Where's the Light Armor? Enhancing the Firepower of Early Entry Forces.
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MIL ITARY STUDIES
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This monograph examines a looming gap in the Armys inventory. After April 1997 a strategically deployable airdroppable lightweight armored vehicle to support early entry forces will not exist. The decisions to terminate the Armored Gun System AGS and inactivate the 3d Battalion 73d Armor Regiment has resulted in a shortfall in the structure of our rapid deployment forces. In anticipation of a future light armor role, current light armor doctrine is examined. Although doctrine for armor systems is plentiful doctrinal references concerning light armor systems are scarce. Four historical examples WWII, Vietnam, Just Cause and Haiti provide insights into the past uses of light armored vehicles, and assault guns. Doctrine and historical examples reinforce the importance of a complimentary tank-infantry force. The operational requirements for a light armored vehicle to support early entry forces are examined. The Required Operational Capabilities for the now terminated AGS are used to evaluate various U.S. and foreign manufactured light armored vehicles. The Armys leadership is exploring several near term proposals to compensate for the termination of the AGS and Sheridan phaseout. These proposals include, the Immediate Ready Company IRC, the Javelin Anti- tank Weapon System, the Enhanced Fiber Optic Guided Missile EFOCM, and the Line of Sight Anti-tank LOSAT.
- Combat Vehicles