Foxhound – Wot No RWS

The MoD has released a few pictures and video footage of the Foxhound’s entry into Afghanistan

From the MoD’s press release

Foxhound is at the cutting edge of protected patrol vehicle technology and provides unprecedented levels of blast protection for its size and weight.

After being flown out from RAF Brize Norton in a C-17 aircraft, these patrol vehicles are currently undergoing final testing in the dusty and hot conditions of the Helmand desert before being deployed on operations later in the year.

Foxhound has been specifically designed and built in Britain to protect against the threats our troops face in Afghanistan. However, this is an agile and versatile vehicle that will be a mainstay in the Army for years to come.

Also

The MOD is also able to confirm today that a £90m contract for an additional 100 Foxhounds has been signed. It means a total of 300 vehicles will now be delivered to the Army as part of a deal with GDLS:FPE worth £270m that is sustaining around 750 highly-skilled jobs across the UK.

Interesting stuff

Foxhound landed on the 2md of June 2012 at Camp Bastion.

Originally procured as an Urgent Operational Requirement, Foxhound was designed specifically to protect against the threats faced by troops in Afghanistan – for example, its V-shaped hull helps it withstand explosions caused by an improvised explosive device. Its size and agility allows troops to carry out a wide range of tasks in environments that may restrict larger, heavier vehicles. Foxhound is ideal for the Partnering and Mentoring role required for Transition, being able to access urban areas with increased protection.

The vehicle incorporates state of the art technology from a range of areas, including from non-traditional defence sources such as the UK’s world-leading motorsport industry, drawing a significant number of SMEs from across the country into the supply chain.

Its engine can be removed and replaced in just 30 minutes and it can drive away on only three wheels.
The vehicle was designed, developed, and built in the UK by FPE and Ricardo plc, together with Team Ocelot partners Thales, QinetiQ, Formaplex, DSG and Sula. Construction of the vehicles will take place throughout the UK.

British Army Foxhound Light Protected Patrol Vehicle (LPPV) in Afghanistan 03 British Army Foxhound Light Protected Patrol Vehicle (LPPV) in Afghanistan 07 British Army Foxhound Light Protected Patrol Vehicle (LPPV) in Afghanistan 08

But hold on a minute, how can it be possible that a new vehicle has no remote weapon system, surely that is putting ‘our brave boys’ at risk, wouldn’t they be better sat inside watching a TV screen?

No doubt there will be shrill cries in the media that cruel MoD penpushers and incompetent top brass have yet again failed.

The simple truth is that for the LPPV role, the situational awareness and ability to connect with the local population afforded by top cover standing up is better than being buttoned up.

It is not a weapons platform in the WMIK role but designed to provide protection whilst on patrol, a subtle but important distinction.

This might be hard for some to understand or appreciate but maybe the MoD and the users of this vehicle are right.

Given that this is a replacement for the Snatch there will no doubt be a great deal of scrutiny on this vehicle and the MoD does have a lot to answer for in that regards but there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the Snatch, in fact, many regard it as the best in its class. The problem with the Snatch was that it was the wrong vehicle for the threat environment it found itself being used in.

Anyway, Foxhound looks like a winner, as long as it lives up to expectations we should expect to see a good future for it.

We will hopefully see other variants such as the load carrier and weapons carrier be adopted.

Foxhound WMIK Variant
Foxhound WMIK Variant
Ocelot Foxhound WMIK Pod
Ocelot Foxhound WMIK Pod
Ocelot Foxhound Utility Vehicle
Ocelot Foxhound Utility Vehicle

H/T Paul G for the Ocelot weapons carrier image

Update, a few extra images and video

British Army Foxhound Light Protected Patrol Vehicle (LPPV) in Afghanistan 01 British Army Foxhound Light Protected Patrol Vehicle (LPPV) in Afghanistan 02 British Army Foxhound Light Protected Patrol Vehicle (LPPV) in Afghanistan 04 British Army Foxhound Light Protected Patrol Vehicle (LPPV) in Afghanistan 05 British Army Foxhound Light Protected Patrol Vehicle (LPPV) in Afghanistan 06

123 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
paul g
June 17, 2012 1:43 pm

I really hope they let the “brit style of thinking” come into play and we end up with more than just the standard command,ambulance, troop carrier versions. LMM or spike even a crew cab version with winch/crane for recovery. They’re interchangable pods let’s get creative!!

TrT
TrT
June 17, 2012 1:55 pm

Has anyone actually been shot manning a gun mount?
Given where this vehicle is going to be used, open spaces, surely the chances of accurate fire against the gunners is slim at best?

I was most concerned by the two GPMGs. Isnt going to be winning many firefights.
But then is its escorted by jackals or some such, no doubt there will be plenty of GMGs and HMGs around.

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones
June 17, 2012 2:08 pm

@ Paul g – ” LMM or spike even a crew cab version with winch/crane for recovery. They’re interchangable pods let’s get creative!!” sounds like a new challenge!

What pods would people like to see?

Is it strong/big enough to mount a mortar?

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix
June 17, 2012 2:37 pm

i love them all, and want HMG to buy thousands of them!

mick 346
mick 346
June 17, 2012 2:42 pm

@ TrT

Two GPMGS should be enough for the role the vehicle is supposed to be fulfilling. If you want heavier armament you are looking at being able to fulfil other capabilities than what the vehicle is designed for. For a vehicle to be successful it must be designed for a purpose and be able to meet that capability need, while costing a reasonable amount.

Derek
Derek
June 17, 2012 3:17 pm

The problem with manned turrets is not so much being shot but the effects of blast. I am not aware of a compact manned ring mount that offers a mine protected seat, consequently when an MRAP (or for that matter an up armoured HMMWV) gets hit with an IED the gunner is usually dead or severely wounded. Of course, TD is right, situational awareness is paramount and only the human head can provide that adequately at the moment.

Also, for the “FRES is too expensive and it could be done so much cheaper” crowd, note the price, Foxhound (a relatively simple 4×4 patrol vehicle) is coming out at £900,000 per unit. These things are not cheap. Lets just hope they keep buying them.

Phil
June 17, 2012 3:46 pm

I imagine a .50 or GMG could be mounted if they wanted it. And yes gunners tend to have a flying lesson which nearly always proves to be fatal. There was a lot of debate over seat belts in Jackals. Some said not wearing seat belts meant you’d be thrown clear of the blast and live.

But in reality you were indeed thrown clear, albeit through the gun mount and onto your neck. The MG can also come up and kiss you in the face and destroy you in a blast. Being a gunner, whilst fun is dangerous. But hey, its the Army!

Mike
Mike
June 17, 2012 4:16 pm

Finally. Glad to see them crammed in a C-17 as well, interesting to hear how they perform, also curious to think how they’ll turn out after Afghanistan.

James
James
June 17, 2012 5:21 pm

They look a bit top heavy to me, and we’ll be hearing of fatalities or at least significant injuries and damage in rollovers. Firing an MG on the move off that wobbly and high up a mount is also going to result in a beaten zone the size of Essex, so probably best not to do it unless in total emergency. I suspect that answers TD’s question: RWS from that platform is not needed as it could not hit a barn door while on the move, and if stopped there’s little to be gained by having an RWS. That alone probably keeps the price down.

Just imagine, Snatch 2012 costing £900,000. Weighing 7.5 tonnes, and reaching 50 mph in 19.75 seconds on a flat piece of tarmac. Such is the price of medium levels of protection I suppose.

James
James
June 17, 2012 5:28 pm

Following the dog naming of recent vehicles (Mastiff, Ridgeback), it’s a good thing they did not call it Whippet or Butcher’s Dog. It could however be renamed Lardy Labrador.

As we are now taking them into core, let’s hope our next war is one in which the principal threat is IEDs for which this is optimised, or else we’ll be having to UOR something with different characteristics. This would be useless in secondary jungle or the mountains, for instance.

Ashley
Ashley
June 17, 2012 5:29 pm

Lightweight or not, I wonder how long it will take for someone to realise those GPMG’s could really do with a gun shield.

Max H
Max H
June 17, 2012 5:54 pm

“We will hopefully see other variants such as the … weapons carrier be adopted.”

I hope not, unless there is some great trick this can do that the jackal cannot.

Pete Arundel
Pete Arundel
June 17, 2012 8:06 pm

Yep . . . the suspension still looks as poor as I remember. As a LPPV let’s hope it’s as tough as it’s claimed to be because I’m as convinced as ever that it has no future as a basis for a fighting vehicle.

Chris.B.
Chris.B.
June 17, 2012 8:38 pm

Is Foxhound not just supposed to be a slightly armoured taxi? I fear we’re trying to pile roles onto it that it was never intended for.

Topman
Topman
June 17, 2012 8:53 pm

Isn’t it ultimately the replacement for Snatch?

Jed
Jed
June 18, 2012 2:12 am

TD says situational awareness is the reason for top hatches and heads out – Israel and South Africa came to the conclusion that armoured glass for the troop compartment was the answer, of course we take that out and armour over it on the Mastiff etc.

If your heads out, in a Basra type situation, surely a gun shield for the Gimpy is going to be required ?

If it’s a medium armoured taxi, taking you to your foot patrol zone, then your going to be in your mine blast resistant seat, strapped securely in place until you debus for your patrol. In which case would not even a light RWS aimed by vehicle commander be better for “over watch’ of the now unmounted patrollers ?

tsz52
tsz52
June 18, 2012 4:58 am

Fantastic looking machine, for whatever that’s worth.

Would someone mind explaining a few things to this bloke who seems to spend most of his time being seduced by grey floaty and flying things?:-

What are the two small boxes bolted to the top/front of the bonnet?

How the costs roughly break down so that I can understand why it costs £900,000? I’m not suggesting that it shouldn’t, by the way, just genuinely have no idea why.

How transportable is it, in terms of how many per the different types of aircraft, or landing craft? What will be the knock on problems of this (if any)?

Cheers folks.

James
James
June 18, 2012 5:55 am

Jed,

commuting to your patrol and back is not a no risk situation, so sitting back in your mine resistant seat is not an option. An RWS is not a good answer when you are driving through a high threat urban environment, when the threat is from 360 degrees horizontally, and up to 90 degrees vertically. That’s why getting a couple of pairs of eyes outside and looking all around and up and down is a good idea. The 2 guys can also listen, and report on ambience, the gestures people make, and so on.

The gun shield may prove a poor idea. It cuts off your vision, won’t stop much more than bricks anyway, gives you a defensive mentality, and the beneficial effects can be largely achieved with see-through Makralon. Just like the Snatch had, for 1/18th of the price of this lardy land rover. Presumably the price differential is made up by the electronic spine of the wagon to allow for plug and play radio fits.

Please Christ no one come back with some techno-geek Mr Fred type of solution about automated alerting devices and cue-to-slew for an RWS, because that would be the sort of bollocks that the defence industry would love to develop and sell on taxpayers’ money, and useless in real life.

Gabriele
Gabriele
June 18, 2012 7:28 am

“RWS from that platform is not needed as it could not hit a barn door while on the move, and if stopped there’s little to be gained by having an RWS.”

The Foxhound has a payload margin of 900 kg in addition to the 6 soldiers inside, and there is plenty of RWS in the 2 to 300 kg class that come with full stabilization for firing on the move. They put a Protector stabilized and demonstrated firing on the move from a Jackal, they could do it on Foxhound as well, if they wanted.

“An RWS is not a good answer when you are driving through a high threat urban environment, when the threat is from 360 degrees horizontally, and up to 90 degrees vertically.”

There are RWS with 85° elevation. I don’t think the GPMG on pintle can do anything like that, so i’d say that the RWS is still a better answer.
It comes down to looking up at the high floors, and eventually firing with your personal weapon, i guess.
But it just does not seem to me to be very smart to stick out of an hatch while driving down a street of a potentially very hostile town.

paul g
June 18, 2012 9:28 am

also an RWS doesn’t “command” (can’t think of a better word) than a pair of eyes in direct contact. there’s just something about been stared at by a person, and that goes both ways ie a thousand yard stare that can stop a charging rhinoceros at 1000 paces (if it was a REME stare of course not some mincer in red trousers ;-) )to the cheery wave and smile to reassure.

think the £900,000 takes into account spares and support

Gabriele
Gabriele
June 18, 2012 11:30 am

I know what James was saying and i appreciate top cover. But since RWS and top cover are not necessarily exclusive (the Ocelot/Foxhound is supposed to have a big hatch over the commander seat and/or space up front suitable for a RWS while still having the rear hatches for people to stick outside), it continues to make more sense to have the option to duck inside when the shit hits the fan, and still reply to enemy fire with a suitable volume of fire when necessary. Which would also come with handy stabilization for firing on the move, eventually.

But you do have all the answers, as always, so it’s pointless to even talk about it.

R L-C
R L-C
June 18, 2012 11:53 am

still prefer the RG 32 Galten. Don’t know why, just think its prettier and perhaps it has more use than the Foxhound. Then again I despise the Jackal as an unprotected useless truck (A MAN conversion would be better if they wanted something like that).

Derek
Derek
June 18, 2012 1:51 pm

Gabrielle,

On tech/engineering related issues TD is often overenthusiastic (especially when it comes to technological maturity and suitability) but on this issue he is absolutely correct. The human head not only has a wide range of senses (sound, sight, taste etc) it also has the ability to fuse them and has them connected to a pair of arms which give extremely fast reactions. At present this can not be recreated with the available technology. Thermal cameras are great but do not offer wide fields of view and acoustic systems are still primitive. It is notable that the US Army maintains a similar love of manned weapons stations despite the risks the gunner takes.

As for some of the other comments in this thread, believe it or not the UK procurement process does look into things like centre of gravity (James) and ride quality (Pete Arundel), indeed it is detail like that that pushes up the cost of these vehicles and causes procurement to take so long.

Still, at £900,000 a piece this is one expensive Land Rover replacement. For reference the reported 1988 unit cost of Warrior was £750,000 and Canada has just awarded TAPV with a unit cost of £751,000 (doing a fairly rough calculation).

James
James
June 18, 2012 2:27 pm

Paul G, re that 1,000 yard stare.

I recall being orderly officer one day (probably an extra, but no matter). The Guard Sergeant was a REME feller from another Squadron. As part of the Guard Mounting drill he had to come up to salute me (me being all dolled up in Blues and with a 40 inch sabre). He clearly couldn’t remember which foot to halt on and sort of stuttered to a halt about 12 inches in front of me, and threw up his best salute. At which point I began my return salute with the sabre and his eyes opened wide in terror and he stumbled backwards to avoid being kebabbed. It was the most shit Guard Mounting in Christendom so we had several more practices before I was happy. It was however fairly amusing to tell the ASM next day that his man needed drill practice: ASM’s reply was that “REME don’t do drill Sir”, and he was quite correct.

TrT
TrT
June 18, 2012 6:07 pm

“As we are now taking them into core, let’s hope our next war is one in which the principal threat is IEDs for which this is optimised, or else we’ll be having to UOR something with different characteristics. This would be useless in secondary jungle or the mountains, for instance.”

Which is rather the problem the good doctor north highlighted with FRES.
What is this vehicle for?
What is the army for?

Is it an armed police force as in NI?
Is it a resisted occupation force as in Afghanistan?
Or is it a fulda gap war fighting force?

Because it needs entirely different vehicles for each of those tasks.

x
x
June 18, 2012 6:28 pm

I wonder how much “advanced composites” is per square foot (for whatever given thickness) ?

The mechanicals, engine etc., transmission, etc. can’t be more than £50K. Let’s give £300k profit per vehicle. And lets say it takes 12 bods 3 days to screw it say £10k. “advanced composites” must cost a fair bit.

IXION
June 18, 2012 7:42 pm

x

Tend to agree – these advance composites sound very expensive!

Also tend to agree with the article in the spectator – 5 years too late.

Derek

Yea right!

Like they did with Vector, RB44, Springer, Panther …..

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones
June 18, 2012 11:50 pm

Link to the TAPV Derek mentioned:

http://textrontapv.ca/

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones
June 19, 2012 12:02 am

This is an interesting one:

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

Based on a commercial truck chassis with a separate armoured body. Don’t know how well protected it is against IED’s/mines…

Gabriele
Gabriele
June 19, 2012 7:51 am

“On tech/engineering related issues TD is often overenthusiastic (especially when it comes to technological maturity and suitability) but on this issue he is absolutely correct.”

And i am repeating that a RWS and the rear hatches for sticking out on top cover are not supposed to be mutually exclusive, not on Foxhound at least, thanks to its configuration.

Responsiveness is fine and beautiful, but if the vehicle hits a IED with the guys sticking out of the hatches, they are pretty much dead for sure. And the army is clearly expecting the Foxhound to drive around in lock-down at least part of the time, since they stuck cameras all over it to give 360° coverage.
Also, the advantages of better situational awareness are kind of lost due to the limited firing arcs that the GPMGs seem to have, especially in elevation.

I’m aware that you can’t get everything and you have to make compromises, but i -think- that better compromises could be made.

Derek
Derek
June 19, 2012 8:58 am

Gabrielle,

Cameras are great, but they are no substitute for the human head, RWS has some advantages, mostly in terms of accuracy (and therefore engagement range) but for situational awareness the human head is currently unbeatable.

IXION,

The general perception is that LPPV was done right, the testing process was laborious and conducted with the anticipation of heavy scrutiny following the snatch controversy. The establishment was well aware this one could not go wrong. Springer is a different matter.

Foxhound is however a damning indictment of UK AFV industrial policy. The vehicle is a relatively simple 4×4 patrol vehicle but most of its components were designed outside the UK and it should have been in service 10 years ago.

Brian Black
Brian Black
June 19, 2012 10:01 am

Great little vehicle. As a Snatch replacement, it’s a massive improvement in protection, power, stability – and two MG mounts on a Snatch were out of the question. Remember, this is just the Snatch replacement; if you want more protection bring a Bulldog with Protector RWS.

The lack of RWS seems quite a reasonable compromise for urban patrol work; maybe they’ll bring in an RWS version for convoy escorts. I’m sure there will be further developments in the time they have left out there.

Now why is it so much harder to come up with a medium sized protected utility vehicle?

Mycoman
Mycoman
June 19, 2012 10:37 am

There will be no commander of an opposing force, anywhere, be it China, Iran, unspecified south-eastern South American countries, anywhere, who will not see what IEDs can do and factor them in to their plans. So £900K a pop for the basic vehicle for use in theatre is the price we have to pay to stay in the game.

And they know that we know this. It’s economic deterrence.

Phil
June 19, 2012 10:48 am

IEDs are just mines. It is the context of the war in Afghan that makes them so effective. In a general war they’ll be cleared by engineers covered by artillery and smoke and suppressing fire like Alamein. You then drive forward and take your chances. They’re only effective in Afghan because they can’t be cleared aggressively, theyre not worth dying over and normal life has to go on around their clearing.

Mycoman
Mycoman
June 19, 2012 11:07 am

The Fulda Gap scenario is gone forever. IEDs will be concealed in orphanages, school buses, whatever, and any ‘legacy’ means of clearing them will be on YouTube before you can say”El Alamein”. So we need expensive protected vehicles to allow us to turn the other cheek.

x
x
June 19, 2012 11:33 am

Those Ford F-550 cost a tad more than £50k new. So I will up more drive train costs to £75k. Still makes those composites some price.

Derek
Derek
June 19, 2012 12:04 pm

It is hilarious how short memories are. The invasion of Iraq, less than 10 years ago, used massed armoured forces with tanks, artillery, IFV’s etc. The full panoply of those vehicles is now in use in Afghanistan too. There are Pzh2000s, Scimitars, Abrams, Warrior as well as various support variants. All filling useful niches. It is very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that one type of conflict dictates one type of platform but it is just not true.

Phil, is spot-on. Afghanistan / Iraq has forced a design focus onto underside blast protection in vehicle design but all it has done is result in that protection being integrated into conventional military platforms. It is being done with FRES-SV, GCV, Stryker/LAV DVH, and TAPV. Foxhound, whilst it carries less passengers, is not massively different in intended role to the Humber Pig, Saxon Patrol vehicle or the multitude of PPVs currently on the market with the exception of the fact that it has a greater focus on mine-blast protection. MRAPs were a one dimensional emergency response to a one dimensional threat and nothing more, the key now is to bring those lessons learned into long term projects and that is already happening.

Monty
June 19, 2012 1:20 pm

Well said, Derek. But…

…the IED genie is well and truly out of the bottle. In any future conflict, be it high intensity land warfare or asymmetric counter insurgency, I think both conventional forces and terrorists can be expected to use them.

It may be premature to suggest what the Afghanistan Campaign implies for modern warfare strategy and tactics, but I think we’re definitely moving away from set-piece engagements with one large formation attacking another. There is no FEBA any more. The enemy is in front of you, behind you and in your midst. Anywhere you move to is potentially hostile territory, so your troops need protection at every level. (And, by the way, if this makes a case for Foxhound, it also makes a case for a FRES UV vehicle over and above the need for a FRES SV Scout).

If we consider a conventional land warfare situation where an aggressor state invaded another country and the UN / NATO decided to deploy troops to prevent further expansion, a brigade could easily be outnumbered, out-flanked or blitzed in-situe by a larger force. It might be far more expedient to deploy small units behind enemy lines to disrupt supply lines, communications, execute precision strikes against high value targets and conduct a campaign of attrition just as the Taliban have done so against us.

In fact, we’ve already done this using the SAS in various unpublicised campaigns, but there’s no reason why the same tactics couldn’t be employed more widely within well trained ordinary infantry units.

Going back to Foxhound. This type of vehicle is much appreciated, but we really should be deploying by helicopter like our rich American friends. Their casualties as a percentage of forces on the ground seem to be considerably less than ours. Better vehicles and more helicopters may have something to do with this.

x
x
June 19, 2012 1:54 pm

The IED genie has been out of the bottle for some time well before Afghanistan.

Observer
Observer
June 19, 2012 2:56 pm

“The IED genie has been out of the bottle for some time well before Afghanistan”

Cough… IRA… PLO…

Monty

The problem with small units is:

1) They can’t hold ground really well. They might be able to harass the enemy out of an area (after a while), but if another unit gets rotated in, they’ll have to retreat.

2) Possible defeat in detail.

3) The bigger a unit, the more stuff it can carry intrinsically. Small units tend to be limited to a week in field, (though very rare units do longer stints,) and is ammo limited as well as deficient in some areas of defence, like AA.

Phil
June 19, 2012 3:27 pm

IEDs are just mines. Outside of COIN ops they can be dealt with as such. There’s nothing paradigm shifting about them. Mines have been a feature of conflict since the 30s. They are very effective but they are simply not new. Again IEDs in orphanages etc, they’re booby traps and again are nothing even remotely new.

It’s business as usual boys outside the context of COIN or peace enforcement. Mines are powerful weapons indeed because they limit manoeuvre and channel forces. They’re biggest advantage is their existence not their detonation.

Derek
Derek
June 19, 2012 3:58 pm

Once again Phil is spot-on. IEDs are just mines, they have been a central part of warfare for well over 100 years, they are not a genie and there is nothing especially innovative about them. In fact IEDs have been tackled in Afghanistan using conventional mine clearing techniques and systems (at least one village was razed by the Americans and Python has been used), most counter-IED equipment is just legacy counter-mine equipment.

Observer
Observer
June 19, 2012 4:16 pm

Actually, I would think their biggest advantage is their moral sapping capability on the enemy, if unmarked and ubiquitous. Of course, not marking minefields is against the Geneva Convention..

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones
June 19, 2012 5:05 pm

RE: IED’s/mines. I never understood why the lessons of the Rhodesians and South Africans were ignored for so long. I think nearly everything we’ve done to improve our vehicles was done by them 30 (?) years ago. OK, during the Cold War it wasn’t that much of a priority but it should have been in the peace keeping/making ops after.

Phil
June 19, 2012 5:21 pm

“OK, during the Cold War it wasn’t that much of a priority but it should have been in the peace keeping/making ops after.”

I don’t believe they were a particular problem. There were mines in Bosnia but I don’t believe there was systematic targeting of SFOR and IFOR troops using them. That’s the difference.

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones
June 19, 2012 5:41 pm

@ Phil – true but mines were common and the South African lessons learnt were still relatively fresh. As a lad with a interest in military tech/tactics I didn’t understand why the British army didn’t have at least mine resistant support vehicles like trucks, etc, particarly as we were starting to do more peace keeping/stability operations. Nowadays, I have a better understanding of budgets, legacy vehicles, etc…

TrT
TrT
June 19, 2012 6:04 pm

Phil
“They’re only effective in Afghan because they can’t be cleared aggressively,”

I’d argue the fact that we cant prevent them being lain over and over and again is the most important, because it drives the clearance method.
Mines arent a serious problem in a fulda/falklands pick your poison war because you take ground and it remains taken.

You cant use python to clear a 5 mile road, and do so again the next day, and the next.

Myco
“IEDs will be concealed in orphanages, school buses, whatever, and any ‘legacy’ means of clearing them will be on YouTube before you can say”El Alamein”.”

But unless you can replace them, they arent an ongoing threat beyond the front lines.
You cant continually mine the enemy supply routes in a “proper” war.

Derek
“The full panoply of those vehicles is now in use in Afghanistan too. There are Pzh2000s, Scimitars, Abrams, Warrior as well as various support variants. All filling useful niches. It is very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that one type of conflict dictates one type of platform but it is just not true. ”

We used snatch in Iraq…
We use what we have, not what we need.
Hence the UORs, coffins on wheels, and supersonic long range low level penetration bombers to make loud noises to scare goat herders.

Monty
“It might be far more expedient to deploy small units behind enemy lines to disrupt supply lines, communications, execute precision strikes against high value targets and conduct a campaign of attrition just as the Taliban have done so against us.”

Supplied how?

I like the idea, but its only viable (from where I’m sitting) for the RM
http://theragingtory.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/not-insurgent-but-commando.html

Derek
Derek
June 19, 2012 7:09 pm

TrT,

I don’t think you intended too but you proved my point.

TrT
TrT
June 19, 2012 8:34 pm

As I intended to imply, I’m not concerned by the lack of RWS and consider the general purpose firepower, acceptable.

These arent driving through Mogadishu, where around every corner awaits a burst of point blank AK fire.

If they are used in such a place, expect gunners to get shot.

Id prefer it if they were better armed, but 99 times out of 100, there will be a jackal or better to provide suitable violence.

Derek
You can use massed charges by children to overwhelm minefields and machine guns, but its not the ideal way to do so*.
I’m not sure how you think I proved FRES is ideal for Afghanistan.
Warrior is handy out there, but the ideal vehicle wouldn’t be armoured against anything over .50cal, because the Taliban have nothing bigger**

*I chopped down a tree with a hammer

**its my understanding they’ve given up on anything bigger because it doesnt survive long enough.

Phil
June 19, 2012 8:41 pm

“I’d argue the fact that we cant prevent them being lain over and over and again is the most important, because it drives the clearance method.”

Yes we can prevent that. And anyway, I think we agree. The Afghan context is what makes them so effective. In a general battle they can only be relaid if you’ve been pushed back.

Chris.B.
Chris.B.
June 19, 2012 9:16 pm

@ TD

“yes, but then if it [FOXHOUND] can do the protected patrol role there should be no reason why it can’t have a flat bed for example, just like a bog standard Land Rover,”

Maybe, and maybe it could be fitted for some other basic roles. My worry is that people will start trying to turn it into an IFV of sorts, asking it to take on a plethora of complex roles and tasks it was never really designed for.

tsz52
tsz52
June 20, 2012 5:05 am

Following the rules of thumb for military machines as they get less complex, in terms of sticker price as a percentage of total contract price (inc spares and support), would 50% sticker price be about right for a vehicle like this? That’d put it in the rough price range of similar vehicles that other countries use?

Brian Black
Brian Black
June 20, 2012 2:51 pm

Instead of trying to turn the Foxhound into a little tank, a CVRT would make an ideal escort for a clutch of these. Only a touch wider than Foxhound without bar armour. Get rid of the old 30mm and stick a new lightweight belt-fed 20-25mm cannon in there, perfect, what more do you want?

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones
June 20, 2012 4:15 pm

@ TD – “did you know we had mine protected vehicles in the Balkans, we then decided we didn’t need them any more and flogged them off, including some to Estonia. Those ex RE now Estonian protected vehicles were operating next to British forces in Afghanistan in their Snatches and WMIK’s, file under ‘you couldn’t make it up’”

WHAT THE ****?!?!

Do you have any links?

James
James
June 20, 2012 5:25 pm

@ Gareth Jones,

we bought either 6 or 8 South African mine protected vehicles I recall, and their role was to carry the mine clearance team to close to any IEDs or mines found. They even came with a SADF Major who worked in the Mines Cell – he had experience of using them.

(That was true of 1996 – I don’t know if we bought any more after that)

I also recall that BAE Systems bought Denel the SA company, and someone said that was so that BAE Systems could enter a specialist market for mine protected vehicles – clearly post Cold War and Bosnia, there was going to be a need for them. Only hearsay to me, of course – I don’t have any insight into BAE S’ corporate decision making. May have been for all sorts of other reasons, but it does make sense at least.

Monty
June 20, 2012 5:34 pm

Phil said: “IEDs are just mines. Outside of COIN ops they can be dealt with as such. There’s nothing paradigm shifting about them. Mines have been a feature of conflict since the 30s. They are very effective, but they are simply not new. Again IEDs in orphanages etc, they’re booby traps and again are nothing even remotely new.

It’s business as usual boys outside the context of COIN or peace enforcement. Mines are powerful weapons indeed because they limit manoeuvre and channel forces. They’re biggest advantage is their existence not their detonation.”

This comment and the complacent thinking behind it makes me angry. In addition to the 429 service men and women killed in Afghanistan, a further 2,500 have lost limbs or been seriously injured. There have also been several thousand cases of post-traumatic stress disorder. So, I beg to differ when it comes to the impact of IEDs. Moreover, if IEDs are just mines, why has our experience over the last 10 years forced us to fundamentally re-think our COIN tactics and to completely re-equip our forces? Not just the UK but NATO-wide?

Modern IEDs are often much more than just mines, they’re the insurgent’s equivalent of the unmanned drone attack, a kind of remote-controlled ambush. The electronics revolution of the last decade has allowed simple devices, such as a mobile phone, to be used to detonate charges. In short, the ease with which large explosive devices can be controlled and detonated remotely has indeed been a game changer. While the Taliban have employed highly sophisticated IEDs, they’ve also used simple pressure-pad devices. Often such mines don’t respond to normal clearance methods, especially when they’re buried deep in the ground. IEDs are the weapon that gave birth to the term asymmetric warfare. They are effective out of all proportion to the resources used to acquire them.

Insurgents have one commodity on their side that we don’t have: time. They can plant IEDs and then just wait. We clear an area, think it is safe and then get tripped up by an IED that was buried long before we entered that area or after we left it. The way in which they have been used has been highly innovative and that’s why we had to respond with mine-protected vehicles, body armour and so on. There’s something else here. The Taliban know that casualty lists mean that battles can be lost on the home front. Politicians who want to be re-elected can easily be persuaded to abandon political ideology when the body bags start to stack-up.

It does indeed beg the question why we went went to Afghanistan in the first place. Perhaps the big mistake we made was not to send forces to Afghanistan, but to try and hold ground. A much more efficient tactic is precision strike against key targets from a base well beyond the reach of your enemy. Or, of course, straightforward drone strikes. Either way, the enemy never knows you’re going to hit until it happens. The most successful strikes in Afghanistan have been missions to take out Taliban leadership or known cells with known bases.

As we slowly extricate ourself from what many would describe as an ill-conceived deployment, vehicles like the Foxhound certainly helps to make the best out of a bad situation. Perhaps we were foolish to forget the lessons about mines we previously learned – booby traps were used during the Boer War by the way. Foxhound surely creates a blueprint for future vehicle design.

While we develop a new generation of highly mobile, mine-protected vehicles (FRES UV) should we ever find ourselves caught in an asymmetric conflict with an enemy who outnumbers us, we would surely employ the very same tactics that the Taliban have used against us.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
June 20, 2012 5:49 pm

Yep ” BAE Systems bought Denel the SA company, and someone said that was so that BAE Systems could enter a specialist market for mine protected vehicles”
– the SA contract chose for Patria AMV though
– lots of good stuff coming out of Denel, on arty rounds they now have a JV with the Germans

Derek
Derek
June 20, 2012 5:53 pm

James,

BAE did not buy Denel, Denel is an independent company. Land Systems OMC (a South African outfit) was acquired by Vickers in 1999, Alvis then acquired Vickers (from Rolls Royce) in 2002 and ultimately BAE acquired Alvis-Vickers in 2004 which brought the South African operation into BAE. This gave BAE the RG series amongst other vehicles.

Tubby
Tubby
June 20, 2012 6:27 pm

Hi Monty,

While I cannot answer for Phil, I think you have to question how IED’s will transform conventional warfare, if at all. I understood there are already lots of very advanced anti-personnel and anti-armour mines whose capabilities exceed what insurgents are capable of in Afghanistan, and given that military forces tend to be configured for peer- or near-peer conflicts I think that Phil’s statement concerning IED’s at least in non-COIN based conflict is correct. What has to be avoided is the removal of all our MRAP vehicles post Afghanistan, and then when we are sucked into a UN blue helmet job in terrain tailored made for IED’s having to UOR a whole bunch of new MRAP’s.

Just looking at the ARGES mine http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARGES_mine, this is an off-rout mine which can be activated by passive IR or a laser, can be command activated, can be reprogrammed and be set to go activate in a set time window, capable of taking out a modern MBT – just shows you how advanced mines are. Short of wiring together a daisy chain of old soviet howitzer rounds with a command wire trigger, not sure if the Taliban could take out a MBT, and China, Iran and SA produce blast resistant, non-metallic Anti-tank mines with over 5 kilos of high explosive -though they appear to be pressure activated, but presumably much smaller than the standard Taliban IED based on several hundred pounds of diesel/fertiliser mix with a suitable trigger.

TrT
TrT
June 20, 2012 7:47 pm

Phil
“Yes we can prevent that.”
The dead and delimbed of Afghanistan beg to differ.

And thats my point in a nutshell.

In a hot war, mines are a transitory annoyance.
Enemy lays minefield, we stumble in to, take losses, clear field, mines gone.
Enemy retreats and possibly relays.

But its a finite problem, eventualy the enemy runs out of ground to retreat over and mine.

In an Afghanistan type conflict, that is simply not the case, the enemy can mine the same roads day after day, and we can not, or at least have not, prevent that.

Soldiers have died because mines have been lain in the window between clearance team and convoy have they not?

And of course, high tech mines are a lot less effective than high tech direct fire weapons, wheras low tech mines are far more effective than low tech direct fire weapons

Monty
“It’s business as usual boys **OUTSIDE** the context of COIN or peace enforcement.”
A War between France and Germany would see far more losses due to support fires than mine strikes.

It still amazes how many people struggle to grasp this.
Different jobs require different tools.

Phil
June 20, 2012 8:03 pm

“The dead and delimbed of Afghanistan beg to differ”

Puhlease. The dead and delimbed of WWII beg to differ we won the war. There are ways and means to stop IEDs being constantly seeded.

“in an Afghanistan type conflict, that is simply not the case, the enemy can mine the same roads day after day, and we can not, or at least have not, prevent that.”

Who are you arguing against? I said very clearly IEDs are useful in the context of Afghan and it is the context of the conflict that makes them quite so effective.

“Soldiers have died because mines have been lain in the window between clearance team and convoy have they not?”

Not that I know of, they work concurrently in the British Army. Maybe at the start of Iraq they were but the drills are slick now.

“In a hot war, mines are a transitory annoyance.”

Well hopefully so is the enemy old boy.

What exactly are you arguing? That IEDs are some sort of super weapon? Most people on here would agree with you that COIN makes IEDs far more effective than they’d otherwise be.

Chris.B.
Chris.B.
June 20, 2012 8:55 pm

@ Monty,

Don’t forget IED’s is a very broad term. The ones appearing in Afghanistan and Iraq benefit from imported knowledge drawn from Iranian and Pakistani intelligence personnel. Not every COIN campaign will have access to such sophisticated systems and the underlying tech that goes into them.

Generally speaking as well, an IED is not something that is just dug into the ground in ten minutes. In Iraq it was estimated that a lot of the IED’s took up to a week to install, from locating likely partol areas of Coalition forces, to picking the right spot for the device, preparing it, and then a 12 hour pattern of activity that actually made up the installation.

In a more rapidly moving environment of a conventional war, mines would be used a lot differently and the solutions for defeating them will be a lot different.

Phil
June 20, 2012 9:16 pm

“This comment and the complacent thinking behind it makes me angry.”

Complacent?! Seriously? Talk to me about complacent when you’ve danced around IEDs for 6 months and had your hand inside someone’s pelvis trying to stem the bleeding on a triple amputee.

Complacent is one thing I have NEVER been about IEDs (actually thats a lie I was complacent once). But then mate, if we were shit scared about them and let that fear beat us nobody would have got anything done.

Don’t confuse complacency with understanding the threat.

Sorry if I don’t buy into your hysterical olive oil container, battery and wood plank changing the face of warfare paradigm.

“Moreover, if IEDs are just mines, why has our experience over the last 10 years forced us to fundamentally re-think our COIN tactics and to completely re-equip our forces? Not just the UK but NATO-wide?”

BECAUSE THE AFGHAN CONTEXT HAS FORCED US TO! IEDs go bang when you step on them and they don’t use metal anymore. Mines go bang when you step on them and they aren’t made of metal anymore. Please, tell me the bloody difference? The difference is how and where they are used. As I have said many times.

“The electronics revolution of the last decade has allowed simple devices, such as a mobile phone, to be used to detonate charges.”

Completely ineffective method of operation against us. Completely.

“They are effective out of all proportion to the resources used to acquire them.”

In the Afghan conflict yes. But they do not change the paradigm for wider operations.

“has indeed been a game changer”

Nope. Not when your RCIEDs are completely ineffective against your enemy. The modification in TTPs is absolutely minimal and entirely Afghan centric.

“A much more efficient tactic is precision strike against key targets from a base well beyond the reach of your enemy.”

Of course it is. I am wondering how your drone strikes do anything other than kill some Taliban? If killing Taliban was the key to winning mate we’d have been having tea and medals in 2007.

Pete Arundel
Pete Arundel
June 21, 2012 9:13 pm

@Think Defence – To expand on my comment as to why I don’t think the Foxhound has a future as a fighting vehicle, it’s mainly it’s lack of mobility. Every video I’ve seen from the very first shots of it at MIRA to the latest that you have just posted it has looked bad off-road. It’s suspension looks short of travel and flexibility and, due to it’s design being focused on IED / mine survivablity, it’s C.G. is high and it’s wheelbase too long for good off-road performance. In a patrol vehicle – or even a logistics vehicle – the trade-off between mobility and protection makes sense but for a fighting vehicle it doesn’t. Despite it’s faults, real or perceived, the Jackal seems popular with it’s crews because it’s fast, great off-road and it’s open design gives great situational awareness. I suspect that a WMIK pod on a Foxhound, while providing similar firepower, situational awareness and better mine protection would be less popular with crew due to it’s poorer off-road ride and speed cross country.

Needless to say, all this is speculation since I doubt I’ll ever be privy to the results of the SPV400 / Ocelot selection process which is as close as we’ll probably get to a Jackal / Foxhound side-by-side test and it will be a while before serving troops begin to give feedback on the Foxhound.

Finally, on the subject of a reversed Foxhound, I suggested this a while back and was even inspired to create a, rather crude, image . . .

http://www.panhistoria.com/Stacks/Novels/Character_Homes/homedirs/14117images/Foxhound%20scout.JPG

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones
June 21, 2012 9:47 pm

@ Pete – I like it!

Monty
June 21, 2012 9:55 pm

In terms of a conventional, non-assymetric conflict, we’re have now entered the era of the smart IED. We can lay a device that is hard to clear and that just sits there until the right kind of target comes along. We could detonate them by simple remote control, via satellite, via drone or simply by having a system that is independently able to identify what kind of target it passing by.

A small force could plant them along an exit route, attack a target, bug-out and then severely hamper any enemy force sent to intercept it. In other words, regular forces can apply asymmetric tactics to a conventional war and gain an advantage.

paul g
June 21, 2012 10:05 pm

don’t forget pete it’s the Mk1 version, it’s got the survivability covered, so maybe after feedback from the troops in actual situations and daily use (the best tests ever) Mk1a/Mk2 etc will improve on it’s shortcomings (if it has any).

Today i’m feeling cup half full!!!

jed
jed
June 22, 2012 12:36 am

Pete of course Foxhound has no future as a fighting vehicle – its not! Its a Landrover Snatch replacement, the clue is in the title ‘Light Protected Patrol Vehicle” not ‘Light Armoured Infantry Vehicle” :-)

But OK I suppose a WMIK variant could fit the loosest definition of a fighting vehicle!

Phil
June 22, 2012 7:48 am

Monty we have ECM and RCIEDs just don’t work. Not paradigm shifting.

dominicj
June 22, 2012 10:46 am

how long until someone writes an app that uses a smart phone camera to identify targets and blow a bomb via good old fashioned wires?

Saying ‘we can beat rcieds’ really is complacant.
Its exactly the same mentality that saw vikings replaced by ‘bomb proof’ warthogs and british troops milling around in forage caps whilst being shot at.

Mines were quickly altered to defeat Warthogs and our ‘legendary peace keeping expertise’ was quickly rendered irrelevent.

Phil
June 22, 2012 11:20 am

Tell me about ECM Dom? There’s nothing complacent about the fact that we have shown a consistent ability over 30 years in several theatres to defeat RCIEDs using ECM. It’s not complacent to state facts. All this IED scaremongering is just that. Scaremongering.

Pete Arundel
Pete Arundel
June 22, 2012 11:26 am

– Quite right – but sometimes I get the feeling that some of the contributers here think that IED protection is all that matters and that Foxhound is a good basis for future army vehicles – stretch it to 6×6 and it’ll do everything!

@Paul g – well let’s see but I doubt they’ll be able to do much about the suspension.

It may be worth going back and comparing the LPPV contender’s youtube submissions :-)
Foxhound / Ocelot
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lP-fkoSQey8
Supacat SPV400
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmBZK1qwHg0

Now, obviously, I wasn’t privy to the comparison tests that the MOD carried out and I hope they prioritised protection over ride quality but I still think that the Foxhound’s suspension is pretty crap for anything other than the gentlest off-roading.

Mr.fred
Mr.fred
June 22, 2012 1:22 pm

If it can get around Millbrook’s off-road course then it’s plenty capable off-road. That stuff’s proper bumpy.

Jed
Jed
June 22, 2012 2:31 pm

Pete – falling into corporate speak (well I am at work….) I think we need to lever our investment, and maximise the potential for delivering a family of vehicles on Ocelot / Foxhound platform, if only for the sake of saving money where we can for a much smaller army.

I have no idea ref the off road performance, I have never ridden a Jackal for instance. My Army experience is LandRover Wolf and 6 x 6 Pinzgauer. However in response to your niggling doubts about the off road performance, could the off road requirements to replace say Panther in the CLV role, or Husky in a light protected supply role be that demanding ?

It has been noted by those more knowledgeable than I on other threads that no 4 x 4 is that good off road, that you soon require 6 x 6 or 8 x 8 to get anywhere near tracks. So perhaps a WMIK variant in 6 x 6 as a Jackal 2 replacement might not be that awful ???

Jed
Jed
June 22, 2012 2:42 pm

DomJ – havent we been through this before:

“Mines were quickly altered to defeat Warthogs and our ‘legendary peace keeping expertise’ was quickly rendered irrelevent.”

You can always build a bigger mine / IED that will take out anything, hence Israel loosing Merkeva MBT to a massive IED on the west bank a few years ago. Obviously a truck bomb with tonnes of fertillizer based home-brew explosive is not as ‘tactical’ as 3 anti-tank mines places on top of each other and taped together. Just ask the IRA……

If you want to go all sci-fi fantasy and build a “land behemoth” type tank into the thousands of tonnes, someone is just going to bury a nuke in it’s path…. :-)

If the cold war had turned hot the whole of western europe would have been one big minefield, vehicle laid, air dropped, artillery scattered, hand emplaced and don’t forget the Spetsnaz and commie 5th Column planting IED’s left right and chelsea….

Phil is correct to state scaremongering.

You are right to mention complacency, but not in this context. Complacency is patrolling Basra in berets and not replacing Snatch when it was obvious that things were going downhill, but after Oman, Malaya, Northern Ireland and the Balkans the last thing the British Army has ever been complacent about is mines and IED’s ! (IMHO and all that, and never been stuck in a minefield, but done all the pre-deployment training though !).

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones
June 22, 2012 4:22 pm

Hmmm – my previous post has disappeared. Will find the links and post again…

Observer
Observer
June 22, 2012 4:41 pm

@Dom

Altered how? Shaped charge penetrator? Phosphorus added to set it on fire? Lofts Playboy magazines to distract driver?

Need details for improvements. If it’s just “bigga bombz”… suck it up.

x
x
June 22, 2012 5:47 pm

@ Pete

Looking at it spec’s it should go everywhere you would expect a vehicle weighing 7500kg and the size of a good shed to go. You only have to acknowledge its weight, tyre size, ground clearance, and very importantly diff-locks to see it will be OK. The engine is a bit small but it seems to cope. (We used to run a 6.5V8 diesel in a Range Rover so most engine seem a bit small to me.)

You can take a basic SWB Land Rover along way off road. But the more extreme the terrain the more driving effort it takes to get it there. Before you reached that point in a combat situation I should imagine the troops would have debussed.

Think about James in his little tank that will go even further off road. He has said himself it easier to get off the tank and walk when he has to.

Woodland and substantial hedges are going to stop even the biggest vehicles. And some gulleys can’t be difficult to navigate too. That’s why they have those RE bods to clear the way if needs be.

Pete Arundel
Pete Arundel
June 22, 2012 7:21 pm

and X – Falling into corporate speak, I agree with you that we should reach for that low-hanging fruit and replace everything we can with a Foxhound derivative – within reason.

The main objection I have to Foxhound in any form of CVR(t) or Jackal type role is that it looks faster than it’s suspension. Jackal, on the other hand, looks like it’s suspension can cope with high speed off-road travel. I recently visited Bovington and they have a Jackal. Alongside is a testimonial from a soldier saying how loved it is because it’s so quick across country that they could chase down dirt bikes.

x
x
June 22, 2012 9:03 pm

@ Pete

Well I think the answer to your question is another question, how fast do you want to drive off-road? The suspension on rally-raid type vehicles is highly specialised and wouldn’t be suitable for heavy armoured wheeled vehicles. Most of the world’s terrain isn’t roads or fields which means it is hazardous to wheel vehicles at speed.

I am not an advocate of Foxhound as a CVR(T) replacement. If I gave that impression I was being extremely stoopid and will have a word with myself later. I think something like the GD Flyer might be workable if the commander (as James points out) had a raised seat (or one that could be raised.) I think another small single hull tracked vehicle would preferable such as Stormer or Wiesel.

One more thing. As good as Foxhound appears to be I am still trying to figure out how it came to be priced at £900,000 per copy. Consider a Bushmaster is A$590,000 or so each which is about £400,000.

Pete Arundel
Pete Arundel
June 23, 2012 3:13 pm

@X – no, you didn’t give the impression that you wanted Foxhound as a CVR(t) replacement it was really a follow on to my original comment way back when that I don’t think Foxhound is any use as a basis for a fighting vehicle and that includes it replacing Jackal. The CVR(t) bit comes in because it has been suggested that it might be possible to use Jackal as a CVR(t) replacement using a mast mounted sensor system and good, hand held systems rather than the massive ‘scout’ proposed under the FRES-SV banner.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
June 23, 2012 4:07 pm

This ” it has been suggested that it might be possible to use Jackal as a CVR(t) replacement using a mast mounted sensor system and good, hand held systems rather than the massive ‘scout’ proposed under the FRES-SV banner” might become interesting (and likely?) if the so-called service rumour about cavalry/ recce regiments is true – or even close
– 3 of the ‘heavies’, ok, call them medium, with SV Scout
– the rest kitted out as above
– the 50 or so CVRT2s to go to the “armoured support group” of 16X, to follow the naming convention in the other intervention bde (well, now, the other one of the two, out of three….)

paul g
June 23, 2012 4:26 pm

defense industry daily has a report on the upgrading and purchase of CV90 for norway, basically it’s strip down of old hulls to bring up to standard of additional new CV90’s the are buying. I’m only mentioning it as the new recce version has an extending sensor mast built in that is a ex cav officers wet dream!!!

link to article and photo here;
http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/True-Norsk-CV90-Armored-Modernization-07439/#more-7439

Mr.fred
Mr.fred
June 23, 2012 4:29 pm

Using Jackal as a CVR(T) replacement potentially runs into a rather severe problem, which is that the vehicle is open topped. For light use this isn’t too much of an issue but as soon as artillery, especially artillery with airbursting fuses, comes into play, they will prove very fragile. CVR(T) was, at least, proof against most artillery short of direct hits and dedicated anti-armour rounds. Foxhound, by dint of having a roof, can have some overhead protection and be roughly equivalent to or better than something like the Ferret in terms of off-road ability.

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones
June 23, 2012 4:47 pm

Do we need a new version of the Ferret? Relatively simple but armoured against small arms, useful for recon or escorting convoys? Modern design with built-in mine/IED defence. If so would this be something like the CRAB or even a Foxhound with RWS?

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
June 23, 2012 5:00 pm

Hi paul g,

That extending sensor will be at least twice the height the red trousers in Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and (experimentally) in the UK have managed so far

Moving on, to Mr. Fred’s contribution
– he is so right; but the Foxhound version for the job (now that we have the photo) is no different from a Jackal “as soon as artillery, especially artillery with airbursting fuses, comes into play”; not saying it is not better with mines/ IEDs

x
x
June 23, 2012 5:10 pm

@ Paul G

If CGS would just listen to my common sense suggestion to concentrate all the amour into one brigade we would have enough Warriors to do similar. New gun. Plenty of space for a mast seeing as BAE’s recce version of Warrior was one road wheel shorter.

@ Gareth J

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puma_(AFV)

Which can be shoved into a Chinook as I mentioned above.

or

If you want the classic Ferret look,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EE-3_Jararaca

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones
June 23, 2012 5:48 pm

@X – Puma is interesting but is it proof/resistant to mines/IED’s?

x
x
June 23, 2012 6:34 pm

We would build ours out of the same material as Foxhound!

Chinook internal carry or Merlin under-slung is a must I would say.

Flyer is available with armour add on kits.

All I am saying is that a Ferret-like vehicle that is heliportable with good-ish(?) protection is doable.

Mr.fred
Mr.fred
June 23, 2012 7:51 pm

ACC,

Foxhound has a roof. The weapons carrier doesn’t, but that isn’t in service. Yet.

Jed
Jed
June 23, 2012 7:52 pm

If the FF2020 is actually going to be based on 3 x Mechanised brigades, with 2 x Warrior based armoured infantry battalions and 1 x Challenger regiment each – backed up / augmented / enhanced by additional infantry brigades (“7, of varying sizes”) if we need deploy something bigger, then just how many FRES-SV Scouts will we need ?

If we only need 3 equivalents to the current Formation Recce Regiment on FRES SV, doesn’t it make sense to make them fully “heavy” and ditch the idea of a composite regiment with each Squadron deploying a “light troop” on Jackal 2 ?

How about a single FRR equivalent on Jackal 2 / 2A and Coyote to support the infantry brigades and giving any left over to the TA Yeomanry (instead of Landrover WMIK) ?

Give the CVR(T) 2 to the Household Cavalry and they can support both 3 CDO and 16 AA with this specialist lightweight tracked armoured vehicle…..

Or as I have noted before, if you want a sort of in-between capability, a variant of Foxhound with a different crew pod, only 4 crew, RWS and mast mounted sensors. Or of course, if we actually need less FRES SV Scout, and can invest the money in FRES UV, we may get a Recce variant on whatever that platform maybe.

Do we need an air-portable Ferret replacement – nope. We have helicopters, we have Supacat 6 x 6, and we have much heavier vehicles, surely we have all the angles covered in one respect or another

Jed
Jed
June 23, 2012 8:00 pm

Warning – cross posting – also in 105mm howitzer thread:

How about a this on the back of a Foxhound, a nice bit of mobile fire support for the Patrol and WMIK versions:

http://www.armyrecognition.com/spain_spanish_army_light_and_heavy_weapons_uk/eimos_expal_integrated_mortar_system_light_wheeled_vehicle_spain_spanish_army_technical_data_sheet_p.html

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
June 23, 2012 8:23 pm

Jed,

You can’t bed in mortars when they are vehicle mounted, although the loss of accuracy is minimised with heavier armoured vehicles. It’s a much greater problem with bouncy truck suspension. You can put on extendible legs to counter-act this, but that just adds to set up time.

It’s probably the reason most armies have tested the idea, and then walked away.

x
x
June 23, 2012 8:32 pm

Jed said “Do we need an air-portable Ferret replacement – nope. We have helicopters, we have Supacat 6 x 6, and we have much heavier vehicles, surely we have all the angles covered in one respect or another”

Have you ever driven a Supacat 6×6? Yes they will go anywhere and they do have a surprising turn speed in a straight line. But the sort of stop and spurt operations that James has outlined here time and time again? No. They are a platform moving stuff or cargo, a load lugger, not a tactical vehicle. Can these heavier vehicles be carried forward like in Kosovo when CVR(T) were heli-lifted to out flank the Serbs? What about ship to shore supporting SF operations or any other operation? Surely if being moved by air or by see a 2000kg to 3500kg has less of a foot print than a heavier vehicle? What about parachute insertion? And if helicopters covered everything why does the Army have all those FRR surely 2 extra AAC regiments could do their work? And surely a ground vehicle has better endurance than a helicopter? And isn’t intel gathering about building a picture over time not just one quick shufty? Or are you saying it is better to spend a hour flying around than just to spend 10 minutes lifting in a patrol that will be there for hours? What about Third World infrastructure surely a lighter vehicle is better than a heavier vehicle? What about self recovery, surely a light vehicle is better in that respect? What about having a smaller volume which allows the smaller vehicle greater cover and to go further in denser vegetated areas? Why does everybody else think making these things heliportable is worthwhile then? Is this another of those subtle British insights into tactics where we cover our lack of imagination and planning with a thin veil of supposedly knowing better?

Or by “we” do you mean Canada? :) ;)

jed
jed
June 24, 2012 12:48 am

X – yes, I know supacat is a load carrier, but if you want “light” heli-portable, then go properly light with scout teams using Supacats to carry supporting kit.

We don’t have, and never will have, enough Chinook available to worry about an air portable light armour capability, same for parachure insertion. We do have air portable vehicles that can act as weapon platforms, and I think they will just have to do !

By the way, when in Kosovo did we heli lift Scimitars to out flank the Serbs? I do t remember thstso will have to go Googling………

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
June 24, 2012 6:48 am

@ Red Trousers,
OK, let’s consider Broncos and Vikings “heavier, tracked vehicles” as in “probably the reason most armies have tested the idea, and then walked away.”
-but there is NEMO on AMVs and now on Canadian LAVs
-the UAE is using the Singaporean 120mm on four-wheeled RGs, without dropping the plate to the ground when firing (they did say, though, that the RG was chosen for its sturdiness)

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
June 24, 2012 7:16 am

ACC,

even if you do get around the bedding in problem, which is very hard to do, there’s still the issue of establishing a baseline. A single mortar may be accurate, but you need 6-8 to be accurate to create effective suppression. That means that you need 6-8 vehicles to be able to align themselves so that a single fire order works for all, or you need an advanced FCS and a network among vehicles, all of which is heading into the Gucci and expensive direction.

The answer to this “vehicle transported mortar solution” is to sling the mortar into the flatbed, then lift it out and hand emplace it when you need. Even a 120mm mortar is man portable over short distances. Then you’ve got Mother Earth giving you all the support you need.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
June 24, 2012 8:04 am

Hi James, yes ” you need an advanced FCS and a network among vehicles”
– the UAE solution integrates with Denel’s system (the supplier for their heavy field guns)
– AMOS has inertial navigation system supported by GPS

The latest interested party is the Russian Commander in Chief (N. Makarov) who just weeks ago in Eurosatory stated that they want to test AMOS, for a possible purchase of 500
– even things like mortars move on, the interest can be explained by comparing with their current fielded solution

Max rate of fire: AMOS 16 rds/min Nona 10 rds/min
Max sustained RoF: AMOS 12 rds/min Nona 4 rds/min
MRSI: AMOS: Yes Nona: No
Elevation: AMOS: -3 +85 deg Nona: -4 +80 deg
Traverse: AMOS: 360 deg Nona 70 deg
Ammo load: AMOS: 48 rds Nona: 30 rds
Vehicle protection AMOS: 30mm APFSDS Nona: 12.7mm

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
June 24, 2012 9:26 am

ACC,

but the AMOS is 4.5 tonnes just for the weapon system. It’s a whole different ball game from spreading rounds all over the shop by firing them from bouncy little pickups.

This flatbed mortar is a solution in search of a question, if you ask me. Classic piece of defence industry flannel.

IXION
June 24, 2012 9:29 am

Did not the STK 120 mm have a platform which was deployed on the ground before firing?

Also saw some pictures about 10 years ago, of an Iraqi system of 3 tubes on a unimog chassis, manually loaded from the platform on the back V little in way of complexity, seemed like a good idea to me!

Can I put in a word for a 105 mm light gun on say a 6×6 Jackal chassis?

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
June 24, 2012 9:56 am

James, I agree “a whole different ball game from spreading rounds all over the shop by firing them from bouncy little pickups.”
– as you pointed out, tracked vehicles tend to make better platforms
– there are reports that the port to BTR80/90 did not work out for the Russians (hence the interest in foreign pieces)exactly for the stability reasons you pointed out (plus limited traverse & capacity for rounds carried)
– they also have reorganised into bdes (from divisions) and wheeled solutions are at a premium (it’s a big place; they are not starting at the Fulda Gap anymore, either). We might see the Italian wheeled tank killer and the AMOS/NEMO (likely, the latter on wheels) side by side
– you are slightly exaggerating, though: AMOS turret is 3 tonnes and NEMO something like 1.7

x
x
June 24, 2012 10:50 am

@ Jed

http://img.defencetalk.com/pictures/data/3120/medium/Chopper_support-DefenceTalk.com001.jpg

http://img.geocaching.com/track/large/1eb92c92-6fbe-4ef2-8a9d-854aa3ba7789.jpg

http://www.citroenet.org.uk/foreign/slough/rn-pickup/12.jpg

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7057/6859233377_0fa578ffb8.jpg

http://www.army-technology.com/projects/4094/images/122835/large/puma3.jpg

http://www.ifimages.com/photos/QRNXnOgza0CAphp7In9piptJMTs/author-702/British-Army-Chinook-helicopter-slung.jpg

The thing is with stuff that is heliportable is that it is easier to shove, lift, push, and move not just by helicopter but by other means too. It gives options. Why do defence companies make their equipment heliportable? Lots of countries don’t have lots of helicopters. Are you saying that the designers of Puma shouldn’t have bothered? It is all about options.

Supacat isn’t a suitable cavalry scout vehicle. Just because something has all terrain capability doesn’t make it a combat vehicle. Trust me I know the vehicle. It is awesome. But it is a niche vehicle.

PS: You do realise that Ferret is actually transportable with a Chinook? It is smaller than Puma. Just sayin’

x
x
June 24, 2012 10:57 am

@ Jed

Lots of pictures here of things being lifted by helicopter.

Towards the end there are pictures of a Jackal in a……….Chinook. And a Jackall with an ISTAR mast.

https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2011/07/the-future-of-the-british-army-08-istar-and-formation-reconnaissance-03-a-not-so-sensible-future/

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones
June 24, 2012 11:06 am

@ACC- Very interesting that the Russians are moving away from their own 120mm mortars – they have been pushing them for export for sometime. Do you have any links?

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones
June 24, 2012 11:17 am

RE: Heli-lifting Scimitar. IIRC the fighting was over but NATO forces had to move quickly to get peacekeeping forces in before more ethnic fighting/the Russians getting there first (with their airborne AFV’s… Just saying…). We got to our area fast due to Chinooks and CVR(T)s, the Yanks were stuck for a few weeks (?) because none of the bridges could take the M1’s.

x
x
June 24, 2012 11:40 am

@ Gareth J

I have a comment awaiting moderation. That other comment was an after thought.

This site makes me laugh at times. It is buy helicopters, buy helicopters, BUY HELICOPTERS! And then as soon as you suggest making something helicopter friendly somebody will pipe up to say we don’t have enough helicopters to make it worthwile. The more helicopter friendly vehicles are the more reason to buy (and then get more value from) helicopters. And this is from the person who thinks RN next gen amphibs need to have more LCs even if means cutting back on aviation facilities. The lack of imagination here at times is painful.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
June 24, 2012 11:50 am

GJ,
http://stardefense.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/russian-military-wants-to-buy-patria.html

Also the government daily (not Pravda that was/ is the party daily) reported it on June 12th (in Russian, no surprise there)

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
June 24, 2012 12:09 pm

“The MPC programme seeks an 8×8 vehicle to augment the marine corps’ Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) mission with the service looking at acquiring approximately 580 MPC vehicles, Greene added.

Lockheed Martin has partnered with Finnish company Patria to offer up the 8×8 Havoc Armored Modular Vehicle, which is currently in service with Polish forces operating in Afghanistan. He added that Lockheed Martin has submitted a proposal to the USMC as well as conducting a number of Q&A sessions.”
– would be funny if both deals go through…USMC and the Russians riding the same wagons

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones
June 24, 2012 12:12 pm

@ ACC – Very interesting. It could be more to fo with tech transfer – perhaps we’ll see Russian twin barrel mortars in the future?

Another possibiliy is the wheeled vehicles as you mention above. I noticed while reading army technology the Russians have a number of new light armoured wheeled vehicles. What kind of road network/terrain do they have in Russia? Could this be for a rapid reaction internal security force?

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
June 24, 2012 12:20 pm

“Could this be for a rapid reaction internal security force?”
– I would not call it “internal” – rapid, yes
– the priority is the southern border, all kinds of threats lurk there

It is all part of this same initiative
“Russia is testing Italy’s B1 Centauro 8×8 ‘wheeled tank’ and considering building it under license. The company has already delivered two Centauro vehicles, the original design with the 105mm gun and another fitted with a Russian 125mm cannon. Two additional variants due to arrive in Moscow in six weeks will be fitted with NATO standard 120mm cannon and a turreted 30mm automatic gun. According to Oto-Melara representative, the vehicles will take part in technical evaluations, automotive testing and firing trials to span until the end of 2012.”
http://defense-update.com/20120512_russia-testing-centauro-italian-wheeled-tanks.html

Pete Arundel
Pete Arundel
June 24, 2012 4:07 pm

Maybe this is the solution?

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/baes-m326-mss-mortar-in-mortar-out-mortar-on-04073/

Put it on an ATMP and bring along another to carry some ammo . . . air-portable too . . . :-)

Observer
Observer
June 24, 2012 4:27 pm

PE, that’s just for the “mortar storage system”, not a mortar itself. It’s just like the powered tailboards a lot of cargo trucks have, just that this one’s cargo is a mortar. And a price tag of 20M when commercial vehicles come with it often as “matter of course”. Way to go BAE.

Monty
June 25, 2012 5:39 pm

“As good as Foxhound appears to be I am still trying to figure out how it came to be priced at £900,000 per copy.”

I’ll say. How did we allow ourselves to get so royally ripped off for an armoured Land-Rover?

ACV,

I think the Centauro B2, especially with its new 120 mm gun, is exactly what we should be buying for the FRES SV Scout role. It is an immensely capable vehicle and together with its 8×8 cousins is completely complementary to tracked CH2 and Warrior. The Centauro’s sister vehicle, the Freccia, would also be ideal for the FRES UV role. It could happily take a 40 mm CTA cannon. Both have a double V-shaped hull. The Freccia and SuperAV (Marine amphibious version) would be ideal for Afghan but would provide us with a highly flexible general purpose core capability beyond it. Equipped with these vehicles, our multi-role brigades would have an interesting and useful balance of capabilities. And the price of a Freccia is only about £1.5 million.

I want to get back to the core subject here: the relevance of the Foxhound beyond Afghanistan. IEDs may be considered to be nothing more than mines. And yes, NATO probably has some equally sophisticated mines at its disposal. What makes the IED a game changer is that they’ve been used so creatively by the Taliban. I sense a stubborn refusal to accept their significance even if their impact is acknowledged. Our correct response to them should have been to do everything by helicopter, if we had enough and sufficient cash to fly them round the clock. I guess I agree with the TD mantra: buy more helicopters, (although preferably Blackhawk UH-60s). So 200 odd Foxhounds are pretty cheap when compared to the price of an equivalent number of new choppers.

We tend to think of mines as dirty weapons, as if war itself isn’t a dirty business. In that sense, we have been reluctant to use them. However, in a future conflict scenario where we might be outnumbered by a potential enemy, e.g. Russia or China, we would need to employ the very same IED tactics used by the Taliban against a larger, better equipped enemy. Prior to Afghanistan, I think it is fair to say that we regarded mines as an irrelevance. We thought we had them sussed. We did not. We’ve been forced to adapt our tactics, and our equipment. For me, that makes IEDs a game changer.

Should we feel the need to deploy to another Arab country to drive regime change and risk getting embroiled in a further protracted asymmetric campaign where the local population will again do everything in its power to wear us down through IED attrition, we should hesitate. The issue isn’t taking ground, but holding it and policing it. It is bloody difficult and takes a long time and a lot of commitment.

When we deploy in such situations, we achieve little more than making ourselves a target and, as soon as we leave, natures abhorrence of a vacuum means the enemy inevitably comes back. So we’re learning not waste vast resources deploying and supplying an army in situe. Instead, the USA is using commando type raiding forces to conduct precision strikes against specific targets. This is what we’re starting to do in Africa, against Somalian pirate bases and local war lords. We also used this tactic effectively in Libya to achieve similar goals.

Destroying the enemy without taking ground is the new, new thing in warfare. We had better get used to it.

Phil
June 25, 2012 5:54 pm

“What makes the IED a game changer is that they’ve been used so creatively by the Taliban.”

No, they’ve been used in a very orthodox manner. They are nothing but mines and booby-traps.

“Our correct response to them should have been to do everything by helicopter”

Not only impossible but also very undesirable. Most of the IED casualties come from patrols that must interact with civilians. This is the sole reason why the IEDs work. Because they are placed in areas we must go or must traverse. The big convoys that move around are well protected and have mine rollers and RESA teams to protect them – nearly all the casualties are in the infantry and the RAC on patrol in populated or near populated areas or routes.

How would you propose helicopters can mitigate this threat?

“We tend to think of mines as dirty weapons, as if war itself isn’t a dirty business. In that sense, we have been reluctant to use them.”

Nope, mines were a very important weapon system in Cold War planning and its only the chattering class sensibilities that have seen land mines banned. AT mines are still around. There are no such qualms about them being dirty weapons in the military, indeed they were completely vital to Cold War defence plans as I am sure James will attest.

“natures abhorrence of a vacuum means”

A fundamental error. There is no vacuum, there are thousands of communities and there are the ANSF. No vacuum.

MS
MS
August 15, 2012 9:51 pm

Unless you have actually driven one of the vehicles on and off road you dont know how good the suspension is, I have had many several hours in the seat in these vehicles and it has fantastic cross country handling and I’ve even hit 74mph whilst driving around the high speed bown at Millbrook proving grounds. The whole concept of the vehicle is to be used as a light urban patrol vehicle and with its 12m turning circle does a fantastic job in this role, it gets to places where mastiff and ridgeback cannot get to. Going onto the debate as to whether the troops would prefer the WMIK pod FXHD to a Jackal, some comments from the troops have been thank god we dont have to sit over the wheels!!!

Opinion3
Opinion3
June 12, 2013 8:09 am

At £900k per copy I wonder if having some unarmoured cabs makes sense. There must be a hell of a lot of Land Rovers that need a replacement and many of them will not be expected to be put in harms way.

The swapping cab enables that, and as we calculate the armour is the expensive bit that would certainly get the reserves a new wheelbase.