Sunday, June 24, 2018

Emerging Armored Fighting Vehicle Paradigm...via UK Landpower --- We're seeing a blending of traditional lines....

As part of his write up on whether the Challenger 2 upgrade is worth it, UK Landpower posted the above pic.

Drink it in and then consider what we're seeing today.

I dare say that we're seeing a blending of the traditional lines.  Even without the push to larger caliber guns on IFV/ICV could most not be classified as Tank Destroyers?

When talking about armored fighting vehicles are we talking about "intended" function or "apparent" capability?

Let's use the KF-41 as an example.

It has a 30mm cannon and spike anti-tank missiles.  Evolution has occured, munition tech has advanced and today a KF-41 could challenge many Main Battle Tanks up to and including those from the early 70's.  Even today it stands a good chance against the most modern rides if it has flanking shots on the enemy with its main gun and even frontally if it uses missiles.

I can make a credible case that the KF-41 (and others like it) is a hybrid vehicle.

A troop carrier that has definite tank destroyer characteristics?  To take it a step further I would contend that combining the role of troop carrier with this amount of firepower actually degrades their utility.

Why have anti-tank missiles if you're not to engage tanks?  Is this purely defensive?  If so then why do we have anti-tank missile teams in infantry squads that are transported by these rigs?

UK Landpower got the emerging paradigm right.  The problem is that conventional thinking is probably wrong. We're asking our vehicle crews to transport infantry...basically serve as motherships to them, engage enemy fortifications/infantry, engage enemy vehicles up to and including tanks, while at the same time hoping that they survive these type encounters because if they don't then we have the problem of 12 Marines that need a ride because they can't be left behind while the rest of the battalion pushes ahead.

Consider this.

A modern peer vs peer fight could leave lets be generous and say 1/4 of your vehicles disabled/destroyed.  Lets start with 20 vehicles and do the simple math.  For the Marines that means that after a fight against a technological equivalent or near equivalent foe we would have 60 Marines out of fight not because of injuries (assuming everyone was ok) but because they no longer have transport.

This is contrarian thinking and it might be wrong but maybe we should be decoupling roles...maybe going with larger caliber weapons/anti-tank missiles IS NOT the right answer.  Should we standardize on 50 caliber machine guns and 40mm grenade launchers so that we don't have our crews engaging in fights that could actually degrade the combat performance of the Ground Combat Team?

Note..I know everyone is going to point to the "holy grail" of modern armor warfare, the battle of 73 Easting.  I just don't know if that isn't simply a one off or the future.  If its the future then the current "hotness" is the right way to go.  If it's an anomaly then I'm right.

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