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Renegade334 last won the day on March 31

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  1. https://breakingdefense.com/2024/03/army-inks-iron-fist-buy-for-bradley-fleet-after-years-of-budget-delays/ Army inks Iron Fist buy for Bradley fleet, after years of budget delays “We were able to find some efficiencies [in the supplemental] that allowed us to buy small quantities of Iron Fist,” Maj. Gen. Glenn Dean, the service’s Program Executive Officer for Ground Combat Systems told Breaking Defense. By ASHLEY ROQUE on March 26, 2024 at 5:05 PM GLOBAL FORCE 2024 — The US Army quietly inked a deal for a new active protection system for M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, despite having previously saying it was unable to afford them, a two-star general told Breaking Defense today. Maj. Gen. Glenn Dean, the service’s Program Executive Officer for Ground Combat Systems, said that the Army managed to move money around that will allow the service to finally equip the Elbit Systems-produced Iron Fist Light Decoupled (IF-LD) onto a handful of Bradleys, but cautioned that the total procurement is more in the “dozens” than fleet-wide. “I can say that we have gone into production on APS for Bradley in limited quantities,” Dean said in a brief interview from the show floor of the AUSA Global Force conference. “We were able to find some efficiencies [in the supplemental] that allowed us to buy small quantities of Iron Fist. The service is still nailing down the fielding plan but as it buys new Bradleys to replace those sent to Ukraine, they will come off the production line ready to accept Iron Fist APS. What isn’t clear yet, according to Dean, is if the APS will be integrated immediately or if it will be kept in reserve until a unit deploys, an avenue the Army is using for its Abrams fleet. For years the service has been hunting for APS’ to integrate onto M1 Abrams main battle tanks, Bradleys and Strykers to protect soldiers inside from incoming threats like rocket propelled grenades and one-way attack drones. It eventually selected two systems from Israeli firms: Buying Rafael’s Trophy APS for the M1A2 Abrams System Enhancement Package version 3 (SEPv3) and picking Elbit Systems’ Iron Fist Light Decoupled for its Bradley line. While service leaders began purchasing the Trophy systems, funding shortfalls prevented them from acquiring Iron Fist (a position they reasserted as recently as December 2023). But at a time when the wars inside Ukraine and Gaza showcase combat vehicle vulnerabilities to such aerial threats, something shifted for the Army, and in late-January the service posted a presolicitation notice seeking qualified sources that could provide Iron Fist to the Army as part of an eight-year deal for its Bradley vehicle upgrade initiative. Although some Abrams and, soon, some Bradleys will have APS protection, Strykers remain without a candidate. Last year the service completed limited characterization testing with a possible candidate called StrikeShield, a hybrid hard-kill and armor solution by Rheinmetall and its US partner Unified Business Technologies, but that didn’t prove to be the right solution. “We don’t have a suitable solution,” Dean said today. ----- https://www.ausa.org/news/rainey-army-needs-industrys-help-transform RAINEY: ARMY NEEDS INDUSTRY’S HELP TO TRANSFORM Wed, 03/27/2024 - 12:33 From off-the-shelf technology that can help soldiers today to next-generation autonomous vehicles and command-and-control capabilities, Army Futures Command is looking to its industry teammates for help. “Indisputably, the amount of technology disruption in the character of war is unprecedented, and it just keeps getting faster and faster,” said Gen. James Rainey, commanding general of Futures Command. During a keynote presentation March 27 at the Association of the U.S. Army’s Global Force Symposium and Exposition in Huntsville, Alabama, Rainey said the Army is “trying to do continuous transformation,” and it is “not going to succeed” without help from “industry teammates, big, little and small.” “We don’t really have a technology problem in the Army,” Rainey said. “What we have is a technology adoption problem. The American industrial base is such a huge advantage we have in our country. How do we bring that to bear?” As it works to deliver the capabilities soldiers need, Futures Command is approaching the service’s transformation in three periods of time. Over the next 18 to 24 months, “we have to look at what’s happening in the world and adapt faster,” Rainey said, citing Army Chief of Staff Gen. Randy George’s “transforming in contact” initiative. “The term ‘transforming in contact’ confuses some people,” Rainey said. “What we’re saying is the great brigade combat teams and divisions we have right now that are rotating forward into [the U.S. Central Command region], into Europe, into the Indo-Pacific and other places, that’s the best place for us to work on transformation.” George has challenged leaders to look at what capabilities the Army can put in soldiers’ hands “so they can experiment with it and learn with it and provide feedback … so we can get better next year and get better every year after that.” Some key capabilities the Army is seeking in the near-term include loitering munitions, ground-based rockets and missiles and counter-unmanned aerial systems that would work alongside an armored company or a light infantry company, he said. The Army also is working “very hard” on human-machine integrated formations that blend soldiers with robotic and autonomous vehicles, Rainey said. “We’re never going to replace humans with machines,” he said. “It’s about putting those two things together in an optimal way that makes the Army better.” Over the next two to seven years, the Army is looking to work on launched effects, the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft and the Extended Range Cannon Artillery, also known as ERCA. “ERCA is a requirement, not a thing,” Rainey said. “We did a rapid prototyping effort, and we watched what’s going on in Ukraine and adjusted what we’re doing with ERCA.” This includes focusing on the round instead of the platform. “Just by focusing on the round, we had a significant amount of success in extending the range,” Rainey said. Futures Command also is pursuing a “better armored howitzer” and mobile indirect fires, and Rainey said he’s “very interested” in an autonomous robotic cannon solution for the Army’s joint forcible entry formations, such as the 82nd Airborne Division. The service also must “relook our suite of mortars,” he said. The network is another priority, Rainey said. By developing what he termed “next-generation command and control,” Rainey said, “commanders can make more, better and faster decisions.” The Army’s systems can’t be just a little bit better than its adversaries’ systems, Rainey said. “It has to be 10 [times] better,” he said. “We can’t be a little bit faster; we’ve got to be way faster.” Finally, the Army is looking out to 2030 and beyond. “There are real opportunities for us to transform and make bigger adjustments than we can make in the next five to seven years,” Rainey said about the long-term window. This includes advances in robotics and force protection but also updates to how soldiers fight. “We exist to dominate the land, and the land domain isn’t going out of business,” Rainey said. In the future, the fight will be long, Rainey said. “I do not believe in the short, sharp war idea,” he said. “Nuclear-equipped superpowers, if they got into an existential fight, I believe it’ll be a long, tough, nasty fight. We … need to be clear-eyed about that, and we need to make sure we have the endurance.” This includes endurance within the defense industrial base, magazine depth and making sure “we recruit and train humans who will be able to withstand the horrors of what will be the next war we fight,” he said. The Army also must look at how it can improve the lethality and survivability of its light infantry formations and its casualty evacuation and medical treatment capabilities on the battlefield, Rainey said. “We have to never forget that this is about close-combat dominance,” and the men and women who are on the front lines, he said. ...also Gen. Rainey: https://breakingdefense.com/2024/03/towed-artillery-has-reached-end-of-the-effectiveness-army-four-star-declares/ “I personally believe that we have witnessed the end of the effectiveness of towed artillery: The future is not bright for towed artillery,” Rainey told an audience today at the Association of the US Army’s Global Force symposium. Looking at large scale operations against threats like China, the US Army instead needs mobile, indirect fires, especially in its lighter Stryker formations, he added. Rainey, and other Army leaders, have been working on the tactical fires study that grapples with just what mix of artillery capabilities the future arsenal needs. While the four-star general did not provide an in-depth readout of all the options and recommendations included in that document, an ample number of towed cannons appears to be out. What’s in, then? Rainey called out the desire to build and field autonomous, robotic cannons that soldiers and special operators can use for entry operations, and, for now, the service “is not wed to any caliber.” Edit: - ninja'ed by @Ramlaen in the APS thread. Didn't see he already posted it there.
  2. I'm seeing some confusion here as to which vehicle it was meant for; I see some sources mentioning the CCVL while others say XM8 (but that one, I know had a vertically-opening breech). I do know that at some point, Benét did tinker with the XM35, creating (IIRC) four units that had different opening axes but still used the same multilug sliding breech. Two had horizontally-opening breeches while the other two had upwards-opening breeches. I seem to recall those were tentatively mounted on the LAV-AG system, a proposed assault gun for the USMC that was never adopted. Anyway, the breech block's slope and the shape of the cradle assembly make me say it's a EX35/XM35. That one (see above) was mounted in FMC's XM4 AGS prototype. Technical Accomplishments in FY ... - Google Books
  3. @Wiedzmin I'll go out on a limb here and say it's the EX35 that was used in the CCVL turret. Bore evacuator is missing, but you can see where it was originally fitted on the barrel.
  4. Also, in the picture with the M256 there are two unicorns hiding at the very top behind the GBU-28 Paveway (which, as we know, was partially built out of decommissioned 203mm howitzer barrels from the now-retired M110A2 - hence its presence in the room) and the orange scissor lift: - Either the 58-caliber XM282 or the 39-caliber XM283 (based on the M198's M199) that were trialed in 1985 for the Howitzer Improvement Program (HIP); there were three guns proposed as part of the Advanced Armament System (AAS): the XM282, the XM283 (both 282 and 283 were fitted onto five M109A3E3 testbeds) and the XM284 (fitted onto four M109A3E2 testbeds). They eventually selected the XM284 for what ultimately became the M109A5. The howitzer gun on this picture looks like the XM283, but with the barrel length, it's more like a L58 XM282 (which had a chamber volume of 27.8L/1,700 cubic inches and could lob M549A1 HERA projectiles up to 45km with the XM224 propellant charge). Also note that they also cut a XM282's barrel down to 52 calibers to test liquid propellants; that L52 could also be the one seen here. - Right next to it is the L56 XM297 (chamber volume of 1,400 cubic inches) that was installed on the Crusader (which also, at one point, dabbled with liquid props before switching back to solid MACS propellant charges). Easily recognizable with its pepperpot muzzle brake.
  5. @Ramlaen The one next to the M256 is definitely a XM360. Note that wire/cable running alongside and over the breech and the three pistons (for, IIRC, a two-stage recoil) on top. However, the two guns in the group pictures are most likely M35s for the M10. There are bore evacuators (the M35 should also have an internal evacuator fan to resolve that toxic fumes issue the M10 suffered from during trials) and there are barrel shroud clamp assemblies (I assume they're clamps) right behind the muzzles. The XM360 features a pepperpot muzzle brake (even on the AbramsX, which should've been using a XM360E1 since most of the technical legwork for its installation should've already been done, but they still went with the original XM360), but the Booker's M35 doesn't.
  6. *sigh* And another one bites the dust... https://www.defensenews.com/land/2024/03/11/us-army-scraps-extended-range-cannon-artillery-prototype-effort/ BAE and Rheinmetall are probably dancing in the aisles now...
  7. We've all seen this one, but, hey - kudos to that gunner for punching above his weight: Bradley doing Bradley things, as originally intended: Hi-lo concept reappears: I know this belongs in the Brit thread, but - oh well: AGS' low-profile turret slapped on top of a Centurion Mk.V
  8. It's always nice to see M1s with actual effort put into camouflaging them for woodland environments.
  9. Got a response from The Chieftain: A pre-existing system already present at APG, then?
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