Home » Weapons » Armor » BAE Banking on Hybrid-Electric Combat Vehicle

BAE Banking on Hybrid-Electric Combat Vehicle

by Matt Cox on November 20, 2012

BAE Systems just put out a new infographic detailing the benefits of the hybrid electric drive system the company has developed for the Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle competition. If selected, it would be the first hybrid combat vehicle ever fielded. The graphic illustrates how BAE’s hybrid system will ensure its GCV offering is faster, quieter and more fuel-efficient than standard 70-ton combat vehicles.

To view a larger version of the graphic, click here.

BAE’s release of its hybrid-electric infographic comes on the heels of a Congressional Budget Office report that states that the Army’s GCV may have to weigh as much as 84 tons for the vehicle to meet the service’s list of requirements. This would make the GCV heavier than the 64-ton M1A2 Abrams tank and more than twice as heavy as the 33-ton M2A3 Bradley fighting vehicle its replacing.

It has been difficult for Army officials to refute such estimates since the service didn’t set a weight limit for the new vehicle to avoid trade-offs in soldier protection, lethality and survivability.

The requirement that the GCV carry a nine-man squad and the remaining crew inside the vehicle’s protected volume is a primary factor in setting the size, weight, and cost of the GCV, the CBO maintains.

The Army announced an initial acquisition goal of 1,874 vehicles with production of the vehicle starting in 2018. The Army issued a revised RFP in November 2010 after the initial solicitation were deemed too ambitious and created a real possibility that high technical risks and immature technologies would lead to spiraling costs and schedule delays.

The revised RFP left some flexibility in how the contractor could address the requirements and designated a manufacturing cost of between $9 million and $10.5 million per vehicle, an average procurement unit cost of $13 million per vehicle, and a sustainment cost of $200 per mile of operation. In August 2011, the Army awarded contracts valued at about $450 million each to BAE and General Dynamics Land Systems.

 

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{ 131 comments… read them below or add one }

Raraavis November 20, 2012 at 11:25 am

84-tons is ridiculous.

If you are that worried about someone getting hurt why send anyone into harms way at all. Make the vehicle remotely controlled and have a flat bed that a couple small unmanned vehicles could roll off of.

What type of vehicle pulls a 84-ton vehicle out of a ditch?

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Noha307 November 20, 2012 at 1:48 pm

A 168-ton armored recovery vehicle. Duh.

This reminds me of the old joke about the trend in growing fighter size & sophistication vs. lower numbers built. Eventually, as the theory goes, we'd have one jet able to take out the entire Soviet Air Force.

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tmb2 November 20, 2012 at 3:54 pm

The M88 Hercules can tow the M1 Abrams. It's winch is rated for 70 tons.

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majr0d November 20, 2012 at 5:07 pm

BTW, the author is sensationalizing. The report says 62 – 84 T. Just saying 84 tons gets everyone posting.

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FormerDirtDart November 20, 2012 at 5:30 pm

62 tons is still ridiculous. The "Namer" mafia has taken over the asylum. Someone needs to remind these people that for the IDF "expeditionary" is crossing a bunch of dried out wadis.

I've got an idea. Can't squeeze a nine-man squad in the back of a Bradley? Go to a five track platoon, two M-2/3s and three turret-less Bradleys. You still wind up weighing less than a four track platoon of M-13 "Maginot"s.

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tee November 20, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Like I said before,If they were Smart, they would Upgrade the current Bradley by removing the existing turret, and replace it with a new 40 mm CTA Remote Turret with Dual Javelin or Spike missiles on it. With the room made inside by removing the old turret system they could get their 9 man squad and have much more Fire Power with the New Turret than the older 25 mm and it won't cost the US Taxpayer Billions of $$$ in the process. I would also add the same turret to the Styrker.
.
.http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2005garm/wednesday/duckworth.pdf

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Matt December 6, 2012 at 9:08 am

Beautiful… too bad its from 2005. We are in 2012. Remember who won the election?

majr0d November 20, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Dart – I agree the 62T is still silly but I'm not sure that's the Army's position. (the CBO wrote the report).

As for a five vehicle section it doesn't fix the problem. We've really learned the old lesson again. Splitting the squad across vehicles isn't smart. It means you aren't synched before leaving the track and have to link up and assault while under fire. NOT EASY! This became especially evident when looking at how Stryker borne infantry who don't suffer that self inflicted wound operate.

Take the time to read the CBO report it explains the issue along with a boatload of other good stuff.!

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FormerDirtDart November 20, 2012 at 6:31 pm

But, with three turret-less Bradleys, you wouldn't have to split the squads. And, with keeping two M-2s you retain at least some of the firepower.
I just think the cons get ahead of the pros in going with bigger & heavier tracks.

tmb2 November 20, 2012 at 8:21 pm

I think what we need to bounce against the CBO report is something in writing from the Army that says what level of protection they're looking for. The Stryker has done alright against IEDs, but I don't think we're looking to place it out in front against BMPs. So what is the baseline weight of Bradley-level armor in a 9-man vehicle?

Mitch S. November 20, 2012 at 11:26 am

Looks like a nice graphic, would like to see a bigger view, too bad the link is for this page..
(up to 84 tons!!! Guess the AF will have to cook up plans for a new giant transporter)

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Joe_Sovereign November 20, 2012 at 11:34 am

It would have to be a Blimp

There isn't a plane in the world that could carry two of these at 84 tons.

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blight_ November 21, 2012 at 10:09 am

There are no blimps that carry 84 tons to begin with.

It would be ship only, or transported in pieces and assembled by engineers…

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Joe_Sovereign November 21, 2012 at 8:20 pm

The blimp designs that the DOD were building small scale demonstration models of before the program got canceled were going to carry 1000 tons.

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Roy Smith November 21, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Although I WAS on the “Blimp Bandwagon,” slow moving blimps,if they were ever made,also make great big targets to shoot out of the sky,along with all of the military gear that they are carrying.

blight_ November 22, 2012 at 10:37 am

The carry weight is dependent on the difference in density between helium and air at a particular altitude. The more weight, the larger the volume of the blimp.

A blimp carrying 100 tons must be large enough that the volume of helium carried must have a difference of mass between its filled equivalent volume of air of greater than 100 tons. It's going to be massive…

JackBlack November 20, 2012 at 4:36 pm

It is a flickr link, here is hirez: http://www.flickr.com/photos/baesystemsinc/818948

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Mitch S. November 21, 2012 at 9:43 am

Thanks, looks like DT added the link too.

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Nick November 20, 2012 at 12:10 pm

It's hard to offer soldiers protection when you were left back at base because you were too heavy to deploy.

I hear good things about the Polish APC from my friends who have been to Afghanistan

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blight_ November 20, 2012 at 2:34 pm
majr0d November 20, 2012 at 5:11 pm

It's wheeled blight. Might as well stick with the Stryker huh?

I think you were on to something with the K21. http://www.army-technology.com/projects/k21-fight
.
(that vehicle sounds too good to be true though)

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majr0d November 20, 2012 at 5:08 pm

BTW, the author is sensationalizing. The report says 62 – 84 T (which is still too heavy IMO). Just saying "84 tons!" gets everyone posting.

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Roy Smith November 20, 2012 at 12:14 pm

84 tons? Well,I see YET ANOTHER program headed for cancellation after pouring billions of “research” dollars down the “Milititary-Industrial Complex” black hole. 84 tons is telling me that the Pentagon is not taking this seriously,but someone is getting rich off of this boondoggle.

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Mark November 20, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Has reactive armor ever been implemented to the 'belly' of flat bottom APC's? Such as the Bradley or even the Stryker? I know they have a new DVH and V-hull Strykers.

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blight_ November 20, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Reactive armor won't save you from a blast wave. If your mine is a shaped charge, it might, but there's ridiculously little standoff, and reactive armor doesn't do enough when parallel to the ground and normal to the shaped charge jet. Additionally, you'll lose tiles when you go cross country…

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majr0d November 20, 2012 at 4:45 pm

Reactive armor relies on an angle to defeat shaped charges. There isn't much room as it is under armored vehicles where ground clearance is a plus for mobility. Finally the armor is thinnest under armored vehicles. Even with reactive armor that overcame angle and clearance issues shaped charges could still defeat the thinner armor.

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blight_ November 20, 2012 at 12:32 pm

DoDBuzz has all the discussion on the 84 tonner GCV.

In re hybrid, didn't they have that Thunderbolt prototype a while ago?

Hybrids aren't necessarily lighter, especially when you want to armor up a large internal space to carry nine men.

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Tad November 20, 2012 at 1:03 pm

With this hybrid vehicle we could avoid wars by having a carbon credit advantage.

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dlk November 20, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Porche designed a hybrid drive in WW2.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elefant

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d. kellogg November 21, 2012 at 9:30 am

And even before WW2, the French St Chammond used an early petrol-electric hybrid drive. The US even tried various atempts decades ago.
Back then, electrical storage tech just wasn’t up to par.

My biggest concerns over the whole electricity fascination is,
won’t those vehicles cause a lot more shock hazard to the crews, with hundreds of volts and amps now running hroughout various bits of the vehicle?

Gods-of-War forbid what happens in a wet environment when all these electric bits get damaged and short out across crew, ammunition, and fuel…
Where else will that electricity ground to,
and what tech is out there that will store that magnitude of current without dangerous discharge risks?

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blight_ November 21, 2012 at 10:13 am

GFCI. That said, you have bigger fish to fry when you're driving into a city with buildings full of guys with ATGMs or across a minefield full of anti-tank mines.

I would be more worried about the chemistry of lithium ion batteries when shattered by battle damage. Lithium hydroxide and hydrogen gas…mm, mm, good.

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tmb2 November 21, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Can't imagine it would be much different than getting hit by an ATGM and you have a normal diesel engine and 200 gallons of fuel. It's not like we're discussing a minivan doing a crash test.

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tmb2 November 21, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Having an "electric" engine doesn't mean this thing is going to spark up like Doc Brown's time machine. The concept is the same as a commercial hybrid electric vehicle. Prius and CMAX drivers don't worry about electrocution driving through the rain.

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UAVGeek November 29, 2012 at 1:19 am

But not computer controls, and high power transmission circuits. The hybrid systems that Porsche invented, GM developed and was really first used in Diesel Electric submarines is not the type of system being used in hybrid electric vehicles today, and the main difference comes in computer controls.

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LightenUp November 20, 2012 at 2:10 pm

At 84 tons, I guess they aren't planning to drive it over any developing world bridges.

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Andrew November 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm

If this thing at 84 tons is any less well armed then a Mammoth tank from Red Alert I will be severely disappointed.

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blight_ November 20, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Mammoth Tank would probably be ridiculously slow and bird food for an A-10 or an Apache. Sure it's got those Mammoth Tusk missiles (which conveniently are anti-air and ATGM); but I wouldn't count out Mavericks or Hellfires just yet.

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Andrew November 20, 2012 at 5:45 pm

I think you took my post a little too seriously, but I like the response none the less.

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20/20 November 22, 2012 at 8:21 pm

A good question is how the Soviets planned to keep their JS and later T-10 tanks from suffering the same fate.

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blight_ November 23, 2012 at 8:27 am

By mechanizing their SPAAG's and keeping them rolling with the armored force.

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Andrew November 23, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Yeah, you can pretty much answer this question by looking at the Tunguska development.

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SFC Wallace November 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Obama is making the new APC into a OD version of a Toyota Prius!!! LOL

Overall GCV maybe headed down. Waste a APC slower alot heaver and now with hybrid parts less reliable than the M-2/3s in service. AMC is already upgrading Bradley s so like the AH-66 attack helicopter this bloated program imploded. And 84 tones hate to have to use 2 C-5s to lift one GCV have to be BIG too. makes airlift look hard for such a vehicle.

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Thomas L. Nielsen November 21, 2012 at 2:30 am

"Obama is making the new APC into a OD version of a Toyota Prius"

Couldn't you just write up a list of the things that are NOT Obama's fault? I think the list would be shorter (the Deluge, the last ice age, the extinction of the dinosaurs and the cancellation of SeaQuest, but that's about it, isn't it?).

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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adf November 21, 2012 at 1:03 pm

nice :)

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SFC Wallace November 21, 2012 at 4:05 pm

No its a waste of money and the president pushed for these ideas into the services. Its too heavy too BIG and now unreliable. If you know people with hybrids they are not as reliable as a regular car. Now look at a APC in the heat of battle, not good.

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blight_ November 21, 2012 at 4:14 pm

You're kidding, right?

The UD Thunderbolt was an interesting hybrid prototype that regrettably had no traction. Nothing to do with Obama.

That said, GCV will probably not be hybrid, since the quest to save money will force them to use OTS solutions instead of building from scratch as they love to do.

tmb2 November 21, 2012 at 6:15 pm

The FCS program envisioned using a hybrid drive and prototypes were actually built. This was a couple years before Obama was even elected. Rumsfeld pushed the services into exploring green technologies as early as 2002.

Roy Smith November 21, 2012 at 7:43 pm

GCV is a boondoggle no matter who is president. Bill Clinton downsized the military based on recommendations from Colin Powell & then SecDef from the previous administration,Dick Cheney. Donald Rumsfeld canceled more programs under W. Bush than have been canceled under this administration. There is NO justification for it to be from either as heavy as an M1 tank to being heavier than an M1 tank. Previous programs have been canceled for less than this.

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SFC Wallace November 21, 2012 at 7:47 pm

True some of the Pentagon's everything mus be new kids here dont under stand what GCV is is worse than whats in service now. Not worth the money.

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wtf_infantry November 20, 2012 at 4:12 pm

This is just completely absurd. We are doomed.

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Jim November 20, 2012 at 4:51 pm

There is no fuel cost savings if the weight of the vehicle goes out the door. Also, if a tank was needed, make it remote control. No need to man it. No need to supply food to the solsiers. Have one or two crew as a mechanic to maintain it. The rest can be driven by drivers in the US. No need to ship soldiers over seas.

I personally think the Us needs to not get involved with other countries conflicts. If the country has a problem with its neighbor, let them be grown men and deal with it. KEEP OUR TAX DOLLARS AT HOME NO MORE DEBT!

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Belesari November 20, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Im sorry this is a rather bad post dude.

A remote control 30 ton apc which would need to stay in the open or lose reception. AND THEN instead of having a driver and a gunner you want two mechanics who are…where?

How about just build a damn APC…..the driver and gunner can work on it as needed when they can and if not back to the mechs it goes.

Do people know little to NOTHING about modern technology, its limitations and abilities?!!!

And if your talking about a tank all of the above applies and more That ignores all the shit.

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tmb2 November 20, 2012 at 8:24 pm

The fuel cost savings is in relation to a diesel engine moving the same vehicle regardless of the weight.

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dubweiser101 November 20, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Now this is one hell of a practical innovation! No more long and vulnerable fuel convoys located a few miles behind the front lines. This is something that can change logistics into something less of a headache.

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JE McKellar November 20, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Is there any tactical advantage to running off the battery, with no engine noise? Can they double as generators?

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tmb2 November 20, 2012 at 8:30 pm

The Army originally looked at hybrid engines for the FCS program and a prototype went into the cancelled NLOS-C so it's not brand new tech. If the weapon systems can be run off of battery power without the engine running then the vehicle is quieter and doesn't give off as big of a heat signature. The hybrid engine can export the juice it creates so instead of hauling generators for the TOC, you just back up the vehicle and plug in power distribution equipment. The graphic claims 1100Kw of power while a current brigade TOC requires probably 600Kw or so spread across 20 generators.

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JE McKellar November 20, 2012 at 9:23 pm

So would it make sense to operate off the battery for a static defense, powering up the turret and fire control but not the powertrain?

I honestly hadn't considered the heat signature, but that has to be the biggest liability on the modern battlefield, especially at night, good catch.

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blight_ November 21, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Thought tanks used to have a auxillary power unit for such a purpose? Though in reality, they were used to start engines, moreso for turbines (like the Abrams)

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majr0d November 21, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Early Abrams APUs were designed to get the turbine running. A second was installed later to serve power requirements with the turbine shut down (Abrams use as much fuel idling as they do running at top speed).

JE – Batteries get you so far. Without an APU we'd have to start our Bradleys' engines every 2-3 hours ('91 time frame). The energy draw of weapons, optics and radios is HUGE.

majr0d November 21, 2012 at 1:48 am

The devil is in the details. Hybrid engines come in a lot of flavors. Some run both the electric and deisel simultaneously for increased speed over short distances. Others allow for the electric engine to run the vehicle (this would be new tech to move a 62-84T vehicle). Finally I've seen hybrid engines that convert braking energy into electricity that goes in batteries for use later.

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Paralus November 20, 2012 at 9:18 pm

The best armor we can employ for our troops is a sound foreign policy that doesn't involve us getting sucked into foreign sh**holes that have no impact upon our national security.

the more this becomes another delayed R&D project, the less success it will have.

The intention was for an Off-the-Shelf vehicle with good protection and an early incep. date as opposed to acquiring more IED-vulnerable Bradleys.

More delays, the more studies, the more research, the less chances we will see it fielded.

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Rob November 20, 2012 at 9:57 pm

I'm sorry but I fail to understand the true puprose of this vehicle. It seems like a MRAP with mounted guns would be more effective in todays battlegrounds.

Is this a gun support for a convoy of tanks?

As a blocksde breacher or penetrator it seems flatnosed with the treads.

I would think making any tread vehicle it should all have the same capabilities and widths .

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19E10 November 20, 2012 at 10:24 pm

While this is an interesting looking "Battlefield Taxi", there are some things that don't seem right. 1. While I support alternative energy, an electric drive vehicle can be disabled by the use of an EMP weapon (unless part of that 84 tons is protection for the powepack). 2. The chin of the crewless turret looks like a shot trap (rip off the turret violently and the occupants are SOL). 3. Missles to back-up the 40mm? 4. If you have a "silent hybrid", wouldn't a non squeeking rubberized track help reduce the noise signature? 5. Some have suggested a modified Bradley, perhaps a Bradley XL to support the crew and 9 grunts (you can't put the crew up front in a Bradley because of the location of the engine). 6. This vehicle looks well protected on the sides with stand-off armor, what about top/ bottom attack ? Let the debate begin.

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Gunnie Inc November 21, 2012 at 7:25 am

How does battery drive mean EMP will effect ?????

Do not want to burst your bubble but EMP will only hit the semiconductors?

If needed I can explain the physics to this – do you understand the testing this equipment will go under? google EMI / EMC testing to start.

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blight_ November 21, 2012 at 9:02 am

Even a modern fuel injected internal combustion engine or turbine relies on electronics. You don't need to be a hybrid to be conceptually vulnerable to EMP.

Even a simple lithium ion battery comes with a battery control board, and is used to regulate voltage cutoff (to avoid overcharge), along with fail-safe functions.

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tmb2 November 21, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Everything and anything with an electrical circuit is vulnerable to an EMP. There's only so much armor you can put on top of a vehicle. Anything more than is currently on the Bradley and the vehicle will be comically weighed down. If by "bottom attack" you're referring to mines and IEDs its the same consideration. We bolted an extra layer on the bottom of the Bradleys in OIF, but there are limits. In the arms race, the weapon will always be better than the armor and you have to give yourself a cutoff point where you're willing to accept risk to be effective on the battlefield.

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Gunnie Inc November 23, 2012 at 6:18 am

Sorry to be painful, but do you know what a EMP does to electrical circuits?

Again EMP will only effect semiconductors, the protection for this dander has been around for decades.

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tmb2 November 23, 2012 at 2:29 pm

I'm tracking that it's possible to shield some electronics against EMPs. My point was that a hybrid diesel-electric engine is not specially vulnerable just because "electric" is in the name. If an EMP hit a modern Bradley it would shut down too.

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blight_ November 24, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Unless a Bradley doesn't have a fuel injector…or modern semiconductor-based electronics.

The high voltages caused by an EMP will cause thermal expansion in transistors and traces, and presumably thoroughly trash modern electronics.

A Bradley that loses electronic sights, electrical power to cycle the chaingun, fries the electronics in TOW missiles and possibly electronics in the powertrain is crippled.

Roy Smith November 20, 2012 at 10:31 pm

When I saw the proposed weight for this vehicle,my first thought was that the military was not serious at all about actually fielding it. Based on all of the other weapon systems that we have poured money down a black hole for,only to cancel production at or before the time to actually build them,I see this as no different. Upgrade the Bradley to be hybrid electric. You can buy the Swedish CV90,or if you really need an 84-ton “glorified taxi” for our troops,then just get the Namer from Israel. Why are we reinventing the wheel? I was told that the reason the Crusader was canceled was because it was TOO BIG to effectively transport,how is it going to be any easier with this vehicle? Also,what size “gun” are you going to put on such a big body? I’d hate to have such a big (vehicle) body & a tiny gun to go with it. Telling you wife or girlfriend that “size doesn’t matter” may work for some of you,but come on……….

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Big Daddy November 21, 2012 at 2:22 am

Ex cav scout here……good idea until they said 62+ tons. No way. It's nice to be protected but a vehicle that weights that much cannot go so many places they will be needed so what will the Army use? Up gunned/armored HMWVVs again…..LOL. Most wars in the future will be against terrorists in some sheeeet hole that have to be rooted out. You need boots on the ground after precision strikes by drones and missiles. Light fast vehicles with enough gadgets to find th IEDs and destroy them not let them explode under the vehicle. Lighter armor made of new materials, faster lighter vehicles and yes with electric power, it's much better. There's materials that can make the whole outside of the vehicle into a battery powered by the sun. Until we have made a Major leap in technology the M2/3 is fine, it needs upgrading and there should be a version without that hideous turret to carry more troops. Scouts out!!!

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blight_ November 21, 2012 at 9:09 am

The procurement-related debate about the proposed new Bolo (the GCV) is at:
http://www.dodbuzz.com/2012/11/15/bradley-replace

Also, the CBO has reshuffled website. New doc is at:
http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/a

(Though I need someone to verify that there have not been subtle word changes in the file)

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tmb2 November 21, 2012 at 12:24 pm

This link and the one you did on Buzz are both good.

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Tyler November 21, 2012 at 9:18 am

As others have already said, but this just can't be said too many times, 84 tons is ridiculous. Actually, it's completely unacceptable.

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scott.schulte November 21, 2012 at 9:21 am

Lighter, faster, more agile, more lethal, more accurate, un-manned. You want American public support it will need to be un-manned, pin-point accurate, sustainable long term, and visible as a deterrent. Soldiers need a massive infrastructure to be supported. Even austere environments pose problems for soldiers exposed long term. Un-manned equipment does not need any of that, cost savings would be huge. You will always need some soldiers for certain specifics but the dragon is outliving it's relevance. I love the services, The services have given countless milllions of people a wonderful career but we need the funds to go into other things like job training for returning veterans, veteran medical programs to help re-habilitate those who have served in this long war. Let the enemies field soldiers against hardware and un-manned equipment. A real morale deflater to look across the field at things without feeling, or life, grinding up populations of troops.

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blight_ November 21, 2012 at 10:11 am

buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz…

"Soldiers need a massive infrastructure to be supported. Even austere environments pose problems for soldiers exposed long term. Un-manned equipment does not need any of that, cost savings would be huge"

You sure? The only unmanned thing we've tried is UAVs, and those fly out of airfields in other countries.

The moment a single boot or American flag flies out of a facility in a foreign land, the infrastructure costs start rising. The more you have the more you need to defend it.

And until robots start repairing and building themselves, you will have engineers on the ground doing repairs. And they need security, and security needs a base, and then the human resource spiral begins, but you've replaced soldiers with technicians and base security.

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majr0d November 21, 2012 at 2:57 pm

too much xbox

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riceball November 26, 2012 at 12:38 pm

The other thing is, this thing is meant to be a Bradley replacement which, in other words, it's meant to be a next gen APC and you can't exactly have an unmanned APC, sort of defeats the purpose of an APC doesn't it? The best you could do is to make it remote controlled like a drone but you'd still have troops in the back so that doesn't really solve anything except maybe provide the room for the required 9 troops and their gear.

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Tanker19K40H January 16, 2014 at 12:55 am

A sitting target for some of new missile technology. you take the human factors of thinking, reacting, and responding our of the equation then you have just invested in piece of sitting duck trash. It will be alone time down the road before we could ever consider this type of weaponry, even the unmanned drones require a human driver and if they are captured they can easily be turned on you.

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d. kellogg November 21, 2012 at 9:44 am

I AM wondering if, somewhere in the milspeak powerpoint translations and briefings, someone got lazy and misunderstood that maybe originally they meant “equivalent protection of 84 tons”, rather than sheer weight of 84 tons…?

Remember, folks used to have this notion that the FCS would deliver around 40-50 “equivalent tons’ worth” of protection in a 20-ton hull,…and we all saw how that panned out…

I’m starting to think this ~new~ GCV program is

just another defense industry make-work program like FCS and numerous others before it (all the way back to pre-Sheridan days of vehicle family commonality)

solely to struggle to keep our knowledge base alive…?

(or maybe I should call it a “maybe-work” program…?)

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tmb2 November 21, 2012 at 12:33 pm

BAE advertises this vehicle on their website as weighing 70 tons. The CBO report so far is the only known document out there specifically saying 84 tons, and it actually says "between 64 and 84 tons." Unfortunately, it doesn't specificy WHY they think it could weigh 84 tons.

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Tad November 21, 2012 at 11:12 am

Maybe they'll be able to make a sequel to "Pentagon Wars", that movie about the boondoggle that was the early Bradley.

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japanese guy November 21, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Many bridges just can’t take 60 ton vehicles. LCAC can carry 75 overload top. Forget about air lifting too. It doesn’t look like amphibious either. Spend that money for veterans please…

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Jcain November 22, 2012 at 2:50 am

Seems like propaganda to make voters hate military spending/ not support new innovative U.S. technological edge over others. Read between the lies. Hybrid is cool if you live in some other world. I suppose if NASCAR had a hybrid series it might peek more interest. Make a Juggernat of it loaded with oddball hunterkillers specifically designed to seek destroy guy on the hitlist. Standoff war is the only one that is barely reported (witnesses only saw a flash), politically viable and priced for to please budgetary constraints.

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Dale November 22, 2012 at 10:11 am

84 tons, a flat bottom, narrow track, Not air transportable, how stupid can you get. The mail gun should be a rapid fire 57 mm flat firing gun with HEAT rounds. In the gulf war many targets presented themselves that the Bradley could not engage because the 20 mm popgun had no ammo that could do the job. 30 mm is marginal for aircraft and had to be upgraded to depleted uranium to make it almost work.

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blight_ November 22, 2012 at 10:33 am

"many targets presented themselves that the Bradley could not engage"

Were you hoping for 73 Easting with just Bradleys?

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Andrew November 22, 2012 at 12:11 pm

What exactly were those targets too? T-55/T-72s? BMP-1s? Most lower calibers will struggle with the first 2, and I highly doubt the 25mm struggled with the latter.

They do carry 2 TOWs, you can even see them on the turret.

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majr0d November 22, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Dale – Having served in a Bradley BN that was in almost constant contact for over 72 hours, penetrated half a dozen enemy defensive positions, primarily fought the Tawalkana Republican Guard along with elements from two other Iraqi divisions i can assure you there were very few targets Bradley's couldn't service adequately.

Andrew – Your generally right but my company XO engaged a T55 from the rear at near point blank range with 25mm and killed the tank (the TOW wouldn't arm, the enemy tank was too close)

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blight_ November 23, 2012 at 8:32 am

majr0d: I know you were in GW1, did you also participate in OIF?

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majr0d November 23, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Nope. I wouldn't take credit for something I didn't do. Served in the Infantry Battle Lab for the first half of the decade and then retired. The position put me in touch with the latest from the battlefield and what was coming. After retiring my business serves soldiers so it requires I stay current.

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Rob C. November 23, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Its too bad technology isn't where needs to be. Does the Army realize their piling on needs is driving the vehicle's coast in the first place? They need work on making lighter and stronger form of armor plate. Question is: Is there way make something better version of what we have? I say yes, but i'm not thrilled with hybrids. Their necessary to help power more energy demanding systems. However, i'd be weary on these vehicle's life spans. Aside from EMP concerns, hybrid batteries themselves cost big money. Cost these batteries are pretty high right now, some domestic battery makers went under. I rather have mechanic, not-software driven powertrain thats realiable and cheap to fix.

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FtD November 24, 2012 at 1:00 pm

this does look more like WWII Germans with their Tiger tanks, each evolution gets bigger and heavier and fewer produced due to their complexity and they were defeated by mass numbers of the alleys with their more robust, cheaper and easier to build Shermans, T34….. and now China/Russia producing cheaper easier to build machines, is history repeating itself?

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Gabriel November 24, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Big Daddy nailed it. As a US Army veteran, I served as a 19D Cav Scout and my son is in the same MOS. Back in the 80′s I drove a M113 and one of the good things about it was you could manuver it very quickly to get out of trouble…..air attack, incoming missiles ,Artillery attack, whatever just whip it into the nearest treeline.

Try manuvering with that 84 ton monster, it will end up being a very expensive coffin.

Gabriel

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Chris M November 24, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Yep, no combat vehicle has EVER used hybrid drive. Like, say, a diesel engine and a battery. Nope, never happened…. unless, well, submarines… but yeah, never… ;)

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PolicyWonk November 25, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Weighing even more than an M1A2 isn't exactly a sales pitch the DoD wants to hear when its trying to shorten its logistical load.

Are we so casualty averse that we're going to start making armored vehicles so big that we can't taken 'em anywhere to fight? Or cross bridges when/if they get there? This thing is supposed to replace the M113 which weighs 12-13 tons, but weighs nearly 4 times that. Where we certainly need something safer than an M113 to carry the troops around – this isn't a very useful solution.

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majr0d November 25, 2012 at 2:45 pm

The CBO top weight of 84T is too heavy but the CBO report also quotes a lower weight of 62T (still too heaby).

The GCV is designed to replace the Bradley(not the M113) which is pushing 40T at full protection profiles.

We are extremely casualty averse. The media sensationalizes it, the democrats use them as a club and subsequently our society expects quick bloodless wars.

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Roy Smith November 26, 2012 at 1:14 am

“We are extremely casualty averse. The media sensationalizes it, the democrats use them as a club and subsequently our society expects quick bloodless wars.”

More specifically,our “moms” expect & want wars as “bloodless” as possible for our side,& who’s going to argue with “Mom?”

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forthelasttime November 26, 2012 at 1:43 am

Just be thankful this isn't WW2 or we really would be doomed….

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Speedy November 25, 2012 at 10:45 pm

And in other news… the Chinese have landed a jet on their carrier… came here to read a better, detailed report…

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Gustavo November 26, 2012 at 1:21 am

6 days without new posts? Wow…

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blight_ November 26, 2012 at 9:51 am

Thanksgiving, black friday, cyber saturday, Day of Rest, cyber monday…

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John Moore November 26, 2012 at 11:03 am

Might as well make this a monthly publication DT what happened?

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ANTIcarrot November 26, 2012 at 12:03 pm

You know, I can’t help but find this rather strange.

Everyone is extremely willing to believe one part of the government: That this might weigh 84 tons.

But isn’t willing to believe another part of the government: Namer style APCs are needed.

Coudl you all please make up your minds about whether parts of the government are reliable or not.

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blight_ November 28, 2012 at 5:12 pm

CBO suggests 60-84 tons.

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MashdTaytuz November 27, 2012 at 12:16 am

At that weight, perhaps we'd be better off to let our M1's pull an armored trailer loaded with grunts. A 120mm smoothbore sure beats the heck out of a 25mm cannon.

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blight_ November 28, 2012 at 5:11 pm

We could move the engine to the front Merkava-style and make it twice as long, and we'll have tanks that can carry a full rifle squad under cover…

Only 90 tons, good deal.

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gonger November 29, 2012 at 4:34 pm

If ridiculous weight was no issue, that actually sounds pretty good.

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Rinkusu November 27, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Looks like counterinsurgency APC with MBT level of protection. You don't need 120-mm gun to fight IED and guerillas with ak-47's.

Pro:
Good 360 degrees armor protection level vs RPG, IED and low caliber munitions up to 0.50 caliber it seems.
Significant frontal protection, most likely capable defeat AP or HEAT shells from T-54/55 and similar outdated tanks. Capable of carrying small fire team, unlike MBT. Can evacuate injured under heavy fire of low caliber weapons and outdated missile launchers.

High rate of fire cannon capable of defeating insurgents both in basement holes and in windows of upper stories of the buildings — the reason why rossiani during Chechen war have deployed poorly armored AAA-vehicles Shilka's to support tanks in urban combat environment to deal with targets at high elevation angles.

Con:
Lacks mortar-like weapons in turret it seems — unable to fling grenade on the roof of the building from the street. Soviets during late years WW2 campaign, with horrendous urban battles in Germany, sometimes mounted mortars on tanks to reach targets at high elevation angles and fling mortar shell on the roof of the building from the street if needed.

Tracked vehicle. If caterpillar will be broken with IED, it would be impossible to move even on very slow speed until it would be repaired under possible enemy fire.

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blight_ November 28, 2012 at 5:10 pm

It's not about fireteams. Ideally, it's about carrying an entire squad under-armor. Waiting for majr0d to appear.

By the way, no MBT out there carries dismounts except the Israeli Merkava. And it does so out of a compartment that would otherwise be carrying stores. It *can* carry four men, but was intended to be used to rescue tankers, not to carry four infantrymen with weapons and gear.

By the way, just because the cannon is less than 90mm doesn't mean it can elevate for high-angle fire. It probably won't. The Russians screwed the pooch in the '90s because they didn't clear buildings-they rammed tank units into downtown Grozny and got crushed, then tried it with airborne units and got crushed again.

The Army has used mechanized units in MOUT in 2003 and again to clear Najaf and Fallujah, to control Baghdad, to clear Mosul and Tal Afar. In the '90s, everyone thought tanks could not do it, based on the Russian example, which we now know to be false (and is also validated by parallel Israeli experience with tanks in the urban environment).

A well-integrated military can bring in fires on top of buildings without needing them integrated to the vehicle like with the Merkava.

majr0d posted this on DoDbuzz (http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA454930) and while it was intended primarily to discuss combined operations between army and marine units, it also covers how a mechanized army unit contributed to an urban fight in Fallujah.

You can shred tires a lot easier than you can throw tracks. And if you are a tank that hit an IED, you have bigger problems coming your way. If you are a wheeled vehicle that doesn't have a V-bottom hull, you have bigger problems coming your way…

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gonger November 29, 2012 at 4:40 pm

"By the way, no MBT out there carries dismounts except the Israeli Merkava. And it does so out of a compartment that would otherwise be carrying stores. It *can* carry four men…"

Army Technology states that the Merkava 4 can carry up to 8 troopers or 3 litters. That being said, cramming 8 guys in there probably reduces the number of rounds available for the main gun.

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Bronco46 November 28, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Why not a hundred tons? Make it extra safe! And put in a bar and a big flat panel.

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Roy Smith December 10, 2012 at 10:01 pm
US Military Affairs December 11, 2012 at 4:25 am
Carme December 24, 2012 at 1:45 pm
Breitling Bentley June 26, 2013 at 10:38 pm
dress and she wished she hadn now October 5, 2013 at 10:18 pm
Tanker19K40H January 16, 2014 at 12:46 am

12 years in Armor and 4 working with Armor development this is one of the worst Idea I have heard yet. Armor of any type is based on Speed, Fire power, Maneuverability and Survivability. This things weight alone destroys at least two of these requirements. Speed unless the Hybrid engine can put our one hell of a lot of horse power and the have the horsepower to track ratio all most 1:1. Maneuverability because moving this thing over any area which does not have firm hard packed land is going to be a major issue these people are looking planning for war only in the middle east not world wide if needed. These thing would not work in South America, Central America, Europe, Asia and many parts of Africa. So it looks to me like they are planning on have them city in the middle the desert and hope the fit comes to them (NOT).

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Winfred March 11, 2014 at 6:17 pm

Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?

you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is fantastic,
as well as the content!

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guest August 27, 2014 at 10:03 pm

This is the kind of thing you get when you get rid of the smart guys in the cadre. It will be too heavy, too slow, too expensive and there won't be enough of them to get the job done. This admin. has destroyed our military. The dregs left will not cut the colonel mustard.

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blight_ November 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm

It's more Razorback than Rhino.

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FormerDirtDart November 20, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Unfortunately, I'm getting a "page not found" on the CBO study link.

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majr0d November 20, 2012 at 8:08 pm

Thanks Jim

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majr0d November 21, 2012 at 1:51 am

Dart – If you are carrying the grunts the turreted Bradleys aren't necessary.

tmb – YES! That would clear up a lot and lock the Army position down.

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blight_ November 21, 2012 at 9:00 am

Army wants a turret, communications gear, active and passive defenses for distant and close threats and the ability to carry nine men *and their equipment*. Namer and Achzarit use remote turrets and heavy armor to achieve this.

I didn't think anybody was forcing the army to buy more Abrams-we have plenty from the Twenty Division Army that need upgrades, or need to go back to Lima for rebuilds. Why buy new ones when it's so hard to destroy the old ones?

Abrams with a rear engine would be a challenge to turn into an APC: look at the Achzarit, which has a shoehorned rear exit on a T-55. Front-engined vehicles like the Merkava have the rear available for personnel, and the Namur as a derivative of Merkava benefits greatly from this subtle design element.

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tmb2 November 21, 2012 at 12:23 pm

The DoD hasn't built an Abrams for itself since the early 1990s. The last brand new Abrams was built in 1997 for Saudi Arabia. We've been upgrading them ever since and rebuilt so many the Lima factory now has nothing to do.

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blight_ November 22, 2012 at 10:38 am

Blaming Clinton is passe, let's blame Obama instead.

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majr0d November 22, 2012 at 5:09 pm

The GCV has a tracked requirement because of superior maneuverability.

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Speedy November 22, 2012 at 11:56 pm

Nah, Razorbacks have the main guns on the rear deck.
Their engines can "burn" anything, they fit 10 fully armed troopers plus driver.
The problem is… any ork with an attitude can wreck them.

(Also, the guns on a razorback are much better then the pop gun (Heavy stubber?) on this thing.

Looks nice though.

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blight_ November 23, 2012 at 8:27 am

Razorbacks use a small turret (not unlike the one on the French Charon B and other pre-WW2 tanks), rather than a standalone turret as we know it in the modern sense.

If they trusted machine spirits more, they would switch to a CROWS-style turret…

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tankster December 10, 2012 at 9:26 pm

1. "Abrams use as much fuel idling as they do running at top speed" does not make thermodynamic sense. However, it would be correct to estimate that the M1A1's AGT-1500 gas-turbine engine at idle uses ~50% as much fuel per unit-of-time as it does at maximum torque, vs. a 10%:100% ratio for a modern medium-speed diesel.
2. "Early Abram’s APUs were designed to get the turbine running. A second was installed later to serve power requirements with the turbine shut down…" gets it backwards. The first M1-series APU was a prototype gen-set mounted in the bustle-rack, to "serve [turret] power requirements with the turbine shut down"; for example while waiting for one's turn at the range. It was not integrated into the engine. The M1, M1IP, M1A1, and the M1A2, had/have almost no available space in the engine compartment. It was not until the M1A2-SEP that the –single- APU was moved under armor.
3. For additional information, search for M1 TM (technical manual) on the web, or see Hunnicutt's masterpiece M1 book.

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majr0d December 10, 2012 at 10:32 pm

Uh, you mean the LV100-5 engine not the AGT-1500. The LV100-5 hasn't been fielded. We've beenn playing with it since FCS got cancelled. You might want to check that TM.

I should have put in some variance in my statement but an Abrams running cross country and an Abrams standing still running its engine both need a refuel in about eight hours. Batteries don't fly which was my point.

The APU in the early versions of the M1 might equate to a starter in a conventional vehicle. Something has to get the blades spinning and batteries aren't enough. Technically it wasn't an APU because it was providing power to the engine and not other applications.

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