The future of Artillery

Discussion in 'Gunners' started by goatbagthedruid, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. Guns - the weapon can get better

  2. Locating - you need to know where to hit

  3. AD - in primary and secondary roles

  4. Depth - long range sniper

  5. UAV/ Air - I am ubique

  6. The Kings' Troop - we alway need ceremonial


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  1. There have been many papers published and much work done on the future of artillery. Some say the guns will go (I hear newspapers rustling all over Larkhill from that comment), others that the air component (UAV, AH and air) is king and that precision will be key in the future.

    I think that there will be a danger in removing the guns - we can rely too much on complex, expensive weapon platforms when what we need is bits of shrapnel on the ground virtually immediately after we are up to our ARRSEs in sh1te. But the air element has massive advantages over guns.

    It is a difficult question - what do you think?

  2. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    I cant see any good reasons for the RA maintaining UAS, just doesnt seem to make sense to me

    Looking at the output from Team Complex Weapons I can see shortish range indirect fires being a combination of mortars and something like the loitering missile / US Netfires concept which is a guided missile in a box

    Other than that it seems that the need for 105/155 remains, as does GMLRS. Perhaps some guided 155 or resurrecting the light G/MLRS as developments but apart from that seems like more of the same
  3. The close battle will always need an indirect fire capability. The need for supresion is still relevant as this has a demoralizing effect on the enemy. The need for precision is also relevant. Most precision weapons originate from the air component, however more precision is becoming avaialble to the land component (excalibur, GMLRS etc..). Whislt the air component does have an adavantage over guns in terms of depth of strike, it will not always be in the right place at the right time. Guns give the commander more flexibility to engage the enemy and their capability is cheaper than the air equivalent. This could be coupled with technologies such as loitering munitions to give the commander precision and flexbility to engage the enemy. Coupled with other technologies such as precison guidance kits to enable more accurate supression, the role of the gun on the battlefield is far from dead.
  4. Humpy makes some good points.

    Air defence is a difficult concept to justify in the current operational climate. If we are to fight anyone with credible air assets, then their importance will once again become obvious.

    LM is a growing area but they are phenomenally expensive and are one time use. However range speed of response more than makes up for these two issues. Air is itself expensive insomuch as the launch platform is expensive; the munitions are relatively cheap and they are flexible - IF THEY ARE THERE (good point Humpy). You also cannot beat the effect of a low flying aircraft and also its gun on the ground.

    The panacea is 105mm/ 155mm/ MLRS/ GMLRS/ LM/ UCAVs/ AH and Air permanently on station but this will never happen for UK forces due to cost and physical platform issues.


    Edited due to cr4p spelling!
  5. Captain_Crusty

    Captain_Crusty War Hero Reviewer Book Reviewer

    I don't suppose this is just a poor attempt to get someone to answer your Capability Integration' project for you (if so, please share!)...
  6. If production LMs do turn out to be phenomenally expensive then MBDA will have missed the point entirely. On second thoughts I don't think that will come as any surprise.

    With regard to air, not only is the launch platform expensive but the control mechanism is also hugely expensive, unlikely to work beyond the range of the finest hotels and, not unsurprisingly, does not like to be flying round in circles in dangerous areas for extended periods of time.
  7. Its difficult to envisage the need for suppression dissappearing, and dumb munitions do the job, but could probably be improved with course correction. For suppression 105mm is probably sufficient, and enhanced range coupled with course correction could be the way to go.

    Precision munitions are fine as long as you can precisely define the target. These potentially extend from the contact battle back as deep as you want to go. Given that Tornado will almost certainly be replaced by UAS, then thinking Gunners should be thinking about the future role of the RAF and whether or not a Gunner led deep attack planning cell and long range UAS is the future is this space as well (I've no doubt it would be vastly more efficient in terms of comanders and staff officers!). The extent to which a choice of delivery system for precision attack is needed is a good question, the issues are range and responsiveness and the need for specialised munition effects. Guns, missiles, LM and UAS all have their pros and cons, but I can seen financial imperatives forcing choices to be made.

    AD exists at long as there is a threat from above, and technology may extend the role to defence against anything moving in 3 dimensions, providing it can be done efficiently in terms of minimum headcount.

    Target acquisition is mission critical for anything beyond the contact battle, and increasingly useful there as well.

    I can composite batteries fairly soon - 105mm for suppression (say 4 guns) and a couple of 155mm for precision munitions.
  8. The quote I like most abouot precision guided munitions is the one that says "They give us the ability to miss accurately!".

    Not that Gunners miss what they shoot at of course!!!!!!
  9. UAV's are a biggy. Now that sufficient feasibility and supportability studies have been concluded the platform is due to explode both in a military and a civilian capacity. I recruit into the industry and there's a lot of buzz around it at the mo'. Pretty sure that 32 Regt people won't have any worries finding civilian work.
  10. "I cant see any good reasons for the RA maintaining UAS, just doesnt seem to make sense to me"

    Still required as part of the isTAr bit. Besides the the army's UAS experience is 99% with the RA. Aleternative?

    Re-badge 32 Regt as ACC?
    Re-role 32 Regt with guns and find 600 blokes to train as UAS operators as part of the ACC?
    Give it all to the RAF so that the army gives up ownership of UAS systems - Army have to bid through CAOC with all other users rather than than task at Bde level.
    Bin it and rely on 39 Sqn, ok whilst in Afg but totaly reliant on US support/comms/satallites.

    The use of UAVs run by the RA is pretty mature and there is no reason to change it. The argument that airspace is too busy for mere RA UAV operatorss has been proved wrong groundless both in Telic and Herrick.

    It all seems to make sense!
  11. Yup.

    Also the Spams are using rotary wing UAS platforms to put out fires and pretty sure the police will roll them out soon to chase Chavs in stolen BMW's.
  12. Unless some of us have bollocks that are made of crystal and not gristle, then none of us can say for sure what the requirement within the Artillery will be in the future. As all you gents will know, things change rapidly within the Arty role and systems become obsolete very quickly. However, the guns are the primary method of delivering heavy munitions on the ground and that should never change. Air Defence is no longer the preferred toy of the hierarchy, who never truly utilised it's potential due to their ignorance of it's capabilities, and has been reduced if not written off, due to the current state of air cover required. GMLRS seems to be a good system favoured by the bosses at the moment, so it's future seems secure for now. The UAV role is proving it's capabilities and value over in the sandpit, so must have a definite future within the Artillery? Assuming that they don't decide to give it to the RAF, who are obviously soo underfunded and overworked!
    As a former Air Defender i can't really give an accurate assessment on the guns situation, just an opinion...For years the various systems have been getting lots of coverage as the newest and best platform for the Gunners, what gets lost in all this is the quality of the Gunners using these guns! You can have all the best equipment you like, but without a good crew to man it, it becomes less than useless. I realise that this is an old fashioned idea, but i'd rather have 105mm PH and a good crew than the latest state of the art system and an inept crew. The training has to be the prime motivator for any new platforms being brought into service, otherwise we may as well save a shed load of money and keep what we've got!
  13. Indeed, after all, what you have is a launch unit and a round of ammunition. Shouldn't be that difficult to produce something that is useful in both the air and ground roll.

    Another path for AD is that of defending against all things flying through the air, like mortar and arty rds.
  14. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

  15. GunnersQuadrant

    GunnersQuadrant LE Moderator

    new PG ammo .....