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Subject: 120mm AMS in Australian service
BLUIE006    6/2/2008 4:45:13 AM
The 120 AMS (120mm Armored Mortar System) is a single barrel, smoothbore 120mm mortar turret suitable for integration on medium weight armored vehicles such as M113 and Piranha III. It is operated completely under armor featuring reduced recoil and semi-automatic loading system which makes possible integration on most types of wheeled and tracked vehicles. The 120 Armored Mortar System mortar-turret fires existing and planned 120mm mortar ammunition and can be employed for direct fire engagements as well as indirect fire engagements. A 7.62mm machine gun and smoke grenade launchers provide additional self-defense capability. h*tp://www.deagel.com/Weapon-Stations/120-AMS_a001428001.aspx The 120 AMS has been integrated on M113A4 and Piranha III 8x8 chassis and is currently in service with the armies of Saudi Arabia and Australia. Australia / 20 Saudi Arabia / 73 I had no idea ADF used 120 mortar?? Is this part of MINCS(L) AMP 48.36 – Army Mortar System Project The DMO site says its unapproved
 
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Aussiegunneragain    AE   6/27/2008 11:44:10 AM

You mean a projectile like this:  Aviation Week article on Composite Shell

 

My understanding is that this is primarily being developed as a "Payload" carrier, however with a unitary HE filler it would be more suitable for your danger close type missions in support of troops in contact.


The link doesn't work but your post gave me some idea of what you were talking about. Basically you would adapt a submunition cargo carrier like the M-483 to fill the role. It would just involve a unitary filler as you say, attached to the nosecone and fitted with a standard detonation charge. However, it would also require some means of getting rid of the cladding on the side of the shell, which as I understand it is normally taken care of by the expulsion charge. I'm thinking that the cladding would fit into flanges in the nosecone with some sort of electromechanical release to pop off the base, which would be routed through to the fuse to come off at the right height. It would require some sort of proximity or time delay fuse though. Does the PGK have an airburst capability?

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ArtyEngineer    AGA   6/27/2008 12:20:26 PM
Damn this board and its seemingly random approach to letting me post limks, pics and vids etc!!!
 
Regarding PGK and airburst, Yes, block 2 PGK will give the full spectrum of fuse options, Delay, PD, VT and Proximity.  Block 1 is simply PD and Delay, while Block 3 will improve accuracy to 30m CEP and be compatible with 105mm.
 
Regarding the M483 and M864 DPICM munitions, I was going to mention those with regards to Danger Close missions.  Both these munitions can be set to function as a HE filled PD functioning round.  By nature of its primary purpose as a payload carrier it has a reduced "Fragmentation" effect and primarily effects target by blast.  Obviously cant give numbers ;)
 
Since link to composite shel didnt work, here is a cut a paste job.  This projo woulndt need any discarding of outer sleeve as i suspect teh composite casing will combust as opposed to fragmenting on detonation.
 

The industry team developing the 155-mm. Impaqt future artillery munition has achieved a key milestone in the firing of the first meter-long fully composite "strength-of-design" projectile at the U.K. Ministry of Defence (MoD) Eskmeals firing range in county Cumbria, northwestern England.

According to QinetiQ, the lead contractor in Team Impaqt, the firing should be seen as part of an MoD-wide initiative to ensure modern fighting forces are suitably equipped and have maximum mobility to operate on tomorrow?s urban battlefields.

http://sitelife.aviationweek.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/13/2/4d7ba0d7-9b11-4b27-b2fa-1654e856e42b.Large.jpg" width="440" border="0" />


The Team Impaqt all-composite 155-mm. artillery shell that was fired successfully in England this week. Image: Qinetiq

It "is a key stage in the U.K. MoD Lightweight Advanced Munition (LWAM), part of the Advanced Ordnance Demonstrator (AOD) program," Qinetiq says this morning.

The AOD program investigates the ability to provide mobile forces with a lightweight rapid response capability with at least the same performance as today?s conventional heavyweight systems like the multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) or Britain's AS90 self-propelled 155-mm. howitzer.

The current work on "strength of design" will demonstrate the design performance and capability of the LWAM and a further ballistic firing is anticipated for March 2008, Qinetiq says.

LWAM is a 30-kg., 155-mm. munition, able to carry a variety of payloads including high explosive, smoke or illuminating canisters.

Significantly, its structural airframe components are manufactured almost entirely from composites.

That, in comparison with existing conventional rounds that weigh over 40 kg., enables range, lethality and accuracy at least as good as current in-service conventional munitions together with a large reduction in weight consistent with achieving a Rapid Reaction capability, Qinetiq says.

Precision targeting will be achieved by using a gun-hardened guidance, navigation and control system.

When fired from a conventional 39-calibre 155-mm. ordnance system preliminary results indicate that the composite munition withstood the demanding loading conditions in-bore and operated correctly during subsequent flight.

Team Impaqt is comprised of QinetiQ, Nexter, BAE Systems Bofors and MBDA. Team Impaqt is currently conducting various guided munition and related research programmes for the U.K. and French defense ministries.

 
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doggtag       6/27/2008 12:47:00 PM


Regarding PGK and airburst, Yes, block 2 PGK will give the full spectrum of fuse options, Delay, PD, VT and Proximity.  Block 1 is simply PD and Delay, while Block 3 will improve accuracy to 30m CEP and be compatible with 105mm.

Sounds good, but...
 
We've all seen those videos of G-MLRS rockets and Excaliburs landing in bunkers and on targets, and not 30m away,
so you know if their suggesting the PGK's future increments will have a 30m CEP, it's certainly going to be a lot less in all actuality (it'll surprise me if less than 70-80% fall inside of a 10m CEP, and at maximum ranges, pending favorable weather conditions).
 
Sounds good no matter what, but I'd still like to see 105mm PGMs (laser guided), not entirely different from Russian 100mm Bastion missiles, allowing field artillery a more precise munition for danger-close where pinpoint matters (yeah, 120mm mortars have a whole slew of PGMs coming along, but the 105 still works).
If they've been having success doing laser-guided 70mm rockets, why not 105mm artillery shells?
Between a 105mm CLGP ("Copperhead lite") and PGK-equipped shells, what more do you need? 
(If the PGK fuze works in its future increments as advertised, surely the potential is there for a laser-seeker PGK-type fuze insert that can turn any dumb shell into a smart shell, the tough part being: do we stop the shell's rotation and affect course changes that way, or pursue some other means, as laser seekerheads generally don't like to be rotating at high RPMs to work properly...)
 
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Aussiegunneragain    AE   6/27/2008 12:49:05 PM
Thanks for that, very interesting article. As for cluster munitions, I would imagine that they would be ideal for danger close missions due to their predictable dispersal pattern and limited fragmentation effects. However, Australia has a policy of not using them due to the risk of UX ordinance, hence my question about a low frag HE alternative. Whatever the case it doesn't look like it would be too hard to have somebody put together if we decide we need it.
 
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Herald12345    Firefox and IE hate each other on this board.   6/27/2008 12:51:13 PM
Links that work in one search engine don't transfer to the other point for point. I still haven't figured it out.
 
Back on topic. That composite shell cargo body looks interesting, but expensive.. How expensive is it, and is there some way to use its reduced mass to increase overall range, while retaining a substantial proportion of its blast fragmentation effect?
 
And how long will it take to compute the ballistic tables for this class of shells? I am almost sure, that you have to compute new  ballistic tables for the family class of projectiles.
 
Herald 

 
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ArtyEngineer    AGA and Herald   6/27/2008 1:29:40 PM
Herald,
 
Yes, firing tables for a totally new family of projectiles is a very long process.  Many thousands of rounds need to be expended with all compatible charge systems and from different tubes to establish what is known as the "Ballistic Kernel".  Now if its a devlopment of an existing round it gets easier with less rounds required to be fired to enable a valid "Tweaking" of existing data.   But its money well spent.  We fired upwards of 30 000 round just doing the firing tables for the MACS out of the Triple seven.  The end result of this expendure of time money and effort has resulted in Forward Observers commenting that its the "Most accurate howitzer they have every observed fire for".  Regarding cost of a compite shell, no idea but i suspect it will be high!!!!
 
AGA,
 
My comment regarding DPICM for danger close was advocating not expelling teh grenades, but replacing the expulsion charge with a detonating charge, which both the M483 and M864 have teh ability to do.  But if the ADF dont have either those rounds in the inventory as they are "Evil Cluster Munitions" ;) its a moot point.
 
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Aussiegunneragain    AE   6/27/2008 8:59:08 PM

AGA,

 My comment regarding DPICM for danger close was advocating not expelling teh grenades, but replacing the expulsion charge with a detonating charge, which both the M483 and M864 have teh ability to do.  But if the ADF dont have either those rounds in the inventory as they are "Evil Cluster Munitions" ;) its a moot point.

I understand that those rounds can do that, but that would lead to too much shrapnel which is what I'm suggesting needs to be avoided for DC missions. I'm talking about something that gets rid of the outer shell but leaves the HE core on the round. Apparently it doesn't exist at the moment, but given this discussion I don't see why it shouldn't.

 
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ArtyEngineer    AGA   6/27/2008 9:06:07 PM
Yeah, I also think a munition more suitable for danger close fires needs to be developed for the 155mm tubes.  Im trying to find a source I can reference but Im sure I remember hearing or reading that the Brits actualy fired inert practice rounds (known as Smurf Rounds in the US) in support of operations in and around Basra!!!!!  I think that says alot for the accuracy of AS90 that they felt they could achieve worthwhile target effects just from the kinetic energy of a 100lb lump of steel and inert filler!!!!
 
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neutralizer       6/28/2008 5:58:48 AM
155mm logistics.  Anybody who thinks that a couple of dozen NH90 and a couple of handfuls (hopefully) of Chinook constitutes a serious heli force has lost contact with reality.  Repeating myself, UK ran the numbers, concluded 155mm was unsustainable for their light forces and quickly reverted to 105mm.  At least they didn't try to BS themselves into believing nonsense or hoping for the best, and had the guts to say 'we were wrong'.  Of course its possible that they were planning on substantially longer heli supported distances than the ADF, and against significant opposition necessitating greater ammo loads than the ADF dreams about.  But if the ADF is planning on something substantially less and supportable by a small heli force then it invites the question as to why light 155mm is needed at all since the threat wouldn't seem to justify it.
 
I'd also agree that Aust needs to decide what the role of the ADF is and what sort of ops it may indulge in.  That's why I would put a hold on all major equipment acquisitions until after the defence review.  Of course knowing planet Canberra I don't actually have much faith in the review finding convincing answers to difficult questions!  The comparison with the capabilities of the USMC is well made, although I'd suggest something closer to RM!  For the past 35 years Aust as studiously avoided getting voluntarily involved in any discretionary and faintly serious land ops in a significant way, and this is under both parties.  All govts' approach has been a contribution with max PR impact and minimum risk - the cas numbers make this abundantly clear.  I see absolutely no prospect of this changing in the foreseeable future.  I won't comment on the current Minister's hectoring of  'Europeans', apart from saying pot, kettle and black came to mind.
 
IIRC RN 4.5 in with 27 approx km range is a fairly new (last 2/3 yrs) BB shell.
 
UK don't fire inert 155mm, they have training shells (L17, L21?), these have a small bursting charge so that they can be observed and were introduced because ranges in UK and W Europe are small and the peacetime danger area of L15 HE is rather large (also the first time they fired L15 in Germany the locals nearly shat themselves, they'd been used to 155, 175 and 203mm HE, but a L15 concentration was too much!).  They deployed with the training shells to Bosnia as an option and with different ROE to those for L15 and I'd guess Iraq stabilisation ops are the same.  There's also the issue of 'proportionate force' which is probably an Aust consideration.
 
Incidently on a pedantic note there is no such thing as 'NATO standard 155mm'.  There are MoUs between a handful of nations for 30 and 52 cal tube characteristics and rate of fire criteria.  These is also a 1964ish agreement between some nations on projectile weight and shape.  There are NATO STANAGs.
 
Clearly there are different stories about ARes btys and 81s (and I admit to having heard others as well), whether any are the real reason is, of course, conjecture.  It makes one wonder what the purpose of ARes is if they can't even provide trained bodies to reinforce ARA btys, never mind fight as formed units in their arty role.
 
I'd also observe that there seems to be some very woolly thinking about where Aust might want to use arty.  Reality is that insurgent forces either have to live off the land (makes for easy counter action) or be close to habitation from where they can get 'service spt'.  They don't hang out in the deep green miles from anywhere.  Similarly regular forces aren't generally interested in such area, and in any case need infrastructure for their own logistics.  This makes circumstance where arty has to be supported entirely by heli, and without vehs, a tad difficult to envisage and very difficult to envisage where 105mm wouldn't be sufficient.
 
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Aussiegunneragain       6/28/2008 6:59:26 AM

155mm logistics.  Anybody who thinks that a couple of dozen NH90 and a couple of handfuls (hopefully) of Chinook constitutes a serious heli force has lost contact with reality.  Repeating myself, UK ran the numbers, concluded 155mm was unsustainable for their light forces and quickly reverted to 105mm. 
You didn't say that in your previous post, you said,
 
As for M777, the interesting question is why did UK reject it (and Caesar) in their trials.  No doubt some will say budget pressures but if they were really wonderful the benefits would have outweighed this.  My theory is they've woken up to old truths, M777 has a crap rate of fire and neither of them were much good for fast and wide traversing, which is proving essential in Iraq and has probably jogged folk memories. 
 
You were speculating without any evidence, but that speculation has now morphed into insistance that it actually happened. That makes you a liar as well as wrong. Give it up.
 
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