GD Light Tank

For some reason our blog was getting hits from youtube….so I went searching and discovered this newly posted youtube video about General Dynamics proposed “light” tank: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FBtncggpIU

As it says in the remarks (bolding is mine):

Smith’s emphasis upon how lighter-weight armored vehicles can address terrain challenges, and off-road mobility aligns with findings from analytical research performed years ago by the Dupuy Institute.

The research study, call “The Historical Combat Effectiveness of Lighter-Weight Armored Forces,” examined combat scenarios from Vietnam, The Korean War, the Persian Gulf War – and even WWII.

Commissioned by the US Army Center for Army Analysis, the study concluded that heavily armed, yet lighter-weight, more maneuverable armored combat platforms could provided substantial advantage to combat infantry in many scenarios.

“Vehicle weight is sometimes a limited factor in less developed area. In all cases where this was a problem, there was not a corresponding armor threat. As such, in almost all cases, the missions and tasks for a tank can be fulfilled with other light armor,” the study writes.

Drawing upon this conceptual premise, it also stands to reason that a medium-armored vehicles, with heavy firepower, might be able to support greater mobility for advancing infantry while simultaneously engaging in major combat, mechanized force-on-force kinds of engagements where there is armored resistance.

Now, this study is available as a download on our website here: http://www.dupuyinstitute.org/pdf/mwa-2lightarmor.pdf

Or in the bigger picture here: http://www.dupuyinstitute.org/tdipdf.htm

Interesting to discover that this study, that we did in 2001, is being referenced now. It was primarily done by me and Richard Anderson. It was done at the request of Walt Hollis, Deputy Under Secretary of the Army (Operations Research) and CAA was given the task of administering it. CAA seemed uncertain of what to do with it once they received it, but told us around 2002 that their big lesson from the study was that they needed to worry about mine protection for any projected future armor. This was before we went into Iraq.

Anyhow, there were many aspects to this study, which I will not belabor here as you can read it yourself; but it appears that people are cherry picking from parts of it.

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Christopher A. Lawrence
Christopher A. Lawrence

Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analyses of lessons learned from modern military experience.
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Mr. Lawrence was the program manager for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base, the Kursk Data Base, the Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets and for a number of other smaller combat data bases. He has participated in casualty estimation studies (including estimates for Bosnia and Iraq) and studies of air campaign modeling, enemy prisoner of war capture rates, medium weight armor, urban warfare, situational awareness, counterinsurgency and other subjects for the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff and the U.S. Air Force. He has also directed a number of studies related to the military impact of banning antipersonnel mines for the Joint Staff, Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation.
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His published works include papers and monographs for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, in addition to over 40 articles written for limited-distribution newsletters and over 60 analytical reports prepared for the Defense Department. He is the author of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka (Aberdeen Books, Sheridan, CO., 2015), America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam (Casemate Publishers, Philadelphia & Oxford, 2015), War by Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat (Potomac Books, Lincoln, NE., 2017) , The Battle of Prokhorovka (Stackpole Books, Guilford, CT., 2019), The Battle for Kyiv (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2023), Aces at Kursk (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024), Hunting Falcon: The Story of WWI German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024) and The Siege of Mariupol (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2024).
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Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

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One comment

  1. This is indeed a selective reading of the Medium Weight Armor study. It appears that Global Conflict, the producer of the video, is citing a piece by Kris Osborn at Warrior Maven (https://defensemaven.io/warriormaven/land/ausa-army-says-new-future-armored-vehicle-changes-war-gdls-unveils-griffin-SWRar-qyKkG0qgBjcH2S4w/).

    Osborn makes the case that it “stands to reason that a medium-armored vehicle, with heavy firepower, might be able to support greater mobility for advancing infantry while simultaneously engaging in major combat, mechanized force-on-force kinds of engagements where there is armored resistance.”

    This interpretation runs counter to the conclusions of the study that point out the risks to medium or light-weight armor forces of being overmatched by heavy armor forces. TDI did caveat that the risk would be mitigated if the lighter-weight armor force possesed a weapon system capable of defeating enemy heavy armor before it engaged the lighter-weight armor force.

    However, the proposed Griffin III would mount only a 50mm cannon, which would be insufficient to match, much less overmatch, enemy heavy armor. (The Giffin III is General Dynamics’ proposal for the Army’s Next Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV), not the Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) program.) The Giffin III’s 50mm cannon might overmatch existing enemy light or medium armor armed with 30mm cannons.

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