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Wanted: "Ultra-Light Combat Vehicle (ULCV)"

Colin Parkinson

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You could equip the Reserve armoured units with 2 troops of vehicles, one with the current G-wagons with ring mounted MG and the other with open topped G-wagons with MG's. Reserve Arty gets soft topped G-wagons for OP parties. Some of the current armoured G-wagons for Battery escort and General duties at the Battery position, have some soft topped ones for the CO, etc.

Equip the Reserve units with soft topped G-wagons to carry mortars and ATGM. I wonder if they make subcal kits for ATGM?

Since the G-wagon is already in service, just increase the fleet slowly with buys every year and slowly replace all the older ones. The other option is to use Jeeps for the soft topped roles.
 

Kirkhill

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Agreed the G Wagon is in service.  But why are we buying European utility vehicles when Local vehicles are available?  I have no problem going off shore to buy capability when we don't have that capability locally.  I get buying foreign missiles and planes.  I am of two minds on ships.

But cars? Jeeps? Light trucks? Trucks of any sort?  I don't get that.

We now build good LAVs.  We apparently build good off road vehicles and snow vehicles.  There may be some better designs out there, like the Viking and that little Japanese runabout they were trialling in the arctic.  For those, if we have an existing factory, we can always purchase the license. 

I am hoping that the NSPS is going to be as successful as the AVGP-LAV decision has been.  I fear that we can end up with UTDC Steyrs and Western IVECOs.

Jeeps we build locally.  And they and their parts are readily available and relatively cheap.

By the way, as a reminder - Steyr and the GWagon are both products of Frank Stronach's Magna Corporation - money to Frank and Belinda but no Canadian jobs.

Of all of the candidates here I am with D&B on purchasing Jeeps for Domestic service and, I believe, for rapid deployment light forces.  Assuming that it can be slung by a Cyclone.

Do tactics really change that much depending on whether it is 90 HP or 200 HP, or Dana axles, or TAC suspension?
 

Colin Parkinson

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The G-wagon is a good all round truck, more robust than a stock jeep. Plus there is already a armoured and armed versions. If you could find a local plant to build new ones, fine by me. The Jeeps would do, but you need a plan to replace them fairly soon.
 

dapaterson

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As always, DND writes a specification. Industry decides "Do I want this business or not?" and either offers or does not offer to sell a product. (See:MSVS MilCOTS)  In the event of multiple offers, the offerings are assessed against the specification and a winner is selected.

Is the question "Why the G-Wagon?" or is it "Why didn't Jeep offer to sell us anything?" or "Why did the G-Wagon beat the Jeep?"


Unless you want DND's budget to serve as a regional economic development slush fund, where quality comes second to jobs in a particular riding...
 

Colin Parkinson

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dapaterson said:
Unless you want DND's budget to serve as a regional economic development slush fund, where quality comes second to jobs in a particular riding...

when has it not?  [lol:
You have an argument to sole source to expand the fleet of G-wagons, if DND writes it properly. They could be sent CKD to Canada for final assembly here.
 

Kirkhill

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Give over.

I have sourced a whole bunch of kit from a whole bunch of people for a whole bunch of clients over the years.

One of my priorities is always: how do I keep this thing running?

I sold Euro gear and I was proud of the stuff I sold.  But that gear came with a sound network of spare parts depots, maintenance mechanics and applications engineers.

Conversely I have seen North American suppliers that can't be arsed to get out of bed in the morning for a client in the same town.

Given that I still plunk for somebody that can keep my downtime to a minimum, at minimum cost to myself in parts in stock and specialized labour, and by and large that means somebody in a 24 to 48 hour radius of my location.  Minimizing O&M is high on my agenda.

The next thing on the agenda is: does it get the job done and does it get the job done well?

I can work around a system that is only performing at 85% efficiency and not the 95% that I was promised.  I can handle some higher costs in consumables.  I can't handle not having any tools available to get any work done at all.  Get 'er done.

The final thing on the agenda is: how much does it cost?

More often than not this is bounded by: how much can we afford?

I would rather have a Rolls Royce delivery van.  I can get the job done with a Tuk Tuk.  In the absence of either the job doesn't get done.
 

dapaterson

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And DND writes specs that include sustainment and maintenance for some period of time.  Either through internal resources or manufacturer support or some combination of both.  Problems arise when equipment is kept well beyond its useful life.

And don't assume North American = parts availability.  http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/ford-f150-auto-parts-obsolete-go-public-1.3746577

 

Kirkhill

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Conversely I have seen North American suppliers that can't be arsed to get out of bed in the morning for a client in the same town.
 

a_majoor

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MJP said:
Since you love tangents it seems, do we just say screw IA and other such PY, equipment sucking uselessness that no one really cares about and put PYs back into things that actually matter and avoid the whole "5 man vs firepower team issue"?

The modalities of warfare have changed pretty dramatically over my time in service, so evolving doctrine (including introducing new capabilities and possibly closing out old ones) is part of the process. But making things needlessly difficult simply makes getting and using new capabilities efficiently much more difficult.

The example of the difficulties of trying to shoehorn IA teams into TAPVs is only an illustration I am personally familiar with. I'm sure Air Defenders, Cyber warfare or counter mine (both Army and Navy) can tell similar stories as well. Other threads show that lots of PY's get sucked into headquarters and admin, so streamlining there is probably a far more efficient way to get the manpower everyone wants and needs.

 

Journeyman

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001.jpg


Ultra-ULCV -- indirect fire mode.  ;)
 

a_majoor

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US SOFCOM looking at their version of a ULCV, although for certain values of "light". Compared to an MRAP type vehicle, these are lightweight vehicles:

https://strategypage.com/htmw/htsf/articles/20170615.aspx

Special Operations: Every Second Counts

June 15, 2017: Since 2012 U.S. SOCOM (Special Operations Command) has been seeking a new type of special vehicle; the ULCV (Ultra Light Combat Vehicle). Such a vehicle was meant to deal with several major problems SOCON operators had hummers, even models customized for SOCOM operations.

This led to a competition to win a contract for 1,100 vehicles to replace special SOCOM hummers. Whoever won not only for SOCOM contracts but a lot of export orders as well as a significant number of orders from police and even civilians. This competition produced two finalist vehicles; DAGOR and Flyer 72.

DAGOR is a two ton light truck that can carry 1.4 tons or nine troops. It can be carried inside a CH-47 or slung under a UH-60 helicopter. DAGOR can also be dropped via parachute and be ready to roll within two minutes of reaching the ground. Some are calling this a “21st century jeep” but there are some important differences.

Flyer 72 is a 2.5 ton vehicle that is 72 inches (201cm) wide. It can carry 2.6 tons for a total combat weight of 5 tons. It is open, with a roll cage and no doors so that operators can quickly get out while fully equipped for combat. It can be used with up to nine seats (three front, three rear, two rear deck and one gunner). Top speed is 152 kilometers an hour and range on internal fuel is about 1,000 kilometers cross-country at 64 kilometers an hour on largely flat ground. That can be halved on rough terrain.

Basically SOCOM wants a hummer in terms of carrying capacity but a dune buggy in terms of maneuverability and ease of getting in and out. A major shortcoming of the hummer (for commandos) was the extra second or two it required to get in or out.

While the hummer (or HMMWV) was an improvement on earlier military vehicles it did not address the special needs of SOCOM personnel. Meanwhile the 2.4 ton HMMWV, which replaced the 1.1 ton jeep and 3 ton M37 "3/4 ton" truck in the late 1980s is being replaced by still heavier vehicles of the same size that are designed to absorb combat damage. The World War II concept of the unarmored light vehicle for moving men and material around the battlefield has been radically changed for the regular troops, but not for SOCOM. Special operations were willing to trade protection for mobility, especially since they often travelled cross country and not through places where they were likely to encounter mines or roadside bombs.

What led to DAGOR and Flyer 72 was SOCOM long noting that civilian markets were developing (for recreational purposes) the vehicles they needed. Thus in 2009 SOCOM bought 1,625 Mule 4010 4x4 vehicles, calling them Light Tactical All-Terrain (LTAT) Vehicles, and using them for commandos and Special Forces in combat zones. Basically a dune buggy, LTAT weighs 637 kg (1,400 pounds) but can carry 591 kg (1,330 pounds, including four passengers, plus a rear cargo area and a roof rack). The mule can also tow up to 1,200 pounds (546 kg). Top speed is 40 kilometers an hour, and the fuel tank carries 25 liters (6.2 gallons).

Special Operations troops are very fond of dune buggy type vehicles. These are also becoming more popular as civilian recreation vehicles, for cross country travel. The four wheel drive LTAT can easily be moved by helicopter to wherever, and then let the SOCOM operators move on cross country, often at night (with the driver using night vision goggles to navigate). DAGOR and Flyer 72 take advantage of the “dune buggy” tech to deliver a larger vehicle. Each is expected to cost under $200,000 each when bought in quantity. The main reason for the price (higher than civilian models) is the need to build the military vehicles to a more rugged standard.
 

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Matt_Fisher

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Thucydides said:
US SOFCOM looking at their version of a ULCV, although for certain values of "light". Compared to an MRAP type vehicle, these are lightweight vehicles:

https://strategypage.com/htmw/htsf/articles/20170615.aspx

That article you referenced was pretty out to lunch.  DAGOR was never competed against Flyer 72 for SOCOM's 'Ground Mobility Vehicle 1.1' (GMV 1.1) program.  GMV 1.1 is a replacement for the HMMWV based original Ground Mobility Vehicle variant.  Contract was awarded for GMV back in 2013.  http://www.militaryaerospace.com/articles/2013/08/general-dynamics-gmv11.html
ULCV was a US Army program to motorize its Airborne Brigade Combat Teams.  That program was then renamed 'Ground Mobility Vehicle' (not to be confused with SOCOM's own GMV 1.1 program).  From there, this past spring a sole source contract was awarded to GD-OTS for a modified version of their Flyer 72 (which is the SOCOM GMV 1.1 vehicle) to provide an initial operating capability to the Army's Airborne Brigade Combat Teams.

For organizations that require rapid deployment capability, then a vehicle that sacrifices armour/protection for strategic deployability and tactical mobility makes sense.
 

McG

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It seems at least two of the three 3rd battalions have the vehicle pictured in the attached file.  Does anybody know what the plan is for these?

On a related note, what sort of trade-offs are being made in going with a vehicle with this buggy look as opposed to something more like a Jeep or Iltis?  I assume it is a sacrifice of top speed, road-worthiness, and maybe range for a little better cross-country performance ... but I don't know this.
 

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Kirkhill

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I believe that that is the Polaris MRZR 4

https://military.polaris.com/en-us/combat/mrzr-4/

https://military.polaris.com/en-us/combat/mrzr-4/specs/

image-4157.jpg


The Polaris Dagor seems to be a bit bigger.

https://military.polaris.com/en-us/combat/dagor-military-tan/

Edit: Curious observation -  take look at the "windshield roll bar" in front of the driver on the "Canadianized" version. In the "Stock" version the "windshield frame" is intact.  On the "Canadianized" version the pipe on the upper part of the frame, between the two hinges, has been removed.  Visibility?  But how about structural integrity in the event of a rollover?

Take a look at the "uprights" on the windshield frame.  On the "Stock" model they are straight.  On the "Canadianized" version they seem to have buckled a bit.  Nothing that a bit of gun tape and baling wire can't fix, I'm sure.
 

Matt_Fisher

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MCG said:
It seems at least two of the three 3rd battalions have the vehicle pictured in the attached file.  Does anybody know what the plan is for these?

On a related note, what sort of trade-offs are being made in going with a vehicle with this buggy look as opposed to something more like a Jeep or Iltis?  I assume it is a sacrifice of top speed, road-worthiness, and maybe range for a little better cross-country performance ... but I don't know this.

It is the MRZR-D4 (Diesel variant of the MRZR-4).  The Army purchased 36 to provide 12 for each of the light battalions as a buy and try as a means of providing an increase to soldier mobility.  How they are being employed is TBD.
 

a_majoor

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Saw them in MR17, but there was little discussion as to what they were actually being used for. I mostly saw them towing special cross country trailers, so some sort of logistical support role can be guessed at.

The DAGOR and Flyer are much bigger, seating up to 9 troops rather than the 4 in the MRZR-D4
 

Jarnhamar

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Used by Recce in lieu of G-Wagons (pintle mounts are available for MGs apparently).  You can rig up a stretcher to the trailer but it's pretty dinky. They top out at about 81kph and they're incredibly stable when driving cross country, quite too. Very awesome machines to drive. Maintenance wise the train the trainer people said it would be cheaper just to replace them every few years than getting parts in and fixing them.  I'm told the sticker price for the Canadian MRZR is $56'000 a unit.
 

a_majoor

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Very interesting Israeli vehicle. While somewhat bigger than a "side by side" it is far more capable, having  payload capacity similar to a Ford F-250.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/car-technology/g28133562/tomcar-tx-test-drive/

 

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Colin Parkinson

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Everything the Iltis wanted to be, but couldn't. Mind you the first mine strike causing casualties and they start piling on the armour.
 

a_majoor

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Colin P said:
Everything the Iltis wanted to be, but couldn't. Mind you the first mine strike causing casualties and they start piling on the armour.

As an alternative to layering on armour lift the suspension and install a "V" bottom instead. Early MRAPs from South Africa were essentially Unimogs with a lift kit and V bottom welded on to the bottom.   
 
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