Author Topic: C3 Howitzer Replacement  (Read 145694 times)

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Online FJAG

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #250 on: April 10, 2020, 16:54:07 »
I'll add one more thing.

When I qualified as a gun number on what was then the M2A2 in the mid 60's, I could have gone up to 4 RCHA in Petawawa and filled in on a gun there without a minute's extra training. They had the same gun, the same gun tractor, the same command post vehicles, the same jeeps for FOO parties, the same Arty boards and even the same crappy 42 and 509 sets we used (just more of everything). Our guns and equipment then, weren't training aids. We could have aggregated a few Militia batteries and had everything we needed (save some of the A echelon folks which would have had to come from the fledgling service battalions). In short, we could have been mobilized to form a bigger Army than the Reg F alone could form.

Somewhere along the line our leaders stopped planning for those eventualities.

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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #251 on: April 10, 2020, 17:03:17 »
I'll add one more thing.

When I qualified as a gun number on what was then the M2A2 in the mid 60's, I could have gone up to 4 RCHA in Petawawa and filled in on a gun there without a minute's extra training. They had the same gun, the same gun tractor, the same command post vehicles, the same jeeps for FOO parties, the same Arty boards and even the same crappy 42 and 509 sets we used (just more of everything). Our guns and equipment then, weren't training aids. We could have aggregated a few Militia batteries and had everything we needed (save some of the A echelon folks which would have had to come from the fledgling service battalions). In short, we could have been mobilized to form a bigger Army than the Reg F alone could form.

Somewhere along the line our leaders stopped planning for those eventualities.

 :cheers:

But what about the months and months of 'selection and workup training' we have to do now?

With your approach you'd put hundreds of full timers, in various HQs, out of work :)
“To stand on the firing parapet and expose yourself to danger; to stand and fight a thousand miles from home when you're all alone and outnumbered and probably beaten; to spit on your hands and lower the pike; to stand fast over the body of Leonidas the King; to be rear guard at Kunu-Ri; to stand and be still to the Birkenhead Drill; these are not rational acts. They are often merely necessary.”
— Jerry Pournelle —

Online FJAG

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #252 on: April 10, 2020, 17:35:26 »
But what about the months and months of 'selection and workup training' we have to do now?

With your approach you'd put hundreds of full timers, in various HQs, out of work :)

You know this probably isn't unique, but during my years in the Reg F and even during law school when I was in an infantry battalion, I understood everyone's roles and place in the system and I found (with one exception when FMC HQ held up a fatalities board of inquiry I chaired for a year without explanation while the dead soldiers' parents suffered needlessly) that most folks in the headquarters were there to help the folks in the units.

As I climbed up the chain I started to lose all understanding of what most of the people in the headquarters (especially NDHQ/CFHQ, including me on occasion) were actually contributing to the overall effort. We seemed to spend hours getting wrapped around the axle in minutiae and being spoon-fed policy decisions crafted (often poorly) by middling staff officers for us to ratify (And ratify them we did because it was often the path of least resistance). We seem to be building and running processes and policies that are there simply for the purpose of giving a selected staff cell a job to do rather than actually advance the defence effort.

Back in October 1970 within 24 hours of being given a warning order I was standing in the streets of Montreal with live ammo. Betcha we can't do that today. Back in 1981, without any specialized build up training, my battery flew over from Shilo to Germany and within 24 hours we rolled out with the rest of 1 RCHA on a major Reforger exercise. Betcha we can't do something like that today either. Somewhere along the line we seemed to have created a situation where we either aren't capable of doing our job without great work up  training and verification (or we simply believe that we're not capable) The process seems to have hijacked the process.

Personally, I think we could fire 15 - 20,000 Reg F and civilian staff from our headquarters above brigade and equivalent level and still get the job done and use the annual PY savings to fund equipment and O&M so that the remainder of the force (including its reserves) are properly equipped and trained for the missions we are prepared to undertake as a country.

It's my day for ranting it seems. I've again gone  :off topic:

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Online Colin P

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #253 on: April 10, 2020, 18:53:06 »
In the 80's my unit that was ops tasked was airlifted to Shilo to perform artillery support for the German black bear battle run.

https://www.vancouvergunners.ca/limber-gunner-1983.html

We were more or less equipped like the reg force, after 1984 I think we started getting encrypted radios (Nestor) as I recall. As Ops tasked I think we had 2-3 more Class b's, one in the QM, one REME and one in the Orderly room.

Back then each unit had it's own medic, cooks and some sort of fixed (in the armoury) and mobile kitchen, As a young gunner, arriving early I got to peel many a potato for the cooks, which led to some "extra goodies later". One of our cooks was decorated Korean war vet and was a good "guide" for us young ones. What i see now is a Reserve that has been gutted of capabilities, but the paperwork has multiplied exponentially.   

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #254 on: April 10, 2020, 19:52:27 »
Those are outstanding pictures and certainly do bring back a lot of memories. Shellburst Valley, if I remember correctly, was the name of the RCAA competition that used to take place back in the day to determine the best Militia artillery units in Canada. I remember my first one which too was in Shilo albeit November of 1965. We were flown to Brandon on two Herc chalks as we didn't take any of our own equipment but signed over equipment from the Royal Canadian School of Artillery which was there at the time. In all other respects everything looked pretty much the same including the snow but excluding the fact that we wore battle dress and were issued sheepskins and our trucks were 3/4 tons v 5/4s. Bloody freezing there.

You folks have a darn fine website.

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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #255 on: April 11, 2020, 11:12:57 »
In the 80's my unit that was ops tasked was airlifted to Shilo to perform artillery support for the German black bear battle run.

https://www.vancouvergunners.ca/limber-gunner-1983.html

We were more or less equipped like the reg force, after 1984 I think we started getting encrypted radios (Nestor) as I recall. As Ops tasked I think we had 2-3 more Class b's, one in the QM, one REME and one in the Orderly room.

Back then each unit had it's own medic, cooks and some sort of fixed (in the armoury) and mobile kitchen, As a young gunner, arriving early I got to peel many a potato for the cooks, which led to some "extra goodies later". One of our cooks was decorated Korean war vet and was a good "guide" for us young ones. What i see now is a Reserve that has been gutted of capabilities, but the paperwork has multiplied exponentially.   

There's a picture in there of one young gunner who went on the be a US Ranger CSM.
“To stand on the firing parapet and expose yourself to danger; to stand and fight a thousand miles from home when you're all alone and outnumbered and probably beaten; to spit on your hands and lower the pike; to stand fast over the body of Leonidas the King; to be rear guard at Kunu-Ri; to stand and be still to the Birkenhead Drill; these are not rational acts. They are often merely necessary.”
— Jerry Pournelle —

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #256 on: April 11, 2020, 16:34:20 »
Dave made it to CSM? I never heard that? Good on him then.

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #257 on: April 11, 2020, 16:59:09 »
Dave made it to CSM? I never heard that? Good on him then.

Yep. He even invaded a few places :)
“To stand on the firing parapet and expose yourself to danger; to stand and fight a thousand miles from home when you're all alone and outnumbered and probably beaten; to spit on your hands and lower the pike; to stand fast over the body of Leonidas the King; to be rear guard at Kunu-Ri; to stand and be still to the Birkenhead Drill; these are not rational acts. They are often merely necessary.”
— Jerry Pournelle —

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #258 on: April 11, 2020, 17:22:49 »
That I knew, but did not realize the rank he made, good on him, does not surprise me, he was a good solider.

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #259 on: April 18, 2020, 19:42:11 »
Anyone know what came of the MOBAT trials that happened in gagetown? Tests were 2003ish, truck mounted 105, might of been a good system.

From the gentleman I got the pic from who was at the test "RDM was trying to sell it. You could lay that on so fast, and quick in & out of action. Smaller gun det too. Laying the gun was done with a joystick, just put a dot in the middle of a set of concentric rings and it was ready to fire in seconds. Accurate too."
« Last Edit: April 18, 2020, 20:40:14 by MilEME09 »
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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #260 on: April 18, 2020, 19:58:28 »
The South Korean's would agree with you, they happen to have something like 1600 M101A2's in reserve, just saying....


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRaMiC6AjXo

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #261 on: April 19, 2020, 13:01:40 »
The South Korean's would agree with you, they happen to have something like 1600 M101A2's in reserve, just saying....


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRaMiC6AjXo

Well this kind of system would of been relatively cheap, to maintain, training to it would be very little, new manufacture 105's would be great. Could outfit the regforce and reserve with enough numbers to have them as a viable force multiple in operation.
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Offline CBH99

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #263 on: April 19, 2020, 16:34:47 »
Wow.  Thanks for posting those!

It's one thing to read how much faster it is, and how valuable it is to be able to shoot & scoot, get into position faster, etc.  It's another to see it in action.

Cheap.  Simple.  Fired off 2 rounds and was ready to move again, before the other gun was even able to start engaging   :o      And a simple enough system the reserves could replace the C3, and definitely a place in the reg force!!


Not being a critic, as I obviously have 0 experience in either system.  With a bit of a streamlining their process, I'm guessing the Hawkeye crew could probably start firing off rounds even faster. 



Definitely seems like something worth looking into as a cheap & fast way to replace the C3, with something that could prove to be quite a useful asset operationally??   (Or would the artillery capabilities prefer additional M777's and a long range capability like HIMARS going forwards?)
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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #264 on: April 19, 2020, 17:08:01 »
...  (Or would the artillery capabilities prefer additional M777's and a long range capability like HIMARS going forwards?)

IMHO there is no one simple solution.

We have both light, medium and semi-heavy forces.

For 1 CMBG which is a bit more armour heavy, what is needed is self propelled, tracked, armoured artillery to be able to keep up with and be protected amongst rapid moving manoeuvre forces.

For 5 CMBG basically mechanized but without armour, the M777 is perfectly adequate.

For 2 CMBG, which while currently as mechanized as 5 CMBG I see a light infantry role (I feel they should give up one battalion's worth of LAV's to 5 CMBG to make it fully mechanized. As a light force it could be either 105 or 155 so long as it is easily air transported.

We should have a HIMARS regiment for general support.

For both 2 and 5 CMBG I prefer towed to truck mounted guns unless the truck carriage and fighting compartment are armoured but even then .... My preference is based entirely on the fact that on a truck mounted gun, when the "gun tractor" goes down mechanically, your gun goes down with it while a towed gun just gets a different vehicle to tow it. This too is why I prefer general cargo trucks as prime movers rather than some specially designed and limited-quantities one. Towed guns are also more easily choppered around while a truck mounted one (even as small as the Hawkeye) requires a fairly heavy lift capability, if it is even capable of being lifted.

When designing what your artillery should be composed of, the design and purpose of the manoeuvre elements it is to support, are of prime importance. Personally, IMHO, that is what were missing right now. Our all singing and dancing "agile, multi-purpose, scalable" Army as currently organized makes that a difficult task.

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #265 on: April 19, 2020, 17:53:41 »
one of the reports that corporal frisk derived some of his thoughts, not sure if it has been posted here or elsewhere before

https://rusi.org/sites/default/files/op_201911_future_of_fires_watling_web_0.pdf

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #266 on: April 19, 2020, 18:14:25 »
Anyone know what came of the MOBAT trials that happened in gagetown? Tests were 2003ish, truck mounted 105, might of been a good system.

From the gentleman I got the pic from who was at the test "RDM was trying to sell it. You could lay that on so fast, and quick in & out of action. Smaller gun det too. Laying the gun was done with a joystick, just put a dot in the middle of a set of concentric rings and it was ready to fire in seconds. Accurate too."

The trial occurred just before it was announced the entire M109 fleet would be withdrawn from service (along with all light track associated with those Mech Bty's). The Artillery's future was uncertain back then. Whether or not the MOBAT would be a good idea became moot when the OEM folded
One of the reasons causing problems supporting the C3, now, is that RDM no longer exists.

The gun-laying system on it was a good one, but it was one of many. Being somewhat unique would have caused support-ability issues; better to go with one that is well established, especially with allies. There was, for a short while, a project to fit the same gun laying system used on the Cdn M777 onto the 105 fleet, but it got scrapped ~2011

Offline GR66

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #267 on: April 19, 2020, 18:36:36 »
Question.  In a peer war scenario we're likely going to face an enemy with more artillery than us and counter-battery fire will be a major threat.

Are towed artillery systems survivable in such a scenario?  Are there towed systems that can have the advantage of being easily transported as FJAG pointed out but can get in and out of action more quickly than the C2 or M777?  Are towed 120mm mortar systems any quicker to get in and out of action?

Perhaps something like the Hawkeye system be mounted on something like a Bronco 3 ATTC instead of a HMMWV to give it greater cross-country mobility (but wouldn't still be able to be slung under a helicopter).  In a realistic war scenario against Russia/China are we likely to even have available helicopter transport to move our artillery?  Or maybe have the gun artillery vehicle mounted and use towed mortars for helicopter insertion to difficult terrain (maybe the high arc of mortar rounds are better in that type of terrain anyway?)

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #268 on: April 19, 2020, 19:08:41 »
Question.  In a peer war scenario we're likely going to face an enemy with more artillery than us and counter-battery fire will be a major threat.

Are towed artillery systems survivable in such a scenario?  Are there towed systems that can have the advantage of being easily transported as FJAG pointed out but can get in and out of action more quickly than the C2 or M777?  Are towed 120mm mortar systems any quicker to get in and out of action?

Perhaps something like the Hawkeye system be mounted on something like a Bronco 3 ATTC instead of a HMMWV to give it greater cross-country mobility (but wouldn't still be able to be slung under a helicopter).  In a realistic war scenario against Russia/China are we likely to even have available helicopter transport to move our artillery?  Or maybe have the gun artillery vehicle mounted and use towed mortars for helicopter insertion to difficult terrain (maybe the high arc of mortar rounds are better in that type of terrain anyway?)

We're talking apples and oranges again.

In a Russia scenario (we're not a peer or near peer of Russia) you want fully protected and yet highly mobile systems. There is little role for airmobile artillery (some but very little) and IMHO no role for towed artillery. It will die fast. Your airmobile light forces are for another type of scenario entirely. (I could see some light forces in urban terrain using very, very dug in organic towed artillery support but that's not an optimal solution.) That's why I say that you can't have one all singing, all dancing solution.

You can make virtually any system one of rapid deployment (In the 1970's we did quick actions with L5s in under one minute - that's from being mobile, getting the call for fire and first round off - that's with maps and compasses and a folding trails system and with zero electronic gear - I saw the Airborne Battery do one in around 40 seconds). But you don't do that as a routine part of your operations unless you specifically design the system to operate that way. Always remember that while moving positions, those guns supply zero fire support. On top of that you have to keep your ammo mobile or tactically prepositioned. The gun is only one part of the overall system. When it comes to the gun, simple mechanical devices (such as the C3) can be rapidly brought into and out of action by it's crew. Newer systems have hydraulics and other more complex machinery which takes longer to to cycle through its processes. (And also makes them more vulnerable to splinter damage etc) Crew numbers and crew fatigue are also factors in more modern, more complex scenarios.

Mortars have their role. I'm one of those who believe mortars and guns are complimentary and don't believe that one system should replace the other. I like seeing mortars in the infantry battalion commander's hip pocket while artillery plays a broader role with being able to move and concentrate their fires across a larger area than a single battalion AO.

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Offline CBH99

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #269 on: April 19, 2020, 19:23:53 »
I agree with everything FJAG stated.  However, given our current budget and organization, I don't think it's doable to do multiple artillery fleets amongst multiple organizations.  I was thinking of one platform that could be deployed to any threatre in which we deploy to, which would be helpful.

Ideally, I think FJAG is on point.


However, given that any deployment we do will certainly be in support of the US and allies, what could we acquire that would be a) beneficial to the reserves and reg force both, b) affordable, c) sustainable and easy to deploy    ??


The M777 is a great system, and last I checked we had 34 of them in service.  In an all out war, we could deploy about 20 of those as the remainders would be at the schools - enough to provide 3 or 4 groups of guns to a threatre.

HIMARS would be a great purchase, as it would allow us to engage from impressive stand off ranges, especially with the new munitions being developed for it.


In the case of the C3 replacement however, a system similar to Hawkeye I think would be ideal.  Yes, FJAG makes a great point that if the vehicle goes down, so does the gun. 

However, if everything being equal, a gun that can arrive, engage, and move out faster than an M777 could even start putting rounds downrange, if purchased in decent numbers (it's cheap, and is replacing the C3 so should be purchased in enough numbers that they can be deployed without breaking the stocks) could be really beneficial for us.



In terms of probably theatre of operations...

I don't see us going to war with Russia anytime soon.  We don't want to fight them, and they don't want to fight us.  We aren't going to war with Russia -- famous last words  :P    Putin didn't become president of Russia amid the rubble of the USSR, and one of the richest men in the world, because he's stupid.  He isn't going to invade Europe, which currently provides Russia with about 80% of it's GDP via oil and natural gas sales, and he isn't going to undertake trying to assert Russian control over 350 million EU citizens that don't want him there.  It's not winnable in the long run from a tactical or strategic perspective, and he knows that.

China, I actually do see us probably going to war with, as I feel it's almost inevitable to some degree.  But any conflict with China in the SCS area is primarily going to be a naval & air campaign.  Even if the west needs to liberate Taiwan, I imagine that will be done via naval power and air power primarily.


Where I do see allied ground forces operating from is Africa and the Middle East, re: proxy battles.  China is rapidly buying up influence and loyalty amongst African governments, and I could easily see Chinese backed proxy forces engaging with us the same way Russian or Iranian proxy forces engage with us now.

In terms of where we are going to deploy, the types of forces we are going to engage, and what the Canadian Forces could contribute in a truly meaningful way?  Something fairly cheap to acquire and train on, easy to sustain, easy to deploy, purchased in sufficient numbers for Reg F and Res F, and able to engage/move quickly I think would be something that could really be beneficial to a coalition effort.  Especially if other countries aren't able to bring something similar to the table...and are going with the M119/M777/towed artillery concept also.


Ofcourse, I could be totally wrong.  I just see our next few years of engagements being against state-backed proxy forces rather than total war against a near peer (from an Army perspective).   Even if Chinese forces deployed directly to Africa and engaged us directly, I still think it would be their battlegroups vs our battlegroups in fairly fluid environments, rather than massive forces engaging each other like in the SCS.   :2c:
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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #270 on: April 19, 2020, 20:15:56 »
I'll just drop two quotes here that encapsulate my view of conflict with Russia:

Quote
The gold standard of deterrence and assurance is a defensive posture that confronts the adversary with the prospect of operational failure as the likely consequence of aggression

Ochmanek, David et al. “U.S. Military Capabilities and Forces for a Dangerous World” RAND Corp 2017  at p. 45

https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1782-1.html

Quote
The first step towards winning eventually is not losing right now, which would be NATO’s current fate. So, NATO needs to be able to stay in the game. The minimum requirement for deterrence by denial along NATO’s frontier with Russia is not to offer Moscow a vision of an easy strategic victory—the chance to register a fait accompli against minimal resistance. While on any given day, the Russian leadership may not be tempted to seize even such tempting low-hanging fruit, the challenge NATO confronts is not successfully to deter on an average day; it is to deter on the one day out of a thousand, or 5,000, when Moscow, for whatever reason, sees the prospect of a crushing win over its most dangerous adversary as an attractive prospect. ...
Both staying in and winning the game—which are about putting in place the pieces of an unambiguously credible conventional deterrent posture—require more than combat troops. Today, NATO’s defense infrastructure—the array of headquarters, bases, other facilities, lines of communications, transportation assets and legal arrangement to facilitate the deployment and sustainment of forces—is woefully inadequate to support a warfighting posture east of the Oder River.

Shlapack, David A, Detering Russian Aggression in the Baltic States: What it Takes to Win RAND Corporation 2017 p. 2-3

https://www.rand.org/pubs/testimonies/CT467.html

Personally I agree that we cannot afford to have a full-time deterrence force that adequately shows credibility. But we can afford a properly structured, trained and equipped reserve/hybrid force if we set our mind to building one.

This is also why I disagree with a "training gun" replacement for the C3. We need guns capable of war fighting.

Here's my outline: http://www.journal.forces.gc.ca/page19-eng.asp

Here are the details: https://www.amazon.ca/Unsustainable-At-Any-Price-Canadian-ebook/dp/B086HXC66Q

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Offline Old Sweat

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #271 on: April 20, 2020, 06:33:43 »
I agree with FJAG that any replacement should not be a training gun. Furthermore, the requirement should be built around the effect we want on the ground. After all, the shell is the weapon of the artillery; the gun/howitzer/mortar/launcher is the means of delivery.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2020, 08:15:39 by Old Sweat »

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #272 on: April 20, 2020, 11:46:06 »
If the ultimate purpose of a Reserve force is for the extreme "rainy day" scenario...i.e. deterrence and ultimately if necessary combat against Russia/China/North Korea/Iran and towed artillery can't survive combat in a near-peer environment then doesn't that logically mean that the Reserves need to have a non-towed gun?

It sure would be nice if we could have several reserve Regiments of M109s to send into the field, but I don't see the government being willing to put the money required into a large fleet of SPGs for the Reserves.  If not, then might something truck-borne like the Hawkeye be the next best option as it would at least be more survivable in a war scenario than a towed gun?

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #273 on: April 20, 2020, 12:17:52 »
If the ultimate purpose of a Reserve force is for the extreme "rainy day" scenario...i.e. deterrence and ultimately if necessary combat against Russia/China/North Korea/Iran and towed artillery can't survive combat in a near-peer environment then doesn't that logically mean that the Reserves need to have a non-towed gun?

It sure would be nice if we could have several reserve Regiments of M109s to send into the field, but I don't see the government being willing to put the money required into a large fleet of SPGs for the Reserves.  If not, then might something truck-borne like the Hawkeye be the next best option as it would at least be more survivable in a war scenario than a towed gun?

Or, at very least, supply the forces with longer range systems that require fewer bodies to man.  That will both reduce the casualty lists and the payroll - allowing the purchase of more longer range systems that require fewer bodies to man.

The NLOS system of 16 missiles in a box that could be dropped off around the battlefield is not a million miles in command and control to Iron Dome, Multi-Mission Launchers, HIMARS, MRLS, NASAMS or even the ship-borne Mk41 VLS. 

MMLs, launchers that be ground deployed, bolted on to ships or the backs of trucks, and that are capable of launching a range of missiles with a range of warheads. Start with missiles with 70 km ranges and move back from there for offensive capacities and then incorporate shorter range missiles for local defence of the systems.


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Offline CloudCover

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #274 on: April 20, 2020, 12:42:38 »
Given what’s happening to the country’s finances and economy, the prospects of retaining the C3 and replacing it are next to nil. Probably a better question would be what to re-role reserve artillery into that benefits an army with only reg force gunners. NDR (natural disaster responders) with an ISTAR Lite capability?
... Move!! ...