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CMSF goodies on the Military Channel

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Despite one horrendous grog gaffe after another, the Military Channel has managed to provide some extremely on point material. For example, I recently caught the tail end of the Anatomy of the Abrams, much of which featured MARINE M1A1s in Iraq, complete with a lot of combat specific info, such as who looks where, coupled with great footage showing showing how the Marine M1A1s work with their infantry. A big surprise was the presence of a rear mounted phone, given how hot the rear of an Abrams is from the scorching turbine exhaust. Sadly, the ammo analysis was marred by incompetent boobs on graphics. Were we to believe what was shown, the M256 120mm cannon fires the entire round out, after which the DU long rod KE penetrator sails to the target. Likewise, I was fascinated to "learn" that the canister subprojectiles are housed in the cartridge casing where the powder is actually stored. Spectacular survivability and weapon test sequences shown, to include the canister round vs. a building front.

Have watched part of a similar program called Anatomy of a Stryker, and it was about as topical as it gets, complete with interviews of the current? commander of the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry division, the first SBCT to see combat and my brother George's old unit. Footage seen so far was tremendous and covered Strykers with and without slat armor, the TOW Hammerhead, MGS, digital data exchange, Stryker use in combat in Iraq, with the troops being followed from mount up to end of house clearing, etc. Juicy!

Combat Zone last night featured a battle perfect for scenario designers: Haditha, Iraq. The QRF rolls to protect government buildings, only to find the riot was a trick to get it into an ambush. Initial forces are 1 Army platoon and two early .50 cal MG armed Hummers vs. ~100 heavily armed and munitioned insurgents in vicious MOUT. This program is a must watch if you get the chance and features tons of interviews with the GIs who were there, some of whom were extraordinarily lucky to survive.


John Kettler

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Stryker costs the same as a Bradley... wow. The Stryker gets clobbered by BMP's in daylight. I'm not sure how they got the price up that high. Also they have a mechanic on there toting the 350hp engine. Is there a vehicle in the US arsenal with a worse power to weight ratio than the Stryker? I thought it was really bad, almost like watching a commercial. The interviews were funny.

Hmm? Do they really cost the same? According to Wikipedia, Bradley's average unit cost is $3,166,000. Meanwhile the Stryker article says that "the unit cost to purchase the initial Stryker ICVs (without add-ons, including the cage armor) was US$3 million in April 2002. By May 2003, the regular production cost per vehicle was US$1.42 million."

Not that any of those figures are directly comparable. For instance, production costs have risen since the 1980's, so the cost of Stryker today is not comparable to the cost of Bradley back then (I'd assume that the bulk of the Bradley fleet was produced in 1980's?). Meanwhile, what Stryker cost in 2002 and 2003 doesn't give us average production cost. And Wikipedia is not always trustworthy, but then again, television sometimes makes Baghdad Bob look like the Sage of Divine Truth.

Stryker's power/weight ratio is pretty much the same as LAV-25's. But they're practically cousins, so what would you expect...

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