Future Armour

Underway

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Cloud Cover said:
Why did Australia buy tanks from storage that required overhaul when fleets of new ones were on the parking lot?

Same reason we bought lightly used Leo's.  Cost.  Don't you know a new tank loses thousands in book value as soon as you drive it off the lot?
 

Kirkhill

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And we're back - robotics and manpower distribution

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/10/14/textrons-unmanned-battle-wagon-will-be-able-hold-and-launch-other-robots.html



A team led by Textron Systems today publicly unveiled a new 10-ton, unmanned battle wagon that it plans to enter into the Army's Robotic Combat Vehicle effort.

Textron, its subsidiaries Howe and Howe Technologies and FLiR Systems Inc., will display the Ripsaw M5 unmanned tracked vehicle on the exhibit floor of the 2019 Association of the United States Army's annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Plan A - 1x MBT with 4-man crew and 3 unmannned/remote controlled 10 ton tanks
Plan B - 2x Robotic MBTs with 2-man crews and 2 unmanned/remote controlled 10 ton tanks
Plan C - 4x Robotic MBTs with 1-man crews

I continue to argue for Plan C on the basis of survivability - survival of the mission, survival of the man, survival of the machine - small, hard, adaptable and intelligent.

The driver/gunner/commander has all the controls at her disposal and is on board so not reliant on broad band communications.
 

b00161400

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It seems to me like which COA we choose will be dependant upon how comfortable we are with robots pulling triggers. The less comfortable the more distributed our people will be.
 

daftandbarmy

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Haligonian said:
It seems to me like which COA we choose will be dependant upon how comfortable we are with robots pulling triggers. The less comfortable the more distributed our people will be.

Some have been 'pulling triggers' since 1972.... just not on people (yet):


https://www.upi.com/Defense-News/2018/12/26/First-Harris-T7-bomb-disposal-robots-sent-to-British-army/6771545850861/
 

a_majoor

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Actually "retro future" armour, but here is an interesting article about a Soviet future tank project from the 1980's, Objekt 490. While the mechanical complexity of the design suggests that it would be very difficult for the Soviets to have actually built and maintained in the 1980's, it is still an interesting design exercise attempting to maximize protection by rearranging the layout of the tank. How practical it would be is also open to question.

http://btvt.info/7english/object_490_21_vek.htm

 

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MilEME09

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Turret reminds me of the Ares 75mm universal turret. Which was the MGS's grandpa
 

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Chris Pook said:
And we're back - robotics and manpower distribution

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/10/14/textrons-unmanned-battle-wagon-will-be-able-hold-and-launch-other-robots.html



Plan A - 1x MBT with 4-man crew and 3 unmannned/remote controlled 10 ton tanks
Plan B - 2x Robotic MBTs with 2-man crews and 2 unmanned/remote controlled 10 ton tanks
Plan C - 4x Robotic MBTs with 1-man crews

I continue to argue for Plan C on the basis of survivability - survival of the mission, survival of the man, survival of the machine - small, hard, adaptable and intelligent.

The driver/gunner/commander has all the controls at her disposal and is on board so not reliant on broad band communications.

I agree with you that "Plan C" seems like the best option. Less reliance on broad-band communications (which would likely be interfered with to some extent on any battlefield) plus also the enemy has to take out every single tank to stop them fighting versus just taking out the command tank with the human crew onboard.
 

a_majoor

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Some more retro future armour, in this case the German NGP (Neue Gepanzerte Plattform). The site is in Russian, but using a translation add on in your browser provides a relatively readable description of the program and vehicles:

https://raigap.livejournal.com/682476.html

Some interesting observations from the illustrations include an offset rear engine and a tunnel/ramp similar to the Achzarit, remote weapons mounts for virtually every vehicle in the family and a higly modular structure, allowing the same chassis to be used for everything from a tank to a command post. The illustrations show an IFV, Tank, SPAAG, Command staff vehicle, ATGM launcher and Engineer vehicle. Presumably the Command staff vehicle could also serve as the basis for an ambulance, recce vehicle and other armoured support vehicles.

An interesting project which died with the end of the Cold War and the reallocation of resoures to reunification.
 

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a_majoor

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Finally some real future armour. The Philippines has selected the Israeli "Sabrah" light tank. This is actually a development of the Ascod, but has been retooled to incorporate a tracked suspension, 105mm cannon and purpose built two man turret with modern electronics:

https://strategypage.com/htmw/htarm/articles/20201103.aspx

Armor: A New Light Tank Design

The Philippines Army has been shopping for eighteen light tanks and has apparently selected the new Israeli Sabrah. The competition included the Indonesian Harimau medium tank, the South Korean K21-105 and the Turkish Arma 105. Sabrah apparently won because it was the latest light tank design and,  unlike the Arma-105 and K21-105, was not just a IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) with the addition of a larger turret containing a 105mm gun. The Harimau was not designed as a light tank and is an older design.

The Sabrah was built to do what a modern light tank is good for; reconnaissance and infantry support. Sabrah is also available as an 8x8 wheeled armored vehicle. The Philippines is buying eight tracked and ten 8x8 wheeled versions. The chassis and two-man turret are the same as is the wide array of sensors and modern communications equipment. This includes the new Israeli software-controlled radios, which the Philippines is also buying. The new radios are already standard in the American armed forces, where they have proved to be more secure (encrypted signals) and can be quickly modified because the software is an integral part of the radio. The Sabrah also has a powerful thermal sensor which is always useful, even when the 105mm gun is not needed.

The Sabrah was not ready to be announced yet but Israel speeded that up to compete for the Filipino contract. All the competitors weighed 25-30 tons and had similar 105mm guns and operating characteristics. One new light tank design, the Chinese ZBQ-15, did not compete even though it is being offered for export as the VT5. The ZBQ-15 is a 33-ton tracked vehicle with a 105mm gun. It has been undergoing field testing in Tibet and the Vietnamese border since 2017 and entered service in 2020. About 300 have already been built so far but China and the Philippines are in a state of undeclared war over Chinese efforts to take control of Filipino portions of the South China Sea.

More at link
 

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a_majoor

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And another future project moves farther forward:

https://defense-update.com/20200525_mgcs.html

Franco-German Alliance – First Step on a 20-Year MGCS Development
By Tamir Eshel -May 25, 20206728

Germany and France began to harmonize requirements and concepts, with the intention to formalize joint system architecture for their future main battle tank, currently known as the ‘Main Ground Combat System’ (MGCS). This future combat system is expected to succeed the Bundeswehr’s Leopard 2 and the French Army’s Leclerc beginning in 2035. Lead by the German side, MGCS is one of two major collaborations between France and Germany. The second program is the Future Combat Air System (FCAS), lead by France, in cooperation with Germany and Spain.

The aim of the study is to harmonize the operational requirements of the two armies into the final MGCS concepts drawn in the previous phase, to analyze further details, and to propose a common multi-platform architecture. The three contractual partners will assess various aspects of different concepts including:

Technical feasibility in the projected timeframe allotted for the program
Ability to fulfill the operational needs of both armies
Efficiency and compatibility with national “systems of systems” (SCORPION for
France and Digitization of Land-Based Operations (D-LBO) for Germany).

What would the MGCV look like? too early to tell, but most likely, MGCS will be a family of heavy combat vehicles, that will provide the core of heavy, most lethal, and highly protected element, built to dominate any one-on-one direct effect engagement against peer opponent in a future battlespace. Most charts depict MGCS as a group of vehicles delivering a balanced ‘triangle’ – firepower, maneuver, and survivability.

The image from the article actually looks like the German Lynx IFV chassis with a very low profile turret, but since this is a press release, the image is likely more in the mind of the illustrator than the designers. The idea that this is to be the basis of a family of vehicles is interesting, although historically very few of these types of projects ever reached fruition - maybe one or a very limited family of vehicles appearing.

Also interesting is the lack of discussion about distributed sensors, UAV's or the protection against non conventional weapons like loitering munitions. While the designers may well be aware fo these threats and opportunities, this hasn't been put out in the open.
 

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MilEME09

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Has anyone taken a good look at BAE's CV90120? Modified CV90 into a light tank compatible with all NATO 120mm ammo, and has a small troop compartment for 2, taking a page from the merkava, a small one though.

Would be interesting to buy a bunch and turn say 12 RBC or the dragoons into an air mobile light tank force.

 

Blackadder1916

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Would be interesting to buy a bunch and turn say 12 RBC or the dragoons into an air mobile light tank force.

Do you mean "air transportable" vice "air mobile"?

One of the more important factors in having an air transportable force is having the air transport to move the force, specifically its vehicles. This was also one of the stumbling blocks for the US military when they began developing the stryker brigade which was based on a requirement to deploy a brigade anywhere in the world in 4 days (96 hrs), a division in 5 days, and five divisions within 30 days. While movement of a brigade by air "could" be done, it would take one third of the USAF's C-17 and C-5 fleets to move one stryker brigade. That's a fleet of 222 C-17s and 52 C-5s, - how do you think Canada's fleet of five CC-177s would fare in moving, for example, a combat team?

Combat team graphic.jpg
 

MilEME09

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Yes that is what I meant, and yes in theory we do not have the means to deploy a brigade by air quickly. I was bringing up the concept of creating a new capability, which would require a much larger transport fleet.
 

YZT580

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One very serious problem: there are no suitable transport aircraft available. The C17 and the Galaxy are out of production. The A400 could only carry a single CV90 so that is impractical. Perhaps we could talk the Ukraine into re-starting the Anatov line but then we would need crews and we can't seem to recruit enough to maintain our current fleet requirements. Plus if we decided to go that route tomorrow it would be 2030 before the purchase orders could be signed and 2035 before the first aircraft was delivered.
 

MilEME09

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One very serious problem: there are no suitable transport aircraft available. The C17 and the Galaxy are out of production. The A400 could only carry a single CV90 so that is impractical. Perhaps we could talk the Ukraine into re-starting the Anatov line but then we would need crews and we can't seem to recruit enough to maintain our current fleet requirements. Plus if we decided to go that route tomorrow it would be 2030 before the purchase orders could be signed and 2035 before the first aircraft was delivered.
Perhaps that us a niche that could save Canadian aviation manufacturing? A new generation of heavy lift aircraft.
 

PuckChaser

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Perhaps that us a niche that could save Canadian aviation manufacturing? A new generation of heavy lift aircraft.
What's the market for more C-17s? Unless it was a Globemaster IV with some sort of updating done to it, who are we building them for? Those kinds of production lines need hundreds of sales to be profitable...
 

daftandbarmy

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Has anyone taken a good look at BAE's CV90120? Modified CV90 into a light tank compatible with all NATO 120mm ammo, and has a small troop compartment for 2, taking a page from the merkava, a small one though.

Would be interesting to buy a bunch and turn say 12 RBC or the dragoons into an air mobile light tank force.

Having been part of an Airborne Brigade (in the UK) I can tell you that it's possible, but the logistics considerations are astronomical, even when you're not trying to deploy light tanks.

If you have a look at this video at about 00:40, you can see a Scimitar popping out of a Herc:

The British are forced to maintain this capability to meet the needs of various 'out of NATO Area' commitments. Making this possible, even within a brigade context, are hugely costly, and probably well beyond what Canada can justify either financially or, more importantly, strategically.

And CV 90 (23-35 tonnes) is far heavier than the Scimitar (8 tonnes).
 

CBH99

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One very serious problem: there are no suitable transport aircraft available. The C17 and the Galaxy are out of production. The A400 could only carry a single CV90 so that is impractical. Perhaps we could talk the Ukraine into re-starting the Anatov line but then we would need crews and we can't seem to recruit enough to maintain our current fleet requirements. Plus if we decided to go that route tomorrow it would be 2030 before the purchase orders could be signed and 2035 before the first aircraft was delivered.
The US needs to learn the concept of foresight when it comes to shutting down their aircraft production lines.

Between the F-22, the C5, and the C-17... three examples of aircraft the US probably wishes they could buy more of, but can't.

It may be expensive to maintain a production line for an aircraft after the bulk of orders have been fulfilled, I understand that. But at least keep the manufacturing plans & required machining, and have a plan in place to produce a few more at some point if required.


Mind boggling that the world's only superpower, and a country that literally has military forces active all over the globe, doesn't have the ability to currently manufacture cargo/transport aircraft. (The models already in service, that is)
 

FJAG

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Mind boggling that the world's only superpower, and a country that literally has military forces active all over the globe, doesn't have the ability to currently manufacture cargo/transport aircraft. (The models already in service, that is)

The following Wiki extract is not with respect to aircraft but to tank production at the Lima, Ohio plant and sets out some of the issues and costs associated with keeping a major defence production facility "on line"

The Army currently has no plans of permanently closing the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center, JSMC. However, Army officials planned to end U.S. Army tank production at the JSMC between 2015 and 2016 due to the U.S. Army having built the projected number of tanks needed to properly supplement U.S. ground forces, given the current Army Force Structure (which dictates how many vehicles the U.S. Army requires for both active and reserve units; as well as, contingency storage in case additional vehicles are needed in time of war. In 2011, the U.S. Army was able to convince Congress that it still required further tank production, so in 2013, the United States Congress funded the production of additional tanks (at a specified cost of ~$270M each). [FJAG aside - I think this number is an error on some poster's misinterpreting cost - an actual cost for an M1 is around 8-10 million) These additional tanks however are currently slated to be put into storage until a time the U.S. Army requires them to supplement their forces. This latest Congressional order specifies the creation of ~200 "brand new" tanks to be placed in reserve storage, in accordance to the U.S. Army reducing it's strategic number of tanks required for active duty. This supplemented number of new tanks is in addition to the ~4000 tanks already in storage across the nation. Along with the ~200 Abrams ordered by Congress, the plant simultaneously produced Israeli Namer APC chasis and Abrams Foreign Military tanks, during the allotted time frame. The Army considered a layaway of the plant if there production met it's quota before 2017; in addition to reallocating unused equipment. General Dynamics Land Systems, which currently operates the government owned factory, opposed the closure, arguing that suspension of operations would 'increase long-term costs' and 'reduce flexibility'.[8][9] Recapitalization efforts during the Iraq War have resulted in the youngest fleet age in the history of the Abrams program. The average age of any given Abrams tank within U.S. Army service is less than two years. Proposed efforts of decommissioning the plant are estimated to cost around $380 million, with an additional $1.3 billion needed to restart production after such a diminishing if required at a later date.[10] A bill which passed in the U.S. Senate, allocated $272 million in funds toward the plant to facilitate its continuation of regular operations through July 2014. However, GDLS continues to lobby for an additional $180M.[11]

In December 2016 a new funding program of $1.2 billion was allocated for the production of the Abrams tank and Stryker armored vehicle to be built at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima. As of July 2018, the factory was producing 11 Abrams tanks a month.[2] During a trip to Ohio, President Donald Trump visited the plant on March 20, 2019, where he gave a speech affirming his commitment to keeping the plant up and running.[12] The Army announced in early 2019 that it would spend ~$714 million to upgrade the M1A1 Abrams at the plant.[13]

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