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FORCE 2025: Informing the Army’s future structure

FJAG

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Here's another opinion piece from the Wavell Room in the APC vs IFV debate.
Read this a week ago when it came out and wrote it off as nonsense. An poorly researched, superficial opinion piece with no persuasive facts.

And this piece, also from the Wavell Room, I think describes quite well the circles we end up talking about in this and similar threads.

Canada by virtue of it's location clearly needs our forces to have "Reach". So which of "Scale" and "Capability" do we sacrifice?
This on the other hand is a good piece that looks at three fundamental trade-offs that lie at the behind all force structure considerations.

I tend to think that "reach" is not what we should be aiming for. Remember that the way Tusa defines it is as "Global reach is as it looks: it would be the ability to deploy and sustain forces near-indefinitely (almost) anywhere in the World."

I don't support the concept of Canada having "global reach".

I think that our reach should be much more limited. The concept, for example, of having a fly-over brigade in Latvia would be more in the nature of "scale" than "global reach". If that was in the nature of having a quick reaction brigade for deployment anywhere in the world then yes, it would be an element of "global reach". Similarly, a navy structured for Canada's coastal defence with a North Atlantic capability is not "global reach" but rather a limited reach more in the nature of scale.

From the above you can conclude that I'm a scale and capability type of guy.

😉
 

Kirkhill

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Been trialled, no idea where it went. Per the report 3 RCR was getting 1st round hits at 1000m. Which effectively doubles its range.

Further to the possibilities


I kind of think that with the right sight and airburst ammunition the replacement of the 60mm mortar with the 40mm C16 GMG might have made sense.

That one sight system would apply to the C6, M2, M3, C16, AT4, CG84 and possibly something the size of the NLAW. - Anything with a picatinny rail?
 

KevinB

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Further to the possibilities


I kind of think that with the right sight and airburst ammunition the replacement of the 60mm mortar with the 40mm C16 GMG might have made sense.

That one sight system would apply to the C6, M2, M3, C16, AT4, CG84 and possibly something the size of the NLAW. - Anything with a picatinny rail?
Keep in mind that zeroing the optic is still a thing.

The AT4 1913 rail gives a neat ability - but your left with just a rough ‘bore sighting’ so it’s not going to be great further out - I view it as really effective for a thermal sight to be used inside 300m

IMHO you don’t want the same sight for a number of those items.
The C-16 GMG and M2 sure because the ranges are similar and justify the higher end FCS.
But a good FCS for the GMG is something like this Rheinmetall Defence - Fire Control Units

Complete overkill for the other systems.
 

Kirkhill

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Keep in mind that zeroing the optic is still a thing.

The AT4 1913 rail gives a neat ability - but your left with just a rough ‘bore sighting’ so it’s not going to be great further out - I view it as really effective for a thermal sight to be used inside 300m

IMHO you don’t want the same sight for a number of those items.
The C-16 GMG and M2 sure because the ranges are similar and justify the higher end FCS.
But a good FCS for the GMG is something like this Rheinmetall Defence - Fire Control Units

Complete overkill for the others

C6A1 sight was common to both MGs and Mortars allowing common training and fire control. Presumably a lesson learned from the old Brigade MG Companies with their Vickers and 4.2s.

The Aimpoint is a Predictive Line Of Sight system. The same type of system supplied as part of the disposable NLAW.

Being able to hit the target with the first round regardless of the weapon, is no bad thing.
 

FJAG

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This thread has slowly lost its way.

Does anyone have any updates to share as to what is actually developing on the Force 2025 front?

Are there any hints of a vision as to what the structure will bring to the table for either the RegF or the ResF?

Or has this initiative died a lingering death?

:unsure:
 

Kirkhill

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Two years to 2025.

A war that is rewriting the environment if not the rules.

A larder that has been emptied.

A new, new, defence review manana.

Why would you think the thread might have wandered a bit?
 

GR66

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Read this a week ago when it came out and wrote it off as nonsense. An poorly researched, superficial opinion piece with no persuasive facts.


This on the other hand is a good piece that looks at three fundamental trade-offs that lie at the behind all force structure considerations.

I tend to think that "reach" is not what we should be aiming for. Remember that the way Tusa defines it is as "Global reach is as it looks: it would be the ability to deploy and sustain forces near-indefinitely (almost) anywhere in the World."

I don't support the concept of Canada having "global reach".

I think that our reach should be much more limited. The concept, for example, of having a fly-over brigade in Latvia would be more in the nature of "scale" than "global reach". If that was in the nature of having a quick reaction brigade for deployment anywhere in the world then yes, it would be an element of "global reach". Similarly, a navy structured for Canada's coastal defence with a North Atlantic capability is not "global reach" but rather a limited reach more in the nature of scale.

From the above you can conclude that I'm a scale and capability type of guy.

😉
First off I'd note that the article talks in terms of trade-offs between Reach, Scale and Capability but of course they are all on a sliding scale. It's not like you pick two from the list and don't get the other, it's just that the more money you spend on for example capability, the less money you have available for Reach and Scale.

So not so much of a Reach ✅, Scale ❌, Capability ✅ but more of a Reach = 40%, Scale = 20%, Capability = 40%.

I'd still contend that for the Regular Army anyway that simply due to our physical location in the World compared to where we expect our Army to operate that the "Reach" (strategic transport, logistics support, etc.) portion of our spending will necessarily be a larger piece of our pie than it would be for a country like Poland for example where the expectation is that they will be operating much closer to home. As a result, proportionally we will have less of the pie available to spend on "Scale" or "Capability".

Of course you are correct that focusing our "Reach" on Eastern Europe specifically as opposed to a more "Global Reach" capability comes at a lower opportunity cost to our "Scale" and "Capability".

I'd also suggest that how we balance these three elements might be different for the Regular Army vs the Reserve Army (or even specific elements of the Army). You might for example want your Regular (quick reaction forces) to skew towards Reach and Capability while your Reserves (who are likely only to be mobilized in the most dire of situations) may skew towards Scale with slightly less Capability (stocks of the highest tech munitions for example may be largely depleted by the time the Reserves are mobilized and deployed so they might focus on larger quantities of "dumb" munitions).

For some portions of the Reserves that are meant to augment the Reg Force, or to provide specific capabilities which may only be required in a high-end peer conflict (air defence, long range precision strike, etc.) the primary focus might be on the Capability.

Of course there is no magic formula that is "correct" but I just felt it provides an interesting lens through which to examine the proposals and ideas that are put forward here and also to act as a reminder that with every "great idea" that is put forward that there will have to be some kind of trade-off elsewhere in the plan in order to pay for the capability.
 

FJAG

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First off I'd note that the article talks in terms of trade-offs between Reach, Scale and Capability but of course they are all on a sliding scale. It's not like you pick two from the list and don't get the other, it's just that the more money you spend on for example capability, the less money you have available for Reach and Scale.

So not so much of a Reach ✅, Scale ❌, Capability ✅ but more of a Reach = 40%, Scale = 20%, Capability = 40%.
I like that way of looking at it. How one assigns those percentages is very much the issue.

I'd still contend that for the Regular Army anyway that simply due to our physical location in the World compared to where we expect our Army to operate that the "Reach" (strategic transport, logistics support, etc.) portion of our spending will necessarily be a larger piece of our pie than it would be for a country like Poland for example where the expectation is that they will be operating much closer to home. As a result, proportionally we will have less of the pie available to spend on "Scale" or "Capability".

Of course you are correct that focusing our "Reach" on Eastern Europe specifically as opposed to a more "Global Reach" capability comes at a lower opportunity cost to our "Scale" and "Capability".
Exactly. It's the question of how much effort and treasure we put into being able to "reach" anywhere in the world at any time rather than one discrete location far away. It's not a lot further from Gagetown to 5 Fd Regt in Victoria than it is to the BG in Latvia. This is why I say that supporting a fixed unit in Latvia is more a question of scale (something like positioning and supporting CA units in Gagetown, Quebec, Petawawa, Edmonton and Victoria) rather than one of reach.

I'd also suggest that how we balance these three elements might be different for the Regular Army vs the Reserve Army (or even specific elements of the Army). You might for example want your Regular (quick reaction forces) to skew towards Reach and Capability while your Reserves (who are likely only to be mobilized in the most dire of situations) may skew towards Scale with slightly less Capability (stocks of the highest tech munitions for example may be largely depleted by the time the Reserves are mobilized and deployed so they might focus on larger quantities of "dumb" munitions).

For some portions of the Reserves that are meant to augment the Reg Force, or to provide specific capabilities which may only be required in a high-end peer conflict (air defence, long range precision strike, etc.) the primary focus might be on the Capability.
Absolutely. When it comes to capability you might find a particular one unique to the standing force vs the mobilized force. It always goes back to what do you use day-to-day or need to bring into play overnight vs those that can wait a week or a even a month.

Of course there is no magic formula that is "correct" but I just felt it provides an interesting lens through which to examine the proposals and ideas that are put forward here and also to act as a reminder that with every "great idea" that is put forward that there will have to be some kind of trade-off elsewhere in the plan in order to pay for the capability.
Yup.

🍻
 

GR66

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Interesting discussion on vehicles as it related to force structure

Two comments from the tweet that could be relevant to Force 2025 discussions:

I like the duality of heavy tracked armour and wheeled medium armour. Wheeled medium forces deploy quickly but lack resilience. Heavy tracked forces deploy slowly but have staying power. Regardless of vehicle weight, the trick is to avoid mixing wheels + tracks in same formation.

You'll need light wheeled vehicles (Panther, JLTV etc) and light tracked (BVS10, Wiesel) as well. This gives you heavy tracked, medium wheeled, light wheeled, and light tracked, or four core combat vehicle types.
 

GR66

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The Corporal Frisk blog is noting that Poland is divesting all of its 140 x Leopard 2A4s and 105 x Leopard 2A5s in favour of their new purchase Abrams M1A2 SEP 3 and Korean K2 Black Panther tanks.

What would be the possibilities with at least some of those available? Combined with our existing fleet that would give us 20 x Leopard 2A6M, 105 x Leopard 2A5 and 202 x Leopard 2A4/2A4M.

With that you could put together something like:

3 x Symmetrical Mechanized Brigades each with three Combined Arms Battalions consisting of:
  • 1 x Tank Squadron (Leopard 2A4 for close support) - Total of 171 x Leopard 2A4 required for 9 x Squadrons
  • 2 x LAV 6.0 Infantry Companies - Total of 18 x LAV 6.0 Companies required (existing)
1 x Tank Regiment
  • 4 x Tank Squadrons (Leopard 2A6) - Total of 78 x Leopard 2A6 (20 x existing plus 58 x upgraded Leopard 2A5's)
1 x Armoured Recce Regiment
  • 1 x Tank Squadron (Leopard 2A4) - Total of 19 x Leopard 2A4
  • 3 x LAV Recce Squadrons (existing)
1 x SHORAD Regiment (converted LAVs from 3rd Armoured Regiment)
 

Ostrozac

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Leaning heavily into becoming a tank-heavy force runs into a logistical issue — most of our bases aren’t suited infrastructure-wise to tanks anymore (if they ever really were, Petawawa, Valcartier, I’m talking to you). Bridges are an issue, and we’ve ripped up most of the rail infrastructure.

Turning Suffield into a major base and the home of the tanks might be the best way to do this — the British Army seems increasingly lukewarm on BATUS.
 

KevinB

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The Corporal Frisk blog is noting that Poland is divesting all of its 140 x Leopard 2A4s and 105 x Leopard 2A5s in favour of their new purchase Abrams M1A2 SEP 3 and Korean K2 Black Panther tanks.

What would be the possibilities with at least some of those available? Combined with our existing fleet that would give us 20 x Leopard 2A6M, 105 x Leopard 2A5 and 202 x Leopard 2A4/2A4M.

With that you could put together something like:

3 x Symmetrical Mechanized Brigades each with three Combined Arms Battalions consisting of:
  • 1 x Tank Squadron (Leopard 2A4 for close support) - Total of 171 x Leopard 2A4 required for 9 x Squadrons
  • 2 x LAV 6.0 Infantry Companies - Total of 18 x LAV 6.0 Companies required (existing)
1 x Tank Regiment
  • 4 x Tank Squadrons (Leopard 2A6) - Total of 78 x Leopard 2A6 (20 x existing plus 58 x upgraded Leopard 2A5's)
1 x Armoured Recce Regiment
  • 1 x Tank Squadron (Leopard 2A4) - Total of 19 x Leopard 2A4
  • 3 x LAV Recce Squadrons (existing)
1 x SHORAD Regiment (converted LAVs from 3rd Armoured Regiment)
Why on earth would you want symmetrical?
Even ignoring @Ostrozac ’s comment about the base structure. Symmetrical CMBG’s may be easy - but it doesn’t begin to cover the needs of the CAF or the threats out there.

It does ensure the CAF is too heavy to go anywhere and can just sit back and watch its equipment rust

Make an Armd Bde sure.
Maybe make 2 - on the Prairie's, but you need Light Forces to get places rapidly - and the Medium LAV force can do things too.

We also have a lot of reasons why you don’t combine wheels and tracks in the same Bde.
 

IKnowNothing

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The Corporal Frisk blog is noting that Poland is divesting all of its 140 x Leopard 2A4s and 105 x Leopard 2A5s in favour of their new purchase Abrams M1A2 SEP 3 and Korean K2 Black Panther tanks.

What would be the possibilities with at least some of those available? Combined with our existing fleet that would give us 20 x Leopard 2A6M, 105 x Leopard 2A5 and 202 x Leopard 2A4/2A4M.
Going a little less audacious, assuming no major reforms and that the 40 A4 training tanks are untouchable/ needed where they are:

Buy 105x A5, 20x A4, upgraded to A6M CAN and A4M CAN respectively

the new A4M's and the existing go to Gagetown, each of RCD and 12 RBC have a full squadron so that 2 and 5 CMBG have their own close support capability for battlegroup generation.

65 A6M's go to Latvia, 60 out West. LdSH goes 1x Recce, 3x Tank. 1 Squadron tank Roto in Latvia at all times, the rest of the regiment fly over. The 3rd squadron in Canada used to maintain at least 2 deployable squadrons of PRes. LdSH tasked to a multi-national Bde, one PRes squadron acts as a reserve for LdSH, one provides organic tanks to 1CMBG
 

daftandbarmy

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65 A6M's go to Latvia, 60 out West. LdSH goes 1x Recce, 3x Tank. 1 Squadron tank Roto in Latvia at all times, the rest of the regiment fly over. The 3rd squadron in Canada used to maintain at least 2 deployable squadrons of PRes. LdSH tasked to a multi-national Bde, one PRes squadron acts as a reserve for LdSH, one provides organic tanks to 1CMBG

Not the way that the Reserves are currently set up they won't...
 

FJAG

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Why on earth would you want symmetrical?
Exactly. The only reason would be to placate the regimental mafias so that no one feels slighted.

Going a little less audacious, assuming no major reforms and that the 40 A4 training tanks are untouchable/ needed where they are:

Buy 105x A5, 20x A4, upgraded to A6M CAN and A4M CAN respectively

the new A4M's and the existing go to Gagetown, each of RCD and 12 RBC have a full squadron so that 2 and 5 CMBG have their own close support capability for battlegroup generation.
I'm not sure if you mean for actual deployments or as a training aid. I can see a squadron of tanks at the school for training basic armoured officers (all other ranks should be trained at Wainwright).

Personally I think 2 CMBG should become light and the RCD a light cavalry regiment while 5 CMBG becomes fully medium and 12 RBC equipped with a suitable wheeled vehicle for the medium cavalry role. I can see many roles for a medium force with a medium direct fire system. Having them train with heavy armour but them deploying them on, lets say a UN mission, without it just doesn't make much sense.

65 A6M's go to Latvia, 60 out West. LdSH goes 1x Recce, 3x Tank. 1 Squadron tank Roto in Latvia at all times, the rest of the regiment fly over. The 3rd squadron in Canada used to maintain at least 2 deployable squadrons of PRes. LdSH tasked to a multi-national Bde, one PRes squadron acts as a reserve for LdSH, one provides organic tanks to 1CMBG
I can see having prepositioned regiment of tanks in Latvia and having the equivalent of a reserve force armoured regiment to back up a RegF armoured regiment in Edmonton. In fact I'm a strong advocate for that and implement it in my 30/70 concept.

One thing that such a forward deployment does, is that it makes it possible for 5 CMBG, if its considered desirable to do so, to flyover a battalion now and then to train on tank and infantry cooperation. Personally, I'd prefer to put my effort into finding that medium, wheeled direct fire support system for 5 CMBG and leave the tanks for 1 CMBG and its reserve shadow brigade(s).

Not the way that the Reserves are currently set up they won't...
That's why it needs to change.

🍻
 

GR66

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Why on earth would you want symmetrical?
Even ignoring @Ostrozac ’s comment about the base structure. Symmetrical CMBG’s may be easy - but it doesn’t begin to cover the needs of the CAF or the threats out there.

It does ensure the CAF is too heavy to go anywhere and can just sit back and watch its equipment rust

Make an Armd Bde sure.
Maybe make 2 - on the Prairie's, but you need Light Forces to get places rapidly - and the Medium LAV force can do things too.

We also have a lot of reasons why you don’t combine wheels and tracks in the same Bde.
It wasn't so much of a "this is what we should do" as a "look at what you could do with what another country is throwing away"
 

IKnowNothing

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I'm not sure if you mean for actual deployments or as a training aid. I can see a squadron of tanks at the school for training basic armoured officers (all other ranks should be trained at Wainwright).

Personally I think 2 CMBG should become light and the RCD a light cavalry regiment while 5 CMBG becomes fully medium and 12 RBC equipped with a suitable wheeled vehicle for the medium cavalry role. I can see many roles for a medium force with a medium direct fire system. Having them train with heavy armour but them deploying them on, lets say a UN mission, without it just doesn't make much sense.


I can see having prepositioned regiment of tanks in Latvia and having the equivalent of a reserve force armoured regiment to back up a RegF armoured regiment in Edmonton. In fact I'm a strong advocate for that and implement it in my 30/70 concept.

One thing that such a forward deployment does, is that it makes it possible for 5 CMBG, if its considered desirable to do so, to flyover a battalion now and then to train on tank and infantry cooperation. Personally, I'd prefer to put my effort into finding that medium, wheeled direct fire support system for 5 CMBG and leave the tanks for 1 CMBG and its reserve shadow brigade(s).
I meant for actual deployments.
I agree with the "should" section, but I tried to constrain my thinking to a straight tank purchase rather than a sweeping restructure. The Polish divestment could present a somewhat non-dreaming opportunity for a snap decision, but it doesn't let us go back in time to :
-have CCV go through and equip 1 CABG with Leo's and CV9035
-which leads to LAV UP taking a more Stryker/British Boxer approach to equip 5CMBG with RWS armed ISC's and a proper suite of variants
-somehow prevent TAPV from happening and instead spend that money on a mix of license built Finnish MiSu's, Ocelots, and Fennek's
 
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