Sunday, September 02, 2012

What will be best option for Indian Army Wheeled Gun Bid ?

Source Tender.GOV.in and Livefist :  After cancelling its last attempt at procuring 180 wheeled self-propelled 155mm artillery systems, the Army has begun the process afresh, sending out a new RFI to prospective vendors. The RFI, which specifies nothing apart from the requirement of a 155mm 45/52cal gun, leaves the door open for systems that could include the Kon┼ítrukta SpGH Zuzana 2, Nexter CAESAR, Rheinmetall RWG-52 and BAE-Bofors FH77 BW L52 Archer. 


BAE-Bofors FH77 BW L52 Archer (The Mighty Gun)


BAE Systems Bofors in Karlskoga, Sweden, has developed the FH77 BW L52 self-propelled howitzer, a 155mm howitzer on a six × six chassis. The howitzer has a range of 40km using current standard ammunition and 60km with the M982 Excalibur rounds. The howitzer can also fire the Bonus top attack rounds developed by Bofors and Giat (now Nexter).

Archer is the name of the complete system with the 77BW L52 self-propelled howitzer and ammunition resupply and support vehicles.
The self-propelled howitzer is fully autonomous and can be used in traditional warfare fire support as well as in modern international peace-keeping and peace enforcement missions.

Archer vehicle platform details

The vehicle platform is a modification of the Volvo A30D six × six articulated all-terrain hauler vehicle. The vehicle cabin and engine compartment are fully armoured and the cab is fitted with bullet and fragmentation-proof windows. The cabin seats up to four personnel. The howitzer is operated by three or four crew.The cabin is fitted with a door each side and a circular roof hatch.

Weapon systems of the Archer

"Archer is the name of the complete system with the 77BW L52 self-propelled howitzer, ammunition resupply and support vehicles."
The main weapon is the 155mm 52-calibre gun. The gun uses the proven design of the cradle and recoil system from the current generation FH 77B towed field howitzer. Being equipped with a target acquisition or designation sight feature, the gun has a direct fire capability.
The weapon is equipped with a fire control system, laying system and inertial navigation and a muzzle velocity radar. Data from the radar is downloaded to the onboard computerised fire control system. However Archer can use other remote weapon stations on the market.
A remote weapon system, comprising a day and night sight with a 7.62mm general-purpose machine gun, is installed on the roof of the cab. BAE Systems Bofors has developed the Lemur family of gyro-stabilised, fragment-protected, electro-optical sights and remotely controlled (RC) weapon systems. The lemur machine gun can be aimed and fired from inside the armour-protected cabin.

Self-protection and ammunition of the howitzer

A remote controlled weapon station (RWS) is mounted on the top of the crew compartment of the vehicle and is the self protection system that the vehicle is equipped with. RWS is operated remotely, it has on-mount sensors and is a stabilised weapon. The sensors are attached underneath the weapon.
The vehicle carries 20 150mm projectiles in the fully automatic magazine and an additional 20 projectiles for reload. The howitzer can use Nato modular charges or Bofors Uniflex 2 modular charges.
The Uniflex 2IM modular charge system consists of two sizes of combustible charge cases, one full-size and one half-size case, both filled with the same type of insensitive guanylurea dinitramide (GuDN) propellant.
The modular charge system allows several increments of charge to be available and increases the gun system's multiple rounds simultaneous impact (MRSI) capability and good range overlap between the increments.
The Excalibur shell is corrected in flight towards a pre-programmed trajectory by a GPS guidance system. 
With BAE Bofors / Nexter Bonus rounds the range is 35km. The range of the gun is extended to 60km with the precision-guided Raytheon / Bofors XM982 Excalibur round. The Excalibur shell is corrected in flight towards a pre-programmed trajectory by a GPS guidance system.

Archer mobility and deployment

The gun of the vehicle features fast strategic mobility. A commercial articulated hauler provides the vehicle with rapid deployment and redeployment capability. The hauler also helps the vehicle in attaining all-terrain capability.
"BAE Systems Bofors in Karlskoga, Sweden, developed the FH77 BW L52 self-propelled howitzer, a 155mm howitzer."
The system is operated by three or four crew members who are protected in combat by being under armour. The armoured platform provides protection against 7.62mm rounds, armour penetration rounds, 6kg mines (level 2 STANAG 4569) and has NBC protection for the crew.
The system is designed for high strategic, operational and tactical mobility. The vehicle can reach road-speeds of up to 70km/h, is capable of traversing snow up to a depth of 100cm, is rail transportable and can be air-transported in the new A400M aircraft. A large hydraulically operated stabiliser is installed in the rear of the chassis and is lowered with the vehicle in to the selected firing position.
The gun elevation and traverse ranges are 0° to +70° and -75° to +75°. The initial deployment time and the redeployment times are each less than 30 seconds.
The system provides precision strike firepower and high sustained firepower for support and for deep firing operations, with more than 25t of ammunition per gun and 24-hour operation.
The howitzer has a continuous fire rate of 75 rounds an hour, an intensive fire rate of 20 rounds (i.e. a full magazine) in 2.5 minutes and a salvo fire rate of three rounds in 15 seconds. The MRSI capability, multiple round simultaneous impact, is up to six rounds. Direct-sighting can be used for target ranges up to 2,000m.
So how Good is Archer for Indian army Artillery Inventory: Well if we rank in terms of Tender Requirement:
Mobility :   It has default Volvo A30D six × six articulated all-terrain hauler vehicle which gives excellent rating as Volvo has huge footprints in terms Luxurious buses and Trucks in India so no problem in terms adaptability in Indian condition and service parts .The Archer can be airlifted by the C17 Globe master III or IL 76MD transport aircraft. But this all comes with a price, a considerable price. So out of Rating of 5 ,it deserves 4 .   Rating 4/5












Weapon systems
The main weapon is the 155mm 52-calibre gun. The gun uses the proven design of the cradle and recoil system from the current generation FH 77B towed field howitzer. Being equipped with a target acquisition or designation sight feature, the gun has a direct fire capability. This is same Gun(With lot of upgrades offcourse ) which rained hell over Pakistani soldiers and Kashmiri militants in Kargil War. So it deserves Rating 5/5

Ammunition:

The vehicle carries 20 150mm projectiles in the fully automatic magazine and an additional 20 projectiles for reload. The range of the gun is extended to 60km with the precision-guided Raytheon / Bofors XM982 Excalibur round. The Excalibur shell is corrected in flight towards a pre-programmed trajectory by a GPS guidance system which makes it Ultra lethal . Rating 5/5

Serviceability and Spare Parts: 

As the Serviceability and commonalty is make it so easy  if  need Desi Gun can be made with Jugaad as Bofors and yet to be Inducted M777 share approx 60% of Parts .Also it takes not much of Time to Proficient in Archer  So no problem in this department too Rating 5/5

Cost: Unit cost : Approx 4.2M$ /Unit ,  Rating : 4/5, As the per unit is quite reasonable  if we compare with other option .

Last Contracts:
Qnt.
Customer
Value
Add Date(Close Date)
Unit Cost
48
SWEDEN
$200.000.000
Mar 2010
(Dec 2013)
$4,166,667
SWEDEN
$30.000.000
Sep 2006
(Sep 2011)
Average Unit Cost:
$4,166,667


Specfication.
Specifications
Property
Value
Number of drive wheels
6
Number of wheels
6
Main weapon caliber (mm)
155
Firing range (m)
40
Rate of fire (rds/min)
9
Ammunition of the main gun
20
Total Score : 23/25 



Caesar 155mm Artillery System MK2, France


























The Caesar truck-mounted artillery system is a 155mm 52-calibre self-propelled gun developed by Nexter Systems (formerly Giat), based in Versailles, in cooperation with Lohr Industrie of Hangenbieten, France.Caesar entered production in June 2006. The first vehicle was delivered to the French Army in April 2007 for extensive firing trials.The first production Caesar system was delivered to the French Army in July 2008. Seven further systems were delivered by the end of 2008 and deliveries are scheduled to complete in 2011. The system has also been demonstrated in Malaysia and in the US.Systems for the French Army and the Thai Army are mounted on the Sherpa 5 6x6 truck chassis from Renault Trucks Defense.

Caesar 155mm, 52-calibre barrel

Caesar is equipped with a 155mm, 52-calibre barrel and can maintain a firing rate of six to eight rounds a minute in sustained fire, or three rounds in 15 seconds in rapid fire.
"A unit of eight Caesar self-propelled artillery vehicles can dispense more than 1t of projectiles in one minute."
The FAST-Hit computerised fire management system, developed jointly by Nexter and EADS Defense Electronics, an Intertechnique ROB4 muzzle velocity radar system and a SAGEM Sigma 30 navigation system and global positioning system (GPS) are fitted so there is no requirement for topographical teams and goniometers.
The weapon has an automatic hydraulic laying system and the loading system is semi-automatic.
The gun can be set into and out of action in under a minute. The weapon system configuration and the provision of hydraulic drives give a time of approximately 30 seconds to take the Caesar out of battery.
A unit of eight Caesar self-propelled artillery vehicles can dispense, in less than one minute, more than 1t of projectiles, 1,500 bomblets or 48 smart anti-tank munitions on targets at ranges up to 40km.
Blue Print






















Fire control:
In the French Army, Caesar is integrated with the Thales Land and Joint Systems Atlas artillery C4I (command, control, communications and intelligence) system. The system provides onboard terminals for communications and real-time firing sequence management including fowarding of fire-support requests and transmission of firing orders according to target type, ammunition type and gun availability.

Munitions:

Caesar is capable of using a wide range of ammunition for deployment against protected and unprotected targets, to create counter-mobility obstacles to block the manoeuvres of enemy armoured forces and to obscure or illuminate an area.
Caesar can fire conventional high-explosive (HE) or new-generation cargo rounds, which provide increased accuracy and terminal effectiveness.
The Ogre shell, which is in series production for the French Army, is an anti-tank and fragmentation bomblet dispensing round for use against relatively unprotected area targets such as command posts, artillery batteries, light armoured vehicles or logistic sites.
Ogre dispenses 63 bomblets, each fitted with a self-destruct mechanism. The bomblets are capable of penetrating more than 90mm of armour. A salvo of six Ogre shells releases 378 bomblets to saturate an area of 3ha at a range of 35km.
Bonus rounds with smart submunitions can be launched against tanks and other types of medium and heavy armoured vehicles. Bonus rounds have been developed by Nexter Ammunition and Intertechnique of France, and Bofors of Sweden.
"Caesar has an unrefuelled travel range of 600km and maximum speed of 100km/h."
The Bonus round carries two smart anti-tank submunitions to a range of 34km. A top-attack flight profile delivers the explosively formed penetrator (EFP) warhead to the roof of the tank which is generally more vulnerable than the heavily armour-protected sides and front.
Base bleed shells provide a considerably increased range by filling the vacuum and reducing the turbulence behind the projectile without any loss of accuracy.
The maximum ranges are up to 42km for extended range full bore – base bleed (ERFB-BB) rounds.

Self-propelled artillery system:

Prototypes of Caesar used the Daimler-Benz Unimog 6x6 series chassis, which has been ordered by Saudi Arabia Production systems for France and Thailand are mounted on the Renault Trucks Defense Sherpa 5 6x6. Sherpa 5 has a 5t payload capacity .
Caesar has an unrefuelled travel range of 600km and maximum speed of 100km/h. A centralised ground pressure distribution system gives speeds of 50km/h on hardened tracks. It has a six-cylinder diesel engine, developing 240hp and a power-to-weight ratio of 13.6hp/t.
Excluding its crew and ready ammunition supply, Caesar can be carried in a single load of a C-130 Hercules transporter.

Rating TimeMobility Prototypes of Caesar used the Daimler-Benz Unimog 6x6 series chassis, which has been ordered by Saudi Arabia Production systems for France and Thailand are mounted on the Renault Trucks Defense Sherpa 5 6x6. Sherpa 5 has a 5t payload capacity. Also there are some provision to fit the system in TATA 6x6 or Ashok Leyland 6x6 series which is the biggest plus point. Cheap ,sturdy and Excellent in terms of Cost of spare parts . Also Caesar can be carried in a single load of a C-130J Hercules transporter which again Helps as IAF posses latest C130J Hercules. Also the top speed(100Km) is something which seriously makes it a Serious Contender. Rating 5/5

Weapon systems :  At the rear of the CAESAR is mounted the gun, it’s a complete upper part of the 155 mm 52 calibre upgraded version of the TRF1 towed artillery system. The 155 mm 52 calibre ordnance is fitted with a double baffle muzzle brake and when travelling the ordnance is held in position by a clamp, located to the immediate rear of the cab, which is operated by remote control. The 52 calibre gun gives a range of 25 miles when firing standard shells. The CAESAR can fire six rounds, shut down the battery configuration and leave its firing position, all in less than two minutes, thus avoiding counter-battery fire. Rating 3/5


Ammunition:  The 155 mm 52 calibre ordnance is fitted with a double baffle muzzle brake and when travelling the ordnance is held in position by a clamp, located to the immediate rear of the cab, which is operated by remote control.Caesar is equipped with a 155mm, 52-calibre barrel and can maintain a firing rate of six to eight rounds a minute in sustained fire, or three rounds in 15 seconds in rapid fire. The rapid and sustain fire is one of the most strongest point in CAESAR which makes it at par in Ammunition department. Rating 4/5


Serviceability and Spare Parts: Well CAESAR will be 1st time in IA history that they will see something in offensive regiment ,Made in France tag in their closet . So this not only takes time to get familiar with user but also  increases much of cost and spare parts as they will be exclusively procured from France . However Reliably of French equipment are some thing there customer always keep in mind when sanction hovers on your head .
Rating 3.5/5



Cost: Unit  Cost is something which they need to workout if you compare with Archer System . Rating : 3/5
Last Contracts:
Qnt.
Customer
Value
Add Date(Close Date)
Unit Cost
100
SAUDI ARABIA
Sep 2006
(Feb 2008)
6
THAILAND
Apr 2006
(Feb 2008)
72
FRANCE
$399.000.000
Dec 2004
(Dec 2010)
$5,541,667
Average Unit Cost:
$5,541,667

Specifications
Property
Value
Main weapon caliber (mm)
155
Barrel length (calibres)
52
Length (mm)
10000
Width (mm)
3700
Height (mm)
2550
Max. road speed (km/h)
85
Max. road range (km)
600
Crew
5
Firing range (m)
42000
Rate of fire (rds/min)
6
Total Score :      18.5/25





















155 mm SpGH ZUZANA 2(Slovakia)



















The Slovak Army currently possesses 16 Zuzana howitzers - 155mm, model  SpGH ZUZANA 2   and had planned to acquire more by 2010. First adopted by the Slovak Army in 1998 SpGH ZUZANA 2000, the weapon now employs powerful shells made by the Konstructa DEFENCE a.s. of Trencin. Design of the gun enables to use any NATO standard 155 mm ammunition available on the market. One of the unique features of ZUZANA is that the gun is mounted externally between two totally separated compartments of the turret. This makes the system extremely safe for its crew that is completely out of reach of any potentially dangerous mechanics of the gun and autoloader plus the crew is protected from the gases generated during firing.The 155 mm SpGH ZUZANA 2 has a 52 caliber barrel with a breech of volume of 23 liters. The ammunition is stored in the conveyors which are capable to keep 40 projectiles and 40 powder charges. The ammunition is loaded in the barrel with automatic equipment. Design of the gun enables to use any NATO standard 155 mm ammunition available on the market. One of the unique features of ZUZANA is that the gun is mounted externally between two totally separated compartments of the turret. This makes the system extremely safe for its crew that is completely out of reach of any potentially dangerous mechanics of the gun and autoloader plus the crew is protected from the gases generated during firing.

Ammunition :The weapon construction provides the possibility to use NATO standard ammunition or any other compatible 155 mm ammunition including base bleed type ammunition. Complete ammunition stock carried in the ZUZANA 155 mm SPGH is 40 rounds.
Ambient limits: The firing is possible in any climate conditions in temperature range from - 40° up to + 55° C from prepared or not prepared positions having different surfaces with a slope up to +/-5°.Rate of fire: The efficient intensity of fire using full automatic shells and charges loading system is 5 to 6 rds in first minute. A sustained rate of 30 rds. per 6 minutes is possible in automatic mode of loading.The weapon system is fully automated and enables efficient fire up to the range of 41.2 km(when using ERFB-BB shells). It has Capability to carry out multiple round simultaneous impact (MRSI) missions. Rating  4/5

Mobilty:  SpGH Zuzana A1 is based on a modified Tatra 815 8 × 8 chassis, with the driver seated in the fully armoured compartment at the front. The fully enclosed turret is in the centre with the new armour protected power pack at the rear.  Both parts of the turret have air conditioning and an NBC system and the complete turret has its own auxiliary power unit (APU), which allows it to be operated with the main diesel engine switched off. Turret traverse is 360°, with the firing envelope 60° left and right and  full 360-degree turret traverse. Though Mobility is bit at hard side due to its weight(33T) and vehicle the infamous TATRA  which makes it vulnerable for rejection till they come up with some alternate vehicle.    
Rating : 2/5 


Weapon systems:
The weapon construction provides the possibility to use NATO standard ammunition or any other compatible 155 mm ammunition including base bleed type ammunition. Complete ammunition stock carried in the ZUZANA 155 mm SPGH is 40 rounds.
The gun itself is located between two turrets. They are welded from armor plates of a double trapezoidal shape. The right turret contains a conveyer for 36 shells and the left one accomodates a conveyer for 30 charges. The conveyer stepping operation is provided by hydraulics. Both cabins are air-conditioned and connected to the filtro-ventilating device. The advantage of turrets consists in the fact that crewmen are protected against combustion products of powder charges and they are not threatened by recoil masses. The gun structure enables to use the NATO standard ammunition including both Base Bleed type ( projectiles with a base discharge generator) and RAP ( rocket-assisted projectiles).The gun is loaded in automatic mode by means of automatic loader having its hydraulic drive. This system loads both shells and charges over entire elevation range. The application of automatic loader enables to obtain the fire rate from 5 to 6 rounds in the first minute. The full capacity of cartridge conveyer, i.e. 30 rounds, can be fired in six minutes.

Rating : 4/5

Serviceability and Spare Parts:  Though like Nexter this system too will be new to Indian army but one thing is sure if this gun works in Indian terrain then it got some serious potential Unlike above 2 contender, the maker of this Gun Kerametal LTD promised to transfer critical technology and even metallurgy blue Print of Gun to India, so we can make as much as we can ,but then again Can we trust OFB for that ?  Rating 4/5

Cost : 
Unit Cost is still unknown as per Janes is 3.4 to 4M per pop which is much lower than his contenders Rating : 5/5

Specifications
Property
Value
Main weapon caliber (mm)
155
Number of drive wheels
8
Number of wheels
8
Crew
4
Weight (kg)
28600
Length (mm)
12970
Width (mm)
3015
Height (mm)
3530
Ground clearance (mm)
410
Side slope (%)
27
Gradient (%)
58
Wheelbase (mm)
3070
Max. road speed (km/h)
80
Fuel capacity (l)
500
Max. road range (km)
750
Fording depth (mm)
1400
Vertical obstacle (mm)
600
Trench (mm)
2000
Turning circle radius (mm)
14000
Engine power output (h.p.)
361
Barrel length (calibres)
45
Traverse arc (degree)
120
Elevation (degree)
70
Depression (degree)
-3.5
Rate of fire (rds/min)
6

Total Score : 19/25





















Rheinmetall RWG-52(Germany)




Rheinmetall developed with RWG-52 wheeled self-propelled howitzers (data plan) site August 11, 2010 report, since 2008, the German Rheinmetall began independent investment development with RWG-52 wheeled self-propelled howitzers to meet the needs of the international market. Recently, Rheinmetall announced the details with RWG-52 howitzer. With RWG-52 howitzer with a new 66-wheel vehicle chassis, the chassis is installed on the new automatic RT-52 turret. The most important improvements is the installation a complete PzH2000 self-propelled howitzer 155 mm 52 calibre barrel.

Mobility  : Armed with 155mm ordnance, the Rheinmetall Wheeled Gun (RWG)-52 is a highly mobile 6x6 artillery system for flexible fire support operations. This 48-ton vehicle has a maximum road speed of 80 km/h, and can reach speeds of up to 70 km/h when operating off-road. Its strategic range is 700 km, its tactical range 300 km. A built-in tyre pressure management system further enhances the vehicle’s excellent off-road performance. 

Rating : 3/5


Weapon system :

The electrical gun control system, supplied by ESW Extel Systems Wedel, comprises the automatic elevating and traversing drives with semi-automatic back-up, direct laying with electrical instrument control and manual control.
"The RWG 52 is equipped with a fully automatic shell loading system with ammunition management system."
Gun parameters such as chamber temperature are monitored automatically. The RWG 52 is equipped with a fully automatic shell loading system with ammunition management system.
The chromium-plated barrel is 8m long and is fitted with a slotted muzzle brake which gives increased muzzle velocity and reduces the level of muzzle flash.
The wedge-type breech block is integrated with an exchangeable primer magazine fitted with an endless conveyer for automatic primer transportation, loading and unloading.
With its extremely stable, 52-calibre-length gun tube, the L/52 can lob standard ERFB-M1 ammunition up to 31 km. The gun's maximum effective range increases to 42 km when firing improved ERFB base-bleed projectiles and exceeds 52 km when firing the rocket-assisted V-LAP projectile. The already high accuracy of Rheinmetall's artillery ammunition family can be further enhanced – especially at long ranges – by adding a precision guidance kit. Besides an automated laying and navigation system, a launcher management system facilitates operation, which is controlled from a gun firing panel. Thanks to automatic loading, the gun can fire up to six rounds a minute. Rating 5/5


Ammunition : The RWG 52 automatic shell-loading system can handle 60 rounds of 155mm ammunition. The shells are picked up from the back of the vehicle and automatically stowed in the 60-round magazine in the centre of the chassis.
The shell-loading system is driven by brushless electric servo motors supplied by MOOG. The automatic shell loading system has pneumatically driven flick rammer and automatic digital control, ammunition supply management and inductive fuze setting.
The system can provide sustained fire support for an entire hour, firing 75 rounds, which equates to a rate of fire of 1.25 rounds per minute with a full charge. Moreover, the RWG-52 has a multiple round simultaneous impact (MRSI) capability, enabling up to five rounds to hit the target zone at the same time. In order to defend itself, the gun can also lay direct fire. It carries a basic load of forty rounds, which can be replenished within ten minutes from a supply vehicle in a semi-automated process


Additional armament consists from 7.62-mm anti-aircraft machine gun, placed on the turret roof. Rating 5/5


Serviceability and Spare Parts: Well there is no doubt that this system can be Bharamstra  in Indian army Artillery section but when it comes to reliablity, Germans can't be trusted when your country is sanction prone and many cases of human rights cases filed over your army . They have laws like in case of WAR they will not provide you any assistance in spare parts or serviceability etc etc which is really frustrating and one of the prime reason why IAF rejected Eurofighter in  MMRCA race. Rating :1/5

Cost : Cost is something which is not Yet confirm as wheeled type is still in Prototype mode . still we can guess it around 4-4.5M/Unit as tracked version is around 5M/unit. Rating 3/5

Total Score : 17/25




By above comparison, it's clearly The Archer system which wins with big margin and far ahead in term of scores . To be honest this majority of defense analyst and even army favors the Mighty gun.







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