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M1 Ecp Upgrades And M1A3 Program.


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My quick take away is they intend to continue with upgrading the Bradley and M1 to improve their functionality.

 

What I want to know what is the difference between an "assault kitchen" and "battlefield Kitchen"

 

Yes only new AFV slated for this time frame is the AMPV replacing the M113.

 

nothing?

 

 

I'm going to go fishing on the reefs they turn M113s into and post videos and photos of my expeditions all flagged with "Here I am at GAVIN REEF" so you-know-who will find them :D :D

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Alas, I tried

 

 

 

My quick take away is they intend to continue with upgrading the Bradley and M1 to improve their functionality.

 

What I want to know what is the difference between an "assault kitchen" and "battlefield Kitchen"

 

Yes only new AFV slated for this time frame is the AMPV replacing the M113.

 

nothing?

 

 

I'm going to go fishing on the reefs they turn M113s into and post videos and photos of my expeditions all flagged with "Here I am at GAVIN REEF" so you-know-who will find them :D :D

 

Alas, I tried to get Sparky's attention with this April Fools post on my site at the beginning of the month. No luck though.

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  • 3 years later...

There are some rumours circulating on Twitter that announcement about M1A3 will be published soon, in October.

 

Scope likely to include:

- Revised armour incl. increased underbody IED protection

- 20% weight reduction

- Meggitt autoloader

- Smaller turret

- Lighter XM360E1 120mm gun & new ammo

- Anti-UAV light cannon

 

In particular weight reduction sounds excessive to be. Takea with grain of salt.

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These rumors come from Mr. Drummond, who has been predicting this supposed announcement of a M1A3 variant (with different content) since quite a while (and he always was wrong about it). It seems to be just him being interested in attention on his twitter feed, last year he announced the coming reveal of a M1A3 three times, everytime with different sub-components (at first a 140 mm gun, then Rheinmetall's 130 mm gun, etc.).

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Older statements suggest that replacing all copper wires with fiber-optics would result in just a mere 2 tons weight saving. If you read through the tiwtter discussion, you can see that the origin of the 20% figure is an article on BusinessInsider.com. However this article is not talking about an upgraded Abrams, but a new tank design (i.e. a potential replacement for the Abrams). The weight saving would be the result of new manufacturing techniques (plenty of which have been developed and tested in the last years - the Puma's thin-metal bending technology, the aluminium foam construction of the canceled Future Combat System or the K21's hull structure made of aluminium and glass-fibre reinforced plastic being a few examples). Lighter-weight composite armor is also cited as a reason for this potential weight saving.

 

Such changes need to be applied during construction and therefore cannot be adopted during an upgrade, making it impossible for the M1A3 to receive them. Mr. Drummond however ignores that, because he loves crafting new theories (and publishing them on his Twitter feed), even though 95% of them turn out wrong.

 

According to the Twitter discussion, the image of the M1A3 tank btw. is a fan-art made by a user of the website DeviantArt...

Edited by methos
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  • 4 months later...

M1A2 SEPv3 with trophy and added turret armor.....

 

http://thedrive.com/the-war-zone/26606/picture-of-newest-m1-abrams-tank-variant-with-previously-unseen-turret-armor-emerges

 

snipit from the article.

 

A picture has popped-up online showing the latest variant of the Army's M1 Abrams tank with what appears to be a new armor package on its turret. The U.S. Army is already in the process of adding the Trophy active protection system to the vehicles, which will help guard against anti-tank guided missiles and infantry anti-tank rockets. But the service is also interested adding additional passive armor in light of the threat of potential adversaries, such as Russia, with their own upgraded tanks and new armor-piercing shells.

The Army’s Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona posted a picture of an M1A2 System Enhancement Package Version 3 tank, or M1A2 SEPv3, with both Trophy and the add-on armor package, as well as explosive reactor armor, on its Facebook page on Feb. 21, 2019. It was one of a series of pictures marking a visit by U.S. Army Sergeant Major Michael Crosby, the Command Sergeant Major for the service’s recently activated Futures Command, to the facility. The proving ground is supporting a number of that command’s modernization initiatives.

 

The Army took delivery of the first updated M1A2 SEPv3, also now known as the M1A2C, in October 2017. General Dynamics Land Systems is in charge of the upgrade program.

“This version is the most modernized configuration of the Abrams tank, having improved force protection and system survivability enhancements and increased lethality over the M1A1 and previous M1A2 variants,” U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Justin Shell, then the Abrams Product Manager, said at the rollout in 2017. “The Abrams M1A2 SEPv3 tank will be the foundation for future incremental system upgrades and can host any mature technology the Army deems operationally relevant.”

 

There do not appear to be any specific announcements about improved passive armor for the M1A2 SEPv3 in the past beyond statements that the variant would include added ballistic protection. Earlier pictures of the prototype M1A2 SEPv3s show weights on the front of the turret, as well as similar weights on the hull front.

These surrogates were supposed to simulate the added weight of the SEPv3's Next Generation Armor Package (NGAP). There had been no indication, however, that the final turret shape would change significantly.

 

Edited by bfng3569
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With the benefit of cold war high rate production, it's my understanding there's quite a few low hour hulls in storage just waiting to be upgraded to current standard, sufficient to replace stock as they wear out for the forseeable future... That being the case, is there any pressing need (from the end user standpoint) to design a whole new tank from the ground up, when it's performed admirably with the current (and proposed) upgrade packages? I'm not saying Abrams forever out of any sort of emotion for it, but if it isn't broke the idea of another military project for it's own sake could slip down the slope into EFV and other boondoggle territory with little to show for it after a lot of money spent (as lucrative as it would be for corporations).

That being said I'm very pleased to see them finally give up waiting on a US counterpart APS and instead opting for Trophy despite NIH, and even more so pleased that nobody has thusfar said "well now that we have this, why do we need heavy armor?"

Edited by Burncycle360
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Armoring the top surface gets heavy fast. Increasing the steel thickness by just 1mm over one square meter adds about 8kg to the weight of the vehicle.

 

The top surface of the turret alone is about 13 square meters, so adding a tonne of steel to the vehicle would give you less than 10mm of additional protection.

 

You could focus on just armoring the top surface above the crew, which would cut it down quite a bit, but would it be enough to make a difference? The humble PG-7M will penetrate about 350mm. Even with highly mass efficient composites you're not going to make the top surface resistant to that within a reasonable mass budget, and such composites add quite a bit of bulk too.

 

Active defenses like Trophy (which is effective against high-angle threats) are the way to go.

Edited by TTK Ciar
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With the benefit of cold war high rate production, it's my understanding there's quite a few low hour hulls in storage just waiting to be upgraded to current standard, sufficient to replace stock as they wear out for the forseeable future... That being the case, is there any pressing need (from the end user standpoint) to design a whole new tank from the ground up, when it's performed admirably with the current (and proposed) upgrade packages? I'm not saying Abrams forever out of any sort of emotion for it, but if it isn't broke the idea of another military project for it's own sake could slip down the slope into EFV and other boondoggle territory with little to show for it after a lot of money spent (as lucrative as it would be for corporations).

 

That being said I'm very pleased to see them finally give up waiting on a US counterpart APS and instead opting for Trophy despite NIH, and even more so pleased that nobody has thusfar said "well now that we have this, why do we need heavy armor?"

 

If Russia ever fields T-14 in appreciable numbers, then yes there is a great need for a new tank. Ive got severe doubts Abrams is going to be able to reliably tackle weapons capable of penetrating 1000 RHA at 2000 metres, which is what they claim the gun in T-14 is capable of doing with DU ammunition.

 

Might be Russian hype again, sometimes as we saw with Kornet, the Russians are sometimes as good as their word.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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Armoring the top surface gets heavy fast. Increasing the steel thickness by just 1mm over one square meter adds about 8kg to the weight of the vehicle.

The top surface of the turret alone is about 13 square meters, so adding a tonne of steel to the vehicle would give you less than 10mm of additional protection.

You could focus on just armoring the top surface above the crew, which would cut it down quite a bit, but would it be enough to make a difference? The humble PG-7M will penetrate about 350mm. Even with highly mass efficient composites you're not going to make the top surface resistant to that within a reasonable mass budget, and such composites add quite a bit of bulk too.

Active defenses like Trophy (which is effective against high-angle threats) are the way to go.

 

I don't believe you are wrong in any of this, but I am thinking more to protect vs DPICM bomblets and the like rather than an RPG strike. I don't know if there are any tanks that can shrug off a hit from a real top attack ATGM like a TOW-2b or Javelin, but it seems like other western tanks have quite a bit more topside protection than the Abrams.

 

 

-K

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I don't believe you are wrong in any of this, but I am thinking more to protect vs DPICM bomblets and the like rather than an RPG strike. I don't know if there are any tanks that can shrug off a hit from a real top attack ATGM like a TOW-2b or Javelin, but it seems like other western tanks have quite a bit more topside protection than the Abrams.

 

 

-K

Most, if not all, western tanks are very vulnerable from above, M1 is nothing any special here. As for armored roofs - you should look at T-80U and T-90 line for than.

Note: well, no, M1 is indeed kinda special tbh, but not because of turret roof. Than hull...

Edited by GARGEAN
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I don't believe you are wrong in any of this, but I am thinking more to protect vs DPICM bomblets and the like rather than an RPG strike. I don't know if there are any tanks that can shrug off a hit from a real top attack ATGM like a TOW-2b or Javelin, but it seems like other western tanks have quite a bit more topside protection than the Abrams.

 

Protection of the roof against bomblets, artillery fragments and even top-attack EFPs (from TOW-2B, BONUS and SMArt) can be achieved at a reasonable weight gain utilizing modern composite armour solutions, though that would require decision makers to be willing to pay for that (while the armour itself might be actually cheap, redesigning hatches, sights and other equipment might not be). Apparently there already has been a roof armour package for the M1A2 Abrams, at least there are photographs of a M1A2 SEP prototype with weight simulators on the roof, while Swedish sources reported that the M1A2 tested in the early 1990s was offered with an optional roof armour (although this might have been a reference to the same roof armour package fitted to Stridsvagn 122 and a few other Leopard 2 versions).

 

The Swiss have developed composite armour for their Panzer 87 upgrade, but never adopted it. Apparently thiis however formed the base for the RoofPRO armour offered by the state-owned Swiss company RUAG, which has been marketed and adopted on several light-weight vehicles. At 28 kg/m² protection against DPICM-style artillery bomblets with shaped charge warheads up to 50 mm diameter can be affored, while a heavier version at 43 kg/m² also allows protecting light-weight vehicles (wheeled 8x8s,light-weight APCs and IFVs) against fragments from 152 and 155 mm artillery bomblets. This armour is for example used on the CV9035 of the Royal Netherlands Army.

 

RoofPRO.jpg

 

Maybe related to this, but heavier and more capable is the roof armour solution developed for the Panzerhaubitze 2000 and Puma IFV, which is also capable of dealing with more powerful threats (it appears to have been original from a German company, which then formed a joint-venture with RUAG). AMAP-R from IBD Deisenroth can protect against DPICM bomblets at 25 kg/m², a heavier version at 120 kg/m² also can deal with EFP warheads.

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Protection of the roof against bomblets, artillery fragments and even top-attack EFPs (from TOW-2B, BONUS and SMArt) can be achieved at a reasonable weight gain utilizing modern composite armour solutions

Disagree. Considering surface area of turret roof of M1 (or most western MBTs for that matter) and considering that HEAT bomblets can pen 160-200mm and EFP of SPBE can pen 70mm at 30 degrees, gaining that level of armor for all upper surface aside blowout panels will weight much more than "reasonable". Best solution considering weight/effectiveness is ERA, but even with it weight gain will be feelable.

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Disagree. Considering surface area of turret roof of M1 (or most western MBTs for that matter) and considering that HEAT bomblets can pen 160-200mm and EFP of SPBE can pen 70mm at 30 degrees, gaining that level of armor for all upper surface aside blowout panels will weight much more than "reasonable". Best solution considering weight/effectiveness is ERA, but even with it weight gain will be feelable.

It is not necessary to fit additional roof armour to all surfaces of the roof, only the surface area above the crew positions. That will be about 4 to 6 square-meters, which would mean that something like AMAP-R in the heavy configuration would increase the weight by only up to 720 kilograms.

 

The ERA used on the roofs of Soviet tanks isn't going to be much lighter (the main advantage of Soviet/Russian MBTs in regards to roof armour is the fact, that the driver is covered by glacis armour plate) and cannot be adopted on all surfaces without large gaps. The upgraded T-72 tanks for example have very poor coverage of the roof:

 

ceGqvHs.jpg?1

 

If one is only interested in protecting against DPICM style submunitions, RUAG's RoofPRO-PL and IBD's AMAP-R level 1 (and similar products from other manufacturers) will offer sufficient protection at lower weight than ERA (the coverplate of the ERA is 10 mm thick alone, which weighs more than previously mentioned options), while having a better coverage. German Igelpanzerung can reduce the penetration by DPICM-style sub-munitions with 200 mm penetration to just 10-50 mm, enough that light-weight passive armour can stop it.

 

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A bit Trumpian-triumphant in tone and source, but of possible interest.

Tank Terror: Why the U.S. Army's 'New' M1 Abrams Tank Is A Monster on the Battlefield

(Washington, D.C.)

Should a mechanized column of heavily armored Russian vehicles launch an aggressive, forward-leaning assault into Eastern Europe 10 years from now, complete with air and artillery support - - just what kinds of specific armored vehicles would best position a US/NATO response?

Such a scenario, however likely, incorporates some of the complexities now informing current Army thinking. How much can current platforms, such as the 1980s-era Abrams tank, be upgraded and maintained such that they can provide the requisite force, protection and firepower to meet such a contingency? -- Both now and 15 years from now? To what extent would the Army’s emerging fleet of Next-Generation Combat Vehicles be better equipped to respond?

The Army’s most pressing priority, senior leaders explain, is to be ready for war “now” -- “today” -- and in the immediate future.

“One of our biggest challenges is to continue to upgrade our current platforms for anything we may go to war with today at the same time making sure we put the proper investments into our future abilities - so we are ready for the fight after next,” Maj. Gen. Brian Cummings, Program Executive Officer, Ground Combat Systems, told Warrior Maven in an interview a few months ago.

The thinking is characterized by two intertwined, yet distinct trajectories; future planning is dominated by a need for lighter-weight, expeditionary armored vehicles protected by long-range sensors, advanced fires and Active Protection Systems; the Army has already integrated an APS system called Trophy onto its Abrams vehicles. In this mix of technologies, survivability rests upon the prospect of lightweight armor composites, APS, long range fires, sensors and air defenses.

While promising, relevant and fundamental to modernization, these priorities do not seem to displace a corresponding need for heavy armor. In short, both are essential to the future, which means the Abrams tank -- is most-likely going nowhere soon. The Army’s behavior seems to reflect this dual-pronged approach, as the service is deeply invested in both future vehicles and substantial upgrades to the Abrams.

When it comes to potential future warfare scenarios, it’s clear that lighter-weight, expeditionary firepower such as the Army’ Mobile Protected Firepower vehicle are entirely necessary to support advancing infantry. However, there may be state-on-state combat contingencies far too dangerous for maneuvering infantry to lead an assault. In this case, heavily protected armored vehicles, equipped with precision long-range fires and advanced sensors, might prove indispensable to the fight.

To put it succinctly, today’s Abrams is nothing like it was decades ago. In fact, one could safely say its sensors, firepower and current protection make it almost an entirely new vehicle is some respects. Along these lines, the Army is working on a new SEP v4 variant, slated to begin testing in 2021, specifically engineered as a “lethality” upgrade.

The new tank will include new laser rangefinder technology, color cameras, integrated on-board networks, new slip-rings, advanced meteorological sensors, ammunition data links, laser warning receivers and a far more lethal, multi-purpose 120mm tank round, senior Army weapons developers have explained.

The US Army’s Multi-Purpose 120mm tank round, to arm the v4, is now being engineered to integrate several different kinds of ammunition into a single, tailorable round -- to include High Explosive Anti -Tank rounds, Multi-Purpose Anti-Tank rounds and anti-personnel canister rounds, among others.

The SEPv4 upgrade is, among other things, centered around the integration of a higher-tech 3rd generation FLIR – Forward Looking Infrared imaging sensor.

The advanced FLIR uses higher resolution and digital imaging along with an increased ability to detect enemy signatures at farther ranges through various obscurants such as rain, dust or fog, Army developers explain. Improved FLIR technologies help tank crews better recognize light and heat signatures emerging from targets such as enemy sensors, electronic signals or enemy vehicles.

Thermal targeting sights, as demonstrated during the now famous Gulf War tank battles including Abrams tanks against Russian-built T-72, can create range mismatches enabling tanks to destroy enemy tanks without themselves being seen.

Regarding a need for heavy armor, there is of course also the importance of countering the Russian T-14 Armata -- a new platform armed with now-in-development 3UBK21 Sprinter Missiles and long range 9M119 Reflecks armor-piercing rounds, according to details provided in a 2018 report from Popular Mechanics’ Kyle Mizokami.

Furthermore, not only will the Abrams v4 improve range and lethality of the tanks main gun, but it will also bring long-range laser detection and rear-view sensors. Newly configured meteorological sensors will better enable Abrams tanks to anticipate and adapt to changing weather or combat conditions more quickly, Army officials explain.

The emerging M1A2 SEP v4 will also be configured with a new slip-ring leading to the turret and on-board ethernet switch to reduce the number of needed “boxes” by networking sensors to one another in a single vehicle.

The Army is also engineering new AI-enabled Hostile Fire Detection sensors for its fleet Abrams tanks to identify, track and target incoming enemy small arms fire. This might enable forward maneuvering infantry and Armored Brigade Combat Teams to benefit from both heavy armored protection and ISR-like enemy- locating sensors. Such sensors, now being prototyped and experimented with, can include thermal sensors able to locate the "heat signature" coming from enemy small arms fire, acoustic sensors tracking the sound or even some kind of focal plane array, service engineers explain.

Potential integration between HFD and Active Protection Systems is also part of the calculus, according to senior weapons developers. APS technology, now on Army Abrams tanks, uses sensors, fire control technology and interceptors to ID and knock out incoming RPGs and ATGMs, among other things. While APS, in concept and application, involves threats larger or more substantial than things like small arms fire, there is great combat utility in synching APS to HFD.

The advantages of this kind of interoperability are multi-faceted. Given that RPGs and ATGMs are often fired from the same location as enemy small arms fire, an ability to track one, the other, or both in real time greatly improves targeting possibilities. This kind of initiative is entirely consistent with ongoing Army efforts to work toward more capable, multi-function sensors. The idea is to have a merged or integrated smaller hardware footprint, coupled with advanced sensing technology, able to perform a wide range of tasks historically performed by multiple separate on-board systems.

The overall current picture could well be summarized in one sentence - spoken by a senior Army combat vehicles developer last Fall:

"I have no requirements for a replacement tank."

Kris Osborn is a Senior Fellow at The Lexington Institute.

Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army - Acquisition, Logistics& Technology. Osborn has also worked as an anchor and on-air military specialist at national TV networks. He has a Masters Degree in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

 

Edited by Ken Estes
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