Make Do and Mend
The first guest post from Paul G
This is my first attempt at a post (could be my last depending how much red pen TD uses). Grammar and punctuation were never my strongpoint, volts, amps and ranges with bangsticks were which is probably why I never made the artificer board!
We know we’re skint and although we moan about where some of the money goes and we also play fantasy fleets/aircraft/armour, I thought I’d go the other way. For no reason I’ve had a look at the Royal Artillery, apart from equipment inspections I don’t have that much experience with the “long range snipers” it was a link to a photo and the SDSR looking to hammer AS90 that had me dothing my thinking cap.
So, as discussed on here the tracked world of the RA looks like it’s going to hit, many have said it should be passed to the TA. Now my experience of TA centres is that many are located in urban areas, not the best place for tearing out of the gates in either an AS90 or a MLRS!! This begs the question what to do with now defunct vehicles.
One option would be to reduce the amount of guns but utilise the vehicle,AmericaandKoreause the SPG chassis for an autoloader. The Korean K10 can carry 104, 155mm rounds and can resupply from under armour. Although a drops can carry more it’s not protected and fully loaded up I doubt it could go all the places the tracks can go. I liken this theory to others put forward for air transit, strategic and tactical i.e. A330 to the hub, and C130 for the spoke. Drops and then AS90 (loader).
Now onto the MLRS, again changing to a wheeled version would help with transference to the TA but also most tracked versions only have 1 pod whereas the tracked has 2, so in theory 1 tracked vehicle = 2 wheeled, (obviously another operating system is required!). A wheeled version would also be able to be airlifted and therefore fit in with light/airborne/amphib brigades. Lockheed martin have a smaller chassis than the standard HIMLRS system used by theUSand supacat demonstrated a bespoke vehicle as well. It would probably be cheaper to license build the LM version, I’m not sure.
Link to LM webpage with photos and videos here;
The photo that inspired this post was of a command version of the MLRS, I have never seen it before and it set me off, again I’ve been inspired by the common chassis theme of the website (I’ve been stuck behind a RLC packet in a convoy, anything that reduces the amount of trucks they have gets my vote!!). photo of command vehicle here, note that a) it looks bigger than a 432 plus it’s a Bradley chassis so spares with our allies should be available.
Before anyone starts screaming expense, time etc etc it should be noted that an inhouse repair and recovery version of the M993 chassis was made and submitted by a civilian worker at a base workshop, built at the workshop and I believe netted him some beer tokens via the GEMS system.
Maybe a flatbed similar to the stormer version with a drops hook could be used for resupply of ammo or fuel. (best refueller I ever saw was the stally retrofit could follow the challys anywhere).
My last suggestion for the gunners would be to utilise the wolfhound 6×6 as a tractor unit for towed guns (M777 155mm would be nice, but that is fantasy stuff). It is V hulled and after it’s sandpit adventures could be made lighter as being a gun tractor no need for all the cage armour or the heavy MG mount up top. It has enough space for the gun crew and the flatbed for shells. I would assume that an armoured cab would also be slightly more protective than a L/R canvas from incoming or anything nasty happening to the shells in the back!! Also mastiff 3 could be used for command, again common vehicle
just for interest, when I was googling wolfhound vehicle it turned up a picture of this Lockheed martin beasty;
Not sure if that is the chassis the HIMARS is based on.
As a last moot point maybe with the title of the post in mind BAe should be approached with a view to converting some of the soon to be redundant warriors into armoured ambulances and bridgelayers from 2013. The main reason being it could keep the Newcastle factory open if only for for a couple of years more, maybe something will turn up (possibly an order for the CV21 their lightweight tracked vehicle) with the number of armoured brigades been slashed it wouldn’t be a massive number of conversions, but at least we could get GD to concentrate on the scout and not the other versions. I can’t see the point as no-one outsideUKwill order them and anyway they would built inspain( just my own opinion, no facts to back that up).
To summarise, I believe we can do the equivalent of sewing a button on those pants and still have useable, decent equipment mainly as it grips my poo pipe when I see kit on the MOD surplus websites or down lulworth ranges being whacked by james’s chums!
Time to wrap myself in tinfoil and await the incoming! Additions to this theme are welcome.