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C3 Howitzer Replacement

Kirkhill

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A 2015 video on the collaboration between Boeing and Saab. Attaching the rocket from a decommissioned cluster munition dispenser to a Small Diameter Bomb


The Finns bought up all the MLRS systems the Danes and the Dutch were disposing of, and a few more from the Americans.

The Norwegians were planning on getting rid of their MLRS launchers but decided to keep them when this option came along.

Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB)[edit]​

Boeing and Saab Group have modified the Small Diameter Bomb with a rocket motor to be launched from ground-based missile systems such as the M270 MLRS.[46] With the Army demilitarizing cluster munitions from M26 rockets, the company says a special adapter case could reuse the rocket to launch the SDB. After the motor launches it to a high enough altitude and speed, the wings will deploy and glide the bomb to its target. The company believes it can fill a gap for long-range precision fires while using its smaller warhead to save larger rocket munitions for strategic targets. While typical MLRS systems follow a ballistic trajectory, the rocket-launched SDB can be launched to an altitude and glide on a selected trajectory.[47][48] Boeing and Saab Group conducted three successful GLSDB tests in February 2015. The system is cost-effective, utilizing an existing weapon paired with a stockpiled rocket motor, while maintaining the loadout on a rocket artillery system. Unlike other artillery weapons, the GLSDB offers 360-degree coverage for high and low angles of attack, flying around terrain to hit targets on the back of mountains, or circling back around to a target behind the launch vehicle. The GLSDB has a range of 150 km (93 mi), and can also hit targets 70 km (43 mi) behind it.[49][50][51] In a 2017 demonstration, the GLSDB engaged a moving target at a distance of 100 km. The SDB and rocket motor separated at altitude and the bomb used an SAL seeker to track and engage the target.[52] A 2019 test extended this range to 130 km against a target at sea.[53]


Alternative guidance and warheads[edit]​

In November 2014, the U.S. Air Force began development of a version of the SDB I intended to track and attack sources of electronic warfare jamming directed to disrupt the munitions' guidance. The home-on-GPS jam (HOG-J) seeker works similar to the AGM-88 HARM to follow the source of a radio-frequency jammer to destroy it.[16][17]

In January 2016, the Air Force awarded a contract to Scientific Systems Co. Inc. to demonstrate the company's ImageNav technology, a vision-based navigation and precision targeting system that compares a terrain database with the host platform's sensor to make course corrections. ImageNav technology has demonstrated target geo-location and navigation precision greater than three meters.[18]

In January 2016, Orbital ATK revealed that the Alternative Warhead (AW), designed for the M270's GMLRS to achieve area effects without leaving behind unexploded ordnance, had been successfully tested on the SDB.[19]

The Anti-Jammer warhead could be a nice complement to the Swarming Technology.
 

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Some current news on the Saab-Boeing system - They are targeting the Norwegian Army as a launch customer...

NAMMO has been brought into the game to supply a more energetic rocket and another Norwegian company is looking at building ISO-shelters.

This is a direct competitor to the 150 km LockMart GMLRS-ER adopted by the US for its LRPF programme but as Saab and Boeing are at pains to point out the LockMart is ballistic and can only go where it is pointed. The Saab-Boeing system can fly around corners once it is airborne.
150 km at 12 O'Clock, 115 km at 3 and 9 and 70 km at 6. This means there is less of a need for expensive traverse and elevation gear.

It also means the possibility of mounting a system in a Sea Can. "Such anonymous containers are logistically uncomplicated to move around. They can be placed anywhere and on anything, such as a truck, a railway car or on a ship's deck." Or permanently installed under overhead protection.

Perhaps even launched from the working deck of the AOPS or an MCDV?




Long-range precision fire has been on the Army's wish list for a long time, and based on the plans, the phasing in of a new weapon will be able to start in four years' time.

If Saab and Boeing get what they want, Norway will be the first user of their "Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb" (GLSDB).

Saab and Boeing have been working on this concept for seven to eight years, and have carried out several test firings. The last one on Andøya a little over two years ago.150 km range was demonstrated here, which is also the goal of competitor Lockheed Martin with their ER-GMLRS, which the Americans have gone for and which has probably contributed to Boeing having applied to other markets.

A selling point from Saab and Boeing is that even though GMLRS will be controlled, it is still ballistic and lacks the advantage of a sliding bomb by being able to fly past the target and attack it from behind. GLSDB is defined as a weapon bearer and will have the opportunity to use different warheads.

Saab has previously pointed out to TU that it is possible to attack targets 360 degrees around without moving the launch box ("Launch Pod Container", LPC). While the range is 150 kilometers in the shooting direction, it is 70 kilometers backwards and 115 kilometers to the sides. This means that only one GLSDB launcher can cover the whole of Finnmark.

Nordic Shelter will contribute to the development and production of the launch pad ("launcher") based on a twenty-foot isocontainer and has received government financial support for this.

Such anonymous containers are logistically uncomplicated to move around. They can be placed anywhere and on anything, such as a truck, a railway car or on a ship's deck.



 

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A 2015 video on the collaboration between Boeing and Saab. Attaching the rocket from a decommissioned cluster munition dispenser to a Small Diameter Bomb


The Finns bought up all the MLRS systems the Danes and the Dutch were disposing of, and a few more from the Americans.

The Norwegians were planning on getting rid of their MLRS launchers but decided to keep them when this option came along.






The Anti-Jammer warhead could be a nice complement to the Swarming Technology.
Essentially an anti radiation arty round? I wonder how sensitive it is? Be interesting if it could home in on intense radio signatures like a command post.
 

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As I was researching Scandinavian army equipment I came across this list and decided that I had found FJAG's Army. It seems the Finns never saw a weapon they didn't like and never threw anything out. And that got me to thinking again.

One example from the list is the very high number of 120 mm baseplate mortars (698) retained. They are vulnerable but they are many. And they can be fired from your backyard and can launch Sweden's Strix self-guided Anti-Tank round.

All of which got me to thinking about the difference between a country that is under threat and one that isn't.

A country that is under threat, such as Ukraine, Poland, Finland, or Israel (especially Israel of 1948) or the UK 1940, or Germany 1939, is less concerned about the logistics about maintaining its weapons, or finding the perfect weapon. It is more concerned about finding weapons, any weapons, and replacing them as they get used up.

Germany used British Bren Gun carriers and Czech anti-tank guns that they captured. The Brits used Yankee knock offs of the Lee Enfield, Ross rifles and designed the Sten to use German ammunition. Israel flew Me109s and Spitfires. Ukraine, Poland and Finland are buying whatever they can get their hands on.

Meanwhile, sitting in splendid isolation, we have the luxury of debating contracts and logistics. And the morality of helping people defend themselves by killing our trading partners.
 

daftandbarmy

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As I was researching Scandinavian army equipment I came across this list and decided that I had found FJAG's Army. It seems the Finns never saw a weapon they didn't like and never threw anything out. And that got me to thinking again.

One example from the list is the very high number of 120 mm baseplate mortars (698) retained. They are vulnerable but they are many. And they can be fired from your backyard and can launch Sweden's Strix self-guided Anti-Tank round.

All of which got me to thinking about the difference between a country that is under threat and one that isn't.

A country that is under threat, such as Ukraine, Poland, Finland, or Israel (especially Israel of 1948) or the UK 1940, or Germany 1939, is less concerned about the logistics about maintaining its weapons, or finding the perfect weapon. It is more concerned about finding weapons, any weapons, and replacing them as they get used up.

Germany used British Bren Gun carriers and Czech anti-tank guns that they captured. The Brits used Yankee knock offs of the Lee Enfield, Ross rifles and designed the Sten to use German ammunition. Israel flew Me109s and Spitfires. Ukraine, Poland and Finland are buying whatever they can get their hands on.

Meanwhile, sitting in splendid isolation, we have the luxury of debating contracts and logistics. And the morality of helping people defend themselves by killing our trading partners.


Like when I returned to Canada, from an extended stay in the UK, and people thought it odd that I felt the need to automatically reel off the license plate numbers of passing cars, or kind of had to restrain myself from checking under the driver's side of the vehicle before getting in ;)

It's a very good thing that we don't need to worry about that kind of stuff in Canada.

It's a very bad thing that very few of us have absolutely no concept of what living like that is like, and what we need to do to prepare properly for the unknown.
 

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Like when I returned to Canada, from an extended stay in the UK, and people thought it odd that I felt the need to automatically reel off the license plate numbers of passing cars, or kind of had to restrain myself from checking under the driver's side of the vehicle before getting in ;)

It's a very good thing that we don't need to worry about that kind of stuff in Canada.

It's a very bad thing that very few of us have absolutely no concept of what living like that is like, and what we need to do to prepare properly for the unknown.

Thankfully Canadians hire professionals who know that it is more important to check under the driver's side than worry about the number of Canadian's employed. Right? ;)
 

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Interesting article on Follow the Leader technoloy

Leader-follower technology has matured substantially over the years and is at a point where it can now be deployed, Frelk said. “The basic software … that has been demonstrated, in our opinion, doesn’t have a lot left to do before you begin to deploy it.”

However, there are still some challenges and room for improvement. These include the hardening of sensors and better integration between the vehicles and the onboard equipment, he said.

There are typically seven or eight vehicles in an autonomous convoy, Frelk said. They are all equipped with an autonomy kit and any of the vehicles can take over as the “leader” platform.

“There’s no requirement today that there will be a specific vehicle designated” as the lead platform, he noted.


This bit particularly caught the eye wrt this discussion

The Army has been working on autonomous military vehicles since 1999, he said. Some of the platforms the technology has been tested on includes Humvees, HX60 tactical trucks, RG-31 mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles, medium tactical vehicle replacement systems, M915 tractor trucks, medium tactical vehicles, LMTV light utility trucks and heavy equipment transporters.

More recently, the autonomy hardware and software systems developed through the Ground Vehicle Systems Center include the palletized load system, the cold weather all-terrain vehicle, the high mobility artillery rocket system as well as the Marine Corps’ logistics vehicle system replacement platform and the Corps’ Joint Light Tactical Vehicle Rouge (sic) Fires variant, Hormann said.

A robot limber following each HIMARS vehicle? Or each gun vehicle? At a safe distance?

Couple that with an optionally manned launcher that can be remotely driven into battery and then fired, and retired, remotely.
 

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This could be posted in any number of threads, but I'll put it here due to the discussions regarding manned/unmanned vehicles and precision weapon kill chains using unmanned sensors vs "dumb" munitions for the C3 Howitzer replacement:

This article posted on the Modern Warfare Institute website discusses the practical limitation on many of the types of high tech solutions like are being discussed in many of the equipment and force structure threads. Definitely something to keep in mind.
 

FJAG

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This could be posted in any number of threads, but I'll put it here due to the discussions regarding manned/unmanned vehicles and precision weapon kill chains using unmanned sensors vs "dumb" munitions for the C3 Howitzer replacement:

This article posted on the Modern Warfare Institute website discusses the practical limitation on many of the types of high tech solutions like are being discussed in many of the equipment and force structure threads. Definitely something to keep in mind.
Read it and actually posted it in another thread. I'll add to the narrow spectrum issue the fact that when friendly EW operates it also limits the available spectrum for friendly forces. I can point to several practical examples in Afghanistan where we had technical failures of electronic controlled equipment as a result of friendly EW and poor management of the spectrum at the time.

A robot limber following each HIMARS vehicle? Or each gun vehicle? At a safe distance?

Couple that with an optionally manned launcher that can be remotely driven into battery and then fired, and retired, remotely.
I'm a great fan of automation and robotics but one has to always ensure that there are enough people in the loop to keep things going when the enemy starts playing its part. We're nowhere near "Terminator" level of robotics where all the "wetware" needs to do is flip the on switch.

A simple example is vehicle movement in Afghanistan. Vehicles have breakdowns. The enemy hits convoys with fire or IEDs. In either case a system is needed to provide security, evacuate wounded, recover the vehicle, transfer cargo, clear and repair the route. In Afghanistan whenever there was a strike it was a people and time extensive operation to get that done. One of the benefits of having sufficient people in the loop is to provide the flexibility to adapt to the situation and to recover from it. Put too many "followers" into a convoy and pretty soon all that flexibility is gone. I'm not for a second saying don't develop these technologies and don't deploy them. What I'm saying is that an army needs to be very careful to not make PY savings the ultimate goal. Everything needs balance.

One thing about HIMARS as the weapon of choice. We have for a very, very long time had the saying that the weapon of the artillery is not the gun - not the delivery system - but the projectile. Artillery is an effects based system and everything going up from the single round was developed based on the effects on the ground. The organization of a troop, a battery and a regiment were always based on the size of a target that could be effectively neutralized by a given artillery element. We're losing that perspective as the term "neutralize" starts to mean different things to different people.

Hand in hand with that is the motto "Ubique" which does not just mean "everywhere" but is also interpreted as "all the time". Artillery prides itself on being an all weather all day capability that can be called on and rapidly shifted around the battlefield. As we get to more sophisticated systems such as rockets and precision munitions we risk leaving gaps - costs per round makes it prohibited as to how many you can afford for your arsenal. Manufacturing complexity makes it difficult to quickly replace expended stocks. In practical terms, HIMARS and systems like it have reload and repositioning gaps where your launcher is not available to fill the time interval in providing fire support of a forward element in need.

All that to say we need to keep a very clear eye on the effects we want to deliver. There is a time for flights of combat drones, a time for either precision or area neutralization by rockets, and still, very much, a time for guns firing both precision and dumb rounds in sufficient quantities to provide the required effects on the target. Let there be balance in the force. And yes, I do think we can and should have some of all of the above.

🍻
 

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GR66/FJAG

That article raises a management question. Not a technical question.

We are talking about managing that which is possible. A very different issue to speculating about what is impossible.

The article suggests that the resource is limited and the supply of the resource is vulnerable. Rather, in my opinion, a similar problem to the supply of munitions. The number of munitions is limited and their supply system is vulnerable.

Fortunately there are alternative projectors, requiring different munitions from different supply chains that can get the job done. Similarly there are different alternatives to RF communications.

A HIMARS truck with a following trailer does not need to operate in the RF spectrum. Or even in the radar spectrum. If the "limber" has "eyeballs" then it can follow the vehicle in front with both the HIMARS and the Limber operating passively. Actively the truck can emit optical flash messages via IR/LED/Strobe that can only be seen from behind over a limited distance. If that system gets fouled one of the HIMARS crew can dismount and clean the lights and sensors. Failing that you could always connect the vehicles with a fibre-optic tether. Failing that you could hitch the trailer to the HIMARS truck. Alternatives.

As to needing people.

Qualified agreement.

People can solve many unforeseen issuess. Agreed.

On the other hand, if we are willing to work on the basis of probabilities, rather than relying on perfection, then failure is an option. As long as we can afford the failures.

Even a 10% success rate can be the basis of a winning strategy if the alternative is 1 in 40,000.

"During World War II it was estimated that 45,000 rounds of small arms ammunition was fired to kill one enemy soldier. In Vietnam the American military establishment consumed an estimated 50,000 rounds of ammunition for every enemy killed. "

 

Kirkhill

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About 1,500,000,000 shells were fired on the Western Front in WW1.

About 13,000,000 soldiers (allied and German) died

115 shells per death.

And 40,000 bullets.



And as for ubiquitous support

A couple of suggestions

Adopt the same practices that are observable at Fort Henry and pace the firing rate so that reloading can occur in the intervals.

As for all weather support - are we talking about the weather at the point of launch? or the target area? I can't see that the weather at the launch point is much more of hindrance to a rocket than a bullet. In the target area? A blind bullet or a blind rocket? On the other hand there are a number of systems available for guiding a round to a target. Not all of them optical.
 

daftandbarmy

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GR66/FJAG

That article raises a management question. Not a technical question.

We are talking about managing that which is possible. A very different issue to speculating about what is impossible.

The article suggests that the resource is limited and the supply of the resource is vulnerable. Rather, in my opinion, a similar problem to the supply of munitions. The number of munitions is limited and their supply system is vulnerable.

Fortunately there are alternative projectors, requiring different munitions from different supply chains that can get the job done. Similarly there are different alternatives to RF communications.

A HIMARS truck with a following trailer does not need to operate in the RF spectrum. Or even in the radar spectrum. If the "limber" has "eyeballs" then it can follow the vehicle in front with both the HIMARS and the Limber operating passively. Actively the truck can emit optical flash messages via IR/LED/Strobe that can only be seen from behind over a limited distance. If that system gets fouled one of the HIMARS crew can dismount and clean the lights and sensors. Failing that you could always connect the vehicles with a fibre-optic tether. Failing that you could hitch the trailer to the HIMARS truck. Alternatives.

As to needing people.

Qualified agreement.

People can solve many unforeseen issuess. Agreed.

On the other hand, if we are willing to work on the basis of probabilities, rather than relying on perfection, then failure is an option. As long as we can afford the failures.

Even a 10% success rate can be the basis of a winning strategy if the alternative is 1 in 40,000.




S.L.A. Marshall enters the chat ;)


During World War II, Marshall was an official Army combat historian, and came to know many of the war's best-known Allied commanders.[4] He conducted hundreds of interviews of both enlisted men and officers regarding their combat experiences, and was an early proponent of oral history techniques, using the process known as After action review, a technique still employed by modern armies. He would gather surviving members of a front line unit and debrief them as a group on their combat experiences of a day or two before.[4]

His best known and most controversial work was published in 1947; titled Men Against Fire, it claimed 75% of troops engaged in combat never fired at the enemy for the purpose of killing, even under direct threat.[4] Marshall argued conscripts were so conditioned by civilian norms against taking life that many could not bring themselves to kill, even at the risk of their own lives and the Army should therefore devote its training to increasing the percentage of soldiers willing to engage the enemy with direct fire.[4]

While his data collection methods were later challenged, his conclusions were verified by similar studies performed in other armies.[11] There remains significant debate over the reasons why, since understanding them is key to training, but many of his ideas were incorporated by the US military; Marshall reported far more men fired weapons during the Vietnam War.[12]

 

daftandbarmy

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Conversely I seem to recall the Paras being accused of war crimes on the Falklands due to being too accurate? It was felt by the Argentinians that too many of their number had died with shots to the head that penetrated their helmets? The concern was that this was the result of shooting the conscripts at close range, possibly after surrendering rather than the result of superior marksmanship.

i never heard that.

If anything it was the Argies (who were equipped with first class night vision scopes, unlike the British forces) who got alot of head shots on our troops.
 

Dana381

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This could be posted in any number of threads, but I'll put it here due to the discussions regarding manned/unmanned vehicles and precision weapon kill chains using unmanned sensors vs "dumb" munitions for the C3 Howitzer replacement:

This article posted on the Modern Warfare Institute website discusses the practical limitation on many of the types of high tech solutions like are being discussed in many of the equipment and force structure threads. Definitely something to keep in mind.

Read it and actually posted it in another thread. I'll add to the narrow spectrum issue the fact that when friendly EW operates it also limits the available spectrum for friendly forces. I can point to several practical examples in Afghanistan where we had technical failures of electronic controlled equipment as a result of friendly EW and poor management of the spectrum at the time.


I'm a great fan of automation and robotics but one has to always ensure that there are enough people in the loop to keep things going when the enemy starts playing its part. We're nowhere near "Terminator" level of robotics where all the "wetware" needs to do is flip the on switch.

A simple example is vehicle movement in Afghanistan. Vehicles have breakdowns. The enemy hits convoys with fire or IEDs. In either case a system is needed to provide security, evacuate wounded, recover the vehicle, transfer cargo, clear and repair the route. In Afghanistan whenever there was a strike it was a people and time extensive operation to get that done. One of the benefits of having sufficient people in the loop is to provide the flexibility to adapt to the situation and to recover from it. Put too many "followers" into a convoy and pretty soon all that flexibility is gone. I'm not for a second saying don't develop these technologies and don't deploy them. What I'm saying is that an army needs to be very careful to not make PY savings the ultimate goal. Everything needs balance.

One thing about HIMARS as the weapon of choice. We have for a very, very long time had the saying that the weapon of the artillery is not the gun - not the delivery system - but the projectile. Artillery is an effects based system and everything going up from the single round was developed based on the effects on the ground. The organization of a troop, a battery and a regiment were always based on the size of a target that could be effectively neutralized by a given artillery element. We're losing that perspective as the term "neutralize" starts to mean different things to different people.

Hand in hand with that is the motto "Ubique" which does not just mean "everywhere" but is also interpreted as "all the time". Artillery prides itself on being an all weather all day capability that can be called on and rapidly shifted around the battlefield. As we get to more sophisticated systems such as rockets and precision munitions we risk leaving gaps - costs per round makes it prohibited as to how many you can afford for your arsenal. Manufacturing complexity makes it difficult to quickly replace expended stocks. In practical terms, HIMARS and systems like it have reload and repositioning gaps where your launcher is not available to fill the time interval in providing fire support of a forward element in need.

All that to say we need to keep a very clear eye on the effects we want to deliver. There is a time for flights of combat drones, a time for either precision or area neutralization by rockets, and still, very much, a time for guns firing both precision and dumb rounds in sufficient quantities to provide the required effects on the target. Let there be balance in the force. And yes, I do think we can and should have some of all of the above.

🍻

Interesting points about the crowded spectrum, The Drive also did an article about how these electronics tell the enemy where you are. The digital soldier has a lot of cool tools now but they are easy to locate. It seems like the electronics may end up being counter productive in a peer vs peer war. Add that to Russia's GPS jamming and spoofing and its looking like an unplugged soldier might have an advantage.
 

Kirkhill

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i never heard that.

If anything it was the Argies (who were equipped with first class night vision scopes, unlike the British forces) who got alot of head shots on our troops.

I'll withdraw the comment as "unsubstantiated rumour". My memory isn't reliable.
 

daftandbarmy

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I'll withdraw the comment as "unsubstantiated rumour". My memory isn't reliable.

There were some rumours of 'war crimes', subsequently disproven (except for the bloody RN of course ;)).

Were there any similar breaches on the British side of the conflict? The only example where the British made a technical violation of LOAC would relate to the carriage of nuclear weapons by ships in the task force. This was in violation of the Treaty of Tlatelolco or the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean, The UK was an original signatory in 1967 but Argentina did not ratify the treaty till 1994. As part of NATO duties, Royal Navy ships were equipped with nuclear depth charges. Due to the urgency with which the task force was assembled and sailed, ships still had these weapons on board. They were off-loaded at Ascension Island, returned to the UK and never entered the conflict zone.

 

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1643075196631.png

I know the article referenced the radars of the Active Protective Systems (like Trophy) but I wonder how much of that trace was generated just by locating UHF transmissions from all the vehicular and personal radios. And the Fitbits.
 
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