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CGS:upgrading challenger and warrior.

Cynical

LE
Book Reviewer
Quite - so I’m proposing that they be given lift in the form of something like ABSV, which is probably enough for tasks like deliberate defence in depth, home bank force, and OBUA investment.

Boxer could clearly do most of that - but I don’t think we could afford that many more (and it may be better to keep STRIKE Bdes uncommitted) to lift the Lt Bdes, so a repurposed ‘box on tracks’ it is.

To be honest, Defence has enough standing tasks to justify at least a few genuine Lt Role Bns - be that Cyprus resident Bns or UN missions to Africa - but I’m sure we could get better value out of them in a fight if we thought about it a bit more...
Is ABSV funded?

I don't see that putting lt role bn in an MBT free Bde onto tracks is a winner.

IF (and it's a big if) CDS is serious about his IOC then additional Boxer seem almost inevitable. And, given his desire for forward basing, why is the Cyprus Bn lt role? Sure, it helps top up the tan, but then there's Aya Napa anyway.

Strike Brigades still have the problem of Ajax (the solution to an ill defined problem that no-one thought they had). Problem being that Boxer should be able to self deploy significant distances, Ajax might be able to but logistic tail is high - those tracks wont last for ever.
Plus firepower a tad low and protection several tads low if mixing with upgraded T54 or more required.

Army has too many AFV chassis. CR2 has to stay as nothing else can be MBT.
Boxer cheaper to operate and more out of area / flesxy.
Warrior 40 ton, 40mm CTA (once upgraded) and clear role 7 dismounts
Ajax - 40 tonne, 40mm CTA, 3 dismounts

Given current manning and recruiting, ditching WR saves the upgrade, finds a role for AJAX, solves manning (with suitable rewriting of inf tactics manual for 3 man sections- ink is cheap). Jobs in Wales safe. . Increased Boxer balances BAe's loss on WR upgrade. Tea and medals all round

Admittedly this leaves problem of formation recce.... but that can has been kicked down the road so many times that another clang makes little difference. During pause have a think about what you could to to transform CVR(T) (apply here).
 
I think the plan for AMPV is still only as a ‘supporting player’ in ABCTs though (ambulances, CVs, mortar carriers) - I’m talking about actually using it as a non-turreted APC to bulk up the combat power in the division (either as separate ‘manoeuvre support’ Bdes/BGs, or as additional Coys in a BG).


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From @Gassing_Badgers link to wiki . . .

1603220535775.png
 
Is ABSV funded?

I don't see that putting lt role bn in an MBT free Bde onto tracks is a winner.

IF (and it's a big if) CDS is serious about his IOC then additional Boxer seem almost inevitable. And, given his desire for forward basing, why is the Cyprus Bn lt role? Sure, it helps top up the tan, but then there's Aya Napa anyway.

Strike Brigades still have the problem of Ajax (the solution to an ill defined problem that no-one thought they had). Problem being that Boxer should be able to self deploy significant distances, Ajax might be able to but logistic tail is high - those tracks wont last for ever.
Plus firepower a tad low and protection several tads low if mixing with upgraded T54 or more required.

Army has too many AFV chassis. CR2 has to stay as nothing else can be MBT.
Boxer cheaper to operate and more out of area / flesxy.
Warrior 40 ton, 40mm CTA (once upgraded) and clear role 7 dismounts
Ajax - 40 tonne, 40mm CTA, 3 dismounts

Given current manning and recruiting, ditching WR saves the upgrade, finds a role for AJAX, solves manning (with suitable rewriting of inf tactics manual for 3 man sections- ink is cheap). Jobs in Wales safe. . Increased Boxer balances BAe's loss on WR upgrade. Tea and medals all round

Admittedly this leaves problem of formation recce.... but that can has been kicked down the road so many times that another clang makes little difference. During pause have a think about what you could to to transform CVR(T) (apply here).

ABSV not funded explicitly - but there is a need to do something with the Bulldog/Panther roles, so suspect we’ll see a use for lots of redundant WR 1 hulls, with turret ring plates over, and maybe some CRT track. Maybe call it ‘Warrior Support Vehicle’, and tack it on the back of WCSP to avoid awkward questions about a new programme...

To be fair, a Bde of these things is probably pushing it (unless the Bde’s role was just to farm out units or sub-units), but I could easily see a role for it as a unit in a Bde. Beef it up with lots of ATk/Mor Pls from Lt Inf Bns, and you’d have the perfect unit for static defensive/enabling ops.

As much as I’d like to see it, the price tag and production schedule of additional Boxer would seem to put it out of reach without a massive cash and infrastructure windfall.

Also not sure how you got to the bit about ditching Warrior (which is LM’s loss - not RBSL)? I think it’s the bit we need most alongside CR2, and I just can’t see us doing that with any of the AJAX fleet.

Problem seems to be that the Army went early on the AJAX production contract - which has probably taken the lion’s share of funding for the vehicle with least broad utility. Now, if we’d just bought some unadulterated ASCOD or CV90 on the other hand...


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Problem with Light Inf is that if it does not have a vehicle, and a properly protected one with XC capability, it's just 600 bodies looking for a Commonwealth War Grave.

Reality of dismounted ops from Somme through Casino to Tumbledown, Afghan and Iraq is that if a grunt is neither protected nor mobile (speeds > 5 mph) he's cannon fodder. And modern cannons are hungry.

Aside from paras (separate debate) and a few jungle / arctic specialists what is the point of light role infantry? They are vulnerable when on trucks, vulnerable and slow when on feet and, as history shows, will suffer terrible casualties when assaulting. (And please don't tell me that it's a new paradigm and they'll be safe behind a creeping barrage etc. They won't - even if the RoE permit such aggressive use of firepower).

Anything on any battlefield (including much of the "rear area" now that battlefields are less dense and enemy may be endemic) needs protected mobility (NB - not a Saxon) particularly if it is in the rear are security role. Which in the current circumstances means Boxer.

Back in the day the Sovs (who learned the lessons of the 1941-45 FTX fought on their terrain) had 2 BTR60 regiments (brigades, not bns) in all their motor rifle divisions, along with one of BMP-1 . . .

Having spent a bloody fortune on purchasing the wheeled UORs below; having tested and proven them on operations; and, having brought back to the UK a significant amount; it does seem beyond comprehension that there is (now) an intention to dispose of all the following . . .

I am certain someone has, somewhere, listed the numbers involved.

But whatever the numbers, it would surely make more sense to retain the following indefinitely - if only for Light Inf training - until a sensible decision (Ha !!), can be made on an appropriate wheeled replacement for the following . . . with which the Light Inf would deploy . . .

. . . . . Just to add the Army fleet is to drop from 35 platforms to 15. That's a lot of platforms to cut. Not sure what but so far;
Foxhound
Mastiff
Ridgeway
Wolfhound
Jackal
Coyote
Panter (Although rumours it might stay)
Bulldog
CVRT family ( 5 or 6 platforms in that)
 
Last edited:

NemoIII

War Hero
But whatever the numbers, it would surely make more sense to retain the following indefinitely - if only for Light Inf training - until a sensible decision (Ha !!), can be made on an appropriate wheeled replacement for the following with which the Light Inf would deploy . . .

Only thing is with that, was some of them fleets weren't designed to be maintained and last that long.

The army then holds massive stocks of spares for multiple vehicle platforms that probably have less than idea component reliability.

Certain fleets of vehicles will be eating an incredible amount of money while other arent too bad.
 
Only thing is with that, was some of them fleets weren't designed to be maintained and last that long.

The army then holds massive stocks of spares for multiple vehicle platforms that probably have less than idea component reliability.

Certain fleets of vehicles will be eating an incredible amount of money while other aren't too bad.
The army is already holding the "massive stocks of spares for multiple vehicle platforms" !!

As it seems is always the case . . . are we going to also "give away" the massive stocks of spares, when we dispose of the (relatively) serviceable, proven, wheeled protected vehicles?!

Note: Until "only" twenty years ago, the RCT(V) Ambulance Sqns, were still equiped with Series ONE Land-Rover ambulances ;) .
 

NemoIII

War Hero
when we dispose of the (relatively) serviceable, proven, wheeled protected vehicles?!

Thats rather suggestive you are correct with that assumption. There's alot of things are arent made public, but drips and drabs about certain fleets in the newspaper.

The cost of running some of these fleets would probably be cheaper to replace then run for 6-7 years.
 

huscarl

Old-Salt

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
In Poland

No 3 year Spending Review for us

 
Just been watching the defence committee:
  1. Ellwood is annoying.*
  2. The witnesses are incapable of giving a straight answer, even when one is readily available.
  3. The other members are nearly as annoying and ignorant as Ellwood but they speak less.
  4. Anything coming out of this committee is likely to earn the sobriquet “omnishambles”.
*Oh hell, he’s going on about Brimstone integration again.
He doesn’t even know how to speak English!
 
Just been watching the defence committee:
  1. Ellwood is annoying.*
  2. The witnesses are incapable of giving a straight answer, even when one is readily available.
  3. The other members are nearly as annoying and ignorant as Ellwood but they speak less.
  4. Anything coming out of this committee is likely to earn the sobriquet “omnishambles”.
*Oh hell, he’s going on about Brimstone integration again.
He doesn’t even know how to speak English!

The ignorance was utterly outstanding. Things that gripped my sh#t the most:

1) “Why don’t we have an Autoloader?” Do **** off.
2) “What progress have you made in making 40CTA NATO standard like small arms rounds?” Seriously...
3) “We demand a Brimstone for every vehicle!” Of course you do - you saw a toy at Copehill Down.
4) “Why aren’t this vehicles fully modular like Boxer?” Not even going to go there...
5) “Why can’t vehicles speak to each other?” This isn’t Transformers, and we have a thing called Bowman...
6) many, many more...


And they seriously wonder why no-one takes them seriously - Gavin Robinson was the only one who didn’t sound like a toddler at a particle physics convention...


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TamH70

MIA
The ignorance was utterly outstanding. Things that gripped my sh#t the most:

1) “Why don’t we have an Autoloader?” Do **** off.
2) “What progress have you made in making 40CTA NATO standard like small arms rounds?” Seriously...
3) “We demand a Brimstone for every vehicle!” Of course you do - you saw a toy at Copehill Down.
4) “Why aren’t this vehicles fully modular like Boxer?” Not even going to go there...
5) “Why can’t vehicles speak to each other?” This isn’t Transformers, and we have a thing called Bowman...
6) many, many more...


And they seriously wonder why no-one takes them seriously - Gavin Robinson was the only one who didn’t sound like a toddler at a particle physics convention...


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On point five, the Yanks had this decades ago:


Intervehicular Information System, or IVIS. In the Bradley and the Abrams. It also let them chat with the Apache attack helicopters.

I found a proposal form for it dated 1992, which goes into more detail if you can see past the blurry text of the PDF.


Full disclosure - I first read about the system in the Tom Clancy book, "Executive Orders", where a mixed band of US troops, Saudis and Kuwaitis use it to utterly Muller a bigger combined Iraqi and Iranian army when they try to take Saudi Arabia. I'm not sure how good it is in real life but it always struck me as being an interesting capability if everything worked as it was supposed to.
 

Cynical

LE
Book Reviewer
On point five, the Yanks had this decades ago:
We were talking about it years ago under name "Digitization" - was a big part of the scoring for Unit Tactical Trainer (although no-one could define what it was). I suspect part of it was subsumed into Bowman and no-one had the nouse to work out the implications and benefits -it's more complicated than Mr Clancy made it appear.

Real problem is in working out what information is urgent and what is just important. That's what AFV commanders do on combat net radio. Let's face it, UK govt computing programmers don't have a fab track record.
 

Cynical

LE
Book Reviewer
Also not sure how you got to the bit about ditching Warrior (which is LM’s loss - not RBSL)? I think it’s the bit we need most alongside CR2, and I just can’t see us doing that with any of the AJAX fleet.
My bad re LM.

Fair play on Boxer contract increase challenge (to say nothing of cost of building hangars cathedrals to park them in). But of the platforms avail for lt role inf it's the best answer.

Agree on AJAX - if there was one vehicle the British Army should walk away from that is the one. But I'm sure that contractual terms are runious and factory is in Wales, so politically dynamite.

Entirely agree on need for tracked IFV to work with CR2 (and whatever comes next). And agree that WR is what we have. BUT I have serious concerns that WR is flawed and WR CTA is more expensively flawed (albeit with stabilized bun some 30 years after it was bleeding obvious that it was necessary).

My suggestion is that WR soldiers on with minimum modification until:
(1) The CR2 replacement gets worked out. Leo 3 and Merkava probs in frame. That may well inform the spec for WR replacement.
(2) Someone sorts out what an IFV needs to be
(3) Someone puts forward a cogent case for the number of Lt Inf Bns required and/or explains why they can't be Boxer. Going to war in 4 ton truck is simply suicide - would, be more efficient to kill cap badges and use for vehicles rather than perpetuated and erect tombstones.
(4) Select Committee taken over by Arrse.

I fear that option (4) is likely to happen first.
 
The ignorance was utterly outstanding. Things that gripped my sh#t the most:

1) “Why don’t we have an Autoloader?” Do **** off.
2) “What progress have you made in making 40CTA NATO standard like small arms rounds?” Seriously...
3) “We demand a Brimstone for every vehicle!” Of course you do - you saw a toy at Copehill Down.
4) “Why aren’t this vehicles fully modular like Boxer?” Not even going to go there...
5) “Why can’t vehicles speak to each other?” This isn’t Transformers, and we have a thing called Bowman...
6) many, many more...


And they seriously wonder why no-one takes them seriously - Gavin Robinson was the only one who didn’t sound like a toddler at a particle physics convention...


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Hell, even I can answer those!
1: See this thread for most of the answers.
2: Because we do not specify what is standard? NATO does, now we can advance the idea, and then there is usually a big discussion about it. Then, historically at least, one of two things happens. The US threatens to throw its toys out of the pram unless it gets its own way. Or the US does its own thing and sells the weapon to everyone at discount prices cornering the market.
3: How many reasons do you want that its a bad idea? Over worked crew, expensive missiles exposed to enemy fire when strapped to the outside of a tank, logistics etc
4: Weight, cost and issued requirements. Plus Mr Tusa answered that one on day one.
5: The electronics speak to each other, please see Bowman.

How'd I do?
 
Just been watching the defence committee:
  1. Ellwood is annoying.*
  2. The witnesses are incapable of giving a straight answer, even when one is readily available.
  3. The other members are nearly as annoying and ignorant as Ellwood but they speak less.
  4. Anything coming out of this committee is likely to earn the sobriquet “omnishambles”.
*Oh hell, he’s going on about Brimstone integration again.
He doesn’t even know how to speak English!
Our resident expert in all things armour, must have been Tobias briefer.
 

not_observed

Old-Salt
My bad re LM.

Fair play on Boxer contract increase challenge (to say nothing of cost of building hangars cathedrals to park them in). But of the platforms avail for lt role inf it's the best answer.

Agree on AJAX - if there was one vehicle the British Army should walk away from that is the one. But I'm sure that contractual terms are runious and factory is in Wales, so politically dynamite.

Entirely agree on need for tracked IFV to work with CR2 (and whatever comes next). And agree that WR is what we have. BUT I have serious concerns that WR is flawed and WR CTA is more expensively flawed (albeit with stabilized bun some 30 years after it was bleeding obvious that it was necessary).

My suggestion is that WR soldiers on with minimum modification until:
(1) The CR2 replacement gets worked out. Leo 3 and Merkava probs in frame. That may well inform the spec for WR replacement.
(2) Someone sorts out what an IFV needs to be
(3) Someone puts forward a cogent case for the number of Lt Inf Bns required and/or explains why they can't be Boxer. Going to war in 4 ton truck is simply suicide - would, be more efficient to kill cap badges and use for vehicles rather than perpetuated and erect tombstones.
(4) Select Committee taken over by Arrse.

I fear that option (4) is likely to happen first.
Agree with you on AJAX being chinned off but Merkava? Absolutely no chance, it’s hard enough to get a pre mk4 for the tank museum!
 

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