Artillery: March 27, 2002


The US Army's new Crusader 155mm self-propelled howitzer has completed live-fire testing of its range and rate of fire. More than 1,000 rounds were fired in this series. Tests have now begun of its capability to fire several rounds (at different elevations) in quick succession so that each will land at the same instant on the same target. Such time on target attacks can be devastating -- if they hit the target, which should be easy for the computer-navigated Crusader. Artillery bombardments always face the problem that the first rounds are less effective because they lack accuracy, while later rounds are less effective because the enemy has taken cover. If a lot of rounds land simultaneously in the first volley on an unsuspecting target, the maximum effect can be achieved with the fewest rounds fired.--Stephen V Cole


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