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Ground Combat Vehicle

This is a discussion on Ground Combat Vehicle within the Army & Security Forces forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; So, as I have not been able to find a thread about the new planned US Army Ground Combat Vehicle ...


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Old May 26th, 2010   #1
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Ground Combat Vehicle

So, as I have not been able to find a thread about the new planned US Army Ground Combat Vehicle I thought that it is worth a new thread. I know it's not nearly as interesting as the 10th thread about thr noise level of the F35 or the 15th thread about Australias SHornets but hey, let the ground guys have some fun too...

Let's first start with the contenders.
Quote:
GCV shortlist revealed

May 21, 2010

Contenders for the technology development (TD) phase of the US Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) programme have been confirmed as the Request for Proposals (RfP) reached its deadline today.

Despite the US Army being unable to comment on the final shortlist due to ‘federal regulations governing source selection’, LWI can confirm that there are at least three consortiums bidding for the contract.

General Dynamics has confirmed that it has teamed up with Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Company and MTU Detroit Diesel while other contenders include a BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman teaming agreement, which was announced on 2 March; and a SAIC-led consortium which includes Boeing, Krauss Maffei Wegman and Rheinmetall Defence Systems.

With Northrop Grumman providing C4ISR elements, BAE Systems told LWI that its offering would comprise an ‘integrated electronic network capability and embedded intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets to connect warfighters’.

Meanwhile, General Dynamics said its design drew on ‘mature technologies to provide survivability, soldier capacity, network interoperability, mobility and lethality that is unmatched by any existing ground combat vehicle’. Lockheed Martin will design the turret while Raytheon will concentrate on sensor integration. MTU Detroit Diesel will be responsible for the propulsion system.

Finally, the SAIC-led consortium will offer a variation of the KMW and Rheinmetall Puma IFV with Boeing providing mission systems capabilities and lethal and non-lethal precision engagement systems.

Industry sources also suggested that Oshkosh trucks, Force Protection, Navistar and AM General could also be interested in the programme. However, none of these companies was available to comment on whether they were involved in any separate bids.

Parties now have a 27-month period in which to test and mature subcomponents and other material elements of the designs prior to a Milestone B decision in FY 2013. The subsequent Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase would run through the first quarter of FY 2016, and include delivery of the first prototype vehicle in FY 2015.

Initiated on 25 February, the RfP was delayed by 25 days in order to allow industry more time to provide the most ‘robust’ solutions for its next-generation of IFVs.

Requirements include a system capable of transporting an infantry squad with the protection of a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle or above; and increased off-road mobility compared to Bradley IFVs and Stryker infantry carrier vehicles. A tracked vehicle is also expected, according to industry’s interpretation of these requirements.

The winning vehicle will also comprise a modular armour solution and be transportable by C-17 and rail. The army would not comment on a gross vehicle weight and the spokesman said it would wait to see what technical solutions for survivability and transportability industry would put forward.

Andrew White, London
Source: GCV shortlist revealed | Shephard Group

In other news the US Army stated that the weight has to be somewhere between 50-70 tons (don't ask me which kind of tons, I assume US ones).

After a decade of talks about the FCS and how this light and supernetworked platform is going to change the battlefield of the future we are back on track. I also remember some very intense discussions on this board between the "FCS strong" crowd and the ones who were sceptical about it.
Now it looks like the US finally realised that one doesn't get the desired protection and survivability without alot of armor.

With KMW and Rheinmetall the SAIC-consortium is the only one who has foreign expertise in the race. But at least this time the europeans have Boeing on their side...

I would expect that the experience with and maturity of the Puma system gives SAIC a distinct advantage to come out with a working prototype quite fast.

What I find interesting is that nobody tried to team up with the Israelis to bring in the Namer. In the end this baby is also quite close to the specs if one bolts an unmanned turret with an AC and some ATGMs onto it.

I for one welcome the new sense of reality in the US Army and look forward to an interesting competition with lots of fine prototypes.

Hopefully they don't try to goldplate the final product too much...

I like the idea of some heavy passive protection coupled with a good dismount capability and modern battlefield management systems. The only problem could be the size of the vehicle as it might slightly constrict it's maneuverability in confinded spaces like urban areas or heavy wood. Nevertheless I think that it is the right way to go.

What are your expectations and thoughts about this new program?
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Old May 26th, 2010   #2
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Three competing teams to submit proposal

As defpro.com revealed today (defence.professionals | defpro.com) three competing teams are to submit a proposal for the GCV programme:


1. The SAIC-led team (called “Team Full Spectrum”) will be developing an IFV solution for the US Army based upon the tracked Puma platform. Despite being of German origin, the team emphasises that all work on the vehicles of the GCV programme, including production, will be carried out in the United States – a significant factor in any US defence procurement programme. According to SAIC, the Puma incorporates the lessons of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, being designed from the ground up since 9/11. Munich-based KMW states: “In virtually every category the Puma already satisfies the technical requirements of the GCV programme, even exceeding these significantly in key areas.”

2. The BAE Systems-Northrop Grumman GCV offering will be designed from the ground-up intended to meet the demanding scope of potential mission profiles. The team claims that its GCV solution “will exceed [the survivability] of a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle and the enhanced mobility capabilities will allow it to effectively operate in urban and cross country environments.” BAE Systems adds that it “will be the first combat vehicle designed from the ground-up to meet the current IED-threat environment.”

3. General Dynamics equally announced this week that it submitted a proposal for the GVC programme, however, did not disclose the technical approach it will adopt for the development phase. Donald Kotchman, senior program director for General Dynamics Land Systems, only explained: “We explored more than one million potential design options using a trade-optimizing process to determine our Ground Combat Vehicle Infantry Fighting Vehicle point of departure.” He added: “The General Dynamics team’s design is grounded in a focus on soldier survivability and operational effectiveness. Our design draws on mature technologies to provide survivability, Soldier capacity, network interoperability, mobility and lethality that is unmatched by any existing ground combat vehicle” According to General Dynamics, the industrial team comprises partners that, as a whole, are already involved in the development, integration or sustainment of over 70 per cent of the Army’s current fleet of combat vehicles and weapons systems.
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Old May 26th, 2010   #3
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The statement by SAIC that "In virtually every category the Puma already satisfies the technical requirements of the GCV programme, even exceeding these significantly in key areas." is a little bit over the top. While this is the case in many areas it is plain wrong when one talks about the dismount capability. Right now the Puma carries 3+6 and not 3+9.

The statement by BAE/Northrop is even more over the top. Their vehicle "will be the first combat vehicle designed from the ground-up to meet the current IED-threat environment.".
This is just plain wrong as the Puma as well as for example the Boxer are designed with a severe mine/IED threat in mind.

But hey, it's all marketing...
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Old May 27th, 2010   #4
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Originally Posted by Waylander View Post
The statement by SAIC that "In virtually every category the Puma already satisfies the technical requirements of the GCV programme, even exceeding these significantly in key areas." is a little bit over the top. While this is the case in many areas it is plain wrong when one talks about the dismount capability. Right now the Puma carries 3+6 and not 3+9.

The statement by BAE/Northrop is even more over the top. Their vehicle "will be the first combat vehicle designed from the ground-up to meet the current IED-threat environment.".
This is just plain wrong as the Puma as well as for example the Boxer are designed with a severe mine/IED threat in mind.

But hey, it's all marketing...
Look to this vehicle hull configuration to be set up like the old FCS hull but slightly modified, we are interested in Puma in a few certain areas, could be vehicle sensors and turret. Look for the auto cannon size to be from 30mm caliber up to 45mm, autocannon cradle will also have the future option to upgrade to bigger size autocannon if needed just like the Puma. Armor will be modular in design principle.

Due to the cost and future threat scenario we have finally thrown in the towel on getting an all around capable vehicle under a lighter weight class. I guess I won my debate with certain individuals who thought that this could be accomplished at todays technology standards, FCS turned into a money pit for the U.S Army and its about time that they start looking at a heavier armored vehicle design. The Puma vehicle is the best all around technolgy that is currently out there for an IFV so it is good to see what we can steal from you.
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Old May 27th, 2010   #5
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Jup, I remember the discussions we had with some members here...

The calibre is interesting. The US Army seemed to really like the huge amount of ammo the Bradley carries. But a bigger calibre would reduce this storage alot. Maybe they now think that the better performance and versatility (like 3P) of a bigger calibre changed their views.

I have no problem with you stealing the tech as long as you pay for it and the world knows who is the real armor king... :-D
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Old May 27th, 2010   #6
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Jup, I remember the discussions we had with some members here...

The calibre is interesting. The US Army seemed to really like the huge amount of ammo the Bradley carries. But a bigger calibre would reduce this storage alot. Maybe they now think that the better performance and versatility (like 3P) of a bigger calibre changed their views.

I have no problem with you stealing the tech as long as you pay for it and the world knows who is the real armor king... :-D
I think that after the Leo 2 cooperation agreement that we some what burned you guys on that this time we better play by the rules.
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Last edited by eckherl; May 27th, 2010 at 02:03 PM.
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Old May 27th, 2010   #7
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I expect that everybody who is important either has forgotten about this or doesn't with such a vast contract in sight.

Getting a reasonable share in the GVC would mean jackpot for KMW and Rheinmetall.
But in the end I am lucky for the US grunts that it looks like they are finally going to get a vehicle which has realistic goals. By having these goals it is much more likely that they will get it before they are old and grey.
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Old May 27th, 2010   #8
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I expect that everybody who is important either has forgotten about this or doesn't with such a vast contract in sight.

Getting a reasonable share in the GVC would mean jackpot for KMW and Rheinmetall.
But in the end I am lucky for the US grunts that it looks like they are finally going to get a vehicle which has realistic goals. By having these goals it is much more likely that they will get it before they are old and grey.
Agreed,

Lets hope that the politicians on my side of the pond stay out of this and listen to what our realistic force structure requirements are and needed. The U.S Army top staff really did not want the FCS program, bad feelings started rising on the whole FCS force structure about 15 years ago. But we know what the political thing for them was to say.
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Old May 27th, 2010   #9
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The best thing about GCV is the US Army finally accepting that 6 dismounts is not enough and that an infantry carrier is in fact first about carrying infantry- see death before dismount.

It is however not clear exactly what level of protection the US Army really wants. Thus something like the Namer is probably overkill in terms of GCV.

The most important consideration, in my view, should be the potential growth in the chassis of whichever model is selected. It might end up being used as the basis of an M109 replacement and various other versions.

It will be interesting to see a stretched Puma with 9 dismounts but I entirely agree that stating the Puma meets the GCV requirement is rubbish.
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Old May 27th, 2010   #10
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I'm thrilled that the Army leadership has finally realized that with the technology we have for the foreseeable future, easily deployable = easily destroyable. Given the sort of conflicts the US Army is likely to be fighting the next 10-20 years, we're better off with a smaller number of tough, survivable, and very high end AFVs than a bunch of lightly armored trucks whose sole virtue was supposed to be the ease in which we could deploy them (which never quite turned out as advertised). I'll take a tracked, 50+ ton IFV with a 40mm gun over a Stryker with a .50 cal any day!

I can't wait to see the next generation Abrams (or it's successor).

As much as I like the ROKs we can't just sit back and let them field the most advanced MBT in the world - that's our job!

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Old May 28th, 2010   #11
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It will be interesting to see a stretched Puma with 9 dismounts but I entirely agree that stating the Puma meets the GCV requirement is rubbish.
Well, rubbish might be too hard a word. Upgrading the calibre of the gun shouldn't be a problem and IIRC Rheinmetall is, for example, going to provide the turret for the 40mm CTA of the UK FRES.
So apart from the dismount capability I don't see much of a problem here.
The mobility and protection are not met by most other vehicles out there. It is also already wired for the customer's choice of soft- and hardkill systems as well as ATGMs.
The same applies to networking capabilities and the squads access to these capabilities while being mounted. It also offers a modular armor concept and is build with mines/IEDs in mind.

So apart from the dismounts it fits very well. Could considerably shorten development time.
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Yes it might be too hard a word. However, enlarging an armored vehicle to carry 50% dismounts is not merely a simple exercise and will result in a substantially enlarged IFV. Given this enlarged version does not exist it is in fact simply false, or rubbish to be a bit hard, to state the PUMA meets requirements as it clearly does not. The new design might very well meet all requirements and be a wonderful IFV but it does not at present actually exist.

How much heavier will it be with 9 dismounts? How much more does the engine need to be upgraded? Does it in fact require a larger engine and enlarged engine compartment. How do all the previous factors impact fuel economy and how much more fuel needs to be carried? Exactly how many spare ATGW must be carried under armor and where do they go? It's easier to enlarge PUMA to carry 3+9 but it's not entirely easy to do so.


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Well, rubbish might be too hard a word. Upgrading the calibre of the gun shouldn't be a problem and IIRC Rheinmetall is, for example, going to provide the turret for the 40mm CTA of the UK FRES.
So apart from the dismount capability I don't see much of a problem here.
The mobility and protection are not met by most other vehicles out there. It is also already wired for the customer's choice of soft- and hardkill systems as well as ATGMs.
The same applies to networking capabilities and the squads access to these capabilities while being mounted. It also offers a modular armor concept and is build with mines/IEDs in mind.

So apart from the dismounts it fits very well. Could considerably shorten development time.
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Old May 29th, 2010   #13
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I agree that enlarging an IFV is not done overnight and may face considerable problems.
But at least they have a running basis design to work with. This should help in keeping development time down.

I doubt that for example BAE can use their CV90 as much as a starting point like the SAIC-consortium can use the Puma.
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Old May 29th, 2010   #14
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Yes it might be too hard a word. However, enlarging an armored vehicle to carry 50% dismounts is not merely a simple exercise and will result in a substantially enlarged IFV. Given this enlarged version does not exist it is in fact simply false, or rubbish to be a bit hard, to state the PUMA meets requirements as it clearly does not. The new design might very well meet all requirements and be a wonderful IFV but it does not at present actually exist.

How much heavier will it be with 9 dismounts? How much more does the engine need to be upgraded? Does it in fact require a larger engine and enlarged engine compartment. How do all the previous factors impact fuel economy and how much more fuel needs to be carried? Exactly how many spare ATGW must be carried under armor and where do they go? It's easier to enlarge PUMA to carry 3+9 but it's not entirely easy to do so.
The PUMA was designed as a highly modular vehicle. Modular in an industrial meaning that is which means that the platform is easily adaptable to length and weight. It is a digitally designed vehicle with growth potential in mind, which means not too much brainwork required either. The PUMA can be made longer, higher and heavier than it is.
So, enlarging the vehicle for 3 more dismounts is not as tough a job as it might seem in the first place.
The engine and drivetrain have of growth potential, the undercarriage is quite easily adaptable, there's reserves in heat management and power generation.
So I don't see a problem really in adapting the vehicle to the requirements.
I think that the internal systems are more of a challenge although I honestly don't know what the requirements in this regards are.
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Old May 29th, 2010   #15
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Well, the Puma is designed with battlefield management systems in mind including access to these systems via the squad compartment.

So integrating a US system shouldn't be that much of a problem either.

Fallstaff very well explained that the Puma concept includes it becoming a basic chassis for other systems.
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