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Re: Supertank?

From: Thomas Barclay <Thomas.Barclay@s...>
Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 12:30:36 -0500
Subject: Re: Supertank?

Los spake thusly upon matters weighty: 

> Michael Blair wrote:
> > This brings me to another question, how sensible are IFVs, surely
> >
> > are there to get the infantry to where they are needed, not to fight
> > with the troops on board and to stay away from hostile panzers. I
> >
> They are absolutely ivaluable. The mech rifle company's killing power
> was increased dramaticaly by the introduction of IFVs. A casual
> of the Mechanized Infantry Company Field Manual will show you that the
> infantry are meant to dismount in most  circumstances (once within
> arms range) during the attack and on the defense, of course, always.
> bradley (and BMP) has the survivability of any other APC with the
> bonus of its weapons. If you've been in the infanty for more than five
> minutes, the added advantage is apparent and appreciated.

As ex-infantry, I can appreciate a good AFV to back me up. The chain 
gun or autocannon, a GMS system for nailing armoured threats, or even 
an LPG like the 73mm isn't a bad thing to have backing your infantry 
(plus some MGs). The armoured transport saves wear on the Two Step 
Black Cadillacs and keeps the grunts protected until they deploy. 
But, I think the question was more related to do infantry actually 
fight from a mounted posture and is this useful? The bradley (IIRC) 
was fitted with ports for the M231 port firing rifle thingy and the 
idea was (at one time) that you could fight the squad mounted. I 
don't believe this is done to any significant degree, but someone 
please correct me if they know differently. I've never conducted 
operations with a Bradley so I could not say. As a footslogger, I 
wouldn't be fond of fighting inside what I consider to be an 
underarmoured and undergunned missile-magnet.... it might be better 
than being in a truck or an M113, but it isn't something I'd be 
comfortable in during a battle with enemy armour or ATGMs.  

> >realize that TOW etc. gives them a good stand off punch to supplement
> >the panzers' guns but will they survive long enough to use them?
> That depends whether you assume IFVs will just sit out there in the
> and trade shots with enemy tanks or whetther they'll use intellligent
> fire and manuever and terrain selection to stay alive.

Obviously a necessity. But if the battle boils down to two sides 
standing off and slugging with APKE rounds at 1500m with ATGMs from 
the IFVs, the infantry won't do much. And if you are in close 
terrain, and such weapons are not able to use their range capability, 
the infantry then operates with their vehicles support being 
primarily close in fire support. 

 Especiallly in
> anything but Billiard table terrain. And even on biliard table
> terrainteh TOW has a range advantage over a tank main gun.

Actually, on  a billiard table, I'd prefer a 19 ounce cue. 

 And anyway,
> an straight boxed M113 is in no better postion to withstand hits than
> IFV.

Worse by far, I'd guess. 
> <anecdote>
> BTW, in an infantry assault the 25mm gun is a great force multiplier
> the squad. They're quite amazing things.

I saw a PIVAD (Vulcan Air Defence) cannon turned on infantry 
cutouts and  trucks... YIKES. Like a chainsaw. Eats ammo but nothing 
in its arc would survive. Holy Jeez but that buzzing is a scary sound 
if you realize what it means... and by then you'd be cut in half. 

 My first ride in a Bradley: I
> was in the turret of a Bradley and the gunner locked the gun onto the
> tip of a telephone pole. Then the IFV vibrated a lot and made a lot of
> noise for a few minutes. After that we moved to anotehr site and
> repeated the process. When we got back to teh spot where the grease
> monkeys had been working on tehvehilcle I asked why they had stopped
> many times and revved the engine. The guys said they hadn't stopped.
> had locked the gun onto a target then was doing donuts and all kinds
> high speed manuevers. The whole time, the gun remained locked onto the
> telephone pole. Amazing gun stabilization!

That is one technology that the US has a lot of. I think the only 
power that might have better weapons stabilization is the Germans on 
the Leopard II generation. But it is scary to see an MBT do a belly 
flop at high speed over a ridge and the gun not even come off target. 
Thomas Barclay		     
Voice: (613) 831-2018 x 4009
Fax: (613) 831-8255

 "C makes it easy to shoot yourself in the foot.  C++ makes
 it harder, but when you do, it blows away your whole leg."
 -Bjarne Stroustrup

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