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Compact Missile and Gun armed Vehicle killers

        This idea for a combat vehicle has been overtaken somewhat by changes in world events and the dissolution of the USSR. Such vehicles designed to attack an advancing enemy's lines of communication may still be useful for nations who have unfriendly neighbours and may work well with the militia defence that I have described.
        Alternately such vehicles could be inserted by helicopters deep in the enemy's rear, as was done with the ASU-57 in Ogaden.


        The Russian ASU-57 air assault gun resembled a Bren gun carrier with a glacis mounted medium cannon, and was the size of a small car. This weapon is not effective against modern tanks, but will still easily destroy most lighter armoured vehicles.
        There is potential for a dedicated antitank platform that resembles a ASU-57 mounting launch boxes/tubes for ATGWs. This would give the vehicle anti-MBT capability and also a cost effective way to destroy trucks and light armour.
        Being only three feet high, such a vehicle would be smaller and more easily camouflaged than an APC or HMMWV. It would be highly mobile and capable of being easily airlifted, even by relatively small helicopters, giving it great strategic mobility.
        The 57 x 480Rmm gun should be capable of destroying most modern armoured vehicles other than tanks.


Alternate gun armaments include-
        Elsewhere I have suggested a new version of the Brengun/Universal carrier. From a logistical and maintenance standpoint, adapting this vehicle to the compact missile and gun armed tank destroyer role is very attractive. There were various models of universal carrier that mounted 25mm, 37mm and 2-pounder (40mm) anti-tank guns, as well as postwar models mounting recoilless rifles.
        I don't think that this type of hull will be as space efficient as one based on the ASU-57. Vehicles may have to operate as a team of two or more vehicles, some mounting racks of ATGWs, others with guns and gunshields mounted on top of the engine compartment.
        The gun-armed vehicles may also partially fulfill the 40mm Scout Sniper role Carlton Meyer suggests, a sniper equipped with a light Hybrid vehicle and armed with a 25-40mm cannon. The Millenibren carrier will be lower and more mobile than a HMMWV. For this latter role the cannon may be mounted on a light carriage as was used for the 37mm PAK anti-tank guns. These weapons weighed around 400kg so were easily manhandled. The assembly could be carried and fired from the back of the vehicle or dismounted and used in a low, easily camouflaged position, the sniper covered by a thermal poncho.
        The vehicles themselves are prime candidates for using vehicular ghillie kits.

Heavy Hunter
         A very effective Tank Hunter vehicle could be created using modern technology. This would have a low hull with a very sloped glacis. Crew may have semi-reclined seating to minimise height. At the front of the vehicle would be a T-72 style self-entrenching blade. The engine would be positioned at the front of the hull and the two crew sit behind, side by side. Both men would have duplicate controls so either can drive or operate the weapon or target acquisition systems. To the rear of the hull would be an automated missile reloading system. Many components such as tracks, engine and running gear would likely be the same as used in the Bradley or M113.
         Mounted on the roof behind the crew position would be an external pod with a 30x173mm or 40mm cannon and .50 co-axial MG. At least four ATGW launch tubes or rails would either be mounted on the turret or the vehicle rear.
         The vehicle would use a "Hunter/Killer" system. The primary sight would be an independently rotating head, possibly mast-mounted. When the commander finds a target it is acquired by the gun/missile sight and the primary sight freed to look for other targets or threats. The Hunter/Killer system with a two-man crew was experimented with for light tanks in the 80s but is more suited for a more static combat system such as a Tank Destroyer/Tank Hunter.
        This vehicle would be hard to spot and well-protected against counter-attacks. The automatic cannon and .50 armament give it a potent capability against Light Armour and Soft-skinned vehicles, conserving ATGWs for the targets that need them.

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