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New 11th ACR/OPFOR Vehicle Arrives at the NTC

by SPC Christopher DeHart, NTC PAO
The U.S Army's heavy Opposing Force (OPFOR), the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, received the first 15 of a planned 128 OPFOR Surrogate Vehicles (OSVs) last month from Simulation, Training and Instrumentation Command, Orlando, FL. The OSV will be introduced to the NTC battlefield in October 1998. (See side and front views of the OSV at end of article.)

The OSV is critically needed to replace the 35 year-old OPFOR M551 Sheridans that are visually modified to replicate the BMP. The primary purpose of the OSV is to enhance Blue Force training opportunities by providing a more capable and realistic threat representation while reducing overall operating and maintenance costs.

The OSV is an M113A3 chassis outfitted with a modified M2 Bradley turret. The vehicle has a visually modified exterior that gives it the appearance of a Boyevaya Mashina Pyekhoty-2 Infantry Fighting Vehicle. However, the OPFOR soldiers' skills will be maintained since the turret's controls are very similar to those in the M2/3 Bradley. Weapons capabilities for the OSV include Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement Systems II/ Simulated Area Weapons Effect (MILESII/SAWE) and VISMOD weapons for an AT-5 SPIGOT Anti-Tank missile, a 30-mm automatic cannon and a 7.62-mm coaxial machine gun. (See CALL Newsletter 98-1, NTC Scorpions' MILES II/SAWE Handbook, January 1998, for kill codes, ranges and other details.)

The OSV also has a fully stabilized fire control system with night sights that will allow the vehicle to effectively fire both at night and on the move. This is a great increase in effectiveness as currently none of the OPFOR's combat systems have stabilization and only the T-80 tanks and AT-5 BRDMs have night sights (see the article "Krasnovian Update: NTC OPFOR" in CALL Newsletter No. 98-8, CTC Quarterly Bulletin, 2QFY98, April 1998). The vehicle commander's station is equipped with an image intensification sight from the cupola of an M60 series tank while the gunner has a thermal imaging sight, allowing the crew to search for targets in multiple spectrums.

The extended rear compartment will accommodate up to five fully equipped infantrymen on two bench seats. The soldiers dismount from a pair of outward opening doors, similar to that of the BMP, and not the hydraulically powered ramp in the case of the M113 or Bradley. These are features that the current BMP VISMOD M551 Sheridan is unable to replicate, and will eliminate the need to follow those vehicles with unarmed troop carriers, as has been the practice.

These added features sum up to a much more accurate representation of the BMP-2 onboard weapon systems and its overall battlefield effectiveness. A more capable and accurate representation means a more challenging and realistic training environment for BLUFOR soldiers who come here on rotation.

The cost to operate and support an OSV is approximately 50 percent less when compared to the M551 Sheridan. Based on the high training operational tempo at the NTC, which is approximately 3,000 miles per year per vehicle over the course of 10 rotations, this will generate a high cost savings for the Army in the years to come.

Front View, OSV

Side View, OSV

Dismounted Mechanized Infantry in the Deliberate Attack
The Canadian Coyote Reconnaissance Vehicle

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