Hopes Dim for BAE’s ‘Green’ Combat Vehicle

Hopes Dim for BAE’s ‘Green’ Combat Vehicle

The U.S. government’s decision last week to cut funding for the Army’s combat vehicle program may dash hopes for production of BAE Systems Plc’s so-called green machine.

The London-based defense giant’s U.S. subsidiary was competing against General Dynamics Corp. to build the Army’s future troop carrier, known as the Ground Combat Vehicle, to replace the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

While General Dynamics, maker of the M1 Abrams tank, was developing a more traditional design, BAE, which manufactures the Bradley, was pursuing a more environmentally friendly model.

BAE conceived of a hybrid-electric vehicle that could operate on diesel or electric power, with lithium-ion batteries that recharge when braking. Think Toyota Prius, only super-sized and with tracks, armor and a gun turret. In addition to better gas mileage, the design would offer fewer moving parts and faster acceleration, officials have said.

Still, it’s no fuel-sipper. At a hulking 70 tons — about the weight of an Abrams and more than twice that of a Bradley — the vehicle would get less than a mile per gallon of fuel.

The Army in recent years repeatedly described the Ground Combat Vehicle as one of its top acquisition priorities. The service had planned to buy about 1,900 of the vehicles at a cost of as much as $17 million apiece, or $32 billion.

Lawmakers last week passed legislation that drastically reduced funding for the program in fiscal 2014, which began Oct. 1, from $592 million to $100 million — a decrease of $492 million, or 83 percent. The move essentially killed the acquisition program, as there isn’t enough money for the Army to move forward by awarding a production contract to one of the two companies.

“Congress cut a program they knew was doomed,” Loren Thompson, a longtime defense industry analyst and consultant, told Military.com’s Matt Cox.

But the prospect of a hybrid-electric combat vehicle may not be dead, as there is still funding to continue research, which presumably would include further analysis of the technology.

“While I do think that the tank-sized GCV concept is toast, BAE’s work on hybrid engines remains promising,” James Hasik, a senior fellow for defense at the Atlantic Council, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, D.C., said in an e-mail. “Hybrids are said to provide power for hungry onboard electronics, power for silent overwatch, and propulsion for short stealthy movements.”

BAE, though disappointed by the decision to scale back funding for the program, pledged to support the Army and its future developmental efforts, according to Megan Mitchell, a company spokeswoman.

“Our GCV solution incorporates forward-looking technologies, such as hybrid electric drive, that were designed to keep the vehicle relevant for decades to come and we will continue to pursue our work in this area,” she said in an e-mail. “We look forward to continuing to develop this technology for the Army and will work with them on next steps.”

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Greetings Brendan, The GCV was always going to be the wrong solution.

Consider the following:

For a “Pacific Pivot”, any 70 ton vehicle is the wrong answer for the limited roads and bridges that a vehicle like this will break. Off-road ground pressure will be a problem.

It can’t swim, which means many small rivers, streams and lakes will be off limits. Research, where the M-113 could go in Vietnam. ( YouTube search “M113 Armored Personnel Carriers in Vietnam Jungle” )

Consider that we have thousands of M-113s in storage and that the U.S. Army owns most of the basic intellectual property for it. There are many companies (BAE being only one) that have world-class modifications for the M-113 in many mission variants. This would also allow for bringing back the M132 (which Vietnam experience showed that 4 per Regiment were useful).

Many will be against the M-113 because it doesn’t look good on a PowerPoint slide or help career Army Officers hoping to go through the revolving door into places like…GD ground systems so they can further rape the taxpayer on stupid projects.

Modified M-113s are the way to go for versatile and low cost per mile employment.

Now what does industry do if we were to only refurb M113s?

Plenty. There is plenty of work for them to do. As only one example, we are building the wrong tank, we need to build the right tank. The M-1 needs to be retired ($400 per mile in logistics costs vs. $6 per mile for an M-60A3 — maintenance time per day… a handful of minutes per day for the M-60A3 …hours per day for the M-1). ( Google search: “The great M-1 tank myth” ) . We need a new tank in the M-48 or less weight class that is of course diesel and can go a lot of places in the Pacific Rim (again, see how this weight class of vehicle was used in Vietnam.) As for the USMC, look at their current requirement for tank companies (both active and reserve). We have around 600 M-60s in storage. Modifications of these would be more than good enough for the USMC (cost less, less logistics, more operational up-time in the field and good enough for most of the threats we fight today).

The threat from Fulda-Gap is over. So any crying about killing modern tanks should fall on deaf ears as there are so many ways to kill them anyway. That buy itself does not make tanks useless. When used correctly, they are still a bully against ill-prepared ground forces and contribute greatly toward saving our troops lives. A versatile force of modified M-113s also contributes much more to our troops lives in mobility (which includes being able to go more places than our current bad fighting vehicle force structure) and other value.

The problem with a lot of these acquisitions is that you need to separate the development costs form the production costs. $17 million a piece! Give me a break! We need in-house people to take that guesstimate apart and break it down into its true material and touch labor costs. Looks like another Pentagon acquisition fiasco, just like that dune buggy the SOCOM guys want at $250,000 a pop. From the looks it, just some welded together flat metal and roll bars with an engine and off road wheels. Shouldn’t cost any more than $50,000, even at inflated prices. Some guy in a garage should be able to assemble it. Same thing here. Set the price at $2 million.

Plus, let the contractors do all the development fooling around with THEIR money (and not reimbursable by the government) just all commercial products. That’s what stockholders are for. Taking risks and getting rewarded. If the government picks up all the risk, we should dictate executive salaries at GS grade levels and profits at a max of 2%. After all, its a government subsidiary.

G damn it America. How did you become so incompetent. So empty and hollow. Here we have the world’s BIGGEST military industrial comples after ww2. The necessity to innovate quickly and massively was there, and it left you with the legacy to make any piece of military kit you could ever want. 60 years (almost 70) later, you can’t Fing build a simply APC, and even if you can, it’s costing SEVENTEEN FING million a piece? A top of the class, creme de la creme MAIN BATTLE TANK costs 5 million. WTF is wrong with you people? THIS is exactly what happens when politicians and defense scumbag contractors get too cozy with each other. It erodes competence. Because project after project, year after year, the poor baster taxpayer gets to foot the bill, NO consequences are there for contractors, which INCENTIVIZED them scamming you already poor bastard people. Contrast this with Germany now. A nation who’s military industrial complex was DECIMATED to almost ZERO after ww2, and with SMALL BUDGETS, project after project, year after year, they’ve managed to make the very BEST and reliable defense kits in the WORLD (even after the allies pillaged their best brains). Now hang your head in shame and mull that over for a second.

I think, in a more calm post, that the pentagon should rid itself of incompetent American contractors (BAE counts as well, this is it’s American arm). They’ve gotten too lazy and fat. I think any ‘ground’ vehicles should be contracted out to your big 3, chrysler ford and GM. As GROUND companies, vehicle companies, they have the knowhow and brains, and the SIZE to do these things. So you give them the expertise needed to make the ‘defense’ measures, and they’ll give you the chassis’ needed, the innovative room interior solutions etc (they work with this every day with passenger vehicles, how to get the most room in the smallest way possible) they can get weight out of it etc. I think that could be a solution. Because simply said, letting a defense contractor design a new mbt or apc every FORTY years is silly, the competence goes away. Too long of a waiting period. That would be like Chevrolet bringing out a new model every 40 years, the engineers have to be kept busy. As it’s impossible to launch a new apc/mbt every few years, give the work to VEHICLE companies, who keep doing it time after time.

Bradley’s HMPT-500 hydro-mechanical regenerative steering transmission for track laying vehicles developed by General Electric in the 70’s was a very advanced design, in its day. The two pairs of variable volume ball pump and motor on a shared pintle are used to transmit significant power in a compact package far more efficiently than competing slush boxes at most operating speeds below top speed sprints. These vehicles most usually operate well below top speed. Fuel is a precious commodity on the battlefield.

Bradley now vectors such a large percentage of engine power through the HMPT-500’s PTO to a rather large and heavy alternator that it might be worthwhile for someone to develop a transmission that vectors still more power to a larger alternator and eliminate the hydraulic assemblies by using electric motors in place of the ball pump/motor pairs for CV and steer, while still summing to a multi-range gearbox and regenerative steer cross shaft similar to the HMPT-500 etc.. It would be larger, but the efficiency improvement and reduced complexity could be worthwhile.

The Prius comparison is a bad one. A hybrid tank or hybrid APC should not have a very large battery capacity relative to engine power and fuel load as might be used by a hybrid road going vehicle. By any reasonable stretch of the imagination batteries and battery/capacitor hybrids do not have anywhere near enough energy density to be worthwhile for anything more than providing some leveling of load crests and maybe some energy recovery in regenerative braking. Any notion of battery powered tanks should be quickly discarded, as it is excess weight better utilized in armor, weapons, ammo, and diesel fuel payload.

Someone just reminded me. GCV design was looking at.….…. 84 tons.….. (Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.,“Bradley Offspring, GCV, May Top 84 Tons, Heavier Than M1 Tank”, Breaking Defense, November 08, 2012)

Will this green stupidity ever end !!!

While going back to M113s and M60s what about bringing back the M14 to boot?

Oh wait, you were serious…

There were several variants/options with the 84T topping the scale. Too heavy to be sure but you aren’t telling the whole story.

I think they already are. Congress didn’t zero GCV out, but it sure turned the volume down on it. Seems like the modified Bradleys should be the shoe in for the AMPV contract, so might as well go all in.

If I remember correctly it was GM plants in Germany that built some of the Wehrmacht’s tanks for them. That is a good idea using American auto manufacturers to design and produce ground military hardware. After all, how many Sherman’s did they crank out for WWII?

Did Sparky possess you are something? You might want to contact a priest to help with that before you start talking about how we could put wings and B-17 style machine gun turrets on the M113.

The M113 is quite outdated. It is adequate for some support roles (mortar carrier, ambulance, command vehicle, etc.) but even for those tasks the Army eventually wants to move from the M113 hull to something more modern. M113 variants left in Army service aren’t even cleared to do so due to increased weight.

For all intents and purposes you’d need to manufacture a new vehicle. Think MTVL on steroids, but for use as an IFV to replace the Bradley it wouldn’t be much of an improvement. Perhaps you’d be better off picking up where work ended on the FCS MGV common hull. I don’t think that was intended to swim either however. The Army hasn’t put much emphasis on swimming capability in a long time.

The M132 and M67 were quite useful in Vietnam, and such an armored flamethrower may have use in certain situations, but something like the Russian TOS-1 would probably be more effective and survivable. You’d also have to deal with all of the politically correct nonsense these days.

Over 9,000 M1 Abrams of all variants have been built and at least 3,000 are in active service with the United States. You want to retire those, including the state of the art M1A2 SEP and replace them with a few hundred M60A3s we may still have in storage?

The Abrams can and may be “dieselized” in the next upgrade. Despite its high fuel consumption the gas turbine has given us 30+ years of reliable service and is easily removable for maintenance work. It’s possible that the next upgrade could remove a few tons of weight as well.

The M60A3 isn’t exactly a light vehicle at 57 tons combat loaded and with only 750 horsepower compared to the M1A2 at 68–70 tons loaded with 1,500 horsepower.

When reading the story and comments, I was thinking about the recent debut of the all-Aluminum Ford F-150 pickup. Apparently nobody thought it could be done, but there it is. Nobody is going to ride it into combat, but it shows that outside-the-box thinking is important, especially if we want hybrid war-fighting vehicles in the near future.

Indeed. There won’t be a big ground war anyway for the forseeable future. Get the AF and NAVY and marines in order first. The army can wait a decade or 2.

Won’t rust in the upper midwest where the salt eats the vehicles in winter…

They tried. Ford, Chrysler and GM left the defense business a long time ago. Not profitable back then…but profitable now?

There’s more to it than meets the eye. The US and Germany were going to build MBT-70 together, and spent a lot on R&D until going their separate ways. Thus the M-1 and the Leopard were born.

At this point Lockheed is Government Owned, Contractor Operated.

At least Boeing has a commercial business.

GCV was the bastard child of the FCS MGV Infantry Combat Vehicle variant. Which also had a hybrid electric motor. Indeed, the SAIC design team started out with DARPA’s hydrid electric motor program. The wheels of justice turn slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine. It has been five years since Robert Gates trashed the program, and this is where we are today. #chickenscomehometoroost

Wow, all hopes for actual production of a vehicle are dead, but there’s still money for research and development. Who could have possibly seen that one coming?

You don’t get my point. The point was, the US had the biggest and probably best military industrial complex in the WORLD after ww2, while Germany’s was completely in ruins. Yet just a few years later, we saw US contractors display ignorant and arrogant incompetence (biggest budgets, yet crappiest products), while we saw Germany make the best stuff (with tiny budgets). Now can somebody explain to me why the F that is? Like a huge muscular guy can’t punch a dent in a pack of butter, but a todler can easily break it in half. Where is the logic in this? I mean rifles, trucks, apc’s, tanks, airplanes, cannons, WHATEVER. Why is it you do LESS with more, while the rest of the world does MORE with LESS?

I don’t mean their SILLY little endeavours into ROCKETS (hughes) or other silly things. I mean using their level of experience in the fields they know: VEHICULAR defense products. Tanks, trucks, apc’s etc. Mobile warfare. And F UCK the profits, I suspect DOD would be better off giving them small subsidies to hire engineers and make those products (even if not terribly profitable) instead of giving tens of billions to a bunch of retard incompetent current US contractors, who’ll promise you a 10 ton apc and deliver a 90 ton elephant. I mean Pakistan has a better MIC than you guys, when it comes to certain products.

Everybody talks about the motor — or hybrid engine — as some reporters like to use. But this is only a part of the system. For every motor, you need a generator that is at least as big, or bigger, as the motor. Then you need the power conditioning module, PCM, which is the size of your desk. And, oh yes, the battery pack which you see on the roof of hybrid buses. Notice how small that is! It ain’t light weight either. And, since all of these things have to be connected, there are electrical cables — not wires — running everywhere. While eveyone talks about the efficiency of the motor, no one mentions generator efficiency of 90%, PCM effieciency of 80% at best, and battery efficiency dependent on ambient temperature. Also, because of the low efficiency, all of these components have a cooling system with hoses running everywhere. Even the battery pack has to be cooled, or heated, to get decent performance depending on temperature.

There’s a common saying in aerospace, “no matter how screwed up aerospace is, the automotive industry is always at least twice as bad.” From the few experiences I’ve had working with the automotive industry, this has always been and will always be true. Which city would you rather live in, Detroit or Seattle?

If the European aerospace industry had more to waste, then they’d do things just as poorly as the American aerospace industry does. Europe pioneered fas cism. That’s the economic system both Europe and the US uses for the development of weapons. A socialist system based closer on communism clearly works better, and the US aerospace industry showed that a capitalist system with basic R&D being taken care of by the government is the best of all.

How about looking at some “new“technologies liek rotary power? I talked with an engineer who designed a non-metallic (ceramic) rotary engine that couls be laser cut that could theoretically generate 5,000 HP. Could burn anything combustible for fuel. Things like that is what we should be looking at. Not variations of old technologies, like diesel or gas-turbine. The resulting weight of these heavy combat vehicles would be cut in half, if not more. The government should be spending NO R&D dollars on old technologies. If they believe in it, let the contractors do that (with NO reimbursement from the government).

The Army if it wants to be part of the Pacific, should be throwing money at artillery options for anti ship warfare. They have some limitations because of INI and the missile tech export ban, but could still develop some systems that would be a real pain for the Chinese to add to their variables.

How does one exorcise the spirit of Sparky?

And yes, sure use the M113 and M60s if you absolutely have to.

But before then, use the better, more modern equipment as we’ve been training with them, and meet modern threats.

Artillery and air defense are good bets but even more important is returning to its pre 911 deployment capabilities. Many don’t realize the 82nd wasn’t the only division with elements on stand by for deployment. The 101st, 10th ID, 24th ID, 1st ID and more all had elements up to a BDE on 18–96 hr deployment status.

The BAE Systems GCV variant was facing an uphill battle to begin with, with an estimated weight of ~80 tons. The General Dynamics version, had many parts in common with the Stryker (except that it was a tracked vehicle) that would’ve weighed a lot less.

The BAE variant, despite being sold as “green”, would’ve made for yet another worsening of the logistical problems at a time when the DoD is trying to find ways to reduce logistical burdens.

The extremes between the two variants, when taken together, would’ve dragged development out forever. Until the Army is able to come to grips with requirements (including weight versus protection), pulling the plug was probably the right thing to do.

I did some work with rotary engines once. They are very interesting, and typically more reliable than a piston engine, but not as reliable as a gas turbine. On the other hand, gas turbines need a lot of air to operate and have a big heat signature because of that. They also tend to be susceptible to dirty air. Rotary engines don’t make much torque, but if hybrid drive systems actually are the future of tank transmissions, rotary engines would work to power the generators at least as well as a turbine. I’m sure if there was some good old fashioned capitalism involved in how we buy tanks, someone would have prototyped a rotary engined tank by now.

ELP did a good comment.

Fact is this GCV crap is not amphibious the M-113 is and would be slower and since its twice as BIG can be a easy target on the battle field. Since the M-113 is replaced by the M-2/3 Bradley some of these tacticoolers attacking are not founded. I do say the jobs the M-113 still has can still be easily founded to be done by a M-113, Medical Ambulance, Mortar carrier, Bas Security APC.

The M-60 is still a good tank Israel Turkey and Egypt still uses them a lot and it shown it self better than the Russian T-72 in battle against Syria and Iraq and is worlds better than the Chinese’s crap out there. is it as good as the M-1A1/2 … NO not y the long shot but for a back up tank and or for poorer allies needed a MBT no its still a good choice.

Some good news. We never needed this crap . A darn APC who is bigger and heavier than a M-1A1, yeah BIGGER target. This shows the dumb Army brass has there heads stuck fighting in Iraq all over again and then all bad guys will be Muslim Insurgents when we are going to the Pacific and dealing with Chin and North Korea who have huge standing Armies.

To me Bradley is just fine and is better than the Russian and Chinese tin cans they use for a APC. This save money for NIE which we do need to keep upgrading. I also don’t like a computer engine for all US APC and Tanks a EMP could render the whole Army immobile if we have large Prius copies for tank and APC engins no one thinks of the battle field any more I guess they think its Iraq or Afghanistan will be repeated over and over which is crap.

Never mind those newfangled M14’s, the 1903 Springfield is a proven rifle with a great track record spanning almost a century.

Agreed. There are plenty of examples of remote turrets with medium autocannon and ATGMs which require no hull penetration. A BFV with a modified Sampson RWS would have the same offensive capabilities and be able to carry a full 9-man squad.

Not this again. How many times does the US Government need to under cut the US Army? They say they need a new vehicle to replace the Bradley. The Striker didn’t work out, the MRAT isn’t needed now. Then were going go through this expensive process of a new vehicle competition all over again!

Remote turrets don’t have to take up interior hull space but they do require reloads and a weapon’s station that does. Granted, not as much as a manned turret but it’s not zero.

Further, vehicles that have a vehicle commander in addition to a gunner and driver (which adds another station to the interior) add quite a bit to the equation. While the gunner is focused on engaging targets and trying to identify new ones, the commander can ID follow on targets, maintain the vehicle’s situational awareness, coordinate the vehicle’s activities in coordination with dismounted troops and other vehicles. These are part of the key differences between an IFV and just an APC and why most of the best IFVs have three man crews.

The Stryker is doing just fine. There is a need for a heavy APC or IFV which is the niche for the Bradley or a replacement.

Not sure I understand your first point — BFV’s already have interior stowage for 2 or 3 reloads (25mm, coax, and TOWs). A remote turret wouldn’t have any impact on that. Yes, commander and gunner consoles would have to be added, but without the in-hull portion of the turret, even with the consoles you pick up an additional 4 troop’s worth of seating easy. So you go from 3+7 to 3+9, with no real loss in capability. I would prefer something that left a little bit of room in the turret allows the cdr to poke his head up and take a look around with his Mark 1’s.

My first point applied to any vehicle. There are some that forget reloads have to go somewhere inside. Yes the Bradley has internal stowage.

Have you been in a Bradley turret? I have. NO way does it offer four seats. Max of three.

Basic monitors, controls and radios have to go somewhere and there is even more bulk if you include the manual control capabilities a manned turret has as back up in case power, electronics or battle damage make you operate in degraded mode.

I’ve spent more time in a Bradley turret than I care to remember. I meant you could pick up 4 seats if the portion of the turret WITHIN the hull — that whole “cylinder” — was REMOVED, as would be possible with a remote turret. Sorry if that was unclear.

I agree for the Marines honestly. A I think an LPD only can carry something like 4 m1a1s. There is another option that might make even more sense. a m 60–2000 http://​www​.army​-guide​.com/​e​n​g​/​p​r​o​d​u​c​t​9​1​0​.​h​tml . A m60 with an m1a1 turret suspension and ballistic side skirts. I think the weight is something like 50 tons. It is the perfect for the amphibs, instead of 4 can we carry 6 or 8.

With regards to the m113 not only could it fill the mpc capacity check out all of the a4 versions there are currently http://​www​.fnss​.com​.tr/​e​n​/​p​r​o​d​u​c​t​/​m​1​1​3​-​m​o​d​e​r​n​i​zat… they can also take the place or the acv with the gator kit http://​www​.army​-guide​.com/​e​n​g​/​p​r​o​d​u​c​t​1​0​0​7​.​h​tml. I am not proposing using the 1960’s vintage vehicle as it is, but upgrading them to the latest variant. They can be used to storm the beach and the sea kit removed up armored after the beach is taken. That would make every marine APC eligible for amphibious operations. With the use of remote turrets now, they can retain the 11 man capacity of the m113 while putting a 30mm on top. And we have thousands in storage.

Finally the army could obviously just stick a remote 40mm turret on a bradley and upgrade the motor and suspension and get 80% or more of the capability of the puma. If we spend our money wisely we can have soldiers and weapons to fight with.

Then why is Boeing completely failing with it’s new civilian airliners and why is Lockheed mucking everything up? I’m not here to BASH America, I’m trying to point out/find where the F ucking problem is. Your defense budget is infinity, the BRAINPOWER is infinity, yet it seems the management is a cancerous tumor, that wants to fire every engineer (you know, who can actually FIX planes and design them) and funnel all that ‘infinity’ money into the anu ses of the shareholdes. Might that be why you need 2 trillion to develop a basic fighter jet? While China can develop 10 for that price? Or 20 different jets?

Well, the city comparisons are foolish, for reasons that are too big and off topic for this thread. Anyway, I would say American aerospace is in DECLINE (Boeing can’t make any more new civilian models, Lockheed is taking 2 steps back for every step forward sadly) and America’s AUTO industry is on the UP, with production, technology, profits all UP. This goes for all of the big 3. Look it up. Never have American cars been this good, and with proper management it will only get better. Hope that also happens to Boeing, who’s current management couldn’t manage a hot dog shop.

Agreed, they should move to the 40mm CTA remote turret with either Javelins or Spike AT missiles, which would free up 4 seats in the current Bradley, then they could go back to a 9 man squad carried in the vehicle.

No, I agree readiness has to be part of the equation but readiness without the right tools for the job doesn’t help. The Rand study talked about I think it was how even a 200km ASM could muck things up a lot for the PLA. We could field up to a 500km weapon system as long as it wasn’t something that could be exported and be within INI and export ban limits.

Understood about the whole cylinder.

Besides commanding a Bradley company I’ve pulled the turrets. I’ve also climbed in all the variants of the AMPV (turretless Bradley) at Ft. Benning’s Maneuver Conference. I served when the original folding/flip to the side seating was SOP, through to today’s individual seats. You can’t get four typical infantrymen with kit in that Bradley turret ring space unless they are standing up.

It’s possible to get a fully equipped nine man squad and at least a two man crew in a turretless Bradley. It’s really minor to debate over one seat but consider that it causes spacial disorientation if gunners don’t face in the direction of travel. It also creates issues with orienting the gunner on a target. You lose space when you have to configure seats for a rapid exit, forward facing crew and I think you are underestimating the space needed to operate a remote turret.

See my comments ref four seats.

The issues are greater than just slapping seats in the space which not big enough for four fully equipped grunts.

Not to sound like a broken record here, but Boeing gets paid more to f up. Really, I can’t fathom why it should surprise anyone that they do given where the profit incentive clearly is. They put their best people on the problem of learning new and better ways to f up so as to maximize profit. And if a program gets cancelled just as it goes into production as this one has, then that’s perfect. They’ve done their job perfectly. In fact, in this case, there’s even a $100 million follow on technology development program so the cash keeps flowing in even though they’ve managed get the the Army to completely give up on the chance of this vehicle ever being built. It’s high fives all around at corporate on this one. Why don’t you people get that?

The defense industry made RECORD PROFITS all the way through the second great depression. They aren’t losing. They are winning. They are winning big. In fact, I wonder how much better they have to do before people open their eyes and realize that.

Yeah, thank God they cancelled this one just before it went into production. The defense contractor made billions of dollars over 3 decades just so they could leave us with nothing but an empty sack and, WOW, do I feel lucky! Hell, I’m going to go play the lottery I feel so damn lucky.

I was basing my “guesstimate” on the Stryker TC’s station, which is fairly compact — but which is also dealing with the operation of just a single weapon system, and not 3…

What you are saying here just isn’t accurate. The GCV has nothing in common with the Stryker that is General Dynamics AMPV canidate that shares commonality with the stryker. The GD GCV uses the same engine that is being proposed for the M1 engine replacement. I think it also shares the M1 base chasis, but GD is very tight lipped about it’s gcv option.

If you put a remote weapon station on a bradely and remove the turrent busstle and fuel from inside then there is room for the 9 infantry plus 3 crew memebers. simplest cheapest solution that would make the bradley useful for years to come. Of course you need to update the engine and power distribution at the same time.

My first question whenever they talk about replacing a particular platform (Bradley, in this case):

What exactly are the shortcomings of the Bradley they hope to overcome? I spent years working on them, and as a package it’s a good vehicle. The only big issue is that we saw was that it’s a compromise, not being able to transport enough troops.

So fine, make a new variant with a remote turret and be done with it. No need to reinvent the wheel.

Yeah the Stryker weapons station is pretty bare bones for a simple weapon. .50 cal/Mk19s don’t fire different rounds on the fly and they are more an area suppression weapon vs. the single point target capability required of cannon and AT missiles. You have to worry about LRFs, ballistic computers, selecting weapons, type of ammo, burst vs. single shot, programming air burst munitions, missile control electronics etc. There’s also the issue of either an ambidextrous single hand joystick or the more effective dual cadillacs we typically equip gunners with.

…unless we abrogate INF with the Russians.

Then we can get back into the IRBM game.

I believe the answer here is for JohnnyRanger and majr0d to submit an unsolicited R&D proposal to the Army, with copies to the Congressional appropriations committees, about their modified Bradley idea, including why its cheaper and best. If the Army doesn’t buy off on it, Congress should add it. Yes! A “pork” project, but to quell that nonsense, get a list with thousands of Bradley and solider “user” endorsements to say that’s the way to go. Not some ten-year R&D and go nowhere effort. In fact, the way to sell it to the US Army is to offer that mod to a foreign customer first!

Good luck with that. Who do you think has a better lobby, those two or BAE?

They’ve actually made noise about it as well for the same reason we would want to. Ideally a 1000 km range would be about perfect, but even 500km is doable depending on the possibly dynamics in a conflict and nations involved.

Hmmm. Either this site (or one of its sisters) made a big deal about a GCV variant that shared a lot of common components with the Stryker. Regardless, I’d rather see us using the Bradley’s (modified/updated) for this purpose, as they are a proven and reliable platform.

But using an existing platform is cost effective and sometimes reduces the ability of others to make huge amounts of money building an incremental improvement (sarcasm intended).

How about buying the German Marder IFV?

Sorry.….…I mean Puma IFV.

Would need some serious modifications. Primarily more space to seat a nine man infantry squad in the back as opposed to the six currently seated.

Remote turret bradley makes more sense and is cheaper. Plus with the same remote turret the bradley can seat 9 as opposed to 6. Several thousand bradleys already in inventory. If the bradley is selected as the ampv then there will be complete synergy in the heavy brigade. Almost every heavy will be based off a bradley deviant with a few exceptions. The m109pim uses the bradley chassis too. The xm8 which is back in play uses bradley components also. It just makes sense. It seems to me that the bradley family of vehicles is taking the place of FCS in reality just slowly and piece meal. It really puts us ahead of the world curve and what not with many other countries trying to standardize on a chassis.

In other words, America is run by the dumbest people this earth has ever seen, and there have been many dumb governments/systems, and you guys are okay with it? A full quarter or whatever of your budget is involved yearly in this big racket? More and more money for less and less results? The contractors can’t even make simple sub hunters anymore. Pretty much a refuelling tanker is the last ‘competence’ left. So what’s the answer? Importing it from normal countries? Giving up the military? It’s insane that the dark powers have put in this system of profitable failure and got away with it. May their mothers rot in hell.

The M-8 might be making a comeback? The “light tank” M-8? Its a shame the Army didnt get them decades ago!

Uh, this is a form of socialism that was perfected by Europe long before the United States of America even existed, so let’s give credit where credit is due. That said, the US being a republic does mean that “we the people” are in fact where the buck stops when it comes for blame, and we continue to turn a blind eye to this idiotic system of procurement despite its obvious and continuous state of failure, so, yes, we pretty much are a nation of morons. Hell, isn’t it obvious. When government employees designed our rockets we could go to the moon. We were the only nation that could and that achievement remained solely ours and will be solely ours for probably half a century. Today we rent rides from Russia to get our sorry asstronauts to low earth orbit.

Actually, Israel doesn’t use them anymore. They were retired under the new ‘Teuazah’ plan and replaced by Merkava’s.

M-60 is nothing but missile fodder in this day and age.

Do pray tell,

What is demonstratively “better” than the M113, to include its improvements?

Wheeled APCs?

I actually agree.

The M113 chassis is tried and true and is capable of plugging in with new improvements in survivability and battlefield communications, not to mention tracks are far more mobile across any other terrain besides roads. It is also far superior for handling other niche specific weapon systems such as engineering guns.

I know the M60 has modernized upgrades to it, but i’m not sure how they can perform. I do know they were significantly less expensive to operate than the M1 Abrams and are realistically far more flexible when it comes to supporting infantry (a “good” tank is not only useful for killing other tanks you know).

The Army’s inability to grasp amphibious capability for vehicles is a weakness that will bite us in the ass.

Its amazing how a 70-ton IFV is even being considered.

We already had the M113A4 and the M8 Buford, but the Army chose to go with the vastly inferior Stryker instead.


Supposedly the Marines are flirting with the idea of replacing their LAVs with the Havoc, which is a US-manufactured Patria. Supposedly it is a fine vehicle (and was well liked in Afghanistan), but time will only tell.

First, define the role. If you want a true infantry fighting vehicle, something up there with the tanks and in direct action, more armor is better. The M113 is quite limited here, it cannot match the latest Bradley variants with ERA, nor any number of other IFVs on the market.

Wheeled vs tracked for a light/medium weight AFV really depends on the terrain you expect to be dealing with.

Engineering guns? The last demolition guns were based on the M60, something heavy is usually better for an combat engineer vehicle.

The handful of advantages a M60A3 may have over an M1 in supporting infantry is vastly outweighed by the superior armor of the M1. Upgrades to the M1 can add just about everything you need for COIN operations too.

The problem with a heavy IFV are primarily related to strategic mobility, yet the plus side is armor comparable to a MBT. It’s not realistic to replace all of our Bradleys with such a vehicle, but it would certainly have its uses.

There is no M113A4 in the US Army. It may have been a proposed upgrade and sometimes “M113A4” is used for marketing purposes but the Army never fielded anything beyond the M113A3.

The M8 AGS was cancelled due to the ‘90s budget cuts, probably so Clinton could fund our wonderful intervention in former Czechoslovakia. Perhaps a M8 variant should have been for the “mobile gun system” part of the IAV program, but commonality with the Stryker took priority it seems. We could have done better with the M1128 (a different turret for example) but it does work despite the bugs.

Firstly, I’m talking about “what” the M113 is: An APC.

More armor is better? how about mobility, firepower, and amphibious capability?

What do you mean it is quite limited in its armor capability? The M113 can incorporate the same level of protection as the Bradley. WIthout the additional armor, the Bradley is roughly as comparable as the M113 in terms of protection.

Yes, “engineering gun” meaning low velocity cannon capable of firing a HESH round or similar munition ideally useful against infantry and fortifications. I should have specified. A similar one too is the M68A1 105mm in the MGS or the aforementioned M728. For infantry support, it is a essential vehicle that can be far more flexible than a main battle tank-based AVRE (which is really a niche specific vehicle).

The M60 has longer endurance, lower maintenance costs and time consumption, diesel power plant (which is cooler and can allow infantry to use the vehicle as cover), and even decade old plus developments of 105mm ammunition can currently defeat existing threats (the 105 can also fire a wider variety of ammunition, making it far more flexible). The bottom escape hatch and infantry telephone are also excellent features. Its obsolescence when compared to the M1 is only because the A3, first conceived in the late 70s, had no future development say for the 2000 and Sabra upgrades.

A “heavy” IFV is utterly flawed in concept, especially due to the fact that future infantry-based anti-tank missile systems will only become more sophisticated, effective, and inexpensive, therefore, more commonplace. It is trying to fulfill a concept better filled by a infantry support tank (such as the Israeli Namer or Russian BTR-T), essentially reinventing the wheel in a very expensive and complex manner. The Army is basically trying to have its cake and eat it too: it wants impenetrable protection in a IFV package when weight is already spiraling out of control (and that is not even getting into the logistical issues it creates in a era of sequestration knifing itself into the aerial and naval transport apparatus).

They’re not dumb. They’re in fact very intelligent.

They want to create weapons and equipment that require a long logistical tail because it keeps them employed. Planned obsolescence and other goodies.

It is about money. The idea that “good” weapons need to be hideously expensive is utterly wrong and has been throughout history.

They sure haven’t made up for the lost capability of retiring the sheridans…

A up armored TOW humvee and strkyer fleet is no substitute for a air droppable tank. But if the army didn’t get them then, they definitely wont now :P

Glad Im not in anymore.

Doubtful. Army wants a mine-resistant, tank gun resistant tank that is light and fast while acting as a mobile wifi hotspot… /sarc

“In other words, America is run by the dumbest people this earth has ever seen, and there have been many dumb governments/systems, and you guys are okay with it?”

Generally, no. But it’s a rot that affects everything from top to bottom. It’ll take lots of independents like Bernie Sanders to turn the ship around, but America is dangerously infected by party ideology. About the only thing Americans can agree on is dropping bombs on that bad guy the mainstream media tells us about…you know, Emmanuel Goldstein. He’s everywhere.

There is indeed no M113A4, but the vehicle certainly could have been put into production, alongside the M8.

I do like the idea of a wheeled MGS. The stryker is a terrible system, although the concept itself is not flawed.

Yea a 70 ton APC the size of a bus.…yea that’s intelligent.

Need APC’s? Simple remove the Turret from the Bradley place on a ring for a .50 or a Launcher or some such. Plenty of room, established log trail, training basically stays the same, etc.

Oh my bad that would mean no massive fund and kick back to the Generals and no new massive multi billion dollar contract to farm for congressional and senate support.

And before CE gets on here and laments about how we ignorant savage Americans have lost our way and should come to the greater good of EURO LAND I’ll say this. Most of the stuff the EU and NATO and such use.….the US funds the research. Just like we fund a bunch of shit ya’ll don’t have to spend money on because we have it. Most of our allies have had to “barrow” our helicopters for transport around Iraq and Afghanistan. Had to barrow a bunch of stuff for Libya to but ya know that’s they way it is.

But anyways the Idea of a brand new “Networked” 70+ton APC is insane.

” I had a guarantee military sale. Renovation program. Spare parts for 25 years. Who cares if it worked or not? ”

Said a fictional defense contractor in 1987.

I think it was over at DT. Someone was showing off a tracked Stryker.

Why the sarcasm? Wasn’t that the description of the GCV?

It is very obvious from the comments above, that none of you have ever had to build a combat vehicle to the specifications required by the Army’s combat developers. If you want to cast aspersions on some segment of the process, cast it at them. Industry only designs and builds to what they say they need in the way of protection, performance and mobility in the RFP, and the Army always wants it all. Don’t be so quick to denigrate the OEM’s, they could do it faster, better, cheaper if they didn’t have so much bureacracy to wade through.

I was thinking of FCS more than GCV, but they’re related programs.

Add everything except to hide behind the tank in a firefight since the jet engine exhaust is just as dangerous as the bullet’s flying.

Lockheed is just a government funnel they use to pour money into the pockets of a handful of executives and large stock holders. It’s a f’ing travesty. Boeing is only slightly better. Their commercial division does things better to stay alive, but it is still a huge lobby for outsourcing American jobs overseas.

Cry me a river. If you’ve got such a problem with the “bureaucracy” then go ahead and take this opportunity to enter the free market. We’ll see how long you last there.

If the free market built realistic vehicles, it would force the procurement to match expectations: the reality checks are free.

Oh for God’s sake just buy the German Army’s Puma and be done with it. For all reason stop spending taxpayer money on one project after another when it produces NOTHING!

You are describing the state of the art from several decades ago. Look at what you can do today with modern SiC MOSFETs. http://​www​.rohm​.com/​w​e​b​/​g​l​o​b​a​l​/​s​i​c​-​m​o​s​fet

Impossible! with US Defence Dept. & Public, reason: ar·ro·gance, the best is made in America. How is the F-22, F-35, P-8, & LCS, working for US.

Yeah, let’s outsource our weapons industry, because it’s worked out so well with every other industry. Maybe you should ask General Robert E Lee about what happens when you go to war with no domestic industries beyond agriculture.

Tell ya what wise-ass, why don’t all defense contractors just stop making defense products and go do like you said and make millions of things like commercial vehicles, etc. where IR&D funds CAN be recovered. If you think that tens to hundreds of millions of dollars required to design, prototype and qualify mil hardware to dozens of multi-hundred page mil-specs can be recovered off the profits of 100‑2000 vehicles you are smoking those Colorado tumbleweeds.

Concerned European: thank you for your concern, but the car companies were not interested in the ground combat vehicle program. they do not have the expertise in armor, classified commo systems, countermeasure systems, etc and integrating them into a military vehicle. also, the amount of revenue that military programs like GCV could provide them is chump change for them.

…and the damage to those hoses and cables that small arms rounds could do necessitates all of that armor–hence the weight.

Wow, William_C1 — you really know your stuff. I say this as having been worked on procurement for the M113A3. Also was on the AGS source selection evaluation team. Long time ago. Wonder what ever happened to the ‘green’ M113 that BAE shopped to TACOM? It ran on a whole slew of batteries.

As long as they stick to their core competencies (and don’t do what Ford did with the first versions of Sync. Ford tried to do the software in-house, what a mess) then I think you’re on to something…


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