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British Army Future Wheeled APC

Contains threads on British Army equipment of the past, present and future.
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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 09 Dec 2018, 12:28

I think the newsbrief William Owen wrote for RUSI about Strike as a concept is about a year old, but still pretty uptodate (... glacial speed and all that).

It lists noteworthy things about Ajax and MIV operating together and deploying over a distance, esp. about the former
"Transporters might be required for
extended distances. Ajax, therefore,
would certainly not require the same
attendant levels of support that the
British Army’s Challenger 2 (CR2)
MBT demands in terms of equipment
sustainment, recovery and bridging.
For example, if Ajax remains at
42–44 tonnes, it can employ the
Rapidly Emplace Bridge System with
an MLC of 50. For the same given gap,
MBT-mounted BR-90 modular bridging
sets would not be required."

Whether HETs or LETs - that is not specified. The number of each that we have available is not so different, so quite an important consideration. Esp. when the PFI (coming up for renewal in a couple of years) is easier to rework than Ajax
- and if, after all that thought, the constraint turns out to be a major one... then the MIV bill just went up
- and the AI bdes will get allocated all the Ajaxes they could ever need

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby Gabriele » 09 Dec 2018, 16:33

LET should be able to handle Ajax just fine, but it is not like that solves the problems...
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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby Lord Jim » 09 Dec 2018, 16:44

As pointed out, one of the huge benefits of moving towards large purchases of both MIV/Boxer and MRV(P) as the expense of Warrior and some Ajax is the both the Mechanised and "Strike" (I will call them Motorised form now on) Brigades if that the vast bulk of platforms being wheels call move large distances under their own power. This reduces the need for substantial purchases of HETs and LETs, though having enough of each to transports a single Armoured and/or Recce Regiment should be the level the Army aims for. The reduce logistical tail and support requirements all are benefits as well. With the revised Motorised Brigades, even without its Cavalry Regiment, 3 Motorised battalions are quite a sizeable force relatively speaking with which to reinforce an Early Entry Force. Converting the Army's 155mm Artillery to Wheeled should be high on the their priority list further down the road aiming to be achieved between 2025 and 2030. There are many options out their either on paper or having been built as a demonstrator. In this my preferred option would be a platform combining the MIV/Boxer with the M777A2. This would be supplemented by a Armoured Ammunition Support Platforms also based on the MIV/Boxer similar to those used by the US Army based on the M109 chassis. This would reduce the number of ready rounds needed to be stored in the firing units which in turn would aid in reducing its size and weight. I will be vital to compliment the above with an update of the types of ammunition available to the Royal Artillery. We do not need to go all the way to Excalibur, instead adopting the Precision add on kits, but modern Cargo rounds and extended range capabilities are critical, as are modern Target Location Systems. I also still think that for both our Mechanised and Motorised Battalions we should replace out veteran 81mm Mortars with a self propelled 120mm. There are a multitude off systems available to suit one's budget. One version of the MIV/Boxer rarely discussed would be a Logistics variants. This would have a flat bed or Armoured Cargo body and a armoured Trailer available. This was a requirement the South African identified to support their Ratel formations when conducting long rang operations in SWA and Angola. In fact it is these operation I think the British Army needs to study when it comes to the operation of the Motorised Brigades, as there is some commonality between our planned doctrine and that of the South Africans back in the 1980s.

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 09 Dec 2018, 17:09

Lord Jim wrote: a requirement the South African identified to support their Ratel formations when conducting long rang operations

Yes, and I always wonder why the Stalwart never got a replacement (not sure it had any protection, but mobility itself is a form of protection).
- the other lesson was that arty (with enough of rounds 'in tow') cannot go to all the places that the more tactical formations will need to; hence range (today with a mix of tube and rocket artillery) is essential

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby Caribbean » 09 Dec 2018, 18:37

Lord Jim wrote: and "Strike" (I will call them Motorised form now on)

@LJ - interesting points above. I'm not sure, however that "motorised" is the correct description for the "strike" brigades. To me it seems that the Strike Brigades are going to be a combination of Armoured Cavalry on Ajax (One recce, one errrrr... not recce) and Mechanised Infantry in MIV. I would have thought that "motorised" would apply to those regiments/ battalions mounted entirely on MRV(P) Phase I & II- type vehicles (e.g. JLTV and Bushmaster, if that gets selected)
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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby Lord Jim » 09 Dec 2018, 19:40

Purely from my point of view the MIV/Boxer in the Mechanised Regiments would be fitted out with an unmanned turret equipped with a CTA40 and two or more Javelin ATGW and be wheeled IFVs. Those in the Motorised Regiments would have a RWS instead fitted with a M2 12.7mm HMG and be classed as APCs. Armoured Infantry seems to be a British Term for formations other nations refer to as Mechanised. But then the Germans call their equivalent Tank Grenadiers so there appears to be little or no convention on naming.

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby mr.fred » 09 Dec 2018, 20:19

Infantry comes in battalions for the purpose of what sort it is. Regiments in infantry terms are administrative entities only.
At the moment we have:
Armoured Infantry in Warrior
Mechanised Infantry in Mastiff
Motorised Infantry in trucks etc. (maybe? That's definitely the 1940's terminology)

Looks like you're proposing an IFV version of the Boxer for armoured infantry while mechanised infantry are equipped with the Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV), i.e. Boxer APC.

Doesn't really matter how other countries call it. British terminology for British units. If you were addressing German units, I'd expect Panzer Grenadiers, the US; mechanised.

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby Caribbean » 09 Dec 2018, 22:47

Lord Jim wrote:Purely from my point of view the MIV/Boxer in the Mechanised Regiments would be fitted out with an unmanned turret equipped with a CTA40 and two or more Javelin ATGW and be wheeled IFVs. Those in the Motorised Regiments would have a RWS instead fitted with a M2 12.7mm HMG and be classed as APCs.

OK, thanks for clarifying. Maybe not in total agreement, but I see where you are going.
mr.fred wrote:Doesn't really matter how other countries call it. British terminology for British units. If you were addressing German units, I'd expect Panzer Grenadiers, the US; mechanised.

Yes - fair point. I think I am guilty of thinking of how we should be classifying units, rather that how we currently classify them.
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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby Lord Jim » 09 Dec 2018, 22:50

You say Potato I say Potato as the song goes. As long as there is the necessary investment, the British Army can call its units whatever it likes. By the way we have had single Battalion Infantry Regiments in the past but were one of the first things dealt with post 1990 as far as I remember to much howling and wailing of the Cap Badge Brigade when units were forced to amalgamate.

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby mr.fred » 10 Dec 2018, 00:21

If I say crisps and you say chips, we’ve got potential for confusion though.
A regiment with a single battalion is still two things: a military unit and an administrative entity.

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby Lord Jim » 10 Dec 2018, 02:20

That is fair enough. So to be clear a Battalion has no admin or logistical Headquarters, but simply a Combat Command, whilst a Regiment has the two former roles but not the latter. I am playing Devil's Advocate here by the way. So continuing you have multi battalion Regiments where all administration duties are carried out this Headquarters. But those Battalions are spread over multiple Brigades each of whose Headquarter also have Administrative, Logistical and combat duties, or are these purely Combat Commands? Why I am raising this is that there appears to be substantial room for streamlining the organisation unless I have totally missed something which is more than possible I admit.

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby mr.fred » 10 Dec 2018, 07:08

I wouldn’t say that a battalion has no admin or logistics, but an infantry regiment will never deploy anywhere. The battalions are sent to be part of a brigade. This may be a holdover from previous times, but isn’t necessarily inefficient, since there needs to be a home-based organisation supporting the maintenance of the units while they are deployed under leadership focussed on the military task.

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 10 Dec 2018, 07:25

Lord Jim wrote: Armoured Infantry seems to be a British Term for formations other nations refer to as Mechanised. But then the Germans call their equivalent Tank Grenadiers so there appears to be little or no convention


An excellent term, specialised infantry operating with armour and, when needed, under armour.

The Germans (who invented the 'concept' anyway) had a special problem as their specialised, highly mobile (by various means) infantry generally carry the name "Jaegers"
- a little problem in that those specialised troops that hunt tanks (anti-tank, WW1) were called Panzer Jaegers... so the other type, operating closely with tanks, had to be called something else: "a specialized soldier, first established as a distinct role in the mid-to-late 17th century, for the throwing of grenades and sometimes assault operations"

We have just inflated the use of our term as cavalry is armoured in one way or another these days... and now we have introduced a sub-category :crazy: of Armoured Cavalry

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby Lord Jim » 10 Dec 2018, 20:22

The Prussian/German Jaegers were the rifle armed specialist light Infantry during the 18th and 19th centuries, equivalent of our 95th Rifles but used in far greater numbers. The Assault troop you mention were the Grenadiers, big strapping blokes trained to both throw grenades that were as dangerous to the user as the enemy. They were also used as the spearhead for assaults with or without grenades until these fell out of favour. Infantry Battalions usually consisted of a Grenadier Company, a Light Infantry company and four to eight companies of normal soldiers.

Any old how, I understand the need for a administrative formation, but surely the Brigade should be the logical choice for this. How many people serve in a Regimental Head quarters? Why is it that other arms seem to be able to get by without such a formation? Given personnel issues surely this is one layer that could be removed, with each battalion having a small Civilian admin staff to make sure there is toilet roll where needed :)

I know the British army would wither and die without its traditions but we are in the 21st century. By all means hold on to them as long as there is no wastage of resources retaining them.

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby mr.fred » 10 Dec 2018, 21:38

Thing is, making brigade responsible puts an additional and different task on a command group who should be focusing on the operation. It would also change your “building block” from the battalion to the brigade, as you would not be able to separate the support hq staff.

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 10 Dec 2018, 21:41

Lord Jim wrote:German Jaegers were the rifle armed specialist light Infantry during the 18th and 19th centuries, equivalent of our 95th Rifles

mobility & use in offensive manouevres
- Fallgeschirmsjaeger (7 divisions of parachutists); it was tough luck that the commanding officer of the 1st D had been wounded nr Monte Cassino, and happened to be around, recuperating, at the time of Operation Market Garden, to advice the two Pz Divisions (that were also recuperating and repairing their tanks, after some sharp E. Front engagements)
- Gebirgsjaeger (abt 8 divisions, add more from the SS side of things, raised to hunt down the Yugo partisans, mainly)... the last successful counterattack actually, on the Eastern Front, was carried out by such infantry (Op. Fruehling Erwachshene) as in the weather even the tanks got bogged down in mud

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby Lord Jim » 11 Dec 2018, 03:51

mr.fred wrote:Thing is, making brigade responsible puts an additional and different task on a command group who should be focusing on the operation. It would also change your “building block” from the battalion to the brigade, as you would not be able to separate the support hq staff.


Maybe we should start a thread regarding the organisation of the Infantry in the British Army. You obvious have a lot of knowledge on this and I would be interested to know more.

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby Lord Jim » 12 Dec 2018, 14:02


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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby Lord Jim » 19 Dec 2018, 00:12

According to Jane's, further information has appeared regarding the UK and the possible purchase of the Boxer to fulfil the MIV requirement. According to the Senior sales Director of Rheinmetall the UK is looking for an initial purchase for 500 vehicles in four variants, APC, Command, Ambulance and Repair, with further orders possibly pushing the total amount to 800. The timeframe would be for negotiations to be concluded next year and the programme passing Main Gate. The demonstration phase would continue through to 2022 and deliveries commencing in 2023 and continuing through to 2030. The initial cost to the UK for the 500 vehicles would be around EUR2Bn

https://www.janes.com/article/85225/eur ... inal-shape

This all appears to link in with the original plans for the MIV rather than the greatly increased size of order mentioned a while back. The whole programme though for the MIV or FRES(UV) as it was is still over ten years away from possible final deliveries, which seems par for the course for UK AFV programmes considering the length of the programme as a whole.

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 19 Dec 2018, 01:07

Lord Jim wrote:demonstration phase would continue through to 2022[...]The initial cost to the UK for the 500 vehicles would be around EUR2Bn

While I subscribe to the choice for MIV, how can it take 4 years for an existing vehicle to get to deliveries?

Belgium got from "Nexter, a company of KNDS Group for its CaMo program leading to the acquisition of 382 VBMR-GRIFFON in different configurations and 60 EBRC-JAGUAR, identical to those of France[, which maximizes cooperation and allows interoperability that can lead to integration between the two Armed Forces]" for 0.975 bn euros.
- this has later been reported at 1.1 bn , with lesser local industrial participation than what was planned/ originally announced
- well, we will have local industrial participation, too. Was the duplication, bringing in new companies, starting to cost Belgium so much that it was pruned back, to contain cost growth?
... still a v good deal, though a Griffon is not quite a Boxer

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby Lord Jim » 19 Dec 2018, 01:26

The whole programme is simply being run in a way that make my brain hurt. We are after a platform that is fully mature, with all variants we currently want in production for other countries. The programme should be more like buying a new fleet of cars than anything else. The contractor is providing the support services for the fleet and so on. If an order was placed next year the first deliveries should be in the following year with a Battalions worth being delivered each year so the programme being completed by 2024 at the latest, not a further six years later. However there probably isn't any money until 2023.

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby bobp » 19 Dec 2018, 03:22

ArmChairCivvy wrote:how can it take 4 years for an existing vehicle to get to deliveries?



Setting up a UK production facility including any tooling, and relevant training perhaps.

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby RunningStrong » 19 Dec 2018, 06:41

MoD consistently fail to buy off-the-shelf in OTS timelines!

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby Gabriele » 19 Dec 2018, 10:49

They are buying a 38 tons armored vehicle and arming it in a way that will reduce it to a glorified Saxon. I will never be able to take it seriously...
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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby mr.fred » 19 Dec 2018, 11:21

That 38t armoured vehicle was always intended to be a glorified Saxon/Fuchs.
Only recent developments have added turrets.

My take is that it should be fitted for a standard ring mount. To this you could add a ring mount with or without protection, a blanking plate with access hatch and Remote Weapon Station, or a remote/ manned turret, as operational needs and finances dictate.


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