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HAPC based on Leopard Chassis

Ostrozac

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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.
We considered that option, and rejected it in 2013 when the Close Combat Vehicle project was cancelled. That cancellation has probably killed tracked IFVs in the Canadian Army for a generation.
 

Jarnhamar

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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.
My interests are company minus so I'm biased and uneducated in the bigger picture.

When I think about conflicts we've actually been in in the last 40 years, and where we've actually lost people to the enemy, I don't see keeping up with tanks as a major concern. We used tanks in the river runs in Afghanistan, but they had to stick with the LAVs and RG31s and support vehicles.

We're hurting for numbers and it's only going to get worse as the sexual misconduct crusade continues. Priority should be protecting our people in an environment we'll most likely see ourselves in next. Dealing with insurgents. Throw ATGMs on an HAPC (HIFV?) to deal with armored threats.
 

Colin Parkinson

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That's the rub for Canada, we will always first and foremost be an expeditionary army. Imagine going back in time to 2000 and tell the senior command that we would be engaged in a decade of combat in Central Asia and taking casualties on a regular basis, you be laughed out of the room. Same with a Cold war 2.0 in Latvia. We can't really plan well for the next conflict, so it's better to prepare a army that can can meet all potentiel threats, so a heavy brigade with mostly tracks and a "light brigade" based around the LAV. I can't really call it a light brigade as the LAV 6 is anything but light.
 

FJAG

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My interests are company minus so I'm biased and uneducated in the bigger picture.

When I think about conflicts we've actually been in in the last 40 years, and where we've actually lost people to the enemy, I don't see keeping up with tanks as a major concern. We used tanks in the river runs in Afghanistan, but they had to stick with the LAVs and RG31s and support vehicles.

We're hurting for numbers and it's only going to get worse as the sexual misconduct crusade continues. Priority should be protecting our people in an environment we'll most likely see ourselves in next. Dealing with insurgents. Throw ATGMs on an HAPC (HIFV?) to deal with armored threats.

That's the rub for Canada, we will always first and foremost be an expeditionary army. Imagine going back in time to 2000 and tell the senior command that we would be engaged in a decade of combat in Central Asia and taking casualties on a regular basis, you be laughed out of the room. Same with a Cold war 2.0 in Latvia. We can't really plan well for the next conflict, so it's better to prepare a army that can can meet all potentiel threats, so a heavy brigade with mostly tracks and a "light brigade" based around the LAV. I can't really call it a light brigade as the LAV 6 is anything but light.

We've discussed these issues before and you know where I come from.

We could easily form a "light brigade" without LAVs, a "mech brigade" with LAV 6.0s and no tanks and a "heavy brigade" with LAV 6.0s and tanks assuming we could get the proper artillery, ATGMs and air defence and newer enablers of various types to go with them. The problem we currently have is the fetish for symmetric brigades and the managed readiness program which has made the CAF the jack of all trades and the master of none with a guarantee that 2/3 of the force is "not ready" to deploy.

I don't like LAV 6.0s as IFV with tanks but its better than nothing and available right now.

I frankly don't care about the wars of the last 40 years. The issue is future conflicts and the need to plan for them. I think that we can plan. More importantly we MUST plan. The simple fact that we have a potential for possible missions at different scales of the spectrum dictates that we have a forces prepared and trained for each eventuality.

Simply put, if we wish to avoid future conflicts, we need to present a credible deterrent and as it stands the CAF doesn't do that. What the CAF are is a bloated bureaucracy with a limited defence capability which wastes the government's funds being spent on it. We need to shed the administrative overhead to provide more capital funds for equipment and for operations and maintenance.

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Colin Parkinson

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Yes you can use the LAV 6 with the tanks, but you put a leash on them to do so and yes it's about all we can do for now. The problem of being tossed into a unknown fight at a unknown time is that you must do more than plan, you must be equipped and prepared. So the high/low mix gives you an immediate ability to respond and time for an organized army to get it's act together and prepare the follow up forces. The heavy fight is either going to be a scenario like the Israeli/Arab short and sharp wars or a Ukraine style conflict with heavy weapons and occasional flare ups with cease fire induced lulls as each side preps for the next round. The "light fight" we currently have a decent handle on thanks to Afghanistan. We are lacking some elements for it to an extent, but we would have enough to start and time to ramp up with more equipment and training. In the heavy fight, we are currently a liability for any force commander and likley be used for flank security or guarding logistical hubs or a desperate reserve.
 

Kirkhill

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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 can't accept the tail (tanks) wagging the dog (Army).

The tanks are there to support the Army given the numbers involved. We don't have enough tanks to mass. We have to use them in penny packets as tracked and armoured MGSs.

You are going to have to rely on your commanders not employing you where your LAVs will be over-matched.
 

FJAG

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I can't accept the tail (tanks) wagging the dog (Army).

The tanks are there to support the Army given the numbers involved. We don't have enough tanks to mass. We have to use them in penny packets as tracked and armoured MGSs.

You are going to have to rely on your commanders not employing you where your LAVs will be over-matched.

I tend to disagree. The moment we accepted the task in Latvia we had an obligation to our troops there to equip them properly.

We currently have enough tanks to create at least one combined arms battlegroup of two rifle companies and two tank squadrons (like the US combined arms battalion) We might even be able to push out two of those (depending on how many tanks you hold back for trg and maintenance). It's the LAVs, anti armour and the artillery that's the weak point, not the tanks.

In Latvia the battle group that we are leading has five manoeuvre companies which include the equivalent of two squadrons of Leopard II, Ariete and T72ish tanks. IFVs include tracked Dardos, Pizzaros, BMP2s and the wheeled Freccia and our LAV 6.0s. Artillery is Latvian M109s (as well as some of our M777s). So the answer to the question of are tanks necessary has already been answered by the fact that we are already operationally deployed in a combined arms organization albeit an eclectic one.

Canada needs to get its collective head out of its collective butt and realize, like our allies do, that proper deterrence in Europe needs a combined arms presence (and yes, it needs a whole lot of other next generation and multi domain stuff as well, but combined arms is once again a big part of the package) There's still a role for a light or medium LAV equipped force for missions other than Europe, but as long as we're there it behooves us to get the right equipment to our troops there. LAV 6.0s and M777s are minimal and not optimal.

I tend to agree with respect to penny packets. Having had the Canadian combat team commanders' course and been a FOO with the Germans on a number of battle group live fire battle runs I tend to shy away from combat teams of a mixed troop or two of tanks and a platoon or two of infantry in a company-sized team and favour a combined arms battle group where you have several full tank squadrons working with several full armoured infantry companies as a single force. The former is penny packeting, the latter is not and the latter is well within our ability to form if we decide to do so. The trouble is we tend to continuously and deliberately make ourselves less effective than we could be by shedding necessary capabilities and doctrine.

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Underway

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We considered that option, and rejected it in 2013 when the Close Combat Vehicle project was cancelled. That cancellation has probably killed tracked IFVs in the Canadian Army for a generation.
The Close Combat Vehicle project was track/wheeled agnostic. They didn't care which one was the solution. And the decision ended up being that the LAV 6 would meet the requirements. Likely it would meet the most important requirements in that it kept GM in London working (and save 3 billion or so).
 

Underway

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I tend to disagree. The moment we accepted the task in Latvia we had an obligation to our troops there to equip them properly.

So given that argument, I would ask for a bit of a thought experiment from you.

In general, ignoring any gaps in Canadian capability would an HAPC be useful/worth it against what's arrayed against it in Latvia? Assume something like a Leo level of armour with the LAV 6 current loadout (7 in back, 3 crew, same/similar turret capabilities). What are the pro's and con's of such a system?

What would a HAPC be used for that another regular tracked APC could not do? Is there a mission/role for it? How would it fit into doctrine?
 

FJAG

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The Close Combat Vehicle project was track/wheeled agnostic. They didn't care which one was the solution. And the decision ended up being that the LAV 6 would meet the requirements. Likely it would meet the most important requirements in that it kept GM in London working (and save 3 billion or so).
Somewhat correct. While the specs were agnostic, the clear favourite and expected winner was tracked. The LAV 6.0 was not in the running as it didn't exist at the time. The LAVIII was also not in the running because its armour was too light and the floorboard was flat and a casualty producer. The GM factor was a big one especially when they through out the LAV 6.0 mine resistant configuration and more protection. Also Leslie had just left as the CLS and the cabal that followed him were LAV convers who by 2013 had already forgotten all the lessons that Medusa had taught in blood.

So given that argument, I would ask for a bit of a thought experiment from you.

In general, ignoring any gaps in Canadian capability would an HAPC be useful/worth it against what's arrayed against it in Latvia? Assume something like a Leo level of armour with the LAV 6 current loadout (7 in back, 3 crew, same/similar turret capabilities). What are the pro's and con's of such a system?

What would a HAPC be used for that another regular tracked APC could not do? Is there a mission/role for it? How would it fit into doctrine?

The only benefit that I see in the HAPV concept is component compatibility to a certain extent with its tank brother - I would go a step further and put SPs and anything tracked on the same chassis. That said, after you move the engine you basically have a different vehicle other than the running gear and the power pack and whatever you build on top and the room you make for dismounts is entirely up to you. I personally prefer eight dismounts and a crew of three with both a canon and an ATGM capability. Using the tank chassis can lead to high fuel consumption so I personally would prefer a somewhat lighter and more agile chassis which would form the basis of all tracked support vehicles as well as the IFV.

I keep saying that I really don't dislike the LAV 6.0 that much. It has its purposes but for close combat with tanks, I consider it too lightly armoured, not maneuverable enough to keep up, has too high a profile and doesn't have an ATGM capability. As a mech battle taxi in a "Stryker" like formation I like it just fine.

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Colin Parkinson

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The Close Combat Vehicle project was track/wheeled agnostic. They didn't care which one was the solution. And the decision ended up being that the LAV 6 would meet the requirements. Likely it would meet the most important requirements in that it kept GM in London working (and save 3 billion or so).
Whoever came up with the non-tracked idea for that vehicle selection should be doomed to digging out hulks out of the mud with a shovel for the rest of eternity.
 

CBH99

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I know a lot of what has been discussed in this thread overlaps discussions in other threads.

However, I do believe that given the size of our Army and our budget, especially moving forwards Post-COVID, we should decide what kind of force we could excel at being, and focusing on absolutely excelling at it.

Could we do one light, one medium, and one heavy brigade with a decent reorganization? Absolutely. It wouldn't even cost much money to be honest, with the exception of some enablers that need to come down the pipe anyway. (ATGMs, AD, etc.)


But, lacking the aggressive transformational mindset of the USMC or Royal Marines, and not preparing for a specific conflict - I think we should focus on being top notch in 'light' or 'medium' operations, with what we have.

The HAPC asset may be extremely useful in some situations, but we need to ask ourselves the questions asked previously. Would they be used often enough to justify the cost? How could we deploy them since they can't really be transported via air or rail? Is it a capability that is required in the near future? etc etc
 

Colin Parkinson

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Only the Israelis use HAPC's in any number, you could argue the Russian are the other users, but how many are they actually using is hard to say at this moment. I would be happy with a tracked family of AFV that include an IFV and several other variants like a ARV, Ambulance, Command, APC, SPG, etc. I so wish our military had taken the German offer of Leopard 2 and Marders when they closed Shilo.
 

CBH99

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I can't google too much at the moment, but mind sharing a quick summary of the offer??
 

Colin Parkinson

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No offer, just a question on the value of a HAPC to Canada using existing chassis's. The HAPC came out of a need by the IDF to fight in Urban areas and constricted terrain of Southern Lebanon against RPG/IED and ATGM using enemy with limited manoeuvre options. Protecting soldiers is a very high priority for them and they have resisted the urge to make it a magic unicorn do everything vehicle, which i think is a good thing. From my reading there is currently 2 types in service a HAPC version and Combat Engineer version with a IFV version as well, but not sure if that has been fielded?
Namer - Wikipedia
 

GR66

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1) No HAPC - too expensive/niche/difficult to deploy.

2) No tracked IFV's - no money/political will

3) No increase in the size of the Army - see #2 (above)

So we're left with 6 x Medium LAV Battalions and 3 x Light Infantry Battalions both of which are missing key support elements for a peer fight.

If doctrinally are LAVs should be used as armoured transport to for troops who will fight dismounted, then in reality we actually have 9 x Light Infantry Battalions but only enough transport for six of them.

I'm curious what unique role is envisioned for the Light Battalions in a peer fight that couldn't be done by dismounted LAV Battalions?

The parachute companies could undertake an airborne assault I guess, but I can't see us using them for dropping right in a combat zone. Both because I doubt we'd be willing to risk our limited transport aircraft so close to the front and because without much better support weapons than we have and aerial re-supply they'd likely be quickly overwhelmed by a mechanized opponent.

They could be used to secure a port or airfield a safe distance away from enemy air defence systems, but would we have enough airlift capacity to deploy and supply an airborne Battalion at a forward location (presumably at the same time we're trying to mobilize and deploy/support our heavier follow-on forces)? If a company-sized deployment is more realistic is that really a large enough force for such a task? And does our airborne capability have to be in our Light Battalions? Is there any reason our LAV Battalions couldn't maintain airborne companies instead?

The reason I ask is that if there isn't a realistic useful role that our Light Battalions can make in a peer conflict then is it worthwhile looking at ways to re-role those PY's where they can be more useful?

Could some or all of those PY's be shifted into some of our missing capabilities (SHORAD, artillery of various sorts - guns, mortars, rockets, missiles, loitering munitions, etc. - electronic warfare, logistics, mobility enhancement, TacHel, etc.)?

Or could we save enough PYs by trimming HQ overhead to be able to afford mounting all 9 x Battalions in LAVs?
 

Jarnhamar

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The parachute companies could undertake an airborne assault I guess,
I'm not sure how effective a parachute company would be on its own. Each battalion would have to rob from the other companies in the bn to field a full-strength jump company.
If we dropped anything larger than a company strength we would be drawing on 3 companies who never worked together before from 3 different regiments.


And does our airborne capability have to be in our Light Battalions? Is there any reason our LAV Battalions couldn't maintain airborne companies instead?
Not enough time to split between doing qualification and proficiency training for both I'd say.
 

blacktriangle

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The reason I ask is that if there isn't a realistic useful role that our Light Battalions can make in a peer conflict then is it worthwhile looking at ways to re-role those PY's where they can be more useful?

Could some or all of those PY's be shifted into some of our missing capabilities (SHORAD, artillery of various sorts - guns, mortars, rockets, missiles, loitering munitions, etc. - electronic warfare, logistics, mobility enhancement, TacHel, etc.)?
Somehow I doubt getting rid of Light Bns solves all those other problems. Light Forces could have a role in peer conflict, but as you say the CAF simply lacks so much that I doubt any of our forces are really that "useful" without allies. That's more on the CAF as a whole than light forces themselves. But it's a valid question. Perhaps they can be used to enable/support LRPF, employ ATGM and other systems in defence etc...

There's also other stuff that light forces can do - NEO, Arctic response, Training/Partner capacity building missions.

So I suppose before I'd be getting rid of Light Forces, I'd be asking how I could make them better, and more relevant. I'd ask the same for the LAV-based units.

Edited to add: Perhaps Jarnhamar or someone can answer this - has their been any talk of giving folks from Light Bn's foreign language courses? Obviously a huge investment in time & money, but if there were a few areas we plan to keep going time after time...
 
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