Bi-Ho / Flying Tiger upgrade

There's yet another self-propelled anti-air gun upgrade which adds a couple very short range air defence missile launchers. We've seen this on the American LAV-AD (combined from scratch), a Gepard upgrade package (addition of Stingers), Tunguska (combined from scratch), some ZSU-23-4 upgrade packages, Chinese Type 95 before. 

old K-30 Bi-Ho shape
Quick reminders:

I suppose it's now safe to say that the majority of modern army SP VShorAD assets are a tracked vehicle with light armour, a turret, a radar, a FLIR, a laser rangefinder, at least two 25-35 mm barrels and at least two missiles.

The division of labour is between the cannons for shorter range air defence and defence against ground threats and the missiles for greater range. The typical missile is an ordinary ManPADS with passive infrared/UV seeker and thus susceptible to the countermeasures which were developed against this kind of missiles since the 80's.

Curiously, the Bundeswehr insists on missile-only solutions such as Ozelot (Gepard is retired). I hope they will revise this, for autocannons aren't obsolete; they provide a chance to kill a flying object at much lower costs. This is essential against cheap drones.
I would prefer a mix of versatile 76 mm rapid fire guns with high maximum elevation, laser beam rider missiles (counter-platform) and radio controlled missiles (cheap counter-PGM) instead, but there is no budget for this.



  1. Do they really offer a chance to kill "flying objects" at lower cost? The platform cost for the gun system is much higher to begin with. Ozelot fits on a Wiesel chassis, while Gepard required a much larger, heavier tank chassis. The gun systems themselves are larger and more expensive too.

    It's only the marginal cost of the rounds themselves that are lower (though 76mm DART rounds probably aren't cheap).

    I actually like the LFK NG concept, if they can make it work. The platform can be as cheap as a few soldiers with packs and a couple rounds ("Crewpad"), or a 4WD truck. The rounds themselves won't be that cheap, but you can buy quite a few for the cost of one modern Gepard or 76mm armed 8x8 AFV.

    1. Fixed costs become unimportant if distributed over many actions.
      The variable costs of a 30 mm salvo or two are a tiny fraction of the variable costs of a modern ManPADS.
      LeFlaSys/Ozelot is practically useless against the Bundeswehr's own Aladin drones. It's no good idea to be limited to MG3 only against drones; their effective radius is tiny and few platforms with the sensors necessary to sense the drones can be afforded.

      And you should look at the procurement cost of Stinger purchases, for example. They vary from about $ 100k to 200k per missile, depending on what support etc. is in the deal included.
      You cannot expect to deal with the vast majority of battlefield drones (= small ones) with this.

    2. It has to be distributed over MANY actions to offset the enormous up-front and life-cycle costs. Plus, you have to build enough of them to cover a useful amount of territory.

      It still feels like buying a sledge hammer to kill roaches.

      We had this same discussion a while back on your 75/76mm cannon thread.

      I still feel that fire control upgrades for an IFV's 30mm cannon along with planned airburst rounds would make life short for opposing small UAVs overflying heavy forces. We could also build a cheaper missile that is designed to kill UAVs. The Qinetiq Cougar is an interesting concept.


      If we want a specialized system, then push forward with a laser/missile combo. A 70kt UAV should be an easy target even for a relatively low-powered laser. Boeing has tested a laser for use on the HMMWV-based Avenger system. It's not very powerful, but a minor bump might make it suitable for killing small UAVs.

      Rheinmetall has tested a 50kw laser that would be useful here too.