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LarsS

Why do most IFVs lack ATGMs?

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Let's compare apples to apples. Compare Bradley with BMP-3 not the ancient BMP-1/2. It's the same as saying that 30 year old man will kick the ass of a 70 year old men.

You can do a test in game - set up 5 BMP-3 vs 5 Bradley's and see the results.

Perhaps the comparison should be between BMP-3 and Stryker MGS?

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I dont see how that is true Sergi. Amphibious capability is a nice bonus but not important. Even if the IFV can swim what else can?

If the mechanized infantry is well equipped for the job (like USMC) and has air and artillery support, nothing else is needed - infantry can take the beachhead with support from their IFV's and with direct and indirect support from the other bank. Heavy vehicles aren't a necessity.

Having amphibious fighting vehicles with the troops rather than having them provided by engineer corps gives much greater flexibility and maneuvrability, resulting in better chances at taking enemy by surprise. I'm reminded here of the scene before Nijmegen river crossing in the film A Bridge Too Far where they are forced to wait for the 'assault' (more like suicide) boats to be brought through clogged roads to the front of the column. Or conversely, it lets you retreat across a river where there are no bridges without abandoning all equipment. And if the enemy doesn't have amphibious capability, he can't even pursue!

And since IFV's have covered tops and they are effectively hull-down while swimming, they provide much better cover for infantry than any assault raft does.

BMP-2_Infantry_Armoured_Vehicle_India_02.jpg

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If the mechanized infantry is well equipped for the job (like USMC) and has air and artillery support, nothing else is needed - infantry can take the beachhead with support from their IFV's and with direct and indirect support from the other bank. Heavy vehicles aren't a necessity.

Having amphibious fighting vehicles with the troops rather than having them provided by engineer corps gives much greater flexibility and maneuvrability, resulting in better chances at taking enemy by surprise. I'm reminded here of the scene before Nijmegen river crossing in the film A Bridge Too Far where they are forced to wait for the 'assault' (more like suicide) boats to be brought through clogged roads to the front of the column. Or conversely, it lets you retreat across a river where there are no bridges without abandoning all equipment. And if the enemy doesn't have amphibious capability, he can't even pursue!

And since IFV's have covered tops and they are effectively hull-down while swimming, they provide much better cover for infantry than any assault raft does.

BMP-2_Infantry_Armoured_Vehicle_India_02.jpg

Yes it adds a flexibility and would be useful but doesnt add to an IFV's main role which is to bring infantry (where they would normaly have to walk not swim) toward an objective in lightly armoured cover and then provide a base of fire to support said infantry onto the objective.

Lack of amphibious capability does not make the IFV "not very useful."

Opposed river crossings are suicidal with modern weaponry. And who is to say the River banks are climable by verhicles.

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The concept of amphibious ability coincidentally became less important in the U.S. about the same time added armor made Bradley unswimmable. I always though that smacked of "doctrine being lead by capabilities" and not the other way around.

I had joked earlier that the U.S. seems to prefer invading countries that have lots of low concrete walls (combat shots invariably show infantry firing from behind low concrete walls). I suspect they prefer invading countries with 70 ton class bridges and few water courses too. :D

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Yes it adds a flexibility and would be useful but doesnt add to an IFV's main role which is to bring infantry (where they would normaly have to walk not swim) toward an objective in lightly armoured cover and then provide a base of fire to support said infantry onto the objective.

That is true, but then you don't really want an infantry fighting vehicle, a Humvee or armoured truck would fit your requirements. I consider amphibious capability very important, as it greatly increases a unit's operational mobility. In the case of Stryker, air-transportability by C130 was deemed decisively important, but that is about strategic mobility which I don't see as equally important for this class of vehicles - but which becomes important if you're serious about world policing operations in random hot spots at short notice.

So it's a matter of perspective and therefore we can recite the Golden Rule: "If there are two or more ways to rank things, choose the way that makes Finns (in this case Patria AMV) look good."

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Perhaps the comparison should be between BMP-3 and Stryker MGS?

MGS does not carry any passengers, so it isn't a true IFV but a support vehicle.

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I've spotted several instances where a vehicle's firepower had been deliberately reduced to keep its use within 'doctrine'. There's an old saying, if it looks like a tank some idiot will try to use it like a tank. So you keep your APCs within APC specs, your anti-tank assets within anti-tank specs and your tanks within tank specs. If one vehicle class encroaches too far on the capabilities of another you're going to wind up with something that's neither fish nor foul. Steve's (obvious) contempt for the BMP-3 seems to be directly related to this. In his estimation its a two-mission vehicle with both missions getting the short end of the stick in the design.

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That is true, but then you don't really want an infantry fighting vehicle, a Humvee or armoured truck would fit your requirements. I consider amphibious capability very important, as it greatly increases a unit's operational mobility. In the case of Stryker, air-transportability by C130 was deemed decisively important, but that is about strategic mobility which I don't see as equally important for this class of vehicles - but which becomes important if you're serious about world policing operations in random hot spots at short notice.

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Mikey D,

I've spotted several instances where a vehicle's firepower had been deliberately reduced to keep its use within 'doctrine'. There's an old saying, if it looks like a tank some idiot will try to use it like a tank. So you keep your APCs within APC specs, your anti-tank assets within anti-tank specs and your tanks within tank specs. If one vehicle class encroaches too far on the capabilities of another you're going to wind up with something that's neither fish nor foul. Steve's (obvious) contempt for the BMP-3 seems to be directly related to this. In his estimation its a two-mission vehicle with both missions getting the short end of the stick in the design.

The BMP-3 is not in limbo, sitting outside of Russian doctrine. I'm sure it fulfills its intended role very well, which is to support the leading rifle regiments in breakthrough attacks. Rider comfort, carrying capacity, etc are secondary. The most important element, as the Russians saw, is to bring tremendous fire power to the fight, so the enemy defenses can be suppressed and mopped up by riflemen. The BMP-3 is not a patrol vehicle, as some people on this thread seem to think.

Sure better armor would be desirable. But I would sacrifice it for better firepower. Superior application of firepower, not thicker plate, protects the friendly force. Ask the Germans.

Besides, modern AT weapons are so effective (AT-14, Javelin etc) that having thick armor doesn't matter a whole lot. An AT-14 doesn't care if you're in a ERA Bradley or a BMP-3. Either way it will KO both vehicles reliably. And historically forces have gotten incredible use out of thin armored vehicles with 'hammers.' The Marder, Su-76, US TD's etc all served admirably despite being vulnerable to all heavy weapons. I mean, just because an AFV was vulnerable to Panzerschreks didn't make it useless. All armor plate needs to do is keep out the light, stealthy AT that firepower arms can't chew on when engaging.

And if BMP-3's are being used like tanks or something else, its not a problem with the vehicle. It is a problem with doctrine. Just fire the blockheads and put men in charge that understand how to use the assets they are given.

If anything, the Stryker seems out of place, in terms of basic doctrine. It is too lightly armed to be classified as a real IFV, while it is too heavy and expensive to be optimum as a basic APC. Really an upgraded M-113 or BTR would serve better in these roles.

And one final thing. Trying to rank IFV's by seeing which ones trump the others in a direct duel is silly. IFV's aren't designed with the purpose to kill the enemies IFV's. The value of an IFV is shown in its ability to get its infantry to where they need to be, alive, and then support them with effective fire. Leave the IFV and tank killing to the tanks and ATGM formations.

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And one final thing. Trying to rank IFV's by seeing which ones trump the others in a direct duel is silly. IFV's aren't designed with the purpose to kill the enemies IFV's. The value of an IFV is shown in its ability to get its infantry to where they need to be, alive, and then support them with effective fire. Leave the IFV and tank killing to the tanks and ATGM formations.

I agree with that, actually. It's kinda like trying to rate the effectiveness of a Sherman by putting it toe-to-toe with a Tiger or Panther.

As it happens, it'd be kinda interesting to use CMSF to test your hypothesis, and fairly easy too. Set up a ... 3km x 3km(?) map, rolling farmland, with some trees and maybe a little village. Establish the defenders as ... say ... half of a US Army Combined Arms Bn (from an HBCT, so one platoon of infantry in Bradley, and one platoon of Abrams), supportted by a reasonable allocation of spt assets - some engrs, artillery, AT, etc. Then create duplicates of the scenario in which the attackers are respectively a BMP-3 bn, a BMP-1/2 bn, a Stryker Bn, and a Bradley Bn (although since they don't exist anymore you might have to go for a full CA Bn from an HBCT), again with a reasonable allocation of spt assets.

Then go at it like a $5 dollar hooker on the night the fleet drops anchor.

H2H would probably work best, but trying to find someone who knows how to use each of those bn types well might be the biggest challenge.

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JonS,

I agree with that, actually. It's kinda like trying to rate the effectiveness of a Sherman by putting it toe-to-toe with a Tiger or Panther.

Exactly. The Sherman (and other tanks like the T-34) didn't earn their praise by killing big cats. They were good AFV's because they could appear where required in more than adequate numbers and bleed the defending German infantry white when properly supported.

As it happens, it'd be kinda interesting to use CMSF to test your hypothesis, and fairly easy too. Set up a ... 3km x 3km(?) map, rolling farmland, with some trees and maybe a little village. Establish the defenders as ... say ... half of a US Army Combined Arms Bn (from an HBCT, so one platoon of infantry in Bradley, and one platoon of Abrams), supportted by a reasonable allocation of spt assets - some engrs, artillery, AT, etc. Then create duplicates of the scenario in which the attackers are respectively a BMP-3 bn, a BMP-1/2 bn, a Stryker Bn, and a Bradley Bn (although since they don't exist anymore you might have to go for a full CA Bn from an HBCT), again with a reasonable allocation of spt assets.

Certainly the most sane way to compare the value of different IFV's. However there is still the problem that the US's other arms are so overpowered compared to the Syrians (eg Javelin, arty, aircraft) that the true value of the IFV's may be difficult to see. If Syrians could be armed with Javelins and super reactive arty, or the the US infantry was 'dumbed' down to the Syrian level, it would probably be a fairer test.

Also I'm not sure how many people would be willing to take this much effort to conclude this debate. Still though, a great idea.

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However there is still the problem that the US's other arms are so overpowered compared to the Syrians (eg Javelin, arty, aircraft) that the true value of the IFV's may be difficult to see. If Syrians could be armed with Javelins and super reactive arty, or the the US infantry was 'dumbed' down to the Syrian level, it would probably be a fairer test.

Not really. If you used something akin to the NABLA scoring system, it reduces not to a contest between the attacking battalion(s) and the defending platoons, but to a contest directly between the attacking battalions.

In other words, none of the attackers have to beat the defenders, they just have to do better than the other attackers.

Also I'm not sure how many people would be willing to take this much effort to conclude this debate.

Certainly not I :D

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Brads with TOW not only smashed entire formations of T-72s with ease in gulf war I, they outscored M-1 Abrams over the war as a whole. Which was saying something.

Vision gear was the killer ap of that war, and in the open terrain the longer range and high accuracy at extreme range of the TOW, outweighed even the epic survivability of the M-1.

As for the evolution of ATGM vehicles, the US fielded ITVs on M113 chassis first, as a pure AT weapon. The modern form of that is dedicated AT versions of the LAV and of hummers in light forces. The corresponding Russian example is the AT BRDM formations. All of them are eggshell with hammer solutions to mobile AT firepower for the other-than-tank formations.

Clearly the heavy mech can do even more with IFVs with ATGMs on every vehicle. This gives them armor-level firepower, though with less survivability to the full variety of enemy anti-armor weapons. The real reason many contemporary armies have deviated from that standard is the threat is so often so low - it is militia infantry rather than an enemy heavy mech force.

I'd still rather have at least a chain gun on the IFV. The firepower support available with at least that is significantly above what MG main armament can offer (though stabilized, optic'd, and remote is way better than just flex MG). But ATGMs on every IFV are only something you need facing a serious heavy mech enemy in high intensity warfare - and that just isn't happening.

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About Stryker and ATGM, in the game at least every one of them carried a Javelin sight and missiles. An IFV doesn't have to bolt an ATGM on the roof to field an ATGM. The 'bad idea' about IFVs mounting ATGMs is they've got to at least partially expose themselves to target and fire. How well does that work for BMP-2s in the game? Easily man portable weapons means the IFV stays safely behind the hill and that distant tank still gets K.O.'d. The best of both worlds.

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I actually don't know. :D

Some instructors have pointed out that it's pretty nice feature to have and some troops (at least recon) are doing it actively, but i don't know much more about it.

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I actually don't know. :D

Some instructors have pointed out that it's pretty nice feature to have and some troops (at least recon) are doing it actively, but i don't know much more about it.

I just ask because the USMC (and maybe the Army's lightfigher community) said the same thing regarding their Humvee-mounted TOWs, but I haven't ever heard of it being used operationally.

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With TOW and the way USMC and US Army in general (by my understandment) operates it in small teams so i wouldn't be surprised that they don't much do it. We dedicated whole squad (7 guys) to handle one TOW to make it "foot-borne" and i think it's was pretty much minimal sized unit already.

Russian ATGM-systems are much more easier to move with 2-3 guys. One guy should be enough to carry launcher while rest carries missiles. So basically it should be much more suitable to be used as seperate weapon.... But still i don't know is it just bonus feature which is mostly just talk.

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