Author Topic: C3 Howitzer Replacement  (Read 158823 times)

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Offline FJAG

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #275 on: April 20, 2020, 13:33:00 »
...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. ...

I know that I'm sounding like a Johnny One-note here but IMHO, it's not the government being unwilling to put money into a large (or otherwise) fleet of SPGs, but the Regular Force military leadership.

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Offline dapaterson

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #276 on: April 20, 2020, 13:46:08 »
I know that I'm sounding like a Johnny One-note here but IMHO, it's not the government being unwilling to put money into a large (or otherwise) fleet of SPGs, but the Regular Force military leadership.

 :brickwall:

The GoC directs the CAF (through documents such as Strong, Secure, Engaged) with what it is to invest in.  DND/CAF produces an investment plan informed by that direction.   There is no treacherous cabal of Regular Force personnel undermining either (a) the Army or (b) The Army Reserve; rather the realities of finite defence dollars pursuing defence capabilities with increasing cost and complexity.

I know a fair number of personnel involved in activities like capability development and procurement for Defence.  There are constant tradeoffs due to finite capacity, in terms of money, time and organizational capacity.  There is no magic panacea.

For those interested, the Defence Capabilities Blueprint (old Defence Acquisition Guide) is online at: http://dgpaapp.forces.gc.ca/en/defence-capabilities-blueprint/index.asp
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Offline FJAG

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #277 on: April 20, 2020, 15:22:06 »
The GoC directs the CAF (through documents such as Strong, Secure, Engaged) with what it is to invest in.  DND/CAF produces an investment plan informed by that direction.   There is no treacherous cabal of Regular Force personnel undermining either (a) the Army or (b) The Army Reserve; rather the realities of finite defence dollars pursuing defence capabilities with increasing cost and complexity.

I know a fair number of personnel involved in activities like capability development and procurement for Defence.  There are constant tradeoffs due to finite capacity, in terms of money, time and organizational capacity.  There is no magic panacea.

For those interested, the Defence Capabilities Blueprint (old Defence Acquisition Guide) is online at: http://dgpaapp.forces.gc.ca/en/defence-capabilities-blueprint/index.asp

I may have said many negative things about DND's leadership but I've never said that there's a "treacherous cabal". On the other hand, I do believe that there is a "magic panacea".

The problem that the Canadian military faces is one tied to the high expense of the full-time staff that it employs (military and civilian) and its headquarters structuring. Entirely too many defence dollars are misspent on this resulting in an underspending on equipment and operations and maintenance. My view is that the significant financial inputs by the Canadian government to not produce the requisite defence outputs because of mismanagement within the system and the concurrent procurement system.

I don't doubt that politics plays a role in some of of the big ticket decisions (the F35/F18 debacle for one) but most of the time when you deal with defence policies, the government is influenced greatly by the briefings coming from within the system. For example, the current SSE core mission sets (especially regarding international peace and stability) are undoubtedly formulated not by what Trudeau wants, but by what the Department considers it should and can achieve and convinces the government to accept. SSE is a very transparent document. You can almost segment it into the elements that came from within the bureaucracy and those which were directions for inclusion from the political masters.

You hit the nail on the head with "tradeoffs" but not so much as to what the tradeoffs are due to. The tradeoffs that come within DND/CAF are due to vested interests and turf protection. The holiest of holy are in PYs (again both military and civilian). Here's a quote from Rick Hillier in 2013, when he argued that the Canadian Army didn't need the CCV, that puts the problem in a nutshell:

Quote
Hillier also suggested making personnel cuts that would bring the Canadian Forces from roughly 65,000 full-time members to about 50,000, arguing that otherwise reductions in the overall military budget will hit the Forces’ training activities too hard. According to Hillier, “60 percent of the budget pays people, and you can’t get away from that, equipment… is about 15-17 percent usually, and then [there is] what we call operations and training which marries people and equipment together and builds a team.” Hillier wants to see cuts to the operations and training budget avoided, stating that cuts would mean “soldiers will sit in garrison and ships will remain tied up at the dock and airplanes won’t fly.”

https://www.ceasefire.ca/hillier-no-need-for-close-combat-vehicles/

Yet Hillier was one of the strongest advocates against personnel cuts when he was CDS and the increase in headquarters personnel that started under his watch is clearly documented in Leslie's 2011 Transformation report. And we all saw what happened (or rather didn't happen) to that report.

There is a "magic panacea". It's cut the full-time staff at headquarters above brigade level and transfer the savings to equipment and O&M. The well-meaning folks that pace the halls of NDHQ/CFHQ won't do it - will never do it! They'll just keep on making minuscule tradeoffs and dropping the low hanging fruit out of our operational capabilities to ensure that all the desks in Ottawa will remain filled.

This old cartoon is more apt then ever:



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Online GR66

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #278 on: April 20, 2020, 15:36:27 »
The GoC directs the CAF (through documents such as Strong, Secure, Engaged) with what it is to invest in.  DND/CAF produces an investment plan informed by that direction.   There is no treacherous cabal of Regular Force personnel undermining either (a) the Army or (b) The Army Reserve; rather the realities of finite defence dollars pursuing defence capabilities with increasing cost and complexity.

I know a fair number of personnel involved in activities like capability development and procurement for Defence.  There are constant tradeoffs due to finite capacity, in terms of money, time and organizational capacity.  There is no magic panacea.

For those interested, the Defence Capabilities Blueprint (old Defence Acquisition Guide) is online at: http://dgpaapp.forces.gc.ca/en/defence-capabilities-blueprint/index.asp

Is it not also the role of the military leadership to educate the government on the requirements of the military in order to perform various tasks?  Certainly the government can make the decision not to prioritize various capabilities, but I think the general impression is that in some cases (e.g. Reserve capabilities) that not much of an effort has even been made to try and make the case.

Offline FJAG

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #279 on: April 20, 2020, 15:42:24 »
Is it not also the role of the military leadership to educate the government on the requirements of the military in order to perform various tasks?  Certainly the government can make the decision not to prioritize various capabilities, but I think the general impression is that in some cases (e.g. Reserve capabilities) that not much of an effort has even been made to try and make the case.

I classify it as malignant disinterest (a none treacherous malignancy) but on a good day might be persuaded that it is merely benign disinterest.

 ;D
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Offline dapaterson

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #280 on: April 20, 2020, 16:18:33 »
That the artillery (Reg and Res) has been unloved is beyond question.  A piddling collection of towed 155mm guns does not a viable indirect fire capability make.

However, dedicated staff were provided to revitalize the Army Reserve and its capabilities, and failed to do so (Land Force Reserve Restructure).  Funding was set aside to provide equipment in support of that initiative.  If the Army Reserve (regardless of capbadge) was not revitalized, then we need to heed Cassius' words (Julius Caesar, Act I Scene III).

Reducing HQ bloat is necessary, true.  But that in and of itself will not relieve the capacity problems in acquisition.  Getting people with the right skills, knowledge and experience who are empowered to act will accelerate things.   Buying things is easy. Building a sustainable relevant capability is not so much.  (Part of the problem has been the development of ever shrinking silos of "expertise" where everyone is an expert about part of a process, but no one understands or is accountable for the totality of it).

Continued critiques of "the Regular Force military leadership" come across as one-sided; there's plenty of failures of leadership and management, military and civilian, Regular and Reserve, in DND/CAF.
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Offline FJAG

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #281 on: April 20, 2020, 16:59:33 »
I agree with all that (except maybe the Cassius quote - Cassius says a lot of things in JC I iii - hard to focus on which one you meant)

I tend to focus on the Reg F leadership because it's been my experience that for the most part the Res F leadership is powerless to change things and when they do get their voice up, are mostly heard but ignored. While I'm not a fan of our civilian bureaucracy, I think that their remit in the subject matters we are usually discussing is fairly small. Also not a fan of Reserves 2000 who could do much better job if they would broaden their view of what needs to be done beyond the more numbers and money issues. There was lots of blame to go around with LFRR notwithstanding (and I have admitted this before) that there were some champions and advocates for the Army Reserve at the time amongst the Reg F leadership. Overall, the visions are too small: you need big visions delicately implemented.

https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/cdfai/pages/41/attachments/original/1413661138/Restructuring_The_Reserves_-_English.pdf?1413661138

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Offline Colin P

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #282 on: April 20, 2020, 18:09:53 »
Getting back to the topic.

Can the C3 be fielded, yes it can for many potential roles, however the gun is aging and likely even 2 batteries worth in a conflict like Afghanistan would quickly consume the remaining spare parts and guns to maintain the capacity. About last year I heard that approx. 95 of the original 367 guns were operational, I suspect that number is even less now. I will be blunt, in my mind the M777 155mm is to big for the majority of Reserve units, so I going to focus on those units that can't take it (Nevermind we don't have enough 155's as well)
So in my mind there is one main question: 105mm Howitzer or 120mm Mortar?  Which generates two different sets of questions to be asked with each having sub questions:

1. What design is available for manufacturing and/or purchase for 105mm Howitzer?
a. New or refurbished? (Refurbished means likely either Korean M101s (60 years old) or M118/119 (30 years old, if we can find sufficient numbers)
b. How many do we need for Reserve, Regular Force and spares?
c. If new domestic or overseas build? (Can an existing Canadian armament company take it on?)
d. Towed or mounted, perhaps a mix?

2. What design is available for manufacturing and purchase for new 120mm Mortars
a. How many do we need for Reserve, Regular Force and spares?
b. Domestic or overseas build? (Can an existing Canadian armament company take it on?)
c. Towed or mounted, perhaps a mix?
d. New smaller gun tractor?

Offline MilEME09

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #283 on: April 21, 2020, 14:49:09 »
Only GDLS probably has the capability to manufacture in Canada, but I could be wrong.

Going to the Towed vs mounted debate here is a video of a Hawkeye vs a M119 in a two round fire mission.
https://youtu.be/W5QF_Adtf_I
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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #284 on: April 21, 2020, 15:36:27 »
Getting back to the topic.

Can the C3 be fielded, yes it can for many potential roles, however the gun is aging and likely even 2 batteries worth in a conflict like Afghanistan would quickly consume the remaining spare parts and guns to maintain the capacity. About last year I heard that approx. 95 of the original 367 guns were operational, I suspect that number is even less now. I will be blunt, in my mind the M777 155mm is to big for the majority of Reserve units, so I going to focus on those units that can't take it (Nevermind we don't have enough 155's as well)
So in my mind there is one main question: 105mm Howitzer or 120mm Mortar?  Which generates two different sets of questions to be asked with each having sub questions:

1. What design is available for manufacturing and/or purchase for 105mm Howitzer?
a. New or refurbished? (Refurbished means likely either Korean M101s (60 years old) or M118/119 (30 years old, if we can find sufficient numbers)
b. How many do we need for Reserve, Regular Force and spares?
c. If new domestic or overseas build? (Can an existing Canadian armament company take it on?)
d. Towed or mounted, perhaps a mix?

2. What design is available for manufacturing and purchase for new 120mm Mortars
a. How many do we need for Reserve, Regular Force and spares?
b. Domestic or overseas build? (Can an existing Canadian armament company take it on?)
c. Towed or mounted, perhaps a mix?
d. New smaller gun tractor?

Probably even more basic than that.

1. What type of fight(s) do we expect the CAF to be involved in/prepared for.
2. What are the artillery requirements for those missions
3. What should the role be for the Reserves in those missions
4. How do the reserves need to be organized in order to fulfill those missions
5. What specific equipment and training do the Reserves need in order to fulfill those missions

Offline MilEME09

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #285 on: April 21, 2020, 15:40:10 »
Probably even more basic than that.

1. What type of fight(s) do we expect the CAF to be involved in/prepared for.
2. What are the artillery requirements for those missions
3. What should the role be for the Reserves in those missions
4. How do the reserves need to be organized in order to fulfill those missions
5. What specific equipment and training do the Reserves need in order to fulfill those missions

Not just the reserves, the army as a whole, we need a proper white paper on defense, not the lip service Strong, Secure, Engaged is. The CaF needs direction, a mission and a transformation
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Offline suffolkowner

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #286 on: April 21, 2020, 15:54:56 »
Getting back to the topic.

Can the C3 be fielded, yes it can for many potential roles, however the gun is aging and likely even 2 batteries worth in a conflict like Afghanistan would quickly consume the remaining spare parts and guns to maintain the capacity. About last year I heard that approx. 95 of the original 367 guns were operational, I suspect that number is even less now. I will be blunt, in my mind the M777 155mm is to big for the majority of Reserve units, so I going to focus on those units that can't take it (Nevermind we don't have enough 155's as well)
So in my mind there is one main question: 105mm Howitzer or 120mm Mortar?  Which generates two different sets of questions to be asked with each having sub questions:

1. What design is available for manufacturing and/or purchase for 105mm Howitzer?
a. New or refurbished? (Refurbished means likely either Korean M101s (60 years old) or M118/119 (30 years old, if we can find sufficient numbers)
b. How many do we need for Reserve, Regular Force and spares?
c. If new domestic or overseas build? (Can an existing Canadian armament company take it on?)
d. Towed or mounted, perhaps a mix?

2. What design is available for manufacturing and purchase for new 120mm Mortars
a. How many do we need for Reserve, Regular Force and spares?
b. Domestic or overseas build? (Can an existing Canadian armament company take it on?)
c. Towed or mounted, perhaps a mix?
d. New smaller gun tractor?

I think ideally the structure/purpose/place of the C3 replacement would first be identified. Most authors that I have read seem to question the utility of towed artillery in anything other than a COIN environment. Sourcing new 105's would also appear to be problematic unless someone committed to a large purchase. That leads me to believe that the most acceptable solution would be a self propelled 120 mortar.

Jack Watling in the RUSI report above for the UK suggests

6-8 ATGM platforms/units
6-8 120mm Mortars self propelled
24 155mm SPH for a battle group with over 72 155mm SPH for a division with associated MLRS

Corporal Frisk I believe found the confirmation he was looking for in the above and suggests for Finland

84 155mm tracked(K9)
72-108 155mm wheeled (I believe the preference is for CAESAR
130 towed 155mm
an indeterminate number of 120mm mortars to replace the 471 towed 122mm  it seems quite ambitious but obviously the Fins like the Russians like their artillery with over 150 towed heavy artillery right now as well as the above 471 towed light artillery and the over 70 SPH

Uk land power even goes so far as to replacing their tanks with artillery
https://uklandpower.com/2020/04/21/tanks-or-indirect-fires-if-we-cant-afford-both-which-should-we-choose/



Offline FJAG

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #287 on: April 21, 2020, 17:38:06 »
I think ideally the structure/purpose/place of the C3 replacement would first be identified. Most authors that I have read seem to question the utility of towed artillery in anything other than a COIN environment. Sourcing new 105's would also appear to be problematic unless someone committed to a large purchase. That leads me to believe that the most acceptable solution would be a self propelled 120 mortar.

Jack Watling in the RUSI report above for the UK suggests ...

... Uk land power even goes so far as to replacing their tanks with artillery
https://uklandpower.com/2020/04/21/tanks-or-indirect-fires-if-we-cant-afford-both-which-should-we-choose/

Thanks for getting me to re-read Watling and drawing my attention to the Cawthorne article. While I don't agree with Cawthorne, both the articles bring into sharp focus that the indirect fire game is one very much based on equipment and ammunition and very serious cost considerations. It's a game that Canada is playing very badly (unless we're secretly amassing substantial war stocks of ammunition that I'm not aware of)

There was an interesting article written in the Thin Pinstriped Line in response to Watling's article (as well as the Challenger issue) which I think has some relevance as to where we can find the funds to play the game.

Quote
In part this is a challenge of funding – paradoxically the British Army is probably overmanned for the jobs it must do. There are too many soldiers in roles that the budget simply doesn’t exist to provide them with modern vehicles and equipment – a smaller army would free up funds to fully equip the forces it has, rather than trying to strike an uncomfortable balance. For as long as the Army is tied by the force of emotion and cap badge politics to having to keep 82000 troops (on paper at least) it will struggle to properly equip the 65000 it realistically needs.

https://thinpinstripedline.blogspot.com/2019/11/bringing-out-big-guns-rusi-report-on.html

I might in fact be coming around to the idea of artillery-provided "battalion" 120mm LAV 6 mounted mortars (8 not 6) and "divisional" 155s (24 per manoeuvre brigade, not 18, and mounted on wheeled, armoured SPs) and HIMARS. (leaving aside the issue of anti armour and air defence for the time being). Sustainability and tactical mobility plays a big role for me here as does the C&C need to separate the fight into a close and deep one. How the "divisional" artillery works in an allied framework remains worrisome for me. (Not so much that it can't be done but the question of how well it will be done - I think we would still deploy a Canadian artillery regiment (and possibly HIMARS) with any Canadian manoeuvre brigade we might commit but integrate them into whatever allied div arty structure exists)

And just so that I don't step too far off my high horse and become a complete surrender monkey, the vast number of gunners manning those things should be reservists so as to free up the PYs for equipment and ammo acquisition.

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Offline Colin P

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #288 on: April 22, 2020, 18:37:17 »
Currently we are incapable of buying a 2 ton 4x4 tactical truck, I don't see us being able to buy/maintain dedicated gun vehicles, the Brigade HQ will also hate that, because the arty units basically became the go to unit to borrow trucks from for everyone else exercises. Dedicated Reserves vehicles also bring up the issue of usage, in actual fact some regular use is important to keep a vehicle running long term, a dedicated gun vehicle may not get enough usage. The army must start seeing it's non-armoured truck fleet as an expendable resources and should be replaced frequently or on a ongoing basis. Most logging companies look at 5 years max for smaller vehicles.

For the Reserve artillery units the long term equipment goal should be:

6 x gun/Mortar either 105 or 120 with guntractor/portee
Primary and secondary CP vehicles
2x OP parties
2x ammunition vehicles
Survey/sig vehicle

I am a believer that each unit should be capable of feeding itself on fresh rations both in the field and garrison

That means a kitchen trailer per unit eventually with vehicle to pull it.
There are generally 5 or so other vehicles a unit needs, some roles filled by civy pattern 4x4 or 4x2

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #289 on: April 25, 2020, 11:45:13 »
Those were a couple of very interesting articles regarding artillery (and tanks) in the British context and they really got me to thinking.

I think we should assume that Russia is smart enough that it would not give NATO enough time to mobilize it's forces and ship reinforcements from the US, Britain and Canada to Europe in advance of any attack.  If they make a military move it's likely to be a quick surprise attack where they feel they have local superiority and can gain their objectives before NATO can react and hopefully present their victory as a fait accompli like in Crimea.  That would force NATO to make the decision of all out war between NATO and Russia (with potential nuclear consequences) or acceptance of the new situation.

In a Canadian context what would that mean for deployment of forces to counter such an attack?  Assuming we'd need whatever forces we deploy to get there as quickly as possible, what would our most useful response be? 

How long would it take to get a Brigade Group into theatre?  With only 5 x C-177's in the RCAF I think we'd have to assume that the vast bulk of our forces would have to deploy by ship.  Then they'd have to transit from the safe port to the conflict zone (with rail or road transporters for the Leopards and SPGs were we to get them?). 

Hypothetically though, what if the Reserves were to be equipped with HIMARS?  Two could be loaded on a C-177 (x 5) and one on a C-130J (x 17).  That means that a full Regiment of 24 x HIMARS could be airlifted to Europe in a single surge.  Being wheeled, they could self-deploy to the conflict zone and could plug into the US logistics infrastructure for supply of munitions (i.e. directly reinforcing a US Army Fires Brigade).  They could be used by the higher levels of NATO command to perform counter-battery fire against Russian artillery assets (helping eliminate one of the Russian Army's primary strengths) and hit other high value targets with the goal of slowing a Russian advance and giving time for heavier NATO forces to deploy.

This could be a case where having the right asset available at the right time might be better than the best asset at the wrong time.  Like the "Tanks or Indirect Fires?" article says, it's not a case of artillery being better than tanks, but that in our specific context HIMARS for the Reserves might be more effective (in particular circumstances) than tanks or SPGs, or M577's or Hawkeyes.   


Offline MilEME09

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #290 on: April 25, 2020, 11:59:34 »
As it stands, it would be a heavy effort from the US 2nd and 4th fleet's in the Atlantic to keep shipping lanes open, the RCN doesn't have the ships at the moment to keep russian attack subs at bay. The rest of NATO I imagine would get tied up else where, but that is a different debate. For rapid deployment the smaller, and lighter the platform the better, atleast for the first wave, heavier assets should be prepositioned, but I doubt we would see 4 CMBG get stood back up in Latvia. Reserves if organized and funded correctly could be a massive force multiplier, as FJAG and others have pointed out, I doubt in my life time we will see the herculean effort required to do so.

HIMARS would be a great Divisional / corp level asset given it's range, but we need a SPG that can keep up with our maneuver brigades, like an M109, or AS-90 type vehicle. That can be supplimented by towed arty, but we would need to get really good and shoot and scoot as modern towed guns like a M777 do take a bit to deploy and get rounds down range. Rapid deployment seems to been less of a priority in the past 30 years.
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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #291 on: April 25, 2020, 12:21:44 »
As it stands, it would be a heavy effort from the US 2nd and 4th fleet's in the Atlantic to keep shipping lanes open, the RCN doesn't have the ships at the moment to keep russian attack subs at bay. The rest of NATO I imagine would get tied up else where, but that is a different debate. For rapid deployment the smaller, and lighter the platform the better, atleast for the first wave, heavier assets should be prepositioned, but I doubt we would see 4 CMBG get stood back up in Latvia. Reserves if organized and funded correctly could be a massive force multiplier, as FJAG and others have pointed out, I doubt in my life time we will see the herculean effort required to do so.

HIMARS would be a great Divisional / corp level asset given it's range, but we need a SPG that can keep up with our maneuver brigades, like an M109, or AS-90 type vehicle. That can be supplimented by towed arty, but we would need to get really good and shoot and scoot as modern towed guns like a M777 do take a bit to deploy and get rounds down range. Rapid deployment seems to been less of a priority in the past 30 years.

Not suggesting HIMARS and only HIMARS for the CF.  I'm just suggesting that in the "in case of emergency, break glass" scenario where we need to mobilize the Reserves against a Russian aggression, that HIMARS possibly makes the most logical first choice of capabilities for the Reserve Artillery.  A Regiment of 24 x launchers (4 x 6-launcher batteries and a STA Battery) that could be rapidly deployed by air to theatre as an initial response SHOULD be doable for the CF.  We could then look at what the next capability priority should be (Regular and Reserve Force).

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #292 on: April 25, 2020, 13:27:37 »
Those were a couple of very interesting articles regarding artillery (and tanks) in the British context and they really got me to thinking....

Here are a few more to pique your interest:

A 2017 RAND paper discussing what is needed "to win in the Baltic":

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

A 2018 RAND paper assessing competing force structures in the Baltic:

https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2402.html

A 2019 RAND paper on an out-of-the- box discussion of Total Defence/Unconventional Warfare in the Baltic:

https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2779.html

A news article respecting the Defender 2020 exercises in the Poland/Baltic regions showing how the US is using prepositioned equipment and fly-over forces to "bulk-up" its forces there including a National Guard "heavy" ABCT and a National Guard Engineer brigade.

https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2019/10/15/these-army-units-are-going-to-europe-this-spring-for-defender-2020-but-theyre-pretending-its-2028/

I know this is drifting off the "arty" side of the topic, but I think that one is on the right track, especially when looking at the reserve role, to do the appreciation of the situation (estimate for you young folks) by working it backwards: 1. What is our potential enemy and his capabilities and expected manner of fighting? 2. what equipment do we need to defeat that enemy? 3. what are our options for deploying and manning that equipment as inexpensively as possible but yet be effective? - If one of the courses open doesn't include heavy artillery with stockpiles of ammunition, prepositioned in theatre, partially manned by a Reg F cadre and properly reinforced by reservists with a sound plan how to mobilize and get them there then we're not doing our job.

The Canadian Forces have used artillery operationally only very rarely on a day-to-day basis. Afghanistan was the exception to over a half of a century of non-deployment. We tend to focus on 'equipping the man' rather than 'manning the equipment' which is a laudable concept until you send off well-trained men manning shoddy or insufficient equipment because of its cost. For artillery, the weapon and weapon delivery system are critical components.

Let's do some meatball math. When you look at the annual salary of three full-time artillery regiments (roughly $60 million) and consider that an M109A7Paladin/M996A3CAT set costs around $4 million (2019 US Army contract for 60 sets at $249 million https://www.army-technology.com/projects/paladin/) then reducing the artillery to a 10/90 RegF/ResF mix (ResF costing 1/6th of RegF would free up around $40 million per year for equipment or 10 M109A7/M996A3 sets per year. - Considering that we probably only want to arm one or maybe two regiments with M109s for Latvia that means you could do it in 2-4 years and spend the subsequent savings on building up ammo stockpiles (coincidentally converting a regiment to M109A7s would also free up existing M777s to redistribute to the remaining regiments.) The price of a HIMARS system is hard to parse as the contracts are usually for a mix of units, resupply vehicles, ancillery equipment and ammunition (which is very expensive at between $100-200K each and even $750K for the ATACMS) but it's not far off the Paladin set. Poland recently bought a battalion's worth (18 + 2 trainers) including ammunition etc for $414 million.

Let's face it. We will never provide our army with proper and sufficient artillery systems unless we take the step for reducing the annual personnel costs associated with an artillery that will not need to deploy in their primary role except in the extreme case of a real war. It's time to stop saving money on necessary equipment and start replacing unnecessary full-time PYs in favour of part-time ones.

 :pop:
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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #293 on: April 25, 2020, 13:41:08 »
I think $60m for pay and allowances for three Reg F regiments is very low.  For starters, there are four, not three; even so, $20m suggests units of 400 or less, all ranks, with no LDA.
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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #294 on: April 25, 2020, 13:53:57 »
I think $60m for pay and allowances for three Reg F regiments is very low.  For starters, there are four, not three; even so, $20m suggests units of 400 or less, all ranks, with no LDA.

As I said, meatball math. I took three regiments at 400 each times an average of $50,000. (I think the real establishments are around 550-560 but I don't know how fully manned they are) For this type of guesswork I'd rather low ball then overestimate. I think the fourth regiment needs a higher RegF to ResF mixture because of the role of that unit.

If you have better pay estimates, I would appreciate it. Incidentally and completely apropos of nothing, I have the same opinion about heavy armoured regiments (not a day-to-day needed force) On the other hand I think we have far too few full-time RCEME.

Incidentally, again apropos of nothing, I came across a recent Facebook post by someone who showed photos of a bunch of our old M109s in storage outside at Longue-Pointe. Do you know if that is correct?

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #295 on: April 25, 2020, 14:01:25 »
Use about $65k per person in pay and you'll be closer on.

Reg F needs to be support heavy, as that's what ensures readiness and generally is the higher training skillsets more difficult to generate and sustain in a primarily part time workforce.

And even if divested equipment is at Longue Pointe, it will have been unattended for a decade or more, making restoration costly and having limited chances of success.
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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #296 on: April 25, 2020, 14:11:55 »


 On the other hand I think we have far too few full-time RCEME.

We have a lot, problem is they are not trained. Last time I was in Borden, RCEME PAT platoon was over 300 pers. It is why I have said a few times the army needs a two year reconstitution phase, we need to pull instructors from the units, back fill those positions with PRes techs to get them experience. Then clear the back log, once cleared up we return to normal.
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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #297 on: April 25, 2020, 14:27:16 »
CAF mismanagement of personnel production and BTL management is another long set of diatribes..

PATs are signs of a failed training system (from the requirements planning perspective).
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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #298 on: April 25, 2020, 14:40:47 »
Use about $65k per person in pay and you'll be closer on.

Thanks. That updates my meatball math to $107 million for three regiments. 10% Reg F = $11 million and 90% Res F (at 1/6 of $96million) = $16 million for a total saving of $107-$27=$80 million per annum.

Reg F needs to be support heavy, as that's what ensures readiness and generally is the higher training skillsets more difficult to generate and sustain in a primarily part time workforce.

Agree completely: especially maintainers of all types and storemen.

I do wonder though whether our age and experience ratio for maintainers is right. Older folks = more experience and, theoretically, more output per capita but more younger folks at lower salaries should equal more workers and, possibly, more productivity if properly supervised. I wonder if DND ever studied that?

And even if divested equipment is at Longue Pointe, it will have been unattended for a decade or more, making restoration costly and having limited chances of success.

True enough but the US Army is big time into refurbishing their heavy fleets and upgrading them so there is an established production line for upgrading (presumably at some lesser cost than a brand new machine). Don't think that would work fully for older M109s to Paladin A7s because they have done a chassis change from the prior A6 to a chassis based on the Bradley chassis for the A7. We might be able to upgrade to A6 (if they still do that) at a reasonable cost which should still be significantly below a new unit cost.

One other big consideration is that we are not too far down the road from a whole new line of products from the US and any use of "in storage" machines ought to be considered short term interim solutions until a decision on a new product can be made. I still feel it's worth it because M777s in the Latvia environment are a risk trade off between a) nothing will ever happen anyway, and b) if it does, people will die unnecessarily. (I feel the same about LAVs and to show that I'm not always negative about everything, I do like our tanks - but we don't have any there)  ;D

We have a lot, problem is they are not trained. Last time I was in Borden, RCEME PAT platoon was over 300 pers. It is why I have said a few times the army needs a two year reconstitution phase, we need to pull instructors from the units, back fill those positions with PRes techs to get them experience. Then clear the back log, once cleared up we return to normal.

Wow! Just wow!. I presume somewhere someone has given consideration to putting these people through automotive and heavy equipment maintenance training at community colleges to learn the fundamentals and then doing shorter 'conversion to military equipment' course at Borden. Heck you could probably work out a system where the person's tuition is paid and they live at home but they receive no salary until put onto the military component of the course. Do these people receive a salary while on PAT or are they put on LWOP?

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Re: C3 Howitzer Replacement
« Reply #299 on: April 25, 2020, 15:35:24 »
PAT are paid.

There is in some circles an aversion to hiring already qualified pers / contracting out to colleges; the CAF has an edifice complex, and wants to hold tight to its schools. (Cough degrees at military colleges cough).

Accounting influences behaviours; since Reg F pers costs are held centrally, no one considers them or at best assumes them away as a fixed cost.  But BTL growth due to the road to OFP being poorly managed has significant cost, in dollars, lost productivity, and frustration for individuals wanting to start a career.

If the RCAF had to pay its pilots awaiting training for 4-5 years, I am certain that (a) they would streamline their rather oversized BTL, and (b) they would fix the pipeline and capacity problems that bedevil tham.
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