LAV-3 [Light Armored Vehicle] ready for Nth Korea?

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LAV-3 [Light Armored Vehicle] ready for Nth Korea?

There have been comments on the net that these vehicles would be at the forefront of an attack on Nth Korea, owing to their versility and ease of deployment.

It is belived that 3 battalions will be deployed to Alaska next month to Fort Wainright from Fort Knox. Just in time for a spring offensive.

This is part of a briefing on the vehicles from 2000, indeed well designed for lightening fast strikes in an area where backup would be a problem.

More information on the site..

I'd like to hit a couple of the high points about this vehicle. And I'd start with the bottom left: 14.5 millimeter armor-piercing all-around protection; and that's as this vehicle rolls of the ramp of a C-130.

One of the criteria is that it's C-130 transportable, so these vehicles are all capable of being transported on a C-130. And I said vehicles because I will describe to you shortly that we were acquiring not a single system, but a capability for a brigade combat team; a family of vehicles that were designed to fight together. And that was one of the characteristics which we are looking for in this acquisition was the commonality across all of those platforms to achieve that fighting capability. But that 14.5 protection coming off the ramp far exceeded what we had requested and gives our soldiers a survivability edge as they roll off a C-130. That's all-around protection as well, so that's overhead, not just the sides and front glacis.

Secondly: 60 miles-an-hour sustained speeds. If you go back and review what the Army has been studying for the past 10 years or so which were often captured under the Army After Next studies that were done previously, you may remember that the publication was titled, "Speed and Power." And so there are aspects of speed which we believe will be critical to the future battlefield. And that speed is in two senses. One, it's the strategic deployability -- getting to the battlefield, and hence the C-130 deployability -- and secondly, it's the tactical mobility on the battlefield, and that is the 60 mile-per- hour speed which this family of vehicles provides to us.

When you look at that top speed in terms of what it means in tactical operations where you're moving by tactical convoys and in formations, that allows you to move at much higher speeds than we are currently. An example would be, most military operations today that convoy from point A to point B have limitations of about 25 miles per hour with then a catch-up speed of five miles an hour faster than that.

This vehicle will allow us to move at convoy speeds very safely at 40 miles an hour with higher catch-up speeds. And since all the vehicles possess the same characteristics, whether it's cross-country or on highway, they move as a fighting unit, a brigade combat team, and are able to fight and arrive at whatever mission that they are assigned together and retain that cohesiveness.

A third critical aspect that's contained in this is the low sustainment cost, the self-recovery, parts commonality. It's a desire that we have had to achieve a reduced logistics footprint. And that footprint is not just the size of the vehicle that you take into the battlefield, but it includes the fuel, the ammunition, the parts, the people, the recovery systems that are required to maintain that. This vehicle is self-recoverable. It has a very high inherent reliability. And it gives us the capability to significantly reduce our footprint as we see it today. And that's a big step forward to giving ourselves that ability to have sustainment.

There is a requirement for this vehicle to come off the ramps of those C-130s or out of a port on a ship or however they arrive in the operation to go 72 hours without external support, and these systems should be able to do that.

So this is taking us on the road to what you've seen as the objective force requirements of getting a brigade there in 96 hours, reduced logistics footprints, the agility, the survivability that we're seeking. It is not the final answer, by a long shot.

You will often hear the debate of track versus wheels. I would suggest to you that debate is still open. This is an off-the-shelf procurement today of what we see as the best capability for mobility with wheel vehicle. I mentioned to you its highway speeds. It also has a central tire inflation system, which from inside the vehicle allows us to change the tire pressure to allow for different flotation of those tires against different cross-country mobility. So that capability then allows us to adjust, whether you're running on a hard- surfaced road or a soft sand and mud.

And so, from a wheel vehicle perception -- perspective, that is a significant new capability for us.

The capability also to operate remotely our weapons station is a capability which increases the survivability of our soldiers. And while you don't see a turret on that vehicle, what you see is our ability to mount a 50-caliber machine gun or a M-19 grenade launcher, but operate it from inside the vehicle, remotely, and so the soldiers do not have to expose themselves to fire.

The command and control communications provides us the joint interoperability, and it will be performed through the system which we call today FBCB-2, the Force 21 Battle Command Brigade and below system, which has been undergoing testing at Fort Hood for the past few years. And if you've been following it, we just completed a test with the Bradley and Abrams, with that latest of that equipment, which was very successful. So we are achieving the interoperability both internally, within our own systems providing that situation awareness, and externally, through the global command and control system, to the joint world.

Fuel economy. We all have noticed that fuel prices have gone up, becomes a scarcity, and that becomes a driver into our operational support cost. This vehicle has very superior fuel economy to anything that we have today. So the operating and support costs are going to be driven lower and gives us an edge, then, in our ability to continue training, as well as operating at reduced costs.

Maintainability. As I mentioned, I think it has a very high inherent reliability. It's in the contract that we have awarded that they have to achieve that.

And so all round, this vehicle gives us the characteristics of -- for our soldiers of arriving at a battlefield with a survivable platform, being able to move at high speeds through the theaters of operation, being able to fight under cover, and being able operate with a reduced logistic footprint -- all goals that we are achieving and all goals that the request for proposal asked all of our of competitors to maximize their ability for the Army. And so we are very happy to see these results and that they have done that.

As I mentioned, we aren't buying a single vehicle; we're buying a capability, a platform.

So it's a series of vehicles. It comes in two basic configurations of our vehicle: The mobile gun system and the infantry carrier vehicle -- the IAV.

All of these other variants here are built on this derivative vehicle. And the chassis here for the mobile gun system is also common to that. So, from an automotive standpoint, they all have a common set of characteristics. Within that capability you also see that the variants have different capabilities that we apply, and I'll show you how that's organized in a company team shortly.

The basic system in the organization is built around infantry. And so the infantry carrier vehicle is the basic system that we have. A reconnaissance vehicle provides the capability for long-range reconnaissance and it has the LRAS-3 [Long Range Advanced Scout Surveillance System] which is a second-generation of FLIR forward-looking infrared system that we use in our current platforms. It is just being produced right now and will be incorporated into that vehicle.

The mortar carrier will incorporate everywhere from 60 to 120 millimeter mortar capability, depending upon where you are in the level of the organization. So it has inherently a capability to provide its own fire support within that organization.

The command vehicle is the central piece of where the commanders will operate from, providing them protection mobility. But the key command and control characteristics through our network system of FBCB-2 as well as the direct communications.

The fire support vehicle allows us to connect to our fire support systems external to the organization; that's our artillery systems and back to other joint capabilities, whether they be Air Force or Navy or Marine Corps. And so it provides that connectivity.

As I get to this point I will mention that three of these vehicles, and I'll start with this one -- the fire support vehicle. We'll start with the development phase. The others we'll go straight into their production phases. The three that require development are the fire support vehicle, the NBC [Nuclear, Biological and Chemical] reconnaissance vehicle, and the mobile gun system. Of the three, and I'll spend a little bit more time at the mobile gun system. It will take the longest as it is the closest to a full development.

The fire support vehicle will incorporate those fire support elements which are currently on our -- the systems that we call that we call Striker and Bradley FSTV [Fire Support Team Vehicle].

And we will integrate them into the LAV-3 to create our fire-support vehicle. That provides us laser designation to targets, as well as the command and control systems to be able to conduct those fires.

The NBC reconnaissance vehicle is the other vehicle which I said requires some development. We'll take the package which today is incorporated in our Fox, which is our reconnaissance vehicle today but that is not C-130 transportable. And so we will take the sensor packages and that capability and also integrate that into the LAV-3. But we are classifying that as a development program.

And then finally the mobile gun system, which is a 105 millimeter cannon. That's the same cannon that's on an M-1, not an [M-1]A-1, but the older M-1 tanks with the 105 cannon produced up in Watervliet Arsenal in New York. So that is an identical cannon that we have already produced.

So those are the three variants -- the fire-support vehicle, the NBC reconnaissance and the mobile gun system -- that require development.

Let's talk about the other vehicles. The engineer squad vehicle allows us to incorporate plows and rollers onto the LAV-3. It is not in the class of the Grizzly program which we cancelled. It is on a much lighter chassis. And so its capabilities will be limited to providing the clearing for this type of an organization in the 20-ton class of vehicles as opposed to the larger, heavier vehicles.

The medical evacuation vehicles and ambulance. The anti-tank guided missile takes what is our current generation of TOWs [Tube- launched,Optically-tracked, Wire-guided], the ITAS [Improved Target Acquisition System], and provides that integrated into the LAV chassis. That capability is proving itself very well out in the field today. And importantly, because this is going to be the longest development effort we have there, we will use this vehicle in lieu of this one until we are ready to bring the mobile gun system into full production.
By netchicken: posted on 29-6-2003

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