Senate The Weekly Discussion of Military Technology

Discussion in 'Community' started by Mr44, Nov 27, 2003.

  1. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    The purpose of this thread is to engage in rotating discussions of specific examples of military technology..

    Anything from specifications, capabilities, and comparisons can be discussed, in the context of the current discussion, which will rotate about once a week.

    I have a list of topics developed already, with some others ready to share their particular "expertise" and experiences when those come up..

    This topic isn't offically "hosted," but I hope to keep some form of order (if the current topic is missles, please don't discuss submarines, etc..)

    If anyone has anything particular in mind, or has an area of expertise, just drop a PM, and we'll have it scheduled.. :)

    Hopefully, we can all learn something new, and of course, have fun...


  2. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Originally the first topic was going to be something else, but this would make an excellent segway with another current thread:

    So, this weeks topic is ARMOR

    The first example of a battlefield "tank" was the British Mark I, which started production in 16 January, 1916..

    Originally called a "landship," the British hid the vehicle's true origin by calling them "water distribution tanks."

    The name "tank" stuck, and a new form of warfare was born..

    What examples does everyone think represents the pinicle of armored warfare for the time..

    The British Cruiser series, which held off Rommel in North Africa?

    The Nazi PzKpfw "Panzer" series, which defined the term "Lightning War?"

    The Soviet T-34, which many consider the ultimate in WWII armored warfare?

    Modern tanks, such as the M1 Abrams, which is pretty much as invulnerable as tanks are going to get?

    Who has specific example of a tank model that is their favorite?
  3. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    What, no honourable mention of the T-72? There's so much to be said about it! :eek:

    Interestingly enough, Australa's thinking about upgrading our tanks to M1A2's, which IMO would be a good idea. Now, all we need to do is move on from F-111's and F-18's, and perhaps the Steyr AUG... [face_mischief]

    E_S
  4. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    well, the T-72 certainly deserves its place in history, representing the Soviet-style of production, and equal to the AK series of rifles..

    However, the T-72 never stood out in its class, becoming inferior almost instantly after it was produced..

    A much better example of Soviet armor during its time is the T-34...

    The Nazis of course, thought they had tank technology locked in, and when the T-34 appeared in summer 1941, it completely surprised the German forces..

    The original design used a Soviet high velocity 76mm gun, which was competent in its own right, but when the Soviets upgraded to the 85mm gun in 1943, the T-34 was a monster..

    The ADF would do well to upgrade to the M1 series, its a tank built to dominate..
  5. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    We would; the Leopard just isn't the M1A2.

    I love the T-72 just for the whole "tank must stop to fire" thing; wasn't it made obsolete by the introduction of the T-80?

    E_S
  6. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    yeah, that's kind of what I mean..

    The T-72 could probably be called the "ultimate edition" of the T-54, because for the most part, they used the same technology.

    For instance, at a time when Western tanks were being built with true NBC systems, the T-72 was still making due with an internal layer of lead to counter nuclear blasts..

    Most of the tanks weren't even built with night vision or a laser rangefinder for the gun, until they were upgraded later..

    I suppose the T-72 really represented the Soviet policy of mass attacks and victory through numerical superiority..
  7. Saint_of_Killers Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 5
  8. Blue_10 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2001
    star 4
    No offense, Ender_Sai, but Switserland will be invaded before Australia has anything to worry about.

    My personal favorite would be the German Tiger Tank from WW2.
  9. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Yeah, 'cause China isn't on our backdoor and looking to go to kick the hell out of Taiwan, nor is North Korea nearby... :p

    E_S
  10. TripleB Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 4
    The T-64 was actually more notable then the T-62. While the T-64 was an adequete tank for it's time, it revolutionized things with it's autoloader, reducing the need of Soviet Tank forces to go from 4 crew members to just 3. Sure there was a down time as the tank needed more time to load, but there were certain advantages to it.

    ANd the M1 series main battle tanks are the best tanks ever built on this planet, but I am sure there are way to get better.
  11. Blue_10 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2001
    star 4
    China doesn't need to invade, they've already beat you, E_S. :p

    Plasma Cannons would be a nice improvement on the M 1.
  12. Brett_Bass Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2003
    star 4
    While it's very, very tempting to state that the T34 is one of the best tanks ever (it really was, as I'm sure you know) I'm going to go ahead and give props to the old Panzer Mk. IV and the Panzer Mk. V "Panther" tanks. The Panther was arguably the best tank from World War II in terms of balancing cost, speed, effeciency, and firepower. Perhaps a superior balance even than the infamous T34.

    But the Panzer IV holds a special place in the history books, as it was so heavily mass-produced and so successful. As I recall, they saw service from darned near the beginning of the war until the very end, and were still capable of matching the Sherman on more than even footing. I seem to recall the last Panzer IV tanks being used in one of the various wars launched against Israel in the 1960's.

    And on that note, the M1A1 Abrams revolutionized tank warfare--some would say, saved American tank warfare.

    Oh, and before I forget, the Steyer AUG might likely be on its way out, Ender. Bushmaster Firearms Inc. has confirmed that it has just worked out a contract with the Australian government. The contract is for an undisclosed number of 'units'--i.e. rifles.
  13. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Unless Bushmaster has a license to reproduce the M4 (there's a company here that locally reproduces the FN Minimi) or similar rifle, I'm still a bit "meh"... Not one soldier I've met (granted, I don't know any SASR because they don't advertise, but then again, they don't use the AUG) likes the AUG that much.

    E_S
  14. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Ah, Nazi tanks..

    I would have to agree, that the Panzer IV was probably the influencial tank of WWII.. Yep, it was produced throughout WWII..

    It began to truly shine when its short barreled gun was upgraded to the long high velocity type, in response to the T34..

    The later Nazi "supertanks" consisting of the Panzer VI "Tiger" and later "King Tiger" were mechanical marvels for the time, but were developed following Hitler's whim, like all the other Nazi X-weapons.. As a result, I don't think they were effectively used at all..

    E_S, if Bushmaster was awarded the contract, then it would be an M4 type of weapon.. I know that Bushmaster makes the 9mm M4 carbine for the DEA, as well as the SOCOM 5.56mm version..
  15. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    For B3,

    while certainly not technologically forward, I would say that the American M60 was on par with the T-72, for the time..

    The T-72 had a superior gun, but the M60 had a more accurate targeting system..Each could still penetrate the other..

    Both used standard cast armor, with country specific additions..

    The T-72 was faster on open ground, but the M60 had better "off road" capability

    The fatal weakness of the M60 was its height..The M60 was nearly 11 feet tall, compared to the 7 ft height of the T-72..

    The Soviet auto-loader was a mixed success.. The system freed up a crew member, but it was also slower, and less reliable..

    Trip, what stands out about the T-72 for you?
  16. Brett_Bass Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2003
    star 4
    While the Tigers were impressive in terms of firepower and armor, their fuel-inefficiency and extreme weight severely limited their mobility. Granted, their armor was often good enough to compensate, but neiter tank was, shall we say...quick-deployment-friendly. The Panther was available in greater numbers and posessed admirable cannon and defense, making it more useful in more situations.

    As I recall, they initially had a plethora of mechanical problems that resulted in their almost total absence in the opening parts of the Battle of Kursk (I wonder if their prsesnce would have changed much at said battle), but once those shortcomings were dealt with, they were truly a good platform.

    On a similar note, the Panzer IV was capable of mounting a nearly identical main gun as the Panther, and was already in great abundance. With upgraded armor a la the Panzer IV Ausf. H, the little vehicle was capable of surviving most M4 Sherman shells (once).

    As for the M60/T72 comparison, I feel compelled to point out the USMCR's 4th Tank Battalion. A Marine Corps Reserve unit equipped with M60s, the 4th Tanks went on to become the most heavily decorated unit from Gulf War I, defeating numerous T72 tanks with their 'obsolete' Pattons.

    In addition, the Israelis were able to use the M60's taller profile to their advantage in at least one engagement, where the lower turret of the Soviet-designed tanks they were engaging proved incapabable of elevating high enough to engage the Israelis, who were occupying the high ground.

    Oh, and Ender, were you saying that your guys aren't big fans of the AUG? Huh, most outfits that use 'em like 'em. Oh well, I'm not a terribly big fan of bullpup-designed rifles either, so I guess I'm one to talk.

    Anywho, Bushmaster Firearms Inc. does indeed produce their own variant of the M4 carbine. In point of fact, I own one.

    :)

    The good folks at Bushmaster are being rather tight-lipped about the contract, so I don't have any specifics, but again, it's big, and it's with the Aussie government. Keep yer ear to the ground in case you catch wind of what's up.
  17. TripleB Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 4
    Mr44 said

    while certainly not technologically forward, I would say that the American M60 was on par with the T-72, for the time..

    Maybe the later M60A3 model. But the M60a3 model was not produced in the large numbers that the T-72 was. To the point that it was considered that the Soviet's had the advantage in Tank power in the 70's/early 80s'.

    The T-72 had a superior gun, but the M60 had a more accurate targeting system..Each could still penetrate the other..

    Probably. BUt with better numbers and the M60's high profile, I would give the edge to the T72.

    Both used standard cast armor, with country specific additions..

    Yes.

    The T-72 was faster on open ground, but the M60 had better "off road" capability

    I don't really know that for sure, but will take your word for it.

    The fatal weakness of the M60 was its height..The M60 was nearly 11 feet tall, compared to the 7 ft height of the T-72..

    What can be seen can be hit, what can be hit can be killed. Yes, this was a fatal weakness, a very bad one, the difference in profiles. Although the OpFor in Hoenfell's never seemed affected by this.

    The Soviet auto-loader was a mixed success.. The system freed up a crew member, but it was also slower, and less reliable..

    I know there was some struggles after Desert Storm, with the Draw down, in keeping M1A1s with full 4 man crews, and I am sure on manuevers this culd have an effect. In any case, yes, the Auo Loader did have its drawbacks. I heard one thing was where a Soviet Tank Platoon would fire in sequence, like very two seconds, to ensure someone was always in the process of being loaded.

    Trip, what stands out about the T-72 for you?

    Probably the fact that it was still a very effective tank and that it was mass produced in such numbers.

    I should also say that while the T-80 was better, by then the Soviets were starting to encounter tremendous financial difficulties with the result that the T-80 was not produced in the numbers to offset the M-1a1.
  18. General Cargin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 1999
    star 4
    The biggest gripe I've ever heard about in relation to the Steyr AUG is the lack of a trigger guard. That weakness has been the cause of friendly fire incidents in the ADF that should otherwise have been prevented. One of my closest friends is a jungle warfare instructor in the ADF, and has been in the army since the days the FN SLR was standard issue. Of all the rifles he's ever used, the Steyr is his favourite. I have to say it's my preference too - I've used the SMLE, M-16, FN FAL, and an AK-47, from my (limited) point of view, the AUG rules the roost.

    I don't believe carbines such as the M-4 are really suitable for much beyond close quarters urban combat. The obsession the US military seems to have with issuing every man and his dog with a short range carbine is beyond me. I'm aware the USMC resisted the introduction of the M-4. Is that still the case, and what's the official reason behind that call (if any)?
  19. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    The biggest gripe I've ever heard about in relation to the Steyr AUG is the lack of a trigger guard.

    Really? You mean the size of the guard right? The AUG does have a built in trigger guard, but is purposely large to allow for glove-handed shooting..

    The AUG is a fine weapon, but I've heard the greatest complaint about it is the warping caused by the aluminium receiver meeting with the steel spars..

    The spars were needed to strengthen the polymer..However, after time, the differing torsion strengths would throw the barrel out of alignment..

    I don't believe carbines such as the M-4 are really suitable for much beyond close quarters urban combat.

    Well, the M4 has just about the exact same effective range as the full size M16..

    The obsession the US military seems to have with issuing every man and his dog with a short range carbine is beyond me.

    If you notice, just about every nation is swtiching to more compact combat weapons, because of the changing nature of battle..

    WWII saw the large scale transition from long range "trench warfare" to more urbanized combat..

    Most contact with the enemy now takes place at 100 yards or less.. Long gone is the principle of shooting at the Soviets 300 yards away, across the plains of Europe..

    Like any weapon, the M4 does have room for improvement.. However, it is versitile, weighted perfectly (it's not butt-heavy like a bullpup), and effective..

  20. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Mr44, that's been the complaints I've heard, that and the reload, uh, "time" on an AUG...

    E_S
  21. Brett_Bass Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2003
    star 4
    As previously stated, I've not heard anybody really complain about the AUG--then again, I've never really bothered to heavily research the weapon, so...

    *shrugs*

    Anywho, the move toward carbines is somewhat puzzling at times. I can understand the Army issuing them in great numbers to troops that would benefit from their compact size and fully-automatic fire abilities, but making it into the standard-issue weapon seems somewhat counterproductive, especially given the numerous documented cases in which short-barreled carbines (in all fairness, more CAR15s than M4s) have proven woefully inadequate at engaging targets at greater than a couple of hundred yards in various places (most prominently, Afghanistan).

    Furthermore, the problem is exaserbated by the M855 62 grain armor-piercing SS109 ammo that has become NATO--and thus, U.S. military--standard-issue. The cartridge's armor-defeating properties were only moderately better than the old M193 55 grain round's, but that's a different subject altogether. At any rate, the heavier projectile require a higher muzzle velocity to remain accurate and reliable frangible at distance. Well-regarded ballisticians from Ammo Oracle have concluded that beyond fifty to ninety yards, the 62 grain SS109 bullet no longer has 100% reliable fragmentation... And generally reliable fragmentation doesn't usually extend past one-hundred yards out of the M4's fourteen and a half inch barrel.

    And this isn't anything new or peculiar to the ongoing operations in Afghanistan, either. Such problems were first pushed into the public spotlight in the early nineteen-nineties when the book Blackhawk Down was published, recounting the combat actions of U.S. Army soldiers (and something like five U.S. Navy SEALs, too, in all fairness) in Mogadishu, Somalia. During the notorious shootout there, Delta Force (primarily) operators noted that the SS109, or 'green-tip' ammunition was inefective against the unarmored Somalis that they were up against, necessitating repeated (between three and eight) shots in order to bring down a single opponent. This problem was reported to be even more prolific when the M16 family of weapons shorter-barreled carbines entered the equasion.

    Now, the obvious solution to the problem should be to develop a new standard-issue cartridge to improve on the effectiveness of the M855 cartridge. However, no such program(s) seem to have been implemented until the recent Operation Iraqi Freedom. In all fairness, this is the earliest that I came to know of official project(s) to look into the development and procurement of new cartridges--I'm barely on the radar as far as the military is concerned, so I'll automatically not discount the possibility that such projects have been ongoing for some time). At present, a new cartridge, designated the Mark 262 is being tested and evaluated in terms of suitability for issue to special forces and, to a lesser (?!) extent, general-issue troops, and thus far, it is reported by both official and anecdotal sources as being most promising.

    The loading is a canneleured, 77 grain, match-grade projectile based off of Black Hills Ammunition's heavy-grain match round, and is currently being made by the aforementioned cartridge maker. It is reportedly inherently more accurate in addition to offering "significantly more dramatic [and] reliable wound cavities...at nearly double the distance" as the M855 round fired from a 14.5" M4 carbine barrel.

    On top of this, there is an ongoing project to create an entirely new caliber for the M16/M4 family of weapons that has just recently been made public. It is a 6.8x43mm in excess of 100 grain round that initially appears passingly similar to the old 7.62x39mm Soviet cartridge used in the old SKS and AK47 rifles. Barret Firearms has stated that they will be manufacturing upper recievers for the AR15/M16/M4 weapons chambered in the new caliber, along with a handful of other manufacturers. Thus far, terminal ball
  22. Saint_of_Killers Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 5
    M16A4? What's different about this one from the A2/A3?
  23. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    M4A1 carbine for officers, staff NCOs, and various other personnel previously only afforded the M9 9x19mm NATO pistol by the TO&E, and has been reporting excellent results thus far. Headshots at extended range have been

    Why replace a handgun, which is compact, with a carbine, which is less so? ?[face_plain]

    E_S
  24. Brett_Bass Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2003
    star 4
    Ender:
    If you were a LT.COL. and you could choose to take a pistol into a hot LZ or a rifle, which would you choose?

    In addition, the M9 has recently gained an uneviable reputation as a mediocre fightstopper and one for less than stellar reliability issues when dealing with the fine sand in Iraq (which, in all fairness, plays relative havoc with most gear). In said conflict, it was reported by the DoD after surveys and studies to be one of the more stand-out weapons that had consistant problems with malfunctions. Rounding out the top three of problem-prone weapons were the M249 SAW in first place as most problematic weapon and the M203 grenade launcher as number two on the 'hit' list.

    There has been a lot of talk about replacing the M9 in the Marine Corps and replacing it with another pistol, but in the interim, the M4A1 has been selected as a temporary replacement. The MEU (SOC) pistol (Marine Corps accurized M1911A1 .45 ACP) is one of the candidates, along with tentative ovatures to the PDW market, which currently consists of the H&K MP7 4.6x30mm weapon and the Fabrique Nationale P90 5.7x28mm SS190-caliber 'mini-submachinegun'.

    Saint of Killers:
    The M16A2 is still in service in large numbers, but the M16A4 replaces the fixed carry handle/rear sight assembly with the detatchable version and Picanty rail system from the M4A1 carbine.

    The M16A3 was produced in extremely limited numbers and issued to the Army. It was the same as the M16A4 save for full-auto fire instead of tri-point burst mode, which the Marine Corps tends to prefer.
  25. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    See, here is where we get into our friendly service rivalry, but things get interresting.. ;)

    Anywho, the move toward carbines is somewhat puzzling at times. I can understand the Army issuing them in great numbers to troops that would benefit from their compact size and fully-automatic fire abilities, but making it into the standard-issue weapon seems somewhat counterproductive

    Well, the problem still comes down to the ammo, not the weapon, as you detailed above.. Blaming the weapon is rather shortsighted, and even the ammo's weakness only manifests itself in specific situations.

    For example, in Somalia, the Rangers were using M16's, and still experiencing "shoot throughs" on unarmored Somalis..It wasn't just the M4's..

    The muzzle velocity of the M16 is approx 3100fps

    The muzzle velocity of the M4 is still appox 2800fps

    Both weapons still provide adequate terminal velocity at effective range..

    Secondly, only the SOF variant M4 is fully automatic..The standard issue shares the 3-rnd burst of the A2..

    The fact is that Marines are extremely tradition-orientated.. Which of course, is one of their strengths, but also a weakness..

    As a result, they resist change more than any service..

    For instance, the Army is changing more and more to an "action" type of marksmanship training..

    Such training requires engaging multiple pop-up tragets of varying distances, and times.. Also city fighting and shooting is being used.. Less empahsis is placed on distance, and more on reflexive shooting..

    The Marines are still promoting traditional lane shooting, where you fire from a fixed spot at a fixed target.. Granted, the Marines shoot at farther distances, but it is tightly controlled.. It is more an excerise of pride, rather than pragmatism..

    If, as latest studies indicate, 85% of engagements happen at 200m or less, in a non-static situation, you want a quick, first shoot ability..

    In fact, in peackeeping and police actions, more than half(around 53%) of engagements happen at a distance of 15 to 20 feet!(yes, that's feet..)

    {source: Combat and Control Tactics, prepared by Master Sergeant Michael Irwin, TRADOC)

    The reality is that armies simply aren't going to be shooting at each other from foxholes at 500 yards..It's outdated..

    The matter at the heart of the issue is that the Marines, more than any service, promote tradition..

    I'd bet if you took a survey, most Marines would want to go back to wide usage of the M14, because that is considered to be a "Marine" weapon..

    Unfortuantely, that perception doesn't mesh with reality..

    Not to slam the Corps, but it's a common theme.. Whenever anything new comes along, the Corps resists it, but ultimately comes on board after a period of bellyaching about tradition.

    It happened with the switch from the M14 to the M16(which the corps now loves)

    It happened with the switch from the M60 tank to the M1 Abrams(which the corps now loves)

    Even now, the Corps wants to cling to their aging SeaCobras, when everyone else is switching to the more effective Apache

    Alot has to do with the smaller Marine budget..They like to first with their toys, but have to be more selective

    How much money has the Corps sunk into the Osprey? That beast is simply a money pit, but it is uniquely "Marine" so they keep plugging along..

    As a weapon, the M4 is simply more ergonomic, and able to be manipulated quicker in the battlefield..

    The weapon is still used on the same 300m training range as the M16, but it has the added advantage of being much more handy in a MOUT situation, as well as building clearing, and general urbanized peacekeeping..

    The trend of just about every major nation is to switch to shorter, more responsive weapons, rather than the longer, larger, slower type..