2022/03/14

IFVs are failing AGAIN

This is yet another war in which Infantry Fighting Vehicles fail to shine.

So far the only successful significant applications of the IFV concept were against demoralised Arabs (specifically; Iraqis). Their tanks had no thermal imager sights, so of course IFVs were able to shoot anti-tank missiles at Iraqi tanks at night with impunity. Horse-mounted anti-tank missile teams could have done the same (the Western missile launchers had already thermal imagers at the time).

I do wonder whether there will ever be a serious debate about the Western infatuation with the IFV concept before it grossly fails us in a major war.

related:

/2009/06/challenging-ifv-concept-part-1.html

/2009/06/challenging-ifv-concept-part-2.html

/2014/06/challenging-ifv-concept-part-3.html

/2014/06/challenging-ifv-concept-part-4.html

/2010/02/panzergrenadiere-in-2010s.html

/2016/08/the-illogic-of-well-protected-apcs.html

 

My recommendation

is to either give (almost) all or (almost) no wheeled vehicles STANAG 4569 level 3 protection or no protection at all (in poorly funded armies). It makes no sense to give light armour to combat troops only, for light armour will help them little and they're much more capable of self-defence than support troops.

Reconnaissance vehicles might be equipped with STANAG 4569 level 4 protection (at least regarding the bullet penetration, as the frag proofing is much less relevant to them). They might encounter some of the many old bulletproofed armoured vehicles that mount 14.5 mm guns.

Then add assault guns (or tanks). Those need (at least) STANAG 4569 level 6 protection on most surfaces and angles, at the very least for the crew/passenger area and for possibly present secondary explosion hazards (munitions other than small arms rounds and munitions mounted externally). At least tanks meant for more than assault gun tactics should be equipped with active protections systems (IR/UV missile and muzzle flash detectors that double as all-round vision cameras, quick reaction multispectral smoke+chaff, hard kill against incoming ammunitions up to 900 m/s). Whether the cost and weight increase of going for frontal 60° protection against large calibre APFSDS is worth it or not will be discussed in a later blog post that was already under preparation pre-war.

What we do NOT need

are vehicles with too little infantry dismount strength for the price (such as seven dismounts in a € 10M vehicle) leading to dismounted weakness in battle, little versatility of passenger compartment (bulky shock protection seats that limit the volume usable for supply transportation and stretcher casualty evacuation) and a huge secondary explosion & fire hazard (anti-tank munitions stored inside).

Moreover, autocannons have found to be superfluous additions to main battle tank armaments over and over again. The reasoning was always the same; practically everything can be dealt with by either cannon or machineguns. And yes, this includes helicopter threats; there was a guided 120 mm anti-helicopter round under development in the 1990's in Germany, and Soviet/Russian/Ukrainian tank gun-launched anti-tank missiles can be used against helicopters as well.

So if tanks don't need a 20...40 mm autocannon (and nowadays it's widely accepted that 30 mm is a much better IFV calibre than the other autocannon calibres), then why would a mounted/dismounted combined arms team need some? It doesn't face opposing forces that tanks don't encounter.

I see only one excuse

for battlefield autocannons; the use in remotely-controlled weapon stations for air defence against flying drones.

This might justify a 20 mm calibre autocannon, albeit I favour .338 magnum calibre machinegun, as it would allow for a universal RCWS that could be used on light vehicles as well***. It should not be considered to be an offensive mounted combat weapon, but to be a self-defence weapon. The difference is that you intentionally expose IFVs to battlefield threats to bring their firepower (nowadays including missiles) to bear, whereas you wouldn't do so for a self-defence firepower capability.

 

S O

defence_and_freedom@gmx.de

*: "IFV" = tanks with an autocannon turret and a couple infantrymen. I don't care whether Panzergrenadiere consider themselves infantry or not.

**: .338 Magnum calibres punch better through light armour than 7.62x51NATO does. So all vehicles hardened against no more than the latter become vulnerable again. .338 is quite compact, allowed for much more ready and stowed munition than 12.7x99mm/.50BMG and it's easier in terms of size, weight and recoil of the gun.

.

68 comments:

  1. The idea for a ifv is that you need troops to follow the tank ,being the extra eyes for the tank and eliminating the anti tank infantry teams .
    If the tank would move to much ,at a higher speed ,the infantry team would not be able to follow the tank. From here the need for an APC. But why not just a battle taxi? Because,if the tank will speed up to a new location,the infantry team will have to wait for a battle taxi to pick them up. So the APC must be nearby the tank . And if the APC needs to hung around why not make it useful by putting a bigger gun on it , instead of just idle around ,doing nothing.

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    1. See the series; infantry supporting the tank while mounted stopped working long ago and a IFV doesn't see more than a MBT with quite the same optics.
      Nowadays you'd need overhead drones with thermal imagers to see much, and you'd need to see much up to 2 km.

      Battle taxis work best when the fighting in a woodland or settlement lasts for 30+ minutes, and such fights usually last for hours if not days. That's why HAPCs are vastly more efficient than more expensive IFVs.

      A "bigger gun" on a APC that turns it into an IFV also usually means two dismounts less, MUCH more expensive electronic and a huge secondary fire/explosion hazard due to the munitions for the 25...100 mm calibre gun. Finally "hanging around" with a medium protection vehicle is very dangerous. Even MBTs are at excessive risks in overwatch positions - hence the more elusive assault gun tactic I described in the previous post.
      And "doing nothing" = crew does maintenance, improves camouflage, receives supplies, eats and rests. Battle isn't a computer game where such things don't need to happen.

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    2. Today, we focus on the same force structure dating from WWII for aggression (Russia) and defence (Nato / EU), ie. combining tanks and IFV / HAPC / APC …, and the race for protection lead to increasing vehicle weight and logistics. Today’s spear is 100% heavy cavalry plus heavy infantry.
      Nato / EU is not (supposedly) in the business of aggression but in the business of defence against an invasion. For this we need forces capable of fast & long road march, fighting dispersed with a high tempo, with a small logistical footprint.
      Remotely controlled or autonomous ground robots most probably won’t be able to cope with a fluid fast paced environment, even by 2035, but small aerial platforms, sensors only, guiding fires from distance will be much cheaper, more survivable, and have greater autonomy.
      Current vehicles such as Leopard, Puma, or Boxer are just not adequate for these fast, agile Future Combat Teams. And since none are immune against opposing 125mm APDS, why not going instead for a “light cavalry” swarm approach with 6-8t amphibious armored buggies with a 2-3 crew in a stanag 4 capsule, equipped with APS and a mix of CKEM, NLOS Spike, Stinger, 25mm cannon (AA capable), light UAV … They could have the same mobility as tracked vehicles but would need much less support.
      The individual small load of ammunition would be offset by numerous shooters attacking and withdrawing to resupply in relays (like helicopters). Supply & maintenance & engineer would be concentrated at brigade / division level, which would have long range 100km+ MLRS and AA missiles to create A2/AD bubbles.
      A battalion would have 3 cavalry troops, and 1 troop of scouts plus sappers for demolition (same buggy with 5 seats, 40mm AGL + SAW), or combined arms troops.
      The objective would be to blunt the tip of the spear and to destroy the logistics. A troop of # 30 vehicles should be able cope against a motor-rifle battlegroup, a battalion against a brigade.
      This cavalry force is not optimized for urban warfare - but it does not need to. If a mechanized ground force invades a city, it can sever its line of communication and wait. It is not optimized against entrenched infantry defended by minefields, but the idea is to prevent infantry to do it by speed, and if not possible to leave it to artillery.
      This cavalry force would of course be completed with dedicated infantry forces (airborne, mountain …) for terrains not appropriate for mobile warfare.

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    3. "For this we need forces capable of fast & long road march, fighting dispersed with a high tempo, with a small logistical footprint."

      No. The defender can use "slow" light infantry, militia. That is the advantage of being defender.

      "Current vehicles such as Leopard, Puma, or Boxer are just not adequate for these fast, agile Future Combat Teams."

      Correct, but with the issue above not meaningful.

      "And since none are immune against opposing 125mm APDS, why not going instead for a “light cavalry” swarm approach with 6-8t amphibious armored buggies with a 2-3 crew in a stanag 4 capsule,..."

      This tankette approach has disadvantages if the attacker uses a mix of infantry (which easily kills light AFV) in combination with really heavy systems.

      Because Russian forces suck in Ukreaine because they worked with an assumption of no resistance, does not mean that something with broader base and more infantry does not work.

      Historically, (light) cav had clear disadvantages light armour has some of them too. A mix of ligt infantry and heavy armour gives in my opinion more options, esp. if you have to take positions or have to defend them, you can not longer trade land for survival of your forces.

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    4. Why a hapc would be less expensive than a ifv. It got an engine,tracks,armour ,just like a ifv. The gun is not that expensive, although the electronics and turrets tend to increase costs by over 30 percent.
      And a APC has defensive electronics like aps, laser alarm,audio senzors,smoke,day and night kit,NBC,fire suppression.
      Yes, a do it all ifv that target tanks and drones is expensive.but a ifv with a simple gun and target zoom not that much.
      If the enemy bullets fly inside ur hull than fire hazard is the least of ur problems.
      Is not than dangerous if u hung just behind the tank and don't attack tanks and drones by purpose .
      I didn't mention that the squad will fight mounted because that will defeat the purpose.
      As a Ifv u don't do camuflage and resting while the tank is fighting. Either u fight with the tank ,or rest with the tank.

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    5. "Why a hapc would be less expensive than a ifv."

      Sven explained it a few times. The cost driver are electronics.

      "I didn't mention that the squad will fight mounted because that will defeat the purpose."

      You have the same low or even worse dismount strength. And light tankks get killed by 20 year old ant-tank weapons of the light0 infantry.

      The advatnage of heavy tanks is that they are not easily killed by infantry, they pose a threat light tanks would not. If I face your light tanks I could operate with infantry.

      And again. A clever enemy may force you to attack or defend fixed positions, then a very heavy light combination offers much more.

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  2. IFVs and Tanks... The backbones of modern land forces yet very dubious concepts when you think about them.

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    1. Then you have not thought enough - at least not in case of tanks. :-)

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    2. On this I beg to differ. The experiences gained do only apply to the existing classes of vehicle and should not automatically extend to evolved concepts.
      While it is certainly ONE factor, the existing IFVs are not the single reason that our heavy forces tend to have a proportionally small infantry component. So if it is going to be small, should it not be well protected?
      One has also to see that the HAPCs of the Israeli type are still a case of reuse/refit of previous generation(s) armour. There is no case of an actually realized HIFV that exists and can be asessed for efficiency and survivability, because none of the concepts were ever built or even considered in earnest. But this is not due to a lack of possible designs.
      In my opinion, such a vehicle intended to suitably equip a heavy formation could integrate the roles of a HAPC and the RFCV mentioned in your earlier posts.
      If not, I agree that the weapons fit can be lighter (maybe as light as .50'+40mm, but still stabilized), but should still be able to act in direct support, so it would still be a combat vehicle. It also needs to be designed along with the MBT for maximum commonality of components and with the same degree of protection (active and passive) and mobility. Then a third component would fit in here - a vertical launch, mixed loadout missile carrier, to which the same criteria apply. This would be of importance if a MBT would come to be kinetic only. The fourth component would mean 'combat control', carrying and integrating sensors from elevated optronics, ground radar, drones along with the workstations to handle this information. Again designed to the same standard.

      Whenever the industrial side made mention of such concepts, they were outright turned down. Not surprising when meeting even the (still very low) 2% target for defence spending was only paid lip service until lately.
      If we are allowed to utilize the full capabilities of available technology, we can do better than minor evolutions on the MBT side and those compromise IFVs which you hold in disregard for good reasons. As we can never be sure about what our sales people do actually brief the military side on and what is not shown, I can tell you that a family like the one outlined above was among the possible responses to 'NGP' and would be even better founded technologically today with the advances made in power systens.

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    3. Above post was not intended to be a reply to the discussionbetween BK and Ulenspiegen, but to the original topic. Sorry - my fault!

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  3. @Neomys Sapiens
    It remains a fact that the IFV concept is very largely unproven in war and so far failed many times at war. Besides, the BMP-3 is about as well-protected as most Western IFVs. And jsut as those, it does carry too many secondary explosion hazards (munitions) due to its heavy armament.

    What you mention as "should [our infantry] not be well-protected" is the wrong way to look at it.
    IFVs do NOT protect our mechanised infantry well and in fact the dual role of IFVs as mounted combat vehicles and dismounted combat transporters does endanger our infantry. They may get carried into mounted combat.

    The cost driver with IFVs isn't its firepower (that's just an issue because it costs dismounts seats and because of secondary explosion hazards). It's the electronics; gunner's sight, sometimes independent commander's sight - basically all the electronics that also make MBTs expensive.
    IFVs never get the same protection as MBTs. It simply doesn't work given the space requirements of dismount seats, at least not while keeping identical mobility. Hardening against ~80 mm HEAT munitions and 30 mm APFSDS (both only frontal 60...90°) is the best that seems feasible for an IFV. To get more protection requires hard kill APS, which endangers dismounts when they are nearby and costs a lot.

    I remember the NGP concepts of the 90's. They studied a separation of IFVs into a firepower vehicle with IIRC 50 mm gun and an APC for their computer simulation somehow came up with the conclusion that IFVs are better. The outcome of simulations can be tuned to desired results better than a Russian election, of course.

    German military spending was huge in the past years, 2% or no 2%. The Bw doesn't know how to allocate and spend funds well. The budget is not to blame for our army hardware miseries.
    In fact, we could have gotten many more dismount seats with comparable protection if we had never started that Puma project.

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    1. I remember an old discussion in the Romanian army about splitting duties of the tank and Ifv. The tank would have a 152 mm gun and 20 apfds rounds. While the Ifv would have a turetless 76mm gun located in the death space from the upper middle of the hull, armed with 40 HE rounds for targeting infantry.
      The tank will be protected from 80mm rounds frontal and 25mm lateral .while the heavy Ifv(having the same weight of the tank) will have 40mm protection frontal and 25mm lateral,being twice the volume at the same weight. The Ifv will receive information from the dismounted infantry were to shoot .it would not have a turret,so it will require full hull rotation. Not really a problem,as hunting infantry doesn't require speed and precision.

      When asked why they prefer to have 250 t55(tr85..t55 on steroids) ,when at the same price they can maintain 50 modern tanks(leopard2,Abrams)the Romanian military delegate reply that the tank is used as... infantry suport vehicle.
      They also remove the at missiles from the turret of the piranha 5 Ifv(good thing that they preserve the 30mmgun) because...the AT missiles would not survive a real conflict when placed on the turret. So they keep them inside the hull,to be used by the dismounted infantry.

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  4. With the space vs. protection argument and the problem of hard-kill systems in proximity to dismounts you have made two points which can't be overlooked. Further, it does totally not fit in with, for example, any realistic and achievable ideas about German force structures. We might have made the error of designing for a heavy U.S. system of systems for which we would under no circumstances been allowed to bid - although I'm sure that we were too thorough that it could be dismissed as a mere engineers' pipedream.
    Of course, concepts like the 'all-electric MBT' or even those described above would have needed a high degree in dedication in the industry beyond the prime contractors - but much engineering talent is wasted every day on 'Komfort-Innenleuchten' and 'intelligent appliances'.
    But to clear one thing up - I did NOT claim that our existing IFVs protect the mounted infantry adequately under all combat conditions. Therefore the call to eliminate the artificial divide between the weight/cost/effort put into a MBT and that allocated to an IFV. And maintaining that an IFV to operate in heavy formations should also be air-portable in much lighter aircraft to serve with advance forces is taking the 'eierlegende Wollmilchsau' a bit too far.
    When I humbly look at accounts of combat by those who have experienced it or those that have had to lead troops as well as contributing to their conceptual development, I concede that I could have fallen into the hammer/nail trap - being an engineer, therefore seeking a technological solution to any problem. But I would never try to foist any solution below the capability of mine and that of my peers onto our or any allied military.

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    1. An electric vehicle could have 10 small wheels on one side,each wheel with an electric motor inside it . It could have similar performances as a tracked vehicle. Today they don't put more than 4 wheels on one side because the mechanical transmission is already a nightmare of axles

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  5. I have to admit that I did some minor work on the IFV named after the mountain lion of the American continent. But it was at least proper application of technology to muddled requirements. In contrast, any thinking engineer who was involed with several of the incompatible, haphazard excesses sold to the BW under 'GFF' should be ashamed as I surely am. At least two classes of vehicles were pushed through procurement without a proper requirement even existing. Let's hope that the current events do at least serve the purpose of re-focusing the authorities and the suppliers away from such abuse of funds and efforts.

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  6. Last Dingo:

    You write that IFV would fail again, but apart from links to previous articles of yours there is not a single proof, not a single evaluation of the ongoing conflict in the whole post. You are simply repeating your assertion without a single reference to any military lessons drawn from the ongoing war.

    In my opinion, you're increasingly falling prey to confirmation bias and just interpreting everything to fit your pre-established beliefs. You look for evidence of beliefs you already have. Or, as in this case, you're not even bringing any evidence, you're so caught up in an echo chamber.

    In addition, one could say that IFVs in particular are ideal for the assault gun concept you presented in another post (they can also be used very well as tank destroyers / Jagdpanzer) - then they do not need the level of armor you postulated - and that in the way they are currently being used in this War have proven their high value against dismounted / light infantry and were more successful against them than the main battle tanks, the same for urban combat.

    And for the future, the armament concept is generally better suited to consolidate airspace defense and shoot down uavs / ucavs and loitering ammunition.

    Of course, IFVs also need to be further developed, but this also applies to main battle tanks and all other armored vehicles.

    Also Hardkill does not automatically endanger dismounts. Moreover this is an question of doctrine. Especially the russian bronegruppa concept is quite useful here and you do not dismount under enemy fire anyway.

    But who cares argumentes, you did not even mentioned only one example from the current war as a prove of your claims in empty space.

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    1. You do dismount under fire when you have to. The dismounts better not sit in an IFV that's become immobilised under fire.

      I suppose everyone who reads this blog pays attention to the loss count in Ukraine, which shows that BMPs are being destroyed (BMP-3 even blow up) at a high rate.
      Minimum 104 Russian BMPs destroyed/captured/abandoned, plus many lesser types of IFVs:
      https://www.oryxspioenkop.com/2022/02/attack-on-europe-documenting-equipment.html

      I have not seen any indications that IFV proved to be more effective against infantry than MBTs in the Ukraine War.

      The anti-drone armament point is moot because I have argued for years that we need mass-produced RCWS that are capable against small drones. Those could be mounted on anything from 4x4 car to MBT as long as there's some space on the roof for a RCWS (thus no bridgelayer tanks).

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    2. Just to point out, BMPs are not really very well armored, hitting them from the side with an M-2 is enough to penetrate them. From memory, since I was serving during the transition time from "APC" to "IFV", the main difference was that while they have similar armor levels, the difference in weapons makes the IFV a viable threat to even MBTs, so unlike the APC, MBTs have to treat IFVs as a threat or they'll get killed and when 2 ABGs clash, a tanker will definitely get target overload. I know you were previously on Think Defence, remember Red Trousers and his AAR about a pair of Warrior IFVs killing a T-72 with their RADEN guns? IFVs are meant to be glass cannons, they can't take 125mm hits but in return, their cannons can damage and even kill an MBT.

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    3. https://thesovietarmourblog.blogspot.com/2014/10/bmp-3-underappreciated-prodigy.html
      43 mm ABT-102 (a good aluminium armour alloy, better than what the Americans use), equivalent to 18 mm RHA against AP projectiles (better than that against fragments). That should be penetrated by 12.7x99 mm AP at short distances (~19 mm RHA@500 m) on a perfect angle (saboted tungsten carbide AP 12.7x99 should penetrate up to about 1 km). It should stop 12.7 mm AP/AP-T/API on most occasions (distances, angles) except on previously weakened spots of the plates.

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    4. That's the "theory". In practice, they have been penetrated by HMG gunfire from the sides before and in a reasonable timeframe with 0.5 cal SLAP. Of course the front is immune to destruction from 0.5 cal so you either wait for it to pass by to give you a flanking shot or if you are mobile, flank them and hit them from the side if you are in an IFV.

      BMPs are not a good example of an IFV and Ukraine is not a good example of how to use one, so claiming the "failure" of the IFV on a case where 2 negative factors collide to form an expected debacle isn't proof of a failure of the IFV concept, it's proof that when people screw up, you get bad results.

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    5. The thing is that in many wars with many scenarios and different types (though mostly BMPs) through several decades there was never a conflict really supporting the IFVs concept. It's lacking practical proof of concept, and the original theory of an IFV does not fit to real existing IFVs and is defective anyway.
      And Marders would blow up just as easily as do BMPs when hit while loaded with Pfz3, MELLS or Milan munitions.

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    6. I should add that ".50cal SLAP" is a saboted 12.7x99mm round, so that's the stuff that theory says could penetrate from up to 1 km at good angle. The vastly more common full calibre 12.7 mm rounds should have difficulty to penetrate in most cases.

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  7. S.O:

    >>>What we do NOT need

    are vehicles with too little infantry dismount strength for the price (such as seven dismounts in a € 10M vehicle) leading to dismounted weakness in battle>>>

    If you have 45 IFV in a bataillon the dismounted infantry numbers 360. If you now claim this insufficient dismounted strength, you seem to know not enough about infantry fighting in modern war. Moreover this absolutly sufficient number of dismounts brings the IFV to the fight. The simple result as i have personally seen in exercises as in real combat is, that light infantry is whipped away by mechanised infantry. To repeat again an again, that the dismount strength is so small (to small for what?) does not make this claim more true, because it isn´t. Increasingly, this looks like just a rhetorical ploy to produce truth through constant repetition.

    autocannons have found to be superfluous additions to main battle tank armaments over and over again. The reasoning was always the same; practically everything can be dealt with by either cannon or machineguns. And yes, this includes helicopter threats; there was a guided 120 mm anti-helicopter round under development in the 1990's in Germany, and Soviet/Russian/Ukrainian tank gun-launched anti-tank missiles can be used against helicopters as well.

    So if tanks don't need a 20...40 mm autocannon ......then why would a mounted/dismounted combined arms team need some?

    Because a cannon with 120mm + does not fit on an IFV and a 30mm is absolutly sufficient to fight against enemy infantry and many other targets from helos to ucavs. The reason why mech-infantry needs such a cannon is, to develope enough firepower against the targets it is intended to fight. Against this specific targets the quantitiy is important, the endurance of the fire is important and the scalability of the fire is relevant.

    By the way: what a bizarre argument: because autocannons in a medium caliber for main battle tanks don't make sense, because you already have a main gun there instead, they are also pointless where you don't have such a main gun in 120mm +. .... what a logic.

    >>>why would a mounted/dismounted combined arms team need some? It doesn't face opposing forces that tanks don't encounter.>>>

    First of all: it does. There are many circumstances in which you face opposing forces that tanks does not encounter, especially in urban combat and any other scenario you have to shoot in an high angle upwards (3D battlespace). Moreover as the main target of IFV is dismounted enemy infantry, a specialised weaponery against this main target makes more sense than the high caliber bk which is not specialised against enemy light infantry but against other tanks.

    One additional fought: to solve the "problem" of the to small dismounted strength one could also skip the MBT and replace them with a new generation of IFV. Then you install a 76mm autocannon on every such vehicle and the dismounted strength would go down to 4 per vehicle. But if you now compare a battlegroup of 1 tank bataillon and 1 mech-inf bataillon with a group of 2 ifv 2.0 bataillons, the overall dismounted strength would be the same or even higher (in comparison to vehicles with an dismounted strength of 7) and the overall firepower would be greater and you could deliver immense NLOS firepower as every vehicle of the group could join the fight despite is NLOS position. Moreover the firepower against air targets, especially against ucavs like the TB-2 would be tremendous.

    But still such vehicles would be IFV. So my claim is: with an different kind of weaponery and an evolved concept IFV are the future of the Tank and MBT are the dead end. With the same right you claim IFV useless, just because....

    PS: as an serious question: have you ever been in an exercise or combat of mech-infantry for yourself or is your knowledge about that topic only theoretical?

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    1. Your argument about 120/30 mm has the wrong perspective. You look at an individual vehicle, I look at the overall effort on a battlefield (such as a mixed company team). Now if a tank platoon faces no targets that 120+MG cannot deal with, then said company team faces no such targets either.

      High angle fire can be done with a .338 RCWS, we don't need a with 30 mm autocannon with dismounts in the back for this.

      360 infantrymen in a brigade is not enough. Occupation wars with near-harmless opposition don't matter to me.
      It's not 360 in action because not all IFVs will be operational. So rather 300. That's enough for a village fight, but not enough for security effort for support forces at the same time. Our training areas do not reveal this with their lack of proper villages and too small size to highlight the support elements security challenge. And then there's the issue of who handles POWs. It would be a welcome respite for infantry, as of today we would rather sabotage some support elements by organising ad hoc POW guards from them.

      I see absolutely no point in mixing gun and fire team the way you want it. A rapid assault to a section of a village or a patch of woodland would see MBTs establishing lOS fire superiority, then smoke, MBTs keep suppressing left and right of smoke, HAPCs dash forward, infantry dismounts in sufficient strength, HAPCs withdraw before smoke is gone.
      Your concept would either separate the infantry from the AFV or they would be in danger during the fight for LOS fire superiority (and would they be dropped and separate every time hostile tanks are detected?). Then you would either send all AFVs forward to dismount their fire teams or only a fraction as much infantry would dismount at once while many AFVs are kept back to provide suppressive fires left and right of the smoke.

      And then there's the issue of hostile surprise attacks, where your AFVs blow up with 6...8 personnel inside while my MBTs would blow up with 2...4, and HAPCs could not blow without big munitions inside and generally would not be preferred targets while next to MBTs.
      My MBT+HAPC mix end up costing much less because the HAPC requires much less electronics (with .338 RCWS of a mass-produced type, same as on 4x4 cars) while offering more dismount seats than two of your AFVs.

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    2. " If you now claim this insufficient dismounted strength, you seem to know not enough about infantry fighting in modern war. Moreover this absolutly sufficient number of dismounts brings the IFV to the fight."

      OMG. You could read the opinions of highly talented German officers on this topic. It was always clear that the tank/infantry ration of later WW2 units was very good because you had enough boots on the ground and reserves.

      You uncritically project the results of the 1958 brigade structure, which was shaped by the assumption of a nuclear battle field, on the requirements of a more conventional war we assume now. Try to understand the WW2 structures.

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    3. Von Senger-Etterlin recounts the Panzergrenadierbattalion Typ 1956 as having almost 1,000 men.

      He also wrote that the 1959 structure almost halved the size of the Panzergrenadierbattalion (about 500 men) and then he proceeded to call the 1959 structure with that Bn too weak on infantry (mostly focusing on the 2:1 ratio between tank and PzGren Bns).

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    4. The Russians observed the need for a "female" tank, to finish or supress targets not worthy of the main canon. The idea was to send a group firmed of a "male" tank, a female tank and an APC. Until someone get the idea to mix the female tank and the Apc,to decrease cost. They did this also with the helicopter of the special forces,now being a flying Ifv.

      Drones are good only if u keep them in ur superior electromagnetice bubble . Their electronic brain can be jammed,EMP-ed, or hacked. So u still need forward human observers that have an electro-chemical brain that can be jammed.

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    5. If the main task of infantry is to serve as observers for the vehicles, then they can be in part replaced by drones operated from inside a vehicle. These have the advantage that the information they feed into the system allows for faster target acquisition and that a drone can have a wider horizon due to height (not necessarily so in woodland). Jamming could be solved by having a wire between the drone and the vehicle. Drones also have training benefits, because it allows immersion into a great variety of real footage for preparation and thus faster transfers of lessons learned.

      So the discussion about dismounted strength might be solved by improvements in IT.

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    6. Look, I understand I described an assault gun tactic from the vehicle crew's perspective, but assault guns are not the main asset in such a fight and the infantry is not just security and eyes or the assault gun/tank. The vehicle adds firepower that's too heavy to be carried by the infantry. The described tactic was just an example to describe how old tanks could become survivable by minimising their exposure.

      A mobile warfare combined arms team would need to be able to switch between tanks doing mounted combat (relatively rapid off-road movements) and infantry doing the heavy lifting with tanks supporting while avoiding close contact with hostile infantry. The rapid switching between both was what made Panzergrenadiere good initially. But nowadays the mounted infantry doesn't really participate in the fight (albeit it could if there were many RCWS on the roof), so the dismounted fight by infantry and the mounted fight by the IFV's autocannon + ATGM are disjointed personnel-wise. That's why we can split 2 IFV up into 1 tank + 1 (H)APC, taking the mounted infantry largely out of harm's way during the mounted fight and using only most-protected vehicles in the mounted fight.

      About drone comm jamming:
      https://defense-and-freedom.blogspot.com/2015/05/laser-tethered-drones.html

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  8. .338 or 8mm machine gun seems too small

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    1. .338 Magnum means almost as many rounds as with 7.62NATO (12.7 mm drastically reduced quantity of rounds in a given volume), penetrated plates meant to protect against 7.62NATO at good ranges, punches through most walls, has good external ballistics and has a bit more terminal effect than 7.62NATO. I consider it to be an advisable intermediate round. You can just as well go for 20x82 mm HE if you go bigger rather than using 12.7 mm.

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  9. Considering that civilians electronics have very low marginal cost but very high capital cost, I wonder why electronics cost so much to produce per individual tanks, and why nato standardisation is not more prevalent (even if electronics/software has a very hard time with trust/verifying there is no cheat implemented, it does not include de facto the high tech tools to make them).
    I do not know what are the bottle-necks for high quality optics.

    Also : you talked of the need of some big logistical vehicule. But is there any "bus" equivalent of light protection infantry transport vehicle? By that I mean something able to transport around 20 to 30 people while being protected against artillery and 7mm ammo? I dont think the ground pressure is necessary a problem. The ability to turn would be limited, sure, but if it is strategic/operational mobility, isn't the trade-off balanced by less vehicule on the road for the same number of people moved (and less driver needed)? Also, most main road are conceived to allow for trucks to go through them anyway.

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    1. Some rather police-oriented armored amnibus vehicels exist. Protection goes up to civilian protection levle B7, approx. equivalent to STANAG4569 level 3.
      https://inkasarmored.com/inkas-huron-apc/
      4x4 at that mass = limited to hard soil and paved surfaces

      I remember a protected (mil spec) 20 ft ISO container. The USMC uses oversized amphibious APC/IFVs that have an unusually high seat count.

      I suppose APCs should be tailored with the small unit in mind, and hardly any platoon counts 40 or more personnel. So 2 or 3 APCs will be used anyway, with up to 12 seats each. The given seat figures are sometimes for bulky shock-resistant seats and carrying big ATGMs along, you could squeeze more infantry in with folding benches.

      The standard multi-purpose transport vehicle today should be 15...20 ton 8x8 with bulletproofed cab and ALHS for 20 ft containers or pallets. All function modules could then be containerised; HQ, ESM, high mast, UAV ops, air defence radar, multi missile launcher, workshop and much more.

      Very few dedicated big vehicles are really necessary, such as a 10x10 wrecker (R&R) vehicle, semi-trailer tractors (but then the semi trailer could transport both MLC 60 vehicles and ISO containers) and some self-deploying container handlers.


      The costs for AFV electronics seem to be driven by those companies maintaining much staff and expertise during years of little business and when they get a big order from a wealthy customer they demand high prices. The production run is also always small, never more than ten thousands over 20+ years. Some items get developed at industry's expense and don't sell, others sell only a few dozen copies.

      The specialised quality powerpacks for tanks are also quite expensive, as they usually only sell in the hundreds per decade.

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    2. So if some common electronics standards/common suppliers were applied at the EU level, cost could go down while maintaining equals quantity of material. But that would require to attack our own cronies/kleptocracy/"lobbyists".

      Delete
    3. It's not just standardisation. We would have to agree on one product and one production line for maximum efficiency, but then also take away market power from this monopolist.
      Then multiple governments would have to coordinate their procurement, buying large quantities of one series-produced item within about ten years. The production machinery would have to amortize itself within that production run, as there would be little or no orders for 10...20 years after that (other than spare parts).

      We don't do that in Europe, in fact nobody ever did that kind of procurement.

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    4. Well, I was trying to think "if Europe took defense seriously". An exercise of fantasy I know.

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    5. Again, barely informed amateur's stupid question :
      Why is the platoon 40 people? Would more be good? (or a bigger apc?) What are the military problem with a bigger one? (outside of many eggs in the same basket).

      Also : If not extra people, why not use it for extra logistic.

      "The standard multi-purpose transport vehicle today should be 15...20 ton 8x8 with bulletproofed cab and ALHS for 20 ft containers or pallets. All function modules could then be containerised; HQ, ESM, high mast, UAV ops, air defence radar, multi missile launcher, workshop and much more."
      ==> How many transport capacity do you see in that one? (or would it be pure logistic?)

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    6. Infantry platoons commonly follow a command span of three, thus three squads/sections, which are hardly ever more than 10 personnel each strong (USMC has bigger squads). Add a few personnel outside of the squads and we arrive at hardly any infantry platoon has more than 40 personnel. 27...39 are common sizes.

      Standard ISO containers are 20 or 40 ft long. 40 ft requires semi trailers to transport and armies avoid semi-trailers because of offroad driving concerns.
      Maybe a semi trailer with 40 ft containers battlefield logistics is feasible, but the common choice is 20 ft containers.
      That's 5.9 x 2.35 m size for seating, and that's likely 10 or 12 seats depending on design. Personnel transports may make sense for much more than just infantry and combat troops in general. The front cabins of vehicles usually hold only 2 or 3 personnel. Any small units with a higher ratio of personnel to vehicles would need troop transport vehicles.

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    7. Thank you for your answer.

      I guess off road abilities is always somewhat important, even for purely strategy transport abilities because of bombardment of infrastructures by the enemy.

      Delete
  10. Could a APC with 12 small rubber wheels on each side replace the tracked vehicles by having similar ground footprint?

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    1. You can run calculations with the MMP and VCI formulas yourself for a first impression.
      https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/pdfs/AD1079722.pdf
      The trouble with wheeled and half tracked vehicles is that either the vehicle grows very long or the tyres very wide when you add much contact surface. A very long vehicle would need to be partially skeletonized to achieve high degree of protection at least for the crew.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skeleton_tank
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pookie_(vehicle)
      Very wide tyres eat away internal volume or lead to unacceptable width.

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  11. Last Dingo:

    If you regard the overall effect on the battlefield so high, you should realize that many targets cannot be engaged by a 120mm BK / 8mm MG combination. So you need some kind of combined arms as not all 3D targets can be engaged only by an RWS with an 8mm MG. This wil become more and more important as urban combat and drones will become more and more important and no, you cannot fight all types of drones with an RWS with an 8mm MG. So your overall effort would be insufficient for modern warfare.

    There are also hardend targets in high angles and targets which are in a greater distance, also you should not fire at any target with an 120mm even if you can. Also you have much more shots / much more ammunition with an smaller caliber. etc

    I also do not wrote 360 infantry in an brigade, but in one bataillon. Now you are writing 360 dismounts in a brigade. Conversly you would now shout LIAR. As one brigade could have not only several bataillons but also light infantry bataillons with much more infantry, the overall infantry in a brigade would be much higher. Because you now look here to much on the single unit, such issues as handling of POWs seem to be a problem but i look here at the overall effort and then there is no such problem.

    Also this was a minimum with only 6 dismounts per vehicle. Modern IFV often have 8 dismounts, such as the Lnyx etc, so 360 was a minimum number even if some of the vehicles are not available for troop transport.

    You scenario with the village lacks context imo. But even then, why should you use and risk MBT for establishing LOS superiority, which they would not be able to do against a serious enemy in such a enviroment? You would risk your MBT as they could not hold down the enemy. Then why should HAPC rush forward? For what reason at all? To bring infantry into an position in which it dies without sense? What is the purpose of that? If you think that your infantry can then easily storm the defended urban terrain you simply have no clue about such fighting.

    Your example about the division of risks and the fewer losses per vehicle also lacks logic. Your HAPC with 12 dismounts could also get blown up, and then you have even more losses. And your guess that the HAPC would not be primary targets is suprising, as you can kill more enemies if you can blow up such an HAPC and also then the enemy cannot storm your positions with your his infantry as it is gone.

    I agree that the MBT + HAPC mix would cost less because of the electronics, but it would also have less fighting power and would be weeker. For that simple reason the Israelis are now putting turrets and machine cannones on their HAPCs, to make them HIFVs !

    And i am a little sad that you even did not mentioned my conclusions and concepts about IFV as i also believe that the current concept and form of IFV should be overcomed.

    Lets assume 1 Tank Bataillon with 45 MBT and 1 HAPC Bataillon with 45 HAPC with 10 dismounts each. The combined team would then have 45 BK in 120mm and 90 RWS with 8mm MG and 450 dismounts.

    Now my concept would be to have a new kind of IFV with an greater caliber (76mm) machine cannon and only 4 dismounts per vehicle (because the greater cannon costs dismounts). Then this group would then have 90 x 76mm machine cannons and 90 x 8mm MG and 360 dismounts.

    For your village example such an unit would be much better for achieving LOS (and NLOS !) fire superiortiy and the number of dismounts would be practically equal.

    Such a unit would be much more versatile than the MBT + HAPC combination and much more useful in urban combat and much more useful against drones (and the small ones in range of an 8mm MG are not really the problem here).

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  12. Ulenspiegel:

    There are great differences between the WW2 and today and if you seriously compare todays infantry with WW2 infantry which uses repeating rifles and most men of the squad were only servants of the one squad machine gun, i can only say you seem to know nothing about modern infantry combat.

    To use Tank / Infantry ratios to understand modern warfare or trying to understand WW2 structures is quite senseless as todays circumstances are completly different.

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    1. "There are great differences between the WW2 and today and if you seriously compare todays infantry with WW2 infantry which uses repeating rifles and most men of the squad were only servants of the one squad machine gun, i can only say you seem to know nothing about modern infantry combat."

      And that changes the function of infabtry? The value or disadvantages of low number of boots on the ground? You are joking.

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    2. Or to tackle the issue from a different point of view: The low number around 1960 was WITH WWII weapons and in a scenario with high force density, and ithe low number of infantry was considered a disadvantage.

      Now in a scenario with low force density (-> more security issues) you want to tell us that the different weapons of the infantry squad make a difference?

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    3. A radio for every infantryman makes a difference, as the squad can disperse much more (though I consider buddy teams the minimum, as individual men dispersed won't work in real war). Night vision allows for more spacing between pickets. Battlefield radars and thermal imagers on mast or aerial platform reduce the personnel required for terrain surveillance.

      This matters very little in regard to actual sweeps in closed terrain (settlements, woodland) and for combat in places where you can't just shoot with 155 mm HE at every suspected enemy position.

      He's right that current German Bde TO&E have multiple infantry battalions (albeit only one has arty). Only the PzGren are meant to be with the MBTs in a spearhead and the Jäger lack suitable APCs to get into the fight. So basically the IFVs would be needed as battlefield taxis if the additional legs shall be brought into action in a timely fashion. I strongly suppose that IFVs would look less optimal for that task than HAPCs.

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    4. You would not need the IFV as battle taxis for the Jäger bataillons as these are mobile enough for themselve. Althoug i share your critics about the GTK as an APC, the Jäger are absolutly mobile enough to join the fight without using the IFV. And this is even more true in closed terrain.

      Also you do not need high numbers in sweeps in closed terrain, as this would only increase the losses from enemy NLOS fire (which can even be more efficient in some closed terrain than in the open, for example in woodland) and you would waste infantry as the main part of them would not fight and would not do anything other useful things.

      Ulenspiegel seem to have an complete wrong picture of infantry combat as it is today. In WW2 and in high infantry numbers today most of the infantry are only porters with no value above that. That is an waste.

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  13. About secondary explosions / ammunition as an risk: this problem could be solved quite easily. by the way: Not all ammunition blows automatically up if it is hit.You could also develope ammunition which would never blow up.

    and you could use a remote controlled turret without any opening into the tank right on the top of the tank. Then explosions in the turret are not so much a problem for the vehicle.

    The israelis are actually arming their HAPCs with such remote controlled turrets with machine cannons because of their experiences in combat in the last decade. To make all the HAPC into Heavy Infantry Fighting Vehicle.

    The reason is according to the israeli army a a better response to urban combat operations in comparison with an HAPC which can "only" transport infantry and that concept had failed according to the israelis. Therefore the israeli HIFV instead. So much about the village scenario with HAPC rushing into the smoke into the village.

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  14. "and you could use a remote controlled turret without any opening into the tank right on the top of the tank. Then explosions in the turret are not so much a problem for the vehicle."

    That misses the point: You still have a mission kill. What is the value of a bloody expensive system that is put out of battle by weapons that cost less than 1% of its value.

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  15. Ulenspiegel:

    A simple mine puts out the track of the HAPC. It can not longer move and you have a mission kill. The mine costs even less than 1% of the HAPC. Whats the difference? What is the value of any armoured vehicle if you look at it in this way?

    The claim is, that HAPC are cheaper than IFV. But: Firepower is also protection in many cases. The HAPC has no firepower and therefore less protection in many scenarios, althoug it has better armour as the armour is not everything and not the only part of the overall protection.

    If you have an HAPC you have therefore a lower level of protection for the troops in the vehicle and not a higher one. And this: the more of protection is the value of the expensive system and why it makes more sense than an HAPC.

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  16. S.O.

    About your village scenario: it lacks so much context is imo worthless. What is the target, what is the intention, what is the mission, how important is the mission, can i achieve my target in other ways etc etc? Why should HAPC carry infantry into the village at all? What kind of enemy is there? What about ROE, civilian population, the exact structure of the village? What about mines, ied, enemy reserves counterattacking, what about enemy NLOS fire, ucavs, loitering munition etc etc

    Short an simple: The village example with MBT + HAPC is much to simplistic. I lacks an overall and holistic view.

    Also: nearly everybody claims here, that you need more infantry and that more infantry is better than fewer infantry. But that is not the case (today). And forget about WW2 for this question. If you have much more infantry in the village the result is not more fighting power and not more options (like handling of wounded soldiers, handling of pows etc). It will lead only to an waste of soldiers, which are then stading around in the village without doing much at all. There is an border to how much infantry makes sense for an specific area and terrain and to put more infantry into it wastes only the soldiers for nothing.

    Of cause some reserves are necessary to comensate for losses, but that reserves should not be in the vehicles and not in the fight, in the village etc

    So take the HAPC example. Lets assume 12 dismounts per HAPC and 40 such vehicles in one bataillon operable and usable for infantry transport. That makes 480 dismounts.

    Lets take instead 40 Lnyx IFV with 8 dismounts per vehicle, and it would be "only" 320 dismounts.

    Now the conclusion of most is here: 480 is much better than 320. And 320 is insufficient in comparison. But the truth of modern infantry combat is, that the 160 soldiers more does not deliver more abbillities and that the lack of 40 machine cannons is much more important. The fighting power does not come from the infantry alone, but from 320 infantry and 40 machine cannons. This is much better for the fight in the village than having more infantry.

    If you fight infantry + tank with machine cannon against infantry only (as it would be the case with the HAPC) the infantry only force looses, every time. That is a fact i have seen personally several times in exercises and also in real combat.

    So more infantry does not make sense in any case. And for specialised cases you can then use light infantry forces without HAPCs, which are then again much better in this special circumstances than an HAPC unit.

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    1. Bro.is not infantry only.is infantry plus tanks

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    2. Unknown: the same for the IFV unit. Its infantry plus IFV plus tanks.

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    3. Is not same. Because without the Ifv u can afford more tanks,or more infantry

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    4. Neither is true. The costs are in reality around the same, as you can build IFV which are cheaper than an MBT but more costly than an HAPC (of cause) but if you then compare the same number of IFV against the same number of HAPC/MBT combined it is the same price. But moreover, the IFV unit would then always have much more dismounts.

      And even ! if the IFV would be more expensive, an IFV only unit would still had more dismounts, so the HAPC must be much cheaper to compensate for that and so cheap they are not in comparison.

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    5. Now you're making stuff up.

      Aside from me not really advocating for conventional MBTs:

      Take an IFV, rework its internal space to reduce the permanent crew to one driver who can make use of a shielded machinegun at his hatch when the vehicle is stationary. 10 or 12 crew members in the back depending on doctrine. Use of folding benches, not super bulky shock absorber seats. No turret, no night vision other than the driver's personal equipment and a cheap COTS driving aid. Soucy bandtracks to keep passengers in good shape without a decoupled drive (also eliminates maintenance issues that an occasionally alone crew member would have). Protection rating STANAG 4569 lvl 4 with spall liner and a bit extra frag protection (which means no perforated spaced armour that's of no special efficiency against fragments).
      The protection in case of LAW penetrations would be limitation of spalling and no internal secondary effects unless some LAW or grenade carried by passengers was hit.

      This is borderline APC or HAPC (vastly better ballistic protection than almsot all APCs), and it could be done for 1...2 million € at about 17 tons.

      A MBT-based HAPC (all-different hull) would weigh in at 35...42 tons, have a RCWS, crew of two, 10...14 dismounts depending on doctrine, increase to STANAG 4569 lvl 6 and have hard kill APS (rather 2 back2back rotating antennas in rotations ymmetric radome than 4 staring AESA panels to cut costs) against HEAT threats. 4 million approx., and parts commonalities. This one could even have a 20x82 mm RCWS, as the cost increase would be negligible. Internal 20 mm rounds would be stored under blast panel.

      And yes, I don't think of 50+ ton MBTs, but of rather ~ 40 ton MBTs. I'm sure the age of those big dinos has been over for quite a while already. The newer MBT designs 50 t are backward designs.

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  17. "A simple mine puts out the track of the HAPC. It can not longer move and you have a mission kill. The mine costs even less than 1% of the HAPC. Whats the difference? What is the value of any armoured vehicle if you look at it in this way?"

    OK, before it becomes too confusing. My remark also affects HAPC, if you have a cheap top attack weapon like missile or drone. However, mines are unlikely scenario IMHO.

    If I want to use expensive systems then I have to dramatically reduce the probability of a kill or a mission kill.

    Only if I can provide this feature then I can think about doctrins that use these systems.

    On the other hand I do not buy the (suicide) drone "hype". With more attack drones we will also see fighter drones that cover units. Otherwise no movement with trucks etc. would be possible, because if I can build and operate sufficent numbers of tank killers a lighter version against trucks is easier.

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  18. Ulenspiegel:

    Your main argument is as i understand it, that an HAPC is cheaper than an IFV. But in reality it is not that much cheaper. Also the cheaper vehicle does not deliver the same fighting power. 1 Bataillon with HAPC + 1 Bataillon with MBT is inferior for the described task than 2 Bataillons with IFV.

    Even the number of dismounts would be superior then for the 2 bataillons of IFV. An NAMER for example has 8 dismounts. An T-15 has 9 dismounts. An Lynx has 8 dismounts. For the village example 2 IFV bataillons would have superior firepower and would have even more dismounts in comparision to the MBT + HAPC unit. And they would have more firepower overall against this specific target and for this specific task.

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    Replies
    1. It can be way more expensive than a APC if u put all the targeting electronics, sensors, turret an other gadgets.the 30mm gun is not that expensive. A turetless Ifv , that isn't required to do all is much cheaper

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  19. I think there are several missunderstandings about the combat of mech-inf here. The fighting power of mech-inf does not come from the dismounts, but from the IFV itself. Originally as S.O. has explained in one of his blog posts the idea was, that infantry weapons had an higher range than hand held AT Weapons, and that the mech-inf had a better situational awareness than the MBT. Both is not the case anymore today. As the range of the hand held AT weapons become greater and greater, the ideas changed. It was then the idea to fight down the enemy infantry mainly with the weapons of the IFV, which also fitted the assumed nucelar battlefield. At the same time the so called Begleitpanzer concept was discussed, with the same basic target. As the IFV could fulfill this role too, it became de facto the Begleitpanzer of the MBTs. The dismounts are therefore only an add-on to increase the fighting power of the IFV in specific circumstances. For that task, the number of dismounts is completly sufficient with one infantry group per vehicel.

    So the attempt to compare more infantry heavy units without the fighting power of the IFV with an mech-inf unit with fewer infantry but with IFVs misses the main point here. A Unit with HAPC and MBT would still need some kind of Begleitpanzer and/or FlaK-tank type vehicles addtionally and the idea to deliver the anti-inf firepower only from the MBTs is not practical. The problem here is, that in the assumed terrain the range of the LOS lines is not that great. Fort hat reason in such a terrain the number of MBT could be very easily insufficient even if you relocate them again and again in the described Sturmgeschütz concept. Also there are many targets and situations in which you cannot use the 120mm+ BK and this also decreases the ammunition reserves of the MBT quite fast and it makes them more vulnerable for an enemy counter-attack.

    You also do not use IFV as battle taxis, as this would be completly against their main purpose. In closed terrain also HAPC are as useless as IFV, this is terrain for real infantry units which can and should move there without such vehicles.

    Also i should mention, that HAPC and IFV are not dialectic concepts that stand in total opposition to each other. You could also think of mixing some kind of Begleitpanzer and HAPC in the same unit as it was also mentioned here. But to have both functions in the same vehicle is overall better imo as you have then more systems for the specific task.

    For the current war one have to regard that the fact that the russian IFV failed is not a proof against the concept for itself, but only that the russians are failing in several aspects in warfare and that their IFV are outdated. To claim that they are the same level of protection as the most modern western IFV is ridicolous. And one of the main solutions against AT weapons was mentioned: the hardkill systems. A modern western IFV with hardkill and softkill would defeat the actual ukraine fighters quite easily, especially if it is used in the correct way and not like the russians are wasting their armour in an complete absurd way.

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  20. Last but not least i should mention, that imo the IFV is perhaps the future oft he MBT, and that the high caliber BK 120mm + is perhaps a evolutionary dead end. One could think of replacing all MBT with next generation IFV (as it was also mentioned here) and the overall the question oft he dismounts is also solved at the spot.

    Lets take for example the russian T-15 which has 9 dismounts. A Namer, a true HAPC has only 8 dismounts in comparison. So lets assume 1 Bataillon with MBT and 1 Bataillon with 40 Namer, and you would have only 320 dismounts with the HAPCs.

    It was claimed here, that around 300 dismounts are insufficient ! But the HAPC unit would also have only about 300 dismounts !

    Lets assume in comparison two bataillons with T-15 - overall then 80 vehicles and the number of dismounts would be 720 ! So the IFV group would have much more dismounts than the HAPC group, and overall an greater firepower.

    I think this example clearly shows, that even in the question how many dismounts a fighting group has, the HAPC unit is not always superior, but tot he opposite the IFV vehicle could be the solution for the question of the dismounts.

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    Replies
    1. But u can deploy more hapc and more tanks at the same money.so more firepower than the Ifv group

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    2. A NAMER (8 dismounts) costs around 4 million. A MERKAVA costs also around 4 million. So it is around 360 million for two bataillons (1 with MBT, 1 with HAPC). I choose this two systems as they are cheaper than many western MBT in comparison, so they are on the cheap side.

      Lets take an LYNX IFV in comparison, which has also 8 dismounts. Funily it also costs around 4 million per vehicle. SO THE COSTS ARE THE VERY SAME.

      So your claim that you can deploy more HAPC and MBT for the same money is not true. But the core argument was not about money, it was about dismounts.

      The HAPC / MBT Unit would have 360 dismounts with 45 HAPC.

      The LYNX IFV Unit would have 720 dismounts with 90 IFV:

      So the number of dismounts would be higher for the IFV unit and the HAPC unit would have fewer dismounts.

      But what about firepower? Are 45 BK in 120mm+ more or less than 90 machine cannons with 35mm and ATGM?! That depends on the target.

      For infantry combat, for example taking an village the 90 machine cannons are better than the 45 BK with 120mm plus. And as we are talking here about infantry combat - because otherwise why should the dismounts count at all ?! the IFV is the better overall solution.

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  21. In the end, the main point of the blog post was to point out that once again, the IFV concept got a chance to shine and didn't. Judging by the battlefield evidence, IFVs work well against Iraqis only.

    Many other concepts would be debated on a large scale and contentiously if they failed to prove themselves test after test.

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    Replies
    1. How should one evaluate a concept when in Ukraine outdated BMP-3 without hardkill systems are being destroyed by light infantry with modern anti-tank weapons, not only because they are worse protected than western state-of-the-art IFVs, but also because they are used completely wrong and sometimes downright absurdly?

      So if an outdated tank is destroyed due to wrong tactics, poor system health, poor mantainance, lack of crew training and also logistical flaws, how does that refute the underlying concept? It just shows only that the Russian BMPs are bad and the BMD are worse.

      And where is battlefield evidence that HAPC work well? The Israelis now are arming their HAPC and make them HIFV because of their battlefield evidence.

      Also your main argument was and is, that the number of dismounts would be fewer in an IFV unit in comparision to an HAPC unit, and that is simply not true. A combination of MBT and HAPC has fewer dismounts than an IFV force of the same size and that should be the comparison.



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    2. HAPC is a concept without a long list of failure on the battlefield. It's not 100% proven to be great (and the existing designs are mostly compromised by being conversions of MBTs), but the kind of people who require an alternative to have a positive track record to look superior to a design that keeps failing would have kept us in the stone age.

      IFVs converted into an APC can easily gain 1 or 2 crew members by reducing the vehicle crew from 3 to 2 and removing the turret intrusion and internal missile stowage. The weight saved from removing the turret and missiles can be added to protection.

      BTW, those BMPs get toasted by anti-tank weapons that would also severely threaten MBTs. Even top notch IFVs with high protection rating would often not resist such shots, and hard kill APS merely reduces this to them resisting when battle-ready.

      The difference between IFV and (H)APC is mostly in IFV carrying lots of secondary fire and explosion hazards, IFV getting exposed much more for mounted firepower usage and IFV being much more expensive to to the turret and its electronics. Also, IFV has one additional crew member, which also adds a couple million € expenses over its time of use.

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  22. A bit late to comment, but...

    Without even talking about the possible benefits of HAPC or APC I think AFV represent the worst of both worlds.

    AFV are big, heavy and costly due to the need of combine firepower and the capacity of carrying infantry. So if really is necessary to have AFV weapons like automatic cannon and missiles, why to combine them in the same vehicle?

    Instead of combine all in a vehicle it would be possible to have a light tank type with an automatic cannon and AT missiles that would be smaller than an IFV and an APC with more troops than an IFV.

    When the firepower would be necessary both attacking or defending the light tank could be used without risk for mounted troops that would remain safely back. The same with the APC, if troops are needed they could be dismounted and the light tanks remain in reserve.

    Instead of one vehicle in 30-40 tons range the same role could be fulfilled by two different vehicles in 20-30 tons (with increased strategic mobility) that could be combined in different proportions depending of the unit role.

    JM

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    1. You meant "IFV", I suppose. "AFV" is the general term for just about all protected military vehicles.

      The strategic mobility doesn't seem to be much different between 20 and 40 ton if they are both tracked or both wheeled. It only gets much worse beyond the maximum weight of bridging. The fuel consumption is about proportional to weight, though.

      Even wheeled AFVs (and just these days, Caesar self-propelled guns on 6x6) are being moved on tank transporters when available.

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