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Ricks Napkin Challenge- The Infantry Section and Platoon

KevinB

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But now you're getting into the IAR/LSW concept of operations aren't you? Disregarding the relative merits of the weapons involved.
The Hk21 option was a good SOF weapon - it wasn't a good Infantry Weapon IMHO, and it's time has gone.
It never evolved however so mounting of MFAL etc where problematic - used as a DMR for an Inner Cordon one could mount a RULER to the top of the optic and use ones googles - but it couldn't mount InLine NV - so it got replaced by the M110K1 (and family) in that role.

I was just getting nostalgic - and wandered a bit on the Inf Section/Platoon weapons.
 

markppcli

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I suppose where I loose the C6 in a section is in the mechanized context and it’s requirement to bound quickly before it’s arcs are totally cut off. Then again just don’t pull it out if you don’t need it I suppose.

@KevinB what are your thoughts on newer generation LMGs like the Negev and MG4?
 

KevinB

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I suppose where I loose the C6 in a section is in the mechanized context and it’s requirement to bound quickly before it’s arcs are totally cut off. Then again just don’t pull it out if you don’t need it I suppose.
Agreed - frankly I'd mount in on a vehicle - unless the sections are going to operate away from the LAV's you have x4 better than SF kit C6's in the coax - plus the 25mm
@KevinB what are your thoughts on newer generation LMGs like the Negev and MG4?
Oh here we go.
I think they have some great features, I think they both have some flaws that I wonder why where not identified from previous LMG and fixed.
The MG4 has a fantastic charging handle than can be locked in various positions - so if you suffer a stoppage and can't get the action back to lock behind the sear - you don't need three hands to clear the stoppage - as you can lock the action with the charging handle by rotating it up and friction locking it against the side of the receiver -- then you can open the top cover and conduct the applicable IA.
I also like the non cross bolt safety (it's like the C7/C8) which I think is a better method personally.
The Negev is light - I have not fired much more than 3 belts through one though - but it seemed a tad more jumpy than the Mk46 (both where suppressed) that I shot side by side.
 

markppcli

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Agreed - frankly I'd mount in on a vehicle - unless the sections are going to operate away from the LAV's you have x4 better than SF kit C6's in the coax - plus the 25mm

Oh here we go.
I think they have some great features, I think they both have some flaws that I wonder why where not identified from previous LMG and fixed.
The MG4 has a fantastic charging handle than can be locked in various positions - so if you suffer a stoppage and can't get the action back to lock behind the sear - you don't need three hands to clear the stoppage - as you can lock the action with the charging handle by rotating it up and friction locking it against the side of the receiver -- then you can open the top cover and conduct the applicable IA.
I also like the non cross bolt safety (it's like the C7/C8) which I think is a better method personally.
The Negev is light - I have not fired much more than 3 belts through one though - but it seemed a tad more jumpy than the Mk46 (both where suppressed) that I shot side by side.
Thanks for that. I’m kinda of looking at two studies says m249 / minime bad means lmg bad. I think it’s worth exploring the idea that it’s not a bad concept just a bad execution. Would I be comfortable taking 7 rifles into a mechanized attack ? Not really sure in that.
 

KevinB

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I think a well executed LMG/AMG is a necessity at the section level.
I don’t think the C9/M249/Minimi/Mk46 fits that role best anymore.

I don’t think a 100% solutions exist currently.
Right now I think the KAC LAMG is probably the closest system to that. I wish I could take some features off the MG4 and make a hybrid with the KAC gun.

The FN Evolys (Evolution) is an interesting gun, the belt loading mechanism is pretty nifty - but the short rail, requirement for a hydraulic buffer and the lack of a quick change barrel make it a lot less of a MG and much more of a Belt fed IAR than the KAC gun, and it isn’t as controllable.
 

markppcli

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I handled the MG 4 in Latvia and it felt like just an evolved M249, but they were also fairly new to the Spanish so imagine a part of that was also just handling a guy that wasn’t pushing 30.
 

ArmyRick

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So looking at machine guns, in a light role context. I stand by the C6 as a objective thrasher, especially with SF kit and C2 sight.

Its the manning that becomes important. I believe the C6 MUST be manned properly. Hell in my experiences, even if your sections are down to 4-5 guys, just get the damn G-pig manned properly.

I have to admit, I have used the C9 alot in my career. Its volume of fire is impressive at section level, but it does have limitations. I never liked it when some damn idiot thought 1 should be carried on recce patrols.

The KAC LAMG sure looks cool. When thinking about employment of LMG/LAMG weapons, looking at the platoon in a hasty attack or deliberate attack context. The GPMG (or pair of them) is destroying the target. The LMGs are used for security/cut off and can be brought to bear on consolidation (for quick reaction to counter attack). I really like the idea of guys assaulting trenches/bunkers/vehicles during an ambush/building armed with carbines and pistols, NO LMG right intimately on the assault. I also like the idea of DMR with 7.62mm or whatever crazy caliber KevinB says works. DMR can pick out key targets, observe target for fire effects and have them paired up with LMGs on cut off/security (scopes for observation and keep re-enforcing enemy at range with accurate fire)
 

Kirkhill

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3 Lt Companies
9 Platoons
9-18x C6

3 LAV Companies
45 LAVs
45 25mm
45 C6 Coax
45 Pintles

For those of us fixated on the light infantry those C6s are the only real support available.
On the other hand the LAV Companies would just swamp them.

Which, again, suggests to me that there is a very different mentality, driven by kit and needs, between Lt Infantry and Mounted Infantry.

The Light Infantry has to work on its Fire Bases. And it has to be careful with its ammunition.
The LAV guys have got a very different set of constraints.

Do the LAV riders need any weaponry other than 200m small arms for the close assault?


If they are always intimately associated with their rides, even in the defence, the LAV is going to do all the killing for them.


On the other hand Light Infantry is going to approach everything from patrolling to the hasty assault to the prepared defence from an entirely different perspective with very different kit.

Lt Infantry can benefit from attached LAVs. And I still think that independent carrier elements are a useful adjunct for the Lt Infantry in the same way that helos and boats and trucks are.

But Mark, strangely enough, has convinced me that he is right. And the clinching argument was him not knowing what to make of a C6. He doesn't need it. The same thing would apply to ATGMs. If the LAVs mounted the ATGMs then he wouldn't need his riders to have ATGMs either.


What would be an interesting exercise though would be to pit a well dug in, equipped and sited light force against a LAV based assault force.
 

daftandbarmy

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So looking at machine guns, in a light role context. I stand by the C6 as a objective thrasher, especially with SF kit and C2 sight.

Its the manning that becomes important. I believe the C6 MUST be manned properly. Hell in my experiences, even if your sections are down to 4-5 guys, just get the damn G-pig manned properly.

I have to admit, I have used the C9 alot in my career. Its volume of fire is impressive at section level, but it does have limitations. I never liked it when some damn idiot thought 1 should be carried on recce patrols.

The KAC LAMG sure looks cool. When thinking about employment of LMG/LAMG weapons, looking at the platoon in a hasty attack or deliberate attack context. The GPMG (or pair of them) is destroying the target. The LMGs are used for security/cut off and can be brought to bear on consolidation (for quick reaction to counter attack). I really like the idea of guys assaulting trenches/bunkers/vehicles during an ambush/building armed with carbines and pistols, NO LMG right intimately on the assault. I also like the idea of DMR with 7.62mm or whatever crazy caliber KevinB says works. DMR can pick out key targets, observe target for fire effects and have them paired up with LMGs on cut off/security (scopes for observation and keep re-enforcing enemy at range with accurate fire)

Whatever we do we should be equipped to operate effectively at night. Which we have never been, largely due to cost.

If there's one thing we've learned over the past 40 years, starting with the Falklands War I would say (e.g. Argie snipers with NVG, MILAN TI sights), it's that the combat arms units who are fully at home working and fighting at night will generally have the edge on the opposition.
 

KevinB

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Daytime fighting is for suckers.

At night he who can see further and aim better and fire their weapons without being seen and accurately located can shoot enemies like fish in a barrel.

Dual Tube White Phosphorus NVG’s ideally with a thermal imager available (ECOTI or a fused Goggle) really turns night into day.
For the majority of Infanteers they won’t need more than that.
For MG’s, DMR’s and some key positions Clip on In Line NV is also needed. (To allow for use with magnified optics, better firing positions etc). If you can’t afford a fused system then a mix of II and Ti systems.

MFAL (Multi-Function Aiming Laser) - everyone needs one, and some need more than 1 (Grenadiers, for the standalone if their optic doesn’t have an easy NV setting). Also lasers aren’t just for night work - a good vis laser is very effective in close when you are in awkward positions. Laser work takes a lot of time for users and their leaders to be effective and manage the battle using them to control fire and designate targets.

Suppressors - at night the can totally messes with folks - not just the reduction of the visual signature - but the thump from the expanding muzzle gasses is masked, so you can’t use crack thump to locate shooters.

Day Optics, I am a massive fan of LPVO’s (Low Power Variable Optics) 1-6x or 1-8x optics for most Infantry weapons. I like the Horus H-27D reticle as the Donut is illuminated, and can be used for CQB fairly well (albeit not as well as a dedicated RDS inside 50m) and you can use the reticle for range and windage as well as movers.
It requires knowledge of your trajectory- or a range finder. The new Vortex/L3 Optocal contraption for NGAR/NGSW seems to be neat, but I’m leery of how it will be for the rigors of combat.
 

Infanteer

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3 Lt Companies
9 Platoons
9-18x C6

You've missed the Company Weapons Platoons and the Bn DFS Platoon.

Do the LAV riders need any weaponry other than 200m small arms for the close assault?

That makes the assumption that, upon dismounting, a LAV can shoot the infantry in the whole way, or isn't blown up, or, or, or. When the mindset is informed by casualty-free bowling ball runs down Lawfield or Wainwright, then this assumption gets made.

If they are always intimately associated with their rides, even in the defence, the LAV is going to do all the killing for them.

The last thing the infantry wants in a defensive position is a LAV sitting right beside it.

What would be an interesting exercise though would be to pit a well dug in, equipped and sited light force against a LAV based assault force.

RAND did that here.


Generally didn't end well for the 82nd Airborne, but it wasn't due to enemy IFVs.
 

KevinB

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You've missed the Company Weapons Platoons and the Bn DFS Platoon.
For those stale with that, what do they look like nowadays?
That makes the assumption that, upon dismounting, a LAV can shoot the infantry in the whole way, or isn't blown up, or, or, or. When the mindset is informed by casualty-free bowling ball runs down Lawfield or Wainwright, then this assumption gets made.
Even 1 LAV remaining in a Platoon will offer more firepower and accurate application of that power than a C6 in a SF kit. I think it’s better to have the option to use a dismounted firebase, but I’m not sure it’s going to be significantly effective compared to what one LAV can bring to bear. I think for LAV based attack, it would be better suited to a Coy level Fire base. As 3-4 of them could focus areas of need much better than 1 lone gun.

The last thing the infantry wants in a defensive position is a LAV sitting right beside it.
Dug in camouflaged turret down with a hulldown run up isn’t bad though.
RAND did that here.


Generally didn't end well for the 82nd Airborne, but it wasn't due to enemy IFVs.
There where a bunch of changes made to the ORBAT after that. That’s a Y2K study.
The big issue is more how much support they have (supporting fires etc) and the degree of preparation versus the enemy.

But (and this is why I like Asymmetrical Forces, you can deploy Light Forces quickly -Medium and Heavy Forces are going to require Air and Sea Lift if not already in theater.
 

daftandbarmy

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Daytime fighting is for suckers.

At night he who can see further and aim better and fire their weapons without being seen and accurately located can shoot enemies like fish in a barrel.

Dual Tube White Phosphorus NVG’s ideally with a thermal imager available (ECOTI or a fused Goggle) really turns night into day.
For the majority of Infanteers they won’t need more than that.
For MG’s, DMR’s and some key positions Clip on In Line NV is also needed. (To allow for use with magnified optics, better firing positions etc). If you can’t afford a fused system then a mix of II and Ti systems.

MFAL (Multi-Function Aiming Laser) - everyone needs one, and some need more than 1 (Grenadiers, for the standalone if their optic doesn’t have an easy NV setting). Also lasers aren’t just for night work - a good vis laser is very effective in close when you are in awkward positions. Laser work takes a lot of time for users and their leaders to be effective and manage the battle using them to control fire and designate targets.

Suppressors - at night the can totally messes with folks - not just the reduction of the visual signature - but the thump from the expanding muzzle gasses is masked, so you can’t use crack thump to locate shooters.

Day Optics, I am a massive fan of LPVO’s (Low Power Variable Optics) 1-6x or 1-8x optics for most Infantry weapons. I like the Horus H-27D reticle as the Donut is illuminated, and can be used for CQB fairly well (albeit not as well as a dedicated RDS inside 50m) and you can use the reticle for range and windage as well as movers.
It requires knowledge of your trajectory- or a range finder. The new Vortex/L3 Optocal contraption for NGAR/NGSW seems to be neat, but I’m leery of how it will be for the rigors of combat.

It's clearly the way ahead, although I doubt we'd have the leadership backing to buy the amount of gear we'd need to do it right.
 

markppcli

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For those of us fixated on the light infantry those C6s are the only real support available.
On the other hand the LAV Companies would just swamp them.

Your forgetting DFS platoon with its .50s and the coys internal C16s but fine.

Which, again, suggests to me that there is a very different mentality, driven by kit and needs, between Lt Infantry and Mounted Infantry.

The Light Infantry has to work on its Fire Bases. And it has to be careful with its ammunition.
The LAV guys have got a very different set of constraints.

Do the LAV riders need any weaponry other than 200m small arms for the close assault?


If they are always intimately associated with their rides, even in the defence, the LAV is going to do all the killing for them.

That’s not how a mechanized defensive works; we may or may not have run ups. Or the LAVs can be tasked with counter moves. Either way we generally prefer to “light” on the defensive position itself. Perhaps mounted OPs but most of our KZs will be built around C6s.

Lt Infantry can benefit from attached LAVs. And I still think that independent carrier elements are a useful adjunct for the Lt Infantry in the same way that helos and boats and trucks are.

You keep looking for examples of this and coming up mute being specific Marine examples; perhaps there’s a reason ?

But Mark, strangely enough, has convinced me that he is right. And the clinching argument was him not knowing what to make of a C6. He doesn't need it. The same thing would apply to ATGMs. If the LAVs mounted the ATGMs then he wouldn't need his riders to have ATGMs either.

While I understand your point on the C6 there; to me it’s more about that specific gun and the nature of how to employ it on the attack. In the defence I do need it. When conducting patrols and raids I do need it. (Yes mechanized forces do that).

ATGMs I strongly disagree on. Depending on their nature I would prefer to expose as little a signature as possible when firing, a spike or javing CLU peaking over a hill is much better than a vehicle in that case, better still is a dedicated ATGM vehicle properly positioned to cover movement and gaps. IFV mounted ATGMs should be an in addition to not and instead of dedicated AT.

What would be an interesting exercise though would be to pit a well dug in, equipped and sited light force against a LAV based assault force.

I was about to say we’ve done this but you said we’ll equipped so I think that discounts the CF.

@KevinB the DFS platoons are 3 sections that can take a mix of TOW or .50s. Usually 1 of each from my understanding. Coy weapons platoons / dets I think are theoretical unless @Infanteer is tracking changes I’m not aware of ? That being said as per above the companies have access to 4x C16 which are pushed out as needed.
 

KevinB

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@markppcli appreciate the DFS rundown.

WRT no interest in a vehicle launched ATGM but I guess a handoff from a ‘finder’ to a MMW ATGM that is turret down and hidden when launching would make you change your mind though correct?
 

markppcli

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@markppcli appreciate the DFS rundown.

WRT no interest in a vehicle launched ATGM but I guess a handoff from a ‘finder’ to a MMW ATGM that is turret down and hidden when launching would make you change your mind though correct?
didn’t say no interest just that it’s an in addition to not at the expense of. Dedicated, tasked AT is still something I see as valuable. Both for the ability to store more ammo, and because it means 79A is in 9s ear saying “ well no Sir they can’t do that but they do this.” Same thoughts on Mortars. I really like what the Italians do with two Spike equipped freccias each carrying a spike det in the back per company. Plenty of room for reloads (can you tell I lived the “just toss the tow in the LAV” life?) and gives you a good mix of mobile coverage with the ability to do some lower profile set ups.
 

Fabius

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Dedicated ATGMs need PYs though and you hit on it I think they are a Bn asset that works for the CO to reinforce where he sees fit or fight deeper than the Coys are.

IFV ATGMs are PY neutral and are a Coy Comd, Pl Comd asset. I think they are also a key to mounted mech offensive maneuver with IFVs. Same with a dismounted Javelin and CLU but as you said on the defence.

AT4s and M72s for everyone is a Section Comd asset in my mind.
 

Infanteer

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IFV ATGMs are PY neutral and are a Coy Comd, Pl Comd asset. I think they are also a key to mounted mech offensive maneuver with IFVs. Same with a dismounted Javelin and CLU but as you said on the defence.

Manoeuvre enabled by ATGMs bolted onto an IFV? Is the IFV supposed to provide mobility to the infantry, or to be hunting tanks? It doesn't appear to me that if you are doing one, you can do the other.
 

KevinB

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Manoeuvre enabled by ATGMs bolted onto an IFV? Is the IFV supposed to provide mobility to the infantry, or to be hunting tanks? It doesn't appear to me that if you are doing one, you can do the other.
I'm not sure what "bolted on" is meant to refer too -- but if its's turret integrated it gives the option for Firebase IFV's to focus tanks, or even during the attack depending on some missiles.
Commander Independent View Systems will allow (with some systems) the Commander to mark a priority target and launch a missile (Hellfire MMW etc) without taking the gunner off his current target while the vehicle in advancing.

Newer systems allow for higher levels to designate targets and distribute targets to their linked vehicles.
So your Anti Armor plan or Anti-Armored Commander can either mark targets in advance for engagement at H Hr or +/- that time, using either vehicle system or an ISR feed - then allocate vehicles to engage as necessary.

Much akin to how the AH-64D+ Longbow works -- 1 spots with a digital snapshot - mark targets and launch NLOS, only now it doesn't need to be a OH-58D or another AH-64D, it can be any ISR system tied in to that system that can gather targeting data.

Very similar to how I understand the Navy works their Air Defense Umbrellas.
 
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