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US Army looking to build air-droppable armoured vehicle (ULCV project)

CougarKing

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The cancelled M8 Buford AGS project (the replacement for the Sheridan tank) comes to mind.

Military.com

Army Looks to Build Air-Droppable Armored Vehicle


(...)- SNIPPED

The Army's Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Ga., recently released a Sources Sought document to see if industry is capable of building the Ultra Light Combat Vehicle – an armored chariot that could be carried by UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, or airdropped by C-130 aircraft

(...)



Unlike the heavily-armored GCV, the priority for the proposed ULCV would be transportability.

Here are some of the initial requirements that Maneuver officials are searching for:

-- Internally transportable by CH-47 Chinook helicopter in combat configuration under high/hot conditions.

-- Sling-load transportable by UH-60 in combat configuration under high/hot conditions.

-- Air-droppable from C-130 and C-17 aircraft in combat configuration.


The ULCV would have to carry up to 3,200 pounds, or a nine-man infantry squad, with equipment. It would have a range of up to 300 miles on internal fuel and would need to be able to travel across country and on trails as well as over rubble in an urban combat environment, the document states.

Maneuver officials are also interested in the vehicle performing on high-altitude terrain such as ridges and summits.

The ULCV would provide a base level of protection through high-mobility to avoid enemy contact and soldier personal protection equipment since the vehicle supports dismounted soldiers, according to the document.

For now, Maneuver officials want to arm the ULCV with crew-served weapons already found in IBCTs. The goal is to "incorporate a medium-caliber weapon into squad operations," the document states.

But the ULCV is far from replacing GCV on the Army's priority list since it "does not currently have an approved requirement," the document states.

"The information solicitation and subsequent vendor demonstration and product display are conducted for the sole purpose of demonstrating product capabilities."

The defense industry has until Feb. 21 to respond to the ULCV Sources Sought.

Meanwhile, Army officials continue to work with the Marine Corps to deliver the Humvee replacement, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. Leaders from both services were forced to pare down expectations for this truck as costs spiraled out of control as officials wanted to increase armor while lightening the overall weight.

It's unclear if the Army will face a similar challenge with this new vehicle as the program is at its very beginning stages.
 

Infanteer

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Sooooo, they want a BMD-3?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMD-3
 

OldSolduer

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Wasn't the Sheridan supposed to fit this bill?

IIRC it didn't work out to well.....


Or am I going senile?  or maybe there already.
 

Humphrey Bogart

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Infanteer said:
Sooooo, they want a BMD-3?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMD-3

No they want a far smaller vehicle than a BMD-3, especially if it is to be slingloadable by UH-60.  L-models only have a sling capacity of 9,000lbs.
 

tomahawk6

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Its a bad idea.Might as well buy the German Wiesel.

800px-Panzermuseum_Munster_2010_1007_(1).JPG
 

George Wallace

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The Wiesel is a very versatile vehicle.....Can fit three in a Chinook and sling a couple more.
 

Journeyman

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George Wallace said:
The Wiesel is a very versatile vehicle.....
I remember seeing quite a few of them in the Balkans. The ones in Bosnia were mostly armed with the MG3 or .50 cal, while the ones I saw in Kosovo travelled as a mix of 20mm and TOW.

You'd need a fair amount of Velcro and gun-tape to load them with "a nine-man infantry squad, with equipment" though  ;)
 

McG

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Light enough to be sling-load carried by a UH-60, samll enough to fit inside a CH-47, able to be dropped by parachute, armoured (presumable able to at least stop small arms up to medium MGs), and able to transport a 9 infantryman section.  I think somewhere a requirement is going to have to slip.
 

Journeyman

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MCG said:
I think somewhere a requirement is going to have to slip.
Specifications by committee.

.....but sooner or later, those typing monkeys will produce Shakespeare.  ;)
 

George Wallace

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Journeyman said:
You'd need a fair amount of Velcro and gun-tape to load them with "a nine-man infantry squad, with equipment" though  ;)

It would become a vehicle per fireteam.  ;D
 

Jed

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And two Chinooks to transport a fully equipped section.
 

Kirkhill

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The silliness is in that requirement to move a "9 man infantry squad".

Why not just limit the weapons carrier to carrying weapons and use it to allow the support weapons to keep up with the marching infantry in rough terrain?  Then you use the helos to get both the troops and their support within marching distance of the objective.

If you are depositing troops in terrain where their defense can move faster than your offense then you are mis-using your assets.

ie don't drop marching infantry into the Regina Plains

570px-Regina_from_the_west.jpg
 

tomahawk6

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Kirkhill said:
The silliness is in that requirement to move a "9 man infantry squad".

Why not just limit the weapons carrier to carrying weapons and use it to allow the support weapons to keep up with the marching infantry in rough terrain?  Then you use the helos to get both the troops and their support within marching distance of the objective.

If you are depositing troops in terrain where their defense can move faster than your offense then you are mis-using your assets.

ie don't drop marching infantry into the Regina Plains

570px-Regina_from_the_west.jpg

Too logical  :)
 

McG

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Maybe scope creep will see the US Army replace its helicopters with CH-53K in order to fit the larger vehicle that this might deliver.
 

a_majoor

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At least in the unarmoured form, the BV 206 is transportable both internally in a CH-47 and slung (but I don't think it is slingable under a Blackhawk), plus it can carry either a section plus or a large amount of kit. It can also be a weapons carrier, including mortars, recoiless cannon, ATGMs or HMG/Automatic Grenade Launchers. So as far as being air portable and load carriage, it is the 80% solution.

I don't think it is air droppable, and the armoured cousins like the Viking and Bronco might not be air portable (or at least not the way these specs are written), but the examples suggests that this is actually doable, if a bit of a stretch.
 

Journeyman

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Thucydides said:
At least in the unarmoured form, the BV 206.....

I don't think it is air droppable......
Ha!  With enough corrugated cardboard between the vehicle chassis and the pallet, anything is air droppable. 

OK, we may need to dust off the Soviet rocket-assisted braking, but still..... 

Surely at least 3 or 4 of these people we're putting through 'St Lawrence College with uniforms' to get Engineering degrees could re-invent 1980's Soviet technology!

;)
 

Edward Campbell

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Journeyman said:
Ha!  With enough corrugated cardboard between the vehicle chassis and the pallet, anything is air droppable. 

OK, we may need to dust off the Soviet rocket-assisted braking, but still..... 

Surely at least 3 or 4 of these people we're putting through 'St Lawrence College with uniforms' to get Engineering degrees could re-invent 1980's Soviet technology!

;)


Oh, does the Charm School know how much you care?

Is a Henry Kissinger quip appropriate here?
 

Edward Campbell

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Of course it does ... but this is the Internet, so I can ignore convention, can I not?
 
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