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Everything posted by watcher

  1. Not quite sure what you mean. see http://nigelef.tripod.com/maindoc.htm Figure 2.
  2. The MLRS installation was the simplest of the lot since MLRS did its own on-board calculation of firing data, just an NIE between the radio and FC computer. BATES used the standard MLRS message set for this, not BATES type messages.
  3. Remembering that the two used in 1945 were both c.20KT, land service nuc weapons were predominantly a lot less than that, although by the late '60s 'dial a yield' was available for at least one system subsequently adopted by several NATO nations.
  4. Technically speaking the prototype L118 should be called XL118, although the British Army has never been overly fussed about this practice. L118 only really refers to the first version that entered service, ie it is the OB approved service pattern. No doubt somewhere there is a MOD(PE) (more likely earlier) instruction about this, and is still valid (the Land Service numbering system was introduced c.1955 before MOD(PE) existed). This is Military Nomenclature 101. Interestingly the subsequent modifications such as fitting the MV radar, digital sights and other mods do not seem to have resulted in a redesignation to L118A1 (AFAIK). 'Generation' is not a term in the military lexicon with regards to equipment versions, I'm always happy to help the under-informed in these matters. Re the jack issue, I'd suggest that the prototype used whatever was to hand and was vaguely suitable. Part of the military trials is to ensure that these is an appropriate CES (Complete Equipment Schedule).
  5. A real antique. They weren't in service long because rapid technical evolution meant the calibre needed went down due to weapon miniturisation. 203 mm and later 155 mm soon became the only calibres use for tactical nukes.
  6. You're a tad off track there mate. The was no '1st generation Light Gun'. Light Gun entered service in 1975, I know this for as fact because at the time I was doing a 12 month course at RSA and did a factory visit to ROF Nottingham, which awash with Light Guns under construction for the Brit Army. Before this the Brit Army used the Oto-Melara 105mm How (Pack How in UK service, introduced c. 1963) and I used these 1965-68 in Borneo and UK. If you are interested in the history of the 105mm Light Gun then see http://nigelef.tripod.com/p_105ltgun.htm . This site knows what it is talking about. You'll note that trials of the prototype Light Gun were in 1968. I won't embarrass you by asking for the source of the codswallop, just advise 'don't trust it'!
  7. SANIE (Stand Alone NIE) was used with the BATES specific crypto BID 460 (AKA Palladian), this was the first crypto that CESG produced as software, previous crypto was always in hardware. SANIE was usable with manpack (PRC) radios, ie 320, 351 and 352, as well as VRC. The other NIE was for more complex multi set installations including 432, Warrior, etc with bty CPs, BCs, RHQs.
  8. IIRC there were two TACPs per brigade, each also being a primary FAC. I was under the impression that their vehicle was a LR. In addition there were secondary FACs in various types of unit. Their only specialist equipment would have been a UHF radio (A43), marker panels, and protractor and compass in degrees (instead of the usual mils).
  9. OFG Hogg is the man you need. Pgs 286/7 of his book 'Artillery: Its Origin, Heyday and Decline' has a table giving the key data for all the main field guns in the world in 1910, he lists 25 from 24 countries (everyone made their own guns in those days). For 18-pr and 13-pr: Rds in Limber: 24 Rds in Wagon Limber: 28 Rds in Wagon Body: 48 Rds per gun 176 No of guns per bty: 6 No of wagons per bty: 12 Wt of wagon packed (18-pr): 36.75 cwt Wt of gun (18-pr): 9 cwt Wt of gun & carriage: 24.75 cwt Wt of gun & limber filled: 40 cwt Its also interesting that in developing 18-pr the requirement was for the limbers to provide protection to the detachment, along with the gun shield, from small arms fire over a reasonably wide arc, a lesson from S Africa. This suggests there was a certain thickness of steel. It's also useful to note that for 18-pr the detachment rode on the Wagon with the gun not the gun limber (the second wagon per gun was under bty arrangements), of course for RHA 13-pr every man had a horse. Unfortunately he doesn't provide figures for 4.5 in How but it would have been less rds per wagon or limber. All this should help work out which type of limber you have. Bethel is another useful source, his 'Modern Artillery in the Field' 1910, also gives 176 rpg for 18 and 13 pr, and offers 112 for 4.5 (6 gun bty) and 76 for 60-pr (4 gun bty). The practice of two wagons per gun seems to have been standard and 40-cwt for a 6 horse team of the light vanner type seems about the upper limit. Of course 60-pr used draft horses. I can't help but wonder how many museums have got their limbers mixed up!
  10. "Shell are issued plugged & unboxed" Means exactly that. Carts were boxed, fuzes were boxed, shells were plugged and delivered loose, US used a plug with a lifting eye, IIRC UK used a flat plug. May also have been a protective packaging around the driving band, but I may be getting mixed up with 8 inch on that point. Plugged & unboxed was the normal arrangement for medium and heavy arty ammo before ULCs were introduced with FH70 (and the US adopted pallets). In 1941 the only 5.5 shell was 100lbs, the 80lb appeared a couple of years later. The photo of shells in box is odd, there is a driving band immediately below the ogive, definitely not 80lb and I've fairly sure not 100lb, the length/diameter proportions look odd as well. Something experimental? A 80/100 lb shell was a one man lift, why put them in boxes, one man wasn't going to handle a 160/200+lb box! Incidentally UK used 7.2 in Mk 6 into the 1960s (there were several heavy regts in the 1950s), 14 of these were converted to 8 inch. Macks were the towing vehicles, towing either with a limber or without and suspended.
  11. Not sure when the RO record plate was introduced, early 1950s I think. Obviously it didn't record 'bearings' because these weren't adopted until 1957 and a new pattern of RO plate was then issued. Before bearings the centre of arc was the Zero Line, and ROs (which is what the plate recorded) were angles from it and as any fule no bearings are relative to North. The reference to Troop Pickets is also a clue. ('RO' = Reference Object)
  12. Sorry to spoil a 'good' (but underinformed story, but the GSR makes no mention of Belfast, it does refer to internal carriage in Andover and Chinook, rumour has it that at least one of those is still in use. The other barrel problem was putting the muzzle through the a/c roof when backing/towing it up and down the ramp. Just for the record the Belfast hold could accomodate two LRs side by side, in fact there was room for 8 LWB LRs and 6 105mm Pack Hows, been there, done that, Lt Gun width would not have been a problem. My understanding is that the newer A frame means there is no restriction (a/c excepted) on towing with the barrel unfolded, the Drill Book merely states it's the local commander's decision, although I think the elevating handwheel gear has to be disconnected. Re Hamels, last time I looked at one it required the wheel removing to swing the barrel.
  13. All BATES hardware except for the rugged off the shelf hard drive was bespoke, using identical 80C86 processor boards. IIRC the computer had 4 of these and the VDU 1. The basia processing cell (eg BCP) had a computer, 1 VDU, 1 storage device (2 removable hard drives), and two or more Net Interface Equipments of two types, one worked to BID 250 and thence CNR the other had it own integral BID 460 (IIRC).
  14. Unfortunately not, my knowledge is limited to the display at the NZ museum. That said 'The Gunners – A History of New Zealand Artillery’ was publish a few years back and undoubtedly deals with it. Aust also used a couple of btys in NG, but didn't adopt more due to the logistic complications, and perhaps the move of production from UK to India. As well as the two series of UK and India mks, the South Africans also built them (does Selby Engineering mean anything to anyone?) and from the few photos I've seen there do seem to be a few differences. There's a bit about them in Nothling's SA artillery history, not any easy book to read because many chapters are in Africaans although pictures are dual language captioned. This site http://nigelef.tripod.com/37inchowsheet.htm refers to SA producing 190 '3.7 inch How' and 101 '3.7 inch Pack How', no doubt there are SA Handbooks for them somewhere. SA also produced an interesting twin axle 60-pr that is not well known.
  15. Your problem is that there are a lot of Mks, both British and Indian, not a single 'thread', production was moved to India mid-WW2 and very few were used in Western Theatres. Getting an authentic configuration will be a challenge, although if you're interested in a con job then its unlikely that anyone knows enough to challenge you! The best example I know is in the NZ Army museum, used on Guadacanal, a little known fact that NZ fought there.
  16. Probably, the site I referenced above lists a Maint Manual for "QF 25-pr Short (Aust) Mk 1 Gun on Carriage 25-pr Light (Aust) Mk 2, 1943."
  17. Autofrettage was invented by the French about a century ago. UK didn't start using it until after WW1. Until then barrels were either wire bound or 'built-up', starting with the A tube and adding more tubes around it. Not all 'modern' guns use autofrettage, eg the L13 ordnance of Abbott was't, being an SP the weight saving wasn't worth the additional cost and steel technology had also improved a lot since autofrettage was invented making monobloc construction without autofrettage possible. I'd guess that wire bound RN barrels dated to pre-WW2, but they are traditionalists so perhas not. The mid-life upgrade of a few years back developed explosively formed titanium for some parts, presumably building on technology developed for M777, but it didn't enter service due to cost.
  18. BATES used BID 250 where it was standard for the net. However, for manpack it had its own BID, which was integral to its Net Interface Equipment (two types 1 for VRC and 1 for PRC) encryption all in software (the first by CESG). The entire BATES data network was encrypted from FOs and guns to corps HQ, including 351 (or 2) connected to the GDU to the GDU, also used the the FO's DED and 352 and with PRC 321.
  19. Not entirely correct, 18-pr Mk 4B was not wirebound, just a liner in the jacket.
  20. Autofrettage is a barrel contruction technique to strengthen the metal and reduce barrel weight by using less metal. I think you'll find that in 25-pr Mk 1 the 18-pr A tube (with wire binding pre-Mk 4B) was removed from the jacket and a 25-pr 'barrel' inserted in the jacket. This is not 'lining down'. Lining down means machining the barrel bore to enlarge it then inserting a new lining tube. It was a technique mostly used to rejuvenate worn barrels, particularly those of a built-up construction where the A tube couldn't be easily removed (if at all). This 25-pr relining nonsense seems to have originated by people not understanding barrel construction and or trying to simplify a description. A more precise desciption might be 'the 18-pr ordnance was re-lined', (where 'liner' is synonymous with 'tube' and 'barrel') of course this is confusing if you don't know that the jacket is just an outer cover and changing a tube/liner when worn means taking it out of the jacket and putting in a new one. Of course part of the problem is the ambiguous term 'ordnance', in the US it invariably refers to munitions, but in UK (ignoring any un-natural RAF or RN practices) it means one of the two major assemblies comprising a gun or mortar, the other being the carriage or mounting, ie the ordnance is the breach assembly, muzzlebrake and everything in between.
  21. No, it was specifically donated to Firepower from Australia. One or two were delivered to UK in the backend of WW2, UK did some improvements and it was to be formally classifed at Mk ? Ord on Mk 4? Carriage. Obviously the Mk 3 carriage was a far better option as long as you didn't want relatively easy breaking into loads. At least some of the Aust gunners using it considered it a bit of a dog. It also had limited range, one of the things the UK mods corrected. There's a bit more detail at http://nigelef.tripod.com/25pdrsheet.htm "RAA Museum, (moving: temporarily closed: formerly at North Head, Sydney)" Ha ha, I do like a guy with a sense of humour.
  22. FH70 entered service a few years before Clansman. AWDATS connected to FACE, but thinking about it, towed guns only used line with it. However, the BATES GDU for towed guns included both radio and line. Definitely not 349 because all BATES comms were encrypted and 351 was the smallest that could handle the SANIE. Of course its possible that BATES never reached FH70 btys.
  23. I don't think there was ever any radio fitted to FH70. The nearest would have been whatever was in the AWDATS cradle (on the ground), or the GDU cradle (on the ground) when BATES entered service in FH70 btys (if it ever did). My guess would be B48 them PRC 351.
  24. Where to get one? H'mm, my guess is that those floating around or in collections are protoypes, and significantly different to the production version, you need to read the Trials UHB to understand how different. I think UK converted its knackered guns to ceremonial. AFAIK the only UK disposal were their 14 L119s in a couple of batches in the last 10-15 years. Currently Australia is disposing of all theirs, and they have both types of elevating mass for each carriage, the L118s being unused in most cases (a sorry saga of a screwup). I like the photo of the new mods in post #17, new Selex box for the layers unit, to replace the Denel laptop and invites question as whether it includes NABK software and a wireless interface for comms to FC-BISA. Also new MV radar and repositioned inertial unit. However, what about the new direct fire sight, or is that only a theatre entry standard, either way I don't believe a direct fire sight has been abandoned. Of course origianlly L118 was a procurement saga, MoD appointed a military project manager, but only a Lt Col, the design authority had a more senior civil servant in charge and ROF also had a more senior person, neither of the civil servants would recognise that the PM was the customer's man and called the shots.
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