Author Topic: C3 Howitzer Replacement  (Read 65857 times)

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Offline Thucydides

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #175 on: January 09, 2019, 23:54:11 »
If 105 continues to exist, it will be because it is being repurposed and taking on other roles.

A few possibilities:

Using a wheeled platform (like some of the ones showcased upthread) and a magazine autoloader similar to the Swedish FH77, the 105 becomes an air defence platform. This is especially true using the hypervelocity rounds similar to those already being created for the 155 (adapted from the research done for electromagnetic railguns). High speed, flat trajectories, greater range and large explosive payload compared to 25mm automatic cannon and similar weapons will make this another layer in an air defence shield needing to deal with high speed missiles, attack helicopters and other threats.

Through tube missile launcher. The 105mm artillery shell is replaced by some form of guided missile or even drone. This exchanges weight of fire with long range, accurate fire. As a variation, the 105mm rounds are not explosive payloads at all, but some form of sensor which can be lofted quickly and at great ranges. The 105 becomes a sort of spotting platform.

Once again using the hypervelocity rounds, the 105 is able to engage targets at double the range current 105mm cannon can. Guided "Excalibur light" rounds allow accurate fire even at extreme ranges.

While you can always argue a 155 can do the same jobs better (and it is true), there may be cost advantages for giving roles like this to a 105mm, and any platform can physically carry more individual 105mm rounds than 155mm rounds.
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Offline Colin P

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #176 on: January 10, 2019, 10:36:27 »
Since it's clear we are not going to 120mm mortars, it makes sense to stick to the 105mm and buy the upgraded M119's and perhaps do it in batches. With modern ammunition you are looking at ranges of 17-19km, the digitization will make training more useful and fires quicker and more accurate. We are painfully short on indirect fire weapons. Having the Reserves equipped with a modern 105mm means having some ability to quickly surge more tubes into a conflict. It's also my understanding that in the recent conflicts there has been global shortages of 155mm shells. Having the 105mm means that you are likely to have stocks of 105mm if there is a 155 shortage again.
The other advantage of 105mm is that your live fire training costs are less, the safety areas are smaller and we could actually use a smaller gun tractor, which would be good for some Reserve units, who can't get the new vehicles into their armouries anymore. Logistically, the 105mm makes good sense for the Reserves. A surge of new and reliable equipment won't hurt recruiting either.   

Offline Petard

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #177 on: January 10, 2019, 12:09:38 »
I'm skeptical there'll be a lot of money going to the Reserves to replace the C3 anytime soon, but the barrels will need to be replaced in the near future as a few have developed cracks near the muzzle. Canada has long since lost the capacity to punch out barrels of that calibre, and very unlikely anyone is interested in starting it up. The best choice would be to get some additional LG1 barrels from Nexter or the M119's from BAE, and fit them to the C3 carriage, something that could be done at 202 Workshop or (Esquimalt's) Fleet Maintenance Facility

As for potential, they could fire the Rheinmetal-Denel's 105mm Igala ammunition, and the LAHAT can be fired out of it as well. But I think in the end the decision won't be made on developing it's  Operational potential, although robust the C3 is just too heavy, rather it'll be about just sustaining a limited training system (and being able to do gun salutes).

Not that there's a hope in hell of Canada procuring the gun in the attachment, it seems to of been an unfortunate failed experiment by GDLS Canada, it does include a description of RDM ammunition compared to legacy 105 ammo (not that Canada would buy the newer type of 105 ammo either). The attachment is pretty much just for ref for what's out there.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2019, 12:13:09 by Petard »

Offline Colin P

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #178 on: January 10, 2019, 15:39:11 »
Sadly we need a bunch of Reservists killed by a barrel rupture, a Royal Commission and public embarrassment to get the money to replace them. 

Offline Old Sweat

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #179 on: January 10, 2019, 15:58:18 »
Sadly we need a bunch of Reservists killed by a barrel rupture, a Royal Commission and public embarrassment to get the money to replace them.

The odds of all three, or even one occurring, are pretty slim.

In May 1963 I was associated with a premature (a round detonating 15m outside the barrel of a 105 in Gagetown. Six members of the detachment were wounded and the gun ended up in second line repair. Despite having just left the gun line, I was detailed as a member of the SI. We triangulated the location of the burst by sticking straws in the holes in the ammunition boxes and used the firing table MV to determine the fuze functioned .05 seconds after firing. This indicated the delay element had set off the burst.

Well, obviously the finely tuned artillery world kicked into action, not. The incident was blamed by those who were not there, but knew better, on a cracked round and incompetent troops failing to inspect the ammunition. I can tell you that was crap as the round made the characteristic wham and smoke cloud of an airburst and any splinters we picked up were characteristically small. It took three more prematures over the summer, the last of which killed a recruit in the RCA Depot, for the army to freeze the fuze and initiate procurement of an improved model. 

Offline Colin P

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #180 on: January 10, 2019, 16:52:23 »
Different age now, video will be on social media before the army can react and parents will be after the Minister in a flash, along with a baying pack of media. There is a enough written material on Army.ca on the subject for the educated media type to slice and dice the Minister with. Toss in disgruntled vets (shocking I know, who could possibly be disgruntled ;)  ) speaking to same media.

We had a similar thing here with the CCG dive team, someone was feeding the media detailed information, the Minister got caught out in a lie pushed onto him by the senior managers and the fecal matter hit the rotary device in a big way. Money was quickly found.

Offline MilEME09

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #181 on: January 10, 2019, 17:48:33 »
Judging by how the condition is of the ones recently to come through my shop, I'd say we are going to be loosing guns fairly quickly over the next few years due to corrosion, barrel inspections we stay on top of so if one does crack, chances are it was just the barrels time. The problem there is we have no spares, so at some point cannibalization (such an evil word for the LCMM) is going to happen to keep what C3's we do have going. The giving of 81mm mortors to the arty as a stop gap of some kind isn't really a stop gap when we do not have a replacement program seriously being worked out. I'd say there is more an urgent need and capability gap in the arty world then we do anywhere else in the army other then recovery vehicles.
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Offline Petard

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #182 on: January 10, 2019, 17:51:56 »
I hope you're wrong Colin, but unfortunately I'd have to say there is some possibility an accident could occur, again, as some already have happened including one that had a fatality.

In Nov 2008, Gunner Keyes-Oliver was killed, and 4 other soldiers injured in a roll over accident involving the C3 and the old MLVW Gun Tractor. The C3 is particularly prone to trailer sway as it doesn't have active brakes, and this most likely contributed to the cause of the accident.  It is far less likely that a similar accident will occur now, as the MSVS is much heavier, but the gun is still prone to trailer sway and roll over itself, as a young soldier from 7 Tor found out recently while towing a C3 on Highway 400 North in Ontario. It is pure luck the gun didn't strike any other vehicle in what is usually a very busy highway. There are speed restrictions for towing the C3, and drivers are supposed to be taught how to deal with trailer sway (gradually slow down), to help mitigate this, but roll overs have happened even at relatively low speed going cross country

Then there's the gun snapping in two in Gagetown in April 2011, which turned out to be one of but the subsequent inspections uncovered worrisome corrosion issues

Now add barrel cracking at the muzzle end, near the machined surfaces on top of the barrel. The barrels were mistakenly manufactured with those surfaces, no one seems to know why. Typically those surfaces are used to measure quadrant error and barrel droop, but actually are not part of C3 Gun Det duties or Tech inspections. New barrels are not supposed to have them, but FAIK the new barrels haven't been purchased either

Like I said earlier, there is some risk in using a gun this old, and maybe some see those risks as nothing more than peccadilloes, but there doesn't seem to be any urgency to deal with them. Perhaps part of the reason is the very mindset Old sweat is referring to, that if something goes wrong the default is to blame the operator, is still around

Offline FJAG

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #183 on: January 10, 2019, 21:15:30 »
I don't quite understand the mind set in the branch's officer corps anymore.

I couldn't understand M109s being cut up for scrap rather than being put into storage, and I can't understand the current paucity of armaments we have now.

I know it's a money thing but let's get it straight. Guns are (or were) our business. What's the use of having a branch if it can't deliver fires. We currently have 37 systems of M777 (assuming Wikipedia has it right) that's six batteries and one spare not counting the school. Effectively we can probably field one effective regiment of 3 six-gun batteries.

I guess the good news is that the three reg force brigades that we have can probably only field one effective brigade between them. That's effectively one colonel's command. How many generals does the army have?

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Offline Colin P

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #184 on: January 10, 2019, 23:02:56 »
I hope you're wrong Colin, but unfortunately I'd have to say there is some possibility an accident could occur, again, as some already have happened including one that had a fatality.

In Nov 2008, Gunner Keyes-Oliver was killed, and 4 other soldiers injured in a roll over accident involving the C3 and the old MLVW Gun Tractor. The C3 is particularly prone to trailer sway as it doesn't have active brakes, and this most likely contributed to the cause of the accident.  It is far less likely that a similar accident will occur now, as the MSVS is much heavier, but the gun is still prone to trailer sway and roll over itself, as a young soldier from 7 Tor found out recently while towing a C3 on Highway 400 North in Ontario. It is pure luck the gun didn't strike any other vehicle in what is usually a very busy highway. There are speed restrictions for towing the C3, and drivers are supposed to be taught how to deal with trailer sway (gradually slow down), to help mitigate this, but roll overs have happened even at relatively low speed going cross country

Then there's the gun snapping in two in Gagetown in April 2011, which turned out to be one of but the subsequent inspections uncovered worrisome corrosion issues

Now add barrel cracking at the muzzle end, near the machined surfaces on top of the barrel. The barrels were mistakenly manufactured with those surfaces, no one seems to know why. Typically those surfaces are used to measure quadrant error and barrel droop, but actually are not part of C3 Gun Det duties or Tech inspections. New barrels are not supposed to have them, but FAIK the new barrels haven't been purchased either

Like I said earlier, there is some risk in using a gun this old, and maybe some see those risks as nothing more than peccadilloes, but there doesn't seem to be any urgency to deal with them. Perhaps part of the reason is the very mindset Old sweat is referring to, that if something goes wrong the default is to blame the operator, is still around

Interesting I was looking at the muzzle of one with the brake removed and noted a square cut where the barrel was milled for the threading. I surmised that the cracking I had heard about likely took place there as square cuts are a bad idea, adding in the stress of barrel whip, pressure changes and muzzle brake wanting to fly off. Really the barrel should have been made with a swell, which would then be milled down for the threading, not actually reducing the thickness of the muzzle. I guess they forgot the lesson of the M101, vs the C1 in regards to the muzzle swell.

Offline Old Sweat

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #185 on: January 10, 2019, 23:27:24 »
Interesting. We had a lecture of muzzle swell on my IG course. Is there a common thread with our three post war 105mm howitzers that experienced barrel cracking: the L5, the LG1, and now perhaps the C3?

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #186 on: January 10, 2019, 23:57:18 »
Interesting. We had a lecture of muzzle swell on my IG course. Is there a common thread with our three post war 105mm howitzers that experienced barrel cracking: the L5, the LG1, and now perhaps the C3?

IG course hell. We learned that on our basic gun layer's course back in 1966. It came during the nomenclature lecture when our bombardier instructor told us what it was called and why it was there.

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Offline Colin P

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #187 on: January 11, 2019, 00:08:30 »
The guns were almost new back then, but then so was dirt  ;D

Offline Petard

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #188 on: January 11, 2019, 00:13:59 »
It does seem to be a notorious tradition Old Sweat!

By muzzle swell, or lack of one, I think you're referring to the original C2's with the M2A1 barrel, which lacked a counter bore, and developed radial cracking at the muzzle. The counterbore (muzzle swell) is supposedly a Canadian idea, which is probably legit, since the Canadian C1's made later by Sorel did have them, and the Americans adopted it shortly after. The C2s bought before the C1 went into production were actually US Made M2A1's, that were then later converted to M2A2 with the counterbore mod

I'm not sure about the L5's cause for barrel cracking, but recall that even after they were replaced had a charge 6 firing restriction until late 1989 when they went through a short rebuild program that also gave them a better muzzle brake.

The LG1's developed their barrel cracking problem due to a bad design for the muzzle brake key, with cracks radiating out from the notch or slot in the barrel for the key. It took awhile to determine that, and then get all barrels replaced

I'm not sure how many C3's have been found with cracked barrels, last i heard it was only two (2016), but there might well be more. This one is quite serious since there are no spares as noted by MILEME09, and I'm not sure the cause has been determined. It might be related to the very short while some C3 did fire the long range C132 round, at chg 1 only, when the restriction was briefly lifted to deal with a shortage of HE M1.  The restriction on firing the C132 from the C3 is back in place. The gun has another flaw in that it tends to twist the right trail leg out of shape, most likely due to it being the one that has the draw bar and lunette to connect it to the prime mover. All these things, as already pointed out, are being sustained by cannibalization; a practice of diminishing returns!

Edit to add picture of where cracks appeared on at least one of the C3's; IIRC it was a longitudinal crack propagating from the area forward of the of machined area on the top of barrel, towards the muzzle
« Last Edit: January 11, 2019, 00:38:12 by Petard »

Offline Old Sweat

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #189 on: January 11, 2019, 10:21:55 »
Thanks for that, Petard. It got me thinking about the mid-seventies when we found that our autofrettaged barrels on our C1s had a lot less barrel life then we thought. Like instead of 20,000 EFCs, the life was only a tiny fraction of that, and our C1s at the school were running out of rounds. WO Jack Vann, who ran the gun park, spotted it as he maintained the daily record of rounds fired and called me. I phoned DLR2, who were not amused. However, we had spare barrels in the system so we dodged the bullet that time.

Given the amount of money the government is willing to spend, and the general indifference to things artillery, I don't see an early or easy resolution. Maybe I'm being pessimistic, but I am working on a history of past disappointments.

Offline Colin P

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #190 on: January 11, 2019, 13:32:52 »
I wish I had taken more detailed pictures

Offline GnyHwy

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #191 on: January 11, 2019, 16:38:00 »
If 105 continues to exist, it will be because it is being repurposed and taking on other roles.

Those are some interesting ideas, I know you are biggest contributor to future tech thread. If we are just talking about increasing range, 105 ammo seems to be near an end, it is tough to guide, but smaller calibers with a sabot is doable for sure. Not much punch, but if you're very accurate you could be successful. Would you suggest a GS 105 bty?

Since it's clear we are not going to 120mm mortars, it makes sense to stick to the 105mm...

Maybe for the short term it's clear, but a new investment could bring 120s. It is a popular solution and provides many advantages for flex, cost and growth. Don't get me wrong, if I could, it would be A7s for everyone!

...so at some point cannibalization (such an evil word for the LCMM) is going to happen...

Yep



 

Offline MilEME09

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #192 on: January 12, 2019, 18:23:58 »
Those are some interesting ideas, I know you are biggest contributor to future tech thread. If we are just talking about increasing range, 105 ammo seems to be near an end, it is tough to guide, but smaller calibers with a sabot is doable for sure. Not much punch, but if you're very accurate you could be successful. Would you suggest a GS 105 bty?

IF we had replacements on the way I'd say give the remaining C3's to parks Canada, use them as spares for avalanche control.
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Offline Petard

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #193 on: January 12, 2019, 21:10:41 »
Probably not a bad idea to give the C3’s to Parks Canada; besides Rogers pass, where the CA supports the task, the Parks operate 2 C1’s in Stewart BC themselves

I’d hazard a guess they’d like to use them elsewhere too.

Offline dapaterson

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #194 on: January 12, 2019, 22:44:50 »
Probably not a bad idea to give the C3’s to Parks Canada; besides Rogers pass, where the CA supports the task, the Parks operate 2 C1’s in Stewart BC themselves

I’d hazard a guess they’d like to use them elsewhere too.
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