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CAN Enhanced (Permanent?) Fwd Presence in Latvia

MilEME09

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Getting back to the topic of eFP Latvia, just came across a message of A Battery's rotation back from Latvia where it has been part of a multi-national artillery group consisting of:

- Aztec Battery, 3-29 FA - US - M109A6;

- Bison Battery, Michalovce Artillery Bn - Slovakia - SpGH Zusana

- Miura Battery, RACA 11 - Spain - M109A5

- A Battery, 1 RCHA - Canada - M777

(note who is the odd man out supporting a mech force with a towed gun)



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Yeap, and look at Ukraine, 22 M777s have been lost, SPG total losses are similar but more damaged then destroyed according to Oryx
 

Spencer100

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That's an amazing rate of attrition...
Take this with your grain of salt


And this

 

MilEME09

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Take this with your grain of salt


And this

I mean wear will happen fast when you fire 5000+ rounds a day across the front.
 

FJAG

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Something also tells me the Triple 7 wasn't designed with WWI style barrages in mind.
We had some issues with the gun in the early days but those were early production guns and our logistics system wasn't up to speed yet but all that said, the guns had a remarkable up time during ops in Afghanistan.

In Ukraine I'd say that they are probably firing at longer ranges (and thus higher, more punishing charges) then we do here in training. On top of being ridden hard, I expect they tend to be put away wet - i.e. running crew and wpn tech maintenance is probably minimal. It's high tech gear with a lot more finicky parts than the C3.

I doubt some of the posts above re numbers except the Oryx ones which I tend to give credibility to. The fact that almost half of the Ukrainian destroyed towed guns are M777s is interesting as the Ukrainians had far more older towed Soviet stock which I presume they employed heavily even as ammo starts to become problematic. It'll be interesting to see some of the AARs coming out of this.

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MilEME09

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We had some issues with the gun in the early days but those were early production guns and our logistics system wasn't up to speed yet but all that said, the guns had a remarkable up time during ops in Afghanistan.

In Ukraine I'd say that they are probably firing at longer ranges (and thus higher, more punishing charges) then we do here in training. On top of being ridden hard, I expect they tend to be put away wet - i.e. running crew and wpn tech maintenance is probably minimal. It's high tech gear with a lot more finicky parts than the C3.

I doubt some of the posts above re numbers except the Oryx ones which I tend to give credibility to. The fact that almost half of the Ukrainian destroyed towed guns are M777s is interesting as the Ukrainians had far more older towed Soviet stock which I presume they employed heavily even as ammo starts to become problematic. It'll be interesting to see some of the AARs coming out of this.

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You mean something like this?

 

FJAG

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You mean something like this?

Thanks but I'd previously seen that and it doesn't have what I'm really looking for in the way of detail as to what is and isn't working vis a vis artillery. It's a great macro picture which is almost meaningless in the Canadian context. We need more micro details in order to convince the Army bureaucracy as to where it went off the rails in the early 2000's and point a way of redressing the imbalance that we somnambulantly plodded into.

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FJAG

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Wonder if we see a M778? Basically an improved M777, built for more sustained fire.
Hard to do. The need for these guns is to support light airmobile, airborne forces but the big issue is that range is dependent on weapon mass. You can product improve the gun through modifications but a whole new gun would probably have the same issues. Remember that this gun basically replaced the M198 which weighed 15,700 lbs with an L39 barrel compared to the M777 at 9,300 lbs with an L39 barrel. That's 6,000 lbs less mass. You need a certain amount of that mass to make a stable and robust platform. I think the M777 is as light as you can go with foreseeable technology.

IMHO the M777 will fall out of use in SBCTs and maybe even IBCTs in favour of wheeled SP guns which can take a longer barrel and autoloader hence more range and bigger terminal effects. Sustained fire is an interesting concept. Most of the SPs, especially the ones with autoloaders, carry limited on-board ammo (give or take 30-40 rounds) That means they need to bomb up regularly or have a very good limber vehicle (like the M992) which can stay with the gun and replenish on the go. The other meaning behind sustained is robustness. Longer ranges means more wear on the barrel and other components - its basic physics. Personally I think that such guns should be built with quick change components to be carried out pretty far forward. It shouldn't take the manufacturer to change out a barrel. That said, these things are getting more complex every day which makes them more susceptible to breakdown. I sure as hell hope that people are taking good stock of what's going on in Ukraine. I think that there are a lot of good lessons about weapon design and sustainability coming out that need to be dealt with. Especially by Canada.

There were originally a thousand M777s in the US inventory which is more than enough to meet the needs of the airborne/airmobile forces equipped for a long time as ones in the SBCTs are replaced (and perhaps even in Active Army non airborne/airmobile IBCTs) I also think there is a good use still in the M119s. If you can't make a better lightweight 155mm and you've got a good supply then there is no incentive to build an M778 (or M1377 or whatever number comes next.)

Remember too that the Yanks still make their own barrels and about 70% of the components for the M777s so they are not about to go the road of the C3.

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FJAG

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There's also conventional 155 guns like the Soltam M-71.
20,000 lbs - 5,000 lbs heavier than the old M198. Still just an L39 barrel. Theoretically capable of being lifted by a Chinook but just.

There's also the FH 70 and FH77 and if you really want to go strange go for India's Danush which has an APU, comes in at 28,000 pounds with an L45 barrel (allegedly an L52 upgrade)

I'll stick with the M777 for very light work and leave everything else to an SP with an armoured cab.

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Colin Parkinson

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I still think the reality of a peer to peer artillery war is going to necessitate a more robust towed 155. Using as many parts of the M777 and then beefing up the failure points seem to make sense. I do agree with your comment on field serviceability.

I think every NATO country is going to have beef up their artillery with a mix of MRLS/SPG and towed 155/105mm's. along with a much more robust AD artillery arm including Missile and gun systems, both towed and mounted.
 
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KevinB

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20,000 lbs - 5,000 lbs heavier than the old M198. Still just an L39 barrel. Theoretically capable of being lifted by a Chinook but just.

There's also the FH 70 and FH77 and if you really want to go strange go for India's Danush which has an APU, comes in at 28,000 pounds with an L45 barrel (allegedly an L52 upgrade)

I'll stick with the M777 for very light work and leave everything else to an SP with an armoured cab.

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Honestly the old M198 probably could have been given to Ukraine. I think we still have ~350 in warstock storage.
Sure they need a HEMMT to pull as a gun tractor as opposed to lighter stuff for the 777, and doesn’t get in and out of action very fast, but since Ukraine isn’t using airmobile operations for the Arty at this point, it’s a legitimate offering that could be sent over fairly easily.
 

FJAG

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Honestly the old M198 probably could have been given to Ukraine. I think we still have ~350 in warstock storage.
Sure they need a HEMMT to pull as a gun tractor as opposed to lighter stuff for the 777, and doesn’t get in and out of action very fast, but since Ukraine isn’t using airmobile operations for the Arty at this point, it’s a legitimate offering that could be sent over fairly easily.
It was and is a robust old beast and was actually considered as a fall back for Canada for Afghanistan if the M777 option hadn't panned out. We were sold on precision munitions which required a 155. Weird, because we only ended up firing a handful of Excaliburs when push came to shove.

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Good2Golf

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Could use a bit more scrim…
 
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