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The future form of the Army

Contains threads on British Army equipment of the past, present and future.
Lord Jim
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The future form of the Army

Postby Lord Jim » 24 Jan 2020, 06:20

I have been working on how the British Army should look by the latter half of this decade. The current doctrine of trying to keep a little bit of everything has meant that it lacks many of the capabilities needed for modern peer warfare and with those it does retain it lacks the mass to be truly effective. A future peer level conflict will in all likelihood be one in which the Army will have to fight with what it has, with barely enough time to bring reserves on line and certainly not enough to purchase additional equipment through UORs as it has done in recent conflicts. To be combat effective the Army need to be manned, equipped and trained to a level of readiness possibly beyond that of the old British Army of the Rhein (BOAR).

Concentrating on Europe for now, unlike in the days of the BOAR , our forces will have to travel by both sea and land a substantial distance before reaching the operational areas. Even that equipment still remaining in Germany is really too far back to rapidly respond to an emergency and this is made worse by the lack of transporter that would be required to move even one Armoured Infantry Brigade rapidly east. The Mod has realised this and is planning to create two "Strike" Brigades, but these plans are seriously flawed by the planned composition of these Brigades, mix the Tracked Ajax Platform and the wheeled Boxer.

What I propose is a re organisation of the Army to concentrate platforms to utilise their inherent capabilities to the maximum. These suggestion are not going to be accepted by many here but a Forum is for generation discussion so here we go.

Firstly I would disband the existing three Armoured Infantry Brigades retaining two Armoured Regiments that would be equipped with the planned Challenger 2 CEP and include a Recce Squadron Equipped With the Ajax family. To these I would form two Recce Regiments equipped with variants of the Ajax Family. The actual Ajax itself would receive a modified turret to that currently planned, with the addition of two Spike LR ATGWs or similar weapons, in a box launcher on the right hand side of the turret. Other version would be equipped with a RWS mounting a M2 HMG rather than the planned L7 GPMG. These four units would form an Armoured Cavalry Brigade. This would form the heavy reserve for the Army's 3rd (UK) Division. To be fair with current plans the element from the Armoured Infantry Brigades that the "Strike" Brigades really need is the firepower that the Challenger 2s bring. With the ISTAR capability of the Ajax and firepower of the Challenger this Brigade could either operate as a whole or provide heavy support to the Mechanised Brigades which I will get to later. What this would mean though would be the retirement of the Warrior and he cancellation of its improvement programme and the reduction of the planned Ajax buy by at least 60%.

As such a Brigade equipment set would be stored in Germany with the four units having sufficient vehicles for training in the UK. Additional Logistics and transport platform would also co located to allow the Brigade to be manned and on the move within seven days of the order being given and be in position to fight in the east within a further seven days. That is a maximum of fourteen days to ship the service men and women to Germany, collect their equipment and be in Eastern Poland or Hungary. Faster would be better but I am being conservative.

So what would be happening whilst the Armoured Cavalry Brigade gets moving. Well at the same time one or more of three Mechanised Brigades would be travelling east under its own power, and should arrive far quicker in theatre. These Brigades would be equipped with the Boxer 8x8 and organised as follows;

1 Cavalry Regiment comprised of:
Regimental HQ, with;
2x Boxer Mobile Gun Systems (MGS)
2x Boxer Command (RWS with HMG, Javelin)
1x Boxer Ambulance.

Recce Troop, with;
4x Boxer IFV (RWS with CTA40, 2 Spike-LR and a telescopic mast with pod containing day/night EO Sensor and GSR)

3 Cavalry Squadrons, each with;
Squadron HQ;
2x Boxer MGS
1x Boxer Command (RWS with HMG, Javelin)
1x Boxer Joint Fires (RWS with MG/AGL)
1x Boxer Ambulance

3 Cavalry Troops, each with;
4x Boxer MGS

Support Troop, with;
1x Boxer ARV
1x Boxer AEV (RWS with MG/AGL)
2x Boxer Logistics (RWS with MG/AGL)

3 Mechanised Infantry Battalions, each comprised of;
Battalion HQ, with;
2x Boxer Command (HMG, Javelin)
2x Boxer Ambulance

Recce Section, with;
4x Boxer IFV (RWS with CTA40, 2 Spike-LR and a telescopic mast with pod containing day/night EO Sensor and GSR)

Mortar Company with;
3 Batteries each with;
3x Boxer SP Mortar (BAe/SAAB Dual 120mm mortar Turret)

3 Companies, each with;
Company HQ;
1x Boxer Command (HMG, Javelin)
1x Boxer ARV (RWS with MG/AGL)
1x Boxer Joint Fires (RWS with MG/AGL)
1x Boxer Ambulance

Air Defence Section, with;
3x Boxer SPAAG (Air Defence turret with CTA40 or alternative cannon plus IRST and a passive anti drone capability)

3 Platoons, each with;
Platoon HQ, with;
Boxer HQ (RWS with HMG, Javelin)
Boxer AEV (RWS with MG/AGL)
3 Platoons, each with;
2x Boxer IFV (RWD with CTA40, 2 Spike-LR)
2x Boxer APC (RWD with HMG, Javelin

(The Boxer MGS could be armed with either a 105mm or a 120mm main gun. I believe the former would be sufficient for the fire support role using both conventional and smart munitions.)

These Mechanised Formations would be capable of bringing substantial firepower to bear and keep pace with a rapidly evolving battle space. Their ability to self deploy over significant distances is vital for any future conflict with in Europe or elsewhere, and their reduced logistical foot print aids this even further. In theory the lead elements of such a formation could be in the Baltics within seventy two hours of the order to move being given, under their own power.

Held at Divisional Level would be the support assets for these four Brigades, including Artillery and higher level ISTAR Assets with I will lay out in my next post. Let the discussion and ridicule begin.

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Re: The future form of the Army

Postby RetroSicotte » 24 Jan 2020, 11:48

I'm glad to see some high effort posts looking to start discursiveness, and using a generic title to keep the discussion centred. An excellent idea, similar to the escorts threads.

While I cannot claim to be someone who understands the complexities of regimental makeup, costs, and its reasoning to dig into detail, it definitely seems more self sufficient, less reliant on heavy tracks.

One thing that sticks out to me is the highlight on the 105mm gun. Currently the best APFSDS they have access to is the M900 round. Unfortunately, best estimates note this round is not capable of defeating the T-72B3/B3M's ERA/Composite very reliably. Given the MGS' requirement for a first shot kill more than a tank, I'd highly suggest the 120mm to enable it to not have to rely on lucky flanks (at which point a 105mm is then overkill anyway) and to retain survivability through lethality.

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Re: The future form of the Army

Postby Lord Jim » 24 Jan 2020, 12:14

I think the 120mm is an option, but I do not see the role of the Boxer MGS as a Tank Destroyer, but more a support platform that is more than capable of destroying AFVs other than a top tier MBT. For those the Brigade would have alternatives from the Infantry carrier MBT LAW and Javelin to vehicle mounted version of the latter, Spike LR and Extractor. If all else fail you can always drop a 155mm BONUS round from the Artillery Regiment or one of many rockets that would be available to the HIMARS battery. Of course verses a top tier MBT it would be a case of salvo firing to overwhelm its active and/or passive protection systems.

I will go in more detail of what the support units would or should consist of probably tomorrow.

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Re: The future form of the Army

Postby Ron5 » 24 Jan 2020, 18:43

Probably a dumb question but couldn't a 105mm mounted on a Boxer be developed that could provide an indirect as well as direct fire solution? Rather like a modern day Abbot. Would kill two requirement birds with one stone.

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Re: The future form of the Army

Postby Qwerty » 24 Jan 2020, 18:47


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Re: The future form of the Army

Postby RetroSicotte » 24 Jan 2020, 23:30

Lord Jim wrote:I think the 120mm is an option, but I do not see the role of the Boxer MGS as a Tank Destroyer, but more a support platform that is more than capable of destroying AFVs other than a top tier MBT. For those the Brigade would have alternatives from the Infantry carrier MBT LAW and Javelin to vehicle mounted version of the latter, Spike LR and Extractor. If all else fail you can always drop a 155mm BONUS round from the Artillery Regiment or one of many rockets that would be available to the HIMARS battery. Of course verses a top tier MBT it would be a case of salvo firing to overwhelm its active and/or passive protection systems.

I will go in more detail of what the support units would or should consist of probably tomorrow.

I appreciate the thoughtline, although I can't help but wonder how all of that is complicated, situational, reliant on "hang on, let me get my mate to do it for me" and generally losing immediacy. Time to contact, find an ATGM firing line (harder than direct fire), organise a ripple fire with several units, or wait for a fire mission to orient, confirm, check, and fire....vs just pulling the trigger and being done with it. All that waiting is a lifetime when multiple MBTs are rolling and firing immediately themselves.

Ron5 wrote:Probably a dumb question but couldn't a 105mm mounted on a Boxer be developed that could provide an indirect as well as direct fire solution? Rather like a modern day Abbot. Would kill two requirement birds with one stone.

Not particularly, no. Modern 105mm guns in theory can do indirect fire, but it's not in the way like an Abbot would. The gun breech can't elevate far enough, and the round design would be very different internally. You can "lob" HE rounds, yes, but it's not really an artillery piece.

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Re: The future form of the Army

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 24 Jan 2020, 23:49

Ron5 wrote:Probably a dumb question but couldn't a 105mm mounted on a Boxer be developed that could provide an indirect as well as direct fire solution? Rather like a modern day Abbot. Would kill two requirement birds with one stone.


Sounds a bit like "armed with a 120mm calibre 2A60 type breech-loading rifled gun, a variant of 2A50 mortar system used on the 2S9 Nona-S vehicle.

The ordnance can be loaded into the gun either manually or semi-automatically.

The onboard mortar system can be operated in both direct and indirect fire modes. Ammunition rack on the vehicle can be operated manually.

The maximum firing range of the gun system with ordinary projectiles is 8.85km, whereas the rocket-assisted projectiles can be fired up to a range of 12.8km. The range of firing mines is 7.15km, while the main gun can continuously fire up to 30 rounds.

The self-propelled gun system is compatible with laser-guided Kitolov-2 artillery projectiles, which can destroy targets within the range of 9km
with high precision. The projectiles improve the fire power of the system."

All that in a package that is under 15 t:
https://www.army-technology.com/wp-cont ... na-SVK.jpg
... from which link you can go into the manufacturer's inquiries, should you want to get one

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Re: The future form of the Army

Postby Lord Jim » 25 Jan 2020, 04:22

RetroSicotte wrote:I appreciate the thoughtline, although I can't help but wonder how all of that is complicated, situational, reliant on "hang on, let me get my mate to do it for me" and generally losing immediacy. Time to contact, find an ATGM firing line (harder than direct fire), organise a ripple fire with several units, or wait for a fire mission to orient, confirm, check, and fire....vs just pulling the trigger and being done with it. All that waiting is a lifetime when multiple MBTs are rolling and firing immediately themselves.

So a Boxer MGS with a 120mm gun it will be then.

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Re: The future form of the Army

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 25 Jan 2020, 09:46

Lord Jim wrote:with a 120mm gun

The post one above yours had just improved on your favourite: the rifled mortar(-gun)

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Re: The future form of the Army

Postby mr.fred » 25 Jan 2020, 15:12

Lord Jim wrote:. In theory the lead elements of such a formation could be in the Baltics within seventy two hours of the order to move being given, under their own power.

By which point, in theory, an attacking force that starts on the border will have been in position for 48 hours, so what’s the point?

RetroSicotte wrote:I can't help but wonder how all of that is complicated, situational, reliant on "hang on, let me get my mate to do it for me" and generally losing immediacy. Time to contact, find an ATGM firing line (harder than direct fire), organise a ripple fire with several units, or wait for a fire mission to orient, confirm, check, and fire....vs just pulling the trigger and being done with it. All that waiting is a lifetime when multiple MBTs are rolling and firing immediately themselves.

Deploying self-propelled guns to be tanks sounds complicated, situational and reliant on being in the right place at the right time. Calling in artillery in less than a minute has been possible, and practiced, for the past eighty years or more. Granted that’ll seem like a long time in contact, but you also will not be exposed to the opposition nor advertising your position.

Equally, the Strike concept really ought to rely heavily on hitting without being hit. Getting involved in direct fire fights isn’t it. Enough firepower to break contact for long enough that the indirect support can get to work would be suitable

That said, if your vehicle has the capacity to carry the 120mm smoothbore, then that is what should be fitted. Using a 105mm adds a new weapon and ammunition nature. It’s lighter and so is the ammunition, but does that matter with the tasks assigned to it and the logistics behind it.
On a light tank it might be worth the compromises, but on something the size and weight of Boxer? Not convinced.

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Re: The future form of the Army

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 25 Jan 2020, 15:22

mr.fred wrote:Equally, the Strike concept really ought to rely heavily on hitting without being hit. Getting involved in direct fire fights isn’t it. Enough firepower to break contact for long enough that the indirect support can get to work would be suitable


That is exactly it, but except for a few Exactors and relying on air (incl. Apaches that, by being based closer to the action, might have more perseverance) I can't really see where such assets are in the current formula.

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Re: The future form of the Army

Postby Ron5 » 25 Jan 2020, 16:42

RetroSicotte wrote:
Ron5 wrote:Probably a dumb question but couldn't a 105mm mounted on a Boxer be developed that could provide an indirect as well as direct fire solution? Rather like a modern day Abbot. Would kill two requirement birds with one stone.

Not particularly, no. Modern 105mm guns in theory can do indirect fire, but it's not in the way like an Abbot would. The gun breech can't elevate far enough, and the round design would be very different internally. You can "lob" HE rounds, yes, but it's not really an artillery piece.


I was actually thinking of approaching the problem from the other end, starting with a 105mm howitzer (like Abbot) and mounting it on a Boxer to perform its indirect artillery role but also allowing a direct fire capability if needed. I think I am correct in saying that Abbot's carried a few rounds of HESH for firing over open sights for such an eventuality.

I don't really see Boxer as a mount for a 155mm piece, the RCH155 seems very expensive for something that will be kept so far back it could be functionally replaced by one of the many gun on a trucks at half the price or less. Let alone, Boxer looking a little light weight to take that big of a gun without spades.

Whereas a Boxer with a 105mm howitzer could be as mobile a a regular Boxer, could take the small recoil shocks I would guess, and would be better equipped to venture closer to the front line to do some of the direct fire stuff like knocking down bunkers. Two requirements met at the cost of one development stream.

But as I said, maybe dumb daydreaming. 105mm seems to be going out of fashion pretty fast.

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Re: The future form of the Army

Postby SD67 » 25 Jan 2020, 17:58

I frankly don't understand this whole rush light infantry to the Baltics scenario.

Calais to Talinn is a greater distance than Odessa to Baku. Apparantly in Boxer and MRV(P) we will have a force which, under WW3 conditions, will surpass, in two days, all the accomplishments of Army Group South. The first KIA will no doubt have the opportunity to explain to Von Manstein exactly how he got it wrong.

Meanwhile, back on planet earth, there is country called Poland, a little bit closer to Estonia, who field three times as many MBTs as us. There's a couple million of their citizens living here. It should surely be possible, with a little post-Brexit effort, to incentivise our old friends and allies (who have no love for Russia) to pay due regard to the needs of their Baltic neighbours. We could do something crazy like switch over our storage depots from Rhineland to Oder-land . It might even (shock horror!) save money. Or we can fantasise about an intercontinental charge of the light brigade. Worked really well in Belgium...

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Re: The future form of the Army

Postby Lord Jim » 25 Jan 2020, 23:10

SD67 wrote:I frankly don't understand this whole rush light infantry to the Baltics scenario.

Well one thing at a time. In no way can the Mechanised Infantry Battalions that are part of the Mechanised Brigades I am suggesting be classed as Light Infantry. They would be more manoeuvrable, hit hard, move faster be more flexible, have a greater number of boots on the ground and have greater situational awareness than the current planned Armoured Infantry Battalions.

Whether the opposition would have totally over run the Baltics within 48 hours of hostilities commencing I do not know, but possible with the forces deployed there and if we get absolutely zero warning that the balloon is going to go up. Unlike in the past, German railways no longer has a large amount of rolling stock to move troops and their equipment around and trying to move reinforcements by sea into the Baltic would not a very high risk affair, so travel by road is the main option even if it would require passing by a certain enclave held by the possible opposition. Getting there in 48 hours. Well not the whole brigade but the lead elements as I stated, Can it be done, well they will certainly get into Poland. Will the troops be tired, most likely, but then again they would if they had had to mobilize, get to Brize by bus then from whichever airfield they land at get to the storage site, get their vehicles sorted organise into combat formations and move out over the same 48hrs, assuming no "Little Green Men", haven't blown up half the storage depot before or whilst the troops are getting organised as part of a pre-emptive strike at a know installation.

I would hope that the NATO forces in Poland would be first off the mark, beginning to moving troops north at the same time ours are moving east. Yes having forces or at least equipment stationed further east, in Poland for example would speed up the reaction time, but politics comes into this. Certain NATO nations to not believe we should do so as they fear this antagonises Russia and could end up giving them the reason they need to take action. With Poland together with the allies force already stationed there or the equipment again already in country, NATO has quite a sizeable force available. The initial Brigades we send, as well as providing NATO with a very mobile force, will also help provide a major sense of unity showing that all NATO members, not just those in the east have responded to the Article Five breach.

Now as pointed out, the Mechanised Brigades are not intended to go head to head with a Russian Guards Tank Division, but rather use their mobility to hit weak point and its flanks where possible, or exploit and breach in their lines and so on. If push comes to shove then they would have to go head to head, but even then they would be have formidable anti-tank fire power and be able to carry out a phased fighting withdrawal that would certainly hurt the opposition.

AS a heads up with what I believe should support the Mechanised Infantry and other Brigades, if we look at the Royal Artillery, I believe the first thing needed it not to replace the AS-90 but rather the GMLRS. I propose that the existing GMLRS Regiment and one currently equipped with the 105mm Light Gun should be re equipped with the HIMARS. I would give each Regiment three batteries of eight firing units and one battery equipped with UAVs. HIMARS/MLRS is the one artillery system within NATO that can match currently Russian Artillery when I comes to range. It is a proven system and there are a multitude of rockets both in service and in development, providing a broad range of capabilities. Yes HIMARS only has half the rocket of the heavy tracked GMLRS, but it is more mobile and survivable, being able to redeploy more rapidly after firing. Just as important is have greater strategic mobility and cheaper support costs.

No w remember all these proposals are based on my belief that the current equipment pans the Army has will not produce an effective fighting force. Both the planned Armoured Infantry and "Strike" Brigades are half baked in their current form, with the power that be being half in the past and half trying to look forward but with both one leg and one arm tied behind their backs as there is a serious lack of resources and they cannot give up the past. They still want to de everything and with the size of our Army and the resources at hand is impossible. They have to make a choice, build an Army based on heavy tracked armoured units supported by truck mounted Light Role Infantry Battalions, as we had in the Cold War or Develop medium weight forces, if the Boxer can be really called medium, that are more flexible and give the Politicians and Generals more options, and can respond far quicker to any event that occurs. Oh and did I forget to say are cheaper to operate and support in the field. But then I am advocating the latter with these posts.

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Re: The future form of the Army

Postby jedibeeftrix » 25 Jan 2020, 23:56

SD67 wrote:I frankly don't understand this whole rush light infantry to the Baltics scenario.

nor do i.
strike, properly done - as outlined by LJ - does serve a real purpose, but it isn't for Art5.
it is for the future of affordable, quick, and logistically light power projection, Art5 is a second order priority here.

the armoured brigade is the opposite; it is primarily an Art5 deterrent whose utility for power projection is a second order priority. 95% of the time it will be too expensive and slow.
i do entirely agree with having just one armoured/tracked brigade, we simply can't justify having more given that we couldn't afford to maintain the support assets to deploy and fight them anywhere at distance.

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Re: The future form of the Army

Postby jedibeeftrix » 26 Jan 2020, 09:07

@LJ - A few questions if I may:

Is there a reason why you go for a 'square' Armoured brigade of two tank and two recon regiments, over an ArmInf brigade of two tank, two recon, two IFV?

Would you anticipate this brigade being able to generate two battlegroups, such that while use of the brigade might be very rare, use of a high readiness 'spearhead' would be more day-to-day?

I think you mentioned elsewhere that most of the rest of the brigade assets would be held at Div. Would this include (wheeled) Artillery? Would this include (tracked) engineering?

Leaving aside the Amoured brigade - do you think the limit of our mechanised ambition must be three brigades? And would that be two Medium Strike on Boxer, and one Light Strike on MVRP?

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Re: The future form of the Army

Postby jimthelad » 26 Jan 2020, 10:38

With limited tank resources we would be better forming an armoured division that has 4 x t56 btn each with a mechanised infantry company, a independent cavalry company (with ATGM 40mm turrets) on AJAX. This would be supported in the field with 1-2 AAC Wilcat/Apache sqn, close support Arty battery (AS90), 1 MLRS battery, 2 x mixed recce formations on AJAX series including an overwatch for use at the divisional cdr discretion, logs btn, engineer coy, signals coy, and field hospital.

All up this would be about 4000 people and would be a very hard hitting, fast moving, and self supporting unit that would act in a Soviet style operational manouver unit. It's primary role would be to open a front to allow the strike brigades in whatever form they take to exploit the breakthrough. It would allow the concentration of our limited resources into a useful and very aggressive unit which could smash a peer opponent esp if the CR2 gets the L55.

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Re: The future form of the Army

Postby Lord Jim » 26 Jan 2020, 19:35

jimthelad wrote:With limited tank resources we would be better forming an armoured division that has 4 x t56 btn each with a mechanised infantry company, a independent cavalry company (with ATGM 40mm turrets) on AJAX. This would be supported in the field with 1-2 AAC Wilcat/Apache sqn, close support Arty battery (AS90), 1 MLRS battery, 2 x mixed recce formations on AJAX series including an overwatch for use at the divisional cdr discretion, logs btn, engineer coy, signals coy, and field hospital.


I think I understand where you are coming from, but that you may have got a few number wrong. Are we actually talking about an Armoured Brigade rather than a Division. WE only have a maximum of three Armoured Regiments, unless you are implying reducing each to three Tank Squadrons and using those released to form a forth?

My Idea was to form a formation loosely based on the US Army's Armoured Cavalry Regiment, though lacking integral aviation assets. Now the Armoured Cavalry Brigade would be able to act as such, forming Recce Troops comprised of both Challenger 2 and Ajax with ATGW/Extractor overwatch. These Recce Formations could also be used to support the units of the Mechanised Brigades, and in theory once everything was in place it could be possible for the Heavier units to spearhead offensive operations supported by one or more Mechanised Brigades and Divisional assets. This is why I believe the components of the Armoured Cavalry Brigade need to be prepositioned on the continent as that is where they would be needed. The Mechanised Brigades based in the UK could just as easily be embarked on the points and send further afield as to moving east across Europe to Poland and the Baltics.

Speaking of Divisional assets, two more I must mention are the two Royal Artillery Regiments that will replace their AS-90 with a new Self Propelled Gun System, most likely wheeled on at least a 6x6 chassis but more likely an 8x8. However all current systems in service lack the range to effectively compete with systems being introduced in Russia and possibly China. The latest Russian SPG has a range in excess of 80KM and a rate of fire advertised as 16 rounds per minute, though at that rate it would run out of ammunition in less than five minutes. SO we should wait and see what new systems appear over the next few years. There are systems in development in the US and Europe that will match the latest Russian platforms and in some ways surpass them. Just as important the British Army must catch up with other nations with regards to the projectiles it uses. Basic HE and Smoke no longer cut the mustard, the Army needs cargo rounds carrying smart sub munitions and precision guided rounds like Excalibur or equivalent systems. So as far as artillery goes we should bring in two Regiments worth of HIMARS as a matter or urgency by 2025 to be followed by two Regiments equipped with next generation wheeled 155mm SPGs no later than 2030.

The second Divisional asset would be a Royal Artillery Air Defence Regiment equipped with the Starstreak HVM and LMM, mounted on a SP Platform. Currently the system is mounted on the tracked Stormer platform but I propose transferring the launcher unit to a Boxer module to give commonality with other units and the related benefits. The Regiment would have four batteries each of eight Firing Units, and in the field these would break down into two vehicle teams, allocated as directed by the Divisional Commander or that of the Battle Group, who ever is the highest ranking officer in theatre. In addition a Battery of Land Ceptor might be held at Divisional level to protect rear areas, but as we will only have a total of three batteries of this system to protect everything from airfield to ports to land forces, this should not be taken a definite. Also at Divisional level with be the supporting assets form the newly formed 6th Division, providing ISTAR and asymmetric capabilities, whilst units from the Royal Logistical Corps will be in theatre in force to ensure everyone has the fuel, munitions and basic like food needed.

The area I am currently looking at is the Engineering support that needs to be provided by the Royal Engineers and REME. Currently like the Infantry we either have very heavy assets or dismounts with nothing in between. With the Mechanised Brigades being the core of our Army we will need Armoured Engineering assets just as mobile and easy to deploy to support them.

(Hope there are not to many typos)

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Re: The future form of the Army

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 28 Jan 2020, 16:38

jedibeeftrix wrote:strike, properly done - as outlined by LJ - does serve a real purpose [...] of affordable, quick, and logistically light power projection, Art5 is a second order priority here.

Which by no means... means that is it is a 2nd priority overall.

Lord Jim wrote: The latest Russian SPG has a range in excess of 80KM and a rate of fire advertised as 16 rounds per minute

watch out for them! http://quarryhs.co.uk/152_2e.jpg

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Re: The future form of the Army

Postby Lord Jim » 28 Jan 2020, 18:08

ArmChairCivvy wrote:watch out for them! http://quarryhs.co.uk/152_2e.jpg

I remember seeing pictures of that monster at a Russian army fair. The system I was referring to is the 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV, their latest. It mounts a large box like turret on the hull of a T-90 though it may use the Armata hull in future. One of its party pieces is to be able to carryout an eight round MRSI mission at over 30Km! and its maximum range is actually 70Km not 80Km as I earlier stated. It is quite interesting, for example it used a microwave ignition system to fire the charges for each round, and the breech is liquid cooled. IT can also load and fire at any angle which helps increase its rate of fire. It is believed the Guards First Tank Army will be the first unit to deploy this system in any quantity.

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: The future form of the Army

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 28 Jan 2020, 21:39

Lord Jim wrote:I remember seeing pictures of that monster at a Russian army fair.
Yeah, the one I linked failed. It was a naval arrangement, and the idea (by putting it on land) was to increase the RoF.

70 km shrinks to 30 fast when you have to fire the first round to the edge of the atmosphere so that the last one can catch up and arrive at the same time. 70 is still substantially more than what Excalibur projectile does ( extends the reach of .39-caliber artillery to 40 km and .52-caliber artillery to more than 50 km).
- no worries as we have :) :) the 70 km 'sniper' in arsenal ?

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Re: The future form of the Army

Postby mr.fred » 28 Jan 2020, 21:56

I’ll re post what I originally posted in the AS90 thread regarding Russian artillery:

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

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

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: The future form of the Army

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 28 Jan 2020, 22:38

It is good that the normal inflation in Russian announcements is checked. But what do you say about this comparison
mr.fred wrote: the guided, assisted projectiles are claimed to make 70km

ArmChairCivvy wrote:52-caliber artillery to more than 50 km
as the 50+ km is also base bleed assisted and were we to beef up what we stock for our artillery I would see the US(-Swedish= BAE Bofors) alternative more likely than the Vulcano.

Americans are talking about huge increases in artillery reach, but those are still to be tested and fielded, so we will see. If Gerard Bull were still around, no doubt there would be many takers (https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/ ... b5e02753b/)

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Re: The future form of the Army

Postby Lord Jim » 28 Jan 2020, 23:49

I was referring to the latest article on the 2S35 Koalitsiya 152mm SPG, in the October 2019 Jane's IDR, which mentions the following;

- First Russian Army units to receive production versions likely to be the First Guards Tank Army.
- Current versions based on the T-90 MBT but future version to use the Armata chassis.
- Three man crew all in the front of the hull. Driver in the middle, with the Gunner and Commander either side with duplicate controls.
- Turret unmanned and containing 70 rounds ready to use.
- Elevation from -5 to 75 degrees and able to be loaded at any elevation.
- Rate of fire of 16rnds/min with the breech fitted with a liquid cooling system which sprays the breech between shots.
- Range of 70km with new rocket assisted ammunition including Course Corrected Projectiles using GPS, but can fire existing 152mm rounds.
- Microwave ignition system with possibility of use with a future Modular Charge System.
- Capable of an eight rounds MRSI mission at a range of 30Km, double the rate of the existing Msta-S.
- Fitted with two radars, situated either side of main armament, that measure the velocity of the shells and their predicted impact point, allowing for rapid adjustment of gun before the first shell has landed during a MRSI mission, or during a standard engagement, improving accuracy.

Now that is just what Jane's mentions, so how reliable this is mainly depends on how people view the publication. However this system significantly out performs most if not all western SPGs, and in the British Army, only the GMLRS has equivalent performance, and why I have proposed that we should adopt the HIMARS and equip two Royal Artillery Regiments with the System as the primary indirect fire support for the Mechanised Brigades, rather than replace the AS-90 with an existing 52cal. SPG.

Regarding the Mechanised Brigades in whatever form they take, the British Army needs to provide them with sufficient engineering support to allow them to manoeuvre effectively. Currently, with the exception of the Terrier CET, our Armoured Engineering vehicles are based on the Challenger 2 Chassis. Whilst they are capable platforms, that are incapable of keeping up with the Mechanised formations and like the Armoured Cavalry Regiment require significant assets to move them into theatre.

I would propose that we need a series of vehicles, based on the Boxer to fulfil this capability gap. These would include a Armoured Engineering Vehicle (AEV) able to mount a dozer blade or a mine clearing plough at the front, and have Mission Modules with either a craned or excavator arm. A trailer mounted Mine Clearance Charge system will also be needed. Next an Bridging variant will be needed to cross smaller water obstacles and ditched, though a larger truck launched system will be required for larger crossings. Fortunately the Army has a number of M3 Amphibious Ferries that will be very useful for such crossing as well. Finally either Boxer Mission Module or Trailer fitted with a Scatterable Anti Tank Mine System is desirable.

Briefly regarding Logistics, the British Army has very good MAN SV family of 4 to 14 tonne Cargo Vehicles including around 380 MAN EPLS Mk2 vehicles which replaced the old Leyland DROPS platforms. In addition I would like to see a Logistics variant of the Boxer, ideally with a flat bed able to a number of standard pallets and include a crane to facilitate loading and unloading. The addition of a durable trailer to possibly double this capacity would also be desirable. These vehicles would allow the resupply of units nearer the front, and be less vulnerable that other load carriers like the MAN SV series.

Well that just about cover the core units that would make up a reorganised 3rd UK Division. Now I need to move on to the future of 16 Air Assault Brigade, including the Army Air Corps, and how 1st Division should to be re structured.

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: The future form of the Army

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 29 Jan 2020, 00:37

Lord Jim wrote: in the British Army, only the GMLRS has equivalent performance, and why I have proposed that we should adopt the HIMARS and equip two Royal Artillery Regiments with the System as the primary indirect fire support for the Mechanised Brigades

I am for that kind of rebalancing, but I would not term it primary, but rather filling the gap in counter-battery
- and if there are no batteries to counter, you can blow up command posts and logs nodes of the OpFor, just for fun


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