105mm L118 Light gun

Contains threads on British Army equipment of the past, present and future.
marktigger
Senior Member
Posts: 4630
Joined: 01 May 2015, 10:22
United Kingdom

105mm L118 Light gun

Post by marktigger »

Probably the Best light gun in the world

The Light Gun has been in service since the early 1980's a very flexible piece of equipment has served across the globe from the Arctic to the desert and performed very well.

Image

User avatar
SKB
Senior Member
Posts: 7177
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:35
England

Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

Post by SKB »

They might be firing a few of these off today in London at 2pm. There's a 41 gun salute to the new baby Princess planned in Hyde Park and at The Tower of London.

2PM:

sea_eagle
Member
Posts: 174
Joined: 06 May 2015, 13:57
United Kingdom

Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

Post by sea_eagle »

How many light guns are in service with the British Army today? Would there be any prospect of replacing them with the M777 howitzer anytime? We have with the C17/A400M and Chinook aircraft able to transport the heavier M777.

RetroSicotte
Retired Site Admin
Posts: 2657
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:10
United Kingdom

Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

Post by RetroSicotte »

sea_eagle wrote:How many light guns are in service with the British Army today? Would there be any prospect of replacing them with the M777 howitzer anytime? We have with the C17/A400M and Chinook aircraft able to transport the heavier M777.
138 at current numbers known.

A replacement is highly unlikely for the immediate future. Mostly down to it being low priority and money being desperately needed elsewhere.

User avatar
WhitestElephant
Member
Posts: 389
Joined: 06 May 2015, 10:57
United Kingdom

Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

Post by WhitestElephant »

sea_eagle wrote:How many light guns are in service with the British Army today? Would there be any prospect of replacing them with the M777 howitzer anytime? We have with the C17/A400M and Chinook aircraft able to transport the heavier M777.
Considering how we use the 105 mm with the paras and Royal Marines, the M777 is probably far too heavy, even if it is transportable by Chinook.

Though we are not now that strength which in old days moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are. - Lord Tennyson (Ulysses)

Pymes75
Member
Posts: 279
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 22:17
United Kingdom

Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

Post by Pymes75 »

WhitestElephant wrote:Considering how we use the 105 mm with the paras and Royal Marines, the M777 is probably far too heavy, even if it is transportable by Chinook.
Indeed. The US Army will continue to use the M119A2 for 'light' and 'airborne' units, including:

10th Mountain Division
82nd Airborne Division
101st Airborne Division
3rd BCT, 25th Infantry Division
4th BCT, 25th Infantry Division
173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team

Currently, M777A2 is used by Stryker Brigade Combat Teams.

marktigger
Senior Member
Posts: 4630
Joined: 01 May 2015, 10:22
United Kingdom

Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

Post by marktigger »

at least US field artillery units have the flexibility to choose from 3 weapons for operations the M119, M777 and M109 UK have only 2 options L118 or AS90

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 15912
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
United Kingdom

Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

GMLRS with a unitary warhead could cover that gap nicely, if put on a lighter platform.. when the original (i.e.current) was chosen, the rocket was still an area weapon.
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

mr.fred
Senior Member
Posts: 1120
Joined: 06 May 2015, 22:53
United Kingdom

Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

Post by mr.fred »

I'm curious as to what the expected advantages of the M777 over the L118 are, for light forces.
The 155mm piece weighs more in itself, so needs a bigger tractor. The 155mm ammunition weighs more so you need more crew and more logistics support to keep them supplied. The larger gun has more range, but how much range do you need for an airborne unit? Also, since it's heavier and more difficult to move around (gun and ammo both), then is the range advantage not negated? The larger shell has more effect, but then it has a larger danger area and a slower rate of fire, so the suppressive effect is both less and harder to take advantage of.

I would suggest that L118 and Exactor for light forces with AS90 and GMLRS for heavy would make as much sense as anything else. I don't know where a towed heavy piece fits, unless perhaps in a wheeled AFV formation?

marktigger
Senior Member
Posts: 4630
Joined: 01 May 2015, 10:22
United Kingdom

Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

Post by marktigger »

the 155mm shell was calculated as the minimum sized shell effective against armoured forces. It also has a wider variety of projectile than 105mm. I agree totally with the mobility aspects of the light gun it is also very crew efficient.

mr.fred
Senior Member
Posts: 1120
Joined: 06 May 2015, 22:53
United Kingdom

Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

Post by mr.fred »

marktigger wrote:the 155mm shell was calculated as the minimum sized shell effective against armoured forces.
Is that still the case, and does it consider submunitions?

marktigger
Senior Member
Posts: 4630
Joined: 01 May 2015, 10:22
United Kingdom

Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

Post by marktigger »

is there any 105 mm sub munitions? 155 gives a bigger projectile to carry submunitions like Jammers and in the good old says mines.

marktigger
Senior Member
Posts: 4630
Joined: 01 May 2015, 10:22
United Kingdom

Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

Post by marktigger »

though the L50 round is meant to be as good as 155mm M107

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 15912
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
United Kingdom

Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

sub-munitions, as in anti-armour, intelligent munitions? Our good old neighbours manufacture them for many European armies
... I guess the original, for LMRS, at a much greater range,never entered service?
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

mr.fred
Senior Member
Posts: 1120
Joined: 06 May 2015, 22:53
United Kingdom

Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

Post by mr.fred »

ArmChairCivvy wrote:sub-munitions, as in anti-armour, intelligent munitions?
I was actually thinking about dumb dual purpose submunitions. Google tells me that there are (US uses M915 and M916 with 42 bomblets). I was wondering if the effectiveness of the 155mm shell against armour was based on the comparison as a cargo carrier or just in terms of fragment energy from a unitary HE shell.

marktigger
Senior Member
Posts: 4630
Joined: 01 May 2015, 10:22
United Kingdom

Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

Post by marktigger »

the last study I read about was carried out by the israelis in the 70's and was about blast fragmentation damage to armour. before the submunitions boom of the 80's/90's.
When it came to fragmentation even in ww2 the 25 pdr round fragmented more efficiently than the US 105mm.

mr.fred
Senior Member
Posts: 1120
Joined: 06 May 2015, 22:53
United Kingdom

Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

Post by mr.fred »

I guess that operational analysis should be updated with time and technological advances.
If light forces have the exactor (Spike NLOS) system then perhaps the anti-armour capability of their gun artillery is not so necessary. That said, with the proliferation of Active Protection Systems (APS), the utility of dumb shells is perhaps increased, not least for being able to strip APS sensors and effectors from armoured vehicles.

marktigger
Senior Member
Posts: 4630
Joined: 01 May 2015, 10:22
United Kingdom

Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

Post by marktigger »

Artillery is still the major support arm on the battlefield guided weapons further forward help but artillery will still break up concentrations of armour at longer ranges and pin forces to areas and deny them the use of others.

mr.fred
Senior Member
Posts: 1120
Joined: 06 May 2015, 22:53
United Kingdom

Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

Post by mr.fred »

Exactor is far closer to an artillery piece than a classical battlefield ATGW. For one thing it outranges the M777 with basic ammunition. As far as I see it, the L118 and the Exactor are quite similar in the way they complement each other as the AS90 and the GMLRS.

Also, how often will airborne forces be relying on their own artillery to break up an opposing armoured force that large that their precision artillery cannot deal - one would expect a decent amount of air support for such a formation, which brings a whole additional number of armour killers with it.

marktigger
Senior Member
Posts: 4630
Joined: 01 May 2015, 10:22
United Kingdom

Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

Post by marktigger »

air support with what?

artillery tends to be there for much longer periods than air strikes and provide more continuous support.....I note the royal artillery spent long periods in afghanistan doing their proper job in an enviroment where NATO had lots of strike aircraft and total air superiority. Against Armour who knows I know one of the proposed entry plans for Iraq was to be jump led by 16aa out of range of 1divs arty

mr.fred
Senior Member
Posts: 1120
Joined: 06 May 2015, 22:53
United Kingdom

Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

Post by mr.fred »

Air support with whatever is available? Brimstone, Hellfire, smart bombs and smart submunitions if you have them. If you are carrying out airborne operations in a high armour threat environment I would imagine that you would make sure you've got more air support available than usual.

Air support doesn't replace artillery - nothing in an army works in isolation. By that same token, nothing in an army should try to do everything. Running a light 105mm gun rather than a 155mm piece reduces your logistics, which with an airborne formation is quite important. I don't know if requiring a 155mm because that is what it takes to be effective against armour is sensible, given that it brings drawbacks and there are plenty of other assets that can take up the slack. Not least that you shouldn't be putting light airborne forces in the way of an armoured advance.

marktigger
Senior Member
Posts: 4630
Joined: 01 May 2015, 10:22
United Kingdom

Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

Post by marktigger »

yes but if you are encountering armour they also tend to have Air Defence assets as well. We have also been spoilt the last number of op's we've had total air superiority.
the L118 does give a few advantages mobility being 1 wouldn't want to have to man handle an M777. Its a very good field piece and I don't think it'll be bettered .
Except you are working in a force that has AS90 as well then you're carrying 2 different ammunition natures.

User avatar
whitelancer
Member
Posts: 584
Joined: 05 May 2015, 22:19
United Kingdom

Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

Post by whitelancer »

While commonality is always desirable, two artillery calibres is hardly extravagant. The 105 is ideal for rapid reaction forces, for both mobility and logistic reasons. While having a light weight 155 gun backing it up, for its range and terminal effect, would be desirable its cost in terms of purchase price, manpower and logistic support rules it out at least for the British Army. Even a light weight GMLRS, probably a better option seems to be ruled out ,at least for now.
At least we can be thankful that the L118 is as good as you can get.

Chris Werb
Junior Member
Posts: 6
Joined: 12 Dec 2015, 22:21

Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

Post by Chris Werb »

I don't think the UK ever deployed submunition rounds in 105mm. We had US M483 series 155mm DPICM delivered for use from M109s in the 1991 GW, then adopted an Israeli version, partly on the basis that it had an improved dud rate. That was overtaken by events when we signed up to a ban on cluster munitions. This would not have affected the SMART/BONUS type AT submunition cargo round that the UK was going to purchase under the Indirect Precision Fires initiative, but like virtually everything on that wish list, it got cancelled. Even the US is getting out of the non-smart submunition game. Of course, the Russians aren't and it would arguably give them a considerable advantage in some scenarios.

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 15912
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
United Kingdom

Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Chris Werb wrote:US is getting out of the non-smart submunition game. Of course, the Russians aren't and it would arguably give them a considerable advantage in some scenarios
Yes, respecting the treaties they have signed. MLRS AW is a nice companion to unitary, just check out who have placed orders (i.e. they mean business).

The preformed 160 000 parts hitting have a density per sq m of about 20 times the 155mm splinters, but are not much short in penetration power. Ends up looing something like slide 15 here:
http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2004armaments/ ... t_Fire.pdf
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

Post Reply