Military Guns and Ammunition

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UK military spending review   General Military Discussion

Started 13/3/21 by autogun; 17803 views.

From: autogun


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.


From: DavidPawley


Except that no IFV have been ordered in the Ajax family of vehicles.


From: gatnerd


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. 


From: DavidPawley


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.


From: poliorcetes


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

Msg 7847.13 deleted

From: autogun


Previous post deleted for breaking the "no politics" rule.

  • Edited 28 March 2021 7:12  by  autogun
In reply toRe: msg 15

From: autogun


Following the cancellation of the Warrior upgrade, it seems that the Ajax programme for a new family of tracked vehicles is also in deep trouble for technical reasons. Newspapers are reporting that the noise and vibration are so severe that they are affecting the health and fitness of the crews. As a result, maximum speed is limited to 20mph and even then, the gun cannot be fired accurately on the move.

Given the huge amount  of time and money spent on this programme, it is astounding that these problems (which were apparently identified four years ago) have proved impossible to resolve. There are now suggestions that the entire Ajax programme might be scrapped. 

If Ajax is cancelled, that will leave the only tracked AFV in the army's future being the (hopefully upgraded) Challenger tank. Fortunately, the new Boxer heavy 8x8 is modular and can be adapted to many roles, so presumably will be called on to cover the gap.

What this means for the 40 CTAI is unclear. Unless the turret can be fitted to Boxer, there is a distinct possibility that it will be cancelled, at least as far as the UK is concerned. The French are introducing a new 6x6 vehicle with a CTAI turret. Other reports I have read recently suggest that the British installations of the 40 CTAI is in trouble as well, because the MoD only specified the gun to be used and left it to the contractors to sort out the ammo feed arrangements - which is now revealing some incompatibilities. The French specified the CTAI ammo feed as well as the gun, so avoiding these problems.

You really couldn't make it up....  rage


From: renatohm


Lots of incompetence in military programs lately, not only in UK.

Look at the KC-46, for instance - what should be a relatively straightforward process, converting an airliner to a tanker, is being an incredibly troubled process, and just a few days ago it was revealed that the Pegasus has issues refueling the C-130 and A-10!

Several other programs further show that something is terribly wrong with military procurements lately - too much work on PowerPoint, too little on down to Earth.