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Glen Towler
Glen Towler
October 20, 2014 9:31 am

I knew a challenger one which crashed into a pub in Germany after the rear drive sheared which meant the tank had no brakes or steering. It was a fault in the drive train which was fixed just in time for the first Gulf war

oldreem
October 20, 2014 12:02 pm

The Russian tank didn’t appear to have travelling stab (or not engaged). Thought he was going to try for a pole-vault at about the 6th attempt.
Russian ARV (BREM-1M, based on T72) seems rather feeble (25t winch, 840 hp) compared with CRARRV (52t, 1200hp), altho’ Russian tanks are lighter than ours. Even Cent & Chieftain ARVs had 30t winch. So it’s sauve qui peut, or waiting for a lot of laying out multiple tackle, for Russian tank crews. Some members will remember limitations of Challenger 1 being supported by Chieftain ARV 1984-1991.
Short vid here of a CRARRV coming to help an armoured farmer in distress…

Dave haine
Dave haine
October 20, 2014 12:12 pm

First two- perfect example of the old adage- when you’re in a hole stop digging…..

Mind you they do show how you can dig a big hole very quickly…. You just need a thousand gallons of water and a cupid stunt in a tank.

Third one- Loved the wry smile on the commanders face, who obviously realised that whatever the cause/ reason for the incident, he is in the dwang, regardless.

Final thought- how much of mother russia is marshland?

Engineer Tom
Engineer Tom
October 20, 2014 12:17 pm

@ DH

I think they have an issue in places like Siberia in the very middle of summer these days with the permafrost melting. But surely this also helps them if they can’t get through the area neither can an enemy.

Dave haine
Dave haine
October 20, 2014 12:21 pm

Oldreem, you seem like the gentleman to ask (apologies for calling you a gentleman, if you’re not a rupe).

I figure that it’s generally best not to keep trying to self recover, due to the fact the tank tracks just chew up the ground even more, so you call in a recovery wagon- would they attempt a tow out or would they use a winch?

Dave haine
Dave haine
October 20, 2014 12:27 pm

@ET

Funnily enough that was what crossing my mind, when I asked the question…

I remember reading the history books about the enormous problems the germans faced with the Tigers and Panthers in russia, whereas the much lighter P4s and P3s coped. Prompts me to think whether the huge MBT has had it’s day, and a lighter, more manoeverable tank is needed.

monkey
monkey
October 20, 2014 12:30 pm

@ DN
Don’t forget the Autumn and Spring Rasputitsa that bedevilled both Napoleon and Hitler ,both were as severely hampered by General Mud as much as General Winter

Martin
Editor
October 20, 2014 12:43 pm

That Abraham’s is an expensive bit of kit to be mucking around like that.

dave haine
dave haine
October 20, 2014 12:55 pm

@ Monkey

DN? DN? How dare you sir! T45s at dawn!

I hadn’t forgotten those, indeed it just further proves my point.

In fact It might well explain the russian preoccupation with The Ukraine- didn’t someone describe it as ‘russia’s bread basket’?

It also explains why a lot of russians are gloomy- mud rain and S**t for two seasons of the year; ice,snow and s**t for a third and burning sun, mosquitos and s**t for the last… I think I’d hit the vodka pretty hard too….

‘Oh to be in England….’

The Other Chris
October 20, 2014 12:58 pm

Wouldn’t have happened with an 8×8.

(Duck and run).

monkey
monkey
October 20, 2014 1:02 pm

@DH
If its to be T45’s at dawn ,mines the one with Harpoon fit out

Chris
Chris
October 20, 2014 2:38 pm

DH – ref “Prompts me to think […] a lighter, more manoeuvrable tank is needed” – no arguments from me, but it all comes down to the Generals’ view of the things the armed forces will need to do over the next few decades. If they worry about traversing unsupportive goop then they need to address ground pressure in a big way. Currently it appears they worry more about IEDs of various types so heavy protection trumps all else. Looking at the track width and length on the ground of ASCOD/FRES compared to Warrior, and making allowances for the weights, it looks like Scout-SV MMP will be of the order of 225-245kPa, similar to T55 & Leo1, more than Leo2, but some 15% less than Challenger2. Original 9t CVR(T) on the other hand at 106kPa had less than half ASCOD’s ground pressure (based on the rough comparison noted above). But as RT would be quick to point out, the trade-off to get such a light ground pressure was light protection. It did mean it could cross terrain others wouldn’t.

Anyway. If the Generals and their Politician masters are only interested in travelling to the hot dry deserts of north Africa and the middle east, then heavyweights are just fine. Best they play nice with Vladimir then.

As for 8x8s (flavour of the month) by keeping vehicle weight to a minimum the set of designs I have each have MMP less than 210kPa (using the recommended calculation), but the lower ground pressure (good) would be offset by poorer traction compared to ASCOD’s tracks. By the time we are up at the 25-35t mark where most 8x8s seem to be, the ground pressure figure will be in the 300-350kPa ballpark, meaning their goop-wading capability will not be as good as typical tracked armour. All of the above being very approximate sums.

Engineer Tom
Engineer Tom
October 20, 2014 2:48 pm

I have a feeling someone brought this up in reference to FRES, but what decides the track width, as surely widening the track reduces the ground pressure.

Chris
Chris
October 20, 2014 3:35 pm

ET – correct a wider link spreads the load – the German Tigers had two widths of track, one for movement in Nazi controlled territory, these were narrow links to reduce vehicle overall width allowing for example easier transport by train – indeed these were called ‘transport tracks’ – and a wider track for front-line use (also required outboard roadwheels to be added to support the links). The T34 had large area track links despite modest weight to allow the tank to travel through soft marshy terrain.

But. Adding width to tracks has one of two impacts, either the vehicle width is increased, or the central well in the hull has to be narrower. Obviously increasing vehicle width has many disadvantages (although seeing the width of appliqué added to Scout/ASCOD/FRES protected mobility thingy you’d have to believe there’s room for wider track under it), but equally reducing the internal width plays merry hell with seating volume, stowage volumes and particularly the size of turret basket that can fit. In any case many vehicles have transmissions & final drives that use the full width of the hull, and making the transmission narrower would be no mean feat.

So yes you are right a wider track reduces ground pressure, but fitting wider track after the design is done is not a trivial task.

Observer
Observer
October 20, 2014 4:08 pm

Actually, attempted self-recovery is very common, people simply don’t like to admit they are stuck or call for help. Human nature. Most times it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

For assaults over soft ground, there used to be something called “trackway” which was basically a huge roll of ridged aluminium that you unrolled over/into the mud/sand for traction.

“would they attempt a tow out or would they use a winch?”

Usually tow out. The winch is usually more for power pack replacement than hauling vehicles.

@DH

Commander can’t really be held responsible, it’s pretty obvious what happened. The tank threw a track, all motive power to that side of the tank was lost, the track that was still intact on the right pushed the vehicle suddenly to the left into the wall. Throwing tracks can be dangerous, especially since it is a sudden event. Another reason why people prefer to use transporters rather than take tanks for a long drive.

Is it really perverse of me to be more interested in the BMP than the T-90? :) I thought it was a Sprut at first.

wf
wf
October 20, 2014 4:56 pm

Still think the rocket propelled anchor/winch combination on the CET was the dogs bollocks :-)

oldreem
October 20, 2014 5:09 pm

@Dave haine (12:21 post): No textbook answer – depends on the ground and the tactical situation. Simplest and quickest, if not bogged too deep, no thrown track and approaches reasonably firm, is a tow by another tank in the troop – as eventually by the Russians (note crossed ropes to share load evenly). But if they’re in contact, or the factors above are not favourable, then it’s the Sqn ARRV. Not unknown for a towing attempt to end with two vehicles bogged (more haste, less speed). Quickest way (and lazy man’s way) to winch out is for ARRV to drive up close, attach winch rope plus required tackle, back off, anchor, pull. But then the ARRV might get bogged if ground is all marshy. Slow but sure is to park ARRV well back on firm ground, pull out main winch rope with aux winch, then do the business. The rec mech should do a dismounted recce first, to assess the ground and calculate the pull needed. That depends on casualty weight, slope, ground factor (eg. clay worse than sandy soil) and whether one or both tracks locked. Then decide whether straight pull or 2:1 with pulley block (or even 3:1, depending on winch capacity).
There was an exercise in mid-80s somewhere north of SLTA where a battle group (1RTR??) tried to do a crafty flanker though a peat bog area with fairly narrow tracks. One tank slipped off the side – eventually a sqn’s-worth or more of tanks and ARVs all bogged. Took a fortnight, plus all the hardcore and trackway the Sappers could muster, for 2nd line REME to pull them all out. Many BAOR warriors will remember ground with a firm crust which when broken through has mush underneath.

Re. your 12:27 post, the Panther, and the big German half-tracks, had double the number of wheel stations with alternate, overlapping inner and outer road wheels. Clever way to spread the load more evenly across the tracks, but when mud between the road wheels froze overnight they were immobilised.

Track width v. hull width also constrained by recoil length of MBT main armament when firing over the side at high elevation?

Observer
Observer
October 20, 2014 5:17 pm

Oh, he meant the drum kind of winch, I thought he meant a crane type.

as
as
October 20, 2014 5:22 pm

Is it a question of the Diesel engine on the Challenger having more Torque then the turbine on the T90 and Abrams.
I do not seem to be able to find Torque figures for any of the engine. I can find power and weight figures though.
That would explain how it would have a better ability to cross bad terrain at slow speeds. The other question would be its ground pressure to track area.

oldreem
October 20, 2014 5:35 pm

@Observer: the winch and crane on an ARRV are separate items – CR double capstan winch 52t horizontal line pull plus 100t earth anchor blade, crane lifts 6.5t vertically at whatever radius is need for power pack etc. Some other nations’ ARRVs have a bigger crane which also has a limited recovery capability and can lift a turret (when?), but the winch & anchor is the primary kit. Warrior 512 is the platform of choice for lifting or changing power packs, and can tow a trailer with spare pack.
Ah – just seen your last post! Drum winches out of fashion for big recovery, as pull taken directly on the drum (ie on rope on the drum, which can be damaged by crushing); full load only available when most of rope extended. Double capstan winch only puts sufficient load on drum to maintain tension, and can winch in & out faster.

@as : don’t know – they’re all presumably working through torque convertors. But CRARRV has TN54 gearbox with 6 forward speeds so a pretty low 1st gear, as per Chall 2, whereas Chall 1 had only 4 forward speeds (and 3 reverse – were they hoping to sell it to the Italians?).
I wouldn’t like to be sitting in driver’s seat being dragged out by an Abrams…

paul g
October 20, 2014 7:18 pm

@glen, first comment. I do believe it was the muff couplings that went tits up it wasn’t far from the back gates of 7 Armd when I was there.
@old reem your posts are almost porn!!!

Dunservin
Dunservin
October 20, 2014 7:19 pm

Is this fish head still the only one to see that the obvious answer to this land-centric problem is a heavily armed, well-armoured hovercraft? Just replace the cumbersome driving wheels, bogies, tracks, gearboxes, drive shafts and whatever on a Challenger tank (or any other armoured fighting vehicle) with a flexible skirt then add a big fan thingy underneath. A suitable power plant is already installed. I’m sure a commercially available ISO container could be incorporated in some way to add cost-effective modularity, flexibility and all the other benefits that would doubtless accrue.

Don’t make with any ‘negative waves’ arising from institutional Pongo groupthink, specialist knowledge or practical experience. Open your minds and imagine the possibilities. ;-)

WiseApe
October 20, 2014 7:37 pm

– Ever gone over a stone with a hover mower?

monkey
monkey
October 20, 2014 7:46 pm


If they did that to all the vehicles there would be no need for bridging and that would be a shame

oldreem
October 20, 2014 10:15 pm

@paul g: we get so much sappery and containers one has to seize the opportunity to redress the balance.
Was hoping that someone like RT might bite and admit to bogging his whole troop…

Chris
Chris
October 20, 2014 11:04 pm

Oldreem – ref panzer wheels – the overlapping roadwheels were a nightmare if a wheel on the inner layer needed to be changed – to remove one wheel at the back meant the two overlapping ones on the next rank had to be removed, which meant the three that overlapped those two on the third layer out had to go, and the four overlapping wheels on the outermost rank. That’s 9 perfectly good wheels that need to be removed to access the one busted one. As a point of interest, the design Porsche offered to meet the Tiger requirement (VK4501) had smaller diameter non-overlapping roadwheels which would have made the vehicle less damage-prone and easier to fix.

Dunservin
Dunservin
October 21, 2014 12:31 am

“Ever gone over a stone with a hover mower?”

Are you kidding? It happens all the time… but why would I want to?

Beats driving a conventional rotary mower and roller over IED pressure plates, I suppose.

(I said no negative waves!)

Observer
Observer
October 21, 2014 5:35 am

Dun, love the conceptional idea of hovertanks, but it is still a bit premature. There might be future potential if you can 1) get past the skirt replacement time of only a few hours and 2) correct the hovercraft’s tendency to drift. It would be hilariously funny if you ended up with a vehicle that goes into reverse each time you fired the 120mm cannon. :)

Dave haine
Dave haine
October 21, 2014 9:29 am

@ Oldreem- thanks for that- very informative. I asked because I came across a clip from a army training film on youtube showing a Scammell SV2 recovering a Churchill- they basically just dragged it out sideways (they put planks underneath) using the winch and a s**t load of tackle, two of which went over the tank…

I know we’re only talking 30-40tons, but it still seems an impressive bit of work.

Dave haine
Dave haine
October 21, 2014 9:38 am

@ Observer- I would find that immensly funny…

….mind you it would work for the ‘fire and move’ principle….literally.

Observer
Observer
October 21, 2014 10:16 am

And any retrograde operation (*cough*-retreat) would be a walk in the park. Just shoot faster to get away from the enemy. :)

“tried to do a crafty flanker though a peat bog area with fairly narrow tracks. One tank slipped off the side – eventually a sqn’s-worth or more of tanks and ARVs all bogged.”

And this is why I keep saying that any driver worth his salt, 8×8 or tracked would avoid this kind of terrain like the plague. Just because you are on tracks does not make you a literal all-terrain vehicle.

oldreem
October 21, 2014 10:46 am

@Observer: Agreed – if he had the choice. But if tk comd/tp ldr/sqn ldr/etc says ‘go that way’ the poor sod had no choice (and might or might not be brave enough to say ‘told you so’ later).

Seem to recall that part of the relief advance in Op Market Garden was constrained by advancing on a one-tank front along an elevated road?

@Dave haine: Yes – ARVs only appeared in the latter part of WW2, and some were just tugs with perhaps a lifting frame. Amazing things were done with the Scammells (10t drum winch), but mightily slowly and labour-intensively – hammering in dozens of earth anchor spikes (try it in frozen ground) and removing them afterwards, or digging bulk anchors. No built-in earth anchor – put gunplanks vertically between the rear wheels, winch away and the old thing would do a stationary wheelie. (Sorry – bit of nostalgia from YO course & subbie posting…)

@TD: If I’d said “bloody” I’d accept your admonition – as it is I’m off to paint the downstairs (inside) loo.

Observer
Observer
October 21, 2014 11:55 am

oldreem, then the commander better expect the anticipated results!

And yes, XXX Corp was jammed along Hell’s Highway IIRC. The flanking units taking side roads actually got to the paratroopers before the main body did.

Dastardly Germans blew the bridges, that wasn’t fair. :P

Pity the Allies couldn’t imagine them doing such a simple thing.

a
a
October 21, 2014 12:09 pm

Dastardly Germans blew the bridges, that wasn’t fair. :P

Pity the Allies couldn’t imagine them doing such a simple thing.

Well, they did anticipate it, but IIRC the 82nd Airborne mucked up…

Observer
Observer
October 21, 2014 1:01 pm

No no no, XXX Corp was the one playing in the mud, so they are the ones mucked up. 82nd would be… dropped the ball? One short for bridge? Blew it? :P

MikeKiloPapa
MikeKiloPapa
October 21, 2014 1:05 pm

@as

“Is it a question of the Diesel engine on the Challenger having more Torque then the turbine on the T90 and Abrams.”

Only the M1 uses a turbine engine ….here is its specs:
http://image.noelshack.com/fichiers/2014/26/1404055639-m1a1-technical-data.jpg

The only thing i could find on the T-90’s engine was this little blurb :

http://fofanov.armor.kiev.ua/Tanks/EQP/v_diesels.html

For reference the Chally’s CV12 :

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Building+Challenger+2.-a09038700

and a civilian version of it :
http://www.michelecaroli.com/pdf_perkins/3012-26TA4.pdf

So to summarize:
M1 Abrams ~5150Nm
T-90 ~ 3500Nm
Challenger 2~4120Nm
Leopard 2 ~4700Nm

So while the Chally’s engine has more umpf than the russian, it cant quite match the torquey turbine of the M1.

As for ground pressure all of them are around 0,9 kg/cm2 ,…… though the newest(and heaviest)versions of the M1A2 and Leo2 are approaching 1,0 kg/cm2

oldreem
October 21, 2014 2:20 pm

: interesting comparison, as far as it goes (or rather as far as the available info allows you to – no criticism!). We can’t produce like-with-like comparison of torque at the sprocket, unfortunately. The full info shows M1 with max torque @ 1000 rpm (max rpm 3000, so directly comparable with others’ diesels), a 5.877:1 torque multiplication in 1st gear (of 4), plus further multiplication of torque convertor until lock-up. CR2’s max torque is @ 1700 rpm, so less at lower revs; but 1st gear ratio (of 6) probably gives greater multiplication than M1’s. Torque convertor also a variable, but CR2 may have less mutiplication/earlier lock-up because of more gears; TN54 is quoted as a low-loss gearbox. Etc, etc. But going back to @as’s real question – ‘was comparative lack of torque a factor?’ – I think the answer is ‘No’. Both videos showed tracks slipping, neither vehicle stalled (hard to do with torque convertor; try getting out of a hole in a Centurion without burning out the clutch). Western countries’ rubber-padded tracks probably have less off-road adhesion than the Russian metal track (which looked vaguely like Cent track), but then nothing will grip much in sludge. Expert views? (Some will remember swimming 430 and CVR(T) propelled by tracks)

Dunservin
Dunservin
October 21, 2014 3:27 pm

@Mechanical Tom

– Something like this?

http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~dheb/2300/Equipment/EG/cav/CavEG.htm

Thanks for that insight. It looks as though hover tanks are the future. I’m just years ahead of everyone else on here. ;-)

P.S. Couldn’t the tank lower stilts temporarily whenever it fired?

Phil
October 23, 2014 6:38 pm

An 8×8 would have cracked that.

Dangerous Dave
Dangerous Dave
October 24, 2014 9:50 am

@Mechanical Tom: re hover tank link. “Defence of Wellon”? Have you been reading Traveller:2300, then? :-D