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This is a discussion on land warfare within the Space & Defense Technology forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; behold the little dog to the left of the breacher.... Marine exercise takes aim at emerging technologies...


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Old March 27th, 2017   #1
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land warfare

behold the little dog to the left of the breacher....

Marine exercise takes aim at emerging technologies
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Old March 27th, 2017   #2
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The USMC has some major challenges in front of it which the little tech dog won't help them with.

They need to be successfull with their new AAV successor after the last cash and time burning attemps while keeping their current AAV inventory in service and upgraded.

But this new vehicle most probably won't be as capable as the envisioned EFV leaving parts of the over the horizon employment dead in the water with only the Osprey and LCAC fullfilling their desired roles.

And all that while replacing their legacy fighters with Lightnings, starting a program to ccompletely replace their aging LAV fleet, putting more Ospreys into service and getting started with the CH-53k introduction.

I for one am not sold on the over the horizon employment idea. An adversary which has the capability to fire a decent salvo of modern AShMs with the ability to punctuate the USN defensive screen is most probably also able to track a sizeable amphibious assault force even if it is a bit further out at sea.

I for one would really think of binning the AAV successor and instead pumping the money into an enlarged LAV replacement while also getting some additional fast ship to shore connectors to supplement the LCACs (I like the french EDA-R).

Would also help with the mechanized part of the battle after the beachhead is secured. The amphibious vehicles will always carry the birdem of more compromises.
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Old March 27th, 2017   #3
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The USMC has some major challenges in front of it which the little tech dog won't help them with.

They need to be successfull with their new AAV successor after the last cash and time burning attemps while keeping their current AAV inventory in service and upgraded.

But this new vehicle most probably won't be as capable as the envisioned EFV leaving parts of the over the horizon employment dead in the water with only the Osprey and LCAC fullfilling their desired roles.

And all that while replacing their legacy fighters with Lightnings, starting a program to ccompletely replace their aging LAV fleet, putting more Ospreys into service and getting started with the CH-53k introduction.

I for one am not sold on the over the horizon employment idea. An adversary which has the capability to fire a decent salvo of modern AShMs with the ability to punctuate the USN defensive screen is most probably also able to track a sizeable amphibious assault force even if it is a bit further out at sea.

I for one would really think of binning the AAV successor and instead pumping the money into an enlarged LAV replacement while also getting some additional fast ship to shore connectors to supplement the LCACs (I like the french EDA-R).

Would also help with the mechanized part of the battle after the beachhead is secured. The amphibious vehicles will always carry the birdem of more compromises.
From what I've seen the USMC is currently looking to procure a vehicle like the Iveco SuperAV which will have fairly solid swimming capabilities but will also rely a lot on Ship-to-shore connectors. 8WD. Optional manned turret with heavy armament options. Solid protection scheme (not sure if modular and/or scalable). And a 8-12 troop capacity depending on configuration. It sounds pretty similar to your enlarged LAV suggestion, minus the additional LCACs.

Edit: Extra details on SuperAV.
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Old March 27th, 2017   #4
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You mean the BAE ACV 1.1 prototype? I've seen it. It's still huge, has no turret with AC/ATGM and probably is without serious armor protection due to it's swimming requirements.

With enlarged I meant more in numbers and not physically larger. Sorry for being unspecific. Give them a family of ground combat vehicles best suited to expeditionary maneuver warfare without the ballast of huge troop capacities or getting to the beach on it's own power. Putting some extra LCACs/EDA-Rs) onto a semi submersible ship carrier is probably much cheaper than getting a new AAV successor into service. The corps needs to stop burning huge amounts of cash for the ship to shore phase of combat which in the end is quite rare and short albeit critical.

Concentrate on getting the USMC vehicles to the shore without the huge ballast in terms of costs and ground combat capability compromises that comes with having them amphibious.
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Old March 27th, 2017   #5
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You mean the BAE ACV 1.1 prototype? I've seen it. It's still huge, has no turret with AC/ATGM and probably is without serious armor protection due to it's swimming requirements.

With enlarged I meant more in numbers and not physically larger. Sorry for being unspecific. Give them a family of ground combat vehicles best suited to expeditionary maneuver warfare without the ballast of huge troop capacities or getting to the beach on it's own power. Putting some extra LCACs/EDA-Rs) onto a semi submersible ship carrier is probably much cheaper than getting a new AAV successor into service. The corps needs to stop burning huge amounts of cash for the ship to shore phase of combat which in the end is quite rare and short albeit critical.

Concentrate on getting the USMC vehicles to the shore without the huge ballast in terms of costs and ground combat capability compromises that comes with having them amphibious.
This is it: Iveco Superav 8x8 Armoured Personnel Carrier - Army Technology. Has a turret on it and has capability to offer different variants. Also has add on armour as well.
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Old March 27th, 2017   #6
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The Marines are working out the bugs on UHAC. It's designed to carry 3 X MBTs at more than 20 knots over etended distances and traverse obstacles that would stymie a LCAC. What's not to like?

Ultra Heavy-lift Amphibious Connector (UHAC) at RIMPAC | Defense Media Network
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Old March 27th, 2017   #7
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This is it: Iveco Superav 8x8 Armoured Personnel Carrier - Army Technology. Has a turret on it and has capability to offer different variants. Also has add on armour as well.
But this is a possible LAV successor and not an AAV replacement, no? The design appereance, speed (5km/h in the Water) and text (replacement of the M113 amphibious vehicle) suggest it to be able to cross and navigate inland water obstacles like rivers and lakes not coping with the surf of a beach landing.

I forgot about the UHAC. If they get it to work it would IMO add to the incentive of getting rid of amphibious APCs able to navigate the surf by themselves and just rely on ship to shore connectors.
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Old March 28th, 2017   #8
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But this is a possible LAV successor and not an AAV replacement, no? The design appereance, speed (5km/h in the Water) and text (replacement of the M113 amphibious vehicle) suggest it to be able to cross and navigate inland water obstacles like rivers and lakes not coping with the surf of a beach landing.

I forgot about the UHAC. If they get it to work it would IMO add to the incentive of getting rid of amphibious APCs able to navigate the surf by themselves and just rely on ship to shore connectors.
The USMC are already testing the BAE Iveco Superav 8x8 Armoured Personnel Carrier through the surf. Same with the SAIC - AAV Terrex II 8X8. These are the two shortlisted finalists in the competition.
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Old March 28th, 2017   #9
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But this is a possible LAV successor and not an AAV replacement, no? The design appereance, speed (5km/h in the Water) and text (replacement of the M113 amphibious vehicle) suggest it to be able to cross and navigate inland water obstacles like rivers and lakes not coping with the surf of a beach landing.

I forgot about the UHAC. If they get it to work it would IMO add to the incentive of getting rid of amphibious APCs able to navigate the surf by themselves and just rely on ship to shore connectors.
AAVP7A1 specs added in [brackets] for comparison.

Actually, the BAE/Iveco SuperAV modified variant submitted for ACV 1.1 can allegedly swim 10nmi [20nmi] from a well deck to shore at 6-7mph [8mph] through Sea State 2-3 (modest winds and ~2ft waves) [compare to Sea State 5] with 13 combat loaded marines [21 marines].

It can then drive 290mi on land immediately after [unsure about AAV]. Reserve buoyancy of 21% [compared to 22%]. It seems to offer very good blast protection as well. The baseline variant has no turret, but it appears that provisions for variants with unmanned turrets (probably similar to the German Puma) will be made available, with weapons of up to 40mm able to be mounted [compare to .50 cal + 40mm grenade launcher]. The Italians use a 30mm auto cannon. I don't see why ATGMs couldn't be integrated either.

I expect that there will be multiple variants of the vehicle like the US Army did with the Stryker. The link ngatimozart posted states that APC, ATGM, mortar carrier, engineer vehicle, recovery vehicle, ambulance and command post variants are already available.

Interesting detail is that each wheel is apparently individually powered, giving the vehicle some of the characteristics of a tracked vehicle.

As of now, the program has down selected to two competing designs. The other is a version of the SAIC Terrex, currently in service with Singapore. A fairly similar vehicle.

All in all it seems like the new designs are less capable as amphibs, but are more capable on land (where it really counts) in return, leading to a less compromised design.

https://news.usni.org/2015/09/28/mar...wnselect-nears

Second link providing specs for the older SuperAV variant that was entered for the MPC program. Gives a lot more technical details including its protection:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita...pe/superav.htm

Edit: added 2nd link.

Edit: added detail about individually powered wheels.
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Old March 28th, 2017   #10
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The goofy-looking UHAC can also serve as a taxi for APCs and AAVs. You could piggyback 3 at a time on a UHAC to be launched into the water much closer to the beach.
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Old March 28th, 2017   #11
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The goofy-looking UHAC can also serve as a taxi for APCs and AAVs. You could piggyback 3 at a time on a UHAC to be launched into the water much closer to the beach.
It'd be very interesting to see if UHACs end up replacing the US's current LCACs. You'd essentially have enormous amphibious tracked vehicles plowing through the ocean at 20kn to land on the beach and unload their cargo.

Would a production variant be purely like an LCAC or LCU? Or would it follow a similar path as the old LVTs and grow to have assault/fire support capabilities? It essentially is an oversized LVT.
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Old March 28th, 2017   #12
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Thanks for the AAV/ACV stat comparison.

Give it a turret and it's surf crossing ability will be reduced even further coming close to the inland water capability mentioned above.

I for one think that this is the right way. The AAVs performance in the land warfare phase of Iraq wasn't exactly stellar and the LAVs are getting quite old by now.

It is also questionable if an enemy sophisticated enough for keeping the amphibs out in the blue will not eat an amphibious vehicle assault for breakfast anyway.

Just some dispersed NLOS carrier and spotters will be a real problem. The Japanese envision to use their NLOS ATGMs on their Humvee equivalent this way.
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Old March 28th, 2017   #13
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Forget the WW2-style amphibious landings. Swarms of UAVs, USVs and UUVs will play prominent roles in a future assault force to help mitigate the threats posed by enemy defenses. Achieving a pervasive presence and awareness of the battle space leading up to and during engagement should allow one to fight smarter.


https://www.marinecorpstimes.com/art...bious-landings

New amphibious landing tactics and technology

This April, the Navy and Marine Corps will hold an exercise at Camp Pendleton, California, that will test more than 100 proposed technologies to help Marines find and exploit gaps in enemy defenses as part of amphibious operations, which will include drones, communications equipment and remote-control amphibious vehicles, officials said at a media roundtable on Thursday... A joint Navy-Marine Corps task force will determine which technologies the Marines will further test during a military exercise this fall at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, officials said...Think about it this way: I’m maneuvering ashore, potentially in a boat,” he said. “What’s flying overhead is an unmanned swarm, that as soon as somebody radiates, gives off a signature, that swarm is just going right after them.”

In the vignette, the Marine aviation commander says he knew that the Marines could not destroy all of the enemy’s coastal and air defenses, “But we could create ‘bubbles’ for small periods.”

The intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance technology being tested in April is meant to help create such bubbles by finding gaps in enemy defenses where Marines can send manned and unmanned forces, said Maj. Jim Foley, with the Ellis Group, the Marine Corps’ think tank that explores future warfighting scenarios...Think about it this way: I’m maneuvering ashore, potentially in a boat,” he said. “What’s flying overhead is an unmanned swarm, that as soon as somebody radiates, gives off a signature, that swarm is just going right after them.”
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Old March 28th, 2017   #14
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Forget the WW2-style amphibious landings. Swarms of UAVs, USVs and UUVs will play prominent roles in a future assault force to help mitigate the threats posed by enemy defenses. Achieving a pervasive presence and awareness of the battle space leading up to and during engagement should allow one to fight smarter.


https://www.marinecorpstimes.com/art...bious-landings

New amphibious landing tactics and technology

This April, the Navy and Marine Corps will hold an exercise at Camp Pendleton, California, that will test more than 100 proposed technologies to help Marines find and exploit gaps in enemy defenses as part of amphibious operations, which will include drones, communications equipment and remote-control amphibious vehicles, officials said at a media roundtable on Thursday... A joint Navy-Marine Corps task force will determine which technologies the Marines will further test during a military exercise this fall at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, officials said...Think about it this way: I’m maneuvering ashore, potentially in a boat,” he said. “What’s flying overhead is an unmanned swarm, that as soon as somebody radiates, gives off a signature, that swarm is just going right after them.”

In the vignette, the Marine aviation commander says he knew that the Marines could not destroy all of the enemy’s coastal and air defenses, “But we could create ‘bubbles’ for small periods.”

The intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance technology being tested in April is meant to help create such bubbles by finding gaps in enemy defenses where Marines can send manned and unmanned forces, said Maj. Jim Foley, with the Ellis Group, the Marine Corps’ think tank that explores future warfighting scenarios...Think about it this way: I’m maneuvering ashore, potentially in a boat,” he said. “What’s flying overhead is an unmanned swarm, that as soon as somebody radiates, gives off a signature, that swarm is just going right after them.”
I actually recall reading an article with a more detailed description of how the USMC would create bubbles of survivability within a hostile environment. It was within the context of the South China Sea and also mentioned Multi-Domain Battle. I'll see if I can find the article then post the link here.

Edit: Google is wonderful. I found the article. Here's the link:

http://breakingdefense.com/2016/11/a...y-for-marines/
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Old March 29th, 2017   #15
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I am not sold on the plan described in the article of establishing static land bases inside the area where the enemy can reach out and touch you.

The idea of creating a bubble of air support to attack emerging threats to the amphibious assault force is not new and may work. Replace the fancy UAV swarm with LHD based rotary air and LHD/CVN based fast air and it is what they are doing these days anyway. As mentioned in the article, getting the ISR bubble to work is the challenge.

But the idea that an enemy won't hit these fixed forward bases due to camouflage, fortifications and protection systems is not based on real world capabilities IMHO.

The Donbass conflict has shown that artillery is still king on the battlefield. Such a base won't be safe from a battery of Smerchs firing bomblets from some 70 klicks away and never will. And these artillery strikes are extremely hard to prevent and hard to counter.

And to think that a company of Marines, their vehicles, some artillery and AD assets and a rotary/VTOL service point is not worth a couple of battery shots of an enemy rocket or tube artillery unit is delusional.

The commentary of the army general in the article is quite right. Everything standing still for too long is dead meat on todays battlefields.
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