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AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

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

Postby Voldemort » 24 May 2019, 15:24

Lord Jim wrote: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.


About fires in urban terrain I believe it's mostly same as in forests. Open sources don't deal with it often so I believe it doesn't differ from other environments. Close protection should come indirectly from infantry units hence they should be pretty close to friendly infantry.

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 24 May 2019, 15:53

Voldemort wrote:Each battlegroup has 18x [xxx] and 12x 120mm mortars and three 81mm mortars per jäger coy. They're there to give adequate firepower for independent operations.

AKA dispersed battleground... no Forward Edge etc
Lord Jim wrote: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.

+
Lord Jim wrote: 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.


Are you sure that you are still searching for ONE platform?

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

Postby Lord Jim » 24 May 2019, 18:40

As I mentioned, in principal both the Archer and Boxer/155mm meet the above to which you could add the latest version of the South African G-6 Rhino which is really in a different weight class but has better performance than either above, has been designed from the beginning to support long distance operations and offers probably better protection but all this comes at a cost.

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 24 May 2019, 22:38

Lord Jim wrote:both the Archer and Boxer/155mm meet the above


OK, which one then?

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

Postby Voldemort » 25 May 2019, 09:58

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
Lord Jim wrote:both the Archer and Boxer/155mm meet the above


OK, which one then?


Number of wheeled options available from East Europe like Aleksander or Zuzana.
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Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Postby Jake1992 » 25 May 2019, 11:47

Voldemort wrote:
ArmChairCivvy wrote:
Lord Jim wrote:both the Archer and Boxer/155mm meet the above


OK, which one then?


Number of wheeled options available from East Europe like Aleksander or Zuzana.


For me wheeled is the route we can go the question then is do we go pretty cheap ( archer ) with is limits in rounds capacity and protection or do we go all in with Boxer and improve on it’s current defections and pay the cost.

If money’s there for the upfront cost then Boxer makes the most sense with the commonality it’ll provide

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

Postby Voldemort » 25 May 2019, 12:58

Jake1992 wrote:
Voldemort wrote:
ArmChairCivvy wrote:
Lord Jim wrote:both the Archer and Boxer/155mm meet the above


OK, which one then?


Number of wheeled options available from East Europe like Aleksander or Zuzana.


For me wheeled is the route we can go the question then is do we go pretty cheap ( archer ) with is limits in rounds capacity and protection or do we go all in with Boxer and improve on it’s current defections and pay the cost.

If money’s there for the upfront cost then Boxer makes the most sense with the commonality it’ll provide


Commonality could come from MANs aswell.
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Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Postby Jake1992 » 25 May 2019, 14:01

Voldemort wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:
Voldemort wrote:
ArmChairCivvy wrote:
Lord Jim wrote:both the Archer and Boxer/155mm meet the above


OK, which one then?


Number of wheeled options available from East Europe like Aleksander or Zuzana.


For me wheeled is the route we can go the question then is do we go pretty cheap ( archer ) with is limits in rounds capacity and protection or do we go all in with Boxer and improve on it’s current defections and pay the cost.

If money’s there for the upfront cost then Boxer makes the most sense with the commonality it’ll provide


Commonality could come from MANs aswell.


Doesn’t look bad but like archer it lacks the mobility and protection Boxer offers but I’d suspect like archer it’d be cheaper than Boxer.

It all comes down to what we want our SPG do to, could a mix a Boxer for high end environment and something like the above for lower end be the way to go instead of just one type ?

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

Postby Caribbean » 25 May 2019, 14:15

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
Lord Jim wrote:both the Archer and Boxer/155mm meet the above


OK, which one then?

Personally, I'd go with a common gun module and different carrier vehicles, as appropriate (tracked or 8x8 armoured/ unarmoured). Ditto for the gun limber/ ammunition carrier (or whatever it's called these days) and any GMLRS development
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Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Postby Jake1992 » 25 May 2019, 15:37

Caribbean wrote:
ArmChairCivvy wrote:
Lord Jim wrote:both the Archer and Boxer/155mm meet the above


OK, which one then?

Personally, I'd go with a common gun module and different carrier vehicles, as appropriate (tracked or 8x8 armoured/ unarmoured). Ditto for the gun limber/ ammunition carrier (or whatever it's called these days) and any GMLRS development


That’s what I was thinking say get the Boxer 155mm for part of the fleet then using the same gum module on a truck like what the archer uses as a cheaper option.

The issues with the Boxer gum still needs to be addressed through, it’s low rate of fire only 6-8 RPM, it’s shorter range at 55km with extended range rounds and it’s load capacity at 30 rounds.
For me to sort these factors should be brought up to 10-12 RPM, 60km+ range and 40 odd load capacity. If we could get to this with out the unit price braking the bank then the Boxer 155mm and it’s gun mounts on a truck would be spot on.

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

Postby Caribbean » 25 May 2019, 16:19

Jake1992 wrote:That’s what I was thinking say get the Boxer 155mm for part of the fleet then using the same gum module on a truck like what the archer uses as a cheaper option.

And an Ajax-derived carrier vehicle for the Armoured Brigades, (maybe also replacing the Stryker-derived M993 Carrier currently used on the UKs MLRS systems)
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Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Postby Jake1992 » 25 May 2019, 16:23

Caribbean wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:That’s what I was thinking say get the Boxer 155mm for part of the fleet then using the same gum module on a truck like what the archer uses as a cheaper option.

And an Ajax-derived carrier vehicle for the Armoured Brigades, (maybe also replacing the Stryker-derived M993 Carrier currently used on the UKs MLRS systems)


Well for me Ajax and boxer variants should replace all medium armour, artillery ( 155mm and rocket ) along with starstreak and even the self deployable bridging.

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

Postby Voldemort » 25 May 2019, 19:38

Jake1992 wrote:That’s what I was thinking say get the Boxer 155mm for part of the fleet then using the same gum module on a truck like what the archer uses as a cheaper option.

The issues with the Boxer gum still needs to be addressed through, it’s low rate of fire only 6-8 RPM, it’s shorter range at 55km with extended range rounds and it’s load capacity at 30 rounds.
For me to sort these factors should be brought up to 10-12 RPM, 60km+ range and 40 odd load capacity. If we could get to this with out the unit price braking the bank then the Boxer 155mm and it’s gun mounts on a truck would be spot on.


155/52cal tubes with 23 liter chamber all have virtually the same external and internal ballistic features meaning they all have the same range with round X. Archer with 155/52cal 23 liter doesn't mystically have any longer range than PzH2000 155/52cal 23 liter with the same round.

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 26 May 2019, 12:01

Jake1992 wrote:even the self deployable bridging.
Err, there was a plan (when SV cuts were coming thick and fast) to have 30 or so Warriors converted (good thinking, not having a bridging unit of almost twice the weight of the rest of the wagons in a recce formation... to enhance its mobility :lol: )
- you may want to check, though, how much smaller in span and supported weight such bridging (with nothing else available) would be, and becoming a restrictive factor. Now for the exact opposite reasons to the ones stated above
Voldemort wrote:155/52cal tubes with 23 liter chamber all have virtually the same external and internal ballistic features meaning they all have the same range with round X.

Wonder why the copies that India have made of the South African Denel design (that was competing in one of the umpteen field gun competitions) keep blowing up... it is their 3rd "design" now, on the go - or trials, rather

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

Postby Jake1992 » 26 May 2019, 13:24

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:even the self deployable bridging.
Err, there was a plan (when SV cuts were coming thick and fast) to have 30 or so Warriors converted (good thinking, not having a bridging unit of almost twice the weight of the rest of the wagons in a recce formation... to enhance its mobility :lol: )
- you may want to check, though, how much smaller in span and supported weight such bridging (with nothing else available) would be, and becoming a restrictive factor. Now for the exact opposite reasons to the ones stated above


I was thinking that my self, maybe another split order say half based on Boxer to keep the weight down and also allow bridging for the mechanised formations with out slowing them down and the other half based on the next gen MBT chaise like now.

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

Postby Voldemort » 26 May 2019, 13:59

ArmChairCivvy wrote:Wonder why the copies that India have made of the South African Denel design (that was competing in one of the umpteen field gun competitions) keep blowing up... it is their 3rd "design" now, on the go - or trials, rather


Most likely due to bad materiels or engineering otherwise. Also IIRC the SA guns have 25 liter chamber.

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 26 May 2019, 14:42

Voldemort wrote:IIRC the SA[DF] guns have 25 liter chamber.

Identical (err, in volume ;) ) to the ones in Finnish SA service... by any chance?

There is a patent on this, available in the public domain... over and above "state secrets".
Now, we could go into folklore, with what happened in the Indian field trials when they loaded one charge more than "allowed" into the Swedish contendor :lol:

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

Postby Voldemort » 27 May 2019, 14:11

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
Voldemort wrote:IIRC the SA[DF] guns have 25 liter chamber.

Identical (err, in volume ;) ) to the ones in Finnish SA service... by any chance?

There is a patent on this, available in the public domain... over and above "state secrets".
Now, we could go into folklore, with what happened in the Indian field trials when they loaded one charge more than "allowed" into the Swedish contendor :lol:


No, Finnish guns have JBMoU compliant 23 liter chamber, 155 K 83 used to have 25 liter chamber before the 1997 upgrade, I believe.

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 27 May 2019, 15:33

Voldemort wrote:155 K 83 used to have 25 liter chamber before the 1997 upgrade, I believe.


Strange, then, that the latter (which is actually a different design rather than an upgrade) has had "blow up" problems when the former
(please compare my piccie link from wiki; SADF to FDF SA guns... identical?)
both in Finland (and Israel, on its way to S. Africa), and then with SADF worked fine?

What is the answer to this riddle?
- did they change the designers, perhaps?
- who filed for the patent, and then:
- what happened, when Egypt cancelled its order for 400 T-55 mounted SPGs of the type

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

Postby Voldemort » 27 May 2019, 16:48

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
Voldemort wrote:155 K 83 used to have 25 liter chamber before the 1997 upgrade, I believe.


Strange, then, that the latter (which is actually a different design rather than an upgrade) has had "blow up" problems when the former
(please compare my piccie link from wiki; SADF to FDF SA guns... identical?)
both in Finland (and Israel, on its way to S. Africa), and then with SADF worked fine?

What is the answer to this riddle?
- did they change the designers, perhaps?
- who filed for the patent, and then:
- what happened, when Egypt cancelled its order for 400 T-55 mounted SPGs of the type


If im not entirely mistaken the 155 K 98 with 25 liter chamber could easily reach almost 50km with RAP ammo which fired from 23 liter chamber only goes out to c. 41km.

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 27 May 2019, 23:07

Voldemort wrote:the 155 K 98 with 25 liter chamber could easily reach almost 50km with RAP ammo which fired from 23 liter chamber only goes out to c. 41km.


So we agree on the time order? 23 first and upped to 25 with K98... when the problems started?

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

Postby Lord Jim » 28 May 2019, 15:08

This should be relevant to the discussions above.
https://www.janes.com/article/88723/kmw ... oves-ahead
The unmanned turret does seem to tick all the boxes especially with its performance during trials.

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 29 May 2019, 01:30

Caribbean wrote:I'd go with a common gun module and different carrier vehicles, as appropriate (tracked or 8x8 armoured/ unarmoured).

like the Germans will,,, we just don't have the armoured howitzer, just a very mobile AS-90
- so let's build from what we've got (as money will continue to be tight)?

Lord Jim wrote:How far can a tracked 155mm go without requiring a transporter?
Not far, and heavy loaders are already "short".
- as far as we think of Europe, rail transportability is everything
Lord Jim wrote: 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.

- the operative word in the question: NEW
Lord Jim wrote: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

Quite
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.

- are we making this too difficult (see the bolding)?
RunningStrong wrote:A quick trawl of ThinkDefence and Wikipedia suggests that Boxer with 155 is too tall for A400M.

- also too tall for rail transportation
- hence they will shave off 30 cm from the "next edition"
- it is still a prototype (but advanced enough for field trials, as per LJ's linked article... worthwhile to remember that when we last tried to put a 155 mm on a wheeled platform, the platform was not up to it and axles broke :shh: in x-country use. Nor was it protected :thumbdown: )
Lord Jim wrote: 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.

Quite, so:
keep the very mobile AS90s for AI bdes and level the counter-battery disadvantage by putting enough Exactors (on a suitable platform; no, not on M-113s :D )into those RA Rgmnts,
AND
get the rail/ air transportable RCM (on the Boxer chassis, but in its "flattened" form - even the close defence weapon can be folded against the turret, needless to say "when not in use or readiness".

See what I did? Went shopping in Lidl :D

A good thing that we have reactivated this thread as the Army/ MoD has imposed radio silence on their project... which was not about replacing AS90 but inserting artillery into the Strike Bdes
- it used to say "155" on that can (but just before the can was moved out of sight, that presumption was removed from the project name... a hint to all kinds of artillery: tubed and rocketry ;) as long as the long-ranged, and when needed, precision fires are available )

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

Postby Lord Jim » 29 May 2019, 07:24

If the Army is going to keep the AS-90 for the long haul, it needs some serious investment, in the platform itself, the ammunition it uses and the support infrastructure around it. The AS-90 needs to be able to shoot further, more accurately and engage target faster and move off. Everyone from the individual vehicles to the Regimental HQ need to be linked in and networked. There needed to be greater ISTAR resources available to locate and identify targets and this information needs to be got to the guns fast. There needs to be logistics support to keep the guns firing, mobile and the means to move the Regiment over substantial distances. We cannot rely on rail transport anymore, the Germans no longer have the rail wagons needed to move units of any real size as the US Army found out in recent years though this may be being looked at. This last need is one that applies to all heavy units within the British Army though.

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 29 May 2019, 10:31

Lord Jim wrote:Everyone from the individual vehicles to the Regimental HQ need to be linked in and networked. There needed to be greater ISTAR resources available to locate and identify targets and this information needs to be got to the guns fast.

I think this is the key for getting bang :) for the buck in the artillery renewal
- AS90 is a near useless asset in "gun line, artillery duels"
- but it can keep up and is protected; thus reach (through the limited range) is less of an issue

Our expeditionary, "first-in" artillery should be on wheels; preferably on the same wheels as the units they support. But in this case the operating concept tends towards dispersal, so range is of great importance
- following this line of reasoning, half of the batteries in AS90 rgmnts could be manned from Reserves? Same for the longer reaching rocketry


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