More stuff getting binned - LIMAWS(R) cancelled

#1
From Janes
UK MoD cancels LIMAWS(R) programme
Christopher F Foss Jane's Land Consultant
Bovington

Key Points
The LIMAWS(R) programme for the UK's Royal Artillery has been cancelled

The UK will now upgrade an additional M270 tracked MLRS


The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed to Jane's that it has cancelled the Lockheed Martin UK INSYS Lightweight Mobile Artillery Weapon System (Rocket) (LIMAWS(R)) programme, earmarked for deployment with the Royal Artillery.

In 2007 the company responded to an invitation to tender for the development and manufacture phase of LIMAWS(R) issued by the Future Artillery Weapons Systems Integrated Product Team (IPT) of the then Defence Procurement Agency.

Under an earlier assessment phase contract, the company built a prototype LIMAWS(R) system that undertook a series of mobility, air portability, wading and firing trials with unguided training rockets, which were successfully completed in 2006.

It was originally expected that a total of 24 production LIMAWS(R) systems would be supplied for use by the Royal Artillery in early-entry missions with the current M270 227 mm (12-round) Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) being used by the British Army's heavy brigades.

Under a separate programme, the Royal Artillery has already taken delivery of its first batch of M270 systems upgraded to the M270B1 standard, with the first of these deployed to Afghanistan in 2007. The Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) was ordered under a separate USD55 million contract placed with Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.

The M270B1 is fitted with an upgraded powerpack and the Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control Future Fire Control System, but not the Electric Drive Launcher System that equips the US Army's upgraded M270A1 launchers.

To counterbalance the LIMAWS(R) cancellation, the MoD has decided to upgrade an additional 12 M270s to the M270B1 standard, giving the Royal Artillery a total of 36 M270B1s capable of firing the precision-strike GMLRS.

According to Lockheed Martin UK INSYS, there will be no negative impact in terms of jobs. Staff are being redeployed to other areas including the major Land Environment Air Picture Provision programme, for which a GBP100 million (USD198 million) production contract was recently placed by the UK MoD.

The recently formed Artillery Systems IPT is now working with Lockheed Martin INSYS UK to close out the LIMAWS(R) programme as quickly as possible.

In a statement it added: "[The] LIMAWS(R) assessment phase has been very successful and the IPT look forward to maintaining a strong relationship with Lockheed Martin."

If fielded, the LIMAWS(R) system would have provided early-entry forces with a precision-strike capability, which they currently lack. A key feature of the system is that it could be deployed by C-130 aircraft and carried slung under a CH-47 Chinook helicopter.

The British Army also had a requirement for a LIMAWS (Gun) (LIMAWS(G)), with trials of two 155 mm contenders carried out in 2005. This programme has also been cancelled by the MoD.

In addition to the MLRS, the Royal Artillery also deploys two conventional tube artillery systems: the BAE Systems Land Systems 105 mm Light Gun; and the 155 mm/39-calibre AS90 self-propelled artillery system.

It was expected that part of this capability would have been replaced by the LIMAWS(G) but a number of options are being studied under the Future Indirect Fire System, which could be a new weapon system or even an upgrade of the existing two systems. As with all UK programmes, funding will be a critical issue.

Lockheed Martin UK INSYS has also converted four M270 MLRS platforms into the repair and recovery vehicle configuration for use by the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers; final deliveries of these took place in 2006.

COMMENT
While the number of upgraded M270B1 systems will be increased if fielded, LIMAWS(R) would have proved to be very useful in areas such as Afghanistan where road-bound platforms have proved to be highly vulnerable to attack from roadside bombs and ambush.

While the UK MoD has funded elements of LIMAWS, industry has also made significant investments and, in the case of BAE Systems Land Systems, built a complete system to meet the LIMAWS(G) requirement.
 
#2
Non-story. Didn't need it.

The question that should be getting asked by the procurement experts on the Street of Shame (and on ARRSE, apparently) is does this mean that the concept of the 'Balanced Force' is null and void, and what are the implications for the Medium Weight Capability?

Discuss.
 
#3
Looks like the lightweight element is out of favour. No fast intervention it can all go by ship to the next conflict area. Safely protected by our shinny new aircraft carriers when they show up.

Nuts
 
#4
Nice essay Proximo, you should be looking for your DS wings at the nam sometime.....

Agree, LIMAWS(R) not needed, more REAPERS to give eyes on and surgical strike capability instead. Just don't give them to the RAF - oh, they did already....
 
#7
Siddar said:
More C-17s and there ability to carry curent heavier MLRS system made need for lite wieght LIMAWS go away.
Winner of 'Most Appallingly Useless and Uninformed Post Ever'.

incendiarycutlery said:
Fancy being on the convoy to truck M270 around Afghanistan then?
What?
 
#8
M270 can't go by air unless its in a C17. How else are you going to get it anywhere without a C17-capable airstrip?

One of the key design drivers for LIMAWS(R) was airportability by helicopter.
 
#9
Binned for now, wouldn't surprise me to see it turn back up mounted on a MAN 8 wheeler in the future though, as for LIMAWS (G), I could still see M777 turn up anyway (replacing some, though hopefully not all of the light guns), as could a truck mounted system (though I'd go with the Archer system, again on a MAN chassis, and use bits of it to upgrade the AS90s to 52cal).
 
#10
Grey24-7 said:
Binned for now, wouldn't surprise me to see it turn back up mounted on a MAN 8 wheeler in the future though, as for LIMAWS (G), I could still see M777 turn up anyway (replacing some, though hopefully not all of the light guns), as could a truck mounted system (though I'd go with the Archer system, again on a MAN chassis, and use bits of it to upgrade the AS90s to 52cal).
Jesus, dont mention that to a certain IPT. They will have kittens. And besides, we wont have any spare chassis to mount some new fangled gun! :wink:
 
#11
Hello,

compared to our existing rocket artillery L.I.M.A.W.S.'s only major advantage was being transportable by Chinook and Hercules.
The trade offs for that portability were a lack of tracked mobility and armour protection (and fewer rockets).

L.I.M.A.W.S. in both it's forms was not able to replace our existing in service artillery systems.
Thus it would have to have been procured only in small numbers at consequently high unit cost.
It would have to have been operated alongside our other systems with the resulting costs and complications in training and support.
These costs would result in a diversion of resources from frontline combat capability.
Though to be fair it must be mentioned that many components of L.I.M.A.W.S. are common to other systems.

The costs of this project would have been significant,the benefits negligible if not negative.
We frequently seem to divert resources from things we need in order to follow the latest military trends.
L.I.M.A.W.S. and the medium armour concept which led to F.R.E.S. are fine examples of this.
We should reconsider the wisdom of compromising future weapons systems to be transportable by obsolescent air transport assets.
We should also base our doctrine on logical analysis not on following the latest fashion.

What we do need is a divisonal artillery system and a corps artillery system.
Both of these systems need to be adaptable for use on land and sea.
We can ill afford to procure or operate individual replacements for even the five sytems the Army and Navy operate today,let alone additional systems.
The same might also be said of our anti aircraft systems.

Divisional artillery could be provided by either rocket or gun systems.
It needs to be available on two platforms to provide two types of formation with homogenous organic artillery.
Heavy,tracked,armoured,cavalry formations need heavy,tracked,armoured artillery systems.
Light,infantry formations need light artillery systems.

Corps artillery is more suited to rockets,a system based on twenty foot equivalent unit rocket pods might in future provide us with logistical benefits as well as longer ranges and heavier payloads than M.L.R.S..

There is no need for any other artillery systems beyond the above.


tangosix.
 
#12
incendiarycutlery said:
M270 can't go by air unless its in a C17. How else are you going to get it anywhere without a C17-capable airstrip?

One of the key design drivers for LIMAWS(R) was airportability by helicopter.
C-17's can operate off dirt strips……
 
#13
tangosix said:
Hello,

.

What we do need is a divisonal artillery system and a corps artillery system.Both of these systems need to be adaptable for use on land and sea.

Divisional artillery could be provided by either rocket or gun systems.
It needs to be available on two platforms to provide two types of formation with homogenous organic artillery.
Heavy,tracked,armoured,cavalry formations need heavy,tracked,armoured artillery systems.
Light,infantry formations need light artillery systems.

Corps artillery is more suited to rockets,a system based on twenty foot equivalent unit rocket pods might in future provide us with logistical benefits as well as longer ranges and heavier payloads than M.L.R.S..

There is no need for any other artillery systems beyond the above.


tangosix.
As we're hard pushed to deploy a Division, is a British Corps-level Arty fmn really necessary? Any Corps / Army deployment will by its nature involve massive contributions from our large ally.
 
#15
Siddar said:
Oil_Slick said:
incendiarycutlery said:
M270 can't go by air unless its in a C17. How else are you going to get it anywhere without a C17-capable airstrip?

One of the key design drivers for LIMAWS(R) was airportability by helicopter.
C-17's can operate off dirt strips……
Yes it can but expect a large repair bill afterwards.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c271/zkpilot/160b.jpg
No. That is state normal at Bagram.
 
#16
Siddar said:
Oil_Slick said:
incendiarycutlery said:
M270 can't go by air unless its in a C17. How else are you going to get it anywhere without a C17-capable airstrip?

One of the key design drivers for LIMAWS(R) was airportability by helicopter.
C-17's can operate off dirt strips……
Yes it can but expect a large repair bill afterwards.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c271/zkpilot/160b.jpg

Nope, it's built for the task…

"……Take off from a 7,600-ft. airfield, carry a payload of 160,000 pounds, fly 2,400 nautical miles, refuel while in flight and land in 3,000 ft. or less on a small unpaved or paved airfield in day or night…"




http://www.boeing.com/


Video of landing at 'austere' rough strip…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfI4gSz4RJk&feature=related
 
#18
I understand that when we were leasing C17's before we had the sense to buy them one of the conditions of the lease was a restriction on the tactical rough stuff so it must damage the aircraft by extension
 
#19
So every MLRS operating position must have a 1 km(ish) runway?
Secure enough to operate one of our five C17s out of?
 
#20
meridian said:
I understand that when we were leasing C17's before we had the sense to buy them one of the conditions of the lease was a restriction on the tactical rough stuff so it must damage the aircraft by extension
Or our US chums - in full knowledge of our predilection for rough and bare basing thought "Hang on chaps, those Brits are going to fcuk our jets up if we don't do summat right smartly" and so they did.

They certainly banged the things down in the FOBs up around Bagram.
 
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