Archer Mobile Howitzers operated by British troops fired 155mm rounds during a training exercise in Sweden.

Soldiers from the British Army’s Royal School of Artillery are learning what it takes to operate the Archer Mobile Howitzer, say the British Army.

“On the snowy, frozen military training area of Boden, Swedish Lapland, the British Army gunners have been putting their theory into practice, firing the modern artillery platform for the first time.

Following the granting-in-kind of 32 AS90 self-propelled guns to Ukraine, Archer was procured from the Swedish Government as an interim solution for the gap created in the Army’s 155mm Close Support capability.”

British Army accepts transfer of first Archer

The purchase included logistic support containers, an initial ammunition suite, support, and training package. The Swedish Artillery School provided a 14-week T3 ‘train the trainer’ course, training will start on the next generation of wheeled artillery systems this spring and will be fired in the UK next summer.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
25 days ago

I was only talking about this with @Graham More in the last few days on another thread. I wonder how the Archer compares to the new addition of the K9A2. Korean Hanwha K9A3 cannon come with an increased 70 km range “The K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzer is considered by dozens of experts to be the best in the world. The South Korean government will apparently try to maintain this “expert assessment” in the future. That’s why Seoul has already signed an agreement with Hanwha Defense that the next K9 model will have an increased range. This model is already being… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
25 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Hi Nige, a bit of context. The AS90, M109, Pz2000, Archer and the K9 all use the same size chamber volume for propellent. This is a NATO standard size of 23L. AS90 and M107 are currently using a 39 calibre 155mm gun. The Pz2000, Archer and K9 all use a longer 52 Cal barrel. Both the M109 and Pz2000 have also been tested with a longer 58 or 62 Cal barrel. Having a longer barrel does mean that the propellent gas is pushing the shell for longer and thereby generates a higher muzzle velocity. Which will send a non-assisted shell… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
25 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Many thanks, DaveyB, transportation would eventually become an issue. Clearly, there has to be a cut off point!

Simon m
Simon m
25 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Apparently Archer has a 25l chamber but can be cleared to fire 23l rounds post testing. Ukraine has found NATO rounds not to be entirely standard

DaveyB
DaveyB
25 days ago
Reply to  Simon m

I wonder how they do that with screw breech? As NATO standard ammo uses bag charges to alter the propellent mass.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
22 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Hi Davy, strange how were only talking about this very subject the other day.South Korea to mass produce extended-range projectiles for K9 howitzers 08 February 2024 “South Korean metal and munition manufacturer Poongsan will initiate the mass production of the extended-range 155 mm artillery shells for the Hanwha Land Systems K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzers (SPHs) in 2024, a Poongsan official told Janes on 8 February. Development and trials of the extended-range 155 mm shells were completed in 2023 and the company received a combat suitability certificate from the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) in July 2023, the official said. The… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
24 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Maybe the UK might go for the best of both worlds and have a mixed wheeled/tracked fleet? And who knows they might even do this with the IFV too if they reduce the Ajax numbers. It’s got to be a right choice/mix for all the likely scenarios and terrains. The UK must be watching what similar equipment choices being made in the US, AUS and other allied countries are making for future interoperability.

Last edited 24 days ago by Quentin D63
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
24 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Good morning Quentin D63, the work share alone would make this worthwhile and give us some of the much-needed equipment sooner rather than later. We currently operate 4th-5th gen fighter aircraft, would it make sense to operate 5th and 6th gen fighters come 2030? Internal weapons storage is already on the drawing board for their KF-21Boramae. They are working closely with MBDA for a range of missiles to be installed on it. South Korea unveils design concept of future K3 MBT Main Battle Tank “The development of the K3 Main Battle Tank comes in response to the South Korean Army’s… Read more »

Math
Math
23 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Still is surprising how a country half the population of UK is able to do all this. Are UK bankers funding them?

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
23 days ago
Reply to  Math

Hi Math, this should give you some idea.

“South Korea relies upon exports to fuel the growth of its economy, with finished products such as electronics, textiles, ships, automobiles, and steel being some of its most important exports.”

Rank 10

“Worldwide gross domestic product in 2022 was at about 12,703 USD per capita. GDP in South Korea, on the other hand, reached USD 32,423 per capita, or 1.674 trillion USD for the whole country. South Korea is therefore one of the world’s largest economies and is currently at rank 10.”

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
21 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Hi Nigel, smart moves by the Koreans. KF-21 looks like a hybrid of F22 +F35A stuck together… Lol 😁. If they get their carriers going there might even be a requirement for a naval version if they don’t choose the F35B. Wonder how it compares to the Typhoon, Rafael, F-18 Hornet and F35A? It’ll be interesting to see the F35B evolve too.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
21 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Add 2x EJ200 and Radar 2?

“Based on this webpage provided by Korea Aerospace Industries on its website that refers to the KF-21 Boramae, the aircraft’s capabilities come with a maximum thrust weight of 44,000lbs or 19,958 kilograms, a range of 1,550 nautical miles, maximum speed of 1,400mph or almost nearing Mach 2.0, which is around 2x the …19 Nov 2023″

https://

popularmechanics.com/military/aviation/a36097972/south-korea-new-fighter-jet-kf-21-boramae-f-22-similarities/

Last edited 21 days ago by Nigel Collins
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
22 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

The army has always had a mix of tracked and wheeled or towed artillery.

I am not sure how the army can reduce Ajax numbers, as they will be procuring as many as are required. Even if they did procure 10 or 20 fewer, how does that help buy enough IFVs for 5 x AI battalions? What would we then do with the Boxers? Recreate two strike brigades, so they ‘have a home’?

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
21 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Evening Graham, I thought I read on someone’s post here that there could be a reduction in the Boxer numbers and was thinking if this was significant will there be a case for and monies for some tracked IFVs? Looks like the US, AUS as well as several European countries are doing the later.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
21 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Hi Quentin, I think the army had a worked-out Requirement for about 1,300-1,400 (heard that somewhere on UKDJ). Funding agreed for only 1,016 or 1,018 (I forget which). Now there are a few rumours that we won’t order anymore than Tranches 1 and 2 which total 623. Who knows? Anyway, 623 have been ordered and MoD is contracted with ARTEC – the army will get these beasts, delivered slowly over very many years. So the Infantry in the two armoured brigades will have their battle taxis. How then does anyone make a case for proper tracked, cannon-equipped IFVs for those… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
21 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Quite a gap still to fulfil. Hope it all comes in time maybe it’s other variants still to come to make up the fleet. And the way you put it, I’m picturing a lighted “TAXI”sign atop these Boxer “battlefield” 🚖, but not painted yellow at least! Lol 😁
Thanks always for your detailed replies, all good stuff.

Last edited 21 days ago by Quentin D63
Callum
Callum
25 days ago

I wonder if its legal to simply skip the replacement competition for the AS-90 and expedite a large Archer acquisition? Its a good platform, we’re already getting it into service, and combat experience in Ukraine is showing highly-mobile fires to be critical to modern warfare.

Get a bulk order in to reequip the AS-90 units, convert the regular RA regiments with the L118 to AS-90 and transfer their guns to the Commando and Parachute artillery regiments who still have a need for light towed/air mobile weapons

maurice10
maurice10
25 days ago
Reply to  Callum

In addition to these systems, the RA needs to establish drone regiments both offensive and defensive at the earliest opportunity. Drone usage in Ukraine is considerable and increasing at an alarming rate. The span of use can range from small devices to high explosives. The spectre of drone swarms is no doubt going to get the bovines worried as these can wear down ground forces by the accumulation of effect. The future battlefield will be hugely dominated by drone technology and the RA must be at the forefront.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
25 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

Agree. The RA already have 2 regular UAV Regs, one for the tactical Drones and one for Watchkeeper.
Sadly, one of those came about by scrapping GBAD assets to be replaced by model aeroplanes.
But more needs to happen. How about reg of reservists, with every teenage geek they can find who is hot with a PS control pad to operate FPV’s for starters.
There are already other specialist units in the Army Reserve, Royal Signals and Cyber ones come to mind, who provide niche capabilities from civilian life. So why not Drones.

maurice10
maurice10
25 days ago

There is no doubt young geeks would enjoy the chance to operate and develop future military drone design. They do say that drone technology development is measured in weeks and not months. Some of the most advanced game technology is being created by young technicians who could transfer their skills to drones.

Dern
Dern
23 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

Some of the biggest issues with Drone training in the UK is airspace restrictions. Generally to start flying anything more than a black hornet over a military training exercise you need paperwork, so while a lot of units have drone operators (I recently saw the list of qualified drone operators in my battalion and its surprisingly long) getting them the flying hours to remain qualified is a struggle, getting the drone flying in concert with Platoon or Company Exercises is even harder, and getting drone teams training as part of a Platoon or Company while a credible Counter UAV/Counter Battery… Read more »

maurice10
maurice10
23 days ago
Reply to  Dern

The current flight restrictions for drones as you described need to change and that means addressing red tape and other such constraints. The chaos drones can inflict on civilian life was witnessed over Gatwick Airport a few years ago and that was just one machine. I fear there will need to be another such wake-up call before the government puts urgent funding towards military drone training and development. UK police drone units are now appearing and are proving to be both effective and cheaper than using helicopters.

Dern
Dern
23 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

They are unlikely too, we’re a country that loves red tape, and we need six weeks notice just to book ranges and training areas, getting flight restrictions for drones removed is not going to be a quick thing (and even if it was there is little desire to do so as a lot of the restrictions are in place for a reason, the drama at Gatwik is a perfect example, but you can imagine if a training serial didn’t book the airspace and a chinook was planned to fly through it, for example, how dangerous that would be. If you’ve… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
25 days ago

That is a very good idea, drone pilot is one of those skill sets that a modern army will probably need a lot of in war time but not some much in peace time. I do think we as in the UK needs to look very closely at how feeds in specialist skills to the armed forces…using reservists would seem to be the way forward…if a place like Finland with a population of 5 million can have a reservist force of 160,000k I think we could do a lot better…and even do something like Finland where people have a very… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
25 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

It seems such an obvious idea one wonders why we are so antiquated in some aspects.

Ian Skinner
Ian Skinner
24 days ago

Agreed, and skip on fitness requirements for the reservist drone operator regiments, to make them more attractive for the geeks.

Jonno
Jonno
24 days ago

Who remembers the Machine Gun Corps? Their Memorial at Hyde Park Corner is one of the finest.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
25 days ago
Reply to  Callum

That would be a solitary Regiment, then. 4RA, who support 7 Bde. The other regular Regiment with Light Gun has converted to GMLRS. I’d rather just buy 3 Regiments worth of Archer, the original requirement was for over 100 guns. 7 Bde is also a wheeled formation, so don’t think a heavy beast like AS90 sits well there now. Over at the Cdo and Para side, 29RA and 7 RHA I think have 6 gun Batteries. 7 RHA has had its 3rd Battery reinstated after it was lost in the previous cuts. 29, I’m unsure if they still have 3… Read more »

Deep32
Deep32
25 days ago

Yes, the interim 14 tubes doesn’t quite make up for the loss of the 32 AS90s we gifted to the UKRAINE.
Not sure how this would impact on our LG batteries, but, there is a rumour going around that we are looking at going to 120mm mortars!
Another rumour going traction is that said Chancellor is looking at increasing defence spending in the budget!!!!
I might need to sit down in a quiet dark corner to get over the excitement.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
25 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

I know A and others have been champing at the bit for 120mm mortars for ages.
As for the Chancellor increasing spending, all well and good. But only if Labour match it. As Hunt won’t be around much longer.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
25 days ago

On the mortars, assume they’d be held in Bn FS Coys rather than part of the RA? Maybe Davey can advise?

Cymbeline
Cymbeline
25 days ago

Firstly nice of you to give my old Regt a shout out DM (4RA). On the morter front they are not strictly alien to the RA, we used to have our own morter and crew trained from within our troop so if we were at say Larkhill training and there was no Inf available to fire for us we’d then use our own. Having said that I don’t see them sitting with the RA.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
25 days ago
Reply to  Cymbeline

Neither do I. I see them as integral FS assets with the infantry.

DaveyB
DaveyB
24 days ago

Hi Dan, not sure. The legacy 81mm is still a highly affective weapon. Plus its relatively light, so it can be tagged on to a section when needed, as well as used from a company fire base. Yes its a pain to carry, but it is doable. The 120mm mortar by contrast is a bit of a beast. Due its size and weight, it really needs transporting to the firing point. As the Ukraine War has explicitly highlighted, anything that stays static for too long will be targeted, either by artillery, drones or other air assets. Shoot, bang off a… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
24 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Thanks for that Davey.

Jonathan
Jonathan
24 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Interestingly the fires obsessed Finnish army use the 81mm as a company level weapon ( either 3 or 2 depending on the infantry company type) and then holds the 120mm as a battalion level weapon…the Finnish army is little but it has a lot of mortars…( around 2400ish).

Simon
Simon
24 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Last time the Army had 4.2″ mortars ( mid 1950’s??) were they not in RA units?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
22 days ago
Reply to  Simon

In service 1942 to 1966. Incredibly they were operated first by RE, then by Inf then by RA.

Sam
Sam
24 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

There is something recent on James about the UK buying the mortar version of the Boxer.

Deep32
Deep32
25 days ago

Obviously not a great deal of detail ref possible increase, but it looks as though it’s slated to increase land strike capabilities on T45s. The possibilities of Mk41 being fitted perhaps, or more canisters for NSM?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
25 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

That wouldn’t even cost a great deal of money TBH.

More canister for NSM would be the quicker route in the short term.

With Mk41 fitted as the hull rotates through.

It is also essential that the 40mm are fitted and the 4.5” us changed over to a 57mm / 76mm or 5” (all of which have various other purposes).

Deep32
Deep32
25 days ago

Yes agree, NSM is the quickest route as opposed to Mk41, but would like to see them with 4xquad canisters (ala USS Constellation class).

Would like to see the 30mm guns replaced by 40mm Bofors. I personally like the option of 76mm, but that would add another calibre to the list, so, 5″ on the front and a non penetrating 57mm on the hanger roof – awesome fit imo.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
25 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

I think a 5” on the front is just too big and it would mean cutting around the armoured magazines – which would be time consuming and expensive.

As the #1 priority is max number of T45 deployable I think it will be 57mm.

Deep32
Deep32
25 days ago

Yes, 5″ is a big set up, don’t they do a ‘Lite’ version though? Not sure if it would make much difference space wise mind.
Would tend to agree that 57mm is probably the front runner if they do swop out the 4.5″.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
21 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

It all sounds great and maximising the T45 platform post PIP. MK41s will be a huge force multiplier as would additional quad NSM. I think they can do a lot better than just 24 CAMM. Said this before, even those 6 silo CAMM’s could be repacked or stretched into 8’s for a simple 25% increase.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
25 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

One for the experts on here, what type of ships would this replace in the RN current and future fleet and would it require less crew to operate it? I always thought we missed a trick here as some may recall. 05 February 2024 Greece announces plans for joint production of Constellation-class frigates “Greek Minister of National Defence Nikos Dendias has announced that the country is interested in the joint production of a modified version of the Constellation-class frigates being built for the US Navy (USN). Dendias’ comments were made following a meeting with the defence minister of the Republic… Read more »

Jacko
Jacko
25 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

There is an article over on TWZ about whether these frigates have enough missile launch tubes! Sound familiar?

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
25 days ago
Reply to  Jacko

Hell Jacko, I was having a look last night and came across this article on Navy Lookout making a direct comparison with the Type 26 titled, Adding firepower to the Type 26 Frigate
Worth reading.

https://

navylookout.com/adding-firepower-to-the-type-26-frigate/

Deep32
Deep32
23 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Hi Nigel, This wouldn’t replace anything that we have, its the USN version of our T26 ASW frigate, based on an Italian FREMM but heavily modified. Its finally dawned on the USN that they actually require a dedicated ASW ship with a rounded assortment of other capabilities to relieve the pressure on the AB’s. The Constellation class are the spiritual successors to the old OHPs that they had during the cold war days. Ive also read that article that @Jacko posted about, interesting reading, but do the USN really need to turn it into a mini AB? Sure it needs… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
23 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

👍

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
21 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Missed opportunity here for our T26, A140/T31?

DaveyB
DaveyB
24 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

I have often wondered why the T23 never had a single Phalanx mounted on its hanger roof, after the Seawolf radar was removed? I guess the hangar would need beefing up some to handle the additional weight. The T45 is similar, where its rear arc is not covered by a gun system. At a minimum, the Navy should be looking at fitting the Mk4 40mm, but preferably the Mk110 57mm system. Or another DS30 mount as an even cheaper option. Perhaps with another look at the Martlet fitting. I guess the question that needs addressing, is which system can provide… Read more »

Deep32
Deep32
23 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

You are right to wonder why the rear arc on both T23/45 dont appear to be covered sufficiently. I have no idea myself, it would not be beyond the wit of the MOD to strengthen the hanger roof and attach a non hull penetrating 57mm gun – suddenly the rear 180 deg arc is covered! T26 gets partially round the issue by having 2 x 30mm guns either side of the hanger aft, but there is still a gap right astern where there is limited coverage. Believe we need to move on somewhat and replace the 30mm with 2 x… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
21 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Do you thnk the T26’s 30mm might get replaced by 40mm? Is there enough room?

Deep32
Deep32
21 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Hi fella,

to be totally honest, I have absolutely no idea if its a viable or not. I would like to think though that if it is doable, then it gets done at the earliest opportunity.
What the Red Sea/Ukraine is showing us is that ‘drones’ are a real headache and we need something simple, cheap and effective to kill them. DEW are probably the way forward in that respect, but thats in the future, guns are the here and now.

Jonathan
Jonathan
25 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

I think there is beginning to be an admission that the peace dividend is over and we are staring at a major war within a decade or less.

Deep32
Deep32
25 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Think you are probably correct there, would like to think that our politicians will finally come to their sense and get onboard with the threat!

Nick Cole
Nick Cole
24 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

The obsession with tax cuts suggests this may not be universal yet.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
25 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Good news if they’re muscling up the T45s and maybe a bit less talk about when they’re retiring them off as it kind of undermines what happening. It makes good sense to maximise their potential post PIP. As others have said maybe they can replace the 4.5″and 30mm, upgrade the sonar and install a pair of SEA TWS?

Jonno
Jonno
24 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Regarding talk by the Defence Committee who recommend keeping equipment withdrawn from service in reserve; I have often wondered why we don’t store out of commission warships in the numerous unused dry docks around the UK.

Andrew D
Andrew D
25 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

If you don’t mind I’ll join you 🤗 probably need a big corner has must on this site Will come along two.🚶🚶🚶🚶🚶🚶🚶🚶🚶

Deep32
Deep32
25 days ago
Reply to  Andrew D

No worries, I’ll bring the 🍷, you bring the glasses!🤣

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
25 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

It’s amazing how SK seems to have pretty much everything we require! 03 January 2023 South Korea announces full-scale deployment of 120 mm mortars DAPA said that it has signed a contract with Hanwha Aerospace to mass-produce 120 mm SPMs and fire command vehicles. Pictured above is an example of a 120 mm SPM integrated into an M113-type tracked armoured personnel carrier. (Hanwha Defense) “South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has announced the full-scale deployment of120 mm self-propelled mortars (SPMs) in the Republic of Korea (RoK) Army by 2025. DAPA said in a recent press release that it has… Read more »

Deep32
Deep32
25 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Probably a bit of wishful thinking on my part, but would like to see us buy both a ‘fixed’ vehicle -Nemo style system and either/or towed system/integrated system firing through roof hatch.
Would also like them to be available across the board IE Armoured/Medium/Light battalions. Just wishful thinking.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
25 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

We can but dream 😜

Jacko
Jacko
24 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Amazing how an enemy just across the DMZ focuses the mind isn’t it?

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
24 days ago
Reply to  Jacko

I wish it did here 😂

Expat
Expat
24 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

As I said on another thread I can’t see the next government collaborating on defence outside of Europe, they’ve already publish papers on European defence collaboration. I’m not saying its the right or wrong, its just going to be the way the next government is setting its stall out.

Jonathan
Jonathan
25 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

I read a really interesting peace on the lethality of 120 mortars over the 81mm…profoundly more destructive.infact o believe the highest number of people killed and injured by a 120mm was 68 killed and 144 injured..also significant increase in range with a rocket assisted rifled 120mm mortar round having a range of 13 Km

Deep32
Deep32
25 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

There is a piece over on Land Defence, by a Finish chap I think, about mortars. Really good read I thought, especially as it’s not really my area, but came to pretty much the same conclusion as what you described.

Jonathan
Jonathan
24 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

The Finnish do love their mortars…they have around 900 120mm and 1500 81mm….that’s on top of their 700 hundred towed fires, 180 self propelled and 70+ Multiple rocket launch systems….they take their fires very seriously..

what is is interesting is that with the finish army each infantry company has its own 81mm mortar platoon, where as British army holds its 81mm mortar platoon at battalion level. The finish army has the 120mm mortar at battalion level.

Deep32
Deep32
24 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

They do like them don’t they. I think past experiences has taught the Finns some valuable lessons wrt artillery, one which they haven’t forgotten. One where we should learn from. However, having said that, I do like what we are trying to do with our ‘fires’ (I do so hate that term!) requirements, a broader range of barrels, with a good sprinkling of rocket systems both medium and longer ranged. Only bug bearer really is the length of time we are taking on getting things done – I know money. Wouldn’t it be nice if said Chancellor pulled a rabbit… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
24 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Yes time is the essence with everything at the moment…I really don’t understand why they don’t get some urgency on..we know were it’s all heading and we know the timeframes ( after all the Chinese have been nice enough to inform everyone)…they need to really look at every project and programme and see what can be done in the next 3 years and sod the cheque book ( our enemies are cashing checks now that they know they cannot really afford…which is one of the profoundly worrying things).

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
25 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Ok, just seen the UKAFC Twitter feed re 120mm. Looks pretty legit doesn’t it.

DaveyB
DaveyB
24 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Perhaps he is actually going to meet the 2% NATO requirement. Where our actual defence spend minus pensions and CASD is at 1.45%!

Expat
Expat
24 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Yeah that’s the big difference lumping all that in really take a big chunk. And it shows the % of GDP is of little relevance, its really what you spend it on.

Deep32
Deep32
24 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Wouldn’t that just be nice, and better late than never! That may well turn out to be the case, but, with an immediate smallish uplift to accelerate NSM being fitted to T45’s(which seems to be the scuttlebutt about said increases) is what I, like others believe will happen.

DaveyB
DaveyB
24 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Does make you think of where the services would be if the 1.45% was actually 2% or more? Would they all be in the state they are in today?

If the T45s and HMS Diamond d in particular had the NSM fitted. What’s the chances, that they would have been used to prosecute Houthis land targets? Pretty high I’d imagine.

Deep32
Deep32
24 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

If Diamond had NSM already fitted, without a shadow of doubt, they would have been used against some of the targets.
It’s got to be far more efficient then sending 4 Typhoons with tanker support over 3000 miles to drop some bombs.
I’m not entirely sure of the available space on a T45, but, if we are accelerating NSM integration on them, I wouldn’t mind seeing them with 4 x quad launchers fitted. Would give them a couple of goes at the Houthis before we need the RAF.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
24 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

32 donated isn’t the full picture. I think it was 20 working units and 12 not working spares.

Deep32
Deep32
24 days ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

Hi mate, wouldn’t know about the breakdown of donated ‘tubes’, just that we sent 32 and have purchased 14 as an ‘interim’ replacement! What annoys the s**t out of me about this, is that there is already a budget line (£850 million I believe) for replacement howitzers (not sure if this money covers other elements of RA requirements or just for AS90 replacements?). The army must know what they want and in my mind its largely irrelevant whether its wheels or tracks, so why are we p+++ing around with ‘interim’ anything and not just going out and buying what they… Read more »

Jonno
Jonno
24 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

They are doubtless waiting for the gold plated edition.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
23 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Well 14 replacing 20 is still a reduction. Makes me wonder how many aS90 actually are in service. That £850m could get a decent amount and goodness only knows what’s going on. I think the army should get on with it and purchase archer. Reasons are there aren’t enough transport vehicles for tracked artillery, artillery on the man truck that’s already in service. 14 guns can be used for training if one fleet is wanted. A split buy would also be great but this is the British forces so not a great idea as one will be sacked off at… Read more »

Callum
Callum
25 days ago

I was including the 3 Reserve RA regiments in the count as well, which between them have another 12 batteries of light guns. Maybe leave one regiment of light guns to provide depth for the two specialist regiments, but otherwise I’d see as much of our artillery force as possible up gunned and standardised on Archer.

I’d also prefer to just expand the army with another 3 regiments of Archer, but that’s going to require well over 1,500 new personnel. Right now, even if those numbers could be added, they’d be better deployed reinforcing understrength battalions than forming new units.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
25 days ago
Reply to  Callum

Hi Callum.
Thanks. Agree on up gunning.
I myself see the RA as the priority fighting arm now, and I’d see it expanded over the infantry. So I’d not mind seeing extra RA Regs myself over reinforcing the Corps of Infantry. Brimstone and Drone regs for starters.

Callum
Callum
25 days ago

There’s certainly an argument to be made for more gunners over infantry, but it’s ultimately the basic troops that take and hold ground, not the guns.

Given that casualties are likely to be much higher in the infantry battalions than the RA as well, building up depth there would make more sense to me.

It’s going to be interesting to watch how the Army structures itself for the future

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
25 days ago
Reply to  Callum

What you say also has merit mate. Total sense.

Louis
Louis
25 days ago

29 hasn’t had 3 gun batteries since the 2010 SDSR came into effect.

There’s also 5 regiment AAC which will convert into a drone regiment.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
25 days ago
Reply to  Louis

Evening Louis.
Thanks, I suspected as such.
Yes, I mentioned 5 AAC on another thread. Is it confirmed then, last I heard was a rumour of it doing so, as part of the “new” UAV group.

Louis
Louis
25 days ago

Not sure 5 AAC is confirmed, but with the Gazelle replacement canned it seems inevitable.

On another note, you mentioned reservists UAV regiments. A reserve artillery regiment was to rerole to UAV in Army 2020. In the Army 2020 refine it reroled back to Light Gun to give the illusion that the light brigades had CS/CSS. Not sure if it ever actually reroled in time, probably not, but it shows it was thought feasible at least.

Jonathan
Jonathan
25 days ago

I agree, to be honest now we have purchased a regiments worth of archer as a AS90 replacement we may as well just admit that archer is the de facto replacement and just get on with replacing AS90 completely with Archer..it would be a massive uplift in capacity for our fires and we can send the AS90s straight over to Ukraine..so creating a massive uplift in Ukraines fires as well and creating two things for Putin to worry about.

Dern
Dern
23 days ago

*7 Para RHA.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
22 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Thanks for the correction. 😀

Richard Beedall
Richard Beedall
25 days ago
Reply to  Callum

EU-era public procurement regs are still enshrined in UK law, but these allow exemptions on national security grounds. As for suggestions that the budget next month might include an increase in the defence budget, I’m a bit dubious. Sunak and Hunt’s top priority is tax cuts to give the Tories at least slim chance in the general election, and that means trying to cut spending on everything but the sacrosanct NHS. If the MOD’s budget remains static in real terms, that is actually a huge improvement over the inflation adjusted 6.5% cut it took in 2023/24. In late 2022 Wallace… Read more »

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
25 days ago

So the UK donated 32 AS90s to Ukraine and we’ve ordered as an interim replacement 14 Archer systems.
Hmmm.., 🤔 seems someone at the MOD didn’t pass their GCSE Maths.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
25 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Interim, mate. I believe those 32 AS90 included guns that were not part of the 2 regular regiments we have left. So the 14 replace that part.

Louis
Louis
25 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

14 guns is all there was. There are zero other Archers available.

Army has already said they want another 10 to reach a full regiments worth.

Andrew D
Andrew D
25 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Archers are good platform ,but has you say 14 to replace 32 🤔 no sense.However sure the 32 AS90s were in storage but still classed has reserve .So hopefully we will get more Archers eventually .But let’s not bet on it 🙄

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
22 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Some sources said it was 20 working aS90 and 12 non functioning spare vehicles given to Ukraine. A replacement or upgrade should be a top priority

Sceptical Richard
Sceptical Richard
25 days ago

Backbencher: To ask the minister if the army is procuring any guided extended range projectiles to go with Archer?

Minister: The life cycle funding calculations do not support the business case for GERP

I would bet my pension on the above

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
23 days ago

Shoot and scoot. I can understand scooting before return fire is made, but if you are targeted by drones..how far do you have to scoot? Can you scoot far enough? Is it a case that every battery needs to have an anti-drone supacat with it to provide protection? AA

David Lee
David Lee
22 days ago

I work at Rsa and I haven’t spoken to anybody who thinks archer is a good replacement while we still have enough As90 in service to equip the two units . Archer only carries 14 rounds uses a modular charge system no used by any other nato country and has no manual way of operation in other words if somthing breaks in the auto load or laying that’s it useless

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
21 days ago
Reply to  David Lee

In my view AS90 and Archer are for different Formations.

AS90, a SPG, logically should support the two Armoured Brigade Combat Teams (to use the terrible new Americanism) and 1 DSR Bde, in 3 Div, being as how it is a tracked equipment.

Archer would ably support a wheeled, armoured Formation such as a Light Mech Brigade Combat Team.

It makes no sense to mix Archer and AS90 in the same artillery regiment if that is what is being proposed.

David Lee
David Lee
21 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

You have missed my point archer is not suitable in any roles it doesn’t use standard nato propellant charges and has no manual way of operation whoever decided to bin as90 early in favour of this shoddy kit needs sacking

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
20 days ago
Reply to  David Lee

David, apologies, I should have commented on your points. I know that not everyone likes Wikipedia (often for unconvincing reasons) but it says about Archer: “The howitzer can use NATO modular charges or Bofors Uniflex 2 modular charges. The Uniflex 2IM modular charge system consists of two sizes of combustible charge cases; one full-size and one half-size case, both filled with the same type of insensitive guanylurea dinitramide (GuDN) propellant. Also from Wiki: “The FH77B uses standard NATO 155mm ammunition with bagged drive charges.[6] Army-technology.com says: “The main gun … can fire all types of 155mm projectiles (might suggest that it can fire all types… Read more »

Graham S
Graham S
19 days ago

A question for those more knowledgeable than I. The photo appears to show something burning at the tail of the rounds just fired. Is that likely to be the last of the gas burning off, or is it base bleed?