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US Army Waypoint 2028

KevinB

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My choice is to match the Heavy Armoured Cars with Artillery with similar levels of protection and mobility. In other words, highway bound, wheeled, non amphibious vehicles with protection against 30 mm rounds.

uhm - you need a TANK for that.
30mm chews through a LAV




The other characteristic is a weapon with the greatest range possible that I can fit on to such a platform to keep the enemy at bay as far as possible. These days that means weapons with ranges of 70 km and over. Cannons can achieve those ranges, as can the M777, with expensive custom rounds. But missiles can range farther.
The Extended Range shells for the 155mm are not significantly more expensive - they only get really $$ when you want a precision strike at 70km.

One area where I think my thoughts run differently to those commonly expressed here is that I do not see the missiles (rockets) as expensive, limited guns. I see them as cheap, flexible aircraft. I don't see them as ballistic weapons firing bullets that can only engage in straight lines. I see them as launchers that can deploy missiles that can fly complex flight paths and, currently, deploy loitering munitions that can circle in a cab-rank over the battlefield. That can engage the enemy from any aspect, including their rear, including behind cover all the while making it difficult to track the missile back to its launch point. The launcher, in any event, has moved down the highway to a new launch point and may have already launched another batch of missiles.
EW ECM will bring a screeching halt to your loitering munitions.
Tube arty with its dumb ammo doesn't have issues there.


Are those missiles more expensive than bullets? Yes.

Are those missiles more expensive than a squadron of helicopters operating from a Forward Operating Base (in the rear)? More expensive than a squadron of F18s (or F35s) operating, for a limited time, weather permitting, from an airfield a long way to the rear?
Yes.
If the 81mm mortar is the Battalion Commander's Artillery than I suggest that RPAS, LAMs and HIMARS launched GMLRSs should be seen as the Brigadier's Air Force. One that lets her see, and fight, beyond the hill.
Again EW means that there is the potential for anything not commanded or aimed directly by a person not to be useful.

A further reason I favour artillery generally is that I aspire to minimize the number of Canadian casualties. And the more effective we can be without having to close with to destroy then the fewer Canadians are put at risk and the more likely, I believe, that the governement will be inclined to deploy the Army. And the more deployments, the more utility, the more visibility, the more money and the more people.
You can't Arty your way to Victory - you can Arty a lot of things - but unless you are dropping Million Dollar Precision Strike munitions (that still need to be targeted) on every trench you see - you need to close with an assault the objective.

The M777 was a relatively cheap capital expenditure that ate up more people than the artillery had available to do all the jobs asked of it. It is still doing that.

One section equals one gun.

One section, with the same manpower could equal 3 guns with greater range, and more mobility, or 2 guns and more ammunition with equal mobility.

As for strategic mobility 2 of the C17s could lift 4 to 6 guns. Heck they managed to get a squadron of tanks into Afghanistan, given enough time and some help from their friends. And the Dutch managed to get their tracked PzH2000s into the field as well.

Will the Archer work well in Muskeg? Probably not. But apparently we don't anticipate working there with artillery in any case.

So, my prescription for the Artillery stands: Medium Range Air Defence, Wheeled Self Propelled Howitzers, Wheeled MLRS launchers, Guided Missiles, Loitering Munitions and Remotely Piloted Aircraft.

And get rid of the M777s. Or dump them on the Reserves.
You miss the entire point to what roles Artillery has - @FJAG and I both told you why the 777's are needed - not just for the Res.
 

KevinB

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PS

Say what you like about the M113 and the Lynx. They may have been "too light" for Europe, despite serving there for 40 years and still being employed around the world but they had the distinct advantage of being employable in all of Canada, could cross lakes and rivers and soft ground, and, be delivered by the C130s as well as the C17s. 17 C130s and 5 C17s. How many M113s is that? How many troops is that that don't have to hump it?
Uhm - you credit the 113 Mobility way too much -- no M113A3 and beyond+ can swim due to the additions done to them, which made them utterly non Amphibious - that's like saying the M2A3 Bradley is amphibious...
 

Kirkhill

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Uhm - you credit the 113 Mobility way too much -- no M113A3 and beyond+ can swim due to the additions done to them, which made them utterly non Amphibious - that's like saying the M2A3 Bradley is amphibious...


OK. I quit.

When are we electing an Australian government?


Slainte. :cool:
 

KevinB

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OK. I quit.

When are we electing an Australian government?


Slainte. :cool:
Don't get me wrong I like a lot of your ideas - but I believe you need to retain the 777 for the Light Bde - and I still think having a CMBG with Tanks and not IFV's is a little bizarre.

Given the Gov accepted the NATO Heavy Bde task (which I think is a terrible idea) the Army should construct a Heavy Bde and the means to support and deliver it.
 

Kirkhill

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Don't get me wrong I like a lot of your ideas - but I believe you need to retain the 777 for the Light Bde - and I still think having a CMBG with Tanks and not IFV's is a little bizarre.

Given the Gov accepted the NATO Heavy Bde task (which I think is a terrible idea) the Army should construct a Heavy Bde and the means to support and deliver it.

Yes. It's bizarre. And No. It won't. This is Canada we're talking about.

And for God's sake, don't try and tell me that a Squadron of F18s, loaded with the same high technology bombs we're talking about deploying by rockets are cheaper. With their trained, and expendable pilots? With their trained and expendable ground crews? With their fuel handling and supply? Ammo handling and supply? With their supply of spares? With their replacement aircraft and pilots? Their long, paved, debris free runways? Control towers? Air traffic management systems? Or do you want to supply them from a multi-billiion dollar aircraft carrier surrounded by escort ships and submarines with tens of thousands of sailors and aviators, all of which have to retire hundreds, if not thousands of miles, to reload? Give it a rest. (SDB GBU from an F18 or from the back of truck?),

As for dumb bullets? The sine qua non of dumb bullets is dumb truck drivers, ones willing enough to drive a truck load of high explosives into a place where people are shooting at them. The more bullets you need the more truck drivers, and trucks, and fuel, and mechanics you need. The more factories, warehouses and ships you need. Shell shortages are not a new thing. In 1915 the Brits couldn't keep their guns supplied across 22 miles of open water with excellent railway systems at both ends.

As for your faith in EW.

What happens when you move into the EO/IR spectrum and away from RF? Or even move up-spectrum to Millimeter Wave Radar?
Without RF?

1 launch munition on ballistic course to general vicinity of target - cheap
2 course correct with Inertial Navigation System - cheap and onboard with no RF signature
3 option to course correct with land navigation using EO/IR or MMW imaging - compared internally against an internal map
4 option to course correct with celestial navigation with onboard EO/IR sensors
5 option to course correct through Line of Sight Free Space communication with the swarm or other assets
6 Find, Identify, Select, Fix and Strike targets by comparing target set in onboard memory to images supplied by onboard sensors.

Think Merlin (81mm) Strix (120mm) Hellfire and Brimstone and SPEAR, and DAMASK (cancelled but the technology worked - alternatives suitable for the GWOT were available)

At the height of the Cold War there were a number of attempts at millimetric radar guided mortar rounds for the anti tank role, the Royal Ordnance Merlin for example. This was launched from the in service L16 81mm mortar to a range of 4km and it would seek its own targets within a 300m metre square.

Pansarsprängvinggranat m/94 STRIX is a Swedish endphase-guided projectile fired from a 120 mm mortar currently manufactured by Saab Bofors Dynamics.[1]

STRIX is fired like a conventional mortar round. The round contains an infrared imaging sensor that it uses to guide itself onto any tank or armoured fighting vehicle in the vicinity where it lands. The seeker is designed to ignore targets that are already burning.

Brimstone

Targeting and sensors[edit]​

Brimstone is a "fire-and-forget" missile, which is loaded with targeting data by the weapon systems officer (WSO) prior to launch. It is programmable to adapt to particular mission requirements. This capability includes the ability to find targets within a certain area (such as those near friendly forces), and to self-destruct if it is unable to find a target within the designated area.

In addition to the semi-autonomous ability to decide its own targets, the Brimstone has the capacity to determine where on a target to best impact causing the most damage. The missile's advanced sensor package includes its extremely high frequency millimetric wave radar, which allows the weapon to image the target and hence choose a target location. With as many as twenty-four missiles in the air, the missile's targeting system also required an algorithm to ensure that missiles hit their targets in a staggered order, rather than all simultaneously.

Brimstone can be fired in a number of attack profiles; direct or indirect against single targets, a column of targets or against an array of targets. The latter utilises a salvo attack capability for multiple kills per engagement. Once launched, the platform is free to manoeuvre away from the target area or engage other targets.[16]



Once launched, the SDB acts as any air-launched SDB would, which means ground-based commanders now have 360-degree coverage. The weapon can do both high and low angles of attack, fly around terrain to hit targets on the back of mountains, or circle back around to attack a target behind the launch vehicle.

Range-wise, the GLSDB can hit targets 150 kilometers in front of the launcher or 70 kilometers behind it.

While declining to put a price range for the system, Kluba said it will be "very affordable" and comparable in price to anything the MLRS currently uses.
The original SDB is equipped with a GPS-aided inertial navigation system to attack fixed/stationary targets such as fuel depots, bunkers, etc. The second variant (Raytheon's GBU-53/B SDB II) will include a thermal seeker and radar with automatic target recognition features for striking mobile targets such as tanks, vehicles, and mobile command posts.[12
Unit costUS$40,000 (SDB)[3]
US$250,000FY2014[4] (SDB II)

The cost of the rocket, the booster, is

GUIDED MULTIPLE LAUNCH ROCKET SYSTEM (GMLRS) ROCKET
Army ACAT IC Program
Total Program Cost (TY):$3.6B
Average Unit Cost (TY): Ave Unit Procurement Cost (TY):$43K$41K
Full-rate Production:2QFY06
Low-rate Production:3QFY03

So the cost of a rocket capable of launching a small diameter bomb, with 50 to 150 lb of HE on a 150 km circuitous course against a fixed target is 43,000 + 40,000 = 83,000 USD? Against a moving target is 293,000 USD? What is the cost of maintaining a Combat Air Patrol of F18s? Of delivering hundreds of dumb 105s or even 155s? Of launching a ground assault with infanteers?

The cost comparison is not the cost of the bullets. It is the risk the target presents and the full cost of the other systems available to eliminate that risk.

JDAM DAMASK​

m02006120800030.jpg



Group: Bombs

Status: Cancelled

Also known as: JDAM HART

Origin:
c0001.png


Contractor/s: Boeing

Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2007

Unitary Cost: $31,000

Production: 6,000

m02006120800031.jpg


Ancile

Under DAMASK (Direct Attack Munition Affordable SeeKer) program the US military are trying to add an image seeker to the JDAM bomb achieving improved accuracy. DAMASK objective is to provide a CEP accuracy to JDAM about 3 meters. With such accuracy the JDAM bomb will be able to completely replace current laser guided bombs from the US inventory. The DAMASK seeker is valued at approximately $10,000-12,000 per unit. The US Navy expects to procure up to 6,000 JDAM HART (Hornet Real-Time Targeting) bombs through 2011.

The JDAM bomb nose-mounted DAMASK seeker will take an image from IR or visual sensors, synthetic aperture radar, satellite photograph or other source and will use it as a target template to self-guidance through the target. The target template can be loaded into DAMASK seeker before and during the flight from many different sources achieving an unprecedented operational flexibility. The uncooled IR DAMASK seeker activates itself and contributes to correct the bomb's trajectory when the target is at 2,000 meters away.

JDAM DAMASK

m02006120800030.jpg


Group: Bombs
Status: Cancelled
Also known as: JDAM HART

Origin:
c0001.png

Contractor/s: Boeing
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2007
Unitary Cost: $31,000
Production: 6,000
m02006120800031.jpg



Under DAMASK (Direct Attack Munition Affordable SeeKer) program the US military are trying to add an image seeker to the JDAM bomb achieving improved accuracy. DAMASK objective is to provide a CEP accuracy to JDAM about 3 meters. With such accuracy the JDAM bomb will be able to completely replace current laser guided bombs from the US inventory. The DAMASK seeker is valued at approximately $10,000-12,000 per unit. The US Navy expects to procure up to 6,000 JDAM HART (Hornet Real-Time Targeting) bombs through 2011.
The JDAM bomb nose-mounted DAMASK seeker will take an image from IR or visual sensors, synthetic aperture radar, satellite photograph or other source and will use it as a target template to self-guidance through the target. The target template can be loaded into DAMASK seeker before and during the flight from many different sources achieving an unprecedented operational flexibility. The uncooled IR DAMASK seeker activates itself and contributes to correct the bomb's trajectory when the target is at 2,000 meters away.

Final thoughts

Range is not just reach. Range is time over target, translating distance into endurance. A long range missile with onboard guidance can also be a long endurance aircraft in the close battle.

And with respect to Close and Destroy.

Absolutely you need to have the ability to Close and Destroy. But we don't hire many of those. And I'd sooner not use them up any faster than we have to.

Send a bullet first.
 
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Kirkhill

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Oh, and WRT the M113 and its mobility? It may not go everywhere but it went many places. And its earlier versions went many more places than its "upgrades" and its "successors". See your point about the "amphibious" Bradley.

Given a choice between walking and riding, even in an aluminum tinder box like the M113, I would sooner ride and stay dry. Wouldn't want to fight from it but wouldn't mind cadging a lift to the fight.
 

OldSolduer

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Given a choice between walking and riding, even in an aluminum tinder box like the M113, I would sooner ride and stay dry. Wouldn't want to fight from it but wouldn't mind cadging a lift to the fight.
It was simple, fairly easy to maintain and once it was running well it was dependable.
 

FJAG

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It's Saturday Morning.
Yes it is and I've just sent a copy of my most recent chapter off for a review so I've got a day or two to kill.

I like these little forays into the ether so here's mine on what needs to be done.

I'll start off with a big assumption that one actually wants to make a more effective and capable army than the one we have now. An army's effectiveness depends on both people and equipment. We have both in varying states. The question is how to make them better.

Thread 1 - People.

People are an expensive annually recurring cost. Especially full time ones. Barring a major incident or a Come to Jesus moment in the government, we're not getting anymore.

Does the army need more people? Based on discussions in these forums - you betcha - especially in field units, CSS and possibly CS and schools. Where do we get them? Barring a Come to Jesus moment amongst the CAF leadership, they sure as hell aren't coming out of the NDHQ structure which basically leaves superfluous organizations or C2 overhead. Conclusion - a restructuring is needed.

Thread 1 A - People restructuring.

When we look at the organizations which the army really, desperately needs, we need to have an understanding of the missions it needs to perform. SSE is very broad, and while asking for the world, says we only need to cover it in little drabs here and there. The direct requirement is for forces at a battle group level. There is an indirect requirement of some vague capability for peer-to-peer high intensity conflict.

It is frankly silly and dangerous to conclude that a battle group commitment is all that the army will ever have to commit to a peer-to-peer high intensity conflict. Something bigger may very well be called on and the army should prepare for that eventuality. First Conclusion - a people restructure should be based on a day-to-day requirement to provide battle-group sized elements (which could also include a brigade headquarters) on a continuous, sustainable basis. Second Conclusion - the force must be able to grow into something bigger than a battle group for short durations (the definition of short may be vague but let's say less than three years)

Thread 1 B - Day-to-day v Expansion


Since people costs is our greatest limiting factor it is inescapable that day-to-day needs, for the most part, require a full-time force that can be counted on and sufficiently trained to fulfill all day-to-day missions. The army currently has twelve full-time manoeuvre units that can be the foundation of battle groups. It has three brigade headquarters that can act as a lead nation element. At the rate of two simultaneous sustained ones (plus others) sustained operations for six months per rotation could involve the deployment of four or more battle groups per year. First Conclusion - there are barely enough full-time battle groups to sustain operational requirements without degrading training and personnel development. Second Conclusion - missions need to be reduced or more battle groups and brigade headquarters need to be formed.

Traditionally, and practically, surging capabilities when needed can best be accomplished by a trained and capable reserve force. By all measures and standards, the army's reserve component is neither trained nor capable - a situation that has been recognized, without correction, for decades. While reserve units can provide individual augmentees and even platoon sized elements from time-to-time, they are incapable of providing even company strength elements much less battle group or brigade headquarters ones for sustained operations or for an expansion of the force beyond its day-to-day requirements. Third Conclusion - a fundamental restructuring and repurposing and training model of the reserve force is a sine quo non to any meaningful reform of the army's personnel issues.

Lastly, it is debatable and possibly highly unlikely that at the scale needed, that the reserve force can develop the leadership or organizational structure to be able to form deployable battle-groups or brigade headquarters in its own right. Fourth Conclusion - that a fundamental restructuring and repurposing of the reserve force will require a full-time leadership and staff in many key positions.

While there are numerous options which can be pursued, the most likely capable of meeting the dual roles of added rotations on day-to-day missions and extraordinary force expansion involves a hybrid reserve force with substantial full-time personnel at battle group and brigade headquarters. This can undoubtedly not be provided at the rate of the ten existing brigade headquarters and 130 some odd units. Fifth Conclusion - that while the manpower of the reserve force be maintained, the number of formations and units be dramatically reduced to conform to the current manpower levels.

Thread 2 - Equipment


Like people, equipment is expensive both for acquisition and for ongoing maintenance. Currently there is sufficient equipment for approximately six mechanized infantry battle groups equipped with LAVs, one armoured battle group with tanks, two mechanized reconnaissance battle groups and three light infantry battle groups. From a CS perspective there is sufficient artillery to equip one towed artillery regiment, three combat engineer regiments and one engineer support regiment as well as several other diverse capabilities. There is roughly sufficient equipment to equip three logistics close support battalions and enough headquarters and signals equipment for three brigade group headquarters and a divisional headquarters. There are many deficiencies in specific CS and CSS enabler categories. First Conclusion - there is enough equipment to outfit up to a one-time weak division or three separate brigades but with limitations. Second Conclusion - there is very limited provision for replacement of equipment from combat losses other than from the stocks of other units/brigades.

Acquisition of equipment, including ammunition, is a long term process. While rapid acquisition is possible through a UOR process during routine day-to-day operations, it is unlikely that any such rapid acquisition will be possible for an expansion of the force during an emergency as most probably all such equipment will go as a first priority to the manufacturing nation's own military. Second Conclusion - If the force is restructured, additional equipment for it will take a considerable time to be available. As a result any restructure must in its first phase relay massively on shared equipment usage. Third Conclusion - if there is an intention to expand the force in times of emergency then a deliberate plan must be developed to determine the size and purpose of the expanded force and to initiate a priorized equipment acquisition and maintenance program.

Thread 2 A - Equipment Composition/Force Structure


Our three full-time brigades are structured as both a light and medium force with some heavy components in part to assist the brigade-level managed readiness cycles. This complicates both maintenance and training. Respectfully, this priorizes an administrative requirement over operational ones. Both maintenance and training would be enhanced if equipment and units within a given brigade were organized to a common purpose. First Conclusion - the most logical is to reorganize into a light brigade and two medium brigade, one of which is augmented with tanks.

Since equipment will not be acquired for the hybrid/reserve force in the first phase and equipment will need to be shared, then the hybrid/reserve force structure must mimic the restructured full-time force one to the extent possible within manpower limitations. Second Conclusion - the hybrid reserve force should be restructured into a light and two medium manoeuvre brigades as well as a CS brigade and CSS brigade (or two) that complement the full-time CS and CSS structures.

The lack of equipment to expand on makes it impossible to determine the expanded force structure. This is a feature rather than a defect. It allows the government and the CAF to properly analyze where it wants to be ten years out from today to be able to meet the probable future threats. This is a risk assessment. While it is an arguable point, all indications are that the best return on investment is the structuring of a force that will be a credible force to assist our allies to deter large power expansion while retaining the ability to meet minor crises and conflicts. Third Conclusion - based chiefly on the size of manpower for the army (both full and part-time) that the government is prepared to invest in it would be logical to aim at developing for phase 2 a fully equipped division with sufficient additional equipment for one or two brigades to make up for combat losses and permit secondary deployments away from the main force.

Thread 2 B - Fires


Fires play a minor role in day-to-day peacetime operations other than ones specifically targeted at deterrence such as in Latvia and to an extent in the Ukraine. For routine day-to-day operations the peacetime force relies more and full-time light rapid response forces and as such the fires component should complement that. Accordingly, our current M777 fleet is adequate for that purpose. The M777 fleet, however, is not adequate for more intense operations and additional system for that, as well as for day-to-day operations should be examined and planned. All brigades and battle groups need readily available, if not organic, fire support coordination and observer detachments. First Conclusion - the M777 fleet should be combined with the light brigade group with an equal ratio of full-time and part time detachments. Second Conclusion - observer batteries should remain as collocated with manoeuvre battle groups and brigades as possible regardless of the location of the fires batteries. Third Conclusion - other than M777 fires units can have a high ratio of reservists. Fourth Conclusion - a coordinated and funded project for establishing a credible and effective fires capability is critically required.

Not that other than fires, I can't help myself, I've shied very far away from the issue of the types of equipment and even the structure of a battalion or brigade that we might want for phase two concentrating instead on the size of the pool. Obviously the decision of the equipment is completely and utterly dependent on the objective of the force and there is much that needs to be looked at first. To me the composition of what constitutes a brigade or a battle group or a division in this discussion is still wide open. I'm only talking broad concepts here within rough manpower factors.

I tend to think that on the manoeuvre side I'd put all my effort into two heavy brigades (one full-time and one reserve/hybrid) even if they are only pseudo-heavy to start with for the reason that 1) we don't have any now, 2) we really need them if we're staying in NATO and 3) we have already have okay stuff for two light and two medium brigades (one each full-time and reserve/hybrid).

For fires we only need one brigade which basically means two more regiments worth of things that shoot (SPs), an AD regiment and a rocket/missile regiment not to mention loitering munitions capabilities (most of that reserve force)

I won't touch on other CS and CSS other than to say it needs to fill the maximum effort capability.

For those of you who don't like my reference to a division all I can say is if the army is going to have over forty thousand folks in it (or over 20,000 full-timers) it should be aiming at a worst case scenario of a division while making it easier to operate continuous sustainable battle group deployments in peacetime. The two are not mutually incompatible.

🍻
 

KevinB

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Yes. It's bizarre. And No. It won't. This is Canada we're talking about.
NATO asked Canada for a Heavy Bde - and Canada said yes.
Therefore it is the Canadian Government's responsibility to provide it.

And for God's sake, don't try and tell me that a Squadron of F18s, loaded with the same high technology bombs we're talking about deploying by rockets are cheaper. With their trained, and expendable pilots? With their trained and expendable ground crews? With their fuel handling and supply? Ammo handling and supply? With their supply of spares? With their replacement aircraft and pilots? Their long, paved, debris free runways? Control towers? Air traffic management systems? Or do you want to supply them from a multi-billiion dollar aircraft carrier surrounded by escort ships and submarines with tens of thousands of sailors and aviators, all of which have to retire hundreds, if not thousands of miles, to reload? Give it a rest. (SDB GBU from an F18 or from the back of truck?),
You need Air to combat their Air - I'm not equating a CF-18 or CF-35 to MLRS etc - my point is you cannot make trades for something like that and call it good. Without Air Superiority you are always at risk.

As for dumb bullets? The sine qua non of dumb bullets is dumb truck drivers, ones willing enough to drive a truck load of high explosives into a place where people are shooting at them. The more bullets you need the more truck drivers, and trucks, and fuel, and mechanics you need. The more factories, warehouses and ships you need. Shell shortages are not a new thing. In 1915 the Brits couldn't keep their guns supplied across 22 miles of open water with excellent railway systems at both ends.
I am not against Rockets and Missiles at certain levels -- they just do not go a effective job at direct support of troops in close contact.
I'm not even keen on Air for that - as we have many issues of Blue on Blue from that over the past 21 years. I've worked with Mortars, Arty, AH's and Close Air - given the CAF has no AH force, and Mortars have been an erratic issue in the past - and the 81mm is a great Mortar for Light Infantry Mortar Platoons - it makes no sense for a Mech unit, than could use a 120mm in a LAV Mortar Carrier.



As for your faith in EW.

What happens when you move into the EO/IR spectrum and away from RF? Or even move up-spectrum to Millimeter Wave Radar?
Without RF?
Anything can be jammed - certain systems in the inventory down here already use MMW - and because of that Russia and China have moved to add that to their EW Jamming repertoire.

1 launch munition on ballistic course to general vicinity of target - cheap
2 course correct with Inertial Navigation System - cheap and onboard with no RF signature
That requires no changes to the target location and an accurate location initially.
3 option to course correct with land navigation using EO/IR or MMW imaging - compared internally against an internal map
Again this is subject to the Enemies efforts on EW Jamming.
4 option to course correct with celestial navigation with onboard EO/IR sensors
5 option to course correct through Line of Sight Free Space communication with the swarm or other assets
6 Find, Identify, Select, Fix and Strike targets by comparing target set in onboard memory to images supplied by onboard sensors.

Think Merlin (81mm) Strix (120mm) Hellfire and Brimstone and SPEAR, and DAMASK (cancelled but the technology worked - alternatives suitable for the GWOT were available)
Again while all tools in the tool box - they are also subject to Enemy action - and can be negated.


The cost of the rocket, the booster, is



So the cost of a rocket capable of launching a small diameter bomb, with 50 to 150 lb of HE on a 150 km circuitous course against a fixed target is 43,000 + 40,000 = 83,000 USD? Against a moving target is 293,000 USD? What is the cost of maintaining a Combat Air Patrol of F18s? Of delivering hundreds of dumb 105s or even 155s? Of launching a ground assault with infanteers?

The cost comparison is not the cost of the bullets. It is the risk the target presents and the full cost of the other systems available to eliminate that risk.



Final thoughts

Range is not just reach. Range is time over target, translating distance into endurance. A long range missile with onboard guidance can also be a long endurance aircraft in the close battle.

And with respect to Close and Destroy.

Absolutely you need to have the ability to Close and Destroy. But we don't hire many of those. And I'd sooner not use them up any faster than we have to.

Send a bullet first.
I don't disagree with anything you say there.
My point is they are tools, they are not the only tools needed.
 

Kirkhill

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Yes it is and I've just sent a copy of my most recent chapter off for a review so I've got a day or two to kill.

I like these little forays into the ether so here's mine on what needs to be done.

I'll start off with a big assumption that one actually wants to make a more effective and capable army than the one we have now. An army's effectiveness depends on both people and equipment. We have both in varying states. The question is how to make them better.

Thread 1 - People.

People are an expensive annually recurring cost. Especially full time ones. Barring a major incident or a Come to Jesus moment in the government, we're not getting anymore.

Does the army need more people? Based on discussions in these forums - you betcha - especially in field units, CSS and possibly CS and schools. Where do we get them? Barring a Come to Jesus moment amongst the CAF leadership, they sure as hell aren't coming out of the NDHQ structure which basically leaves superfluous organizations or C2 overhead. Conclusion - a restructuring is needed.
Stipulated without reservation.

Thread 1 A - People restructuring.

When we look at the organizations which the army really, desperately needs, we need to have an understanding of the missions it needs to perform. SSE is very broad, and while asking for the world, says we only need to cover it in little drabs here and there. The direct requirement is for forces at a battle group level. There is an indirect requirement of some vague capability for peer-to-peer high intensity conflict.
Again, stipulated

It is frankly silly and dangerous to conclude that a battle group commitment is all that the army will ever have to commit to a peer-to-peer high intensity conflict. Something bigger may very well be called on and the army should prepare for that eventuality. First Conclusion - a people restructure should be based on a day-to-day requirement to provide battle-group sized elements (which could also include a brigade headquarters) on a continuous, sustainable basis. Second Conclusion - the force must be able to grow into something bigger than a battle group for short durations (the definition of short may be vague but let's say less than three years)
I agree with your day-to-day assertion.

With respect to expansion: It may be dangerous but it is not a scenario which our governments wish to address. Consequently they will not fund it until their noses are shoved in it and bleeding. The only MUST we can afford is a plan to do something in the future with the tools that the future may or may not provide. We can't afford to buy kit today that may not be useful when and if.


Thread 1 B - Day-to-day v Expansion

Since people costs is our greatest limiting factor it is inescapable that day-to-day needs, for the most part, require a full-time force that can be counted on and sufficiently trained to fulfill all day-to-day missions. The army currently has twelve full-time manoeuvre units that can be the foundation of battle groups. It has three brigade headquarters that can act as a lead nation element. At the rate of two simultaneous sustained ones (plus others) sustained operations for six months per rotation could involve the deployment of four or more battle groups per year. First Conclusion - there are barely enough full-time battle groups to sustain operational requirements without degrading training and personnel development. Second Conclusion - missions need to be reduced or more battle groups and brigade headquarters need to be formed.

I would argue we do not, indeed have 12 full-time manoeuvre units. We have 12 full-time manoeuvre unit headquarters which, like their brigades, division and joint force are looking for something to do and something to do it with. To say they are shadows does disservice to the shades.

Having said that I agree with both your conclusions. I would not be a fan of increasing the number of HQs.

Traditionally, and practically, surging capabilities when needed can best be accomplished by a trained and capable reserve force. By all measures and standards, the army's reserve component is neither trained nor capable - a situation that has been recognized, without correction, for decades. While reserve units can provide individual augmentees and even platoon sized elements from time-to-time, they are incapable of providing even company strength elements much less battle group or brigade headquarters ones for sustained operations or for an expansion of the force beyond its day-to-day requirements. Third Conclusion - a fundamental restructuring and repurposing and training model of the reserve force is a sine quo non to any meaningful reform of the army's personnel issues.

I too am a Reserve Force fan. And I wish that Canada had one. Some hope. 40 years on and the signs continue to be discouraging. Inadvisable as a viable course of action.

Lastly, it is debatable and possibly highly unlikely that at the scale needed, that the reserve force can develop the leadership or organizational structure to be able to form deployable battle-groups or brigade headquarters in its own right. Fourth Conclusion - that a fundamental restructuring and repurposing of the reserve force will require a full-time leadership and staff in many key positions.

Agreed but see above.

While there are numerous options which can be pursued, the most likely capable of meeting the dual roles of added rotations on day-to-day missions and extraordinary force expansion involves a hybrid reserve force with substantial full-time personnel at battle group and brigade headquarters. This can undoubtedly not be provided at the rate of the ten existing brigade headquarters and 130 some odd units. Fifth Conclusion - that while the manpower of the reserve force be maintained, the number of formations and units be dramatically reduced to conform to the current manpower levels.

Disagree on the Hybrid Solution. The Hybrid Solution does not generate a ready force. The ready force can only be generated by full-time soldiers in barracks, twiddling their thumbs if need be. The challenge is to keep them occupied and the best solution is spending money on constant training on useful kit.

Agree that if the Reserve Force is to be retained then it should be reorganized appropriately into useful elements.


Thread 2 - Equipment

Like people, equipment is expensive both for acquisition and for ongoing maintenance.

Thus Wooden Rounds and "Green Goddesses" - The Green Goddesses were, simple, utilitarian vehicles that sat idle for most of their lives but enough of them sparked over, even with Lucas Electrics, when needed that they were useful. They could even be driven and manned by the infantry in a civil emergency.

Currently there is sufficient equipment for approximately six mechanized infantry battle groups equipped with LAVs, one armoured battle group with tanks, two mechanized reconnaissance battle groups and three light infantry battle groups.

Agreed, kind of. Except for logistics, air defence, anti armour, DFS, EW and some other kit that comes in handy.

From a CS perspective there is sufficient artillery to equip one towed artillery regiment, three combat engineer regiments and one engineer support regiment as well as several other diverse capabilities.
Agreed

There is roughly sufficient equipment to equip three logistics close support battalions and enough headquarters and signals equipment for three brigade group headquarters and a divisional headquarters.

Is there?

There are many deficiencies in specific CS and CSS enabler categories.

Agreed
First Conclusion - there is enough equipment to outfit up to a one-time weak division or three separate brigades but with limitations. Second Conclusion - there is very limited provision for replacement of equipment from combat losses other than from the stocks of other units/brigades.

Agreed and agreed.


Acquisition of equipment, including ammunition, is a long term process.

But is doesn't have to. That is a policy and bureaucracy issue more than anything else. It isn't even, really a budget issue. We choose to hire people for headquarters than buy bullets for ranges.

While rapid acquisition is possible through a UOR process during routine day-to-day operations, it is unlikely that any such rapid acquisition will be possible for an expansion of the force during an emergency as most probably all such equipment will go as a first priority to the manufacturing nation's own military

Agreed, so we will have to work with what we have. From our own factories and our own warehouses. Which we should be filling with regular rotation of stock to the ranges.

. Second Conclusion - If the force is restructured, additional equipment for it will take a considerable time to be available.
Agreed

As a result any restructure must in its first phase relay massively on shared equipment usage. Third Conclusion - if there is an intention to expand the force in times of emergency then a deliberate plan must be developed to determine the size and purpose of the expanded force and to initiate a priorized equipment acquisition and maintenance program.

I would be happy to see the available, regular, day-to-day force fully equipped and exercised for the missions they will routinely encounter. Let's worry about fleshing out the Regular "Division-Light" before we start rebuilding the Canadian Corps.

Thread 2 A - Equipment Composition/Force Structure

Our three full-time brigades are structured as both a light and medium force with some heavy components in part to assist the brigade-level managed readiness cycles. This complicates both maintenance and training. Respectfully, this priorizes an administrative requirement over operational ones. Both maintenance and training would be enhanced if equipment and units within a given brigade were organized to a common purpose. First Conclusion - the most logical is to reorganize into a light brigade and two medium brigade, one of which is augmented with tanks.

That's good. Although I would offer that the tanks should not be part of the brigade structure but they and the armoured engineer squadron should be an independent entity, directly subordinate to the division or in the CCSB. They should be co-located with one of the Medium brigades. The rationale is that the tanks don't move at the same rates as the LAVs. Operationally they are slower, tactically they may be faster. And they need their own specialized support system to include Tank Transporters.

Since equipment will not be acquired for the hybrid/reserve force in the first phase and equipment will need to be shared, then the hybrid/reserve force structure must mimic the restructured full-time force one to the extent possible within manpower limitations. Second Conclusion - the hybrid reserve force should be restructured into a light and two medium manoeuvre brigades as well as a CS brigade and CSS brigade (or two) that complement the full-time CS and CSS structures.

Disregard the brigade structure for the reserve force and structure as independent sub-units that can be attached to the regular force, or be used as replacements.

The lack of equipment to expand on makes it impossible to determine the expanded force structure. This is a feature rather than a defect. It allows the government and the CAF to properly analyze where it wants to be ten years out from today to be able to meet the probable future threats. This is a risk assessment. While it is an arguable point, all indications are that the best return on investment is the structuring of a force that will be a credible force to assist our allies to deter large power expansion while retaining the ability to meet minor crises and conflicts. Third Conclusion - based chiefly on the size of manpower for the army (both full and part-time) that the government is prepared to invest in it would be logical to aim at developing for phase 2 a fully equipped division with sufficient additional equipment for one or two brigades to make up for combat losses and permit secondary deployments away from the main force.

If we are dollar rich, and manpower deficient is the army, an army that will be deployed on voluntary missions to support allies at the discretion of the government of the day, a government that is notably averse to spending both dollars and manpower, the best method available to us to support our allies? Or should we concentrate on air assets, or maritime assets and limit our ground forces? Are they ever going to be used in a war of national defence? I keep being told that nobody wants Canada therefore will never invade and therefore there is no need to supply ground forces to counter them. Is an expeditionary army actually a vanity project? Why not send an expeditionary air force instead?

Thread 2 B - Fires

Fires play a minor role in day-to-day peacetime operations other than ones specifically targeted at deterrence such as in Latvia and to an extent in the Ukraine. For routine day-to-day operations the peacetime force relies more and full-time light rapid response forces and as such the fires component should complement that.
Agreed

Accordingly, our current M777 fleet is adequate for that purpose.
Disagreed

Why then the deployment by our allies of the 70 km Sniper, instead of its cousin the Grid Square Removal System? Why the purchase of the NLOS Spike for 25 km PGM role? The purchase of more RPAS systems of various sizes which are capable of Loitering overhead while providing surveillance, recce and precision strike?

The M777 is still an area weapon, which is not suitable for peace-keeping, and which ties up an inordinate number of gunners. Your regiment was equipped to deploy three regiment of 18 guns, 24 at one time.

Other requirements came your way and you had to start bleeding gun numbers to man the guns. You started off with a 105 section of 7 gunners manning each M777 that you determined actually needed 10. You didn't have gunners available to man the 105 sections, along with the 81mms, the FOOs, FACS, FSCCs, the STA asssets and the UAS systems. So you cut the number of guns. And you eliminated anything that looked like air defence. Because you didn't have enough gunners.

You couldn't find 180 gunners in a regiment to man 18x M777 155s. You couldn't even find the 126 gunners necessary to man the M777s like LG1s or C3s. So you cut the battery down to 4 guns manned by 28 gunners and went begging for more gunners.

Meanwhile you could have manned 6x Archer-155s with 18 of those 28 gunners and had 10 left over for an Air Defence Section. And you would have had the benefit of better navigation, less requirement for recce, and less vulnerability due to the ability to shoot and scoot.

And as for ammunition. You have already declared that in peace-keeping the issue not weight of fire. A large ammo train is not key to success.

Quick question: Which would you rather have an armoured squadron with 19 Leos, or an armoured squadron of 14 Leos backed by Six-tube SPH battery and a CAMM-ER AD troop delivered in the 5 C17 flights saved by reducing the size of the Leo squadron to a number commonly found in allied armies?

The M777 fleet, however, is not adequate for more intense operations and additional system for that, as well as for day-to-day operations should be examined and planned. All brigades and battle groups need readily available, if not organic, fire support coordination and observer detachments.

Agreed

First Conclusion - the M777 fleet should be combined with the light brigade group with an equal ratio of full-time and part time detachments. Second Conclusion - observer batteries should remain as collocated with manoeuvre battle groups and brigades as possible regardless of the location of the fires batteries. Third Conclusion - other than M777 fires units can have a high ratio of reservists. Fourth Conclusion - a coordinated and funded project for establishing a credible and effective fires capability is critically required.

I would put all the M777s, bar one battery, into the Reserve Force and keep one battery on stand by with either Regs or committed Class B/C reservists.

Agreed entirely on the observation and co-ordination.

Agreed on the utility of the Reservists in Artillery, in all types of firing batteries, including Air Defence. My concern is I don't expect to see the government spending the money. Not so long as guns are perceived as killers and not as necessary tools for protecting deployed Canadians and Allies abroad, and citizens at home.

Agreed on the need. My expectations are low.

Not that other than fires, I can't help myself, I've shied very far away from the issue of the types of equipment and even the structure of a battalion or brigade that we might want for phase two concentrating instead on the size of the pool. Obviously the decision of the equipment is completely and utterly dependent on the objective of the force and there is much that needs to be looked at first. To me the composition of what constitutes a brigade or a battle group or a division in this discussion is still wide open. I'm only talking broad concepts here within rough manpower factors.

Seen
I tend to think that on the manoeuvre side I'd put all my effort into two heavy brigades (one full-time and one reserve/hybrid) even if they are only pseudo-heavy to start with for the reason that 1) we don't have any now, 2) we really need them if we're staying in NATO and 3) we have already have okay stuff for two light and two medium brigades (one each full-time and reserve/hybrid).

For fires we only need one brigade which basically means two more regiments worth of things that shoot (SPs), an AD regiment and a rocket/missile regiment not to mention loitering munitions capabilities (most of that reserve force)

I'm more inclined to create an independent Deep Strike type Brigade (Fires with ISTAR) that can be added to an allied brigade or even supply a Corps capability. I'd go with a couple of DSBs, with LR fires and the LAV battalions as ISR assets, your light brigade (but it needs more helicopters and probably swapping the C130s for the A400s, and a single Penetration Battle Group complete with a small number of compatible vehicles like the CV90s to carry a couple of companies of troops as Panzergrenadiers.

I won't touch on other CS and CSS other than to say it needs to fill the maximum effort capability.

Seen

For those of you who don't like my reference to a division all I can say is if the army is going to have over forty thousand folks in it (or over 20,000 full-timers) it should be aiming at a worst case scenario of a division while making it easier to operate continuous sustainable battle group deployments in peacetime. The two are not mutually incompatible.

🍻

I agree. It should. But this is Canada.

Cheers. :sneaky:
 

Kirkhill

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NATO asked Canada for a Heavy Bde - and Canada said yes.
Therefore it is the Canadian Government's responsibility to provide it.

We also agreed to commit 2% of GDP to Defence and 0.7% to Foreign Aid.

Don't start writing any cheques yet.

You need Air to combat their Air - I'm not equating a CF-18 or CF-35 to MLRS etc - my point is you cannot make trades for something like that and call it good. Without Air Superiority you are always at risk.

Precisely. That is the reason we can never get air support. The surviving aircraft were too busy keeping Frogfoots, Flankers and Havoc's off the grunts's backs. Thus the lack of air support to take out Fantasian batteries and tank regiments. Thus the need for more kit like Merlins and Strixs and anything else you can get into the air to take out the gunners before they can get in range.

I am not against Rockets and Missiles at certain levels -- they just do not go a effective job at direct support of troops in close contact.
I'm not even keen on Air for that - as we have many issues of Blue on Blue from that over the past 21 years. I've worked with Mortars, Arty, AH's and Close Air - given the CAF has no AH force, and Mortars have been an erratic issue in the past - and the 81mm is a great Mortar for Light Infantry Mortar Platoons - it makes no sense for a Mech unit, than could use a 120mm in a LAV Mortar Carrier.

Then stay out of close contact as much as you can. 120mm Mortars loaded with Strix Rounds. 8 Tubes, 6 Rounds a minute. 48 targets wishing they were someplace else. And the magic is not in the tube, the propellant, the payload or the fuse. It is in the seeker. Technology that is transportable to many other missiles and bullets.

By the time the get close enough to use their guns there will a lot fewer tanks for our AT gunners to engage with direct fire.


Anything can be jammed - certain systems in the inventory down here already use MMW - and because of that Russia and China have moved to add that to their EW Jamming repertoire.

Some but not all. Effort expended defeating that capability is not being expended on others.

That requires no changes to the target location and an accurate location initially.

Again this is subject to the Enemies efforts on EW Jamming.

Again while all tools in the tool box - they are also subject to Enemy action - and can be negated.

And the more tools in the tool box the harder the enemy has to work and the less they can take for granted.

Nobody is calling for wholesale replacement of any system. I am calling explicitly for a broader array of tools and more imaginative use of the tools available. The good news is, apparently, our doctrine is silent on a whole bunch of stuff.

I don't disagree with anything you say there.
My point is they are tools, they are not the only tools needed.

As I said. On that we agree. I just think they can be pushed further down the command chain and be exploited at a lower level. Especially if we are deploying a Brigade, including allies, to defend a whole country and not half a mile of trenches.
 

Rifleman62

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Anyway, nothing will change. No commitment from this government, nor any in the future. If we get into action, the human casualties will be huge because the government goes cheap and political on procurement.
 

daftandbarmy

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Anyway, nothing will change. No commitment from this government, nor any in the future. If we get into action, the human Combat Arms' casualties will be huge because the government goes cheap and political on procurement.

There, FTFY ;)
 

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it is worth mentioning an ominous, yet completely feasible scenario: Bad actors could float up the Potomac River, stop for gas in Old Town Alexandria, and then, later, launch their drones on Washington in the pitch black of a moonless night, causing havoc in the United States. This is an unavoidable consequence of readily available drones. Someone can simply strap a five-pound high-explosive charge on a drone and have the potential to cause significant damage in our nation’s capital. It would practically be a “name your target” affair. Law enforcement would search for hours to determine where and what caused the attack, yet it is possible that the watercraft would have traveled deep into the Chesapeake Bay, past Oregon Inlet, and into the Atlantic before sunrise.

Not in Canada though.
 
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