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A great thread by @JonHawkes275. There are two points worth challenging to further the debate however. 1) Are modern AFV to heavy? 2) Do we need to wait for a material technical breakthrough before building the next gen MBT? Another thread.......
Jon emphasise a point about the weight and size of modern AFVs, that they are at a tipping point of performance for speed, mobility and impact on infrastructure. I offer this is a common misperception among the #miltwitter community and general population. 1/
Consider the Aus requirement to replace the vulnerable M113 APC with a new IFV under L400 P3. The 3 new contenders are over double the weight of the vehicle they intend to replace and almost a third larger in overall dimensions. 2/
Yet even the heaviest of the contenders has greater operational range, a higher top speed on road and cross country, greater gap crossing and vertical step ability with comparable ground pressure, vertical and side slope, steering and breaking metrics. 3/
Not only are the Lynx, Redback and Ajax as maneuverable as an APC half there weight, they are infinitely more lethal and more survivable. There also, despite being larger & more heavier, more capable then Bradley, Warrior, Marder or BMP 3. 4/
Most importantly as large and heavy as the 3 newest IFV contenders for L400 P3 are they all weigh less and are smaller than the Tank their designed to support. The heaviest of the 3, at max combat weight, is still 25% lighter than a M1A2C, Leo 2A7, Merk Mk4 or CR3. 5/
Why is this important? 1) The M1A1 AIM SA is 620000kg. 1500 horses and in excess of 5000 lb,ft at low idle mean that this vehicle is neither sluggish, slow or has poor maneuverability. It has excellent sprint speed from a standing start, can stop from top speed 6/
within it's own length cross country and conduct a 90° degree turn at full noise with ease. If a MBT weighing 25% more and approx 15-20% larger than its newer paired IFV (noting Puma has a higher PW than Leo 2A7) is neither slow or sluggish why are modern AFVs to heavy?
Let's talk infrastructure. The other common thread with modern AFV is that they are less & less compatible with modern infrastructure. This issue is again largely a misconception. If you need a large AFV moved anywhere administratively, you move it by truck. On one of these. 8/
The 2/14 Armoured Cavalry Regiment and it's supporting @7CSSBAusArmy routinely move this combination from the middle of Brisbane city, population 3 Million+ on a combination of suburban, local, state & national roads. Hot tip Aus roads aren't any better than anyone else's. 9/
I have personally driven & commanded, both MBT & APC, through the Mel CBD, from TWN harbour through the city & up to the training area, Darwin's Robertson Bks to the harbour & more. Every conceivable type of road infrastructure you can imagine. Western AFVs do it with ease. 10/
During peace time, right until the balloon goes up, you can move AFV using existing transport assets and road & rail infrastructure with ease. In a national emergency, on the eve of an invasion same principles apply. You will have priority access, the streets will be clear. 11/
So what about during war when all that fabulous infrastructure lies in ruins? I would argue that weight matters even less. AFVs don't become any less maneuverable and the issues with civilian infrastructure largely disappear. Roads? Stay off them least you end up like this. 12/
The locals aren't worried about their cars, or the roads, fences, traffic lights or much else during peer on peer conflict. Foundation warfighting makes a mess. Damaging the infrastructure isn't going to be an issue. 13/
Assuming their is anyone left to complain when in most cases the good civis have evacuated and everyone left is a bad guy. 14/
IMO weight is only an issue when-
a) You haven't been paying attention to potential adversaries and your equipment and people are in the wrong location at the wrong time.

b) Your trying to do global projection without pre-positioning as a part of your capability mix. 15/
Right. Part 2, the next tank. Really, what the fuck are we waiting for?
a) a light weight material breakthrough?
b) lasers, plasma, rail guns, hypersonics?

While we're waiting for the magic to happen there is an opportunity now to build a game changing next gen MBT. 16/
There hasn't been a new western tank design (or arguably an eastern one ethier) in 40 yrs. Upgrades and modifications have kept legacy vehicles relevant, absent any p v p conflict, since the end of the cold war. New vehs are fundamentally similar to their 40yr old siblings 17/
While the air and sea domains have continued to evolve delivering vastly more capable aircraft and ships the land domain has largely stagnated with only the land combatants night fighting capability having undergone a significant improvement over the last 40 yrs. 18/
Tech transfer from one domain to the other. Match a modern MBT design with air force tech-

Signature management designed from the outset
360°SA distributed aperture helmet systems
Beyond vis range, off axis engagements
Sensor fusion between networked platforms. 19/
From Navy we could add-

Intergrated & integral beyond visual range UAS & UGV
Cooperative engagement capability x platforms
X platform, layered anti threat defence system. 20/
A modern MBT, designed and built with technology from the 2nd decade of the 21st century-


Would be recognisable from the platforms in use today, but fundamentally more capable. So what are we waiting for? End/
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