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AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

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

Postby Jake1992 » 21 May 2019, 22:35

mr.fred wrote:
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


Why would you only have electronic upgrades what makes you think that’s all that could be done over what is to mostly be an 7-8 year period, you could look to improve the Boxers rate of fire over that time or look at the Archers weapons set up on a different vehicle. It’s about having an open mind to what route could be taken, you say your self and new from scratch design couldn’t be delivered in time so what do you suggest ? Should we just buy one of the existing designs that’ll be over 20 years old by then ? Or look at them as a starting point for a next gen version of them.

Why point out something that was clearly a typo in an arrogant manner is there any need besides to feel superior.

RunningStrong wrote:
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.


This is the big put off for me with the Boxer 155mm due to the cost of the base platform once development cost are added to make it suitable the up front per unit cost will be so high it’ll be prohibitive, yes there’s be good through life cost savings but we already know how hard it is to get the treasury to look at projects that way.

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

Postby Lord Jim » 22 May 2019, 02:07

Voldemort wrote: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.

If you are talking about a rifled 120mm Mortar then yes they do fill the same niche, but if you are referring to standard 120mm Mortars than yes they should be a Battalion level asset.

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

Postby Lord Jim » 22 May 2019, 02:09

How far can a tracked 155mm go without requiring a transporter? Could a tracked 155mm effectively support the planned Mechanised Brigades? Can the Army afford two new artillery systems or just one? These are going to be key questions in the search to replace the AS-90.

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

Postby Voldemort » 22 May 2019, 06:51

Lord Jim wrote:
Voldemort wrote: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.

If you are talking about a rifled 120mm Mortar then yes they do fill the same niche, but if you are referring to standard 120mm Mortars than yes they should be a Battalion level asset.


Why, just because you say so? Why do rifled 120mm and L118 fill the same niche and what is that niche? From my POV they're all BG/Bn level weapons. None of them should be the sole source of firepower at brigade level organically.

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

Postby mr.fred » 22 May 2019, 07:30

Jake1992 wrote:Why would you only have electronic upgrades what makes you think that’s all that could be done over what is to mostly be an 7-8 year period, you could look to improve the Boxers rate of fire over that time or look at the Archers weapons set up on a different vehicle. It’s about having an open mind to what route could be taken, you say your self and new from scratch design couldn’t be delivered in time so what do you suggest ? Should we just buy one of the existing designs that’ll be over 20 years old by then ? Or look at them as a starting point for a next gen version of them.

I was thinking it would be a less than 7 year period and basing it on our glacial procurement processes.
Jake1992 wrote:Why point out something that was clearly a typo in an arrogant manner is there any need besides to feel superior.

Since you’d consistently used the wrong abbreviation, I figured that you had misread it.

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

Postby Lord Jim » 22 May 2019, 08:03

Voldemort wrote:Why, just because you say so? Why do rifled 120mm and L118 fill the same niche and what is that niche? From my POV they're all BG/Bn level weapons. None of them should be the sole source of firepower at brigade level organically.


For Light forces such as Airborne, Air Mobile or Amphibious, the Rifles 120mm offers basically the similar performance as a 105mm Gun but has the advantage of being lighter and having the ability to fire a far greater range of munition types including precision and cargo rounds. Remember at present these formations types in the British Armed Force use the 105mm Light Gun at Brigade level.

Yes there is a good argument for its replacement by a larger 155mm weapon such as the M777A2 but although this is a "Light", weapon the ammunition is far heavier than the two previous weapons which could cause logistical problems.

Normal 120mm Mortars, especially if vehicle mounted make excellent Battalion level weapons and they are something I believe the British should look at for our Armoured and Mechanised Infantry Battalions, be it a traditional hatch mounted system or a turret mounted alternative.

The issue we are going to have is money, how much is allocated to the programme to replace the AS-90 and what options that gives us. I am not confidant that the programme will be well funded, so the new system will have to be applicable to both the Armoured Infantry and Mechanised Infantry Brigades. Whether there will be any money to improve the artillery allocated to 16 Air Assault Brigade or 3 Commando Brigade or if there is any plan to do so we shall have to wait and see.

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

Postby Jake1992 » 22 May 2019, 08:05

mr.fred wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:Why would you only have electronic upgrades what makes you think that’s all that could be done over what is to mostly be an 7-8 year period, you could look to improve the Boxers rate of fire over that time or look at the Archers weapons set up on a different vehicle. It’s about having an open mind to what route could be taken, you say your self and new from scratch design couldn’t be delivered in time so what do you suggest ? Should we just buy one of the existing designs that’ll be over 20 years old by then ? Or look at them as a starting point for a next gen version of them.

I was thinking it would be a less than 7 year period and basing it on our glacial procurement processes.
Jake1992 wrote:Why point out something that was clearly a typo in an arrogant manner is there any need besides to feel superior.

Since you’d consistently used the wrong abbreviation, I figured that you had misread it.


With how slow our decision making is and how slow procurement process is I’d expect it won’t come in till the mid to late 20s since we’ve only just started the discussion.

No just trying on a phone while in convo at the same times, not really the best at multi tasking.

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

Postby Voldemort » 22 May 2019, 09:43

Lord Jim wrote:
Voldemort wrote:Why, just because you say so? Why do rifled 120mm and L118 fill the same niche and what is that niche? From my POV they're all BG/Bn level weapons. None of them should be the sole source of firepower at brigade level organically.


For Light forces such as Airborne, Air Mobile or Amphibious, the Rifles 120mm offers basically the similar performance as a 105mm Gun but has the advantage of being lighter and having the ability to fire a far greater range of munition types including precision and cargo rounds. Remember at present these formations types in the British Armed Force use the 105mm Light Gun at Brigade level.

Yes there is a good argument for its replacement by a larger 155mm weapon such as the M777A2 but although this is a "Light", weapon the ammunition is far heavier than the two previous weapons which could cause logistical problems.

Normal 120mm Mortars, especially if vehicle mounted make excellent Battalion level weapons and they are something I believe the British should look at for our Armoured and Mechanised Infantry Battalions, be it a traditional hatch mounted system or a turret mounted alternative.

The issue we are going to have is money, how much is allocated to the programme to replace the AS-90 and what options that gives us. I am not confidant that the programme will be well funded, so the new system will have to be applicable to both the Armoured Infantry and Mechanised Infantry Brigades. Whether there will be any money to improve the artillery allocated to 16 Air Assault Brigade or 3 Commando Brigade or if there is any plan to do so we shall have to wait and see.


Light gun for brigade and smoothbore heavy mortars for battalions then. Towed mortars are dirt cheap. Absolutely no reason as to why not swap 81mm at battalion level for 120mm mortars. A big increase in firepower.
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Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Postby RetroSicotte » 22 May 2019, 11:17

There is a level that isn't referred to. Counter artillery has a habit of turning the ground into mush.

Can a wheeled vehicle evacuate over such terrain in any expedient manner when there is little surface tension? It seems unlikely. Better as they are, soft, loose earth is awful for all wheels.

Boxer SPG is an option that seems quite legitimate when one includes the fiscal reality. It's the balance. All I'm saying is we shouldn't lose track of the ideal solution, which is what major artillery users are ALL going for.

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

Postby Lord Jim » 22 May 2019, 19:06

The immortal balance, what we need as against what we can afford. The Royal Artillery is a clear example of the damage that has been done to the British Army through a lack of fund. The fact that the Head of the Army (Richards) directed his staff to divert nearly all its resources to Afghanistan for the later part of that campaign meant all branches and equipment not applicable to Afghanistan were literally barely kept on life support. The Powers that be still do not believe we really need to rebuild out conventional peer on peer combat power and have their collective head stuck in the sand regarding the rise of threat both old and new in this area of warfare.

We did upgrade the MLRS to GMLRS but only a limited number of launchers were upgraded and we have retained about half of the total we once operated. The AS-90, once believed to be one of the best SPG going has been left to stagnate due to the lack of a funded development path, like so many items of kit. The fact that the programme to install a 52 Cal barrel was not followed through is simply criminal, yes there was issues with the related South African charge system but there were alternative out there readily available. The RO 105,, Light Gun has served us very well and is still a credible piece of kit for light forces, but against a peer opponent it is totally out classed, and its inability to fire precision rounds limits its ability to provide effective fire support in anything but rural areas with little or no chance of collateral damage.

I do not know how well funded the programme to replace the AS-90 will be, but it is going to be vital we choose the system that can support both the Ai And Mech Brigades effectively, manoeuvre effectively with both formations, self deploy over large distances, is able to conduct rapid fire missions before relocating, in other words all the firing data is already in the system by the time the vehicle stops and so it can commence firing within seconds of coming to a halt and be on the way in less than a couple of minutes, ideally less. As important is logistics support must be a manoeuvrable as the SPG.

But we mustn't be just looking at the AS-90, the Royal Artillery needs an almost complete overhaul. Land Ceptor needs an armoured launch vehicle that can be forward deployed, as well as the truck based option for defence of fixed locations. The Boxer would be an obvious choice for this. Starstreak needs a new launch vehicle to replace the aging Stormer. Both Ajax and Boxer would be good choice for this.

The Regiments supporting 16AA and 3Cmdo need increased firepower. As a minimum I would suggest one battery in each Regiment should be equipped with the M777A2, though a better solution would be for one to retain the 105mm Light Gun and the other totally re-equip with the M777A2, with both Regiments cross training o that they can effective support both Brigades. I would suggest that the Brandt 120mm Rifled Mortar should be looked at as a replacement for the 105mm Light Gun as it is a lighter and more deployable weapon. The JLTV can easily tow this weapon as well as transporting both crew and ammunition at the same time for example.

Our GMLRS needs to be lightened, with the current tracked vehicle replace by the HIMARS systems but our will need to be based on the MAN chassis already used by the Army. The Regiment so equipped needs to be expanded to four batteries of six, with one Battery allocated to support our Rapid Reaction Brigades, with this duty rotated through the Regiment.

As for replacing the AS-90, I cannot see a tracked platform meeting the requirements list as such a platform will not be able to operate and deploy effectively with our two planned Mech Brigades. Of the Wheeled options, the Boxer is in a different class compared to other platforms like Caesar, and will benefit from reduced costs especially those for operating it. The fact that the 155mm is in a self contained mission module, able to be mounted on any Boxer also offers up some interesting possibilities, like the Army operating a fleet pool of Boxer chassis and Mission Modules, enabling upgrades and maintenance to be carried out without impacting the numbers available to frontline units.

Whatever option is chosen it must be properly funded, not relying on some efficiencies being made elsewhere to provide some of the cash. Lust the need to re-equip the Royal Artillery is a good case with which to make the argument that the Army needs more of the money Pie moving forward, to redress the lack of investment in its combat capability against anything but the Taliban.

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

Postby mr.fred » 22 May 2019, 22:36

Seems relevant:

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 22 May 2019, 23:09

Lord Jim wrote: Remember at present these formations types in the British Armed Force use the 105mm Light Gun at Brigade level.
That's nothing to brag about; Voldemort could tell us where they have their nearly half a thousand 122 mm pieces [tip: not at Bde level?] that are comparable to the the short 155 on AS-90s... except that most (6 in 7?) are towed as opposed to being AS-90 look-alikes. - the same idea though: mobility on par with the formations that they are meant to support; then range becomes less of an issue
Lord Jim wrote: Whether there will be any money to improve the artillery allocated to 16 Air Assault Brigade or 3 Commando Brigade or if there is any plan to do so we shall have to wait and see.
I think they are ding fine and artillery priorities sit elsewhere (for improvement)
RetroSicotte wrote:Boxer SPG is an option that seems quite legitimate when one includes the fiscal reality. It's the balance.
... this is where the priority should be
Lord Jim wrote: The Powers that be still do not believe we really need to rebuild out conventional peer on peer combat power and have their collective head stuck in the sand regarding the rise of threat both old and new in this area of warfare.
Could well be true, but what specifically makes you state that?

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

Postby Lord Jim » 23 May 2019, 13:12

ACC

I was attempting to do the opposite of bragging when stating that we use 105mm Light Guns at Brigade level. In fact I think the artillery support of 16AA and 3Cmdo is inadequate to say the least if we end up in a conflict with a peer opponent. However in operations against lesser opposition the weapon can still be effective in rural operations but it needs to be supplemented by a precision indirect weapon like NLOS.

If the power that be appreciated how far our conventional warfighting capability has atrophied over the past decades, they would be increasing the funding as a priority instead of telling the MoD to simply juggle their books or make efficiencies to find the money. Yes we have Ajax, which is trying to find a role for the number of vehicles on order, and eventually the Warrior CSP when it actually arrives. But the Challenger 2 CSP needs to be properly funded to allow the platform to be truly upgrades to meet current and future threats. As for the Artillery, well we have yet to see the ambition of the programme to replace the AS-90, but I see the CR2 CSP as the template. Has anything been announced regarding the GMLRS? How many Boxer and JLTV are we actually gong to buy? Are we going to actually buy the variants we need or is the current plan for the "Strike", Brigades set in stone?

If you are going to have small formations they need to have the maximum firepower they can carry to hit hard and fast and then move on. We cannot fight traditional battles with the size of our Army, it has not he mass of personnel, equipment or logistics to survive let alone win against a peer opponent. The phrase often used is that of a speed bump. That is not a good role to aspire to but is probably the most we can do with the current funding level of the Army.

Back in the days of BAOR we had the mass but lacked the equipment to properly equip all units to face the Red Menace. By Lion Heart 86 the British Army was probably its most effective since WWII. Now we lack both the mass and the equipment and some would say we are on the very edge of the precipice where any further reduction would reduce the Army below critical mass and it would not be able to actually fight with anything other then SF.

So turning back to the thread's title, my opinion is that at present there is only one platform that can replace the AS-90 and operate with both the Armoured and Mechanised Infantry and that is the Boxer with the 155mm SPG Mission Module. we will need a support variant of the Boxer to work with the SPG to provide additional ammunition and act as a bridge between logistics further back and the guns. The support vehicle needs to be a mobile across country as the SPG in order for it to properly support the gun.

Going forward, we need to ensure that individual batteries within a Royal Artillery Regiment are able to act autonomously. Each should have between six and eight Guns, up to two Command Vehicles, a number of Armoured Ammunition Carriers, and a Recovery Vehicle as a minimum. I mention two command vehicle so that even the battery can be further dispersed than is currently seen as normal. the C3 and Gun Platforms all need to be networked, with the former linked into the Regiment. At Regimental level there needs to be a number of vanilla Boxers without Mission Modules, so that if any vehicles are damaged beyond repair the Mission Module can be recovered and transferred to a new vanilla chassis. As a result there need to be engineering assets at this level to conduct such operations. The final asset the Regiment needs is a close security force integral to it. We all know how far the SF of our possible opponents have expanded, so the Regiment and its Batteries need to be able to protect themselves from attack by such forces, without relying on the Army's scarce infantry resources to do so. This would be an ideal role for any reserves assigned to the Artillery in addition to the more obvious roles.

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

Postby Lord Jim » 23 May 2019, 13:16

mr.fred wrote:Seems relevant:

Good video and does help make the argument for the Boxer SPG over other platforms like Caesar. However the latter would be a useful addition to our light forces I believe, to supplement the 105mm Light Guns.

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

Postby Jake1992 » 23 May 2019, 15:38

Lord Jim wrote:So turning back to the thread's title, my opinion is that at present there is only one platform that can replace the AS-90 and operate with both the Armoured and Mechanised Infantry and that is the Boxer with the 155mm SPG Mission Module. we will need a support variant of the Boxer to work with the SPG to provide additional ammunition and act as a bridge between logistics further back and the guns. The support vehicle needs to be a mobile across country as the SPG in order for it to properly support the gun.


I do believe a logistics variation of the Boxer is in the works so would fit nicely with what would be needed here.

The more I read in to the Boxer 155mm the more I do like it, it’s very mobile very fast well protected and surprisingly air transportable via a A400M, but I do have a few concerns with it in its current stage.

As of now it does have a low rate of fire even by current SPGs let alone future ones at only 6-8 RPM it really needs to be hitting 10-12 RPM to compete with the likes of PzH2000. It also has a relatively low rounds capacity at only 30 rounds, yes larger than the Archer but still pretty low when compared to the likes of PzH2000 at 60 or even the G6 at 46 round. My big concern though is that to improve these I can see the unit cost shooting above the £5m mark and in doing so would it become cost prohibitive.

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

Postby RunningStrong » 23 May 2019, 17:38

Jake1992 wrote:The more I read in to the Boxer 155mm the more I do like it, it’s very mobile very fast well protected and surprisingly air transportable via a A400M, but I do have a few concerns with it in its current stage.

A quick trawl of ThinkDefence and Wikipedia suggests that Boxer with 155 is too tall for A400M.

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

Postby Lord Jim » 23 May 2019, 17:55

Doesn't really matter, we won't be airlifting forces of any size, anywhere in the future except on a very small scale, and if we wanted to move a Boxer/SPG we would probably just use a C-17.

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

Postby Jake1992 » 23 May 2019, 17:58

RunningStrong wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:The more I read in to the Boxer 155mm the more I do like it, it’s very mobile very fast well protected and surprisingly air transportable via a A400M, but I do have a few concerns with it in its current stage.

A quick trawl of ThinkDefence and Wikipedia suggests that Boxer with 155 is too tall for A400M.


The chart I found says it comes in at 3.5m and the A400M compartment is 3.9m in hight, I would post the chart but for some reason the thread won’t let me

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

Postby Caribbean » 23 May 2019, 19:34

RunningStrong wrote:A quick trawl of ThinkDefence and Wikipedia suggests that Boxer with 155 is too tall for A400M.

The original AGM was intended to be transportable in the A400M, but I think that was using the same base vehicle as the MLRS (the M933 Carrier - a Bradley derivative). I suspect that the Donar variant would also fit an A400M (based on an ASCOD 2 chassis, so an Ajax base vehicle is a possibility, maybe). The Boxer looks tall, but is actually slightly lower than the Ajax, so an A400m fit seems possible.
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Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 23 May 2019, 22:49

Lord Jim wrote:was attempting to do the opposite of bragging when stating that we use 105mm Light Guns at Brigade level.

I know, was just trying to tease Voldemort (we used to have two Finns here... where has to other one gone?) into giving a rationale why his country has a 122 mm battery as an organic asset within each BG. Let me try to guess: the BGs (there) are not Dublos, put together from Legos ad hoc, but units that come together on mobilisation and are "ready to fight, 360 degrees"... meaning that everything exc. the tail of the logs tail needs to be organic and move with the "teeth". Also, one of the two neighbouring countries (there is a third one and that country being part of NATO, I am sure they are hatching a plan :D to do a hook through Lapland and take Murmansk on Day2 :o ) has a doctrine that is built around using Bn-sized BGs... what you need (should you go into the forest to spend a Penny and meet one, by chance) is "overmatch". The 122 does not have a huge range, but is mobile and more easily supported than a 155 (a Bde-level asset, with range to fire from one road into the advancing column on the next road 30-40 km away... the first European 52 cal to enter service, btw. Tried and tested in the battle of Cuito Cuanavale that was decisive for that long war https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... -5Rear.jpg though the blue-eyed Scandis of course do not sell arms to warring parties so the design had to travel to RSA via Israel... and the test guns only just made it to "the test").
Lord Jim wrote: By Lion Heart 86 the British Army was probably its most effective since WWII.
... and then "the buggers" took the wall down, just when we had reached readiness :)
Lord Jim wrote: to face the Red Menace
As we now have "forward defences" Putin can try to do a Barbarossa... over thousand of kilometers. Good luck with that (even without mud, and then snow)
Lord Jim wrote: need a support variant of the Boxer to work with the SPG to provide additional ammunition and act as a bridge between logistics further back and the guns. The support vehicle needs to be a mobile across country as the SPG in order for it to properly support the gun.
More mobile, as it will scurrying back and forth to do the supply. The Guns may have travelled from A to B and then C, but the support vehicle should be able to make a bee-line from A to C:

Lord Jim wrote:the Regiment needs is a close security force integral to it. We all know how far the SF of our possible opponents have expanded,
Indeed, this rubbish about having two infantry bns per Bde ... compare with a Stryker Bde that has 6-7 manoeuvre units: one is always going to be on Force Protection duty (no battle lines etc), so that is one 6th. Vs. our 50% :?:
Jake1992 wrote: My big concern though is that to improve these I can see the unit cost shooting above the £5m mark
PzH comes too often into these discussions (I understand that it is used as a benchmark for what is achievable... err, desirable):
- it is not just an SPG, it is actually armoured
- hence it is a monster (weight wise)
- it achieves the high rate of fire through full automation: not just hugely expensive, but malfunction prone and maintenance intensive ... the crew should be able to do most maintenance tasks, so that the battery, or higher, can operate "self-contained" over many days, save for food and (more) rounds arriving

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

Postby Lord Jim » 24 May 2019, 00:10

Isn't the SPG module proposed for the Boxer automated?

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

Postby Voldemort » 24 May 2019, 05:22

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
Lord Jim wrote:was attempting to do the opposite of bragging when stating that we use 105mm Light Guns at Brigade level.

I know, was just trying to tease Voldemort (we used to have two Finns here... where has to other one gone?) into giving a rationale why his country has a 122 mm battery as an organic asset within each BG. Let me try to guess: the BGs (there) are not Dublos, put together from Legos ad hoc, but units that come together on mobilisation and are "ready to fight, 360 degrees"... meaning that everything exc. the tail of the logs tail needs to be organic and move with the "teeth". Also, one of the two neighbouring countries (there is a third one and that country being part of NATO, I am sure they are hatching a plan :D to do a hook through Lapland and take Murmansk on Day2 :o ) has a doctrine that is built around using Bn-sized BGs... what you need (should you go into the forest to spend a Penny and meet one, by chance) is "overmatch". The 122 does not have a huge range, but is mobile and more easily supported than a 155 (a Bde-level asset, with range to fire from one road into the advancing column on the next road 30-40 km away... the first European 52 cal to enter service, btw. Tried and tested in the battle of Cuito Cuanavale that was decisive for that long war https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... -5Rear.jpg though the blue-eyed Scandis of course do not sell arms to warring parties so the design had to travel to RSA via Israel... and the test guns only just made it to "the test").
Lord Jim wrote: By Lion Heart 86 the British Army was probably its most effective since WWII.
... and then "the buggers" took the wall down, just when we had reached readiness :)
Lord Jim wrote: to face the Red Menace
As we now have "forward defences" Putin can try to do a Barbarossa... over thousand of kilometers. Good luck with that (even without mud, and then snow)
Lord Jim wrote: need a support variant of the Boxer to work with the SPG to provide additional ammunition and act as a bridge between logistics further back and the guns. The support vehicle needs to be a mobile across country as the SPG in order for it to properly support the gun.
More mobile, as it will scurrying back and forth to do the supply. The Guns may have travelled from A to B and then C, but the support vehicle should be able to make a bee-line from A to C:

Lord Jim wrote:the Regiment needs is a close security force integral to it. We all know how far the SF of our possible opponents have expanded,
Indeed, this rubbish about having two infantry bns per Bde ... compare with a Stryker Bde that has 6-7 manoeuvre units: one is always going to be on Force Protection duty (no battle lines etc), so that is one 6th. Vs. our 50% :?:
Jake1992 wrote: My big concern though is that to improve these I can see the unit cost shooting above the £5m mark
PzH comes too often into these discussions (I understand that it is used as a benchmark for what is achievable... err, desirable):
- it is not just an SPG, it is actually armoured
- hence it is a monster (weight wise)
- it achieves the high rate of fire through full automation: not just hugely expensive, but malfunction prone and maintenance intensive ... the crew should be able to do most maintenance tasks, so that the battery, or higher, can operate "self-contained" over many days, save for food and (more) rounds arriving


Not a battery but battalion per battlegroup. Each battlegroup has 18x D-30s and 12x 120mm mortars and three 81mm mortars per jäger coy. They're there to give adequate firepower for independent operations.

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

Postby Lord Jim » 24 May 2019, 07:59

I would be happy if the planned "Strike" Brigades (prefer to call them Mechanised) had integral Artillery support even if it was just a Regiment of 105mm Light Guns. At present their entire indirect fire support will come from the 16 SP 81mm Mortars on the Boxers and even that is not certain as I do not think the mortar version has been confirmed. Compare that to the Finns!!

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

Postby Voldemort » 24 May 2019, 08:22

Lord Jim wrote:I would be happy if the planned "Strike" Brigades (prefer to call them Mechanised) had integral Artillery support even if it was just a Regiment of 105mm Light Guns. At present their entire indirect fire support will come from the 16 SP 81mm Mortars on the Boxers and even that is not certain as I do not think the mortar version has been confirmed. Compare that to the Finns!!


https://eyeonscandinavia.wordpress.com/ ... ion-fi-re/ suggest you read this and the linked Corporal Frisk article.

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

Postby Lord Jim » 24 May 2019, 14:45

Both very good articles and really highlight the different attitude to Artillery between the UK and Finland. As pointed out there is a lot of closed terrain in Finland, due to the abundant forests, but that sort of terrain still allows for massed fore with basic HE shells upon a target. How do the Finns look at massed artillery fire in urban areas? Certain countries, not far from yourselves have shown a total lack of concern of casualties amongst enemy civilian casualties, but others have decided that only precision rounds should be used in such an environment.

Many NATO countries are having to relearn many lessons on how to fight a Peer on Peer high intensity conflict. The UK is slowly relearning what it know in the nineteen eighties and early nineteen nineties, but we are still quiet away of from getting there. What types of artillery we need and how to use it is a hard land probably costly lesson to relearn, and how the programme to replace the AS-90 is handled and funded will show the MoD's and Treasury's commitment to carrying out the essential modernisation the Army needs.

I do like the Finns attitude to defence, but I do not think it is totally applicable to the UK. With the AS-90 replacement, we need a platform that provides reasonable protection to the crew of the weapon, both with manoeuvring and when operating the gun. Neither towed weapons nor platforms like Caesar do that. In addition we need a platform that can work with out planned Mechanised Brigades and travel with them over the same distances when the former deploys.

There are at least two systems that possibly can meet these needs but one, the Swedish Archer, may not have the same range of the prime vehicle in these formations the Boxer which may be an issue. It is however a proven platform with most of its pros and cons known. The Second option would be the Boxer variant that used a self contained mission module that I believe utilises the same gun as the German PzH2000. This platform would obviously bring operational saving having a common chassis and the benefits this brings, but it is still only a demonstrator at present and its pros and cons are therefore not known. Both systems could be delivered within the UK's timeframe but neither would be cheap. At the same time the UK needs to adopt either Excalibur or one of the Precision Guidance Kits now offered by numerous manufacturers as well as a Dispensing Cargo Round, able to release smart munitions of one kind or another.

But we need more than just the Gun Platform and clever ammunition. We need an integrated system of platforms able to work and operate together including platforms like an Armoured High Mobility Logistics Platform and Electronic Warfare. Also other platforms already planned for the Mechanised Infantry Battalions. These include an Armoured Recovery, Combat Engineering, Command and Control, Security, REME and more will be needed.

This Weapon System needs to operate dispersed and be highly mobile with all its elements. Though Dispersed it needs to be able to deliver concentrated and precision fire rapidly on a target and be repositioning fast enough to avoid return fire. It also needs the integral protection of Electronic Warfare assets to interfere with or Jam an Opponents ISTAR capabilities to disrupt their attempts to locate our assets. This needs to work seamlessly with more capable assets operating higher up at Brigade level and above. Finally these assets need both integral protection against ground assault and have assets attached to provide Air Defence, most likely Starstreak in its Infantry shoulder launched or using the three round lightweight launcher together with some type of IR or Radar detection system.

So replacing the AS-90 should actually be a far more complicated programme than just choosing a new gun platform. We need by procure a systems that will take us forward into the late 2020s and beyond.


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