Skip to comments.Army: GCV Needs to Be Big and Tracked (84 Tons!)
Posted on 02/26/2013 2:16:13 AM PST by Timber Rattler
Army requirements officials are not backing away from the services plan to field a tracked Ground Combat Vehicle that could weigh more than an Abrams M1 tank.
While a final weight hasnt been decided upon, Army officials maintain that the GCV will likely have to be considerably heavier than the Bradley Fighting Vehicle its replacing to protect the nine-man squad and crew from the powerful blast effects of enemy improvised explosive devices.
Its fairly easy for us to make a thicker underbelly plate or add a V-shaped hull to make the vehicle survivable, but what that does not address is the accelerated forces that come with that blast, Col. Rocky Kmiecik, director of the Mounted Requirements Division at the Armys Maneuver Center of Excellence, said at the Association of the U.S. Armys Winter Symposium. Right now the best way to protect the soldier is by having adequate space inside.
Kmiecik said the extra space allows for specialized features such as floating floors for blast deflection and extra headroom above the soldier.
Last fall, the Congressional Budget Office, projected that the GCV could weigh as much as 84 tons, making it heavier than an M1 Abrams and twice as heavy as the current Bradley.
(Excerpt) Read more at defensetech.org ...
But wasn't the the Stryker supposed to be the end-all, be-all of future American armored combat, to the point that BCTs and even new bases are now structured around them?
How does the Army plan on moving these things around anyway? And while they are supposed be IED proof (which I doubt), are they "enemy tank" and ATM proof?
Hitler was infatuated with gigantic armored vehicles, Krupp even made one, the Elefant, that weighted in at over eighty tons. During the Ardennes Offensive Royal Tiger tanks could not cross some of the bridges over the Meuse that the Germans managed to capture intact, German combat engineers had to reinforce the bridges while the offensive stalled.
This is not so much a “combat vehicle” as it is an uparmored colonial police wagon. It is not meant to counter the armed forces of a sovereign state, but to perform occupation and colonial administration duties.
No, the Stryker was always just an interim solution. They’ve been in service for a while, and the GCV was on-hold long enough that they had to do some fairly permanent things regarding training and infrastructure for the Stryker.
As to battlefield survivability, the GCV will be at least as durable as the Bradley is/was. Though, at this rate, they’re into overweight, undergunned-Merkava territory, and you’re right to wonder how they’ll transport these things. The M-1070 was necessary to move the Abrams, and the M-88 engineer vehicle struggles to handle it in recovery operations. At ten+ tons more, the M-88 will be unable to handle recoveries, and the 1070 cannot move something this heavy; they will need yet another even heavier transporter and a new engineer vehicle.
Design by Obama?
I think even an M-1 Abrams would have trouble punching a hole in that thing.
The Stryker was an “Interim Combat Vehicle”, and it’s worked quite well.
The GCV came out of a cancelled program to unify combat platforms (tank, artillery and IFV).
This thing is HUGE, but we can’t build every platform around IEDs, because it significantly impacts performance against other threats.
Once the civilians in charge of the DOD learn the cost of operting this beamouth, it will prompt them to put our soldiers back into wheel vehicles.
Why do you think we used Humvees instead of M113 APCs or Bradleys in Iraq?
At Ft. Knox in 1968, I recall seeing a monster US tank on display. It was taken out of service because it crushed road beds.
That would be Der Obamakampfwagen. Wagen is masculine.
Remember the Crusader “Gun”?
Another money pit that was just too big.
Yes,that is true,thank you.
However that was part of the joke. :)
Crusader wasn’t a “gun”, it was a self-propelled “howitzer” that was being developed to replace the M109.
Size was not the problem with the Crusader that caused it to be cancelled. It was the bone-headed decision to pursue liquid propellant.
How many gallons per mile does an 84 ton tracked vehicle require?
I tried and never finished a sci-fi story that had vehicles as large as naval ships, lol. I didn’t really think the US would head in that direction though
The Stryker was Shinseki’s plan to compete with the Marines for budget. We were going to fly Strykers into the combat zone in C-130s. They would roll off the aircraft anywhere in the world and bravely defeat our enemies. They encountered the same old problems. You have to make them light to transport them by air. That means RPGs and other anti-tank weapons can seriously harm them. They have to be big if you’re going to transport an Infantry squad in them. Big vehicles are easier to hit. The Air Force doesn’t want to use its money and equipment transporting the Army. The Navy doesn’t want to use its money and equipment transporting the Army. So, we have the Stryker......a vehicle crewed by the finest Soldiers in the world, that does none of the things that it’s supposed to do.
You are probably thinking of the M103 heavy tank, with a 120MM gun. It took 5 crew men to operate and wasn't so heavy it crushed road beds(not most of them anyway)but was way underpowered and cost too much to operate, was slow and sluggish, the M48(A1 and A2) and M60 medium tanks could outperform it and it was taken out of service because of its performance more than any other reason.
The M41 light tank, the M48 medium tank and the M103 heavy tank were all designed about the same time with the idea that many of the parts would be interchangeable. This didn't work out so well in practice.
I'm assuming this will be diesel instead of turbine like the Abrams, so it may well have better fuel economy than the Abrams. However it may still be a huge guzzler.
Depends on the gearing.
The T28 SHT (aka T95 GMC) was very underpowered as well as difficult to transport. It used a dual set of tracks on each side and its suspension was modified from the M4A3E8 Sherman medium tank. The outer tracks were removable and designed to be bolted together and towed behind the tank. The end of the war, combined with other problems, effectively killed the project in 1947.
The British also designed a similar heavy assault tank called the A39 “Tortoise” in 1944. Heavily armored, it carried a 32 pounder QF gun and weighed 80 tons. Six prototypes were built, but it was difficult to transport. War’s end killed the program. Here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tortoise_heavy_assault_tank.
The vehicle you are talking about, was never put into production, the M103 was put into production and issued to troops, when I was in Germany(1959-1962)with the 13th Cav and later the 32nd armored, we had a company of them stationed at our Kaserne. A few years later all of them were withdrawn from service due to the reasons I previously stated. We had M41s, the M103 and M48A1 tanks all stationed at Ayers Kaserne. Later, in the summer of ‘61, as a Turret Mechanic, I helped take delivery of some of the first M60s to be issued to troops in Germany.
What was amazing that the M103, M103A1 were gasoline powered and got 80 miles on 280 gallons. Replacing the gasoline engine with a twin, turbocharged diesel upped range to 280 miles using the same amount of fuel in the M103A2. The M103-series used a 120mm gun that could kill the heaviest Soviet-era armor.
Today's M1A1/M1A2 Abrams is very similar to the M103 series in size, weight, and armament; but is far superior in all the areas of armor, armament/fire control, and performance.