TG-80 Ursid

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TG-80 Ursid
Ursidtank.png
A TG-80NK of Regiment of Confederate Dragoons E88 'Antagh' during a live-fire exercise in Fort Heras, Tenkir'ga. January 2019.
TypeMain battle tank
Place of originMirhaime Federation
Service history
In service1980-present
Used by Mirhaime Federation
Production history
DesignerPotza Heavy Industries
Department of Defense's Technology Research and Development Institute (TRDI)
ManufacturerPotza Heavy Industries
Number built~2,900
Specifications
WeightTG-80NK: 54.8 tonnes
Length9.76 m
Width3.43 m
Height2.34 m
Crew4 (commander, gunner, loader and driver)

ArmorModular ceramic/steel composite armour
Main
armament
56-calibre 120mm STX-120A smoothbore gun (52 rounds) KM256 120mm
Engineeight-cylinder PHI-MTU V8-1500 diesel engine
1,500 hp (890 kW) at 2,400 rpm
Power/weight27.3hp/ton
TransmissionMTU automatic transmission, with five forward and two reverse gears
SuspensionHybrid hydropneumatic & torsion bar suspension
Operational
range
500 km
Speed71 km/h (road)
55 km/h (cross country)

The TG-80 Ursid, offically designated as Traegan Garlac, Mionsamhail 1980 is a third-generation Mirhaimian main battle tank designed, and manufactured by Potza Heavy Industries for use by the uniformed services of the Mirhaime Realm Defence Forces. Originally envisioned as a direct replacement for the TG-57, and a heavier supplement for the fleet of TG-67 Main Battle Tanks in service with the Realm Guards at that time, the TG-80 (and subsequent models) was conceived for modern armored ground warfare.

The TG-80 first entered into service in 1980, and is currently the frontline main battle tank of the Mirhaimian Realm Guards, and Armada Marine Forces. Throughout the years, several iterations were conceived to improve general efficacy, and combat efficiency with each iteration seeing improvements in armament, protection, and electronics. Extensive improvements have been implemented to the latest variant of the vehicle, dubbed the TG-80NK such as improved composite armor, better optics, digital systems and ammunition.

Background

Several years following the adoption of the TG-67, and the subsequent soft-upgrade package, the TG-67A, Mirhaimian High Command was faced with the appearances of a new generation of main battle tanks featuring superior firepower, and protection over all Mirhaimian vehicles in service on the regional stage. As a result, the immediate replacement for a new main battle tank was prioritized, with the development of a prototype, the TAK-X officially beginning on September of 1975 as a joint development by Potza Heavy Industries and the Department of Defense's Technology Research and Development Institute (TRDI). Several major subcontractors included Reingiker Heavy Ordnance, Putz Electronics, Zaram Industries and DMA.

The second prototype of the TG-80, the TAK-X-2 as seen in a presentation given to the Department of War in 1977.

With proper budget secured from the Saekari, a total of two prototypes were developed before the official adoption in 1980, both armed with the same 120mm smoothbore gun which was designed, and produced by Reingiker Heavy Ordnance along with the ammunitions. Work began on the first prototype around December of 1975, and was finished in late 1977. Trials, and tests were conducted in the subsequent months before a final conclusion was made, and the development of a second prototype authorized. Thus, the development of the second prototype (TAK-X-2) began in early 1978 until it was completed later that same year. Testing and design modifications such as improvements to the turret and half modular type ceramic composite armor were also conducted starting in October 1978, and continued until April of 1979 when a final model was reviewed and officially adopted by the Realm Defence Forces in October, awaiting its first manufacturing run in Q1 of 1980.

A second series of four prototypes was built between 1986 and 1988, incorporating changes resulting from trials with the first two prototypes. These were armed with the Rheinmetall 120 mm smoothbore gun also fitted to the German Leopard 2 and, in a modified version, the US M1A1/M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks. These second prototypes were used for development and then user trials, all of which were completed by December 1989, before Japan formally introduced the Type 90 in August 1990. Mass production began in 1990, and 30 vehicles were produced by the end of the year.

Design

Armanent

The gun has a caliber of 120mm (as the name would suggest), and a length of 44 calibers. The gun's standard barrel weighs roughly 1,190 kilograms (2,620 lb). Incorporated into the TG-80, the 56 calibers gun (including the mount) weighs 3,317 kilograms. The bore evacuator and the gun's thermal sleeve, designed to regulate the temperature of the barrel, are made of glass-reinforced plastic, while the barrel has a chrome lining to increase barrel life. The main gun features a magnesium alloy thermal sleeve and an automatic loading mechanism. Elevation (+20°), depression (-8°), and turret traverse (360°) are electrically powered. The gun relies on the standard method of compartment overpressure for barrel fume extraction, one commonly seen in other third generation MBTs. Located inside the turret bustle is the autoloader. The autoloader itself weighs 500 kg (empty) and has a total volume of 1.68 m3 (1.40 x 2.40 x 0.50 m). In case of ammunition cooking off, the deflagration is vented by two blow-out panels. The autoloader allows the reloading of the gun while firing on the move, providing it a sufficient rate of fire to deal with six targets in one minute. The nominal firing sequence is below 8 seconds and the repetition rate (loading two ammunition of the same type one after another) is below 6 seconds.

The vehicle carries 52 rounds, 20 ready rounds are stored vertically on the left side of the main gun breech. The 32 other are stowed in a hull rack to the left of the driver's station. The gun barrel has a thermal insulating sleeve and a fume extractor; it is fully stabilized in both azimuth and elevation by an electro-hydraulic drive system.

A variety of ammunition has been developed for use by the vehicle by Reingiker. This includes a series of kinetic energy penetrators, such as the M235 series, and high explosive anti-tank warheads. These also extend to the new M9000 series of depleted uranium munitions, however these are still in experimental stage and have yet to be stabilized enough for service upon the tank's introduction.

Lighter armament includes three 7.62 mm MG-67T machine guns, one pintle mounted, one coaxial to the left of the main gun.

The tank's advanced fire-control system, a result of a Putz-Mitek collaboration efforts, is designated FC-71-MT TURMS (Tank Universal Reconfigurable Modular System), and includes day and night panoramic capability for the commander's SP-T-694 primary sight (developed collaboratively by Putz/Mitek), a stabilized platform including a thermal gunner's sight and a laser rangefinder to increase accuracy and expedite target detection and targeting, and a digital fire-control computer, which is capable of measuring wind speed, humidity, and exterior weather conditions, combining them with the turret's angle of elevation, attitude, and the barrel's physical wear to increase accuracy. Since its introduction there have been several upgrades to the fire-control system, including the addition of a Yttrium-Aluminium-Garnet laser rangefinder with a range of 300 to 5,000 meters, a 32-bit ballistics analysis computer, improved thermal imaging and Automated-tracking systems, and improved gun stabilization. The FCS also has an automated tracking system, and is capable of engaging moving or stationary targets while moving in day or night. The automatic target tracking system uses a thermal image display which can be controlled by either the tank gunner or commander. It is capable of tracking soldiers, vehicles and helicopters. The targeting computer can also calculate lead on moving targets.

Ever since the first production model, the Ursid features a "hunter-killer" capability in which the commander spots and designates targets for the gunner in a 360° field of vision around the vehicle without changing his position or having to open the turret hatch for visual identification of targets. The commander's sight also has a vertical traverse from -10° to +60° from the horizontal, which allows the tank to engage low-flying airborne threats, primarily helicopters. During night fighting, the commander and gunner both share the thermal sight which is able to resolve a 2.3—x2.3 m target from a distance of 1,800 m

The TG-80 also features two side-mounted, electronically fired custom grenade launchers. Each launcher consists of four 80 mm barrels which can be intermixed with either smoke or chaff grenades. The smoke grenades are capable of shrouding the tank from visual or thermal detection, while the chaff grenades disperse the tank's radar cross section.

Armor

The original requirements dictate that the main battle tank must guarantee a certain degree of invulnerability against 125 mm APFSDS and shaped-charges warheads over its frontal arc. The whole fighting compartment must be protected against RPG-7 warheads and all-around protection should be provided against threats such as 30 mm autocannons.

Later models incorporated the technical approach of replacing the passive composite modules protecting both sides of the turret bustle by lighter, reactive modules, incorporating semi-reactive layers. This weight saving allowed the use of titanium in the ballistic protection of the turret frontal arc. Furthermore, this shifted the center of gravity towards the front of the turret, closer to the transverse axis, facilitating the dynamic laying of the turret drives. Structural self-sealing fuel tanks are located to the right forward part of the hull, in front and above the ammunition drum. Six heavy ballistic side skirts protect the front third of the hull sides, each of them is made of a composite panel covered by a steel outer shell.

Mobility

The Ursid has an eight-cylinder PHI-MTU V8-1500 1,500 hp diesel engine and an MTU automatic transmission, with five forward and two reverse gears. The official maximum speed by road is 71 km/h and 55 km/h cross country (speeds in excess of 80 km/h were reported on road). The maximum range is given as 550 km, and can be extended to 650 km with removable external tanks.

A feature of the config used by the V8-1500 engine is that it does not emit visible smoke during acceleration, allowing to reduce the infrared signature of the tank. The exhaust temperature of the HC-147B gas turbine never exceeds 370° Celcius, whatever the engine speed.

The engine configuration seen on all variants of the Ursid features a small HC 147B gas turbine in the engine, acting both as a turbocharger and an APU giving auxiliary power to all systems when the main engine is shut down either due to malfunction or combat damage. The engine exhaust, exiting at the rear left, is cooled to reduce the thermal signature of the tank. Transmission is a hydromechanical type with five forward and two reverse gears. Fuel tanks carry 1,300 litres and act as extra protection for the tank; two 200-litre external tanks can be fitted on the rear of the turret, but these have to be jettisoned before entering combat, since they limit turret rotation.

The gearbox is equipped with a hydrokinetic retarder, which can slow the Ursid down at a deceleration rate of 7 m/s2 (0.7 g) which is automatically used over 30 km/h.

At a combat weight of 54 tons, the Urisd ranks itself as one of the lighter main battle tanks in the world, though still considerably heavier than light tank design. This gives it the Ursid a good power-to-weight ratio, and thus making it one of the fastest MBTs of its generation (0 to 32 km/h in 5 seconds).

Operators

Mirhaime Realm Defence Forces:

  • Mirhaime Realm Guards: The first uniformed service to adopt the tank in 1980, the Mirhaime Realm Guards currently operate the bulk of operational TG-80NKs which form the bulk of many Mirhaimian armored formations. Plans are being made to further upgrade the heavily-improved platform in the form of the proposed TG-80NJ.
  • Mirhaime Realm Armada Marine Corps: The Marine Corps still operate TG-80NKs are part of their armored formations however plans are being drafted to remove them from service following a doctrinal re-evaluation in 2021 with the tanks set to be transferred, and integrated into other uniformed services.
    TG-90NKs of Battalion D44, Regiment of Federal Hussars E66 'Sycamore', Division F46 during the winter-time IARTHAR ARG military exercise in the Ga of Varaus.