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Comparing U.S. Army Systemswith Foreign Counterparts

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  • C O R P O R A T I O N

    Research Report

    Comparing U.S. Army Systems with Foreign CounterpartsIdentifying Possible Capability Gaps and Insights from Other Armies

    John Gordon IV, John Matsumura, Anthony Atler, Scott Boston, Matthew E. Boyer, Natasha Lander, Todd Nichols

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    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataISBN: 978-0-8330-8721-8

    For more information on this publication, visit www.rand.org/t/rr716

    Published by the RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, Calif.

    Copyright 2015 RAND Corporation

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  • iii

    Preface

    This fiscal year 2013 project was conducted on behalf of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Force Development (G-8) in Headquarters, Department of the Army. The projects title, Comparing U.S. Army Systems with Foreign Counterparts: Identifying Possible Capability Gaps and Insights from Other Armies, demonstrates the focus of this effort: to compare selected U.S. Army programs with their counterparts in a number of other armies around the world. As an organizing principle, the Armys warfighting functions were selected as a way of bounding and focusing the research. Warfighting functions include movement and maneuver, intelligence, fires, sustainment, mission command, and protection. During the course of the project, various areas of particular interest were selected in conjunction with the needs of the sponsor in order to better focus the research. For example, within the warfighting function of movement and maneuver, it was decided to concentrate on examining armored fighting vehicles and helicopters.

    Given the very broad range of topics that had to be covered in this project, a decision was made in conjunction with the sponsor to conduct an overview of selected foreign systems and to focus on unclassified sources. Classified sources were periodically consulted during the research, and, when appropriate, classified insights were directly provided to the sponsor. Importantly, this report is based entirely on unclassified, open-source information. A number of foreign armies were selected for the comparisons. In some cases those armies are U.S. allies, while in other cases the army used for the comparison is a potential future competitor. Although the research was primarily focused on comparing the capabilities of material systems, such as armored fighting vehicles, logistics systems, and helicopters, within a warfighting function, crosscutting insights were developed where possible. Additionally, although the research focuses on material systems, where possible other implications for the U.S. Army in the areas of doctrine, training, and leader development were observed and highlighted.

    This research was sponsored by the Director of Force Management and conducted within the RAND Arroyo Centers Force Development and Technology Program. RAND Arroyo Center, part of the RAND Corporation, is a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the United States Army.

    The Project Unique Identification Code (PUIC) for the project that produced this document is RAN126499.

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  • v

    Contents

    Preface............................................................................................................................................ iii Figures............................................................................................................................................ ix Tables ............................................................................................................................................. xi Summary ...................................................................................................................................... xiii Acknowledgments........................................................................................................................ xix Abbreviations ............................................................................................................................... xxi 1. Introduction ................................................................................................................................. 1 2. Ground Movement and Maneuver .............................................................................................. 5

    Key Trends in Armored Fighting Vehicles .............................................................................................. 5 Main Battle Tanks .................................................................................................................................... 6 Mobility-Protection-Firepower Comparisons ........................................................................................... 8 Tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicles .......................................................................................................... 9

    Mobility .............................................................................................................................................. 11 Protection ........................................................................................................................................... 11 Firepower ........................................................................................................................................... 12

    Wheeled Armored Personnel Carriers and Infantry Fighting Vehicles .................................................. 12 Mobility .............................................................................................................................................. 14 Protection ........................................................................................................................................... 14 Firepower ........................................................................................................................................... 15

    Airborne Light-Armored Fighting Vehicles ........................................................................................... 15 Implications for the U.S. Army .............................................................................................................. 17

    3. Indirect Fires ............................................................................................................................. 19 Self-Propelled Howitzers ........................................................................................................................ 19 Lethality .................................................................................................................................................. 21 Towed Howitzers .................................................................................................................................... 23 Cannon Ammunition .............................................................................................................................. 25 Rocket Artillery ...................................................................................................................................... 27 Implications for the Armys Indirect-Fire-Procurement Decisionmaking ............................................. 32

    Cannons .............................................................................................................................................. 32 Rockets ............................................................................................................................................... 33

    4. Helicopters ................................................................................................................................ 35 Selection Criteria .................................................................................................................................... 36 Attack Helicopters .................................................................................................................................. 36

    AH-64E General Platform Information .............................................................................................. 36 Marine Corps AH-1Z ......................................................................................................................... 37 European EC665 ................................................................................................................................ 39 Russian Mi-28N ................................................................................................................................. 40

  • vi

    Chinese Z-10 ..........................................................................