Part 4 Comparative Lethality
This portion compares the lethality values of various
current and proposed organizations using lethality values from TACOPS.
Mechanized Infantry Task Force with 2 Mech and 1 Tank
Mechanized Infantry Task Force with 3 Mech and 1 Tank
Balanced Infantry Task Force with 2 Mech and 2 Tank
Medium Infantry Battalion with 3 Medium Infantry
Companies using the LAV III+.
USMC Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalions with 4 LAR
Medium Infantry Battalion with 3 Medium Infantry Company
using the M113and AGS.
These battalions rate in comparative lethality (as compared
to the Mech-heavy task force of 2 mech companies and 1 tank company) as shown in
USMC LAI BN
MECH BN TF (2M/1T)
USA MED BN
Balanced TF (2M/2T)
MECH BN TF (3M,1T)
Comparative Lethality and Force Ratio
The lethality index is graphically portrayed in Figure 9
and the weapon system strength is shown in Figure 10.
The Mech Heavy TF (ratio 1.0) is the study baseline because
it is the objective organization for US Army heavy units in the near future.
(Some units have already begun to convert.) It is based on the premise that
digital C4I systems will provide a combat multiplier equal to or greater than
the lost combat power represented by the fourth company. The Mech Heavy TF, with
three company teams, has extensive long-range killing power, centered on its
tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, but lacks the close in killing power of
the Medium Infantry.
The USMC LAI Battalion has relatively little combat power
when compared to the other forces due to the lack of dismounted ATGMs and small
dismounted infantry element.
The medium battalions high lethality rating is due to the
high number of Javelins, large number of dismounts, the organic assault gun
platoon, and the ten 120mm mortars in the battalion.
while it only has three companies is, due to its four platoon structure,
essentially a four company unit. The medium battalion could reasonably expect to
include 4 LAV-AT systems, which increase its lethality, but is not included in
its totals here.
The Medium Battalions converted to the M113 and the M8 AGS
is slightly more powerful than the LAV based Medium Infantry Battalion.
While there is a
significant lethality difference between the .50 caliber machine gun and the
25mm cannon, this seems to be offset by the improved mobility of the tracked
vehicles and increased armor protection and lethality of the AGS when compared
to the LAV-AG.
Otherwise, these two battalions are structured the same.
The four-company heavy task force is more lethal than the
medium battalion due to a greater number of tanks and TOW missiles, as well as
armor protection of the vehicles. The balanced TF (2 tank and 2 mech companies)
was, in the authors experience, the favored task organization in heavy
divisions for battalion task forces. It provided a reasonable balance between
tank heavy killing power and infantry dismounts.
- The Medium battalion may suffer from a lack of long-range
anti-tank fires, due to the Javelins 2,000 range.
It is uncertain
if the LAV-AG and any attached LAV-AT will offset this possible
- The medium battalion needs to make greater use of
stealth, terrain, and engineer work to offset its lower protective value when
compared to a heavy TF, especially in the defense.
- In close combat, its greater dismount strength and larger
number of close range anti-tank systems may make it more lethal than the heavy
Part 5 Gaming it out