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Subject: Crusader
Hays    6/13/2002 9:45:49 PM
There seems to be some confusion about the status of the Crusader program. Currently,the contract with United Defense, is still active. No order to stop work has been received from the Army. Secretary Rumsfeld has made it clear that he wants to cancel Crusader,however,this outcome depends on congressional action. Concerning the viability of the Crusader combat system,consider that one of the objectives of artillery is to provide fire support. Using it''s autoloading capability the Crusader is able to fire accutately up to 10 to 12 rounds per minute. It would take three or four Paladins,each with a crew of five,to achieve the same rate of fire that one Crusader accomplishes with a 3 man crew. Unlike air power Crusader is availble around the clock in any weather condition. I might add that the Crusader is designed to provide NBC protection. The arguement that Crusader "is too heavey to get anywhere in a hurry" is specious. The Air Force C-17 can carry two Crusaders. The Air Mobility Command intends to postpone retirement of 63 C-141s,consider upgrading the C5,and take delivery,by 2008,of up to 180 C-17s. The 180 C-17s include aircraft already in service. The Air Force is also planning to replace about 160 C-130s. The point is we will have,within six years, and extraordinary amount of lift. If this isn''t enough to move a reasonable number of systems than prepositioning equipment becomes necessary. DOD currently prepositions men,planes,ships,and equipment all over the world. Nothing new with this concept. We hear much about JDAM and other precision guided munitions. They are indeed remarkable. In the absence of the new SDB (small diameter bomb)which will not be available for a number of years, a 2000lb.JDAM becomes a very expensive weapon best suited for high-value targets. 155MM rounds fired from the Crusader are a low cost alternative to PGMs. The Crusader is on schedule,on budget,and has met or exceeded performance goals.
 
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macawman    RE:Crusader   8/24/2002 9:49:02 PM
One of the shortcoming of 155 arty in Desert Storm was that the heavy underpowered tracked guns could not keep up with the Abrams and the Bradleys in the desert. Could the Crusader keep up and what is its off road/desert speed?
 
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derek.west1@us.army.mil    RE:Crusader   9/8/2002 11:21:45 PM
I would just like to say that its nice that someone out there has their head on their shoulders about the crusader artillery system. I am a member of A Btry 1/126FA 57thFA brigade, and we currently are one of 9 paladin units in the world. while the paladin is an awesome artillery piece, the standards that the army has set for its performance as a piece is unattainable. it is impossible to meet some of the time standards put forth, since they are all theory. the crusader technology would enable the military to actually meet the needs of its indirect fire force. personally, i think that the politions need to stay out of weapons development and let Gen. Shinseki make those kinds of decisions. its his vision to turn the army into a faster, lighter, more powerful force, and rumsfield seems like he is trying to stop this from happening. i for one am very upset that someone who has no idea what its like to be in artillery is making this decision. given our life expectancy in battle, the pure inadequacy of the paladin to defend itself and provide the type of indirect fire the military needs, the crusader is the cheapest, fastest, most accurate, safest, and best option the army has ever had. its just too bad that my words will never mean a damn thing to someone like rumsfield. i think he needs realize that the US did not become the most powerful country on the planet in a short 200 years by canceling perfectly legitement weaponry and technolgy. did i say legitiment, i meant the best in the world. soldiers are trained to fight with honor and courage, and to annihilate the enemy. politicians need to inherit some of that honor, and stop trying to cover their asses. this country is built on pride and being the best, so why not give us the best weapons systems available.
 
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derek.west1@us.army.mil    reply to macawman reply   9/8/2002 11:30:12 PM
the crusader does not need to keep up with tanks. it is a rear combat arms piece, with a range a 40km. it is not our job to storm the front lines, rather to provide mass fires upon the enemy in support of other military operations. we do not need to be close, nor would it be intelligent to do so. why put any more lives on the line than needed. in responce to your question, though, the current paladin top speed is 37 mph. the crusader will be noticibly faster (probably 45-50 mph), but will never match the speed of a tank. the crusader is too expensive as it is, and to reach the speed of a tank, the crusader would need a $10 million suspension system.
 
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Pete S    RE:reply to macawman reply   9/9/2002 9:18:51 PM
Regarding speed, another thing to understand is that advancing at top speed is an invitation to disaster. The rate of advance of an armored/mech force will be far less than the max speed. The max speed is for quick dashes while in contact, so tank-like speed for an artillery piece is un- necessary. What IS important is cross-country mobility, so the weapon can cross the same terrain as the tanks/APCs, in order to be in position to provide fire support when needed.
 
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macawman    RE:reply to macawman reply   9/12/2002 11:16:46 PM
Good point about arty cross-country mobility, Pete. Did the 155 fire support mission subordinate to the direct fire tank mission after the break through the Iraqi lines in Desert Storm? I have not read anything that addresses combined arms operations during the march attack phase.
 
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