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Subject: New American Self-Propelled Artillery
EW3    4/25/2005 1:53:44 AM
I'm not an armor guy, so I have no idea, but it seems that to take some of the R&D from one project and use it on another good management. Opinions. --------------------------------------------------------- April 24, 2005: The new American self-propelled artillery, the 155mm NLOS-C, has been undergoing tests for the last 18 months, and has fired a thousand rounds so far. The system was cobbled together in six months, after the new Crusader SP artillery system was cancelled. The current self-propelled system, the M-109, is a fifty year old design. Although the M-109 has been updated, the NLOS-C incorporates many new technologies. This includes an auto-loader (from the Crusader) and a more modern 155mm gun (the M-777, a towed, British designed system) and an APC chassis with a hybrid-electric engine (to reduce fuel consumption.) This all weighs 23 tons, about the same as the M-109. But the NLOS only has a two man crew, compared to five in the M-109. The final version of the NLOS-C is supposed to have a lighter, composite material that will bring the weight down to under 20 tons. There is some doubt if that will happen, but NLOS-C is part of the army’s FCS (Future Combat System) family of combat vehicles, and being under twenty tons is part of that. But in the meantime, a new self-propelled artillery weapon is needed, and NLOS-C could fill the bill if they would just finish the development and get it into production. Congress demanded that this happen by 2008. But Congress has made other demands about FCS and NLOS-C which conflict with this date. It all may be moot, as the new Excalibur GPS guided shell, entering service next year, could change everything. If Excalibur works in combat, the way it has in testing, it could radically change the way artillery operates. Excalibur would mean 80-90 percent less ammo would be fired, meaning less wear and tear on existing M-109s, and a few more years for the army to figure out what the M-109 replacement will be.
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Professor Fickle    RE:New American Self-Propelled Artillery    4/26/2005 4:05:46 PM
Sounds like a good SP Artillery. The US Army needs a new SP Artillery, our M109 are old, and under ranged compared to new SP artillery. Hopefully its cost won’t sky-rocket like the Crusader. Here is more information on NLOS-C
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mightypeon    RE:New American Self-Propelled Artillery    9/9/2005 7:40:30 AM
28 tons seems to be very low, I wonder how the engeneers pulled this off, would be interesting to see how the propably pretty low armour would affect their performance vs. lets as a AS-90 Braveheart or against the PZH-2000.
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flamingknives    RE:New American Self-Propelled Artillery    9/9/2005 9:43:16 AM
The Pirahna III, which forms the base vehicle weighs 14 tonnes, and the M777 weighs less than 4 tonnes. My question would be: How did they make it weigh so much?
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doggtag    RE:New American Self-Propelled Artillery    9/9/2005 4:13:46 PM
the bad point with the whole NLOS-C system: they seem bent on using a 38-cal barrel, which has considerably less range than comparable allies' and adversaries' 45-cal and 52-cal barrels. So we have this notion that, using Excalibur shells most of the time, we can make up the difference because they're rocket-assisted. Question I'd put forward then, can the Excalibur go considerably a greater distance if fired from those longer barrels? Or is it G-limited barely enough to leave at the velocity it will from the 38-cal barrel? Also, how much bigger is the Excalibur as opposed to "standard" shells, and if so, how many less do we get to carry? I'm still surprised that, ever since WW2 ended, we've never waivered from the 105mm-or-155mm artillery. Would something in between have given us a better option (greater range and lethality than 105, but lighter than 155) like 120mm, 127mm, or 140mm? How far would've development taken us (well, UK at least) if the 4.7 inch and 5.5 inch guns had been developed to the extent we've seen other guns mature? (Maybe we could get the NLOS-C weight down even more by fitting it with an even stubbier M114 howitzer, and fit bigger rocket motors to the Excaliburs...)
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skrip00    RE:New American Self-Propelled Artillery - flamer   9/9/2005 6:50:59 PM
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flamingknives    RE:New American Self-Propelled Artillery    9/9/2005 6:56:44 PM
38 calibre barrels aren't too bad. Coalition forces were seriously outranged in the second gulf war (91) but had the slight advantage that they could get the target information to the guns. The Iraqis couldn't, so their extra range was unnecessary. Excalibur is, AFAICT, the same size as a regular 155 shell. Certainly it can't be any heavier. Having a 10m Circular Error Probability (CEP, Half the shells land within 5m of the target point)) means that you use less shells, so what you have goes further. As for using the M114, the M777 weighs less than four tonnes while the M114 weighs nearly six.
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flamingknives    RE:New American Self-Propelled Artillery - flamer   9/9/2005 7:00:51 PM
That would cover over 100 projectiles and charges.
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nero    Wrong Time to Drop the Crusader SP Artillery    12/16/2007 10:18:36 AM
This was actually written for another forum but couldn?t figure out how to use it and ended up here.


?OK fellas, I think you?re missing something here.


The Nizhny Tagil MBT (T-95) is a clean sheet design, don?t assume anything about this MBT, that is not obvious or not acknowledged by it?s builders; they aren?t keeping this vehicle?s specifications and performance discreet, without good reason. Likewise, nobody has been allowed to get to close to the Black Eagle demonstrator, probably for the same reason, you might just hear the engine sounds a little different.


In Mr. Fofanov?s webpage on the T-95, there is an interesting reference: a ?unique drivetrain suspension system is being tested on this tank?. It is unlikely this late in development, it is simply being tested and is more likely a component of the integrated engine, drivetrain and suspension, originally proposed for inclusion in the Chiorny Oriol development program, for the Next Generation MBT of the Russian Army and as we all know, the T-80 chassis is the original development chassis for Chiorny Oriol.


If you can find it; in issue #28 of Rozvourezhenie?s electronic magazine ?Military Parade?, there is an early article on the T-80UM1 BARS Tank. In this article, mention is made of the shift to hydrostatic drives, but more interestingly, is a one liner that pre-announces an update of the power plant from 1,250 hp gas turbine to 1,400 hp heavy duty engine. Given the timing of this article and the confusion in Rosvorouzhenia at the time over the company?s future, both these items probably made it into the original article by mistake. If you wonder that the entries are still in the text of the article, it is simple; remove them and people might start to ask why and what it was all about in the first place.


With regards this entry, a heavy duty engine is a diesel engine. When was the last time you heard of replacement of a gas turbine power plant by a higher horsepower, yet reliable diesel engine, within the same restrictive envelope as the 50 tonne chassis limitation of this Russian tank class?


Now what all this means, is that it is highly probable Russia is developing at least two very advanced MBTs, one, based on an updated T-80U chassis as more suited to mass production, whilst the other, the T-95 is considerably more demanding of manufacture, but vastly more capable as a tank destroyer. Although export versions of the T-80 chassis, including the T-80UM1 BARS Tank and Black Eagle, are likely to have conventional power plants and drivelines, subsequent variants for the Russian Army are more likely to have the more advanced 1,400 horsepower heavy duty engine and drive-train in common with the T-95, which is also likely to be in common with a next generation, Self Propelled Artillery unit. The whole to operate as Fast Attack Squadrons.


Perhaps the nearer term availability of these units, is one of the reasons President Putin was comfortable in withdrawing from the CFE protocol.


If you need a little more convincing, think about this. In the T-95, we now have a tank with the crew, gun mounting, auto-loader and ammunition, shoehorned into the chassis with an engine and drivetrain, that certainly won?t be any less powerful than alternative MBTs of the Russian Army. Given the constraints related to all this gear now being within the chassis, there is considerably less space than would normally be available for the power plant of this MBT. Something has to be greatly different.

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dwightlooi       12/16/2007 1:02:38 PM
(1) I think it is moot to compare the NLOS-C with more traditional SPAs like the German PzH2000 or the British AS90. The NLOS-C is NOT a high performance SPA designed with the intent to shoot further than the enemy's batteries and delivery a greater rate of fire than the opponent. It will do none of that and it is not supposed to.

(2) The "new" US Army tubed artillery doctrine is that guns do not have to be particularly long ranged and they do not have to fire very quickly. That is not their value. If it is firepower or range that is needed, there are better solutions with greater potential than a shell pushed out of a tube by an explosive charge! Rocket systems or aerial bombardment are better choices for weight of fire and/or range.

(3) The "new" believe is that SPAs are to be small, light and preferably C-130 transportable. They have to out range line of sight weaponry sufficiently to remain behind the heavy armor action groups but do not have to out range enemy artillery. They need to be responsive and precise more than they need to be fast firing. Their mission is to support the armored spearhead or urban infantry action from 5~15km away delivery precise and near immediate fire on enemy LOS combat elements in plain view of friendly tanks or infantry when requested. Their mission is NOT to pull counter battery duty against enemy long range tube or rocket artillery. The MLRS, HIMARS and CAS cover will do those things.

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dwightlooi       12/16/2007 1:03:46 PM
The NLOS-C has a target weight on 20 tons. Contemporary European SPAs are 55 ton beasts.
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