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Team Yankee wishlist (35 posts)

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  • Avatar Image klorophil12p said 2 weeks, 5 days ago:

    Hi guys,

    With the new article by Oriskany and from watching yesterday’s Weekender, I decided to write a list of the tanks which I think should be included into Team Yankee future releases. I compiled my list by assuming that the conflict didn’t go nuclear immediately and that the war dragged on for a couple of years staying conventional or at least with very limited use of weapons of mass destruction. All tanks are represented by nation and chronologically with the real-life production and service date. Feel free to comment.

  • Avatar Image klorophil12p said 2 weeks, 5 days ago:


    M60 «Patton»: originally designed in 1957, production started in 1959 and entered service in 1960. About 15,000 M60s, all versions confounded, were produced. The M60 was the first version of the family. It had rolled homogeneous steel armor and a 105 mm M68 main gun. This main gun was an American version of the British L7 105mm main gun. The tank itself was roughly based on the previous M48 Patton chassis. By the time of Team Yankee, this version was not in service anymore. However, there were still a couple thousands of them in long term storage ready to reinforce Europe if needed.

    M60A1 «Patton»: production started in 1962 up until 1980. It had better armor and infra-red periscopes for driving at night although the gun’s sight remained optical only. In 1972, an upgraded gun stabilization system was installed while in 1975 a modified AVDS-1790-2C diesel engine was swapped for more reliability. Finally, in 1977 passive infra-red sights for the main gun were installed. I would have to check but during Team Yankee, some Army Reserve and National Guard units might still have been equipped with this version. Had the war continued on, M1s from upgraded formations would probably have trickled down to those units still equipped with the M60A1.

    M60A2 «Patton»: produced very shortly in the 70s. This version used a 152mm cannon with the MGM-51 Shillelagh missile system. While in service it proved disappointing and was retired early in the late 70s. Those tanks were either upgraded to M60A3 standard or used as vehicle launched bridges or engineering vehicles etc.

    M60A3 «Patton»: produced from 1978. The A3 added a laser rangefinder as well as an electronic ballistic computer and full stabilization for the main gun. Later a thermal sight was added. At the time of Team Yankee certain front line units in Europe would have been equipped with this tank. However, most of them were in service with Army Reserve and National Guard units in CONUS. The biggest operator of the M60 series at the time was the US Marine Corps which was using it since Vietnam. With the addition of all the electronics above, the M60A3 was still up to date in 1985. It had a good main gun that would be able to penetrate most of the Soviet armor except the most recent variants. However, it was lacking in mobility and armor especially compared to its M1 Abrams colleague. Still in a defensive position it probably would have fared well. As the war ground on the M60 would probably have been phased out and replaced with M1 Abrams. In the real-life late 90s even the USMC re-equipped with M1s.

    M1 Abrams : production began in 1979 and stopped in 1985. About 3,200 produced. The first iteration of the Abrams with a 105mm main gun and Chobham armor plates. This is the tank that is described and used in the Team Yankee novel and also in the rulebook and first wave of miniatures from Battlefront. In 1985 it was the mainstay of the US Army in Europe. It is arguably one of the best tank in service at the time. With good armor, a good gun and good mobility. This is what the Soviets were trying to beat in the 80s and it took them a while before they could match its armor and the precision of its stabilized gun and infra-red sight.

    M1IP also known as the IPM1: production began in 1984 and stopped the same year or thereabout. About 900 produced. Had a larger turret than the regular M1 with 880 mm eRHA (equivalent rolled homogeneous armor) frontal protection instead of 650 mm in the regular M1. The IPM1 was split between several different units, but mainly on the CONUS (CONtinental United States). So it wouldn’t have been in service in Team Yankee. However, it certainly would have been part of the reinforcements.

    M1A1: production began in 1985 and stopped in 1992. About 5,000 produced for the US Army. So according to the timeline of the Team Yankee novel and Battlefront this wasn’t in service yet at the start of the hostilities even if it was being produced. However, once the war would be underway it’s not a big leap to think that production would have stepped up and that replacement units would have been equipped with this tank. The M1A1 introduced an Americanized version of the Rheinmetall 120mm main gun, the M256, as well as better armor and a better NBC protection system. With the addition of the 120mm gun and M829 «Silver Bullet» APFSDS round, the M1A1 became the king of the battlefield. At it’s introduction in service, Soviet tanks were neither able to penetrate its armor nor outreach its gun while the M1A1 could penetrate all Russian armor at any range.

    M1A1HA: an upgrade of the previously produced M1A1s. This added 1st generation depleted uranium armor plates on top of the existing Chobham armor. Otherwise similar to the «basic» M1A1. Depleted uranium is non radioactive but one of the densest metal, making it perfect for armor or APFSDS penetrator rods. In real life, this upgrade was done after western eyes had a chance to examine East German T-72s. It was found that in close quarters the 2A46 125mm main gun could penetrate the Abrams. In the Team Yankee universe, this upgrade would probably have reached the front line quite quickly once more advanced versions of the T-72 or T-80 would have been encountered on the battlefield as it is quite simple to apply. It probably would have been applied to the basic M1 as well though this wasn’t done in real-life.

    M1A2: newly built tanks developed between 1986 and 1992, entered service in 1993. About 700 built. This added integral 2nd generation depleted uranium armor to the Abrams turret and chassis. The commander was also supplied with an independent stabilized thermal sight which allowed him to identify a second target while the first one was engaged and the gun reloaded. This effectively gave a so-called hunter-killer capability to the tank making it able to engage two targets in quick succession. Also introduced the FBCB2 battlefield management system and digital electronics. It allowed much better situational awareness to the crew and made them capable of engaging more targets more quickly. This variant wasn’t even on the drawing board at the beginning of Team Yankee. However, it’s safe to assume that once the war started and that the American war industry got under way, this is the version that would have exited American tank factories after 1 or 2 years. Whether or not the conflict would have lasted long enough is open to debate.

    M1A1 AIM v.1 and v.2: an upgrade to bring existing M1A1 to M1A2 standard. Was undertaken during the 2000s. The hardware stayed pretty much the same except for additional 3rd generation depleted uranium plating. In our alternate universe, I think that this version would have been upgraded in the field when the kits would have been produced. Probably after the first couple production runs of the standard M1A2.

    M1A2 SEP: new tank developed during the 2000s and 2010s. About 900 newly built or upgraded from existing units. Integrates 3rd generation depleted uranium armor with added graphite coating. Pretty much all the electronic and crew aids are replaced with top of the line digital electronics. Thermal imaging sights are also upgraded. This is currently the most advanced version of the Abrams in service anywhere. In Team Yankee, some or all of those upgrades might have reached the front line. Depending on how long the conflict lasted.

    M1 «Thumper» and CATTB: experimental models built at the end of the 80s and the Cold War. The biggest difference was a 140mm main gun with semi-automatic loading in a new longer turret. As far as is known only one or two units was ever built. A single one was spotted heavily camouflaged on a train in 2010. Whether or not this would have entered service is doubtful. Western tank manufacturers all had 140mm prototype at the end of the Cold War but none entered service and all suffered teething problems and failures. Also, the threat from the Soviets never materialized. The 120mm M256 would have been enough considering the current advancement in APFSDS technologies and what the Russians put in service since the end of the Cold War. In real life 2016, only the T14 Armata would maybe necessitate such an upgrade in firepower. However, since the T14’s development only started in the 2000s when the Cold War was truly finished, I don’t think we would have seen neither one in Team Yankee.

  • Avatar Image klorophil12p said 2 weeks, 5 days ago:

    Soviet Union:

    T-54/T-55: I won’t describe all of its many variants, as the T-55 family is the most produced tank ever in the history of tank warfare at 100,000 examples, which were in service with over 50 different countries. I will mainly cover the variants in use in 1985 and during the Team Yankee timeline. Everything started at the end of WWII with the Red Army seeking a replacement for its T-34/85 which were still in service. The T-44 was developed during that time but didn’t meet the requirements. It was further developed into the T-54 and then the T-54A which finally entered production in 1954 and equipped combat units from 1955 onward. The T-54B added gun stabilization and an upgraded 100mm main gun in 1957. In 1958 production switched to the T-55 with an NBC protection and detection systems. In the 70s several different upgrade programs were implemented culminating in the T-55AM/T-55AMV. This brought in the Volna electronic fire control system as well as the 1K13 guidance system for the 9M117 Bastion (NATO: AT-10 Stabber) gun launched ATGM, KTD-2 laser rangefinder, Tsiklon-M1 stabilization system, TShSM-32PV improved sights and a raft of other smaller upgrades. It also introduced ERA capability with Kontakt-1. A small batch of 250 T-55AD were also in service with the Soviet Naval Infantry (equivalent to the US Marine Corps). The T-55AD included pretty much all the upgrades above but also added the Drozd anti-missile defense system. This used a kind of rocket-propelled grenade launchers attached to the turret to attack incoming ATGMs. This system was the first of its kind and kept secret for the whole of the Cold War. It inspired later systems like the Russian Arena and Israeli Trophy/Windbreaker.

    In Team Yankee, the T-55AMV would have formed the backbone of the Red Army Type C divisions. Once the Type A (Guards division with T-64/T-80) and Type B(regular divisions with T-72) would have been depleted or rendered combat ineffective, it was the job of the C formations to continue pushing on. By 1985 the T-55 was considered obsolete by many but it would still have proved useful against infantry or in secondary battles. Something like the Abrams or the Leopard 2 would have simply annihilated T-55 formations but it certainly was less of a foregone conclusion for the American M60 or German Leopard 1. In real life a couple of more upgrade were undertaken by several countries and companies to keep the T-55 up to date. However, in the universe of Team Yankee, it’s doubtful that the T-55 fleet would have been upgraded further. Priority would probably have been given to the T-72 and T-80 and in any ways the T-55 production lines were closed by 1985.

    T-62: The T-62 was a follow on to the T-55. It basically used a stretched chassis and a bigger gun, specifically the 115mm U-5TS Molot. Much like the T-55 it received a slew of improvements and upgrades over its many years of service, culminating in the T-62M/T-62MV. This final version used pretty much all the T-55AM/AMV upgrades but adapted to the T-62 chassis so I won’t repeat them here. It’s main advantage over the T-55 was marginally better armor and a harder hitting main gun. However, it had one main drawback. Because of the bigger gun, the crew compartment inside the turret was so tiny that it made it difficult for the crew to fight efficiently. The T-62 was exported to less countries than the T-55 but it still fought some war with mixed results. During the Arab-Israeli wars it acquitted itself rather good. At the time the Israelis opposition had difficulty piercing its armor and the 115 mm gun could best the Centurions and M60s that were in service with the Israelis. However, the problem was poorly trained crew and most of the T-62 engagements were won by the Israelis.

    At the time of Team Yankee, the T-62M/MV was part of Type C divisions, mainly in the Soviet Union’s Red Army. Once the war started the T-62 would have followed on the main forces to continue the push while those units were depleted. It probably would have endured longer than the T-55 but it was obsolete nonetheless by 1985. No major upgrade programs existed or have been implemented in real life, meaning that once all the T-62s would have been destroyed it probably would have been replaced by the more advanced T-72s.

  • Avatar Image klorophil12p said 2 weeks, 5 days ago:

    T-64: The T-64 was developed to replace the T-62 above. Design work began in the late 50s/early 60s and the tank entered production in 1962 with a total of 1,100 built between 1963 and 1968 entering officially into service in 1966. The T-64 was really a technological breakthrough for Soviet tank design practices and it would shape further developments for years to come. The T-55 and T-62 were only evolutionary steps from the original T-34 of WWII vintage. The T-64 incorporated several new technologies as well as a somewhat different architecture which broke from the norm. While it retained the engine in the back, turret in the middle and driver at the front layout of the T-34, similarities ended there.

    The T-64 introduced a new kind of engine, namely the 4TD a flat-12 engine, which was much more compact than previous engine for the same output. This allowed for a smaller engine compartment which in turn made room for more armor and ammo. The same 115mm main gun as the T-62 was used. However, it was now fitted with a brand new and, unique at the time, mechanical autoloader. The problems of the T-62’s crew in the Arab-Israeli war were fresh in the memory of Morozov, the designer in charge. By removing the loader, which normally sits in the turret with the commander and gunner, room was made to cram the 115mm in as small a turret as possible while also making room for more armor and ammo and also aiding in crew ergonomics – at least by Red Army standards. Finally, the appearance of the British L7 105mm main gun in Western arsenals prompted the need for better armor protection. So a new kind of armor was developed, a so-called composite armor. Known in the West as «combination K», this consisted of two hardened steel plates sandwiching an aluminum oxide plate, aka ceramic. The steel would stop armor-piercing rounds while the ceramic would defeat HEAT rounds which were becoming quite common in the late-60s.

    In Team Yankee 1985, the T-64 was not in service anymore. In any ways, this version was more a proof of concept for all the new technologies created for it than an actual fighting machine. It suffered several teething problems and poor reliability. Those who survived on to 1985, were all retrofitted to the new standards described below.

    T-64A: The original T-64 had some developmental problems and the T-64A could be considered the definitive production version. It entered production in 1967. The biggest difference between the T-64 and T-64A is the replacement of the D-68 115mm main gun by the D-81T 125mm main gun. Since this was a much larger weapon than the one it replaced the autoloader was kept and adapted to this new gun. When it entered service the D-81T was the most powerful tank gun in service and it would remain that way until the introduction of the Rheinmetall 120mm. The T-64A also incorporated better armor protection with the aluminum armor being replaced by fiberglass. It also received a new improved stabilization system, NBC protection system and a new TPD-2-1 main gun sight with an IR projector for night fighting. In 1970 the T-64A was further improved with better sights and a coincidence rangefinder. In 1973 the frontal armor was improved. In 1976 most T-64As received the upgraded gun of the T-64B as well as some other minor improvements and received the new TNPA-65 night fighting sights and periscopes which relied on passive infra-red devices instead of an IR searchlight. Also, a command version with additional radios was developed as the T-64AK. Finally, in 1985 the optical coincidence rangefinder was replaced with a TPD-K1 laser rangefinder. Some T-64As were also modified for the addition of ERA.

    In 1985, the T-64A was still in service in some front line Category A divisions. However, some of its capabilities were now obsolete. Nevertheless, firepower as well as its armor was still good enough except against the most up to date Western tanks. It was still more than a match for the M60s and Leopard 1s of the different NATO armies. Still, if the war dragged on, it probably would have been replaced quickly by the T-80 especially when considering that the production lines for the T-64A were now closed.

    T-64B: First conceived in 1973, the T-64B incorporated the new 2A46 125mm main gun which was able to fire ATGMs through the gun tube. In the case of the T-64B, the missile was the 9M112 Kobra (NATO: AT-8 Songster). In 1976 it entered service with the Red Army. Apart from the new gun and ATGM, the T-64B had a new and improved electronic fire control system and stabilization system which relied on passive infra-red instead of searchlight. For cost reasons, some T-64B didn’t receive the guidance system for the Kobra ATGM those were designated T-64B1 and carried more ammo for the machineguns and main gun as well as an IR searchlight. General configuration remained the same except for the replacement of the «gill» side skirts with more conventional rubberized and fixed ones. Front glacis and turret armor was also improved. In 1981, the 2A46 was replaced with the 2A46M with better accuracy and longevity as well as some modifications to the carousel autoloader for better reliability. The stabilization system was also improved for better on-the-move accuracy and 902A Tucha-1 multi-spectrum smoke grenade launchers were added to the turret.

    At the time of Team Yankee the T-64B was in service with some Category A divisions. The T-64 in general was always regarded as the top notch tank by the Soviet regime and it equipped the most elite formations. It was considered by the Soviets as a match to their own and new T-80s especially considering that in 1985 it featured some of the same fire control electronics etc. as well as the same gun. It was equally feared in the West. This is the tank that the M1 Abrams, Challenger and the Leopard 2 were trying to beat. It created a technological scare that lead to the development of some of the most advanced ground weapons ever deployed. The T-64B was produced until 1987 in real-life with 13,000 examples produced all versions included. Should the Cold War ever turned hot it probably would have been replaced by the T-80 on the production lines quicker than in real life.

    T-64AV, T-64BV etc.: Simply T-64s that have been modified to carry explosive reactive armor (ERA). See below for more info on ERA.

  • Avatar Image klorophil12p said 2 weeks, 5 days ago:

    T-72 «Ural»: Original model. Production started in 1972 and first units entered service in 1973. Over the course of its history, over 20,000 tanks of this model were produced making it one of the most prolific of the 20th Century. The T-72 was a response to the Soviet’s own T-64 which was more advanced but also much more expensive. It was thus difficult to field the T-64 in great numbers but a credible response to the newest NATO tanks was still needed. Also, the advanced technologies of the T-64 could not be shared with the Soviet Union’s allies so it was decided to produce a more basic tank for them also. The basic model used the D-81TM 125mm main gun with the infamous carousel autoloader. It had an optical coincidence rangefinder gun sight and basic stabilization. Its armor was composed of rolled homogeneous steel only and relied on its thickness to stop incoming rounds. It had a 780 Hp V12 and weighted only 44 tons which gave it really good mobility. Except for shaped charges its armor was thick enough to stop the 105mm rounds of the period. However, by 1985 it was out of date and no match for the NATO premier tanks. This is not the version depicted in Team Yankee. The T-72K was the command variant with additional radios and antennas. Pretty much all the versions below had a «K» command version.

    T-72 «Ural-1» or «model 1976»: swapped the D-81TM for the 2A46. This gun had marginally better accuracy and the autoloader function was simplified. This is not an evolution of the D-81 but a modification of the 2A45 Sprut towed anti-tank gun. It’s not clear when the model 1976 entered service or how many of them were produced. Again that’s not the version in the Team Yankee game.

    T-72A «Ural»: production started in 1979. Nicknamed Dolly Parton by the US intelligence services. It had thicker steel armor and incorporated composite «K» armor. The name was given due to the shape of the turret which was much bigger and thicker at the front, hence the reference to Dolly Parton who was well endowed in that department. The T-72A also replaced the optical rangefinder with a TPD-K1 laser rangefinder and an electronic ballistic computer. It also incorporated mounting brackets for WS-1/Kontakt-1 explosive reactive armor (ERA). It was further modified later in 1979 with the addition of appliqué armor on the glacis. Again in 1984, production models received an anti-radiation lining inside the crew compartment. During the 80s previous T-72s were brought to that latest standard. In 1985 it was the backbone of B Type divisions, i.e. the follow on forces of the Soviet offensive in the West. This is where I get a bit confused as in the Team Yankee game this shouldn’t be the front-line tank. This was left to the more advanced T-80 and T-64. It’s been a while since I read the novel but if I remember correctly it was the same in the book too.

    T-72B «Ural»: production started in 1985 and it entered service in 1988. Nicknamed Super Dolly Parton by US intelligence services. This was a thoroughly updated version of the T-72A. It added more advanced composite armor to the front and top of the turret and the front of the hull glacis. The fire control system was completely overhauled with a new solid state electronic system that added electro-hydraulic stabilization of the main gun and sight. The main gun sights also received a thermal imager. The main gun was changed to the 125mm 2A46M with a more durable barrel and modifications to fire gun launched anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM). Addition of the 9K120 ATGM system that allowed for the firing of 9M119 Svir missiles (NATO: AT-11 Sniper). In 1989 the turret was modified to add further composite armor on its side. The new update also added Kontakt-5 ERA capability. The following year the fire control system was further updated with digital computers and a larger and improved gunner’s sight. The T-72B is probably the version depicted in the Team Yankee game but it’s not clear. I’m basing my assumption on the fact that only the T-72B was able to fire ATGMs. In the game the T-72 has somewhat worse performance than the M1 Abrams, but by the time of the T-72B entry into service it was a good match to the M1 on a purely technical one on one basis. The M1A1 with the 120mm was better equipped to deal with it but the T-72B would still have been a tough nut to crack especially when fitted with ERA. Now staying with what would have come next, this was definitely it. The updates described above would probably have come online much quicker if the Cold War ever turned hot. The follow on to that would probably have been the T-90 as it was already in development when the T-72B entered service. Further upgrades of the T-72B have been undertaken by the Russian Army. However, I doubt that those would have been implemented in a conflict. The Soviets had better things up their sleeve at the end of the Cold War and didn’t have the budget restrictions of the 1990s Russian Army.

    «T-72V» : unofficial designation for tanks equipped with ERA. Such as T-72AV or T-72BV and so on. WS-1/Kontakt-1 was the first generation ERA. It’s supposed to be a copy of the Blazer ERA used by the Israelis in the 1982 Lebanon War. However, photos/documents exist of Kontakt-1 being mounted on tanks prior to 1982. I’ll try to briefly describe how ERA works but first we need to look at how a shaped charge or HEAT round works.

  • Avatar Image klorophil12p said 2 weeks, 5 days ago:

    The explosive inside the warhead of a shaped charge is «shaped» into a conical form, hence the name. That cone is lined with a more or less thin layer of metal. When the warhead explodes it projects this metallic liner, most of the time composed of copper or tungsten, into a molten metal jet. The tip of which is ultra hot and very sharp and travelling at several km/s. When this strikes the armor the combination of kinetic energy and heat melts the metal. This continues until the energy has been expanded or until the molten jet has fully penetrated the armor. The molten metal jet slows down and cools very quickly in the atmosphere so the warhead must strike the armor directly. Once this jet has penetrated inside the armor, it projects all the material it has penetrated inside it thus damage equipment, igniting fuel and ammo and maiming or killing the crew.

    ERA works by disrupting the metal jet of a shaped charge. It normally consists of two metal plates sandwiching an explosive material and formed into a brick. This is then attached to the original or integral armor of the tank. When the HEAT warhead strikes it, the shock and heat detonates the explosive. This in turn propels the outward metal plate into the metal jet trajectory. This has several consequences. The first one is putting more distance between the metal jet and the armor itself thus reducing its efficiency by a big margin following the spaced armor principle. The second is that the metal jet is effectively penetrating armor as it travels through the projected metal plate expanding a good deal of its energy and penetrating capabilities. ERA can also be angled in such a way that the metal jet has to travel through more armor than if it was simply upright following the same principle as sloped armor. Developing ERA is quite difficult as the explosive used must be stable enough to withstand small arms fire and other battlefield shocks but sensitive enough to detonate when a shaped charge hits it. Also, it does pose a serious threat to nearby infantry, what with metal plates and warhead shrapnel flying everywhere.

    The WS-1/Kontakt-1 ERA was the first generation developed by the Soviets and as stated above it was deployed in the early 80s. It was mainly used on older tanks, such as the T-55 and T-62. On the T-72 around the time of Team Yankee, Kontakt-5 would probably have been used. This was a more advanced version using more powerful explosive and harder steel plates which was also able to deal with APFSDS penetrator rods. Kontakt-5’s projected metal plate were able to deflect or simply break the rod before it impacted the original armor of the tank. In real life Kontakt-5 was replaced in 2006 by the new Relikt 3rd generation ERA. This works both via direct impact and by remote detonation using the tank or vehicle’s electronic warning systems. It can also be activated by the crew. It’s advertised as having up to two times the protection level of Kontakt-5 against HEAT warhead and 50% better protection against APFSDS. It can still be detonated by direct impact. While the exact protection data for Soviet or Russian ERA is still classified it’s generally agreed that Kontak-1 had 250mm eRHA protection against HEAT while Kontakt-5 has 250mm against APFSDS and 450mm against HEAT. Relikt would be around 900mm against HEAT and 350mm against APFSDS and is also stated as having some resistance to tandem warheads. Relikt would probably have been put in service at the very tail end of the conflict as it started its development in 2006. Right now, the next generation of Russian ERA is Kaktus, but it still hasn’t entered service and information is pretty scarce. That probably wouldn’t have entered service during Team Yankee.

  • Avatar Image klorophil12p said 2 weeks, 5 days ago:

    T-80: Contrary to what it’s designation might lead you to believe, the T-80 is not the replacement for the T-72, it was designed to replace the T-64. The latter tank was always difficult to produce in the Soviet Union. It relied on pretty advanced technologies which depending on the period were either difficult to obtain or difficult to manufacture in large quantities. Thus the Red Army always tried to simplify the design and manufacture of the T-64. This culminated in the T-80 which entered service in 1976. It incorporated technologies from both the T-64 and the T-72. The turret from the T-64A with the 2A46 main gun was retained as well as its more advanced fire control system. However, the chassis was a new design incorporating the simpler suspension and track system of the T-72. The major breakthrough of the T-80 was the use of a gas turbine. The new GTD-1000 provided 1,000 Hp. With the vehicle weighing only around 43 tons, this gave the T-80 the best power to weight ratio of any tank in service at the time albeit with awful fuel consumption.

    As with the T-64, the T-80 was pretty much a prototype for new technologies to be introduced in the field. It was produced between 1976 and 1978 but with only a couple of hundreds built. It was quickly replaced by the T-80B. The T-80 wasn’t used in Team Yankee and wouldn’t have seen combat in Western Europe unless things really took a turn for the worse.

    T-80B: This was the main production variant of the T-80 series. It took over pretty much all the technology of the previous T-64B and combined it with the gas turbine and chassis of the original T-80. In the process armor protection was increased and the T-80B gained the advanced fire control system and 9M112 Kobra ATGM capability. All the upgrades of the T-64B were in the most part done to the T-80B also.

    In 1985 Team Yankee, the T-80B was the mainstay of the GSFG (Group of Soviet Forces in Germany) and would have been the spearhead of an eventual attack. It was a good match for all of the available Western tanks. What it lacked in sophistication it made up for in quantity and speed. One-on-one, the Leopard 2A4 and M1A1 were better tanks but it’s doubtful that they would have prevailed with the onslaught of T-80B and T-64B directed their way. While not the best, the T-80B was good enough and was almost unbeatable with the rest of the Soviet war machine behind it.

    T-80B model 1980: This simply saw a replacement of the GTD-1000 turbine with the GTD-1000TF which was more powerful at 1,100 Hp and a little bit more reliable.

    This version would have been in service in Team Yankee. However, it’s not clear whether it did serve in great numbers as most T-80Bs were later upgraded with the same engine.

    T-80K, T-80BK: Command versions of the tanks above with additional radios etc.

    T-80BV, T-80BVK: The above vehicles but fitted with ERA.

    T-80A: Somewhat contradictorily, this variant appeared after the T-80B. It was developed in the late 70s as an improvement in armor and firepower over the T-80B. Frontal turret armor and glacis thickness were increased with new composite armor. The fire control system was updated with a new digital 1A46 system for much better accuracy. The 2A46M could now fire the new 9M119M Refleks missile.

    This variant entered service in 1982 so it would have been in service during Team Yankee. Its FCS allowed it to be on par with Leopard 2s and M1A1s firepower wise. However, it’s protection was somewhat less than those two. This would change shortly after its inception with the T-80 model 1984 which incorporated provisions to install Kontakt-1 ERA.

    T-80AK: Command version of the tank above with additional radios etc.

    T-80U: A further development of the T-80A conceived during the early 80s. It retains the 1A46 FCS of the T-80A as well as 9M119M capability. The main focus of the improvement was on protection and reliability. The chassis lower glacis and floor was reinforced with some rubberized tiles to better resist mines equipped with HEAT warheads. The top of the turret was also reinforced to better resist attacks from the top either by the new generation of ATGMs or from cluster bomb bomblets. Some modifications of the fighting compartment also took place to protect them from mine blast and shockwave. Some protection was also given to the ammo storage in the turret floor. The 12.7mm NSVT heavy machinegun was modified to be remote controlled from inside the tank. 902A Tucha-1 multi-spectrum smoke grenade launchers were added to the turret. Kontakt-5 ERA was for the first time integrated into the design of the tank, it covered most of the front of the T-80U and some part of the chassis and turret top. Finally, the engine was replaced by the GTD-1000F multi-fuel turbine which had the same output but was more reliable. A GTA-18A auxiliary power unit was also installed to reduce fuel consumption when the tank was operating but not moving.

    The T-80U entered service in 1990 so it would have been too late to participate in Team Yankee. However, should the war had dragged on, the T-80U was next in line to be produced. With its better protection, better FCS and other electronics it would have been a match to the M1A1 and Leopard 2A4. Only the M1A2 and Leopard 2A5 could have bested it. However, like the T-80U, neither of them were in service in 1985.

    T-80U model 1992: Simply a T-80U with a GTD-1250 multi-fuel turbine capable of 1,250 Hp. It’s not clear if some of them found their way into Russian service but it was offered for export. If the basic T-80U would have entered service in Team Yankee, then, this will probably have been part of an upgrade in the field.

    T-80UK: Again a command version of the T-80U. However, this one was developed after the fall of the Iron Curtain and was equipped with much more than just additional radios. It featured the TShU-1-7 Shtora IR jammers and laser dazzlers. The gun was replaced with the latest version of the 2A46 with equipment to fire the new Ainet HEAT-MP rounds which can be programmed to detonate at a preset distance. It also replaced the normal commander sight of the 1A46 FCS with the Agava-2 digital imaging IR camera for the commander. In the 1990s this was the export version of the T-80. However, it never entered service with anyone except 2 examples being delivered to South Korea along with 33 T-80U for debt repayment. So it’s doubtful that this version of the T-80U would have even existed in the Team Yankee universe. Even then, this was a worthy opponent to modern MBTs such as the K1A1 and M1A2. South Korea is getting rid of them not because of poor performance but because of maintenance and logistical issues.

    T-80UM: A proposed upgrade of Russian T-80U dating from 1995. It retains the same armor protection and GTD-1250 turbine as the normale T-80U. However, the FCS is completely overhauled with the new Agava series of thermal imagers and digital processors. It’s not clear whether or not some Russian T-80Us undertook the upgrade but it was offered for export. Not in service during Team Yankee but the upgrade could have been applied to existing tanks or the production switched to this model.

    T-80UM1 «Bars»: Once upon a time toted as the best protected tank in the world, this is a T-80UK or UM equipped with the TShU-1-7 Shtora jammers, laser warning receivers and the Arena anti-missile system. The Arena AMS is a system designed to counter enemy ATGMs. Sensors for a warning system that is sensible to laser emissions are placed around the hull of the tank. When those sensors detect a laser beam hitting the T-80UM1 they send the info to the crew and can automatically deploy the Shtora jammers or the Arena AMS or both. The system can also be activated manually. The Arena AMS consists of several small charges mounted on a rotating pylon with a millimeter wave radar at the top. This radar can detect incoming missiles and ignite the charges facing it or them. The ensuing shrapnel wall then intercept the missile and destroys it before it can harm the tank. Obviously, the charges available for defeating incoming ATGMs are not infinite but they can intercept enough missiles for the tank to seek cover etc. Also, since the system relies on laser and MW radar sensors it can intercept pretty much any type of missiles being fired at it. This coupled with the Shtora jammers render the T-80UM1 almost impervious to missile attacks. If for whatever reasons the Arena system fail to intercept a missile, the T-80UM1 is still covered in Kontakt-5 ERA. If this in turns fail to defeat the incoming round, then the rather thick composite armor of the T-80UM1 should be able to take care of whatever is left of its penetrating power.

    The T-80UM1 was only a prototype and never entered service. Nonetheless, some of its electronic devices found their way into Russian service mainly on the T-90 series of tanks. In Team Yankee this would have been the next evolution of the T-80U as all its components were in development during the 1980s. Whether or not the war would have lasted long enough for it to be deployed in any number is up to debate.

    T-80UM2 « Chorny Oryol»: A thorough redesign of the T-80 tank. It keeps the GTD-1250 turbine and 125mm main gun but uses a totally new autoloader system. This one is mounted longitudinally to the main gun barrel and uses a kind of «revolver» magazine to feed the gun its ammo. The ammo is also moved from the turret floor into a brand new armored ammo compartment in the turret bustle. This compartment features blow out panels similar to most modern Western tanks. Overall armor thickness is greatly increased and it features a brand new FCS, possibly Agave-2 or Buran-R. It is also covered in «integral» Kaktus ERA at least in the front and top of turret. Not much more info is available on this tank other than that 1 or 2 prototypes were built. The project was started in late 1980s and the first prototype was shown at 1997 Omsk Arms Expo. However, it was formally cancelled in 2001 when the decision was made to not field any tanks equipped with a gas turbine in Russian Army service following poor performance in the First Chechen War.

    The idea of the T-80UM2 reaching front line service during Team Yankee is far fetched. However, such a war would undeniably have accelerated the arms race of the Cold War so if it lasted long enough I guess such a beast would have entered service.

  • Avatar Image klorophil12p said 2 weeks, 5 days ago:

    That’s about it for the two big factions. I’ll try and come up with a similar list for the European Nations.

  • Avatar Image davebpg175p said 2 weeks, 4 days ago:

    The upcoming book “Stripes” which goes into much greater detail on the US forces, should grant you some of the wishes on your list.

    M60 – I would expect this to be plastic and fit in with the relaunch of the Arab Israeli wars game.
    Hum vee – Again in plastic.
    LAV – I would expect this to be a resin and white metal kit… unless BF wants us to field them in the same numbers as BMP’s then I prey they make them plastic.
    UH-1 “Hueys” – will make it into plastic as well to go along with the upcoming revised Nam game.

    On top of this, I would like to see the MLRS system come into play, an up-gunned Abrams, Black hawks, Apaches… I think after Stripes though BF is going to have to look at a “phase 2″ of TY. 1985-1990 for example, to expand the theater and participating nations.

  • Avatar Image oriskany11136p said 2 weeks, 4 days ago:

    Holy crap, a whole new thread! Awesome. I’ll have to take a few minutes to read through all of this, but skimming through what’s on here so far, I am in agreement with most of it. I won’t list the things I’m less than fully because it would sound negative (and I can’t list all the things I agree with or I would be copy-pasting the whole thing :) ).

    Suffice it to say I’m with about 90% of it. More details later, I promise.

    M60A1s, yes! I’m assuming (perhaps incorrectly) that someone’s making M48A5s? (M48 Pattons with the L7/M68 105mm)? That’s what you really need for the Israelis in Yom Kippur (I know BF already makes IDF Centurion upgrades).

    LAVs! Now this is awesome. With the M60s and LAVs, it time to build a 1980s – early 1990s US Marine Corps force! Can’t imagine why I of all people would be interested in that. :D :D :D

    Great thread, I promise to return today.

    September 19, 1777240th Anniversary – First Battle of Freeman’s Farm (Saratoga)
  • Avatar Image andre77249p said 2 weeks, 4 days ago:

    A revised Nam Game? Say more.
    Actually we had some real good games in the last 4 years with Flames of War: Vietnam. We just had some small houserules where we saw changes needed. Its one of my favorites and i would like to revisit it:
    Will Lt. Herriks platoon escape the onslaught? (very balanced scenario trust me):

    I think, i should i upload these here in another thread

  • Avatar Image bigdave400p said 2 weeks, 4 days ago:

    Be happy with just a T-80 box set to be honest, but then I’m easily pleased :) PSC’s T55′s look cool, worth a look.

  • Avatar Image ghent99404p said 2 weeks, 4 days ago:

    OK so to start out I am not going to list everything but here is what I would like with Team Yankee and Flames of War:

    Take Flames of War up to and through Korea so that by the end of the 1950′s we start the move into modern technology and helicopter combat. So with the Arab Israeli conflicts and South East Asia starting in the 1960′s for the most part (I know they could go back into the 50′s but ya gotta put a line in the sand as it were somewhere.) start the Team Yankee rule system. What I really want to see is the fights throughout history and as they progressed in the 70′s, Soviets in Afghanistan, the 80′s US v Cuba and Panama etc. Smaller conflicts but give lots of options to put lots of fun equipment on the table.

    Enjoy your hobby, your way!
  • Avatar Image oriskany11136p said 2 weeks, 4 days ago:

    Holy crap, where do I even start with responses to all this?

    1) @klorophil – Seriously, dude … reach out to either Ben or Az and see about submitting a story or article. These posts easily encompass the text of a couple of articles. Come up with 5-6 images for each and you’d be all set. :D

    2) @davebpg – awesome news about the Stripes Supplement. Seriously, the M60s and LAVs have me thinking seriously about a USMC Desert Storm table.

    3) @andre77 – epic Vietnam tables! :D I like the UH-1 choppers, AH-1 Huey Cobras and especially … is that a Douglas A-1 Skyraider coming in on an airstrike? I like the tall mountain in the background as well.

    4) @bigdave – I’m with you, man. T-80s, combined with the new T-64s and PSC T-55s (I just like inexpensive, high-quality plastics over resin and metals) and I’d be happy for Team Yankee. :D

  • Avatar Image oriskany11136p said 2 weeks, 4 days ago:

    @klorophil – thanks again for starting this thread. This is the kind of detail I can never put in an article series, there just isn’t enough room. I always try to in a support thread just like this one, and here you’ve started it for me! :D Support threads are also awesome because people can put in their own images, links, table photos, etc.

    Okay, on to the wishlist:

    M60, maybe. M60A1 – definitely, and here’s why. I still want to do a Team Yankee prequel campaign set in the Yom Kippur War of 1973. And some Israeli tank battalions were just getting these. I’d also like M48A2 (older 90mm gun for 1967 Six Day War) and definitely M48A5s to complete my Israeli Yom Kippur force (I know BF already has IDF Centurion upgrades).

    M60A2 – very rare, as you say, and mercifully not many of these were made. If we have to include this weapons class, then lets also talk about the M551 Sheridan (same basic 152mm Shillelagh missile-gun, I believe).

    M60A3 – Yes! As a USMC veteran, I want to see M60A3s so I can bolt on some ERA armor and build a USMC armor force for Desert Storm.

    M1 and M1A1 Abrams: These are the two options you get with the existing Battlefront set. We did the Justin and I did the unboxing with Anders from Battlefront at the Team Yankee bootcamp.

    M1A1HA / A2 – I believe these are mostly Iraqi Freedom / Enduring Freedom / War on Terror era. Definitely interesting, and could probably replicate them in Team Yankee with new cards (using M1A1 mini kits with some kitbashing for the extra armor components, like the TUSK additions you see in some of the Iraq War Abrams.

    More wishlist later … :D