• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

CAN Enhanced (Permanent?) Fwd Presence in Latvia

rmc_wannabe

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Reaction score
3,960
Points
1,310
That tac vest must have cost a bunch...
Reminds me of working with the Aussies in Egypt.

Everyone showed up to our combined range day wearing only issued kit as per the Canadian TF Comd's direction.

The Aussies, including the RAN Clerk and Quartermaster showed up with SORD plate carrier rigs and Steyrs, while we all looked on enviously.

It felt like when your more affluent cousin got better toys at Christmas, while you got a sweater to grow into.
 

Eye In The Sky

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
3,611
Points
1,160
Reminds me of working with the Aussies in Egypt.

Everyone showed up to our combined range day wearing only issued kit as per the Canadian TF Comd's direction.

Will Ferrell Lol GIF
 

dimsum

Army.ca Legend
Mentor
Reaction score
7,621
Points
1,260
The Aussies, including the RAN Clerk and Quartermaster showed up with SORD plate carrier rigs and Steyrs, while we all looked on enviously.
Steyrs look cool, but I preferred firing the C7.

Incidentally, at least based on the Internet, AUSSOF use the M4 series of rifles, not Steyrs.
 

Eye In The Sky

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
3,611
Points
1,160
I turned the Tacvest into a decent “LPSV” on R0 / Impact when we couldn’t get LPSVs issued and had to improvise. I was able to get a decent amount of stuff into it, some issues d kit and some I had/purchased myself. It wasn’t the only carrier we had; we turned the small packs into Go-Bags. It worked better for that than as an army type cheat rig IMO.
 
Last edited:

Humphrey Bogart

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Reaction score
7,984
Points
1,360
@FJAG on the SPH vs Towed Howitzer debate. One thing I've noted that needs to be considered is the effect of loitering munitions or other types of attacks on these weapons systems.

I've seen a number of videos of attacks on gun positions using loitering munitions where the attack did far more damage to an SPH due to ammunition cook off inside the vehicle which resulted in a total loss of the system.

This did not occur with a towed howitzer. The cannon had some scrapes and dents, it may have required new optics but it was otherwise still usable.
 

FJAG

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
7,315
Points
1,040
@FJAG on the SPH vs Towed Howitzer debate. One thing I've noted that needs to be considered is the effect of loitering munitions or other types of attacks on these weapons systems.

I've seen a number of videos of attacks on gun positions using loitering munitions where the attack did far more damage to an SPH due to ammunition cook off inside the vehicle which resulted in a total loss of the system.

This did not occur with a towed howitzer. The cannon had some scrapes and dents, it may have required new optics but it was otherwise still usable.
That's if you focus on that one type of munition and getting a hit. And even then it's not true but is the result of the fact that there are more videos from loitering munitions and they make their way onto the internet.

The first thing is that there are hundreds of times more dumb artillery flying around then loitering munitions. Near misses from dumb rounds kill and maim towed gun crews and destroy electronics and optical equipment with slinters which render them ineffective until repaired. SPs survive that. A hit by a loitering munition on a towed gun will also disable/destroy a towed gun. A near miss probably won't because it has a much smaller charge and fragmentation effect than a dumb round.

One can easily defeat the jack in the box effect on an SP by keeping the ammo stored outside of the gun rather than inside, but that just opens some of the crew up to near misses and creates a new set of problems. In addition, as air defences against drones mature, it will become much easier to stop loitering munitions and UAV laser designators from getting through to the rear areas where the guns are. Dumb rounds on the other hand, guided by weapon locating radars and GPS, will remain virtually unstoppable.

The Oryx website isn't much help in that it lists various losses but doesn't show the ratio of types of guns deployed in the first place. Plus I'm not sure how to interpret an "abandoned" gun from a "captured" one. In its rawest and least useful form the ratio of "destroyed" guns to "damaged" ones is: Russian Towed 51/6; Russian SP 187/6; Ukrainian Towed 51/11; Ukrainian SP 54/17. In all cases "destroyed" outnumber "damaged" significantly albeit that Ukrainian guns have a lower ratio of destroyed to damaged than Russian ones and the SP destroyed to towed ratio is higher for the Russians while lower for the Ukrainians. I'm guessing that the fact that there are many more SPs destroyed or damaged has more to do with the ratio of the types of guns deployed and how they are employed rather than vulnerability, but, as I said, I don't have those statistics yet so find it impossible to analyze.

IMHO it's unsafe to draw any conclusions from a small sampling of videos which make it onto the social media because of their dramatic effects. I've worked on towed and SP guns and, quite frankly, when the shooting starts I'd rather be inside a steel box then outside it. I'll keep that attitude until the statistics tell me otherwise.

I'll add one more macabre observation that I get from those videos - its the number of times that people seem to be able to get out of tanks and APCs and the like after they are hit and start to "cook-off". Before all this, I would have thought that virtually impossible.

🍻
 

Humphrey Bogart

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Reaction score
7,984
Points
1,360
That's if you focus on that one type of munition and getting a hit. And even then it's not true but is the result of the fact that there are more videos from loitering munitions and they make their way onto the internet.

The first thing is that there are hundreds of times more dumb artillery flying around then loitering munitions. Near misses from dumb rounds kill and maim towed gun crews and destroy electronics and optical equipment with slinters which render them ineffective until repaired. SPs survive that. A hit by a loitering munition on a towed gun will also disable/destroy a towed gun. A near miss probably won't because it has a much smaller charge and fragmentation effect than a dumb round.

One can easily defeat the jack in the box effect on an SP by keeping the ammo stored outside of the gun rather than inside, but that just opens some of the crew up to near misses and creates a new set of problems. In addition, as air defences against drones mature, it will become much easier to stop loitering munitions and UAV laser designators from getting through to the rear areas where the guns are. Dumb rounds on the other hand, guided by weapon locating radars and GPS, will remain virtually unstoppable.

The Oryx website isn't much help in that it lists various losses but doesn't show the ratio of types of guns deployed in the first place. Plus I'm not sure how to interpret an "abandoned" gun from a "captured" one. In its rawest and least useful form the ratio of "destroyed" guns to "damaged" ones is: Russian Towed 51/6; Russian SP 187/6; Ukrainian Towed 51/11; Ukrainian SP 54/17. In all cases "destroyed" outnumber "damaged" significantly albeit that Ukrainian guns have a lower ratio of destroyed to damaged than Russian ones and the SP destroyed to towed ratio is higher for the Russians while lower for the Ukrainians. I'm guessing that the fact that there are many more SPs destroyed or damaged has more to do with the ratio of the types of guns deployed and how they are employed rather than vulnerability, but, as I said, I don't have those statistics yet so find it impossible to analyze.

IMHO it's unsafe to draw any conclusions from a small sampling of videos which make it onto the social media because of their dramatic effects. I've worked on towed and SP guns and, quite frankly, when the shooting starts I'd rather be inside a steel box then outside it. I'll keep that attitude until the statistics tell me otherwise.

I'll add one more macabre observation that I get from those videos - its the number of times that people seem to be able to get out of tanks and APCs and the like after they are hit and start to "cook-off". Before all this, I would have thought that virtually impossible.

🍻
Agree with all of the above, and my statement was just an anecdote, it is an area that requires further study.

There are indicators though that towed artillery has performed better than expected while some SPH has suffered higher losses/performed worse than expected. The question becomes why?
 

FJAG

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
7,315
Points
1,040
Agree with all of the above, and my statement was just an anecdote, it is an area that requires further study.

There are indicators though that towed artillery has performed better than expected while some SPH has suffered higher losses/performed worse than expected. The question becomes why?
Again, I'm not so sure that it has performed better than expected.

If I take a look at the M777 numbers, I think that the Ukraine received roughly 100 from the US and 4 from us. Oryx's loss statistics are 22 destroyed and 1 damaged. That's around 25% of the N777 fleet and close to 45% of their combined towed howitzers destroyed. One can draw numerous conclusions from this - the M777 is particulalry vulnerable or the Russians are specifically going M777 hunting - I just don't know what.

I've looked at the photos/videos of those on Oryx and there is no doubt in my humble mind that all those guns are toast and beyond any repair capability. I've only drawn one conclusion from this: If they find your gun and the Lancet gets through the air defence then the gun is in all probability gone regardless as to whether it is towed or self propelled.

🍻
 

KevinB

Army.ca Myth
Subscriber
Reaction score
12,750
Points
1,260
Agree with all of the above, and my statement was just an anecdote, it is an area that requires further study.

There are indicators though that towed artillery has performed better than expected while some SPH has suffered higher losses/performed worse than expected. The question becomes why?
Some of the SPA (and other items) are exceedingly maintenance intensive.

One of the biggest take aways is that a lot of GWOT data and current trends are trash when it comes to an actual large conventional war. You don’t a lot of safe (everything is relative) enormous FOB’s to run contract maintenance out of.

Down here a lot of expectations of massive logistics trains and support infrastructure just won’t be available - they aren’t in the Ukraine and it’s showing some pieces of kit aren’t the correct tools for a conflict like that.
 

ueo

Full Member
Subscriber
Reaction score
157
Points
580
Agree with all of the above, and my statement was just an anecdote, it is an area that requires further study.

There are indicators though that towed artillery has performed better than expected while some SPH has suffered higher losses/performed worse than expected. The question becomes why?
Tracks in the snow?
 

brihard

Army.ca Legend
Mentor
Reaction score
9,426
Points
1,110
There are indicators though that towed artillery has performed better than expected while some SPH has suffered higher losses/performed worse than expected. The question becomes why?

Wild guess here: we have tons of historical knowledge on the employment of towed guns in a major conventional war, including what gets crews killed and what keeps them alive. That’s already well baked in to doctrine and learning. SPGs haven’t actually had much modern testing in a conventional peer conflict. That, possibly coupled with a bit more complacency due to being under armour, might encourage crews to linger on a position longer than if they were towed?
 

FJAG

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
7,315
Points
1,040
Wild guess here: we have tons of historical knowledge on the employment of towed guns in a major conventional war, including what gets crews killed and what keeps them alive. That’s already well baked in to doctrine and learning. SPGs haven’t actually had much modern testing in a conventional peer conflict. That, possibly coupled with a bit more complacency due to being under armour, might encourage crews to linger on a position longer than if they were towed?
Canada made extensive use of SPs during the latter phases of WW2 by way of the Sherman mounted 105mm Priest (There was also the 25 pdr Sexton. By the end of the war Canada employed 48 of each - based on eight-gun batteries with three per regiment so 4 regiments in total). 3rd Div had them for the landing at Normandy and the subsequent breakout. There were also 150 self propelled 17 pdr anti-tank guns and 75 armoured FOO vehicles in 4 and 5 Armd Div which had also received the SP guns after Normandy.

Self propelled guns stayed with the Militia (four regiments - 18th, 26th, 29th and 39th Fd Regt (SP) RCA) after the war until the Kennedy Board gutted the reserves in 1968 and M109s were bought for the RegF, initially for a regiment in each of Germany and Canada although that changed over time).

Effectively we've had one form of SP or another to support mechanized and armoured forces since 1944 until around 2004. TTPs for their use changed throughout this period based on the constant development of doctrine. During the majority of the Cold War we had two active concepts - high intensity mechanized warfare with SPs and light airmobile warfare with light towed guns. These share some TTPs but are essentially different and Canada kept up its knowledge on both for decades.

I think to say that SPs haven't had "modern testing" is inaccurate. Their use started in high intensity combat and was constantly updated and refined since then based on study and lessons learned from others who used them including in combat like the Israelis and Americans. The notion of "complacency" under armour is also a fallacy. TTPs for dispersion and rapid redeployment developed over time as communications and tactical capabilities developed to make that possible and in order to properly support the mechanized infantry and armour whose TTPs also developed over time.

2004 is the watershed, come-to-Jesus movement for Canadian artillery. Everything before that was geared to high intensity mechanized conflict (albeit anti-armour and STA were at a nadir) After 2004 STA had a revival, AD started to backslide into oblivion and high intensity warfare became a tertiary capability.

🍻
 
Top