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Assessing Tracked and Wheeled Vehicles for Australian Mounted Close Combat Operations


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The Australian government is on the verge of making major recapitalization decisions about its mechanised land forces. The underlying modernization initiative is referred to as Project LAND 400, which, along with training and integration capabilities, largely consists of replacing key combat vehicles, including the Australian Light Armoured Vehicle (ASLAV) and the M113AS4 armored personnel carrier (APC) with an infantry fighting vehicle (IFV). Project LAND 400 involves planning over a relatively long time horizon and by intent is shaping forces through a relatively low-risk approach that will, within this context, maximize combat effectiveness. To assist with this decision, the Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group asked the RAND Corporation for help in assessing the range of trade-offs between tracked and wheeled combat vehicle classes. This request entailed completing three tasks. The first task involved assessing lessons learned about tracked and wheeled combat vehicles in recent conflict in various parts of the world; the second task involved assessing the implications of advanced technologies on the vehicle classes; and the third task involved examining system-level implications of the different classes of vehicles.



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