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Offline rojo

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M777 challenges
« on: March 16, 2011, 10:31:06 »
What CF aircraft are capable of lifting M777's?  Also, would the HLVW's be the primary vehicle transportation?

Offline jeffb

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Re: M777 challenges
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2011, 10:41:56 »
I assume you mean helicopters? If so, then the Chinook is capable of transporting a gun with a limited supply of ammo. An HLVW can serve as a gun tractor although the MSVS is the slated replacement for the MLVW as a gun tractor in the near term.
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Re: M777 challenges
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2011, 10:45:48 »
From http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,70973.msg676592.html

Merx: 
http://www.merx.com/English/Supplier_Menu.Asp?WCE=Show&TAB=1&PORTAL=MERX&State=7&id=PW-%24%24RA-002-16420&FED_ONLY=0&hcode=KRy%2fiKOJc%2fNlBKnEPpDdVg%3d%3d

2.10.    Mobility
The LWTH must be fully deployable by land, air and sea. Once
located in the area of operations, tactical movement will be
achieved by one of two means: towed or air. On the ground a
wheeled gun tractor will tow the howitzer (such as the in
service CF Heavy Logistics Vehicle Wheeled (HLVW)). Other
vehicles with similar mobility may transport the crew and
ammunition; this completes a gun detachment. Gun detachments
normally operate in pairs (a troop), with three troops
comprising a battery. Command posts within the battery and
troop will normally relay fire control orders to the
detachments. However, the LWTH must be employable in a myriad
of structural organizations.
Requirement: the LWTH must be towable by an in service CF
wheeled 6X6 or 8X8 vehicle.
Requirement: traveling on a primary paved road, the LWTH must be
able to sustain a minimum towed speed of at least 85 kilometres
per hour (kph).
Requirement: a fully functional howitzer shall be externally
transportable, and remain aerodynamically stable, by CH47D.1
The grand essentials of happiness: something to do, something to love, something to hope for.  Allan K. Chalmers

Offline Colin P

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Re: M777 challenges
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2017, 13:49:32 »
US Marines wear out their M777's

https://www.navytimes.com/flashpoints/2017/11/02/marine-artillery-barrage-of-raqqa-was-so-intense-two-howitzers-burned-out/



WASHINGTON — Marines providing artillery support to U.S.-backed Syrian fighters in Raqqa fired so many consecutive rounds they burned out the barrels of two M777 155 mm howitzers.

The story was told directly to Army Sergeant Major John Wayne Troxell, the senior enlisted adviser to chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, by a Marine Corps battery commander.

“Every minute of every hour we were putting some kind of fire on ISIS in Raqqa, whether it was mortars, artillery, rockets, [High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems], Hellfires, armed drones, you name it,” Troxell told reporters on Monday. Troxell had visited Raqqa a couple weeks ago for a period of four hours.

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Flashpoints
Marine artillery barrage of Raqqa was so intense two howitzers burned out
By: Shawn Snow   1 day ago
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A U.S. Marine fires an M777-A2 Howitzer in Syria, June 1, 2017. (Sgt. Matthew Callahan/Marine Corps)

WASHINGTON — Marines providing artillery support to U.S.-backed Syrian fighters in Raqqa fired so many consecutive rounds they burned out the barrels of two M777 155 mm howitzers.

The story was told directly to Army Sergeant Major John Wayne Troxell, the senior enlisted adviser to chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, by a Marine Corps battery commander.

“Every minute of every hour we were putting some kind of fire on ISIS in Raqqa, whether it was mortars, artillery, rockets, [High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems], Hellfires, armed drones, you name it,” Troxell told reporters on Monday. Troxell had visited Raqqa a couple weeks ago for a period of four hours.

The Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, commander for the Raqqa campaign, Gen. Rojda Felat, knew she had to aggressively keep pressure on ISIS in Raqqa, which meant coalition support in terms of ISR, drones and artillery also had to be aggressive, Troxell explained to reporters.
What we have seen is the minute we take the pressure off of ISIS they regenerate and come back in a hurry,” Troxell said. “They are a very resilient enemy.”

SDF forces backed by coalition air and artillery support liberated Raqqa after four-plus months of fighting. However that liberation has come at a steep cost. Much of Raqqa has been destroyed by the intense urban street to street battling and the thousands of air and artillery strikes.

Despite ISIS’ loss of its self-proclaimed capital, the group has not been defeated and complete annihilation of the group is unlikely.


ISIS has lost considerable combat power and its ability to launch external attacks outside Syria has been greatly diminished but the group and its threat can only be neutralized, Troxell explained.

ISIS fighters may look to export its fighters and ideology to East and West Africa, Troxell said.

Nevertheless, the burnout of two M777 howitzers highlights the amount of artillery shells that rained down upon ISIS and Raqqa.

“I’ve never heard of it ― normally your gun goes back to depot for full reset well before that happens,” a former Army artillery officer told Military Times on condition of anonymity. “That’s a shitload of rounds though,”

The rounds it would take to burn out a barrel is dependent on the level of charge and the range to the target, he said.

The level of charge of the round is also a function of the weight of the shell being used and the distance to the target.

“If you have an average-weight shell, the further you want to shoot the more charge you put in,” he said. “If that shell is heavier, you need to add even more charge.”

“So if they were shooting closer to the target, the tube life might actually be extended some.”

Marines have been providing artillery support to the SDF since March.

Military Times’ Pentagon Bureau Chief Tara Copp contributed to this story.

Offline Old Sweat

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Re: M777 challenges
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2017, 14:59:39 »
Any barrel for any weapon has a finited life based on the number of rounds fired and the intensity of the burning of the propelling charge. The wear on the barrel eventually can increase the calibre so that a round can no longer be fired accurately. This can range from a few hundred rounds for extreme velocity rounds, which implies a very hot burring propellant, to many thousand rounds (expressed as equivalent full charges or EFCs) for howitzers. Our expanded knowledge of metal fatigue over the past fifty years had resulted in a decrease in theoretical barrel life for certain artillery equipments. For example, we believed that it was virtually impossible to wear out the barrel of the 105mm C1 howitzer as its life was 20,000 EFCs, but this was radically revised downward to a fraction of that because of metal fatigue. Circa 1976 we actually "shot out" the barrels of our 105 C1s at the School of Artillery in Gagetown and had to replace them. More recently, it was determined that the barrel life of the 105mm LG1s being considered for use at Kandahar in 2006 was only about 600 rounds using High Explosive Extended Range ammunition. This was clearly a non-starter and led to the M777 procurement.

« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 15:06:49 by Old Sweat »

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Re: M777 challenges
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2017, 21:54:28 »
Not sure if my memory is serving me correctly but I seem to recall the M109's having a barrel life of 5,000 EFCs. My understanding is that the M777s have slightly more than half of that at 2,650 EFCs. I guess that's why it's a "light weight" towed howitzer.

I still miss the 109s. I'll never forgive our "senior" gunners for turning them to scrap and memorials.  :tempertantrum: By my quick rough calculation from Wikipedia there are some 7,000 of them in various versions still in service in the world.

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Offline Bird_Gunner45

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Re: M777 challenges
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2017, 00:30:23 »
Not sure if my memory is serving me correctly but I seem to recall the M109's having a barrel life of 5,000 EFCs. My understanding is that the M777s have slightly more than half of that at 2,650 EFCs. I guess that's why it's a "light weight" towed howitzer.

I still miss the 109s. I'll never forgive our "senior" gunners for turning them to scrap and memorials.  :tempertantrum: By my quick rough calculation from Wikipedia there are some 7,000 of them in various versions still in service in the world.

 :cheers:

The M109 wasn't a bad gun, but had limitations that were too ponderous.

The first was the maintenance required to keep the systems going. Tracked vehicles are always expensive, and the M109 fleet wasn't in especially good shape when they were retired. Towed howitzers tend to be less maintenance heavy, so with the restraints on budget, it made sense.

The second was that the system was too heavy for the type of warfare that the CAF expected to fight. At the time, the thought was that systems needed to be lighter and more mobile to fight a faster and more dispersed style of war. The M777 was selected over a tracked system as it could be airmobiled and was thus more flexible for operations. This was also at a time that the entire fleet was to be wheeled, if anyone remembers the Direct Fire Squadron concept.

Personally, I think the decision to move from the M109 to the M777 (though admittedly indirectly) was beneficial. The maintenance cost alone would have forced restraints on employment, particularly through Afghanistan. They were too heavy to be quickly moved, which is a requirement. They were good for their time.

Offline Ostrozac

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Re: M777 challenges
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2017, 02:15:25 »
The M109 wasn't a bad gun, but had limitations that were too ponderous.

The first was the maintenance required to keep the systems going. Tracked vehicles are always expensive, and the M109 fleet wasn't in especially good shape when they were retired. Towed howitzers tend to be less maintenance heavy, so with the restraints on budget, it made sense.

The second was that the system was too heavy for the type of warfare that the CAF expected to fight. At the time, the thought was that systems needed to be lighter and more mobile to fight a faster and more dispersed style of war. The M777 was selected over a tracked system as it could be airmobiled and was thus more flexible for operations. This was also at a time that the entire fleet was to be wheeled, if anyone remembers the Direct Fire Squadron concept.

Personally, I think the decision to move from the M109 to the M777 (though admittedly indirectly) was beneficial. The maintenance cost alone would have forced restraints on employment, particularly through Afghanistan. They were too heavy to be quickly moved, which is a requirement. They were good for their time.

A towed howitzer that is capable of being airlifted is absolutely the best choice for a counter-insurgency/low-intensity conflict. It is not the best choice for any kind of force-on-force war where you are expecting to deal with counter battery fire. That is where self-propelled artillery (either tracked or wheeled) really shines. The M777 will be great in some wars -- if you want to put a battery of guns on a hilltop firebase and refight Vietnam 1965-72 it's clearly the best gun in the world. But if you use it against a conventional enemy that has self-propelled guns you're going to end up in second place.

Right now our 'medium-weight' army seems to have developed the worst of all compromises -- our brigades have the firepower of a light formation but the logistics tail of a heavy formation. It might be time to bite the bullet and admit that we are out of the heavy mechanized game entirely, and that we are a COIN/Low-Intensity-Conflict army pure and simple, but that would certainly be an awkward admission to NATO, given our commitment to supply conventionally equipped mechanized forces to the Baltics.

Offline MilEME09

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Re: M777 challenges
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2017, 03:50:59 »
Right now our 'medium-weight' army seems to have developed the worst of all compromises -- our brigades have the firepower of a light formation but the logistics tail of a heavy formation. It might be time to bite the bullet and admit that we are out of the heavy mechanized game entirely, and that we are a COIN/Low-Intensity-Conflict army pure and simple, but that would certainly be an awkward admission to NATO, given our commitment to supply conventionally equipped mechanized forces to the Baltics.

I would argue we are much more a Motorized Army with light mechanized elements, we simply do not have enough heavy equipment to call our selves mechanized. Not enough tanks, SPArt, SPAA (or AA capability of any kind), heavy weapons like ATGMs (yes we just got TOW back, but that I fore see as limited). Not to mention we can't sustain a mechanized brigade in more then one theater of operation, not for long any way. We are very much out of the game, and it would take a lot of investment to get back in.
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Re: M777 challenges
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2017, 12:15:03 »
There is no reason why forces and weapon systems can't be complementary. We've gravitated to a mixed force of some light elements and some mechanised elements for some time. Our mechanized forces these days are more capable then they were when we had "mechanized brigade groups". Today's leopards and Lavs are better mechanized fighting vehicles then anything that we had in the past. Where we're failing is numbers in some cases (tanks) and capabilities (towed v SP howitzers, and poor anti-tank and mortar capabilities) all of which are budget driven and not tactically phased out.

I was BK of a 109 battery for two years. I had a 14 man LMT section and we never had less than five of our six guns serviceable at any given time (which includes one spring practice camp in Shilo when the poplar fluff was playing havoc with the engines)

I've argued for years that you have to keep capabilities in the inventory (even if with the reserves or in war stocks) because when you finally decide that you're losing lives because you don't have it you can put it back into action relatively quickly--much more quickly than our procurement system can get something.

Our problem for some time with our regular force managers is that they expend the bulk of our defence budget on maintaining the bloated headquarters and policies that we have today rather than determining more innovative (to us) programs to ramp up personnel and in-inventory equipment when we need it. (I keep looking at the US National Guard and reserve systems and can never understand why can't go that way. The system may not be perfect but a less-than-perfect system is infinitely preferable to no system at all)

Our defence management style reminds me of people who go the cheap route on buying insurance in the hope that they will never need it. It's even worse with DND because not only are we not buying the insurance policy but we are convinced we will never have to use it because, well, if you don't have anything in your inventory then you can't use what you don't have anyway. This way they can honestly say to the government we can't do that--we don't have the capability. The trouble is that our civilian politicians don't have enough knowledge about defence matters that they don't realize that they are getting a major snowjob from the military. All they can do is wonder what it is we do with tons of money they give us and figure that it shouldn't cost as much to provide what we do.

End of   :off topic: rant.

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Offline MilEME09

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Re: M777 challenges
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2017, 14:08:30 »

I've argued for years that you have to keep capabilities in the inventory (even if with the reserves or in war stocks) because when you finally decide that you're losing lives because you don't have it you can put it back into action relatively quickly--much more quickly than our procurement system can get something.


We did it back in the 50's and 60's, IMO it costs money but some capabilities/equipment should be pushed down to the PRes, buy new tanks, give the old ones to the PRes, same with AFV's and anything else feasible.
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Re: M777 challenges
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2017, 17:09:14 »
We did it back in the 50's and 60's, IMO it costs money but some capabilities/equipment should be pushed down to the PRes, buy new tanks, give the old ones to the PRes, same with AFV's and anything else feasible.

You know that the US continues to overproduce M1s and has hundreds and hundreds of excess new Bradleys and M109's in storage. My guess is if you stopped trying to design everything from scratch nor "Canadize" it, you could get a lot of off the shelf stuff for firesale prices.

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Offline MilEME09

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Re: M777 challenges
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2017, 17:38:09 »
You know that the US continues to overproduce M1s and has hundreds and hundreds of excess new Bradleys and M109's in storage. My guess is if you stopped trying to design everything from scratch nor "Canadize" it, you could get a lot of off the shelf stuff for firesale prices.

 :cheers:

Germans have a lot of Leopard 2's in war stocks, wonder how cheap we could get some of those, going german made any way why not get PzH 2000's, some parts commonality with the leo 2 family.
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Re: M777 challenges
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2017, 22:51:38 »
Germans have a lot of Leopard 2's in war stocks, wonder how cheap we could get some of those, going german made any way why not get PzH 2000's, some parts commonality with the leo 2 family.

Technically the Bundeswehr does not have any extra Leo's. As part of post-Cold War defense cuts, most of the tanks were sold back to the original manufacturers.

Germany has begun the process of upgrading 103 out-of-service Leopard 2A4 and 2A6 tanks to the latest model, the Leopard 2A7V—an upgrade that will cost the state the equivalent of 760 million euros ($833 million).

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/get-ready-russia-germany-expanding-its-tank-forces-by-40-20639

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« Last Edit: November 04, 2017, 23:09:55 by Larry Strong »
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Offline Colin P

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Re: M777 challenges
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2017, 12:33:52 »
You know that the US continues to overproduce M1s and has hundreds and hundreds of excess new Bradleys and M109's in storage. My guess is if you stopped trying to design everything from scratch nor "Canadize" it, you could get a lot of off the shelf stuff for firesale prices.

 :cheers:

The smart thing to do is to set up a armoured unit in Poland using some of those stockpiled vehicles. Then you set up a training unit in North America and one in Europe, where troops can train on that same equipment. In event of a crisis troops can fall onto the stockpiled vehicles that are maintained by a small support staff. NATO covers the cost of maintaining, the stockpile and training vehicles. NATO countries cover their own manning costs. The US can rotate those vehicles every few years through their mothball reserve allowing them to keep their tank factories busy. 

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: M777 challenges
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2017, 14:20:06 »
Is the priority setting up more targets for the Russians to try and kill or is the priority the killing of Russian targets when they cross into our friends' backyards?

I think it is the latter which, in my opinion, means providing more anti-tank missiles, more large calibre anti-tank guns, more howitzers, more battlefield missiles, more sea-launched land attack missiles and more air-launched missiles.

And a similarly strong supply of anti-air missiles.

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Re: M777 challenges
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2017, 10:34:22 »
Well I love a well rounded force myself, but a increase in size and ability of QRF in Eastern Europe will keep the Kremlin from being tempted. You also need good support from Intelligence Services, police and SF to ensure that they don't use other methods to undermine you smaller Eastern allies.

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Re: M777 challenges
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2017, 10:27:56 »
A towed howitzer that is capable of being airlifted is absolutely the best choice for a counter-insurgency/low-intensity conflict. It is not the best choice for any kind of force-on-force war where you are expecting to deal with counter battery fire. That is where self-propelled artillery (either tracked or wheeled) really shines. The M777 will be great in some wars -- if you want to put a battery of guns on a hilltop firebase and refight Vietnam 1965-72 it's clearly the best gun in the world. But if you use it against a conventional enemy that has self-propelled guns you're going to end up in second place.

Faced off with a "near peer" adversary with large amounts (ie more than we have) of heavy self propelled guns will effectively decimate our ability to put out offensive/counter battery fire. As seen on some recent simulations.

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: M777 challenges
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2017, 10:45:20 »
Faced off with a "near peer" adversary with large amounts (ie more than we have) of heavy self propelled guns will effectively decimate our ability to put out offensive/counter battery fire. As seen on some recent simulations.

HIMARS would be a big equalizer.

Offline Terminal

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Re: M777 challenges
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2017, 11:02:05 »
HIMARS would be a big equalizer.

It was in the sims, unfortunately they're not ours right now. There's a reason why rocket artillery is still a thing.

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Re: M777 challenges
« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2017, 11:04:53 »
Might be a hard sell. The US has a large number of Paladins/M109 in storage. I suspect that the US would look kindly upon a request to buy/lease 20 or so. That could give us 2x6 gun batteries and 4 training guns.

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Re: M777 challenges
« Reply #21 on: November 23, 2017, 12:49:37 »
Might be a hard sell. The US has a large number of Paladins/M109 in storage. I suspect that the US would look kindly upon a request to buy/lease 20 or so. That could give us 2x6 gun batteries and 4 training guns.

I weep a little every time I read something like this. We (and by that I include our senior leadership) think in such small increments. 20 guns aren't even worth talking about. We'll lose our entire force within days if we ever decided to deploy it.

I've said this before many times. If we have budget issues (which we always have even though 19 billion isn't exactly chicken feed) then we need to restructure our forces seriously to take maximum advantage of cheaper reserve forces. Yes we need to make the reserves credible; yes, we need to reorganize them massively; yes we need to equip them fully if we expect them to be deployabe; yes we need full-time resources to maintain the equipment; yes we need to implement proper legislation and a culture that makes them immediately deployable; yes to all that.

Artillery is exactly one of those trades that would be suitable to be formed primarily from reserve units because it only deploys when real combat is present or imminent. For what we currently spend on the regular force artillery, we could equip and maintain a significantly larger number of properly equipped and manned reserve units.

Our problem is that our senior (and IMHO significantly negligent) leadership is that they refuse to think outside the box. They want to fine tune crap that's significantly broken rather than do the heavy lifting to fix what needs fixing badly.

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Offline Colin P

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Re: M777 challenges
« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2017, 13:28:39 »
I hear you, but trying to be realistic. We could go to South Korea and buy 300 105mm M1A2 to replace our broken C3's, great training gun, but short ranged. Being Emperor for the day, I would have 3 Reg force batteries of SPG's in Canada and 2 in Europe, one manned and one in reserve. I would also have enough SPG to equip the school and full battery for reservists, which would be a ongoing summer time commitment to be filled by artillery reservists from across the country. I would also have enough to have 3+ training vehicles that are designed to simulate firing that can be sent across the country and to have some in refit at any one time.  So we would be looking at 45ish SPG and their support vehicles. A M548 version based on the same chassis as the Paladin would also make sense. Also need a M577 type variant, looking at 10ish just for the arty. I suspect the Armoured corp would want the M548/M577 variants as well.   

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Re: M777 challenges
« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2017, 14:23:52 »
I hear you, but trying to be realistic. We could go to South Korea and buy 300 105mm M1A2 to replace our broken C3's, great training gun, but short ranged. Being Emperor for the day, I would have 3 Reg force batteries of SPG's in Canada and 2 in Europe, one manned and one in reserve. I would also have enough SPG to equip the school and full battery for reservists, which would be a ongoing summer time commitment to be filled by artillery reservists from across the country. I would also have enough to have 3+ training vehicles that are designed to simulate firing that can be sent across the country and to have some in refit at any one time.  So we would be looking at 45ish SPG and their support vehicles. A M548 version based on the same chassis as the Paladin would also make sense. Also need a M577 type variant, looking at 10ish just for the arty. I suspect the Armoured corp would want the M548/M577 variants as well.

For me the process has nothing to do with being an emperor for a day.

IMHO it is the duty of the senior leadership to look at whatever the government's defence objectives are (no matter how vaguely stated) or should be (if they gave the matter some thought) and then develop force models (based on current funding) which moves from a small expensive full-time force to a large less expensive force with a large reserve component and then let the government choose (something like buying an insurance policy with various riders.

I think what is critical in this whole equation is that the military leadership has to provide reasonable advice to the government as to how useful or survivable each force structure is in the various defence scenarios. If we were being honest now, for example, then their advice should be that our regular force as configured and equipped is incapable of high intensity conflict in Europe.  http://www.newsweek.com/putin-says-russias-defense-companies-must-adapt-war-economy-720802 We need to change our attitude and we need to change it soon.

What influences my mind heavily in this process is that the US, which is serious about these things, has evaluated that it needs light forces to battle the current mess of asynchronous warfare that it has going but has nonetheless made a considerable investment in keeping a large proportion of their heavy mechanized forces within the National Guard so that they are available in the much lesser event that war in Europe does occur.

Just spitballing here, but if we want to work on the assumption that we want to have one infantry heavy battlegroup deployed out of country indefinitely (a la Afghanistan) then we really only need one regular force brigade to sustain that (assuming one year-not six month deployments and reserve augmentation). The other two brigades are available for downsizing the regular force component (together with downsizing our bloated headquarters) and restructuring them together with the reserves into two divisions (one of which would also own the regular force brigade).

How realistic is that? If we consider that our regular force already has three brigades and a rinky dink divisional headquarters and our army reserves already have the bulk of another division worth of people. Then we are really just talking about using the money saved by cutting a brigade plus of regular force salaries into hiring more reservists, buy and maintain the equipment they should have and giving them adequate training.

To get back to the topic at hand. At present we are pretending to meet our countries defence needs, vis-a-vis artillery, with a handful of towed M777s, a bunch of 105mm guns none of us want to go to war with and a handful of 81mm mortars which the infantry were too stupid/cheap to keep within their own battalions where they belong. The $19 billion we currently spend on defence is a cruel joke that DND annually plays on the government.

 :cheers:
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Re: M777 challenges
« Reply #24 on: November 23, 2017, 19:43:54 »
For me the process has nothing to do with being an emperor for a day.

IMHO it is the duty of the senior leadership to look at whatever the government's defence objectives are (no matter how vaguely stated) or should be (if they gave the matter some thought) and then develop force models (based on current funding) which moves from a small expensive full-time force to a large less expensive force with a large reserve component and then let the government choose (something like buying an insurance policy with various riders.

I think what is critical in this whole equation is that the military leadership has to provide reasonable advice to the government as to how useful or survivable each force structure is in the various defence scenarios. If we were being honest now, for example, then their advice should be that our regular force as configured and equipped is incapable of high intensity conflict in Europe.  http://www.newsweek.com/putin-says-russias-defense-companies-must-adapt-war-economy-720802 We need to change our attitude and we need to change it soon.

What influences my mind heavily in this process is that the US, which is serious about these things, has evaluated that it needs light forces to battle the current mess of asynchronous warfare that it has going but has nonetheless made a considerable investment in keeping a large proportion of their heavy mechanized forces within the National Guard so that they are available in the much lesser event that war in Europe does occur.

Just spitballing here, but if we want to work on the assumption that we want to have one infantry heavy battlegroup deployed out of country indefinitely (a la Afghanistan) then we really only need one regular force brigade to sustain that (assuming one year-not six month deployments and reserve augmentation). The other two brigades are available for downsizing the regular force component (together with downsizing our bloated headquarters) and restructuring them together with the reserves into two divisions (one of which would also own the regular force brigade).

How realistic is that? If we consider that our regular force already has three brigades and a rinky dink divisional headquarters and our army reserves already have the bulk of another division worth of people. Then we are really just talking about using the money saved by cutting a brigade plus of regular force salaries into hiring more reservists, buy and maintain the equipment they should have and giving them adequate training.

To get back to the topic at hand. At present we are pretending to meet our countries defence needs, vis-a-vis artillery, with a handful of towed M777s, a bunch of 105mm guns none of us want to go to war with and a handful of 81mm mortars which the infantry were too stupid/cheap to keep within their own battalions where they belong. The $19 billion we currently spend on defence is a cruel joke that DND annually plays on the government.

 :cheers:

The reserves have a real retention problem that makes this a difficult plan. You get a guy join right out of high school, does the part time thing for 4-5 years while he goes to college, but by the time he is fully trade qualified he is probably a year or two max from releasing. That problem needs to be fixed, and it's a problem right now as well that people aren't willing to take on the reserves as a part time job if it's only going to be 1 night a week and 1 weekend a month. That's not really worth it for most people that aren't university students (not to mention not everyone can take 2 months off a year for training courses). You'd have to really bump up the training time, which effectively eats into the "reserves are so much cheaper" argument.