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M777 Durability: Holding Up In Syria


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#1 shep854

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 0933 AM

https://www.strategy...s/20180507.aspx

"The U.S. Department of Defense recently revealed that a U.S. Marine artillery battalion (1st Battalion, 10th Marines) fired more rounds (35,000) in a single campaign (Syria June-October 2017) than any American artillery battalion (army or marine) since the Vietnam War."


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#2 Chris Werb

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 1040 AM

https://www.strategy...s/20180507.aspx

"The U.S. Department of Defense recently revealed that a U.S. Marine artillery battalion (1st Battalion, 10th Marines) fired more rounds (35,000) in a single campaign (Syria June-October 2017) than any American artillery battalion (army or marine) since the Vietnam War."

 

To be fair (and this is not knocking the M777A2), replacement guns could have been cycled through and the high mileage ones returned for depot level maintenance.


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#3 shep854

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 1217 PM

The article does mention rotating for maintenance. Some of the round counts read like they are for individual guns.

Edited by shep854, 07 May 2018 - 1217 PM.

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#4 lastdingo

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 0854 AM

"Normally the M777 barrel can fire up to 2,500 shells before wearing out but barrel life depends on what type of shell your fire."

 

That's horribly few, but I don't know the figures for L/52 guns. Poor durability is probably a widespread problem and would be an even worse problem if the munition stocks were bigger.

 

A rule of thumb is 200 rounds per day and gun, 400+ was reported as peaks for some guns on some days in the ongoing Ukraine conflict.

An artillery battalion with 2,500 rds barrels would have shot some for training, so it would have its barrels worn out after 6-12 days.

 

The guns would have done incredible damage by then (unless they shoot much smoke / M777 would be destroyed by counterfire on day one or two anyway), but the brigade would still flare out after 1-2 weeks.

 

For comparison: WW2 howitzers were fine for 10k-15k shots. Cannons with 1k-3k rounds barrel life were considered excessively uneconomical and failed designs (save for anti-tank guns, rarely used heavy AAA and large calibre very long range arty).


Edited by lastdingo, 09 May 2018 - 1118 AM.

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#5 John_Ford

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 1138 AM

The M 107   175 MM SPG we used during Vietnam had a 300 EFC Barrel life.   Guy I know was a Battery Commander in Vietnam had two M107 175's and two M110 8" SPG.   The Barrel life was extended later But I do not have that info.   According to wiki it was between 700-1200 rounds.   Do not know if that was EFC.


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#6 Gavin-Phillips

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 1339 PM

Are there any such similar figures known for the D-30 122mm (assuming self propelled versions such as the 2S1 are no different)? 

 

Perhaps a twin-barrel idea like what the 2S35 was originally showing to have isn't such a bad idea at all then?


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#7 lastdingo

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 1625 PM

https://www.globalse...ope/pzh2000.htm

"Long barrel life (demonstrated in live fire trials: > 2,500 with six charge modules, > 5,000 rounds with five modules)"

 

I suppose 5k is acceptable. Almost all SPG would be taken out or be lost by automotive break down before they get to shoot that often.

 

I do doubt that they really had a 5,000 rds life fire trial with five propellant modules AND a life fire trial with 2,500 rds with six modules. 7,500 rds just to test the barrel limits looks awfully expensive to me and out of proportion to the rahter modest munition purchases. The figures may be interpolated from the progress or rifling erosion.


Edited by lastdingo, 08 May 2018 - 1628 PM.

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#8 Calvinb1nav

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 1711 PM

I guess that would be one big advantage rocket artillery has over tube artillery. I'd imagine BM-21s last forever...
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#9 bojan

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 1758 PM

Original BM-21 - 500 firings per tube (that is 20k rockets per 40 tube launcher), but tubes are much cheaper and easier to replace.


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#10 Yama

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 0453 AM

Are there any such similar figures known for the D-30 122mm (assuming self propelled versions such as the 2S1 are no different)?


As I recall 105mm Howitzers have barrel life of around 10000 rounds. I'd guess 122mm is somewhere inbetween.
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#11 FALightFighter

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 0625 AM

What really matters is not the number of rounds, but Equivalent Full Charges. Firing a high charge causes significantly more wear on the tube than lower charges.


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#12 Colin

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 1821 PM

What really matters is not the number of rounds, but Equivalent Full Charges. Firing a high charge causes significantly more wear on the tube than lower charges.

Exactly, each gun has a logbook, that is kept a record of rds fired, charges used, repairs and upgrades. From that you can track the life of the gun.


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#13 Chris Werb

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 1814 PM

Is the logbook electronic on the M777?
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