US Army Proposes Smaller Squads, Lighter Vehicles (or goodbye GCV?)

bobbymike

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http://www.defensenews.com/article/20131125/DEFREG02/311250013

WASHINGTON — For the US Army, everything is on the table.

During the service’s yearly senior leader seminar Nov. 20, the Army’s top uniformed leadership for the first time called for a look at cutting the size of the squad from nine soldiers to as low as six, while reminding subordinates that the service is shrinking and likely won’t be able to afford new leap-ahead technologies in the near future. And briefing slides referenced vehicles half the weight of the Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV), which enjoys dwindling support among the brass. Going smaller while focusing investments on increasing the combat punch a small unit can bring to bear will “make us more affordable, yet as capable” as the service is now, one leading general said. A key point is also to become faster and more expeditionary.

One senior leader said that in coming years, the Army will have to “reduce the size of our formations but increase the capability of our formations. ...If we can be more effective with less people it will make us more expeditionary.” A handful of reporters were allowed to sit in on the briefing under the condition that names not be used. This talk about moving faster comes in response to the fact that the Army will primarily be a domestically based force in the coming years. The idea that rapid deployability to hot spots around the world will be a key to future conflicts is one that the Army is taking very seriously. This new push has generated a new Army catchphrase: “Speed that matters.”
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I think it opens up some potential for innovative concepts of operation as you'd have to increase firepower things like a Spike or Javelin carrier and/or a robotic LOSAT/CKEM vehicle or a mini-gun on the Crusher UGV would be cool. Could you put a couple of Javelins on a Big Dog UGV? :eek:
 

Void

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Abraham Gubler said:
The FCS ICV could carry a full dismount squad of nine.

I was referring more to:
One was to use the current investment approach to project what technologies would exist in 2030, and the other was to follow a path that would lead to leap-ahead technologies, like the 30-ton protected ground vehicle and huge advances in tilt-rotor vertical lift and “significant investments in joint strategic mobility.”
Compare with:
The Army VTOL aircraft would have to be large enough to carry an FCS over operationally significant distances. One of the favorite design concepts to emerge was the very large tilt-rotor conceptually similar to the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) V-22. Two- and four-rotor designs were considered. Such an aircraft would have to have unprecedented vertical-lift capability, and this requirement became even more challenging as the weight of the FCS started to increase in the 2004–2009 period. Eventually, the Army needed an aircraft with an ability to vertically lift roughly 30 tons.
From RAND's "Lessons from the Army's Future Combat Systems Program". Clearly they are still carrying the torch for the FCS.

But a vehicle with half the weight of the GCV and six dismounts is literally a description of the Puma.
 

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Maybe i'm wrong, but the USMC supposed to be the "Expeditionary" force in the US Armed Forces, ne?

And the whole concept is a re-vitalized FCS, with light vehicles. But in the past several years, the US ARMY turned down this path in the light of the Iraq and Afghanistan experiences. Then suddenly turned back?!

With the 30 tons of weight limit, the GCV is nothing more than the AMPV, and (as Void pointed out) the PUMA is firmly fit the description...
 

Grey Havoc

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Void said:
But a vehicle with half the weight of the GCV and six dismounts is literally a description of the Puma.

Or if the US Army/DOD were feeling really frugal:
bg-army-close-combat-vehicle-3.jpg

(Via CASR)

And:
marder_tank.jpg

(h/t Tomas Hoting over at Tank-Net.)
 

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Cifu said:
Maybe i'm wrong, but the USMC supposed to be the "Expeditionary" force in the US Armed Forces, ne?

And the whole concept is a re-vitalized FCS, with light vehicles. But in the past several years, the US ARMY turned down this path in the light of the Iraq and Afghanistan experiences. Then suddenly turned back?!

With the 30 tons of weight limit, the GCV is nothing more than the AMPV, and (as Void pointed out) the PUMA is firmly fit the description...

That was my reaction - clearly a resurrection of the FCS focus on rapid global deployment with advanced light vehicles. Such vehicles may be ideal for a rapid conventional assault - but for occupation...

It would be very interesting to find out the opinions of lower level officers or tankers who've served in Iraq or Afghanistan.
 

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http://breakingdefense.com/2015/03/the-armys-long-march-to-ampv-expect-70-year-old-m113s/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BreakingDefense+%28Breaking+Defense%29
 

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http://www.janes.com/article/63562/new-russian-combat-ugv-breaks-cover-uran-9-readies-for-service

Russians have the right ideas, a 30mm six barrelled auto-cannon :eek: What's the Russian words for Street Sweeper?
 

Foo Fighter

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I have concerns about going over to light platforms completely. Nice idea on paper but what conflict ever occurred completely on paper? If you are going on to someone elses turf, you need decent backup and drones and even manned aircraft cannot completely make up for heavy armour.
 

jsport

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bobbymike said:
http://www.janes.com/article/63562/new-russian-combat-ugv-breaks-cover-uran-9-readies-for-service

Russians have the right ideas, a 30mm six barrelled auto-cannon :eek: What's the Russian words for Street Sweeper?

NATO should consider these to 24/7 the Afgh roads to turn the tide this anniversary of 9/11. :eek: Robots will fight.

The street sweeper is potential IADS game changer.
 

marauder2048

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jsport said:
The street sweeper is potential IADS game changer.

Unless a PABM or Prox Fuzed 30x165mm round has been developed, it has very limited military utility.
 

Kat Tsun

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The US Army should take the time it has to focus on acquiring larger vehicles instead. An armored breaching vehicle, a proper armored recovery vehicle, an armored vehicle-launched bridge (ostensibly being acquired), and modern, capable a low altitude air defense system. Preferably laser or infrared guidance, since that is what the US Army chose last time. It has the hulls for all of these just sitting around, the weapons (aside from the low altitude system, ADATS is quite definitely dead) can be acquired off-the-shelf, and BAE/United Defense can make more at Lima.

While it's at it can find a good replacement for TOW, whether that's CKEM or LOSAT, and give its paratroopers a suitable means of defeating future main battle tanks like T-14 besides Javelin. Maybe they won't get rolled over by armored units so quickly, then.

I somewhat suspect the pipe dream nonsense may be an attempt to flag to Congress that they lack sufficient funds to acquire anything besides USB flash drives filled with Powerpoint presentations, though.

marauder2048 said:
jsport said:
The street sweeper is potential IADS game changer.

Unless a PABM or Prox Fuzed 30x165mm round has been developed, it has very limited military utility.

It would be suitable for shipboard defense, given the principal means of killing sea-skimming missiles involves APDS.

Foo Fighter said:
I have concerns about going over to light platforms completely. Nice idea on paper but what conflict ever occurred completely on paper? If you are going on to someone elses turf, you need decent backup and drones and even manned aircraft cannot completely make up for heavy armour.

Absolutely correct. Arguably, you'd need nothing more than light infantry (or air cavalry har) and armor to cover all the bases more than adequately.

FCS's ideas of air-mechanized troops is based on some pretty tendentious history, or rather, alternative history. Lightning on Water is a good read to the origins of the modern FCS, but the light-mechanized concept stretches back to the 1973 oil embargo.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/65329749/fikkktions/doctrine/Lightning-Over-Water.pdf

The report is simultaneously amusing, interesting, and depressing, depending on what you're reading.

The short version is that everything FCS stood upon, and its descendants stand upon, is either very silly or wrong. Everything the early 1990s US Army (up to ~1997) was looking at, with a very boring procurement schedule of updated M1/M2 vehicles (-A2SEPs/-A3s), Bradley utility carriers (Fighting Vehicle System), XM2001 Crusader, LOSAT, Advanced QuickFix/TACJAM, M1 Grizzly, M1 Wolverine, and Bradley ADATS, would have resulted in an extremely capable heavy armor force. It wouldn't be flashy, it wouldn't be "high tech" (Crusader being the most high tech weapon), and it wouldn't be super networked, and it wouldn't be super fast, but it would work. It would work really well and be an armored force the envy of the world.

Unfortunately, they decided to bite the bullet on the high risk development of FCS and squander "a generation of weapon procurement" to build "a war chest" to fund acquisition of FCS for "leap ahead" technological growth. I forgot which Powerpoint slides the war chest and skipping a generation of weapons came from, but it's probably on fas.org. I suppose I can try to find it if anyone is truly interested in the matter.

I suppose after Joint STARS and all these other High Tech weapons proved their mettle in Desert Storm, the incoming leadership decided that FCS would be "just as easy" and went full bore. It coincided with the almost intellectually bankrupt "revolution in military affairs" crowd, too.
 

marauder2048

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Kat Tsun said:
I somewhat suspect the pipe dream nonsense may be an attempt to flag to Congress that they lack sufficient funds to acquire anything besides USB flash drives filled with Powerpoint presentations, though.

USB flash drives have been banned for some time now.

Kat Tsun said:
marauder2048 said:
Unless a PABM or Prox Fuzed 30x165mm round has been developed, it has very limited military utility.

It would be suitable for shipboard defense, given the principal means of killing sea-skimming missiles involves APDS.

The cannon is for a ground vehicle and ground forces just *love* Sabot petals and Tungsten penetrators raining down on them.

Kat Tsun said:
FCS's ideas of air-mechanized troops is based on some pretty tendentious history, or rather, alternative history. Lightning on Water is a good read
to the origins of the modern FCS, but the light-mechanized concept stretches back to the 1973 oil embargo.

It stretches back to the 1973 Yom Kippur War where the Israeli's attributed their heavy armor losses to the absence of light mechanized infantry and began to adapt by re-equipping their paratroopers with APCs.

Kat Tsun said:
The short version is that everything FCS stood upon, and its descendants stand upon, is either very silly or wrong. Everything the early 1990s US Army (up to ~1997) was looking at [...] would have resulted in an extremely capable heavy armor force

Which completely ignores the fact that it was extremely unclear during the 90's if the C-17s (which would be needed to move this heavy armor force) would ever be acquired in the quantity needed. It's also why FCS started out having to be C-130 compatible.
 

jsport

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Uran-9s & BMD 3/4s a powerful airlift projection capability w/no Western equivalent even in the works. (not Wheels in 130s or even w A400 whenever that finally happens)

plus ZTQ 105mm light tank
http://china-defense.blogspot.com/2016/01/photos-of-day-close-up-photo-of-chinas.html)
 

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Look bottom left is that a M134 Dillon Aero Mini-gun?
 

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marauder2048

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jsport said:
Uran-9s & BMD 3/4s a powerful airlift projection capability w/no Western equivalent even in the works. (not Wheels in 130s or even w A400 whenever that finally happens)

Powerful airlift projection capability that depends on an unarmored control truck.
 

jsport

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marauder2048 said:
Kat Tsun said:
I somewhat suspect the pipe dream nonsense may be an attempt to flag to Congress that they lack sufficient funds to acquire anything besides USB flash drives filled with Powerpoint presentations, though.

USB flash drives have been banned for some time now.

Kat Tsun said:
marauder2048 said:
Unless a PABM or Prox Fuzed 30x165mm round has been developed, it has very limited military utility.

It would be suitable for shipboard defense, given the principal means of killing sea-skimming missiles involves APDS.

The cannon is for a ground vehicle and ground forces just *love* Sabot petals and Tungsten penetrators raining down on them.

Is this an attempt at humour? The only concern is ammo expended. Vulcan etc..
 

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http://www.dodbuzz.com/2016/09/09/oshkosh-to-display-jltv-armed-with-30mm-cannon/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+dodbuzz+%28DoD+Buzz%29&comp%3D1199442450861%26rank%3D0
 

marauder2048

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jsport said:
Is this an attempt at humour? The only concern is ammo expended. Vulcan etc..

APDS penetrators returning to earth is a major concern for ground forces; a CIWS has to put up a lot of rounds to be effective a good portion of which will not connect. It's a major driver of the trend towards programmable, miniaturized prox and command detonated rounds for AAA.
 

Kat Tsun

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jsport said:
marauder2048 said:
Kat Tsun said:
I somewhat suspect the pipe dream nonsense may be an attempt to flag to Congress that they lack sufficient funds to acquire anything besides USB flash drives filled with Powerpoint presentations, though.

USB flash drives have been banned for some time now.

Kat Tsun said:
marauder2048 said:
Unless a PABM or Prox Fuzed 30x165mm round has been developed, it has very limited military utility.

It would be suitable for shipboard defense, given the principal means of killing sea-skimming missiles involves APDS.

The cannon is for a ground vehicle and ground forces just *love* Sabot petals and Tungsten penetrators raining down on them.

Is this an attempt at humour? The only concern is ammo expended. Vulcan etc..

Sabot petals would present an obvious hazard to ground troops.

30mm is a bit weedy for a properly fused ground AAA though.
 

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25+mm+sabot+discard+hazard+area.jpg

taken from a U.S.Army field manual

A German field manual (for the Panzergrenadier company) once warned about a danger zone for 20 mm sabots of 700 m length and 100 m width.
 

jsport

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ground troops operating in front of a robotic uran-9 (the basis for this conversation) is pretty much an oxymoron. The whole point is forward protection against ground and air threats from even approaching manned vehicles. This is something the manned M113 Vulcan never was protected enough to attempt.
 

marauder2048

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jsport said:
ground troops operating in front of a robotic uran-9 (the basis for this conversation) is pretty much an oxymoron. The whole point is forward protection against ground and air threats from even approaching manned vehicles. This is something the manned M113 Vulcan never was protected enough to attempt.

The basis for this conversation is the CIWS equipped Vikhr (Whirlwind) UGV. Unless you want to clear out a huge area around
it there has to be some consideration for ammo other than APDS.

Untrue about the M113 Vulcan, at least in Israeli service. They had it up-armored and upfront in their "Peace for Galilee" operations in Lebanon.
 

marauder2048

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Kat Tsun said:
30mm is a bit weedy for a properly fused ground AAA though.

What does "a bit weedy" mean?

The proximity fuze developed for the 30x113 (LW30) looks to have enough margin to be used in a much hotter 30mm round e.g. 30x173.
 

jsport

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marauder2048 said:
jsport said:
ground troops operating in front of a robotic uran-9 (the basis for this conversation) is pretty much an oxymoron. The whole point is forward protection against ground and air threats from even approaching manned vehicles. This is something the manned M113 Vulcan never was protected enough to attempt.

The basis for this conversation is the CIWS equipped Vikhr (Whirlwind) UGV. Unless you want to clear out a huge area around
it there has to be some consideration for ammo other than APDS.

Untrue about the M113 Vulcan, at least in Israeli service. They had it up-armored and upfront in their "Peace for Galilee" operations in Lebanon.

An Uran-9 w/ a 30mm Gatling along w/ other robotics don't necessary need infantry. There is credible report that Russian UGVs have already over run a Syrian rebel stronghold w/o direct target engagement from humans. Such a armored UGV would afford forward counter(everything) support w/o endangering humans.

..find it very unlikely an manned, flat front (no matter the applique) lightly armored, flat sided, 113 would lead an armored vehicle assault. It well could accompany as a counter grd & air but not the lead.
 

marauder2048

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jsport said:
An Uran-9 w/ a 30mm Gatling along w/ other robotics don't necessary need infantry. There is credible report that Russian UGVs have already over run a Syrian rebel stronghold w/o direct target engagement from humans. Such a armored UGV would afford forward counter(everything) support w/o endangering humans.

You are suggesting that APDS penetators falling back to earth are only a danger to infantry? UGVs overrunning an enemy position isn't new; the IDF's unmanned armored bulldozers did that a decade ago.

jsport said:
..find it very unlikely an manned, flat front (no matter the applique) lightly armored, flat sided, 113 would lead an armored vehicle assault. It well could accompany as a counter grd & air but not the lead.

I find it unlikely you've read Israeli and Syrian accounts of how the IDF employed the M163 in Southern Lebanon.
 

jsport

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marauder2048 said:
jsport said:
An Uran-9 w/ a 30mm Gatling along w/ other robotics don't necessary need infantry. There is credible report that Russian UGVs have already over run a Syrian rebel stronghold w/o direct target engagement from humans. Such a armored UGV would afford forward counter(everything) support w/o endangering humans.

You are suggesting that APDS penetators falling back to earth are only a danger to infantry? UGVs overrunning an enemy position isn't new; the IDF's unmanned armored bulldozers did that a decade ago.

jsport said:
..find it very unlikely an manned, flat front (no matter the applique) lightly armored, flat sided, 113 would lead an armored vehicle assault. It well could accompany as a counter grd & air but not the lead.

I find it unlikely you've read Israeli and Syrian accounts of how the IDF employed the M163 in Southern Lebanon.

When there is picture of 113s lead Merkvas into battle then believing. If true pretty brave crews and not ever repeating in a modern context unless a UGV.

What a Gatling even needs w/ Discarding sabots for absolutely escape....

Likewise pellets flying a k up then wide scatter shot descending over nearly square miles has to do will injuring infantry also escapes...
 

marauder2048

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jsport said:
When there is picture of 113s lead Merkvas into battle then believing. If true pretty brave crews and not ever repeating in a modern context unless a UGV.

Find me a photo of Russian UGVs overrunning a Syrian rebel stronghold w/o direct target engagement from humans and we'll trade.
 

jsport

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marauder2048 said:
jsport said:
When there is picture of 113s lead Merkvas into battle then believing. If true pretty brave crews and not ever repeating in a modern context unless a UGV.

Find me a photo of Russian UGVs overrunning a Syrian rebel stronghold w/o direct target engagement from humans and we'll trade.
oops ..would have value any learning from this conversation enough to care.
 

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https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2016/01/15/did-russia-deploy-a-combat-robot-in-syria/


who knows but journalists certainy will pretend they do
autonomy is not the question, c2 post can be quite manportable
 

marauder2048

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jsport said:
https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2016/01/15/did-russia-deploy-a-combat-robot-in-syria/


who knows but journalists certainy will pretend they do
autonomy is not the question, c2 post can be quite manportable

So the conclusion was: There were no UGVs overrunning a Syrian rebel stronghold w/o direct target engagement from humans.

Glad we cleared that up.
 

jsport

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jsport said:
https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2016/01/15/did-russia-deploy-a-combat-robot-in-syria/


who knows but journalists certainy will pretend they do
autonomy is not the question, c2 post can be quite manportable

So will say it again How would a journalist know? Where there is heat there might well be fire. So as clear as mud. Friend.

Haven't seen those 113s leading Merkvas into battle yet.
 

marauder2048

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jsport said:
Haven't seen those 113s leading Merkvas into battle yet.

Please value this learning opportunity.
 

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Methinks that isn't an Merkava but is instead a Sherman M51...
 

jsport

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marauder2048 said:
jsport said:
Haven't seen those 113s leading Merkvas into battle yet.

Please value this learning opportunity.

Ok, some schooling
this appears to a picture of a Mech/Armor patrol/movement to contact not an armored assault. A complete picture would likely display a Merkva in the lead even in this patrol. Pic was probably taken from the back of a Merkva.
As stated earlier any 113 class vehicles accompanying Mech/Armor is great and expected. However, in an arrow shaped armored assault on a defended built up area requiring the suppression of manportable AT msles, the Merkvas would be relying on canister rds from their main gun + cuploas LMGs, HMGs and coaxial HMGs etc and now understand a 60mm indirect fire mortar on the vehicle. When the Merkva is close enough a deploy their infantry team from the back of the vehicle the infantry would assist in suppression. There is no need for a vulnerable 20mm gatling gun mounting 113 to expose itself as any sort of lead in such an assault. The canister tk rd can do just as well as a gatling gun. After an initial assault, urban patrols/movement to contact could well include a gatling gun against threats in multi story buildings.
Appears the trend now is to use Merkvas and Merkva base IFVs so there is no dependence on anything as vulnerable like a 113. and no gatlings on Merkva chassis ..am aware of.

In contrast a UGV w/30mm Gatling could accomplish rsta, assault and patrol if the c2 can maintain a link w/o worry to the troops. likewise the UGVs could extend an local tactical IADS out well away from manned vehicles.
 

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Kadija_Man said:
Methinks that isn't an Merkava but is instead a Sherman M51...

Methinks you haven't been following the discussion very closely.

jsport randomly injected the Merkava remark for no apparent reason in response to my statement that the Israelis
used M113 Vulcans (M163s VADS) upfront in Southern Lebanon.
 

jsport

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marauder2048 said:
Kadija_Man said:
Methinks that isn't an Merkava but is instead a Sherman M51...

Methinks you haven't been following the discussion very closely.

jsport randomly injected the Merkava remark for no apparent reason in response to my statement that the Israelis
used M113 Vulcans (M163s VADS) upfront in Southern Lebanon.
Simple understanding of ground tactics (2lt stuff) knows that terms like 'upfront" have no meaning.
 

marauder2048

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jsport said:
marauder2048 said:
jsport said:
Haven't seen those 113s leading Merkvas into battle yet.

Please value this learning opportunity.

Ok, some schooling
this appears to a picture of a Mech/Armor patrol/movement to contact not an armored assault. A complete picture would likely display a Merkva in the lead even in this patrol. Pic was probably taken from the back of a Merkva.
As stated earlier any 113 class vehicles accompanying Mech/Armor is great and expected. However, in an arrow shaped armored assault on a defended built up area requiring the suppression of manportable AT msles, the Merkvas would be relying on canister rds from their main gun + cuploas LMGs, HMGs and coaxial HMGs etc and now understand a 60mm indirect fire mortar on the vehicle. When the Merkva is close enough a deploy their infantry team from the back of the vehicle the infantry would assist in suppression. There is no need for a vulnerable 20mm gatling gun mounting 113 to expose itself as any sort of lead in such an assault. The canister tk rd can do just as well as a gatling gun. After an initial assault, urban patrols/movement to contact could well include a gatling gun against threats in multi story buildings.
Appears the trend now is to use Merkvas and Merkva base IFVs so there is no dependence on anything as vulnerable like a 113. and no gatlings on Merkva chassis ..am aware of.

In contrast a UGV w/30mm Gatling could accomplish rsta, assault and patrol if the c2 can maintain a link w/o worry to the troops. likewise the UGVs could extend an local tactical IADS out well away from manned vehicles.

Your post is proof that a "picture is worth a thousand words."

I said the Israelis used the M163 upfront in operations in "Peace for Galilee." You asked for photographic evidence.

Asked and Answered.
 

jsport

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As stated before, Pic could have been taken from the back of a tank, Not sure if the first vehicle is 113 w. 50 cal or a M163. Upfront of what? a convoy to returning for fuel. Plans usually do not stipulate vulnerable vehicle leading unless circumstances dictate.. (plan out the window)
 

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