Jump to content
This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here: mysite.com/cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

Slater

Rheinmetall Lynx for US Army?

Recommended Posts

Give it a few neon stripes and it could be in the new Tron film ^_^

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With the mood music from the White House and its resident toupee on imports, I can't see anything not invented in the US having much of a chance.  Notwithstanding the US content or even US manufacture of a Lynx variant.  Look at what happened to the Presidential Helicopter, where the EH-101 was chosen and then the deal overturned for a Sikorsky product even though the EH-101 had a greater US content than Sikorsky.

 

USMC has chosen an Iveco-derived design, and that decision has not yet been overturned.  Probably because all the US 8x8s are in fact foreign designs (Piranha 2 and 3) and there is nothing indigenous.  GD of course now own MOWAG, Steyr and Santa Barbara and thus own the Piranha, Pandur and ASCOD designs - and have been licence-building Leopards at Santa Barbara after they bought that company.

 

I imagine that GD will be pitching something based on the ASCOD platform, although that is again a European design: but is at least US-owned.  That's what the UK has bought and is being pitched for the Australian requirement, alongside Lynx and others.  As part of that deal Rheinmetall are offering a turret upgrade on the previously-chosen Boxer to a common turret for improved supportability and reduced training.  They could offer something similar for the Stryker, the external 30mm mount being fitted to some of these being clearly a stop-gap.

 

In previous attempts to replace the Bradley under FCS, GCV and FCV, improved versions of the Bradley have been proposed and even prototyped.  There is nothing intrinsically wrong with the Bradley platform and the improvements desired by the US relate more to armament, systems and survivability.  Mobility systems can be improved relatively easily.  US Army is already buying the Bradley-based AMPV to replace M113s at the rate of 3 Brigades every 2 years,  Support commonality is a powerful factor, as the initial cost of most armoured vehicles accounts for only 20-25% of their through-life cost, excluding upgrades and life extension etc.

 

I can't see BAES pitching a CV90-based offering as they own the Bradley design.  In recent years this platform has been cleaning-up in Europe and the choice of the ASCOD platform by the UK went something against that grain, although the CV90 offering was far inferior.

 

Any US supplier who loses the deal - even to another US supplier - is likely to take a complaint to the General Accounting Office.  This has become far more common of late as company survival increasingly depends on winning deals for equipment that may be in service for 20-30 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the same website:

 

"GD submitted an offering that combines a version of its latest Abrams turret with a chassis that leverages experience from the United Kingdom’s AJAX program."

 

An Abrams turret on an Ajax chassis? Presumably this is an enlarged/strengthened chassis?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The exception to prove the rule?- Boeing MH139 (Based on the Leonardo AW139) won the USAF competition to replace it's UH-1N's. 

 

MH139 

 

I'll be watching the developments in this with interest, maybe there's hope for a bit of transatlantic trade!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, a Boeing/SAAB team won the USAF trainer award, although I'm not sure how much workshare SAAB will actually get.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Abrams' turret is hardly appropriate for an IFV.  It's huge and very heavy: several tons even with a lighter gun.  A lot of unnecessary weight in the turret, and all of it top weight: unstable. Some of the turret systems, almost certainly.

 

A lengthened ASCOD platform (+1 wheel station) was postulated for the UK Medium Armour family, a concept that is currently shelved but I suspect we haven't seen the last of it.  That was planned to mount a low-recoil 120mm smoothbore, much like the BAES Hagglunds CV90120 concept demonstrator that has been hawked around arms fairs for the past 12 years or more with no takers.  The gun is by RUAG, derived from the Rheinmetall original.  Medium Armour was to include an AVLB and ARV, and possibly an AEV and a new 155mm SPG.

 

Yes, the US is buying non-US products.  The Presidential helo was very much a prestige thing.  The AW139 is used by USAF primarily for SAR and administrative transport: non-combat roles, and ones for which it is in civilian use.  USMC, the largest UN-1N user, hasn't leaped on that bandwagon and continues to upgrade the venerable Model 212.  The EC155 has been adopted by Army Aviation as the Lakota, but again for non-combat roles: it isn't considered combat-worthy.  Coast Guard has had the Dauphin/Dolphin for years.  The BAES Hawk was adopted by USN as the Goshawk.  The Thales PRR is in widespread ground forces use.  Belgian, German and Italian small arms have been adopted.  The USMC LAV and Army Stryker are Swiss, and the LAV successor is Italian.  There are others.

 

But in terms of what you might call front-line battle-winning equipment, the penetration of non-US products is still low.  And the US has of course had its eye on exports.  If you want a Piranha version you go to Switzerland, not the US.  If you want an ASCOD you go to GD ELCS, not GD LS: Spain, not US.  If you want an Abrams you have to go to the US.  And the recent White House rhetoric has been very much about spending US tax $$ in the US and protecting US industry against foreign inroads and off-shoring.

 

But we can speculate all we like.  Which is entertaining.  But it isn't a decision that any of us has a hand in or which affects any of us.  And we shall see what happens.  But whenever Warrior comes up for replacement in 3035-40, I suspect the UK will be looking for a non-developmental OTS solution.  We've done that with MIV and MRV(P).  So whatever the US has will likely be a strong contender.  Their economy of scale will always have price advantages.  We won't see the successful vehicle in US service before about 2023, I suspect, and not fully fielded until well into the 2030's.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IIRC, the US M777 155mm towed howitzer is a UK design, as is the current 105mm howitzer. If it hadn't been for the NIH syndrome, US infantry would have been equipped with the FN FAL rifle instead of the M14.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes the M777 was a VSEL design and some parts of the carriage were made at Barrow.  US insists that all its ordnance is made in the US, so all the guns were made at Watervliet Arsenal.  Because every M777 ever sold has been made in the US its UK origin is widely overlooked.  The UK has no capability now to make any gun barrel larger than 12.7mm, since MOD gave BAES permission to close and bulldoze the barrel shop at Barrow a few years back.

 

The 105mm M119 is a version of the Woolwich-designed Light Gun with a shorter barrel for the US ammunition.  UK used that barrel for training until about 2005 while we still had US ammunition left over from Pack Howitzer days.  Most of the export L/M119s were US-manufactured.

 

USMC uses the L16 81mm mortar as the M252.  Ironically UK may have to buy US barrels as we can't make them ourselves any more.  Half our L16s are still A1s, limited to Charge 3 and used for training only.  The other half are A2s which can fire Charge 6 and are used operationally,  But they're getting worn out.

 

I did say there were other foreign-origin products.  But something as important as the Army's principal MICV is a different prospect.  Although with apparently only an evolved Bradley as the sole US prospect, a foreign-origin design must be a strong prospect.

 

As for small arms calibres, 2 US Army Chiefs of Staff were permitted to make personal decisions in 1936 and 1952 to over-rule evidenced selection decisions for personal agenda reasons.  The .276 Pedersen round should have been adopted in 1936, speeding adoption of a light semi-automatic rifle.  But was overturned in favour of keeping .30-06 because of a personal preference of COS for long-range marksmanship by all rather than by designated marksmen.  Same thing in 1952: .280 was recommended, but 7.62x51 - essentially a rimless .30-06 - was again selected by COS because he liked long-range marksmanship despite overwhelming combat evidence that few engagements took place at ranges over 200m.  The chosen weapon was indeed the original FAL, designed for the .280 round but later re-designed for 7.62.  But that was rejected in favour of what was essentially an improved Garand: the M14.  The irony is that the .280 actually carried more energy further than the 7.62mm - a fact not realised at the time because the energy transfer needed to deliver an incapacitating wound was under-estimated by about 60%.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the AJAX-based Griffin III: 50mm main armament (85 degree elevation/20 degree depression), Iron Fist Active Protection System,  Remote Weapon Station, drone launcher, .338 Norma coax machine gun. 

 

ZmaGREM.jpg

 

LI6ISD1.jpg

 

SrBgVup.jpg 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Slater said:

I take it that naval gun barrels (or possibly the entire guns) are US sourced?

US insists that ALL ordnance - land, air and naval - is US-manufactured regardless of design origin.

 

As for the UK, the current 4.5" Mk8 naval guns were UK-manufactured at Barrow.  Once RO Nottingham closed that was the sole large calibre (>30mm) gun barrel manufacturing facility in the UK.  While the AS90s were built at Barrow, their ordnance was built at Nottingham, as were the Light Guns.  Although the Mk8 gun was developed from the 105mm gun in the Abbot SPG, 4.5" calibre was chosen in order to be compatible with existing ammunition for the predecessor 4.5" Mk6 twin mount as the 2 overlapped in service for a decade or more and we had stacks of it.

 

No new Mk8s have been built for many years: I believe the last were for the Type 23 frigates.  The ones fitted to the Type 45s are second-hand units recycled and refurbished from decommissioned ships going for scrap.  They get fired so little that they have much life remaining.  A 155mm conversion using the AS90 ordnance was proposed but dropped.  It would have been another "odd" calibre incompatible with alliance naval ammunition, as is the 4.5.  The Germans actually fitted a compete PzH2000 155mm turret to a frigate for trials, but dropped the idea.

 

For the next-generation Type 26 frigate, the decision has been taken to switch to the US 5" Mk 45 gun.  Whether the French or Italian 5"/127mm guns would have been a better bet is an open question, but BAES obviously pushed their own gun for their own ship.  The latest Mod 4 gun with the L/62 barrel fires to 24km and a guided munition with an objective 50+km range is under development.  Whether RO Glascoed will be reconfigured to manufacture 5" ammunition remains to be seen.  The 4.5" will be with us for many years yet, assuming that the Type 45 isn't refitted with the 5".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, GMK said:

This is the AJAX-based Griffin III: 50mm main armament, .338 Norma coax machine gun. 

Now that's where armament systems should be going!  Never mind clinging to the 30mm Mk44...................  The weapon system originally proposed for Puma was a 35/50mm gun, but that was dropped in favour of a 30mm on cost grounds.  We're seeing 57mm on Russian IFVs now. 

 

Do I presume that the 50mm is an up-growth of the 40mm Mk4 Bushmaster or is it a new weapon?  UK of course made the brave decision to go for the 40mm CTAS gun.  Is this a 50mm version of that?  The extreme elevation suggests that it might be, as the inboard elevating mass length of the CTAS is particularly short and the ammunition feed is through the trunnions, which simplifies feed angle changes with flexible chutes.  I can't see a round case ejection port on this side of the turret in line with the trunnion, which I would expect for CTAS.  But the recoil mechanism covers close to the mantlet are similar to CTAS.  The US looked at the 40mm CTAS way back on the UK/US TRACER programme but it is a much more mature weapon system now than it was in the 90's.

 

.338 is an improvement on both 7.62 and 12.7mm in different ways.

 

I love the stealth covering.  Good luck injection-moulding that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 50mm Supershot is based on the 30mm, but is more compact (don’t know how). 

 

o1U9ioT.jpg

 

As can be seen, it’s not a case-telescoped round. I understand the pros and cons of case telescoped cartridges; like bull pup rifles, I’ve settled on “interesting, but irrelevant.” (Hybrid cartridge cases now deliver greater pressures, velocities, terminal effects, consistency, and accuracy from shorter barrels, making barrel length less important than in the past.)

 

The .338 Norma uses a different cartridge case than the .338 Lapua Magnum, which is “forcing” the development of .338 Norma sniper rifles. 

 

I’m going to CAD up that signature management stuff and see if I can 3D print it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting.  .338 Norma has a shorter case and fires from a shorter-stroke action movement than .338 Lapua, so is potentially better for automatic weapons to maintain a good rate of fire.  Allegedly, both are equally accurate given the right choice of cartridge for the weapon although the Lapua does carry more energy further.  Heat build-up might be an issue: both are certainly warm loads, if not hot.  Introducing a new general service small arms calibre has the potential to need NATO consent.

 

That's quite a short-looking case for the 50mm.  With only the Norma case for reference, it looks as if it might still be based on the 30mm case dimensions, as was the failed 37mm Supershot derivative.  Noting what you say about hybrid cases (is that what we used to call high-low pressure?), I wonder how that will affect performance.  I'm presuming that's an HE round and that the AP round will be APDS.  The Mk4 Bushmaster was chambered for the Bofors round and so would handle a longer and larger-diameter case.

 

Presumably it's therefore a derivative of the Mk44 Bushmaster?  I wonder what they've done to make it more compact.  Apparently moved some of the recoil recuperation outside the mantlet by mounting the weapon further forward and potentially out of balance, looking at the shape of the barrel shroud.  Flexible ammunition feed at greatly-variable elevation can be a problem.  If they've mounted the weapon with the feed through the trunnions that problem is eased, and would also reduce the inboard length.  Could it be side magazine-fed?  Unlikely, I guess.  A bit retrograde and mags would be heavy to handle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×