To make the AeroGavin fly as a brief take-off and landing air/ground automobile by parachute or fixed-wing means is merely an issue of adequate funding to pay for the R&D
An M113A3 or an M8 is much far better than nothing-but nothing is what we'll have if we keep pursuing 50-ton monster armored vehicles. The Army must be geared not to keeping Bradley infantrymen and Abrams tankers employed. Waiting for them to airland and forcing the airborne components to seize a heavily defended airfield for them is tantamount to suicide. We've got to look beyond self-serving narrowness and see that the U.S. is a strategic air power, just as England was once the world's preeminent sea power. Like the Russians, we want our airborne to be a completely mobile combined arms team that after landing can converge on the enemy's vulnerable centre of gravity while he's still disoriented. Waiting for anything instead of moving out is a recipe for disaster on the battlefield that is information-age. The 'bad guys' have cell phones and watch CNN.
Somalia was only a foretaste of the future. Let us hope we can get some air-deliverable armored fighting vehicles to our aerial and light troops before North Korea invades or Iraq overruns Kuwait again. What would happen if Iraq seized our pre-positioned M1s and M2s in Kuwait and destroyed the airfield before we can get our tankers into theater? We've got M113A3 AFVs that weigh exactly the same as vulnerable road bound five-ton trucks that can be turned into flaming wrecks with a mere burst of small-arms fire. But we take the tracked M113A3 and throw it in the ocean to create reefs and keep the five-ton trucks, using the excuse that 'we don't have sufficient airlift'. Certainly, if all we have available is 30 to 70-ton AFVs, we will never be able to air-deliver enough fighting vehicles to present our light troops jolt
To make the AeroGavin fly as a brief take-off and landing air/ground vehicle by parachute or fixed-wing means is merely an issue of adequate funding to pay for the R&D. To make an AeroGavin take-off and land would require more effort to create an autogyro system but is feasible if we have the courage and imagination to do so. AeroGavins with air/ground maneuver capabilities would fulfil British Brigadier Richard Simpkin's Race to the Swift fantasy in addition to well as give General Gavin's KIWI concept wings--literally.
'The problem becomes how do you use it and be sure you're not jumping to it since you have it handy,' said Alan Pearson of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. 'You need action to make certain that doesn't happen.'