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Candidates for NATO standardisation in the Cold War

uk 75

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One of the interesting aspects of the Cold War is how some weapons became almost NATO standard systems (F104, Centurion and Leopard tanks)
What weapons should have become standard and did not
 

DWG

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.280 British (7x43mm) has to be about the best candidate, there's pretty universal recognition that the U.S. forcing 7.62mm NATO on everyone else made a practical select fire assault weapon too difficult. The rifle it's fired from is slightly less important, but both the EM-2 and the original .280 FAL were good rifles. EM-2 would have had the advantage of introducing universal issue of rifle optics 30 years earlier than the reality.
 

zen

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I think I'll agree with DWG there.
 
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Fluff

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87.5mm field gun AKA 25pdr
Airgeep
Skyhook
 
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zen

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Had the national politics not intervened, then the Atlantique and the Harrier (P1154) could have been NATO standard.
It was potentially possible for a naval 105mm gun and ammunition to have been agreed as it nearly was for 5" (127mm)/L56.
 

Siberia

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The Folland Gnat could be a possibility since IIRC other than the enlarged wheels necessary for rough field operations it more than met the specifications for the NATO Basic Military Requirement 1 (NBMR-1) light weight tactical strike fighter (LWTSF). Of course the major problem would be overcoming the urge for governments to favour domestic designs over a joint one as which happened with Fiat G.91 in our timeline. Perhaps some form of agreement ahead of the contest committing participants to buying a set number of aircraft?

uk 75 in their original post mentions the Centurion tank, IIRC at least for the Netherlands and Denmark that was largely helped by the US paying for them via Mutual Defense Assistance Act (MDAA) monies. I have a vague recollection that something similar was being planned for the rearmament of the Deutsches Heer since American industry was largely tied up with the Korean War but that when things quieted down it was dropped. You'd probably have to play with the dates somewhat but if Germany received the Centurion that would give it a fair amount of momentum.
 
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uk 75

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The British 105mm light gun was adopted by the US after its own gun got too expensive and complicated. If France, Belgium and Germany had bought it for their airborne units
 
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DWG

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The British 105mm light gun was adopted by the US after its own gun got too expensive and complicated. If France, Belgium and Germany had bought it for their airborne units
Or the Italian 105mm Pack Howitzer a generation earlier. With Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Greece all using it, it pretty much was a NATO standard.
 
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alertken

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Siberia addresses the core issue here, which is not domestic politics of jobs, but is...who is the customer?

If US is willing to pick up the entire R&D bill, then to provide on attractive terms, including free, copies of a product for which US is setting up support infrastructure, even in another country, then...no-brainer to take the US type, to be a wide Standard.

Economies of scale from its domestic orders give US massive advantage over other sources. Why did UK bother with 40-odd Nimrods when >700 Orions were to be built? Waste.

The motive behind >40 NBMRs from 1957 was simply to avoid wasteful duplication of effort, hurting NATO's inter-operability cf. Warsaw Pact. None, again, none became a deployed standard., and waste continued. Other Nations did succeed in some, meagre, sales to US DoD: most resulted from skillful navigation of US procurement processes.

There is no point in moaning about US taxpayers expecting most-or-more Defence procurement to employ...themselves.
 

Fluff

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The British 105mm light gun was adopted by the US after its own gun got too expensive and complicated. If France, Belgium and Germany had bought it for their airborne units
Or the Italian 105mm Pack Howitzer a generation earlier. With Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Greece all using it, it pretty much was a NATO standard.
I understood the British hated the Italian 105 and it didn't serve for long - reputedly fell apart.
 

zen

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The British 105mm light gun was adopted by the US after its own gun got too expensive and complicated. If France, Belgium and Germany had bought it for their airborne units
Or the Italian 105mm Pack Howitzer a generation earlier. With Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Greece all using it, it pretty much was a NATO standard.
I understood the British hated the Italian 105 and it didn't serve for long - reputedly fell apart.
It's supposed to come apart...
 

Fluff

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The British 105mm light gun was adopted by the US after its own gun got too expensive and complicated. If France, Belgium and Germany had bought it for their airborne units
Or the Italian 105mm Pack Howitzer a generation earlier. With Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Greece all using it, it pretty much was a NATO standard.
I understood the British hated the Italian 105 and it didn't serve for long - reputedly fell apart.
It's supposed to come apart...
Not on the way to a job.....
 

zen

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The British 105mm light gun was adopted by the US after its own gun got too expensive and complicated. If France, Belgium and Germany had bought it for their airborne units
Or the Italian 105mm Pack Howitzer a generation earlier. With Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Greece all using it, it pretty much was a NATO standard.
I understood the British hated the Italian 105 and it didn't serve for long - reputedly fell apart.
It's supposed to come apart...
Not on the way to a job.....
Actually yes, it comes apart for ease of movement by pack animal if I recall correctly. Movement over mountainous terrain being it's design criteria.
 

Fluff

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The British 105mm light gun was adopted by the US after its own gun got too expensive and complicated. If France, Belgium and Germany had bought it for their airborne units
Or the Italian 105mm Pack Howitzer a generation earlier. With Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Greece all using it, it pretty much was a NATO standard.
I understood the British hated the Italian 105 and it didn't serve for long - reputedly fell apart.
It's supposed to come apart...
Not on the way to a job.....
Actually yes, it comes apart for ease of movement by pack animal if I recall correctly. Movement over mountainous terrain being it's design criteria.
Brits wanted to use it towed by a landrover - it fell apart, in an unplanned way.

just wikied- so it must be true - some users ended up going to a portee solution, to stop them rattling to bits.
 

DWG

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Brits wanted to use it towed by a landrover - it fell apart, in an unplanned way.

just wikied- so it must be true - some users ended up going to a portee solution, to stop them rattling to bits.
The L5 was a pack howitzer, that role puts a premium on light weight rather than robustness.

The problem the UK had with it wasn't robustness, it was range. Hence the completely new series of ammunition (new for towed ordnance anyway, the Abbot SPG already used it) introduced with the L119 that replaced the L5.
 
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Kadija_Man

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The British 105mm light gun was adopted by the US after its own gun got too expensive and complicated. If France, Belgium and Germany had bought it for their airborne units
Or the Italian 105mm Pack Howitzer a generation earlier. With Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Greece all using it, it pretty much was a NATO standard.

The L5 appeared to be a fine gun, the Australian experience in Vietnam was that it was ill suited to sustained warfare. The barrels wore out too quickly and the breeches became damaged over time. The RAA (Royal Australian Artillery) replaced them with US M101 guns which proved more durable.
 

DWG

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Sustained warfare isn't a standard part of the pack howitzer design requirements. They were designed as guns that could be mule, or even man-packed into position for a quick assault, not fired week-in, week-out. That role necessarily means the lightest possible trail, barrel and breech, and the ability to assemble/disassemble them in a hurry, both of which will unavoidably limit robustness. If they were used for a role that they weren't intended for and came up short, then that isn't really a criticism of the gun, it's a criticism of the choice to use them - which could be a necessary decision, but still doesn't place the blame on the gun.

WRT the M101, it fired the same ordnance as the L5, and so would still have fallen short of the UK range requirements that led to the replacement of the L5 with the L118 light gun. In fact a separate version of the L118, the L119, was produced for training on remaining US 105mm ordnance, and for export.
 
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