This is intended for people interested in the subject of military guns and their ammunition, with emphasis on automatic weapons.
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The BBC News website is giving the defence review top billing - now that is unusual... https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-56410532
After £430 million, ten years and the recent completion of over 80 percent of its long-delayed trials, the UK’s Warrior Capability Sustainment Program is no more. The axing of the much-maligned program was announced in the Defence Command Paper released yesterday by the Ministry of Defence.
The Command Paper states that “legacy platforms that have already been extended beyond their planned life” will need to be retired, in order to free up funding for the accelerated procurement of the Boxer Mechanised Infantry Vehicle. As a result, the Warrior Capability Sustainment Program being undertaken by Lockheed-Martin UK has been cancelled, with no operational Warriors to receive any of the upgrades of the program. Warrior, initially known as MCV-80, initially entered service in 1984. The unupgraded Warriors will continue to serve until their expected out of service date “by the middle of this decade”, after which they will be replaced by Boxers.
I rather suspect that the Warrior upgrade was cancelled because it could be, rather than any technical reason.
The Warrior upgrade has struggled on for so long (and with the cost estimate steadily increasing, of course) that there has been a lot of criticism of spending so much money on upgrading an old and unsatisfactory vehicle. There has long been an argument that it would be far better, and cost not that much more, to buy more examples of the Ajax MICV family instead, so it is interesting that the proposed alternative now is to buy more Boxers.
I suppose the argument might have gone something like this: the main reason for having a tracked MICV is to keep up with the tanks off-road. But the number of tanks is dropping so low (c. 150) that we've probably ordered enough of the Ajax already to cover that requirement. So boosting the 8x8 family might make more sense.
Except that no IFV have been ordered in the Ajax family of vehicles.
Given the UK has left the EU, it seems like it would make sense to reduce their 'land' based assets vs naval and air forces.
For NATO, really the continent of Europe should be providing the land based weapons, not an island the furthest distance from Russia. Whereas NATO is not very heavy on Naval power and so-so in the air.
And for partnering with the US, really Naval power, or the deployment of SF / Marines, is what would be complimentary.
And of course for defending the UK or securing its interests abroad independently (Falklands 2.0?) that also speaks to a Naval and Air force with SF + Marines.
So I think its pragmatic to be shifting focus from tanks and AFV's given budget constraints.
For the UK (and Australia), defence in depth requires expeditionary warfare.
147 chally 3 aren’t enough to fill out the stated requirements for deployable units, not to mention the complete absence of IFV.
The DCP is a promise of hollow forces and missing capabilities for years to come.
Fortunately, according to poliorcetes, the future of major power conflicts is microdrone attacks against stadia filled with civilians, so ongoing lockdowns will prevent that.
Just think of the savings that can thus be wasted on the NHS and city of London diversity officers.
The most disturbing aspects of such cuts are the losses in human capabilities, from operators to maintenance, logistics, etc. Any meaningful human capability is much easier to lose than to recover, by far.
I also find a contradiction between (industrial) focusing on Tempest program and the alleged focus on NLOS / long distance fires / loitering ammo and RPAs everywhere. There is an abysm between the doctrinal consequences of both visions, at least under budgetary considerations but not only. I think that the main difference is doctrine inheritance vs doctrine rupture, or exquisite system vs distributed system.
Anyhow, the only relevant aspect of any future planning of defense forces is who is going to be the foreseeable and probable adversary. And if until 89 the probability of pure conventional war between URSS and NATO was quite scarce, now is directly negligible. Russian Federation is a pale ghost of the menace that URSS was, and indeed NATO is more a menace for them... in theory.
Because in reality, there is no sound reason for a NATO agression to Russia, and vice versa. There is no reward and incentive but there is the hellish danger of nuclear exchange.
I assume that conventional disuasion between NATO and Russia is sound. But prepare for an actual war is quite different. As Russia is not the adversary for a future conventional war, who is?
Without defining a probable adversary, preparing for any war is uncomfortably close to a meaningless and futile exercise and public found wasting. Opportunity cost of mistakes pointing to the future are going to be paid dearly