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British Army News and Discussion

Discussion in 'Army & Security Forces' started by RobWilliams, Feb 8, 2013.

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  1. RobWilliams

    RobWilliams Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Not sure that there's one of these, so just thought it'd be handy to create somewhere to lump all British Army stuff in one place.

    I was just checking out exactly what Army 2020 is supposed to be able to do, as we're all aware after the Afghan drawdown the general idea is that the UK will have the Army broken down into 3 sections; the Reaction Force, the Adaptable Force & Force Troops.

    The main bit I was looking at was the Reaction Force, essentially the spearhead of the next UK operation post-Afghan.

    This is made up of 2 major units; 16 Air Assault Brigade and the 1st Armoured Division. The current expectation - AFAIK - is that elements of each brigade will be to at very high readiness but both of the brigades will be deployable at longer notice.

    That's quite a potent capacity, 16 Air Assault Brigade includes - in terms of combat troops
    • 7th Para Regt RHA (L118 Light Guns)
    • 23 Air Assault Engineer Regiment
    • 1st Batt. Royal Irish Regiment
    • 2 PARA
    • 3 PARA
    • 3rd Regt AAC (Apache)
    • 4th Regt AAC (Apache)
    • 9th Regt AAC (Lynx)
    • D Sqdn Royal Household Cavalry
    • Pathfinder Platoon

    & 3rd Mechanised Division - IIRC will contain 3 Armoured Brigades (1st, 12th, 20th) which will rotate the brigade at high readiness. Each brigade will include

    • 1 x Armoured Cavalry Regiment (CVR(T)) - 3 Sqdns of 16 + C&C/support Sqdn
    • 1 x Armoured Regiment (CR2) - 3 Sqdns of 18 CR2 +C&C/support Sqdn
    • 3 x Armoured Infantry Batts. 3 Coys with 14 Warrier per Coy + Support Coy
    • 1 x "Heavily Protected Mobile Inf Batt". 3 Coys with 14 Mastiff per Coy + Support Coy
    • 101 Logistical Support Brigade

    All the handy stuff like Artillery, Engineers, Medical, Intel etc come under 'Force Troops' and as such will be attached to units as and when applicable. I'm not going to lie, i'd have liked the brigades as port of 1st Armoured Division to have organic artillery in the form of AS90/MLRS.

    If you're reading this and thinking "Man, the British Army is small", i've not done much reading into the Adapable Force which - I think - is made up of 7 Infantry Brigades which can fluctuate in size but generally would include light cavalry regiments, light infantry batts and 'protected' infantry batts in things like Foxhound, these are the brigades that'd include the TA. Probably a fair bit more i've missed out too.

    In terms of readiness, there will be an airbourne battlegroup and armoured battlegroup available for deployment anywhere immediately and both brigades would be ready to deploy within 3 months.

    Factor in the rapid deployability of 3 Commando Brigade (although not Army), IMO that amounts to a decent deployable capability to spearhead UK operations abroad.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2013
  2. RobWilliams

    RobWilliams Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Moved from RN thread

    Yeah, on the face of it it's going to be a decent step up.12 ready to go instead of 4, Mach 3 over Mach 2.5, more mobile on land. I've got a PDF from the Army it says the actual range of the Rapier missile is only 500m?! The radar range is 16km. [I've uploaded a screenshot of the 'fact file' bit]

    But saying that, Rapier was handy being able to be carried as an underslung load.

    I've attached a multi-picture example of what CAMM actually does when it's up in the air.
     
  3. swerve

    swerve Super Moderator

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    That must be an editing mistake. Look at the rest of that line. 500 m (max) to 8 m (min) - unbelievable. Could that be 500 metres minimum to 8 km maximum?
     
  4. RobWilliams

    RobWilliams Super Moderator Staff Member

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    My thoughts exactly, otherwise that'd surely be a health risk if the Rapier hit an aircraft 8m away ;)

    Still emphasises the physical advantages of CAMM over Rapier.
     
  5. RobWilliams

    RobWilliams Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Excellent news from Janes in regards to the Royal Artillery component of the Reaction brigade structure, although they won't technically be a part of the brigade itself they are planning for a 'close support regiment' to be assigned to each brigade consisting of
    • 3 x AS90 batteries (each battery having 6 AS90's)
    • 1 x GMLRS battery of 6 launchers

    The link also talks about the Spike NLOS missile, a system which I have no knowledge of & didn't know that the Army got their hands on some from somewhere.

    In any case, 18 AS90s + 6 GMLRS per reaction brigade. Not bad at all IMO.

    UK Royal Artillery rolls out new structure
     
  6. SteelTiger 177

    SteelTiger 177 New Member

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    The one thing out of all this I find quite unsettling is the deicision to withdraw forces from Germany given the problems were facing with both Syria and Iran.Also the decision to reduce the Regular force and have the British Army rely on Resevrve and TA(Territorial Army)forces is a bad Idea.Another thing should'nt the 6 airborne Bde also be list as part of reaction force the Brits are planing to set up?
     
  7. RobWilliams

    RobWilliams Super Moderator Staff Member

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    16th Air Assault Brigade (the 6th no longer exists, combined with the 1st to get the 16th) IS a part of the reaction forces, I do say that in the original post.

    Not sure why you find pulling out of Germany to be a particularly unsettling thing, if anything it's a longer & more expensive journey to transport all that armour & equipment from Germany than it would be from the UK.

    Perhaps you could care to elaborate?
     
  8. RobWilliams

    RobWilliams Super Moderator Staff Member

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    What a load of shite.

    There's chatter about the Royal Artillery losing their GMLRS units! There's a Janes link but i'm unable to confirm what's actually in it, but it's an outrage.

    http://buff.ly/YcZwXN
     
  9. Waylander

    Waylander Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    That would be so idiotic I can't help but think that it is deliberate sabotage.

    In an age of ever shrinking troop densities a long range all weather ground based PGM capability is a must have IMO. Western troops rely much on their ability to bring heavy and accurate firepower to bear on their opponents. Taking this tool out of the box is going to diminish the British Armys ability to do so a lot.
     
  10. RobWilliams

    RobWilliams Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It'd be a farce.

    However, not that long ago Jane's published how the RA planned to have a battery of GMLRS ready to go with the reactive armoured brigade. I linked it earlier in the thread too. So it seems a bit strange how apparently the RA planned it out and suddenly the weapon system faces outright withdrawral completely from nowhere. The GMLRS was a big point about the future of Army 2020.

    Hopefully it's an incredibly OTT title, but we'll see what develops. As i said, I can't actually read the title so.
     
  11. Waylander

    Waylander Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    I remember the heavy criticism the Apache faced and how this changed 180 degrees after it proved it's worth in theater.

    From the reports I have read I would have thought that GMLRs did the same in Afghanistan.

    One just has to look at how many armed forces like Germany, Singapore, South Korea, etc. are adding GMLRs to their inventor because of it's performance in the last decade.
     
  12. RobWilliams

    RobWilliams Super Moderator Staff Member

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    To be honest, that's exactly the sort of thing i'd been hearing from Afghan too.

    I have to say, apart from the Janes link i've not heard anything about it from anywhere else, not even from the Army's website. Which is beginning to lead me to believe that the article has a misleading headline, it could mean a couple of specific regiments being lost or retasked to the Light Gun or whatever.

    Here's hoping, anyway.
     
  13. Waylander

    Waylander Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Fingers crossed for our partners. It was always nice when one met a bunch of british army guys in the Bergen/Munster area (although the officers seem to be a bit aloft...;)).
     
  14. StobieWan

    StobieWan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I saw interview material with a GMLRS crew and they seemed to regard the GMLRS capability as a fairly definitive silver bullet option, as in "when you absolutely, definitely have to make something go away" - and of course, it's weather independent, doesn't require air superiority over the target etc so I'd be surprised if GMLRS went away.
     
  15. FormerDirtDart

    FormerDirtDart Member

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    The Telegraph has reported that 1st Armored Division will be the command headquarters of the Adaptive Force under Army 2020. Wikipedia is now listing the Adaptive Force Brigades as 4th, 7th, 11th, 38th, 42nd, 51st and 160th.

    3rd Mechanised Division will be part of the Reaction Force with 1st, 12th and 20th Armoured Infantry Brigades as subordinate commands.

    Both 7th Armoured Brigade (the Desert Rats) and 4th Mechanised Brigade (the Black Rats) will be converted to Infantry Brigades of the Adaptive Force.
    Famed Desert Rats to lose their tanks under Army cuts - Telegraph
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  16. RobWilliams

    RobWilliams Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I haven't really looked at the adaptable force, I was more interested in the reaction forces which would be the first assets we would deploy.

    I'll make the neccesary unit changes in a minute, the OP was made before the armour cuts to the 7th Bgde etc.

    In other news, a decision on if our Apaches get upgraded to the same level as those from the US in December

    British Army Apache Block III upgrade decision expected in December - News - Shephard

    I suspect the fleet would be cut back if the upgrade goes ahead, the budget's just too tight. It's not impossible - as some have suggested - to not upgrade as Boeing and AW will continue to support the fleet but the cost will just creep up. It's gunna be interesting because our Apache's are already different from those of the US, would be nice to get the new blades however, been hearing good things in regards to performance increases for the Merlin.

    But something to look forward too in the early 2020's is the retirement of the Hellfire with SPEAR capability 2 on the Apache (and the Reaper) fleet
     
  17. StobieWan

    StobieWan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    In some ways a Block III might be a bit cheaper for the UK if we could pick and choose - WAH-64 already has much more powerful engines than the original Apache.It's already been mentioned that the engine upgrade could be set aside, leaving a shed load of other improvements to come as part of a block III subset.

    The rest of the package would be very welcome I'm sure.


    I suspect Augusta is just trying to talk up a deal for BERP rotors as that's something that could be slotted in fairly easily I guess if needed - I'm not sure if it's going to bring any great benefits however ?
     
  18. RobWilliams

    RobWilliams Super Moderator Staff Member

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    That's true, that's true. Forgot about the engines, IIRC the US development's giving theirs Link 16 I think, that'd be pretty good.

    In regards to BERP, here's an article about it on the Merlin

    BERP IV gives Merlins more payload

    It's given the Merlin extra payload & an increased cruise speed. Reduced power requirements when hovering and during forward flight too. Granted it's on a Merlin not the Apache, but IMO it's an incremental improvement we should be looking at. But then again, depends on the performance characteristics of the Apache's blades, ultimately if the US are upgrading to the Block III with new blades (which apparently we're not getting) then we should see if BERP IV offers enough of a performance boost to make it worthwhile.

    Indeed, IIRC another upgrade for block III is Link 16, which would be useful.

    Latest Variant of the AW101 Makes Paris Debut | AgustaWestland
     
  19. CheeZe

    CheeZe Member

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    Just read that the MLRS is being distributed throughout the army once 39 RA disbands. How would that distribution work out? An even distribution to each remaining RA regiment or more concentrated around certain brigades?
     
  20. RobWilliams

    RobWilliams Super Moderator Staff Member

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    They're not going to all the other regiments, doesn't make sense and there's not enough to go around. They'll distrubute the batteries.

    But here's some info from UKAFC (a defence blog), it seems to back up a publication made by Janes which I linked earlier in regards to RA support of the Reaction regiments which is in turn a more recent publication than the article from UKAFC.

    He says

    So 1 RHA, 26 RA & 19 RA are becoming the artillery regiments to support the reaction brigade, in answer to your question, all get a battery of GMLRS

    The article from Janes says that each brigade will be supported by 18 AS90's (all those Regts operate 3 batteries of 6 AS90s) and 6 GMLRS (equivalent to 1 battery).

    Phew, there's that worry sorted out. Seems like the other article from Janes about "RA will lose GMLRS" must be talking about 39 Regiment being dispanded.

    In terms of total GMLRS, apparently we've upgraded a grand total of 36 systems to B1 standard from an original fleet of 50 and half of those will remain with the reaction forces. So the other 18 are the sustainment fleet & TA toys.