Supertanks?!?! - Page 3




 
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April 7th, 2012  
headwards
 
Was it regular for there to be so many crew in a single tank with one gun? Six seems a lot
April 7th, 2012  
MontyB
 
 
Four (Gunner, Driver, Commander and Loader) was pretty much the minimum for medium tanks and up however five was not uncommon, six in most cases was unusual but given that the TOG was meant to have armed sponsons as well as its normal armament 6 would sound right.
April 7th, 2012  
headwards
 
Thanks, and has that changed much over time?
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April 8th, 2012  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by headwards
Thanks, and has that changed much over time?
I think four (commander, gunner, loader/operator, driver) is now the standard at least for a western MBT the exception is the French Lerclec which has three, the T-72, T-80 and T-90 have a crew of three (I assume they have done away with the loader position out of preference for an autoloader).

The Chinese Type 98 had four as did the early version of the Type 99 however later versions came with an autoloader and the crew was reduced to three.

The Japanese type 90 has a crew of three.

The South Korean K1A1 has a crew of four.
April 8th, 2012  
headwards
 
Interesting that the hi tech western tanks dont all use autoloaders.
April 8th, 2012  
Yossarian
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by headwards
Interesting that the hi tech western tanks dont all use autoloaders.
Not really, thought process there seems to be that reliablity is everthing.

If I was inside a steel box unable to look outside with projectiles bouncing off the sides, the last thing I would want to worry about is a jammed autoloader.
April 8th, 2012  
LeEnfield
 
 
I know little about auto loaders, but how does that sort out in seconds whether you need HE or AP our some other type shell.
Also on that large tank it might have had a separate machine gunner, there were British tanks that had six separate machine guns
April 8th, 2012  
headwards
 
With years of testing and the budgets that tank development has i am sure reliable autoloaders that perhaps have two differnt feeds for shell selection could be made. The extra per would make sentry duty, maintenence and the like less arduous so maybe thats where the justification for the extra space comes from
April 9th, 2012  
KevinTheCynic
 
 
In regards to the auto-loaders and selection of ammunition, there's a few ways that selection of different shell types can be achieved.
1. The auto-loader ammo store has reserved slots for the different shell types and the gunner literally hits the button for the desired shell and that shell is loaded.
2. The auto-loader has no reserved slots and the crew have to decide what shell type to load the ammo store with before a fight.
3. The ammo store is filled with the most commonly used shell type but the crew can replace/refill slots on the ammo store so that if, for example, HE is desired but there's only AP loaded into the ammo store, the crew remove the AP shell next in line to be loaded with the desired HE shell.

Now having said that, I know this from some theory on the subject but I couldn't tell you specifically what tank (or even what country) uses what method. From what I recall, the T72 has option 1 and the gunner selects what shell he wants to use and the ammunition carousel rotates to place that shell in line for loading.
How much less time this takes compared to a human loaded is debatable but what having an auto-loader does achieve is a reduction in size and weight of the tank and with a lower superstructure the Soviet belief was that their tanks would be harder to see and somewhat harder to hit.

P.S. This page has some internal diagrams of the T72, I found it when I was checking my info for the above and if you go to pictures 6 & 7 on the page, there is a description of the auto-loader and ammunition carousel that explains things better than I did.
http://panzerfaust.ca/AFV%20interiors/t72a.html
April 9th, 2012  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinTheCynic
In regards to the auto-loaders and selection of ammunition, there's a few ways that selection of different shell types can be achieved.
1. The auto-loader ammo store has reserved slots for the different shell types and the gunner literally hits the button for the desired shell and that shell is loaded.
2. The auto-loader has no reserved slots and the crew have to decide what shell type to load the ammo store with before a fight.
3. The ammo store is filled with the most commonly used shell type but the crew can replace/refill slots on the ammo store so that if, for example, HE is desired but there's only AP loaded into the ammo store, the crew remove the AP shell next in line to be loaded with the desired HE shell.

Now having said that, I know this from some theory on the subject but I couldn't tell you specifically what tank (or even what country) uses what method. From what I recall, the T72 has option 1 and the gunner selects what shell he wants to use and the ammunition carousel rotates to place that shell in line for loading.
How much less time this takes compared to a human loaded is debatable but what having an auto-loader does achieve is a reduction in size and weight of the tank and with a lower superstructure the Soviet belief was that their tanks would be harder to see and somewhat harder to hit.

P.S. This page has some internal diagrams of the T72, I found it when I was checking my info for the above and if you go to pictures 6 & 7 on the page, there is a description of the auto-loader and ammunition carousel that explains things better than I did.
http://panzerfaust.ca/AFV%20interiors/t72a.html
Well I learn something every day, I always thought it was the tank commander that made the shell and target decision.

Here is a video of the T-72 autoloader in action...

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTzobtVjqPs"]T-72 Autoloader At Work - YouTube[/ame]