KMDB's T-80 update, updated again: the formidable BM 'Oplot' Main Battle Tank (Ukraine) [2000x1437]


We think that's the first (former) Soviet Bloc tank i have seen and actually liked the appearance of. The medial side skirts are a little much but i prefer the ERA regarding the turret. Happy to know it! 😛 The side-skirts ...



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Some random comments on reddit about KMDB's T-80 update, updated again: the formidable BM 'Oplot' Main Battle Tank (Ukraine) [2000x1437]

  • I think that's the first (former) Soviet Bloc tank I've seen and actually liked the look of. The side skirts are a bit much but I like the ERA on the turret.
  • Glad to hear it! 😛 The side-skirts are a bit much, but they're great for signature reduction in shaping terms. Otherwise, yeah - it's a lot blockier than a Russian equivalent tank, but it still has the distinctive low profile. Not a bad combination.
  • After participating in a Stryker MGS gunnery recently I no longer fear any combat vehicle with an auto loader.
  • But is that an autoloader problem or just a Stryker MGS autoloader problem? Not that I'm in a position to know first-hand or anything, but from what I gather the M1128 isn't the most dependable vehicle out there...
  • The characteristics of the autoloader in general make it unfeasible in true combat. To have rounds stored in a replenisher that has to be loaded into a carousel, and the time it takes to do that, plus switch rounds or index different ammo... An automated loading system is 100% a combat liability. A human loader can do all those things quicker and offer a second set of eyes and a second set of hands.
  • Concerning the rounds stored in the replenisher (or all over the crew compartment, as the Russians do it), this isn't a problem that's exclusive to autoloaded tanks, nor is it a problem that autoloaded tanks necessarily need to have. On one hand, the Leopard 2's ready ammunition supply is 15 rounds on one side of the bustle - lower than any in-service autoloader on a main battle tank, Western and Eastern Bloc alike - and after that, the bustle supply needs to be reloaded from an equally inconvenient store of 27 rounds to the left of the driver. On the other hand, as the Meggitt or FASTDRAW autoloader proposals for the Abrams show, it's entirely possible to have anything between 34-36 rounds of ammunition in ready storage in a blow-out panel equipped bustle autoloader - around twenty rounds more than the Leopard 2 or Ariete, and still more than the ready supply of tanks like the Challenger 2. If you opt for a TTB style carousel autoloader with an isolated crew compartment at the front, you have 44 rounds of ready ammunition and no need for a secondary ammunition supply. The indexing of ammunition is hardly a problem either - the Leclerc autoloader's computer is capable of managing up to six different types of ammunition in the autoloader at any given time, which are indexed during the loading process. If more types of ammunition need to be managed, it won't be all that hard to upgrade the computer accordingly. All the gunner has to do is select the ammunition type, and from there the computer can be relied upon to ensure it's loaded - at worst, in a modern bustle autoloader, this is a process that's probably going to take two seconds at most. In practice, if the commander has designated targets beforehand (as the commander does), the gunner can select required ammunition sequentially and the process takes no time, because the belt cycles to the next round during the firing cycle. The switching of rounds is still a problem for most in-service autoloaders - but removing a loaded round from the breech is hardly a considerable obstacle in the face of modern technology. If it was considered a critical enough capability to spend time and money on, do you think it'd be particularly difficult for modern, industrialised countries like France or Japan to work out a reliable system to do the job and retrofit it onto their autoloaders? And that's the thing - the arguments you're citing are the same arguments the US Army has been rehashing since the 1980s about why manual autoloaders are more desirable than automatic loaders. During that time, the reliability of autoloader systems has increased considerably as the systems have matured, the electronics that control them have become increasingly capable and sophisticated, and the effective loading rate of autoloader systems has gone from the 7-15 seconds per loading cycle of the T-72 series to 4 seconds per loading cycle for the Type 90 in the 90s, and allegedly some 3 seconds for the Type 10. And unlike human loaders, with current reliability levels (don't mistake the hurried and poor systems integration of the Stryker MGS for the quarter century of autoloader development and integration that both France and Japan have behind them), that's 3 seconds per loading cycle for every single ready round in those bustle autoloaders. So while a human loader's personal best might be marginally better than that of a modern autoloader, over extended combat and the full complement of ready rounds in a given tank, the autoloader will be able to maintain that personal best while that can't really be said to be the case for the human loader. In practice, that's a loading rate that's more than adequate for a current tank's target engagement cycle. Humans evolve rather slowly. Autoloader mechanisms and electronics evolve with every software update and mechanical improvement made to them, and every new autoloader system designed - there've been rather a few of all of the above since the US Army started to make the arguments you're making concerning autoloaders. The funny thing, though, is that the above isn't even the key reason for most of these militaries adopting autoloaders. The ideal human loader you're describing here doesn't grow on trees - in a modern Western military, what you're describing is the recipient of a salary and pensions, the product of a not inconsiderable investment of time and money and regular training, a skilled professional soldier trained and built up to do what they do. The real benefit of an autoloader for the Soviets in the 60s and Western militaries post-Cold War alike has to do with the fact that you can, in fact, cut one person from every tank crew. For the Soviets, that meant that a T-series tank didn't require as many trained personnel to field and that a key function of the tank was made mechanical and thus not reliant on regular training, meaning that more T-64s/80s could be fielded with an equivalent number of 'elite' troops and that T-72s could be fielded more effectively in the hands of conscripts. For the French, the Japanese and now the South Koreans, what that meant was that one professional, trained, paid crew member could be cut from each tank, partly counterbalanced with improvements in their respective logistics corps while still making considerable money and time savings and allowing them to field larger tank forces for an equivalent amount of money after the initial investment into developing and installing the autoloaders was made. In essence, the debate wasn't really about pure capabilities in the first place - it was about, on balance, a mild capability loss in exchange for considerably lower costs and requirements. The better autoloaders become, the more convincing an already convincing debate from an administrative perspective becomes.
  • Yep, I've seen a good well trained human loader load a 120mm shell in around 3 seconds, auto loaders on a T-90 can take up to 5. Not to mentioned, as you said, its a complete liability. You can't really just stop in the heat of battle to do repairs if that loading mechanism screws up.
  • Same. My personal best is 2.87 seconds for sabot.
  • I don't think that loaders hands and eyes are free when he is busy loading gun... For simple maintenance not every tank require more than 3 people and they don't benefit from having more Autoloader can be damaged but so is human loader can be taken out of combat, modern autoloaders are really fast, reliable, can't make human mistakes, unaffected by stress and fatigue
  • I don't think that loaders hands and eyes are free when he is busy loading gun... That's a very short sighted claim. He isn't loading 100% of the time. He is doing a lot of tasks in between actual engagements. All an autoloader can do is load. For simple maintenance not every tank require more than 3 people and they don't benefit from having more. You've never crewed a tank, have you? No such thing as simple maintenance. You ever changed track? Replaced a torsion arm? Pulled pack? Had to troubleshoot a faulty DCEU? Do it with only three guys and you'll change your tune. Autoloader can be damaged but so is human loader can be taken out of combat, modern autoloaders are really fast, reliable and can't make human mistakes You can push your gunner over to load, and the TC can fight the tank until you get another loader. The autoloader is broken until it's fixed. There is no contingency. It's obvious you are not very knowledgeable about tanks and the finer points of crewing one. As an actual tanker, I can promise you I would never want to be on any vehicle with an autoloader. Most tankers would agree with me.
  • That's a very short sighted claim. He isn't loading 100% of the time. He is doing a lot of tasks in between actual engagements. All an autoloader can do is load. Yes on the move loader can be another pair of eyes but they not that important anymore when commander, gunner and even driver can have clear 360 panoramic view You've never crewed a tank, have you? No such thing as simple maintenance. You ever changed track? Replaced a torsion arm? Pulled pack? Had to troubleshoot a faulty DCEU? Do it with only three guys and you'll change your tune. If Abrams require 4 men for this jobs it's tank design flaws, i don't see why would you need 4 men for track replace in let's say t90 unless standing and watching how other work counts as working and helping You can push your gunner over to load, and the TC can fight the tank until you get another loader. The autoloader is broken until it's fixed. There is no contingency. It's obvious you are not very knowledgeable about tanks and the finer points of crewing one. As an actual tanker, I can promise you I would never want to be on any vehicle with an autoloader. Most tankers would agree with me. In that case turret of the tank cannot be unmaned, also if turret gets hit what chances of gunner and loader would both survive? I bet nonliving mechanism have more chances Yet Russian tankers would disagree and pretty much every new designed tank replace human loader with autoloader If US can't make proper autoloader for Stryker MGS it's not problem of every autoloader
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