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Australian Army Discussions and Updates

This is a discussion on Australian Army Discussions and Updates within the Army & Security Forces forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by Firn There are actually some good points in it. However I have to point out that there ...


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Old May 14th, 2009   #1546
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There are actually some good points in it. However I have to point out that there is a huge difference in protection between a let us say a Fuchs and Boxer - and this helps not to only to save live in LIC in urban areas or while patrolling roads. There are a lot of factors which influence the crew survilability of design, but more amor or weight will always increase the passive survilability given the rest is similar.

To some extent the argument of the ATGMs reminds me of a lot of folk who claim: Tanks are no longer viable, ATGM can penetrate them so easily. Or MRAP, what's the point? The insurgents will just plant bigger bombs. There is no absolute protection but a modern 8x8 makes it for the OPFOR hard to kill the crew, sometimes much harder. And that is the main point.
I'm prepared to be educated, but I think it was Guderian who said after the war that the most dangerous thing about the Red Army was (operational) speed.

In bringing up Boxer, what were you trying to illustrate? The APC is one ton heavier than a T-34/85. Its just as high, but nearly 2m longer, making it particularly difficult to manoeuvre in an urban environment; something like a tourist bus. Its an excellent example of an over-engineered German AFV bought by politicians that don't have a clue...
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Old May 14th, 2009   #1547
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In bringing up Boxer, what were you trying to illustrate? The APC is one ton heavier than a T-34/85. Its just as high, but nearly 2m longer, making it particularly difficult to manoeuvre in an urban environment; something like a tourist bus. Its an excellent example of an over-engineered German AFV bought by politicians that don't have a clue...
They're all that size, unless you go for something in a different class, like Pandur. Compare it with the AMV, VBCI, etc.
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Old May 14th, 2009   #1548
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I'm prepared to be educated, but I think it was Guderian who said after the war that the most dangerous thing about the Red Army was (operational) speed.
It is also good to show the will to be educated. I fail thought to see how the presumed rapid operational speed of the Red Army and the wheeled 8x8 Boxer conflict. A rather strange comparision to be sure. Especially since the Boxer handily beats the T-34 and more so the T-44 in terms of the power/weight: ~16kw/t for the Boxer, 14kw/t for the T-34 and only 12kw/t for the T-44. This is without taking the vastly superior qualities of the engine (torque etc), transmission and suspensions into account....
So at the very least it is far more mobile in relative arid terrain, in urbanized areas and in countries with a half decent infrastructure...

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In bringing up Boxer, what were you trying to illustrate? The APC is one ton heavier than a T-34/85. Its just as high, but nearly 2m longer, making it particularly difficult to manoeuvre in an urban environment; something like a tourist bus. Its an excellent example of an over-engineered German AFV bought by politicians that don't have a clue...
Actually they got it right. Such a high quality heavy APC helps the keep the troops safe and allows them to fulfill their mission by transporting them were they are needed. Do you perhaps not know that war is the continuation of politics with other means and must thus be waged with politics and the public in mind? The USA learned that the hard way in Vietnam. Part of their failure was to give the troops vehicles able to limit the mine danger. As the Rhodesian showed such vehicles could have save the lifes and limbs of may of the 26000 mine casualities in Vietnam which were blown up in vehicles. The heavy losses eroded support back home and reduced the operational effectivness greatly. Does this remind you a little bit about Afghanistan and Iraq?

One can say a lot about the German policy in Afghanistan, but the engineers and designers provided the German army with a more suiteable lineup of vehicles than most. Once again this safed lifes, limbs, raised moral and effectivness at the front and reduced the strain on the thin public support. All in all I consider the Boxer a most fitting choice for the German Army, But they seemingly have no clue, like the stupid guys who chose to design and buy the 15,56 kw/t AMV, or the stupid guys who chose to design and buy the 16,2 kw/t VBCI, all strangly very similar in size...


All in all I think that a well-protected 8x8 "European" platform is a good choice for the main armored vehicle of the Australian Army. It should be one produced in large numbers to leverage a large supplier network. Right now over 1000 AMV have been ordered. The Boxer has over 450 orders with may more required.
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Old May 14th, 2009   #1549
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And let's not forget that the Boxer is not by any means intended to serve as a frontline vehicle in an urban environment (or any other environment).

That's what the Puma as well as the Urban Ops Leo is for.

It is a battle taxi serving as a mothership for the light infantry as well as a platform for all the other tasks an army might need (medics, command,...).

And for these missions it should work quite well.
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Old May 14th, 2009   #1550
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The Boxer has over 450 orders with may more required.
There won't be all that many Boxers. Maybe another 350 to 400 at most, in both partner countries.
For Germany, the Boxer isn't the M113 replacement as an armored transport, that will be GFF and GTF (GFF2/3 primarily). Now those will see high number orders.
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Old May 14th, 2009   #1551
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There won't be all that many Boxers. Maybe another 350 to 400 at most, in both partner countries.
For Germany, the Boxer isn't the M113 replacement as an armored transport, that will be GFF and GTF (GFF2/3 primarily). Now those will see high number orders.
Hasn't the German parliament ordered 272 and the Dutch one 200? See the source
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Old May 14th, 2009   #1552
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Yes. I'm predicting 800 total production at most.
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Old May 14th, 2009   #1553
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They're all that size, unless you go for something in a different class, like Pandur. Compare it with the AMV, VBCI, etc.
And frankly I don't understand the philosophy behind heavy armoured wheeled infantry vehicles. As the Missile War in Israel-Lebanon showed, modern infantry AT weapons can engage even heavy tanks, so putting infantry in heavy vehicles that are not tanks is just at best wishful thinking and at worst deception of the troops in them. Yes, they will protect against the lighter artillery damage and heavy MGs, but that is not enough. To me this shows a failure to evolve the engineering design in step with the changed tactical technologies. Where will it go from here? 45t infantry vehicles, 55t?

Have you seen the ARTEC site?
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Global missions require a unique vehicle for a wide variety of challenges encompassing peacekeeping missions, "show of force", rescue, casualty treatment and evacuation.
What about combat? An infantry vehicle is still supposed to be primarily designed for combat. All infantry vehicles have been "multi-role" since the half-tracks, but the primary role remains combat. Taking advantage of the terrain is still the best way to stay alive on the modern battlefield, and yet they designed a large RV Extreme Mobility, Optimized Ergonomics, and Exceptional Growth Potential, all sound like an RV to me. Do you see anyone barrelling along cross country at 100km/h? The best they will do is the speed of the supporting tanks, and that is about 30-40km/h at best. So, the Boxer will present a tank-sized target with only half the armour and no gun or missile to engage the enemy?

Its other selling point is that
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The vehicle provides most modern counter measures against mines and has adaptable modular ballistic armouring to match prevailing standards during vehicle lifetime.
, but what infantry force is going to drive into a minefield to test this? And, designing heavier ballistic armouring makes a statement that the designers gave up on the vehicle escaping being targeted. This is a tank design philosophy.
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Old May 14th, 2009   #1554
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And let's not forget that the Boxer is not by any means intended to serve as a frontline vehicle in an urban environment (or any other environment).
So this is a marketing ploy?
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Incorporation of the modified GE BOXER Armoured Personnel Carrier designed to form integral part of the "Infanterist der Zukunft (IdZ) concept.
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Old May 14th, 2009   #1555
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Boxers will serve as battletaxis and system nodes for IdZ-ES-equipped motorized infantry squads, just like similarly equipped Fuchs vehicles do with IdZ-equipped squads now.
That is bringing them close to the front line, letting them dismount, and then moving back into a secure position while the squad walks forward into battle.

For that mission, the carrier vehicle needs to be protected against casual probing attacks by enemy light forces - such as when encountering light infantry or a light vehicle with a HMG - as well as against standard (HE-FRAG) artillery and mortar attacks and, in a fashion, against mines.
These carrier vehicles can also be high-speed, since they simply do not have any accompanying tanks they work with. In none of Germany's - of course limited - light infantry units are any tanks present. The only light infantry battalion to be equipped with Boxers that will work with armour is JgBtl 292, which works alongside French AMX-10RC - and those can do 85 km/h road speed too.

Btw, Germany already is implementing a near-45-ton IFV with the Puma.
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Old May 14th, 2009   #1556
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It is also good to show the will to be educated. I fail thought to see how the presumed rapid operational speed of the Red Army and the wheeled 8x8 Boxer conflict. A rather strange comparision to be sure. Especially since the Boxer handily beats the T-34 and more so the T-44 in terms of the power/weight: ~16kw/t for the Boxer, 14kw/t for the T-34 and only 12kw/t for the T-44. This is without taking the vastly superior qualities of the engine (torque etc), transmission and suspensions into account....
So at the very least it is far more mobile in relative arid terrain, in urbanized areas and in countries with a half decent infrastructure...
I draw the line in IFV designs that start to approach tanks because when they are seen from the other side, they look big and therefore dangerous, and therefore a target. PtW has nothing to do with it. Its all about kill or be killed. A T-34 has an 85mm gun and only protects 4 crew. Compare that to Boxer.

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Actually they got it right. Such a high quality heavy APC helps the keep the troops safe and allows them to fulfill their mission by transporting them were they are needed.
The morgue?

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Do you perhaps not know that war is the continuation of politics with other means and must thus be waged with politics and the public in mind? The USA learned that the hard way in Vietnam. Part of their failure was to give the troops vehicles able to limit the mine danger.
What?! Do you think Vietnam was different to Iraq or Afghanistan? It was an Infantry, i.e. walking, type of war where
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General Charles Krulac, former Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, who served two tours of duty in Vietnam, described the urban combat environment as a “three-block war” where “. . .we expect to be providing humanitarian assistance in one part of the city, conducting a peacekeeping operation in another and be fighting a lethal, medium intensity battle in yet a third part of the city.”
The mines that caused injury and death in Vietnam were fragmentation AP, or grenade IEDs in areas that were intractable by vehicles.

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As the Rhodesian showed such vehicles could have save the lifes and limbs of may of the 26000 mine casualities in Vietnam which were blown up in vehicles. The heavy losses eroded support back home and reduced the operational effectivness greatly. Does this remind you a little bit about Afghanistan and Iraq?
Rhodesian vehicles may have saved lives, but as we 'chat' the Zimbabwe is literally dying! What were you saying about "war is the continuation of politics with other means"? It works in reverse also.

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One can say a lot about the German policy in Afghanistan, but the engineers and designers provided the German army with a more suiteable lineup of vehicles than most. Once again this safed lifes, limbs, raised moral and effectivness at the front and reduced the strain on the thin public support. All in all I consider the Boxer a most fitting choice for the German Army, But they seemingly have no clue, like the stupid guys who chose to design and buy the 15,56 kw/t AMV, or the stupid guys who chose to design and buy the 16,2 kw/t VBCI, all strangly very similar in size...
"German policy in Afghanistan"? You mean NATO?
"engineers and designers provided the German army with a more suitable line-up of vehicles than most"? You mean like this one AFGHANISTAN-BUNDESWEHR/ on Flickr - Photo Sharing!?

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All in all I think that a well-protected 8x8 "European" platform is a good choice for the main armored vehicle of the Australian Army.
Why?
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Old May 14th, 2009   #1557
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Boxers will serve as battletaxis and system nodes for IdZ-ES-equipped motorized infantry squads, just like similarly equipped Fuchs vehicles do with IdZ-equipped squads now.
That is bringing them close to the front line, letting them dismount, and then moving back into a secure position while the squad walks forward into battle.
But the Australian Army is looking for an IFV not a "battle taxi".
And, I have not seen a mention of the "front line" in any ADF doctrinal discussions (open sourced) in decades. Anywhere the diggers go the assumption is it is not going to be a "secure position" until made secure, and that is not going to be achieved by going for a walk.

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For that mission, the carrier vehicle needs to be protected against casual probing attacks by enemy light forces - such as when encountering light infantry or a light vehicle with a HMG - as well as against standard (HE-FRAG) artillery and mortar attacks and, in a fashion, against mines.
These carrier vehicles can also be high-speed, since they simply do not have any accompanying tanks they work with. In none of Germany's - of course limited - light infantry units are any tanks present. The only light infantry battalion to be equipped with Boxers that will work with armour is JgBtl 292, which works alongside French AMX-10RC - and those can do 85 km/h road speed too.
"casual probing attacks by enemy light forces"? How about a one-off barrage of short range AT infantry weapons?
In any case, German Army's requirements are different to those of the ADF, so why should the Australian Defence Force adopt itself to German vehicle design philosophy?

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Btw, Germany already is implementing a near-45-ton IFV with the Puma.
Are you proud of that?

The Boxer design philosophy is overwhelmingly defensive, where as the Australian Infantry doctrine is, and has always been, predominantly offensive.
The primary consideration in design selection will be guided by this thinking, which will equip the armoured and reconnaissance units of the Army in the first instance, and later the mechanised and motorised units eventually.
Boxer may fall in the "motorised eventually" category, but it is highly unlikely that the Army will select different designs to satisfy different tactical, operational or strategic needs.
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Old May 15th, 2009   #1558
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@ So far this will be my last post in this thread.


Kato already explained the function of the the vehicle class of the Boxer well so I can leave it there. I will offer you some good links on topics you mentioned, so that you can read them, if you want.


Mine resistant Armor protected vehicles were lacking in Vietnam. According to this Major of the Marine Corps it made a huge tactical, strategic and political difference. He then compares it to the Rhodesian apporach.

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The Rhodesian MRAP efforts to reduce casualties through survivability clearly speak for themselves. Their extremely detailed mine casualty records indicate unprotected vehicles suffered a 22 percent kill rate, while 1st and 2nd generation MRAP vehicles only suffered 8 percent casualty rate. However, 3rd generation MRAP fatality percentages drops to 2 percent while 4th generation falls below 1 percent. Rhodesian MRAP vehicles immediately restored the tactical mobility, and operational maneuver critical to the Fire Force while virtually eliminating casualties. The Rhodesians had effectively defeated the mine and ambush threat with mild steel, a sound design, and a philosophy that protecting their forces to improve their mobility was the key to victory.

The Dingo 2 in the linked picture was actually one of the frontrunners of the MRAP. As the Bushmaster it an ideal patrol vehicle unless torrential rains transform the low parts of trafficed bad roads in seas of mud. Fortunatly the Germans still have for this in Afghanistan relative rare occurances also tracked vehicles, like the Marder. The Dingo is a excellent and cost-effective instrument in the "vehicle"box.


Digger History
offers a good view on the mine warfare or IED warfare in Vietnam. Especially interesting for Australians.


We were soldiers once is a critical view by Major Jim Hammett in the Australian Army Journal which laments the passive and defensive posture the Australian infantry has to take in Afghanistan and Iraq.
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Old May 15th, 2009   #1559
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Are you proud of that?
What the hell do you mean by that? If I were Kato I would be extremely proud of the Puma. By virtue of its mobility, firpower and protection it should make the german army a very much more effective force. With less casualties to boot.

So far Future Tank all I have seen from you are vague questions asking whether we know tactics and basically insults to anyone who doesn't agree with your narrow view of warfare (all learned from a book). So far all we know is that you have a great admiration for soviet or modern russian AFV's why are they so superior? What AFV's do you think Australia should have and why (please chose existing vehicles not some mythical beast that will be totally designed and built here to a set of specs that could never be achieved)?
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Old May 15th, 2009   #1560
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I like the Boxer but is the production run large enough to leverage economies of scale for the ADF?

Presumably the ADF will go with a MOTS solution for their IFV options. Considering the approximate timeline and lengthy development time for any new vehicle, we are very likely looking at a system that is either operational or will be in the very near future.

I don't see the point in discussing some ficticious future IFV design.

The ADF have a plan for these vehicles and have substantials plans on how they will be used operationally. The ADF and Govt believe it will be a good value and a needed capability enhancement for the army.

Rather than speculate on what the ADF should do or how the ADF should use it, we should be discussing what the ADF could or should use to fit in with the needs and capabilities that are actually identified by the ADF/Govt.

This is very much along the lines of everyone who says the RAN needs a carrier. That would be a nice capability, but it isn't going to happen so is pointless to discuss.

Last edited by PeterM; May 16th, 2009 at 07:19 PM.
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