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United States Military Vehicle General: Guns, G*vins, and Gas Turbines

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NBC sniffer with updated sensors and a UGV.


The sensor package upgrade consists of six sensor capabilities.
1. The Deep Purple Unmanned Aerial Vehicle equipped with the Array Configurable of Remote Network Sensors flies sensors into a chemical cloud for interrogation.
2. A Joint Chemical Agent Detector automatically detects, identifies and alarms to chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial chemical vapors.
3. A standoff detector called the improved Mobile Chemical Agent Detector detects, identifies and maps chemical weapon vapors.
4. The Vehicle Integrated Platform Enhanced Radiation Detection, Indication, and Computation is the NBCRV's internal point sensor and is specifically tailored for mounted operations in radiological-nuclear environments.
5. The Mounted Enhanced RADIAC Long-Range Imaging Networkable (MERLIN) system, which is comprised of two subsystems that are complementary but work independently of each other, MERLIN-Imager (MERLIN-I) and the MERLIN-Applique (MERLIN-A). MERLIN-I enables stationary standoff radioisotope detection and MERLIN-A consists of four sensors mounted on the corners of the NBCRV, enabling moving standoff detection.
6. The Chemical Sensor Detector analyzes ground liquids using a laser and spectrometer and is deployable on-the-move.








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AAV-P7A1 CATFAE (Catapult launched Fuel Air Explosives).  Troop carrying capabilities were exchanged for 21 fuel-air ordnance launchers for the purpose of clearing minefields and other obstacles durin

About two and a half years ago i've stumbled across some russian book about western IFVs, which apparently was a mere compilation of articles from western magazines translated into russian. There was

Recoil system of the M256:  

1 hour ago, Ramlaen said:



that photo and 3 more - allmost identical and made within several seconds - from twitter in its maximum size of 3 Mpix :









and another photo of the same event made by another photograph - from some news site - in 16 Mpix



and 2 hi-rez photos of workers in M1's hull





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Honestly kind of happy they are going back to NATO tricolor on M1A2C.





Also this might be wrong because the turret is asymetrical and Damian isn't comparing the same side.



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I'm usually skeptical due to angles of capture and possible turret (which also happens to be assymetrical, as it is thicker on the right side to accommodate the commander and gunner stations) traverse angle, but the mount for the foremost ARAT-2 ERA is indeed farther from the turret cheek's corner on the A2C than it is on the A2B. While it is not bode well for the Abrams' weight, it is nice to see its protection is still updated beyond merely swapping the contents of the armor cavities.


As for the hull geometry, can't tell on my little screen.

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19 hours ago, Ramlaen said:

Also this might be wrong because the turret is asymetrical and Damian isn't comparing the same side.

Damian... probably the main source of myths about Abrams... He is constantly inventing new ones. He constantly tries to elevate the Abrams to godlike levels. His affection to this tank is so bad that I bet he would marry one if he would be able to :) 

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3 hours ago, 2805662 said:

Is M1A2B official nomenclature? I’ve only seen reference to M1A2C (SEP v.3) and M1A2D (v.4) in US Army literature. 

The intention was to completely eliminate the "SEP" thing, and simplify it to single letters. While there was no confirmation, it is safe to assume there are an M1A2A and B.

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3 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

The intention was to completely eliminate the "SEP" thing, and simplify it to single letters. While there was no confirmation, it is safe to assume there are an M1A2A and B.

Thanks. Makes sense - which probably reduces the likelihood of it being adopted! 😂 

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1 hour ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

I would normally support the installation of systems like Elbit's IronVision or BAE's BattleView on any AFV above 20 tons, but how are Elbit going to fit both the IronVision AND Iron Fist (yeah I get it now, everything Iron) at the same time?



Isn't it the box on top of the gunners sight? The other optic isn't necessary with the commanders independant sight.

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10 minutes ago, Ramlaen said:


Isn't it the box on top of the gunners sight? The other optic isn't necessary with the commanders independant sight.

Yes, it is that box. But it's not going to be on that stand. They could put it in some neat way above the gunner's sight, in which case it might be okay.

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Next-Gen Combat Vehicle competition to open up soon

The Army is expecting to open up a competition for its Next-Generation Combat Vehicle by issuing a request for proposals by the end of the week, Brig. Gen. Ross Coffman, who is in charge of NGCV modernization, told Defense News in an interview ahead of the Association of the U.S. Army’s Global Force Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama.

The NGCV Cross-Functional Team, which serves under the Army Futures Command, to develop a fleet of modern combat vehicles — both manned and unmanned — put together requirements in less than a year that it will need to start a competitive process to procure an Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) in 2026 to replace its Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

Replacing the Bradley is the NGCV CFT’s number one priority, Coffman said in an interview with Defense News last fall.


The OMFV is meant to “provide options to commanders in combat, so it’s a decision to, manned or unmanned, gain contact with the enemy, and that can be visual or through firepower, and it actually provides options to commanders so that they can use the best way to accomplish their mission,” he said at the time.

After working with industry through countless engagements and testing out several draft RFPs with ambitious requirements, Coffman said he believes the Army has both the threshold requirements for the vehicle as well as the objective requirements right as the service heads toward the release of the final RFP.

“We put out a very aggressive draft RFP,” Coffman told reporters March 27 at the Association of the U.S. Army’s Global Force Symposium, because the CFT knew it was not obtainable in its entirety.

The draft RFP was meant to stretch goals and objectives and to inspire feedback in order to write requirements that are obtainable, Coffman explained.


Teasing out some of the requirements, Coffman said the Army’s threshold requirement is to procure a vehicle with a 30mm gun with an objective requirement of 50mm.

“We want the 50mm,” Coffman said, and industry can provide a gun that size, but since the service is moving so fast on the program, it was more realistic to shoot for a 30mm and ask industry to show a path to 50mm when responding with proposals.

The Army absolutely has to have Forward-Looking Infrared (FLIR) capability that is “as good or better than what we have,” Coffman added, with an objective requirement to have whatever the next-generation of night-sight capabilities are. “We want to see the enemy before they see us and we want to be able to engage the enemy beforeo they engage us,” he said.

This means the service is asking for a 2nd generation FLIR, but would like a 3rd generation FLIR as an objective requirement.

“Industry understands that we are moving fast,” Coffman said, with a desire to get capability into the hands of soldiers as fast as possible, but he said, “they also understand the first vehicle off the production line will have certain capabilities and, in future increments, will have increased capabilities and so our plan to maintain currency with technology, I think is encouraging to industry, but they also are well aware the that the timeline is fast and they have to deliver this, these vehicles with technology they have now.”

Proposals will be due this fall and the service plans to downselect to two competitors who will build 14 prototypes. The Army will likely take about 14 months to decide on which offerings will move forward into the prototyping phase.

Coffman added that the Bradley has served the force well, “but it’s limited, so what I’m confident in is the vehicle that we are going to give our soldiers will be better than the Bradley and better than the enemy vehicles that we will engage and we will continue to push the envelope on new technologies.

“But if we wait for all of those new technologies to reach a level of maturation that can be integrated into a vehicle we will never get started,” he said.


another article on that http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2019/3/27/army-to-release-optionally-manned-fighting-vehicle-rfp with additional statements:


 The Army plans to release a request for proposals for the optionally manned fighting vehicle March 29, a senior service official said March 27.


For instance, the service wants to avoid putting too many features on the vehicle that may increase its weight and compromise its transportability, he said. The Army wants to be able to fit two vehicles in one C-17, he said. 
“We've had to really sharpen the point of those three areas to ensure that it meets the weight — that we can move these vehicles wherever in the world we need them with the appropriate assets,” he said.
However, the vehicle is expected to have additive armor kits available to provide additional protection, he noted. 


another article on that - with some look back on FCS and GCV https://breakingdefense.com/2019/03/ngcv-hard-choices-in-bradley-replacement-rfp-out-friday/ and how NGCV-OMFV became less ambitious that what was initially planned, and with some info on unmanned things:


Many in the defense industry were clearly anxious this latest attempt to replace the Bradley might go the way of its two predecessors and be canceled. A complaint that the OMFV requirements were unachievable was the first thing I heard on arrival in Huntsville for the conference — before I even left the airport — and the concern came up as a question for the first Army speaker, Futures Command chief Gen. John “Mike” Murray, who deferred to Coffman.


The problem was two-fold, Coffman said. One issue was sheer weight. The draft requirement called for so much protection on the baseline vehicle (as opposed to the bolt-on b-kit) that the OMFV came in too heavy for the C-17. The other issue was height, since ground clearance — the distance between the ground and the bottom of the hull — is the first line of defense against roadside bombs and land mines: The OMFV would’ve been too tall.

“There’s the triad, right: lethality survivability and mobility,” Coffman said. “We want two OMFVs per C-17. If you push the survivability standard so high, then you need incredible armor protection, you need incredible height of the vehicle, based on blast.”


In this wider understanding of survivability, the best way to protect the troops is to take them out of the vehicle altogether. That’s a big part of why the Bradley replacement will be the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle. Coffman’s NGCV team is also working on completely unmanned Robotic Combat Vehicles, with the first platoon-sized experiment — four robots and two manned command vehicles — scheduled for next year.

These aren’t sci-fi killer robots, however. At least initially, “unmanned” will mean “remotely controlled,” with two human operators — a driver and a gunner/sensor operator — teleoperating each unmanned machine. Over time, however, the Army expects to upgrade as technology improves, first getting down to one human remote-controlling one unmanned vehicle, then having one human supervise multiple robots. But the Army never wants to take the human out of the loop, so keeping communications open between man and machine is critical.

Current encrypted radio technology can communicate over about 20 kilometers (12.5 miles), Coffman said. It doesn’t yet have the massive bandwidth required to relay video of an unmanned vehicle’s surroundings, but he’s confident he and Army Futures Command‘s other Cross Functional Teams — the network, long-range firepower, et al. — can overcome that limitation.

“While it’s going to require a bigger pipe, I think technology’s going to get us to about 18 kilometers [11 miles],” Coffman said. That stand-off distance, he said, “when you combine it with all the CFT efforts, is about what we need to continue to fight the way we want to fight and to protect our soldiers.”


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I still don’t understand two points

- did the US Army take a clear decision about the armoured platoon organization it wants ? Does it wants a classical « 1 section per AFV » system or can it accept to go for a 2 AFV to carry a section ?

- what is the interest in having an optionally maned IFV ? I can understand the need for an UGV, but what kind of task can one give to a vehicle without its crew ?


Today, when considering the autonomous car, the industry knows it’s impossible to reach the level 5. It’s far too complexe. So, because land combat situations are the most complexe situation, the idea of having an optionally maned plateforme sounds strange. 

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