Below the Turret Ring: Hardkill APS Overview

The blog Below the Turret Ring has posted a rather lengthy piece explaining the various types of active protection systems available for armored vehicles. Below is the first couple paragraphs, please click on the article headline to to the blog and read the entire piece.

Hardkill APS overview

Active protection systems (APS) have been an important topic when it comes to enhancing the protection of modern combat vehicles since a number of years. Combat in Iraq, Yemen and in Syria has proven the vulnerability of main battle tanks (MBTs) to handheld and/or guided anti-tank weaponry. While many people pretend that active protection systems are a rather new development, many can be traced back to the 1980s and 1990s. One of the earliest APS was tested in 1969 in Germany – that’s 48 years ago! The first APS adopted in military service was the Soviet Drozd system from 1977/1978, that was fitted to a number of T-55 and T-62 tanks. According to unconfirmed rumors Drozd was used in Afghanistan.

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A more commonly known APS is Trophy, which has received huge orders by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) and was adopted on the Merkava 4M MBT and the Namer armored personnel carrier (APC). Aside of the hardkill active protection systems, which actually destroy incoming threats using countermeasures, there is also the less popular category of softkill systems such as the MUSS, which has been adopted on the Puma and is being tested by the British Army.  (click here to read full piece)

 

Below the Turret Ring: December Posts

As we get to the end of the month, we thought it worth looking at what the blog Below the Turret Ring has posted in December. They have two posts for this month, both dealing with German armored vehicles in the Middle East. On December 15 they posted about the Leopard 2 MBT in Syria. On December 22 they posted about a sale of German Marker IFVs to Jordan. We have posted excerpts and links below.  Click on the headline to go to the full article over at Below the Turret Ring.

Leopard 2 in Syria – Donnerstag, 15. Dezember 2016

8hfq9zhTurkish Leopard 2 tanks are actively operating in the war in Syria. The tanks have been photographed at different locations near the town of Al Bab, which is located about 35 kilometres (21.7 miles) north-eastern of Aleppo. A few photos were shared on Twitter, apparently taken by Turkish soldiers. More detailed photos and video footage was provided by the SMART news agency, which is said to have ties to Syrian rebels.

The Turkish Army is operating the Leopard 2 main battle tank (MBT) since 2005, when an initial batch of 298 Leopard 2 tanks was ordered. A further 56 tanks were purchased in 2010 and 2013. The Turkish military previoulsy tested the Leopard 2 Improved (Leopard 2A5/6 prototype), the Leclerc with additional armor package, the Ukrainian T-84-120 Yatagan tank (a version of the T-84 fitted with 120 mm gun and bustle-mounted autoloader) aswell as the M1A2 Abrams fitted with the MT883 diesel engine (as the gas turbine proved to be a main issue for potential buyers). The Leopard 2 Improved performed best, however the Turkish government didn’t purchase the tanks in the originally planned volume and version (up to a thousand Leopard 2A5 tanks were wanted by the military). Instead the Turkish goverment favored the local production of MBTs, where the bid by the South-Korean company Hyundai-Rotem was chosen over Krauss-Maffei Wegmann’s offer, because it included the full transfer of technology instead being a licence production agreement. This lead to the Altay main battle tank, based on South-Korean technology used on the K2 Black Panther MBT.

 

Marders to Jordan – Donnerstag, 22. Dezember 2016

3795783_originalJordan has received an initial batch of 16 ex-German Marder infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) on the 11th December of 2016 as part of German military aid. The delivery also included 20 mm RH202 autocannons, spare parts and a Marder driver training vehicle. It must be noted that the permission for an export of 24 Marders, 28 Rh 202 autocannons and one Marder driver training vehicle to Jordan was given for 2016. The costs of this equipment is €12.8 million. This means that most likely a second batch of Marders will be shipped this year. A total of 50 Marder IFVs are being delivered to Jordan until end of 2017. Furthermore Jordan is set to receive surveillance equipment, 56 vans and 70 trucks.
The military aid to Jordan is part of a bigger initiative, which costs about €100 million in 2016 and €130 million in 2017. Other recipients of the German military aid are the Iraq, Tunesia, Mali, Nigeria and Niger. Jordan received about €25 million from the German government in order to be able to purchase the Marders.

The Marder IFV is an older design, being introduced into German Army service in 1971. It replaced the HS.30 Schützenpanzer lang, the first infantry fighting vehicle of the world. While offering only average firepower for it’s time, the Marder was designed to feature a higher degree of armor protection, being heavier than all other IFV counterparts of the same era.

 

Recent Posts from “Below the Turret Ring”

It’s time to catch up with some of the recent posts over at the Below the Turret Ring blog.  We have enjoyed following this blog over the past few months, the blog author does a really nice job describing some of the newest developments in armored fighting vehicles.   We decided that rather than waiting to include these in the next installment of “AFV News from around the Net”, we would give them their own post.  Click on the headline to go to Below the Turret Ring and read the full post.

The Hamza multi-role combat vehicle

hamza-vThe privately-owned Pakistani company Blitzkrieg Defense Solutions – and yes, that is the actual name – has developed a new 8×8 wheeled vehicle. Supposedly it is the first 8×8 vehicle developed in Pakistan. The new vehicle is known under the name “Hamza” and was officially presented at the International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS) in 2016. It should not be confused with the Al-Hamza, a local version of the M113 fitted with a 25 mm gun in a one-man-turret.

Chile to upgrade Leopard 2 tanks

leopard-2-revolutioonAccording to the Mönch Publishing Group, Chile is said to be looking for an upgrade of the Leopard 2A4 main battle tank (MBT) since 2013. Chile is operating the Leopard 2A4 since 2007, after purchasing an initial batch of 128 tanks for less than €1 million a piece – this low price is understood to be the result of political ties and separate contracts for refurbishment. Later the number of tanks has been increased to 140 and then to 172. The MBTs were modified to the Leopard 2A4CHL standard, which has a modified powerpack.

Challenger 2 LEP bidders downselected; tank to get new turret and new gun?

shaun3-1024x651Two bidders for the life extension programme (LEP) of the British Challenger 2 main battle tank (MBT) have been shortlisted by the UK ministry of defence (MoD). The shortlisted companies will be contracted in the next few weeks for the production of two prototypes worth €25.8 million each. After a 24 month long assessment phase, the final production contract will be made with one of the downselected contenders. In case of unforseen issues, a further €7.8 million can be allocated by the British MoD. Originally the contracts were expected to be signed in October, but the project was apparently delayed, so that currently contracts are expected to be signed in December of 2016. The Challenger 2 LEP is part of the Armour (MBT) 2025 project, which is meant to ensure the Challenger 2 remaining competitive in the timeframe from 2025 to 2035.

SidePRO-RPG armor

inpiz9mThe Swiss company RUAG is offering a wider array of add-on armor types for enhancing the protection of older combat vehicles. It offers three main families of protection products: under the SidePRO brand, armor protection systems for protection the vertical aspects of a vehicle (so the front, sides and rear) are offered, while the RoofPRO brand includes protection systems for the vehicle roof. Lastly the MinePRO brand contains protection solutions for wheeled and tracked vehicles against IEDs, anti-personnel and anti-tank mines.

General Dynamics Griffin Light Tank at AUSA

For the next two days, the 2016 AUSA exposition is taking place in Washington DC.  This is the largest expo of it’s type in North America.  We expect to see a number of news articles and photos about the new AFV technology displayed at the event over the course of this week.  One of the more interesting items at AUSA 2016 is the Griffin Technology Demonstrator on display at the General Dynamics Land Systems booth.  Over at the blog Below the Turret Ring, they have posted some photos and a description of the vehicle.  You can read their entire article here.

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Below the Turret Ring on the Karrar MBT

The blog Below the Turret Ring features an interesting post on the new Iranian “Karrar” MBT.  A glimpse of this tank was recently shown on Iranian TV, which claims this is a completely new, Iranian designed and built vehicle.  Obviously, it is hard to say what exactly this new vehicle is, but the Below the Turret Ring blog does a nice job of examining the various possibilities.

Excerpt:

14055094_129799896024vkuqdThe Iran is working on a new main battle tank (MBT), which has been nick-named the Karrar MBT. While most details are unknown, first footage of the new MBT has been released on state-owned TV and found it’s way onto the internet. According to the Iranian TV, the tank is supposed to be completely built and designed in Iran.

The tank appears to be very similar to the Russian T-90MS tank in terms of shape and layout; it features a welded hull and turret, which is protected by explosive reactive armor (ERA) and on the rear sections by slat armor. In fact the vehicles appear so similar, that the Karrar tank should be either a licence-made version of the T-90MS or an intentional attempt to copy it. Claims about the Karrar being a locally developed tank might be propaganda or be result of a planned licence-assembly (Iran already manufactured a number of T-72S tanks under licence.)

The tank has six roadwheels partially covered by the side skirts. These skirts have the same wave-pattern found on the T-90MS’ side skirts, but currently found on no other Russian, Chinese or Ukrainian tank. Ontop of the side-skirts are two rows of flat ERA tiles, the engine compartment is protected by slat armor only.

Read the full post here.