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Something for a Rainy day

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  • Something for a Rainy day

    With yet another rainy season pending in a medium risk mission in Africa we find our colleagues in theatre reliant on Piranha WAPCs once again.

    While the quality of the PIII seems to be widely accepted it does have certain built in limitations when the roads turn to mud.

    My question, is there room for a supplementary tracked logistics/patrol vehicle in the Defence Forces - clearly funding would be an issue but it would fill a very noticeable capability gap.

    The Irish units in Liberia already worked along side BV 206s or BVS 10s and now the Battalion minus in Chad will be getting a comparative demonstration of their wheeled APCs against the Dutch BVS 10 (Viking) vehicles when the rainy season hits.

    Is obtaining a similar capability really that far of a stretch.

    The Dutch paid around €52million for their 74 vehicles in June 2005 with first deliveries in early 2006.

    My argument would be.

    1. They offer an enhanced mobility assett for patrolls and logs functions in low to medium risk environments.

    2. They offer similar levels of protection to the WAPCs already in service.

    3. They are already a proven and trusted vehicle in use with key future partners i.e. Sweden, Netherlands, UK.

    4. There is already a unit (sub unit really) in the Defence Forces whose remit includes maintaining a training and operations capability with Tracked vehicles*.

    5. For the increase in the logs burden of supporting another type of vehicle at home and on operational deployments outside the state you are getting a vehicle in use with partner nations, widespread availability of spares (there is some compatibility with the older unarmoured BVs) which both increases the total number of troops we can put under armour protection and retains superior manouevrability in all seasons with true off road capability.

    6. Like the Infantry PIIIs they are not a fighting vehicle in the true sense so there would be a minimum of doctrinal adjustment required to deploy them on operations.

    *It would also make the Scorpions a much more useful assett in that they would be capable of keeping pace with Vikings in places such as Liberia or Chad as well as the simple streamlining of logistics and maintenance in having two tracked types. - Basic fluff link.

    Note that the spiel states a dismount capacity of 11 - which probably indicates it could realistically carry a section of 9 if being used as an APC.

    "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke

  • #2
    Chad has a Rainy Season?

    Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.


    • #3
      I would be very much in favour of the DF having a vehicle like this, but instead of defensive fire support being provided by the Scorpions, I'd prefer it to be coming from CV90's.

      But I suppose beggars can't be choosers.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Goldie fish View Post
        Chad has a Rainy Season?
        Eastern Chad's rainy season is said to be between April and October. Although it seems to be at it'd height in July and August.
        You will never have a quiet world until you knock the patriotism out of the human race


        • #5
          Has the currently deployed 97 Inf Bn got any quads
          out there...? Useful for those hard to recah places....
          "Well, stone me! We've had cocaine, bribery and Arsenal scoring two goals at home. But just when you thought there were truly no surprises left in football, Vinnie Jones turns out to be an international player!" (Jimmy Greaves)!"


          • #6
            maybe they could send a few horses from the equitation school. At least u would be getting some military use out of them Irish Grey Scouts


            • #7
              How about trying some on topic posts if you are going to comment in the thread.

              Neither Quads or Horses have any relevance.
              "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke


              • #8
                both horses and quads would be useful during rainy season.

                As for tracked vehicles, they might be useful during rainy season in Chad, but Piranha has better mobility that you think, and anyway, the rebels will also be affected.
                And the next mission might be in an urban area, where the Piranha would be ideal. For example,if Obama does pull US troops out of Iraq, might irish soldiers be sent on a UN mission there?

                I think that if events in Chad show up onething it will be that not exercising the full option for 80 APC was a mistake, and more might be acquired.


                • #9
                  Goz Beida air strip in September.

                  You will never have a quiet world until you knock the patriotism out of the human race


                  • #10
                    Considering some of the mud this guy goes through, I wonder if you're not selling the Piranha short.


                    I got a hands-on demonstration of the astonishing mud-capability of the HMMWV in Ft Knox last week. Between a good driver, and a good vehicle, it's amazing what you can go through with wheels. I honestly was convinced several times that we were going to get bogged down, but we just unstuck ourselves with brute force. Was it as good as an M113? No, of course not, but an 8x8 is certainly a 95% solution.

                    California Tanker
                    My tank is bigger...
                    Last edited by California Tanker; 23 June 2008, 17:17.
                    Driver, tracks, troops.... Drive and adjust!!


                    • #11
                      @Paul G - Clearly we are not talking about the sort of taskings that can be carried out by horses or quad bikes.

                      With regards to the mobility of the PIII's there is a big difference between hockeying a vehicle around the offroad course/testing site and using it for sustained periods in an operational environment.
                      And I am open to correction by persons with first hand experience of operating the vehicles but I think the experience of crews operating the vehicles in Liberia was that the rainy season proved hugely limiting for the PIIIs.
                      Bearing in mind also that these are relatively lightweight vehicles and not really comparable to the wheeled brutes that the SADF developed in the 80s/90s with bundu bashing in mind.

                      The PIII has been selected as the mainstay of our future APC/Recce fleet for many reasons, mostly good but does that mean that we should blindly rule out any supplementary capability especially when it may become essential to mission effectiveness.

                      That said I think the government decision to lease medium lift helicopter support probably means that the solution is being sought in other directions.
                      "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke


                      • #12
                        Would a tracked vehicle really provide an advantage in the conditions of which you speak?

                        Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.


                        • #13
                          Lads, look back in time at the Germans trying to drive in the Russian mud or the Allies/Germans trying to operate in the worst winter in Italy in 1944 or the Allies/Japanese trying to operate in Burma/SE Asia in the rainy season.Often, the only thing able to operate was mules or pack horses.The failure rate for vehicles goes thru the roof, regardless of tracks or wheels.Also, all sides tried to fabricate "corduroy" roads from trees or steel matting or had to cut and lay new roads out of local stone/gravel.Chad might see the rise of the Engineer to the fore, to render roads/tracks usable... If the Viking or equivalent is the only usable vehicle, then maybe it's time for a rush order for a few of them.
                          Last edited by GoneToTheCanner; 24 June 2008, 19:54.


                          • #14


                            • #15
                              And what will the helicopters be using for landing sites? And who will dig them out when they are up their bellies in mud? And how will they be kept servicable if there's mud on every surface because their users didn't bring the means to build a dry pad for them....perhaps it's time for courses in alternatives to tar/concrete for hard surfaces....