 fatalities due to ammo door failure is a huge number, a number so large you can be sure the Russophiles would ensure everyone interested in tanks knew about it.

 

In short, your connection was feeding you caca.

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There were a number of deaths in Abrams Tanks earlier in their use was there not? Something on the order of 500 fatalities until teething issues and "things you should NOT do" were learned...? I'm recalling a comment made by one of my Military buddies. I wonder if resulting fires and the Aluminum not being resilient enough was part of the change..?

 

There were no issues with ammunition storage. These 500 accidents were with engine fires, and as far as I know, not 500, but 400. In US Army ARMOR Magazine it was said that these incidents were in most cases human error, not fault of vehicle design if I remember it correct. After proper improvements to the design (I think these improvements came with M1IP or M1A1) no more of such incidents in such quantities occured.

 

Also it was not said how many tanks were completely lost due to fire accidents, but probably not much, and most of them were probably repaired.

Edited by Damian
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There were no issues with ammunition storage. These 500 accidents were with engine fires, and as far as I know, not 500, but 400. In US Army ARMOR Magazine it was said that these incidents were in most cases human error, not fault of vehicle design if I remember it correct.

It bears repeating, there is nothing like 500 fatalities of Abram crewmembers, associated with the Abrams, over its entire fielding.

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Yeah, I agree completely, no 500 fatalities, there could be 400-500 accidents of different types, but no way so many casualties in crews. It would make a completely insane response from some nuts like Sparky. ;)

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There were a number of deaths in Abrams Tanks earlier in their use was there not? Something on the order of 500 fatalities until teething issues and "things you should NOT do" were learned...? I'm recalling a comment made by one of my Military buddies. I wonder if resulting fires and the Aluminum not being resilient enough was part of the change..?

 

There were no issues with ammunition storage. These 500 accidents were with engine fires, and as far as I know, not 500, but 400. In US Army ARMOR Magazine it was said that these incidents were in most cases human error, not fault of vehicle design if I remember it correct. After proper improvements to the design (I think these improvements came with M1IP or M1A1) no more of such incidents in such quantities occured.

 

Also it was not said how many tanks were completely lost due to fire accidents, but probably not much, and most of them were probably repaired.

 

I'm misremembering terribly if it was just accidents and not fatalities.

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In US Army ARMOR Magazine it was said that these incidents were in most cases human error, not fault of vehicle design if I remember it correct. After proper improvements to the design (I think these improvements came with M1IP or M1A1) no more of such incidents in such quantities occured.

Hm. So, because of a change in the vehicle design, all of a sudden the crews were less dumb?

 

Purely coincidental, I suppose... ;)

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Perhaps, but this is what had been said in ARMOR Magazine, that most of fire accidents cause was human error, and proper modifications prevented them to happen.

 

It is possible, and do not have anything to do with being or not being dumb. ;)

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The crews weren't necessarily dumb, but the transition from M60 series to M1 was a pretty steep step. There were a lot of old habits to unlearn and new ones to learn. A couple months after we transitioned to the M1 a friend of mine lost the best part of four fingers in the ammo door because he reacted without thinking.

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