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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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JTR~~       1/20/2011 12:52:18 PM



Thanks for your comment JTR.


JTR, sorry to say that but you're flat out wrong when claiming that the M1A2 or Challenger 2 draw from a wealth of combat and design experience drawn from the predecessor models.

...




I might also add though, that perhaps the Germans and others heard and modified their tanks as well? Regardless first-hand knowledge is usually far superior.

Well this is of course true. The Leopard is up to the 2A6 variant now with plans to release a 2A7. i would not think that it would be too unreasonable to assume that certain design flaws in previous models have been ironed out as it were in these newer one. However as you stated real experience is of course of great value which sadly is something that the Leopards have not really had the chance to show.

 
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JTR~~    @heraldabc   1/20/2011 1:09:22 PM

Its not that you need combat to show you what falls off. Its combat that shows you that you screwed up your test program.




 

The Challenger is all about what the British learned in WW II.  They aren't very good in a mobile tank battle at all , but they are fearsome in a combined arms position defense and the slow infantry assault (el Alamein Lesson). All around protection, the most powerful dual purpose gun, and crew survival are paramount, since there are never going to be many British tanks. Mobility suffers somewhat.         

 

Germans  and Americans from what I can see, insist on cross country mobility and sacrifice some side and rear protection for mobile warfare. They emphasize the best frontal arc protection and the best anti-tank gun they can. that was the result of their own WW II "blitzkrieg" experience, although it has a healthy dose of German tank as sxccessful antitank weapon and American tank destroyer failure as an anti-tank weapon to reach similar results. 

 


 




 

   

It is true the testing procedures are extremely useful and can help to outline many faults and flaws in a tank or any piece of military equipments design. however it can often be found that you do not really ever get down to finding all the flaws until you really put the kit through its paces in a combat situation, after all what better test  can there be for a war machine than  putting it through a war. it is even true to say that tests struggle to emulate  some of the problems that can be encountered on a battlefield situation. Tests are often rigid and are designed with finding specific faults in mind, but when you take the machine out there into the field and the unpredictable flow of warfare begins to make its mark you may just find that you wheedle out some faults that you did not previously find or did not expect.

As to your mobility comments about the challenger it is the yes and no situation. On roads I would agree with your comments entirely. It is by far the slowest of the 3 tanks we are mentioning here. However off road the Challenger is unsurpassed in terms of its rivals. Its hydro pneumatic suspension system provides it with the best off-road mobility and pace out of any MBT currently in service. the engine is also very capable at handling the demands of off road whereas i have heard some tankies call into question the performance of the gas turbine used on the Abrams in similar situations (do not quote me on this however as personally i would not know where to find evidence to support or disprove such claims, i heard it from them first, ha), however in saying this neither the Abrams nor the Leopard are lame ducks.

 

You are roughly correct on the German and US emphasis of frontal arc protection and mobility over overall armour superiority. as i have mentioned  in a previous post that the Abrams featured excellent frontal protection in order ot meet its needs of once having to potentially deal with large numbers of advancing Russian tanks come storming across the plains. This further explains its higher speed as realising that the armour was not as heavy upon the sides the Abrams would need to beat a hasty retreat upon being overwhelmed by sheer numbers of Russian tanks. The leopard was much the same, but they seemed to agree that it shed a little more in the way of armour in favour of extra mobility (this however i am dubious about; however it is certain to state that whatever the case the Leopard is by no means deficient in terms of protection). Their final conclusion was that the Chally featured the best protection of all the vehicles, as unlike the Abrams or the Leopard the Chally had sacrificed a little speed for generally excellent protection from all aspects, and not just a frontal one.

 

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JFKY    Herald    1/20/2011 1:20:44 PM
All I'm saying that in a choice between a LeClerc Program with two campaigns, and 6 years of combat travel, and a LeClerc Program that has been "rigorously tested"  I'd probably believe the reliability and support cost figures of the FORMER over the latter.  It has little enough to do with design philosophy and a lot more to do with the fact that several million kilometres traveled under actual combat conditions will introduce all manner of stressors and situations to a system.
 
Please note that even after "Beta Testing" software is constantly releasing new patches, why, mostly because "Fools are so Ingenious."
 
Post-war: I'd say you're spot-on design philosophies...Israel crew safety, Britain armour and firepower, the tank as the armoured sniper a la the Tiger in WWII, the Germans emphasizing "Agility" in the Bundeswehr...meaning that the Germans hoped to operate within the OODA loop of the Soviets, from small staffs, to cross-country mobility to fast(ish) tanks.  The US sought the Holy Grail of Tanks, Fast, Armoured, and Lethal...technology finally granted the US' wish in the M1...Wicked Fast, Invulnerable Armour, Lethal Main Gun...
 
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JTR~~    Invaluable combat experience   1/20/2011 3:04:23 PM

 

I can?t believe I hadn?t mentioned this before but why of course combat  experience does not only just offer benefits to the actual vehicle itself but it also helps to serve to improve the doctrine with which it is used thereby improving its usage under a combat system. by testing vehicles in combat it helps to show how well the vehicle will work within the overall military system, how it interacts with other units, how multiple vehicles work together, how their usage can be further developed etc. it all adds up, thus the overall tank can be improved but the way in which it is integrated into the overall battlefield system, the way in which it is employed can  also be learnt and improved all of which is invaluable and I hasten to add one may not be able to replicate such results to such a beneficial level while conducting field tests alone, as I have said there is no better way to test a machine of war than have it take part in a war itself.

 
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HeavyD       2/21/2011 4:00:02 PM
The Merkava is the best tank because it is the only one that fully recognizes that tank-on-tank violence is extremely rare.  Especially for Western militaries it is reeee-diculous to myopically focus exclusively on anti-armor capabilities.
 
Now, take a Merkava design, put a modular power pack up front and use hybrid drive, give the beast X kwh hours of batteries (for up to 12 - 24 hours of engine-off sensors and crew comfort capabilities) multiple remote weapon stations, and a BMP-3-like armamant of a 120mm gun/launcher and a 30mm 'coax' with high elevation capabilities and now you have a rig suited to the type of duty that our tanks, just as the Israelis, pull 99.9% of the time.
 
Here is the full nature of my genius:
 
1.  Hybrid drive allows a tank with a blown/disables power pack to be 'towed' under its own power by a 50 meter slave cable supplying juice from another tank or recovery vehicle, even from a towed generator.
 
2.  A high angle 120mm is better for urban and mountainous terrain, plunging fire is often more useful than direct.
 
3.  30mm coax is useful, especially with 3P fusing for many different targets, (UAVs included) when 120mm is overkill.
 
4.  The ability to evacuate wounded with MBT capability is of obvious benefit.
 
5.  Need to kill an opposing tank?  You have a shorter-barrel 120mm that still gives 105mm apfsds-du capabilities, ATGM extended range capabilities, STRYX-like top attack capabilities.  With the explosion of UAVs of all sizes, this last capability cannot be under-estimated.  MBTs can't hide from a small electric styrofoam UAV with a 4 foot wingspan and a laser designator...
 
6.  The troop space in the back is the perfect place to operate the remote weapon stations giving true 360% sphere of protection, as well as to operate said UAVs.
 
POP THE SMELLING SALTS AND RECOGNIZE THE REAL WORLD, ARMOR. 
 
 
 
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kensohaski       3/22/2011 2:54:17 PM

TO be clear my list based of facts is:
Leclerc, STR122, Leopard 2 A6, Japanese T90, M1A2, Challenger 2, Merkava MK4, M1A1, T80.This is based of effective firepower, effective mobility and effective survivability.And not a supposed bias to a supposed combat experience vs T55.

Full of shitt as usual.  The LeClerc or whatever it is?  It's made in France..  That's all I need to know. 
 
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cerbere       3/22/2011 5:41:42 PM
kenshoaski, please argument, this kind of comment are useless unless you can back your claim, with something intelligent ...
Herald you say the french were/are not successful with their tank, well WWI french tank were good enough for the US army; S35, B1Bis for WWII were efficient as well but not in number nor employed "correctly" (B1 had a major flaw on the left side, S35 was hard to kill and of course the 1 man turret, no radio etc ...), AMX13 was employed by Israel during the 60's/70's wars and they didn't complain much about it(didn't they got a long range kill with it?) AMX30 did its job during GW1 and I tend to think a tank is the best platform for a 20 mm gun on the side note, the Leclerc should be on par with the others models mentioned above, I do not say it's the best nor will I say the merkava or M1 are best as well, like it has been said numerous time here the crew will make the difference if they know perfectly the tool they are using and as long as it fit the country's tactic. So let's see when it will see combat how it will fare, still if it is in Libya the tank encountered will be t72 (a few) t55(a bit more) and their crew not trained like their western counterpart you will still say that it is crap, not matter how good it might be, sometime i wonder if you get paid to display your dislike ( or should i say rage or hate?!) of french, french army and/or french hardware ...
 
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cerbere       3/22/2011 5:48:32 PM
kenshoaski, please argument, this kind of comment are useless unless you can back your claim, with something intelligent ...
Herald you say the french were/are not successful with their tank, well WWI french tank were good enough for the US army; S35, B1Bis for WWII were efficient as well but not in number nor employed "correctly" (B1 had a major flaw on the left side, S35 was hard to kill and of course the 1 man turret, no radio etc ...), AMX13 was employed by Israel during the 60's/70's wars and they didn't complain much about it(didn't they got a long range kill with it?) AMX30 did its job during GW1 and I tend to think a tank is the best platform for a 20 mm gun on the side note, the Leclerc should be on par with the others models mentioned above, I do not say it's the best nor will I say the merkava or M1 are best as well, like it has been said numerous time here the crew will make the difference if they know perfectly the tool they are using and as long as it fit the country's tactic. So let's see when it will see combat how it will fare, still if it is in Libya the tank encountered will be t72 (a few) t55(a bit more) and their crew not trained like their western counterpart you will still say that it is crap, not matter how good it might be, sometime i wonder if you get paid to display your dislike ( or should i say rage or hate?!) of french, french army and/or french hardware ...
 
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Das Kardinal       3/23/2011 9:57:17 AM
TO be clear my list based of facts is:


Leclerc, STR122, Leopard 2 A6, Japanese T90, M1A2, Challenger 2, Merkava MK4, M1A1, T80.This is based of effective firepower, effective mobility and effective survivability.And not a supposed bias to a supposed combat experience vs T55.

Full of shitt as usual.  The LeClerc or whatever it is?  It's made in France..  That's all I need to know. 

<--- is all we need to know your opinion's worth shit.
But hey, haters gonna hate !
 
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JFKY       3/23/2011 10:35:51 AM
Herald you say the french were/are not successful with their tank, well WWI french tank were good enough for the US army;
Considering that there were only two manufacturers of tanks available, at the time, Britain or France, your claim is fairly meaningless  We also used the British Mk VII tank as well, does that mean British tanks were "OK", too?
 
S35, B1Bis for WWII were efficient as well but not in number nor employed "correctly" (B1 had a major flaw on the left side, S35 was hard to kill and of course the 1 man turret, no radio etc ...),
Your statement is a bit weak, the one-man turret and lack of radios made French tanks far INFERIOR to their German counter-parts.
 
AMX13 was employed by Israel during the 60's/70's wars and they didn't complain much about it(didn't they got a long range kill with it?)
It's an "OK" vehicle, more a tank destroyer/light tank than a "tank" though...it has 1 cm to 2.5 cm, of armour, making it very questionable as a tank.  Please note that the AMX-13 was replaced as quickly as possible by Centurions or M-60's.
 
AMX30 did its job during GW1 and I tend to think a tank is the best platform for a 20 mm gun on the side note, the
By the 1990's the AMX-30 was a very marginal piece of gear, poorly armoured, indifferently armed, and not particularly mobile...it's time had long passed.  It was passed by the M-1/Leopard II/Challenger.
 
 Leclerc should be on par with the others models mentioned above,
It could be....we'll see.  And that's why I always rate the LeClerc down the list, just not enough experience in the field.  how well will a three man crew hold up under the stresses of combat and maintenance?  How well will the loader perform, as compared to the M-1?
 
I do not say it's the best nor will I say the merkava or M1 are best as well, like it has been said numerous time here the crew will make the difference if they know perfectly the tool they are using and as long as it fit the country's tactic. So let's see when it will see combat how it will fare, still if it is in Libya the tank encountered will be t72 (a few) t55(a bit more) and their crew not trained like their western counterpart you will still say that it is crap, not matter how good it might be, sometime i wonder if you get paid to display your dislike ( or should i say rage or hate?!) of french, french army and/or french hardware ...
He doesn't your aerospace industry, mostly.  He HATES Bluewings and French Stratege with a passion.  I think that colours some of his postings, in regards to other French programs. 
 
But let's be honest, France has NOT been that successful with tanks.  You led the world in 1919, since then not so much.  The 1930's were a bust, the 1940's, well why go there?  The 1950's and 1960's saw the creation of the AMX-13 family, a good series of LIGHT Vehicles, but light vehicles are NOT good tanks.  It also saw the creation of the AMX-30, a lightish tank, armed with a bad, in the long-run, weapon firing HEAT, and a very unreliable engine.  It has not been until the LeClerc that France has moved, possibly, to the forefront of armour design and production...
 
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