View Full Version : wheels v tracks
09-07-2005, 02:57 AM
I have been reading lots of articles concerning the wheels v tracks debate ongoing. Interesting points to be made.
The wheels refer to the new LAV striker wheeled assualt vehicles currently being used in Iraq and that the US army are toting as the future for APCs, tracks are the well worn combat proven GAVIN M113A3 APC.
The arguements being in a nut shell..
Stryker is too heavy (19Tons +) to be C130 transportable, has wheels! (they get shot up and usually burn), has a very complex drive system, can and will get bogged down in bad terrain and has thinner armor.
The Gavin is lighter (can be transported in a C130), has a basic drive system, can go just about anywhere, has thicker armor and there are 1000s of them sitting around in depot bases all over the US along with proven maintenance and spares infrastructure.
THe Gavin maybe slower on the road and replacing a thrown track is prolly harder than changing a wheel..
It seems that the Arms Industry has powerful friends (as always) in the higher levels of US command and selling a sexier new wheeled platform is lot more profitable than using kit that is battle proven cheap and seeming more safer to those on the ground.
Prehaps those of us who are US military can give grass roots opinon (Guidion..) over the debate.
09-07-2005, 05:57 AM
I truely dislike the 113. Bottom line. Lot of other problems with the fleet than a simply wheel vs track argument. The slow vehicle can not keep up on a modern battlefield. and dont let it's "heavier armor" fool you. a .50 cal will penetrate the chasis. The Lav actually offers better protection. The 113's also burn, as they are made of aluminum.
I wonder wha rote that page since a Stryker is easily air transportable in a C130. (However if you want to carry it's additional bolt on armor you need another aircraft. With that said. I think the Stryker is a piece of ****. No more screwed up in it's inception in the military than the introduction of the M2/M3 Bradley (Contracts ruleing the thought process and not soldier survivability)
Wheels vs tracks? Depends on the terrain. Urban: Wheels. Off road. Tracks. We destroyed the tracks on the M1s and M3s in Iraq driving them all over the roads.. it simply wears on them very quickly.
09-07-2005, 09:13 AM
I understood that the M113A3 was a faster beast..
I took this from Combat reform website
"The latest version of the Army's M-113 armored personnel carrier, which was first fielded in the early 1960s, proves it can still keep up with modern maneuver forces. An M-113A3 pulls away from a Bradley M-2A2 fighting vehicle as it crosses the finish line at an Army 'drag race' held March 19th at FMC Corp. in San Jose, Ca. The M-113A3, which weighs about one-third as much as the 33-ton M-2A2, is equipped with a 275 horsepower Detroit Diesel 6V53T turbocharged engine. The Bradley has a 600-hp Cummins V-903 turbocharged diesel engine...."
A3 Gavins have 1/2 the power of a Bradley but are 1/3 their weight = HIGHER POWER-TO-WEIGHT RATIO = greater speed. We already know that Gavins can FLY by C-130s, CH-47s, and swim across lakes, rivers and even in the ocean with waterjets for 3D maneuver while Bradleys and Strykers can't. Bradleys are useful in the 2D maneuver team with heavy M1 Abrams tanks in open terrain fights, but the roadbound but thinly armored Stryker trucks rolling on air-filled rubber tires that burn are worthless and dangerous as combat vehicles. "
THe link is here
check out the photos of the upgraded M113A3a with the Anti Rpg rig and small amored turret
THey also mention that 734 M113A3 were being upgraded with this armor system plus the turret thing, so it seems there is life still for this 40 year old tracked platform..they certainly seem a safer option than HUMVEES http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif
Did you encounter any of the upgraded Gavens while on Tour?
09-07-2005, 10:26 AM
Yeah, the a3 variants are faster than the A1 and A2. and can beat a M2/M3 on a flat surface. Take them offroad and race them and more often than not it is a different story.
Now lets compare the rest of the vehicle systems.
Burning: They still state that the Brad and Stryker burn as they are made of a aluminum composite armor. SO IS THE 113! They burn too so it is the pot calling the kettle black.
An Army representative, who didn't want to be identified, said Monday that $84 million was being spent to add armor to 734 M113/A3s and M577s. (from the posted web site)
Why would we need to add armor to it if the vehicle is fine... not to mention this is the same thing that happened to the stryker & LAVs which made it heavier and slower so they just negated their advantage in this.
Weapons: Ooooh the .50 or mk19 on the 113. Tow's, 25mm, 7.62 on the Brad. Stryker has more variations. I'll take the later two over the 113.
Bradleys are useful in the 2D maneuver team with heavy M1 Abrams tanks in open terrain fights, but the roadbound but thinly armored Stryker trucks rolling on air-filled rubber tires that burn are worthless and dangerous as combat vehicles.
All vehicles in Iraq are road bound so I am not sure what they are trying to prove by this point. And the stryker is pretty dang maneuverable offroad.
Dont get me wrong. If a vehicle works and keeps soldiers safe I am all for it. But to quote simple things that are the same for both vehicles (Burning) but only continue to mention it for one that you dont like is foolish and misleading.
I'm a fan of tracks. Plain and simple. From being more sturdy to adding to an "Intimidation" factor upon the enemy. However the Stryker, just like the HMMWV are equiped with run flats and have proven themselves in various forms of maneuver and combat operations in Iraq.
I do not like the 113. the A1, A2, or A3 (Which i have experience on all 3 variants)
Maybe for the Infantry or the Engineers as troop carriers, but I would bet they would need to be escorted by larger systems as the .50 being the largest weapon they can carry in Iraq leaves a lot to be desired.
(And I know I have stated "In Iraq". just simply as a point of reference because on a "modern Battlefield" (tank on tank type) You would be hard pressed to find a soldier that 'wants' to be on a 113.
09-07-2005, 01:08 PM
Did anybody else here the news that a hybrid electric "stealthy" tank with 8 independantly controlled wheels was slated to possibly replace the Challenger II in the British Army? It was reported on Sky News while I was lying ill on a sofa in France. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif
09-07-2005, 01:27 PM
I hadn't heard anything about that.
09-07-2005, 04:53 PM
Hopefully that tank will come with first generation electric armor.
The only thing better about an M113 is probably being able to turn on a dime compared to the Stryker's turning radius.
Guidon how would you feel about the Army taking the Israeli approach? Modified M1AX's capable of carrying troops while sacrificing ammo. Or maybe using an M1's hull with a modified turret with at least a 25mm+ weapon.
09-08-2005, 01:37 AM
Guidon first thx for the info. (point taken Aluminium burns very nicely!whereever it is)
As for Tacamos question this was also raised in the Combat reform site, the idea of using MA1 chassis and building a simpler low lying troop carrier platform (not a 3m high Bradly box. The idea is to have a light weight air mobile (C130 or chopper portable) fast armored platform to get troops first into (via air) and then allow rapid movement on the ground with support from for example M8 Buford or Thunderbolt(I don't know if they really exist)
We 're talking about fast airmobile operations only here (I believe this is the 3D option they talk about)THe advantage being the lower weight of the M113A3 (even with the added armor, predet cage and turret) allows more of them to be moved with less air transport (plus they are ready to fight, where as the Styrker has to be reassembled on arrival)
But for 2D land based armor operations, (heavy armor operations)obviously the M2/stryker weapon systems are more desirable and work with MBTs. Presuming that the terrain is dry and firm (for the strykers)or urban.
THose guys over at Combat reform sure are a little worked up over "their" MA113s http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif
09-08-2005, 05:51 AM
By electric armor do you mean the electromagnetic armor? If so. Unless great leaps and bounds have been made I dont think we will see anything like that for an armored platform for a while. The issue doesnt really lie in the form of it's capabilities, it is in the storage capacity for the batteries/power source. About 6 years ago the Armor Association (US Army) had a "tank design Contest" and I had actually received honerable mention in my design. I had a really smart friend (Electronic Engineer) that helped me come up with a design for a platform that used the electromagnetic armor as well as a electromagnetic rail gun. While it was pretty fun I prefaced it with the problem of battery storage and power. Being the batteries that were needed would outweigh the tank and were impractical.
Troop carrying on the M1 chasis:
Not really sure how it would be implented. as the ammo really only takes the back portion of the turret (approx 8'x4x section) not a lot of room for troops regardless on how much ammo you sacrifice. In the hull? No room at all. Everything aft of the turret ring is engine and final drive. Simply cant get rid of that or the tank doesnt move.
One concept would be a "bolt on" type crew compartment (I picture clamshell type pods on the side of the tank that could be opened and simount people, however you are on the outside of the main armor (Cant put on the back as that is the exhaust for the turbine) I guess could probly switch to a different diesel engine but not sure the benefits.
One bad thing about fighting in the M1 Platform is you are allways fighting with one foot in a bucket as you are TIED to your logistic trains. The vehicle gets approx 1 mile per 2 gallons of gas and burns 7 Gal just starting. I think there are other things that can be researched before we put too much more on the M1 platform.
09-08-2005, 12:40 PM
Originally posted by Guidon666:
the batteries that were needed would outweigh the tank and were impractical.
09-14-2005, 04:27 AM
How bouts this..
An interesting set of posts from the abovetopsecret forums sumsup nicely the track/wheel debate, read the LAST post