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AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 20 May 2019, 04:35

A good thing Jake reminded us of the project that is (for what reason?) very low key.
Lord Jim wrote:AS-90 was actually one of the few successes in AFV procurement, but it should have been brought in as a 52cal weapon form the outset. Strange as the Army usually tries to future proof
Not strange as mobility, to keep up with armoured BGs, not the range, was n:o 1 priority.
mr.fred wrote:One (further) thing to consider regarding the 52cal ordnance:
The Polish don't use it.
They use the turret but the cannon comes from Nexter.
Number of reasons for that, I'm sure.

mr.fred wrote:* gun handling, heat distortion, barrel harmonics, vehicle handling.. there are a lot of things that can go wrong with a longer barrel.
The Polish one, after a 20+ year project and third gun - even n:o 2 from Nexter was swapped out - is now in service... with the AS-90 suspension within a hull procured from Korea.
- worthy of note that the Turks are about to introduce their own, "improved" 155 mm piece based on that same hull. And their tank, with fire-on-the-move systems for it procured from Korea actually turned out to be quite good.
Lord Jim wrote: The AS-90 is also vulnerable as the submunitions contained in the cargo rounds now in production for the BM-21 will easily disable the vehicle. Hopefully the MoD and Government will wake up to this and realise that air support will not always be a certainty in any future conflict and that the deposed King of the battlefield needs to be reinstated and invested in

+
mr.fred wrote:Regarding AS90 replacement, interleaving with wheels/tracks is the amount of protection you think you need. Do you minimise weight and aim to relocate or hide, or have enough armour (PzH2000) to resist likely counter-battery fire.
Agree with both contributers:Do both! An armoured BG will not be able to hide from peer's multi-layer ISTAR, so go for protection. For all more infantry-focussed formations go with the close support, stop-fire-move on type of system, like AMOS on wheels... with the exception of 16X/ 3 CDO that will need their support assets to be air-liftable, in one package, as per the below
mr.fred wrote: L118 is 50 155mm shells (no charges) lighter than a standard M777. And you could carry both gun and tractor and ammunition on one helicopter. Useful if you don’t have US scale logistics support.

Lord Jim wrote:better to replace the 105mm with 120mm rifles mortars that have even greater mobility then the L118.
Well, my mix has them, but when you come with no longer-ranged artillery assets (16X/ 3 CDO, as per above), then the L118 has its place, as opposed to being replaced by towed mortars.
... just a technical note: the RM specialty, 81 mm mortars on the back of BVs is the current max. The Finns wanted for their x-country Arctic brigades something heavier, with more reach (as artillery can't keep pace) and had to put their 120 mm mortars on a sturdier (but similar to the BV) platform.

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Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Postby Lord Jim » 20 May 2019, 11:12

The problem with saying that the L118 gives greater ranges artillery than say a rifled 120mm mortar (and the rifled bit is important) is that the range difference is not that great and both a greatly outranged by the artillery that they could possibly face with a peer opponent. Yes against a lesser opponent the L118 would have the advantage over their mortars for example, but so would the 120mm rifles mortar as this also outranges the more typical 120mm mortars. The 81mm should be retained within 16AA and 3Cmdo, but replaced within the Armoured and Mechanised Infantry with a self propelled 120mm mortar, the one currently in service with Sweden looks like a good compromise between firepower and cost.

As for a AS-90 replacement, if we are going to buy one system to equip both the Armoured and Mechanised Brigades then the platform chosen needs to be based on the needs of the Mechanised Brigades, so mobility need to be at least equal to the majority of vehicles in these. As a result a wheeled option is the obvious choice for both tube and rocket artillery. The latter should be a simple choice, that being the US HIMARS systems though it should be mounted on the MAN 6x6 chassis already in service with the Army. For the former I think it is a choice between two or three systems. These would be the Boxer SP 155mm and the Caesar 8x8 155mm, with the third option being a new bespoke design for the British Army, though this would be the far more expensive option. Of the first two the Caesar would probably be cheaper, I do not know how much the Dames paid for theirs, but choosing the Boxer variant would bring commonality with the Boxer variants that will be in service throughout the Army.

With choosing a wheeled platform the survivability of said platform is going to depend on its ability to move to a firing position, carry out a fire mission and be on the move before the opponent can counter battery it. This is going to require a comprehensive targeting capability and for the platform to be able to begin firing and be ready to move rapidly, more so than existing platforms. This again moves the decision more towards the Boxer variant than Caesar.

Which ever systems are chosen at whatever level of formation, one capability that is going to be crucial will be the ability to for precision rounds. This is especially vital in urban warfare. The days of a Western Army using dumb artillery to flatten city blocks is long gone, and politically unacceptable. Even weapons as small as the 81mm mortar will need some sort of guidance sooner rather than later. The second capability needed is that to carry and dispense smart munitions like the Franco/Swedish Bonus round. Yes dumb round will have a role in rural warfare, but countries and other factions have learnt that urban warfare now greatly benefits the defender as the recent conflicts in Syria and Iraq have shown, where a much smaller force has held off the attacker for a substantial period of time and inflicted substantial casualties in the process.

None of the options are gong to be cheap but are essential as Artillery is going to become more important than even in future conflicts, and we need to move the Army away form its reliance on CAS, that has become the norm in recent operations.

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Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Postby Jake1992 » 20 May 2019, 13:04

Lord Jim wrote:As for a AS-90 replacement, if we are going to buy one system to equip both the Armoured and Mechanised Brigades then the platform chosen needs to be based on the needs of the Mechanised Brigades, so mobility need to be at least equal to the majority of vehicles in these. As a result a wheeled option is the obvious choice for both tube and rocket artillery. The latter should be a simple choice, that being the US HIMARS systems though it should be mounted on the MAN 6x6 chassis already in service with the Army. For the former I think it is a choice between two or three systems. These would be the Boxer SP 155mm and the Caesar 8x8 155mm, with the third option being a new bespoke design for the British Army, though this would be the far more expensive option. Of the first two the Caesar would probably be cheaper, I do not know how much the Dames paid for theirs, but choosing the Boxer variant would bring commonality with the Boxer variants that will be in service throughout the Army.

With choosing a wheeled platform the survivability of said platform is going to depend on its ability to move to a firing position, carry out a fire mission and be on the move before the opponent can counter battery it. This is going to require a comprehensive targeting capability and for the platform to be able to begin firing and be ready to move rapidly, more so than existing platforms. This again moves the decision more towards the Boxer variant than Caesar.

Which ever systems are chosen at whatever level of formation, one capability that is going to be crucial will be the ability to for precision rounds. This is especially vital in urban warfare. The days of a Western Army using dumb artillery to flatten city blocks is long gone, and politically unacceptable. Even weapons as small as the 81mm mortar will need some sort of guidance sooner rather than later. The second capability needed is that to carry and dispense smart munitions like the Franco/Swedish Bonus round. Yes dumb round will have a role in rural warfare, but countries and other factions have learnt that urban warfare now greatly benefits the defender as the recent conflicts in Syria and Iraq have shown, where a much smaller force has held off the attacker for a substantial period of time and inflicted substantial casualties in the process.

None of the options are gong to be cheap but are essential as Artillery is going to become more important than even in future conflicts, and we need to move the Army away form its reliance on CAS, that has become the norm in recent operations.


For all of the reasons above, mobility, munitions, speed of fire and go and cost is why I personally think a next gen Archer with Sweden would be best.

Mobility is exceptional through snow mud and confined areas.
It’s able to take all the latest extended range rounds.
It has a good rate of fire of 9 round per minute or set up fire 6 rounds and move on in 1:30min ( 30 seconds for each part of the task ).
A current price of around £3.5m it’s relatively cheap for what it is.

It does have some down side to me in that it only has a 20 round capacity and with how rates of fire are improving 9 round per minute would need to increase.

With it now being around 16 years old by the time we need the AS-90 replacement it’ll be over 20 years old so we could hopefully convince the Swedish to join us for a next gen archer

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Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Postby Lord Jim » 20 May 2019, 14:50

The Swedes tend to keep their kit in service for a long time, and will probably looking to get at least one or two more decades of use out of their Archers. They have been having a pew problems with them though which they are working to fix. I agree the Archer looks a good choice but against it, as you pointed out is its limited ammunition load and the Boxer option will undoubtable have the benefit of far cheaper running costs as the support structure will be in place and the 155mm Gun is simply a mission module on the back of a Boxer.

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Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Postby Jake1992 » 20 May 2019, 15:24

Lord Jim wrote:The Swedes tend to keep their kit in service for a long time, and will probably looking to get at least one or two more decades of use out of their Archers. They have been having a pew problems with them though which they are working to fix. I agree the Archer looks a good choice but against it, as you pointed out is its limited ammunition load and the Boxer option will undoubtable have the benefit of far cheaper running costs as the support structure will be in place and the 155mm Gun is simply a mission module on the back of a Boxer.


It’d been nice if we could get them to look at a joint replacement in the mid 2020s.
I agree the limited pay load is a problem that’s why along with its ages it’d be best to go for a next gen version of it.

Yes boxer would be cheaper through life but it’d be quite abit more expensive up front, with the standard APC variant being £4m plus I really can see the 155mm variant being £5m plus compared to an archers £3.5m unit cost. The other problem is that it has a low rate of fire even by today’s standards ( only 6 rounds per min ) let alone compared to the new gen Russian design of 12-16 rounds per min.

Since we won’t be needing it unit mid 2020s I believe all current SPGs should be a starting point for a new design not an end point else we’ll just fall behind.

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Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Postby Jake1992 » 20 May 2019, 18:39

One thing I do think needs to be taken in to account IMO when considering the AS-90 is for it to be A400M transportable, considering we only have a small number of C-17s which will be busy with the heavier Boxers, Ajax and MBTs.

So these would be the limit of the next SPG IMO -

37,000 kg (81,600 lb)
cargo compartment: width 4.00-metre (13.12 ft) x height 3.85-metre (12.6 ft) x length 17.71-metre (58.1 ft) (without ramp 5.40-metre (17.7 ft)

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Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Postby Caribbean » 20 May 2019, 21:45

Can't the AGM (Artillery Gun Module) proposed for Boxer also be carried on the MLRS tracked vehicle? Could the MLRS launcher also be carried on the Boxer base vehicle as well? Would be good for commonality
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Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Postby mr.fred » 20 May 2019, 22:52

Jake1992 wrote:One thing I do think needs to be taken in to account IMO when considering the AS-90 is for it to be A400M transportable, considering we only have a small number of C-17s which will be busy with the heavier Boxers, Ajax and MBTs.

No they won't, as we are never going to deploy any sizable force by air. We couldn't sustain it.
It would be useful to be able to transport by air, but you could stand to reduce the vehicle weight to do so. For example, modular and removable armour packs, don't fly laden with ammunition (1 tonne per 20 projectiles, then half a tonne more for propellant)

Jake1992 wrote:I personally think a next gen Archer with Sweden would be best.
I don't think you can have much faith on what a "next gen" anything is going to be, much less base an acquisition policy on it.
Lord Jim wrote:These would be the Boxer SP 155mm and the Caesar 8x8 155mm, with the third option being a new bespoke design for the British Army, though this would be the far more expensive option
That's two then, since a portee gun with no protection for the gun crew has no place in the sort of modern warfare armoured and mechanised formations are intended to be used in.

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Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Postby Jake1992 » 20 May 2019, 23:08

mr.fred wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:One thing I do think needs to be taken in to account IMO when considering the AS-90 is for it to be A400M transportable, considering we only have a small number of C-17s which will be busy with the heavier Boxers, Ajax and MBTs.

No they won't, as we are never going to deploy any sizable force by air. We couldn't sustain it.
It would be useful to be able to transport by air, but you could stand to reduce the vehicle weight to do so. For example, modular and removable armour packs, don't fly laden with ammunition (1 tonne per 20 projectiles, then half a tonne more for propellant)

Jake1992 wrote:I personally think a next gen Archer with Sweden would be best.
I don't think you can have much faith on what a "next gen" anything is going to be, much less base an acquisition policy on it.
Lord Jim wrote:These would be the Boxer SP 155mm and the Caesar 8x8 155mm, with the third option being a new bespoke design for the British Army, though this would be the far more expensive option
That's two then, since a portee gun with no protection for the gun crew has no place in the sort of modern warfare armoured and mechanised formations are intended to be used in.


I was thinking of air transportable with out putting extra pressure on our very small C-17 fleet that as I said will already be very busy with the heavier Boxer Ajax and Challenger fleets.

I was leaning to a next gen Archer as in using the existing Archer design as a starter point, for the reasons I laid out above with its excellent mobility high rate of fire and ability to already use extended range rounds. It’d just be a good starting point to work from IMO.

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Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Postby Lord Jim » 21 May 2019, 00:20

I cannot see the UK buying a bespoke design, and given the growing number of wheeled SP 155mm that are now out there, I cannot see Sweden have much interest in developing a next generation Archer. We will probably end up with an off the shelf design hat is in production when we start seriously looking for a AS-90 replacement. I do think the need to operate effectively with the Mechanised Brigades is going to rule out any heavy tracked designs, so the platform chosen will not rely on thick(ish) armour for protection, instead relying on a rapid shoot and scoot capability using precision ammunition of one sort or another. The wild card could be what the Americans come up with, as a result of their current medium armour programme. However for all we know the Army could end up with a towed or portee gun system based on the M777 in order to get the cheapest outcome, who knows. What it will need to be able to do is;
Greater range
Able to self deploy
Ability to use Precision Munitions
Able to conduct rapid fire missions and move on
Some protection for the crew from small arms.

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Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Postby RetroSicotte » 21 May 2019, 11:19

Honestly the more it comes to it, the more that PzH2000, K9, M109, or a heavily upgraded AS-90 feel like the only true options for the mobile one.

Everything else is just flat out too unprotected, too static, or too restricted in its operation compared to the time proven capability of an armoured unit that can move, shoot, move, and take some near hits without being blown over itself or having exposed crew.

Back it up with towed M777s to replace the L118 in a Portee/Air-Mobile role to support home industry.

Not the cheapest option, but ignoring artillery is a quick way to lose entire brigades ala Ukraine. Note the British soldier replying to Gabe on Twitter who talked about the mock war they ran in training where they simulated Russian artillery ranges compared to current.

The Army decisively lost. Every time they moved up, the opposing artillery simply darted back and maintained fire from long ranged shoot/move/shoot Mstas. Even withthe range, stuff liek CAESAR and the like wouldn't catch that.

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Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Postby Jake1992 » 21 May 2019, 12:03

RetroSicotte wrote:Honestly the more it comes to it, the more that PzH2000, K9, M109, or a heavily upgraded AS-90 feel like the only true options for the mobile one.

Everything else is just flat out too unprotected, too static, or too restricted in its operation compared to the time proven capability of an armoured unit that can move, shoot, move, and take some near hits without being blown over itself or having exposed crew.

Back it up with towed M777s to replace the L118 in a Portee/Air-Mobile role to support home industry.

Not the cheapest option, but ignoring artillery is a quick way to lose entire brigades ala Ukraine. Note the British soldier replying to Gabe on Twitter who talked about the mock war they ran in training where they simulated Russian artillery ranges compared to current.

The Army decisively lost. Every time they moved up, the opposing artillery simply darted back and maintained fire from long ranged shoot/move/shoot Mstas. Even withthe range, stuff liek CAESAR and the like wouldn't catch that.


My problem with the heavier armoured option is that it limits the mobility of any thing outside our tracked formations and also limits its transportability.

I believe the supposed figures for the new Russian SPG is meant to be 12-16 RPM with a range of 70km standard ( I’m unaware if they range extended rounds )
As it stands no western SPG comes close, the closest is Archer with extended range rounds at 60km.

IMO this screams a new design is needed for western forces. The days of the west always having air superiority are coming to an end.

The Boxer based design would be good for protection and mobility but not for RPM or ranger or Transportability, a next gen Archer could be good for range RPM and mobility but not good for protection.
The big factor comes down to what do you want mobility ( transportability ) or protection as you can’t have both as one takes away from the other. IMO in today’s world of fast moving battlefields mobility is more important, a system like Archer that can set up fire 6 rounds and be ready to go in 1:30min and then travel at 65km/h offers more than a slow moving heavy armoured track SPG.

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Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Postby RetroSicotte » 21 May 2019, 13:12

Jake1992 wrote:a system like Archer that can set up fire 6 rounds and be ready to go in 1:30min and then travel at 65km/h offers more than a slow moving heavy armoured track SPG.

That is either equal to, or slower than a PzH2000 can stop and engage from time wise. It has a setup time of 30 seconds, can fire 10 rounds in a single minute, and then move almost immediately after firing. So there is no "advantage" to the Archer in that ability. That is the default standard, nothing special.

And "slow moving" is a huge exaggeration. Modern SPGs are designed to keep up with the advance of MBTs on a strategic level. That is not slow. 60kph is basically the same, only with a much more complete, better protected, and 'self whole' platform. There's a reason that the biggest players in the artillery game (Russia, US, China) are all focusing on developing them above all other howitzer based platforms.

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Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Postby Jake1992 » 21 May 2019, 13:42

RetroSicotte wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:a system like Archer that can set up fire 6 rounds and be ready to go in 1:30min and then travel at 65km/h offers more than a slow moving heavy armoured track SPG.

That is either equal to, or slower than a PzH2000 can stop and engage from time wise. It has a setup time of 30 seconds, can fire 10 rounds in a single minute, and then move almost immediately after firing. So there is no "advantage" to the Archer in that ability. That is the default standard, nothing special.

And "slow moving" is a huge exaggeration. Modern SPGs are designed to keep up with the advance of MBTs on a strategic level. That is not slow. 60kph is basically the same, only with a much more complete, better protected, and 'self whole' platform. There's a reason that the biggest players in the artillery game (Russia, US, China) are all focusing on developing them above all other howitzer based platforms.


You’ve grabbed my interest I’ll have to look more in to the PzH2000

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Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Postby Jake1992 » 21 May 2019, 14:23

I am impressed with it rate of fire and leave of protection but god it’s heavy at nearly 56t it really does limit its transportability, I also do still believe that wheeled SPG are the way forward for mobility especially for us since we are going for a large wheeled set up, tracked vehicles will always limit any formation that isn’t track based.

If we could get this sort of rate of fire on the Boxer SPG I’d be relatively happy but I suspect it’ll be price prohibitive.

One thing I did notice with the PzH2000 is the same weakness with all western SPG ( some more than others ) is that it’s fire range is only just over 30km, and as you pointed out with the Russian exercise this needs to vastly improved I would say to at least 50km+ to allow extended range rounds to close the gap.

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Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Postby Voldemort » 21 May 2019, 15:00

Archer doesn't shoot any further than any other JBMOU 155/52cal guns. It's just a marketing gimmick and entirely ammo dependant. All JBMOU compliant guns can use JBMOU special ammo like Excalibur.

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Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Postby RetroSicotte » 21 May 2019, 15:26

Jake1992 wrote:I am impressed with it rate of fire and leave of protection but god it’s heavy at nearly 56t it really does limit its transportability, I also do still believe that wheeled SPG are the way forward for mobility especially for us since we are going for a large wheeled set up, tracked vehicles will always limit any formation that isn’t track based.

If the UK is in a war where it requires to outrange an advanced artillery system, then it's in a war where heavy units like Challengers and Ajax are getting deployed anyway, and where a truck with a gun on it would be suicide.

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Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Postby Jake1992 » 21 May 2019, 16:02

RetroSicotte wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:I am impressed with it rate of fire and leave of protection but god it’s heavy at nearly 56t it really does limit its transportability, I also do still believe that wheeled SPG are the way forward for mobility especially for us since we are going for a large wheeled set up, tracked vehicles will always limit any formation that isn’t track based.

If the UK is in a war where it requires to outrange an advanced artillery system, then it's in a war where heavy units like Challengers and Ajax are getting deployed anyway, and where a truck with a gun on it would be suicide.


I’m not saying it has to be truck based but a wheeled platform would offer greater mobility for them to be used with any part of the forces with out reducing that mobility, like I said above I’d be happy with a system like the RzH2000 base on the Boxer ( with its RPM and protection )
I refer to the Archer as it’s characteristics like mobility, fire range ( 40km ), RPM, small crew and good price could be a good starting point.

Any system out today would be outdated by the time we need AS-90 replaced in the min 20s but maybe using a current design could be used as starting point instead of starting from scratch.

You want you main SPG to be able to at least match range if not out range any potential per foe not just tin pot dictators forces

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Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Postby PapaGolf » 21 May 2019, 20:08

I wonder if there’s any chance of codeveloping/procuring something with the Australians. They’re looking for a SPG too and we seem to be working very closely on procurement at the moment.

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Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Postby mr.fred » 21 May 2019, 20:19

Jake1992 wrote:I believe the supposed figures for the new Russian SPG is meant to be 12-16 RPM with a range of 70km standard ( I’m unaware if they range extended rounds )
As it stands no western SPG comes close, the closest is Archer with extended range rounds at 60km.

Except that's not true. The 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV, which is most likely what you think you are referring to, is cited as having a range of 30-40km with standard projectiles. It has a rate of fire of 8-10 rounds a minute.
An early prototype, with two barrels, was claimed to manage 12-16 rounds per minute and the guided, assisted projectiles are claimed to make 70km, so I think I can see where you got confused.

Meanwhile the PzH2000 can fire 10-13 rounds a minute and can use Vulcano 155 ammunition to reach 80km.

Jake1992 wrote:IMO in today’s world of fast moving battlefields mobility is more important, a system like Archer that can set up fire 6 rounds and be ready to go in 1:30min and then travel at 65km/h offers more than a slow moving heavy armoured track SPG.

Well you've shot yourself in the foot there, as both the AS90 and the PzH2000, "slow moving heavy armoured track SPGs" will be some distance (between hundreds and a thousand metres) away before the Archer is ready to go. If you want to sell wheeled mobility, sell it at the level where it actually has an advantage - long operational moves.

Jake1992 wrote:Any system out today would be outdated by the time we need AS-90 replaced in the min 20s but maybe using a current design could be used as starting point instead of starting from scratch.

On the other hand, no system developed starting today will be ready by the mid 2020's, using other projects as a guide. You'll likely be restricted to upgraded versions of what is currently available.

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Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Postby Voldemort » 21 May 2019, 21:44

Basically all current high end SPGs are copies of each other, only the solutions made in chassis and turret differ. The guns are the same. The core remains.

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Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Postby Voldemort » 21 May 2019, 21:51

Lord Jim wrote:The problem with saying that the L118 gives greater ranges artillery than say a rifled 120mm mortar (and the rifled bit is important) is that the range difference is not that great and both a greatly outranged by the artillery that they could possibly face with a peer opponent. Yes against a lesser opponent the L118 would have the advantage over their mortars for example, but so would the 120mm rifles mortar as this also outranges the more typical 120mm mortars. The 81mm should be retained within 16AA and 3Cmdo, but replaced within the Armoured and Mechanised Infantry with a self propelled 120mm mortar, the one currently in service with Sweden looks like a good compromise between firepower and cost.

As for a AS-90 replacement, if we are going to buy one system to equip both the Armoured and Mechanised Brigades then the platform chosen needs to be based on the needs of the Mechanised Brigades, so mobility need to be at least equal to the majority of vehicles in these. As a result a wheeled option is the obvious choice for both tube and rocket artillery. The latter should be a simple choice, that being the US HIMARS systems though it should be mounted on the MAN 6x6 chassis already in service with the Army. For the former I think it is a choice between two or three systems. These would be the Boxer SP 155mm and the Caesar 8x8 155mm, with the third option being a new bespoke design for the British Army, though this would be the far more expensive option. Of the first two the Caesar would probably be cheaper, I do not know how much the Dames paid for theirs, but choosing the Boxer variant would bring commonality with the Boxer variants that will be in service throughout the Army.

With choosing a wheeled platform the survivability of said platform is going to depend on its ability to move to a firing position, carry out a fire mission and be on the move before the opponent can counter battery it. This is going to require a comprehensive targeting capability and for the platform to be able to begin firing and be ready to move rapidly, more so than existing platforms. This again moves the decision more towards the Boxer variant than Caesar.

Which ever systems are chosen at whatever level of formation, one capability that is going to be crucial will be the ability to for precision rounds. This is especially vital in urban warfare. The days of a Western Army using dumb artillery to flatten city blocks is long gone, and politically unacceptable. Even weapons as small as the 81mm mortar will need some sort of guidance sooner rather than later. The second capability needed is that to carry and dispense smart munitions like the Franco/Swedish Bonus round. Yes dumb round will have a role in rural warfare, but countries and other factions have learnt that urban warfare now greatly benefits the defender as the recent conflicts in Syria and Iraq have shown, where a much smaller force has held off the attacker for a substantial period of time and inflicted substantial casualties in the process.

None of the options are gong to be cheap but are essential as Artillery is going to become more important than even in future conflicts, and we need to move the Army away form its reliance on CAS, that has become the norm in recent operations.


Do L118 and 120mm mortar need to fill the same niche? Just asking for a friend. Heavy mortars for battalions and artillery for brigade, problem solved.

Jake1992
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Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Postby Jake1992 » 21 May 2019, 21:59

mr.fred wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:I believe the supposed figures for the new Russian SPG is meant to be 12-16 RPM with a range of 70km standard ( I’m unaware if they range extended rounds )
As it stands no western SPG comes close, the closest is Archer with extended range rounds at 60km.

Except that's not true. The 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV, which is most likely what you think you are referring to, is cited as having a range of 30-40km with standard projectiles. It has a rate of fire of 8-10 rounds a minute.
An early prototype, with two barrels, was claimed to manage 12-16 rounds per minute and the guided, assisted projectiles are claimed to make 70km, so I think I can see where you got confused.

Meanwhile the PzH2000 can fire 10-13 rounds a minute and can use Vulcano 155 ammunition to reach 80km.

Jake1992 wrote:IMO in today’s world of fast moving battlefields mobility is more important, a system like Archer that can set up fire 6 rounds and be ready to go in 1:30min and then travel at 65km/h offers more than a slow moving heavy armoured track SPG.

Well you've shot yourself in the foot there, as both the AS90 and the PzH2000, "slow moving heavy armoured track SPGs" will be some distance (between hundreds and a thousand metres) away before the Archer is ready to go. If you want to sell wheeled mobility, sell it at the level where it actually has an advantage - long operational moves.

Jake1992 wrote:Any system out today would be outdated by the time we need AS-90 replaced in the min 20s but maybe using a current design could be used as starting point instead of starting from scratch.

On the other hand, no system developed starting today will be ready by the mid 2020's, using other projects as a guide. You'll likely be restricted to upgraded versions of what is currently available.


It must of been the prototype I read about your description sound bang on for what I read.

Why would an As-90 be hundreds or thousands of metres ahead ? You place your SPGs where needed fire quick move quick to your next location you wouldn't just have them sitting there to take counter battery.

I agree a new from scratch design wouldn’t be ready by the mid to late 20s that’s why Iv been putting forward looking at and existing design like Archer or RzH2000 as a starting point to improve on.

The Boxer 155mm variant is going down the route and could be spot on for us, but the current iteration has a low rate of fire from what I can find only at 6 RPM. I also suspect it’d be very pricey with the standard APC variant coming in at £4m+ so I can honestly see the 155mm variant clearing the £5m+ mark making them cost prohibitive for us.

mr.fred
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Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Postby mr.fred » 21 May 2019, 22:21

Jake1992 wrote:Why would an As-90 be hundreds or thousands of metres ahead ? You place your SPGs where needed fire quick move quick to your next location you wouldn't just have them sitting there to take counter battery.

Because it's faster out of action by up to a minute and nearly as fast over ground. It's about how far you could drive in the additional time it takes the Archer to start moving after firing.

Jake1992 wrote:I agree a new from scratch design wouldn’t be ready by the mid to late 20s that’s why Iv been putting forward looking at and existing design like Archer or RzH2000 as a starting point to improve on.

So you'll get an existing design with new electronics. Not really that much different to the original design

And it's PzH, PanzerHaubitze, not RzH

RunningStrong
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Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Postby RunningStrong » 21 May 2019, 22:25

Jake1992 wrote:The Boxer 155mm variant is going down the route and could be spot on for us, but the current iteration has a low rate of fire from what I can find only at 6 RPM. I also suspect it’d be very pricey with the standard APC variant coming in at £4m+ so I can honestly see the 155mm variant clearing the £5m+ mark making them cost prohibitive for us.

And given that it only exists as a single demonstrator, probably development costs and time added to that too.


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