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Centauro 2


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On 11/10/2020 at 6:06 AM, Simon Tan said:

120mm high-pressure smoothbore gun is bad hammer for direct fire HE.

Swedish army has HE for their Leos which I think works ok at least. We didn't have them when I did my service half a lifetime ago since there was some issues with side drift then.

 

/R

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2 hours ago, Rickard N said:

What's the difference to firing heat or beehive or hesh or smoke? (Don't know if there's smoke available for 120mm but there is for 105)

I don't think anyone has made "beehive" for years, in the sense of its original use, which was flechette rounds. 

These were very popular with the US in the Vietnam era, when they were made for multiple weapons (106mm RR, 105mm Howitzer, 152mm, 2.75" rocket).  IIRC, some initiated at the muzzle, but, for instance, the 105mm  M494  APERS-T round, which was fired from tank guns, functioned very much like the old shrapnel concept using a time fuze.  The round was promoted for use against ATGM teams after the '73 war, though I have no idea how widespread issue actually was; the Israelis used some as well.  The M494 released approximately 5,000 small flechette darts and a dye marker. The flechettes were dispersed in a cone-shaped pattern about 300m long and about 94m wide.

What the US uses now is the 120mm M1028 Canister round, which is basically a giant shotgun shell using about 1100 tungsten spheres as payload.  In addition to the obvious antipersonnel capabilities, it is supposedly quite effective against wire and against "firm" targets, like unarmored vehicles, cement block walls, etc.

Edited by CaptLuke
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Difference is, M1028 works only out to about 500m, beehive could be fired at significantly more distant targets. Darts however aren't ballistically superior to balls, as it turns out. Too much energy gets lost by the time they are properly oriented for minimal air drag (they initially tumble and flutter like crazy).

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On 11/11/2020 at 3:57 PM, CaptLuke said:

I don't think anyone has made "beehive" for years, in the sense of its original use, which was flechette rounds. 

There is a Soviet 3Sh7 125mm shrapnel. IIRC it is still in the production in Russia. They have 4800 of darts and make 200-500m long, 9 deg wide cone like beaten zone.

Tanks w/o Ainet electronic fusing system can only use canister mode (or have to set fuse manually before loading into autoloader) where they are fused by default at IIRC 50m, so can only be used as a point blank defense. With tanks equipped with Ained electronic fusing system those can be in the shrapnel mode up the 5km.

It was exported and at least some used locally (at least one found unexploded by EOD team in Croatia) , through there is zero reports about it's effectiveness known to me.

scale_2400

Edited by bojan
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17 hours ago, CaptLuke said:

I don't think anyone has made "beehive" for years, in the sense of its original use, which was flechette rounds. 

These were very popular with the US in the Vietnam era, when they were made for multiple weapons (106mm RR, 105mm Howitzer, 152mm, 2.75" rocket).  IIRC, some initiated at the muzzle, but, for instance, the 105mm  M494  APERS-T round, which was fired from tank guns, functioned very much like the old shrapnel concept using a time fuze.  The round was promoted for use against ATGM teams after the '73 war, though I have no idea how widespread issue actually was; the Israelis used some as well.  The M494 released approximately 5,000 small flechette darts and a dye marker. The flechettes were dispersed in a cone-shaped pattern about 300m long and about 94m wide.

What the US uses now is the 120mm M1028 Canister round, which is basically a giant shotgun shell using about 1100 tungsten spheres as payload.  In addition to the obvious antipersonnel capabilities, it is supposedly quite effective against wire and against "firm" targets, like unarmored vehicles, cement block walls, etc.

I was referring to "expensive way of delivering HE" and "scraping the lining of the gun". I'm just thinking that if I face something else than a tank, a sabot isn't a very good way of defeating it.

/R

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On 11/9/2020 at 12:23 AM, Ssnake said:

Play games with sticking labels to it for as long as you want.

Functionally, if it's highly vulnerable even to medium caliber munitions, it's a light unit carrying a big gun. The closes equivalent to that is a tank destroyer in the cavalry role.

An MBT doesn't have to have heavy armor. Some countries use light tanks as MBTs. Even MBTs that aren't considered "light", sometimes have little to no armor relevant against other AT weapons, like the Type 10.

 

In the end it's a matter of doctrine. The IDF, for example, used for a solid amount of time an IFV armed with multiple 7.62mm machine guns. Not the traditional 25-40mm cannons, or even a 14.5mm or 12.7mm MG.

Still, it was an IFV in every sense of the word, because it was used like one.

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1 hour ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

An MBT doesn't have to have heavy armor. Some countries use light tanks as MBTs. Even MBTs that aren't considered "light", sometimes have little to no armor relevant against other AT weapons, like the Type 10.

 

In the end it's a matter of doctrine. The IDF, for example, used for a solid amount of time an IFV armed with multiple 7.62mm machine guns. Not the traditional 25-40mm cannons, or even a 14.5mm or 12.7mm MG.

Still, it was an IFV in every sense of the word, because it was used like one.

I feel it's safe to assume that the Type 10 armor is capable of protecting against, at minimum, medium caliber munitions in the context described by Ssanke.

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34 minutes ago, JasonJ said:

This website says Centauro 2 is AEP 55 standard protection tested.

AEP 55 standard is 30mm.

STANAG 4569 specifies multiple protection levels, level 6 being protection against 30mm, but my understanding is that "AEP 55 standard protection tested" just means that Iveco-Otomelara can tell you what levels of protection the Centauro has, not that it necessarily meets level 6.

The best description I've found of the original Centauro armor is from Military Today, which says "In standard configuration front arc of the Centauro is protected against 20 mm rounds. All round protection is against 12.7 mm rounds and artillery shell fragments. Up to three tons of add-on passive or explosive reactive armor can be fitted. "

That would be between level 4 and level 5 frontally and between level 3 and level 4 all around in the baseline, i.e., without any add on armor. 

The Centauro 2 is supposedly better armored and includes the option of reactive armor, so a reasonable guess, based on the weight class, might be:

  • Level 5 or 6 frontally (resists 25mm or 30mm)
  • Level 4 all around (resists 14.5mm)
  • RPG-7 proof wherever there's reactive armor (LAW/ATGM not being covered by the Stanag)
Edited by CaptLuke
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On 11/11/2020 at 6:57 PM, CaptLuke said:

I don't think anyone has made "beehive" for years, in the sense of its original use, which was flechette rounds. 

These were very popular with the US in the Vietnam era, when they were made for multiple weapons (106mm RR, 105mm Howitzer, 152mm, 2.75" rocket).  IIRC, some initiated at the muzzle, but, for instance, the 105mm  M494  APERS-T round, which was fired from tank guns, functioned very much like the old shrapnel concept using a time fuze.  The round was promoted for use against ATGM teams after the '73 war, though I have no idea how widespread issue actually was; the Israelis used some as well.  The M494 released approximately 5,000 small flechette darts and a dye marker. The flechettes were dispersed in a cone-shaped pattern about 300m long and about 94m wide.

What the US uses now is the 120mm M1028 Canister round, which is basically a giant shotgun shell using about 1100 tungsten spheres as payload.  In addition to the obvious antipersonnel capabilities, it is supposedly quite effective against wire and against "firm" targets, like unarmored vehicles, cement block walls, etc.

Any good for drones?

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4 hours ago, Stargrunt6 said:

@Ssnake,  have you ever done an expirement on SB with a Centauro to see how effective it would be in a conventional, high-intensity conflict?

That question is so sweeping, I could equally answer with Yes and No.

Yes: I shot a great variety of simulated rounds of all calibers against the simulated vehicle from many angles and many different ranges.

No: I mean, what's the threshold for a "conventional, high-intensity conflict". Rolling barrage of RAG, DAG, interspersed with HIND and jet attack waves, then massed T-64Bs with supporting BMPs? Or anything that involves armored vehicles (say IFVs with decent autocannons) and medium- to short engagement ranges? Urban terrain, mountains, forest, desert?

How would you set up an experiment that would yield valid results - computer vs computer, fully scripted; human vs human teams, fully manned; some mix of human and computer crews vs same with OpFor?

Steel Beasts can hint at answers for a number of questions at the tactical level, but much of the outcome depends on the setup of your scenario. And most likely, what YOU have in mind I haven't done.

 

Also, our mission is to build the tool. Your mission, should you accept it, is to buy that tool (thanks!) and the conduct the experiments that you deem most useful, and to draw your own conclusions.

I think it goes without question that the Centauro would aim to not get hit in the first place, and to avoid duel situations whenever possible. If I were a Centauro soldier, I'd try to adopt a mugger's mindset to define the parameters of a "fair fight". Half a brick in an old sock, dark alley, sucker punch, grab the wallet and run. Needless to say, you can do that trick only so many times before you make a mistake. On a really bad day (for you, not humanity) the old lady packs a .38 and you only have a sock and half a brick, and you missed on your first strike.

It's not just that the Centauro's frontal protection leaves to be desired. You also have dozens of rounds in the back of the vehicle with no crew separation, and each of these cartridges contains enough propellant to roast you alive. So, your really don't want to get hit. As a dumb-ass Leo 2 tanker who likes his fat slabs of metal all around even if I acknowledge those 27 rounds in open stowage next to the driver, that combination of lots of chemical energy and basically just cal .50 protection would make me rather nervous.

 

Yes, Centauro has a good punch. The fire-control system struck me as needlessly complicated, finicky to boot up, and a tad unreliable (though that seems to become the trend these days, thanks to more and more software).

Yes, cross-country mobility is better than the Stryker MGS's, but well, that's not a very high bar to begin with.

Yes, if operational mobility is your primary objective a wheeled vehicle will give you that, and a glass-chin big gun on wheels is better than no big gun at all when you need one.

Yes, so far not many if any Centauros were lost to enemy action. To me that suggests that Centauro operators were so far careful in selecting their enemies. And yet, I'm hesitant to buy into the "medium force" doctrine. I like heavy. I respect the guts of light infantry. The stuff in between, I think, is better off adopting the mindset of light forces, but their logistical footprint will still be considerably higher, so there's limits to that.

Active Protection Systems have the potential to make wheeled platforms a lot more survivable at least against guided missiles and RPGs although even with a successful intercept the residual energy of a big HEAT warhead interacting with your ammo stowage may still turn out to be a spectacular if unwelcome event.

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