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HAPC based on Leopard Chassis

GR66

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Question to the armoured folks on the forum. Would it be possible to convert a Leopard 2 hull into a heavy APC? I know that in the past some countries have "reversed" the hulls of tanks with engines in the rear to convert them to HAPCs with the troops housed in what was formerly the front of the tank. Would there be enough room in the hull to create a crew compartment? How many troops do you think such a vehicle would be able to transport? I searched the interwebs for any mention of a Leopard APC conversion but couldn't find anything.

I can't see Canada finding the money to purchase a tracked AFV when we already have the domestically produced LAVs, but maybe a conversion of existing hulls (presumably performed by a Canadian company) might be something that could be supported? Is there much difference between the mechanical systems of the 2A4's and the 2A6's, or would we be dealing with basically different chassis to support between the tanks and a theoretical HAPC?

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medic5

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Is it in our interest to convert any of our 80 or so Leopard 2s into HAPCs? We either would destroy the remnants of our tank force, or build an insignificant number of HAPCs that makes the whole endeavour pointless.
 

GR66

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Is it in our interest to convert any of our 80 or so Leopard 2s into HAPCs? We either would destroy the remnants of our tank force, or build an insignificant number of HAPCs that makes the whole endeavour pointless.
There could be the option of getting some surplus vehicles from other nations to convert.
 

MilEME09

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It would require a lot of changes to the hull, moving the engine forward for example, changing the armour layout to accommodate the troop compartment, would be a very different vehicle by the time changes were made
 

Colin Parkinson

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The Leopard 2 or the Leopard C2? You could do it with C2 hulls, gut it and modify the front of the hull to take the final drives and the engine pack, but your development costs would be eyewatering.
 

RedFive

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I would argue it would be vastly more cost effective to buy a proven system designed from the outset for such a role, like the Puma and CV90's that were looked at but ultimately not purchased, or the Merkava derived Namer, which the Israeli's designed after finding the M113 lacking.

I suspect, though, another bespoke fleet of armoured vehicles is more than we can sustain in a cost/benefit analysis.

I'm sure folks with vastly more experience than I with meaningful armoured vehicles will be along shortly to state as much.
 

medic5

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The Namer is well suited for Israel because the majority of the combat they will be in is urban thus necessitating greater protection, and since all their conflicts are very close to their industrial areas, logistics is not an issue. The CAF is expeditionary; we have different needs.

My opinion on this is to slowly shift to the US standard since we have very similar purpose and requirements of our militaries, and since we will always be fighting the same wars it would vastly simplify logistics. Then again, with our financial situation I'd bet we are stuck with what we have until it literally fails or we get into another war like Afghanistan.
 

FJAG

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My opinion on this is to slowly shift to the US standard since we have very similar purpose and requirements of our militaries, and since we will always be fighting the same wars it would vastly simplify logistics. Then again, with our financial situation I'd bet we are stuck with what we have until it literally fails or we get into another war like Afghanistan.

That's always been my view. We already have relatively new (and improved "Strykers" in the LAV6.0 and should keep them for at least one brigade as a medium force while 1 CMBG (and IMHO at least one, preferably two, reserve brigade(s)) should be equipped as heavy brigades. There's a new project in the works under the "Big Six" to equip the US Army with a Next Generation Combat Vehicle which we should buy into and in the meantime could probably rent or borrow sufficient M2s (and even M1s and Paladins) for use here and in Larvia.

🍻
 

Fishbone Jones

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Don't convert anything. Just get Merkavas. They are already designed to carry 8 infanteers in the rear. Plus you keep all the tank features.
 

Underway

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Don't convert anything. Just get Merkavas. They are already designed to carry 8 infanteers in the rear. Plus you keep all the tank features.
And use them where? They are too big to be shipped on a train and are definitely too big to fit into our heavy-lift aircraft. That leaves basing them in Halifax or Vancouver, driving them onto a ship and then sailing them to the conflict area, offloading them, and driving them to the conflict area.

As for the heavy APC concept, I'm theoretically a huge fan for Canada. But the realities of war are showing the massive vulnerabilities armour has to UAV's, particularly when combined with indirect fire or guided weapons. How long would an HAPC last in an environment with loitering munitions?

If I were to make the requirements for an HAPC I would recommend a clean-sheet build, with the same powerpack, tracks and suspension as a Leo 2A6. As many parts as possible being the same, but the entire chassis upgraded and changed to be a troop carrier. Full 10 man section to be carried with 3 man crew (that might make it too large but hey, sections are supposed to be 10 right?)

The crew should be firewalled away from the troop compartment in the event of a penetration. The weapon should be a 30mm RWS or a twin 40mm/50 cal RWS. Active protection system. Equivalent armour to Leo 2 or greater on front and sides. With the lack of an armoured turret, there will be some weight savings to add to armour (though volume wise an APC will be bigger in size because it has to carry more people). The extra armour should go onto places that are traditional weak spots for tanks. Belly and top.
 

medic5

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I genuinely think slowly switching everything we have to American would simplify our procurement immensely. Canada can never buy enough of any vehicle for any company to build exclusively for us, meaning we would need to purchase an existing design. In that case, our needs are the same as the US. Buy or lease or borrow anything the US procures, and we just mirror their upgrades.

But that will never happen, since politics dictate made in Canada.
 

dangerboy

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There are some issues with relying on purchasing equipment that the US forces have. The major one is ITAR and the US has to agree to sell it and some of their equipment they don't allow foreign sales or if they do it will be a previous generation.

Plus as you mentioned the CAF has to follow treasury board regulations with PSCP involvement in major contracts, we sometimes forget that and it bites us in the ass.
 

MilEME09

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There are some issues with relying on purchasing equipment that the US forces have. The major one is ITAR and the US has to agree to sell it and some of their equipment they don't allow foreign sales or if they do it will be a previous generation.

Plus as you mentioned the CAF has to follow treasury board regulations with PSCP involvement in major contracts, we sometimes forget that and it bites us in the ass.
Except the odd sole source, frankly we should just keep buying LAVs.
 

GR66

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Thanks for the feedback everyone. Heavy APCs (rather than battle taxis) are something that is often mentioned as a missing piece of the Army puzzle and I was curious if there might be a (reasonably) affordable way to fill that gap without a new offshore procurement program (which is highly unlikely in the current political/economic climate).
 

Colin Parkinson

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Canada may have a need for an HAPC in the future but for now what we need is a tracked family of vehicles with a IFV, ARV, Command, and SPG to accompany the Leopards.
 

Underway

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Thanks for the feedback everyone. Heavy APCs (rather than battle taxis) are something that is often mentioned as a missing piece of the Army puzzle and I was curious if there might be a (reasonably) affordable way to fill that gap without a new offshore procurement program (which is highly unlikely in the current political/economic climate).
There is a reason only one country in the world is building HAPC's. I think if you did like Australia and got a Lynx sort of situation that's probably the best for armoured protection in an IFV/APC that currently exists.

As @Colin Parkinson pointed out there are lots of other holes that we know work, that the army is missing and should be prioritized.
 

GR66

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Canada may have a need for an HAPC in the future but for now what we need is a tracked family of vehicles with a IFV, ARV, Command, and SPG to accompany the Leopards.
I'd put the chance of Canada purchasing a new family of tracked armoured vehicles somewhere between slim to none.

I think we should accept that we're going to be primarily a LAV-based Army for the foreseeable future.
 

MilEME09

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I'd put the chance of Canada purchasing a new family of tracked armoured vehicles somewhere between slim to none.

I think we should accept that we're going to be primarily a LAV-based Army for the foreseeable future.
Judging by Force 2025 and beyond policy documents and such, yes but thats a good thing. More LAV variants, we push to buy more, heck maybe eventually the reserves will get to use them. Anything is possible if the support is there.
 
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