US Army News and updates general discussion

Terran

Active Member
And a bustle rack will be directly exposed to a hit by ATGMs and other shells.
If you penetrate it from the side, that's fine. But if you penetrate the front of the turret and pierce the ammo compartment door as well, you're creating an opening between the ammo compartment and the rest of the vehicle, so some of the energy, heat, and toxic gases from the cook-off will be diverted to the vehicle's internals.
I think that’s a weak argument as the front of the turret is the thickest armor of the tank.
I mean if the enemy has the capacity to penetrate from the front the tank. Said tank is pretty much doomed no matter where they take the hit.
Hits from the side also don’t necessarily mean cook off. People have a bad habit of over simplifying the area in question. Top or rear attack absolutely, yet other tanks we know these are also killers. Older generation of Merkava have been destroyed when RPG or ATGM have hit the rear doors. Most tanks are at best immobile as a result. But the advantage of the bustle is as long as a set of circumstances are not going wrong, the bad day lotto. Chances are the hit to the bustle rack will be isolated to the bustle rack even in the event of a cook off Hell even T90 and T14 store additional ammo in the bustle rack.
AFV design 101 - the turret is always the most vulnerable part of an AFV.
Strive to put all your vitals below the turret ring unless necessary
Where possible and where safe. But just having a smaller turret doesn’t mean the tank is safer it just means in theory it’s a smaller head on target. Increasingly though we are seeing attacks from the sides, rear and overhead. Hit a unmanned turret from the side it’s the same size as a manned. The rear smaller target yet the bustle still has ammo in it. Hit it from the top it’s just as likely to cook off.
Diameter or rather caliber in guns often means length of cartridge. 120mm and 140mm are actually the same diameter of shell but the casing is significantly longer and heavier to account for more propellant higher pressure and a longer heavier sub caliber rod. Same for 105mm vs 120mm. The problem for APS vs KE in this case is trying to propel the HE countermeasure to intercept at such a distance from the AFV host so as to ensure enough deflection that it’s no longer effective. To close it doesn’t tip enough farther out the less efficient the countermeasures.

By complexity I am referring to the building of the countermeasures themselves. Trophies countermeasures detonated directionally against RPGs a bit like a Claymore mine. More sophisticated system like Ironfist have an airburst element.

Bradley on the whole has been maxing it’s self out for sometime. Maxed out armor reduced ground clearance and power to weight. Maxed out electrical limiting growth. This is why OMFV is in the lead.
 

Terran

Active Member
I am adding is that configuration OMT v2 reminds me of the M60A2. I think it’s a low profile turret. Looking at the images you have two man in the hull then what looks like a third position (indicated by the golden view ports) presumably for the commander in the turret but at a low level. Like the positions of the M60A2’s low profile turret. The small magazine of the variant likely being centered and compacted as the conveyor and bustle is flanked by armored modules.
 

Big_Zucchini

Active Member
I am adding is that configuration OMT v2 reminds me of the M60A2. I think it’s a low profile turret. Looking at the images you have two man in the hull then what looks like a third position (indicated by the golden view ports) presumably for the commander in the turret but at a low level. Like the positions of the M60A2’s low profile turret. The small magazine of the variant likely being centered and compacted as the conveyor and bustle is flanked by armored modules.
The closest comparison would be the Jordanian Falcon turret.
Indeed, the turret has a bustle loader, but as you can see the "turret armor" criteria switches from medium caliber protection to high caliber protection, and adds 5 tons.
As a rule of thumb, KE-oriented armor is, IIRC, ~2.5 tons/m^2, which seems to roughly correspond to an increased protection level.

I will respond to your longer post later.
 

Big_Zucchini

Active Member
I think that’s a weak argument as the front of the turret is the thickest armor of the tank.
When you design an AFV, or any type of system, really, that is made for the long term, you stop thinking about the numbers and start thinking about how to get a conceptual advantage.
So less "we have a lot of armor there so don't worry" and more "how do we protect it in case of inevitable penetration?".
As you can see, in the V1, the protection level for the turret is against medium caliber shells, because it's similar to the T-14 - its entire armor is in the gun mantlet, which is, for practical reasons, barely armored and not homogenous at all.

I mean if the enemy has the capacity to penetrate from the front the tank. Said tank is pretty much doomed no matter where they take the hit.
No, it isn't. Ever heard of layered protection? Or the onion of defense? Same same different name.
If your armor's pierced, you start thinking about how to protect your crew and systems to maintain functionality.
Typically, you'd fire 2 rounds into a tank to ensure kill. If your tank remains functional between the two shots, there's a lot you can do at that time.
If you can survive those 2 shots, you're forcing the enemy to spend even more ammo, and you have an even larger window of opportunity.
I personally have heard of an incident of a tank taking 21 ATGMs, not RPGs with the wrong warhead, but actual ATGMs, hitting a tank. Disabled? Yes. But the crew was unharmed, and up to a certain point it kept returning fire.

That's one reason why most chose to have only a small ready rack in the turret and keep most of the ammo below the turret.
The US chose to trade some survivability for a faster rate of fire and better orientation for the loader.

Hits from the side also don’t necessarily mean cook off. People have a bad habit of over simplifying the area in question. Top or rear attack absolutely, yet other tanks we know these are also killers. Older generation of Merkava have been destroyed when RPG or ATGM have hit the rear doors. Most tanks are at best immobile as a result.
A penetration into the ammo compartment doesn't necessarily mean cook-off no matter the angle. And a Merkava was never destroyed by a hit to the rear. It's possible, sure, but it takes a bit of luck with your aim. There are just no recorded incidents.
To the sides? Yes.
But no way are you going to argue most are disabled. If someone gets a rear shot on you, you're as good as dead no matter what. Of course, a rear shot is much harder to score than a side shot, which is almost surely fatal no matter how you design your tank.

But the advantage of the bustle is as long as a set of circumstances are not going wrong, the bad day lotto. Chances are the hit to the bustle rack will be isolated to the bustle rack even in the event of a cook off Hell even T90 and T14 store additional ammo in the bustle rack.
That's a bad thinking. You don't just rely on the stars aligning so your system will work.
A carousel is a better system if you have the space. If you're suffering from space constraints, a bustle rack set is preferred, but that's a compromise.
The only issue with Soviet carousels and what made them deadly, was the fact they didn't separate the crew from the carousel, so any hit to the ammo was fatal.
If you isolate them, a hit to the ammo compartment would disable the tank, but not outright destroy it, and the crew will survive as well. That's regardless whether it's in the bustle or in a hull carousel. But the chances of ammo hit and cookoff are greater if it's in the bustle, because then it's much more susceptible to a hit.

T90 and T14 store additional ammo in the bustle rack.
In a completely separate compartment.

But just having a smaller turret doesn’t mean the tank is safer it just means in theory it’s a smaller head on target
Safer? Only indirectly.
More survivable as a system? Definitely, because your chances of getting detected are smaller, chances of being hit are smaller, and the total damage is smaller (less burden on the factory). Also, turrets without a bustle rack have a higher share of parts that can be replaced in the field (like a gun, sights, computers etc).

Hit a unmanned turret from the side it’s the same size as a manned.
Almost the same size. Almost. You're still cutting half a meter to a meter in internal length.
And a penetration to the side would definitely not ensure a total kill in this case. It might put the tank out of action for a few solid hours, even days maybe. But not weeks or months like losing a crew.

The problem for APS vs KE in this case is trying to propel the HE countermeasure to intercept at such a distance from the AFV host so as to ensure enough deflection that it’s no longer effective. To close it doesn’t tip enough farther out the less efficient the countermeasures.
The calculations are simple. In terms of calculation power, that 1,700m/s APFSDS is flying at a snail's pace.
The only real challenge for such systems is avoiding false alarms.

By complexity I am referring to the building of the countermeasures themselves. Trophies countermeasures detonated directionally against RPGs a bit like a Claymore mine.
You'll find that the Trophy's interceptors are much more complex than you realize. Every interceptor is made of tungsten, and it and its explosive are built and treated in a way that gives the fragments a very specific shape and path.
Tungsten is one of the most difficult metals to process.

Iron Fist uses a grenade launcher with only one exotic task of removing parasitic fragments upon detonation to the bare minimum, which can be done with a disintegrating body.

Overall, Trophy's interceptors individually require more work, more expensive tools, and a much higher degree of accuracy which in itself can make production exponentially more expensive.
 

Terran

Active Member
When you design an AFV, or any type of system, really, that is made for the long term, you stop thinking about the numbers and start thinking about how to get a conceptual advantage.
So less "we have a lot of armor there so don't worry" and more "how do we protect it in case of inevitable penetration?".
As you can see, in the V1, the protection level for the turret is against medium caliber shells, because it's similar to the T-14 - its entire armor is in the gun mantlet, which is, for practical reasons, barely armored and not homogenous at all.
Okay let’s clarify because we seem to be jumping back and forth between manned turret and unmanned turret types.
if you want to make the argument of penetration into an unmanned turret with a bustle auto loader okay you loose the turret. In the unmanned turret with carousel you loose the turret in the event of a downward penetration. Either way you loose the ability to use the vehicle without major repairs.

I was commenting based on a manned turret in which case a penetration to the front is probably going to kill at least one crewman.

V1 does that because it’s based of the 2 man crew concept. Based off the number of view ports and weight. Because of the crew limits you need to be more dependent on automation. Even the gun choice laid out a 120mm is probably based off the XM360 concept of a titanium composite originally meant for the MCS.

Again a manned turret would by definition have a base level of armor needed more than in theory an unmanned. Additional armor added as needed in both cases. So if we look at V3 with a 4 man crew, it would by default have more base armor than V2 or V1. Just because you have two men sitting in the turret, or as V3 lists Kinetic energy.

Next I still argue for a bustle and completely disagree as to your assessment of Abrams. The M60 had its ammo stowed in the fighting compartment. If the intent was for speed Abrams would have continued such. The designers intentionally isolated the ammunition into the bustle with a of firewall guillotine doors and blow out panels so as to vent the pyrotechnics of a cook off away from the crew. The doors are close very fast and are very heavy so much so that it seems highly unlikely that you are going to get a cook off event inside the crew compartment without some other failure involved. IE something jamming the door open which can happen in any of the other tanks that have bustle or hull compartments. I also point out that Like Abrams other tanks that have hull magazines have failed vs the threats of large IED, AT mines and the like.
I stand corrected on Merkava yet they have taken losses in older generations vs AT mines or rather mine. Firewalls are the name of the game. Barriers between the crew compartment and ammunition so that in the event of a fire that cooks off the ammo the crew has the potential to survive or evacuate.

The bustle rack conveyer system takes the Abrams system farther fire-walling the magazine with a wall only housing a door wide enough to accommodate a single round at a time. Very similar to the ready drum on Merkava III and IV. Where in when not being used the drum is sealed up by an armored door in a fire wall with a blowout panel on the roof of the turret.
In the case of an unmanned or semi unmanned IE crew compartment located in turret ring.
I think it would be even safer. As in the event of a cook off the bustle would be mounted up and away from the fighting compartment. By contrast in Armata the Carousel is divided from the crew capsule by the fire wall. But centralized between the crew and engine compartment.
In the event of a cook off in either case you loose the autoloader but in a bustle loader at worst part of the turret. In a carousel all of the turret with increased risk of the whole of the tank being a write. Sure to get it that hit in Armata it would just as likely knock V2 or V1 out of action even V3 would have a hard time. Yet if you are hit to the Bustle loader it’s a replaceable part a few pins a recovery vehicle winch and a replacement back to action.The carousel is at the center of the tank it goes you have lost the turret probably whatever components are used to drive the tank as well.
So in summary Pick your poison. It’s all about trade offs. Urban fighting,AT mines, NLOS rounds on a ballistic trajectory, and Top attack missiles mean that hull down isn’t necessarily as Protective as it once was.

As to the internal length of the unmanned turret it actually would be just as long. The Carousel tends to feed a bustle rammer or drum that then feeds the chamber. In fact T14’s turret isn’t much smaller than T90s. Even if you stripped it. the Hull though is significantly longer which makes it look smaller.
That said the the size of turrets on modern MBT manned or otherwise are your Onion . Armor modules, Reactive armor models, APS hard and soft kill, radars for fire control, fire suppression system, equipment racks, air conditioning, APU, additional weapons, Optics ecta.
Sure strip it down you have a supermodel sized target from the front but it’s never ever going to fight that trim. Falcon turret and TTB got away with being naked because they were demonstrators.
 

Big_Zucchini

Active Member

New contenders emerge in US Army's shoot-off in Yuma in 2021.
There are currently 5 contenders, officially known by name but not much said about their submissions:
Caesar, Archer, ATMOS, Brutus, Nora.

  • Nexter Caesar
    1. Available in 6x6 and 8x8.
    2. In fairly wide use in NATO and with other allies and most commercially successful of the bunch.
    3. Only offered with assisted or manual loading for now.
  • BAE Archer
    1. Available in 8x8 only, for the US.
    2. No active production and limited use.
    3. Most optimized shoot and scoot capability.
    4. Available with an autoloader.
  • Elbit ATMOS / Iron Saber
    1. Available in 6x6 and 8x8 on the widest range of platforms.
    2. Very limited commercial success.
    3. Widest range of options among participants.
    4. Available in both assisted loading and autoloading.
    5. Will be produced in the US regardless.
  • AM General Brutus
    1. Offered with a revolutionary FOOB recoil reduction technology.
    2. Still not shown with L52 gun or on a more complete platform.
  • Yugoimport Nora
    1. Meh.

I think overall the US should downselect the BAE and Elbit products. They are the only ones on the list that are also participating in other Army AFV programs like the NGCV and have production facilities in the US.

EDIT: Elbit apparently plans to submit its autoloader system for the ERCA program.
 

Big_Zucchini

Active Member
if you want to make the argument of penetration into an unmanned turret with a bustle auto loader okay you loose the turret. In the unmanned turret with carousel you loose the turret in the event of a downward penetration. Either way you loose the ability to use the vehicle without major repairs.
And you agree that even without getting into exact combat statistics, on the concept level a scenario involving frontal or side or top attack is more likely than one involving only top attack?

I was commenting based on a manned turret in which case a penetration to the front is probably going to kill at least one crewman.
Hence my preference for an unmanned turret. The turret is the most visually vulnerable part of the tank without taking armor into account, and so if we can avoid storing the most vital components of the tank there (crew and main gun ammo), we can increase the tank's survivability.

Again a manned turret would by definition have a base level of armor needed more than in theory an unmanned. Additional armor added as needed in both cases. So if we look at V3 with a 4 man crew, it would by default have more base armor than V2 or V1. Just because you have two men sitting in the turret, or as V3 lists Kinetic energy.
True but I do not understand what point you are trying to convey and how it relates to our debate.

The M60 had its ammo stowed in the fighting compartment. If the intent was for speed Abrams would have continued such. The designers intentionally isolated the ammunition into the bustle with a of firewall guillotine doors and blow out panels so as to vent the pyrotechnics of a cook off away from the crew.
Spreading ammo in the fighting compartment is not necessarily going to speed up average loading times. It's disorienting.
Yes, the guillotines are effective at what they do, but they're there to shield the crew in an odd case, not all the time. This paid off and worked frequently because the Abrams' combat record was mostly against combatants that could fire at all its angles, not only the front.

If the Abrams' armor is penetrated in a way that the projectile goes through the fighting compartment in any way before penetrating the ammo compartment as well, the crew's done for, because the isolation is broken.
An APFSDS or shaped charge that pierces the frontal armor would have residual energy and penetration, which in most cases should be enough to go through the guillotines as well. Or so we should at least assume in the spirit of worst case scenarios.
Of course, the hole between both compartments would be small, but between detonation of ammo and breaching of the roof blast panels, it would be the path of least resistance. And even after the blast panels are torn off, residual energy would go through the hole and would proceed to be lethal for the crewmen, if they aren't dead yet. We're talking not only immense heat and pressure, but also toxic gases that would quickly fill up the now compressed air in the tank.
You know, there are documented cases of crewmen dying even from fire suppression systems going off.

I also point out that Like Abrams other tanks that have hull magazines have failed vs the threats of large IED, AT mines and the like.
And has the Abrams fared better even when its hull ammo rack was kept empty? Not really.
It's true that a carousel rack would make the tank more vulnerable to IEDs and about twice as vulnerable versus side hitting ATGMs, but statistically that's not enough to make bustle loaders more survivable.
Think if a T-14 for example had a bustle loader, its turret would be at least 3 times as wide as it is today, and since the turret is most exposed to fire from any direction, it will make it substantially less survivable if it stored ammo in the turret.


In conventional warfare, against peer enemies, the graphic above shows a tank will be hit in the turret from the front about 45.5% of the time, making it by far the most threatened area of the tank.
In warfare against technologically inferior opponents, i.e low intensity or hybrid, the distribution is more balanced in all directions, but in that type of warfare it's permissible to install armor kits in vulnerable areas, like mine kits or side armor because mobility becomes a lower priority.

By contrast in Armata the Carousel is divided from the crew capsule by the fire wall. But centralized between the crew and engine compartment.
In the event of a cook off in either case you loose the autoloader but in a bustle loader at worst part of the turret. In a carousel all of the turret with increased risk of the whole of the tank being a write.
First, in a bustle loader you can lose a part of the turret at times because you have a separation of the ammo from the autoloader, but I've already shown that in high intensity warfare it's much rarer to lose only the ammo without destruction of the nearby compartment than in COIN warfare, and also you can create a similar firewall in a carousel loader.
What's preventing you from separating the autoloader segment of a carousel loader that's sitting in the bustle, from the carousel segment? Nothing. The T-14 doesn't do that because they want to keep their autoloaders as simple as possible and as close to their predecessors as possible, which could not create that separation because crewmen were in the way. But also perhaps they consider the gun and 2nd segment of the autoloader expendable and don't want to waste time on post-damage analysis.

That said the the size of turrets on modern MBT manned or otherwise are your Onion . Armor modules, Reactive armor models, APS hard and soft kill, radars for fire control, fire suppression system, equipment racks, air conditioning, APU, additional weapons, Optics ecta.
Sure strip it down you have a supermodel sized target from the front but it’s never ever going to fight that trim. Falcon turret and TTB got away with being naked because they were demonstrators.
Eh, no. Take an M1 TTB turret and compare it with an M1A2 turret when they're both completely stripped, and you'll see the TTB's turret is several times narrower. That's what matters, when they're stripped, because any add-on is going to be inert - if it's damaged it can be replaced. The stripped shell is not inert thougg - penetrate it and the tank's disabled.
 

Terran

Active Member
I think we have argued back and forth on this in generalities for a while now filled a couple pages.
In summary my position is.
1) Although the Bustle is more exposed it better isolated the ammo from the crew and rest of the tank in a MBT compared to a Carousel loader system. The trade off is of course a larger turret. Look at the three concepts that started this debate all are clearly wide turrets manned or unmanned.
2) Out side of a totally unmanned tank. I do not believe that the US Army will accept a Carousel loader. Even then I suspect they will attempt to standardize on a bustle rack system.
The track of evolution for NATO tanks is fairly clear. Even Abrams legacy is when you look at what the ROK did when they went from the K1 “baby Abrams” to the K2 Black Leopard.
 
Last edited:

Terran

Active Member
I was busy earlier so I more or less posted a short one to try and rest the prime understanding here. We were talking in General about the tank concepts for OMT. Now I want to try and counter point.
And you agree that even without getting into exact combat statistics, on the concept level a scenario involving frontal or side or top attack is more likely than one involving only top attack?
we seem to have gone full blown assault on a single target here.
On frontal attack I will cover later.
Side and top are more likely and more likely to actually be effective. MBT as a whole especially very modern ones have exceptionally high armor ratings in the frontal arc.
Side, top rear are thinner.preferred targets, Where the attack comes in would depend on the attacker. ATGM would likely favor the sides and in urban top down is also an option. Most attackers even other MBT would prefer not to face each other like a duel. It’s pretty futile unless you have the bigger main gun and the other tank happened to be in that overmatched position of far enough away to not for him to pack enough energy but close enough for you to.
AFV live by, do not be seen, if seen do not be targeted, if targeted not shot at, if shot at not hit, if hit not penetrated if penetrated not killed.

Hence my preference for an unmanned turret. The turret is the most visually vulnerable part of the tank without taking armor into account, and so if we can avoid storing the most vital components of the tank there (crew and main gun ammo), we can increase the tank's survivability.
again not counting armor but armor comes into the survival factor. Your preference though isn’t just an unmanned turret it’s for a carousel loaded one, which is what I disagree with. I would favor a very low profile or unmanned turret with a bustle loader.
True but I do not understand what point you are trying to convey and how it relates to our debate.
because you are trying to remove armor or focus purely on one factor of the equation. In regards to which tank concept.
turret is manned it would have armor.
B2F1D598-801C-4CE6-A649-1485640E3C37.jpeg
If unmanned less so.
750138DC-64B5-4BB8-92DF-23B9589CEBC3.png
If the loader is a carousel it is under the turret you argue this is smaller. From the frontal arc yes. Bot not from the side, nor from the top as the turret roof an turret ring are more open to attack. The objective you are making is that the tank turret being reduced is more survivable. To a point. However in modern combat that has trade offs as well. Farther the fire control systems in modern tanks are impressive in terms of accuracy. In the gulf Abrams tanks were getting single round hits at 2 miles vs very small tanks like T55.


Spreading ammo in the fighting compartment is not necessarily going to speed up average loading times. It's disorienting.
Yes, the guillotines are effective at what they do, but they're there to shield the crew in an odd case, not all the time. This paid off and worked frequently because the Abrams' combat record was mostly against combatants that could fire at all its angles, not only the front.
Yet is works. And a bustle loader does even better as it’s more sealed. The argument you also made was that this was done for convenience or speed. I was trying to point out the faults in this, although the first few shots are going to be quick to load, the main advantage of a automatic loader is it’s consistent. The ammo racks are not. We go back to the number of rounds for a second. In the case of a Abrams there is a sweet spot a cluster of spaces where in ammo is easy to grab. Once those are used up the loader is trying to pull rounds out of hard to reach spots, of course it almost never happens that they have to do this all at once. There is normally a lag between fights so the loader can reshuffle the racks, an automatic loader is basically where the racks reshuffle themselves. The carousel or conveyor. Even in the 90s they were looking at adding a conveyor system to Abrams to speed up loading. Heck MBT70 set the design for the western automatic loader.
*source Wiki
ECB83600-14CF-409E-804C-3A97BA43A0FC.png
If the Abrams' armor is penetrated in a way that the projectile goes through the fighting compartment in any way before penetrating the ammo compartment as well, the crew's done for, because the isolation is broken.
that’s a big if. Back to manned.
An APFSDS or shaped charge that pierces the frontal armor would have residual energy and penetration, which in most cases should be enough to go through the guillotines as well. Or so we should at least assume in the spirit of worst case scenarios.
Of course, the hole between both compartments would be small, but between detonation of ammo and breaching of the roof blast panels, it would be the path of least resistance. And even after the blast panels are torn off, residual energy would go through the hole and would proceed to be lethal for the crewmen, if they aren't dead yet. We're talking not only immense heat and pressure, but also toxic gases that would quickly fill up the now compressed air in the tank.
You know, there are documented cases of crewmen dying even from fire suppression systems going off.


And has the Abrams fared better even when its hull ammo rack was kept empty? Not really.
It's true that a carousel rack would make the tank more vulnerable to IEDs and about twice as vulnerable versus side hitting ATGMs, but statistically that's not enough to make bustle loaders more survivable.
Think if a T-14 for example had a bustle loader, its turret would be at least 3 times as wide as it is today, and since the turret is most exposed to fire from any direction, it will make it substantially less survivable if it stored ammo in the turret.


In conventional warfare, against peer enemies, the graphic above shows a tank will be hit in the turret from the front about 45.5% of the time, making it by far the most threatened area of the tank.
In warfare against technologically inferior opponents, i.e low intensity or hybrid, the distribution is more balanced in all directions, but in that type of warfare it's permissible to install armor kits in vulnerable areas, like mine kits or side armor because mobility becomes a lower priority.
If you want worst case then same deal but in this case it’s the crew capsule of the T14. That’s what you are missing. It’s the most unlikely possible situation. That an Abrams which has consistently been upgraded in armor would be in a situation where in its map been attacked at virtually point blank range by a shot right to its face. That’s your situation. Because modern MBT shells often can’t penetrate each other at the front. Unless it’s close. I mean very close. Infantry ranges close. There are stories of Abrams taking T72 shots at 400yards and it just dents the armor. But okay that’s the worst case. So to is mine. A Abrams puts a shell through the crew compartment into the a carousel.


First, in a bustle loader you can lose a part of the turret at times because you have a separation of the ammo from the autoloader, but I've already shown that in high intensity warfare it's much rarer to lose only the ammo without destruction of the nearby compartment than in COIN warfare, and also you can create a similar firewall in a carousel loader.
What's preventing you from separating the autoloader segment of a carousel loader that's sitting in the bustle, from the carousel segment? Nothing. The T-14 doesn't do that because they want to keep their autoloaders as simple as possible and as close to their predecessors as possible, which could not create that separation because crewmen were in the way. But also perhaps they consider the gun and 2nd segment of the autoloader expendable and don't want to waste time on post-damage analysis.
you proved with a proof that is a rigged game. An Abrams that is basically sitting as a target. If we are both arguing based on an unmanned turret your argument favors a smaller one based only on the assumption of direct hits to the front. As far back as the 1970s NATO designers were focused on Mobilization as the decision, this was as it was felt that advents of Sabot and HEAT rounds made armor virtually obsolete. Modern composite and ceramic armors bought some room back yet weight is a major factor. The deciding factor that as been proven is first hit. At that time they even built a tank prototype the High Survivability Test Vehicle Lightweight that was built as a 20+ ton 73mm automatic cannon on tracks. With the goal of moving the tank as fast as possible and giving it every fire control advantage possible.
Eh, no. Take an M1 TTB turret and compare it with an M1A2 turret when they're both completely stripped, and you'll see the TTB's turret is several times narrower. That's what matters, when they're stripped, because any add-on is going to be inert - if it's damaged it can be replaced. The stripped shell is not inert thougg - penetrate it and the tank's disabled.
If we were talking about XM1202 a vehicle optimized for absolutely as light as small as possible. Variant one of the proposed concepts. I would agree that the carousel is the only option. 630A1C2E-91F6-4E25-AD3A-CFAA572DF615.jpeg
basically built off the abortive XM1202 turret. Which did use a vertical carousel.
https://flic.kr/p/4Xn6BN However that vehicle concept seem to be like FCS optimized for a 2 man as light as possible vehicle. The two more likely concepts have the turret structure more optimal for a bustle loader. In a semi unmanned or very low profile. The ammunition compartment may be expendable as a result. The event of a destination outside the vehicle is alway preferable to one inside.
 

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
Hence my preference for an unmanned turret. The turret is the most visually vulnerable part of the tank without taking armor into account, and so if we can avoid storing the most vital components of the tank there (crew and main gun ammo), we can increase the tank's survivability.
What's your opinion of a dual-autoloader setup? I'm not sure if you're familiar with the results of OKR Burlak but they basically designed a turret that kept the traditional carousel autoloader but added a second autoloader that fed from the bustle. Would that have the best of both worlds, by allowing at least one to stay function depending on the type of penetration? Or the worst of both worlds, with the risk of ammo cooking off doubled?
 

Big_Zucchini

Active Member
What's your opinion of a dual-autoloader setup? I'm not sure if you're familiar with the results of OKR Burlak but they basically designed a turret that kept the traditional carousel autoloader but added a second autoloader that fed from the bustle. Would that have the best of both worlds, by allowing at least one to stay function depending on the type of penetration? Or the worst of both worlds, with the risk of ammo cooking off doubled?
I think that would actually be the worst of both worlds, for an unmanned turret survivability-wise only. But for the Burlak it makes a lot of sense - you don't create additional vulnerable zones because the turret is already manned.

I don't know what Burlak's ammo rack setup looked like, but if it was, say, one rack for the primary piece and another for the secondary piece, then it's an improvement over the traditional carousel because it enables better utilization of the available space in the turret and basket. Part of why the subsequent upgrade programs for Soviet era T-tanks retained the old carousel design was because they intentionally cut the ambitious aspects of Burlak.

When we're talking unmanned turrets, however, I can hardly imagine a more optimal setup than what the T-14 currently has. At least within realistic and doable levels of complexity.
 

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
I think that would actually be the worst of both worlds, for an unmanned turret survivability-wise only. But for the Burlak it makes a lot of sense - you don't create additional vulnerable zones because the turret is already manned.

I don't know what Burlak's ammo rack setup looked like, but if it was, say, one rack for the primary piece and another for the secondary piece, then it's an improvement over the traditional carousel because it enables better utilization of the available space in the turret and basket. Part of why the subsequent upgrade programs for Soviet era T-tanks retained the old carousel design was because they intentionally cut the ambitious aspects of Burlak.
Not to derail, but they didn't cut the ambitious parts of Burlak. They cut all of OKR Burlak. OTM just died quietly, and was split-sold to UVZ and some MoD contractors. The T-90M turret is the result of a completely separate OKR Proriv by UKBTM.

On topic, do you think the added ammo capacity could offset the weakness of having multiple autoloaders? What about the redundancy aspect?

When we're talking unmanned turrets, however, I can hardly imagine a more optimal setup than what the T-14 currently has. At least within realistic and doable levels of complexity.
I take it you're talking about the autoloader specifically.

On the subject of unmanned turrets, what do you think is the optimal armor format for it? Traditional full turret armor, protecting everything to the maximum? Or protecting primarily the gun mount area with main-strength armor while having something that can handle ~30mm for the outer turret shell? Or having the entire unmanned turret with minimal protection? Note the gun mask is already a weak spot in the armor, and a potential unmanned turret could be extremely small even on an MBT (extremely small compared to a traditional MBT turret).
 

Terran

Active Member
I know @Big_Zucchini already posted about this but this has videos of each system giving a bit of a understanding of each.
the goal here seems to be to do what they failed to do back in 2000. Get a mobile howitzer for Stryker brigades. This is separate from the work on the XM1299 self propelled howitzer built off the M109.

back in 2000 or so a Stryker was experimented with a Denel 105mm howitzer. It obviously didn’t enter service. Most of the options offered are autoloader optional excluding the Brutus. Now I like the Brutus for the US Airborne forces it would offer advantages vs M777 but though it could keep up with Stryker BCTs it’s a manual gun. Not a M777 on a truck frame but not that far from it either.
 
Last edited:

Big_Zucchini

Active Member
On topic, do you think the added ammo capacity could offset the weakness of having multiple autoloaders? What about the redundancy aspect?
Well, as I said, I just don't know how the Burlak's autoloader is designed, so I don't know if there's really redundancy here.
My assumption is that the autoloader uses a single arm with 2 sets of motion, that can load the gun from the bustle, then refill it from a carousel.
If that's true, then yes the added ammo capacity is welcome.
The concepts shown for the American MBT are already surprisingly, painfully low on ammo.
The spread of APS and ability to further distribute sensors and fire will necessarily require tanks to use more ammo than they have before, on at least most types of targets.

On the subject of unmanned turrets, what do you think is the optimal armor format for it?
I believe a turret should be armored from the front against medium caliber guns, and from the sides against tandem warheads (not difficult to implement with ERA which has very high weight efficiency). So the turret can be a bit bulky compared to the T-14.
The weight savings should be reinvested in a reinforced crew capsule.
Certain sensors should be embedded in the armor in a way that protects them at least against high speed artillery fragments, which could be another way to utilize the already existing bulky side armor of the turret.
A bulky armor package on the turret sides could also add yet another layer of protection, in that its embedded sensors are farther apart from each other than they would be otherwise.
And of course the externally visible size doesn't matter because the actually critical part is tiny.

The V1 does it well. It shows a somewhat large turret (for an unmanned one).
 

Terran

Active Member
What's your opinion of a dual-autoloader setup? I'm not sure if you're familiar with the results of OKR Burlak but they basically designed a turret that kept the traditional carousel autoloader but added a second autoloader that fed from the bustle. Would that have the best of both worlds, by allowing at least one to stay function depending on the type of penetration? Or the worst of both worlds, with the risk of ammo cooking off doubled?
Burlak was to my understanding a compromise. “Object 640” (Black Eagle)
They used the Bustle loader for Very long rod unitary ammo types that couldn’t fit into the T90/T72 style loader.
The Russian/Chinese carousel is based on binary ammo the shell and cartridge similar to the Brito 120 rifled. This has the advantage of being compact but the disadvantage of being more complicated and more importantly limits the length of the shell.
Complicated as each shell is basically sitting in its own mechanical arm waiting to be moved. The conveyor system is just that a conveyor.
Limited in length as if the rod is longer than the arm segment then well you get the idea.
On Object 640 the Black Eagle they apparently were looking at western automatic loader systems with a western style unitary round. This allows a very long rod as the rod can basically be telescoped into the cartridge. They were also supposedly interested in using the bustle loader like a detachable magazine on a rifle. Apparently they didn’t like it.
Later came Burlak based off a T90. an attempt to get the best of both worlds.
A T90 automatic carousel was retained with a compacted bustle system. The Regular HEAT and ATGM rounds in the carousel the Sabot rounds in the bustle. Again didn’t like it they apparently felt that it was still to big. So Armata.
 

FormerDirtDart

Active Member
As promised.
Three rounds fired with not strictly "standard" Excalibur rounds. All shots used the same propellant charge. Each munition had slight design differences to address higher pressure/forces from increase propellant charge
First round encountered higher headwinds at altitude, impacted 100 meters short. Were aware of the higher wind conditions, anticipated it would impact short, but took the shot to acquire data.
Second shot suffered suffered a hardware failure, had inertial measurement unit modified for higher chamber pressure.
Third shot the charm.
Hope is for design mods to be nailed down in 2021.
 

Boagrius

Well-Known Member
Wasn't sure where this belonged so thought I'd chuck it here. Was aware that a guided round had been developed for the Carl Gustaf but hadn't seen this footage until now:


Pretty impressive IMO. You would have needed a Javelin to consistently reach out and touch armoured vehicles at that range in the past.
 
Last edited:

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
The US Army have delayed the second round of UH-60V tests because of software and reliability issues. The 60V is a 60L with the Northrop Grumman digital cockpit replacing the 60L analogue cockpit. The idea is give the army's 60L fleet a capability to match that of the 60M.

 
Top