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Add media RSS M48A5 turret with VARMA series armor (view original)
M48A5 turret with VARMA series armor
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You just know the Leopard 2 is a failed design when you see how a soldier has to stick his unprotected head out to use that MG3 to get killed by an SVD Dragunov.

So this design should be applauded imo.

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Perdikofas Author

I'm guessing you're talking about the commander's cupola. It was later replaced with a lower profile Israeli one with an external M2HB, as it was quite a big weakspot. Most cupola MGs can make use of gun shields to protect the user (see Ariete PSO, Type 74G+, etc). Other than that, in the late 70s and 80s, there were already quite a few remote controlled mg/autocannon turrets, or ones where their gunner could use them from inside the tank (see GIAT CAPRE, GIAT Mascot, KUKA E23, Wegmann/Heckler MZA 1865, Breda T12.7FA, and many more). In the end, a lower profile turret gives more protection to the commander (harder to hit), as in 99% of combat scenarios he stays buckled up in the tank, even to search for targets.

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Yo dawg I heard u like turrets

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In the 90's, Vickers Defense Systems used the experience gained from government-funded armor projects to create the VARMA series, a series of private venture armor products. It was marketed for both retrofitting on old vehicles as well as integrating into new concepts.
In this photo the M48A5's turret uses VARMA 1 on the turret cheeks, as well as the weakspot between the hull and turret, and VARMA 2 ERA on the gun mantlet and turret sides.
VARMA 1 is a compact passive armor. It incorporates ballistically proven armor array packages that can be tailored to fit existing vehicles even when complex curved surfaces are involved. VARMA 1 can be supplied to virtually any cast turreted vehicle including M48, M60, former Soviet and Chinese T series, Chieftain and Centurion.
VARMA 2 is an explosive reactive armor system which offers a very high degree of performance against shaped charge weapons. The armour is lightweight, easily installed and is a very cost-effective means of providing protection against shaped charge threats.
VARMA 3 is a series of lightweight armor systems that can be optimized to defeat a range of small caliber kinetic energy and shaped charge weapons.
VARMA 4 is an explosive armor system developed specifically to protect the turret roof of MBTs against shaped charge threats.

Source: Jane's Armoured Fighting Vehicle Retrofit Systems 1993-94

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