Exercise CONGREVE SPEAR has seen soldiers from 26th Regiment Royal Artillery spend the last five weeks on Salisbury Plain Training Area exercising in their new role as the Army’s Divisional Fires Regiment, say the British Army.

“Previously a close support artillery regiment equipped with the AS90 they deployed on exercise for the first time since their return from Germany where they were comprehensively tested on their new weapons systems the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS). 

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With the intensity of the exercise progressively building from initial low-level training in the field that included improving core artillery skills, through the Battle Craft Syllabus, to enhancing the soldiers tactical acumen, the MLRS detachments faced a number of challenges designed to test their ability to operate as and respond to the demands of a Divisional Fires Regiment against a peer enemy.

Among these challenges was a serial to see how the MLRS crews would react and look to avoid, detection by unmanned aircraft systems deployed by colleagues from 32nd Regiment RA.”

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Lieutenant Colonel Kieran Sheldon, Commanding Officer 26th Regiment RA, said in a release:

“Building on these understandings we have then progressed from detachment level to a point at the end of the exercise where we have operated as a complete Regiment, systematically testing our communications, sustainment and operating procedures; thereby enabling us to learn, redesign doctrine and concepts to reflect modern warfare.

For us this exercise has been vital in bringing the Regiment together and proving that we are ready to go and war fight in our role – it has been a real success.”

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The exercise, say the British Army, culminated with General Officer Commanding 3(UK) Division, Major General James Swift OBE and Brigadier Mark Pullan MBE, Commander 1 Artillery Brigade visiting to witness the Regiment’s capabilities in action.

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Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Typical example of how MoD cuts work.

Cut 39 RegRA, disperse it’s assets amongst 3 AS90 gun regiments in single GMLRS/Exactor Batteries, which was the situation until recently.

New cuts, 26 RA goes along with its AS90s, the GMLRS restored to regiment status.

Going round in circles.

Airborne
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Airborne

Against spot on, stealth cuts, although not planned as such I reckon this time. Just an easy change of Orbat, with the opportunity to try to make it look planned.

BB85
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BB85

If Archer is ordered will it be to replace AS90 or in addition to AS90. I’m more curious from a reserves point of view. Is artilary something that can be mothballed or kept in reserve until its really needed in which case number really do matter. I worry the UK government sees artilary as a bit WW2 and all ground strikes should take place from the air.

Airborne
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Airborne

There are still a large number of 105mm light guns in storage. Pretty simple gun by all a accounts, easily stored and better than fuck all when the shit hits the fan. Was the choice of gun for the TA/reserves, but now mostly stored. Not sure how long they can be stored for as any weapon system requires maintenance and servicing. Arty is called the god of war, not affected by weather, can be close support or depth, multiple fuze options, always on call to us Infantry types (brother never shuts up about how we need them lol) and as… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

To be sure, the Russians above all know the value of artillery.

Steve H
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Steve H

It seems that most Communist Countries have shit loads of artillery pieces……. Russia, China and North Korea as examples..

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Agree. Surely Artillery, while not as flexible maybe as air support, is much cheaper.

The RA has been badly neglected in the British Army.

Mr Bell
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Mr Bell

If you look at how much weight of fire can be put down onto target by artillery, in all weathers, 24/7. There is no better option. Fly a 100 million jet over a battlefield to drop 4000lbs of munitions onto enemy positions or just has 6 AS90 guns pound away for an hour.

Bill
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Bill

As well put as ever gentlemen. The teeth continue to be extracted as we head towards being redefined as a defence force only. The AS90 is still a very handy piece of kit; we could have opted for the 777 years ago but it is not a SP gun. The MOD’s storage bins must be overflowing. More kit in there than what is actually on the so called front line.

Steve H
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Steve H

Indeed it has mate, but up to recently the US military had neglected it’s artillery units as well. Now they have the amazing M777 and the M109 Paladin, they’re getting back to where they should be.
An army cannot fight without artillery support, even with air superiority flying is often affected by the weather conditions but artillery isn’t…..as long as you have eyes on the target in some capacity, it’s ready to roll.