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michael
michael
September 16, 2011 7:13 am

It’s about time we had some return from the FRES investment wether this is the best vehicle is another matter The CV 90 series look more mature design but have they punished BAE systems for the inability to cancel the carriers ?
I do like the adding a 120mm gun/turret idea to offset the reduced MBT fleet

Gabriele
Gabriele
September 16, 2011 8:54 am

Same (or similar, i think he said…?) ground pressure of CVR(T)? Did i hear correctly…? How can this be achieved on a 34 tons vehicle? Tracks aren’t that wide to expand the contact surface so much. Am i missing something here…?

I don’t think Sandy said “eleven people”, but it is not too clear what exactly he says.
However, the requirement for Protected Mobility is 8 seats, and while it might be possible to fit 11, i really would not bet on it.

Also, they could give a bit more view of the back XD. Since they are showing it so freely to the visitors and it is not classified, they could well tell us some more about it.

Tubby
Tubby
September 16, 2011 8:56 am

Is it the new sigma RWS with the 30mm cannon and 7 LMM that we can see be demonstrated in the background at 2 minutes and 55 seconds?

Mark
Mark
September 16, 2011 9:25 am

Well ground pressures all well and gd but with cvrt2 at 12tns I can still take 3 in them in an a400m as apposed to 1 of these

andyw
andyw
September 16, 2011 9:54 am

At 1:03, he definitely says “troop carrier with 11 people in the back”

Pab
Pab
September 16, 2011 10:23 am

He definately said 11 in the back. 8 + 3 = 11?

Gabriele
Gabriele
September 16, 2011 10:27 am

“Is it the new sigma RWS with the 30mm cannon and 7 LMM that we can see be demonstrated in the background at 2 minutes and 55 seconds?”

It is. And isn’t it awesome to see it aiming at passing people…? XD

paul g
September 16, 2011 2:51 pm

and at 1.12 he gets a great pitch in for the 120mm turret which he says “will have the same firepower as a main battle tank” gotta give the bloke points for trying!!

Jed
Jed
September 16, 2011 3:36 pm

Come on TD, your not with the programme, repeat after me: “120mm breach loading mortar”….. :-) If your definitely “fire support” your not tempted to act like an MBT !

I think by 11 they did mean driver, gunner, vehicle commander plus 8 in the back – which is pretty good is it not ?

Mark
Mark
September 16, 2011 3:51 pm

Is this intended to replace warrior too. If thats the intent why do the warrior update im not sure we need or can afford both.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 16, 2011 4:14 pm

Why do demolition when you can terminate?

Take Chally2’s, make a three vehicle infantry support troop by putting this Terminator combo on two of the three
http://www.armyrecognition.com/russia_russian_army_light_armoured_vehicle_uk/bmpt_bmp-t_tank_support_infantry_fighting_combat_armoured_vehicle_technical_data_sheet_information_u.html
– and up-armour an AMOS turret for the third one (no hiding even behind large, if not tall, buildings, and no need to blow whole blocks down)

Fluffy Thoughts
Fluffy Thoughts
September 16, 2011 5:25 pm

Sorry, but did the numpty from GDUK say the last armoured vehicle developed in the UK was CVRT? I know that Warrior was sardined from Aluninium but so was the CVRT, no…?

As for TD’s point about the 165 (on Centurion AVRE): totally concur. Surely – given the ‘known-unknowns, et. al.’ we – as a nation – need to rebuild our [armoured] Engineer capability…?

[Frankfurt could be used as our testing ground!] :D

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 16, 2011 5:31 pm

Hi Mark,

RE ” why do the warrior update im not sure we need or can afford both.”
– even starting to decide about ASCOD SV order is three years away (oh bugger!); and the first batches will be for different roles from taht of the WR

paul g
September 16, 2011 5:34 pm

bugger was quick enough with edit! 105mm common round with light gun, also able to fire smart rounds and anti tank missiles (tested in scotland!!) capable of BLOS (beyond line of sight)as well for inf fire support (42 degree elevation) as well as direct fire on the move.

paul g
September 16, 2011 5:36 pm

frankfurt as a testing ground, good job this site avoids political issues or i would’ve suggested dale farm oops!…………..

Jed
Jed
September 16, 2011 5:44 pm

Paul G – problem is you fit this thing (105mm Cockerill) and someone is going to be tempted to make it fight likes is an MBT. In previous posts commentors have stated that low pressure/low recoil 105’s are not good enough to defeat modern threat armour with kinetic rounds, so you fall back to this previously unheard off Falarick laser guided missile – so you may as well fire it or IAI LAHAT from a 120mm smooth bore breach loading mortar, that does NOT have a ATFSDS round, and so your more likely (?) to treat it like fire support, and less like an MBT ????

Gabriele
Gabriele
September 16, 2011 5:52 pm

“need to rebuild our [armoured] Engineer capability…?”

With Titan, Trojan, and Terrier on the way and with 35 Maneuver Support Vehicles potentially on the way too?

No. The Engineers are the only ones in the Army which, overall, have no trouble at the moment in terms of equipment.

paul g
September 16, 2011 7:43 pm

just punting it out there big J, as TD was talking about 90mm which adds a calibre to our 105/155mm arsenal. Is it me or is it a bit suss that sandy bottoms, sorry sandy wilson touts 120mm and BAe are showing a new 120mm turret on a 8×8, hmmmmmmmmm!

Fat Man
Fat Man
September 16, 2011 8:03 pm

I had a peek in the back of FRES Scout while at DSEi. From the video footage you can see a large white electronics box on the right. On the left are two small mine resistant seats, but it would be an extremely tight squeeze (OK for Gurhkas or the national kitten swinging championship, but no room to swing a cat) and in reality the space will fill up with rucksacks, rations, etc. I was surprised how small the vehicle is in the flesh, not much larger than an FV432 and less imposing than Warrior. I would guess that the frontal armour is somewhat greater (40-45 mm?) in order to account for the weight (more than twice that of a Bulldog), but the rear armour seemed much like Warrior’s. The claims of low ground pressure are surprising, but the stand made play of there being 7 road wheels to spread the load.

Clearly the vehicle has the potential for a 3 crew + 8 man section if configured as a standard APC without a turret, but like TD I would be loath to deploy a 120 mm gun version. This will really be more akin to a tank destroyer than a proper tank, but might be good enough for bashing third world armies like Libya’s. No doubt the Army is hoping that one of the active protection systems like Iron Fist will make it survivable against a T-80, but you wouldn’t catch me inside one in those circumstances.

In any case, I don’t get too worked up. The recent problems of the CTA gun and the ever increasing cost escalation make this programme, along with the F-35 JSF, prime candidates for cancellation in the next public spending round. Scimitar 2 is the probable future I’m afraid.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 16, 2011 9:45 pm

The sensor fusion that I have been betting on
“the back of FRES Scout while at DSEi. From the video footage you can see a large white electronics box on the right. On the left are two small mine resistant seats”
– on the video one could only see “the fridge” so for a moment I was inclined to go with those who said “it’s (cold) beer in the back, nothing more”

RBM
RBM
September 17, 2011 1:00 am

FM
I’ve got to say you’re wrong about the size of the ascod vehicle, it is almost identical in size to a warrior. Though I’ll agree it is lower.

Straight off wikipedia;

Ascod
Length 6.24 m
Width 3.64 m
Height 2.43 m

Warrior
Length 6.3 m
Width 3.03 m
Height 2.8 m

admittedly the ascod measurements are with the original turret but I guess they will be comparable.

Also your comments on armour are odd. The armour of an ascod should be considerably thinner than a warrior. An ascod is steel and a warrior is aluminum, if it is the same thickness it will be about 3 times heavier.

Ant
Ant
September 17, 2011 2:15 pm

RBM and FM: Re: Also your comments on armour are odd. The armour of an ascod should be considerably thinner than a warrior. An ascod is steel and a warrior is aluminum, if it is the same thickness it will be about 3 times heavier.

Perhaps the armour is layered with perforated super bainite under the skin? 50% holes makes up some of the difference.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 17, 2011 3:04 pm

In the original commentary, I did not understand the importance attached to ball liners all around (against HEAT warheads; single or double?)
– is there something new here? Something that takes away from what the first layer (composite or not; alu or steel) needs to achieve?

Fat Man
Fat Man
September 17, 2011 7:26 pm

All I can say is that for whatever reason FRES Scout did not appear to be as chunky as a Warrior; defence shows commonly place vehicles in positions where you cannot get a good look at them or take decent photos. In this case GD had placed a large display panel along the RHS of the vehicle which meant you could not stand back to get a proper view, although you could walk around it close up.

One very obvious feature was a sizable shot trap between the hull and turret, about the right size for incoming 30 mm fire. This is nicely placed to jam or lift the turret. I thought this kind of undesirable design feature had gone out with the 1940 generation of armoured vehicles.

In terms of armour the rear door and hull edge appeared similar in thickness to Warrior, but you could not touch or enter the vehicle so it may have had a thick counter-IED spall lining or some other protective feature (internal special or titanium armour?) rather than solid steel. It all looks much the same once painted. Bear in mind that the FRES Scout can be uparmoured to around 42 tonnes, which is significantly greater than Warrior, which suggests the armour is heavier in parts (and I appreciate that aluminum will require greater thickness for the same ballistic protection). All I am saying is that FRES appears to be better protected, which I suppose fits in with GD’s prominent claim on the stand that it matches or exceeds Mastiff’s protection against IEDs.

paul g
September 17, 2011 8:30 pm

freeze the video at 0.41- 0.49 for a look at the gap fat man is talking about

S O
S O
September 17, 2011 11:22 pm

I read about 105 mm fire support?
Well, that makes me think of Abbott and FSCV…
http://www.panzerbaer.de/types/xy_fscv.htm

IXION
IXION
September 18, 2011 12:58 pm

I am a fan of the Abbot light gun.

IMHO

we should: –

1) convert from 114 to 105 and increase the rate of fire on our ships. That is ammunition commonality with army without a lot of the weight and recoil problems of 155

2) Look at some for of stug or turreted version of MICV for fire support of our infantry, armed with Isriali anti tank misiles designed to be fired from 105 gun tube (I forget the name).

I am sure there are problems with the above, but a 15 ton 105 tank destroyer/fire support vehicle has got to be of great utillity.

Pete Arundel
Pete Arundel
September 18, 2011 1:43 pm

I’ve never understood the point of the gun launched ATGW. With a HEAT warheads penetration being closely related to it’s diameter it seems silly to restrict it to 105mm or less in order to launch it down a gun barrel. You might as well use a 105mm HESH round. It’s not going to penetrate a modern MBT but then neither will a 105mm HEAT round but at least a hit from HESH will have chance of destroying optics, laser rangefinders and anything else that is outside the main armour.

Jed
Jed
September 18, 2011 3:21 pm

Ixion – backward step, and I really, really don’t understand why everyone thinks some notional ammo commonality between Army and Navy is either necessary or even a good thing. Backwards step because even less HE in the smaller shell, and reduced range – we probably want to be standing off as far as we can in many NGS scenarios, not coming closer in.

Pete – your right but your oversimplifying it a bit. HEAT effect is a function of diameter, but the two gun / tube launched missiles I am aware of, the IAI LAHAT and the new thing (Falarick ?) in the Cockerill video are “top attack” weapons. Their flight profile brings them down on the roof of the turret (or engine deck) where the armour is thinner. You can’t lob a HEAT / HESH round from a gun in that trajectory. Also, as far as I know, and I could be wrong, there are no gun fired HEAT rounds that have dual warheads. The missiles manage to pack in a small pre-cursor to activate/clear away the charges of a ERA system, saving the main charge to defeat the base armour.

So, as active defence systems are not yet a standard fitting, and as it’s very, very difficult to fit ERA to the top of a turret due to all the hatches, optics etc. I think you will find the manufacturers have done their research and found that 105mm shaped charges are still highly effective in top attack mode :-)

Oh and I think I read somewhere IAI are testing a 120mm diameter LAHAT (it used the 105mm was fired in a sabot type enclosure for the 120mm gun) – so even better if that is true !

Mr.fred
Mr.fred
September 18, 2011 8:29 pm

ArmChairCivvy,
I suspect that you mean spall liners.
The intent of these is to mitigate the effects of projectiles that penetrate the armour so that a single hit does not take out the whole AFV. They work on any threat and are not limited to shaped charge weaponry.

CVR(T) has minimal, if any, spall liners.

I think that it should also be remembered that the displayed chassis is a “mule” chassis, not the final, so the hull systems and the interface with the turret may not be correct.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 18, 2011 9:28 pm

Yes Mr. fred, that was the meaning (not a great typist).

I was just wondering, as some new and wonderful armour solution was supposed to come out (still might, as you say that one was just the mule).

At the same time the makers of the Ukrainian Oplot MBT claim that it is now proof against double-charge HEAT rounds. Difficult to believe, especially as they have not supplied any details.

Chris.B.
September 18, 2011 9:30 pm

This may seem like a silly question, but at any sort of range beyond about 500 metres I suspect a tank round would have to arc to hit the target? Could the weapon not be programmed to take a laser range finder reading from the nearest surface (such as the side) and then “add a bit on” for want of a better term, creating a situation where the round arcs down and strikes the top side of the tank.

I’m guessing as this isn’t standard practice there is probably a reason why that is so, just wondering what it is?

jed
jed
September 18, 2011 9:35 pm

Chris B

Tank guns are high velocity with very flat trajectory, out to 2 km plus you hit your aim point with not perceptible balastic arc to the trajectory :-)

Mr.fred
Mr.fred
September 18, 2011 9:39 pm

Chris B
Rounds from AFV guns travel at anything from 300-1700m/s.
At what downwards velocity does the vector make a decent angle for top-attack?

Chris.B.
September 18, 2011 10:25 pm

There’s the answer then – too flat!

Just wasn’t sure how much arc say a HEAT or HESH round would produce.

Monty
September 19, 2011 10:58 am

I too was at DSEi last week and had a close look at FRES Scout. As someone who served in Scimitars, I thought it was simply enormous. To me, the size was comparable to a Warrior, although there appeared to be less room in the back of the ASCOD chassis. I think you’d be pushed to get 8 men in the rear crew compartment. (BTW Sandy Woodward meant total complement of 11: 3 crew plus 8 infantrymen.)

While the frontal armour and side protection looked good, what was particularly worrying was the flat floor. I think it would provide only limited IED protection and certainly nothing much better than a Warrior.

If we really need a recce vehicle this big, then I do not believe that FRES Scout can do anything that an upgraded Warrior could not do. I accept that FRES’s ASCOD has a relatively newer chassis, including the German Puma MICV’s engine. The new 40 mm CTA cannon seems impressive.

I’ve identified nine different vehicles that are being proposed by GD:
(1) Recce vehicle
(2) Infantry combat vehicle
(3) Command post
(4) Ambulance
(5) Mortar
(6) Fire support
(7) ATGW platform
(8) REME recovery vehicle
(9) Bridge layer.

If ASCOD seems smaller than Warrior, this is because it is lower and more cramped. Length, width and weight are almost the same. Ultimately, I believe this programme can only be viewed as a new Warrior family via the backdoor. Once you’ve got the desperately needed Scimitar replacement on an ASCOD chassis, slowly introducing all of the other variants should be an easy sell.

Thanks to the SDSR we now have surplus Warriors. All Warriors need to be upgraded. Why cannot we improved the existing Warrior fleet and use a Warrior with a 40 mm CTA as FRES SV just as the US Bradley spawned M2 infantry and M3 reconnaissance variants? The core Warrior chassis is sound. It can easily be up-armoured or take new drivetrains.

I think the new family of vehicles should be wheeled not tracked. I’d rather see the money spent on the Piranha V family. Of course, if it is cheaper to buy ASCODs than to upgrade Warriors, then FRES SV as is makes sense.

The biggest possible mistake we could make with Warrior or ASCOD as a recce vehicle would be to view them as tanks. They are not. A 120 mm APFSDS round would make mincemeat of one.

Fat Man
Fat Man
September 19, 2011 9:04 pm

My photos of FRES Scout taken from the rear suggest that it has a thick (double skinned?) floor, which is presumably intended to offer protection against mine blasts. I would guess the intention is to use a crumple zone and some kind of corrugated or composite armour to prevent the upper floor bending too much. It might not save the vehicle but could prevent serious crew injury. Not sure I would wish to try the experience though. The headroom is clearly less than in Warrior. I have been thinking about RBM’s list of dimensions and I think the difference is thus:

a. The hull height of FRES appears less than Warrior. Standing next to it gave the feeling of a lower and less prominent vehicle, but the turret appeared higher than that of Warrior. It also has a large electro-optical sensor sub-turret mounted near the rear. The 7 closely packed road wheels give a shorter impression than the more spaced out 6 wheels of Warrior. The vehicle seems smaller than Warrior, I think perhaps because of the lack of high vertical sides, but I am happy to be corrected.

b. The length needs consideration. FRES has a large rear pannier on either side of the door that projects back about 60-70 cm beyond the rear of the vehicle. The right hand one appears to have the exhaust nozzle of the engine or an APU going through it. The panniers are well clear of the ground to allow the vehicle to climb steep slopes, but are firmly fixed to the vehicle and not the usual lightweight containers for rucksacks.

c. I wonder if the white box in the rear is actually just test equipment for the prototype and will be omitted from the production vehicles? This would fit in with the original claims that 4 personnel could be carried in the rear.

d. If 8 rear seats are fitted in an APC variant this will mean dispensing with the 40 mm CTA turret. Photos show that this occupies most of the internal volume of FRES and I suspect we will be back to mounting a remote control HMG rather than a cannon on such a vehicle. It will clearly be less spacious than Warrior (which is not saying a lot) and I can imagine that with all their kit the infantry would be happier with 6 rather than 8 in the back, a bit like Mastiff. I agree with Monty when he says cramped. Having such a small crew would force the Army to think more in terms of the Panzergrenadier concept of fighting from the vehicle rather than dismounting.

Monty is also correct in his view about the danger of using a 120mm FRES as a substitute tank. It might work in darkest Africa, but I would hesitate to take on even a T-54 in such a vehicle unless I had surprise on my side; the Army must really be depending on one of the Active Protection Systems such as Trophy or LEDS to stop FRES being instantly dismantled by a large calibre AP shot (and an old 1960-era 100 mm or 105 mm APDS or APCR round would do this just fine).

Despite Monty’s comments, I cannot see the money being available in the next 5-10 years for the acquisition of more than two hundred or so Scouts. There is just no stretch in the defence budget and I would not be surprised that (if we assume the programme actually survives the 2012 defence cuts) the Scout is the only variant to see service. For example going for the ATGW vehicle (‘Overwatch’) to replace the Striker/Swingfire is linked to acquiring a new heavy anti-armour missile. I just don’t believe the money is there to buy PARS or Spike-LR/ER.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 19, 2011 9:29 pm

Hi FM,

My view ” I cannot see the money being available in the next 5-10 years for the acquisition of more than two hundred or so Scouts. There is just no stretch in the defence budget and I would not be surprised that (if we assume the programme actually survives the 2012 defence cuts) the Scout is the only variant to see service” as well
– which does not mean to say that there could not be differently fitted out Scouts (that mysterious space in the back, and the fixed panniers)
— like sensors carried on the scout (remote controlled don’t-know-what they would be called; robots?); or an elevating mast
— sensor fusion for not just those things, but UAVs as well
– so that’s already 1. Scout with the operators in the back, 2. Scout with the robot and maybe +1 for it in the back, 3. Scout with mast +1 in the back; add a 4th type to support sneak & beak mode of operation, a Javelin “operator” and a sniper

Monty
September 20, 2011 11:32 am

Fat man,

Good post. Thank you.

GD Europe was very much promoting ASCOD as a complete AFV family to replace all vehicles in the CVR(T) range. They’ve already invested in developing different variants so most could be almost off-the-shelf purchases. There certainly isn’t the cash to buy other variants now, but new money will be available from 2020, which is probably the true in-service date for SCOUT SV – if it survives the next round of cuts.

I don’t believe ASCOD is an ideal CVR(T) replacement. It is basically no more than a modified MICV chassis, not a purpose-designed medium weight recce vehicle family.

BTW, the APC version is i believe higher than the SCOUT SV and doesn’t have the 40 mm CTA turret.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 20, 2011 11:37 am

Hi Monty,

Certainly “doesn’t have the 40 mm CTA turret.”
– have you found specs for it (other than the outline graphics)?

Monty
September 20, 2011 11:43 am

I forgot to mention that BAE Systems had the Scimitar 2 on display. As shown elsewhere on TD, this is no more than a Spartan with Scimitar turret. But it does offer comparable protection to FRES SV according to BAE. Although much taller than a Scimitar its overall signature is smaller than FRES.

In short, it is a bastard vehicle that is likely to be top heavy and compromised across many areas. However, it is likely to be relatively inexpensive to convert the existing fleet to this spec. I wouldn’t be surprised if something like this usurp’s FRES SV.

Monty
September 20, 2011 11:44 am

@ArmChairCivvy,

No, I gleaned this by talking to the GD Europe guy on the stand.

bob
bob
September 23, 2011 11:50 am

Some points,

1) As I explained in a previous post the space for dismounts is being designed out to provide more space for systems and the vehicle crew. This video demonstrates that.

2) Ground pressure, ASCOD-SV uses double road wheels for a total of 28, I know shock horror some people in the MoD and industry also think about mobility.

3) Further to mobility, I am told that am told that following an internal study (MoD) that a longer tracked vehicle will actually have better cross country performance than a shorter one.

Monty,

The reason for all the variants being offered by GD is because that is what FRES is. The recce version is just one variant- the key to the programme is the common base platform.

Fat Man,

One of the 4 versions in recce block 1 is an APC (called protected mobility by the Army and it is most definitely not an MICV) that dispenses with the turret- this is no secret or conspiracy it is part of the programme and one of the seven prototypes will be thus configured.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 23, 2011 11:57 am

Hi Bob,

What about the other six? RE: ” one of the seven prototypes will be thus configured.”
– are some just test beds for some installed system, rather than “complete” versions (whether x or y, no matter)

bob
bob
September 23, 2011 12:50 pm

ArmChairCivvy,

The seven prototypes will consist of the following:

Scout x 3
Repair x 1
Recovery x 1
Protected Mobility x 1
Common Base Platform x 1

My understanding is that the vehicle displayed at DSEi is not a prototype vehicle but a test mule chassis.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 23, 2011 1:00 pm

Thanks Bob,

As you know from these pages I have been betting on a fairly small initial order, just to keep the programme going and training started.

Logic would dictate that it would not (initially) be spread across the four types, and perhaps (just guessing) these two
Repair x 1
Recovery x 1
left for later.

paul g
September 23, 2011 1:16 pm

I would guess that of the variants (not prototypes) bridgelayer and ambulance will be consigned to file 13 first. With regards to repair/recovery, although th samson (CVRt REME variant) is included in the Mk2 tart up i doubt very much it could recover an ASCOD so a recovery version would go ahead so as to provide the necessary cover, yes there will be surplus warrior variants around post SDSR draw down but then an ASCOD regiment would have to carry 2 sets of spares, therefore not really practical.Also with bulldog sitting around in tank parks in the UK doing sweet fanny adams, i assume it’s days are numbered, hence the protected mobility version being tested. This theory ties in with bob’s comment 2 up from this ref the what the prototypes are.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 23, 2011 2:52 pm

RE “with bulldog sitting around in tank parks in the UK doing sweet fanny adams, i assume it’s days are numbered, hence the protected mobility version being tested.”

I must say I was “quite taken aback” when I learned that by May 2008 500 hundred of them had been upgraded
-may be more, at least that many
-a hundred, even two, would have been OK – just for the jobs being dealt with

I would think, though, that it will be a while before an MI bn sees any FRES SV (recce, armour taking priority).

If you have AI bns on Warriors, then the artillery observation Warrior would make sense for them. perhaps also for RAC Rgmnts. But why would BRR’s be on ASCOD and have a couple of Warriors in tow?
– the answer to that question leads me to the next question, why is Command Post version more important/ more urgent?

bob
bob
September 23, 2011 3:12 pm

There are 900 Bulldog Mk3s. I expect them to remain in service well beyond 2020.

The protected mobility element of FRES is to support the other FRES vehicles, it is not a replacement for Bulldog or FRES-UV. However, because I love tracks and heavy armour I would like to see FRES-SV protected mobility replace FRES-UV- it is pure fantasy and I shall not defend the position.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 23, 2011 4:46 pm

That “There are 900 Bulldog Mk3s. I expect them to remain in service well beyond 2020” is the sad part of it
– the fact that the refurb contract was v good value does not change the age of them
– we could put a couple of MI bn’s on MRAPS, another one on Warthogs… without mentioning WFM, deploy whatever best suits the job/ terrain? Not get too dogmatic about this MRB ‘thingy’
– dogmatic is probably the wrong word as no fdefinitive piece about “it” is to be found?

Fat Man
Fat Man
September 23, 2011 6:40 pm

@ Bob
I didn’t say the APC or Protected Mobility version was a MICV. What I said is that given the likely internal space (which may be higher, but won’t be longer or wider, other then the area currently occupied by the turret basket) that the Army might end up with fewer aboard and might have to consider different tactics. A 6-7 man section on the ground is really too fragile. You just have to consider the way the USMC has maintained 13 man squads and the US Army 9 man ones.

For those interested General Dynamics runs a FRES Microsite at http://www.generaldynamics.uk.com/FRES/ although I note this does not seem to have been updated since July 2010, which may tell another story.

I remain unconvinced that the UK in its parlous economic state and reduced defence budget will ever be able to afford more than a small number of FRES at best. If it can I would bet the turreted Scout is the only version to see service. Readers may have all kinds of acquisition aspirations, but we should accept we are back to the 1930s in economic terms and unless a new Hitler comes along (China?) we will be going down the make do and mend route, much like Latin America. A UK determination NOT to engage in voluntary wars like Iraq and Afghanistan post-2014 would largely remove the need for such a vehicle anyway. However, after Libya I fear Mr Cameron may have drawn the wholly misleading conclusion that the government is able to do more with less. Of course he may have decided that the future lies in airpower, missiles and SF. Come to think of it I didn’t see any British armour in Libya this year. Minor operations might just manage with Scimitar Mk 2. Sad, but we should accept that we are moving into the minor military league.

Bob
Bob
September 24, 2011 1:17 pm

Fat Man,

I am well aware of different squad sizes. FRES Protected mobility will be designed to carry a standard British Army squad.

Phil
Phil
September 24, 2011 1:42 pm

What’s a squad? Lets call it by its proper name if we’re going to try and be so “rigorous” in these debates please Bob.

Bob
Bob
September 24, 2011 5:11 pm

Phil, you really are pathetic if all you can do is demand the use ofone interchangeable term instead of another.

Phil
Phil
September 24, 2011 5:40 pm

It is not interchangeable.

It is the correct term.

It is not the 1st Regiment Irish Guards is it? Infantry Battalions don’t operate in Troops or Squadrons do they?

Not using the correct and easily known terminology does not reflect well on your argument or background knowledge.

This is from a man banging on about the difference between an MPV and an MICV. See what a difference a word makes?

I won’t bite on the pathetic comment.

Phil Darley
September 24, 2011 8:30 pm

Phil…. Fcuking brilliant you out Bobed a Bob!!! Yes it’s a section in the British Army Bob!!!

It was only a Matter of time before you would slip up…

Phil
Phil
September 24, 2011 8:34 pm

I should point out before someone else does that I meant protected mobility vehicle not MPV.

Phil Darley
September 24, 2011 9:19 pm

Only Bob would be so petty Phil ;))

bob
bob
October 3, 2011 12:44 pm

Phil, it is interchangeable, being pathetic does not reflect well on you, it only serves to underscore your detachment from reality and lack of understanding of the subject about which you choose to rant in such an ill-informed manner.

Phil
Phil
October 3, 2011 2:46 pm

Your pedantic insistence that it is interchangeable is wrong despite your pontifications about my rantings.

In the context of the British Army and this discussion it is not an interchangeable term.

Using the term “squad” in this context sticks out like a sore thumb. Nobody in the British Army uses that term.

Lord Jim
Lord Jim
October 3, 2011 5:26 pm

In a previous post I stated my opinion the post Afghanistan, FRES(SV) would drop down the priority list and FRES(UV) would move up. Yes we could refurbish the long serving FV430 series and maybe produce a few more CVR(T)Mk2 but given the kind of operations are being envisioned, a wheeled platform seems to be the current flavour of the month, whilst heavy tracked platfroms seen as irrelevent today, an opinion I disagree with.

I do however see that a wheeled platform could replace a multitude of current AFVs, even including the Warrior with a version mounting the CTA40 but as I have also previously stated Anything greater than a .50 cal and/or 40mm AGL makes the temptation of using the platform as a light tank too strong.

Going back to basics, do we really need a heavily armoured all singing and dancing recce platform and its relatives? Arguements could be made that the need for it no longer exists as a recce platform but more as a light tank, and a tracked replacement for existing elderly tracked platforms.

So the choice seems to be more about what family of vehicles the Army needs post Afghanistan, be it a bespoke tracked platform in the form of FRES(SV) or an existing platform purchased off the shelf such a Boxer or VBCI. Yes i know any platform will have to modified to carry all the British Army’s bespoke comms gear etc but in the case of Boxer, we had significant input up to the time we bailed out, and most modern platforms are designed for the increased amount of electronics required and have the power output to run them.

AS always funding is going to be a major factor in all this. Even the 1% year on year real increase post 2015 is not enough to actually introduce FF2020, further cuts to free up funds will be required. Is FRES)SV) a “Must have”, I don’t think so, sure it would be nice to have but the Army should have higher priorities.