Do our Airborne Forces Lack Firepower?

Discussion in 'U.S. Army' started by Falcon, Nov 28, 2015.

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Do our Airborne Forces Lack Firepower?

  1. Yes

    66.7%
  2. No

    33.3%

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  1. Falcon

    Falcon Major Staff Member Social Media Team

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    In my opinion our airborne forces lack firepower when compared to some other airborne forces such as the French or Russian Airborne. We are not equipped with any serious armoured vehicles and artillery that enable us to fight efficiently after being deployed. Sure they can take out ill equipped and relatively untrained insurgents but how would they fair against a well armed, trained, and commanded conventional force. Recently some discussions have been taking place with regard to the Army potentially acquiring BAE's M8 Light Tank after our airborne forces have been left tankless since the Sheridans was retired.This discussion in my opinion is taking us in the right direction.
     
  2. Atilla

    Atilla Major

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    French Airborne forces are effectively using wheeled armored vehicles mounted with a 90mm gun to support their airborne troops in operations

    1280px-ERC-90_Sagaie_008_FR.JPG

    159576909.jpg
     
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  3. Technofox

    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

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    Definitely, especially as their current "light-tank" is neither a tank nor particularly air-mobile. It isn't suited for airdrops at all. This of course is the M1128:

    [​IMG]

    Considering the US is in the market for a light tank, perhaps their stubbornness can be pushed aside for just a little while and they can shop in Europe? The 26-35 ton CV90120-T is too big for the C-130, but two will fit into a C-17. That's better than the current option the US is leveraging:p.

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Technofox

    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

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    Like most modern air-mobile vehicles, the ERC90 still has the problem of needing a secure runway to be transported, same with the M1128 and CV90120:
    [​IMG]

    It's an air-borne armored vehicle in the same sense that the M1 is, which doesn't quite meet the requirements the US Army wants for its air-borne vehicles:

    [​IMG]

    The M551 Sheridan was unique in that it just needed some space, not even a runway, just a straight patch of land to be off-loaded. It's transport didn't even hit the ground:
    [​IMG]

    If this isn't a problem, and the US plans to use actual runways, the CV90120 is ready for purchase. If not, nothing on the market right now will fit the requirements properly.
     
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  5. Falcon

    Falcon Major Staff Member Social Media Team

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    A vehicle like the weasel would greatly improve the combat effectiveness of our airborne forces. It can even be used in cramped underdeveloped urban environments because of its size. It also offers a lot of mobility.

    I think something slightly smaller than the current MATV could be useful as it could be airdropped from a C-130. The vehicle could come in different variations including anti-tank, anti air, and troop transport variantions.

    This vehicle solves our artillery problem



    A small turret less tank destroyer could also be designed to fill the gap


    Ok I'm done being creative
     
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  6. Technofox

    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

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    :0::No, I'm enjoying this. Creative solutions are what's needed. A lack of creativity leads to static, predictable outcomes and this is becoming a problem for conventional militaries as they are increasingly at logger-heads with asymmetric, non-state militant groups who are rather flexible.

    One such option to increase the firepower of airborne units, but one that's rather dangerous to implement... or at least it seems dangerous, like something out of old Coyote and Roadrunner cartoons, is to "hand launch" artillery shells to attack fixed positions. This improves the mobility of airborne units, who may or may not have light howitzers available and lowers the profile of their unit to avoid detection. It's far easier to spot vehicle than it is a single man with a 155mm shell slung upon his back:



    Honestly, when i first saw this I laughed rather vigorously, but against fixed targets it's actually viable. Moving targets are a bit more difficult to tackle though, but PGMs like the 40mm Pike missile help reduce this vulnerability.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Falcon

    Falcon Major Staff Member Social Media Team

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    I think weasel + anti tank missile = what we need. The only problem with a weasel type vehicle is that it doesn't offer much mine protection and its armor isn't very thick.

    Hey another thing to consider is that airborne forces can even operate mini attack helicopters:

    S-100-OE-VXX.jpg

    Several of those babies could be airdropped in a nice package.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schiebel_Camcopter_S-100
     
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  8. Technofox

    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

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    Do away with the vehicle all together and just air-drop a "box 'o death" alongside assault forces. It's a shame the NLOS-LS didn't pan out the way the US military wanted, because it was a great concept for a light, ranged anti-tank, anti-structure weapon that was smaller and less noticeable the traditional artillery, but packed a greater punch than RPG/ATGMs.

    [​IMG]

    Vehicle mounting wasn't a problem either, if mobility was a concern.
    [​IMG]
     
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