FRES - more tripe

Discussion in 'Infantry' started by BedIn, Dec 11, 2004.

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  1. Apparently we will loose some Infantry Bns, but will become more capable, due in no small part to our new all singing/all dancing"Medium Forces".

    However, FRES is due in at about 2017 on current planning. On top of that I have recently been told by lecturers that it may have Direct Energy Weapons (lasers - to be said in a Doctor Evil manner), electric armour and the ability to shoot long rod penetrators out of the air. This all suggests a slight slip to the right to me.

    However, we will loose our Infantry Bns in the next few years. My maths isn't brilliant, but this does give us a bit of a capability gap for about 15 yrs, doesn't it?
  2. chimera

    chimera LE Moderator

    No. The reduction in infantry battalions is predicated on Normalisation in NI and its associated reduction in force levels. It is balanced by manpower uplifts in other parts of the Army.
  3. However, I have heard several punters justify reductions in the size of the Infantry by talking of a more "capable" Infantry - and going on to mention "medium forces".

    I would argue that the NI peace dividend is a bit of a red herring - Infantry soldiers are currently being wounded and killed at a higher rate than since the early 70s. Doesn't sound like peace to me.

    Uplifts in other parts of the Army do not replace the capability represented by Infantry Bns. Less Infantry = more frequent tours = more chances of being killed. I did join to go on operations and have been to Iraq, but lets not kick the arrse here.

    We can wait 'til the early 2020s for a medium armoured vehicle which is like something out of Star Wars. In the interim people deploy to Iraq with Saxons. I reckon given a week, a telephone and a budget I could procure an armoured vehicle that fits in a Herc - such as the US Stryker. Unit cost would surely be offset by the savings in R & D, in which we have a less than perfect track record. Whilst IPTs get very excited about what dead clever stuff they can fit to an as of yet non-existant vehicle we have a chronic capability gap and a sort of war on our hands.
  4. chimera

    chimera LE Moderator

    Really - when was the last soldier killed by terrorist action in NI?

    Losing all of the roulement battalions in NI (there were 6 at one stage), seems to me to be reducing tours not increasing them.

    And rebalancing infantry manpower liability into other parts of the Army does make the Army more capable, as the critical assets that govern our ability to mount and sustain operations are not the number of infantry battalions, but the number of signallers, engineers, loggies, medics etc. They are the people with short tour intervals, not the infantry.
  5. Buzzword bingo begins.


    Buzzword bingo ends.
  6. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    Come on Chimera, you know he was referring to the other Ops the Infantry are deeply involved in - Telic being the main one.

    As to 'rebalancing', great, all for it. However, I would be interested to see what the retention rates in the Infantry - specifically the PWRR and BW - are like after their recent excitment in Amarah and Central Iraq. And while we're at it, I wonder what the retention rates are like for all those who supported them?
  7. Or simply "It's a big sh*t sandwich and everyone gets the chance to take a bite now"?

  8. chimera

    chimera LE Moderator

    Nothing like playing the Devil's advocate now and again - keeps the infantry on their toes... :twisted: :twisted:
  9. The Spams have discovered that Stryker cannot do what it says on the tin. It's true they are air-portable, but they have to be fitted with anti-RPG cages once they arrive Sand-side. Weight considerations and dimensions make it impossible to up-armour pre-flight.
  10. And you think any future FRES vehicle will roll off of ramp into combat? It's not even a requirement of the design, so I cannot see GKN/BAE just throwing it in for fun...

    Reality is that ANY medium vehicle will not be sufficiently protected to roll straight into combat against MBTs. Therefore, why waste years waiting for a solution when it could be purchased now... if we had the budget, of course...

    I am more than happy to eat my words in 2012, should anyone wish to chase me up then!
  11. I thought the reason it had the cages on was because the ceramic plate
    armour was faulty .stryker would be better than faffying around with
    a new design .
  12. What a delightful example of MOD speak.
  13. OK - I'll bite: assuming that example of boolsheet is not a wind-up, what on earth is it meant to mean?

    a) For every Infantryman lost, there'll be an equivalent post created elsewhere? I don't believe that for a moment, but that's my foolish, thick infantryman's interpretation of 'balanced'...

    b) Because it's now so peaceful in NI, we can do away with infantry, because we're too feckin stupid to observe the tour intervals and effects of one or two other minor commitments that have appeared? That sounds about right to me: we identified a possible 'peace dividend' -aka, cost reduction - and we're having it come what may...

    I don't mind the political lying scumbags making this drivel up - what else would we expect? - but I really object to soldiers who parrot the party line in a supercilious manner.
  14. fair enough cutting infantry battalions that were NI if they were just going to sit in camp but our beloved tony in his wisdom has created two new exciting
    oppurtunties iraq afganistan whil thinking about africa and the lebannon so who cares about fres
  15. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    The whole FRES programme is disappearing up its own hoop as everyone knows. In regard to the systems you are have outlined above, 2 out of the 3 are are technologies which are real right now and one is very close.

    As to lasers - been around for years. What they are really working hard on in the DEW arena is High Power Microwave. It has various uses from crowd dispersal to frying the circuits of incoming missles. The problem as always is getting enough power as an output. A focused beam at the mo could stop a veh at a range of a couple of hundred metres at the power levels they are playing with. Look forward to more distance in the future.

    Naturally the yanks are a little ahead of us in this area and there is specualtion that they have deployed it already. Their police forces are looking at as a tool to stop fleeing cars - no more police action car chases!