The Ukrainian armed forces persist in their diligent readiness for the imminent counteroffensive, as the exact commencement date remains uncertain. However, recent discussions have hinted towards the end of May as a probable timeline for Ukraine to initiate their principal military operations.
Ukrainian President, Mr. Volodymyr Zelensky, has resolutely stated their unwavering objective: to reclaim all territories presently under temporary occupation by Russia, which notably includes Crimea.
There has been an influx of photos and videos surfacing online, showcasing the diligent training and preparation by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, such as the 37th brigade.
The exact location of the training remains unknown, yet it is evident that the American Oshkosh M-ATV MPAPs have been positioned on the training fields. These resilient machines stand at the ready, awaiting skilled operators to take charge. Following a concise briefing on the intended exercise, teams confidently launch the Oshkosh M-ATV MPAPs and tactfully deploy them in a battlefield configuration. Alongside them, the recently procured AMX-10RC APVs from France also participate in the deployment.
The joint participation of both the Oshkosh M-ATV MPAP and the AMX-10RC APV strongly implies that these units will be in the vanguard of the counter-offensive. The American Oshkosh will play a crucial role in supporting the ground advance, with its light and heavy machine guns and anti-tank guns. With skilled operators on board, the vehicle will undertake short-range reconnaissance, just before the offensive, while its arsenal serves as a vital asset.
In tandem with the Oshkosh M-ATV MPAPs, the French AMX-10RCs are expected to trail closely behind, providing supporting fire to the forward Ukrainian positions. Boasting a longer range 105mm F2 BK MECA L/47 gun, these vehicles are optimally suited for their designated task, providing a formidable backing to the Ukrainian forces.
It is widely anticipated that the tanks provided from Western sources will be actively involved in the forthcoming deployment. The esteemed Leopard 2, in particular, is expected to be unleashed in the initial stages of the offensive, offering vital artillery support to the American Oshkosh M-ATV MRAPs and the French AMX-10RCs. A recent video that has surfaced on the web features a convoy of Leopard 2 tanks, purportedly filmed in Poland.
While the Oshkosh M-ATV MPAPs are poised to lead the charge, the long-range artillery capabilities of the AMX-10RCs and Leopard 2s will play a pivotal role. The Oshkosh M-ATV MPAPs will remain vigilant in identifying and engaging targets that have not been adequately neutralized. Additionally, a direct strike by American anti-aircraft missiles on Russian armored vehicles and tanks cannot be discounted, especially if Moscow decides to withdraw their outdated T-55/54 and T-62 tanks that are currently deployed in Ukraine.
Of the three combat platforms, the Oshkosh M-ATV MPAPs are the fastest and most agile on the battlefield. If the terrain is free from mud and slush, and the weather conditions improve, the American vehicles can reach impressive speeds of at least 80-90 km/h, allowing them to swiftly advance across the front line.
The Oshkosh M-ATV is eminently suited to the challenges ahead, particularly given its robust suspension system. The TAK-4, which is coil-sprung, ensures that the suspension is fully independent, and with 16 inches of wheel travel, it allows Ukrainian forces to deftly reconfigure their battle formations, confounding their adversaries.
With respect to smaller targets, the Oshkosh M-ATV is more than capable of holding its own. Equipped with a range of formidable armaments, including an M240 machine gun, Mk 19 grenade launcher, M2 Browning machine gun, MILAN anti-tank guided missile, or BGM-71 TOW anti-tank guided missile launcher, the mobile teams operating within the vehicle are well-prepared for any eventuality.
Should the American MPAP teams come under attack, contingencies have been put in place for their swift extraction directly from the vehicle. The self-exploding rear doors are a particularly noteworthy feature, as they save precious time and allow for more space within the vehicle.
Vulnerable to Kamikaze drone attacks
Despite its advantages, the Oshkosh M-ATV is not invincible and is exposed to potential dangers in the upcoming conflict. The increasing use of kamikaze drones like the Lancet could inflict considerable damage to the vehicle and its personnel, not to mention the ever-present threat of sudden machine gun fire. The machine gun nest in the turret of the translator is particularly vulnerable to attack. Evidence from the Russian shelling highlights the susceptibility of MPAPs, with the M1224 MaxxPro MRAP succumbing to machine gun fire without requiring an anti-tank gun. The chassis of the vehicle, where the engine is located, is a weak point, as a mine hit in this area would immobilize the vehicle instantly.
Although the Oshkosh M-ATV will undoubtedly play a crucial role in the counteroffensive, its effectiveness will depend on the Ukrainian military’s ability to use it efficiently. The Ukrainian Armed Forces often act with pragmatism and focus on efficiency over quantity, a necessity given their limited resources. Thus, it remains to be seen how effectively they will utilize this vehicle in the coming conflict.