Dear Director, I follow your columns and online discussions with passion. About the, hopefully, future IFV, I got the Your criticisms about the BAE CV90.
I have some questions.
Weight and size. The difference between the CV90 and the Lynx is considerable, over 10 tons. Sizes are not comparable. This has an impact on the price.
I would like to point out that also the CV90 has already implemented anti UAV capabilitiescontrary to what you said.
La rear of the vehicle she is considerably less heavily armored than the Lynx; but as you well know, the percentage of being hit in the access ramp is very low.
CIO already has an agreement with BAE, as you have clearly specified. Don't you think that urgency plays an important role in choosing a candidate?
Certainly the Lynx is a superior craft, in many respects, but it has no actual experience in the field. The CV90 has gained considerable experience, which has led to further developments.
In times of lean budgets, urgencies and logistics, don't you think the Lynx is less likely to be chosen?
Thanking you for your attention, I would like to congratulate you on your interesting website.
Towards greater things
Dear Reader, Thank you for your questions and interesting observations.
Let's proceed in order. You are right, the weight difference it is remarkable. "Remarkable" if we consider that the number of infantry transported is the same...
Israel and Russia itself have developed their most modern troop carriers (Namer and T-15 Armata) using the respective tanks as a protective reference Merkava and T14 Armata. When using the heavy component on a war front, it is unacceptable, inefficient and even "immoral" to consider the life of a few tank crew differently from that of the accompanying soldiers.
Until February 24, 2022, despite someone underlining the uselessness and absolute inadequacy of the vehicle (even updated!), the Defense program was to proceed with the tank Ram. From that point of view, the CV90 would have been an adequate choice: both vehicles offered limited protection.
Since our generals - "co-responsible" for the imminent choice for the new IFV - know very well that the previous choices were dictated (better "imposed") by industrial (autonomous) and political criteria (imagine the bush rolling in the dusty road of a western film...), but NOT primarily "military"... a reversal of priorities will be necessary.
The rush to purchase hundreds of Leopard 2 A7. From this point of view, the (almost) 10 extra tons make a big difference in choosing who will have to support (and protect) them.
You are right about the "anti UAV capabilitiesof the CV90 Mk IV! Indeed, last month BAE released a video that it would show the possibility of engaging them (excusatio non petita?)... However the protection it doesn't have to be limited to single drones: as I underlined, the chosen vehicle will have to provide coverage to an entire area, to act as an umbrella for tanks and other assets against different and multiple threats (swarms of drones, loitering ammunition, artillery ammunition, ...). Does the CV90 offer the same performance as the Lynx in this respect? Personally I doubt it since the Rheinmetall videos for some time show the engagement of swarms of fast moving drones and not the real one of a single, cumbersome, old and slow similar-Phantom (The computer graphics used, as a rescue, in the CV90 video, it greatly discredits the effective credibility of the medium).
As you correctly observed the rear of the CV90 is vulnerable. Although the "statistics" indicate a low probability of being hit (in the past) in that area, we must remember that anti-tank weapons, as well as loitering ammunition, are and will be increasingly endowed with an intelligence capable of recognizing and choosing where to hit a target. We really want to risk based on old data?
The CIO, I understand, have a fervent preference, not an agreement. Since a new "gift" has not yet arrived (after the one for updating the 125 useless Ram), he can hardly have subscribed to anything. As aforesaid, with a war at the gates, logics and priorities must change in Italy… first the leather (of our soldiers), then the “fur coats”!
Thinking about the time and urgency, since the IOC upgrade of 125 tanks (2035!) will take longer than it will take, for example, Poland to buy and produce as many as 1000 (from scratch and state of the art!), I think that any alternative will be more credible and above all quick.
L'experience on the field (the Afghan one, the same as the Lynx) definitely helped belatedly run around and (re)update the CV90, however let's talk about the fall of 2007 (ie well 14 years since its introduction!). In 30 years the vehicle has been revised 4 times. If the designers of BAE (with sons in the Army) had today carte blanche, they would realize yet another CV90 or a medium more similar to Lynx?
As regards the "lean budgets" we remember that all other countries they have already significantly increased defense budgets for some time now. As our Defense Minister likes to recall, even a German government which, before the Ukrainian conflict, was planning a budget cut has radically changed its posture by increasing it (in addition to the 100 billion euro special fund for its Armed Forces last year ). Do we want to save on "protection" on a (for now only potential) war front?
Italy has to modernize a lot and reintegrate too much. There is no time to lose! Between chatter, words of circumstance, various vanities and the usual national quackery, too much time has already been lost. Too!
As a rightly affirmed in front of the commissions defended by the Chief of Staff of the Army, General Pietro Serino, the new IFV will have to serve the country for the next 40 years.
You have to make a choice, even a wrong one, but you have to do it quickly. Unlike before, however, no passing of the buck will be allowed... This time whoever makes a mistake pays and won't hypocritically lay their hands on the coffins of our boys.
Thank you for the compliments addressed to us newspaper (the "site" is only one of the dissemination tools).