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Griffin Next-Generation Combat Vehicle

The Army Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC) is executing the Army’s combat vehicle modernization strategy. Combat vehicles need to provide Soldiers with speed, protection, lethality and the ability to wage a multidomain battle, working in concert with other ground forces to overwhelm the enemy with multiple simultaneous challenges. The Army’s combat vehicle modernization strategy as a whole envisions both new vehicles and incremental technological improvements, informed by a continuous assessment, adaptation and innovation of capabilities, including commercial off-the-shelf solutions. Power generation, gun design, transportability and autonomous technologies will be just a few big pieces of the bigger picture, and they’re not likely to come together all at once, but in iterative stages of modernization that require detailed discussion, just as the double-V hull was introduced to the Stryker platform in 2011 to improve survivability.

The Army particularly needs the as-yet nonexistent Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) vehicle to support infantry brigade combat teams—a lightweight vehicle that can be airlifted into battle and maneuver, dispersed if necessary, in close-quarters urban terrain, but with lethal long-range firepower to take out enemy armored vehicles. The idea is to defeat enemy positions and destroy their light armored vehicles pre-emptively to provide U.S. forces with greater freedom of movement. MPF is now the Army’s highest mid-term priority in combat vehicle modernization.

“We’re going to need a totally new combat vehicle, and we don’t even know what it looks like,” said Lt. Col. Andy Sanchez, chief of ARCIC’s Maneuver, Aviation and Soldier Division. “There’s a huge effort to begin to look at offensive capabilities that can attack an enemy even before, ideally, the first kinetic or lethal munition has been fired. Ideally, you render an enemy at least degraded, making him fight degraded, before he’s even put boots on the ground. And when you can get into an adversary’s decision cycle with those types of capabilities, it makes them think differently about certain courses of action.”

The basis of the new Griffin III infantry fighting vehicle is the already known chassis, previously used in the design of the Griffin I light tank. When building a machine of a different class, this chassis undergoes some changes, but it retains its main features. Thus, different models of the Griffin family have a similar layout with the front engine compartment and the central combat compartment.

2016 - Griffin I - Mobile Protected Firepower

General Dynamics Land Systems’ Griffin tech demonstrator was on display at the AUSA Annual Meeting & Exposition in October 2016 in Washington. The tech demonstrator offered a tangible starting point for government-industry conversations about the Army’s requirements for Mobile Protected Firepower, with the ultimate goal of avoiding requirements so prescriptive that they rule out the possibility of industry innovation. A big problem in requirements development of the past has been late-breaking decisions or revisions of key performance parameters. The process of developing requirements needs to settle these major decisions up front. And then you get to the smaller things that the Army wants, all the way to the widgets. It helps us decide how we want to spend our money.” The lines of communication between ARCIC and industry on what the Army wants in the MPF have been open enough that GDLS was able to put together a technology demonstrator in five months for the Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting & Exposition in October 2016 .

GDLS’ tech demonstrator — called the Griffin, and not a prototype but at least “a conversation piece that is much more than a PowerPoint,” as Patricia Sellers, GDLS business development manager, put it—got underway even before the industry day, incorporating characteristics that the company thought the Army might want, such as in the turret and gun. “And the Army looked at [the Griffin] and touched it and got inside it. … It created that dialogue between Army and industry that is essential for doing anything quickly, for informing Army requirements or helping the Army refine those requirements, by providing that conversation piece,” Sellers said.

General Dynamics Land Systems’ Griffin tech demonstrator on display at the AUSA Annual Meeting & Exposition in October 2016 in Washington. The tech demonstrator offered a tangible starting point for government-industry conversations about the Army’s requirements for Mobile Protected Firepower, with the ultimate goal of avoiding requirements so prescriptive that they rule out the possibility of industry innovation.

The turret offers the same capability as the Abrams SEP V2 - the same fire controls, same electronic packages, the same monitors, the same spare parts. The lightweight 120mm gun designed for the Army’s Future Combat Systems gun weighs about half as much as the two-ton 120mm Abrams gun. The demonstrator chassis came from the AJAX program GD built for the United Kingdom to use as a recon vehicle.

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2017 - Griffin II - Mobile Protected Firepower

At the AUSA 2017 Annual Meeting & Exposition, General Dynamics is showcasing its investments in the next technologies, capabilities and platforms built to support the U.S. Army and U.S. allies across all domains. General Dynamics focused on partnering with the Army to develop innovative solutions that ensure readiness for the future, including the Griffin II medium-weight tracked vehicle. But GDLS chose to not show the Griffin 2 at the 2017 AUSA so as to not give away their hand.

In December 2018, the U.S. Army has chosen two companies to compete for the service’s new Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF). BAE Systems and General Dynamics each received up to $376 million to develop and build 12 light tanks in fourteen months. The U.S. Army awarded a $335 million Section 804 Middle Tier Acquisition (MTA) Rapid Prototyping contract to General Dynamics Land Systems. The MPF capability is one of the most critical needs for the U.S. Army, since Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCT) lack protected, long-range, cyber resilient precision direct fire capability for early entry operations. The MPF light tanks would provide the firepower to breach heavily-fortified defensive positions in Russian and Chinese anti-access zones, where the US might not be able to achieve air supremecy. The Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) is not the Next Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV), which may eventually replace the Abrams tank and Bradley.

During the Modern Day Marine expo 2019 in Quantico, Virginia, American Company General Dynamics unveiled the Griffin II, a new concept of light tank that can be airlifted. A scale model was shown for the first time during the event. Turret is a scaled-down version of the M1 Abrams turret using the M1A2 Sep V3 fire control system and commander's independent thermal viewer armed with one 105 mm cannon.

The US Army does not like to use the term "ligh tank" to describe this vehicle, correctly believing this would create doctrinal confusion, and result in the Mobile Protected Firepower vehicle being used in situations in which only a tank would be an appropriate capability. While the MPF may resemble a tank to the untutored eye, and while it has the lethality and mobility of a tank, it lacks the survivability of a tank, and is "protected" more in word than deed.

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2018 - Griffin III - Future Fighting Vehicle

At the AUSA 2018 Annual Meeting & Exposition, General Dynamics demonstrated innovation that ensures readiness for U.S. Army and U.S. ally requirements across all domains to move the mission forward. The Griffin III displayed concepts designed for the next generation of warfighting in complex urban and restrictive terrain. The Griffin III provides Soldiers a revolutionary leap in lethality and stand-off, a modular turret that accommodates several weapon system configurations, scalable protection for Multi-Domain Operations and an integrated Active Protection System (APS). Designed with open architecture for rapid growth over time, the Griffin III also accommodates multiple crew and squad configurations.

The turret design including the width and height has been heavily influenced by the large developmental 50mm gun. The Griffin III infantry fighting vehicle has a relatively powerful weapon. In the frontal embrasure of a full-swing turret, it is proposed to install a perspective 50-mm automatic gun developed by Northrop Grumman. The presence of such weapons increases the range of effective fire and actually allows the armored vehicle to attack the enemy, without exposing themselves to unnecessary risks. The turret is the same width as the vehicle itself, owing to the large dimensions of the ammunition, while the height of the vehicle is increased to enable the barrel to elevate up to +85 degrees. The barrel can also drop to -20 degrees in elevation. Thus, Griffin III can fight both ground and air targets.

The proposal to use an increased-caliber automatic gun, in general, is also not a novelty - similar ideas are already being implemented in other projects of a number of companies. Nevertheless, and not the most new idea, embodied in the form of a 50-mm cannon, can seriously increase the firepower of an armored vehicle. Protection of most modern infantry fighting vehicles and other light-class machines designed to counter the shells of small-caliber guns. An increase in the caliber of the instrument to 50 mm should give a serious increase in power and ensure the penetration of such a reservation at all real ranges.

Additional armament placed on the turret is standard for modern armored vehicles. Griffin III carries a twin machine gun, a remote-controlled module with similar weapons, as well as two smoke grenade launchers. For one reason or another, the vehicle has no missile weapons.

The presented prototype model of an infantry fighting vehicle is to a certain extent similar to the already well-known Griffin light tank. At the same time, the two samples have serious external differences. One of the common features of the two armored vehicles - the chassis hull. BMP has a frontal unit with a pair of inclined parts. In this case, the upper frontal part, together with the sides, forms developed supra-track niches extending along the entire length of the body. Also saved aft hull base tank, which has a box-like shape.

According to known data, the case provides differentiated protection against various threats. The frontal projection maintains shelling from small-caliber artillery systems, from other directions the machine is protected only from small arms bullets and fragments. Earlier it was claimed that the Griffin light tank has some protection from mines. Perhaps such funds were transferred to the new project. Significant volumes of the front of the hull (front and starboard) are occupied by the engine compartment. To his left is the driver's seat. Directly behind them is the fighting compartment, behind which is provided a compartment for the landing.

In case the enemy was able to find the Griffin III and fired a shot, it is proposed to complete the vehicle with Israeli Iron Fist Light active protection complex. Radar stations and launchers of this system must be mounted on different parts of the turret.

The developer did not yet specify the type and power of the engine or engines proposed for use on the new BMP. At the same time, she claims that the normal combat weight of this vehicle will be 40 tons. From this, you can derive the required engine power. For optimal performance, the Griffin III BMP requires a motor of at least 1000 hp. The type of transmission is also not specified.

The design of the undercarriage of the entire Griffin family does not contain any major innovations. It is proposed to use the system with six rubberized support rollers on each side, equipped with a torsion bar suspension. The drive wheel of the pinching gear is located in the front of the hull, the guide is in the aft. There are three support rollers above the track rollers.

The crew of an infantry fighting vehicle Griffin III consists of three people. In front of the hull, under its own hatch, is a driver. His workplace has a set of standard optical devices, but to simplify driving, several video cameras are also used around the perimeter of the body. The commander and gunner-operator are in the tower, access to which is provided with hatches in the roof. These crew members should use, first of all, workstations with a full set of necessary devices.

Griffin III, unlike its Griffin predecessor, can carry soldiers with weapons. The volume for their placement is organized in the aft hull. At the sides of the stern there are three chairs, thanks to which it can take on board up to six troops. Embarkation and disembarkation is carried out through the stern ramp. The troop compartment does not have airborne embrasures. Shooting from personal weapons from under the armor is not provided.

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Griffin - Nomenclature

Griffin Griffin, also spelled griffon or gryphon, in the natural history of the ancients, was the name of an imaginary rapacious creature of the eagle species, represented with four legs, wings, and a beak — the fore part resembling an eagle, and the hind a lion. In addition, some writers describe the tail as a serpent. This animal, which was supposed to watch over gold mines and hidden treasures, and to be the enemy of the horse, was consecrated to the Sun; and the ancient painters represented the chariot of the Sun as drawn by griffins. According to Spanheim, those of Jupiter and Nemesis were similarly provided.

The griffin of Scripture is probably that species of the eagle called in Latin Ossifraga, or osprey. The griffin is related to inhabit Asiatic Scythia, where the lands abounded in gold and precious stones; and when strangers approach to gather these the creatures leap upon them and tear them in pieces, thus showing their use in chastising human avarice and greed. The one-eyed Arimaspi waged constant war with them, according to Probus and Servius.

The celebrated Sir John de Mandeville, in his Travels, described a griffin as eight times larger than a lion. The griffin is frequently seen on early seals and medals, and is still borne as a favorite device on seals and as a charge in heraldry.

Much might be written on the subject of hybrids and fabulous monsters such as these, but the various aspects of natural history and archaeology which they illustrate have never been yet worked out. The griffin was also an architectural ornament among the Greeks, and was copied from them, with other architectural embellishments, by the Romans. A fine example of the Assyrian griffin occurs on the sculptured slabs from Kouyunjik, now in the British Museum. The Dictionary of Early Drawings and Illuminations, by W. de Gray Birch and H. Jenner, gives a collection of references to the finest examples of these creatures among the manuscripts from the Saxon age to the close of the 15th century.

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Page last modified: 01-07-2021 18:00:35 ZULU