EL-35 Main Battle Tank
|EL-35 Main Battle Tank|
EL-35 Main Battle Tank.
|Place of origin||Eagleland|
|Used by||Eagleland, see Users|
|Wars||Chatzikyriakeio City War|
|Manufacturer||Palaimachos Arms Limited|
|Specifications (Main Battle Tank)|
|Weight||62.3 tonnes (EL-35)|
|Length||9.97 m (total)|
|length||7.00 m (gun)|
|Armor||Chobham/Dorchester II, RH armor, steel encased depleted uranium mesh plating|
|Type 7 L55 127mm cannon (39 rounds)|
|1x ROWUS-operated Type 29 30mm Autocannon (1,200 rounds),1x 12.7 coaxial Machinegun(1,500 rounds), 1x Model 105 HMG (2,000 rounds)/ 1x Coaxial 30mm Autcannon (1,500 rounds)|
|Engine|| S-Industries Type 78 12-cylinder Multifuel 32 Litre engine|
|Transmission||Hydro-mechanical control, reversing and steering gear Souvlaki Industries Type 82 with combined hydrodynamic-mechanical service brake, 4 forward, 2 reverse gears|
|Ground clearance||0.44 m|
|Fuel capacity||1,200 litres|
|500 km [EL-35]|
|Speed||74 km/h (onroad), 48 km/h (offroad) [EL-35]|
The EL-35 Aetos Main Battle Tank (Greek: Κύριο Άρμα Μάχης EL-35 "Αετός"), referred to as the Eagle MBT, is an Eagleland-made main battle tank (MBT) currently in service in the Eagleland Armed Forces. It was designed and built by the Eaglelander company Ipparchos Heavy Industries Ltd. (now a part of the Palaimachos Arms Limited corporation). Highly mobile and extremely powerful, designed for modern armored ground warfare, the EL-35 is well armed and heavily armored. Notable features include the use of a powerful multifuel engine, the adoption of sophisticated composite armor (inclduing Chobham/Dorchester armor), and an autoloader for quick and efficient reloading.
The EL-35 initially entered service with the Eagleland Army in 1989, replacing older tanks. It still forms the mainstray of the Eagleland's armoured formations.
- 1 History
- 2 Armour and Protection
- 3 Propulsion,Suspension and Transmission
- 4 Armament
- 5 Ammunition
- 6 Crew and Electronics
- 7 Variants and Derivatives
- 8 Operators
Armour and Protection
The GALIX system is installed, which coordinates smoke grenades, anti-personell grenades (for urban combat) and Infra-Red screening rounds, that produce strong heat sources for Anti-Tank missiles and interfere with thermal and infra-red scanners. For protection aganist ATGMs,the Eagle MBT features the SADS (Spheric Active Defense System). It includes an F/G band fire-control radar with four flat-panel antennas mounted on the vehicle, with a 360-degree field of view. When a weapon is fired at the vehicle, the internal computer uses the signal from the incoming weapon and calculates an approach vector. Once the incoming weapon has been identified and its course has been predicted, then the computers calculate the optimal time and angle to fire the neutralizers to intercept the threat at a distance of between 5 to 30 meters from the protected vehicle.
These neutralizers are stored in two rotating launchers installed on the sides of the vehicle. The launchers are normally stowed behind armored plating and only deploy when a threat is detected. The launchers fire the neutralizing agents, which explode in clusters, exactly in front of the threat, delfelcting it, therefore ensuring that it will not cause any serious damage to the vehicle. The system is designed to have a very small kill zone, so as not to endanger troops adjacent to the protected vehicle. Additionally, the system can track and defend against multiple threats from all directions.
The Eagle MBT utilizes a combination of Rolled Homogeneous Armour (RHA), steel encased depleted uranium/titanium alloy and newer generation Chobham/Dorchester armor (the same one used on the Challenger 2 MBT), giving it the ability to endure hits from multiple 120mm projectiles at a range of more than 2.000 meters, as well as enduring multiple Anti-Tank missile and Rocket Prepelled Grenade rounds. This is accomplished with the composition of the armor which causes both shaped charges and kinetic-energy penetrators to be even less effective. Armoured steel must be hard yet impervious to shock in order to resist high velocity metal projectiles, hence the need for RHA as steel with these characteristics is produced by processing cast steel billets of appropriate size and then rolling them into plates of required thickness. Hot rolling homogenizes the grain structure of the steel, removing imperfections which would reduce the strength of the steel. Rolling also elongates the grain structure in the steel to form long lines, which enable the stress under which the steel is placed when loaded to flow throughout the metal, and not be concentrated into one area.
The tank also features a V-shaped hull, to protect it from explosions from mines and other irregular explosives, such as IEDs. The armor's composition is unique, as Chobham/Dorchester armor is capable of defending the tank aganist multiple RPG rounds and anti-tank missiles. Chobham is composed of ceramic tiles encased within a metal matrix and bonded to a backing plate and several elastic layers. Due to the extreme hardness of the ceramics used, they offer superior resistance against shaped charges such as high explosive anti-tank (HEAT) rounds, HESH rounds and kinetic energy penetrators. These ceramic plates are a combination of silicon carbide with a matrix utilising titanium alloy which, however expensive to manufacture, is more durable and more resistant to corrosion.
The tank features Ekrixi Explosive Reactive Armor plates installed on the side of the armor and on the turret, and acts as a fourth layer of armor. ERA armor, such as Ekrixi, use an explosive charge to eliminate (or in most cases, weaken) the threat to the tank. An element of explosive reactive armour consists of a sheet or slab of high explosive sandwiched between two plates, typically metal, called the reactive or dynamic elements. On attack by a penetrating weapon, the explosive detonates, forcibly driving the metal plates apart to damage the penetrator. Against a shaped charge, the projected plates disrupt the metallic jet penetrator, effectively providing a greater path-length of material to be penetrated. Against a long rod penetrator, the projected plates serve to deflect and break up the rod.
The disruption is attributed to two mechanisms. First, the moving plates change the effective velocity and angle of impact of the shaped charge jet, reducing the angle of incidence and increasing the effective jet velocity versus the plate element. Second, since the plates are angled compared to the usual impact direction of shaped charge warheads, as the plates move outwards the impact point on the plate moves over time, requiring the jet to cut through fresh plate material. This second effect significantly increases the effective plate thickness during the impact. The explosion generated by that reaction is enough to weaken or sometimes destroy the threat posed to the vehicle, but nearby infantry is also in danger, as the explosion produces sharpnel, therefore dismounted infantry units are instructed to keep their distance from EL-35's equipped with Ekrixi ERA.
In case a fire breaks out inside the vehicle, the Eagle MBT's Saviour fire extinguishing system is designed to be activated in no more than 2 miliseconds of the fire outbreak, and can extinguish it winthin 300 miliseconds. When operating in NBC environments,the "Protector" system can be activated. This seals all possible points of entry of radiation, or biological and chemical substances, excluding the cannon and all machineguns/autocannons installed. If the unit has to fight in those environments, they do not have to deactivate the "Protector" system.
Propulsion,Suspension and Transmission
The tank is propelled by the Souvlaki Industries Type 78 32 Litre Engine which produces 1.500 Kw at 2.600 rpm. This engine is designed to provide both a range of 500 Kilometers and be fast enough to outmaneuver enemy vehicles. However, powerful engines produce a lot of heat, something which enables easy identification by technologically advanced adversaries. To sole this problem, a specialised heat supression system is installed.
A rundown on how the heat supression system works: the air inside the engine is hot, while the one around the tank is usually cooler. Without the heat supression system, the exhaust brings out the hot air, therefore creating heat signatures which help technologically advanced adversaries identify the tank's location simply by this signature. However, the heat supression system mixes both the hot air inside the engine with the cooler one coming out of the tank. Therefore, the air coming out of the tank is significantly cooler than in normal circumstances, thus decreasing the chance that the tank will be detetced by its heat signature.
The EL-35 is also equipped with Hydropneumatic suspsension and the Souvlaki Industries Type 82 transmission, with 4 foward and 2 reverse gears. The Type 97 Auxiliary Power Unit is also installed in the rear right section of the hull, to provide electrical power when stationary, without the high fuel consumption and large infrared signature caused by running the main engine.
The Eagle MBT is equipped with a new cannon, designated as Type 7 Cannon - 127mm L55 smoothbore cannon. Rounds fired from the Type 7 cannon are propelled from Electrothermal-Chemical (ETC) ignition systems. The ETC ignition is provided by a flashboard large area emitter (FLARE), which works by vaporizing and ionizing short gaps between metal diamonds (such as copper) over long strings. A return conductor drives the created plasma towards a vacuum, which is ideally towards the propellant of the round. The solid propellant is catalyzed by a mix of the plasma and heat radiation, convection and conduction.
Apart from the Type 7 cannon,the Eagle MBT utilises the Type 56 12.7mm coaxial heavy machinegun, mounted on the left of the cannon. Additionally, the Eagle MBT can mount the Type 29 30mm Autocannon on the rear of the right hatch. The gun can be opeated from inside the tank, without having to manually operate it from the outside (which is very dangerous) with the Type 2 Remotely Operated Weapon Utilisation System (ROWUS). The weapon is still mounted outside the vehicle, but it is operated by the commander from inside the tank.
But for remotely operated weapons, the how to remain accurate when the vehicle is on the move has proven to be a problem for designers. To solve it, 3 seperate stabilisers use gyroscopes for stabilisation, while electro-optic scopes are used to relay the data back to the system at the speed of light. This instantanious feedback means that ROWUS can stay locked on its target, no matter what the vehicle does or how much recoil there is from the weapon. Highly sophisticated digital software even analyses the image,to give the operator an early warning of danger. In addition, on the left hatch there is an additional Model 105 Heavy Machinegun, which can be used in case the ROWUS operated weapon malfunctions. This can be replaced by other 12.7mm or even 14mm Heavy Machineguns by the export client, whether during the production phase or in the feild.
The electronically powered Type 450 turret on the personnel variant accommodates the commander on the right and gunner on the left, a fire control system and the main and coaxial weapons. Primary Armament includes the Type 07 127mm L55 cannon, which can fire the following types of ammunition:
APFSDS-Armor Piercing Fin Stabilised Discarding Sabot
APFSDS rounds, like bullets, use kinetic energy to penetrate the intended target. It is in fact,a narrow metal dart, covered by a discarding sabot. The sabot, the primer and the round do not take up much space, therefore the amount of the propellant inside the round is increased. When the round is fired, the covering sabot is discarded from the round,and the round accelerates, gaining Kinetic Energy. All that energy is then concentrated into a single spot on the enemy armor, achieving penetration at an effective range of 6,000 m.
DU-APFSDS-Depleted Uranium Armor Piercing Fin Stabilised Discarding Sabot
DU-APFSDS rounds are variants of APFSDS rounds, designed for better penetration of armor.The penetrator is covered with Depleted Uranium,and when the round is fired,and the sabot discarded, the DU helps by reducing the resistance of the impact, achieving better penetration. Effective range is at 6 Kilometers.
HEAT-High Explosive Anti Tank
HEAT rounds use an explosive charge to penetrate armor. When the projectile hits the target, the hot,molten copper is compressed into a narrow jet that penetrates the armor of light armored vehicles, and can eliminate unarmored vehicles with ease. Effective Range is at 1,000 m.
APAM-Anti Personnel/Anti Materiel
APAM is a round designed to engage infantry squads equipped with anti-tank weapons. In addition to dismounted infantrymen, the APAM round can engage light armored vehicles, targets protected by 50.8 cm of reinforced concrete, bunkers of sand and timber construction,as well as hovering helicopters. Following an overhead attack trajectory, the round dispenses six submunitions which shower lethal fragments over an area of 50 meters long per 20 meters wide to engage exposed infatry and helicopters. To attack bunkers, vehicles and fortifications, the APAM is fired as an unitary round. Effective range is at 3,000 m.
RTR-Rubber Training Round
The RTR round is used in training. Though it is propelled like a normal round, and does obtain some kinetic energy, the round bounces off target when impact with hard surfaces. Effective Range is at 1,500 m.
ATM-Anti Tank Missile
The EL-35 can fire a variety of anti-tank missiles that have a diametre of 140 milimetres. Effective range varies from missile to missile.
To load a round into the barrel of the cannon, a turret-bustle mounted type autoloader, designated as theType 5 autoloader is used. Rounds are stored on a conveyer-belt type chain inside a bustle behind fighting compartment of the turret. The commander or gunner selects the type of round, the belt turns and aligns the correct round to the loading window. The gun returns to its loading angle (vertically), the round is released and is pushed/pulled into the breach by a loading rod/hook. The breach then locks and the gun is ready to fire. The autoloader usually has the ability to memorise the sequence of type of rounds inside the bustle and allows rapid fire of rounds of the same type.
Each of the 39 rounds stored in the tank has a barcode printed on them.There is a scanner in the loader that scans each shell,giving information about its type, and hence ammunitions can be loaded in random order and the autoloader will be able to remember which round is which, meaning that ammunition anomalies can be detected.
Certain advantages of this autoloading mechanism are:
- The simplicity of the design makes it less prone to a possible failure.
- The ammunition storage area is separated from the crew compartment by armoured bulkheads and if pressure venting blow-out top plates are also fitted then dangers to crews in case of ammunition cook-off by penetration can be minimised.
- The ammunition is always behind the thick turret front, and since during combat even when the enemy engages from the side, the turret can turn facing the enemy much faster than the whole tank.
- This design also allows for the rapid replacement of the autoloader and reloading of the ready ammunition by making the compartment at the rear of the turret a modular component that can be easily replaced with appropriate support equipment, similar to how the US M270 MLRS system is reloaded.
This autoloader reduces reload time to 3 seconds and the ammunition is seperated from the crew by an armored blowout bulkhead, increasing the survivability of the crew.Horizontal ammunition arrangement in the turret bustle permits using longer and therefore, more powerful rounds.
Anti-Tank or Anti-Air missiles can also be fixed on either side of the turret, which are cased and can be fired at will.
Crew and Electronics
The 3-man crew (driver,tank gunner,commander) is seated inside the hull of the tank. A specialised cantine is designed to provide enough water and snacks for 72 hours of combat operations. Each crewman has 6 LCD screens providing data over the integrated combat network. Plus, exterior high-resolution cameras with light-intensification sensors, infrared cameras,an infrared laser rangefinder, and an integrated Electronic Support Measures (ESM) array, are all included with the tank and give a 360 degree picture of the surrounding area.
The Defender Countermeasures system is designed to disrupt laser target designation and rangefinders of an incoming ATGM. The Defender includes a laser warning package that warns the tank crew when it is being lased and an optical-electric jammer, for diverting any guided ATGM away from its original target. Additionally,there is a grenade discharging system which produces an aerosol smoke screen for covering the vehicle in tense situations, along with a computerized control system to coordinate the vehicle's SADS active defense system (described in the Armour and Protection section), for intercepting any Anti Tank weapons The Defender Countermeasures system fails to intercept, like RPG rounds.
The Type 55 FINDERS Multi-Sensor Target Aquisition system allows the tank crew to easily identify and track down up to 7 targets of their choice, using equipped sensors and existing intelligence. The Type 70 Based Fire Control System is equipped with the Type 87 Fire Control Radar, capable of tracking down enemy forces that fired ballistic rounds, by tracing back the trajectories to their source, and producing the enemies' coordinates. Protection against electromagnetic interference and EMP attack is provided by the use of fiber optic cabling and circuitry composed of Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) where possible. Additional protections are provided by utilization of antennas and power connections with surge protectors designed specifically to defend against EMP attack and the crew area is coated with a conductive coating. A grounding chain is connected to the rear of the vehicle.
Variants and Derivatives
The Main Battle Tank Variant is the standard version of the EL-35, used for offensive operations. As described above, the EL-35 comes with a 127mm L55 ETC Cannon, capable of discharging a great variety of ammunition types at enemy targets. It boasts two coaxial weapons; a 12.7x99mm NATO machinegun and a 30mm autocannon, both for anti-infantry/anti-light vehicle use. It also includes a ROWUS system for mounting machineguns and grenade launchers. The Main Battle Tank variant is available for ten million NS Dollars per unit, and each unit purchase includes spare parts, ROWUS systems, ammunition and training.
The EL-35A1 Main Battle Tank Variant is the enhanced version of the EL-35, again used for offensive operations. As described above, the EL-35A1 utilises the Type 8 127mm L55 ETC Cannon, capable of discharging a great variety of ammunition types at enemy targets, two coaxial weapons (12.7x99mm NATO machinegun and a 30mm autocannon, both for anti-infantry/anti-light vehicle use) and a ROWUS system for mounting machineguns and grenade launchers, however it has been upgraded with a new cannon, a new centralised systems control unit (OPSIS) and a new powerplant. The EL-35A1 Main Battle Tank variant is available for twelve million NS Dollars per unit, and each unit purchase includes spare parts, ROWUS systems, ammunition and training.
The Armoured Vehicle Launched Bridge variant is an EL-35 Main Battle Tank that has it's turret replaced by a twenty-five, a fifty or a one hundred metre bridge that can be launched in order to enable vehicles to cross various obstacles such as rivers. Although the version includes Active Defence systems, the individual customer can add ROWUS platforms or simply install machineguns on the AVLB vehicle at will. The Armoured Vehicle Launched Bridge variant is available for three million, five hundred thousand dollars NS Dollars per unit, and each unit purchase includes spare parts, bridges, ROWUS systems, ammunition and training.
The Engineer Variant is an EL-35 Main Battle Tank that retains it's turret but instead features a Type 8 170mm cannon, which is is a high-velocity, short-barreled cousin of the Type 7 140mm L50 cannon used on EL-35 Main Battle tanks. It boasts two coaxial weapons; a 12.7x99mm NATO machinegun and a 30mm autocannon, both for anti-infantry/anti-light vehicle use. It also includes a ROWUS system for mounting machineguns and grenade launchers. The front of the vehicle can include anti-mine chains or bulldozers. The Engineer variant is available for four million NS Dollars per unit, and each unit purchase includes spare parts, anti-mine chains, bulldozers, ROWUS systems, ammunition and training.