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CF Looking to Buy More M777s

The Bread Guy

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I'm on a  MERX roll today....

Letter of Interest
Lightweight Towed Howitzer

1.    GENERAL
The Canadian Forces (CF) intends to procure a fleet of Lightweight Towed Howitzers (LWTH) to institutionalize this capability within the land forces. The purpose of this Letter of Interest (LOI) is to communicate CF requirements and solicit information from Industry regarding the proposed solution. This information will be used to support the Crown's decision-making process.

2.    BACKGROUND
The CF has 12 M777 LWTH howitzers currently in -service.  Ongoing operations have reinforced the flexibility and effectiveness of the 155mm towed howitzer on the modern battlefield. When coupled with modern munitions, digital technology and lightweight materials the resulting weapons system is highly mobile, capable of engaging targets at long range and with great precision.

3.    PROJECT SCOPE
The aim of the LWTH Project is to procure up to 34 155mm towed artillery systems ......
 

geo

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Hmm...
12 + 34 =  46 Guns

Guess this would presuppose that all RCHA units will "H" heavy artillery while "M"ilitia units will become "M"Medium/Lightish
 

GAP

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I am assuming that the 12 in the sandbox will be replaced out of that lot, especially after the workload they have had....
 
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milnewstbay said:
The aim of the LWTH Project is to procure up to 34 155mm towed artillery systems ......

I am placing my money on another 12 bought to simply replace the ones in the sandbox right now.
 

Old Sweat

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Without inside knowledge, I would still bet the 12 that were purchased - and not all went to Afghanistan - will remain in service. Some, maybe all, will be refurbished as necessary. I came to this conclusion by considering the number of regular field batteries, the number of potential battle groups to support and the requirement for guns for the artillery and LEME schools, engineering purposes and a maintenance and war reserve versus the planned purchase.

I don't want to go any further than that.
 

Teddy Ruxpin

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We're the Army that has retained in service 50+ year old guns (albeit refurbished ones).  We're not about to chuck out guns purchased less than three years ago because they've deployed on operations.
 
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Teddy Ruxpin i was thinking along the lines of Old Sweat, where the 12 in theatre would be replaced by new ones and the old 12 would be brought back to refurbish/train.
 

GAP

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Interesting Article....

M777: He Ain’t Heavy, He’s my Howitzer
Article Link

The M777 ultra-lightweight towed 155mm howitzer has an integrated digital fire control system, and can fire all existing 155mm projectiles. Nothing new there. What is new is the fact that this 9,700 pound howitzer saves over 6,000 pounds of weight by making extensive use of titanium and advanced aluminum alloys, allowing it to be carried by Marine Corps MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft or medium helicopters, and/or airdropped by C-130 aircraft. The new gun is a joint program between the US Army and Marine Corps to replace existing 155mm M198s, and will perform fire support for U.S. Marine Air Ground Task Forces and U.S. Army Stryker Brigade Combat Teams.

Britain is also an M777 LWH development partner, but Canada became the first country to field it in combat via an emergency buy before their 2006 “Operation Archer” deployment to Afghanistan. This is is DID’s new FOCUS article covering the M777 program. The latest news is an additional order from the USA…

M777: Capabilities and Upgrades


M777 parts
(click to view full)In addition to being suitable for carriage under a V-22 Osprey or medium class helicopter like the EH101, the M777’s weight and profile also allows 2 M777 howitzers (vs. 1 M198) to be fitted into a C-130 Hercules tactical transport.

There’s also a front-line payoff to the new howitzer. When using previous generations of artillery, units like the US Marines had to communicate with the fire direction center through radio and use iron sights to aim at targets. The M777 is also equipped with iron sights to serve as a backup, but the military doesn’t expect those sights to see much use outside of training. Modern artillery has features like data distribution systems, self location via INS and/or GPS, automatic or assisted gun-laying, and other add-ons that automate the process of receiving fire orders and acting on them. Coordinates can be usually transmitted digitally from tactical air controllers, UAVs, or other platforms, and the M777’s own display can even be used to send text messages to other cannoneers.

In addition to the efficiency gains this creates, there’s also a survivability payoff. Instead of being forced to cluster together near communications nodes, artillery pieces can be spread out over a larger area, with each gun executing “shoot and scoot” tactics using the M777’s fast 2-3 minute set-up and displacement time. This compares to its predecessor the M198, which has a 6.5 minute emplacement time and 10.5 minute displacement time.

Rate of fire is 4-8 rounds per minute in bursts, or 2 rounds per minute sustained fire.
More on link
 

McG

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Teddy Ruxpin said:
We're the Army that has retained in service 50+ year old guns (albeit refurbished ones).  We're not about to chuck out guns purchased less than three years ago because they've deployed on operations.
You are right.  However, we might junkdispose of them because (if) the LWTH project procures a different howitzer, we will not want to maintain a seperate micro-fleet (with all the related extra costs) which has no unique capability.

... then again, it's always possible that M777 could win the LWTH competition and we keep the 6 additional weapons becuase of it.
 

Teddy Ruxpin

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However, we might dispose of them because (if) the LWTH project procures a different howitzer, we will not want to maintain a seperate micro-fleet (with all the related extra costs) which has no unique capability.

But why would we want to change how we're doing business now and introduce common sense?  ^-^

After all, we could have five types of guns in service if we try hard enough:  C1, C3, LG1, M777 and LWTH...  I'm sure we've got some M109s kicking around at Depot too.

Sorry, I'll set my sarcasm mode to "stand-by"...
 

Petard

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Teddy Ruxpin said:
But why would we want to change how we're doing business now and introduce common sense?  ^-^

After all, we could have five types of guns in service if we try hard enough:  C1, C3, LG1, M777 and LWTH...  I'm sure we've got some M109s kicking around at Depot too.

Sorry, I'll set my sarcasm mode to "stand-by"...

What sarcasm? Looks like some factors in a realistic COA
 

combatbuddha

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Heck, we have two M109s on the Gun Park floor...RSM thought it a tragedy that they were rusting out in the dustbowl.
M109 with the M777 DGMS would be a VERY valuable asset. If we actually used them in the field a bit more to keep the equipment an operators up to snuff the maintenance shouldn't be to bad. I woul dlike to see the M109s upgraded and refielded for mobility and crew protection. The .50 up top is a nice bonus too.
M777s are lightweight, and wat I gathered from my course in Oklahoma is that the Marines and the US Army have little intention of driving long distances with these. They opted for a heavier DGMS without runflats in the tires, and we put runflats in and have a lighter DGMS...HMMMMMMM. Two very different ideas.
 

geo

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A very large number of M109s sitting outside the 202 Workshops.  Prolly enough for several batteries.
But they are rusting up pretty good and would require tons of work to make em whole again.
 

karl28

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      To bad that Government wouldn't have placed the surviving M109 in a better facility to protect them against the elements . That way if we ever needed them they would be there and in better shape than they are now .
 

geo

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If guns aren't used on a regular basis, they are going to deteriorate.
Same as anything else.  The fact that they are in Montreal has no special meaning & they would not have fared any better had they been parked in Wainwright or Gagetown.
 

GUNS

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I wonder would the Government give me a deal on the M109 I first served on. Would make for an interesting lawn ornament. :warstory: ;D
 

snowpuncher

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The M777 is a good gun but they must come up with some improvements to help it in the dessert climate and more parts for this gun it breaks certain parts like obturation rings ,seals . the DGMS suite is good when it is working which is not much it tends to break down quite a bit. I do know this from first hand experience.
 

geo

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snowpuncher,
ALL weapon systems will suffer from wear and tear... so the M777 is no different.
Considering the volume of shells each gun has fired since first deployed, it shouldn't be such a big surprise.  Also, considering Canada & the RCHA were the 1st anything to deploy the M777 in an actual operational environment, you have to expect that some parts and subcomponents will need to be tweaked & improved... you have to figure the manufacturer was counting on us to provide feedback and suggestions / fixes.
 

combatbuddha

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Agreed, however the volume of pumpkins being lobbed while training here in Garri-Trooper land are nowhere near the ones being heaved overseas and alot of the issues are the same. The issues mentioned by snowpuncher are very valid and I agree with him fully. We were the first to use these weapons in conflict, to the chagrin of the US forces, and as a result not less than 150 mods have already been identified as absolute requirements. I will not go into details for obvious reasons. The overall system kicks ass and yes there are design, equipment and operator issues with this, as with everything, however, Between Snowpuncher on the lanyard end of that glorious launcher of steel death and a few of us here on the crystal crunching, wrench bending side, I think we have a bit more indepth SA than the average guy who picks up a copy of Janes or the Maple Leaf. I've already worn out a keyboard as a result of raising numerous TFRs.
 
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