Stumbling on the best way to model ERA (Full Version)

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Mr_Luxury_Yacht -> Stumbling on the best way to model ERA (8/15/2019 9:41:41 PM)

So in my quest to slowly turn this thing into a real time SPMBT, I've manage to crank out a fairly complete Egypt faction, and have started moving on to Israel. I'm basing a lot of my stats from what's in Steel Panthers and with Israeli tanks I'm running into a hurdle I didn't have with Egypt, namely what to do about ERA. I'm curious what other folks modifying Armored Brigade have settled on.

I get that CE armor should be the maximum possible protection, and that tandem should be lower to represent a tandem warhead's ability to defeat ERA. My understanding of ERA though was that it explodes, and in using itself up either manages to defeat the round or not. But the key point is that after it's hit, it's gone and that protection isn't there if a shot hits that same spot again. I'm getting a 'good enough' idea of the maximum protection ERA might add from playing around with War Thunder (not perfect but I'm not aiming for 100% perfect accuracy here. As with Steel Panthers I care more that it's fun and close enough), but I'm struggling on how much less tandem armor should be and if there's a way to tweak the values to represent the fact that the ERA won't always be there or work perfectly (or if I should even bother).

nikolas93TS -> RE: Stumbling on the best way to model ERA (8/16/2019 12:45:34 AM)

In general, using steel equivalency is a fairly inefficient way of presenting armor, as the interaction between each armor type and penetrator type are unique, and trying to shoehorn the provided protection into one single value against all different types of penetrators (both kinetic and chemical) is flawed. However, it is obvious that we are war-gaming here and we have dozens of advanced tank variants and it is simply impossible to model them that accurately in a game such is Armored Brigade.

In simplest terms, ERA works by degrading the penetrator and hence reducing its overall penetration. For example British ROMOR-A is rated at up to 95% reduction against a 127mm charge. Blazer used a rather primitive construction using one reactive element per tile. Each reactive element consisted of a 3mm steel plate, a 3mm thick layer of explosives and a further 3mm thick steel plate. It could reduce the penetration of a basic RPG-7 projectile from 300mm to about 100mm into residual steel, although the absolute figures are depending on the angle of impact.

In game terms, that translates in about 200mm increase (according to another source, up to 240mm) to CE protection, which is added to base armor. Since Blazer is useless against KE or tandem penetrators, those values remain the same as on base tank. Coverage is not modeled in AB because there are way too many variables, and statistically the chance of hitting the same spot in combat is so low that we omitted that as well (and there is also a "weak-spot" chance).

Mr_Luxury_Yacht -> RE: Stumbling on the best way to model ERA (8/16/2019 3:38:50 AM)

Alright thanks, that really helps. I'll try and find a rough rating online for the ERA and just add the value for CE only. What about cases I'm seeing like with the T-80U where tandem value is still somewhat higher than kinetic (but lower than CE)? If the first charge is detonating the ERA, is it still providing some protection against the second charge somehow?

nikolas93TS -> RE: Stumbling on the best way to model ERA (8/16/2019 1:09:15 PM)

That is because T-80U has Kontakt-5, which is a type of heavy ERA. Kontakt-5 provides limited protection against kinetic projectiles by using a combination of more powerful explosives charges and thick cover plates (15mm hard steel) - this results in shattering of the penetrator, bending and yaw of the rod or erosion of shaped charge. Due to heavier front plate, the Kontakt-5 elements are reportedly harder to trigger by the precursor charges of tandem warheads, forcing the designers of tandem ATGMs to allocate more mass to precursor charge and, making an MBT more resistant to tandem HEAT warheads. At least that was the common knowledge back in 2016-2017 when I was working on Soviet tanks, but might be prone to change if new studies emerge. It is important to note that while light ERA containers are completely destroyed in the process of detonation, Kontakt-5 sections are not, as their detonation is contained by the outside armor plates. Therefore even after detonation Kontakt-5 sections continue to provide some applique protection.

Mr_Luxury_Yacht -> RE: Stumbling on the best way to model ERA (8/16/2019 10:39:32 PM)

Awesome, that's super helpful. Thanks!

noooooo -> RE: Stumbling on the best way to model ERA (8/17/2019 5:50:30 PM)

To be honest, this doesn't just apply to ERA. Almost all modern tank armor use NERA, and each hit, even if it doesn't fully penetrate the armor array, would embed itself into the armor, destroying first few layers of the array which also degrades the level of protection in the area around it. People tend to think that non-ERA armor simply cause projectiles to bounce off the surface but that's simply not the case. In reality, when armor of that thickness, whatever it's made of, ERA or anything else, is struck by a projectile with 10 million joules of kinetic energy, that entire area is going to be compromised.

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