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C3 Howitzer Replacement

KevinB

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There are only two SME s telling that with a definitive no with no other chance.
NATO all went to a 5.56 general service rifle round because a SME said so.
Was it the most effective, efficient or just more convenient?
As many NATO countries adopted the 5.56 they also continued to devolop and or use other Calibers of rifle and MG rounds depending on the actual mission specs.

It is interesting what the 76mm from Leonardo can actually do and is a impressive system, multi role gun platform that is something to look at as a secondary gun system. That meets Air defence, drone defence, missile defence, anti personal, long range to name a few. But will we ever look at it? Probably not even if it was a decent system to fill many roles. Just because those in charge can not and will not look outside of the 155mm/120mm program.
What’s the payload of the 76mm? As well what is the barrel life?

The trajectory is very flat due to the high velocity, which is outstanding for a Naval gun - but not always ideal for a Howitzer.

It currently has a 20km range, the 40km range shells are still in development.


You also will have an issue with cooling as it requires water cooling, which isn’t an issue on a ship, but kind of logistics intensive for those not on the water.

Plus it is over 5m high from base to the top of the turret, so it’s not exactly small or light.

So no it’s isn’t a good ground system.
 

childs56

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The DRACO system also is sparking some interest lately.
The 76 has a current range of 30km, waiting on the 40km to be approved, it works just need approval.
Rumor it may extend out to 80km.
I am pretty sure their sabot round would do decent work agaisnt most enemy armour.
It would make a decent multi purpose gun for the ground role, airdefence and possibly indirect.
There is defiantly some neat stuff that has been on the back burner for years that seem to be comming back.
 

KevinB

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The DRACO system also is sparking some interest lately.
The 76 has a current range of 30km, waiting on the 40km to be approved, it works just need approval.
Rumor it may extend out to 80km.
I am pretty sure their sabot round would do decent work agaisnt most enemy armour.
It would make a decent multi purpose gun for the ground role, airdefence and possibly indirect.
There is defiantly some neat stuff that has been on the back burner for years that seem to be comming back.
Again you keep looking at the 76mm as the answer to the question that hasn’t been asked.

What sort of platform are you putting it on?
How are you going to support it with Logistics.
You seem to be envisioning this as a MMEV, which generally ends up as the 2 of All Trades Master of None.

To do Anti Air it requires significant fire control - that is different than ground targeting.
You do not have a ship and all it’s targeting and computing power - so you need multiple vehicles.

Barrel life with those velocities is an issue as well.

There are reasons why it hasn’t been adopted in the ground role.
 

NavyShooter

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A little bit of research tells me that a 76mm HE round for the 76mm Oto Melera naval gun system has an NEQ (Net Explosive Quantity) of 3.05 kg per round, of which, 0.68 kg is the warhead.

So, a 10 round salvo of HE from that gun would be 6.8 kg or HE.

A naval gun usually requires and INO (Inspection of Naval Ordnance) every 300 rounds. An extension can be granted up to 600 rounds - so, that means that the weight of fire that the gun can lay down in terms of actual explosive quantity before major overhaul/inspection is 408 kg.

Let's examine a 105mm howitzer - the research I've done shows that each round of 105mm HE contains approximately 2.2 Kg HE per round. Approximately 3 times more than each round of 76mm.

A 4 gun battery firing just 1 round each exceeds the HE on target that a 76mm would deliver.

A 4 gun battery firing 10 rounds per tube would drop 88 kg of HE on target. Something that would require the 76mm to fire 129 rounds.

A 155mm HE round (M107) contains just over 7Kg of HE per shot.

A four gun battery firing 10 rounds of 155mm would drop 280 kg of HE on target - equivalent to 412 rounds of 76mm.

One round of 155 is about equal to 4 rounds of 105, and 10 rounds of 76mm.

There are logistical aspects to this as well that I won't delve into, but, suffice to say, I'd rather have a 4 gun battery of 155's supporting than a single 76mm.
 

childs56

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Again you keep looking at the 76mm as the answer to the question that hasn’t been asked.
The question is what can replace the 105mm.
add to that we do not have a air defence capabilty. Maybe the 76 can fill a role where we can provide locallized AD, a bit of Infantry support direct and indirect. Just thinking outside the box a little bit.
What sort of platform are you putting it on?
Lav 6 chassis, Big Tough MACK truck, TLAV, Tank chassis, you could even thrown it on a trailer and tow it around using what ever vehicle you could tow it, that way you could have a huge ammo supply and maybe some water for barrel cooling.
How are you going to support it with Logistics.
Same way we support everything else we use. Pray the trucks start and and dont break down, that we have supply in the Ammo Depot. The Navy will be running the same ammo, some army guys could show up at the Dock Yard and offer a case of beers for a few rounds.
You seem to be envisioning this as a MMEV, which generally ends up as the 2 of All Trades Master of None.
Right now we have a no masters of anything. We have short range 105mm that is useless and inferior to the mighty 155mm according to some.
we do not have a viable Air Defense capability, nor do we have direct infantry support vehicle. This system may be able to fill these three roles in a decent way. Dam wouldnt a guy look cool rolling up on a Peacekeeping mission packing a 76mm gun with a barrel bulge and a cool little radar thingy spinning around.
To do Anti Air it requires significant fire control - that is different than ground targeting.
Ya they figured that one out, they have this little radar thingy on top of the turret, along with a mounted GLPS
You do not have a ship and all it’s targeting and computing power - so you need multiple vehicles.
Again they have that little spinney thingy on top of their turret.
Barrel life with those velocities is an issue as well.
We fired all morning one day with the 3inch 70 on one ship, then fired for a few hours at night. A couple thousand rounds with out to many issues beside the electronic firing not working, the auto feeder broke on the 3inch 50 so we had to hand load that sucks, when they order expend all ammo, guess who filled the magazines.
There are reasons why it hasn’t been adopted in the ground role.
What are those? Because it actually has.

One last thing if you wear your barrel out and need a new one, all you have to do is find a ship in dry dock and borrow their gun.
 

NavyShooter

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At the end of life of a system, the order to "EXPEND ALL AMMUNITION" means that they also no longer care about barrel life....
 

Eaglelord17

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There are only two SME s telling that with a definitive no with no other chance.
NATO all went to a 5.56 general service rifle round because a SME said so.
Was it the most effective, efficient or just more convenient?
As many NATO countries adopted the 5.56 they also continued to devolop and or use other Calibers of rifle and MG rounds depending on the actual mission specs.
NATO went to 5.56 because the Americans forced it down our throats, much the same way they forced 7.62 NATO down our throats. There was competators for both which had a lot of promise (personally I believe if we had adopted the British .280 round instead if 7.62 NATO we likely wouldn’t have two standard calibers today). Unfortunately the Americans refused to compromise and everyone else did instead to get to where we are today.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Multi-purpose systems rarely do multiple tasks well (German 88mm aside) A AD system built around a 76mm or even the 57mm would likley be very good for a wide band of drones, UAV's and loitering munitions, as part of a layered AD system. In that role it may have to fire several bursts of 4-5 rounds each in a short period. That would limit cooling needs and ammunition resupply, as likely afterwards it would have to relocate to avoid any counterstrike/CB fire.
In my view Canada needs a number of AD systems, starting with Manpads, then a mobile protected gun system from 35-75mm and a mobile protected missile system. Along with the radar and command system required. But for the love of god can we just go and buy some Manpads, simulators and trainers and get started. Call it a interim buy to limit the contracting monster and pick something a NATO ally is using right now.

Maybe I should look into making parts for 25pdr recoil systems and ammo so we can revive all the 25dprs we have lying around, because I sure am not seeing a lot of action on any replacement for the C3. Otherwise we will need to dig out these things so our gunners can practice.

artillery-training-system-aatsa-calibre-145x51.jpg
 

FJAG

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Otherwise we will need to dig out these things so our gunners can practice.
Opinions on the 14.5 vary. I'm one of those who think they are nearly worthless. The round is easily effected by wind which makes practicing observers a bit challenging at times. They provide zero training value for gun crews with the exception of command post and fire discipline practice which can be done just as easily and more effectively with dry troop and battery deployments linked to computerized observer training.

If anything, I would suggest we invest in developing some form of sub-calibre device that allows guns and observers to train with a low cost sim ammunition substitute (something in the 37-50mm range would serve). Range doesn't matter, just gun and observer drills. In fact a non lethal "marker" projectile would make firing the gun on very limited ranges such as Meaford more practical (Or how about a non-metallic disintegrating round that could be fired on a willing farmer's fields or woods?).

@NavyShooter. I thoroughly agree with your analysis and would add to that the difference in the weight of lethal fragmentation produced. A 76mm produces less than 2.5 kg of high velocity fragments. A 120mm HE mortar round has approximately 2 kg of explosive and 11 kg of fragments. A 105 mm slightly less than 13 kg. A 155 mm around 35 kg of fragments. The number and size of fragments and the radius across which they are distributed matters greatly when doing area neutralization.

One last thing. Unless I'm mistaken, the 76mm fires of a fixed charge round. Variable charges are a critical factor for artillery. Firstly it allows closer targets to be engaged with fewer increments and thereby saving barrel life and secondly, variable charges allow for firing at higher angles which allows rounds to clear intervening crests at the gun position and the target end and, in some cases providing more desirable terminal effects.

Sad to see that we are starting to drink the Kool-Aid, however, and are starting to think in 4-gun batteries rather than 6 or 8. Afghanistan allowed many false lessons to take root in our thinking. Limiting the number of guns we consider adequate is one of the really big ones as we are learning every day in Ukraine.

🍻
 

daftandbarmy

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Opinions on the 14.5 vary. I'm one of those who think they are nearly worthless. The round is easily effected by wind which makes practicing observers a bit challenging at times. They provide zero training value for gun crews with the exception of command post and fire discipline practice which can be done just as easily and more effectively with dry troop and battery deployments linked to computerized observer training.

If anything, I would suggest we invest in developing some form of sub-calibre device that allows guns and observers to train with a low cost sim ammunition substitute (something in the 37-50mm range would serve). Range doesn't matter, just gun and observer drills. In fact a non lethal "marker" projectile would make firing the gun on very limited ranges such as Meaford more practical (Or how about a non-metallic disintegrating round that could be fired on a willing farmer's fields or woods?).

@NavyShooter. I thoroughly agree with your analysis and would add to that the difference in the weight of lethal fragmentation produced. A 76mm produces less than 2.5 kg of high velocity fragments. A 120mm HE mortar round has approximately 2 kg of explosive and 11 kg of fragments. A 105 mm slightly less than 13 kg. A 155 mm around 35 kg of fragments. The number and size of fragments and the radius across which they are distributed matters greatly when doing area neutralization.

One last thing. Unless I'm mistaken, the 76mm fires of a fixed charge round. Variable charges are a critical factor for artillery. Firstly it allows closer targets to be engaged with fewer increments and thereby saving barrel life and secondly, variable charges allow for firing at higher angles which allows rounds to clear intervening crests at the gun position and the target end and, in some cases providing more desirable terminal effects.

Sad to see that we are starting to drink the Kool-Aid, however, and are starting to think in 4-gun batteries rather than 6 or 8. Afghanistan allowed many false lessons to take root in our thinking. Limiting the number of guns we consider adequate is one of the really big ones as we are learning every day in Ukraine.

🍻

Naval artillery are like big machine guns.

Now if we only had Naval Gunfire Support dialed in.... sigh


dog day afternoon sigh GIF
 

Colin Parkinson

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Opinions on the 14.5 vary. I'm one of those who think they are nearly worthless. The round is easily effected by wind which makes practicing observers a bit challenging at times. They provide zero training value for gun crews with the exception of command post and fire discipline practice which can be done just as easily and more effectively with dry troop and battery deployments linked to computerized observer training.

If anything, I would suggest we invest in developing some form of sub-calibre device that allows guns and observers to train with a low cost sim ammunition substitute (something in the 37-50mm range would serve). Range doesn't matter, just gun and observer drills. In fact a non lethal "marker" projectile would make firing the gun on very limited ranges such as Meaford more practical (Or how about a non-metallic disintegrating round that could be fired on a willing farmer's fields or woods?).

@NavyShooter. I thoroughly agree with your analysis and would add to that the difference in the weight of lethal fragmentation produced. A 76mm produces less than 2.5 kg of high velocity fragments. A 120mm HE mortar round has approximately 2 kg of explosive and 11 kg of fragments. A 105 mm slightly less than 13 kg. A 155 mm around 35 kg of fragments. The number and size of fragments and the radius across which they are distributed matters greatly when doing area neutralization.

One last thing. Unless I'm mistaken, the 76mm fires of a fixed charge round. Variable charges are a critical factor for artillery. Firstly it allows closer targets to be engaged with fewer increments and thereby saving barrel life and secondly, variable charges allow for firing at higher angles which allows rounds to clear intervening crests at the gun position and the target end and, in some cases providing more desirable terminal effects.

Sad to see that we are starting to drink the Kool-Aid, however, and are starting to think in 4-gun batteries rather than 6 or 8. Afghanistan allowed many false lessons to take root in our thinking. Limiting the number of guns we consider adequate is one of the really big ones as we are learning every day in Ukraine.

🍻
I wasn't serious about the 14.5, just that at our current rate of dithering, that will be the only option left to us.
 

childs56

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At the end of life of a system, the order to "EXPEND ALL AMMUNITION" means that they also no longer care about barrel life....
From the old guys on the ship at the time, they use to do the high rate shoots regularly. When they had a bit of a budget.
 

childs56

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Let's say the C3 is replaced by the M777 at a rate of 1 for 1. Dreaming here let's say 100 are acquired for the Reserves.
What's the required inspection process on the gun?
How many Techs does it require for maintainence.
What is the frequency of cycle repairs, parts replacement.
Will they aquire the support trucks the units? Will they maintain

Is the M777 the best towed gun on the market, is it being forced down our throats?
 

KevinB

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Let's say the C3 is replaced by the M777 at a rate of 1 for 1. Dreaming here let's say 100 are acquired for the Reserves.
What's the required inspection process on the gun?
How many Techs does it require for maintainence.
What is the frequency of cycle repairs, parts replacement.
Will they aquire the support trucks the units? Will they maintain

Is the M777 the best towed gun on the market, is it being forced down our throats?
Firstly I don’t think all the RCA should have 777’s
There needs to be a reconstitution of the RCA.
GBAD
CS
GS
Plus I’d suggest only 1/3rd should be a non SP system.

I think M109A7 would be great CS gun for the units supporting 1CMBG, maybe those for 5Bde (I always butcher them French acronym for CMBG into something like BDS&M so I won’t bother) as well.
HIMARS for the GS
Then IMSHORAD (LAV chassis for LAV Bde and JLTV type for the Light) for the AD.

All of those will take a substantial increase in the ammo carrying ability of the logistics fleet. The M777 Gun Tractor is but a minor aspect to what is truly needed.
 

FJAG

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Let's say the C3 is replaced by the M777 at a rate of 1 for 1. Dreaming here let's say 100 are acquired for the Reserves.
I absolutely wouldn't buy more. We've got enough for the job it does.
What's the required inspection process on the gun?
How many Techs does it require for maintainence.
What is the frequency of cycle repairs, parts replacement.
I don't know but know a whole bunch of guys who do but, quite frankly, the details are unnecessary.

The M777 is a complex gun that requires a proper running maintenance program. In my day with the M109s we had one gun technician per battery for more complex technical maintenance. The electronic side of the digital fire control systems has gotten dramatically more complex and is a specialized trade in its own right. One tech per battery. We try to centralize them as scarce resources but if one talks disbursed batteries decentralization is important.

To make the gun lightweight means it has a lot of titanium in it which makes it much harder to repair. Some things which on other guns could be a workshop job means it may need to go back to the manufacturer. We had two of the original six guns go down early on in Afghanistan and had to lease two guns to replace them while they went back to the manufacturer for a year for repair.
Will they aquire the support trucks the units? Will they maintain
Not sure what you mean here but yes, there need to be gun tractors which have some minor specialized parts (primarily a digital linkage to the gun so that the detachment commander has access to data, such as GPS, that the gun produces. In Afghanistan each gun had a gun tractor and an armoured personnel carrier for security. Armoured vehicles are important if there are rear area security issues as guns may be deployed disbursed in two or three gun troops (roughly platoon strength) and will need to protect themselves.
Is the M777 the best towed gun on the market, is it being forced down our throats?
It was and still is the premier towed lightweight 155mm on the market. Helicopter transportability is its strong suit.

The question is: what does the Canadian Army need in the way of artillery?

Basically if we can equip one light brigade with an 18-gun regiment and keep ten guns for training and as technical spares then we're doing good. In fact we have a few more than that.

As @KevinB and I constantly harp on, we need a variety of tools. If we have a true heavy brigade we should have at least have an 18 gun self propelled regiment. There are a number of guns that would do the job but I favour the M109A7 Paladin for compatibility with the US. Personally I think we need two such brigades so a total of 36 plus the training and technical spares.

Since we will have LAV 6.0s and mechanized brigades for a while another group of self propelled howitzers is needed. While there are a number of wheeled SPs on the market, I personally favour developing a way to mount the Paladin's weapons system on a LAV 6.0. That would provide a common automotive chassis and a common gun system which would ease maintenance dramatically. (If they can mount a 155mm on a Boxer they can do it on a LAV.) Probably two regiments worth for 36 plus training and technical spares.

Lastly, we need both a long range precision guide rocket in the nature of HIMARS and we need a suite of loitering precision munitions/UCAVs and we need an AD suite. Let's say two regiments total.

That's my shopping list. Slightly more than the hundred systems you mentioned - some a bit pricier, some a bit cheaper.

I'll go back to the cost saving side. Most of this gear is not needed day to day and can easily be operated by reservists so long as they are properly trained and integrated into hybrid regiments where there is a strong core of RegF in command positions and in the most complex technical fields (including maintenance). In addition one will need RegF gunners in sufficient numbers on the gun line to meet both immediate reaction requirements (probably in the field of the light M777s) and as a knowledge/experience development path for RegF senior NCOs and officers. I'd estimate a 30% RegF to 70% ResF ratio would be optimal and could be achieved with current RegF PYs and ResF authorized positions.

🍻
 

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18x M777 = 180 gunners at 10 per gun

36x M109A7 = 144 gunners at 4 per gun or 216 at 6 per gun
36x K9 = 180 gunners at 5 per gun
36x PzH2000 = 180 gunners at 5 per gun

36x CESAR = 180 to 216 gunners at 5 to 6 per gun
36x Archer = 72 gunners at 2 per gun or 144 at 4 per gun
36x Boxer RCH-155 = 72 gunners at 2 per gun

18x HIMARS = 18 to 54 gunners at 1 to 3 per launcher



Personally I would stock up on the Archers or the Boxers and the HIMARS and standardize on 2 man crews.

Allocate all the rest of the available numbers to Air Defence and logistics.
 

FJAG

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18x M777 = 180 gunners at 10 per gun

36x M109A7 = 144 gunners at 4 per gun or 216 at 6 per gun
36x K9 = 180 gunners at 5 per gun
36x PzH2000 = 180 gunners at 5 per gun

36x CESAR = 180 to 216 gunners at 5 to 6 per gun
36x Archer = 72 gunners at 2 per gun or 144 at 4 per gun
36x Boxer RCH-155 = 72 gunners at 2 per gun

18x HIMARS = 18 to 54 gunners at 1 to 3 per launcher



Personally I would stock up on the Archers or the Boxers and the HIMARS and standardize on 2 man crews.

Allocate all the rest of the available numbers to Air Defence and logistics.
We've been through this before.

You can try to shave a guy here or there off the gun/launcher dets but the bottom line is that a six piece fire unit is going to run you at roughly 90-100 folks regardless of what system it is.

The TOE of a 6-gun M109 battery is 91 (x3); its HQ and HQ Bty is roughly 233 (including FSOs STA etc) and another 154 for the Forward support company. (Incidentally, our M109 detachments were also 10. 4 in the turret to operate and load the gun and 6 ammo slingers outside. 105mm guns were 7 because of the lighter ammunition. 3 to run the gun, 4 to fix and load ammo.)

A 6-gun US M777 battery is approximately 88 (x3) with 269 in the HQ and HQ Bty and 100 in the Forward support company.

For an 6-launcher MLRS Bty it's 90 pers x 3 (similar for a HIMARS Bty) and 124 for the HQ and HQ Battery (smaller because no FSOs or FOs). I don't have numbers for the support company from the Artillery brigade's support battalion but I would estimate it similar to the M109 at around 150 and probably slightly less for the HIMARS.

The first key issue is whether or not the unit is in close support or general support. If close support you need to add in around 100 folks as FSOs/FSCCOs and FOs/FOOs. Then there's STA arty which is organic to CS units and also in many GS units headquarters. Then there is maintenance and logistics which goes up with tracked vehicles and high ammo consumers.

There's a lot more to people math in artillery than the number of guys actually on the gun/launcher. Yup. You can shave it a bit with automation (M109s will be autoloaded soon) but at some point in time you need people to reload the magazines. The Caesar might be operated by a 5 to 6 man det but you can do the same with an M777 - for either gun you won't operate them long if the firing gets hot and heavy. Ammo is hard work.

🍻
 

KevinB

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18x M777 = 180 gunners at 10 per gun

36x M109A7 = 144 gunners at 4 per gun or 216 at 6 per gun
36x K9 = 180 gunners at 5 per gun
36x PzH2000 = 180 gunners at 5 per gun

36x CESAR = 180 to 216 gunners at 5 to 6 per gun
36x Archer = 72 gunners at 2 per gun or 144 at 4 per gun
36x Boxer RCH-155 = 72 gunners at 2 per gun

18x HIMARS = 18 to 54 gunners at 1 to 3 per launcher



Personally I would stock up on the Archers or the Boxers and the HIMARS and standardize on 2 man crews.

Allocate all the rest of the available numbers to Air Defence and logistics.
In addition to what @FJAG has pointed out, the extra bodies allow one to work longer with rest periods, so local defense tasks.

SOF Recce Det’s are generally now a min of 6 pers, the old 4 man setup doesn’t work to keep eyes on target 24/7. Sniper dets have also grown in size - from 2 to 3-6 simply due to security and manning requirements.

While it appears some of those setups you mention save PY’s they do so at reduce operational flexibility.
 

Kirkhill

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We've been through this before.

You can try to shave a guy here or there off the gun/launcher dets but the bottom line is that a six piece fire unit is going to run you at roughly 90-100 folks regardless of what system it is.

The TOE of a 6-gun M109 battery is 91 (x3); its HQ and HQ Bty is roughly 233 (including FSOs STA etc) and another 154 for the Forward support company. (Incidentally, our M109 detachments were also 10. 4 in the turret to operate and load the gun and 6 ammo slingers outside. 105mm guns were 7 because of the lighter ammunition. 3 to run the gun, 4 to fix and load ammo.)

A 6-gun US M777 battery is approximately 88 (x3) with 269 in the HQ and HQ Bty and 100 in the Forward support company.

For an 6-launcher MLRS Bty it's 90 pers x 3 (similar for a HIMARS Bty) and 124 for the HQ and HQ Battery (smaller because no FSOs or FOs). I don't have numbers for the support company from the Artillery brigade's support battalion but I would estimate it similar to the M109 at around 150 and probably slightly less for the HIMARS.

The first key issue is whether or not the unit is in close support or general support. If close support you need to add in around 100 folks as FSOs/FSCCOs and FOs/FOOs. Then there's STA arty which is organic to CS units and also in many GS units headquarters. Then there is maintenance and logistics which goes up with tracked vehicles and high ammo consumers.

There's a lot more to people math in artillery than the number of guys actually on the gun/launcher. Yup. You can shave it a bit with automation (M109s will be autoloaded soon) but at some point in time you need people to reload the magazines. The Caesar might be operated by a 5 to 6 man det but you can do the same with an M777 - for either gun you won't operate them long if the firing gets hot and heavy. Ammo is hard work.

🍻


You've convinced me on the numbers not on the guns long ago. You've even convinced me on the numbers of truckers and ammo handlers.

The area that I see room for improvement is in your pet peeve of 4 gun batteries. You can get to your 6 or even 8 gun batteries faster with the Boxer/RCH-155 than you can with the M109s or PzH2000. And if tracks are the issue you could mount the RCH-155 rig on the back of a Bradley or a CV-90 variant.
 
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