Why so heavy and why so expensive and why all of the time?

Discussion in 'U.S. Army' started by Pathfinder, Apr 17, 2016.

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  1. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

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    Based on my observation the trend in the Army over the past couple of decades has been to acquire, large, heavy, and expensive vehicles of all types. Whether its the Humvee, Bradley, or the massive MRAPS that served in Afghanistan the Army continues the trend of big, bulky, and heavy. These vehicles definitely have their place and role in the military but their lack of tactical and sometimes strategic mobility can hamper our overall military capability. By ignoring lighter armored or un armored vehicles I think we are missing a lot of opportunities to cut costs but also to increase the effectiveness of our forces.

    To get my point across let me show some great vehicles that the Army would never buy:







    Another quick point/question. Why are we buying 55,000 JLTV's? Isn't that way more then what we need? Why can't we buy 20,000 JLTVS and replace the remaining Humvee with some kind of smaller 4x4. Something like what the Europeans use like the Mercedes Wolf or something. Maybe Ford F-250's just how some rich Arab gulf states do. Why spend over 100,000 for a jeep when we are buying them in the 10's of thousands?
     

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  2. Cossack25A1

    Cossack25A1 1st Lieutenant

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    My guess is that some think that big vehicles are basically "bigger is better".
     
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  3. Osmanovic

    Osmanovic 1st Lieutenant

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    You know what they say about guys with big vehicles. :D

    Some of these big vehicles have their uses like the bradley and the HUMVEE that can accept heavy armor packages and can cross all sorts of terrain. Even the Chinese have copied the HUMVEE design:

    20051102122618258.jpg

    dongfeng-hummer-china-3-458x374.jpg

    In general I think military vehicles should get lighter as we progress into the future rather than become heavier. I think unmanned systems will help us achieve this but for now a lot of things are going to be big and bulky. You have to give the Army credit for the Stryker though, its air mobile, now heavily armed, and there are many different variants that serve many different roles.
     
  4. Cossack25A1

    Cossack25A1 1st Lieutenant

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    Wasn't the Future Combat System's manned vehicles were designed to be lightweight and air transportable?

    Aside from the pricetag, why was it cancelled?
     
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  5. Bob Hunter 45

    Bob Hunter 45 2nd Lieutenant

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    transport must be protected from the explosion of mines.
     
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  6. Osmanovic

    Osmanovic 1st Lieutenant

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    I was a big fan of that program, everything looked great then bam!!!! Its gone. What a novel idea, one chassis for many vehicles, one network to control them all. Maybe they canceled it because they want the future vehicles to be unmanned?

    @AMDR would know about this for sure.

    Yes, today asymmetric terrorist threat is big for army's. People will always use them against an invading force.
     
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  7. Falcon

    Falcon Major Staff Member Social Media Team

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    Army Aviation Has a Weight Problem
    “We’ve been growing and gaining weight for all the rights reasons,” Gayler said. “every new technology, everything designed to protect a crew or its passengers, but we‘ve given maneuverability at the objective away. We’ve given away payload, we’ve given away ammo, we are limiting options to a commander, we are not giving options. We do give options if the weather’s right but if the weather’s not right, we can’t give options,” he lamented.

    While Gen. David Perkins, the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command commander, said Army aviation is the epitome of meeting the service’s operating concept, Gayler warned if things don’t go a different direction, the aviation branch may not meet the requirements laid out in the concept.

    “When you have to manage your payload, fuel, ammo in order to accomplish the mission and you put eight or nine Black Hawks to move a platoon because of a power limitation when it could be done with four, imagine the waste, the risk,” he said.

    “We are capable of giving commanders options, but we also sometimes give a limitation and we gotta fix that,” Gayler added.

    The commander noted that the Army is currently only able to fly in 84 percent of the world with the current power generation. In Afghanistan alone, Army aircraft can only fly in about 47 percent of the country.

    Also aircraft like UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopters have grown over “a ton and a quarter” since inception, he said, adding the UH-60s grow in weight, on average, by 78 pounds per year.

    Gayler warned that if nothing is done, by the year 2020, “we will be able to move two people” per helicopter “so it will take 15 to 20 Black Hawks to move a platoon.”


    More Here:
    http://www.defensenews.com/story/de...29/army-aviation-has-weight-problem/83724410/
     
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  8. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

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    I like that "By 2020 we will be able to move two people per helicopter". I think we have a problem here and I'm glad that its not only me saying it. We throw so many gadgets and gizmos on everything, they do help but at the same time limit our mobility. Mobility is a critical element of warfare and if keep knocking mobility in the side of the head all of the time eventually it will be virtually non existent when compared to the capabilities of others.
     
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  9. Technofox

    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

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    Why so heavy? Because a 20lb IED will flip an Abrams up into the air.



    And let it survive.

    If you want to decrease weight or size, say on MRAPs, you need to increase intelligence to allow the vehicle to identify threats like RPGs or ATGMs, IEDs or hostile air and surface vehicles. The Catch-22 is that you may decrease weight, but you increase costs as you get smarter.

    But without brains or size, you're lost a vehicle and its crew and all the expensive goodies packed into it.

    HMMWVs went into Iraq like this:

    [​IMG]

    And got hammered by IEDs and insurgents with light weaponry.

    The choice was to either put soldiers at risk or add weight and brains. The military chose the later with the Up-armored HMWWV:

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

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    Right but I thing we have a bigger issue, somehow everything we do turns out to be big, heavy, and expensive. We are fighting people who survive on olives and bread. People who are very mobile and can be anywhere at anytime.

    Other adversaries who we are not at war with but who threaten our geopolitical interests have highly mobile air borne forces, mechanized infantry that can quickly cross rivers, and highly effective EW systems. Other adversaries are using low cost anti ship missiles to counter our high cost Navy. I think overall we are going at things the wrong way.
     
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