Author Topic: C3 Howitzer Replacement  (Read 85325 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. 

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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.

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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 »

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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

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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.
If that happens, I will be much more careful about not feeding the wildlife in Banff.
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Offline GR66

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #195 on: January 17, 2019, 01:47:45 »
Two of the consistent topics in this thread seem to be that the 105's we have aren't serviceable and that the Reservists aren't trained adequately for the M777s. 

It would seem obvious that a replacement for the C3's/LG1's is required, but I'm curious about the focus on training the Reserves on the M777.  We only have 37 of the 155's and we have 3 x Regular Artillery Regiments.  Is our manning so low on these Regiments that we can't manage to man 37 x guns with the gunners we have?  Or is there another issue causing the problem?

Is having a large pool of Reservists trained on the M777 a realistic priority or is there some wishful thinking going on that we will magically get more guns if/when we ever have to deploy a real military force?

To my novice mind it would be highly unlikely that Canada could realistically deploy and sustain more than a Brigade Group in a near-peer conflict.  If that's the case then what would a realistic and affordable Artillery force for Canada look like?

Hypothetically would it make sense to build toward something like this:

- 1 x Regular Artillery Regiment equipped with the M777's with 4 x 6 Gun Batteries with the remaining 13 x Guns for training and replacements.
- The other 2 x Reg Force Artillery Regiments get equipped with LAV-based 120mm Mortar vehicles.  The Reg Force Gunners in these two Regiments would also be cross-trained on the M777.
- The 19 x Reserve Regiments each get issued 1 x Towed 120mm Mortar

The M777 equipped Regiment would in effect act as a Divisional Artillery asset for the Army and could focus on deep strike and counter-battery missions.
One LAV-120mm Mortar Regiment would be the integral Artillery Regiment to the Brigade Group giving the BG mounted indirect fire support that can keep up with the BG and the Infantry Battalions would have their 81mm Mortar Platoons for intimate indirect fire support.

In case of a major conflict the 3rd Reg Force (LAV-120mm Mortar Equipped) Regiment could with refresher training provide individual replacements for the M777 regiment and their LAV-120mm Mortar vehicles could replace losses in the BG Regiment.  Individual augmentees for the BG LAV-120mm regiment could come from the Reserve Regiments (training on their own towed 120mm mortars).

In wartime the Reg Force recruits could focus on M777 training at the Artillery School while recruits to the Reserve units could focus on training Gunners on mortars.  If  required, the Reserve Regiments could group together to generate 3 x 6-tube 120mm mortar batteries to deploy.

From what I understand 120mm mortars are cheaper to acquire and have a smaller logistical footprint than 105mm guns and LAV-based 120mm mortar vehicles already exist so this solution would be less costly than many other options.

Personally I'd much rather see the Artillery branch equipped with HIMARS and M109's or even the mounted 105's that have been mentioned, but with the major expenses coming to rebuild the RCN and the RCAF I don't see that being possible.  Something like the above however would at least provide the Canadian Army with a credible and useful indirect fire capability that could be developed at a reasonable cost.

My inexperienced  :2c: worth anyway.




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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #196 on: January 17, 2019, 11:36:24 »
If that happens, I will be much more careful about not feeding the wildlife in Banff.

I've come across Grizzlies in the back country there, from time to time, on my way through the sub-alpine to various peaks.

I'd totally pay a premium on my Parks Canada pass to have some indirect fire support, as required, in an emergency :)
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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #197 on: January 17, 2019, 12:20:28 »
I've come across Grizzlies in the back country there, from time to time, on my way through the sub-alpine to various peaks.

I'd totally pay a premium on my Parks Canada pass to have some indirect fire support, as required, in an emergency :)

Were I running Parks Canada, the indirect fire would be to suppress those hassling the wildlife, and not the other way around  :nod:
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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #198 on: January 17, 2019, 15:18:48 »
Two of the consistent topics in this thread seem to be that the 105's we have aren't serviceable and that the Reservists aren't trained adequately for the M777s. 

It would seem obvious that a replacement for the C3's/LG1's is required, but I'm curious about the focus on training the Reserves on the M777.  We only have 37 of the 155's and we have 3 x Regular Artillery Regiments.  Is our manning so low on these Regiments that we can't manage to man 37 x guns with the gunners we have?  Or is there another issue causing the problem?

Is having a large pool of Reservists trained on the M777 a realistic priority or is there some wishful thinking going on that we will magically get more guns if/when we ever have to deploy a real military force?

To my novice mind it would be highly unlikely that Canada could realistically deploy and sustain more than a Brigade Group in a near-peer conflict.  If that's the case then what would a realistic and affordable Artillery force for Canada look like?

You raise some interesting questions and put forward some practical answers which I think are what I call "band-aid" solutions to a critical problem.

The highlited words are very much the issue. For all intents and purposes we have three brigades (and a div headquarters) and a special operations force. Strong, Secure and Engaged (SSE) does not posit a need to ever deploy a brigade group but only battle groups of various sizes and duration. While we do have three brigade groups, they are woefully short of elements needed to give them a role in a "near peer" conflict. Adequate artillery, mortars, air defence, anti armour defence are just the more obvious shortfalls. Having a brigade with two LAV battalions and a light battalion is another (it's just a convenient way of distributing the LAVs - if we really were thinking of deploying a brigade, we'd form one light brigade and two medium brigades.)

Do I think that SSE is correct. Hell, no. SSE talks about offering a credible deterrent to "near peer" adversaries but then structures a force that is anything but credible. Quite frankly I'm not sure whether our defense structure is based on SSE's limited objectives or whether the objectives are limited because we've created a structure that's incapable of doing more than that. It's a bit chicken and eggish. Either way, our military leadership has a documented authority from the government that limits its requirements to deploy nothing more formidable than a battle group.

Hypothetically would it make sense to build toward something like this:

- 1 x Regular Artillery Regiment equipped with the M777's with 4 x 6 Gun Batteries with the remaining 13 x Guns for training and replacements.
- The other 2 x Reg Force Artillery Regiments get equipped with LAV-based 120mm Mortar vehicles.  The Reg Force Gunners in these two Regiments would also be cross-trained on the M777.
- The 19 x Reserve Regiments each get issued 1 x Towed 120mm Mortar

The M777 equipped Regiment would in effect act as a Divisional Artillery asset for the Army and could focus on deep strike and counter-battery missions.
One LAV-120mm Mortar Regiment would be the integral Artillery Regiment to the Brigade Group giving the BG mounted indirect fire support that can keep up with the BG and the Infantry Battalions would have their 81mm Mortar Platoons for intimate indirect fire support.

There is a practical and seductive reasoning in your solution but, just because M777s are the largest guns we have, they do not make a div arty resource. Just because it's easier to buy and man 120mm mortars does not mean they should become the brigades close support regiment. Guns and mortars are complimentary for several reasons and neither one or the other should be abandoned because of cost considerations. If you look at what we jokingly call "near peers" (but in reality are our superiors in all ways), you will see that every one of those organizations has a mix of guns and mortars in support of a brigade (A US SBCT [the nearest equivalent to our LAVIII brigade] with three Stryker bns (each bn with 10 x 120mm mortars [30 total] as well as 6 x 60mm and 6 x 81mm in a "swap out wps locker concept) and integral 105mm mobile gun systems direct fire vehicles) has 18 x M777s, while a Russian restructured motorized rifle brigade with three infantry battalions (24 x 120 mm mortars total) and one tank battalion has two battalions of self propelled (36 x 152 mm), 1 x bn MLRS (18 x 122mm and up launchers), 1 x anti-tank bn (6 x 100mm guns and 12 x ATGM), and an antiair battalion with a variety of weapons.

Both the US and Russia consider their brigades as deployable, self contained entities but part of a modular force that can add resources for smaller campaigns or deploy as part of divisional organizations with additional artillery brigades to beef up the support.

In case of a major conflict the 3rd Reg Force (LAV-120mm Mortar Equipped) Regiment could with refresher training provide individual replacements for the M777 regiment and their LAV-120mm Mortar vehicles could replace losses in the BG Regiment.  Individual augmentees for the BG LAV-120mm regiment could come from the Reserve Regiments (training on their own towed 120mm mortars).

In wartime the Reg Force recruits could focus on M777 training at the Artillery School while recruits to the Reserve units could focus on training Gunners on mortars.  If  required, the Reserve Regiments could group together to generate 3 x 6-tube 120mm mortar batteries to deploy.

I don't want to seem cynical, but in the event of war time with a "near peer", we are screwed because we are cobbling things together. If we were truly intent on supplying one brigade to a "real peer" war, then we should form one fully equipped LAV brigade with three LAV and one tank battalion, with each battalion having 6-8 x 120mm mortars (preferably in a mortar carrier vehicle) an 18 x M777 regiment. (that still leaves us short proper anti-armor and anti-air). We could probably also have one light brigade supported by another 18 x M777 regiment and a mix of 81/120 mm mortars and a stock of personnel and weapon systems for battle loss replacement but along the way we would need to ditch the third brigade because we just can't properly equip or man it. Quite frankly, I think we could do much better than that if we relied more on a largely reserve force manned and equipped medium to heavy force. Based on our current authorization of around 21,000 reservists (and an ideal size of 29,000) we should be capable manning between 4 and 6 manoeuvre or support brigades if properly organized, trained and equipped. There are numerous reasons why we can't right now but this just has to change. We are missing out on a tremendous opportunity.

Where reservists and regulars fit in the establishment and training program is up for grabs. I don't object to artillerymen running mortars (the Russians do and the US has a separate MOS for mortar infantrymen) I just think it's better that they be infantrymen because that way they are more versatile within the battalion (I also see nothing wrong with converting reserve artillery regiments to Infantry mortar platoons if we want to give them 120mms)

Personally I would like to see a seriously revamped reserve system which would be able to provide both individuals and units/subunits for the deployable force because there are substantial cost savings in using reservists to man organizations that are designated for extreme situations. In my mind a the "medium" brigade(s) should have many reservists while the "light" brigade(s) and special forces would be almost entirely regular force because they are much more likely to be used on the day-to-day operations currently envisioned in the SSE.

From what I understand 120mm mortars are cheaper to acquire and have a smaller logistical footprint than 105mm guns and LAV-based 120mm mortar vehicles already exist so this solution would be less costly than many other options.

Personally I'd much rather see the Artillery branch equipped with HIMARS and M109's or even the mounted 105's that have been mentioned, but with the major expenses coming to rebuild the RCN and the RCAF I don't see that being possible.  Something like the above however would at least provide the Canadian Army with a credible and useful indirect fire capability that could be developed at a reasonable cost.

My inexperienced  :2c: worth anyway.

I too think that there is a role for reserve artillery with HIMARS and we could certainly use that capability within the brigade (the Russians certainly do and the US has numerous National Guard HIMARS battalions/brigades as well as M109 NG battalions and brigades. (maybe we shouldn't have cut up for scrap all the ones we had - which in my mind, still constitutes professional negligence within the leadership of the army and branch.)

Unfortunately with SSE there is little vision to deploy HIMARS with a battle group. And as I said before, the actual confronting of a "near peer" adversary is just smoke and mirrors with perhaps a very limited deployment within a multinational brigade. I think we are saddled with a leadership that is too "civil service" centric, has a high level of risk aversion and is not prepared to face the reality of fighting a superior foe.

 :2c:

 :cheers:
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Offline Colin P

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #199 on: January 18, 2019, 01:45:37 »
Near-peer for us means Croatia, Luxembourg, Ireland, Kenya