Some More Thoughts on FRES Scout

General Dynamics Scout SV

The comments in the previous posts have been lively, and as usual, extremely well informed.

To keep the fires burning here are some recently released videos

A few points of interest, at least for me!

Bridge Layer: Although there was a bridging variant of the Stormer supplied to Indonesia that has a 15m Class 30 span the UK did not have such a variant in the CVR(T) lineup. The CVR(T) was of course lightweight, able to traverse soft ground, use poor low class bridges and at a push, swim, unlike the ASCOD2. Maybe it will need a bridging variant to provide enhanced mobility and allow the choice of routes.

British to Its Bootstraps: One of the earlier claims was that the SV was a British design, but going through the video one can see an MTU engine, Renk transmission, German turret and British/French main armament!

750 Horse Power: The engine will be an MTU 750HP model, compared to the 190HP engine in the CVR(T) one has to wonder about fuel consumption and its impact on usage. CVR(T) has a range of roughly 420 miles and the ASCOD2, 300 miles. Of course we don’t know if these figures are apples and apples or apples and aardvarks (the ASCOD carries more fuel of course) but it would be a concern for a vehicle that is designed to operate far forward and on the flanks.

Protection: Creating a tracked vehicle with the same degree of hull shaping found in vehicles like the Mastiff is impossible but the video states it will have a concave floor, fire suppression, spall liners, composite sub floor, suspended seats, obscurant dischargers, warning receiver and the usual passive armour. By shaping the hull and ‘managing’ heat signatures the thermal and radar footprint is ‘significantly reduced’

Reduced from what?

CIDS: Arguably one of the real innovations in the design is the Core Infrastructure  and Distribution System, this is an electronic ring main that sensors, monitoring equipment, displays, controls, power connectors and other systems can plug into. Another innovation is an open electronic architecture that surrounds CIDS. This combination is a real innovation that would be difficult to retrofit into an existing vehicle. One might be uncharitable and say this might have been driven by the torrid time GD UK had with upgrading the vehicle fleet for BOWMAN!

Direct Fire: The video specifically mentions a 120mm direct fire version and from comments it would seem that the need to fight for information, as opposed to sneaking around for it, would be supported by this. I have my reservations about the latest 120mm low recoil weapons in this sized base vehicle and this a 90mm or 105mm is more appropriate but will look at this some time in the future.

Marketing Bullshit: Finally, as a tongue in cheek comment, when describing the Common Base Platform the man in khaki says that the concept of using a common chassis for a number of variants is a

‘relatively new concept in armoured vehicle design’

Since the sixties that is, there are many examples of a common base design throughout the world of armoured vehicle design, the US M113 has literaly hundreds of variants on the common base platform.

The cheek of this is made even more amusing because it is replacing CVR(T) that has more variants that have seen service than planned for the Scout Variant!

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