Author Topic: C3 Howitzer Replacement  (Read 158767 times)

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Online FJAG

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #700 on: October 26, 2020, 20:00:24 »
You joked about an accident that occurred due to failed training and leadership.  It's not funny.  It kills soldiers.  The RCA refused to admit that a gun tractor transports soldiers - they declared it a weapons system and therefore permit operators with a basic drivers' course to transport troops.  All other drivers require minimum experience levels before being permitted to transport troops.  The leadership denied drivers adequate rest.

Inexperienced driver plus  Bad roads plus Inadequate rest killed a gunner twelve years ago.  So yes - maybe you can buff out the scrapes on your colours.  But you can't bring back the life that was lost because of that failed leadership.

I'm not sure why you've got your tail in a knot over one line here but let me assure you that I and the artillery take driver training and leadership duties very seriously.

I've been a young gunner driving guns and troops and ridden in the back as a gun number numerous times before I became an officer and started leading troop and battery movements. In all cases we trained our people to a) drive the vehicles b) drive the vehicles towing guns and c) driving them with due care.

When I look at this one accident in the picture and read the caption I see a vehicle that went around a gravel road too fast and the gun rolled. That's an accident. There's nothing in that picture or caption about failed training or failed leadership or lack of experience or lack of rest. That's a conclusion that you are drawing in the absence of information.

I know that going way back the Service Corps always had a thing about the troop transport issue but if you think about it the Service Corp was the only organization that ever transported troops as "cargo". For them rules for separating personnel from ammunition and even having new drivers gain some experience before transporting either makes some sense. (there was also the one about drivers do not unload cargo). The artillery routinely carries detachments and explosives, the infantry routinely carries their rifle sections, even the armoured corps carries their recce dets in their vehicles. To the best of my knowledge neither the infantry nor armoured corps have an "experience" factor that needs to be checked off before transporting the people that make up their sections and dets. They are all part of the crew. It's a whole different paradigm. "The RCA refuses to admit that a gun tractor transports soldiers"? Hardly. We know better than anyone what we're doing and what the consequences of that might be. The training to drive with a detachment and explosives on board is built into our training system and the fact that we have soldiers and high explosives on board is drilled into everyone from square one. Our drivers aren't just truckers; they're part of the detachment and everyone on board the truck is a buddy.

I did a fatal accident board almost thirty years ago because a young driver rolled a 106 jeep (without gun). He had a 404 for jeep but had never driven the 106 version which is sprung differently. His inexperience with that type may have been a factor but then again it may just have been momentary inattention as well. We can all speculate on the cause but the simple fact of the matter is that we do difficult things under difficult conditions and regardless of training and leadership things sometimes go south. While a fatality a dozen years ago is a tragedy it is not an indictment of a system that isn't working adequately nor a sign that it is fraught with failed training and failed leadership.

 :cheers:
« Last Edit: October 26, 2020, 22:14:05 by FJAG »
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Offline Colin P

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #701 on: October 26, 2020, 21:41:03 »
I wasn't talking about training, or attitudes or normalization.

I was talking about the robustness of the M2A2 howitzer compared to today's high tech wonders.

 ;)

I will deny any knowledge as to how a replacement sight mount for a 105mm howitzer magically appeared, allowing the gun to be quickly repaired  8)

As for driver training, the Drivers Course Artillery wheeled was fairly intense and we covered the unique handling characteristics of the gun, along with those godawful non-directional tread tires. Considering we used to tow the guns to Yakima and Ft Lewis regularly, I would say my unit's accident rate with them was quite low. I think this was the only incident of this type that we had with the guns. 

Offline Petard

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #702 on: October 26, 2020, 22:01:16 »
The accident rate with the C3, I would venture, is higher than it was with the C1.

The thing is, you could be fully alert towing a C3 and it can roll. I know of an incident where it happened moving just from the gun RV to the gun position, so a few hundred metres, and the gun started swaying just enough to create the momentum to roll. The driver and supervisor were fully alert when it happened, and said it happened like it was in slow motion. Again, having active brakes would reduce the likelihood of that happening significantly. Training, and refresher training, might help to deal with it too, but you've got to be able to recognize the trouble, that's especially problematic when driving with blackout drive.

The current gun tractor has such mass it's very unlikely to be pulled out of control by a swaying C3, as happened with the lighter MLVW twelve years ago, but the gun might still roll.

Offline MilEME09

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #703 on: October 27, 2020, 00:04:32 »
The accident rate with the C3, I would venture, is higher than it was with the C1.

The thing is, you could be fully alert towing a C3 and it can roll. I know of an incident where it happened moving just from the gun RV to the gun position, so a few hundred metres, and the gun started swaying just enough to create the momentum to roll. The driver and supervisor were fully alert when it happened, and said it happened like it was in slow motion. Again, having active brakes would reduce the likelihood of that happening significantly. Training, and refresher training, might help to deal with it too, but you've got to be able to recognize the trouble, that's especially problematic when driving with blackout drive.

The current gun tractor has such mass it's very unlikely to be pulled out of control by a swaying C3, as happened with the lighter MLVW twelve years ago, but the gun might still roll.


More likely these days is your C3 will cause your hitch to sheer off from the gun tractor.
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Offline CTD

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #704 on: October 27, 2020, 01:47:56 »
The C3 was more prone to axle breaks, rollovers and air time then the C1/2 do to a few factors.
1, The tires were more flexible allowing more bounce, They also had a taller sidewall allowing more sway especially on hard pack roads.
2, The trails were longer changing the center of gravity when attached to the GT. This coupled with the taller more flexible tires and you get more trailer sway and bounce.
3  The pintle hitch being able to spin 360degs allows the gun if it is going over to go. With little to no resistance.
4 The weight of the gun itself caused stress on the all the components.

As for having lack of training, (I call BS unless the unit in question did not follow the rules) and time in the driver seat. I disagree. I joined in the mid 90's, to get GT qualified you had to have the basic MLVW DVR Wheel course, you then had to have the GT conversion. Plus you had to have so many hours driving before able to transport troops/ammo.

The trucks themselves would sway on the highway and worse on loose pack gravel at any speed above 30km/hr. This seemed to get worse when they moved to the new style tires.

I seen the gun fly 6feet in the air and land on one tire then bounce the other way on the opposite tire. The Driver didn't even notice other then a little tug.
I was in the Passenger seat when the axle snapped on my Gun when we were coming out of action. The Driver had the pedal to the floor, and the truck was slowing down, we thought we were getting bogged down in the sand. When we got out of the ditch the truck towed that gun fine for a couple meters.

Those trucks had limitations, the guns had limitations. Which we pushed to the max due to the nature of the job. Poor leadership had nothing to do with it, it was a can do attitude by the Troops taking risk that the Officers did not know were risks. It was a failure of communication from the bottom up. But when the bottom nor the top actually know what needs to be fixed its hard to fix things. AKA they didn't really know it was broken so they didn't fix it.

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #705 on: October 27, 2020, 02:31:30 »
How much experience did the Regs have with long road moves towing the guns? From what i saw it was from the gun park to the ranges and back. I suspect under those conditions the behaviour changes weren't as apparent. The Reserve Artillery (in BC anyways) were accustomed to long road moves with guns in tow.

Offline CTD

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #706 on: October 27, 2020, 02:40:21 »
How much experience did the Regs have with long road moves towing the guns? From what i saw it was from the gun park to the ranges and back. I suspect under those conditions the behaviour changes weren't as apparent. The Reserve Artillery (in BC anyways) were accustomed to long road moves with guns in tow.
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Offline dapaterson

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #707 on: October 27, 2020, 08:38:27 »
Those trucks had limitations, the guns had limitations. Which we pushed to the max due to the nature of the job. Poor leadership had nothing to do with it, it was a can do attitude by the Troops taking risk that the Officers did not know were risks. It was a failure of communication from the bottom up. But when the bottom nor the top actually know what needs to be fixed its hard to fix things. AKA they didn't really know it was broken so they didn't fix it.

So, leadership not knowing what's going on, people taking risks because of it.  Are you sure you want to stand on the "that's not poor leadership" hill?
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Offline Petard

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #708 on: October 27, 2020, 09:45:19 »
There were certainly bad decisions made that were contributing to the wear on the C3 fleet, and potentially accidents, not the least of which is the mad rush cross country after cease firing, with the gun bouncing in the air. I don't doubt there have been a number of incidents where a subunit commander has ignored the rest requirements of drivers, particularly on weekend Exercises too.

Because of that there are directives to ensure leadership know the limits, the minimum hours of driving experience before being authorized transport of troops, on max C3 towing speeds, and driver rest; there is no room for George Costanza defence pleas of ignorance.

The point I'm making is the design of the C3 itself can contribute to conditions that training has not prepared them for. Right now, a fully alert driver is not likely to notice the C3 swaying until it's too late, especially at night. Active brakes and a rear view low light camera would help with this. According to most provincial Highway Traffic acts, loads as heavy as the C3 are supposed to have service brakes anyway. They don't. It was pure luck the one that flipped on Highway 400 rolled towards the shoulder of the road, and not into the next lane. The decision not to even increase driver training time to deal with trailer sway, was made at some leadership level, if we're going to question leadership decisions I'd say that is where the focus should be.

BTW, given the towing highway speed restriction of 70 km/hr, I'd say it's very questionable for units to be towing the C3 long distances on major highways, in practice they're supposed to be using secondary ones or low bedding their guns to the training location

It is a tired old gun, being towed in conditions that just about anyone else wouldn't be allowed to do. There are a lot of reasons why it needs to be replaced, and safety certainly should be at the top of them
« Last Edit: October 28, 2020, 02:45:26 by Petard »

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #709 on: October 27, 2020, 13:42:30 »
I stand by my position that the driver training within the artillery is suitable for gun tractor drivers notwithstanding that the trucks carry troops and ammunition and that there are directives which should ensure a generally safe handling of the equipment. Regrettably there are always incidents where individuals at all levels, for whatever reason, ignore or run the line on those practices. That's not an artillery branch problem but is pervasive throughout the CAF.

What does concern me, and which I think is a major leadership failure within the artillery, is the existence of the C3 in the first place.

The C1 version was adequate for it's time and was replaced by the L5 in the light role for the Reg F in the late 1960s/early 1970s. If you want to talk about a gun with issues we can always go back there. The C1, however, was left as a "training" gun for the reserves. I doubt that there was, even at that time, any plan or consideration that we would ever field the C1 in action. In those days the "permanently deployed" combat element of the RCA in Europe used the M109 while the remaining quick reaction forces were all somewhat schizophrenically torn between light and mechanized elements (in part to train for a light, mobile role and also to train as replacements in the 4 CMBG role)

Around 1996 we procured the 105 mm GIAT for the Regular Force and converted to the C3s for the reserves. At 28 GIATs, the purchase made sense to buy a lighter gun (some 1,550 lbs) with longer range for what was becoming a lighter force. (I never quite understood the numbers though but we still had M109s and I was never sure that we wouldn't be keeping a regiment's worth of them - in the end, like everything else, I expect that it was a budget issue.)

The conversion to the C3 never made any sense to me at all. The C1/2 was a perfectly adequate training gun and the additional range offered by the C3 was entirely unnecessary for the training role. I couldn't see justifying the cost. There were, and are, more than enough C1/C2 guns and parts in the system around the world that we would be able to repair/replace systems that had worn out for years to come. It was always contemplated that the C1/2/3 would be replaced in the early in the millennia so why even bother?

To me, the C3 has an ugly duckling appearance about it. I know the engineering was studies and the barrel found feasible, but the whole thing looks unbalanced and, based on the reports from the users regarding sway and bounce, there obviously seems to be something off. The fact that it doesn't match the tow vehicle's wheelbase doesn't help and we certainly had a mountain of experience and evidence with that issue on the L5.

Active brakes might very well have solved some of the problems, but in my experience (some time with the C1 but mostly in towing a car behind my RV) you feel something wrong long before you see it and by that time it might very well be too late for even the active breaks to fix the issue - the mass of the tow vehicle is more probably the determinant as to how safely you can recover from the situation.  Regardless of whether active breaks fix all the problems or not there is little doubt in my mind that active breaks would be highly desirable and would be a benefit here.

While I acknowledge that the Reg F routinely do not tow long distances (during my time we portee'd L5s on long road moves and the M109s don't do long road moves) that doesn't mean that within the Reg F RCA there is no understanding of long towed road moves. The trouble is more one of the fact that they are inevitable and you either solve the issue through directives or engineered repairs. Directives are cheaper, especially if the gun is considered an interim solution. Which brings me back to the question of why convert to the C3 in the first place.

The '00s were a tremendously difficult time for the artillery. The previous shut down of 4 CMBG and the conversion to what in essence were effectively nascent "Stryker" brigades (which themselves were nascent) caused doctrinal issues compounded by funding issues. Our involvement in Afghanistan rushed us into a quick and successful procurement of the M777s and then into UAVs, STA etc. We divested the M109s because we couldn't afford them any further. There is little wonder why the C3s, which were already in inventory at that time received little attention except when things went wrong on occasion and even then mostly treated with band-aid solutions.

I don't see this issue disappearing. When I look at the wheeled SP solutions out there, the first thing I wonder about is the high centre of mass created by these very heavy guns (and in some cases the autoload system) grafted onto the chassis. On some you can see the bounce while firing and the need for outriggers. I expect that this bounce during firing transfers to cross country movement and moderate speed turns. There's a reason why the M109 has a wide wheelbase. Even with that, the new barrel lengths contemplated and ancillary equipment will severely stress the carriages.

All of that is to say that we should not stop looking for new solutions. The circumstances demand that we do. And, as I've said before, we need to get away from "training guns" and once and for all determine the overarching artillery doctrine for the total force and equip and train for that.

 :2c:
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #710 on: October 27, 2020, 14:55:10 »
.... When I look at the wheeled SP solutions out there, the first thing I wonder about is the high centre of mass created by these very heavy guns (and in some cases the autoload system) grafted onto the chassis. ...

I suspect that that may have had an influence on the Swede's decision to employ the Volvo A30 (D then, G now) Articulated Dump Truck as an SPG platform.  They are designed from the get-go to move high CofG loads across uneven terrain.





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ76SdbFnyU

The downside is Maximum Speed is only 65 km/h (40 mph).   You need to lo-boy your battery on long hauls.

Edit

The new version from BAE can be incorporated on any suitable truck, like your new 8x8s


https://www.defenseworld.net/news/25438/BAE_Systems_Unveils_New_ARCHER_Mobile_Howitzer_at_DSEI_2019#.X5htlohTmUk




« Last Edit: October 27, 2020, 15:02:50 by Chris Pook »
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #711 on: October 27, 2020, 15:33:31 »
And in the midst of fruitless surfing I stumble across this gem....

Quote
The quest for accuracy partly comes from the increased range, but also from some kind of engineering bewitchment for perfection. Accuracy is very nice when the enemy headquarters is located or when the enemy has put their fighting positions close to a hospital. But at the end of the day, artillery is an area effect weapon, and to achieve effect it is enough to hit the target area instead of aiming for the bullseye with every round. I am worried that we in the West is forgetting this. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard “Isn’t it jolly good to have better accuracy, that we can get the same effect with fewer rounds.” I have tried to explain that it is enough to be in the right area and that it is more important to be able to fire large volumes in many places, which increases the odds that the enemy will be suppressed in many different spots. Often the fire mission is based on an estimate on the enemy and the terrain, and not on an observation. If one can see the enemy both we and the enemy can use direct fire, and it is the losses that causes which we wish to avoid. Why then aim for a few expensive bullseyes and completely overlook massed fires? Making this case is often like talking to the wall. I will however persist, gutta cavat lapidem.

FJAG and Old Sweat.... you're welcome

https://corporalfrisk.com/2019/01/26/guest-post-an-unreasonable-brigade-artillery/

The article is an english translation of one published by a serving Swedish Artillery Officer who develops a thesis that 155 is a Divisional Support Weapon and 105 is a Battalion Weapon that could be replaced by 120mm mortars.  Brigade level could be reasonably served by something in the 120mm/122mm Soviet variety.   He argues for logistically sustainable high rates of fire over an area that is directly observable from the gun position and requires protection from guns observing the gun position.

Over to the experts.
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Offline Old Sweat

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #712 on: October 27, 2020, 15:45:04 »
I would have to spend some time considering his conclusions re calibre et al, but I agree pretty well 100% with his discussion re accuracy for area weapons as laid out in the reproduced paragraph. It seems to me that we (the big we, like most of our brain trust) lost sight of that in the early years of this century. A fixation on accuracy using precision guided munitions developed, are more so if they were aerial delivered. Hint: take a look in General Fraser's book on why the decision to cut short the artillery prep and launch 1 RCR a day early was made on Op Medusa..

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #713 on: October 27, 2020, 16:37:55 »
That's an absolutely brilliant article, Chris. Thanks for finding it and pointing it out.

I've often been thinking about the direction NATO artillery is going in every time I see the price tag for one of those fancy rounds. (I still have hope for the Orbital PKG fuze which comes in for a mere $10,000 (in 2015 dollars)). That plus the supply and reload cycles are getting very complex.

There's definitely a role for precision munitions, but I've been wondering for a while whether we need to get back into reconsidering what we need where. The suggestion of a self-propelled 120mm gun capable of accompanying the brigade, reaching out into the brigade's area and a rapid rate of fire would be preferable to what we're doing now. One question not covered is whether the cost of standard 120mm rounds would be cheaper than 155s considering the scale of production?

The article is provocative but doubt if it will change the US way of thinking in their current development program. The question is will we go a different way. Makes me think back that we used to have a four battery regiment of 3 x 105 and 1 x 155. - Maybe that's a way to go. Or the 155s in a general support regiment outside the brigade together with rockets.

 :cheers:
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Offline Colin P

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #714 on: October 27, 2020, 17:15:41 »
I suspect we could adapt our 105's or another 105 (South Korea has 1600 or so M101A2 in reserve) to fit onto our existing fleet of gun tractors as a budget Casers. the other option is towed 120mm mortars. The problem with only having 155 and 120/81mm mortars is you have a large band of range that only the 155 can service, and it's likley we will never have enough. Acquiring a new 105mm gun based on either the m119 (17km) or G7 (31km) and 120mm mortars for the Regular force and Reserves gives you maximum flexibility for the intermediate range band and the variety of missions we may face and the ability to afford more tubes and scale up our forces faster. We could buy a significant stock of 120mm mortars, as they will likley lend themselves to long term storage better than guns, allowing us to rapidly increase the artillery arm without scrambling to source tubes. 

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #715 on: October 27, 2020, 18:08:42 »
Is it possible to turn the clock back to 2004?

The GDLS-Denel collaboration that mounted an extended range L57 105mm Denel T7 on a GDLS Stryker LAVIII suitable for transport in a C130?

The 105mm may not have the oomph that the Swede wants but given that he likes to scatter a lot of little bombs far and wide and the 105mm is available and in service maybe it could be considered for Brigade service (ranging to 24 km and 80 m CEP with Boat Tails).

https://ndiastorage.blob.core.usgovcloudapi.net/ndia/2004/armaments/04_Vickory_105mm_Indirect_Fire.pdf
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Offline CTD

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #716 on: October 27, 2020, 20:06:54 »

So, leadership not knowing what's going on, people taking risks because of it.  Are you sure you want to stand on the "that's not poor leadership" hill?
We had speed restrictions on our Trucks, they had governors which were broken, removed or modified. I have yet to see a Officer drive, let alone understand the workings of a MLVW. (maybe there is one but I had not seen it).

I will stand on the "that's not a poor leadership hill". In all the Miles we put on our trucks and guns we had very few incidents with them. Most of the ones were the drivers not paying attention, you know driving through a drive thru, tire falls off, axle breaks off.  You cant blame leadership for that, I guess you can because they are responsible for everything under their command.
But ultimately the Soldiers did what they needed to do to get the job done. As we always have. I could concede that the poor leadership could of been from the Government who provided the equipment we had, that was not adequate for the task required. (it worked for the time) That's a whole different conversation.


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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #717 on: October 27, 2020, 21:38:38 »
I suspect that that may have had an influence on the Swede's decision to employ the Volvo A30 (D then, G now) Articulated Dump Truck as an SPG platform.  They are designed from the get-go to move high CofG loads across uneven terrain.





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ76SdbFnyU

The downside is Maximum Speed is only 65 km/h (40 mph).   You need to lo-boy your battery on long hauls.

Edit

The new version from BAE can be incorporated on any suitable truck, like your new 8x8s


https://www.defenseworld.net/news/25438/BAE_Systems_Unveils_New_ARCHER_Mobile_Howitzer_at_DSEI_2019#.X5htlohTmUk

If we get 6x6 artics just make sure all the lines running through the articulation are lengthened by a few feet. That way when they roll over you can just flip them back up and get back to er

Offline GR66

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #718 on: October 28, 2020, 14:26:01 »
Is it possible to turn the clock back to 2004?

The GDLS-Denel collaboration that mounted an extended range L57 105mm Denel T7 on a GDLS Stryker LAVIII suitable for transport in a C130?

The 105mm may not have the oomph that the Swede wants but given that he likes to scatter a lot of little bombs far and wide and the 105mm is available and in service maybe it could be considered for Brigade service (ranging to 24 km and 80 m CEP with Boat Tails).

https://ndiastorage.blob.core.usgovcloudapi.net/ndia/2004/armaments/04_Vickory_105mm_Indirect_Fire.pdf

Combine the GDLS-Denel for the Reg Force artillery regiments with the Patria Nemo turreted mortar system that the US Army is looking at for it's Stryker Brigades for the mortar platoons (https://defence-blog.com/news/army/u-s-army-to-test-patria-nemo-mortar-system.html) and you'd have a pretty good, mobile, high rate of fire indirect fire support capability for a Battle-Group. 

Reserve Brigades (or a Light Reg Force Brigade if we were to concentrate our LAVs) could use the Hawkeye for the Arty Regiments (https://www.amgeneral.com/what-we-do/platforms-automotive-systems/vehicle-lineup/humvee-2ct-hawkeye-mhs/) and a truck-mounted120mm mortar (https://elbitsystems.com/media/SPEAR_ENG_1_WEB.pdf) for the mortar platoons.

Longer range precision fire could come from our M777's, an SP 155mm like Archer and/or a Battery or two of HIMARS.  These could be held in Reserve units (with maybe a Battery or two of M777's for the Reg Force for brushfire war type deployments).

Offline reveng

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #719 on: October 28, 2020, 15:20:31 »
Combine the GDLS-Denel for the Reg Force artillery regiments with the Patria Nemo turreted mortar system that the US Army is looking at for it's Stryker Brigades for the mortar platoons (https://defence-blog.com/news/army/u-s-army-to-test-patria-nemo-mortar-system.html) and you'd have a pretty good, mobile, high rate of fire indirect fire support capability for a Battle-Group. 

Reserve Brigades (or a Light Reg Force Brigade if we were to concentrate our LAVs) could use the Hawkeye for the Arty Regiments (https://www.amgeneral.com/what-we-do/platforms-automotive-systems/vehicle-lineup/humvee-2ct-hawkeye-mhs/) and a truck-mounted120mm mortar (https://elbitsystems.com/media/SPEAR_ENG_1_WEB.pdf) for the mortar platoons.

Longer range precision fire could come from our M777's, an SP 155mm like Archer and/or a Battery or two of HIMARS.  These could be held in Reserve units (with maybe a Battery or two of M777's for the Reg Force for brushfire war type deployments).

Why would you make LRPF a PRes-only function?

Offline GR66

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #720 on: October 28, 2020, 16:30:36 »
Why would you make LRPF a PRes-only function?

Just to clarify, the 105mm and 120mm mortar are also capable of precision fires.  As far as the Long Range precision fires (155mm and HIMARS) I'm simply expounding on the argument in the article above to place some possible options for platforms into a Canadian context.

The article argues that for Battle Group/Brigade size forces the shorter range, higher volume of fire and smaller logistical footprint of lighter weapons like the 105mm and 120mm mortar are the better weapon option.  Heavier weapons with greater range, but lesser rate of fire and a larger logistical footprint are better suited to Brigade/Division size forces.

Since SSE only envisions Canada deploying Battle Group sized forces then it would make sense to have the weapons suited to a Battle Group sized force in the Regular Force which are the units which will fulfill these deployments.  If the only time we might potentially deploy a Brigade sized force is if the proverbial manure hits the oscillating aerator, then it would make sense to have these weapons in the Reserves.

I did also suggest that a Battery or two of M777s (or HIMARS) could be Reg Force as well since there are obviously times when they might still be the best tool for a less than full-scale war scenario.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #721 on: October 28, 2020, 18:01:42 »
While the article and the arguments for 105/120 at the Battlegroup level are sound, there are reasons to think much bigger, mostly to future proof ourselves.

The Russians have long used masses of artillery, and modern Russian artillery parks are 3:i in favour of long range multiple rocket launchers. It is a bit difficult to conduct operations, much less hold the enemy "at risk" when they are unloading salvos of BM-30 Smerch rockets from up to 90km away. And the huge 300mm rockets have lots of room for guidance systems to make them PGMs as well.

The Americans have also seen that light, and are looking at extended range artillery using either much longer 155mm barrels for increased ballistic performance or hypervelocity shells derived from those used in the experimental railgun program to reach out and touch people at up to 70km, long range rocket artillery with ranges out to 300km and even the "Strategic Long Range Cannon" with a reach of 1000 nautical miles. Being able to shell Moscow from almost any location in Poland certainly changes your perspective.

So while we might never be able to convince the powers that be to buy a regiment of SLRC's, we should be thinking of how to operate in an environment where artillery has dramatically increased its range and power, not thrashing over replacing a system which has slightly more reach than a WWII or Korean war artillery park. It could be tube or rocket artillery, it could be swarms of UAVs, it could be long range fibre optic guided missiles, it could use entirely different principles, but we really need to change our mindset.

And the ripple effect is if artillery is going to reach out to much greater ranges, do we need more artillery, or do we extend the effects of Infantry and Armour to fill the closer in range bands?
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #722 on: October 28, 2020, 18:22:04 »


1918 - 130 km to Paris.
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ignoramus et ignorabimus

Offline Thucydides

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #723 on: October 29, 2020, 12:14:12 »
The Strategic Long Range Cannon is supposed to be road mobile, and likely will resemble an updated M-65 "Atomic Annie". While no one has said exactly how this is supposed to work, a ramjet powered shell is likely the method of getting 1000 nautical mile ranges
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline suffolkowner

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #724 on: October 29, 2020, 18:19:46 »
James Hasik's take on the various US initiatives

https://www.jameshasik.com/weblog/2020/10/guns-on-trucks-threats-and-rivalries-in-military-adaptation.html

and from the article

"The first observation is that replacing that towed artillery, and especially in the Stryker brigades, is probably now imperative. Over scotch one night in Warsaw about a decade ago, as I was saying something admiring about the M777, a Danish master gunner explained to me that it really wasn't the right cannon for mechanized warfare. "The first thing that happens in all the wargames," he said, "is that all the towed artillery dies." The gunner was with a CV90 regiment, so he liked things that shoot and move. Towed guns don't pull up and relocate very quickly, so they cannot expect to easily escape the counter-battery fire. Fairly, that conclusion is relying on simulations to guide procurement decisions, but it seems prudent in this case, and we've been doing that for decades anyway."