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Come-quickly
6th May 2005, 16:35
The use of lightweight cavalry vehicles or heavy machine gun armed utlility vehicles for fire support on overseas missions (not just by us) seems to be an accepted method of discouraging interference by local combatant or criminal elements.

But is it a safe assumption: Generally speaking peacekeeping and peace enforcement missions don't carry much in the way of long range striking power (Iraq and Kosovo being notable exceptions due to the high participation of Western Countries).
Also the potential enemy are often fractious and bereft of any sort of chain of command or even external information sources.

Finally given the possibility of UN missions effective collapse in terms of military effectiveness (I'm thinking of Sierra Leone and the Congo) it seems to me that its a foolhardy policy to rely on a few .50 armed APCs (or worse softskins) or light recce vehicles to deter an enemy force.

Of course addressing this threat has to be balanced with the considerations of logistical support, environmental impact and political sensitivities.
Modern MBTs are obviously a good solution in terms of survivability, mobility and firepower, but they are also high maintenance, loud, and threatening...perhaps forcing the Commander to choose between using them for close protection in built up areas and on roads or keeping them out of the way in the name of avoiding destruction to the infrastructure and frightening the local populace.

Wheeled Heavies such as the Centauro or Piranha with 90 or 105mm gun provide long range solutions but suffer much the same vulnerability as their .50 armed cousins in close proximity (although in terms of fire support and FCS they would be up to most jobs required of peacekeeping/Enforcement forces).

The equipping of WAPCs and IFVs with automatic cannon is another commonly popular solution although I personally see little advantage over the use of Cavalry vehicles (such as the Spanish VEC used in support of several of their deployments including Iraq).

Heavier tracked vehicles such as the CV90 offer a degree of survivablility and mobility than wheeled troop carriers, and although they create similar environmental impacts to MBTs, in Missions with large areas of wilderness or undeveloped rural areas to cover such as UNMIL that impact is lessened by the lack of developed road networks which inversely increases the usefulness of the vehicle.

Some lighter tracked vehicles (M113/ UD AIFV/BVS 206/210) can be fitted with rubber track pads that lessen their impact on concrete surfaces although the pads themselves are worn out fairly quickly.

So how should Armies (not just ours) be providing for organic fire support of Troops deployed on Peace Enforcement/keeping missions; are AFVs the answer at all?
If they are, should they use seperate fire support be provided by dedicated platforms or armed APCs.
Is the need for shorter ranged Autocannon type weapon systems or more traditional long ranged gun systems, or a mixture of both.

California Tanker
6th May 2005, 18:25
In my experience, there is something to be said for a huge gun that makes a noise that can be heard several miles away. Even if it doesn't hit anything, it'll make people think thrice about taking it on. The psychological effect outweighs the combat disadvantages.

NTM

Muzzle
6th May 2005, 20:23
In my experience, there is something to be said for a huge gun that makes a noise that can be heard several miles away. Even if it doesn't hit anything, it'll make people think thrice about taking it on. The psychological effect outweighs the combat disadvantages.

NTM
Reminds me of Kellys Heros... :wink:

hedgehog
6th May 2005, 20:42
In my experience, there is something to be said for a huge gun that makes a noise that can be heard several miles away. Even if it doesn't hit anything, it'll make people think thrice about taking it on. The psychological effect outweighs the combat disadvantages.

i remember been on the op in the black hole in the dead of a winter trip and the merckava could be heard leaving Safal Howal over 6 miles away - it would take an hour to reach the compound and the thought of the noise still scares the shite out of me, and every so often it would recce by fire using its main wepaon, its a wonder i ever had clean jocks

GoneToTheCanner
7th May 2005, 00:28
Hello all
Bring a tank with a big gun and intimidate the rebels/freedom fighters/terrorists and be ready and willing to get your retaliation in. First, if need be. Adopt the Israeli attitude that any fire recieved will be returned ten-fold. Equally, any kindness recieved will be returned, ten-fold,etc,etc. If the Yugoslav wars taught the West anything, it was that the opposition will pounce on any percieved weakness and exploit it ruthlessly and will only back off when stood up to. Force must be met by force.
I'm fed up of seeing those that want to do good being slaughtered because of a failure of their Governments to back them up.
Rant mode to silent
GttC

California Tanker
7th May 2005, 01:20
Well, put it another way. When we got to Mosul, they took pot shots at the tanks every day for a week+. I opened up with main gun, they didn't go near us again (except for a single sniper round) for three weeks. Brads and Strykers didn't have that effect.

NTM

ex pat 007
7th May 2005, 02:58
I was in a running 6 hour fire fight in As Samawah that ended abruptly when he 3rd ID sent some armor to support us.

Bosco
7th May 2005, 17:14
Well, put it another way. When we got to Mosul, they took pot shots at the tanks every day for a week+. I opened up with main gun, they didn't go near us again (except for a single sniper round) for three weeks. Brads and Strykers didn't have that effect.

NTM

hmm effective then :biggrin:

Come-quickly
8th May 2005, 11:11
The other advantage of deploying a heavy armour force is the intimidation factor at state level, say if the Swedes sent a Battalion of Strv122s and an Armoured infantry battalion to provide a rapid reaction force for a UN mission in Darfur.
The Sudanese government would suddenly be negotiating with somethat that had a strong likelyhood of carving its armed forces in a few days.
The simple fact is that infantry no matter how elite are too easy to bog down.

hedgehog
8th May 2005, 12:45
The use of lightweight cavalry vehicles or heavy machine gun armed utlility vehicles for fire support on overseas missions (not just by us) seems to be an accepted method of discouraging interference by local combatant or criminal elements


In my experience, there is something to be said for a huge gun that makes a noise that can be heard several miles away. Even if it doesn't hit anything, it'll make people think thrice about taking it on. The psychological effect outweighs the combat disadvantages.



If the Yugoslav wars taught the West anything, it was that the opposition will pounce on any percieved weakness and exploit it ruthlessly and will only back off when stood up to. Force must be met by force.


I was in a running 6 hour fire fight in As Samawah that ended abruptly when he 3rd ID sent some armor to support us.


The Sudanese government would suddenly be negotiating with somethat that had a strong likelyhood of carving its armed forces in a few days.
The simple fact is that infantry no matter how elite are too easy to bog down


dear jim sreenan and willie o dea and the numb nuts civil servants that ruin the defence forces
please read the above quotes and it will save you a fortune that no doubt you want ot give to price waterhouse- none of us are management consultants just plain old soldiers - some with experience of these new fangled contraptions called tanks.
yours etc

GoneToTheCanner
8th May 2005, 14:37
Two points: In Bosnia, the Brits found that the 30mm gun on it's Warriors wasn't always sufficient for destroying Serb(and other) hardened structures such as ammunition bunkers and gun pits.One guy was heard bemoaning the lack of the "old 76" of the Scorpion, as he watched his rounds being shrugged off by a concrete-reinforced bunker.
Secondly, the most effective way to get the Sudanese Government's attention would be to destroy their Air Force and their bases. Their AN-12s and MiGs are still carrying out bombing missions on defenceless villages.Some of that wonderful LGB equipment, as used in the GW1 and 2 would be just right. Or, failing that, a squadron of Abrams given a free hand.

regards
GttC