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Royal Marines Experimenting With Ugvs


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If I was a guessing man, I say it was a Harris Corporation Robot. The MOD already took delivery of some T7's for bomb disposal 2 years ago, and this looks like it might be an adaption of that into a combat bot.

https://www.harris.com/press-releases/2017/09/uk-ministry-of-defence-awards-harris-corporation-contract-worth-up-to-70

Just a pure guess on my part mind.

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To me, what was more interesting was the side bar notice of Argentina buying an ex-South Korean frigate.

 

I didn't notice that - thanks for pointing it out.

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Typical armament when the class was in service includes eight Harpoon missiles in two quadruple launchers, six 324mm Blue Shark torpedoes in two triple tubes as well as two Otobreda 76mm guns and three Otobreda 40mm Close in Weapon Systems.


However, local media report that the frigate is to be delivered with only two 76mm cannons and four 30mm. Missiles and torpedoes launchers will be removed. Leaving the vessel to function primarily as an Offshore Patrol Vessel.


https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/argentina-to-recieve-hand-frigate-from-south-korea/

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How about applying the same metric to yourself? You have 6000 Abrams tanks, the Russians have over 12000 tanks of all kinds. Closer to 16000 now they decided not to scrap older types.

 

Who are you planning to fight, California?

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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That's a foolish metric. Are you likely to go to war with Denmark and Holland?

 

Yes, it's a crappy metric. The thing is, we've downscaled almost everything and yet we insist on keeping up the headcount (and, more importantly, regimental badge count) with "light-role" infantry that most countries no longer bother with. If we upped the tanks we'd have to up everything else proportionally, and, despite a deteriorating security situation on our doorstep, there ultimately just aren't the votes in it. It's very sad. I'm not invoking it as a metric, but the ultimate disaster in terms of drawdowns is Belgium. Look at what they had in 1989 vs now - they've essentially disbanded their military as far as continental European defence is concerned.

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Oh God Chris, dont keep reinforcing this narrative we are on the brink of military collapse that he keeps reading in the Daily Mirror. Yes, we need more funds, yes we need more foresight on the threats we face. But we are better off than we were in the 1930's, and my usual pessimism cannot extinguish the fact that, underfunded though we are, at least we arent over-committed to a war in Syria and trying to pretend 1980's tanks are new. As Russia is. They cant pretend they can replace their armed forces with broke Robots. At least ours work, early days though it is.

 

In the end, we try to be good allies. In the 1980s, the Americans wanted us to be a good mechanized army. So we demolished our navy, and built a good mechanized army. In 2001 they wanted a good light infantry force. So we demolished our heavy forces, and builta light infantry force for the hills of Afghanistan. And today we have American's saying 'Well you have the wrong armed forces'. Well jesus Sherlock, maybe it would be a great idea if you all made your minds up what kind of armed forces you want us to have so we can remain consistent. Because there is no consistency in what they want us to have, and the scrapes they find themselves needing allies in.

 

Would I like us to retain a 250 tank army? Yes. But lets look at the facts, since 1953, we have only had 3 expeditions involving tanks. One was at Port Said, with a Battalion of Centurion's. One was in 1991 with 174 Challenger 1's. The other was in 2003 with 116 Challenger 2's. We clearly need to retain a mechanized capability, But 250 tanks at a time when we are struggling to maintain a navy which we have always needed since time immemorial seems a no brainer to me. And if people think we are showing a net reduction in our land forces, it will be more than compensated by our maritime forces at a period when the Americans are struggling for the first tine since the 1970's to put a viable force at sea.

 

We need to look beyond just putting troops in Eastern Europe. Recent evidence is that Russia has far wider ambitions to nobble nascent democracies, whether its Sudan and Venezuela, and we ought to be ready to deal with it even if the American's wont. That needs seapower. We are putting the money into the right thing, but its going to take a good 2 decades to see any benefit from it. And precious few thanks I shouldnt wonder.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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Oh God Chris, dont keep reinforcing this narrative we are on the brink of military collapse that he keeps reading in the Daily Mirror. Yes, we need more funds, yes we need more foresight on the threats we face. But we are better off than we were in the 1930's,

Yeah. You are. But, Being better off than you were in the '30s is also damming by faint praise. Your biggest ally, US, still has globe spanning power projection that other countries can only dream of. So, your nation and the rest of the EU can continue to pare down their military capability using it as a jobs and wealth transfer program.

 

 

In the end, we try to be good allies. In the 1980s, the Americans wanted us to be a good mechanized army. So we demolished our navy, and built a good mechanized army. In 2001 they wanted a good light infantry force. So we demolished our heavy forces, and builta light infantry force for the hills of Afghanistan. And today we have American's saying 'Well you have the wrong armed forces'. Well jesus Sherlock, maybe it would be a great idea if you all made your minds up what kind of armed forces you want us to have so we can remain consistent. Because there is no consistency in what they want us to have, and the scrapes they find themselves needing allies in.

When we converted tank units to light infantry (truck borne really) we sent the tanks out to storage and ran many through a SLEP. Why not do the same. Remember the articles about how congress was forcing more tanks on the Pentagon and putting them in storage.

 

Conversely, what have you chaps done with your tank factory?

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Well, the tank factory is gone, but a new tracked AFV plant has opened in Wales to make the FRES-SV thingy. I don't doubt we could make tanks if we decided we needed them, but would it really make sense to make our own?.

 

As for being better off than we were in the 1930s, that would probably depend when in the 1930s and vs who. In 1939-45 fairly significant bombing utterly failed to disrupt our infrastructure. One Russian SSGN could do a far better job of doing that to us with conventional SLCMs than the Luftwaffe managed in WW2. Vs 1939 our civil preparations for war are virtually non existent. There are no plans, that I know of to defend commercial ports and hydrocarbon terminals and no kit to do it with.

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Well, I guess I shouldn't be annoyed. More products for the US to sell to the UK Military establishment. Personally, I'd rather see the nation that invented the tank continue to develop examples that are useful.

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Well, the tank factory is gone, but a new tracked AFV plant has opened in Wales to make the FRES-SV thingy. I don't doubt we could make tanks if we decided we needed them, but would it really make sense to make our own?.

 

As for being better off than we were in the 1930s, that would probably depend when in the 1930s and vs who. In 1939-45 fairly significant bombing utterly failed to disrupt our infrastructure. One Russian SSGN could do a far better job of doing that to us with conventional SLCMs than the Luftwaffe managed in WW2. Vs 1939 our civil preparations for war are virtually non existent. There are no plans, that I know of to defend commercial ports and hydrocarbon terminals and no kit to do it with.

 

And what the Russians going to attack them with, Beluga whales? :) Oscars arent going to last 10 minutes in the North sea. They are too old and too loud.

 

The Russians have a lot of theory and a lot of prototypes involving cruise missiles. And even if they did build them (which I doubt) I strongly doubt a 250 tank arm is going to do much to defend against them.

 

Russia is a threat, but I think we see 2 entirely different kinds of threats. You would seem to think a general conventional war involving extensive Cruise missile is likely. I think a small scale combined force battle (yes, maybe even as high as a brigade) followed swiftly by nuclear escalation is far more likely. And I think they would do that very early because its the only way they could possibly win against NATO, under-spending or not.

 

Of course you need to meet threats at all levels. But if horizontal escalation worked for John Lehman, Im not getting why it cant work for us 40 years later.

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Stuart, the Russian's don't have to leave harbour to launch SLCMs that can reach the UK. Their latest conversions will allegedly carry 72 a piece. Yasens can carry 32 or 40 Kalibrs depending on which source you believe.

 

Yes, to counter that threat, it doesn't matter if we have 150 or 250 operational tanks. This is where I think we lack joined up thinking. We currently think we can counter Russian military aggression in the Baltics conventionally. Let's say we are right and that four Challenger tanks and five Apache helicopters we have deployed there could stop them. There is nothing to stop them going seriously assymetric on us in ways that are impossible to defend against. The alternative is to deter with analogous capabilities, but there is no political will (i.e. potential votes are lacking) to put that in place. Interestingly, the US are experimenting with treaty busting ranged conventional cruise and ballistic land-based missiles now, so it could still happen and there is a vanishingly small possibility we might deploy it. The main opposition will come from the RAF who won't want to see their expensive planes replaced by truck-launched munitions.

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Stuart, the Russian's don't have to leave harbour to launch SLCMs that can reach the UK. Their latest conversions will allegedly carry 72 a piece. Yasens can carry 32 or 40 Kalibrs depending on which source you believe.

 

Yes, to counter that threat, it doesn't matter if we have 150 or 250 operational tanks. This is where I think we lack joined up thinking. We currently think we can counter Russian military aggression in the Baltics conventionally. Let's say we are right and that four Challenger tanks and five Apache helicopters we have deployed there could stop them. There is nothing to stop them going seriously assymetric on us in ways that are impossible to defend against. The alternative is to deter with analogous capabilities, but there is no political will (i.e. potential votes are lacking) to put that in place. Interestingly, the US are experimenting with treaty busting ranged conventional cruise and ballistic land-based missiles now, so it could still happen and there is a vanishingly small possibility we might deploy it. The main opposition will come from the RAF who won't want to see their expensive planes replaced by truck-launched munitions.

 

And how long are they going to take to arrive? If during the Cold War we had GLCM as a second strike weapon, then why would these be any different? Ineffectual though the RAF is post 2010 defence review, I find it hard to believe Russia is going to be able to unload enough SLCM's on the UK that we wont notice and wont react to. What would be the point to exclude the rest of Europe? They would have to mass produce cruise missiles to a degree the Luftwaffe did with the V1 to have the kind of strategic effects needed. Yes, in the middle of a conflict when we are already taxed, it could be an issue. As a bolt from the blue, im simply not buying it.

 

And yes, asymmetry is the name of the game and what im truly worried about. The ONLY good news about that is the Estonians, whom are in more threat imho than the others, have a first rate reservist system and what to my mind sounds eerily like the Volunteer movements that were so popular here in the Victorian period. I think if the Russian's ever did try to Donbas Eastern Estonia, they would be in a mess, because the Estonian light infantry would be all over them. Latvia is probably less well prepared admittedly, but they arent the Ukraine Army Circa 2014 either.

 

I think we want a range of capabilities of all kinds. Not JUST tanks (and im not deprecating them either) but Special Forces and ground launched drones and light infantry. Fortunately most of the allies already possess those in theatre already. At which point you have to ask, well why should we replicate capablities that already exist on the ground, why dont we do something that NATO needs and the American's seem to be slipping their gears on? And that quite clearly at this juncture is seapower. In the Baltic states, yes perhaps there is limited application of it. I somehow doubt the Russians would be as enthusiastic about territorial advancement on Ukraine or the Baltic states, with an aircraft carrier permamently off their coast. And it doesnt really matter whose flag is flying from it in this day and age. Even the Italian carrier would a JSF air wing on it would be a valid threat.

 

Just my view, and apologies if I am as always contentious.

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1. How long they take to arrive does not matter. If it takes them one hour longer to shut down our power grid, what difference does that make?

 

2. It wouldn't be a bolt from the blue - it would be in response to our resisting their taking over the Baltic Republics.

 

3. It wouldn't have to exclude W. Europe, but that would mostly be more easily targeted by land-based launchers.

 

4. It wouldn't need vast numbers of missiles. There are many obvious targets, the loss of which would really screw us What percentage of Luftwaffe bombs actually hit something of great value or real strategic importance? I can think of one raid by a Ju-88 on the Mosquito factory at Hatfield (by a pilot who had visited it pre-war no less).

 

5. Really, seapower in terms of power projection in Europe, is of very little use, and is downright counterproductive in terms of the capabilities we can field on our own doorstep. If you're going to shoot Tomahawks at Russia, does it make sense to put them on an SSN or a truck? The truck will get much closer and give you a lot more range into Russia. It will also be more flexible as you can afford a lot of trucks in a lot of different places for the price of one SSN. It won't keep voters in jobs in Barrow though.

 

6. As for different capabiities for different scenarios, even the Americans are drawing back from spending decades in sandboxes at vast expense, achieving very little. I'm not for spending billions to hang on to the Falklands either. Argentina is a democratic country now and they're most welcome to have the problem of policing some windswept islands at the other end of the world. Are we just spending money and lives to convince the Americans we are good allies? If so, what happens when the Russians threaten to shut down large portions of the US power grid if they don't cut us loose?

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I was just going to say that it was a Milrem Themis, but as BD1 beat me to it by a couple of days, I'll just add that it seems to be using the MBDA Impact turret design with two MMPs (Check the second download from this article https://www.mbda-systems.com/press-releases/mbda-milrem-robotics-develop-anti-tank-unmanned-ground-vehicle/ )

 

Now, this doesn't mean that RM is buying MMPs, just that it's playing with a Themis that is currently kitted out with a (demo) system that's likely inert.

 

The boxes on the rear of the mudguards aren't in the earlier one, either.

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i still fail to see any point of it before the price comes down to manned equal-capability platform , like atv.

 

unless it carries something really spectacular, like davy crockett or rail gun.

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