Why no Western BMD?

Discussion in 'Infantry' started by angular, Aug 11, 2008.

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  1. Seeing the pictures of those nice Russian boys in Georgia over the weekend, I was wondering why we never had a UK/US version of the BMD. Of course I know we're far to cheap to pay for one now, but I wondered if there was some sort of doctrinal difference that relied on the fact that our paratroopers were just too hard to need armour, while the Russkies weren't.
  2. Hello angular,

    we have had one for many years,it is called the Scorpion series!
    They were designed for a very F.R.E.S/Stryker/F.C.S like requirement to deploy two at a time in a Hercules.
    The original idea was that we could close down overseas bases and have a rapid reaction force based at home.
    However,they have rarely been used in that role and the size and weight constraints have limited them in normal use.


    Edited to add the American M113,Sheridan and various self propelled artillery pieces,M110 etc.,were also designed to be air portable.
  3. The Americans developed an "airborne tank" called the M8 but the programme was cancelled before it went into service IIRC.

    Here's a link to an article about it: M8 Buford Armored Gun System
  4. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    The Yanks had one of those in the early 60s without the turret, I'll try to find some footage. They were retired before Vietnam.
  5. I think this is what you are talking about:

    The US also had this:

    However I don't regard these or the CVR(T) series as a BMD equivalent. They may have been designed with air-portability in mind, however, they were never issued on anything like the BMD's scale.
  6. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    That top one is the fecker, I found some pics of them being fired on live firing exercises before Vietnam!

    M56 Scorpion self-propelled Antitank Gun

    A fully tracked 90mm gun developed in the 1950s to provide airborne troops with a mobile anti-tank weapon. Used by airborne battalions and airborne infantry tank companies in the 1960s.
  7. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Loading a SPAT onto a C-124C Globemaster II; the 1st Airborne Battle Group had
    these mobile light artillery guns till about 1963.
    SPATS at a Saturday morning inspection


    D Company (Recon Platoon), firing an M-40A1 106mm recoilless rifle (with an
    M-8C .50-cal. spotting rifle on top of the recoilless barrel), mounted on an
    M-151 utility truck (recon jeep). This 106mm rifle was used in an anti-personnel
    role when firing high-explosive plastic with tracer ammunition.


    "Big Fist": the 1st Airborne Battle Group had integral light mobile artillery elements,
    giving the paratroops an anti-tank capability. This was the S.P.A.T. (Self-Propelled
    Anti-Tank), a tracked mobile gun.
  8. In the West it commonly perceived by those within and out that paratroopers = very light infantry. It's a source of pride so there isn't that much desire to operate armour.

    The US has sought to plug the gap with their Stryker brigades.
  9. Bad CO

    Bad CO LE Admin Reviews Editor Gallery Guru

    The Germans also had a go with the Wiesel.
  10. para borne armour needs **** loads of air lift
    otherwise you just have 2nd rate armour
  11. As I recall BMD can be dropped with the crew onboard which must do wonders for their dentistry. As for 'under hard armour' I had a crawl around one a few years back. It has a crew of 2 (?) although there was barely room for one person inside let alone me and a medium-sized SDG. Everybody else seems to sit on the back, although I suppose it beats walking.
  12. I seem to recall discussion that the Soviets were capable of dropping BMD and BMP with crew on board. The system involved the vehicle being loaded on a pallet, that had some form of rocket motor attached. As the pallet approached the ground, a pole that hung below acted as the trigger. Once the pole came into contact with the ground, the motors fired further arresting the descent (which was already under canopy).

    As I understand it, this was not successful resulting in the death of all those onboard when invairably, the motor failed to fire.