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Subject: Static Turrets for Fortresses Defense
HYPOCENTER    9/20/2007 12:45:53 AM
Tucked away on the bottom of p.48 in DTI magazine is an interesting article: Rheinmetall AG appears to have developed a fixed ?gun emplacement? for fortress defense. At first glance these turrets look like they were dismantled right off the Death Star, or at the very least inspired by RTS videogames such as Command and Conquer (but these are real). To my knowledge this is new military technology and no other nation is actively using or planning to adopt it. h*tp://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aw/dti0607/
 
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HYPOCENTER       9/20/2007 12:56:11 AM
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Current military doctrine employs Net Centric Warfare, which is essentially Maneuver Warfare brought to its most deadly form. This doctrine can especially be seen in Iraq and Afghanistan where light, nimble and accurate forces are used as opposed to the old big bulky en-massed force of yester-year.

Mass-infantry of any kind is generally avoided and so are “bases” or “fortresses” ….. which, in the context of current and foreseeable conflicts, are simply big giant stationary targets that contain a mass of men and material -- ripe for hit and run insurgent-type tactics. American military bases and Iraqi police stations all over Iraq get shelled randomly by insurgents on a daily basis….

Therefore, I see military bases/fortresses, which are now thought of as being outdated or non-viable in a conflict like Iraq, as viable again. Fortress technology like this brings some interesting new possibilities in base defense. I see this concept going far and will bring back the usefulness of bases/fortresses.


 
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Ehran       9/28/2007 12:53:47 PM
sometimes you just cannot get away from the need for "fortresses".  naval and air bases come to mind.
 
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Herald1234    Rockets    9/28/2007 12:59:18 PM
The day of the fortress is OVER.
 
Herald
 
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doggtag       9/28/2007 4:22:48 PM
Fortresses may be fine in some instances, like when your adversaries only have minimal artillery and your fortress is armed with some kind of effective C-RAM type system that's good both at defeating incoming arcing indirect fire as well as flat trajectory ATGMs and gun-fired rounds.
Being a fixed installation, much like a ship we'd have access to large magazines of the reloads necessary to keep these counter-fire systems fed.
 
Otherwise, amassed artillery fire ends the reign of your fortess.
Of course, for that matter, seeing as the US and others still on occasion utilize the firebase principle (seems so at least in A-stan), how is that any different than actually building a fotress which can have better defenses?
A firebase is open and relatively unprotected.
At least a modern fortress might offer improved bunker options, greater protection, and more secure sensors.
Fire bases and scattered foxholes are just too open, exposed, and minimally protected.
Anmd if I'm going to utilize FOBs with controlled checkpoints, gun towers and bunkers, and am trying to fully secure my perimeter, why would a modern fortified construct be any less useful?
 
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doggtag    modular systems concept   9/28/2007 4:38:25 PM
Looking again at the Rheinmetall Skyshield installation,
 
http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p68/eeber2/Rheinmetall.jpg" width=712 border=0>
 
...this is where I see the potential of something I suggested before:
modular turret systems.
 
Something that can be just as easily installed into a prepared reinforced concrete parapet as it could be inserted into an AFV's turret ring, or onto the deck of a naval vessel also utilizing a similar turret ring.
 
We'd have the advantage that we could mass produce more turrets than we had vehicles for (economy of scale production),
and we have the option of tailoring the given vehicle for fire support with mortars or artillery (tubes or rockets), ADA systems, , antitank types with (ideally) long range ATGMs (even BLOS weapons), anti personnel RWS types, or whatever.
The firebase/FOB/fortress installation can retain any turrets not required for the vehicles.
With moden modularity concepts, the electrical power and data connections for a given turret could be rapidly attached or disconnected, and the turret just lifted out via any crane capable of handling its weight and bulk.
 
Ships (FACs, OPVs, etc) would be the same as arming AFVs: rockets, missiles, or gun turrets (or a combo turret) as the mission dictates.
 
Yeah, forts sound stupid in an age of modern weapons capabilities.
But again, how many US FOBs would be better served with greater defensive capabilities (in the idsea of the Skyshield, minimally to function as C-RAM counter-fire systems) ?
 
Having high parapets and masts will give your sensors a higher elevation, allowing them a greater coverage area. Couple that to RWS spread around your perimeter (matched with those sniper fire detectors under development), and you could very easily build yourself a modern-day bastion, star fort, or whatever name fits your fancy.
Mind you though, this will only work so long as you have the air supremacy.
But the idea of forts being useless really isn't any worse than the fact we utilize so many immobile tents, buildings, and containerized shelters for our C4I operations, medical stuff, chow halls, billets & barracks, and whatnot.
Why is a fort then any less practical?
With a little luck, it may be the saving grace that draws fire away from the hospital tent, barracks, chow hall, ammo dump, or fuel point.
 
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doggtag    border forts (perimeter protection for FOBs, etc)   9/28/2007 4:44:02 PM
 
http://www.defendamerica.mil/images/photos/sept2005/articles/ai090605b1.jpg" width=500 border=0>
 
Build a command bunker underneath, install several of those turrets and RWS away from the fort for self defense (or even fire base support), and we might be onto something.
 
But it still all boils down to creating and fielding effective-enough C-RAM systems.
 
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Jeff_F_F       9/28/2007 7:08:22 PM
I assume it has been noted but not mentioned that these are C-RAM Millenium Gun turrets. I do like the implications of basing IFVs around these weapons as well, since they seem like a pretty ideal weapon for a wide range of tasks. They would be especially suitable for tank support since they could not only engage attacking infantry but also ATGMs.
 
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Jeff_F_F       9/28/2007 7:14:35 PM

Yeah, forts sound stupid in an age of modern weapons capabilities.

But again, how many US FOBs would be better served with greater defensive capabilities (in the idsea of the Skyshield, minimally to function as C-RAM counter-fire systems) ?

Oops missed this sentence.
One note, forts are only stupid while attacking forces have the ability to destroy any target they can spot. Effective C-RAM could potentially tip the ballance back in favor of fortresses, or at least make them more practical. A fortress doesn't need to be invulnerable to be effective. A fortress that is difficult but not impossible to reduce can still delay the enemy or force the enemy to mass against it instead of distributing their forces to engage multiple targets.

 
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ArtyEngineer       9/28/2007 7:24:28 PM

Fortresses may be fine in some instances, like when your adversaries only have minimal artillery and your fortress is armed with some kind of effective C-RAM type system that's good both at defeating incoming arcing indirect fire as well as flat trajectory ATGMs and gun-fired rounds.

Being a fixed installation, much like a ship we'd have access to large magazines of the reloads necessary to keep these counter-fire systems fed.

 

Otherwise, amassed artillery fire ends the reign of your fortess.

Of course, for that matter, seeing as the US and others still on occasion utilize the firebase principle (seems so at least in A-stan), how is that any different than actually building a fotress which can have better defenses?

A firebase is open and relatively unprotected.

At least a modern fortress might offer improved bunker options, greater protection, and more secure sensors.

Fire bases and scattered foxholes are just too open, exposed, and minimally protected.

Anmd if I'm going to utilize FOBs with controlled checkpoints, gun towers and bunkers, and am trying to fully secure my perimeter, why would a modern fortified construct be any less useful?


The Fire Bases/Forward Operating Bases in A'Stan are taking on quite an air of "Permanancy"  most are quite well protected.  It doesnt take the engineers long to get some quite extensive and well protected positions created.  However i cant see a C-RAM or equivilent sytem ever making its way to these smaller more remote bases.  When indirect incoming starts the canadian approach is to man your weapons and silence the enemy with conterbattery fire. 
 
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Yimmy       9/28/2007 7:28:25 PM
From a practical soldiering point of view, you can't have troops in the trenches for too long before attrition will take its toll.  Troops have to be replaced and rotated.  Hence a far more solid presence can be maintained for the price of fewer troops if they are in fortress (barracks), as opposed to a firebase where the communications trench has started to resemble the Somme.
 
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