When people think of British IFV’s they are imediately drawn to the venerable warrior or scimiter, but it might surprise them that Britain has been involved in dozens of similar projects over the years, with one of the most impressive being the incredibly advanced Tactical Reconnaissance Armoured Combat Equipment Requirement (TRACER) LANCER, or for less of a mouthful the Lancer FMP (Future Mobility Platform). This well equipted reconnaissance armoured fighting vehicle was a technical testbed that was completed and tested during the turn of the millenium, andI see this Recce Tracked vehicle as comparable to the Stridsfordon 9040 in terms of performance, so it should help to fill the current gap in the british light line. .png “:)”)
For the TLDR it contained many powerful features that would make it ideal to fill a hole in the british tech tree in regards to a high tier IFV. Some of the impressive features of this technical test bed are as follows:
- Fully stabilised CTA International 40 mm Case Telescoped Weapon System (CTWS) capable of firing APFSDS (This is the same gun that will equipt the AJAX when it enters service)
- Raytheon Commanders Independent Thermal Viewer (CITV) which is the same as the one currently mounted on the M1A2 currently in game (Gunner and driver also have thermals)
- Maximum speed of 90 km/h with acceleration from 0 to 48 km/h in 9 seconds.
- Advanced hydropneumatic suspension system
- Design includes stealth characteristics in its design and has a very low acoustic, radar and thermal signature.
- Commander and Gunner both have full control of the main gun at any time
- Crewless turret, the three crew are located in the hull
In 1999, the UK Defence Procurement Agency, acting on behalf of the UK and US governments, awarded contracts to two consortia, Lancer and SIKA, each worth £90 million and to last for 42 months. The UK and US governments shared the cost of the work equally through to mid-2002. The role of the vehicle was to carry out day/night all-weather reconnaissance in a covert and stealthy manner, with additional requirement of the the system being fully air transportable in a Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules aircraft. Today we are going to focus on the Lancer testbed, which was made by a consortium of several companies. BAE Systems (the part that was previously Marconi Land and Naval Systems) had prime leadership role and responsibility for the weapon system with United Defense having responsibility for the initial fabridcation of the chassis. Raytheon is responsible for the advanced electronics and sensor suite while Alvis Vehicles where responsible for the turret structure and the telescopic sensor elevation system. The Lancer FMP chassis was completed early in 2002 at the United Defense facility in San Jose, California. It was then airlifted to the UK for the integration of mission equipment, turret, defensive aids suite, mast-mounted sensor package and the optimised SMI at the BAE Systems integration facility in Leicester.
The vehicle was then tested and proved to be a valuable testbed for alot of technology currently being integrated into the dogs ear that is the ajax, but as expected it was a tech demonstrator that amounted out of a cancelled program, so the history is more or less just the above contract infromation, though it is noting that the Lancer’s gun system was tested in 2002 but took until 2015 to enter production, as it uses a rather advanced design. overall it was a crazy design, and way ahead of its time, I recommend reading the sources if you want an indepth picture, as this thing had everything from crew surround sound to cermaic composite armour, along with according to some the best tank mounted battery every constructed.
Image showing the chassis after completion in San Jose California
Image showing the three crew hatches open on the turretless hull illustrating the crewless turret:
Images showing The completed vehicle with the radar array removed, which is how it would appear in game as the radar was used for scouting and was not intergrated into the onboard weaponsystems:
Image showing a Member of the British armed forces standing next to the lancer to give you an idea of its size:
The specifications for the chassis, the 2Kph loss is caused by the weight of the radar array, but if the vehicle is implimented without it it should be able to achieve 90 kph
The general stats for the main gun are as follows:
- CTA International - Wikipedia (The stats for the gun)
- TRACER, MRAV and Project Bushranger - Think Defence (Design history)
- Army Guide (Over view of the project)
- https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199899/cmselect/cmdfence/544/544w05.htm#:~:text=The original requirement for Tactical,extended range in all conditions. (Breakdown of its capabilites as discussed in parliament)
- http://daimlerferret.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Ajax_uncovered_Detailing_the_British_Armys_latest_combat_vehicle_family.pdf (History of the ajax, mentioning the development of TRACER)