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Goldie fish
18th February 2007, 01:47
I was watching the BBC news lately and the British Government were boasting about how the troops in A-Stan and Iraq would be better protected in the new Bulldog APC.

http://www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/5082C00B-FC91-40EE-8328-0844C891F385/0/bulldog2.jpg


Looking at it, It looked vaguely familiar....

Yes indeed the NEW Apc is no more than an Up Armoured FV432, which was supposed to have been retired from the British Army when the Warrior IFV was introduced. £85m to upgrade the 1000 that were not sold to private citizens for use as fairground attractions....

The FV430 series was introduced in the 1960s. Production ended in 1971(It was originally known as "Trojan"

http://www.army.mod.uk/img/infantry/photo_63_afvs_300.jpg

Can you imagine what would happen if the Irish DF were to put a lick of new paint on the Landsverks and send them out to Lebanon?


Bulldog vehicles on patrol in Basra
5 Feb 07
The first delivery of the upgraded FV430 Mk3 Bulldog vehicles arrived in Iraq just before Christmas and have become the Royal Green Jacket's (recently formed up as The Rifles) vehicle of choice for carrying out patrols in Basra City.


The upgraded FV430 Mk3 Bulldog vehicles on patrol in Basra City, Iraq
[Picture: Cpl Andy Benson, RAF]
The vehicle's additional armour provides enhanced safety for driver, commander and troops while other features include air conditioning and an improved engine and transmission for peak performance and reliability.

The Bulldog's ability to turn around within its own length gives vehicle commanders more agility and flexibility which can prove vital in coping with the unexpected in the Basrah’s narrow streets.

The Royal Green Jackets Battalion (newly formed up as The Rifles), based at Basra Palace, is the first unit to use the Bulldogs on operations and the vehicle has already proved its worth with many of the soldiers.

Rifleman Keith Murphy, said:

"We were on patrol in downtown Basra when we came under contact. We drove through but were hit by a roadside bomb. It exploded when it hit the body armour of the vehicle but didn’t penetrate through."


The FV430 Mk3 Bulldog in Iraq
[Picture: Cpl Andy Benson (RAF)]
Bulldog driver, Rifleman Stuart Strachan, said:

"It's a lot easier and very simple, just like a Go Kart, quite quick and easy to handle.

"It's a great bit of kit. As a driver it gives me a bit of cover as well and it can move a lot better. It provides better protection on the ground and it’s more effective."

Vehicle Commander, Corporal Scott Hodgkinson, who has experience in Bosnia and Afghanistan said:

"It out rates all the other vehicles I've been in before in my whole army career whether it be Snatch, Saxon or normal Landrover."

Drivers from the Royal Green Jackets spent a month in Catterick last year learning to drive the vehicles before they deployed to theatre in early November 2006.

The delivery to theatre came after successful trials in the UK and the Middle East confirmed the Mk 3 vehicles were as reliable and robust as expected. More deliveries will be made to operations in Iraq as well as Afghanistan.

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/MilitaryOperations/BulldogVehiclesOnPatrolInBasra.htm

However not everyone is impressed. The delays in introducing the Cougar "Mastiff" Mine Resistant Ambush Protected(MRAP)...

http://www.defense-update.com/images/MastiffPPV1.jpg


Thus we do await the delivery of the Mastiffs in theatre, which are better equipped to deal with this threat. But, as the delays mount (no doubt in part arising from the insistence on carrying out modifications which could and should have been done in theatre - or even on the ship coming over) can it really be a coincidence that, on the same day that another soldier is killed while taking part in a Warrior patrol, the MoD posts a long "puff" about the newly introduced Bulldog (pictured)?

Once again, also, one worried out the MoD writers. The describe the Bulldog as an FV430 Mk3. But there is no such thing as an FV430 – there is the FV430 series, or family of vehicles, of which the Bulldog is one, an up-armoured FV432. And then we get Associated Press, which published the picture of the Warrior shown above, giving it the caption: "A British soldier stands in front of a tank in Basra …".


I am sorry to say it but it appears to me that the UK government have not come much further from the attitude in the First World war that their military were little more than "Cannon Fodder"

California Tanker
18th February 2007, 06:39
The RGJs are a light infantry unit. Before the FV432s, they had nothing more heavily armoured than a Snatch Land Rover. They're not replacing Warriors with the things, they're giving otherwise unmechanised units some APCs by dragging them out of storage, or re-roling other ones such as the Artillery or Engineering vehicles. Much like the M113 in US service, the FV-432 was never fully replaced by the Warrior, maintaining a heavy presence in support roles. Nothing dramatic or conspiratorial about it.

NTM

Goldie fish
18th February 2007, 09:26
Would you be pleased if you were Given a Sherman instead of an Abrams?

My point is they are dressing it up as a "new" APC.

The Thing
18th February 2007, 13:43
The Bulldog's are set to serve well into the future, they are still a good vehicle offering good value for the UK tax payer. Consider the fact that the MOD still hasn't decided on the future multi role APC for the Armed forces.
We upgraded our AML 60's and 90's and pressed them for overseas service with no extra protection.

California Tanker
18th February 2007, 21:40
Would you be pleased if you were Given a Sherman instead of an Abrams?

My point is they are dressing it up as a "new" APC.

If all I had at the time was a Willys Jeep? It's still an upgrade in terms of armour and firepower.

NTM

GoneToTheCanner
19th February 2007, 08:22
Hi all
Perhaps they are taking a leaf out of the Israelis handbooks, with their Zeldas. A basic 432 or an M113 is a dead duck.
regards
GttC

Docman
19th February 2007, 11:37
The RGJs are a light infantry unit. Before the FV432s, they had nothing more heavily armoured than a Snatch Land Rover. They're not replacing Warriors with the things, they're giving otherwise unmechanised units some APCs by dragging them out of storage, or re-roling other ones such as the Artillery or Engineering vehicles. Much like the M113 in US service, the FV-432 was never fully replaced by the Warrior, maintaining a heavy presence in support roles. Nothing dramatic or conspiratorial about it.

I think the problem isn't the equipment being used but the Spin being put on it by the MoD

It would be similiar to Taking a M1A1, giving it a new lick of paint and saying "The new M1A9 is the latest in armoured warfare and absolves us of the need to buy any new tanks for the next 100 years - see, we're great"

The vehicle is a sound concept. It still does the job. There is noting wrong with it but it is merely an uparmoured APC. It is NOT a new vehicle and does not allow the MoD to say that they are doing everything possible to provide protection for British troops.

Jetjock
19th February 2007, 15:34
As far as I am aware, no new M1's are being built. In-service vehicles are completely stripped and remanufactured to a higher spec, emerging from this process as the M1A2. Upgrading of armoured vehicles is common with total service lifespans running into decades. How long did the Centurion tanks serve with the Israelis and the South Africans? As for the Bulldog, the huge amount of "applique" armour surely takes the original FV432 to a much higher level of protection against RPG(given the shape of the side armour) and IED's. Would you turn down an offer of 200 of these for the Army?

Aidan
20th February 2007, 11:17
Quick question for those who actually know something about this stuff, what are the 'poles' (Antennae?, sensors?) mounted around the GPMG station for? They look like sensors of some kind.

Secondly, I assume theres a new engine in there to lug all that applique around? Otherwise mobility would be seriously compromised.


There is noting wrong with it but it is merely an uparmoured APC

So they took an old vehicle, upgraded it with a shedload of armour, (presumably) a new power pack, and used it to equip troops previously moved around by what is in effect a Civilian vehicle with light armour?

Personally, I can't see anything wrong with the idea - the basic vehicle is sound, with the level of armour it has now they are a huge step up from Landies. They're probably more surviveable than a Stryker with slatted armour (or a PIII!) in the case of an IED* or RPG attack. I'd hardly be offended if someone ordered me to ride around in one of those instead of a Land Rover. "What, you mean I have to sit in something thats much more likely to save my life but is an upgrade of an older APC? No thanks, I'll have a new Nissan Patrol, 07 D, thats what I want"

:rolleyes:

And if people are offended by 'spin', well, time to grow a slightly thicker skin ...

*Ok, except maybe an IED buried under the road surface.

Docman
20th February 2007, 11:44
I think people are missing the point here. British Squaddies have for a long time been complaining about the amount of spin that is coming from the MoD.

There have been suggestions that the only Journalists that the MoD will talk to are uneducated in the field that they are undertaking and so will follow the Govt line on everything as they know no better. Reputable Military Journalists are excluded from Press Conferences as they will only ask the Hard questions the MoD does not want to answer.

There is nothing wrong with the Bulldog. It is a fine vehicle and much needed and should be seen as a effective stopgap on the road to improved vehicles. However The spin is that it IS a new vehicle and the end result.

An equivalent in Ireland would be the Irish Army buying the PRR radio and declaring that it is so effective that we don't need any more radios. Yes the PRR is brilliant at what it does but it is merely a Section radio and needs to be supported by a plethora of other systems in order to maximise its potential.

Tribunius
20th February 2007, 12:17
They are part of a jamming system. The system is supposed to jam the firing signal of an ied. They are the transmittors for it and can be seen mounted on Warriors aswell.

Aidan
20th February 2007, 15:01
How do you get this ...


However The spin is that it IS a new vehicle and the end result.

from this ...


"The first delivery of the upgraded FV430 Mk3 Bulldog"

(bold is mine).

There is no claim that the vehicles are new, or that they are 'tanks' (that comes down to ignorant journalism). All thats happening is that this is being dragged into the larger (and serious) discussion about protective equipment and funding for UK forces, and used as a stick to beat the UK Govt and MOD with, regardless of the facts. It is a step forward, and will more than likely save lives. Is it an omnipotent HoverTank? Nope, but it will protect infantry, which is the whole point. Strikes me that some balance might be required here lads.

And as for
"Once again, also, one worried out the MoD writers. The describe the Bulldog as an FV430 Mk3. But there is no such thing as an FV430"

There is now;

http://www.publicservice.co.uk/pdf/dmj/issue35/DMJ35%20LtCol%20John%20Laider%20ATL.pdf

ODIN
20th February 2007, 15:47
Doesnt seem like the MOD are saying anything untrue in that article to be fair

Mick O'Toole
20th February 2007, 16:48
How do you get this ...



from this ...



(bold is mine).

There is no claim that the vehicles are new, or that they are 'tanks' (that comes down to ignorant journalism). All thats happening is that this is being dragged into the larger (and serious) discussion about protective equipment and funding for UK forces, and used as a stick to beat the UK Govt and MOD with, regardless of the facts. It is a step forward, and will more than likely save lives. Is it an omnipotent HoverTank? Nope, but it will protect infantry, which is the whole point. Strikes me that some balance might be required here lads.

And as for

There is now;

http://www.publicservice.co.uk/pdf/dmj/issue35/DMJ35%20LtCol%20John%20Laider%20ATL.pdf


Well, to be fair to Goldie and Docman, the MOD's website does refer to them as new:


http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/MilitaryOperations/DefenceSecretarySeesReconstructionAndNewVehiclesIn SouthernIraqvideo.htm

and

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/DefencePolicyAndBusiness/FormationOfTheRifles.htm

But it does, elsewhere, refer to an upgrade.

ODIN
20th February 2007, 16:52
Could this be because the Mk 3 is a new designation in the line of vehicles?? As it does have a new engine and drive train and extra armour. I know it is technically the same vehicle. Would one class say, the F/A 18D and the F/A 18E as two different Aircraft, or as a new improvement on past models?

Aidan
20th February 2007, 17:13
Tough one on the F/A-18 comparison, in that instance "the wing, center and aft fuselage, tail surfaces and powerplants are entirely new" (from wiki); the aircraft is a 'development of' the existing c/d airframe, rather than a rebuild or a 'version of'.

In the case of the FV430, its essentially a complete rebuild with some add-ons bought in from elsewhere (the armour is Israeli in design for example) and a new drive train, controls and defensive system. Far superior to the old one in almost every way, but not a new vehicle either.

And the figure was £85m for 50 of these - with plans for another 100 at least (Bae LS did the work in under a year). In total, the cost of each upgrade is roughly equivelant to the price of 2 new PIIIs.

So yup, the MoD are guilty of 'spinning' the launch of these, or at least of being inconsistent. But I still wouldn't go so far as to suggest that its akin to the treatment of the troops in the trenches in WW1 ...

yooklid
20th February 2007, 17:20
Apparently the F/A-18 development was a way to get a new plane for the Navy but hoodwink Congress.

Docman
20th February 2007, 17:25
Strikes me that some balance might be required here lads.

Unfortunately my sources are non-internet.

However I was trawling the net and saw stuff like this

http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2007/01/four.html

and this

http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/search/label/defence

It is a blog and therefore not reliable but is along the same general lines as stuff I have been reading.

Aidan
20th February 2007, 17:44
I made reference to this in one of the earlier posts - there have been some fairly serious incidences of UK troops being under or poorly equipped in Iraq. The point I was trying to make was that this seems to be a case where they did something right. And were still getting hammered for it.

Interesting site btw. That dude really needs to get out more. (I know, pot/kettle etc)

Groundhog
20th February 2007, 20:58
The "new" Bulldogs also feature in this month's Combat and Survival. They date from 1967. We could bolt a bit of extra armour on an M3, new coat of paint and rename it the Finn McCool Mk 1. Of course we'd be scraping the bottom of the barrel too.

Goldie fish
20th February 2007, 21:01
Buy your own for £7500

http://www.witham-sv.com/infopage.php?ID=223&Overide=1

http://www.witham-sv.com/vehicles/223.jpg

Aidan
20th February 2007, 22:43
Groundhog, if you were to spend over €2 million on an M3, you'd end up with something very different (and hopefully more capable than before).

Goldie, if you believe thats the same thing as the Mk3, I have a bridge I'd like to sell you ...

Goldie fish
21st February 2007, 02:31
Is it on the M50?

Groundhog
21st February 2007, 10:55
Groundhog, if you were to spend over €2 million on an M3, you'd end up with something very different (and hopefully more capable than before)....

Yes I would. A €2 million overdraft and a shite French APC with a fresh coat of paint.

Aidan
21st February 2007, 11:12
Was the M3 really that bad? Were they ever dieselised like the AMLs?

Only ever seen them at open days, and while stuck behind them on the road (note, I was driving a tractor).

X-RayOne
21st February 2007, 12:47
if you were driving a tractor you should have been able to overtake it then:biggrin:

never had the pleasure of driving them but from anybody who did by all accounts they were a pig to drive

however, working out of the back of them was cramped and uncomfortable. the rear doors were far more difficult to de-bus from than today, seats too small,etc. the gunners turret was awkward to get in and out of and fit MAGs, etc. and some of them were hard to traverse to say the least.

Goldie fish
21st February 2007, 22:57
They put a diesel in one, and fitted it out as a command car. However by then the Mowag/Pandur decision was as good as made. Dieselising them would have been more complicated than for the AML due to the location of the engine, In the middle of the car.

Protection and safety of passengers is light years ahead with the MOWAG. Also its far easier to get in and out. The M3 drill was quite specific.
Brakes in the M3 were crap, when they worked. The engine was underpowered, struggling to pull its own weight up a hill, never mind with a full load of troops and their equipment. The Petrol engine was noisy, but this worked to their advantage in the Lebanon as the arrival of the FMR/BMR came with the soundtrack of the distinctive exhaust "parp"

Groundhog
22nd February 2007, 13:39
The engine was underpowered, struggling to pull its own weight up a hill, never mind with a full load of troops and their equipment.

If ou put a section's equiment in you couldn't fit any troops.:biggrin:

morpheus
22nd February 2007, 14:21
How many M3's did we have?

hedgehog
22nd February 2007, 15:48
Brakes in the M3 were crap, when they worked. The engine was underpowered, struggling to pull its own weight up a hill, never mind with a full load of troops and their equipment. The Petrol engine was noisy, but this worked to their advantage in the Lebanon as the arrival of the FMR/BMR came with the soundtrack of the distinctive exhaust "parp"

The Breaks worked intermittently if you were lucky-

but on cold days the gunner could remove the cowling and the engine heating went into the rear-

granted we are all probably polluted with cancer- asbestos and lung cancer but we were warm

If you were on an OP in the Leb and on your night off or simply waiting for post

the distinctive sound of the APC from miles away was the most comforting sound you ever heard

I remember being deployed from a Panhard to a pretty hairy situation at Total Hill
as we arrived there were rounds been let off by the Hairies and RPG's were being brandished

my only fear was catching my fingers in the sodding doors

Now put another lump of turf on the fire and gather in

DeV
22nd February 2007, 17:25
How many M3's did we have?

Sixty

hptmurphy
22nd February 2007, 20:58
Couldn't really use the words pleasure and M3 and driving in the one sentence.

Got our moneys worth from them considering they were obselete when we bought them.

The V6 Buffalo conversion could at least pull its own weight..but armour wise..troop deployability...crew comfort..etc..a nightmare.The SISU was a far more capable machine and far better suited..but was still only a stepping stone..major draw back with the SISU was the doors from the crew compartment and the lack of commander protection..although the latter was partially over come buy adding turrets from M3s..so the M3 had its uses..like targets.

rod and serpent
11th March 2007, 21:45
http://soldiermagazine.co.uk/images/article_images/update/g013d002.jpgTrusty ally: Bulldog’s pace and protection levels impressed crews who put the vehicle through its paces at Copehill Down, Salisbury Plain
Picture: Graeme Main
TELIC-bound troops have given the thumbs-up to the Bulldog armoured personnel carrier, claiming it will give them better mobility and protection.

A reworked version of the FV432, the latest addition to the Op Telic vehicle park has been beefed-up with a new engine, powerful weapons and robust armour.

And soldiers from the 4th Battalion, The Rifles were delighted with the kit when they put it through its paces at Copehill Down, Salisbury Plain.
They said the modifications, which will allow the Bulldog to keep pace with Warrior and Challenger 2, would give them the edge in theatre.

Capt Ben Salt, an anti-tank platoon commander with A Company, told Soldier that the vehicle could comfortably carry an eight-man section plus kit and that its .50 calibre heavy machine-gun, which could be fired under armour, plus a general-purpose machine gun, meant the Bulldog could pack a mean punch.

He said: “The new engine has increased the speed from 25mph to 45mph and the vehicle can turn on a sixpence, which the old version couldn’t.

“There is a mortar and an anti-tank variant of Bulldog, which is equipped with Javelin missiles, so it can also be used as a weapons platform if needed.”

Capt Salt was also impressed with the armour package on the vehicle.

“It means that we can go into battle alongside the Challenger 2 and be confident that we will come out. In this way we can provide more support.”

Crews at the controls of the Bulldog were also unanimous in their praise. They believed it would inspire confidence among troops on the ground.

Rfn Paul Sapsford said: “This vehicle is very good news. It is a lot easier to drive than the old FV432 and has independent steering and brakes.”

And Cpl Rob Stratford, a section commander in A Company, believed that the new weapons package would deliver a lethal punch to would-be aggressors. The heavy machine-gun was effective against targets well over a mile away, while firing under armour would help protect crews, he concluded.


Soldier Magazine

thebig C
14th March 2007, 23:11
Debut of the British Army's Mastiff (uparmoured Cougar) in Iraq... managed to get stuck in the mud while carrying a SKY news team.

http://news.sky.com/skynews/video/videoplayer/0,,31200-waghorn_130307_1200,00.html