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Graham

Contemporary Military vehicles.

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Can someone, preferably who is serving or who has served in the Army, explain to me why after the old land rovers in Afghanistan were criticised for having little or no armour protection, many of the new army vehicles have an open frames? I know the new vehicles have mine proof hulls from beneath but I have always wondered why troops are given vehicles with open sides like the 'Coyte TSV', vulnerable, I assume to small arms fire?

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Can't provide an 'official' point of view, but I understood that the British Army prefers better situational awareness. Even with improved cameras and digital sensors there are still limits when fully enclosed in an armoured vehicle. I did recently see an interview with a serving soldier about the Jackal and he was asked if he felt too exposed. His response was that he was reasonably well covered by the vehicle armour and this was supplemented by the latest version of body armour.

 

It's worth noting that the RPG is very difficult to protect against (even the older versions you see on the TV let alone the current version RPG 9). Hence the proliferation of add on armour hits seen on all the vehicles sent to Afghanistan, the so called Theater Entry Standard. The combination of RPG and hollow charge IED means that the latest infantry fighting vehicles end up around (or above) 30 tonnes FRES Scout etc. These larger around vehicles present their own logistic challenges (let alone cost restrictions) Even the Challenger 2 is not immune, although they are proof against RPG there has been at least one instance of one being damaged by an IED. IIRC sadly the driver suffered severe leg injuries.

 

However I remain to be convinced that the current mix of vehicles and the resurrection of the light cavalry/yeomanry is because it is the right combination for the current threats the army faces. I suspect it is more just a way to use what's left over from the various Urgent Operational Requirements from Iraq and Afghanistan. An example being repurposing of the Warthog for some artillery role and a return to the Viking for the marines.

 

i'm interested in what others have to say.

julian

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Nothing new. In the early days of Northern Ireland, Series Land Rovers ran open topped with the crew looking outwards. The system was previously used in Aden, Cyprus Malaya, etc. Mark 1 Eyeball is still the main battlefield sensor. Even with modern kit, the position of Top Cover, ie look out and around is still considered vital. It is the classic dillema, the armoured vehicle can protect you, on the other hand you can't see or deal with the people sneacking up on you as your visibility is restircted when close down, espcially in FIBUA

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Thank you both for your informative replies. It all increases my admiration of our forces and my dislike of senior politicians.

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Can someone, preferably who is serving or who has served in the Army, explain to me why after the old land rovers in Afghanistan were criticised for having little or no armour protection, many of the new army vehicles have an open frames? I know the new vehicles have mine proof hulls from beneath but I have always wondered why troops are given vehicles with open sides like the 'Coyte TSV', vulnerable, I assume to small arms fire?

 

The Coyote & Jackal are actually armoured vehicles with composite armour on all 4 sides and mine blast protection underneath, the composite armour is effective against small arms fire, I have seen armour panels that have taken hits from small arms and the bullets did not penetrate. If you take a look at the Supacat website you can download a spec sheet on the Jackal showing the armour and mine blast protection.

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