SykesFive
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Joined: Tue 07 Sep 2021, 21:15

Re: First Edition Vehicle Guides

Tue 07 Sep 2021, 21:17

I'm dating myself here, but if you go back to wargaming in the 70s and early 80s, many of the games use the A,B and C designation for BMPs (or just BMP). Sigh, time to go lie down, I guess
In its wargames, GDW called the BMP equipped with the 73mm gun "BMP-A" and the later version with the 30mm gun "BMP-B."
 
SykesFive
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue 07 Sep 2021, 21:15

Re: First Edition Vehicle Guides

Tue 07 Sep 2021, 21:47


A quick skim and my own personal brain (which is probably wrong in a few cases) says this:


M691 Diana - existed, but was never adopted
M990 ADA - T2K seemed obsessed with giving the US Army AAA capability that it never went forward with!
M917 ADATS - the ADATS system existed, but in US testing was always on a M113 chassis I believe, and never adopted.
M920 Hellfire - pretty sure this is a total fabrication
M757 Blazer - likewise.
M975 Roland - prototype only
ADATS took a little too long for the Army to procure it, but it would have gone on a Bradley chassis. The Canadians, who not only participated in the program but actually procured it, used an M113 chassis since they used that chassis already but had no intention of ever procuring the Bradley.

The M920 is a kind of "super M910 ITV." The M901, a dedicated tank destroyer with the TOW missile system, was used by mechanized infantry battalions. This made sense when the standard infantry carrier was the M113, but when the Bradley came along it also mounted TOW. And the M113 couldn't keep up with the Bradley. So GDW figured the sensible next step would be to put a better antitank missile, the Hellfire, on the Bradley chassis. In reality there were no ground-launched Hellfires until the 2000s, and these were developments of the active radar homing Longbow Hellfire not the semiactive laser homing Hellfire.

The fictitious M757 Blazer is eerily similar to the real-world M6 Linebacker. Both were M2 Bradleys adapted for air defense and both mounted four Stinger missile tubes. The M757 had a three-barrel 30mm chaingun (which I don't think actually exists) whereas the M6 just had the single-barrel 25mm chaingun from the standard Bradley. Upgunning makes a lot of sense here since you don't want your air defense vehicles to be outranged by the enemy attack helicopters.

Another thing to note is that GDW referred to the Sgt. York as the M988 in both Twilight: 2000 products and in wargames such as Assault. The actual designation was M247. I am not sure where the M988 designation originated.

As to why so many GDW invented so many forward air defense vehicles, well, this was a perpetual problem spot for the Cold War-era Army. Since the 1960s, program after program had been canceled and instead the Army got a series of interim solutions. GDW figured that the Army would actually commit to something during the late 1980s or early 1990s. It did not and the Cold War ended with the Army still fielding the obsolete PIVAD and Chaparral systems.
 
paladin2019
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Re: First Edition Vehicle Guides

Wed 08 Sep 2021, 08:53

As to why so many GDW invented so many forward air defense vehicles, well, this was a perpetual problem spot for the Cold War-era Army. Since the 1960s, program after program had been canceled and instead the Army got a series of interim solutions. GDW figured that the Army would actually commit to something during the late 1980s or early 1990s. It did not and the Cold War ended with the Army still fielding the obsolete PIVAD and Chaparral systems.
Also, SGT York hadn't been killed, because its M48 hull would never be able to keep up with Abrams and Bradleys, by the time of 1st Ed. (and Bradley was still about a year away from fielding, too). A lot of speculation and wishful thinking and lack of conception that something like Avenger would be the answer.
 
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Ursus Maior
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Re: First Edition Vehicle Guides

Wed 08 Sep 2021, 16:20

I'm dating myself here, but if you go back to wargaming in the 70s and early 80s, many of the games use the A,B and C designation for BMPs (or just BMP). Sigh, time to go lie down, I guess
It's probably an misconstructed adaption for land vehicles of how NATO reporting names (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO_reporting_name) work and worked back then. The first iteration of an almost identical airplane would indeed have been labeled "A", the second "B" etc.; i. e. think of FLOGGER A, FLOGGER B etc. for MiG-23 variants. Maybe, and this is me guessing here, GDW used this system for land vehicles, although this was not how NATO named land vehicles. With these, M-numbers were assigned, until the proper Soviet names were known. The BMP-1 was hence called the M-1967 until its Soviet designation was known.

Another possibility was that GDW picked up on the original model of the BMP from 1966, which was shorter than the final BMP-1 from 1966. This "proto-BMP" was indeed called BMP-A. Maybe they went from there and called the BMP-2 the BMP-B, though that was never a model designation given by anyone, AFAIK.
liber & infractus
 
SykesFive
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Joined: Tue 07 Sep 2021, 21:15

Re: First Edition Vehicle Guides

Wed 08 Sep 2021, 17:00

]Also, SGT York hadn't been killed, because its M48 hull would never be able to keep up with Abrams and Bradleys, by the time of 1st Ed. (and Bradley was still about a year away from fielding, too). A lot of speculation and wishful thinking and lack of conception that something like Avenger would be the answer.
Sgt. York was killed after the 1st ed. core rules went to press but before the U.S. Army Vehicle Guide. You see the proliferation of ADA vehicles in the U.S. Army Vehicle Guide.

Ironically, using the M48 hull was one of the design requirements. The Army wanted to save money.

GDW's Assault tactical boardgame was also caught by this: Sgt. York was canceled after the basic set was finalized, so it was included but so were rules for the PIVAD which continued to be used.
 
paladin2019
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Re: First Edition Vehicle Guides

Wed 08 Sep 2021, 20:15

Ironically, using the M48 hull was one of the design requirements. The Army wanted to save money.
Having worked acquisitions and knowing its history, this probably needs to have the addendum "and no one, air defense projects, maneuver projects, doctrine writers, were talking to each other and keeping things synchronized." ;)

Seriously, if SGT York was meant to work alongside M60 (NOT-Pattons) and M113s, the recapitalized M48 Patton hull would have been fine. That's probably the intention that drove that particular requirement. Not updating the requirement in light of Abrams produced the subsequent mobility problem.
 
SykesFive
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Joined: Tue 07 Sep 2021, 21:15

Re: First Edition Vehicle Guides

Wed 08 Sep 2021, 21:07

I think there was a lot of insularity and failure to integrate the needs of the various communities.

Supposedly a lighter M48-based vehicle could keep up, mostly, with the M1/M2 force, keeping in mind also that a lot of M113-based vehicles were going to be in service with maneuver battalions for a decade or more. (E.g., M88s and M577s.) Amazingly, the "production" M247 design turned out to be more than 10 tons heavier than the M48 tank had been. The overweight air defense vehicle was therefore significantly slower.

You can see GDW's fictitious "next generation" ADA vehicles such as the M691 as crediting the Army with learning the lesson: they all take a current-technology hull and stick a specialized turret on it, so there's no question of them matching the mobility of the maneuver forces.
 
paladin2019
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Re: First Edition Vehicle Guides

Wed 08 Sep 2021, 21:37

And, interestingly, there has never really been a shortage of M1 hulls to make "American Gepards".

Side note: At the time these weapon systems were being developed, there was not a centralized acquisitions management entity as there is now. Each branch ran their own acquisitions programs and this didn't change until the late '80s. ADA may not have had the cash to do anything except recapitalize M48 hulls.

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