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Marines Out of Tank Warfare!


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A little case study from the Big Igloo: Canadian Armed Forces wanted to replace Leo 1s with mobile gun systems in the 2000s. Leo 1s were losing their relevance, and the LAV family was proving pop

Now MOD might be merely trimming off a few tanks - and looking to provide private security for Quatar footie games to make a few quid on the side https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54126146 Also

Done with a booming voice-over, explosions and mech parts flying through the air... THE TIME IS NOW FOR CM: BATTLETECH.  🙂🙃🙂

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21st Century aircraft are the perfect weapons for waging limited warfare from distance and have plenty of future development still in them - in both respects they trump fighting vehicles. UK has an aircraft capability deficit. UK is also in need of half a dozen fast, high tech patrol vessels to patrol and protect its waters post Brexit. It's about balance of priorities and utility and the real politick of future conflict.

 

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15 hours ago, slysniper said:

So, this is exactly the concept to some extent. So a small platform 150 with just enough protection to keep the ammo safe and the mechanics firing. Crew gets out at the zone of departure and mans it remotely. Drive this up and fire on a heavy defense with enemy combatants. No, it does not need a bunch of high tech attached. 

How small could this be made, who knows. But for all the weight lost, the chances of getting it and having it available will increase as it becomes more possible to mobilize easily to needed locations.

 

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A little case study from the Big Igloo:

Canadian Armed Forces wanted to replace Leo 1s with mobile gun systems in the 2000s. Leo 1s were losing their relevance, and the LAV family was proving popular. This was well under way until they encountered well entrenched Taliban fighters. The tough mud buildings and rocky cliffs were impervious to everything but the heaviest of weaponry.

Leo 1s started doing their job: help the infantry break through. The MEXAS upgrade came into action. Instead of ditching the tank, CAF began leasing German Leo 2s -- and using them to great effect against the Taliban. After that, the CAF began purchasing Leo 2s and the mobile gun system became a distant memory.

Lesson of the story? Tanks may seem silly to a nation that avoids prolonged ground campaigns. However, the fighting on the ground still boils down to Joes fighting other Joes with their rifles. Anywhere you see heavy infantry fighting, you will see tanks rolling around like lions.

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20 hours ago, slysniper said:

but I see it as, if they spot and shoot first, I am likely dead ANYWAY.

So whatever unit you are thinking of with auto cannons, I see my force with a machine also with auto cannon or better capability. But its smaller, faster and possible the crew is safe behind the hill it is defending. Hopefully more of them than yours because my cost levels.

yes, can it be lost , sure, but my logic is, at a cheaper price, maybe saving the crew because of possible remote operation and hopefully just as deadly as what I am fighting against.

The concept of armour saving my crew is a concept that is past our day and time other than from small arms, and even them have the ability to penetrate a decent amount of steel with some of the special stuff out there now

Spot first, shoot first, kill first is called into question for atgms with the introduction of active protection systems.

So against active protection systems you either have to try to overload the system with several missiles at the same time, deplete the defensive munitions or simply use KE.

To defeat een a current mbt with KE from the front you need 120+mm guns which by virtue of their size inherently require larger vehicles and once youre at 30 tons just to get the gun and associated ammo, optice, etc moving you might aswell put enough armour on it to protect it from autocannon and smaller caliber tank shells.

As far as costs are concerned, the optics, electronics, engines and weapons are making up the largest part of an afvs cost.Armour is comparaby cheap so your smaller and faster units might both lack the punch to actually ko mbts easily and lack the numerical superiority you hope for.

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1 hour ago, DerKommissar said:

However, the fighting on the ground still boils down to Joes fighting other Joes with their rifles. Anywhere you see heavy infantry fighting, you will see tanks rolling around like lions.

One definitely needs heavy support.  But, when fighting uncons like the Taliban one doesn't need all the bells and whistles of a modern MBT.  Assuming precision weapons can't do the job, one needs a heavily armored mobile large gun - maybe 200mm+ demolition cannon.  The Leo's were bought presumably cos there is little other choice these days if you want a heavily armored 120mm gun.  

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4 hours ago, Erwin said:

One definitely needs heavy support.  But, when fighting uncons like the Taliban one doesn't need all the bells and whistles of a modern MBT.  Assuming precision weapons can't do the job, one needs a heavily armored mobile large gun - maybe 200mm+ demolition cannon.  The Leo's were bought presumably cos there is little other choice these days if you want a heavily armored 120mm gun.  

Sure, the tricked-out Leo 2s may have been overkill for the job. NATO allies have plenty of spare parts, ammunition and infrastructure for them, though. CEFCOM could hardly afford an in-house design, or the logistics for such a unicorn. Not to mention that the tank concept was on trial, and the government did not want to commit to it.

A dedicated heavy SPG with a casemate (ie. ISU-152, Sturmtiger) loses the ability to fight on the move and lacks an effective coax MG. Which will make it less useful on the march or against flanking infantry. The alternative is essentially an up-gunned MBT... which seems to be the way Leo 2 is upgrading. 

I do think you have a point, though. Western MBTs were designed with an anti-AFV focus. That capability is not cheap, and effective anti-personnel ammunition is just coming into service. There is a realization that these MBTs are going to be fighting more infantry than AFVs. Can we see a Western version of a T-72 to fill that role, on a budget?

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23 hours ago, DerKommissar said:

Lesson of the story? Tanks may seem silly to a nation that avoids prolonged ground campaigns. However, the fighting on the ground still boils down to Joes fighting other Joes with their rifles. Anywhere you see heavy infantry fighting, you will see tanks rolling around like lions.

Yup.....I'd love to see an infantry team advancing behind a Javelin or a Spike, using it for cover against small arms fire. 

16 hours ago, DerKommissar said:

Can we see a Western version of a T-72 to fill that role, on a budget?

From the western MIC.....No chance. 

Leopard 1 was probably as close as we've ever got.

It amused me to see @Wicky post the Ontos in response to an earlier comment.....Look how well loved that (& The Scorpion) was by its crews.

 

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead
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Just showing it had been tried - and below US is still dabbling in light mobile big guns with 105 Humvees.

Hadn't it been replaced by more tank like Sheriden

Still in some parts of the world cheapy Technical gun trucks can be pesky (and disposable) 

Maybe the answer is like the Ruskies have self-propelled mortar systems (so not in direct line of return fire) - and if used with precision laser designated rounds... 

 

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Why don't USMC take a closer look at project Griffin 2 ? Light tank within ~ 30 tons, firepower of M1 tank and excellent cross-country ability in difficult terrain. The same Chinese already have an analogue in form of TYPE15, in Russia Sprut-S is still being developed and it seems that Indians are looking closely at this light tank.

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Interesting article.      Especially the amount of ammo carried:  "The standard ammunition carriage is 1,980 rounds specifically for the automatic rifleman split across 22 30-round magazines, although 40-round and 60-round magazines are being tested. This compares to the typical 3 200-round belts, or 1,800 rounds per fire team, that were standard with the M249 (depending on the mission)."

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORTP3a7fErM&feature=youtu.be

Interesting comments made that the then Soviet leader was thinking back in the 60's that tanks were becoming redundant and stopped all heavy tank development.

I guess this is a topic that will keep popping up as technology changes.

BTW if you have not seen these Tank Chats from the Museum they are well worth the watch and subscribe to help keep them going during these tough times.

Edited by Holien
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4 hours ago, Holien said:

stopped all heavy tank development.

My understanding is that all modern tanks are described as "medium".  So, perhaps that merely signaled the end of tank evolution.

FYI:  Cost of a Javelin system approx $200K.  Cost of an M1 approx $6.2M.  So one can make about 31 Javs for one M1A1. 

Logistics and speed of projection of power is also a major factor.  M1A1 weighs about 67 tons.  Javelin system weighs about 43 pounds.   So one can transport almost 3,500 Javs or one M1A1.  

The main advantage to tank production these days is possibly that a lot more folks are employed in making a tank than a Javelin ATGM, and there already has been a massive investment in plant and machinery.  So, the mil-industrial complex loves manufacturing this sort of complex and very profitable equipment (as well as carriers and submarines) as a large amount of profit also comes from after sales maintenance.  

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An infantry support gun has been needed since, well, they've been around. The WWII 75mm and 150mm Regimental Cannon were gradually superseded by the various SPGs to tote those big 150mm's. 

Today? Well, thinking in naval terms, I like the idea of a land-monitor. ;)  I envision a support vehicle, in US terms, to aid the mounted infantry. There are some very good breech-loading 120mm mortars, in turrets. They are capable of direct fire (flat trajectory) and indirect fire with precision. Toss them on a Stryker or a Brad (or its replacement), add some vertical launch Javelin-ERs (a six pack?), and put 3 or 4 vehicles in the company support platoon. Allocate them to the maneuver platoons as needed, one support vehicle available per maneuver platoon (?).

Direct lay: Got a bunker ahead? Fire 120mm HE goodness in its face. Same with a fortified building. That's much more efficient than thousands of rounds of small arms or needing an MBT with a hyper-velocity round.

If you've got dug-in baddies, then the vehicles with the OTHER platoons can rapidly provide indirect mortar support. Again, 120mm goodness, organic to the company, will allow each platoon to help each other out. (Or, range dependent, the vehicle with the platoon.) 

 

If enemy armor appears, well, it's not there to fight tanks or IFV's, but with a six-pack of vertical launched Javelin-ERs, it's got fangs.

Obviously, since firepower if fun, I'd add a commander's RWS...in .50 cal. No, not the Ma Duece. I'm talking a GAU-19. 

 

 

That, to me, is the concept of an infantry support vehicle, modernized.

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5 hours ago, Holien said:

Interesting comments made that the then Soviet leader was thinking back in the 60's that tanks were becoming redundant and stopped all heavy tank development.

Not only tanks, barrel artillery was badly damaged. There was a gap of 20 years, and this still reverberates in modern Russia.

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MBTs are not going anywhere (China's armoured forces are growing substantially). The USMC failed to get their 20 percent women ratio and implementing co-ed training.... and will suffer the consequences of not fully participating in the US millitary social experiment. Sorry, if this offends the easily offended. The Marines will be reduced to a USN controlled overall mission with a light infantry concept (Where as the old Marines were heavy infantry). It not only lost it's armored battalions, it also lost most of it's artillery. The new Commandant of the Marines is willing to sacrifice Marine Corps customs and traditions to bring in the new age of peace with appeasement. I have a feeling the old Marine Corps will return soon enough.   

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2 hours ago, ThePhantom said:

The Marines will be reduced to a USN controlled overall mission with a light infantry concept (Where as the old Marines were heavy infantry). It not only lost it's armored battalions, it also lost most of it's artillery. The new Commandant of the Marines is willing to sacrifice Marine Corps customs and traditions to bring in the new age of peace with appeasement. I have a feeling the old Marine Corps will return soon enough.   

Yep, that's my conclusion, too. Marines are also losing some attack helicopters, on top of artillery and tanks. USN sees themselves as the primary defensive arm and don't see the need for USMC to spearhead a breakthrough, against a prepared defender. If the Marines encounter determined resistance, there will be a "Oh, that's why!" epiphany (like CEFCOM had in 2008).

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14 hours ago, Erwin said:

FYI:  Cost of a Javelin system approx $200K.  Cost of an M1 approx $6.2M.  So one can make about 31 Javs for one M1A1. 

How much to fire 20 HE shells into buildings by an Abrams, and how much to fire the same amount of javelins into those buildings?

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