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  • @xray one, good points but I'd rather have a gun on hand to provide some kind of overwatch than have none at all. The British brought 105s to Afghanistan and got into the habit of setting up firing points on hills, lifted in and out by helicopter and used to interdict Taliban traffic. If you get all historical, I'll bet a battery or two of 25 pdrs would have made life easier for the Irish in the Congo. Jadotville, by the grace of (insert diety here) depended on luck and stubborness to a great extent and the intervention of a gun battery would certainly have changed the odds. It's all about the mental security of knowing that if you get hit up, you can dial up some artillery intervention. Tooling around parts of Africa, depending on a single 12.7mm per APC, is a tall order when even the lowest scumbag militia can whistle up multiple RPGs, recoilless rifles, mortars, weapons like Dshkas and ZU-23s and sundry legacy Soviet AFVs. I'd rather Irish soldiers brought guns or heavy mortars with them and dragged them about, than be left uncovered.

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    • The French took their GCT-155mm SPGs with them to UNIFIL and IFOR, they also have deployed the CAESAR systems to Lebanon.
      The Italians have often deploy Centauro tank destroyers on peace-keeping including with UNIFIL.
      So if we though we had an operational need we could deploy the 105's.

      True a 105LG could not even cover the relatively small operational area in the UNIFIL or UNDOF missions for that a modern 155mm 52 cal with ERBB would be needed. And if we go across to the potential operational areas in Africa then the ranges become too large. This is why those nations that have them take their attack helicopters with them. Simply to provide fire support when needed, but they work well. But you do not have to wait for "air", France et al also have their 90/105mm armoured cars/tank destroyers to provide direct fire support and over-watch. So the experience is out there even if we try and ignore it as much as possible.

      There is the adage that armies equip to fight the last war and are never equipped for the next. While there is some truth to that, there are many lessons to be learnt from the past. Could we have done with CAS, fight support and armoured cars with something more than a 303 in Congo.......yes. Was it helpful to deploy the AML90 to Liberia and Lebanon....probably. They showed their worth several time but also their limitations.

      We continue to deploy troops to situations often without providing them with the equipment they need. A modern armoured infantry does not act alone, even a armoured formation such as a tank unit relies on support functions such as SPG's etc. To say we are "just" an infantry organisation might reflect current reality but it should not be the goal. We are a relatively wealthy country who should be able to provide its troops with the right equipment in the right quantities it needs.

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      • We used three interlocking models in Afghanistan - a) numerou static, two/whatever 105mm gun firebases on hilltops to provide a network of fires over the AO, b) mobile two/whatever gun firebases moved around by helicopter - you could have two guns, each firing at 10 rounds a minute within 2 minutes or so of the first gun touching the ground, and you could have them airborne again within two minutes of the last round leaving the muzzle, and it wouldn't be unusual for a gun troop to move half a dozen times in a day to cover patrols and developing contacts - and c) static, but positioned, long ranged systems like GMLRS and SpikeNLOS, that provided specialist, precision fires within the AO.

        Moving Exactor (SpikeNLOS) around is child's play - an AW139 could move the firing post and crew in one hop...
        Last edited by ropebag; 11 August 2019, 10:33.

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        • Talking of NLOS, there was even a light weight version developed with a weight of 1350kg, easily within the capability of am AW-139. The idea behind is to have mobile artillery for SOF's.

          https://defense-update.com/20190204_...os-tomcar.html

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          • Originally posted by EUFighter View Post
            True a 105LG could not even cover the relatively small operational area in the UNIFIL or UNDOF missions for that a modern 155mm 52 cal with ERBB would be needed.
            L118s could easily cover the Irish AO. The attached map shows the area within 17.2km of a battery at the Irish HQ (max range of the standard ammo). Planning range would be about 10% less. Greater range is available with basebleed ammo. As ropebag pointed out, the area covered can be greatly increased by dispersing the battery into interlocking 2-gun firebases.

            As others have pointed out, the reasons that they were never brought probably had more to do with politics than logistics or operational capability.

            Attached Files
            Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

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            • An artillery battery is on the Irish Palette of forces for deployment.

              However, our guns don’t have the updated systems like RA guns and the 120 mortars have a large danger area. In a PSO that is a consideration.

              Plus is there the demand? Normally it is infantry that is more in demand

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              • Originally posted by DeV View Post

                ...Plus is there the demand? Normally it is infantry that is more in demand
                Wrong way around.

                The UN is sufficiently desperate for competent forces that will fulfill the mandate that they will take what they're offered.

                If the Irish government says that they they will offer X force, but that that force will contain an Artillery Bty, and the force is offered on a 'whole force', take-it-or-leave-it basis, the UN will still take it.

                The IG is the arbitor of what form it's deployed forces take and what force protection measures it's forces require - not a Thai UN administrator or Nigerian Staff Officer.

                This isn't a new thing, it's merely a continuation of existing, and long standing government policy - the IG chooses, on a case by case basis, to offer, or not offer, forces to UN and EU operations as it sees fit according to the nature and objectives of each operation. There's already quite a bit of 'no thanks, it's not for us....' in deciding whether Irish forces should be involved in this or that operation.

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                • Originally posted by DeV View Post
                  However, our guns don’t have the updated systems like RA guns and the 120 mortars have a large danger area. In a PSO that is a consideration.
                  The big advantage of the LINAPS system that the UK uses is that the fixation and orientation of the gun is done for you.
                  You can drop it off of the tow hitch and be ready to fire are soon as you can swing the barrel, there is no need for laying out.

                  In any potential L118 deployment by the Irish DF, the guns would likely be static and already laid out.
                  In the static case, using optical sights is only marginally slower (if at all) than usiing LINAPS.

                  As for danger area, the L118 is more accurate than a 120mm mortar so if the worry is that civilians are in the vicinity, the L118 is a much better choice for fire support that the mortars that are currently being deployed. There is little chance of those mortars ever firing HE and they are there primarily for illumination purposes.
                  Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

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                  • Am I dreaming or didn't I see an article in An Cosantoir once about an Artillery shoort in UNIFIL with 120mm Mortars? They were using illum rounds and that may have been all they were allowed to have but they def had mortars of some type.

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                    • Originally posted by Poiuyt View Post
                      Am I dreaming or didn't I see an article in An Cosantoir once about an Artillery shoort in UNIFIL with 120mm Mortars? They were using illum rounds and that may have been all they were allowed to have but they def had mortars of some type.
                      The Brandt was definitely used in UNIFIL up until at least the 90s

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                      • I came across this image recently that shows what appears to be the remains of an ex-Irish Ford Mk 6 armoured car in the Congo. The turret had got a modification.

                        Click image for larger version

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