Monday, August 08, 2016

Mobile, Protected, With Firepower, and Already Paid For

Unless we plan to airlift infantry brigades into combat, why on Earth does the Army want to build newly designed light tanks to support infantry brigades when we have thousands of M-1 Abrams tanks sitting in storage?

The MPF [Note: mobile protected firepower] program “will be a lightweight combat vehicle that provides the Infantry Brigade Combat Team long range, precision direct fire capability that ensures freedom of movement and action during joint expeditionary maneuver and joint combined arms operations,” according to the statement.

Why should the vehicle be lightweight? Paratrooper, airmobile, and light infantry could use something light enough to be airlifted or airdropped, but why should motorized infantry units want such vehicles when we could use the tried and true method of attaching tank companies or even battalions to an infantry brigade in order to give them mobile protected firepower?

In World War II, our motorized infantry divisions were basically like German panzergrenadier division (mechanized infantry--with only a portion of the infantry in armored vehicles with the rest in trucks) because they each had a tank and tank destroyer battalion attached to them.

We produced a lot of M-1 Abrams tanks to defend Europe, but with our Army's reduction of combat brigades after winning the Cold War and conversion of many to lighter units, we need very few of these tanks in our existing formations.

Now those still useful tanks sit in storage. they'd be useful for replacing losses but could also be used to reinforce infantry brigades. Even older model early production versions of the Abrams would have better protection and firepower than a new light tank design.

I say attach M-1 units to our infantry brigades (and to our Stryker brigades, as I've mentioned) if we want to give them mobile protected firepower.

And yes, the comments section of that YouTube video does remind me of why I don't enable comments here. People obviously have the right to say whatever they want. As they should in a free country.

What they don't have is a right to have me provide a platform for their ill-informed commentary.

I've certainly gotten good comments over the years, but having to send email rather than pop in a comment seems to deter idiocy for some reason.