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C3 Howitzer Replacement

FJAG

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Army contest for wheeled 155 mm howitzer draws at least two competitors for Yuma shoot-off
By Jason Sherman / October 19, 2020 at 11:36 AM

The Army's new contest to find a wheeled 155 mm howitzer will have at least two candidates, with BAE Systems today announcing it is offering the Archer, in service with the Swedish army, and AM General offering its Brutus, a M777 cannon mounted on a Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles truck. The Army is looking for a new self-propelled howitzer that can keep pace with Stryker formations and provide counter-fire and other close support fires, improving the field artillery battalions'...

https://insidedefense.com/daily-news/army-contest-wheeled-155-mm-howitzer-draws-least-two-competitors-yuma-shoot?fbclid=IwAR0tKtNlX2TNfEXoNfFWrNenSs9xowTRE5CClBfv9tu_ZiWN2FhFr7yF1Dk

:cheers:
 

FJAG

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MilEME09 said:
The issue i have with a wheeled vehicle is armour kits usually never focus on vehicle survival, just crew survival. Rapid mobility then becomes the key.

I think the squishy and delicate things inside the Archer is in a splinter proof turret. Nothing will protect it from a direct hit by an explosive projectile.

The trouble with Brutus is that the squishy and delicate things will have to leave the armoured cab in order to make the thing go bang. That's never good.

:worms:
 

Petard

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On this date twelve years ago there was a terrible accident in which Gnr Keyes-Oliver was killed
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/military-family-and-carleton-u-mourn-reservist-killed-while-training-1.735323

Having seen the bulk of the information related to the investigation, I know that contributing factors were lack of active brakes for the C3 howitzer, and minimal training for drivers in dealing with trailer sway.  The C3 and the Gun Tractor (both the MLVW and MSVS variants) have different axle widths, so the gun has the tendency to track from one rut to another in soft terrain. These types of accidents can also happen at highway speed, however, especially if the driver unwittingly thinks accelerating will straighten out a swaying towed load vice slowing down.
https://barrie.ctvnews.ca/artillery-cannon-flips-on-highway-400-in-innisfil-1.2265924

I can't answer why active brakes were never fitted onto the C3, nor why the training for trailer sway is so minimal, but I do know those conditions were still present when I left the forces more than three years ago, despite doing what I (and many others) could via UCRs and ECRs. No change

The C3 is not only past its useful service life, sustaining it is problematic and affecting its availability for training, more importantly it is dangerous to use just being towed. It would be great if a communication plan could effectively convince the public to reform the structure of the Primary Reserves, but that's not likely to happen soon, and it would be a lengthy process even if it had any traction. I'd say the need for a replacement is more urgent than some would like to acknowledge. Not sure what it would take though, but hopefully not another accident like that one twelve years ago. At a minimum, better training is warranted
 

suffolkowner

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FJAG

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Joined a Militia regiment and had my 404s for the old M135 style deuce before I had my civilian licence. Towing guns was part of the training and job. Only did it for half a year because then I became a driver/sig op for the battery command post.

One thing about the old M135 and the M2A2 (C1) howitzer was that they were perfectly matched to each other vis a vis wheelbase, weight, and balance while towed. Never saw a problem with them (other than muzzle through radiator on night move with a sudden stop)

The whole change with the barrel and towing vehicles seems to have thrown everything out of balance. The old set looked elegant.

M135d.jpg


IMHO the MLVW and the Navstar MSVS with the C3 just look awkward together.

:cheers:
 

FJAG

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suffolkowner said:
...
But is it true that with the Archer you cannot select the round to be fired and can only fire in order of the preloaded rounds?

:dunno:
 

suffolkowner

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FJAG said:

I've read that it can select the round but can't change once loaded but others have said it must fire the rounds as loaded?

Would look good on the Kerax
 

FJAG

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suffolkowner said:
I've read that it can select the round but can't change once loaded but others have said it must fire the rounds as loaded?

Would look good on the Kerax

That's frequently the best option for a well rammed 155 round. Unloading involves a long ramrod operated from the muzzle thus exposing one's pink body to a hostile environment. The fire order "Empty Guns at ..." has a reason for being in our fire discipline lexicon. I'd hate to have to unload a round from the Archer.

;D
 

Kirkhill

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FJAG said:
I think the squishy and delicate things inside the Archer is in a splinter proof turret. Nothing will protect it from a direct hit by an explosive projectile.

The trouble with Brutus is that the squishy and delicate things will have to leave the armoured cab in order to make the thing go bang. That's never good.

:worms:

Is there any armoured artillery that is proof against anything other than blast, fragments and HMG rounds (12.7 to 14.5 mm)? 
 

Kirkhill

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Petard said:
On this date twelve years ago there was a terrible accident in which Gnr Keyes-Oliver was killed
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/military-family-and-carleton-u-mourn-reservist-killed-while-training-1.735323

Having seen the bulk of the information related to the investigation, I know that contributing factors were lack of active brakes for the C3 howitzer, and minimal training for drivers in dealing with trailer sway.  The C3 and the Gun Tractor (both the MLVW and MSVS variants) have different axle widths, so the gun has the tendency to track from one rut to another in soft terrain. These types of accidents can also happen at highway speed, however, especially if the driver unwittingly thinks accelerating will straighten out a swaying towed load vice slowing down.
https://barrie.ctvnews.ca/artillery-cannon-flips-on-highway-400-in-innisfil-1.2265924

I can't answer why active brakes were never fitted onto the C3, nor why the training for trailer sway is so minimal, but I do know those conditions were still present when I left the forces more than three years ago, despite doing what I (and many others) could via UCRs and ECRs. No change

The C3 is not only past its useful service life, sustaining it is problematic and affecting its availability for training, more importantly it is dangerous to use just being towed. It would be great if a communication plan could effectively convince the public to reform the structure of the Primary Reserves, but that's not likely to happen soon, and it would be a lengthy process even if it had any traction. I'd say the need for a replacement is more urgent than some would like to acknowledge. Not sure what it would take though, but hopefully not another accident like that one twelve years ago. At a minimum, better training is warranted


Interesting comment given my personal experience of "ruts" in highways, exacerbated by the lack of "grit" in the ruts when the smooth, oil surface has worked its way over the grit reducing traction, and further exacerbated by the tendency of the ruts to fill with water resulting in hydroplaning when in the ruts. 

 

Colin Parkinson

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Speaking of upside down guns, taking a corner in Yakima to fast (Was not my gun)
 

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SeaKingTacco

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Oh man, what a picture. I have never seen a gun upside down, but in a previous life I have memories of bouncing cross country in a MLVW, trying to be the first gun to the RV after “ceasing firing” was ordered. I vividly recall seeing the entire gun in the air, above the level of the deck of the truck- all the while us gun bunnies were trying catch tubes of 105mm ammo floating weightlessly around the back of the truck. How we did not all die that day, I will never know.
 

FJAG

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Colin P said:
Speaking of upside down guns, taking a corner in Yakima to fast (Was not my gun)

My guess is that all that was needed was to flip her right-side-up, buff out a few scratches on the barrel and she was right as rain.

Bet you can't do that with an M777.

;D
 

dapaterson

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FJAG said:
My guess is that all that was needed was to flip her right-side-up, buff out a few scratches on the barrel and she was right as rain.

Bet you can't do that with an M777.

;D

Poor training, poor supervision.

That's the usual chain of events leading to incidents like that.  "Buff it out and carry on" is how poor performance becomes normalized.  Or, in the words of the more anal retentive of the Reg F Inf regiments, "Never pass a fault."
 

FJAG

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dapaterson said:
Poor training, poor supervision.

That's the usual chain of events leading to incidents like that.  "Buff it out and carry on" is how poor performance becomes normalized.  Or, in the words of the more anal retentive of the Reg F Inf regiments, "Never pass a fault."

I wasn't talking about training, or attitudes or normalization.

I was talking about the robustness of the M2A2 howitzer compared to today's high tech wonders.

;)
 

dapaterson

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FJAG said:
I wasn't talking about training, or attitudes or normalization.

I was talking about the robustness of the M2A2 howitzer compared to today's high tech wonders.

;)

You joked about an accident that occurred due to failed training and leadership.  It's not funny.  It kills soldiers.  The RCA refused to admit that a gun tractor transports soldiers - they declared it a weapons system and therefore permit operators with a basic drivers' course to transport troops.  All other drivers require minimum experience levels before being permitted to transport troops.  The leadership denied drivers adequate rest.

Inexperienced driver plus  Bad roads plus Inadequate rest killed a gunner twelve years ago.  So yes - maybe you can buff out the scrapes on your colours.  But you can't bring back the life that was lost because of that failed leadership.
 

Petard

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dapaterson said:
You joked about an accident that occurred due to failed training and leadership.  It's not funny.  It kills soldiers.  The RCA refused to admit that a gun tractor transports soldiers - they declared it a weapons system and therefore permit operators with a basic drivers' course to transport troops.  All other drivers require minimum experience levels before being permitted to transport troops.  The leadership denied drivers adequate rest.

Inexperienced driver plus  Bad roads plus Inadequate rest killed a gunner twelve years ago.  So yes - maybe you can buff out the scrapes on your colours.  But you can't bring back the life that was lost because of that failed leadership.

Unless something's changed, from my own experience, I know P Res Arty units had to spend the same amount of time to achieve the driving experience before being authorized to transport Troops, the same as any other driver; the lack of this experience definitely became a confounding factor planning training, and nobody ever over rode that to make it work AFAIK. IIRC the exemption for gun tow drivers to transport troops without that experience, ended following a disastrous 2 RCHA E Bty (para) training accident in 1989, outside of CFB Gagetown (the driver was my gun driver BTW).

Inexperience of the driver was a factor in the 2008 accident, but the supervisor wasn't necessarily trained to recognize what to do about the trailer sway either. Keep in mind, as I said above, it was the C3 swaying behind the MLVW, eventually building up enough amplitude that caused the gun tractor to lose control. Better training of driver and supervisors would've helped prevent that accident, but trailer sway is still only touched on briefly during the basic driver wheel course, and is not formerly trained anywhere else that I'm aware of. I would argue the potential is there for any driver to be faced with this problem, but the lack of active brakes on the C3 increases the probability of it happening to a P Res gun tow driver.
There was certainly a failure at a couple of levels, to address the training issue, and the C3 brakes issue 
 

Petard

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FJAG said:
My guess is that all that was needed was to flip her right-side-up, buff out a few scratches on the barrel and she was right as rain.

Bet you can't do that with an M777.

;D

Actually, I know of at least two cases where a M777 has rolled, and after a pre-fire check was found to be g2g.
With the trail arms folded up in the travel position, they and the spades act something like crash bars.

Incidentally, the M777 is very susceptible to trailer sway too, and rolls more easily than the C3, but only if the gun Det forgets/ignores hooking up the brake airlines
 

dapaterson

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Petard said:
Unless something's changed, from my own experience, I know P Res Arty units had to spend the same amount of time to achieve the driving experience before being authorized to transport Troops, the same as any other driver; the lack of this experience definitely became a confounding factor planning training, and nobody ever over rode that to make it work AFAIK. IIRC the exemption for gun tow drivers to transport troops without that experience, ended following a disastrous 2 RCHA E Bty (para) training accident in 1989, outside of CFB Gagetown (the driver was my gun driver BTW).

Inexperience of the driver was a factor in the 2008 accident, but the supervisor wasn't necessarily trained to recognize what to do about the trailer sway either. Keep in mind, as I said above, it was the C3 swaying behind the MLVW, eventually building up enough amplitude that caused the gun tractor to lose control. Better training of driver and supervisors would've helped prevent that accident, but trailer sway is still only touched on briefly during the basic driver wheel course, and is not formerly trained anywhere else that I'm aware of. I would argue the potential is there for any driver to be faced with this problem, but the lack of active brakes on the C3 increases the probability of it happening to a P Res gun tow driver.
There was certainly a failure at a couple of levels, to address the training issue, and the C3 brakes issue

I seem to recall that the driver had the gun tractor but not trooplift quals, but it has been quite a number of years.

Supervisors need to monitor sleep of subordinates and ensure they are properly rested before driving.  That is not always observed on Res F weekend FTXes.
 
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