Thursday, September 06, 2018

What platform for the LAV-Next?

The Marine Corps has identified a need to develop an LAV-Next (my designation...don't know what they're calling it).  We've seen many proposals but I think I've settled on the best solution.  That'll come in a minute.  First the candidates.

Ajax Scout.

Some say the Brits have done our work for us.  I say its a nice vehicle but not ideal for Marine Corps use.  I won't talk about its size...well not directly anyway.  I will point out how it would "cube" aboard ship.  We're talking about almost M1 Abrams size (not quite but getting close).  Its tall, its heavy and while it will reportedly have outstanding ISR gear it doesn't swim.

EBRC Jaguar.

Again.  The French have developed a little wheeled monster.  This thing checks a lot of boxes.  Fast.  Heavily armed.  Can defend itself against the heaviest armor when it needs to break contact.  Superior ISR kit to develop a sense of enemy intentions.  This is an ideal candidate you would think.  But it doesn't swim.  Amphibious operations are our reason for being.  Crossing lakes, streams, rivers and other bodies of water is also a given.  We're talking about Marine Corps operations.  It's kinda essential.

The right platform?  VBTP-MR Guarani!

Everyone that looks at this requirement is looking at ready made solutions.  That's why the Ajax Scout and the Jaguar are so attractive to so many. They're plug and play solutions.

While that might seem attractive, at least on the surface, it fails to understand US law.

The thing has to have US content.  It must meet USMC requirements.  The basic platform is what we're looking at cause everything else WILL BE CHANGED, both out of desire and necessity.

With that in mind the VBTP-MR checks all the boxes.  If BAE/Iveco give it the same treatment they did with the Super AV then we'll have a vehicle that has commonality with our ACV, hopefully shares tons of components and as far as the base vehicle is concerned allows us to "neck down" our armored force to a family of vehicles.

They'll be close to the same ride.  One will be 8x8 and the other 6x6.

Is it as small as we'd like?


But the LAV-Next is going to have to be bigger to carry everything talked about.  A mast mounted optical system.  UAVs.  Medium caliber cannon.  Anti-tank missiles.  Scouts in the back.  Increased comms.

Yeah its gonna definitely be bigger than what we're using now.

The VBTP-MR is what we need.  It's just a matter of banging heads at BAE/Iveco (we won't have to do that...they'll be all over this like a micro bikini on a busty model).

But wait.  What about the Air Envelopment Concept using LAVs???

Yeah.  I remember that proposal.  Use CH-53K to lift the LAV-Next deep into enemy territory.  If I recall correctly the authors wanted to ditch the swim requirement entirely and to focus on buying a next gen LAV that would serve all roles, yet be light enough to be lifted by CH-53.

The argument was that it would give us unmatched mobility yada yada yada.

I didn't buy it one minute.

More air centric thinking that was more fanciful than practical.

At the end of the day...

At the end of the day I'm focused on the platform.  We can fill it with whatever we want but the platform has to be right.  Its gotta swim, gotta be mobile on the battlefield.  Has to be able to carry everything we need our next gen vehicle to carry etc.  But the platform is the vessel in which we pour our requirements.  If it ain't right then the rest won't be right.  The VBTP-MR is not only right but it gives us a chance to save a few coins on maintenance (if BAE gets it done right), training and perhaps even production costs.

If nothing else its worth investigating.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.