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IFVs, was Re: Supertank?

From: "Oerjan Ohlson" <oerjan.ohlson@t...>
Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 19:55:37 +0100
Subject: IFVs, was Re: Supertank?

Michael Blair wrote:

> He makes two comments of particular interest to us:
> 1. Future APCs and other tracked battlefield vehicles should share as 
> many parts as possible with the MBT to simplify maintenance and reduce

> overall costs (compare and contrast with Germany in WW II as an

> of how not to do it). If, instead of making 100 tanks, 200 APCs and

> other tracks you build all 500 on a common chassis and drive train you

> can now afford 600 of them.

This works fine for lighter vehicles - the Swedish Stridsfordon 90
("Combat Vehicle 90"; don't ask me what it is marketted as abroad
is an example of this, with IFV (40mm cannon + 6-8 grunts), AA, command
and recovery vehicles all based on the same chassis. You can't build an
MBT on that chassi, though - it is far too small to carry heavy armour,
huge gun etc.

> 2. Future tanks will be lighter and smaller, using a remote turret to 
> reduce their silhouette, the autoloader also allowing a reduction in 
> crew.

Most likely, yes. Probably with vastly improved active anti-missile
defences, too - unless someone figures out how to put yard-thick armour
on the roof to stop those pesky overflying AT missiles :-/
> The first point makes good sense to me though I am less sure of the 
> second.

Depends on how good the autoloader is, I s'pose <shrug>

> This brings me to another question, how sensible are IFVs, surely they

> 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 
> 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?

You can't always count on having MBTs around - not in Swedish terrain,
least; there are rather big areas here where an MBT would just sink into
the ground and disappear (whereas the 90 series were designed to operate
in that terrain... they don't bog down *that* often :-/ ). In most of
remaining terrain the LOS is rather short - well under a km - so the MBT
wouldn't have much use of its superior weapons range. It'd still benefit
from its armour and hitting power, of course.

Also, having a 40mm cannon allows the IFV to take out enemy IFVs,
frighten aircraft and lend decent support fire against non-MBT targets
the infantry it operates with.


Oerjan Ohlson

"Life is like a sewer.
  What you get out of it, depends on what you put into it."
- Hen3ry

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