And as an ex soldier I can tell u in the British army we rarely got the fire support we requested, AS-90 were never available and our regiment never had access to it, and the 105mm light gun never could keep up being a towed gun it's good for static defense but when advancing we normally moved ahead and then realized by the time the gun had been deployed enemy had retreated or we had to.
How ironic because that 105mm gun was the gun on the Abbot, which was withdrawn to save money.
I remember at the time they said the smaller calibre round was no longer effective against new Soviet Armour so they were getting rid of the 105mm Abbot and relying instead on 155mm guns, but as you say if they still had towed 105mm guns then what was the value in retiring the Abbot because they clearly didn't eliminate that calibre from their inventory.
The 105mm round was also designed as a tank gun round first and foremost... it would be a bit like putting the 100mm smoothbore gun from the MT-12 towed gun on the 2S1 and using it as portable anti armour and direct and indirect artillery.
Ironically what perhaps they should have done was replace the Abbot with an FV432 with a 120mm mortar in the back... it packs a punch and would have good mobility and they likely already had the vehicles and spare parts...
I remember a few senior officers making comments on what the Russians had that we could do with. Mentioned was the following: 2S1, 120mm mortars, SP 120 mortars, 82mm automatic mortar, BM-21, and BTR-80. The later was far much better than our Saxon APC in every single way.
The really sad thing is that the British Army seems to have its procurement dominated by bean counters, and there is a vicious cycle where some huge task is set to really test the British military... like travelling 12 thousand kms and recapturing the Falklands, or going to Iraq and taking part in Desert Storm or going to Afghanistan for about the 6th time... and every time your boys come back mission essentially accomplished, the bastards in charge of the funds seem to think that was too easy, lets get a peace dividend and cut funding massively... and it is not like there isn't a lot of waste you could actually cut that would make very little operational difference but would free up money for things that would actually be useful and make the job easier and better and safer.
Note I mentioned suggesting using the 120mm mortars before I read your comments about them.
The German Army learned in 1941 the value of front line 120mm mortars and adopted them for themselves immediately too.
The old saying... the genius does immediately what the fool eventually gets around to doing too.
You guys had the Abbot till about 1995 but nothing new in it's place since then. The cuts in conventional forces have been brutal over the years, but for some stupid reason they want to up their nuclear capability!
That is the real kicker... having more tridents just costs more... it does not make the UK any safer at all... it fact it means they will want to get nukes on target in the UK faster to limit your ability to use those Tridents effectively, so it actually has the opposite effect desired.
As long as the UK is in HATO then the US will be pulling the strings and you can bet your ass that buying more Tridents was a favour to the US... essentially they are US controlled missiles so it is a sneaky way of getting more missiles pointed at the Russians.
I don't wish to sound rude mate, but the Russians really don't think about the UK all that much... if your government kept quiet and got rid of all its Tridents, I could actually see them dropping you off their radar and largely ignoring you most of the time... there might even be room for a bit of trade and cooperation...
But that is not the world we live in sadly.
Just had a look at wiki and it mentions the 2S8 Astra, which was going to be a modification of the 2S1 with a 120mm mortar, but other model vehicles were used instead including the BMD based NONA. There was also an attempt at a light anti tank vehicle called 2S15 which had what I suggested above, a 100mm smoothbore gun mounted in the 2S1 chassis but by the time it was ready for testing the 100mm gun was not ideal so they went with the 2S25 Sprut instead.
Maybe the Ukraine military could sell their 2S1s to the British Army in gratitude for those useless APCs you gave them...