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Air Defense: Iran Rolls Out The Big One
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December 8, 2011: Iran has begun manufacturing a 100mm radar controlled anti-aircraft gun called the Saeer. This new weapon appears to be a copy of the Chinese Type 59, which is in turn is a copy of the late 1940s Russian KS-19. That, in turn, was an improved version of the World War II 85mm anti-aircraft gun. These heavy anti-aircraft guns did a great deal of damage to bombers or any other aircraft that travelled in some kind of formation at high altitudes. Dozens of these guns can create a wall of exploding shells, at a location in the sky that radar indicates enemy aircraft are fast approaching, and unable to fly around. Flying through the sky full of exploding shells (user timer fuzes to detonate the shell at a specific altitude) has become a cinema cliché that is very much based on reality.

Using optical sights, the Type 59 had an effective range of 21 kilometers and max altitude of 15 kilometers (49,000 feet) using a radar (proximity) or timer fuze. The Saeer probably weighs about 11 tons, has a crew of about a dozen and can fire about 15 rounds a minute for short periods. Barrel life is about 3,000 rounds.

During World War II, it took about 3,000 heavy caliber anti-aircraft shells to shoot down one aircraft. It took only a few hundred shells to damage an aircraft. The radar/proximity (exploding when it neared a target) fuze made the big guns more effective, but after World War II, most bomb attacks were by small numbers of jet fighter-bombers coming in individually. Thus it still took several thousand rounds of heavy caliber anti-aircraft shells to bring down an aircraft. This is one reason why anti-aircraft missiles became so popular, and have largely replaced the big funs. Russia stopped using its 100mm anti-aircraft guns in the 1980s.

 

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JFKY    I'm not so sure   12/8/2011 10:06:57 AM
1) The 10cm doesn't have an EFFECTIVE range of 21,000 metres, I'll bet....in its role as AAA.  That might be it's MAXIMUM range, in a G2G role, at optimal elevation.  But it doesn't have a 21 kilometre G2A/AAA range.  That would make it longer ranged than the Tarter SAM of the early 1960's.
2) It wasn't 3,000 rounds per KIA, it was closer to 10,000 rounds per KIA, using the 8.8cm Flak. I guess if you count the use of SCR-584, Advanced directors, VT fuses and the 9.0 cm US FLAK AND count in the Mk 37 FCS, VT fuses, and the 12.7cm L/38 of the USN, all post-1943, THEN the number of rounds per kill might drop to nearly 3,000, and as long as you acknowledge that the targets in these last cases were NON-MANUEVERING V-1's or Kamikazes.  But the lethality of medium/heavy FLAK versus fast-moving, maneuvering targets is going to be pretty low.
 
 
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davebarnes    Maybe Iran should build   12/8/2011 11:43:10 AM
a battleship.
They are very impressive, even though pretty useless today.
 
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johnfmonahan       12/8/2011 12:08:53 PM
Might be useful against a non manuevering UAV.
 
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JFKY    True, within limits   12/8/2011 12:36:29 PM
The 10cm won't be useful against a LOW Altitude UAV, any more so than a low altitude A/c; and
 
You have to be able to SEE the UAV, many are stealthy and many operate at an altitude higher than the 10cm can, reliably reach.  It's why everyone adopted SAM's.
 
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myhandlewontfi       12/8/2011 5:22:44 PM


The 10cm won't be useful against a LOW Altitude UAV, any more so than a low altitude A/c; and

 

You have to be able to SEE the UAV, many are stealthy and many operate at an altitude higher than the 10cm can, reliably reach.  It's why everyone adopted SAM's.


maybe they dont have anything better
 
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antares    The big funs   12/8/2011 7:29:46 PM
"[A]nti-aircraft missiles . . . have largely replaced the big funs."
 
When I flew in the 80s, Vietnam vets taught us that the job of SAMs was to drive us down to low altitude where AAA could kill us. Nobody feared SA4s. Everybody feared 37s and Zsu-23s. Has airwar changed that much in 30 years?
 
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Ezekiel       12/9/2011 4:50:42 AM
Not supposed to be that effective just another buffer of defense to deter future attacks....
 
 
 
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JFKY    If its not designed to be effective   12/9/2011 9:51:15 AM
Why waste the resources on deploying it?  Eretz Ysrael or CentCom are PROFESSIONAL forces, they are or are NOT going to be deterred on the basis of real capabilities, not the fact that Iran has rolled out another system.  So, why bother fielding a 10cm weapon, tying up money and 12 guyz manning it, if it's not going to produce a result?
 
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WarNerd       12/9/2011 7:23:01 PM
"[A]nti-aircraft missiles . . . have largely replaced the big funs."
 
When I flew in the 80s, Vietnam vets taught us that the job of SAMs was to drive us down to low altitude where AAA could kill us. Nobody feared SA4s. Everybody feared 37s and Zsu-23s. Has airwar changed that much in 30 years?
Back then missiles did not perform well at low altitudes, so you could get under their coverage, but were still difficult and damn dangerous to take out, though it was done on occasion. Now the missiles can follow you all the way into the ground, so the only major value of low level flight is to use masking terrain to avoid detection in the first place. Major improvements in EW capabilities and GPS guided bombs and missiles, some with anti-radiation capability, make SEAD missions against fixed systems a routine part of planning for a major power like NATO or the US. The Libyan missile defenses were probably at least as dense as those around Hanoi, but NATO shredded them in a day without loses. That just leaves the smaller systems and artillery, against which the best defense is to stay out of range, vertically if not horizontally.
 
And that is even before you get the stealth aircraft, which stay high to minimize any returns on radar. Or the fact that modern sensors and guided weapons are more accurate from 50,000ft than those of Vietnam at 500ft.
 
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