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C3 Howitzer Replacement

KevinB

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On my basic mortar course we fired a WP mission. Out of 15 rounds two failed to launch from the tube. I was number 1 on the mortar and the drill to get the round out of the tube wasn't fun. It was American WP dated from the late 60s early 70s.
Isn't that when you did your class though

;)
 

daftandbarmy

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The key organizational point, however, is the lack of a suitable gun to support mechanized operations in higher intensity operations than Afghanistan was.

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This.

We essentially have a 21st C Army with artillery that is, in terms of a mobile battlefield, suited for WW1.

Before they issued 'Archie', of course....
 

FJAG

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Not exactly C3 replacement but an example of what happens when you put your mind to it:

Long Range Precision Fires
241430208_415834549885537_4779317672969602102_n.jpg

A christening ceremony to officially introduce the Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA) into the U.S. Army via an operational Field Artillery battalion was hosted at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey on Sept. 15.
The ceremony was to honor both past and present artillery vehicles with the christening of a new weapon system and to highlight the dedicated personnel who've put forth tireless efforts to bring the ERCA product to fruition.
Selected in April 2021 as the Operational Assessment Battalion, 4-27 FA from 1st Armored Division will be providing important feedback regarding the material design and concept of sustainment beginning in 2023.
During his speech, Brig. Gen. John L. Rafferty, Jr., director of the Long Range Precision Fires Cross Functional Team, highlighted the efforts of those within the cross functional team at Picatinny Arsenal; Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz.; and Detroit Arsenal, Mich.; as well as industry partners. He recognized all those who played important roles in developing the ERCA capabilities, to include engineers, technicians, scientists, machinists, testers, acquisition professionals, Soldiers and support personnel.
"I'm very proud to serve in a people-first Army," he said. "Sometimes people ask how does that square with our laser focus on modernization systems and weapons platforms. I think it's pretty easy to take a people-first approach to modernization. What you see in front of you is absolutely impressive but not nearly as impressive as the people who put it together. They're the reason why we have the finest equipment in the world and why we're continuing to deliver modernized equipment."
LTC Stefan Hutnik and CSM Joshua Holthus from 4-27 FA β€œIron Thunder” christened the ERCA with an authentic bottle of Artillery Punch brought from Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
U.S. Army Futures Command
#FuturesCommand #ArmyModernization
#fieldartillery #LRPF #whatsnext
241993049_415834533218872_4683542537139240176_n.jpg



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KevinB

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Not exactly C3 replacement but an example of what happens when you put your mind to it:


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Wouldn't be a bad choice for most units - outside the Bty's that do Ceremonial Saluting.
Maybe not a good fit for their armories - but definitely could be pooled at Regular Bases for collective training.
 

FJAG

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Wouldn't be a bad choice for most units - outside the Bty's that do Ceremonial Saluting.
Maybe not a good fit for their armories - but definitely could be pooled at Regular Bases for collective training.
I'm a long time fan of the M109. They come in under 30 tons and with tracks have a low ground pressure which should work in most armouries but they don't really have to go inside anyway. You can train in the parking lot or get a trainer for indoors:

Simulation-Contract-Story.jpg


The big issue, however, is that these ones rolling off the line are just interim models while work on the autoloader modules continues. I'll be very interested in seeing how the eventual configuration works. The current models all have room for a single driver up front next to the engine with four crew members in the turret. I presume that the turret crew can be reduced to two once the autoloader is in which will completely change the training concept to just four skills, a driver, a det commander, a layer, and several folks whose only roll is to restock the autoloader (obviously with some redundancy in cross training).

A turretless chassis for driver training could work anywhere - especially if they go to Soucy CRTs which should handle the weight even of an operational vehicle. Same for separate layer/det comd team modules and ammo handling team modules. That basically lets you concentrate all the actual systems at live-fire ranges for confirmation and collective training and centralized maintenance.

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MilEME09

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I'm a long time fan of the M109. They come in under 30 tons and with tracks have a low ground pressure which should work in most armouries but they don't really have to go inside anyway. You can train in the parking lot or get a trainer for indoors:

Simulation-Contract-Story.jpg


The big issue, however, is that these ones rolling off the line are just interim models while work on the autoloader modules continues. I'll be very interested in seeing how the eventual configuration works. The current models all have room for a single driver up front next to the engine with four crew members in the turret. I presume that the turret crew can be reduced to two once the autoloader is in which will completely change the training concept to just four skills, a driver, a det commander, a layer, and several folks whose only roll is to restock the autoloader (obviously with some redundancy in cross training).

A turretless chassis for driver training could work anywhere - especially if they go to Soucy CRTs which should handle the weight even of an operational vehicle. Same for separate layer/det comd team modules and ammo handling team modules. That basically lets you concentrate all the actual systems at live-fire ranges for confirmation and collective training and centralized maintenance.

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Issue I see with the auto loader is you may need two less gunners, but you will need an extra tech or two to maintain the autoloader.
 

FJAG

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Issue I see with the auto loader is you may need two less gunners, but you will need an extra tech or two to maintain the autoloader.
It's two fewer gunners in the turret. The actual number of fewer gunners actually depends entirely on the whole ammo handling system from pallet to autoloader. Right now the M777 has the largest detachment at 10 gun numbers. With the M109s we generally ran with seven--five in the gun and two with the M548 ammo limber. Ammo resupply was mostly manual grunt work. The US has a specialized M109 variant as ammo limber (the M992) which had some automation but it was crap and most units simply did ammo manually like with the unarmoured M548.

1280px-M109A7_-_200916-A-BT735-939.jpg


Over and above the gun detachments each battery has an ammo section that runs resupply back and forth between the battery and the supply points. I'm not sure how many folks there are in today's ammo sections. In my day it was six trucks established at two drivers each but almost always we were down to no more than three trucks with one driver. Operational quantities in high intensity conflict require considerably more ammo resupply than field exercises.

The missing parts in the equation for an autoloader equipped M109A7 (or A8 ERCA) or M1299 ERCA battery is, how exactly does the autoloader - ammo limber - ammo sect - supply point chain look and function? That's an open question at this point and will dramatically effect overall battery manning requirements. Incidentally that's the same issue for other autoloader system like Archer. Somewhere along the chain, pallets of projectiles and propellant and boxes of fuzes need to be shipped, unpacked, reconfigured, transported (perhaps twice) and loaded into autoloaders.

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Colin Parkinson

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West Coast units would have to have their guns Low bedded and rail headed to firing ranges. 5 battery would also have to use a ferry as well.
 

FJAG

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West Coast units would have to have their guns Low bedded and rail headed to firing ranges. 5 battery would also have to use a ferry as well.
Personally, if I were king, 5 and 15 Regts would be reduced to one battery each with one battery being a six-gun light battery to support the light battalion that BC's infantry would become. The gun battery could keep shooting in Yakima. The other battery would become an STA battery with UAVs and LCMR.

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daftandbarmy

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Personally, if I were king, 5 and 15 Regts would be reduced to one battery each with one battery being a six-gun light battery to support the light battalion that BC's infantry would become. The gun battery could keep shooting in Yakima. The other battery would become an STA battery with UAVs and LCMR.

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In order to achieve that reorg goal I'm sure you'd need some good artillery support :)
 

FJAG

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In order to achieve that reorg goal I'm sure you'd need some good artillery support :)
This is probably before your time but 5 BC Regt was an independent medium battery from around 1956 until it became a field battery and was "allocated" to 15 Fd Regt in Vancouver in the 1965 Army wide reorganization (The Res F lost all its medium batteries then). In 1967, for some unknown reason, it was detached from 15Fd and for some even stupider reason was made a Fd Regt in its own right in 1991.

During the seventies and eighties 5 BC and 15 Fd generally made one decent battery between them. According to the last Canadian Gunner, 5 (BC) had 117 all ranks including band while the 15th had 164 with band. Together that's half the size of a full regiment and in reserve terms should equal 2 decent gun batteries ... but not two regiments. Best that I can tell is that the two regiments still need to combine to field a single battery for Yakima live firing.

It shows you what I presume was political pull in 1991 overriding common sense. So - its not good arty support one needs to reorganize - just some political spine.

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daftandbarmy

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This is probably before your time but 5 BC Regt was an independent medium battery from around 1956 until it became a field battery and was "allocated" to 15 Fd Regt in Vancouver in the 1965 Army wide reorganization (The Res F lost all its medium batteries then). In 1967, for some unknown reason, it was detached from 15Fd and for some even stupider reason was made a Fd Regt in its own right in 1991.

During the seventies and eighties 5 BC and 15 Fd generally made one decent battery between them. According to the last Canadian Gunner, 5 (BC) had 117 all ranks including band while the 15th had 164 with band. Together that's half the size of a full regiment and in reserve terms should equal 2 decent gun batteries ... but not two regiments. Best that I can tell is that the two regiments still need to combine to field a single battery for Yakima live firing.

It shows you what I presume was political pull in 1991 overriding common sense. So - its not good arty support one needs to reorganize - just some political spine.

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It's BC.... so that means if you aren't getting what you want you just start up a different club and declare yourself the Boss :)
 

Colin Parkinson

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Personally, if I were king, 5 and 15 Regts would be reduced to one battery each with one battery being a six-gun light battery to support the light battalion that BC's infantry would become. The gun battery could keep shooting in Yakima. The other battery would become an STA battery with UAVs and LCMR.

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Actually both are operating mostly with a Troop worth of guns each. We used to both field 6 guns regularly.

15th Fd has 3 sub units
68th which is the firing battery
31st Battery is the recruit/HQ and Service battery
Band - (Used to field 1 gun), now has almost no physical connection to the unit that I am aware of.

68th can remain as is
Either 31 can be reroled to AD/UAV or the 43 AA Regt can be stood up as the 43rd AD battery containing the AD and UAV troops. I prefer 3 batteries as 31 can support the other two with supplies and admin support.

43rd Battery (to start)

1 Captain as Battery Officer
WO as BSM
sig/dvr
1 vehicle

Two troops 1 AD and one UAV, both with two detachments

AD troop
1 Sergeant as TSM
Sergeant/Master Bombardier as detachment Commander with 3 OR's
1 pickup or light truck, 25mm towed gun and Manpads (per detachment x2)

UAV Troop
1 Sergeant as TSM
Sergeant/Master Bombardier as detachment Commander with 3 OR's
1 pickup or light truck, 1 military UAV with launcher and two civilian Drones for training (per detachment x2)

Total is 21 personal and 3 vehicles (could be Milcots) to start the program, repeat across the country. Likley you start with 1 detachment per troop, till you trained up enough people. The Manpads can have the portable simulator to use in the field similar to the one used to train the RCAF. The gun is optical guided for now and will be useful for training as real missile firing will be almost non-existent and provides some practical anti-UAV defense.
 

daftandbarmy

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Actually both are operating mostly with a Troop worth of guns each. We used to both field 6 guns regularly.

15th Fd has 3 sub units
68th which is the firing battery
31st Battery is the recruit/HQ and Service battery
Band - (Used to field 1 gun), now has almost no physical connection to the unit that I am aware of.

68th can remain as is
Either 31 can be reroled to AD/UAV or the 43 AA Regt can be stood up as the 43rd AD battery containing the AD and UAV troops. I prefer 3 batteries as 31 can support the other two with supplies and admin support.

43rd Battery (to start)

1 Captain as Battery Officer
WO as BSM
sig/dvr
1 vehicle

Two troops 1 AD and one UAV, both with two detachments

AD troop
1 Sergeant as TSM
Sergeant/Master Bombardier as detachment Commander with 3 OR's
1 pickup or light truck, 25mm towed gun and Manpads (per detachment x2)

UAV Troop
1 Sergeant as TSM
Sergeant/Master Bombardier as detachment Commander with 3 OR's
1 pickup or light truck, 1 military UAV with launcher and two civilian Drones for training (per detachment x2)

Total is 21 personal and 3 vehicles (could be Milcots) to start the program, repeat across the country. Likley you start with 1 detachment per troop, till you trained up enough people. The Manpads can have the portable simulator to use in the field similar to the one used to train the RCAF. The gun is optical guided for now and will be useful for training as real missile firing will be almost non-existent and provides some practical anti-UAV defense.

One problem: they ran out of qualified Artillery Officers years ago.
 

childs56

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I remember in the late 90's early 2000 5th(BC) Regiment 56bty (Nanaimo) had Parading 90 Soldiers, total of 120-150 on paper. Told we had to stop recruiting we had to many.
We had little to no equipment, and even less support to maintain those numbers. I believe to this day If we had the support, equipment and budget we could of maintained a complete Bty even to this day.

The Bty became a threat to the Regiment, Who became a embarrassment, how could those hill billys recruit so many people and show up the

Besides that, we had a hard time getting support for BMQ and QL3 Trades training. Couple that with the lack of equipment, we had one gun tot train with, and a usually broken gun tractor.
We had no personal or support weapons. (had to pay for the C-Scott R for a Storesmen to Issue and return borrowed weapons) Dont ask me how we did it because we did not have a budget.
No Recce Equipment.
No Radios, etc
For the most part we begged, borrowed or stole equipment to run our Regular training. That becomes very difficult to maintain interest of the Men and Women we spent countless hours recruiting to form a formidable group.

We eventually got bit of support but it was to little to late.

The Day the Brigade Commander came for visit. Unannounced to me, to visit the C-Scott R. I believe it was a Wednesday Morning. I was in my Office catching up on paper work. I had my feet on my desk, wearing civilian clothing and had not shaved.
In walks Tony Ops Warrant for C-Scott R, The Brigade Commander and Sgt Maj.

The Sgt Maj says Cpl do you normally come into work in civilian clothing not shaven and feet on your desk with your desk a mess.
I replied "its Bombardier Sir, yes when I come in on my free time to catch up on paper work that needs to be done or the troops get screwed over I tend to not wear my uniform or be clean shaven.
Tony explained how we did not have a fulltime spot for day to day operations and we had a few staff who regularly come in unpaid to make things work.
They were blowing away that anyone would volunteer their time.

Point is we had nothing, we made something and then we had nothing.

If the Military wants a viable Reserve Force they need to Pay them, equip them, train them, retain them. They can be the most cost effective rapid reaction force we have for initial deployment, then work well for long term sustainment. It takes a change in attitude and initiative.
By mickymousing the Reserve Force and giving them quarter of the required equipment, gear and funding required they will never be fully integrated.
If the Reg Force is running LAvs then the Reserves should be trained on LAVs. That might be a computer sim for their Drivers and Gunners, then LAvs get distributed around for training live.
Employ some low bed drivers to move some equipment around to the Brigade weekends.
Hats off the 2RCHA, who has been integrating their Reserves into regular roles and training.
 

MilEME09

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So I was chatting with another weapons tech today. Found out the CAF has sourced replacement parts for the C3. A company in the states is now manufacturing barrels for us, and two Canadian companies, one in bc and another in Quebec are manufacturing T&E mechs, trails, cradles etc.... apparently we have enough spares now to maintain the fleet and build 7 new guns. If that is the case we could see a lot of new life into the fleet if we are making new guns.
 

daftandbarmy

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So I was chatting with another weapons tech today. Found out the CAF has sourced replacement parts for the C3. A company in the states is now manufacturing barrels for us, and two Canadian companies, one in bc and another in Quebec are manufacturing T&E mechs, trails, cradles etc.... apparently we have enough spares now to maintain the fleet and build 7 new guns. If that is the case we could see a lot of new life into the fleet if we are making new guns.

I don't mean to be a party pooper, but isn't the C3 a bit of a museum piece by now in the sniper world?
 

Colin Parkinson

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Now that the impending C3 crisis is delayed, the artillery association can get back to the important and critical tasks of organizing St Barbara dinners.
 
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