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Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 04 Nov 2019, 15:31

Christmas getting close... or just the normal "so many options that it is like being a kid in a candy store"?

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby MikeKiloPapa » 04 Nov 2019, 18:56

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
MikeKiloPapa wrote: No spade or supporting legs= knackered chassis and suspension. Will likely also mean less range and accuracy.
That is surprising as one of the early defects of the Archer platform was legs too feeble to make full use of the MRSI capability designed in


Archer's dispersion issues have considerably less to do with having "feeble support legs" , and more to do with the gun being placed on an articulated dump truck. Its not difficult to imagine the forces being imparted on the chassis pivot point during firing, especially if shooting off the vehicles centerline axis. As such its a weakness that is inherent in the design and why the choice of this vehicle for the gun was and still is daft! :roll:

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 04 Nov 2019, 19:07

MikeKiloPapa wrote:the forces being imparted on the chassis pivot point
More legs? not just the customary ones in the rear?
MikeKiloPapa wrote: the choice of this vehicle for the gun was and still is daft!
Well, they wanted it to work when there is a meter of snow... no wonder that Norway and Finland went for a tracked platform that balances the two things better

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby Lord Jim » 04 Nov 2019, 22:24

Well the Archer in its latest incarnation has four legs to give the platform greater stability. We will have to see when, or if, the British Army chooses a new SP 155m platform, but if cost, both up front and through life are a major consideration, a wheeled platform get my money if I actually placed bets.

A fly in the ointment however is the US Army's Long Range Precision Fires Programme that is making fairly rapid progress, at least for a defence programme. This may cause the UK the delay and purchase until the fruits of the US programme appear towards the end of the 2020s. Why would we by a systems with a range of 40Km when one with a range of up to double that could be just around the corner. Nammo are developing a ramjet powered 155mm shell with a range approaching 100km providing another route to follow. My get tells me we will not be placing actual orders for a new 155mm for quite a few years, but then again the Army has plenty of other urgent programmes that need the money in the mean time.

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 05 Nov 2019, 08:55

Lord Jim wrote: if cost, both up front and through life are a major consideration, a wheeled platform get my money if I actually placed bets.
Mine, too, and there are plenty more reasons for that.

One that is not so much platform specific, but rather relates to the gun carried is "upward compatibility":
Lord Jim wrote: Nammo are developing a ramjet powered 155mm shell with a range approaching 100km providing another route to follow.

- these will be hugely expensive compared to normal rounds, so don't expect the 80/20 rule, but rather 2/98
- the above in no way distracts from the importance of having the 100 km option to hand. We will have gun platforms in more places than GMLRS carriers

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby MikeKiloPapa » 05 Nov 2019, 15:55

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
MikeKiloPapa wrote:the forces being imparted on the chassis pivot point
More legs? not just the customary ones in the rear?
Im afraid i dont quite understand your question(s) ? are you implying that more support legs might improve Archers accuracy ?.....or are you asking what i meant by pivot point ?

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 05 Nov 2019, 16:08

MikeKiloPapa wrote:more support legs might improve Archers accuracy ?..


I think upthread there was an answer to this. Accuracy as in when you let off 6/7 rounds as quickly as you can , to achieve MRSI.
- if the "thing" does not stabilise quick enough, then you could be just as well be shooting at the moon

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby MikeKiloPapa » 05 Nov 2019, 16:18

Lord Jim wrote:Well the Archer in its latest incarnation has four legs to give the platform greater stability.


Yes the recent truck mounted ARCHER system has none of the stability and dispersion issues of the original Swedish vehicle.....its a very sensible solution and one the Swedes should have picked in the first place.

The only real drawback of the Archer still there in the newest edition, is the limited ammunition capacity ( 21 shells) and the slow and cumbersome reloading process, which requires special equipment. Hardly a show stopper though, and Archer is arguably still one of the best artillery systems our there in terms of raw capability.

We will have to see when, or if, the British Army chooses a new SP 155m platform, but if cost, both up front and through life are a major consideration, a wheeled platform get my money if I actually placed bets.


I agree......for all those nations not directly bordering Russia and which have strategic mobility and deployability as an important requirement , wheels seem to be the way forward. Not all wheeled systems are cheap though .....im willing to bet that a system like RCH 155 is going to be MORE expensive than a K9 sph........and probably not much cheaper in through life operating costs either.

As for waiting for whatever the yanks are cooking up......it might pay off, but i'd say that the chances of that program ending up like another Crusader, EFV, FCS etc etc, is pretty substantial. And even IF they actually succeed in fielding a modern very capable artillery system , its anybody's guess what the price will be , but likely not cheap. The question of course being if the UK has either the patience or the budget for a US solution.

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby MikeKiloPapa » 05 Nov 2019, 16:23

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
MikeKiloPapa wrote:more support legs might improve Archers accuracy ?..


I think upthread there was an answer to this. Accuracy as in when you let off 6/7 rounds as quickly as you can , to achieve MRSI.
- if the "thing" does not stabilise quick enough, then you could be just as well be shooting at the moon


Yes precisely.....that is exactly the original Archers problem......that when firing in MRSI burst mode, the entire vehicle "flexes" around the central articulated pivot point, thus yanking the gun tube far off target, and without time to get back on before the next shell fires.

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby Lord Jim » 06 Nov 2019, 03:18

MikeKiloPapa wrote:slow and cumbersome reloading process,


According to BAe it takes less than 5 min to reload all 21 rounds into the new version of the Archer, using a specialised Limber vehicle based on the same 8x8 MAN platform. This limber carries over 100 rounds and is itself easily restocked. Obviously BAe has learned may lessons form the original Archer as used by the Swedes.

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 06 Nov 2019, 05:38

Lord Jim wrote: the original Archer as used by the Swedes.
They took also half of the batch destined for Norway... the other half could (?) be purchased cheaply for use as training pieces - if we select the MAN version

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby Stal » 06 Nov 2019, 06:42

ArmChairCivvy wrote:They took also half of the batch destined for Norway... the other half could (?) be purchased cheaply for use as training pieces - if we select the MAN version

I think they bought all the guns built for Norway (Norway paid not to have them, that is quite telling...) plus now Sweden wants to buy 36 additionnal guns of another type apparently.

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 06 Nov 2019, 13:42

Stal wrote: buy 36 additionnal guns of another type apparently


:) What might those be?

I am not trying to make fun of the underlying Swedish defence dilemma: from where their (after the cashing in of the "peace dividend") only artillery rgrmnt is/ was a road journey of a thousand km might be needed, to meet the threat
- hence the 100 km/h on the road was/ is very appealing
- and the answer is...? Get more rgmnts (guns included)

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby Stal » 07 Nov 2019, 06:25

Lord Jim wrote:According to BAe it takes less than 5 min to reload all 21 rounds into the new version of the Archer, using a specialised Limber vehicle based on the same 8x8 MAN 

5 mn for 21 rounds is to be compared with 10 rds per mn for the Pzh 2000 60 rounds : 6 mn, without a dedicated limber veh, or 12 rounds per mn for the k9 with a dedicated limber veh or with 3 mn for 36 rounds for the 8x8 Caesar without a dedicated limber veh.
5 mn for 21 rds !! It means that a lot of time will be spent on reloading operations as I suppose not all of the 21 rds will be HE...18 HE, 3 Bonus ?...
Plus these 5 mn remain to be seen after 10 years of saying 10 mn.

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby Lord Jim » 07 Nov 2019, 11:55

Just out of interest how many crew are needed to reload a Caesar with 36 rounds in 3 minutes? I am not saying Archer is the fastest but it is certainly not a cumbersome reloading process. I think it is safe to say you are not a fan of the Archer, either in its original form or the latest as shown at DSEi.

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby Voldemort » 08 Nov 2019, 05:44

Personally I'm not a big fan of any artillery system that doesn't have manual back up.

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby Stal » 08 Nov 2019, 09:04

Lord Jim wrote: I think it is safe to say you are not a fan of the Archer, either in its original form or the latest as shown at DSEi.

Indeed, but you have to admit it is a key point, plus if your resupply vehicle is not there with its crane there is no resupply, and you have to have a limber truck per gun.
For Caesar they use the crew of 4, the ammo team is 2 or 3 and contributes but we will have to wait for the DK field experience to know more I guess.

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 08 Nov 2019, 09:59

Stal wrote:we will have to wait for the DK field experience to know more I guess.

Yes, esp. when the vid available, we hear, is of a prototype and there will be mods on the ones entering service... what kind, that's the interesting bit

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby Stal » 08 Nov 2019, 19:12

If we think bout it, 21 rounds in 5 mn means a bit more than 4 rounds per minute, for a crew of 3 plus 2 (or 3) for the resupply team. A GOAT crew could do it with one hand tied in the back. GOAT's rate is far quicker and Pzh is 10 rds per mn, znd this is assuming Archer really does 5 mn

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 08 Nov 2019, 21:47

That's an important metric, but so is what is carried vs. weight of fire that can be done in shoot, before scoot.

France is getting the 8x8 for their armoured formations for this reason (there are other reasons, sure, but I have not seen those articulated... where is Frenchie when we need him :) ?) as more rounds can be carried - whether the Tatra chassis or something else, that is irrelevant
- their lighter formations will continue with the 6 wheeled version

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby Lord Jim » 09 Nov 2019, 01:58

I must admit I do like the Archer, if people haven't already guessed. Yes 5 min may seem a long time but it is done with the majority of the crew under armour , thin though it maybe and as far crew the Limber has only 2 to three and the same goes for the gun itself. You can load individual rounds if needed, usually the specialised ones though.

Archer is being billed as a complete system which I like, with teams of gun and limber operating together. It has the highest rate of fire of any wheeled SPG by far and because of the automation it can sustain a higher rate of fire for longer. It does of course have a manual back up.

But Archer is just one a dozens of wheeled SPGs now on the market, some proven others not. Given how long historically the Army has kept programmes if the assessment phase, sometimes eve n by choice, it should end up with the right system, probably based on a MAN chassis as that is now the Army's default platform.

But the Gun is only gong to part of an almost total overhaul of the army's long range fire support capability, which now has to play catch up in a big way to other nations. The gun itself need modern ammunition, both dumb and smart. The GMLRS need new rockets to increase its range and effect and there will be a need for a low vis UAV that can be used as part of the targets systems. The list goes on and on but this only goes to high light the need for additional funding required by the Army to allow it to fill holes in its capabilities, speed up deliveries of new equipment and to ensure there are the personnel to operate it.

Where as the other two services have been able to maintain their ability to fight peer conflicts the Army has in reality stagnated for nearly a decade and a half, through its involvement on COIN operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is relearning the skills it once had but without the new equipment it will not be fit for purpose no matter how willing and able the personnel are.

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 09 Nov 2019, 05:56

Lord Jim wrote:But the Gun is only gong to part of an almost total overhaul of the army's long range fire support capability, which now has to play catch up in a big way to other nations. The gun itself need modern ammunition, both dumb and smart. The GMLRS need new rockets to increase its range and effect and there will be a need for a low vis UAV that can be used as part of the targets systems.

A good point to bring back to the discussion. Reach, accuracy vs. weight of fire (both pls :) )and ability to keep up and have reasonable protection against anything else (and that's a big ask; NBC and time-delayed, scattered bomblets do not get much of a mention) than direct fire,
- that mention of low vis UAV is also a good reminder that if you take long enough to bring something into service (cough: its predecessor) then that something not only ends up costing more... but is obsolescent on its ISD ( on the very first day :( )

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 09 Nov 2019, 06:34

It is easy to forget how small the RA is: The Royal Artillery Regiments' sub units are termed batteries and have been set up in a way that they can be matched individually to, say, BGs.

Before the reorg to align with the "warfighting manoeuvre division" began, its units aligned with the Reaction Forces were c.600 strong and those supporting the Adaptable Force were c.400 strong.
- so we could easily assign the latter number against LG rgmnts (role unchanged)
- and the former is up for renewal, exc. that there is "no money" - for now at least - as for the AD and GMLRS units, within that stated total. And as soon as we get the new platforms, there will be no money then, either, as making those new platforms effective will require modern ammunition - an effort that has been put off for well over a decade

When I say small: the total equates to what we maintain on the Falklands and is a third of the forces on Cyprus (though the latter number is subject to much more fluctuation).


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