• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

M1299 Extended Range Canon, the new "M109 makeover"?

ArmyRick

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
2,048
Points
1,010
Arty guys, check this out


What do you gunners think of this division canon concept? Why this and not the HIMARS?
 
What do you gunners think of this division canon concept? Why this and not the HIMARS?
I'm fine with it. A Penetration Division fights as part of a corps. Corps will have one or more arty bde's which will have MLRS or HIMARS which it will use in depth to prepare the area that the div will push into and then will take on the deeper fight once they are there and to supplement the divisional fight.

By keeping artillery at a higher level, you have more flexibility as to where it is used at critical times. The fact that MLRS and HIMARS is not organic to the division does not mean that their fires won't be there at the required time. That's what notions like "general support-reinforcing" is all about.

Having M1299s as the general support tool organic to the brigade gives the division a flexible, highly mobile and protected system that can push forward with the divisions rate of advance and yet reach forward beyond the usual range of the close support battalions.

Canadian artillery doctrine calls for artillery to be commanded at the highest level but controlled at the lowest and in that respect is nearly identical to the US doctrine which is resurging. Practically speaking, however, Canada's brigade structure and decades of focusing on the battle group still has most people thinking small. There are movements under way to get back to doctrinal basics.

🍻
 
Just curious. Do you think the US army is wise to keep the M109A7 and M1299 as seperate platforms? I do get it that the Yanks can play Brigade, division and corps warfighting.
Is it almost a "layered" approach to arty support?
 
Just curious. Do you think the US army is wise to keep the M109A7 and M1299 as seperate platforms? I do get it that the Yanks can play Brigade, division and corps warfighting.
Is it almost a "layered" approach to arty support?
Range bands.
The ERCA has a 70km range versus 40km for the M109A7

I’m sure that the A7 will eventually be replaced by the M1299 ERCA, but not for some time.
 
Just curious. Do you think the US army is wise to keep the M109A7 and M1299 as seperate platforms? I do get it that the Yanks can play Brigade, division and corps warfighting.
Is it almost a "layered" approach to arty support?
Range bands.
The ERCA has a 70km range versus 40km for the M109A7

I’m sure that the A7 will eventually be replaced by the M1299 ERCA, but not for some time.
That's essentially my thought.

The M1299 is in low volume production and testing. The autoloader is still being worked on.

The M109 family first came out in the 1960s and has been under a continuous development and upgrade to improve automotive mechanics, weapon system and control systems ever since. Essentially the M109A7 is a new chassis which the M1299 also incorporates providing for an upgrade path.

My guess is once the M1299 design stabilizes there will be an upgrade program which will start with the divisional GS battalions and then probably move on to the CS battalions. Even if the range is not so much needed by the CS battalions, there is a real benefit in having standard system to maintain throughout the divisional artillery.

I'm also still keeping an eye out for what the eventual outcome of the wheeled gun competition for the 9 Stryker BCTs will come up with. I find it interesting that the Waypoint 2027 Heavy division does not have a GS battalion and that the battalion for the CS of its SBCT is still an M777 battalion. Obviously that's simply a reallocation of existing resources for the achievable 2027 timeframe, but ... could, or should, that change to an M109A7 battalion?

:unsure:
 
Lessons learned from Ukraine?

The Army is conducting a major operational test on its Extended Range Cannon Artillery to better understand how the longer gun tube can handle a heavy amount of firing.

Observations from early testing showed that the gun tube exhibits excessive wear and tear after a relatively low number of rounds are fired. The service is looking at adjustments in materials used, the design of the gun tube, adjustments to propellants and the design of artillery rounds fired.


One possible solution would include use ramjet artillery currently in development, but the ramjet technology must meet certain cost requirements. Ramjet technology allows a missile to draw in air for combustion simply by its forward motion through the air, saving onboard air storage space.

The Norwegian company NAMMO is the leading proponent of the Ramjet technology for artillery.
 
I have to think that, whatever solution they come up with, and whatever whizz-bang high end munitions they devise, it must still be able to fire conventional shell munitions at high volume for an extended period, with occasional high rates of fire. Ukraine’s making it clear that not everything is precision, and that both defensive and offensive fires sometimes call for saturation of an area to defeat large numbers of infantry and light armoured vehicles.
 
I have to think that, whatever solution they come up with, and whatever whizz-bang high end munitions they devise, it must still be able to fire conventional shell munitions at high volume for an extended period, with occasional high rates of fire. Ukraine’s making it clear that not everything is precision, and that both defensive and offensive fires sometimes call for saturation of an area to defeat large numbers of infantry and light armoured vehicles.

I'm curious as to how either side can sustain a barrage with 500 drones in the air at a time which forces a short burst, shoot and scoot regime on the gunners (missiles, howitzers or tanks).
 
I wonder in the interest of reducing platforms, if the whiz bang ammo engineers can design a new 155mm rocket that fires on low charge (enough to clear the barrel) and then have a rocket kick in and guided/flown to target? Maybe a longer round to have more rocket fuel or HE?
Fire a barrage of rocket rounds and have them fly over 100 KM to target? Thoughts?

Forgive me if I am way out to left field. I was a mere mortar man.

Arty Guys? @FJAG @KevinB @Colin Parkinson
 
I'm curious as to how either side can sustain a barrage with 500 drones in the air at a time which forces a short burst, shoot and scoot regime on the gunners (missiles, howitzers or tanks).
Most of those 500 drones are likely small quad-copter types scouting out the front lines a few hundred meters away rather than larger UAVs searching many kilometers behind the lines for enemy artillery.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ueo
Also, what about pairing this new M1299 Howitzer with the Stryker SHORAD? Maybe new missiles for the SHORAD that can reach WAY out there.
 
I wonder in the interest of reducing platforms, if the whiz bang ammo engineers can design a new 155mm rocket that fires on low charge (enough to clear the barrel) and then have a rocket kick in and guided/flown to target? Maybe a longer round to have more rocket fuel or HE?
Fire a barrage of rocket rounds and have them fly over 100 KM to target? Thoughts?

Forgive me if I am way out to left field. I was a mere mortar man.

Arty Guys? @FJAG @KevinB @Colin Parkinson
You can, but limiting factoring is the chamber size and all the gadgets you put into the shell reduces the HE payload. At some point it makes better sense to use a rocket/missile. The beauty of gun artillery is the low unit cost of the round , plus simplicity of manufacture, along with acceptable accuracy without aids.
 
I wonder in the interest of reducing platforms, if the whiz bang ammo engineers can design a new 155mm rocket that fires on low charge (enough to clear the barrel) and then have a rocket kick in and guided/flown to target? Maybe a longer round to have more rocket fuel or HE?
Fire a barrage of rocket rounds and have them fly over 100 KM to target? Thoughts?

Forgive me if I am way out to left field. I was a mere mortar man.

Arty Guys? @FJAG @KevinB @Colin Parkinson
That begs the question of why not just go to a rocket without a barrel in the first place? Cost is a big factor. A steel casing fired by a bag of powder is magnitudes less expensive than a rocket with the same terminal effect regardless of whether the rocket is expelled from a barrel or a transport container. If it's first fired from a barrel its design is further limited to the barrel diameter and the shock of the expelling charge.

We're actually at an interesting time in the development of these systems. Copperhead came out just after I started in this game and it was revolutionary in that artillery could deliver a one-shot, one-kill capability rather than area neutralization. I never got to touch one much less fire one. Too expensive for Canada.

Rocket assisted projectiles have been around since WW2 but didn't become efficient (or safe) until the latter 1980s. Again there are trade offs, generally in replacing terminal explosive mass with rocket propellent thus lessening terminal effects. In addition accuracy suffers in that tube launched rocket motors are effected by numerous factors. Unguided artillery rounds already have variations which cause them to disperse naturally (probable errors). Rocket motors increase that making them more difficult to use in danger close missions. And again there is cost, although not as much as terminal guidance systems.

The problems being faced by the ERCA is predictable. Longer tubes and bigger chambers result in more forces acting on the barrel. And it's not just wear/erosion on the barrel. This paper download is a bit of a Coles Notes on that.

There are lots of research funds spent on trying to find just the right balance of cost, useful barrel life, range and terminal effects. At some point, one has to expect a trade off. Maybe a barrel life of 500 rounds and a $250,000 projectile is not a big issue if every one of those rounds takes out a $4-8 million dollar tank or IFV before they can get to you. On the other hand if that round only takes out a $1,500 machine gun ... Or if your acquisition costs were so high and manufacturing timelines so complex that you run out of ammunition before the other guy does ... Like everything in the army, there needs to be balance and options. Interestingly, in some of the Waypoint 2027 division models you can see that, on at least the preliminary models, ERCA is only slated for one of the four SP battalions and only in the Penetration division - basically a general support role.

🍻
 
You can, but limiting factoring is the chamber size and all the gadgets you put into the shell reduces the HE payload. At some point it makes better sense to use a rocket/missile. The beauty of gun artillery is the low unit cost of the round , plus simplicity of manufacture, along with acceptable accuracy without aids.
Agreed to a point.

Rockets by themselves aren't very expensive - one reason the Russian's have a plethora of MLR systems, cheap rockets on cheap platforms (al la BM-21 etc)

Rifled Artillery requires more technology to make a barrel than a straight walled thin rocket tube, and the projectile itself is often more expensive than the rocket simply due to the thicker casing, and the attachment of a drive band. Fuzing is where some Artillery projectiles jump - especially in the West, over Soviet era rockets.

Rockets typically where for massed fires, and gun artillery more for precision -- however now you have a rocket/missile system than can do both, mass and precision as needed (HIMARS with the various payloads) - but those payloads are not cheap.

As to @ArmyRick , like @FJAG said, you aren't gaining anything from a rifled artillery piece firing a rocket. You have an expensive finite life barrel, so better off just use the rocket tubes. You aren't going to be able to launch much from a 155mm that you can't get already unless you significantly sacrifice payload, and again at the cost of barrel life from firing something down the bore. To do it "effectively" you'd probably need a sabot which would also reduce the diameter further limiting payload - so you may get a 150km range with a 105mm payload.

While I think the ERCA is an interesting project, I don't really see the significant benefit over a HIMAR/M109 setup, unless you've decided the M109A7 range is no longer tenable for future conflicts
 
Also the military industrial complex likley makes more money out of the development cycle, than the production cycle. So getting the military onboard for a sexy project, likley means years of profit, regardless of the outcome. I do agree a HIMAR/M109 (or similar systems) is the way to go for long range fires.

As for initial costs, I argue that tubed artillery pays for itself in the long run, despite having a higher initial unit cost for the gun. You get more training time and you have greater coverage of an given area. The shorter range MRLS is important, but more area effect, unless you can put guidance on each rocket.
 
Most of those 500 drones are likely small quad-copter types scouting out the front lines a few hundred meters away rather than larger UAVs searching many kilometers behind the lines for enemy artillery.

One thing I am picking up on when reading the info on battle management is the critical importance of data fusion, the art of converting an insect eye view, routinely with bits of stale data, false data and missing data, into a useable picture.

pov2.jpg


I suspect that those 500 drones are quite broadly scattered and not just operated by the troopies in the trench lines but by deep recce and special forces as well as local partizans. Lots of little pictures.
 
One thing I am picking up on when reading the info on battle management is the critical importance of data fusion, the art of converting an insect eye view, routinely with bits of stale data, false data and missing data, into a useable picture.

pov2.jpg


I suspect that those 500 drones are quite broadly scattered and not just operated by the troopies in the trench lines but by deep recce and special forces as well as local partizans. Lots of little pictures.
AI and ML aspects of this cannot be overstated as to importance -- there is simply too much data for direct human assessment.
 
Back
Top