Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Land 400 Phase 3 looks impressive. Too bad it'll be killed.

British AJAX (ASCOD 2)

Puma IFV


You think Land 400 Phase 2 has tough competition?  Wait till you see Phase 3?  According to many publications (including the excellent Defence Technology Review) the above vehicles are all in the running for the contract.

I never in my life thought that I would say that the CV9035 would seem dated but in this field it does.  The Ajax, in reality a total redo of the Ascod, deserves a better nomenclature than Ascod 2.  Its a new beast and takes that vehicles performance to a new level.

The Puma?  No need to talk about that.  Its everyone's favorite and has fans in every country.  In my opinion its typically German.  Over engineered and expensive.  I don't know if those are qualities you want in a vehicle that will be operated cross country by 18 year olds.

Interestingly enough the Aussies put in an escape clause to expand the Phase 2 purchase and outright cancel the Phase 3 program.  Check this out via Australia Defence.
In the first official confirmation of the number of platforms under consideration, the Phase 3 RfI refers to 312 turreted direct-fire high-survivability IFVs, 26 command-and-control vehicles, 16 Joint Fires vehicles, 11 engineer reconnaissance vehicles, 14 ambulances, 14 recovery vehicles, 18 repair vehicles, and 39 combat engineer variants. The phase also includes 17 manoeuvre support vehicles (MSVs).
According to the RfI, the ideal solution would be a tracked and turreted IFV with high levels of protection and mobility commensurate with the M1A1 main battle tank and capable of lifting a standard infantry battalion eight-man section.
However, in order to better understand cost versus capability trade-offs and through-life ownership costs, information was also requested on solutions based on tracked APCs and wheeled AFVs in the IFV role.
As thrilling as Phase 3 would be, I'm betting that they're gonna go wheels and Phase 2 gets expanded to cover the IFV role.  The cost, benefit equation just doesn't favor tracks.  With the survivability found in many of the vehicles in Phase 2 coming close to that of their Phase 3 counterparts the added cost of tracked vehicles just doesn't make sense.

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