UK Defence Forum

News, History, Discussions and Debates on UK Defence.

Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Contains threads on British Army equipment of the past, present and future.
mr.fred
Member
Posts: 703
Joined: 06 May 2015, 22:53
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby mr.fred » 16 Jul 2019, 21:13

Yes, support teams have to rest and rearm, but are they on the same cycle as the rifle companies?
Keep the support at a higher level and you can attach to lower level or come together for more concentrated effect Disperse the teams throughout the rifle companies and you can’t redeploy them en masse. You’ve locked yourself into an arrangement that may not be effective.

Voldemort
Member
Posts: 106
Joined: 26 Jul 2018, 06:32
Location: Finland

Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby Voldemort » 17 Jul 2019, 06:41

mr.fred wrote:Yes, support teams have to rest and rearm, but are they on the same cycle as the rifle companies?
Keep the support at a higher level and you can attach to lower level or come together for more concentrated effect Disperse the teams throughout the rifle companies and you can’t redeploy them en masse. You’ve locked yourself into an arrangement that may not be effective.


I'd say the answer is have them at all levels, company, battalion and brigade.

Lord Jim
Senior Member
Posts: 3569
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby Lord Jim » 17 Jul 2019, 10:34

I have always felt the British Army was skinny when it comes to firepower. Regarding what we are talking about above with the Strike Brigades, you would have three 120mm Mortars in each Company and the three Combat teams would be able to support each other. The Artillery Regiment in the Brigade could in theory have one Battery of 155mm guns allocated to each Infantry Battalion with 1 in reserve and have the MLRS Battery available when needed.

What hasn't been discussed is what the Ajax Regiment would have and in the RUSI paper they would be supported by a support Company equipped with Exactor or similar weapon system, which would provide an over watch capability and precision fire support. The difference in how the Ajax Regiments would operate in a different mode to the Mechanised Infantry, more like the Traditional Recce Regiments means they would not have integral artillery as such.

What the paper really does highlight is how much more equipment the Strike Brigades are going to need to be effective and operate as envisaged, form additional variants of the core platforms to new Artillery platforms. It is the latter that are going to be the really change for the Royal Artillery. They like the Armoured and Infantry units are going to have to learn to use a hew category of equipment and in new ways in order to maximise their effect.

Another role the Royal Artillery will have regarding the Strike Brigades is providing air defence. The current Land Ceptor is not really going to be capable enough to provide cover for the brigade over the area it will operate. A system with a longer range is really needed. One option would be to join the Italians in the development of the ER version of the Land Ceptor, or we could adopt a more off the shelf system like the Ground based AMRAAM. Any system chosen must be relatively mobile, and be able to relocate when needed. Larger Systems like Patriot are too large and static for this role but I doo believe such a system would be of value to the UK but at a high level, and such systems are already in use by our Allies when it comes to joint operations. Land Ceptor would then be used to protect fixed locations like Airfield and such like. To this end I would transfer the Land Ceptor systems to the RAF Regiment and re equip the Royal Artillery Regiment with the new longer ranged systems.

Voldemort
Member
Posts: 106
Joined: 26 Jul 2018, 06:32
Location: Finland

Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby Voldemort » 18 Jul 2019, 09:33

My sort of dream team Strike artillery:

2-3x turntable 120mm mortars per coy
6-9x turntable mortars per Bn, not a platoon but a mortar company with loggy platoon
18-24x turreted 155mm, akin to G6. Artillery battalion with all the whistles and bells and first and foremost logistical battery!! You can forget all the fancy pancy CB radars and guided ammunition if this box isn't checked.

Lord Jim
Senior Member
Posts: 3569
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby Lord Jim » 18 Jul 2019, 22:42

I agree that we need to ensure sufficient logistics support for the artillery, and this is even more important in the planned "Strike" Brigades because of the operational doctrine they are likely to follow. One of the reasons it has been suggested that any 155mm guns used with these Brigades should be mounted on a platform that shares the same chassis as the majority of 6x6 or 8x8 logistics vehicles used to support the formation, so in the British Army's case these would be based on the current MAN series, many equipped with the successor to DROPS. I also think there needs to be a logistics variant of the Boxer to operate within the Mechanised Battalions providing support to the entire formation. This should be a relatively simple task as I am pretty sure there are designs for a logistics module already in existence. In the RUSI paper the three 120mm Mortars in each company replace the Mortars held at Battalion Level, but the Brigade gains at least one GMLRS Battery, which gives the Brigade the ability to effectively strike at enemy concentration identified by units form the Brigade as well as providing a capably counter battery capability, especially with the planned long range munitions being developed.

Looking more carefully at the type of 155mm SP Gun that could be used, whatever is chosen must be able to operate at the tempo of the Boxer units, be simple to maintain and operate, and not be restricted by its weight and dimensions in what infrastructure it can use, such as bridges and tunnels. It must be able to self deploy over large distances, operate in a widely dispersed manner even down to batter level, yet be pat of a joined up ISTAR network to allow for rapid target identification and fire mission execution. Platforms like the G-6 Rhino, Archer and even the SP 155mm version of the Boxer are really too large for this role, though many will disagree with my opinion here. They will also, with the exception of the Boxer variant, increase the logistics burden on the Brigade which needed to be kept as streamlined as possible. Moving the Ajax Regiments is already going to be a heavy burden on these. A possible doctrine for these Artillery Batteries might be to have them each be comprised of four, two gun sections. during any engagement, these sections would be, whilst widely dispersed be coming into action, firing, coming out of action and relocating, minimising the batteries vulnerability to counter battery fire. Opposition ISTAR capabilities would be a prime target for the Brigades own ISTAR units to limit the opposition ability to identify target easily, again reducing the vulnerability of the Brigades assets including the Artillery. As mentioned above the GMLSR attached to the Brigade would also be looking to reduce the opposition artillery capability at the same time. As will all units that comprise the "Strike" Brigade, the way they manoeuvre and operate is going to be far different from how the British Army has traditionally carried out combined arms operations. But all of the above will be for naught if the MoD does not purchase the right platforms in sufficient numbers to allow the Brigades to operate as they will have to if they are to be effective in the worst case scenarios as well as those more likely.

Lord Jim
Senior Member
Posts: 3569
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby Lord Jim » 16 Sep 2019, 02:23

Well this is interesting, but it does fit in with other information regarding what could replace the AS-90. Halving the team of shooter and supply wagon based on the same chassis with the same level of mobility makes sense. Of course those who want our next mobile gun to be as well protected as a MBT will not be happy or agree. Fair enough.
https://www.janes.com/article/91169/dse ... equirement

RetroSicotte
Site Admin
Posts: 2471
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:10
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby RetroSicotte » 16 Sep 2019, 08:49

Lord Jim wrote: Of course those who want our next mobile gun to be as well protected as a MBT will not be happy or agree.

Bit of a strawman, no-one has suggested that. Things like the AS-90 and Pzh2000 are not even moderately in the same universe as MBT level protected.

The real issue is more having a platform that can engage fluidly at a tactical level over any terrain and not have windows when you're taking counter-battery. One of the Nordic tests clearly showed why enclosed SPGs remain the apex of this.

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 11068
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 16 Sep 2019, 10:27

I must read back on this thread; must have missed many points over the summer. As for the latest comments

Lord Jim wrote:Another role the Royal Artillery will have regarding the Strike Brigades is providing air defence. The current Land Ceptor is not really going to be capable enough to provide cover for the brigade over the area it will operate
I start from the same point (of departure) but arrive at a very different thing:
- a Big Ask for a traditional bde "was" an area of influence with 70 mls in radius (are they always round :) ?)
- the next "ask" is more and therefore the answer is not range, but fire on the move, or immediately after stopping
- what we have is good for HQ & logs nodes (note the plural); what is the answer to what we 'do not have'?

Voldemort wrote:18-24x turreted 155mm, akin to G6. Artillery battalion with all the whistles and bells and first and foremost logistical battery!! You can forget all the fancy pancy CB radars and guided ammunition if this box isn't checked.
Aside from G6 [specifically], yes, the right thought

Lord Jim wrote:the Brigade gains at least one GMLRS Battery, which gives the Brigade the ability to effectively strike at enemy concentration identified by units form the Brigade as well as providing a capably counter battery capability, especially with the planned long range munitions being developed.

- no need to travel to the future, every time
- let's put an order in for the AW, to begin with, and then we will have both of the capabilities bolded (and Exactor for taking out concealed assets, or tanks, by using its optical homing capabilities)

RetroSicotte wrote:The real issue is more having a platform that can engage fluidly at a tactical level over any terrain and not have windows when [potentially] you're taking counter-battery. One of the Nordic tests clearly showed why enclosed SPGs remain the apex of this.
Quite!

EDIT; Bloody Nora, the bolding did not appear:
As for both of the capabilities bolded: concentrations (area, as in AW warhead, appropriately named) and counter-btry (more pinpoint... or mix the two ;) ... if the Ruskies will be on the other side, they will add delayed-action AP cluster munitions :twisted: Everyone knows that, but Ottawa was a great achievement, yes?)

Lord Jim
Senior Member
Posts: 3569
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby Lord Jim » 16 Sep 2019, 17:19

RetroSicotte wrote:Lord Jim wrote: Of course those who want our next mobile gun to be as well protected as a MBT will not be happy or agree.Bit of a strawman, no-one has suggested that. Things like the AS-90 and Pzh2000 are not even moderately in the same universe as MBT level protected.The real issue is more having a platform that can engage fluidly at a tactical level over any terrain and not have windows when you're taking counter-battery. One of the Nordic tests clearly showed why enclosed SPGs remain the apex of this.


I agree with the enclosed idea, but that doesn't automatically mean the use of traditional tracked SPGs. The Archer/MAN combination as shown in the article is enclosed and able to be operated without the crew leaving the vehicle. In addition it can be "Up armoured", to the same level the platform is able to be. However to support the Strike Brigades we need a platform that is highly mobile, able to come into and out of action quickly and also self deploy together with its support platforms. No tracked system ticks all those boxes. Platforms like the G-6 are too expensive though very capable and the Boxer 155mm SPG is too tall for certain situations.

The UK seems to be looking to purchase enough new platforms of at least two, possible three Regiments, which means that whatever platform is chosen will replace the AS-90 as well as equip those regiment(s) tasked with supporting the Mechanised Brigades. For the time being the 105mm LG will be used with 3 Cmdo and 16AA. This leave the Army's GMLRS, which needs to be supplanted by a systems able to match the strategic and tactical mobility of the Mechanised Brigades. The obvious s choice here would be an off the shelf by of between 20 and 30 HIMARS but again using the same platform as the SPG and logistics vehicles.

I have no problem with the Army tailoring its procurement towards supporting the Mechanised formations instead of the Armoured Infantry and the former are going to become the go to units for the service. We cannot afford to have a multitude of platforms optimised for both types of formations and this extends beyond Artillery.

Obviously my mention of protection being that of MBT level was a major exaggeration but I strongly disagree with the argument that only a tracked SPG will suffice for the AS-90 replacement.

Jake1992
Senior Member
Posts: 1495
Joined: 28 Aug 2016, 22:35
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby Jake1992 » 16 Sep 2019, 19:06

Lord Jim wrote:
RetroSicotte wrote:Lord Jim wrote: Of course those who want our next mobile gun to be as well protected as a MBT will not be happy or agree.Bit of a strawman, no-one has suggested that. Things like the AS-90 and Pzh2000 are not even moderately in the same universe as MBT level protected.The real issue is more having a platform that can engage fluidly at a tactical level over any terrain and not have windows when you're taking counter-battery. One of the Nordic tests clearly showed why enclosed SPGs remain the apex of this.


I agree with the enclosed idea, but that doesn't automatically mean the use of traditional tracked SPGs. The Archer/MAN combination as shown in the article is enclosed and able to be operated without the crew leaving the vehicle. In addition it can be "Up armoured", to the same level the platform is able to be. However to support the Strike Brigades we need a platform that is highly mobile, able to come into and out of action quickly and also self deploy together with its support platforms. No tracked system ticks all those boxes. Platforms like the G-6 are too expensive though very capable and the Boxer 155mm SPG is too tall for certain situations.

The UK seems to be looking to purchase enough new platforms of at least two, possible three Regiments, which means that whatever platform is chosen will replace the AS-90 as well as equip those regiment(s) tasked with supporting the Mechanised Brigades. For the time being the 105mm LG will be used with 3 Cmdo and 16AA. This leave the Army's GMLRS, which needs to be supplanted by a systems able to match the strategic and tactical mobility of the Mechanised Brigades. The obvious s choice here would be an off the shelf by of between 20 and 30 HIMARS but again using the same platform as the SPG and logistics vehicles.

I have no problem with the Army tailoring its procurement towards supporting the Mechanised formations instead of the Armoured Infantry and the former are going to become the go to units for the service. We cannot afford to have a multitude of platforms optimised for both types of formations and this extends beyond Artillery.

Obviously my mention of protection being that of MBT level was a major exaggeration but I strongly disagree with the argument that only a tracked SPG will suffice for the AS-90 replacement.


A couple of questions you might be able to help with.

How much would a G6 cost today ? Iv only been able to find the price of $3.3m but have a feeling that’s out of date.

Would it be possible for the Boxer 155mm module to be redesigned to be lower in hight but longer and hanger over the back of the vehicle or would that through off the balance ?

If Boxer is chosen could the module be adapted to also be mounted on a Ajax frame to allow higher levels of armour.

Andy-M
Member
Posts: 21
Joined: 01 Jun 2015, 20:25
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby Andy-M » 16 Sep 2019, 20:35

Jake1992 wrote:
If Boxer is chosen could the module be adapted to also be mounted on a Ajax frame to allow higher levels of armour.


KMW Donar was the first vehicle designed with the 155mm Turret, it's based on the GDELS ASCOD 2

https://www.kmweg.com/home/artillery/au ... ation.html

RetroSicotte
Site Admin
Posts: 2471
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:10
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby RetroSicotte » 17 Sep 2019, 09:58

Lord Jim wrote:The Archer/MAN combination as shown in the article is enclosed and able to be operated without the crew leaving the vehicle. In addition it can be "Up armoured", to the same level the platform is able to be.

There is no reality in which it is as well armoured as a modern track-based SPG. Just because you can write the same STANAG number on its main plates doesn't mean it's equal. It has windows. Most of the body is fully exposed. The gun breech is unarmoured.

The obvious s choice here would be an off the shelf by of between 20 and 30 HIMARS but again using the same platform as the SPG and logistics vehicles.

And in doing so that would drop the Army's rocket artillery capability by more than half. HIMARS carries only 50% of the missile capacity. If you want one of the long range ones, then you just used up an entire platform for a single missile.

Lord Jim
Senior Member
Posts: 3569
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby Lord Jim » 17 Sep 2019, 18:44

Ok I am open to suggestions. Can any identify a 155m SPG that has superior Strategic and tactical mobility, limited protection against small arms, is affordable, can carry out rapid fire support mission, coming into an out of actions rapidly, and will be easy to maintain?

Regarding HIMARS, the British Army has only a limited number of GMLRS as it did not upgrade the whole fleet. These have poor strategic mobility to say the least. HIMARS would give the Army a platform able to fire all current munitions as well as those being developed, on a platform that is proven and offers excellent Strategic mobility. The next generation of long range rockets will double the number carried so HIMARS will be able to launch two.

Our next artillery systems must be able to operate with the Strike Brigades, self deploy, and retain the tactical mobility required. The MAN 8x8 chassis does this and offers a level of protection including ballistic windows offering good protection against small arms and even shell splinters.

The Box 155mm SPG is too big, heavy and expensive, which will outweigh any benefits of having a common platform with the Mechanised Infantry. The G-6 has been out of production for many years and was very expensive when it was in production.

How the Artillery operate in future as with the Strike Brigades is going to be far different from any previous doctrine the British Army has used, and this is one of the areas that will be covered by the ongoing trials to discover how the use and equip the Strike Brigades to make them effective. The Artillery will still be able to operate with and support the Armoured Infantry Brigades.

RetroSicotte
Site Admin
Posts: 2471
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:10
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby RetroSicotte » 18 Sep 2019, 15:38

Lord Jim wrote:Ok I am open to suggestions.

Under current status, the Strike Brigades are held to the Ajax's speed anyway. So an SPG the likes of the PzH, K9 and such like are matching the mobility. Yes, it's dumb that Ajax has been ball and chained to them, but that's what it is.

There is also the very viable argument that if the Strike Brigades are rushing ahead with their lighter elements, if they are in a situation where they NEED a 155mm gun desperately against a peer foe, then they are in over their head anyway and shouldn't be engaging, given the Strike Brigades have absolutely pathetic firepower. (Remember, their biggest gun without waiting for the 'tank speed' elements is a .50 cal!)

Ideally what the British Army requires for its 'big' things is:
- A proper SPG that can function at heavy conventional warfare against a peer foe firing back (PzH, K9, M109, AS-90 type)
- A light, truck based portee or mounted gun for light warfare with the Strike Brigades, likely a smaller number than the above (CAESAR, M777 Portee, Archer)
- GMLRS upgraded properly, bringing 2x modules per platform to the fight (M270)

I'm not a fan of HIMARS. It's mobile, but it has such little firepower by comparison. You're literally cutting your rocket artillery in half if you switch to them (more than half, given it's likely they won't get the same number of already too few platforms). With weapons at that sort of range, you really don't need to worry about "keeping up" as much, since they throw down huge bubbles of influence anyway. It's about weight of fire, and in that regard, HIMARS is objectively slow due to its constant reloading.

M777 Portee is likely the perfect solution for the 'light' end. It lets you buy much cheaper towed guns and move them on a cheap chassis, given their role isn't to be out in peer warfare anyway (ie - Like the Strike Brigades). They're for Mali type stuff. The heavier SPG would join the Ajax in the Strike Brigades to beef them up if fighting peer.

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 11068
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 18 Sep 2019, 16:15

RetroSicotte wrote:that sort of range, you really don't need to worry about "keeping up" as much, since they throw down huge bubbles of influence anyway. It's about weight of fire, and in that regard, HIMARS is objectively slow due to its constant reloading.

That's the point: whatever gun you choose it is 40 km (max) and the weight of fire is what it is (no DAG to be found, in the back of any sofas)
- get AW for GMLRS to be able to replicate area effects at greater range
- get precision (incl. anti-tank ammo/ warheads) rounds, to be able to fully exploit ISR & targeting investments
- if serious about MOUT, also get guided rounds for 120 mm mortars (what :roll: 120 mm mortars?)

Jake1992
Senior Member
Posts: 1495
Joined: 28 Aug 2016, 22:35
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby Jake1992 » 18 Sep 2019, 16:16

RetroSicotte wrote:
Lord Jim wrote:Ok I am open to suggestions.

Under current status, the Strike Brigades are held to the Ajax's speed anyway. So an SPG the likes of the PzH, K9 and such like are matching the mobility. Yes, it's dumb that Ajax has been ball and chained to them, but that's what it is.

There is also the very viable argument that if the Strike Brigades are rushing ahead with their lighter elements, if they are in a situation where they NEED a 155mm gun desperately against a peer foe, then they are in over their head anyway and shouldn't be engaging, given the Strike Brigades have absolutely pathetic firepower. (Remember, their biggest gun without waiting for the 'tank speed' elements is a .50 cal!)

Ideally what the British Army requires for its 'big' things is:
- A proper SPG that can function at heavy conventional warfare against a peer foe firing back (PzH, K9, M109, AS-90 type)
- A light, truck based portee or mounted gun for light warfare with the Strike Brigades, likely a smaller number than the above (CAESAR, M777 Portee, Archer)
- GMLRS upgraded properly, bringing 2x modules per platform to the fight (M270)

I'm not a fan of HIMARS. It's mobile, but it has such little firepower by comparison. You're literally cutting your rocket artillery in half if you switch to them (more than half, given it's likely they won't get the same number of already too few platforms). With weapons at that sort of range, you really don't need to worry about "keeping up" as much, since they throw down huge bubbles of influence anyway. It's about weight of fire, and in that regard, HIMARS is objectively slow due to its constant reloading.

M777 Portee is likely the perfect solution for the 'light' end. It lets you buy much cheaper towed guns and move them on a cheap chassis, given their role isn't to be out in peer warfare anyway (ie - Like the Strike Brigades). They're for Mali type stuff. The heavier SPG would join the Ajax in the Strike Brigades to beef them up if fighting peer.


Do we think that the army is going to want to stick with Ajax for Reece in the strike brigade long term or look to purchase a Reece and IFV variants of the Boxer, if the later them going for a tracked SPG is just adding another ball and chain to strike not just in mobility ( either slowing it all down or dragging away more HETs ) but also logistics to the point we may as well kill the concept off now.

A split order maybe the way to go but again it’s about the logistic on the strike side this is why people come back to the Boxer 155mm but it has quiet a few flaws at the moment.

IMO the best solution would be to develop a common 155mm module that can be used on both the Boxer frame and Ajax frame, one that answers the flaws of the current Boxer module.
This would be costly though but could give the best of both worlds while reducing logistics across the force as a whole.

If the above is cost prohibitive then I’d go for an archer set up based on the MAN chaise already in service and a heavy tracked SPG ideally based on the Ajax frame.

Lord Jim
Senior Member
Posts: 3569
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby Lord Jim » 18 Sep 2019, 19:44

The key with the Strike Brigades is to be able to deploy rapidly and the fewer transporters needed to move heavy equipment the better. At present we already have to move two Regiments of Ajax and adding a further Regiment and a half of Tracked Artillery further increases the burden. Yes once in theatre the issue of wheels and tracks lessens but mobility over greater distances that would be considered the norm today is still going to be important.

One suggestion is the Ajax "Screen" should be supported by either a variant of Ajax equipped with a NLOS type systems or again a simpler trailer mounted system towed behind a JLTV. This would provide overwatch and give the Recce Troops the ability to call down fire effectively on key targets without revealing themselves. The same goes for target identified by the UAVs operating in front of the screen. Joint Fires integrated with the screen and mounted in Ajax variants would also be able to call down fire form any 155mm Batteries and GMLRS within range with the latter usually reserves for larger concentrations.

Behind the screen is where the Boxer equipped Mechanised Battalions would operate, moving to engage weak spots in the Enemy's deployment and counter any units that penetrate the screen. Again these units will contain Joint Fires platforms, these based on the Boxer, and be able to call in artillery as well as air support.

Adopting HIMARS would allow the existing heavy GMLRS Regiment to be re equipped and also one of the current AS-90 or LG equipped Regiments to be also. The remaining two AS-90 Regiments would be re equipped with the Archer system. If these are mounted on a MAN platform together with their associated support vehicles, there will be drastically reduced support costs. The weight of fire from a HIMARS battery on any given fire mission will not be much less than that of the heavy GMLRS. For the latter to remain in place whilst firing all twelve rockets is asking for counter battery fire. A fire Mission is more likely to involve firing one cassette and then moving on.

Of course this is my idea of how things might evolve given the Army's trials and interest in the Archer system mounted on the MAN 8x8. The Archer has the advantage over systems like Caesar of a M777 Portee in that it can arrive, conduct a fire mission including a MRSI shoot, and leave far quicker without the crew having to leave the vehicle. Like the HIMARS the ammunition reload systems is very fast, and a suitably equipped MAN 8x8 DROPS style flatbed could easily support both these weapons.

As important as the actual platforms is the need for the British Army to adopt at least one type of both Precision Guided and Cargo/Intelligent Submunition Carrier rounds, for the 155mm and advanced longer ranged rockets for the HIMARS. Whether we choose a European route or tag along with the programmes running in the USA is another debate. The same applies to one of my favourite subject, putting 120mm SP Mortars into the Infantry Battalions and the capabilities this opens up.

Bother systems would be effective in peer warfare operation with either the Strike or Armoured Infantry Brigades. However against lesser opposition further afield they have substantial advantages over traditional tracked platforms like the PzHb2000 and K-9. The British Army at present appears to be looking at one new platform only. Mind you actually having a SP 155m will be a huge leap in capability for the Strike Brigades to at present will only have Joint Fires platforms and possibly one of the 105mm LG Regiment. In an ideal world we would have two each of the Armoured Infantry and Strike Brigades, all properly equipped with the equipment and manpower needed to make them truly effective. At the moment the spotlight is on Strike and so any new equipment procurement programmes are going to be biased in this direction. The fact that the results of these will also be able to support the former as well as the latter cannot really be said the other way around.

RetroSicotte
Site Admin
Posts: 2471
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:10
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby RetroSicotte » 19 Sep 2019, 09:15

Lord Jim wrote:The weight of fire from a HIMARS battery on any given fire mission will not be much less than that of the heavy GMLRS.

It's literally half. It can't only be thought of in terms of the individual engagement. Wars require constant repeated engagement at fast speeds when working in a peer environment. Trained opponents attack in multiple locations, organised, simultaneous. Rocket artillery needing to constantly 'take a break' to reload twice as much is a devastating cut to the weight of fire going out. And in area saturation attacks, it has half the firepower.

I agree that Archer is the best of the bunch in that regard, although I still believe it wholly inadequate for peer warfare. It's too lightly protected, and too clumsy in its operation. It's slower to arrive and fire, less independent, less mobile in theatre, and too vulnerable to counter battery.

Personally, I feel you're putting too much faith in these systems in a peer environment. Ukraine is a picture perfect example of what happens to you when you bring slower firing, artillery-vulnerable systems into a modern peer battlefield. They get absolutely annihilated the moment something comes their way.

I still don't agree that the "deployment speed" is a point of worth. Against a peer foe, the Strike Brigades are not going to be charging in without heavier support. They simply are not capable of it.

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 11068
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 19 Sep 2019, 14:01

Lord Jim wrote:One suggestion is the Ajax "Screen" should be supported by either a variant of Ajax equipped with a NLOS type systems or again a simpler trailer mounted system towed behind a JLTV.
Both, pls... could be for different types of formations.
Lord Jim wrote: Joint Fires integrated with the screen and mounted in Ajax variants
We have that, no? Joint Fires as in directing and coordinating all ground & air platforms called upon.
Lord Jim wrote:The remaining two AS-90 Regiments would be re equipped with the Archer system. If these are mounted on a MAN platform together with their associated support vehicles, there will be drastically reduced support costs.
Yep
Lord Jim wrote: to remain in place whilst firing all twelve rockets
and how long would that, all 12, take??
Lord Jim wrote: leave far quicker without the crew having to leave the vehicle
A v good point in favour of any such wheeled platform (as all the traked ones can do that, anyway, but they have other 'constraints')
Lord Jim wrote: putting 120mm SP Mortars into the Infantry Battalions
I guess you mean AI (or Strike, if wheeled)... not just any old infantry? Sure , they could be supported by assigning such (but not organic, as that would be a mismatch)
Lord Jim wrote: any new equipment procurement programmes are going to be biased in this direction.
Why is the bias in one direction? Perhaps there will be no bias, and we will end up - after proper evaluation - with two different platforms... NATO has seen to compatibility in the 'ammo train' - working backwards from there
RetroSicotte wrote:less mobile in theatre,
Archer??; how come

RetroSicotte
Site Admin
Posts: 2471
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:10
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby RetroSicotte » 19 Sep 2019, 15:00

ArmChairCivvy wrote:Archer??; how come

Less capable off-road in soft terrain (such as post counter battery...), inability to traverse dense areas (no neutral steer ability, longer turning circle), unable to simply crush obstacles, slower set up, slower pull down, slower relocation.

It's a fancy truck, but it's still a truck. It will never be as mobile as a purpose built tracked vehicle over the sort of things and off-road regularity found in a warzone. Its only mobility advantage is strategic redeployment, which against a peer force matters little when the thing it's trying to catch up with can't do that sort of war anyway.

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 11068
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 19 Sep 2019, 16:16

RetroSicotte wrote:Less capable off-road in soft terrain (such as post counter battery...), inability to traverse dense areas (no neutral steer ability, longer turning circle), unable to simply crush obstacles, slower set up, slower pull down, slower relocation.
OK, may be, the first point is wrong, anyway: Is a meter of snow NOT soft terrain?
RetroSicotte wrote:Its only mobility advantage is strategic redeployment, which against a peer force matters little
Oh, well: the 100 km/h speed is (not strategic) but intra-theather

... more important is that, behind the lines [err, there will be any/ no lines] it can go anywhere, where needed, along any track... or none. So that means that the 40 km range can be utilised along, say, a 70 km front, which is not a circle, but a line ... or thereabouts

Lord Jim
Senior Member
Posts: 3569
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby Lord Jim » 19 Sep 2019, 20:06

Regarding the firing rate of the GMLRS, I must admit I am going by the video footage I have seen of the weapon firing mainly during GW1, and it certainly isn't like the old BM-21s. If anyone has the actual data on the maximum firing rate it would be interesting to compare it to similar sized platforms.

My mention of the Joint Fires Ajax variant was I suppose a glimmer of hope that we are moving in the right direct, I just hope a similar Boxer based platform also appears.

Against a Peer opponent getting there first is exactly what the role of the Strike Brigades is. This is the key reason why the currently announced composition of these units leaves them totally unfit for purpose and why the Army is looking to see what is needed to make them so. Yes they would followed by the Armoured Infantry but more likely allied formation would slot in behind the Brigade sooner. Once this happens the Brigade would redeploy to another area or, for example move on the flank of the advancing opposition where they have already moved through NATO's first line of resistance.

This is of course against peer opposition, against lesser opponents the Strike Brigade becomes a more offensive tool, possible acting as the heavy component of a grouping based on the UK's lighter Rapid Reaction formations. Here again the ability of the formation to move rapidly into theatre and then cover a large area in very important. Depending on scale we could see only the Mechanised Infantry and Artillery deployed in such an operation for that very reason. Just as important is that such units will have a significantly reduced logistics tail compared to that of the Ajax formations. But this is why the additional Boxer variants are so important, and these need to be balanced within themselves, not relying on the capability of others to be operationally effective.

The UK is working with a blank sheet of paper with the Strike Brigades, and is working to work out what support they will need and in what form. It would be of no use for the Army to invest in a fleet of new heavy SP 155mm only to have them to be unable to support the formations. The new system is being aimed at replacing the AS-90 whilst at the same time providing a platform with the mobility to operate effectively with the Strike Brigades. the ability of heavy tracked platforms to knock down the odd tree is more a party piece. If you are moving through a forested region for example you go between them or use the tracks/roads.

Ideally we would be getting two new platforms, one for the Armoured Infantry Brigades and one for the Strike Brigades, but that is very unlikely to happen. So whatever is chose has to be able to operate with both

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 11068
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 19 Sep 2019, 20:20

Lord Jim wrote:more likely allied formation would slot in behind the Brigade sooner.

Aware that the Anglo-Danish division has been reinstated - I believe the 3rd bde in it is Polish?
Lord Jim wrote:The UK is working with a blank sheet of paper with the Strike Brigades, and is working to work out what support they will need and in what form.

I like the positive thinking (and I think that is what "they" are thinking/ planning, too).

mr.fred
Member
Posts: 703
Joined: 06 May 2015, 22:53
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby mr.fred » 19 Sep 2019, 20:22

Wiki says 12 rockets in 40 seconds, so the additional six take less time than the additional time of a GOAT vs a proper SPG

Voldemort
Member
Posts: 106
Joined: 26 Jul 2018, 06:32
Location: Finland

Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby Voldemort » 20 Sep 2019, 06:15

ArmChairCivvy wrote:I guess you mean AI (or Strike, if wheeled)... not just any old infantry? Sure , they could be supported by assigning such (but not organic, would be a mismatch)


Why would it be a mismatch? Sure, a regular infantry battalion is ill-equipped to support and maintain a tracked mortar plattform.


Return to “British Army”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest