• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

XM8 Buford/Ridgeway Armored Gun System (AGS)

Triton

Donald McKelvy
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
9,719
Reaction score
649
Website
deeptowild.blogspot.com
In the late 1980s, FMC (Food Machinery Company) Corporation, later becoming United Defense Industries and now BAE Systems Land and Armaments, developed the Close Combat Vehicle - Light (CCV-L) and the US Army selected a modified version to meet its requirement for an Armored Gun System (AGS). A total of six prototypes were built for the US Army under the designation XM8 AGS. The AGS has been identified as M8 Buford named for Major General John Buford and M8 Ridgeway named for General Matthew Bunker Ridgeway. Though with Ridgeway's death in 1993, I presume that the name was changed in honor of him. The AGS was intended to replace the M551A1 Sheridan in the 82nd Airborne Division, and was expected to replace TOW-equipped HMMWVs in the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment (Light). A total of 237 systems were planned for procurement. Initially slated to begin production in 1996, the US Army canceled the M8 AGS program because of budget constraints, despite the program meeting both time and cost targets.

United Defense Industries unveiled a technology demonstrator based on the XM8 AGS with a 120 mm cannon named "Thunderbolt" in 2003.

http://www.janes.com/defence/land_forces/supplement/lav/lav_m8.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M8-AGS
http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/m8-ags.htm
http://www.military-today.com/tanks/m8_buford.htm
http://www.olive-drab.com/idphoto/id_photos_m8ags.php3
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ground/m8-ags.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Buford
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Ridgway

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Yqxr3tqtog
 

Attachments

  • m8_buford.jpg
    m8_buford.jpg
    43 KB · Views: 785
  • M8ags-001.jpg
    M8ags-001.jpg
    71.6 KB · Views: 773
  • M8-Ridgeway-AGS.gif
    M8-Ridgeway-AGS.gif
    206.2 KB · Views: 749
  • buford3ua1.jpg
    buford3ua1.jpg
    20.2 KB · Views: 716
  • buford4nr5.jpg
    buford4nr5.jpg
    37.9 KB · Views: 712
  • id_m8ags_draw.gif
    id_m8ags_draw.gif
    81.8 KB · Views: 149

robunos

You're Mad, You Are.....
Senior Member
Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
1,955
Reaction score
322
Re: XM8 Buford Armored Gun System (AGS)

Food Machinery Company

Now that's diversification!...shuerely shome mishtake.....

cheers,
Robin.
 

Apophenia

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2007
Messages
2,651
Reaction score
1,000
Re: XM8 Buford Armored Gun System (AGS)

robunos said:
Now that's diversification!...shuerely shome mishtake.....

Yup, that's why FMC dumped all of its military and aviation holdings back in the '90s ;)
 

Triton

Donald McKelvy
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
9,719
Reaction score
649
Website
deeptowild.blogspot.com
Re: XM8 Buford Armored Gun System (AGS)

Apophenia said:
robunos said:
Now that's diversification!...shuerely shome mishtake.....

Yup, that's why FMC dumped all of its military and aviation holdings back in the '90s ;)

In 1961, the name of the company was changed to FMC Corporation to reflect the diversification of its holdings. I always wondered what FMC stood for. For a history of the company, check out the link to Wikipedia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FMC_Corporation
 

vajt

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
May 6, 2007
Messages
74
Reaction score
1
Interesting concept. Now that the FCS manned vehicles have been cancelled, something like this may revive again.

I like the concept of modular levels of protection. Start with a shell, then add advanced composites, reactive and active armor on top. I would definitely go for the 120mm calibre but I would pursue an unmanned turret to help lower the silhoutte and use the weight savings to add more protection around the body.

-----JT-----
 

robunos

You're Mad, You Are.....
Senior Member
Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
1,955
Reaction score
322
Now that's diversification!...shuerely shome mishtake.....

apologies, I was just having laugh, thought it was a typo....... :-[


cheers,
Robin.
 

Firefly 2

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Jun 30, 2009
Messages
461
Reaction score
8
Second to last pic is of the CV90/120 a much more recent demonstrator for a modern light tank ;)

This is one of those projects that illustrates the US penchant for air projectable forces that failed to get any decent orders.
Just like this one: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=1702.0
 

Triton

Donald McKelvy
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
9,719
Reaction score
649
Website
deeptowild.blogspot.com
Firefly 2 said:
Second to last pic is of the CV90/120 a much more recent demonstrator for a modern light tank ;)

This is one of those projects that illustrates the US penchant for air projectable forces that failed to get any decent orders.
Just like this one: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=1702.0

Thanks Firefly 2, image of the CV90/120 removed.
 

Apophenia

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2007
Messages
2,651
Reaction score
1,000
robunos said:
apologies, I was just having laugh, thought it was a typo....... :-[

And I thought your comment was perfectly apropos ;D

vajt: Maybe the Electrothermal-Chemical gun concept but not the platform.

If such a vehicle were acceptable to FCS, it would be simpler to apply the CV90/120 concept to the tracked SEP demonstrator. But the SEP (like the M8 and CV90) has a flat-bottomed hull and limited side protection from roadside IEDs. Those are the features that led to the vehicular component of FCS being cancelled in the first place.

To get past Gates et al, much fresher hull designs are going to be needed. I doubt that we're going to see any M113 derivatives (hybrid or otherwise) competing in the next-phase FCS vehicle contest.
 

Pioneer

Seek out and close with the enemy
Senior Member
Joined
May 22, 2006
Messages
1,913
Reaction score
280
I find its sad and almost criminal that after the operational identification of the need for such a platform, by the likes of the American 101st Airborne to replace the aged and obsolete M551Sheridan after the 1991 Gulf War, that both the U.S Army and the Pentagon has not been able to get their act together and put the likes of the M8 into operational service - 'because of budget constraints'!!! :mad:
Where is their priority?
Its sad that the likes of the 101st has been put into the thick of things at such a high risk, under equipped (as they are infact airborne light infantry) since WWII to today!
The problem with the M8/AGS concept is its not heavy enough and lacks the 'bling' of the MBT :(

'Piss Poor Performance if you ask me and a big lack and neglect to learn history at the potention cost of its men!!!


Regards
Pioneer
 

Firefly 2

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Jun 30, 2009
Messages
461
Reaction score
8
The worst thing is that the M8, a sturdy and logical design in its own right, was not the first attempt... It was one of the many attempts to build a light tank capable of engaging heavier classes whilst still being projectable by tactical transport aircraft ( the famed Hercules limit)... Alas, it was not to be, as most funds were used for heavier, more state of the art equipment.
Light tanks were simply not fit for the operational thinking of that era, and I doubt if they would be today given the fact that they are considered " under-armoured".
 

Just call me Ray

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Messages
674
Reaction score
12
vajt said:
Interesting concept. Now that the FCS manned vehicles have been cancelled, something like this may revive again.

Allegedly one of the prototypes was pulled out of mothballs and delivered to Afghanistan or Iraq.

Now because there's always someone who goes around and proves that they don't bother to read 100% of the posts I write, I'll repeat again: allegedly. My source for this was some guy on another message board, so I'm going to say it's about as accurate as a magazine proclaiming a "glass gun" for the CIA that's smaller than most .380s out there yet claims full auto capability ;)
 

TomS

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
4,475
Reaction score
1,487
In 2004, the Army approved the transfer of the four M-8 prototypes from contractor storage to the 82nd Airborne Division:

Published on April 1, 2004, The Fayetteville Observer (NC)
Light tanks to return
Division advocates vehicle's abilities
By Kevin Maurer
Staff writer

The 82nd Airborne Division is regaining light tanks that can be parachuted onto the battlefield, seven years after the division lost its armor battalion.

The Army's Training and Doctrine Command approved the transfer of four M-8 Armored Gun Systems to the 82nd Airborne Division last month, said Maj. Rich Patterson, a spokesman for the 18th Airborne Corps.

In January 2005, a North Carolina congressman was still pushing for the move, so apparently it had not happened yet, despite the TRADOC approval (I imagine lots of issues related to crew training, maintenance, logistical support, spare parts, etc.)

Published: January 20, 2005, York Daily Record (PA)

Congressman laments unused armor
He wants four prototype Army tanks moved from storage in York to Iraq.

They could be protecting the lives of American soldiers, according to U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes. But the four M8 Armored Gun Systems are just sitting around unused in York County.

The Armored Gun Systems look and work like tanks, with treads and a 105 mm cannon mounted on a turret. But they're lighter, so they can be dropped via parachute from an airplane. And true to its name, the Armored Gun System carries armor to protect its crew.

AFAIK, that's as far as it went--the vehicles never went overseas.
 

Firefly 2

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Jun 30, 2009
Messages
461
Reaction score
8
Wouldn't the 105 calibre create a logistics problem? AFIK the calibre is not used for tanks in the US army anymore.
 

MihoshiK

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Feb 9, 2007
Messages
196
Reaction score
118
Firefly 2 said:
Wouldn't the 105 calibre create a logistics problem? AFIK the calibre is not used for tanks in the US army anymore.
No problem, you can install a 120 mm gun. In fact a M-8 was rebuilt into a demonstrator called "Thunderbolt". The autoloader was tricked into thinking every third ammo seat was empty, and this allowed for the larger rounds to fit into the loader without a costly redesign. Of course it only carried 20 rounds instead of 30.
 

Just call me Ray

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Messages
674
Reaction score
12
Firefly 2 said:
Wouldn't the 105 calibre create a logistics problem? AFIK the calibre is not used for tanks in the US army anymore.

The Stryker MGS used 105mm rounds, though the logistics problem would've remained as the low-pressure gun of the Buford required custom rounds.
 

TomS

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
4,475
Reaction score
1,487
Just call me Ray said:
The Stryker MGS used 105mm rounds, though the logistics problem would've remained as the low-pressure gun of the Buford required custom rounds.

Source, please? Everything I can find says the M35 cannon in the XM8 could fire standard 105mm ammunition compatible with the M68/L7 gun.
 

Anthonyp

ACCESS: Restricted
Joined
Jan 25, 2006
Messages
13
Reaction score
0
TomS said:
AFAIK, that's as far as it went--the vehicles never went overseas.
Correct. Matter of fact, there is ZERO chance that this project will ever be looked at again. We've been trying to get one of the prototypes at my facility for a while for some "Bradley mods" for it, but it'll never be transferred here. Whenever it shows up where the customer is (ie, TACOM), they don't like it. Industry politics (it makes the Styker's AGS variant look wanting). The ones that we've still got are stored at the York site. Shame, it was a good vehicle.
 

Pioneer

Seek out and close with the enemy
Senior Member
Joined
May 22, 2006
Messages
1,913
Reaction score
280
I think this is part of the problem that so greatly plagues the U.S Army.
There is nothing wrong with the likes of the Royal ordinance 105mm L5/M67 tank gun.
The Israeli Army had proven this time and time again, with their Merkava Mk1 & II's, centurion's and M48's, which were armed with L5 105mm guns, long after the West Germans, British, and later the US adopted the 120mm as their standard tank gun.
The Israelis focused their efforts on the continues development of the 105mm round technology and ballistics, which allowed the Israelites to eat the so called dreaded and feared T-72 MBT so effectively, even though the West had wet its pants about the power and capability of the T-72's 125mm gun. (granted, the T-72's used by the likes of Syria were not to the same standards as that of its Soviet Army counterpart in armour protection and fire-control!!)
It would be typical of the US Army to can the likes of a AGS-type vehicle after all the time and money (and hopes and expectations!) put into developing it, because of its own self inflicted paranoia and want to be following trends or leading them.
After all as an infantryman facing armour which is bearing down on your position and fire its gun at you has the same psychological effect on you wether its an obsolete T-34 armed with a 85mm gun or a ultra modern T-80 tank armed with a 125mm gun!
In reality the likes of the M8 would more times than not be used in the Armoured Gun fire Support role in support of the airborne troops it deploys with, using HE rounds more often than not, than that of engaging the likes of T-80's and T-90 MBT's.
Saying this the 105mm armed M8, will more than give a good account of itself when up against the likes of a MBT through its use of mobility and advanced fire control systems.

Hell if the US Army decided to arm the M8 with a 120mm gun, this will add weight, more than likely require a larger turret ring, and force the M8 to carry far less rounds, than that of the 105mm
Hell if the American's are not willing to supply the likes of a M8/AGS in support of their airborne force, then they may as well disband the 82nd Airborne Division, for they can not continue to deploy it in the way that they do as a lead-element of an assault/operation, under equipped and inadequately protected without some day running out of luck or unable to support or relieve it, with heavier units.

P.S. Im sorry about the long windedness about my reply

Regards
Pioneer
 

Rickshaw

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
2,039
Reaction score
124
This vehicle is too light to survive a one-on-one encounter with an MBT. There is nothing it can do which a ATGM such as FOG-M or Polyphem couldn't do at much longer range and it could be mounted on a much cheaper, lighter platform like a light utility truck. The problem is that there is an assumption that only thing which which can catch a mouse is a cat and whilst a light armoured vehicle is useful for airborne forces, trying to make it carry a gun which can destroy an MBT is IMHO a mistake for several, obvious reasons.
 

fockewulf261

ACCESS: Restricted
Joined
Dec 30, 2007
Messages
21
Reaction score
1
Just call me Ray, your source is correct except for one error: two were sent for evaluation in a live fire environment. They're performance was effective. Why the order to withdraw them was given is unknown nor is the reason for no production (although cost is probably the reason).
 

TomS

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
4,475
Reaction score
1,487
fockewulf261 said:
Just call me Ray, your source is correct except for one error: two were sent for evaluation in a live fire environment. They're performance was effective. Why the order to withdraw them was given is unknown nor is the reason for no production (although cost is probably the reason).


Again, source please? This sounds like a mangling of the fact that some XM-8s were used for live-fire-test and evaluation, which is a laboratory testing process, not operational use.
 

Triton

Donald McKelvy
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
9,719
Reaction score
649
Website
deeptowild.blogspot.com
fockewulf261 said:
Just call me Ray, your source is correct except for one error: two were sent for evaluation in a live fire environment. They're performance was effective. Why the order to withdraw them was given is unknown nor is the reason for no production (although cost is probably the reason).


The Federation of American Scientists web site documents the reasons why the XM8 was canceled:

In the fiscal 1996 budget the Armored Gun System was slated to enter production. The Army's Armored Gun System was terminated in 1996, and the FY 97 budget abandoned the Armored Gun System program. When the Army submitted its proposed fiscal 1997 budge, Defense Secretary William Perry instructed the service to plan for an additional cut of 20,000 troops to pay for weapons modernization. Rather than accept a cut from 495,000 to 475,000 troops, Army leaders argued they could obtain the necessary modernization funds through acquisition reforms and operating efficiencies. The fiscal 1997 Defense budget request contained no further Army troop cuts, but the Army cut the AGS program in an attempt to save money for other modernization efforts. The decision was made by the Army as part of an assessment of the warfighting value of the armored gun system compared with alternatives and how they could do it spending less funds. The total program cost, including development, was estimated to be $1.3 billion. The Army had planned to procure 26 low-rate initial production vehicles with 1996 funding of $142.8 million. Termination liability was funded from research and development appropriations because the program was under an engineering and manufacturing development contract. The Armored Gun System is an example of a program in which manpower and personnel integration [MANPRINT] considerations were purposely rejected. It is not a coincidence that the Army canceled the program.
http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/m8-ags.htm

The Federation of American Scientists web site also emphasizes that the XM8 is not a tank:

I
n 1993 survivability test assessments were initiated the Armored Gun System. Early live fire tests for this program either demonstrated that the initial AGS design meets its requirements or provided data to support design fixes. One design feature that resulted in a 'surprise' outcome was the ammunition compartment feature that failed to contain the reaction of the ammunition when struck by realistic threat weapons.

The AGS is not a tank -- it may look like a tank, but it's not a tank. It's a thin-skinned vehicle with a gun on it. The vehicle was designed to support the infantry from a position where it can fire and be behind dirt with an elevated gun and to fight in areas where its not going to run into tanks. It has more than one role, and it just doesn't kill tanks. It kills other kinds of targets. It has to be able to bust bunkers, shoot into bunkers, go into urban areas and shoot into windows, and have a round that will spray shrapnel -- that will "take out" people who are firing hand-held weapons or machine guns. US forces using enhanced direct-fire weapons such as the Armored Gun System would fare better than forces equipped with current firepower.
http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/m8-ags.htm
 

JohnR

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
759
Reaction score
193
Rather than a 105/120mm "tank" gun wouldn't it be better to support infantry with something like the AMOS or AMS which would give better indirect fire support, and leave anti tank to ATGW on vehicles along the same vane as Striker or M901.
 

Firefly 2

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Jun 30, 2009
Messages
461
Reaction score
8
Such a description would be fitting of a WWII "tank hunter": light chassis with big gun (oversimplified, I know).
 

funkychinaman

ACCESS: Restricted
Joined
Nov 11, 2008
Messages
33
Reaction score
0
Firefly 2 said:
Such a description would be fitting of a WWII "tank hunter": light chassis with big gun (oversimplified, I know).

Sounds more like an assault gun to me.
 

Apophenia

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2007
Messages
2,651
Reaction score
1,000
JohnR said:
Rather than a 105/120mm "tank" gun wouldn't it be better to support infantry with something like the AMOS or AMS which would give better indirect fire support, and leave anti tank to ATGW on vehicles along the same vane as Striker or M901.

The tank gun is dedicated to direct fire, the mortar isn't. As Abraham Gubler has pointed out elsewhere, a 120mm mortar bomb will just "point detonate on the outer surface [of reinforced concrete walls] and expend all its explosive energy on the outside".

AMS is a great bit of kit but stick with tank guns for mouseholing walls. Mind you, I'd like to see what AMS rounds would do to mud-brick grape-drying huts ;D
 

fockewulf261

ACCESS: Restricted
Joined
Dec 30, 2007
Messages
21
Reaction score
1
TomS, I should have also said "under hostile conditions". As for source, my unit (when I was still with Uncle Sam's Traveling Circus) were there and we enjoyed having them there as MBTs were really too big for some of the terrain and lighter vehicles were generally under armed.
 

Rickshaw

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
2,039
Reaction score
124
Apophenia said:
JohnR said:
Rather than a 105/120mm "tank" gun wouldn't it be better to support infantry with something like the AMOS or AMS which would give better indirect fire support, and leave anti tank to ATGW on vehicles along the same vane as Striker or M901.

The tank gun is dedicated to direct fire, the mortar isn't. As Abraham Gubler has pointed out elsewhere, a 120mm mortar bomb will just "point detonate on the outer surface [of reinforced concrete walls] and expend all its explosive energy on the outside".

AMS is a great bit of kit but stick with tank guns for mouseholing walls. Mind you, I'd like to see what AMS rounds would do to mud-brick grape-drying huts ;D

Err. where the 120mm mortar round detonates is determined by the fusing of the round. If your round is fitted with a delay fuse, it will penetrate. Even so, as most house walls are made of pretty flimsy stuff even a 120mm mortar round detonating on the outside will tend to blow a hole in them. If you want to design a specific wall buster round, then I'd suggest a HESH one would be ideal and there is nothing stopping a direct fire 120mm mortar having a HESH round, either.

The advantages of the 120mm mortar over the gun are that its cheaper, easier to produce and capable of high-angle fire and can fire smart rounds. Tank guns can't.
 

Apophenia

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2007
Messages
2,651
Reaction score
1,000
rickshaw,

I'm aware of the advantages of modern mortars but less clear on their pitfalls.

I don't know what the speed of an AMOS round is. Are you saying that its bomb has sufficient velocity to penetrate a reinforced concrete wall before detonation? If so, that's an impressive performance.

Agreed on HESH -- it was, after all, designed to spall reinforced concrete.

But another question: out of curiousity, what size of mousehole would a 120mm mortar HESH round produce? According to a Canadian Army Journal article (Lessons Learned from the Use of Tanks in Roto 4 , Capt Pascal Croteau, CAJ Vol. 11.2, Summer 2008), the Leo C2's 105 HESH routinely created holes in mud brick in excess of 5m x 5m.
 

Rickshaw

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
2,039
Reaction score
124
Apophenia said:
rickshaw,

I'm aware of the advantages of modern mortars but less clear on their pitfalls.

I don't know what the speed of an AMOS round is. Are you saying that its bomb has sufficient velocity to penetrate a reinforced concrete wall before detonation? If so, that's an impressive performance.

No, I don't. However, I'd be very surprised if many houses are built with reinforced concrete walls of any particular thickness. Costs alone usually preclude it. Most housing materials are relatively thin and flimsy. They won't stand up to a 120mm mortar round point detonating on their surface. If nothing else, the wall will often collapse. :D

Agreed on HESH -- it was, after all, designed to spall reinforced concrete.

But another question: out of curiousity, what size of mousehole would a 120mm mortar HESH round produce? According to a Canadian Army Journal article (Lessons Learned from the Use of Tanks in Roto 4 , Capt Pascal Croteau, CAJ Vol. 11.2, Summer 2008), the Leo C2's 105 HESH routinely created holes in mud brick in excess of 5m x 5m.

Mud brick isn't a particularly strong building material. Its main strength is in compression, not tension, with the result that if you place enough force on one side, the wall will easily topple but it will support a considerable weight if the pressure is applied directly down. Coupled with the lack of adhesion that mud has when used as a mortar, its not surprising that such a large hole would be made. Considering that 105mm HESH contains 2.2 kg of HE as against a 120mm mortar HE round which contains about the same weight with 2.2 kg of HE I think you'd see similar results.
 

Apophenia

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2007
Messages
2,651
Reaction score
1,000
Yes, reinforced concrete and mudbrick are apples and oranges. Much of what has been made publicly available has been US experiences in Iraq. Construction styles in Afghanistan are less imposing than some urban Iraqi structures.

Going back to JohnR's question, I'd argue that what is "better to support infantry with" is what can be fielded quickly. In Canada's case, the Leopard C2 was available so the L7 got the job. Since then, the Danish and Canadian Leopard 2s seem to manage.

Maybe the Canadian Army should have pursued breech-loading mortars for LAV IIIs earlier on but they didn't. Ditto for the ADF and that ASLAV AMS prototype. Perhaps this will happen in the future.

Rickshaw: any idea if such turret mortars are a part of the Land 400 Future Combat Vehicle System?
 

Rickshaw

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
2,039
Reaction score
124
Not that I'm aware of. It could be on the wishlist but whether it makes the final cut is another matter.
 

Abraham Gubler

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
3,555
Reaction score
199
rickshaw said:
Err. where the 120mm mortar round detonates is determined by the fusing of the round. If your round is fitted with a delay fuse, it will penetrate.

A delay fuze will not help a projectile penetrate a body when it lacks the strength and force to do so. All a delay fuze does is as the name suggests delay exploding the warhead after the fuze has been activated. The later is from a rapid felt deceleration usually due to contact with an object. In the case of a thin wall, low velocity round like a 120mm HE mortar bomb it lacks the capacity to penetrate a strong body like steel reinforced concrete. So despite selecting Delay over PD on the fuze the effect is going to be the same - an explosion on the outer wall.

Why is steel reinforced concrete important? Because all tall buildings are made of it - or steel and aviation grade aluminum in case you want to shoot out the top floor of the Guggenheim - and since the main case for using a breech loading mortar over a high velocity gun in direct fire is in order to benefit from high angle fire to target at close range the tops of tall buildings... Well it may be able to bear on the target but its just going to peck at the surface. Most mud brick houses rarely get over three stories so the low angle tank gun is able to engage the entire structure at close range.

Breech loaded mortars are better than muzzle loaded mortars for AFVs. They enable you to use a trainable turret and fully enclose the weapon operation under armour and CBR defence. But such a weapon is not an effective replacement for a high or medium velocity gun against a typical target set. The direct fire capability is a good self defence capability but to pull the mortars out of their position for providing indirect fire support and push them forward when tanks can be used is just not military science.
 

Apophenia

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2007
Messages
2,651
Reaction score
1,000
Thanks Abraham. Good point about the elevation of tank guns and the low storey height of mudbrick structures.
 

Rickshaw

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
2,039
Reaction score
124
Abraham Gubler said:
rickshaw said:
Err. where the 120mm mortar round detonates is determined by the fusing of the round. If your round is fitted with a delay fuse, it will penetrate.

A delay fuze will not help a projectile penetrate a body when it lacks the strength and force to do so. All a delay fuze does is as the name suggests delay exploding the warhead after the fuze has been activated. The later is from a rapid felt deceleration usually due to contact with an object. In the case of a thin wall, low velocity round like a 120mm HE mortar bomb it lacks the capacity to penetrate a strong body like steel reinforced concrete. So despite selecting Delay over PD on the fuze the effect is going to be the same - an explosion on the outer wall.

Why is steel reinforced concrete important? Because all tall buildings are made of it - or steel and aviation grade aluminum in case you want to shoot out the top floor of the Guggenheim - and since the main case for using a breech loading mortar over a high velocity gun in direct fire is in order to benefit from high angle fire to target at close range the tops of tall buildings... Well it may be able to bear on the target but its just going to peck at the surface. Most mud brick houses rarely get over three stories so the low angle tank gun is able to engage the entire structure at close range.

Breech loaded mortars are better than muzzle loaded mortars for AFVs. They enable you to use a trainable turret and fully enclose the weapon operation under armour and CBR defence. But such a weapon is not an effective replacement for a high or medium velocity gun against a typical target set. The direct fire capability is a good self defence capability but to pull the mortars out of their position for providing indirect fire support and push them forward when tanks can be used is just not military science.

Good points but I wasn't discussing tall buildings. As most of the theatres where actions is going on and where it is likely to occur in the near future lack tall buildings, why try and move the goalposts, Abraham? I'll also note that I addressed your concern about possible lack of penetration when I suggested that it might be appropriate to utilise a HESH round, in those circumstances where a delayed fused HE round was not appropriate.
 

Abraham Gubler

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
3,555
Reaction score
199
rickshaw said:
Good points but I wasn't discussing tall buildings. As most of the theatres where actions is going on and where it is likely to occur in the near future lack tall buildings, why try and move the goalposts, Abraham?

Well I was discussing the performance of 120mm breech loaded mortars in direct fire roles in the context of the debate in professional defence circles in the past six years. A debate arising out of the need to engage targets located in tall buildings as sparked by .OIF combat experience. [Of course other armies like the IDF have had a similar requirement much earlier which is one of the reasons their tanks are equipped with 60mm mortars: for rooftop engagement.] This is a persistent requirement for operations in a range of potential and ongoing hot spots that are more developed than the backwoods of Afghanistan. So I don’t think I was really moving any ‘goalposts’ even though it may have been out of context for whatever you were thinking about.

As to engaging normal buildings (fewer than 2-3 stories) the utility of the breech loaded mortar is still questionable. Of course high velocity, low angle elevation guns like tank main armaments are much better and lighter weight weapons like 25-40mm automatic cannons can also provide better penetrative effect. They may not knock down the building but they will certainly defeat any targets inside. Because of their higher velocities they are also far more accurate in direct fire longer than point blank ranges compared to direct fire mortars.

rickshaw said:
I'll also note that I addressed your concern about possible lack of penetration when I suggested that it might be appropriate to utilise a HESH round, in those circumstances where a delayed fused HE round was not appropriate.

HESH may have a good effect in destroying a wall but the effect on the occupants inside the structure is going to be significantly less than a round that penetrates and then detonates. Because the HESH effect relies on the surface being engaged to produce fragments and concrete shards are no-where near as dangerous as metal splinters from a HE casing (or preformed fragments).

To get a good through-wall effect from a low velocity mortar bomb you need a two stage round (high expense) or a very weak wall. In which case you are just as good shooting .50 cal at the target. There is a reason the world hasn’t rushed out to equip their armies with direct fire mortars for fire support and that’s because it isn’t as good as legacy weapons.
 

Rickshaw

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
2,039
Reaction score
124
Abraham Gubler said:
rickshaw said:
Good points but I wasn't discussing tall buildings. As most of the theatres where actions is going on and where it is likely to occur in the near future lack tall buildings, why try and move the goalposts, Abraham?

Well I was discussing the performance of 120mm breech loaded mortars in direct fire roles in the context of the debate in professional defence circles in the past six years.

Well I'll leave you to your conversation then Abraham. Tell me when you get bored of the sound of one hand clapping. :D
 

Similar threads

Top