The Marine Corps' Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV), which became operational in 2009, is similar to but distinct from the Army's Grizzly Breacher, which was cancelled in 2001.
The Fiscal Year 2001 Army budget request included decisions to restructure or "divest" a number of programs in order to provide some of the resources to support its transformation to achieve the ambitious deployment goals outlined in the October 1999 Army Vision. The restructured programs are the Crusader and the Future Scout and Cavalry System. The "divestitures" include Heliborne Prophet (Air), MLRS Smart Tactical Rocket (MSTAR), Stinger Block II, Command and Control Vehicle (C2V), Grizzly, Wolverine, and the Army Tactical Missile System Block IIA. Funding for these programs was reallocated to fund the Army Vision transformation strategy.
The GRIZZLY [initially designated the Breacher] is an armored vehicle designed to breach complex obstacles including mines, berms, wire, rubble, and tank-ditches. The GRIZZLY would breach obstacles with minimal preparation creating safe lanes for other vehicles in the dominant maneuver force with little or no loss in momentum. The GRIZZLY's obstacle clearing features include a full-width mine-clearing blade and a powered, extensible excavating arm.
GRIZZLY was a Military Load Class 70 complex obstacle breaching vehicle which will integrate advanced countermine and counter-obstacle capabilities into a single survivable system. GRIZZLY was to incorporate a full width Mine Clearing Blade (MCB), Power Driven Arm (PDA) for obstacle reduction and digging and a commander's control station (CCS) (crew compartment). It was to have a remote fired 50-caliber machine gun and grenade launched screening smoke for self-defense. GRIZZLY will breach an 600 meter complex obstacle in 21 minutes and breach an antitank ditch in 5 minutes. GRIZZLY was to be capable of breaching other types of natural and man made, simple and complex obstacles, creating a lane for vehicles to follow. It was to integrate the technologies incorporated in the M1 & M2A3 chassis with the GRIZZLY mission modules. GRIZZLY was designed to provide the Digital Division with mobility support (i.e. counter-obstacle breaching) for Decisive Operations.
Based on a modified and refurbished M1 Abrams tank chassis, the GRIZZLY employed armor and many components derived from various members of the Abrams family of tanks. The system employed a two man crew. Its mobility was comparable to the Abrams Main Battle Tank and the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. The dominant maneuver force would support the GRIZZLY with ongoing direct and indirect fire and air support. The GRIZZLY was to be deployed with selected engineer companies in mechanized battalions, armored cavalry regiments, and heavy brigades. GRIZZLY was to be employed as an integral part of the M1A2 SEP/M2A3 equipped digital maneuver battalion task force. GRIZZLY as part of the Breach Force and supported by friendly direct and indirect fires, would reduce threat obstacles and create a safe one way passage lane for an M1/M2 equipped force to follow. A GRIZZLY equipped task force can execute breaching operations with minimal preparation and with little or no loss of task force momentum or need for lane proofing.
GRIZZLY must provide an integrated, survivable breach system. GRIZZLY must provide breach lanes through simple and complex obstacles that allow the supported maneuver force to pass through and accomplish the force's mission. The required probabilities of two GRIZZLYs to successfully breach a lane was 0.95 (threshold) and 0.99 (objective), inclusive of blade and system losses due to mines, but exclusive of losses due to direct and indirect fires. GRIZZLY must breach lanes through simple and complex obstacles to allow the heavy maneuver force to conduct Decisive Operations. The probabilities of the GRIZZLY in providing breached lanes are a function of the GRIZZLY's breach capabilities and GRIZZLY survivability to direct and indirect fires, but also the success of the maneuver force at suppressing the enemy (threat) force, obscuring the breach site, and securing the breach site. Nearly all obstacles include mines, so survivability of the system and the blade to mines must be considered.
Doctrine called for two lanes per task force with a recommended allocation of two assets to achieve one lane. The GRIZZLY equipped force must provide the task force a near certainty (a 99% probability) of achieving one lane and a high probability (approximately 90%) of achieving two lanes. Assuming that two GRIZZLYs are allocated to each of two lanes, the threshold value of 0.95 resulted in a 0.90 probability of successfully breaching both lanes and a 0.9975% probability of successfully breaching at least one of the lanes. GRIZZLY was to provide a lane allowing 95% of the maneuver task force (threshold) and 99% of the task force (objective) to safely pass, excluding losses due to direct and indirect fires.
GRIZZLY would operate as part of a combined arms task force. The maneuver commander sets the conditions for breaching success through the execution of the Suppress, Obscure, and Secure fundamentals of breaching. Ideally, direct and observed indirect fires on the breach site are eliminated before the GRIZZLY was committed to execute the Reduce fundamental of breaching operations. Force on force combat simulation and threat assessments predict that the most likely direct fire threat faced by the GRIZZLY would come from dismounted teams providing fires on the obstacle and employing handheld anti-tank weapons (RPG type weapons). GRIZZLY was also exposed to indirect fires while conducting the breach. The specified conditions were representative of the type of fire mission expected against the GRIZZLY in the breach. These conditions equate to 60 rounds aimed/targeted at a box approximately 250 meters by 50 meters deep. These parameters will provide the inputs to existing models for development of the specific test parameters to measure compliance with this requirement. It is not intended that testing include the firing of 60 shells. GRIZZLY would provide resistance to perforation of the CCS against a 6-gun artillery battery, firing a variable time fuze, 10 round artillery salvo of 155 mm M107 high explosive with proximity fuze comparable to the M728 from 7,000 meters (threshold). The objective requirement was to provide resistance to top attack munitions.
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