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Subject: What are the best tanks and why? (No, this is not a Who's is better question at all)
GOP    9/3/2005 5:01:53 PM
Now, I do not want to get into any 'my nations tank is better than your nations tank'...because if we do that, we just waste time. This is a serious question about the best tanks in the world and why, and who operates them. So, here are the rules: 1) You don't add a opinion about another tank, just the tanks you think are the best. 2) There is no name calling 3) Don't say that GOP is trying to cause trouble --------------------------------------------------- Here are the tanks that I know about, that I have heard are very good (in no particular order_ ChallyII Abrams M1a2 Leclerq Leopard Merkava
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french stratege    RE:What are the best tanks and why? (No, this is not a Who's is better question at all)   9/8/2005 11:33:32 PM
When the French developped Leclerc, they developped 3 "X-tanks" One like Merkava,: discarded because too great frontal area and engine in front alter thermal cameras in some conditions.Lack of flexibility in changing engine and armor for updates One like current Leclerc (flat turret) one like with full external gun : lack of situation awareness for commander even with best CCD cameras available at time.Degrability iin combat.
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Shirrush    RE:What are the best tanks and why? (No, this is not a Who's is better question at all)   9/9/2005 6:40:00 AM
Now that's interesting, FS. Can you please post a link to the various prototypes that led to the Leclerc, possibly one with pics or/and drawings? BTW, putting the power pack in the front was originally a French innovation. The AMX-13 light tank that was supplied to the IDF by France in the Fifties in modest quantities along with a jitload of junkyard Shermans, was AFAIK the first tank to use it's engine as extra protection. The AMX-13 was noted for it's accuracy at hard-to-believe ranges (for a 75 mm.), but apart from it's original frontal protection it was feared by it's crews for it's lack of armor. "Shiryion mi-carton", said with a French accent and the correct pronunciation of the Gallic diphtongue "on", even at the end of the Hebrew "shiryion", which means armor, was the expression these tankers favored to express their feelings for their ride. Fortunately, the AMX-13 did not last long in Israeli service and was upgraded shortly after the six-days war, and shipped over to Singapore, where it is AFAIK still in use as it is much more useful in jungle warfare than it was for the open-desert slugfests. There is no doubt in my mind that the original Merkava's outlay, power train, and overhanging turret bustle show it's AMX-13 DNA. Just look at the two of them together, the Merk-One looks like an AMX-13 on growth hormone AND steroids, but with a real turret instead of the AMX's cramped two-men oscillating job, which itself was original enough as well...
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Thomas    RE:What are the best tanks and why? (No, this is not a Who's is better question at all)   9/9/2005 10:25:25 AM
I wasn't aware that the AMX-30 had Israeli service (must have had very good reasons to keep that a secret ;-)).
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Shirrush    RE:What are the best tanks and why? (No, this is not a Who's is better question at all)   9/9/2005 1:03:18 PM
The little AMX-13 of the Fifties, not the T-54 lookalike AMX-30 of the Sixties. The '30 was offered by the French as a joint manufacturing deal before De Gaulle's embargo, but the IDF rejected it and luckily enough went to the British instead, for more second-hand Centurions and a participation in the Chieftain program that became the Merkava program when the perfidious Limeys reneged on their part of the deal under hydrocarbon-hydrostatic pressure.
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Thomas    Shirrush    9/12/2005 7:14:03 AM
Well, well, well. There is a reason for the French not to use Israel as a reference costoumer.
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JTR~~    RE:   1/10/2011 4:19:10 PM


I haven?t got all too much time here, so for the moment to start off I?m just going to bash out a few facts concerning the Challenger 2 which i am quite familiar with, though most definitely not as familiar with as others, but hey that?s what we are here for right.


Anyway i would say that i feel on a personal level that the Chally is the best. i would say this however as i am a Brit, but it is not due to national bias that i have come to this conclusion. whatever the result it will always be a close call as in reality as i believe someone has pointed out, at least three on the main contenders here are fairly similar, so really any result will be hotly argued and very debatable.


Some have pointed out that the Chally is somewhat slower some of its competitors. Well yes this is quite true, however while being slightly slower it is widely regarded as the most agile and manoeuvrable tank in the world over cross country. The range of the vehicle (depending on where you look) seems relatively comparable to its main competitors however the Leopard in particular has a very notable range increase over the Chally. This great agility over rough terrain is because of its unique hydropneumatic suspension system that afords it far greater stability and agility over rough terrain ( I do not believe that any of the Chally's main competitors currently field this same type of system.) 


The Chally 2 has been ADVERTISED by its producers as the most reliable tank in the world (while this may be true it is worth taking anything advertised by the tanks manurfacturer with a pinch of salt). however having seen some of the results from the challys field reliance tests (not just the ones listed on Wikipedia) the claim appears to have a good degree of truth to it, however i am not entirely sure as to how such claims hold up against its competitors. i do know however that the Leopard is widely regarded as the easiest tank to maintain due to its advanced modular system and computer detailing references.


In terms of fire power the top three are now all equal. before the Chally used to field the 120mm rifled gun from royal ordnance, but now due to the fact that stocks of the existing ammo for that gun are now finite (and is no longer in production) the choice was made to switch to the smoothbore weapon made by Rheinmettal ( the L55 I believe) used by both the Abrams and Leopard. This was added as part of a package of upgrades with the idea in mind over improving the Chally's already considerable lethality even further. This package if my knowledge serves me correctly included software and IT upgrades, improved sighting mechanisms and of course the new gun.  One advantage that was preserved from when the Chally had with its older gun is its ability to designate, engage and destroy a large number of targets within a short space of time. i believe it was quoted to be able to engage and destroy one target every eight seconds in succession. Its full turret spin time is 9 seconds i believe, so on the whole pretty impressive.


in terms of protection the Challenger is legendary, and i will uphold the claims that it is by far the best protected MBT on the battlefield today. it is proven that the only thing that can take out a Chally 2 (without using overly ridiculous amounts of firepower) is another Chally 2. The tank lost in the blue on blue incident remains that only Chally 2 ever to have been destroyed completely. The Abrams cannot claim this type of prestige as a number of examples have been lost as both a direct result of enemy action and to friendly fire. i believe the current total to date stands at around 13 Abrams completely destroyed with roughly 6 of those to enemy action (do not quote me on that). i once read an interesting source compiled by some tankies when they were discussing the protection of the Abrams, Leopard, and Challenger in relation to the cold war and the NATO presence in Germany. What they stated i conclusively agree with. there eventual findings were that the Abrams featured excellent frontal protect

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cwDeici       1/11/2011 2:38:24 PM
I'd say Leo, but it hasn't seen enough action to iron out flaws and enchance its strengths.
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Privateer       1/11/2011 6:05:53 PM
Seriously, this board suffers from a bad case of  thread necrophilia..." alt="" />
Just a few points, though:
The Challenger 2's planned upgrade with a smoothbore gun is dead. Not because installing the new gun represented a major problem, but properly (and safely!) stowing its larger one-piece ammunition is almost impossible. Why? The whole tank is designed around a rifled gun which fires two-piece ammunition. Only the inert APFSDS rounds are stored in the turret bustle aboved the turret ring, the rest, HESH rounds and the charges for both types of ammunition, are stored in the hull. Trying to shoehorn ammunition stowage for the larger smoothbore rounds into the turret would amount to a complete redesign which is neither cost-effective nor would it offer the same level of protection as a turret  specifically developed with smoothbore round storage in mind. In other words, the original decision to continue to use a gun technology in the Challenger 2 which isn't NATO standard has bitten them in the a*s, regardless whether or not it might offers some advantages.
The Leclerc, just like the Challenger 2, the Japanese Type 90 and the new Type 10 and other armoured vehicles use hydropneumatic suspension. Why? Because it offers some technical advantages over a torsion bar suspension, but it's not a game changer WRT mobility. Ultimately battlefield agility is made up of several aspects, not just pure top speed or slightly better agility over rough terrain. Acceleration from a standstill, dash speed from one position to the other and reverse speed are also important factors in battle.
The trials in Sweden (Leo 2, M1 Abrams, Leclerc) and Greece (Leo 2, M1 Abrams, Leclerc, Challenger 2 and IIRC T-80 and T-84) in the 1990s probably represented the fairest and most realistic competitions between modern MBTs. But every competition is influenced by the end user's specific requirements, preferences and perceptions, as well as political and economical aspects. Simply put, there isn't a "best MBT", just like there isn't a "best fighter plane".
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JTR~~    personally i cant see how this is going to turn out then   1/19/2011 12:53:27 PM

The Challenger 2's planned upgrade with a smoothbore gun is dead. Not because installing the new gun represented a major problem, but properly (and safely!)

Well if the upgrade program is dead as you claim that all British tanks will now be chugging around with only the 7.62 and the RWS in action then because stocks of ammunition for the previous rifled gun are finite, hence part of the reason to upgrade to the smoothbore in the first place.
it appears to me that there may be a problem.
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JTR~~    this is true   1/19/2011 1:13:01 PM



I'd say Leo, but it hasn't seen enough action to iron out flaws and enchance its strengths.

while it would be untrue to state that  the Leopard had not seen anything in the way of combat experience as recently variants of the vehicle have been fielded by the Dutch and not the Canadians i believe, one would be right in maintaining that  overall the thank has seen far less action that is main rivals. it has not however as to my knowledge seen anything in the way of tank to tank engagements. it would also be reasonable to state that all three of the main contenders have been built drawing upon experience from the previous model of vehicle I.E Challenger 1> Challenger 2, M1 Abrams> M1A2 Abrams, Leopard 1>Leopard 2 (and variants). however here again we are faced with a similar situation as both the Challenger 1 and M1 Abrams have both seen extensive levels of high intensity combat from which experience could be gained while designing the newer models. the same cannot  be said as much of the Leopard 1 as this like its newer brother has seen little  in the way of combat therefore no such lessons could be learned that could be included in the designing of the Leopard 2. The Challenger 2 and M1A2 have been able to draw from a wealth of combat and design experience drawn from the predecessor models. Before someone states that the Challenger 2 and Challenger 1 despite looking somewhat similar are both part of the same series of tank in actual fact share very little in common, i already know. But the fact remains that those common components are already proven and tested, as such the Challenger 2 and M1A2 both had very solid foundation on which they could be built themselves.


i will still maintain as  i have stated previously the while the protection on the Leopard is very impressive, the protection fielded on the Challenger in my opinion (which is an opinion that is commonly held) is superior. Its combat record doesn?t lie. it speaks for itself. 



But yes if you wish to know more/ greater detail as to why i feel the Challenger is a better tank, I will be only too happy to explain myself further. i would just like to point out as i mentioned in my previous post that i feel often the Leopard and Abrams receive an unfair share of the limelight, thus people are so quick to rule out other potential competitors in such situations because their knowledge base of such platforms is weaker therefore they have not enough knowledge on which to base a truly well formed, and well balanced opinion. 


regards JTR
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