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CGS:upgrading challenger and warrior.

gafkiwi

War Hero
So actually nothing like this at all?
I was thinking something more like the common weapon system mounted a common/in-service tracked or wheeled chassis i.e. boxer or AJAX with a degree of protection for the crew and weapon. Similar idea to the Tracked Rapier. I don't know if there would be the requirement to have the degree of secrecy the IDF went to back in the day with their Pereh missile carrier with the Tamuz/Exactor mounted it in fake turrets on Magach/M-60's hulls.
 
You see, the thing about using missiles for real - rather than in World of Tanks - is that they take quite a lot of time to learn to use properly, as an AH-64 pilot will tell you.

Giving a tank crew another type of weapon system is only going to add to the training burden (which in practice means compromising some other form of training) - especially if it’s a 10km BLOS weapon with the potential for partially-autonomous behaviour, which can be fired against a vehicle the operator cannot see visually.

BGs are given comparatively small AOs for a reason - and allowing individual c/s to shoot well beyond the lead sub-unit is probably going to add nothing but complexity to a battle which should be all about simplicity and tempo.


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You see, the thing about using missiles for real - rather than in World of Tanks - is that they take quite a lot of time to learn to use properly, as an AH-64 pilot will tell you.

Giving a tank crew another type of weapon system is only going to add to the training burden (which in practice means compromising some other form of training) - especially if it’s a 10km BLOS weapon with the potential for partially-autonomous behaviour, which can be fired against a vehicle the operator cannot see visually.

BGs are given comparatively small AOs for a reason - and allowing individual c/s to shoot well beyond the lead sub-unit is probably going to add nothing but complexity to a battle which should be all about simplicity and tempo.


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While Long range self targeting ATGM's are important, indeed I would say vital, there area great many reasons why they should be on a specialised vehicle, and not glued willy nilly to every vehicle. We've been around this particular bush before hand in the 1960's, when the proposal was to fit Swingfire to pretty much everything. For example each Chieftain was to carry a rack of four Swingfires.
The idea in such a fit was exactly the same as the discussion of gluing Brimstone to Challenger.

  • Thin out enemy armour on approach.
  • Cover the range gap between max range of missile and effective range of gun.
  • Destroy enemy over watch units (this was expected to be enemy SP's).
The reason not to do it was several fold.
1: As highlighted by @Gassing_Badgers you seriously overwork the commander, who now has to us the information streams from assorted sensors to tell him where the enemy is, plot his missiles and launch them. At the same time he's neglecting his duties as a TC in the moments before contact, which I suspect is one of his busy times.
You've also increased the amount of maintenance.
2: Cost in pounds. As well as the cost of the missiles, each vehicle needs the electronics to receive targeting data and to aim and fire the missiles. In the case of Chieftain it was suggested that the costs in 1963 would be £60,000 to develop the mount, and £10,000 per vehicle instillation. By 1967 the cost of a Chieftain was £90,000. And Swingfire was still several years away and a hell of a lot more expensive!
3: Cost in Lbs. Adding more electronics, and the missiles is goign to use up weight, now while this isn't a great deal of weight, every ounce on a tank is at a premium.
4: All this expensive kit is now on a vehicle that has the primary role of being shot at. These expensive items are now exposed to enemy fire. Thus it is easy to strip a vehicle of its equipment.
5: What are you doing with the rocket Eflux? I've got reports where they deliberately created simulated a hang up in a Swingfire. It would have destroyed the entire vehicle.

Where as there are advantages to putting said missile system on a separate vehicle, and giving two each to each Squadron command troop.
Most of the above is now not applicable. The vehicle can be kept out of LOS of the enemy, There's only one set of control systems needed, you have plenty of weight to play with etc etc.
In addition you can do kinky fun stuff like creating palatalised loading, massively increasing the throw weight of a smaller number of chassis. For example, say a squadron each has one missile on the back of its tank. That's 18 missiles and then that's your lot until the battle is over.
The same 18 missiles mounted on two chassis, can salvo the entire lot, dump a pallet, quickly re-load and salvo again. Consider how much easier it would be to attrit an enemy if he lost nine AFV's every five minutes (I'm assuming he's comptent and only 50% of the launched missiles hit)?
 

Majorpain

War Hero
You don't need an MBT for the task. More to the point, if you don't use MBTs then by the time they encounter the enemy they've still got full ammunition racks... useful that.

The Demo vehicle launcher slotted into the place occupied by cooling equipment that was no longer needed IIRC. Ammunition loss should be minimal, if any at all.

The reason not to do it was several fold.
1: As highlighted by @Gassing_Badgers you seriously overwork the commander, who now has to us the information streams from assorted sensors to tell him where the enemy is, plot his missiles and launch them. At the same time he's neglecting his duties as a TC in the moments before contact, which I suspect is one of his busy times.
You've also increased the amount of maintenance.
2: Cost in pounds. As well as the cost of the missiles, each vehicle needs the electronics to receive targeting data and to aim and fire the missiles. In the case of Chieftain it was suggested that the costs in 1963 would be £60,000 to develop the mount, and £10,000 per vehicle instillation. By 1967 the cost of a Chieftain was £90,000. And Swingfire was still several years away and a hell of a lot more expensive!
3: Cost in Lbs. Adding more electronics, and the missiles is goign to use up weight, now while this isn't a great deal of weight, every ounce on a tank is at a premium.
4: All this expensive kit is now on a vehicle that has the primary role of being shot at. These expensive items are now exposed to enemy fire. Thus it is easy to strip a vehicle of its equipment.
5: What are you doing with the rocket Eflux? I've got reports where they deliberately created simulated a hang up in a Swingfire. It would have destroyed the entire vehicle.

All good points, in certain scenarios some become less important though and tech continues to advance rapidly i.e. MBDA do a lot of soft launch these days.

Ultimately a new vehicle is 100% needed, in the event however of "we need it now" IMO the choice from the current fleet of army vehicles is adapting CR2, Stormer or MLRS. MLRS and Stormer are already down on numbers for what they need to do, so its adapt CR2 or go without. If my arm was twisted MAN SV could probably be used with a sky sabre setup, although it will have to be in the rear and sending autonomous seeking munitions over the heads of friendly vehicles would be a "brave" move.
 
Ultimately a new vehicle is 100% needed, in the event however of "we need it now" IMO the choice from the current fleet of army vehicles is adapting CR2, Stormer or MLRS. MLRS and Stormer are already down on numbers for what they need to do, so its adapt CR2 or go without. If my arm was twisted MAN SV could probably be used with a sky sabre setup, although it will have to be in the rear and sending autonomous seeking munitions over the heads of friendly vehicles would be a "brave" move.

If we're picking chassis then two comments spring to mind.
1: Bring back the ABSV (basically warrior chassis)
2: And I realise I'm about to commit the cardinal sin of mixing mobility types, but what about a Boxer module. But hey, Strike!
3: Stick it on an Ajax chassis.

Ultimately this isn't going to happen, any permutation of it, because we don't have the cash.
A bigger question is picking your missile as well. This sort of system would live or die on its missile.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
The Demo vehicle launcher slotted into the place occupied by cooling equipment that was no longer needed IIRC. Ammunition loss should be minimal, if any at all.



All good points, in certain scenarios some become less important though and tech continues to advance rapidly i.e. MBDA do a lot of soft launch these days.

Ultimately a new vehicle is 100% needed, in the event however of "we need it now" IMO the choice from the current fleet of army vehicles is adapting CR2, Stormer or MLRS. MLRS and Stormer are already down on numbers for what they need to do, so its adapt CR2 or go without. If my arm was twisted MAN SV could probably be used with a sky sabre setup, although it will have to be in the rear and sending autonomous seeking munitions over the heads of friendly vehicles would be a "brave" move.
A round is a round is a round. CR2 with the smoothbore is already going to have fewer than previous generations of MBT - 30-something has been mentioned, which is fewer than its peers (ca. 40/40+) and a lot fewer than than the 50+ of a WWII-era tank. How many missiles are you thinking of? One? Two? Five? 10?

If it (the CR2) and the missile system are stood on a defensive line that is BLOS, then does the missile system need to have a healthy chunk of Chobham in front of it? The MAN SV starts to make a lot of sense, even without arm-twisting. It chucks a 10km-range lump of nasty - actually, a good many of them - down-range and then falls back to be re-plenned/the next defensive line. The CR2 sits, fully bombed-up and ready to demonstrate why upsetting us was a bad idea.

Oh, and re-plenning the MAN will be a lot quicker and simpler than doing the CR2.

The Israeli Pereh sits on a defunct M48 - defunct in terms of still being a first-line MBT; Exactor was delivered originally on an M113. The Israelis, not known for being shy in terms of adding protection to things, don't seem to have seen the need to use an MBT. I'd suggest that neither do we.
 
If we're picking chassis then two comments spring to mind.
1: Bring back the ABSV (basically warrior chassis)
2: And I realise I'm about to commit the cardinal sin of mixing mobility types, but what about a Boxer module. But hey, Strike!
3: Stick it on an Ajax chassis.

Ultimately this isn't going to happen, any permutation of it, because we don't have the cash.
A bigger question is picking your missile as well. This sort of system would live or die on its missile.

If DVD had gone ahead, I think you might have seen some really interesting concepts that get at exactly those points...

I seriously doubt IAV will go ahead in the normal format either, so it might be a case of individual companies holding showcase events.


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Majorpain

War Hero
If we're picking chassis then two comments spring to mind.
1: Bring back the ABSV (basically warrior chassis)
2: And I realise I'm about to commit the cardinal sin of mixing mobility types, but what about a Boxer module. But hey, Strike!
3: Stick it on an Ajax chassis.

Ultimately this isn't going to happen, any permutation of it, because we don't have the cash.
A bigger question is picking your missile as well. This sort of system would live or die on its missile.

Cash is an easier thing for the government to make more of than vehicles or time!
 
Cash is an easier thing for the government to make more of than vehicles or time!

However, most Ministers don't realise that time is a critical point, so they freely spend it to avoid the other two!

You and I both know that in the next big war the UK forces are going to be combat ineffective in month or two (If not weeks or days). Simply because we do not have any major scale of replacements. The only countries that can replenish their forces in major combat operations, albeit with decreasing quality of equipment, are the Russians and the US.
The Germans maybe able to do some sort of replenishment, simply because the Leopard 2 is so widely exported. However, I suspect that will be a lot more haphazard. Anyway the German Army is in a bit of a mess right now.

The politicians who provide the money likely don't understand this. We need to cause as much violence, as quickly as possible, with minimal losses.

I'm reminded of the 6th Guards Tank Brigade in WWII. They had the usual Three Regiments of tanks. But the only way they could maintain two full strength Regiments was to use the third as a replacement formation. I suspect our Square Division will have to act as a weakened Triangular using the remaining strength to replenish the combat units. That would seem to be the only way we could get any endurance. But even then that endurance is very very short term.
 

Himmler74

On ROPS
On ROPs
Cash is an easier thing for the government to make more of than vehicles or time!
To be fair they have splashed the cash on the RN and RAF, who by the mid 20’s will be in the later stages of fleet re newel, a lot of defence commentators are ex army, who focus on the negatives, the capbadges protectionism in the Conservative party, leans to the army doing itself no favours.

Nimrod MR4 wasted 4£billion, the RAF bite the bullet and agreed it was fools gold to proceed after HC.
That was ten years ago, I feel the army is paying the price of indecision on its Armoured fleet and Not having the morale courage over operational activities on Herrick, general staff I’m looking at you.
 

Cynical

LE
Book Reviewer
We can play capability bingo as much as we like, or until we all lose the will to live.

Until the Army works out what it's for, where it might deploy and who may be playing live fire OpFor it's buggered UNLESS is defines itself in terms of capability. E.R

  1. (With allies) we can mallet a sub-near-peer tinpot dictator. We'll chip in a fully self supporting brigade, MBT, Strike or Light (whatever that is)
  2. Said brigades also available to defend allies against peer/near peer.
  3. In absence of enemies we'll deploy to train and exercise wherever we're invited
  4. And keep some ability to troop colour, deal with floods, knock up hospitals, put Murphy back in his box (if/when required) and kill livestock.
ETA: PS, this may cost rather more than 2% of GDP
 
We can play capability bingo as much as we like, or until we all lose the will to live.

Until the Army works out what it's for, where it might deploy and who may be playing live fire OpFor it's buggered UNLESS is defines itself in terms of capability. E.R

  1. (With allies) we can mallet a sub-near-peer tinpot dictator. We'll chip in a fully self supporting brigade, MBT, Strike or Light (whatever that is)
  2. Said brigades also available to defend allies against peer/near peer.
  3. In absence of enemies we'll deploy to train and exercise wherever we're invited
  4. And keep some ability to troop colour, deal with floods, knock up hospitals, put Murphy back in his box (if/when required) and kill livestock.
ETA: PS, this may cost rather more than 2% of GDP
I would suggest that the Army* will never be able to work out what it's for when the government of the day may not last longer than 5 years and, if it does last longer it's key appointment holders will most probably not.

If the country is ever to have a clear vision of what it wants from it's Armed Forces* then a serious and lengthy debate in both Houses is needed so the government of the day can formulate a draft Defence Policy (lasting at least 20** years), to be amended by the Houses as neccessary, so they can be held to account when the money given by the Treasury doesn't meet the requirements of the set Policy.

* And the RAF/Navy

** A fig plucked from the air considering any government of these times is unlikely to last for 4 terms
 

Himmler74

On ROPS
On ROPs
We can play capability bingo as much as we like, or until we all lose the will to live.

Until the Army works out what it's for, where it might deploy and who may be playing live fire OpFor it's buggered UNLESS is defines itself in terms of capability. E.R

  1. (With allies) we can mallet a sub-near-peer tinpot dictator. We'll chip in a fully self supporting brigade, MBT, Strike or Light (whatever that is)
  2. Said brigades also available to defend allies against peer/near peer.
  3. In absence of enemies we'll deploy to train and exercise wherever we're invited
  4. And keep some ability to troop colour, deal with floods, knock up hospitals, put Murphy back in his box (if/when required) and kill livestock.
ETA: PS, this may cost rather more than 2% of GDP
The army is stuck try to find a role it can credibly achieve with the bias it has, (Light Infantry).
It has the best trained Light Infantry in the world, however it’s support combat arms can not support it.
Chop the LI down, re structure them to be able to deploy armour, mech inf, wheeled inf, leave the real light infantry stuff to 16AA, refocus on providing world leading fire support and armour, all supplied with a logistical capability to service it.

Wildcats to the RM/RN, increase buy of AH64E.

Cut smart and re-invest.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
The army is stuck try to find a role it can credibly achieve with the bias it has, (Light Infantry).
It has the best trained Light Infantry in the world, however it’s support combat arms can not support it.
Chop the LI down, re structure them to be able to deploy armour, mech inf, wheeled inf, leave the real light infantry stuff to 16AA, refocus on providing world leading fire support and armour, all supplied with a logistical capability to service it.

Wildcats to the RM/RN, increase buy of AH64E.

Cut smart and re-invest.
Try doing that under Carter.
 
I would suggest that the Army* will never be able to work out what it's for when the government of the day may not last longer than 5 years and, if it does last longer it's key appointment holders will most probably not.

If the country is ever to have a clear vision of what it wants from it's Armed Forces* then a serious and lengthy debate in both Houses is needed so the government of the day can formulate a draft Defence Policy (lasting at least 20** years), to be amended by the Houses as neccessary, so they can be held to account when the money given by the Treasury doesn't meet the requirements of the set Policy.

* And the RAF/Navy

** A fig plucked from the air considering any government of these times is unlikely to last for 4 terms

I would contend that is not the case.

Since 2010 we've had the Fixed Term Parliament Act which guaranteed a five year parliament. This is the decade when the wheels really have worked loose.
Equally, quick changes of key appointment holders is relatively common throughout history. For the massive nerds amongst you, may I direct your attention to this website:

Here is the relevant document for the Army:

I find it professionally useful when doing my history stuff as It allows me to find a full name/title for an individual and their position.

I would then argue that the problem is a modern one. Likely the lack of integration between the population and the military due to shrinking numbers. Throw in the apparent disappearance of any major threats. The cold war did concentrate minds awfully well. However, the current Russia/China threats have crept up on us. As we just see it in the same light as we've always seen it. Just because they've gradually gone from Tolerable to Evil by increments, no one in government has noticed. It's like the old saying about boiling a frog alive.
 

Himmler74

On ROPS
On ROPs
I would contend that is not the case.

Since 2010 we've had the Fixed Term Parliament Act which guaranteed a five year parliament. This is the decade when the wheels really have worked loose.
Equally, quick changes of key appointment holders is relatively common throughout history. For the massive nerds amongst you, may I direct your attention to this website:

Here is the relevant document for the Army:

I find it professionally useful when doing my history stuff as It allows me to find a full name/title for an individual and their position.

I would then argue that the problem is a modern one. Likely the lack of integration between the population and the military due to shrinking numbers. Throw in the apparent disappearance of any major threats. The cold war did concentrate minds awfully well. However, the current Russia/China threats have crept up on us. As we just see it in the same light as we've always seen it. Just because they've gradually gone from Tolerable to Evil by increments, no one in government has noticed. It's like the old saying about boiling a frog alive.
I don't disagree with what you say, except that if you have a Full Parliament debated Defence Policy that is based on say a 20 year plan (open to amendment after debate in parliament), just like the NHS should, you will be most unlikely to ever have a plan for the Armed Forces for which the government of the day can be openly held to account (just imagine what would have been the outcome for Brown if this was in place during the Blair/Brown period).

A fixed 5 year term for the government (worked well WRT Boris didn't it) is all well and good, but doing anything in Defence planning takes very much longer than that so the UK Defence Policy would need to be carried forward for more than two governments to have any chance of stabalisation and forward planning for the AF.
 
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