In the age of expeditionary warfare, precision guided extended range rocket munitions and the increasing popularity of STA systems such as UAV, WLR etc, what is the future for AS90 and the Regts that operate this kit?
There is always the need, the cost of GPS guided munitions is high compared against the relatively low cost of a dumb shell. However STA, is growing and something will have to fold........... for a while anyway.
This type of lifestyle although not achievable is certainly fast paced and extremely hectic.
The tempo plays havoc with soldiers careers and courses, escalates skill fade on equipment and messes with family life all to much.
Reference C, i thought it was Peace Support Operations (PSO) that we conducted. We are certainly not paid or equipped the same or indeed have that depth of knowledge (Although with the 3rd type of tour fourthcoming you would think so).
Something is going to give soon enough if indeed the Armed Forces carries on at this rate.
In my opinion it will be more than just CS regiments that will start to feel the pinch.
This would be an absolute nightmare, from 2 perspectives:
From a training point of view, skill fade will be an issue not only for those in the CPs/OPs but also for the bunnies. BATES was bad enough, I doubt that the FC BISA, et al will be any better.
I think that we need to be very careful with the jobs that we volunteer to do, eg: the Baghdad convoy protection (no OPSEC issue here, its been in the papers). This is a fantastic job and I wish the boys in 40 all the very best, however the bean counters will look at this and suggest that we could do with one less Bty of guns and one more Coy of Inf - therefore more cuts. There is a rumour of an option of telling a few tankies to park up their Challeys in CHE and re-role as inf - not for a year but for at least 5! Standby for those Regts to be cut...
What we need to do is deploy with the kit and then use our inf skills - we should not deploy as straight inf. I am sure (mobility apart) that AS90 would have a huge impact in HERRICK - I know what I would prefer to support me!
The biggest recent mistake the Gunners ever made was not sending MRLS to TELIC 1, the yanks would probably have given us the ammo and until we get the next version of MRLS (if ever), we run the risk of this been a cold war relic and therefore being a redundant capability (probably the same of GBAD?).