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Опытные, экспериментальные и редкие образцы БТТ 1

Сообщений 301 страница 308 из 308

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Спасибо!

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https://sdelanounas.ru/i/z/n/v/ZnVuY3Rpb24ubWlsLnJ1L2ltYWdlcy91cGxvYWQvMjAxNy9mMTg3NjBmZjQ3ZmYyN2UwY2Q5YjhjMWVlYjU2YWJmMy5qcGc_X19pZD05NjA5OQ==.jpg

303

skylancer-3441 написал(а):

ЧБ фото выше есть, а вот цветное фото пушки, с ЕвроСатори-92, из ATM 1992-09

в статье http://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/cased-tel … nt-system/ нашлись ещё цветные фото её же
(без понятий откуда взятые, впрочем если подумать - кандидатов хватает, ведь в интернете по настоящий момент не доступны журналы Jane's International Defence Review, Jane's Defence Weekly, Soldat und Technik, Jahrbuch der Wehrtechnik и прочие там Eserciti E Armi за те годы)
https://i.imgur.com/4LAzzrBl.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/jqPe7N0l.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/6iuJjEQ.jpg
(первые две картины кликабельны)

UPD:
Из ATM 1996-08 цветное фото разрезного макета снаряда
https://i.imgur.com/AcrqlLr.jpg
и текст (гуглоперевод с чешского):

CTA International Company presented the M911 automatic cannon caliber of 45 mm designed for shooting so-called telescopic ammunition. It is a compact cartridge whose bullet is inside the cartridge and is either partially or completely surrounded by propellant dust. This solution significantly reduces the length compared to conventional charge. The picture is a charge with a sub-caliber, an anti-bullet missile with arrow stabilization, detachable guide parts and a footstool. The new weapon system, developed by the French company Giat and British British Aerospace (joint venture CTA Int.), Should complete the project phase at the end of this year, with several cannon systems being completed over the next three years and produced around 15,000 pieces of telescopic ammunition


про эту же автопушку ещё статья всплыла из Jane's IDR за 1992 год

Отредактировано skylancer-3441 (2018-01-10 09:09:55)

304

вполне распространённое фото Моваг Пумы, в музее:
https://i.imgur.com/WY9vqakl.jpg
...вместе с табличкой. В интернете фото табличек из музеев почему-то попадаются реже, но тут нагуглилось:
https://i.imgur.com/ypPsx3ml.jpg
Ещё о этой машине есть немного в книге "Nutzfahrzeuge der MOWAG Motorwagenfabrik AG", и из 4 страниц судя по оглавлению посвящённых ей, мне попалось на одной из онлайн-барахолок фото первых двух (на верхнем фото справа заметно что управляемыми у машины являются 1 и 3 пары колёс, и понятно что имеется в виду когда в иных местах упоминается что из опыта с Пумой потом вырос Моваг Шарк, 8миколёсная машина с 1 и 4й управляемыми парами колёс):
https://i.imgur.com/YqK7e4xl.jpg
текст слева еле читаем, но насколько я смог разобрать и ввести в гуглопереводчик (плохо, ибо языка не знаю и достроить слово по нескольким буквам не могу), он представляет из себя цитаты из рекламной листовки по Пуме, и кроме некоторых цифр всё остальное там - разбавлено обычным для таких листовок и пресс-релизов языком про "непревзойдённое сочетание..." и т.п:
https://i.imgur.com/AGtYSKg.jpg
20-тонная машина с гп в 6 тонн это НЯП тот так и не построенный 8x8, старший в предполагавшемся семействе образец, который упоминается в некоторых других текстах о Пуме, например в дойчевики https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mowag_Puma

Кроме листовок Пума упоминалась и в журналах тех же лет, в том числе тех архивы которых всё же вполне доступны в сети.
фото из швейцарского журнала Allgemeine Schweizerische Militärzeitschrift за сентябрь 1967:
https://i.imgur.com/8ACxjfTl.jpg
(гуглоперевод подписи: Figure 6. The company Mowag has developed a buoyant armored wheeled vehicle that can be used as an armored personnel carrier or weapon carrier. The illustrated version shows the "Puma" as an armored infantry fighting vehicle with two machine guns on top launcher.)
и ещё из того же журнала, из июньского выпуска за 1968 год:
https://i.imgur.com/uL5uK07l.jpg
гуглоперевод основного текста:
The Swiss company Mowag has developed a 6x6 armored infantry vehicle "Puma" as a prototype. The vehicle, which weighs around 15 t, has a 320 hp engine. It is equipped for a crew of 1 + 10 men. The water is powered by two screws behind the rear wheels. In the pictures you can see the various armament options: 20 mm cannons, 80 mm twin rocket launchers. The vehicle looks similar to the Soviet BTR-60P and the Czech OT-64. («Soldat und Technik No. 1/1968», see also ASMZ No. 9/1967, p. 529)

...
добавлено 02.01
Согласно ATM 1996-05, макет EVA возили и на арабскую IDEX-95, а не только на Евросатори.
https://i.imgur.com/0XcnVTGl.jpg
(кликабельно)

Отредактировано skylancer-3441 (2018-01-02 13:16:42)

305

попадающееся в сети фото макета, напечатанное в своё время и в ЗВО 1998-12:
https://i.imgur.com/f8hOAKzl.jpg

Он упоминается в книге The TARDEC Story: Sixty-five Years of Innovation 1946-2010 с.242-243:
https://i.imgur.com/PUXFqH7l.jpg

и ещё в журналах Raport WTO 1998-05, 1999-12 и Wojskowy Przeglad Techniczny i Logistyczny 2001-05 попались такие рендеры и рисунок:
https://i.imgur.com/d2xPY77l.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/wqhVZ22l.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/NilwleIl.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/uJwJxx1l.jpg

(картинки кликабельны)

макет показывали в одной из передач по Дискавери, ну, это наверное многие видели.

Отредактировано skylancer-3441 (2018-01-29 09:58:09)

306

Ещё из ЗВО, 2005-09, фотография макета колёсной 8x8 машины FCS-W, ещё упоминается как Pegasus
https://i.imgur.com/OtwBouVl.jpg

с текстом

В  рамках  НИОКР  по  созданию  лазерного оружия американская компания «Нортроп-Грумман»  провела  на  ракетном  полигоне Уайт-Сэндз  (штат  Нью-Мексико)  испытание лазерной  системы  (химический  лазер), предназначенной для защиты от ракет и минометных мин. Ее основное отличие состоит в  том,  что  предложена  новая  компоновка оборудования, которое монтируется в стандартных  транспортных  контейнерах  (ISO), обеспечивающих  определенные  преимущества.  Одним  из  недостатков  химических лазеров,  как  отмечают  западные  специалисты, является то, что они используют такое количество химических соединений, что для их  подвоза  требуется  несколько  грузовиков.  Поэтому  корпорация  «Нортроп-Грумман»  совместно  с фирмой UD работает над созданием мобильной системы на основе полупроводникового лазера, не имеющего такого недостатка.
На снимке показан макет одного из вариантов твердотельного лазерного тактического оружия, названного TALON(Tactical Laser Operational Needs). Вооружение планируется включить в состав боевой системы будущего – FCS-W (Future Combat System-Wheeled), которая должна монтироваться на колесном шасси.

потом в ЗВО 2007-03 был рисунок:
https://i.imgur.com/wOrsrhal.jpg

с текстом

В США активно проводятся НИОКР по созданию лазерного оружия различного назначения. Как ранее сообщали некоторые западные СМИ, уже прошел полевые испытания первый прототип  лазера, получивший  обозначение THEL (Tactical High Energy Laser) и предназначенный для борьбы с низколетящими воздушными целями, в том числе крылатыми ракетами. В настоящее время специалисты компании «Нортроп-Грумман» приступили к разработке высокоэнергетического твердотельного лазера, который планируется установить на боевую бронированную машину, создаваемую в рамках национальной программы «Боевая техника будущего». Программа создания его опытного испытательного образца энергетической мощностью 100 кВт рассчитана на три года, а стоимость работ в соответствии с подписанным контрактом составляет 85 млн долларов США. По мнению разработчиков, такие лазеры можно будет использовать в перспективных системах ПВО и ПРО в качестве их боевого элемента, а также для уничтожения оперативно-тактических и крылатых ракет, артиллерийских снарядов с увеличенной дальностью стрельбы и некоторых типов БЛА.

Сама машина (это конечно не единственный вариант рассматривавшийся в FCS-W, они и на AHED смотрели, о чём попадаются иногда рендеры в презентациях) во всяких проспектах на тему перспективных материалов корпусов бронетехники периодически упоминается:
https://i.imgur.com/qgH6xg2l.jpg https://i.imgur.com/in0to7Tl.jpg
в одном из каковых так же попалось фото из нередко встречающейся по Пегасу фотосессии "на бетоне", растягиваемое до приличного разрешения:
https://i.imgur.com/d8RByycl.jpg

там заявляется что руку к созданию приложила вездесущая Тимони

в Raport WTO 2002-12 попалось несколько фотографий, включая внутренности, и схема с размерами:
https://i.imgur.com/m2tcs8wl.jpg https://i.imgur.com/u9d2Okcl.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/mFWdqMrl.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/zeEIRD9l.png

ещё остались в сети некоторые пресс-релизы об испытаниях и слайды:
https://i.imgur.com/kExaRfRl.jpg https://i.imgur.com/UsIfwsql.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/3lnfYL6l.jpg
(картинки кликабельны)

и Пегас тоже попал в передачу, в этот раз на канале Хистори, от которой доступен фрагмент, а целиком, как и многих таких рубежа 90/00х, в сети нигде нет:

...
вообще, по ютьюбу разбросаны всякие ролики по FCS, включая те рекламные, псевдодокументальные, показывающие как удобно будут проходить с участием FCS всякие операции в будущем, от военных до гуманитарных миссий. Но обычно те видео все паршивом качестве. Но оказалось что фирма которая те ролики делала - выложила их в весьма приличном качестве на своём канале в Вимео https://vimeo.com/cti

Отредактировано skylancer-3441 (2018-01-29 09:48:22)

307

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont … EePb4E79_U
уран-9 с 30 мм АП .....

308

В журнале Army Logistician в нумере за май-июнь 1973 года в двух разных сканах попались фотографии макетов неких бмп:
https://i.imgur.com/TszdZ7ll.jpg https://i.imgur.com/ICWI9bMl.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/33YGIMRl.jpg
и ещё в документалке Meeting Tomorrow's Challenge 1970 года - ещё один макет:
https://i.imgur.com/DR7ah0sl.jpg
(картинки кликабельны)

Тут вспоминается что в журнале Infantry в нумере за июль-август 1981 года в статье "БМП будущего" за авторством начальника одного из ТАКОМовских отделов-лабораторий есть такой тест:

Unfortunately, no one seemed to be quite sure how far they wanted to go in achieving “improved protection, firepower, and mobility.” Between 1963 and 1972, therefore, the Advanced Concept Group generated approximately 145 vehicle system concepts with supporting analytical work and an equal number of mini-layouts of subsystems and the technical integration of these subsystems into various types of concepts.
From these system concept layouts, at least eight wooden mock-ups were built and reviewed in response to the changing requirements that were being proposed and in an attempt to resolve what at that time represented essentially the best technical approach. It must be remembered that during this period the Army was doing a bit of real soul-searching trying to determine how far it could go, technically, in sampling all the opportunities that appeared to be there for the taking. During this same period, the armor community and others were going through the same technological “binge.” Evidence of the inevitable hangover from all of this was the curtailment of the MBT-70 XM803 tank program in December 1971.
During this period, too, the Advanced Concept Group explored the entire spectrum of technological alternatives, including concepts for vehicles as small as 16,000 pounds, and as heavy as 100,000 pounds for those with NBC protection. It explored half-squad vehicles and two-squad vehicles: front power plants, rear power plants, centrally mounted power plants, and split power plants; engine rear, transmissions in front, and just the opposite. It explored various levels of armor protection, with automatic components to match each weight resulting from the selected armor level.

хотя может это и что-то другое

...
MICV-65 и изготовленная по этой программе XM-701.
Armor за июль-август 1965:
https://i.imgur.com/jfrSdG6l.jpg
(у Ханниката в книге про Бредли на с. 274 тот же рисунок вида сзади дан вместе со схемой изображающей вид сбоку https://i.imgur.com/Y6VAXGx.jpg , и видно куда менее коробчатую форму предполагавшегося изначально носа машины, и на фотографии на с.277 https://i.imgur.com/OQBLq7z.jpg заметно у машины с открытым надмоторным люком что это... ну, видимо такие здоровые встроенные поплавки.)
Army Information Digest за ноябрь 1965:
https://i.imgur.com/zRKiYnWl.jpg
швейцарский журнал Allgemeine Schweizerische Militarzeitschrift, июнь 1967 года (а в 65м они перепечатали о этой машине заметку Армора):
https://i.imgur.com/6LuFgXTl.jpg
в сети попалось цветное фото машины в комплектном состоянии:
https://i.imgur.com/eU2Ut2Bl.jpg

про ЗСУ GLAADS с использованием одного из прототипов в принципе известно http://strangernn.livejournal.com/359710.html
ну вот разве что ещё фото
https://i.imgur.com/QJdS0mq.jpg

и в Jane's World Armoured Fighting Vehicles за 1976 был такой текст

GLAADS USA—Early in 1976 trials started with a GLAADS at Fort Bliss, Texas. This consists of a XM701 MICV chassis with a new turret armed with tw'in 25mm guns. The system was developed under the direction of the United States Army Armament Command and the Rodman Laboratory at Rock Island, and Frankford Arsenal. Design work was carried out by Aeronutronic-Ford Corporation at Newport Beach. The twin 25mm guns are fed from two feed chutes (i.e. two per gun). The advanced fire control system includes a fully integrated and stabilized optical, infrared and laser sensors. The sensors feed data to a computer developed by Rockwell (Autonetics), and this computers the necessary lead and elevation angles.

...
https://imgur.com/a/uPffy
как я понимаю, два образца XM-701 сохранилось и поныне, в процессе стояния под открытым небом в запасниках и музеях оба малость облезли и был помяты. Но вроде говорилось что американская армия собиралась кучу прототипов и серийных машин в один музей собрать и восстановить до неходового но внешне полностью комплектного состояния, чтоб - в первую  очередь для своих служащих - проводить экскурсии рассказывая о прошлых разработках своего ВПК.

...
И вот на фоне этого всего, включая доступные схемы и фотографии, в известном отрывке из известного фильма Пентагоновские Войны XM-701 взяли и вогнали в прокрустово ложе нарратива заявлявшего что хотелось совсем другое. Включая не обращение внимания на то что там уже были амбразуры, и оттого появился рисунок 6



Фильм в чём-то дословно передал историю Бредли так, как её показал реальный полковник Бёртон в книге Pentagon Wars, и кроме того там попытались это проиллюстрировать. Кажется, художник рисовавший для фильма не очень понимал что именно требовалось бы рисовать чтобы проиллюстрировать подающуюся идею что изначально хотели БТР, что-то типа М-113 но получше, а получили БМП и ещё и с амбразурами в бортах.

собственно рисунки:
1) 0:20 (дальше его показывают на 0:30, 0:40 в сюжете о 1968 годе)
https://i.imgur.com/t2y4Opvl.jpg
2) 0:27 (собственно заставка о 1968 годе)
https://i.imgur.com/eVvon5Ql.jpg
3) 0:46
https://i.imgur.com/rwkdANEl.jpg
4) 0:59 (идёт рассказ о 20мм автопушке)
https://i.imgur.com/fU9gkgsl.jpg
5) 3:26 (1972 год, как я понимаю - 12 августа)
https://i.imgur.com/G9pQQgwl.png
6) 4:55 (согласно сюжету фильма пририсована башня с автопушкой и амбразуры)
https://i.imgur.com/LRwi6iBl.jpg
(1 рисунок - очевидно изображает просто финальный корпус Бредли, 5й рисунок - тоже, но такого размера и формы бортовые экраны с разнесёнкой у неё не с левого а с правого борта)

...
из сборника статей американской прессы о неэффективности отечественного (американского) ВПК "More Bucks Less Bang - How the Pentagon Buys Ineffective Weapons", на английском две статьи о Бредли:

Барахло за 13 миллиардов

==13======
The $13 Billion Dud
by William Boly
California Magazine
February, 1983

One sun-filled afternoon last fall, I saw a Bradley Fighting Vehicle in action for the first time, my reward for skulking around the edges of FMC Corporation's sprawling 120-acre industrial complex on Coleman Avenue beside the San Jose Municipal Airport. Sporting an Afrika Korps-style paint job in tones of olive drab and tan, its turret bristling with the latest implements of destruction, the tanklike apparition came clattering out of the final assembly plant onto West Brokaw Road, intantly boxing in my Fiat 128 with its 25-ton bulk. FMC has a reputation for taking plant security seriously — uniformed guards patrol the various gates, and remote-control cameras scan its yards constantly — but this seemed like what the army calls an "overmatch". To my relief, the driver wheeled to the left and disappeared in the direction of the FMC test track. Appearances to the contrary, the Bradley is not a tank, but rather the latest and most rococo version yet devised of that once humble battlefield performer, the troop carrier. It is named after General Omar Bradley, commander of the European theater during World War II. Bradley was known as the "soldier's general" because of his concern for the welfare of his troops. This is a trait that the weapon named after him does not share. To the contrary, in combat the Bradley Fighting Vehicle will be a rolling death trap for the squad it carries. The vehicle's armor is made of aluminum, a metal whose chemical energy when oxidized is ten times greater than that of TNT. When hit by the right type of grenade, mortar
==14======
mine, or rocket, this aluminum can be counted on to kill the American soldiers whose lives it is supposed to protect. Both FMC and the army have conducted classified tests that show the murderous, explosion-amplifying effects of aluminum armor. And yet production of the Bradley continues.
The full story of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle's development is one of venality and bureaucratic inertia triumphing over common sense. In a time of unprecedented peacetime increases in weapons procurements, it is a cautionary tale about how the government provides for the common defense. The army expects to spend $13.4 billion over the next several years to acquire 6,882 of these machines. According to one munitions expert, each one could be knocked out with an M-42 grenade— price $2. There will always be arguments about how much to spend on defense. One thesis most everyone can agree on, however, is that those systems we do buy ought to work.
If you have never heard of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle before, you're in good company. At last year's appropriations hearing in the House Armed Services Committee, with $800 million in 1983 Bradley funds at stake, a subcommittee chairman interrupted the Pentagon briefing to demand a photograph. "Why don't you show us the vehicle here, General?" Congressman Samuel Stratton (Democrat, New York) asked "I would like to see what the thing looks like. What is it supposed to do? We don't just automatically rubber-stamp this stuff." But Congress went on to approve the purchase of 600 Bradleys this year, bringing the total ordered so far to 1,700. Next month the fighting vehicle is scheduled to begin its first tour of duty at Fort Hood in Texas, and by next September, to join the Seventh Army Training Center in Vilseck, West Germany. The Bradley is a perfect example of the dominant trend in defense spending — the tendency for simple, relatively cheap weaons systems to be replaced by exponentially more complex and expensive ones. The Bradley is destined to succeed the M-113 armored personnel carrier (APC), which is also built by FMC. The M-113 was a workhorse in the Vietnam War, noted for its mechanical reliability and (briefly, at least) for the fact that Prime Minister Ngo Dinh Diem was assassinated in the back of one. It looks like a metal box on tracks, carries eleven infantrymen, and has a machine gun mounted on top.
In its heyday, it cost around $80,000. (Since 1979, the price of an M-113 has gone to $179,000.) In 1970 the army rejected an early version of the Bradley, generically known as the infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), because it was not “austere” enough and because the price tag of $151,000 seemed too high. But with the end of the Vietnam War, the army got over its austerity bugaboo and in 1977 declared itself well pleased with an even fancier prototype projected to cost $338,000 per vehicle. That was a lot to pay for a troop carrier, but 14 army Lieutenant General Howard Cooksey assured a worried congres-
==15======
sional committee that the cost figure was firm. By 1982 the actual program cost per vehicle had turned out somewhat higher — $1,94 million a copy. Massive cost overruns such as that attract attention. The Military Reform Caucus in Congress had the Bradley on its hit list for this fiscal year. The Congressional Budget Office also proposed a cutback on the Bradley buy. When budget director David Stockman was still fighting Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger's plan for across-the-board increases in 500 defense programs, he submitted a "slow growth" (7 percent per year in real terms) defense budget alternative for President Reagan's perusal. Stockman's secret proposal deleted only two major weapons systems. The Bradley was one of them. Luckily for FMC, Stockman's advice was ignored. Mainly on the strength of the Bradley, the company's San Jose division has quietly become one of the largest defense contractors in California, bigger in 1981 federal dollars than such notables as McDonnell Douglas, Litton Industries, Ford Aerospace and Communications, TRW, or Northrop. FMC has invested about $50 million in tooling up for Bradley production and employs about 5,500 workers to build it and an updated M-113 in San Jose. Every afternoon when the shift changes, Coleman Avenue becomes a monstrous tangle of cars waiting to be metered out onto the freeway. Having staked the future of its San Jose plant on a single weapons system, FMC is anxious to avoid controversy. A mid-September letter to the company's local director of communications, Paul Bush, explained this magazine's interest in the Bradley and requested a background interview. "Due to travel unavailability of key management people" a definitive answer was not forthcoming.
Phone calls during the next two months established further that, because of the pressing workload at the plant, no one at FMC could be sprung loose to talk about cost programs of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. "We're not trying to give you the runaround," Bush said in a phone conversation. "And I know that's probably what it looks like to you." In lieu of an interview, FMC forwarded a copy  of a narrated promo movie of the Bradley in action. The fifteen-minute videotape is titled Second to None! It shows the Bradley leaping ditches, climbing 60 percent grades, and barreling across the country to the upbeat strains of what sounds like Jethro Tull as arranged by John Philip Sousa. The Bradley's "awesome" 25-mm cannon blasts targets while on the move; its TOW (tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided) missile unerringly incinerates tanks at a range of two miles. Inside the turret, the gunner manipulates his "push-button controls" while the commander spots enemy positions using the integrated sight unit. This system, the narrator says, provides a "TV-quality image", day or night, through smoke, light fog, or brushy camouflage. There is also a sequence showing squad
==16======
members riding in the rear, firing their automatic rifles while peering through their custom-tailored viewing ports. They look like cowboys defending the fort, only the fort is moving through the Indians. The film's overall effect is to inspire a sense of well-being bordering on the invincible.
Unfortunately, the literature on the Bradley — notably the transcript of the fiscal year 1978 IFV hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee — tends to dispel this Panglossian mood. There is the "too tall" problem. The army is abandoning production of the M-60 tank in favor of the low-riding M-1 supposedly because its height made it too easy to spot on the battlefield. But the Bradley, at ten feet, is just as tall as the"unacceptably" high M-60. "If it gets blown up because of sticking up there where everybody can see it, it doesn't make any difference how sophisticated its gun is, or anything else," argued Senator Sam Nunn (Democrat, Georgia). There is the "too fat" problem. In order to fit aboard a C-141 Starlifter, the mainstay of the military transport fleet, the Bradley's side armor must be unbolted and the vehicle chained down on its springs to make it shorter. Once that's done, it won't roll, so it has to be winched on board. The whole process takes more than an hour at either end — not a virtue in wartime. There is even a "too small" problem. All those high-priced weapons take up a lot of space. Aside from the commander, gunner, and driver who stay with the vehicle, there is only enough room for six soldiers — half a squad. It is the infantry fighting vehicle minus the infantry. At the senate hearings, the army shrugged off these complaints. The point, asserted General William DePuy, then commander of the army's Training and Doctrine Command, was that the army had a "very poor vehicle" as things stood. The M-113 was a mere battlefield taxi, capable of ferrying troops close to the fight but not much else. What the army needed was a real fighting vehicle, so that the infantry could keep pace with and cover for tanks. It was a question of tactics on the "modern, mechanized battlefield." Russia, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Yugoslavia — all had IFVs. "Almost every army you look at is ahead of us as far as taking care of our infantry," DePuy told the panel of senators. "I think that is a crime."
The truth was even worse than DePuy could manfully admit in open session: the Russians invented the IFV. They had unveiled their brainchild at a Red Square military parade in November of 1967. It had everything — room for a full squad, firing ports, an antitank missile, light armor-piercing cannon, night sight, and low, sleek lines. They called it bronevaya mashina pehotnaya— BMP for short. That's Russian for "infantry fighting vehicle."
Our army, its budget tied up in Vietnam, could only watch in envy and dismay as the Soviets stamped out thousands of BMPs. In 1980, when Congress faced the production go-ahead decision on the Bradley, Forbes
==17======
ran a piece on the "IFV gap," bitterly complaining about Soviet BMPs "racing down the highways of Afghanistan" while our version languished on the drawing boards. Shades of Neville Chamberlain's umbrella. Were we, or were we not, a superpower? The FMC promo movie provides the answer: with the Bradley, we can once again think of ourselves as second to none. Just past the guardhouse, as you approach the Aberdeen Proving Grounds northeast of Baltimore, a fascinating display appears along the roadway's center divider. One by one, an elephant's boneyard of armored vehicles from two world wars rolls by: vintage halftracks, howitzers, and field artillery. There are tanks of every nationality and design: British Mark IVs, German Tigers, Russian T-30s, American Shermans. The ghostly column stretches out for more than a mile, mute testimony to mankind's diligence in the art of making war. For the last six months on its thousands of acres of lowland meadows and forests beside Chesapeake Bay, the army has been testing the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. FMC has its own testing grounds in California, of course, but since the company had placed my request to see the real thing on indefinite hold, I had prevailed upon the army for an up-close look. Major Wayne Heringer, my host for a tour "behind the fence" at Aberdeen, had already explained the program. Several Bradleys hot off the assembly line are being driven cross-country 6,000 miles on the grounds and their weapons periodically fired to make sure they perform according to contract specifications. This morning, the test engineers are preparing Bradley Fighting Vehicle 027 for a trial of its most complex and lethal weapon, the tank-killing TOW precision guided missile. From atop a reinforced concrete blockhouse, Heringer squints into the morning sunlight and surveys the firing range. "That's our target," he says, pointing down an aisle of brilliant viny maple and birch to a shimmering patch of white, almost two miles distant. As he gestures, a deer picks its way across the prospective line of fire, ears alert, before slipping into the woods. If all goes according to plan, the TOW will pop out of its twin-pack tube alongside the turret and sprout fins. Trailing wires that allow the gunner to guide it from inside, it will cruise off on a ground-hugging course that should put it through the bull's-eye twenty seconds later. The system's creator, Hughes Aircraft of El Segundo, advertises that the TOW accomplishes its mission more than 93 percent of the time. The Bradley also has an expensive built-in electronic test circuit to warn of any latent bugs. Still, Heringer is plainly a little on edge about the outcome. "Let's get it right," he shouts over to the technicians. "We got the press here today, gentlemen." A siren sounds and an oddly soft-spoken voice comes on over the loudspeaker, notifying all personnel to take cover. As the countdown begins, Heringer claps his hands over his ears and warns me to watch out
==18-20======
for gravel from the back blast.
"Five, four, three," the voice intones, "two, one," followed by ... nothing at all. Hands lower warily. Birds chirp. "Man, that sumbitch if faaast," somebody cracks, breaking the tension. Word filters back that we will try it again. "Five, four, three, two, one," the voice repeats, and this time a terrific boom punctuates the count, followed by a lesser explosion. Some 300 yards down the course, 1.8 miles short of the target, black smoke billows skyward. "Looks like we dug a hole," says the chagrined major. Two Hughes engineers begin checking the strip chart, a paper record of the system's vital signs. The TOW flubbed its signal plainly enough. But why? In the afternoon we visit the trench warfare range to watch the 25-mm chain gun in action. The cannon flawlessly reels off its full load of 300 rounds, each the size of a fat Havana cigar. After the exercise the guts of the cannon are removed, and Heringer takes advantage of the opportunity to show off its workings. "Fantastic," he whistles, in honest admiration. "We've traditionally been on our ass in this country on this type of thing, compared to the Belgians and Germans and Israelis. This shows what an American company can do." The mechanism is then placed in the back of a pickup truck to be returned to the Aberdeen arms room for safekeeping. Apparently, the Bradley is putting in all those miles with its chain gun locked up in storage. "Is that a good test of the gun's reliability in combat conditions?" I ask. "No, it's not," says test director Jeff Pierson. "Our security people are a little stringent." "This stuff is just too pilferable," adds Heringer. "You lose that, it's a career ruiner." Next up is the 7.62-mm machine gun. "I wouldn't want to be downrange with that little hummer shootin'," Heringer says. The idea is to reel off about 2,400 rounds. However, the ammunition doesn't feed properly. The gun is barking in bursts of five, then seven, then two, with long pauses in between. Finally, the ammo "hangs up" completely. "Ah, shit," says Heringer. "Let's go see the maintenance shops." The next morning we drive out to the Ferryman test area with Buck Kelly, a turret test engineer, to take a ride in a Bradley. Kelly was born and raised in Aberdeen, and his father worked on the base before him. As we move along, he points out some of the landmarks — where the train full of munitions blew up during World War II, for instance. The site is marked with NO HUNTING signs. "You could never clean it all up," Kelly says. Aboard the Bradley everyone wears a helmet, both for protection and to communicate over the internal headsets. My speaker is out of order, but I am mainly listening, anyway. As we get under way, with Kelly in the commander's seat and me in the gunner's, the dominant sensation is that of traveling blind. The armor provides protection at the expense of your field of view. The integrated sight unit, a telescopic affair with a padded forehead-rest to steady yourself against, gives a fine rifle's-eye view but no panorama. As with all armored vehicles, when the Bradley's hatch is down, locating targets will not be easy.
We switch on the infrared night-sight unit and attempt to track a two-and-a-half-ton truck. The system has a glitch, however — three red static bars run across the lower part of the image, blocking it out. Kelly puts the turret into its "stabilized" mode. As the Bradley swivels around corners beneath us, we stay trained in the same direction like the needle on a compass. This provides a mild vertiginous thrill. According to the army, it also enables the gunner to shoot accurately on the move. Once he has found his target, of course.
Army spokesmen admit that the rifle-firing ports in back have more psychological than combat value, and a short ride in the rear compartment demonstrates why. Over cross-country terrain, the periscope viewing ports pitch from sky to earth and back again. The soldiers are seated at right angles to their rifles, which are mounted a couple of feet below the ports. Very much of this treatment, I suspect, and the average sharpshooter will be concentrating on keeping his breakfast down.
The real fun aboard the Bradley is in the driving. The Perryman course is sculpted like a mogul field at Tahoe, but the Bradley's 500 horses push it through the wallows and over hillocks with pace to spare. Remember Elvis Presley chasing rabbits with his tank in West Germany? Now I understand the temptation. When you're in a tank, who is going to stop you? Overall, Aberdeen left me with the impression that, so far, the Bradley can deliver on most of its promises only part of the time. Buck Kelly put it this way: "This program is a little bit rushed. The government wants it yesterday, and they are getting it with some bugs still in it." With a machine this intricate, there is an awful lot that can go wrong. But even if the Bradley were to perform as designed, questions about its military value would remain.

They call themselves "cheap hawks." They are a loose-knit network of combat tacticians and military thinkers mainly based in the nation's capital, iconoclasts in the temple of the military-industrial complex. Some work above ground; others, often with excellent lines into the Pentagon, act as moles, leaking key bits of information to marshal public opinion. They have in common a skepticism of a weapons procurement process skewed toward gee-whiz gimcrackery at the expense of simple, workable systems. Unwise defense spending, they say, is actually weakening our military preparedness. Their world view was decisively promulgated in James Fallow's widely read treatise, National Defense (Random House, 1981). Paul Hoven, a self-described cheap hawk of the broad daylight variety and a partner in Summit Simulations, Inc., a military consulting firm based in Minnesota, is a coauthor of the most extensive critique extant of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. A helicopter pilot in Vietnam, Hoven came by his suspicion of high-tech warfare the hard way. He remembers going on "sniffer patrol" in Vietnam — flying low-level nighttime missions, following a grid pattern with a machine designed to detect the presence of urea. "Lots of signals, and you put the infantry in on them," he recalls. "That lasted about a month, until Charlie figured out all he had to do was pee in a can and leave it lying around. We kept inserting on the cans." Summit Simulations' 92-page study traces the history of armored troop transports, and its conclusions don't flatter the Bradley. "What they've done is design a fighter, bomber, cargo plane," Hoven says. "It's called an infantry fighting vehicle, except it carries only half a squad. Take a light tank, which is what this thing really is, fill it with soldiers and put it on the offensive the way the army is talking, and all I see is a lot of dead people." Hoven considers the concept of an IFV basically misguided. If the army insists on the idea, however, his report recommends the Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle (AIFV), a souped-up version of the old M-113. The Dutch and Belgian armies have bought more than 1,000 of them from FMC. "There's no such thing as a wunderweapon in conventional war," Hoven says. "If you run out of tanks, or infantry, or artillery, you lose. The key thing is you can buy four AIFVs for the price of one Bradley."
"That's an idea whose time for raising has come and gone," rebuts Justice White ("Jud" to his friends), staff member of the House Armed Services Cimmittee. White pads cheerfully about his roomy Rayburn building office in fire-engine red slippers, his vest opened a comfortable apres-lunch notch or two. "We've got the Bradley in production," he says. "Now's not the time to inject risk into the program." Jud White is an ardent supporter of the Bradley and a battle-wise bureaucrat grown impatient with cheap-hawk complaints. "That bunch of troglodytes," he scoffs. "The field marshal-types over on the Senate side? Well, they didn't know how to fight, did they? We just lined up and got the votes and shot it through." White is referring to the Bradley's political moment of truth in 1978, when negative reports from both the General Accounting Office and Office of Management and Budget led President Carter to "zero it out"of the 1979 budget. "Basically, we saved it in the House," White recalls. The trick was a time-honored Washington gambit: slip in enough money to keep it alive for the fiscal year, then hope for a brighter day. The Ayatollah Khomeini and President Reagan took care of the rest. White blames the recurrent criticism of the Bradley on the "old wounded-duck syndrome" — the tendency to go after a program that has been criticized in the past. "You don't see any of these dilettantes taking on the Navy," he says, warming to the argument. "They spend more on spare parts for their jets than this whole program costs. The army lost a decade to Vietnam. They're facing wholesale obsolescence of their 20 equipment. You think the Bradley cost overrun is bad?" he says, taking
==21======
out a sheet of the latest Department of Defense procurement estimates. "Look at this!" It shows figures for the Navy's F-14 and F-18 fighter jets and for the Trident submarine, each tens of billions of dollars over their original estimates. "Let's face it," White says, "If there's a war with the Soviet Union, the Navy's gonna play a secondary role. I mean, the Sovs are an Asian land power. The war's gonna be fought on land. And we're the only major army in the world that doesn't have an infantry fighting vehicle. Russia, Germany, France, Poland, you name it."
"Israel?"
"Except Israel."
Our session has run a bit long, and the next visitor is waiting at the door as we part. "Well," says White, "here's a man you oughta meet," and makes a quick introduction. It's John Mullett, FMC's top military affairs lobbyist. Over the phone, Mullett has already declined to be interviewed on the subject of the Bradley's political history. He seems taken aback at this chance encounter but recovers with the natural elasticity of a salesman. “I've spoken with our people in San Jose," he says. “I’m sure they can answer all your questions. Bill."
As Jud White grudgingly admitted, the Israeli Defense Force, the leading exponent of maneuver warfare in the world, does not field an infantry fighting vehicle. Israel's opponents in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Egypt and Syria, had the Russian BMP at their disposal. Since the BMP set off the worldwide IFV fad, the question arises: How did the BMP perform in battle? "Basically, it was a disaster," says Paul Hoven. "In the Golan, the Syrians tried to maneuver them. If you look at battlefield pictures, you see a whole bunch of BMPs with their turrets blown off." Hoven may sound like a biased source, but his study reflects the findings of the Russians themselves. Following the Yom Kippur War, the Soviets convened a military science conference at the Malinovsky Tank Academy in November of 1974, and another in January of 1975, to discuss the BMP problem. Subsequently, according to an article by Phillip Karber in a defense journal, more than 50 analytic articles have appeared in Soviet military journals expressing a consensus that the BMP was the weakest link in its armed forces. Several writers proposed simply abandoning it in favor of having troops ride into battle on the backs of tank, as they had in World War II. The problem with the BMP was straightforward: it was vulnerable to practically everything on the battlefield. By comparison, a dug-in squadron of foot soldiers presents a formidable military threat. They are difficult to spot and, particularly with the new generation of hand-held antitank rockets, have the firepower to knock out heavy armor. Put the same soldiers inside a fighting vehicle, though, and they become a much more prominent target and a lot easier to destroy. Apparently, the Israelis appreciate this fact. Following the recent
==22======
Israeli victory in Lebanon, Paul Hoven called to alert me to an interview of General Israel Tal in the International Defense Review, a Swiss military trade journal. When the interview came around to armored personnel carriers, Tal, who directed Israel's devastating armored attack in the 1967 Six-Day War, unleashed quote a salvo. The popular trend toward the infantry fighting vehicle begun by the Russian BMP was "based on a complete fallacy," Tal said. The job of the APC was to "carry the infantry to the start line for their dismounted assault," not function as a rolling fort. As a species, fighting vehicles were little more than "second-rate tanks," he declared. "The best APC in the world is the worst tank, just as the best tank in the world is the worst APC." Tal called the attempt to hybridize the two "a great mistake." "Don't listen to me," Hoven said after quoting these excerpts. "This guy's only won four wars, you know." Obviously, the relative vulnerability of the Bradley's armor will help determine its battlefield effectiveness. Are we building another BMP? On this score, a cheap hawk of the sub rosa school furnished some distressing information.

Once you sign in the logbook and insert a magnetically coded security card in the proper slot, the door to the inner precincts swings open. A ritual of our times is about to unfold: the "on background" interview. The phrase has a particular meaning in the news business. The speaker may be quoted but not identified except in a general way. No telling physical or biographical details may be divulged. So, for protocol's sake, we are in the offices of a nationally prominent defense think tank in Washington, D.C.; the speaker is an engineer whose experience inside the Pentagon spans two decades and includes a study of the M-113. In measured tones, he outlines his argument. Since the 1960s, he says, FMC has manufactured all of America's track-mounted troop carriers — the M-113, the Marine Corps' amphibious landing vehicles, and now the Bradley. Among the troop carriers of the world, ours are virtually the only ones made out of aluminum. But, my informant asserts, aluminum armor when hit will help kill the soldiers it is supposed to protect. "In Vietnam, the Yom Kippur War, and Lebanon, commanders have been absolutely unable to make their troops ride inside M-113s," he says. "You see them in photos — always on the roof or, at most, standing in a hatch. These soldiers are trying to tell us something." Namely, that inside is not a healthy place to be. There is the danger from mines (hitting your head on the roof can be fatal), but with aluminum there is the added danger from the "shaped charge," or high explosive antitank (HEAT) round, carried by the modern foot soldier. As the defense analyst explains it, the problem is that aluminum is a reactive metal. In powdered form, it is used in rocket fuel. When a HEAT round such as the Russian-made RPG-7 hits armor, it works like a blowtorch, its superheated gases boring a hole through the metal. With
==23======
steel, which is basically inert, those few ounces of material become "spall"— fragments that injure or kill in a well-defined cone of destruction on the other side of the wall. With aluminum, the displaced metal forms spall at the edges but vaporizes in the center. This vapor literally becomes chemical fuel for the explosion, intensifying the deadly effects of the blast.
"The British have conducted the best study of the action of a HEAT round on steel and aluminum armor," he says, brandishing a copy. "This work was done at the Chemical Defense Establishment Laboratory in Porton Downs. You're welcome to have a copy. "The study, published in 1980, claims that, beyond the spall danger presented by all metals, aluminum armor helps kill soldiers three ways. First, blast overpressure from an antitank-size round is twice as high behind aluminum as it is behind steel, reaching levels that would be expected to kill a man by rupturing his lungs. Second, a fireball develops with an associated blinding flux of light (the equivalent of several hundred flashbulbs), causing localized third-degree burns. Third, the extreme temperatures and pressures inside the chamber produce concentrations of oxides of nitrogen thousands of times higher than those encountered during a Los Angeles smog alert. "The Israelis keep very good track of their casualties," the analyst continues. "In the Yom Kippur War, they deployed troops mainly in steel-armored half-tracks, but they also had 500 [aluminum] M-113s. When you look at the casualty figures, you find that an Israeli infantryman in that war had a fourfold higher chance of being wounded or killed in action in his M-113 than in the old half-tracks. "Our army and FMC both know they have a problem with aluminum. They've known that at least since Vietnam. FMC has done shaped-charge testing against the M-113 in California. I've read the reports. They were trying to find a liner that would suppress the vaporific effects, and they did — they found a perfectly practical one made of Kevlar [a synthetic fiber manufactured by DuPont]. But the army doesn't want to ask for money to fix up the M-113 because they're afraid that might draw attention to the aluminum problem. They're afraid Congress will start asking. What about the Bradley? "Here's where it gets very interesting. The Bradley has thicker armor than the M-113, probably about twice as thick. But that just makes HEAT that much more lethal to the soldiers inside it. This is important. If you're going through twice the depth with a HEAT round, you're going to vaporize more aluminum. You're adding fuel to the blast. The army doesn't want to admit that, so they've contrived not to find it out. They've tested the Bradley armor against machine guns, mines, and artillery, but they will not fire a shaped charge into it. I think they've decided that's too fraught with danger to the whole program." The HEAT round is ubiquitous on the modern battlefield. Literally millions of antitank rockets have been manufactured and are out there. We know from the Middle East wars what this has
==24======
done for the infantry. Half the Israeli tanks lost on the Golan Heights in 1973 were knocked out by infantry carrying hand-held RPG-7s. For the army to ignore this threat in the Bradley's armor design is totally asinine and totally irresponsible."
The Pentagon consultant escorts me back out through the security maze to the elevator. Just before the doors close between us, he gives one last piece of advice. "Remember, they're perfectly capable of lying to you," he says. "Don't listen to the bar talk. Ask them to show you their evidence."
Officially, the army claims that the vehicle's armor "can defeat 91 percent of all weapons likely to be encountered in battle." At the army's Tank Automotive Command (TACOM) in Detroit, spokesman Captain Joe Yakovac was unable to locate a study supporting this claim. Deputy project manager Charles Salter denied that Bradley politics had aborted the decision to put Kevlar into the M-113. "That's just not true," he said. "If the army saw the need for it, they would put it in." However, Walt Storrs, mechanical engineer at TACOM with primary responsibility for the Bradley armor, did confirm the main assertion of of my Pentagon source: the army has not tested the Bradley armor against the HEAT round, nor does it have any immediate plans to do so. "Are we curious? Yes, we're curious," Storrs says. "But it costs money to satisfy your curiosity, and we just haven't got it to spend." The aluminum issue surfaced in the press briefly a year ago. Although he was not aware of the British evidence, Paul Hoven mentioned the generic problem in his Bradley study, and a military procurement journal, Defense Week, picked it up from there and ran a brief item. The Pentagon issued a rebuttal, calling the vaporific effect "secondary" to spall as a cause of crew casualties. Like every army position, this one has a paper trail, which, if you follow it long enough, ends up at the desk of Dr. Joseph Prifti, of the army's Materials and Mechanics Research Center in Watertown, Massachusetts. Since 1975, Prifti has served as the principal investigator in research efforts aimed at dampening the vaporific effect in the M-113. Reached by phone, Prifti is extremely reluctant to answer questions. "I might get in trouble," he says. "People in the research and development community are going to wonder. Why did you, Joe Prifti, talk to this guy?" When he eventually submits to an interview, several interesting facts about his research emerge. His work had very little to do with quantifying the vaporific effect. "It may sound as though our study was flimsy," Prifti says, "but it wasn't. We weren't trying to document things like the British were. We were materials oriented to suppress spall." Consequently, his group did not monitor at all for the nitrogen dioxide poisoning effect. To record the fireball effect, mercury-cadmium cells were installed to measure luminosity,
==25==
"somehow there was a screw-up" and the cells did not function correctly. "We threw up our hands," says Prifti. As for overpressure, measurements were obtained, but they were less than half those shown by the British tests. In a universe of constant physical laws, how could that be? The answer is simple, and revelatory of the army's penchant for tinkering with adverse results. In measuring overpressure, Prifti and associates simply threw out the instantaneous peak that occurs within the first few thousandths of a second after the explosion, and instead recorded the much lower "duration pulse" that follows. "The instantaneous peak is very difficult to measure," Prifti explains. "And it's not meaningful, anyway. According to the experts in the field, the body doesn't even feel it. It happens to fast."
Not quite all the experts. Our own Navy has conducted extensive tests of overpressure effects on animals at the China Lake Naval Weapons Center in California. The Navy concluded that the only significant blast effect comes in the first two milliseconds — the instantaneous peak. It's a highly technical point, except for those who will be called upon to serve in the Bradley. In describing blast effects as "secondary," Prifti's group used an overpressure value — 30 pounds per square inch — that might rupture the lungs, but the actual overpressure that would be encountered — 78 psi — is enough to kill outright. The main point remains — the army has no data on how the Bradley armor will stand up against the weapon most likely to be used against it. In a $13.4 billion program, common sense suggests that money could be found for the purpose, if that were what the Pentagon wanted. But in the army's official argot, HEAT rounds are considered "overmatching" against the Bradley and so, under the "user specifications" handed down by Training and Doctrine Command, the Bradley armor is not required to stand up to them. The reason, Walt Storrs says, is that "the army doesn't expect to encounter HEAT where it's going to use the vehicle." Neverthless, the army and FMC tout the Bradley's "ability to move forward at speed under attack in the combat area" and its role "to support the main battle tank in ground-gaining offensive combat." Plainly, the army is trying to have it both ways. The RPG-7 is carried by every rifle squad in the Warsaw Pact armies, but the RPG-7 has been declared an "overmatch"; therefore, don't worry about the RPG-7. As a weapons material, aluminum is not completely a bust. Its proponents point out the good job it does stopping small-arms fire and shrapnel. Plus, because of its greater rigidity, aluminum does not require internal bracing the way a steel Bradley would, making it cheaper to build with. But the original decision to use aluminum for the M-113 — reached in the late 1950s — reflected as much as anything the fact that the nation's aluminum industry was in a terrible slump at the time. Subsequently, FMC gained an expertise with the stuff unmatched outside the airline industry. This helped the company solidify its position as the sole supplier of
==26==
armored personnel carriers to the United States Army. In the process FMC also became the biggest buyer of aluminum plate in the country. FMC has been aware of the vaporific problem associated with that material for a long time. Even before the Vietnam War, the explosion- amplifying effect of a shaped-charge grenade against the M-113's armor had been demonstrated to company officials. In Vietnam, the M-113 proved so vulnerable to homemade land mines that drivers resorted to lying on the top of the roof and manipulating the controls with sticks. About this time, FMC became interested in mines and conducted a series of tests to see what metal would make the most effective liner for a shaped charge. Of all materials tried — copper, steel, alloys of aluminum— the one that worked best was the particular aluminum alloy used in the construction of the M-113. Aluminum alloy 5083 produced the highest temperatures and pressures within the experimental chamber. Eventually, FMC dropped the idea of making land mines, but it is still using aluminum alloy 5083 — in the armor of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Charles Johnson, FMC vice president and manager of its defense equipment group, would neither confirm nor deny alloy 5083's explosive properties. He acknowledged that shaped-charge testing went on over the years, but disclaimed any special knowledge. "The army interprets the data," he says. "We were the contractor carrying the testing out." Johnson's defense of aluminum armor is this simple: "The army handed down the requirements [which did not include HEAT protection], and we certainly met them 100 percent.

Military historians observe that the dominant technology of the battlefield has changed several times in this century. The massed-cavalry charge gave way to the invention of the machine gun. The trench warfare stalemate brought about by the machine gun yielded to the tank. Most recently, the World War II tactic of rapid tank maneuver has been neutralized by the quantum leap in the potency of the HEAT round. Antitank missiles and rockets are not a cure-all, but, as evidenced in the Middle East, they have given the defense a decided advantage. It wasn't diplomatic pudeur that kept Ariel Sharon from pursuing Yasir Arafat into East Beirut last summer; it was the military facts of life. The Palestinian Liberation Organization had RPG-7s. Using them, the PLO turned back an Israeli tank assault at the so-called museum crossing on August 4. Armed with HEAT, the infantryman has become a match for the tank on the modern battlefield. The response of the U.S. military to this development — a heavy investment in a lightly armed fighting vehicle - seems downright perverse. The Bradley will not be the first blunder in the history of war preparations. Germany, England, and the United States had one thing in common at the start of World War II: all three navies had developed torpedoes that wouldn't explode when they hit enemy ships. Designing weapons without the imminent possibility of their use seems to be the
==27==
biological equivalent of a species evolving in the absence of natural predators: you end up with the dodo bird. Nearly 40 years without a major land war in Europe, and the United States places its infantry inside land transports armored with aluminum.
To be sure, our military persistently speaks and writes about the next war with the Soviets in the indicative mood. At Aberdeen, Major Heringer talked about such a showdown as "inevitable." But does the army really believe it? In practice, a good conventional war is hard to come by. In Europe both sides have deployed nuclear warheads down to the artillery level. Both sides say they will use them to stem a conventional reverse. "Why don't you ask me about the neutron bomb?" Joe Prifti asked, nettled at all the questions about shaped-charge rounds. "The Bradley armor doesn't work against the neutron bomb, either." The underlying fantasy in a discussion of the Bradley's merits is that victory in a full-scale conventional war in Europe is still possible. Having made that leap, ignoring the existence of the HEAT round is a relative breeze.
Maybe it is the original thesis — that the weapons we buy should work — that needs revision. At one time "battleship thinking" was military shorthand for failing to recognize gross obsolescence and vulnerability when you saw it. Today we are taking four battleships out of mothballs and refitting them at a cost of several hundred million dollars each. In Washington, the foreign policy talk for the last couple of years has been about showing the Soviet Union we have not lost our resolve. The measure of resolve is what percent of our gross national product we are willing to spend on defense. By that standard, even weapons that don't work make us stronger.

Раскритикованное оружие: новый транспортёр пехоты - примечательный - так же как его история и цена

Embattled Weapon: A New Troop Carrier Is Remarkable — So Are Its History and Cost
by John J. Fialka
(John J. Fialka is assigned to special projects for the Wall Street Journal. Formerly, he was the Pentagon correspondent for the Washington Star. He won the Worth-Bingham award in 1979 and the Raymond Clapper Award in 1980 for investigative reporting on the Pentagon.)
The Wall Street Journal
February 17, 1982
CAMP ROBERTS, Calif.— A shepherd is slowly moving his flock down a rutted hillside when suddenly there is a great roar and a large tank-like vehicle jumps over the crest of the hill behind him. For a moment, all 25 tons of it are airborne. The technician driving it chooses that moment to send the vehicle's huge turret spinning crazily in a 360-degree arc. It is truly an improbable sight. But the shepherd does not turn around. He moves on with the air of a man who has seen many improbable things here. This is the main testing ground for the Army's new Bradley Fighting Vehicle, designed to carry infantrymen into combat, and visitors here regularly see it jump over hills. The BFV, as it is called, can move down the same rutted hillside and go pam-pam-pam-pam-pam, shooting on the move, pumping 200 rounds a minute from its 25-millimeter cannon into a target a mile away without missing once. And it can do that even at night. The Army is extremely proud of the BFV and the improbable things it can do; "an infantryman's dream," a spokesman calls it. But White House budget experts, the General Accounting Office and defense specialists on Capitol Hill worry about another improbable aspect of the BFV: It is emerging as the most expensive armored personnel carrier (APC) the world has ever seen. At the end of this decade, when the Army finishes buying 6,882 of them, the Bradleys will have cost $ 1,880,000 apiece, more than 12 times what earlier, far simpler plans assumed. By 1983, when the first BFV is scheduled to join U.S. forces in West Germany — the battlefield for which it was designed— it will have taken the Army 20 years to field a vehicle that was once supposed to be a relatively simple, "low-risk" weapons system ready for production in 1965. The vehicle now suffers an identity crisis. "The Army has tried to build a duck that squawks and a chicken that swims," remarks one frustrated critic. "Is this an APC or is it a tank?"

Flattening the Opposition
The story of the BFV — as pieced together from the Army, from the prime contractor and from its friends and enemies in Washington — is a crazy quilt of constant design changes, military doctrine changes, galloping price increases raising the total program cost to $13 billion, and
==29==
a steady bureaucratic momentum that has allowed the project to roll over its critics time and again, even though their ranks have included a President and powerful committees on Capitol Hill.
According to a recent report by the GAO, which has blazed away at the BFV for years without visible effect, the story of the BFV isn't unusual. There are 13 other weapons coming in the Army's $68 billion modernization program and they all share, to one degree or another, the problems of the BFV. From the outset, the vehicle was oversold and underpriced.
What the Army wanted initially was something quick, something that could be built from the parts of a self-propelled howitzer in production in 1963 when the Army began its search for a "mechanized infantry combat vehicle." The effort was dubbed MICV-65.
But by the time 1965 rolled around, the Army wasn't pleased. Three 52,000-pound prototypes had been built by Pacific Car & Foundry Co. (now called Paccar Inc.) in response to a request for an armored amphibious vehicle that would carry a 12-man squad into battle and could fire a cannon on the move.
The Army found the vehicles to be under-powered, too heavy and to stiffly sprung. It also found one of them winding up on the bottom of the Columbia River after a test failure. MICV-65 was abandoned.
The Vietnam war intervened, and sources of research and development money temporarily dried up. But by 1968 Army planners were at work on something smaller, something that would weigh 44,000 pounds, carry 10 men, swim and zip along the landscape at 45 miles an hour, fast enough to accompany the new tank that the Army was designing.
But Gen. Bruce Palmer Jr., the Army's vice chief of staff, scrapped that project. He called it too expensive (at $151,575 a copy), too heavy and "too sophisticated."
An Army panel then came up with a third vehicle that would be lighter and slower and would carry 12 men. It would cost about $270,000, though, and in 1970 the Army decided to look for something still cheaper, the "austere MICV."
The planners were feeling some pressure then because three years earlier the Soviet army had fielded an armored, cannon-packing, amphibious vehicle that could carry 11 men into combat and be dropped by parachute. So by late 1971, the Army began calling for developing to start "at the earliest possible date." Enter FMC Corp. During World War II, it had won an Army contract to produce a tracked amphibious vehicle called the Water Buffalo. The company built 11,000 of these vehicles, and they came rolling off the assembly lines within six months after the contract was signed. Later, FMC had designed and built the boxy M113, the predecessor of the MICV, a vehicle that Jane's Weapon Systems calls "one of the most successful vehicles ever in the U.S. Army service." In 1972, FMC sent the Pentagon a foot-high stack of documents and a
==30==
wooden mock-up of a vehicle with angled, laminated aluminum armor and a one-man gun turret. It would cost $272,000. The Army liked it, and FMC won a development contract calling for production to begin by September 1976.
FMC brought proven skills to the MICV project — in metal bending, welding and mechanical engineering. But Washington had changed. "What we're dealing with now is a multiheaded customer," one company official said. Several of the heads were in the Army. There was the Infantry Center at Fort Benning, Ga., which wanted something to haul infantrymen into battle in a way that would allow them to fight from the vehicle. There was the Armor Center at Fort Knox, Ky., which wanted a heavy vehicle that could kill tanks. Then there was the cavalry, which was developing a light, three-man armored scout vehicle — later abandoned in favor of a variant of the MICV.

Many Problems
When FMC began to deliver test vehicles to the Army, there were problems, a lot of them. To keep up with the new tank, the MICV would have to move faster than 30 miles per hour over uneven terrain without injuring its troops. According to FMC, the strain was such that the test rigs were continually throwing tracks and breaking their suspension systems. That wasn't the worst problem. The General Electric transmission developed for the MICV couldn't go more than 50 miles before breaking down. According to FMC, the transmission problem alone caused a two-year delay. By late 1975, Washington was clearly getting impatient. The National Security Council was toying with the idea of dropping the U.S. project and buying a $400,000 West German vehicle called the Marder. In the summer of 1976, as the testing continued to flounder along, the then-Secretary of the Army, Martin Hoffmann, stopped everything. Army officials had come to agree that the MICV, as it stood, would have to be better armed to survive on a modern battlefield.

Changes Advocated
In October of that year, a high-level Army study group reported there would have to be major changes: The MICV should be refitted with two wire-guided TOW antitank missiles and a night-vision system. It should have a stabilized 25-mm cannon and a two-man gun turret. These changes were so impressive that in 1977 the Army renamed the MICV the Infantry Fighting Vehicle. FMC was awarded a contract for the revised vehicle. It estimated then that while the MICV could have
==31==
been built for $305,000, the IFV could be had for $397,000.
But the Senate Armed Services Committee was becoming openly critical of the vehicle, and not just on grounds of cost. It invited a series of witnesses who said that the aluminum armor was too thin and that the IFV was too big — two feet taller than the M 1 tank and 2 1/2 feet taller than its Soviet counterpart.
"If it gets blown up because of sticking up there where everybody can see it, it doesn't make any difference how sophisticated its gun is, or anything else," argued the chief Senate critic Democrat Sam Nunn of Georgia.

Critical Report
The unrest on the Hill provoked the GAO in December 1977 to publish a report that called the vehicle too slow, too big, too complicated, too heavy and too costly. "While the M113 may be inadequate, the Infantry Fighting Vehicle, which is nearly four times as expensive, thus far has not shown to be much of an improvement," the report said. At about the same time, the Office of Management and Budget was raising another argument. The new two-man turret had taken up so much space on the IFV that its crew of infantrymen had to be cut from eleven men to nine. Moreover, now the driver, the gunner and the commander probably would have to stay with the vehicle on the battlefield, leaving it with a deployable infantry unit of only six men. The OMB concluded that the project should be dropped.
Just before Christmas in 1977, President Carter agreed. The Army was told that the IFV was a "dead issue."
But it wasn't. The following summer, softened by a barrage of lobbying by FMC and the Army and distracted by a debate over whether to buy another aircraft carrier, Congress slipped money for the IFV back into the defense authorization bill.

Climbing Price Tag
Meantime, though, the price tag kept climbing. In January 1979, FMC announced that the cost of the IFVs would be $495,000 apiece and not the previously stated $397,000. "We had never built an electrical turret before, and we grossly underestimated its cost," explained FMC's Rex Vaughan, deputy manager of the IFV project. The production numbers had to be rejuggled. Instead of buying a total of 9,261 IFVs, the Army decided on 6,882. Instead of getting 170 vehicles in the year ahead, the Army suddenly found that it had money for only 87. After frantic back-and-forth with the Defense Department, FMC's board of directors eased the problem by advancing $50 million in company money to buy modern machinery needed to produce IFVs in volume.
==32==
"It was a gutsy decision," says Mr. Vaughan, noting that neither the Army nor the Defense Department had yet given final approval for production. Final approval required more testing. And in November 1979, after running 1FV prototypes over the rugged terrain at Fort Carson, Colo., the Army's Operation Test and Evaluation Agency filed a decidedly mixed report. It said that the IFV's night sight had image "flutter," that the electrical system broke down, that the IFV didn't seem able to keep up with the new U.S. tank in battle and that the commander in the vehicle would have difficulty deploying the troops outside. Moreover, the agency noted, it takes 72 minutes to prepare an IFV for airlift on a C141 transport and another hour and 21 minutes to load it because it has to be partly disassembled, squashed down on its springs and winched aboard. Nevertheless, the Army approved full production in December 1979, and the Defense Department agreed the following February. In the summer of 1980, the cavalry proudly rolled out its version of the IFV for testing in front of Maj. Gen. Louis Wagner, other dignitaries and a local television crew at Fort Knox. It drove into the Ohio River and promptly sank. Something was wrong with a latch related to a rubberized nylon collar that should allow the vehicle to float. The embarrassment was nothing compared to the uproar the following December when it was reported that the total cost of the IFV program had risen from $7.4 billion to more than $13 billion in one year. This time it was the Defense Department that had underestimated. Unrealistically low inflation estimates were blamed for half the increase; the rest was laid to further engineering changes and the Army's desire for more ammunition, spare parts and exotic electronic equipment. The House Appropriations Committee is still spinning around about that. Last November, shortly after the Army changed the IFV's name to the Bradley Fighting Vehicle (after the late Gen. Omar Bradley), the committee ordered the Army to begin "side-by-side field tests" to see whether some other vehicle might take over the BFV's mission. The Senate Appropriations Committee has since watered that down, saying merely that the Army might consider such tests.

Another Broadside
In December, the OMB took another shot at the Bradley. It noted that for the price of one Bradley you could buy eight improved versions of the trusty M113. But such a substitution was rejected by the White House after the Army said it would protect the Bradley by taking budget cuts in other programs. FMC — which provides about 37% of the labor and hardware in the Bradley — has become extremely sensitive about the cost issue. Although
==33==
the simplest way to calculate each vehicle's cost is to divide the total number ordered by the program's total cost ($13 billion divided by 6,882 equals $ 1,880,000). FMC uses what the Pentagon calls "rollaway costs," which leave out the costs of development, extra parts and ammunition. By this measure, the Bradley costs either $1 million (in 1982 dollars), $1.2 million (in future "performing-year" dollars) or $880,000 (in constant 1980 dollars). Sometimes these figures are used interchangeably. A reporter who was briefed on the Bradley costs by a battery of FMC experts said he found them confusing. "Well goddammit, he ought to be confused," remarked C.H. Johnson, the head of FMC's Defense Equipment Group, "because we are."

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