Thursday, April 04, 2019

SOCOM wants a new Armored Ground Mobility Vehicle...

via The Drive.
U.S. Special Operations Command has laid out the first basic requirements for a new light armored vehicle to give elite American forces added protection, firepower, and mobility over even their heaviest mine-resistant trucks. These would replace an obscure fleet of Austrian-designed wheeled armored vehicles that the U.S. Army’s Delta Force, among others, has utilized over the past two decades. They could also supplant the Stryker armored vehicles assigned to that service’s 75th Ranger Regiment, which made a notable appearance in northern Syria two years ago.

Logan Kittinger, Special Operations Command’s (SOCOM) Deputy Program Manager for Family of Special Operations Vehicles (FOSOV), first revealed the Next Generation Armored Ground Mobility System (AGMS) program at the National Defense Industry Association’s (NDIA) annual Tactical Wheeled Vehicles Conference on Feb. 4, 2019.

Kittinger's briefing notes that SOCOM is expecting to continue developing the requirements for the new armored vehicle, as well as looking at what existing options are available, into 2020. However, it does outline some key features that the special operations forces are looking for already.

The final design will have to be able to carry between nine and 10 passengers and have a total payload capacity of 4,500 pounds or more. The vehicle will have to fit inside a C-130-series transport aircraft, as well.

This is similar in many respects to the existing AGMS, which is a variant of the 6x6 Pandur I light armored vehicle that Austrian conglomerate Steyr-Daimler-Puch Spezialfahrzeuge, or SSF, first developed the in the 1980s. These vehicles have a crew of two and can carry seven additional personnel. They have a gross weight of around 30,000 pounds and are also C-130 transportable.

Beyond that, the requirements for the Next Generation AGMS call for an unspecified “heavy weapons capability” using a remote weapon station, and a desire for “improved situational awareness.” Though not specific, these both point to a demand for special operators to be able to operate effectively from within the confines of the vehicle with its hatches closed.
Story here. 

Read the whole thing but from my seat it looks a bit like this.  SOCOM will NOT WANT a vehicle in service with the US military unless its becoming cost sensitive which I seriously doubt.  So who does that leave?  The Eitan (probably the finest wheeled APC in the world right now that doesn't need to swim) is out because its Israeli.  Full stop.  Sucks but true.  We can figure everyone's darling is out because its too damn heavy, the German Boxer.

My guess is that they're left with a few scant options because of the C-130 transportability issue (ya know we've got to get a bigger tactical transport...the C-130s limitations are becoming backbreaking to the ground force).

Next gen Pandur seems like a likely option.  Someone will probably get a nice contract to add sensors and possibly a heavy weapon.

The S. Korean Black Fox could get a look if they cast their net wide enough but I don't know if they will.  For some reason the US military tends to look West instead of East even though we're seeing some tremendous innovation from the Pacific Rim.

If I was running SOCOMs shop I'd be running to Patria and asking about this beauty.  It's my personal favorite for this program but I'm just a blogger.

Time will tell but it'll be interesting.

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