Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Does anyone remember that the "vaunted" Boxer IFV/APC is an almost 20 year old design?

Scrolling thru my Twitter feeds and ran across my bud Nicholas Drummond as usual he's a must read.  This one today has me spinning....

Nicholas and my bro Odgen love the Boxer.

I'm not as big a fan.  I think that "modularity" that is a hallmark of the vehicle is just a gimmick that has no real tactical value and probably adds unnecessary weight and a small bit of complexity that is unneeded.

Having said that there is one other thing.

The damn design is almost 20 years old now!

History of the BOXER

  • Major European armed forces need vehicles to face future threats.
  • Germany and France establish joint procurement and development study.
  • German, British and French governments work in close cooperation.
  • Competition between two Franco-German-British consortia.
  • Competing consortium TEAM International GTK/MRAV/VBCI.
  • Establishment of ARGE GTK/MRAV/VBCI.
  • Concept studies of a 6x6 and a 8x8 vehicle.
  • April - ARGE submitts offer to German Procurement Agency (BWB).
  • The Netherlands get the status of an observer of the Programme.
  • April - ARGE GTK wins the competition.
  • September - France leaves the Programme.
  • Foundation of ARTEC.
  • November - bilateral contract signature.
  • The European agency OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Cooperátion en matierè d'ARmament) gets customer for ARTEC.
  • February - The Netherlands become a full partner in the Programme.
  • Production start of 1st BOXER Prototype.
  • December - Rollout of the first German BOXER Prototype.
  • BOXER Prototype - ready for trials and tests.
  • July - UK MOD announces withdrawal from the Programme.
  • November - Germany and the Netherlands sign bilateral contract.
  • Modified Armoured Personnel Carrier GE and Ambulance NL are presented at Eurosartory, Paris.
  • December - Series Contract Signature.
  • Production start for 1st Ambulance GE Prototype.
  • Reliability Growth Trails after some 90,000 km successful finished.
  • Production starts for 1st Series Vehicle.
  • September - Rollout of the first BOXER Series Vehicle.
  • BOXER vehicles are trialled in Australia and the United Arab Emirates.
  • December - First German BOXER Command Post delivered.
  • May - BOXER in operational use by German Army.
  • June - Last German Driver Training Vehicle delivered.
  • August - Deployment of first BOXERs into theatre.
  • August - All four German BOXER versions in series delivery.
  • Deployment of BOXER Command Post Vehicle and Ambulance into theatre.
  • December - Last German Commanc Post Vehicle delivered.
  • August - Delivery of first BOXER Driver Training Vehicle to Netherlands Army.
  • April - Delivery of first BOXER Ambulance to Netherlands Army.
  • June - 300th BOXER vehicle delivered.
  • July - Delivery of first BOXER Command Post to Netherlands Army.
  • December - Contract signature for 2nd batch of 131 BOXER APC vehicles for German Army.
  • March - First BOXER Cargo delivered to Netherlands Army.
  • May - Delivery of last BOXER Ambulance (272nd vehicle) to German Army.
  • August - Trilateral contract signature. Lithuania joins the BOXER-Programme.
  • August - Contract signature for 88 BOXER IFV for Lithuanian Army.
  • February - The Government of the Republic of Slovenia announces that they intend to accession the BOXER-Programme.
  • March - British Ministry of Defence announces that they will re-join BOXER-Programm and explore options to equip the Army with BOXER.
  • March - BOXER is selected after competition for the Australian Army under Project Land 400 Phase 2.

Yeah that's right boys and girls. If this thing was a child it's almost old enough to buy alcohol in all 50 states.

But the UK Army has an even bigger question to answer.

How does it compare to the latest offerings we're seeing.  The KF-41 Lynx, the S. Korean Redback and the Singapore Hunter IFV?

If you sit back a second and take a look at the landscape you'll see that the UK labored hard and ended buying last years model.

That's not to say that it isn't good but you have to wonder how the Aussies were able to get manufacturers to come up with new designs for their program and the Brits were left with older but modernized versions of vehicles that have been in service for decades already.

Pentagon Sends 1,000 More Troops to Middle East as Iran Tensions Heighten....WHY ARE WE WEARING OUT THE FORCE ON THIS ISSUE!

via Military.com
The Pentagon released more photos late Monday to back up charges that Iran carried out an attack on two tankers in the Gulf last week. The images included one still purporting to show Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps members in a twin outboard shortly after they allegedly removed an unexploded mine from the side of a tanker.

Shortly after the photos were released, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan announced that an additional 1,000 U.S. troops were being sent to the region to join a buildup of forces that now includes the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln's strike group and B-52 Stratofortresses.

"In response to a request from the U.S. Central Command for additional forces, and with the advice of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and in consultation with the White House, I have authorized approximately 1,000 additional troops for defensive purposes to address air, naval, and ground-based threats in the Middle East," Shanahan said in the statement.
Story here. 

A few things....

*  Tear down the Combatant Commander structure.  Ever since those became a "thing" we've seen increased troop deployments for dubious reasons.

*  We are wearing out the force with activity like this.  What real purpose will one thousand extra troops serve in that region?  Force protection is all I can think of, they certainly won't be staging an assault with numbers that low and once you consider the locale you realize that if FP hasn't already been accounted for then someone should be fired.

*  Why is this our fight?

*  Even the Japanese (whose tankers were attacked), and the Europeans (with the exception of the UK) don't believe the intel is conclusive.

*  Why are we allowing certain segments of the administration to wag the dog when the vast majority of the American people don't want another war in the region?

*  Has anyone considered a strategy other than military force?  Where is the State Dept on this?  I know the jokes about them being advocates of other countries and not the US but diplomacy needs to make a comeback in US foreign policy!


Open Comment Post. 18 June 2019

BALTOPS 2019 Amphibious Operations USS Fort McHenry

BALTOPS 2019: NATO forces land in Lithuania

Singapore Hunter IFV makes a Leopard 2 EVO look almost medium sized!

Thanks to Bernard for the pic!

Take a good look at this pic.  Do you see the Hunter IFV peeking over the shoulder of the EVOs?  I don't know that vehicle's weight but its size is undeniable!  It's taller than the EVO...I would say considerably taller.  Additionally its hull would appear (at least in this pic) to be taller and wider than the EVO's too.

Only now do I get where the US Army was coming from when they were talking about an IFV that would weigh as much as a M1 Abrams (more if you're talking about the M1A1).

The need to fit troops and their gear...along with providing protection simply means you're moving toward a larger vehicle.  Add a turret to the mix and  unless your MBT is sized like the Merkava out the box then you'll be looking at a huge vehicle out of necessity.

Is this an evolutionary dead end? 

Is this just a simple fact of how vehicle development is going and we all should accept it?

I just don't know.  What I do know is that this is the trend today.  Will it survive combat?

Time will tell...

Alaska Army National Guard and the Republic of Fiji Military Forces @ Khaan Quest 2019, Mongolia....Video by Cpl. Ryan Siddell

BALTOPS 2019.....Video by Lance Cpl. Nello Miele

173rd Airborne conducts air assault @ Swift Response 19....

Monday, June 17, 2019

MBDA unveils its vision of Future Offensive/Defensive/Payload Missiles

Check out the press release here, but get a look-see at the pics below...


MBDA FAS – Cruise Missiles MBDA







The Top Ten Battles of All Time......Battle # 8 Huai-Hai - Chinese Civil War, 1948

via HistoryPlace.com
Despite efforts by the United States to mediate an agreement, the Communists and Nationalists resumed their armed conflict soon after the conclusion of World War II. In contrast to their weaker position prior to the war, the Communists now were stronger than the Nationalists. On October 10, 1947, Mao called for the overthrow of the Nationalist administration.

Mao, a student of Washington, Napoleon, and Sun Tzu, began to push his army south into the Nationalist zone. Whereas the Nationalists often looted the cities they occupied and punished their residents, the Communists took little retribution, especially against towns that did not resist. Now the Communists steadily achieved victories over the Nationalists. During the summer of 1948, the Communists experienced a series of victories that pushed the major portion of the Nationalist army into a cross-shaped area extending from Nanking north to Tsinan and from Kaifeng east through Soochow to the sea.

Mao decided that it was time to achieve a total victory. On October 11, 1948, he issued orders for a methodical campaign to surround, separate, and destroy the half-million-man Nationalist army between the Huai River and the Lung Hai Railway--the locations that gave the resulting battle its name. Mao divided his battle plan into three phases, all of which his army accomplished more smoothly and efficiently than anticipated.
Story here. 

Lessons from this "war"?  Never leave a foe to escape that is all but defeated.  The Nationalist caused the Communist to go on a long deadly retreat.  They started with 100,000 troops, ended with 20,000 and the Nationalist didn't kill them off as a fighting force.

Never ravage a population.  The Communist treated captured populations properly but the nationalist didn't.  Of course that changed after they achieved victory but you get the idea.

Another lesson is that air power isn't enough.  You can own the skies but if you can't effectively employ that power then it will NOT win the war for you!

That's what I got from this quick little summary.  I'll want to read up on this fighting.  China's past might help prepare us for the future fight.

Third Gripen E test aircraft made its maiden flight in Linköping, Sweden