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Subject: CORECTing artillery errors: need for unguided barrages coming to an end?
doggtag    9/10/2007 12:50:13 PM
From Defense-Aerospace.Com, Monday, Sept 10, 2007 news archives http://www.defense-aerospace.com/cgi-bin/client/modele.pl?session=dae.29405120.1189435904.IJR5yX8AAAEAAAx2Y2IAAAAK&manuel_call_cat=3&manuel_call_prod=85870&manuel_call_mod=release&modele=jdc_inter>CORECT Guidance Module Successfully Tested ? New Technology Significantly Improves Precision and Range of Artillery Rockets CORECT Guidance Module Successfully Tested ? New Technology Significantly Improves Precision and Range of Artillery Rockets (Source: Rheinmetall Defence; issued Sept. 10, 2007) Live fire test of Rheinmetall Defence?s CORECT guidance module has confirmed its effectiveness in impressive fashion. The new satellite-supported flight path guidance modules successfully guided two CORECT-MLRS test rockets to a target 20km away with compelling precision, compensating for a lateral error of approximately 300m. This proves the technical and operational effectiveness of the CORECT guidance module in conjunction with the Multiple Launch Rocket System, or MLRS. The live fire test successfully concludes the second stage of the demonstrator programme, carried out by Rheinmetall Defence on behalf of Germany?s Federal Office for Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB). The company will now submit a budget proposal for final development, pre-production preparations and serial manufacture. With CORECT, Rheinmetall engineers at the company?s Stockach and Unterluess plants have developed an advanced satellite-supported guidance system that significantly enhances the accuracy of ballistic artillery systems. The new system reduces deviation from the intended target to less than 50m, a clear improvement over currently fielded artillery systems, which sometimes miss their targets by several hundred metres. This increase in accuracy enables reduced warhead weight without sacrificing effectiveness. Compared to the original MLRS rocket, the CORECT-MLRS has a considerably greater maximum effective range ? without having to modify the rocket engine. The CORECT guidance module makes this possible. Throughout the flight, an integrated GPS receiver determines the current position of the projectile. A magnetic field sensor mounted on the rocket measures the earth?s magnetic field, while an onboard processor calculates the way the rocket is banking. Based on this data, the onboard processor calculates the rocket?s deviation from its intended flight path. It then initiates precisely timed impulses for correcting the rocket?s lateral and elevation direction by activating the rocket?s radially operating micro jets. During the live fire trial, every component of the CORECT guidance module functioned perfectly. The GPS kept accurate track of the rocket?s position, while the onboard processor calculated all deviation from the intended trajectory; the correction impulses proved highly effective, resulting in complete mission success. All data collected on board the rocket and transmitted back by telemetry, as well as flight data externally gathered by radar, are now available for precise evaluation. ?CORECT is a pioneering system for satellite-supported trajectory correction that?s unequalled worldwide?, declares Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Kreuzer, head of development in Stockach and project manager for the demonstrator programme. ?It boosts the precision and range of rocket artillery, and saves costs by reducing the amount of ammunition needed to accomplish the mission. And now we?ve proved that it can be used for modernizing legacy rocket systems, too, large numbers of which were stockpiled years ago?, adds Dr. Kreuzer, noting that CORECT can also be integrated into new weapon systems. Very large numbers of MLRS rockets are still to be found in the inventories of some European NATO armies, including the Bundeswehr. They are in good condition, and many of them could be upgraded to maintain and enhance their combat effectiveness. Rheinmetall?s CORECT guidance module thus constitutes a cost-efficient means of modernizing existing stocks of ammunition to meet the latest requirements of the military. -ends-
 
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doggtag    working link...maybe   9/10/2007 12:52:20 PM
 
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doggtag    working link...maybe   9/10/2007 1:00:18 PM
Anyway,
it's listed under Press Releases for Sept 10, 2007.
 
What I'm getting at is,
with the advent of improved precision becoming more available, even more preferrable, for a number of artillery systems (G-MLRS, that nose-mounted guidance fuze with the flick-out vanes/airbrakes from BAe or whoever that screws into 155mm shells, and possibly later 105mm shells, and a host of other nations' GPS and INS guided artillery shells, precision rocket kits, and guided mortar bombs),
are the days of needing area effect artillery barrages coming to an end, when we can now specifically target the actual point targets within that given area we wanted to destroy in the first place,
without unnecessary collateral damage,
nor excessive tube wear because we no longer have to fire as many rounds,
and lower overall logistics burdens because we'll no longer need to move into the battle area a plethora of unguided dumb shells of various sorts?
 
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Jeff_F_F       9/10/2007 1:22:33 PM
I don't want to pooh pooh this technology : basically it guarantees the accuracy that artillery can achieve at short range under ideal circumstances (accurate common survey, known MET, known weapon and ammo characteristics, etc) and allows this accuracy to be achieved reliably at any range and under less than ideal conditions. 50m accuracy is nothing to sneeze at, and the cost is a lot less than for excaliber and precision guided MLRS. I think a few thousand US$ per round.
 
At the same time, I wouldn't want to overstate the impact of this technology. It isn't a precision munition. If you are trying to destroy a dug in machinegun position with overhead cover, you aren't going to take it out with a single round of HE unless you are really lucky. You will still need multiple rounds and/or DPICM. What it will do is reduce the number of rounds needed to guarantee a destroy a target, and to allow greater safety in the case of danger close fires. It is very useful but not quite revolutionary.
 
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neutralizer       9/12/2007 5:46:35 AM
To be pedantic, I don't think a 'barrage' has been fired since 1945.  Barrage has a specific meaning in artillery.
 
However, it's worth noting that the usual purpose of barrages was to suppress the troops, whose exact locations may not have been fully known in the coverage of the barrage.  Thi is important becasue contrary to underinformed belief the purpose of artillery, at least since late 1915 in the thinking armies, has not been limited to destroying or damaging men and materiel.  Suppression remains an important if not vital role.  Suppression basically means preventing enemy troops doing what their commanders want them to do - eg in holes with their heads down instead of shooting at assaulting troops.
 
Precision munitions don't add very much to suppression.  Unless the suppressive guns are at very long range to the target dump munitions are perfectly adequate, at least until assaulting troops start to get close and own troop safety becomes important, when reducing dispersion would undoubtedly be beneficial.
 
This highlights the other important use of precsion munitions, reducing the chance of collateral damage in situations where its an issue.
 
The problem with precision munitions is that they need precise targets, ie coordinates to a metre accuracy.  This just isn't always practical.  Eg in dealing with a dismounted enemy assault (with numerous small and moving target elements).  In these cicumstances airburst HE is probably still the best option, but as the enemy closes some precsion muntiions might be useful for own troop safety reasons.  Of course if in the future precision munitions are no different in price to dumb ones then all bets are off and useful dispersion will have to be achieved by changing aimpoints.
 
The other general usefulness of precision munitions is at long ranges because it means less shells of a given type are needed to achieve the same effects.
 
Incidently I'd suggest that DPICM is particulary unsuitable for troops in fighting positions with OHP.
 
 
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Carl S       9/14/2007 5:37:37 PM
I'll second the last.  In picking over the accounts of US & Brit soldiers & Marines in OIF I'm struck by how fast response Suppresion fires were usually prefered to slightly slower precision fires.  Later when counter insurrgency operations were the mode precision fires became perfered or manditory.  But, when fighting the Iraqi field army the prefrence was to hammer the enemey quickly so as not to slow manuver.  Parking for   twenty, fifteen, or ten minutes to  make up a single or group of precision targets mission risked usefull reaction time to the Iraqis.

Unlike in the old manual days it takes no extra time to electroniclly do the MET corrections ect... , and those seemed suffcient for the accuracy needed.

The closest thing to a "barrage" in my artillery service was the preplanned 'Final Protecctive Fire' we had to know & plan, but very seldom practice fired.  It was still in common use in Vietnam in the 1970s, but I cant recall a example since.  Maybe the definition of "barrage" could be streached to include a FASCAM mission (artillery delivered mines).
 
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olive-greens       9/14/2007 6:52:41 PM
Artillery barrages were used in Kargil, 1999 by both sides. The whole point of the Pakistani incursion was to move into positions where they could shell National Highway 1, thus disrupting resupply lines to a strategically important district. The whole Indian political strategy to fight a limited war in nuclear environment revolved around not crossing the LOC, so Indian Army fought the war the "hard way". The "smart way" on mountains would have been to seize Pakistani supply lines at lower altitudes and starved the insurgents out, but that involved crossing LOC at certain points - which was politically unacceptable. So the Army engaged in a lot of traditional fire and manouver - fire coming from artillery barrages while mountain troops closed in for assault. The first, unsuccessful assaults were backed by 6 guns (105mm I think)... in the last battles upto 120 guns (105mm and 155mm) would precede any assault. The lessons learnt from that incident is pushing them towards the 100 Guns concept.
 
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Carl S       9/15/2007 9:25:18 PM
Were these "barrages" of the 1999 battle sustained fires on a linear target, as in the WWI usage?  Or some other sort of artillery attack?   The term barrage was routinely tossed at us by the rifle company officers or those of the battalion operations section, but they were thinking of every other type of artillery fire except a 'Barrage'.

In WWI the Barrage attack was a specific technique for creating a barrier of sustained artillery fire.  Usually used to isolate a section of enemy defense while it was raided or seized.  The techniques was realatively wastefull of ammo and repalced with other techniques as artillery communications and coordination improved.
 
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olive-greens       9/17/2007 12:58:11 PM

Were these "barrages" of the 1999 battle sustained fires on a linear target, as in the WWI usage?  Or some other sort of artillery attack?   The term barrage was routinely tossed at us by the rifle company officers or those of the battalion operations section, but they were thinking of every other type of artillery fire except a 'Barrage'.

In WWI the Barrage attack was a specific technique for creating a barrier of sustained artillery fire.  Usually used to isolate a section of enemy defense while it was raided or seized.  The techniques was realatively wastefull of ammo and repalced with other techniques as artillery communications and coordination improved.
 
In that case I probably used a misnomer. The isolation effect from Indian side was achieved usually through an infantry perimeter at peak bases and flanking fire from neighboring ridges. The shape of a peak itself ensures isolation of the section (think of an A). The word "barrage" was used in the secondary sense of sustained, high-tempo fire intended for deliberate destruction of fortified MMG and mortar bunkers (when possible), suppression of those bunkers through shock effect, and loosening rocks and debris as infantry cover through enemy's kill box. Yes, it was relatively wasteful of ammo but got the job done in the small time frame given. Proper coordination (mainly moving into ridges across LOC) would have required taking politically unacceptable actions, hence the immediate expenses were deemed to be sustainable.
 
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