FRES UV. new competiton, new thinking, new approach,hopefully!

Started this post with the intention of making it one of these new fangled quick posts, however it started to grow and grow so i’m going to post what I’ve done so far and let the comments do the rest. My last post on the mungo was merely an exercise in thinking about what could replace (shudders) springer and the supacat ATMP, few comments fired back saying not to buy mungo, so to clarify from the start, This post is generating a thought process not saying what we should buy (not that we’ve got a snowballs chance in hell of buying anything in the next 5 years).

So here we go, In the past there have been many fine articles about how wheeled vehicles have come of age recently, not wishing to blow my own trumpet but about a year ago on one of the posts I said if the” trials of death”  were repeated then the MOD should open the competition properly and instead of just asking the usual suspects bring in the Patria AMV and the ST kinetics Terrex. Well blow looking at another blog it seems the US are doing just this at the moment!

Terex 8x8 Infantry Combat Vehicle
Terex 8×8 Infantry Combat Vehicle
Lockheed Martin Havoc (Patria AMV)
Lockheed Martin Havoc (Patria AMV)
Patria AMV
Patria AMV

1st shot is Terrex, 2nd is Lockheed’s Patria AMV called the Havoc and the third standard Patria AMV, which  I just like!

This news spurred on the post as if the states went with the Patria, would this influence any future purchase by the MOD as having the same vehicle as our main coalition partners would be very handy, plus the US bid is in partnership with Lockheed martin, you know those people doing the turret on warrior and FRES-SV.

Another plus point of Patria it’s been tested with all sorts on it i.e. 120mm twin mortar, RWS, 105mm turret etc etc.

Patria AMV with 120mm NEMO Mortar System
Patria AMV with 120mm NEMO Mortar System

Now he comes the thread drift, whilst doing the research I noticed that the US didn’t include the Pars 8×8 in it’s testing, a vehicle that has won export orders for the Turkish and most surprisingly originates from a US firm in new haven. When I looked at their site it turns out there is a whole family from 4×4 up to 10×10. I wondered  if having a whole family for a variety of roles would be a good idea as it worked for CVR(t).

Again i’m not saying we should dash out and buy shedloads just wondered what people thought of the concept.

PARS Vehicle Family
PARS Vehicle Family

the 10×10 whilst I admit is a bit OTT it can have a role as a decent sized ambulance or engineering support where volume is a driving factor, the polish are looking at some monster 8×8 which is actually bigger than the 10×10 here to compliment the patria and they’ve used it on ops so have a good idea. The seating inside has some good ideas with commander and driver away from section,

Note the 8×8 has 2 options either 2 upfront or a complete crew (I assume a separate gunner for a remote turret)

I have to admit I like the idea of having the family range, there are several videos on you tube of the pars 6×6 and 8×8 and they do look the part.

As a thread drift part 2 and the reason I thought I’d post this rather not so fact packed post otherwise it would be pages long is I’ve just read it’s going to cost £2billion to bring the kit back from Afghanistan, eh! how much. Perhaps it’s time to address what actually comes back and would it be cheaper to replace than bring UOR vehicles into the core budget, the ones that aren’t shagged anyway. The days of going to war in 4 tonners and land rovers has gone same as towing equipment with the pinz.

It would be nice to see this often talked about and not seen 6×6 foxhound even if it’s just a drawing! Not forgetting with the ramping up of the TA (aka reserves) these units require vehicles as well. Me I like this as something to get them from the TAC to the port to the action, it comes as a crew cab good for the light gun, and also a section carrying version (and it’s got 6.5l under the hood)!!

NIMR 6x6
NIMR 6×6

Just to finish a picture of the humungus Polish vehicle called the Hipopotam from AMZ I suppose if need to get a lot of blokes or kit around better than messing about and fitting all the modular armour to “normal” trucks to the point they are unrecognisable and knackering them out

AMZ Hipopotam
AMZ Hipopotam

 

So over to you guys when (if) we get round to getting wheels are any of the above points pertinent.

edit; the exactor would look nice on the back of that 6×6 pick up!!

edit no2, the 6×6 and 8×8 by fnss has been updated this is the version that has been sold to the Malaysians

PARS 8x8
PARS 8×8

More clearance and protection at the front, I do like this family of vehicles, however lets see who wins in the US, BAe are also in the game with a modified superAV

 

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Peter Elliott
June 3, 2013 1:05 pm

As I understand it the Army 2020 proposal is for the Responsive Force to rely on refurbished Warriors + FRES SV, and the Adaptable Force to make do with legacy kit including that recovered from the Afghan operation.

So the likelihood of us purchasing any significant medium armour before 2040 seems minimal. Especially in the light of the intention to fund Successor, Type 26, Atlas, Typhoon Development and development and F35B purchase. Near the top of the list of unfunded aspirations are Sentinel and Crowsnest. CAMM (L) is probably in there sucking up funds somewhere too and Exactor will need to be paid for.

And any funds we do find for armour I would be tempted to direct towards the light end of the spectrum: CV21 or similar. Given the reduced scale of the regualr army we actually seem to have medium and heavy pretty well covered with legacy kit.

Martin
Editor
June 3, 2013 1:22 pm

Few interesting ideas here. it’s amazing just how many of these types of vehicles come in the fully required range already with ambulances, rece etc and how the MOD never managed to just go out and buy some. gen when they selected the ASCOD they had to fanny around and spend £500 million on its hear box. now we are poorer than a church mouse and the chances of the army getting its FRES UV program of the ground this side if 2025 are slim to none.

One issue with the £2 billion on brining back the vehicles is as per usual that money will come for the treasury contingency fund and would not be made available to purchase new vehicles. The usual uk story.

Mike W
June 3, 2013 2:37 pm

Elliott

“So the likelihood of us purchasing any significant medium armour before 2040 seems minimal.”

I might very well be wrong, Peter, but I have seen in so many places reference made to the fact that the MOD and the Army are planning the mid-2020s as the in-service date for FRES UV (with work beginning on it in 2016). Having said that, I see that Martin is also pessimistic about an early ISD date for the vehicle. Agree with him about all the fannying around, though (bells and whistls etc.), and with you about the need for a lighter recce vehicle like the CV21 (for tracked armour but we need a wheeled vehicle for FRES UV as well).

Brian Black
Brian Black
June 3, 2013 2:47 pm

Hi, Paul. You’re looking at contenders for the USMC’s personnel carrier, but with America’s own cash problems this program isn’t 100% certain to deliver. The Marine Corps also want their ACV replacement, and if squeezed too much may have to take a common vehicle with the army as their general APC. They could end up with Stryker or the outcome of the army’s AMPV program for their personnel carrier.

Peter Elliott
June 3, 2013 3:05 pm

@Mike W

So what is the FRES UV vehicle we hope to purchase in 2025 for?

Warrior replacement for RF? Wheeled APC for the AF? What?

Make a clear statement of the requirment and we might be in a position to start toy shopping.

ChrisW
ChrisW
June 3, 2013 3:47 pm

Lots of boxes on wheels – but did they spend huge amounts of cash and time testing 5 or 6 of them? If not then we can safely discount any of them, I think, and the MoD will concur. Sorry but have lost the will to live on the FRES saga. Where are we now with it?

S O
S O
June 3, 2013 4:02 pm

The whole 8×8 frenzy began in ’99 when the U.S. troops came late at Pristina airport because some Russians road-marched their BTRs from Bosnia to Kosovo in a couple hours. Weeks earlier, the U.S.Army had blundered with IIRC TF Hawk, the deployment of a Apache helicopter unit (which wasn’t trained properly) along with a brigade-sized security detail into Albania. It took so long, the entire effort was irrelevant because air power had ‘won’ before the Army was ready for prime time.

The U.S. Army went into a “relevancy” panic (Shinseki et al) and developed the IBCT / Stryker thing with a fantasy of deploying a brigade in four days (as if the USAF hadn’t better ideas for how to employ C-17s).

Somehow, the whole frenzy turned into a global fashion until even countries like Taiwan developed and purchased armoured 8×8 trucks.

I am amazed at the longevity of the fashion, which is probably still with us because no conflict against a credible mechanised force showed its ultimate stupidity. Armoured trucks are fine for long range armoured recce and for support units. To equip the main combat units with armoured trucks is stupid in most terrains (and this includes settlements, rice fields and other irrigated areas and woodland). Likewise, it’s stupid to create such elaborate 8×8 vehicles instead of simply using standard truck technology (save for LR armoured recce on 6×6).
The armoured medium/heavy truck cabins are here to stay (hopefully without the ugly cages), while 8×8 armoured trucks are going away once there’s a competent opponent.

Monty
June 3, 2013 4:34 pm

Elliott

The Army needs FRES-UV urgently. Mastiff is well protected, but simply not designed for rapid transit across country. Most of the fleet has taken a battering in Afghanistan, with broken axles a routine problem experienced on the hard road surfaces of Afghan. Sure, we’ll be bringing quite a few back, but it really isn’t much use beyond being a UOR piece of kit, acquired in a hurry without much thought to a post-deployment role.

The Foxhound 4×4, in contrast, is a truly excellent vehicle. No other vehicle in its weight class delivers better protection. But we should not be blind to its limitations either. Yes, it has a much better off-road performance than Mastiff, but still isn’t designed with cross-country agility as a primary capability. Foxhound is a Snatch Land-Rover substitute, not a wheeled AFV. As such it can only carry 6 troops.

In Afghanistan, our poor procurement systems and processes have been badly shown-up by the Bundeswehr’s KMW Boxer. We were a partner in this vehicle program until we pulled out in 2002. We wanted the level of protection a Boxer provides, but in a vehicle that was air transportable in a C-130, i.e an AFV that weighed less than 20 tonnes. The Germans quite rightly told us that it wasn’t technically feasible. We ‘ummed and ‘erred’ before finally quitting the program in a state of confusion. The Germans persevered with Boxer and although it weighs around 30 tonnes they’ve made it readily transportable in the A400 Atlas by virtue of innovative modular armour plates. To date, it has delivered sterling service in Afghan providing levels of protection and mobility that exceed those even of Warrior.

So, the bottom line is we still need FRES-UV and we need it yesterday. We’re the only Army in Europe not to have a proper 8×8 fleet. France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Belgium, Finland, Sweden, Norway, The Czech Republic, Poland, and Switzerland all have 8×8 vehicle families, as do the USA, Canada and all our potential enemies. Now that we’re pulling out of Germany, the need to be able to rapidly deploy forces across Europe has become a priority. You can field a regiment of 50+ FRES-UV 8x8s within 24-hours. That is not true of a tracked armoured regiment, which would struggle to independently deploy all of its vehicles without severe mechanical breakdowns. So, make no mistake, FRES-UV is definitely still on. Work has already begun on it and a choice will be made by 2016 with issue commencing in 2020-2022.

One advantage of the delay is that 3rd generation 8×8 designs are now coming on stream. These all have proper V-hulls for IED protection, independently replaceable wheel assemblies, full RPG, and14.7 mm HMG armour protection and so on. I like Terrex and Patria, but these are 2nd Generation systems. General Dynamics is working on a new version of the Piranha V / Stryker family. IVECO has the Freccia and BaE has the SEP / Alligator and the RG41 and RG35 family.

In short, these vehicles will become the primary AFV for all Western armies. They won’t replace tracked AFVs but will have their place, especially in counter-insurgency operations. They also cost £ 1.3 million at today’s prices versus £4.2 million for a Challenger MBT £3.1 million for a Warrior / Bradley IFV.

Jeremy M H
June 3, 2013 4:38 pm

Honestly, were I Secretary of Defense in the US or UK I would scrap FRES and its US counterpart today. Both are programs that appear to me to just be drifting aimlessly around with no specific plan other than to build something new. It should be light. But it must be mine and IED resistant. It should have good weapons. But it needs to hold lots of troops.

New ground combat vehicle programs are all garbage worldwide in my view right now. You get incremental upgrades to what you have until you come back to me with something that really takes a leap forward and is worth the money involved. Until then the ground forces can pound sand. I have no interest as a taxpayer buying billions worth of vehicles that are only marginal improvements on what we already have.

Monty
June 3, 2013 5:12 pm

@Jeremy MH

What we already have is AT105 Saxon and Mastiff, both of which are: (a) garbage and (b) knackered.

Any 8×8 currently in production would give us a superior capability to deploy infantry safely, reliably and quickly than what we have presently.

We need 10 battalions to be FRES-UV equipped. With 50 per regiment, that’s a total of around 500 vehicles at £1.3 million each., or £650 million. Not much in grand old scheme of things. About the same price as a single Type 26 GCV, Less than three F-35Bs, and 60% less than buying the same number of brand new tracked MICVs.

Peter Elliott
June 3, 2013 5:12 pm

So link what you just said to FF2020. The RF will have Warrior, Royal Marines will have Viking, 16 Air Mobile don’t get an armoured vehicle.

So you’re basically talking about an APC for the Adaptable Force ?

In which case it doesn’t have to be able to rapidly self deploy across Europe. It can be moved into position in slow time by sea, rail or tank transporter.

Or is it for the ‘unattached’ light cavalry regiments? You could maybe make the case that they need something fast. But would that need to be 8×8? Maybe not.

Or maybe you do want an air deployable APC for 16 brigade?

Just saying ‘everyone else has got one ME TOO’ is a bit thin. You need to explain the role more and link it to what we know about the force structure.

All Politicians are The same
All Politicians are The same
June 3, 2013 5:32 pm

Monty

We need 10 battalions to be FRES-UV equipped. With 50 per regiment, that’s a total of around 500 vehicles at £1.3 million each., or £650 million. Not much in grand old scheme of things. About the same price as a single Type 26 GCV, Less than three F-35Bs, and 60% less than buying the same number of brand new tracked MICVs.

You mean the same price as 2 Type 26 Frigates and 5 F35B.

Still seems reasonable for 500 vehicles.

Jeremy M H
June 3, 2013 5:45 pm

Sure it is reasonable. Provided that is ALL that you spend. Nothing I have seen from the history of FRES suggest that they will just buy something off the shelf and be done with it. If that is all they were doing I don’t see a problem with replacing worn out things with new vehicles as they need to be replaced. But I highly doubt they do it that way. Everyone will have to get their say in and by the time it is done you will blow another billion or more on development.

John Hartley
John Hartley
June 3, 2013 6:02 pm

What about the Iveco SuperAV 8×8 15 ton , crew 1 + 12, amphibious armoured personnel carrier? That would not be limited to bridges, so could outflank the enemy. If we had to do a modern version of the mad dash to Arnhem, something like this would be handy. Wonder if we could licence build it in the UK.

mr.fred
mr.fred
June 3, 2013 6:10 pm

I, too, wish to know why “everyone else has one” is a viable procurement strategy.

Also, since most problems with military procurement projects stem from the requirements, we have to look at what it is that this vehicle is required to do.

On of the biggest issues is protection. It is easy to blithely demand V-hulls, HMG and full RPG protection, but that level of protection will exceed 30tonnes quite handily, due mainly to the RPG protection, and we don’t even know what RPG we are protecting against. RPG7 is prolific now, but RPG 29 and even improved RPG7 warheads will make a mockery of any vehicle less than 40 tonnes.

Mike W
June 3, 2013 6:13 pm

Elliott

“So what is the FRES UV vehicle we hope to purchase in 2025 for? Warrior replacement for RF? Wheeled APC for the AF? What? Make a clear statement of the requirement and we might be in a position to start toy shopping.”

It might, just might, mind you, be a replacement for the Mastiffs in the Heavy Protected Mobility Battalions. That is the obvious place to put them. There are three of those battalions, one in each Armoured Infantry Brigade. Those formations will require quite a few FRES UV vehicles.

Your reply to Monty includes the sentence: “So you’re basically talking about an APC for the Adaptable Force?” No, you completely miss the point (see above). They might very well also have roles in the AF but that will not be their principal role.

Monty has argued his case so cogently and incisively that I shall not bother to repeat his arguments. He is right about the need for rapid cross-country agility. He is also right about the performance of Boxer in Afghanistan. To dismiss with an airy wave of the hand his argument that wheeled 8 x 8s are in the inventories of a large number of nations seem to me a superficial response. To me that fact suggest that such states might even be getting it right!

x
x
June 3, 2013 6:16 pm

I think we are looking at unit cost of £2 million to £2.5 million not just over the £1.3 million.

A mech battalion had just over 50 Saxons for 10 pax. Something like Patria can move 8 to 12 dependent on whether you have a large 2 man turret or not. I would say then 60 per battalion seems a reasonable guess.

We definitely need them. I have yet to figure how Mastiff fits into the Reaction Brigade set-up. As I have asked several times now if the Army is all flexible why do we have different types of infantry? The answer is it isn’t that flexible soldiers need to train with their vehicles therefore Mastiff has no place in armoured formation. The old mechanised brigades had one Warrior battalion to move with the tanks and the Saxon mounted brigades trailed behind. That is if there weren’t dug in etc. and so on. The new brigades reverse that format. Makes no sense. Reduce the number of infantry battalions in the RBs, make them all tracked armour, and move Mastiff to the AD formations or a vehicle park! in the armoured battalions.Replace CVR(T) (like Spartan) vehicles and Bulldog FV423 with Bronco or Viking. And then buy as many 8×8 as we can per year for the rest of the Army.

I have been guilty in the past of thinking about an 8×8 mounted Army landing force to back up the RM come reserve for the armoured formations. I think I even pencilled the Guards in for it.

http://www.army-technology.com/contractor_images/patria_vehicles2/Photo-4-AMV-8×8-swimming.jpg

Opinion3
Opinion3
June 3, 2013 6:27 pm

This is one area of the whole defence budget where I do wonder if we need them. The way I see it is everybody has them, there has been a shed load of money ‘spent’ on jack sh!t. Surely there is more than one way to get around, why are we not buying off the shelf? They all look pretty cool to me?

As for broken mastiff axles – well replacements can’t be that difficult to source. Nope not much sympathy on this project……… it can’t be that difficult. I choose a car and it is difficult to decide, but I am wise enough to realise once purchased I don’t hanker and revisit the decision.

Peter Elliott
June 3, 2013 6:35 pm

@Mike W

The reason I asked is that from the information given so far I really don’t understand which formations in FF2020 it is proposed to equip with these vehicles. But would like to understand – hence the request for more details…

Are we saying bin Warrior from the RF Infantry battalions and replace with wheeled 8×8?

Are we saying bin Mastiff from RF and AF and replace with wheeled 8×8?

Someone else mentioned the need for 10 battalions worth. Which battations in which Force?

Not trying to be dismissive. Just trying to understand the case.

x
x
June 3, 2013 6:38 pm

@ Opinion 3

As the Army will be smaller you could argue I suppose we don’t need them. We would have the formations for high end war in Warrior. And the enduring op formation in Mastiff (and the other protected wheeled vehicles.) But for me Warrior and Mastiff are just too heavy and “specialised”, the 8×8 gives us some flexibility,

mr.fred
mr.fred
June 3, 2013 6:39 pm

Since the FRES debacle stemmed from the “Me too!” reasoning*, I’d like to see a better justification.
It may well be that because many other armies have these vehicles means that it makes sense to use these vehicles to fill our requirements, but we have to define our requirements first to make sure that we get the right one.

*The US and FCS

All Politicians are The same
All Politicians are The same
June 3, 2013 6:47 pm

Stepping outside my comfort zone in the technical aspects of this discussion but one of the arguments Monty used was.
“Now that we’re pulling out of Germany, the need to be able to rapidly deploy forces across Europe has become a priority”

Why?

Opinion3
Opinion3
June 3, 2013 6:54 pm

@X
well I’ll be honest I wasn’t and probably wouldn’t argue on the basis of smaller army the need isn’t there. I think if someone cannot justify what is wrong with an off the shelf solution then they shouldn’t be specifying the requirement. In this case there are possibly a dozen off the shelf solutions but we waste £500M talking about building our own……. was that £500M to write the specification?

Seems to me we don’t have it and the requirement is missing too.

We can spend billions on submarines, nuclear weapons and guns etc. we never actually need/use granted but here the purpose seems to not to have been decided or the requirement would probably fall out from it.

What is wrong with an off the shelf solution not tinkering? anyone? maybe Lockmart or Singaport ST can do a barter.

Observer
Observer
June 3, 2013 6:54 pm

SO, if your “stupid armoured trucks” have higher armour levels than the old M-113, why should it not replace the old APC? And from what I can see, the armour protection levels are near equivalent to contemporary tracked IFV/APCs, only mounted on a wheel system. So why should a tracked solution be “the answer” and wheels a stupid idea? Maybe we should get Russian input on the difference considering that they have been using a tracked/wheeled solution for decades? And see no need in replacing their BTRs yet.

And they really need to rename the program.

When they call the program the “Utility Vehicle”, I keep thinking logistics transports instead of APCs. And something futurish instead of the rehash of BTR-60s. And rapid…

I can honestly say that most of the 8x8s are actually so generic that just grabbing one off the shelf at random won’t even have much of an effect strategy or doctrinally wise, so you might as well just flip a coin. Nationalism does “lean” me to one side, but honesty does compel me to admit the differences are so slight as to be negligable.

On the other hand, the Terrex is part Irish, so if you do need work done, you can just nip over and do a bit of servicing from the guys next door. :) And the Warthogs have already highlighted some of the things that need changes so it should cut down future problems. One of the “minor problems” that the original commander hemmed and hawed over during a telly interview was actually seat size. The original seats were too small. lol.

x
x
June 3, 2013 7:11 pm

@ Opinion 3 re smaller army

My point was the fewer formations we field the less kit we need; the fewer options at our disposal. If HMG embroil the country in another Afghanistan (despite what we have been told) we won’t be able to do even what we did over there. So less vehicles needed, indeed less resources to support such. Similarly with a rerun of GW2, we would supply an armoured formation etc. little else to the effort. If we had (and could fund to equip and use) a much larger Army or the RM were larger we would could make use of 8×8 without question.

mr.fred
mr.fred
June 3, 2013 8:17 pm

One thing that strikes me is that most of the 8-wheelers carry 12 men, which is going a bit far if we have 8-man sections. Unnecessary volume, hence weight, hence logistical difficulties. Might a smaller vehicle be more suitable?

Likewise, is it necessary to armour these vehicles to be proof against close-range direct fire weapons? Would it be more useful to be proof against dumb artillery fire and IEDs and maybe HMGs, but only resilient against dedicated AT weapons.

If you limit your ambitions in these regards, perhaps you would be able to constrain your vehicles to fit in a box, say, 2.4m wide, 2.5m tall and 6m long, with a gross weight of less than 28t* or maybe 13t without applique armour.

*it would be less than that, given the dimensions

Observer
Observer
June 3, 2013 8:39 pm

mr.fred, one thing you get a lot of during training is attached instructors, or in exercises as umpires. Even in the field, you can get officers hitching a ride as field observers out to scout conditions. In reality, very little space is wasted at all in those small boxes, if not for stores, then people hitching a ride. For long distances, some room to stretch your legs helps a lot too.

Operationally, if it consoles you, you can think of the added personnel lift as insurance for destroyed vehicles. You can split the infantry to the surviving vehicles and carry on with the mission.

x
x
June 3, 2013 8:40 pm

@ mr.fred

If you fit them with a turret you will lose 4 seats. It will be then (3 + 8) x 3 for a platoon of 32-ish. If you don’t fit a turret it will be (2 + 8) x 3 plus you will need to find a seat for 2 more. So do you want a 9 seater variant too? Or a 10 seater version and 8 seater versions? What if you platoon needs to move extra personnel? What is wrong with just have some extra volume? These days the Army appear to like running in a formation called Multiple which is 16 troops. So should we buy a stretch 8×8, perhaps one of those 10×10? ;) :)

S O
S O
June 3, 2013 8:46 pm

Observer, the Russians used the BTR series as a cheap alternative to BMPs. They never considered them equally useful or comparable. The units which used them also had T-62s, so it wasn’t about mobility.

Warped perceptions from Afghanistan aside, armoured personnel carriers are not primarily about protection. They are a means to keep infantry in a combined arms manoeuvre element. Tanks can move around easily and quickly in many terrains and artillery can help from afar. Infantry needs carriers which can move around about as freely on the battlefield as the tanks can.
The result is the tracked APC, and a modern tracked APC is long overdue. Alternatively, one could use a combination of tracked HAPCs and a larger quantity of really cheap APCs (could be medium trucks with armoured cab and PLS troop container).

Such 8×8 also have a huge disadvantage in comparison to tracked APCs in regard to silhouettes. Especially their long and high sides are very easy targets by comparison. Their advantages (noise, tell-tale traces on the ground, fuel economy, march speed, maintenance) become largely irrelevant in many terrains and especially in cooperation with tanks.

The biggest problem of all is another one, though: No-one has seriously figured out how to fight a mechanised, competent opposition with a 8×8-based brigade. There’s a lot of wishful thinking about dismounting infantrymen and precision support fires clearing the way, but this wouldn’t withstand a competent mechanised enemy for a single morning.

Danny
Danny
June 3, 2013 8:46 pm

One of those Hipopotam’s would make a great camper van!

Mike W
June 3, 2013 8:59 pm

Elliott

“Are we saying bin Warrior from the RF Infantry battalions and replace with wheeled 8×8?”

No, not at all, Peter. In each of the three Armoured Infantry Brigades there will be two Armoured Infantry battalions. That will be six Armoured Infantry battalions in total. They will be equipped with Warrior. I don’t know exactly how many Warriors will be upgraded under the WCSP programme but I think that of the cannon version there will be fewer than 400. If each of the six Armoured Infantry battalions needs between 50 and 60 Warriors, then that will necessitate a total of 300 to 400 vehicles. Not many to spare then.

The wheeled 8 x 8 (FRES UV or whatever) will be needed as the successor to Mastiff, which is only a temporary measure in the Heavy Protected Mobility battalions. The main reason for having such battalions is not just because there are not enough Warriors to equip them as Armoured Infantry formations but because strategically and tactically they are needed. As Monty has implied, deployability and rapid transit across country are extremely important capabilities.

“Are we saying bin Mastiff from RF and AF and replace with wheeled 8×8?”

No, certainly not from the Reaction Forces (see above) and I was not aware that there will be any Mastiffs in the Adaptable Forces. That is not to say that FRES UV will not have some roles in AF eventually?

x
x
June 3, 2013 9:42 pm

@ Paul G

It all depends which “model” you buy doesn’t it?

mr.fred
mr.fred
June 3, 2013 9:47 pm

x, Observer,

I see little logic in designing your AFVs primarily around training requirements. If you must have an umpire on board, have him take one of the left out of battle infantrymen’s seats, or put him in the platoon command vehicle (platoon = 4x vehicles, as it is done now. Or put the spare infantry men in the platoon command vehicle.

Little space is wasted because space is expensive. More space means more weight means more fuel means more logistics vehicles means more fuel means more logistics vehicles means more targets etc.

I wouldn’t fit them with turrets, or if I did then the turreted vehicles wouldn’t also be troop carriers. If I absolutely had to fit large weapons on the troop carriers then I would use overhead weapons systems like the Kongsberg MC or the Rafael Samson Mk2 so they would not take space out of the section compartment. 2+8 or 3+8/2+9 as an objective would be my suggestion. These vehicles are supposed to be cheap (they need to be if you are planning on having hundreds of them) My suggestion for the armament would be a common weapon ring like that used on the current crop of PPVs in service with the British Army.

So:
Troop carrier. 10 or 11 total with at least 8 dismounts. Preferably 10 total. Infantry weapons only (HMG/GMG) on ring mounts/protected weapon stations. 4 per platoon
Command variant. Based on the troop carrier with different internal equipment. Maybe a raised roof if necessary or acceptable (different profile to the troop carrier). If so then this could also be used for the ambulance.
Logistics variant. Same or similar chassis as a flatbed with some kind of drops systems
Fighting vehicle. Turreted variant with either a large calibre HE chucking gun (90mm or maybe 105mm) or a mortar (120mm with direct fire capability) or an autocannon (Bushmaster III would be my choice). If room for dismounts can be retained (albeit austere) then so much the better, if not, I care not.
Recovery/repair variant based on the troop carrier or the flatbed, whichever is more suitable.

x
x
June 3, 2013 10:12 pm

@ mr.fred

You are talking 4 seats. Considering the body of these 8×8 is large to accommodate drive train and large wheels you would probably loose more volume, ground clearance etc. scaling down to accommodate less bodies or by going down to a 6×6. Better 3 vehicles with those extra 4 seats a piece, than 4 vehicles. It isn’t just umpires that have to be carried; medics, interpreters, liaison officers, padre, dog handler, dog, technicians, casualties, extra soldiers, and anybody else you can think of. Plus the space can be used for small amounts of supplies say extra Javelin. Soldiers living in their “wagon” won’t grumble about the space. That companies seem to build these vehicles with that amount of accommodation sort of suggests it is what customers want.

IXION
June 3, 2013 10:30 pm

I am not competent to pontificate on the tactical / force make up elements of these 8X8 wonder wagons.

But…

They clearly exist in a profusion of sizes and styles from about 18 tons to close to 40.
Every day brings in a new turret with a seemingly endless choice of caliber for 7.63- 120mm.

If we want one, when we decide we want one, can we PLEASE just pick one and get on with it.
No more:-
‘Well it might be good for sausage eaters, spams, your basic Spaniard, Froggies, Cloggies etc etc .
But your square Jawed sons of wellington, will need extra special stuff that we will need to fit in/ fit with yadah yadah 500 million and 20 years later…….

As for their uses ,as a lay man I find it difficult to believe that the Russians have been using them for 50 years, and persevered with them if they are crap as an idea. After all its only a big Saracen we are talking about. And we found a us for those.

From a logistical point their almost inherent amphibiousity points to the marines and the Army sharing a series of vehicles.

mr.fred
mr.fred
June 4, 2013 5:37 am

x,
Four seats and several tonnes, yes.
Four vehicles rather than three allows you to operate multiples. You have your spare seats in the platoon leaders wagon, or in those vehicles where the section isn’t at full strength.

martin
Editor
June 4, 2013 6:30 am

“We need 10 battalions to be FRES-UV equipped. With 50 per regiment, that’s a total of around 500 vehicles at £1.3 million each., or £650 million.”

That’s about the same amount of money as the redesign for FRES SV transmission. What did the army spend before on FRES development work? Think it was around the £1 billion mark. The UOR process which has been fairly successful has been simply because it was about buying off the shelf ready to go design that were 90% solutions. The average spend per vehicle in the FRES fleet was estimated around the £5 million mark. We are not talking about main battle tanks or even true APC’s with the FRES UV concept. There are dozens of vehicle families to choose from that would more than suit our need’s. Just go out and buy some for the love of god. If in the end they come up short after a decade or so and we need to replace them than it wont really matter if we have only spent less than £1 billion.

Observer
Observer
June 4, 2013 7:27 am

And if your sections are at full strength, those guys can sit on the roof. :)

mr.fred, as I said, if it consoles you, think of it as a buffer against vehicle mobility kills. At least this way, you don’t have to abandon the section in place.

As someone who has been semi-trained in APCs before, I can safely say that the word “extra space” and “APC” are mutually contradictory. You WILL definately find something to put in there, if not food and water, then ammo or even your legs. Those damn things are cramped, and infantry getting pins and needles getting out is not unheard of.

x is right in that with all the other large volume equipment chucked in, cutting down seats really does very little, you can’t shrink the vehicle because the drive system really is that long in the first place.

Think Defence
Admin
June 4, 2013 9:57 am

The Army vehicle thing is a depressing mess isnt it and only being able to invest in small chunks makes getting a decent, capable and coherent fleet of vehicles almost impossible.

I am wondering if a big bang approach is needed to sweep away all the legacy crap that is holding us back and costing a fortune to maintain. It would be a bold move to say, right, we are stopping x, y and z projects in order to put the Army’s vehicle house in order.

Something big would have to go, or be delayed

Thoughts?

Obsvr
Obsvr
June 4, 2013 10:39 am

@ S O – not forgetting that the BTRs had no cross-country capability, a fact that got left out of a lot of Cold War modelling and wargaming, the scientists and their military advisors assumed it could go Xcountry. Ooops. Not all vehs are all-wheel drive no matter how many wheels they have.

AFV numbers aren’t just a matter of infantry bns. Eg ACVs all over the place – Fmn HQs, armd regts, arty regts, engr regts and no doubt a few others.

There’s also the issue of a future platform for HVM, FST vehicles and the vehicle for sapper sects in armd formations where the Warrior spt variant isn’t used. Not forgetting armd ambulances and REME. All this probably more than doubles the inf bn qty.

x
x
June 4, 2013 11:53 am

@ mr.fred

Weren’t you concerned about costs and logistics further up? So how does 4 vehicles address that over 3 vehicles with spare capacity? If I were buying a vehicle for £2 million or so I would want a bit of flexibility. As for weight and size well you are definitely going to use more fuel having 4 smaller vehicles carrying a near full load over 3 vehicles in practice not much larger with a bigger engine which most of the time aren’t at full capacity. If you look at the ranges of most of these vehicles there is little difference between 6×6 and 8×8 variants. Size wise you are not gaining anything in mobility. The demos on YouTube show extremes which would never be risked in real life nor would be sensible to apply. These things are as big as good size double garage. Trees and other obstacles would hold them up for all their ability. I can put a Land Rover places you shouldn’t be able to put a vehicle. Would the average soldier, however well trained, do similar in war? No. Because even though the Land Rover can be driven it all sorts of difficult to reach places the time it takes to do so in a tactical situation you would be better parking the vehicle and getting out. The impressive off road or all terrain performance exceeds needs. It is more about aiding the driver who even if well trained won’t get much time behind the wheel in extreme conditions in a year. You can drive around town in 1 litre car, but the 2 litre car with the sports brakes even drive sensibly will give you an edge because you will have reserves available to you. When the Arabs first started buying Land Rovers they liked the part time 4 wheel drive. They would drive about in 2 wheel drive mostly. If they got stuck 4 wheel was available, then 4 wheel low if need be. The vehicle had reserves. So size and weight you gain nowt.

@ Observer

There isn’t much space is there? By the time you have the modern soldier has all his clobber on, plus extras like a belt for the GPMG, and somebody has been sick because of the vehicle’s motion not exactly a Sunday drive……

Another thought if you do have extra seats and can spread out it may help when it is time to debus too.

All good fun. :)

x
x
June 4, 2013 12:25 pm

@ TD

I am still trying to under stand how a camel like Mastiff is being plonked in with Warrior and Chally 2. As I said further up, and acknowledging what young Philip says about flexibility, if a formation is armour it is armour, if it is mech its mech, if its light (in the true sense not the British sense that we can’t a vehicle for them) its light.

A big bang solution would be good. As I have said a few years of DfID money would cure a lot of procurement ills, plug those gaps. But it ain’t going to happen.

Further I think the Army are happy with what they have; I don’t think there is a desire for anything radical. They want tanks and IFVs. And though I find it odd that an island nation wants to go heavy, or stay heavy, as everybody else would have to move their heavy armour by sea we are I suppose no worse off. I just fear the next bunfight will be over by the time we have charted ships and moved stuff to Marchwood and then moved it all. And if “we” end up playing policeman we have lots of Mastiff and Foxhound for when the natives have learned to build and deploy IED’s.

Tom
Tom
June 4, 2013 12:47 pm

@x re Masitff in Armoured Brigades – Where else do you put them, WITHOUT adding an additional unnecessary brigade HQ?

They are too heavy for the light brigades and “Forward Engagement”. Plus (from what I understand) their logistics footprint is close to the heavy end spectrum, makes sense to place them with other heavy assets.

Mike W
June 4, 2013 12:49 pm

Think Defence

You are right. “The Army vehicle thing is a depressing mess” is more than an understatement. Decades of funding being made available, then abruptly withdrawn, the MOD and Army nor knowing exactly where it stood from one month to the next (and you can largely blame the last (so-called) administration for that kind of economic/financial mis-management) have led to this shambolic state of affairs. Add to that the fact that when governments wish to cut the military, they are reluctant to cut big cost items like ships and planes and therefore start salami slicing smaller cost items such as armoured vehicles and you have the recipe for the disaster we are experiencing today.

However, I have done a quick mental check of the Army’s current programmes (Challenger 2 upgrade, Warrior upgrade FRES SV, Wildcat, CAMM, MRV(P), etc.) and can think of none that could easily be cancelled “in order to put the Army’s vehicle house in order”. Indeed some are so far advanced they are almost in service (e.g. Wildcat). Taking money from other services’ programmes would also prove immensely difficult. Don’t want to think negatively but programmes have been cut so much already.

Have just seen what x has written and it seems full of common sense to me.

Jeremy M H
June 4, 2013 1:06 pm

@X

I think you get are the core of the problem. I don’t see the army as having a really clearly defined mission and I think Army 2020 reflects that with the mixed structure of the brigades. That is why I said above and would agree with TD that it is time to go back to the drawing board on the army’s vehicles. First clearly define the mission. Then design the force.

Monty
June 4, 2013 1:13 pm

@TD

Big Bang solution to British Army AFVs? Interesting idea!

In terms of heavy armour, Challenger 2, FRES Scout SV, and upgraded Warrior will see us through for another 20 years – assuming that CT40 is as good as it’s been cracked-up to be. The problem for me is that I doubt we will use a conventional heavy armour force again any time soon. Of course, we can never predict when and where the next threat will come from, so we need to maintain a credible level of heavy armour. Five or so tank regiments supported by 5 or 6 Scout SV regiments plus 10 -12 Warrior battalions seems about right. If we had to buy more tanks and MICVs in a hurry, then I’d plump for Leopard 2 and Pumas. Job done.

That said, I see the UK’s heavy tracked armour capability as an insurance policy not a credible, go-anywhere, do-anything military resource. The quantum leap in capability comes from the 8×8 platform. FRES-UV was never a case of ‘me too’ having one because everyone else does. 8x8s are fundamentally about rapid, independent deployment of large units. They provide a level of protection that is equal to or superior to that of any tracked infantry combat vehicle. They provide a level of flexibility in terms of mission and role configuration that we have never had before. That means you can have infantry versions, artillery platforms, ambulances, command posts, anti-tank missile vehicles, tank destroyers with large 120 mm cannons, 120 mm mortar vehicles, logistics vehicles, engineer / repair vehicles and reconnaissance vehicles with CT40. The benefit of having multiple vehicle types using a common platform is reduced acquisition, training, and maintenance costs.

The most important benefit is rapid deployment, hence the name. Balloon goes up and a Brigade size force is on ferries or through the Chunnel within hours. A battalion will carry all of its front line kit and supporting echelons with it and be able to travel 500 miles as a group. The reliability of wheeled 8x8s versus tracked AFVs is so superior that a comparable deployment by a CH2 / Warrior Brigade might see as many as 30-40% of the vehicles not reach their final deployment objectives. Those that did would not be able to travel much further before needing new tracks and other mechanical repairs.

While our 8×8 fleet might include tank destroyers or recce vehicles with larger guns, 8x8s would not generally be used as combat vehicles. They are battlefield taxis. They deliver dismounted troops to where they need to be. The point about modern war is that there is no FEBA, you can be attacked anywhere, so travelling to and fro in soft-skinned trucks and Land-Rovers is a no-no. Your 8×8 needs protection against IEDs, regular mines, indirect artillery fire, cannons up to 20 mm, and RPGs.

While we would need to deploy across Europe (to fulfil our NATO commitment: an attack against one shall be construed as an attack against all), a proper 8×8 capability would also allow us to deploy units to Afghanistan, Iraq and to any other counter-insurgency deployment quickly and more safely than we are able to do so at present.

The current structure of FF2020 reflects the reality that we have no proper means of deploying infantry battalions as independent fighting forces. If we truly embraced the concept of multi-role brigades the glaring gap in capability would become obvious. Once FRES-UV is acquired, the structure will change again. FF2020 is a political stitch-up not a military expedient.

Until FRES-UV comes into service, Foxhound is being used as a substitute for a proper 8×8 capability in light role battalions. Good as Foxhound is it doesn’t have the same level of protection as Terrex , SuperAV or Havoc / Patria. It is not as good across country and cannot support weapons above the .50 HMG or 40 mm GMG. It’s also very expensive per bloke carried at £1 million a piece.

x
x
June 4, 2013 1:52 pm

@ Tom

Um. To be honest I would scrap the whole new structure as I think it is poor. But working within what is going to happen I would put all three Mastiffs mounted battalions into one brigade. Remember I said scrap one of three armoured brigades well we would have a brigade HQ left over, use that one. Let it administer the left over Chally and Scout regiment too. Mastiff has surprising mobility but its no tracked IFV. And I don’t think it is a worthy vehicle for FP for an armoured brigade. Alternatively just have three square armoured brigades. And move three battalions and Mastiffs to the Adaptable Force which is probably the best place for them.

x
x
June 4, 2013 1:57 pm

@ Jeremy M H

The Army’s role is Britain’s ground contribution to any allied effort; it that doesn’t sound like rhubarb. What keeps the UK physically safe in broad terms is CASD * , QRA *, and the English Channel. Beyond that our armed forces are foreign policy instruments.

* And that includes the systems that supports those capabilities, everything from RADAR to hyrdrography, not just Typhoons and Vanguards.

Jeremy M H
June 4, 2013 2:14 pm

@X

I am speaking more to the specifics of just how the army will contribute to those efforts. Those are the major decisions the UK has to make in my view. They have to decide what kind of mission set the Army will specialize in and what kind of missions will be left to other allied forces. The Army 2020 seems to optimize the Army to do everything in a kind of passable fashion to me. I know it is not a UK unique problem either. I have a good deal of trouble figuring out just how the US Army fits into what the United States wants to do in the Pacific and I think they do too. Afghanistan and Iraq gave them a clear mission for the first time since the Cold War really. In my view the US Army has just as difficult of questions to answer going forward.

Swimming Trunks
Swimming Trunks
June 4, 2013 2:34 pm

slightly old but an interesting alternative look at this subject – the light 4×4 does appear to match Foxhound quite well…

“In light of the previous considerations, we can ask: what mix of platforms would best serve the purposes of the ground-mobile element of future intervention forces? To answer this question even minimally we must first specify the military functions that the force will perform, which derive from its likely missions. The present interest in developing a “broad spectrum” force implies a roster of activities or functions that encompasses those relevant to traditional warfighting as well as those that are key to peace missions. In brief overview, the likely functions of the intervention force would include:

a) attack or counter-attack on centers of gravity,

b) extrication of friendly forces under optimal protection,

c) the beefing-up of escorts that are marching with humanitarian convoys through high-threat areas,

d) containing and resolving pockets of resistance in the context of peace enforcement,

e) the routine escort of humanitarian convoys,

f) the routine protection of humanitarian sanctuaries,

g) the beefing-up of sanctuary defense,

h) cavalry screens (to cover the movement of other forces), delaying actions, and pursuit,

i) general reconnaissance,

j) target acquisition and designation for indirect fire,

k) protection of secondary axes and the conduct of initial defense,

l) area control and demonstrations of interest,

m) urban warfare,

n) indirect fire to assist in a), g) and k) as well as for follow-on-forces attack and to stop enemy breakthroughs.

This set of activities and functions would be optimally covered by having three families of vehicles:

— A heavy family that would be mainly in charge of a), b), c), and d) — and, to a lesser extent, g) as well as m). Its vehicles should be relatively heavy (around 50 t) and, consequently, tracked. Typical examples would be a main battle tank utilizing new technology and a MICV with especially good protection.

— The medium family might consist of only one basic wheeled platform (8 x 8) whose different variants (weighing 25 – 35 t) would carry heavy tube artillery, a multiple-launch rocket system, and/or a fiber-optically guided missile array. Its main function would be n), of course. In performing this function it would assist in a), g), k) as well as in follow-on forces attack and in stopping enemy breakthroughs. Emphasis would be placed on ensuring optimal fire allocation, which requires good operational mobility.

— The light family (4 x 4) would have relatively many members. There should be special versions for reconnaissance (equipped with machine cannon), infantry transport, an anti-tank missile system, shorter-range indirect fire (mortar), and an air defense missile system. All vehicles of this class should be very compact and relatively light (5 – 9 t). They should have acceptable ground pressure (to allow movement over soft ground) and a high degree of agility. Compactness and agility would enhance their survivability. This would be combined with unrivaled operational and strategic mobility. The main functions to be performed by the light family are e), f), h), i), j), k), l); secondarily, it would serve m) as well.

Cautionary note: The variables “low weight” and “compactness” imply that the infantry carrier belonging to the light family cannot have more than 5 to 7 occupants. This would suffice for patrolling missions, but in a warfighting scenario the vehicle’s crew may be too small to form a viable tactical entity. However, the currently common practice of loading 10, 12, or even more soldiers into a large 15 – 25 t wheeled carrier puts “too many eggs in one basket”. This is especially worrisome because large multi-wheeled vehicles are particularly vulnerable.6 For this reason, the small-crew/compact-vehicle approach demands further study. One possibility would be to team pairs of vehicles closely together.”

http://www.comw.org/pda/0007wheels.html

x
x
June 4, 2013 4:19 pm

@ Jeremy M H

The UK will supply a brigade plus in what ever configuration is needed to the best of “our” capabilities. Whether it is armour or MRAPs.

That is what I don’t understand the new structure. We will never need to rush a brigade of Mastiffs anywhere. And if we have to send one of the armoured brigades you can bet the Mastiffs won’t be sent in the first instance. The battalion in the Mastiffs will probably take another battalion’s Warriors. All very good. All very flexible. So why bother listing Mastiffs in their orbat? We could just say the high readiness brigade is a 3 armoured infantry battalion brigade. The brigade stood down from high readiness won’t need all its Warrior. Debussing from Warrior, assaulting onto a position takes practice. Mastiffs mostly move from one protected place to another so. Um. If we moved all the Warriors into 2 brigades and left third brigade with Mastiff that could be the window to buy an 8×8. But I don’t think that would make much sense as surely it would be better to buy the ASCOD instead so the formation remains all tracks and as lead into Warrior replacement?

As for the US Army in the Pacific I understand what you are saying. Here sometimes there is confusion or misunderstanding as to the traditional role of USMC, especially when it comes to aviation. What they don’t seem to realise the US Army apart from the Philippines, adventures in Cuba, and showing up late for WW1 didn’t go abroad before WW2 it was a wholly a continental force fighting the Mexicans and even watching the Canucks. The non-colonial USA had a navy and if it needed troops ashore sent the USMC. And it is for that reason that the USMC, just as the US Army and British Army in the early 20th century, developed its own aviation capability to support ground operations; it just could fly off carriers too. The US Army having forces in German and Japan in a way was no different to us having troops in the former. Bases abroad doesn’t equal expeditionary capability. Let’s not forget that really SOCOM in a way is the US’s third ground force and is evolving away from the US Army’s core capability. So yes the US Army is out on a limb…….

mr.fred
mr.fred
June 4, 2013 6:17 pm

I can see the need for a operationally/strategically mobile protected troop carrier. I can see that the currently available crop may be the thing to go for because they are available.

I don’t see why they should carry the protection and powertrain for fifty percent additional lift capacity or protection beyond that afforded to our heavy armour IFVs.
I also disagree that this would be a quantum leap. It’s an evolutionary step above and beyond Saxon but not so much more than that. FV430 series had a variety of vehicles on a common chassis, as did CVR(T). Most other vehicles have had the option but few have ever been taken up.

These strategic APCs need to be able to use the road network without undue restriction, so less than 2.5m wide to comply with road traffic regulations (2.4m would allow them to be shipped in ISO container spaces) would seem to be a good requirement. It would have to be less than 2.55m to get through the channel tunnel and most 8x8s exceed this width. Less than 18t would mean you could carry two in an A400M, or one in a C130.

Protection against RPGs is a nonsensical requirement without further definition. An RPG29 is good for 600mm of steel (4.7 tonnes per meter squared of armour) If this is a light vehicle for general use then I would suggest that an efficient spall liner and vehicle design such that an RPG hit will go straight through and only hurt what is in a direct line. If you can get some high mass efficiency protection (HKDAS or slat armour) on it then that would be good, but asking for “protection against RPGs” is asking for a 70 tonne behemoth.

x
x
June 4, 2013 6:39 pm

@ mr.fred

I would say a modern 8×8 ia somewhat a generation beyond Saxon which is basically a lorry with an armoured body.

You can’t compare a tracked vehicle to a wheeled vehicle when it comes to length. In the former all the transmission is at the front. In an all wheel drive vehicle it is the length of the entire vehicle. M113 have been produced in models that vary from the standard by having one fewer set of road wheels, and models that have an extra set of road wheels. There are you are talking a couple of feet. But it easy an modification. Unlike adding or deleting a wheel from a wheel vehicle. Modern protection levels demand a big vehicle.

I see no advantage shrinking a general purpose vehicle to fit into a container. Containers have to be handled. More general purpose ships fit more docks around the world than there are docks with adequate cranes for handling containers en masse. A ramp to the dockside is much better. Even a ramp onto a lighter.

Jeremy M H
June 4, 2013 6:40 pm

@Mr. Fred

“These strategic APCs need to be able to use the road network without undue restriction, so less than 2.5m wide to comply with road traffic regulations (2.4m would allow them to be shipped in ISO container spaces) would seem to be a good requirement. It would have to be less than 2.55m to get through the channel tunnel and most 8x8s exceed this width. Less than 18t would mean you could carry two in an A400M, or one in a C130. ”

Stryker Type: 2.7m
Boxer: 2.99m

You seem to be right that most don’t fit that description and have we not already gone and demanded a new vehicle when there really is not a case for one? If you are going to buy an 8×8 troop mover should you not just live with what is out there? The R&D cost for something brand new spread over just a few hundred units gets really pricey. Someone is going to have to make a really compelling argument to get me to buy an 8×8 that does not already exist.

mr.fred
mr.fred
June 4, 2013 6:52 pm

x,
Yes, a generation advance is usually considered to be an evolution. A quantum leap is something much more substantial. It’s a phrase often horribly misused and in recent history I would go so far as to say that only the internal combustion engine and the atomic bomb count as quantum leaps in war.

With regards to the size of the vehicle, I was thinking less lopping a wheel off and more buying the right sized one in the first place. I don’t know what ‘modern protection levels’ are, much less why they would demand a large vehicle. If anything I would have thought that the “don’t be hit” layer in the survivability onion would be better served by a smaller vehicle. And the “Don’t be penetrated” layer, for that matter, on the basis that less surface area equals more armour for a given weight.

Jed
Jed
June 4, 2013 7:17 pm

1. We are keeping and upgrading Warrior – so no need for 8 x 8 IFV
2. We need to replace Saxon and FV432, lots of both – so something not that expensive
3. At some point we need to replace Mastiff – can this be same vehicle as at 2 above ?

Soooo, how about large enough to be useful numbers of RG35 6 x 6 as our Adaptable Force APC and general “utility” armoured vehicle.

If you want something more “fighty” to replace Mastiff, as we have no requirement for Amphibiousity then Boxer – we already paid into the R & D, and it’s actually the most modular of the 8 x 8 I believe (designed from beginning to take different back ends).

That is all…….

x
x
June 4, 2013 7:19 pm

@ mr.fred

Saxon was leaf sprung vehicle with discrete chassis and body assemblies.

The modern 8×8 is a monocoque with independent suspension some even use pneumatic suspension systems and not coil springs.

The latter is more than a generation ahead of the former. Never said it wasn’t an evolution I said it was more than one generation ahead. That is without considering the engine, transmission, tyre inflators, etc. The Saxon went to war with a wonderful asthmatic Bedford engine that was found in that company’s light good vehicles pre-7.5t days.

As for using the right size wheel what about ground clearance, having sufficient tyre to carry the vehicle’s weight, and having sufficient shoulder for traction?

Though modern materials are lighter and blasts can be deflected by sheets of material at appropriate angles the main way blasts are overcome still is lots of heavy thick metal in a vehicle’s structure. Same with “bullet proofing”, whatever that is.

Most of the vehicles are built to take two man turrets. Therefore there is top weight to consider which also drive’s vehicle width.

Observer
Observer
June 4, 2013 7:26 pm

Unfortunately when it comes to 8x8s, they really have not been around long enough or changed enough to actually warant a generational ranking system, other than from marketing. As for the smaller vehicle, would size still be a defence with guided weapons? No matter how small you are, if a missile can be made to home in on you, then size really isn’t a viable form of protection. I can see it working in cannon fire where the round is basically unguided and smaller size complicates the gunner’s job, but for things like an EO missile where the firer can see what the missile sees and simply steer the missile into the target?

“less surface area equals more armour for a given weight.”

Only for the armour protection factor, the weight of the armour demands a rather decently sized engine to move it and so pushes up volume as well, not to mention strategic range demands a certain sized fuel tank too. The systems all feed back on themselves, so it is not a one factorial problem, too small a volume = too small an engine = less armour it can carry as well. A chicken and egg problem in a way.

Length is also an advantage in stability when ditch crossing.

A more interesting question would be what are the gains obtained when replacing a F432 with an 8×8? More capacity? Less maintainence? Flexibility? If there is a worthwhile gain, I’d say consider it. If not? Don’t waste money.

x
x
June 4, 2013 7:41 pm

@ Jed

I quite like this as a Mastiff replacement,

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

There are some videos on YouTube too.

I think we already have potential FV432 (and Sultan) replacement in service in Viking/Bronco.

mr.fred
mr.fred
June 4, 2013 8:07 pm

The number of generations isn’t particularly important, I was just gainsaying Monty’s hyperbole that an 8×8 is a ‘quantum leap’

Weight of material for IED and ballistic protection has little to do with the overall size of the vehicle. In fact the bigger the vehicle is the heavier it will be, with a small saving grace that a larger volume has a proportionately smaller surface area, all else being equal. That most of the vehicles are set up to be able to be IFVs merely highlights their unsuitability for what we want them for. We have an IFV, we don’t need another one.

A smaller vehicle is better protected against ATGW because it is a smaller target and therefore more difficult to detect, target and hit. Being smaller makes it more difficult for a missile to “home in” on you. If it’s difficult for a gunner to track then it remains so when you are trying to guide a missile as well.

Smaller size means lighter weight, this means that you need a smaller engine to obtain the same power-to-weight ratio. The smaller engine uses less fuel so a smaller tank can provide the same range.

x
x
June 4, 2013 8:23 pm

http://www.legendevents.co.uk/00images/MiniLaserTanks2.jpg

http://www.tobsen77.de/images/shop/onemanarmy_thumb.jpg

http://www.invisiblethemepark.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Turtle-Personal-Tank-1952.jpg

You are not saving fuel if you need more vehicles. The difference in size of a 6×6 vs 8×8 vs say SWB Transit is virtually inconsequential even at the extreme range of a modern ATGW. 8 fully equipped troops, plus a crew, plus a big enough engine to move it, a transmission, and 6 or 8 wheels are going to take up a certain volume. If you built it out of wet cardboard it is going to be 5.5m to 7m long, 2.10m to 2.80m. So you are saving what 1.5m in length and 60cm in width?

Jed
Jed
June 4, 2013 8:45 pm

x said: “I think we already have potential FV432 (and Sultan) replacement in service in Viking/Bronco.”

Nope, not really. Viking was / is direct replacement for’some’ (not all) un-armoured BV206 to give RM a “Protected Mobility” capability.

Original requirement for FRES UV was to replace “1000’s of FV43x series and some CVR(T) series vehicles” – can’t do that with around 150 (?) Bronco’s !

So, you did indeed use the word “potential” – can Bronco be made as cheap as a RG35 in order to replace all the FV43x series vehicles remaining / needing to be replaced – what about the wheels versus (rubber) tracks debate……. oh oh, duck and cover…….

mr.fred
mr.fred
June 4, 2013 8:54 pm

x,
That kind of saving works for me, considering that it means that it opens up transport links previously denied. It also saves me over 30% roof and belly armour, 20% on the side armour and the front and rear armour. All in it is likely to save me a quarter of the weight of the vehicle.

x
x
June 4, 2013 9:02 pm

The vehicle’s primary job is to move stuff and then protect it. As I said that most of the 8×8 vehicles are built to similar dimensions must mean that the market demands such. The question really is why if all those companies spent money on research coming up with roughly the same answer did the MoD have to spend a billion to do it all again? And why did it take them so long before they realised they were asking the impossible?

mr.fred
mr.fred
June 4, 2013 9:27 pm

x,
Most of the 8x8s are built to be capable of being IFVs or to transport sections larger than the 8 men used by the British Army. I suspect that those are the reasons they are so large. The customer base for these vehicles has different requirements to the British Army.

Why the British Army spent so much over such a long period to get so little I can’t answer. Based on what I can see in Civvy-land it looks like there are a number of people in the MoD who do not understand requirements, engineering or possibly even simple physics.

x
x
June 4, 2013 9:52 pm

Ah, but they are not large………… :) ;)

This is 4×4 version of the LAZAR……

http://www.platforms-mil.de/Bilder/11175858594314lazar4x4fr1.jpg

It “sits” 6 I think.

phrank
phrank
June 4, 2013 9:58 pm

Talking about rapid deployment is all fine and well. How are they being deployed fast? Are we talking about flying them of by ship? If by plane then weight is a issue but if by ship then it hardly matters. NATO article 5 were would that threat be from that some light armor units would be useful? Do you drive hundreds of miles to get there and not have the heavy forces to fight a enemy force? Maybe they would be useful as a police force. I understand that light forces have value. But with 82,000 total troops can you afford to have them?

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
June 4, 2013 10:12 pm

wading in first, and then reading the by now hefty thread:
RE “news spurred on the post as if the states went with the Patria, would this influence any future purchase by the MOD as having the same vehicle as our main coalition partners would be very handy”
– yeah, the Dutch Marines have them, too

The twin mortar set up was a bit too much for wheels though, as the second one fires when the rocking from the first is still going on: hence the double AMOS is only on tracks and the single-barrel NEMO is the favoured option for the AMV

As the Russians also found this rocking a problem for sustained fire, there was some talk of them getting 500+ of the wheeled mortar platforms, but that has gone very quiet

Brian Black
Brian Black
June 4, 2013 10:57 pm

” …having the same vehicle as our main coalition partners would be very handy”

VBMR?

Observer
Observer
June 4, 2013 11:57 pm

Er… please don’t use the Hogs as troop carriers in a war, they are primarily utility vehicles in the real “utility” supplies transport sense, not the pseudo “utility” APC meaning of the term used in the FRES (UV). They won’t survive in the middle of a battle.

mr.fred, I think some of your objections stem from your personal preference for really austere designs, not a real weakness in the design. We actually went over some of the same things in the IFV/APC debate previously.

BTW for the Warthog costs, there is an economy version built for the Japanese Civil Defence when they complained that they did not need heavy armour to do disaster rescue. It can probably work as a hauler and maybe mortar carrier, but once again, don’t bring it into battle, strictly second line. Or just get more Vikings. These are possible replacements for trucks, the baseline version might work as a patrol vehicle, but for an APC, best look for an APC.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
June 5, 2013 4:09 am

A great piece by paul g, thanks.

This link http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ki4aayQW0E0
was behind the one attached; a very useful summary of the state of play
– the major omission is the improved Italian “super”, both in amphibiosity and in protection

Not very far down in reading the comments, but the “everyone else” going in this direction omits to mention Russia. With “brigadisation” from divisional structure, they are laying much more emphasis on wheeled mobility. Motorised Rifle Divisions were support formations and even the newest BTRs are unable to provide a basis for a family of vehicles as required by a main fighting formation, regardless of how good those derivatives are in their (originally intended) role.
– hence the “tank killer/ fire support” vehicle for these wheeled formations, to deal with threats coming from directions that have vast empty spaces, is already being procured from Italy!

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
June 5, 2013 4:21 am

Hi x,

as a mobile reserve? In your ” I have yet to figure how Mastiff fits into the Reaction Brigade set-up. As I have asked several times now if the Army is all flexible why do we have different types of infantry? The answer is it isn’t that flexible soldiers need to train with their vehicles therefore Mastiff has no place in armoured formation.”

Instead of the idea of parts of a bde being dug in, you may have an area of ops with a diameter of 70 mls, and that’s what you need, even though mixing wheels and tracks is not ideal.

Your idea of an army bn wading in behind the RM in itself shoots down the comment by someone else that USMC might (have to) share in the procurement of Strykers or army tracked IFVs; they are simply not amphibious enough
– takes me back to your jpg link: look at the wave breaker “on the bonnet” of the AMV. That’s for the country with thousand lakes (and some big rivers, too). Then look at the images paul g provided for Havoc… those guys are hell intent on going surfing!

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
June 5, 2013 4:50 am

RE “Plus the space can be used for small amounts of supplies say extra Javelin. Soldiers living in their “wagon” won’t grumble about the space”
– well, not quite living in there, but I agree
– if, at the bn level, you have the requirement to be able to self-deploy over a 300 km distance, and be ready to fight on arrival (I know of such, if the British army thinks this way, I do not know), what do you then have?
– each guy with his personal weapon and assault pack, ready to jump out; what stays in the wagon if not needed are bergans (for “living”) and additional anti-armour weapons, which are half of man size length-wise and have to be stored to hand so you can get your hands on them when dismounting in a hurry
… where’s the extra space? The manufacturers, for obvious marketing reasons, quote the max. number of seats, without these “extras”

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
June 5, 2013 6:47 am

Hi Observer, how does the unarmoured version work in “It can probably work as a hauler and maybe mortar carrier, but once again, don’t bring it into battle, strictly second line”?
– mortar range is either side of 10 km, (counter)artillery without assisted shells to 40km

I agree that the potential as a resupply vehicle that can keep up (even take shortcuts) is much under-appreciated
– the new Stahlwart for fuel & ammo over any terrain, incl. rivers?

Observer
Observer
June 5, 2013 1:09 pm

ACC, same way as you guys using the 81mm on a Viking. :)

And I did say maybe.

An advantage I can see is the lack of “tear down” time, shoot and run like madmen. Don’t envy them though, dodging counter artillery is a bitch.

x
x
June 5, 2013 1:28 pm

@ ACC re Mastiff within a tracked formation.

No. As I said it won’t happen. In Iraq a variety of vehicles were used to move troops about because all was what he had. Warrior et al are about fast paced armoured warfare. Mastiff doesn’t cut it. Different type of vehicle for different uses. If the balloon went up the third battalion will go with another battalion’s warriors. I can’t see a scenario where you would mix an MRAP with its lack of mobility and tracked vehicles with high mobility.

As for digging in I was referring to the WW3 strategy of NATO forces digging in to stop Soviet advances. I can’t see Mastiff being any more use in that scenario either as you would need to meet your enemy with similar weapons and levels of mobility.

x
x
June 5, 2013 4:18 pm

ACC said “where’s the extra space? The manufacturers, for obvious marketing reasons, quote the max. number of seats, without these “extras”

You’ve gone all Vorlon on me again mate, not quite sure what you are getting at. Most of my discussion with Mr Fred was me trying to point out that “4 seats” wasn’t actually much extra space. Most armies have platoons whose strength is around 30. Offering a vehicle that can move a third of a platoon seems sensible. These vehicles are offered in a variety of configurations from vanilla to two man turrets; the latter has to be accommodated both in terms of top weight but also with regards to them impinging into the passenger space. It seems to me that means mostly taking up “4 seats” worth of volume. When you consider crewing a turret or not you still end up with something in the region of 11 bods to accommodate. When is even an extra space for nothing a bad idea?

As for living in the “wagom” if you on exercise (or actually Lord forbid doing the job for real) for a few days you will be living out of the “wagon”. Whether the “wagon” is Chally 2 or a comms lorry or anything in between. That is why British Army vehicles despite having crap engines, crap ergonomics, crap armour, crap guns, and crap reliability all come with excellent BVs. :) ;)

Honestly I don’t see what the mystery is with all this. Honestly I don’t. :)

Observer
Observer
June 5, 2013 4:32 pm

x, he was agreeing with you that “extra space” really doesn’t deserve the name.

Monty
June 5, 2013 5:14 pm

@Mr Fred,

The term ‘quantum leap’ is an overused cliche. However, I genuinely believe that an 8×8 fleet would provide just that in terms of an increased capability.

Let’s assume for a moment that we needed to deploy a brigade size force to Greece to overcome a coup d’etat. A ridiculously unlikely scenario perhaps, but not impossible. This is a distance of about 2,000 miles by road. You could simply instruct the brigade to get into its vehicles and travel in convoy directly to Athens. It would take 2 to 3 days with minimal stops, but the force would arrive with minimal mechanical breakdowns (versus its tracked equivalent) ready to restore law, order and legitimate government. While the convoy was en route, you might fly out a battalion’s worth of Foxhounds to establish a secure area, e.g. an airfield, but even that wouldn’t be essential.

When it comes to crossing the Channel, I see no reason why could not load 8x8s directly onto Le Shuttle trains or on a series of RoRo ferries at Dover. Assuming there was a build-up, we might decide to pre-position a brigade for such a deployment in, say Brindisi, Italy. That way, we could deploy very rapidly indeed. In fact, we could get from point A to point B in any number of ways. In every case, platoon, company, battalion and brigade size formations would be able to travel (non-tactically) en masse or as autonomous sub-unit formations to wherever they were needed. Of course, they could also travel tactically with company sized units using a variety of different by-roads to infiltrate through to the desired objective. Then, once you get to wherever you need to be, let’s not forget that you also have a state-of-the-art MRAP.

If you didn’t know that 175 8x8s were heading in your direction, they would be past you before you knew what was happening. The US Stryker Brigades were used in just this way in Iraq to rapidly reinforce trouble spots. They provided an excellent element of surprise that helped the US Army maintain the initiative. Of course, Stryker’s were attacked and some were destroyed, but they lost many more men killed in Hummers than they did in 8x8s. When the conflict was over, the Strykers just drove back to base again. Job done.

In other words, 8x8s enable you to get troops on the ground where you need them without being reliant on massive strategic airlift, train networks, and tank transporters. They’re much faster, more reliable and fuel efficient than tracked AFVs. They’re also much, much quieter: you don’t get that clinking, squeaking noise of steel tracks on tarmac, which can be heard more than three miles away.

You’re not only transporting infantry troops, but also artillery, anti-tank assets, engineer assets, logistics units and command posts. What you have is a completely independently mobile army. We have never had this capability before. in the final analysis, it is not the 8×8 mechanical design that confers the ‘quantum leap’ in effectiveness, but the combined effect of being able to place units wherever you need them with speed and reliability. Add the effect of truly linked and networked formations that can communicate easily and you open a slew of new possibilities.

To take this one step further, some people will counter that 8x8s are all very well until they face interdiction by a sizeable tracked formation. In reality, such a threat would be identified before it could inflict fatal damage on the 8×8 formation. They would just bug-out and let the F-35s and Apaches destroy the tanks. In any event, tracked vehicles would not be able to catch the 8x8s.

x
x
June 5, 2013 5:40 pm

@ ACC

Sorry. Or should that be?

– sorry

@ Observer

Sorry. I have been a bit on the defensive lately for reason. :)

mr.fred
mr.fred
June 5, 2013 5:42 pm

Monty,

If you cannot get them on the channel tunnel train then you cannot fit them through the channel tunnel. It’s down to priorities. If your number one priority is for strategic deployment then making them too big to for the existing transport infrastructure seems to be a disadvantage to me.

Operational and strategic mobility is useful, no-one is denying that. I take issue with people using ‘quantum leap’ when they clearly do not know what it means. Breathless hyperbole does not make a good sales pitch save to the terminally ill-informed.

Regarding “tracked vehicles could not catch 8x8s” I would suggest that perhaps that may be the case on level ground, but a shell can surely outrun any wheeled vehicle and a wheeled vehicle running away serves little military purpose.

x
x
June 5, 2013 5:42 pm

Monty said “Let’s assume for a moment that we needed to deploy a brigade size force to Greece to overcome a coup d’etat.”

Wouldn’t it be a lot quicker to drive to Berlin? :) ;)

wf
wf
June 5, 2013 6:21 pm

: you might want to reconsider some of your advantages for 8×8’s. Yes, they are more reliable and require less maintenance, but when we consider platoon and up formations of vehicles, they’re going to have much the same signature. Large 20-40 tonnes vehicles always do.

The other downsides include reduced off road mobility. After 30 vehicles progress down an un-metalled route in wet weather, it will be a mess, in which wheeled vehicles will bog down, while the tracked ones will keep going. The Canadians went from “we don’t need tanks, LAV’s will do for everything” to “we need tanks and IFV’s” due to their experience in Afghanistan. Since the likes of Stryker and Boxer are around 30 tonnes now, their off road mobility is going to be marginal on anything other than hard packed desert. Moreover, due to the requirement for transmission throughout the bottom of the vehicle, 8×8’s will always be higher and require more armoured volume for the same usable space. When 8×8’s reach 40 tonnes, who reckons anyone will rate them highly for “mobility”?

Given we are probably unable to use 8×8’s in anything other than COIN roles, why buy 10 brigades worth? 2-3 would seem more like it, and by replacing the Mastiff/Ridgeback we replace the one trick pony’s with something with utility in “normal war”

All Politicians are The same
All Politicians are The same
June 5, 2013 6:32 pm

Have just stopped laughing at the prospect of us driving some 8 x 8s from Calais to Athens. The Belgiums, Germans, Austrians, Croatians and Serbs will of course be fine with this? We do pass through their territory.

NATO Allies much closer will not be able to contribute far more quickly? If we had to contribute to such a scenario we would either fly in light troops or ship our kit in by RN/RFA Lines on LPD/LSD/Point Class. The road march deployment can be left to those that are equally capable and far closer.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
June 5, 2013 7:47 pm

@x – Don’t be a bad lad…it is bad for Sven’s b/p…you will be on the naughty step again!

Nanny Gloomy

x
x
June 5, 2013 8:51 pm

@ GNB

It was just screaming to be said. There aren’t many laughs and giggles in IR.

mr.fred
mr.fred
June 5, 2013 9:08 pm

While I’ve been prattling on about smaller APCs, it prompted me to go back in time a little and look up this little bit of kit:
http://www.plasticwarfare.se/2011/09/sep-w1-a-prototype-afv/
http://www.plasticwarfare.se/2011/10/sep-t1-the-first-tracked-sep/
http://www.army-technology.com/projects/sep/
http://snafu-solomon.blogspot.co.uk/2010/06/hagglunds-sep-is-now-bae-alligator.html
Which seems to be quite close to what I am on about. 2+8, 14 tonnes, bit wide though and I’m not a fan of high hard steel for vehicle structure.
I think that they canned it though. Sad.

Observer
Observer
June 6, 2013 12:15 am

Tanks don’t really go everywhere, they get bogged down in mud too, and the break point where a 8×8 will get bogged vs a tracked getting stuck is so slight it is hard to tell if there really is a credible difference.

What is really an important factor is that unlike tanks, 8x8s can’t throw a track unless for some strange reason or other, the whole wheel comes off, and even then, the loss of a single wheel does not affect the unit.

Those in armour can testify that throwing tracks is fairly common for tanks, especially for long travel as the tracks heat up and expand, causing loose fitting, along with other metal on metal mechanical stress.

“I take issue with people using ‘quantum leap’ when they clearly do not know what it means.”

Isn’t that when electrons absorb a specific “quantum” of energy of a specific wavelength causing it to jump to the next orbital shell? The reverse happens in flame spectroscopy where the electron falling to a lower electron shell releases the extra energy in the form of coloured light, for example, the greenish flame you get when you heat copper.

Observer
Observer
June 6, 2013 1:42 am

Just had a retro thought, triple concertina wire does a good job on tank sprockets, the blades get caught in the tracks and get wound into the drive wheels making a holy mess, wheeled might not have this problem as there is little for the blades to catch on and any rubber that did would be easily nicked off. It’s like tossing a rubber mat over it.

martin
Editor
June 6, 2013 5:52 am

@ APATS

“The Belgians, Germans, Austrians, Croatians and Serbs will of course be fine with this? We do pass through their territory.”

You are wrong. With Schengen in place all our brigade has to do is clear passport control at Calais then its free to drive down the AutoBahn up to the Romanian boarder where it will have to wait until Romania and Bulgaria join, Schengen. Not sure if this is what they had in mind when they set it up though :-)

If we let Turkey into the EU then we can scrap the navy and just drive our 8×8’s all the way to Iran. If only we used them in the stan instead of the Mastiffs etc. The guys could just pack up next year and take a nice drive back through Russia and Kazakhstan instead of fannying around with trains or going through Pakistan to a boat. They could even stop of at The Sochi Winter Olympics for a well earned break and spot of skiing on the way back. Ah the possibilities :-)

x
x
June 6, 2013 10:04 am
Monty
June 6, 2013 11:48 am

One interesting side discussion to emerge from this thread is criticism of the FF2020 structure. Whether you have multi-role brigades or dedicated light, medium and heavy brigades, I do believe that some kind of consistent structure is preferable. When units live and train together in close proximity, they develop a bond that makes them much more effective in battle. Constantly reorganising formation ORBATs makes no sense. In reality, i think this state of flux is only a temporary measure until all units return to the UK from Germany. So what should an effective Future Force structure look like? Time to play Fantasy Formations:

Proposed Multi-Role Brigade Structure (x5)
1 x Tank regiment (Challenger 2)
1 x Armoured reconnaissance regiment (Warrior)*
2 x Armoured infantry battalions (Warrior)
2 x Medium Armour Infantry battalions (FRES UV 8×8)
1 x Armoured artillery regiment (155 mm M109)

Air assault brigade (x1)
3 x parachute battalions (Foxhound)
1 x Light reconnaissance regiment (Jackal)
1 x Light infantry battalion (Foxhound)
1 x Light artillery regiment (105 mm light gun)

Commando brigade (x1)
3 x Royal Marine battalions (Viking)
1 x Light reconnaissance regiment ( Jackal)
1 x Light artillery regiment (towed 105 mm light gun)

Additional infantry battalions (Foxhound)

(N.B. Scout SV abandoned and replaced with Warrior)

However, in an ideal world, I would divide the force structure into Heavy, Medium and Light brigades
Heavy brigade (x2) tracked
2 x Ch2 tank regiments
2 x Warrior infantry regiments
1 x Recce regiment (again with upgraded Warrior not FRES SV)
1 x M109 artillery regiment

Medium brigade (x2) wheeled
2 x 8×8 MGS tank destroyer regiments (120 mm smooth bore)
2 x 8×8 FRES UV infantry battalions (20 mm cannon / Javelin / 40 mm GMG)
1 x 8×8 Reconnaissance regiment (40 mm CTA)
1 x 8×8 artillery regiment (155 mm gun)

Light brigade (x2 to include Commando brigade and Air Assault brigade
3 x infantry battalions (helicopter mounted)
1 x 4×4 Jackal recce regiment
1 x 4×4 towed artillery regiment (105 mm light gun)

Additional infantry battalions allocated to brigades as needed and mounted in Foxhound
Commando regiments would have Viking
Air Assault Parachute battalions would have Foxhound
Total infantry battalions: 30

Total AFV requirements:

Challenger 2: 250 (ultimately replaced with leopard 2 w. 120 mm Smoothbore)
Warrior: 500 (ultimately replaced with Puma IFV w. 40 mm CTA
8×8 IFV: 250 (fitted with one-man turrets mounting 20 mm light cannon and Javelin ATGW turret)
8×8 MGS (tank destroyer:) 250 (mounting 120 mm smoothbore)
8×8 Recce vehicle: 100 (mounting 40 mm CTA)
8×8 artillery platform: 100 (155 mm gun)
Additional specialist 8x8s (including 120 mm mortar vehicle for infantry mortar platoons, Long range ATGW turret, engineer, repair & recovery): 100
4×4 Foxhound: 1,000 (depending on battalion size)
4×4 Jackal: 100 (ultimately replaced by Foxhound specialist Recce vehicle) with enclosed cabin for increased IED protection)
Viking: 100 (ultimately replaced by amphibious 8×8)

Jeremy M H
June 6, 2013 12:53 pm

Both of those proposed forces are substantially larger than those proposed under Army 2020 aren’t they? I don’t think the Army will see even the proposed Army 2020 numbers frankly.

Rocket Banana
June 6, 2013 1:31 pm

Monty,

In reading your “Fantasy Formation” I was wondering what the “medium brigade” would ever get used for that the other two brigade types can’t deliver. In other words would you not end up bundling the medium and heavy assets together to provide a bit of a hilo mix of speed and weight.

I know little about much of the Army but have always seen the light brigades and associated assets as simply something that needed to be air deployable. Somewhat of a compromise made up for by elite training, speed and adaptabilty/improvisation.

Swimming Trunks
Swimming Trunks
June 6, 2013 1:39 pm

Hybrid Electric Drive the way to go?

http://www.comw.org/pda/0402unterseher.html

x
x
June 6, 2013 2:09 pm

Not all units are returning from Germany, have I mentioned they have done for me county regiment?

EDIT: Please RM Commandos not battalions…….. :)

wf
wf
June 6, 2013 2:36 pm

@Swimming Trunks: re the comw.org link, much the sort of idea I’ve been pushing, although I suspect you cannot really fight an AFV with only two crew, and given the weight, I’d utilise their hybrid drive with it’s hub motors by running some tracks over them, which could be removable for the long road marches like the AMX30. Win / win :-)

Swimming Trunks
Swimming Trunks
June 6, 2013 3:00 pm

@ wf – the proposed vehicle does seem very similar to the AHED concept vehicle:

http://defense-update.com/products/a/AHED.htm

Which has rubber track around two wheels in one of the pictures above; but is that a good idea? It was tried before, particularly on the interwar Christie designs; it was rejected then, why would it be better now?

Monty
June 6, 2013 3:49 pm

@Simon

“In reading your “Fantasy Formation” I was wondering what the “medium brigade” would ever get used for that the other two brigade types can’t deliver. In other words would you not end up bundling the medium and heavy assets together to provide a bit of a hilo mix of speed and weight.”

Deploying tracked assets long distance is a much more protracted process than deploying wheeled ones. You need trains, tank transporters, ships with reinforced decks and so on. An 8×8 fleet can be a complete and independent formation that combines tank destroyers, recce, infantry and artillery units. In most instances, you’d deploy the 8x8s first as a QRF and then bring tracked formations into play as and when needed.

The USA, France and Italy are starting to rely almost exclusively on 8×8 formations. The inherent flexibility of being able to deploy units of varying sizes according to the task at hand is very compelling, as is the inherent reliability of modern 8×8 platforms. The fast and fluid tempo of 8×8 operations means that large scale AFV vs AFV encounters can be avoided. You simply use your 8x8s to deploy dismounted infantry where they are needed with ATGWs to protect them. In conventional battles, a highly mobile cycle of: Advance – Dig-in – Defend – Defeat and then Advance again, is redefining AFV tactics. (It goes without saying that having integrated AA assets when you don’t have air superiority is fairly essential.) For COIN ops, 8x8s are simply well protected MRAPs that support dismounted patrolling and resupply to remote areas. The UK isn’t even beginning to think about such tactics yet. We are lamentably behind the curve.

As for light units, yes, they are predominantly Airborne or Commando units, but we also have a number of single battalions deployed here and there. All units need protected vehicles for moving around in, so Foxhound is an ideal basic asset.

@Jeremy M H

I am going to go out on a limb here. We cannot have an effective Army that fulfils all current commitments (including the ability to sustain a Brigade-size force indefinitely overseas) with less than 30 infantry battalions. As soon as we get a new Prime Minister, (labour or Conservative) you will see the Army revert to a peace time strength of 100,000. Otherwise my proposed structure is pretty close to the force size of the five multi-role brigades that were originally proposed.

wf
wf
June 6, 2013 4:09 pm

@ST: I’m not suggesting something like AHED, something more similar to SEP with some or all of the road wheels with hub electric motors

Swimming Trunks
Swimming Trunks
June 6, 2013 4:57 pm

@ wf – ah, right. Sorry. Getting my HED`s mixed up. Also a good concept vehicle:

http://defense-update.com/products/s/sep.htm#SEP-wheeled

Seems similar to the AHED but more conventional looking; idea of modular “plug and play” rear compartments.

HurstLlama
HurstLlama
June 6, 2013 5:09 pm

“As soon as we get a new Prime Minister, (labour or Conservative) you will see the Army revert to a peace time strength of 100,000.”

NNNYYYYYYYOOOOOOOOoooooooooommm!

Sorry, that was the sound of a squadron of gloucester old spots flying past my window.

Mr. Monty, you maybe right that we need 30 infantry battalions to meet the commitment set by HMG, but we ain’t going to get them – hell will freeze over first. In the same way to need the SDR of 1998 we needed two carriers and 12 x T45s etc. etc.. If it comes to spending sufficient on defence so that HM Forces can do what the politicians themselves say they want or spending the same money on taking a voter’s dog for a walk, then the great majority of our politicians will be out there shouting, “Heel, Fido” before you can say, “Sustainable commitment”.

Since WW2, which new government has not cut the defence budget?

mr.fred
mr.fred
June 6, 2013 5:55 pm

I would have thought that light armour against a defended position would go alot more like “Advance – die -…..”
It just isn’t able to fight through a defensive position unless it is very weak. The idea for mechanised forces is their mobility allows them to go around. If you cannot go around due to terrain or mobile opponents then you need something heavier to force through.

The US aren’t relying solely on Stryker – they have Bradley and Abrams and are working on GCV to replace Bradley
The French are retaining their Leclerc MBTs and bringing in VBCI as a regular IFV with wheels rather than tracks
The Italians, well, they can do as they please. I’m not entirely sure I would describe them as the innovators to follow in such things.

Yes some kind of operationally/strategically mobile AFV is needed, but thinking that it can be all things to all people is the same wishful thinking that spent a billion pounds on pretty much nothing and God knows how many billions of dollars on just about the same thing.

Something like the SEP would suit the mechanised force quite well and not be so tooled up that people think that they can be used like proper AFVs

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
June 6, 2013 5:56 pm

I’ve completely lost track. What is the status of the actual FRES UV programme, as opposed to what we’d like it to be?

The last time I followed it, GD had been dumped because they did not want to play ball with some completely spastic IP transfer requirements, but that was 2-3 years ago. Has anything happened since then?

x
x
June 6, 2013 6:45 pm

Jed said “Nope, not really. Viking was / is direct replacement for’some’ (not all) un-armoured BV206 to give RM a “Protected Mobility” capability.”

I know why Viking was purchased. And I know what the MoD intend to replace and with what. I am SUGGESTING that they are wrong. I don’t really understand the wheels vs tracks debate. But it seems logical that the Sultans et al are replaced by another tracked vehicle in the same weight class.

@ Monty re Air Mobile Formations and Foxhound

Yes. But I would suggest the design is tweaked so it can fit within the Chinook. It is a tad too high at the moment. Folding windscreen and open rear tub perhaps? (Similar to Land Rover and other classic military vehicle designs.)

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

http://img120.exs.cx/img120/3190/bv206reducedbackincloseup6pl.jpg

Italian army vehicles being loaded into Italian army Chinooks. Go figure.

Swimming Trunks
Swimming Trunks
June 6, 2013 10:37 pm
Observer
Observer
June 7, 2013 2:09 am

Why internal? Why not just undersling it? You need the passenger compartment for the vehicle crew and stores.

x
x
June 7, 2013 8:14 am

Observer asked “Why internal?”

I am surprised an ex-soldier who has spent some time riding in helicopters has to ask that question.

Why do you think the Germans, Italian, and US build and operate vehicles that fit inside their large helicopters?

@ Monty

I would suggest that vehicles used by “light” forces are for transport first not protection.

Observer
Observer
June 7, 2013 10:05 am

x, I’d be even more surprised sharing cargo space with a load that can be carried OUTSIDE. :)

And it isn’t really ex. We still get called up a month per year to keep current.

Underslung is faster and easier to prepare for. Loading, you got to land, load and tiedown, underslung you can prepare before the heli comes and just hook up as it hovers.

No point dicking around with dimensions, just carry it outside.

Agreed on the “transport first”.

x
x
June 7, 2013 11:34 am

@ Observer

Yes. Much better. If the enemy doesn’t have any anti air capability, like in the Sandbox, then it is fine. * But if speed and surprise (or bad weather perhaps?) is needed then perhaps better if the vehicle is carried inside?

* Saying that I remember the scene at the opening of Blackhawk Down with the shepherd boy and the mobile phone.

Observer