Neil Baumgardner (
Thu, 15 Jun 2000 10:59:40 -0400

I'm actually a defense reporter, specifically covering the Army, so I thought
I'd add something here:

Richie Ramos wrote:

> >1. You are right about the weight issue. The army wants the FCS to be
> >only 17 tons (the latest ver. of the M1A2 is almost 80 tons). This is
> >mainly to allow the FCS to be transportable by a C-130. The physical
> >size should be reduced by 50% over the M1 as well.

<BTW, the M1A2 is 69.5 tons. The SEP version might be a little heavier, but not
really close to 80 tons...yet).>

> The idea here is to make it a fast deployment vehicle...with the current
> C&C technology, fast deployment means that one can set up positions faster.
> Very important.

Actually, the direct result is that it is more deployable. You could put one in
a C-130 and land it at a rough strip almost anywhere. At a recent wargame set
in 2015 I visited, they were able to deploy two FCS-equipped divisions within
48 hours from Cyprus and western Turkey to southeastern Turkey using Future
Transport Rotocraft (would have same carrying capacity as C-130).

> >3. 200% increase in ability to move over any terrain. (sounds like legs to
> me)
> That's gotta be legs or instead of two tracks, you have four smaller
> ones...or something like that. Sounds like a Fuchikoma thing to me.

Sorry, right now, all I've heard of is tracks or wheels.

Mind you, this is a 'networked warfare' concept, where one 20-ton C&C vehicle
would control other robotic firing, sensor, etc 20-ton robotic vehicles.
Without so much sensors or weaponry on the manned vehicle, you can put a bigger
engine, and be more mobile. Likewise the same is true for the robotic vehicles
which dont have crew compartments and all the associated stuff.

> >5. range 750 km (250km over the abrams)
> hmmm...that's either more fuel efficiency, or a larger gas tank....

They talk a lot about fuel cells and electric drives.

> >6. operate independently to fight 3 battles over a 7 day period with
> >only 1 resupply
> >7. crew of 3, or even better--2
> Gunner and driver only? that's kinda hard....

Again, see above. More like a driver and unit commander. Right now they think
two C&C vehicles with associated robotic vehicles would replace a platoon or
company's worth of tanks, etc. There will also likely be at least one troop
carrier vehicle, making this a combined arms team.

> >9. incorporate multiple protection layers. (e.g. systems to disrupt
> >the optics of enemy gun sights, or missiles. And an Active defense
> >system to knock down incoming projectiles)
> hmm...sounds very anime-ish. Active defense could be likethe anti-missile
> defenses of ships...but optical disruption?

The most unsophisticated active defense system throws up a wall of bullets
(sorta like a Claymore) to destroy or divert the incoming round. More
suphisticated ones would shoot one bullet or missile at the wound. The big
problem right now is that so-far, no active defense system can deal with
high-velocity long-rod rounds. Too fast, too much residual momentum even after
it is hit.

    Neil Baumgardner

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