What existing military units are most likely to obsolete?

Aug 2013
211
Finland
I was in the artillery during my military service and the shoot-and-scoot concept just doesn't work with traditional towed field artillery. Things just don't happen fast enough. A well-trained section of field artillery can deliver 100+ hits into a 100x100m target area in well under 30 minutes from when the first truck drives into the area around the shooting positions. In this scenario the actual grenades hits all land within the course of a minute.

What normally happens though is that artillery drives into a new position and starts to dig in. The requests for fire will come in later when the infrantry needs it, and if everything is prepared as it should, the grenades will hit the target area a couple of minutes later and then it's time to quickly move into the next, usually pre-planned position.

But the batteries have dug in, there are camouflage setups and perhaps tents to pack, signal cable to gather, unused ammunition to pack into the ammunition trucks not to mention getting the guns themselves prepared and attached to the trucks, which are normally not left right next to the guns. These things just don't happen quick enough to be out of there before counter-battery fire comes in if the enemy is on point with it, unless you want to leave half your equipment behind.
 
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Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
5,096
Dispargum
How much pack-up time could you save if you knew before the fire mission that you would be leaving immediately after it was finished? If before and during the fire mission you packed up all of your equipment except what was necessary to fire the guns, how long would it take to hitch up the guns and depart?
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
5,096
Dispargum
I don't think artillery is obsolete. There's probably room for improvement. Smart munitions can reduce the length of fire missions. The US is developing fire-on-the-move technology. Also, batteries and battalions must no longer be co-located with each other. Using modern communications and computer technology, each gun can be located separately but coordinated to fire on the same target simultaneously.

As far as other weapons, I wonder what the likelihood is of any future conventional war? Perhaps the US is spending too much money on tanks, heavy bombers, and submarines that will never be used in unconventional wars.
 

Poly

Ad Honorem
Apr 2011
6,866
Georgia, USA
I wonder if tanks are becoming obsolete as well as heavy SPGs like the US M-109 and the British AS-90.

What if a vehicle with a gun capable of indirect as well as direct fire was developed ?

Add on a close in defense system like a Phalanx and you could have a very survivable gun system.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,729
Italy, Lago Maggiore
What about an obsolete armored vehicle?

Well, during the Cold War Italian military engineers thought to a great tank hunter, but unfortunately because of typical Italian delay about public expenses it begun to serve AFTER the end of the Cold War!

Italian tanks weren't able to face Russian tanks. So ... what were we going to do in case of Soviet armored divisions coming from East?
Substantially nothing. The strategical choice was to leave them pass ... to enter urban territory where the new tank hunter had some possibilities to do something.

The Italian idea of a wheeled armored vehicle with an anti-tank cannon was so interesting that also Americans showed interest for our "Centauro".

It's substantially a quick artillery anti-tank piece. Nothing so different from the idea that Germans had during WWII [and they passed to us, the Italian allies] ... to use an AA gun horizontally to hit enemy tanks!

In the 80's the Centauro had a "market", today it's substantially obsolete as well. The US striker [we suspect Americans copied our Centauro] adds the capability to transport troop [this makes the difference].
centauro.jpg
 
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Poly

Ad Honorem
Apr 2011
6,866
Georgia, USA
What about an obsolete armored vehicle?

Well, during the Cold War Italian military engineers thought to a great tank hunter, but unfortunately because of typical Italian delay about public expenses it begun to serve AFTER the end of the Cold War!

Italian tanks weren't able to face Russian tanks. So ... what were we going to do in case of Soviet armored divisions coming from East?
Substantially nothing. The strategical choice was to leave them pass ... to enter urban territory where the new tank hunter had some possibilities to do something.

The Italian idea of a wheeled armored vehicle with an anti-tank cannon was so interesting that also Americans showed interest for our "Centauro".

It's substantially a quick artillery anti-tank piece. Nothing so different from the idea that Germans had during WWII [and they passed to us, the Italian allies] ... to use an AA gun horizontally to hit enemy tanks!

In the 80's the Centauro had a "market", today it's substantially obsolete as well. The US striker [we suspect Americans copied our Centauro] adds the capability to transport troop [this makes the difference].
View attachment 26231
The Italian Centuro was the wrong vehicle for Italy. A very similar vehicle (with a smaller gun) was developed by the South Africans called the Rooikat . It is still well thought off though more of a cavalry/scouting vehicle as the tanks South Africa faced were rather poor and obsolete Russian tanks.


 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,729
Italy, Lago Maggiore
The Italian Centuro was the wrong vehicle for Italy. A very similar vehicle (with a smaller gun) was developed by the South Africans called the Rooikat . It is still well thought off though more of a cavalry/scouting vehicle as the tanks South Africa faced were rather poor and obsolete Russian tanks.


We will never know ... it was ready for a museum when it begun to serve!
 
Jan 2020
5
Scottish Borders
In responce to earlier posts, I was in a Parachute Artillery regiment and very much a shoot and scoot, but that was then. I think Drones will take over most of the tasks we used to train for. However to answer the originating question I see the demise of the Parachute unit. Whereas Paratroopers do remain highly motivated and excellent shock troops, I cannot see a future for Brigade or Division sized Airborne formations. There will still be Parachute capabilities but on a small team basis. In Britain I see the Parachute and Commando brigades merging within my lifetime. I could also probably make a case to get rid of the Guards Brigade and Battleships.
 
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May 2019
429
Earth
Historically, we have observed the obsolescence of cavalries
I wouldn't say cavalry is completely obsolete. As long as there are remote regions with underdeveloped infrastructure and open terrain, horse soldiers can be useful scout/patrol/security forces. The US and their local allies used cavalry in Afghanistan (here's a photo from 2001), and China maintains mounted troops for stuff like border patrol and logistics support along parts of their northern frontier. Neither the US nor China have what I would describe as outdated armed forces. Are horse cavalry effective frontline troops in a war between two superpowers? Most likely not. Do they still have a use for auxiliary roles in remote, guerilla-infested regions with poor transport and communication networks? I'd say yes.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
6,160
In responce to earlier posts, I was in a Parachute Artillery regiment and very much a shoot and scoot, but that was then. I think Drones will take over most of the tasks we used to train for. However to answer the originating question I see the demise of the Parachute unit. Whereas Paratroopers do remain highly motivated and excellent shock troops, I cannot see a future for Brigade or Division sized Airborne formations. There will still be Parachute capabilities but on a small team basis. In Britain I see the Parachute and Commando brigades merging within my lifetime. I could also probably make a case to get rid of the Guards Brigade and Battleships.
Light infantry, on standby, for rapid deployment to get the drop on an adversary before he can figure out what's going on?

Nope, can't see them go out of style in the present geopolitical landscape. Since "possession is three quarters of the law", you insert these asap, and then the adversary has to work out of it's going to be politically worth even trying to remove them. And if not, you're home free.