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Section infantry weapons

Contains threads on British Army equipment of the past, present and future.
Tinman
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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Tinman » 11 Sep 2018, 20:29

GPMG all the way, like I’ve said previously it wins contacts.

Winning doesn’t always mean killing the enemy, it means you break contact fall back, re- .org then act.

Or it means it has so much suppression of enemy positions you advance into contact.

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Gabriele
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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Gabriele » 11 Sep 2018, 21:10

The British Army in the field operates around battlegroups.


Like mostly everyone else, but with the misplaced belief of being masters of something esoteric and special.
You might also know me as Liger30, from that great forum than MP.net was.

Arma Pacis Fulcra.
Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Lord Jim » 11 Sep 2018, 22:48

mr.fred wrote:I think that it’s important to remember that, in the British army at least, the organisation and equipment charts do not necessarily bear any resemblance to what is deployed on the ground. The battalion and regimental organisations are administrative. A section of any particular strength will most likely be under strength for left-out-of-battle, casualties, and a host of other reasons.

Consider: what is the difference between the infantry battalion having an organic MANPAD section and having a MANPAD section attached to them from an air defence regiment?


I see MANPADs like Starstreak when used with or without the three round pedestal launcher as just another support weapon like Javelin or the ubiquitous 81mm Mortar. We do not see the need to have these in specialised regiments from which units are detached to support others.

In fact I would go as far as to attach Stormer/Starstreak troops to all Armoured, Armoured Infantry and Mechanise Regiment in the same way they should have integral Reece units. I know historically the British Army have used the component units of its Brigades to form Battalion level battlegroups which in tern have often further split in to Company sized formations, all incorporating various capability that compliment and support each other. In the future I see the British Army dropping down a level with the Brigade being the highest permanent Headquarters, and its battalions being more flexible by incorporating more integral capabilities and being able to operate autonomously without relying on detachments from other units. In other words each Battalion is a permanent "Battlegroup". Yes these could still be reinforced/enlarged by the addition of units such as a tank Squadron if needed, but the Battalions will have in addition to its core Rifle Platoons, Recce, Direct and indirect fire support, Anti-tank and Anti-Air sections and assault pioneers. I want to see the Battalion having the muscle to back up its historic role as the core formation of the British Army able to carry out the majority of tasks assigned to it without relying on detachment s from other units of core capabilities. This costs money and in the past, once the Government's so called "Risk Assessment" experts tell them that the threat levels in the world are low enough the kinetic power of all branches of the Army, but especially the Infantry as greatly reduced. The fact that the bulk of the Army's Infantry are simple Light role formations make the abundantly clear for all to see.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby jimthelad » 11 Sep 2018, 22:54

What fucking use is a fire team of three? How the hell do you divide your movements to a final attack on a trench or fixed position? Who provides the in close cover for said movements, and more importantly how do you extract a casualty in close contact with 1x 2 and 1x1 in a fire team. Seriously, have you ever been in a firefight?!!! 3x8 +4 means you can break down to 8 in close contact, 4 in final assault, in a 2 up posting a grenade or direct fires and 2 in close support and still have a section in manouver if needed.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby mr.fred » 11 Sep 2018, 23:56

Lord Jim wrote:I see MANPADs like Starstreak when used with or without the three round pedestal launcher as just another support weapon like Javelin or the ubiquitous 81mm Mortar. We do not see the need to have these in specialised regiments from which units are detached to support others.

I would argue that the operation of Javelin ATGW and 81mm mortar are heavily involved in the very basics of what an infantry battalion does, whereas dedicated air defence assets are of occasional use only and splitting them up into infantry units reduces the ease of training the operators in not only the use of their weapons but also where to best site and control them to obtain maximum effectiveness.

Now if you were to include the LMM and utilise the launcher as a direct fire asset in a guided weapons platoon, with a secondary anti-air role, that might merit consideration. If a future anti-air platoon also included the equipment to defeat small drones and was tasked with defeating these surveillance and attack systems, then that might be a worthwhile inclusion too. Simply bringing along HVM just in case every time, adding that system to an infantry battalion’s training burden? I don’t see the value.

The same goes for permanent battlegroups. Let each arm train the basics in more efficient formations, then tailor your deploying units from the pools that you have. Penny packets have not met with great success in the past, I’m not convinced that they would fare so much better now.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 12 Sep 2018, 08:33

USMC field manual: "Organization of the Rifle Squad
The rifle squad consists of three fire teams, each of which is built around
an automatic weapon"

Watching the trends in different armies, the means (also at this unit level) to deliver effects to
"dead space" – a space that cannot be engaged with direct fire - are now deemed so important that the third MG(/ SAW) can be substituted for
- however, keeping the section manning artificially low will add a degree of difficulty to doing this
... or leave the section/ squad with one MG only. Not so good, is it?

Then there are the folks who stick to the "underslung" concept, as they know it, when (going back to the USMC again) the next step has been taken already and
" M32 is seen less as a replacement to its underslung siblings, and more as a way to beef up an infantry squad’s firepower"

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Lord Jim » 12 Sep 2018, 12:05

The problem is the Army is going to be operating in "Penny Packets" as we go forward. Even now we have to trawl through numerous units to get enough bodies, kit and specialists for almost every deployment. As for MANPADs, well saying you are bringing them along but are hardly ever used is sort of living in the past. Sure in both Iraq and Afghanistan there was no hostile air power but that situation is unlikely in many possible future conflicts.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby mr.fred » 12 Sep 2018, 18:34

If we’re already verging on penny packets, I see no reason to make it worse.
More specifically, if we’re planning on fighting someone with hostile air that requires HVM to counter, we really need to squash the penny packeting before we start worrying about, well, anything else.

If I’m fighting the last war, what situations do you see that would require a permanent, organic, dedicated anti-air sub unit with HVM?

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Lord Jim » 13 Sep 2018, 15:09

We seem to have our wires slightly crossed here. What I was trying to get across is that in all the conflicts we have fought sing the Falklands, enemy air has basically been non existent and we have had air dominance. This is great but we are in danger of assuming that will be the norm from now on. This mind set at higher levels has led to arms such as the Artillery suffering gross under investment and our whole GBAD capability being stripped back. Yes we have Land Ceptor coming in and we retain Starstreak but our formations will find themselves with only their 12.7 (if they are lucky) or good old GPMGs as their only form of defence against air attack. Treating Starstreak/MANPADs as another support weapon ensures individual units have an organic air defence capability. Training is no more than is required for Javelin. Given I advocate an increase in the manpower of out Infantry Battalions achieved by disbanding or re tasking the majority of the current "Light" role Battalions manpower would not be an issue, and the hardware is already there.

Turning to penny packets, we considering the UK can only really deploy a fully equipped heavy or in future medium Brigade as against the stated "Division" Battalion level battlegroups are going to be the core formations for future deployments. If we try to deploy a Division it would actually be a liability as we have not sufficient support and logistics to properly support a formation of that size not sufficient units fully equipped to man it. So yes in theory we can still deploy a half cocked "Division", but we will do better to deploy a fully capably "Brigade". This if course excludes both 3 Commando and 16 Air Assault, though we should probably have to deploy units from both to create a true Brigade sized formation that is fully supported. 16 Air Assault in particular needs greater investment in order for it to be equipped effectively for its role.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 13 Sep 2018, 15:39

Lord Jim wrote: I was trying to get across is that in all the conflicts we have fought sing the Falklands, enemy air has basically been non existent and we have had air dominance. This is great but we are in danger of assuming that will be the norm from now on. This mind set at higher levels has led to arms such as the Artillery suffering gross under investment and our whole GBAD capability being stripped back. Yes we have Land Ceptor coming in and we retain Starstreak but our formations will find themselves with only their 12.7 (if they are lucky) or good old GPMGs as their only form of defence against air attack. Treating Starstreak/MANPADs as another support weapon ensures individual units have an organic air defence capability


I guess we need to be going to the
GBAD thread
as a section is hardly the level at which organic AD should be embedded in; I do agree that a BG should "always" have it... but in what form (org.) and with what weapons (well, the ones we have?)

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby mr.fred » 13 Sep 2018, 18:53

Soviet mechanised infantry did used to cart a sa7 around in each BMP. I don’t know if current Russian infantry carry an SA16 or SA24, but Soviet and now Russian thinking has always been a bit more SAM-centric.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 13 Sep 2018, 19:08

mr.fred wrote:Soviet and now Russian thinking has always been a bit more SAM-centric.


The whole battle-field helicopter (with ATGWs) came around as a mobile anti-tank concept, against massed armour
... so no surprise in that?

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Voldemort » 13 Sep 2018, 19:43

We (Finland) have moved to having battlegroup as de facto main type of formation. They're more of a half brigade than battalion (+). Battlegroup includes 3-4 jäger companies, HQ and signals company, mortar company, artillery battalion, CSS company and engineer company.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby mr.fred » 13 Sep 2018, 20:08

Voldemort wrote:We (Finland) have moved to having battlegroup as de facto main type of formation. They're more of a half brigade than battalion (+). Battlegroup includes 3-4 jäger companies, HQ and signals company, mortar company, artillery battalion, CSS company and engineer company.

How does that work for you, and where does armour and anti-air fit?

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Voldemort » 13 Sep 2018, 20:15

mr.fred wrote:
Voldemort wrote:We (Finland) have moved to having battlegroup as de facto main type of formation. They're more of a half brigade than battalion (+). Battlegroup includes 3-4 jäger companies, HQ and signals company, mortar company, artillery battalion, CSS company and engineer company.

How does that work for you, and where does armour and anti-air fit?


We have several types of battlegroups obviously, including armoured ones with BMP-2MD+LEO2A6 and MTLB+LEO2A4. We use both battlegroups and brigades. AA is brigade and above level asset for most units excluding armoured battlegroups which have organic AAA platoon and company.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Lord Jim » 13 Sep 2018, 21:23

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
Lord Jim wrote: I was trying to get across is that in all the conflicts we have fought sing the Falklands, enemy air has basically been non existent and we have had air dominance. This is great but we are in danger of assuming that will be the norm from now on. This mind set at higher levels has led to arms such as the Artillery suffering gross under investment and our whole GBAD capability being stripped back. Yes we have Land Ceptor coming in and we retain Starstreak but our formations will find themselves with only their 12.7 (if they are lucky) or good old GPMGs as their only form of defence against air attack. Treating Starstreak/MANPADs as another support weapon ensures individual units have an organic air defence capability


I guess we need to be going to the
GBAD thread
as a section is hardly the level at which organic AD should be embedded in; I do agree that a BG should "always" have it... but in what form (org.) and with what weapons (well, the ones we have?)


Ok point taken on the above. Maybe we should have a definitive "Future Army" thread here as well similar to the "Fantasy" thread in the naval section and the same in the RAF. I would say start anew rather than drag an old existing one back to life.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Lord Jim » 16 Sep 2018, 23:22

I still quite like this idea for the GPMG gunners in the future:


I also like the Mk48 as used by US Special Forces, basically an adaptation of the Minimi Mk3 7.62x51 LMG.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Timmymagic » 17 Sep 2018, 18:40

Tinman wrote:As it wins contacts.


Whats the thoughts on losing (or at least returning to stores) of the 60mm mortar?

I know there's talk of CG returning but surely a mortar is better for dealing with targets in cover and for smoke and illum fire missions?
Some of the reports were its first round not being easy to get on target but generally positive. Are we doing what we did with the 51mm again?

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby mr.fred » 17 Sep 2018, 18:52

Recoil less rifles are notoriously heavy in terms of ammunition round weight relative to projectile weight. While engagement of point targets will favour the CG, one wonders how the platoon will cope laying down smoke or area effects.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Timmymagic » 17 Sep 2018, 19:21

mr.fred wrote:While engagement of point targets will favour the CG, one wonders how the platoon will cope laying down smoke or area effects.


To me the return of a lighter CG makes sense, particularly in a world of SVBIED and increasing urban combat. But not in place of a mortar. I know illum rounds are available, but firing a CG in the air at a 45 degree angle doesn't sound healthy, plus the launch signature will be massive. Airburst ammo makes sense, but only for line of sight targets. I know UGL takes a little of the strain off the mortars, but even with medium velocity 40mm rounds it will struggle for range and payload compared to 51mm or 60mm mortars.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 17 Sep 2018, 20:45

ArmChairCivvy wrote:the next step has been taken already and
" M32 is seen less as a replacement to its underslung siblings, and more as a way to beef up an infantry squad’s firepower"

+
Timmymagic wrote: I know UGL takes a little of the strain off the mortars, but even with medium velocity 40mm rounds it will struggle for range and payload compared to 51mm or 60mm mortars.


OK, above you have 4 alternatives (+CG from the general discussion)
- at platoon / squad level, which would you go for?
- making no assumptions about what might be available from higher level formations, to be assigned

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Lord Jim » 18 Sep 2018, 12:52

Mortars at Platoon level make sense if on the defensive more than the opposite. The single 51mm was useful but in a limited way, providing mainly illumination. With the 69mm yes you can reach out and touch someone at greater range and if they are behind cover but again there are major limitation. Would a single 60mm held at Platoon level be really of any use? Neither of these are really relevant when talking about the fire power of the Infantry Section. Introducing the Mk32 to replace the current underslung G/L doe make sense and its ability to use medium velocity rounds and the variety of round available are all in its favour. It is able to engage target behind cover and deliver an impressive amount of suppressive fire if needed. If you want to really hit hard then the Carl Gustav M$ fits the bill perfectly. Yes the rounds are not feather weight but they are manageable. How many LAW-80s or the newer NLAW are carried and how much did/do they weigh. The M$ also has a useful AT round able to deal with anything but the latest MBTs from the front and is far cheaper than a Javelin per shot. Both the M32 and M4 are ideal for fighting in built in up areas. If we retain the 8 man section then one fire team would have the M32 and the other the M4, both teams should have access to an LMG more importantly. As we are retaining the good old FN MAG, we should seriously look at what other nations have done to improve the weight and portability of the weapon and its ammunition. The fun video I posted above with the 500 round back pack would be a place to start as should how the US and Sweden have modified their MAGs. The alternative would be to retain the MAGs at Company level for sustained fire but issue the smaller and lighter Minimi Mk 3 variants to the sections. The fact that US SF have adopted this weapon shows that it is effective.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 18 Sep 2018, 14:01

Lord Jim wrote: If we retain the 8 man section then one fire team would have the M32 and the other the M4, both teams should have access to an LMG more importantly.


Now we have 4 of the 8 with a suppressive fire weapon (and one of the remaining "riflemen" is the section leader). When I proposed the 3 x 3 with 2 LMGs and one weapon capable of indirect fire, the ratio was 1 to 2, not 1:1 (but no exclamations of ohh-la la were forthcoming :) ).

Lord Jim wrote:issue the smaller and lighter Minimi Mk 3 variants to the sections. The fact that US SF have adopted this weapon shows that it is effective.
The context - for being effective - may be slightly different: break contact, using weight of fire? The same reason why recon sections in the Finnish army used to have LMGs, firing 1000 rpm, and of the same round (short ranged) as what other weapons in the section would use.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby arfah » 18 Sep 2018, 14:23

-<>-<>-<>-
-<>-<>-<>-

Why this forum is pish!

1: Ineffective moderators
2: Too many fantasists ruining dedicated equipment threads with notions of what gun/mortar/artillery/missiles the equipment should have because it makes their panties moist.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 18 Sep 2018, 15:28

arfah wrote:Seems the future requires an accurate GPMG?


A sharp shooter weapon or a suppression weapon? These kinds of targets
Average hit probabilities of machine gun fire
at different aiming ranges

Exposed target area
1.5 m x 0.3 m
and
1.2 m x 0.3 m
had a 10% difference in hit probability at 600m, but that difference shrunk to a mere per cent (unit) at 1000m

Could one say that at ranges beyond the capacity of individual's weapons, the main determinant for effectiveness (crew served or not) is the ammo feed capacity? And if you do bursts of three (no limitless ammo!) some dispersion is actually desirable?


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