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  #1  
Old October 21st, 2008, 06:37 AM

CarpathianDragon CarpathianDragon is offline
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Default Western/Israeli MBT HEAT armor too high?

Hello.

I'd like to raise the issue of the HEAT values of Western/Israeli MBT armor in v4.

In light of recent developments in the past 2-3 years, I believe a solid case exists to bring them into question.

As it stands, these tanks, the Merkava III-IV,Challenger 2,M1A2, are practically invulnerable to all HEAT warheads in the frontal arcs, even from the newest AT weapons like the RPG-29 or the AT-13/14 ATGMs. We are talking about these MBTs having values of 140+ versus the absolute max of 120 (the median being 90-95) HEAT penetration values of ATGMs.

That is inconsistent with reality.

In August 2006 a Challenger 2 had its frontal armor penetrated and its crew injured by an Iraqi insurgent RPG-29.

Also in August 2006 the Lebanon War was fought. During the conflict the IDF Merkavas proved vulnerable to RPG-29s and AT-13,AT-14s.

More recently, an M1A2 was damaged by an insurgent RPG-29 during operations in Sadr City in May 2008.

Apparently the dev team has relied on some overly-optimistic assessments of Western armor and thus I would like to ask the dev team to take this issue in consideration for any future patch.

Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old October 21st, 2008, 09:26 AM
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Default Re: Western/Israeli MBT HEAT armor too high?

Please......do tell

Are you basing your assumption of weapon capabilities in the game on actual game experience or are you just reading through the OOB's and comparing numbers ?

My guess is you are just comparing OOB values because if you actually test those weapons against those tanks in the game you will find that RPG-29's are capable of damaging any one of those tanks on the frontal arc ( It's rare but so are Real Life examples of this ) and the AT-13's and AT-14's are quite capable of destroying them from the front. If you set up a simple test you will see this.

I also note you are careful to avoid mentioning the difference between hull and turret armour values in the game and avoid the issue that bulk of the Israeli damage was taken from the side and rear

Don
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Old October 21st, 2008, 09:47 AM
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Default Re: Western/Israeli MBT HEAT armor too high?

Further to this I offer this anecdote

"In one encounter within an urban area in Iraq a Challenger 2 came under attack from irregular forces with machine guns and rocket propelled grenades. The drivers sight was damaged and while attempting to back away under the commander's directions, the other sights were damaged and the tank threw its tracks entering a ditch. It was hit directly by eight rocket propelled grenades from close range and a MILAN anti-tank missile, and was under heavy small arms fire for hours. The crew survived remaining safe within the tank until the tank was recovered for repairs, the worst damage being to the sighting system. It was back in operation six hours later after the repairs. One Challenger 2 operating near Basra survived being hit by 70 RPGs in another incident."


Don
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  #4  
Old October 21st, 2008, 05:12 PM

CarpathianDragon CarpathianDragon is offline
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Default Re: Western/Israeli MBT HEAT armor too high?

These are no assumptions. These are the outcomes of game experience. Yes, I have made proper "shooting gallery" tests on large empty,barren maps with clear terrain and excellent visibility (50-70). The M1A2 SEP company I tested on would invariably come out on top,the ATGMs running out of ammo, unless I purchased ridiculous amounts of ATGMs (like purchasing 7000+ points worth of ATGMs, the average "price" of an M1A2 SEP company).

This is exactly why I asked wether this was working as defined.

Also, about the "rarity" of HEAT penetration from the more modern AT weapons, I believe it is due to the rarity of these engagements themselves.

As far as I know, RPG-29s are nothing short of an exceptional rarity among Iraqi insurgents. For one to assess that "The RPG-29 rarely penetrates the front armor of modern MBTs" one would need for the RPG-29 to be :

a) Routinely used in Iraq
b) Routinely fail in Iraq

Both of these are untrue.

Attacks involving RPG-29s are extremely rare but also resulted in the MBTs being damaged.

In fact,what can be inferred from these incidents is that "The RPG-29 can penetrate the frontal armor of MBTs".

Also, I'd appreciate a link to the article stating that the Merkavas only suffered damage from the sides or rear, because I was under the impression of the exact opposite. If anybody was in a position to execute flanking attacks, it was the IDF, a conventional,mechanized force, and one of the world's best at that, not Hezbollah, a force that is basically light infantry at best. If that were true, that would mean the performance of the IDF in the Lebanon War was nothing short of abysmal if they allowed themselves to be hit from the REAR. I mean this either means the Merkavas were advancing in reverse, WW2 Italy-style (no offense to Italians here) or that infantry support and combined arms operations were completely absent, which I am reluctant to believe.

Finally, the anecdote does not surprise me at all. I completely agree that modern MBTs are almost impervious to RPG-7s and older ATGMs like the MILAN (I doubt the MILAN fired at the Challenger was more than a MILAN 2,more like an original MILAN). What I asked about were the newer AT systems.

P.S. : I apologize if my including of values from OOBs gave a frivolous air to my original post. I merely wanted to highlight the issue. People are usually... passionate when one questions the effectiveness of Western military hardware, I just wanted to avoid any miscommunications.

P.S.S. : Also, it was not my intention "palm" the difference between front hull/front turret values. Usually the units seem to prefer to hit the turret anyway, I didn't think it was relevant. I am using the download version,btw, if it matters at all.

Again, I opened this topic in good faith, meaning that I am quite open to the prospect of me proven wrong.I've had more than my share of occasions when I was labeled as "anti-American" for questioning the effectiveness of one element of the US Armed Froces or another, I have absolutely no desire for this thread to devolve into that,especially since the Steel Panthers series is close to my heart.

Last edited by CarpathianDragon; October 21st, 2008 at 05:35 PM..
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  #5  
Old October 21st, 2008, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: Western/Israeli MBT HEAT armor too high?

Lets have some figures shall we?

Quote:
Tank; cause and effect; location; source; date
M1A1; Armbrust s-side nb-skirt, knocked out; Baghdad; official, pictures; 23/08/03
M1A1; RPG-29 shot through the side, knocked out, sent back to US; ?; US soldier; late 2003
M1A2; IED, 240-mm mortar, catastrophic (first), 3 KIA, driver WIA; Baquba; official; 27/10/03
M1A1; IED, catastrophic (second); ?; official; ?
M1A1; IED, catastrophic (third); ?; official; ?
M1A1; RPG to side, 1 KIA; ?; official, press; 07/04/04
M1A1; RPG to turret front, frag/burns to commander/loader, gunner also WIA (?); Fallujah; press, video; 07/04/04
M1A1; PG-7V s-side glacis, burnt out; Baghdad; press, picture; 10/04/04
M1A1; multiple RPG hits, burnt out; Sadr City; press, pictures; 17/08/04
M1A1; RPG attack, burnt out, 1 KIA; Ramadi; official, press; 10/11/04
M1A1; ambushed on trailer, burnt out; Baghdad; press; 22/11/04
M1A1; RPG s-side second last skirt, mobility killed; Mosul; press, pictures; 12/02/05
M1A1; AT mine, mobility killed; outside Fallujah; press, pictures; 11/03/05
M1A1; AT mine, mobility killed; Fallujah; US soldier; mid-2005
M1A1; IED, burnt out; ?; video; ?
M1A1; IED, burnt out; ?; video; ?
M1A2 SEP; IED, knocked out; Sadr City; US soldier, pictures; ?
M1A2 SEP; RPG s-side rear-skirt, engine killed; US soldier, pictures; ?
M1A2 SEP; RPG s-side turret side, commander/gunner WIA from spall; Sadr City; US soldier, pictures; ?
M1A2 SEP; RPG-29, knocked out; Sadr City; US soldier; ?
M1A2 SEP; RPG-29, knocked out; Sadr City; US soldier; ?
M1A2 SEP; AT IED (#1), loss; Sadr City; US soldier 2004-2005
M1A2 SEP; AT IED (#2), loss; Sadr City; US soldier; 2004-2005
M1A2 SEP; AT IED (#3), loss; Sadr City; US soldier; 2004-2005
M1A2 SEP; IED or RPG (#1); knocked out; Sadr City; US soldier; 2004-2005
M1A2 SEP; IED or RPG, heavily damaged; Sadr City; US soldier; 2004-2005
M1A2 SEP; IED or RPG, heavily damaged; Sadr City; US soldier; 2004-2005
M1A2 SEP; IED or RPG, heavily damaged; Sadr City; US soldier; 2004-2005
M1A2 SEP; IED or RPG, heavily damaged; Sadr City; US soldier; 2004-2005
M1A2 SEP; IED or RPG, heavily damaged; Sadr City; US soldier; 2004-2005
M1A2 SEP; IED or RPG, heavily damaged; Sadr City; US soldier; 2004-2005
M1A2 SEP; IED or RPG, heavily damaged; Sadr City; US soldier; 2004-2005
M1A2 SEP; IED or RPG, heavily damaged; Sadr City; US soldier; 2004-2005
M1A2 SEP; IED or RPG (#10), knocked out; US soldier; Sadr City; 2004-2005
M1A1; IED, ruptured fuel cell, magazine detonation; Anbar Province; US soldier, picture; summer 2005
M1A1; IED, knocked out, unknown # of WIA/KIA; ?; US soldier, video; ?
M1A1; IED, burnt out; Southeast Baghdad; press, pictures; 25/12/05
M1A1; IED, knocked out, burning; Ramadi; video; 16/12/05
M1A1; IED, catastrophic, driver WIA; ?; US soldier; ?
M1A1; IED, burnt out; Eastern Baghdad; press, pictures; 10/03/06
M1##; IED, gunner paralyzed from severe whiplash; ?; US soldier; ?
M1A1; AT mine, mobility killed; ?; US soldier, video; ?
M1A1; IED, mobility killed; ?; video; February 2006
M1A1; IED, mobility killed; ?; video; 11/04/06
M1A1; IED, magazine detonation; ?; video, press; 15/09/06
M1A1; IED, knocked out, unknown # of WIA/KIA; North Baghdad; video; 09/10/06
M1A1; IED, burnt out; ?; video; ?
M1A2 SEP; IED, knocked out “destroyed”; ?; press; mid-2006
M1A1; IED, ruptured fuel cell, magazine detonation; Fallujah; press, video; 05/01/07
Yes, this list stops at the start of last year as that's when I found it.

CR2's killed to date:
25/3/2003 Hit by HESH round from a friendly tank. Round went in through the open commanders hatch. Picture Here.
??/8/06 RPG-29 Incident. Only source, Daily Telegraph account. Article.
6/4/07. Shaped charge IED detonated under the Tank. Source: MOD. Times Article.

Now if you could give us numbers of how many RPG-29's have been fired in Iraq, we can work out the incidence of Hits/ Penetrations.
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  #6  
Old October 21st, 2008, 08:23 PM

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Default Re: Western/Israeli MBT HEAT armor too high?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Listy View Post
Lets have some figures shall we?
CR2's killed to date:
??/8/06 RPG-29 Incident. Only source, Daily Telegraph account. Article.

Now if you could give us numbers of how many RPG-29's have been fired in Iraq, we can work out the incidence of Hits/ Penetrations.
Damn, Hull penetration AFTER ERA? Didn't know 29 was that powerful. (I might actually buy into RHA 1200mm performance claim )

Maybe it could be the case that the RPG impacted at such a angle that the glacis' angled armor advantage was negotiated enough for penetration.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 10:09 PM
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Default Re: Western/Israeli MBT HEAT armor too high?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Companion View Post
Damn, Hull penetration AFTER ERA?
Its not ERA. I proved this on the old forums, and since then there's been options for a "Challenger 2+" with the Extra armour packs on the sides and front.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 12:39 AM
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Lightbulb Re: Western/Israeli MBT HEAT armor too high?

Just to throw my two cents in.

First off there is nothing on the modern battlefield that can't be killed or as least disabled. To be sure there are some weapons systems that give this impression. Some Armies when everything is going IAW doctrine certainly can prevent the enemy from hitting its weak spots. However, this is combat we are talking about here and stuff happens during combat. In the scope of Steel Panthers/MBT the Challenger story would be a kill or at very least a heavily suppressed immobilized tank. Either way combat ineffective (except I'm sure it PO'd the insurgents involved)

A game I've played recently against Egyptian M1's, to be sure, I did spend a lot of time and effort winging rounds off their frontal arc. But at some point a kill/combat ineffective state can be achieved. This is usually using all manner of weapons including HEAT rounds. My point being I don't think there's much out of whack with the armour ratings as is.

I might mention as well that as good as the IDF may be, I'm sure their enemies while not as well trained and motivated differently, have come up with tactics that allow some successes on occasion. IIRC Merkva loses are pretty much a state secret for the most part. This is telling in itself.

These are my opinions and this is an interesting topic so let's continue on gentlemen.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 12:43 AM

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Default Re: Western/Israeli MBT HEAT armor too high?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Listy View Post
Its not ERA. I proved this on the old forums, and since then there's been options for a "Challenger 2+" with the Extra armour packs on the sides and front.
But still, it's quite a feat. People wouldn't put additional armor for no reason.

On the other hand, it is also true that one newspiece cannot prove effectiveness of a weapon system especially since the journalist credibility is at question (mentioning nonexistant ERA)
and specific place and angle of the impact is unknown (as we all know, not all rounds hit the best protected part)
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 08:09 AM

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Default Re: Western/Israeli MBT HEAT armor too high?

Just to the statistics, if you take Lebanon 2006, then only 18 Israeli tanks were seriously damaged by ATGM's/RPG's. There are pics clearly demonstrating Merkava Mk4 NERA after a front turret hit by Kornet - clearly failed to penetrate. Most of the penetrating hits were achieved from sides (applies not only to Merk 4 but to older variants used there as well) and by massed ATGM/RPG fire so yes, it seems that against modern MBT¨s it is a game of chance and you have to deplete ATGM stocks.
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