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Next Generation Abrams


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1 hour ago, Renegade334 said:

@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).

In theory, yes. The TTB seems to have made a deliberate decision to raise the hull to allow chairs to have a bit more of a 'vertical' posture, it may be that they had concluded that for intuitive aiming and operation the operator of the systems needed to be more upright or something. However, I don't see why they can't 'lower' the seats, especially with the miniaturisation of electronic components in the last few decades.

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Thanks.

Speaking of which -- in your TTB video, I noticed that the torsion bars were visible under the crewmen's seats. Was there originally cladding or a fake floor down there to provide some extra protection or did the GDLS engineers never bother adding anything there because, honestly, they had much more important things to focus on? I'm curious as to how they're going to rework the crew space protection scheme for the NGA.

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  • 3 months later...
On 6/16/2022 at 10:38 AM, Renegade334 said:

Thanks.

Speaking of which -- in your TTB video, I noticed that the torsion bars were visible under the crewmen's seats. Was there originally cladding or a fake floor down there to provide some extra protection or did the GDLS engineers never bother adding anything there because, honestly, they had much more important things to focus on? I'm curious as to how they're going to rework the crew space protection scheme for the NGA.

The torsion bars are inside tubes.  I don't know that the crew necessarily has to be protected from the torsion bars.  When the bars break they simply fail, but they don't have pieces flying around.  Early US tanks did not have torsion bars enclosed by tubes which made replacing those under the engine a difficult proposition.  In any case you'll note how the torsion bars completely surrounded by hydraulic lines, electrical lines, fuel lines, push pull rods, air lines and various a sundry other items.  If for no other reason, the tubes ease the replacement of torsion bars.  The bars, and pieces of the bars, are simply pushed out by the installation of the new bar.
Systems_inside_hull_1.jpg

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4 hours ago, DKTanker said:

Huh, I wonder what would be the utility of the telescope

Maybe they're doing the KF51 "Electronics dude" thing in the hull? They are obviously confident about fuel economy, if they're losing the front tanks.

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7 hours ago, DKTanker said:

Huh, I wonder what would be the utility of the telescope

It still can be Gunner Auxiliary Sight, but in place of classic telescope, you can have there a camera.

3 hours ago, Manic Moran said:

Maybe they're doing the KF51 "Electronics dude" thing in the hull? They are obviously confident about fuel economy, if they're losing the front tanks.

AbramsX will use diesel electric hybrid drive instead of gas turbine. So fuel economy will significantly improve and also hybrid drive should be compact enough to place large enough fuel tank in powerpack compartment for example.

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Interesting is that a lot of prognosticators were predicting we’d have tanks with unmanned turrets by the mid-90s, and that they’d basically look like a main gun plus counterweight. (Yeah I’m thinking of Twilight 2000, but that must have come from somewhere). 

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2 hours ago, Angrybk said:

Interesting is that a lot of prognosticators were predicting we’d have tanks with unmanned turrets by the mid-90s, and that they’d basically look like a main gun plus counterweight. (Yeah I’m thinking of Twilight 2000, but that must have come from somewhere). 

As far as I am aware, US Army is thinking that unmanned turret also needs armor, so the vehicle can't be easy disabled from combat through damage or destruction of main armament system.

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On 10/5/2022 at 4:17 AM, Damian said:

FePoAHKaMAA4cv1?format=jpg&name=large

So yeah, AbramsX entire crew is in the hull, turret is completely unmanned.

Hi Damien,

 

awesome update, but I could not find any information confirming that the turret is unmanned?

I could only find that the crew number has been reduced

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2 hours ago, Helmutkohl said:

Hi Damien,

 

awesome update, but I could not find any information confirming that the turret is unmanned?

I could only find that the crew number has been reduced

 

Count the number of hatches on the hull.

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1lG7BK1.jpg

That's three. There is no reason to have entry/exit points for all three crew members in the hull, given that the driver, on the centerline, is surrounded by fuel tanks, unless they did away with the said fuel tanks and made permanent room for the crewmembers there, like they did for the TTB.

And if you look at the pictures posted on the previous page, taken from the GDLS website and brightened up, you'll see maintenance hatches on the turret roof right next to the M230LF pedestal...but if those are meant for a crew rather than maintenance, why build hatches in the hull in the first place and sacrifice fuel capacity? Doesn't make sense.

Also, if the turret is still manned, but its two-man crew must enter through the driver's hatch and crawl through the (short) tunnel behind the latter's seat and contort themselves into the basket, then that is bad design not to mention significantly lowering their chances of egress in case of an emergency (and a new challenge for Manic Moran :)).

The simplest explanation is that all three crewmembers are seated in the reconfigured driver compartment, while the turret is evacuated and entirely automated.

 

Now, we still don't have a view of the turret's rear, but it would be interesting if the AbramsX had both Meggitt horizontal and vertical carousels and an autoloader feed arm that can handle both storage points. But I'm probably hoping for too much and begging for design overcomplication.

Edited by Renegade334
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9 hours ago, DB said:

Armoured Archives covers some of the 50s/60s concepts in his YouTube videos. The reasoning for a narrower turret is obvious, even to the ancients.

There are some truly weird (well, original ) ideas there...

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On 10/5/2022 at 5:46 AM, Manic Moran said:

Maybe they're doing the KF51 "Electronics dude" thing in the hull? They are obviously confident about fuel economy, if they're losing the front tanks.

If you move the crew from the turret to the front, it frees up space elsewhere that can be used by fuel.

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2 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

If you move the crew from the turret to the front, it frees up space elsewhere that can be used by fuel.

How?  Not going to be putting fuel in the turret are they?

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On 10/4/2022 at 3:17 PM, Damian said:

FePoAHKaMAA4cv1?format=jpg&name=large

So yeah, AbramsX entire crew is in the hull, turret is completely unmanned.

Seems to me it would merit a new designation and nickname at this point.  

 

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1 hour ago, Mike1158 said:

How?  Not going to be putting fuel in the turret are they?

Are you saying that moving the crew results in a net lower internal volume in the tank? 

The turret crew, where do they sit? Inside the turret and above the turret ring, or in a basket between the turret and hull?

Well if you remove the crew, you remove the basket, and therefore you have more space for other things. 

You could repurpose the basket to carry a carousel of ammo, but then the turret would most likely be much smaller than depicted.

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Any change will require the CoG to be as low as [pssible, the basket will still be required to do this and I cannot see how fuel can be placed there.  Mind you, with a diesel/electric powertain, fuel may not be the issue it once was and can contribute to weight reduction which would be a good thing.

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Not to digress on what is an interesting conversation, I like new tanks too... but zooming out here, why this and why now? Why not just keep using Abrams, upgraded with Trophy APS? Is it just a contractor profit project?

Not that there isn't room for improvement,  don't get me wrong, but latest gen Abrams are still firmly top tier in quality and quantity both... so is a high developmental risk "revolutionary" MBT replacement approach a pressing need? We're 31 trillion in debt, I can think of a ton of other useful military projects for this money (and other future deficit spending)

 

 

 

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52 minutes ago, Burncycle360 said:

Not to digress on what is an interesting conversation, I like new tanks too... but zooming out here, why this and why now? Why not just keep using Abrams, upgraded with Trophy APS? Is it just a contractor profit project?

There have been purchases of M1A2s by the US government that have been decried by the military as unnecessary procurement but motivated by a desire to keep the production line in Lima up and running. As seen in the case of the F22, a closed-down production line takes a big deal of money to restart once demand picks up again...and that is not taking into account the engineers/workers' low-level know-how that is lost over time.

Otherwise, well...I don't want to compare the appearance of the T14 Armata to that of the HMS Dreadnought in 1906 and the arms race it sparked off, but I do believe there was an incentive for the industry to come up with an Armata peer...regardless of what pundits say about the downsides of this quite rare Russian wunderwaffe and its low chances of broad adoption. I mean, look at the EMBT and KF51 in Europe - there is interest in a more high-tech successor to the Abrams, Leclerc and Leopard 2, that can keep up with the evolutions of enemy states' ecosystem.

 

@Mighty_Zuk: if they use Meggitt's TTB carousel from 1983, which was quite extensively and very successfully tested by TACOM (with cycling tests going up to 60,000 round loaded, according to one of the documents I'll post underneath), it's going to eat quite a bit into the turret basket's volume...and that is not factoring in any further changes (an armored partition with sliding door, right underneath the gun breech or additional plating around the carousel) GDLS might have included, as part of early lessons learned from the Russian tank misadventures in Ukraine and the US armed forces' operations in Iraq.

FkR9dh3.jpg

Yes, the CTA was tested more recently, has a higher RoF and offers better disconnection from the crew space, but the TTB carousel works better in hull-down positions and offers a 22% higher shell count. As I said in my previous post, they could add both TTB and CTA ALs inside the AbramsX, but that would result in a quite heavy tank (which goes against GDLS' claims of a lighter vehicle) with an overcomplicated turret.

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I don't think there is much room for a fuel tank under that basket, not to mention that there is also some volume that needs to be set aside for the running gear's torsion bars.

Edited by Renegade334
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On 10/4/2022 at 9:46 PM, Manic Moran said:

Maybe they're doing the KF51 "Electronics dude" thing in the hull? They are obviously confident about fuel economy, if they're losing the front tanks.

I think Nick is on the right track...I'm thinking there's still a four-man crew: commander, gunner, and driver plus the new RPV operator/battlefield ops electronics guy...for a total of four. One of them is still in the turret along with the auto-loader.   

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8 minutes ago, Jim Warford said:

I think Nick is on the right track...I'm thinking there's still a four-man crew: commander, gunner, and driver plus the new RPV operator/battlefield ops electronics guy...for a total of four. One of them is still in the turret along with the auto-loader.   

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/general-dynamics-business-units-to-participate-in-ausa-2022-301640911.html

General Dynamics Land Systems (Booth 801)

AbramsX: A main battle tank for the next generation, the AbramsX technology demonstrator features reduced weight for improved mobility and transportability, delivering the same tactical range as the M1A2 Abrams with 50% less fuel consumption. The AbramsX's hybrid power pack supports the U.S. Army's climate and electrification strategies, enhances silent watch capability and even allows for some silent mobility. With a reduced crew size and AI-enabled lethality, survivability, mobility, manned/unmanned teaming (MUM-T) and autonomous capabilities, AbramsX can be a key node in lethal battlefield networks and serve as a bridge from Abrams SEPv3 and SEPv4 to a future tank.

"Reduced crew size" means at least 3.

Edited by Renegade334
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