Bradley Replacement - OMFV

chimeric oncogene

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Kissinger appears to subscribe to the George W. Bush manner of thinking, "if you're not with us, you're against us." Western European democrats have their own way of thinking about problems. Kissinger obviously believe it is better to be dead than Red. Silly really...
That's totally not what Kissinger has been saying.

 

shin_getter

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Think less "50 kilometers" and more "50 meters". "Robotic teletanks" is much more in line with the technologies that have been actively demonstrated in laboratories rather "autonomous combat droids", which are based on technologies that said laboratories are using to hypebeast overly optimistic billionaires.
If we are talking about 50meter range, than it is just about pointless. That is the kind of number you have for weapon effects radius, let alone weapons range or maneuver range. That kind of numbers makes it only useful against utterly immobile opponents: aka mines and structures.

If one wants a vanguard in even low intensity conflict against current day rebels, one would need 4km range (root out range ATGM shooters). For protection against modern ground forces one would want to push out to 15km+ as thermals (on a mast) can see that far and drop fires.

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In any case, without effective AI, a "radioman operated" teletank is just hopeless as all one manned tanks in history. If effective AI enables a tank to be operated with one man effectively, the "manned tank" could be operated with one man as well. (or at most two, if it has even far more weapons and sensors than the teletank)

A teletank is the UGV form factor with the least impact on combat operations. The concept may be easiest but the tech requirement (reliability/reaction time/etc) is actually quite hard. There are a lot of UGV concepts that has lower tech requirement and higher impact. If one is talking about urban combat, it is complex (terrain, tactical and even non-military human factors), demands good situation awareness and delicate use of force, all great difficulties for AI.

For a urban combat tank, a two man heavy tank (add AI and datalink to offload crew workload) with a compact weapon/ammo (no sabot pen, its not Anti-tank) can be all but passively RPG proof in all the common engagement angles, and add an APS and it'd take a near impossible tactical ambush to knock out by infantry or indoor emplacements. Short range combat actually favors armor quite a bit, as KE missiles are impossible, large warheads hard to handle in close combat under constant suppressive fire, and massed fire difficult with LOS obstructions.

In any case the infantry take far higher total losses than tanks and consumes more manpower. The kind of thing that have bigger impact are tasks replacing the infantry, replacing humans in the huge logistics tail or in tasks that was too suicidal for infantry.

In an urban assault role, a robot/sensor that can be the first into a door/window/hole can save a lot of lives and change how combat is fought altogether, if one could figure out the networking when one wants to pack a entire city full of them under enemy ewar.

For field combat, an cheap small semi-stealthy vanguard UGV that just moves sensors out forward, plugging gaps in aerial recon would be great. It can be cheap enough that getting some stuck is not a big problem, and would mostly serve as a anti-ambush tripwire that prevents mass casualties events.

Robotic logistics vehicles can immediately reduces the problem of drivers and can almost be off the shelf from the civilian world to boot. In this same line of development, robotic fire support vehicles is a natural addition at small additional development cost.

For offensive maneuver, in that other thread I was talking about UGVs that you could drop from penetrating air. A UGV that can hide and harass and fight behind enemy lines while being deployed by means as violent as being dropped out of bomber bays if not cruise missiles can generate novel problems for the enemy. Imagine standoff A2AD assets getting hunted down, or airfields getting attacked with loss of hugely important force multipliers.

In almost none of the above uses would the robotic vehicle be best commanded by the tanks. There is previous cases of control via infantry (EOD robots), local force command (breaching bots), or even centralized air force command (igloo white).
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Even in the case of urban combat, the improvement in modern sensors and communications increasing means that the vehicle crew is increasingly better off handing decision making to higher levels. If you've seen videos of recent urban conflict, a commander watching UAV feeds of the battlespace and micro-managing combat elements directly (move to next corner, shoot that 3rd build, etc) is increasingly effective. A top down view (plus networked sensor fusion if available) enables far greater situation awareness and can know things like VBIED speeding down around the corner or an RPG team trying to flank via a back alley street. A tanker trying to watch a bunch of UAV feed and operate a tank at the same time is in for overload and do not have good situation awareness for controlling other forces. If a tank crew man has to get commanded from higher levels and operate a remote tank, that is just complication with little gain.

In any case, the main advantage in tele-tank operation is reduce manpower needs. How can there be reduced manpower if each tele-tank is tied to an operator? How operating savings happen is by having tanks outside of active combat (moving in rear areas, quite areas, etc) run without a full human monitoring, while maximize human effort on important combat zones. A tele-tank moving back to rearm on a road in safe areas probably gets no human supervision while a tank penetrating enemy defensive lines probably gets a dozen humans watching and tagging every bit of sensor output out of 360 degree array. This demands a networked and centralized control concept.

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Some part of me do wonder if the real change to UGVs is VBIED spam becomes unbounded. Imagine a 2030 world where just about every newer motor vehicle have some self driving capability while easily carrying a ton of explosives out of any garage in any building in all those urban areas. Perhaps paving every road with anti-tank mines would be the first step in future urban campaigns....
 
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Kat Tsun

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Not sure why you need four kilometers of radio range when the average line of sight in non-urban terrain in European terrain (Germany) is about two before you run into a ridge, crest, or treeline, and I suppose in a city this probably drops to less than 100-200 meters between barriers like houses and large fences, at least going off Fallujah.

For modern forces, I'd think any ground unit that is moving under observation is probably as good as dead and should be written off as such. Putting things on masts isn't useful when you can put things on airplanes instead. Or satellites. I guess that's a bit pessimistic towards the future of ground troops as it tends to degenerate to "who has the most SDBs, JSTARS, and F-35s", as eventually everyone everywhere will be under observation all the time from the air, and being bombed will be trivially easy; but since this is a thread about a OMFV and not a future warfare trends thread, it's a bit beyond the scope of the topic.

Putting the robot tanks at platoon level would also get people used to robots and using and seeing them on the battlefield. Given how lackluster the US Army (and the West in general) is as at integrating new weapons into combat this is a bit of a serious concern. Historically, Western countries tend to forget battlefield basics in between major combats, such as between WW2 and Korea, or WW2 and Vietnam, for the US Army. Mostly this is because people just sorta do lame things like exclude veterans from call up or whatever, but it also is because people genuinely forget the characteristics of weapons, like in Vietnam when the US Army forgot that tanks are useful in jungles, or in Somalia when the US Army forgot that tanks are useful in cities.

It might not give you a brigade of Terminators or something, but it will ensure the widest possible exposure to personnel who become future sergeants major and general officers from the start, which is pretty important in long-term procurement policies, since it will give them immediate experience in the use of tanks, and small units are genuinely more important nowadays than they were 30 years ago, or even 15, despite buzzwords like "strategic corporal" or whatever. It will also let people figure out how to work with robots with the least possible risk of a procurement program falling on its ass, which is another concern, as Western countries seem to be unable to avoid flip-flopping between maximum and minimum risk options.

AI is not only high risk, it's probably actual magical thinking, and can safely be consigned as such until it's proven itself otherwise. For now all we know that AIs are good at is following cars on roads, getting stuck in ditches, and being hyped to death to squeeze money from venture capitalists. Oh and porn, but I don't think AI Dungeon has much tactical military value. Maybe it can run the US Army's Twitter account for those high intensity, great power battles on the Internet.

Anyway you seem to be misconstruing the concept I was presenting, which wasn't exactly breathtakingly novel. I was copying a lot of Soviet thinking from the late 1980's with it. I'm not talking about individual tanks turning into command centers, I'm talking about a tank controlling a UGS like how a section commander controls another tank, which is a fairly basic drill and doesn't require talking to a colonel and his IST teams armed with Toughbooks. The UGS moves forward a bit, gets shot at, the tank shoots back, then the tank moves up, and the UGS continues forward. Sometimes the UGS can shoot back if it sees someone before they get a shot off at it. Which is why I used Black Knight as an example: it has a high angle mount for a 25mm, like the Bradley's Bushmaster, which is a good gun that is very accurate and powerful.

You stop at the phase line once you've gone down the 1000-1500 meters of street or whatever by bounds with the little robots leading, report back that you've reached Phase Line Vanilla, and wait for everyone to else to show up and report in, then everyone moves onto Phase Line Strawberry in the same fashion, while irregulars or proxy troops clean up the survivors behind you to prevent possible ambushes. Rinse, repeat. It's pretty simple and I don't think it requires any sort of airborne reconnaissance or datalinking with any UAS as a rule, although these are nice to have they wouldn't be hugely useful per se. If you really need that sort of local observation of VBIEDs, which are more likely to come out of a covered garage or from underneath an awning than just sitting in the middle of a road being a moving object for GMTI to look at, then that's the job of the tank commander, not the radio operator. That guy is too busy switching between watching his little tankette drive down the street to see if there are any RPGs waiting in ambush and watching out the periscope to make sure no one is coming around the side, and making sure all your radios work. The TC is the one who is supposed to maintain local SA by assigning observation sectors to the gunner and observing the other half of the tank, and the radio man can drive the little robot. Since he isn't loading the gun, or needing to load it, he doesn't have much else to do besides maybe assist with local SA. If you need him looking around you can just tell the little robot tank to follow your tank, and it can do it by itself, like a truck convoy. Problem solved.

Tooling up for producing Black Knight, or some similar vehicle (read: robotic, armed, armored, UGS using current mechanized team weapons), and issuing to troops would probably take less than 15 years total if you started in a couple years. OTOH we probably won't see Optionally Manned Tank, or OMFV, or anything like it, for about 30. If ever.

The reason I suggested using a radio operator is simply because the M1 tank has four crewmen, not three, and most proposed autoloaders for it tend to leave room for the fourth man, who will need something to do. That guy can be operating radios literally, or driving a UAS, or maintaining SA on an airplane's little narrow FOV straw camera, or whatever. Putting the separate little command centers for each robot tank would require more manpower and the trucks to move them, so it's getting away from the point, which to field something pretty quickly that's good enough and genuinely saves a bit of manpower by doubling the effective frontages of a company team, in some cases, with a minimum of overhead procurement needed.

Perhaps all this is what "Optionally Manned Tank" is trying to do, but Black Knight is very cute and adorable, so it was simply the first thing that came to mind.
 
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jsport

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blankets of VBIEDS, IEDs, RPGs, and swarms of UAV IEDS and w/ RPGs why would manned forces do anything but cordon sanitare and send in the VTOL armed UAVs? Urban warfare vehiclular suicide.
 

jsport

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Kissinger appears to subscribe to the George W. Bush manner of thinking, "if you're not with us, you're against us." Western European democrats have their own way of thinking about problems. Kissinger obviously believe it is better to be dead than Red. Silly really...
That's totally not what Kissinger has been saying.

K made the comments about Euro Social Democrats decades ago..Enough said..quite obvious.
 

dan_inbox

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How about quitting the childish bickering and returning to the Bradley replacement?
 

shin_getter

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Not sure why you need four kilometers of radio range when the average line of sight in non-urban terrain in European terrain (Germany) is about two before you run into a ridge, crest, or treeline, and I suppose in a city this probably drops to less than 100-200 meters between barriers like houses and large fences, at least going off Fallujah.
If someone starts sending Spike-class missiles by the planeload somewhere, militia could be killing vehicles 5 kilometers without line of sight. A source for guided mortar rounds can do the same job. While UAVs with very long range is accessible to just about every force, at least the compact ones are slow and thus can be defeated by some of the cheaper point defense options.

In any current desert campaign against opponents with even modest backing would see Kornet sniping all over the place. The odds of more middle east or Africa conflict is orders of magnitude greater than Europe. Major land war between nuclear capable powers is pretty iffy to begin with.

I guess that's a bit pessimistic towards the future of ground troops as it tends to degenerate to "who has the most SDBs, JSTARS, and F-35s", as eventually everyone everywhere will be under observation all the time from the air, and being bombed will be trivially easy
blankets of VBIEDS, IEDs, RPGs, and swarms of UAV IEDS and w/ RPGs why would manned forces do anything but cordon sanitare and send in the VTOL armed UAVs? Urban warfare vehiclular suicide.
If there is something we learned in the past decades of warfare: air power can reduce the opponent to the stone age, but can't end the conflict without genocide. It runs into the nuclear weapon problem: insufficient precision for desired effects.

Against a region where 100% of the population is the target, the conflict is about application of destructive firepower. Against a region where 1% of the population is the target, you get a seriously complicated problem. Even if 1% is not literally the case, a plan on maximization of killing power is not workable. The Syrian civil war didn't end with fighter bombers dropping chemical weapons on rebel cities after all.

In a world of self-bootstrap manufacturing dual-use chain into armed unmanned autonomous killing vehicles is on the horizon, a IFV may be needed not for fighting state armies, but just fighting drug cartels or dealing with crazy ideologues. Imagine not a city packed full of combatants, but a 'normal' city with additions of things like hacked Teslas with a ton of explosives driving into the nearest marked security force. Now, good intelligence is key to overall campaign success but armor sure can be helpful in enabling a human touch in many dealings which may be required for ultimate success.

Even today, you need 50 ton vehicles to drive into Gaza and deal with offenders very personally.
 

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On their way again
The Army plans to request whitepapers and then choose five prime contractor teams to design rough digital prototypes. The service will then award up to three contracts for a detailed design and prototype phase that will include options for low-rate initial production. One vendor will be selected to go into production.
Following the concept design phase, the Army will move into a detailed design phase that will be executed over the course of FY23 and FY24. The entire program will consist of five phases that include designing, prototyping, testing and producing an OMFV.

The prototyping phase will begin in fiscal year 25, according to slides presented at the OMFV industry day. Vehicle testing will begin in FY26 and wrap up in FY27 with a production decision planned for the fourth quarter of FY27. Full-rate production is expected to begin in the second quarter of FY30.
 

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On their way again
The Army plans to request whitepapers and then choose five prime contractor teams to design rough digital prototypes. The service will then award up to three contracts for a detailed design and prototype phase that will include options for low-rate initial production. One vendor will be selected to go into production.
Following the concept design phase, the Army will move into a detailed design phase that will be executed over the course of FY23 and FY24. The entire program will consist of five phases that include designing, prototyping, testing and producing an OMFV.

The prototyping phase will begin in fiscal year 25, according to slides presented at the OMFV industry day. Vehicle testing will begin in FY26 and wrap up in FY27 with a production decision planned for the fourth quarter of FY27. Full-rate production is expected to begin in the second quarter of FY30.
So roughly 10 years from now the first production deliveries.

There are maybe 5 valid recent heavy IFV's available in the west already. What is it that they think they will find?

Looking for the Holy Grail, usually runs quite expensively.

They could take 2 current, and play with them for 12 months, finalise a design over another 12, and start production. Some items are obvious like hybrid drive, and potential pure electric drive in the future, so design in a modular drive system. Not exactly rocket science.
 

shin_getter

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Well, the next MBT will take 15 years to develop if we follow MGCS so 10 years for a IFV is on par.

I wonder if the collection of project histories information in this forum would let someone get draw conclusions on project management and time scales and properly evaluate if those numbers are sane.
 
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jsport

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Given a 10 yr timeframe and the necessary service life, consideration should be given to consolidating the long term OMT, MPF and the OMFV vehicle into a single program .

Advances in gun technology, APS, miniaturization and material science could allow a 105mm armed vehicle to deliver long range multi-role rds and deliver infantry, an adversary would need to deal w. too many options available to each vehicle. (UGVs carrying VTOL UCRAVs should be doing most of the fighting anyway. Airborne Launched Effects (ALE) should also be consolidated and w/ the FTUAS and ground version of ALE mounted on the one of the RCV classes. )

In the mean time pick a short term MPF and retain the Bradleys w. AI controled 30mm, and other upgrades, and finally keep upgrading M1 SEPs.
 

shin_getter

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Will AFV development cycle and public arguments about it converge to something that look like the infantry rifle?

Would be kinda funny if new century series for airplanes pumps another three generation of aircraft before people knows how to deal with the current set of vehicles.
 

jsport

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If 15 is the correct number for a Squad then 5 per Bradley could work till a new vehicle is introduced. Squads are split in Bradley deployments already so a fire tm per Bradley would not be that novel.


Various technical developments could have a semi/auto 105mm reaching 75-80-100km in the 2030 timeframe.
 

shin_getter

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I gave the april industry day requirements a read:
1.1. OMFV Role. The OMFV will serve as the Army’s Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) tasked to maneuver
through the enemy’s disruption zone and deliver Soldiers to their dismount point unharmed. The OMFV will
provide direct fire support to Soldiers by detecting and destroying targets at a range beyond the enemy’s
capability.
1.2. Survivability. The Army’s pacing threat is equipped with IFVs that can defeat vehicles at ranges
between 1.5 and 2.0 kilometers. The OMFV must protect its crew and infantry from enemy IFVs while
maintaining the ability to fight.
1.3. Lethality. Enemy IFVs fight alongside main battle tanks (MBTs), helicopters, and artillery. To win our
future battles, the OMFV must be able to fight as part of a combined arms team, defeat enemy IFVs and
helicopters by itself, and, as part of a team, defeat enemy MBTs when the M1 Abrams is not in support. These
enemy defeating capabilities do not have to exist on every platform, but must reside within the formation.
1.4. Transformational.
1.4.1. Transformational must be defined versus the pacing threat, not simply with regard to the M2
Bradley. The OMFV will transform combat by allowing commanders to make decisions and engage targets faster
than the enemy. The OMFV must provide decisive overmatch against threat capabilities at the time of fielding,
and contain growth margins to maintain overmatch into the next several decades. This could be approached as
an IFV with 21st century technology; a new concept of vehicle design; distributed and networked capabilities at
the platoon or company level; innovative approaches to growth; or any other approach. The OMFV should
provide advanced situational awareness to the occupants of the vehicle, between vehicles, and with the
dismounted Soldiers it is supporting. It is paramount that the OMFV achieves decisive and sustained overmatch
against our nation’s threats.
It is hard to imagine how the requirement is remotely possible to achieve against peer opponents that is also willing to invest in IFV fleets and other arms. You need armor against 57mm autocannons, 100m gun, advanced ATGMs in 2020, and the project can collapse at any moment if opponents discover kinetic kill missiles or just have a competitive electronics industry for APS countermeasures.... also how do you keep APS radar functional after being peppered by autocannon bursts? Even if some revolutionary APS gets developed, a MBT (or other dedicated heavy combat vehicle) be practically be invulnerable while means it'd fail 1.3 with "normal" designs.....

and there is the new definition of IFVs
https://www.military.com/daily-news...soldiers-fit-inside-new-fighting-vehicle.html
A clear need to overmatch BMT-72 and Merkava is needed....

tradeoff in vehicles designs out, demand overmatch superiority in everything:
superior weapon range
survivability that defeat peer weapons
lethality to defeat peers
superior ooda (on 2 crew)

While: defeat infantry, IFV, MBT, helicopters, UCAV and overmatch them all~
 
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Fluff

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I gave the april industry day requirements a read:
1.1. OMFV Role. The OMFV will serve as the Army’s Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) tasked to maneuver
through the enemy’s disruption zone and deliver Soldiers to their dismount point unharmed. The OMFV will
provide direct fire support to Soldiers by detecting and destroying targets at a range beyond the enemy’s
capability.
1.2. Survivability. The Army’s pacing threat is equipped with IFVs that can defeat vehicles at ranges
between 1.5 and 2.0 kilometers. The OMFV must protect its crew and infantry from enemy IFVs while
maintaining the ability to fight.
1.3. Lethality. Enemy IFVs fight alongside main battle tanks (MBTs), helicopters, and artillery. To win our
future battles, the OMFV must be able to fight as part of a combined arms team, defeat enemy IFVs and
helicopters by itself, and, as part of a team, defeat enemy MBTs when the M1 Abrams is not in support. These
enemy defeating capabilities do not have to exist on every platform, but must reside within the formation.
1.4. Transformational.
1.4.1. Transformational must be defined versus the pacing threat, not simply with regard to the M2
Bradley. The OMFV will transform combat by allowing commanders to make decisions and engage targets faster
than the enemy. The OMFV must provide decisive overmatch against threat capabilities at the time of fielding,
and contain growth margins to maintain overmatch into the next several decades. This could be approached as
an IFV with 21st century technology; a new concept of vehicle design; distributed and networked capabilities at
the platoon or company level; innovative approaches to growth; or any other approach. The OMFV should
provide advanced situational awareness to the occupants of the vehicle, between vehicles, and with the
dismounted Soldiers it is supporting. It is paramount that the OMFV achieves decisive and sustained overmatch
against our nation’s threats.
It is hard to imagine how the requirement is remotely possible to achieve against peer opponents that is also willing to invest in IFV fleets and other arms. You need armor against 57mm autocannons, 100m gun, advanced ATGMs in 2020, and the project can collapse at any moment if opponents discover kinetic kill missiles or just have a competitive electronics industry for APS countermeasures.... also how do you keep APS radar functional after being peppered by autocannon bursts? Even if some revolutionary APS gets developed, a MBT (or other dedicated heavy combat vehicle) be practically be invulnerable while means it'd fail 1.3 with "normal" designs.....

and there is the new definition of IFVs
https://www.military.com/daily-news...soldiers-fit-inside-new-fighting-vehicle.html
A clear need to overmatch BMT-72 and Merkava is needed....

tradeoff in vehicles designs out, demand overmatch superiority in everything:
superior weapon range
survivability that defeat peer weapons
lethality to defeat peers
superior ooda (on 2 crew)

While: defeat infantry, IFV, MBT, helicopters, UCAV and overmatch them all~
Interesting requirements.

Transformational, just sounds like 'must be self starter' on a job add. Basically seems to mean leave some weight growth.

The only bits I can pick out, is that not every vehicle needs to be the same, so you could have an APC variant, and a 'killer' variant, with Turret, 76mm gun, ATGM, and Anti-Helo capability, and no troops, maybe that becomes your drone carrier as well. But given the number of M1 'chassis' wouldnt you just bolt some of this onto the M1. Then your just buying an APC.

I think someone just needs to make a decision.
 

jsport

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If 15 is the correct number for a Squad then 5 per Bradley could work till a new vehicle is introduced. Squads are split in Bradley deployments already so a fire tm per Bradley would not be that novel.


Various technical developments could have a semi/auto 105mm reaching 75-80-100km in the 2030 timeframe.
 

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GM's OMFV:

general-dynamics-griffin-iii-candidate-to-replace-m2-bradley-infantry-fighting-vehicle.jpg
 

TomS

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You know, if they go with that, I'm going to stop complaining about people calling it a tank. Because it sure as hell looks like a tank.

Not that it's a bad thing, but wow that's a lot of turret.
 

isayyo2

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I suppose the 9-man squad requirement is just as "optional" as it is optionally-manned?
 

Moose

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I suppose the 9-man squad requirement is just as "optional" as it is optionally-manned?
There currently are no hard requirements for OMFV, this stage of the program has been about finding out what the industry thinks it can do and for how much. The requirements will be set later this year or early next. The desire to carry a full squad is still widespread, but it means buying a very large vehicle (even by armored vehicle standards).
 

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You know, if they go with that, I'm going to stop complaining about people calling it a tank. Because it sure as hell looks like a tank.

Not that it's a bad thing, but wow that's a lot of turret.
When I first saw the design, it oddly enough reminded me of a Sherman.
 

shin_getter

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Add armor protection for the tank desant guys on a 30~40ton vehicle with 50mm gun is what counts for as innovation in the 21 century~ :)

----------
Speaking of tank desant, why is it that no one attempted at adding "side armor" to the rear engine deck behind the turret, especially on something front turreted like the T-34?

Pluses:
1. Can use existing tanks, doable with minimum investment
2. Mine protection from seating over the engine

Minus
1. Roof armor do not fit
2. Lose 360 transversal turret
3. Mounting/Dismounting takes time
4. Not a lot of seats per vehicle
 
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