Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Upgunning Strykers?


M1128 Stryker MGS


Our Army infantry brigades need heavier firepower -- that means
the
return of the light AVF and upgunned Stryker infantry carriers, say
Maneuver
Center of Excellence senior leaders recently.

Stryker Brigade Combat Teams Strykers IFVs are infantry carriers
armed
with .50 caliber machine guns or MK19 automatic grenade launchers
 MCOE
Command Sgt. Major James Carabello claims this is in efficient. "The
 Stryker
needs to get up-gunned; a World War II weapon system on a Stryker?
 It needs a
bigger gun," Carabello said. "It needs something that is a better tank
killer than a MK 19 or a .50 caliber machine gun." The need is now
greater,
officials maintain, since the Army plain cutting the number of Strykers
 in a
brigade from 27 to 10 in the US Army. So Training and Doctrine
Command is
working with the Stryker program plan that could mean mounting a
30mm cannon
on to the remote weapons stations on Stryker infantry carriers.

This would give much greater firepower and still not require a turret be
mounted on the Stryker, Army officials say. The plan is to purchase a
company set of 30mm cannons, test them, and also try to determine
should they be
issued for every Stryker of have one per company, officials said.
 "Looking
at the fire fights we have had on a continuous basis … we see the need
 to
be able to provide an overmatch in the close fight as well for the purpose
of ensuring freedom of maneuver and action of our infantry squads
," McMaster
continued. While a .50 caliber machine gun can be very effective,
"but
you don't get a round that blows up and ends firefights."

The Army is approaching the problem with the Ground Combat
Vehicle (GCV)
to replace the M2 Bradley fighting vehicle and the Armored
 Multipurpose
Vehicle (AMV) to replace the old reliable M113 armored personnel
 carrier.
However, on April, 2nd, 2013, the Congressional Budget Office
(CBO) reported
on the progress of the GCV program. The report estimated the total
 cost $28
billion from 2014-2030, and instead suggested the possibility of alternate
vehicle options. While none of these will meet overall army goals desired
in the GCV, they offer advantages in being less costly and delayed. Current
GCV prototypes are heavy, weighing up to 84 tons, are to be better
protected and seat a 9-man squad. Knowledgeable persons have said that
 a vehicle
of that size would not be well suited to operations faced in Iraq or
Afghanistan. Alternate vehicles would be cheaper and more maneuverable
 in urban
settings. So the CBO report gave four alternative options:

1. Upgrade the M2 Bradley IFV - An upgraded Bradley with better armor and
better AT/Weapons would be more lethal than the GCV against enemy forces
and survive combat at about the same rates as would the GCV, saving $19.8
billion. Upgrading the Bradley would make it more capable than the GCV. It is
a proven design, and it is in place. Downside: The Bradley still only
carries a 7-man squad (2 F/Ts) and has less mobility than the GCV.

2. Purchase the Namer APC - From the Hebrew "Leopard, " the Namer IFV is
based on the Merkava Mark IV chassis. It already has numerous American
components and General Dynamics Land Systems had been chosen to
 negotiate a
contract to manufacture and integrate an unspecified number of vehicle hulls
at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio. Seats 9 soldiers
with combat survival rates expected slightly higher than the GCV, and costs
$9 billion less. Namer has been designed for survivability and rapid
repair, with modular armor, V-shaped belly armor pack, and NBC protection.
Because the turret weight is gone the armor has been increased, and Namer is
better protected from IUDs. Namer is armed with either a M2 Browning machine
gun 50 cal or a Mk 19 grenade launcher mounted on a Samson Remote
Controlled Weapon Station, like the Styker, as well as a 7.62 mm (FN MAG)
machine
gun, and a 60 mm mortar. Smoke grenade launchers are also carried.
Currently
an external remote controlled 30-mm autocannon and Spike anti-tank guided
missiles is also being considered to be added later. Downside: The Namer
 has
less ability to destroy other enemy vehicles and is less mobile.
Production would be conducted in part domestically, but fielding would require
collaboration with foreign companies and governments. And its not American
designed.


3. Purchase the Puma (IFV) - More lethal than the GCV, combat survival
and
protection at better rates, and just as mobile. Purchasing the Puma would
save $14.8 billion and is considered the most capable of the vehicles.The
Puma IFV is a German infantry fighting vehicle designed to replace the
aging
Marder IFVs currently in service with the Bundeswehr. Its weapon is the
superb Rheinmetall 30 mm MK 30-2/ABM (Air Burst Munitions)
autocannon,
which has a rate of fire of 200 rounds per minute and an effective range of
3,000 m. There are currently two ammunition types directly available via the
autocannon&# 39;s dual ammunition feed. One is a sub-calibre,
 fin-stabilised
APFSDS-T (T for tracer), with high penetration capabilities, mainly for use
against medium armoured vehicles. The second is a full-calibre,
multi-purpose, Kinetic Energy-Timed Fuse (KETF) munition, designed with
 the air burst
capability (depending on the fuse setting) for ejecting a cone of
sub-munitions. The ammunition type can be chosen on a shot to shot basis,
as the
weapon fires from an open bolt, meaning no cartridge is inserted until the
trigger is depressed. The ammunition capacity is 400 rounds; 200 ready to
 fire
and 200 in storage. The secondary armament is a coaxially mounted 5.56
 mm
HK MG4 machine gun firing at 850 rounds per minute and with an effective
range of 1,000 m. The ammunition capacity is 2,000 rounds; 1,000 ready to
 fire
and 1,000 in storage. While this is a smaller weapon than the western
standard secondary armament (7.62 mm caliber MG), it offers the advantage
 that
the crew can use the ammunition in their individual firearms. In situations
where the lower range and penetration of the 5.56 mm rounds is an issue,
the high ammunition load of the main gun enables the vehicle crew to use one
or two main gun rounds instead. The gun housing can also host the 7.62 mm
MG3. The German Puma vehicles are equipped with a turret-mounted
EuroSpike
Spike LR missile launcher, which carries two missiles. The Spike LR
missile
has an effective range up to 4,000 m and can be launched in either the
"Fire and Forget" or "Fire and Observe" mode. There is a 6-shot 76 mm
launcher at the back of the vehicle for close-in defense. The back door
can be
opened halfway and enables two of the passengers to scout and shoot
WITH
moderate protection. The Puma was designed to accommodate additional
armor,
initially planning to offer three protection classes which are wholly or
partly interchangeable. Protection class A is the basic vehicle, at 31.5
metric
tons combat-ready weight air transportable. Protection class C consists
 of
two large side panels that cover almost the whole flanks of the vehicle and
act as skirts to the tracks, a near-complete turret cover and armor plates
for most of the vehicle' s roof. The side panels are a mix of composite and
spaced armor. It adds about 9 metric tons to the gross weight. The Puma
is protected by AMAP composite armour, the AMAP-B module is used for
protection against kinetic energy threats, while AMAP-SC offers protection
against shaped charges. It can resist direct hits from 14.5 mm (.50 Cal)
rounds, The front armor offers protection against medium caliber projectiles
 and
shaped charge projectiles. In protection class C, the flanks of the Puma
are up-armored to about the same level of protection as is the front, while
the roof armor is able to withstand artillery or mortar bomblets. The Pumas
of the German Army will be equipped with a softkill system multifunction
self protection system, MUSS, which is capable of defeating ATGMs. The
whole
vehicle is protected against heavy blast mines (up to 10 kg) and
projectile charges from below, while still retaining 450 mm ground clearance.
 Almost
all equipment within the cabin, including the seats, has no direct contact
to the floor, which adds to crew and technical safety. All cabin roof
hatches are of the side-slide type, which make them easier to open manually,
even when they are obstructed by debris. The exhaust is mixed with fresh air
and vented at the rear left side. Together with a special IR-suppressing
paint, this aims at reducing the thermal signature of the IFV.
Downside: Puma IFVs only carry six infantrymen (1 F/T), which would
require five vehicles to replace every four Bradleys. Development and
production
would require foreign companies and governments. The US Army already
said
that the Puma "wouldn&# 39;t meet their needs" but an 85 ton IFV
does?

4. Cancel the Ground Combat Vehicle - If the Army reconditioned its
current Bradley instead of replacing them, the current capability of the IFV
fleet could be maintained through 2030. The Army could continue to
investigate
ways to improve the current Bradleys, but it would not field any new or
improved vehicles. The $24 billion saved in funding could be used on other
programs.

On July 30th 2013, Army Chief of Staff General Odierno warned that the GCV
program may be delayed or possibly even cancelled because of the
sequestration budget cuts. The GCV is high-priority for the Army to give better
protection than the M2 Bradley, but because of the sequester cuts everything is
being considered. Not pursuing the GCV would allow the money to be spent
elsewhere.

But maneuver leaders maintain that the Army cannot forget about lighter
units such as Stryker and the infantry brigade combat teams (IBCT) that
currently are not equipped with enough potent firepower to win fights quickly.

Leaders at Maneuver Center of Excellence: "Across all of our formations
we need the right combination of mobility protection and firepower," he
said. "We need to emphasize what is next. What is the light tank that …
we can
give our infantry freedom of maneuver in action? And we want to up-gun
our
Strykers. We can see the enemy; it would be nice to be able to kill them."

Lightly-armed IBCTs also need mobile protected firepower such as a light
tank for forced-entry style Rapid Response missions, Army leaders began
saying earlier this year. The 82nd Airborne Division was equipped with the
M551 Sheridan Armored Reconnaissance Airborne Assault Vehicle until the
 mid
1990s. Developed during the Vietnam War, the Sheridan featured a 152mm
main
gun capable of firing standard ammunition or the MGM-51 Shillelagh antitank
missile. The Sheridan was used in the Invasion of Panama in 1989 and
Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1991, but it was considered ineffective as a
true AFV since its lightweight, aluminum armor was thin enough to be pierced
by heavy machine-gun rounds, and the vehicle was particularly vulnerable to
mines. Maneuver officials say they would want a platform that could be
air-dropped from a C-130 aircraft. It should have a base armor package capable
of defeating 14.5mm ammunition. Once follow-on forces arrive, addition
armor packages could be bolted on as necessary.

One option could be to take another look at the Armored Gun System (AGS,)
of which the M8 Bradford is the result. The complete AGS was never
successfully developed. The substitutes did not provide the capabilities
envisioned by the original concepts.And these failures deleted the division' s
development. The one successful component the M8 requires a crew of three
through
the use of an autoloader. Its main armament is the 105mm Rheinmetall XM35
tank gun. The M-35 cannon is a low-recoil gun. The autoloader holds 21
projectiles with nine more stowed forward near the driver. Fire control is
provided by a digital fire control system with microprocessors and a databus
similar to the suite on the M1A2. The gunner's primary sight is a day/night
thermal sight and integrated laser range-finder in a stabilized mount.
It has modular bolt-on titanium armor that is not used in a load-bearing
transport. Instead it is transported separately and bolted on later. The
M8 can be fitted with three levels of protection: Level I against shell
splinters Level II against armor piercing small arms and light A/T weapons,
Level III against cannon up to 30mm. The 105mm Rheinmetall XM35 meets
the
requirement to kill t72 tanks. Since this was the AFV most likely met by a
rapid response group in combat.

Stephen Phenow
Modern Crossfire Yahoo Group 
  Modern Crossfire _Volume of Fire G

5 comments:

J Womack, Esq. said...

You are cut off on the right hand side. Makes reading difficult.

Don M said...

Thanks J, I have no idea why it did that, it's a little better...)

Maj. Diz Aster said...

The Army should go with the Puma. It's a hell of a lot better than anything we currently produce. German military engineering has always been superior. Hell, we need to dump the Abrams and replace it with the Krause Maffei Leopard 2A7, or even the 2A8

Don M said...

Maj. Diz Aster ....Remember the SGT York ADA vehicle debacle? We should have bought the West German Gipard
turret and but that on an M60 chases.

Maj. Diz Aster said...

Yep, I remember the M247 Sgt York DIVAD. A Gepard turret/M60 chassis marriage probably would have worked better, or we should have purchased complete Gepards. Probably been cheaper in the long run, than the money wasted in Sgt York cost overruns.