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Patrol/recon Vehicles; Is There An Ideal Solution Or Design?


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#1 Gavin-Phillips

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Posted 25 August 2017 - 1516 PM

This post was mostly inspired by reading up on the British Army's "Jackal" patrol vehicle, after seeing a couple of them being transported down south a few months ago, 2 3-axle versions I think.

 

Anyway, looking at pictures of either the 4x4 or 6x6 versions of the Jackal, the driver and crew look awfully exposed to anything from small arms fire and shell fragments when considering something like the Russian BRDM-2 or BTR.  But being buttoned up inside armour and relying on only vision devices or cameras to see what's going on outside isn't exactly ideal either.  

 

So is there really a "best solution" for a reconnaissance or patrol vehicle?  And in what form (should such an example already exist) does it take?

 

 



#2 Wobbly Head

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Posted 25 August 2017 - 1739 PM

Depends what type of recon your doing. Are you there to engage the enemy's recon element and report when you start firing. Do you stay hidden and report then try to sneak away undetected. Or do you sit there giving hourly updates till you stop reporting and then HQ know the enemy is there? I doubt there is one ideal vehicle for all recon types.

Edited by Wobbly Head, 25 August 2017 - 1839 PM.


#3 Chris Werb

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Posted 26 August 2017 - 0731 AM

As Wobbly Head said, it depends on your doctrine. Do you want to fight for information and is the vehicle going to just be used for recon or flank protection, counter-recon etc? if you were going to go pure recon, I would be looking at at something small with hybrid or pure electric drive, pneumatic-tyred wheels or rubber band tracks for silence and mast mounted or tethered UAV sensor system and remote UAVs/UGVs perhaps even disposable ground-based sensors. If you want to fight for info and perform the other roles traditionally assigned to recce vehicles, something more like a tank begins to make sense - the W. German army used tanks in recon units with the expectation that they would end up in direct fire engagements with enemy mechanised forces.



#4 Gavin-Phillips

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Posted 26 August 2017 - 0825 AM

Thanks for the replies so far.  Indeed there doesn't seem to be one basic type of reconnaissance.  The "recon through force" type would best be served by using a mix of tanks and IFV/HAPC.

 

I was considering more of a scanario where vehicles were using used to spot the enemy and report positions/strengths, given some kind of armament enough to protect themselves against the most common threats (presumably infantry) and use their mobility to avoid any major contact.  In this case, the idea of the BRDM-2 seems to be quite a valid one.  But your capability of understanding what's happening around you isn't terrific when you are stuck inside with poor situational awareness in such a vehicle as that.

 

So a vehicle perhaps used within a point element, and a flank one as well.  Using mobility to move ahead of a main column to examine what's up ahead, check out a bridge for enemy activity etc.



#5 Chris Werb

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Posted 26 August 2017 - 0946 AM

You would be unbuttoned most of the time, and your Mk 1 eyeballs would be no less efficient from one of those than from any other vehicle of equivalent height :)



#6 CaptLuke

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Posted 26 August 2017 - 1145 AM

another ditto for Wobbly Head's opening remarks

 

That said, I think a good example of old school best practice would be Ramta's RBY which was a very good distillation of the WWII experience: light, small, and quiet (the good points of the jeeps) but protected against rifle and machine gun fire (fixing the fatal flaw of the jeeps).  Add in crew positions well set up for all around visibility, ability to mount a good amount of suppressive fire for emergencies, and mine protection and you've got a spiffy little design.

 

Like most designs based off of WWII experience, it's light and under-armed for full blown mechanized conflict and not well suited for urban areas (one or both being fatal flaws these days).  Plus there's the usual wheels vs. tracks debate . . .

 

With more modern tech, and your vision for requirements, I would think a vehicle with small UAVs (for moving scenarios) and something like the US's current LRAS3 for static work, though a mast mounted version would be much better.  Using this style, the vehicle itself doesn't matter very much, but you need some space, so whatever IFV or 8x8 platform you have handy would be fine.


Edited by CaptLuke, 26 August 2017 - 1145 AM.


#7 Simon Tan

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 1433 PM

Scrambler bike or ATV for sneaky recce.

#8 Panzermann

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 1540 PM

Scrambler bike or ATV for sneaky recce.

 

bicycles or horses or own feet work too as the situation dictates.

 

 

 

Adding to CaptLuke: What the RBY is missing IMHO are side doors for easy exit to look at traces on the ground or sneak around a corner on foot.  And in modern times good mine rotecion is put heavy emphasis on, making the vehicles bigger and higher.

 

Germany and the Netherlands use the Fennek, a 4x4 armoured car with side doors and a mast mounted sensor suite. Poland has removed the "training wheels" from its BRDM-2 and added doors. Often MRAP-ish vehicles are deployed nowadays, so  definite trends are doors for easy dismounting and mine protection and sensors on masts.

 

 

Then there are the bigger scout taxis like 6x6 and 8x8 APCs or IFV (is a Piranha with turret an IFV?).

 

 

So no, there is no ideal design I'd say. depends much on what type of recce you plan on doing.



#9 Burncycle360

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 2344 PM

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#10 Mr King

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 1304 PM

Airless wheels have been used for a while now in Bobcat skidloaders, were recently introduced by John Deer for their zero turn tractors, and are being trialed for agricultural use. I wonder how well they deal with snow and ice conditions where you can get build up of freezing material inside the tire now. 



#11 Panzermann

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 1429 PM

Airless wheels have been used for a while now in Bobcat skidloaders, were recently introduced by John Deer for their zero turn tractors, and are being trialed for agricultural use. I wonder how well they deal with snow and ice conditions where you can get build up of freezing material inside the tire now. 

 

in WW2 a few armoured cars had airless tires, but of different design.

 

 

They just could close the outsides with cloth or a rubber sheet? :unsure:



#12 lastdingo

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 1708 PM

I suppose that's what would be done in a serious design, but makes little sense if you want a photo op.

Same problem with mud.

 

I suppose the ideal choice of recce vehicle depends on terrain and mission/doctrine, but also on the perspective. A national perspective would focus on fleet effectiveness (efficient vehicles), while the users no doubt prioritise crew survivability a lot more.

 

One important thing to keep in mind is the need to dismount troops frequently. They need to look into garages, barns, homes, under bridges, climb up to better vantage points and talk to civilians. Many - especially heavily armed- "scout" vehicles lack this. The French heavily armed armoured cars for example are rather optimised for technicals-killing in the Sahara. A VBL with a hand-held thermal camera is often a better scout vehicle than a 105 mm-armed 6x6 armoured car.

 

 

related

http://defense-and-f...sance-good.html


Edited by lastdingo, 30 August 2017 - 1709 PM.


#13 Panzermann

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 0625 AM

The actual scouts ride in VBL while overwatch is being done by the accompanying light tanks.



#14 Gavin-Phillips

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 1341 PM

Some really thought-provoking replies here, especially the point about scouts having to dismount often and the use of side doors for speed and ease of exiting and entering the vehicle.

 

Thanks everyone :) 



#15 Chris Werb

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 0655 AM

Some really thought-provoking replies here, especially the point about scouts having to dismount often and the use of side doors for speed and ease of exiting and entering the vehicle.

 

Thanks everyone :)

 

If you play Steel Beasts Pro PE you can experiment with all sorts of tactics including integral UGV and UAVs, I enjoy playing recce in the Luchs and having the two scouts exit the vehicle and scout forward, acting as FOs on occasions. You can then pick them up and take them elsewhere or, if the target is relatively harmless, destroy it with the vehicle's 20mm cannon. The Luchs is a relatively large vehicle and you have lots of other options in game. A humvee works very well if you've simply scouting and don't intend to engage, though you do get the option of a .50 HMG or 40mm AGL. At the high end the game simulates a variety of other vehicles that can be used for recce/scouting, up to and including MBTs - you're spoilt for choice.  Disclaimer: I have no financial or other connection with EsimGames.



#16 CaptLuke

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 1008 AM

Some really thought-provoking replies here, especially the point about scouts having to dismount often and the use of side doors for speed and ease of exiting and entering the vehicle.

 

Thanks everyone :)

 

The need for more dismounts was a also lesson learned from US WWII experience but more dismounts, which are desireable, mean larger vehicles, which is undesirable.  The alternative is more vehicles, which lead to C&C issues and which start to take up a lot of road space during movement, which is also undesirable for a unit that is trying to be sneaky . . . 

 

There is no "right" answer but I think one more thing to keep in mind is the higher level issue of how big and powerful is the entire recon company/battalion/squadron/whatever you wind up with.  It seems to me that the successful approaches are either that the entire unit stays very small and very light, and is used only for recon, or that it is full fledged cavalry type force, capable of main force combat missions in addition to recon.

 

"in between" units are too much combat power to be left out of the fight but require reinforcement from other units to fight in heavy combat.


Edited by CaptLuke, 02 September 2017 - 1008 AM.





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