The M1 Abrams was developed during the Cold War as a successor to the canceled MBT-70. The M1 Abrams contract went to Chrysler Defense and was the first vehicle to adopt Chobham armor. Adaptations before the Persian Gulf War (Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm) gave the vehicle better firepower and NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) protection. Being vastly superior to Iraqi tanks, very few M1 tanks were hit by enemy fire. Upgrades after the war improved the tank’s weapons sights and fire control unit. The invasion of Iraq in 2003 destroyed Iraq’s military. Vulnerabilities in urban combat were addressed with the TUSK modification. Three main versions of the M1 Abrams have been deployed, the M1, M1A1, and M1A2, incorporating improved armament, protection, and electronics. These improvements and other upgrades to in-service tanks have allowed this long-serving vehicle to remain in front-line service. In addition, development for the improved M1A3 version has been known since 2009. The M1A2 System Enhancement Package (SEP) is a successor to the M1A2. It is also an upgrade package for the older Abrams tanks. It has improved armor protection, improved system components, improved computer components, and some other improvements. First upgraded tank was delivered in 1999. A total of 240 M1A2 SEP tanks were newly built. Another 300 M1A2 tanks were upgraded to M1A2 SEP standard. Furthermore 400 oldest M1A1 tanks were upgraded to M1A2 SEP. Also unknown number of the basic refurbished M1 tanks were upgraded to this standard. So the US military operates at least 900 main battle tanks upgraded to this standard. It is the backbone of the US military armored forces. This tank has not been exported. It is planned that the fleet of refurbished and upgraded M1A1 tanks will remain with the US military service until at least 2021. The M1A2 tanks will remain in service beyond 2050. The M1A2 SEP is one of the best main battle tanks in the world. It has incredible technology and armor. Upgraded tanks are slightly heavier than the baseline M1A2. The baseline M1A2 tank uses advanced armor, reinforced with depleted uranium layers. The M1A2 SEP has a further upgraded depleted uranium armor components with graphite coating. Protection of this MBT is considered as one of the best in the world. The M1A2 SEP has significant level of protection against all known anti-tank weapons. It can also employ counter-IED equipment. Protection can be further increased with add-on explosive reactive armor. The tank is armed with the same 120-mm M256 smoothbore gun as its predecessor. Range of effective fire is in excess of 4 km. It can fire the M829A3 APFSDS rounds with depleted uranium penetrator and M1028 canister rounds that discharges massive blast of tungsten fragments at muzzle exit. This round has devastating lethality against assaulting infantry between a range of 200-500 meters. Ammunition for the main gun is stored in the turret bustle, fitted with blow-out panels. The SEPv2 (version 2) added CROWS or CROWS 2 remotely operated weapon station, armed with a 12.7-mm machine gun. This weapon can be fired from inside of the tank without exposing the crew to enemy fire. Also there are two 7.62-mm machine guns. One of them is mounted coaxially with the main gun. The other is mounted on top of the roof and is operated by the gunner. The SEPv3 (version 3) was publicly revealed in 2015. Today it is the most modern version of the Abrams tank. It has a number of upgrades in the area of survivability, maintainability, fuel efficiency, and network capabilities. Main survivability upgrades are the new armor package and improved anti-IED capability. Testing of this upgraded tank is planned to be completed in 2016. The SEPv3 should be delivered to the US Army starting in 2017. The M1A2 SEP has a more advanced fire control system with upgraded ballistic computer. Both the gunner’s sight and commander’s independent thermal viewer use new 2nd generation FLIR technology and have improved thermal imaging and night vision capabilities. Commander and gunner can designate and track multiple targets simultaneously. This gives the tank a hunter-killer engagement capability. This tank is fitted with a digital battlefield management system. It allows commanders to track friendly and hostile forces on the battlefield. This system is near real-time based. Locations of friendly vehicles are constantly updated. This system increases vehicle commander’s situational awareness. This tank is operated by a crew of four, including commander, gunner, loader and driver.
The Kawasaki C-1 (川崎 C-1) is a twin-engined short-range military transport, used by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF). Development began in 1966 as the JASDF sought to replace its aging World War II–era C-46 Commandos. Production commenced in 1971, and the aircraft remains in service.
In 1966, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force transport fleet was composed primarily of Curtiss C-46 Commandos, a retired midwar American design built in large numbers before the end of World War II. While relatively capable for its time, the C-46 did not fare well in comparison to newer aircraft such as the Lockheed C-130 Hercules, and the JASDF therefore elected to replace it with a domestically-designed and -manufactured transport aircraft.
For this purpose, they turned to the Nihon Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation, a consortium of several major corporations, which had begun to produce commercially its YS-11 airliner four years earlier. NAMC decided that Kawasaki Heavy Industries was to be the prime contractor, and the airplane thus bears that company’s name. The aircraft has been used as military transport for the JASDF since its maiden flight in November 1970.
Japanese policies at the time on military equipment were strict in that they were not to have offensive capabilities, and so the maximum range was cut in order to keep the aircraft’s operational range inside Japan. This proved to be a problem after Okinawa was returned to Japan from the US, and the aircraft had trouble reaching the island from distant areas. Thus production was reduced and the C-130 was introduced.
The Kawasaki C-1 has been in use since 1974 but will be replaced by the Kawasaki C-2, which has a longer range. The first of twenty C-2s is expected to be delivered in 2014.
The MIM-104 Patriot is a surface-to-air missile (SAM) system, the primary of its kind used by the United States Army and several allied nations. It is manufactured by the U.S. defense contractor Raytheon and derives its name from the radar component of the weapon system. The AN/MPQ-53 at the heart of the system is known as the “Phased array Tracking Radar to Intercept on Target” or the bacronym PATRIOT. The Patriot System replaced the Nike Hercules system as the U.S. Army’s primary High to Medium Air Defense (HIMAD) system, and replaced the MIM-23 Hawk system as the U.S. Army’s medium tactical air defense system. In addition to these roles, Patriot has been given the function of the U.S. Army’s anti-ballistic missile (ABM) system, which is now Patriot’s primary mission. The system is expected to stay fielded until at least 2040.
Patriot uses an advanced aerial interceptor missile and high-performance radar systems. Patriot was developed at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, which had previously developed the Safeguard ABM system and its component Spartan and hypersonic speed Sprint missiles. The symbol for Patriot is a drawing of a Revolutionary War-era Minuteman.
During the late 1980s, tests began to indicate that, although Patriot was certainly capable of intercepting inbound ballistic missiles, it was questionable whether or not the MIM-104A/B missile was capable of destroying them reliably. This necessitated the introduction of the PAC-2 missile and system upgrade.
For the system, the PAC-2 upgrade was similar to the PAC-1 upgrade. Radar search algorithms were further optimized, and the beam protocol while in “TBM search” was further modified. PAC-2 also saw Patriot’s first major missile upgrade, with the introduction of the MIM-104C, or PAC-2 missile. This missile was optimized for ballistic missile engagements. Major changes to the PAC-2 missile were the size of the projectiles in its blast-fragmentation warhead (changed from around 2 grams to around 45 grams), and the timing of the pulse-Doppler radar fuse, which was optimized for high-speed engagements (though it retained its old algorithm for aircraft engagements if necessary). Engagement procedures were also optimized, changing the method of fire the system used to engage ballistic missiles. Instead of launching two missiles in an almost simultaneous salvo, a brief delay (between 3 and 4-second) was added in order to allow the second missile launched to discriminate a ballistic missile warhead in the aftermath of the explosion of the first.
PAC-2 was first tested in 1987 and reached Army units in 1990, just in time for deployment to the Middle East for the Persian Gulf War. It was there that Patriot was first regarded as a successful ABM system and proof that ballistic missile defense was indeed possible. The complete study on its effectiveness remains classified.
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 (NATO reporting name: Foxbat) is a supersonic interceptor and reconnaissance aircraft that was among the fastest military aircraft to enter service. It was designed by the Soviet Union’s Mikoyan-Gurevich bureau primarily using stainless steel; one of the few combat aircraft to do so. The first prototype flew in 1964, and the aircraft entered service in 1970. It has an operational top speed of Mach 2.83 (Mach 3.2 is possible but at risk of significant damage to the engines), and features a powerful radar and four air-to-air missiles. When first seen in reconnaissance photography, the large wing suggested an enormous and highly maneuverable fighter, at a time when U.S. design theories were also evolving towards higher maneuverability due to combat performance in the Vietnam War. The appearance of the MiG-25 sparked serious concern in the West and prompted dramatic increases in performance for the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle then under development in the late 1960s. The capabilities of the MiG-25 were better understood in 1976 when Soviet pilot Viktor Belenko defected in a MiG-25 to the United States via Japan. It turned out that the aircraft’s weight necessitated its large wings. Production of the MiG-25 series ended in 1984 after completion of 1,190 aircraft. A symbol of the Cold War, the MiG-25 flew with Soviet allies and former Soviet republics, remaining in limited service in Russia and several other nations. It is one of the highest-flying military aircraft, and the second fastest after the SR-71 reconnaissance aircraft.
The AMPV (Joint programme developed by Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei-Wegmann) is specifically designed for out-of-area operations, meeting the full range of requirements for mobility and ruggedness. The passenger cell can be quickly fitted with add-on armour in response to higher-intensity threats. Highly ergonomic, the vehicle comfortably carries a five-man crew. Its advanced bullet-resistant windows combine excellent visibility with maximum protection. High-performance climate control technology and NBC filtration ensure prolonged battlefield sustainability.
Der AMPV optional with remote controlled weapon station and the smoke protection system Rosy.