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Artillery: Israel And The Cost Of Success
   Next Article → SURFACE FORCES : Forever Young
December 5, 2010: Israel has finally come to the conclusion that the U.S. use of GPS guidance in rockets, while more expensive, was more effective than the cheaper (but less accurate) Israeli developed rocket guidance system, and even cheaper unguided artillery shells. During the 2006 war with Hezbollah, the Israelis found that they did little damage to Hezbollah bunkers, even though over 120,000 unguided  shells were fired at them. Meanwhile, they noted that the U.S. 227mm MLRS rockets, with GPS guidance, were excellent at taking out similar targets in Iraq and Afghanistan. So Israel has equipped its 160mm Accular rockets with GPS. These 110 kg (242 pound) rockets have a range of 40 kilometers, and enable one bunker to be destroyed with one rocket.

Instead of adopting GPS guidance, in the last five years, Israel developed cheaper, but less accurate, systems for their rockets. The main effort here was the Trajectory Correction System (TCS), which was installed in U.S. 227mm MLRS unguided rockets as well as Israeli 160mm rockets. TCS used rockets equipped with a guidance system and radio. The ground portion of TCS consists of a control unit that tracks the position of the rockets in flight, calculates where they will land, and sends orders to the guidance system (small vanes) in the rocket. This makes the rockets as accurate as unguided artillery shells. TCS is cheaper than GPS guided rockets. Israel bought 48 MLRS launchers in the 1990s, but has mostly used them to fire unguided rockets.

In some situations, Israel always recognized the superiority of GPS. For example, Israel developed LORA (Long Range Artillery Rocket), which is similar to the U.S. ATACMS. Each LORA missile weighs 1.23 tons and carries a half ton warhead. With a range of 300 kilometers, GPS guidance is used to land the warhead within 10 meters (31 feet) of the aim point. These missiles are expensive however (ATACMS, which is fired from a MLRS containers that normally carries six of the standard MLRS rockets, cost a million dollars each.) It's cheaper if you can use smart bombs. But if you don't have aircraft up there, or control of the air is contested, you can get a LORA missile on a target within ten minutes of the order being given.

Israel expects to replace a lot of air delivered missiles and bombs with its GPS guided rockets, and take out more targets with far fewer rockets and artillery shells.

 

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trenchsol       12/5/2010 11:30:27 AM
It should be noted that Israeli system is, also, not prone to GPS jamming. There are countermeasures that can be taken against GPS jammers, but they are not cheap.
 
The word is that North Korea has working (whatever it means) GPS jammer.  I guess that they do not provide it to third parties because revealing the design details would make it more sensitive to countermeasures. But, what if NK starts to sell jammers to highest bidder in act of desperation or, simply, recklessness ?

DG

 
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Shirrush    Says whom?   12/5/2010 11:48:33 AM
"Israel expects to replace a lot of air delivered missiles and bombs with its GPS guided rockets, and take out more targets with far fewer rockets and artillery shells."
 
AFAIK, there are no rocket systems in service except for the two battalions of US-made 227 mm MLRS. IMI has developed a host of rocket artillery solutions for export customers, and these are soon to cause lots of sorrow in the Eastern Caucasus.
None of these has ever been ordered by the IDF, nor has there been any creation of new Artillery Corps units, although it is undergoing a feminization process and enabling more young women to serve as combat soldiers. Public opinion -that is, myself and most defense-minded Israelis including the Fresh forum- is frankly concerned with the enemy's rocket capabilities and the possibility that, in case of war, the air force will not be able to generate the required number of sorties due to its bases being under attack, while the atrophied Artillery Corps will be unable to compensate for the missing firepower.

The government has just made the decision to build up the civilian firefighting capabilities after the whole unique, irreplaceable Carmel range went up in smoke this week, and of course there are rumors of yet another commission of inquiry that will investigate why and how the known and confirmed drying-warming trend has caught us with our pants down and zero firefighting aviation. The next commission of inquiry, which will be composed of surviving military experts and senior jurists after the next war, will investigate the IDF's inability to stem the flow of enemy rockets into our population centers and the dereliction of its duty to defend our strategic installations...
 
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HeavyD       12/6/2010 5:33:55 PM
Dual/Triple guidance?
 
Is is possible/feasible to have multiple guidance measures.  GPS gets you within 10 meters, a laser designator can get even closer.  Given the advances in UAVs it makes sense to develop another guidance interface to the actual guidance controls, with cascading priorities:  If the laser designator is top priority and the beam is interrupted the GPS can take over.
 
Israel will always have air superiority so leveraging UAVs to designate if not deliver makes alot of sense.  Of course it takes time to get an airborne (UAV or otherwise) designator into position so for quick response/surprise it cannot be relied upon exclusively, especially for the LORA.
 
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Shirrush       12/7/2010 10:42:13 AM

Israel will always have air superiority so leveraging UAVs to designate if not deliver makes alot of sense.  Of course it takes time to get an airborne (UAV or otherwise) designator into position so for quick response/surprise it cannot be relied upon exclusively, especially for the LORA.
The US has already seen to this. The F35 is never going to happen, either because the whole program will be canceled or because the White House will find a good reason to embargo it for Israel (while allowing Turkey to field a cool hundred of them), and the Saudis were supplied with large quantities of aircraft and air weapons which are qualitatively superior to anything the IDF has in its inventory. Al these shiny new toys sitting in the UAE and the Saudi arsenals will be very useful to the Iranians when they take over, and they will. Just watch what goes on in Lebanon in the coming weeks. The Arabs are already weak at the knee, and they'll bow to their Persian masters when they'll be told to, or even without that as soon as Iran has a proven nuclear capability. OTOH,  Israel's air superiority is already history, the IDF-AF is already obsolete compared to first-rate air forces, and air power is a lot less relevant anyway when faced with a massive advantage in long range artillery.
 
I do not share the enthusiasm about UAVs. Let us assume that the IDF has procured them in sufficient numbers to absorb some attrition (It hasn't!), but nobody knows whether and how these tools work in a protected airspace. All the hype is about the recent GWOT operations, in which the enemy has exactly zero anti-aircraft weapons and zilch ECM's. Syria and it SA-15's and 24's could rewrite the scenario a little bit differently. 
 
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