105mm L118 Light gun

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SW1
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Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

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Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

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SW1 wrote: 02 May 2022, 09:55
Am I reading that right, they are putting the gun directly fitted to the HMT and not towed?

Are they planning have them fire under some sort of ballistic protection in case of counter battery fire

Then I remembered India's Garuda 105 and the US Hawkeye


http://www.military-today.com/trucks/ma ... images.htm

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Tempest414
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Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

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I would like to see this in support of the Light BCT's I said a few months back about putting a 105 on a MAN 6x6
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Little J
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Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

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If this "soft recoil technology" works, it's a concept worth investigating...

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Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

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So I /we have been talking about light motorized battalion battle groups with

1 x Cavalry Company
1 x Infantry Battalion
1 x Artillery support group
1 x Logistics support

with this said if the Artillery support group could be given a light weight 105mm SP gun and a 18 round Brimstone launcher based on a Bushmaster we could see the BBG's artillery support group made up of

1 x Battery of 3 SP guns plus C&C
1 x Battery of 3 Brimstone launchers plus C&C
1 x battery of 4 UAV's plus C&C

This could give the light BBG the ability to hit targets using 81mm mortar , ATGW , 105mm SP & Brimstone from 5 to 30+ KM's

Lord Jim
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Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

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Not a bad idea, though I would rather see a rifled 120mm Mortar with a "Soft Recoil" system being used. Either way the Coyote would be a decent ammo carrier, or just use the MAN 15 ton SV (8x8) with the EPLS (Enhanced Palletised Loading System).

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Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

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Lord Jim wrote: 03 May 2022, 12:20 Not a bad idea, though I would rather see a rifled 120mm Mortar with a "Soft Recoil" system being used. Either way the Coyote would be a decent ammo carrier, or just use the MAN 15 ton SV (8x8) with the EPLS (Enhanced Palletised Loading System).
Mortars with half the range of the light gun?

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Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

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Tempest414 wrote: 03 May 2022, 09:40 So I /we have been talking about light motorized battalion battle groups with

1 x Cavalry Company
1 x Infantry Battalion
1 x Artillery support group
1 x Logistics support

with this said if the Artillery support group could be given a light weight 105mm SP gun and a 18 round Brimstone launcher based on a Bushmaster we could see the BBG's artillery support group made up of

1 x Battery of 3 SP guns plus C&C
1 x Battery of 3 Brimstone launchers plus C&C
1 x battery of 4 UAV's plus C&C

This could give the light BBG the ability to hit targets using 81mm mortar , ATGW , 105mm SP & Brimstone from 5 to 30+ KM's

I do wonder with the move to light mechanised forces with the ability to access the lighter remote weapons and there optics and ability to accept an long range anti tank missile how much of the of anti tank capability moves to regular rifle company’s within a battalion. Also with the emergence of advanced loitering munitions like switch blade 600 and hero 120/400 how much of that will allow the support company to provide heavier fires negating somewhat the need for infantry battalions to request extra support from 105mm and heavier mortars.

Rather than simply replacing like for like is technology allowing more organic capabilities.

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Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

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SW1 wrote: 03 May 2022, 14:04 I do wonder with the move to light mechanised forces with the ability to access the lighter remote weapons and there optics and ability to accept an long range anti tank missile how much of the of anti tank capability moves to regular rifle company’s within a battalion. Also with the emergence of advanced loitering munitions like switch blade 600 and hero 120/400 how much of that will allow the support company to provide heavier fires negating somewhat the need for infantry battalions to request extra support from 105mm and heavier mortars.

Rather than simply replacing like for like is technology allowing more organic capabilities.
Switchblade and Hero are all great precision weapons, but we seem to be confusing the purpose of artillery.

It is not a precision weapon. It is an area weapon intended to suppress areas and formations. You're not call fire mission on a single armoured vehicle or building unless you're really up against it.

Similarly, the ability for these precision systems to provide smoke and illumination effects are also limited.

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Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

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RunningStrong wrote: 03 May 2022, 14:18
SW1 wrote: 03 May 2022, 14:04 I do wonder with the move to light mechanised forces with the ability to access the lighter remote weapons and there optics and ability to accept an long range anti tank missile how much of the of anti tank capability moves to regular rifle company’s within a battalion. Also with the emergence of advanced loitering munitions like switch blade 600 and hero 120/400 how much of that will allow the support company to provide heavier fires negating somewhat the need for infantry battalions to request extra support from 105mm and heavier mortars.

Rather than simply replacing like for like is technology allowing more organic capabilities.
Switchblade and Hero are all great precision weapons, but we seem to be confusing the purpose of artillery.

It is not a precision weapon. It is an area weapon intended to suppress areas and formations. You're not call fire mission on a single armoured vehicle or building unless you're really up against it.

Similarly, the ability for these precision systems to provide smoke and illumination effects are also limited.
The larger hero weapons have optional warhead options for air burst ect so it’s not all precision especially when compared to a 105mm shell or mortar. But the trend in western militaries is for more precision rather than less.

It will be 10 years for some of these replacements to appear and this technology area is developing and I would guess accelerating from here there. It will be interesting how the balance play outs.

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Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

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SW1 wrote: 03 May 2022, 14:38
RunningStrong wrote: 03 May 2022, 14:18
SW1 wrote: 03 May 2022, 14:04 I do wonder with the move to light mechanised forces with the ability to access the lighter remote weapons and there optics and ability to accept an long range anti tank missile how much of the of anti tank capability moves to regular rifle company’s within a battalion. Also with the emergence of advanced loitering munitions like switch blade 600 and hero 120/400 how much of that will allow the support company to provide heavier fires negating somewhat the need for infantry battalions to request extra support from 105mm and heavier mortars.

Rather than simply replacing like for like is technology allowing more organic capabilities.
Switchblade and Hero are all great precision weapons, but we seem to be confusing the purpose of artillery.

It is not a precision weapon. It is an area weapon intended to suppress areas and formations. You're not call fire mission on a single armoured vehicle or building unless you're really up against it.

Similarly, the ability for these precision systems to provide smoke and illumination effects are also limited.
The larger hero weapons have optional warhead options for air burst ect so it’s not all precision especially when compared to a 105mm shell or mortar. But the trend in western militaries is for more precision rather than less.

It will be 10 years for some of these replacements to appear and this technology area is developing and I would guess accelerating from here there. It will be interesting how the balance play outs.
That's still a single, relatively expensive air burst effect compared to even a single gun system. If you wanted to target an entrenched position or my multiple vehicles then the requirement for multiple Switchblade/Hero systems is additional resources.

If the trend in Western Militaries is precision, why are most procuring new gun systems? If they wanted precision they'd be entirely purchasing GMLRS. But they're not.

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Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

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RunningStrong wrote: 03 May 2022, 15:44
SW1 wrote: 03 May 2022, 14:38
RunningStrong wrote: 03 May 2022, 14:18
SW1 wrote: 03 May 2022, 14:04 I do wonder with the move to light mechanised forces with the ability to access the lighter remote weapons and there optics and ability to accept an long range anti tank missile how much of the of anti tank capability moves to regular rifle company’s within a battalion. Also with the emergence of advanced loitering munitions like switch blade 600 and hero 120/400 how much of that will allow the support company to provide heavier fires negating somewhat the need for infantry battalions to request extra support from 105mm and heavier mortars.

Rather than simply replacing like for like is technology allowing more organic capabilities.
Switchblade and Hero are all great precision weapons, but we seem to be confusing the purpose of artillery.

It is not a precision weapon. It is an area weapon intended to suppress areas and formations. You're not call fire mission on a single armoured vehicle or building unless you're really up against it.

Similarly, the ability for these precision systems to provide smoke and illumination effects are also limited.
The larger hero weapons have optional warhead options for air burst ect so it’s not all precision especially when compared to a 105mm shell or mortar. But the trend in western militaries is for more precision rather than less.

It will be 10 years for some of these replacements to appear and this technology area is developing and I would guess accelerating from here there. It will be interesting how the balance play outs.
That's still a single, relatively expensive air burst effect compared to even a single gun system. If you wanted to target an entrenched position or my multiple vehicles then the requirement for multiple Switchblade/Hero systems is additional resources.

If the trend in Western Militaries is precision, why are most procuring new gun systems? If they wanted precision they'd be entirely purchasing GMLRS. But they're not.
Brimstone was after all the replacement for cluster bombs in the air. Some are purchasing mlrs. himars is becoming quite popular but even those those purchasing gun and mortar systems are also doing so with guided rounds for both.

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Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

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SW1 wrote: 03 May 2022, 17:19 Brimstone was after all the replacement for cluster bombs in the air. Some are purchasing mlrs. himars is becoming quite popular but even those those purchasing gun and mortar systems are also doing so with guided rounds for both.
You certainly want to have guided artillery rounds available should the mission require it (especially in danger-close scenarios).

But the primary purpose and benefit of artillery remains the ability to deliver effects over an area.

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Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

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Whether you choose the Light Gun or a 120mm Mortar you are still going to be outranged by an opponent using Russian designed 122mm Gun/Howitzers, of 122mm MLRS. The idea is to provide fore support for the troops at the front. To go after the enemy's rear areas or counter battery you are going to need at least a 155mm weapon system. Therefore my preference would be for a lighter, weapon with greater throw weight that also has access to smart munitions and cargo dispensing rounds. The weapon is easier to use and faster in and out of action, especially with the auto laying devices now available. Yes we have the light gun available now but developing a new SP version will surely cost more than mounting a 120mm Mortar with a soft recoil system on a Bushmaster or Viking's rear body. One simple fact is a 120mm HE bomb has greater effect than a 105mm shell as it carrier more explosive and lands at a steeper angle, some else in the former favour, especially in built up or heavily wooded areas. Then again I am a 120mm Mortar Fan Boy.

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Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

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Lord Jim wrote: 04 May 2022, 05:08 Whether you choose the Light Gun or a 120mm Mortar you are still going to be outranged by an opponent using Russian designed 122mm Gun/Howitzers,
Only if they are using uncommon rocket-assist shells. With normal shells the L118 outranges the D-30, while the 120mm mortar is considerably outranged by both.

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Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

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L118 105mm = 17 km normal & 20 km with base bleed

D30 122mm = 15.5 km normal & 21 km with rocket assisted rounds

For me a SP 105mm fitted to a MAN 6 x 6 or a HMT to support the Motorized Battalions would be a good thing this along with a 18 round ground launched Brimstone for over watch also fitted to HMT and 81 or 120mm SP Mortars would put give the Motorized Battalions a good punch

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Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

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There is quite a nice article on the ThinkDefence page about possible replacement for 105mm gun

https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2022/02/ ... placement/

There is also a nice example why having just 120mm mortars is not a good solution, based on experience of the US 10th Mountain Division in Afghanistan. Unless there is some new ammo that will significantly increase range of 120mm mortar shells, there is a need for artillery platform that will provide longer range fire, no matter if there are some weapons than can outrange it.

Another thing worth mentioning is that transportation capability of the "new" platform is very important considering that two primary users of it would be 3rd Commando and 16th Air Assault Brigade, or their respective artillery regiments. Currently, L118 is easily transportable by helicopters, like Merlin or Chinook. Even the future utility helicopter candidates, like Blackhawk or AW149 should be able to carry it. But if replacement is using some heavy platform, like MAN truck this would limit its usability for those forces. If it is good for those two brigades, it should be good for two light infantry brigades too. Also, if Army choose to replace AS90 with systems like Boxer 155mm or Archer on MAN platform, they could use those systems for light brigades too, even tho I think this is highly unlikely.

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Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

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Maybe a system with common parts for towed and mounted solutions? (If there's enough demand for both)

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Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

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The ideal solution would be Self Propelled 120m Mortars within Infantry Battalions supported by easily deployable Self Propelled 155mm Guns at Brigade level. The GMLRS if we stick with the heavy M270 would be the theatre Commanders personal "Six Gun". If we went for the lighter and cheaper HIMARS we could attach batteries to individual Combat Teams. With UGVs etc there is no reason lighter units like 16AA cannot also have 120mm Mortars, being able to carry these internally in a Chinook. The Royal Marines could mount theirs on the Vikings. We would retain the 81mm for special assignments as well as training. Each Battalion retaining eight to ten 81mm in storage would be an easy thing to happen.

As for the SP 120mm, well we would need around 36 Boxer variants, eight to ten modified or new build Vikings and around 30 MRV(P) 6x6 designed as Mortar Carriers. In their simplest form the resources to create a 120mm Mission Module for Boxer are the same as for the 81mm, Mortar excepted, but basic 120mm Mortars are cheap and the FCS is where the money is spent and would again be the same. At the simplest level the cost would not be a major strain on resources, and could be phased in over the next six to eight years. There are many off the shlf options for choice of Mortar, Fire Control System and munitions, so accelerated procurement should be possible within the same timeframes as the donor platforms.

Importantly as I said up thread, range is not the major issue, they are not designed for counter battery fire. It is throw weight, accuracy and effect that are. In all three categories the 120mm Mortar beats the 105mm Light Gun. Add to that the ability to fire precision and dispensing rounds and importantly use other people ammunition. The 105mm Light Gun used bespoke UK only ammunition so you only have your own logistics chain, and given pace munitions are used in a high intensity conflict this is going to have an impact.

The main advantage the 105mm Light Gun has is;
- still a fairly big one, in that it is in service.

Its disadvantages against a Top Tier opponent are;
- It IS vulnerable to counter battery fire*.
- It only has "Dumb" ammunition.
- Said ammunition is bespoke.
- It has a low throw weight compared to other artillery systems.
- Has to be carried underslung by Helicopters.
- Not ideal of use by Infantry

*Yes I know 120mm Mortars are also vulnerable to counter battery fire, but in an ideal world a BCT would be supported by both SP 155mm Guns and HIMARS, with the Mortars providing integral Indirect Fire Support of the Infantry Battalions, giving the BCT between twelve and sixteen Mortars for this role.

The 105mm Light Gun has given great service but it is not suited for the Role as Brigade level Artillery in a modern high intensity conflict. Neither is it suited to being utilised lower down in the formation. Brigade level indirect fire support should in future be a minimum of 155mm guns and even systems such as HIARS. This is what is requires are the British Army transforms itself for the 2030s and onwards.

120mm Fanboy signing off.

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Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

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If anything, the 120mm mortar is more vulnerable to counter battery on account of its somewhat shorter range. The solution to this of just having more seems both callous and financially questionable.
Having dumb, bespoke ammunition is a problem if you intend to import your materiel. If you aim at making your own anyway then it’s less of an issue. In any case you can get course correcting fuses for 105mm but tube artillery isn’t really for delivering precision munitions anyway. There’s a whole bunch of missiles available for that.

Low ammunition is a benefit for light forces. Plus the light gun is for light forces. If you stack them up against heavy forces they’re going to come off poorly.
Not ideal for infantry? it’s an artillery piece? It’s for artillery.
A 120mm mortar isn’t ideal for infantry because it’s not practical without vehicles.

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Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

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The key problem is what will replace the L118 in the FCF and 16AA If we look at the L118 and M777 we see the the M777 is twice the weight of the L118 and offers 6 Km more range and 10 with bass bleed however movement around the battlefield of the gun and ammo will also be twice as hard and take twice the logistics to move the same number of rounds

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Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

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Tempest414 wrote: 05 May 2022, 13:31 The key problem is what will replace the L118 in the FCF and 16AA If we look at the L118 and M777 we see the the M777 is twice the weight of the L118 and offers 6 Km more range and 10 with bass bleed however movement around the battlefield of the gun and ammo will also be twice as hard and take twice the logistics to move the same number of rounds
Not to mention it requires a larger team to operate the M777.

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Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

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mr.fred wrote: 05 May 2022, 09:57 If anything, the 120mm mortar is more vulnerable to counter battery on account of its somewhat shorter range. The solution to this of just having more seems both callous and financially questionable.
Having dumb, bespoke ammunition is a problem if you intend to import your materiel. If you aim at making your own anyway then it’s less of an issue. In any case you can get course correcting fuses for 105mm but tube artillery isn’t really for delivering precision munitions anyway. There’s a whole bunch of missiles available for that.

Low ammunition is a benefit for light forces. Plus the light gun is for light forces. If you stack them up against heavy forces they’re going to come off poorly.
Not ideal for infantry? it’s an artillery piece? It’s for artillery.
A 120mm mortar isn’t ideal for infantry because it’s not practical without vehicles.
I may have not been clear but my proposal for replacing the Light Gun was to equip Infantry of all types with a 120mm Mortar and allocate the hopefully wheeled 155mm as their Artillery support.

As for ammunition, though unlikely it would be interesting to see how many rounds of 105mm ammunition we have for the guns and of what type. A 120mm Mortar is far lighter then the Light Gun and far quicker to bring into and out of action, especially if you use a "Cradle" for transport if towing it. But for 16AA, its use of UGVs to support its support weapons, means even they can operate a 120mm with little difficulty. I have suggested retaining a number of 81mm mortars for specialised missions though.

Depending on which wheeled platform could be chosen, all can be flown in to any location by the C-17 and most by the A400, and the same would go for HIMARS. The fact that there are precision AT rounds as well as dispensing rounds for the 120mm adds more capability to the Battalion. But the use of a towed weapon like Extractor or a similar weapon such as Brimstone would be a useful addition to the Battalion as well.

The 105mm has been a good weapon, actually still is but it is now in a sort of middle grounds between light larger calibre Mortars and 155mm guns that are far superior and getting more and more deployable.

This discussion will undoubtedly go on and on between two opposing views but I will bow out as I am not looking to replace the 105mm Light Gun directly, but as said above by using two different weapons to five light forces especially greater fire support. Therefore I am more interested in the latter than the former.

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Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

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Lord Jim wrote: 06 May 2022, 04:03 A 120mm Mortar is far lighter then the Light Gun and far quicker to bring into and out of action, especially if you use a "Cradle" for transport if towing it.
Depends which one you're looking at. If you take the MO 120 RT, that's 1.4t vs 1.8t for the light gun, so hardly vastly different
In terms of setup time, the Light gun can be ready to fire in less than a minute, so even half that time isn't a massive reduction when you factor in the doubling in range that the light gun gives you.

In light forces, which the light gun is for, a complementary precision rocket system would seems sensible. At the moment that's Exactor but a ground launched SPEAR or something of that ilk could be a future contender.

For ammunition, HE, smoke and Illum covers most tube artillery missions. Cluster weapons are banned and precision tasks can be covered by the rockets. Still, there have been tests showing that 155mm guidance fuses can be adapted to 105mm shells for fire missions where errant shells are unacceptable. Though if you are worried about collateral damage, using smaller shells is one way of doing that.
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Re: 105mm L118 Light gun

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mr.fred wrote: 06 May 2022, 07:59
Lord Jim wrote: 06 May 2022, 04:03 A 120mm Mortar is far lighter then the Light Gun and far quicker to bring into and out of action, especially if you use a "Cradle" for transport if towing it.
Depends which one you're looking at. If you take the MO 120 RT, that's 1.4t vs 1.8t for the light gun, so hardly vastly different
In terms of setup time, the Light gun can be ready to fire in less than a minute, so even half that time isn't a massive reduction when you factor in the doubling in range that the light gun gives you.

In light forces, which the light gun is for, a complementary precision rocket system would seems sensible. At the moment that's Exactor but a ground launched SPEAR or something of that ilk could be a future contender.

For ammunition, HE, smoke and Illum covers most tube artillery missions. Cluster weapons are banned and precision tasks can be covered by the rockets. Still, there have been tests showing that 155mm guidance fuses can be adapted to 105mm shells for fire missions where errant shells are unacceptable. Though if you are worried about collateral damage, using smaller shells is one way of doing that.
I think the 105mm should remain, but I do think we need to make some significant changes.

I think we should adopt the NATO standard ammunition, even without moving to the shortened M119 barrel.

And o think we need to invest in better first round P-hit capability. There are affordable solutions for this, including fuzes capable of modifying the PEr and vastly decreasing under/over shot rounds. This effectively reduces the number of guns and rounds needed on mission without significant cost increase to the round.

Combined with new gun tractor vehicles (Pinz is very outdated now for protection and payload) and we could have a significantly more effective and deployable light gun force.
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