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Army Wants 'Air Droppable' Light Tank & Ultra-Light Vehicles

Void

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bobbymike said:
I don't know how you go light with the hitting power/speed of a 120mm cannon and not end up at 40 plus tons?
The same way they always do it.

Take off all the armour.
 

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http://breakingdefense.com/2016/11/the-long-road-to-armys-next-gen-combat-vehicle/
 

bobbymike

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http://www.army-technology.com/features/featurewhat-does-the-future-hold-for-tanks-5688047/
 

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http://breakingdefense.com/2017/02/ground-combat-modernization-mccain-wants-ambition-army-offers-caution/
 

bobbymike

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Army Will Start Experimenting With New Combat Vehicle Concepts

http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=2442
 

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https://www.defensetech.org/2017/03/21/army-testing-ripsaw-super-tank/?ESRC=dod-bz.nl

Always thought one of these with a mini-gun on top would make a great urban assault vehicle.
 

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http://breakingdefense.com/2017/06/speed-up-light-tank-heavy-armor-modernization-hasc-tells-army/?utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=53378968&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_1Z_sq4ITLwz5ZC18Fpdo8RriGyxCAAY-6w498EB4lxV7UI3syigpKHnhyzLhKRBplv_OpwGHgxqJTa1M4fwCGMErSpw&_hsmi=53378968
 

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About the only way MPF happens is if key KASC members really adopt it and push it along through the inevitable issues that will come up, so good news for the program if they're showing this much interest.
 

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bobbymike said:
http://breakingdefense.com/2017/06/speed-up-light-tank-heavy-armor-modernization-hasc-tells-army/?utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=53378968&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_1Z_sq4ITLwz5ZC18Fpdo8RriGyxCAAY-6w498EB4lxV7UI3syigpKHnhyzLhKRBplv_OpwGHgxqJTa1M4fwCGMErSpw&_hsmi=53378968
Great find Bobbymike thank you for posting.

a very hard problem when money is involved. MPF Born obsolete.
 

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bobbymike said:
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-us-armys-mobile-protected-firepower-program-big-guns-the-17947

I know I've been told launch signature detection makes LOSAT/CKEM not practicable but I don't know how you go light with the hitting power/speed of a 120mm cannon and not end up at 40 plus tons?

The fire signature of a 120 mm gun is huge as well, and not considered impractical.
The smoke of a LOSAT/CKEM may in fact aid in obscuring the launcher from counterfires, kinda built-in smoke concealment.

More importantly, there are some low smoke and small flame solid fuel rockets.
Some of the newer ATGMs had these, and hopes on the CL-20 compound are still high.
 

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http://www.defensenews.com/articles/army-on-fast-paced-track-to-get-mobile-protected-firepower-into-force
 

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bobbymike said:
http://www.defensenews.com/articles/army-on-fast-paced-track-to-get-mobile-protected-firepower-into-force
Needs to be done, but IMHO born as an obsolete system. needs a helova APS.. and not confident that is on the horizon until that program gets straighten up.
 

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https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-08/uarl-uof081717.php
 

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lastdingo said:
The fire signature of a 120 mm gun is huge as well, and not considered impractical.
The smoke of a LOSAT/CKEM may in fact aid in obscuring the launcher from counterfires, kinda built-in smoke concealment.

More importantly, there are some low smoke and small flame solid fuel rockets.
Some of the newer ATGMs had these, and hopes on the CL-20 compound are still high.
More importantly, it obscures itself from the tracker, which is rather problematic.

Every US kinetic energy missile project featured a different guidance system;

LOSAT: Interrupted laser beamrider
ADKEM: MMW command line of sight, but active MMW was also considered.
XROD/MRM-KE: Active MMW/Semi-active laser
CKEM: Sidescatter beamrider

While the Norwegian/US HATM and the German HATM never seem to have gotten to the point of testing a guidance system and the Canadian HEMI, which was never built, was also to use an interrupted beamrider guidance system. All of which suggests a completely satisfactory solution was never found, the last DOT&E report to mention the LOSAT indicated it had not yet demonstrated a sufficient kill probability at long range. The cost of these missiles was also quite high, the LOSATs unit cost was projected at $238,000 in 2000, against $78,000 thousand for the Javelin and just $5,000 for the M829A3 in the same year.

The projected cost for a LOSAT launcher and twelve rounds would have been $6.5 million in then-year dollars. That doesn't compare favourably with the same year cost of a M1A2 at $7.84 million.
 

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Void said:
lastdingo said:
The fire signature of a 120 mm gun is huge as well, and not considered impractical.
The smoke of a LOSAT/CKEM may in fact aid in obscuring the launcher from counterfires, kinda built-in smoke concealment.

More importantly, there are some low smoke and small flame solid fuel rockets.
Some of the newer ATGMs had these, and hopes on the CL-20 compound are still high.
More importantly, it obscures itself from the tracker, which is rather problematic.

Every US kinetic energy missile project featured a different guidance system;

LOSAT: Interrupted laser beamrider
ADKEM: MMW command line of sight, but active MMW was also considered.
XROD/MRM-KE: Active MMW/Semi-active laser
CKEM: Sidescatter beamrider

While the Norwegian/US HATM and the German HATM never seem to have gotten to the point of testing a guidance system and the Canadian HEMI, which was never built, was also to use an interrupted beamrider guidance system. All of which suggests a completely satisfactory solution was never found, the last DOT&E report to mention the LOSAT indicated it had not yet demonstrated a sufficient kill probability at long range. The cost of these missiles was also quite high, the LOSATs unit cost was projected at $238,000 in 2000, against $78,000 thousand for the Javelin and just $5,000 for the M829A3 in the same year.

The projected cost for a LOSAT launcher and twelve rounds would have been $6.5 million in then-year dollars. That doesn't compare favourably with the same year cost of a M1A2 at $7.84 million.
Thanks for the information. For me CKEM/LOSAT was the only way to give smaller and much lighter vehicles MBT killing ability closely comparable to a 120mm gun.
 

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What ever happened to the Fibre-Optic guidance system of FOG-M?

It seems on the surface to be an ideal solution to this problem. Long range, heavy warhead and it strikes it's target from overhead, avoiding the heavy armour a horizontal weapon has to attack. It could be mounted on a light truck as well, which makes it very air portable.
 

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Kadija_Man said:
What ever happened to the Fibre-Optic guidance system of FOG-M?
FOG-M was cancelled in 1990. The follow-on EFOGM was cancelled in 2002. See here.
 

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It is quite a popular option outside the US. The Israeli Spike series, except the Spike NLOS which uses a wireless link, are all FOG missiles. The new Spike II is especially impressive looking.

Part of the reason is that the during the AAWS-M competition the FOG missile was rejected in favour of what would become the Javelin and this was the last completely new tactical missile to enter US Army service. Subsequently only modifications of the TOW, Javelin and Hellfire have made it to the battlefield.
 

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It's not clear how many delivered versions of Spike actually use the fiber. The SR and MR versions are fire-and-forget only, like Javelin.
 

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Void said:
It is quite a popular option outside the US. The Israeli Spike series, except the Spike NLOS which uses a wireless link, are all FOG missiles. The new Spike II is especially impressive looking.
Much shorter range than FOG-M and most of the newer Spike II LR versions use an RF datalink.

Void said:
this was the last completely new tactical missile to enter US Army service.
That would be Griffin.
 

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Whether the guidance signal travels over fibre or over wireless does not change the nature of the guidance system. A better term would probably be TV-guided. "Fiber optic guidance" is a misnomer in that sense, just like "wire-guided". The US experimented with the same kind of wireless "FOG" guidance with the FMTI missile.

And as for the Griffin, it was sold on very the premise that it wasn't a completely new missile, but one that reused components from existing missiles as much as possible.
 

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As an aside, there are rumours of Hanwha Defense Systems teaming up with Lockheed or Raytheon to modify the K21-105 for the MPF program. Hanwha will have a presence at AUSA this year so addition information may be forthcoming then. Seems like a less capable, but low cost and low risk design.
 

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http://scout.com/military/warrior/Article/Army-Upgrades-Future-Tanks-Artillery-Helicopters-106532867
 

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Void said:
Whether the guidance signal travels over fibre or over wireless does not change the nature of the guidance system.
Sure it does; fiber permits much higher bi-directional data rates and much lower latency
which in turn makes things like performing automatic tracking and aimpoint selection on the
launcher-side readily doable.

FMTI was shorter range and fire-and-forget; the 2-way RF datalink had a much lower data rate and, AFIAK,
was mostly for LOAL fratricide avoidance.



Void said:
And as for the Griffin, it was sold on very the premise that it wasn't a completely new missile, but one that reused components from existing missiles as much as possible.
It was sold on that premise but it really is a new missile particularly the more recent blocks.
 

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Wireless has a lower minimum latency than fibre. EM waves simply travel faster through air than glass. The bandwidth available is higher in fibre true, but the bandwidth available in microwave or MMW links like the Spike-NLOS and FMTI use(d) is far in excess of what is actually needed for the relatively low-resolution video and missile data. The FMTI wasn't especially short range for its size either, it was tested to 8km (not trivial for a TOW-sized missile with a rocket motor) and had the potential for significantly greater range. And of course, the wireless Spike NLOS has a range of ~25km and seems to work quite well.

The attraction of fibre is the same as the attraction of wire in older missiles: The link is more reliable, especially at long distances, and it is largely immune to hostile interference. The principles of TV guidance did not change when it occurred to someone to link the weapon to the launcher by a fibre optic cable; TV guidance was already well established when optical fibre entered the picture as a potential alternative to radio links.

As for the Griffin, it is not alone in that regard. The Javelin has also been mostly rebuilt, there is a nice picture I don't have right now showing all the components that have been replaced since it entered service and it is almost the entire missile. As has the TOW. And the Hellfire. But they are still not completely new missiles. This isn't even my own observation. US tactical missiles which are not derived from existing missiles have been pretty consistently axed.
 

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All this is very interesting. However, what it does not explain is why the US Army has been so resistant over the years to the use of optical fibre guided weapons. FOG-M was quite capable but it was abandoned after the US Army didn't want it. EFOGM was also abandoned. Either would have allowed a light armoured vehicle which was quite capable of killing any MBT to be in service decades ago.
 

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Void said:
Wireless has a lower minimum latency than fibre. EM waves simply travel faster through air than glass. The bandwidth available is higher in fibre true, but the bandwidth available in microwave or MMW links like the Spike-NLOS and FMTI use(d) is far in excess of what is actually needed for the relatively low-resolution video and missile data. The FMTI wasn't especially short range for its size either, it was tested to 8km (not trivial for a TOW-sized missile with a rocket motor) and had the potential for significantly greater range. And of course, the wireless Spike NLOS has a range of ~25km and seems to work quite well.
Propagation delay through the medium is not the major driver for the latency difference.
It's the protocol overhead of making RF datalinks reliable, full-duplex, LPI/LPD/jam-resistant etc.

FOG-M and its derivatives were not low-resolution which was the whole point.
Spike NLOS RF and FMTI are both predominantly F&F missiles with a MITL datalink
for LOAL.

Void said:
The principles of TV guidance did not change when it occurred to someone to link the weapon to the launcher by a fibre optic cable; TV guidance was already well established when optical fibre entered the picture as a potential alternative to radio links.
Auto-tracking and automatic target handoff correlation (along with CCDs) revolutionized TV guidance in the late 70's.
But it was impractical (certainly at cost) to realize those gains over RF.

Void said:
But they are still not completely new missiles. This isn't even my own observation. US tactical missiles which are not derived from existing missiles have been pretty consistently axed.
The slide-deck predates Griffin. And by the definition above FOG-M wouldn't have been
considered new because it used TOW's motor.
 

marauder2048

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Kadija_Man said:
All this is very interesting. However, what it does not explain is why the US Army has been so resistant over the years to the use of optical fibre guided weapons. FOG-M was quite capable but it was abandoned after the US Army didn't want it. EFOGM was also abandoned. Either would have allowed a light armoured vehicle which was quite capable of killing any MBT to be in service decades ago.
My view is that the theme has been:

Fire-and-Forget approaches (especially with IFTU) tend to kill or relegate FOG even in the non-US offerings.

In the 80's, only Army Air Defense had the budget for FOG-M and primarily as an anti-terrain masked helicopter weapon.
Even then, a surface-launched AMRAAM was considered for that role.

In the 90's, Longbow Hellfire consistently outperformed EFOGM.

I could see FOG making a comeback in the ISR role though.
 

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marauder2048 said:
Propagation delay through the medium is not the major driver for the latency difference.
It's the protocol overhead of making RF datalinks reliable, full-duplex, LPI/LPD/jam-resistant etc.
But this is not a fundamental characteristic of a wireless link. The amount of interference it would be expected to encounter, intentional and unintentional, and the degree of covertness required would be application specific. For a given set of requirements, fibre may well prove to offer no meaningful advantage.

marauder2048 said:
FOG-M and its derivatives were not low-resolution which was the whole point.
Spike NLOS RF and FMTI are both predominantly F&F missiles with a MITL datalink
for LOAL.
The video format of the FOG-M was RS170. Calling it high resolution is a bit of a stretch. The current Spike-NLOS provides CCD, IIR and SAL feeds simultaneously, which was beyond any hardware that existed in the FOG-Ms time.



The Spike-NLOS can function autonomously, semi-autonomously with man-in-the-loop lock-on of the automatic tracked or under full manual control. This is the same set of guidance options as the FOG-M.
 

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https://scout.com/military/warrior/Article/General-Dynamics-Land-Systems-Unveils-New-Hellfire-Missile-Firin-105894682
 

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Void said:
marauder2048 said:
Propagation delay through the medium is not the major driver for the latency difference.
It's the protocol overhead of making RF datalinks reliable, full-duplex, LPI/LPD/jam-resistant etc.
But this is not a fundamental characteristic of a wireless link. The amount of interference it would be expected to encounter, intentional and unintentional, and the degree of covertness required would be application specific. For a given set of requirements, fibre may well prove to offer no meaningful advantage.
And the application we are talking about in employing an AT/anti-helicopter weapon over a comparatively
long range against a high-end opponent potentially in a post-nuclear attack environment. So yeah it's fundamental.


Void said:
And the video format of the FOG-M was RS170. Calling it high resolution is a bit of a stretch. The current Spike-NLOS provides CCD, IIR and SAL feeds simultaneously, which was beyond any hardware that existed in the FOG-Ms time.
That video format did not provide sufficient contrast for the autotracker so they bumped it to 875 lines/10 MHz video bandwidth
(roughly RS-343). For the daylight camera alone (+ telemetry) that required a downlink data rate of 80 Mb/sec.
There was provisioning for infrared or lowlight as well which would have added to the downlink data rate
requirements but it was still well within the link budget of single mode fiber even at range and with
micro/macro bending induced signal losses.

FMTI, some two decades later, could do ~ 20 Mb/sec downlink over MMW RF but in full-on LPD/LPI/AJ mode the operator
would see a frame rate of ~ 1 Hz. Of course for a predominantly F&F weapon that's still tactically useful but
it shows the protocol overhead impact on a real RF datalink.

Void said:
The Spike-NLOS can function autonomously, semi-autonomously with man-in-the-loop lock-on of the automatic tracked or under full manual control. This is the same set of guidance options as the FOG-M.
As we've said before, the modern Spike-NLOS are predominantly fire & forget.
 

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marauder2048 said:
And the application we are talking about in employing an AT/anti-helicopter weapon over a comparatively
long range against a high-end opponent potentially in a post-nuclear attack environment. So yeah it's fundamental.
Fighting the Warsaw Pact is not the sole possible mission of FOG-like missile. And even if it had been procured that mission would have been irrelevant to the wars it would have actually been used in. Sensitivity to ECM is not a major concern when engaging Taliban fighters planing IEDS or ISIS weapons teams, yet these are the sorts of things TV guided "FOG" missiles are needed for in reality.

marauder2048 said:
That video format did not provide sufficient contrast for the autotracker so they bumped it to 875 lines/10 MHz video bandwidth
(roughly RS-343). For the daylight camera alone (+ telemetry) that required a downlink data rate of 80 Mb/sec.
There was provisioning for infrared or lowlight as well which would have added to the downlink data rate
requirements but it was still well within the link budget of single mode fiber even at range and with
micro/macro bending induced signal losses.

FMTI, some two decades later, could do ~ 20 Mb/sec downlink over MMW RF but in full-on LPD/LPI/AJ mode the operator
would see a frame rate of ~ 1 Hz. Of course for a predominantly F&F weapon that's still tactically useful but
it shows the protocol overhead impact on a real RF datalink.
A missile that is restricted to F&F in the presence of hostile ESM/ECM is still quite suitable for the wars that are actually fought against non-state and "hybrid" opponents and the man-in-the-loop capability in a benign electronic environment is quite valuable against those same enemies. Which goes right back to what I said before, wireless is entirely suitable for a TV guided weapon in certain applications.

marauder2048 said:
As we've said before, the modern Spike-NLOS are predominantly fire & forget.
We? Are you multiple people posting on the same account?

You keep saying this, yes, but you have provided no indication you are correct, and what I can find contradicts what you are saying. So you aren't very convincing.

Jane's Defense Weekly described it:
Known as the Pere ('Savage'), the resulting vehicle is comparatively well armoured and has the mobility to keep up with the IDF's armoured divisions. It still has a crew of four: a commander, two gunners, and a driver. Once ordered to fire on certain co-ordinates, the crew launches a Tamuz towards the location, uses the live feed from the camera carried in its nose to identify a target as it approaches and then manually guides the missile towards it.

The manual guidance system restricts each Pere to having only one missile in the air at any given time, although a battalion of vehicles working together could potentially fire volleys at an enemy tank formation.
And video, both quality and rate, seem entirely sufficient for acquiring a target remotely. I won't pretend Jane's is always right, but then where is the contradiction?
 

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Void said:
Fighting the Warsaw Pact is not the sole possible mission of FOG-like missile. And even if it had been procured that mission would have been irrelevant to the wars it would have actually been used in. Sensitivity to ECM is not a major concern when engaging Taliban fighters planing IEDS or ISIS weapons teams, yet these are the sorts of things TV guided "FOG" missiles are needed for in reality.
And Anti-tank isn't the sole possible mission of Javelin as it has been used against IED and mortar teams.
But like FOG, it's an expensive way to kill personnel.

FOG isn't needed for that case either: cheap SAL/GPS munitions directed by a platform EO/IR sensor
can be used freely in permissive environments; that's much cheaper than FOG since you don't
destroy the expensive EO/IR bit with every use and the EO/IR on the platform will be superior
to anything you can affordably mount on a missile.

And you need the platform EO/IR sensor to spot the targets in the first place
since FOG type missiles are too expensive to use just for scouting.



Void said:
A missile that is restricted to F&F in the presence of hostile ESM/ECM is still quite suitable for the wars that are actually fought against non-state and "hybrid" opponents and the man-in-the-loop capability in a benign electronic environment is quite valuable against those same enemies. Which goes right back to what I said before, wireless is entirely suitable for a TV guided weapon in certain applications.
Or you just carry a mixed load-out of F&F-only weapons and a bunch of your cheap SAL/GPS weapons
as is actually done.


marauder2048 said:
As we've said before, the modern Spike-NLOS are predominantly fire & forget.

Void said:
We? Are you multiple people posting on the same account?

You keep saying this, yes, but you have provided no indication you are correct, and what I can find contradicts what you are saying. So you aren't very convincing
You posted inaccurate info on FOG-M and then talked about Pere which was retired as obsolete neither of which help your argument:
the Israelis burned through the inventory of the RF guided versions and won't replenish them.
 

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https://breakingdefense.com/2017/10/heavy-competition-for-light-tank-saic-singapore-vs-bae-gdls/
 

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bobbymike said:
https://breakingdefense.com/2017/10/heavy-competition-for-light-tank-saic-singapore-vs-bae-gdls/
ArmyRecognition comes through with a picture of SAIC's concept:
https://twitter.com/ArmyRecognition/status/917582536615833600
 

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https://breakingdefense.com/2017/10/army-accelerates-armor-stryker-trophy-mpf-race-to-field/?utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=57427819&_hsenc=p2ANqtz--OEf1lh3etzNVc-toMGviNuHGScJAt-s-GSI-s6CPONu2rMeQeiVWfw_kQycs4Jojb0Rnl-zQVtkIfJyS78YiSkrtTsA&_hsmi=57427819
 

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https://www.army.mil/article/195713/army_moving_rapidly_on_plans_for_lightweight_armored_combat_vehicle
 
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