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Us Army On Fast Track To Get Mobile Protected Firepower Into Force


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Thermobaric. Just pulps everyone.

 

In enclosed spaces, yes, but in the open its overall weaker initial blast makes thermobaric less suitable. You also need rounds for cases where you want to wipe out a room full of terrorist but you don't want the blast to collapse the building on the family hiding in the basement.

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105mm HESH [uS HEP] in use with Washington State DOT M60A3s has had a much higher dud rate in avalanche control than the preferred 105mm HE from recoilless rifles previously used until HE supplies dwindled.

 

90mm HE handles light tanks [M41 here] and lesser quite well:

 

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Back in my Platoon Leader days, there was talk in the 1st AD of changing our main gun basic load of ammo to 100% sabot...

A tanker who was in in the mid 90's told me H.E.A.T. was preferred against APC and IFV type vehicles. They were told sabot would glide right through with very little after armor effects.

 

During ODS I saw a Cascavel armored car get hit by 3 apfsds rounds to no apparent affect. The 3 followup HEAT rounds blew it into multiple pieces.

 

 

WHOA. Bouncing off or passing thru?!

 

Went straight through. Also, we had M1IPs so these were 105 rounds.

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Large cal HEAT vs light armor also works like erzatz HE, breaking an armor due the HE effect.

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Back in my Platoon Leader days, there was talk in the 1st AD of changing our main gun basic load of ammo to 100% sabot...

A tanker who was in in the mid 90's told me H.E.A.T. was preferred against APC and IFV type vehicles. They were told sabot would glide right through with very little after armor effects.

During ODS I saw a Cascavel armored car get hit by 3 apfsds rounds to no apparent affect. The 3 followup HEAT rounds blew it into multiple pieces.

WHOA. Bouncing off or passing thru?!

Sabot where said to go in one side and out the other of lightly armored APC & IFV like a giant ice pick, causing little damage. Of COURSE if they hit something solid such as the engine or ammunition the damage was much worse.

 

A sabot passing through one of two of the quite littoral "poor bloody infantry" riding in said APC / IFV would not be noted by a tank firing into said vehicle.

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This program is a hot mess. You get 14 MPF vehicles per brigade - just enough to get into trouble, but not enough to get you out of it. They are there to fight T-55s or heavy fortifications (for some reason Javelins are not available, I guess). But at the same time, this is OPFOR that has A2/AD capabilities, because all of the Army aviation and USAF assets are not available. Who is that exactly - North Korea? And simply cross-attaching an armored or mechanized battalion is impossible. It seems to me that this is such a niche situation, that's it's really not worthwhile to develop specific vehicles for it.

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Why not both?

 

120mm SAP-HE PFF with two simple fuzes:

 

 

1. Always on base graze fuze with delay (penetrates approx 1 shell length) for IFV, APC, concrete or earthen bunkers, walls, etc

 

2. Multi mode nose fuze with "off", "super quick" or "time delay" with distance adjustments out to 2,000m for airburst (much like the Carl Gustav HE441D). Loader sets it however gunner / commander requests before loading into the breech, no need to replace the gun or retrofit electronics.

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Add a ballistic cap with a small precursor shaped charge in there so the shell

- does not bounce at bad impact angles

- penetrates tougher walls and plating

- allows for PDSQ fuzing without having a not very tough fuze in the nose of a SAP shell that depends on having a tough point

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  • 2 years later...

I'm hesitant to ressurect this topic, but I did a forum search (via google) for updates to the program and didn't find anything explicit. Anyway, the Army has downselected two vehicles for test batches of 12 vehicles each.

 

The BAE M8 (newest pic I could find, only a partial for some reason):

 

Light_tank_project_of_BAE_Systems_for_Mo​

 

And the GDLS Griffon-derived (unnamed?) light tank:

 

General_Dynamics_unveils_its_light_tank_

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"Fast tracking"...nearly three years since the first post and, check's notes, the first requirements for the proposed M8 AGS go back to the 1980s and it was December 1993 when the first DOD IG report criticizing the procurement was done and it was August 2001 when we published our report for CAA criticizing the entire concept of what was then called "medium weight armor". Buy-All My Stuff-Expensively and God-Damned-Dynamics Land Systems have been soaking off tens of millions of dollars every year for this nonsense for going on forty years.

 

In that entire time have we seen one occasion when they would have been useful and could have been deployed to good use?

 

Can you say "niche requirement contracting boondoggle"?

Edited by Rich
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The M8 AGS seemed to work and was ready for production back in 1993 or so. Congress and the Army seem more at fault here than the contractors.

The same thing could be said for the Commando Stingray, and it was already being built for the Thai's. They could have leveraged off the production line and built some for US needs and probably sold some to the Taiwanese.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stingray_light_tank

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