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Marko

Are IFV's a worth while asset on the modern battlefield

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Thought this topic mite make for a good debate

I have read articles from some military theorist expressing a view IFV are not worth there high cost and are basically death traps for the troops inside.

One Israeli general was quoted as saying there a Mercedes when a ford will do the job just as well when answering questions about a captured BMP-1 capability's compared to a M113

The M113/halftrack. both  will do the job of getting your troops to the fight. obviously IFV's they have evolved in to very sophisticated pieces of hardware since the Yom Kippur  war.

They give your troop protection from arty they have excellent mobility can hit a target whilst on the move give you some protection from attack helicopters and CAS planes

But in reality something as basic as a M113 APC can do most of the above but are considerately cheaper.

 

 

Personally I like them but can see the argument that there costing to much.

For example the new German army IFV the Puma costs something like seven million euro  per unit. (according to Wikipedia)

Not sure how much the other IFV,s like the Bradley warrior CV-90 but I am sure its in the millions per unit

I don't know for sure but a APC with out all the bells and whistles would probable cost a lot less and do most of what the IFV can do.

What are Your thoughts on this topic.

 

Edited by Marko

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I would say that it is better to be in the infantry on the side with IFVs than on the side without them. It sucks to be on the side that's out gunned. They add considerable firepower and can reduce the need for tanks in some environments. Cost is always going to be an issue. If you continually take away little things to shave costs we'll eventually be fighting wars with swords and crossbows again...

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I remember seen such topic on some Finnish forum. Where basic complaint was that instead of buying a platoon of cv9030s, army should have bough 4-MT-LBs (you know those flath poorly armored troop carriers) and 2 old leo 2A4s. - With same cost of cv90s, would have got more troops to battlefield, and more firepower, that can engage even tanks unlike cv9030 alone.

 

In the end...   I think result was that peoples more or less agreed that such thing as modern IFV has its spot as a spearhead or mechanized infantry. That it together with tanks can have better performance on very difficult, demanding mission than older equipment. But that both. New hi-tech, and old low tech both have their place on modern battlefield and both are necessary.  It just simply doesn't work to have little amount of Hi-tech, or huge amount of low tech...  but to mix those two to get best benefit. Where it goes to numbers game and strategy...  I assume.    AKA you need enough of AFV to battlefield, and you need to have, hi-tech at where its needed most, and low-tech where, hi-tech would simply be needles overkill.

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I wholly disagree with the idea of IFV's  not being worth their money. I have served on a PBV302 Coy (like a M113 but with a old 20mm that isn't much better then 0.50cal in penetration) and in CV9040 Coy and the difference that brought in combat tactics, pace and possibilities. 

 

Let's go through some basic combat situations and compare what respective platform can and can't do.

 

Attack
APC Coy: With weak armor and armament the APC can just deliver the infantry to the fight and give somewhat support with its minor guns, but it have to stay back to save the APC. The infantry have to dismount and take the target by foot exposing them to all kind of enemy counter-fire like direct and indirect fire and personnel mines, barbed wire etc at a earlier stage than really needed. Sure dismounting and letting the infantry have a go att it is something also the CV Coy does but they can decide when it's suitable to do it, the APC Coy MUST always dismount to attack. If under the attack the infantry comes up on APC/IFV they have to maneuver to good position (assuming there is such) to take them out or go defensive and let them drive into their arc of fire - not very flexible.
Dismounting infantry in every attack means that your tempo of attack slows down allot, even when it's light opposition you have to dismount which takes time. That gives the enemy time to reorganize and set up new defence or mount a counter-attack. 


CV Coy: With stronger armor and armament the CV coy can attack into enemy areas if the enemy isn't TO strong and with good thermals and gun can take on all IFV/APC on the battlefield today and even some older tanks. With good HE rounds and MG they can detect and waste infantry before APC can do it and keep pushing. Smaller enemy forces can be dealt with by the CVs themselves or (like in Swedish CV9040) mounted infantry blasting them with AK5 and MG fire while on the move. If the terrain or opposition demands it the infantry can dismount and clear the area by foot with the CV close behind (as they can be close behind because of its firepower and protection) 

 

Defense 

APC Coy: On the defence the APC Coy once again must rely on the infantry to do the fighting with APC in cover position to engage enemy light armor like BRDM etc while the infantry have to deal with heavier IFVs with ATGM or M136/Carl gustav traps.

The APC besides taking out light enemy armor (and infantry of course) pretty much only becomes transport taxi between the fighting positions for the infantry.

 

CV Coy: Behaves like the APC Coy except the fact that the CVs can take out most IFV/APC coming their way and some older tanks and can work much better with the infantry taking out stuff even in bad weather conditions using its TI and long range gun. a CV Coy can start engaging enemy targets (and bigger targets) further out than APC Coys can. But just like the APC Coy against tanks they need support of either ATGM or friendly tanks.

 

Recon/Combat recon

In recce /Combat recce the APC Coy and CV90 coy are fairly equal in how they operate but biggest difference is survivability when contact is established and observation. CV have TI and stabilised gun which M113 don't. The CV have bigger gun that can do more against enemy APC/IFV or dismounts that get encountered during combat recce while the APC have light armament.

 

If in doubt

Steel Beasts are a perfect tool here. Anyone in doubt if IFV are worth their money should set up different standard situations as described above and see which vehicle gives the best cover/power/enemy knocked out.

 

/KT

 

Edited by Kingtiger

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Operational Analysis - who'd have thought. ;)

 

Of course that assumes the gear is in use. Spending lots on something you don't use has similar implications for a nation as insurance does for a home.

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Using simulation to conduct OA, that will never catch on. Even if it does, if it does not match the budget we will dutifully ignore the analysis!

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2 minutes ago, CharlieB said:

if it does not match the budget we will dutifully ignore the analysis!

It's so sad but so true. Same shit going on over here in Sweden. 

/KT

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Good thing is that others, including possible enemies have same problem. Its very hard to afford to have all possible needs to be fulfilled with best possible equipment. 

 

Ones have to do what with they can have and what is good enough to their needs. Trying to estimate how much they need best possible equipment and how much use not so good or even older -   called obsolete equipment still could do on battlefield... and especially where and how to get best use of these these two.

 

 

I'm afraid that only in video games one can play with best possible vehicles, equipment, and ammunition without any concern of how high cost of having it at use in first place has taken. 

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46 minutes ago, Major duck said:

And some of the newer IFV actually have the ability to completely blind enemy Tanks by taking out all optics with air burst ammunition and a tank that can't see can't shoot   

 

http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2009gunmissile/7923paulissen.pdf

 

Great stuff but it doesn't have any range figures.

 

So you see a tank at 2,500m can you blind it before the APFSDS round coming the other way at a higher muzzle velocity does a bit more than blind you?

 

It might work in a knife fight but I notice the pretty graphs show lines, but not information per se.

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KETF rounds aren't THAT different from APFSDS muzzle velocities. The velocity decay is of course higher, but if the IFV can maintain a four second advantage over the tank, blinding could occur before retaliation.

 

Of course, this assumes that the contact for both is more or less head-on. Shooting sights from the side doesn't work for rather obvious reasons.

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11 hours ago, Scrapper_511 said:

According to Wikipedia, Bradleys killed more armor than the Abrams.

Yes I read this to the Bradley did its job well the tow launcher although slow to deploy according to accounts proved very effective.

But USMC accounted for a considerable percentage of AFV kills in ODS and they don't use the Bradley.

I have also heard the  BMP's could be taken out with a fifty cal from the side .

Just to clarify I am not against IFV's but I can see merit in the argument that they have become to expensive

 

 

Edited by Marko

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If you want to use tanks, you need IFV. Otherwise tanks can not operate in a reasonable pace. So if you see the 1st point as given...expense is only of limited priority

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Depends on the terrain.  In the open desert IFV's are less of a need as enemy troops and positions cannot be hidden as easily, and the threat of an ambush is less.  In forested or urban areas the MBT's need more eyes on their flanks to be safe.

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The AARs from desert storm( at least those that where not US or 5-eyes only) suggest the high value of the M3 as a Cav vehicle. The Scouts where able to overcome enemy that would have been deadly for ligther vehicles. Same goes for the M2s in clearing obstacles and reverse slope trenches for the tanks.

Edited by Grenny

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isn't concept of IFV to fill gaps made by MBTs in eny lines ?

 

I am sure trucks or "dumb" APCs can do the same role of Modern IFVs to an extent , but i cant imagine either of those provide any support to Inf as they are assaulting built up areas. 

Nothing like a BMP2 firing a msl into a 3rd floor window of a building to take out a pain in the a$$ eny pos. It sure beats pushing troops to assault the structure. 

 

IFVs also has more psychological effect on eny compared to trucks.

 

 

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nah ash, that not the concept. The IFV is there to have infantry close by in case tanks need their support.

So they have to be able to manouver under fire and provide meaningful fire support for the infantry. The job of the infantry itself is to protect the tanks.

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It's pretty much a system, where each component of that system supports other components. Pure idea of combined arms.

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2 hours ago, ashdivay said:

isn't concept of IFV to fill gaps made by MBTs in eny lines ?

 

I am sure trucks or "dumb" APCs can do the same role of Modern IFVs to an extent , but i cant imagine either of those provide any support to Inf as they are assaulting built up areas. 

Nothing like a BMP2 firing a msl into a 3rd floor window of a building to take out a pain in the a$$ eny pos. It sure beats pushing troops to assault the structure. 

 

IFVs also has more psychological effect on eny compared to trucks.

 

 

Slightly of topic

In the first Russian assault on Grozny.

The rebels had AFV hunting teams and decimated the Russian convoys  Even the BMP-2  with there auto cannons were cannon fodder to the rebels you could argue it was down to Poor tactics and leadership.

 I think its one of the reasons the Russians developed the terminator BMPT combat support vehicle.

 I have been told You cant beat The mark one eye ball, many  troops would rather patrol on foot  in a urban environment

Not sure how the latest IFV's would fair against RPG's like the 7/9 but there are a lot of never types like the RPG 32 that have incredible penetration capability's

 

 

Quote

 

 

 

Edited by Marko

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The idea isn't to keep the infantry mounted in urban environments. But still, with infantry dismounted they will need fire support, and that fire support must therefore be designed to be survivable in the urban terrain. That doesn't mean IFVs have to be impervious to threats, tanks aren't either, after all. But if you make them sufficiently tough it forces the opponent to go at length to stage attacks that have a chance of success. Better RPGs and ATGMs can be the answer, but access to them isn't guaranteed (depending on who the opponen it, of course) and creates another dependency on the opponent's side.

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As a former 11M Infantryman who served in an M2A1 unit, I swear by the IFV's over being on foot or in a M113 any hour of the day. 

 

The concept of mechanized infantry is speed and firepower.  The speed is for keeping up with tanks and being able to cover much more ground by transport or by offensive maneuvers that boots could never accomplish.  Firepower is for just that: firepower that a grunt cannot carry.  Being inside a carrier protects you from a majority of mines and small arms fire, as APC's and IFV's provide.  The firepower of the 25mm gun and the TOWS (Tired Old Weapon) supports the dismounts at ranges never made possible until now.  Any tank that sees a wire-guided missile coming at them from 3000+ meters should be very afraid.  Why use IFV's?  For combined arms fire.  Costs are a problem for those who cannot buy armored vehicles, but there is a place for mechanized infantry in nearly any environment.  Swamps and high mountains?  No.  Everywhere else?  You bet. 

 

Something else that most people do not realize is the supply in each Bradley.  If I recall, 5 total missile types (TOWS, Dragons, etc), 2 MG mounts, 5 additional rifle mounts, and storage for an unbelievable amount of weapons and ammo such as mines, LAWS, grenades, food, water.  Things you just can't carry on your back or have easily supplied by trucks or air drops.  The Bradley was my home and we (except for the DX'd Rangers) were proud of it. 

 

The only downside to IFVs is the same problem as tanks: maintenance and burning inside of one.

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9 hours ago, RedWardancer said:

As a former 11M Infantryman who served in an M2A1 unit, I swear by the IFV's over being on foot or in a M113 any hour of the day. 

 

The concept of mechanized infantry is speed and firepower.  The speed is for keeping up with tanks and being able to cover much more ground by transport or by offensive maneuvers that boots could never accomplish.  Firepower is for just that: firepower that a grunt cannot carry.  Being inside a carrier protects you from a majority of mines and small arms fire, as APC's and IFV's provide.  The firepower of the 25mm gun and the TOWS (Tired Old Weapon) supports the dismounts at ranges never made possible until now.  Any tank that sees a wire-guided missile coming at them from 3000+ meters should be very afraid.  Why use IFV's?  For combined arms fire.  Costs are a problem for those who cannot buy armored vehicles, but there is a place for mechanized infantry in nearly any environment.  Swamps and high mountains?  No.  Everywhere else?  You bet. 

 

Something else that most people do not realize is the supply in each Bradley.  If I recall, 5 total missile types (TOWS, Dragons, etc), 2 MG mounts, 5 additional rifle mounts, and storage for an unbelievable amount of weapons and ammo such as mines, LAWS, grenades, food, water.  Things you just can't carry on your back or have easily supplied by trucks or air drops.  The Bradley was my home and we (except for the DX'd Rangers) were proud of it. 

 

The only downside to IFVs is the same problem as tanks: maintenance and burning inside of one.

 

There's no Doubt in my mind a IFV is superior to a APC  whether there worth the high cost compared to a basic PC /battle Taxi the jury is still out IMO anyway.

Reading the comments from military personnel serving and retired  its clear no one believes there an expensive and unnecessary asset though.

 thanks for the comments enjoyed reading them.

That's what I like about this site there's a wealth of knowledge and expertise.

 

Edited by Marko

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