What modern tank are considered... (Full Version)

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JallaTryne -> What modern tank are considered... (9/4/2004 1:48:13 PM)

...to be the best today? I would guess US, British and Russian tanks are contesters. French maybe? German maybe? And how superior would they have been compared with i.e Tiger II?


Hertston -> RE: What modern tank are considered... (9/4/2004 2:18:02 PM)

The M1A2 Abrams (US). There were concerns about it's mechanical reliability (M1A1) prior to the first Gulf War, but it actually performed much better than expected.

Other contenders would be the Leopard 2 (Germany), Challenger 2 (UK), Leclerc (France) and Merkava Mk 4 (Israel), although in all honesty only the Leopard would get considerable support outside of it's own country of origin. All have advantages and disadvantages over each other, though, even if differences are only slight. The Merkava is probably the best design for urban combat, the Challenger has great armor but a gun perhaps not up with the Abrams and Leopard, and so on.

The Russians have fallen behind in the technology game (and their stuff was always over-estimated anyway), so I wouldn't consider the T90. I recall reading somewhere they have actually designed something that might top the list, but can't afford to actually build it in any quantity. I assume the Chinese have something half-decent too, but I know nothing about it.

All are vastly superior to WW2 tanks. They have armour (composite ceramic, with heavy-metal layers) that is far tougher, while much lighter, and as a consequence are much faster with a much longer range. Guns can be fired accurately from far longer ranges, even when the tank is on the move, and the projectiles themselves have a far bigger punch (and a totally different design concept). The best illustration is to look at the first Gulf War... Iraqi tank losses (vehicles were primarily Eastern block post WW2 designs) were over 3,000, perhaps 1,200 of those being killed by tanks. Allied MBT losses were, um, 4 (four).

Paul Vebber -> RE: What modern tank are considered... (9/4/2004 6:09:14 PM)

To say the Russian tanks were "always overestimated" is in my experience incorrect. "Suped up" non-export T-72 and T-80 models have aged remarkably well. IF the newly designated T-95 ever goes into production, it could be a contender. Russian tanks have gotten short shrift in the past, and on reliability grounds often deservedly so - but their poor tactical handling by surrogates often has resulted in under-estimating their potential - and the capabilities of non-export versions.

If past mobility problems can be overcome in the T-95, excellent protection, gun and projectile technology many finally be given its due.

I'm not saying it will be better than an M-1a2 but you start to get into issues of "regionalization" that can make a Leapord, Merkava, or T-95 potentially better suited for a given environment then the overall "general purpose" winner the M-1a2.

Belisarius -> RE: What modern tank are considered... (9/5/2004 2:21:21 PM)

Best, performance and equipment-wise, would probably be a close call between the M1A2 Abrams and up-armored Leopard 2.


Adnan Meshuggi -> RE: What modern tank are considered... (9/7/2004 2:48:16 PM)

nah, the mighty wiesel [:D]


JTGEN -> RE: What modern tank are considered... (9/7/2004 7:59:31 PM)

Personally I would say, Leopard 2A6 would be a winner. Exellent armour, good mobility etc. Now what makes it a winner compared to M1A2 is that it has a new main gun. AS LEO 2A5 has the same main gun as M1A2, the A6 - model has the new longer barrel 120mm gun.

It is a matter of opinion which is better Diesel or turbine engine etc. I think most of these tanks are equal in most respects, but the new main gun makes the new LEO the winner. I think it is being in use in Germany and Netherland and ordered by Spain and Greece atleast. With the previous models gaining much export success, which speaks greatly in favor of it. Most of these tanks are use in their home countries but LEO2 has won lots of export contracts when competing against the others. So it seems most of these countries consider it to be the best. Allthough some like us Finns have bought used older models.

Belisarius -> RE: What modern tank are considered... (9/7/2004 10:38:23 PM)


ORIGINAL: Adnan Meshuggi

nah, the mighty wiesel [:D]


Ahahaha! That rocks! I want one.

Makoto -> RE: What modern tank are considered... (9/8/2004 12:51:45 AM)


Personally I would say, Leopard 2A6 would be a winner. Exellent armour, good mobility etc. Now what makes it a winner compared to M1A2 is that it has a new main gun. AS LEO 2A5 has the same main gun as M1A2, the A6 - model has the new longer barrel 120mm gun.

has it been used in exercises against the Abrams? The isssue I have with this argument is that it hasn't seen combat against other tanks. The Abrams and the Merkava have both been utilized in combat in the last decade or so. Yeah the Leo 2 looks great on paper and maybe even during exercises, but can it function while it counts? Great example is all those fancy German tanks whose axels cracked because of to much weight.

2ndACR -> RE: What modern tank are considered... (9/8/2004 1:00:36 AM)

M1A2 hands down IMO. Plus turbine engine is best if you have the logistics capability to keep it in fuel. Dang thing will run on just about any fuel you put in it. In desert conditions, just remember to blow the air filters out regularly. Must have lots of air.

Wolfi-S -> RE: What modern tank are considered... (9/8/2004 7:41:30 AM)


[...] I think it is being in use in Germany and Netherland and ordered by Spain and Greece atleast. With the previous models gaining much export success, which speaks greatly in favor of it. Most of these tanks are use in their home countries but LEO2 has won lots of export contracts when competing against the others. So it seems most of these countries consider it to be the best. Allthough some like us Finns have bought used older models.

It is often said, that the Leo2 is such a great export success with around 5 countries using it. I think the M1 has been exported only to Egypt, but the number of M1s sold to Egypt is AFAIK greater than all the Leo2s sold to other countries combined, so at I don't know if this export argument really holds. Unfortunately I don't have that book with the numbers with me...

Hertston -> RE: What modern tank are considered... (9/8/2004 9:46:20 AM)



The isssue I have with this argument is that it hasn't seen combat against other tanks. The Abrams and the Merkava have both been utilized in combat in the last decade or so.

In combat against what ? Considering the nature of the opposition the only thing under test has been mechanical reliability... the Leopard has had no problems in that area.

In comparing exports, it's significant that the version of the M1 available for sale (also exported to Saudi and Kuwait) does not have the specification of that used by US forces - particularly with regard to armor, which would make the Leopard comparitively more attractive. There is also a lot more involved in defence equipment purchases than buying the "best", of course - both price and the identity of the seller are important factors.

Adnan Meshuggi -> RE: What modern tank are considered... (9/8/2004 1:57:32 PM)

well, the best tank is not so easy to specify...

the m1abrahams in its newest version is a well defended heavy tank. some are happy about the gasturbine, some others (like me) dislike her... you need special fuel and have a heatproblem.

the leo2A5/6 (the later is not clear if he come) has a huger punch (even if the germans do not use radioactive ammo - this is again a discussion that is useless, in peacetime it is better not to use em, in "real-war"scenarios i bet nobody will care...) and is "better" accepted for the purpose of all other nations as the us of a. Also he is cheaper (if my mind is correct) and he is more off-street-capable... with the additional armor it is equal to the m1.
The main difference is the engine... the leo2 can use anything from raps to heavy oil and the engine runs... also the "vielstoff"-engine is more realiable and could be changed faster... but it cost a little bit more weight. But it is no Diesel-engine... try raps oil in a diesel car and you will see what you get. No, do it not !

the germans never forgot the lesson of the so many selfdestroyed tanks by mechanical breakdowns or lack of fuel... so they developted a tank-system what is very good AND does not need all the time a mechanical repair unit...

the m1 on the other side is (was) the record holder for mechanical breakdowns...

but as i posted earlier... the wiesel is more deadly as both... so the real tank is the wiesel... you could by 40 for one heavy, you can send em with UPS [:D] and its kill chance is higher cause it is so small that it will be overlooked... f you want to advance, you need heabies, but in the defence (and i gladly live in a country that does not invade or conquer foreign soil) i do not need it....

also, most modern tanks are full of electornics... here the newest tanks are the best... so i would say, the leclerc should be in th emoment the best tank... in the end all modern western heavies are Leopard2-derivates, a 120mm cannon, a engine with 1200-1500 horespowers, a heavy armor, modern ammo.... between 55-70 tons...
so, the most important is the men and the training... the experience of "easy" wars should be not forgotten but have only minimal impact.

the truth is, against total inferior enemies, like the iraq, you could win with t34-85... the tank has a "defend the infantry, cause the press will cry if we loose too much men" order and to call the located enemy weapons to ari and airforce... at last in the desert wars... in western europe terrain, it is different... but gladly such war could not exist anymore... and i am very very happy about this.

so the question is not easy to answer... there exist no "best" tank today, in ww2 it is easy, the panther (cause of tank/weapon/armor/soldiers/tactics/strategy = overall rating) or the T34-85, but today ? the israeli have a tank that protect the crew at its best, but in a mobile warfare it would suck compared to other models, but for israeli purpose, it is perfect....

Shaun Wallace -> Challenger 2 (9/8/2004 2:23:04 PM)

The Challenger 2 is the UK's main battle tank, and as such its key function is to destroy enemy tanks.
It has a good reputation for reliability, although it has experienced significant problems during military exercises in desert conditions.

Improvements to air filters have had to be undertaken to enable the tank to function properly in hot and sandy environments.


360 degree tank tour

Built by Vickers Defence Systems, work started on the Challenger 2 in 1986 and the first units were delivered in 1994.

The new model has 150 improvements over its predecessor, the Challenger 1, which saw action in the Gulf War.

The UK has just under 400 Challenger 2s, some of which have been used in Bosnia and Kosovo.

The tank has a four man crew and an ability to target and destroy as many as eight targets a minute. Its fire control system is computerised and both the commander and gunner can locate enemy targets.


Its main weapon is a 120mm gun, which is capable of firing depleted uranium rounds.

It also uses armour piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabot (APFSDS) and high explosive squash head (HESH) shells.

The tank carries two machine guns, one for anti-aircraft fire and a second for attacking enemy troops. It also has smoke grenades.

In addition to its Advanced Armour Technology the Challenger 2 also has a nuclear, chemical and biological attack resistant compartment for the crew.

As long as they have rations the crew should be able to remain in the tank for the duration of any chemical attack.

The crew compartment has an air filtering system, as well as a heating and cooling system, it is also separated from ammunition for increased safety.

The Challenger 2 is powered by a Perkins 26.1 litre turbocharged diesel engine, CV12. This gives the Challenger an average cross country speed of 24 miles per hour (40 kph)




Frank -> RE: Challenger 2 (9/8/2004 3:09:24 PM)

Leopard: http://www.army-technology.com/projects/leopard/


The Leopard 2 is a main battle tank developed by Krauss-Maffei AG, now Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), of Munchen, Germany. The Leopard 2 is a successor to the successful Leopard 1.


The Leopard 1 was first produced in 1963 by Krauss-Maffei for the German Ministry of Defence and more than 6,000 vehicles have been exported to Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey and Australia. The successor to the Leopard 1, the Leopard 2, was first produced in 1979 and is in service with the armies of Austria, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden and Spain, with over 3,200 produced. The Finnish Army is buying 124 and the Polish Army 128 used Leopard 2A4 tanks from Germany.

The Leopard 2A6 includes a longer L55 gun, an auxiliary engine, improved mine protection and an air-conditioning system. The German Army is upgrading 225 2A5 tanks to 2A6 configuration, the first of which was delivered in March 2001. The Royal Netherlands Army has ordered the upgrade of 180 of its 2A5 tanks to 2A6 configuration, the first of which entered service in February 2003. In March 2003, the Hellenic Army of Greece ordered 170 Leopard 2 HEL (a version of the 2A6EX) for delivery between 2006 and 2009.

Spain has ordered 219 Leopard 2E (a version of the 2A6 with greater armour protection) and four Leopard 2ER recovery vehicles. The first 30 are being built by KMW and the rest will be license-built in Spain by General Dynamics, Santa Barbara Sistemas (GDSBS). Deliveries of the first batch are due in 2004 and should complete in 2008.

Another variant is the Leopard 2(S), which has a new command and control system and new passive armour system. 120 Leopard 2(S) have been delivered to the Swedish Army. Deliveries concluded in March 2002.


KMW has developed a mine protection system for the Leopard 2, following a concept definition by an international working group from Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden and Norway, under the lead of the German procurement agency BWB. An order placed in September 2003 involves the modification of 15 Leopard 2A6 tanks for the German Army and ten Leopard 2A5 (Strv 122) for Sweden. The first mine-protected tank was delivered in July 2004.

The kit consists of add-on armour elements including a new plate under the tank floor, new vision systems and restowage arrangements for ammunition. Trials in February 2004 demonstrated that, with the new armour package, Leopard 2 tank crews could survive the detonation of an anti-tank mine under the tank without suffering any injuries.


The hull is in three sections: 1) the driving compartment at the front, 2) the fighting section in the centre, and 3) the engine at the rear of the vehicle.

The driver's compartment is equipped with three observation periscopes. Space to the left of the driver is provided for ammunition stowage. A camera with a 65° horizontal and vertical field of view positioned at the rear of the vehicle and a television monitor provide a reversing aid for the driver.

The turret is located in the centre of the vehicle. There is an improvement programme which provides third generation composite armour, and the additional reinforcement to the turret frontal and lateral armour with externally mounted add-on armour modules. In the event of weapon penetration through the armour, the spall liner reduces the number of fragments and narrows the fragment cone. The spall liner also provides noise and thermal insulation. The reinforcement provides protection against multiple strike, kinetic energy rounds and shaped charges.


The commander's station has an independent periscope, a PERI-R 17 A2 from Rheinmetall Defence Electronics (formerly STN Atlas Elektronik) and Zeiss Optronik GmbH. The PERI-R 17 A2 is a stabilised panoramic periscope sight for day/night observation and target identification, and it provides an all round view with a traverse of 360°. The thermal image from the commander's periscope is displayed on a monitor. The PERI-R17 A2 can also be used for weapon firing as it is slaved into the tank's fire control system. The image from the gunner's thermal sight can also be transmitted to the commander's PERI-R17 periscope so the commander can switch the gunner's video image to the commander's monitor. This enables the commander and the gunner to have access to the same field of view of the combat range.

The gunner's station is equipped with an Rheinmetall Defence Electronics EMES 15 dual magnification stabilised primary sight. The primary sight has an integrated laser rangefinder and a Zeiss Optronik thermal sight, model WBG-X, which are both linked to the tank's fire control computer. The thermal sight uses standard US Army common modules, with 120 element cadmium mercury telluride, CdHgTe (also known as CMT) infra-red detector array operating in the 8 to 14 micron waveband. The infra-red detector unit is cooled with a Stirling closed-cycle engine.

The sight is fitted with a CE628 laser rangefinder from Zeiss Optronik. The laser is a Neodinium Yttrium Aluminium Garnet, (Nd:YAG) solid state laser. The rangefinder can provide up to three range values in four seconds. The range data is transmitted to the fire control computer and is used to calculate the firing algorithms. Also, because the laser rangefinder is integrated into the gunner's primary sight, the gunner can read the digital range measurement directly. The maximum range of the laser rangefinder is less than 10,000m with accuracy to within 20m.

The command and fire control procedure known as first echo selection is used for laser rangefinding for anti-helicopter operations. The principal weapon uses electronic firing to reduce reaction times.


A new smoothbore gun, the 120 millimetre L55 Gun, has been developed by Rheinmetall GmbH of Ratingen, Germany to replace the shorter 120mm L44 smoothbore tankgun on the Leopard 2. The extension of the barrel length from calibre length 44 to calibre length 55 results in a greater portion of the available energy in the barrel being converted into projectile velocity increasing the range and armour penetration. The L55 smoothbore gun, equipped with a thermal sleeve, a fume extractor and a muzzle reference system, is compatible with current 120mm ammunition and new high penetration ammunition. An improved kinetic energy ammunition known as LKE 2 DM53 was developed as a result of a Tactical Requirement issued in November 1987, and uses the longer gun barrel. With the DM53 round the L55 gun can fire to a range of 5,000m. The effect of the kinetic energy projectile on an enemy target is achieved by 1) the penetrator length and projectile mass and the impact velocity and 2) the interaction between the projectile and the target. The penetrator material is heavy tungsten powder in a monoblock structure. The improved kinetic energy ammunition has higher muzzle energy and recoil forces.


The Leopard 2 is equipped with a land navigation system from the company LITEF of Bonn, Germany which is a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman (formerly Litton) of USA. The hybrid navigation system consists of a Global Positioning System (GPS) and an inertial navigation system.


A programme has been put in place to replace the H-WNA improved hydraulic system with E-WNA which is an electrical weapon follow-up system. The replacement with the E-WNA provides the following advantages: 1) the turret has no pressurised hydraulic fluid, 2) lower noise level and lower power consumption and heat generation, 3) improved reliability and lower maintenance and service requirements, 4) saving in operating costs and 5) good long term storage properties.

The crew compartment is equipped with a fire and explosion detection and suppression system which has been licensed by the company Deugra Ges. fur Brandschutzsysteme of Ratingen, Germany from the UK company Kidde-Graviner of Slough, Berkshire. A fireproof bulkhead separates the fighting compartment from the engine compartment at the rear of the vehicle.


The engine is the MTU MB 873 diesel engine, providing 1,100kW (1,500shp), with a Renk HSWL 354 gear and break system. An enhanced version of the EuroPowerPack, with a 1,210kW (1,650shp) MTU MT883 engine, has been trialled on the Leopard 2.

And these tanks run over 120km/h. I know it exactly because I was overtaken by one on the autobahn. ( I do not know what happened to the driver though [;)] )

Adnan Meshuggi -> RE: Challenger 2 (9/8/2004 3:31:47 PM)

interesting news.. but still, it is not a diesel but a "vielstoff-"engine... sorry to be a pedant, but this is important if you ever need some salad-oil because your tank is out of fuel... a diesel-engine (like the m60 had) would not work with it, the "vielstoff-engine" would... not that i think this will be a huge advantage, cause you would need a lot salad-oil [:D] for the worser energy in it...

Shaun Wallace -> RE: Challenger 2 (9/8/2004 3:46:55 PM)

Just thought I would post info on the Challenger as I ahve heard many army and ex army describe it as an excellent tank and a definite contender in best modern tanks.

Crew 4
Length Gun Forward 11.55m;
Hull Length 8.3m;
Height to Turret Roof 2.49m;
Width 3.5m;
Ground Clearance 0.5m;
Combat Weight 62,500 kgs;
Main Armament 1 x 120mm L30 CHARM Gun (CHallenger main ARmament);
Ammunition Carried Typically 50 rounds - APFSDS, HESH, Smoke;
Secondary Armament Co-axial 7.62mm chain gun; 7.62mm GPMG Turret Mounted for Air Defence;
Ammunition Carried 4000 rounds 7.62mm;
Engine 1200bhp Perkins-Condor CV12;
Maximum Road Speed 59km/h;
Average Cross Country Speed 40km/h.

Challenger 2 is equipped with an L30, 120 mm rifled tank gun from the Royal Ordnance. The gun is made from electro-slag refined steel (ESR) and is insulated with a thermal sleeve. It is fitted with a muzzle reference system and fume extraction. The turret is capable of 360 degree rotation and the weapon elevation range is from -10 to +20 degrees.

There is capacity for 50 120 mm projectiles, including armour piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabot (APFSDS), high explosive squash head (HESH) or smoke rounds. The L30 gun can also fire the Depleted Uranium (DU) round with a stick charge propellant. With the DU round, the L30 is part of the Charm 1 gun, charge and projectile system. A Charm 3 system is under development in which the DU projectile has a higher length to diameter aspect ratio for increased penetration.

The gun control is provided by an all-electric gun control and stabilisation system from BAE SYSTEMS. Challenger 2 is also equipped with a 7.62 mm chain gun, which is located to the left of the main tank gun. The loader has a 7.62 mm GPMG L37A2 anti-air machine gun, mounted on the cupola.

The turret is protected with second generation Chobham armour. A nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) protection system is located in the turret bustle. On each side of the turret are five L8 smoke grenade dischargers. Challenger 2 can also set a smoke screen by the injection of diesel fuel into the engine exhausts.

The digital fire control computer has thecapacity for additional systems, for example a Battlefield Information Control System.

The commander has a panoramic VS 580-10 gyrostabilised sight. A laser rangefinder is incorporated into an intermediate assembly. Elevation range is +35 to -35 degrees. The commander's station is equipped with eight periscopes which provide 360 degree vision.

The Thermal Observation and Gunnery Sight II (TOGS II), provides night vision. The sensor is based on UK TICM 2 common modules. The thermal image, with magnification x 4 and x 11.5 is displayed in the gunner's and commander's sights and monitors. The gunner has a stabilised Gunner's Primary Sight, consisting of visual channel, 4 Hz laser rangefinder and display. The laser rangefinder has a range of 200 m to 10 km.

The driver is equipped with an image-intensifying Passive Driving Periscope (PDP) for night driving.

The Challenger 2 has a 12 cylinder 1200 hp Perkins diesel engine and a David Brown TN54 gearbox, with 6 forward and 2 reverse gears. Second-generation Hydrogas suspension and hydraulic track tensioner are fitted. The maximum speed by road is 59 km/hour and 40 km/hour cross country. The range is given as 450 km by road and 250 km cross country.

Interesting Article:

Who's Got the Best Tank?
by James Dunnigan
January 8, 2004
Discussion Board on this DLS topic
Most people would say it's the American M-1 Abrams. Their reasoning would be simple; the M-1 has actually fought in two wars since 1991 and handily defeated whatever was sent against it. Tank buffs, however, tend to look more closely at details casual observers ignore. The buffs tend to consider the German Leopard 2A6 as superior to the latest model M-1A2. The Leopard 2A6 has a longer 120mm gun barrel, giving it's shells greater penetration. The Leopard also has reactive armor for the top of the tank, where the latest top-attack missiles seek to penetrate the thinner armor there. The Leopard also has a number of other novel touches, like a video cam facing to the rear of the tank, and hooked up to a screen in the drivers compartment. This allows to driver to go into reverse more quickly and confidently. Backing up quickly is a frequently used combat maneuver. The Leopard also has a diesel engine, rather than the fuel guzzling gas turbine (jet engine) of the M-1. Thus the M-1 has a little more zip, but the Leopard gets much better gas mileage.

But a tank does not stand by itself. It is part of a combat force, and the most important component is the crew. In this department, the M-1 has several advantages. Most importantly, American tank crews have had a lot of combat experience since World War II, German crews have had none. While German training is good, they are still using conscript crews, while U.S. tankers are all volunteers and in service longer. American combat doctrine has also developed more rapidly than Germany's and currently makes heavy use of the battlefield Internet and superior situational awareness. All of this makes an enormous difference. A tank is not the sum of all it's parts, it's only as good as the system it operates within. Here the M-1 has a big edge. Moreover, the Americans get an additional slight edge because of their willingness to use depleted uranium in their composite armor, and tank shells. Then again, if the U.S. and German switched tanks, the Leopards with American crews would be superior.

The other tanks in the "top ten" are remarkably similar. Most have composite armor, and often reactive armor as well. All have guns similar to the M-1 and Leopard's 120mm smoothbore. The British Challenger 2 is usually ranked third. But, again, because the British armor units have had combat experience since World War II and use volunteers, they have an edge. Because the Americans have more proven combat technology, the M-1 would still be first, but the Challenger 2 would be second and the German Leopard third.

Things really get interesting when you try to fill the fourth place slot. There are a lot of high tech tanks out there. The French have the LeClerc, the Japanese have the T-90, the South Koreans have the Type 88/120 and Israel has the Merkava 4. Again, the edge should go to the tank that has the best crews and the most combat experience. That would be the Merkava 4. While lacking a lot of the gadgets of the other tanks mentioned above, the Merkava has an edge because of combat experience and crews with years of working together. Although most Israeli tank crews are reservists, many of the troops have combat experience and the crews often stick together for decades. This makes for very effective crews and tank units.

Fifth place belongs to the South Korean Type 88/120. This tank was developed by the same people who created the M-1. Some call it the "Baby M-1", as it is a bit lighter than the M-1 (51 tons versus nearly 70 tons), but otherwise uses the same design principles. Most important is the fact that the South Korean crews know that they have a deadly foe just to the north. This provides a little pucker factor to the training, which is run using a lot of American techniques.

Sixth place is tricky and is a toss up between the French LeClerc and the Japanese Type 90. The edge goes to the Japanese tank. Both vehicles weigh about the same and use similar weapons. But the Japanese have better electronics and crews that have been together longer. Plus, all things considered, I be a little more fearful of a bunch of Japanese crews in their Type 90s than French crews in their LeClercs.

Seventh place, by default, goes to the LeClerc.

Eighth place would be the Russian T-80UM2. This tank uses a lot of new protective technology (to detect and defeat anti-tank missiles), several armor systems and lots of electronics. Unfortunately, the workmanship is slipshod and the crews mostly conscripts and poorly led.

Ninth place goes to the new Chinese Type 98. This is another of those "improved T-72s." Lots of improvements, though, many of them similar to what's found in the Russian T-80UM2. The workmanship on these vehicles is a little better than on the T-80UM2, but the Chinese don't have as much experience building tanks. This has shown itself in the numerous technical glitches that have shown up. The Chinese are moving to volunteer crews and more intensive training.

Tenth place goes to the Russian T-90, which is actually an upgraded T-72. Not as effective an upgrade as the T-80UM2 or the Chinese Type 98.

Most of the remaining tanks in the world are Russian T-72s and T-55s, and US M-60s and M-48s. China builds clones of these Russian tanks, and other countries build variations on the T-72 and older British tanks. The M-60s, with the latest upgrades (thermal sights and computerized fire control systems) and well trained crews could be contenders for the 8-10 positions. But all those T-72s and T-55s serve largely as targets. However, as experience in the Arab-Israeli wars and World War II amply demonstrated, technically "inferior" tanks with superior crews will rule the battlefield.

Pictures from Operation Telic - 3 Commando Brigade, 7 Armoured Brigade and 16 Air Assault Brigade




Marc von Martial -> RE: Challenger 2 (9/8/2004 3:50:43 PM)

There´s non better then the Leopard 2A6 currently, period.


Shaun Wallace -> RE: Challenger 2 (9/8/2004 4:04:12 PM)


There´s non better then the Leopard 2A6 currently, period.

Nothing nationalisic there Marc ;) <G>


PS: But yours never get used now that you are becoming Franco/German - so whats the point in having them ;) lol

Marc von Martial -> RE: Challenger 2 (9/8/2004 4:12:35 PM)

Franco/German ??? Yeah, Schröder/Chirac, but who cares about that.

It´s not nationalistic, the Leopard got improved and improved with the experience of many different nations using the design and bringing input. This thing is a real killer. And on top of that you don´t waste valuable turret space by having to built in a tea cooker for the commander and crew [:'(]

I´m curious, which countries import the Challenger and the M1a2?

Shaun Wallace -> RE: Challenger 2 (9/8/2004 4:28:53 PM)


I´m curious, which countries import the Challenger and the M1a2?

Why would we WANT to export either, you never know who you will be fighting next ;)

BTW, the countries the UK trusts gets to import our weapons, countries like Jordan <G>


Belisarius -> RE: What modern tank are considered... (9/8/2004 5:16:44 PM)



M1A2 hands down IMO. Plus turbine engine is best if you have the logistics capability to keep it in fuel. Dang thing will run on just about any fuel you put in it. In desert conditions, just remember to blow the air filters out regularly. Must have lots of air.

Well, that's sorta the point with diesel engines, too. They run on almost any crude combustible oil. With less need for air. ;)

I guess the M1 and Challenger2 has got Chabham armor, but I don't know if that's a huge advantage over the Leopard2 at today's rate. A 'pard can't defeat another 'pard with frontal shots. Which says a lot.

Btw, don't the Abrams and Leopards stem from the US - German joint venture back in the 70's? IIRC, they got stuck on details and resorted to develop their own tanks, but kept the basic concept from the initial prototype?

2ndACR -> RE: What modern tank are considered... (9/8/2004 7:20:52 PM)

IIRC they both were developed out of the failed design.

The M1 is equiped with Chobham armor, and also depleted uranium armor. They both use the same main gun, complete interchangability of ammo etc. Also a M1 cannot kill another M1 with a frontal shot either. Or I should say the same gun as the Leopard 2A1.

Engine package w/transmission can be changed out in less than 2 hours by a good maintenance crew. Much quiter and faster than a diesel powered tank. Fuel hog to the max. Burns just as much fuel basically at idle as full power. But we have a massive logistics train that goes where we go, so fuel and ammo is not a problem 90% of the time.

As to reliability, in GW1 my regiment equipped with 155 M1A1 (hvy) tanks only had 15 breakdowns during the war and 2 mission kills. Engine compartments taking hits. No crew members were injured or killed. My Cav troop maint carried 2 complete engine pacs with us, Sqdrn Support had 8 engine pacs, and I have no clue how many regiment support carried.

JallaTryne -> RE: What modern tank are considered... (9/8/2004 8:06:38 PM)

According to a Norwegian tank commander, his leopard could not withstand a hit of a simple M72 (the handheld rocketlauncher). That had to be a earlier Leopard, but still... Is M1A2 impenetrable for an ie CarlGustav?


2ndACR -> RE: What modern tank are considered... (9/8/2004 9:21:44 PM)

The armor on an M1A2 will stop any HEAT round made. At least that is what we were taught in Armor School.

Makoto -> RE: What modern tank are considered... (9/8/2004 9:41:14 PM)

hmm I wonder how those tanks in the present war got knocked around, did they run over mines?

2ndACR -> RE: What modern tank are considered... (9/8/2004 10:05:43 PM)

I know of 2 M1A2's that have been completely destoryed in Iraq. One was hit by a new RPG that I have no knowledge of (been out too long) and the other a month or so ago. Engine took hits and the Iraqi's set it on fire after the crew bailed out.

Of course this is to be expected when you send tanks into an urban enviroment to take on basically infantry. I spent 3 years as a grunt and can tell you that I have no fear of tanks in mountains, heavy forest, urban terrain. IMO the military made a mistake getting rid of the 6th, 7th, 9th LID's. Those are the units that need to be used in those types of terrain.

Of course, any HEAT round fired from above any tank made will penetrate the top armor.
That is why they should not be used in urban terrain especially. Not sure where the M1A2 hit by the RPG was hit.

Shaun Wallace -> RE: What modern tank are considered... (9/8/2004 11:12:28 PM)


The most common type of composite armour today is Chobham armour, first developed by the British in the 1970s for their new Challenger tank. Chobham sandwiches a layer of ceramic between two plates of steel armor, which was shown to dramatically increase the resistance to high explosive anti-tank (HEAT) rounds. HEAT had seriously challenged the ability of armor to survive since its introduction in WWII, and Chobham was such an improvement that it was soon copied on the new US M1 Abrams main battle tank as well (although there it is referred to as Special Armor). It is the fabrication of the ceramic in large tiles that gives the Challenger and Abrams their "slab sided" look.

Chobham's precise mechanism for defeating HEAT was something of a mystery until the 1980s. High speed photography showed that the ceramic material shatters as the HEAT round penetrates, blowing up to a huge volume which then expands back out the hole and pushes the metal jet of the HEAT with it. The effectiveness of the system was amply demonstrated in Desert Storm, where a handful of Challengers destroyed 300 Iraqi tanks without loss, one at over five miles range.

Newer versions of Chobham include open spaces, depleted uranium and other layers in addition to the original steel/ceramic layering. The uranium layers are included primarily to increase the total mass of metal while not being larger physically. The Soviet Union has not deployed composite armor on a large scale, deciding instead to focus their efforts on reactive armor. False!

First ever production MBT to carry combinational armor. It carried Combination K, which appariently is composed of glass fiber suspended within a plastic resin. Through a mechanism called thixotropy, the resin changes to a fluid under constant pressure, allowing the armor to be molded into curved shapes.

DOI: 1966 RHA verus APFSDS: 410 mm RHA verus HEAT: 500 mm

Along with the T-64B and T-72A, this vehicle substituted a Boron Carbide filled resin aggregate in 2nd generation Combination K, similar to the above mentioned GRP, but was more compact and provided better protection for the same weight.

DOI: 1978 RHA verus APFSDS: 500 mm RHA verus HEAT: 580 mm

The introduction of ERA on Russian vehicles led to a massive emergancy program on the behalf of NATO to requip their ATGMs with tandem warheads. The first T0W-2A appeared after the T-80U was introduced.

DOI: 1983 RHA verus APFSDS: 500 mm RHA verus HEAT: 1 000 mm

The first vehicle to carry Kontakt-5 EDZ, effective both against HEAT warheads and APFSDS. It also carried an applique armor pack which is composed of a frontal steel plate about 60 mm thick backed by an insert of three layers of inert interlayer reactive armor, composed of steel plates and penapolyurethane filler. Tests by a unified Germany in 1995 found this material to have an Em of about 5.0. Also had significant increases to vehicle survivablity in other areas, mostly the armoring and cellurization of ammunition storage and the incorporation of composite steel/GRP armor on the vehicle's flanks.

Chobham armour is a composite armour developed at the British tank research centre on Chobham Common. Although the exact composition of Chobham armour remains a secret, it appears to be a combination of ceramic layered between armor steel plating, a combination that is excellent at defeating high explosive anti-tank (HEAT) rounds.
The exact nature of the protection offered by this layering remained a mystery for some time, but it was eventually revealed that Chobham armour works in a manner somewhat similar to reactive armor. When the armor is hit by a HEAT round the ceramic layer shatters under the impact point, forming a dust under high pressure. When the HEAT round "burns through" the outer layers of armor and reaches the ceramic, the dust comes flying back out the hole, slowing the jet of metal.

Modern tanks also have to face KE-penetrator rounds of various sorts, which the ceramic layer is not particularily effective against. For this reason many modern designs include additional layers of heavy metals to add more density to the overall armor package. The metal used appears to be either tungsten or, in the case of later M1 Abrams tanks, depleted uranium.

The effectiveness of Chobham armour was demonstrated in the first Gulf War, where no Coalition tank was destroyed by Iraqi ones. In some cases the tanks in question were subject to multiple point-blank hits by both KE-penetrators and HEAT rounds, but the lower power of the T-72 and T-64 guns left them completely incapable of penetrating the armor. To date only one Chobham protected tank has been defeated in combat, an M1 that was hit by an advanced dual-warhead HEAT wire guided missile in the second Gulf War.

Chobham armour is used on the Challenger II, the Leopard II and the M1 Abrams series of tanks.


Marc von Martial -> RE: What modern tank are considered... (9/8/2004 11:33:25 PM)


ORIGINAL: JallaTryne

According to a Norwegian tank commander, his leopard could not withstand a hit of a simple M72 (the handheld rocketlauncher). That had to be a earlier Leopard, but still... Is M1A2 impenetrable for an ie CarlGustav?


Was that a Leopard 1 ?

Btw, are you norwegian? I just came back from Oslo. Noticed that the "Vakt" (? correct ?) soldiers at your royals residence and the Akershus Fortress parade/guard with a german G3 , is that still a standard weapon in the norwegian Army, or just a "ceremonial" / guard weapon?

Belisarius -> RE: What modern tank are considered... (9/9/2004 1:05:45 AM)


ORIGINAL: Marc Schwanebeck


ORIGINAL: JallaTryne

According to a Norwegian tank commander, his leopard could not withstand a hit of a simple M72 (the handheld rocketlauncher). That had to be a earlier Leopard, but still... Is M1A2 impenetrable for an ie CarlGustav?


Was that a Leopard 1 ?

Btw, are you norwegian? I just came back from Oslo. Noticed that the "Vakt" (? correct ?) soldiers at your royals residence and the Akershus Fortress parade/guard with a german G3 , is that still a standard weapon in the norwegian Army, or just a "ceremonial" / guard weapon?

I was thinking the same thing. That "must" have been a Leopard 1.

Stepping in to reply Marcs, the Norwegians use, AFAIK, the AG-3 as main infantry weapon. The AG-3 is a licensed G3. In Sweden we use the G3 too, but under license and modifications under the name AK-5.

JallaTryne -> RE: What modern tank are considered... (9/9/2004 1:49:54 AM)


ORIGINAL: Marc Schwanebeck


ORIGINAL: JallaTryne

According to a Norwegian tank commander, his leopard could not withstand a hit of a simple M72 (the handheld rocketlauncher). That had to be a earlier Leopard, but still... Is M1A2 impenetrable for an ie CarlGustav?


Was that a Leopard 1 ?

Btw, are you norwegian? I just came back from Oslo. Noticed that the "Vakt" (? correct ?) soldiers at your royals residence and the Akershus Fortress parade/guard with a german G3 , is that still a standard weapon in the norwegian Army, or just a "ceremonial" / guard weapon?

It was a Leopard 1. Thats the only tank we have here :) And AG3 is the standard weapon in Norway, altough I believe they now buy a newer model (G4?). This is the story of Norways defensive equipment; handful of F16 w/o night attack capabilities, a navy that has been ancered up in harbour because of low funding, a handful of TOWII as our main AT weapon....Our neighbours can feel safe [:)]


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