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Toxn

Competition: A modern medium AFV

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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.

 

staq1mj.jpg

 

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!

 

pzdPUvs.jpg

 

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!

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Questions and comments:

1. Defending against ATGMs seems to indicate MBT-level protection. Maybe dropping this requirement or allowing loose interpretations of it would be well-advised.

2. "Defend against 20-30mm cannons across the frontal arc; pretty sure I get what you mean by this, but it would be worth clarifying. Are we to defend against 25mm APFSDS, for example, or just 30mm HEDP?

3. "Defend against mines/IEDs", what kind and to what degree? Are we designing an MRAP or a lightweight transportable expeditionary tank? Those are two different requirements sets. If it's up to interpretation, that's fine, but make a note of that. Your post is entirely in-character, and I think generally could use an OOC section where you let us know how rigidly you want the requirements interpreted.

Otherwise, I like it, and will be making a submission. Unless you need me as a judge, that is.

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Reserved for bringing back the Teledyne Expeditionary Vehicle.

 

OK, I have come up with my design.  I'm going to use the hull of the old Teledyne Expeditionary vehicle since it has powertrain commonality with the Bradley family of vehicles and because it was originally designed to fit in a C-130.  Instead of the 105mm overhead gun, I'm going to put the 30mm remote gun station recently developed for the Stryker on this vehicle.  Maybe mount an ATGM on the turret as well if needed.  Cost permitting, I would mount the israeli trophy anti missile system on it to provide active protection against missiles. Modern camera and electronics equipment will help compensate for some of the situational awareness issues that the crew suffered from on the original version of the vehicle.  in a way, it would be a bit of a mini-armata, the two crew in the hull, sitting under the remote turret.  

 

There is no way I am going to get frontal arc protection against 20-30mm cannons on this thing and still be within the weight rules.  Therefore, probably some sort of modular armor that can be flown in separately and later attached will be included to meet this requirement.  

 

All in all, this would make a nice little light tank.  However, there really is nothing it could do that an IFV couldn't, other than be air portable.  

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Here's my starter worksheet for you guys, feel free to work off it:

 

 

 

C-130 cargo hold:
 
length, 40 feet (12.19 m); width, 119 inches (3.02 m); height, 9 
 
feet (2.74 m). Rear ramp: length, 123 inches (3.12 m); width, 
 
119 inches (3.02 m)
 
C-130 maximum payload weight:
 
20.40 tonnes
 
---
 
C-130J cargo hold:
 
length, 55 feet (16.76 m); width, 119 inches (3.02 m); height, 9 
 
feet (2.74 m). Rear ramp: length, 123 inches (3.12 m); width, 
 
119 inches (3.02 m)
 
C-130J maximum payload weight:
 
19.96 tonnes
 
---
 
"Small" goal:
 
8.65 tonnes
 
max 8 meters length, 3 meters width, 2.7 meters height, stowed
 
"Medium" goal:
 
17.3 tonnes
 
max 12 meters length, 3 meters width, 2.7 meters height, stowed

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Questions and comments:

1. Defending against ATGMs seems to indicate MBT-level protection. Maybe dropping this requirement or allowing loose interpretations of it would be well-advised.

 

The absolute requirement is for something like an RPG or second-generation ATGM (ie: no tandem warheads or top attack). The optional requirement is for anything from a vampir to a hellfire. You can, as I mention below, argue some of the 'absolute' requirements away if they simply cannot be reconciled with each other. 

2. "Defend against 20-30mm cannons across the frontal arc; pretty sure I get what you mean by this, but it would be worth clarifying. Are we to defend against 25mm APFSDS, for example, or just 30mm HEDP?

 

20-30mm cannon fire would, in this case, mean AP or HEDP. The optional requirement for 40mm is for the hot stuff, of course. 

3. "Defend against mines/IEDs", what kind and to what degree? Are we designing an MRAP or a lightweight transportable expeditionary tank? Those are two different requirements sets. If it's up to interpretation, that's fine, but make a note of that. Your post is entirely in-character, and I think generally could use an OOC section where you let us know how rigidly you want the requirements interpreted.

 

See below, but the absolute requirement would be for something capable of hitting a mine and keeping the crew alive if nothing else. I personally can't forsee a future conflict where mines and IEDs aren't a big part of the mix one way or the other, but you may have a different opinion.

Otherwise, I like it, and will be making a submission. Unless you need me as a judge, that is.

 

The judges (you know who you are) should note that they can enter the competition - they will just be judged by the rest of the panel and a temporary judge. I will enter a submission strictly as a joke.

 

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) 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.

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Here's my starter worksheet for you guys, feel free to work off it:

 

-random bullshit-

 

 

This, by the way, implies 260 and 520 shp engines for each respective configuration, if you desire 30 hp/tonne (M1A2 Abrams is 24 shp/tonne).

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It also means that if you intend to meet the C-130 portability requirement, you're basically doomed for meeting a lot of the other requirements.

 

If however, your home nation uses Il-76s, you can go up to 60 tonnes because RUSSIA STRONK.

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Also, what transport does it have to fit in? C-130?

C-130 would be ideal, but it is also the grave of a bunch of these sorts of concepts.

 

Argue for another transport if you need to, but also remember that the absolute requirement allows plenty of weasel room for (for instance) shipping the thing without armour packages or in a state that requires some re-assembly before the vehicle is combat-ready.

 

You should, if you stretch things very cleverly, be able to propose something bumping up to the same weight class as a medium tank from WWII.

 

You can also, if you're feeling it, argue that the expeditionary requirements are useless and design something else entirely. Just bear in mind the spirit of the thing and, you know, provide the actual arguments.

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C-130 would be ideal, but it is also the grave of a bunch of these sorts of concepts.

 

Argue for another transport if you need to, but also remember that the absolute requirement allows plenty of weasel room for (for instance) shipping the thing without armour packages or in a state that requires some re-assembly before the vehicle is combat-ready.

 

You should, if you stretch things very cleverly, be able to propose something bumping up to the same weight class as a medium tank from WWII.

 

You can also, if you're feeling it, argue that the expeditionary requirements are useless and design something else entirely. Just bear in mind the spirit of the thing and, you know, provide the actual arguments.

 

OK, thanks. That means the weasel room is deliberately built-in, and I sound like a sperglord wearing a denim skirt and asking the teacher for homework. Gotcha.

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