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Simester
Simester
August 25, 2011 2:51 am

Looks great, but I doubt the spoiler on the back is going to make any difference speed-wise…!

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 25, 2011 8:24 am

Do we know how many have been ordered?
– thinking post-Afghanistan, i.e. how will other procurements be impacted, or is it purely a UOR

Tubby
Tubby
August 25, 2011 8:28 am

Is it a spoiler?!? I thought it might be a solar panel based on the shot at 11 seconds that seemed to suggest a glass surface to the top of the panel.

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix
August 25, 2011 10:31 am

wow, does this thing really exist!

my question is the same as AAC’s; is this a temporary UOR?

Wstr
Wstr
August 25, 2011 11:28 am

@Tubby
EW (Counter-IED jamming) antenna mounting – currently minus the antennas.
Most vehicles in theatre now have them. The rectangular ‘Spoiler’ is the most common (Panther, Scimitar, Challenger, etc). Mastiff now has small mounts on the roof corners and Warrior has two roughly triangular mounts on the rear of the troop compartment roof.

JamesD
JamesD
August 25, 2011 11:45 am

Please please tell me this is not happening – take one obsolescent turrent from worn out chassis, bolt on bits and pieces and mate with a not-so-worn out chassis, save money, “new” vehicle for deployment…

Wstr
Wstr
August 25, 2011 12:58 pm

@JamesD – At least it’s something I guess, rather than muddling on until 2017 or whenever FRES SV’s Scout variant is currently looking at it’s ISD.
We are so slow in this country even for urgent needs. Whilst a different type of role/vehicle, the war fighting focus of the US can be seen in them taking less than 12 months for their M-ATVs to go from competition proposal (Eventual winner Oshkosh’s submission was in Jan ’09), down-selection of winner, fielded prototype and then full on 1000 vehicle per month (per month!) production (by Dec ’09).

@TD – Spamitar (my entry for the ridiculous name bucket)

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 25, 2011 1:27 pm

@JamesD – At least it’s something… and we don’t even know the details
– presumably the body with more volume to help to build in mine resistance ( I am not sure one can tell apart the V-hulled Stryker by looking at it from outside?)
– BAE is working with many types of new armour; any of them in it? Otherwise it is just MG-proof?

If they had just “welded” the two parts together, it would not have taken this long (Welded, well, I guess the turret has to turn)

bob
bob
August 25, 2011 2:28 pm

Stitching together various bits of information to create a theory, there was chat sometime back about procuring new Scimitars due to their all round usefulness as recce vehicles in Afghanistan, however there are persistent rumours that due to the weight having been piled on the vehicles through the UOR process the hulls were cracking- which would of course make new-build Scimitars less than attractive. The Spartan chassis also has a bit more volume which is always useful and could of course take all the automotive upgrades undertaken for the family so far. It seems that the Scimitar Mk2 is actually the Spartan with a Scimitar turret.

FYI: The “spoiler” is for electronic equipment.

bob
bob
August 25, 2011 2:42 pm

Further; It seems like the new-build Scimitar plan never went anywhere and Scimitar 2 will actually use stored Spartan chassis.

jonesy
jonesy
August 25, 2011 2:59 pm

TD, nice bit of video. The mk2 is now in theatre and so there will be significantly more information being made publicly available in the next few weeks.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 25, 2011 3:23 pm

“Scimitar 2 will actually use stored Spartan chassis”, so
– the best one can do to improve the mine resistance is to use the height for a double-floor?

Didn’t the earlier models already get Fox-turrets? Is it those that are on Mk2?

If the chassis comes out of storage, then there will hardly be a plan to try to fit the turrets chosen for FRES (much too big, anyway?).

RW#2
RW#2
August 25, 2011 3:35 pm

Clearly we need to await the MoD machine with its official news, but I have it on good authority that the hulls are not old Spartans or old anything.

Mike W
August 25, 2011 3:35 pm

What I would really like to know is whether there are going to be any variants of the hybrid. From the video it looks just like a basic recce vehicle (à la Scimitar).

If it is to be a vehicle for 16 AA Brigade and 3 Commando Brigade (FRES SV being too heavy etc.), then surely other variants will be needed: e.g. recovery and repair, command, possibly ambulance, etc.

ArmChairCivvy’s question “or is it purely a UOR?” could lead to the right answer, though. Like him, I would love to know the answer to the question “How many have been ordered?”

In answer to the points Bob raised: eg. “there are persistent rumours that due to the weight having been piled on the vehicles through the UOR process the hulls were cracking- which would of course make new-build Scimitars less than attractive.”, I thought I read somewhere very recently that , contrary to many rumours, the hybrid vehicle was still to be new-build but I might have got that wrong. According to the story, I seem to remember, BAE Systems put together a Scimitar turret and a Spartan hull. This ‘vehicle’ was then sent to the Armoured Development Unit at Bovington to see whether the concept would work. As it was successful, the MOD ordered two new vehicles and they were delivered to Bovington earlier this year for further trials.

Anyway, I think it is to be officially unveiled at DSEi in September.

bob
bob
August 25, 2011 3:45 pm

Forget any notion of anything FRES making its way onto this vehicle. FRES-SV is a long term core budget development programme that at the very least will produce some prototypes for a truly excellent vehicle- but that will not be for a while. This is clearly a UOR programme.The hull in that video looks VERY Spartan. There would be other advantages to using the Spartan hull, notably the larger internal volume.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 25, 2011 3:48 pm

Going well ahead of things with this one:
– active armour is still in trials (battle trials with the Israels at least)
– as it is so new (, expensive) and so far (almost)unproven, all are retro-fits to existing IFVs/ MBTs

There is potential for the CVR (T) class of vehicle becoming feasible again, as the normal armour would only need to suffice against HMGs (Mines, IEDs… a different story).

Put in the hybrid-electric drive (as in SEP) and you might do some sneak-and-beak again (mounted, rather than only dismounted).

Because of the dominant role of electronics (only passive sensors are not hugely power-hungry) in recce versions, battery capacity will never go wasted.

S O
S O
August 25, 2011 4:15 pm

The engine sounds overburdened to me.

Jed
Jed
August 25, 2011 4:45 pm

Sad, sad, fakkin sad

Is this really all we can achieve / afford, some 40 years after the originals came into service ?

Nothing good to say about this…. :-(

Pete Arundel
Pete Arundel
August 25, 2011 5:45 pm

“FRES-SV is a long term core budget development programme that at the very least will produce some prototypes for a truly excellent vehicle”

I just snorted curry . . . At eh very least it will prototype some powertrain upgrades that GD can sell to the Austrians and Spanish. At best it’ll create a new Warrior.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 25, 2011 5:53 pm

Having 7 of the prototypes, RE
“very least it will prototype some powertrain upgrades that GD can sell to the Austrians and Spanish. At best it’ll create a new Warrior.”
will (just my private thinking) afford tactical trials that establish the true value-add of the new Scout over the Warrior (do we have prototypes of the “Improved” to use, as the programme has been kicked to the long grass repeatedly? Except that now , finally, it should start)

John Hartley
John Hartley
August 25, 2011 7:23 pm

Todays Daily Flail had an item on McClarren. Apart from racing/sports cars, they also make carbon fibre anti IED seats for armoured vehicles. Wonder if they will appear on MoD ordered FRES or CVR?

RW
RW
August 25, 2011 7:45 pm

@RW

Now two with the same ID……. can be confusing

Don’t think that the money for FRES SV is mainly about the mechanicals. more the new plug and play electrics etc.

But, much more importantly, the new turret with the CTA gun and CTA ammunition handling and positioning being new technology and needing to be integrated with other turret features so requiring development level funding

Which therefore also means there should be some spin off contribution to the warrior upgrade, through an understanding of such problems as placing CTA ammo outside the turrets crew compartment ( to generate more space) etc…

Monty
August 25, 2011 7:55 pm

I saw no mention of FRES SV in the latest round of approved funding, but Warrior Upgrade was included. FRES SV may be killed off and Warrior will do its job.

That has to be better than this bastard child of Scimitar and Spartan. Turret = old and outdated without 40 mm CTA cannon. Chassis = old and worn out

Height and weight too great. This must be a one-off feasibility study, wasting tax payers money when the outcome of such trials is easy to predict.

RW
RW
August 25, 2011 8:07 pm

Hartley

nice work by McClaren but why was it for the US office for naval research rather than the MOD !!!!!

http://ingenia.org.uk/ingenia/issues/issue40/Bradley.pdf

IXION
IXION
August 25, 2011 9:55 pm

Depressed.

As usual a flying lashup of old bits and 30 year old technology, added up with some up to date electrics.

This is no way to do this long term.

As for FRES I will believe it the day something enters service until then Fres is a bed time story for tired soldiers.

‘Go to bed now and be good little soldiers and in the morning there will be FRES’.

Mr.fred
Mr.fred
August 25, 2011 10:11 pm

I rather suspect that you could do a lot better than Scimitar in a Scimitar-shaped package.
Aluminium alloys and welding technology has developed a lot since the 1970s. For the same basic package you could get something stronger and better protected.
Power electronics and motors have also developed significantly – you could probably build a Scimitar with a powered and stabilised turret without increasing weight too much, if you didn’t mind keeping a Rarden. That said, you could probably swap for an M230 like the Apache or maybe something more powerful like an MK30 or a Russian 2A42, but it might start getting cramped.

Tubby
Tubby
August 26, 2011 8:29 am

Thanks everyone who pointed out that it was panel for EW antenna mounting – I was thinking solar panel as I presumed it was lashed up UOR solely for Afghanistan. I find it interesting that there appears to be a split in the rumours – half have heard it is new build (so presumably if new build it will have modern armour, power train and sensors, and maybe even a modern gun with some sort of stabilisation ?), while the other half suspect it is a cut and shut designed as a stop gap.

bob
bob
August 26, 2011 9:55 am

Even if it is new build I see no reason why it would be any different to the UOR variants of the CVR-T family which have already had most of their automotive systems modified, additional armour and upgraded thermal sights. A stabilised gun is highly improbable.

I dont understand the FRES-SV bitching. The vehicle itself will be outstanding and will offer a step-change in capability for the British Army with its combination of mobility, sensors, firepower and protection. There are plenty of questions to be asked about the conduct of British armoured vehicles policy in the last 20 years but from a technical perspective ASCOD-Scout should be outstanding.

IXION
IXION
August 26, 2011 10:29 am

BOB
The Fres program has been going for a decade or more if you add in its predecessors even longer.

Half a billion for a box on tracks (of a type that has been in service for 10 years)

And the program is still not producing any actual deployed vehicles. Nor is it likely to do so in the next 5 years, by which time they will have spent the other half of the billion.

And our solider wil still not have any actual kit in service.

Sigh ‘A STEP CHANGE IN CAPABILITY’ Yea right. But (if i believed thay it would), It will only deliver it when it is in service.

jonesy
jonesy
August 26, 2011 11:03 am

The FRES vehicle is derived from the ascod, which is the same vintage as warrior. It is to all intents rather conventional in design terms with little real innovation which will be a rather uninspiring by the time the current mini sdsr add a bit more delay to 2017.

Mike W
August 26, 2011 11:55 am

What I still can’t understand is why the Stormer hulls were not used for such a vehicle. When Stormer HVM was first introduced, the British Army had approx. 160 of them. Now the latest plan is, according to at least one source, simply to retain two batteries of the self-propelled HVM in 12 Regiment RA. Although they will be using a vastly improved system, these batteries will probably only field approx.30 vehicles all told (40 with reserves?). What has happened to the other 100+ vehicles? Probably sold off at Withams for a song.

The Stormer is a more recent and more spacious vehicle than the Scimitar. Surely it could have done a job as a recce vehicle for a fair number of years? They can’t be clapped out. Otherwise why continue with them in the Stormer HVM SP role?

Peter Arundel
Peter Arundel
August 26, 2011 12:09 pm

” The vehicle itself will be outstanding”

In what way?

” and will offer a step-change in capability for the British Army with its combination of mobility, sensors, firepower and protection”

Apart from sensors it’s no real advance on Warrior.

Bob, this is a serious question; do you actually work for GD?

bob
bob
August 26, 2011 12:12 pm

IXION,

Yes the programme has been going on for years, the vehicle itself will be an excellent piece of kit, and yes it will be s step change in capability, the changes being made to the ASCOD are dramatic to the point that it will effectively be a new vehicle- that takes time.

Jonesey,

What more innovation do you want? What magic technology that is genuinely combat ready is not included? What engineering achievement will render it obsolete? Inspiration is irrelevant capability is paramount and SCOUT-SV has the potential to provide it.

bob
bob
August 26, 2011 12:22 pm

Peter Arundel,

It will be a major advance on Warrior having a higher GVW potential, far better protection and superior mobility afforded through a higher power to weight ratio. People forget that Warrior was originally conceived as a vehicle with a 750hp engine and chobham armour but was scaled back to what it became on cost grounds.In the proposed but unfulfilled concept the Warrior would still have had less engine power and less armour than ASCOD-SV. ASCOD-SV will be the best protected and probably best sensor equipped force recon vehicle (as opposed to Warrior which is an IFV) in the world when/if it is procured and will form the basis of a family of vehicles.

I am not a GD employee I just know what I am talking about.

RW
RW
August 26, 2011 1:53 pm

please can we remember that FRES SV has a CTA cannon firing CTA ammunition which will be a world first when operational and not focus on the chuffing tracks

what we should ponder is what the french who are in charge of developing new CTA rounds will do and if they will adopt CTA onto their vehicles and how we progress to airburst rounds etc..

its the possible types of ammo that CTA can bring that should be the real FRES SV story not whether it looks or sounds like a warrior

yes its a tracked vehicle, so it looks like the others, but does it fight like the others ????

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 26, 2011 2:48 pm

v good point “what the french who are in charge of developing new CTA rounds will do and if they will adopt CTA onto their vehicles and how we progress to airburst rounds etc..”
– getting on par with the much more bulky Bofors that has
— proximity fuse
— airburst with “good” scatter pattern
— not sure how the two would compare in armour piercing

bob
bob
August 26, 2011 3:15 pm

The CTA is an excellent weapon in its own right but it is only one part of the FRES-SV package.

IXION
IXION
August 26, 2011 3:33 pm

bob

Ok so it’s got more armour, bigger better gun. With a full ‘intigration package’ (Posh sales talk for radios digital links and video feeds).

All good.

but

It will be bigger, Heavier, still based on a 30 year old design. all not good.

It is simply a change in the weight class of opperated vehicle, together with intigration of 30 years development of electronics, not the second comming.

AND

Strap on all the dodas and bells and whistles we have a vehicle which is 3 metres wide, (Officialy a wide load), 6 metres long weighs near the upper limit for road vehicles in europe, and thus is restricted to A road Bridges in many developed nations. Not Good for a reconasence vehicle.
EG
If it wanted to reconoiter from Casrlisle to Gretna Green it can only reconioter Via the M6!

NONE of the above is revolutionary enough to make it worth the years of effort and stupid development costs.

Whatever engine it has will be a development of existing engines, transmission will be off the shelf ( like RENK), tracks will still be steel pin designs), its not a magnetic levatating hover ship or an Imperial Walker. CTA (Which I like very much) has been a functioning weapoins system for at least 5 years.

So 2 cheers; but why so long and sofaking expensive?

IXION
IXION
August 26, 2011 3:51 pm

Got some questions, anyone got figures on: –

When is this thing going to get into service?

In what numbers are the diamond crusted unobtainium hulls going to hit the streets?

Whats the unit cost going to be?

My guess is in reality it when eventually in service will spend most of it’s life like CVRT being deployed as infantry support and ‘light tank’ UN peace keeping/enforcing roles.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 26, 2011 3:57 pm

I certainly hope so “My guess is in reality it when eventually in service will spend most of it’s life like CVRT being deployed as infantry support and ‘light tank’ UN peace keeping/enforcing roles.”
– but one has to prepare for the war that one cannot afford to lose ( at least have the force structure and equipment from where to ramp up in numbers)

Pete Arundel
Pete Arundel
August 26, 2011 6:39 pm

“Warrior would still have had less engine power and less armour than ASCOD-SV. ASCOD-SV will be the best protected and probably best sensor equipped force recon vehicle (as opposed to Warrior which is an IFV) in the world when/if it is procured and will form the basis of a family of vehicles.”

Sorry, Bob, you seem to have missed the point. ASCOD is basically a, marginally larger, steel hulled Warrior. It’s an MICV. ASCOD-SV doesn’t exist but, should it ever exist, will be, basically, a marginally larger, steel hulled Warrior with a newer engine, gearbox and stiffer torsion bars. It’s base protection is not claimed to protect against anything greater than a 14.5mm HMG round. It may turn out to be a good vehicle; reliable and well protected but Warrior is already a good, reliable and well ptotected vehicle which could, if Bae hadn’t bought and then closed down Alvis and Vickers)have been upgraded in exactly the same way as ASCOD is. I Have no beef with ASCOD-SV as a vehicle. I do have serious problems with claims that it is a wonderful new, heavily armoured wonder wagon as it manifestly is not.

And the same goes for the proposed CV90 FRES-SV that lost out to ASCOD.

Mr.fred
Mr.fred
August 26, 2011 6:54 pm

The French are in charge of developing new ammunition for the CTA cannon? Is it me or is there a problem here?
1) The French do not use said cannon, nor do they have any project that is committed to using the cannon.
2) The only country in the world that does use the cannon is… us.
3) The cannon is of unique design so the projectile could not be common with any other weapon system
To me, this boils down to the same situation we had with the RARDEN (except worse) in that we could not generate enough demand to develop new rounds for the RARDEN (despite being made in far greater numbers and being very similar to the 30x173mm round adopted by other armies). How are we going to generate the business case to develop all these wonderful ammunition natures anew for our unique cannon?

In the meantime, the US is spending about £500m for two design studies that may result in an IFV with a unit cost of £6m (although some estimates are as high as £8m). That’s before the development phase is accounted for.

Tony Williams
Tony Williams
August 26, 2011 7:57 pm

Mr.fred, CTAI is developing the gun and ammo. This is a joint Anglo-French company set up by BAE and Nexter, which happens to be based in France.

We don’t use the CTA, and won’t until the updated Warrior gets into service.

Whether the FRES SV makes it is looking a little shakier, given that it was omitted from the provisional list of major projects issued a week or two ago. We’ll find out in a month or two when the result of the latest round of cuts is announced.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 26, 2011 8:06 pm

UK version of Chinese water torture “. We’ll find out in a month or two ”
– how many months does a 3-month review take (oops; the PM on hols, add one)
– is it not really the PR11 that did not conclude, something has to come out, before the next PR is knocking on the door

jonesy
jonesy
August 26, 2011 8:07 pm

Mike W – it all comes down to two things – firstly the MoD not wanting to suggest that CVR(T) had any life left in it by doing a “visible” upgrade (to cause any confusion with FRES) and secondly that the Stormer hulls probably wouldn’t have had the necessary Mine Blast Protection.
Bob – do you work in DE&S? The issue I have with FRES is that we are paying a huge sum for these vehicles but getting comparatively pedestrian solutions. The Future Protected Vehicle studies which the MoD undertook with BAES and Thales which you can find online, have already identified many technological opportunities – which would have justified the price. My concern is that the MoD will not be able to adopt any of these until the 2030 timeframe, with a mid life upgrade for FRES.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 26, 2011 8:14 pm

This “the Stormer hulls probably wouldn’t have had the necessary Mine Blast Protection” is the bit I would be interested to find out about
– if there is no “edge” in the construction on this point, Stormer should have been the choice for the chassis

Bob
Bob
August 26, 2011 8:47 pm

Pete Arundel,

You have no understanding of the scale of work going into the FRES-SV programme. For a star more armour and superior firepower (with superior sensors an systems integration) are fairly standard armoured vehicle benchmarks. The vehicle will also integrate considerably greater mine protection. So what if it is big? So is you beloved Warrior. Also, FRES-SCOUT is NOT an MICV, it will not carry infantry and is thus a recce vehicle in the mould of Scimitar.

Just because the concept seems pedestrian to an armchair general it does not mean that the detail design is. The turret, main gun, engine and transmission are all new and far and away the best available on the market- far superior to the Warrior.

Pete Arundel
Pete Arundel
August 26, 2011 9:26 pm

“FRES-SCOUT is NOT an MICV,”
Never said it was.
Read my reply again.
Carefully.

“engine and transmission are all new”
No they’re not! The engine is an uprated version of the same MTU lump as already fitted to the Ulan in Austrian service (where it is rated at 720hp)

“just because the concept seems pedestrian to an armchair general”
Careful, Bob, you have no idea what I do for a living . . . and it IS pedestrian. Pedestrian to the point of the basic vehicle being obselescent. Improived mine protection? With bloody great torsion bars running across the hull floor? Do me a favour. It’s increased mine protection is purely increased mass in comparison to the vehicle it replaces.

Pete Arundel
Pete Arundel
August 26, 2011 9:34 pm

Missed this on, Bob

“You have no understanding of the scale of work going into the FRES-SV programme.”

So you do? Just what IS your job?
You do keep popping up and telling us how great FRES-SV is.

In fact I can’t remember you commenting on any other subject . . .

IXION
IXION
August 26, 2011 9:49 pm

Bob

I’m certainly Armchair (not much of a general).

But I an sorry there are a from the published
‘information’ there are a large number of terms: –

Systems intigration
Superior sensors
Wepons systems
Capability leap

Etc that each smack of 10 points in bullshit bingo, The kind I get from the IT Snake oil salesmen who pester me all the time.

What does system intigration actually mean,?
Intigrated with what?
What is a weapons System?
Superior sensors, Superior to what?
What kind of sensors?
Capability leap? Whats that in feet and inches?

Sorry to sound too sarcastic, but there is the whiff of the usual

‘Don’t you trouble your little head about it tax payer, leave it to the ‘experts’ there’s a good chap’.

To the uninitiated, it looks like we have spent hndreds of million pounds for 3/5ths of bugger all so far; and are now getting ripped off for warmed over 30 year old designs, with modern systems bolted on and in. Maybe carefully and ergonomicaly bolted on and in.

As has been noted the displayed ‘prototypes’ look like second hand kit.

But this is not Puma, or any other more modern design. The basic systems already exist and are in service. Double hulling, V huilling etc are not engineering rocket science in particular as there is a large amount of engineering info on IED and Mine protection in the public domain. Various companies do bolt on anti tank missile passive armour.

FRES SV will NOT be invulnerable to IED, it will not be THAT superior (even if it goes to plan), to the other armies systems. Indeed much of it’s systems will be on sale to anyone who wants to buy it.

‘You have no understanding of the scale of work going into the FRES-SV programme’.

You bet your ever lovin arse I don’t.

Cos whats published smacks of it being: –

‘ An intigrated, Single man portable, manually opperated, unpowered, variable angle, readily deployable, Multi terrain relocation implimant Mk 1’

Or as we call it ‘a spade’

Mike W
August 26, 2011 9:51 pm

@jonesy

“secondly that the Stormer hulls probably wouldn’t have had the necessary Mine Blast Protection.”

You are almost certainly right about that and it’s a point that I forgot. However, isn’t the implication then that the new hybrid Scimitar/Spartan vehicle WILL have such protection? That in turn means that the new vehicle will almost certainly be new build, as the old Spartan does not have the kind of mine protection we are talking about (V-shaped hull, etc.).

Grey
Grey
August 27, 2011 7:06 am

@Bob

FRES SV was dead years ago, everyone who knows armour knows this, even the MOD was putting out the design call for its replacement before a single contract was signed.

Mr.fred
Mr.fred
August 27, 2011 10:43 am

Dead in what sense, Grey?
To which replacements do you refer?

Tony Williams
Tony Williams
August 27, 2011 10:48 am

The firepower of FRES SV with the new 40 CTA will be exactly the same as Warrior will have after the WCSP upgrade (which unlike FRES SV is in the provisional list of major projects to go ahead).

There is no fundamental difference in technology (or size) between the Warrior and the FRES SV vehicles. The main difference between the upgraded Warrior and the FRES SV seems to be that the FRES has extra sensor systems for the recce role, and is presumably fitted out with workstations for this rather than seats for infantry. I can see no reason why the sensor systems and workstations could not be accommodated in the upgraded Warrior.

Using some Warriors for recce was not an option in the original plans because there weren’t enough spare ones. However, by the time the army has finished downsizing I suspect that surplus Warriors will be filling up vehicle parks…

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 27, 2011 10:58 am

RE ” FRES has extra sensor systems for the recce role, and is presumably fitted out with workstations for this rather than seats for infantry. I can see no reason why the sensor systems and workstations could not be accommodated in the upgraded Warrior”
-I have never managed to figure out what the new electronic architecture (part of the Warrior upgrade program, I understand the “base” upgrade and then some (2/3?) also get the new turret/ gun) actually brings to the party
– surely power required in a recce version is much more (even when not moving for a day or two) than otherwise, but in my books that is a physical feature – not part of the “electronics architecture”

jonesy
jonesy
August 27, 2011 12:02 pm

Mike W – you’ve just got to look at the video, it’s clearly not v shaped and thus I would guess relies on modern alloys and better assembly techniques, along with I hope seats and internal systems to mitigate blast transfer to the occupants. Clearly this keeps time and costs down by allowing re-use of existing running gear etc. Just hope this quick fix works and provides breathing space while the recce capabilities are resolved.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 27, 2011 12:10 pm

“it’s clearly not v shaped ”
– I was hoping that the extra internal height, with unchanged turret & main functions, would allow for some kind of internal floor construction

Mr.fred
Mr.fred
August 27, 2011 2:50 pm

I think that the GVA defence standard may interest those who wish to know what an electronic architecture is.

http://www.dstan.mod.uk/standards/defstans/23/009/00000100.pdf

Mike W
August 27, 2011 5:44 pm

@Grey

“FRES SV was dead years ago, everyone who knows armour knows this, even the MOD was putting out the design call for its replacement before a single contract was signed.”

Yes, I would like to repeat Mr. Fred’s question to you: “Dead in what sense, Grey?
To which replacements do you refer?”

If you are by any chance referring to the Scimitar/Spartan hybrid, then, if it is not to be new-build, I fail to see how it can possibly be any long-term solution to the recce problem. If it is not to be new-build, then we shall have a vehicle so aptly described by Monty: “Turret = old and outdated without 40 mm CTA cannon. Chassis = old and worn out.” Moreover, the highest number I have seen quoted for any likely order is approx. 200 and we would need many more than that. (See below). Still, maybe you were not referring to that vehicle.

In connection with your point: “I saw no mention of FRES SV in the latest round of approved funding, but Warrior Upgrade was included. FRES SV may be killed off and Warrior will do its job.”

First, other items were mentioned in the SDSR but not in the latest round of approved funding: e.g. the Fire Shadow loitering munition weapon. The assumption among many experts is that that system will start to enter service later this year. Another is Terrier, which is scheduled to enter service next year, I believe. So if your theory does not hold good for those, it might not for FRES SV either!

Second, if FRES SV is “killed off”, I cannot see the numbers stacking up. First of all you are going to need approximately 5 x 60 = 300 Warriors for the Armoured Infantry battalions, then approx. 5 x 80 = 400 Warriors as replacements for the CVR(T)s (all variants) in the Formation Reconnaissance regiments. That is 700 already and I have not included the CVR(T)s needed in the Armoured regiments (another 5 x ,say, 15 = 75 . Total so far = 775. And won’t some of those Warriors be needed to replace some of the Bulldog/432s that will be going? And how many Warriors are left overall in the British Army? And not all of those are to be upgraded (40 mm cannon, etc.). I think I have exceeded the total figure already. No, I think we shall certainly need a new vehicle. I just hope it is not the Scimitar/Spartan hybrid for all our recce requirements. That can fill a temporary niche role with light formations such 16 AA and 3 Commando Brigades but nothing more.

@jonesy

“you’ve just got to look at the video, it’s clearly not v shaped”

Yes, I accept that. I just hope that it’s got all the other protective measures you mention. On an earlier point of yours:

“The FRES vehicle is derived from the Ascod, which is the same vintage as Warrior. It is to all intents rather conventional in design terms with little real innovation…”

Surely one of the points about the vehicle is that, if it is “new manufacture”, then the whole of the vehicle will have new components that will reach obsolescence much later than many of those in the Warrior, which were manufactured 25 years ago. It might be the same kind of vehicle, but it will be a newer vehicle, bearing much the same relationship to the Warrior as that vehicle now bears to the FV432. I really don’t know why so many of you have been opposed to Bob’s views about the FRES SV.

Bob
Bob
August 27, 2011 6:37 pm

The ASCOD-UV hate here is unjustifiable and ill-informed, the vehicle appears to be being criticised for not being some form of hover tank. The reality is that it combines the most modern automotive, firepower and sensor components into a hull that is being designed from the outset to incorporate the latest protection requirements. The idea that you could upgrade a Warrior and get the same capabilities is absurd, that vehicle is 30 years old (and in design terms was scaled back from what was originally desired before it even entered production) and is already overloaded by a considerable margin. ASCOD-SV will have superior mobility and protection to the Warrior. In addition FRES-SV will specially designed appliqué armour sections that can be installed and removed with ease rather than the awkward UOR lash ups currently on Warrior.

Sure ASCOD-SV is still essentially a diesel powered box- so were the tanks that went into action on the Somme, but it benefits from 30 years of development in the automotive industry (more power dense/fuel efficient engines, better transmission etc) and developments in protection, compared to Warrior which was already a compromise when it went into production 30 years ago. I know some people here have poured praise on the Puma- firstly such praise is misplaced, it is not a happy programme and is also a very expensive programme; however ASCOD-SV will leverage its transmission and the Rheinmettal turret is new to the market and clearly takes design and engineering experience from the Puma turret. The engine going into ASCOD-SV (805hp compared to 550hp for Warrior) is the same as used in the Boxer. ASCOD-SV is just as modern as Puma and saying otherwise just shows how little people know about its supply chain. So to be clear ASCOD-SV uses the Puma Transmission, the Boxer engine, a brand new design Rheinmettal turret, it will have the latest Thales sights (based on Catherine MP thermal imagers), the vehicle is being designed for very comprehensive mine protection (a V hull is not the only way to defeat an IED), even the original ASCOD suspension is being changed. What more do you want?

UK Armoured Vehicles policy has been catastrophic, the decision of the Labour government to deconstruct the UK armoured vehicles industry was insane and has cost lives, the fact that it has taken this long to acquire new vehicles is highly incompetent and should have costed careers but ASCOD-SV will combine all the best armoured vehicle components currently on the market in a package that is both world beating and not overly technologically challenging.

Finally, what people here also do not seem to understand is that the recce vehicle is only one variant, FRES-SV is about providing a base platform for a wide range of vehicle types including APC’s recovery vehicles and others. The new automotive components (with high power to weight ratio), and the wide turret ring will make it an excellent base platform, the current plans still call for hundreds of vehicles over multiple variants.

Gabriele
Gabriele
August 27, 2011 7:27 pm

FRES SV is also going to be the first-ever UK armoured vehicle with underarmor laser-designation of targets.

Which could be totally awesome if the Overwatch FRES SV variant (RECCE Block 3 category of vehicles) survives and is pursued.
A missile launcher to replace Swingfire and provide long reach.
FRES Scout going ahead scouting and designing targets, and missiles (Brimstone DM? LMM? Both?) coming from the rear echelons to strike them from above. Now that would be real effective.

Pete Arundel
Pete Arundel
August 27, 2011 8:23 pm

Bob do you ever actually READ what other people post? You certainly don’t seem to post anything that has any relevence to the postings of others.

“the vehicle appears to be being criticised for not being some form of hover tank.”

No it isn’t. It’s being criticised for being a late eighties design which first moved in 1992. It took another ten years for it to enter service with the Spanish and Austrians. It’s design that is comparable in most respects to the Warriors which are already in service with the british army.

“it combines the most modern automotive, firepower and sensor components”

No it doesn’t. It uses the same (although uprated) engine as the ASCOD in service with the Austrians. The Transmission is new, I’ll give you that one but the firepower will be identical to the upgraded Warrior. As for sensors, take the dismounts from a warrior and you have Big Space to put your electronics into – just like an ASCOD.

“a hull that is being designed from the outset to incorporate the latest protection requirements.”

A hull designed 25 years ago and one that will be armoured, acording to the GD website, to the SAME BASIC STANDARD AS A WARRIOR i.e. it’ll keep out 14.5mm AP rounds over the frontal arc and 7.62 over the rest of the vehicle.

“The idea that you could upgrade a Warrior and get the same capabilities is absurd”

. . . but you can upgrade an ASCOD?

“ASCOD-SV will have superior mobility and protection to the Warrior”

Mobility, yes, but protection will be the same until you slap a load of applique on the outside. Now how about we stick an MTU deisel and a Renk transmission in one of the multiplicity of Warrior hulls which are going to be made redundant after the next round of cuts?

“In addition FRES-SV will specially designed appliqué armour sections that can be installed and removed with ease rather than the awkward UOR lash ups currently on Warrior.”

LOL! Why not build some pretty armour for warrior? It’s got to be cheaper than buying ASCOD-SV

“ASCOD-SV is just as modern as Puma”

No it’s not. As I have just pointed out (not that I think the Puma would be a good choice for a scout either).

“So to be clear ASCOD-SV uses the Puma transmission, the Boxer engine”

It uses the same basic engine that it has always used while in service with the Austrians so it would be more hionest to say that boxer uses the SAME ENGINE AS ASCOD.

“a brand new design Rheinmettal turret”

Really? A brand new turret? Wow. There’s a brand new turret on Warrior now too, did you know that?

“it will have the latest Thales sights (based on Catherine MP thermal imagers)”

Which are custom made to ONLY fit in our new Rheinmettal turret, right?

“the vehicle is being designed for very comprehensive mine protection (a V hull is not the only way to defeat an IED)”

Yeah, with transverse torsion bars for suspension which are probably the worst possible suspension design if you want added mine protection.

“even the original ASCOD suspension is being changed.”

Better make those torsion bars stiffer if you’ve got to hold a potential 42 tons up instead of 28.

“What more do you want?”

I want better. A properly designed scout vehicle rather than a warmed over late eighties MICV. I want a decent base armour package, externally mounted, sacrificial hydragas suspension to not only lower the profile but increase the mine protection and be easily adjustable depending upon the weight of the vehicle – and those are just the simple things without even going near band tracks and hybriid electric drives.

“UK Armoured Vehicles policy has been catastrophic, the decision of the Labour government to deconstruct the UK armoured vehicles industry was insane”

Agree completely with all of that, Bob.

“ASCOD-SV will combine all the best armoured vehicle components currently on the market in a package that is both world beating and not overly technologically challenging.”

Disagree with a lot of that! (except the technologically challenging bit. The basic hull is already obsolescent)

“Finally, what people here also do not seem to understand is that the recce vehicle is only one variant”

But we do. And its rather the point. Pay a vast amount of money for APC’s and recovery vehicles that are based on an obsolescent hull? Damn it the AS90 hull is more advanced than ASCOD-SV!

“The new automotive components (with high power to weight ratio), and the wide turret ring will make it an excellent base platform”

It’ll be a platform comparable to a Warrior with a modern drive train It’ll be heavier and carry applique armour that is more effective (and so it should be after 25 years of development) but then so would a Warrior if it had the drivetrain upgrades that have been made to ASCOD.

You seem to think the scorn poured on ASCOD-SV and it’s comparison to Warrior is due to ignorance. It isn’t. TD contributors are probably as well informed as anyone outside GDUK and the MoD can be and the information and press releases from GDUK portray a vehicle that is astonishingly average in all respects except it’s ability to have ever large sheets of external armour hung off it.

IXION
IXION
August 27, 2011 8:31 pm

BOB

Its not ASCOD hate, It’s Bullshit hate

And it’s not hate do not take natural scepticism for irrational hate lets look at a few things.

1) You started the whole ‘it’s vastly suppperior to everything else’ school. All that has happened is you have been asked to justify some of that implication.

Your post above goes someway to doing that, remeber I said 2 cheers for it, lukewarm praise is not hatred…

‘The idea that you could upgrade a Warrior and get the same capabilities is absurd,’

Never suggested that.

‘ASCOD-SV will have superior mobility and protection to the Warrior.

After 30 years it better have.

‘In addition FRES-SV will specially designed appliqué armour sections that can be installed and removed with ease rather than the awkward UOR lash ups currently on Warrior’

Again this is not rocket science, it happens already.

‘Sure ASCOD-SV is still essentially a diesel powered box- so were the tanks that went into action on the Somme’

Mk1 and subsiquent tanks had Petrol Engines.

Also it should be a peice of cake to incorperate perfectly streight forward mechanical advances,

‘However ASCOD-SV will leverage its transmission and the Rheinmettal turret is new to the market and clearly takes design and engineering experience from the Puma turret’.

So we are paying half a billion for something on which the Germans have already done most of the design for….

Ditto comments about engines and transmissions etc.

You do seem to be trying to have your cake and eat it!

In other words it will be superior to everyone elses.

on The other hand

‘So to be clear ASCOD-SV uses the Puma Transmission, the Boxer engine, a brand new design Rheinmettal turret, it will have the latest Thales sights (based on Catherine MP thermal imagers’

It’s using already developed components.

‘ASCOD-SV will combine all the best armoured vehicle components currently on the market in a package that is both world beating and not overly technologically challenging.’

So its a parts bin special (I exagerate for emphasis).

So whats my half a billion gone on. and and when can I get one and whats the unit cost going to be?

Rather like the Old carling Black Label adverts

It’s Good but it’s not that good.

Bob
Bob
August 27, 2011 8:43 pm

The only person not reading here is Pete Arundel, ASCOD-SV is just as modern as Puma and it is pure ignorance to suggest otherwise- perhaps you would explain how it is not? And yes they are the best armoured vehicle components on the market- unless you can find some better ones? Perhaps you could also explain exactly how, in technical terms, how the highly evolved ASCOD chassis will be less advanced than a Puma chassis- just shouting ‘because it is old!!!’ does not count. And by the way, the ASCOD chassis is being upgraded for ASCOD-SV, how do you think it is getting to a stretch 42 tonne GVW?

If you wanted to make Warrior as advanced as ASCOD-SV you would need a new engine, new transmission, new armour, the new turret, the new data network, improved electricity generation capability, and then a modified chassis to take all the weight- basically a new vehicle. And then you would still have to procure several hundred new platforms to provide all the other roles required of the FRES-SV base platform. ASCOD-SV has increased mine protection- it was a key programme requirement and will have much better protection than any Warrior. ASCOD-SV has already completed a round of MoD blast tests.

IXION

Why should it not use developed components? Bolting parts together and making them work together costs money, especially when even the base platform is being far more than “warmed over” (to quote the ill-informed and deliberately misleading phrase of Pete Arundel). If you think you can get the capability offered by ASCOD-SV cheaper then you are seriously mistaken.

Pete Arundel
Pete Arundel
August 27, 2011 8:45 pm

I should say, Bob, that from my point of view the problem isn’t that ASCOD-SV is a bad vehicle as such, just that it’s not a great vehicle for the amount of money being spent and the ludicrous claims made by some about it’s proponents – yourself included.

John Hartley
John Hartley
August 27, 2011 8:58 pm

Ascod/Scout is costing too much to develop & will weigh too much to deploy.
The Panhard Sphinx would do the job just as well & is only 17 tons. It was designed to the latest IED/ballistic protection standards.
I would like to see it licence built in the UK.

Bob
Bob
August 27, 2011 9:05 pm

Pete Arundel,

Perhaps you could explain how it is costing too much then, rather than just saying that it is? And what ludicrous claims? You have been unable to disprove any claims yet.

John Hartley,

Same question to you as to Pete Arundel, also:

1) Panhard Sphinx only exists as a mockup and will not provide the multitude of variants that the ASCOD-SV will whilst a tracked platform will provide ASCOD-SV with superior mobility.

2) Weigh too much to deploy? How on earth do you work that out? Most armoured vehicles are taken into theatre by ship and then by land, it is very rare for them to be flown in (Afghanistan being almost unique) and Challenger (plus the associated engineering etc vehicles) and AS90, both of which are heavier, have been deployed to far flung combat zones just fine. Furthermore, the 42 tonne stretch weight is just that, maximum potential GCW for the chassis, most of the variants will spend most of their lives considerably below that weight.

John Hartley
John Hartley
August 27, 2011 9:14 pm

Bob
For the bulk of the British deployment in Afghanistan there has been little UK armour & far too many light LandRovers. Only after much criticism have Warriors been finally deployed.
Given the cost & delay, the proposed Ascod variants are unlikely to survive the Treasury.
The RAF has only 7 C-17s, so new armour needs to be deployable by A400M. Ascod/Scout can just, but there is little room for weight growth. Why spend money on a lardbucket that is hard to move?

Pete Arundel
Pete Arundel
August 27, 2011 9:23 pm

“ASCOD-SV is just as modern as Puma and it is pure ignorance to suggest otherwise- perhaps you would explain how it is not”

I just did. Or are you claiming that ASCOD-SV isn’t actually an ASCOD at all?

“Perhaps you could also explain exactly how, in technical terms, how the highly evolved ASCOD chassis will be less advanced than a Puma chassis- just shouting ‘because it is old!!!’ does not count”

I haven’t advocated Puma in any way shape or form. I think Puma’s pretty pedestrian too as it’s only outstanding feature is it’s weight.

“And yes they are the best armoured vehicle components on the market- unless you can find some better ones? ”

Suspension-wise I certainly can. Engine and transmission I have no problem with except that, as the belgians proved 30 years ago, a hybrid electric transmission would be better.

“And by the way, the ASCOD chassis is being upgraded for ASCOD-SV, how do you think it is getting to a stretch 42 tonne GVW?”

Stiffer torsion bars and new drivetrain. If it’s a new hull then it’s not an ASCOD, is it?

“if you wanted to make Warrior as advanced as ASCOD-SV you would need a new engine, new transmission, new armour, the new turret, the new data network, improved electricity generation capability, and then a modified chassis to take all the weight- basically a new vehicle”

Errr . . . isn’t that what you’re claiming has been done for ASCOD-SV? You have just proved my whole point. ASCOD-SV is, basically, an austro-spanish, upgraded Warrior.

Can’t you get this into your stubborn brain, Bob, it’s not ASCOD-SV that is the problem, as such. A CV90, Puma, Bionix or any other modified MICV would have been just as lacklustre. It’s not even GDUK’s fault since they produced the polished turd that is ASCOD-SV in responce to a specification drawn up by the MoD.

Are you, by the way, claiming some sort of inside knowledge on ASCOD-SV? You are most vehement in you defence of it in a way I have only ever seen before when Bell-Boeing employees have been defending the V-22 against internet forum criticism.

Bob
Bob
August 27, 2011 9:23 pm

John Hartley,

I repeat: It is very rare for armoured vehicles to be deployed by air- Afghanistan being something of an exception, most of the time they are deployed by land and/or ship. Again, deploying the heavier Challenger 2 and AS90 to Iraq was perfectly possible as well as into Germany. It is not a “lard bucket that is hard to move”. As I have said already ASCOD-SV will be much lighter than the 42 tonne maximum potential GVW of the chassis and the armour package will be modular so if the need for airlifting does ever arise it will be entirely possible.

Bob
Bob
August 27, 2011 9:33 pm

Pete Arundel,

ASCOD-SV is being built from new, Warriors would have to be rebuilt- a completely different prospect.

You have not proved anything, just shouted a lot. The fact that you think Puma is pedestrian suggests that you have been playing too many computer games. Hybrid Electric has its own basket of problems and has been rejected by virtually everybody except the US Army to date. The development of anything more advanced would be completely unaffordable and unnecessary ASCOD-SV is certainly not a polished turd and the end result will be one of the best armoured fighting vehicles in the world. An upgrade it is not, a major evolution it is. Warrior was always a horrid compromise having a ridiculous unstabilised gun, it never got the armour package originally wanted and the engine design is ancient. Even if the UK was only acquiring Ulan/ASCOD it would still be getting a design 10 years younger and a generation ahead of the Warrior, but it is actually getting something a whole lot better.

I have never claimed to have inside knowledge of the ASCOD-SV, that you claimed I did say that is testament to the poor quality of your character.

IXION
IXION
August 27, 2011 9:50 pm

BOB

OK OK it the sun shines out it’s exhaust pipe, whatever.

Its still stupidly expensive

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 27, 2011 10:09 pm

Starting off with Mike W’s point
“cannot see the numbers stacking up. First of all you are going to need approximately 5 x 60 = 300 Warriors for the Armoured Infantry battalions, then approx. 5 x 80 = 400 Warriors as replacements for the CVR(T)s (all variants) in the Formation Reconnaissance regiments. That is 700 already and I have not included the CVR(T)s needed in the Armoured regiments (another 5 x ,say, 15 = 75 . Total so far = 775. And won’t some of those Warriors be needed to replace some of the Bulldog/432s that will be going? ”

Going back to my own post on Future of the the Army 04 – Structures:
QUOTE the MRB remains as nebulous as ever…each one would include the “hard fist” of an armoured battle group:

1. capable of traversing 300 km with internal support, and then battle ready, even for offensive operations
2. being about 1900 in overall strength, ie. slightly bigger than an infantry-centric BG (a la EU)
3. HQ elements 30 +230, the latter for signals , medical and a recce coy
4. MBT element of 38, plus another ten Scouts in standard, mast and protected mobility configurations
5. An AI element of about the same number of IFVs (improved Warriors that is to be) as under “4″ END QUOTE

So:
300 Warriors for the AI 5 bn’s (make that 340 for 10 % in workshops, or deeper maintenance)
– double counting of these in Mike’s and in my numbers, 245 in mine so less than a hundred under the “floated” MoD intended number (with turrets)

Add 50% on top of that with no gun upgrade but keeping the specialist versions not only going, but upgraded (eg. RA 544 edition)

All Warriors gone then! As per Mike W figures 400 more to keep FRR’s going
=> Question
– the first 50 to 75 definitely needed
– is it not better to reconfigure the FRR’s and then see how many more needed for that (recognising that we are ordering a family, not just the Scouts)

Bob
Bob
August 27, 2011 10:11 pm

IXION,

So say how it is stupidly expensive? As a reference point, the five Puma prototype vehicles came in at 350 million Euros (that does not include the original 2002 development contract and of course needs inflating + remember that the UK is getting seven prototypes) and the production contract was valued at 3.1 billion Euros in 2009. The US has just released the first round of GCV contracts, roughly $440 million each and they expect to spend $7.6 billion on research and development in total for the programme, the target production unit cost was set at $10.5 million maximum and is already being estimated at $13 million. Depending on who you believe a Mastiff/Ridgeback comes in at as much as £1 million by the time everyone has finished with it and even a Foxhound does not come is £900,000 and a Warthog over a million. Modern armoured vehicles are expensive.

John Hartley
John Hartley
August 27, 2011 10:14 pm

Bob
Look at the attacks in Pakistan on NATO supply ground columns to Afghanistan.
If the enemy gives us enough time & attacks near an allied port, then armour can go by sea. If the enemy is an unsporting cad that attacks without warning deep inland, then armour needs to be light enough to go by air.

Pete Arundel
Pete Arundel
August 27, 2011 10:17 pm

Bob, I know that warrior isn’t in production. Warrior is just a baseline example; a comparison.

ASCOD-SV is based on an old hull
It’s base armour is no better than a Warrior or any other MICV

ASCOD-SV uses off-the-shelf engine and transmission. The engine is the latest version of the engine that is already fitted in the Austrian Army’s ASCOD (Ulan) vehicles. The primary armament is already fitted in the new turret that’s going to be fitted to Warrior.

All this off the shelf kit fitted into a hull that already exists and the cost for 7 prototypes is half a billion pounds. Boy did GD see the MoD coming!

If, by the way, new build warriors were available would you still chose ASCOD? A new build, upgraded Warrior would be pretty much the same as ASCOD-SV – which is the whole point. A moot point, of course, since Alvis and Vickers no longer exist.

Mike W
August 27, 2011 10:18 pm

@Bob

Your opponents seem to be conceding either directly or by implication, some areas in which the Ascod FRES SV is superior to the Warrior:

e.g “The Transmission is new, I’ll give you that one”

“ASCOD-SV will have superior mobility and
protection to the Warrior.
Mobility, yes,”

So transmission and mobility are admitted to be superior. Then there is your own point, Bob, about the engine power: ASCOD – 805hp compared to 550hp for Warrior. With that increase in hp it should be able to take much heavier and more effective appliqué armour sections, so protection too should be superior. So is some kind of pattern beginning to emerge? And is manufacturing new-build ASCODs with modern components a better bet than modernizing a much older vehicle like the Warrior? Re-furbishing that vehicle will still only provide one which will reach block obsolescence many years before its more modern rival.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 27, 2011 10:24 pm

Sorry for my poor formulation, this part was about (immediate) ASCOD SV order numbers:
“All Warriors gone then! As per Mike W figures 400 more to keep FRR’s going
=> Question
– the first 50 to 75 definitely needed
– is it not better to reconfigure the FRR’s and then see how many more needed for that (recognising that we are ordering a family, not just the Scouts)”
… and I am not saying 400+75, but to think, reconfigure (maybe some reuse, too) and then order (including the mix between versions)

Bob
Bob
August 27, 2011 10:36 pm

John Hartley,

As I have already said twice before, Afghanistan is very much an exception and ASCOD-SV is not going to be as heavy as the 42 tonne chassis stretch GVW limit suggests. If one is serious about airlifting a usable number of vehicles then the UK would have to acquire nothing but Jackels. Both the Challenger and AS90 (both heavier than the ASCOD-SV) have been successfully deployed overseas multiple times and the Warrior has recently been deployed successfully in Afghanistan.

Pete Arundel,

The mine protection of the ASCOD-SV will be far in advance of the Warrior as will its ability to take appliqué armour (a design feature rather than a UOR lash up), so what if it uses off-the-shelf kit? All that kit is a generation if not more ahead of that on the Warrior. £500 million may sound like a lot, but as I outlined above, in armoured vehicle terms it is really not that shocking at all. Not only have all the various systems and components got to be integrated, detail design performed etc but the various hull improvements have to be made.

“If, by the way, new build warriors were available would you still chose ASCOD?”

An excellent question. The British Army announced years ago that it intended to procure thousands of new armoured vehicles through to 2035 and beyond (FRES-SV/UV to 2035 and then heavy armour replacement), in doing so it made the UK one of the highest value armoured vehicle markets in the world. Then the MoD declared through the Defence Industrial Strategy that the UK did not need the ability to design and build armoured vehicles from scratch. This is possibly one of the worst policy decisions ever made in UK defence procurement, it defies any logic and is why it took the UK so long to respond credibly to the IED threat (compare with the US MRAP effort) and is why the Army has been scratching around looking for technical solutions from the motor-sport industry. In short, I absolutely believe that the UK should have its own indigenous armoured vehicles industry. Whether it was a highly evolved Warrior (check out Warrior 2000 as offered to Switzerland) or a clean sheet British design is of little consequence. ASCOD-SV is the best that can be expected following the catastrophic DIS decision, at least the design authority and IP will remain in the UK along with most of the final assembly.

Mike W,

Exactly. Not to mention there are not enough Warriors in existence to provide all the platforms required for the FRES-SV programme.

Mike W
August 27, 2011 10:40 pm

Arundel

“If, by the way, new build Warriors were available would you still chose ASCOD? A new build, upgraded Warrior would be pretty much the same as ASCOD-SV – which is the whole point”

With due respect, Pete, that is not “the whole point”. The “whole point” is that such a vehicle (a new-build Warrior) is not available. If it were, I’d have to think again but the production lines have been dismantled and will not return. The point is that the present Warriors are full of 25-year-old components and they will wear out much sooner than those in a new vehicle. Even if you installed a modern engine,transmision, etc. they would still be much older vehicles and we should pay for that in the future.

By the way, this present discussion is by far the best informed and most interesting I have read for a long time.

@acc’

I shall have have a think about your points and numbers before I answer.

Pete Arundel
Pete Arundel
August 27, 2011 10:53 pm

Bob, what I and others have been at pains to point out is that ASCOD-SV is nothing special. In respect to it’s suspension I maintain that, for the British Army, it’s a retrograde step.

This statement from you is the crux of all that I am arguing against; “The reality is that it combines the most modern automotive, firepower and sensor components into a hull that is being designed from the outset to incorporate the latest protection requirements. The idea that you could upgrade a Warrior and get the same capabilities is absurd, that vehicle is 30 years old”

The basic ASCOD vehicle that ASCOD-SV is based upon is no better than Warrior. ASCOD-SV will use, basically the same engine as the original ASCOD. To say that upgrading Warrior in the same fashion that you say ASCOD is being upgraded ‘is absurd’ is, well absurd. The whole FRES program is a farce and will, even if ASCOD-SV is adopted (which I doubt) will result in the British Army getting a vehicle which will be a very poor scout vehicle(too tall, too heavy)but probably adequate as an APC.

John Hartley
John Hartley
August 27, 2011 10:54 pm

Bob
The world & his wife seems to be building new 7.5 to 22 ton IED resistant armoured vehicles, that are easy to deploy, so why are we sticking with a heavy, difficult to deploy option?
There are rumours of murky deals with Ascod. Have no idea if they are true, but we could do with some independent transparancy on how Ascod was selected & if there are better choices out there.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 27, 2011 10:54 pm

RE “have a think about your points and numbers before I answer”
– turreted Warriors go down in number by abt a hundred, because of reorg
– that number is absorbed in the otherwise ‘ to be upgraded’ Warriors, out of the usable fleet (unknown as a total)
– all recce (within armoured formations or in FRR’s) is carried out by ‘non-Warrior’ platforms; equally, not all of these will be FRES Scouts

Just to clarify how I got to my numbers; and the residual requirement (functional; not just numbers)

Pete Arundel
Pete Arundel
August 27, 2011 11:00 pm

Sorry, Mike, it is the point; that point being that for a supposedly new vehicle being procured 30 years after Warrior it shows very little in the way of technical improvement and, as a scout vehicle, is much too big and much too heavy.

Bob
Bob
August 27, 2011 11:06 pm

Pete,

Except it is special compared to everything else currently in service with the British Army and with most other militaries around the world, it may not be a hybrid drive hover tank armed with lasers but is the best that the global armoured vehicles industry currently has to offer without a very expensive R&D effort. ASCOD is much better than a Warrior, Warrior’s armament is a joke (an unstabilised gun using ammunition clips) and its power pack is a generation older (not as power dense). Its baseline protection was not even what was wanted in 1980 let alone today. And that is just ASCOD, ASCOD-SV takes this superiority even further. As I have already stated, making a Warrior as capable as an ASCOD-SV would involve stripping it down to its base chassis, strengthening that chassis, designing a whole new armour package, replacing all the automotive components, rearranging the internal layout (fuel tanks electronics etc) on top of the new turret. In essence a new vehicle. And that still leaves the problem of there not being enough Warriors in existence to provide enough platforms for all the roles required under FRES-SV. Warrior can not be FRES-SV even if you can modify it into a less capable recce vehicle than the recce version of FRES-SV. ASCOD-SV is a massive technical improvement over Warrior, its power-pack, its transmission, its sensors, its armament, its protection, its data-network, all superior.

Why would it be poor as a scout vehicle? The US Army uses the Bradley in that role and it is a hulking beast size wise, weight is not as inhibiting as people like to think as long as the ground pressure is kept low and power to weight ratio kept high (with 805 hp it should be) so there is absolutely no reason to think it will be a poor scout vehicle. Furthermore the combat weight of ASCOD-SV will be less than the 42 tonne maximum chassis GVW. Also, within the multirole brigades it will be supported by a light recce vehicle such as the Jackal or Foxhound.

Bob
Bob
August 27, 2011 11:11 pm

John Hartley,

Really? Check Puma, Boxer and GCV, certainly not 22 tons and as I have already said ASCOD-SV will not be difficult to deploy, once again please see the successful deployment of Warrior, Challenger and AS90.

Pete Arundel
Pete Arundel
August 27, 2011 11:44 pm

Sorry, Bob, I feel that I am banging my head against a wall. We keep arguing round in circles. I obviously don’t understand what point you are trying to make and you certainly have no clue about what I’m saying since you keep repeating the same things as if they in some way address what I’m saying.

Tony Williams
Tony Williams
August 28, 2011 3:16 am

A few corrections to some apparent misapprehensions:

Upgrading Warrior: the Warrior is being mildly upgraded already “Over 70 vehicles have been modified for the British Army by BAE Systems as part of an Urgent Operational Requirement. The tracked vehicles have been given around 30 new improvements under the Warrior Theatre Entry Standard (HERRICK) [TES (H)] programme worth around £40m, including:

• a flexible modular armour system that can be adapted to meet changing threats and reduce vehicle weight

• enhanced seating design and cushioning to further improve mine protection and comfort

• an improved driver vision system with an increase from one to three periscopes, providing a wider field of vision and a night-vision capability

• increased low-speed mobility and climbing performance, enabling the vehicle to tackle tough terrain and get closer to a target or destination

• motorsport-derived carbon fibre brakes, providing significantly reduced stopping distance

• improved air conditioning for troop comfort in hot and harsh environments

• wire cutters to protect the driver, commander and equipment on the vehicle from obstacles.”

But this is superficial compared with WCSP (Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme) which has several elements, including: WFLIP (Warrior Fightability Lethality Improvement Programme) to improve turrets and sensors, and add firepower; WMPS (Warrior Modular Protection System) to add a modular armoring system; WEEA (Warrior Enhanced Electronic Architecture) to add a fully integrated set of modern, expandable electronics and communications gear.

It is a red herring to keep comparing FRES SV with the baseline Warrior, since we already have the WCSP upgrades planned and ready to go. FRES SV therefore needs to be compared with WCSP, and it is frankly dishonest to argue otherwise and pretend that Warrior cannot have firepower to match FRES SV, or a modular armour system, or an integrated electronic architecture. It will have all of those under WCSP.

Warrior’s life expectancy: WCSP is intended to see Warrior through to 2035, and that isn’t necessarily the end of the story. AFVs are rather like “grandfather’s axe” – bits keep being replaced when they wear out. After all, FV432 was introduced in the 1960s and is still going strong and even being upgraded.

The number of spare Warriors to convert for the recce role: we simply don’t know that because we don’t know the final size of the armoured forces (including MICVs and recce vehicles) which will result from the latest round of cuts. Indications are that the heavy armour will be facing significant reductions so there could be a lot of surplus Warriors sitting around, and not so many FRES SV being acquired.

FRES SV as the basis for a whole family of future vehicles: actually the plan has been for the FRES SV to consist of reconnaissance, engineering and battlefield medical variants. The APC and other requirements are to be met by FRES UV, which is (or rather was) a wheeled 8×8 vehicle.

To sum up:

1. I do not know if it would be practical in terms of numbers to adapt surplus Warriors for the recce role – and neither does anyone else at the moment, because we don’t know the future numbers.

2. I also do not know for sure that WCSP would make the basis for a recce vehicle to match FRES SV, but I’ve read nothing in this thread so far to convince me that it couldn’t.

It may be that a recce WCSP might not match FRES SV in every respect – I don’t know (and evidently neither does anyone else here) – but that isn’t the point as I see it. The point is this: how much would upgrading surplus Warriors to do the recce role (what might be called “WCSP recce”) cost compared with acquiring FRES SV, in terms of both initial and maintenance costs, and to what extent could it do the recce job required?

Again, I don’t know the answer to those questions (and neither does anyone else here) but they are ones which should be asked and answered if the imminent round of cuts leaves lots of surplus Warriors and a reduced requirement for FRES SV.

Bob
Bob
August 28, 2011 8:34 am

Sorry Tony but you are wrong on a number of levels. The TES-H is a nasty lash-up of a variety different bits and pieces that simply avoid the bits that cannot be fixed, the same applies to the wider sustainability programme. I appreciate that your area of expertise is firepower but it is only one area of armoured vehicles design. The fundamentals of Warrior’s mobility can not be fixed without a new automotive train and the amour solution is nowhere near as effective as you made out nor can it be made so due to the requirement of Warrior to carry seven infantry troops in addition to its less powerful engine (less weight available for armour) and there is only a limited amount that can be done to enhance its mine protection, so even if you complete WCSP you are still left with a less protected and less mobile vehicle. I have said this here several times, to give a Warrior the same mobility, protection and firepower as ASCOD-SV would require stripping its downs to its chassis, replacing the entire automotive train, reorganising the internal layout and installing an entirely new protection package as well as the new vehicle electronic architecture and turret. Finally you make the same mistake as most others here in assuming that FRES-SV is just about providing recce vehicles, it is not, it is about providing a base platform for a whole family of vehicles and as I have said multiple times there are nowhere near enough Warriors in existence to provide the number of hulls required without a truly massive reduction in both UK heavy and medium armour forces.

Pete Arundel,

You just keep shouting the same ill-informed statements over and over again, “its too expensive”, “its nothing special” etc. Yet as I keep pointing out it is the best that the global armoured vehicles industry has to offer and simultaneously avoids a GCV level of R&D.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 28, 2011 8:41 am

Thanks Tony, good to see all that information in one place.

Going back to the numbers, it would not make sense (?)to spend more money on those 70 TES H’s and anyway, if we get down to a training element only in A-stan by 2015, there will still need to be an OTH reserve force (as today)in Cyprus, for short-term handling of any serious trouble.
– I would leave them there (who knows what else will brew up closer to the shores of that island)

RA are also heavy users of Warriors, and would in fact like two to every fire control vehicle they have now. The reason is obvious: you do artillery and air from the same vehicle, which with satellite links and all other hi-tech is too cramped (supplying power has not been mentioned as a problem in trials, but the following things have:)
An armoured fire support team is able to operate
from a single vehicle [BUT:]
• In two vehicle configuration actual radio usage
increased by 25 per cent while perceived usage
increased by 106 per cent (read= true need?)
• Operating from a single vehicle, independent
sighting systems are required for the artillery and air controllers
• The advantages of two vehicles cannot be
maximised operating at battle group level(=too small a battle group)
• The fire support team require a mounted ability
to generate non line of sight target grids using
targeting software
• Ground to air radio must be integrated into the
BOWMAN vehicle communications harness (oh boy, that will cost?)
• A pan sight with GPS separated antennas and
inertial navigation system is able to generate
target grids to the accuracy required for precision munitions (so what’s the point of investing in the munitions if this kit does not get funded?)
• The ability to receive full motion video plays a
fundamental role in the provision of joint fires and should be enabled by WR514 platforms (Hellcats and Lynx 9As have the optics, but can they transmit?)
• Stowage capacity and hull-turret interface issues

These conclusions have been around since 2010 trials, and if funding go-ahead is secured
– I am sure the gun will be lost from the turret
– and, if the two vehicle option is chosen, the Warrior numbers available for other use further curtailed.

I believe Combat Engineers are also users and even a bridge-layer version is planned (as Terriers turned out unbelievably expensive and I think only 36 in all will be procured).
– I have no relevant source for this side of things, but maybe someone else knows

Lord Jim
Lord Jim
August 28, 2011 8:51 am

First off I believe the Fox turret were used to re-arm the Scorpions to create the Sabre, which didn’t seem to hang around that long due to a number of problems and force reductions.

Turning to FRES(SV), I just wish the whole FRES idea would be binned and it seems to have died a death already but the MoD is not willing to admit it.

Now Warrior. If the MoD/Army had been clever it would have used UOR funds to fast track a number of Warriors through the WCSP are urgent repacement fro the CVR(T). This would have got things moving and allowed any kinks to be ironed out. In addition it could give them a “Get out of Jail free”, card by allowing them to anounce the the WCSP platforms were a more affordable option to the ASCOD2 if they perfromed well in Afghanistan, and allow the former to proceed to the rest of the fleet and the latter to be cancelled.

“WE don’t have enough Warrior to replave the CVR(T)!” I hear you say, but in my reality we no longer need a MICV. Instead both the existing Armoured Infantry Regiments and Mechanised Infantry Regiments would be equipped with the Boxer in its various forms, though each regiment would have a “Recce” component of 6-8 vehicles as they do now with WCSP platforms instead of the current CVR(T).

Though the “WCSP Recce” would not carry an infantry section per see, it should retain the ability to carry 4-6 dismounts to increase flexibilty.

Finally Think Defence, could you provide me with an email address so I can send you the Orbat for the Medium Infantry Regiment I have developed and other units that could possibly form the FF2020 MRB. Cheers

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 28, 2011 8:53 am

Hi Bob,

What’s that “simultaneously avoids a GCV level of R&D”?
– most of the £500m for the prototypes must be R&D as the bits and bobs (sorry, I wrote that before I realised the context!)have been put on old (?) chassis, I understand, to prove the overall concept…why would we otherwise have seven prototypes (or are they all “partial” in some sense, and only proving a functionality at a time)?

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 28, 2011 9:02 am

BTW, I am not sure I have declared where I stand on this
– in a couple of weeks we will know more about numbers, but considering the specialist uses for Warriors, their numbers will be an effective constraint
– we will need a new recce vehicle and it is good if it can be the basis for an extended family later (does the protected mobility count as “recce” as well as it will be needed: ATGW, dismounted forward air controllers, snipers, mini-UAVs… you name it, even an HVM dismounted team, if there is a tacair threat)
– the “UOR” hybrid is great news, and I am sure they will find a home in the 16AAB, in the longer term

Bob
Bob
August 28, 2011 9:08 am

ArmChairCivvy,

Once again, I have already posted this, the US Army expects to spend $7.6 billion between 2012 and 2017 on R&D for GCV, compare to £500 million ($813 million) over the same length of time for FRES-SV.

Once again, Warrior can not be FRES-SV, there are not enough hulls- FRES-SV is a family of vehicles with four seperate variants and up to 600 hulls in recce block 1 alone with two other blocks with different variants also planned. Secondly WCSP will not provide the levels of protection or mobility that will come with FRES-SV without replacing the entire automotive train.

Terrier was £300 million for 60 vehicles so £5 million a vehicle. It is also far more British than either CV90 or ASCOD (Hull was fabricated by CORUS UK). However to form the basis of FRES-SV it would need an awful lot of very expensive design work, basically becoming an entirely new new vehicle and it only weighs in at about 31.5 tonnes compared to the ASCOD-SV stretch GVW of 42 tonnes but it does prove that there is at least a trace of indigenous armoured vehicle development capability left in the UK.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 28, 2011 9:09 am

Hi LJ,

A good solution “in my reality we no longer need a MICV. Instead both the existing Armoured Infantry Regiments and Mechanised Infantry Regiments would be equipped with the Boxer in its various forms, though each regiment would have a “Recce” component of 6-8 vehicles as they do now with WCSP platforms instead of the current CVR(T).”
– but would, fully costed, be in a totally different ballpark from what I have been proposing
– now, replace Boxer by BTR-90s and you will have more than halved the price tag

John Hartley
John Hartley
August 28, 2011 9:10 am

Bob
There are loads of designs that are far easier to deploy. Taking one at random. Malaysias new 8×8 , 16 tons (24.5 ton combat). It may not do everything Ascod does, but you can get it to where you need it.
What is the point of a 40+ ton wonder weapon stuck in a depot in Britain, while our troops are stuck in LandRovers in foreign hell holes?
I am not advocating we buy this Malaysian armoured vehicle, just pointing out there are more deployable options out there.
I would look at 17 ton Panhard Sphinx with its 40mm CTA gun for mobile firepower. That 19 ton wheeled IED resistant , troop carrier in prototype in Plymouth(name escapes me on a Sunday morning.)
Plus of course, upgraded Warrior.
These 3 would do most of what we need.

Tony Williams
Tony Williams
August 28, 2011 9:11 am

Bob: “The TES-H is a nasty lash-up of a variety different bits and pieces that simply avoid the bits that cannot be fixed, the same applies to the wider sustainability programme.”

Sorry, but I can’t take your opinions seriously if you come out with stuff like this. Of course the TES-H is a quick and cheap lash-up – that’s exactly what it was meant to be. As I said in my post, it’s superficial. But WCSP is in a different league and your description in no way applies to the firepower improvements (which is the part I know about in detail).

The “fundamentals of Warrior’s mobility” obviously aren’t that bad since the Army is keen to obtain WCSP which is intended to keep Warrior in service for another quarter-century. Even if it is subsequently decided to replace the engine and transmission, that is frequently done in AFV upgrade programmes and is obviously considered good value compared with buying new vehicles – or people wouldn’t do it. The fact that this is not proposed for Warrior indicates that it isn’t a priority.

I know that FRES-SV is not just about providing recce vehicles; as I said in my post, the plan has been for the FRES SV to consist of reconnaissance, engineering and battlefield medical variants. The APC and other requirements are to be met by FRES UV, which is (or rather was) a wheeled 8×8 vehicle.

So FRES SV is a “specialist vehicle”, as the name suggests, with the recce vehicle the principal one in terms of numbers. An entirely different vehicle is intended for the bulk purchase of APCs etc.

If I were a betting man I would confidently put money on an eventual FRES SV buy (assuming it goes ahead) of far, far fewer than 600 vehicles.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 28, 2011 9:19 am

Hi Bob,

We are in violent agreement (=friendly fire)?

You misunderstood my Terrier point (thanks for setting the numbers right; the first go at Terrier was written off after litigation by the MoD, and normally that part of the cost is swept under the carpet; except that NAO has full access to the books and contracts)
– I was just underlining how fully committed the total number of Warriors is, all uses considered

Good old USA! The average over the last decade written off YEARLY for cancelled procurement programmes is the same as our famous black hole in total, as estimated BEFORE sdsr decisions started to eat into it

Bob
Bob
August 28, 2011 9:28 am

Tony,

You can’t take my opinions seriously when I say something you agree with? Curious.

I never said Warriors mobility was terrible, I said that ASCOD-SV’s will be better. Combining an engine and transmission replacement with WCSP would end up being as expensive as FRES-SV as one would be rebuilding the entire vehicle and it would still be unlikely that you could squeeze the same protection levels out of it. The fact that it is not proposed for Warrior indicates that it would be expensive, especially given the UOR automotive changes that have been made to the TES-H vehicles to enable them to carry their extra weight. Also, you are wrong on the variants, under current plans there will be an APC version of FRES-SV in recce block 1 (protected mobility version) and the pre-SDSR numbers were for as many as 1,300 units of FRES-SV in total. The recce version will not be the “principle one in terms of numbers” at best it may be the most procured of up to 20 variants but it will certainly not be a majority of the overall buy. As an indication, recce block 1 is planned at 600 vehicles of which only 245 will be recce, the later blocks (2 [141 vehicles], 3 [280 vehicles] and manoeuvre support and medium armour [proposed numbers unannounced]) will likely not provide any additional recce variants beyond the 245 in recce block 1.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 28, 2011 9:35 am

Hi Bob,

Thanks for setting the versions right (confirmed my understanding).

I think you are on the wrong side of Tony’s bet
– “block 1 is planned at 600 vehicles of which only 245 will be recce”
– I make that 245 + 50% more units on top, in protected mobility

Bob
Bob
August 28, 2011 9:42 am

ArmChairCivvy,

What is your source? I have protected as one of the four variants in recce block 1. 245 Scout variants, repair, recovery and protected mobility. Based on the historical usage of that term in the British army protected mobility would be a turretless APC and that is that can be seen in GDUK imagery. It is my understanding that the scout version will not have capacity for dismounts and there is not an IFV variant (that being the role fulfilled by Warrior) It is possible that something similar to the scout variant may make a reappearance in medium armour but that would be pure speculation unless you have more information than I do?

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 28, 2011 10:21 am

Bob,
it was my personal view (for a shoe string budget, but also to keep the programme alive past 2015)
– it also factored in that the recce vehicles will need the dismounts (for reasons I explained); and that the std version (as you say) cannot take them
– with these numbers “certain”, the Army can proceed with “re-brigading”; they can’t form units that don’t have kit, and recce is certainly
required (in FRRs as well as within armour formations)
– without MRBs happening, the whole SDSR becomes a cover up for “the slaughter” of the army

IXION
IXION
August 28, 2011 10:54 am

BOB

I am going to summerise my views on this (and I think some of the views of some others)

FRES Program is a weapons grade, (see what I did there) Cluster fu*k

That is not the fault of ASCOD

ASCOD is a perfectly decent vehicle now, and as will be upgraded, it will be a good vehicle in the mechanical/ weapons and armament point of view. It will be the equal of anything in its class planned.

But there is an argument that for Reccie it’s too heavy. But that is not the fault of the vehicle. It is a choice made by the buyer. (One I happen to disagree with).

However

IT is a in many ways a parts bin special. OK made up of the very best parts available, it is still made up of mostly off the shelf parts (one or too of which will be further developed sure).

Now if I was building an armoured vehicle of any class that is how I would do it.

So why am I critical.

1) As I said you and other cheer leaders for FRES SV said.

‘The vehicle itself will be outstanding’

‘Yet as I keep pointing out it is the best that the global armoured vehicles industry has to offer ‘

No but it will be as good as anything else, and even if it is ‘the best’, it won’t be for long as technology will march on v quickly. Some humility from it’s proponants would be nice.

2) The unit cost. Of course it will cost multi millions a pop these things always do. (Although I still don’t see why but everyone elses does, so we are not gettting especially stiffed).

3) However and this is where you and I clash. If it’s made up from the good stuff lying around the european arms industry, being prooved on existing hulls, why are we paying hundreds of millions for that part ?

Like I said 2 cheers for this part of the program.

That is not irrational that is not hatred it is not ingorant. It is scepticism something that you have not allayed.

Bob
Bob
August 28, 2011 11:00 am

ArmChairCivvy,

The MRB’s will happen, there will just be less of them. It was around the MRB concept that the FRES-SV variant split was created, I suspect what we are going to see will be a reduction in the number of FRES-SV variants with some of the later more extravagant ones being scrapped and an overall reduction in the numbers procured of the remaining variants.

John Hartley,

Why do you persist with this deployability thing? As you have been told multiple times FRES-SV will be entirely deployable as has already been shown by Challenger, AS90 (Iraq and others) and Warrior and Trojan (Afghanistan). Lighter vehicles come with less protection and wheeled vehicles come with a reduced ability to traverse difficult terrain compared to tracked vehicles. Nobody will be driving around in Land Rovers with the numbers of Foxhound’s that will be floating around and just to reinforce the point- FRES-SV will be entirely deployable. Sphinx, as you have already been told, exists only as a mock-up and is a single role vehicle, FRES-SV is to provide a common base platform for multiple variants. The vehicle in Plymouth you refer to is the Ranger, it is an excellent MRAP but its design would make it difficult to adapt to other roles, for instance it is highly unlikely that it could take the ASCOD-SV turret.

Bob
Bob
August 28, 2011 11:10 am

IXION,

It is not too heavy, as I have explained before the 42 tonne figure is the headline maximum stretch GVW figure for the base platform, most of the time the scout variant will be around 30 tonnes perhaps a bit heavier (about the same as the Warrior which is being proposed for the role by others here), the vehicle will have an excellent power to weight ratio and as long as the ground pressure is being kept down (and one assumes the design work is doing just that) it should not suffer any adverse mobility characteristics. In addition, if something light really is required the recce elements of the MRB’s will also have a unit of Foxhound/Jackal in the recce role. Weight is not an issue.

Actually it will be the best that the global armoured vehicles industry has to offer and the vehicle is designed from the outset to easily take upgrades (there is a growth path for increased electricity generation and whole point of CIDS is that it makes the vehicle architecture plug and play). Watching the technology curve it is apparent that there is little on the horizon that in pure tech terms will beat it for some time with the possible exception of the very expensive GCV.

As I have also already demonstrated the £500 million for 7 prototypes is actually not that expensive at all. Secondly all those pieces need to be put together and the chassis evolved. The suspension is being changed, CIDS needs to be integrated, the turret needs to be developed to take the CTA gun and the Thales sights, that all needs to be plugged into the rest of the vehicle etc etc. There is also the matter of setting the relevant industrial infrastructure for assembly and future development (GDUK is developing its facilities to support this programme). £500 million looks like a big number, but in relation to the development of other high-end armoured vehicles it really is not (see earlier post about Puma and GCV and I would add the Altay MBT for which Turkey is investing at least $500 million and not doing anything particularly revolutionary), especially when it is prototyping multiple variants and developing the common base platform.

Tony Williams
Tony Williams
August 28, 2011 11:19 am

Bob,

I also don’t take people seriously when they deliberately misrepresent my position. I was not agreeing you when I said “But WCSP is in a different league and your description in no way applies to the firepower improvements (which is the part I know about in detail).”

To clarify my position:

1. No-one knows how many Warriors will be needed or how many FRES SV will be bought following the next review. I quote from Jane’s Defence Weekly, 27 July 2011: “A number of major issues must still be solved, including the final shape and size of the British Army armoured fighting vehicle fleet.” Given this, the previously planned procurement levels you quote mean very little.

Incidentally, this was also the article in which the Defence Secretary confirmed that several major projects would definitely go ahead, and he listed them. They included WCSP but not FRES SV. That doesn’t mean that FRES SV won’t be added later, but it indicates priorities.

2. If the size of the armoured force is reduced significantly from present plans (and it seems to be fairly low in the military pecking order compared with new warships and warplanes), leading to a considerably reduced need for Warriors and FRES SV, then it will be reasonable and sensible to re-evaluate the economics of certain decisions, including whether or not it would be economically more sensible to adapt surplus Warriors for the recce role. I’m not saying that it would be, just that it would need to be looked at.

In other words, I am raising questions here (ones which can’t yet be answered, but can be soon) not coming up with answers.

Bob you are very fond of making sweeping assertions without giving any evidence to back them, leaving us only with your unsupported word. Judging by some of the extreme statements you come up with, I must regard what you say with some scepticism until backed by evidence.

Bob