PETALING JAYA There was a video shot of Malaysian peacekeepers in action in Timor Leste recently and shown by the local TV. What was interesting about the video was when the Malaysians who were riding in a Condor which stopped in between several wooden houses (I believed it was a village in Dili).
Once it stopped the turret moved to the right and the back and forward gunners (they are not in equal in the gun department: the back gunner was equipped with a Minimi machine gun while the forward guy was riding shotgun with a Steyr. Both weapons are chambered for the 5.56mm cartridge but the Minimi is equipped with a 100-round pouch).
Once both gunners were out, the armoured car commander came out from the turret, as all commanders of APCs have done since tanks and armoured cars came into the scene about 100 years or so.
Since the Condor is equipped with a one-man turret, only the commander fits into it, of course. Should they come under fire, the commander would be unable to fire the 50 calibre gun in the turret.
It’s the same deal for the Armoured Corps Adnan AFV.
If the commander needs to command, basically the APCs is robbed off its main armament.
So it was instructive that the Armoured Corps is testing the Turkish-made PARS 8×8 wheeled AFV with a one-man turret for the Condor/Sibmas replacement programme.
By even looking at a candidate with a one-man turret, it clearly shows that the budget for the programme is so low that they are willing to forego the fundamental advantages of a two-man turret in an AFV, one that was clearly shown during the early days of WWII. Two-man turret German tanks overwhelmed French tanks despite their superior numbers.
Commanders of the German tanks was doing the commanding the tanks (showing the way, looking at the map, liasing with the higher in commands including the local platoon leaders and subordinate tanks and infantry, designating targets) leaving their gunners to fire the main gun.
As tanks and AFC were relatively new during that period, one could forgive the French faux pas.
But in todays world, it is certainly unwise to go forward and purchase one-man turrets in platforms that have been certified with two-man turret. Otherwise choose a remote controlled firing cupola so the commander remained inside the vehicle although when the need is there for the squad to do the fighting hand-to-hand the commander must still lead his soldiers,
If its too expensive to buy the three prospective vehicles (Swiss Mowag, Partia AMV and the Turkish PARS) buy a cheaper AFV then.
Our strategic situation does not call for a super-duper armoured car equipped with everything but a two-man turret. The main criteria for a battle taxi is that it is cheap to be bought in large numbers and even cheaper and easier to maintain.
Not a sophisticated 8×8 with a high sticker price and needs a battalion of technicians to maintain but equipped with a cheap one-man turret.
What is the logic in that?
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