Wow, thats a detailed post.
I thought you were in favour of "Fighting" CAV, which is what I though Armoured Cavalry to be?
My idea of a 'fighting cav' is very different to an ACR. By fighting cav all I meant was we should change the organisation and training of our cav regts from a medium reconnaissance unit into more of a general fighting unit. The unit wouldn't be too different to mech inf - the way I described it I think is that mech inf have vehicles to support the dismounts, cav would have dismounts to support the vehicles. Not much would change - more emphasis on dismounts working with vehicles, more support capabilities (like TUA or similar), and a changing of doctrine to reflect this. This already happens on ops, all it would really take is the head shead recognising this and changing the doctrine and training of the regiments.
Is there a real possibility that the M-113, ASLAV and F echelon Bushmasters will be replaced with a wheeled FOV including Rec, IFV and APC variants?
Alternatively is there a chance that LAND 400 will be a multi faceted purchase like FRES, including both wheeled and tracked vehicles each tailored to its specific role?
The exact requirements for Land 400 has yet to be finalised, so who knows? It most likely will be like FRES though - with all vehicles having some commonality but tailored for their roles.
Also, whether Land 400 will find a replacement for the Bushmasters in the mot inf bns isn't decided yet either. My personal thoughts on the matter is that if we insist on maintaining three types of infantry (mech, mot and light) is that the mot inf should be equipped with a vehicle like the Stryker brigades. Therefore you'd have a tracked IFV with a two-man turret and auto-cannon, a CFV similar to the IFV but wheeled, and an IMV similar to the CFV but with an RWS instead of the two man turret. Something like Bradley, NZLAV and Stryker respectively (but newer vehicles of course).
Is there a need for a tracked AFV to support the MBT's or will a wheeled vehicle suffice?
Probably. With the advance in technology for wheeled AFVs, maybe the head shed will decide that they provide enough mobility for the IFV role. My opinion is that the IFVs for the mech bns will and should be tracked.
If we don't buy a tracked AFV as part of LAND 400 will this result in the Abrams being limited to the DF and infantry support role?
I believe in both combined arms and training as you fight, but then again so do the US, British, French, German, Norwegian and Israeli armies to mention a few. This is why they have or are moving towards instilling combined arms at lower and lower levels within their ORBAT. Why then is Australia so fixated on maintaining a 60's / 70's divisional structure when our deployed forces take on similar combined arms battle groups structures to other nations?
How are those militaries moving to integrating combined arms at a lower level than Australia? As far as I know, our allied armies don't permanently integrate different capabilities (tanks, cav, inf etc) below brigade level. The ACR being discussed is an exception, but the vast majority of the US Army simply battlegroups their capabilities exactly the same as we do.
Our Cavalry Regiments, with their mix of Gun cars, APC's and Assault Troops are our only integrated combined arms formations and I believe them to be our most flexible and useful conventional forces. Is it such a stretch to suggest we extend this combined arms structure from our medium Cav to include our Heavy forces?
One technical point is that a 'formation' describes a brigade-sized force. A cav regt is not a formation. More to the point though - there is no requirement to combine different capabilities below brigade leve. Below that battle-grouping will be used as required - the same as the British and the US do it.
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