1/35 scale FDCV - Fire Direction Center Vehicle Hellenic Army polyester resin model by White Tower Models As a result of a stupid bet I lost, I had to build and present a tracked AFV / SPG scale model or sing the "Panzerlied" in public. Considering that it’s more possible to watch Hell becoming frozen than me building a tracked AFV / IFV / SPG scale model, I had to accept that this stupid bet I lost, could be the beginning of my new era. I thought that building a modern AFV, would be more appropriate for me, because the WWII steel had never been my speciality. To be more accurate, I could barely spot the difference between a Tiger and a King Tiger - only if the King Tiger got the royal crown on turret. Otherwise, it’s all same to me. As an AFV scale modeling rookie, I (wrongly) thought that just because it happened to met few M-109s and the FDCV (in which I received the basic training provided for Hellenic Army Artillery young officers) during my days as a Hellenic Army’s School of Artillery cadet, I could easily build the model in scale. In the following picture, me as a Hellenic Army’s School of Artillery cadet, back in the mid 90s. My brother in arms was really ugly and I had to fill pixels in the face. I studied the Hellenic Army’s FDCV 500 pages technical manual which is the best reference I could get before start the project. The FDCV received by the Hellenic Army under special order to cover the Artillery demands. The FDCV differs (apart from the obvious operational role) a number of external details from the basic M-992 FAASV - Field Artillery Ammunition Support Vehicle version, used by NATO militaries as a 155mm projectile carrier. The FDCV - Fire Direction Center Vehicle is a modified M-992A2 FAASV - Field Artillery Ammunition Supply Vehicle which has been reconfigured into a POC - Platoon Operations Center. The FDCV - Fire Direction Center Vehicle / FAOCV - Field Artillery Operations Center Vehicle is the command & control partner for M-109 series howitzers. Based on the M-109 family of vehicles, FDCV/FAOCV provides low-cost, survivable command & control for artillery operations. It is a highly mobile, maintainable and survivable platform that can set up in minutes. A flexible design includes up to four computer workstations, or it can be configured for manual operations. It supports multiple radio and computer systems and can be equipped with an optional antenna mast that greatly aids in command and control missions. The system provides the command element with the same mobility as the M-109A6 Paladin. If required, bolt-on armour can be added to protect the specialist personnel and equipment carried. The FDCV/FAOCV shares a common chassis, automotive controls and drive train with the M-109 family, greatly enhancing maintainability, and it is 80% common to the M-992 FAASV - Field Artillery Ammunition Support Vehicle, increasing battlefield survivability. This vehicle was highly rated during Task Force XXI, where it maintained a 99.3% operational readiness rate. The FDCV was been tested at the US Army School of Artillery at Fort Sill to prove the feasibility and function of the concept under field and NBC conditions. Two FDCVs replaced two of the six M-1068 SICPS belonging to the EXFOR artillery battalion (4-42 FA) in the TF XXI. The following equipment was carried in the prototype FDCV: Mast system with OE254 antenna which is 11.28 m high when elevated, Mast elevation control box & mast elevation control power unit, Packet digital radio, 4 x RT-524/VRC receiver/transmitter radios printer, 9 stations of liquid cooling vest connect points, Tactical graphics terminal & tactical display, ANS 2000 land navigation system display, ANS 2000 land navigation system heading reference unit, M-13A1 filtered air system for NBC ventilated face pieces, M-43 NBC detector, M-42 alarm and M-49 NBC collective protective system, APU - Auxiliary Power unit, 36000 BTU cooling/heating air-conditioner v Ventilation filter/blower, PDP-1134 HEL computer & plotter, CRT terminal, digitizer, liquid cooling vest control box, M-10 protective entrance, battery boxes & batteries; liquid cooling vest chilling unit, 4 extra personnel seats & additional stowage compartments etc. A system is a standard reconfigured FAASV and a pair of "Pythagoras" lightweight computer units and associated equipment. "Pythagoras" is a microprocessor based artillery computer consisting of the main FPU - Fire Control Unit and six remote GDT - Gun Display Terminals. The system performs fire control at battery level and features easy and interactive operation, multiple preprogrammed menus and on-line transmission of firing data. Further development of "Pythagoras" includes full backwards system compatibility, single board computer architecture, multiple calipers and I/O serial communication port. One of the LCUs is loaded with BCS - Battery Computer System and the other is loaded with AFATDS - Advanced Field Artillery Technical Data System software. One of the stations is outfitted with a V2 Applique Computer and its associated situation awareness software. The FDO - Fire Direction Officer has a separate work station which will consist of a desk-like surface, storage for documentation, manuals, ancillary equipment, a map board, and a 21" flat panel display to a monitor either of the LCUs or the V2 applique computer. The work station has one VRC-89 SINCGARS - Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System with all associated hardware. The radio is modified to include the TF XXI SINCGARS SIP/INC - System Improvement Program capabilities and internet controller. The FDCV also has one VRC-90 and VRC-92 SINCGARS SIP/INC radios.