53 Tons? What are They Smoking????

BAE* has released its proposal for the ground combat vehicle program, it’s a tracked vehicle with hybrid electric propulsion which weighs 53 tons in base configuration, though with bolt on armor, this can get as high as 75 tons, or more than an M-1 tank.

That is more than 10 tons more than a T-80 tank, and about 20 tons more than a Bradley, the vehicle which it is supposed to replace, before you bolt on the extra armor:

The base version is 53 tons. Going into a highly lethal environment? Then commanders may well want their troops to bolt on modular armor and storage pods that bring the weight up to 75 tons. Powering this vehicle that looks an awful lot like a tank, is a hybrid electric drive, technology that worries some in the Army who don’t believe it is sufficiently tried and true yet.

They are promising greater reliability and fuel economy, which is a lie.

The running gear needs to be designed for 75 tons, and the maintenance and fuel needs, even if marginally ameliorated by a hybrid propulsion system are going to be huge.

This is just nuts.

It’s unsupportable, and the logistical trail will be huge.

*Full disclosure, I worked on the Future Recovery and Maintenance Vehicle, FRMV, “wrecker” variant of the FCSMGV from 2003-2006 at United Defense (later BAE Systems after the Carlyle Group sold me to buy Dunkin Donuts).
Future Combat Systems-Manned Ground Vehicle. These are the ones that are the tanks and APCs. As opposed to the various unnmanned vehicles, networking technologies, etc. that form the full FCS along with the MGVs.
Yes, I have worked everywhere. Maybe I can’t hold down a job, but more likely this has been my role as “technical hit man”, where you are parachuted in to take care of a specific need.

Leave a Reply