Cost/Benefit Analysis and the Procurement of Armored Vehicles

As austere defense budgets loom before us, we, as citizens advocating to our representatives have a duty to ensure not only that our armed forces are adequately equipped, but that the monies spent are in fact spent wisely.

What metrics do we use to determine that the equipment we buy is suitable for your national defense strategy? Is a low up-front cost more important than life-cycle operating costs? Do the vehicles have capabilities and utilities that have real world application, or are they just the flash of slick marketing professionals?

Here’s one man’s take on the subject.

4 thoughts on “Cost/Benefit Analysis and the Procurement of Armored Vehicles”

  1. For the original M-1 a turbine was a good choice. Large power to weight diesels weren’t very reliable back in the 70s, although things have come far since. The acceleration problem remains, however.

    Diesels are fairly massive engines in comparison to similar displacement gas engines. It’s the nature of the beast with compression ignition. The stresses are very large and only mass can resist them properly. Although some tricks can be played to reduce weight, anything in compression has to be fairly heavy to keep from buckling under the large compressive forces. Add the much larger compression ratios….

    It just takes longer to spool up a heavy recip as opposed to a turbine that doesn’t change direction while operating. They just whirl in one direction, and things tend to be in tension which allows structural pieces to be lighter. So more energy can go into motive power rather than being wasted on constantly changing momentum around teh crankshaft.

    But, turbines are not easy on fuel at low altitudes. There is a reason Airliners operate at high flight levels.

    1. I always kept my tank at 0 feet AGL. Much safer that way. Fuel consumption is secondary! Well, I have gotten it a couple feet above ground level jumping sand dunes, but that is another story.

    2. I drove a tank for my company commander on my my first FTX with with B/3/109 at Campbell. I’d driven a tank briefly at Shelby the previous February which was my fist time ever. The CO didn’t know I’d never driven before Shelby and Campbell was just the 2nd time.

      We came to the edge of one of the DZs and I backed up about 100′ from the tree line then floored it (this was an old M-60). Theer was a swale about two thirds of the way down the slope and I jumped it. We got about 5′ above ground. It was a wonder I didn’t break every torsion bar on the poor thing. The CO was cussing over the interphone and after we stopped on the other side of the DZ he slid down the front glacis and looked me in the eye and told me I was insane.

      He did say it with a BSEG on his face.

      Why crawl when you can fly?

      Seriously, turbines are gas hogs. It’s just the nature of the beast.

  2. Hey, when the army gives you the fuel, burn it! In hard training I used to bring 2 x 2500 gallon tankers out to my company twice a day and we would often use most of it. When it takes about 11 gallons to start it, and a couple gallons per mile, it goes fast. It even burns at a high rate, just at an idle. And you know that when the cold infantrymen come around, they want you to crank it so they can huddle behind it and bask in the 11oo degree heat.

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