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C3 Howitzer Replacement

KevinB

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I keep looking at the US and UK (probably because more is written about them than other modern armies although I do occasionally look for things in German on the German army)

What strikes me about the US infantry is that the mortars have their own MOS. All riflemen (including the previous 11M Mechanized Infantry 11H Heavy Anti-armour are now 11B infantrymen while all infantry mortarmen are 11C Indirect Fire Infantryman.) They basically go from a common Army 10 week Basic Combat Trg (BCT) to a specialized Advanced Individual Trg (AIT) in separate streams.

Whether or not our engineers aren't impressed with pioneers isn't the issue. The issue is were the battalions satisfied with the pioneer product. That's what I see as a problem with handing pioneering and mortars over to the engineers and artillery. Pretty soon you have the "centre of excellence" try to turn everyone into engineers or gunners when you don't need all that.

Surely the role of the combat support company is not to have pioneers and mortarmen trained "just enough ... to be dangerous". That is being a tad condescending to the infantry in general. The aim of the training of the combat support companies is to be "trained to be effective in their role". Trying to produce a common engineer product and a common indirect fire product across the Army ignores the fact that both these skills exist on a spectrum and not a fixed point. We need to stop overthinking and overtraining folks - this is how we end up with manpower shortages in critical jobs.

🍻

I always believed the ONLY reason the Mortars, Pioneers, and ADP where stripped from the Inf BN's was it gave a guaranteed deployment role to the other cbt arms - who early on in the Afghan expedition where cooling their heels back in Canada.
It was then a way to spin that into helping the Inf put more bodies back into rifle coy's - as opposed to just giving the Inf more recruit slots...
 

FJAG

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I like it but prefer to wait for the US Army's Extended-Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA) project which is scheduled to field an 18-gun battalion for trials in 2023 (It will take Canada at least that long to write the SOR).

Right now the gun will be roughly similar (58 calibre v 52 calibre) with slightly longer range, using a lighter chassis and most probably a full automated rather than semi-automated turret. On top of that the support chain for ammo, parts, maintenance would be North American v Asian. Costs 🤷‍♂️

I always believed the ONLY reason the Mortars, Pioneers, and ADP where stripped from the Inf BN's was it gave a guaranteed deployment role to the other cbt arms - who early on in the Afghan expedition where cooling their heels back in Canada.
It was then a way to spin that into helping the Inf put more bodies back into rifle coy's - as opposed to just giving the Inf more recruit slots...
No. That's a bit of an urban myth.

While the idea of concentrating indirect fire delivery in one trade/branch was part of some of the Future Force thinking (really bad thinking IMHO) the issue was infantry PY based. There had also been a convergence of really bad funding under Chretien, lots of Cold War equipment needing maintenance, some new gear (LAVs) coming on line, and the belief that major nation competition was at an end (let's have a big round of Kumbaya) and that failed nation states which would only need Bosnia-like light, rapidly deployed, policing forces would be the new paradigm.

The artillery actually never cooled its heels. On Op Apollo in 2001/2 1 RCHA did deployed a mortar battery with an FSCC and several FOO/JTAC detachments (kind of like the old airborne battery thing).

No one deployed in 2003.

On Op Athena Rotos 0 and 1 in 2004/5 the guns deployed a four-gun LG1 troop (no mortars), Sperwer UAVs, ARTHUR weapon locating radars, a brigade and battle group FSCC, ASCC and STACC and 3-4 FOO/JTAC parties.

Rotos 2 and 3 were greatly reduced to one recce squadron/one infantry company/some engineers and the guns were not required (the thinning down was entirely to Hillier telling NDHQ's in 2003 that the army could not sustain a force as large as Rotos 0 and 1 in 2005 and needed a rest/reset).

The next battle group to go was Ian Hope's TF Orion in 2006 which went with a four-gun M777 battery (plus some mortars), a UAV troop, a bde and a battle group FSCC, ASCC, STACC and three FOO/JTACs.

That model was basically sustained for the next five years, albeit two extra guns and weapon locating radars were added subsequently.

🍻
 

FJAG

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Not exactly a C3 replacement issue but fires in general in the big picture:


🍻
 

daftandbarmy

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I always believed the ONLY reason the Mortars, Pioneers, and ADP where stripped from the Inf BN's was it gave a guaranteed deployment role to the other cbt arms - who early on in the Afghan expedition where cooling their heels back in Canada.
It was then a way to spin that into helping the Inf put more bodies back into rifle coy's - as opposed to just giving the Inf more recruit slots...

Holy moley... you just made me reach for my new hat:

foil hat tinfoil kevin GIF by The Tick
 

OldSolduer

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I always believed the ONLY reason the Mortars, Pioneers, and ADP where stripped from the Inf BN's was it gave a guaranteed deployment role to the other cbt arms - who early on in the Afghan expedition where cooling their heels back in Canada.
It was then a way to spin that into helping the Inf put more bodies back into rifle coy's - as opposed to just giving the Inf more recruit slots...
This was an ill conceived and thought out act. The corporate knowledge for these three vital support platoons is now gone. All of the Advanced qualified pers have retired. To rebuild the capability will take 20 years and that's if it was started yesterday.
 

blacktriangle

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FJAG beat me to it - I'd rather see the CAF lean in to longer range capabilities such as ERCA & HIMARS.

Adversary capabilities will continue to increase rapidly, while the political will to procure relevant military equipment will continue to move along at a snails pace. Might as well buy our soldiers some breathing room, so to speak.

The world's foremost military power has already done the R&D to provide you with most of what you folks need. It's probably time to stop reinventing the wheel. HIMARS is a mature capability. Start there. Evaluate the progress & outcomes of other programs (ERCA, M-SHORAD, IFPC etc) and decide accordingly.
 

KevinB

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FJAG beat me to it - I'd rather see the CAF lean in to longer range capabilities such as ERCA & HIMARS.

Adversary capabilities will continue to increase rapidly, while the political will to procure relevant military equipment will continue to move along at a snails pace. Might as well buy our soldiers some breathing room, so to speak.

The world's foremost military power has already done the R&D to provide you with most of what you folks need. It's probably time to stop reinventing the wheel. HIMARS is a mature capability. Start there. Evaluate the progress & outcomes of other programs (ERCA, M-SHORAD, IFPC etc) and decide accordingly.
But then we'd never have laid witness to the boondoggle of the Iltis, the LG1, the C3, etc.
 

daftandbarmy

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The world's foremost military power has already done the R&D to provide you with most of what you folks need. It's probably time to stop reinventing the wheel. HIMARS is a mature capability. Start there. Evaluate the progress & outcomes of other programs (ERCA, M-SHORAD, IFPC etc) and decide accordingly.

But they're a REPUBLIC for Gawd's sake .... :)

Jonathan Groff Hamilton GIF by Vulture.com
 

Colin Parkinson

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Not only that but we have always done it this way:

Find a decent piece of equipment and severely modify to make it "Canadian".
Well i don't recall the 25pdr or 5.5" , getting modified? The short 155 towed was exactly the same as the US one, the 105 C1 was by all accounts a success story, but yes procurement wins are few and far between.
 

MilEME09

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Well i don't recall the 25pdr or 5.5" , getting modified? The short 155 towed was exactly the same as the US one, the 105 C1 was by all accounts a success story, but yes procurement wins are few and far between.
Most of those successes stories were before either of us were born, which shows how our procurement system is more about keeping people employed then it is delivering equipment.
 

CBH99

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Not only that but we have always done it this way:

Find a decent piece of equipment and severely modify to make it "Canadian".
I’ve always wondered about that.

Sometimes it makes sense, like with the CH-147F. The modifications were modest, yet extremely helpful given our geography, and became the new standard.


But I’ve never understood the need to Canadianize all of our capital kit.
 

MilEME09

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I’ve always wondered about that.

Sometimes it makes sense, like with the CH-147F. The modifications were modest, yet extremely helpful given our geography, and became the new standard.


But I’ve never understood the need to Canadianize all of our capital kit.
You mean like the Canadianized FCS in the Leo C1, which if the tank was left in the heat the plate above it would pop from heat warping causing the gun to be off. Was eventually fixed but the German FCS was fine, if it ain't broke why fix it.
 

Maxman1

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There's a fundamental difference between battalion mortars and artillery. A battalion commander owns his mortars and will never lose their support. Artillery, even close support artillery, can be reallocated at the whim of whatever commander--corps, div, bde--who owns them if he sees a higher priority. Just because they are indirect fire doesn't mean they need to be handled by artillery. They are an infantry weapon and need to belong to and be operated by the infantry.

Exactly. Artillery should have heavy mortars, such as 120mm like the Soltam K6 (M120 in the US) and 160mm like the Soltam M-66. Infantry should have the L16 81mm, plus a 60mm such as the M224 and 51mm like the L9A1 (basically a modernised Two Inch Mortar, and can be operated by one or two troops versus 3+ for the 60 and 81).

I see it in the same light as I see carrying a couple of hand grenades, a smoke grenade, an M72, a rifle, 150 rds of ball, 10 rds of tracer and toting a couple hundred rounds of link and a 60mm mortar bomb or a CG84 round. Maybe a slab of C4 or a Claymore.

Something for every occasion and at my disposal, or more likely, at the disposal of my section or platoon leaders.

Rifle grenades are another capability that many forget (or refuse to acknowledge) is still useful, such as the French AC 58 (anti tank) and APAV 40 (anti personnel), and the SIMON breaching grenade, are a modern type using a shoot through bullet trap design for use with live ammo, not blanks, and eliminating the need for an adapter. Just slide on the muzzle of a NATO rifle, aim and fire.

This looks good!


South Korean firm Hanwha Defense will join with UK suppliers to compete for the UK’s ‘Mobile Fires Platform’ programme, the project to replace the AS90.

“The K9 is operationally proven and will be put forward by Hanwha Defense for the UK’s Mobile Fires Platform programme to equip the British Army with a world-leading artillery capability.”

More than 600 units of the K9 artillery system have been sold to nations around the world. The K9 self-propelled howitzer was developed jointly with the South Korean Agency for Defense Development in 1998.



Hanwha pitch K9 howitzer to UK as AS90 replacement

Or there's the M109A7 and the newest version, M1299, which has a L/58 gun.
 

KevinB

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Exactly. Artillery should have heavy mortars, such as 120mm like the Soltam K6 (M120 in the US) and 160mm like the Soltam M-66. Infantry should have the L16 81mm, plus a 60mm such as the M224 and 51mm like the L9A1 (basically a modernised Two Inch Mortar, and can be operated by one or two troops versus 3+ for the 60 and 81).
Why? What range band gap are they filling?
IF we agree that the 120mm makes sense - then you can't also ask for the 160mm.
The problem is the BN Commander lost the 81mm in 2003 - they went to the Arty, and I don't think you can justify the 120mm if the 81mm exists - even if the 120mm is a better Arty Mortar option - and while I've been out of the CF for a while, I don't see the 81mm coming back to the Inf without significant pain.

Rifle grenades are another capability that many forget (or refuse to acknowledge) is still useful, such as the French AC 58 (anti tank) and APAV 40 (anti personnel), and the SIMON breaching grenade, are a modern type using a shoot through bullet trap design for use with live ammo, not blanks, and eliminating the need for an adapter. Just slide on the muzzle of a NATO rifle, aim and fire.
Most of those aren't compatible with the majority of the suppressor mounts - and quite frankly given the choice of a can or a rifle grenade - I'll got with the can.
The Simon Grenade has a good role for standoff urban breaching - but there are other options that don't need to get mounted to the end of a barrel.
All of those Bullet Trap RG's require a sighting device for any accuracy past 50m - that isn't the weapons primary optic -- the better option is a stand alone GL - the M203A1 CF mount is a travesty - and those should be ripped off - and a stand alone mount fashioned.

Or there's the M109A7 and the newest version, M1299, which has a L/58 gun.
Still doesn't solve the Reserve issues for the C3 replacement.
While it would be a decent gun for the Mech/Armored Bde Arty units.
 

daftandbarmy

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Still doesn't solve the Reserve issues for the C3 replacement.
While it would be a decent gun for the Mech/Armored Bde Arty units.

In the UK, their reservists are firing MLRS. That would be an excellent replacement for the 105mm IMHO:



101 Regt RA launch the MLRS in Scotland​


For the first time in 15 years Reservists from the 101st Northumbrian Regiment Royal Artillery - The Northern Gunners, have fired the Multiple Launch Rocket System at Kirkcudbright Ranges in Dumfries and Galloway.

As part of their annual deployment exercise, the Gunners hone their skills in firing one of our most sophisticated weapons. Read more about them 101 Regiment Royal Artillery

 

KevinB

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In the UK, their reservists are firing MLRS. That would be an excellent replacement for the 105mm IMHO:



101 Regt RA launch the MLRS in Scotland​


For the first time in 15 years Reservists from the 101st Northumbrian Regiment Royal Artillery - The Northern Gunners, have fired the Multiple Launch Rocket System at Kirkcudbright Ranges in Dumfries and Galloway.

As part of their annual deployment exercise, the Gunners hone their skills in firing one of our most sophisticated weapons. Read more about them 101 Regiment Royal Artillery

I think that's a fantastic option for some Reserve units - and can be tasked to Div Arty or a Mech Bde GS Arty Reg.
 

dangerboy

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The problem is the BN Commander lost the 81mm in 2003 - they went to the Arty, and I don't think you can justify the 120mm if the 81mm exists - even if the 120mm is a better Arty Mortar option - and while I've been out of the CF for a while, I don't see the 81mm coming back to the Inf without significant pain.
The infantry are slowly getting back the 81mm and mortar platoons for the light BN and some reserve units (Loyal Edmonton Regt for example).
 

Maxman1

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Why? What range band gap are they filling?
IF we agree that the 120mm makes sense - then you can't also ask for the 160mm.
The problem is the BN Commander lost the 81mm in 2003 - they went to the Arty, and I don't think you can justify the 120mm if the 81mm exists - even if the 120mm is a better Arty Mortar option - and while I've been out of the CF for a while, I don't see the 81mm coming back to the Inf without significant pain.

Same reason the artillery uses 105mm and 155m, one has more range and larger blast, but is slower to fire and less mobile and needs a larger crew (K6: crew of 5, 31 pound shell, maximum range 7km; M-66: crew of 6-8, 84 pound shell, maximum range 9.6km). The K6 is a conventional, if large, mortar and can be packed up and transported inside a truck already employed in towing a howitzer. The M-66 is a towed mortar, requiring its own prime mover.

And the infantry will get the 81 back. The artillery will be losing the mortar capability. Issuing them heavy mortars maintains and expands that knowledge and capability while also having a distinct purpose from the 81, 60 or 51.

Most of those aren't compatible with the majority of the suppressor mounts - and quite frankly given the choice of a can or a rifle grenade - I'll got with the can.
The Simon Grenade has a good role for standoff urban breaching - but there are other options that don't need to get mounted to the end of a barrel.
All of those Bullet Trap RG's require a sighting device for any accuracy past 50m - that isn't the weapons primary optic -- the better option is a stand alone GL - the M203A1 CF mount is a travesty - and those should be ripped off - and a stand alone mount fashioned.

Exactly how often are suppressors used in the CAF, outside of special forces?

Those three fit on a standard NATO 22mm muzzle device, i.e. C7 flash hider. And being able to fire a breaching device from an unmodified rifle and be able immediately to engage any threats is a big advantage over having to switch between a rifle and other breaching tools. And launching rifle grenades in a section attack would be a big advantage as well.

Rifle grenades can carry more explosives than a 40x46mm grenade shell, which, while more accurate and longer range, must fit inside a launcher and contain its own propellant.

Perhaps the M79 should make a reappearance. It's more accurate, longer range and less awkward than the M203.

Still doesn't solve the Reserve issues for the C3 replacement.

M119A3 howitzer, if possible made in Canada under license. Same shell as the C3 and has digital fire control (but still has manual controls), among many other upgrades from the A1 and A2.

There's also the GC-45 155mm howitzer, which could be used to train reservists on 155mm guns so they only need familiarization with an M777 rather than retraining from the ground up on 155mm before a deployment or CT, and also fill in the gaps in regular units that don't have enough M777s. The design is not owned by anyone, so no license would be needed. And it's a Canadian design.
 

Colin Parkinson

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In the UK, their reservists are firing MLRS. That would be an excellent replacement for the 105mm IMHO:



101 Regt RA launch the MLRS in Scotland​


For the first time in 15 years Reservists from the 101st Northumbrian Regiment Royal Artillery - The Northern Gunners, have fired the Multiple Launch Rocket System at Kirkcudbright Ranges in Dumfries and Galloway.

As part of their annual deployment exercise, the Gunners hone their skills in firing one of our most sophisticated weapons. Read more about them 101 Regiment Royal Artillery

Been following their FB page for awhile, it's certainly a good way to massively increase Canada's punch. Set up a regular force battery and two Reserve batteries that have easy access to the right training areas. You need to add full time technical support to the units.

"M119A3 howitzer, if possible made in Canada under license." I would love to see that, as it would build a in Canada capability to make these types of arms again. I suspect it would still sell well around the world and setup Canadian industry to make large guns like the 155mm.
 
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