This article has an admitted bias that will be corrected as soon as the author is able.
|Constructor||United Defence Consortium|
|General characteristics (L21BT Kodiak)|
|Crew||4 (See below)|
|Weight||100 t (combat)|
|Armour and armament|
|Armour (RHAe)1||1783 (KE)/2634 (CE)|
|Main armament||120mm L55 ETC|
7.62mm GPMG, 40mm AGL
|Powerplant||2200kW UDEC MFM-100T MFE|
|Road speed||68 km/h|
|Power/weight||17.76 kW/t (combat)|
|Space Union, UKIN|
|1Without ERA, NERA, etc. 2Turret roof. 3Optional.|
The UDEC Lion or Puma[Puma] was built to defeat the Mekhev that had dominated the battlefield. The motto for the Lion’s design team was survivability, lethality, mobility, and reliability.[reliability] Its hide would have to be nigh-impenentrable against the vast array of weapons that would be thrust at it from all vectors, it would have to be able to accept armour upgrades, the crew and systems would have to be protected against chemical, biological, and radiological (CBR) surroundings as well as other harsh environments such as deserts or the arctic; it would have to possess a powerful main gun to tear through other tanks and secondary weapons to defeat more agile opponents; and, it would have to be light enough to be transported and have a powerful but fuel efficient engine to ensure the rapid exploitation of any breakthrough. The Lion and its many variants fulfil these demands and much, much more.
The United Defence Consortium (UDEC) consists of Isselmere Motor Works of Isselmere-Nieland, Space Union Motors of Space Union, the OMASC/NDI Land Division of the Omzian Democratic Republic, and of Imperial Land Defence Systems of Praetonia.
The Lion woke from a design specification advanced by the Space Union government for a new main battle tank (MBT) for the Woodstock Pact capable of defeating all existing foes on the battlefield. Many nations contributed to the vehicle’s preliminary design, hereinafter styled WPT-1 (Woodstock Pact Tank, Model 1), notably Sarzonia, the Omzian Democratic Republic (ODR), The Silver Sky, Izistan, Space Union, and the United Kingdom of Isselmere-Nieland, with Isselmere Motor Works and Space Union Motors finally advancing their submission, the Lion, before the countries involved.
Sensors and Kit
Based firmly on IMW’s previous experience in heavy armoured vehicle construction, the Lion has superb all-round day-night visibility provided by six armoured optronic vision blocks (OVB) with imaging infra-red (IIR) and low-light level television (LLTV) charge coupled devices (CCD) situated about the vehicle to cover all arcs. The commander and loader/systems operator have a further eight OVB periscopes circling their hatches providing day-night visibility whilst buttoned-up. Similarly, the driver is equipped with five OVB to give him or her full all-weather awareness of where the vehicle is headed and what hazards to avoid.
Two armoured overhead weapons stations (OWS) have their own optronic devices add to the crew’s situational awareness and make any enemy light armoured vehicles and infantry think twice about attacking. These OWS may be fitted with a wide variety of different weapons suites depending on the requirements of your armed forces, including but heavy machine guns (HMG; up to 15.5mm), 7.62mm or 7.7mm general purpose machine gun (GPMG) and 40mm automatic grenade launcher (AGL) combinations, high-speed line-of-sight anti-tank (LOSAT) and light surface-to-air (SAM) missiles, virtually anything up to 100 kg fully loaded.
The Lion has a broad range of sensors and countermeasures to detect and defend against many threats, from laser and radar warning receiver systems, infra-red suppressing paint, road wheels with minimised thermal signatures, and an active infra-red countermeasures (IRCM) turret (VAQ.245), to 76mm VLE.141 direct launch and 81mm VLE.202 verticle launch system (VLS) grenade launchers to hide the vehicle or to dissuade or destroy incoming munitions. A vastly upgraded VLQ.291b2 electrostatic discharge system pre-detonates electrically or electronically fuzed ordnance such as anti-tank guided munitions (ATGM) and extended range guided munitions (ERGM), whilst non-explosive reactive armour (NERA) protect much of the remainder of the vehicle with slat armour covering the rear, failing which the thick main armour structure would protect the crew.
The Lion is able to protect itself against otherwise unseen threats as well, such as CBR conditions, hidden foes, mines, and improvised explosive devices. Interspersed between the armour layers of metals and ceramics, the Lion has protective sheets of boronated polycarbons to protect against radioactive environments whilst the vehicle’s overpressure air conditioning system (ACS) and semi-automatic loading mechanism would reduce the risk of CBR agents entering the vehicle through weapon breeches. Each crewmember is able to control his or her own micro-environment, whether by local ACS controls or through protective gear such as thermal regulation kit (TRK) or CBR equipment including filter masks. The crew stations have been designed so that they may be operated from within CBR suits. Environmental control and other key systems would be protected by Faraday cages against electromagnetic pulses (EMP) present within radiological conditions. CBR detectors or “sniffers” arranged about the hull warn the crew about toxic environments of which they might not previously have been aware.
Not all enemies waiting in ambush are molecular in size. Against larger opposition, the Lion has a comprehensive array of optronic sensors to find and target them, from thermal imagers and imaging infra-red (IIR) systems to low light level television (LLTV) charge coupled devices (CCD) with up to twelve-power magnification to find foes concealing themselves behind cover at day or night, as well as laser designators/range-finders (LDRF) to target them for destruction either by itself or allied forces. Following the examples of Krauss-Maffei-Wegmann’s Leopard 2A6EX, the Sarzonian Incorporated Ordnance Company’s Z-34 Bonham, and IMW’s own Mammoth, these same tools can be used to detect mines and improvised explosive devices (IED) through residual heat signatures or other suspicious thermal differences, giving the tank the ability to avoid minefields or other ambushes.
The vehicle’s infrared, radiated laser echo (from laser rangefinder/designators), and radar signature are minimised by a further assortment of systems. The forward tread and body skirts of radar absorbent materials (RAM) as well as the thin topmost layer of moulded thermoplastics reduces the radar signature of the vehicle significantly.
Radiated engine heat is reduced with the Pika exhaust cooling mechanism based upon Detmerian Aerospace's Siberia system used on the Sparrow attack helicopter. Liquid cooled plates of different thermal coefficients combined with IMW's Crinoline IR-suppressing paint reduce the vehicle's heat signature to a much safer level.
The liquid cooling system for the engine and Pika may serve another function as well. Tubing perforated by small holes allows the Lion to produce a fine mist that confounds the laser seeker warheads on some anti-tank rounds, allowing the tank to protect itself without harming its supporting infantry.
Modern tank armour is based on layering, and that of the Lion is no different. Alternating strata of triple hardness steel (THS), lightweight titanium-aluminium-vanadium (TiAlV or TVA) alloy, ceramics, and a lattice-work of extremely dense metal serves to defeat kinetic energy (KE) projectiles such as bolts from armour piercing fin stabilised discarding sabot (APFSDS) rounds as well as modern high explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warheads even before the addition of add-on protection such as reactive, electric, or slat armour. IMW and Space Union engineers did not make the mistake of neglecting those new defensive tools, however. The Lion has been wired to accept electric armour plating covering most of the chassis and the entire turret, and both hull and turret may accept either slat or reactive armour as well.
The threat from mines and IED has not been ignored, either. Baths of TVA and a sheet of THS protect key areas of the Lion’s belly from harm, decreasing the chance of a blast killing the crew or detonating either the vehicle’s fuel or ordnance. Should the Lion find itself on its back, however, the vehicle does possess a heavily armoured, hydraulically operated escape hatch.
A modern MBT must not only survive strikes from enemy weapons, but be capable of being restored to full combat fitness as soon as possible. Modular construction allows the Lion to be repaired quickly in the field or field workshop and permit the crew to return to the front. The armoured recovery vehicle (ARV) version of the Lion will be able to remove and replace the multi-fuel engine powerpack within fifteen to twenty minutes. Modular armour affixed to the base turret armour has been constructed to minimise any loss of strength in comparison with vehicles with permanent turret armour, but which can be rapidly replaced in the field rather than having to swap an entire turret.
Modular armour forms one part of many of the Lion’s defence package. The Lion has power and support connectors for the VLQ.291b electrostatic discharge system or electric armour over most of the vehicle, save its belly, capable of defeating up to twelve incoming electrically or electronically fuzed munitions threatening to strike the tank. The VLQ.291b’s twelve capacitors require thirty minutes to be completely charged from cold start-up, but may be recharged once every eight minutes after initial discharge. The capacitors may be used to power the main gun as well. Alternatively, the Lion may sport explosive reactive armour (ERA), non-explosive reactive armour (NERA), Praetonia’s Imperial Land Defence Systems’ (ILDS) advanced momentum transfer armour (AMTA), and slat armour over the majority of its surface area, and may be fitted with ILDS’s tank roof.
The crew’s hatches are hydraulically operated and rearward sliding allowing them to be tremendously thick to protect the crew from top-attack weapons. The placement of the periscopes and other OVB ensure that no visibility is lost, making close range sneak attacks almost suicidal. For urban areas, the commander and systems operator/loader’s hatches may be fitted with turret rings for light weapons (light or general purpose machine guns or personal weapons) with transparent, semi-opaque, or opaque bullet-proof armour shields as well as an additional hatch ‘roof’ to allow tankers to survey their surroundings with their own eyes whilst remaining protected (i.e. “button-protect”). A helmet-mounted sight for the tank crews, based on those currently in-service with a number of Woodstock Pact nations, allows the commander and/or systems operator/loader to acquire and prosecute targets with the OWS whilst operating in button-protect mode.
The Lion’s muscles are flexed by electrical impulses. To ensure that a lucky hit does not put this big cat to sleep, the electric, electronic, and hydraulic systems have been well-distributed throughout the vehicle providing up to three back-ups for certain key systems. Electronic wiring comes in the form of fibre-optic cabling, ensuring quick reaction times with minimal information loss.
Vehicle systems performance is continually monitored and updated to the Lion’s systems control computer, which may be downloaded by service technicians for software upgrades or systems maintenance. This information may be sent back to the manufacturers to provide further upgrades of both hardware and software throughout the vehicle’s life.
Another, if not the vital factor in survivability is that of crew survival and comfort. By virtue of design compromises, tanks are not comfortable vehicles, but great effort has been made to disguise that fact. The suspension allows the crew protection against buffeting and oscillations even whilst travelling at high speed across broken terrain. The driver is seated in a modified racing car seat and has a steering wheel for a control mechanism, facilitating the training of tank drivers. The key areas of the turret interior are padded to protect against sudden jarring movement and the semi-automatic loader provides quick but comparatively risk-free operation.
Crew survival is further ensured by the Lion’s sensitive fire detection and suppression suite equipped with six 12.5 kg bottles of fire suppressive mixture that may be activated automatically should the vehicle’s interior reach a certain temperature or manually from controls in the driver’s compartment. A further two 2.5 kg bottles are housed within the turret for manual fire suppression.
Another essential part of survival is avoiding unnecessary casualties taken from friendly fire incidents. To prevent such occurrences, the Lion has a ground identification friend or foe (GIFF) system as well as classified special identification features [OOC: IR or UV opaque identifier panels and the like, nothing FT or PMT] tailored to the needs of your armed forces that will ensure your tanks and friendly forces will strike only the enemy.
The Isselmere-Nielandic Army (INA) has begun testing the installation of the VRQ.296 Beagle broadband radio frequency jammer that equips the Mammoth obstacle clearance vehicle in place of the smaller VLQ.306 model. Systems integration testing of the Beagle within the Lion’s electronic framework is still underway.
Smoothbore 120mm 55-calibre ETC
Upon detection of a threat, the Lion has to be able to kill it. In order to give the vehicle a large enough magazine to engage its rivals, Woodstock Pact defence ministers and generals insisted upon a 120mm electro-thermal chemical (ETC) gun with the potential of a future upgrade to a 125mm ETC gun instead of the Royal Isselmere-Nieland Ordnance’s (RINO) massive 140mm conventional gun. UDEC engineers immediately set to work on designing an economical, effective, efficient, and reliable 120mm ETC, coming up with a 120mm 55-calibre smoothbore weapon with a thermal sleeve to prevent barrel warping and a compressed gas pneumatic recoil mechanism capable of firing very high power loads fed by a four-round armoured fireproof semi-automatic loader and a similarly protected ten-round automatic carousel feeder from its well-protected magazine. Capable of operating at energy settings ranging from 300 kJ to 1.2 MJ, the gun’s energy requirements may be fed from the same capacitors as the VLQ.291b2 or by the Lion’s auxiliary power unit (APU), permitting the vehicle to fire several times whilst on the move. The semi-automatic loader has been designed to permit a fifth manually selected round to be inserted into the breach in case of mechanical or electrical failure.
The gun is mounted within an electrically driven fully stabilised turret powered by brushless motors providing quick, quiet, and efficient operation that minimise the vehicle’s thermal and acoustic signature, enabling swift ambushes, whilst allowing the gun to traverse 360-degrees and elevate between -9 and +20 degrees. The switch from hybrid hydraulic-electric turret drive mechanism to a fully electric system eliminates the threat of hydraulic fluid ignition that once could make an otherwise non-threatening strike calamitous. Threat management, identification friend or foe (IFF), and fire control are linked together to minimise the threat of friendly fire incidents and allow the Lion to make its strikes quickly and effectively.
Both the commander and gunner’s sights are likewise gyrostabilised, as are the OWS. The commander may hand off targets to the gunner’s workstation and begin searching for new ones, or the gunner may indicate to the commander or systems operator (loader) targets better suited to the OWS. The turrets may lock onto the signature or the laser return from accompanying friendly tanks from a target should the first round fail to kill the target depending on the turret’s speed of traverse.
On the horizon is the 125mm 55-calibre ETC high velocity gun using unitary shells with inert powder charges that will hopefully permit a reduction of the main gun’s power demands despite a marked increase in lethality. In the meantime, UDEC engineers are making progress with a 125mm 55-calibre ETC gun operating at settings between 320 and 630 kJ capable of improved penetration efficiencies in the 10+ MJ range.
The Lion has a superb hybrid navigational suite (HNS) comprising of a laser ring gyro inertial navigation system (LINS) with embedded global positioning satellite system (GPS), providing the accurate data needed for today’s modern information technology (IT) driven battleground. Interlinked with the threat management system (TMS), the HNS minimises the likelihood of friendly fire incidents by giving the crew the precise location of their tank and of friendlies as well.
From the outset, the vehicle was designed to bear a greater burden than its proposed combat weight to cope with possible future upgrades and to ensure quick response on the battlefield. The suspension had to be durable, adaptive, and powerful, capable of dampening the vibrations of operating in broken terrain, giving the crew a soft ride and increasing their efficiency. The Lion’s in-arm hydropneumatic suspension with its adaptive rotary spring dampening system (ADSR) gives it the ability to manoeuvre and move like a much smaller tank whilst travelling at high speed. The construction of the suspension arms offers the tank greater chance of surviving a mine or improvised explosive device (IED) detonation without massive structural damage, just as the Lion’s belly plate protects against subterranean blasts.
The Lion has eight synthetic rubber-tyred austenitic steel road wheels on either side, with a rear main drive sprocket driven by a brushless electrical motor and a front idler. The front idler may serve as an auxiliary drive sprocket by conventional mechanical transmission up to speeds of 20 km/h (road) should the electrical systems be damaged. The steel road wheels have been designed to radiate a far smaller infra-red signature than earlier designs.
Five return rollers ensure maximum track efficiency as well as flexibility. The tracks themselves are of a double-pinned, steel framework, rubber-padded design with very few parts ensuring easy maintainability and excellent operational reliability. Pads may be replaced by snow grousers for improved traction in winter conditions.
The 2200 bhp UDEC MFM-100T multi-fuel-electric motor is a sturdy beast crafted from a mixture of ceramic and hard-wearing metal components to provide a superior power-to-weight ratio and a decreased infra-red signature. Weighing in at 2.25-tonnes (8.98-tonnes for the full powerpack), the engine can bring the Lion to a remarkable 70 km/h, feed the electric armour and the ETC’s power requirements, and all of the systems within the vehicle. With fully automated digital engine control (FADEC) and an automatic gearbox with four forward and two reverse gears, the engine is sufficiently fuel-efficient to enable the Lion to cruise up to a maximum 550 km (excluding additional systems requirements), more should external fuel tanks be fitted to the rear of the vehicle. The engine’s computer keeps track of any technical malfunction.
Auxiliary Power Unit
A 100 bhp turbine auxiliary power unit (APU) with FADEC permits the Lion to remain on station with its systems powered for quick start without having to idle the main engine, keeping the vehicle cool and the crew ready for any possible eventuality. The APU may be used to provide additional power to the main gun or the electric armour, further enhancing the vehicle’s survivability at minimal cost to its fuel efficiency.
Both the engine and the APU can operate on a wide variety of fuels with minimal loss to overall efficiency, from standard diesel, to biodiesel and refined petrol used in civilian cars.
This Lion is not a static creature, but one that evolves. It can support many different attachments, from mineploughs and surface clearance devices on its front, side-mounted post-markers, to L87L Rattlesnake carriers and other trailers behind. Accommodation has been made for future upgrades to ensure the Lion’s effectiveness far beyond present-day requirements.
Length (hull): 9.41m; length (gun forward): 11.63m; width: 4.28m (w/o appliqué armour); width: 4.86 (w/ appliqué and electric armour); height: 3.2m (turret roof), 3.78m (OWS); ground clearance: 0.52m
Engine: 2200 bhp (1640.54 kW) multi-fuel-electric; 100 bhp (74.57 kW) multi-fuel turbine auxiliary power unit for idling, silent watch, etc.
Reservoirs: petrol: 2640 litres; oil: 222 litres; coolant: 270 litres.
Suspension: In-arm hydropneumatic suspension with integral rotary dampening with adaptive damping system giving improved mine protection and the ability to kneel for increased main gun depression; rear drive wheel and front idler, with limited capability of using front idler as drive wheel (up to 10 km/h in ideal conditions) should electric drive fail.
Weight: 78983 kg (empty); 85054.74 kg (combat); 93054.74 kg (fully kitted)
Speed: road (abs. max.): 68-70 km/h, cross-country: 45 km/h, cruise: 40 km/h
Range: 525 km (may be extended to 550 km with detachable rear-mounted fuel drums)
Power-to-weight ratio: 26.08 hp/tonne; 19.44 kW/t (17.76 kW/t fully kitted)
Footprint: 0.9 kg/cm2 (fully kitted)
Turret (pre-NERA, KE/CE)
Mantlet: 1703 / 2634 (w/ NERA, max. 2063 / 3284)
Front: 1783 / 2634 (w/ NERA, max. 2143 / 3284)
Front corners: 1536 / 2265 (w/ NERA, max. 1896 / 2915)
Sides: 852 / 1350 (w/ NERA, max. 1212 / 2000)
Rear: 580 / 1230 (w/ slat armour, ?)
Top: 580 / 820 (w/ electric armour, max. 640 / 940 w/o charge)
Chassis (RHAe values before additional armour)
Front: Glacis: 1478/1806; lower front: 1300/1650
Driver: Surrounded by fuel cells, followed by a bath of TVA with an anti-spall liner
Sides: 230 / 1000 track kill (w/ skirts); 580 / 1600 personnel kill (w/o NERA or appliqué armour; w/ appliqué max. 615 / 1800 and 965 / 2400 respectively)
Appliqué armour: 385 / 800
Rear: 580 / 1600 + slat armour
Tank roof: KE/CE tbd, weight tbd
Composite crew protective shield: KE/CE tbd, weight tbd
Main gun: 120mm 55-calibre ETC (4-round semi-automatic loader with 10-round carousel feeder mechanism connected with main magazine; 48 rounds)
Coaxial gun: 15.5mm MG (2000 rounds; 800 ready, 1200 stored)
- Option 1: 40 × 120mm rounds + 250 × 30mm rounds (coax.)
- Option 2: 40 × 140mm rounds + 1200 × 15.5mm rounds (coax.)
Overhead weapons stations: 2
- Commander: 15.5mm MG (200 rounds ready, 800 stored)
- Loader: AGL/GPMG combo (AGL: 40 rounds ready, 80 rounds stored; GPMG: 200 ready, 800 stored)
Electronics and Countermeasures
Computer systems: VEI.38(V)2 Hedgehog threat management system; VEI.154 environmental control system; VEW.314 main gun and coax. fire control system; VEI.157 engine control and management system (FADEC).
- Vehicle: 6 × VAS.191 CCD/IIR armoured vision blocks (IIR, LLTV-CCD, 1-9× mag., 360° visibility)
- Crew stations: VAS.189 driver’s periscopes (5; thermal, LLTV-CCD, 1-6× mag.); VAS.190 commander and loader’s periscopes (8 each; thermal, LLTV-CCD, 1-6× mag.)
- Sights: VSS.93 commander’s independent sight (LDRF, IIR, LLTV-CCD, 2-12× mag. (CCD capable of 20× day mag.)); VSS.96 gunner’s sight (LDRF, IIR, LLTV-CCD, 2-16× mag. (CCD capable of 20× day mag.)); 2 × VSW.27 OWS (IIR, LDRF, LLTV-CCD, 1.5-9× mag.); possibility of VAS.207 photonic periscope with ESM (add 1.5 tonnes for system and armour)
ECM, ESM: Crinoline IR-suppressing paint, VAQ.245 IRCM, VLQ.291(V)2 electric armour (top, sides), VLQ.306 short-range radio frequency jammer, VPR.43 LWR, VRQ.221 RWR
- Vehicle: IDU.247/VEI.47 internal graphical tactical display relay system; VHC.229 internal intercom; VRC.231 rear-mounted field telephone
- Links: GSQ.29 Brono secure tactical datalink; VPC.38 line-of-sight laser communications set; VSW.17(V)4 UAV/UGV control relay datalink
- Radios: VRC.239 and VRC.246 secure and encrypted radios
Expendable countermeasures: Palisade NERA; 2 × 6-cell VLE.202 81mm anti-ATGM grenade VLS; 4 × 4-cell VLE.141(V)2 76mm multispectral countermeasures grenade launchers (CMGL; turret), 2 × 8-cell VLE.141(V)3 76mm multispectral CMGL (hull)
Sensors: VSQ.219 muzzle velocity indicator; VRQ.202 short-range, low-power, low probability of intercept microwave radar for anti-ATGM grenade system (VSW.202 for complete system); VSQ.311 windage analyser; VSQ.314 atmospheric pressure sensor; VSR.91 CBR environment detection kit
Navigation: VSN.43 hybrid navigation system
Cost: $20 million
- SPH - 155mm; 203mm
|Main Battle Tanks: | ARAY | Caprelli | Carrion | AY1-1A Arctos | AY2-1B Panthera Uncia | AY2-1E Panthera Tigris | AY2-1L Panthera Leo | ChallengerTCN 2 | Chuck Norris | Cougar | Crusader | Dreyden | Galm | Geraldric | Guardian | Kodiak | Luxorhynchus | Ma-54 | Mekhev | Merina | Ocnus | Phalanx | Punisher | Red Cloud | Sabre | Salamander | Saracen | Indigenschen | Scorpion (Phoenix Militia) | Scorpion (Noders) | Smilodon | Stadtholder | T-10 | T-12 | T-140 | Talon | TK-17 | Type 42 | Type 97 | Viper | Warrior | Warspider | W-IV | Z-34|
|Light Tanks: | Ashurbanipal | Borhyena | Colonial (Light) | Grozynj | Otter | Predator | T-8 Sprite|
|Heavy Tanks: | AAV-10 | Colonial (Heavy) | Lion/Puma | Megalania | Merkava VK | Samson | Scorpion | T-2 Savage | T-11 | Type 40|
|Super-Heavy Tanks: | Morrigan|