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Re: [GZG] What are the pitfalls of standardised forces?

From: Ryan Gill <rmgill@m...>
Date: Sat, 12 Jul 2008 23:16:18 -0400
Subject: Re: [GZG] What are the pitfalls of standardised forces?

At 2:36 PM -0700 7/12/08, Michael R. Blair wrote:
>Interestingly I have seen the point made several times by
>people who should know what they are talking 
>about (Jane's Armour 2000 I think) that
>it would be a very good idea for an army to 
>standardise its tracked vehicles on
>their standard tank chassis and running gear for the MBT, SPGs, APC and
so on.
>This would make the tank considerably cheaper and enormously simplify
>maintenance and spares. The APC would be larger than the current ones
>either more men to be carried or much better protection and it would
move at
>the same rate as the MBT which is apparently a good thing.

You can certainly find families of vehicles with 
a lot of standardized parts or designs. The 
currently fielded M2/M3 Bradleys have a lot in 
common with the MLRS carrier and some proposed 
vehicles. The Ferrets were like their bigger 
brothers the Saracen/Saladin/Stalwart/Salamander 
vehicles, with VERY similar if not alike 
driveline components.  The B60 engine in the 
ferret was used in the dissimilar Humber Pig. The 
family of Rolls Royce engines for these vehicles 
was maintained with parts commonality with the 
B40/B60/B80 engines sharing a large number of 
parts and fittings. Then you've got the CVR(T) 
Spartan family of vehicles which has lots of 
variants from light tank (scorpion/scimitar) 
through command (Sultan) and logistics vehicles 
(Stormer) as well as variations on the APCs.

Invariably, if something is built at one time and 
later versions get designed, there's a LOT of 
inertia with new technology to design beyond the 
original design and not maintain that backwards 

Sometimes there's just a desire to bin the 
backwards compatibility and go for standard COTS 
parts. Look at the USMC's MTVR 7 ton Truck that 
Oshkosh put together. They ditched most if not 
all of the standard military truck parts and 
controls. The cab looks more like a modern over 
the road truck with illuminated rocker switches 
rather than a military vehicle with 1940s 
designed 3 lever and toggle type switches.

>Personally I found the argument persuasive but no army has
>done this, though from what little I know of military procurement this
>very little. The ingenious and thrifty Israelis 
>have converted captured and superannuated
>tanks to well protected APCs and IFVs and I would think their
experience would
>be convincing.

It's easier when you have a smaller force. US 
vehicle types have been built domestically over 
the past 60 years and are still, in some ways 
still in service. Many of the basic parts 
certainly are a hold over in basic design (like 
the three lever switch). The M35 trucks were 
designed in the 1960s and are STILL being updated 
in some forms with the M35A3s. They were all a 
basic step from the WWII CCKW and 
White/Corbit/Mack 5/6 ton trucks. In basic design 
they're fundamentally the same.
Ryan Gill
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'60 Daimler Ferret '42 Daimler Dingo '42 Humber MkIV (1/3)

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