Guns + Trucks = Technicals?


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AirPower
December 17, 2005, 12:21 AM
In 3rd world battlefield, you often see these "technicals" which is nothing more than a MG mounted on a truck, maybe sometimes upgunned version like 50cal or even 20mm cannons. I'm wondering how effective are these for urban combat, seems to be a pretty niffty poor man's tank. If we ever get into SHTF, it's not a stretch to think someone would mount a 30cal on the back of Chevy or Ford. :evil:

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glockamolee
December 17, 2005, 12:31 AM
The moment we lose our infrastructure, ANY poor mans weapon will be the weapon of choice. Have you ever considered all the support and infrastructure that goes behind any high tech weapon?

Technology cannot stand alone, it needs a support framework of a larger scale than, say, your friend who can weld a new support mount on the back of a Technical for your .50.

mcosman
December 17, 2005, 02:42 AM
The moment we lose our infrastructure, ANY poor mans weapon will be the weapon of choice. Have you ever considered all the support and infrastructure that goes behind any high tech weapon?

Technology cannot stand alone, it needs a support framework of a larger scale than, say, your friend who can weld a new support mount on the back of a Technical for your .50.


That's another great thing about this country. I have a CNC machine in my garage. I draw parts in my den and the machine makes em for me. All I need is electrons and the raw materials. (humor me on the oversimplification) There are so many home machine shops and reloading benches and food stashes and fuel depot... anyways, I think you get my point. The average person can't make a safe automatic from a semi. But It can be done and we all probably know someone who could. I haven't cause I don't need one, but if I ever did.... anyways point being, never underestimate the "support framework" of the community in which we participate. :D

Twycross
December 17, 2005, 02:56 AM
I'm wondering how effective are these for urban combat, seems to be a pretty niffty poor man's tank. If we ever get into SHTF, it's not a stretch to think someone would mount a 30cal on the back of Chevy or Ford.
I occasionally wonder about this too. What I'm thinking is that we are just up against infantry, technicals would be a rather strong asset to have. But if the opposition has armor or anti-armor capacities, wouldn't a technical just become a tank-magnet? That's not a good thing.:uhoh:

Cosmoline
December 17, 2005, 03:26 AM
They were widely used in the Battle of Mogadishu but I've never seen a breakdown on exactly how many casualties of ours they accounted for vs. AK-47's and RPG's. From the accounts I've read it doesn't sound like they were being used to their full potential--presumably because the crews operating them really didn't have any training and were all worked up on drugs. In the hands of someone who knows how to use it an M-2 mounted on a large truck is a very fearsome weapon, but if you don't know how to aim the thing or if the mount is cruddy it's just going to spray bullets.

I'd be interested to hear from those who've been to the sandbox lately whether the insurgents are using technicals at all. I remember hearing about technicals being used by Iraqi regular troops towards the end of the invasion itself, but IIRC they were taken out pretty easily from the air. A truck with a machine gun on it isn't easy to hide, which may be why the insurgents seem to be moving towards shoot-and-scoot attacks, suicide runs and IED's.

MatthewVanitas
December 17, 2005, 12:10 PM
I don't recall any reports of Iraqi insurgents using technicals anytime past Summer of '03. However, the boys on our side do use them.

Iraqi Nat'l Guard (formerly ICDC) and the Iraqi Police both outfit pickup trucks with PK or RPK, and are very fond of them. The mounts I've seen were homemade, and didn't look terribly smooth, ditto the re-welded steel chairs that they make into gunner seats. They must be at least somewhat effective though; our local cops hosed down a carjacker during a hot pursuit out on the desert highway.

When we had new helo pilots move into our AO, we'd always warn them: "Every technical out there is on our side, so if you see a Toyota with an MG in the bed, take a sec to notice the huge 'IP' stencilled on the roof."


The Iraqis love them some PKs...

-MV

Keith Wheeler
December 17, 2005, 02:02 PM
The moment we lose our infrastructure, ANY poor mans weapon will be the weapon of choice. Have you ever considered all the support and infrastructure that goes behind any high tech weapon?

Technology cannot stand alone, it needs a support framework of a larger scale than, say, your friend who can weld a new support mount on the back of a Technical for your .50.

Yes oh yes. History is sooo full of human civilization collapsing, with the complete loss of technology and infrastructure, I mean, we've been starting over every year or two! :rolleyes:

Normally I detest that "rolleyes" thing. It's one thing to be "self-sufficient", or rather skilled in a wide variety of useful subjects, but the "build a bunker cuz the world's about to fall apart" mentality is something I don't understand. Just when was the last time there was a complete and utter collapse of all civilization, technology, and infrastructure?

Don't give me Katrina, or this war or that, I'm talking about a complete collapse. Japan got the absolute snot stomped out of them, got nuked twice, I'm sure one could say their society "collapsed". But hey, a short time later, they're back again. Katrina? Well, all that money for the bunker, .50, tinfoil hats and whatever, wouldn't it have been better spent getting out? And here we are a few months after that and N'Orleans is back and running, not a full throttle, but still there.

And if (the big if) all of what we know went away, do you guys really think having enough supplies to play army for a few weeks or months would change anything? If you really believe the world is going to fall apart and die, take that money, buy some rural land in the middle of nowhere, and learn to farm. Yeah, if things fell apart there would be a few ugly months of insane yahoos driving around with "technicals", but once there was no more fuel, no more sparts parts, no more MREs, what then?

It's a great 'thought experiment', but history just doesn't support it. Again, being prepared is one thing, but a little "risk management" goes a long way, and part of that is looking at what has happened before.

WT
December 17, 2005, 02:10 PM
Pay close attention to what the Iraqi insurgents are doing.

They have developed an IED that can penetrate the armor of an M-1 Abrams tank. I gather over 100 of our tanks have been disabled with such a weapon.

As an aside, during Vietnam 'gun trucks' were quite popular. I saw a dump truck with a quad fifty mount. Talking to a former crewmember, he told me they used to shovel the empty brass out of the truck after a battle.

NMshooter
December 17, 2005, 03:45 PM
I suspect the biggest reason for technicals is it saves you the trouble of carrying the MG and ammo yourself.

.50 cal is very heavy, and a full 20mm ammo can is more than I ever care to lift again.

I also suspect they make great targets for folks with rifles.

AirPower
December 17, 2005, 03:52 PM
I wonder what's the hit percentage for tank canon against a Chevy running 70mph. Shoot and scoot. That's probably the main advantage offered by technicals. An M2 on a truck bed can be pretty effective against unarmored targets, it can also get to AO in a hurry. Also may offer some protection if the truck itself is uparmored with welded steel plates in critical areas. These are the types of things can be done even without a formal logistic repair or supply system.

This would only be true against an enemy w/o air assets. Helicopters would definitely negate this advantage.

Twycross
December 17, 2005, 04:06 PM
They have developed an IED that can penetrate the armor of an M-1 Abrams tank. I gather over 100 of our tanks have been disabled with such a weapon.
An M-1 is made of pretty tough stuff. Are the terrorists actually blasting through the armor, or just blowing the treads off?

VirgilCaine
December 17, 2005, 04:31 PM
I occasionally wonder about this too. What I'm thinking is that we are just up against infantry, technicals would be a rather strong asset to have. But if the opposition has armor or anti-armor capacities, wouldn't a technical just become a tank-magnet? That's not a good thing.:uhoh:

Note what happens to a technical in a flashback sequence in The Terminator.

carebear
December 17, 2005, 04:39 PM
Pay close attention to what the Iraqi insurgents are doing.

They have developed an IED that can penetrate the armor of an M-1 Abrams tank. I gather over 100 of our tanks have been disabled with such a weapon.

If I had access to piles of 1000 pound bombs I imagine I could build an IED that would flip a 60 ton tank right on over, much less power a penetrator from a low angle into the underside.

As an aside, during Vietnam 'gun trucks' were quite popular. I saw a dump truck with a quad fifty mount. Talking to a former crewmember, he told me they used to shovel the empty brass out of the truck after a battle.

Why wouldn't thay just lift the bed and dump them out? :evil:

I wonder what's the hit percentage for tank canon against a Chevy running 70mph. Shoot and scoot. That's probably the main advantage offered by technicals. An M2 on a truck bed can be pretty effective against unarmored targets, it can also get to AO in a hurry. Also may offer some protection if the truck itself is uparmored with welded steel plates in critical areas. These are the types of things can be done even without a formal logistic repair or supply system.

This would only be true against an enemy w/o air assets. Helicopters would definitely negate this advantage.

I seem to recall the Chadian army running p/u's with TOWS in the back against the Libyan T-55's. The Lib's couldn't turn the turret fast enough to deal with 4x4's attacking in pairs at 50 mph.

IIRC there was an actual Chadian officer quote (in a magazine) of "I'd rather have a Toyota with a TOW than a T-55 any day."

Crosshair
December 17, 2005, 06:15 PM
An M-1 is made of pretty tough stuff. Are the terrorists actually blasting through the armor, or just blowing the treads off?

They just got their hands on some tandem warhead RPG rounds. The new warheads can slice through the Chobham side armor of an M1 tank without difficulty. They have some photos over at strategypage.com where an M1 got hit with one. The plasma jet almost went through both sides of the tank:what: If you think about it, aside from the frontal armor, the M1 is very vulnerable to well placed RPG rounds. The good news is that the new RPG rounds are expensive and scarce in Iraq. Any RPG will blow off a track if it happens to hit one though. Mobility kills are much easier than actualy killing the tank.

taliv
December 17, 2005, 06:39 PM
the chief advantage is of course, they're cheap.

but then, if the pentagon adopted the chevy m10a (like an s10 only in (a)olive drab, (b)black or (c)coyote tan, with picatinny rails, velcro and nylon straps on every exposed surface) they would be $250k each ($260k with DVD player and 6-cd changer)

Cosmoline
December 17, 2005, 07:21 PM
The Iraqis love them some PKs...

-MV

So they're used by our allies? Learn something new every day. I love that photo. The fellow in the truck has inspired me to put a mount on the hood of my "breakup tan" M-10 and mount a Lay-Z-Boy back there so I can just drive into a slot at Birchwood, hop up into the chair and start shooting :D

O.F.Fascist
December 18, 2005, 12:26 AM
Just when was the last time there was a complete and utter collapse of all civilization, technology, and infrastructure?

About 1500 years ago.

roo_ster
December 18, 2005, 12:36 AM
What OFF said.

So many folks see all the progress up from the Dark Ages and forget that they were called hte Dark Ages because the times both before & after were, ah, more "enlightened."

We've had one Dark Age in Western Civ. We're likely to have another. Let us hope we can muddle through it, too.

wallysparx
December 18, 2005, 03:43 AM
if i recall a research paper i did a few years ago correctly, the somalian technicals were highly varied. yes, some were simply a pickup with a machine gun mounted. others were a bit more clever, mounting aging anti-air guns to fire at ground targets, etc. some would also weld/tie/tape on scraps of metal to the bodies, no telling how effective that was.

of course they can't possibly have too much of an effect against a properly trained/equipped armor capabilities like that of the united states, but are extremely effective when you consider the even battleground of one political faction against another. just consider the recently posted gallery of fighting in liberia: support fire and well aimed shots from a truck are no joke. and they won't have to run against tanks.

what i also find funny is that when you see them in mainstream media footage, they always seem to be toyotas. we should ban toyotas since terrorists use them! :neener:

Joejojoba111
December 18, 2005, 08:53 AM
No truck is going to escape an Abrams' gun, period. In that Thunder Run they dealt with multiple rapidly encroaching cars from different directions, without a loss.

That penetration, the same one where they held a piece of paper for scale? Even an ordinary RPG will beat the side armour, but the hit was still only a mission kill. There is another video where insurgents taped the work of a real IED hit on an Abrams, and there simply is not a vehicle in existence designed to take 500 or 1000lb bomb damage a couple strides away to the lower sides or undersides. It's a tough vehicle, but the effects on the materials and the occupants are too massive.

For the technicals, it does make the most sense to use them for mobility and firepower. If they focus on those 2 aspects they can create a defense by being out of range. If there's an infantry skirmish, it could last a while, but it's over as soon as a 14.5 starts blasting for one side. For that, a technical would be perfect, get there fast, have enough firepower to decide an engagement, outshoot what you can't outrun. (though technically* a modern AFV should have better cross-country speed and performance, so an Abrams probably could out-run a Toyota)

NMshooter
December 18, 2005, 12:29 PM
From personal experience a Toyota will go places much larger and heaver vehicles will not.;)

Tanks are incredible in open terrain, but when the ground is broken, very hilly, forested, urban, etc. they are not so good.

The big advantage to mounting any weapon on a vehicle is that you do not have to carry it or its ammo. If you have sufficient cover to move around in the added mobility in battle will help tremendously, but being able to move rapidly over long distances when not in battle really makes a difference.

Unless we are talking about the "Rat Patrol", in which case all must bow to the mighty surplus jeep...;)

I really like the LAV-25, it is very fast and manuverable, and a lot of fun to drive. 0-60 is better than the HMMWV too. And if someone empties a belt of 7.62x54 AP into it the occupants do not have a bad day.:cool:

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