Meet the Namer

FRES SV Protected Mobility Reconnaissance Support
FRES SV Protected Mobility Reconnaissance Support

:)

A joke of course (Namer being larger and about 20 tonnes lighter) but it is quite a beast

Oh, and lets not forget, the variant currently in CGI form

FRES SV Scout
FRES SV Scout

Hold, here is a representative vehicle, not sure what representative actually means but it was not represented at DVD now, was it?

FRES SV Scout Representative Prototype
FRES SV Scout Representative Prototype

I think it means, here is an ASCOD2 we put a turret on

 

 

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WiseApe
June 27, 2014 6:33 pm

Really – this is what we got for the money? It only appears to have one cupholder, too.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
June 27, 2014 6:37 pm

Yes but it makes up for it with a state of the art PA system!

x
x
June 27, 2014 6:42 pm

Can I get it in another colour?

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
June 27, 2014 6:58 pm

Warmed over 80’s design meet warmed over 60’s design –

http://www.armyrecognition.com/europe/Angleterre/Exhibition/DVD_2007/images/fv-432_upgrade_armor_DVD_2007_Millbrook_United_Kingdom_001.jpg

Could we not have saved ourselves a shed load of development money and purchased some of these for FRES SV?

comment image

monkey
monkey
June 27, 2014 7:04 pm

@TD
How much one these babies then?

Chris
Chris
June 27, 2014 7:22 pm

TD – the protected mobility scout support thingy at the top is no scout; the raised roofplate compared to Scout-SV is an indication there won’t be seats downstairs at the back of Scout-SV – not enough headroom. There have been public jollies for turreted Scout-SV (DSEi for one) but I will bet in the final solution the additional side slab armour will be present, making Scout-SV wider than a wide thing. On the CGI glossy there are side slabs a polite 50-100mm thick; by the time we get to the DVD demonstrator that had grown to 300-400mm thick each side. That’s 3.7-3.9m wide by my sums.

Radish293
Radish293
June 27, 2014 8:19 pm

It was just plain huge. I couldn’t belive how wide it was. Not going to be able to go anywhere tight in that. It was almost as large as GD hospitality unit.

Kent
Kent
June 27, 2014 8:27 pm

I know it’s not a Namer! A Namer is real! I found the fixed wing birds that are going to fly off the QEC, too! http://www.airdromeaeroplanes.com/images/murdoch-2.jpg

Observer
Observer
June 27, 2014 8:41 pm

AQ commander: “Aim for big bullseye, big reward for those who hit!”

Phil
June 27, 2014 8:50 pm

It was just plain huge. I couldn’t belive how wide it was. Not going to be able to go anywhere tight in that.

When did you meet RT?

WiseApe
June 27, 2014 8:53 pm

Will that fit in…well…anything?

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
June 27, 2014 8:55 pm

Is there any point in those wing mirrors?

Speakers on the RWS are a nice touch ;-)

x
x
June 27, 2014 9:06 pm

“Is there any point in those wing mirrors?”

Objects in Mirror May Appear Larger Than They Are. Or not.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
June 27, 2014 9:15 pm

Does anybody know what the box next to the grenade dischargers and in front of the RWS is for?

Observer
Observer
June 27, 2014 10:15 pm

DN, you only need to see someone run over by an APC once to get the point of rear view mirrors.

He survived, barely.

Don’t see a box, but if you are referring to the triangular things, my guess is camera mounts. There is one on the side as well.

CBRNGuru
CBRNGuru
June 27, 2014 11:13 pm

I like the third one down, somewhere to stow your day sacks…

http://www.defencephotography.com/blog/2013/our-unique-look-at-scout-sv.html

Martin
Editor
June 28, 2014 4:07 am

I live how they always have to put a prominent Union Jack on it. just to remind us all that its British to its boot straps :-)

IXION
June 28, 2014 8:06 am

Hate to sound like a broken record but if Chris is right about the width, an awful lot of supposedly armoured soldiers will be doing a lot of walking from Kendal.

That’s us buying a vehicle that will be all but un-deployable. In the lake district, peak district, much of Devon and Cornwall, North Wales, etc etc.

What good will it be to the soldiers if it’s parked 2 miles away?

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
June 28, 2014 8:23 am

The more I look at this the more I feel we are getting shafted. Whats so new about it, to justify the money? How much would opening up the Warrior 2000 line have cost?

Observer
‘DN, you only need to see someone run over by an APC once to get the point of rear view mirrors’

I agree, good job they put them in a place with a view down the side of the vehicle then. All that money and the applique armour doesn’t even come with mirrors.

Chris
Chris
June 28, 2014 8:29 am

DN – the vehicle has cameras pointing out of every orifice (ooer missus!) including rear-view cameras in the bulges right at the front of the appliqué slabs. Whether the images from these are displayed to the driver (rear-view & manoeuvring aid) or just vehicle commander (situational awareness) I can’t tell.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
June 28, 2014 8:42 am

Chris

Yeah I noticed the cameras on the front edges of the vehicle, not a wise place to put them maybe they should have placed them along the center of the edge looking down like the Mastiff.

When the camera gets pranged by a tree or wall they will need a mirror.

WiseApe
June 28, 2014 8:49 am

Showing my ignorance again but what exactly is “Protected Mobility Reconnaissance Support” anyway? All those exposed rivets remind me of something…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rivet#mediaviewer/File:M3_tank_riveting_LOC_fsa_8e10699.jpg

Will it fit down your high street?

http://army-uk.com/stock/fotobig/623_20050626-006-FV-432.jpg

IXION
June 28, 2014 9:07 am

Worth remembering the soth Africans removed all the external boxes etc they could from their apcs because they go ripped or stuck in heavy scrub. Hoes that thing going to get round stanta or any other forrested area!?

monkey
monkey
June 28, 2014 9:08 am

Its the Anti-Tardis , so BIG on the outside yet so small inside!

IXION
June 28, 2014 9:10 am

BTW

My father (an RMP) descrobed his national service in terms of how many times he nearly got flattened by tanks.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
June 28, 2014 9:15 am

Everything about it screams poorly thought out and bolted on. Why is there not an angled edge to the front of the applique to move foliage/obstacles rather than offering a straight edge to it so they can have a battle of wills as to who will give way first?

Why was the cable for the front camera not placed on the underside of the engine panel for protection from everyday wear and tear like boots etc?

‘My father (an RMP) descrobed his national service in terms of how many times he nearly got flattened by tanks’

I agree they can be dangerous, I could share some stories myself. That is why I know the mirrors are doing nothing in the position they are in.

Chris
Chris
June 28, 2014 9:20 am

WiseApe – at the back of the DVD off-road arena they had parked FV432 next to Ridgeback. Ridgeback was wider – not by much it must be said if slat armour is ignored – and maybe 25% longer. The roofplate of 432 was lower than Ridgeback’s bonnet. Ridgeback/Mastiff not really known for small size, but all wheeled vehicles are headed towards this bulk at the moment. Now with ASCOD/FRES the tracked vehicles are headed the same way (CV90 Armadillo is little different). Its idiotic as the world’s infrastructure hasn’t grown bigger to match.*

As I noted earlier I assume “Protected Mobility Reconnaissance Support” means its a resupply wagon for Scout, not an APC at all. A tracked Transit van full of ammo, rations, water, spare parts and a spare crew.

*Infrastructure and progress – I have on scratchy VHS somewhere the BBC coverage of (I think) the 1957 GP at Monaco. It was brilliant racing – loads of overtaking, tons of wheel-to-wheel action. I watch modern F1 at Monaco and its dull as ditchwater. Reasons? The cars are wider now than they were. They rely on clean air downforce so can’t fight wheel-to-wheel effectively. But chiefly they are too fast for the size of circuit. In the 1957 race there was time on each straight for two or three overtaking manoeuvres before braking for the corner; now cars nose to tail entering a corner are the length of the straight apart by the time the second one puts power down. Its a procession of point & squirt sprints. If someone rich recreated the Monaco circuit scaled up 4:1 then no doubt the modern cars would provide the entertainment that Grand Prix once offered. The new cars are not in scale with the environment any more, and as a result they are ineffective racers; they are no good at their primary task. In all the development in defence related equipment, someone somewhere has become fixed on the scale of threats more than the scale of the tactical environment. As a result new equipment will meet the threats but will not fit the environment. Derrr!

PhillEeee
PhillEeee
June 28, 2014 9:43 am

– Please stop claiming to know more than you actually do. All SV hulls are the same. PMRS, Scout, Recovery, Repair and beyond. By that simple fact alone the roofline is the same for all.

And what is PMRS? Call it a Transit van if you like. I’d think of it more like a Transit Supervan though. Less practical, more vroom.

@TD – Yes, early “representations” were indeed an ASCOD II with a turret on top. That’s pretty easy to see.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
June 28, 2014 9:48 am

@PhillEeee

Do you by any chance know what the trapezoidal box in front of the RWS is for?

monkey
monkey
June 28, 2014 10:06 am

The original Pizzaro,Ulan in its standard form was 3150mm over the skirts without the applique pack. This one with its applique pack on the photo in the link TD provided gauging from the track to the slanted bit sticking out at the front left corner seems about a half meter , that would put this at over 4m wide .Chris did you get to run a tape over it ? What can this stop against the side armour , it seems a half meter of whatever is excessive to stop 14.5mm over the existing armour.

Radish293
Radish293
June 28, 2014 10:34 am

Being my first visit to DVD I was astounded at the size of a lot of the vehicles.
A reverse TARDIS is the best description. Scout SV is almost as wide as it is long.
Its not the only vehicle that looks cramped.
I don’t think I could get in the Viking that was on display my knees would have been under my chin. Add body armour and a helmet and things would have been much worse.
The trip around the off road circuit in the Oshkosh M ATV was impressive. But for all its size its only a 4 seater and not a huge amount of space either.
Mind you the standard road legal Ford Ranger did the same course on road tyres. Very impressive. Gets my vote for a Land Rover replacement.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
June 28, 2014 10:35 am

@Monkey

‘What can this stop against the side armour’

I think it’s just stand off for RPG/HEAT warheads, In the pictures that CBRN Guru posted it shows a tool bin in the front right hand side and the door is only about 10-15mm thick.

Does anyone know if the back to the armour is thicker?

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
June 28, 2014 10:39 am

http://www.militaryfactory.com/imageviewer/ar/pic-detail.asp?armor_id=82&sCurrentPic=pic1

We can actually afford some of them once the Nellies and spastic heffajump jets are bought. And what is more, they can get to where future OPFOR actually is, not stooge about 300 miles offshore in a safe place or display all of the range and endurance of a young child on a long car journey.

Observer
Observer
June 28, 2014 10:54 am

DN, you can adjust a mirror and cover some of the rear arc. You can’t with cameras.

As for complaints about “might get ripped off”, they don’t hold water. Tanks and APCs have lots of antenna and protrusions and I don’t see much being ripped off. If they did, the first to go would have been the smoke dischargers. Anyone lost a smoke discharger in the last few decades to trees?

As for 2 miles to the objective blah blah blah, 2 miles to the objective, yes. 200 miles less of walking. Which one do you want?

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
June 28, 2014 11:10 am

@Obersver

‘As for complaints about “might get ripped off”, they don’t hold water.Anyone lost a smoke discharger in the last few decades to trees?’

Ever lost/damaged a tool bin in the last few decades?. Antennas are designed to be flexible, they are not a rigid structure so they do not get ripped off. Smoke dischargers are always on top and within the footprint of the vehicle. Ever looked at the state bar armour gets into on ops?

Ever been on ops?

‘As for 2 miles to the objective blah blah blah, 2 miles to the objective, yes. 200 miles less of walking. Which one do you want?’

Not me mate wrong person.

money
money
June 28, 2014 11:12 am

@RT Do you think they got that order placed with Dulux for the White top coat for they Nellies yet?

x
x
June 28, 2014 11:37 am

So there are going to be 60 of these per brigade full of more sensors that the starship Enterprise? On how wide a front does an armoured brigade (a la BAOR) operate? In a line, not that they would work that way obviously, I think there would be a super duper sensor vehicle every 200 metres or so. Surely you wouldn’t need very super sensors with that distance? Actually probably no sensors at all……….

Couldn’t they get away with one per troop full of electronics? Then have the other three there just to protect the sensor cab (perhaps fitted with Javelin as well as 40mm)? Perhaps drop the turret from the sensor cab; replace it with a mast that can reach over trees or something? And have fourth squadron outfitted with low pressure guns and Spike? (Assuming the manpower/vehicle count for Swingfire has been quietly dropped; if not substitute Spike for Swingfire and have the fourth squadron just guns.)

x
x
June 28, 2014 11:48 am

Sol has this pic’ as the header on his blog……………….

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-iGJKFy-0pMA/U66fxQDrphI/AAAAAAAA-LQ/1dNc7JJ4zaQ/s1168/AS2009-presentation-adelaide-NLangford_page17_image10.jpg

……….compare and contrast with the Fatboy Wide Mobile.

monkey
monkey
June 28, 2014 11:55 am

FRES is a Spanish design , right? Its designed for’Carlos Vandango and his super wide wheels’ or tracks in this case

PhillEeee
PhillEeee
June 28, 2014 11:59 am

@DavidNiven – Yes. And no I won’t.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
June 28, 2014 12:20 pm

@PhillEeee

Thanks any way.

I suppose there’s no point in going by DN anymore, I might as well use my real name …….. Wahid ;-)

x
x
June 28, 2014 12:57 pm

@ RT

Not sure why its the RN’s fault that the Army couldn’t purchase a vehicle? A couple of weeks back here it was shown that upwards of a billion (there was money wasted prior to FRES uber cock-up) has been wasted by the Army trying to replace its tracked vehicles and nothing to show for it. That’s enough to buy every soldier in the teeth units a Land Rover and a motor bike plus change. And that was a long time before CVF which would have been a lot cheaper if it wasn’t for Labour.

RWD buggies look ace but you want 4WD, diff locks for and aft, some extra ground clearance, a snorkel, a decent 4 pot turbo diesel, a well cooled auto box, SWB, sensible attack and departure angles. If you don’t want to donate money to the US economy and keep business at home then these are guys………..

http://www.bowlermotorsport.com/

or

http://www.ibexf8.com/

Definitely not the RN’s fault.

A Different Gareth
A Different Gareth
June 28, 2014 2:27 pm

When this vehicle comes up for discussion here I always wonder if the MoD has found itself a Warrior replacement on the sly. It is a bit of a stretch to describe these as ‘replacing’ CVR(T). They don’t appear to to me. They aim to do a more expanded job that swaps compactness for survivability, a significant increase in electronic kit and presumably the space to bring extra personnel and supplies. GD does though promote them as replacing CVR(T), replacing medium-weight AFV and even as a potential replacement for Challenger 2.

Perhaps the MoD have gone for something they know will be okay as a Warrior replacement (maybe needing an extra road wheel) but have done things backwards – buying the special variants first to make the vanilla fighting vehicle a shoo-in later. My thinking being it could be easier for the SV vehicles to be turned into a IFV vehicle than turn an IFV into the SV family.

DavidNiven said: “I agree they can be dangerous, I could share some stories myself. That is why I know the mirrors are doing nothing in the position they are in.”

They need extending sideways like caravaners do, not upwards like they have done there. They could use the same pieces of metal too, just have the long end attached to the vehicle and the short end pointing upwards carrying a mirror.

DavidNiven said: “Why is there not an angled edge to the front of the applique to move foliage/obstacles rather than offering a straight edge to it so they can have a battle of wills as to who will give way first?

Why was the cable for the front camera not placed on the underside of the engine panel for protection from everyday wear and tear like boots etc?”

An angled edge to the side armour was present on the prototype but seems to have been dropped. The cabling to the camera was also done more smoothly on an earlier prototype.

PhillEeee said: “ – Please stop claiming to know more than you actually do. All SV hulls are the same. PMRS, Scout, Recovery, Repair and beyond. By that simple fact alone the roofline is the same for all.”

‘Roofline’ is not the same as far as I can tell. Going by the images posted on this messageboard about halfway down the page, the Repair, Recovery and PMRS versions are 3 slat armour bars higher at the rear. It is a very noticable kink in the roofline on both sides as opposed to just on one side that the Scout SV has (the vehicle is not symmetrical).

I don’t share Chris’s scepticism on rear seating though. If you watch the video of the Mobile Test Rig towing several other vehicles at the bottom of this page near the start you get a clear shot of the MTR and an Ulan immediately behind it. Imo the MTR looks quite a bit taller. More than could be explained by a higher roofline alone. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Scout SV turns out to be taller than a regular ASCOD with the PMRS being taller still.

Further to that, comparing the interior images on the defencephotography.com link with the interior of a regular ASCOD here the floor in the PMRS is flat while the ASCOD floor is not. There is room for ASCOD passengers to put their feet lower. This apparent lack of foot space may explain the height of the Scout SV if it does turn out to be taller than a basic ASCOD, and that space in the floor could be for better mine protection, better thermal and sound insulation or maybe underfloor battery storage?

The Other Chris
June 28, 2014 2:33 pm

A Through-Deck Tracked Vehicle (TDTV)?

TDV(T)? Through-Deck Vehicle (Tracked)?

monkey
monkey
June 28, 2014 2:57 pm

@A Different Gareth

The Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme (WCSP), Lockheed Martin UK is running will include many systems from the also be armed with the CT40 from the Lockheed Martin UK Scout SV turret so it should be a simple sell to ask for a production run extension for an IFV version of FRES when eventually these old warriors are retired.
(Note to Mod , when retiring them leave some life in them say 1 years worth of combat conditions so in an emergency we have a backup before UOR’s can reach the frontline. Maybe a few dozen can be spared from storage for the reserves train and maintain to keep their hand in at camp.)
http://media.defenceindustrydaily.com/images/LAND_WARRIOR_WSCP_Lockheed_lg.jpg

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
June 28, 2014 3:31 pm

@A Different Gareth
‘I always wonder if the MoD has found itself a Warrior replacement on the sly’

I think you are crediting them with too much intelligence, and wouldn’t the natural choice be Puma? I noticed the pictures in the message board also show the vehicle with bar armour added, do you know if this is the intended configuration?

x
x
June 28, 2014 3:32 pm

It would have been even simpler to extend the Warrior SLEP to include all available hulls, not buy ASCOD, and put the rest of the money towards a family of large wheeled tactical vehicles.

By the time Warrior SLEP has worn out we will all be living on the moon and driving hover cars, we won’t need to replace it.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
June 28, 2014 3:36 pm

X, re “the Army” not being able to buy a vehicle.

Try not to expose yourself as such a knob. The Army in the shape of about 15 people posted to the FRES IPT, ATDU, the SO1 Force Development in each of the Arms Directorates, the HQ LAND Capability Development Branch, and DEC Ground Manoeuvre all agreed on the desired spec by 2003 and the selection on a single type from 3 offered in 2006/7.

What sank the project was the IP demanded by politicians as part of the UK Defence Industrial Strategy, an epicly stupid IPT Leader (a civil servant, later sacked from his post) who conceived of the most inept way of procuring a vehicle, the delay in A400M, and the rising toll in Iraq which caused John Reid to call for a review of protection levels, which was completed after he was replaced by Des Browne, who accepted all of the findings which dictated heavier levels of protection.

Now stop banging off simplistic nonsense.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
June 28, 2014 3:41 pm

@A Different Gareth
‘space in the floor could be for better mine protection’

That would be my guess, in the picture of the regular Ascod you can see the torsion bars running across the floor making the foot wells. I’m presuming on the Scout version a second floor has been put in to absorb the energy and to prevent the torsion bars from penetrating the hull.

x
x
June 28, 2014 3:48 pm

@ RT

Banging off simplistic nonsense? How can it be the RN’s fault there is no money? The RN has shrunk to cover CVF. The last major RN project Trident came in on time and under budget. Astute is coming in on more or less on time; fewer hulls than needed. The RN seems to manage its projects and manning levels for future needs a lot better than the Army. Complex platforms costing billions of pounds. It was you who mentioned the navy not me. Every other country in Europe can manage to buy vehicles, heck in the time scales we are talking about here some of them have had two fleets. Heck the RN is rebuilding the fleet in the same time scale. So you stop being a knob and look inside you own service for the blame.

x
x
June 28, 2014 4:35 pm

And that is without pointing out when they do get around to buying something it is crap.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
June 28, 2014 5:20 pm

@X

I think you are being a bit selective, Astute is £1 billion over budget and late, Type 45 £1.5 billion over budget and late. From 1996 – 2007 the last two ‘chiefs of defence procurement’ have been Vice Admirals.

No service can say they spend money better than the other, and how could they be able to? they are manned by people from all the same schools and universities as the so called inept civil servants.

IXION
June 28, 2014 5:31 pm

0bserver

Re the 2 miles thing.

Given the weight of kit of the modern heavy infantry and the temperatures we have been fighting in lately. That 2 miles will mean less effective soldiers when they get to the point if contact.

Also in a lot of the world terrain any autocannon will be fuck all use for supporting fire, as will all singing all dancing stabilised sights

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
June 28, 2014 5:36 pm

@DN

The one thing I would say is that Astute and T45 have suffered from Political decisions and manufacturing costs, we have not even got to that stage with FRES yet, by the time we add those inevitable costs to the already horrific over spend and delays we will truly be looking at the most embarrassing program ever to crawl out of the MOD. How many Billions over are we before we even start manufacturing? As X correctly points out at the same time our European allies buy comparable systems quite happily, how many of them have purchased Astute, CVF or T45 equivalents quite happily in the mean time?
The sad truth is that FRES is a system that most 2nd world nations manage to procure and field, hardly state of the art.
Portugal, Finland and Sweden managed it, yet they are not procuring world class AAW Ships, SSNs or Carriers.

IXION
June 28, 2014 5:37 pm

BTW

if it parked 2 miles away let’s just save ourselves some real cash and just buy TD’s double-decker busses

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
June 28, 2014 5:37 pm

X, you really don’t understand.

Throughout the Noughties, procurement was a fully Joint exercise, with people of all services posted to IPTs of all flavours. It was called “Smart Acquisition”. There were also Civil Service people and even industry embedded in IPTs. The DECs were completely Joint, DSTL MOD employees without a Service to cling to. The Joint Doctrine Centre was established in Shrivenham to provide systemic Joint CONOPS for major acquisitions. The first two Commanders were Naval 2 stars, yet they spent much of their time on A400m and FRES. To make the case, as you do, that Single Services either screwed things up, or should take credit for success indicates someone who does not see things cery broadly.

The first T45 IPTL was a Colonel in the Army.

Now do you understand why I think your comments about the Army or Navy in terms of buying kit are uninformed and puerile?

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
June 28, 2014 6:05 pm

@APATS

‘Political decisions and manufacturing costs’

It’s immaterial, no service in the last twenty years form Typhoon, Nimrod, Astute, CVF and FRES has had a major programme that has come in on time or budget. (the last 3 Navy projects have overrun to the tune of £6.5 billion alone) We could all quote numbers such as nearly £200 million to be told that we cannot convert a carrier to cats and traps, after being told that the design would allow future modification.

I am no defender of the FRES project it has been a farce, but all the services are as crap as the others at procurement there is no gold standard in the UK armed forces.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
June 28, 2014 6:09 pm

@DN

I never claimed there is a gold standard but to spend as much as has been spent without even agreeing on a design is pretty special, that is definitely a lesser standard and it still has to go through the stuff that affected the rest of the programmes you named. It will as I said in my last post set a new low :(

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
June 28, 2014 6:18 pm

@APATS
‘It will as I said in my last post set a new low’

I agree, but for champions of other services to complain about the money spent on the projects from other services is a tad hypocritical.

x
x
June 28, 2014 6:19 pm

@ RT

I do understand. You bashed something down, you were called out on it, and now you are squirming out of it. Don’t blame staff appointments in MoD main building. The customer failed to articulate and defend a reasonable need and wasted millions. Don’t care who sat at what desk for 2 or so years, what colour of uniform, or what ever metric you arbitrarily choose to deflect from what can only be termed a complete and utter abject failure for over two decades. The Army is not even equipping itself to fight the last wars but the war it didn’t fight from what will soon be thirty years. Time and time again here service professionals come out with the same old bollocks about HMAF are so clever and ahead of the game when in reality it has been steady decline since the Wall came down. The only thing the Army don’t do is put up inane YouTube videos probably because they are still deciding whether to buy a VHS or Betamax camera and a suitable envelope to post off 3.5in floppies. Puerile? I say again why mention CVF and F35b? What bearing have they on this fluster cuck of a programme? Why mention them? I think I have fallen into my own trap of biting too soon. You mentioned them because their nothing to say you can’t defend the indefensible.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
June 28, 2014 6:28 pm

@DN

I also note that you do not mention the lack of complexity, we are not talking a 4.5 gen fighter in a multi national project like Eurofighter, a Transport aircraft trying to combine the best areas of strategic and tactical transport like A400M (again multi national), building a world class SSN which can only be matched by 1 nation on earth, an AAW Destroyer whose command and radar systems are world leading (damn the missile load out) or even build the 2nd most capable aircraft carriers in the world.
No what was required was to procure a family of armoured fighting vehicles which Finland, Sweden, Denmark, France, South Africa, Spain, Austria, Germany and South Korea amongst others have managed to do. I am not trying to be hypocritical merely pointing out that the complexities of the projects varied massively.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
June 28, 2014 6:31 pm

@DN

I also note that you do not mention the lack of complexity, we are not talking a 4.5 gen fighter in a multi national project like Eurofighter, a Transport aircraft trying to combine the best areas of strategic and tactical transport like A400M (again multi national), building a world class SSN which can only be matched by 1 nation on earth, an AAW Destroyer whose command and radar systems are world leading (damn the missile load out) or even build the 2nd most capable aircraft carriers in the world.
No what was required was to procure a family of armoured fighting vehicles which Finland, Sweden, Denmark, France, South Africa, Spain, Austria, Germany and South Korea amongst others have managed to do. I am not trying to be hypocritical merely pointing out that the design requirements and complexities vary from projects that a tiny amount of countries can achieve to this one which everyone except us manages quite well.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
June 28, 2014 7:04 pm

@DN

tried to reply twice but spam issues :(

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
June 28, 2014 7:14 pm

X,

Don’t get precious. After all, you’ve spent 4 years on TD defending the Navy, mostly from a completely parochial viewpoint. Now you are challenged.

Your arguments do not stack up with reality, but after 4 years, I am unsurprised. You seem to me to be a greatly uncritical fan of British sea power, not realising how things are now, and hoping for a return to some Nelsonian tradition. Well, here’s news for you, OPFOR lives on land in complex political arrangements, and does not have a fleet. She might not even wear a uniform, or even be hostile all of the time. Spending money on boats is a waste of time, as is spending monwy on warmed over IFVs. Better to spend it on peacetime intelligence, language training, and satcoms. And very rapid intervention, and in training politicians to authorise such very quickly.

monkey
monkey
June 28, 2014 7:14 pm

If a well armoured 8×8 or just more warriors had been bought when we exited Boxer the huge (and over priced) UOR’s would have been reduced considerably.
https://www.rusi.org/downloads/assets/RDS_Maughan_Feb09.pdf

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
June 28, 2014 7:22 pm

@ monkey

Exactly, they were not tasked with delivering a 4.5 gen fighter, an SSN that only 1 country could match or even an advanced air defence destroyer or radical tactical/strategic mix transport aircraft, just some armoured vehicles that almost every country on earth seemed to be able to manage.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
June 28, 2014 7:36 pm

@APATS

The complexity of the project is again immaterial. If you are given the job of managing a project with a budget and run over in both time and budget you have not managed it properly (and it’s not as if any thing we are talking about involves small budgets). We could not cancel the carriers because of poor project management and the contracts we were saddled with, we started building submarines we did not even have the ability to build in the first place (a large thank you goes out to the Americans for their help).

Poor project management is just poor project management, and the common denominators are the senior leadership and civil servants.

Chris
Chris
June 28, 2014 7:37 pm

PhillEeee – ref heights – I have always made clear that I am drawing conclusions from what I see and what I am told by those that ought to know, not that I have project knowledge. But as A Different Gareth has pointed out the images and photos released by GD show a lower roofline (as on Ulan & Pizarro) for turreted FRES/ASCOD and a raised roofline behind the driver’s hatch/cooling louvres for other variants. It can clearly be see between the photo of protected mobility thingy from DVD at the top of the post and the glossy of FRES-SV with turret just below it. This glossy of four variants all together shows the same so its not a later design decision: http://img36.imageshack.us/img36/9969/ascod25medium1.jpg and this one shows a wider family group with a range of hull roof profiles: http://www.doppeladler.com/da/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/ASCOD-SV-varianten.jpg.

But hey, by the snotty tone of your slap-down you are obviously an expert with inside knowledge so I guess we will all bow to your superior knowledge, which means ASCOD/FRES-SV turret has just been raised onto the stepped up roofplate and the vehicle is 200mm taller than the images thus far have all shown.

Glad that’s all cleared up then.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
June 28, 2014 7:50 pm

@DN

“The complexity of the project is again immaterial”

Are you for real? Must be a joke, so buying something with multiple OFS alternatives and fielded by 2nd and 3rd world military nations is the same as as project manageing world leading tech fielded by less than 5 nations world wide?

“Poor project management is just poor project management, and the common denominators are the senior leadership and civil servants.”

OMG, you really believe that, difficulty, technical constraints, R&D requirements are all irrelevant?

Shocking.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
June 28, 2014 7:58 pm

@APATS

‘difficulty, technical constraints, R&D requirements are all irrelevant?’

No they are part of the project management, they are part of assessing the risks and maturity of the technology, which is then factored into the time scale and cost of the project when the tenders are given. Only the government would accept a doubling of the project cost and time scale without massive consequences to the contractors and only inexperience would allow you to fall for it for so long from the contractor.

monkey
monkey
June 28, 2014 8:07 pm


So in the name commonality they have made it even taller even though the metal boxes and all the innumerable variations of fit out between the various units make them incompatible metal boxes.
Nice second link , obviously in reality they could not now park that close together probably need at least another couple of feet if you don’t want to scrape paint .

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
June 28, 2014 8:15 pm

@DN

Indeed and they offer far more risk on a project involving new and world leading tech a lot of which is being developed from scratch than on a project designed to procure something deployed by most nations around the world.
So a far greater risk than being asked to procure something far less complex and already in service throughout the world.
Even then the really difficult projects got a design agreed on, conquered new tech and ended up with world beating new designs even if late and over cost.
Meanwhile the project tasked with emulating the capability levels of the mighty Austrian armed forces spends billions, does not decide upon a design, has nothing in production and has now decided to emulate those mighty Austrians. (cannot claim that, was a line I heard an army 2 star use the other week).

DavidNIven
DavidNIven
June 28, 2014 8:44 pm

@APATS

‘Meanwhile the project tasked with emulating the capability levels of the mighty Austrian armed forces spends billions, does not decide upon a design, has nothing in production and has now decided to emulate those mighty Austrians’

Like I said I agree with you. You can forgive some cost increase on new tech, but FRES is an absolute joke

PhilEeee
PhilEeee
June 28, 2014 9:30 pm

– The thing is you don’t do that. Your initial comment was very much stated as fact. Fact based on early glossies, even ones which show a difference between the PMRS shown and the PMRS displayed at DVD.

There’s a lot of negative opinions on FRES SV, and that’s fine when it’s based on fact, not conjecture.

Chris
Chris
June 28, 2014 10:10 pm

PhilEeee – you are entitled to your opinion. I’ve been back to see where I made a statement as fact and the only one I can find is that the thing has cameras facing in all directions. That was supposition based on peering into the glazed-over recesses and noting the location/field of view. Apologies I didn’t add ‘in my opinion’ to that. But for all other comments I made they were all qualified by terms such as ‘an indication’ and ‘I will bet’ and ‘I can’t tell’ and ‘I assume’ – your understanding of English and mine clearly differ.

As for negative opinions, if you had been a regular reader of comments you might have noted in the past I have stated I don’t doubt FRES/ASCOD would be a competent performer, my gripe with it was that it is the size and weight of Warrior, has the same firepower as Warrior will have, costs a fortune and is no CVR(T) replacement. Note I stated it was the size and weight of Warrior – the protected mobility wagon has just shown ASCOD/FRES has grown wider than Warrior by some margin. If any of this conjecture is incorrect I will be quite surprised.

woodenwonder
woodenwonder
June 29, 2014 12:46 am

Well it looks chunky – but could someone explain its role to me? Looks like there is only 4 seats in the back? Also the slab sides – spaced armour or electrical charge?

Observer
Observer
June 29, 2014 1:36 am

EC armour is still highly experimental, not fielded yet I think.

Role? Basically an IFV. A semi-do everything vehicle. Light tank, troop carrier, infantry support vehicle, scout vehicle etc. Nothing really special. Which is why the hem and hawing just to select a single candidate from a pool of all so similar candidates is so surprising.

Obsvr
Obsvr
June 29, 2014 6:40 am

The important question is whether the side armour will defeat an off-route mine launching an EFP. The correct term for a recce vehicle that cannot do this is loser.
4 seats in the back sounds like a dismountable recce patrol to me.

Chris
Chris
June 29, 2014 7:20 am

Obsvr – ref EFP-proof recce is the only way – I’ll let you take that point up with RT – I have tin hat on and am taking cover

Two thoughts though – one, EFP devices are not built to standards so how do you define how big a penetrator must be defeated, and two off-route devices are a problem for vehicles staying on the route, and the bigger & heavier they get the more the vehicles remain constrained to those routes.

Woodenwonder
Woodenwonder
June 29, 2014 7:29 am

@Obsver – so this version of scout is a direct replacement for Spartan? Any pics of the Scout turret from DVD?

Chris
Chris
June 29, 2014 7:42 am

Woodenwonder – GD stand staff were preventing photos of the turret from close-up. Not unreasonable as there was quite a lot that could be deduced on detailed inspection about how it worked and where the armour was placed. Oops – sorry – I’m not supposed to make such observations any more.

wf
wf
June 29, 2014 7:59 am

If you want EFP protection and not long rod penetrator protection, armoured glass is actually rather good. Purely by accident, it was found in Iraq to be resistant since it’s many layers tended to disperse the slug as they progressively shattered :-)

Chris
Chris
June 29, 2014 8:24 am

wf – so people in glass houses (vehicles) can throw stones!

wf
wf
June 29, 2014 8:48 am

: very good!

Observer
Observer
June 29, 2014 12:41 pm

Obsvr, mining a place is not random in war, it is because of the current COIN shitstorm that you guys stuck your heads into that you end up with IEDs everywhere.

Mines in war are used very selectively because of one reason. You are mining your own areas. If you lost a convoy due to self inflicted mine damage, your enemy will laugh himself silly. The reality is that mines are used mostly in only 3 areas. At the FEBA, around an objective to limit and delay ingress and around covered chokepoints.

This means that a recce vehicle will very, very rarely hit a mine, unless for some reason it tried to run into an objective, run into the middle of a chokepoint with enemies on overwatch or tried to break through the frontline. Which would indicate a fair bit of suicidal tendency.

Skirt armour is probably more for shell fragments than anything heavy. Strangely enough, such fragments can still cause a mobility kill. The strangest things can cripple a tank, even ironically concertina wire. A 3 coil con wire obstacle has a fair chance of stopping a tank, a 10 coil definitely will.

A Different Gareth
A Different Gareth
June 30, 2014 12:37 am

DavidNiven said: “I think you are crediting them with too much intelligence, and wouldn’t the natural choice be Puma? I noticed the pictures in the message board also show the vehicle with bar armour added, do you know if this is the intended configuration?”

No idea. I found that message board using google. I have since found the source of the images and they are General Dynamics computer generated images from 2012 posted to the MoD flickr photostream. Looking at the rendering of the PMRS closely the angled edge on the side armour is present so it is an old approximation rather than a concrete image.

Just to add to the confusion the PMRS rendering is captioned “SV Protected Mobility Recce Support variant (troop carrier) vehicle” so maybe Think Defence’s joke title for this article isn’t wide of the mark. The Danish armed forces have been looking for a new APC amd a vehicle closely resembling the PMRS was one of the possibilities. Here is a google translation of a description of the 5 vehicle competition. The ASCOD is described there as having room for 8 passengers and a driver in a separate compartment. The vehicle GD took to Eurosatory is described as having room for driver, gunner and commander plus 7 passengers. Which is further confusing me.

Lord Jim
Lord Jim
June 30, 2014 3:07 am

Often Project Management is blamed when the basic project is at fault. First we had Service Requirements replaced by Capability Management and now we have moved to Effect! The idea of telling industry what we want the result to be and letting them provide a solution always looked fine on paper but additional external forces have made it almost impossible for industry and the MoD to effectively manage any projects. Due to the length of time project seem to spend in the assessment phase, the MoD keeps trying to include the latest trends and technology to keep up with the Joneses. Industry will always meet any request with the aim of gaining the most profit, but when the MoD’s wish list makes a platform so bespoke that they are likely to be the sole customer, the mark up falls squarely on the MoD. With the length of development and industry mark ups, programmes costs always rise way above the projected costs quoted by both the MoD and Industry which always resulted in either a cut in number, increasing unit costs or a revision in the requirement increasing the time and cost of development. To this you have to add unstable funding issues, which with the increasing length of programmes has a major impact on both the MoD and Industry as this again affect both the number of platforms that are affordable and what capabilities the platform will provide and so some programmes go more and more off the rails, but until recently were not shut down, but kept in limbo moving forward so slowly they didn’t appear to be moving at all. Yet they still cost money. In others the programme costs escalate to a level that the number of platforms that can be afford is so small, the delivered capability is only really good for PR/spin. The Nimrod is a good example of this, and the purchase of only 6 T-45 also shows the results.

In my opinion the MoD needs to more clearly define what it wants and keep assessment in house. It needs to look at procuring more vanilla platforms and then upgrade/adapt them through incremental steps rather than try to purchase a platform that does everything from the start. They need to be very careful when trying to adapt an existing platform, where the work is more revolutionary than evolutionary, the Nimrod MRA4 again is a good example of this. We also need to study more intently what our allies are developing and/or using and investigate whether these would meet our core needs.

The idea of retain core industrial capabilities is often used to justify buying locally, but all our defence contractors are now multinationals, so the MoD’s order book has less and less impact upon them. We have also lost many manufacturing capabilities already so that now all our ammunition and propellants are produced by overseas contractors. Retaining ship building is a good idea if the ships produced have the potential to be exported, and this also goes for AFVs and aviation.

The Warrior improvement programme should simply have been a case of zeroing the life of the chassis and adding a new turret. The gun chosen should have been more mature, but the CTA40 has a lot of export potential and so its choice can be forgiven. FRES(SV) should have been a case of a newer chassis with the same turret as the Warrior with the minimum alteration. The chassis chosen should have already been in production and the whole programme should have been minimum risk. Any existing platform would almost certainly had additional armour packages available and these should have been initially purchased rather than build the same level of protection into the basic platform. Following this train of thought, FRES(SV) should have simply been an off the shelf buy of a quantity of ASCOD chassis as used by Spain and Austria, with the MoD fitting the same turret as the Warrior, probably at the same location as the Warrior programme is taking place. In reality it would be an upgrade to the ASCOD rather than the bespoke platform FRES(SV) has become, and would provide an additional version for export rather like the mutitude of versions that have come out of the CV90 programme. Of course the CV90 could also have provided a starting point, using any one of the variant developed for the Norwegians, Dutch, Swiss etc as the foundation and fitted the improved Warrior turret. In both cases we Would have ended up with an IFV being used as a recce platform but is that a bad thing. If the UK wants to retain heavy mechanised formations both would provide a long term development path, and if tracks were seen as the way forward for medium formations again we would have a strong foundation. In fact as the FRES(SV) is going to end up being used as a Medium/light tank in most scenarios, as has both the Warrior and CVR(T) in the past, being able to carry dismounts is not a bad thing. Both being newer platforms allow co-operation with existing users regarding future upgrades to the platforms in protection, optics etc.

In a nutshell we would have got a new platform far cheaper and far faster and the money saved could have gone to accelerate other programmes or start others to meet capabilities we urgently need.

Obsvr
Obsvr
June 30, 2014 8:42 am

@ Observer, you don’t ‘hit’ an off-route mine, it hits you. A bit of a duh is that. The other attraction with ORMs is that they can be switched on and off very easily because they are not buried. They are ideal for use on tracks in forested terrain, it means you can run a fairly parsimonious screen force, and if necessary you can sally forth and then withdraw behind them. GPS makes finding them to arm/disarm/rearm easy and reliable with properly trained combat engineers.

Perhaps you’re getting mixed up with the field expedient types sometimes encountered on current ops. UK was in the throes of acquiring a ORM in the late 80s, very useful it would have been in the forested hills of the Weserberg, either fastened to trees or on their own mounts. I suspect they are in the inventory of various armies.
In his memoirs Clark recounts that when he was the procurement Minister he cancelled them and seemed to regard it as a major triumph over MoD, but he was a dickhead so I suppose its excusable.

Chris
Chris
June 30, 2014 8:54 am

A Different Gareth – ref dismount numbers – give or take the thicker floor, the basic dimensions of the ASCOD vehicle hiding inside the FRES armoured party-frock are as far as I can tell much the same as the standard in-service versions. If ASCOD can fit 7 dismounts then there shouldn’t be a fundamental reason why a FRES APC variant couldn’t do the same. The PMRS version lost a lot of internal volume to racks so seating in the back is much reduced. The bit that can’t be predicted by us lot outside the programme is how much space would be lost to fancy electronic systems in ASCOD/FRES APC. Whether ASCOD carries 3 crew plus 7 dismounts, or 2+8, or 2+7, will no doubt be the result of similar equipment fit variations.

Lord Jim – ref in-house assessment – I would be content if industry and MOD worked assessments together but not in the current form. I have always seen cooperation between the value-minded industrial designers, the more purist approach of government scientists, and especially the focused capability-driven pragmatism of the military user as a way to get good kit quick. Two things to note here, one is that the above team description does not refer to MOD procedural management by audit and that is intentional; the second is the deliberate use of the term cooperation. In my view a single entity has to exist in which all the experts work without boundaries – I have described this before – where full visibility of the cooperative venture removes the need for audits (and the sniffy arguments they bring). Looks like Cost-Plus development but is entirely different.

Ref FRES-SV role morph – the rumourmill is rumbling; the best employment of ASCOD/FRES-SV has been reassessed by the Army’s experts and (as the rumours have it) CVR(T) style recce is not a good fit with the new vehicle. “What? Astonishing, Holmes!” exclaimed Dr Watson. As with all matters of great import these days, no doubt their will be lots of effort going into a re-branding strategy that spins whatever change of focus, use or role is determined into a wildly positive it-was-planned-this-way proclamation, with statements the like of “This is good news for the Army” or “This redefined role is in fact what was intended from the outset” or “Of course the Army knew the old ways of performing recce were outmoded and increasingly irrelevant in the modern battlefield” etc etc. Naturally the rumours may be wildly wrong (they often are) but it will be fun to watch and see if the re-branding happens.

Peter Elliott
June 30, 2014 10:15 am

– You appear to describe Alliance working. How closely does ACA (as now embodied) fit your specification.

@NAB – if Alliance working is the way forward why does T26 appear to be a rolling cock-up? Surely they should be following a successful template, with lessons learned, from the T45 and QEC programmes?

Re FRES – presuably at some point the requirement for TRACER will resurface.

Chris Werb
Chris Werb
June 30, 2014 10:46 am

. I think the abortive British 1980s ORM you’re referring to was the LAWMINE. The British Army had already had a French ORM in service for some time then and may still now. This thing looked like a trainable tin can – it didn’t fire a rocket – it was simply a big, aimable HEAT charge with a trip (break) wire to set it off.

Chris
Chris
June 30, 2014 10:46 am

PE – I don’t know how the organisations interact in the Alliance, but I suspect they are more bounded with interfaces between business groups than I envisage. I suggested last time I wrote about this that the MOD might want to take the role of chief accountant or a senior finance manager or the like, with all the responsibilities that has for the cooperative team, as MOD constantly worries about pennies. In that case they would not be shadowing and critically auditing an industry person, they would take on the role in total and do the work. So there would be nothing hidden; access would be instantaneous; MOD would know exactly what was being spent and where. They would also be embedded in the business decisions – on the spot, immediate awareness, immediate input into project direction. And no big dog & pony show quarterly reviews necessary. Project goes faster, the arguments about progress and unforeseen costs become daily business, and the mistrust that bubbles under the surface between Supplier and Customer (are you sure they aren’t taking us for a ride?) evaporates. I suspect big corporations would refuse such methods (its our business; it would stifle business innovation; other customers would object; the assignee might not be up to the task; etc) but the smaller eager business entities with more of a can-do mentality might relish the openness and pace of development.

I met some of Mission Motorsport last week. The fellow we were talking with described the way their teams knuckle down to the task, all supporting each other, each working to get the best result as fast as possible using initiative and the light management of fully briefed objectives. These guys were ex-forces for the most part, and loved the job (motorsport); their approach reminded me of times 30 years back in industry where people were trusted to do a good job on their own initiative (no formal written procedures and H&S briefs before every new task like ‘bolt this box there and run its harness round to here’). I would dearly like to get a modern production business to get back to this sort of ethos – train and care for the workforce certainly, but for crying out loud trust them to be able to do a good job without being forced to blindly follow instructions in ‘Janet and John Build Tanks’

Lord Jim
Lord Jim
June 30, 2014 12:32 pm

So it looks like we will be reinventing what the US Army used to call an Armoured Cavalry Regiment in order to find a role for FRES(SV) then. Problem is we haven’t the aviation assets to make it work, especially if we reduce the numbers of Apaches in order to fund the Block III style upgrade.

If the Government doesn’t at the very least honour the promise of a 1% increase in the equipment budget without further manpower reductions, the Military is going to throw its toys out of the pram and what they thought were embarrassing statements to the press in the past will look insignificant compared to what will follow. There can be no more “Jam tomorrow”, come 2015. Failing that the military should just mutiny listing their grievances publicly and watch the politicians panic! Extreme I know but when will they learn that the MoD budget is not a bottomless reserve to draw funds from for other departments.

It is becoming more and more difficult to discuss UK military matters without starting to rant, the above a case in point.

Chris
Chris
June 30, 2014 12:50 pm

Lord Jim – agreed ref the need to sort out an increase in equipment & platform purchasing (and an increase in armed forces manpower to suit). But I am not convinced MOD is able to look after its own best interests. I have offered MOD vehicle designs of competitive capability that (if historical experience is representative) would be cheaper to buy and run – no interest returned. I have approached MOD at many levels suggesting there are better ways to buy kit than the current decade(s)-long multi-stage competitive procurement process. Mostly no response; Lord Levene did engage but I failed to convince him there was a better way. So the MOD has no interest in buying similar capability at less expense/more capability for the same budget, nor is it interested in invoking a less expensive and faster procurement method. Looks to me like an increase in budget would be at risk of being all used up in making the procurement process even more complicated.

AAMR
AAMR
July 1, 2014 6:27 am

Is armoured infantry only fights other tanks and ifv? What about them fighting enemies logistical supply and other soft skin vehicles.

Peter Elliott
July 1, 2014 6:58 am

Its beginning to sound like we need to take the turret we have been developing for FRES-SV with propper stabilised 40mm CTA and stick it on the latest version of the Stormer chassis and running gear. That would get you a light cavalry vehicle that we could get into Theatre quickly and would still pack a punch.

Then take the electrical recce gubbins out of the back of FRES SV and stick it in the back of one or both of VBCI and Warrior 2. They’re actually no less suitable for the recce task recce and Ascod 2 and will be our standard medium armoured vehicles for a while yet.

That takes care of both Medium and Light ends of the spectrum. We can then get on with planning a long term common chassis replacement for Warrior and C2 at the heavy end.

Sounds simple. Probably wouldn’t be :'(

Chris
Chris
July 1, 2014 8:28 am

PeterE – I tried that. I took various generations of BAE MTIP turret and ‘off-the-shelf’ versions from Oto, Rheinmetall and Hagglunds and perched them on Stormer 30 hull as a what-if design exercise. MTIP1 was a reasonable fit; after that the turret overhangs grew too large for the Stormer. That exercise was the impetus to start designing my own hull to see if moving stuff around would create a better solution. In the end, after making some design choices even I wouldn’t have predicted before I got stuck in, I got to a balanced and compact hull that could take either FRES-SV turret (BAE or GD/LM) as well as either Warrior FLIP turret (BAE or LM) and Rheinmetall’s Lance turret as seen on Boxer. Mobility (as calculated) far exceeded the norm and accommodation and protection ended up better than would be expected at this vehicle size, although some of the more extreme design compromises that had to be made might be difficult for Users to deal with.

To remove those difficult compromises in a vehicle of compact dimensions I had to abandon the existing turrets and draw one up instead (although no doubt if an order were in the wind BAE or LM would consider a bit of rework of their own turrets). This ended up with a vehicle of Scimitar width but a bit longer and a bit higher (not as high as Scimitar2 though) and a bit heavier. And with minor prep fits in a 20ft ISO. Just. Mobility same as the first design but its somewhat more cramped and driver protection while still pretty good is not as good as with the initial design.

The first hull design using the FRES/warrior turrets is wider to accommodate the turret baskets – the extra width also offers a bit of extra length while keeping a sensible mid-range L/C ratio for good overall handling.

In the interests of balance I should point out the BAE CV21 from what little can be gathered from images is Stormer 30 with the CV90 Recce CTA turret on top – this is the turret from their FRES mobility demonstrator that was doing the rounds in 2009/10 – I suspect the rear overhang of the CV90 version was shortened for the CV21 fit. I also imagine the rear end of the Stormer hull was reshaped to let the ring move further rearwards.

None of the above carry the foot-thick side armour of ASCOD/FRES – one of the reasons why they remain small light and agile – so would not be able to resist as much punishment as the bigger vehicle. But they can go where ASCOD/FRES wouldn’t fit and cross structures ASCOD/FRES would break and do so (in the case of my designs) faster and quieter than booming ASCOD/FRES. Horses for courses.

Peter Elliott
July 1, 2014 9:01 am

Yeah – so CV21 sort of fitted what I was talking about.

It all comes down to what is acceptable as ‘good enough’

I would accept quite a few compromises if it got something into service quickly that is singificantly better than what we have (ie Scimitar 2 with a manual Rarden) on a broadly similar sized footprint.

But then I’m not MoD.

Obsvr
Obsvr
July 1, 2014 9:06 am

@CW no wasn’t LAWMINE, they’re an easy ‘field expedient’ being used 40 yrs ago. Likely that once Clark was gone MoD resurrected the requirement and bought French

Observer
Observer
July 1, 2014 9:22 am

Obsvr I fail to see how on or off road mines change my point in which you do NOT mine random places behind your own lines in war. Especially one which you need to “turn on and off”. That would involve human oversight. You mistake equipment for usage and tactics. An ORM that you turn on or off would still be used only in the situations I mentioned too. FEBA, objective and chokepoint, all within human control, not in the middle of nowhere where your own stuff can hit or be hit by it, still same result, blue on blue.

Chris
Chris
July 1, 2014 9:45 am

PE – like you say its what can be judged ‘significantly better than what we have’ – the running gear of Stormer is not in the first flush of youth, much being 1970s CVR(T); at Goodwood last week I spent some time with one of the Stormer HVM vehicles into which I had some design input; the soldiers looking after it were careful in what they said but it seems the RA are being careful on how much the vehicles are driven. Possibly just the track life issue that was mentioned by the soldiers (all CVR(T) have a fairly short track life not ideal for road transit under their own steam) but the transmission design started out a bit fragile (got better after some early design updates) and may still need care to keep it going. Would it stand up to the kicking it would get as a fighty combat vehicle rather than the lighter treatment in the air defence carrier? Maybe, but transmission reliability might be a concern for the user. The turrets are new design; they have good sensors/weapon/FCS and are likely to have a reasonable service life in them.

Peter Elliott
July 1, 2014 10:24 am

Chris

What do you think of the running gear of the TRACER prototypes. Rubber trackes and diesel-electric drive?

It may be the way to go in future. But would cost development money that we’ve already pissed up the wall several times over.

Chris
Chris
July 1, 2014 10:58 am

PeterE – I think there are some interesting developments in hybrid drive; certainly the loss of the big heavy transmission frees some space (providing the batteries and control units don’t end up the same size/weight/durability). Rubber tracks offer big advantages too, with one obvious downside – spares. Track links and track pins are small and can be replaced in the field. With rubber track there are two options; segmented track with track pins linking the sections together, or continuous band. If the former is used then maybe each vehicle might carry a track section for field repair. I can’t see any combat vehicle carrying a complete continuous band of track, so the vehicle would be left trackless if one snapped/ripped until a big REME wagon turned up with another band. And a crane to move it around. Also, where individual links allow almost any circumferential length track to be assembled, segmented tracks might step up in size by metres each time a section is added. Continuous band track will be the length it is. So if there were several variants of tracked vehicle deployed, each with a custom length of similar continuous band track, REME would need to hold spares of each length track. This may be a problem.

Peter Elliott
July 1, 2014 11:03 am

Chris

The other advatage is you can shunt the batteries and the genny around the hull to wherever they fit best. They don’t need a mechanical connection to the wheeels.

Its also a lot more mature as a technology than it was 10 years ago. Plenty of diesel electric buses running round with BAe licesned drivetrains.

Chris
Chris
July 1, 2014 11:15 am

TOC – in various section lengths yes. Other brands of rubber track are also available…

A Different Gareth
A Different Gareth
July 1, 2014 11:23 am

While looking around the defencephotography.com website I saw they have another page of a few pictures of the CT40 turret, including one intended for Scout SV. How likely is it that this matches the cutaway diagram at General Dynamics European Land Systems in this pdf? Some of the details might have changed but I guess they will stick to the intention – the diagram has Scout SV having a one man turret with a seat at the rear of the vehicle for the third crew member.

Chris said: “If ASCOD can fit 7 dismounts then there shouldn’t be a fundamental reason why a FRES APC variant couldn’t do the same.”

What was confusing me is that the vehicle present for the Danish trial was described as 1+8 with the driver in a separate space but by Eurosatory 2014 it had become 3+7. I suppose the Danish vehicle could have been a rough prototype to get something in the trial and then they sorted the layout later, or the report was mistaken.

There are a couple of pictures of the Danish one, including one showing the rear door and the seats which has puzzled me. The door opens downwards unlike regular ASCOD and the opening isn’t as square either, the floor is checker plate and I count 9 seats – 5 on the right, 4 on the left including a forward facing one where a commander seat would be. A mongrel of a vehicle. For the Danish trial it was also running on band tracks.

Chris
Chris
July 1, 2014 12:02 pm

A Different Gareth – different turrets. The one on the GD flyer looks like a development of Steyr’s SP30 turret fitted to Ulan and Pizarro. Big angled appliqué hides the original turret outline but I think that’s what it is. As for the Dane’s ASCOD being different to all the others? I thought it was general knowledge that all AFV production runs were different from any other…

AAMR
AAMR
July 1, 2014 1:07 pm

It seeems that nobody understood my questions. I was talking about target of opportunity. If armoured force and logistical force were both present which one takes the priority?

Observer
Observer
July 1, 2014 1:29 pm

AAMR, think no one actually answered. Priority is the force that can kill you, so armoured. The B vehicles can keep for later. And you don’t deploy infantry from the vehicles to kill B-vehicles, no matter how fit your infantry, they still can’t outrun a truck. Most likely scenario, you use the co-ax on them, maybe some medium calibre HE. 105 or 120mm probably only when you are well stocked with ammo. Heard stories of Abrams using sabot on buses in Desert Shield, bit overkill IMO but if their logistics was good and they had lots of ammo, well, that is one way. Wasteful but it can work.

AAMR
AAMR
July 1, 2014 1:53 pm

Thank you, observer. However it seems to my novice mind that it is better to engege logistics supply. Since an armoured force or any force for that matter can’t survive without logistics. So if you destroy logistic the job is done.

Observer
Observer
July 1, 2014 4:55 pm

AAMR, you think the enemy doesn’t know that as well? :)

The logistics chain is going to be buried in the enemy’s rear areas. You’ll need to punch through his front lines first. Not an easy task. They call this kind of thing a “breakthrough” attack. Every commander dreams of this. How many can pull it off is a different story. Lots of historical cases where the attempted breakthrough turns into bloodletting. For example, Market Garden is a classic example of an attempted breakthrough attack, the battles of Ypres and the “Race to the Sea” was a mutual bloodbath to prevent the enemy from breaking through into the logistics areas.

The enemy knows what you’re going to try to do, and since it is so predictable, it also becomes very difficult to do.

AAMR
AAMR
July 1, 2014 5:28 pm

Observer, thanks for answering me. That is a very good point. One more question if you don’t mind. Then how a maneuver warfare works? If they are moving at different locations at different times, aren’t there logistics more exposed than static warfare? Sorry another one. I read that to overcome attritional warfare they started moneuver warfare. Since to win you need to engage the enemy, how does maneuver warfare works?

Observer
Observer
July 1, 2014 6:00 pm

AAMR, difficult questions. Phil and I have been debating this for years. His stand, which has very good points too is that in a peer to peer war, both sides can throw enough soldiers at each other that any breakthrough can be smothered in defensive lines before it can get too far. My contention is that these small gains are still gains, and that even though it is only temporary and to cause a breakthrough attack is costly in men and material, it still is one of the very few ways to get ahead.

Like the previous answer, “maneuver warfare” is a bit of an idealized case, best example would be GWII which some people call the “biggest training exercise ever”. Now against Russia or China, things might be a bit different.

Phil
July 1, 2014 6:14 pm

Since to win you need to engage the enemy, how does maneuver warfare works?

It happens when you’ve either got an enemy force to space ratio low enough to allow you to move around more freely, or in a proper big war, when you’ve attrited the enemy enough to earn the right to manoeuvre.

Against a dense enemy, manoeuvre is not an option.

AAMR
AAMR
July 1, 2014 6:22 pm

Well, gain a gain. It seems lots of studies going into shorten supply lines. However it seems by a lot publications by US army that even proper infanty units lots supply. I was astonished to see that relative comparison of logistics between armoured forces and infantry is small. Supporting any forces despite its method( mechanized,airborne etc) is a hude thing.

Observer
Observer
July 1, 2014 6:39 pm

The joke about “gains” is also that the more you “gain”, the more your own defensive lines stretch, so in the end your “gain” is also a loss. There was one skirmish in WWII that the Germans pulled back for 20km to let the Russians overstretch their lines, then overran the overextended attackers, so sometimes “gains” can be a loss as well.

It’s a big headache. Phil is most likely correct in the eventual stalemate, which leaves both sides in big trouble.