Taiwans Joint News reported that the purchase of the MA12 by the Taiwanese army would be the latest improved version of SEPV3, the strongest main battle tank in the history of the US military.
Reported that M1 series main battle tanks use AGT-1500 gas turbines with power of 1500 horsepower, twice the engine power of CM11 and M60 tanks in active service. This makes M1 much more maneuverable than its predecessors: the early M1 was the fastest main battle tank in the world, with a maximum speed of 72 km/h on the highway. Later, M1A1/A2 became heavier, reducing the maximum speed to about 65 kilometers per hour, but still much faster than the 48 kilometers of CM11/M60. M1 uses composite armor with special high hardness ceramics between steel plates. It has higher strength but heavier weight than traditional homogeneous steel plates, the report said.
The article also advocates that the tank is invincible in regular combat. Reported that in the 1991 Gulf War, the U.S. military destroyed hundreds of Iraqi Russian tanks, M1 only 23 bullets were damaged, of which 21 can be repaired and all the crew survived. The only M1 casualty accident during the whole war was caused by a tank falling into the Tigris River. During the Iraq War in 2003, M1 series again gained the upper hand in the battle against the Russian T-72 tanks of the Iraqi Army. However, in the anti-guerrilla warfare after the end of large-scale operations, the battlefield became urban warfare. In the face of anti-tank missiles and other weapons attacks, by March 2005, a total of 80 M1 series main battle tanks had lost their combat effectiveness.
The strongest tank on the ground?
A continental military expert told the Global Times that, in fact, the maximum speed of M1 tank 72 km/h is the standard of most of the early third generation main battle tanks in the West, which is basically the same as the maximum speed of Le Claire and Leopard 2 main battle tanks. At that time, the tank weighed about 54 tons, with a 1500 horsepower engine, it could achieve higher speed. However, in order to enhance the protection performance, the weight of main battle tanks generally increased to more than 60 tons, resulting in a decline in speed. Usually the speed is about 60 kilometers per hour. On the contrary, it is not as fast as the main battle tank developed and improved later by China and Russia.
Huang Guozhi, editor of Modern Weapons magazine, did not agree with the term the strongest tank on the surface in an interview with Global Times on September 9. After all, he said, M1 series tanks were designed decades ago. Although they have been improved to SEPV3 version, there is still a gap between the development concept of M1 series tanks and other third generation main battle tanks. Especially M1 series main battle tanks are too heavy and have poor traffic capacity. This problem is not very serious in the western European plain, but it will be limited in the terrain environment of Taiwan. Moreover, M1 series tanks also use manual ammunition loading, which has a low degree of automation. These aspects are not as good as the main battle tanks which later had automatic loaders.
MA12 Tank with Side Reaction Armor
However, some mainland experts believe that M1A2 has two relatively advanced technologies in the third generation of Western tanks, or globally. One is that depleted uranium composite armor is unique for a considerable period of time. Depending on the high density and high hardness of depleted uranium armor, M1A2 has a good anti-penetration capability. The export T-72 main battle tank with reduced performance can hardly penetrate its front armor with older armor-piercing projectiles. However, as reported by Taiwan media, the United States will probably not sell the M122 equipped with depleted uranium composite armor to Taiwan. Tanks to the Taiwan army are likely to be equivalent to the M1 series exported to Egypt and Iraq. The latter is frequently destroyed by anti-tank missiles which are not actually advanced. The other is that armour-piercing projectiles are more advanced. The U.S. M1A2 main battle tank uses a 120 mm muzzle gun. Especially in the field of high-speed tail-fin stabilization armour-piercing projectiles, the United States has a deep capability. M829 series armour-piercing projectiles use high-density, high-hardness depleted uranium with self-sharpening effect as core material. The latest M829A4 vertical penetration depth is said to be over 900 mm, which makes its main battle tank rank first among the three generations of tanks in the West. Of course, whether this latest artillery shell can be exported to Taiwan is uncertain. Moreover, even early models of artillery shells, Taiwan can not be produced in a short period of time, one shot less.
Wartime will soon become a torch
The above-mentioned mainland experts said that the M1 series of main battle tanks in the hands of the U.S. Army had been very successful in the previous conflicts on the whole. On the one hand, it is more advanced than its rivals. Its rival main battle tanks, the most advanced is also the export-type T-72 tank, which in the 1970s lagged behind the M1 Series in all aspects. Secondly, the battlefield environment is very suitable for M1 series to play an advantage. The M1 series tanks were originally designed for fighting in the European plains, which is similar to the desert battlefields in the Middle East. For example, they have a wide field of vision and a long distance to look directly, so that the M1 series tanks can give full play to their firepower advantages and hit targets 2 kilometers away, but their opponents do not have this ability.
US M1A2 Tank Fired
However, after the purchase of M1A2, the Taiwanese army faced a completely different situation. First of all, the main performance of the tanks facing the Taiwanese Army is at least no worse than that of the Taiwan version of the MA12, some of which will exceed. Secondly, the Taiwanese army has to face a very rich and powerful anti-tank attack. For example, the new generation of Red Arrow-10 anti-tank missile equipped by the PLA is fully capable of penetrating the main armor of Taiwanese tanks from the front, and this kind of anti-tank missile is usually attacked from top to bottom. For M1A2 main battle tank, it can penetrate a cool heart. Even the light Red Arrow-12 anti-tank missile has enough power to destroy M1A2. In addition, the PLA is equipped with multi-type airborne anti-tank missiles, not to mention M1A2.
Experts say it is almost impossible to find an open area suitable for M1A2 operations in Taiwans island terrain. If anti-landing operations are carried out near the coast, it will be the first target of airborne anti-tank missiles, and M1A2 may become the torch before it can fire. Moreover, the total weight of the tank is more than 60 tons, which is not conducive to the islands terrain mobility, and the speed advantage of Taiwan media fantasy becomes a disadvantage. If used in street warfare, even the media themselves admit that such tanks are afraid of town warfare. In this case, it is feared that the Taiwanese tank soldiers will run faster than M1A2 in wartime.
Source: Global Times Responsible Editor: Ding Xunwei_NBJS8671