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More Mobility Concepts – Articulation

Articulated Volvo_A30D_dumper

Following on from our recent discussion on vehicle mobility this is a video mini-series looking at how vehicle designers approach the need for mobility. The need for extreme mobility in adverse conditions has delivered some extremely interesting solutions that go beyond the traditional wheels v tracks debate.

It is generally accepted that for serious mobility, especially where low surface compaction or high tractive force is needed, tracks are superior to wheels. Another generally accepted fact is that tracks have higher running costs, create more vibration, are noisier and have higher fuel consumption.

Various FRES studies seemed to draw the same conclusions and there are some interesting (although quite old) research papers on the web;$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/eng8171

But, there are a number of technologies and designs that have and are chipping away at these assumptions, wheels and track technology does not standstill.

We all know about the Supacat ATMP and BAE BVs10 Viking but these are the more unusual and mostly civilian solutions.

If these don’t whet your appetite then head over to Unusual Locomotion


Forestry Machines

Articulated Loaders and Derived Designs

And to close this video mini series

Yes, I have watched them all

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19 Responses

  1. Highlight of the “weird & wonderful” series
    – military applications seem to have a tendency to be all “pull”, I can only think of the Hippo (on the beach) using “push” mainly
    – the Ponsse video was great, but if you drive from the rear unit it will necessarily be quite high (a nice target)

  2. I would want a ‘normal’ DROPS truck or a conversion of the Archer system onto a MAN truck.

    @TD: Also the introduction of the Australian RACE container, because it is slightly wider then the normal container thus allowing a wider CVR(t)to be developed

  3. Hi RLC,

    I understand the yearning for standard platforms, but the videos reminded me of how brilliant the Archer is
    – did you see the dumper truck video, of the base platform
    – not to mention the 3 rounds fired out to x? with simultanous impact; where x is nowhere near the 40 km max range, because the first one will travel quite high to arrive at the same time with the third (exactly the reason for AMOS having two barrels)

    … we need to get some of those Archers, and then the high mobility of the SPGs is their asset (keep up with the MBTs and IFVs, which is not a requirement for huge numbers), and the planned upgrade to Braveheart config can be forgotten about (well, has been anyway, I guess the precision fires further out being down to rocketry)

  4. @ACC
    Yes I Agree with everything you say. I love the Archer because it is a cheap mobile 155mm SPG. The only thing I don’t like is the reloading of the magazine

    However on Standard platforms I agree with TD that we should have one type of chassis. This leads to the need of either using the Volvo A30D class for all heavy load vehicle’s. But as England has chosen MAN for logistical the Archer should be a fixed to a MAN truck, easy of repair etc.

    What do think of Iron Sky – Nazi’s in space ;)

  5. “I love the Archer because it is a cheap mobile 155mm SPG”

    Think it’s more expensive than a plain vanilla 155mm, you have to add in the cost of the truck, but overall it does look like a very good system with potential.

    Looks like the spent rounds are retained on board. Wonder why they didn’t just eject them?

  6. @Observer
    SPG being integral to that sentence. Most others, except the french are more armoured or not as automated.

    theirs no point having a trailer version when you can have a SPG that can deploy, fire and scoot in a minute. Especially since the man-power requirements are exponentially lower than the trailer version.

  7. @RL-C

    Point there. I kept comparing it to the gun only system.

    Still, it is a nice looking system. And I mean functionally, not just externally.

  8. An example of an articulated military vehicle is the USMC Logistics Vehicle System. They are moving away from articulation though.

    On the modular front it needn’t be like the Warthog and others – different front and a rear units. You could just have identical units that can be linked together. Joined up for when you want lots of traction. Separate when you want to be in two places at once. Front or rear gets damaged and you have the other unit to get out of there.

    Think two CRV(T)s joined together with a draw bar and the rear one acting like a powered trailer. Steering would be a bit of a handful probably but if it worked you would plan for it in future vehicles. You could do it with any vehicle really. Two Jackals perhaps. Lock the steering on the rear one so it doesn’t wander and then unlock it when you separate.

  9. Good to find the Archer Fan Club…on members’ comments

    RE “Looks like the spent rounds are retained on board. Wonder why they didn’t just eject them?”
    – it is a fully NBC-protected system; until you have to step out to reload the next 20… gets you a better probability of not having contamination in the parts you have to deal with

    The related point “except the french are more armoured or not as automated” being that when firing, in the French solution the crew will be outside and not under that protection (nor protection from splinters of counterfire; the Archer guys stay in the cab)

  10. @ A Different Gareth – There is the same idea in the ARMOR pdf I linked to above, except with weisel AFV’s. Less space but can become two independent units. Scimitar and Spartan? Scimitar and Striker?

  11. CAESAR (the French SPG) does show what a non articulated SPG truck would look like.

    Does anyone know why the Archer gun is covered in transport mode? The only reasons I could come up with is as protection of the barrel from vegetation ect.

  12. Gareth Jones,

    So it wasn’t a completely idiotic idea then! Doesn’t seem to have taken off though.

Comments are closed.