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C3 Howitzer Replacement

a_majoor

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Just thinking about this a bit more, I realized that the evolution of various communications and sensor technologies is bringing us to the point Chris is talking about.

A Korean K-2 tank can fire a K-STAM (Korean Smart Top Attack Munition) and engage targets at 8km. A tank platoon could decimate a DPRK mechanized battalion without ever seeing them, as long as the ROK unit has an observer or dedicated UAV observing for them. An Isreali tank crew can do something similar with LAHAT out to 13km (same stipulation). The tank is evolving from a direct fire unit to a mobile protected fire platform.

Various forms of Fibre Optic Guided Missile (FOG-M) exist, some with ranges out to 60km. It is a point weapon which can engage at artillery ranges.

We have heard of the example off a USMC F-35 using its sensors to pick up an incoming missile and cue and fire a SAM from a nearby ship to intercept - the F-35 can also spot for a Marine artillery or missile battery. The US army has also demonstrated networking an artillery battery and using the information to use a 155mm howitzer to shoot down in incoming cruise missile.

So there are ways to radically extend or change the way we use current equipment (the simple example would be to buy the K-STAM rounds for Canadian Leopard 2 tanks), so long as we understand how extending the capabilities helps, and what additional things we need to use these extended capabilities.
 

NavyShooter

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The problems here seem (as an outsider to the Artillery world) to be myriad, as are the solutions.

Problems are not just the howitzer, but also the structure and the infrastructure.

Solutions cannot simply be 'a new gun' - because while that's 'simple', it adds complexity no matter which way we turn.

Problem identification: 

We need new gun systems to replace the C-3 Howitzer. 

Factors:

Current guns are worn out - refurbishment is not an option
Gun Tractors in service must be suitable for use with new guns
OR, new gun tractors must be procured with the new guns
Ranges and training areas - guns with longer ranges may not fit our current templates
Training locations - some buildings may require costly reconfiguration
Ammunition considerations - what to do with current stocks of 105mm (if new gun is not compatible?), may need some ammunition depot and storage bunkers upgraded to hold greater NEQ if a different (larger) caliber is selected, bigger ammo has bigger cost - how to maintain proficiency with more expensive ammo? 
Reg vs Reserve training and employment - do both organizations get the same gun?  Do we have mixed fleets of guns/gun tractors/training/ammo?
Training systems for both gunners and maintainers
Maintenance facilities - what's needed?




In the end, the answer to all of these questions is not going to be found on this forum....it'll be found in the CID and what the Army wants it's new generation of guns to look like...for the next couple of generations. 

We can spend our time saying "this gun would be great" or "we should get a lightweight SP Artillery piece" or whatever...in the end, we will end up with the gun system that is the lowest compliant bidder in the competitive bid process for whatever the GOC puts on MERX. 

So, basically, the worst possible system available, with 'features' that we'll have to buy and pay extra for.




Personally, I think we should retire the 155mm's, replace them in service with HIMARs or equivalent to give a long-range, accurate PUNCH that's self propelled.  We should supplement with a LAV based 105mm howitzer, and then get a towed version of the same 105mm gun for the Reserves. 

But, that's just my thoughts as a guy who's watched this discussion going back and forth...in the end...the lowest compliant bidder is what we'll get.

NS

 

Colin Parkinson

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I have no doubt the US would lease us Paladins as a "interim solution" say for the next 15 years with an option to buy. They might even lease us their M142 MRLS as well. That would solve the heavy end of things.
 

reveng

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Thucydides said:
Just thinking about this a bit more, I realized that the evolution of various communications and sensor technologies is bringing us to the point Chris is talking about.

A Korean K-2 tank can fire a K-STAM (Korean Smart Top Attack Munition) and engage targets at 8km. A tank platoon could decimate a DPRK mechanized battalion without ever seeing them, as long as the ROK unit has an observer or dedicated UAV observing for them. An Isreali tank crew can do something similar with LAHAT out to 13km (same stipulation). The tank is evolving from a direct fire unit to a mobile protected fire platform.

Various forms of Fibre Optic Guided Missile (FOG-M) exist, some with ranges out to 60km. It is a point weapon which can engage at artillery ranges.

We have heard of the example off a USMC F-35 using its sensors to pick up an incoming missile and cue and fire a SAM from a nearby ship to intercept - the F-35 can also spot for a Marine artillery or missile battery. The US army has also demonstrated networking an artillery battery and using the information to use a 155mm howitzer to shoot down in incoming cruise missile.

So there are ways to radically extend or change the way we use current equipment (the simple example would be to buy the K-STAM rounds for Canadian Leopard 2 tanks), so long as we understand how extending the capabilities helps, and what additional things we need to use these extended capabilities.

Small UAS could be deployed by 40mm & larger launch tubes that could cue more potent systems of all types. Reduced launch/firing signature, more stand-off between observers & targets (adds another "network hop") may help limit exposure to future counter-ambush systems.

I think that in the future, in order to survive against peer enemies, ground forces will have to take at least some basic notes from Air Forces and Navies...
 

GR66

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Lots of options and every year those options will likely change.

Maybe instead of investing in a complete new platform it would be better to invest in a modular LAV weapons carrier.

Then you can drop in a standard configuration weapons module depending on what is needed in the particular circumstance.  A gun, mortar, N-LOS missiles, unguided rockets, etc.

Would it be unreasonable to think that a crew could perform a fire mission with a rocket pod installed on their vehicle one day and then guided missiles the next and an auto-loading howitzer the day after that? 

Is the skill set required that radically different and could a standardized indirect fire control system be created that could take into account the different characteristics of each individual weapon...similar to the way that new weapons are certified for combat aircraft?

It might look something like this:

 

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FJAG

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NavyShooter said:
...
In the end, the answer to all of these questions is not going to be found on this forum....it'll be found in the CID and what the Army wants it's new generation of guns to look like...for the next couple of generations. ...

Your identification of the problem is very accurate. I despair about the solution because you are, probably, also quite right about that. The question, however, should not be "what the Army wants it's new generation of guns to look like", but rather "what the Army wants it's new generation of indirect fire support (regular and reserve) to look like." Once you answer that much more important question, then the other questions about what equipment to pursue fall into place.

GR66 said:
...
Maybe instead of investing in a complete new platform it would be better to invest in a modular LAV weapons carrier.

Then you can drop in a standard configuration weapons module depending on what is needed in the particular circumstance.  A gun, mortar, N-LOS missiles, unguided rockets, etc. ...

I've never found the modularity concept for switching mission components out on a single chassis as very useful. One buys several weapons systems for each chassis but one predominates and is never being switched out while the others are just expensive paper weights. Alternatively you need several at the same time and don't have enough base units to put them in. God forbid though - in our "agile, transformative, all-singing, all-dancing" force something like that might just catch on.

On the other hand I find a modular chassis/automotive fleet concept to be bang on for simplifying manufacture and subsequent maintenance of the fleet. The Boxer is like that. I know that the V 6.0 is used for numerous "versions", however, I have no idea as to how "modular" they are or whether each version is a "one of" based on some common components and standards. I presume that it's more the latter. A true modular system where you could, for example, rapidly in the field switch a "gun" module out into an "ammo carrier" module would be desirable.

:cheers:
 

Colin Parkinson

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The problem is that we will dither as the endless back and forth goes on. Meanwhile the last of the C3 gives up and rolls over dead. The Regiment of Artillery merrily carries on with button, bows and lovely mugs/plaques of days gone by. The numbers in the Reserve artillery regiments declines as people realize there are no guns and each unit gets 4 81mm mortars. People get the message is that the government and the army don't give a crap about Reserve artillery and neither should people waste their time in it.
Come the next conflict, you may not get the time to rearm and it may be a come as you are, in which case we come with nothing to speak of. 
 

daftandbarmy

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NavyShooter said:
The problems here seem (as an outsider to the Artillery world) to be myriad, as are the solutions.

Problems are not just the howitzer, but also the structure and the infrastructure.

Solutions cannot simply be 'a new gun' - because while that's 'simple', it adds complexity no matter which way we turn.

Problem identification: 

We need new gun systems to replace the C-3 Howitzer. 

Factors:

Current guns are worn out - refurbishment is not an option
Gun Tractors in service must be suitable for use with new guns
OR, new gun tractors must be procured with the new guns
Ranges and training areas - guns with longer ranges may not fit our current templates
Training locations - some buildings may require costly reconfiguration
Ammunition considerations - what to do with current stocks of 105mm (if new gun is not compatible?), may need some ammunition depot and storage bunkers upgraded to hold greater NEQ if a different (larger) caliber is selected, bigger ammo has bigger cost - how to maintain proficiency with more expensive ammo? 
Reg vs Reserve training and employment - do both organizations get the same gun?  Do we have mixed fleets of guns/gun tractors/training/ammo?
Training systems for both gunners and maintainers
Maintenance facilities - what's needed?




In the end, the answer to all of these questions is not going to be found on this forum....it'll be found in the CID and what the Army wants it's new generation of guns to look like...for the next couple of generations. 

We can spend our time saying "this gun would be great" or "we should get a lightweight SP Artillery piece" or whatever...in the end, we will end up with the gun system that is the lowest compliant bidder in the competitive bid process for whatever the GOC puts on MERX. 

So, basically, the worst possible system available, with 'features' that we'll have to buy and pay extra for.




Personally, I think we should retire the 155mm's, replace them in service with HIMARs or equivalent to give a long-range, accurate PUNCH that's self propelled.  We should supplement with a LAV based 105mm howitzer, and then get a towed version of the same 105mm gun for the Reserves. 

But, that's just my thoughts as a guy who's watched this discussion going back and forth...in the end...the lowest compliant bidder is what we'll get.

NS

Dude... you forgot the most critical factor:

'We must have a howitzer - forever - so that we can fire salutes in Ottawa, and elsewhere, on Remembrance Day and other (less important) ceremonial occasions.' :)
 

Ostrozac

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daftandbarmy said:
Dude... you forgot the most critical factor:

'We must have a howitzer - forever - so that we can fire salutes in Ottawa, and elsewhere, on Remembrance Day and other (less important) ceremonial occasions.' :)

The UK, who know a thing or two about ceremonial, don’t use their operational howitzers to fire salutes. King’s Troop RHA uses Great War-era 13 pounders. If the ceremonial task is important (and it might not be — there is no mention of Public Duties or the Ceremonial Guard in Strong Secure Engaged), then we can buy or refurbish obsolete howitzers for blank firing purposes. But the decision on ceremonial guns should have no bearing on the operational weapons of the RCA. Does the Musical Ride influence the RCMP’s procurement of vehicles?
 

FJAG

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Ostrozac said:
The UK, who know a thing or two about ceremonial, don’t use their operational howitzers to fire salutes. King’s Troop RHA uses Great War-era 13 pounders. If the ceremonial task is important (and it might not be — there is no mention of Public Duties or the Ceremonial Guard in Strong Secure Engaged), then we can buy or refurbish obsolete howitzers for blank firing purposes. But the decision on ceremonial guns should have no bearing on the operational weapons of the RCA. Does the Musical Ride influence the RCMP’s procurement of vehicles?

A C1 or a C3 or an LG1 with a worn out or cracked barrel, a broken sighting system or a defective recoil mechanism will still fire blank salutes satisfactorily. No need to worry.

:cheers:
 

daftandbarmy

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So it seems that the pedigree of our howitzers for the Reserves date back to WW1.

Figgers :)


M101 howitzer

The Canadian Forces used the M2A1 as the C2 howitzer until 1997, when a modification was made to extend its service life; it is now designated the C3. The changes include a longer barrel, a muzzle brake, reinforced trails and the removal of shield flaps. It remains the standard light howitzer of Canadian Forces Reserve units. The C3 is used by Reserve units in Glacier National Park in British Columbia as a means of avalanche control.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M101_howitzer
 

Colin Parkinson

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1942 article
https://books.google.ca/books?id=-iYDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA54&dq=popular+science+cannon&hl=en&ei=0D21TN2cFsj9nAeZwNDVDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=true
 

Good2Golf

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Colin P said:
1942 article
https://books.google.ca/books?id=-iYDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA54&dq=popular+science+cannon&hl=en&ei=0D21TN2cFsj9nAeZwNDVDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=true

I guess the 75mm couldn’t shoot high-angle? ???
 

Colin Parkinson

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The 75mm was actually meant to be a medium AT weapon, when they realized the 37mm AT gun was not capable of stopping the uparmoured German mediums. The initial 75mm gun in the US arsenal entering WWII was the French Canon de 75 modèle 1897. The US army was stunningly unprepared for modern warfare come 1939.
 

MilEME09

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Colin P said:
The 75mm was actually meant to be a medium AT weapon, when they realized the 37mm AT gun was not capable of stopping the uparmoured German mediums. The initial 75mm gun in the US arsenal entering WWII was the French Canon de 75 modèle 1897. The US army was stunningly unprepared for modern warfare come 1939.

To Qoute Jack Warner, "Do they expect to fight Hitler panzer's on horse back!?"

Western armies are historically been reactionary fighting forces.
 

a_majoor

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Chris Pook said:
So an armoured pickup truck then?

Now you really did it this time, Chris.

Come next years budget expect the Canadian Armed Forces to start buying Toyota Hilux pickut trucks as we being another round of "Transformation" into a "technical" mobile force....
 

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Colin Parkinson

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MilEME09 said:
To Qoute Jack Warner, "Do they expect to fight Hitler panzer's on horse back!?"

Western armies are historically been reactionary fighting forces.

The BEF was an all mechanized force, actually they were well equipped to fight early WWII. What they lacked was sufficient coordination with the RAF. It was the French high command (their soldiers fought well) failure that forced the BEF to react the the German penetration and the BEF never got a chance to solidify their lines. The Brits were much closers to solidifying the line than they realized and the British/French attacks around Arras almost stopped the German advance.

The Canadians were in the process of landing all of their equipment and were able to evacuate all of their equipment back to the UK. The Canadians were for a time the only fully equipped division in the UK.

The tank designed by accountants was a major failure. That is a bit of history that should be rammed down the throats of our Treasury Board as a lesson on how not to interfere in a procurement.   
 

quadrapiper

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FJAG said:
Your identification of the problem is very accurate. I despair about the solution because you are, probably, also quite right about that. The question, however, should not be "what the Army wants it's new generation of guns to look like", but rather "what the Army wants it's new generation of indirect fire support (regular and reserve) to look like." Once you answer that much more important question, then the other questions about what equipment to pursue fall into place.

I've never found the modularity concept for switching mission components out on a single chassis as very useful. One buys several weapons systems for each chassis but one predominates and is never being switched out while the others are just expensive paper weights. Alternatively you need several at the same time and don't have enough base units to put them in. God forbid though - in our "agile, transformative, all-singing, all-dancing" force something like that might just catch on.

On the other hand I find a modular chassis/automotive fleet concept to be bang on for simplifying manufacture and subsequent maintenance of the fleet. The Boxer is like that. I know that the V 6.0 is used for numerous "versions", however, I have no idea as to how "modular" they are or whether each version is a "one of" based on some common components and standards. I presume that it's more the latter. A true modular system where you could, for example, rapidly in the field switch a "gun" module out into an "ammo carrier" module would be desirable.

:cheers:
Depending on the systems, could see some appeal for training, too, if there was a means to operate the interesting bit minus the vehicle. Might justify a larger pool of less-heavily-used modules.

Re: saluting, the mention of that as a reason for retaining the howitzers as an operational weapon seemed really odd. Glad people who know better than I do are thinking the same. The Navy uses IIRC 3 pdr guns (quick-firing deck guns on a pedestal mount) for most of their saluting functions, plus, occasionally, 12 lbr field guns, though the latter have migrated almost entirely to Sea Cadet use.

:eek:ff topic: Never been able to figure out why Army Cadets don't have a saluting gun component within their drill and ceremonial world, given Sea does.
 
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