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Artillery Discussion Thread

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Skanda
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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Skanda » 12 Sep 2017 23:24

Faulty Indian Ammo Damages First Artillery Guns Imported In 3 Decades

The first artillery gun imported by India in over three decades has been badly damaged after a shell manufactured by the Defence Ministry's Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) exploded.


Yup. Manufactured in India and hence it is bad. Obviously the Gun is as clean as it can be.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby srin » 12 Sep 2017 23:36

ramana wrote:
nam wrote:Wonder if rockets(MBRL) can be fitted with the PGK. Would make a deadly precision weapon and cheap.


Yes. US wants to use PGK on mortars to GMLRs.
The caveat is the projectile should be spin stabilized.
The reason is the canard lift is additive to the body lift for fin stabilized bodies.
In plain language wont work for fin stabilized rockets.

I will post some links in a few minutes.


I thought mortars shells are fin stablized to be fired out of smooth bore barrels ? So PGK shouldn't work with them ?

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby ramana » 12 Sep 2017 23:59

srin, they have a version for mortars.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby brar_w » 13 Sep 2017 01:28

Skanda wrote:Faulty Indian Ammo Damages First Artillery Guns Imported In 3 Decades

The first artillery gun imported by India in over three decades has been badly damaged after a shell manufactured by the Defence Ministry's Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) exploded.


Yup. Manufactured in India and hence it is bad. Obviously the Gun is as clean as it can be.


The article claims sources it has obtained that point to the fact. Further down, they also claim that it was an issue with the shells that caused incidents earlier with the indigenous guns (and not fault with the gun itself) which would runs contrary to the Manufactured in India and hence it is bad narrative. Based on what is available, it is too early to tell. Wish their source could have provided additional details but in the absence this is still TBD.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby ramana » 13 Sep 2017 02:45

Time for some Root Cause Analysis (RCA). We wont get there as we don't have access but hopefully by showing a structured approach we can steer the thought process.

What happened: About September 2, 2017 one M777 gun barrel burst/damaged during trials at Pokhran

Why: 155mm shell made by OFB exploded.

How do we know? IA statement as reported by Press says Ammunition exited in several pieces. Euphemism for shell blew-up in the barrel.

Evidence for above statements is shown below:

4:31 PM - 12 Sep 2017 BREAKING: M777 howitzer barrel bursts during firing tests at Pokhran. Incident took place 10 days ago. No injuries, says Army.
4:32 PM - 12 Sep 2017 M777 in Pokhran to generate Army's firing tables. In this incident, Indian ammunition exited barrel in multiple pieces causing barrel burst.
4:33 PM - 12 Sep 2017 Army: 'The barrel of the M777 has been damaged, extent of which is being assessed by jt investigation team at site.'


5 Whys?

Why did the barrel burst? The shell exploded in the barrel.
Why did the shell burst? We don't know and that is the objective of the investigation.


5 Whys gives you a surface level RCA while the root cause occurs in a tree. Remember root is buried underground!

Also any RCA that blames human factors is not worth the paper its written on.

There are numerous factors, processes, procedures, design issues, schedule of events all that contribute to the accident. its like a Swiss cheese slices model. The accident is caused by the line of sight that goes through all the holes and penetrates all the barriers. Hence it is so rare.

A preliminary Fault tree for the investigation would have the following branches. If c some one can draw it up and post would be nice.

Top level block M777 Gun Barrel Burst

Next level 5 blocks : Gun Shell Fuze Procedures Environment

Some times the branches will cross over as there is a combination factors but that means we don't have enough data.


Branches:

The branch for the Gun block will have following causes vertically down : Gun barrel material out of specifications, incorrect heat treatment of barrel, excess wear in the barrel, propelling charge ignited prematurely due to inadequate bore evacuation

Branch for the Shell will have following causes vertically down : Shell dimensional parameters out of control, Shell age out of specification, Shell corrosion at driving band, Shell storage, Shell detonated due to excess shock forces

Branch for Fuze will have Type of Fuze M572 Mechanical or Electronic Fuze : Depending on this it will have different branches. But common blocks will be Safety and Arming Device Actuated prematurely in the barrel, Firing mechanism triggered in the barrel

Branch for Procedures will have the following blocks: Inadequate procedures, Procedures not followed,

Branch for Environment will have: Temperature and air density at that time of day, Sand on the shell prevented proper seating in the chamber, Firing tempo that day (were a number of rounds fired in a short time that created schedule pressure on the crew), training of the crew

Some of the blocks are self explanatory but I think a few need some more verbiage.

The main reason the shell can burst is due to : 1) wobbling/balloting/side slap,2) fuze functioned before its time due to Safety & Arming being defeated and fire signal sent, and 4) incorrect shell registering in the barrel due to procedures or debris like sand which makes the shell fall in the chamber.

Some data needed:

Type of Shell :M107 or BB or EER. Each has its own factors.
What was its age and condition before firing? Any corrosion at the driving band.
What is the shell pedigree? Are there other shells from same lot?
If so can they verify any dimensions and mass properties for say ten shells to confirm they are within the parameters.

Type of Fuze :M572 mechanical or the ECIL Proximity Fuze?
What was its age and pedigree?

Charge and barrel angle:

What was the charge bag number when the accident happened? Was it minimum or maximum?
Was the barrel at low or high angle?
High angle could be a contributor if the shell did not seat properly and could fall back into the chamber. Then when the gun is fired the shell still exits the chamber and could explode in barrel or right upon muzzle exit.

Temperature and time of day. This is rare but when guns are fired cold some times the shell and fuze separate. Was seen during many night time or early morning barrages.

Also did this accident happen right in the beginning or after a series of rounds were fired? Later could be due to charge debris preventing the round from seating in the barrel.

Gun: What was its condition? How many rounds were already fired? Each round erodes the barrel bore and increases the diameter so that shell side slap can occur. What is the heat treatment regimen? Repeated firings cause micro cracks in the barrel that could cause it to burst. So metallographic examination of barrel is a must. DMRL Hyderabad has awesome lab for this.

Once all this data is available , they should call in ARDE to do an analysis using their computer software for internal ballistics of the gun with actual shell parameters. Or get BAE to bring the analysis. But involve ARDE.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby ramana » 13 Sep 2017 02:49

brar_w, Its not like the reporters write their own core story. They base it off the IA press release and add masala to the report depending on their agenda or axe to grind.

On Twitter I rebutted the OFB shells as the cause because M777 fired with US ammo on two occasions (2011 and 2017 linked on previous page) had barrel burst. So its not just OFB ammo as the Indian media put out.

Its dead wrong.

However if IA gave that story they are also wrong and should not color the investigation.

Will look for actual press release.

Many news stories typical of which is given below:

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation ... 66333.html


Shishir Arya reports a different thing here:

http://www.indiandefensenews.in/2017/09 ... m-777.html

Now Muzzle Hit Occurs In M-777 Howitzers During Trials In Pokhran
by Shishir Arya


Nagpur: A muzzle hit occurred in the M-777 ultralight howitzers procured from the US, during trials in the Pokhran desert last week. The first batch of the guns, made by BAE Systems, was delivered in May this year as a part of the deal to buy 145 pieces in all. M-777 is the first acquisition of high calibre howitzers after Bofors.


A senior official in army's artillery wing confirmed the incident. It is a small incident and most probably due to faulty ammunition." A joint investigation is being carried out to ascertain the cause," the officer told TOI.


The muzzle is fixed on the top of a barrel. If a shell dashes through it, the range is reduced considerably and the muzzle gets damaged too.


A similar issue was seen in Dhanush, the Indian gun designed on the lines of the Swedish Bofors by the ordnance factory. The howitzer is being made at the Gun Carriage Factory (GCF), Jabalpur.


During trials in July, there was muzzle hit in the Dhanush guns. Prior to this, there was an incident in May also. The preliminary report over the May incident in Dhanush had blamed the ammunition.


Last month, there was as barrel burst in K-9 Thunder guns during trials in Korea. Guns of the same make are being acquired for India.


On the K-9 guns, the army official said, "The incident took place outside India. As the Korean ammunition and loading systems were in use, the incident has to be taken independently."


Top sources in the army say Dhanush is expected to be inducted within six months to a year. An investigation is being conducted and it is suspected that even in the Indian gun, faulty ammunition may be the cause.


Repeated incidents of muzzle hit and one barrel burst in Dhanush has pushed back its final induction. Even in the original Bofors, nearly 40 cases of muzzle hit were reported. If final report for Dhanush blames the ammunition, doubts can be set aside on its design, said sources.


Apart from making Dhanush, the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) has also tied up with BAE Systems to make mounted howitzers of 155x52 mm calibre. It will be having a higher range than Dhanush due to length of the barrel. Bharat Earth Movers Limited will be making the vehicle on which the gun will be mounted.


As the army has to replace the ageing Bofors guns, the weapons are being made by private as well as government entities. These include Dhanush by ordnance factories, K-9 Vajra by Larsen and Toubro in collaboration with Korean Hanwa Techwin, ATAGS of Bharat Forge-Tata Power SED, apart from M-777 of BAE Systems.


Gun That Created A New World Record

The 155x52 mm howitzer jointly developed by Bharat Forge and TATA Power SED has created a new world record by achieving a range of more than 48 km. The trials were held last week. This surpasses all the previous records for any 155mm artillery in the world, said a statement issued by development partners of the gun. The project was started in 2014.

The guns are being made by Bharat Forge, a Kalyani Group Company and TATA Power SED as development partners of Armament Development Research Establishment (ARDE), Pune. The over 48 km range was achieved with the basebleed version of the ammunition.


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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby brar_w » 13 Sep 2017 04:07

ramana wrote:brar_w, Its not like the reporters write their own core story. They base it off the IA press release and add masala to the report depending on their agenda or axe to grind.



Ramana, this is precisely why I said its TBD, but as it pertains to the last report they were apparently attributing the cause for both the M777 and the Dhanush on these rounds as per their sources. I agree it is too early to tell based on public disclosure so we will have to wait for the IA to come out with more information as and when they deem appropriate.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Kakkaji » 13 Sep 2017 04:08

So, why not simultaneously conduct trials (for both Dhamush and M777) in the Pokharan range with TFTA imported ammunition first? If those trials are conducted without barrel burst, then we would know that it is neither the gun(s), nor the hot and dusty environment at Pokharan that is at fault. Then it would come down to the desi ammunition.

If it can be narrowed down to the desi ammunition, then an RCA can be done to come up with a proper fix.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby brar_w » 13 Sep 2017 04:19

I think the point of the trials is to validate the weapon in an Indian operational context. If there is problem with the M777 and Indian ammunition for any reason whatsoever (something with the gun, or the shell or TTPs) then that is something that needs to be remedied before moving forward. If you want to basically see how the weapon holds up to dust you could do it much easier earlier on in the competition or program. The weapon has been used in plenty of dusty conditions and the MOD/IA could have requested data and actual live performance during its initial evaluation of the system. This is operational testing for the purposes of integrating it with the IA - it needs to replicate as closely as possible, the actual environment, shell, and TTPs that will be used in battle.

https://media.giphy.com/media/3ov9jMFU2 ... /giphy.gif

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Kashi » 13 Sep 2017 05:27

Before we jump to shifting all the blame onto the OFB shell, take a load of some of these reports

2011

Ten injured as artillery piece explodes

FORT BRAGG, N.C., March 15 (UPI) -- Ten military personnel were injured when an artillery cannon exploded at Fort Bragg, N.C., a U.S. Marines spokesman said.

An apparent in-bore explosion of an M777A2 -- a new lightweight howitzer cannon that fires 155mm artillery rounds -- occurred during a live-fire exercise, injuring eight Marines and two Navy personnel, The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer reported.


2014

82nd Airborne paratrooper dies in howitzer explosion at Fort Bragg

Military officials say an 82nd Airborne soldier has been killed and two others seriously injured in an explosion during a training exercise at Fort Bragg.

A statement from the North Carolina Army post says Friday's blast occurred during artillery live-fire training involving the 18th Fires Brigade. Officials said there was "an incident" with a M777 light, towed howitzer.

It’s at least the second live-fire incident in which troops were injured during training at Fort Bragg in three years.


2017

Artillery mishap killed two US soldiers in Iraq when their M777 gun exploded

It was learned that the two who died belonged to the 82nd Airborne Division which has its peacetime location at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The crew of seven was firing an M777 Howitzer which is a heavy 155mm artillery gun with a range of 10-15 miles. They were directing their fire towards an ISIS position when the gun malfunctioned and the shell exploded.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby brar_w » 13 Sep 2017 05:33

Again context would matter. How many total guns out there? how many deployed in combat since 2009? how much utilization? etc etc.

Anyhow, there are details available on at least one of these three incidents. 2014 -

A battery commander and half a dozen leaders were disciplined after an artillery accident at Fort Bragg last year that killed one soldier and injured seven soldiers, two seriously, according to an Army investigative report obtained by The Fayetteville Observer.

The accident occurred at Sunken Track training field just after midnight on Feb. 21, 2014. Soldiers with 1st Section, 1st Platoon, Bravo Battery, 321st Field Artillery Regiment, 18th Fires Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division were conducting a nighttime training exercise with the M777 light-towed howitzer. The training was to include a platoon air assault, reaction to enemy contact and live fire.

Pfc. James Groth was killed. Sgt. Cory Muzzy and Sgt. Scott Yeates were seriously injured.

A 10-man crew was operating the howitzer. The crew consisted of a section chief, gunner, assistant gunner, driver, ammunition handler and five cannoneers.

Around 12:22 a.m., five crew members attempted to ram a second round into their howitzer breech, but the first round had not cleared the tube, according to the Army investigative report. The action caused an explosion of powder increment from the first round, according to the report.

The report, obtained by the Observer under the Freedom of Information Act, is more than 400 pages and includes witness statements and photos of the cannon. The investigation, conducted by the 18th Fires Brigade, was ordered by Lt. Gen. John Nicholson, who was the commander of the 82nd Airborne Division at the time.


The investigator listed eight findings and made eight recommendations. Among the findings, the investigator said:

The 1st section required more senior leader presence while conducting live fire operations;
Bravo Battery was not provided adequate time to execute platoon training. Instead, most of its training time had been focused at the section level with minimum opportunities to train at the platoon level;
3rd Battalion had an inadequate certification tracking system, therefore it did not have effective means to track the minimum certification requirements for sections and individuals, which ensure each person is qualified to perform his duties;
The air medical evacuation plan for field operations was inadequate to meet the possibility of a life-threatening incident.....

LINK


As Ramana describes in his thorough summary of the "next steps", much like any accident investigation they will look into the weapon, the round and the TTPs.

While the 2017 report would probably not be available for some time, it would be interesting if someone could see if the 2011 report is out there, or a summary of its contents were reported back then.
Last edited by ramana on 13 Sep 2017 21:00, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Added More highlights ramana

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Kashi » 13 Sep 2017 06:05

I agree the context matters. I was merely commenting on the proclivity of some in the media and elsewhere to jump the gun without waiting for the "accident investigation" to come out.

With Dhanush it was the fault of the gun, with M777 it was the shell. Ramana has articulated with very well above.

2017 report will be interesting, since it happened in a battlefield and 3 years after the For Bragg incident. It would be interesting to see what steps were taken after 2011 and 2014 incidents and did they have any influence on what happened in 2017?

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby brar_w » 13 Sep 2017 06:15

Equipment malfunctions in combat or peacetime (not just gun but also ammo and support equipment), troops make mistakes..there are training lapses and reduced readiness due to which errors can creep in and cause loss of life in a combat setting. The summary of the 2014 report points to certain things and has certain recommendations. Of the three incidents you point to, only one actually happened in a combat situation..and this weapon has been deployed in a few theaters by multiple users since 2009 (in fact it was an FMS customer that took it into a theater of operations before the US services) .

It would be interesting to see what steps were taken after 2011 and 2014 incidents and did they have any influence on what happened in 2017?


This assumes a common thread between these three incidents over the last decade + the weapon has been in testing or operational service. There may be common threads (either related to equipment, TTPs or both) but unless you have other details you won't be able to tell. The 2014 report summary actually goes into quite detail to describe the event. This is why digging the 2011 report summary will help.

Does someone know where in India the demonstrations in 2010 took place?

Edit: Was able to find this -

“With India and BAE Systems, we tested those guns to Indian require- ments,” he said. “We were out in the western plains near the border with Pakistan and we also tested them up in the Himalayan Mountains, at an elevation close to 13,000 feet and about 50 miles from the Chinese border. It’s no secret that India is very concerned about their borders and protecting their borders. So that’s where they wanted to test these guns.” LINK
Last edited by brar_w on 13 Sep 2017 07:16, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Singha » 13 Sep 2017 07:15

do howitzers clear unburned residue from previous shot using a puff of compressed air ?
this is standard in tank cannons.

what does it mean 1st round did not clear barrel when 2nd round was inserted in accident report above.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby niran » 13 Sep 2017 07:48

Singha wrote:do howitzers clear unburned residue from previous shot using a puff of compressed air ?
this is standard in tank cannons.

what does it mean 1st round did not clear barrel when 2nd round was inserted in accident report above.

during me conscription days was in an Arty regiment for 6 months AFAIR merican guns needs cleaning they have those circular mop like equipment to clean before next round is loaded in. in British and Ruski guns cleaning is done every 3-4 rounds, the steps are
-round away
-open
- gunnery master inspect
- if he finds residue will order cleaning

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby brar_w » 13 Sep 2017 07:54

^ This can be seen in the video below. Singha, as to your question regarding the accident summary, my guess would be that some sort of misfire situation where proper procedures may not have been followed. And yes, they used Chinooks to move these around in Afghanistan on deployments where they didn't have access to other ways to get the weapon there :).


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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby niran » 13 Sep 2017 08:22

brar_w wrote:^ This can be seen in the video below.

in the video the one pulling firing lever also load up the charge inspect and clean (good man he is) gun master is reading out the figures for 2 burly men pulling the wheels to position. Gun master remain on front of he gun besides the barrel (not a good place to be) if a burst occurs he is gone for good.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Singha » 13 Sep 2017 09:08

with 10 men milling around, any explosion has a good chance of affecting one or two, this is where the heavier guns score in degree of automation and crew safety esp the truck mounted & SP tracked ones.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Singha » 13 Sep 2017 09:26

Saurav Jha‏ @SJha1618 14h14 hours ago

The double standards that come into play whenever an issue with any fancy imported weapon system crops us makes me want to puke.

Saurav Jha‏ @SJha1618 12h12 hours ago

Don't be surprised if some start calling for the import of 'match grade' US ammo for the M-777, along with PGK kits.

Every imported system has an eco-system of backers who immediately activate their talkathon contacts the moment an issue crops up.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby jamwal » 13 Sep 2017 10:28

Did the barrel actually burst and ammunition exited from sides as well ? Or the shell disintegrated in barrel but exited only from the muzzel ?

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Singha » 13 Sep 2017 10:42

per the report shell burst inside barrel and exited in several pieces. no barrel burst hence no injury to anyone. would have damaged the muzzle brake ofcourse.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Austin » 13 Sep 2017 10:47

I suspect every gun barrel and every gun shell made would have some defect piece ( inspite of all the QA/QC etc ) after making lakhs of round it is about probability ,There wont be any thing like 100 % defect free barrel ammo gun missile etc .....it is just a question of when one encounter this situation and not if.

Sometimes it would just be bad handling , improper storage./logistics handling that would make a shell defective and something that will go unnoticed

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Singha » 13 Sep 2017 10:56

imo if a barrel or breech burst occurs it is generally flaw in gun.
if the barrel is intact but the shell bursts inside it is fault of shell.

once the charge ignites and expands to pump out the shell , the guns role is mostly over other than ejecting the gases and unburned residue and making sure the barrel does not burst.

being a manual loading system in trials, the chamber and barrel would be clean and checked .

so this imo is a ammo problem and not related to 25liter chamber higher charge as the chamber here is normal size.

not to say only desi ammo has problems, but unless we get details of previous M777 accident reports we dont know if american ammo was also at fault earlier and HOW these are identified and rectified. with both US army and BAE helping out, I dont doubt the RCS will be quick.

if there are or manufacturing or QC failures in OFB line, this is a good opportunity to fix it with BAE and american help 8) will benefit the other guns also using the common ammo.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby nvishal » 13 Sep 2017 11:27

The OFB munitions making factories look something like this:



These are cottage industries with no standard practices and quality check.

Look at the way they pour powder into the brass. It's very uneven. This is likely how OFB does it's powder allocation. It's obvious that each shell will have a different combustion power.

All this is guess but this is the most likely.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Philip » 13 Sep 2017 11:41

If it was desi OFB ammo,and found to be due to defective ammo,then a thorough cleansing of that Augean stable is reqd. The OFB has bene castigated time and again by the CAG and appears to be an "untouchable" DPSU,where it is never held to task,or any of its heads for serious deficiencies which have cost the country thousands of crores worth of useless ammo,etc.,etc. Now wiht both desi bofors/Dhanush and the BAe light howitzer suffering barrel bursts using desi ammo (as it appears for both) the new DM NS must get her act together asap reg. this extremely serious incident.Our entire arty capability in the mountains heavily depends upon the success of this LW gun,being bought from abroad at huge cost.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Austin » 13 Sep 2017 12:02

Singha wrote:imo if a barrel or breech burst occurs it is generally flaw in gun.
if the barrel is intact but the shell bursts inside it is fault of shell.


There is a design flaw , manufacturing flaw and then other flaws involved in storing , transportation logistc etc ......Manufacturing it self is not full proof else we wont have seen barrel burst or ammo burst from America , EU etc where we want to believe QC/QA are the best in industry and practised religiously.

Even weapons after x amount of manuf ( that could be lakhs or millions ) will encounter this flow inspite of all the strict control thats the inherent nature of the game called probability .....No one can gurantee 100 % full proof system.....even rifles have issue with barrel and ammo.


if there are or manufacturing or QC failures in OFB line, this is a good opportunity to fix it with BAE and american help 8) will benefit the other guns also using the common ammo.


The question is IF its a manuf flaw, but what if this was an issue with shell wrt to storage transportation handling etc something breach that could have gone undetected ?

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby negi » 13 Sep 2017 12:07

M777 vs the OFB , round#1 score :0-1 . An unstoppable force has met an 'immovable' object take that you Americans :)

On a serious note assuming DDM report about M777 trials being done using OFB shells is true one thing is very very clear i.e. it won't matter what gun we buy because guns are useless without ammo ; so the LCD here is the OFB and we will have to live with it after all the ugly truth is all our existing ammo stockpile is from the OFB we cannot runaway from this nor can someone discard all our existing stockpile and replace them with match grade ammo via imports . Point being we have no choice but to build in a buffer number for guns which we should be ready to sacrifice on a per year basis due to faulty shells , it also implies we might end up putting lives of our men at risk during such failures . We will continue to pay the price until something fundamental changes with the way we make 155 mm shells .

It would be interesting to find out the batch number and manufacturing date of shells being used by M777 and Dhanush during the trials , I mean if these are old shells perhaps it makes sense to replace all our old inventory of shells on a war footing. I think a look at entire manufacturing line and tightening up the tolerances and processes at every step can alone reduce the number of bad shells being produced per 'n'.

On foreign vs Indian , the comedy circus will start when orders will be placed in volume and BAE will be asked to provide ToT to OFB , when guns from that lot will fail BAE will wash it's hands and point to OFB's incompetence :)

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Pratyush » 13 Sep 2017 12:55

It seems that arty procurement is fully jinxed. That every gun under tests has faced some or the other issue.

ATAGS has been the exception till this time. Let's hope that the run of luck holds.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Austin » 13 Sep 2017 13:06

M777 is a good gun and right now only available , every gun in their life will experience a barrel burst or shell explosion or both , Show me one gun which did not including our own , Its like saying an aircraft should not crash at all during its life time ...heck we had a Jag exploding in mid air because of a fulty bomb that triggered in mid air and lost the aircraft.

We dont know yet if its faulty Ammo from OFB or fault in handling logistic storing of ammo which caused the ammo to develop issue that went undetected and lead to explosion , chances are we will never find it out and OFB would be made a convenient scapegoat in the whole affair.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby brar_w » 13 Sep 2017 14:17

Singha wrote:with 10 men milling around, any explosion has a good chance of affecting one or two, this is where the heavier guns score in degree of automation and crew safety esp the truck mounted & SP tracked ones.


Correct, and this is a cost of being able to take the weapon to places where the heavier, more automated systems can't go. Perhaps with further breakthroughs in materials, the next generation of ULHs can offer more automation within the same weight margins. On the current systems, I guess the right question to ask may be, what can be done if say the weight threshold was increased by 500-600 kg? You could probably do a number of things including adding considerable additional range, increase rapid and sustained fire rates, accuracy etc but clearly at the cost of mobility. The M777A2 is around 40% lighter than the M198 it replaced. Clearly a lot could have been done had the requirements called for the best possible gun within the M198s margins but given the expeditionary nature of the customer demand the focus was on reducing as much weight as possible to allow for this flexibility, and given the way and the places it has been, used it has paid off.

https://www.army.mil/article/182638/pic ... e_howitzer

Austin wrote:Show me one gun which did not including our own , Its like saying an aircraft should not crash at all during its life time ...heck we had a Jag exploding in mid air because of a fulty bomb that triggered in mid air and lost the aircraft.



This is why I had earlier emphasized the amount of usage, whether in trials, operationally or training this particular weapons system has been put through over the last decade plus. And not just in home environments but operationally 100% of the time in expeditionary environments in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. It is important to remember that while the aim is to have a very high system, and component reliability threshold there would still be failures and these will NEVER be completely eliminated. There is a good reason why the field manuals go into details on how to deal with such instances and why MTBF is constantly measured during testing and over the lifetime of the system. Same applies to the ammo. This is a combination (M777 and OFB ammo) that needs to successfully work to make these guns a success in the Indian Army so I'm sure the RCA will focus on the cause and recommend remedial measures for either the gun, round, or the TTPs so that this problem does not occur in the future.
Last edited by brar_w on 13 Sep 2017 15:20, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Singha » 13 Sep 2017 15:03

>> Look at the way they pour powder into the brass. It's very uneven. This is likely how OFB does it's powder allocation.

I doubt it. making of bombs and shells at huge automated plants is a lot different from dara adam khel, they could not meet supply requirements in that mode nor meet any safety norms with tons of explosives lying around.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Singha » 13 Sep 2017 15:12


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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Kakarat » 13 Sep 2017 15:26

According to OFB website there are 3 types of 155mm HE shells under production
155 mm Shell HE 107
155 mm SHELL HE M/77B
SHELL 155 mm HE

We don't know which one is being used in these tests (both Dhanush & M777)

If M107 is the most produced and used then its time DRDO/ARDE start developing M107 replacement with private sector

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby milindc » 13 Sep 2017 15:44

Singha wrote:>> Look at the way they pour powder into the brass. It's very uneven. This is likely how OFB does it's powder allocation.

I doubt it. making of bombs and shells at huge automated plants is a lot different from dara adam khel, they could not meet supply requirements in that mode nor meet any safety norms with tons of explosives lying around.


Recent Chaiwalla discussion was that artillery shells by OFB is not different from dara adam khel. The artillery men actually shake the shell to see if there are any gaps in the power. :x
whole Chaiwalla gang was very mad at OFB quality.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby manjgu » 13 Sep 2017 16:04

how many barrels burst during kargil when we fired huge numbers? how many shells were OFB vs imported in kargil? is the M777 is question a write off or is the barrel changed? they should i guess emboss the name of shift manager on the shells for RCA analysis !! poori accountability !

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby negi » 13 Sep 2017 16:23

I am amazed at how moment foreign weapon system gets involved people want to come up with all kinds of excuses ; I have seen how sales cycle happens for even a piddly SW product you go in completely prepared gold plated hardware , RAID 0 storage , low latency network cards etc etc and then you do your demos and trails . The M777 being field tested came from BAE factory do you think a western company picks a gun from a batch at random for field trials ? The sales team might have asked for the gun to be 'hand picked' and sent here , the only thing consistent here is OFB's shells :)

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Singha » 13 Sep 2017 16:46

milindc wrote:]
Recent Chaiwalla discussion was that artillery shells by OFB is not different from dara adam khel. The artillery men actually shake the shell to see if there are any gaps in the power. :x
whole Chaiwalla gang was very mad at OFB quality.


all of this can surely be automated with better production machinery. maybe the labour unions want to keep it as a 100K strong cottage industry?

WAH ofb of the pakis looks quite streamlined


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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby geeth » 13 Sep 2017 17:16

What if the M777 brought for trials is a used one and the barrel nearing the end of its life? In such case the clearances could be at the edge of its limits..and shell can misbehave.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby deejay » 13 Sep 2017 17:17

^^^ I thought these guns are part of the 02 delivered to India which were to be used for trials after induction.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby brar_w » 13 Sep 2017 17:29

geeth wrote:What if the M777 brought for trials is a used one and the barrel nearing the end of its life? In such case the clearances could be at the edge of its limits..and shell can misbehave.


The guns that were brought to India for testing years earlier (see my earlier post and link) likely came from US stock. These ones from what I have read, are fresh off the production line.


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