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Time To Dust Off Our M109???

scottishcanuck

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Instead of bringing them back, why not just buy state of the art guns, from Britain, US, or germany?  Protection and mobility is important.
 

vonGarvin

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I think that may hit the nail on the head.  Is there a need for an SPG of 155mm?  (Don't even think 105mm).  If so, what system would fit the bill?  PzH 2000?  21st Century Paladin?  2S3? 

So, get away from asking of M109 is needed, but rather ask if SPG is needed.  As others have noted, 155 (M777) can be lifted by helicopter and dropped on top of mountains.  PzH cannot; however, PzH can "shoot and scoot" and also has small arms protection for its crew.

This is NOT my lane, so I'm just asking the questions here.
 

ArmyRick

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How about keeping 24 M109s (heavily upgraded) for the next bunch of years, then maybe we can jump on board with the US army FCS NLOS-C program (I think we should get right on board with the entire manned ground vehicle series).
 

Gun Shy

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The American artillery has neglected their M109A6's throughout the last several years, they are planning on upgrading their existing M109A6 to an improved M109A7 and can forsee using this platform for another 30 years. The NLOS-C will not replace all existing paladins.
 

1feral1

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GunFire said:
The American artillery has neglected their M109A6's throughout the last several years....,

Neglected or not, they are using them effectively here, a fire mission of at least 40 rds the other night, smashing the enemy near by.


Cheers,

Wes
 

a_majoor

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SP guns are certainly the best thing to have in this environment, but the M-109 is not only an old system, but would have mobility issues as well (getting in/out of theater, and sustained high speed road moves)

There are several wheeled SP gun designs out there: the LAV with the improved 105 is the "best fit" from a logistical and mobility perspective (i.e. moves at the same speed as the other LAV's), but both Sweden and South Africa have very good wheeled 155 SP's as well. I am a bit partial to the Swedish system because it fires from a 24 round magazine (take that MGS!), giving "shoot and scoot" a whole new meaning, but that's just me.

One factor which I don't see from skimming the thread is compability: would a revived M-109 or other 155 SP be able to use the same ammunition and have the same effect as the M-777? Is it possible to mount the M-777 on a SP system? Just some thoughts.
 

ArmyRick

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a-majoor, I beleive the early test versions of the US NLOS-C uses the M777. Best bet (I can't find the links right now) is to check out the army.mil/fcs web site. Cheers with beers
 

Petard

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a_majoor said:
One factor which I don't see from skimming the thread is compability: would a revived M-109 or other 155 SP be able to use the same ammunition and have the same effect as the M-777? Is it possible to mount the M-777 on a SP system? Just some thoughts.

A revived M109A3 or A4 could use some of the same types of ammunition, but certainly not MAC, even so there is still a lot of compability between the two as far as ammunition goes.

I don't think its really a matter of augmenting the deployed M777's with M109s, more a matter of nothing has replaced the M109s in almost 4 year, as an interim it might be worthwhile to bring them back so the C3's can go back to the units they belong to and extend their life cycle, and to provide some means for training until FIFC shows up (whenever or whatever that might be). In all likeliness the M777 will replace the LG1's, but that will still leave one Bty in each Regt without a gun system (unless you want to count the mortars, a residual capability now being used in harmony with M777 deployments; mortar discussions could certainly split this thread off on another tangent).
It might be workable to bring the 2 dozen odd back into service to give the units some training capability. I know it goes against the force generation=force employment or train as you fight concept, but with money still tight, and the C3s being wornout faster than expected, what options are there for the near term?
 

time expired

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It seems to me that all these discusions about equipment ,the participants are all so conditioned
by the "Treasury will not go for that syndrome" that we  go for A instead of B knowing that to
have a well rounded organisation we really need both. Seeing as this is a hypothetical disscusion
I believe we do need both an SP and a modern towed howitzer.For most battlefield situations the
all arms battle group that we had for the Fulda Gap battle is still the best solution for any conflict
we may be involved in.That said,we may still need a weapon that can be helicoptered into difficult
terrian,the M777 seems to be ideally suited to the latter requirement and the M109 to the former,
and what would be wrong in tacking some of our M109s on to the US Armies upgrading program.
The M109 is still a viable system still being used by many of the armies that bought them originally
Isreal, US Army to name just a couple. We may be able to demonstrate to Treasury that we really
need such a system and in the future they may be persuaded to purchase a new SP.
                                              Regards
 

geo

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time...
we're sorta doing that right now with the Leo C2 (Leo 1A5).
Considering that we are the only team on the block with anything looking like an MBT, we have an oportunity to prove their worth on a modern/ancient battlefield.

Time will tell which fight the CDS and LFC will chose to take to the Cdn public.
 

Gunnerlove

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Why would we have problems using MACS in the M109? As far as other ammo the M109 should be able to fire a broader range of ammo as they are better able to absorb the recoil energy. I wonder how far the M777 would displace for every copperhead round fired? 

The triple seven is very light in weight for a towed 155. Other than that I believe it has no real advantages over any other towed or self propelled 155. Feel free to correct me but other systems seem to have better range, ammo handling, mobility and many have a reduced crew work load when compared to the m777.

 

Petard

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Well for starters M232A1 will blow the breech off the M185 tube of our M109's
Copperhead? That round is now obsolete, incidentally the Canadian artillery has never had the capability to fire it. For a brief time during Op Cobra some experimenting was done to try and generate the data, but like the Op itself it kind of faded into obscurity.
Our old M109s could fire Excalibur, just not as far as the M777, but our version of the M109 has not been tested with Excalibur and there is no data to support its use.
As far as stability of the M777, I take it you have no experience with it. In December 05 when the NETT from the Arty School was training A Bty I thought the OP was fooling around sending corrections back of less than 20 metres at +12 Km range, they weren't, it is that solid a platform. 
Yes it does have to "in bed" or have its spades dug down initially to achieve that stability, but the Probable Error for the M109 is far greater from the get go, this is clear in just comparing the TFT's, but by anecdote the OP's are saying the TFT's for the M777 seem to be over cautious, ie book PE values appear to be too large because the fall of shot is incredibly tight.
A far as competition, who did you have in mind?  There is an advantage in sustainability, eventually when enough are made, when you have a system that is used by a major alley.
But you're missing the point, bringing the M109's back is not being considered because its necessarily a good idea, its because nothing has replaced it yet, and it's not likely anything will anytime soon.

 

Gunnerlove

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So is it that Macs develop far more pressure or do they create more of a bang than a push?
It is my understanding that when the trails are dug into solid earth it does not scoot around but when they are "dug" into sand and talc fine dust the gun is self propelled. Not a laying issue with LINAPS until but a pain in the ass as you run over people, ammo and move vehicles out of the guns path. I will try to put up some video but have to check with my handlers/sources first.

Accuracy wise are the m109 barrels shot out? built loose from the start? non progressive? or is it the recoil system? Machining is far better than it was decades ago.
ah well trailing off I guess.....


 



 

time expired

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Petard
        Could you please explain to me the qualities in an artillery piece that defines its accuracy,is
it tube quality, sighting systems,or stability of the gun platform?.
                                        Regards
 

muskrat89

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Petard can answer in far more detail, but all of those will affect accuracy, as well as a host of other things - met data, CP&FC data (or modern equivalent), charge temps, accurate MV data/gun history data (barrel wear), etc.

Also consider that there are different types of "accuracy" - first round, for example - versus fall of shot...
 

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Thanks Muskrat 89
                        I understand what can affect the accuracy of a particular gun during a shoot,
after all I spent my last 3 years of service as a Herbie helper with 1 RCHA.What I do not understand
is what makes one gun(M777) inherently more accurate than (M109) another.
                                                        Regards
 

Petard

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By accuracy I mean it hits what you're aiming at, as close as possible, with the first round, and the MPI of subsequent rounds. This has a lot to do with the stability of the carriage and the recoil system, as well as the fire control system to maintain that point of aim.
Consistency is the ability to continue to hit near that same spot, in a sense "to have a tight grouping". The factors affecting accuracy affect this too, but consistency of ammunition manufacture and stability in storage plays a big part as well

The M777 is inherently more accurate than the M109 first because of the recoil and carriage design. The recoil pistons are pushing in towards the trunnions, shortening the length of pull, as opposed to the M109 which is pulling out and away from the trunnions and increasing the force the further it is pulling from them. The recoiling parts of the M777 are pushing in towards a more stable area of the carriage; between the trunions and low down. The drawback is that the breech is far enough forward in the carriage that it needs an hydraulically assisted breech operating and loading tray system, making it a bit more complicated compared to some towed guns.
The M777 carriage is low to the ground and rigid, which is not such a plus on unevenground, but lends to greater stability; once in-bedded it is not moving around.
Optic laying systems are about even between the M109 and M777, but the vagaries in the traversing mech of an old M109, also contending with the mass of the cab (turret) are going to be a bit more than those of the M777 dealing with a much smaller mass to keep still once laid and dealing with the stresses of firing.
As far as displacement goes, time permitting, the spades of the M777 should be dug in, if they're not it certainly can displace backwards quite a distance if a high charge is fired at a relatively low angle. (yes to those from A Bty reading this I remember Dec 05 when a gun did displace off a small knoll sliding back and downhill +20 Metres, but this is why we got the jack hammers as part of the kit to dig the spades in.) In winter conditions the M777 might have a problem with displacement that the M109 wouldn't, but only if time didn't permit the digging in of the spades. This can be mitigated, again, by using lower charges. In the case of the digital system it doesn't matter since the ring laser gyro of the INU isn't affected by this displacement, it will continue to give accurate laying data relative to the data sent. The gun would have to displace a considerable amount before the original QE from the CP is no longer valid, in which case the gun would have to send set up data again and the data recalculated, but keep in mind this would require the guns to be firing at a very high charge at around 300 mils, and that really isn't necessary, so why do it? A high charge is not necessary not even for direct fire, the gun is very accurate even at relatively low charges. I realise this is contrary to the long practiced habit of using the highest charge possible during direct fire, but not only is it unnecessary, it is verboten in most cases. Even in loose sand firing a low charge will reduce the displacement considerably. I recall the US NETT in Ft Sill mentioning that the picture taken with the spades digging away (I think "Guns" uses this as an ID photo) was done at a very high charge to show what could happen. You shouldn't let that lead you to believe the gun ordinarily pushes back like that every time or even with the 1st round. 

The Modular Artillery Charge (MAC) high comes in two different brands, M232 and M232A1. M232 was part of the Crusader program and burns hotter (IIRC it is a double base propellant) than the triple base M232A1 propellant. M232 shouldn't normally be used in the M777 but has shown up in theatre and was used, no biggy, just that it causes more wear than the M232A1 (BTW the crusader had a chromed barrel and cooling jacket to deal with the higher temperature). M232A1 will have more area under the pressure curve but will peak later relative to say M119 (red bag) and M4A2 (white bag) type of propellants; it has more push. The manufacture and stability of this propellant is what gives the M777 its greater consistency relative to the M109, plus the stability of the carriage. The more current M109s , like Paladin, with a M777 barrel (not the gun, the M777 has a M776 barrel, just to confuse things more) can fire the same ammunition as the M777, but our old M109's have the old M185 tube, and it is not designed to take the range of ammunition that the M777 can, in particular MAC high, there is a MAC low M231 that it might, but not sure how well it would hold up with that either, but as far as I know it hasn't even been modeled let alone tested for MAC low anyway.

The return of our old M109's is only being considered because there are still parts available for it, not all were disposed, and given the high cost of current Ops and other priorities, I suspect there is a possibility they will be brought out as an interim measure until a clear replacement is identified and funded. In the meanwhile there are 3 Regular Force gun Bty's out there with borrowed or no guns.

In the for whatever its worth dept, IMHO, I think the M777 should eventually permanently replace the LG1's, the light Bty keep the mortar but the infantry should stand their Mort Pl's back up too (although given current priorities and manpower shortages I doubt that'll happen, but just an idea anyway). The other gun Bty needs something, and it ain't the C3, don't know what yet, who does? The 3rd Bty is the STA Bty. In reality it seems to be a moot point since the Regt's can man just 1 gun Bty, the STA requirement, and some HQ now as it is.

Ok I'm drifting here, better stop, but...
Did I cover everything?

 
 
   
 

muskrat89

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Sorry, TE - I misunderstood your question.

Thanks Petard, for such an informative post....
 

childs56

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Here is a simple solution to this problem. Re Gun the 109s with the newer barrels. They have the conversion kits.

As for the 777s replacing the 105, I would hate to see that.

We need 105s, 155 towed and Self Props in the inventory. They all have different roles to play, and in the future we do not want to be caught with our pants down again like we were and are.
Warefare changes but the basics do not.
 

Petard

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it's about money

Spending anything to upgrade our old M109's is not a good investment IMO. Bringing them back temporarily, if required, until funding for FIFC is realised is not such a bad idea. Pouring more money into a system near the end of its useful life is good money after bad.

Replacing the LG1 is inevitable, the LG1 barrels are for the most part done, there are some with some useful life left (in 5e) but the design is poor to begin with and not supportable in the long term; who else uses the LG1? As the M777's are brought back to Canada they have to go somewhere, by that time the LG1's will definitely need a replacement, so again, without funding what else are you going to replace it with?
I'm not convinced that 105 is such a good calibre anyway, ballistically you're not going to overcome some of the difficulties it will face going past 30 Km without sacrificing some payload for guidance, or accuracy. The 155 simply has more mass to begin with and will carry further and more accurately, it has more potential as Ops become spread out over more and more terrain. PGM can help reduce the size of the log train but not entirely replace dumb ole HE, still 155 has more capability to deal with guidance payload costs. Course correction fuses are not going to do it either for the 105 past 30 km, they are limited in how much correcting they can do and sacrifice range to do it.
As for getting caught with our...
The FMS went well to get the M777, but they were acquired when the mission was only supposed to last until 07, we're playing catchup now to deal with going beyond that. Otherwise I would say the Artillery is managing to meet its requirements, it is straining, but the mission is getting done.
 
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