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Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Contains threads on British Army equipment of the past, present and future.
Lord Jim
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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby Lord Jim » 02 Jun 2020, 13:09

US Navy is interested as an option for its 5"

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 02 Jun 2020, 13:31

the two different ranges? assume the navy would only be interested in guided?

Lord Jim
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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby Lord Jim » 02 Jun 2020, 21:33

Yep they are looking at the 150km+ guided round to greatly increase the effectiveness of their 5" guns in shore bombardment. I believe the existing guided variant uses GPS so cannot engage moving targets but I am sure there are a few people working on that. Given the design it would seem that it would be difficult to develop a cargo round for large submunitions such as those fitted with sensor fuse, but again I am sure some sort of solution could be found if the requirement arises.

But back to the RA/RHA, the combination of a wheeled 155mm L52 weapon system with this sort of round would seem to go along way to meeting even the MoD's stretch requirements. Surely this is better that fitting an even longer barrel, like the route the US Army is taking, as this is bound to affect the manoeuvrability of such a platform.

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 02 Jun 2020, 21:41

Lord Jim wrote:a wheeled 155mm L52 weapon system with this sort of round would seem to go along way to meeting even the MoD's stretch requirements. Surely this is better that fitting an even longer barrel, like the route the US Army is taking

I agree, and can surprisingly perhaps give a new lease of life to the AS90s that never received their Braveheart turrets:
- being better protected and v mobile, they can keep up with the units they support
- whereas the wheeled 52 cal units (less protected) could stay further back - and still 'participate'. Indeed, their availability would be better due to a lesser need for relocation

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby mr.fred » 02 Jun 2020, 21:55

ArmChairCivvy wrote:I agree, and can surprisingly perhaps give a new lease of life to the AS90s that never received their Braveheart turrets:

That would be all of them then.
A small number of guided*, ramjet**, sub calibre*** and/or SFM****shells in addition to the majority standard L15 shells would seem to be the quickest and easiest way to add a bit of range to the field artillery. Maybe some course correcting fuses, if they are worth it.

*Excaliber
** as mentioned
*** vulcano
**** Sensor Fused Munition, such as Bonus or Smart155

RunningStrong
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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby RunningStrong » 02 Jun 2020, 22:07

Lord Jim wrote:But back to the RA/RHA, the combination of a wheeled 155mm L52 weapon system with this sort of round would seem to go along way to meeting even the MoD's stretch requirements. Surely this is better that fitting an even longer barrel, like the route the US Army is taking, as this is bound to affect the manoeuvrability of such a platform.

The important thing for artillery is very often the weight of fire. It's great having guided rounds when you need them, but when they're your only option in a peer-conflict to be able to maintain a degree of counter battery distancing, it starts to get very expensive very quickly!

I've seen estimates of Excalibur being $50,000, which relative to a GMLRS $110,000, you have to wonder where this round fits?

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 03 Jun 2020, 05:57

mr.fred wrote:That would be all of them then.
Yes, I was trying to refer to the 20 km range being useful again, firing from right behind you and (to a degree) protected against c-battery
... when you have 80-150 km range "in your back pocket". Covering what a bde's area of ops can reasonable be - and doing so without having to reposition = instant response once targeting done in one way or the other

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby Lord Jim » 03 Jun 2020, 14:09

Wouldn't that be the role for any 120mm mortar systems that were Integral to the Infantry Battalions, providing direct fire support to elements on the frontline whilst keeping up with said troops. The RA/RHA's tube and rocket artillery would go after their opposite number as well as troop concentrations approaching the battlefield and other priority targets. For this they are going to need more expensive guided and cargo rounds, but that is going to be the shape of things in the future. On the upside you will need fewer rounds to achieve the same if not better result. Of course if needed the RA/RHA could also add their weight nearer the battlefront with more conventional munitions if required, especially if their opposite numbers have been degraded.

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby mr.fred » 03 Jun 2020, 14:43

Lord Jim wrote:Wouldn't that be the role for any 120mm mortar systems that were Integral to the Infantry Battalions, providing direct fire support to elements on the frontline whilst keeping up with said troops. The RA/RHA's tube and rocket artillery would go after their opposite number as well as troop concentrations approaching the battlefield and other priority targets

Why change? The artillery fires in support of the front line because the frontline is generally how you find out where the enemy’s troop concentrations are. Having a small number of special rounds for the less common counter battery and interdiction roles makes more sense that rushing out to buy wholly new platforms that are expensively tailored to the niche role

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 03 Jun 2020, 15:02

Lord Jim wrote:Wouldn't that be the role for any 120mm mortar systems that were Integral to the Infantry Battalions, providing direct fire support to elements on the frontline whilst keeping up with said troops.

- the answer to would = no
- but to could? =yes

However, as for how to best spend the buck for the best 'bang", I agree with this marching order:
mr.fred wrote: Having a small number of special rounds for the less common counter battery and interdiction roles makes more sense that rushing out to buy wholly new platforms that are expensively tailored to the niche role

- however, the use of platforms in that is ambiguous
- have the 155mm
- have it in different disguises (NATO has spent a half century on standardisation)
- but is platform the gun (as it only fires the "effect") or is it how the gun is moved around and supported? Nevermind: both is better than either-or

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby Lord Jim » 03 Jun 2020, 20:49

mr.fred wrote: Having a small number of special rounds for the less common counter battery and interdiction roles makes more sense that rushing out to buy wholly new platforms that are expensively tailored to the niche role


In a peer conflict against a country equipped like Russia means that the neutralisation of the opponent artillery is going to be one of it not the main role of the RA/RHA. Think of it like historical sir operations, first you neutralise the enemy air force, the his air defence and then you go after the ground forces and other targets. We will not be able to rely on air power like we have done in the past which is why artillery is becoming a high priority for many nations, the US Army for example has made precision fires its highest acquisition priority. Unfortunately though the British Army has identified the requirement, it has not given it a high enough priority, and the lack of a Boxer based Mortar Carrier for the Mechanised Battalions is a good example of the low priority given, meaning these units will have no integral indirect fire support and the AI Battalions will have to continue to rely on the ancient FV432 platforms..

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby mr.fred » 03 Jun 2020, 21:25

Lord Jim wrote:In a peer conflict against a country equipped like Russia means that the neutralisation of the opponent artillery is going to be one of it not the main role of the RA/RHA. Think of it like historical sir operations, first you neutralise the enemy air force, the his air defence and then you go after the ground forces and other targets.

Considering that we already have systems with the “deep fires” role in mind, there isn’t such a need to get more that we should compromise the other roles of the artillery.
The concept of air operations doesn’t seem right. I can’t think of one air campaign that has proceeded in such a rigid manner. Certainly not one between peer nations.

Lord Jim wrote: We will not be able to rely on air power like we have done in the past

No? While it would be risky to wholly rely on a single system I’ve seen no evidence that air support is obsolete.

The British Army does need more focus on artillery, but should seek the most efficient way of doing that rather than insisting on very costly capabilities that are needed only for the exceptional cases. It’s bad enough we are procuring the exquisite Boxer and Ajax at immense cost.

RunningStrong
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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby RunningStrong » 04 Jun 2020, 08:49

mr.fred wrote:
Lord Jim wrote:Wouldn't that be the role for any 120mm mortar systems that were Integral to the Infantry Battalions, providing direct fire support to elements on the frontline whilst keeping up with said troops. The RA/RHA's tube and rocket artillery would go after their opposite number as well as troop concentrations approaching the battlefield and other priority targets

Why change? The artillery fires in support of the front line because the frontline is generally how you find out where the enemy’s troop concentrations are. Having a small number of special rounds for the less common counter battery and interdiction roles makes more sense that rushing out to buy wholly new platforms that are expensively tailored to the niche role

Surely the problem with our current artillery capability is that to be within range of the frontline also means we're well within range of the opposition force artillery, but not actually able to strike at them ourselves?

To then have to rely on highly expensive (and no doubt limited) round to provide that counter battery fire pits us at a distinct disadvantage.

But then I'd also argue the infantry manoeuvre in support of the artillery ;)

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby mr.fred » 04 Jun 2020, 09:47

Which is more expensive, a few shells or an entirely new platform, which still uses the expensive shells for counter battery tasks since that’s how you hit things at extended ranges?

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby RunningStrong » 04 Jun 2020, 10:18

mr.fred wrote:Which is more expensive, a few shells or an entirely new platform, which still uses the expensive shells for counter battery tasks since that’s how you hit things at extended ranges?

It depends. How much is each expensive round? How many do you need?

On a traditional shell, the fuse is the expensive part at a couple of grand. The charge and the HE are chips. If you start using the megabucks round in any quantity, even if it's Excalibur priced ($50,000), you're burning through at least $300,000 on one counter battery shoot, if not more.

But if you start losing soldiers and equipment because you can't compete at counter battery then it'll cost you a whole lot more.

ETA If new equipment still needs occasional use of sub-bore or glide rounds then so be it. But again, comes down to how much they compare to the more expensive options.

Defiance
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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby Defiance » 30 Jul 2020, 08:57

MFP deferred by just over 2 years - IOC anticipated 2029 rather than end of 2026. AS-90 to be part of the inventory until 2032.

https://www.defensenews.com/land/2020/0 ... ent-delay/

The decision to defer the Mobile Fires Program was taken to allow the Ministry of Defence to address key technical risks and meet requirements in the government’s integrated defense, security and foreign policy review expected around the end of the year, according to sources with knowledge of the program.

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby bobp » 30 Jul 2020, 09:49

Defiance wrote:MFP deferred by just over 2 years


This is bad news, our Army urgently needs them.

mr.fred
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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby mr.fred » 30 Jul 2020, 11:09

Hopefully they can clear it for use with some of the long range guided shells that are available as a stop-gap.

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby Ron5 » 30 Jul 2020, 16:05

Challenger 3.

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Postby Ron5 » 01 Aug 2020, 16:59

https://defence-blog.com/news/army/u-s-army-wants-new-155mm-artillery-system.html

Maybe something will pop out of this program that might help. Esp if based on the Bae gun.


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