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#1 Chris Werb

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 1800 PM

Interesting article.

 

https://defence-blog...ing-ground.html


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#2 TTK Ciar

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 2108 PM

What's going on there? Extending the tube a few feet isn't going to double its range.

Perhaps the "new breech design" permits higher chamber pressures?

Edited by TTK Ciar, 03 December 2018 - 2108 PM.

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#3 Dawes

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 2130 PM

Should've just bought/licensed PzH2000.


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#4 Simon Tan

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 2324 PM

Chris gets excited about the even more weapon to end all wars. Again. Definitely this time. Even longer ranged HE projectiles fired in ever faster bursts from ever fewer guns in ever more remote firebases against ever more fleeting targets while the Air Force does the actual heavy lifting. Sigh.


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#5 lastdingo

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 0404 AM

"According to Popular Mechanics, longer barrels allow the explosive gasses produced by burning propellant to act longer on the shell, so it gives the barrel at greater velocities."

 

The knowledge of the author is awesome. He refers to PM for common sense without any sign of shame.

 

 

The range figures are explainable by three factors

- increased charge power (possibly by increased chamber volume)

- longer barrel (adds a few % to range)

- gliding munitions with better ballistic coefficient and sectional density.

 

Essentially, they play catch up to Europeans and instead of admitting that they're 20 years late they pretend that the weapon performance gets increased way beyond what Europeans commonly have. Most of that increase comes from an exotic projectile design, though. It's all-too typical American weapons hyping unless they have some ETC tech involved.

 

The fact is that the U.S.Army and USMC artillery sucks right now. Most army brigades and the marines lack proper SPGs, all American land forces have inferior range compared to many Russian formations and many European, South Korean formations. The quantity of exotic rounds with higher range (late Excalibur batches) is largely irrelevant. The U.S.Army has MLRS, but save for GUMLRS hardly any munitions for it, and GUMLRS is no area effects munition, useless for suppression, incapable of laying smoke or providing any illumination. It's useless against moving targets and doesn't produce significant craters in roads.

 

This is the heritage of a stupid M777 program and a mismanaged overly sci-fi Crusader program.

They could have bought PzH2000 20 years ago, at less than half the per-unit price of Crusader.


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#6 shep854

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 1008 AM

Long Tom '18?


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#7 Panzermann

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 1012 AM

 

 

 

Chris gets excited about the even more weapon to end all wars. Again. Definitely this time. Even longer ranged HE projectiles fired in ever faster bursts from ever fewer guns in ever more remote firebases against ever more fleeting targets while the Air Force does the actual heavy lifting. Sigh.

 

It is kind of tradiitonal that US Artillery Corps is lagging behind the rest of the world me thinks.  As lastdingo points out, they are playing catch up with this second step in a cunning plan. I guess they took a hint from the USN superbug. First was the M109A7 with the new bigger hulls and now the A8 with the new tube and its equipment. These "M109" A8 are like grandpa's axe: three new blades and eleven new shafts. But it is still the same axe!

 
 
Is the A8 automatically loaded?

Edited by Panzermann, 04 December 2018 - 1020 AM.

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#8 rmgill

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 1035 AM

Is the A8 automatically loaded?


Per diagrams I found they might be including an autoloader. We'll see if it makes the budget or not.

A6 of course is still this.


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#9 Panzermann

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 1145 AM

welcome to the sixties... Others have given their M109 automated rammers, that is they you only place the grenade on the tray and the rest is automatic.

Instead of the A8 US Artillery should have phoned Poland and/or Korea for K5 Thunders and sold the A7 for a song to countries like Bulgaria or Romania. But try to sell that to US Congress.
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#10 Chris Werb

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 1246 PM

Chris gets excited about the even more weapon to end all wars. Again. Definitely this time. Even longer ranged HE projectiles fired in ever faster bursts from ever fewer guns in ever more remote firebases against ever more fleeting targets while the Air Force does the actual heavy lifting. Sigh.

 

I don't "get excited" over weapons Simon - that's clearly your bag and I value your diversity. I just thought it was an interesting development. Sigh.


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#11 Special-K

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 1436 PM

 

Is the A8 automatically loaded?


Per diagrams I found they might be including an autoloader. We'll see if it makes the budget or not.

A6 of course is still this.

 

 

 

 

Watching the above honestly pisses me off when I compare it to this:

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=wlKlW1-7c5A

 

 

 

 

-K


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#12 Calvinb1nav

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 1822 PM

Chris gets excited about the even more weapon to end all wars. Again. Definitely this time. Even longer ranged HE projectiles fired in ever faster bursts from ever fewer guns in ever more remote firebases against ever more fleeting targets while the Air Force does the actual heavy lifting. Sigh.

Air Force ain't gonna do no heavy lifting with SA-20/21/22/23/24/25, etc. roaming around.  Army better get their arty act together.


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#13 Simon Tan

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 1943 PM

They do it every day in Syria. With antiques. The trick is not to pick fights needlessly.

Chris...you have been extolling the magical +5 Excalibur and +8 GMRLS for years. Yet it is the plain +0 D30s and BM21s that are making the running by being present and in numbers. You really don't have to use antiques but you do need enough of them in the right time and place.

Your process is broke. You are the monarch with the new garments.
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#14 Chris Werb

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 0138 AM

Simon, I simply sometimes express opinions about how things are or would be done by modern militaries in the modern world. I don't base my ideas on Russian fanboi assessments of low budget counter insurgency wars using 1950s kit and expendable proxies. I'm not sure how you forsee the air force doing the heavy lifting within the kind of IADS envelope the Russians could easily put up, nor how having their artillery outrage ours would help but I'm sure when the balloon goes up you will rock up in an armoured truck with a 120mm mortar on it and show the professionals how it should be done.
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#15 Rick

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 0707 AM

 

 

Is the A8 automatically loaded?


Per diagrams I found they might be including an autoloader. We'll see if it makes the budget or not.

A6 of course is still this.

 

 

 

 

Watching the above honestly pisses me off when I compare it to this:

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=wlKlW1-7c5A

 

 

 

 

-K

 

Could you explain why to an ex sailor?


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#16 Rick

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 0710 AM

 

 

 

 

Chris gets excited about the even more weapon to end all wars. Again. Definitely this time. Even longer ranged HE projectiles fired in ever faster bursts from ever fewer guns in ever more remote firebases against ever more fleeting targets while the Air Force does the actual heavy lifting. Sigh.

 

It is kind of tradiitonal that US Artillery Corps is lagging behind the rest of the world me thinks.  As lastdingo points out, they are playing catch up with this second step in a cunning plan. I guess they took a hint from the USN superbug. First was the M109A7 with the new bigger hulls and now the A8 with the new tube and its equipment. These "M109" A8 are like grandpa's axe: three new blades and eleven new shafts. But it is still the same axe!

 
 
Is the A8 automatically loaded?

 

From my ex-sailor understanding, U.S. artillery and doctrine was the best(?) in WW2. What has happened since then?


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#17 lastdingo

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 0854 AM

U.S.Army and USMC arty has become well-equipped with electronic gadgets for postiionfinding, orientation, muzzle velocity measurement, ballistics computing, digital transfer of missions, counter-arty radars, some guided rounds and recently some dedicated all-round 24/7 counter-mortar radars. The logistics with palletised shells and rocket sixpacks are decent.

 

It did however suffer from four developments;

  • they faced WWI-esque but 1970's tech Iraqis in 1991 and won easily, afterwards they faced even worse if not non-existing arty adversaries
  • the failure of the gold-plated too ambitious Crusader project (which yielded a design that costed multiple times as much as the in the menatime world-leading PzH 2000)
  • utterly outsized attention to helicopter-mobile 155 mm (the attention-grabbing M777), which utterly needlessly metastised into non-helo-mobile brigades because no wheeled SPG was developed.
  • the de facto cluster munitions ban, which took away MLRS' and 155 mm main munition type and most of their lethality

The cancellation of Crusader without a successor meant that the U.S.Army didn't make the move towards L/52 barrels, or even only 1980's tech L/45 barrels. They stuck with L/39 barrels and accordingly smaller propellant chambers and even stuck to this modest gun (coupled with lots of electronics) in the original FCS NLOS-C.

There was furthermore some misguided attention paid to resupply tech up to ideas about hwo to transfer munitions while under total NBC protection.

Nowadays the U.S.military is stuck with MLRS/HIMARS for which few munitions are available, 155 mm Frankenstein monster M109 with a gun that's been outclassed since the early 80's and some towed M777 that are conceptually largely stuck in 1942 IF NOT WORSE (see the traverse angle, which is put to shame by the very first split trail carriage's!) in the motorised rifle brigades (a.k.a. Stryker or medium brigade combat teams) and the infantry/light brigades as well as the Marketing Corps.

 

 

Besides, U.S. artillery wasn't really the best arty in WW2. It had plenty hardware to work with, but little experience and mostly quickly-trained personnel including inexperienced officers.

British and German arty had a very high level of quality and much more experience (and Germany had much more varied experiences), and the Russians certainly had overwhelming quantity.

Americans are telling the story that the U.S.Army had the best arty in WW2, of course.


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#18 bojan

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 0857 AM

Stagnation.


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#19 shep854

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 0923 AM

 

 

 

Is the A8 automatically loaded?


Per diagrams I found they might be including an autoloader. We'll see if it makes the budget or not.

A6 of course is still this.

 

 

 

 

Watching the above honestly pisses me off when I compare it to this:

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=wlKlW1-7c5A

 

 

 

 

-K

 

Could you explain why to an ex sailor?

 

Compare the manual workload in the M109 to the Pz2000.  Several men vs one; compare the old 5"/38 mount to the modern Mk45.  It also appears that the German gun has provision for manual operation if necessary, due to damage or wear.


Edited by shep854, 05 December 2018 - 0927 AM.

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#20 DKTanker

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 1422 PM

Stagnation.

There has to be something else going on.  What?  I don't know, but the M109 has so totally evolved that there is nothing left of the original design, not even anything left of the 109A2.  New gun, new turret, new turret drive system, new fire control system, new ammunition, new ammunition stowage, new gun loading, new hull, new engine, new suspension.  The only thing that I can see that has remained original is the M2 machine gun and its 500 rounds of ammunition.  Scratch that, likely as not the M2 has been upgraded to the M2A1.

 

Could be that some modicum of inter-weapon system training is going on.  The same soldiers that are on the M109 today may find themselves in a unit with M198s or M777s sometime next year.  Could be.  Could also be that the US Army Artillery branch just doesn't want to realize a systemic cut in personnel, which it inherently would with a gun crew reduced by two or more soldiers each.  I don't pretend to know the why, but it isn't because "That's how we've always done it" because the only thing that hasn't changed is the manual loading.  And to some degree, that has changed as well.


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