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Thread: Artillery in the 21st Century

  1. #21

    Army Cancels Non-Line-of-Sight Launch System

    (Source: US Department of Defense; issued May 13, 2010)

    The NLOS-LS concept was to package multipurpose battlefield missiles in four-cell vertical launchers carried on a variety of vehicles. (US Army photo)The Department of Defense announced today that it authorized the Army to cancel the Non-Line-of-Sight Launch System and transition management responsibilities for system development and acquisition from the old Future Combat System (FCS) program - currently aligned under Program Executive Office Integration (PEO I) - to the PEOs that already manage similar systems. Both decisions are a result of the Capability Portfolio Reviews, a new process the Army implemented in February.

    The Army’s vision is to have an effective, affordable and modernized Army. In pursuit of this goal, the Army’s senior leaders recognize the need to be diligent in their efforts to be responsible stewards of the resources provided and to carefully manage existing programs and budgets. With this obligation in mind, the Secretary of the Army directed the Under Secretary of the Army and the Vice Chief of Staff, Army, to implement a Capability Portfolio Review (CPR) process for a one-year period, effective Feb. 22, 2010.

    The intent of this review process is to conduct an Army-wide, all-components revalidation of requirements for all Army Acquisition programs. The Army holistically examines all existing requirements and makes recommendations to terminate ones that are redundant and outdated.

    Reviews will focus on eight portfolios: Tactical Wheeled Vehicles, Precision Fires, Air and Missile Defense, Radios and Network, Aviation, Engineer Mobility, Combat Vehicle Modernization and Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR). The intent of this revalidation is to eliminate redundancies and to ensure that funds are properly programmed, budgeted, and executed against the programs that yield the most value to the Army.

    The review process revalidates the requirement in each portfolio using a wide-range of criteria, including: combatant commander requests; wartime lessons learned; the ability to support the Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) model; the potential for leveraging emerging technologies and affordability.

    The analysis that has resulted from the Capability Portfolio Reviews conducted to date has clearly highlighted the utility of this new process in building an effective and affordable modernization strategy. The resulting recommendations will continue to assist the Secretary of the Army in establishing future priorities for investment, research, development and acquisition, and life cycle sustainment.

    The Capability Portfolio Reviews have yielded two key results to date, including:

    1) The Precision Fires portfolio review examined the balance of high-end precision munitions and lower-end near-precision munitions. A detailed analysis of alternatives determined that the Non-Line-of-Sight Launch System (NLOS-LS) does not provide a cost-effective precision fire capability. The Army intends to pursue other capabilities to engage a moving target in all-weather conditions in order to fulfill the operational requirement defined for the NLOS-LS. As a result, the Army concluded NLOS-LS is no longer required; the Secretary of the Army recommended cancellation and the undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics approved and authorized the request.

    Additionally, analysis from the portfolio review concluded a reduction in the number of Excalibur and Accelerated Precision Mortar Initiative rounds was also warranted; the Secretary of the Army also recommended approval of these proposed reductions, which the Department approved as well.

    2). In conjunction with the Capability Portfolio Reviews, the Army Acquisition Executive is planning to transition management responsibilities for system development and acquisition from the old FCS program currently aligned under Program Executive Office Integration (PEO I) to the PEOs that already manage similar systems. This realignment will allow the systems to more comprehensively be evaluated as part of the Capability Portfolio Review process. Overall, System of Systems Engineering, Integration and Test will remain the responsibility of PEO I. The remainder of PEO I’s current portfolio will be transitioned as follows:

    -- Network Integration Kit (NIK) to PEO Command, Control and Communications Tactical (PEO C3T);
    -- Class I Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), currently managed separately, to PEO Aviation;
    -- Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV); Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle (SUGV); Multi-mission UGV to Program Executive Office for Ground Combat Systems (PEO GCS);
    -- Unattended Ground Sensors (UGS) to Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare & Sensors (PEO IEWS).

    The Army remains committed to integrated development of brigade capabilities. While individual systems will remain under various PEOs, PEO I will be given the expanded mission for integration across those PEOs and their associated portfolios. For example, rather than just integrating the Class 1 UAS into the network, PEO I will ensure that all UAS (e.g. ERMP, Shadow, and Hunter) are fully integrated.

    The directed framework of the Capability Portfolio Review process serves as a roadmap to achieving an integrated analysis of all portfolios. Additional portfolio areas may be identified and added in the future. The Secretary of the Army will continue to rely on this process to help him make informed decisions on behalf of the Army.


  2. #22

    U.S. Army To Keep Howitzer Options Open


    Published: 28 May 2010 17:06

    Although the U.S. Army intends to complete its Paladin Integrated Management (PIM) program, the first upgrade to the service's self-propelled howitzers in many years, it may seek a different long-term option, according to senior service officials.

    The Army plans to buy 440 Paladin PIM systems to meet "immediate war-fighting needs," said Brig. Gen. Mark Brown, deputy for acquisition and systems management, at a May 27 media roundtable.

    Meanwhile, the Fires Center of Excellence and the Army's Training and Doctrine Command will conduct an analysis of alternatives, Brown said.

    "They're going to answer the following question: Is PIM the howitzer of the Army's long-term future?" he said.

    The PIM program is essentially a service-life extension program of 1950s and 1960s technology, said Brown. After the Army's Crusader program was canceled in 2002 and the Non-Line of Sight Cannon was terminated last year, the Paladin PIM program became the Army's only mobile artillery development program.

    "Paladin PIM is absolutely essential to the Army," said Lt. Gen. William Phillips, military deputy to the Army's acquisition executive. But for the long term, Brown said, "the Army may choose instead to go with a 'PIM-plus' or a 'completely new Howitzer.'Ÿ"

    By not upgrading the entire fleet of Paladin M109 howitzers, the Army maintains flexibility to pursue something else, said Maj. Gen. Thomas Spoehr, director of force development in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff (G-8).

    If the technology advances, "we have not put all of our eggs in updating 800 howitzers," he said. "It's leapfrogging rather than going after one big thing."

    Brown said the alternatives study will wrap up at about the same time the Paladin PIM moves into production, a date the Army has recently pushed back.

    In its budget request for 2011, the Army asked for funds to buy 18 Paladin PIM howitzers. However, a new schedule delays a low-rate initial production decision, milestone C, until June 2013, said Phillips.

    "The reason we stretched out production to 2013 was not because it's not doable, but we wanted to take a lot of the risk out of the system," Brown told reporters.

    The changes followed what Phillips described as a "red team review."

    After that was complete, "we made changes internal to the program to align that system with what we believe is a low-risk program that will lead us to complete success," said Phillips.

    To realign the program with the Army's new schedule, the Senate Armed Services Committee cut $105.3 million for Paladin PIM procurement funds and added $30 million for PIM research and development to help the program recover from schedule delays, according to a May 28 news release.

    Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., is not pleased with the Army's new schedule for the program.

    "Based on the Army's current timeline, we will not see full production rates until 2017 and in the interim period will spend millions of dollars putting band aids on the current fleet of howitzers," wrote Inhofe in a May 5 news release. "The current schedule is unacceptable, and I will be working with Army leadership to shorten that timeline."

    BAE Systems is building the Paladin PIM at its facility in Elgin, Okla.

  3. #23

    Lockheed Offers Options for Replacing NLOS-LS

    Posted by Bradley Peniston | June 16th, 2010

    By KATE BRANNEN – Lockheed Martin has responded to a U.S. Navy request for ideas to replace the canceled Non-Line of Sight Launch System (NLOS-LS).

    Launch test of the now-canceled Non-Line of Sight Launch System (U.S. Army photo)

    After the U.S. Army killed the missiles-in-a-box program, leaving the Littoral Combat Ships without a medium-range weapon, the Navy asked the company, which developed the NLOS-LS’s launch box, for ideas.

    “We gave them a menu of solutions, things we can fire out of that NLOS command launch unit,” said Lockheed’s Morri Leland, director of international business development for tactical missiles and combat maneuver systems. “We have weapon options out of that box, if you want to retain the box.”

    If the Navy wants to use a different box, Lockheed has offered ideas related to the Multiple Launch Rocket System and the Navy Tactical Missile System (NTACMS), Leland said.

    The company has other projects that it has yet to make public that may also satisfy the requirements, he said.

    “Some of them are adaptations of our existing weapons,” such as a vertically launched Hellfire missile or the company’s a 2.75-inch DAGR guided rocket that might be fired out of the NLOS-LS box, he said.

    NLOS-LS also had an unfunded requirement for Lockheed’s Loitering Attack Missile (LAM). Leland said the NLOS-LS’s cancellation would likely reignite the LAM debate.

  4. #24

    BAE Expects U.S. to Order More M777 Howitzers

    Posted by Bradley Peniston | June 16th, 2010

    By ANDREW CHUTER – BAE Systems is expecting a new order from the U.S. military for its M777 155mm lightweight field howitzer in the next 10 days, said a company official at the show.

    M777 Light Towed Howitzer fired by the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division in Afghanistan last year. (Photo by Jonathan Mallard)

    Bob Preedy, the head of artillery business development at BAE’s Global Combat Systems, declined to detail the size of the deal but said it would include 35 howitzers being ordered for Australia.

    So far, 862 weapons have been ordered by the U.S. Army, the Marine Corps and the Canadian Army, of which some 650 have been delivered.

    As well, discussions on a U.S. Foreign Military Sales deal with India to buy 145 of the M777s was making “slow but real progress,” said Preedy.

    Senior Indian officials recently said they would like to conduct an in-country capability demonstration and conclude negotiations within the next 18 months. The deal could eventually grow substantially beyond the initial purchase of 145.

    Besides the M777s that India may buy via the U.S. FMS process, New Delhi is also considering buying other towed howitzers in a separate deal. BAE is competing for that requirement as well.

    Another of BAE’s 155mm offerings, the Swedish-developed FH77B05 L52, is competing head-to-head with the FH2000 from ST Engineering of Singapore. In-country summer trials start next week on the weapon. The winner could expect to snare an order for 400 imported howitzers with another 1,180 being produced locally.

  5. #25

    Russia to hold talks with France on purchasing artillery navigation system

    A Russian Smerch multiple rocket launcher.

    10:26 GMT, June 30, 2010 PARIS/MOSCOW | As RIA Novosti reports,

    the Russian Defense Ministry will hold talks during an international engineering forum near Moscow with France's Sagem Defense Securite on the possible purchase of a Sigma 30 inertial navigation system.

    The Engineering Technologies International Forum 2010 will be held from June 30 through July 4 in the town of Zhukovsky, 40 kilometers southeast of Moscow.

    Earlier this month, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin invited the French-based Sagem company (SAFRAN group), a European leader in defense and consumer electronics, for talks in Moscow.

    Popovkin said Russia is interested in purchasing the Sigma 30 artillery navigation and pointing system as part of efforts to modernize its Smerch and Grad multiple rocket launchers.

    "We are ready to offer Russia the Sigma 30 system for the modernization of the Russian artillery and multiple rocket launchers," a Sagem spokesman told RIA Novosti.
    He said Sagem delivers Sigma systems to a wide range of Russian military manufacturers, including Sukhoi.

    "There is a demand for the latest navigation and pointing systems because the firing range of the modernized multiple rocket launchers like the Grad has risen from 40 to 50-60 kilometers and fire control systems therefore also need to be modernized," the spokesman said.
    The Sigma 30 artillery navigation and pointing system is designed for high-precision firing at short notice. (RIA Novosti)

  6. #26

    Innovation Aims to Reduce Collateral Damage in Afghanistan

    (Source: US Army; dated July 2, web-posted July 7, 2010)

    Soldiers of the 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment display the blue “smurf round” used with the aim of reducing civilian casualties. (US Army photo)

    WARDAK PROVINCE, Afghanistan --- While some commands severely restrict artillery fires, one task force in Afghanistan has taken active steps to reduce collateral damage by developing an alternative method.

    Task Force King of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team came up with an alternative to indirect fire missions using solely high-explosive TNT.

    Soldiers of the 4th Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment crafted a way to fire non-exploding training rounds in the adjustment phase, and then switch to a lethal one in the fire-for-effect phase. Using this method, fewer live rounds are fired, reducing collateral damage and civilian casualties.

    "Our rules of engagement have been a challenge, because our enemy knows when we use artillery in a conventional fire fight there remains a very real possibility of unintended collateral damage," said Command Sgt. Maj. Dennis Woods, 4-319th AFAR. "In our efforts to avoid that, commanders have previously been far less inclined to use artillery. Insurgents are not stupid. This enemy has been using our ROE to avoid our fire support advantage... until now!"

    They brought artillery back into the fight in the east-central province of Wardak.

    The less lethal training round in use is the M804A1 also known as the "smurf" round due to its blue color. It's a ballistic match for a live high explosive artillery round, meaning the round will have the same effects while in flight from the tube to the target. The difference is in the impact effects.

    "The 173 ABCT gives up nothing in terms of effectiveness," Woods said. "The fire-for-effect round is exactly where it would be had we fired all explosive artillery rounds. This new approach that we are using here is more sensitive to the environmental impact issues along with the cultural issues that affect Afghanistan citizens."

    Woods said that because Afghanistan is an agrarian society, when high explosives are used, they contaminate the soil. When TNT, RDX, and HMX erode into the fields, crop yields can be harmed, so using less high-explosive rounds is good for Afghanistan's long-term future, as well as posing a far less likelihood for collateral damage.

    "The 173rd ABCT is aware how collateral damage separates us from the people. Since the people are the real objective, within a counterinsurgency war, our ability to increase public safety is the moral choice and the strategic choice that best delivers our vision and ROE directives."

    By reducing civilian deaths and collateral damage, the Sky Soldiers are meeting the objectives that support the counterinsurgency or COIN doctrine.

    "The insurgents are choosing to fight among the people, employing them as human shields," Woods said, adding that they also try to avoid artillery fire by locating near protected structures.

    "This technique allows us to pursue the enemy despite his use of human shields. We can fire closer to protected structures with less potential for collateral damage," he said.

    Woods attributed the new technique to his Sky Soldiers thinking outside the box to tailor fire effects and deliver "focused lethality."

    "So within our Rules Of Engagement, we can still pursue the enemy, as well as negate his avoidance strategy. Instead of complaining about the rules of engagement, we adopted our effects to meet the ROE, developing a morally supportable alternative. This technique also meets one of our brigade commander's counterinsurgency directives: 'fight the enemy's strategy, not his force.'"

    Every 155mm M777A2 cannon crew in the 4-319th AFAR has the 'smurf' round on location.

    "There aren't many armies that would go to this extent to increase public safety and reduce collateral damage like the 173D Airborne is doing day in and day out," Woods said.

    A Task Force King Soldier commented from Sayed Abad, "when the blue training round arrived on location, I asked why they are issuing us less lethal rounds. After learning their purpose in reducing collateral damage, I then asked why we haven't been doing this for the last nine years?"


  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by buglerbilly View Post
    Strange-looking thing this one..............
    Hey Bugs, my take on it ... the SOKO SP is a child of the deficiencies of using military trucks as platforms for artillery. This one was build for better cross country mobility for which they had to sacrifice calibre/range.

  8. #28

    BAE Systems M777 Howitzer Programme Exceeds £1bn Sales

    (Source: BAE Systems; issued July 19, 2010)

    FARNBOROUGH, UK - BAE Systems has received an order for 93 additional M777 howitzers, taking the order book to 955 systems and taking sales for the programme to over £1bn.

    The US is buying 58 guns for the US Army and U.S. Marine Corps[ while Australia is acquiring 35 through the US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. The order makes Australia the third customer for the M777 system after the U.S. and Canada.
    Mike Smith, managing director for BAE Systems’ European Weapons business, commented on the gun acquisition contract: “The purchase of additional howitzers is further endorsement of M777 as the most effective howitzer system of its kind. Its proven combat effectiveness means we expect more orders through 2011 as we continue to promote the system globally.

    The U.S. government is currently discussing the provision of 145 systems to India as well as several other countries. In parallel, BAE Systems is responding to requests for information from a large number of countries wishing to expand their indirect fire capability.”

    BAE System’ facility at Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is responsible for final integration and test of the weapon system. The prime contract management of the M777 program and manufacture and assembly of the complex titanium structures and associated recoil components are undertaken at Barrow-in-Furness in the United Kingdom.

    The M777 continues to provide artillery support to coalition forces in Afghanistan where its performance exceeds expectations. The gun can fire the “smart” Excalibur round, co-developed by BAE Systems, up to 40 km (25m) accurately enough to target a specific room within a building, reducing the chance of innocent casualties and allowing supporting fire to be brought down much closer to friendly troops.

    BAE Systems has also recently agreed to provide an $18m (£12m) support package for M777 directly with Canada, which is procuring 37 guns via FMS. The contract covers the supply of spares and engineering support.

    Weighing in at less than 4200kg, the revolutionary M777 is the world’s first artillery weapon to make widespread use of titanium and aluminium alloys, resulting in a howitzer which is half the weight of conventional 155mm systems. This allows it to be deployed by medium-lift helicopter quickly and beyond the reach of roadside bombs to otherwise inaccessible areas, extending its reach over the theatre of operations.

    The M777 effort is managed by the US Army/Marines Light Weight 155mm Joint Program Office at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey.

    BAE Systems is a global defence, security and aerospace company with approximately 107,000 employees worldwide. The Company delivers a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and customer support services. In 2009 BAE Systems reported sales of £22.4 billion (US $36.2 billion).

    Last edited by buglerbilly; 19-07-10 at 04:22 PM.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by buglerbilly View Post
    [B]“The U.S. government is currently discussing the provision of 145 systems to India as well as several other countries. In parallel, BAE Systems is responding to requests for information from a large number of countries wishing to expand their indirect fire capability.”
    That refers to the Indian tender for ultra light weight howitzers. However, due to the CBI investigation, it remains to be seen how the trials progress as in India, a tender with only one bidder usually mandates the restart of the whole tender process...

  10. #30

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolftrap View Post
    That refers to the Indian tender for ultra light weight howitzers. However, due to the CBI investigation, it remains to be seen how the trials progress as in India, a tender with only one bidder usually mandates the restart of the whole tender process...
    Ahh I forgot about that, Indian procurement is often a contradictory and confusing mess, a bit like doing business with a lot of Indian companies unfortunately................

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