AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Contains threads on British Army equipment of the past, present and future.
mr.fred
Senior Member
Posts: 1286
Joined: 06 May 2015, 22:53
Has liked: 4 times
Been liked: 40 times
United Kingdom

Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Post by mr.fred »

On further reflection, there are many stages at which you could step into between capability requirement and solution. Close to or at the capability end, you have "Stop Enemy doing what he is doing" and you then solutionise from there through "by dropping HE in fragmenting cases on him" to "doing so from a certain distance away" to "doing so for a certain cost" and adding in "how much HE and at what rate" until you end up with "155mm howitzer"
The main problem with the "L60 ordnance" is that it is indistinguishable from "buy it from Rheinmetall" with the added risk of "wait until it is developed and keep using AS90 with a L39 ordnance until you run out of money and either keep using AS90 with L39 or dispense with gun artillery altogether"

Lord Jim
Senior Member
Posts: 7286
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
Has liked: 317 times
Been liked: 351 times
United Kingdom

Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Post by Lord Jim »

Yes, the L60 might be able to fire standard NATO rounds as well as new ones in development, but what I was referring to was the Charge system and the propellent chamber, both of which were bespoke to Rheinmetall and not NATO standard.

mr.fred
Senior Member
Posts: 1286
Joined: 06 May 2015, 22:53
Has liked: 4 times
Been liked: 40 times
United Kingdom

Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Post by mr.fred »

mr.picky would like to point out that 'round' includes projectile and propellant, primer and any casing that might exist. The L60 is being designed to fire shells (projectiles) that are backwards compatible with the current NATO 155mm standard but firing a current NATO 155mm projectile with the L60 charge system* would likely result in inconsistent performance at best and spontaneous self-disassembly at worst.

* Likely there would be some reduced charges that would be OK, but those would hardly be making full use of the capability of the gun.

RunningStrong
Senior Member
Posts: 1040
Joined: 06 May 2015, 20:52
Has liked: 34 times
Been liked: 38 times

Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Post by RunningStrong »

mr.fred wrote: 05 Jun 2022, 17:14 Since barrel length doesn't necessarily confer capability and you've pre-selected only those suppliers offering it. On top of that if you pick the 60 calibre option then you've already constrained yourself to a charge system as well.

You have written a preferred solution, not a capability requirement.
Err, you need to check yourself. Applying a range also limits your suppliers because a smaller calibre gun cannot magically achieve longer ranges using NATO compliant rounds :crazy:

RunningStrong
Senior Member
Posts: 1040
Joined: 06 May 2015, 20:52
Has liked: 34 times
Been liked: 38 times

Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Post by RunningStrong »

mr.fred wrote: 05 Jun 2022, 17:22 The main problem with the "L60 ordnance" is that it is indistinguishable from "buy it from Rheinmetall" with the added risk of "wait until it is developed and keep using AS90 with a L39 ordnance until you run out of money and either keep using AS90 with L39 or dispense with gun artillery altogether"
L60 isn't proprietary technology :lol:

mr.fred
Senior Member
Posts: 1286
Joined: 06 May 2015, 22:53
Has liked: 4 times
Been liked: 40 times
United Kingdom

Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Post by mr.fred »

RunningStrong wrote: 05 Jun 2022, 18:50 Err, you need to check yourself. Applying a range also limits your suppliers because a smaller calibre gun cannot magically achieve longer ranges using NATO compliant rounds
Which is why you set the threshold at a more widely achievable level so you can allow extra credit for reaching further but you can compare the costs vs other parameters for the different options.
RunningStrong wrote: 05 Jun 2022, 19:09 L60 isn't proprietary technology
No, but there's only one supplier working on it at the moment so to involve the others makes it even more developmental which is absolutely not what we need at the moment.

If I could flip it around: Is the additional range of a 60 calibre length barrel worth delaying the programme and increasing the cost?

At most I'd expect it to be included as a "fitted for but not with" or even "installation provision made in design" so it could be growth option.

RunningStrong
Senior Member
Posts: 1040
Joined: 06 May 2015, 20:52
Has liked: 34 times
Been liked: 38 times

Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Post by RunningStrong »

mr.fred wrote: 05 Jun 2022, 20:29 Which is why you set the threshold at a more widely achievable level so you can allow extra credit for reaching further but you can compare the costs vs other parameters for the different options.
Why award any credit for not meeting the capability need? How odd.
mr.fred wrote: 05 Jun 2022, 20:29 No, but there's only one supplier working on it at the moment
There's only one supplier having gone public on an L60... Others have done L58, more will be working on it...

mr.fred
Senior Member
Posts: 1286
Joined: 06 May 2015, 22:53
Has liked: 4 times
Been liked: 40 times
United Kingdom

Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Post by mr.fred »

RunningStrong wrote: 05 Jun 2022, 21:13 Why award any credit for not meeting the capability need? How odd.
The threshold is the need, anything more is extra credit. Similarly there would be a threshold for a range of mobility performances, rate of fire, crewing requirements and a bunch of other things
I'd expect the threshold to be somewhere within the capability of the 52 calibre guns, which are pretty common and readily available.
Why set the need so high that it can only potentially be met by developmental systems? Can we afford to wait and risk not getting the future capability while operating the systems we have? It's this kind of thinking that has the Army stuck using vehicles older than I am.

RunningStrong
Senior Member
Posts: 1040
Joined: 06 May 2015, 20:52
Has liked: 34 times
Been liked: 38 times

Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Post by RunningStrong »

mr.fred wrote: 05 Jun 2022, 21:30
RunningStrong wrote: 05 Jun 2022, 21:13 Why award any credit for not meeting the capability need? How odd.
The threshold is the need, anything more is extra credit. Similarly there would be a threshold for a range of mobility performances, rate of fire, crewing requirements and a bunch of other things
I'd expect the threshold to be somewhere within the capability of the 52 calibre guns, which are pretty common and readily available.
Why set the need so high that it can only potentially be met by developmental systems? Can we afford to wait and risk not getting the future capability while operating the systems we have? It's this kind of thinking that has the Army stuck using vehicles older than I am.
I've already said why. The Army fails to invest in incremental updates and major upgrade programs. Buying what is "common and readily available" is a trap of becoming peer-matched tomorrow and vulnerable to counter-battery in just a decade.

mr.fred
Senior Member
Posts: 1286
Joined: 06 May 2015, 22:53
Has liked: 4 times
Been liked: 40 times
United Kingdom

Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Post by mr.fred »

RunningStrong wrote: 05 Jun 2022, 21:34 I've already said why. The Army fails to invest in incremental updates and major upgrade programs. Buying what is "common and readily available" is a trap of becoming peer-matched tomorrow and vulnerable to counter-battery in just a decade.
Lusting after the revolutionary and exquisite has resulted in the current mess regarding land procurement, so I'd recommend trying to avoid that.
Going for something and then upgrading at least gives us something now.

One option could be keeping AS90 with short guns but spending money on upgrades and smart and extended range ammunition.

RunningStrong
Senior Member
Posts: 1040
Joined: 06 May 2015, 20:52
Has liked: 34 times
Been liked: 38 times

Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Post by RunningStrong »

mr.fred wrote: 05 Jun 2022, 21:57
RunningStrong wrote: 05 Jun 2022, 21:34 I've already said why. The Army fails to invest in incremental updates and major upgrade programs. Buying what is "common and readily available" is a trap of becoming peer-matched tomorrow and vulnerable to counter-battery in just a decade.
Lusting after the revolutionary and exquisite has resulted in the current mess regarding land procurement, so I'd recommend trying to avoid that.
Going for something and then upgrading at least gives us something now.

One option could be keeping AS90 with short guns but spending money on upgrades and smart and extended range ammunition.
Then we need to rule out the RLS MAN Truck, the BOXER Artillery unit and the K9A2.

Which leaves us with CAESAR (6x6), Archer (6x6), K9A1 and Krab effectively.

Lord Jim
Senior Member
Posts: 7286
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
Has liked: 317 times
Been liked: 351 times
United Kingdom

Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Post by Lord Jim »

Being Mr Picky's evil twin, the ammunition for modern western 155mm comprises of the shell, a varying number of individual propellant charges dependant on range requirements etc, and a primer. Few if any actually use any type of shell casing. Nowadays most systems use a modular charge system as described earlier. With the Rheinmetall test gun, the Propellant chamber is non standard. Think of it as a rifle bullet. Where as current round have similar diameter shells to the propellant, say like a 9mm round, in the Rheinmetall gun the charges have a larger diameter than the shell, like that of a rifle round. This is one of the reasons they are ale to get the range increase they do, it is not just the longer barrel. But then again I am just being picky.

Lord Jim
Senior Member
Posts: 7286
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
Has liked: 317 times
Been liked: 351 times
United Kingdom

Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Post by Lord Jim »

The Army has already downgraded its requirements at least once, especially as the original ones were science fiction. It the mobility under the platforms own power and the distances it can go without transporters both ob road and cross country remain the same, it rules out anything but a wheeled chassis. To match the range requirements means at least a L52 barrel together with improved ammunition, both shells and modular charge system. To meet the rate of fire as the requirements currently stand will demand an auto loader and the level pf protection also points to htis, namely have no exposed crew during operations.

Yes various systems have had their names raised at various times and companies have proposed their platforms for the requirement, but a number of these do not meet the Army's current requirements. To have these included will mean the Army will have to further reduce thw level of requirements required by the Mobile Fires Programme before companies are invited to tender. No wonder the programme has already been pushed back three years to 2029 at the earliest

RunningStrong
Senior Member
Posts: 1040
Joined: 06 May 2015, 20:52
Has liked: 34 times
Been liked: 38 times

Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Post by RunningStrong »

Lord Jim wrote: 05 Jun 2022, 23:02 Being Mr Picky's evil twin, the ammunition for modern western 155mm comprises of the shell, a varying number of individual propellant charges dependant on range requirements etc, and a primer.
How could you forget the fuze? Not a gunner then!
Lord Jim wrote: 05 Jun 2022, 23:02 With the Rheinmetall test gun, the Propellant chamber is non standard. Think of it as a rifle bullet. Where as current round have similar diameter shells to the propellant, say like a 9mm round, in the Rheinmetall gun the charges have a larger diameter than the shell, like that of a rifle round. This is one of the reasons they are ale to get the range increase they do, it is not just the longer barrel. But then again I am just being picky.
Got a public reference for that? Publicly, I've only seen stated "larger" chamber.

Lord Jim
Senior Member
Posts: 7286
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
Has liked: 317 times
Been liked: 351 times
United Kingdom

Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Post by Lord Jim »

Well I was assuming no one would consider firing a shell without a fuse attached, but you never know. As for references for the chamber, I admit I have taken "Larger" to mean non standard. So this could either mean a larger diameter of greater length. The first would definitely be non standard and require a new charge system, whilst the second would require a refined charge system giving the option for more modular charges being used to gain the greater effect. In both cases the breach etc would have to be stronger and probably larger as well to handle the greater pressure. So no I am not a gunner but from what I have read, a gun with a calibre of a 60 is going to be an entirely new gun from breach to muzzle, and this may be very difficult to install in an existing turret on an SP platform. So if we go for a calibre of 52 for our AS-90 replacement, any turret will probably have to be a major modification of one that already exists or a new one all together if we wish to upgrade to a 60 calibre gun at a later date when the design for one has matured. Alternatively we can keep the AS-90 in service beyond 2030 and purchase the larger option then. Whatever happens the British Army will have to further revise its requirements and hope a system becomes available within the timeframe above and we do not end up using a UK only bespoke system as this would be a costly solution when resources are needed in many areas.

Obviously these are my opinions and observations and are not the result of my having some magical crystal ball. I do try to respect others opinions etc. so please do me the curtesy of doing the same for me, thank you.

SD67
Member
Posts: 567
Joined: 23 Jul 2019, 09:49
Has liked: 93 times
Been liked: 104 times
United Kingdom

Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Post by SD67 »

mr.fred wrote: 05 Jun 2022, 17:22 On further reflection, there are many stages at which you could step into between capability requirement and solution. Close to or at the capability end, you have "Stop Enemy doing what he is doing" and you then solutionise from there through "by dropping HE in fragmenting cases on him" to "doing so from a certain distance away" to "doing so for a certain cost" and adding in "how much HE and at what rate" until you end up with "155mm howitzer"
The main problem with the "L60 ordnance" is that it is indistinguishable from "buy it from Rheinmetall" with the added risk of "wait until it is developed and keep using AS90 with a L39 ordnance until you run out of money and either keep using AS90 with L39 or dispense with gun artillery altogether"
If I were cynical I'd say the core requirements are

1) Expensive
2) German

mr.fred
Senior Member
Posts: 1286
Joined: 06 May 2015, 22:53
Has liked: 4 times
Been liked: 40 times
United Kingdom

Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Post by mr.fred »

RunningStrong wrote: 05 Jun 2022, 22:11 Then we need to rule out the RLS MAN Truck, the BOXER Artillery unit and the K9A2.

Which leaves us with CAESAR (6x6), Archer (6x6), K9A1 and Krab effectively.
Fair point - clearly there is a level of risk in any procurement and the procuring authority has to decide what risk they are willing to accept.
I'd say that the L60, based on what I know of it, is too risky for too little reward.
Range of an artillery piece is a mess of inter-related performances, dependent on: ballistic properties of the shell, properties of the gun, mobility of the platform, survivability of the platform, your supporting ISTAR, your logistics and what your opposition has to use against you.
Each of those breaks down into many other factors.

Lord Jim
Senior Member
Posts: 7286
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
Has liked: 317 times
Been liked: 351 times
United Kingdom

Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Post by Lord Jim »

I would say the Boxer RCH155 should still be in the running with its L52 Gun, as though expensive it brings a number of advantages both when delivering HE down range and in ownership to the British Army. In the first case it is automated providing a sign rate of fire, which it can deliver whilst on the move, constantly updating its position in relation to the target's. This ticks the mobility, rate of fire and crew protection requirements nicely. This is only further enhanced by its ability to easily move considerable distances under it own power, being wheeled, which also means reduced running and training costs, ticking of further requirements.

The Archer can meet many of the same requirements, where as both Caesar and the Krab meet fewer and different requirements respectively.

I believe the current range requirement for the MFP is a minimum of 40Km which all of the above can meet. The M270 is going to be our long gun so to speak and be mainly responsible for counter battery missions. Our 155mm Guns will be for fire support of the troop in the areas of the front line and the area immediately behind it. Mobility, time into and out of action, protection and rate of fire would be the most important requirements to achieve this, but the platform also has to be where it is needed and therefore its ability to move over distance under its own power is also important.

The only reason I can see the Army using a tracked platform would be as a stop gap for future capabilities that are unlikely to be mature enough of general service until the latter half of the 2030s. In this case, upgrading the AS-90 would at first glance be the only viable option on the grounds of cost. However one could see a development chain of AS-90 to Krab to K9A3 being followed as an incremental improvement path. I do not know how viable such a long term programme this would be, and it would require the deplorability requirements to be reduces, but the British Army could end up with a state of teh art 155L60 platform in the middle to late 2030s as a result.

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 16310
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Has liked: 77 times
Been liked: 73 times
United Kingdom

Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

mr.fred wrote: 05 Jun 2022, 10:59
RunningStrong wrote: 04 Jun 2022, 20:19 Rheinmetall have gone public on their development.
In that case while you write "should we have a requirement for a 60 calibre length gun", what you are really asking is "should we sole source this one to Rheinmetall?"
From one and a half years back, a tad less might do 'just fine'

"The Army conducted the test, according to Defense News, at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona, firing an M109A7 Paladin Integrated Management (PIM) howitzer fitted with a longer, 58-caliber gun."

Headline: Hit a Target 43 Miles Away. On the Nose. ;)
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)

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 16310
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Has liked: 77 times
Been liked: 73 times
United Kingdom

Re: AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (Army)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

mr.fred wrote: 05 Jun 2022, 17:22 On further reflection, there are many stages at which you could step into between capability requirement and solution. Close to or at the capability end, you have "Stop Enemy doing what he is doing" and you then solutionise from there
DE&S used to have x-Capability managers to see to exactly this: not to invest in many crossing-over capabilities... and have then ALL cancelled
mr.fred wrote: 05 Jun 2022, 20:29 even more developmental which is absolutely not what we need at the moment.
Quite right:
"
sol wrote: 04 Jun 2022, 15:46 would be one of very few new platforms that does not have this capability and could make it inferior to other systems like Koalitsiya-SV.
as that thing first appeared as a double-barrell solution, it came straight off a ship.... with an autoloader, but no Big Mag. So soon it was a single, and still took a good many years to bring into service.
mr.fred wrote: 05 Jun 2022, 17:14 You have written a preferred solution, not a capability requirement.
RunningStrong wrote: 05 Jun 2022, 21:13 Why award any credit for not meeting the capability need? How odd.
Not odd at all. If you write rqrments, then some are 1-0 called 'KO' and only the others will get graded
mr.fred wrote: 05 Jun 2022, 21:57 One option could be keeping AS90 with short guns but spending money on upgrades and smart and extended range ammunition.
Lord Jim wrote: 06 Jun 2022, 05:20 So no I am not a gunner
Nor am I , so keeping the requested 'civilised' tone as per @LJ is seconded :thumbup: by me.
mr.fred wrote: 06 Jun 2022, 18:30 I'd say that the L60, based on what I know of it, is too risky for too little reward.
I'd say that, too.
- let's just get ERCA (with its 2-yr, so far, delays) 8-)
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