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HAPC based on Leopard Chassis

SeaKingTacco

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I think there is actually a thread somewhere here in army.ca where we discussed just standardizing an infantry section, platoon and company. This would mean that the manner in which they got to battle (on foot, truck, helicopter, airplane, LAV or ship) would not matter. In a LAV Bn, the LAVs would be centralized into a LAV coy and assigned to the rifle companies as needed.

More importantly, Reserve Infantry sections, platoons and companies would become essentially plug and play with a Reg F Bn.
 

daftandbarmy

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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.



Not enough time to split between doing qualification and proficiency training for both I'd say.

Anyone can field an Airborne Coy/ Sqn. Parachuting is just the delivery vehicle.

Engineers were amongst the first paratroopers, for example, which the Belgian forts didn't appreciate much :)

But history shows that if you want your airborne organizations to be a) useful and b) survive, they should be all arms units because: Ad Unum Omnes.

Depending on the tasks assigned, Infantry only units that jump are not Airborne, they're potential road pizza :)
 

Underway

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So based on the discussion here we seem to have come to the conclusion that a HAPC is

a) too expensive and logistically challenging for Canada's expeditionary forces
b) money is better spent on other capabilities
c) the conversation is swerving into another thread on Army (re)organization ;)
 

SeaKingTacco

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So based on the discussion here we seem to have come to the conclusion that a HAPC is

a) too expensive and logistically challenging for Canada's expeditionary forces
b) money is better spent on other capabilities
c) the conversation is swerving into another thread on Army (re)organization ;)
Well, since you put it that way, Yes.
 

CBH99

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Staying on this particular topic, my quick 2 cents without giving into the temptation to ramble on (as I sometimes do...ahem) about Army transformation.

- HAPC isn’t too complex for us. Just not ideal to make a zombie HAPC out of a chassis not really designed for it. (Broadly speaking, I know there are examples out there of this being done successfully.)

- HAPC is difficult to transport. Right up there with MBT’s. Just getting them to theatre would be a hassle logistically. (Have to travel by ship, unless we want to fly over one at a time.)

- Is the cost of acquiring this type of vehicle justified given how often it would be deployed? (Barring another Afghanistan style commitment). Personally I think not.

- While deploying in an allied scenario (with allies that actually engage the enemy and aren’t handicapped by absurd caveats) - is something similar to this already being brought to the fight?


The initial question is a good one! I would say no to using the Leopard 2 chassis as a basis for this though, for the reasons already mentioned. Fun question tho 😊👍🏻
 

Kirkhill

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I wish we would eliminate the concept of the Infantry Fighting Vehicle. It only gets infanteers killed. Transport the infantry separately from vehicles fighting the enemy.

As SKT is probably aware I am one of those that has been convinced by the standardized infantry platoon solution he described.

I also support FJAG's position that we need a resilient, flexible response that puts more emphasis on reserved capabilities - although we clash on the details.

Underway has it right on "Where would we use an HAPC?" Colin argues, with many others that we need tracked vehicles to keep up with our (very small) fleet of tanks. But I would counter that the issue is that our tanks can't keep up with our LAVs. And neither can keep up with our infantry. Nor can our guns and engineers.

Strategically Canada can respond anywhere in a couple of days with infantry and/or Special Forces.
Operationally, once the LAVs catch up to the infantry and arrive in a month or so, if we're lucky, then the infantry can roam at large within the theatre.
Tactically, when the infantry in their LAVs encounter the enemy they then need to dismount and dash-down-observe-sights-fire and wait for fire support.

Whence cometh the support?

The tanks aren't there yet - because although they came across on the same boat as the LAV they can't roam as widely as the LAVs when on their tracks. And they require wheeled transporters to get them closer to the threat once the LAV transported infantry engages.

Guns, especially tracked SPHs, suffer from the same drawbacks as tanks - ameliorated to an extent by the longer ranges of their guns.
Wheeled SPHs would be a better match for the LAV army. It would be capable of accompanying the LAVs both strategically and operationally. And it would share the same tactical limitations as the LAV mounted infantry - ameliorated to an extent by the longer ranges of their guns.

And once you get launchers of that "caliber" into the field then a myriad of options become available for air delivery. Depending primarily on how close the launcher needs to be to the engaged infantry.

The one launch system that is flexible strategically, operationally and tactically is the fixed wing asset. Things like F35s.

Rotary assets are comparable to LAVs, guns and tanks in terms of their strategic, operational and tactical mobility. - ameliorated by their ability to launch from ships.

So, from my perspective, I suggest we have established a Light - Heavy dichotomy.

We have a strategically limited, operationally flexible, tactically limited Heavy force based on the LAV that can support an enduring presence temporarily in a limited number of locations.

We also have a poorly exploited strategically flexible, operationally limited, tactically limited Light force possibility that could deploy widely in small numbers and work with existing and future naval and air assets to export Canada.

The LAV option - frankly - is a nice to have capability. It is something we should have. It is not something we must have. We don't have to deploy to defend Canada. And we don't need LAVs or Tanks or a large infantry force to defend Canada either.

Our biggest problem is that few believe that we will find a domestic threat sufficient to justify spending 20 billion dollars a year on an infantry force backed by tanks, guns, dozers, trucks, helos, aircraft, satellites, ships and radios.

We can't even convince ourselves that Canada is defensible. At least not with an infantry-centric force.

The Defence of Canada could be quite adequately handled by a force centred on SigInt, Satellites, UAVs and other unmanned sensors, patrol and recce-strike aircraft and the Rangers backed by a small infantry-centric force transportable by existing fixed and rotary wing assets. Adding a constabulary navy of large OPVs with flat decks would cover the EEZ. A small blue water navy to cover our approaches is also justifiable.

Artillery is becoming a more viable asset to add to the defence of Canada in that its Area of Influence is expanding well beyond the tactical and past the operational to the strategic - challenging its child, the RCAF, in those areas.

WW1 created Sam Hughes's Infantry and Vimy cemented the institution. But does Canada need an infantry-centric force? Is it something it must have? Is it even something it should have?

Why this wander when the topic is HAPCs?

Because we focus on equipping a capability that, arguably, has marginal utility in the Canadian context.

And with that conundrum at the heart of the institution we can't cogently argue a definitive plan which we can sell to ourselves and our fellow citizens and their representatives.

And in the absence of such a plan, and a clear, marketable vision of the immutable needs, rather than the transitory wants, then our industries can't figure out how to anticipate our needs, their opportunities and risk their capital to devise tools for us. Tools that are potentially valuable exports.

But until we (and I take the liberty of including myself in this discussion) can sort out a plan we all believe in, and can price it and can sell it then we will continue to be considered an afterthought.

Sort out how we defend Canada first. And focus on the needs for accomplishing that in the cheapest form possible.

Then we can't start arguing, from a solid base, about the advantages and costs of an expeditionary capability.

Red River, Northwest, Oka

The Pig War, Dixon's Channel, The Angle, Clams have legs.

South Africa, WWI, WWII, Korea, Germany, Cyprus, Yugoslavia, Somalia, Rwanda, Afghanistan.

Should or Must?
 

Colin Parkinson

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I think your going find a lot of scenario`s where the LAV`s can`t go, which is where the tanks in Afghanistan came into play, they could take routes that the Taliban did not anticipate. The LAV 6 means you have tracked vehicle weight on wheels. The reality is you need a combination of them. If we were going to Mali, then yes the wheeled AFV comes into it`s own and even then your going to need wheeled AFV`s that are lighter than the LAV'6. Your right about the lack of support once they get where they are going, at the moment that is going to a problem for wheeled or tracked. Back to the OP.
If we were stationed as a combat force in Lebanon, I would certainly be arguing for HAPC's and lots of engineering vehicles. If I was the IDF repeating my attacks into Southern Lebanon, I would use my engineering assests to create a new route through the first 10km to allow my tanks and HAPC's to by pass the majority of Hezbollah's defences and ambushes, then come at them from the rear forcing them into the open to be picked off.
You can use tanks and HAPC in Mali as well, but they would be kept near large urban areas as part of a QRF to protect critical infrastructure. Freeing up the wheeled vehicles to hunt insurgents in the vast open areas.
 

CBH99

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I wish we would eliminate the concept of the Infantry Fighting Vehicle. It only gets infanteers killed. Transport the infantry separately from vehicles fighting the enemy.

As SKT is probably aware I am one of those that has been convinced by the standardized infantry platoon solution he described.

I also support FJAG's position that we need a resilient, flexible response that puts more emphasis on reserved capabilities - although we clash on the details.

Underway has it right on "Where would we use an HAPC?" Colin argues, with many others that we need tracked vehicles to keep up with our (very small) fleet of tanks. But I would counter that the issue is that our tanks can't keep up with our LAVs. And neither can keep up with our infantry. Nor can our guns and engineers.

Strategically Canada can respond anywhere in a couple of days with infantry and/or Special Forces.
Operationally, once the LAVs catch up to the infantry and arrive in a month or so, if we're lucky, then the infantry can roam at large within the theatre.
Tactically, when the infantry in their LAVs encounter the enemy they then need to dismount and dash-down-observe-sights-fire and wait for fire support.

Whence cometh the support?

The tanks aren't there yet - because although they came across on the same boat as the LAV they can't roam as widely as the LAVs when on their tracks. And they require wheeled transporters to get them closer to the threat once the LAV transported infantry engages.

Guns, especially tracked SPHs, suffer from the same drawbacks as tanks - ameliorated to an extent by the longer ranges of their guns.
Wheeled SPHs would be a better match for the LAV army. It would be capable of accompanying the LAVs both strategically and operationally. And it would share the same tactical limitations as the LAV mounted infantry - ameliorated to an extent by the longer ranges of their guns.

And once you get launchers of that "caliber" into the field then a myriad of options become available for air delivery. Depending primarily on how close the launcher needs to be to the engaged infantry.

The one launch system that is flexible strategically, operationally and tactically is the fixed wing asset. Things like F35s.

Rotary assets are comparable to LAVs, guns and tanks in terms of their strategic, operational and tactical mobility. - ameliorated by their ability to launch from ships.

So, from my perspective, I suggest we have established a Light - Heavy dichotomy.

We have a strategically limited, operationally flexible, tactically limited Heavy force based on the LAV that can support an enduring presence temporarily in a limited number of locations.

We also have a poorly exploited strategically flexible, operationally limited, tactically limited Light force possibility that could deploy widely in small numbers and work with existing and future naval and air assets to export Canada.

The LAV option - frankly - is a nice to have capability. It is something we should have. It is not something we must have. We don't have to deploy to defend Canada. And we don't need LAVs or Tanks or a large infantry force to defend Canada either.

Our biggest problem is that few believe that we will find a domestic threat sufficient to justify spending 20 billion dollars a year on an infantry force backed by tanks, guns, dozers, trucks, helos, aircraft, satellites, ships and radios.

We can't even convince ourselves that Canada is defensible. At least not with an infantry-centric force.

The Defence of Canada could be quite adequately handled by a force centred on SigInt, Satellites, UAVs and other unmanned sensors, patrol and recce-strike aircraft and the Rangers backed by a small infantry-centric force transportable by existing fixed and rotary wing assets. Adding a constabulary navy of large OPVs with flat decks would cover the EEZ. A small blue water navy to cover our approaches is also justifiable.

Artillery is becoming a more viable asset to add to the defence of Canada in that its Area of Influence is expanding well beyond the tactical and past the operational to the strategic - challenging its child, the RCAF, in those areas.

WW1 created Sam Hughes's Infantry and Vimy cemented the institution. But does Canada need an infantry-centric force? Is it something it must have? Is it even something it should have?

Why this wander when the topic is HAPCs?

Because we focus on equipping a capability that, arguably, has marginal utility in the Canadian context.

And with that conundrum at the heart of the institution we can't cogently argue a definitive plan which we can sell to ourselves and our fellow citizens and their representatives.

And in the absence of such a plan, and a clear, marketable vision of the immutable needs, rather than the transitory wants, then our industries can't figure out how to anticipate our needs, their opportunities and risk their capital to devise tools for us. Tools that are potentially valuable exports.

But until we (and I take the liberty of including myself in this discussion) can sort out a plan we all believe in, and can price it and can sell it then we will continue to be considered an afterthought.

Sort out how we defend Canada first. And focus on the needs for accomplishing that in the cheapest form possible.

Then we can't start arguing, from a solid base, about the advantages and costs of an expeditionary capability.

Red River, Northwest, Oka

The Pig War, Dixon's Channel, The Angle, Clams have legs.

South Africa, WWI, WWII, Korea, Germany, Cyprus, Yugoslavia, Somalia, Rwanda, Afghanistan.

Should or Must?
Excellent post. I quite enjoyed the read :)

My only counter is near the end, but it isn’t HAPC related and is really just semantics.

I agree that the best way to defend Canada is in the form of satellites, underwater sensor grids, LRPA, and planes that can attack targets if need be. (In theory, the LRPA should have the capability to prosecute a target on its own.)

Our military, however, really does only serve 2 broad functions:

- Protect and serve Canadians at home, and assist them globally in times of need.

- Execute the government’s foreign policy when other means fail. (I’ve always shook my head that our government doesn’t realize that when they strip capabilities from the military, they are only limiting their own options) 🤦🏼‍♂️

While focusing on ‘defending the homeland first’ makes logical sense, our geography and foreign policy dictate we focus on expeditionary capabilities.

0.02
 

Kirkhill

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Back to the OP.
If we were stationed stationary as a combat force in Lebanon, I would certainly be arguing for HAPC's and lots of engineering vehicles

That's the whole point. We aren't in Lebanon.

And I agree with the limitations of the LAV. So, to be fair to the troops we assign to it, shouldn't we limit our commitments to those that the LAV can safely undertake? Those dreaded caveat thingies.

In my opinion there is nothing wrong with saying: we can't do that because we don't have the kit.
 

Kirkhill

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While focusing on ‘defending the homeland first’ makes logical sense, our geography and foreign policy dictate we focus on expeditionary capabilities.

But that means that we don't require a Department of Defence. We need a Department of Olfence. AKA a Department of War.
 

CBH99

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The only country - to my knowledge anyway - that has an HAPC capability as part of its common vehicle load out is Israel, and I imagine their geography is the only thing that allows for it.

Even the US hasn’t gone down that road (although they may somewhat with their Future Combat Vehicle family).

For most countries, it just isn’t practical

0.02
 

CBH99

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But that means that we don't require a Department of Defence. We need a Department of Olfence. AKA a Department of War.
Whoa whoa whoa!! Sssshhhhh....

We don’t use that language here. See that Apache over there? We call it an “Armed Recce Helicopter 😉 Anything else and all the woke folks start to sweat.

The CAF is called upon locally enough, and does defend the North American continent daily with an armed presence, support to other government agencies, etc.

Even the US doesn’t call it a War Department, and they are always at war with someone
 

Kirkhill

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Whoa whoa whoa!! Sssshhhhh....

We don’t use that language here. See that Apache over there? We call it an “Armed Recce Helicopter 😉 Anything else and all the woke folks start to sweat.

The CAF is called upon locally enough, and does defend the North American continent daily with an armed presence, support to other government agencies, etc.

Even the US doesn’t call it a War Department, and they are always at war with someone

And with the obfuscation we lose the clarity necessary to make cogent arguments.
 

Underway

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I think your going find a lot of scenario`s where the LAV`s can`t go, which is where the tanks in Afghanistan came into play, they could take routes that the Taliban did not anticipate. The LAV 6 means you have tracked vehicle weight on wheels. snip

Tanks weren't deployed to Afghanistan because of mobility. They were deployed because they were the perfect counter to the trench warfare (Afghan style) that we experienced at Panjwai, which LAV's were unsuited for. Direct fire and armored protection were frankly the most important criteria to send in the tanks. A 100mm direct fire capability would have completely changed the completion of that battle IMHO.

LAV's are actually more mobile than tanks in most mobility categories. Better mileage, logistically more simple, higher top speed, can use roads, pretty ok off road, smaller, better air mobility.

That being said in 2009-10 when I was there the safest vehicle to be in was a T-LAV with the rubber tracks. Most of the offroad of a tank with most of the onroad of a LAV. The Taliban couldn't plant an IED for them because their routes were unpredictable, half the time they drove on the side of the road instead of the road itself. Bridge? No need, we'll go through the creek with little damage to the surrounding countryside.
 

Kirkhill

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That being said in 2009-10 when I was there the safest vehicle to be in was a T-LAV with the rubber tracks. Most of the offroad of a tank with most of the onroad of a LAV. The Taliban couldn't plant an IED for them because their routes were unpredictable, half the time they drove on the side of the road instead of the road itself. Bridge? No need, we'll go through the creek with little damage to the surrounding countryside.

Wouldn't the same logic apply to the Bv206 - with or without additional armour?

And it works at home while being proof against most domestic threats.
 

Colin Parkinson

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I don't disagree with you, just repeating what I heard tankers saying about their mobility and I think they enjoyed upending everyone's assumptions about tanks in that type of conflict.

Back to the OP, I think it's telling that the other fielded variant of the HAPC is the engineering version. I suspect the engineering version doubles as a ARV as well. The IDF has the luxury of very short haul back to safety, and incurring more damage to suspension components by dragging it out is likely worth the payoff.
Fighting insurgents it seems one of their critical goals is to block AFV's, immobilize them and hopefully capture them and their crews, even if briefly for the propaganda value. Of my reading on Afghanistan, it seems a mobility kill of an AFV would very much influence the flow of battle as significant effort is made to protect and extract them, which becomes a problem for a small military such as ours. I believe that we are far to thin on dedicated armoured recovery vehicles and armoured engineering vehicles, along with bridging equipment. I would like to see more automated recovery equipment that could attach itself to a damaged AFV and move it without the crews exiting the vehicle, even if it's a short move out of the kill zone. Being able to speed up recovery and make the vehicle causality mobile faster, would have good follow on effects, freeing up resources to continue the fight.
 

Kirkhill

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I can absolutely see a use for a Heavy AVRE (with spigot mortar or similar large calibre bombard). That would be 60 tonnes worth dragging into any situation.

1621539472249.png

Centurion AVRE with a 165 mm bombard. Stick a backhoe on the backside of the turret and a power take off and you're good to go.
 
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Underway

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I don't disagree with you, just repeating what I heard tankers saying about their mobility and I think they enjoyed upending everyone's assumptions about tanks in that type of conflict.

Back to the OP, I think it's telling that the other fielded variant of the HAPC is the engineering version. I suspect the engineering version doubles as a ARV as well. The IDF has the luxury of very short haul back to safety, and incurring more damage to suspension components by dragging it out is likely worth the payoff.
Fighting insurgents it seems one of their critical goals is to block AFV's, immobilize them and hopefully capture them and their crews, even if briefly for the propaganda value. Of my reading on Afghanistan, it seems a mobility kill of an AFV would very much influence the flow of battle as significant effort is made to protect and extract them, which becomes a problem for a small military such as ours. I believe that we are far to thin on dedicated armoured recovery vehicles and armoured engineering vehicles, along with bridging equipment. I would like to see more automated recovery equipment that could attach itself to a damaged AFV and move it without the crews exiting the vehicle, even if it's a short move out of the kill zone. Being able to speed up recovery and make the vehicle causality mobile faster, would have good follow on effects, freeing up resources to continue the fight.
I do like that idea. An ARV that can carry a troop (or whatever you call a group of engineers, Section? Brick? Gaggle?) in the back. Dismounts to provide protection and/or do engineering work. The T-LAV's are often assigned to engineers. An H-ARV or similar could be a good specialty vehicle.
 
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