Below the Turret Ring

The blog Below the Turret Ring has been busy lately, having made several new posts.  Let’s take a look at what they have been up to.  Click on the title to read the full post.

 

Austria won the Strong Europe Tank Challenge 2017

18422782_1464958883554178_2139708021828222996_oTwo days ago the Strong Europe Tank Challenge (SETC) 2017 ended. The winning platoon comes from Austria, one of the first time participants. The soldiers of the Austrian Bundesheer deployed the 1980s’ Leopard 2A4 main battle tank (MBT), beating last year’s winner Germany. In the challenge held from 8th to 11th of May, teams from Austria, France, Germany, Poland, the Ukraine and the United States tried to show their skill in a number of different disciplines. These included offensive actions, defensive actions, target recognition/identification of thirty allied and enemy targets, estimating the range to a target without using the laser rangefinder, accurately reporting targets in a simulated urban area and firing crew weapons (pistols or submachine guns). Also part of the SETC was to recover a tank with simulated damage from an NBC attack, evacuating and treating wounded, calling for fire support by artillery/aircraft and precision driving along a pre-defined track. Crews also had to endure a physical fitness test. In comparison to last year the scoring was changed.

 

New Turkish combat vehicles presented at IDEF 2017

fnss-tracked-armored-vehiclesThe thirteenth International Defence Industry Fair (IDEF 2017) has been held in Turkey. While not extremely popular with foreign companies – despite having “international” in the name, not many international AFV manufacturers were present – this exposition serves as an opportunity for all Turkish defence companies to present their latest and greatest developments.  The company FNSS Defence Systems, a joint-venture of the Nurol Holding and BAE Systems, has presented a number of vehicles from the wheeled PARS family of vehicles (FoV) and the tracked Kaplan-20 and Kaplan-30 armored fighting vehicles (AFVs).

 

Leopard 2: Poland wants more; Germany and Turkey opt for upgrades

WIT_MSPO_2016_leopard_okAccording to a news report from Defence24.com, the Polish Army is interested in buying more Leopard 2 main battle tanks (MBTs). Poland originally received 128 Leopard 2A4s for an extremely low price, a decision made in Germany in order to build up better political relationships between the two countries, which previously due to the second World War and previous conflicts had been terrible. A further 119 Leopard 2 tanks (including 105 relatively modern Leopard 2A5s) were ordered in 2013, after Germany (falsely) decided to downsize it’s tank force. These second-hand tanks also were extremely cheap, costing only €180 million.

 

Russian T-72B3 receive armor upgrades

4cv5YThe Russian Army has decided to upgrade the current T-72B3 to a new configuration, which was first seen in the middle of last month. The exact number tanks upgraded has not been disclosed yet. The tank has been called “T-72B3M” or “T-72B4” by different websites, suggesting that the new designation may also not have been revealed yet. It might be known as “T-72B3 mod. 2016” rather than receiving a completely new designation.   The upgrade is aimed to improve the survivability of the tank by installing explosive reactive armor (ERA) at the flanks of turret and hull. This armor is apparently identical to that used on the current version of T-90MS “premium” export tank. This reactive armor is not known to provide protection against kinetic energy ammunition such as APFSDS rounds nor against anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) or rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) with tandem shaped charge warhead.

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