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US Army in 1975 (No Vietnam)

uk 75

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If the US had not become bogged down in the Vietnam war and continued instead to concentrate on its primary Cold War role of defending Germany would we have seen the following developed further.

Main Battle tank

MBT 70 was principally a victim of its own complexity and the poor weapons system (Shillelagh). However, with time and money on their hands and the Russians having invaded Czechosolvakia in 1968 maybe it could have been brought into service.

MICV

Again, although MICV 70 was expensive, it could, like the similarly costly German Marder, have been made to work.

AA system

A lot of effort had already been spent on the Mauler system. Another possible recovered system.

SPG

A successor for M109 (XM 179?) was planned but had to be axed because of the lingering costs of Vietnam.

Although expensive and perhaps difficult to operate, a force in US Seventh Army made up of this equipment might have given the Soviets sleepless nights.

UK 75
 

Ranger6

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Interesting post UK75, you raise a good point about what could have been if the US Army wasn't bogged down (physically and financially) in Vietnam. That said, let's keep in mind that two of the systems you mention, the upgraded MBT and the MICV, did in fact come into service -- as the M-1 Abrams and the M-2 Bradley. Granted, the actual production models did not "look" like their progenitors and it would certainly have been nice to have them in service earlier (around the time of the great "tank crisis" in 1973/74 for example), but I don't think their would have been any major difference in what we got and what we would have gotten.

As to the Mauler, my understanding is that the problem was with the missile, not with the mount (a modified M-113).. After all, the US has had a tortured history of trying to develop self-propleeld air defense systems that aren't deadly to enemy aircraft (i.e., DIVADS).

Ta for now!
 

Pioneer

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And more than likely the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne combat helicopter

Regards
Pioneer
 

Ranger6

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I don't know about the Cheyenne, Pioneer -- seems to me it would have been the same kind of boondoggle (overly complicated and unable to fulfill its mission profile) as the later Comanche helicopter (cancelled by Donald Rumsfeld). Clearly, the Army needed and would have still needed a purpose built attack helicopter, if there had been no Viet Nam war. Presumably that means we would have gotten the Apache (or something like it) sooner and with a greater time to mature its weapons and avionics.

Ranger6
 

Skybolt

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Agreed. The AAFSS competition was initiated when during large airborne operations in Vietnam the Army discovered that the Chinooks carrying troops outraced the armed Huey that escorted them. Hence the high speed request for the AAFSS, and things like the capability to fire off-course (the swiveling gunner station on the Cheyenne) with the gun. One possible alternate w/o Vietnam (in the sense, w/o a large scale war in Vietnam) could have been an heavily armored recon heli, useful both in COIN and in an European theater of war.
 

Cobrapilot

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Cheyenne was way ahead of its time, but the weapons system videos I have seen all showed a very workable and accurate system. The pusher prop was a success, but the one cloud hanging over the program was the 1/2P hop. It is a bit disconcerting to have a main rotor system that wants to come visit the pilots inside about neck high... other than that I would have loved flying it. Given another 6 months time, they would have figured out how to eliminate (or avoid) the 1/2P hop as well.
 

Grey Havoc

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Given another 6 months time, they would have figured out how to eliminate (or avoid) the 1/2P hop as well.

Agreed, though politics (and more than a bit of short sightedness) arguably had more to do with the cancellation.
 

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