zak
Posts: 1926
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2003 12:17 pm

U.S. Abrams Tank "killed" With A Railgun In Iraq

Sun Mar 28, 2004 10:37 pm

a very very interesting article in todays spiegel http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/0,1518,292818,00.html (german language only) online edition mentions that soldat+technikhttp://www.soldat-und-technik.de/ (a defensive technology magazine) reports that last august during a patrol in iraq a u.s. m1 abrams tank got attacked in a very odd way. the projectile made a 7mm (~0.25inch) hole from one end to the other and went straight through the tank. no fielded antitank weapon can do such damage and it is said that only electromagnetic acceleration guns (railguns) are able to do such weapons.

the big question remains however: who "tested" his new railgun in iraq. the article mentions that besides NATO countries, the only countries known to have such weapons under development are israel, russia and china.
did saddam spend some of his money on railgun technology or do we have "OPFOR" doing undercover weapons tests against u.s. troops under "live" conditions now? or is it a stray u.s. railgun shot from some secret project?
i hope more about this incident surfaces and if it was not a stray u.s. shot, i am sure there is alot of intelligence going on.
10=2
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: U.S. Abrams Tank "killed" With A Railgun In Iraq

Sun Mar 28, 2004 10:50 pm

Sorry but despite living two years in Germany I can't read the language.

But I doubt it was a railgun. AFAIK no country has yet figured how to miniturize one down to a combat size.

I think this is the same incident. Not the size of the hole is noticibly bigger the what was reported to you but the trajectory matches. The "shell" came in the right side, above the track, pased through a seat and the gunner and then took out a circit breaker panel, which is what resulted in the "mobilty kill"

Army Times arcticle, at the time it was written the suspected round was an RPG-22

http://www.armytimes.com/story.php?f=1-292236-2336437.php

Some photos of the tank I am talking about, I hotlinked them in defference to peoples bandwidth restrictions.

The outside of the tank
http://www.webmutants.com/strategypage/missile_mystery1.jpg
The point of penetration outside is in the red circle
http://www.webmutants.com/strategypage/missile_mystery2.jpg
The point of penetration inside the hull
http://www.webmutants.com/strategypage/missile_mystery3.jpg
Passed through the gunners seat, and the gunner
http://www.webmutants.com/strategypage/missile_mystery4.jpg
The round hit the cannon Breech
http://www.webmutants.com/strategypage/missile_mystery5.jpg
Hit the back wall of the turret
http://www.webmutants.com/strategypage/missile_mystery6.jpg
And buried itself in a circut breaker panel.
http://www.webmutants.com/strategypage/missile_mystery7.jpg

OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
galaxy5
Posts: 1952
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2000 10:09 pm

RE: U.S. Abrams Tank "killed" With A Railgun In Iraq

Sun Mar 28, 2004 11:02 pm

Thats a fairly old story, there was an article in popular science or popular mechanics about that same story a while back. The conclusion reached by DOD was that the Iraqi's somehow got their hands on a more modern and up-to-date RPG or anti-tank grenade. The Russians had developed an RPG warhead using a specially designed shaped war head that would do such damage. Besides you dont just carry around a magnetic kinetic energy weapon or rail gun around with you, its a very large (size of a tractor trailer) system of devices and energy requirements are very high. I dont think the Iraqi's have achieved star wars like technology yet.
"damn, I didnt know prince could Ball like that" - Charlie Murphy
 
Klaus
Posts: 20578
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: U.S. Abrams Tank "killed" With A Railgun In Iraq

Sun Mar 28, 2004 11:10 pm

Iraq actually had some sort of rail gun research project...

It was nowhere near deployability for all I know, however. It seems after the dismantling of the nuclear weapons program more than ten years ago projects like this were kept alive to a) preserve some level of basic research capability and b) to present them to the iraqi leadership as some kind of "secret weapon" against the foreign air patrol and keep the money going to the scientists...

What I´ve read about these projects does not indicate this incident could be related in any way; The research was far below the required level, just a related topic.
 
zak
Posts: 1926
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2003 12:17 pm

RE: U.S. Abrams Tank "killed" With A Railgun In Iraq

Sun Mar 28, 2004 11:18 pm

interesting article and very interesting pictures. i do however disagree with the "upgraded" rpg or rpg-22 theory. i have seen hits by shaped charge projectiles that are with little doubt more modern then what saddam has to offer on a shooting range during my army time. it wasnt on composite armor, only on those good ol m48 and m60s who now serve as target dummies, but still i fail to believe that it would create a jet that would stay coherent till the other side of the tank. always keep in mind that tandem warheads are normal these days (even on many portable at systems) and that a HEAT jet quickly dissipates when travelling in "air". that is why israeli merkava tanks have the simply but very efficient method of having simple metal chains hanging from the rear of their turret to detonate rpg rounds prematurely so that the jet dissipates in the air before it reaches the turret/hull joint http://koti.mbnet.fi/~herrax/images/merkava.jpg .

it might not be a railgun, although research is surely far enough in many countries to achieve such results, since noone with half a brain would actually go and send his precious research work to iraq and risk it being recovered by u.s. forces.
it might have been a next gen shaped charge warhead tested by some opfor nation, but i dont buy the rpg-x theory, since rpgs are more(rpg-26 and other LAW style weapons) or less (rpg-7 etc) portable weapons. and to achieve above effects, even modern(and they are really more or less state of the art) western anti tank weapons would not achieve such a "spill free" hit and coherent jet.
there is plenty of footage out there of big (and the bigger the diameter the cleaner your jet, which speaks against the portable theory) at weapons with modern warheads hitting tanks. you will never see such a clean cut and rather unharmed outside of the tank and not skirts without any damage.
10=2
 
galaxy5
Posts: 1952
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2000 10:09 pm

RE: U.S. Abrams Tank "killed" With A Railgun In Iraq

Sun Mar 28, 2004 11:27 pm

Regarddless of what the weapon used turns out to be, it still doesnt give those tank crews over there a warm fuzzy, The M-1 being the best and heaviest armor we have over there, being defeated by a portable weapon isnt a good thing. However on the good side this is the only evidence of there being such a weapon (only 1 M-1) has been disabled with unexplained ordinance.
"damn, I didnt know prince could Ball like that" - Charlie Murphy
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: U.S. Abrams Tank "killed" With A Railgun In Iraq

Sun Mar 28, 2004 11:32 pm

If you look at that first picture you can see that the warhead hit between the panels that are supposed to protect the track. These panels also are ment to protect the hull. So the armor there is pretty thin/non-existant.

As the army says, it was probably a lucky shot it hit where it did.

RPG's are not by definition HEAT warheads, although traditionally they have been. But the fact that AFAIK there was not any sort of shrapnel or "bullet" from the missile suggests that somebody has found a new way to shape a warhead charge much more tightly.

OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
NoUFO
Posts: 7397
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2001 7:40 am

RE: U.S. Abrams Tank "killed" With A Railgun In Ir

Mon Mar 29, 2004 12:28 am

Since I have had no idea what RPG-whatever are, I started to google around and look what I have found:
http://www.angelfire.com/wi/jaysdomain/myordnance.html  Wow!

This man must be crazy. Those shells and mines are most likely empty, but still ...
I support the right to arm bears
 
gigneil
Posts: 14133
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 10:25 am

RE: U.S. Abrams Tank "killed" With A Railgun In Iraq

Mon Mar 29, 2004 7:20 am

Rocket Propelled Grenades.

N
 
Klaus
Posts: 20578
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

NoUFO

Mon Mar 29, 2004 7:26 am

"Panzerfaust" in german.
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13916
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 5:25 am

RE: U.S. Abrams Tank "killed" With A Railgun In Iraq

Mon Mar 29, 2004 7:42 am

Actually Hohlladungsraketengeschosse in German.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
Klaus
Posts: 20578
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

MD11Engineer

Mon Mar 29, 2004 7:50 am

Okay, I just know the colloquial term... I´m not fluent in Bundeswehr-speak.  Wink/being sarcastic
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13916
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 5:25 am

RE: U.S. Abrams Tank "killed" With A Railgun In Iraq

Mon Mar 29, 2004 8:17 am

Klaus,

Actually I´ve been a voluntary member of the THW (for those who are not from Germany: Technisches Hilfswerk, Technical Aid Service, technical branch of the German Civil defense) for about 20 years, just quit last year due to high workload (only interruption have been the 2 1/2 years in Ireland). I used to have a blasting ticket through them, but I´m not current anymore. I´ve worked with shaped charges before (actually in 1996 I blew up the transmission tower formerly used by the AFN in Berlin, using the British shaped charge system "Blade", you can check for example in the archives of "Berliner Zeitung", they´ve got a picture there of me with a charge of explosives in my hand). If you get them in close contact with the object to be demolished (keeping the proper standoff for optimum formation of the spike) you can have very clean and deep cuts. I just wonder about the lack of damage around the hole on the outside. It would look ok if it was some industrial demolition charge, optimised to reduce unnecessary damage, but it looks too clean for a shaped charge warhead.
Did they recover a projectile from that C/B panel?

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
DC10GUY
Posts: 2590
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2000 5:52 am

RE: U.S. Abrams Tank "killed" With A Railgun In Iraq

Mon Mar 29, 2004 8:22 am

HAHAHA This is ridiculous. The US army in invincible. Because God is on our side. This can only be liberal propaganda from the liberal media to try and demoralize our troops.
Next time try the old "dirty Sanchez" She'll love it !!!
 
Klaus
Posts: 20578
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

MD11Engineer

Mon Mar 29, 2004 8:45 am

MD11Engineer: Actually I´ve been a voluntary member of the THW

Wouldn´t have guessed that they had anything to do with this kind of stuff...

MD11Engineer: I used to have a blasting ticket through them, but I´m not current anymore. I´ve worked with shaped charges before (actually in 1996 I blew up the transmission tower formerly used by the AFN in Berlin, using the British shaped charge system "Blade"

...but that certainly explains it. Big grin

You never stop to learn about new things.  Smile
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13916
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 5:25 am

RE: U.S. Abrams Tank "killed" With A Railgun In Iraq

Mon Mar 29, 2004 10:27 am

Klaus,
Yes, I used to be licenced for general blasting work (such as quarrying and road building), agricultural and forestry blasting ( like removing tree stumps and cutting windfall or blasting ditches), ice blasting (controlled breaking up ice on rivers to prevent floods in springtime) and demolitions of buildings and parts of buildings. The transmission tower used to be one of the demolition jobs.
Learning about military applications came from some instructors, who were teaching for the police and Bundeswehr as well.
Before the big budget cuts each rescue platoon (Bergungszug) of THW used to have two trained and licenced demolition specialists, after the cuts they didn´t bother to send us on mandatory refresher courses to extend the licence, esp. me, since I was forced to work in my regular job more and more on saturdays, when the THW had training.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
Klaus
Posts: 20578
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

MD11Engineer

Mon Mar 29, 2004 10:37 am

Ah, yes. I seem to remember hearing about "river de-icing".

I´d say especially the THW will need to be strengthened again as soon as fiscally possible... You guys were and are doing great and important work at home and abroad. I´ve never had the misfortune to have needed you directly, but my thanks to you and to your former colleagues for a job well done anyway!  Big thumbs up

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Adipasquale, DocLightning and 11 guests