Dodgy Minister defends useless Snatch vehicles

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by naguere, Apr 30, 2006.

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  1. R/N these vehicles and all like them are designed to prevent damage from mine strikes, not EFP's set at the horizontal and aimed to kill Dvr/Comd and or Top cover sentries. The MAMBA for example could stop a TMRP-6 strike on the belly which as I've previously mentioned is about the most efective mine currently, but the top armour around the top cover hatches was about 5mm of steel. The frontal 45 was protected up to 12.7mm the rear and sides 7.62 only, I cannot see how any of the new generation of vehicles will provide enough protection from a copper EFP, well aimed and initiated correctly as they are currently in Iraq. Nothing short of CR2 will guarantee crew survival from a EFP device that have so far been come across, however M1 Abrahams has been defeated by both belly attack-blast (picked up and thrown over 100ft) and horizontal EFP attack so watch this space.......
  2. The important thing here is that you are getting the equipment that you need in theatre. It was an obvious fix for the Hercules.Foam, once fitted, will hopefully prevent ground fire from bringing down another aircraft. Having read this thread carefully, there does not seem to be an obvious answer to the current threat. However if there is evidence that the army is not getting the equipment it needs or has requested simply because of cost, different ballgame altogether. The Sunday Times article was suggesting that commanders were having issues with their own conscience when ordering the boys out on the streets. A case of journalistic license?
  3. You seem to be dangerously close to arguing that, because there is no complete protection from everything, no protection at all should be provided. I have partially answered some of your points here and will address the others tomorrow, when I've has some sleep.

    To continue...

    The point made was that suitable armour had not been developed to deal with shaped charges - the link I put up suggests that the technology is available. It cannot be beyond the wit of man - or our wonderful "government scientists" - to devise flank armour from these high-tech composites to afford a degree of protection.

    Further, while the implication is that there is "no defence" against these mines (the are no longer "I" and in "improvised" EDs, if manufactured specifically), especially since they are triggered by an infra-red beam, this need not necessarily be the case. Firstly, IR detectors are relatively cheap and well-established technology and it does not seem at all unrealistic to think in terms of a forward looking, wide-angle, narrow-spectrum scanner fitted to a protected vehicle, coupled to an audible or visual alarm to warn of the presence of an IR beam. If said vehicle acted as "point", then this could be a useful defence.

    In this context, design of equipment is everything. What about something like this?

  4. My blog linked to the two Sunday Times articles has an interesting comment from Brig Bill Moore, the guy in charge of the programme to find a vehicle that can cope with the problems. Moore was also the commander of 12 Mech during Telic 2 when the first IED went off. His comments came in too late to get into the Focus piece and were subbed right down when the news piece was cut back.
  5. Isn't the IR device passive? In otherwords it picks up the "heat signature" of a passing vehicle and then fires. I'm sure if it were so simple as to "detect" an IR beam they'd have worked out a way by now.

    The shaped charge from underneath is different to from the side. Underneath the V shaped hull directs the force of the blast outwards, I'm sure they could manufacture "v shaped" sides but these would probably make the vehicle far too wide and I'm sure there are other issues I can't think of. Also doesn't protect whoever's up on top cover.

    It does seem you take a slightly too simplistic view of the problems faced - an expolsive charge and indeed even 7.62 are far more powerful than most people realise (7.62 can go straight through a house and come out the other side). If you increase the weight of the vehicle you end up also getting less and less people capable of driving the vehicle, as it's harder to drive, slower to react and often classed as an "HGV" etc
  6. Lord Drayson: "My Lords, I do not accept that Snatch Land Rovers are not appropriate for the role. We must recognise the difference between protection and survivability. It is important that we have the trade-offs that we need for mobility. The Snatch Land Rover provides us with the mobility and level of protection that we need."

    I do not doubt that Snatch has the protection the Lord Drayson needs...however the real question is does it have the protection that the boys and girls need?? Still when you have a used car salesman as SOSD, what can one expect? "Equipping an expeditionary force for operations in a desert climate is like making love to a beautiful woman..."
  7. Crabby - far from being "simplistic", I am trying to be imaginative and creative, breaking out from the leaden negativity which seems to dominate some strands of this discussion.

    Firstly, I am fully aware that a counterinsurgency strategy is more than a question of improved armour for patrol vehicles. For instance, the vital role of humint could be enhanced. We need more native language speakers, more funding for informers and rewards and even such incentives as offering British citizenship and an emigration package to those informers who put themselves in harms way to assist HMG.

    Secondly, in terms of technical countermeasures, we need greater used of UAVs, techniques like "environmental exception mapping", light helicopter assets and then on-ground assets such as the Buffalo and Cougar to hunt out IEDs. This is on top of the normal tactical disciplines, such as varying times and routes of patrols, and mixing dismounts with vehicle patrols, combined with vertical insertion to keep the enemy off-balance.

    As for your comment about IR, if you had read the reports, you would have seen that the kit used is a readily available modification from a standard household burglar alarm. Once you are talking "passive" you are into high tech and expensive equipment as you would need sophisticated kit to screen out background IR, especially in the heat of Iraq. Then, the counter-measures would be be dead simple - you simply have an IR emitter (a heater box - and additional radiator?) fixed on a bracket, positioned ahead of the vehicle front bumper. Then you alter the balance of advantage. The terorrists are having to invest in high-tech expensive equipment while your countermeasures are cheap and cheerful.

    As to the v-shaped hull, you are in danger of teaching grandmothers to suck eggs. The original point was whether the lightweight composite armours exist. They do. How you use them is another matter - design, as I have already said, is all-important. Elsewhere, there is serious thought going into the problem - see here, one of the ideas coming out being this:


    It would be nice to think that the "they", in whom you seem to have such touching confidence, are anywhere close to devising similar solutions.
  8. Just out of interest, do you have any first-hand experience of the above topics (in current operational environments), or is your information second/third hand?
  9. For the record, I did my Royal Engineers course in Chatham - an intensive two week theoretical and practical course, which happily included planting A/T mines with orange smoke charges instead of explosives, and "blowing up" three tonners - while most members of this forum were probably still in nappies.

    I've plodded round most of the battlefields in Europe and many in the Middle East, there particularly looking at vehicle battle damage, and been on the receiving end of Katyusha attacks (not nice) and missed a grenade attack on a cafe in Jerusalem by seconds, just after we'd left our table and walked round the corner. I have fired most infantry weapons and qualified as a marksman in all personal weapons, including sub-machine guns, and have driven many military vehicles, including the ubiquitous military Land Rover, in which I took my first (military) driving test.

    That said, my job is now research, for which I actually have a specific qualification - it's called a PhD.
  10. RN,
    Are you aware of any requests for new vehicles that have been turned down on the grounds of cost?
  11. So the answer is no first-hand experience* then?

    * of humint, armoured vehicles, technical countermeasures, UAVs, environmental exception mapping and use of light helicopter assets.
  12. That is not the way the system works. Once you are aware of your own equipment deficiencies, and anticipate that this might become the subject of criticism once the media and the parliamentarians wake up, you appoint a senior Army officer “in charge of a programme to get a new vehicle” and then blitz him with paperwork and studies. These, of course, do not look at new vehicles but concentrate on considering the "balance" between the use of armoured vehicles and "the need for soldiers to interact with local communities,” and other peripheral issues.

    You then declare that it is "premature" to consider any new vehicles "at this stage", as "urgent studies are ongoing", while mounting a sustained black-propaganda campaign to denigrate any potential replacement, thus ensuring that there is no question of raising a procurement order for any particular new vehicle. The upshot is that a "request" for a new vehicle is never turned down on cost grounds, simply because you have made sure that such a request has not been made (at any meaningful official level). Your minister, if asked that question, can truthfully parrot all the reasons why any such order would be "premature", while happily denying that any such (non) decision has been made on anything so vulgar as "cost grounds".

    With a little bit of skill, you can keep this going for several years, until the media have moved on to something else, a new minister has been appointed or, hopefully, the troops have been withdrawn from that theatre, in which case there is no longer any operational need for a vehicle - until the next time, of course. Then, you rely on the short memory of the media and the politicians, and the whole charade starts all over again.
  13. Does one need first hand experience to venture opinion when those who do have first hand experience of such matters have evidently cocked it up so severely?

    I'd sooner trust a researcher who has actually bothered to read battlefield accounts than generals and ministers who haven't.
  14. I don't pretend to understand how the army system of procurement works, however in the case of the RAF it is possible to submit an urgent operational requirement (UOR) for equipment needed in operational theatres. Is it the same in the army? If so, it is simply a question of a request being submitted. If it is ignored by the "system" then steps can be taken to force the ministers to do their jobs. I am still not clear what the situation is with the Land Rovers. I do know it is essential to establish a paper trail.