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C3 Howitzer Replacement

FJAG

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dapaterson said:
Given the title of the thread, that was a quick and dirty assessment of what it would cost to replace roughly two thirds of the in-service guns.  Agreed that any equipping discussions need to be in the context of force outputs desired.

That said, Canada does need to invest in indirect fire capability.  My quick and dirty cost of $250M over seven years is not a huge amount out of the defence budget to sustain a necessary capability.

Agreed and I do not quibble with your numbers. I quibble with the need for 16 ResF regiments and 3 independent batteries. Based on our current force structure of 3 equipped and deployable brigades, we need:

a.  definitely 30 x M777s to bring each RegF regiment up to 3 x 6 gun batteries (reduce by 18 and add 18 x M109ish self propelled guns if one brigade goes heavy);

b.  definitely 3 ResF batteries plus 12 additional detachments (2 batteries) (M777 trained) to round out all three Reg F regiments (adjust by one battery and 4 dets if M109 in one brigade);

c.  definitely 1 x 3 battery air defence regiment;

d.  probably 3 x brigade UAV batteries;

e.  probably 3 x brigade anti-armour batteries;

f.  probably 1 x 3 battery Long Range rocket regiment;

g.  probably 3 x target acquisition troops;

h.  possibly an additional 18 gun general support regiment;

By my count that's a total of a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 20 batteries and some odds and sods and tops, 3 regimental headquarters.

If one converted the Res F into 2 brigade groups and 3 support brigades one would need an additional two regt HQs and 6 gun, 2 Anti-armour, 2 UAV batteries and two target acquisition troops.

Effectively the majority of the regimental headquarters and almost half of the existing batteries become redundant (although the number of people would probably stay close to the same)

Effectively these are ResF roles for the simple reason that they only need to be there in the event of a "break the glass" type of emergency. Many of the regimental headquarters are not needed because the batteries and dets fall under the Reg F bdes and regts and therefore should be directly under their wing and direction.

The problem is that with our current mission grid under SSE we have enough of everything because we can always cobble together the one or two battle groups we deploy and we're happy to send less than a full battery anyway.

It gets us back to what you said before; the folks in charge think in terms of the permissive environment of insurgent warfare rather than the new Cold War. We continue to think and plan small.

:cheers:

 

FJAG

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Colin P said:
If the C3 self-divest with no replacement, then expect your reserve gunners to "self divest" as well. They are not joining up to play computer games, they want to fire howitzers and other big toys.

The scenario to replace the C3 with the M119 does not preclude having some units equip with M777 if justified. It also does not preclude MRLS, UAV or AD units within either. In fact the Reserve Artillery should also house these as well. You can raise troop level units within the existing units, one may get tagged with AD, another with UAV. For the moment the AD units get classroom and field simulators so they can learn the basic skills while the senior leaders start to incorporate AD defense back into the command structure as a real thing. The units tagged with a UAV troop would be close to a training area to be used, using cheaper smaller drones. They would learn to fly and maintain them, giving the senior leaders the chance to incorporate UAV's  into the command structure as a real thing. A small portable MRLS system would also be doable. The bigger systems are to big and complex for the current reserve units, we need stuff like this https://www.overtdefense.com/2019/06/03/russia-turns-to-smaller-rocket-artillery-for-specialist-light-roles/
The other potentiel role is a ATGM system that is a step up from whatever the infantry will use. That may be a bridge to far for the moment though.


Setting up these specialist Troops within the existing Reserve Artillery structure, along with new guns means that the Reserve Artillery will be the desirable place for smart people to go. If you want to recruit good people and retain you better put your money where your mouth is, because with no guns and no specialist trades, mean that those people won't bother to join because the army has a big billboard saying "WE DON"T CARE".

Agree with what you say until you said bigger MLRS or ATGM systems are too complex or a bridge too far. They aren't. MLRS like HIMARS and Avenger are within the National Guard now. ATGMs? Every NG IBCT infantry battalion has a weapons company with Javelin and TOW. Every National Guard heavy and Stryker brigade has ATGM. The systems are generally very capable of being operated by properly trained reservists albeit that they require a robust maintenance system to keep them functional. That's why every NG and USAR brigade has a brigade support battalion with forward support companies assigned to each manoeuvre battalion.

Let me put it this way. The introduction of any new system ought to be accompanied by a transformation plan which for equipment should include the staffing of appropriate maintainers to keep it on the road. We can do this. Our folks are smart enough, if we build the system for it.

If we continue to keep the attitude "can we do this with what we have?" then the answer will always be : "No!"

:cheers:
 

blacktriangle

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GMLRS from HIMARS/M270 MLRS have been used extensively in the GWOT. And even deployments in these more permissive environments require some form of SHORAD or C-RAM (I think recent events reinforce this)

Maybe these capabilities are too scary or offensive to most. Like when we "whipped out" our CF-18s against Islamic State. However, I suspect most people simply don't know or care. And that probably isn't going to change anytime soon.
 

Colin Parkinson

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FJAG said:
Agree with what you say until you said bigger MLRS or ATGM systems are too complex or a bridge too far. They aren't. MLRS like HIMARS and Avenger are within the National Guard now. ATGMs? Every NG IBCT infantry battalion has a weapons company with Javelin and TOW. Every National Guard heavy and Stryker brigade has ATGM. The systems are generally very capable of being operated by properly trained reservists albeit that they require a robust maintenance system to keep them functional. That's why every NG and USAR brigade has a brigade support battalion with forward support companies assigned to each manoeuvre battalion.

Let me put it this way. The introduction of any new system ought to be accompanied by a transformation plan which for equipment should include the staffing of appropriate maintainers to keep it on the road. We can do this. Our folks are smart enough, if we build the system for it.

If we continue to keep the attitude "can we do this with what we have?" then the answer will always be : "No!"

:cheers:

We have several immediate problems,

-A fleet of guns in the process of expiring
- No real solid support of Reserves to maintain complex equipment
- A significant deficit looming at us
- A government that has no interest in the DND other than applying bandaids to make problems go away to the next election cycle

The worst thing a replacement 105mm does is to make a pressing issue go away. The M119 is still highly deployable and we would not be hurt by their acquisition. I don't foresee support for your ideas without a significant crisis forcing the government and NDHQ hands.

However picking away at the problem by the art of the doable can happen under this and subsequent governments. A mixed purchase of M119 and M777 to bolster our tube numbers is very doable, particularly if the money is mostly spent here. Leasing a MRLS battery from the US/UK is doable. Start building up the support arms so Reserve units can be supported within the brigade region, start reducing HQ numbers and some of the other ideas as they become doable, once the meat is built up, then reorg the structure. If we go into a major conflict, we are going to need as much meat as possible and right then. Reorg, legislation can be done overnight in a crisis. weapon system not so much, particularly if all of NATO is scrambling at once for the same resources.
 

tomahawk6

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Perhaps replace the 105mm howitzer with 120mm mortars. The US is working on ammunition that will extend the range to 12 miles. Then deploy new 155mm howitzers and HIMARS.
 

GR66

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tomahawk6 said:
Perhaps replace the 105mm howitzer with 120mm mortars. The US is working on ammunition that will extend the range to 12 miles. Then deploy new 155mm howitzers and HIMARS.

I've been thinking about this a bit and I've come to realize that if this were the CF-188 Replacement thread instead of the C3 Replacement thread many (most?) of the ideas suggested here would be shot down as being legacy 4th Generation platforms instead of game changing 5th Generation platforms.

155mm M777 - basically incremental improvements over the WWII-era M114 155mm towed howitzer
105mm L119 - entered service in 1976
M109 - entered service 1963
M270 MLRS - development began 1977, in service 1983
HIMARS - prototypes tested 1998, in service 2005

Fielding any of these in better organized formations and in larger quantities than we have now would of course be a major improvement over the current situation.  But in the grand scheme of things would we be able to put artillery into the field that would be anything much more than minor reinforcements to the US Army?

What would a "5th Generation" RCA look like?  What kind of capabilities would see us not just "catching up" to the current standard, but making the next leap forward in capabilities?

For example, there's lots of discussion about counter-battery fire and the need for artillery to be able to "shoot and scoot" in order to survive.  Stabilization systems have been used on tank guns to allow them to shoot on the move since at least 1944.  Could you not have a turret-mounted 120mm mortar system that could fire accurately on the move? 

What other types of capabilities would allow us to take a lead in indirect fire capabilities rather than just trying to play catch-up?
 

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GR66

I'm pretty sure that I have heard Old Sweat and FJAG argue that the weapon of the artillery is the bullet/shell/projectile.  HIMARS and the M270 are the same system.  The M777 and the M109 are also the same system.

The question is what does a 5th Generation bullet look like.

Excaliber and Vulcano rounds look nothing like WW2 155s.  And ATACMs with drones, or GMRLS carrying SDBs are nothing like the Grid Square Removal Systems of the 1970s.

The big difference (in my not so humble but admittedly poorly informed opinion) is Range.  It seems to me that the closer to the FEBA your firing point is the greater your need for shoot and scoot mobility and armoured protection.  The longer the range of your systems the less like a M109 battery your organization needs to be and the more you are looking at Fire Bases.  In order to reach out and touch the enemy in the 80s your Div Comd needed to launch a helo strike or call for the Air Force.  A lot of those targets can now be reached by Vulcanos and GMRLS launching from the same locations as those 1980s vintage Apaches.

 

Colin Parkinson

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The problem is the eye watering costs of such rounds. Ok for firing a 3 round fire mission onto a compound holding some bad guys, but to suppress a dug in infantry unit while your guys are attacking and you don`t have excellent targeting information, those fancy rounds won`t do anything that a dumb round won`t do.
 

Kirkhill

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And a dumb round won't do anything a bucket of ANFO won't do.  The issue is how do you deliver them. 

And yes a GMRLS costs a fortune.

How many batteries do you need to employ to solve the problem using the shot-gun principle?  How many cheap bullets? How many worn out tubes?  How much diesel?  How many gunners? How many truckdrivers and trucks?  Ships? Warehouses?  How much does it cost to feed and maintain the beast?

I agree that mass has a quality all its own.  But mass costs money.  Unless you want to go back to Shilling a Day conscripts.
 

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Chris Pook said:
GR66

I'm pretty sure that I have heard Old Sweat and FJAG argue that the weapon of the artillery is the bullet/shell/projectile.  HIMARS and the M270 are the same system.  The M777 and the M109 are also the same system.
...

You're quite right with the addition that surviveability of the delivery platform and it's crew is also a factor, hence the shoot and scoot capability and armoured cabs and automated loading systems (to reduce crews). (And which for me is why the M777 is the right tool for an air mobile force and the utterly wrong one for a medium or heavy mechanized one)

Colin P said:
The problem is the eye watering costs of such rounds. Ok for firing a 3 round fire mission onto a compound holding some bad guys, but to suppress a dug in infantry unit while your guys are attacking and you don`t have excellent targeting information, those fancy rounds won`t do anything that a dumb round won`t do.

Much as we hate to think of warfare in the way of a cost/benefit ratio, the fact of the matter is that it is, especially when one has to stockpile large numbers of ammunition before a conflict and the costs effect the essential purchase or replacement of other equipment. Takes us back to the Eisenhower warning about the "military/industrial complex". During the Cold War we used to have estimates for the expected expenditure of munitions for various phases or operations but these days, with the lack of experience in high intensity warfare, those are mostly guess work and, like in Afghanistan, there will be occasions where we might simply run out at a critical time. Unlike Afghanistan we may not have the option for an operational pause while we restock from our allies.

51hUafLClNL._AC_.jpg


:cheers:
 

GR66

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Chris Pook said:
GR66

I'm pretty sure that I have heard Old Sweat and FJAG argue that the weapon of the artillery is the bullet/shell/projectile.  HIMARS and the M270 are the same system.  The M777 and the M109 are also the same system.

The question is what does a 5th Generation bullet look like.

Excaliber and Vulcano rounds look nothing like WW2 155s.  And ATACMs with drones, or GMRLS carrying SDBs are nothing like the Grid Square Removal Systems of the 1970s.

The big difference (in my not so humble but admittedly poorly informed opinion) is Range.  It seems to me that the closer to the FEBA your firing point is the greater your need for shoot and scoot mobility and armoured protection.  The longer the range of your systems the less like a M109 battery your organization needs to be and the more you are looking at Fire Bases.  In order to reach out and touch the enemy in the 80s your Div Comd needed to launch a helo strike or call for the Air Force.  A lot of those targets can now be reached by Vulcanos and GMRLS launching from the same locations as those 1980s vintage Apaches.

I totally understand your point about the difference between the launcher and the projectile.  A cannon ball and an Excalibur round are both launched out of fundamentally the same device.  Just as a Sherman and M1A2 Abrams are fundamentally the same type of vehicle, but there's a huge difference between a 75mm HE round and a 120mm APFSDS round.  The newer versions are much more effective than the old ones, but they are fundamentally doing the same thing.

That's where I think the aircraft analogy comes in.  Proponents of the F-35 are saying that while it LOOKS like any other fighter aircraft (same basic body structure and types of components) it is fundamentally different than 4th Generation aircraft.  That's because unlike the munitions described above it's not designed to do fundamentally the same things but better.  They say that the entire concept of operations for an F-35 is different than other aircraft. 

Beyond the "Quality vs Quantity" argument about the types of projectiles we're talking about for the artillery, the basic concept of long range fires is basically unchanged.  It's the same with Armoured forces, Infantry section/platoon sizes, Battleships vs Corvettes, etc.

Is there a different concept of operations that could be applied to indirect fires?  What would it look like?  What would the organization to support these concepts look like?

This should probably belong in a separate thread...something like "What would 5th Generation Artillery Look Like" or something like that so as not to derail this thread (because let's face it, the Canadian Army is highly unlikely to do anything innovative or revolutionary).

 

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I don't know if these qualify as revolutionary any more when your shopping list can now be shortened to a Top Ten.

And, I do note, all of these have armoured cabs.

http://www.military-today.com/artillery/top_10_truck_mounted_howitzers.htm - all basically M777s on a truck with an autoloader.
 

FJAG

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GR66 said:
I totally understand your point about the difference between the launcher and the projectile.  A cannon ball and an Excalibur round are both launched out of fundamentally the same device.  Just as a Sherman and M1A2 Abrams are fundamentally the same type of vehicle, but there's a huge difference between a 75mm HE round and a 120mm APFSDS round.  The newer versions are much more effective than the old ones, but they are fundamentally doing the same thing.
...
Beyond the "Quality vs Quantity" argument about the types of projectiles we're talking about for the artillery, the basic concept of long range fires is basically unchanged.  It's the same with Armoured forces, Infantry section/platoon sizes, Battleships vs Corvettes, etc.

Is there a different concept of operations that could be applied to indirect fires?  What would it look like?  What would the organization to support these concepts look like?

This should probably belong in a separate thread...something like "What would 5th Generation Artillery Look Like" or something like that so as not to derail this thread (because let's face it, the Canadian Army is highly unlikely to do anything innovative or revolutionary).

I sometimes think we gunners overplay the "the projectile is the weapon of the artillery" a bit as a point of distinction from the other arms because technically the rifle bullet or the tank round is similarly the "weapon of the grunts and tankers" (except when grunts use bayonets). I think that came about once we stopped using solid shot and grapeshot in the direct fire role and turned to HE delivered by indirect fire and artillery became an area neutralization tool.

That I think is where artillery tactics have changed again. Instead of merely area neutralization (and the odd bit of smoke and illumination) we now have fairly good pin point strike capabilities that trade off a hundred or more rounds of "dumb HE" for one precision projectile.

That reduction to a single or a small handful of rounds coupled with highly capable locating devices that allow a single gun to locate and aim itself almost autonomously makes it possible to do widely dispersed single gun deployments rather than massing in clumps of six guns. Networking technology still makes it capable to mass the fires from several widely dispersed guns. The complexity that comes with this is the sustainment of such a force, especially for ammunition, and it's security against spetsnaz or other long range reconnaissance or clandestine resistance forces.

Chris Pook said:
I don't know if these qualify as revolutionary any more when your shopping list can now be shortened to a Top Ten.

And, I do note, all of these have armoured cabs.

http://www.military-today.com/artillery/top_10_truck_mounted_howitzers.htm - all basically M777s on a truck with an autoloader.

Some of those still require a crew to dismount and service the gun in the open and for the most part they weigh as much as an M109. Wheeled vehicles trade off greater road manoeuvrability for poorer off road capability which only works as long as you have roads. Interesting article about the Russian 2S35 someone published earlier in this thread or a related one. Brilliant weapon system but perhaps even not enough of an improvement over the 2S19 for the Russians to ever buy it in quantity.

That, however, is what I consider revolutionary (assuming it performs as advertised): crew of two men who operated it from within an armoured cab; autoloader system with 60-70 rounds on board; 16-20 rounds per minute rate of fire; range of 40km with up to 80km with precision guided rounds;  reloadable with a full load in 15 minutes; self locating and network controlled. (almost twice as heavy as an M109 though.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2S35_Koalitsiya-SV

:cheers:
 

Colin Parkinson

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You may be denied good intel to do pinpoint strike and you may have to resort to area neutralization, so it's great to have both options. I like many of your ideas, but I don't think many of them are doable within the timeframe and budget that we face. I would love to see a M119 mounted on a truck with armoured cab for the artilley, it's quite technically, budget wise and manpower doable. You should also have armoured CP's as well. However we seem to be unable to buy good trucks in the smaller tactical size of 2.5 tons and likley incapable of maintaining them.
A modification of the M119 that it can easily be switched from one truck, to another and to a towed carriage mount would mean that a current Reserve Svc Bat could lift and move the gun onto a new platform for the unit. The advantage of 105mm is that far more rounds can be stocked on the gun tractor itself than a 155. Onboard ammunition supply has been a critical factor in many conflict from WWII to the present day. It's also easier to handle and you have higher rate of fire. A production run of a 150-60 guns gives you a lot of tubes to call upon. This way we have both guns and ammunition made in Canada, which means that monies spent on the issue is more politically palpable. Also makes us more self reliant. 
 

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Fantastic reading, thanks for the interesting discussion everyone.

Sad state when it's the military who shoots itself in the foot and not the gov't.


Gov't rejection as an obstacle:

Gov't of the day is apathetic towards the military, and views it as all gov'ts have (industrial support and fighting against help). Unless there is political pressure/sufficient news coverage embarrassing them, there is no outward interest. Won't get any fast movement unless it comes out that the army's 'cannons' are 60 years old, or a video comes out of a tube exploding on the range make the news. Think of the Hornet issue, how fast an 'interim' or 'capability gap' came about when it was on their party platform, or how fast the Asterix almost got canned after election day. Gov't won't move too fast as anything we buy isn't manufactured in anyone's riding.


The public as an obstacle:

They don't care, barely know about the military, and the price of fixing this whole issue and a slow move to a next-gen RCA won't make the news unless there is a huge sticker price to anything brought up here. No pressure for rejection here.

Cost as an obstacle:
Replacing tubes with more newer tubes and more of them isn't expensive as already covered in this thread. The technology is mature and relatively safe against exploding costs.
Buying SPH isn't expensive either, the Danish bought 15 8X8 Caesars for ~$43M USD. Even if you switched all Regular M777s one for one with 40 some odd Caesars, it's still not that expensive after you add in all of the extra costs of a new capability.
The public won't care unless the price shoots up.

CAF as an organisation:

NOPE. Rejection of reorganisation outright because the unsustainable way 'we' operate is better than sustainable reorganisation and modernisation for some reason. We should be pros at cheaply replacing systems, but we don't even do that right. It's like refusing to replace your almost destroyed Chevy Trailblazer for a new BMW that you can afford because the cost of oil changes would go up...


On a separate note, is it feasible (leaving out the "impossible b/c we need more ppl/money/effort/etc..") to give all of the M777s to the reserves, hand them directly to ResF units close to ranges/RegF first and the rest can sit on the ranges for ResF unit training rotations.

The ResF units that are far from RegF or ranges could get some but use shorter 'dummy' barrels that don't fire, to train on in their armouries. Leave the barrels at the ranges/depots for actual shooting.

In wartime, you could man all non-SPH batteries with solely Res units. Rotate them with other ResF units at a time. Could have a smaller unit of RegF to full-time manage/HQ the swappable units. Res units would be able to train and deploy together for once. The public optics in the news as X number of locals from the local Reserve unit in Toronto leave to fight would bring the military closer to the minds of people in the cities.

 

FJAG

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LoboCanada said:
...
On a separate note, is it feasible (leaving out the "impossible b/c we need more ppl/money/effort/etc..") to give all of the M777s to the reserves, hand them directly to ResF units close to ranges/RegF first and the rest can sit on the ranges for ResF unit training rotations.

The ResF units that are far from RegF or ranges could get some but use shorter 'dummy' barrels that don't fire, to train on in their armouries. Leave the barrels at the ranges/depots for actual shooting.

In wartime, you could man all non-SPH batteries with solely Res units. Rotate them with other ResF units at a time. Could have a smaller unit of RegF to full-time manage/HQ the swappable units. Res units would be able to train and deploy together for once. The public optics in the news as X number of locals from the local Reserve unit in Toronto leave to fight would bring the military closer to the minds of people in the cities.

Many things are doable.

My own personal opinion is that since we call ourselves an "agile, multi-purpose" army, you need to keep some M777 as airportable/easily air transportable weapon system in the RegF for whatever light force we may wish to deploy rapidly. Even if we make that one full RegF regiment, there are still enough guns left over to equip at least three or four ResF batteries (regts) for training. The whole question depends on whether or not the remaining RegF regiments would be equipped with something else in order to free up the M777s.

Swapping out for "dummy barrels" is a non starter. You can train in an armory on a regular gun as well as any other. There's no real cost saving and towed guns are not hard to take to ranges even if several hundreds of kilometers away. We always did that with "advance parties" to take the guns up the day before while the main party showed up in buses the next day. (And a road move is a training exercise in its own right that should be practiced regularly) Most bases are close enough to where ResF arty regts are anyway (except BC who need to travel to the US) (Incidentally there are also lower cost 155mm training projectiles which have no explosive charge but do have a smoke and bang signature for use in restricted training areas (Meaford might just do) https://www.gd-ots.com/munitions/artillery/155mm-mr103/

I've got to ask though; why is it that in "wartime" the reserves get the "non SP" guns? That still makes it sound like reservists aren't competent enough to handle the "big toys". I know this is a fallacy deeply ingrained in the RegF mind but the issue is maintenance of the system which is easily solvable rather than "too complex for little ResF brains to handle". Everything, everything is either maintenance or training, both of which can be solved. (There's also money to buy which is another issue entirely)

:cheers:
 

Colin Parkinson

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Most reservist brains aren't wired correctly to do whatever, the army way and might cross contaminant the purity of the system with weird workaround from the civy world  ;D

Our Reserve Svc Battalions need more Class B maintainers with tool and part support and some local purchasing authority to buy parts locally. That would increase vehicle serviceability rates. Your looking at at least 12 new positions, due to the technical nature, let them have that position for up to 4 years in a row. There should be 2 Class B maintainers and a couple of Class A per unit at least to provide a future pool of Class b's. I would also start considering gun mechs for Class B as well, paticuliarly if you equip Reserve artillery with M777 as they are more complex than the C3. Both Reserve Armoured and artillery should have dedicated vehicle and gun mechs, along with tools and parts inventory.
 

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FJAG said:
... Interesting article about the Russian 2S35 someone published earlier in this thread or a related one. Brilliant weapon system but perhaps even not enough of an improvement over the 2S19 for the Russians to ever buy it in quantity.

That, however, is what I consider revolutionary (assuming it performs as advertised): crew of two men who operated it from within an armoured cab; autoloader system with 60-70 rounds on board; 16-20 rounds per minute rate of fire; range of 40km with up to 80km with precision guided rounds;  reloadable with a full load in 15 minutes; self locating and network controlled. (almost twice as heavy as an M109 though.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2S35_Koalitsiya-SV

:cheers:

I'm sure it's impressive, but obviously not an option for Canada being Russian, but even they have only produced 12 of them.  Let's go a little more "conventional" and say we get some M109's.  How many are we realistically going to get?  A regiment of 18 vehicles for the proposed Heavy Brigade Group plus a couple spares for training, etc.?  24 units total?

The US (according to Wikipedia) has 992 x M109A6's and 48 x M109A7's in service with a contract option for 180 more M109A7s.  I'm not suggesting that having our own M109's for support of our forces wouldn't be a good thing, but in the context of a major conflict it would be a fairly minor contribution. 

In March 2020 BAE was paid approx $7 million USD each for M109A7's for the US Army.  https://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/have-guns-will-upgrade-the-m109a6-paladin-pim-partnership-04039/#:~:text=The%20firm%2Dfixed%2Dprice%20contract,M109A7%20next%2Dgeneration%20artillery%20system.

What could we get for that $168 million (24 x $7 million ea) that might make a more significant contribution?

The UK purchased their Warthog's (Bronco 2) for $300,000 each in 2009 (http://www.army-guide.com/eng/product1935.html).  Let's assume with inflation and model changes that the Bronco 3 might cost $500,000 each.  We could purchase 4 x Regiments of 18 vehicles plus another 18 for training, etc. for a total of 90 vehicles at a cost of $45 million dollars.  That would leave us with $123 million to equip the vehicles. 

One Regiment could be equipped with the C-RAM Radar and 120mm Mortar System (https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/dsei/2017/09/14/st-kinetics-unveils-bronco-tracked-vehicle-for-expanded-missions/)

The 2nd Regiment could be equipped with Spike-NLOS missile launchers.

The 3rd Regiment could be Recon variants with storage/launchers for spotting UAV's.

The 4th Regiment could be AD variants to take out enemy UAVs and helicopters.

The Bronco 3 is tracked, air portable by C-130, can swim and could be part of a larger common fleet that includes troop carriers, engineer vehicles, ambulances, resupply vehicles, etc. 

Certainly it doesn't have the range or weight of rounds of a M109, but which of the two options would likely have more impact in a major conflict?



 

FJAG

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GR66 said:
I'm sure it's impressive, but obviously not an option for Canada being Russian ...

My point in mentioning the 2S35 was two-fold: one, to answer the question of what I found revolutionary in artillery technology, and two, to point out that even the Russians with their heavy artillery usage can't afford to buy the best that they can develop.

GR66 said:
What could we get for that $168 million (24 x $7 million ea) that might make a more significant contribution? ...

I never ask that question. I always ask the question what is it that we as a nation want to achieve. At the moment it seems that what we want to achieve is brownie points with NATO at a very low cost indeed. That's very different from do we want to present a credible conventional peer to peer deterrent like SSE states. Once we know what we want to do then we can start looking at options, costing them and setting priorities.

Unfortunately, our defence procurement system seems to be -- the government is giving us $x billion per year, what can we afford to buy after all the PYs are paid for and we leave a little for O&M. Okay. I'm being facetious - but only a little.  :whistle:

:cheers:
 

GR66

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FJAG said:
My point in mentioning the 2S35 was two-fold: one, to answer the question of what I found revolutionary in artillery technology, and two, to point out that even the Russians with their heavy artillery usage can't afford to buy the best that they can develop.

I never ask that question. I always ask the question what is it that we as a nation want to achieve. At the moment it seems that what we want to achieve is brownie points with NATO at a very low cost indeed. That's very different from do we want to present a credible conventional peer to peer deterrent like SSE states. Once we know what we want to do then we can start looking at options, costing them and setting priorities.

Unfortunately, our defence procurement system seems to be -- the government is giving us $x billion per year, what can we afford to buy after all the PYs are paid for and we leave a little for O&M. Okay. I'm being facetious - but only a little.  :whistle:

:cheers:

My example with the Bronco 3 scenario wasn't meant to be a specific alternative to a SP, tracked, armoured howitzer or a "budget" alternative to the "ideal" solution.  It was more an attempt to open up the discussion to different ideas about how we look at our indirect fires capabilities.

I'll stand by my comment that most of the discussion on this thread has been about what gun should replace the C3 (and/or M777).  There are variations on whether the gun should be 120mm mortar or 105mm/155mm howitzer or missile, if it should be towed, on a light/heavy wheeled vehicle, wheeled/tracked armoured vehicle, if it should be in a Reg Force or Reserve Regiment, how many batteries/regiments of each, if it should be in a Light/Medium/Heavy/Artillery Brigade, etc.  But the basic structure is still the same.  Two to four 4-6 launcher batteries plus S&TA and FO Batteries in a Regiment, within a Brigade.

Maybe with improved communications links, sensor fusion and AI a four vehicle battery would look more like a single launch vehicle (of whatever type) with a C-RAM vehicle to defend against counter-battery fire, a UAV launch vehicle for targeting and contributing to the overall intel picture and an infantry section vehicle equipped with an anti-UAV weapon for security to the battery.  Maybe it would be something completely different. 

Maybe part of our counter-battery toolbox would be a counter-battery hunter-killer team with an EW vehicle to locate enemy emissions, a UAV launch vehicle and a vehicle mounting a launcher for HARM missiles or loitering missiles with optical recognition to target enemy indirect fire vehicles.

The optimal solution for us might be a swarm of smaller, lighter, cheaper vehicles used in a highly dispersed way, or it might be a small number of expensive, complex systems used in concentration.  I'm just saying maybe the conversation should include a little more than "what gun" and "how many".

:2c:
 
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