Friday, January 12, 2018

Romania buys Piranha 5.

Today, General Dynamics European Land Systems signed a contract to deliver up to 227 PIRANHA 5 wheeled armored vehicles in six different configurations to the Romanian Armed Forces. The contract has a total value exceeding $1 billion. It is part of the Romanian Army’s plan to modernize its...

This news is all over the place so this isn't to inform my readers but to ask a question.

I understand the popularity of wheeled infantry vehicles for forces that have to travel great distances.

It just makes too much sense based on logistics alone.

But Romania isn't one of those countries.  Neither are a few that I can name that also jumped on the wheeled IFV bandwagon.

The question is this.

Assuming that this program is designed to blunt a Russian invasion (an invasion that I continue to believe WILL NOT HAPPEN), then do they believe the nature of the fight in Europe has changed?

Hear me out on this one.  Challenger, Abrams, Leopard and LeClerc were born from the idea of intense combat.  So were their stablemates, the Bradley, Warrior, Marder etc....

If high intensity warfare does return to Europe (and I'm proven wrong as two left feet) will wheeled IFVs stand up to the fight?

I just wonder.

Remember the things that once made a good fighting vehicle.  Low silhouette, fast (forward and back), good armor especially over the frontal arc....I'm not so sure wheeled vehicles check those boxes.

My point is this.

The US has skewed its way of warfare toward being totally offensive.  Even in the defense we're offensive!  Think about it like this.  Why would we need to penetrate A2/AD?  Why have we had a premium on knocking down anti-ship missiles instead of developing our own?

If this way of thinking has truly become our way of warfare then we've seriously allowed current mission mindset invade our future warfare thinking.

Have our allies made the same mistake and are buying vehicles that aren't tailored to their defense needs?

Full Disclosure!  I'm a huge fan of the Piranha 5.  I think its an awesome vehicle.  This isn't a critique of the vehicle, just musing about whether its the right one for Romania's needs.

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