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12 mars 2015 4 12 /03 /mars /2015 16:55
Leclerc en mode Scorpion!


12 mars, 2015 Pierre Brassart (FOB)


La Direction générale de l’armement (DGA) vient de notifier à la société Nexter Systems le marché de rénovation du char Leclerc. Cette commande constitue la troisième opération lancée par le ministère de la Défense dans le cadre du programme SCORPION destiné à moderniser les forces de contact de l’armée de terre. D’un montant d’environ 330 MEUR, le contrat prévoit la livraison à partir de 2020 de 200 chars « Leclerc Rénové » et de 18 dépanneurs de char « DCL Rénové »,


Les travaux de rénovation prévus permettront au Leclerc d’exploiter au mieux sa puissance de feu et sa mobilité au sein des futurs Groupements tactiques interarmes (GTIA) de type « SCORPION ». Grâce au développement d’interfaces spécifiques pour le nouveau système de radio tactique CONTACT et le Système d’information et de commandement SCORPION (SICS) il pourra collaborer efficacement en réseau avec toutes les composantes des futurs GTIA « SCORPION ». Par ailleurs, la mise à niveau de sa protection à travers le développement de kits de blindage spécifiques permettra au char Leclerc de mieux faire face à l’évolution des menaces, en particulier de types engins explosifs improvisés.

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11 mars 2015 3 11 /03 /mars /2015 13:50
Leopard 2A6 - photo Bundeswehr

Leopard 2A6 - photo Bundeswehr

11 mars 2015 Quelle: Redaktion der Bundeswehr 03/2015 14E31201


Vier Tage lang begleiten wir einen Panzerkommandanten bei einem multinationalen Manöver. Auf dem Truppenübungsplatz Grafenwöhr in Oberpfalz üben deutsche Leopard 2A6 zusammen mit amerikanischen Bradley-Schützenpanzern und Abrams Kampfpanzern. Neben der Ausbildung am jeweiligen Panzer ist vor allem die Deutsch-Amerikanische Zusammenarbeit im Schwerpunkt. Höhepunkt des Manövers bildet der scharfe Schuss.

Islands of Kings von Boris Nonte (Universal Music)
My Immortal Hero von Boris Nonte (Universal Music)


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27 février 2015 5 27 /02 /février /2015 17:20
Palomar Display Products Awarded a $28.6M Contract From US Army


Feb 19, 2015 ASDNews Source : Palomar Display Products, Inc.


Palomar Display Products, Inc. announced today that it has been awarded a $28.6M firm-fixed-price indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to produce Biocular Image Control Unit (BICU) displays for M1A2 Abrams tanks. This award by the US Army Contracting Command also includes associated spares, repairs and engineering services.

These high resolution, optically coupled BICU displays have been designed and qualified for the M1A2 Abrams tank and will be delivered to the US Army over a period of five years, through 2020.


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27 février 2015 5 27 /02 /février /2015 12:20
U.S. Army M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank, Company C, 1st Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division

U.S. Army M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank, Company C, 1st Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division


19.02.2015 General Dynamics - army-guide.com


The U.S. Army TACOM Lifecycle Management Command has awarded General Dynamics Land Systems $49.7 million under an existing contract to upgrade M1A1 Abrams tanks to the M1A2 Systems Enhancement Package (SEP) V2 configuration. General Dynamics Land Systems is a business unit of General Dynamics.


The most technologically advanced digital tank, the M1A2 SEP V2 includes improved color displays, day and night thermal sights, commander remote operated weapon station (CROWS II), a Thermal Management System (TMS) and a tank-infantry phone. The M1A2 SEP V2 maximizes the fighting ability of the tank on today's battlefield while preparing the platform for tomorrow's challenges.


The original multi-year contract was awarded in February 2008, which authorized the upgrade of 435 M1A1 tanks that have been in the Army's inventory for more than 20 years. General Dynamics is continuing the conversion of the tanks in the Army's active component to the M1A2 SEP V2 configuration.


Production will be performed by existing employees in Anniston, Ala.; Tallahassee, Fla.; Sterling Heights, Mich.; Lima, Ohio; and Scranton, Pa., and is expected to be completed by January 2017.

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24 février 2015 2 24 /02 /février /2015 16:45
T-90 photo Rostec

T-90 photo Rostec


24 February 2015 by defenceWeb


Algeria has signed a contract for the license assembly of around 200 T-90 main battle tanks with Russian arms exporting firm Rosoboronexport.


According to Moscow Defence Brief, the deal, signed last year, is worth around $1 billion. Russian business newspaper Vedomosti, quoting defence sources, on Friday said that this follows on a contract for the delivery of 185 T-90S tanks, delivered between 2006 and 2008 in a deal worth $1 billion. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), another 120 T-90S tanks were delivered between 2012 and 2013 under a 2011 deal worth $470 million.


The T-90 is a modernised version of the T-72, but although developed from the T-72, it uses a 125 mm 2A46 smoothbore tank gun, a new engine, and thermal sights. Standard protective measures include a blend of steel, composite armour, and Kontakt-5 explosive-reactive armour, laser warning receivers, Nakidka camouflage and the Shtora infrared anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) jamming system.


Algeria is acquiring a significant amount of military hardware as it continues with the massive overhaul of its military. According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, some of Algeria’s imports in 2013 included ten armoured combat vehicles and 101 Russian main battle tanks (obviously T-90S tanks), 24 Fuchs vehicle kits from Germany, 60 73 mm HATGL recoilless rifles and 214 light machineguns from Bulgaria and eight air-to-surface missiles from South Africa.


Algeria is buying around 1 200 Fuchs APCs from Germany, which will assemble them in the North African nation, and is also jointly producing the NIMR vehicle in conjunction with the United Arab Emirates.


On the naval side, Algeria will soon take delivery of three new C28A corvettes from China and two Meko A-200N frigates from Germany. In September last year Italian shipyard Fincantieri delivered the Algerian Navy’s flagship amphibious warfare vessel Kalaat Beni-Abbes at its Muggiano Shipyard. As part of its naval modernisation programme, Algeria will in 2018 take delivery of two Project 636 Varshavyanka (Kilo class) diesel electric submarines from Admiralty Shipyards in Russia. Algeria has also ordered two new Tiger class corvettes from Russia.


The Algerian Air Force is also getting a boost with the acquisition of up to six Mil Mi-26T2 heavy lift helicopters and 42 Mi-28N Night Hunter attack helicopters while 39 of its Mi-171Sh helicopters will be modernised. The second Mi-26T2 was seen undergoing flight testing in Russia earlier this month.


Russia is a major supplier to Algeria, which is one of the world’s leading arms importers. Rosoboronexport, owned by state conglomerate Rostec, sold more than $13 billion worth of military equipment in 2014 and hopes to sell just over $13 billion this year. Rosoboronexport on Monday said its orders portfolio stands at $38.5 billion.

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14 février 2015 6 14 /02 /février /2015 12:40
Armor: Russia Bets On Armata


February 9, 2015:  Strategy Page


Russia has been trying to develop a radical new tank design since the 1960s. This effort already resulted in the T-64, T-72 and T-80. The only design that showed promise was the T-72, but it was not radically new, just a refinement of designs that appeared early in World War II and quickly replaced all competing designs and became the basis for all modern tanks (T-72, M-1, Leopard and so on). When it was clear (by the 1980s) that the T-72 was the best they had, several new versions appeared, not all of them Russian. But it was obvious (especially after several wars) that the T-72 was inferior to Western designs


Russia then sought to create another breakthrough design and after several false starts they believe they finally have a winner in their new “universal combat platform” called the Armata system. The first prototypes of this vehicle began testing in 2013 and the Armata platform is currently being used for the construction of  the new T-14 tank prototypes. This vehicle uses the engine and tracks as well as the heavily armored crew capsule of the Armata system. Added to this is an automated 125mm gun (and 32 shells and missiles) in a turret. There is also a RWS (remote weapons station) for a 30mm autocannon and another for a 12.7mm machine-gun. In addition to the weapons the crew of three would operate several sensor systems (thermal, vidcams and AESA radar) and an automatic defense system for protection against missiles and weapons like RPGs (shaped charge rockets used by the infantry). All this would be in a 55 ton vehicle that would require the services of additional maintenance personnel nearby (behind the fighting) who would help fix problems and assist the crew in maintaining all this complex equipment. Prototypes of the T-14 are supposed to be available for field testing in 2015 or shortly thereafter.


There is already another Armata vehicle. In 2014 Russia began testing the newly built prototypes of its new Kurganets 25 IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle). This is based on the Armata chassis and will eventually replace all the existing BMP and BMD IFVs. Kurganets 25 is very similar to the American M-2 Bradley IFV as it has a turret equipped with a 25mm autocannon and two ATGM (Anti-Tank Guided Missiles) mounted on either side. The turret also has computerized fire control, thermal sensors and a 7.62mm machine-gun. The 25 ton Kurganets 25 will have a front mounted engine, a crew of three and carry six or seven infantry.


As impressive as the Kurganets 25 seems to be, the Russians may have missed the fact that after 2007 the U.S. Army stopped using the M-2 in combat. By then it was clear to the U.S. that the enemy was intent on using mines and roadside bombs in a big way and the M-1 tank, Stryker, and MRAP vehicles were much better able to handle these blast weapons than the M-2.


The Kurganets 25 is only one of several armored vehicles that use the same basic chassis and systems as the T-14, support vehicles and self-propelled artillery. It is rumored that prototypes of some Armata vehicles will be shown in military parades during late 2015.

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13 février 2015 5 13 /02 /février /2015 17:20
M1 Abrahams photo US Army

M1 Abrahams photo US Army


04 February 2015 Pacific Sentinel


Armored forces still have a role to play in future conflicts.


Time and again, obituaries on the world’s tank forces have been composed by analysts, who cite shifting priorities in acquisitions, shrinking defense budgets, and the obsoleteness of heavy armor in the age of cyberwar, drone strikes, and “light footprint” (PDF) operations. The United States Army, while still fielding one of the largest tank forces in the world – the number of main battle tanks alone is around 6000 – cancelled its most prominent replacement for armored fighting vehicles, the Ground Combat Vehicle, at the beginning of 2014.

Yet, as Breaking Defense reports, this trend could now partially  be reversed. The 2016 budget request contains a substantial increase in funding for various tracked vehicle programs, which according to Breaking Defense have a good chance to exit the contentious budget debates unscathed due to overall strong congressional backings of the programs and the relative small amount of money asked for. Breaking Defense lists the following programs: 


Read the full story at The Diplomat

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13 février 2015 5 13 /02 /février /2015 08:30
How Iraqi Hezbollah Acquired an American M1A1 tanks?

28.01.2015 defense-update.com

A video recently aired on YouTube shows an alarming situation happening in Iraq, where heavy equipment delivered by the U.S. To the Iraqi Army reaches extremist groups in the country – some are jihadists fighting against the government (ISIS and its supporters) and others are Iranian backed extremist groups presently supporting the Iraqi Forces.


The convo shown in this video shows a long group of vehicles, comprising mainly pickup trucks, but also various vehicles provided by the USA to the Iraqi Forces, including M1A1 main battle tanks, transported on standard US Army Heavy Equipment Transporter (HET), M113 Armored Personnel Carriers and M151, military trucks hacked with rocket launchers to become mobile rocket launchers. Unlike tanks shown by ISIS, that were damaged in battle, this equipment seems intact, and may have been taken by the Hezbollah from Iraqi storage of abandoned by military units.

According to The Long War Journal, Kata’ib Hezbollah, receives funding, training, logistics, guidance, and material support from the Iranian Qods Force, the external operations wing of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. The radical militia has joined the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq. In addition, other Iranian-supported Shia militias, such as Asaib al Haq, Badr Organization, and Muqtada al Sadr’s Promised Day Brigades have played a prominent role on the battlefield.

Despite this, the group was unofficially assisted by US airstrikes when Iraqi and Kurdish forces broke the siege of Amerli in Salahaddin province, although, according to US announcements, the call for fires were at “the request of the Government of Iraq” and “in support of an operation to deliver humanitarian assistance to address the humanitarian crisis and protect the civilians trapped in Amerli.

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12 février 2015 4 12 /02 /février /2015 17:50
Picture: Corporal Mark Webster RLC, UK MoD

Picture: Corporal Mark Webster RLC, UK MoD


Source UK MoD

Soldiers from the Queen’s Royal Hussars are conducting a major live-firing exercise at the Hohne ranges in Germany. The exercise is part of regiment’s annual training, which also involves the transportation of heavy armour. Pictured, a Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank being loaded on to train transports in Sennelager.

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11 février 2015 3 11 /02 /février /2015 08:20
Army Asks for More Money to Upgrade Abrams Tanks


, February 9th, 2015 By Michael Hoffman - dodbuzz.com


Army leaders have thus far taken up a losing battle against Congress to temporarily halt funding for its Abrams tanks. However, that changed in its latest budget proposal as the service has reversed course and asked for 50 percent more funding for the M1 Abrams tank over last year.


Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told Congress in 2o12 that the Army wanted to spend money on other modernization priorities. Congress pushed back saying it was a mistake to shut down the production line of the M1 tank, which is located in Lima, Ohio, even if it’s a temporary shut down. The Army would risk losing the skilled workers at the plants and spend more on training when they needed to reopen the production line for the Abrams upgrades the Army had said it needed in 2017.

The Army apparently listened to the critique, as service officials requested $368 million for upgrades to the M1 tank. Last year, the Army asked for $237 million.


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4 février 2015 3 04 /02 /février /2015 12:30
Armor: Iraq Asks For More M-1s, Please


January 6, 2015: Strategy Page


Iraq is buying another 170 American M-1A1 tanks. In 2008 Iraq had ordered and received (by 2010) 140 M-1A1 tanks, 21 M88A1 armored recovery vehicles and 60 M1070 tank transporters (which can also carry supplies or other vehicles.) Iraq was not be the first Arab country to operate the M1 tank. Egypt, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia already operate over 1,600 of them, and Egypt has built hundreds of them (mainly using components imported from the U.S., but with some locally made parts). Iraq receives the M-1A1 version. All the other Arab users have at least some of the latest model (M1A2 SEP).


The Arab users of the M1 have been very happy with their American tanks. This satisfaction increased when they saw how the M-1 performed in Iraq. While most Arabs deplored U.S. operations in Iraq, Arab tank officers and M-1 crewmen were quietly pleased that their tanks appeared invulnerable, and able to assist the infantry in any kind of fight. Iraqi army officers have spoken to fellow Arab officers who have used the M-1, and were told this was the way to go.


Corruption in the Iraqi Army led to Iraqi M-1 crews being poorly trained and led. So far Iraqi troops have lost (or abandoned) at least 40 M-1s to enemy action or panic. At least one Iraqi Mi1 was destroyed by a Russian ATBM (anti-tank guided missile). The Iraqis promise they will do better with their new batch of M-1s.

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4 février 2015 3 04 /02 /février /2015 07:50
photo Armée de Terre

photo Armée de Terre

31.01.2015 par Philippe Chapleau - Lignes de Défense

Dans une déclaration (mollement musclée) à l'issue des consultations intergouvernementales franco-polonaises, l'Elysée a annoncé un déploiement blindé français en Pologne:

"Après avoir déployé des avions de chasse en Pologne durant une période de quatre mois et avoir pris part à de multiples exercices de l’OTAN dans la région en 2014, la France est prête à prolonger sa contribution aux mesures d’assurance de l’OTAN. Les efforts de la France couvriront un large éventail de forces : terrestres, maritimes, aériennes et spéciales. En particulier, la France déploiera des chars Leclerc avec des véhicules blindés VBCI pendant deux mois et participera à un certain nombre d’exercices de l’OTAN en Pologne."

(lire l'intégralité du communiqué ici).

Déjà annoncé! L'annonce ne doit pas surprendre puisque Jean-Yves Le Drian avait promis un tel déploiement en novembre dernier. Le ministre de la Défense avait alors parlé d'une "unité de blindés qui effectuera des exercices sur le territoire polonais".

Quel calendrier? Ni l'un ni l'autre n'ont, toutefois, donné de calendrier. JYLD avait suggéré que les blindés pourraient arriver dans "quelques semaines"; le Président n'a rien dit, sauf la durée du déploiement: "deux mois".

Combien de divisions? Le nombre de blindés doit être significatif pour que la mesure soit efficace et rassure les pays voisins de la Russie. Alors: 4? 8? chars Leclerc? Les Leclerc pourraient venir du 12e Cuir d'Ollivet; quant aux VBCI, rien sur leur nombre et leur provenance.

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21 janvier 2015 3 21 /01 /janvier /2015 08:35
Arjun Tank May Miss Date Again


January 19, 2015 idrw.org


The domestically produced Arjun Tank beat the Russian T-90 tanks hollow in the field trials, but it may again miss the date for its delivery to the Indian Army in 2015, because of the new conditions slapped by the Indian Army procurers every time the state-run DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) came forward to declare ready its production.


On the recommendations of the Army, the Defence Ministry has kept demanding newer and newer additions in the Arjun Tank Mark-2 that its total weight has gone up and now DRDO is being posed the challenge to reduce its weight. The new challenges are thrown at DRDO every time trial of its tanks were completed against the order placed with it in 2010 for producing 124 such tanks.


When the trial was over, a new demand was made that the Army needs night vision device on the gunner side of tanks. The Chennai-based Heavy Vehicles Factory of DRDO complied with the demand, the Army sought a similar device also on the commander side. That too was complied with when a fresh demand came to install 120mm gun for anti-tank guided missiles. The gun was fitted when the demand came that it should be rather a laser gun.


Since the laser guns are not produced indigenously, DRDO bought them from Israel and installed them. The Army, however, rejected these guns for too much smoke it produces and sought more changes. An insider says as many as 72 technical changes have been incorporated by DRDO since I got the original order in 2010. The Defence Ministry insists that all these changes were felt necessary to have a most modern tank with the Army, but those in DRDO now smell a deliberate attempt to browbeat the public sector company to give up and let the government import the tanks from abroad.


Nobody in the Defence Ministry is ready to listen that so many changes have made the tanks costlier and heavier and hence the designs will have to be reworked to reduce price and weight and hence DRDO cannot make the delivery on time as announced by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar without understanding the politics that goes on in the ministry.

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24 décembre 2014 3 24 /12 /décembre /2014 12:30
L’exécutif américain autorise la vente de chars lourds à l’Irak


23.12.2014 Par - RFI


Alors que l’Irak continue de faire face au groupe Etat islamique, Bagdad réclame aux Etats-Unis de pouvoir acheter le meilleur de sa technologie militaire. Le département d’Etat vient de donner son accord de principe pour la vente de blindés lourds et de véhicules de combat pour un montant de trois milliards de dollars.


175 chars lourds de combat M1A1 Abrams. 1000 véhicules blindés légers Humvees. Le tout accompagné d’armements de gros calibres. C’est ce que le département d’Etat américain et le département de la Défense viennent d’accepter de vendre à l’Irak, vendredi 19 décembre, pour un montant estimé à près de trois milliards de dollars (2,45 milliards d’euros).

Cette « notification de vente potentielle » est un accord de principe de la part de l’exécutif américain, avant tout commerce d’armement. Elle doit encore être validée par le Congrès avant que Bagdad ne puisse officiellement contacter les industriels concernés pour passer commande. Les parlementaires américains, relativement unanimes sur le besoin d’équiper les Irakiens, ne devraient logiquement pas s’opposer à un tel contrat.


Suite de l'article

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12 décembre 2014 5 12 /12 /décembre /2014 16:50
Leopard 2A7 photo Bundeswehr - Neumann

Leopard 2A7 photo Bundeswehr - Neumann


11 décembre, 2014 par Frédéric Lert (FOB)


Pendant l’édition 2010 du salon Eurosatory, le groupe allemand Kraus Maffei Wegmann (KMW) présentait sur son stand le Leopard modèle 2A7, fruit de la modernisation du 2A6 déjà en service. L’engin rassemblait des évolutions nées notamment du retex afghan, et très certainement de l’engagement des Leopard danois et hollandais. Avec le modèle 2A7, KMW cherchait avant tout à offrir à son char de bataille une meilleure protection dans le cadre de combats dits « asymétriques » et/ou urbains, avec en premier lieu une protection renforcée sur 360° contre les lance grenade du type RPG7. Le 2A7 offrait également à son chef de bord une meilleure appréciation de l’environnement extérieur avec un nouveau viseur stabilisé incluant un imageur infrarouge, un télémètre laser et une caméra TV. Le canon de 120mm restait inchangé, mais il gagnait toutefois une munition supplémentaire avec un obus Rheinmetall HE (High Explosive) programmable. Un des défauts majeurs apparus pendant le conflit afghan était la vulnérabilité du plancher de l’engin aux mines et autres IED. En bonne logique, le 2A7 était également renforcé à ce niveau. Citons enfin l’ajout d’un groupe auxiliaire de puissance renforcé permettant au char de rester sous tension tout en coupant sa motorisation principale.


Quatre ans après cette première présentation à Paris, la Bundeswehr a donc reçu son premier véhicule modernisé. L’objectif affiché par l’Allemagne est de hisser sa flotte complète de Leopard 2A6 à ce nouveau standard, soit un total théorique de 225 engins répartis en quatre bataillons. Pour l’instant, les tankistes allemands devront  se contenter d’un premier lot de 20 véhicules qui ne ré-équiperont que partiellement le 203ème bataillon de chars.

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11 décembre 2014 4 11 /12 /décembre /2014 12:40
Russie: les chars Armata seront dotés d'un nouveau missile


MOSCOU, 10 décembre - RIA Novosti


La Russie créera un nouveau missile pour son char lourd de nouvelle génération Armata, a annoncé mardi à Moscou à vice-président du collège de la Commission russe pour l'industrie de défense Oleg Botchkarev.


"Le nouveau char sera doté d'un nouveau missile guidé dont les performances seront bien inattendues pour notre ennemi", a indiqué M.Botchkarev lors de l'émission Défense nationale à la radio moscovite Stolitsa FM.


Le ministère russe de la Défense a annoncé au début de 2014 que le parc de blindés et matériels de guerre des troupes terrestres serait renouvelé à 70% d'ici 2020. L'armée de terre sera notamment dotée de chars Armata, de blindés de transport de troupes Boomerang, de véhicules de combat d'infanterie Kourganets-25 et de véhicules Taïfoun.


Selon le directeur général adjoint de l'Agence russe d'exportation d'armements (Rosoboronexport) Igor Sevastianov, le char Armata aura une tourelle inhabitée et un système de commande automatisé et l'équipage du char sera protégé par une capsule blindée.

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5 décembre 2014 5 05 /12 /décembre /2014 17:30
Iraqi Army M1A1 Abrams tanks

Iraqi Army M1A1 Abrams tanks


December 5, 2014 by James Dunnigan – Strategy Page


The American M1 Abrams tank suffered its first heavy losses in Iraq during 2014. Nearly a third of the 140 M1s Iraq had received between 2010 and 2012 have been destroyed or heavily damaged. Most of the M1 damage was done to M1s captured by ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) and then attacked by American aircraft. But over a third of the M1s were destroyed or damaged by ISIL fighters. The Iraqi troops using the M1s did not, as they were taught by the Americans, use their M1s in conjunction with infantry. This allowed ISIL fighters to get close enough to M1s during combat to place explosives and disable or destroy some of these M1s. A few were destroyed by Russian Kornet ATGM (Anti-Tank Guided Missiles). The Kornet E is a Russian laser guided missile with a range of 5,000 meters. The launcher has a thermal sight for use at night or in fog. The missile's warhead can penetrate enough modern tank armor to render the side armor of the Israeli Merkava or U.S. M1 tanks vulnerable. The missile weighs 8.2 kg (18 pounds) and the launcher 19 kg (42 pounds). The system was introduced in 1994 and has been sold to Syria (who apparently passed them on to Hezbollah and Hamas). ISIL captured some Kornets in Syria.


Iraq had some in 2003 and four M1s were disabled, but not destroyed, by Kornets. In 2006 several Israeli Merkavas were destroyed by Kornet. By 2014 Israel had adopted anti-ATGM systems for their Merkavas which defeated over a dozen Kornet attacks.


Before 2014 no M1s had been destroyed by enemy action, but that was in large part because they were used by well-trained crews and commanders. Moreover nearly all the American M1s that had been in combat had better armor. This impressed Iraq. Back in 2008 Iraq ordered 140 M1A1-SA Abrams tanks, along with over a hundred support vehicles (for maintenance and transportation, like 35 tank transporters). The request includes training and technical support, for a total contract cost of over $2 billion. The tanks began arriving in 2010 and all were delivered by 2012.


Iraq received newly built tanks, largely equipped to the "SA" (Situational Awareness") standard the U.S. Army developed in 2006. The M1A1-SA includes the latest thermal (FLIR, or heat sensing) sights, a special engine air filter system developed to deal with the abundant sand and dust in Iraq, the telephone on the rear fender, which allows accompanying infantry to communicate with the crew, and numerous small improvements.


There are several items that American M1s have the Iraqi SA tanks did not get. The Iraqi M1A1s had no depleted uranium armor, no ERA (Explosive Reactive Armor), and no additional protection against anti-tank missiles. Also missing was Blue Force Tracker (a U.S. satellite tracking system that shows the location of all American vehicles and aircraft in the vicinity).


Despite the removal of some features, the Iraqis are glad to have their M1s. Since 2003 Iraqis have been very impressed by the U.S. military. Although the U.S. initially advised the Iraqis to expand upon their use of Russian equipment (which they had been using for over three decades and is cheaper than Western stuff), the Iraqis insisted on adopting U.S. gear and tactics. Thus Iraqi troops wear similar (to American) uniforms and use many identical weapons and items of equipment. Iraqi soldiers, especially the younger ones, imitate American moves to the point that, in the field, U.S. troops sometimes had to look closely to determine if the G.I. down the street is American or Iraqi. What Iraq did not emulate was careful selection and training of officers. Too many Iraqi officers were corrupt or poorly trained and inexperienced political appointees. This greatly reduced the effectiveness of American weapons and equipment Iraqis so admired.


American advisors pointed all this out to other Arab users of the M1 and it had some impact. Egypt, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia already operate over 1,600 of M1 tanks, and Egypt has built hundreds of them (mainly using components imported from the U.S. but with some locally made parts as well). All the other Arab users have at least some of the latest model (M1A2 SEP).


The Arab users of the M1 have been very happy with their American tanks. This satisfaction increased when they saw how the M1 performed in Iraq after 2003. While most Arabs deplored U.S. operations there, Arab tank officers and M1 crewmen were quietly pleased that their tanks appeared invulnerable and able to assist the infantry in any kind of fight. Iraqi army officers have spoken to fellow Arab officers who have used the M1 and were told this was the way to go. But what many Arab officers ignored were American admonitions that crew quality and leadership were the key to success. For a number of cultural reasons the Arab nations do not emphasize lots of training for troops or officers. Having seen what that did in Iraq, even with lots of those splendid American weapons, has led many Arabs to question the traditional way of doing things.

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21 novembre 2014 5 21 /11 /novembre /2014 07:35
India to Develop a Competitor to the Trophy


12/11/2014 Ami Rojkes Dombe – Israel Defense


The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of the Indian Army is looking to develop an active protection system for armored vehicles. If and when such a system will be materialized, it will compete against the Israeli "Trophy" by Rafael


An Expression of Interest (EOI) published by the Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE) of the Indian Army, which operates under the DRDO, the Indian R&D agency (Indian equivalent of MAFAT), invites interested parties to participate in developing an active protection system for armored vehicles against a broad spectrum of threats, including anti-tank missiles. So it seems that this system would compete against Rafael's "Trophy" system.

According to the tender proposal, the system should have "Multispectral Sensor based threat detection", including radar and laser sensors to cover a wide variety of threat velocities ranging from 70 - 240 m/sec. The system should have engagement range from 50 to 150 m, and quick reaction time to effect neutralization before 50 m.

Under the terms of the tender, the company chosen to develop the system will be required to develop the active defense system together with the DRDO, and it must be willing to manufacture the system in India. As the announcement states, there is nothing preventing foreign companies from participating in the tender. Are we likely to see Israeli companies participating? Proposals should be sent until January 29th, 2015. For tender details click here.


Vijainder K Thakur contributed to the article.

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17 novembre 2014 1 17 /11 /novembre /2014 08:30
The “Merkava” celebrates 35 years of service in the IDF


29.10.2014 Tsahal


Thirty-five years ago, after several years of development and months of training, the “Merkava I” tank, the first completely armored Israeli vehicle, began its active service in the IDF. Today, the “Merkava” is a key factor in the IDF’s forces.


Since its first operational activity during the First Lebanon War in 1982, the “Merkava” has proven itself as the best tank on the battlefield, outshining the T-72 tanks supplied to the Syrian army by the Soviet Union. Ever since, the Merkava has fought on every front, always fulfilling its mission.

Today, the “Merkava MK-IV”, which came into use in 2004, is the most modern of the “Merkava” tanks. It includes a fire control system that allows it to shoot down helicopters, a Battle Management System which allows different vehicles to communicate in the battlefield, and a caterpillar track system that allow it to move over all types of terrain.

Sgt. Menachem, the tank commander of one of the “Merkava IV” tanks in the 401 Armored Brigade, explains the capabilities of this advanced vehicle. “The ‘Merkava IV’ tank is the most modern in the world,” he said. “It is stronger, more powerful and more resourceful than every other tank in its category. As a tank commander, I can say with certainty that the ‘Merkava IV’ is the king of the battlefield in urban combat.”


The “Merkava” celebrates 35 years of service in the IDF
The tank was built for the crew


2nd Lieutenant Jeff Ben Ari, a platoon commander in the 401 Armored Brigade, explained that, “The ‘Merkava IV’ is different than other tanks in a sense that the engineers did not build it thinking how the crew would maneuver it. They designed it thinking how the tank would protect the crew.”

“The engine is placed in the front of the tank in order to serve as additional protection and the shielding materials are cutting edge technology. Most importantly, we have an active protection system, the Trophy, which intercepts anti-tank missiles before they can reach us,” said 2nd Lt. Ben Ari.

“The capabilities of the ‘Trophy’ were reflected during Operation Protective Edge,” said 2nd Lt. Ben Ari. “A group of armed Hamas terrorists fired a RPG-27 anti-tank missile at one of our company’s tanks, but the ‘Trophy’ system intercepted it before it reached the tank.”


A 360° view of the battlefield


“In the tank, we are four soldiers. You have the driver, the loader, the gunner and the tank commander,” said 2nd Lt. Ben Ari. “But there is a fifth crew member: the Battle Management System. It shows us where the other tanks are and where the forces on the ground are located. It helps us navigate without looking left and right all the time. We can operate without it, but it is clearly a huge advantage.”


The “Merkava” celebrates 35 years of service in the IDF

“There is an air conditioner in the tank, which may seem trivial, but given the climate in the Middle East, it makes a difference,” explains 2nd Lt. Ben Ari. “Additionally, the ‘Merkava IV’ can accommodate an infantry squad or wounded soldiers, so that they can safely reach their destination.”

Thanks the advanced technology of the “Merkava IV”, the soldiers of the Armored Corps can proudly and safely continue to serve and defend the State of Israel on the battlefield.

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17 septembre 2014 3 17 /09 /septembre /2014 14:50
Les chars, un héritage intempestif ?


par Antoine d'EVRY Focus stratégique, n° 53, septembre 2014


Arme révolutionnaire au début du 20ème siècle, le char souffre aujourd’hui d’un déficit de légitimité en Europe : en près de 20 ans, les Etats ont pour la plupart drastiquement réduit leurs parcs, quand certains ne l’ont pas rayé purement et simplement de leurs arsenaux. Or, cette érosion capacitaire du segment lourd des forces terrestres européennes est préoccupante, à l’heure où les adversaires non-étatiques tendent à bénéficier d’une puissance de feu accrue et quand le reste du monde réarme. Les réalités du contexte géopolitique actuel, la sensibilité politique aux pertes, les conditions tactiques prévisibles des combats terrestres de demain, ainsi que les limites inhérentes de la puissance aérienne, tendent à relativiser l’obsolescence supposée du char. La prudence incite à ne plus sacrifier nos forces blindées, mais plutôt à les adapter aux circonstances actuelles et prévisibles. Loin d’être obsolètes, les chars représentent une capacité résiliente, à même de participer à la réassurance de l’Europe.


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16 septembre 2014 2 16 /09 /septembre /2014 11:20
An M1 Abrams tank maneuvers through the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, CA, while an AH-64 Apache helicopter provides air support. (Spc. Randis Monroe)

An M1 Abrams tank maneuvers through the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, CA, while an AH-64 Apache helicopter provides air support. (Spc. Randis Monroe)


September 8, 2014  By BG Leopoldo Quintas and CPT Nicholas Simpson, U.S. Army Armor School - tacticaldefensemedia.com


Leaders from the U.S. Army Armor School, Fort Benning, GA, explain why armored vehicles are anything but obsolete.


Recently, critics have argued that the tank is a relic of the Cold War era made obsolete by advanced aircraft and unmanned systems. This argument ignores the unique and necessary capabilities provided by mobile protected firepower. Even in a fiscally constrained environment, the main battle tank continues to play a critical role in maintaining peace and winning conflicts. As an integral member of the combined arms team, the tank serves as a component of the Army’s ability to gain, sustain, and exploit control over land, resources, and people. The tank’s enduring qualities of mobility, protection, and firepower provide versatility and tactical agility in both combined arms maneuver and wide area security environments.


The Army’s main battle tank, M1A2SEP, which has undergone significant technological advances over its lifetime, provides decisive overmatch against a variety of threats, from dismounted infantry to heavy armored vehicles, and serves as a deterrent to would be adversaries. As the U.S. shifts its focus to the Asia-Pacific region, where armies collectively possess some 50,000 armored fighting vehicles, the tank will remain a vital element of America’s power on the world stage.


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11 septembre 2014 4 11 /09 /septembre /2014 17:50
Le Léopard tire sa révérence

11 sept. 2014 Belgian Defense


Le dernier obus des chars Léopard belges a été tiré par le général-major Hubert De Vos ce mercredi 10 septembre. Cela se déroulait sur l’un des stands de tir des zones d’exercices OTAN de Bergen-Hohne en Allemagne. Depuis leur achat, les troupes blindées belges avaient pour habitude de s’y entraîner au tir.

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2 septembre 2014 2 02 /09 /septembre /2014 09:55
30 ans de chars


01.09.2014 par Pierre Bayle - Pensées sur la planète


Introuvable en librairie car édité à compte d’auteur, le gros volume du Capitaine (ER) Jean-Pierre Tributsch est unique : en 592 pages abondamment illustrées, cet adjoint du Colonel Michel Aubry, qui créa le musée des blindés de Saumur, raconte en détail les « 30 années de recherches et récupérations – 1965-1995 » qui ont abouti à la constitution d’une collection unique au monde car un grand nombre de chars et d’engins blindés sont en parfait état de marche.

Né en France pendant la première guerre mondiale, le char s’est développé en quelques décennies pour devenir l’acteur majeur des batailles du 20e siècle, en une guerre opposant industriels, stratèges et utilisateurs opérationnels de chaque pays, avec des échanges et des emprunts fréquents à l'autre camp.


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14 août 2014 4 14 /08 /août /2014 07:30
Turkey Selects Local Firm in Tank Engine Program


Aug. 12, 2014 - By BURAK EGE BEKDIL – Defense News


ANKARA, TURKEY — Turkey’s top procurement panel selected a local tractor and diesel engine manufacturer to design and develop an engine for the country’s first indigenous new generation main battle tank, the Altay.


The Defense Industry Executive Committee said that it decided to launch contract negotiations with Tumosan in connection with the engine program for the Altay.


Kurtulus Ogun, Tumosan’s general director, told reporters Aug. 12 that the contract involved development of a diesel engine and transmission system for the planned tank.


“This program will increase Turkey’s self-sufficiency in defense industry and end its dependency on foreign suppliers (of diesel engines),” he said.


Turkey’s procurement authorities are preparing to officially launch a multi-billion-dollar competition for an eventual batch of 1,000 Altays.


The race for the serial production will involve an initial batch of 250 tanks, followed by three additional orders each comprising 250 more tanks, officials said.


The Altay program has faced hurdles and delays, as the most problematic development feature concerned its engine. Turkey’s months-long negotiations with Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for joint development and production of an engine for the Altay failed earlier this year.

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11 août 2014 1 11 /08 /août /2014 12:50
Royal Wessex Yeomanry Put Tank Skills to the Test

11 août 2014 British Forces News


The Royal Wessex Yeomanry have been training with Challenger 2 tanks as part of an exercise on Salisbury Plain. Hannah Gurney was there with an aerial camera...

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