Thursday, July 28, 2016
Australia's Land 400 Project. Why didn't the Terrex 3 make the cut?
Forgive me but I'm a fanboy for the Terrex 3. It was the most advanced offering, it had unsurpassed networking, had the required gun and protection levels and I'd bet body parts that I highly value that it was one of the, if not THE most mobile platform in the contest.
So why didn't the Terrex 3 make the cut?
I don't like to run to the "bias" card but we need to be honest here. European and especially GERMAN armor is considered the best in the world. I believe its a hangover from World War 2 when the allies got their throats punched by Tigers, Panthers, Elephants etc....that heavy German armor made an impression.
So that explains the Boxer entry into the final roundup but what about the Patria AMV?
I think the same factors are in play. Its European, has a fantastic reputation on that continent and it won fame by performing well in Afghanistan. I know what you're asking...if that's the case then the General Dynamics 6.0 should have been in the running too right? Wrong! General Dynamics made the tragic mistake of listening to defense analyst (which I agreed with) of going for incremental improvements to proven designs. Their vehicle would probably be the easiest on the Australian supply chain, easiest to train future troops on and is known to the ADF. During normal times that would be good enough. Today? Not so much.
But back to the Terrex 3. I fear that Singapore Kinetics is about to become the BAE. Remember the SEP later named Alligator? When it was built it was the finest armored vehicle on the planet. It had everything ground forces said they wanted and then some. It was a world beater.
No one bought it.
I see the same possibility for the Terrex 3. Its a world beating vehicle but because its new and doesn't have a "rep" no one will buy it. Remember the BAE SEP and the Terrex 3 the next time people talk about the lack of innovation when it comes to ground vehicles. Industry is doing work, the military just won't buy.
Australia chose badly. The sad reality is that they're about to select vehicles that will be obsolete before they enter service.
Note: The Patria is already working on an updated AMV and the German's are doing the same with the Boxer. Patria AMV development started in 1996, the Boxer in 2001. They're not exactly "elderly" but they're not exactly fresh either.