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

TomS

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Weirdly compressed, but it shows how much of a monster the JLTV is.
 

jsport

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M-8 w ETC 120mm we hope.
 

Moose

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They're both bid with 105mm. Any development of another weapon, be it XM360 or [enter gun of choice here], comes after a vehicle's already established with the base canon.
 

bobbymike

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aonestudio

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“A specific technical challenge is integrating mature weapon systems such as the M299 launcher, Stinger missile system and 30mm cannon,” he added. “Even though each component is mature by itself, they have to be integrated to work as a system.”

 

TomS

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“A specific technical challenge is integrating mature weapon systems such as the M299 launcher, Stinger missile system and 30mm cannon,” he added. “Even though each component is mature by itself, they have to be integrated to work as a system.”

So Stryker formations end up with two separate 30mm ammunition supplies. This has LW30/M230, presumably for the HE-PROX round, while the conventional upgunned Stryker gets Bushmaster II firing 30x173. Pity they don't have the weight budget for Bushmaster II with ABM instead.
 
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helmutkohl

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Every time I hear that there is demand for something light

light weight fighters
light naval ships, etc

what ends up happening is they realize its not as useful in actual combat (or at least the way they want it to be used)
and end up building heavier fighter jets, heavier naval ships, etc

even the Russians are now realizing this with their tanks that are getting heavier now after years of relatively light designs.
 

jsport

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“A specific technical challenge is integrating mature weapon systems such as the M299 launcher, Stinger missile system and 30mm cannon,” he added. “Even though each component is mature by itself, they have to be integrated to work as a system.”

So Stryker formations end up with two separate 30mm ammunition supplies (this has LW30/M230, presumably for the HE-PROX round) while the conventional upgunned Stryker gets Bushmaster II firing 30x173.
US Army cant get out of its own way again. :(
 

GARGEAN

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even the Russians are now realizing this with their tanks that are getting heavier now after years of relatively light designs.
Confusing soft with warm. T-90M is still feather level compared with western designs. T-14 is not case of "let's go heavier, it will be more useful that way" but case of switching to superior layout that demanded more internal volume being armored, thus growth in weight.
 

riggerrob

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Ah!
The age-old dilemna: armour or weapons?
It seems that parachuteable vehicles cannot carry significant layers of armour before they strain air-lift capacity. Only a handful of the wealthiest ari forces can support fleets of C-17 transports.
May I suggest a light AFV with a mine-resistant, monocoque, "punt" hull (al. Alvis Saracen) and roll cages. Then drop Kevlar blankets or bolt-on supplemental armour during the second day of the battle?

Oh!
As for APCs and IFVs, the average paratrooper weighs closer to 300 pounds fully-equipped ... and their rucksacks are reallllllly bulky!
 
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Grey Havoc

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There is some speculation around the internet that the Spurt SD is the preferred option for this particular emergency requirement.
 
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helmutkohl

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what options currently (or soon to be available) does India have for a light tank that is equal to or better than the Type 15 (about 30-33 tonnes)
i guess there is the SPRUT SD by Russia
the Swedish CV90 with the 105 or 120mm turret sounds like a good fit but not sure if its been used via air drops
 

Evgeniy

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i guess there is the SPRUT SD by Russia
Well, this car is not a tank at all.
It is called a self-propelled artillery gun.
Sprut's armor is made of cardboard. Its advantages are the ability to land with a parachute and the ability to overcome water obstacles by swimming. In fact, it is a self-propelled support weapon, not a classic artillery tank destroyer.
 

riggerrob

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i guess there is the SPRUT SD by Russia
Well, this car is not a tank at all.
It is called a self-propelled artillery gun.
Sprut's armor is made of cardboard. Its advantages are the ability to land with a parachute and the ability to overcome water obstacles by swimming. In fact, it is a self-propelled support weapon, not a classic artillery tank destroyer.

For mountain fighting, India will need guns that can depress significantly more than tanks optimized for prairie battles.
Also consider that above average elevation is important when fighting in cities. With millions more humans living in cities every year, more and more battles now occurr in built-up areas.
 

jsport

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i guess there is the SPRUT SD by Russia
Well, this car is not a tank at all.
It is called a self-propelled artillery gun.
Sprut's armor is made of cardboard. Its advantages are the ability to land with a parachute and the ability to overcome water obstacles by swimming. In fact, it is a self-propelled support weapon, not a classic artillery tank destroyer.

For mountain fighting, India will need guns that can depress significantly more than tanks optimized for prairie battles.
Also consider that above average elevation is important when fighting in cities. With millions more humans living in cities every year, more and more battles now occurr in built-up areas.
You are touching on the trends. Increasing urbanization forces armies to plan for engagements which eat up dismounts in huge numbers. No Western gov can politically stomach long and hugely attriting fights. Likewise, the proliferation of so called 'urban canyons' render dependance on UGVs questionable. Armed, multi-shot VTOL UAS seems the only route. Quadrotors clip wires and corners becoming the street trash they already are. Meanwhile the Army Sec says "fly before u buy". As long as the sheriff of the 'valley of development death' presides, western UAV development will continue to accelerate, accelerate backwardis. Current UAV development is not military, no developer will commit to purely military designs in the risk adverse business climate. What the this Army Secretary has done is commit to obsolesence.
 

shin_getter

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For mountain fighting, India will need guns that can depress significantly more than tanks optimized for prairie battles.
I'd think a gun mortar vehicle with gun launched missile option would be the most flexible, since you want elevation and ability to to hit defilade, while the odds is that one would not meet MBT class armor much in such terrain, and ATGMs (full sized ones somewhere in the formation) is a better solution than squeezing a full power gun onto a air droppable vehicle and give up a lot of things. With aerial based sustainment, maintaining a full combined arms specialization is difficult so a single vehicle need to do more things.

You are touching on the trends....
UGVs will be needed for mine clearing, breaching and other engineering tasks regardless of their value as a firepower platform. Quadcopters are cheaper than munitions and one of the best options for indoor flying due to agility. Get alpha pilot working and a swarm would be able to fly though every window and hole in urban space for basically nothing. VTOL halves payload for cost for most air vehicle classes and offer nothing for an attacker into urban area (as an attacker, secure area outside the city enables CTOL UAS ops).
 
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jsport

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For mountain fighting, India will need guns that can depress significantly more than tanks optimized for prairie battles.
I'd think a gun mortar vehicle with gun launched missile option would be the most flexible, since you want elevation and ability to to hit defilade, while the odds is that one would not meet MBT class armor much in such terrain, and ATGMs (full sized ones somewhere in the formation) is a better solution than squeezing a full power gun onto a air droppable vehicle and give up a lot of things. With aerial based sustainment, maintaining a full combined arms specialization is difficult so a single vehicle need to do more things.

You are touching on the trends....
UGVs will be needed for mine clearing, breaching and other engineering tasks regardless of their value as a firepower platform. Quadcopters are cheaper than munitions and one of the best options for indoor flying due to agility. Get alpha pilot working and a swarm would be able to fly though every window and hole in urban space for basically nothing. VTOL halves payload for cost for most air vehicle classes and offer nothing for an attacker into urban area (as an attacker, secure area outside the city enables CTOL UAS ops).
A quad rotor doesnt do much navigating after a rotor only slitely strikes a hard surface and the quadrotor crashes as junk on the ground. It does not matter how cheap it is if it strikes a wire, an edge, almost anything and it is rendered junk on the ground. Quads are cheaply made and malfuntion often, and have no all weather capability. Expose the workings of a prop system and even dust will bring it down before you know it. It appears many have forgotten what mil-spec is as they are wowed by nieto factor.

Multi-shot armed UAVs never even need to enter buildings to suppress urban threats.


Alpha pilots are not going to be in grunt units. Swarm units would be run by automation like the DARPA OFFSET program anyway. Problem is those UAVs would all be junk after the first tens minutes because quads wont last the complexity of urban environments even if controlled by AI. Garbage in garbage out.
 
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helmutkohl

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I believe the newest light tanks being produced is this Turkish-Indonesian project called Kaplan


at 32 tons, its about the same weight category as the Type 15 its expected to fight (33 tons)
although the type 15 looks like an actual tank
this one somehow looks like an IFV with a 105 gun. not sure if it offers the same armor protection
 

apparition13

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I'd think a gun mortar vehicle with gun launched missile option would be the most flexible, since you want elevation and ability to to hit defilade, while the odds is that one would not meet MBT class armor much in such terrain, and ATGMs (full sized ones somewhere in the formation) is a better solution than squeezing a full power gun onto a air droppable vehicle and give up a lot of things. With aerial based sustainment, maintaining a full combined arms specialization is difficult so a single vehicle need to do more things.
CV90 can support AMOS and NEMO mortar systems, which can fire Strix guided anti-armor rounds. And has a 120mm light tank variant. A platoon of 3 CV90 with AMOS could put up to 48 Strix rounds downrange for MRSI, which should play havoc with any active defense system. I say up to, because Strix has less range than standard mortar rounds, so I don't know if AMOS could get off 8 2-round salvos of Strix like it can regular mortar rounds. NEMO would be half that, since it is one barrel rather than two like AMS.

Both systems also have a direct fire mode out to 1500m.
 

dan_inbox

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For air-transportable and mountain AFVs, probably massive armor in the old-fashioned way is reaching obsolescence: active protection systems like the מעיל רוח (windbreaker, export name 'Trophy' I think) will replace it for a fraction of the weight.
Minimal armor and a lot of Windbreaker should be the way forward.
 

roguetechie

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For air-transportable and mountain AFVs, probably massive armor in the old-fashioned way is reaching obsolescence: active protection systems like the מעיל רוח (windbreaker, export name 'Trophy' I think) will replace it for a fraction of the weight.
Minimal armor and a lot of Windbreaker should be the way forward.
APS are not magic though, and just like really effective ERA they require a certain base armor level not just to be mountable but also to deal with post interception impacts and resulting damage to the vehicle.

Physical armor is in no way obsolete I the slightest. People may need to be smarter about how they do it and etc but it definitely still needs to be here.
 

roguetechie

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Whether or not a remote turret is used, F-35 style 360 degree sensor inputs will probably become standard as a matter of necessity. A low cost version of the F-35 helmet to display the imagery wouldn't be surprising along with automatic gun pointing based on visual tracking.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVTMoqwhw2M
On the note of a "low-cost f35 helmet" they're definitely coming. There was a document listing army r&d programs from 2018, their TRL, and anticipated release to industry dates.

The number and variety of display technologies of all sorts and suitable for myriad uses all got kicked to industry that year and not a bunch has been heard about most of the technologies since.

That said, a better lighter cheaper and more infantry/vehicle crew focused technologies meant to deliver just that featured very prominently in the list.
 

dan_inbox

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For air-transportable and mountain AFVs, probably massive armor in the old-fashioned way is reaching obsolescence: active protection systems like the מעיל רוח (windbreaker, export name 'Trophy' I think) will replace it for a fraction of the weight.
Minimal armor and a lot of Windbreaker should be the way forward.
APS are not magic though, and just like really effective ERA they require a certain base armor level not just to be mountable but also to deal with post interception impacts and resulting damage to the vehicle.

Physical armor is in no way obsolete I the slightest. People may need to be smarter about how they do it and etc but it definitely still needs to be here.
The point was not that all armor is obsolete. It's not. MASSIVE armor is.
 

roguetechie

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A
For air-transportable and mountain AFVs, probably massive armor in the old-fashioned way is reaching obsolescence: active protection systems like the מעיל רוח (windbreaker, export name 'Trophy' I think) will replace it for a fraction of the weight.
Minimal armor and a lot of Windbreaker should be the way forward.
APS are not magic though, and just like really effective ERA they require a certain base armor level not just to be mountable but also to deal with post interception impacts and resulting damage to the vehicle.

Physical armor is in no way obsolete I the slightest. People may need to be smarter about how they do it and etc but it definitely still needs to be here.
The point was not that all armor is obsolete. It's not. MASSIVE armor is.
Ah yeah I can buy that. In theory changing up the distribution and composition might make a lot more sense now.

I have an idea In my head for a sort of spiritual successor to the rdf lt based specifically around this thought process.
 

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Haven't air-droppable "tanks" been tried in the recent past? They even demo'd it with the M551 Sheridan.
 

MihoshiK

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Haven't air-droppable "tanks" been tried in the recent past? They even demo'd it with the M551 Sheridan.
The problem is pretty much that you can have a "tank" that's air-droppable, or something well enough protected to be useful, but not both.
 

Foo Fighter

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Very doubtful but then, no military institution can properly.
 

Bruno Anthony

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I ran it through a double-talk translation program:
“The USArmy sees the future battlefield especially in the Pacific as one of spread out units engaging with long range weapons. A direct fire, short range weapon like a tank we believe has no place on such a battlefield and we really don’t have the money and especially the desire to design & build a proper new MBT. It certainly will not be the central weapon of the future battlefield.“

IOW don’t hold your breath on an American counter to T-14 or the MGCS.
 

marauder2048

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I ran it through a double-talk translation program:
“The USArmy sees the future battlefield especially in the Pacific as one of spread out units engaging with long range weapons. A direct fire, short range weapon like a tank we believe has no place on such a battlefield and we really don’t have the money and especially the desire to design & build a proper new MBT. It certainly will not be the central weapon of the future battlefield.“

IOW don’t hold your breath on an American counter to T-14 or the MGCS.
Uh...how did you infer *any* of that from this article?

If you look at the more detailed accounts at say:


they are experimenting with slew-to-cue direct fire RWS as proxies for future direct fire cannon.
 
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Bruno Anthony

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Uh...how did you infer *any* of that from this article?

If you look at the more detailed accounts at say:


they are experimenting with slew-to-cue direct fire RWS as proxies for future direct fire cannon.
The 80s era Vehicle Integrated Defense System (VIDS) a passive protection system also had a slew turret-to-detected threat feature.

I‘m reading btw the lines of an Army that seems very unsure about future mobile, protected direct fire vehicles. Manned? Unmanned? Kind of manned? Big gun? No gun? Heavy armor? No armor?

Once again, I’m very pessimistic about a future MBT.
 
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