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Thread: Let's talk Artillery

  1. #1
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    Let's talk Artillery

    Being a former cannon cocker, sort of (13E) I consider it pretty amazing what's being supplied to Ukraine and am very curious about how successful their transition and integration will be. Thoughts and updated info and can we please keep this on subject, no politics.

    So Ukraine is getting:

    Towed

    100+ M777 155 mm (US, CAN, AUS)

    Wheeled SPG

    12 CAESAR 155 mm (France)
    Possible Archer 155 mm (Sweden)
    16? Zuzana 155 mm (Solvak)


    Tracked SPG

    -20+ M109A3GN 155 mm (Norway)
    unk M109??? 155 mm (Italy)
    unk AS90 155 mm (United Kingdom)
    5 Panzerhaubitze 2000 155 mm (Denmark)
    7 Panzerhaubitze 2000 155 mm (Germany)

    MLRS not confirmed

    unk M270 (not provided by US but Romania has some)
    Last edited by mack7.62; 05-03-22 at 09:52.
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    I don’t have much to add but being a 0847 (arty weather observer) I have to wonder what support they are getting with these. Talking FDC, CBR, MET… Artillery useless without support and eye’s or at least limited. Can the NATO stuff be integrated with some of the Soviet support systems?

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    It takes a damn good crew to run a triple 7 efficiently let alone a battery.

    I don’t see them being proficient with any of these systems in any short time.

    Best bang for the buck would probably be the MLRS

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    Don't forget that these will be at least partially crewed by highly motivated combat experienced veterans, not sure how much of a difference it will make but it will be a factor. I suspect they will get the basics and the rest will come with OJT if they survive.

    I also wonder what tactics they will develop, but they need Paladin's not towed.
    Last edited by mack7.62; 05-01-22 at 22:50.
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    What stands out to me is the logistical nightmare of feeding all those weapons, and the training for multiple systems. Also I was an engineer, not an artillery guy.
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    Actually they can all use NATO standard ammo so that shouldn't be a problem but spare parts will be an issue. Yes training is going to be difficult along with language, are they going to have time to update the computers in these to speak Ukrainian of be stuck with the native tounge.
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    I'm not a cannon cocker, so take my thoughts with a grain of salt, but I wonder how big the logistical problems will actually be in the long term. Not because I think the Ukrainians are supermen that will perfectly integrate NATO and former Warsaw Pact tech seamlessly, but rather what will be left after this is all over and done. The wastage of war will very likely prune down what the Ukrainians have. If they're smart, and husband their resources, I could see them keeping the NATO-supplied stuff in more protected positions, and more or less using up the older stuff first. If there's a higher risk of counterbattery fire or air attack, use Warsaw Pact equipment if given a chance; if the likelihood of that is minimal, use NATO equipment. Even assuming you're cannibalizing damaged equipment along the way, this would seem to be an efficient method of transforming the force from the mixed one they have now, to a more or less NATO standard one.

    It would likely not be as easy and clear cut as I make it sound, but it definitely sounds like we're looking at a war of attrition that is pretty much unheard of in recent decades.
    ...they should have seen that arms in their citizens' hands could not make them tyrants, but that evil orders of government make a city tyrannize. Since they had a good government, they did not have to fear their own arms.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack7.62 View Post
    Actually they can all use NATO standard ammo so that shouldn't be a problem
    How standardized is the ammo? I assume the 155mm shells are all interchangeable in NATO standard 155mm artillery. Are the propellant charges also interchangeable, and all in the same increments?

    I assume different shells have different ballistics - are there full charts / data files issued that provide this for gun crews? How easy or difficult is it for, say, an American crew to fire a French shell accurately?

    Just curious if the NATO standardization provides actual plug-and-play, or if this is basically 3-5 unrelated systems that can technically exchange shells but not in a useful way?
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    I don't really know that is a really good question that Ukraine might be about to put to the test. Specialty rounds aside I would hope standard HE, Flares etc would all work OK. I don't think the manually loaded will have much problem and artillery is usually observed and corrected but the pieces being auto loaded I am not sure about, I did read that the Swedish Archer was supposed to be able to use NATO propellant or some specialty propellant they developed but who knows. I don't think the standard shells themselves will be a problem. What I wonder is how do the auto loaders handle charge weight, the US 155 came with 7 bags of propellant and how far you were shooting dictated how many you used Charge 1-7. We got any Paladin crew on here with knowledge?
    Last edited by mack7.62; 05-02-22 at 09:19.
    “The Trump Doctrine is ‘We’re America, Bitch.’ That’s the Trump Doctrine.”

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack7.62 View Post
    I also wonder what tactics they will develop, but they need Paladin's not towed.
    One of the factors in what weapons they receive is the transition training length and complexity. Any competent grunt can get a 1-4hr block of instruction and put to use pretty much any rifle, AT weapon, or mortar (particularly for fire modes that don’t require FDC). Artillery is a harder transition (FDC shit), with stuff like Paladins being harder yet. In addition to transition training for hitting targets, there is more training on operation of the vehicle, maintenance, logistics, etc.

    Shoulder-launched rockets are pretty close to universal in skills required. Same with rifles. But Paladins are very different than Soviet stuff. As the war drags on, the difficulties of transitioning systems will be weighed differently. And we’re seeing that now with the fielding of western arty apparently having become worthwhile.

    Perhaps western self-propelled guns might be seen later.

    Can any 13-types tell me how important intricate MET is for getting effects when first round hits aren’t necessarily required?
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