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Next Generation Abrams


lucklucky

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7 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

So we see LAV 700 potentially, and an Abrams with:

1. Altered turret geometry.

2. Improved UFP armor.

4. Trophy APS.

5. Safran PASEO sights.

6. XM360 gun.

1. Seeing how the turret height seems to have been lowered, it would severely impact the amount of shells contained in a bustle-contained horizontal carousel. TTB-style vertical carousel instead, then?

2. If the crew is indeed inside the hull as some speculate, then one has to wonder about whether the external hull geometry has changed, too, to give the crewmembers more space (height, especially). Putting more people (let's say two) beside the driver would also eat into the fuel cell capacity and the extra protection (as a HEAT jet diffuser) it affords to the driver's compartment.

4. Sponsons are unaccounted-for. Any idea where the radars would be? They're not on the turret cheek and the turret side storage baskets don't seem particularly larger or reinforced for carrying the antennas. Unless, of course, those aren't baskets but sponsons.

5. You're sure it's a PASEO? The side mounts seem quite thick...unless the light reflections are deceitful and those are actually fully encased, CITV-style turrets.

6. Quite curious that they chose the XM360 for integration into the NG Abrams. Initial plans went for a variant, the XM360E1, instead - that one had several alterations (shortened recoil stroke, modified Abrams rotor, "many sensors removed", reinforcements for higher impulse and chamber pressure) to make it fit into the Abrams turret and a MRS solid muzzle instead of the original XM360's pepperbox muzzle brake. Maybe they're going for a hybrid XM360/360E1 that marries the best of both worlds? (the XM360 had ammo datalink capability that would be perfect for programmable ordnance like the AMP)

Edited by Renegade334
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24 minutes ago, Renegade334 said:

1. Seeing how the turret height seems to have been lowered, it would severely impact the amount of shells contained in a bustle-contained horizontal carousel. TTB-style vertical carousel instead, then?

2. If the crew is indeed inside the hull as some speculate, then one has to wonder about whether the external hull geometry has changed, too, to give the crewmembers more space (height, especially). Putting more people (let's say two) beside the driver would also eat into the fuel cell capacity and the extra protection (as a HEAT jet diffuser) it affords to the driver's compartment.

4. Sponsons are unaccounted-for. Any idea where the radars would be? They're not on the turret cheek and the turret side storage baskets don't seem particularly larger or reinforced for carrying the antennas. Unless, of course, those aren't baskets but sponsons.

5. You're sure it's a PASEO? The side mounts seem quite thick...unless the light reflections are deceitful and those are actually fully encased, CITV-style turrets.

6. Quite curious that they chose the XM360 for integration into the NG Abrams. Initial plans went for a variant, the XM360E1, instead - that one had several alterations (shortened recoil stroke, modified Abrams rotor, "many sensors removed", reinforcements for higher impulse and chamber pressure) to make it fit into the Abrams turret and a MRS solid muzzle instead of the original XM360's pepperbox muzzle brake. Maybe they're going for a hybrid XM360/360E1 that marries the best of both worlds? (the XM360 had ammo datalink capability that would be perfect for programmable ordnance like the AMP)

XM360E1 was never built. GDLS simply use XM360 for demonstration purpose. I am certain that at least various 120mm smoothbore guns can be mounted in this turret.

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https://timryan.house.gov/media/press-releases/congressman-ryan-secures-65-million-abrams-tank-modernization

Quote

 

July 14, 2021 

Congressman Ryan Secures $65 million for Abrams Tank Modernization

 
(...)
The funding secured by Congressman Ryan will extend the service life of the tank and also integrate an unmanned turret. Additionally, it will help to develop the physical architecture and mechanical requirements needed to add an Autoloader and Automated Ammunition Handling System to the Abrams, evaluate current and emerging candidates for an Integrated Active Protection System, and develop new Abrams mobility and power architecture for conversion to a Hybrid Electric Drive propulsion and power generation system.

The Defense spending bill now moves to the full House for consideration before advancing to the Senate

 

Maybe something related to this.

 

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3 hours ago, BansheeOne said:

Which would beg the question if that's still an Abrams ...

What's always more important is the hull. As long as the hull is an Abrams, the tank's an Abrams.

2 hours ago, lucklucky said:

This is a GDLS product, likely private venture. Such marketing is intended FOR the Army, not BY the Army. So if it's being pitched for the Army, I'm sure it wouldn't be funded by it yet.

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5 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

What's always more important is the hull. As long as the hull is an Abrams, the tank's an Abrams.

XM1299:   "You thought you would be getting the M109A8? Too bad! It was me, XM1299!"

Have mercy, it's my first time doing that Jojo's Bizarre Adventure meme, and to make matters worse I've never even watched that series.

There's an argument to be made that if there are enough major changes in certain parts' (e.g. turret, hull) geometries, materials, capabilities (and thus, assigned missions) and equipment (main weaponry, propulsion), the prototype can be given a new model number. But, yeah, the name would probably stay "Abrams" unless they opt for some catchy acronym.

Edited by Renegade334
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5 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

What's always more important is the hull. As long as the hull is an Abrams, the tank's an Abrams.

 

Abrams maybe, but is it an M1? (I'm thinking M46-47-48 here)

/R

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23 hours ago, Renegade334 said:

...Putting more people (let's say two) beside the driver would also eat into the fuel cell capacity and the extra protection (as a HEAT jet diffuser) it affords to the driver's compartment...

You could make the fuel cells longer if the hull no longer has to accommodate a full turret basket or the hull ammo storage.  It doesn't address the loss of some amount of HEAT protection but range would probably go up.

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7 hours ago, Harold Jones said:

You could make the fuel cells longer if the hull no longer has to accommodate a full turret basket or the hull ammo storage.  It doesn't address the loss of some amount of HEAT protection but range would probably go up.

Loss of protection could be addressed by thickening the hull side around the driver's compartment. The Abrams already has a thicker plate (can't remember the details, but it should be >=40mm, for a possible total of 60-70mm hullside thickness) welded there. And then there are the skirts - ARAT-1 and ARAT-2 are already available, but this earlier picture suggests GDLS has something else in mind for skirt protection:

EbHorz1.png

Almost makes me think of the Gill armor on the T-64, only slanted/shingled.

For the loss of fuel capacity - another option would be a much more compact powerpack than the AGT1500, which would free space behind the turret basket for an extra fuel cell. The groundwork for that was already laid down by the M1 CATTB, which used the liberated volume (3.5m³, IIRC) to insert TWO horizontal, non-ready storage carousels inside the hull.

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The problem with that, of course, is that you're adding a new engine (the one meant for the CATTB was the Cummins/Allison XAP-1000, a derivative of the Cummins XAV-28 V12 diesel that never really went anywhere), which means more expenses (spare parts, training, logistics, etc)...and you increase the potential risks of the design.

 

@Mighty_Zuk: if anything, the new CITV turrets remind me of the one seen on the Cockerill 3000 - roughly the same shape compared to PASEO. Doubt it's that one, though.

Edited by Renegade334
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Recessed emplacements for the radars? Could work, but that kind of restricts the frontal detection arc and putting the full onus on the armor package and passive protection (supposing it has automatically-deploying smoke grenades) to defeat missile threats coming from the front (if the turret is facing forwards, naturally). Also, the crew is losing storage points for the equipment...dunno if that oh-so-convenient turret bustle will be preserved given that there's a need to keep the rear-facing Trophy radars free of obstructions.

Reworked glacis geometry would help increase LOS thickness for the LFP cavity, especially if you intend to relocate some crewmembers to the driver compartment, but looking back at the poster, I'm not really seeing this "extended nose", only redesigned protection bars for the headlights. At least there's hope for a thickened UFP around the crew area.

Kinda getting Griffin II/MPF vibes from this plastic toy-looking CAD model (which, again, is not an official one). And the NGA appears to be using the CITV from GDLS' MPF offering.

EDIT: sorry, Mighty_Zuk, I stand corrected. According to Ronkainen's tweet, it is indeed a Safran PASEO, only with a different housing and optic shapes.

Also, looks like the NG Abrams is not the only MBT prototype jumping on the 30mm RCWS bandwagon. The EMBT demonstrator at Eurosatory also features one.

Edited by Renegade334
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Having the ammo feed for the M230LF on the outside seems like a terrible idea.  Some fragmentation or blast from a shell nearby will likely prevent it from feeding.

I wonder if it will replace the turbine for a diesel as mentioned above would finally fix the fuel consumption issue and free up space for drones or something similar

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Achates received, some time ago, more than $80M in funding for its ACE family of opposed-piston Diesel engines, which can be scaled to reach power requirements of 750 all the way to 1,500hp. I don't know how much headway they made since early 2021 or if it quietly got the axe.

Otherwise, there's always the MTU 883.

As for the M230's ammo storage, making it fully external avoids compromising the roof armor (which is already thin enough as it is, and with little allowance for an ERA layer against top-attack threats) by drilling a feed aperture through it. It also leaves more room inside the turret for electronics, armor and what else have you.

Edited by Renegade334
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With how much the M230LF protrudes from the rest of the roof, they should take advantage of the extra space by adding a thin layer of spaced armor over the current roof to bring things closer to the same height and store the ammo/have it feed from a flat pack against the root.

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On 6/13/2022 at 3:14 PM, Cajer said:

Having the ammo feed for the M230LF on the outside seems like a terrible idea.  Some fragmentation or blast from a shell nearby will likely prevent it from feeding.

I wonder if it will replace the turbine for a diesel as mentioned above would finally fix the fuel consumption issue and free up space for drones or something similar

I'm not convinced the fuel consumption issue is all that. It's down to some 2.5gpm, almost half of what the M1 was upon introduction, when it was lighter. Plus there is now a working APU.

 

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@Manic Moran since you've been inside both vehicles, could you tell us if it's possible to accommodate a TTB-like crew space (with all the panels and monitors found in a SEP v3/4 turret) inside a "vanilla" M1 hull without changing the hull geometry, compromising too much on armor layout (though it's a given that you'll be eating up some of the space reserved for the frontal fuel cell) and thickness and giving the three crewmembers enough freedom of movement?

The NGA renders don't seem to feature the TTB's telltale UFP "bump" that gave the hull more internal volume and, while we must account for the many strides in equipment miniaturization achieved since the prototype's heyday, it still makes me wonder whether it'll be a practicable concept or there'll be some awkwardness here and there (ex. insufficient protection on the sides, the belly or maybe the LFP, not much wiggle space).

Edited by Renegade334
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