Tank Autoloader vs Manual Loader

Picard

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Debate on using autoloader or manual loading of tank gun has been going on since autoloaders had first appeared. And it has not not been resolved yet, as can be seen from various solutions currently in service. But in general, Western designs have opted for manual loading while Eastern designs had opted for autoloaders.

So what are advantages and disadvantages of using autoloader? Here, I will be considering two main autoloader designs: the cassette and the carousel. Former is used in e.g. Leclerc, Type-90 and Ukrainian M-84 Oplot M, while latter is used in Soviet designs such as T-72 and its derivatives. While there are other types of autoloaders, most of them have similar advantages and disadvantages to either cassette type (e.g. revolver / bustle carousel) or carousel type. In any case, the cassette and the carousel are the most common solutions for autoloaders.

 

AlKardai

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In Most tank engagements, shells happen to strike the hull of the tank, rather than the turret. Autoloaders end up causing the jack-in-the-box effect for Russian tanks, especially upon hull hits, and turning the turrets into what are practically aircraft.

The Manual loading costs an extra crew member, but it works, so meh
 

abingdonboy

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In Most tank engagements, shells happen to strike the hull of the tank, rather than the turret. Autoloaders end up causing the jack-in-the-box effect for Russian tanks, especially upon hull hits, and turning the turrets into what are practically aircraft.

The Manual loading costs an extra crew member, but it works, so meh
Too simplistic. The Russian T series have carousel loaders and the turret (plus the crew excluding the driver) are sat on top of all the ammo so there is a tendency for it to blow the turret off when struck

Leclercs have cassette loaders and don’t store ammo in the hull so are FAR safer

This video does a good job of covering the pros and cons

if you had a cassette type autoloader with an unmanned turret you’d basically be in the best position

interestingly though he also notes that a lot of the dangers associated with the T-series carousel autoloaders is because of unsafe operation aka the crews taking additional ammo and storing it all around the turret, this is more likely to be breached and then cool oof
 

AlKardai

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Too simplistic. The Russian T series have carousel loaders and the turret (plus the crew excluding the driver) are sat on top of all the ammo so there is a tendency for it to blow the turret off when struck

Leclercs have cassette loaders and don’t store ammo in the hull so are FAR safer

This video does a good job of covering the pros and cons

if you had a cassette type autoloader with an unmanned turret you’d basically be in the best position

interestingly though he also notes that a lot of the dangers associated with the T-series carousel autoloaders is because of unsafe operation aka the crews taking additional ammo and storing it all around the turret, this is more likely to be breached and then cool oof

Oh fair enough, I was just thinking of the bog standard Autoloaders directly underneath the Tank turret.

It's getting late, so I'll reply in more detail tomorrow morning
 

Picard

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In Most tank engagements, shells happen to strike the hull of the tank, rather than the turret. Autoloaders end up causing the jack-in-the-box effect for Russian tanks, especially upon hull hits, and turning the turrets into what are practically aircraft.

The Manual loading costs an extra crew member, but it works, so meh
I noted that in the article:
One reason why autoloaders get a bad rep in certain circles are the tales of the Soviet-design tanks exploding in wars – such as current war in Ukraine, or the Battle of Vukovar with its tank graveyard at Trpinja road. But while this criticism is partly valid, it applies only to Soviet-type carousel autoloader, and even then only conditionally.

Bustle autoloader is in fact safer than bustle storage in a manually loaded tank. This is for several reasons. First reason is that the door in the bustle wall through which ammunition is loaded only need to accept one round to pass through. With a fully manual loading process, the opening has to cover the entire ready rack. This means that a) doors are slower to open and close due to larger size and b) potential for catastrophic damage if the tank is hit while the doors are open is much greater. In fact, loaders often leave the doors open while loading to expedite the process. For this reason, semi-autoloaders have been created, where autoloader feeds the round to human loader (e.g. Merkava). Second reason is that the turret can be smaller and better armored, at least if sensors and armament configuration is similar. Third reason is that the tank overall can be somewhat smaller, which is a survivability bonus by itself.

Carousel autoloader is much less safe than either – but not necessarily because of the autoloader itself. T-72 has roof on the autoloader which reduces the probability of the ammunition there cooking off due to penetrating hits (spalling etc.), but this does nothing to protect ammunition outside the autoloader, nor is it enough to prevent the ammunition in autoloader from cooking off should ammunition in the crew compartment cook off. And it is the ammunition in the crew compartment that was the leading case of losses of Russian-model tanks. Good case study are two battles of Grozny. In the first battle of Grozny, Russian tanks suffered typical catastrophic losses. But in the second battle of Grozny, Russian tankers were ordered to remove all the ammunition outside the autoloader. This one measure dramatically improved survivability: some tanks reportedly survived ten or more penetrations by RPG. But removing the ammunition from crew compartment significantly limits the available ammunition, as autoloader can hold only 20 – 22 rounds. Ukrainian tankers in the current war in fact only leave the autoloader ammunition, and go to battle with 22 rounds in it. And autoloader may still be vulnerable to top-attack ATGMs.
And you have Chieftan's video also.
 

Johny_Baba

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I was thinking about, instead of fully fledged autoloaders why don't they implement ;rounds loader; thing
i.e. 3 crew plus those self-propelled howitzers styled pusher-loader with some limited capacity,
in sustained fire requirements a gunner manually puts selected rounds on that loader with capacity of say 2-3 rounds and selects which one goes inside the barrel, the loader loads that round and so
when all three are fired, gunner again puts rounds on the loader or just loads it directly in the gun

in less intense fights gunner just directly loads it in the gun and fires it
 

abingdonboy

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I was thinking about, instead of fully fledged autoloaders why don't they implement ;rounds loader; thing
i.e. 3 crew plus those self-propelled howitzers styled pusher-loader with some limited capacity,
in sustained fire requirements a gunner manually puts selected rounds on that loader with capacity of say 2-3 rounds and selects which one goes inside the barrel, the loader loads that round and so
when all three are fired, gunner again puts rounds on the loader or just loads it directly in the gun

in less intense fights gunner just directly loads it in the gun and fires it
Yeah that’s semi auto loading and is found on the contemporary Merkava
 

abingdonboy

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I noted that in the article:

And you have Chieftan's video also.
On the last line- all tanks are vulnerable to top attack on the turret if the turret is manned

one shouldn’t get too many wrong ideas from the Ukrainian conflict. The Russians are fighting extremely poorly and against any established tank doctrine since WW2 and the Ukrainians are being incredibly well fed with ISR and equipment from the West
 

Picard

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On the last line- all tanks are vulnerable to top attack on the turret if the turret is manned

one shouldn’t get too many wrong ideas from the Ukrainian conflict. The Russians are fighting extremely poorly and against any established tank doctrine since WW2 and the Ukrainians are being incredibly well fed with ISR and equipment from the West
That is why I want unmanned turret, so that ammo can be separated from the crew entirely.
 

Blademaster

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On the last line- all tanks are vulnerable to top attack on the turret if the turret is manned

one shouldn’t get too many wrong ideas from the Ukrainian conflict. The Russians are fighting extremely poorly and against any established tank doctrine since WW2 and the Ukrainians are being incredibly well fed with ISR and equipment from the West
How are they fighting poorly? The russian forces do not number more than 150k at any given time in Ukraine against a force that is 300k or more. Moreover, Ukrainians are being fed western real time intel about any Russian movements. That is a force multiplier in itself especially when Russians cannot take out those western gathering platforms. Ukraine had been given tons of shitloads of advanced armory weapons and antitank weapons artillery UCAVs, UAVs, etc. This is not Iraq where US had all the advantage and the Iraqis had no advantages.
 

abingdonboy

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How are they fighting poorly? The russian forces do not number more than 150k at any given time in Ukraine against a force that is 300k or more. Moreover, Ukrainians are being fed western real time intel about any Russian movements. That is a force multiplier in itself especially when Russians cannot take out those western gathering platforms. Ukraine had been given tons of shitloads of advanced armory weapons and antitank weapons artillery UCAVs, UAVs, etc. This is not Iraq where US had all the advantage and the Iraqis had no advantages.
Are you serious? There are ample videos of them moving limited numbers of armoured columns without any dismounted infantry to cover them with predictable results. They haven’t done many combined arms assaults by the looks of it and in the early days seemed to not even deploy AD with foreword units
 

Blademaster

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Are you serious? There are ample videos of them moving limited numbers of armoured columns without any dismounted infantry to cover them with predictable results. They haven’t done many combined arms assaults by the looks of it and in the early days seemed to not even deploy AD with foreword units
Videos are not the be all of proof for such tactics.
 

blackjack

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Last edited:

Blademaster

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I hope the Russians are ready with countermeasures to the Leopard 2 tanks. Russia will face 3-5 brigades worth of armored vehicles.
 

blackjack

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I hope the Russians are ready with countermeasures to the Leopard 2 tanks. Russia will face 3-5 brigades worth of armored vehicles.
320 armored vehicles is shit.

What is the T-90M Tank and How Does It Stack Up Against NATO’s Best Armor? (sputniknews.com)

What is Russia’s T-90M Tank and How Does It Stack Up Against NATO’s Top Armor?, by Ilya Tsukanov for SputnikNews. 01.28.2023.

NATO’s proxy war against Russia in Ukraine saw another escalation this week, with the Western alliance promising to send over 150 of the Western alliance’s current-gen tanks – the Leopard 2 and the Abrams. How does Russia’s most advanced third-gen tank, the T-90M Proryv, compare against these heavy weapons? Sputnik investigates.

Although German and US officials have clarified that it will take “months” for their promised armor to arrive in Ukraine, Western media and defense analysts are already salivating at the prospect of these tanks meeting their Russian counterparts on the battlefield for the first time.

"Abrams and Challenger tanks ‘made to beat Russia’: Why muddy Ukraine is ideal warzone,” one outlet gushes. “Abrams, Leopard and Challenger 2 vs. T-72: How Western Tanks Compare to Russia’s Armor,” another title reads, apparently taking their audience for children and comparing the early 1970s-era Soviet-era second generation tank to third-gen NATO armor introduced between a decade and two-and-a-half decades later.

Only a handful of media have actually focused on the capabilities of the T-90 – Russia’s most modern tank, at any length, with some dismissing it as “essentially a late-model T-72 hull and turret” with an upgraded engine. One outlet begrudgingly admits that “some versions of the T-90…are even better than their NATO opposites, with a superior gun and anti-tank missile system,” but assures that superior Ukrainian training will prevail.

Is that really the case?

What is the T-90 Main Battle Tank?

The T-90 is the first series of MBTs (or simply ‘main tanks’ under Russian military nomenclature) to be manufactured almost entirely in the post-Soviet period. The tank was designed in the mid-to-late 1980s, and constituted a deep overhaul of the T-72B, a Soviet tank fielded in vast numbers, featuring improved dynamic protection, a Shtora-series active protection system designed to disrupt the laser designator and rangefinder systems of anti-tank missile systems, a welded turret (in later models), superior sloped alloy and composite armor, better fire control system, communications and navigations equipment, and new engine. Originally called the T-72BU, the tank reportedly received the T-90 name due to Russian President Boris Yeltsin’s desire to proclaim the creation of the “first Russian tank” built after the Soviet period.

Weighing between 46 and 48 tons, the T-90 is 9.6 meters long, 3.78 meters wide and stands 2.22 meters off the ground. Like its predecessors, it is significantly lighter and smaller than NATO tanks of the 1980s and 1990s (which weigh between 62 and 74 tons, and are up to three meters tall, in the Leopard 2’s case).

The T-90 features a 2A46 125 mm/L48 smoothbore cannon (used on a broad range of Russian, Ukrainian, and Chinese tanks), and either a 12.7 mm or 7.62 mm machine gun as secondary armament. The gun and its variations compare favorably to the Rh-120 L/44 120 mm smoothbore fitted aboard the Leopard 2, and can fire rounds up to 4,000 meters – 500 m further than the German gun.

The T-90’s smaller size and low profile compared to Western tanks, whose design philosophy dates back all the way to the post-WWII era, has a number of reasons, including:

- Improved mobility, including through tight spaces such as woods and mountainous areas.
- Perceived superior ability to entrench itself.
- Smaller, simpler overall design, which means more tanks can be built for fewer resources.
- More compact profile means longer operational range (up to 550 km without optional rear fuel drums – compared to the Abrams' 425 km), and better bridge and river crossing capabilities.
- Interchangeability of some components should mean superior logistics and repair capabilities (a major headache for NATO today is juggling the multitude of distinct and incompatible weapons sent to Ukraine, with these problems expected to multiply when Western tanks arrive).

What is the T-90M?

The T-90M Proryv (literally "Breakthrough") is the latest version of the T-90 series. The tank is a thorough upgrade of the base T-90, and includes a new turret module with multi-layer armor, improved crew protection thanks to the placement of its ammunition rack outside the crew compartment, and an improved main gun – 125 mm 2A82 – the same gun fitted on prospective next-gen tanks such as the T-14 Armata.

The T-90M features an automated Kalina fire control system, a remotely controlled 12.7mm Kord machine gun, a Relict dynamic defense system, and fifth-gen digital communication system. Firsts in Russian tank design include air conditioning and steering and transmission with improved ease of use for the tank driver. T-90Ms also feature the Arena-M, an advanced active protection system for anti-tank and anti-missile defense.

Deliveries of the tank to the Russian military began in 2020.

How Many T-90s Does Russia Have?

As many as 1,000 T-90s of various modifications have been produced between 1992 and today. Russia had about 350 T-90As and up to 100 T-90Ms in service in 2022, with 200 more T-90s in storage. The military announced plans in 2018 to upgrade all of its T-90s to T-90Ms by 2025.

How Many T-90s Do Other Countries Have?

India, not Russia, is actually the biggest operator of T-90 series tanks – with its inventory consisting of a whopping 1,100 T-90S "Bhishma" MBTs, many produced under license by Indian manufacturers. Other users include Algeria, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uganda, and Vietnam.

How Has the T-90 Fared in Combat?

In its 30+ year lifespan, the T-90’s variants have racked up operational experience in wide range of conditions, starting, on an experimental basis, in Chechnya in 1995, where a small number of T-90s proved “practically invulnerable” to anti-tank weapons thanks to its onboard active protection system.

Between 30 and 40 T-90s of various modifications were deployed to Syria in 2015, and used by Syrian tankers in fierce battles against Western, Gulf, and Turkish-backed Islamist militants. The tanks’ ATGM protection proved its effectiveness repeatedly against the TOW anti-tank missiles flooded into the country by the CIA. Between three and six T-90s were damaged beyond repair or destroyed in the war, with one tank falling to the terrorists. Others suffered damage but were repaired to fight another day. T-90s in Syria compared favorably to the Leopard 2, which suffered up to a dozen losses during Turkey’s operations in the country’s north from 2016 onward.

T-90S model tanks were also used by Azerbaijani forces during the 2020 Karabakh War, with between one and four lost to Armenian militias in the disputed territory.
Russian forces have used T-90s extensively in the conflict in Ukraine. The information warfare that has accompanied the conflict has blanketed the battlefield with a thick fog of war in which real losses are difficult to estimate, with Western observers claiming that two dozen or even more have been lost and a few even captured by Ukraine.

However, as a Ukrainian officer recently admitted, Ukraine’s tanks, mostly consisting of old stocks of Soviet-era T-62 and T-72s, are no match for the T-90s. “This is where the quality of what we have is important. If you come across a T-90, you need three of ours to deal with it – or very good luck,” the commander candidly told British media last week.

How Does the T-90 Match Up Against Western MBTs Promised Kiev?

Triumphant articles and statements have been made on both sides about how one or the other’s tanks will make short work of their opponents. However, as previously noted, the outcome of any real-world tank-on-tank encounter will depend on tank crew skill, the competency of commanders, the availability of tactical and strategic battlefield intelligence, artillery, air, and ATGM-wielding infantry support, and the efficiency of rear-area refueling, refit, and repair.

Tanks’ main purpose, in optimal conditions, is to perform rapid, large-scale armored breakthroughs across a wide front. As recently pointed out to Sputnik by Russian military expert Alexei Leonkov, the number of NATO tanks being sent to Ukraine to take on Russian armor, including the T-90, “is absolutely not enough to carry out any kind of tactical or operational-practical operation,” with many “more tanks…required for that.”

Furthermore, as Sputnik contributor Scott Ritter has explained, effective tank operations require them to be used as part of a combined arms team with infantry support and “copious amounts of supporting arms.” Without this backup, any tank “is simply an expensive mobile coffin,” according to Ritter.


I am assuming if it's using the same cannon as T-14, then Vacuum-1 rounds could be used and any tank is as good as dead but that won't matter.

Before KRET purged their websites and all their articles from promweekly.ru i had this 2019 helicopter radar information saved.

Screenshot 2023-01-22 114846.jpg


A tank can be spotted 50 to 70kms away by a Ka-27M radar info from KRET 2019 article the Ka-52M radar is more than likely going to see these tanks even farther away. It wouldn't even matter if they have sent M1a2 SEP V4 with 3rd gen FLIRS all this information will be shared with their ground units to use artillery. Vikhr or Hermes or ATGMs from vehicles or personnel. Sure air defenses can help take out the annoying Ka-52s but recently drones identify air defenses like the S-300 here and it got shelled. Based on PACS performance of iranian drones on Saudi oil tanks there are going to have to explain how the PACS will be more survivable than the earliest S-300 models.


none of the shit I see being supplied to Ukraine would stop Russia's current rhythm as it had before when the country was supplied with 1000s of tanks. The only reason I am happy is that these western tanks will be supplied so I can go shit up Picard's tank threads on this forum with them getting destroyed, but why I am sad is that it will take a while until they will be used in Ukraine.
 

Blademaster

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Well we will see when the battle commences. Do not get overconfidence. Your countrymen got overconfidence in the early days of the war in Kiev and they got stopped in their tracks. Your generals and officers did not do their homework. They got sloppy. Do not repeat the same mistake. You can never go wrong in overpreparing

And it is not just tanks but fighter jets too. Expect the F-16s to come along with AWACs. You won't be able to touch the AWACs because they are in NATO airspace. I really hope that RuAF has used this time to prepare themselves for the upcoming battle against F-16s and Gripens and even tornados. Don't be surprised if they sneak in F-35s to assist the F-16s.
 

blackjack

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Well we will see when the battle commences. Do not get overconfidence. Your countrymen got overconfidence in the early days of the war in Kiev and they got stopped in their tracks. Your generals and officers did not do their homework. They got sloppy. Do not repeat the same mistake. You can never go wrong in overpreparing
The operation for the 1st two months they used 300k troops, than withdrew it leaving 80K in the operational zone. The same old units are still there Deployment map | MilitaryLand.net Wagner or an army of convicts thrown in the front line have not been all wiped out which makes any early ukrainian claim look like BS. on numbers but now they are pushing back with a much smaller force and that western map does not lie, nor has there been lies that alot of AFU got killed since these last few weeks there was nothing but footage of AFU fighting with civilians to not get mobilized. I see THREE 4 Xs on the map and that symbol means 80k-300k troops. So with the additional 300K+ reserves they have not started any offensive, than of course Shogui I heard will raise the 1,15 million to 1.5 million active duty troops by 2026. I already know Ukraine is done with,but I am more concerned about Poland getting involved in the conflict than I am about the efforts of Ukraine.

And it is not just tanks but fighter jets too. Expect the F-16s to come along with AWACs. You won't be able to touch the AWACs because they are in NATO airspace. I really hope that RuAF has used this time to prepare themselves for the upcoming battle against F-16s and Gripens and even tornados. Don't be surprised if they sneak in F-35s to assist the F-16s.
All the air to ground campaigns NATO has ever conducted was against countries with S-75s and S-125s none had S-200s or even S-300s which are considered long range air defenses.


F-16Is have EW capabilities and I am even more sure that israeli pilots are the most prominent experts in SEAD operations than any country in the world based on how many air campaigns they have in the middle east and they still got shot down by an S-200, heard it was going to happen again in which syrians shot down a russian aircraft stating the israeli f-16 used it for cover because S-200s have no friend or foe identifications which forces the Russians to send S-300s to Syria. Russia has like 110 Su-35s but most of the aircrafts getting shot down all over Ukraine that I have seen so far have not been S-300 or S-400 missiles (tors, air to air combat, shahad drones fighting with Ukrainian aircrafts, MANPADS) which I still dont know if they are being used in the operation by Russia. I dont know if it would be a good idea to send F-35s since I still hear about mishaps with the aircrafts happening, how they will perform against modern IADS but if one crashes into russian territory or what Russia controls in ukraine they will take the aircraft, look at its structure and see what material it is made out of even though they can't get the encrypted data of the aircraft I think.
 

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