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Sci-fi Weapons, Vehicles and Equipment:

So, there's no need for it to have "backup" in an invasion. It literally CAN be an invasion fleet in and of itself. Just one ship.

Damn, when you apply real world logic to Sci FI...

o.O

 502 Flanker 66, Tue, 25th Mar '14 4:07:33 PM from The Cockpit of a Celestial Relationship Status: I like big bots and I can not lie
Manei Domini
@Tuefel:

Holy effortpost, Batman! In all seriousness, awesome job - stuff like that is what I live for. I'll try going through your points on HUDs bit by bit.

HUD tech does not necessarily mean targeting of the individual weapon or a lack of a need of sighting equipment mounted on a weapon. A lot of HUD tech is aimed at things like comms., navigation, visual enhancement mods note , and other moderate visual enhancements.

Fair enough. The reason I suggested that sighting equpment would become redundant is two-fold: firstly, if you've already got the weapon's data "hooked" to the suit, then it theoretically would be fairly trivial to have all its targeting, etc. be handled in the suit - if there are no sights, then it would also make it difficult for the enemy (assuming that their powered armour systems, if any, are incompatible) to repurpose any captured examples of your weapons on the fly (since it's rather hard to kludge together iron sights in the heat of the moment).

Secondly, HUDs in aircraft are extremely good at doing exactly this - they help keep the pilot focused on flying the aircraft. In a powered armour HUD it could switch the displayed "sight" depending on what needs to be done - so it might display a crosshair when using an assault rifle, a wide circle when employing a missile weapon... so on.

Of course, the key snag is that magnification (and hence acquiring more distant targets) may be a problem, unless we assume that it again works like an aircraft and highlights hostiles (as well as any locked up targets) on the HUD via sensor pings. This could be further facilitated if all troops are using IFF systems (not an outlandish possibility, if the advent of new weapon systems means that engagements at longer ranges make visual identification difficult).

Often what you will find is a multi-function piece like a HUD visor is more limited then a dedicated unit like a NVG scope. Its power and capabilities have to be divided up into one item where as the scope focuses on just that one aspect.

Yeah, I understand where you're coming from. I wonder how they'd solve the NVG problem if the powered armour's internal HUD can't facilitate visual modes of that nature?

Instead of a series of very complex sensors that link the gun and hud with aim points you can tie aiming gear like holo sites and ACOGS to the hud where the hud uses the scopes and sights as its information devices. The Visor could more easily determine how you are aiming and holding your gun by how you align the site with your best field of vision and give visual cues for corrections while letting the sight handle the work of enhancing view distance, providing night vision, or thermal vision.

I think that might actually be a more sensible way of doing it. So would the HUD in such a set-up handle data related more to the mission/objectives rather than targetting and cueing?

Now lets say your HUD is good enough to handle it if your visor gets smacked its likely to be done. Being able to slap a sight on your gun to take over would be a very handy thing to have. If you have advanced power armor powering small gadgets like holo sites, NVG's, and thermal goggles is trivial.

Ah, I see. I'm imagining every soldier carrying a small supply of sights in hardened cases on their armour... though it'd probably be saner just to have the sight already attached.

By the way, would you care to weigh in on the visor vs. plate query I asked earlier? I figure that you'd probably be in the best position to decide which one's the least dumb, though I'm leaning toward the visor now.

@Tactical Fox:

Heh, I had a similar moment when I realised just how freakishly large (to us, anyway) the weapons used by my aliens would be. [lol]


Since we haven't done much on vehicles, here's something to chew on.

I know I've asked it at least once before, but since it didn't meet with much success I feel it doesn't hurt to ask again.

For my largest factionnote , which puts great emphasis on rapid, extremely aggressive offensivesnote , what sort of design considerations would be made for their vehicles? I'm fairly certain that speed would be one of the criteria, unless I'm woefully unknowledgeable.

Furthermore, would it make sense for them to make lots of variants of certain "base" vehicles? Think of the rainbow of variants of the Fishbed and other Soviet aircraft. I'm tempted to say yes since it'd reduce manufacturing costs, but I'm not a military arms designer soooooo...

edited 25th Mar '14 4:12:50 PM by Flanker66

Locking you up on radar since '09

Sing to the ocean in the afternoon haze,

Up the iron pillars, rise in the waves
 503 Major Tom, Tue, 25th Mar '14 4:19:28 PM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
what sort of design considerations would be made for their vehicles?

Long operational range, high cross country mobility, low profile, that sort of stuff.

Incidentally what you're describing is basically the 1980s Soviet Union military doctrine surrounding any potential war in Europe. "Deep battle" I think it was called.
Endless Conflict: Every war ends in time, even supposedly this one.
 504 Flanker 66, Tue, 25th Mar '14 4:45:03 PM from The Cockpit of a Celestial Relationship Status: I like big bots and I can not lie
Manei Domini
Thanks! Deep Battle was an earlier doctrine, used during WWII, though no doubt it informed Soviet thinking later on. But that was exactly the sort of thing I was going for - overwhelming the enemy's defences both via aggressive maneuver and deception during the prelude to war in order to penetrate deeply into their rear areas and wreak havoc. As far as they're concerned, the faster they can get the enemy to capitulate and/or shatter their capability to resist, the better.

Said similarities to Soviet doctrine are also intentional because the main scenario is, essentially, a Cold War gone hot... in SPACE! Albeit not a play-by-play for obvious reasons.
Locking you up on radar since '09

Sing to the ocean in the afternoon haze,

Up the iron pillars, rise in the waves
 505 Tuefel Hunden IV, Tue, 25th Mar '14 5:21:37 PM from Wandering. Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Watchmen of the Apocalypse
Fox: Your ship would likely be housing a mix of craft from what we might consider like frigates, destroyers, and maybe even cruisers as well as various types of strike craft.

Your crew could be anything from people needed for the ship to like Taira suggested a compliment of grunts for ground work.

What I would suggest is take base estimate of totals. The big numbers and then tweaking the percentages. So say the ship has a higher ratio of crew and other necessities. It also has a larger assortment of craft of varying types and sizes. The crew compliment could be only 55%-65% less while the craft count would be 85-90% less. You would still have a lot of craft even at that high a reduction of the original estimate. The trade off being variety and type of craft and more varied capability in deployed forces.

Basically this is a fleet ship. It carries the vessels to where they operate and then sends them out. It is a mother ship basically.

Now Taira did also have a good point about being a big target so I would still support this vessel with at least a protective fleet of ships to keep the enemy from just hammering it directly or give it time to deploy its onboard craft and crew as needed.

I am thinking of things like the massive super ships in Warhammer 40k for comparison. They get pretty massive in that verse.

Something else to note is the Gerald R Ford is looking at potential series of upgrades that could reduce the required crew compliment by up to 25% so say this ship already has that sort of upgrade you can shave off 25% of the needed crew and the extra space can go to other things including larger crew accommodations.

Flanker: For the linked weapon that are also some cons for linking a weapon directly to a suit. If your weapon runs out of ammo or goes out of action it makes it a it harder without stopping to calibrate to get a new weapon off of one or your own who may be dead, wounded, or incapacitated.

Since the HUD just uses the sites as a reference point and gives adjust corrections you just need to pick up another of your guys rifles and your good to go.

The enemy may be able to pick up and use your weapons if they have the same tech but it also makes it easier for a guy in suit to grab another weapon and keep on fighting rather then dinking with calibration equipment.

Think of how busy infantry are especially compared to most pilots. Not only are you often constantly moving your constantly communicating, moving, tracking threats, and navigating. Sometimes all at once. It gets even worse in fire fight. The only way to dial back on info overload is dial back how much you have hud doing.

IIRC most fighter craft focus on orientation references and targeting for the HUD and the rest of the info is built into the dash itself. They offer little in the way of things like zoom and NVG which is why pilots often wear separate visual enhancement gear that clip onto their helmets or are integrated part of the headgear in general.

Now having some of that built into a HUD isn't a bad idea, but if you are switching from orientation and navigation to shooting displays you are losing some of the information you need to effectively move and navigate which is just as crucial in a fire fight as it is in aerial fighting. These guys are encased in a suit meaning their natural field of view is likely limited and they have to rely on display info to move about accurately and quickly.

Now you could hand wave it saying they worked the kinks out of a all in one HUD display and the troops are trained to manage and handle info overload. I see that mentioned in certain pieces of fiction like in Hammers Slammers where their various visual systems in their vehicles have a large variety of capabilities. Same for the John Ringo Aldenata books.

If a in suit HUD can't integrate NVG, Thermal, or zoom they could do what I have seen in various real robot and other sci-fi settings. A suit mounted multi-lense device that swings down over the key visual ports and provides the view. In Armored trooper Votoms they have a multi-lense eye piece that can swap between various display modes depending on the number of eye pieces.

Now if you use the optics on weapon function I mentioned you could possibly free up the HUD for othe functions like you said tracking and cueing and it just overlays the info on the hud and through the targeting sight.

Now for the sight this is from both a real life project and represented in the Call of Duty Games is a multi-part swing up optics system. Basically you have a multi-part scope mount. You need magnification you flip up a compact ACOG lense set up. You need NVG or thermal you flip up one of those You need a combo of zoom and one of those you flip up the acog and visual enhancement in front of it. Its all rigged to work together and provide a single sight piece.

For back up sights it can be just a simple aiming device to help make up for the of aid from the HUD and could be a single item mount. It could be the multi-function mount I just discussed, or it could be a multitude of scopes like you mentioned. If they are back ups this something you would carry in pack or out of the way container for just in case.

Tom pretty much has it for the vehicle idea. The Soviets did keep in mind lessons learned from WWII but adjusted things to suit the modern war and fight against the US.

There was a gentleman from the Army who did an examination of how Soviet armor moves and fights vs US armor. The Soviets tended to move en masse in large sections preserving not only total fire power supremacy but also the number of targets you have to fight at once. The US for some odd reason applied the bounding over watchnote  to vehicles. Which as they move divide up the fire power and their numbers. Which means until your counter parts catch up to you, your forces and fire power are now divided and easier to take out then if you were all in a coordinated whole.

From what I can recall the Soviets were big on large coordinated movements that could brings lots of fire power to bear all at once. Which makes sense as the Soviets seem to be rather big on hit it at as hard as you can the first time and you won't need to hit it again a second time.

For example say we have 4 Bradley's moving into combat. They use bounding fire watch. For the majority of their movement their fire power is reduced by about half. The Soviets are doing the same thing with some BDRM's but they are moving in coordinated 4 vehicle group. They maintain a larger visual and contact area as well presenting more fire power on the enemy as they move.

There were some catches to the to the Soviet movement namely they needed to move quickly together and relied very heavily on terrain. Terrain could break up their formation but they would try to quickly rejoin. Basically they really didn't like dividing their firepower up.

edited 25th Mar '14 5:28:14 PM by TuefelHundenIV

"Who watches the watchmen?"
 506 Major Tom, Tue, 25th Mar '14 7:00:59 PM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
Basically they really didn't like dividing their firepower up.

Lessons learned from the Eastern Front. Groups that got separated and outmaneuvered died, groups that stayed coordinated and together killed the enemy instead. It didn't matter if it was a company of T-34s or a bunch of Mosin-Nagant carrying conscripts.

(Incidentally those experiences also signaled the end of the heavy tank since those things could never keep up with the more mobile T-34s and other stuff. Basically the logistical train for the Red Army could outrun the KV-2. It was that slow and useless in the more mobile later years. The Arab Israeli conflicts from 1947 through 1967 would prove to the West what the Soviets had long known.)
Endless Conflict: Every war ends in time, even supposedly this one.
 507 Tuefel Hunden IV, Tue, 25th Mar '14 7:19:09 PM from Wandering. Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Watchmen of the Apocalypse
Pretty much. What was wanted was the mobility of the medium tanks but the fire power and armor of the heavy. Thus the push for the MBT was born. Light tanks are in a weird place right now. They are bounced between tanks and AFV's.
"Who watches the watchmen?"
 508 Major Tom, Tue, 25th Mar '14 7:31:34 PM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
I think the future of the light tank is in need of an evolution. The Russians already have a head start on the concept in the BMP-T. Take a tank (light or MBT) carve out the big gun and replace with More Dakka and missiles for use in support roles for armored or Urban Warfare operations (or infantry maneuvers).

I would call the concept the Tank Support Vehicle (TSV) or Fire Support Vehicle (FSV). But unlike the Russians I envision a more multi-role platform for the TSV/FSV. Take a heavy armored AFV maybe your previous generation still relatively useful MBT's and convert them into TSV's/FSV's. They'd be modularly armed meaning depending on the mission and intel on the enemy they can be tailored to the support roles most likely needed.

For example in our world a TSV/FSV made from M60's or older Abrams could be configured into a variety of roles and armaments anywhere from Bradley+ (25mm Bushmaster and ATGM) for fire support roles to the 57mm Mk. 110 cannon and Javelin/TOW missiles to GAU-12 and Stinger missiles for AA roles or any combination you can think of for the mission. It would have better survivability against common threats like IED's, rockets, missiles and artillery and have greater firepower and/or longevity than IFV's and APC's. Plus if one gets taken out in operations you have fewer casualties than if you say had a fully loaded Stryker blown up.
Endless Conflict: Every war ends in time, even supposedly this one.
 509 Tuefel Hunden IV, Tue, 25th Mar '14 7:38:50 PM from Wandering. Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Watchmen of the Apocalypse
Kind of like how the Israelis use the Merkava Chasis for an APC like the Namer.
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 510 Major Tom, Tue, 25th Mar '14 7:45:24 PM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
Only it would be a dedicated AFV. No APC capabilities. APC capabilities cut into the firepower and ammo capabilities of the vehicle. The last thing you need is that TSV/FSV running out of BFG rounds because you thought stuffing a fireteam in there was more important than 40+ more rounds for the same space. (Same argument could be made for fuel.)

edited 25th Mar '14 7:47:48 PM by MajorTom

Endless Conflict: Every war ends in time, even supposedly this one.
 511 Tuefel Hunden IV, Tue, 25th Mar '14 8:19:05 PM from Wandering. Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Watchmen of the Apocalypse
The Namer though is a straight APC. It only has that one gun mount To help out the infantry or provide covering fire while they deploy. It is in no way meant to be an offensive vehicle or even an IFV. Pure APC's were often armed with mg's to fend off infantry attacks or protect their infantry while deploying.

What your talking about, cutting troops for ammo and fuel, is what the offensive Armored Fighting Vehicles cover. The Infantry Fighting Vehicles which are both armed and carry troops provide the troops with immediate heavy weapons fire support often from auto cannons as well as help them get to their target. A straight APC has minimal armaments and fits as many troops in it as possible.

All the Russians did was slap a new turret on the chassis. It shouldn't be too hard to take a base chassis and kit it out for any of the above roles. In fact there was a plan considered for the A Brams to make plug and play turret kits. Meaning you need something for urban fighting you swapped the turret. You need SPAAG you swap a turret. So on and so forth. Doing that with heavy AFV chassis like the Stryker body leaves the option to convert the chassis back into IFV or into a pure APC. Depending on how you do the mods you can have a SPAAG unit, light mobile artillery, direct fire support, or even an anti-tank turret. You can put in spare ammo and maybe even fuel inside if you can remove the troop seats. It makes it lighter then a tank which is part of the problem of using a MBT chassis is they tend to be very heavy.
"Who watches the watchmen?"
 512 Major Tom, Tue, 25th Mar '14 8:30:21 PM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
What your talking about, cutting troops for ammo and fuel, is what the offensive Armored Fighting Vehicles cover.

And that's what I'm talking about. The TSV/FSV I mentioned? Goes into that category. It would carry no soldiers.

It makes it lighter then a tank which is part of the problem of using a MBT chassis is they tend to be very heavy.

That's where you can use lighter tank chassis for when making TSV's/FSV's. As an evolution of the light tank it would fit the supporting and screening elements of an armored battalion while ideally being lighter and possibly speedier than an MBT (or at least just as fast) while still retaining greater survivability than an APC or IFV.

Of course it could make just as much sense to make a Universal Combat Vehicle (UCV) in that you have a modular chassis that can be melded into MBT, SPAAG, IFV, Arty, C&C, and more. I know the US Army Future Weapons System project 10 years ago had plans along those lines but it got scrapped. (Mostly on account of lack of ammo or survivability since they were all dependent on shit like Quick Kill rather than Kontakt-5 or Chobham armor.)

edited 25th Mar '14 8:31:11 PM by MajorTom

Endless Conflict: Every war ends in time, even supposedly this one.
 513 Tuefel Hunden IV, Tue, 25th Mar '14 8:46:00 PM from Wandering. Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Watchmen of the Apocalypse
Basically you are talking about reinventing the light tank. I would personally eschew the high weight MBT chassis as it makes it harder to transport and limits where it can go as well ruins fuel efficiency.

There are off the Shelf Systems for modern Day that would fill that role. Like the M8 Armored Gun System. It is a pure offensive Support System meant to be air deployable. We had the M551 Sheridan but the gun system had a number of issues including accuracy and reliability. The British have the FV 101 Scorpion aka Scimitar. My only problem with the Scorpion is it has very piddly armor 12mm of aluminum that any infantry unit could pop with commonly available weapons. Even light weight steel armor has better durability. The Sheridan has the same armor on the chassis but steel for the turret.

The M8 at least has truly strong light weight armor of Titanium alloys and packs a 105mm gun. Said gun is a similar weapon system now mounted on the Stryker MGS so we know it works. Better yet they have kept up with modern tech and have an updated Block II improvement. see here Which manages to cram in a 120mm gun with autoloader.
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 514 Belisaurius, Wed, 26th Mar '14 11:29:22 AM from Big Blue Nowhere Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
Artisan of Auspicious Artifacts
It's intriguing how much weight armor adds. In many ways, you can make a faster and cheaper tank that can compete with tougher tanks simply by skimping on the armor. Your main weakness, however, is that infantry anti-tank weapons are now a threat. You might not make it into position to knock out the main battle tanks before men on foot kill you.

 515 Tuefel Hunden IV, Wed, 26th Mar '14 11:40:22 AM from Wandering. Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Watchmen of the Apocalypse
Infantry Anti-tank weapons depending on version are a threat to MBT's as it is never mind the assortment of weapons that can defeat APC's armor that is RHA steel and much thicker. Under barrel Grenade Launchers can fire grenades capable of penetrating nearly a full inch of RHA armor or 25.4mm of armor grade steel. There are rifle grenades that give well over 100mm of penetration but are a bit harder to use and fewer can be carried. That isn't getting into assorted man portable AT rockets and missiles that can possibly knock out a MBT on the first hit.

That isn't even getting into various weapons that can shred up APC's like assorted auto-cannons, heavy machine guns with AP ammo, automatic grenade launchers, and even small lightweight artillery you could mount on something like a jeep or technical.

You have to ask yourself just how much protection do you want to sacrifice for some speed and lightness. Sure that aluminum armor can deflect common infantry rifles but infantry have long since carried weapons with a lot more fire power then that.

The NVA and VC frequently smacked the shit out of M113's with the same armor.

edited 26th Mar '14 11:46:55 AM by TuefelHundenIV

"Who watches the watchmen?"
I'm thinking of a hybrid Plasma/Kinetic system rifle. Basically 7.62 rounds are coated in high heat plasma before it leaves the barrel getting the best of both worlds.

 517 Major Tom, Wed, 26th Mar '14 3:53:36 PM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
The NVA and VC frequently smacked the shit out of M113's with the same armor.

And because of the aluminum armor used to make it lighter it liked to catch fire when hit.
Endless Conflict: Every war ends in time, even supposedly this one.
 518 Major Tom, Wed, 26th Mar '14 3:55:17 PM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
Basically you are talking about reinventing the light tank.

Yes because that's precisely what it needs. After all you said...

Light tanks are in a weird place right now. They are bounced between tanks and AFV's.

That sounds like a need for reinvention.
Endless Conflict: Every war ends in time, even supposedly this one.
 519 Tuefel Hunden IV, Wed, 26th Mar '14 6:41:06 PM from Wandering. Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Watchmen of the Apocalypse
The M113's fuel tanks were actually shocking vulnerable. The RPG 2 was amazingly good at setting the vehicle on fire due to its shallow shaped charge. The RPG 7 had a habit of punching clean through the m113 but didn't set it on fire as often due to the deeper shaped charge.

Not so much a need for reinvention because the end result will be pretty much the same. More a re-evaluation of what is already on the table and what we can field. Like I pointed out traditional light tanks of all types are nowhere near as protected or as well armed as an assortment of Modern IFV's and infantry weapons.

Light tanks were vulnerable to the many infantry weapons available before the end of WWII.

The biggest failing is using such a low level protection for armor to achieve lightness.

I can pretty much guarantee a revisit to the light tank will just churn out something we already have or have done.

The result would be something like the M-8 AGS, Bradley with maybe tweaks for ammo and fuel, or Stryker MGS platforms with maybe a few tweaks. I could even see a modernized M24 Chafee.

Personally I think the M8 is a good bet. Its base armor is light but is made from something stronger then aluminum but it is easily upgraded by bolt on armor kits. It has a modernized kit set already hammered out with upgrades made from mostly off the shelf items and it has some pretty good fire power for a vehicle of its weight.

edited 26th Mar '14 6:42:45 PM by TuefelHundenIV

"Who watches the watchmen?"
 520 Major Tom, Wed, 26th Mar '14 6:56:24 PM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
I was thinking along the lines of the vehicle is as heavy or slightly heavier than an IFV like a M3 Bradley. But instead of passenger space it's built for the best survivability and firepower/ammo capacity (and modular weapon systems).

It needn't exceed 30-35 tons at most. We don't need our TSV's to be a Panzerkampwagen Landkreuzer.

For example, this would be a potential candidate for the TSV/new light tank idea. A small low profile dedicated AFV intended for fire support and other roles. It's air-droppable so it can be used in rapid reaction force operations where MBT's would be too slow or heavy or a lot of trouble in getting there. (Think air assault ops in places like Vietnam, Afghanistan and Korea.)

But it would ditch the 125mm and try and up-armor its survivability better than a BMD-3. The ideal light tank/TSV would in our time survive direct hits across the frontal, turret and side arcs from upwards of 57mm cannon fire for a single hit. Though 35-40mm cannon fire is acceptable given current materials science. Anything heavier like RPG's or tank guns would be dealt with via a combination of reactive/slat armor and active protection systems.

That is assuming doctrine and battle experience allow/favor a lighter vehicle than say a previous generation MBT chassis. (The BMP-T was built because shit like the BMP-2, BTR-80, BMD and ZSU-23 were too frail for directly engaging the enemy who may be armed with AT weapons. Especially in Urban Warfare.)
Endless Conflict: Every war ends in time, even supposedly this one.
 521 Taira Mai, Wed, 26th Mar '14 7:31:56 PM from El Paso Tx Relationship Status: One Is The Loneliest Number
rollin' on dubs
A light tank could be the mainstay of "airborne" company-sized units: a modular light AFV that can have more armor added on.

Colonies and high value targets could have the heavy MBT-sized tanks and AFV's because they don't have to come aboard a spaceship.
 522 Tuefel Hunden IV, Wed, 26th Mar '14 8:31:07 PM from Wandering. Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Watchmen of the Apocalypse
Taira: Which is what the M8 Armored Gun System is specifically designed to do. Its base package was meant to make it air droppable. It was designed as the replacement for the Sheridan and as a light tank across the Army. It tops out at just over 24 tons with bolt on armor. and has a gun system capable of engaging both lighter armored vehicles as well as buildings, bunkers, and other hard points. It has the ability to bolt on more armor for improved protection if needed.

The M8 AGS upgrade package retains its air drop capability but gives it modern features like a auto-loaded 120mm, 2nd gen Flir and other improvements. The 120mm probably adds a few tons but this vehicle has some weight space to spare in that regard.

In fact the current demand for an Air Borne Light Tank that was put out recently uses the same general reqs that this vehicle was built for and it is looked on favorably because it still meets them.

Stryker MGS is rated for 14.5mm before any possible add on armor. It has a 105mm gun that was developed off of the gun on the M8 AGS and the vehicles weighs in at just over 18 tons. Fitted with Slat armor makes it resistant against RPG's. Giving it some additional ammo space and or fuel space would be fairly easy. This is probably the lightest option we have and with all the bolt on armor will likely weigh as much as the M8 with bolt on.

The m2 Bradley is the only one that even approaches your ideal armor toughness. It has laminated spaced armor and resists 30mm AP and early gen RPG AT rounds. It can bolt on ERA armor if needed and likely be fitted with slat armor as well. The Downside is the Bradley is fairly hefty at nearly 30 tons mostly due to its armor. The downside is that is gun is at most 25mm gun with some TOW missile suppliments. It might be converted to fit the gun system like the Stryker or some other large big bore gun. There is the Bradely M3 Bradley Cavalry Fighting Vehicle is a nearly pure combat vehicle. It has very few crew and is intended as a scout and fire support vehicle. The down side is again its smaller 25mm gun and the fact it weighs in at nearly 30 tons. Also it has only steel frontal armor and high strength aluminum elsewhere. You cold probably shave off of some weight by compacting the turret and ditching the Missile systems. Which also makes more room for other munitions.

The Europeans have some systems that are pretty good as well including one that mounts an upgrade L70 Bofors 40mm with some of the first successful multi-role multi modal fused munitions. IIRC the Combat Vehicle 90 a Swedish design fits most of those requisites in general. Supposedly they can bolt on MEXAS composite applique armor giving it all around protection that meets or beats the bradley. If you eliminate the roomy crew compartment of 8 troops and use it for fuel and ammo it might be worth its weight. The latest gen ones though are on the heavy side.

The problem with demanding any higher performance then what the Bradley gives on armor is it drastically increases the amount of armor needed and therefore the weight of the vehicle. We really need a revolution in material sciences to make armor lighter.

57mm firing current gen HEAT rounds is pretty damn scary. Especially considering there is a 40mm rifle grenade that can chew through 200mm of RHA type armor. The penetration ability of HEAT goes up with the relative diameter of the charge.

edited 27th Mar '14 7:06:08 PM by TuefelHundenIV

"Who watches the watchmen?"
 523 Taira Mai, Thu, 27th Mar '14 3:00:44 PM from El Paso Tx Relationship Status: One Is The Loneliest Number
rollin' on dubs
[up]Whoops, I meant to say that I agree with you Tuffle. A vehicle in the Stryker, M-8 and BMP class could form a good baseline for most "airborne" units. They would land, take a major city or large patch of ground. The heavies would arrive with MBT's and heavy guns (along with combat engineers, prime power and the other Soldiers at the Rear).

Same with aircraft: light AH-1Z, UH-60, AH-64 or Mi-28 would travel in pods to be dropped for the ground forces. Heavy Spacefighters would serve as "bombers" or the heavy artillery for the light forces. Orbital Bombardment could come from ships, for them they say "Screw those guys and the subcontinent they're on!"
 524 Tuefel Hunden IV, Thu, 27th Mar '14 4:15:42 PM from Wandering. Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Watchmen of the Apocalypse
Taira: Its all good. The Russians have some pretty decent vehicles in the role including ones with some impressive fire power for a vehicle of their size.

The BMP3 has protection similar to the Bradley Cavalry Fighting Vehicle. Steel armor up front with spaced armor and aluminum elsewhere. Comparable amount of protection. But it tops out at 18 tons. It sports 100mm Rifled Gun Launcher and a 30mm Auto cannon. It can also carry up to 9 troops if you squeeze 7 normally.

edited 27th Mar '14 7:03:04 PM by TuefelHundenIV

"Who watches the watchmen?"
 525 Tuefel Hunden IV, Thu, 27th Mar '14 7:18:09 PM from Wandering. Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Watchmen of the Apocalypse
Ok this is sort of touching back on the optics discussion.

Check out the most common VOTOM from Armored Troopers VOTOM. it has multi-modal multi-lense optics band that tracks back and forth. The helmet usually opens open and IIRC the visor can be raised for MK 1 Eyeball should it be needed. The Pilots wear their own pilot goggles that give them some other optical capabilities aside from the lenses on the optics band.
"Who watches the watchmen?"
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