AFS Griffin

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AFS 125 Griffin
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AFS 125 Griffin in Bundesheer 'Dunkelgrau'
Type Main Battle Tank
Service history
In service 2009-Present
Used by see users
Wars Staatenbundian Security Conflict
Production history
Designer Armes Fabrication de Sasutaria Design Bureau
Designed 2005-2010
Manufacturer Armes Fabrication de Sasutaria Jakeskurt
Unit cost $12.19 million NSD
Produced 2008-Present
Number built 851 (AFSX, AFS 115, AFS 125)
Specifications (Main Battle Tank)
Weight 47.1 tonnes
Length 10.23 metres (Total)
 length 6 meters
Width 4.2 meters
Height 3.92 meters
Crew 3

Armor Composite armor, Heavy ERA in addition to soft-kill and hard-kill anti-missile defense systems.
Main
armament
Hatten-OQF 125 mm smoothbore autoloading gun
Secondary
armament
12.7mm GPMG-4 Heavy machine gun, 30mm Coaxial Bernigmetal Cannon, ATGMs
Engine Bernigmetal 12-cylinder Multifuel Twin-Turbocharged Turbine,
1350 hp
Power/weight 28.6hp/tonne
Payload capacity x42 main gun rounds, x12 ATGMs, 2,700 machine gun rounds, 735 Cannon rounds
Suspension Torsion-bars, hydraulic dampers
Operational
range
487 km
Speed 82 km/h



The AFS 125 Griffin "Schnell-Panzer" (Milvian-German; [lit] "Fast Tank") is a
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Staatenbundian main battle tank, a development to replace the T-120S main battle tank. It was first built in 2008 and entered service in the Bundeswehr in 2009. It is currently the most modern tank in service with the Bundesheer and Sasutarian Constabulary. The tank uses the tried-and-tested Hatten Ordinance Quick Fire (OQF) 125mm Smoothbore Autoloading Gun present on the previous T-120. Each Griffin comes with protective measures including a blend of high-hardness steel, composite armour, Repulska 2 explosive-reactive armor, smoke mortars, laser warning receivers, "Leguan" Radar-bouncing paint, camouflage, a Nervena infrared ATGM jamming system and the "Shining Armour" Active Protection System.

Development

The fleet of T-120s which formed the backbone of the Armoured Forces began to age. Despite having excellent speed and handling characteristics, as well as on-par armour, it proved to be a difficult machine to fight in, what with its tight crew compartment and design based on the T-90. The then Sasutarian Board for the Improvement of Defence Systems (SBIDS) called for the top three Design companies based in Sasutaria, Armes Fabrication de Sasutaria, Broadrick Machanicals and Lite Tech, to design and build prototypes to replace the T-120s. The modernization program has been said to cost more than $100 million shillings. Crew comfort and Safety were at the top of the list, as well as the need for a more versatile gun platform, a more advanced fire-control system and better handling characteristics that suit the Sasutarian Armoured Doctrine. The AFSX was developed by the Armes Fabrication de Sasutaria Design Bureau, and production begun by Armes Fabrication de Sasutaria.

Service history

The AFS 125, though already in service, did not see service in any wars between 2009 and 2014, due to the government's continuing paranoia that the tank will fall into enemy hands, its advanced technology would advance any other military by a few years. Hence, it has been kept in warehouses and barracks, with very few public appearances of the tank. However, with the end of the 2015 Sasutary Islands Conflict, the tank saw use by the new Bundesheer and Bundespolizei to combat the remaining L.E. forces still loyal to the now imprisoned Nathan Wyatt. It has proved its worth in combating the small-scale insurgency.

Export

Due to the tank's secretive technology and armament systems, the Government of the Staatenbunde refuses to grant anyone the Production Rights to the tank, unless the nation is a close ally of the Staatenbunde. The sale, however, of the 125 is allowed.

Design

The 125 uses spaced multilayer armour throughout the design. A combination of steel plates of different hardness, elastic materials and other non-metallic materials. Steel plates with high hardness and high ductility are used. The armour is a result of extensive research about the formation and penetration mechanism of shaped charge jets. The frontal arc of the 125's armour is designed to withstand large caliber kinetic energy penetrators and shaped charge projectiles. It was estimated that the 125's front would resist 125 mm APFSDS rounds fired from a distance of 1,210 m.

The highest physical thickness of the tank is estimated at 115cm. The side of the hull is covered by armour skirts to increase protection against projectiles and RPGs. The frontal third of the hull sides is covered by heavy ballistic skirts, while the rest of the hull sides is covered by steel-reinforced rubber skirts. For increased protection against mines, the sides of the hull floor are sloped by 45° and the floor is reinforced with corrugations.

A relatively new concept, the crew of the 125 are sat in a spherical central citadel located in the center of the hull of the tank. They view the outside world through numerous viewports, wide-spectrum cameras as well as terrain mapping equipment. The turret is controlled by the gunner from the central citadel. With the added space of the absence of crew from the turret, the 125 is able to carry additional rounds in its autoloader. The 125's design follows the concept of compartmentation; possible sources of fire or explosions have been moved away from the crew. In the turret, the ammunition and the hydraulics are located in compartments separated from the crew. In case of a detonation, the blow-off panels on the compartment roofs will direct the explosion and fire away from the crew in the central citadel. The crew is also protected against nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) threats, as the 125 is equipped with a Jäger NBC overpressurization system, which provides up to 4 millibars (4.0 hPa) over-pressure inside the vehicle. The engines and fuel tanks have fire protection systems that automatically activate in the event of a fire.

If a need to abandon the tank arises, there are various hatches to escape from.

Armament

The 125's main armament is the Hatten OQF 125 mm smoothbore autoloader gun is mounted in an automated turret. The turret is controlled by the Gunner and Commander (interchangeably), which allows for a smaller turret design to save weight. Hatten Ordinances had been producing this gun design from the late 1970s, and since then it has gone under significant upgrading processes to keep it up to date. It can be replaced without dismantling the inner turret and is capable of firing armour-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS), high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT-FS) and high explosive squash Head (HESH) ammunition. It is also armed with a retractable ATGM Pod on the turret, which fires the MILAN-S missile, a laser beam-riding guidance and armed with a tandem hollow-charge HEAT warhead. It has an effective range of 50 m to 8 km. MILAN-S's can penetrate about 950 millimetres (37 in) of steel armour.

The GPMG-4 12.7mm Heavy machine gun is fitted on a remote-controlled weapon station that can be operated from within the tank by the commander and has a range of 2 km and a cyclic rate of fire of 980 rounds/min with a continuous belt of 2700 rounds. The Bernigmetal 30mm coaxial cannon was originally intended to be mounted on aircraft. It can be fired remotely, and has 735 rounds.

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AFSX Prototype footage, 2008.

Like most modern FVs, the Hatten OQF 125mm in the 125 is fed by an automatic loader which removes the need for a manual loader in the tank and reduces the crew to 3, a commander, gunner, and driver. The autoloader can carry 42 ready-to-fire rounds in its carousel in the back and well of the turret and can complete a reload in 4 to 6 seconds. The round, once loaded in, can be taken out by the automatic loader for safe stowage or to facilitate the changing of shell types. The OQF 125mm has a laser rangefinder-timer, enabling it to accurately detonate High-Explosive shells at the whim of the gunner at any distance. Accurate firing range for all High-Explosive Rounds is 10.5 km, while APFSDS have a 5 km range.

The Fire-control system on the OQF has rough terrain stabilization systems which enables it to fire on the move with as much accuracy as at a stop. It includes a day and night sighting system mounted at the commanders station, as well as the gunner's seat, which allows for night time detection of any enemy target. The sights, cameras and periscopes can switch between a thermal imaging sight, night vision, visible light, terrain mapping and heat signatures. The commander and gunner get separate periscopes that can toggle between normal and thermal vision which includes a laser range finder, a laser designator and missile guidance channel. The digital fire control computer transmits real-time information between tanks to the command tank and Headquarters. This enables the soldier as well as the General to make the best decision in the current situation. The driver, located in a small bulge in the front of the spherical citadel, gets 6 LED screens to his front, sides and rear which portray the actual situation around the tank. If any of these encapsuled and armoured cameras are destroyed, there is also the more traditional viewports for the crew to see through.

Mobility

The engine is a V12, Bernigmetal Multifuel Twin-Turbocharged Turbine which generates 1350hp. Bersigmetal has made the engines for previous Sasutarian tanks, and is also a known sports-car maker. To facilitate the swift removal of the engine, it is latched to the tank with 6 bolts, of which can be easily removed in the battlefield by a crew of 6 mechanics in the field. The engine itself can be removed with a small crane. The engine and fuel tanks have automatic extinguishing equipment. With its suspension, and when fully loaded, the 125 can achieve 85km/h on road, and 30-48km/h off-road. The rubber padding on the tracks can be easily removed to install grousers for added mobility in snow and sand. They can be removed as easily.

Protection

The 125 is fitted with a "three-tiered" protection system. The first tier is the composite armour in the turret, consisting of aluminum, high-hardness steel, various, plastics and a controlled deformation section.

The second tier is the advanced Repulska-2 ERA (explosive reactive armor) which significantly degrades the penetrating power of kinetic-energy APFSDS ammunition and tandem warheads. Also, these ERA blocks give the turret its distinctive angled "clam shell" appearance. ERA bricks are also located on the turret roof and provide protection from top-attack weapons. The composite armour results in a lower weight and improved protection when compared with steel-only armour. The sides of the tank also have built-in ERA, to reduce the damage taken on the sides of the tank. Slat armor can also be mounted on the rear of the hull and the turret. The overall armor effectiveness is 750mm vs APFSD and 1,120mm vs HEAT.

The third tier is a Nervena Soft-Kill and the "Shining Armour" Hard-Kill active protection systems. The Nervena Soft-Kill includes two electro-optical/IR "dazzlers" on the roof of the turret, four Laser warning receivers, five aerosol grenade discharging systems and a computerized control system that alerts the crew of an incoming threat. The Nervena warns the tank's crew when the tank has been 'painted' by a weapon-guidance laser and allows the crew to slew the turret to face the threat. The infrared jammer jams the semi-automatic command to line of sight (SACLOS) guidance system of the anti-tank guided missile. The aerosol grenades are automatically launched after Nervena detects that it has been painted. The aerosol grenades are used to mask the tank from laser rangefinders and designators as well as the optics of other weapons systems. The Nervena is a soft-kill system, designed to passively defeat anti-tank missiles by jamming their guidance systems.

The 125 also features "Shining Armour" hard-kill APS, designed to destroy the warhead through the use of munitions before the missile can engage the vehicle being protected. The Shining Armour system protects the tank from destruction by light anti-tank weapons, anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), and missiles with a top-attack guidance system. It uses a Doppler radar to detect incoming warheads. Upon detection and classification of the incoming warhead as a thread, a defensive rocket is fired that detonates near the inbound threat, destroying it before it hits the vehicle. The defensive rockets are fired by rotating launchers, usual mounted on the sides of the turret. The Shining Armour is used as a backup if the Nervena jaming system fails to deflect the incoming missile.

An Magneto electromagnetic-counter mine system can also be installed on the 125. The Magneto emits an electromagnetic pulse to disable magnetic mines and disrupt electronics before the tank reaches treads above said mine. The "Leguan" (Milvian-German; Iguana) signature reduction suite is also available for the 125. Leguan is designed to reduce the probabilities of an object to be detected by Infrared, Thermal, Radar-Thermal, and Radar bands. The tank is also fitted with opto-electronic screening system, electromagnetic protection system and quick-action fighting equipment.


Variants

Domestic Variants

  • AFSX MBT – Prototype version.
  • AFS 115 Griffin –115mm-Armed Variant, No longer used
  • AFS 125 Griffin –125mm-Armed Variant, Currently Used


Operators

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     : 729 Griffins are operated by the Bundesheer