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Thread: All matters MRAP JLTV (merged thread)

  1. #21
    Council Member Culpeper's Avatar
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    Default Armored Vehicles for Iraq May Be Delayed


  2. #22
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default MRAPs Can't Stop Newest Weapon

    31 May USA Today - MRAPs Can't Stop Newest Weapon by Tom Vanden Brook.

    New military vehicles that are supposed to better protect troops from roadside explosions in Iraq aren't strong enough to withstand the latest type of bombs used by insurgents, according to Pentagon documents and military officials.

    As a result, the vehicles need more armor added to them, according to a January Marine Corps document provided to USA TODAY. The Pentagon faced the same problem with its Humvees at the beginning of the war.

    The military plans to spend as much as $25 billion for up to 22,000 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles by 2009. Last month, Defense Secretary Robert Gates declared that buying the new vehicles should be the Pentagon's top procurement priority.

    But the armor on those vehicles cannot stop the newest bomb to emerge, known as an explosively formed penetrator (EFP)...

  3. #23
    Council Member sullygoarmy's Avatar
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    Hey, if my M1A1 can't keep the EFP from punching through, there isn't alot of wheeled vehicles that are going to do it. Fortunately the amount EFP IEDs are only a small percentage what the troops find daily. Granted, they are much more lethal but I'd rather have my guys in an MRAP than an uparmored humvee. At least we're making improvements against the most common type of IED out there. IMHO, the way to defeat EFP IEDs is to continue to go after the builders, the suppliers and the cells planting these sophisticated devices.
    "But the bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet withstanding, go out to meet it."

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  4. #24
    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
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    Perhaps this article should be cut and pasted in the "Why I hate journalists" topic. I read it earlier today, and I'm certain I've read more poorly written articles, but I cannot remember exactly where......

  5. #25
    Council Member J Wolfsberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
    Perhaps this article should be cut and pasted in the "Why I hate journalists" topic. I read it earlier today, and I'm certain I've read more poorly written articles, but I cannot remember exactly where......
    I'll bet it was some "why the US will lose" piece written by a lefty "military analyst."
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  6. #26
    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
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    No, actually it is a "non-news" piece, written by a journalist who doesn't have the slightest idea what he/she is talking about. EFPs, by definition, can defeat ANY vehicle. You could construct an EFP that could defeat the Hoover Dam, if you chose to. And MRAP stands for "Mine-Resistent", not "Mine-Proof." The article is simply an attempt to spread hysteria and appear to be controversial by an ignorant "journalist" who lacks the talent and commitment to do their job, correctly. As a friend told me yesterday, "never assume ill-will, until you've ruled out sheer incompetence."

    Very similar to the hatchet pieces being circulated about the M16/M4 by folks like Bryan Cox, to name names, who always seems to write about Heckler and Koch products in glowing terms, (omitting all sorts of inconvenient "facts" about weapons development and availability) and the current Army system as a dangerous failure. Irresponsible journalism like this doesn't help inspire confidence in soldiers' weapons.

  7. #27
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    Good evening all,
    I agree with Ray Levesque #11
    Not only did the Casspir save a lot of lives in the South African bush war the unique design enabled the vehicle to withstand serious damage and about 85% of the vehicles could be driven from the scene after some minor repairs, sometimes only the wheel needed changing, the most serious damage and injuries were caused from driving too fast enabling the mine to flip the vehicle onto its side. Speed and driving too close also caused the following vehicles to smash into the disabled vehicle; this fact should be the first thing drivers should be made aware of.

    zc

  8. #28
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default MRAP is not a good answer. The South African

    designs are great for their intended missions. The Casspir and the Buffalo and todays RG 31 are big and very formidable mine protected vehicles that give effective protection against small arms. They were made with a high center of gravity and are great vehicles for their designed purpose -- to transport troops through scrub brush that was heavily mined so the troops could get to the area of a fight and dismount.

    They were high both to allow enhanced mine protection and to allow visibility over the scrub. That height is a disadvantage in urban or flat desert areas. Their size means they are entirely too big to navigate in the narrow wadis and lanes in Afghanistan and much of Iraq. Further, there are mines in both theaters but the greater danger is from lateral IEDs. They are not lateral IED proof without getting as dangerously overweight as are the up armored HMMWVs, they are not good convoy escort vehicle. Great vehicles, better than nothing but still far from ideal.

    The Australian Bushmaster is a good blend and has better capability for being up-armored and Oshkosh has a license agreement with BAE Australia; unfortunately, it too is a large and high vehicle designed to rapidly transport troops to a dismount point through scrub. Both the Dutch and the Strines are using it in the 'Stan (the latter also in Iraq) so it'll be interesting to see how it fares.

    Otokar in Turkey makes an armored variant of the HMMWV (as does Mowag in Switzerland, now owned by GD) which would have worked well, but as Marc said, they weren't invented here. They would have been adequate provided some tactical sense was applied in their use and they'd have used standard in the inventory parts, (as opposed to the Cougar / RG 31 and such with MB and other non-standard parts), far cheaper and thus more could've been purchased. No matter, since International now has a big contract for yet a different vehicle, we'll see what happens.

    We are reacting to a hysterical and ignorant media campaign that is at least partly political. That said, we're going to do it -- but the big Armored Busses are not the answer. The infantry -- I mean real infantry, the light guys over there -- who get around on foot don't have an IED problem.

    Horses for courses and all that...

  9. #29
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    19 Jul 07 testimony before the HASC Joint Seapower and Expeditionary Forces and Air and Land Forces Subcommittees on The Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicle Program:

    John Young, MRAP TF


    LTG John Castellaw, USMC,Deputy Commandant for Programs and Resources

    Transcripts of statements by BG Michael Brogan, USMC, Cdr Marine Corps Systems Command and LTG Stephen Speakes, USA, Deputy Chief of Staff, Army G-8, were not available.

  10. #30
    Council Member Mark O'Neill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    The V-shpaed vehicle design has been around since the 1970's, first in Rhodesia and then developed in South Africa. The only open source book I know is Peter Stiff's 'Taming the landmine', which is now somewhat dated and is easy to find on Google.

    Why the later South Africa versions have not been purchased or licensed by the coalition eludes me.

    Yes, they were originally designed for 'bush warfare' where land lines were the main threat, not IEDs in urban areas. Are the principles of design and threat not the same?

    davidbfpo
    Australia has had the Bushmaster Infantry Mobility Vehicle (IMV) for a few years now. It is a locally made 'next generation' mine resistant vehicle for an Infantry Section. It is made by Thales, who bought ADI (Australian Defence Industries) a few years back. It is manufactured in Bendigo, Victoria. Here is the company's website:

    http://www.adi-limited.com/site.asp?page=154

    It is an Aussie design , inspired by the Buffel and Kaspir. It can withstand a pretty decent blast directly under the hull, I will not specify it here as I am not sure that the quantity of blast it can resist is unclassified.

    We are using them in Iraq and Afghanistan to good effect, I understand that the U.S.A. is buying a largish - quantity for a trial.

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    I am pretty sure the Canadians put something on the front of their tanks similar to this in either operation tractable or totalize (i think it was the latter) in order to blow up mines.

    V shaped makes so much more sense.
    But then we didnt always put armour on an angle to make it thicker in early tanks, so common sense doesnt always work.....

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark O'Neill
    ...It is an Aussie design , inspired by the Buffel and Kaspir. It can withstand a pretty decent blast directly under the hull, I will not specify it here as I am not sure that the quantity of blast it can resist is unclassified...
    It may have been classified in the past, but limited specifics are available on the open 'net. The ability of the hull to withstand blast is given as equivalent to two TM-57 AT mines, or 19kg (not quite 42lb) of TNT.

  13. #33
    Council Member Mark O'Neill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedburgh View Post
    It may have been classified in the past, but limited specifics are available on the open 'net. The ability of the hull to withstand blast is given as equivalent to two TM-57 AT mines, or 19kg (not quite 42lb) of TNT.
    That is a different figure to the one I am familiar with. Maybe some aspects regarding some tech specs are still withheld, for obvious reasons...
    Last edited by Mark O'Neill; 07-21-2007 at 03:22 AM. Reason: expansion

  14. #34
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default Vehicle Delay Blamed for Marines' Deaths

    Vehicle Delay Blamed for Marines' Deaths by Richard Lardner, Associated Press.

    Hundreds of U.S. Marines have been killed or injured by roadside bombs in Iraq because Marine Corps bureaucrats refused an urgent request in 2005 from battlefield commanders for blast-resistant vehicles, an internal military study concludes.

    The study, written by a civilian Marine Corps official and obtained by The Associated Press, accuses the service of "gross mismanagement" that delayed deliveries of the mine-resistant, ambush-protected trucks for more than two years...

    Among the findings in the Jan. 22 study:

    • Budget and procurement managers failed to recognize the damage being done by IEDs in late 2004 and early 2005 and were convinced the best solution was adding more armor to the less-sturdy Humvees the Marines were using. Humvees, even those with extra layers of steel, proved incapable of blunting the increasingly powerful explosives planted by insurgents.

    • An urgent February 2005 request for MRAPs got lost in bureaucracy. It was signed by then-Brig. Gen. Dennis Hejlik, who asked for 1,169 of the vehicles. The Marines could not continue to take "serious and grave casualties" caused by IEDs when a solution was commercially available, wrote Hejlik, who was a commander in western Iraq from June 2004 to February 2005.

    Gayl cites documents showing Hejlik's request was shuttled to a civilian logistics official at the Marine Corps Combat Development Command in suburban Washington who had little experience with military vehicles. As a result, there was more concern over how the MRAP would upset the Marine Corps' supply and maintenance chains than there was in getting the troops a truck that would keep them alive, the study contends.

    • The Marine Corps' acquisition staff didn't give top leaders correct information. Gen. James Conway, the Marine Corps commandant, was not told of the gravity of Hejlik's MRAP request and the real reasons it was shelved, Gayl writes. That resulted in Conway giving "inaccurate and incomplete" information to Congress about why buying MRAPs was not hotly pursued.

    • The Combat Development Command, which decides what gear to buy, treated the MRAP as an expensive obstacle to long-range plans for equipment that was more mobile and fit into the Marines Corps' vision as a rapid reaction force. Those projects included a Humvee replacement called the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle and a new vehicle for reconnaissance and surveillance missions.

    The MRAPs didn't meet this fast-moving standard and so the Combat Development Command didn't want to buy them, according to Gayl. The study calls this approach a "Cold War orientation" that suffocates the ability to react to emergency situations.

    • The Combat Development Command has managers — some of whom are retired Marines — who lack adequate technical credentials. They have outdated views of what works on the battlefield and how the defense industry operates, Gayl says. Yet they are in position to ignore or overrule calls from deployed commanders.
    More at the link above.

  15. #35
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Default MRAP JLTV concept of infantry mobility

    A General Concept of Infantry Mobility

    I would be interested in the board’s opinions as to MRAP and JLTV “type” vehicles as a base line for general (not all) infantry mobility.

    Generally,

    1. They are better protected than APCs, in general overall terms. (mines and direct fire)
    2. They have very low comparative running and acquisition costs.
    3. They have less dust and noise signature for the same given weight.
    4. They have less mobility under certain soil conditions (deep mud).


    YES, we will still need APCs (tracked and wheeled) but as a general approach, for addressing purely protected mobility, against most likely threats they would seem to have considerable merit. Some are designed better than others and some features are better thought out than others, but opinions on this may be worth discussing especially if specific designs are suggested as starting points.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

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  16. #36
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    A General Concept of Infantry Mobility

    I would be interested in the board’s opinions as to MRAP and JLTV “type” vehicles as a base line for general (not all) infantry mobility.

    Generally,

    1. They are better protected than APCs, in general overall terms. (mines and direct fire)
    2. They have very low comparative running and acquisition costs.
    3. They have less dust and noise signature for the same given weight.
    4. They have less mobility under certain soil conditions (deep mud).


    YES, we will still need APCs (tracked and wheeled) but as a general approach, for addressing purely protected mobility, against most likely threats they would seem to have considerable merit. Some are designed better than others and some features are better thought out than others, but opinions on this may be worth discussing especially if specific designs are suggested as starting points.
    "better", "less" - in comparison to what?


    The cross-country mobility of MRAPs has to be poor on all soft or hard but uneven terrains judged by the mean maximum ground pressure and the running gear.
    Such vehicles only provide road mobility. They can negotiate difficult terrain sometimes, but not reliably enough to be used off-road regularly.

    The protection is highly specialized against blast, crude EFP and obsolete RPGs. I bet that these vehicles don't have bomblet protection.

    The costs are much higher than the costs of unprotected trucks and trucks with protected cabins.

    MRAP is huge, even the "smaller" versions. These vehicles cannot easily be hidden against competent enemies with modern sensor technology.


    But let's ignore the technical aspects for a while. The focus on armour to enhance survivability seems to me as an outgrowth of LI warfare. It worked because the opponents have only very limited lethality.
    An opponent with modern lethality would easily destroy such vehicles despite their armour. There's a reason why so many people demand equal protection of IFVs and MBTs - even IFVs are not really survivable enough in a HIC.
    Survivability in HIC requires to keep one's position unknown. Vehicles need to be easily concealable and if possible be silent and leave no traces offroad.
    MRAP-sized vehicles cannot be easily hidden and their protection won't help much against battlefield weapons, so I'd say they're the wrong choice.

    In short:
    MRAP/JLTV look fine as LIC survivable mobility tools if the fuel supply is guaranteed (fuel consumption could be much lower without tons of armour).
    I don't trust light armour as stand-alone survivability solution in higher intensity warfare.

  17. #37
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    In short:
    MRAP/JLTV look fine as LIC survivable mobility tools if the fuel supply is guaranteed (fuel consumption could be much lower without tons of armour).
    I don't trust light armour as stand-alone survivability solution in higher intensity warfare.
    So what's the solution to giving all infantry formations sustainable and viable protected mobility? What do you suggest?
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

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  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    So what's the solution to giving all infantry formations sustainable and viable protected mobility? What do you suggest?
    Leather cadillacs and e-tools?

    I had an MRAP for two months on my last tour. Fantastic vehicle for convoy ops - it's like having a Tactical Escalade compared to the Humvee. Useless offroad, though. We couldn't travel more than 10-15 kph offroad, and even then you had better be strapped in tight. I operated with an M113 briefly, until my CoC told me to cease and desist from operating Army vehicles, and in retrospect I loved the mobility it provided me over the MRAP. I think tracked vehicles are going to continue to be a better solution for all-around mobility. If we rely on MRAP-type vehicles, we've done part of the enemy commander's job for him by canalizing ourselves on existing roads.

  19. #39
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    So what's the solution to giving all infantry formations sustainable and viable protected mobility? What do you suggest?
    I see no all-round solution. I doubt that infantry that's properly embedded in the population really needs armoured trucks for road travels in COIN.
    I'd integrate local militiamen into community-embedded platoons/companies anyway; the locals would create a safe environment and warn of dangers more thoroughly with some of them on every "foreign" vehicle anyway.
    Soldiers could also use local transport vehicles on raids and intelligence missions.


    For higher intensity conflict I'd suggest light trucks (a new category of light trucks!)

    - partially fragmentation protected (up to level I (~ 9x19mm ball short barrel, a bit more protection than old kevlar flak vests), also the tarpaulin, windshield and door windows)
    - minimized ground clearance when parking (hydropneumatic suspension)
    - low height (folding windshield, fragmentation protection panels and roll-over bar)
    - probably small enough for civilian car garages (folding mirrors, cabin accessible through folded windshield, bumpers all-round)
    - prepared for quick camouflage and de-camouflaging with nets (also capable to fake urban objects with different camouflage materials)
    - very low noise level
    - self-recovery winch on 50% of vehicles
    - several large fuel tanks, several small fresh water tanks, high mpg
    - capable to cross irrigation trenches, fences, wet grassland
    - driver sits in center, left and right sit gunners with good automatic firepower (pintle mounts)

    Such a truck would survive indirect HE fires less well, but it would be much less likely under such and other fires. The small signature to enemy reconnaissance would increase the uncertainty for the enemy.
    Imagine an infantry company occupies a community close to a major city to block an important road nearby. It's no rural community, so there's no barn. MRAPs cold be parked under gas stations , but most of them only in the open.
    An enemy 5 lbs drone makes a fly-over and the enemy knows almost all truck positions and the defender strength. 320mm MRL and 142mm SPH flatten the community with HE, a mech company approaches combat-like and clears the ruins.
    Imagine a company occupying the community with my light truck design; you could send much better recon assets, even drive through with some recon AFVs and would still not become aware of the occupation.

    In high intensity warfare you need to defeat their sensors, not their munitions for survivability.
    Some people believe that "stealth" doesn't work on the ground. They think too much of Arab deserts imho.
    Last edited by Fuchs; 07-07-2008 at 12:20 PM.

  20. #40
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VMI_Marine View Post
    I think tracked vehicles are going to continue to be a better solution for all-around mobility. If we rely on MRAP-type vehicles, we've done part of the enemy commander's job for him by canalizing ourselves on existing roads.
    I think that long fast road moves are going to become increasingly important. That means putting tracked APCs on low-loaders and that takes a lot of time and then you are road bound anyway.

    I perceive protected road mobility as extremely important, in all conflict. The security of paved surface for wheeled traffic has been pretty inherent to conflict for the past 80 or so years. The world is becoming more and not less paved.

    It's worth just taking a look at this,
    http://www.defense-update.com/products/w/wildcat.htm

    It costs about 1/3rd of what Stryker does, and to my mind is more capable, in that given a choice, I would select this over Stryker.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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