Choices of MBT for Malaysia

gf0012-aust

Grumpy Old Man
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Pendekar said:
M1 and LEO was considered a heavy MBT compare to T-72 series. which of this tanks can better operate in the soft ground of Malaysia? which will they prefer? an extra protection of the M1 or the high mobility of T-72s.
The other issue is that the T-72 (in all original and modified forms) is still unarmoured in the ammo storage areas, it lacks an effective air conditioning unit and is still highly vulnerable to the endemic design flaw of the floor based ammo bustle. That is a design weakness that has not been fixed.

Get hit in the mantle by a decent APDS and the T-72 will brew up faster than a microwaved coffee in a stainless steel cup. That design weakness has not been designed out - and it can't be due to internal structural limitations. Ditto for it's load out slots - all are unarmoured. If it lets go - then goodnight Irene as the inside of the MBT will look like new years eve.

I've seen a couple of T-72's after they were hit in the mantle and top skirts - and they looked like the inside of a mortuary.
 
A

Aussie Digger

Guest
The employment of tanks in a jungle environment (or any close country for that matter) is often misunderstood. AS gf pointed out things like ground pressure are far more important.

The Centurion WAS a heavy tank, Pendekar,, weighing in at about 53 tonnes, (about 5 tonnes heavier than the Leo 1, FYI) and it was employed widely throughout Vietnam. I have never thought much of tanks firing ATGM's. It's been tried by both Russian and Western designs and never really worked out. A main gun firing is so powerful that it generally upsets the delicate circuits etc required for ATGM's.

I don't really understand the need either. Modern main guns are able to fire accurately at up to 4k's (far further than you need in the "J"), which is further than most light or medium anti-armour weapons. These weapons are necessary on the battlefield, but I doubt the need on an MBT. They are a good idea for APC/IFV's, but an MBT has (or should) have all the firepower you'll ever need. Why complicate it further by installing systems that are going to reduce the capability of the other elements of your platform...
 

driftder

New Member
oskarm said:
driftder said:
Any way to find out what kind of upgrades are available for your export versions?
Sorry but sources only in Polish :(

- FCS: SEGEM (Malaysian) insted of Derawa (Polish) - but eksperst clame that both have similar efficiency
- Engine: 1000HP power-pack (Malaysian) insted 850HP with separate gear-box and engine (Polish)

http://www.obrona-cywilna.pl/artykul.html?id_artykul=579


Some aditional informations:

- cost of modernization of a T-72M1 to PT-91: about 1,6 mln $

http://www.obrona-cywilna.pl/artykul.html?id_artykul=658



-cost of breand new in 2002: about 4 mln $

http://www.obrona-cywilna.pl/artykul.html?id_artykul=568

As far as I know, Australia bought used M1A1 for 10 mln $ each. And now there is a quastion what is better in joungle: 2,5 x PT-91 or a M1A1. (I know that PT-91 has no chances in duel with Chello 2 or Leo 2A6 in the desert but in limited ranges, who knows?)


Some more information about new polish amunition to 125mm gun, made of sinter of wolfram (or wolframium sinter - I have no idea witch one is corect in English. If any :smokingc:: )

initial V: 1650m/s
weight of sabot: 3,65 kg
diameter of penetrator: 25mm
penetration at 2 km over 500mm

sorce: Nowa Technika Wojskowa (New Military Technique - one of polish military magazines)


gf0012-aust said:
A 105mm Leo would be able to penetrate 600mm.
At what range?
Once again , thanks oskarm for the info. Too bad the articles are in Polish but its still useful, especially about the new Sabot rounds. Hope you won't get in trouble over at your country for passing out this info.
 

driftder

New Member
gf0012-aust said:
600mm frontal is very "lean". even with ERA that will only survive with another round on top. A 105mm Leo would be able to penetrate 600mm. Most of the modern MBT's are rated at 850mm+ equiv RHA. Qualifying for a maingunner requires multiple shots on a moving 1 sqMetre target at speed. So an MBT in the frontal aspect where ERA placement is limited will not last against a qualified gunner (especially under 4km - which is the qualifying range, and which most modern "mike golfs" would be putting their crews through at least every 6 months.

600mm RHA equiv is well within the killing capability of Eryx. If you consider that MANPAT teams operate as squads, and IIRC thats how Singapore trains her MANPAT teams, then no MBT would not want to be entering an area without a decent combined arms element.
600mm is lean perhaps when wrapped around with 50-60 tons of Chobham or UD armour and armed with a nice 105-120mm can opener. But for a footman (like me), its like facing a rhino head on with a penknife. Still after reading all the specs and perfomance of the Twardy, its doable to knock it out with a Eryx or Spike. Thank God for Apaches and Hellfires :)

About the MANPAT teams, yes we do - same way as most NATO countries tank killer teams operate. Same doctrine and tactics with a emphasis on urban ops so any MBT that comes in range without the necessary supporting units gets grinded :)

Still its the old song for me - the best MBT killer is still MBT and we don't have those in stock....yet.
 

driftder

New Member
gf0012-aust said:
The nominal range is 2km when quoting penetration ranges. I was involved with an upgrade programme for the Australian Leo's in 1997 when we were looking at canadian Turrets and armour upgrades. The upgrade never eventuated, but we had access to the german penetration data for the armour upgrades and we also knew what the americans were achieving against T-72's that they were blowing up at aberdeen, and what the brits were blowing up at their own testing grounds.

the data as such is classified (still) but I can assure you that 600mm was not regarded as a "show stopper" at all.

re jungle warfare, australia was actually quite successful in using Centurions in Vietnam - some of those lessons are still taught in US cavalry school today. If you read the accounts of how australian armour was used in Vietnam, then you can understand why so many other people make mistakes when they refer to the ineffectiveness of MBT's in jungle warfare. The australian experience was quite the opposite - and it gets down to lateral thinking rather than scripted expectations of how armour should be used.
Oh I can vouch for that. Its irritating to find a tank where least expected, especially when playing with Diggers. Can't even complain about a home ground advantage when its not even in Oz. Still wondering how they manage to pull those Leopards over the ridge last time...

Incidentally, the Australian armour goes way back to WW2 when they wanted a tank that can fight well in the jungles against their Jap opponents. Then in Vietnam, they showed their version of amoured warfare. Here's an account of their battle at Binh Ba, Vietnam : http://www.anzacday.org.au/history/vietnam/binh_ba.html

Quite a good read.
 

driftder

New Member
Pendekar said:
Still, centurions is lighter than the LEO or Abrams. The questions is which tanks can better operate in jungle environment or in more specfic term, a topical environment. we know tank can be use in the tropical environment. the jap have proved that during WW2 and so is all sides in vietnam war. M1 and LEO was considered a heavy MBT compare to T-72 series. which of this tanks can better operate in the soft ground of Malaysia? which will they prefer? an extra protection of the M1 or the high mobility of T-72s.
Hmm - a Centurion is considered light? At 51.8 tons? Interesting.... BTW, that weight was before it had the gun, armour and engine upgrades. As for the part about operating in soft ground, have anyone check out the ground pressure of a T-72 series as compared with say a Scorpion recon tank?
 

oskarm

New Member
driftder said:
Once again , thanks oskarm for the info. Too bad the articles are in Polish but its still useful, especially about the new Sabot rounds. Hope you won't get in trouble over at your country for passing out this info.
Easy ... I'm living in free, democratic country (like. USA, Germany or UK) not in White Russia. All thous information appeared in commonly available sources.

But I can have trouble for this: penetration at 2 km over 500mm means 560mm (but it's only rumor).
 
A

Aussie Digger

Guest
That's not a bad "quick" version of the battle of Binh Ba. Anyone doubting that heavy tanks are useful in a jungle scenario shold read this. "The contact at Binh Ba was characterised by vicious hand to hand fighting of an intensity rarely equalled during our period in Vietnam. The close support of the tanks was vital in allowing infantry to enter and clear houses. Engagements were at close quarters requiring high volume, short-range fire". Anyone thinking a light weight tank is going to survive "high volume, short-range fire" is kidding themselves. The Centurions were useful in Vietnam because they WERE able to stand up to repeated RPG strikes. The "medium" weight M-48 US tanks were far less useful because they couldn't withstand RPG hits. The Centurions were so useful that the Americans often requested "their" assistance (rather a novelty for Australian's. Normally we're asking for/stealing THEIR equipment...) rather than their own armour...
 

driftder

New Member
oskarm said:
Easy ... I'm living in free, democratic country (like. USA, Germany or UK) not in White Russia. All thous information appeared in commonly available sources.

But I can have trouble for this: penetration at 2 km over 500mm means 560mm (but it's only rumor).
Yes we know, Poland is now a vital member of Europe and NATO. Rumour or not, that 125mm of the Twardy is going to be trouble, even for the Chinese copies of the T-72 (T69 or something right?). Thank goodness we know how thick their base armour is. Now if there is some info on the ERA - the Russian call it Kontrak? Wonder what that means.
 

Pathfinder-X

Tribal Warlord
Verified Defense Pro
driftder said:
Yes we know, Poland is now a vital member of Europe and NATO. Rumour or not, that 125mm of the Twardy is going to be trouble, even for the Chinese copies of the T-72 (T69 or something right?). Thank goodness we know how thick their base armour is. Now if there is some info on the ERA - the Russian call it Kontrak? Wonder what that means.
China did obtain a few T-72 from middle east in the 1970's, but she never produce copies of it. Although there is a connection between T-72 and Type-90 which the Pakistan MBT2000 was based on.

About ERA, it provides excellent protection against HEAT warhead found on ATGMs and LAW, but virtually does nothing to protect the tank from APFSDS rounds. Modern ATGM and LAW have a extended probe for piercing ERA which renders ERA somewhat ineffective in mordern warfare. One of the reasons why Western MBT use the more expensive and heaiver add-on armor modules.
 

gf0012-aust

Grumpy Old Man
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
driftder said:
Thank goodness we know how thick their base armour is. Now if there is some info on the ERA - the Russian call it Kontrak? Wonder what that means.
option 1) One of the reasons why ERA is not popular with some militaries is that the best anti-tank weapon is another tank. A qualified gunner on a western MBT has to hit that moving 1sq metre target with multiple shots while they are moving as well. so you could well have a gunner who is trained to slot a target in a meeting engagement speed of anything between 20-80kph. Thats multiple shots spaced at reload intervals of maybe 10 secs apart. The first round will kill the ERA, the second will hit primary defensive armour - and depending on the range - that will determine if the tank is dead within 2 rounds - or 3 rounds.

In addition - you only need a mobility kill to take it out of the fluidity game - if it's armed and static - then it just became easier to kill anyway.

option 2) If you aren't using another tank as a tank killer - then (if it's like singapore), then you are using co-ordinated teams. say 4 teams (on average). 1 for mobility kill, 1 for ERA, and 2 for a follow up. Thats why any tank slotted by a MANPAT team has not been used with proper doctrine - which is why training and discipline beats enthusiasm everytime.

option 3. a black hats worst nightmare is arty or MLRS used for grid work. No amount of armour and ERA will protect a tank caught in "grid work"

option 4. the final nightmare - CAS

thats the difference between professional armies and pretend armies - MBT's are used as part of a combined response - use them like a tracked version of the "charge of the light brigade" at Crimea - and you'll lose them.
 
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adsH

New Member
Pathfinder-X said:
Modern ATGM and LAW have a extended probe for piercing ERA which renders ERA somewhat ineffective in mordern warfare. One of the reasons why Western MBT use the more expensive and heaiver add-on armor modules.
the mAin problem as you stated is the elongated Probes which can Hit and pearce the armour of the Tank. I don't think any armour can be protected from a probe ATGM seen couple of pics of the Probe sticking out of the ATGM. its all about the probability, Since ERA is tiled on to the (generally) flat surfaces of a tank it does not provide optimal protection. There are areas of the tank the ERA does not cover; many times these areas include the hull sides and rear, as well as the rear of the turret. These spaces are now the tank’s Achilles Heel; the enemy can disable a tank with a hit in these areas."Path" How good is Composite armour agaisnt such wepons. Composite can be bent.


Tteh Ukrainians are still working with The PAKAMRY, (i think) so they may end up producing something better then Just the Basic MBT2000. MBT 2000 and its specs are very similar to the T-80UK the newer version of the T-80UD(which includes Battle Field C&C ), the Pakistani have spent alot Developing MBT2000, by mainly funding the Ukrainian's at HIT. MBT 2000 uses bits of Modular Composite Armour.

http://www.army-technology.com/projects/t80/
 

Pathfinder-X

Tribal Warlord
Verified Defense Pro
adsH said:
the mAin problem as you stated is the elongated Probes which can Hit and pearce the armour of the Tank. I don't think any armour can be protected from a probe ATGM seen couple of pics of the Probe sticking out of the ATGM. its all about the probability, Since ERA is tiled on to the (generally) flat surfaces of a tank it does not provide optimal protection. There are areas of the tank the ERA does not cover; many times these areas include the hull sides and rear, as well as the rear of the turret. These spaces are now the tank’s Achilles Heel; the enemy can disable a tank with a hit in these areas."Path" How good is Composite armour agaisnt such wepons. Composite can be bent.
While it is true that the side and rear armour are MBT's major weakness, no half decent armour commanders would expose their flanks or back to enemy. In exercise, the part most likely to be hit is the frontal armour. That is why add-on armour modules and ERA are placed in the front.

Composite armour are alot stronger than steel and harder to bent, however it can be installed at a sloped angle to increase protection from APFSDS rounds. ERA is supposed to be more effective than composite modules when dealing with HEAT warheads and is more cheaper. However after the ERA blows, the tank will be left exposed to enemy fire.
 

Pendekar

New Member
sending tanks without proper support is a suicide, ERA or no ERA, composite or no composite. there's a lot of ways to kill a tank.
 

Pathfinder-X

Tribal Warlord
Verified Defense Pro
Pendekar said:
sending tanks without proper support is a suicide, ERA or no ERA, composite or no composite. there's a lot of ways to kill a tank.
That is absolutely true! Russians learned that the hard way in 1994 when they sent their T-80s into Grozney without proper infantry support. Chechen fighters form into teams of two, one carrys ammuniton for RPG and the other carrys the launcher. These teams were nightmares for Russians as they were wandering through unfamiliar surroundings in panick. Hundreds of Russian tanks were destroyed and thousands of troops were killed or injured in the city.

Coming back to the topic, I do not think Malaysia needs a strong armour force since she's mostly covered in thick jungles and she's not in any imminent threat of being invaded by enemy that has heavy armour.
 

Raven_Wing278

New Member
[/QUOTE]Coming back to the topic, I do not think Malaysia needs a strong armour force since she's mostly covered in thick jungles and she's not in any imminent threat of being invaded by enemy that has heavy armour.[/QUOTE]

that maybe but then again..its always good to have a strong armoured force because theres no telling when you'll need it and its always better to have them n not need it than finding yourself needing it but not having it
 
A

Aussie Digger

Guest
Very true Raven. It is relatively easy (and cheap) for a defence force to maintain a particular capability. Even if it's only maintained at low level, such as squadron or company strength. It is difficult (and usually expensive) for a force to reinstate a capability once it's lost. AS Canada might find out when it replaces it's MBT's with LAV-105's...
 
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Pathfinder-X

Tribal Warlord
Verified Defense Pro
Actually the Leopard C1 aren't going anywhere in a decade. They will continue serving under Canadian forces in the near future. Meanwhile, guys at DoD are coming under heavy fire from the army for being cheap. I know the army's got plans to introduce a new tank and they are definitely not going to be happy if DoD settles for LAV-105s.

For Malayisan army, the issue facing them is who are they going to be attacked by? Indonesia? Singapore? Seems like Malaysia is pretty safe at the moment from security threats. I don't see the need for Malaysia to develop a large armour force. Some cheap T-90s from Russia ought to do the job.
 
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