Artillery Discussion Thread

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby bart » 02 Jan 2010 22:21

Bheem wrote:
nithish wrote:I personally think that M777 variants should be used for all the requirements of tracked, wheeled.



Light howitzer is needed, but it probably wont be able to handle round the clock firing of the kind done in Kargil.

So a mix is required. We need BOTH. Of course, no harm in buying more M777 than initially planned.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby sum » 02 Jan 2010 22:24

Anurag wrote:Yes, I believe 145 systems in total.

Anurag-ji,
Which post was this a reply to?

Light howitzer is needed, but it probably wont be able to handle round the clock firing of the kind done in Kargil.

So a mix is required. We need BOTH. Of course, no harm in buying more M777 than initially planned.

Is there even a remote chance of any other artillery piece coming through other than the FMS route?

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby bart » 02 Jan 2010 22:49

sum wrote:Is there even a remote chance of any other artillery piece coming through other than the FMS route?


Valid point, but one is not a substitute for the other. You don't want to get something in through the back door, only to have it self-destruct after several weeks of serious shelling. Lack of procurement of heavy howitzers is a different issue and the root cause of that issue needs to be resolved.

Maybe they can buy 300 instead of 145 M777 just to hedge against delays, but it shouldn't take the place of the Archer/PZH-2000 class of weapon, which we need in numbers.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby soumik » 02 Jan 2010 23:01

All in all all a very welcome development;we need big guns and we need them now we should get what we want as fast as we can.

However we should make sure that proper procedures are followed wouldn't like any more "BOFORS" to stall Indian mordenisation again.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby negi » 03 Jan 2010 00:10

M777 hardly had any competitor in the market , afaik the closest one SLWH Pegasus from St Kinetics weighs about 5.4 tonnes against former's 3.18 tonnes even the crew size for the latter is higher, so FMS route was obvious.

Substantial weight savings have been made by incorporating Titanium and other materials and at the same time constraints on its size/footprint due to towing/airlift requirements imply that it is not in the same class as the heavy ARTY pieces like FH77 Archer .All in all its a special platform for a niche role.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby ShauryaT » 03 Jan 2010 00:23

Does someone know, to which divisions/commands will the ULH go? Will the two additional mountain divisions being raised have this baby?

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby andy B » 03 Jan 2010 06:19

Boss loga I was going through milnet photos of Indian armed forces and saw this peculiar pic of ze old FH77. However the muzzle looks of a completely new design as compared to the old one...the info board in the backgroud says its an upgraded version from the 39 to the 45 cal :?:

http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=12230&d=1156932453

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Surya » 03 Jan 2010 07:10

andy

I think that plan also got shelved :(

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby srai » 03 Jan 2010 07:15

mody wrote:Most likely if the news about the M777 are true, then I would bet that a deal for the Chinook Heavy lift helicopters would also almost be certainty. Just my thoughts.


M777 - 3,175 kg

External Sling Load of various Medium/Heavy helicopters
Mi-17 - 3,000kg
UH-60 - 4,000kg
NH-90 - 4,000kg
S-92 - 4,535kg
EH-101 - 4,536kg
EC 725 (Super Cougar) 5,000 kg
CH-47 (Chinook) - 11,790kg

Check this out: Chinook lifting various cargo on its external sling, including F-15, F-16, Lynx, UH-1, AH-1, Mi-24, UH-60, 6 x M102 105 mm Howitzers, etc
http://www.chinook-helicopter.com/sling ... eight.html


Added later:
According to quantumimpex.com, Mi-17's sling load capability could be as high as 4,500kg.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby andy B » 03 Jan 2010 07:25

Surya wrote:andy

I think that plan also got shelved :(


:eek: Huh god damn.... :(( :(( This whole artillery tantrum is by far one of the worst (possibly the worst) bungle the babus have done....hmph :evil:

Anyhow another interesting thing was that there was another pic of a FH77 upgraded to 45 cal and this one had the same muzzle as the orignal one but it was brwon coloured compared to the sandy beige colour the FH77 normally adourns....http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?t=89961&page=22 Also they seem to have maintained the same design...

Also I noticed that this http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=12230&d=1156932453 muzzle has an uncanny similarity to those russian m130's that were upgraded by the yehudis...I am so conphused now.... :roll:
Last edited by andy B on 03 Jan 2010 07:30, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Surya » 03 Jan 2010 07:29

I have seen that but unless I see a report which says that all the guns were upgraded to 45 cal I have to guess various ad hoc plans were started but got bogged down or did not work well.

Trust me I am at the stage where any 155 gun with 45\52 cal is fine

we need in thousands and we are getting in 10s :((

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby andy B » 03 Jan 2010 07:31

Surya wrote:I have seen that but unless I see a report which says that all the guns were upgraded to 45 cal I have to guess various ad hoc plans were started but got bogged down or did not work well.

Trust me I am at the stage where any 155 gun with 45\52 cal is fine

we need in thousands and we are getting in 10s :((


Fair call I was merely trying to find a bit more info about what the hell is going on :((

Either way we need em and need em right the hell now...

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Willy » 03 Jan 2010 07:42

High time the MOD got cracking on the artillery requirements. If true this will save a lot of time in procurement. But wasnt there are report a few days back that kinetic had been allowed into the fray for trails again but that a deal would be signed only after the CBI cleared it if it won?

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Singha » 03 Jan 2010 10:04

does M777 come in a more solid truck mounted 45cal version? doesnt need to have
the astonishing capabilities of Archer but just be reliable , accurate and rugged.

if so, by all means FMS is the only way out now. we needed 100s of truck mounted
guns yesterday.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby negi » 03 Jan 2010 11:25

I tried to search but to no avail it seems unlikely that BAE Systems Land and Armaments the primary contractor for XM777 AKA LW155 will bring out a tracked/wheel mounted higher caliber version of the same gun for not only it might turn out to be expensive it financially might not be viable as the FH77 ARCHER now belongs to the same stable (BAE systems bought 'UDI' which owned the arty division of Bofors Weapon Systems )

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby soumik » 03 Jan 2010 11:43

Singha wrote:does M777 come in a more solid truck mounted 45cal version? doesnt need to have
the astonishing capabilities of Archer but just be reliable , accurate and rugged.

if so, by all means FMS is the only way out now. we needed 100s of truck mounted
guns yesterday.


Yes it does(albeit in 39 cal onlee) the M777 portee was developed by BAe for the British LIMAWS programme.The other contender was the GIAT Ceasar, as of now the system has been shelved by BAe due to lack of funds , we could resurrect it if we wanted to.

Image

Image
The M777 Portee was developed as a private venture by BAE Systems to meet British Army requirement for LIMAWS (G) or Lightweight Mobile Artillery Weapon System - Gun programme. Another contender for the LIMAWS (G) programme was the Giat Industries Caesar 155-mm / L52 artillery system based on a 6x6 truck chassis.

The first example of the M777 Portee was completed in 2005. UK requirement is for 30 - 40 artillery systems of this class. Unfortunately the LIMAWS (G) programme was canceled in 2007 due to funding problems. The British Army will continue to rely on AS90 self-propelled howitzers and light guns until these will be replaced by 2023.

The M777 Portee is based on a revolutionary M777 155-mm / L39 lightweight howitzer, adopted by the US Army and US Marine Corps. Maximum range of fire is 30 km with rocket-assisted projectile. This howitzer also fires Excalibur precision guided extended range projectiles with a maximum range of 40 km. Intense rate of fire is 5 rounds per minute, sustained - 2 rounds per minute. The M777 Portee can carry a total of 70 rounds.

The M777 Portee was extensively evaluated by the UK MoD and over 350 rounds were fired in test conditions.

Cab of the M777 Portee provides light armor protection and NBC protection for the crew.

The M777 Portee is mounted on the chassis of the Supacat 8x6 high mobility truck. Vehicle can be carried by the C-130 transport aircraft. Unique feature of the M777 Portee is that artillery system can be easily removed or attached to the chassis. Thus it can be carried underslung by two CH-47 Chinook helicopters.


Source: http://www.military-today.com/artillery/m777_portee.htm

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby negi » 03 Jan 2010 12:23

^ The catch is it is the same gun of 39 caliber , I for one don't know the benefits of scaling up a gold plated platform as XM777 to do what already available and mature platforms like Archer can do .

Point is XM777 is meant for a niche role and obvious compromises have been made to keep that weight within limits, for eg. the vanilla Bofors FH77 155*39 cal gun has a sustained firing capability of 6 rounds per minute and keep it going for 20 minutes as compared to 5-8 for the XM777 for 2 minutes or just 2 rounds per minute and compare this with Archer's 8-9 rounds per minute with a crew size 4 (one less than when compared to M777 and 2 less when compared to protege).

The gap between 39 cal and 52 cal is substantial for instance the modern extended range guided round like EXCALIBUR will only travel 40km when fired from M777 as compared to 60km from FH77 Archer.We are talking about a lot of mass being added when barrel increases from about 5.89mtr (39 cal FH77) to 8.08 mtr (FH77 Archer) and I presume even thickness would increase accordingly to prevent barrel creep.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Bheem » 03 Jan 2010 12:33

M777 has all the power, range & durability of 'present' bofors howziter in India. Light is not because its durability is low but because of use of titanium and Aluminium as also removing the automation.


Note M777 is around 4.2 tons compared to bofors 12 tons

Portee M777 is around 12 tons compared to Archer 30 tons and Ceaser 18 tons

It would be easy to mount on Tracks also to replace Catapault 130mm


Though off course the cost is high and one can buy around 100 guns or more of 130mm/122mm for price of One M777. Or One can buy around 20 upgraded 155mm/45-52cal guns (from 130mm) for price of one M777.

The question that arises is that why not buy such cheaper guns and preposition them to get over the need of rapid transport. Why not develop a better 105mm guns for light requirement. But anyway this decision "if taken" is good one.

Comparing with Heavier guns, shoot & scoot seems a good capacity but is it used? Sustained firing capacity of 6-8 rounds/min for half an hour is again good but is it used? Long range of 52 caliber is good but is it accurate at that range or rather MLRS at that range makes more sense? So will the long range of 52/56/60 caliber 155 guns still be relevant? What is the point of having heavy guns if one cannot get them to battle? Would the long range be achieved now with better ammo which will have difficulty being fired from longer barrels? Does longer barrels wear out more and are more difficult to transport? Why US & UK are moving towards M777 + MLRS + ATACMS combination rather than long range heavy barrelled 155 cal guns?

I don't have the answers but these questions point to other side of the coin and are relevant


The cost of the gun + truck with ground support / some spare parts should be around US$ 3 million. Lets us see, what we pay for it. The last few deals with US for C-130s, harpoons etc have seemed very costly.
Last edited by Bheem on 03 Jan 2010 13:16, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby negi » 03 Jan 2010 13:11

Bheem given that the tender for SPH (wheeled/tracked Arty) had been sent to Soltam,Denel(I believe no longer in fray) ,Bofors (now BAE systems) and ST Kinetics and the platforms which they have to offer under 52 cal category , weight is hardly an issue for all of them differ by big margin , the weight was of major importance for the ULH and for understandable reasons.

From Jingo pov the FH77 Archer not only trumps the competition (already proven under first series of tests too) but as per the OEM the platform has a lot in common with the original FH77B family as far as the GUN is concerned so a ToT (I hate to use it but what the heck ) for Archer would mean capability to upgrade and maintain the older 39/45 cal guns in India itself.

IA has clearly made a clear distinction between the ULH and the rest of the pieces under the SPH tender it makes little sense to compare M777 with the Archer.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Bheem » 03 Jan 2010 13:22

The point I am making is that we can also use M777 across the board in various variants supplementing it with our Pinaka 1 & 2 MBRLS for long range

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Bheem » 03 Jan 2010 13:23

On a side issue, Portee seems to have extraordinary low ground clearance, why?

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Singha » 03 Jan 2010 17:50

some of these all terrain rigs have capability to raise and lower the suspension. maybe lowering it reduces the work of anchoring spade/jacks at back when the gun is in firing mode. lowering it might also help in getting into C130 with a nice safety margin on top.

with such huge wheels and honda civicish ground clearance this thing wont make it into
most layouts in bengaluru without a belly scrape.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby nithish » 03 Jan 2010 19:59

srai wrote:
mody wrote:Most likely if the news about the M777 are true, then I would bet that a deal for the Chinook Heavy lift helicopters would also almost be certainty. Just my thoughts.


M777 - 3,175 kg

External Sling Load of various Medium/Heavy helicopters
CH-47 (Chinook) - 11,790kg

surely the Mi-26 would be more than capable of carrying one of these...

Bheem wrote:The cost of the gun + truck with ground support / some spare parts should be around US$ 3 million. Lets us see, what we pay for it. The last few deals with US for C-130s, harpoons etc have seemed very costly.


The Indian Army was looking to purchase 140 ultra-light howitzers for Rs.29 billion ($612 million).

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Aditya G » 03 Jan 2010 20:14

Quite clearly the Archer is the gold standard of modern self propelled artillery, and should be #1 choice for us given the troops' approval in 1999. With the likelyhood of manoeuvre into Pakistan considerably decreased, imho it makes sense to go for this wheeled version and fire away from within the Indian border.

Perhaps a selective purchase of Pzh 2000 is required to bolster forces in desert sector!

<end of day dream>

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Anujan » 04 Jan 2010 00:07

George J wrote:Rahul, I am well aware of WHEN it was signed my post was in response to the absolutely ill-researched flippant post made above me. The sanctions were LIFTED in 2001...so obviously it had to be signed AFTER that.


George J
I stand corrected, if proper progress was being made. I made the post in a moment of frustration.

But in my defence IIRC, a RFP was issued in early 90's that was so stringent on the performance that only one vendor responded and nobody met the standard after trials. A later RFP was not properly pursued with Ukraine and the French system was rejected because of cost. A total of 9 years would go by, between Pakistan fielding a similar system and Kargil war.

What I am complaining about is *not* the fact that everybody was "sleeping". But just that they were "busy" doing this and that, but not procuring a WLR. Kind of the same scenario as our artillery procurement. Trials are being held, tenders floated, RFPs sent, negotiations done. In short, a lot of "work" is being done, but where are the guns ? This is what I meant by "sitting on their musharrafs".

The standing committee on defence by GOI had this to say about the WLR (a few pages after what you had posted), I feel that far from being flippant, one might be excused to think that WLR procurement did not go through fast.

The Committee is seriously concerned by the degree of seeming casualness shown by the Defence Ministry in this regard. The statement made by the Defence representative that we could not buy it because it was denied to us and that the cost was very high is unsatisfactory to say the least. The Committee find that though the technical delegation which sent to France to evaluate the Cobra WLR system has not made a formal report, a decision was taken in the Ministry of Defence that the PNC should resume negotiation with the Ukrainians for acquisition of WLRs. The Committee want to be apprised of the reasons for taking such decision to continue the negotiations. The Committee desire that the Government should take immediate steps to equip the Army with this Radar.


Sum,

From what I have "heard" (take it with a bucket of salt), the FMS of light arty causes me more anxiety than happiness. Apparently, the deal will (eventually) be around ~1.5-2B and it is being fast tracked because of "acute and urgent need which is projected in the near future". These are slated to be used in the mountains, so draw your conclusions.

For towed and tracked guns, no such "acute and urgent need" is being felt. Being a larger contract with TOT, offsets and local manufacture for spares and ammo, it is expected to go through the normal route.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby George J » 04 Jan 2010 00:44

In the 90's there was the HDW scandal (right after the Bofors in the late 80s)....there was no way anything was going to be fast tracked. Off course in 95 no one could predict POK-II in 98 or Kargil in 99, so it was a foregone conclusion that there was going to be nothing around in 99.

But to allege that NOTHING was done (lazy babus etc) with regards to the WLR till Kargil is baseless and flippant.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Nirmal » 04 Jan 2010 04:11

145 Light Howitzer guns have been ordered via FMS route but India is reluctant to place further larger orders for 3 following reasons:
1. previous history of sanctions
2. dont want to be seen going into US orbit forsaking Russia and EU allies.
3. India's displeasure of US arming PAK with weaponary under the pretex of fighing talibans.
Article appeared in todays Deccan Herald 'Technology to aid Missile-satellite link'

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby dorai » 04 Jan 2010 08:25

negi wrote:^ The catch is it is the same gun of 39 caliber , I for one don't know the benefits of scaling up a gold plated platform as XM777 to do what already available and mature platforms like Archer can do .

Point is XM777 is meant for a niche role and obvious compromises have been made to keep that weight within limits, for eg. the vanilla Bofors FH77 155*39 cal gun has a sustained firing capability of 6 rounds per minute and keep it going for 20 minutes as compared to 5-8 for the XM777 for 2 minutes or just 2 rounds per minute and compare this with Archer's 8-9 rounds per minute with a crew size 4 (one less than when compared to M777 and 2 less when compared to protege).

The gap between 39 cal and 52 cal is substantial for instance the modern extended range guided round like EXCALIBUR will only travel 40km when fired from M777 as compared to 60km from FH77 Archer.We are talking about a lot of mass being added when barrel increases from about 5.89mtr (39 cal FH77) to 8.08 mtr (FH77 Archer) and I presume even thickness would increase accordingly to prevent barrel creep.


I posted this last month,

---

I read on another place that the Bofors Archer now exists in a more developed version. From moving to firing posiion in just 14s and a rate of fire 10-12 / minute. Refilling all mags 12s. Profile is slimmer with new armorpack.

Sweden says 2 Archer-batallions replace 16 FH77 (a/b?) batallions in fire power/cover... Norway+Sweden bought this version.

--

The gun only need 2 crew to operate (driver + gunner) but 3-4 is normal.

sources in swedish
http://www.mil.se/sv/Forband-och-formag ... med-Norge/

http://www.mil.se/sv/Materiel-och-tekni ... -B-Dumper/

So it's only getting better :) I hope for a licence-build...

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Singha » 04 Jan 2010 10:23

yeah...its one hell of a system and outsmarted the soltam product in rate of sustained fire per the comparative report posted in a blog. it ought to be fast tracked too, whatever that means.
the volvo s80 of 52cal guns :mrgreen:

given reports of IA having to cannibalize a certain number of FH77 guns to keep the rest
operational, the deal should also involve BaE setting up a base repair workshop in india same
way the Russians have done for some products - prestocked with good line of spares and
trained technicians and supervisors to get all our older guns tuned and up for action.

for SP guns, if we could print fake dollahs and make it stick, nothing beats the insane size
and intimidation of the Pzh2000, until the Rus get the fever to well in a 52-cal twin barrel coalitza-mki on a Smerch/topol MAZ type beast vehicle. :twisted: or have one barrel but
carry a shitload of rounds and propellant so that a lone TEL could carry on the fight for a lot longer without resupply.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Juggi G » 06 Jan 2010 13:25

Last edited by Rahul M on 06 Jan 2010 15:01, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: don't quote full report and don't use colours unnecessarily. its painful for us old foggies.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby sum » 06 Jan 2010 14:43

However, insiders say another option, that of a direct military sale of the ST gun from Singapore, could be pursued by the Ministry. This direct government-to-government sale would also take care of legal problems being faced in negotiating directly with a tainted firm like ST.

Honestly, dont care if its a govt-to-govt contract with the martians but get hold of some( any ) artillery for gods sake.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Craig Alpert » 06 Jan 2010 21:09

Image

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Surya » 06 Jan 2010 21:43

If the guns are roughly the same I would prefer the SIngaporean one.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Singha » 06 Jan 2010 21:45

depends if the singapore gun's vital components are all melted and bolted in singapore or 'sourced' from milwaukee and pohang like saab reached out and took whatever they needed for gripen ?

if there are any japanese or german components could be even more problematic than a khanic product.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby RayC » 06 Jan 2010 21:50

Light howitzers!

The operative word is helicopter slung.

An important aspect.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Surya » 06 Jan 2010 22:02

Singha

True

but since they are a mercantile nation I can hope that they will figure that complication out.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby vavinash » 06 Jan 2010 22:20

The M-777 can be carried under slung by Mi-17 but not the pegasus.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Aditya G » 06 Jan 2010 22:46

I wonder if IFG and LFG have ever been deployed by helicopter. If not, then are these light howitzer for some new Artillery unit mandated with such rapid deployment?

RayC wrote:Light howitzers!

The operative word is helicopter slung.

An important aspect.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Craig Alpert » 06 Jan 2010 23:40

Aditya G wrote:I wonder if IFG and LFG have ever been deployed by helicopter. If not, then are these light howitzer for some new Artillery unit mandated with such rapid deployment?

Don't know about India, but definately deployed by a helicopter by the US Army, the Canadain Army, and the British Army. Anecdotes include Iraq and Afghanistan... Google for pics and further references..
Image Image

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby negi » 07 Jan 2010 00:58

That looks like CH-53E super stallion (I guess vanilla CH-53Ds do not have IFRs ) given its specs it can easily haul up a M777A1/A2 (heavier than the vanilla M777 at least by couple of hundred kgs) , its crew and loads of ammo and still be left with ample space and payload to spare.


It will be interesting to see if M777 can be hauled up by a Mi-17s, may be it will require two Mi-17s , one for hauling the gun while other for the crew,logistics and the ammo. Fwiw afaik the new versions of the UH-60M (powered by GE T700-GE-701D engines giving out 2000shp each) are capable of hauling an external load of 9000lbs and reported to have the capability to lift the M777A1 * . (can some one confirm ?)


* UH-60 (page 17)


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