Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

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

Post by RunningStrong »

Big updates for GMLRS on the horizon, including ER missiles (150km).

https://www.army.mod.uk/news-and-events ... zgtF_zpoG8

[QUOTE=Army MOD]

The MLRS is a highly mobile automatic system that fires 12 surface-to-surface missiles in less than a minute.
Upgrades will be made to 44 launchers, which are currently in-service, and will include a new armoured cab and upgraded automotive and launch mechanism components.

The upgrades will ensure that the Army’s Land Deep Fires capability remains strong for the next three decades and that the British Army has the technological capability to quickly meet the threats of today and tomorrow.

Taking advantage of the long-standing MLRS collaboration with the US and key allies, work will start on upgrading the first tranche of launchers in March 2022 with the fleet going through production over a four-year period. The upgrades will keep the equipment in service until 2050.

The work will be carried out under an existing production contract with Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control with the work being carried out at Red River Army Depot and Lockheed Martin's facility in Camden, Arkansas.

The UK is also developing UK-specific systems for the new launchers, including Composite Rubber Tracks (CRT), and a vehicle camera and radar system. A new Fire Control System will be developed collaboratively with the US, UK, Italy, and Finland.

The CRT will provide better fuel economy and allow the launcher to travel further, giving greater operational and tactical mobility to support deployed troops in a range of operating environments. A single launcher will be used to fire many payloads.

To ensure soldiers are not outranged, the Army will develop a new extended range missile with MLRS partners, to be fired from the updated launchers, which should be in-service by 2025. The Guided MLRS Extended Range (GMLRS-ER) missile will extend the Army’s reach from 84 to 150km.

The 44 updated launchers will also be able to fire the US’s Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) which has a range of 499km and is expected in-service from 2024. These weapons will place the British Army at the cutting edge of global deep fires capability, ready to respond to long range air defence and missile threats presented by hostile actors.

MLRS is owned by the Royal Artillery and is operated by 26 Regiment RA from Larkhill, Wiltshire and 101 Regiment RA (Reserves) of Gateshead, Tyne & Wear.

[/QUOTE]

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Tempest414
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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

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ArmChairCivvy wrote:About right, rather than focussing on what to buy:
- 4 platoons with protected mobility
- 4 direct fire weapons (on the 'same-ish platform')
- 3 indirect fire weapons (to act as a battery) or, any one of them doing some bunker busting in direct fire -mode.. this is where a Griffon buy would let you down
The only reason I used Griffon was it allowed common logistics with Jaguar and already has a 120mm mortar fitting in the pipe line however given the size and weight of Griffon is the same as the Patria 6x6 that is fitted with Nemo I would say Nemo could maybe be fitted to Griffon

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

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Tempest414 wrote:105mm gun with PGK's = 20km
Where are these coming from? Will these fit the bespoke Light Gun ammunition?

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

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Ok so we are sticking with the Heavy Tracked GMLRS it seem, which is a Mistake as HIMARS is already up to date and will also easily adapted to fit GLMRS-ER and the PSrM. Retaining the tracked platform and assigning it to the new Recce/Joint Fires BCT does make some sense but this formation is really limited to operations in Europe and the far north, making its availability to units operating out of these areas very limited.

RunningStrong
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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Post by RunningStrong »

Lord Jim wrote:Ok so we are sticking with the Heavy Tracked GMLRS it seem, which is a Mistake as HIMARS is already up to date and will also easily adapted to fit GLMRS-ER and the PSrM. Retaining the tracked platform and assigning it to the new Recce/Joint Fires BCT does make some sense but this formation is really limited to operations in Europe and the far north, making its availability to units operating out of these areas very limited.
It would seem that's the case with updates to the chassis vehicle, including it looks like exploring the use of rubber band tracks.

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Tempest414
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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

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Lord Jim wrote:
Tempest414 wrote:105mm gun with PGK's = 20km
Where are these coming from? Will these fit the bespoke Light Gun ammunition?
The PGK tests on the 105mm round were carried out on the M927 round from a M119A1 gun or as we know it the L118 light gun

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

Post by Lord Jim »

Unfortunately the Light Gun variant used by the Americans (and others) has a different barrel etc. that allowed it to use existing stocks of standard US 105mm Ammo, not the same as used by the L118. It has a reduced range which would be one of the reason for them developing Precision Guidance Kits. Of course we could either purchase some of the now surplus US Army guns as they have used the M777 to replace some of theirs, or convert our existing L118s to the same standard.

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

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Lord Jim wrote:Retaining the tracked platform and assigning it to the new Recce/Joint Fires BCT does make some sense but this formation is really limited to operations in Europe and the far north
With a different POV, one could say capable of - rather than limited. The rather exotic looks of the original Archer were derived from having a wheeled platform with good intra-theatre mobility and good tactical mobility, including dealing with 1m of snow on the ground.
- Himars would struggle with that; a tracked platform likely to do better
RunningStrong wrote: A new Fire Control System will be developed collaboratively with the US, UK, Italy, and Finland.
Quite a unique combo
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Tempest414
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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Post by Tempest414 »

Or just ask ATK if it could add the PGK's to our 105 rounds

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

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Has any cost-benefit comparison been done between adding these kit vs. using Base Bleed just to get more range
- different effects, but I'm sure also different price tags attached
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SW1
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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Post by SW1 »

With new mlrs and hopefully new 155 guns for the heavy units perhaps its worth asking is 105mm guns what the lighter forces require for the roles they going to be doing. As mentioned with acc on another thread is it perhaps time they looked to loitering munitions for the future.

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

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Image

Image

Image

Just sayin'

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Is that the South African (Denel) piece that the US were going to buy for their first (to be flown in) echelons?
27 km range and all other nice things, to go with the lighter weight (and easier resupply)
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)

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

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ArmChairCivvy wrote: Himars would struggle with that; a tracked platform likely to do better
I agree. so ideally we would have one Regiment equipped with upgraded M270 GMLRS and one with a MAN/HIMARS combo. Have each Regiment be made up of four, six launcher Batteries with both having two manned by Regulars and two by Reservists. Or we could have the MAN/HIMARS Regiment as Regular as this would be used to support troops operating further afield and have the M270 Regiment manned by Reserves or the exact opposite.

I would opt for the first option with the Recce BCT forward deployed in Northern Germany with regulars manning one of the Recce Regiments and half of the M270 Regiment with the equipment for the remainder of the BCT co-located for when the Reserves fly in and collect it, something that would be exercised for every year to a varying scale.

But we do not know the make up of the BCTs yet, for all we know the Recce BCT could be two Recce Regiments and two GMLRS Regiment or any combination of the two types. It is the lack of detail provided by the Command Paper I find infuriating.

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Dismounted kit often escapes attention as the headline will not include 'billion' in it, but here's a good example of stuff happening
https://des.mod.uk/investment-in-detect ... C734%2C726
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Tempest414
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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

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SW1 wrote:With new mlrs and hopefully new 155 guns for the heavy units perhaps its worth asking is 105mm guns what the lighter forces require for the roles they going to be doing. As mentioned with acc on another thread is it perhaps time they looked to loitering munitions for the future.
This will depend on the cost of Loitering munitions going forward

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

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Tempest414 wrote:will depend on the cost of Loitering munitions
The 'el Cheapos' will give mortars stiff competition, extending the zone of influence and providing precision
... the picture for the bigger (more expensive) ones is more mixed as 155mm has the dual capacities: weight of fire and long-ranged precision, and the switch between 'modes' is instantly available (subject to the type of rounds supplied to the batteries; but precision rounds are counted in pieces whereas the dumb rounds are supplied by the tonne)
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SW1
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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

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To a certain extent yes but then they’ve using lots of javelins which are expensive too.

I think if your looking at lighter forces being used in more urban areas or areas were there is mixing with civilians the need for precision will increase also. It’s likely the light forces may operate over longer distances too so the logistics of move more light guns or heavier larger guns to compensate may tilt things in favour of an alternative.

They also have the added benefit of giving some ISR capability to the soldiers too.

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

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Regarding loitering munitions, will they be vulnerable to the countermeasures being put in place to deal with UAVs, both hard and soft types? They would certainly have a role in COIN type operations, but technology is spreading very fast, down from peer nations to their allies and then to non governmental parties. Countries are now realising that they need to seriously up their game when it comes to Electronic Warfare as well, ranging from SIGINT to actively jamming and spoofing the enemy's C&C and ISTAR capabilities. There are already counter, counter measures available but these all add expense to items making them less cost effective. The days of "Cheapo", Loitering Munitions and UAVs may already be numbered.

On a positive not, the piece of kit highlighted by ACC is exactly the sort of thing that should be issues at Company level in frontline units, creating the first level of Precision Fires control. Having such a team as part of the Company Headquarters, and working with Joint Fires teams/platforms and Radar units to establish an integrated fire control network.

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

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Lord Jim wrote:Regarding loitering munitions, will they be vulnerable to the countermeasures being put in place to deal with UAVs, both hard and soft types? They would certainly have a role in COIN type operations, but technology is spreading very fast, down from peer nations to their allies and then to non governmental parties. Countries are now realising that they need to seriously up their game when it comes to Electronic Warfare
While we are waiting for the British Army test report of the CROWS-J RWS from @Ron, I will continue based on the US Europe-based cavalry regiment's 2018 final test findings:
- beefing up EW means also proofing weapon systems against it
- weaknesses (to be rectified) in respect were found. Of course a public domain doc would not spell out exactly what ;) weaknesses
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)

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

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How the US Army is upping it EW capabilities especially with its Stryker Brigades could be worth examining. That said we have always been pretty good at this sort of thing though it is a rarely publicised capability and we do not know what the units in 6th Division already have on the go or in development. What is certain though is we will need a mission Module for Boxer to provide a frontline capability as well as man portable systems for light units. Secure data will be the life blood of the BCTs going forward as will be the capability to disrupt the opponents networks as well as being able to listen in.

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

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Lord Jim wrote:How the US Army is upping it EW capabilities
Could relate to the above video, too. Namely, the unitary rocket lost 14 km in range when it got the GPS guidance in 2006
... and now ours will get a new GPS guidance (which probably means that it is being hardened against EW; which in turn - probably - means that it will use the M-signal of the third gen GPS)
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)

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Post by Lord Jim »

Most likely, but I would still like to see a purchase of a MAN 6x6 based HIMARS platform to support forces deployed further afield than Germany, keeping the M270B1s in Europe as part of the Deep Strike BCT, possibly forward based in eastern Germany or Poland. The current HIMARS's FCS is what the M270 was modified to when becoming the M270B1, so no further modification would be required. This would also apply regarding the planned future upgrade to the GMLRS as HIMARS produced at that time would share the same systems.

So have a Cadre Regiment equipped with GMLRS in Europe, being brought up to full strength with Reservists, who are brought out to train annually on a rotational basis, and have a Regiment fully manned by Regulars equipped with HIMARS.

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Re: Royal Artillery/Royal Horse Artillery future developments

Post by Lord Jim »

This should definitely be looked at if we go down the 120mm Mortar route for supporting the high readiness BCTs as well as equipping the Mortar Platoons of the Heavy and Light BCTs.

As shown it is an ideal system for urban conflict and could be used against light and possibly medium AFVs. Having a 120mm Mortar round landing on your vehicle is going to make it a very bad day. All BCTs will need support from longer ranged Artillery of course but this will quite nicely occupy the middle range band.

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