Author Topic: CF Looking to Buy More M777s  (Read 19216 times)

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CF Looking to Buy More M777s
« on: February 18, 2008, 08:56:48 »
I'm on a  MERX roll today....

Letter of Interest
Lightweight Towed Howitzer

1.    GENERAL
The Canadian Forces (CF) intends to procure a fleet of Lightweight Towed Howitzers (LWTH) to institutionalize this capability within the land forces. The purpose of this Letter of Interest (LOI) is to communicate CF requirements and solicit information from Industry regarding the proposed solution. This information will be used to support the Crown's decision-making process.

2.    BACKGROUND
The CF has 12 M777 LWTH howitzers currently in -service.  Ongoing operations have reinforced the flexibility and effectiveness of the 155mm towed howitzer on the modern battlefield. When coupled with modern munitions, digital technology and lightweight materials the resulting weapons system is highly mobile, capable of engaging targets at long range and with great precision.

3.    PROJECT SCOPE
The aim of the LWTH Project is to procure up to 34 155mm towed artillery systems ......
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Offline geo

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Re: CF Looking to Buy More M777s
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2008, 13:29:47 »
Hmm...
12 + 34 =  46 Guns

Guess this would presuppose that all RCHA units will "H" heavy artillery while "M"ilitia units will become "M"Medium/Lightish
Chimo!

Offline GAP

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Re: CF Looking to Buy More M777s
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2008, 13:32:06 »
I am assuming that the 12 in the sandbox will be replaced out of that lot, especially after the workload they have had....
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Offline Panzer Grenadier

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Re: CF Looking to Buy More M777s
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2008, 10:03:35 »
The aim of the LWTH Project is to procure up to 34 155mm towed artillery systems ......

I am placing my money on another 12 bought to simply replace the ones in the sandbox right now.
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Offline Old Sweat

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Re: CF Looking to Buy More M777s
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2008, 12:03:59 »
Without inside knowledge, I would still bet the 12 that were purchased - and not all went to Afghanistan - will remain in service. Some, maybe all, will be refurbished as necessary. I came to this conclusion by considering the number of regular field batteries, the number of potential battle groups to support and the requirement for guns for the artillery and LEME schools, engineering purposes and a maintenance and war reserve versus the planned purchase.

I don't want to go any further than that.

Offline Teddy Ruxpin

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Re: CF Looking to Buy More M777s
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2008, 12:41:50 »
We're the Army that has retained in service 50+ year old guns (albeit refurbished ones).  We're not about to chuck out guns purchased less than three years ago because they've deployed on operations.
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Offline Panzer Grenadier

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Re: CF Looking to Buy More M777s
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2008, 12:44:48 »
Teddy Ruxpin i was thinking along the lines of Old Sweat, where the 12 in theatre would be replaced by new ones and the old 12 would be brought back to refurbish/train.
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Offline GAP

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Re: CF Looking to Buy More M777s
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2008, 09:45:21 »
Interesting Article....

M777: He Ain’t Heavy, He’s my Howitzer
 Article Link

The M777 ultra-lightweight towed 155mm howitzer has an integrated digital fire control system, and can fire all existing 155mm projectiles. Nothing new there. What is new is the fact that this 9,700 pound howitzer saves over 6,000 pounds of weight by making extensive use of titanium and advanced aluminum alloys, allowing it to be carried by Marine Corps MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft or medium helicopters, and/or airdropped by C-130 aircraft. The new gun is a joint program between the US Army and Marine Corps to replace existing 155mm M198s, and will perform fire support for U.S. Marine Air Ground Task Forces and U.S. Army Stryker Brigade Combat Teams.

Britain is also an M777 LWH development partner, but Canada became the first country to field it in combat via an emergency buy before their 2006 “Operation Archer” deployment to Afghanistan. This is is DID’s new FOCUS article covering the M777 program. The latest news is an additional order from the USA…

M777: Capabilities and Upgrades


M777 parts
(click to view full)In addition to being suitable for carriage under a V-22 Osprey or medium class helicopter like the EH101, the M777’s weight and profile also allows 2 M777 howitzers (vs. 1 M198) to be fitted into a C-130 Hercules tactical transport.

There’s also a front-line payoff to the new howitzer. When using previous generations of artillery, units like the US Marines had to communicate with the fire direction center through radio and use iron sights to aim at targets. The M777 is also equipped with iron sights to serve as a backup, but the military doesn’t expect those sights to see much use outside of training. Modern artillery has features like data distribution systems, self location via INS and/or GPS, automatic or assisted gun-laying, and other add-ons that automate the process of receiving fire orders and acting on them. Coordinates can be usually transmitted digitally from tactical air controllers, UAVs, or other platforms, and the M777’s own display can even be used to send text messages to other cannoneers.

In addition to the efficiency gains this creates, there’s also a survivability payoff. Instead of being forced to cluster together near communications nodes, artillery pieces can be spread out over a larger area, with each gun executing “shoot and scoot” tactics using the M777’s fast 2-3 minute set-up and displacement time. This compares to its predecessor the M198, which has a 6.5 minute emplacement time and 10.5 minute displacement time.

Rate of fire is 4-8 rounds per minute in bursts, or 2 rounds per minute sustained fire.
More on link
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Offline MCG

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Re: CF Looking to Buy More M777s
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2008, 11:19:15 »
We're the Army that has retained in service 50+ year old guns (albeit refurbished ones).  We're not about to chuck out guns purchased less than three years ago because they've deployed on operations.
You are right.  However, we might junkdispose of them because (if) the LWTH project procures a different howitzer, we will not want to maintain a seperate micro-fleet (with all the related extra costs) which has no unique capability.

... then again, it's always possible that M777 could win the LWTH competition and we keep the 6 additional weapons becuase of it.

Offline Teddy Ruxpin

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Re: CF Looking to Buy More M777s
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2008, 11:45:30 »
Quote
However, we might dispose of them because (if) the LWTH project procures a different howitzer, we will not want to maintain a seperate micro-fleet (with all the related extra costs) which has no unique capability.

But why would we want to change how we're doing business now and introduce common sense?  ^-^

After all, we could have five types of guns in service if we try hard enough:  C1, C3, LG1, M777 and LWTH...  I'm sure we've got some M109s kicking around at Depot too.

Sorry, I'll set my sarcasm mode to "stand-by"...
A man may fight for many things. His country, his friends, his principles, the glistening tear on the cheek of a golden child. But personally, I'd mud-wrestle my own mother for a ton of cash, an amusing clock and a sack of French porn.

Dulce bellum inexpertis.

Offline Petard

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Re: CF Looking to Buy More M777s
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2008, 18:28:18 »
But why would we want to change how we're doing business now and introduce common sense?  ^-^

After all, we could have five types of guns in service if we try hard enough:  C1, C3, LG1, M777 and LWTH...  I'm sure we've got some M109s kicking around at Depot too.

Sorry, I'll set my sarcasm mode to "stand-by"...

What sarcasm? Looks like some factors in a realistic COA

Offline combatbuddha

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Re: CF Looking to Buy More M777s
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2008, 23:29:39 »
Heck, we have two M109s on the Gun Park floor...RSM thought it a tragedy that they were rusting out in the dustbowl.
M109 with the M777 DGMS would be a VERY valuable asset. If we actually used them in the field a bit more to keep the equipment an operators up to snuff the maintenance shouldn't be to bad. I woul dlike to see the M109s upgraded and refielded for mobility and crew protection. The .50 up top is a nice bonus too.
M777s are lightweight, and wat I gathered from my course in Oklahoma is that the Marines and the US Army have little intention of driving long distances with these. They opted for a heavier DGMS without runflats in the tires, and we put runflats in and have a lighter DGMS...HMMMMMMM. Two very different ideas.
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Offline geo

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Re: CF Looking to Buy More M777s
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2008, 08:01:58 »
A very large number of M109s sitting outside the 202 Workshops.  Prolly enough for several batteries.
But they are rusting up pretty good and would require tons of work to make em whole again.
Chimo!

Offline karl28

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Re: CF Looking to Buy More M777s
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2008, 08:54:30 »
       To bad that Government wouldn't have placed the surviving M109 in a better facility to protect them against the elements . That way if we ever needed them they would be there and in better shape than they are now .

Offline geo

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Re: CF Looking to Buy More M777s
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2008, 09:57:54 »
If guns aren't used on a regular basis, they are going to deteriorate.
Same as anything else.  The fact that they are in Montreal has no special meaning & they would not have fared any better had they been parked in Wainwright or Gagetown.
Chimo!

Offline GUNS

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Re: CF Looking to Buy More M777s
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2008, 11:50:17 »
I wonder would the Government give me a deal on the M109 I first served on. Would make for an interesting lawn ornament. :warstory: ;D
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Offline Colin P

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Re: CF Looking to Buy More M777s
« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2008, 12:38:11 »
They have actually sold a couple off already I understand.

Offline snowpuncher

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Re: CF Looking to Buy More M777s
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2008, 18:09:28 »
The M777 is a good gun but they must come up with some improvements to help it in the dessert climate and more parts for this gun it breaks certain parts like obturation rings ,seals . the DGMS suite is good when it is working which is not much it tends to break down quite a bit. I do know this from first hand experience.

Offline geo

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Re: CF Looking to Buy More M777s
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2008, 10:32:14 »
snowpuncher,
ALL weapon systems will suffer from wear and tear... so the M777 is no different.
Considering the volume of shells each gun has fired since first deployed, it shouldn't be such a big surprise.  Also, considering Canada & the RCHA were the 1st anything to deploy the M777 in an actual operational environment, you have to expect that some parts and subcomponents will need to be tweaked & improved... you have to figure the manufacturer was counting on us to provide feedback and suggestions / fixes.
Chimo!

Offline combatbuddha

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Re: CF Looking to Buy More M777s
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2008, 17:26:46 »
Agreed, however the volume of pumpkins being lobbed while training here in Garri-Trooper land are nowhere near the ones being heaved overseas and alot of the issues are the same. The issues mentioned by snowpuncher are very valid and I agree with him fully. We were the first to use these weapons in conflict, to the chagrin of the US forces, and as a result not less than 150 mods have already been identified as absolute requirements. I will not go into details for obvious reasons. The overall system kicks *** and yes there are design, equipment and operator issues with this, as with everything, however, Between Snowpuncher on the lanyard end of that glorious launcher of steel death and a few of us here on the crystal crunching, wrench bending side, I think we have a bit more indepth SA than the average guy who picks up a copy of Janes or the Maple Leaf. I've already worn out a keyboard as a result of raising numerous TFRs.
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Offline Spencer100

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Re: CF Looking to Buy More M777s
« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2008, 10:44:43 »
Looks like the gov is ordering more.  From www.defence-aerospace.com



Quote
[WASHINGTON --- The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Canada of M777 155mm Light-Weight Towed Howitzers as well as associated equipment and services. The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $114 million.

The Government of Canada has requested a possible sale of 37 M777 155mm Light-Weight Towed Howitzers, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, maintenance, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor representatives’ technical assistance, engineering and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is $114 million.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by improving the military capabilities of Canada and the Canadian military’s interoperability with U.S. forces. Canadian deployments in support of peacekeeping and humanitarian operations have enhanced global political and economic stability and have served U.S. national security interests.

This proposed sale would greatly contribute to Canada’s military capability by making it a more sustainable coalition force to support the Global War on Terror. Canada currently operates the M777 lightweight howitzers and will use these new howitzers to protect its deployed troops, and give them the ability to operate in hazardous conditions. Canada will have no difficulty absorbing the howitzers into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not affect the basic military balance in the region.

The prime contractors will be BAE Land Systems in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and Howmet Castings, Alcoa Business in Whitehall, Michigan. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

The proposed sale requires engineering technical support for approximately two U.S. government representatives and five contractor representatives for one year.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law; it does not mean that the sale has been concluded.
/quote]

Offline milnews.ca

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Re: CF Looking to Buy More M777s
« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2008, 10:49:40 »
Good catch - this, straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak in a slightly different format (.pdf) in case the www.defence-aerospace.com link doesn't work....



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Offline karl28

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Re: CF Looking to Buy More M777s
« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2008, 11:03:56 »
           That would be good news for the Artillery another 37 ( according to the above article link ) of the M777 hopefully this will happen . 

Offline Allen

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Re: CF Looking to Buy More M777s
« Reply #23 on: June 06, 2009, 01:38:25 »
CF recently ordered 25 more M777's through U.S. FMS program, to add to the 12 currently in service, according to this BAE press release:

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/article-view/release/105619/bae-wins-%24118m-orders-for-m777-howitzer.html

Offline Petard

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Re: CF Looking to Buy More M777s
« Reply #24 on: June 06, 2009, 07:32:04 »
Some of the deliveries have already taken place. 
Last week I was in Montreal and saw some of the "new additions" to the Canadian gunner family.
I was there as part of a team looking into how to improve the system, in particular the DGMS
This is not an easy undertaking since the Canadian system is somewhat unique, using components from different manufacturers, amongst them the microlight radio that isn't used by anyone else (that I'm aware of) is especially tricky to deal with, add to that our overall numbers are rather small and this might not be that cheap either. Incidentally, in 2006, Canada's system, as quickly thrown together as it was, was working before the US got their own version called TADS working, which must have frustrated them, but far as I know the US system is working well now. Nevertheless, now that the M777 is no longer just a mission specific piece of equipment, and will become the main weapon in service with Regular Force Artillery units, efforts are being made to make it more robust.