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Old November 4th, 2016, 06:31 AM

IronDuke99 IronDuke99 is offline
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Default Medium Weight 'air portable' Armour

For the major background behind the current trend for medium weight 'air portable' armour please see this

http://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/from-s...he-sava-river/.

Strange to say more or less light wheeled APC's are not something new for the British Army.

There was the 1950's vintage Humber 'pig' well known to anyone who served in Northern Ireland. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humber_Pig . The Saracen, also used in Northern Ireland and also dating from the 1950's. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alvis_Saracen And then there was the Saxon of the 1980's https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saxon_(vehicle) famously described by General Sir Richard Dannett as "useless" in 2013.

Now I can certainly see uses for medium weight 8x8 APC's against assorted third world enemy forces (mind you I spent much of the film 'Black Hawk Down', thinking "get out of the bloody vehicles, they are just drawing fire and stopping you seeing much"). They might even do well against heavier armour if they are well handled and the enemy is relatively clueless, as the South African's often proved with light armour in South West Africa and Angola.

But I still have this strong feeling that medium weight 8x8 APC's, etc (including stuff like that Italian 120mm AT gun) will come right unstuck against well handled heavy armour.

I would love to see this -fairly- done on a exercise say a warrior 2000 + Challenger 2 force or a Bradley + Abrams force against a 'medium weight' 8x8 equipped force. I would be very surprised if the lighter armour won.

I remain unconvinced that 8x8 armour is anything much more than a very widespread military fad, perhaps a little like Tankettes before WWII...

Last edited by IronDuke99; November 4th, 2016 at 01:01 PM..
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Old November 4th, 2016, 10:08 AM
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Default Re: Medium Weight 'air portable' Armour

The USMC specifically chose the LAV series because they are air transportable by our CH-53's.

I did speak to a LAV-25 commander that told me he ran into one of the Iraqi T-62s during Gulf I and fired at it with his 25mm, not that he expected to destroy it but in hopes of rattling the crew so it's return fire would be less accurate. I don't recall if he mentioned how the tank was actually destroyed be he did say they looked at it after is was and concluded they probably could have chiseled thru the armor with their AP rounds eventually.

But keep in mind this was probably sabot rounds vs a T-62.
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Old November 4th, 2016, 12:57 PM

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Default Re: Medium Weight 'air portable' Armour

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Originally Posted by Suhiir View Post
The USMC specifically chose the LAV series because they are air transportable by our CH-53's.

I did speak to a LAV-25 commander that told me he ran into one of the Iraqi T-62s during Gulf I and fired at it with his 25mm, not that he expected to destroy it but in hopes of rattling the crew so it's return fire would be less accurate. I don't recall if he mentioned how the tank was actually destroyed be he did say they looked at it after is was and concluded they probably could have chiseled thru the armor with their AP rounds eventually.

But keep in mind this was probably sabot rounds vs a T-62.


Low velocity 90mm rounds could certainly take out T54/55's and even T62'S on occasion.

Lower caliber rounds could maybe eventually knock out heavy enemy armour, one way or another, but you only have to get hit once in a lighter armoured vehicle while you are trying to do that and it will spoil your whole day...
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Old November 4th, 2016, 01:34 PM

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Default Re: Medium Weight 'air portable' Armour

Here is one possible parallel: The Royal Navy has, for years now, been against Corvettes, or even highly capable Patrol ships, because senior Admirals worry that political types will then try replacing real Frigates and Destroyers with such (much cheaper) ships, that in a major war can do no more than get sunk bravely.

I really worry that 8x8 medium armour, including 8x8 medium armour mounting a big gun, will be equated by political types as really much the same as modern Infantry Fighting Vehicles and MBT's, with unhealthy results for the men manning them.

99% of modern political types are really deeply ignorant of the military. For example Tony Blair, on becoming PM was honestly -according to himself- convinced that the UK had several thousand SAS soldiers despite having been an MP for many years and leader of his party for several.
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Old November 4th, 2016, 03:53 PM
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Default Re: Medium Weight 'air portable' Armour

Quote:
Originally Posted by IronDuke99 View Post
Here is one possible parallel: The Royal Navy has, for years now, been against Corvettes, or even highly capable Patrol ships, because senior Admirals worry that political types will then try replacing real Frigates and Destroyers with such (much cheaper) ships, that in a major war can do no more than get sunk bravely.

I really worry that 8x8 medium armour, including 8x8 medium armour mounting a big gun, will be equated by political types as really much the same as modern Infantry Fighting Vehicles and MBT's, with unhealthy results for the men manning them.

99% of modern political types are really deeply ignorant of the military. For example Tony Blair, on becoming PM was honestly -according to himself- convinced that the UK had several thousand SAS soldiers despite having been an MP for many years and leader of his party for several.
I don't disagree with what you mean, but, corvettes can be very lethal, in the right area.
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Old November 5th, 2016, 06:26 PM

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Default Re: Medium Weight 'air portable' Armour

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Quote:
Originally Posted by IronDuke99 View Post
Here is one possible parallel: The Royal Navy has, for years now, been against Corvettes, or even highly capable Patrol ships, because senior Admirals worry that political types will then try replacing real Frigates and Destroyers with such (much cheaper) ships, that in a major war can do no more than get sunk bravely.

I really worry that 8x8 medium armour, including 8x8 medium armour mounting a big gun, will be equated by political types as really much the same as modern Infantry Fighting Vehicles and MBT's, with unhealthy results for the men manning them.

99% of modern political types are really deeply ignorant of the military. For example Tony Blair, on becoming PM was honestly -according to himself- convinced that the UK had several thousand SAS soldiers despite having been an MP for many years and leader of his party for several.
I don't disagree with what you mean, but, corvettes can be very lethal, in the right area.

For coastal naval forces maybe, but not for a Blue Water navy like the RN, that has to be able to operate world wide.
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Old November 5th, 2016, 11:31 PM
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Default Re: Medium Weight 'air portable' Armour

Quote:
Originally Posted by IronDuke99 View Post
I really worry that 8x8 medium armour, including 8x8 medium armour mounting a big gun, will be equated by political types as really much the same as modern Infantry Fighting Vehicles and MBT's, with unhealthy results for the men manning them.

99% of modern political types are really deeply ignorant of the military. For example Tony Blair, on becoming PM was honestly -according to himself- convinced that the UK had several thousand SAS soldiers despite having been an MP for many years and leader of his party for several.
Like any other weapons system they've very useful in some situations, less so in others.

That's probably the biggest problem politicians have, they fail to keep in mind military equipment has to work at 40 below and 120 above rain or shine, and that's never going to be cheap.
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Old November 6th, 2016, 10:27 AM

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Default Re: Medium Weight 'air portable' Armour

In many situations a weapon system has to be 'sold' to budget committees for approval. A system that can be seen as having multi-situation uses 'sells' better than limited use and designers always pitch their systems as being the perfect fit for the 'next generation of conflicts'.
Medium weight armor deploys faster, can use 'weaker' bridges and less rated roads and often are sold as maneuvering easier in urban settings.
These "cheaper, lighter and 'just as good' systems" are always pictured in a best case scenario when criticized as being limited in a traditional war environment. A system that works within current logistical support is always a good, money saving, selling point.
Case in point:
In the 1980's, the US fielded several Light Infantry Divisions for quick deployment, low-to-medium conflicts. The divisions were TO&E'd not for what they needed but to be moveable in the amount of planes the Air Force said they would be able to provide (500 sorties in 48 hours) as a cost effective advantage.
When criticized during budget debates for not being useful in an all out Warsaw-pact attack in Europe, Army leaders came up with the example of Light Infantry Divisions being deployed to Sweden/Norway to stem a Soviet advance thru Finland and sent one of their Light Divisions to the high range of the Rocky Mountains, in December, to prove to politicians that the % of cold weather casualties by troops in Gortex rain gear and with frozen canteens for 8 days is not too bad compared to more expensive units in fancy cold weather gear.
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Old November 6th, 2016, 08:43 PM
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Default Re: Medium Weight 'air portable' Armour

Look at the whole MRAP situation. They're basically armored trucks/jeeps and of limited utility outside anyplace that doesn't have an infrastructure. Yes, they were/are damn useful within a specific circumstance/situation, but overall?
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