Mobile Gun System (MGS)
a. Mission Area.
b. Operational and Organizational Concept: The principal function of the Mobile Gun System (MGS) is to provide rapid and lethal direct fires to support assaulting infantry. The MGS is a key weapons overmatch platform to ensure mission success and survivability of the Combined Arms Company.
Successful decisive combat operations are characterized by the application of overwhelming precision firepower in a killing zone while countering the enemy’s ability to effectively return fire. The IBCT’s Combined Arms Company operations are conducted in a collective synchronization of overmatching firepower to ensure success. The MGS is essential in setting and maintaining the tactical conditions for this collective overmatch by providing the capability to rapidly and in succession engage and destroy a diversity of stationary and mobile threat personnel, infrastructure, and materiel targets. It will have the capability to apply a broad spectrum of munitions with lethal effects under all weather and visibility conditions.
In applying lethal effects as part of the Combined Arms Company, the MGS will survive on the battlefield by taking advantage of the high levels of threat and situational understanding resident in the Brigade formation. It will engage enemy positions and targets as part of the Combined Arms Company from ranges and locations outside the enemy’s kill zone capability. It will avoid high risk terrain profiles. Its inherent mobility and agility will enable it to deliver precision fires from alternate and successive positions outside the enemy’s acquisition and fire delivery reaction time.
a. System Performance. Key Performance Parameters (KPPs); Asterisk (*) indicates a KPP.
*(1) The MGS must provide direct, supporting fires to assault infantry in order to destroy hardened enemy bunkers, machine gun, and sniper positions. To accomplish this the MGS primary armament must defeat a standard infantry bunker and create an opening in a double reinforced concrete wall, through which infantry can pass.
Rationale: The IBCT O&O calls for direct fire support to dismounted, assaulting infantry against direct line of fire threats. Decisive action is achieved through the conduct of deliberate assaults by infantry companies and platoons employing their infantry dismounted, and supported by company mobile gun systems positioned to optimize their supporting direct fires against hardened positions. Hardened fixed and concrete targets are described in NATO STANAG 4536 and U.S. Army HEL TM 30-78.
(2) To the extent possible, the MGS must have commonality with other IBCT platform variants.
Rationale: To reduce the logistics footprint and sustainability of the force as a whole, commonality must be achieved to the greatest extent possible. Ideally, common chassis, components, and subcomponents will be achieved, thus reducing the need for differing maintenance personnel, spare parts, and tools. The result will be demand reduction and sustainment efficiency measures which will contribute to the IBCT’s ability to operate with a reduced logistics footprint. Commonality will also increase the combat effectiveness of the force by allowing crewmembers to switch from one function to the next without loss in efficiency (interchangeability) and by supporting and enabling dismounted assault operations with a family of MAVs. Commonality also reduces training load both on the IBCT and institution.
(3) The MGS primary armament must engage and defeat a dismounted Infantry squad in the open from a minimum of 50m to a maximum of 500m.
Rationale: The IBCT O&O calls for direct fire support to dismounted assaulting infantry. Inherent to this capability is providing close in, overwhelming lethal fires to disrupt/defeat enemy infantry ambushes or assaults en-masse in close, compartmented or urban situations.
(4) The MGS primary armament must have the capability to deliver high explosive munitions in an anti-personnel mode.
Rationale: During infantry assault operations in complex and urban terrain, the MGS must have the ability to destroy enemy infantry/snipers located in fighting positions in buildings/ light and medium structures. The ability to attack these targets with precision, high explosive munitions directed through windows/openings in buildings is an essential MGS capability.
(5) The MGS primary armament must have the capability to engage and destroy a variety of level II armored vehicles (light skin and armored through T-62) as a self defense capability.
Rationale: The IBCT’s robust missile capability provides its primary anti armor capability. The MGS must, however, when in a chance encounter with armor systems, be able to engage and seek cover in self defense.
(6) The MGS must possess a coaxial mounted machine gun capable of engaging dismounted area troop targets at 900 m.
Rationale: The envisioned threat the MGS will be employed against will maximize the use of dismounted infantry in complex and urban terrain. Given space claim limitations, the MGS will have limited amounts of primary armament CL V to employ in a suppressive role against dismounted enemy troops and maintain standoff against RPG teams. While overwatching friendly infantry in the assault, the MGS must have the capability to suppress enemy dismounted troops, facilitating friendly infantry maneuver and assault operations.
(7) In addition to the coaxial machine gun, a secondary independently mounted anti-personnel machine gun is required.
Rationale: Dismounted threat personnel pose a significant potential threat to the MGS in close, complex, and urban terrain. While overwatching friendly dismounted infantry in the assault, the MGS must have the capability to suppress/destroy enemy dismounted personnel in order to maintain stand off from threat RPG teams as well as provide suppressive fires for friendly dismounted infantry maneuver.
(8) The MGS primary armament must have an elevation/ depression capability from +20 to -10 degrees from a minimum range of 33 meters to a maximum of 2000 meters.
Rationale: The IBCT O&O calls for "precision fire to the third window to the right on the second floor." The elevation of the MGS’ primary armament to +20o is therefore necessary to support infantry assault operations in both complex and urban terrain. In complex terrain, +20o elevation is also required to provide effective fires to support infantry assaults on high ground at ranges of up to 1000m for secondary armament and 2000m for the primary armament. This capability is essential when MGS platforms are supporting the infantry from low or reverse slope positions. The MGS must depress to –10o in defensive operations when MGS platforms are positioned on high ground and are required to mass weapon effects against mounted enemy threats in low ground engagement areas.
(9) The MGS must possess a full solution fire control system with an Eye-Safe Laser Range-Finder (ESLRF), stabilized platform, degraded capability, and a sustained rate of fire capability of at least six rounds per minute.
Rationale: The IBCT O&O calls for a robust array of direct and indirect fire systems that can provide fire support to dismounted infantrymen in the assault with the capability of defeating hardened/fortified positions. The MGS’ target acquisition/sighting devices must enable the platform to rapidly respond, acquire, and engage enemy targets. The stabilized platform will enhance the MGS’ survivability by ensuring it can maintain target acquisition and fires while repositioning or moving to/from hide positions.
(10) The MGS fire control system must possess the capability to allow both the gunner and vehicle commander to engage threat targets, day and night, in all weather, with the primary armament.
Rationale: The MGS must have the capability to fire the primary armament from both the commander’s and gunner’s station in the hatch-closed configuration. This ensures dual capability, all-around application of assault gun observation and fires in a rapidly developing situation characterized by multiple target presentations.
(11) The MGS fire control system must provide battlesight indexing and the ability to automatically confirm boresight retention throughout changing environmental conditions. Additionally, the MGS fire control system should be equipped with the capability to determine basic indirect fire solutions.
Rationale: Engagement times must be held to a minimum in complex and urban terrain. The ability for rapid fire without lasing to a target in this environment is critical to crew survivability. The primary armament should have the capability to respond to the commander’s requirement for added suppression of enemy positions/activities beyond the direct engagement area.
(12) The MGS fire control system must possess an auxiliary sight capable of functioning without system power for the primary and secondary armaments with ballistic reticles capable of firing a family of munitions. The MGS primary armament must traverse, elevate, depress, and fire in the manual mode.
Rationale: This capability enables the MGS to fight in a degraded mode if required, thus contributing to the crew’s ability to fight and survive in the face of primary systems mechanical/electrical failure.
(13) The MGS must provide combined, redundant crew all-weather scanning capability over a 360 degree field of view from within the platform, both while stationary and on-the-move; and achieve full 360 degree scanning from a defilade position.
Rationale: Due to its primary mission profile of supporting dismounted infantry operations, the MGS must maintain all around situational awareness while maneuvering to the most secure support by fire positions. While overwatching dismounted infantry in the assault, the MGS must adequately cover the flank and frontal areas of responsibility while maintaining visual contact with supported forces.
(14) The MGS must provide compartmentalized primary armament ammunition to enhance the crew’s protection from secondary explosions/fire.
Rationale: Separating the crew from primary armament munitions enhances the survivability profile of the crew.
(15) The MGS must have the capability to store 17 primary armament rounds, 14 of which are in a ready configuration.
Rationale: Analytical results show the MGS must store sufficient quantities of main armament ammunition to adequately support a dismounted attack with precision and suppressive fires. On average, the MGS expends up to 14 rounds of primary munitions during the Combined Arms Company’s decisive maneuver and combat. Providing 14 rounds of ready ammunition will ensure adequate available ammunition to support the assault.
(16) The MGS must be provided with add-on scaleable armor packages to protect against 14.5 mm and hand held HEAT up to and including RPG-7 penetration. Packages must include full frontal, side, and rear protection options. Packages must have minimal impact on deployability and mobility profiles. Package must be crew mountable/dismountable rapidly with no special tool requirement.
Rationale: Heavy machine guns and ATGMs represent threats during support to infantry assault operations. Mission tailorable threat based protection enhancements must be provided to the using unit commanders.
5. Program Support.
6. Force Structure. Projected Army initial requirement is 180 systems. This will equip 5 brigade-size units with 36 each. Quantities of scaleable armor required for MGS are TBD.
7. Schedule Considerations.
8. Program Affordability.