Thursday, March 08, 2018

Land 400 insights via Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

Thanks to Dave for the link!

via ASPI
The Boxer is appreciably heavier than the AMV (around 38 tonnes versus 30 tonnes), depending on the load configuration.
This weight differential is probably due to higher levels of protection (Defence has emphasised protection in its evaluation).
Both the Boxer and the AMV have some scope to adjust their protection fit-outs up or down to suit the mission.4
However there are trade-offs for this weight. One trade-off is a constrained strategic deployability. For example, while the C-130J
transport aircraft can carry one ASLAV, both contenders are too heavy for the aircraft. The ADF’s C-17 heavy lift aircraft can carry up
to four ASLAVs, but only one Boxer or, at a stretch, two AMV35s. And there are only eight C-17s in the ADF, compared to 12 C-130Js.
In addition, some critics argue that the weight and size of the contenders makes them insufficiently tactically mobile for the
reconnaissance role, as they’ll be too heavy for the rough terrain, poor-quality roads and limited bridges typically found in
Australia’s region.5
 A CRV with these limitations on its tactical mobility would indeed be significantly constrained in its role,
although, in fairness, those criticisms are disputed.
Another factor in battlefield mobility is that both contenders are wheeled; it’s a silent tribute to the success of the ASLAV in service
that Defence has sought a wheeled, rather than tracked, replacement CRV. Professional opinion varies on the relative merits of
wheeled versus tracked armoured vehicles, reflecting the different trade-offs.7
 Wheeled reconnaissance vehicles are generally
quieter and more comfortable for the crew and passengers, mechanically more reliable, and easier to maintain and support, which
translates into better strategic/long-range mobility, a lower logistics footprint and lower costs of ownership. 
 In terms of situational awareness—the core of a CRV’s raison d’ĂȘtre—the contenders, compared to the ASLAV, are much better
equipped with more sophisticated sensors and electronics, including threat detection and fire control systems. The AMV35 variant
proposed for Land 400 has a manned turret with 35-mm cannon (compared to the ASLAV’s 25-mm cannon) and an integrated
launcher for two guided anti-tank missiles (Rafael Spike or MBDA MMP). The Boxer variant has a manned Lance turret with 30-mm
Rheinmetall Mk30 cannon and an integrated launcher for two Spike guided missiles. The effective range of the 35-mm cannon is
reported as 4,000 metres,8
 while the range of the 30-mm cannon is 3,000 metres, and the weight of shell of the AMV weapon is up
to 50% greater than for the 30-mm weapon; the trade-off (there’s always one!) is that fewer of the larger rounds can be carried
(70 versus 200). Overall, Defence assesses that, notwithstanding the differences, both weapons systems conform to the Army’s
lethality requirements to kill or suppress infantry, either in the open or in protected positions, destroy soft and light armoured
vehicles, and disable key optics and sensors of tanks (provided the CRV gets first shot).9
You can check out the PDF here. 

Everyone seems to think that the Boxer is the automatic winner here.

I disagree.

The Australians need strategic mobility.  The Boxer weighs eight tons more than the AMV35.

The Australians need lethality.  The AMV35 sports a 35mm cannon compared to the 30mm on the Boxer and they have comparable anti-tank missile setups.

And finally the Australians need reliability.  I get the impression that the AMV35 is just so much more reliable than the Boxer that it boggles the mind.

If the Germans are willing to subsidize the buy and practically give them Boxers for free then it will win.

If they don't then I'm betting the AMV35 walks away with the win. 

At the end of the day I just believe (contrary to conventional thinking) that the AMV is the superior vehicle.

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