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    Saw this........

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    The obvious anti war message aside, I thought the info on the `hillbilly armour` most interesting, what do you guys think?

    Support our troops' ? bring them home alive

    Plain Talk By Al Neuharth

    USA TODAY Founder

    They're burying young Marine reservists in Ohio this week. Fourteen of them, ages 19 and up, were killed last week when their amphibious landing vehicle was blown up by a roadside bomb in Iraq.

    President Bush won't be at any of the Ohio funerals. He has not attended any funeral for any of the 1,840 servicemen and women killed in Iraq, although he has met with some groups of families who lost loved ones.

    jumping.gif Bush simply called this latest tragedy a ?grim reminder? that we are at war. It also should remind anyone who knows anything about war that lightly-armored amphibious vehicles never were meant to transport troops on bomb-laden roads. They were designed for sandy beaches. jumping.gif

    jumping.gif They're being misused because, nearly 2? years after we invaded Iraq, we still don't have enough heavily armored transport vehicles. Some soldiers themselves make ?hillbilly armor? out of sand bags and scrap metal. jumping.gif

    ?Support our troops? has been an appropriate rallying cry for every war president. Nearly all civilians nearly always respond, supporting not just troops but also the commander in chief. Now, that's changing. Results of a nationwide poll this week by USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup:

    ?54% say Bush's war in Iraq was a mistake.

    ?33% say we should withdraw all troops from there.

    ?Support our troops? has become a sad, empty slogan for Bush.

    Public support for the troops still is there, with candy, cookies and yellow ribbons. But government support sadly is lacking. No effective overall war plan. Inadequate or outdated equipment. No exit strategy.

    That's why the best way to support our troops in Iraq is to insist that Bush bring them all home. Alive. Sooner rather than later.

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    And this........

    US general: Insurgents using more lethal bombs

    General Carter admits Iraqi insurgents have adapted to increased armour protection on US military vehicles by changing techniques, building more lethal bombs.

    WASHINGTON - Insurgents are using more powerful, armour penetrating bombs in attacks like those this week that killed 21 US marines in western Iraq, a top general said Wednesday.

    It was unclear what kind of device was used to kill 14 marines and an interpreter in an armoured amphibious assault vehicle Wednesday in the town of Haditha.

    But Brigadier General Carter Ham of the US Joint Staff said insurgents have adapted to increased armour protection on US military vehicles by changing techniques and building more lethal bombs.

    The changing insurgent techniques have proven a challenge for US forces, he said.

    "We are seeing larger amounts of explosives," Ham said.

    "We are seeing different techniques that are being used in an effort to counter the efforts of coalition and Iraqi security forces to protect folks while they are moving -- different types of penetrators, different techniques of triggering the events."

    "I mean, again, this is a very brutal, lethal and adaptive enemy," he said.

    The marines killed in Wednesday's attack were in an amphibious assault vehicle, which carries less armour protection than a tank, he said.

    They were in the same area where six marine snipers were ambushed and killed on Monday, he said.

    In that attack, the marines were dismounted, apparently moving on foot through Haditha, when they were killed. One of their bodies was found some distance away.

    "This was a unit that was properly prepared, trained and equipped for their operation. They came under attack and, as we know today, the six US Marines were killed in that attack," he said.

    Ham shed little light on their deaths, saying the incident was under investigation.

    But he denied rumours the marine snipers were betrayed by ostensibly friendly Iraqi forces, or that some were beheaded and mutilated, and he said there were no indication that any marines were still unaccounted for.

    Ansar al-Sunna, an insurgent group linked to al-Qaeda, claimed earlier in an Internet statement that its forces killed eight marines and captured a ninth on Monday in Haditha.

    Ham said US forces have been conducting simultaneous operations in towns along the Euphrates river valley that are used to funnel foreign fighters and weapons into Baghdad from the Syrian border.

    US commanders were concerned about the insurgent presence in the area and brought in additional troops from outside the marine's sector for the operation, he said.

    In past campaigns in the area, insurgents have simply moved elsewhere. But Ham said the simultaneous operations have disrupted their ability to move.

    "I think that's one of the contributing causes to these number of direct contacts that are occurring," he said.

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    Guest paracollector

    Pro or anti war sentiments aside, "Hillbilly" armor is nothing new to the US Army. It's kinda funny how these educated and impartial journalists seem to forget that Dogfaces have a long history of modifying their vehicles to suit current threats. In WW2 M4 Shermans were modified extensively (we've all seen thousands of pictures of this) in an attempt to give the crews some sort of chance against German Armor and Panzerknackers. In the PTO many crews welded large nails on the hatches to counteract the Japanese habit of throwing satchel charges onto the hatches. In Vietnam we had Guntrucks (cargo trucks modified with armor and a myriad of weapons) running convoy protection, and according to one vet I spoke to, he had wired flak jackets all over the cab of his refueling truck to get some protection from the odd sniper shot. As recently as the Haiti crisis, cargo trucks were modified by local troops with a grenade screen that protected the troops riding in back, according to a former co-worker who was deployed, the truck he rode in even had slots cut into the screen to allow troops inside to use their weapons if the need arose.

    The main problem is that IED's are almost undefendable against. Granted it only takes a small IED to destroy an unarmored Humvee, but I have watched video aired by the militants showing things like carts loaded with 10 155mm projectiles wired together. I can't think of to much that could stand up to that.

    It is obvious that some of the US weapon systems and equipment is behind the curve, but that is the nature of warfare. You find the enemies weak points and exploit them. I hope that with systems like the Stryker, uparmored Humvees, and even the Super Gavins, we can close this weakness down, or at least minimize it.


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    Guest paracollector

    The Challenger 2 is a hell of a piece of machinery. I don't recall reading of any being lost yet, I hope they can continue the streak.

    If by "ECM" you mean Electronic Counter Measures, I have not read about that kind of gear on any of the US vehicles, but that is something I think they would keep under their hats, though....

    Some years ago I read about a "Black Box" the CIA manufactured to counteract radio controlled bombs. It was a simple concept, just a white noise generator that broadcast on all RF frequencies that were not being used in a given area. The idea being that terr's would not use the same freq that the local radio station uses, they would use one of the "open" frequencies. By what I read the project was shelved due to the probability of high collateral damage. Can you imagine that thing setting off a bomb inside of of bomb factory hidden in the basement of a packed hotel. The press would go wild. Like every other CIA project I've read about I take it with a grain of salt, but the idea seems simple enough.


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    Guest Rick Research

    PLEASE do not let the enemy press--domestic or foreign-- give you the idea that we, the people back home, do not and are not TOTALLY with you out there.

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    • 1 year later...

    I like the profile of the Challenger II. What does it mount for a main gun and what sort of power pack and drive train does it use?

    Hello, acording to 'the gatefold book of tanks' the 1983 fv4030 Challenger had a 120mm L/53 L11as main cannon [which I was told is smooth bore?] the engine is a Rolls-Royce Condor 12 V 1200 V-12 diesel.

    The latest 'challenger' has since had so many mods and sods its really a new tank

    in the second gulf war one ' challenger' did 'take out' another, and also another 'challenger' destroyed a Russian tank THREE miles away.


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    • 9 months later...

    Hello, acording to 'the gatefold book of tanks' the 1983 fv4030 Challenger had a 120mm L/53 L11as main cannon [which I was told is smooth bore?] the engine is a Rolls-Royce Condor 12 V 1200 V-12 diesel.

    The latest 'challenger' has since had so many mods and sods its really a new tank

    in the second gulf war one ' challenger' did 'take out' another, and also another 'challenger' destroyed a Russian tank THREE miles away.


    Challenger 2 is equipped with an 120 mm/ 55 (in barrel length) calibre/4.724" , L30A1 tank gun [3], the successor to the gun used on Chieftain and Challenger 1. The gun is made from high strength electro-slag refining (ESR) steel with a chromium alloy lining and, like earlier British 120 mm guns, is insulated by a thermal sleeve. It is fitted with a muzzle reference system, fume extraction and is gyro-stabilised. The turret has a rotation time of 9 seconds through 360 degrees. Because the British Army continues to place a premium on the use of high explosive squash head (HESH) rounds in addition to saboted rounds, the Challenger 2's cannon is rifled, making it unique among the NATO MBTs. HESH rounds continue to be used by the British for three reasons; they have a longer range than saboted penetrator rounds, they are more effective against buildings and thin-skinned vehicles, and are also cheaper than the CHARM 3.

    The range for longest kill was actually 2.5 miles.

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    • 2 months later...

    I think I`m right in thinking that the only thing that has taken out a Chally 2, is another Chally 2!!!!!!!

    Blue on Blue, Operation IraqI Freedom

    The first reported ground fratricide incident during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) occurred shortly after midnight on March 24th, when a British Challenger II tank fired on another near Basra. This incident is of particular interest. The two tanks, Britain's most advanced MBT types, were part of a squadron of the Queen's Royal Lancers attached to the 1st Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusliers Battlegroup of the 7th Armoured Brigade. The tanks were engaging pockets of Iraqi soldiers near a bridge over the Qanat Shat Al Basra canal which runs along the western edge of the city. In a nearby sector, a troop of CR2 of 2 RTR was tracking a group of enemy personnel through their thermal sights, which had been reported by the battle group HQ. The 'target' was indicated as an enemy bunker position. The QRL Challenger was, unfortunately, in turret-down position, below the skyline, its crew working on the turret top, visible to the 2 RTR crew as the reported "enemy" troops.

    The RTR TC requested clearance to shoot, which was granted. Firing two shots of HESH at 4000 yards blew the turret off the QRL Challenger, killing two of the crew and seriously wounding the two others. Both tanks were fitted with visual identification systems in working order, but could not render clear visual contact, due to the hull-down positioned tank.

    According to reports, tanks in OIF were issued bolted-on identification panels, including those emitting thermal signature which can be seen at long distance using IR observation devices. However there seemed to remain also some of the older fluorescent sheets, used during Desert Storm on some of the AFVs.

    August 2006 - the driver of a Challenger II, Trooper Sean Chance, lost three of his toes when an RPG-29 penetrated the frontal armour during an engagement in al-Amarah, Iraq.

    April 6, 2007 - in Basra, Iraq, an IED shaped charge penetrated the underside of the tank, resulting in the driver losing a leg and causing minor injuries to another soldier.

    The outcome of one Chally II against another was inevitable.

    The April 6th incident shows that if the charge is right, no tank is undefeatable as the underside is generaly weaker.

    Of the three incidents the most worrying in my opinion is the RPG-29 "Vampir" penetrating the explosive reactive armour (ERA) .

    However the The PG-29V tandem-charge Heat round used was designed for the sole purpose of defeating ERA armour, and this is the only time it has managed to do so on a Chally II.

    Since then, and the following investigation as to why the ERA appears to have failed, no doubt measures have been made to combat the problem, although the outcome of the investigation remains an MoD secret because of security reasons.

    Regards Eddie

    Edited by Taz
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    So what would the ratio of Challengers to Abrams be in Iraq?

    Total coalition tank strength was roughly 450 vehicles at the start of the operation. The 3d Infantry Division included over 200 M1A1s in its tank battalions and cavalry squadron. The 1st Marine Expeditionary Force had two tank battalions (virtually all the tanks in the active Marine Corps), with some tanks being provided to each of the three RCTs of 1st Marine Division. Additionally, one company of Marine Corps Reserve tanks was activated to support Task Force Tarawa. The British Army deployed two tank battalions in the 7th Armored Brigade with a total of 116 Challenger II tanks.

    This would mean a ratio of about 1:3 at the start of Op Telic [the British designation for Iraqi Freedom]

    Regards Eddie.

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    Challenger II and M-1 "Abrams"

    Notice the Up-armoured Chally II and the turret mounted identification panels on both tanks which emit a thermal signature which can be seen at long distance using IR observation devices, developed to reduce Blue on Blue incidents.

    Also the Chally uses the Bowman com system with a built in GPS processor. This updates all other network users of the vehicles battlefield position.

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    Due to the extensive track damage I would say this is the Chally II damaged on April 6th, 2007 in Basra, when an IED shaped charge penetrated the underside of the tank.

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    And here two pics of damaged "Abrams" The first an M1A1.

    The second probably being the most famous, seen all around the world the M1A2 "Cojone EH" from Bagdad bridge.

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    Fortunately our IED incidents in Iraq have only resulted in minor injuries, though we have lost some vehicles. Our mechanised infantry is well provided for with the ASLAV and Bushmaster, any soft-skinned vehicles are only used to transport material rather than personnel.

    The ASLAV below has been fitted with a stand-off screen for RPGs, something they haven't done in Afghanistan as the threat of close quarter attack is less than in the built up areas of Iraq.

    I heard a rumour that the Yanks were very interested in buying and trialing our Bushmaster, but I can't confirm that.



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    The Bushmaster in convoy with ASLAVs. This has a hull that is mono-constructed, I think that is the correct term, so you can blow bits off it, but the crew area will remain protected from the blast. As with anything though, put a big enough bomb under it and it will be destroyed. Hopefully that won't occur.

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    Interesting point you made about the ASLAV'S hull design. That reminds me of Northern Ireland with The "Saracen". I've seen photo's of Saracens blown up by massive self-made cuvert bombs, all wheels and outer stored equipment gone but with the actual hull still intact.

    The American contract seems to have fallen through from the information I found. Thales has teamed with US truck manufacturer Oshkosh to market the Bushmaster in the United States. In late June 2007 it was prematurely reported that the United States military was close to placing an order for 1500 vehicles as part of it's MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) program. This sale did not go ahead, however and the Bushmaster was officially removed from the MRAP contest on 7th August 2007.

    The Americans are to phase out its armoured Humvees in Iraq and Afghanistan and send in vehicles that better withstand roadside bomb blasts.

    Replacing the Humvee, the military's main troop-transport vehicle, will be the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle, known as an MRAP. Military officials say the new vehicles provide twice as much protection against improvised explosive devices (IEDs), which cause 70% of all U.S. casualties in Iraq.

    The Up-armoured Humvees made it more likely to roll over, and its heavier doors trapped soldiers inside after an attack or accident.

    Below the FPI Cougar (MRAP)

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    This FPI Cougar operated by an USMC EOD team suffered mine damage in Iraq, April 2006. The crew survived the blast with minor injury.

    Part of a letter written by Sgt Chris Clair, USMC

    EOD Team

    "Right after the explosion, the Cougar was driven for two miles on the three remaining tires at speeds in excess of 20 mph so that we could make it to a safe area.

    Once we got to the safe area we were able to survey the damage and everyone was amazed how far the vehicle had driven. The three of us inside were all okay other than slight concussions and a headache that lasted a few days. We know that if we had been in another type of vehicle that the outcome would have been much worse. We were also able to get a replacement Cougar within 24 hours. Thank you for everything and keep up the good work."

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