The British Army say that Colchester’s airborne gunners have worked with Royal Air Force helicopters to demonstrate their specialist ability to fire and manoeuvre by air.

According to a release, 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery (7 Para RHA) carried out a battery raid on Salisbury Plain, with seven 105mm Light Guns and the soldiers that fire them lifted between positions by three Chinook and four Puma helicopters.

“Exploiting the pace and reach of helicopters to out manoeuvre the enemy is a key skill for 7 Para RHA as part of 16 Air Assault Brigade, the British Army’s global response force.”

7 Para RHA Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Justin Baker said:

“For both the gunners on the ground and the aircrew in the helicopters this has been a hugely complex task, requiring a lot of effort and co-ordination. To be able to work at this scale, which we haven’t done for a few years, has meant we’ve really polished our skills and learnt a lot about how we can work together to deliver air manoeuvre operations.”

The raid took place as part of Exercise Cypher Strike, which has seen the full range of 7 Para RHA skills and capabilities tested over three weeks (18th November to the 6th of December) to show their readiness for short- notice operations around the world.

Fire Support Teams, who coordinate artillery and close air support for troops on the ground, have been calling in fire missions for the guns to engage, while the gun teams were constantly on the move to avoid become targets themselves.

16
Leave a Reply

avatar
4 Comment threads
12 Thread replies
9 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
8 Comment authors
Sky SoldierDaniele MandelliHerodotusAirborneDaveyB Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

A battery with 7 guns?

Thought the regiment only had 2 batteries of 6.

ChariotRider
Guest
ChariotRider

Could it be they turned out with elements from both batteries?

Lets hope it doesn’t represent an enforced upper limit on what they can actually deploy…

The army has been particularly badly served in recent years.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Yes that did cross my mind.

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Mate that’s unfortunately the amount they could man for the Ex! Spoke to my bro, it was a Reg Ex starting at the lower end of the scale, leading up to Bty plus deployment, and Gunnery and air skills ex. Getting all the crows up to speed in air skills and technical training. They used to work with the Battalion all time but now all arms training, and combined arms training is few and far between in the Bde.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Jesus.

Herodotus
Guest

Yes my son?

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

🙂

Nick C
Guest
Nick C

It would be interesting to see an analysis of where the Artillery actually stand now and where the Army see the future for big guns.

Oscar Zulu
Guest
Oscar Zulu

Australian Army Chinooks slinging M777 155mm howitzers and shells during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019. The guns were airlifted from HMAS Canberra’s flight deck in support of an amphibious assault.

http://images.defence.gov.au/20190714ran8108462_179.jpg

Despite the official caption on the ADF website these were Australian rather than US Chinooks. No US Army Chinooks deployed to TS19 although Japanese CH47s did. Zooming in on the image shows the Kangaroo markings on the fuselage.

Oscar Zulu
Guest
Oscar Zulu

Typically the M777’s are airlifted two at a time since the Canberra Class would normally embark no more than 2 CH47F’s alongside MRH90 and ARH Tigers. Both Canberra Class LHDs operating as a task force could airlift 4 guns in a single sortie from ship to shore.

http://images.defence.gov.au/190716-Z-MA638-4005_1.jpg

Oscar Zulu
Guest
Oscar Zulu

Australian Army Chinooks slinging M777 155mm howitzers and shells during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019. The guns were airlifted from HMAS Canberra’s flight deck in support of an amphibious assault. http://images.defence.gov.au/20190714ran8108462_179.jpg Despite the official caption on the ADF website these were Australian rather than US Chinooks. No US Army Chinooks deployed to TS19 although Japanese CH47s did. Zooming in on the image shows the Kangaroo markings on the fuselage. Typically the M777’s are airlifted two at a time since the Canberra Class would normally embark no more than 2 CH47F’s alongside MRH90 and ARH Tigers. Both Canberra Class LHDs operating as… Read more »

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

I am not sure on viability of this tactic any more, especially when using 105 guns. Due to their shorter range, this requires them being placed much nearer the fight. With today’s plethora of artillery spotting radar, UAVs and SHORAD. Not only is the artillery in greater danger of being spotted and targeted, but so is the Chinook/Merlin picking them up etc. As much as the 105 is light and easily airlifted, its range is no longer competitive, especially when facing against other systems that are 152mm or greater. Personally, I think the days of towed artillery are numbered. This… Read more »

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

To be fair, while the 105mm is close support, ie max range 17.5 KM, it is very mobile, has an excellent number of fuse options, and can be very accurate in the direct fire mode. In fact one was set up specifically for that purpose in Sangin, when the lads were out on the ground! On high elevation, accurate, cheap and a real 24/7 option to those of us needing it! And from the towed in convoy position to a call for fire being requested it is expected to be in action in 2 minutes! And that’s pretty good. My… Read more »

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

I don’t disagree for a fixed emplacement operating in a “benign” environment the 105 was really handy to have in your back pocket. If like the Dutch and Canadians who had Leopard and 120mm mortars there would have been flexibility on the type of fire that could be used, i.e. 120 tank round for door knocking and the mortar for emplaced resistance. The Dutch and Canadians became very adept at using their Leopards to breech compound walls, as the 120 HE round would have devastating secondary effects behind the wall compared to a breech charge. My concern is twofold when… Read more »

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Totaly aware of that, and the issue with peer on peer. The 105 is simply not effective against tier 1 enemy with a decenct counter Bty capability, and the 105 shell doesnt realy cut it. However the 105 lads in my FOb, especially on Herrick 8 were firing charge 1, just skimming the FOB wall, using Proximity normal and high, which was effective and had results when we next went out. The close support aspect is always better for those of us on the welcoming and supported end. And living tongue in chhek with the 7RHA lads and thie FSTs… Read more »

Sky Soldier
Guest
Sky Soldier

We were doing that with 105mm and 155mm howitzers in Vietnam in the 1960s!