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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    Neutralizer   6/17/2008 9:16:35 AM
 As I understand it the last 105mm Fd Mk2 was expended about 5 yrs ago (give or take) by 23 Fd Regt, and as I said there was only 15,000 rds procured.  If DoD wanted to produce ammo they could have done, an article in Cannonball last year by the former project manager for Hamel made it quite clear that local ammo production was always the plan but couldn't explain why it was dropped.  The stuff about the UK IP owner being difficult is nonsense, they'd have done a deal, but like any manufacture of relatively modern ammo there would have been royalties (105mm tank ammo production licensed from the same source?).  Of course the royalties might have been greater if Aust had exported it, IP owners get funny over things like that.  It's called capitalism, even if the Peoples' Republic of Pucka don't like it ;-)

You will note that I left open the possibility that the ammo couldn't be produced on sufficiently favourable terms to justify it, i.e. the royalties being asked were too much for the ADF at the time. Anyway, I'm just relaying what I heard from the officers and SNCO's while I served in the Australian regiments equipped with the L-118/L-119. I suppose it is possible that they were all wrong about the reason why the UK ammo wasn't locally produced but I personally think they are a more credible source than anything I have read here. 
 
Whether or not PGM or semi-smart will be developed for 105mm Fd is unclear.  The real problem with all assisted ammo without any smarts is the dispersion, large, and clearly not suitable for danger close, which is popular at the moment.
 
Exactly. That is why sticking with a 105mm gun when you don't know if it will ever be able to operate a smart shell shouldn't be the preferred option. This is especially the case when you are a small user that isn't likely to produce the said smart munitions yourself.
 
 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. 
 
I work for government and trust me if something can't be afforded it can't be afforded, irrespective of what wonderful benefits it might deliver. I certainly don't think that a 5 rpm initial rate of fire can be regarded as "crap", when you consider that it involves a bigger round than a 105mm and that it can drop a PGM within 10m of the target at 40km. The M-198 only has a 4 rpm initial rate of fire and I haven't heard anybody complaining about that gun's capabilities. As for fast and wide traversing, the +-100ml traverse was is one of the weakest points of the L-118/119. If you want to swing it further than that then you have to lift it around, not nearly as fast as just spinning the wheel.. In contrast the M-777 can traverse +-400 mils, like the old M2A2.
 
Tthe Canadians and the USMC have used thier M777's in combat and seem to think they are a great improvement over 105mm's. I'll take my opinions from the horse's mouth thanks.













 
Technically, the 1935 pattern ammo (as the Light Gun General Staff Requirement called it, AKA 105 mm How in official UK parlance or M1 type if you want) is semi-fixed while while 105mm Fd, like 25 pr, is separate loading which permits a larger chamber without having a larger cart case not to mention different carts for top charge using a slightly different propellant.  Semi-fixed has the advantage of faster loading, it's a matter of opinion whether or not this is worth the disadvantages.  Of course the other advantage of 105mm Fd is its greater lethality, and a whole heap more with the new shell.  And that's what its all about.
 
Whether or not PGM or semi-smart will be developed for 105mm Fd is unclear.  The real problem with all assisted ammo without any smarts is the dispersion, large, and clearly not suitable for danger close, which is popular at the moment.
 
155mm 52 cal barrels seem to be chromed as standard, and I think this has long been US practice with 39 cal but not neccesarily by other nations.  Chr
 
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ArtyEngineer       6/17/2008 2:46:10 PM

As I understand it the last 105mm Fd Mk2 was expended about 5 yrs ago (give or take) by 23 Fd Regt, and as I said there was only 15,000 rds procured.  If DoD wanted to produce ammo they could have done, an article in Cannonball last year by the former project manager for Hamel made it quite clear that local ammo production was always the plan but couldn't explain why it was dropped.  The stuff about the UK IP owner being difficult is nonsense, they'd have done a deal, but like any manufacture of relatively modern ammo there would have been royalties (105mm tank ammo production licensed from the same source?).  Of course the royalties might have been greater if Aust had exported it, IP owners get funny over things like that.  It's called capitalism, even if the Peoples' Republic of Pucka don't like it ;-)

 

Technically, the 1935 pattern ammo (as the Light Gun General Staff Requirement called it, AKA 105 mm How in official UK parlance or M1 type if you want) is semi-fixed while while 105mm Fd, like 25 pr, is separate loading which permits a larger chamber without having a larger cart case not to mention different carts for top charge using a slightly different propellant.  Semi-fixed has the advantage of faster loading, it's a matter of opinion whether or not this is worth the disadvantages.  Of course the other advantage of 105mm Fd is its greater lethality, and a whole heap more with the new shell.  And that's what its all about.

 

Whether or not PGM or semi-smart will be developed for 105mm Fd is unclear.  The real problem with all assisted ammo without any smarts is the dispersion, large, and clearly not suitable for danger close, which is popular at the moment.

 

155mm 52 cal barrels seem to be chromed as standard, and I think this has long been US practice with 39 cal but not neccesarily by other nations.  Chroming does increase barrel life but my understanding is that there is still a problem with 52 cal.  The only currently known way to reduce barrel wear and extend barrel life is to have cooler gas against the chamber and barrel wall.  This is what the S African charge design did and the results were fantastic, no need for expensive barrel chroming and very long life.  Problem was their failure to meet insensititive ammo regs.  As I said in a previous post, without knowing what propellant is used in modular charges it's difficult to assess the problem.  However, its usefull to remember that the US traditionally uses single base prop and this is a bit hotter burning (hence a bit higher rate of wear) than the triple base used by UK and Germany. 

 

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. 

 

 


ROF "requirement" is not the same as reality!!!! ;) 6 is the norm, have seen 8 from good crews, have heard of 9!!!! 
 
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Aussie Diggermark 2       6/17/2008 11:52:23 PM
Both the USMC and Canadian Artillery were users of the 105mm L-118 (differing local designations of course) gun too, IIRC...

I'm just saying...
 
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Arty Farty       6/18/2008 4:56:32 AM
In both the US and UK, the 105mm guns are mainly used by light infantry units namely airborne units.
 
The US (Army and Marines) otherwise use 155mm gun - 120mm mortar.
 
btw/ the Canadians use a different 105 gun
 
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BLUIE006       6/18/2008 6:59:36 AM
Article Excerpt
A new day dawns in Afghanistan, and the Bravo Battery Bulls are up and running to contribute to America's Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) in nontraditional ways. Although the battery was deployed to Afghanistan for nine months, its adventure began one year earlier. Bravo Battery, 3d Battalion, 6th Field Artillery's (B/3-6FA's) M119 105-mm howitzers were replaced with 120-mm mortars. B Battery Soldiers would man these for the duration of the 10th Mountain Division's deployment in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) IV.
The battery's conversion to the mortar system was the first adaptation required of its artillerymen. In an effort to increase responsiveness and become lighter and more air-assault capable, the men enthusiastically converted to their new weapon system. Once deployed, the Soldiers quickly overcame the challenges of decentralized operations. They provided mortar fires in four locations simultaneously, spanning a distance of more than 1,200 square miles, and influenced coalition operations across eastern Afghanistan.


Author: Huffman, James W., III


 
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neutralizer       6/18/2008 7:13:18 AM
Actually one of the key requirements of Light Gun, stated in the original General Staff Requirement was 'easily traversed by 1 man through 6400 mils'.  And it is, and its fast.  Fast easy traversing is a key characteristic of box trail and platform.  Not quite as easy a proper turreted SP, but a heap quicker and easier than any other towed gun configuration.
 
As for rate of fire, armies buy based on what the official rates are.  I've seen 11/min thru a 105 pack with optical sights, but I wouldn't bank on it! 
 
PGMs are fine for stationary point targets, other types of targets all you get is a precise miss.  If it's a static point target hit it with something serious, 2000lb bomb is a good start but GMLRS may be quicker, however, I agree that if there's lots of such targets then 155mm might the best solution (once the unit cost comes down).  Obviously SFM are a different matter and I agree you need 155mm for a worthwhile payload.  However, if you need SFM you should probably be using SP arty!
 
The other problem with 155 mm is logistic.  In about 2002 UK announced the end of 105mm, 18 months later they reversed the decision.  It seems they'd neglected to do the logistic arithmetic first time, there was no way they could sustain 155mm by heli at the distances their combined arms doctrine required.  Definitely a case of oops, but at least they did the numbers. 
 
And yes, the Canadians use the French 105mm LG1, split trail and the old fashioned ammo.  Not surprised they rushed to M777 for Afghanistan.
 
 
 
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Aussiegunneragain       6/18/2008 8:08:24 AM
Actually one of the key requirements of Light Gun, stated in the original General Staff Requirement was 'easily traversed by 1 man through 6400 mils'.  And it is, and its fast.  Fast easy traversing is a key characteristic of box trail and platform.  Not quite as easy a proper turreted SP, but a heap quicker and easier than any other towed gun configuration.
 
I operated these guns for five years so let me tell you for certain that takes at least two men to do a 3200ml change at any reasonable speed. One average-sized man can do a couple of hundred mils to the left or right in the dry safely, but if he try's to do too many 3200's by himself his back isn't going to last very long. In the wet the spade digs in and you need two men to switch any distance it in just about every instance. That is ok when you are fully manned, but we just about never were and I imagine that under combat conditions the situation would be even worse.
 
From what I've been told by people who have operated a split trail system like the M2A2 or the M-198 its a matter of pushing the trails together and rolling the gun to where you want it, if firing outside the +-400ml ark is required. I don't know enough about the M777 to comment, beyond the fact that I believe that its a split trails system so is probably similar.
 
On a related note, the Hamel is a bastard of a thing to bring into action as you need to take the wheel off to rotate the barrel. Split trails are much easier and quicker, you just unhook the gun and wheel the trails open. Very important if you are on a quick action mission.

PGMs are fine for stationary point targets, other types of targets all you get is a precise miss.  If it's a static point target hit it with something serious, 2000lb bomb is a good start but GMLRS may be quicker, however, I agree that if there's lots of such targets then 155mm might the best solution (once the unit cost comes down).  Obviously SFM are a different matter and I agree you need 155mm for a worthwhile payload.  However, if you need SFM you should probably be using SP arty!
 
On your last post you correctly pointed out that the main attraction of PGM's is that the improved accuracy is useful for danger close missions. Now you are telling us not to bother with a 155mm round and to go for a 2000lb bomb or a GMRLS instead. Somewhat contradictory don't you think? Being able to communicate a grid reference to a gun 40km away and get a bomb within 10 metres on the first shot is an increadibly useful capability from the perspectives of lethality, ammunition conservation and safety. If we can afford to give it to our troops we should.
 
As for hitting moving targets, traditional artillery is a pretty poor choice for that beyond providing harrassing fire that might frag a few grunts or cause armoured vehicles to close their hatches. The fact that a 155mm gun with PGM's can wallop a tank without the infantry having to give away their position with an ATGM is a major increase in capability. What's more there is no good reason why that shouldn't be done with towed as well as SP guns, as you seem to suggest. There is nothing to say that light forces won't come up against armour so the better equipped they are to deal with it the better.
 
 The other problem with 155 mm is logistic.  In about 2002 UK announced the end of 105mm, 18 months later they reversed the decision.  It seems they'd neglected to do the logistic arithmetic first time, there was no way they could sustain 155mm by heli at the distances their combined arms doctrine required.  Definitely a case of oops, but at least they did the numbers. 
 
If they were basing their figures purely on unguided rounds then they undoubtedly had valid concerns. However with the advent of PGM's I'd suggest that the guns will be using far less rounds for the same effect so it becomes less of an issue.

 

 
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Aussiegunneragain    A few more benefits of Excaliber that a 105mm round can't....   6/18/2008 9:04:44 AM
... and that a 2000lb'er can't without flattening everything within half a kilometre.
 
See below for extract from the following link. It all looks somewhat useful considering the complex nature of the modern battlefield to moi.

> face="Times New Roman, serif">The XM982 Excalibur is a 155 mm precision- guided cannon munition that will be fired from the NLOS-C, M777A1 and
M109A6 Paladin. It will be GPS-guided and IMU-aided, and require no designation. Its jam-resistant global positioning system (GPS) receiver and inertial measurement unit (IMU) guidance package will enable the projectile to be delivered with a high degree of precision that is independent of range (10 meters CEP unjammed and 20 meters CEP in a jammed environment). Excalibur will follow a ballistic ascending branch of its trajectory.


Once it has reached apogee and has acquired GPS, it will then glide along a nonballistic flight path to the target area. This gliding action, combined with the effect of its base bleed design, will allow Excalibur to achieve extended range over conventional munitions (35-40 kilometers maximum range). Once Excalibur reaches the target area, it will then execute a very steep (near 90 degree) terminal trajectory and attack the target from the top. It is this steep terminal trajectory that will make Excalibur superior for use in complex and urban terrain.

Excalibur will serve as a precision bus to deliver various warheads and will be fielded in three blocks: Block I (unitary) will have a high-explosive warhead, Block II will deliver smart submunitions, and Block III will have a discriminating capability to select specific targets from background clutter on the battlefield. Excalibur?s internal fuze will be inductively set and will provide three fuzing options: point detonating, proximity and delay. Excalibur will provide the maneuver commander with an immediately responsive precision asset that is available 24 hours a day and in all weather conditions. Because it requires no designation, Excalibur will not be limited by any of the conditions that hinder the use of laser-guided munitions. Excalibur?s high degree of precision and increased range capability will greatly improve the effectiveness of cannon- fired artillery, while significantly reducing collateral damage.


In addition to Excalibur?s precision and increased accuracy, it will also offer several other unique characteristics. It will have the capability to penetrate eight inches of steel-reinforced concrete. This will provide the ability to engage enemy seeking refuge in urban structures. Next, because of Excalibur?s nonballistic trajectory, it will be able to engage targets at offset azimuths from the gun target line. This capability will ensure full 6,400 mil coverage regardless of site to crest and other restrictions.

 
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BLUIE006       6/19/2008 9:41:28 AM
60mm - New addition
81mm -As per existing upgrades
 
32 x  AUSLAV 120mm AMOS Mortar ( wheeled self propelled) (200 M )
M198 - Ugraded existing Excalibur (existing funding)
24 x K9 THUNDER (tracked self propelled - high intensity) (100 M )
12 x LIMAWS(R)- Rapid rection/ High mobility Counter insurgent Precision strike  (150m?)
 
500M -Land 17
 
 
 
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BLUIE006       6/19/2008 9:46:05 AM
K9 Thunder will account for 21.76 percent of all self-propelled howitzer production worldwide, worth a commanding 31.02 percent of the market, through 2015.    

 

 
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