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Domestic and Arctic Mobility Enhancement Project

Colin Parkinson

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They are great niche machines, but require a fair bit of maintenance. The AP1-800 is a far more capable than the old SRN6 or the Griffons used by the Royal Marines. The Ap1-88, USMC LCAAC and the big Russian hovercraft all share the same skirt design, based on the original BHC high/low pressure area skirt. It takes more power to run that design, but it’s more robust and capable. The Griffon and others use loop and chain (single walled) as I recall.  A google book link on hovercraft stability https://books.google.ca/books?id=aJT0gK710LwC&pg=PA136&lpg=PA136&dq=stability+in+a+hovercraft&source=bl&ots=EQQXCtYN_l&sig=RQWwdZiOmOVYeHbXvOocFZdyiSw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwij0JCSjcPLAhVonoMKHV2nAtAQ6AEIMzAD#v=onepage&q=stability%20in%20a%20hovercraft&f=false

The BHC design
hovercraft_srn635.jpg






 

daftandbarmy

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We took LCUs and LCVPs just about everywhere in arctic Norway.

They were awesome, especially with a nice little cover over the cargo deck with hot air pumped in for those 'cool evenings' up north. As I recall, we loaded the whole company, with vehicles (BV202), on two of them for short trips. They worked nicely with the LPDs with their internal docks, of course, and we also used them in conjunction with DFDS ferries e.g., you just step off the car deck onto the LCU ramp. I recall bashing through what I thought was some fairly substantial ice in the fjords occasionally, so they seemed to be 'thin ice capable' at any rate.

"These vessels are capable of operating independently for up to 14 days with a range of 600 nautical miles. They are capable of operating world-wide, from Arctic operating areas to tropical operating areas."

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

Colin Parkinson

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And it would be quite easy to have them built here, have a couple on each coast, keep 2 in the arctic and perhaps 2 on the Great lakes. Units could work them into their training and Naval Reserves can help fill out the crews.
 

Kirkhill

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Might want to throw some Mexeflotes into the mix as well - either with or without their own power modules

craig%20mexeflote.jpg


220px-HMAS_Choules_mexeflote.jpg


mexe.jpg


pontoons.jpg


Modular and expandable.  Used as pontoons, dock and barges.
 

Kirkhill

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You have Bvs to transport the Mexe's on land and SB90Es to tug them on water.  Where the Bvs can be loaded on the Mexe's.

And the cone licks itself.  [:D

 

a_majoor

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We can combine all this splashing around in the water with the obsession for reviving historical units, badges and patches:

Bring on the new Compagnies Franches de la Marine!

On a more serious note, a combined arms unit combining some sort of shallow draft ship (LCUs, LCVPs, Mexeflotes or hovercraft) and MTV/helicopter mobility to move troops and equipment around would seem to be just the thing for large swaths of Canada's north.
 

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Oldgateboatdriver

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Just for clarity sake, Thuc, the "Compagnies Franches de la Marine" were not embarked troops, like the Royal Marines or the US Marines are. They were French colonial troops - army in other word - raised for the land defence of the colonies. It just happens that in France, the colonies were administered by the Navy department, hence, the troops they hired and trained were called "marine"  (in the sense of Navy) troops. They however, had nothing to do with landings, expeditionary warfare, and were not even found onboard ships to help with boardings (like R.M.'s).
 

Old Sweat

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Oldgateboatdriver said:
Just for clarity sake, Thuc, the "Compagnies Franches de la Marine" were not embarked troops, like the Royal Marines or the US Marines are. They were French colonial troops - army in other word - raised for the land defence of the colonies. It just happens that in France, the colonies were administered by the Navy department, hence, the troops they hired and trained were called "marine"  (in the sense of Navy) troops. They however, had nothing to do with landings, expeditionary warfare, and were not even found onboard ships to help with boardings (like R.M.'s).

They also were very good at what they were raised to do!
 

a_majoor

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Joking aside, any unit needing multiple modes of transport (and probably lots of different capabilities, like engineering, long distance signalling and the ability to sustain logistics in a very harsh environment in a single package) would not just be a ordinary battalion, but some sort of mini joint task force.

How such a force is organized and equipped (and what it would be expected to do) would be a very interesting discussion.
 

Kirkhill

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I was just reading an Aide Memoire prepared for the Calgary Highlanders over the name of LCol H Moncrief CO, in the era of Heller Rockets and 106mm Reckless Rifles but FNs and SMGs

One of the pieces of kit available to the battalion Pioneer platoon, apparently,  was some light pontoon bridging - suitable for foot traffic light vehicles.

Aluminum Floating Bridging
One Set
472' 6" ft br
115 ft lt veh br
3 rafts for lt veh treadway 84 lbs
Pontoon - 100 lbs

Time of Erection

472'6" of ft br - 25 mins
115' of lt veh br
A-50 mins
B-25 mins

Rafts Assembled
(ea) - 10 mins

If those old fellers could figure out how to throw a bridge across a stream without the aid of engineers it can't be beyond the ken of today's bright sparks.  Except for all that OHSA paper work ......

But, this was back in the days of .30 and .50 Brownings, proper smoke grenades using WP and Special Weapons, including the M2A1 Portable Flame Thrower (72 lbs, 20-45 yds range, 6-9 bursts of 1 sec from 4.75 Imp Gals of fuel (thickened)) and the Flame Thrower Transportable Cdn No.1 Mk1 CREE (165-185 yds, 78.9 Imp Gals). Just the thing for those frosty days.

 

daftandbarmy

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Thucydides said:
Joking aside, any unit needing multiple modes of transport (and probably lots of different capabilities, like engineering, long distance signalling and the ability to sustain logistics in a very harsh environment in a single package) would not just be a ordinary battalion, but some sort of mini joint task force.

How such a force is organized and equipped (and what it would be expected to do) would be a very interesting discussion.

You mean like these guys?

The Battle of the Scheldt was a military operation in northern Belgium and the southwestern Netherlands that took place during the Second World War. On September 12, 1944, the First Canadian Army was given the task of clearing the Scheldt of German occupiers. The first attacks began on September 13, with little success.

Under the command of General Henry Duncan Graham (Harry) Crerar, the First Canadian Army was international in character. In addition to the 2nd Canadian Corps (which included the 2nd and 3rd Canadian Infantry Divisions and the 4th Canadian Armoured Division), the 1st British Corps, and the 1st Polish Armoured Division, at various times American, Belgian, and Dutch soldiers were also included as units. The First Canadian Army in northwestern Europe during the final phases of the war was a powerful force, the largest army that had ever been under the control of a Canadian general. The strength of this army ranged from approximately 105,000 to 175,000 Canadian soldiers to anywhere from 200,000 to over 450,000 when including the soldiers from other nations.

The flooded, muddy terrain and the tenacity of the well-fortified German defences made the Battle of the Scheldt especially gruelling and bloody. Indeed, the battle is considered by some historians to have been waged on the most difficult battlefield of the Second World War. At the end of the five-week offensive, the victorious First Canadian Army had taken 41,043 prisoners, but suffered 12,873 casualties (killed, wounded, or missing), 6,367 of whom were Canadians.


http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/history/second-world-war/liberation-belgium-battle-scheldt

 

a_majoor

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daftandbarmy said:
You mean like these guys?

Yes, but scaled to todays financial and political sensibilities. A unit somewhere between a reinforced Combat Team and Battlegroup in size is probably about right, and if it has the right ship/helicopter support, you could post one at Moosonee to cover James and Hudson Bay, perhaps another one at Resolute Bay to cover the NW Passage and one somewhere near the Mackenzie river delta to cover the Western high arctic.

Unlike a battlegroup of combat team, it won't have integral armour, and probably use mortars rather than artillery (if any), but bulk up on other enablers. Maybe the Mechanized Infantry Battalion of the late 1980's, with its integral Combat Support Company and Service Support Company might be a better model (HQ and SIGS Coy provides the satellite uplinks and HF trunks to southern Canada).

And given the rather specialized means of cross country transport (Terrapins and Buffaloes were good for what they had to do, but swimming, crossing swamp and muskeg and trundling over snow is probably best handled by a modern MTV like a Bronco or Viking), maybe having them grouped together in a transport company rather than integral like LAVs would work better.
 

Kirkhill

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I'd swap the Integral LAVs, GS MTVs around and make the MTVs integral while brigading the LAVs/TAPVs.  Especially for DOMOPs focused units.

I note from another older winter SOP (2VP circa 1970) that only one of the 4 "rifle coys" was "mechanized".  The 3 "rifle coys actual" were motorized on wheels but were to be prepared for foot borne warfare (as was the "mechanized" coy).

 

Colin Parkinson

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I think the Brits have a lightweight foot bridge they can deploy at hand. Working with the School of Military Engineering in Chillwack in the 80's I was mighty impressed by them constructing a Baily bridge over a creek at night under tactical conditions and by hand only.
 

daftandbarmy

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Thucydides said:
Yes, but scaled to todays financial and political sensibilities. A unit somewhere between a reinforced Combat Team and Battlegroup in size is probably about right, and if it has the right ship/helicopter support, you could post one at Moosonee to cover James and Hudson Bay, perhaps another one at Resolute Bay to cover the NW Passage and one somewhere near the Mackenzie river delta to cover the Western high arctic.

Unlike a battlegroup of combat team, it won't have integral armour, and probably use mortars rather than artillery (if any), but bulk up on other enablers. Maybe the Mechanized Infantry Battalion of the late 1980's, with its integral Combat Support Company and Service Support Company might be a better model (HQ and SIGS Coy provides the satellite uplinks and HF trunks to southern Canada).

And given the rather specialized means of cross country transport (Terrapins and Buffaloes were good for what they had to do, but swimming, crossing swamp and muskeg and trundling over snow is probably best handled by a modern MTV like a Bronco or Viking), maybe having them grouped together in a transport company rather than integral like LAVs would work better.

One of the best over snow vehicles I've seen in action is a Leopard tank... just sayin'
 

George Wallace

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daftandbarmy said:
One of the best over snow vehicles I've seen in action is a Leopard tank... just sayin'

Let me tell you,  at times a Leopard tank and packed snow on a hill are the equivalent of a hockey puck on ice.  [:-[
 

cavalryman

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George Wallace said:
Let me tell you,  at times a Leopard tank and packed snow on a hill are the equivalent of a hockey puck on ice.  [:-[
Black hat hockey [:D
 

a_majoor

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cavalryman said:
Black hat hockey [:D

So long as I'm not in the net!

MTV's can carry weapons like the 106mm Recoiless rifle (for a real blast from the past) or mount an ATGM like TOW to provide the sort of long range fire support that may be needed, and still swim through swamps or travel over muskeg. The basic MTV can also serve as the basis for a mortar carrier, ambulance, CP, comms "truck" and many other roles (it can even carry troops!). So WRT logistics, you can standardize on a single family of vehicles to carry out missions once you get off the boat/plane/helicopter/etc.
 

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