Is the MICV concept past its use by date ?

A guest post from Jed

There have been a lot of interesting comments made in the various post-SDSR army articles written by TD (and guests), some by serving soldiers, some by us arm chair generals, but I am focusing here on the ones about the Warrior upgrade, and the Protected Mobility variants of FRES SV.

Those comments have prompted me to ask my contentious question which provides the headline for this article, is the concept of the Mechanised Infantry Combat Vehicle (MICV) or Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) passed it’s use by date ?

You can choose to interpret the question in its most broad sense, but I will attempt to constrain my meandering thoughts and arguments to the confines of a post SDSR British Army.

History

But first, the potted history of the MICV / AIFV, starting with it’s predecessor, the Armoured Personnel Carrier:

As is often the case these days, a succinct and reasonably accurate history is available from Wikipedia:

Apparently as early as WW1 the British Army built a “tank” variant with no main armament but designed to carry up to 30 troops, who were provided by armoured loop holes from which to fire their rifles, as the vehicle wadded through the mud, ran over German trenches, and protected said Tommies from machine gun fire. This was news to me, but hey it appears we invented the MICV before the APC !

Move onto WW2 and we have iconographic images of both German “Hanomag” and American M2/M3 “half tracks” providing “protected mobility” to infantry accompanying tanks formations. Already we are to the crux of the matter, the development of what we call the “combined arms” formations, tanks and infantry working together; each has its strengths and weaknesses, vulnerabilities and advantages.

For example the Hanomag (Sd. Kfz251) provided protection for Panzergrenadiers (mechanized infantry) from small arms fire and some artillery shrapnel, while also providing tactical mobility close to that of the Panzers.  The infantry could use their personal weapons from within the vehicle, or de-buss to deal with anti-tank guns, infantry with Bazookers, PIAT’s or Molotov Cocktails etc, thus basically protecting the tanks by making up for some of their weaknesses (lack of situational awareness and all round vision, etc).

Post WW2 and into the Cold War era and the APC got a roof – not only to better protect against shrapnel (and the weather ?) but also as part of the efforts to provide some NBC protection.  This era produced the iconic American M113 tracked APC and its wheeled Soviet counterpart in the BTR series. In the UK we got the home grown M113 look-a-like in the shape of the FV432.

Vietnam brought the re-learning of old lessons when the M113 went into action – gun shields for pintle mounted MG’s, and a disturbing realization of how vulnerable these vehicles were to Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG’s) spawning the first use of bar armour.  Of course we have even more recently re-learnt these lessons again !

Evolution – APC to MICV

And then…… along came the BMP !

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMP-1

The Soviet Army thought that allowing the infantry squad in the back of the APC to bring their weapons to bear might be a good idea. At the same time they added a turret mounting a low pressure 73mm gun, which fired HEAT rounds which apparently were supposed to be able of defeating the front armour of M60A1, Leopard 1 and Chieftain MBT’s and, well just to make sure in case it didn’t, an AT3 “Sagger” wire-guided missile sat on a launch rail just above the main gun barrel.

Mechanised Infantry Combat Vehicle (MICV) Typical Layout
Mechanised Infantry Combat Vehicle (MICV) Typical Layout

Although the modern German Army had a small APC fitted with long barreled 20mm cannon during the 50’s, it had no firing ports for its small 5 man infantry team, so I will go with the conventional wisdom that says the BMP-1 was the first (modern?) MICV.

Western responses included the U.S. Army Bradley, with firing ports, a 25mm cannon and two TOW wire-guided ATGW, and the German Marder, with a 20mm cannon and later on a Milan ATGW launcher. As well firing ports for the onboard infantry, the early versions included a rear MG, with direct optics allowing it to be aimed and fired by the troops, but this was not an Remote Weapons Station (RWS) as we now know them.

In this era Britain got the Warrior. The main design differences from our allies (and enemies) was that instead of the fast firing auto-cannon, or large caliber low pressure gun (like the 76mm of the Saladin and Scorpion) we went with a bigger auto-cannon, clip fed rather than belt fed, with a much lower rate of fire. The idea being that well aimed high velocity Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot (APDS) would penetrate the armour of BMP-1’s and other Soviet light armour, without recourse to a big and expensive ATGW. Meanwhile the co-axial 7.62mm and the embarked infantry weapons would take care of enemy infantry, and HEI shells were available to take on buildings, sangers, soft skinned vehicles etc.

As can be seen, perhaps the biggest difference between the British Army MICV and those of both our allies and potential opposition is the lack of a anti-tank missile on the standard squad vehicle.

Why not ATGW ? It’s just not British old chap………

I have never been able to find a book or scholarly journal that clearly states why British Army doctrine led to this difference. We can of course make our own inferences – in the combined arms battle group, the Warrior would be fighting alongside the MBT’s (Cheiftain, Challenger 1 and Challenger 2) which are considered the main weapon system for dealing with enemy tanks and other threats. In a mixed battle group setting with Armoured Recce assets the British preferred the “anti-tank” over watch methodology, with the Striker vehicle and it’s Swingfire missiles.

We can then add on the other elements of the “combined arms” teams – artillery and aviation.  So if the tank-MICV combo come under ambush from enemy tanks or infantry anti-tank teams, we could call in fast air with cluster bombs, or a full battery of 155mm “HE dispensers”.  Although not available in huge numbers, there might have been TOW equipped Lynx helicopters available too.  Finally the infantry carried in the Warrior can always de-buss and take up their own ambush positions with Milan launchers or their unguided anti-tank rockets.

Non-the-less many other countries saw, and still see the benefit of equipping the standard squad MICV with an ATGW (including Kuwait’s version of the Warrior).

Continued evolution – back from Infantry Fighting Vehicle to Protected Mobility

Updated variants of all the main MICV / IFV vehicles featured improved armour protection, and all of them lost their firing ports because of this. So in some way’s we have moved full circle – the original aim of the IFV, be it the WW1 Mk X tank or the BMP-1 was to allow the carried infantry squad to contribute to the carnage with their personal weapons, while remaining behind armour.

As the weapon versus countermeasure battle moves inexorable onwards, we are now back to a scenario where protection levels mean the squad are back to being somewhat passive passengers, as they are in a simpler APC.  So now the main difference between IFV and APC is the main and secondary weapons, the weight of protection and maybe the tactical (“keep up with the MBT”) mobility.

The most interesting element of this to me, and the of the various comments made on various TD articles, is the evolution of the main armament, the turret versus RWS and the “fire support” vehicle debates.

So while this applies to any modern armoured vehicle, lets confine this right now to the Warrior update and FRES SV Protected Mobility variants.  Based on the good old British doctrine of accurate, heavy punching, low rate of fire auto-cannon development we have the introduction of the CTA 40mm Case Telescoped Ammunition gun, with its very high velocity APDS “kinetic energy” rounds designed to take on light and even “medium” armour (and who’s to say it is not going to penetrate the more thinly armoured rear or side portions of some MBT’s ?).

However now it also has an air bursting HE round, suitable for dealing with infantry in defilade cover, or in buildings. As you all know we are looking to standardize on this weapon for both the Warrior upgrade (or IFV) and our armoured Recce vehicle (FRES Scout).

Fine –  but now we have the manned turret versus unmanned turret debate.

How much situational awareness do you need ?

I fully understand the arguments for a Recce vehicle retaining a manned turret. I am not so sure the same arguments are applicable to the IFV. If an unmanned turret allows all the crew to be lower down, protected by the thicker armour of the hull, we can probably all agree this is a good thing. However critics suggest that even with modern sights, periscope and TV sensor technology there is a potential loss of “situational awareness” in this arrangement. However as the most recent example of why “fighting heads out” is a bad idea, the U.S. experiences of Iraq once again seem to suggest that in a fire fight, sticking your head up out of the hatch is a bit suicidal !

But, do we even need the unmanned turret ? Do we need a medium caliber auto-cannon with co-axial MG (and maybe ATGW ?).  Perhaps we could make do with a big RWS, able (as some on the market right now are) of taking say a 40mm auto-grenade launcher and a 7.62mm MG.

As someone noted in a comment, 40mm HEAT grenades are not really up to much, even against light armour. However with the right fire control system, 40mm grenades are also available as an air bursting HE weapon, providing a cheaper alternative to the cannon HE round when you want to fill the air around enemy infantry with shrapnel. So if the primary role is to provide cover for the MBT against close in infantry anti-tank teams and to provide cover for the embarked infantry team as they de-buss to get “up close and personal” – then is this not heavy enough weaponry?

If we look at ASCOD 2 FRES SV Protected Mobility variant, CV90 Armadillo and Israeli Namer vehicles, they all have prominent “cupolas” with direct view armoured vision blocks, as well as the main sensors on the RWS and “situational awareness” enhancing CCD cameras covering the rear, front corners (or the driver) and even providing a panoramic 360 degree view.

FRES SV Protected Mobility
FRES SV Protected Mobility

ASCOD 2 based FRES SV Protected Mobility variant – note quite low profile commanders cupola between drivers hatch and RWS

CV90 Armadillo – note the much more prominent commanders cupola and vision blocks.

The APC variant of the French VCBI actually puts its RWS on top of a large cupola with 360 degree direct view “vision blocks”.

Many of the RWS are fully capable of adding a pair of Spike, Javelin or other ATGW to the mix, so does that cover the lack of ability of the 40mm GMG ?

Detractors of the RWS approach may point out the reduced ammo capacity, and the inability to reload under armour – which is a feature of some of the unmanned turrets.  Good points, I guess it just comes down to the cost benefit analysis.

Adding “fire support” vehicles into the mix

At the same time as the so called “strategic” review and defence cuts see us reducing our fleet of Challenger 2 MBT’s – the plan for FRES SV includes an element for “fire support” vehicles, and we have had many a discussion in the comment threads about 120mm, 105mm or even 90mm medium / high pressure guns, and of course my personal favourite the turret mounted breach loading 120mm smooth bore mortar.

So, if we are going to have the following potential mix of vehicles in a armoured / mechanized battle group, do we still need the cannon armed IFV ?

  1. MBT – 120mm rifled gun, possibly to be replaced by 120mm smooth bore at some point ?
  2. FRES SV Scout variant – 40mm CTA
  3. FRES SV ‘Fire Support’ – who knows ? Medium caliber gun of some type ?
  4. FRES SV ‘Anti-Armour Over Watch’ – specialist anti-tank vehicle

Perhaps we could save considerable money on the Warrior upgrade by dispensing with the turret all-together and fitting a dual weapon RWS ?

Is the logical extension of this thought to simply put effort into keeping the Warrior in service just long enough to replace it completely with FRES SV Protected Mobility variants ?

Questions

So let me leave you with 3 questions to get the discussion thread heated up:

  • If we have less MBT’s available to the combined arms battle group, are we really able to dispense with the turret mounted 40mm cannon
  • If we are to have less MBT’s should we fit every standard squad IFV with an ATGW ?
  • Should we dispense with the idea of dropping MBT numbers, and just use them instead of developing new fire support / anti-tank vehicles on the “medium” weight chassis ?
  • Should we think outside the box, and examine a turreted 120mm mortar with extended range, guided and tube launched ATGW as a truly multi-purpose fire support platform (direct, indirect fire support plus direct and indirect anti-tank fires).
  • Has the time of the IFV gone, and considering both current threats and budgets, is the RWS armed APC or “protected mobility” variant  the way to go

If you go chaps, lets see how big we can build this comment thread J

291 Comments
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S Ortmann
S Ortmann
October 29, 2011 11:10 am
andyw
andyw
October 29, 2011 1:33 pm

this is probably a very stupid question, but why does the ammo box for RWS have to be external? If they are belt fed, can’t the belt be dropped into the interior with some sort of auto-loading mechanism? Alternatively, why not a very small turret allowing under armour access to the ammo box?

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones
October 29, 2011 2:27 pm

A very interesting article, and a lot to discuss.

B.Smitty
B.Smitty
October 29, 2011 2:32 pm

It really depends on what you want your forces to do. Heavily armed IFVs were meant to fight outnumbered in the the Fulda Gap scenario against hordes of Soviet tanks and BMPs. Every vehicle needed significant anti-armour armament.

One could envision south east Asian scenarios that mimic this problem. Really in any mechanized vs mechanized combat it is probably better to have significant IFV armament.

ATGMs on RWSs might get you part of the way back, but they don’t typically support firing on the move, have limited stowed kills, and don’t usually support separate commander and gunner “hunter-killer” sight arrangements.

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones
October 29, 2011 2:36 pm

RE: 120MM Gun-Mortar for fire support.
Does it have to be turret mounted? Would a return of the German “Stug” assault gun be a good idea? Reduced profile, more weight for armour, easier to transport (particulary in aircraft)?

http://www.angelfire.com/art/enchanter/agm.html

Brian Black
Brian Black
October 29, 2011 2:48 pm

andyw, I think it’s more of an issue of having to deal with gun stoppages outside, with a RWS, rather than where the weapon’s ammo is stored.

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones
October 29, 2011 2:59 pm

RE: Armament for IFV/APC’s. Perhaps the problem is the type of primary weapon used; The 73mm of the BMP-1 was replaced by the 30mm of the BMP-2, better range and use against IFV’s of the west. However, the BMP-3 has a 100mm (low pressure?) gun and co-axial 30mm and 7.62mm MG. This enables the BMP-3 to deal with more threats to its infantry? Perhaps if we are to keep the IFV it needs a new set of weapons to support the infantry, a merger of the IFV and fire support requirement?

http://www.angelfire.com/art/enchanter/IFVarm.html

Brian Black
Brian Black
October 29, 2011 3:24 pm

I would be wary of giving up IFVs with cannon. There are plenty of places around the world, and realistic scenarios, in which British forces could expect to come up against enemy armoured vehicles.

On the other hand, I don’t think every IFV needs an ATGW as standard. The new CTA is claimed to be up to the job of defeating most everything short of a modern MBT. Without a clearly identified heavily armoured adversary, like the USSR, it’s a lot of money for limited utility.

S Ortmann
S Ortmann
October 29, 2011 3:26 pm

Transport capacity is the cheapest if you don’t add much equipment (electronics, armament) to it.

Infantry transport capacity requires much volume, much volume leads to large surfaces and large surfaces + high weight/surface of protection leads to either inadequate transport capacity, inadequate protection or unacceptable weight and effort. The protection is thus typically inadequate in comparison to MBTs (and AT defences are meant to be effective against MBTs!).

There’s really no reason why an armoured vehicle should stick around fighting infantry if it’s not well-armed AND well-protected.

In the end the IFV story is a story of people who forgot the original (obsolete idea) and stick to a jack of all trades, master of none concept that is 360° unsatisfactory.

Frenchie
Frenchie
October 29, 2011 3:26 pm

I think that British army will not change its organisation in terms of Formation Reconnaissance Regiment.

It was envisaged in the initial plans that FRES Scout are supported by FRES ATGW Overwatch, APC, command vehicles, repair, recovery, ambulance, radar, bridgelayer for manoeuvre support.

The big question is what use for 192 direct fire, it has no place in the usual recce organisation.

In the initial plan of FRES UV, it was envisaged a vehicle with a turret AMOS for artillery and un vehicle for CBRN recce.
Also, in the FRES SV block 2, it is supposed to have a FOV vehicle for artillery.

I can imagine that the direct fire will be used for something else than recce, perhaps to protect mechanised infantry, which will be equipped with FRES UV APC.

S Ortmann
S Ortmann
October 29, 2011 3:29 pm

“RE: 120MM Gun-Mortar for fire support.
Does it have to be turret mounted? Would a return of the German “Stug” assault gun be a good idea?”

Not for a wealthy force.
Most firing will be done indirectly, and a rapid reaction requires a rapid traverse. The casemate tank has a lousy traverse and needs to pivot with the full hull (which is a problem in regard to calibration of bearing and effectiveness of cover such as a loose netting).

A poor force facing poor adversaries might make good use of a cheap direct/indirect fire AFV, though.

DominicJ
DominicJ
October 29, 2011 4:02 pm

I think variety is the spice of life.

An RWS can go from 7.62 to 20mm Cannon to 40mm GMG quite easily.
Throw in 40mm CTA and you have every target short of an MBTs front armour dealt with.
Some sort of Javelin armoured box launcher on a CTA turret?

A Javlin Box, a 40CTA and 3 dual 40mm gmg?
Or instead of the javelin, the 120mm mortar, can that knock out a tank head on? Even if by that you mean an idirect fire top attack?
How expensive are 40mm grenades?
I just realised I was happy to fire them in their thousands….
Be bloody unfortunate for the blokes defending buildings though…

I’m just wandering here, no real plan, but sometimes my random thoughts are good.

x
x
October 29, 2011 4:59 pm

Surely the key question with all this is who stays with the vehicles? Does the platoon commander stay with the vehicle or the SNCO? The more firepower the vehicle has the more weight this question has. Perhaps we should also ask should the infantry be driving armoured vehicles at all?

Mike W
October 29, 2011 5:25 pm

Fine article, yet again. Thanks.

Like Brian Black I would be very wary of giving up IFVs with cannon. It it is not just the fact (as Brian mentions) that there are plenty of places around the world in which British forces could expect to come up against enemy armoured vehicles. They would also be confronted by enemy infantry (and not just the close-in infantry anti-tank teams that you mention in the article).

To counter that infantry, would the air bursting HE 40mm grenades which you say are also available as an air bursting HE weapons (the ones which are going to fill the air around enemy infantry with shrapnel) really prove adequate? Surely a cannon is a precise weapon, able to be trained with extreme accuracyon enemy personnel, whereas 40mm grenades (albeit air-bursting) and shrapnel are a far more haphazard and hit and miss kind of capability. Correct me if I’m wrong.

“However critics suggest that even with modern sights, periscope and TV sensor technology there is a potential loss of “situational awareness” in this arrangement.”

Yes, haven’t there been reports of armoured vehicle crew relying only on modern sensors etc., feeling detached from the reality outside the vehicle, even disorientated? Another argument for retaining manned turrets?

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
October 29, 2011 8:50 pm

Jed, a great piece, I will get back to some of the statements in a minute.

@ Mike W, RE
“To counter that infantry, would the air bursting HE 40mm grenades which you say are also available as an air bursting HE weapons (the ones which are going to fill the air around enemy infantry with shrapnel) really prove adequate? Surely a cannon is a precise weapon, able to be trained with extreme accuracyon enemy personnel, whereas 40mm grenades (albeit air-bursting) and shrapnel are a far more haphazard and hit and miss kind of capability. Correct me if I’m wrong.”

Cannon: yes, accurate, even incredibly so, and needs to be. Think of the scenario: ATGW teams can be upto 5.5 km away (yes, there are missiles with a longer range but that is for deserts and coastal defence). You spot, laser measure the distance, choose the round(s) and then they are fused as fired… look at the muzzle velocities and if you get the laser measurement at all wrong the whole exercise is wasted. ie. the rounds have travelled so much past (or v.v.) that there is no effect.

Think of the automated GMGs as slow firing machine guns, with less range, too
– the way you aim them is still the same, and you rely on the saturation effect

Mike W
October 29, 2011 9:27 pm

I’ve only just seen DominicJ’s point:

“How expensive are 40mm grenades?”

And it’s a very relevant one. Yes, how does the cost of 40mm grenades compare with that of cannon rounds?

Aother point. As you say, “the CTA 40mm Case Telescoped Ammunition gun, with its very high velocity APDS “kinetic energy” rounds is designed to take on light and even “medium” armour.” Can 40mm grenades do that as successfully?

On the more general point of Infantry Fighting Vehicle versus armed APC or “protected mobility” vehicle, surely the Infantry originally wanted an MICV because they needed a fire support vehicle UNDER THEIR OWN CONTROL. Then they would not have to call in ‘fast air with cluster bombs, or a full battery of 155mm “HE dispensers”’ or attack helicopters or anything else nearly so often.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
October 29, 2011 9:58 pm

Hi Jed, RE
” However with the right fire control system, 40mm grenades are also available as an air bursting HE weapon, providing a cheaper alternative to the cannon HE round when you want to fill the air around enemy infantry with shrapnel. So if the primary role is to provide cover for the MBT against close in infantry anti-tank teams and to provide cover for the embarked infantry team as they de-buss to get “up close and personal” – then is this not heavy enough weaponry?”

I buy into the philosophy, but
– right fire control system does not come cheap (whereas a GMG is a basic infantry weapon)
– to make full use of that fire control system, there is a need to computer-fuse a lot of rounds (ie. expensive fuses times a big number)

I would rather have a few SPGs or FRES SVs of AMOS-edition, keeping up and delivering organic fires, as directed
… takes us to the philosophical question: are fire control teams always RA, or should there be others, embedded in units that are within hundreds of meters of the OpFor and exchanging fire

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
October 29, 2011 10:09 pm

Question Time:

“If we have less MBT’s available to the combined arms battle group, are we really able to dispense with the turret mounted 40mm cannon”
– The “if” is an “as” and the answer is a “No”
– Quite the contrary, two European armies that chose the CV90 with a specific gun are looking to up-barrell/ upgun them by using super-shot (the Netherlands which I have from a reliable source; they did away with all of their MBTs; the other one that I have put together from bits and pieces released reduced their MBT numbers by a half)

“Should we dispense with the idea of dropping MBT numbers, and just use them instead of developing new fire support / anti-tank vehicles on the “medium” weight chassis ?”
– I am for that, and that does not exclude the idea of doing a limited number of Infantry-support tank conversions

x
x
October 29, 2011 10:26 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lazar_BVT

In Afghanistan the Taliban likes to ambush NATO forces with Soviet HMGs. Personally I think having a 20mm cannon onboard is therefore still relevant.

Frenchie
Frenchie
October 29, 2011 10:33 pm

This perhaps has nothing to do but the new turret work alone, there is thermal imager to identify targets capability that automatically detects and tracks potential targets from their thermal signature, alerting the crew to their presence.

Then in an urban combat, it’s important to defend the strategic points of a city. The tanks generally having less mobility, it must use lighter vehicles.

The use of heavy artillery using unguided munitions is almost impossible for the close support of troops, at the risk of fire on its own units.

If they don’t have cannon which allows them to directly support the infantry in combat, what is their utility ?

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
October 29, 2011 10:43 pm

Hi x,

RE ” with Soviet HMGs. Personally I think having a 20mm ”
– those HMGs are incredibly capable, but more importantly, they are about the heaviest man-luggable pieces that you can take over the mountains (3 men) apart from mortars (where you won’t have that many rounds carried)
– so I fully agree, a fast firing 20 mm gives you the edge (and bigger can be better still, as 20mm does not have programmable fuses)

x
x
October 29, 2011 11:02 pm

@ ACC

I saw a documentary about a Parachute Regiment patrol mounted in Jackals. They were exposed and came under fire from a compound by HMG. They weren’t enough of them to engage the compound or defend themselves. An accurate 20mmm would have silenced the opposition. As I often said here I wonder by what margin an organic (to the infantry) direct fire weapon would help lessen the work load of CAS aircraft. The West’s advantage is technological yet it seems NATO only wants its forces on the ground to be equipped to similar standards as the Taliban……

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
October 29, 2011 11:13 pm

Hi x,

I have not seen any footage (who would be close enough anyway) but have read that those compound walls eat 20mm rounds like we eat popcorn, so nothing under 40mm (there are CV90s there with those) makes much of an impact
– in the open 20mm is perfectly fine

S Ortmann
S Ortmann
October 29, 2011 11:52 pm

Many of those walls require a 105mm HESH.

The proper procedure if you cannot destroy it is to blind it. A RP rifle grenade might already suffice.

B.Smitty
B.Smitty
October 30, 2011 12:07 am

“Many of those walls require a 105mm HESH.”

Or a TOW. ;)

(ideally TOW 2 BB)

Chris.B.
October 30, 2011 5:59 am

Nice article Jed, good for a 200 comment thread at least!

Some thoughts for all to digest;

– Do we need that many more Warriors than we have Challengers? I’m thinking here that Warriors in an armoured brigade would come in the form of maybe 1 or 2 battlions worth, trotting along behind an equal number of Challenger battalions?

– What do we want Warrior to do? If we’re facing enemy armour and personnel carriers, are Warriors going to be the primary method of engagement? What about CAS/helicopters and the tanks? On the defensive, wouldn’t the infantry dismount and set up anti-armour position? I’m just worried by the scenarios popping up where our Warriors (not warfighters) are becoming the primary anti-material weapon.

– Is the focus on more armour the right way to go? Ships haven’t carried heavy armour into battle for years, so maybe there are alternatives we should be investing in?

– Isn’t a key tenet of the Warrior in British use to be a “battle taxi”, moving the men under protection to a drop off point from which they dismount and engage the enemy, with the vehicles then providing fire support? Should the weapons favour this role more (lighter chain gun with high elevation) over any sort of anti-armour role, with some new(er) version of the ATGW carrier as the main anti-armour weapon?

DominicJ
October 30, 2011 7:16 am

cb
i think armour should be our striking arm, the warrior dismounts are there to provide close protection of that armour and to hold ground after its been taken.
1:1, 5:1, 10:1
i can see arguements for any, but the more warriors to each tank, the more capable the warriors have to be.
10 warriors and one chally, the warriors better be able to pull their weight.
1:1, a hmg would no doubt be fine.

x
x
October 30, 2011 10:50 am

@ ACC

Of course the mud walls eat 20mm shells. But as you say timed fuzed shots above cover or through openings in walls or against “light” cover it is a good option. Scimitar is used all the time in overwatch. (Before somebody says RARDEN is 30mm I know……………)

As Sven says I am thinking of 105mm HESH. What I am advocating is a return to direct fire artillery. The 105mm light gun can only be used in direct fire up to 800m. But if you take a look through the catalogue of WW2 anti-tank guns there are several options with ranges up to 2km. And if you look at the engagement ranges in Afghanistan it seems that is adequate. I don’t believe firing Javelin (as good as it is) at £60k a go is the optimum solution. Even if using a gun means firing more than one round.

Another thought. I always interpret “light role” in British terminology to mean “we can’t afford to put everybody in a real vehicle.”

Frenchie
Frenchie
October 30, 2011 11:02 am

I don’t understand that, in french army the soldiers move always with at least a VAB, except in the jungle, you are traveling with land rover, it’s a bit dangerous as concept.

Philq
October 30, 2011 1:37 pm

“I saw a documentary about a Parachute Regiment patrol mounted in Jackals. They were exposed and came under fire from a compound by HMG. They weren’t enough of them to engage the compound or defend themselves.”

How does that work a Jackal packet of 2 vehicles would have 4 crew served weapons including GPMG, HMG and GMG plus personal weapons. I can’t see that packet not having enough firepower to defend themselves.

Phil Darley
October 30, 2011 3:48 pm

Frenchie said “I don’t understand that, in french army the soldiers move always with at least a VAB, except in the jungle, you are traveling with land rover, it’s a bit dangerous as concept.”

Yep, this has baffled me for ages. With the Foxhound now coming in to service this should help. I hope the MRBs (Multi-Role Brigades will take it further and give us a rounded and well equipped “Battle Group” as we like to call units these days.

I must confess to not buying in to the reasons for not equipping our AFVs with ATGWs. It is supposed to make them more of a target, and threat to an MBT with a crew of 10/11 rather than 4 is likley to yield a higher number of casualties. This I understand, but, if your enemies AFV have ATGW and you don’t the result is going to be the same isn’t it? You have just made your vehicles more vulnerable not less. There were many examples in the Gulf war where US M2 (and certainly M3s) ran in to T72s and the like, did not have Tank support and if it hadn’t been for being with TOW woukld have been destroyed. Also I think more tanks were destroyed by Bradley’s than Abrams!!

I think there is a case for a least a percentage of our AFVs and certainly the new agrressive FRES SC Recce being so equipped.

Great post Jed…

PS I think the Navy are wonderful ;-)

Mike W
October 30, 2011 4:23 pm

@ Frenchie

“If they don’t have cannon which allows them to directly support the infantry in combat, what is their utility?”

Exactly. Well said, Frenchie.

@x
‘Another thought. I always interpret “light role” in British terminology to mean “we can’t afford to put everybody in a real vehicle.”’

Couldn’t agree more. But what do you do you do when only 200 new Foxhounds (Is that figure right?)have been ordered? Revert to Land Rover WMIKs?

Darley

“I think there is a case for a least a percentage of our AFVs and certainly the new aggressive FRES SC Recce being so equipped.” (with ATGWs, that is)

I agree on that point too, Phil, but is that prevailing doctrine or again a matter of cost? You also make the point very nicely about the need to develop “rounded and well equipped “Battle Groups”.

Nice to be able to agree with everybody for a change.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
October 30, 2011 4:51 pm

Hi Jed,

Great so far “have no particular position on this, hence my questions at the end of the article ?”

Not many commentators have so far pegged the value /uses of IFV to other than MBT numbers/uses.
– I would like to see a broader (perhaps another thread?) discussion of what else under armour, in what sort of numbers/ combinations.

If you take just the turreted Warriors and all the SV versions, and the MBTs…
– it is not a very big slice of the army (even though very important… the hard fist, as I like to call it)

Brian Black
Brian Black
October 30, 2011 4:52 pm

Is combining the tank regiment, armoured and mechanised battalions practical? By which I mean two ‘combined arms battalions’ per MRB. Each formed around a Warrior IFV company (with additional platoon from the left-over third company), a Bulldog/ASCOD APC coy, and a Challenger sqn (four or three troops, or two squadrons, depending on how many C2 make the cut).
It’s not likely that a Warrior battalion, for example, would act as a single homogeneous lump within the MRBs. This alternative gives each MRB two battalion sized armoured manoeuvre units – a mini armoured brigade in themselves.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
October 30, 2011 5:01 pm

Hi BB,

I think you lose rather than gain when you start to go permanently ‘combined’at lower than the battalion level.

However, I has a similar thought on the army future ’04’ thread, but my Battle Group” was much bigger than what they tend to be in the British Army (and very self-contained, over a 2-3 day engagement span, at least).

If you combine two of mine, add some logistics and ISTAR, then there is a very hard hitting brigade to hand (but mainly for offensive action – hence not permanently combining them)

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
October 30, 2011 5:04 pm

BTW, at the time Lord Jim said he had sent to TD a draft on a similar, perhaps not as armour-heavy structure
– we will get to see that one in due course

x
x
October 30, 2011 5:26 pm

@ Philq

Sometimes a good number of heavy weapons aren’t enough! They broke contact pretty quick. I know sometimes recces are performed to see what’s out there (can’t think of the proper term) but in A-stan with everybody armed to the teeth I can’t think that would achieve much. Further I was talking about the fact they were engaged with a Soviet HMG so they were matched. I suppose we could speculate what would have happend if they had closed the enemy and found themselves under enfalide fire from another HMG or RPGs the situation could have become sticky.

@ Mike W

The Army has been short of proper vehicles since vehicles were invented!!

Brian Black
Brian Black
October 30, 2011 5:30 pm

Hi ACC. The US army have introduced combined arms battalions to their armoured brigades. Each of two battalions formed around two infantry companies with Bradley, and two Abrams squadrons.

In peace-keeping or COIN type operations the Challengers, the Warriors will be used in packets much smaller than battalions – in support of other forces or as QRFs for example. In more traditional armoured manoeuvre warfare, the single battalion size lumps of tank, IFV, APC in our one expeditionary MRB won’t provide the same options as two CABattalions.

x
x
October 30, 2011 5:39 pm

@ Brian B

Back in the mists of time it was envisioned that it would be the RTR driving the infantry around. Of course we all know that idea came to naught. I suppose the “all in one” outfit to look at are American cavalry regiments.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
October 30, 2011 6:05 pm

Hi BB,

The US army is structured to heavy and otherwise.

Within the heavy, when they come into play, they will probably always deploy with more than one brigade, and then we are close to Corps-type of operation; then these pre-packaged bn’s make sense

The standard practice is to pair tank and IFV units 1-to-1 (depending on the task), but in my view this is better reflected at the higher formation level (proportions); in our case at the Bde level and then the Battle Groups (as in the UK nomenclature) are drawn from that pool, and you can realistically expect to have the ingredients at hand

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
October 30, 2011 6:11 pm

Further to the US practices:

They have a big initiative on the way to have “joint” fire control teams trained and readily available to standard formations – as opposed to today’s make-do and amend on the go

In my view this is a “necessary condition” to being able to divide up manoeuvre units to much smaller packets than brigades, and also recognising the fact that the next step “up” from the organic fires is more likely to be tacair and helos (if that is different) than Brigade-level artillery

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
October 30, 2011 6:21 pm

Taking that comment to European armies:
– artillery seen as a bde asset needs the c. 40 km range and precision munitions
– that is all very well, but should not be at the expense of some artillery a) under armour, b) with similar mobility to the units they belong to, and then c) even a 20 km range is great (and targeting assets and coordination make all the difference)
.. not forgetting the force multipliers (tacair, AH, airmobility…); these are things that will always be scarce, and added when crucial

Frenchie
Frenchie
October 30, 2011 6:36 pm

I think the MRB will be organized as a mechanised brigade with a regiment of recce in its usual form, with Scout, ATGW, tracked APC, etc …, an armored regiment with 60 Challenger, an armored infantry battalion with 50 warrior, two infantry mechanised battalions with approximately 100 “light” APC, protected by squadrons of 120mm direct fire vehicles, and an artillery regiment with 30 AS90 and possibly carries mortars 120mm vehicles.
With the possibility of adding squadrons or battalions from other MRB according to the mission.

Brian Black
Brian Black
October 30, 2011 6:40 pm

Whilst the US army thinks in division and corps deployments, ACC, I’ve drawn from their brigade combat teams – small, independently deployable, self contained structures. We won’t readily have more than one brigade deployed, these combined arms battalions are exactly what is needed for this scale of operations, mostly.

If you do want to form a battlegroup around an IFV or APC mounted infantry battalion, then it’s still doable though not with a standing formation. CABattalions would have advantages and disadvantages, though I think the weight’s -probably- in their favour.

Brian Black
Brian Black
October 30, 2011 7:01 pm

Hi, Frenchie. I feel that the three planned light and mechanised infantry battalions in the MRBs will, over time and due to cost, become a mixture of light and medium protected wheeled vehicles – Foxhound, a light armoured tactical Landrover replacement out of OUVS, and a few variants of a LAV/Stryker/Boxer type APC wrung from FRESS.

We’ll end up with essentially a straight forward infantry brigade with a little attached armour, rather than a true multirole brigade.

McZ
McZ
October 30, 2011 7:06 pm


“If the NL is getting rid of all it’s Leo 2′s, and Germany has just announced another cut in it’s numbers (and it already has a bunch in storage) AND it was decided it would be too complicated / expensive to fit a “NATO standard” smoothbore to the Chally 2 – then should we consider: Replacing our Challenger 2 fleet with second hand Leo 2′s ?”

If the NL is phasing out her heavy armour, and we traditionally share the same strategic goals, why bother having heavy armour at all?

Frenchie
Frenchie
October 30, 2011 7:32 pm

Hi BB, You’re right, we will have probably, as you think, most of the brigade equipped with light wheeled APC, it’s cheaper than a tracked APC, it’s easier to repair, and there is vehicles such as the Patria, which are resistant to mines and IED, multifunctional, and have proved their worth in Afghanistan.

DominicJ
DominicJ
October 30, 2011 7:40 pm

Phil D
Bradleys in iraq were guided onto targets by air platforms, and could happuily hit them from behind.

Acc
“I think you lose rather than gain when you start to go permanently ‘combined’at lower than the battalion level.”
Not sure I agree with that, not saying your wrong either.

X
Thats not quite true, the UK had the worlds first all motorised army, it just only ever used them to leg it from the Germans and never had the resources ever again :)

Frenchie
Frenchie
October 30, 2011 7:49 pm

About APC wheeled, the soldiers are angry.

http://www.defencemanagement.com/news_story.asp?id=17822

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
October 30, 2011 8:17 pm

Thanks Frenchie, I had read a shorter version before

“”Even the Americans, who have dollars to spare, went out and bought new vehicles because their Stryker vehicle – which was perhaps one of the vehicles we were looking to procure for our core programme – was overmatched by the threat. Even a well-equipped AFV (Armoured Fighting Vehicle) fleet is challenged by heavy IEDs and externally forged fragments.”

MoD chief Ursula Brennan said that the need to spend billions on the vehicles as Urgent Operational Requirements would have been the same if Britain’s planned armoured fighting vehicle programmes, such as FRES, had been successfully procured.”

Well, she is not quite the Chief of MoD ( I speak at my peril; in many companies the chief accountant is the chief!), but
– she is right
– as per the piece I put on the Open Thread; the next US Stryker Bde to deploy to A-stan is leaving their $4m Strykers behind and using $1m MRAPs instead

Let’s not bin them all; horses for courses

paul g
October 30, 2011 9:11 pm

I’ve been trying to do some research on the cloggie issue purely to see if were possible to whack the turret onto the chally chassis, no need to buy in a huge stock of spares and retrain the VM’s. (and no outrage in the daily wail, or disgusted retired **** of tunbridge wells writing to the telegraph)
I note that they are now upgrading older MBT’s for urban warfare, so if we are going to bin/store a percentage would it not be an idea to also convert some, to be used if our “raiding” concept turned into a stan like prolonged occupancy?
leopard PSO is the urban version

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
October 30, 2011 9:26 pm

Hi Jed,

Say what you like (I don’t mean you) about the Israelis, they are not stupid:
“, in conjunction with the threat from modern Russian ATGW’s and RPG’s is pushing them towards heavier vehicles such as the Namer, and to start examing more organic fire support at lower levels, and it was thought that this will most likely mean more armoured 120mm mortars in the short term”
– all of that right, even though some of it specific to their context

Next, about the Cloggies:
” absolutely N O T H I N G to do with strategy, and everything to do with budgets and cost cutting. So in this case I would say the Dutch are wrong, and we dont want to copy them!”
– everything to do with their chosen strategy
– read it: 3 Marine bn’s and 3 army Cdo bn’s to be made into a coherent and agile force.. in the context of NOT having to defend the country at its borders
– we have a different strategy, and as you say, we should not copy them… having said that: 3 Marine bn’s and 3 other cdo bn’s with almost half of our Apache numbers and better Pumas than we have got, to move them around… what is there to sniff at?

DominicJ
October 30, 2011 10:07 pm

the idf might have the luxury of reverting to imprecise barrages if pinpoint fire is off the table, do we?

I remember the last time i pointed out how far we could go even within UN rules the reaction on here wasnt supportive.

DominicJ
DominicJ
October 31, 2011 8:31 am

Jed
“Ref the IDF – who mentioned imprecise barrages ? Not I, don’t leap to the wrong conclusion.”

I think if you give infantry companies a 120mm mortar, they will use it, a lot, quite possibly against targets a Fast Air or Artilery platform would refuse.

Its really impossible to comment on the the RG vehicle without a clearer idea of the function.
If they (mechanised infantry) are Panzergrenadiers, fighting an identified enemy in a war, mine resistance is of limited value, and the RG’s resistance to .50 AP not much use against 20mm and up cannons.

If your going to operate as a quasi police force, well the RG series is great, the enemy has nothing bigger than a .50AP and you will face serious mine threats.

I believe the recent Royal Marine grabbing of a uncooperative tribal chief should be the way forward, even if we need to land 30 tanks 100 IFVs and 3,000 men to grab Christina…..

Personaly, I think gun ports are a bit of a waste in any vehicle. If you need any sort of close range fire power like that, I think some sort of “hedgehog” all around grenade weapon would be far better at dealing with close in enemy before the infantry debark.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
October 31, 2011 9:25 am

Hi Jed,

I am with you on this one:
“perhaps Warrior APC’s (or protected mobility) with no turret (or basket) and just a heavy RWS, and a full 8 man disembarking infantry squad. These could be joined by perhaps as many as 16 (8 in the “Recce” platoon, and 8 in the “Anti-Tank” platoon) turreted versions with not only the 40mm CTA, but also a turret mounted ATGW. By not carrying any infantry in the back, but using the space to carry additional ammo, these would perhaps make up for some of Sven’s issues with the paltry amount of reloads carried by the IFV.

Add to these 8 to 12 x turreted 120mm in the indirect / direct fire support role.”
-but you omitted the word mortar or AMOS from the last sentence? (joke-joke!)
– the Canadians chose NEMO for their wheeled LAVs, i.e single barrel only and thereby much lesser first burst rate of fire (6-7 rounds land on the target simultaneously with two barrels)

Also this one is good (except for 16AAB and 3 CDO):
“Chally 2 MBT
“Heavy” APC – up armoured Warrior with RWS (MG / GMG)
“Recce Tanks” – Warrior or FRES Scout with both 40mm CTA and ATGW but no dismounts”

As there is no ATGW-version, I’ll offer my two pennies worth
– we all agree(?) that Brimstone is brilliant,and will be better still with the three-mode seeker head that the Americans are working on
-The MMW radar system can see though any kind of smoke, fog, heavy rain, and allows (as evidenced by the Russian Krisanthema system) to target metal vehicles at 6.5km at night, in heavy snow, fog, or even the special smoke screens that IR sights can’t see through. The radar is fully retracible and uses very low emission levels (the frequency as such does not lend itself too much for ARM-missiles to home in).
– as there is a lot of parts commonality between Brimstone and Hellfire already, we put a ‘Brimfire’ on the over-watch SV Scouts
– I forget the range of a ground-launched Hellfire, but the Russian one does 5.5 km
– guidance method can be different from target detection, eg. laser beam riding

Further, for recce the trials done in N. European type of vegetation have produced results for up to 20 km detection that are good enough for preliminary classification. Putting an MMW radar on a retractable arm (think of a miniature of the Giraffe AA-radar arm) on some SV Scouts and on others the same thing loaded with optical & TI sensors a la Fennec and Jackal would enhance unit-level ground surveillance greatly, while the gunned units (MBTs,Scouts/ WRs, AHs or the above proposed ATGW carriers) would then do the jobs themselves
– following the trend for off-board sensors here (holy cow, forgot to mention UAVs… have to keep up with the times)

Phil
October 31, 2011 9:27 am

Mine resistance is not a waste of time. Anything that gets a vehicle back into action quickly is not a waste. On the MoDs website right now there’s a pic of a REME fitter repairing a mine strike vehicle in the field as part of a CLP with their own assets. You think that would be valueless in a general war?

x
x
October 31, 2011 9:59 am

Israel can “afford” really heavy APCs because its forces fight at home. And Israeli doctrine puts crew survival first. It really isn’t a Western style heavy vs medium argument. Completely different context.

Pete Arundel
Pete Arundel
October 31, 2011 10:07 am

Is the MICV concept past it’s use by date?
Maybe.
It’s armament is not good for supporting infantry in the assault, it’s armour can’t keep the infantry it carries safe from ATGWs and incoming tank rounds like an MBT’s armour can and it carries fewer infnatry than a dedicated APC does.
A 25-40mm autocannon is great for killing light armour but poor for anything else. Even a 40mm cannon fires an HE round about as heavy as a hand grenade which, unless it’s backed by ludicrously expensive sighting and fusing technology, is incapable of hitting infantry behind dense cover or on the reverse side of slopes. A good mortar or even a GMG is a better weapon for such tasks. The old Scorpion’s 76mm HESH was better for taking out buildings and with the increasing amounts of armour that MICVs now carry, how long will it be before an ATGW is the only reliable way of killing one (short of a 120mm APFSDS round, of course)?

If your MICV is designed to support infantry on foot then does it need a stabilised gun? If it has a large-ish calibre weapon does it need expensive, electronically programmed airbursting ammunition?

DominicJ
DominicJ
October 31, 2011 11:26 am

Phil
“You think that would be valueless in a general war?”
Yes.

If we accept limited engineers time and resources, its likely that the highest availability rate will be maintained by writing off damaged vehicles and concentrating on keeping functional ones in the field.

Although it does of course depend on the exact circumstances and a vehicle by vehicle basis,
An Abrams was hit by such a blast that it was flipped over, the turret seperated and the vehicle pretty much shredded, probably BER.
The same tank that drove over an anti personel mine and lost a track segment, probably worth repair.

My point was more that vehicles to be used in Counter Insurgency should be built to be mine protected above all else, both keep the crew alive, and facilitate either easy repair and canibalisation.
Vehicles used in war, should be built to be protected against enemy fire first and foremost.

It rather depends on what sort of war you intend to fight.
If you favour long peace keeping operations, you need to keep vehicles going for long periods of time, and have a lot of time to effect repairs on damaged vehicles in the field.
If you favour quick “in/out” raids or dashing advances, a three hour delay to fix a vehicle is likely to be impossible.

Somewhere in between, its likely to somewhere in betweem.

Personaly, in the sort of wars I think we should be fighting, the resources spent repairing damaged vehicles would be far better spent bringing more vehicles in the first place.

I remember reading about somewhere in Afghanistan, fairly early on, 4 CVRTs were sent to an area, two fire support, one command and an engineering vehicle and thinking that was positivly insane.

X
A bay class can in theory carry 36 MBTs, thats an under strength battalion, more or bigger bays, its not a massive problem moving them, admitadly, keeping them supplied mught be harder.
But its not beyond possible.

Pete
I considered mentioning that for our light tanks, we went with a little cannon, a big cannon and a missile platform.
20mm cannon, 120mm mortar, javelins?

Phil
October 31, 2011 12:23 pm

If you look at the information from WWII in Allied armies they returned huge numbers of vehicles to battle after repairs, it’s likely things would not have run as they did if vehicles had been abandoned. The more resistance to fire you have, the more your combat power. Mines are a legitimate and very widespread weapon in general war and designing vehicles that can largely take a hit and be repaired rapidly afterwards is a valuable concern in all scenarios. Vehicles hit by mines can still then dismount their infantry and the vehicle dragged back for quick repairs. There is much utility in mine resistance. I’m not talking about catastrophic kills, nobody is expecting an MBT with its turret popped off to be repaired in the field but every little helps.

DominicJ
DominicJ
October 31, 2011 12:38 pm

Phil
But WWII lasted years, in that sort of situation, then yes, repair matters.
The Gulf war, less than 30 days, Khafji to Ceasefire.

Repairability either comes with a dollar cost or a performance cost, how much we can afford either of those to be varies depending on how long the war is likely to last.

Phil
October 31, 2011 12:52 pm

Look at the campaigns. They were far more condensed in time and space. And surely the shorter the war the more valuable repaired vehicles are?!

McZ
McZ
October 31, 2011 12:58 pm


I know the Dutch ditched their MBT-capability due to budget cuts. But when you cut something, you take the capabilities first, where you think that the strategic need is lowest.

As I heard from a friend-of-mine living in Noord-Holland, the Dutch will in the foreseeable future never again fight another war on foreign soil. If forced to fight, there are hundreds of second hand tanks readily available on the market.

This is a strategic decision, one I would support absolutely if implemented in the UK.

Hence my counter-question.

Apart from this, I shit on political conventions and would want to have Merkava IV including Trophy.

DominicJ
DominicJ
October 31, 2011 1:00 pm

Phil
Depends on the time required.
Sure, if the vehicle is modular, and it takes 20 minutes to bolt on a new piece of armour.
But if takes 10 engineers a day and a workshop, I have to wonder would it not have been easier to ship over spare vehicles than that level of maintenance kit.

Its impossible to say in isolation.

Phil
October 31, 2011 1:04 pm

It’s not in isolation. It’s in the context of a general war. Not even the Soviets considered their AFVs disposable in the sense that they would not be worth repairing in battle. The tougher the kit the harder it is to completely break it. Look up the historical evidence that shows in a general war repaired AFVs comprised significant portions of AFV fleets even in condensed phases of different campaigns.

DominicJ
DominicJ
October 31, 2011 1:33 pm

“It’s in the context of a general war”

And that was agreed when?
Yes, if the UK intends to shoe the seventh soviet shock army (I need an S for army?) at Fulda, repairability is probably going to be very important.
If we intend to land at Rio Gallegos, beat the shit out of the 11th Mechanized Infantry Brigade and leg it back to sea before reinforcements can mobile and crush our land forces, anything immobilised is likely to be destroyed rather than repaired in any event, simply for lack of time to effect retrieval before the ships leave.

Phil
October 31, 2011 1:37 pm

You said identified enemy in a war. You then use GW1 as an example. So I am assuming we’re talking about a good old fashioned battle or two, conditions that represent a general war on the sharp end. Lots of firepower, attrition, etc etc

DominicJ
DominicJ
October 31, 2011 2:02 pm

Phil
Perhaps I read “general war” and thought “total war”.

I freely accept, I have no detailed knowledge here, and am operating mostly on guess work, but were there many (any?) theatre repairs in the first (or second) gulf wars?

DominicJ
DominicJ
October 31, 2011 3:26 pm

Jed
My biggest concern must be that an APC/IFV group stumbles upon a concealed enemy MBT, and it kills half of them before anyone can debus and engage with ATGMs, if we’re lucky, and simply wipes them out if we arent.

Something must be able to engage and destroy an enemy tank with a few seconds notice.
Dont care what, but something, if theres nothing there, we are inviting disaster.

Happy to entertain everything from escorting MBTs, heavily armed IFVs, or even heavily armed “tankettes”.

B.Smitty
B.Smitty
October 31, 2011 3:27 pm

Pete Arundel,

From what I’ve read from ODS & OIF, the 25mm on the Bradley and Marine LAV-25 has been very effective and versatile against a wide variety of targets.

While the Bradley won’t survive an ATGM, tank gun round, or large IED, it did prove reasonably survivable against just about everything else.

IIRC, it was praised by commanders as one of the most useful combat vehicles in theater due to its combination of mobility, firepower, protection and ability to carry troops. Swiss Army knives aren’t the best at anything, but they still are handy to have around.

Assumptions about threats goes hand-in-hand with the question about requirements. If we anticipate the future “norm” will be fighting Hezbollah-like forces in Lebanon (i.e. dug in, with large numbers of ATGMs), then HAPCs/HIFVs or even unmanned vehicles may be the only way to go. On the other hand, if we think threats will look more like the regular and irregular forces in ODS, OIF and OEF, then maybe the IFVs “Swiss Army knife” approach still has considerable value.

Just MHO.

paul g
October 31, 2011 5:23 pm

@dom j, yes 7 armd wksp deployed with 2 MRG’s (main repair groups) and 2 FRG’s (forward repair groups) known as MRG/FRG 7 and MRG/FRG 22 in respect to the brigades they supported. In the actual 100 hour “war” they used the leapfrog method to support assets, ie 1 set up, takes a bit of time to get up and running to accept kit, while the other went past and started to set up. TBH it was all a wee bit hetic!! I was in optronics and we took in radios and stuff dunno about the black hand gang (who are mechanics not engineers)!!! TD knows the difference, handsome debonair, sophisticated and then there are engineers!!

x
x
October 31, 2011 5:48 pm

@ DomJ

The USMC deploy a “platoon” of 4 M1A1 in a MEU and that small formation is a considerable drain on resources and takes up a lot of space too (as part of an all arms formation) within the ARG’s ships.

Israel is tiny. Though the IDF has transporters if needs be their armoured vehicles can self deploy. In the 73 war IDF reservists left their kibbutz, jumped in their tanks, and were in contact with enemy within the hour.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
October 31, 2011 5:57 pm

Hi DJ,

This is a good line (sets out the requirement, and has been uttered by some tank commanders I know):
“Something must be able to engage and destroy an enemy tank with a few seconds notice.
Dont care what, but something, if theres nothing there, we are inviting disaster.”

About value of repairing in the field, do read some of the better records of the battle of Kursk, as they utilise the war diaries of the entities on both sides (the Germans being more methodical in noting down, as you would expect), Despite the numbers involved, permanent write-offs were in dozens as long as the Germans were gaining ground and as soon as they could not retrieve the damaged tanks anymore, suddenly hundreds were lost, even though battle intensity diminished.

Phil
Phil
October 31, 2011 6:11 pm

There you go Dom straight from the horses mouth. The thing with GW1 is that it didn’t happen anything like anyone was expecting it to. The US MEF and Arab forces pushing into Kuwait were expected to take 20-40% casualties in the opening days and move at best a few kilometres forward before being stopped by overwhelming fire-power and chemical weapons. The British forces in the Gulf actually had the equivalent to a battlegroup of kit manned and organised into companies and squadrons ready to rapidly replace the lead elements as they were destroyed in the advance. So we were expecting a lot of repair work, as was everyone else. As it happened, the ground war went rather better, probably a bit too well.

Think Defence
Admin
October 31, 2011 6:20 pm
Reply to  paul g

Paul, a legend in their own (extended) NAAFI break :)

Pete Arundel
Pete Arundel
October 31, 2011 6:43 pm

Can I ask a simple question?

What is an MICV for? How is it supposed to be used?

DominicJ
DominicJ
October 31, 2011 7:05 pm

Jed
“and was to have firing ports”
Arse, my first thought was “and get rid of those silly bloody fireing ports!”

If I can add one more problem.
Its easy to say that the MICV will be protected by the “big Brother” MBT/MCV on a Powerpoint presentation, but those assets can be stripped away very quickly, either not deployed in the first place, or called away on “more important” matters

Phil
Phil
October 31, 2011 7:20 pm

In its pure form an MICV wants to be far more than it can ever be because it represents a conflict between forms and any one product as ever will be a compromise – the key is getting the balance as right as you can.

An MICV wants to fight other AFVs and provide fire support yet it cannot yet be armoured sufficiently to give it the same level of protection as an MBT and fulfil other roles, yet it is expected to expose itself to the same level of danger.

It wants to have weapon systems that can engage and kill tanks but these weapon systems are substantially less effective and vulnerable to counter measures than the 120mm main gun of a tank that is smashing out APFSDS rounds.

It wants to carry infantry into the battle and utilise the infantry’s organic fire power through firing ports yet without the armour necessary to withstand most of the enemies counter measures who would clean the clock of any mounted attack.

MICV cannot do what they are wanted to do against a determined enemy.

Which is why Warrior is a good example of a well balanced MICV. It carries infantry under reasonable armour which balances well with the fact that it is not expected to engage weapon systems it cannot defend against and so it is not armed to tackle them; and it cannot attack mounted when it doesn’t have the armour to do so, therefore it has no firing points.

It therefore carries a useful infantry section under armour suited to its role which enables it to be mobile and it doesn’t carry weapon systems that would get it killed quickly against a competent enemy, but it does carry a weapon which can provide fire support to the infantry at opportune times and also engage other AFVs at opportune times.

The design and make up of the Warrior reflects a realistic appraisal of how it would be most useful. Let’s not kid ourselves that BFV and BMP mounted attacks against a competent and reasonably equipped enemy would be suicide and that in close country a BFV or BMP would stand a chance against a modern, well crewed MBT. So let’s stop encouraging it to do so – it can only end one way, a dead infantry section. Better to split the tank destroyers from the infantry like we did with Milan CT and Striker.

Frenchie
Frenchie
October 31, 2011 7:42 pm

I think IFVs serves for fire support and protection to a group of infantry during an assault, and secondarily they can to support the tanks, being as mobile as the tanks.
The tanks attack, the infantry protect tanks against infantry opponents (ambushes, antitank missiles …) and IFV support the soldiers and they serves to based mobile fallback in case of need for protect them against light fire (machine guns , assault rifles, RPG …).
That’s how I see it, but you are safe from anything.
FRES direct fire can be used to protect the APCs, here I understand.

Think Defence
Admin
October 31, 2011 7:50 pm
Reply to  Jed

Wasnt the point of Striker to provide an AT cover/owerwatch for CVR(T) i.e. a big brother with a very long arm, exactly because CVR(T) was meant to go places where it would bump into enemy MBT. Small, nimble, highly manouverable vehicle that go go and look but without the necessary means of having a stand up fight with an MBT, thats why we dont have ATGW on Warrior because the point is, Warrior is never meant to be anywhere (supposedly) where it will be without having it’s own big brother in the form of CR2.

This kind of falls apart though when Warrior deploys to or is used in scenarios where it operates alone because this reality can turn it into a light tank, unfortunately it doesn’t have the firepower to operate in this role so maybe it would be useful to have an ATGW mounted, personally, I would see far more use in the kind of scenarios we actually find ourselves in for a Warrior with a 90mm cannon or 120mm mortar than one fitted with a 40mm cannon/ATGW combo

Phil
Phil
October 31, 2011 7:59 pm

I don’t think we should confuse how Warrior has been used and how it was envisaged it would be used. Obviously the context of its employment has changed quite a lot and as TD has pointed out it can be seen mission creeping into light tank areas but again, this is at the margins in that it only happens against less capable enemies. You would not see Warrior for example in an over-watch position in Lebanon firing with impunity and then scurrying about the battlefield.

I personally think other nations are wrong. Adding ATGW to an MICV detracts from its mission, adds weight, complexity and temptation all for a marginal capability frankly. MICVs should not be in the business of looking for trouble – they are there to deploy the infantry onto objectives and if they can, provide additional fire support. Now, they may run into a tank, but they may also run into a helicopter and we don’t advocate arming MICVs with HVM – it’s just the fate of war. Warriors were envisaged as one element in a combined arms battlegroup with other units taking on the tanks.

The Tank Destroyer concept is hardly a British peculiarity and represents a cost effective means of conducting a defence against MBTs without distracting your infantry tasks. A cheap vehicle that can fire from defilade or hull down position and which can concentrate entirely on stalking or ambushing tanks is far more effective than an expensive MICV which also has to operate and deploy its infantry section.

Pete Arundel
Pete Arundel
October 31, 2011 8:04 pm

Yes, Jed, I have read the article and yet I still think the question needs answering! You did give the classic answer (a vehicle which can carry infantry to keep up with tanks, it was to be better armed than an APC and was to have firing ports, so that the infantry could get into the battle without disembarking.) which I always thought was crap! So did the british army, I think, since Warrior never had firing ports. Anyway, my question still stands but perhaps I should modify it to “What is an MICV for now”. If it’s to carry infantry forward with the tanks then, really, it should have tank level armour and sacrifice the turret and big gun for infantry. The tanks are there to support the infantry and vice versa.

Think Defence
Admin
October 31, 2011 8:06 pm
Reply to  Phil

Didnt West Germany field a HOT armed tank destroyer?

Phil
Phil
October 31, 2011 8:07 pm

Yes Germany fielded a Jagdpanzer I and II I believe it was called, one with a canon (or Kanon!) and the other upgraded to HOT.

S Ortmann
S Ortmann
October 31, 2011 8:45 pm

Phil;
Jagdpanzer Kanone – 90mm gun

Raketenjagdpanzer 1 – unreliable HS 30 IFV with SS 11 ATGM

Jaguar 1 – Jagdpanzer Kanone design with (initially) SS 11 ATGM, soon refitted with an automatic high-performance HOT ATGM system

Jaguar 2 – used Jagdpanzer Kanone refitted with cheap manually-loaded TOW system

Phil
October 31, 2011 8:55 pm

That’s them. And the Yanks had their ITVs too.

Think Defence
Admin
October 31, 2011 8:56 pm
Reply to  S Ortmann

Are they still in service Sven?

What was their operational concept?

Phil
October 31, 2011 9:03 pm

No all long gone. They were tank destroyers in the German tradition as implied by their names. Like the S Tank, probably the best tank destroyer made.

B.Smitty
B.Smitty
October 31, 2011 9:04 pm

Jed,

IFVs should have tanks accompanying them too. However sometimes tanks are out of position for targets of opportunity (as you illustrated) or are otherwise occupied (e.g. lots of targets).

In your Greatest Tank Battles example, the Bradleys did kill numerous tanks and BMPs before one was knocked out. Should they have pulled back and let someone else deal with it? Maybe. But they gave a lot better than they got.

Can you improve the ability of an RWS-equipped APC to handle targets of opportunity? Of course. Would they be as good as the sensors (IBAS plus commanders thermal) and firepower (25mm, TOW, 7.62mm) on a Bradley? Not even close.

Of course there is plenty of room for improvement on the IFV front too.

A lot of these questions can be addressed with modeling, gaming and simulation using various configurations. But this depends entirely on our assessments of current and future threats.

Phil
October 31, 2011 9:10 pm

Shall we reverse roles. Imagine it’s 1989. The Cold War has just got hot. You’re in the Blackhorse Cavalry in an M1A1 as part of the covering force and you’re hull down with excellent fields of fire. And then the Soviet vanguard drives into view, the infantry riding in their BMP2s hoping to over run you through speed. And you and your Platoon open up. Hands up those that think the BMPs won’t stand a chance? So why should it be any different of they were PUMAs or WARRIORS? A competent enemy will annihilate that force and it’s infantry will burn before they get a chance to fight.

DominicJ
DominicJ
October 31, 2011 9:23 pm

Phil
Are you suggesting that relying on the “fighting spirit” of the frenchman might not be the best strategy? :)

Well said, put like that, we re-he-ally cannot count on warriors surving tank confrontations

Mark
Mark
October 31, 2011 9:32 pm

From an anti tanking killing perceptive in any ww3 Type fight I assume we would Employ apache the weapon the army bought for that role or indeed any Uav, fast air you care to mention. As soon as armour moves it’s killed from the air.

Phil
Phil
October 31, 2011 9:37 pm

As the Apache’s, UAVs etc fly about serenely and completely unmolested?

Mark
Mark
October 31, 2011 9:43 pm

Not just ours we lose air domance it doesn’t matter how gd are tank is it’s dead.

Phil
Phil
October 31, 2011 9:44 pm

I think the enemy might have some say in how many of their tanks we destroy from the sky.

DominicJ
DominicJ
October 31, 2011 9:45 pm

Mark
As soon as armour moves, it dies, I agree.

So what if it doesnt move?

A T-90 hiding in a barn or a woodland or garage is invisble until it turns its engine on, drives out, and wipes out your Warrior company.
5 minutes later, fast air arrives, and its back under cover, or its running for home, or its crew have blown the valuable systems and are walking home.
Either way, 100+ families are about to get a sad visit from the rear party, and ministers heads are rolling.

Couple of incidents like that, and we;ve lost the war.

Mark
Mark
October 31, 2011 9:57 pm

Which is why you the west generally in every coalition war we’ve fought only moves when we have total air dominance.

Doesn’t quite work like that I assume a tank needs it’s engine on to work when it turns them on it exposes its self and also now the advance is usually cover constantly with some sort of air asset look at the way convoys move in afghan. Attrition in such a war would be expected

DominicJ
DominicJ
October 31, 2011 10:18 pm

Mark
True, with its engine on, its a big target for airplatforms, but without, its invisible, if I was fighting NATO, I would scatter individual tanks all over the place, who would wait patiently for any targets they can maul to appear, they might have to sit patiently as tanks idle past, they might be captured without a shot fired 90% of the time, but every now and again, unless every unit of your army travels with tank support, a company is going to stumble across my hidden tank, and get annihilated.

Phil said about the first gulf war
“The British forces in the Gulf actually had the equivalent to a battlegroup of kit manned and organised into companies and squadrons ready to rapidly replace the lead elements as they were destroyed in the advance.”
And I have no reason to doubt him, but ANY minister who announces losses like that is going to be out of a job by the end of the month, even if we “won” the war, excluding of course a war of national survival.

Mark
Mark
October 31, 2011 10:28 pm

Dismounted infantry carry anti tank weapons no! One tank may kill one or 2 warriors but that’s war if you assume your op above. Remember the largest tank battle fought by uk forces since ww2 was a 14 tank engagement in telic. It’s hardly a major issue I think a 2 company tank 2 company warrior battle group gives you all the on ground tank capability we will ever need

Phil
October 31, 2011 10:34 pm

Different times mate. We fully expected such casualties. The only political concession was to move British forces away from the Kuwait operation since British forces would have suffered a disproportionate number of casualties in an expected blood bath. GW1 was expected to be WW3 scale. It wasn’t just Saddam who was expecting the Mother of All Battles. It’s the price of fighting a competent enemy, heavy casualties. Luckily in the end the Iraqi Army never stood a chance.

paul g
October 31, 2011 10:42 pm

i’ve got a map of all the battle groups, shame it’s 1)A1 sized so won’t fit printer 2) behind glass in a frame

DominicJ
October 31, 2011 10:43 pm

mark
tanks can fire roughly every 10 seconds. One warrior explodes, how soon can someone debus, set up their atgm and score a kill?
‘one or two’ warriors is twenty dead men, couple of incidents like that….

paul g
October 31, 2011 10:50 pm

won’t let me edit, bugger but i remember all the BCR’s (battlefield casualty replacements) all based in blackadder lines, it’s all coming back!!

By the way my laptop is playing up so an answer i put earlier but lost was why not bin mucking about with ASCOD bridgelayers and ambulances, any non upgraded warriors convert some to ambulances, BAe already done the bridgelayer and let’s do an ASCOD replacement for striker (awesome when watching that fire using dismounted remote control system).
I would use spike in either ER version (8km) or the NLOS version (25km) video on youtube shows NLOS going through a small window 25 clicks away and now there is mini spike so the infantry could have 1 system for all foot/mobile etc etc.

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones
October 31, 2011 10:51 pm

The Soviets, who originally came up with the IFV concept (well it’s disputed but for arguments sake…) saw a battlefield dominated by NBC fallout and artillery. Hence the BMP=1 was enclosed but allowed the infantry to fight without leaving the vehicle (rifle ports). However, they got carried away and thought the vehicle could speed in to the battle area and then dismount the troops. When the soviet trained and equipped Arab armies tried this against a well-entrenched opposition they were slaughtered before they could dismount. The Soviets (and the West) learnt the lesson and dismounted the troops before advancing on the objective; the 73mm gun was replaced by a 30mm, I assume to tackle helicopters and lightly armoured AT vehicles. The West followed a similar path and the Bradley was originally designed almost as a tank killer rather than a troop carrier. However, after experience of fighting in Grozny and other places the Russians produced the BMP-3 and the BMPT. If they are the result of lessons learnt by the Russians, what particular reasons/limitations are stopping us from similar conclusions?

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones
October 31, 2011 11:05 pm
Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones
October 31, 2011 11:27 pm

RE: Bradley development…

Rupert Fiennes
Rupert Fiennes
October 31, 2011 11:45 pm

It’s noticeable that in the context of general war, it’s clear that anything operating with tanks logically has to have the same level of armoured protection. Since the vehicles are then effectively the same weight class, why not make them the same, equipping some with 120mm cannon, and some with 30mm cannon suitable for infantry suppression. For dismounts, instead of trying to fit a full section into a single MICV, we could move to one fire team per vehicle

Re any fighting vehicle without an installed weapon under armour capable of dealing with the majority of threats it is likely to meet can best be described as a liability

S Ortmann
S Ortmann
October 31, 2011 11:56 pm

“The Soviets (and the West) learnt the lesson and dismounted the troops before advancing on the objective…”

The correct tactic depends on multiple variables. There’s no one-size fits it all and all too often leaders can only know enough to make the correct choice after the action.

An infantry screen ahead of AFVs is typically meant to defeat manportable AT weapons – it was the approach that partially countered the Panzerfaust and Panzerschreck in 1945.
The typical countermeasure are flanking (frontally concealed) defensive positions and mortar HE fires (mortar HE because it’s usually too close for arty or ICM).

Men riding on AFVs and shooting at AT teams while mounted works only with concepts such as open-topped AFVs and ACAV, not with ball mounts. It’s furthermore outdated because mounted infantry has nowadays less effective range than manportable AT weapons do.

It shouldn’t surprise that dilemmas still exist even for heavy combined arms teams. It’s the defenders job to keep any single tactic from becoming an “I win” button.
Then again, it’s also the defender’s job to keep his position secret until he initiates his ambush…

B.Smitty
B.Smitty
November 1, 2011 12:26 am

Garth Jones,

“The Russian Army had no money and little support. The army had not conducted a regiment or division-scale field training exercise in over two years and most battalions were lucky to conduct field training once a year. Most battalions were manned at 55% or less. Approximately 85% of Russian youth were exempt or deferred from the draft, forcing the army to accept conscripts with criminal records, health problems or mental incapacity. The Russian Army lacked housing for its officers and had trouble adequately feeding its soldiers and paying them. The Russian Army invaded Chechnya with a rag-tag collection of various units, without an adequate support base. When the Chechens stood their ground, the state to which the Russian Army had sunk became apparent to the world.”

The Russian Army in Grozny was a first order cluster f*ck. I have a hard time drawing equipment conclusions from their experience. Besides, the BMP-3 is not even up to the survivability standards of early western IFVs.

DominicJ
November 1, 2011 7:07 am

jed
an enemy unit that can only move during severe weather is functionaly immobile in my book.
I’m not saying they cant swap fireing pit, or anything, but a unit trying to sprint 20 miles getting picked up by an anti tank platform is screwed.

We can (or better be able to)smash the enemy line at a chosen point, the enemy should in theory then encricle and destroy us, but anything trying to waves a big kill me kill me sign around.

There is also a capability issure, in 91, f16s, thermal sights and 1klb laser guided bombs were all we could manage, now, aircraft have a dozen missiles, not 4 bombs.

Phil
November 1, 2011 7:29 am

Dom you have a very Tom Clancy technologically deterministic outlook on combat. Just because it can be killed doesn’t mean it will be.

Mark
Mark
November 1, 2011 7:58 am

Domj

I don’t know why you keep bringing up the casualties of 2 warriors killed. That is the cost of such a war 25-60% unit losses would be the order your talking this is not afghan. Politicians should remember that before ever engaging in such a war. Look at Falklands 255 killed 10 warships lost in just over 2 months.

While airpower will not remove ever single tank on every battle field it changes things more than anything else. I would say airpower has moved on significantly in the last 10 years wide area/ local area SAR sig advances in targeting pods total persistence thru tactical uavs and weapons that can be launched in any conditions day or night and all pin point accurate with ftacs on the ground and far better cross cue and integration. This was all in it’s infancy in gw1 and even gw2.
But in the context of a uk operation the requirements will be much less

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
November 1, 2011 8:35 am

Hi Mark,
The reason for my initial applause at the rumoured Gen Richards proposals, one of them being the emphasis (= investment in kit, doctrine , tactics and training) on tactical networks
RE “advances in targeting pods total persistence thru tactical uavs and weapons that can be launched in any conditions day or night and all pin point accurate with ftacs on the ground and far better cross cue and integration.”
– luckily TD had a thread on this coming up (termed more broadly “Communications”)

DominicJ
DominicJ
November 1, 2011 9:04 am

Mark
Because its not 1982!
And, unless UK territory is threatened, UK Territory isnt threatened.

The Falklands losses were acceptable because we were clearly attacked and we won.
And even then, the government was in a panic, Goose Green was mounted not because the Army believed “momentum” was being lost, but because the government was starting to look weak in the headlines.

47 dead in the Gulf War is unfortunate and men die in war, the army might have been prepared to suffer 470 dead, or 4700 dead, but they’d have been dragged from office over it.

5 warriors without armour support that ran into an enemy tank would be destroyed, with (relative) massive losses, the next day, the papers would be demanding to know who’s head was going to role, making suggestions, and the British contingent to a coalition would be relegated to the rear lines, an army in itself, any sort of aggressive actions would likely be off the table.

Or maybe not.

Mark
Mark
November 1, 2011 9:22 am

The point about the Falklands is not it was 1982 it’s the only time a western army in modern time has engaged a compatible enemy in equal terms. The point being a clear objective was established and a clear end game was there and uk believed in the cause. Like wise in 91 a very clear objective was in place. We know how many personnel we need to fight such wars and how to get out of them without long term garrisons of countries that don’t want us there. Why would 5 warriors come across a tank without any other assistance in such a war we talking about. Even if it did I’m sure there’s ways it can be dealt with. By your logic every vehicle ever put on a battle field will require an anti tank capability as it could at some point come across a tank thats hidden it self so no one ever sees it when the all the heavy stuff passed by.

Phil
November 1, 2011 9:38 am

Dom Warriors move in over watch, all units move in over watch when contact is likely. Now the fate of war may mean that a unit stumbles on a tank in a tight bit of terrain but such is war. The public etc is far more resilient to casualties than you think. Show me one officer or politician hauled over the coals since 1945 for commanding a force that’s sustained casualties? Rather than the political unpopularity of a certain campaign. I can’t think of a single one.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
November 1, 2011 10:14 am

Unfortunate typo in my applause to Gen Richards
(instant, not initial, I meant as I don’t doubt for a second that he has arrived at the right conclusion)

S Ortmann
S Ortmann
November 1, 2011 11:43 am

Let’s get systematic.

What do you guys expect of a MICV/IFV?

defeat occupied structures
defeat occupied structures without rare ammunition
defeat MBTs
defeat IFVs, medium armoured recce vehicles
defeat APCs, light armoured recce vehicles
defeat helicopters within 2 km radius
defeat infantry in the open
defeat snipers (sensor!)
defeat infantry in defilade / behind cover
carry ? dismounts
be capable of close combat (in streets, forest roads)
survive MBT fire (frontal)
survive ATGM fire (800 mm RHAeq CE or top attack HEAT)
survive IFV fire (autocannon 30 mm APFSDS)
survive HMG fire (14.5 mm API)
survive major IEDs (below belly)
survive major IEDs (roadside)
survive conventional AT mines
survive DPICM direct hit (110 mm RHAeq CE top hit)
match MBT mobility off-road
full networking
ECM components
magnetic mine countermeasures
full night combat capability
amphibiousness
deep wading capability
price per unit below 1.5 million GBP
price per unit below 3.0 million GBP
price per unit below 4.5 million GBP

Copy & paste what you’d NOT require (+ the qty of dismounts). It’s the compromise that you’re willing to really expresses your opinion.

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix
November 1, 2011 12:24 pm

@ AAC – “Unfortunate typo in my applause to Gen Richards”

What has Richards been saying (couldn’t find a reference above)?

Cheers

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
November 1, 2011 12:44 pm

Rumour an arrse:

– bin MRBs and plan for/ with more usable combinations
– maybe have 4 standing bde’s in place of the 5 MRBs, but concentrate on stuff that makes the difference (e.g. put money in upgraded tactical networking)

… I have not seen any original document (but that’s what arrse is for)

DominicJ
DominicJ
November 1, 2011 12:46 pm

price per unit below 4.5 million GBP
deep wading capability
full night combat capability
match MBT mobility off-road
full networking
survive HMG fire (14.5 mm API)
survive IFV fire (autocannon 30 mm APFSDS) (frontal)
be capable of close combat (in streets, forest roads)
defeat IFVs, medium armoured recce vehicles
defeat APCs, light armoured recce vehicles
defeat infantry in the open
carry 4-8 dismounts

I’d alter the cover/buildings infantry to “suppress” rather than defeat.

DominicJ
DominicJ
November 1, 2011 12:50 pm

ACC
The problem with that is it doesnt work.
Its great to think, right, what do I need, and order exactly what you need from a catalogue, but half an hour later, you get a string of emails back saying x/y/z is out of stock, a has a lead time of 3 months ect.