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Canada seeks to buy Long Range Precision Rockets (probably US MLRS or HIMARS)

McG

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Petard said:
IIRC in the late 80's a 227mm rocket with SADARM type submunitions (a precursor to Bonus) was being developed as the XM29, but didn't go into production
That is correct.  There is a concept, but like BONUS 227mm rockets, this is not something that currently exists and is available.

I'm not disagreeing that the potential exists.  But there is currently nowhere to get it on the market.
 

Kirkhill

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From my standpoint the GMLRS is first and foremost a UAV. 

It can be launched with a similar support footprint to the Sperwehr (tighter).  It can reach out to ranges up to 100 km.  It can hit a target within 3m CEP.  It can carry a variety of payloads just like any other aircraft.

So far the range of deployed payloads is limited, but it has expanded and there is room for further expansion, up to and including reverting to the ATACMS which carried 13 BATs (now actively deployed as Viperstrike) 

While not all the possibilities are currently on the market there is much opportunity for growth.
 

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dapaterson said:
We're posting Reg F members straight from phase training to theatre.  Take an experienced Reserve FOO, give them the LAV course, and send 'em on their way - more experience as a FOO, same experience with the vehicle.

Vest this solely in the Res F?  probably not.  But get more of it out of the Reserves?  Definitely.  That will require the Arty branch to stop ignoring the Reserves, and to start training Reservists other than at gunpoint...


Memories of the AITC: Ops O of the Arty school:  "We don't train Reservists.  Reservists train Reservists."  Me: "How many Reservists in Whisky Battery?"  Ops O: "<Stunned silence.".  AITA G3 Production: "Thirty seven at last count."

Sounds good in theory but it's too bad reality doesn't work out so well.  This has been tried but the biggest problem is the individual Reservist's commitment.  The reserve FOO Course and Reg FOO Course are not the same and there is a requirement for the individual to make up the difference then they need to be trained in LAV and as a FAC.  The FAC then has to move from LCR to CR post course (okay, the terminology has changed but they do have to be declared OPRED).  All this to say is that there is a min of a year of training for the reserve FOO before they can even think about joining a unit for collective training.  Add about nine months to a year of CT (with leave blocks built in) prior to deployment then the 6-7month deployment and more leave, the reservist has to commit to a minimum 2.5 year contract.  This has been tried this a few times as an experiment (I know it is not usual to have a reservist sign a three year contract but as I said it was an experiment) and never has the reservist stuck it out - wasted money, resources and time.  The FAC piece is the hardest for army comds to understand because the currency requirements and other training involved are very different from the requirements of army training, not to mention it costs about $450,000 per student just for the course.  That is a big investment to make in someone who gets to pick and chose if and when they are going to deploy.  The Reg Army has a hard enough time keeping its own FACs current let alone trying to get the Res there as well.  I can count on two hands the number of current certified Army Air Weapons Range Safety Officers and can name each of them.  There are no Reserve Army AWRSOs and only a couple of FACs and they ruined it for the rest of them because they never deployed so they couldn't even run their own ranges.  BTW, yes we deploy people right off of Phase training but only up to what they were trained in - not FOOs not FACs because that is not taught on phase training, so your logic doesn't follow.
 

CougarKing

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I did a search using the thread name and couldn't find it posted here before.

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/Canada-Seeks-MLRS-Rocket-Systems-05236/

Canada Seeks MLRS Rocket Systems
07-Jan-2009 14:39 EST

Canada’s military has decided that it needs longer-range artillery to support its front-line troops, and they think they’ve found it. The tracked M270 MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) was originally developed as an assault-breaker weapon, meant to destroy Warsaw Pact formations as they advanced into NATO territory. It first achieved prominence in the 1991 Desert Storm operation, where its M26 227mm rockets’ performance against Iraqi troops gave it the nickname “steel rain.” The current war has seen significant changes, in particular the GPS-guided M30/M31 GMLRS rocket. It converts the system from an area-effect weapon, to something British forces call “the 70 km sniper.” The British have even modified their M270s for use in the Afghan theater, while the USA has used the M270 and its smaller, truck-mounted M142 HIMARS cousin with great success in Iraq. See DID’s coverage regarding their use during key battles in Tal Afar.

Canada also serves in Afghanistan, and has shipped a handful of M777 ultra-lightweight towed howitzers and GPS-guided Excalibur shells into theater. Those weapons offer effective responses to the Taliban’s Chinese-made mortars and rockets, and allied support from longer-range systems like the Dutch PzH-2000NL mobile howitzers and British MLRS systems has supplemented those efforts. Now a combination of those experiences, American and British successes, and the need for a longer-range strike option that doesn’t depend on the presence of allied airpower and good conditions for its use, are pushing the Canadians toward an MLRS buy of their own….

Contracts and Key Events


M142 HIMARS
(click to view full)Dec 23/08: The Canadian government issues MERX Letter of Interest solicitation #W847L-08PM02/A for up to 17 “Long Range Precision Rocket System” (LRPRS) launchers.

A wide variety of systems might satisfy that description, but the Canadian DND has continued the trend of writing its specifications in ways that allow only one product. The system has to be “fully developed and battle proven,” in use by other NATO armies, and capable of firing precision-guided munitions. With Britain’s HIMARs-like LIMAWS-R system and the 300mm MBRL from Turkey’s Roketsan eliminated by those criteria, the M270 MLRS or M142 HIMARS are left as the only remaining candidates. Training, spares, and in-service support are also requested. MERX LoI reproduction on CASR.

Nov 19/08: Denmark announces plans to sell its 12 M270 MLRS systems, which have sat in storage since their upgrade to M270A1 status in 2001.

As CASR points out, Canada would have to do its own sourcing for training, spares, and support if it decided to pursue this opportunity. M30 GMLRS precision-guided rockets would also have to be sourced separately, but that would be true in any event. DALO release [in Danish] | CASR translation.
 

FormerHorseGuard

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http://www.westislandchronicle.com/article-cp38422025-Canadian-army-shopping-for-rocket-launchers.html

in the above link, they say  the rocket launcher weighs in at 44 000 tonnes? is this machine  as big as a small aircraft carrier?
i think it must be a typo i emailed CTV news about it and they  took the  number out of their story shortly afterwards.
i am guessing it is more like 44 tonnes, fully  loaded?
just found it funny to see the typo in sony  stories
 

Infanteer

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So, do the gunners here think that a HIMARS system can be of real use without munitions that we just wrote off with the Cluster Munition Ban (which, in talking with some JAG Officers, they figured was rather silly of us to sign)?

Buy 120 mortars and we've mirrored the USMC's "Triad of Fires" concept.  Get some more people and we may be able to effectively man these systems.
 

a_majoor

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Near future developments such as "brilliant pebble" warheads (using the technologies developed for ABM interceptors) and kinetic energy penetrators should be able to sidestep the "cluster munition" problem and still deal with dispersed targets. Warheads that hunt you down or being nailed by a piece of tungsten the size of a broomstick moving at Mach 6 should reduce your enthusiasm for joining the opposing team.....
 

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Infanteer said:
So, do the gunners here think that a HIMARS system can be of real use without munitions that we just wrote off with the Cluster Munition Ban (which, in talking with some JAG Officers, they figured was rather silly of us to sign)?
That is a question you could write a long staff paper on but suffice it to say that we have always had the capability to fire cluster munitions be it 155mm DPICM or aircraft delivered.  I hope that the CF higher-ups did not make the decision based solely that requirement. And we all know there are unitary warheads too right...?

Buy 120 mortars and we've mirrored the USMC's "Triad of Fires" concept.  Get some more people and we may be able to effectively man these systems.
The piece of the triad that the 120mm makes up has nothing to do with the size of the round.  It is all about integral fire support i.e. giving the supported commander his own dedicated indirect fire capability.  We had that with the 81mm and we took it away.  While yes the 120mm is bigger, and therefor arguably better (mobility issues and RoF aside) we could first start with giving the infantry back its mortars.
 

dapaterson

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Cleared Hot said:
This has been tried but the biggest problem is the individual Reservist's commitment.

I'll start with this:  Given the level of commitment of Reservists right now, you're starting off on the wrong foot.

... the reservist has to commit to a minimum 2.5 year contract.  This has been tried this a few times as an experiment (I know it is not usual to have a reservist sign a three year contract but as I said it was an experiment) and never has the reservist stuck it out - wasted money, resources and time.

Multiple year periods of full-time service of three years are very common right now; last time I looked, over a third of the Army's Reserve was on full-time service of varying lengths of time.

The FAC piece is the hardest for army comds to understand because the currency requirements and other training involved are very different from the requirements of army training, not to mention it costs about $450,000 per student just for the course.  That is a big investment to make in someone who gets to pick and chose if and when they are going to deploy.

Your slurs against the Reserve Force continue - how many Reg F pers deliberately DAG red, or refuse postings or pull other dumb s**t?

The Reg Army has a hard enough time keeping its own FACs current let alone trying to get the Res there as well.  I can count on two hands the number of current certified Army Air Weapons Range Safety Officers and can name each of them.

No argument over the diffculties in maintaining currency.  Though the does need to break free from its indecent obsession with all things Green - I'm certain the Air Force must have an AWRSO or two around.

BTW, yes we deploy people right off of Phase training but only up to what they were trained in - not FOOs not FACs because that is not taught on phase training, so your logic doesn't follow.

Sigh.  There are folks completing Phase, doing their FOO/FAC (or only FOO) courses, then posted to a TF in those roles.  Not always doing as well as they should; as the judge at  a courtmartial said:

Because of a series of errors and misjudgements on the part of the offender, the artillery fire from one gun was misdirected, and a total of three rounds impacted in the immediate vicinity of the Canadian soldiers. No one was seriously injured.

...

You have served with distinction, and you continue to enjoy the confidence of the chain of command, despite the event giving rise to this charge. I believe that confidence is well placed, and this kind of incident is very unlikely to be repeated by you.

...

I must also, however, have regard for the facts of the offence. They disclose a series of actions an inactions or omissions on your part that led directly to a serious threat to the lives and safety of Canadian Forces engaged in a combat operation.  On this isolated occasion, and under the stresses of combat, you neglected to take a series of precautionary steps that were intended, in part at least, to protect against just the kind of risk of harm to which your fellow soldiers were subjected.

 

Old Sweat

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The individual in question was not employed as a FOO/FAC and may or may not have had the FOO or FAC course. He was a gun end officer.

As for the standard of reservists, it varies as does the standard of members of the regular force. The BSM of the battery that deployed on 3-06 told me that he could not distinguish between his regulars and reservists in action. Now this was after a lengthy workup period, and all had to be trained on the M777 as well as some other bits of kit like the MUAV from scratch.

Back to the thread. I believe it has been noted already that something very similar to what we are after is being employed in theatre now using non-scatterable ammunition.
 

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dapaterson said:
I'll start with this:  Given the level of commitment of Reservists right now, you're starting off on the wrong foot.
First off I don't need a lecture on the reserves I was one for a number of years but you raised this a viable option and I am saying it has been thought of, tried and failed.  Maybe they picked the wrong people, however, as I said they tried and failed.

Multiple year periods of full-time service of three years are very common right now; last time I looked, over a third of the Army's Reserve was on full-time service of varying lengths of time.

I understand that but as your stats illustrate it is not the norm for reserves to sign three year contracts.

Your slurs against the Reserve Force continue - how many Reg F pers deliberately DAG red, or refuse postings or pull other dumb s**t?
I never disputed that - let's start a new thread to count the ways.  Again, no slurs, just the fact that the ones who went through this didn't work out.

No argument over the difficulties in maintaining currency.  Though the does need to break free from its indecent obsession with all things Green - I'm certain the Air Force must have an AWRSO or two around.
Trust me, it is not a matter of the Army wanting to hoard this skill.

Sigh.  There are folks completing Phase, doing their FOO/FAC (or only FOO) courses, then posted to a TF in those roles.  Not always doing as well as they should; as the judge at  a courtmartial said:
Careful what you cite - he was neither a FOO nor a FAC and the job he was doing was learned on his Phase Training - Phase Three to be exact.


 

McG

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Infanteer said:
So, do the gunners here think that a HIMARS system can be of real use without munitions that we just wrote off with the Cluster Munition Ban
I think they will still provide a worthy capability even with only the unitary warhead currently available (reasons posted above).  I do think that we have needlessly impaired ourselves on both this weapon and other types capable of firing such munitions.

Infanteer said:
... in talking with some JAG Officers, they figured [the Cluster Munition Ban] was rather silly of us to sign
It was.  I suppose one could get into more detail on that topic here: http://forums.army.ca/forums/threads/81803.0.html

Cleared Hot said:
That is a question you could write a long staff paper on but suffice it to say that we have always had the capability to fire cluster munitions be it 155mm DPICM or aircraft delivered.  I hope that the CF higher-ups did not make the decision based solely that requirement. And we all know there are unitary warheads too right...?
We do know there are unitary warheads.  Those are the only warheads that we can legally fire now.  While we used to have the ability to fire cluster munitions, we have lost this capability by signing a convention which bans them. 

Infanteer said:
Buy 120 mortars and we've mirrored the USMC's "Triad of Fires" concept.  Get some more people and we may be able to effectively man these systems.
Cleared Hot said:
The piece of the triad that the 120mm makes up has nothing to do with the size of the round.  It is all about integral fire support i.e. giving the supported commander his own dedicated indirect fire capability.  We had that with the 81mm and we took it away.  While yes the 120mm is bigger, and therefor arguably better (mobility issues and RoF aside) we could first start with giving the infantry back its mortars.
Interesting discussion for here:  http://forums.army.ca/forums/threads/1910.0.html

dapaterson said:
There are folks completing Phase, doing their FOO/FAC (or only FOO) courses, then posted to a TF in those roles. 
Not only that.  The gunners are having such a hard time filling the capability that they are taking other combat arms officers posting them to RCHAs, sending them on FOO Tech & FAC courses, and then deploying them.
 

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We do know there are unitary warheads.  Those are the only warheads that we can legally fire now.  While we used to have the ability to fire cluster munitions, we have lost this capability by signing a convention which bans them.
Agreed, but you have to look at it from the perspective of when the project was initiated.  At that time we had the ability to fire CM and we went after rockets anyway - therefor, regardless of what happened in the interim, the decision to buy was probably not predicated solely on the ability to dieliver CM.  In other words, I'll bet mobility, range, precision, lethality, perceived higher level tactical almost operational level requirements, etc. were the driving factors.
Not only that.  The gunners are having such a hard time filling the capability that they are taking other combat arms officers posting them to RCHAs, sending them on FOO Tech & FAC courses, and then deploying them.
That is also true but it is also because the other units have almost too many jr officers coming in and not enough sub-sub units for them.  This too is a band-aid solution that is a bad idea.  One way to solve this is reduce the number of officers that we are training and concentrate more on NCOs.  They stay in the Reg't/Bn longer, they don't just do it as a check in the box and move on to their next job like officers are often forced to.
 

McG

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Cleared Hot said:
Agreed, but you have to look at it from the perspective of when the project was initiated.  At that time we had the ability to fire CM and we went after rockets anyway - therefor, regardless of what happened in the interim, the decision to buy was probably not predicated solely on the ability to dieliver CM.  In other words, I'll bet mobility, range, precision, lethality, perceived higher level tactical almost operational level requirements, etc. were the driving factors.
Yes.  Given the name of the project, I suspect cluster munitions were only ever on the periphery (if that) during the definition of the requirement.

Cleared Hot said:
That is also true but it is also because the other units have almost too many jr officers coming in and not enough sub-sub units for them. 
All the examples that I am aware of are individuals who have completed at least one regimental tour, so this is not a check in the box thing for them.  It is just an ERE .... well, a pretty cool ERE, but not an in lieu of own branch regimental tours.
 

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All the examples that I am aware of are individuals who have completed at least one regimental tour, so this is not a check in the box thing for them.  It is just an ERE .... well, a pretty cool ERE, but not an in lieu of own branch regimental tours.

Okay I'll take your word for it but I am very surprised I don't know them.  The ones I can speak to are coming/came almost straight from Phase Training.  AirForce Officers as well as Recce Pl/Sqn/Tp Officers/NCOs are another story.  They commonly get qualified due to their job.

While the Artillery holds the lion's share of the spots they are more than willing to spread the wealth.  With specialized training come specialized tasks.  Because it is not inherently anyone else's job, once their deployments are done and they can say they did that, most people (yes there are exceptions) let their quals lapse and the task of training everyone falls largely to the Arty.  Prime example is early 00s when the Air Force stopped running the FAC Crse altogether and it was only revived after the Arty School picked it up - and yes there are instructors other Arty who teach on the FAC but not many.  But hey, we are way off topic now.
 

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I have nothing against the Reservists but to the best of my knowledge since 06 there has only been 1 FOO/FAC to deploy in that role with the TF going over, he is Artillery, I know of no other trade that he sent a person overseas in a FOO role and I'd challenge anyone on that, keep in mind there is a difference between FOO and FAC, they are not one and the same !

WRT other trades being offered  FAC crses thats fine, if the OCs are willing to keep their guys current  I have no argument against that, when they don't allow that and say that he has the course and their guys don't get runs or exposure to it I think hes taking a unnecessary risk by allowing someone who might not be quite up to date or hasn't done it in awhile drop 500 and 2000lb bombs in close proximity to friendlies, thats just my opinion.  WRT FOO Tech I think its great that other trades get the course, that being said when it comes to firing/adjusting artillery most guys can get exactly what they need from their AACFF because 95% of the msns fired overseas are AN anyhow.
 

Ralph

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Main reason why reservists don't become/remain FACs:
a) Reservists don't go on ex during the week;
b) Pilots don't fly on weekends.  ;D
 
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