Go Back   Defense Technology & Military Forum > Global Defense & Military > Army & Security Forces
Forgot Password? Join Us! Its's free!

Defense News
Land, Air & Naval Forces






Military Photos
Latest Military Pictures

Miramar_14_M1A1_0419a.JPG

Miramar_14_MV-22_1759a.JPG

Nellis_14_2500-1.JPG

Nellis_14_2495-1.JPG
Defense Reports
Aerospace & Defence







Recent Photos - DefenceTalk Military Gallery





M1A3 Abrams Upgrade?

This is a discussion on M1A3 Abrams Upgrade? within the Army & Security Forces forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Hi, I've heard rumors that based on operational experiences in Operation Iraqi Freedom and enduring Freedom on the continued utility ...


Closed Thread
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old January 20th, 2008   #1
Defense Professional / Analyst
Corporal
sgtgunn's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 187
Threads:
Question M1A3 Abrams Upgrade?

Hi,

I've heard rumors that based on operational experiences in Operation Iraqi Freedom and enduring Freedom on the continued utility of heavier armored vehicles (well, duh.) and the likely delays on the FCS development, the US Army has decided to begin work on another round of upgrades on the M1 Abrams and M2 Bradley platforms. i.e M1A3 and M2/3A4. Has anyone else heard anything specfic on what's being considered?

Here's what I'd like to see....

M1A3:

New hybrid diesel-electric powerplant (love that gas turbine accelaration, but hate the gas guzzling. The ability to dry out a wet sleeping bag in 30 seconds was nice though.....)

Active protection system - hard or soft kill (I'd prefer hard kill - but I just like breaking things).

New low profile turret - possibly unmanned with crew in hull. Pros: Lowers vehicle's silhouette and weight, improves crew survivability. Cons: Loss of 4th crewman for autoloader makes maintenence & crew rest cycles more difficult. It might be possible to go with a remote turret w/autoloader, and still keep a 4th crewman in the hull... sort of like the old assistant driver/mechanic position in 5 man tanks.. just a thought.

Remote Commander's Weapon Station - similar to the CROWs on the M1A2 TUSK - but with the kinks worked out. I'd consider a MK19 or Mk47 40mm AGL instead of M2 .50 Cal - 40mm (especially new airbursting rounds) is better for supression of infantry/RPG teams/AGTM teams.

.50 Cal Coax machine gun - a co-ax that can take better advantage of the main gun sights and put effective fires out at long ranges. With SLAP ammo, useful for dealing with light armor (anlong with commander's 40mm HEDP).

Improved C4 and sensor technolgy. Replace vision blocks with digital video for 360 crew awareness. Makes tank more survivable in built up enviornments. Consider adding milimeter wave radar for target aquisition and guidance for "smart" main gun rounds.

New Main Gun - 140mm or 120mm L/55, perhaps eventually an ET or EM gun. In addition to existing APFSDS-DU, HEAT-MP, canister and obsticle reducing rounds add a beyond LOS smart round and an airburtsing anti-personnel round (hi-tech version of old 105mm APERS).

Another nice goody would be to place the commander's independent thermal viewer or millimeter wave radar on an extendble mast - say 5m? - to allow the commander to scan for targets from a defilade or over vegitation.

Modular Amor capability like on the Israeli Merkava MBT for rapid repair and upgrades. I also like the Merkava IV's modular belly armor pack - good for dealing with large buried IEDs and AT mines.

M2/3A4:

Remote turret with upgraded gun - 35mm Bushmaster, 40mm CTWS, etc. Retain coax m240. Replace TOW-2 launcher with modular launcher on either side of turret for new ATGM (CKEM?) or 70mm HYDRA pods. Drop crew down to 2 men - driver and commander now both in the hull. Improves survivability, lowers weight and silhouette which has always been an issue with the Bradley.

Active protection system.

Modular Armor.

Enhanced Sensors and C4. Upgrade FCS with millimeter wave radar to allow gun engagements on attack helos using airbursting rounds. With light SAM (stinger or starsktreak) type missiles mounted instead of ATGM gives some SPAA capability without requiring a seperate dedicated platform.

For M3 cavalry version add extendable mast with millimeter wave radar/sensor pod, UAV control station, etc.

Just some ideas!

Adrian
sgtgunn is offline  
Old January 21st, 2008   #2
Defense Professional / Analyst
General
eckherl's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,268
Threads:
Yes - there is a M1A3 in the works, here is some of the things that we may see.

TUSK 2 armor package.
120/140 mm maingun.
Auto loader while retaining the loader.
Hard kill system, most likely Trophy.
Propulsion, maybe.
SEP standard upgrade.
eckherl is offline  
Old January 21st, 2008   #3
Defense Professional / Analyst
General
Waylander's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein
Posts: 4,681
Threads:
Do you really think that we are going to see a 4th crewmember when there is an autoloader installed?

IMHO they are going to save the money and settle with a 3 men crew even when retaining the 4th man would have a lot of benefits.
Waylander is offline  
Old January 21st, 2008   #4
Defense Professional / Analyst
General
eckherl's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,268
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waylander View Post
Do you really think that we are going to see a 4th crewmember when there is an autoloader installed?

IMHO they are going to save the money and settle with a 3 men crew even when retaining the 4th man would have a lot of benefits.
Thats the rumor, some folks do see the need for utilizing four crew members in a urbanized setting. You have to admit that it will be very interesting in deed if this is the route that they choose, that will be a actual first with this concept when it is fielded.
eckherl is offline  
Old January 21st, 2008   #5
Just Hatched
Private
noseeum's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 9
Threads:
The overriding problem with digital 360 degree vision is power loss = blindness. Add that electronics are more vulnerable to the effects of battle than vision blocks.

140mm gun is unlikely since NATO standard is 120mm. Ammunition development and production being an additional problem.

Modular armor packages are a great idea on the surface. The russians have that philosophy already with add-on armor.

APS such as Trophy is also a great idea. It has been tested and tends to work well overall, but there is some "associated risk" to accompanying infantry and civilians on the battlefield.

I like the millimeter band radar idea as well, but mission will dictate capability in this case.

Adding armor and an autoloader will increase weight, and that means a new powerplant and transmission to provide equal mobility. That means more money in R&D, more delays in fielding, and eventually questions on funding and fielding in general. If it can't be done as a simple upgrade, then it won't be done at all. The timing is critical, and money is in short supply for the US army. This will be a political kill.
noseeum is offline  
Old January 21st, 2008   #6
Defense Enthusiast
Sergeant
No Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Syd, AU
Posts: 281
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgtgunn View Post
Hi,

M1A3:

New Main Gun - 140mm or 120mm L/55, perhaps eventually an ET or EM gun. In addition to existing APFSDS-DU, HEAT-MP, canister and obsticle reducing rounds add a beyond LOS smart round and an airburtsing anti-personnel round (hi-tech version of old 105mm APERS).
120mm L/55 is adequate. Any bigger and you won't be able to carry enough ammo. I'd put some money into cannon launch missiles to compensate.

Quote:
M2/3A4:

Remote turret with upgraded gun - 35mm Bushmaster
The Bushmaster II (30/40) can used with specially designed 40mm rounds. I'd go with the 40mm.
winnyfield is offline  
Old January 21st, 2008   #7
Defense Professional / Analyst
Lieutenant General
kato's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 2,916
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by winnyfield View Post
I'd put some money into cannon launch missiles to compensate.
Which would simply due to the caliber be far less effective than any regular ammo you can stick in it...
kato is offline  
Old January 21st, 2008   #8
Defense Professional / Analyst
General
eckherl's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,268
Threads:
Breech mechanism can offer a barrel switch out from one caliber to another, would depend on the existing threat in that area of operations. Even though the 120 L/44 and L/55 can take out all existing tank threats this may not be the case for future tank designs at extended ranges. Remember the 2000 meter rule folks.
eckherl is offline  
Old May 20th, 2008   #9
Just Hatched
Private
No Avatar
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 10
Threads:
New upgrade. Wow. Might it be possible to add on a few Guided SAMs, like those small missile pads fitted on IFVs?
merkboy is offline  
Old May 20th, 2008   #10
Defense Enthusiast
Corporal
IrishHitman's Avatar
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 107
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by noseeum View Post
140mm gun is unlikely since NATO standard is 120mm. Ammunition development and production being an additional problem.
Unless Rheinmetal have something to say about it, you're right...
IrishHitman is offline  
Old May 20th, 2008   #11
Defense Professional / Analyst
General
eckherl's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,268
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by IrishHitman View Post
Unless Rheinmetal have something to say about it, you're right...
Can you elaborate a little more, what does a German maingun designer have anything to do with a U.S designed gun and decision.
________________
"Here, across death`s other river
The Tartar horsemen shake their spears"
eckherl is offline  
Old May 20th, 2008   #12
Defense Professional / Analyst
Lieutenant General
kato's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 2,916
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by eckherl View Post
what does a German maingun designer have anything to do with a U.S designed gun and decision.
Depends which gun we're talking about.

Since 1988, the USA (and France, Germany, UK) have a MoU on the design of a 140mm gun with the RGR Consortium (Royal Ordnance, Giat, Rheinmetall) - that gun is the NATO FTMA gun.

In the US, there's also the XM291 of course, a dual-caliber 120/140mm gun. Technically, the XM291 was developed (by ARDEC) before the USA entered the above memorandum. However, there was follow-up development on the XM291 in parallel to NATO FTMA.
kato is offline  
Old May 20th, 2008   #13
Defense Professional / Analyst
General
eckherl's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,268
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by kato View Post
Depends which gun we're talking about.

Since 1988, the USA (and France, Germany, UK) have a MoU on the design of a 140mm gun with the RGR Consortium (Royal Ordnance, Giat, Rheinmetall) - that gun is the NATO FTMA gun.

In the US, there's also the XM291 of course, a dual-caliber 120/140mm gun. Technically, the XM291 was developed (by ARDEC) before the USA entered the above memorandum. However, there was follow-up development on the XM291 in parallel to NATO FTMA.
Correct - I have discussed this before in prior topics and threads, we will most likely go with the XM291 which is currently being tested with guided munitions in both gun calibers. Also we should add that this same cooperation group RGR was involved heavily in ETC technologies and the feasibility on getting something fielded in a timely fashion. I should also add that XM291 is designed by Benet weapons lab.
________________
"Here, across death`s other river
The Tartar horsemen shake their spears"

Last edited by eckherl; May 20th, 2008 at 05:18 PM. Reason: additional info
eckherl is offline  
Old May 29th, 2010   #14
Defense Professional / Analyst
Corporal
sgtgunn's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 187
Threads:
Anyone heard anything new on the M1A3?
sgtgunn is offline  
Old May 30th, 2010   #15
Senior Member
Colonel
t68's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: NSW
Posts: 1,386
Threads:
More interested in the upgrade for the M2 Bradleys, any info on the upgrade?
Australia fields a number of Abrahams MBT with the upgraded M113as4 which should see service till about 2020.i would like to see Australia field a light and heavy Calvary battalions which would leave us with choice on fielding depending on the role at the time, we spent a lot of $ on the upgrade so i would like to see kept in service till there stuffed.
t68 is online now  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:45 AM.