Jump to content
Sturgeon's House
2805662

Land 400 Phase 3: Australian IFV

Recommended Posts

40 minutes ago, 2805662 said:

I worked with the author when he was in “contestability” for major projects in the Department. All the objections had a common theme - is now the best time to replace a capability? Is the identified capability solution the right one? Maybe we should give Air Force the money. (Okay, made the last one up) 

 

 

CRV

 

IMO? The Boxer, and actually all offered vehicles, were not the best suitable for a CRV, and the requirements were really off.

Recon have to be light. How light? In the IDF, where the threat of IEDs, ATGMs, and other advanced AT means, an armored brigade rolling with the most modern tanks, with the most modern defensive systems, would be be directed by their combat recon company driving around in un-armored, open-door HMMWV cars. 

 

But of course there are multiple tiers. The CRVs bought by Australia could serve the upper tier of combat reconnaissance - Independent units with especially high mobility and capable of defending themselves, and conducting longer range reconnaissance than anyone else.

 

All the CRVs were required a certain level of protection, a certain level of firepower, but all essentials were basically forgotten. 

As it stands, not a SINGLE vehicle has the following:

 

  • Tethered drone.
  • Special task deployable UGV (e.g tunnel warfare, EOD work, secondary or tertiary detection capability).
  • Deployable mast with optics.
  • Radar.
  • Deployable light vehicles (I'd imagine electrically powered motorcycles for stealthy ride and extra eyes).

I wouldn't list all of these as requirement. For example a tethered drone and a mast fulfill roughly the same tasks. But at least a radar, some secondary elevated optics, and some unmanned environment interaction capability are important. 

 

So:

Now is the best time to replace a capability. The existing vehicles are rust buckets, and cannot be properly used to add emerging capabilities due to their age.

The identified new capability is definitely NOT the right one. Although if they come to their senses, the CRV can possess these capabilities. 

Rheinmetall exhibited some of their new capabilities on a technology demonstrator vehicle dubbed JODAA, which has a UAS and UGV capability, allowing multiple simultaneous "eyes" on the field.

All it takes is to integrate the UAS on the turret.

 

The CRV is manned by a crew of 4: TC, Gunner, Driver, and presumably systems operator. I don't know exactly.

With current technology the Boxer CRV can be modernized to utilize a crew of only 2 for the operation of the vehicle itself, whilst relieving not one but two crewmen to operate separate systems.

 

And an APS that both multiplies protection level of the Boxer, considering the outdated protection requirements of the Australian MoD (STANAG 4569 level 6 won't do jack shit against the common RPG, and especially the extremely proliferated ATGMs), and adds a whole new level of reconnaissance, can be added with simple turret modifications alone.

 

Maybe you should tell the writer of that article that while he means well, he does not convey his message very well.

 

=========================================================================================================================

 

IFV

Everything is fine with it, so far at least. What should be changed is the parameters of the competition. The nature of this program forces all competitors in the IFV department into a significant disadvantage against the winning company in the CRV category. 

Other than that, the concept itself of an IFV is sound, and it seems they will be adding most of the required capabilities to it. They are still undecided on protection (APS is not required), and situational awareness tech (radars).

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting analysis. CRV isn’t about reconnaissance (IMO). It’s about Army leadership (senior RAAC/black hats) who were caught short by ASLAV’s vulnerability to IED in Afghanistan. Then over-reacting to a threat, they accelerated the replacement phase of the project. Boxer is a classic case of “emergent requirements” - without discipline, the aggregate of individual requirements can be a monstrosity that doesn’t meet the need. 

 

Side note: Australia has a *Department* of Defence, not a ministry, though it is headed up by the Minister of Defence (don’t ask). So, DoD, not MoD. 

 

I think ADF may be sleepwalking toward a pure Boxer fleet for non-tank armour...replacement (with different modules) for ASLAV, M113AS4, & Bushmaster. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

Recon have to be light. How light?

 

Recon has to be light, but LAND 400 phase 2 was not the Reconnaissance Vehicle, but a Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle. The Boxer CRV replaces the ASLAV, which is also not a recon vehicle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree, the storyboard for CRV is quite clear, its a heavy shield to withstand an ambush and fight back.   

 

Lightweight recon, get a drone.  

 

But yes ADF might be sleepwalking to boxers everywhere.  Not a bad concept, i'ld prefer if rear axle were slighly steerable (lower tyre wear, lower street wear.)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And what do you guys think makes the difference between combat reconnaissance and "light recon"?

Both still need to be able to detect enemies at long range, both need to be able to arrive at a destination and dash back very quickly, but the CRVs are supposed to enhance all these parameters are act as cavalry as well. 

But with the current setup, they're far more cavalry-oriented than reconnaissance oriented. It's the wrong mix.

 

Their "everyday tasks" are to detect an enemy and identify him, at the highest possible ranges, and do it with smaller resource consumption. 

Its special tasks become cavalry duties such as flank guards and rear guards.

 

I'm not saying they should put a mast or a drone on each of them, but an APS with a radar - definitely.

A mast or drone is something that can be used by the commanding vehicle since you don't really need all that much available optics from just a single point. 

 

I can't give any examples from the IDF though, as all our recon is light, and the maneuvering forces rely greatly on automatic target generation, due to the small size of the theater. 

But a CRV should not be just a simple infantry-less IFV.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Recon is best un seen, so that excludes armour anyway.

 

CRV is about being seen, so that includes heavy armour.

 

If australia wants recon, they probably call the airforce.  If they want recon with bite, its the airforce and a spike missle.

Neither really lets the locals that you have their back.  CRV lets the locals know that you are also local.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Kal said:

Recon is best un seen, so that excludes armour anyway.

 

CRV is about being seen, so that includes heavy armour.

 

If australia wants recon, they probably call the airforce.  If they want recon with bite, its the airforce and a spike missle.

Neither really lets the locals that you have their back.  CRV lets the locals know that you are also local.

 

 

The terminology I heard for this is "violent recon", where you capture a grid, attract attention, and see who is coming to retaliate and from where, or go guns blazing and see where the retaliatory firing sources are.

But it's hardly something you need to dedicate a platform to.

 

I get that they want a sort of cavalry, it's perfectly viable. But they could have easily created light infantry just for that. It's what light infantry do. 

 

All the rage is distributed intel (Radar and BMS on every vehicle) and distributed firepower (demolition capability on every vehicle). The CRV is not really doing that. 

 

Nothing really prevents an MBT from doing the exact same job. As I said, the CRV is supposed to be a cheap solution so you won't have to drag an MBT on to every patrol, but the CRV in its current state is FAR from cheap, at $13 million for each vehicle for only 20 years (i.e, half their service life), not accounting for modernization as far as I know.

But in these special rare battles, where the author claimed the heavy cavalry were reserved for, the CRV will not "shine" because it then becomes just a typical IFV without the infantry squad. 

An army that adopts distribution of capabilities will not actually need a CRV as a special vehicle with a special doctrine, but should prefer a vehicle that can do light infantry roles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Kal said:

Recon is best un seen, so that excludes armour anyway.

 

CRV is about being seen, so that includes heavy armour.

 

If australia wants recon, they probably call the airforce.  If they want recon with bite, its the airforce and a spike missle.

Neither really lets the locals that you have their back.  CRV lets the locals know that you are also local.

Two different tasks : to recon and to scout. 

To recon will reveal the enemy intent by fighting. Scout will do the same just by sneaking. If they have to fight, this is for their self protection. 

So, Recce are heavy with canon. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/20/2018 at 2:22 PM, 2805662 said:

To clarify: could a turret from another OEM (i.e. not Rheinmetall & if selected for Phase 3) be dropped onto Boxer? Functionally, sure. But contractually? The Lance turret was a major cost driver for Phase 2, swapping it out for something cheaper could be a thing. 

The answer is yes. 

The customer decides because it’s got the money. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/20/2018 at 9:37 AM, Kal said:

Lynx vs Boxer

Such a comparaison does not exist (unless for poor countries).

The choice is made at the brigade level. Do you want an armored brigade on wheels or on tracks ?

Both choices are too much different. 

 

Once this choice is made, the next question is « wich AFV chassis is the best plateforme to achieve the request mobility we want ? »

So, because of the Boxer selection, if the ADF wants a wheeled brigade, they have better to continue with it. 

If they want a heavy armored brigade, the choice is larger (just a little bit larger) : KF41 Lynx, ASCOD-2 and CV90 Mk-4. And, because the Lance turret is mounted onto the Boxer CRV, they have better to keep this turret. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For background, each of the three Australian Multi-role Combat Brigades are organised as follows:

- Brigade HQ

- Combat Signals Regiment 

- Armoured Combat Regiment (1 x Sqn MBT [upgraded via L907-2], 2 x Sqn CRV [L400-2 BoxerCRV])

- Mechanised Infantry Battalion (currently M113AS4: replacement will be L400-3 IFV)

- Motorised Infantry Battalion (Bushmaster PMV, to be replaced by L81xx [can’t recall])

- Artillery Regiment (2/3 x Bty of M777A2)

- Combat Engineer Regiment 

- Combat Service Support Battalion

 

As can be seen, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Towed guns, mix of wheeled & tracked AFV, a sub-unit of tanks for the entire brigade, insufficient organic combat engineering, and differing levels of protection & mobility for each of the infantry battalions. 

 

The brigades are almost common/interchangeable by design, but internally, they have no depth for the capabilities offered. The three MCB rotate between three phases of the force generation cycle of “readying” (training, getting new gear, being certified), “ready” (deployable), and “reset” (not rest!). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Serge said:

The answer is yes. 

The customer decides because it’s got the money. 

 

Not if Rheinmetall decline to share their IP. If Rheinmetall’s Phase 3 competitive advantage is their Phase 2 turret (effectively incumbency), what’s their incentive to share that? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, 2805662 said:

 

Not if Rheinmetall decline to share their IP. If Rheinmetall’s Phase 3 competitive advantage is their Phase 2 turret (effectively incumbency), what’s their incentive to share that? 

In that case (even though they agreed to use an Israeli turret on a Lithuanian Boxer), Phase 3 better be determined before production starts for Phase 2.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, 2805662 said:

For background, each of the three Australian Multi-role Combat Brigades are organised as follows:

- Brigade HQ

- Combat Signals Regiment 

- Armoured Combat Regiment (1 x Sqn MBT [upgraded via L907-2], 2 x Sqn CRV [L400-2 BoxerCRV])

- Mechanised Infantry Battalion (currently M113AS4: replacement will be L400-3 IFV)

- Motorised Infantry Battalion (Bushmaster PMV, to be replaced by L81xx [can’t recall])

- Artillery Regiment (2/3 x Bty of M777A2)

- Combat Engineer Regiment 

- Combat Service Support Battalion

 

As can be seen, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Towed guns, mix of wheeled & tracked AFV, a sub-unit of tanks for the entire brigade, insufficient organic combat engineering, and differing levels of protection & mobility for the infantry battalions. 

 

The brigades are almost common/interchangeable by design, but internally, they have no depth for the capabilities offered. The three MCB rotate between three phases of the force generation cycle of “readying” (training, getting new gear, being certified), “ready” (deployable), and “reset” (not rest!). 

Many thanks for that point. I better understand how deep is the problem. 

Having a MBT squadron alone into a regiment means you can’t do anything. Releif tasks must be nightmare. Spreading assets is the worst to do. 

 

Because of this organization, I think a tracked or a wheeled choice are both very close to each other. 

The best would have been to have a real armored brigade with two medium brigade. But, it’s another story. 

 

The only rly point is to keep the Lance turret. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

In that case (even though they agreed to use an Israeli turret on a Lithuanian Boxer), Phase 3 better be determined before production starts for Phase 2.

The (apparent) issue goes the other way: Rheinmetall aren’t playing nice about putting Lance turret onto other platforms for Phase 3. 

 

From a support perspective, turret commonality makes a lot of sense. The School of Armour currently trains three turrets of differing levels of complexity:

M1A1 SA turret (M256, M2/48, M240/MAG58)

ASLAV-25 Delco turret (M242, M240/MAG58)

M113 turret (a very simple turret. M2 QCB)

 

Reducing this to the tank turret & the Lance turret would help trainee throughput, whereas adding another, but selecting a different turret of similar complexity would be a training nightmare. That’s just user level. It also doubles the maintainer training requirement, and adds fleet management overheads. 

 

Here’s where we get to the nub of the L400: the procurement phases (i.e. the shortest phases) were emphasised, especially to maximise competitive tension. To that end, they were deliberately de-linked. Time will tell whether that was a smart decision. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, 2805662 said:

The (apparent) issue goes the other way: Rheinmetall aren’t playing nice about putting Lance turret onto other platforms for Phase 3. 

My point was relevant to this scenario as well.

Run the Phase 3 program, choose the winning IFV, and from there if Rheinmetall agree to play nice and do the integration, then all is well. If not, then cancel the Lance buy and choose another turret. The market is full of competing turrets. Shouldn't be an issue to find a willing supplier that can provide a turret with just the same quality, or perhaps even better, considering that the Lance isn't exactly the newest of the bunch (which is why there is already a Lance 2). 

 

For example, they pick the CV90? Then go ahead and put its turret on the Boxer. And if Rheinmetall refuse to go through with the integration even then, then just pick the Patria AMV. Though I believe they wouldn't have gone without asking Rheinmetall if they're willing to do integration on other platforms. I believe they explicitly said somewhere that they're willing.

 

I personally just wonder if they'll ever go with an APS on it, and if they do have plans, then how are they going to integrate it on the Lance?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

In that case (even though they agreed to use an Israeli turret on a Lithuanian Boxer), Phase 3 better be determined before production starts for Phase 2.

 

The Vilkas (Lithuanian Boxer) is fitted with the Samson Mk II RWS for two reasons, which aren't true for Australia. First of all, it seems that the marketing campaign for the Boxer to Lithuania was handled by KMW. AFAIK KMW and Rheinmetall are following a system similar to how the Eurofighter is sold to foreign countries (sometimes one company takes over all responsibilities for deal, sometimes another is responsible). Lithuania never tested the Boxer with the Lance turret, but rather tested the more expensive variant with the Puma's turret.

 

The second (and more important) difference between the two countries is the fact that Lithuania couldn't afford the original offer. They would have chosen another vehicle, if the Samson Mk II RWS wasn't adopted for cost-cutting measures. Australia on the other hand has the money and already signed a contract with Rheinmetall...

 

1 hour ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

If not, then cancel the Lance buy and choose another turret.

[...]

Shouldn't be an issue to find a willing supplier that can provide a turret with just the same quality, or perhaps even better, considering that the Lance isn't exactly the newest of the bunch (which is why there is already a Lance 2).  

 

You are making this too simple. In reality the contract probably includes clauses that prevent both sides from canceling it without having to pay a huge sum of compenstations. Then there is the political backlash (i.e. Rheinmetall not building the announced factory in Australia, local politicians and MPs would be pissed). Rheinmetall is not only delivering the Lance turret, but the whole Boxer and hundreds of trucks (incl. some which are already in service). There is much more on stake than just having to find a new supplier for turrets or even for wheeled 8x8 combat vehicles.

Last but not least, Australia would become an unreliable customer for all members of the arms industry. You don't cancel a billion dollar deal over something simple as turrets (specifically if there isn't even an official requirement for phase 3 contenders to use the Lance turret) without loosing all your credibility. Why would any arms manufacturer make any contracts with Australia, if there was a chance that Australia cancels the deal after a contract has been signed, because they change the requirements/agreements afterwards?

 

If you were BAE Systems & Patria, you'd abuse the fact that there would be no competition after the Boxer CRV is canceled. Just ask for twice or three times as much for the AMV-35 in such a case (something like this happened in India, where the Russian supplier - after the 125 mm APFSDS deal with IMI was scrapped due to anti-corruption laws - decided to ask for a hefty markup to sell BM-42 Mango rounds to India).

 

1 hour ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

I personally just wonder if they'll ever go with an APS on it, and if they do have plans, then how are they going to integrate it on the Lance?

 

Lance is modular. Integrating an APS should be really easy; however they also could opt for a hull-mounted APS. Remember that everything on the Lance turret except the basic structure with the operators' station is contained in various add-on parts. Just put the APS in such an add-on part and you're done with adding an APS to Lance.

 

6220.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, SH_MM said:

Australia on the other hand has the money and already signed a contract with Rheinmetall...

Slight correction - not yet they don’t. Well, not for L400-2. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kinda weird that the TC's sight is right above the gunner and not the TC. Probably feels odd for the TC.

Anyway, shame they only have it manned so far. Hoping to see an unmanned Lance 2.0 RC soon.

 

EDIT: Come to think of it, there's something else bothering me. We've seen RAFAEL and IMI integrating or just sticking their APS onto every random vehicle. Lightest to heaviest. Yet Rheinmetall, which produces both the AFV and the APS, does not showcase its AMAP-ADS system on any of its newest marketed vehicles, especially the Lynx family and Puma.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting you mention APS....you may recall that the US Army was having power generation issues with the Iron Fist for Bradley? Apparently that limitation is also present on a couple of other favourites for L400-3. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • By delfosisyu
      I can't read russian or ukraine language so the range of information is very limited for russian AFVs.
       
       
      I'd like to have information about how fast turrets of soviet IFVs rotate.
       
       
      Especially BMP2, BMP3, BTR-82
    • By Belesarius
      http://www.janes.com/article/53057/boxer-the-favourite-for-lithuanian-ifv-buy
       
      30mm Cannon and Javelins for armament.
      Is that the first vehicle mounting the Jav?
       
    • By Belesarius
      http://www.janes.com/article/52476/german-army-receives-first-production-standard-puma-aifv
       
      30mm with airburst capability, and supposedly better mine protection than a Leo 2.
       
    • By LostCosmonaut
      There are some who believe that Infantry Fighting Vehicles, such as the CV90 or BMP, are an inherently flawed concept. These people contend that IFVs try to be both a tank and an armored personel carrier, and fail to effectively perform in either role. As a result, were a sustained high-intensity conflict to occur, they would fare poorly. To my uninformed eye, this argument appears to have some merit. However, I am curious to hear to opinions of those more knowledgable than myself (or heck, anyone with an opinion at all).
×