BAE Unveils Light Tank at AUSA

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  1. Admin

    Admin Captain Staff Member Administrator

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    AUSA 2015: BAE light tank goes back to the future

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    A two decade-old light tank design is being displayed by BAE Systems at the AUSA exhibition that it says could meet the US Army’s future mobile protected firepower (MPF) requirement.

    Going against the general industry convention of releasing new technologies at trade shows, BAE Systems has a M8 Armoured Gun System (AGS) prototype built in the 1990s on its stand.

    The company is even showing the original promotional video made in that period on a TV screen next to the vehicle. Sometimes old ideas are the best.

    The M8 was selected to equip the 82nd Airborne Division in 1992 but was subsequently cancelled in 1997. Though there was some interest overseas, the M8 never achieved success and only six prototypes were built.

    But the requirement for a light tank has never gone away and the US Army has just released a new request for information for a MPF vehicle, according to industry sources.

    Explaining the decision to display the vehicle, BAE Systems’ director of new and amphibious vehicles, Deepak Bazaz said it was designed to stir debate about the army’s future requirements for a light tank capability.

    ‘What we are trying to do here is start the conversation, because the requirements haven’t solidified for MPF,’ Bazaz told Shephard. ‘We don’t want to put in a bunch of technologies and have someone say “that’s not quite what I’m looking for”.’

    The M8 has shared components with the M1 Abrams MBT and Bradley IFV, meaning that technology from the modernisation of those vehicles could be transferred to the light tank platform.

    ‘All those platforms are still in the fleet today so what have they done to modernise their systems?’ said Bazaz.

    Some technologies that could be integrated onto the platform include a situational awareness package and a digital architecture to aid with future sensor integration and networked operations.

    A lightweight rubber band track derived from the company’s CV90 IFV has already been fitted, which ‘drops a significant amount of weight,’ according to Bazaz.

    The platform on display features a soft recoil 105mm gun turret – which houses the gunner and commander – with a 21-round magazine capable of firing 12 rounds a minute. The gun also features an autoload capability.

    Powered by a Detroit Diesel 580hp powerpack, the M8 can achieve 45mph on-road and around 30mph off-road.

    With Level 1 armour the vehicle weighs around 30,000lb but that increases to 50,000lb with additional armour, such as armour boxes that can be fitted to the sides. In its Level 1 configuration, a single M8 can be transported in a C-130 and three can be transported in a C-17.

    BAE Systems said it would be capable of providing a prototype to the army 18 months after a contract award. There could also be additional opportunities for the M8 as well, including exports.

    ‘Our target is the US Army, but that opens up other markets as well,’ said Bazaz.

    http://www.shephardmedia.com/news/landwarfareintl/ausa-2015-bae-goes-back-future-light-tank/
     
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  2. Admin

    Admin Captain Staff Member Administrator

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    DSCN3462.jpg

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  3. Admin

    Admin Captain Staff Member Administrator

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    I have another picture that I will upload later.
     
  4. Technofox

    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

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    A nice look piece of tank, short on armor, long on fire-power, so a typical light tank... but:eek: would the US Army be interested in a light tank? The US hasn't had a light tank since M551 Sheridan. It's tried but cost overruns have doomed several projects.

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    M1128 has taken over the light tank role for the US Army, it's mobility and usefulness as an air-dropped weapon is questionable.

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    M1128 has been criticized though for being too cumbersome and fitting too much gun on too small of a vehicle.

    I should probably read the article and not just look at the pictures:D, my short attention span at work. Seems they are interested after-all. Cool,
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2015
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  5. Admin

    Admin Captain Staff Member Administrator

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    he he he.

    I think light tanks are great, you have more mobility (easier to transport with helicopters and planes), they cost less, and now with APS their exposure to larger threats has been greatly reduced. You can take out a heavy tank and a light tank with the same modern ATGM's so why use the very expensive heavy tank? A light tanks armor should be able to survive an rpg 7 hit imo anything bigger than that can be taken care of by the APS.

    There is still a role for heavy tanks but I wouldn't be surprised if light tanks make a comeback in the U.S. BTW a big advantage of wheeled vehicles armed with larger guns (105mm or 90mm) is that they are much quieter than tracked vehicles.
     
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  6. Sven

    Sven Teh Viking dood Industry Professional Ret. Military

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    And this is thinking we're beginning to see coming from DARPA:



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    Fast and maneuverable are what it's all about, though I've not seen anything on how heavily a vehicle like this could or would be armed. Still, this is a direction being explored.

    I don't think anyone would hear a light tank falling from the sky during an air-drop:p.

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    But their noise level largely depends on where one is. A wheeled vehicle would be really, really quiet here:

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    As if wouldn't even move:D. It would also be really, really dead. Wheels have the unfortunate advantage of being less mobile through adverse terrain, though in urban environments vehicles like Stryker are fast, quiet and lethal.

    Tracked vehicles are perform in most environments, even water!



    Yes, but munitions to defeat APS systems like Trophy or Arena are being devised too, so armor still has its role. Plus, armor can take multiple hits of smaller caliber munitions that would unnecessarily expend an active defense system.

    Maneuverability coupled with advanced sensors to move away from incoming munitions seems to be DARPA's direction right now.

    M829A4 has been designed with APS in mind, a result of their proliferation and expanded usage by our principle threats Russia and China:

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    So armor needs to be a concern too, we can't rely on an APS alone to defeat threats. One will always catch up to the other and negate the other's effectiveness, for a time.

    ...

    @Technofox has a pretty good breakdown of a future light tank. Softkill, hardkill, mobility, firepower and adaptive camo making for an effective light tank.

    http://www.americanmilitaryforum.co...-for-the-british-army-too-costly.66/#post-187
     
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  7. Admin

    Admin Captain Staff Member Administrator

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    Great info, and analysis. Thanks for sharing.
     
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