Armorteks next model

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Phil Woollard
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Re: Armorteks next model

Post by Phil Woollard » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:38 pm

Impressive to be sure! I know someone not a million miles away that is very happy with the decision to build the Chieftain. 8) 8)
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John Clarke
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Re: Armorteks next model

Post by John Clarke » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:05 pm

Armortek are full of surprises, Famo and now Chieftain.

Totally Gob Smacked!

Looking forward to see what they've cooked up.
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John Grima
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Re: Armorteks next model

Post by John Grima » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:46 pm

Talk about go big or go home! bravo!

not my taste per sea, but still a nice addition to the line up none the less and I'm sure will be plenty popular with the cold war era tank crews in the UK.

*Luckily it wasn't a Pershing, M60 or another Sherman variant" my bank account will be ok... for now :lol:

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Stephen White
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Re: Armorteks next model

Post by Stephen White » Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:33 pm

M26 Pershing, now there's a thought. Would tie in with Adam Makos' new book:

https://www.adammakos.com

M60 - a cathedral on wheels, hopeless tank but the Pershing was like the Comet, an excellent tank but a bit too late for WW2. It then went on to serve with distinction in Korea and Vietnam, so lots of options.

Stephen

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Chang
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Re: Armorteks next model

Post by Chang » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:44 pm

John Grima wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:46 pm
....*Luckily it wasn't a Pershing, M60 or another Sherman variant" my bank account will be ok... for now :lol:
Chieftain is the coming next. Maybe the following next is M60A1(3) for John's bank account? :idea:
M60A3.jpg
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Es braust unser Panzer im Sturmwind dahin.....

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Re: Armorteks next model

Post by Robert Marshall » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:52 pm

Relieved there is nothing German WW2, cause after the KT I doubt my bank account could suffer :oops:

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Re: Armorteks next model

Post by John Grima » Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:51 pm

Stephen White wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:33 pm

M60 - hopeless tank
I'm not too sure on that one, I'm pretty sure there are lots of ex spearhead guys in the US and in Israel that would beg to differ.

Also the M26 was never sent to Vietnam. By the time the Vietnam war escalated the M26 family was already phased out by a decade or so. During the Vietnam war the M48 Patton was the tank seen in theater. The newer M60 were never sent there and were deployed mostly w. Europe.

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Stephen White
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Re: Armorteks next model

Post by Stephen White » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:24 pm

John, you’re quite right about M26 not serving in Vietnam. I’d remembered the ARVN having them but on checking, they had M24, which makes more sense. I suppose M48 could be traced back to M26 but that’s stretching it a bit.

I stand by my judgement on M60. It was unarguably a vast great cathedral of a tank. That ridiculous cupola was an invitation to any observer to say “I can see you...” with unfortunate consequences. The turret was far too high and had a critical vulnerability in storing highly inflammable hydraulic fluid behind the front armour. It also stored its fixed charge ammunition above the turret ring, which made a catastrophic ammunition explosion likely if penerated by hand held anti-armour weapons such as RPG. Chieftain had separated ammunition with the charges stored below the turret ring in wet lined containers. The risk of ammunition explosion was very significantly reduced. The M60 armour envelope was out of date at a time when Chieftain was reclining the driver and its gun was restricted to 105mm at a time when its contemporaries were mounting 120 or 122mm guns.

Two weeks ago, I was researching Chieftain files in our National Archives. There are some very interesting declassified files on the discussions the UK had with Israel about sales of Chieftain. They had two for trials and Gen Tal rated it highly. The Israelis made several requests to purchase but the UK turned them down. They resorted to M60 only because Chieftain wasn’t available. They had ex German M48 and M60 was a logical alternative to Chieftain. It wasn’t their first choice. M60 was effective in Israeli hands but against tanks which they over-matched. It’s notable how long the Israelis tried to keep Centurion in service, much modified as Sho’t Cal.

I’m sure M60 crewmen rated their tank. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t very good.

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Re: Armorteks next model

Post by Robert Reid » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:51 pm

Stephen... an interesting observation about the IDF.

How and when did the Merkava play into their plans as a 'homegrown' tank? Did that base off a western platform? Or was it totally homegrown? Did they do it after they were refused Chieftains?

Gotta be some interesting history there and as I am an Edwardian kind of guy... and your credentials in modern armor history are outstanding... thoughts?

Cheers,

RPR

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Re: Armorteks next model

Post by Robert Reid » Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:14 am

Chang wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:44 pm
John Grima wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:46 pm
....*Luckily it wasn't a Pershing, M60 or another Sherman variant" my bank account will be ok... for now :lol:
Chieftain is the coming next. Maybe the following next is M60A1(3) for John's bank account? :idea:
M60A3.jpg
Wonder, though, in this day and age if there is not a good demand out there for an M1 Abrams?

Cold War... Gulf, GWOT... That tank is now the 'rolling home' of a lot of guys who lived in them. And are at an age where building one in 1:6th... is in their wheelhouse. I have several friends who piloted them... two who were at 73 Easting. And as an alum of General Dynamics... they were one of our products!

Just thinking that as an historical track, there is a lot of history there. Recent history. With guys who drove them still 'extant.'

Cheers,

RPR

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Re: Armorteks next model

Post by John Grima » Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:12 am

Stephen,

From all the of the M60 crews I have met they all preferred the tank to the other NATO contemporaries, some of which they saw personally and trained along side in reforger and the other exercises that took place during that period.

One common reoccurring feature that they all mentioned when asked on the high silhouette was that they didn't deem it as a negative issue because the type of tactics that the 60 was to deployed in. The tactic was primarily defensive in nature and the tank would spend a lot of the time being in defilade position only to move from one point to another, and rely on the air power to deal with most of the threats.

The mini turret was one of those features that would come and go in US tank design and can be traced back to the M3 Lee. On the 60 it was a carry over from the M48 which incorporated it so the TC can use the gun without exposing himself to the NBC contaminated battlefield. The IDF came to the conclusion that it was more trouble than good and pitched it for the Urdan low profile copula.

For threat vehicles at the time the 60 was designed the threat vehicles were the T55, and the newer T62, and possibly the T64, which was still on the drawing board and not a whole lot of info was known at the time the M60 was in development. The T72 would have not been a threat at this point. The main threat would have been the T62 which the IDF did have good results with engaging these tanks with the 60 in the October War, not to mention the USMC in Desert Storm which also from some reports KOed several T72s.

The biggest non tank threat to the M60 would have been RPG7's, Saggers, MI24 Hind, and the Su25 Frogfoot. Which from my research would have been equally as a threat to the Chieftain as well, which was seen by the Iranians who used the Chieftain during the Iran Iraq War.

It is true that the Israelis kept the Centurion in service and still do for some roles, (Nagmachon). But I will say this about the IDF, if a vehicle or a piece of equipment is sub par or garbage they will not hesitate to discard it, like the AMX13. The M60, and the M48 are still in service and are constantly getting upgraded as new technologies come along.

Also I will also leave that one of the biggest advantages that the 60 had over the Chieftain was defiantly the reliability. The Chieftain's power plant was not known to be the best and I have read several reports about this reoccurring topic, To quote one of the ex Brit tankers when ask to describe the powerplant he responded with the very British response..."it was Rubbish"

Was the 60 the best tank of the period... probably not. Was it as good as the contemporaries, more or less. Was it able to do the tasks that it was designed for, yes.

Personally perhaps it's just national bias, but I always loved the tank just for the Aesthetics alone.

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Stephen White
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Re: Armorteks next model

Post by Stephen White » Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:55 pm

Pierce, John

Good points. I think Chieftain may have tapped into a new market.

John, you're right to suggest that tank crews tend to speak favourably about the tank they know best and yes, there is always a national slant. Here's why the M60 height is a real issue in combat.

This shows T-64B, Chieftain and M-60 A3, contemporaries on the battlefield of the mid eighties.

Screenshot 2019-02-13 at 17.28.49.png
The issue is how much of a target do you present when scanning for, engaging the enemy and moving. The top line, track up, shows that there isn't much in it, you're fully exposed and speed, agility and low ground pressure govern whether you make the next bit of cover.

The difference comes in the next two. Turret down is a position in which the gunner's and commander's sights can observe for the enemy while most of the tank is protected.

Once you've identified the enemy, you come up into hull down and engage. You can see from the picture how much more M60 has to expose to observe and engage. That determines the likelihood of an emend first detecting you and then being able to hit you.

I cam best illustrate that with a some views of typical engagement ranges between 800-1800M. M-60 is on the right, T-64B on the left. This is crucially where M-60 shows its relative vulnerability. Hitting a turret sized target at above 1500M was difficult in the eighties and M-60 became relatively more vulnerable at longer ranges. Yes, you can offset that a bit with artillery and air but come the crunch when you haven't got them, the tank's own level of protection is crucial. That's why the designers of T-64 and Chieftain tried so hard to reduce the silhouette, whereas for the designers of M-60, it didn't seem to matter much.

Screenshot 2019-02-13 at 17.07.14.jpg
Screenshot 2019-02-13 at 17.07.33.jpg
Screenshot 2019-02-13 at 17.06.47.jpg
Screenshot 2019-02-13 at 17.07.00.jpg

For the IDF this was less of an issue on their southern, more open flank where they deployed M-60 but the Centurions remained on the Golan, where the terrain is much more broken. And finally, the IDF started planning for Merkava at about the time Chieftain was coming into service, around 1970. It was designed with the lessons of the Six Day War in mind. Mauled by infantry anti-tank weapons, the IDF thought tanks should carry infantry to protect them. The resulting tank is big. In the West, the lesson was interpreted differently. Yes, close support of tanks by infantry was needed but by all-arms co-operation, which meant giving the infantry comparable mobility and increased protection to stay with the tanks in a fight. Hence the development of Warrior, Bradley and Nacmachon.

Thanks for your interest Pierce and John.

Stephen

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Re: Armorteks next model

Post by John Grima » Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:48 pm

Stephen, That's interested that you use those diagrams to illustrate actual combat, as when the dust settles the actual combat record of the M60 are as follows,

The 105mm Gun Tank M60 in action

Due to an impressive service length span, the M60 and variants participated in some major conflicts and many operations. The most important such battle theatre also saw the most number of M60 of many nations engaged, within the coalition forces in 1991 (Operation Desert Storm).

In US service, the M60 never saw service in Viet-nâm, contrary to the M48. For the US Army, the only operations were at Grenada (1982), Beirut (1983), and the Gulf War (1991). In the mid-1980s, close air support trials took place along with ground-combat equipped F-16s and pioneered tactical doctrines and technologies later used with M1 Abrams-equipped units. These occurred notably at the Red Flag exercise at Nellis AFB Nevada. After the end of the Cold War, most of the M60s (which were USMC M60A3s) were placed in reserve and only specialized variants were kept in service, like the M728 Combat Engineer vehicle and the bridgelayer version AVLB.

Yom Kippur War (1973)

The M60 was first blooded during this war opposing Israel to Egypt, Syria and Jordan. About 150 M60A1 (E60A) were opposed, with success, to the Egyptian-operated T-54/55 and T-62. But, at the same time, in the Bar-Lev line, they were destroyed in rows by Egyptian-manned portable AT-3 Sagger shaped-charge missiles, following the Egyptian crossing of the Suez Canal. Due to their effective gun, mobility and excellent safety records, IDF M60s had been highly regarded and were upgraded significantly, leading to the Magach 6/7 types and the Sabra for the export market. During this conflict, Jordan also possessed M60A1, but none was deployed.

Iran–Iraq War (1982-89)

The Iranian M60s were seriously tested against Iraqi T-55, T-62 and T-72s, and performed well alongside some M48s. Before the revolution, Iran had some 350 M60A1s, but this number dwindled rapidly due to the lack of maintenance and spare parts, to the actual figure of 150 tanks in 2011. At least one M60 was captured by Iraqi troops, evaluated, and was found in Baghdad in 2003.

Lebanon War (1982)
The Israeli Magach 6 formed the core of the armored forces involved in Operation Peace in Galilee, dealing with Syrian T-54/55 and T-72s or even ex-PLO T-34/85s. The only loses occurred when encountering Syrian infantry hunter-killer teams using ATGMs, RPG-7s and SA-7 Grail MANPADs. HOT missiles fired from Syrian Gazelle helicopters were also deadly. A single M60 was damaged, evacuated by its crew and shipped back to Syria to be studied by Soviet technicians, which gave them clues about the latest NATO ammunition on board. It is now still on display in Damascus.

First Gulf war (1991)
During Operation Desert Storm in February 1991, USMC’s M60A1 ERA rolled into Kuwait City after a fierce battle at the Kuwait Airport. Some 200 participated in the largest tank battle for an USMC unit since World War Two, dealing with Iraqi T-54/55, Type 69, and T-72 tanks, north from Khafji. This unit claimed nine dozen Iraqi tanks destroyed for a single M60A3 lost from a mine.

At the same time, USAF 401st TFW (P) unit used M60s based in Doha AFB, Qatar, modified to deal with unexploded ordnance from tarmac runway and taxiway surfaces. Saudi, Egyptian and Omani forces also deployed their own M60s in this operation.

Not to mention the M60 is still in service today, and is considered to be one of the most successful post war tanks designs

With all things considered, the M60 was far from being a "Hopeless tank"

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Stephen White
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Re: Armorteks next model

Post by Stephen White » Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:39 pm

You make a good case John. I won’t deny M60 had a long and distinguished combat record but from my limited perspective as a tank soldier, my view is that it had some fundemental design flaws and that it served on long after the threats it faced over-matched it. It’s a tribute to the bravery of its crews that they made it work for so long. It’s been an interesting debate but has probably run its course.


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Looking forward to the next tilt at windmills.

Stephen

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Re: Armorteks next model

Post by Simon Peck » Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:03 pm

A long story, short! A long time ago, in Nebraska, I met an ex Iranian Army General, who’d been someone to do with tanks prior to the revolution. I asked him which tank did they prefer? I felt he was being polite, sensing where I was from, and said that while they greatly valued the hitting power of the Cheiftan, they felt it was not reliable enough to be truly a useful tank, especially so in combat. As such they tended to drive it into pre prepared ditches, hull down and using it insitu. Paper advantages often disappear in the heat of battle. Why didn’t they change that engine? Fantastic as it sounds!

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