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


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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

Recoil system of the M256:  

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

Variant 1 and 2 have the most potential. They could make the same hull but interchangeable turret/gun and make most of the armor modular so that the tank can be scaled from low 50 tons (or preferably even lower) to almost 60. The developmental risk here is the 2 man crew and more difficult manual loading backup. 

 

Variant 3 i think it's pointless (most conservative/compromised of the 3) BTW why does it have 2 crewmen in the hull and 2 in the turret? Are those 2 in the turret TC and manual loader (=gunner and driver in the hull, TC and loader in the turret)? However given soldier feedback this is likely the most favored option. Why develop a next generation tank that is philosophically the same as you current one in service? Besides starting from a projected weight of 65t doesn't bode well for the future.

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2 hours ago, alanch90 said:

Variant 1 and 2 have the most potential. They could make the same hull but interchangeable turret/gun and make most of the armor modular so that the tank can be scaled from low 50 tons (or preferably even lower) to almost 60. The developmental risk here is the 2 man crew and more difficult manual loading backup. 

 

Variant 3 i think it's pointless (most conservative/compromised of the 3) BTW why does it have 2 crewmen in the hull and 2 in the turret? Are those 2 in the turret TC and manual loader (=gunner and driver in the hull, TC and loader in the turret)? However given soldier feedback this is likely the most favored option. Why develop a next generation tank that is philosophically the same as you current one in service? Besides starting from a projected weight of 65t doesn't bode well for the future.

Variant 1 and 2 have the least potential. Let's face it, a two man crew is not realistic in the field. Tank 3 still allows a lighter turret with autoloader and keeps a 4th man for UAV operation, operating the 2nd RWS, and other duties. I would assume the gunner is still in the turret with the TC and would be the backup loader since the TC can take control of the main gun from his station using the TC primary control handle. If you look closely you can see the gunners auxiliary sight on the left side of the gun mantlet. This would indicate that the gunner needs to be there to use it, unless they swaped out the old design for a digitalized version. 

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4 hours ago, alanch90 said:

Variant 1 and 2 have the most potential. They could make the same hull but interchangeable turret/gun and make most of the armor modular so that the tank can be scaled from low 50 tons (or preferably even lower) to almost 60. The developmental risk here is the 2 man crew and more difficult manual loading backup. 

 

Variant 3 i think it's pointless (most conservative/compromised of the 3) BTW why does it have 2 crewmen in the hull and 2 in the turret? Are those 2 in the turret TC and manual loader (=gunner and driver in the hull, TC and loader in the turret)? However given soldier feedback this is likely the most favored option. Why develop a next generation tank that is philosophically the same as you current one in service? Besides starting from a projected weight of 65t doesn't bode well for the future.

Now that I look closer tank 1 and 2 might not be 2 man crews. The first one appears to have four and the second three. You can see the gold colored periscopes on the turret, looks like the crew is sitting below the turret ring. 

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4 minutes ago, Insomnium95 said:

Now that I look closer tank 1 and 2 might not be 2 man crews. The first one appears to have four and the second three. You can see the gold colored periscopes on the turret, looks like the crew is sitting below the turret ring. 

Variants 1-2 have no turret hatches so unmanned turrets and the hulls seem to point to 2 man crews. The document tells that 2 man crews were proposed to soldiers and instantly rejected while they could be somewhat open to 3 man crews while 4 men was the preferred. After all thats how they are accostumed to do stuff, thats why tanks arent usually designed by crewmen. 

So the engineers kindo off gave up and hence drew Variant 3 the way the soldiers said the liked. But now they have to come up for stuff for the not-loader to do in order to justify his presence in the vehicle. I think that isolating gunner and TC is a bad idea and giving each individual tank its own drone also overloads the TC even more as he has to command both the tank itself (driver+gunner) and the drone (emergency loader/operator).

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23 minutes ago, alanch90 said:

Thats a second coaxial machinegun as described by the table below. Why put two 7.62 coaxials? Who knows

No they just labeled it wrong. It says 100 ready rounds which would mean the smaller RWS since 7.62 comes in 100 round ammo cans. Plus there's no flash hider at the end, it's got to be the GAS.  

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43 minutes ago, alanch90 said:

Variants 1-2 have no turret hatches so unmanned turrets and the hulls seem to point to 2 man crews. The document tells that 2 man crews were proposed to soldiers and instantly rejected while they could be somewhat open to 3 man crews while 4 men was the preferred. After all thats how they are accostumed to do stuff, thats why tanks arent usually designed by crewmen. 

So the engineers kindo off gave up and hence drew Variant 3 the way the soldiers said the liked. But now they have to come up for stuff for the not-loader to do in order to justify his presence in the vehicle. I think that isolating gunner and TC is a bad idea and giving each individual tank its own drone also overloads the TC even more as he has to command both the tank itself (driver+gunner) and the drone (emergency loader/operator).

Look closer, you can see periscopes. Like you said they rejected two man crews, hence the extra crew spaces. The TC would not control the drones, the extra forth crewman would. Switchblade drones are small flying munitions perfect for tanks. The Griffin IFV demonstrated carrying these. 

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10 hours ago, Insomnium95 said:

periscopes. 

Most likely SA cameras, those are mentioned as part of the equipment.

 

10 hours ago, Insomnium95 said:

they rejected two man crews, 

But they were part of the discussion. The engineers/higher ups were pushing for 2 man crews in  order to get lighter tanks (which should be the main priority) but were met with resistance by soldiers. 3 man crews proposed as a compromise while the soldiers were adamant in that 4 men (and weight like the current abrams) were preferable, after all the crews dont concern themselves with the strategic/operational/logistic aspects of deploying tanks, they care about the job they already are familiar with. So i think variants 1-2 represent what the engineers like while variant-3 is the soldiers favorite.

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I honestly have to agree with the soldiers here in terms of rejecting the 1-2 variants, but it's purely out of survivability concerns. A 60 ton + vehicle whose turret resists only 'medium cannon' (which at the most charitable is something like a 90mm Cockerill, probably meaning something more like a 57mm AC) and is armed with (in variant 1) a 120mm? There's much lighter vehicles that already essentially meet those requirements, and whatever deficiencies they have wouldn't take another 10-20 tons to remediate.

 

Variant 2 is less objectionable, but the reference to 'medium cannon' as the reference threat still boggles me for a vehicle that is 66 tons. There are already plenty of vehicles that match the weight and protection, with comparable firepower. Stuff a 130mm in the Leo 2A7+, and what exactly is this 'future' machine supposed to do better than that would?

 

While variant 3 has some objectionable old-fashioned aspects to its design (where's the ERA of any sort on Variant 1 or 3?!), it at least offers tank-level protection for a family of vehicles that are all firmly in the 'heavy' weight class.

 

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https://www.army.mil/article-amp/241277/game_changer_for_rcvs_at_fort_benning

[spoiler]Robotic Combat Vehicles (RCV) are being called “game changing” following a month-long Soldier Operational Experiment (SOE) at Fort Benning, Georgia.

During the SOE, Soldiers from A Company, 1-28th Infantry, 3rd Infantry Division used four RCV (Light) surrogates, known as the Project Origin vehicle fleet, to rapidly test emerging technologies relevant to the RCV portfolio. As the Soldiers employed the platforms in tactical scenarios, Army engineers and technicians collected the Soldiers’ feedback and will use that feedback to further develop company capabilities against a notional near-peer adversary.

“The SOE re-enforced our idea that RCVs will not operate as a standalone system, but will provide new capabilities to an integrated fighting force,” said Major Cory Wallace, RCV lead for the Next Generation Combat Vehicles Cross Functional Team.

During the SOE, the Army’s Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC) and Army Capabilities Manager- Infantry (ACM-I) integrated the Project Origin platforms into a grueling multi-week experiment to determine the potential value a RCV can provide a Rifle Platoon. During this experiment, Soldiers conducted movements to contact, attacks, and defense missions with their organic force structure and later conducted the same mission with the Project Origin platforms to clearly delineate these platform’s value.

“Anytime we have an interaction with Soldiers it’s a success, but Project Origin was a significant win,” said Todd Willert, Project Origin project manager with GVSC. “Project Origin’s five-month iteration is critical to defining the RCV’s requirements and giving our Soldiers the best possible equipment to fight and win future wars.”

GVSC has conducted several Soldier touchpoint events in the past which affected the capabilities they fielded during this most recent SOE, which concluded in mid-November. During the SOE, Soldiers from Attack Company employed a tethered Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), a counter-UAS jammer, modular smoke obscuration module, a Commonly Remote Operated Weapon System (equipped with both a M240 machine gun and a Javelin), as well as an autonomous drive function. The RCV operators controlled the vehicles using the Warfighter Machine Interface integrated on dismounted operator control units. All of these capabilities correspond to some aspect of the draft requirements for future RCVs. Additionally, the Project Origin team “swam” a platform across Fort Benning’s Victory Pond to validate the amphibious use case for RCVs.

The Soldiers unanimously stated the Project Origin platforms provided immense value in certain use cases, but failed to provide a similar value while maneuver in tandem with the Rifle Platoon in terrain favorable to dismounted maneuver. While the Project Origin team did not anticipate the Project Origin vehicles performing well in dense vegetation, they did not foresee the positive impact the platforms had on defensive operations.

“GVSC, ACM I and NGCV CFT will use this feedback to shape and inform potential force structures within the Infantry Brigade Combat Team during the ongoing RCV Campaign of Learning,” said Brig. Gen. Ross Coffman, director of the NGCV CFT. “Our knowledge of how we can utilize RCVs and what technologies and capabilities they need to posses continues to expand exponentially based on the inputs from our Soldiers.”

Project Origin continues to be an extreme “low cost, high reward” endeavor within the Army’s robotic initiatives, Coffman said.

The next item on Project Origin’s agenda is to test how the vehicles could be integrated into the Opposing Force’s force structure at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana, in summer 2021.[/spoiler]

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23 minutes ago, Ramlaen said:

https://www.army.mil/article-amp/241277/game_changer_for_rcvs_at_fort_benning

[spoiler]Robotic Combat Vehicles (RCV) are being called “game changing” following a month-long Soldier Operational Experiment (SOE) at Fort Benning, Georgia.

During the SOE, Soldiers from A Company, 1-28th Infantry, 3rd Infantry Division used four RCV (Light) surrogates, known as the Project Origin vehicle fleet, to rapidly test emerging technologies relevant to the RCV portfolio. As the Soldiers employed the platforms in tactical scenarios, Army engineers and technicians collected the Soldiers’ feedback and will use that feedback to further develop company capabilities against a notional near-peer adversary.

“The SOE re-enforced our idea that RCVs will not operate as a standalone system, but will provide new capabilities to an integrated fighting force,” said Major Cory Wallace, RCV lead for the Next Generation Combat Vehicles Cross Functional Team.

During the SOE, the Army’s Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC) and Army Capabilities Manager- Infantry (ACM-I) integrated the Project Origin platforms into a grueling multi-week experiment to determine the potential value a RCV can provide a Rifle Platoon. During this experiment, Soldiers conducted movements to contact, attacks, and defense missions with their organic force structure and later conducted the same mission with the Project Origin platforms to clearly delineate these platform’s value.

“Anytime we have an interaction with Soldiers it’s a success, but Project Origin was a significant win,” said Todd Willert, Project Origin project manager with GVSC. “Project Origin’s five-month iteration is critical to defining the RCV’s requirements and giving our Soldiers the best possible equipment to fight and win future wars.”

GVSC has conducted several Soldier touchpoint events in the past which affected the capabilities they fielded during this most recent SOE, which concluded in mid-November. During the SOE, Soldiers from Attack Company employed a tethered Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), a counter-UAS jammer, modular smoke obscuration module, a Commonly Remote Operated Weapon System (equipped with both a M240 machine gun and a Javelin), as well as an autonomous drive function. The RCV operators controlled the vehicles using the Warfighter Machine Interface integrated on dismounted operator control units. All of these capabilities correspond to some aspect of the draft requirements for future RCVs. Additionally, the Project Origin team “swam” a platform across Fort Benning’s Victory Pond to validate the amphibious use case for RCVs.

The Soldiers unanimously stated the Project Origin platforms provided immense value in certain use cases, but failed to provide a similar value while maneuver in tandem with the Rifle Platoon in terrain favorable to dismounted maneuver. While the Project Origin team did not anticipate the Project Origin vehicles performing well in dense vegetation, they did not foresee the positive impact the platforms had on defensive operations.

“GVSC, ACM I and NGCV CFT will use this feedback to shape and inform potential force structures within the Infantry Brigade Combat Team during the ongoing RCV Campaign of Learning,” said Brig. Gen. Ross Coffman, director of the NGCV CFT. “Our knowledge of how we can utilize RCVs and what technologies and capabilities they need to posses continues to expand exponentially based on the inputs from our Soldiers.”

Project Origin continues to be an extreme “low cost, high reward” endeavor within the Army’s robotic initiatives, Coffman said.

The next item on Project Origin’s agenda is to test how the vehicles could be integrated into the Opposing Force’s force structure at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana, in summer 2021.[/spoiler]


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  • 2 weeks later...

https://www.defensenews.com/land/2020/12/11/light-tank-prototypes-arrive-at-fort-bragg-for-soldier-evaluation/

Prototype candidates competing to be the new light tank for the U.S. infantry are being delivered to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the Army announced in a Dec. 11 statement, where soldiers will help decide which vehicle will prevail.

 

https://breakingdefense.sites.breakingmedia.com/2020/12/covid-delays-delivery-of-baes-mpf-light-tank/

General Dynamics has already delivered at least two of its Mobile Protected Firepower prototypes to Fort Bragg, but BAE is lagging behind – although it says its MPFs will make the Army’s Jan. 4 deadline to start testing.

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MET-D and RCV at Fort Carson

 

"This past summer at Fort Carson, Col., modified Bradley Fighting Vehicles, known as Mission Enabling Technologies Demonstrators, and modified M113 tracked armored personnel carriers, or Robotic Combat Vehicles, were used for the Soldier Operational Experimentation (SOE) Phase 1 to further develop learning objectives for the Manned Unmanned Teaming (MUM-T) concept."

ik2M5KF.jpg

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https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Contracts/Contract/Article/2452534/

General Dynamics Land Systems Inc., Sterling Heights, Michigan, was awarded a $4,620,000,000 fixed-price-incentive contract to produce Abrams M1A2 SEPv3 tanks.  Bids were solicited via the internet with one received.  Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of June 17, 2028.  The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Detroit Arsenal, Michigan, is the contracting activity (W56HZV-21-D-0001).

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