FROM THE FILES OF LFS ORDNANCE DEPT.
- Lone Free State proprietary information -
To: LFS central command
SUBJ: RE: candidate heavy armored truck designs
In conclusion of the evaluation process, LFS Ordnance would also like to share its in-house design for consideration. It was assumed that the Ordnance Dept was being put together to meet the failure of industry to meet the old armored truck requirement, and that the new requirements were in addition to those of the previous competitive bidding process. As a result, we were somewhat surprised to discover an RFP had been sent out and that industry had not only replied with multiple proposals, many of them with caterpillar tracks rather than the usually accepted pneumatic tires! Nevertheless, attached is the Ordnance proposal for the heavy armored truck requirement, and Ordnance welcomes its new role as a more advisory body in the acceptance trials of the industry prototypes.
See attached proposal.
Ordnance Design Proposal HT-1 “Howling Retriever” Main Battle Truck
Table of basic statistics:
Mass, combat (armor)
94,600 Lb (47,300 Lb armor)
Length, combat (transport)
369” = 30’ 9”
Width, combat (transport)
142” = 11’ 10”
Height, combat (transport)
114” = 9’ 6” to top of commander’s sight, 99” = 8’ 3” to turret body roof
Ground Pressure, zero penetration
1986 PSF NGP (25” tire width, 24” rolling radius on 55” dia tires for 28” length contact patch)
Up to 60 MPH on hard ground
526 Miles at 40 MPH (690 HP and 2,200 Lb fuel)
Crew, number (roles)
3-5 - Commander, gunner, driver, 2 optional dismounts/waist gunners.
Main armament, caliber (ammo count ready/stowed)
5”/45 high pressure gun, 17 ready, 0-27 stowed 5”x24.6” semi-combustible case.
Secondary armament, caliber (ammo count ready/stowed)
Coaxial .30 MG - 2,000 ready, 6,000 stowed Over-gun .50 HMG - 100 ready, 800 stowed Commander’s .30 MG - 600 ready, 1800 stowed
4x .30 waist guns - 500 rounds ready per gun, none stowed, not intended for reloading in combat.
Grenade projectors - 24 ready, 24 stowed 3” smoke grenade launchers may be armed with HE grenades for close in defense against infantry. WP smoke grenades also have substantial anti-infantry effects.
Vehicle designer’s notes: explain the thought process behind the design of the vehicle, ideas, and the development process from the designer’s point of view.
Vehicle feature list:
1. Appendix 1 - performance spec
2. Engine- V8 AVDS- 1200 - From the early-war documentary series Mad Max, it is clear that the optimal engine type for long range motorized conflict or patrolling is the V8. featuring intercoolers, large radiators, and a PTO at the rear to power the truck’s pneumatics, as well as a 650 Amp alternator, this engine is conservatively rated at 700 HP and not the 900 HP one would expect from cutting down a 1790 with the same mods. This is intentional, the de-rating intended to boost the reliability and lifetime of the engine, allowing longer ranged patrols with less frequent maintenance or replacement required. The air-cooling is likewise very reliable and very robust, being mostly immune to damage to the fans or fins, and potentially even to the loss of a cylinder or two.
3. Transmission - Copy of the pre-war Allison 4700 SP, uprated to 700 HP, with the coolant running through the radiators on the engine as is typical for AVDS engines. Also modified to have 2 reverse ratios rather than one, the combination of torque converter and a large number of gear ratios allows good torque delivery at any power output. The transmission connects to a 2-range transfer case, which also contains the AWD selector clutch. Rear wheels (axles 4 and 5) are always engaged, axles 1-3 selectable. Ranges and speeds are estimated as in low range, with those in high range being proportionally greater. The transfer case feeds the lengthwise drive shafts, which then in turn feed the (pneumatically lockable) diffs on each axle. Steering is accomplished via a pneumatic assist, feeding the second axle with Ackerman bars, with the rest being connected by H-style linkage bars as well as cross-bars to prevent the loss of one wheel preventing the steering of others.
4. Fuel - Diesel, approximately 2,200 lb, stowed in the front hull left behind an 0.4” bulkhead, and in the engine compartment under the V engine. Fuel is the lifeblood of the vehicle’s mobility, and is therefore stowed entirely under armor yet also separate from the crew. Range is estimated as 526 miles in low range, using the formula for tracked vehicles as requested. It is however noted that a good rule of thumb is that tracked vehicles have half the fuel efficiency of a wheeled vehicle at the same weight and power, so actual range will likely be much greater. Being behind an armored bulkhead, the front fuel tank can also participate ballistically against threats which make it through the frontal armor or through the wheel well gap in the frontal arc. In such a case, the rear engine compartment tanks should provide enough emergency range to get out of trouble.
5. Other neat features in the engine bay. The powerpack, featuring the engine, transmission, cooling, and pneumatic system, slides out on rails around 45” before lifting, to clear the dismount compartment tunnel the transmission is located in. Air filtration is located in the left large sponson box, along with 4 6T size 12V batteries, with the right large sponson box featuring a small 15 HP APU also driving the compressor for the crew’s AC.
Engine features a pneumatic start feature for high starting reliability.
6. Suspension - 10x10 Double wishbone with twin coil spring suspension on large off-road tires, featuring a travel of 10” jounce (in addition to additional tire compression), ground clearance of 15” minimum at the wishbones, 28” to the center of the V-hull, mounted to hull outriggers stiffened by the driveline components themselves.
7. CTIS fed off truck pneumatic system for best suiting the ground pressure to the terrain.
1. Appendix 1 - performance spec
2. Appendix 2 - armor array details
3. Non-specified survivability features and other neat tricks A. The armored truck features an extremely low profile in firing position.
B. The armor is fully modular, allowing both easy replacement of damaged modules, as well as easy future upgrades.
C. All flammable materials other than the optional stowed ammo are separated from the crew behind blast bulkheads.
D. The design features very thick roof armor, to help defend against valley ambushes, mountain combat, indirect fire, air attacks, or the like.
E. The ability to dismount a scout section of 2 men to scout ahead of the vehicle in close terrain or beyond cover allows the vehicle to avoid situations it may otherwise have blundered into. It is suggested that should platoon or larger formations be used, that a mix of gun-trucks and troop-trucks be employed for an optimal carrying capacity of both men and ammunition to be achieved.
F. The side doors both allow dismounting under fire and quick resupply and return to the fight.
G. Dedicated waist gunners offer a much more comprehensive ability to lay down suppressive fire along the flanks than alternatives.
H. The thick bottom, V-shape, and extreme standoff offer very good protection against mines and IEDs.
I. All equipment is mounted to the sides or roof, not the floor, to prevent whiplash from mines.
J. Driveline is immune to the loss of any single wheel, and likely all 2-wheel - loss combinations.
K. Sponson boxes are made of 0.4" HH, to protect both their contents and the wheels from small arms fire and fragmentation threats.
L. Large quantity of smoke or HE grenade launchers (24+24 for 4+4 salvos of 6). Fired from the commander’s position.
M. Sufficient electronic overhead to accept warning systems as well as softkill and potentially hard-kill active protection means when those mature. It is not seen as necessary to mount such a system yet, as current threat weapon systems are not SACLOS.
1. Appendix 1 - performance spec
2. Main Weapon-
a. Type: high pressure, long recoil stroke smoothbore with vertical sliding breech.
b. Caliber: 5” L/45
c. ammunition types and performance:
1) DU slug, steel body, spool sabot, subcaliber fin, APFSDS. The performance of this round cannot possibly be worse than that of the 3BM22 of yore, boasting 17” of penetration at 1.25 miles. Likely, the performance is substantially better, but even if not, the gun is sufficiently powerful that substantial growth potential exists to rounds more powerful than any fielded by the Kraut 4.7” gun from ages long forgotten. MV of at around 6,000 ft/s.
2) Multi purpose HE, featuring a hardened body capped with a ballistic cap and pre-formed frag, nose fuze with 2 modes and a backup tail fuze. MV of at least 3,000 ft/s, with an all-up weight of 59 lb. Mode 1 - Super Quick - for use in the open against soft targets or very hard targets where penetration isn’t considered likely. In this mode, the tail fuze acts only as a backup. Mode 2 - Point Detonating Delay - for use against semi - hard targets such as bunkers, lightly armored trucks, and troops in cover. In this mode the nose fuze is disabled and only the delay tail fuze acts, to detonate only after penetration or ricochet. As a future growth option, a selectable time fuze is proposed. HEAT ammunition is not considered worth the effort, as it is expected that any targets resistant enough to the HE round will also feature a reactive armor kit serious enough to render such a round moot.
d. Ammo stowage arrangement- 17 ready in autoloader in turret bustle blowout compartment, up to 27 stowed in fire-resistant sleeves in dismount compartment instead of dismounts. Spare MG ammo stowed in spaced armor pockets along turret roof sides, and inside turret under crew seats and floor.
e. FCS - Fully independently stabilized gunsights, with “3-switch” style firing, with gun hydraulically stabilized in closed loop via gun resolver. Hydraulics for gunnery and autoloader live in turret bustle, under the autoloader, with only thin lines running into the fighting compartment. Commander’s independent fire control cupola, featuring stabilization piggybacked off the turret stabilization, and laser rangefinder. Commander has override ability and controls. Gunner’s sight features dual channel (space claim for thermal optics when they are ready), 2-axis stabilized mirror, plus laser rangefinder and 1X periscope forwards.
f. Neat features:
1) The main gun features a very high max elevation of +30 degrees, to better aim at targets in annoyingly high places, like mountain passes.
2) Autoloading and independent stabilization allow true fire-on-the-move capability.
3. Secondary weapons.
a. Coax .30. Rigidly tied to the main armament, internally operated, can hot-swap barrels or be reloaded (by the gunner).
b. Overhead .50. Rigidly tied to main armament, externally loaded but fired from within the vehicle.
c. Commander’s .30 MG - fired from within the cupola, fed from 600 round banana box above the periscopes behind the hatch.
d. Waist MGs - 4, servo-driven and controlled either by the waist gunners via joystick, periscope, and tracer, or by driver, via automatic sweep in traverse and elevation using limit switches (as featured in the documentary Breaking Bad). 500 rounds each, to be reloaded out of combat, likewise limit switch limits may be set out of combat.
e. WP or HE 3” grenades in the smoke grenade launchers for immediate, close-in, destructive fire in a 60 deg arc. Fired from the commander’s position in salvos of 6.
f. Dismount weapons. Typically, scouts are equipped with self-loading rifles or auto-rifles, including scoped variants, but are also capable of operating most infantry weapons, including dismounted machine guns from the vehicle. The ability to provide fire and maneuver in conjunction with a base of fire laid down by the parent vehicle allows the solving of usually complex tactical situations.
4. Appendix 3 - weapon system magic
1. Primary gunsight:
Type: 2 axis, independently (electrically) stabilized mirror head, 2-channel, with integrated LRF and 1X direct vision periscope. Due to lack of space in the turret, there is no direct extension for the commander to see through, for the thermal sight a repeater will be installed in the commander’s position.
Second channel is currently occupied by a 2nd-gen I2 device, to be replaced by thermals as soon as possible.
2. Commander’s independent sight:
Part of the FCS cupola, featuring single channel day/ I2 optics (with potential thermal upgrade down the line), stabilized by piggyback off the turret gyro unit and a coarse resolver around the cupola ring, intended to balance cost and quality. Solution is unlikely to be useful for long range gunnery, but sufficient for close range gunnery and for selecting targets for the gunner to interrogate and engage with his superior optics.
3. Commander’s peripheral periscopes:
Give the FCS cupola good all-around vision when buttoned down, especially over the right of the turret.
4. Gunner’s peripheral periscopes: Give the gunner a good view over the left, (both a bit forwards and a bit aft of 9 oclock), of the turret when buttoned down, complementing the commander’s field of view.
5. Driver’s periscopes:
Positioned at the edge of the 15 degree slope, give the driver a good field of view in front of the vehicle with few obstructions. Center periscope may be equipped with I2 devices for night driving. Periscopes for this position are of the split type, with one reflective surface in the hatch and the other in the hull to allow easier opening of the driver’s hatch.
6. Mk 1 eyeball. Commander’s hatch features an open protected position, and the angles of the roof allow him good all-around vision without having to stick his head too far out.
7. Waist gunner periscopes. These periscopes offer a good field of view to the front quarter of each side, especially upwards, to allow the waist gunners to direct their fire against targets in those likely ambush sectors.
8. Dismount scouts.
Better than any other vision system, and capable of operating all infantry optical devices, as well as self-deploying short distances away to scout dangerous terrain before the vehicle advances.
1. 2-axis stabilized 5” L/45 smoothbore
2. Independently 2-axis stabilized gunner’s sight with dual channel operation and LRF
3. Independently stabilized commander’s FCS cupola with built-in MG
4. Electronic computer for controlling turret systems.
5. Servo drives for waist MGs
6. Appendix 3 - weapon system magic
1. Air conditioning - a must have, particularly for the dismounts who have no hatches for use while in motion. Located in the right large sponson box along with the APU, feeding the crew compartment via the dismount compartment. Aircon also aids in maintaining the life of electronic components, an important feature for such an electronically-rich vehicle.
With flow reversal, the aircon unit heats the crew compartment during the winter, with none of the dangers of a fuel-powered crew heater.
2. Drinking water. There is a tank for drinking water installed, between the frontal fuel tank and the turret basket.. With a capacity of 47 gallons, this allows the tank to operate in the desert and support infantry for extended operations without supply. Additional external stowage is of course possible. A heat exchanger with the driver’s aircon pipe allows drinking water below ambient temperature.
3. Diesel -powered burner stove for cooking hot meals outside the vehicle.
4. Height. All seats are adjustable and suitable to the above-average Texan recruit. There is sufficient headroom and elbow space in every crew position.
5. Fume extractor on the barrel greatly reduces the flow of gas into the fighting compartment when the gun fires.
1. Suspension capable of taking both current weight and potential weight growth without excessive wear, though at higher ground pressure. Ground pressure can be reduced via CTIS at the cost of increased tire wear.
2. Armor upgradeability, as the armor is modular.
3. Powerpack allows upgrades as they become available, and rear wheel position allows extending the hull rearwards should more space be required in the powerpack compartment.
4. Spare internal volume for more vetronics.
5. Frontally removable gun, allows easy maintenance and upgrading.
1. Current development of variants includes:
a. HAPC/HIFV (similar in concept to a heavy BTR-82A), as well as sub-variants for command, MEDEVAC, recovery, and other purposes.
b. SPAA (Shilka-like turret, with twin 1.5” guns, and basic air search and ranging radars; plenty of space for more advanced electronics when available. Also useful for bullying mormonhideen off of mountains)
c. Howitzer truck - Similar chassis, but with outrigger stabilizers, less heavy armor, and a larger turret with an unstabilized 6" gun capable of even higher elevation and an enlarged autoloader, for providing maneuver forces with the requisite heavy artillery support they may require.
d. Medium armored truck - by removing much of the modular armor from the HR, substantial mobility potential is unleashed. It is recommended that a few vehicles be so used in long range patrols where heavy weapons are not expected to be encountered.
2. The compressed air system connects to a pneumatic joint in the engine bay, to which air-powered tools can be attached. Current supplied tools as basic vehicle equipment include a pressure blower for cleaning air filters and the like, a pneumatic bolt-driver, a pneumatic jack, and other assorted goodies.
Free expression zone:
Certain members of the Ordnance design team are convinced that tracked armored trucks will never catch on, whereas others are convinced that tracks are the one true way whereas wheeled vehicles are inherently less survivable. Isolating these two groups has taken substantial development effort, as well as the classification of the term "death trap" as fightin' words.