British Army News and Discussion

Just thinking if they hold the competition about 2025 by the time the choose a type and put it into service would both merlin and wildcat be nearing retirement especially if you replace the intended 4 types first.
 

StobieWan

Super Moderator
Staff member
well, it'd be super super ideal if (and hear me out, I know it's crazy) the RN then went on to buy the same platform.

Gosh, we'd have a fleet of one type instead of five. I'm feeling light headed at the thought.

Now, I'm guessing 149 has a marinised version if the Egyptian Navy is running it but I'm *positive* the Blackhawk does.

I'm assuming Wildcat might not be a good fit to be replaced by something like a 149 or a Hawk although both would fit inside any hangar the RN would have by then - but no opportunity to double stack a pair of them as is done with Wildcat ?
 

swerve

Super Moderator
Saw this - UK’s ‘New Medium Helicopter Programme’ detailed. Quotes a press release which says
"The New Medium Helicopter Programme will see four of the medium-sized helicopters currently in service across Defence replaced by one new helicopter. This will include the Bell 212 that is used by the Army Air Corps in the jungle areas of Brunei. "

Makes more sense than just the army's helicopters. So . . . Bell 212, Puma obviously, rented Bell 412s? Dauphins? AW101 seems a bit big to be lumped in with the smaller ones.
 

StobieWan

Super Moderator
Staff member
First MBT in the world with a surround sound cinema system and a wet bar :)

Some of the stuff they tried out was very interesting. I seem to remember the barrel camera they tried out had unintended consequences as the crew would spend so much time looking at the camera feeds at each junction that the pace of advance slowed to a crawl.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
Another problem is that in an actual engagement the barrel and roof mounted cameras would probably last 5 minutes before being shot off.

The one thing I felt was missing was a field phone to the rear of the Challenger to enable infantry to communicate directly with the tank crew.
 

Volkodav

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
With modern day tech it would be possible to have a high resolution cameras dotted all over the vehicle. One in virtually every nook, cranny, joint on the vehicle. Full 360deg coverage with images blended and enhanced by software.

If they can do it on a new Landrover they can do it on a multi million dollar armoured fighting vehicle. Supplement the big expensive optronic sensors with multiple small robust ones distributed over the vehicle.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
Not sure if this article from 2019 was previously discussed here. It notes that the British army - artillery wise - is seriously outgunned by the Russsian army and that the Light Gun'' is outranged by all adversary artillery systems, difficult to protect on a fragmented battlefield and with a large logistical tail, should either be mounted on a vehicle, or if this cannot be achieved within weight restrictions imposed by airlift, replaced by self-propelled 120-mm mortars''. The article also mentions a Russian motor rifle brigade having an organic inventory of '81 artillery pieces, ranging from 152-mm and 203-mm self-propelled howitzers to 300-mm, multiple-launch rocket systems'.

I'm curious as to why the Light Gun was even mentioned as mentioned as it's only used by the Para Regiment and Royal Marines. Also, would I be correct in saying that although a 120mm mortar could provide some of the capabilities of a 105mm gun; it can't totally replace it? As for the British army at brigade and divisional level being outgunned by the Russians in artillery; wouldn't ISR and network centric abilities; as well capabilities offered by allied nations offset to a large degree whatever advantages the Russians have?
 

StobieWan

Super Moderator
Staff member
With modern day tech it would be possible to have a high resolution cameras dotted all over the vehicle. One in virtually every nook, cranny, joint on the vehicle. Full 360deg coverage with images blended and enhanced by software.

If they can do it on a new Landrover they can do it on a multi million dollar armoured fighting vehicle. Supplement the big expensive optronic sensors with multiple small robust ones distributed over the vehicle.
They could do I'm sure - but the then chuck a load of leaves and twigs on top, drive it through a muddy river, do some cross country, well, I think you'd have a very brown view of the world.

The technology to fit the cameras is there but I suspect they'll have to be mounted high on the turret with wipers and washer jets to work.
 

Big_Zucchini

Well-Known Member
Not sure if this article from 2019 was previously discussed here. It notes that the British army - artillery wise - is seriously outgunned by the Russsian army and that the Light Gun'' is outranged by all adversary artillery systems, difficult to protect on a fragmented battlefield and with a large logistical tail, should either be mounted on a vehicle, or if this cannot be achieved within weight restrictions imposed by airlift, replaced by self-propelled 120-mm mortars''. The article also mentions a Russian motor rifle brigade having an organic inventory of '81 artillery pieces, ranging from 152-mm and 203-mm self-propelled howitzers to 300-mm, multiple-launch rocket systems'.

I'm curious as to why the Light Gun was even mentioned as mentioned as it's only used by the Para Regiment and Royal Marines. Also, would I be correct in saying that although a 120mm mortar could provide some of the capabilities of a 105mm gun; it can't totally replace it? As for the British army at brigade and divisional level being outgunned by the Russians in artillery; wouldn't ISR and network centric abilities; as well capabilities offered by allied nations offset to a large degree whatever advantages the Russians have?
It's always a multi-front technological race. You strive to get better real time intel, and simultaneously to get your guns to fire farther, more accurately, and more quickly.
Having an ISR advantage is no excuse for a deficiency in any parameter.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
Having an ISR advantage is no excuse for a deficiency in any parameter.
Agreed but my question remains : would a side which is heavily outgunned by a potential adversary; be able to mitigate things to some extent if it enjoyed an edge in ISR and network centric capabilities? To me the answer would be yes but to what extent and would it ultimately make a difference?
 

Big_Zucchini

Well-Known Member
Obviously yes. Of course. Precision guided munitions increase the cost per projectile but vastly reduce the required volume of fire.
However, an enemy that knows the balance we've described, may develop tactics to mitigate losses.
I can already think of a few.
For example fire off a couple projectiles, within the range of British artillery, and wait for counter-battery fire, which in turn would expose British artillery.
With longer range projectiles and more numerous assets, Russian brigades can afford to lose more in such pre-planned trades, until British artillery is no longer combat-effective.

Their unguided artillery has low precision (CEP measured in percents, not meters. A 122mm can have 1%-2% CEP). With very rough intelligence, which does not require complex systems but merely training, they can still effectively use their vastly superior artillery. Either to pin down or outright destroy British maneuvering units.
AFVs raise dust. Their roaring engines can be heard over a long distance.
Some combat recon ID'ing British movements with precision of hundreds of meters can do serious damage.

Russian artillery is also very diverse. They have the ability to deliver, over long ranges, heavy suppressive fire, sustained rolling fire, and even precision fire. Over a short range they can deny areas, primarily forests where British infantry may try to get an advantage or at least even the ground, with thermobaric artillery.
 
Is there a way of integrating the LMM missile onto the Apache and army variant of the wildcat surely it must have have land applications aswell. Maybe compliment the Jagm as a alternative to rockets.
 

Chaldry

New Member

It appears the British tradition of rifled tank guns is being put to rest with the Challenger 3 upgrade, with them adopting the smoothbore L55A1 from Rheinmetall.
Does anyone know whether they will be newly build tanks, or if it is going to the current chassis of the Challenger that will get some rust removal, new wiring and refitted with the new modifications?
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member

It appears the British tradition of rifled tank guns is being put to rest with the Challenger 3 upgrade, with them adopting the smoothbore L55A1 from Rheinmetall.
Does anyone know whether they will be newly build tanks, or if it is going to the current chassis of the Challenger that will get some rust removal, new wiring and refitted with the new modifications?
I read that article as definitely an upgrade of existing Tanks
 

ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
I read that article as definitely an upgrade of existing Tanks
Can you please explain the pros and cons of smooth bore v rifling?
Being engrossed in the heavenly art of ASW during my service and only being exposed to rifled naval guns when they interrupted my sonars I’ve never really understood why modern MBTs changed to smooth bore.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
Can you please explain the pros and cons of smooth bore v rifling?
Being engrossed in the heavenly art of ASW during my service and only being exposed to rifled naval guns when they interrupted my sonars I’ve never really understood why modern MBTs changed to smooth bore.
Sorry can’t help you with that one, have no real idea myself. Tanks tend to fight at much shorter ranges then Warships maybe its been proven to be more accurate at short range? Or modern advanced AP rounds work better when not spun? But that is pure guesswork.
 

Terran

Active Member
Sorry can’t help you with that one, have no real idea myself. Tanks tend to fight at much shorter ranges then Warships maybe its been proven to be more accurate at short range? Or modern advanced AP rounds work better when not spun? But that is pure guesswork.
Pretty much spot on.
Although you can compensate to a degree with a slip ring, a device designed to prevent the Rod from spinning down the bore. It’s a half arsed solution.
Rifled are better for HE shells like HEAT, HEAP and HESH. The spin stabilized shells. But Rods would lose velocity in the spin. They are stabilized by fins so APFSDS prefer smooth bore as it allows the projectile the maximum amount of KE for penetration. This is of course not even mentioning the whole multi piece ammo vs Unitary round issue (hint longer rods semi telescope into unitary shells)
That later difference is why the Brits couldn’t just swap barrels from Rifled to smooth. The ammo storage in the Challenger II was designed for the British 3 part ammo.
 
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Big_Zucchini

Well-Known Member
I also want to mention two things:
1)Segmented ammo is not an issue per se. 140mm experimental guns used multi-piece ammo because of the sheer size of the round. It's just that at 120mm, and even the new 130mm, it's seemingly impossible to maximize the performance of APFSDS when you split the ammo.
But we can see a resurgence of 140mm, primarily via France in the MGCS. If that happens, we will almost definitely see a shift to segmented ammo.

2)Perhaps equally important as the APFSDS, the HE-MP is a programmable munition. It requires a smoothbore gun to be fired properly.
Ammo that uses even more sensitive electronics is missiles. Those are used primarily by eastern nations. They can be fired from rifled guns with slip rings, but there is still some spin left, and it's very bad for the missile. You could harden its electronics, but it makes it significantly more expensive.
AFAIK, HEAT shells also perform better when fin stabilized but I cannot find a proper explanation why.
 

StobieWan

Super Moderator
Staff member
I also want to mention two things:
1)Segmented ammo is not an issue per se. 140mm experimental guns used multi-piece ammo because of the sheer size of the round. It's just that at 120mm, and even the new 130mm, it's seemingly impossible to maximize the performance of APFSDS when you split the ammo.
But we can see a resurgence of 140mm, primarily via France in the MGCS. If that happens, we will almost definitely see a shift to segmented ammo.

2)Perhaps equally important as the APFSDS, the HE-MP is a programmable munition. It requires a smoothbore gun to be fired properly.
Ammo that uses even more sensitive electronics is missiles. Those are used primarily by eastern nations. They can be fired from rifled guns with slip rings, but there is still some spin left, and it's very bad for the missile. You could harden its electronics, but it makes it significantly more expensive.
AFAIK, HEAT shells also perform better when fin stabilized but I cannot find a proper explanation why.

On the HEAT round, the cone generated on detonation is disrupted to some degree by the spin of the projectile - it's why the French went to the trouble of creating a HEAT round for their rifled 105mm AMX30 which had the warhead mounted on bearings on their OBUS G round.

Not spinning the round in the first place and stabilising with fins is simpler.
 
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