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Next Generation Abrams


lucklucky

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AGT 1500 still wants a shot at the M1E3, with a 90° twist...literally.

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PHOENIX, Oct. 10, 2023 – Honeywell (NASDAQ: HON) announced today it has developed an enhanced configuration of the AGT1500 Gas Turbine Engine Powerpack for the Abrams tank. The improved powerpack configuration will free up 46 cubic feet of space under armor, space that can be used for additional fuel, ammunition or even energy storage, all within the protection of the Abrams armor.

The proven performance and established support structure of the AGT1500 engine in Abrams tanks over the past 40 years, combined with Honeywell’s continued innovation of the engine, provides the Army with a premier powerplant as it begins the next major modernization of the Abrams platform. Importantly, the AGT1500 engine is adaptable to both hydraulic and electric transmissions and compatible with various size motor generators.
The additional 46 cubic feet of space is created by a configuration that rotates the engine into a “transverse” orientation, meaning the engine’s axis of rotation is perpendicular to the vehicle’s direction of travel. Beyond the additional under armor space, this configuration can support hybridization options for the vehicle, which could allow for better fuel economy, increased range and improved performance.  
The transverse engine configuration also allows the implementation of an improved air induction system. This improved system will help reduce the risk of foreign object damage from debris such as sand, rocks and dirt, thus delivering improved fleet readiness. Additionally, a reduction in foreign object damage will decrease the maintenance requirements for service members and Abrams’ operators.

“The battlefields of the future will demand more flexibility and adaptability to changing environments, threats and regionally available resources,” said Dave Marinick, president, Engines and Power Systems, Honeywell Aerospace. “This transverse configuration of the AGT1500 engine further enhances the versatility of the Abrams vehicle and provides militaries with more options to better adapt the battle proven tank for increased survivability in the conflicts of the future.”
The improved powerpack configuration utilizes the proven Honeywell AGT1500 engine, which has provided superior performance for the M1 Abrams tank since inception. The AGT1500 engine delivers the operational overmatch users need by providing true multifuel capability and instant smokeless power in conditions from subarctic to extreme desert heat, all in a low-weight, compact, quiet package.
Honeywell’s AGT1500 engine provides 1,500 shaft horsepower, enabling the 72-ton Abrams tank to accelerate from 0 to 20 miles per hour in six seconds and reach speeds of over 40 miles per hour. The reliability and performance of the AGT1500 has enabled the Abrams tanks to become a staple of global military arsenals, accumulating more than 40 million miles of operation.

Edited by Renegade334
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On 10/5/2022 at 9:32 PM, 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). 

M1A2.png

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We might have seen them, had the Cold War not decided to have a temporary thaw. The desire to reduce the protected space in armored vehicles to maintain an adequate protection level for the crew in the face of increasing gun calibers is one of the constants in all 100 years of tank development. One way to do are active protection systems, but that was a dream some 40 years ago, not yet a realistic option. Thus, unmanned turrets seemed to be the way to go.

I still think that the weight savings from unmanned turrets will be less dramatic than hoped for; a tank needs to be able to withstand at least some abuse, so you want the main armament to have an expendable part that sticks out (gun barrel), and an otherwise still protected space for the rest.

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A lot of those programs like Block III Abrams and 140mm guns got the axe thanks to the end of the Cold War, the arrival of new political priorities and the Gulf War causing most of NATO to think: "yeah, that equipment we got right now? Good enough."

And then the clock started ticking again, the bigger picture shifted anew. And another arms race was born.

 

Transverse AGT 1500 or AGT 2023:

Honeywell Enhances AGT1500 Engine Powerpack Configuration for the Abrams Tank (vidyard.com)

Edited by Renegade334
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23 hours ago, Ssnake said:

I still think that the weight savings from unmanned turrets will be less dramatic than hoped for

I think the weight saving is less related to the overall weight. Whatever can be saved on the turret weight must be invested in the hull. Ok, at least a good part of the weight savings is used up again here.

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On 10/17/2023 at 5:30 PM, Ssnake said:

We might have seen them, had the Cold War not decided to have a temporary thaw. The desire to reduce the protected space in armored vehicles to maintain an adequate protection level for the crew in the face of increasing gun calibers is one of the constants in all 100 years of tank development. One way to do are active protection systems, but that was a dream some 40 years ago, not yet a realistic option. Thus, unmanned turrets seemed to be the way to go.

I still think that the weight savings from unmanned turrets will be less dramatic than hoped for; a tank needs to be able to withstand at least some abuse, so you want the main armament to have an expendable part that sticks out (gun barrel), and an otherwise still protected space for the rest.

I'd say main benefit of unmanned turrets will be in terms of survivability, not weight savings. Basically, unmanned turret as an expendable / ablative armor against top-attack weapons.

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It's not just that. It's also about weight savings, or as a minimum, stopping weight growth. When you have 70 ton tanks and no bridges to support them, not only is your operational but also your tactical mobility severely restricted. Heck, if you have roads collapsing under the weight of your M1A1 Abrams tank, you have a problem.

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1 hour ago, Ssnake said:

It's not just that. It's also about weight savings, or as a minimum, stopping weight growth. When you have 70 ton tanks and no bridges to support them, not only is your operational but also your tactical mobility severely restricted. Heck, if you have roads collapsing under the weight of your M1A1 Abrams tank, you have a problem.

That's very interesting. If Ukraine has Leo2 (and maybe M1 Abrams) will the Soviet era foldable bridges cope with the weight? I haven't seen any bridge specialised Leo 2's in Ukraine videos.

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I have seen very few uses of tank mounted bridges by either side vs much larger use of PMP floating bridge parts.

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Leguan is certified for up to MLC70, but I know of no stronger assault bridge. But that's only part of the problem. As mentioned, in Iraq one of our esteemed forum members had just the road embankment collapse under the weight of his Abrams; something you do not necessarily expect to experience. And we haven't even started discussing the issues of soft ground, Rasputitsa, or steep mountain inclines.

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3 hours ago, Ssnake said:

Leguan is certified for up to MLC70, but I know of no stronger assault bridge.

M1110 is a new version of M1074 JAB, it have MLC115 with capability to go to MLC120 in case of emergency.

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20 hours ago, TrustMe said:

will the Soviet era foldable bridges cope with the weight?

That will be difficult. The original pontoons allow 60 tons. Ferries can be put together with load capacities of 40/60/80/110/150 tons. No idea if there are any modifications.

source ->

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20 minutes ago, Stefan Kotsch said:

That will be difficult. The original pontoons allow 60 tons. Ferries can be put together with load capacities of 40/60/80/110/150 tons. No idea if there are any modifications.

source ->

Cool link, thanks.

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  • 4 weeks later...

An interesting chronological line / family tree for certain US research programs, testbeds and prototypes, 1980-2000:

aXozjDg.png

Of particular interest: an obscure entry called the Manned Weapon Station Study (1985-1988), which seemed to have a modified turret (visible change of geometry in the turret cheeks and sides) with a RWS situated uncharacteristically far towards the back, where the bustle rack's blow-off panels should be. And then there is the M1A3 Low Profile Turret (1999).

Source unknown, I'm afraid.

Edited by Renegade334
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  • 4 months later...

Take his with a HUGE grain of salt - the models here might not be representative of the current state of the M1E3's development, just a presentation placeholder.

PowerPoint Presentation (fortmooreausa.org)

fCCxU0V.png

Magnified:

QrpAXAA.png

The model on the left is the RCV-H. The one on the right...I think we've seen it before, no? Interesting to note that they're still going with a M256 and not a XM360, though.

From SH.

 

EDIT: yeah, it's already been posted in this thread, though it is interesting to note that that Tweet was deleted shortly after being made.

Edited by Renegade334
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3 hours ago, Renegade334 said:

The model on the left is the RCV-H. The one on the right...I think we've seen it before, no? Interesting to note that they're still going with a M256 and not a XM360, though.

Its not RCV-H, its a manned tank. And whichever gets picked eventually will use a variant of XM360.

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RCV-H is gone. Maybe not officially, but in practice. The only RCV program remaining is officially RCV-S, but it's been enlarged to incorporate some RCV-M technologies and roles.

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On 11/13/2023 at 7:04 PM, Renegade334 said:

An interesting chronological line / family tree for certain US research programs, testbeds and prototypes, 1980-2000:

aXozjDg.png

Of particular interest: an obscure entry called the Manned Weapon Station Study (1985-1988), which seemed to have a modified turret (visible change of geometry in the turret cheeks and sides) with a RWS situated uncharacteristically far towards the back, where the bustle rack's blow-off panels should be. And then there is the M1A3 Low Profile Turret (1999).

Source unknown, I'm afraid.

Looks like m1a3 lpt 

photo-2024-03-25-16-40-58.jpg

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On 11/13/2023 at 7:04 PM, Renegade334 said:

An interesting chronological line / family tree for certain US research programs, testbeds and prototypes, 1980-2000:

aXozjDg.png

Of particular interest: an obscure entry called the Manned Weapon Station Study (1985-1988), which seemed to have a modified turret (visible change of geometry in the turret cheeks and sides) with a RWS situated uncharacteristically far towards the back, where the bustle rack's blow-off panels should be. And then there is the M1A3 Low Profile Turret (1999).

Source unknown, I'm afraid.

Also 1080 -

 

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  • 2 months later...

https://breakingdefense.com/2024/06/inside-the-us-armys-race-to-apply-ukraine-lessons-to-future-abrams-bradley-replacement/

WASHINGTON — Loitering munitions and cheap “kamikaze” drones inside Ukraine have left a string of combat vehicles from both sides of the conflict smoldering on the battlefield.(...)

“You’re seeing with any vehicle that approaches the front lines [in] Ukraine is pretty much hit by a first-person view drone or something else now,” Stacie Pettyjohn, the director of the CNAS Defense Program, said in May during an event focused on counter-unmanned aerial systems.

(...)

While Norman did not provide the Army’s M1E3 Abrams aspirational specifications, when it comes to protection he said the armor on the current tank is too thin to protect soldiers inside from those first-person view drones and other aerial threats seen in Ukraine.

“That’s one of the principal things that we’re addressing with the M1E3 effort, its top-attack protection: Its protecting the crew protecting the system, both from top attack, and then maintaining the sufficient protection against direct fire from the sides and the front and the rear, and then the under vehicle blast,” (...)

 

 

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Posted (edited)

https://www.defensenews.com/land/2024/05/31/a-lighter-high-tech-abrams-tank-is-taking-shape/

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The Army last fall decided to scrap its upgrade plans for the Abrams tank and instead pursue a more significant modernization effort to increase the tank’s mobility and survivability on the battlefield. As part of the decision, the Army ended its M1A2 System Enhancement Package version 4 program.

The M1E3 “from a requirement standpoint is an engineering change proposal,” Norman said, but with “a different design approach to meeting existing requirements. It’s going to be a very differently configured Abrams than what we currently have.”

(...)

The Army plans to bring the weight of Abrams under 60 tons. The current variant is roughly 73 tons, according to Norman.

 

 

 

Edited by lucklucky
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