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From: (John Schilling)
Subject: Re: Small Question on Cannon
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2000 17:05:36 GMT

Wyvern75 <wyvern75?> writes:

>John Schilling wrote:

>> >> Esp. since he is supposed to be gone after fireing his round.

>> >Modern Tanks have Thermal sights, if the sniper and/or his weapon have any
>> >heat coming from them it can be detected.  Then the Tank with a better set
>> >of "sniper sights" will make that sniper feel like a fool.

>> Except that the very specific purpose of the Croatian 20mm rifle is to
>> destroy thermal sights mounted on tanks.

>And conversely that means the sniper had the main gun and coax pointing
>directly at him at the time the sniper fires.  (Smart).

No, the 20mm round was chosen because it could penetrate the armored housing
from the side; you don't need to fire head-on.

>Secondly, the Thermal sights of the M1 are periscopes, so the sniper is only
>firing at a mirror, unless he is firing at the Tank Commanders "Hunter/Killer"
>sight.  The Gunner would still have his thermal sight.

When did we start talking about the M1?  Most tanks, even modern tanks, are
not M1s; T-72 derivatives in particular are much more common, and the natural
prey of the Croatian 20mm AMR.

But it makes little difference if the target turns out to be an M-1; the sight
may be protected by the turret armor, but the optical head is still reduced
to scrap.  And without the optics, the thermal sight might as well be scrap
as well.  The depot-level repeair necessary to put the system back in operation
will be a little cheaper, is all.

>Next Tanks operate in groups.  So we can only assume that the Croats intend
>for the sniper to engage multiple targets from a single position in a short
>amount of time.

No, *you* can only assume this.  Some of us can also come up with rather
more plausible assumptions.  Such as maybe the Croatians intend for their
snipers to operate in groups as well.  Or maybe they don't demand decisive
results "in a short time", but are willing to wait a while for their snipers
to do their job.

Shoot a tank, duck and retreat under cover, then shoot another tank tomorrow.
The Croats can make 20mm AP rounds faster than their enemies can make thermal
sights.  The Croats can probably make snipers and 20mm rifles faster than
their enemies can make thermal sights, if it comes to that.  It won't, though.

>> As always, first to see and shoot straight wins.  And that's a contest
>> that snipers are very good at winning - even against thermal sights.

>LOL, then you have never been on a Tank or been a sniper.

Loosely defined, I've done both.  I've never been a sniper trying to
approach a tank equipped with a thermal sight, or a tanker watching
for snipers with a thermal sight, but neither have you.  Instead, I
listen to people who do have experience in the matter.

Specifically, the USMC sniper school.  A few years back they ran an
exercise to see how well their snipers could do against opponents
with thermal imaging capability.  In most cases, the USMC sniper
graduates could approach undetected to within 200 meters of a
position equipped with a thermal sight, even though the OP was
specifically aware that a sniper was in the area and had nothing
to distract them from their goal of locating the sniper.  The
supposed magic of the thermal imager does not compare with the
practiced art of the sniper.

The Croatian snipers may not be up to USMC standards, but they're
probably close.  And their rifles are effective to well over 200m,
they can wait for the tanks to come to them, and the tankers will
have other things on their mind as they do.

*John Schilling                    * "Anything worth doing,         *
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