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What Am I Missing Here?


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#21 Chris Werb

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 1434 PM

Simon. I'm not seeing any lack of image guided munitions in actual use by western armies. The price per missile may be higher than laser beam riding or wire guided but you also have to factor in much increased portability accuracy and survivability particularly in lock on after launch engagements. If you have to use several saclos missiles to do the job of one iir and get your team killed in the process or fail to prevent the enemy accomplishing their mission the direct cost comparison swings very much in favour of image seeling.The other guidance systems are better for use against some targets but whether that is a valid reason to retain them I'm not so sure.
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#22 Colin

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 1726 PM

Chris, you really are deeply indoctrinated. An imaging missile is going to be several times the cost of a SACLOS missile, thus reducing substantially the number of rounds you can afford as a parsimonious NATO military. Which meant they become important in being and are to be husbanded. Which in turns means you dont issue them to all and sundry.

Recent history tells us which is a better way. I would argue that Islamic State is a competent enemy that would kick the snot out of most of NATO. If it was not, NATO would not be hiding in al Tanf.

Some SF and Styker Battalion is not "NATO". The US crushed AQI and could do the same to ISIS if they had the troops there. You are correct that amount of ATGM's and other goodies is lower than it should be, western countries like to spend money on non-munitions stuff, fact of life. The good news is that the sheer amount of ATGM videos had quite the effect on the leaders of the CF who "re-discovered' the need for ATGM and organic fire support within an infantry battalion. 


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#23 Chris Werb

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 1745 PM

Steel Beasts actually does a pretty good job of simulating various ATGW types (including BILL-2, TOW (not the latest auto-trackng fire units), Javelin, MILAN (all versions) and SPIKE-LR (dual mode no less) and they are a lot of fun to play. It gives you some idea of the tactical limitations of the various systems (the only supersonic beam-rider in game is RBS-70 and that's obviously not an ATGW although it does work against lightly armoured vehicles in game).


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#24 TTK Ciar

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 1755 PM

Be mindful that the Javelin's technology (optics and logic) is 18 years old at this point, which is twelve iterations of Moore's Law. A fresh redesign using more COTS components could be three orders of magnitude cheaper and considerably more capable, and produced in the hundreds of thousands of units.

(Though that's contingent on a defense contractor wanting to design something inexpensive and senators wanting to fund it instead of shoving pork at more expensive job-making defense projects, so I'm not holding my breath.)

Edited by TTK Ciar, 12 November 2017 - 1756 PM.

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#25 Burncycle360

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 1849 PM

Be mindful that the Javelin's technology (optics and logic) is 18 years old at this point, which is twelve iterations of Moore's Law. A fresh redesign using more COTS components could be three orders of magnitude cheaper and considerably more capable, and produced in the hundreds of thousands of units.

(Though that's contingent on a defense contractor wanting to design something inexpensive and senators wanting to fund it instead of shoving pork at more expensive job-making defense projects, so I'm not holding my breath.)


I'm picking up Thermals for my sUAS that would have cost as much as a small car a few years ago.  Now with 12µm uncooled sensors, they're not only much smaller than their predecessors, they're far cheaper too.   The price is dropping down even below that of Gen III NOD, and down to the price of a decent AR-15 at around $1,500.

I'm surprised PGM's for 155mm artillery and 120mm mortar isn't just standard issue now (I know that being artillery, they have other considerations such as launching G forces, but the development cycle has been so long that they're also using relatively stone age tech).

Sometimes I wonder what could get done if we created an "internal reform committee" made up of members of this site with commander's intent to be "unfuck our military" with broad SOCOM like procurement powers, stepping aside the traditional military industrial complex / procurement system.   We'd probably even save money while improving effectiveness.


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#26 Simon Tan

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 2159 PM

I love the 'if we decided to turn up, we would crush em' response. There's still time. The sad fact is that the US/NATO contingent in Syria (and Iraq) has assiduously avoided getting into a stand up fight with DAESH. Why? Because they are seasoned, have competent commanders and are flexible. Two generations ahead of Zarqawi n Co. They are also much better equipped (equipment seems like less of an issue than manpower now).

 

Chris....TOW 2Aero. Continues to be steadily procured at higher than sustainment for US usage. SACLOS RF guided junk should obviously be consigned to the scrappers or at least given to al Qaeda. Wait....clearly a case of Russian interference intended to influence and degrade US and NATO warfighting capability. 

 

The primary supplier of ATGWs to the Russian Federation is KBP-Tula. Their direct fire solutions are all based around laser beam riding apart from the Metis-M family which is still wire guided. I suspect there is a high degree of commonality in components across the various missiles being produced. To establish a new line for a Javelin/Spike type missile would require a considerable investment and thus substantial orders to amortize. This and the need to have control of the basic imager production capability means even higher initial costs. Also unlike the US, the Russians actually have to balance military spending with other spending. Yes Chris, I realize that you find this strange and incomprehensible but the Russians really are spreading out their monies beyond Moscow and St. P. Due to a predilection of bandit oligarchs to siphon their monies to the UK, the regions have required additional expenditure to make up for the neglect and looting.


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#27 Colin

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 2348 PM

Simon the only time the US really allowed it's troops to go full throttle was during the surge, the political holdback is strong in this deployment, it became better under Trump, but by that time it was pretty much to late, the US with their Kurdish allies have slowly but surely forced ISIS back, ISIS as a Caliphate in the end just provides targets, there were ample targets when Obama was in, but no will. ISIS as a Caliphate is almost dead, something else will arise from the ashes, but it will be another form of insurgency, less centric than AQ. ISIS did an impressive job of building it's arms industry, but they fucked themselves with their rampant nutbarism, just like every radical Islamic entity and the Nazi's. ISIS administration is the very poison that destroys them.


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#28 TTK Ciar

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 0146 AM

To establish a new line for a Javelin/Spike type missile would require a considerable investment and thus substantial orders to amortize.


That's what gets to me -- I don't think it needs to be that big of an investment.

The most expensive part of most businesses is payroll. I've worked for enough tech startups to know that small companies can go toe-to-toe with the big guys and produce superior products on a shorter timeline at lower costs, especially if they leverage existing COTS components instead of designing their own.

Where the bigger companies have the advantage is in their larger marketing budgets, larger sales force, brand recognition, contacts in high places .. things that secure contracts, not things that make the product better (usually -- there are some exceptions).

There's no reason the company (not team, but entire company) which designs, develops and mass-produces a Javelin successor has to be more than eight individuals, with commensurate project savings.
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#29 Simon Tan

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 0319 AM

It is not how good or lean you are. It is how able you are to influence decision makers and survive the compliance arrows sent your way. This is true whether in the US or in Russia.

Governments usually avoid COTS because it means no reasons to bloat.
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#30 KV7

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 0602 AM

@Chris; He meant that AT weapons have to be light AND have good range.
 
Spike SR is a most interesting weapon, often overlooked. It needs no launcher, weighs as much as a Panzerfaust 3, can do IIR-guided direct attack  over 1,800 m and needs no launcher. Should be fine for BMP plinking on open fields.
ERYX is impressive in its range class, too. Short time of flight makes me wonder if the SACLOS vulnerability to IR jammers matters at all in this case, weight similar to Panzerfaust 3 but much better warhead and accuracy.
 
------------------------
Generally, I suppose one should draw a line between MBT-ish threats on the one side and BMP/BTR threats on the other (the usual BMP and BTR, not the super-uncommon heavy ones).
 
BMP-2 don't require a bigger warhead than 50-76 mm, depending on warhead tech, impact location, impact angle and whatever is outside of the BMP-2's main armour plate there.
Light munitions of less than 3 kg can be developed to be effective against a moving BMP-2 at ~500 metres. That's something that we're missing.
 
You need heavier munitions than infantry could carry all the time for anti-MBT work.
I suppose infantry should have short range anti-MBT munitions in its vehicles (Pzf3IT-600, for example).
Long-range anti-MBT work is either about delusions or about heavy vehicle-mounted weapons and munitions. Ideally long rod penetrators by 120-125 (soon maybe 130 mm) calibre or CKEM-ish.
Portable ATGMs of all kinds can be defeated all-too often by competent, alert and well-equipped crews (neither Turks nor Saudis are a proper benchmark). Especially the rapid multispectral obscuration is most impressive - and cheap!
 
GALIX was good

(sorry for the obnoxious narrator)
 
but this one looks even better:

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cu7daHh7-PA
 
So the gaps that I see are
 
(1) ultralight anti-BMP munition with 400-600 m effective range (3 kg and predicted line of sight autopilot), carried by every infantry fire team in all combat situations
(2) anti-tank HVMs with long rod penetrator and inertial navigation autopilot for predicted point of impact flight, mounted on vehicles
 
Instead, there are lots of 5+ km ATGM systems; missiles for ranges at which detection and identification of targets is most unlikely unless you want to fight in Russia, Ukraine or Arabian deserts.
There are also way too many WW2 bazooka-inspired 'dumb' "anti-tank" weapons and munitions with horrible inaccuracy and marginal effective ranges.
The modern Carl Gustavs are fine, but they're man-portable infantry guns, not anti-MBT weapons.
 

 

Another strange omission is the US Army's apparent disinterest in deploying a modern hand held anti tank weapon along the lines of NLAW or Pzf3

There was the FGM-172 "Predator" SRAW, a top-attack weapon that worked much like the NLAW but they stopped procuring it years ago from what I've read.

 

Those were few, reworked into HE munitions and by now I suppose many if not most were expended.

I raised this on another thread, but for plinking IFV etc. even an unguided high velocity rocket would do. A ~ 73 mm or even 57 mm rocket with a long rod launched out of an SPG-9 or similar will be more then enough. Then you also have a weapon useful for general support using HE.


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#31 lastdingo

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 0740 AM

Meaningful HE support is rather heavy compared to a LAW weight class munition.

I think a Carl Gustav per platoon as portable infantry gun should do that trick unless the need is anticipated - and then you could pick more from the tool bag to carry around.


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#32 DB

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 0810 AM

http://www.mbda-syst...-with-enforcer/
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#33 lastdingo

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 0829 AM

"Enforcer" is merely MBDA catching up with the Israeli Spike SR years late with flashier marketing.


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#34 Chris Werb

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 1317 PM

Whilst I can see the merit in a system that can take out BMP class vehicles and much else besides, I wouldn't want to rely on a future enemy only deploying infantry vehicles with BMP/BTR/BRDM class armour.


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#35 JWB

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 1323 PM

 

To establish a new line for a Javelin/Spike type missile would require a considerable investment and thus substantial orders to amortize.


That's what gets to me -- I don't think it needs to be that big of an investment.

The most expensive part of most businesses is payroll. I've worked for enough tech startups to know that small companies can go toe-to-toe with the big guys and produce superior products on a shorter timeline at lower costs, especially if they leverage existing COTS components instead of designing their own.

Where the bigger companies have the advantage is in their larger marketing budgets, larger sales force, brand recognition, contacts in high places .. things that secure contracts, not things that make the product better (usually -- there are some exceptions).

There's no reason the company (not team, but entire company) which designs, develops and mass-produces a Javelin successor has to be more than eight individuals, with commensurate project savings.

 

That could be done with the Rapid Fielding Initiative. It could also be done through back doors like the original LGB. http://sgspires.trip...m/lgb_index.htm


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#36 lastdingo

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 1327 PM

The problem is that dismounted scouts / infantry are terribly overburdened  even if they only carry two effective anti-MBT munitions (which would still average way less than one MBT kill) per squad. That's on the order of 25 kg weight. Two men of the squad would be overburdened if they carried those munitions and a carbine, 200 5.56 and otherwise only sustainment items.

 

So I suppose the troops should be given a really effective (= great hit % + near-certain penetration) and thus deterring 80% munition that works against everything but heavy IFVs, HAPCs and MBTs.

The other, dedicated MBT-busting munitions could then be grabbed from a vehicle when needed.

 

And frankly, it should be quicker to deploy a new infantry AT munition than a threat country to deploy hundreds or thousands of heavier IFVs and HAPCs.

Germany needed an embarrassingly long time to develop and deploy the Panzerfaust 3 (and it was thus obsolete upon introduction!), but this should be possible in three years maximum, two years if it's a true priority program.


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#37 lastdingo

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 1329 PM

double post


Edited by lastdingo, 13 November 2017 - 1414 PM.

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#38 EchoFiveMike

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 1406 PM

It is not how good or lean you are. It is how able you are to influence decision makers and survive the compliance arrows sent your way. This is true whether in the US or in Russia.

Governments usually avoid COTS because it means no reasons to bloat.

 

Yes, we have a managerialist system.  The purpose is to obtain authority while avoiding accountability.  Hire more minions, gain more budget, produce less product, as that can be analysed and critiqued.  

 

There's so much firing and purging to be done.  S/F....Ken M


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#39 DB

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 1825 PM

"Enforcer" is merely MBDA catching up with the Israeli Spike SR years late with flashier marketing.

Nope, that's MMP.


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#40 Inhapi

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 0316 AM

 

 

So I suppose the troops should be given a really effective (= great hit % + near-certain penetration) and thus deterring 80% munition that works against everything but heavy IFVs, HAPCs and MBTs.

The other, dedicated MBT-busting munitions could then be grabbed from a vehicle when needed.

 

 

For that, would the old LAW not do ?


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