US Army News and updates general discussion

Big_Zucchini

Active Member
After reading through the posts in the Nagorniy Karabkh thread I would think the focus for these type of ground units should/has likely shift away from fixed wing fast jets threat to the type of loitering / kamikaze UAS's that can pop up and be deployed in numbers even if air superiority is achieved (which is likely the case where US ground forces would be). Have to think that AAA is almost a necessity given the limited number of stingers that would be carried.
Think of it like that:

Large, manned fighters are for special ops.
Loitering munitions and UAVs are for day to day fighting.


Regarding IM-SHORAD, the whole system may look inadequate for some. Yeah, more energetic missiles would be desired.
A more powerful and faster firing gun would also be desired. You look at something like the Mantis on a Boxer and think "damn why can't we have that?".
But then, you really lose on the whole concept of interim.
First, despite the previous bad record of keeping interim items in service too long (Stryker, even though it was kept for very logical reasons), the Army is now proving with a Dragoon overhaul that interim really means interim.
Second, when you have some tools, even if they're not perfect, you can start working. And if the tech is prohibitive in some scenarios, you get creative and flexible to work around your issues.

When you have no tools and see a problem, you probably won't know how to start fixing it. But when you have some tools that aren't optimal for the job, you can already imagine a solution.

Relying on the end user to get creative with his product on day 1 to achieve his goal, is considered a bad design. But it's not necessarily bad when you're making an interim product.

Also, all major components are in mass use across the services. Moog really made it as low risk and as cheap as possible.
 
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Boagrius

Well-Known Member
It might be a better fit vs fast movers but two strikes against Millennium/Skyranger. Strike one No US production. Strike two which is the biggest issue the 35mm. No other current issue US system uses that ammo. The aim of the Stryker IM Shorad was a rapidly field-able system that could be dropped into the European Stryker fleet. Strike one slows that but strike two killed it. The US in the recent past used a ground based version of the Phalanx for C-RAM at US Bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. Had the US adopted MANTIS or Skysheild for the Job then Skyranger would be a logical step. But because it didn’t it would be hard to justify adoption of a unique gun system with a unique ammo type.

The want here was a mobile very short range air defense system primarily targeted against low flying attackers and especially small UAS. Anything from hand held to the size of a large quad copter. Anything larger would be for stinger. This however doesn’t mean that all is served and the job is done, the system is even described as Interim. A number of systems were demonstrated at white sands but Skyranger and its siblings were not part of the list we know of. Those included South Korea’s K30 Biho, Avenger upgrades, Iron dome as sky hunter.
We know soon after that Iron dome was purchased in small numbers well the issues of source code are argued over along with the contract for the IMSHORAD.
Yes, FWIW not advocating Skyranger here, just using it to highlight the difference between M230LF and a purpose built AAA system designed to tackle fast jets from the outset.

Personally I think the IM SHORAD design makes a lot of sense as an interim solution. Multiple effectors with different guidance modalities to tackle a variety of different threats. Will be interesting to see what comes next - the conversation about AAA may become moot if it is a laser based system(?).
 

Rob c

Well-Known Member
That's where advanced algorithms and/or human judgment comes into play.
A fixed wing aircraft won't be constantly maneuvering. In between maneuvers it will have quite a lot of time of level, straight flight. Identify a pattern, then shoot.
Maneuver all the time and you'll burn both your fuel and your energy.
I think AAA a la MANTIS can make a return, until lasers become viable.
It is not a matter of constantly maneuvering, it is simply that aircraft constantly move when flying due to air currents and the aircraft reestablishing stability whether by the pilots inputs or the flight control inputs or simple aerodynamics, Aircraft are suspended in a dynamic fluid (air) which means that any disturbance of that fluid will affect the aircraft Any thoughts that aircraft fly a bore straight line are misguided as that is not the case. If you fire at a modern jet at say 3 km (10000FT) Whether that is vertically or horizontally, the aircraft will probably have travelled more that a km before the projectile arrives at the aimed location, meaning that the aircraft's flight path has to be extremely accurate for a hit to be registered as a deviation of as little as a fraction of a degree will mean a miss. this problem is normally overcome by putting a large number of projectiles into an area to increase the chances of a hit or use a guided missile which constantly updates its flight path.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Well one lesson that was driven home in WW1, WW2, Korea and Vietnam, was that any aircraft that flew straight and level for more than a few seconds in a combat zone ended up dead. Just ask the Bomber Command crews or the Transport Command crews who flew on the Market Garden Op, yet they had to over the targets.
 

Terran

Active Member
A laser based system brings in a number of unique problems and solutions in some ways it would nicely replace the gun system yet questions of range and power generation still stand. Additionally I think the gun system still brings the bonus of its effectiveness vs ground targets. The IMSHORAD mounts Hellfire missiles. That’s not an surface to air missile system. That’s a system targeted for surface to surface. As to would be a 30mm shell. A ground adversary encountering a Stryker Shorad would be hard pressed to deal with the awesome firepower it brings to the Stryker Brigade Combat teams.
Even a laser based system (Incidentally according to Army debuts missile defense framework in move to counter drones, hypersonic threats
As well as others there is already work on a more advanced Laser system DE M-SHORAD post FY24.)
Would be hard pressed to match that versatility. As such I doubt that when such a system emerges it totally replaces the gun system or missiles and becomes more a third option preferred for lighter drones.

Speaking of versatility Stryker has proven to be a better and more adaptable platform than early criticism made it out to be. Early on the platform was meant as a stand in until FCS for a future of asymmetrical low intensity conflicts envisioned. Although in the end that vision wasn’t perfect and missed a number of issues like the emergence of EFP type IEDs and radical shifts to hybrid warfare. The evolution from flat bottom to Double V hulls, upgrades in power and now addition of higher levels of firepower than originally envisioned has shown that the vehicle is quite a solid platform. If it had a major failure point I would say it was that it never was or never could live up to the C130 transport requirements. Not so much as a fault of Stryker but more the limits of the now 65 year old bird.

However I do wonder. Stryker was and is meant for mechanized infantry operations. As a platform it’s well suited for any number of roles even in support of heavier vehicles. It is now however intended to maneuver as part of HBCTs.
Save for BAE who offered a Resurection of the Bradley linebacker with similar load out including the same M230LF type classified as XM914
(an offer that doesn’t seem to have been taken)
I haven’t heard any Shorad heavy counterpart. The Marines seem to be looking at a JLTV Avenger+ for their use, something that might be piggybacked for airborne units. Marines Developing JLTV Air-Defense System Armed with Laser Weapon
Yet if heavy armored brigades of the US army need to roll they are just as susceptible to UAS pop up attacks as anything else. PAC has proven fairly good vs higher aspect attack yet we have seen it not fair as well vs drones or cruise missile attacks. With the thus far small purchases of Iron dome which this far is a fixed system ( I remember reading of a concept for a mobile Iron dome I-Dome but haven’t seen much beyond the promotional which is more or less Iron dome on a truck.)
 

Boagrius

Well-Known Member
While I suspect the game has changed fundamentally since even the Vietnam era, there is no doubt in my mind that modern AAA is more lethal than ever. Advances in modern programmable and guided ammunition stand out here as potential game-changers.

That said, corresponding advances in modern targeting pods/systems alongside PGMs and standoff weapons mean that fast jets are much less likely to have to expose themselves to the low altitude domain to deliver ordnance accurately than they were ~50 years ago. While HIMAD systems can still conceivably force non-VLO tactical aircraft into the jaws of VSHORAD systems like AAA (ref the Ukrainian experience in 2014-15), the overwhelming shift to precision-guided air to ground munitions strikes me as important.

I actually anticipate that AAA could be on the cusp of a significant resurgence (pending the development of competing laser systems) as a counter not so much to fast jets but to proliferating UAS, loitering munitions and standoff PGMs. I have to wonder whether we may see additional data sharing capability built into existing armoured vehicles (IFV, MBT) so that they can actively share the air picture and bring their weapons to bear on airborne targets, turning them into quasi-AAA platforms capable of at least basic self-defence. At the very least, embedded VSHORAD units with deep magazines (AAA/DEWs... perhaps accompanied by EW assets) seem necessary - recent experience in Nagorno Karabakh and Syria seems to bear this out.
 
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Big_Zucchini

Active Member
There is a factor that I think will PREVENT the resurgence of AAA.
That is - BMS.
First iterations of the modern BMS were 2D maps showing limited assets, as most were not connected. They were also divided into company level, battalion level, brigade level, with no proper inter-connectivity.
Now, systems like the American ABMS are promising to integrate together many once totally separate assets into a network of mutually benefiting ones.
An artillery cannon called upon by an AI to defeat a cruise missile cued by the radars of a forward deployed counter-artillery unit.
An IFV detecting and destroying, on his own, a 122mm rocket headed his way, or via a cue from an IFV with better radar coverage.

With systems like the ABMS, any tank, IFV, even lightly armed APC or UGV, could contribute to the C-RAM and VSHORAD missions.

You may not have a vehicle that can fire two medium caliber guns at over a thousand shells per minute, but you'll have enough distributed IFVs and UGVs that can give you that same volume of fire together.
 

Boagrius

Well-Known Member
There is a factor that I think will PREVENT the resurgence of AAA.
That is - BMS.
First iterations of the modern BMS were 2D maps showing limited assets, as most were not connected. They were also divided into company level, battalion level, brigade level, with no proper inter-connectivity.
Now, systems like the American ABMS are promising to integrate together many once totally separate assets into a network of mutually benefiting ones.
An artillery cannon called upon by an AI to defeat a cruise missile cued by the radars of a forward deployed counter-artillery unit.
An IFV detecting and destroying, on his own, a 122mm rocket headed his way, or via a cue from an IFV with better radar coverage.

With systems like the ABMS, any tank, IFV, even lightly armed APC or UGV, could contribute to the C-RAM and VSHORAD missions.

You may not have a vehicle that can fire two medium caliber guns at over a thousand shells per minute, but you'll have enough distributed IFVs and UGVs that can give you that same volume of fire together.
Agree and acknowledged this in my last post. I suspect at some point in the future it's going to become necessary to pipe the local air picture to friendly armoured vehicles, ideally with sufficient data quality to cue (mainly self defensive) weapons employment. That said there will still be a need for the requisite sensors to construct that picture (AAA based or otherwise), so a dedicated GBAD vehicle may yet fit here.
 
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Big_Zucchini

Active Member
Agree and acknowledged this in my last post. I suspect at some point in the future it's going to become necessary to pipe the local air picture to friendly armoured vehicles, ideally with sufficient data quality to cue (mainly self defensive) weapons employment. That said there will still be a need for the requisite sensors to construct that picture (AAA based or otherwise), so a dedicated GBAD vehicle may yet fit here.
Dedicated GBAD for every BCT is a sound concept. For example a mobile Iron Dome battery is to be added to every BCT in the IDF, and will include laser based solutions within the battery level. Anything below that tier would be done by the weapons of existing platforms.
In the more distant future a laser based solution could be attached to every ground vehicle, but that's no less than 20-30 years from now.

In the meantime, the energy demands of ground elements are only increasing at astounding rates. It is possible that the Russian approach of mobile nuclear charging stations for the distant future would become dominant. In the meantime, we may need massive generators on trucks, and mobile batteries.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
There is a factor that I think will PREVENT the resurgence of AAA.
That is - BMS.
First iterations of the modern BMS were 2D maps showing limited assets, as most were not connected. They were also divided into company level, battalion level, brigade level, with no proper inter-connectivity.
Now, systems like the American ABMS are promising to integrate together many once totally separate assets into a network of mutually benefiting ones.
An artillery cannon called upon by an AI to defeat a cruise missile cued by the radars of a forward deployed counter-artillery unit.
An IFV detecting and destroying, on his own, a 122mm rocket headed his way, or via a cue from an IFV with better radar coverage.

With systems like the ABMS, any tank, IFV, even lightly armed APC or UGV, could contribute to the C-RAM and VSHORAD missions.

You may not have a vehicle that can fire two medium caliber guns at over a thousand shells per minute, but you'll have enough distributed IFVs and UGVs that can give you that same volume of fire together.
We'll wait and see, especially regarding the US Army system. US Army acquisition processes aren't the best in the world and they've been struggling to field new capabilities for quite a while. I am also not a great believer in using heavy artillery as jury rigged on the fly AAA because it takes the artillery away from its basic mission of wrecking the enemies joint before your infantry take possession and evict him from it. It'll work if the gunners are loafing around with nothing to do, but if they are in the middle of a fire mission then that creates problems.

I am familiar with CEC and how it works and have no problem transposing it to a ground combat environment. However most armies are not at the equivalent electronic level or capabilities of their navies in this area so I am not holding my breath. The other point is that sometimes it can be real easy to over complicate things when a simple approach is usually the best approach. One thing that I have pushed for years is the NZ Army to have autocannon in their armoured vehicles (NZLAV & its successor) that has a vertical range of -5° to at least +50° and a gunsight that allows it to be used against surface and air targets. Just seems so simple, but our mid level and senior army officers didn't think about that. Maybe they ate to many crayons for lunch and it befuddled their brains. Orthey were still celebrating from their victory of succeeding in having the Air Combat Force axed.

Lasers and all that are very nice, but they aren't operational as part of army combat units yet and may not be so for a while. It's all a matter of money and there won't be a lot of that around for the next three or so years. The US DOD will certainly lose some money and there has been talk of its next budget being sub US$700 billion. So there will have to be some belt tightening somewhere. The Congress critters do have their pet projects and pork bellies to protect.
 

Boagrius

Well-Known Member
We'll wait and see, especially regarding the US Army system. US Army acquisition processes aren't the best in the world and they've been struggling to field new capabilities for quite a while. I am also not a great believer in using heavy artillery as jury rigged on the fly AAA because it takes the artillery away from its basic mission of wrecking the enemies joint before your infantry take possession and evict him from it. It'll work if the gunners are loafing around with nothing to do, but if they are in the middle of a fire mission then that creates problems.

I am familiar with CEC and how it works and have no problem transposing it to a ground combat environment. However most armies are not at the equivalent electronic level or capabilities of their navies in this area so I am not holding my breath. The other point is that sometimes it can be real easy to over complicate things when a simple approach is usually the best approach. One thing that I have pushed for years is the NZ Army to have autocannon in their armoured vehicles (NZLAV & its successor) that has a vertical range of -5° to at least +50° and a gunsight that allows it to be used against surface and air targets. Just seems so simple, but our mid level and senior army officers didn't think about that. Maybe they ate to many crayons for lunch and it befuddled their brains. Orthey were still celebrating from their victory of succeeding in having the Air Combat Force axed.

Lasers and all that are very nice, but they aren't operational as part of army combat units yet and may not be so for a while. It's all a matter of money and there won't be a lot of that around for the next three or so years. The US DOD will certainly lose some money and there has been talk of its next budget being sub US$700 billion. So there will have to be some belt tightening somewhere. The Congress critters do have their pet projects and pork bellies to protect.
Even so, I still wonder if being able to share the local air picture directly with traditional armoured vehicles (IFV/APC/MBT etc) may be a cost-effective way of responding to the emerging threat of UAS, loitering munitions etc. Even if it doesn't provide a CEC-quality track, but simply lets them know what part of the sky the threat is in, it might give them a fighting chance of bringing autocannon/.50 cal RWS/coax 7.62mm et al to bear, and taking whatever other self defensive measures are needed.
 

Rob c

Well-Known Member
Well one lesson that was driven home in WW1, WW2, Korea and Vietnam, was that any aircraft that flew straight and level for more than a few seconds in a combat zone ended up dead. Just ask the Bomber Command crews or the Transport Command crews who flew on the Market Garden Op, yet they had to over the targets.
There were casualties yes, mainly due to the vast amount of AAA that was expended at them and that the proportion actually shot down by AAA was in fact quite small and the usual way you got shot down by flying straight and level was due to enemy fighters, not AAA. The American bomber raids in Europe flew straight and level and had a loss rate of about 3%, mostly to fighters and the B29 low level firestorm raids over Japan had a very low loss rate, from memory less than 1% flying straight and level at low altitude. In North Vietnam it was normal practice to the bombing run, in formation straight and level formatting on a lead aircraft which commanded the drop and while there were some losses, they were considered acceptable. So while there are losses to AAA and it would be a frightening experience, to say that to fly straight and level in a combat zone was a death sentence is a little emotive. Interestingly in the first 1000 bomber raid the RAF did over Germany the combined loss rate to all causes was less than 5% and there were plenty of targets flying straight and level for the AAA to have a go at ,
 

Big_Zucchini

Active Member

Not quite sure what to feel about this.
On one hand there's BAE, which gave me the impression of a company that's sometimes innovative but mostly conservative and banking on the old and proven rather than the cutting edge.

On the other hand, Elbit's leading the Israeli version of the OMFV which requires a lot of innovation.
 

Terran

Active Member
Would be interesting to see which vehicle they choose. BAE displayed the CV90 MkIV at AUSA. Elbit owns IMI meaning they own Namer which was looked at early on as possible GCV but the weight would be a major issue. So again CV90 comes to the front. With Elbit likely doing the Vehicle systems perhaps even iron fist.
Let’s not forget this came after Rheinmetall + Raytheon + Textron joined up to offer Lynx KF41.
A do over that would with Textron mean they wouldn’t suffer the same issue as they previous attempt. IE actually building it in the US as opposed to flying in a prototype.
And of course GDLS will be offering some iteration of Griffin III.
 

Big_Zucchini

Active Member
Would be interesting to see which vehicle they choose. BAE displayed the CV90 MkIV at AUSA. Elbit owns IMI meaning they own Namer which was looked at early on as possible GCV but the weight would be a major issue. So again CV90 comes to the front. With Elbit likely doing the Vehicle systems perhaps even iron fist.
Let’s not forget this came after Rheinmetall + Raytheon + Textron joined up to offer Lynx KF41.
A do over that would with Textron mean they wouldn’t suffer the same issue as they previous attempt. IE actually building it in the US as opposed to flying in a prototype.
And of course GDLS will be offering some iteration of Griffin III.
The CV90 is not seen as a particularly good choice because it's a very mature and proven platform, but supposedly lacks some desired modern features.
The US Army in previous efforts (OMFV), expressed some desire for higher risk, more innovative platforms. GDLS was the middle ground, and it was essentially a fight between the Griffin and Lynx.

Elbit does not own IP for Namer in any way. Neither did IMI at any point. Every Israeli AFV is owned by the Israeli MoD, which is one of several key reasons for the lack of export.

In a ground warfare forum a few years ago, Elbit's CEO told in an interview that Elbit will participate in the OMFV project in the systems part, and that he doesn't care about the platform part.
Their expertise is not only in the systems part but also in full turret solutions.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
The real question is will the US Army actually get this replacement project to fruition and for FOC? How many times have they tried to replace the Bradley so far? This isn't the only acquisition program that they are having difficulties with and it appears that their acquisition processes are a complete mess.
 

Beholder

Member
Their expertise is not only in the systems part but also in full turret solutions.
Systems part expertise include new experience with Eitan 360 degree vision system with HUD and net-centric capabilities(this is part of development of Carmel project).
Interesting if they will put something like this into vehicle too.
 

Big_Zucchini

Active Member
The real question is will the US Army actually get this replacement project to fruition and for FOC? How many times have they tried to replace the Bradley so far? This isn't the only acquisition program that they are having difficulties with and it appears that their acquisition processes are a complete mess.
We have to give them a chance.
The Futures Command revamped acquisition for top priority programs, and NGCV is one of them.
NGCV is also the most complex of these programs, because it has a higher degree of reliance on project convergence, even if the Army does the best it can to remove such reliance.

They have had one shot in the project so far, and when failed they quickly adapted and restarted the program in a matter of months, not years.
 

Big_Zucchini

Active Member
Systems part expertise include new experience with Eitan 360 degree vision system with HUD and net-centric capabilities(this is part of development of Carmel project).
Interesting if they will put something like this into vehicle too.
The IronVision is already offered to customers like Australia. But it is an interim solution, or part of a much larger solution.
Yeah, situational awareness is key, but the bigger piece is AI-driven operation.
 

Terran

Active Member
The real question is will the US Army actually get this replacement project to fruition and for FOC? How many times have they tried to replace the Bradley so far? This isn't the only acquisition program that they are having difficulties with and it appears that their acquisition processes are a complete mess.
I wouldn’t say a complete mess, but yes they have had issues. Some really bad ones.
Round one was FCS maned vehicles which would have basically replaced huge portions of US Armored forces. The IFV version XM1206 would have offered 2+9 seating and a Mk44 30mm but then fighting in the GWOT since rebranded as The Long War did two things. It ate the budget and proved the light armor wasn’t ready. To thin vs mines and IEDs. canceled along with large portions of the program including a few that should have been salvaged like drones. Of course the biggest issue then was they were looking to light. They wanted to Rapid deploy to peace keeping ops in low low intensity with tanks.
Round two was GCV which seems like it was drafted after Namer a Heavy AFV. Similar seating and armament to XM1206 However with max armor build would have rivaled Abrams in weight causing issues for bridging, transport both air ground and sea. It was trying to be the ultimate protection. Namer and heavy heavy IFV are fine if you are an army fighting on your land boarders without need of crossing a lot of bridges. To big, to heavy. canceled
Now OMFV
Last year they tried to get demonstrators for it. GDLS delivered but disqualified Rheinmetall couldn’t deliverclaim was they could not get the clearance to ship it. BAE didn’t bid, no one else wanted in.
Then it was canceled and rebooted. As they deemed that the program was to ambitious and not realistic. With looser requirements that seems to have reopened the options.
No matter which choice OMFV will require changes to the base vehicle design. unlike the previous programs one will be a bigger turret and bigger bigger gun. Bradley was impressive in 1981 most then IFV were still sporting 20mm and BMP2 was also just starting out with its 30mm. By the 1990s 30mm was the base for all new IFV. FCS and GCV would have used the same 30mm Bushmaster mk44 as aimed for the EFV later modified into the gun on Stryker Dragoon. With a push back to possible force on force one driver became anti armor capabilities at longer range so they resurrected the 50mm super shot. The XM913 cannon with lots of potential in Anti vehicle, anti barrier and C-RAM (it seems like they ported the gun from work on the latter. Army engineers demonstrate anti-drone technology
Super shot was originally a joint US German program killed by the end of the Cold War.
Not a unique choice when you consider the increasing use of 35mm guns on IFVs like Japanese type 89 Netherlands, Denmark, Estonian CV90s , 40mm Bufors or clones there in on Swedish CV90, South Korean K21, British + French 40mm CTA (originally an Anglo US program), Chinese 40mm CTA clone, Russian S60 BM57 57mm.
The other long time want for the US Army was to haul the whole 9 man squad. Stryker does that. both XM1206 with a crew of 2 and GCV with a crew of 3 were drafted to. OMFV wants a crew of 2+ At least 6 troops. Of the known pitches, Ajax based Griffin III hauls 6 like Bradley but would have a 2 man crew, CV90 3+6-8 depending on configuration so close Lynx 3+8 So both Lynx and CV90 would need reconfigured interiors and systems. Lynx makes this easy by its modular design. CV90 MkIV though would demand a near complete overhaul. Griffin III is tailored fit what it is. Unless the Army says 2+9 minimum they are fine. I expect changes in suspension though. A Bradley was tested with a in arm suspension system. https://defpost.com/us-army-testing...-suspension-system-yuma-proving-ground/?amp=1

Interesting to see if any others pitch. I doubt Puma as Rheinmetall is a partner and on the other side of it KMW is part owned by ChemChina which would probably red flag. But perhaps Hanwha's Redback might get be pitched it has the room for a 2+9.
 
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