Defense Issues

Military and general security

Light Tank Proposal 1

Posted by Riley-Amos on February 20, 2017

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“If the tanks succeed, then victory follows.” – Heinz Guderian

The opinion of many people today is that tanks are obsolete, losing their survivability to modern man-portable ATGMs and precision guided munitions. What must be understood is that main battle tanks are the play-ground bullies of ground warfare, they are big, intimidating, and sound of a 120mm cannon thundering across a valley saps the enemy’s moral like little else. The effectiveness of such large, high velocity cannons is well known and the concept of the “tank” in general will likely never be phased out – only improved.

During the Second World War, tanks were primarily used as infantry support and tank-on-tank battles where rare. The large majority of tank casualties were caused by anti-tank cannons. During the Yom Kippur war of 1973, the Israelis faced a barrage of Soviet AT-3 “Sagger” ATGMs of which they were simply not prepared for, causing mass panic amongst tankers. Several extractions from the CIA’s report entitled “The 1973 Arab-Israeli War: Overview and Analysis of the Conflict” outline the alarm these missile caused, however, it is important to read until the end.

“In accounts immediately after the war, however, the effect of the antitank missiles was exaggerated. Detailed information now available indicates that in the whole war the Israelis lost approximately 500 tanks; among them 119 disabled units………. at least 6 percent but no more than 25 percent, were killed by Saggers.” 

The Israelis focused fire on exposed ATGM teams, and seldom moved mechanisation anywhere without cover of indirect fire. ATGM teams must not operate without being transported in a vehicle with at very least protection against shrapnel. Granted, Saggers were first generation MCLOS guided missiles that were incredibly difficult to control. Modern ATGMs are far more advanced, however they are exceptionally more expensive. A Sagger will cost a military under $1000 per unit, whereas a modern “Javelin” ATGM can costs upwards of $100,000.

MBTs are, and will continue to be a staple on the battlefield, although they are not without drawbacks. The M1 Abram’s cost is sky rocketing, and at 70 tons, it is quickly bogged down, not easy to air transport, lumbering and fuel hungry.

 

The Light Tank: 

There is no standard definition for a “light” tank, so for the sake of this piece we will define it as the following: A tank of no more than 20 tons, capable of air transport by C-130 with an operational range similar or greater than that of an MBT. Light tanks are not a replacement for main battle tanks, to paraphrase Picard; light tanks exploit the breakthroughs of MBTs. Unlike their heavier brother’s, the light tank should have anti-tank capabilities as a secondary priority, it is first and foremost an infantry support vehicle and due to its often extremely light armour, should seldom go toe-to-toe with anything carrying more than a heavy machine gun. Perhaps a good way to think of the light tank is as a Bradley IFV, with heavier armament and no troop carriage ability.

 

Chassis:

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General Dimensions: Excluding turret and appliqué armour 

Height: 1.45m (4.75 feet)

Width: 2.7m (8.85 feet)

Length: 6m (19.5 feet)

Armour: 

Light tanks sacrifice a great deal of armour to earn their designation, and rely on heavy sloping and other methods of armouring such as protruding ribs, which have been seen on both the BMP-2 and STRV-103 of Sweden. The Swedes found that their STRV-103 was essentially impossible to penetrate with any then existing anti-tank weapon during it’s early operational history.

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Armour for the light tank chassis is as follows:

Front upper glacis: Sloped at 15 degrees, fitted with protruding ribs, protection from 30mm armour piercing.

Front Lower Glacis: Sloped at 50 degrees, protection from 30mm armour piercing.

Sides: Sloped at 75 degrees, protection from 14.5mm armour piercing.

Rear: Sloped at 80 degrees, protection from 7.62mm armour piercing

Power plant:

 Engine will be a V8 diesel, optimally the same Scania DSA 14 litre version used by the CV-90. This should give the vehicle a maximum speed on-road in the vicinity of 80km/h (50 mp/h), and an operational range of ~400km (250 miles). Extra fuel will be carried in external tanks that can be dropped when empty or if there is a danger of puncture, similar to that of Soviet tank designs. A recess may be designed into the rear of the vehicle to allow some amount of armouring, however a better idea may be to design the external fuel tanks with some amount of shrapnel protection. These tanks may not be mounted during operations within close proximity of friendly infantry so as to avoid.

Armament:

A heavy main battle tank has the luxury of being able to mount heavy, powerful, high velocity cannons – something a light tank may not be able to achieve, if we examine the use of large guns on light vehicles we can see that the results are very rarely acceptable. Both the Sprut-SD (125mm HV cannon) and the US M551 (Medium velocity 152mm cannon) had recoil issues, this resulted in much discomfort from the crew, difficulty when firing on the move and in a lot of cases, the turret ring being bent irreparably (especially when using aluminium armour).

From this, we can gather that the best light tank armament will be either: a high velocity small shell, or a low velocity large shell.

We will explore both, however my preference is with the later for the following reasons:

  1. A small HV shell (i.e. 60mm HVMS) results in a smaller capacity for HE, and lacks the heavy APSFDS rod to penetrate heavy armour. The velocity of a 120mm APSFDS may be achieved, however the dart will not have sufficient kinetic energy due to its low weight.
  2. A HEAT charge does not rely on velocity to penetrate armour, and will function at the very furthest reaches of its range (where KE penetrators will not)
  3. The lower velocity allows us to utilise a larger diameter shell, making the HEAT charge more effective. Where a 60mm HVMS APSFDS rod will not penetrate a modern MBT, a 120mm HEAT charge has at least a fighting chance – especially against the sides, rear and top.
  4. The lower velocity and lack of rifling (shells should be fin stabilised) mean that we can fit far more HE into the same area – note that a 120mm mortar shell has similar, if not more destructive power then a 155mm artillery shell.

Low-velocity/large-caliber

In my opinion, the best armament for this light tank would be a large diameter, breech loaded, low velocity gun/mortar – we will use a 120mm diameter gun for this project due to logistics ease (120mm shells are already in use), however the optimal diameter would be slightly larger (130-140mm).

Parallels can be drawn to the aforementioned M551 “Sheridan”, however there are numerous deviances from the design.

The cannon will fire the following four types of ammunition

Standard mortar shells:

  • High explosive
  • Rocket assisted (RAP)
  • Smoke
  • Illumination
  • IR Illumination
  • Inert/practice
  • HEAT (Shouldn’t be too difficult to create)

Low velocity cannon round (similar to BMP-3 100m shell):

  • HE
  • HEAT
  • Canister/Flechette (most importantly!)

LAHAT ATGWs

STRIX Laser guided, anti-tank mortar-fired munition

With sufficient propellant, a mortar shell can (and will be) used for direct fire. The main reason for the addition of LV cannon shells is for using flechette shells, however this may not be necessary if a 120mm shell is developed along the lines of the 81mm Mk-120 mortar (below) used on Mk-2 Mod 0 deck mounted mortars during Vietnam. Should the LV cannon shell provide no sizeable benefit over direct fire mortar techniques, it should be deleted.

81mm Mk-120, immediate left of the 105mm APERS-T:

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Alongside direct fire, the mortar will also be fired in the conventional indirect fire roll, this will prove very valuable when supporting armour advancements as the constant shelling of the advancement location will thin out any resistance before it becomes a problem, the persistence of mobile mortar-tanks will be a massive improvement over towed artillery, with its shoot-and-scoot speed, counter-battery radar will be rendered useless.

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The Swedish laser guided “STRIX” shell (above) will allow the vehicle to shine in the anti-tank role. For this to be its most effective, it will be coupled with a collapsible sensor mast (example below) mounting cameras and a laser designator.

From behind cover, the vehicle will extend its sensor mast and paint the target of choice, the gunner will then fire a STRIX over the target, impacting directly downwards onto the target (where a tank’s armour is thin). This tactic will allow the vehicle to expose nothing but the tip of its sensor mast, and without the need for an engine the STRIX takes up far less space than a conventional ATGM. The main limitation is obviously the lack of direct fire capabilities; this will be solved by carrying 2-3 LAHAT missiles alongside.

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This heavy cannon will be supplemented by a co-axial 40mm CTA cannon firing cased telescoping 40mm rounds. The cannon should be modified to select between 200RPM for ground targets, and >800RPM for aerial targets. The necessary elevation of the mortar means that we have an excellent platform for a “pseudo-SPAAG”. Inside the turret will be a tri-feed system for HE, APSFDs and Air-burst with an optimal capacity upwards of 100 rounds.

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Conclusion:

A light tank can be produced in larger numbers, and the flexibility of deployment is fantastic. The US lost a great advantage when they retired the M551 and cancelled the M8 Buford that cannot be measured, a solution will be extremely easy to engineer and my proposal has many aspects that can be replaced by already existing equipment to lesser, but still good effect (i.e. the new chassis may be replaced by a cut-down M113 or a Bradley).

To make use of airborne and expeditionary forces in the future, the light tank has to be explored – there is no alternative.

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Croatia has to increase defense budget by 2,8 billion HRK

Posted by picard578 on February 17, 2017

Source: Večernji list

A day after new US defense minister James Mattis requested allied countries to increase defense spending to 2% of GDP, Croatian Minister of Defense Damir Krstičević stated that a decision on Croatian Air Force can help Croatia meet the target, increasing defense expenditure from current 1,23% of GDP. At this moment, only seven NATO members has no air force. Reaching the 2% target would mean increasing the defense budget by 400 million USD (2,8 billion HRK). Currently, United States are responsible for 70% of NATOs military capabilities. Mattis has also stated that “Americans cannot care more for the future of your children than you can”.

—–

Freedom is not free but unfortunately Croatian politicians do not want free Croatia. For this reason, the Communist Party of Croatia (divided into so-called HDZ and SDP) has systematically gutted Croatian military.

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Islamophobia Is Historically Justified

Posted by picard578 on February 17, 2017

“Phobia” means “fear”, whereas “phillia” means “love”. Islamophobia – fear of Islam – is historically and logically justified. To fear something dangerous is only logical, and cannot be called hate. Conversely, Islamophillia is a type of the Stockholm syndrome that the Left has long engaged in. It is not generally spoken about, but mainstream Left has a tendency to worship mass murderers – much like radical Right and radical Left. This is seen though many T-shirts with image of mass murdered Fidel Castro being sold. Has anyone seen T-shirts with Adolf Hitler or Ante Pavelic? Probably not. So Prophet Muhammad is merely one in a pantheon of mass murderers being worshipped by modern West, from Constantine the Great to Napoleon.

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

With Islam, As With All: No Maximal Context, No Maximally Wise Truth:

Christianism, whatever its merit, was a horrendous system of ideas. Getting rid of its rule is how we should define the end of the Middle Ages. However, all along, Christianism was rarely the master. Roman secular law, was the basic organizing principle (at least for the Franks, and their paraconsistent Salic law, written by Roman lawyers; it’s this legal superiority which empowered the imperial supremacy of the Franks, ultimately.)

When Muhammad took control of Mecca, he had to concede that Mecca’s main industry, religion, would be preserved. That required him to preserve some element of the Pagan religion prior, with its 360 deities, presided by the Moon. Hence the symbolic role of the Moon in Islam. We of course love the Moon, mosques, and even a few ideas of Islam... When Muhammad took control of Mecca, he had to concede that Mecca’s main industry, religion, would be preserved. That required him to preserve some element of the Pagan religion prior, with its 360 deities, presided by the Moon. Hence the symbolic role of the Moon in Islam. We of course love the Moon, mosques, and even a few ideas of Islam…

Recently, the self-contradicting haters of the self-adulating, self-described…

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How a pro-Palestinian American reporter changed his views on Israel (with comment)

Posted by picard578 on February 16, 2017

https://www.jihadwatch.org/2017/02/how-a-pro-palestinian-american-reporter-changed-his-views-on-israel

The link above has a good discussion of anti-Israel media bias. It has hit home because I used to be affected by the same bias myself, and description is quite close to my own experience – except for the fact that I never personally witnessed things described in the article, with main factor in my own change of heart being learning about Islam itself. Also, I was never really a liberal myself. I was a socialist at times, but due to history of my nation (being from Croatia), I always was a nationalist. And that is a danger of knowing facts without context. It is a fact that Israel is bombing Palestine: but context is that they are only doing it in self-defense. It is a fact that Europe had colonized Islamic world: but context is that said colonialism was merely an act of self-defense against Islamic aggression. It was very successful self-defense as well, forcing Islam to fight against infidels on its own home turf, instead of coming over to fight in Europe.

Today, Islam is carrying out aggression against both Israel and Europe, through a combination of terrorist cells and mass immigration. How this war will end, nobody knows. And Israel, with hostile Arabs in front and hostile, increasingly Islamic liberal Europe in the rear, is in dire straits. Both Islam and liberalism are dogmatic, illogical sets of beliefs, and are working together to destroy Europe. Left reacts with outrage whenever West attempts to protect itself against Islam, and so acts as a Trojan horse enabling Islamic conquest. Israeli “colonization” of Palestine works under the same logic as European colonization of Africa and the Middle East: it creates a tampon zone to protect Israel itself from Islamic aggression, and moves the violence to Islam’s home turf. Islam has an inbuilt hatred against all non-Muslims, but this hatred is especially pronounced against the Jews. Palestinian terrorists intentionally use civilians as human shields in order to make Israel look bad in the eyes of emasculated liberal West.

Liberal West itself uses double standards: what is acceptable for Muslims to do, is not acceptable for Israelis to do. Reason for this is inbuilt liberal anti-white, anti-Western racism: they see conflict as a developed Western country beating on underdeveloped Arab neighbour because it fits their narrative of Westerners always being the oppressors. When facts cannot be made to fit the narrative, they deny the facts, positing that Islamic terrorism is not endemic to Islam, but is in fact created by the West.

A reading that may help explain causes of liberal antisemitism: “Nazi roots of multiculturalism

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Why I’m conservative rather than libertarian

Posted by picard578 on February 15, 2017

This would more or less apply to myself as well. In fact, Croatian conservativism has long had a social component, having developed in predominantly rural 19th century Croatia where cooperation was the key for survival. While accepting of the principles of individual independence and responsibility, Croatian conservativism also demands a high measure of social responsibility – towards one’s own family, people and the country. In Croatia, it is generally the Left who are socially irresponsible – a problem made that much worse by the fact that both major parties (SDP and HDZ) are leftist neocommunist parties deeply rooted into Titoism.

The Aussie Conservative Blog

I firmly support the need to emphasizecommon ground, rather than differences when collaborating with individuals of differing ideologies.

So whilst constructive dialogueis important, andI consider parts of conservatismand libertarianism essentialto my own ideology, I am first and foremosta conservative person.

This is not to state that I am incapable of changing my positions on issues over time, but for now I have a firmly rooted, mostly conservativeset of beliefs.

But why is that?

Upon reflection, the primary reason I was drawn to conservatism, was my beliefin being part of a broader collective. Yes, I favour lower taxes, private property rights, some libertarian principles, and am waryof the dangers governmental overreach can pose.

But from a young age, it wasn’t economic growth, or individualism that really graspedmy fascination.

Instead, my passion for preserving our great country emerged, as well as forpromoting the traditional order whichdeveloped modern Australia.

In all my travels…

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Proposal for Army armoured vehicles

Posted by picard578 on February 11, 2017

Introduction

Modern militaries have various types of vehicles for various jobs. These range from destruction of hard targets (tanks and bunkers) to convoy escort, peacekeeping and counterinsurgency. For this reason, and due to variance in terrains as well, most if not all types need to exist in more than one category. Main battle tanks can take considerable punishment, but are vulnerable to infantry and air support, and are impotent in very difficult terrains. They are also lacking in strategic and operational mobility, being incapable of utilizing many bridges. On the other hand, lighter forces often lack the direct fire support on the same level as main battle tanks provide, so they need lighter systems with similar firepower. Read the rest of this entry »

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Light combat vehicles with high-calibre weapons

Posted by picard578 on February 1, 2017

Requirement for wheeled armoured vehicles appeared between First and Second World Wars, and in 1930s Germany started serial production of such vehicles for its recon units. Widespread usage of wheeled armored vehicles only started after World War II. In 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, new generations of wheeled armored vehicles appear, responding to military requirements for increased mobility, protection and firepower. Still, wheeled armored vehicle development lags behind tracked AFV development due to their significantly inferior off-road mobility, inferior firepower and inferior protection due to lower carriage capability of configuration.

New lease of life wheeled vehicles were given as a result of an air-land battle doctrine, a response to 3:1 advantage in armored forces by the Eastern block. There are also requirements for infantry transport, quick strikes, anti-tank combat at low and medium range, anti-air defense, fire support etc. Light armoured vehicles are receiving large-calibre guns, anti-tank missiles and other heavy weapons, and are being integrated into combat units. Recon vehicles are adapted for frontline use in peacekeeping operations through improvements in firepower and armor, albeit at the cost of sacrificed mobility. Still, airborne forces typically lack sufficient protected firepower platform, especially since few to no militaries still operate light tanks that can be deployed via parachute. Read the rest of this entry »

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Survival of the luckiest

Posted by picard578 on January 21, 2017

Darwin’s theory of evolution holds that the living being evolve through natural selection. More adaptable and superior species survive, and less adaptable species perish. Thus evolution within various species – how well they adapt to changes in the environment – has a decisive impact to evolution of the species. In the end, better adapted and more capable species survive, and the ultimate and inevitable product of evolutionary progress are modern humans. This theory has also been adapted by various social ideologies (Social Darwinism), such as Nazism and neoliberalism. Read the rest of this entry »

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The 2016 DOT&E Report on the F-35 – David Archibald

Posted by picard578 on January 14, 2017

The role of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation at the Pentagon is to ensure that US weapons programs continue on track and that the weapons do what they are supposed to. His report for the 2016 year can be found here. The interesting observations in the report, with respect to the F-35, are listed following: Read the rest of this entry »

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Hollowpoint bullets

Posted by picard578 on January 11, 2017

Hollowpoint bullets have been a very controversial topic for nearly two decades now. They have often been the focal point of the anti-gun campaign, despite not being anything new. Hollowpoint ammunition has appeared near the end of the 19th century, a time from which also dates the common nickname – “dum-dum bullets”, which came from the town of Dum Dum in India (near Calcutta), where British produced ammunition for rifles in .303 caliber. (It should be noted that actual “dum-dum” bullets were not hollowpoints, but rather soft-nosed projectiles, with flat nose exposing the lead core through the lubaloy jacket). For various reasons, including international bans, hollowpoint ammunition never found widespread usage in the military. However, it became very popular for hunters and in self-defense. There is an interesting anecdote about Winston Churchill, who was an officer in the Boer War. In his Mauser C-96, Churchill carried self-made hollowpoint ammunition. Boers would have executed him for utilising such ammunition, but he managed to escape.

Hollowpoint bullet usage started to get more widespread after 1960., when Lee Juras developed hollowpoint bullets of small mass and high exit velocity. With that, he solved the issue of reliable expansion. As the reliability rose, so did the usage of hollowpoint bullets among both police and the civillians. Consequence of that was also increased interest of the media and general public in hollowpoint bullets, who quickly – and incorrectly – identified hollowpoint ammunition as a threat to the society. Read the rest of this entry »

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