Eurosatory Images

This year’s Eurosatory was notable for the number of new post-Afghanistan 8×8 designs that have emerged. Whereas earlier pre-2006 designs tended to weigh less than 20 tonnes, newer versions are much taller, longer and heavier with some weighing more than 30 tonnes, although all are air transportable in an A400M.

If you specify an 8×8 capable of carrying 3 crew plus 8 dismounts, you end up with a massive vehicle. Smaller vehicles with driver and gunner, and a commander who dismounts with a squad of 6 may be a better way to reduce vehicle weight and size.

The Leopard 2A7 was particularly impressive. This was the first production version. The new HE ammunition has a programmable airburst function. The Rhenimetall 120mm smoothbore fires a new DM63 APFSDS round which they reckon is considerably better than the UK’s CH2 Charm 3. New engine and gearbox. New BMS, FCS and electronic architecture. Driver now has an underfloor escape hatch. Lucky the Germans didn’t have of these in Normandy 1944

RG31
RG35
Interior of RG31
Interior of RG35
Puma production version gains additional road wheel. (Very low cabin, very cramped only six dismounts - CV90 and ASCOD 2 have much better interior arrangement and more space.)
Puma production version gains additional road wheel. (Very low cabin, very cramped only six dismounts – CV90 and ASCOD 2 have much better interior arrangement and more space.)
Puma IFV
Puma IFV
Piranha 5 with 30mm Mk 44 Bushmaster cannon
Piranha 5 with 30mm Mk 44 Bushmaster cannon
Piranha 5
Another view of Piranha 5 showing height of hull almost 2.5 metres. plus turret with twin-tube Javelin launcher
Inside view of Piranha 5
Inside view of Piranha 5 showing that turret is remote weapon station with all ammo stored outside the vehicle
Piranha 3+ (Stryker DVH)
Piranha 3+ (Stryker DVH)
Otokar 8x8
Otokar 8×8
Otokar 6x6 (Just as big as 8x8 but shorter in length)
Otokar 6×6 (Just as big as 8×8 but shorter in length)

 

Leopard 2A7 - what is undoubtedly the best main battle tank currently in service just got better. (Why we don’t replace Challenger 2 with these is beyond comprehension.)
Leopard 2A7 – what is undoubtedly the best main battle tank currently in service just got better. (Why we don’t replace Challenger 2 with these is beyond comprehension.)
Iveco VBA - Super AV amphibious IFV for USMC tender
Iveco VBA – Super AV amphibious IFV for USMC tender
Iveco Freccia with 25mm cannon plus Spike AT missile launche
Iveco Freccia with 25mm cannon plus Spike AT missile launche
Iveco Freccia Draco anti-aircraft vehicle
Iveco Freccia Draco anti-aircraft vehicle
Interior of new Freccia M120mm mortar variant
Interior of new Freccia M120mm mortar variant
Freccia mortar variant
Freccia mortar variant
Freccia 6x6
Freccia 6×6
Exterior shot of VBCI showing QineticQ lightweight anti-RPG shield
Exterior shot of VBCI showing QineticQ lightweight anti-RPG shield
interior shot of VBCI
interior shot of VBCI
CV90 with 105mm
CV90 with 105mm
Cool IMI CombatGuard Rough-Terrain ACV
Cool IMI CombatGuard Rough-Terrain ACV
Boxer with 155mm gun
Boxer with 155mm gun
Boxer with 30 mm cannon turret
Boxer with 30 mm cannon turret
Another view of Boxer IFV
Another view of Boxer IFV
Another Piranha variant 3+
Another Piranha variant 3+
Upgraded armour package for older Leopard 2s
Upgraded armour package for older Leopard 2s
Another view of Leopard 2
Another view of Leopard 2
ASCOD 2 Protected Mobility (Essentially FRES SV without UK armour package)
ASCOD 2 Protected Mobility (Essentially FRES SV without UK armour package)
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DavidNiven
DavidNiven
June 19, 2014 9:21 pm

Is the RG31 being entered for the MRV-P program?

The Other Chris
June 19, 2014 9:22 pm

Thanks Monty! :)

oldreem
June 19, 2014 9:25 pm

Huge projectile trap between Leo 2A7 turret front and hull – or doesn’t that matter with modern armour?

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
June 19, 2014 9:29 pm

Is it just me, but when I look at CV90 it reminds me of missed opportunities with Warrior 2000?

Chris
Chris
June 19, 2014 9:36 pm

Good to see Rheinmetall’s Lance turret (the 30mm on Boxer) looks more sorted now than did the prototypes. Its a funny configuration with the coax external to armour in a separate (non-armoured?) casement beside the main gun mantlet. As much as it doesn’t look it, I understand there is a lot of the Lance turret in Scout-SV CTA turret – in terms of structure & mechanics anyway, and presumably a degree of armour read-across.

Not that its that important but if my I-Spy book of armour is right the 4×4 at the top is RG35 not RG31?

Think Defence
Admin
June 19, 2014 9:40 pm
Reply to  Chris

Shazam

The Other Chris
June 19, 2014 9:42 pm

The IMI vehicle is the CombatGuard Rough-Terrain ACV.

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix
June 19, 2014 9:43 pm

looking at these pictures makes me sad.

so many, many, people making perfectly excellent wheeled and tracked boxes with or without a gun on top, and we have wasted decades and billions achieving sweet FA!

p.s. isn’t the one at the top the RG35, jed’s favourite:

https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2011/07/fres-uv-a-modest-proposal-for-a-family-of-protected-utility-vehicles/

Think Defence
Admin
June 19, 2014 9:43 pm

Twice

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
June 19, 2014 9:45 pm

@TD

Could you wield your magic on my first comment? :-)

I don’t want endless comments telling me I’m wrong.

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix
June 19, 2014 10:00 pm

especially not from some civvie n00b! ;)

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
June 19, 2014 10:03 pm

EXACTLY! ;-)

Peter Elliott
June 19, 2014 11:29 pm

“Leopard 2A7 – what is undoubtedly the best main battle tank currently in service… Why we don’t replace Challenger 2 with these is beyond comprehension.”

Becuase we will never have to fight a Leopard 2A7 and C2 still overmatches all potential foes. Work on your comprehension!

Seriously why would we burn a massive lump of capital to replace a very functional platform with something perhaps a smidgen better when we have yawning gaps all across the forces crying out to be fixed.

Maybe in 2030 we might sign up for an hypothetical Leopard 3. But until then spare us the bleading heart routine.

PhilE
PhilE
June 20, 2014 6:35 am

– You can’t make a vehicle that light and meet the current UK survivability requirements. I don’t get why this is so hard to grasp. Just take the weight increase of the Snatch upto Foxhound as a perfect example.

The CV90 just isn’t a safe platform in the modern combat environment, a .50 cal could disable it for christ sake.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
June 20, 2014 7:13 am

How do you arrive at this conclusion when the design parameter was the Russian 30mm cannon being operated by the oppsition?
“The CV90 just isn’t a safe platform in the modern combat environment, a .50 cal could disable it for christ sake.”

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix
June 20, 2014 7:18 am

i see the rg35 as a potential candidate for my africa corps mk2.

2.5m wide so will fit on a 20teu frame container
cheap
drive train accessible without major workshop infrastructure

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
June 20, 2014 8:06 am

Here’s your artillery to suit, @ £2m a piece, on RG31s
http://www.army-guide.com/eng/product4037.html

Weight 7.28 t (without mortar extras, incl. xtra power unit for mortar & aircon)
Length 6.40 m (21 ft)
Width 2.47 m (8.1 ft)
Height 2.63 m (8.63 ft)

Chris
Chris
June 20, 2014 8:19 am

PhilE – in my opinion you’ve hit the nail on the head but perhaps not as you intended – I too think the current standard UK survivability requirements have shaped the Army’s heavyweight vehicle inventory. The difference is I see the requirement as wrong; driven by ‘what ifs’ and brainstorming sessions and risk assessments focussed on acceptable risk of harm probability of zero. As a result we have vehicles as biased towards protection as this http://wwiimodeller.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/T34-With-Concrete-Armour.jpg or this http://aviarmor.net/tww2/photo/gb/ac_thornycroft/thornycroft_bison_1.jpg

The problem with the protection requirement developed in isolation and applied as an absolute is that it fails to provide effective fighting equipment – rolling onto the battlefield in a concrete pillbox on wheels is probably recognized as ridiculous – if not then judgement is lacking – but the modern drive to arrive on the battlefield in 10ft high 10ft wide 25ft long 50t metal pillboxes with 800hp+ diesels bellowing under the strain ignores one tiny little factor; that factor being what the soldier knows he needs to be effective in the task. I suspect most here have a lot of time for the perspectives brought by RT (although we’d never tell him that, obviously) as someone who has been at the sharp end and can see the pitfalls of imposing the wrong equipment on the military task. We have heard many times over that a 30t recce wagon is idiotic. Trying to see but not be seen is difficult when in a box the size of a block of flats belching 600kW of heat into the environment and making more noise than a Van Halen concert.

So. To the example. A .50cal could disable a CV90? As CV90 and ASCOD are very similar in size & weight either you have to surmise the .50cal would come very close to stopping ASCOD, or (more likely) the CV90 .50cal kill was a specific risk assessment possibility if precisely the right round hit precisely the right place at precisely the right angle from a short enough range. A C2 I believe was once disabled by a Scimitar Rarden round fired in error but with some skill. Do we then brand all C2 as having ineffective protection against anything greater than 30mm? Should great slabs of appliqué be added to improve its woeful protection? (See concrete T-34 above.)

AFV design has for decades been understood to be a compromise between protection, mobility and firepower. I have added a subordinate set of compromise factors that are stealth, ease of maintenance and durability because ignoring these makes a poor fighting machine. Current requirements demand high levels of protection hence vehicles are heavy and large; to retain mobility the vehicles need high power engines and strong transmissions (large and loud and produce a lot of heat) and because the assessment is that the vehicles will need (at some point) to take on similar high protection vehicles they have punchy weapons effective over long ranges and expensive sensors of high resolution and and and. They do not have stealth. They are not simple vehicles and so are not simple to diagnose when they break down. The components are big and heavy and need MBT-sized repair facilities. And due to their exceptional complexity the chances of them being durable are not good. By my assessment they are hugely protected, average mobility but with poor access due to size & weight, slightly better than average firepower, very poor stealth, poor ease of maintenance and highly dubious durability. This balance of attributes is about the same as late WW2 German armour except for the poorer firepower.

Since we are hellbent on building ever bigger ever heavier combat equipment but cannot increase the size and strength of the battlefield infrastructure to suit it, over time more and more of the battlefield will be off-limits to our brave lads & lasses. Maybe the efficient answer that gets the same military effect is to ask each soldier to get a note from their mum to say they can’t come out to fight today. Everyone safe!

mr.fred
mr.fred
June 20, 2014 9:13 am

Chris,
What level of protection does your superior insight tell you is best?

Chris
Chris
June 20, 2014 9:26 am

MrFred – there is no superior insight, just a realisation that some tasks are best undertaken by vehicles that have a different balance between mobility firepower and protection. Assigning a minimum (quite high) protection level as an absolute wipes out most of the compromise space, leaving the designer and the User trying to work out how to make the best of a poor lot. In my world then there is no ‘best protection level’; there is just a grown up discussion between User and designer over the best compromise that can be made. That means protection levels would vary between vehicles (they do anyway) but the level of protection, vehicle size, speed, mobility, armament, stowage provision, sensors etc would be balanced in the User view to best effect for the role.

You may have noticed I don’t rate the current tick-box-charlie approach to system design; I find it a blunt tool for creating supposedly sharp design.

Think Defence
Admin
June 20, 2014 9:27 am
Reply to  mr.fred

I think the whole protection v mobility thing is a very difficult issue but taken to its logical conclusion you would never dismount and every vehicle in the direct fire zone needs to be a CR2.

Phil might offer us a good perspective here from a dismounted perspective in Afghanistan. If you look at any footage you can see the obvious weight induced restrictions on personnel mobility, given the weight and heat it is only due to their incredible fitness that they can move at all, but even with that said, they ‘waddle’

I wonder if this reduction in mobility because of the needs of protection Osprey and ECM etc, is actually detrimental to doing whatever job we are asking them to do, in a roundabout way, increasing the risk to them.

This loops neatly back to vehicles, where does a reduced risk appetite make the task a) impossible and b) riskier in the round

Simon257
Simon257
June 20, 2014 9:40 am

@ TD

How far away are we from seeing the Infantry wearing Exoskeleton suits, like LM’s HULC?

http://www.lockheedmartin.co.uk/us/products/hulc.html

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kat8I5UM_Vs

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
June 20, 2014 9:44 am

The marketing (research) profession has long recognised that absolutes will shut out many, if not most, segments they would like to address (sell to, but with the buyers’ consent).

There are also well established techniques (the statistical analysis can be hidden by asking sequential questions, where the previous answer hones the exact next question) like conjoint measurement to establish what exactly the acceptable trade-offs are. These will obviously vary, more by group, than within groups AS IN
” Assigning a minimum (quite high) protection level as an absolute wipes out most of the compromise space, leaving the designer and the User trying to work out how to make the best of a poor lot. In my world then there is no ‘best protection level’; there is just a grown up discussion between User and designer over the best compromise that can be made.”
– so bringing in a little bit of behavioural science will assist engineering to solve the problems
– now, my consulting rate may seem as high, but against the wasted budget figures it might look like a “gift”…

Chris
Chris
June 20, 2014 10:14 am

I feel an analogy coming on. Some may recall my daily driver for the moment is an ageing and rusty 911. It goes well, but its scruffier than a scruffy thing (might have something to do with no-one as yet buying my fine designs, but hey.) Every time I take to the road I am besieged by drivers desperate to prove they can go faster than a Porsche. Most of the time its not difficult in my case; as a daily driver and because I value my driving licence I don’t thrash round as fast as the wheels would take me. So I put up with those of I presume tiny brain who impress themselves by driving 2ft off its back bumper at 30mph in town (to show they are being held up?) and who wheeze past in their Vauxhall Meriva on the motorways having taken a mile or two to gain terminal velocity. Why is this an analogy?

Because like all vehicles cars are a compromise. My car is thirsty and complicated and brutally expensive when repairs are needed and has minimal space for passengers or luggage (one or the other) and is noisy inside and the suspension hammers the spine and the car overheats on hot days and leaks water in on wet days and is regularly dented and scratched and targeted for minor vandalism by inadequates. By most criteria it is bad transport. But when it comes to speed and handling (yes honest 911s do cope with corners) and acceleration its far better than the average. Meriva Driver on the other hand has lots of seats in a quiet softly sprung light and airy box with luggage space and many doors and low running costs and good fuel economy, but trust me its performance is not up to sportscar standards. Not even if the maker stuck a GT badge on its plastic rump. Had Meriva Driver wanted, he could have for the same money bought an old and rusty sportscar and suffered all the hassle that brings. But he bought a perfectly rational people mover instead. Choice made. A different balance of the compromise selected. Having chosen practicality over a fast exciting drive, its pointless trying to prove its good in all the aspects it plainly isn’t.

Back to armoured vehicles then. Heavy protection is a choice but it has consequences. If you want rapid reaction snurgly recce vehicles you wouldn’t choose ones that stand 10ft tall and weigh 40t. Wrong compromise. So don’t try to pretend these well protected, quite rational in many ways, big armoured vehicles are just right for stealthy recce because they are not. RT would probably condemn even my fine vehicles for being too big & too heavy by his standards for the recce task. I can design to a different balance of priorities if that’s what is needed, but in any case there are other tasks in the broad spectrum of combat that my smaller vehicles would accomplish better than would the big protected box. Compromises.

Note 1 – Meriva Drivers are an example; equally I could have picked small hatchbacks, or diesel vans. Especially Mercedes diesel vans.

Note 2 – for reference the scruffy rusty ageing 911 reached 150mph with ease and was still accelerating hard but traffic on the horizon forced an immediate slow down – and it still caught up with motorway speed traffic in worryingly short time. The location for this was the derestricted Autobahn between the Austrian border and Munich, just in case you thought I was breaking the law. So next time you find yourself feeling chuffed you managed to overtake a 911 or any other fast sportscar on the motorway, bear in mind its that driver’s choice to drive at that speed, not the limit of the driver’s skill or the limit of the car’s capability. Just saying, like.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
June 20, 2014 10:32 am

Some of those Israeli recce (?) wagons have the power and the acceleration of a Porsche – is there any other use for it than getting quickly out of effective range in unexpected situations? I.e. trading bad for even worse, in outconmes corrected for likelihood.

I do 120km/h an ski-dos and I also understand what hitting a smallest bump would do to it.

mr.fred
mr.fred
June 20, 2014 10:35 am

Chris,
I have noticed a tendency for some commentators to suggest a minimum protection level and then expound on that by listing small arms, heavy machine gun, fragments and RPG7, which always amuses me because RPG7 is not a trivial exercise to stop. It gets even better when 30mm-proof comes into play, as a modern 30mm round could see to a Tiger tank

In addition the trend is to assume that if something is protected against an attack it is invulnerable to that all over. The amount of leeway given by the STANAG levels is often a surprise, though it should not be as 4569 relates to logistic vehicles, not fighting vehicles.
And this is perhaps the problem. These large vehicles are, or should be*, protected logistics vehicles, but they seem to get scope-crept into the fighting vehicle category

When it comes to vehicle protection, I wonder if the better solution would be to design the vehicle to a base level of protection (in which it can be used – rather than having appliqué fitted all the time) and then add appliqué to suit the operational environment it is going into, if necessary. If you are feeling clever, you could use the appliqué attachments to fit all sorts of useful supplies if you can get away with the light version. Fuel, water, food, and various other equipment could make it into quite a useful general purpose vehicle that could be deployed in support of disaster relief. You have the mobility to get places, power that can be used to run isolated electrical systems, engineering vehicles as part of your unit and a reasonable payload. Added to which you are protected against those people who go a bit nutty when disaster strikes.
As such, something like the RG35 is quite a good logistics/support wheeled vehicle, especially if it has growth room for appliqué protection

The infantry protection is an interesting point – waddling everywhere due to large quantities of ammunition, heavy protection with ceramic plates, vast quantities of communications gear to keep in touch with HQ, specialist equipment like mine detectors and then large quantities of water and food to deal with the demands of lugging this kit around.
As a result, I would make the following observations, which may be wrong, or right, or somewhere in between. Maybe there is something I’m missing, but you never find out unless you ask.
– Ceramic plates implies that we are trying to stop AP rounds. I don’t know how common these are, but, given that if you try and stop an AP round and fail, you can make the injury worse – the most efficient way of stopping AP is to tumble it, it would seem sensible, maybe, to limit light infantry to soft armour only. It’s something you’d have to look at the statistics of.
– We use too few men, so we end up loading them up with all the gear that the unit needs to complete the mission. We deploy platoons on independent operations – perhaps this is why there needs to be so much comms gear concentrated on the few men who do go forwards, so the HQ can keep tabs on them. Going back a fair way, the lowest rank who could command an independent detachment was a Major, as he could (in theory) be trusted to act without recourse to higher command. Maybe this (larger detachments, higher ranks and greater autonomy) would be a way of reducing the need for so much comms gear. Or maybe not.
– if you can use more men, you can distribute the specialist gear out more widely. Of course this makes it a much more target rich environment for the opposition, but at the same time it makes it harder for the opposition to pin down the whole unit.
– More men would also require more supplies – perhaps we need to look at more ways of reducing our logistics load. Maybe solar and wind generation, more efficient electrical gear, local filtration of water (the lifesaver system would be a good example), perhaps even hydroponics to grow food locally, if the environment permits.

Right, I’d better stop as I am rambling off on a tangent.

*IMHO

James Bolivar DiGriz
James Bolivar DiGriz
June 20, 2014 10:48 am

,
over time more and more of the battlefield will be off-limits to our brave lads & lasses

Surely what that means in practise is that more of the battlefield will be off-limits inside their vehicles to our brave lads & lasses. Rather than having moderate protection in, say, a 10-15 ton vehicle they have virtually no protection as they have to get out and go on foot.

Just because the vehicle can’t go there it does not mean that a reconnaissance of and from that area does not take place.

Phil
June 20, 2014 11:20 am

Always happy to bore others TD!

What TD talks about sums up why I believe we should not draw too many lessons from dismounted operations in Afghanistan.

We were there to influence and interact with locals and at the same time disrupt the insurgent. This meant one important thing – the insurgent would always know where we were going to. If there was a settlement, not only would we definitely be sticking our noses into it, we’d go right into the middle. If the insurgent was using an area as a firing point or bed down area then they knew that not only would we come knocking, we’d come into the middle of it. This left us very exposed and meant that common sense fieldcraft had to go out of the window. You couldn’t use cover as it was often seeded with IEDs. You couldn’t skirt around towns or avoid roads and high traffic areas. They were precisely the places we needed to be. So the enemy could set up simple and complex ambushes constantly. In those circumstances, when the objective is the population and not killing the enemy, then the blokes need Osprey and ECM – especially when every ISAF death is a victory for them and a defeat for us because of the deeply psychological nature of battling the insurgent in defined localities.

In a conventional war you wouldn’t want more than the old Gulf War body armour. Anything else is going to weight you down and make you less effective. The best force protection methods in conventional combat is surprise, fieldcraft and suppressing fires.

So yes Osprey, ECM etc made everything bloody hard work. But we needed it because our locations and behaviours could be broadly predicted and made us very vulnerable. The insurgent knew that if he could keep us away from their areas and settlements they’d win. If they killed us they’d win. So it was often hey-diddle-diddle-straight-up-the-middle how do you do, can we talk to you and be friends, here have some money for some CIMIC shit.

Casualties would have literally been unsustainable without that kit. We took 20% casualties in our AO as it was with it all. But you wouldn’t want it fighting in other more conventional operations.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
June 20, 2014 11:28 am

As Phil says, buy time and build up the local governance and also the forces to back it up… which takes me to Iraq ( a diversion): if half a million in gvrmnt forces and another 200.000 from the Kurds (granted, won’t foray much out of their homeland) can’t do it, after ten years of building and huge investment; then, those folks don’t deserve another bail out.

… now, back to the business of this stream

Chris
Chris
June 20, 2014 11:50 am

JBDG – agreed on both counts – big & heavy vehicles will be stalled by weak bridges and narrow choke points causing great delay while they find a) another way round, or b) the nearest RE detachment with enough gear to get through/over the obstruction. Or everybody gets out, shoulders as much of the mission kit as they can carry and stagger forward on foot. As for recce, I know many here prefer recce on foot as a survival technique in itself (less likely to be seen/targeted than a recce wagon) so the fact Scout may not be able to get far forward might be seen as a blessing…

Mr.Fred – I am a little anti the hanging of applique over vehicles like you might prop bits of old plywood over a hole in the fence – I prefer to approach protection in a more (buzzword warning) holistic way as in the vehicle hull should be designed carefully to deal with the forces, impacts and distortions of the weapon effects that are to be defeated. That said, my designs are a bit heavy in their protection but as I noted before making components lighter holds less risk than making them heavier. In any case until such time as examples are built & tested there’s no guarantee extra protection wouldn’t be necessary here & there. But I do follow the logic that removing the outer (heavy) layer of armour might be a way to make vehicles better suited to the role.

What you need to bear in mind though is the media effect. For the Balkans Warrior gained slabs of extra armour along the hull flanks and a chunk in front of the driver. Those who worry about protection for a living opined the Warrior hull as standard offered better protection than its turret (different manufacturer, different material). They also pointed out that the turret ought to be the first and (if the vehicle commander is doing the job right) the only part of the vehicle that is exposed to opposition forces. And yet the turret gained no appliqué, just the hull. Warrior still travels the Army’s conflict zones with heavy hull appliqué and a naked turret – because? Because of the media of course. Having made additional protection available and fitted it, the media outrage that would have followed casualties in a Warrior hull that had not got its extra armour frock on would have been deafening. With all the Duty of Care guff in modern life there was no way anyone in authority was going to let a Warrior go into dangerous territory less armoured than it could be, even if the additional armour was to a fair degree unnecessary and it weighed the vehicle down by another 6t or so (25% original combat weight) and it didn’t increase the protection of the most vulnerable bit. As it turned out, I suspect against roadside devices it was quite effective but if so that was a happy accident. Its the same effect you see with ‘temporary’ safety measures, like reduced speed limits or roped-off walkways or swimming pool closures – no-one has the guts to remove H&S labelled daftness for fear of media persecution and litigation.

TD – ref improving our equipment to impotency – yes it is a real fear. Look what fanatics in pick-up trucks with AA guns bolted in the back can do; small and fast target for the opposition to deal with and in potentially much greater numbers than the big heavy forces they engage. Absolute protection does not guarantee victory in my opinion.

Chris
Chris
June 20, 2014 12:06 pm

ACC – ref high speed bump – I am of the opinion no vehicle has ever been made that is too fast, but many have been driven too fast for the conditions. If I was in a situation where my high speed vehicle location had been determined and the artillery fall of shot was getting closer I’d take a chance on ripping a track or wheel off, wouldn’t you?

mr.fred
mr.fred
June 20, 2014 12:38 pm

Chris,
I agree that appliqué should not be an afterthought. The dreaded words “Fitted for but not with” might apply. If you get it right, the low level structural armour will be the ideal backing for the most likely appliqué fit. You’ve got to find a way to get it into the heads of those involved that going to war with anything other than the most protection possible is not only acceptable but often desirable.

Looking at the Warrior upgrade, there is the also a larger part of ballistic protection to be taken into account – the likelihood of being hit. The Warrior’s turret is relatively small, compared to other IFVs and certainly compared to tanks. You’ve got to work out the risk fair dispassionately. If the turret is hit, then it’s probably good-bye to the the guys inside. If it’s the hull you could end up with the whole crew and dismounts being casualties. The hull is bigger and the part most likely to be targeted, assuming you can see the whole thing. The Warrior, first and foremost, is an infantry vehicle.
That said, fighting high intensity means that the turret is more likely to be targeted, so would need additional protection. I would hazard that it is more difficult to up armour a turret because it is less likely that the turret control gear will be able to handle the additional weight compared to the automotive systems. You don’t want a KV-2 situation on your hands where you are unable to traverse on anything other than a billiard table.

Chris
Chris
June 20, 2014 12:45 pm

Fortunately it appears from the few photographs that have been released that the LM Warrior FLIP CTA turret gains better protection as part of the deal, at least on the sides it seems it does. Not sure what might have been done to the roofplate as so far I’ve not seen images from above. Bear in mind the LM turret uses the original Vickers built warrior turret shell (the back half of it) as the basis for their upgrade. Or at least did when the project started.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
June 20, 2014 12:48 pm

@ Chris

ref your 911 analogy, what about something like an XFR or C63 AMG, M5 or RS4 which can carry 4 people and luggage across Europe in comfort but drop the 155MPH restrictor and easily hit 175MPH plus and have superb AWD handling at a price.
Or the ralley series offshoots that manage much the same without the comfort at less than half the price.

Slightly Agricultural
Slightly Agricultural
June 20, 2014 12:51 pm

One trend i’ve noticed in these pictures is the Human Factors. I know it’s a bit of a dirty buzz word, but as a former STAB ground-pounder (well-versed in the *****y end of the stick) and above the 95th percentile for height in the Army it’s one of my favourite hobby horses.

The RG35 is an interesting vehicle (saw one at DSEi, hopefully BAE puts it forward for MRPV and it gets a good trials thrashing) but those seats look utter wank. Your arse looks to be about 2″ off the floor, which cannot be comfortable. The Piranah V has lovely cushy seats, but looks like a massive nause to get into the stowage behind that nice headrest.

VCBI looks to be doing better; bit of space under the seats (though the hydraulics do get in the way, and i’ve never seen those bags before) and the seat backing is fabric, which I imagine unclips so you can get at the space behind it. Add the weapon racks between seats and that’s your weapon, daysack and bergan squared away. Just a question of additional stores then.

My feeling is that FRES UV doesn’t require a manned turret* (Otherwise we’d have an even more rediculous overlap of Warrior, Scout and UV all in the 30-40t range) which would remove the turret bin and free up a bit of space (and hopefully a few tonnes). Space which would be handy for stashing NLAW, Javelin tubes and all that other bulky stuff that Warrior dismounts struggle with. For this reason i’d love more pictures of the VCBI troop-carrying version, to see what that would look like. People always let their heads get turned by the fighty IFV version, but we’ve already got 1.5 of those**…

Needs a bit of thinking on how we want to structure our Mechanised squads in future; 7 & the vehicle commander dismounts with? 8 Self-contained dismounts, and the crew stays put? Back to 10 men? Personally I’d rather give up a seat or two to gain a bit of space for stacks of food, water and munitions, a BV, maybe even a small fridge/coolbox -enough for a 500ml water bottle for each dismount (Madness, I know. Swap with another BV for Norway). Well Fed & Watered troops are happy, effective troops and a tidy wagon is one without a bunch of potentially hazardous projectiles if you hit an IED and roll over – a lesson learnt the hard way on Herrick.

Normally we fill up any additional space with ‘stuff’ (ahem, looking at you Scout), but the French managed to fit FELIN kit into their IFV variants so hopefully we can cram in Comms and ECM VIKs without too much bother. I just worry at the cost if we said “We’ll take 500 please, but we want them all wired to our Generic Vehicle Architecture”…

Also occured to me that such a vehicle for UV would be a good option for Phase 2 FALCON; plenty of room for racks of gear to give an “under-armour” capability. Just one of many capabilities we’re really lacking.
I do bang on about VBCI, but the political winds seem to be blowing that way; best we trim our sails and decide to make the most of it if that’s the case.

And as for Chally 2 vs Leopard 2, perhaps the A7 Turret is the answer for C2 LEP? Bodge one that fits, or just nick the systems. Re-gunning C2s seems to have died a death, but if other nations are buying into the A7 upgrade at least the systems will be supported for a while.

And I wonder if we backed the wrong horse with ASCOD. CV90 seems to be evolving and growing variants nicely. The CVR(T) of middle-weights? The Danes seemed to have a lot of success with their 35mm variants in Afghanistan.

*RWS/OWS as required
**Warrior, and Scout is pretty much one

Tubby
Tubby
June 20, 2014 12:59 pm

Firstly – thanks Monty for the great pictures – did you get a chance to look at the VBCI APC variant? The official video from Eurosatory didn’t really give the best view and it was hard to see if it was a mock up or not.

@Everyone

Sorry for using this as a Eurosatory news thread but I have been checking the official news feed at Army Recognition web-site and thought this was interesting – a tethered hovering mast for small vehicles

http://www.armyrecognition.com/eurosatory_2014_show_daily_news_coverage_report/sky_sapience_introduces_hovermast-100.html

James Bolivar DiGriz
James Bolivar DiGriz
June 20, 2014 1:00 pm


I know many here prefer recce on foot as a survival technique in itself (less likely to be seen/targeted than a recce wagon) so the fact Scout may not be able to get far forward might be seen as a blessing…

Not having served I don’t have a meaningful opinion about this but I can clearly see the merits of that. However they won’t have walked all the way from the UK, and probably not from an in-country base.

So the nature of the vehicle that they dismount from matters, if it is less noticeable (smaller, quieter, giving off less heat) then it seems, IMVHO, that they are less likely to be spotted at the start of the foot patrol. Also I would have thought that the closer to the enemy that the drop-off point is then the less that has to be carried on their backs .

My understanding is that reconnaissance is about ‘seeing’ (using all senses including artificial ones like radar) as much as possible whilst minimising the chance of being seen. To see as much as possible (whilst minimising …) you need to be able to get into as many places and as many types of place as possible.

So it seems to me that you should at least aim to be able to use most of the infrastructure of wherever you are. I think that 20 ton (and somewhat above) lorries can get to most places in the UK but that 44 ton ones (the legal maximum IIRC) cannot. Assuming that other developed countries have similar capabilities (and less-developed ones a lot less) it would have thought that a reconnaissance vehicle should be closer to 20 tons than 44 tons. Obviously that does not necessarily apply to an IFV, and clearly not to an MBT.

As a tax-payer I want those brave lads & lasses to have sufficient good kit and I am prepared to pay for it; there are other areas of Government expenditure that might be cut to provide funds but that is a totally different discussion. However they are in the armed forces which is a more dangerous job than most and so some level of risk has to be accepted by everyone.

I understand and agree with your point about how removing any level of protection would lead to a media witch-hunt if someone dies who might (only might) have otherwise lived. Obviously there is no easy answer to this. One thing that does occur to me is that in planing any operation an assessment of the enemy threat is made and that much more should be made of that to & in the media, by the MoD & military personnel. So in a lower-threat environment make a lot of noise that we are using less armoured but faster/more manoeuvrable vehicles so that we can get close enough to actually shoot the buggers but that different vehicles / additional armour is available if it become necessary.

On “improving our equipment to impotency”, in Paul Brickhill’s book about 617 Squadron
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dam_Busters_%28book%29
he talks about one of the post-Gibson commanders (or possibly just a senior officer) having been in that sort of position. A type of bomber with heavier than average losses had more armour added, losses were still poor so something else was done, and so on until shields were added to hide the exhaust flames. All of this made the bomber slow & unmanoeuvrable. This officer got permission to remove the flame shields from his planes and his losses went down compared to aircraft of the same type, so he got permission to remove some of the armour and his losses went down again, etc. That book was written in 1951 so this may not be totally accurate as details would still have been classified at that time.

James Bolivar DiGriz
James Bolivar DiGriz
June 20, 2014 1:01 pm


I know many here prefer recce on foot as a survival technique in itself (less likely to be seen/targeted than a recce wagon) so the fact Scout may not be able to get far forward might be seen as a blessing…

Not having served I don’t have a meaningful opinion about this but I can clearly see the merits of that. However they won’t have walked all the way from the UK, and probably not from an in-country base.

So the nature of the vehicle that they dismount from matters, if it is less noticeable (smaller, quieter, giving off less heat) then it seems, IMVHO, that they are less likely to be spotted at the start of the foot patrol. Also I would have thought that the closer to the enemy that the drop-off point is then the less that has to be carried on their backs .

My understanding is that reconnaissance is about ‘seeing’ (using all senses including artificial ones like radar) as much as possible whilst minimising the chance of being seen. To see as much as possible (whilst minimising …) you need to be able to get into as many places and as many types of place as possible.

So it seems to me that you should at least aim to be able to use most of the infrastructure of wherever you are. I think that 20 ton (and somewhat above) lorries can get to most places in the UK but that 44 ton ones (the legal maximum IIRC) cannot. Assuming that other developed countries have similar capabilities (and less-developed ones a lot less) it would have thought that a reconnaissance vehicle should be closer to 20 tons than 44 tons. Obviously that does not necessarily apply to an IFV, and clearly not to an MBT.

As a tax-payer I want those brave lads & lasses to have sufficient good kit and I am prepared to pay for it; there are other areas of Government expenditure that might be cut to provide funds but that is a totally different discussion. However they are in the armed forces which is a more dangerous job than most and so some level of risk has to be accepted by everyone.

I understand and agree with your point about how removing any level of protection would lead to a media witch-hunt if someone dies who might (only might) have otherwise lived. Obviously there is no easy answer to this. One thing that does occur to me is that in planing any operation an assessment of the enemy threat is made and that much more should be made of that to & in the media, by the MoD & military personnel. So in a lower-threat environment make a lot of noise that we are using less armoured but faster/more manoeuvrable vehicles so that we can get close enough to actually shoot the buggers but that different vehicles / additional armour is available if it become necessary.

On “improving our equipment to impotency”, in Paul Brickhill’s book about 617 Squadron
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dam_Busters_%28book%29
he talks about one of the post-Gibson commanders (or possibly just a senior officer) having been in that sort of position. A type of bomber with heavier than average losses had more armour added, losses were still poor so something else was done, and so on until shields were added to hide the exhaust flames. All of this made the bomber slow & unmanoeuvrable. This officer got permission to remove the flame shields from his planes and his losses went down compared to aircraft of the same type, so he got permission to remove some of the armour and his losses went down again, etc. That book was written in 1951 so this may not be totally accurate as details would still have been classified at that time.

mr.fred
mr.fred
June 20, 2014 1:13 pm

Chris,
I’ve not seen much of the LM Warrior upgrade of late. I would have thought it would be at Eurosatory but I’ve not really seen any coverage of it.
Had a quick google and found this:
http://defense-update.com/20140618_eurosatory-2014-photo-report.html#.U6QylxaYRqg
5th down, in amongst many very interesting systems and, curiously, this:
http://www.janes.com/article/39549/eurosatory-2014-lockheed-martin-demonstrates-new-ifv-turret-for-me-customer
Anyone know more about that?

In other subjects, anyone got any specifications for the Freccia 6×6 – it looks quite sensible.
Either that or a higher resolution version of the pic above – looks like the spec panel is alongside it but illegible at 640×480.

Chris
Chris
June 20, 2014 1:25 pm

JBDG – you need the wisdom of a recce officer. There’s never one around when you need one. I wonder if like London buses bunches of them always arrive together?

MrFred – the Warrior CTA turret isn’t really a looker, is it? And it still has that 4 inch high undercut around the ring – that’s got to be sorted before service, surely?

monkey
monkey
June 20, 2014 1:47 pm
Chris
Chris
June 20, 2014 1:58 pm

Not sure I’d call LRDG ‘fanatics’. Certainly not to their face. I met one of the LRDG vehicles at IWM before the museum was torn to bits for its Foster Makeover. A very basic Chevrolet truck with everything deemed unnecessary removed (including cab doors & roof obviously). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzkhi-EDf3o Apparently if the vehicle was going to carry anything it was going to be useful stuff – soldiers, weapons, rations, water and ammunition. Lots of ammunition.

mr.fred
mr.fred
June 20, 2014 2:21 pm

Chris,

Not entirely pretty, but from what I can see from that angle I’d take it over the Lance or some of the remote turret (but not the Kongsberg Protector MC – I like that one). That gap certainly looks odd.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
June 20, 2014 2:27 pm

Chris,

I crept up behind you… ;)

You’ll get many opinions, which is why FRES SV is now going to be an ASCOD. Not only do the non-recce cariants probably need to be 20-30 tonnes for all sorts of reasons, but there are enough places that are not impacted by massive infrastructure constraints. Like deserts where strangly enough our attention has been focussed for the last decade. In short, i strongly believe that GW2 and Afghanistan have given enough false lessons to pervert the FRES recce design.

When we started with FRES SV requirements writing, i got the Sapper Geo section to consolidate all the info they held of Nigeria (we gave it a different name and made it anonymous in order not to make it specific. But an interesting mix of terrain, vegetation, bridge classifications, the right sort of size to allow both strategic and operational options to be modelled.

The answer was that the ideal FRES SV mix was to split recce from the other roles. But that meant the cost per wagon increased due to lower economies of scale in desgn and production. Then GW2 kicked off and the exercise was forgotten about.

Think Defence
Admin
June 20, 2014 2:34 pm
Reply to  Tubby

Tubby, come on, check in the archives :)

https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2013/09/hovermast/

Slightly Agricultural
Slightly Agricultural
June 20, 2014 2:41 pm


I wrote a rather hefty post, but it seems to have been eated by the spam bots when I went to edit it. D’oh. If it doesn’t make a re-appearance, a lot of it was about what you’re saying; the human factors angle. A lot of these vehicles I would question the ability to properly ‘live’ out of. A fully-stocked Warrior is bursting at the seams (welds?) with dismount kit. It’s often something that gets overlooked during procurement, Foxhound made a reasonable stab with the space under the seats explicitly designated as daysack stowage. Panther OTOH, is utter bollocks for it.

“The French Army VCBI has a highly ergonomic one-person turret.”
I read a report from a couple of Army blokes who blagged a trip to France for a show-and-tell day Nexter/the French put on. They seemed pretty impressed, especially as they got to fire the thing as I remember! Think their only comment was that they thought a fixed joystick with thumb cursor would be a better option in a moving vehicle.

And I reckon you’re correct about Nexter eyeing us as a potential customer. They seemed to have addressed a lot of the issues we may have had, apparently the powerpack they’re offering for export is our preferred option. Of course, the Army will get shiny kit syndrome and demand the AFV version rather than the TCV one we actually need. Giving us 3 turreted fighty vehicles in the 30-40t range. Genius…

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
June 20, 2014 3:23 pm

‘I crept up behind you…;-)’

It’s amazing the life skills you gain from the dorms of a private school ;-)

Midlander
Midlander
June 20, 2014 3:29 pm

Did you see the photo of boxer AFV mounting an artillery module, doesnt look it could turn a corner on tarmac without tipping over! And firing???

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
June 20, 2014 3:36 pm

@Slightly Agricultural

‘I reckon you’re correct about Nexter eyeing us as a potential customer’

I hope I’m wrong but I think it’s practically a done deal.

James Bolivar DiGriz
James Bolivar DiGriz
June 20, 2014 4:06 pm

@RT

there are enough places that are not impacted by massive infrastructure constraints. Like deserts where

I have almost finished reading Popski’s_Private_Army*, see
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popski%27s_Private_Army
and in there Peniakoff talks quite a bit about the problems of driving over desert terrain. Some sorts of rocky desert shredding tyres and some sorts of sandy desert in which they got stuck and had to ‘throw’ metal channels under the wheels to give traction. Also, there are some areas where they did not even think of going as the sand was so fine that they stood no chance of driving across it.

That was in Jeeps (as the fighting vehicles) and Bedford three-toners (carrying the supplies).

Would a modern wheeled AFV (with more & larger wheel and a tyre pressure control system) have a lower or higher ground pressure than those? I have no idea.

Also, I really don’t want to sound like an arm chair general (especially as I have not served) but we need to cater for a range of possibilities and not just prepare for the last war. So we do need vehicles that will be around for decade to be usable in other environments.

In short, i strongly believe that GW2 and Afghanistan have given enough false lessons to pervert the FRES recce design.

Could you expand on that please?

The answer was that the ideal FRES SV mix was to split recce from the other roles

That seems eminently sensible to me and I am somewhat surprised that is not everyone’s starting position. Maybe not achievable but desirable.

But that meant the cost per wagon increased due to lower economies of scale in desgn and production

Obviously true, especially if two completely different vehicles are chosen. However if, say, most were based on an 8×8 and the recce vehicle was based on the associated 6×6 there would be some commonalities and so the price increase could be controlled.

* For a large family gathering we hired a large house and whilst there I say that the last owner had previously been married to Peniakoff, who died relatively young. I mentioned to my wife that I heard of PPA but did not really know anything about it and she bought me a second-hand copy as a birthday present.

Slightly Agricultural
Slightly Agricultural
June 20, 2014 4:06 pm

The political winds are certainly blowing that way. I think the announcement from the PM that we were considering it was news to everyone, including the Armoured Vehicle Programme!

It’s too big and heavy, but I reckon we could do a lot with it and it’ll still fit on an A400M. What’s not to like? If the political powers that be are saying it shall be so, we can be dragged there kicking and screaming or we can roll with it and hopefully develop a decent platform out of it. At the end of the day, it’s an 8×8 green box. We probably need one, does it particuarly matter which one? If we do a deal soon we may even see some this side of 2020…

And the Boxer SPG is probably a case-in-point for “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”. I wouldn’t fancy firing that at a full left/right of axis. Bouncy…

Chris
Chris
June 20, 2014 4:12 pm

RT – ref just deserts – I have mentioned before the tale of an 8×8 vehicle officially called T18E2 although the British called it Boarhound http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T18_Boarhound which was a requirement set while the 8th Army were slogging their way across North Africa. Fast and heavy, almost a wheeled Sherman but with a 57mm not 75mm gun. It would have been ideal on the hard packed terrain of Egypt/Libya/Tunisia; reasonably potent against PzKwIII & IV, faster than the German machines, well armoured. By the time the trials vehicles were delivered the war had moved from Africa to mainland Europe (Italy) and the massive width of the vehicle (3m) combined with its enormous turning circle (24m radius) meant that it was completely unusable.

Life moves on. We are living in the modern age and our organizations proclaim their prowess in applying lessons learned using rigorous systems engineering process blah blah yada yada. We have a requirement drawn up to procure rapid effective vehicles; it was drawn up while we were fighting over hard packed desert. It has identified two vehicles, one is a 3m wide tracked vehicle; almost a Challenger 2 but with a 40mm not a 120mm gun. It would have been ideal on the hard packed terrain of Iraq/Afghanistan; reasonably potent against Soviet era armour that such states tend to run, and is well armoured. The second vehicle is wheeled and is a competition between a set of 8×8 contenders each 3m width; the apparent lead contender has a 20m radius turning circle according to Wiki.

Its good to know we are so much better than our forebears in getting the right equipment for the job.

Swimming Trunks
Swimming Trunks
June 20, 2014 6:05 pm
Swimming Trunks
Swimming Trunks
June 20, 2014 6:28 pm
Think Defence
Admin
June 20, 2014 6:35 pm
Reply to  Midlander

Just a quick check in on the FRES series, decided I needed to read Gen Dannatts book for the lowdown on the matter, cost me nearly two quid, and three quid of that was for delivery!!

Chris
Chris
June 20, 2014 7:04 pm

TD – you mean the bit about how bad the MOD decision process has been despite limited resources? Or how much of the FRES study was guided by those that ultimately hoped to profit with no political or project leadership? You could have heard that from us and saved yourself quids and quids. Although it would be interesting to see what scale of vehicle he thought was needed, having commanded in the Balkans and not just hot flat deserts.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
June 20, 2014 7:41 pm

David Niven. Another who needs to wash his mouth out.

Tell you what, you can creep up behind a girlfriend while she borrows your ironing board at 0500 and invitingly dressed in her birthday suit, in order to try to look presentable at her work wearing yesterday’s clothes, but she’s likely to clock you with 200 degrees celsius of iron.

JBDiG,

Quite simple, re deserts. The British Army went balls out on desert warfare from about 2002, and there were not enough of us to do the work on stuff that was not desert while also staffing desert UORs. Hence, FRES SV is now inadvertently aimed at desert requirements.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
June 20, 2014 7:48 pm

@RTJBDiG,

Quite simple, re deserts. The British Army went balls out on desert warfare from about 2002, and there were not enough of us to do the work on stuff that was not desert while also staffing desert UORs. Hence, FRES SV is now inadvertently aimed at desert requirements.”

if that statement is true it is the most shocking statement I have almost ever heard. The Army was incapable of looking at future procurement separately from ongoing conflicts people should be sacked and as you once said “stripped of their pensions” because all it demonstrated is a horrible failure at every level.

Think Defence
Admin
June 20, 2014 8:50 pm

RT, Sappers do not need to be creeping around in pursuit of the ladies, the ladies pursue Sappers.

just sayin!

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
June 20, 2014 8:52 pm

APATS,

Blame the 3 stars.

From 2001 (9/11) to october 2003 when I left, I was doing about 90 hours a week on UORs, as were most people, and the worst was for the Land Desk officers in the various DECs, about 110 hours. Why? Because the process was not actually that streamlined from normal procurement. You still had to produce all of the endless process shit paperwork, which was never looked at. Unfortunately as an SO1 you don’t have enough firepower to say “fuck off, it’s good enough” to process. Much as we all wanted to.

The Defence Industry got me. About double my Army salary, and I got to see my family.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
June 20, 2014 9:00 pm

Yes TD, but have you ever wanted to get up close and personal with a Sapper girlfriend / wife? Jesus, it must be like offering a bunny boiler a free swipe with a carving knife at your unprotected nethers.

Of course, a true Sapper would not mind a bit, as his interests lie almost entirely in digging holes.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
June 20, 2014 9:07 pm

@RT

As I said people should have been sacked, complete inability to to cope. When i was navs or ops even on a peace time deployment I reckoned a sub 100 hour week was a luxury, once had 9 days off the ship in 9 months.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
June 20, 2014 9:22 pm

APATS,

The problem was mostly the Treasury, who actually wanted higher standards of proof, because it was all political.

Don’t try to out do me on op tour hardness, because that’s stupid, and I can match your every example. So let’s not bother, eh?

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
June 20, 2014 9:43 pm

@RT

of course you can, not on hours worked though:) On combat hours you win every day of the week or year:) on actual hours worked over a year I win every time, it is swings and roundabouts, what makes the military great but my point stands the army failed to have enough people to buy a simple box on wheels when every other bloody military in Europe managed fine.
P>S If you are only earning twice an SO1/SO2 salary I hope it is tax free?

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
June 20, 2014 9:57 pm

APATS,

The Army doesn’t want a simple box on wheels. Frankly, we’d be better off buying more Bedford MKs and some Ferrets. Neither are the answer to modern problems, but then neither is any flavour of 8×8 (or the more spastic 6×6). I begin to despair of TD, there is enormous comment about anything 8×8, and you sit back, read the comments, and think the people commenting haven’t got a fucking Scooby about anything, and should be entirely ignored.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
June 20, 2014 10:07 pm

@RT
Actually there is massive debate about which 5% of the design plan is most important, you simply exemplify the issue, after all nobody who has a Bishop round for lunch could be wrong?
There is a question asked in the RN when we deal with the army, the first is “is he a Pro”

The Other Chris
June 20, 2014 10:19 pm

Posted here for 8×8 context rather than the Open Thread:

The US Marines’ Program Executive Office Land Systems (PEO-LS) will hold an industry day external link on July 15/16 in Fredericksburg, VA to discuss its Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) 1.1 requirement for an 8×8 wheeled amphibious combat vehicle. An RFP may come by late 2014 or early 2015 for a vehicle that will have to be significantly cheaper than the canceled EFV. Dakota Wood from the conservative Heritage Foundation thinks external link the Marine Corps has a good plan this time around.
via Defense Industry Daily

Source: https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&tab=core&id=99a63e69459e1c60885a68674a3ba64e&_cview=0

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
June 20, 2014 10:21 pm

Interesting APATS. Normally, the Army don’t have an equivalent question, as the Andrew are irrelevant. But if it did crop up, the Army would have to think a bit harder than regarding the Andrew as taxi drivers.

“Oy, fishface. Take me to this place, at precisely this time. Don’t cock it up, and less of your backchat”.

Think Defence
Admin
June 20, 2014 10:31 pm

How long does it take the Royal Navy to buy a big metal box :)

Chris
Chris
June 20, 2014 10:41 pm

APATS – sorry I missed your post earlier – ref AMG Mercs etc. I presume you are referring to them being masters of all trades, to which I suggest money can buy a lot more luxury/capability/performance but the same compromises apply; super saloons are perhaps better viewed as 4 door GTs in the original meaning of the term – Grand Tourers. So yes they are fast and accelerate rapidly and can eat miles at great rates, but put them on a racetrack with a genuine sportscar and their sporting pretensions would be found wanting. In my opinion.

Back sort of on topic, this http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/defence-committee/news/2nd-oral-ev-tndsr-part-2/ is ex CDSs Stirrup & Richards describing their hopes for SDSR direction.

Chris
Chris
June 20, 2014 10:57 pm

RT – apologies if I spout Scoobyless ignore-worthy guff. I try not to; very happy for any lack of understanding to be corrected…

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
June 20, 2014 11:13 pm

No TD, it is not how long but how much.

The Andrew are about to launch their latest ISO, and they are are extremely proud of it. We even had Admiral Lord West telling us about it on R4 today.

It is a very special ISO, and very expensive.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
June 20, 2014 11:28 pm

Chris, not aimed at you. I give you 100% credit for knowing what you are talking about with wagons.

But wagons are only about 10% of winning a war. You can lose a war in 3 minutes at the critical juncture by having the wrong wagons, but mostly wagon design and internet forums are for fetishists with blinkers as to what actually matters, which is normally insight, training and balls.

And doing something unexpected, which is the only reason at all to pay an officer.

Chris
Chris
June 20, 2014 11:58 pm

10% impact on success or failure resting on the designers’ shoulders is sobering. (If the film ‘Dambusters’ was accurate, the knowledge that his invention had cost the lives of so many RAF bomber crews on the raid almost broke Barnes Wallis.) Maybe I should shelve the design projects and go work for the Council Parks Department instead…

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
June 21, 2014 12:06 am

– Stick to the AFVs – the Council Parks Department is now almost certainly a contract with some “reputable” outfit like G4S…being found dead from cold and starvation over your drawing board in your garret is certainly a more dignified plan… :-)

GNB

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
June 21, 2014 8:55 am

Chris, don’t beat yourself up. Of the 10%, only about a tenth is wagon design. Most of it is how the wagon is handled and the choices a commander makes.

Of the other 90%, most of it is to do with political backbone, logistics and whether the overall commander understands about how he can apply his force, whether wheeled, tracked, or on foot. And whether his J2 lead is a muppet, and his J3 lead has had enough oats for breakfast or should have been shot for over optimistic silliness.

Chris
Chris
June 21, 2014 9:05 am

RT – thanks for the solace – I think that now means that no matter how hard I work the results would be worth between 0.1% and 0.9% contribution to military outcome. That’s put everything into perspective…

GNB – the choices aren’t great, are they?

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
June 21, 2014 9:11 am

Chris,

Final thought for the weekend.

Can you design in a small flat platform on your wagons for the commander’s feet, about 20 inches square and behind / on top of the turret, and a lassoo point for a 6 foot leather strap? I always used to like to command my wagon from on top / outside it as we approached ridgelines and blind junctions, hopping on and off. But it’s a bugger to hang on when Drives is giving it max revs.

And we need some localised wifi for the intercom, about 100 yards.

Observer
Observer
June 21, 2014 9:12 am

Chris, unfortunately true. Or to put it in the words of one of our ministers, “A trained man with a pistol is more dangerous than a monkey with a machine gun.”

It’s all about “Practice, practice, practice”, not “Look, my gun is bigger!”.

:)

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix
June 21, 2014 9:25 am
Red Trousers
Red Trousers
June 21, 2014 9:29 am

Chris,

Give it 500 miles range with enough anchor points for five 20 litre jerrycans of water, and it’s a winner, whether a Ferret or a 8×8.

Oh, and optics and comms over weaponry, every day.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
June 21, 2014 9:31 am

– I’ll pop out and buy a winning lottery ticket to finance the next stage of development, and then we set @RT and @Observer on (Sales and Export Sales), build a nice snug little factory in Gloomyville and make a shed-load of money… :-)

@RT – Bolt a Zimmer Frame to the roof, and then tie-on using some variation on a climbing harness…add scythes to the wheels and you can go the whole Ben-Hur!

@Observer – Dangerous to who? The intended target, or anything within several hundred metres (including the monkey).

GNB

Chris
Chris
June 21, 2014 9:33 am

RT – it could be done, but there might be unintended consequences: http://www.tubechop.com/watch/3104355

Obs – the logic is understandable, but it all falls to bits when you get to the fanatic village-inbred dunce with an A-bomb…

IXION
June 21, 2014 9:41 am

It is worth remembering that the Germans went through us and the frogs in 1940 like a dose of salts.

German front line equipment armour wise was at the time pretty much inferior to the allies and we had more of it.

This technical top trumps is just a bit silly.

BTW whoever remembered the boarhound armoured car well done. It is a lesson from history for AFv s the size of houses on wheels. Anyone who wants to invade the lake district would have to park his Boxer at Kendal and walk the rest of the way.

Chris
Chris
June 21, 2014 9:42 am

RT – watercan stowage is in each concept (and BV naturally). And more comms & ECM boxes than are rational. But range is targeted at the standard 600km at the moment, and as yet unproven obviously.

GNB – don’t do it! The promises are all false! I’ve paid for lotto tickets for decades and no money is ever returned – its a scam I tell you!

Chris
Chris
June 21, 2014 9:45 am

IXION – remember Boarhound? I pat the last one standing on its nose whenever we meet*. Its currently languishing in the new tin shed (oops – sorry – Vehicle Conservation Centre) at the Tank Museum.

I did laugh at the ‘park the Boxer at Kendal & walk’ comment.

As for early WW2 German armour; with good mobility and adequate protection/firepower I would say it beat the French/British machinery of the time by some margin.

*That’s the last one standing, not the one standing on its nose, if there was any doubt.

Jon
Jon
June 21, 2014 9:52 am

Re the comments on Leopard 2 v Challenger 2. Which one is battle proven, against reasonably modern opposition ie T72s? Bit like when everyone was going on about the Merkava being the best tank of it`s time – yes when all it had to fight were people throwing rocks.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
June 21, 2014 10:05 am

If we cannot get a vehicle with adequate protection that can carry 8 blokes with all their kit any smaller than an 8×8, is it time we adjusted our doctrine and introduced 12 man sections and place a 6 man fire team in each vehicle (assuming we still want wheels over tracks)? and then get a smaller vehicle in the 20-25(ish)t range.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
June 21, 2014 10:08 am

@ David Niven

Just buy something :) maybe the army could out source to somebody who can actually make a decision. After next year they will maybe not have to struggle with juggling a conflict and still doing procurement etc at the same time, who would ever have thought that may have actually been required.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
June 21, 2014 10:33 am

Chris,

ECM is a double-edged weapon. All OPFOR need is a pair of wideband receivers from Maplins and a bloke with an O level in maths and they know where you are. Add in a watch and map and they know your direction and speed of advance.

I once switched off all of the radios in my Troop during Regimental exercises for a couple of days. I had my orders, knew what i was expected to achieve and just got on with it, quite successfully as it turned out. But Oh My God (as my daughter likes to exclaim), the grown ups were seriously pissed off with me for going walkabout without endlessly giving them my location and reports on what I was up to. Really mega pissed off, so much so that the Adjutant invited me into his office and asked me to pick a number between one and 12. “Seven?” I said, not knowing what was coming. “Fine” he replied, “take July as Extras”, meaning that i was Orderly Officer for an entire month.

IXION
June 21, 2014 10:47 am

Chris.

Don’t want to derail the thread but we could have a long discussion about the Germans armour of 1939. V UK/French armour.

The Germans called their 37mm anti tank gun the door
knocker because they had to shoot through the hatch covers of French tanks and the matilda 2- just go look up what ER said about it.

The French Renault tanks were quite highly regarded. And the allies had more tanks than them.

Germany armour was not bad just not as good as legend would have people believe.

Fedaykin
June 21, 2014 11:30 am

Peter Elliott beat me but!

“Leopard 2A7 – what is undoubtedly the best main battle tank currently in service just got better. (Why we don’t replace Challenger 2 with these is beyond comprehension.)”

A) Money or lack of it…Remember it is not just the tank that has to be paid for. Logistics, maintenance and training all has to be factored in

B) So what do you want dropped to pay for a new tank that offers marginal (and questionable) capability improvements over the current system

C) Errr Money or lack of it…

Observer
Observer
June 21, 2014 11:35 am

Re: WWII German tanks

There were a lot of the younger Mks that were average decent, most people look at the Panther and Tigers and think they were standard, but there were also a lot of Mk IIIs and IVs.

Jon, when you hit a certain level, differences become really minute, battle proven or not. Reality is that Leopard, Challenger or Abrams, it’s just more of a difference in brand name than utility. Merkava is an odd one because if you get really technical, it’s actually an IFV with a huge gun and lots of armour.

Jon
Jon
June 21, 2014 12:03 pm

Good point on the Merkava, Observer. I`m showing my favouritism as I saw many Challenger 2s in Bosnia as I was stationed near “Range Resolute Barbara” ( I think) at Glamoc in the British AOR. We had an AS90 lose a track outside our station one day and I managed to find some cold cokes for the lads sweating over track link change on a sweltering day. Also saw quite a few Danish modified Leopard 1s which were in fine fettle and quite an impressive machine.

Chris
Chris
June 21, 2014 12:15 pm

RT – ref emitters – the irony hasn’t been lost on me that equipment will be rejected if it doesn’t achieve (pick an example) Land Class A for emissions, and then an enormous wideband transmitter is bolted on the same equipment without a whimper from the EMC weenies. What we really need of course are micro-nukes to lob forward on the intended route – say .01kt – just to zap anything within 1/4 mile with EMP. Just teeny-weeny buckets of sunshine.

James Bolivar DiGriz
James Bolivar DiGriz
June 21, 2014 12:23 pm

@RT
Of the other 90%, most of it is to do with political backbone, logistics and whether the overall commander understands about how he can apply his force

Purely my twohapp’rth, but why I was thinking a recce vehicle should be smaller was to get into more places and gain the maximum intel as an input to that commander. Better intel should enable him to make better decisions, whether he does or not is, as you explain, a different matter.

El Sid
El Sid
June 21, 2014 12:26 pm

@RT
Your daughter is in good company, she is merely quoting a letter from Jacky Fisher in September 1917 :
https://archive.org/stream/memoriesbyadmira00fishuoft#page/77/mode/1up

Not many people know that OMG originates with Fisher.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
June 21, 2014 12:27 pm

Ref ECM, we have to realise that potential foes actually pay attention, they will be watching the way that some unorganised semi literate and untrained “militia” have brought the army to its knees with IEDS and unconventional warfare.
Now transfer that to a well organised opposition with SPECOPS capability and be very afraid. ECM will continue to be important, whether a recce wagon is 5 tons or 20 tons it is kidding itself if it thinks it is seeing anything that well trained SF or marine type individuals have not seen already, never mind drones or satellites.
We need to focus on 21st century realities.

Jonathan
Jonathan
June 21, 2014 12:34 pm

The early war german tanks were very much inferior to most allied tanks( almost unbelievably so) in firepower and armour. when faced with a char B Germans were very much in the same situation as the British tank crew when faced with a tiger. It’s a good example of fighting spirit and good tactical and operational doctrine winning out over better hardware.

So if you have a good tank why spend a fortune for one that’s just a little bit better, spending the money on training and crews would seem to make more sense, from the evidence.

monkey
monkey
June 21, 2014 1:42 pm

@Jonathan
On a visit to a prewar German tank factory a Soviet Officer demanded to see the real ‘tanks’ the Germans were producing not these ‘pitiful’ efforts , the Mk 1 and 2.
That was it though but the officer went away that the Germans were lying and pushed for bigger tanks to be developed, some were monsters like the KV1.

Phil
June 21, 2014 1:48 pm

have brought the army to its knees with IEDS and unconventional warfare.

Hardly.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
June 21, 2014 1:50 pm

El Sid, thanks for that. I have heard of Fisher, and that he could be a bit precious and scratchy, but little more.

However, any man who understands that to beget Surprise you need Imagination and Audacity to go to bed with each other cannot be too wrong. Add in the nursemaid of Brief Reality-Check before going balls out, and mostly it will work.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
June 21, 2014 1:55 pm

@ phil

2 from 2 on US required bail outs, lots of reasons but still a hard fact mate, plus needing people like me to Optour 3 times. in addition to deployments, you work it out.

Phil
June 21, 2014 2:14 pm

You’re just being provocative.

The IED threat has very little to do with the overall size of TFH and the size of the original and amended AOs in Afghanistan or the political desire to leave Iraq ASAP and leave Afghanistan to a timetable.

The forces have dealt with the IED threat very well. As you know.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
June 21, 2014 2:25 pm

@ Phil

So little we spent how much? look at the big picture.

Observer
Observer
June 21, 2014 2:50 pm

APATs, that spending was a result of wanting to stick your head into a hostile area or to be more precise, a cesspool. COIN is and has always been a dirty business, and honestly? Your casualties could have been much much worse. I’d say you did a decent job out there, or as decent as crappy conditions could permit.

And you are being provocative. I haven’t heard of any FOB surrendering because of IEDs yet! Hardly “brought down to their knees”. Just “massively inconvenienced and put out/upon.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
June 21, 2014 2:58 pm

@Observer

So it is provocative to look at strategic changes in direction and ability to counter evolving enemy strategies? look at where the money went mate. My Afghan time was as an MA to a 2 star not sitting in a FOB, much safer (almost and different story) but I went to meetings at a whole different level.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
June 21, 2014 3:10 pm

APATS,

Not taking sides at all. I did a tour once as MA to a 3 star as Comd UN in FY, so I understand about the meetings. I also less than a year later ran the 1st Armd Div Ops Room in Banja Luka, and about 18 months later took my Squadron to Bosnia. You get 3 very different perspectives. I’d have had a fourth if I’d done a tour as a grunt, which i probably would have enjoyed just as much.

I did do 3 months commanding the anti-sniping platoon of FREBAT 3 in Sarajevo, who at that time were the 2ieme REP, a bit of a thankyou from my French General boss when I stopped being his MA and had 3 months to kill before taking up the G3 role in 1 Div. harum bloody scarim, those boys had no concept of the Yellow Card at all, but we got on famously and i’m dead chuffed that they gave me a Legion Kepi at the end.

Observer
Observer
June 21, 2014 3:16 pm

APATs, nope. Looking at the strategic picture and adapting isn’t provocative.

Saying you lost, suffered massive casualties and no longer control the area is. Which is my criteria for an army to be “brought to their knees”.

It’s not the actions. It’s the catchy sound bites. Got to be careful of them. Vietnam showed that the media has the capability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
June 21, 2014 3:47 pm

Just a thought.

Would a Bedford MK perhaps make the most perfect Section vehicle for non-tracked situations?

It would need a few mods. Install a few kitchen cabinets behind the bulkhead, with piped water and a microwave. Make the canopy supports a bit bulkier, so you could sling 8 hammocks. Give each of the dismounts a sprung race style seat, facing outwards. Four 16 inch LEDs for either SA from some cheap cameras, or porn. A small genny to power the lot. Pintle mounted GPMG for the Commander up front, and a sat nav.

I think that’s about £20k for the wagon, and amother £10k for the add-ons.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
June 21, 2014 4:15 pm

‘plus needing people like me to Optour 3 times’

The reason the Navy got involved to the extent it did was because of the 2 carriers getting built. The Navy was well within it’s rights to tell the Army to jog on and call up some reserve officers etc for your type of work, they did not because it suited both the Navy and the Army not to. the Army because they don’t trust reserve officers and the Navy because you needed to be seen as relevant still.

‘have brought the army to its knees with IEDS and unconventional warfare.’

And Marines.
Was the army slow to react? Yes, considering our past experiences.
Where they brought to their knees? No, but we did get a run for our money on a few occasions.

Chris
Chris
June 21, 2014 4:17 pm

RT – Alvis had a trials and demonstration support truck, an ex-Army MK Comms box van painted dark blue, which was run by a fellow called Mo Taylor. It had a stock of clean overalls (for some reason when supporting the customer only white overalls would do, so not good in contact with mud/oil/grease etc), and tools lockers, and most importantly a fridge for milk, a kettle for tea and a gas hob for cooking. Mostly Mo cooked fried egg sandwiches which were distributed to anyone who was passing the truck’s back door. Halfway towards your invention then.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
June 21, 2014 4:22 pm

David, would you trust Reserve Officers? I don’t, having employed a few as Watchkeepers.

At least with the likes of APATS, when they cock it up and you shout at them, you know that you can pursue them through their chain of command. And being full time, they are trainable, wheras Reserve Officers are civvies.

(I am now a Reservist, which just hoes to show)

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
June 21, 2014 4:27 pm

Chris,

My most important function at ENDEX was to keep the Troop supplied with egg banjos, for which i had a little self made grill that took two small frying pans and was heated by a couple of Triangias. It kept me out of the way while Sgt Mick Bode sorted out the WOCS and D&M nonsense, and the boys did wagon engine fettling shit. I was quite happy, I could get through two trays of eggs and four loaves in about an hour.

And an egg banjo is only worth it if it has four filthy petrolly dirty finger prints on one side, and a bloody large thumb print on the other. ;)

Raffles, the Gentleman Thug
Raffles, the Gentleman Thug
June 21, 2014 4:33 pm

Forgive me for not being too knowledgeable regarding armour, but what would be the clear differences between the Piranha III+ and Piranha V? For instance if GD had to submit one for FRES UV, which one would they choose?

Also as desirable as it may be to enter a Leopard 3 programme at some point in the future, would the Typhoon programme not be a cautionary tale of too many cooks complicating the project?

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
June 21, 2014 4:38 pm