CGS:upgrading challenger and warrior.

Wasnt it @California_Tanker who suggested that theres a case for Autoloader and 4 crew - (if not here then on his you tube account)

Something along the lines of - the 4th man can moniter APS / surveilance and help with maintenance yet the tank doesnt need the 4th to fight efectively and so 3 with auto loade if youve bodies either sick / injured or on holiday

Edited to add - he may also have argued it was potentially safer in that there wasnt an open door to the bustle (Abrahms) quite so often or for as long - but i wouldnt wabnt to put words in his mouth

Only insofar as there was no budget to create an entirely new turret which takes into account all the advantages of the autoloader, such as the decreased volume requirements making a lighter, tougher vehicle. I can think of no requirement which mandates that the fourth man be in the tank in combat. There is precedent: The US Army tried five-man crews for their M60s in the 1980s, for example, they were fantastic but the budgeteers shut it down, and the French have their extras run around in a VBL to play dismounted security when they're not involved in tank maintenance or whatever.

The case in point was the retrofit of the Meggitt autoloader system to the M1 tank. The ammo racks were replaced by a casette ammuntion stowage on the far side of the armored shield, leaving only a small hatch for the ammo to be fed out through, like in, say, Leclerc or K2. The autoloader itself basically replicated the actions of the human loader, taking the round from the rack, flipping it over, throwing it into the back of the breech. What the advantages are of that over a Leclerc style loader, I've no idea. Maybe it took up less ammo stowage room in the back. But either way, it was behind the breech and took up no space otherwise used by the fourth man.

 

PhotEx

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Only insofar as there was no budget to create an entirely new turret which takes into account all the advantages of the autoloader, such as the decreased volume requirements making a lighter, tougher vehicle. I can think of no requirement which mandates that the fourth man be in the tank in combat. There is precedent: The US Army tried five-man crews for their M60s in the 1980s, for example, they were fantastic but the budgeteers shut it down, and the French have their extras run around in a VBL to play dismounted security when they're not involved in tank maintenance or whatever.

The case in point was the retrofit of the Meggitt autoloader system to the M1 tank. The ammo racks were replaced by a casette ammuntion stowage on the far side of the armored shield, leaving only a small hatch for the ammo to be fed out through, like in, say, Leclerc or K2. The autoloader itself basically replicated the actions of the human loader, taking the round from the rack, flipping it over, throwing it into the back of the breech. What the advantages are of that over a Leclerc style loader, I've no idea. Maybe it took up less ammo stowage room in the back. But either way, it was behind the breech and took up no space otherwise used by the fourth man.


the advantage of the Meggit auto loader was it doesnt to impact the ability to hand load the gun.
If It failed, park it, index, (or hand crank the carousel if it failed too) to get a round, and hand load.
 
There comes a point where weight becomes a bit ‘vague’ - e.g. lightening up a 75-tonne vehicle to 65-tonnes will reduce some fuel consumption, but it doesn’t fundamentally change the way you operate it, or it’s operational effectiveness as a tank.

The majority of the cognitive load sits on the commander - which is mitigated by having an experienced loader in the turret next to them to run the two voice and one data network when not shovelling ammunition into a breech.

It simply isn’t going to be practical to swap commanders in the midst of a 24-72 hour operation (most of which is not spent loading), so the best you can do is have some redundancy in the crew to mitigate their workload.


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Wouldn’t a weight saving also aid mobility?
 
Wouldn’t a weight saving also aid mobility?

Very marginally - 10 tonnes off the GVW of Cr2 works out at ~2Hp/tonne.

The question is really whether the mission of Cr2 is at all limited by mobility (or more accurately, terrain accessibility) - which I’m not sure that it is. I think if you could get the weight down to around 55 tonnes, you might see some big improvements in fuel consumption and track life - but that’s a really big ask.


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Only insofar as there was no budget to create an entirely new turret which takes into account all the advantages of the autoloader, such as the decreased volume requirements making a lighter, tougher vehicle. I can think of no requirement which mandates that the fourth man be in the tank in combat. There is precedent: The US Army tried five-man crews for their M60s in the 1980s, for example, they were fantastic but the budgeteers shut it down, and the French have their extras run around in a VBL to play dismounted security when they're not involved in tank maintenance or whatever.

The case in point was the retrofit of the Meggitt autoloader system to the M1 tank. The ammo racks were replaced by a casette ammuntion stowage on the far side of the armored shield, leaving only a small hatch for the ammo to be fed out through, like in, say, Leclerc or K2. The autoloader itself basically replicated the actions of the human loader, taking the round from the rack, flipping it over, throwing it into the back of the breech. What the advantages are of that over a Leclerc style loader, I've no idea. Maybe it took up less ammo stowage room in the back. But either way, it was behind the breech and took up no space otherwise used by the fourth man.


Cheers - If im guilty of misquoting/representing then firstly its unintentional and secondly I apologise
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
With the IR due to be published shortly, rumours are a flying, and its Warrior that's the current object of speculation

 
With the IR due to be published shortly, rumours are a flying, and its Warrior that's the current object of speculation

One wonders what the impact will be if it is?
An armoured battlegroup without IFVs is a little light on firepower, which also compromises the Strike concept (such as an ignorant Civvy like me understands it)
Any other method of getting an IFV will surely take longer and cost more.
 
One wonders what the impact will be if it is?
An armoured battlegroup without IFVs is a little light on firepower, which also compromises the Strike concept (such as an ignorant Civvy like me understands it)
Any other method of getting an IFV will surely take longer and cost more.
The only way to get anything cheaper is to buy something off the shelf that's in production with no changes at all. Which, given the propensity of officers in 'project management', will never happen without a very strong Defence Minister willing to sack officers at whim.
 
The only way to get anything cheaper is to buy something off the shelf that's in production with no changes at all
Even then you might struggle. The Aussies are paying around £8m a vehicle for that. WCSP programme cost is looking to be a fraction* of that plus some of the money is already spent. Comparing costs from here will bring down the Warrior upgrade cost while the new vehicle would still cost the same.

* a large fraction, probably, but a fraction nonetheless.
 
The only way to get anything cheaper is to buy something off the shelf that's in production with no changes at all. Which, given the propensity of officers in 'project management', will never happen without a very strong Defence Minister willing to sack officers at whim.
Or buy IFV modules for Boxer

of course that propensity is part of the cause of this
 
Or buy IFV modules for Boxer

of course that propensity is part of the cause of this
I don't have any inside information on this project of course, but given past history I would not be surprised if in the end it came down to simply one of whether upgrading warrior is cheaper than replacing with more Boxers suitably outfitted.
 
Even then you might struggle. The Aussies are paying around £8m a vehicle for that. WCSP programme cost is looking to be a fraction* of that plus some of the money is already spent. Comparing costs from here will bring down the Warrior upgrade cost while the new vehicle would still cost the same.

* a large fraction, probably, but a fraction nonetheless.

TBH. WCSP is a holding pattern to disguise the fact it's a can kicking exercise. Warrior is at least 37 years old in design and most of the hulls must be at least 30 years old. Warrior really needs replacing so frankly pissing £12bn ish all told on an upgrade program that's at least 20 years too late is deeply stupid and we'd be better off spending that money on a new IFV program. Preferably a straight forward "You'll be buying this or you're sacked" order from the Defence Minister or that £12bn will disappear in pointless tests.
 
The only way to get anything cheaper is to buy something off the shelf that's in production with no changes at all. Which, given the propensity of officers in 'project management', will never happen without a very strong Defence Minister willing to sack officers at whim.

I doubt that will even be cheaper, all thing’s considered - it would have to be a completely different ammunition system for a start, and no matter how ‘off the shelf’ it’s claimed to be, it will still need to be BOWMANised and user trialled (just as Boxer is).


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TBH. WCSP is a holding pattern to disguise the fact it's a can kicking exercise. Warrior is at least 37 years old in design and most of the hulls must be at least 30 years old. Warrior really needs replacing so frankly pissing £12bn ish all told on an upgrade program that's at least 20 years too late is deeply stupid and we'd be better off spending that money on a new IFV program. Preferably a straight forward "You'll be buying this or you're sacked" order from the Defence Minister or that £12bn will disappear in pointless tests.
£12bn? Your decimal point not working?

The real number is closer to £1.2bn, of which £0.4bn is already spent. So to come out ahead you’d have to introduce a new vehicle into service for £0.8bn. Given how much other procurements are costing, you’d get maybe 100 for that if you’re buying new. I mean Boxer, sans turret, is costing us £5m each so you’d only get 160 of those.
 
TBH. WCSP is a holding pattern to disguise the fact it's a can kicking exercise. Warrior is at least 37 years old in design and most of the hulls must be at least 30 years old. Warrior really needs replacing so frankly pissing £12bn ish all told on an upgrade program that's at least 20 years too late is deeply stupid and we'd be better off spending that money on a new IFV program. Preferably a straight forward "You'll be buying this or you're sacked" order from the Defence Minister or that £12bn will disappear in pointless tests.

Any new IFV is a decade away, if we're lucky. Likely 15 years. WCSP bridges that gap quite nicely.

Also WCSP opens an opportunity to get some seriously nice kit if it can cover us for 20 years (and the MoD have some foresight and balls).
 
TBH. WCSP is a holding pattern to disguise the fact it's a can kicking exercise. Warrior is at least 37 years old in design and most of the hulls must be at least 30 years old. Warrior really needs replacing so frankly pissing £12bn ish all told on an upgrade program that's at least 20 years too late is deeply stupid and we'd be better off spending that money on a new IFV program. Preferably a straight forward "You'll be buying this or you're sacked" order from the Defence Minister or that £12bn will disappear in pointless tests.

We built something like 500 IFV hulls originally (not including command vehs, REME, and RA variants), so it wasn’t too hard to find 200 or so decent hulls for conversion. Given how long they’ve lasted already, it’s not unreasonable to expect another 20 years of life.

There really is nothing wrong with the rest of the vehicle - in an ideal world it would have a bit more power, but it keeps up with Cr2 just fine.

If an any doubt, check out CO ATDU’s opinion on Twitter...


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Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
Or buy IFV modules for Boxer

of course that propensity is part of the cause of this
And group tracks with wheels?
 

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