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Next Generation Ibct/sbct Howitzer

U.S. Army Artillery new howitzer

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#1 Panzermann

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 0904 AM

So the US Army Artillery branch wants to look at a single M119 and M777 replacement:

 


Next Generation IBCT/SBCT Howitzer
Solicitation Number: W15QKN-18-X-01KQ
Agency: Department of the Army
Office: Army Contracting Command
Location: ACC - NJ (W15QKN)


Solicitation Number:
W15QKN-18-X-01KQ
Notice Type:
Sources Sought
Synopsis:
Added: Feb 14, 2018 10:15 am
Purpose: The Army Contracting Command New Jersey (ACC-NJ), Picatinny Arsenal, NJ 07806-5000 is conducting a Market Survey on behalf of the Joint Program Manager Office Towed Artillery Systems (PM-TAS) to identify potential solutions for single system replacement for the M119 and M777 towed howitzers currently fielded to the Army's Infantry and Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (IBCT's/SBCT's).

Description: This Sources Sought is for planning purposes only and shall not be construed as a solicitation or an obligation on the part of PM-TAS.


The Government is interested in a single system replacement for the M119 and M777 towed howitzers currently fielded to the Army's Infantry and Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (IBCT's/SBCT's). This IBCT/SBCT howitzer, is required to retain the key transportability and firepower attributes of the current systems while taking advantage of the modernization efforts associated with long range precision fires as well as the advancing mobility requirements. For planning purposes, this effort could commence in the mid 2020's and should not require an extended development cycle. Maximizing backwards compatibility with identified legacy ammunition and forwards compatibility with developmental ammunition and armaments will be a key system attribute. This sources sought is seeking to identify IBCT/SBCT howitzer concepts along with notional physical and performance characteristics. If available, interested vendors should provide an analysis of trade off to the key physical/performance characteristics, as well as the estimated cost and schedule to complete development along with approximate production unit costs for each concept presented. The following concepts, while not meant to limit the types of concepts presented, are of particular interest:

1) Modification/upgrades to the existing M119/M777 howitzer fleet
2) Short Tube (towed) 155mm howitzer
3) Integration of existing/developmental armaments into existing/developmental vehicles
4) Ground up wheeled howitzer


The Government is interested in the following high level physical/performance characteristics for the presented concepts:

1) Mobility
2) Transportability
3) Weight
4) Range
5) Rate of Fire
6) First Round Response
7) Emplacement / Displacement
8) Crew Size
9) Cannon Caliber (bore and length)
10) Fire Control

If available, additional information is sought in these areas for each concept:
1) Developmental Cost
2) Developmental Schedule
3) Developmental Risk/Product Maturity


Submissions of designs that are not fully compliant with all requirements are also encouraged so that PM-TAS may assess the capabilities of all currently available sources. The Government recognizes that proprietary and/or classified data may be a part of this effort. If so, clearly mark such restricted/proprietary and classified data and present them as an addendum to the non-restricted/non-proprietary and unclassified information. Participation in this Sources Sought is completely voluntary by the vendor and as such all costs to develop the vendor's response are to be borne by the participating vendor. All interested sources are encouraged to submit their abilities/capabilities no later than 30 days from date of this publication to: Klaudia A. Grabias ACC-NJ-JA Bldg. 9, Picatinny Arsenal, NJ 07806-5000; email: [email protected] Please include company name, address, telephone number, point of contact, brochures/literature, etc., and any prior performance relating to this effort. THIS IS NOT A SOLICITATION AND DOES NOT OBLIGATE THE GOVERNMENT TO ISSUE A SOLICITATION. As stated above, please be advised that the government will not pay for any information submitted under this announcement. Electronic submittals are preferred.
Contracting Office Address:
BUILDING 10 PHIPPS RD
PICATINNY ARSENAL , New Jersey 07806-5000
United States
Primary Point of Contact.:
KLAUDIA A. GRABIAS
[email protected]

 

 

 

good idea? bad idea to replace both guns with a single type?


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#2 Panzermann

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 0913 AM

the warzone takes a look at options:

US Army Eyes Replacing Its 105mm and 155mm Towed Howitzers With One New Cannon (the Warzone)
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#3 TTK Ciar

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 1532 PM

I'm a little perplexed.

The main advantage of tube artillery over rocket artillery is that the financial and logistic costs of the heavy artillery piece is more than offset by launching vast numbers of comparatively inexpensive, compact shells.

If you're not going to be using a lot of munitions, guided rocket artillery makes more sense, since you're not having to transport a heavy launcher and you get better range, precision and timing.

The US Army is already somewhat deficit on artillery pieces. This document makes it sound like they want to phase a bunch of them out and replace them with an equally small number of expensive, lightweight pieces to fire expensive extended range, terminal guidance munitions. If so, then why not invest in rocket artillery?

Is this an incorrect interpretation? Are they perhaps looking to increase the number of units in inventory by retaining and shifting existing M119 and M777 to ancillary roles?

Edited by TTK Ciar, 02 March 2018 - 1534 PM.

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#4 lastdingo

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 1706 PM

 

The following concepts, while not meant to limit the types of concepts presented, are of particular interest:

1) Modification/upgrades to the existing M119/M777 howitzer fleet
2) Short Tube (towed) 155mm howitzer
3) Integration of existing/developmental armaments into existing/developmental vehicles
4) Ground up wheeled howitzer

 

Do I get this correctly?

They want proposals for everything but tracked SPGs and haven't even made up their mind whether they want more mobility or more range and may not even want either (stubby towed 155)?

 

This sounds to me as if they're merely asking the industry what's state of the art and on the shelf/design shelves.

This doesn't seem to be a real program meant to buy stuff.


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#5 Simon Tan

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 2029 PM

Dumbness.


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#6 bojan

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 2035 PM

And nothing was learned from Ukraine...


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#7 JW Collins

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 2137 PM

Keep the M777 and M119 around in upgraded form, procure that self-propelled 105mm howitzer they tested on a Stryker years ago. Problem solved.

A bigger concern should be getting a new self-propelled 155mm gun for the heavy armor and mechanized units.

As far as rocket artillery goes, HIMARS for infantry and Stryker units, tracked MLRS for the armor and mechanized troops again.
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#8 Burncycle360

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 2144 PM

This fits in with their overall doctrine how?  Or just a solution in search of?


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#9 R011

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 2150 PM

And nothing was learned from Ukraine...


What lessons should they have learned from Ukraine? I'm sure there must be something.
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#10 Colin

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 2242 PM

Those lessons don't count because it was not a real war.....


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#11 JW Collins

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 0034 AM

What general lessons related to artillery are there to take from that conflict other than stuff that any officer in the US Army ought to know already? Artillery is extremely important and counter-battery fire is really bad for your health.


Edited by JW Collins, 03 March 2018 - 0035 AM.

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#12 rmgill

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 0340 AM

SP guns, even if wheeled like the Czech Danas or the Swedish Archer would make LOTS more sense. Build something like the Archer with the MOWAG suspension/driveline and a more basic cab unit derived from the FMTV series of cabs. 


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#13 bojan

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 0925 AM

 

What lessons should they have learned from Ukraine? I'm sure there must be something.

 

That there is no substitute for massed arty fire.

That non-SP guns crew are gonna become casualties quickly due the counter-battery vs anyone remotely competent

That a lower than divisional level MLRS are great tool and should be widespread.


Edited by bojan, 03 March 2018 - 0926 AM.

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#14 Rick

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 0928 AM

 

 

What lessons should they have learned from Ukraine? I'm sure there must be something.

 

That there is no substitute for massed arty fire.

That non-SP guns crew are gonna become casualties quickly due the counter-battery vs anyone remotely competent

That a lower than divisional level MLRS are great tool and should be widespread.

 

bojan, this is an ex-sailor asking this, but what does one consider "massed artillery fire?" Thanks.


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#15 lastdingo

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 0951 AM

 

 

What lessons should they have learned from Ukraine? I'm sure there must be something.

 

That there is no substitute for massed arty fire.

That non-SP guns crew are gonna become casualties quickly due the counter-battery vs anyone remotely competent

That a lower than divisional level MLRS are great tool and should be widespread.

 

 

One shouldn't accept such lessons learned 1:1, though.

18 152-155 mm SPGs with MRSI of 4 shells each in a radius of 25 km are a pretty good substitute for a BM-21 battery salvo if the radio data links work as advertised and fires can be made to converge on time and target.

(72 x 155 mm each 41 kg HE warhead impact over 10 seconds / 216 x 122 mm each 18-25 kg HE warhead impact in 18 seconds with much worse dispersion)

Neither Ukrainians nor Russians had such a capability there.

 

The PGM craze (and I'm SOOO tired of people pointing at later batch Excaliburs as excuse for M777's and M109's shitty range!!) was understood to be an exaggeration by arty professionals all the time.

PGMs save nothing on the need for SMK (much-improved by multispectral smoke) or on the need for ILLUM (and ILLUM made a comeback with IR-only ILLUM). Suppressive fires were never feasible with PGMs - they require HE or ICM. Dispersed targets cannot reasonably be defeated with PGMs. Area fires such as in known but not observed marshalling areas require HE or ICM, even SADARM-esque munitions wouldn't be advisable.

 

About the much greater vulnerability of towed arty in comparison to SPGs - I saw battle reports from 1944's Eastern Front that settled the issue conclusively.

 

EW in Ukraine, tactical drones in Ukraine, SPGs in direct fire and even AT role, non-upgraded MBTs getting crushed by upgraded MBTs that carry about the same gun, BMPs being too thin-skinned, mechanised and well-stocked forces crushing light infantry-centric militias on occasion ... nothing there was not to be expected.

 

 

The reaction to the reports from the Ukraine should be understood as a litmus test of who's a real expert and who's just good at garnering attention for his blathering.

Almost all well-known think tankers belonged in the latter category.


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#16 Panzermann

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 1010 AM

 

 

The following concepts, while not meant to limit the types of concepts presented, are of particular interest:

1) Modification/upgrades to the existing M119/M777 howitzer fleet
2) Short Tube (towed) 155mm howitzer
3) Integration of existing/developmental armaments into existing/developmental vehicles
4) Ground up wheeled howitzer

 

Do I get this correctly?

They want proposals for everything but tracked SPGs and haven't even made up their mind whether they want more mobility or more range and may not even want either (stubby towed 155)?

 

This sounds to me as if they're merely asking the industry what's state of the art and on the shelf/design shelves.

This doesn't seem to be a real program meant to buy stuff.

 

 

Having slept over it, to Me it looks like this is more like a market survey and toying with ideas.


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#17 Gavin-Phillips

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 1011 AM

Good topic this one and some great footage of the French CEASAR 155mm and even internal footage of an M109 155mm firing.  Impressive stuff.

 

When designing a new weapon system for your own armed forces, does anyone actually ask the users what features or capabilities would benefit them the most?  Perhaps what they need on the field or what the real current issues are with existing equipment so such things can be ironed out in whatever its replacement may be?  

 

I had a great discussion on another site years ago about the difference between rocket and tube artillery and while I am certainly no engineer and have no military experience myself, I am unable to see how you may be able to replace both a 105mm light system and a 155mm heavier system with the same weapon.  Surely they are both used in different ways against different targets?  What do the soldiers who are supported by these weapons and the people who serve the artillery systems themselves think about the idea? 


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#18 R011

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 1052 AM


 What lessons should they have learned from Ukraine? I'm sure there must be something.
 

That there is no substitute for massed arty fire.
That non-SP guns crew are gonna become casualties quickly due the counter-battery vs anyone remotely competent
That a lower than divisional level MLRS are great tool and should be widespread.
Thanks!

Edited by R011, 03 March 2018 - 1054 AM.

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#19 FALightFighter

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 1117 AM

Gavin,

 

I can't figure out the quote function, but I'm replying to your post #17. First, my bona fides. I've been a Field Artillery officer in the U.S. Army for 21 years this summer. I've served 9 years of that in light and airborne infantry units, including duties as infantry company, battalion, and brigade fire support officer/coordinator, battery fire direction officer (computing firing data for the howitzers), assistant battalion operations officer/S3, and firing battery commander. I've served in Iraq and Afghanistan as battalion and brigade fire support officer/coordinator, assistant battalion operations officer, and battery commander. I've also served 2 years in MLRS, and 3 years at the Field Artillery School/Fires Center at Fort Sill, among other duties outside the Field Artillery specifically.

 

First, yes, the requirements are developed by users at the Fires Center of Excellence, in the Capability Development and Integration Directorate. Officers and NCOs rotate from operational units to the CDID, serving in the TRADOC Capability Manager, representing the user to the Program Executive Office's program managers, who work with industry to procure solutions to the requirements developed at the CDID. That's a snapshot summary of the JCIDS process, which is a spaghetti chart from hell.

 

Currently, both 105mm and 155m towed howitzers are used essentially interchangeably in the cannon battalion of IBCTs. Until recently (~2013), the battalions were pure 105mm, based on decisions made in the mid-80s about weight of ammunition and equipment versus strategic lift capability. However, since precision technology became available in 155mm much faster than 105mm, IBCTs were requesting (and deploying with) 155mm units taken from general support capabilities, in order to increase the range covered by a single firing point and to provide precision capability. Many 105mm units operated 155mm pieces in theater, beginning as early as 2005 in Afghanistan. As our technology has developed since the creation of the 105mm and 155mm shells (which were based on lessons learned in WW1, and the basic division was implemented in WW2), I think that we can create a system that provides the range and lethality of 155mm (its big advantage) while maintaining the lightness of the 105mm (its biggest advantage). The M777 howitzer cut the weight of the M198 howitzer by nearly half, IIRC, although it didn't do anything about ammunition weight.

 

In my mind, the critical requirement missing in current US field artillery is tactical mobility. We need to go to SP, even if it is wheeled. The Fires Center at Fort Sill has been working with ideas for at least the last 5 years, but budgets and priorities determine what actually gets done. This is a good thing that has been a long time coming.


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#20 JWB

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 1257 PM

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