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From: Brian O'Leary (bcoleary@worldnet.att.net)
Subject: Re: ADFSDS vs. HEAT
Newsgroups: rec.games.miniatures.historical
View: Complete Thread (21 articles) | Original Format
Date: 1999/04/25
Another vote for APFSDS.

The most effective kinetic penetrators seem to be the DU type but I've read
that some manufacturers of certain forged tungsten penetrators claim that
they are superior to some DU types.  The APDS rounds of today offer more
energy (being fire from larger guns) and harder, denser penetrators that
have much more kinetic energy (KE) on impact than rounds of yesteryear.  The
small cross-section and advantageous ballistic coefficient mean that less
energy is blead off while traveling to the target than older types of
kinetic rounds, thus maintaining a greater proportion of their already
higher KE on impact and effectively extending their useful range.  Sloped
armor can still be an effective defense,  as the amount of armor penetrated
is equal to the plate thickness divided by the SIN of the angle from
horizontal and the bending stress over the length of the penetrator sucks
away some of the KE.  The face hardness of the armor relative to the
hardness of the penetrator is another issue.  If the armor is harder, the
round will break up on contact and be deflected away.  Generally though,
modern penetrators are working against yesterdays armor, so the round is
harder than the armor and has such a surplus of KE that enough slope just
isn't possible.

The applied metallurgy of armor hasn't allowed the pendulum to swing back in
favor of armor yet but in theory it will.  Newer armor designs consisting of
composite materials that combine the hardness of say DU armor with an
elastic "fabric" will cause the energy of the KE penetrator to be diffused
across the cross sectional area of the entire armored face that is struck.
Some of this is already instituted in the latest generation of vehicles, but
the applied technology will get better.

Heat rounds are fired at lower muzzle velocities and the shape of the round
dictates a poorer ballistic coefficient, thus the round slows more rapidly
and becomes less accurate far sooner than the APFSDS round.  Armor developed
in the late 1960's and 1970's caught up the chemical energy penetrators and
have greatly reduced the threat from these rounds.  A HEAT round uses a
chemical fuel to form a plasma jet to burn through the armor.  Some of these
materials burn at outrageous rates along the lines of 25,000-32,000 feet per
second.  Additionally the burning plasma needs to be engaged in a specific
geometric cone shape to be at its most efficient level.  Any defect,
blemish, or deformation of the cone reduces the penetration of the warhead.
Thus sloped armor can drastically reduce the penetration as it distorts the
cone, and spaced armor sets off the fuse and uses up the burn time prior to
the material actually contacting the armor to be penetrated.  Chobham and
similar armors also used higher technology including the lamination or
honeycombing materials specifically resistant to this type of weapon in the
armor.  For example ceramic materials withstand the high heat and conduct
the energy throughout the armor rather than letting it focus on a small
area. Reactive armor also deforms the cone.  Spaced and reactive armor can
be defeated by multistaged warheads, with one warhead being set off by the
spaced/reactive armor and the real or second warhead being set off by the
primary armor of the target.  Ideally the cone is best if formed at a
certain distance from the armor, thus some rounds have a pronounced "nose",
this contains the stand-off fuse mechanism.  Top attack Heat weapons
partially defeat reactive and spaced armor, but still have to deal with
composites if encountered.

For the time being at least KE weapons are more effective than chemical
energy weapons, but as the technological battle continues, the pendulum is
sure to swing to and fro.

Guess it's a good to stop my long winded babble. Hope this is helpful.


Kenny Noe wrote in message <37226487$0$13723@mojo.crosslink.net>...
>OK, I've gotten several different opinions from people at CW99 and thought
>I'd post to gain additional information.
>In toady's environment (1980 - Present) I understand that the APFSDS round
>has become the round of choice among Tankers and APFSDS has a better
>penetration effect on MBTs.  Is this a wrong statement?  Why and defend your
>answer!  <grin>
>Heading for the shelter now.....  TIA   ----Kenny

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