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  1. STURGEON'S NOTE: THIS IS JUST FOR FUN, DON'T TAKE IT TOO SERIOUSLY. Toxn's note: what he said. The in-character stuff is just to reflect how these sorts of proposals end up getting bloated all out of proportion as conflicting requirements get tacked on by committees. I'll also try to provide clarity on the requirements themselves as we go along, so ask away. With a slew of regional conflicts threatening to metastasise and military expenditure rising for the first time in decades, military planners are once again pondering the role of AFVs on the modern battlefield. Recent conflicts seem to indicate that armed forces may be faced with lengthy conflicts in urban and peri-urban areas - places where tight confines and large numbers of anti-tank weapons have resulted in attritional warfare. In other areas, more open terrain has favoured the use of man-portable ATGMs against armoured elements. Finally, there has been a long-standing trend towards the use of IEDs and, on the other end of the scale, ever more sophisticated autonomous and semi-autonomous platforms as methods for inflicting casualties upon mechanised and armour forces. These aspects, when combined with a long-standing trend towards more heavily armed and armoured IFV variants, have potentially created a niche for a class of AFV optimised for general combat rather than specific anti-armour or scouting operations. This class of AFV should ideally be air-transportable or air-deployable using existing transport aircraft, be capable of high mobility and survival against infantry-borne weapons, and should be capable of tackling other armed vehicles (up to and including AFVs of a similar configuration) as well as providing infantry support. Other considerations would include the use of the chassis as a basis for a number of specialised variants, the ability to upgrade and retrofit the design during its life cycle and, of course, the cost of the vehicles themselves. As the head of a design team working within a massive defence conglomerate, your task is to come up with a design to pitch to defence departments around the globe. Your basic requirements are as follows: Must be capable of protecting against small arms from all aspects, and must be capable of withstanding 20-30mm autocannon fire across the frontal arc. Must be capable of engaging and defeating existing AFV designs (not including modern MBTs) at modern combat ranges. Must be air-transportable using existing transport aircraft (preferably AC-130 or equivalent) in either a ready-to-run or partially disassembled state. Must be capable of defending against at least one strike by man-portable anti-tank weapons, including ATGMs Must include weaponry or equipment for engaging with dug-in infantry in urban areas Must be capable of defending against mines, roadside bombs and IEDs Must be highly reliable, including servicing at local depots. Must cost the same or less than equivalent systems (around $4 million per unit maximum) Must be capable of off-road travel Finally, the design must use, wherever possible, existing components and processes in order to minimise development time. As our company specialises in armour arrays (including composites and the like) and electronics, some leeway will be allowed in terms of the armour package and electronic systems. Our extensive contacts within the defence sector mean that any weapon system currently being developed or fielded may plausibly be integrated with our product. Advanced requirements are as follows: May be capable of surviving multiple hits by heavy autocannon (40-60mm) across the frontal arc May be capable of engaging low-flying aircraft and helicopters May be directly air-deployable from existing transport aircraft May be capable of surviving multiple strikes from anti-tank missiles (of all classes) from any angle May include only COTs components May be capable of being serviced in the field. May be in the form of a family of vehicles sharing a common chassis May cost significantly less than equivalent systems (under $3 million per unit) May be capable of extreme off-road travel, including across anti-tank ditches and the like Designs, including at least a picture, description and list of attributes, should be presented by the end of April 2016 for evaluation by a panel of experts. The winning design team will receive a small prize (cash and in-game currency for one of a number of games discussed on this forum) and the adulation of millions of imaginary fans. Good luck! IMPORTANT OOC NOTE: The in-character post is sort of supposed to be maddening, as it reflects the tendency to propose a lightweight expeditionary vehicle (the absolute requirements viewed loosely) and then have everyone shove more and more stuff in until it turns into an MBT with an autocannon on top. The absolute versus optional requirements (some of which simply cannot be reconciled) indicate this. I advise the contestants to look at the trends (including real-life ones that I may not have examined in any detail) and pick their guiding philosophy - bearing in mind that this is supposed to be a vehicle for infantry support and general combat against anything smaller than an MBT. From there you should try to fulfil all of the absolute requirements (some leeway is allowed) and then argue the optional requirements as needed. Above all - have fun!
  2. Since we've got the new AFV design competition going and not everyone has solidworks, I thought I would share this information from Technology of Tanks so those who do not have CAD/CAM programs could come up with a reasonable accounting of what a tank ought to weigh: -Armor usually contribute between 35% and 51% of the total mass of the vehicle. The lower figure is typical for light tanks, the higher for MBTs. If the armor were reduced to the minimum necessary for structural purposes it would still be about 20% of the total mass. The highest figure on record is 57% for the armor of the IS-3. -The tracks contribute about 8% to 10% of the mass of the vehicle in the case of steel link tracks. On a fast track-laying combat vehicle the tracks are getting slung around over all sorts of rocks and whatnot, so they need to be tough, which means that they're heavy. Band tracks weigh 25%-50% less than steel link tracks, but band tracks can only be used on lighter vehicles. The heaviest vehicle I know of that uses band tracks is the Turkish Tulpar IFV at 32 tonnes. -Suspensions contribute about 8% to 10% of the total mass of the vehicle. Hydropneumatic suspensions are the lightest, but not by an enormous margin. Higher performance suspensions weigh more. -The power pack, that is the engine and the transmission together, account for about 12% of the vehicle's mass. -Guns typically contribute 3% to 7% of the total mass of the vehicle, although cramming the very largest gun possible into the very smallest tank possible can bring this up to about 10%. -Ammo generally weighs less than the gun. Fuel weighs about the same as ammo. On any fictional or notional tank design, I'll be looking to see if the weight of the components are within these bounds. If they're not there had better be a damned good explanation.
  3. Dear [iNSERT NAME OF COMPANY REPRESENTATIVE HERE], Congratulations! Your company has been selected to partake in a competition to design an aircraft for the Republic of Kerbalia. The competition will be in the form of a fly-off, with entrant designs being assessed relative to each other and the current front-line multirole fighter of the Republic (specifications included in data pack attached hereto). Should you choose to partake in this process, initial development funds of up to 40 000 Kerbalians will be made available to you. Technological limitations being what they are, the use of speculative engine designs (SABRE et al.) will not be accepted as a means of achieving competition goals. The aircraft submitted must be of the multirole fighter type, with the ability to perform a variety of missions while still being able to outfight current aircraft on a 1-to-1 basis. Significant leeway will, however, provided as to the details of the design. If required, a flyable example of the current front-line aircraft will be provided for internal comparison. Submissions must include, at minimum: - A name and internal design number (a prototype designation number will be assigned) - A full list of specifications - A background and detailed description - One or more images of the submission We wish you the best of luck with your undertakings in this regards. Yours Sincerely, Lotho Kerman Head Company Wrangler, Department of Defence, Republic of Kerbalia