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Rheinmetall and the rearmement of Germany


Steben
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Yesterday, Rheinmetall presented the KF51 "Panther" in France.

https://www.joint-forces.com/defence-equipment-news/54719-rheinmetall-presents-kf51-panther-at-eurosatory-2022

 

Recently the KF41 "Lynx" platform was presented and just some months ago a "light" (uhum) tank with 120mm gun based on the 41 chassis was presented

https://www.edrmagazine.eu/mobility-and-firepower-rheinmetall-presents-the-lynx-120-mechanized-fire-support-vehicle

Germans are having a ball and the budget is there ready for the taking.
Little detail: both Panther and Lynx are ww2 era names.

Will these be succesful and widespread as the Leopard has been? And will they be the base for a Europanzer since it already shares elements of both the Leo as Leclerc?

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It's a bit of a fancy design that looks more like a super car than a tank.  Not so keen on the bilious camouflage though. :puke:

 

 

KF51-1660.jpg

 

KF51-1643.jpg

 

KF51-R-12.jpg

 

 

 

 

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28 minutes ago, colin said:

Is the slopping turret design under the main gun of the Panther, what they used to call a shot trap 🤔

They both look like the tanks we used to play with in "Traveller" (the SF role playing game) when I was a teenager 40 years ago! I wondered about the "shot trap" thing as well, but it seems to be a fairly common feature these days, so I assume they route incoming shells outwards and over the side rather than down towards the turret ring in these designs...

best,

M.

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The camo is impressively disruptive and this is a pretty lethal tank!! A heavier co-ax machine gun enables the tank to engage soft targets without using the big130mm, plus it has an ability to engage targets beyond the range of its main armament. 

Auto loader increases rate of fire, all in all this seems like a winner!

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3 hours ago, Whitewolf said:

A heavier co-ax machine gun enables the tank to engage soft targets without using the big130mm

The US was - may still be - looking at co-ax weapons chambered for 0.338 Norma.  A sort of half way house between 7.62 and 12.7mm but in many ways more effective: it certainly has a flatter trajectory than 12.7 and 338 (but usually Lapua) has become a popular substitute for 12.7 for sniper and anti-materiel rifles.  While the 12.7 is more effective against harder targets it is less effective against infantry and I don't see a turret-top RWS.

 

Germany remains the only Western country producing MBTs and pretty much the only one producing heavy AFVs and a wide range of AFVs.  The choice for other nations is - and always has been - to spend years and £/$/€ Ms developing something national or collaborative or buying what is available without the lead time and development costs.  Some like the US may choose to do this, being prone to the Not Invented Here syndrome and perhaps thinking of export sales.  Although M48 and M60 were greater successes than M1 ever will be.  But smaller countries like us here in the UK are unlikely to be able to afford to do that especially when we have no industrial capability and would have to re-create it.  And the FRES, Ajax and MIV/Boxer experiences hardly instil confidence in our abilities.

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25 minutes ago, Das Abteilung said:

The US was - may still be - looking at co-ax weapons chambered for 0.338 Norma.  A sort of half way house between 7.62 and 12.7mm but in many ways more effective: it certainly has a flatter trajectory than 12.7 and 338 (but usually Lapua) has become a popular substitute for 12.7 for sniper and anti-materiel rifles.  While the 12.7 is more effective against harder targets it is less effective against infantry and I don't see a turret-top RWS.

 

Germany remains the only Western country producing MBTs and pretty much the only one producing heavy AFVs and a wide range of AFVs.  The choice for other nations is - and always has been - to spend years and £/$/€ Ms developing something national or collaborative or buying what is available without the lead time and development costs.  Some like the US may choose to do this, being prone to the Not Invented Here syndrome and perhaps thinking of export sales.  Although M48 and M60 were greater successes than M1 ever will be.  But smaller countries like us here in the UK are unlikely to be able to afford to do that especially when we have no industrial capability and would have to re-create it.  And the FRES, Ajax and MIV/Boxer experiences hardly instil confidence in our abilities.

Sorry to say you have it in a nutshell! As they already have a foot in the door with CR3 this might be a natural progression.

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It is a natural progression anyway with much of NATO and many other countries being Leopard users.  There is a clear aim here to target Leo users - at least those who buy new rather than 2nd hand - with a replacement product.  Rheinmetall may even be looking at part-ex deals to refurbish older Leos for 2nd hand customers who want better than, say, 2A4s.

 

But NATO would need to adopt the 130mm gun and set a timetable for transition or there will need to be a 120mm Panther.  The 130mm gun was intended to be a direct replacement for the 120 for existing users.  The originally-proposed 140mm would not have permitted that.

 

But with a war potentially looming in Europe - and yes it is looming if Putin's most recent pronouncements are to be taken at face value - being in the middle of swapping MBT calibres would be unwise.  Getting NATO-wide agreement with the costs involved is not certain anyway.  But on the other hand improved lethality - and claimed survivability in Panther's case - would be no bad thing.  Although I think we are seeing that Russian MBTs are nothing to be afraid of.

 

As for the Lynx, the UK was looking at a Medium Armour concept as part of FRES, although that was then seen as being a family relationship to Scout.  Something like Hagglunds' CV90120.  Think stretched Ajax with a low-recoil 120 like RUAGs.  With improvements in non-monobloc metallic armours you don't need a big heavy vehicle to carry a 120 any more.  Smaller vehicle, smaller target.  Smaller engine, reduced fuel logistics.  Maybe higher performance and greater agility, the original Leopard concept.  So maybe that will find a home.  If I were in a UK "Strike " Brigade and my armour is Ajax with 40mm I might be looking for something a bit more lethal.

Edited by Das Abteilung
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 15/06/2022 at 08:04, Whitewolf said:

The camo is impressively disruptive and this is a pretty lethal tank!! A heavier co-ax machine gun enables the tank to engage soft targets without using the big130mm, plus it has an ability to engage targets beyond the range of its main armament. 

Auto loader increases rate of fire, all in all this seems like a winner!

In my humble opinion the autoloading system is a big failure. When i was a tankgunner ( did the A4, A5 and A6 ) i always prefered the manual loading....it's much faster and a better "failsafe" i also know about several tanks ( leclerc, T80 etc ) that there are much problems with the autoloading system. The simple fact that the way grenades are stowed means these are drivable death traps for the crew. Look at the footage from russian tanks in ukraine. With a manual loading system the grenades are protected in a special bunker in the turret witch is designed to withstand direct hits by using breakbolts on the upper side so in case of a direct hit the pressure releaves topside instead inside the turret.8

Also this "new" model is just kitted on the hull of the leopard A6 wich in fact is still a modified A4..... so, same torsion bars, same drivetrain.... just more weight.....bound for problems. 

So far, i'm not impressed. Also the camo is 🤮

But i'm a woodland junkie 🤣

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On 15/06/2022 at 13:07, Steben said:

I think the lynx range with 120mm already is up for some Russian pain inflicting.

Range with a 120 mm smoothbore is not a problem. I shot a target at 3,2K during a live fire exercise in germany a few years ago. With the upgrade from the A5 to the A6 they added 1,6m to the main gun. So the range is good. 

Also i agree with @das abteilung

War is looming and, in my opinion invevideble. The amount of 120 mm grenades stored in bunkers ( only in the netherlands) is far more then the 130 mm so imo it would be unwise to start using 130mm conversion for existing tanks. 

Altough tank warefare is a thing of the past..... 

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On 6/15/2022 at 7:45 PM, Das Abteilung said:

The US was - may still be - looking at co-ax weapons chambered for 0.338 Norma.  A sort of half way house between 7.62 and 12.7mm but in many ways more effective: it certainly has a flatter trajectory than 12.7 and 338 (but usually Lapua) has become a popular substitute for 12.7 for sniper and anti-materiel rifles.  While the 12.7 is more effective against harder targets it is less effective against infantry and I don't see a turret-top RWS.

The .338 Norma Magnum cartridge case geometry is better suited to machine gun & semi-automatic rifle use than .338 Lapua Magnum. Coincidentally (?), the US, NZ, & Australia have recently adopted sniper rifles is .338 NM to replace their .338 LM systems. 

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While 0.50BMG remains dominant and has resisted replacement - and the same can be said of the Russian 12.7x108 - it does have a massively curved trajectory, one of the reasons why 0.338 began to replace 0.50 BMG for long range rifles.  According to Barrett's range tables for the M82/M107 in 0.50BMG, at 1,500yds/1,350m the round has dropped 300ft, almost 100m.  When the UK was trialling weapons in 0.50BMG (pre-determined by SF) to replace the old M82s, at the ranges they wanted accuracy the shooters were dialling in max elevation on the supposedly-matched sights and still having to aim off because of the height of the lob needed.  Bottom line: 0.50BMG is just not flat or accurate enough to target an engine block at 1,800m in a rifle.  But they went with it anyway.

 

I suspect we're just seeing natural progression.  The adoption of 0.338LM was something of a surprise, even a revolution.  It was certainly an unexpected outcome for the UK LRLCR competition that adopted it before that concept was seen to be flawed and the L115 became the sniper weapon.  The realisation had dawned that 0.338NM is an even better option.  Barrett's attempts to get people interested in 0.416 and 0.408 have not gone anywhere.  Supposedly the best of both 0.338 and 0.50.  The UK of course believes that real snipers use bolt action, not semi-auto........

 

The problem for an AFV is that 7.62mm is still perfectly adequate as an anti-personnel round.  But there are times when something in between 7.62 and 120 is needed.  Remember that France fitted a 20mm in the AMX30.  So a heavier co-ax like 0.338 or 0.50 with a 360 degree RWS with 7.62mm might become the new normal.  Although the US Army has recently decided to drop the RWS on Abrams and go back to a commander's cupola MG mount.

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yeah  we discovered in ww2 that bullet catchers tlike the slope under those two turrets is not a good idea.  Sure on the new panther you can see about what, a 6" vertical ledge under the turret ring that DOES some stoppage of shells, but the bottom of a turret isnt the greatest source of armor protection. 

 

that hatch in the turret, a definite bullet catcher... oh thats gonna cause problems.  And on the panther that big triangular section that pops up in the turret top? every damned infantry man with a rifle is going to be aiming at it,, and its gonna just LOVE  rpg hits...

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On 7/2/2022 at 9:34 PM, Das Abteilung said:

The UK of course believes that real snipers use bolt action, not semi-auto........

Always the odd one out. Australia is in the process of replacing the entirety of its sniper fleet. Almost all of the new platforms are semi automatic, which out to 1,200 metres have the same functional accuracy as a bolt gun. Only the “long range” gun will be bolt action. I believe a multi calibre system in .300NM, .338NM, with 6.5CM for training. 
 

The anti materiel gun will be 50 cal. 

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