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Offline Thucydides

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Russian analysis of US Armour in Iraq
« on: July 06, 2005, 22:34:27 »
This is very intteresting, and covers the M-1, M-2 and Stryker vehicles in action. There are some interesting conclusions we might draw from these observations regarding vehicle systems, design and employment.

http://mdb.cast.ru/mdb/1-2005/ac/us_armor/?form=print

Quote
US Armor in Operation "Iraqi Freedomâ ?

Vasiliy Fofanov

US-led Operation "Iraqi Freedomâ ? and the subsequent occupation have fueled debate on the future of armor systems over the next few decades. Supporters of the latest generation tank designs can justifiably claim that the Main Battle Tank (MBT) and the Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) have proven their value on the Iraqi battlefield. This was clear especially during the initial stages of combat, when heavy brigade combat teams made up of the M1AHA Abrams and the M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle Systems (BFVS), and the British Challenger II Mk2 and Warrior IFVs, destroyed Iraqi combat systems with little resistance along the road to Baghdad and Basra, respectively. On the other hand, critics of this model point to the surfeit of heavy armor and the unacceptably high burden placed on supply chains to sustain heavy brigades so far removed from their bases. Moreover, the second phase of the operation and the occupation revealed certain shortcomings of current MBT protection and firepower systems. The US-Iraq war can hardly provide conclusive evidence in support of either side in this debate, since it is unlikely that the US will ever enjoy such an overwhelming technological and organizational superiority over the enemy. A more even contest will require radically different tactics and result in much higher losses. Nevertheless, the combat experience of medium and heavy fighting machines in Iraq provides some useful lessons for the future.

Protection

The Abrams tank armor system was not really put to the test during military operations in Iraq. There were virtually no reported hits on the highly protected frontal arc or on the "heavyâ ? ballistic skirts; all tank losses to enemy fire were defeated from the top, side and rear. Iraqi soldiers had clearly familiarized themselves with the capabilities of American tanks during operation Desert Storm and avoided engaging them in direct battle. For example, there were no reported cases of anti-tank guide missiles (ATGM) being fired at any US army vehicle. At the same time, Iraqi resistance fighters, whose ranks were bolstered by scores of trained Iraqi soldiers, have clearly learned to exploit the vulnerabilities of the US systems. They managed to destroy up to 20 enemy tanks even with their antiquated light anti-tank weapons, mostly Soviet rocket-propelled grenades such as the RPG-7 or its Chinese and Egyptian variants, with rounds developed in the 1970s-early 1980s. The results of combat operations show that the side armor of the Abrams tank is completely inadequate to fire from light anti-tank weapons, including older generation weapons, making these tanks unsuitable for operations in built-up areas.

For example, in a widely-discussed incident, an M1 tank from the 2nd Battalion, 70th Armor Regiment, 1st Armor Division was hit and disabled during a routine patrol on 28 August 2003. The American press, deluded by its own reports of the "invulnerabilityâ ? of the Abrams, claimed that some kind of "secret weaponâ ? was responsible for the damage. In fact, published photographs clearly show that the offending weapon was none other than a simple RPG. The hollow-charged jet penetrated the side skirt and turret ring and continued into the crew compartment as it disintegrated before finally coming to rest after boring a cluster of craters 30-50 mm deep in the hull on the far side of the tank. The crew was lucky to have suffered only minor shrapnel wounds as the projectile passed through the gunner's seatback and grazed his flak jacket. On April 2, 2003 an RPG attack from the side disabled another tank by penetrating the turret's hydraulic drive.

The side protection of the M1 turret is also inadequate. On 7 April 2004 an anti-tank RPG penetrated the side of the turret resulting in serious wounds to two crew members. The top of the tank is equally vulnerable, and even the glacis was easily defeated by anti-tank weapons. For example, on April 10, 2004 a tank was hit on the right side of the glacis by an RPG fired from an overpass and destroyed. Additional measures designed to increase protection for the Abrams tank have showed mixed results. Halon firefighting gear has proven largely ineffective. Practically all secondary fires resulting from enemy fire, engine breakdown or overheating destroyed the tank completely. For example, the 7 April attack noted above ignited the tanker's personal effects attached to the outside of the turret, and since the crew had abandoned the vehicle, the fire was left unchecked, while on 10 April, fuel leaked out of a damaged fuel tank and ignited. Externally stored items, including on one occasion an external auxiliary power unit (EAPU), caught fire on several occasions and led to catastrophic losses. On the other hand, the vulnerability caused by externally stored items only underlined the wisdom of storing ammunition in a separate compartment protected by blast doors, which contained fires and saved the crew when the main rounds ignited.

The distribution of catastrophic damage to the Bradley IFV was somewhat different. In spite of the vehicle's explosive reactive armor (ERA), its protection proved to be completely inadequate in combat against even outdated generations of light anti-tank weapons. This led to several episodes of defeat from RPGs, accompanied by crew casualties and in several cases the complete destruction of the vehicle from resulting fires. Significant losses of Bradley vehicles resulted from Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) placed in cars or on roads. IEDs made from one or two 122 and/or 152 mm shells with between 4 and 14 kg of explosive proved more than adequate to inflict heavy damage to equipment and crew. The worst case was on January 17, 2004 when the explosion from an IED made from two 152 mm shells overturned the vehicle and destroyed the crew compartment, killing all five crewmen. The Abrams tank proved much more resistant to IED, as only one tank was destroyed on October 27, 2003 by an IED, presumably constructed from a 240 mm Soviet-made mortar-bomb with an explosive charge of 32 kg.

It is interesting to compare the losses sustained by the Bradley Fighting Machines from light anti-tank weapons and IED to the experience of the new Stryker Medium Armored Vehicle. This wheeled 8x8 has about the same ballistic protection as the Bradley (360-degree protection from 14.5 mm shells). Enhanced survivability against RPG is provided by slat armor: testing and combat experience in Iraq has shown that this steel grille is able to prevent the proper functioning of anti-tank grenades and the formation of a hollow-charged jet. The Stryker also has higher survivability against mines. Whereas exploding mines have almost always stopped the Bradley in its tracks, the Stryker as a rule has been able to escape from the area of detonation. For example, on 9 September a Bradley was blown up by an IED placed in a parked car on Haifa Street in Baghdad with an explosive charge of about 10 kg. The IFV suffered damage to its tracks and lost mobility. Two crew members were injured and another four were hit by small arm fire and RPGs when they tried to exit the vehicle. Reinforcement units evacuated the crew and the vehicle burned unchecked. On 11 October, 2004, a car in Mosul rammed into the side of a Stryker, detonating a similar explosive charge. The MAV suffered serious damage, the commander was killed, and seven out of 8 wheels were punctured, but the vehicle retained mobility and was able to return to base on its own. In another pair of incidents, a Bradley and a Stryker each lost their front suspension arm, on 12 October and 20 December respectively. Again, the Stryker retained mobility while the Bradley did not.

Firepower and Target Acquisition

The American tank system is distinguished by the high quality of its infrared equipment. Second-generation forward looking infrared (FLIR) has a resolution that can distinguish small targets and people at far distances, at night and in bad weather, and even during sandstorms. But like its armor protection, the main gun of the Abrams tank, the 120 mm M256 often failed to meet expectations. Firepower problems were exacerbated by an initial reliance on a basic load appropriate for battle against enemy tanks, but not against infantry. High explosive anti-tank (HEAT) rounds at first made up only 25% of the stowed munitions. This share increased to 60% by the end of combat operations, but the lack of dedicated anti-personnel rounds reduced firepower effectiveness. Other problems, typical of the use of tank guns in urban conditions and against infantry ambushes, also played a role: the extension of the cannon beyond the hull of the tank, significant blind spots along the vertical, especially towards the rear, the gunner's restricted field of vision, etc.

One unexpected failing of the Abrams main cannon derived from the use of a fibreglass bore evacuator. Combat operations revealed that the bore evacuator is easily disabled by small arms fire, and the smoke generated by a malfunctioning bore evacuator drives the crew out of the tank after the firing of just two or three rounds. In battle with mobile enemy, Abrams crews used mostly open mounted machine guns (the commander's 12.7 mm gun and the loader's 7.62 machinegun on skate mount). A lack of protection for the machine gunner from small arms fire led to several casualties and created opportunities for the destruction of the crew compartment through the open hatch. A tank was disabled on March 26, 2003 when an anti-tank grenade ricocheted off a roof and through the commander's hatch. The tank commander was hit and killed while he was manning his machine gun.

The Bradley also had trouble applying firepower in urban areas. The fragmentation ammunition of the IFV's 25 mm automatic cannon was not effective against enemy infantry in buildings, and so the vehicle's Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire command-link guided (TOW) missiles had to be used. The firepower of these missiles was more than adequate, but limited to two rounds since they are impossible to reload under the protection of armor. The firepower of the Stryker APC is even more limited. Depending on configuration it consists of either one 12.7 mm machine gun or a 40 mm grenade launcher, and was applied only in battle against enemy personnel in the open. Due to the unreadiness of Mobile Gun System (MGS) Strykers with 105 mm tank guns, support fire was provided by ATGM Strykers equipped with TOW missiles. The weak firepower of the APC Stryker limited its use during periods of heightened confrontation with Iraqi resistance.

Mobility

On the whole, the Abrams tank demonstrated a high level of mobility in combat operations. Notwithstanding instances where the tank may have flipped over or got stuck, the road system and bridges of Iraq were able to sustain the traffic of fighting machines weighing more than 63 tons; off-road mobility was also satisfactory. Nevertheless the quick pace of attack, extremely dusty conditions and sandstorms raised a host of problems. There was a high rate of failure on the road arms and assemblies. Road wheels and track wear proved to be significant. Just as during "Desert Stormâ ? the air filters required continuous cleaning and servicing. Units used more fuel than expected due to the use of the antiquated gas turbines as a power plant, especially on those tanks not equipped with an auxiliary power unit. The Bradley APC, in spite of its smaller size, faced similar problems and, on the whole, did not prove to be more mobile than the tanks. The extensive use of armor in urban areas, especially during the occupation, created additional problems due to the limited manoeuvrability on the narrow Iraqi streets. In practice, the use of armor was possible only on wide thoroughfares and on squares. The use of heavy vehicles also caused significant damage to the urban infrastructure and to property, though the use of rubber-padded tracks helped to reduce the damage to roads.

The Stryker APC was deployed in Iraq only after the end of active combat operations, so its ability to sustain a high tempo of attack under difficult climatic conditions remains to be seen in practice. Nevertheless, the high centre of gravity of these relatively heavy vehicles, combined with the crews' lack of experience led to several unfortunate accidents. For example, on 8 and 16 December, 2003, three vehicles were severely damaged when they flipped into a canal, killing three soldiers. At the same time, the wheeled Stryker has an edge over the tanks in terms of speed and minimization of the damage to the urban infrastructure. Integrated C4SI provides enhanced situational awareness and allows the crew to navigate unfamiliar streets and rapidly come to the aid of ambushed comrades.

Conclusions

The examples above show that the Abrams M1 tank, on the whole, failed to live up to its full potential in combat, while the Iraqi resistance was able on several occasions to exploit faults in the vehicle's design. Nevertheless, the Abrams tank proved itself to be a formidable fighting machine with no serious competitor on the battlefield, while losses resulting from combat or technical causes remained within reasonable limits. Accounting for variations in national design, it is likely that other modern MBTs would have performed more or less the same under similar circumstances. It is worth recalling the range of measures proposed by American specialists to enhance the survivability of the Abrams tank under urban conditions: extra smoke grenade launchers along the perimeter of the turret that provide cover from all aspects; extra gun-slaved mount for 7.62 or 12.7 mm calibre machine guns or a 40 mm grenade launcher (CSAMM); improved protection side skirts and engine deck roof; slat armor for the stern; the PDCue computer system of directing to the sound of fire; commander-activated claymore mines on the side skirts for battle against infantry in blind spots; a retractable mast with observation instrumentation; video-camera on the sides and rear, etc. The vast majority of these measures are entirely appropriate for conditions of urban battle.

The Bradley Fighting Machine on the whole performed rather well, though the destruction of several vehicles by anti-tank RPG suggests that in spite of the significant resources devoted to the development of additional anti-hollow charge defences, U.S. engineers have not yet solved the problem of 360-degree protection even from older generations of light anti-tank weapons. The installation of slat armor on the Stryker APC marks a real breakthrough in this regard. This extremely simple design reduced the effectiveness of the older types of light anti-tank weapons by some 200% or more. Several firms, including the Russian Scientific Research Institute of Steel, have developed similar grilles. We can only voice regret over the tardy introduction of such grilles for use in active combat in Chechnya. The Stryker fighting vehicle performed somewhat better than predicted, and undoubtedly confirmed the relevance of wheeled armor. Nevertheless, the incredibly high cost of such vehicles (over 2 million dollars for the basic model) is not matched by military utility. That said, the development of this type of vehicle for Russian procurement and export seems justified.

Operations similar to the current occupation of Iraq require the development of a specialized heavy vehicle that compensates for the deficiencies of the MBT and maximizes its lethality. This machine could sacrifice heavy frontal armor, but in exchange would have 360-degree protection from modern infantry anti-tank weapons. All equipment should fit within the crew compartment. It is essential to increase the number of times a fire-fightingsystem can engage to five or six in place of the two or three currently in place. The vehicle should have a high degree of system redundancy, especially for sighting and target acquisition, and should not have any significant blind spots for scanning and firing. Auxiliary power units should ensure the reliable functioning of all main systems when the vehicle is parked or in case the engine is disabled. The vehicle's firepower should be optimized for battle against both mobile and fixed infantry in the field and in urban conditions. All firepower should be controlled from under armor. It is essential to allow for the substitution of weapons systems of comparable dimensions to satisfy the demands of the customer in accordance with the appropriate standards or for the further optimization of weapons systems to address specific tasks. It would be very good to have a super-close-in anti-personnel armament. This role could be fulfilled by e.g. fragmentation grenades fired from the conventional smoke grenade launchers.The continued use of tracks would appear inevitable, but all possible measures to prevent the destruction of the road surface should be taken, including the use of "rubber-clad tracks.â ?

The combat support vehicle currently under development at the Ural Tank Factory may be a step in the right direction. However the firepower system envisaged for this vehicle, essentially a doubled 30 mm automatic cannon and four ATGMs, is far from ideal, and should be replaced with a 50-60 mm cannon that can fire fragmentation or shrapnel rounds with high explosive fill ratio and preformed subprojectiles. The use of powerful guided missiles to defeat hardened targets is justified, but rather than using common ATGMs, it would clearly be preferable to look towards the development of dedicated assault missiles with reduced range (2-3 km would be sufficient), but with enhanced effectiveness against installations and personnel. The launcher must be protected against 12.7 mm rounds. Such a vehicle would be useful in low intensity conflicts, for patrols and to escort convoys in the context of peacekeeping operations, law enforcement and the battle against armed separatism and international terrorism. Insofar as several nations will evidently need to pursue such missions, the development of such a vehicle would have good prospects for export sales, modernization and subsequent maintenance contracts.

© Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST)
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phone/fax: (+7-095) 775-0418. www.mdb.cast.ru
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Tango2Bravo

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Re: Russian analysis of US Armour in Iraq
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2005, 08:48:54 »
The article is an interesting read, but I found it somewhat overstated the case about the M1s flaws in urban combat.   The M1 is not invulnerable, but you'd be hard pressed to find a better tank.   I think that the recent upgrades announced for the M1 show that the US Army has a well functioning lessons learned process tied back to the equipment folks.   I read an Abrams AAR in Jun 03 that dealt with many issues both good and bad.
  
I'd rather have a dual-purpose round for the main gun (like HESH) then a bunch of smaller weapons to replace the main gun.   Specialized urban assault vehicles sound neat, but I feel that a balanced MBT is the way to go.

I think that Stryker will end-up being a successful "stability ops" vehicle, much like our own family of vehicles.   They didn't buy them for that role, but I think it is their strong suite.     

Looking forward, a future conflict could have the following design.   Heavy forces (M1s/Bradleys/MLRS etc) sweep forward, conducting classic heavy-metal combat.   Urban areas are dealt with (when required) by Light Forces backed up by M1s (say one Platoon of tanks for a Battalion of Light Infantry).   Stryker mounted forces then come in the occupy said country, backed up by a smaller force of M1s and Light Infantry.

Cheers,

Iain

p.s. That being said, perhaps the Urban Firesupport Vehicle could be the equivalent of the WWII "Funnies."  Put on some flamethrowers.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2005, 11:27:47 by 2Bravo »
Well-trained, older Panzer crews are the decisive factor for success...It is preferable to start off with fewer Panzers than to set out with young crews who lack combat experience.

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Re: Russian analysis of US Armour in Iraq
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2005, 21:07:55 »
interesting read, wonder if they did one on thier own products with similar warfare in Checnya, etc....  with russian built tanks littering the battle fields all around the world no comment is nessecary there...

But no tank is immune, much simplier to build and design anti-tank weapons then AT-proof tanks...

Lessons the IDF learned in Beruit, anit-personnel/Anti sniper role: M163 (M113's armed with 20mm vulcans) when something with a lil more punch was needed... in came the M-!09 155mm howitzers for some direct fire....  take fire from a building, take down the building... or my favorite M110 8in howitzers, boom boom out go the lights...

Urban warfare is high loss warfare...

Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: Russian analysis of US Armour in Iraq
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2005, 21:36:28 »


Centurion Engineer Vehicle. Still used by the Brits. Up armoured, 165 mm demolition gun and dozer blade.Get 'er done!!
« Last Edit: July 07, 2005, 21:45:32 by recceguy »
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Re: Russian analysis of US Armour in Iraq
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2005, 21:44:19 »
I see a picture of the back of a vehicle with two Bergans in the back....
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Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: Russian analysis of US Armour in Iraq
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2005, 21:47:13 »
I'm IT challenged :P. Now if someone can blow it up a bit for me.
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Russian analysis of US Armour in Iraq
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2005, 22:04:52 »
Some of the stuff I found interesting was the way the Russians looked at the individual pionts of the vehicles in isolation, and only one line in the entire article indicated the requirement for "team" SA.

Quote
Integrated C4SI provides enhanced situational awareness and allows the crew to navigate unfamiliar streets and rapidly come to the aid of ambushed comrades.

It seems the Russians may still not have their heads fully wrapped around the idea of fighting with information, but like many of us, look at the heavy metal aspect of warfare as the be all and end all. Many of the reccomendations were for product improved versions of the M-1, M-2 or Stryker (and a lot of these ideas have been addressed by the Americans), and a few paragraphs for all new vehicle designs (I'm for some of that). It was interesting that the Russians have also developed a form of "slat" armour, and are impressed with the performance of Stryker wheeled vehicles (even suggesting they should develop another generation of wheeled vehicles for internal use and export. BTR '15 anyone?)

Pappy makes some interesting observations about supressing fire in urban ops, the Russians are big on that as well (attaching a battery of guns or mortars to individual companies during the later stages of the Battle of Grozney), and also make some observations in the article about the gap between the automatic cannons of the Bradleys and heavy weapons that can breach walls and fortifications. The American answer was tank fire or TOW missiles, the author seems to believe a medium calibre weapon (50-60mm) might be enough to do the trick. I think I would go for Matt Fisher's "CAT" modified Leopard with a breech loading 120 mortar as the main gun; the Jihadis would need a heck of a lot of sandbags to stop that.

Lots of food for thought, and some ideas that can be incorporated into other threads (he he he).
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Tango2Bravo

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Re: Russian analysis of US Armour in Iraq
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2005, 09:32:02 »
While a student at the US Army Armor School we studied the initial Grozny battle.  Lots of gruesome pictures of charred AFV crews and modern Russian MBTs with their turrets blows off from RPG hits to the side/rear.  The urban fight is not the preferred armoured battlefield but you need to go where the fight is.  I think that the answers are both technical and tactical. 

Tanks and AFVs can be modified to improve their urban capabilities.  Improved side/rear armour and protected weapon stations for the MGs are important.  Exterior stowage rules need to be ruthlessly enforced.  Nothing flamable can be stored on top.  Tank barrels have problems in streets (traverse) and you need the right kind of ammo for the main gun (I think that HESH would be the right round most of the time).  Perhaps a "thermobaric" round for tanks could be produced?  I think that smaller calibres would not be the right way to go.  The Germans produced the 150mm Brumbar based on Stalingrad.  Improved comms is always good, but a way to see into the close-in blind spots of a tank from a closed down position would be excellent.  Tank telephones or a way to PRR the tank crew into the infantry platoon would be handy (veh mounted comms tend to drown out the dismounted sets up close).  This brings me to the tactical side.

Low-level combined arms groupings are critical.  Big infantry platoons and companies combined with small numbers of attached MBTs should be the norm.  I hate to say it, but tanks may have to be parcelled out in ones and twos (ie a Platoon or Company of infantry get one or two tanks).  The infantry keep the bad guys from getting roof-top RPG shots on tanks.  The tank (or tanks) come up and act as mobile strongpoints and/or blast centres of resistance with precision direct fire.

Cheers,

Iain

p.s. I wonder what the insurgents in house would think of a couple of old-school WW II Crocodiles coming up the street...
Well-trained, older Panzer crews are the decisive factor for success...It is preferable to start off with fewer Panzers than to set out with young crews who lack combat experience.

 - Verbal report of Gen Balck 1943

Offline Lance Wiebe

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Re: Russian analysis of US Armour in Iraq
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2005, 10:07:31 »
Fafanov is a fascinating guy, and keeps coming up with very interesting, and insightful articles.

I agree, the comments, or lack therof, about fighting with current intel seems to be glossed over.  He also seems to be over-praising the Styker somewhat, and ignoring the deficiencies.  For example, the Stryker is not protected over a 360 degree arc from 14.5, it is only protected that over the frontal 70 degrees.  Sides and rear are protected from 7.62 only.  He also conveniently ignores the fact that wheeled AFV's in general, have a very hard time moving in deep snow and mud. 

His comments about the 25mm I concur with.  The 25 sucks as a AFV cannon, especially the HEI round.  Not much fire suppression there!

I also question his motives.  Thousands of RPG's have been fired at the M1's and the C2's.  And how many kills do they have to show for it?  A kill ratio of AFV's of 1 or 2% is praising the weapon with faint praise.  And blaming vehicle design for the 1 or 2% that penetrate seems just a little bit on the silly side.  If a Stryker had 100 RPG's shot at it, I doubt if it would drive away, to tell you the truth.

Having said that, he does make a lot of good points.  Tracks are indeed vulnerable to damage, and breaking one will immobilise a tracked vehicle.  Destroying a tire will not immobilise a wheeled vehicle.  The MGS is also at the upper end of weight for an 8-wheel vehicle, and will have more difficulties with mobility.  I'm talking stress here, axles and hubs and suspension bits are suffering under the excess weight, and have limited the mobility of the MGS to roads and tracks.  Of course, solutions will be found, but will also add to the already immense cost of the vehicle.
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Russian analysis of US Armour in Iraq
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2005, 10:59:10 »
Getting back to the wheeled vehicles, I wonder if some interpolation is in order.

The author praises the ability of the Stryker to carry on after a shot which would be a mobility kill for a track, its general level of protection (especially when supplemented by the "birdcage") and its speed and mobility in the urban setting. He also suggests that it is too costly and perhaps the Russians should develop a family of wheeled vehicles. Lastly, he seems to want a 50-60mm main gun for APC/IFV class vehicles.

This would perhaps lay out a presumptive BTR '15. It would be a fairly large vehicle (similar in size to the BTR 60 through 90 families), although a lot of internal space would be devoted to under armour stowage, extra survival equipment (multiple fire suppression systems) and protected ammunition stowage. The BTR '15 would have a "cage" of some sort as standard, and be armed with a large calibre main gun (50-60mm if the author has anything to do with it) and probably a HMG coax, as well as several OWS stations (one on the turret roof, and one over the back deck like early model "Marder" IFVs). The cannon would be a compromise between hitting power and ammunition stowage, and like most Russian vehicles, would probably have the provision for mounting an ATGM as well. Like most Russian APC/IFV designs, the PBI in the back is last on the list of priorities.

Even for a Russian vehicle, it will be costly, because of all the capabilities they will build into it. (We need to reduce the costs of the Stryker and similar vehicles, but a lot of this could be delt with by ordering them in true assembly line quantities, rather than hand building them).

We could build a next generation LAV 3.5 incorporating a lot of these features as well, or a new design (perhaps based on the Swedish SEV prototype), but emphasising the lessons learned that 2Bravo has pointed out, as well as building in our information processing advantages with better crew stations and interfaces, and ordering the systems in quantities that support low cost assembly line production.
Wheeled mobility is a difficult subject, the only way to really get good cross country mobility with wheels is to make something with a wheel footprint and ground pressure like an Argo 8X8 ATV, which would require a major design effort.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Zipper

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Re: Russian analysis of US Armour in Iraq
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2005, 01:23:14 »
All very good points.

That was a great article by the way Majoor.

One thing I wonder about is the fact that the Russian way of doing things is to completely destroy whatever is in front of them and to count the bodies afterwords. Great for unlimited full scale war (I love the 155mm direct fire support idea ;D). But it would hardly fly in the "western" (NATO) world when you are taking out whole city blocks to achieve your mission. Is there a compromise between our toy 25 and the Russian's ideas?

Oh, and I think an ol' Croc would be awesome, except for the large house/block fire afterwards. But limited flame throwers might not be all that bad.
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Russian analysis of US Armour in Iraq
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2005, 10:02:23 »
I don't want to be near that "Croc" when the Jihadis open up with the RPG barrage; the block fire will be centered on the fuel trailer! :o

Close quarter fighting in an urban setting needs some specialized weaponry, autocannon don't have enough punch, but missiles and tank guns have issues of their own in urban settings. I don't think the 50-60mm cannon is a really effective idea, the shell is still quite small, and the HE or explosive charge would only have a limited effect. Troops bunkered into buildings or barricades would probably have a reasonable level of protection against this sort of round. If the enemy have IFVs or tanks, a 50mm round will probably just piss them off. (Even a WWII Sherman needed to be hit with at least a 75mm for a kill)

Machine guns and AGLs are great for supressing the enemy and keeping their heads down inside the bunkers, but to really whack these guys you need a much bigger shell (probably 90mm), and Matt Fisher's breach loading 120mm mortar on a Leopard chassis would require a heck of a lot of sand bags to defeat.

Like most problems, there are several solutions. Larger calibre guns, combined with special ammunition are needed to dig out bunkers and dug in troops, 120mm HE, or 90mm Thermobaric would be able to defeat most "practical" bunkers and improvised fortifications. Lots of MG fire is needed to keep them pinned inside the bunkers, the biggest threat would be dismounted RPG "tank hunting" teams trying to sneak in on you.

In the short term, many of these solutions are being met with add-on kits for the M-1, M-2 and Stryker families, and certainly TTPs are being modified to meet these challenges. Like I noticed before, the Russians havn't quite gotten the concept of fighting with information, yet.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Zipper

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Re: Russian analysis of US Armour in Iraq
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2005, 14:00:08 »
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Like most problems, there are several solutions. Larger calibre guns, combined with special ammunition are needed to dig out bunkers and dug in troops, 120mm HE, or 90mm Thermobaric would be able to defeat most "practical" bunkers and improvised fortifications. Lots of MG fire is needed to keep them pinned inside the bunkers, the biggest threat would be dismounted RPG "tank hunting" teams trying to sneak in on you.

Not to (too) neatly tie this in with your (and 2B's) ideas of MMB (Cavalry), but wouldn't the idea of having (tank, LAV, etc...) units with dismounted infantry and an assault trp take care of the RPG "hunter" units and also the bunker in question? That is if your assault trp was equiped with a big enough gun.

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Like I noticed before, the Russians havn't quite gotten the concept of fighting with information, yet.

Who needs info beyond knowing the general location of the enemy? Especially if your taking out whole city blocks in order to get them.

Killing flies with shot guns perhaps? And maybe a few kilos of high explosives...
Nulli Secondus - Second to none

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"Milli Vanilli wern't frauds, they were prophets" - Ed the Sock on modern music.

Offline Zipper

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Re: Russian analysis of US Armour in Iraq
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2005, 23:08:26 »
Ok.

Here is a question then. Two parter...

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The fragmentation ammunition of the IFV's 25 mm automatic cannon was not effective against enemy infantry in buildings

If this is so? And the 25mm is not effective against armoured vehicles beyond light and possably medium classification, then why did we go with it instead of the heavier 30 or 35mm?

AND if the MGS can only carry a small load of ammo, and it would probably be a mixed load, why are we even considering it even as an infantry support platform (DFS)?

It seems the Russian had a very low opinion of either.


Nulli Secondus - Second to none

"You hit somebody with your fist and not with your fingers spread" - Heinz Gudarien

"Milli Vanilli wern't frauds, they were prophets" - Ed the Sock on modern music.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Russian analysis of US Armour in Iraq
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2005, 00:49:37 »
The 25mm "Chain Gun" was selected for a lot of reasons, some practical and some political.

On the practical side, a 25mm has enough energy to defeat APCs and below class vehicles (Imagine the look on a Somali "Technical" driver's face when he turns the corner and sees that instead of a HMMVW w/.50.... :o), and is small enough that you can carry a reasonable amount of ammunition in the vehicle. The downside is 25mm AP is good at ventalating a building, but has little effect behind the wall, unless you are standing there, while 25mm HE can be defeated by masonry construction (especially if it is reinforced with sandbags etc.)

The Laws of Physics dictate how large of a weapon you can carry on a particular vehicle, I suspect a LAV might be able to handle the recoil force of a 30mm, but after that it becomes a bit dicey. This brings us to the unfortunate MGS. Even a downsized version with the GIAT turret and a 90mm cannon will probably have issues with firing arcs. I simply cannot understand how you can only be able to fit 18 105mm rounds in such a large vehicle (the GIAT 90mm is meant for the smaller LAV II [Coyote/Bison/Marine LAV-25 sized] and can hold 32 rounds).In terms of fire support vehicles, LAV class DFS will probably be limited to 90mm, or magic bullet PGM fire. I like the FOG-M concept as having the most versatility in complex terrain, if you have a good fix on the "shooter", you can launch form well outside their engagement range and fly the sucker right into the window. If the missile dosn't get them the 18cm HEAT/MP warhead will!

Fighting with information requires you can access lots of reliable information and act on it quickly. The Russians have very crude information handling systems, allowing them to pinpoint what block the Chechen's are in and vaporizing that with artillery. An example of our "fighting with information is the "Ferret" gunshot sensor. In a network environment, your C/S picks up and locates the sniper's position with the Ferret, and my C/S takes that information and puts some fire through the window. Other C/S use the info to avoid the sniper, establish a cordon around the area and plan the assault on the building. The local population will have less of an issue with that sort of action.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.