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CF Looking to Buy More M777s

Spencer100

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Looks like the gov is ordering more.  From www.defence-aerospace.com



[WASHINGTON --- The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Canada of M777 155mm Light-Weight Towed Howitzers as well as associated equipment and services. The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $114 million.

The Government of Canada has requested a possible sale of 37 M777 155mm Light-Weight Towed Howitzers, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, maintenance, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor representatives’ technical assistance, engineering and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is $114 million.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by improving the military capabilities of Canada and the Canadian military’s interoperability with U.S. forces. Canadian deployments in support of peacekeeping and humanitarian operations have enhanced global political and economic stability and have served U.S. national security interests.

This proposed sale would greatly contribute to Canada’s military capability by making it a more sustainable coalition force to support the Global War on Terror. Canada currently operates the M777 lightweight howitzers and will use these new howitzers to protect its deployed troops, and give them the ability to operate in hazardous conditions. Canada will have no difficulty absorbing the howitzers into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not affect the basic military balance in the region.

The prime contractors will be BAE Land Systems in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and Howmet Castings, Alcoa Business in Whitehall, Michigan. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

The proposed sale requires engineering technical support for approximately two U.S. government representatives and five contractor representatives for one year.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law; it does not mean that the sale has been concluded.
/quote]
 

karl28

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          That would be good news for the Artillery another 37 ( according to the above article link ) of the M777 hopefully this will happen . 
 

Petard

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Some of the deliveries have already taken place. 
Last week I was in Montreal and saw some of the "new additions" to the Canadian gunner family.
I was there as part of a team looking into how to improve the system, in particular the DGMS
This is not an easy undertaking since the Canadian system is somewhat unique, using components from different manufacturers, amongst them the microlight radio that isn't used by anyone else (that I'm aware of) is especially tricky to deal with, add to that our overall numbers are rather small and this might not be that cheap either. Incidentally, in 2006, Canada's system, as quickly thrown together as it was, was working before the US got their own version called TADS working, which must have frustrated them, but far as I know the US system is working well now. Nevertheless, now that the M777 is no longer just a mission specific piece of equipment, and will become the main weapon in service with Regular Force Artillery units, efforts are being made to make it more robust.
 

Old Sweat

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Petard

Are we also phasing out the older ammunition items such as the propellants known informally as  White Bag and Green Bag?
 

Petard

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Green bag is pretty much done, but there's still quite a bit of white bag left, I haven't heard of any plans to buy more
The intent is to focus mostly on the two types of MAC, and there may be some potential, some ways down the road, to go to a modular system for the 105 as well.
 

muskrat89

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Wasn't there an infrequently used red bag as well - or am I imagining that?
 

Petard

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You're quite right Muskrat ( I see the old TSM skills are still alive and well)
Red bag M119A2 or charge 7 red is still around, and still very much in service,  used with the RAP round its range has given the enemy a few suprises.
It might be eventually replaced by just the high end of the modular charge system, red bag throws the RAP round at about 684 M/S, MAC 5 pushes it out at 824 M/S
 

Mikeg81

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It'd be even nicer if the CF could get a good deal on new production M119's to replace the LG1's and C3's.

Even though the US is going the 777 direction for their light forces, they've realized 105 is still a viable battlefield option(shown by UK use in Helmand and US in Iraq), and have ramped up 119 production.

Package deal?
 

Colin Parkinson

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The C3 are a robust piece of equipment and well suited for training and the militia. Most of the concepts learned on those guns will easily translate to another 105 or even a 155.
 

Mikeg81

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Yes, the concepts of gun drill can be applied to almost any gun.

However, respectfully disagree about the usefullness of the C3. IMHO its a mongrel gun that was brought in to fire ammunition that the reserves have never seen. I personally don't see the benifit that was gained over the C1/C2 family, plus the constant problems with the carraiges and recoil not being able to handle the heaver tube.

I get a little offended when people say "it's good enough for the mo, so let them keep it". Why can't we train/equip the reserves with modern equipment? Heck, why is the Reg F using C3's? They should have good equipment.
 

Petard

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I always thought of mongrels as a rather tough breed

Seriously though, for a while, a project known as Light Indirect Fire Digitization had digitizating the reserve howitzers as one of its key goals. The main reason for this are the capability differences between digitzed guns and those using just optic sights are considerable. Too many people make the broad assumption that a "gun is just a gun" and there isn't that much training needed to bring a soldier trained on a system like the C3 up to speed on a M777, but experience has shown that this not the case.
The shortage of M777 for training in Canada, and the restrictions on the LG1, resulted in many high readiness Regt's "borrowing" Reserve C3's to get training done. But the short coming of this became evident during Ops when operators unfamiliarity with the gun sometimes lead to errors in gun drill, some of which persist to this day,
http://forums.army.ca/forums/threads/87764.0.html
More importantly this limited training left supervisors with little ability to trouble shoot the system if it began to degrade. The accelerated delivery is meant to resolve some of these training issues.
Technically, a digital gun system is far more demanding in training time, and support.
There in though is why the LIFD project will most likely now focus on just digitzing the LG1 for use in the Artillery School. Unfortunately this increased training time and support, to operate a more sophisticated system, just isn't available within the Reserves, consequently the Reserves will not have any digitization of their guns. Reservists accepting contracts to serve with Reg Force units equipped with digital systems will only get their training on a "as needed basis". Considering the large numbers of Reservists now making up the numbers on deployments this is far from ideal.

As for replacing the current 105 fleet with 119's, yeah, I wish! The current fleet is not going to be replaced anytime soon, not that I'm aware of.

But there is no package to be had. We bought the M777's under a foreign military sales agreement, effectively buying directly from their government (the US Navy) and there is no connection to other weapon systems.
 

Mikeg81

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I know, I used the C3 most of the time before I went over...the 777's were with us only a couple of times.

I've seen the projected service life for the C3, it's 2046 or thereabouts. That includes the digitized trg fleet plan for it(you can PM me for proof to back that up).

The reason I brought up the 119 as a possible package with the 777, is that the Marines(US Navy) are the ones building more 119's...the same folks who are building 777's, that we bought from.

Oh well...
 

Colin Parkinson

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If you ever look at the old Long tom 155 that is/was at Shilo you will note that sight mount is exactly the same as for the 105mm, this reduced training time. I have little knowledge of the M777 but I wonder if it might be an idea to upgrade the sights of the C3 to be closer to the new gun, this will cut down the training issue and although the old sight are good, they are getting old. If I recall correctly the first design of the 105mm was in 1919 planned to be built with riveted trails, the same basic design was in service with the US in the late 30’s and I think Canada adopted it during or shortly after Korea. Talk about getting your monies worth out a piece of equipment!! I also recall that we sold a bunch to South Vietnam just before they fell. 
 

Mikeg81

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Not a bad idea, but the sight from the 777 is very different from a C3 sight, more like an M109 sight.

It'd be a heck of a jury rig.

My reg't has a C3 carriage marked 1944 on it, and one of our C1 salute guns is breech stamped for the same year, built at Rock Island in the US.
 

Craig B

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I'm going to stay out of rant mode here,

Mikeg81 said:
I get a little offended when people say "it's good enough for the mo, so let them keep it". Why can't we train/equip the reserves with modern equipment?

Mike, I'm sorry to say, if your going to stay in the Militia, get used to it.
Since I've been in I have never seen the situation get better, only worse..... and right now is as bad as I've ever seen it.

Say hi to MWO G for me.
 

Mikeg81

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Never said I wasn't used to it, just bringing up the point of commonality of equip between us and the regs.
 

AC 011

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Getting away from artillery for a moment, but you're better off than some other trades.  Anyone joining a reserve armoured unit in the last few years will probably only ever see something armoured if they get on a tour (or if they look at the ornament on the lawn in front of their armoury).  I'm not sure if the TAPV project will fix anything (I rather doubt it).  C'est la vie.
 
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