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C3 Howitzer Replacement

Colin Parkinson

Army.ca Legend
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You can run both a towed and truck mounted version of the same 105mm gun in the Reserves. The towed is where you learn your trade and then expand on the mobility side with the truck mounted ones. The Brigade HQ is going to hate dedicated gun trucks as the other units can't borrow the truck. The 105 and 155 can use the same FCS as well. The 105 still outranges the 120mm mortar and the tractor can carry more stowed rounds than a 155. Mobility and ROF is nice, but if you go back and reload every 20 or so rounds, that's going to impact your tube availability. 20 rds of 155 is a bit over 2,000lbs. With a mounted gun you need a 10 ton truck to carry crew, equipment, gun and ammo. A mounted M777 is likley in and around 4 tons by itself. whereas a 105mm mounted gun can get away with a 5 ton or as small as a Humvee except you need two trucks. The EVO-105 system from Korea appears to have about 27-30 stowed rounds and room on the deck for more. The Archer has 21 stowed rounds.


Army.ca Fixture
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The idea of pooling guns at training centres isn't new, it just doesn't work very well for IT throughput, this has more to do with availability of staff and students, as well as conflicting task priorities during the summer (ceremonial guard tasks having higher priority for example)
In the past six years, the P Res Arty units in 4 Div went from centralized training at RST to a dispersed IT model running year round. The results after just the first four years were very positive (which can be seen in this example of 56 Fd alone). They are now running DP 2 and 3 NCM and Officer courses within their own armouries. Incredibly, there are critics of this approach, but it's hard to argue against success. Whatever the solution looks like, it's clear it needs to be able to work within the context of dispersed IT, as that certainly seems to be the best model to adapt to build the mass needed.
I tend to favour decentralized training myself but think that the future for the reserves needs to be training parity with the RegF to allow for seamless component transfer. My opinion is also influenced by the fact that IMHO ResF units should use their restricted time to be more concerned with collective training rather than individual training.

Our present decentralized training system is too susceptible to the lack of critical mass for both instructors and students, non-rigorous enforcement of training standards and lack of resources.

I don't think that centralized training centres by themselves solve these problems. As you point out, they become a choke point for throughput. I favour local training wherever possible but I would like to see a centralized training structure made up of both RegF and ResF staff that sets standards and controls programming executed both by full-time summer schools and by part-time winter programs. I've described these before as depot battalions functioning through instructor companies and platoons functioning year round and located at both regional training centres and at the armoury floor.

Once the replacement shows up, instead of "divesting" the C3, as is the habit when new kit arrives, it should be kept for ceremonial purposes. For Avcon they should look at doing that with the LG1, which although it has problems too, it does have OEM support, the C3 does not. (BTW, the LG1 was used for Op Palaci temporarily in 2011 when the C3 fleet was grounded)
Couldn't agree more. To keep the C3 wouldn't even require a course of training. Detachments trained on another system could be taught the fundamentals of working a C3 as a saluting gun in as little as a day or two. Very few of the points of failure on the C3 would prevent its use for moving it to and from a saluting base and firing blank rounds.

As to the LG1, I wouldn't even write it off as an operational gun either. We originally bought some 28 of them and that's enough to equip and keep serviceable one or two light batteries. There are things that a light 105mm howitzer can do that you can't do with a 155mm (I really do wish we had a helicopter other than the Chinook that could lift it) and the US IBCT artillery battalion structure of two M119 batteries and an M777 battery does have some sense behind it. Personally I'd prefer to see a Canadian Light Brigade equipped with two six-gun 30/70 LG1 batteries and one 6-gun 70/30 M777 battery rather than two four-gun 100/0 M777 batteries.