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C3 Howitzer Replacement

Wasn't exactly sure in which thread to put this, but it's a very interesting article suggesting the days of towed artillery may be over.

I think it’s a shaded view of Ukraine circumstances. There is terrain that a Light towed Howitzer can utilize than tracked and wheeled SPA cannot use.

It also solely looks at a static fight. - which we’ve already seen that Towed guns can be dig in very successfully.
 
The lower cost of wheels over tracks will matter for countries seeking to build up their artillery force, Beaudouin said. France agreed to buy 109 Caesar MkII weapons at the end of 2023 for a unit cost of €3.2 million (U.S. $3.5 million), compared with Germany buying 10 tracked Panzerhaubitze 2000s in March 2023 for €18.4 million (U.S. $20 million) apiece.

Operating and maintaining wheeled systems
also tends to be cheaper, with studies from the U.S. and Europe indicating cost savings of roughly 30%.

The six-wheel Caesar and Atmos models are flyweights
compared with their armored and tracked brethren, which explains their mobility and lower operating costs. The French gun comes in at less than 18 tons, and its Israeli rival at about 20 tons, (Edit - C130 transportable) compared with 57 tons for the Panzerhaubitze and 47 tons for the K9.

The turret on the RCH 155 adds bulk as well, pushing the weight to 39 tons. Tactical mobility for wheeled systems drops once loads exceed 8 tons per axle, according to Beaudouin, who said the Boxer chassis struggles under the weight of a gun turret.


Still an Archer fan, me.

CAESAR 6x6 if air mobility is a priority (18 tons - 5-6 crew members, 3 in an emergency (Crew exposed during loading and firing)).

Archer 8x8 if it isn't (38 tons - 3 crew members: 1 driver, 1 commander, 1 operator (The operator and commander can operate remotely)).

The Autoloader seems to be a 20 ton add-on.
 
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I think it’s a shaded view of Ukraine circumstances. There is terrain that a Light towed Howitzer can utilize than tracked and wheeled SPA cannot use.

It also solely looks at a static fight. - which we’ve already seen that Towed guns can be dig in very successfully.

I have seen several Ukrainian (and one or two Russian) sources argue that towed guns are more survivable in that theatre.

The basic premise is that the SP guns (wheeled or tracked) are larger and harder to hide from UAV observation. If they try to use shoot-and-scoot tactics, this requires some movement in the open, which increases the odds that they will get spotted and tracked and by a drone. Towed guns, on the other hand, can be hidden in a woodline and dug in, which gives them a reasonable chance of avoiding detection and surviving any attempted counterbattery efforts.

You are correct in identifying that the relatively static nature of the front skews this somewhat. Digging guns in is only possible when the front isn't moving very often. That wouldn't be possible if the front had much greater mobility and the guns were required to keep up with moving forces.
 
I have seen several Ukrainian (and one or two Russian) sources argue that towed guns are more survivable in that theatre.
Honestly I tend to ignore half the comments that people make about this war ;)

The basic premise is that the SP guns (wheeled or tracked) are larger and harder to hide from UAV observation. If they try to use shoot-and-scoot tactics, this requires some movement in the open, which increases the odds that they will get spotted and tracked and by a drone. Towed guns, on the other hand, can be hidden in a woodline and dug in, which gives them a reasonable chance of avoiding detection and surviving any attempted counterbattery efforts.

You are correct in identifying that the relatively static nature of the front skews this somewhat. Digging guns in is only possible when the front isn't moving very often. That wouldn't be possible if the front had much greater mobility and the guns were required to keep up with moving forces.
I think the only way to get good data - is looking at specific places and times to determine an apples/apples correlation.
Too often a lot of the data is compressed from across the combat theatre - and the threats are equal across it, as well they shift in times depending on the use of the equipment, and the enemy assets in the AO.

Plus the range differences between 105mm, 155mm, 130mm and 152mm guns don't make for a solid method of comparisons unless you can really get into the weeds to sort everything individually.

A lot of data won't be fully compiled until after the war...
 
Honestly I tend to ignore half the comments that people make about this war ;)


I think the only way to get good data - is looking at specific places and times to determine an apples/apples correlation.
Too often a lot of the data is compressed from across the combat theatre - and the threats are equal across it, as well they shift in times depending on the use of the equipment, and the enemy assets in the AO.

Plus the range differences between 105mm, 155mm, 130mm and 152mm guns don't make for a solid method of comparisons unless you can really get into the weeds to sort everything individually.

A lot of data won't be fully compiled until after the war...

Agreed. It doesn't help that half of the sources quoted in that Defence News article advocating wheeled guns are, well, trying to sell wheeled guns.
 
Missed edit. But that was supposed to read threats are not equal across the theatre.
 
Wasn't exactly sure in which thread to put this, but it's a very interesting article suggesting the days of towed artillery may be over.

It's the right thread, but IMHO, the days of wheeled guns is far from over.

I've worked on towed guns and SPs. they are different for different reasons. Regardless of whether your SP is wheeled or tracked, it can't be air dropped or moved by helicopter. That level of mobility isn't needed by every force but there are some light forces that need that. There was a time when air support was touted at being the be all and end all to providing fire support to light units but that hasn't worked out as well as predicted.

One additional factor is the comparison of wheeled SPs v towed guns. With a wheeled SP, when the truck goes down the gun goes down. With towed guns you just change trucks. Admittedly, wheeled SPs have higher mobility and faster times into and out of action but have a bigger target signature (read detectability by size and heat). It's a trade off. I think wheeled mechanized brigades like a Stryker brigade are definitely better off with a wheeled SP. On the other hand light brigades with little vehicle mobility are probably better served by towed howitzers.

When it comes to wheeled SPs, I do not like the Caesar primarily because of its open, unarmoured architecture around the gun itself. I prefer an armoured turret but am a bit ambivalent about whether its manned or has an autoloader. IMHO I see advantages with a manned turret due to the fact that you can generally get more ammo in the turret, are more flexible in switching between various natures of ammunition, are easier to maintain, and generally have the advantage of having more people available to handle ammo, maint on the vehicle and security of the gun position.

🍻
 
One advantage of having crews inside a cab, armoured or not, is the reduction in health consequences of being around artillery pieces being fired. For towed 155mm has any studies been done on the effect of distance from muzzle and the inclusion of muzzle brakes onto the human physiology?

Looking at longterm effects, it may be cheaper to get guns like the Archer to reduce exposure to the gun crews from pressure waves.
 
I haven't seen any details recently, but over the life of this project since around 2008 (almost always unfunded and at various priority levels) the concept included hybrid RegF/ResF crews - with the 2010 Arty MIP for Force 2013 the predicted establishment was for an LRPRS battery in 4 GS to have 156 PYs and 25 ResF (5 launcher dets)

Long story short - this will not be the replacement of the C3 howitzers but might effect one specific (probably 5 Div) arty regiment. Everyone else awaits the Indirect Fires Modernization Project which remains unfunded.

🍻
 
Of course the fact that it could only really be shot in Shilo is an awkward fact
I have never heard that. Each of Wainwright, Suffield and Gagetown have longer ranges not to mention that HIMARS can fire the M28 series of reduced-range practice rounds.

🍻
 
One advantage of having crews inside a cab, armoured or not, is the reduction in health consequences of being around artillery pieces being fired. For towed 155mm has any studies been done on the effect of distance from muzzle and the inclusion of muzzle brakes onto the human physiology?

Looking at longterm effects, it may be cheaper to get guns like the Archer to reduce exposure to the gun crews from pressure waves.





 
Of course the fact that it could only really be shot in Shilo is an awkward fact
That's incorrect
While in DLR I did the range study for the LRPRS; except for Meaford and Valcartier, any of the main impact areas for indirect fire training in Canada could be used. The main assumption was the M28 or M28A1 practice rockets, only, would be used. In the case of firing something like an actual GMLRS, then only the much lager ranges, such as Suffield or possibly Cold Lake, maybe Gagetown, would be suitable, but even then it could only be done for a very narrow window of time.

The con-op for sustaining the FG of LRPRS Dets was that some P Res units would be trained in this capability in each of the Div. My assumption was this was going to be something along the same lines as was done for VSHORAD units in the late 90's to early 2000's. In any event, it was a consideration and why all indirect fire ranges had to be examined for suitability. Even for Meaford and Valcrtier it could be made to work, so long as LUA could be established off base, but this was seen to be too problematic. It could be done in Petawawa, but the firing point and impact area would be very limited.

Unfortunately the project lost traction and it was never fully fleshed out as to which P Res units might be given the task. One thing was clear is that the majority of this type of capability would reside in Gagetown, with 4 GSR. In all likelihood, this is still the case. This picture gives you an overview of one firing positions template used in the study; the inner ring is the min range and the outer ring is max range. There would not be a significant issue firing the practice rockets there
 

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