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Which is the best MBT (Main Battle Tank) in the world and why?

DA60

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The Abrams? The Merkava? The Leopard 2? The Leclerc? The Armata? The Challenger 2? The Black Panther? The Pooky 2? Another one?




Just kidding about the Pooky 2 obviously.
The Pooky 1 is much better ;)
 
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OrphanSlug

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Probably the Russian T-90A(AM.) Good armor, defenses including detection systems and laser jamming, improved 125mm and multiple round type auto-loader.

Seems like one of the more superior tanks going given all the nations buying them from Russia.
 

Lord Tammerlain

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Just my opinions below

In terms of crew survival in case of being hit (from the front at least) the Merkava IV. With the engine in front, and how heavy it is it should be very good at ensuring the crew is safe. The next would be the Abrams

On an overall basis from crew survivability to offensive capability the latest Leopard 2 models the 2A7 is most likely the overall winner in my opinion. I believe at a recent competition the Leopard 2 won had the top three spots (Germany, Denmark and the Poland.) The link does not indicate where the Abrams placed, or where the Italian tank placed

https://thaimilitaryandasianregion.wordpress.com/2016/05/21/nato-europe-tank-competition-2016-video/

The Armata, not enough information is know about it to say. How much is new, how much is rehashed T90

The K2 Black Panther has in my opinion a poor design for the turret, otherwise it seems to be a good tank. Probably better then the Challenger 2, or Leclerc
 

Lord Tammerlain

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Probably the Russian T-90A(AM.) Good armor, defenses including detection systems and laser jamming, improved 125mm and multiple round type auto-loader.

Seems like one of the more superior tanks going given all the nations buying them from Russia.

The Merkava IV has a similar active defense system in Trophy.

One of the reasons countries buy Russian systems is they are generally 20-30% cheaper then western systems. India developed their own MBT in the Arjun, which is supposed to perform better then the T90s they have at least in the desert conditions (the Russian tanks do not have AC) and as Rajisthan hit 50 C last week, I would want AC in my tank at that temperature
 

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Probably the Russian T-90A(AM.) Good armor, defenses including detection systems and laser jamming, improved 125mm and multiple round type auto-loader.

Seems like one of the more superior tanks going given all the nations buying them from Russia.

That is because it is relatively cheap compared to the western competitors. My bet is that the best tank is the German Leopard. Even the older versions get snapped up and upgraded as soon as they become available.
 

OrphanSlug

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The Merkava IV has a similar active defense system in Trophy.

One of the reasons countries buy Russian systems is they are generally 20-30% cheaper then western systems. India developed their own MBT in the Arjun, which is supposed to perform better then the T90s they have at least in the desert conditions (the Russian tanks do not have AC) and as Rajisthan hit 50 C last week, I would want AC in my tank at that temperature

That is because it is relatively cheap compared to the western competitors. My bet is that the best tank is the German Leopard. Even the older versions get snapped up and upgraded as soon as they become available.

Fair points, you two probably have more knowledge on this subject than I do.
 

Lord Tammerlain

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Fair points, you two probably have more knowledge on this subject than I do.
From what I have read the most modern T90 is very well protected, but I expect the electronics is behind that of Germany, and the engine has only about 980 hp while the German MTU provides 1500 hp

The Armata which is the most modern Russian tank should be step up in all areas compared to the T90
 

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One thing that keeps the Abrams from the top of the list is fuel consumption. In the neighborhood of 2 gal per mile.
 

Lord Tammerlain

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One thing that keeps the Abrams from the top of the list is fuel consumption. In the neighborhood of 2 gal per mile.
I believe that and reliability are why the USSR abandoned the T80 with its Turbine engine
 

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I believe that and reliability are why the USSR abandoned the T80 with its Turbine engine

Probably. Turbine has it's downfalls. In dusty environments that exhaust plume takes dust really high up, but the plus side is noise. Turbine coupled with rubber track blocks and road wheels makes it pretty quiet. In dead quiet and an Abrams coming at you full throttle, you can just start to hear "something" at about 600 meters out. By then you are dead so it doesn't really matter.
 

PirateMk1

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Probably. Turbine has it's downfalls. In dusty environments that exhaust plume takes dust really high up, but the plus side is noise. Turbine coupled with rubber track blocks and road wheels makes it pretty quiet. In dead quiet and an Abrams coming at you full throttle, you can just start to hear "something" at about 600 meters out. By then you are dead so it doesn't really matter.

That and they are deceptively fast especially in acceleration. That big horsepower/torque turbine really provides some serious motive power to the Abrams especially when they remove the governor and really wind it out.
 

braindrain

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That and they are deceptively fast especially in acceleration. That big horsepower/torque turbine really provides some serious motive power to the Abrams especially when they remove the governor and really wind it out.

This I can agree with. Working in Mosul a couple of times we had Abrams support not only were they as fast as out GMVs they also were surprisingly quiet. At least until that main gun opened up. That is a unique thing to see in action.
 
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DA60

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Personally, I prefer the Merkava 4. It seems fairly standard to other western tanks in firepower and defensive capability (an extra boost having the Trophy system). Additionally, the engine is in the front, which could offer some additional protection on front hits.

The earlier marks were a bit slow by modern MBT standards, but the Mark 4 has a diesel that puts out 1,500 hp - so that problem is no more.

But the thing I love about it is it's versatility. Because of the layout, it has a large (for a tank) area behind the crew compartment that can carry several troops (I have read up to 8), 2 or 3 stretchers or other combinations - all under maximum armor protection.
It's almost like you have a built in APC (for short distances) onto your MBT - except this APC offers top-notch protection for it's crew.
To my knowledge, it's layout is unlike any other in the world.

Time and again the IDF does a great job of thinking outside the box.
 
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Bootlace

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That and they are deceptively fast especially in acceleration. That big horsepower/torque turbine really provides some serious motive power to the Abrams especially when they remove the governor and really wind it out.

Never drove one ungoverned, but mine would do a fuzz over 50 on hard and level. Sand not quite so good.
 

Bootlace

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Personally, I prefer the Merkava 4. It seems fairly standard to other western tanks in firepower and defensive capability (an extra boost having the Trophy system). Additionally, the engine is in the front, which could offer some additional protection on front hits.

The earlier marks were a bit slow by modern MBT standards, but the Mark 4 has a diesel that puts out 1,500 hp - so that problem is no more.

But the thing I love about it is it's versatility. Because of the layout, it has a large (for a tank) area behind the crew compartment that can carry several troops (I have read up to 8), 2 or 3 stretchers or other combinations - all under maximum armor protection.
It's almost like you have a built in APC (for short distances) onto your MBT - except this APC offers top-notch protection for it's crew.
To my knowledge, it's layout is unlike any other in the world.

Time and again the IDF does a great job of thinking outside the box.

Definitely a formidable tank but not sure how much having the engine in the front would help a frontal hit. I have personally seen an m-829 go in an out of the turret of a t-59 type 2 and not noticably change its flight path.
 

DA60

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Definitely a formidable tank but not sure how much having the engine in the front would help a frontal hit. I have personally seen an m-829 go in an out of the turret of a t-59 type 2 and not noticably change its flight path.

Well, that's why I typed 'could offer some additional protection' rather then 'would offer additional protection'.

Can't hurt.
 

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With me, I would ultimately have to go with the tank that has the best battlefield record. A tank (like any other piece of combat equipment) may look awesome in statistics, but we are talking real world here and not "Fantasy Football".

And in that, I would have to go with the M1. In service for over 30 years, with an excellent record. In it's first major trial under fire (Gulf War), there were no losses to enemy action, even after being involved in the largest tank battles since WWII. And in the decades since, it has been hard to get actual numbers but the main cause of losses appears to be IEDs and not actual enemy contact. There have been many disabled due to damage, they were not "destroyed" as was seen in hits to the Iraqi tanks.

The Iraqi Army has lost 5 of them in recent years to enemy action (primarily ATGMs), but those are all older first generation M1A1 models without many of the defensive upgrades added to the US versions over the years. Also of note is that three of those losses are of tanks that were captured on the battlefield and "destroyed in place", not actually destroyed in combat itself (the other 2 losses are unknown but suspected to be the same). The Iraqi Army suffers from low moral and logistics, and quite often it's trrops simply abandon their equipment when leaving an area.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_M1_Abrams

As for the fuel consumption, that is really a logistical issue and not directly relating to the tank itself.

As for the T-90, it is hard to say. It appears impressive and has seen limited battlefield use. In Syria it has been reported that they have been able to take front shots from US made TOW missiles, but that is not as impressive as it may sound. The front of a tank is always the best defended part, how would they do against side or elevated turret shots is much more important to me.
 

Jredbaron96

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I love me the Leopard.
 

Mark F

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The Abrams? The Merkava? The Leopard 2? The Leclerc? The Armata? The Challenger 2? The Black Panther? The Pooky 2? Another one?




Just kidding about the Pooky 2 obviously.
The Pooky 1 is much better ;)

Simple. No such thing.

"Best" is a relative term based on the needs and requirements of the individual user. What may be best for one operator may be quite hopeless for another.

I always like to point to the Malaysian competition from about a decade ago whenever this question comes up. We westerners always think Abrams, Leo II, Challenger, etc, etc,... as an almost knee jerk reaction. Yet when the Malaysian's put out a tender for a new tank none of those obvious bests were even invited. All were simply too big and heavy to even be considered.
 

Mark F

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I believe that and reliability are why the USSR abandoned the T80 with its Turbine engine

It mostly has to do with the turbine T-80's being Ukrainian. The Russian's want to standardize on tanks with Russian-built main components.
 
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