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Subject: Fire Adjustment in Mountains
XeReX    1/1/2008 1:29:49 PM
Hello all, As you all know, it is very difficult to control indirect fire in mountains because of a number of factors like Error Zone of the gun, Apex Angle, Crest Clearance & others etc. I was wondering if we could share some info or links regarding Adjustment of Artillery Fire in Hilly Terrain. I hope someone out of you guys can put me wise regarding procedures followed in various armies like USA, UK, India etc. Looking forward to your replies....
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flamingknives       1/1/2008 1:40:50 PM
I would expect that the gunners use their ballistic tables to work out dead zones that they can't hit.

I would hope that you don't get a specific answer, as such information could be useful to someone named terry trying to avoid artillery.
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neutralizer       1/4/2008 6:35:22 AM
There are no special procedures and none are needed.  Just follow the procedures for target grid corrections, don't try and be clever.  With a LRF lase the mpi including altitude and let the computer take care of the calculations.  In bioth cases the basic laws of statistics work.
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Jeff_F_F       1/4/2008 12:16:09 PM
Nothing to tell that playing Artillery wouldn't tell you. The short answer is that depending on range, there isn't anything in mountainous terrain that you can't hit with high angle fire. Low angle used to be preferred due to inherent accucy problems with high angle fire, but with precision guided munitions its a non issue. There's nothing particularly tricky about mountainous terrain. It takes a bit more skill than a simpler problem because you have to be on top of the issue of intervening crests, but essentially it is just standard gunnery. 
The FDC has charts showing the height of the trajectory of a round fired at various angles and compares the height of the trajectory to the height of the intervening crests to make sure that it will clear. If it won't, they use a higher charge and a higher angle (assuming high angle shooting above 45 degree angles, the higher charge pushes the round further while the higher angle makes it land closer so they equal out and the round lands in the same place as it would have but after traveling along a taller trajectory that can better get over crests). Firing units are never located using their highest charge to reach the target area they are responsible for--primarily because the heavier charges cause more barrel wear--so there is always a larger powder charge to move up to if it is really needed to get over a crest.
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neutralizer       1/5/2008 4:19:47 AM
HA might have advantages is the target was on top of a narrow ridge, but the price is a greater PE than LA and hence the need to fire more rounds at efect to get the same results.  Cresting is always a potential problem where there are hills and reverse slopes relative to the line of fire exploit this, which is where HA really becomes worthwhile.  Forget FDV charts (or the charts at the back of some nations' FTs), computers give a crest confidence factor (the confidence that shells will cleart the intervenimng crests) and modern ones derive this from the digital terrain database built into the system.
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Jeff_F_F       1/5/2008 11:08:15 AM
Um... without getting into a high degree of specifics, you might be suprised what computers do and don't do, at least as of half a decade ago. The fire direction software might have been completely revised since then, I know when I was getting out they were "upgrading" the computers, and I'd be suprised if they did that unless they were planning on running more advanced software on it.
In any case, (at least in a training environment) in the US Army you always need to have at least a basic manual plot of the target which is generally in agreement with the computer plot and manually check for intervening crests to avoit potentials for problems in the database and to reduce the chances of human error getting through undetected. It has the additional advantage that it forces you to keep your manual computing skills sharp in case your computer overheats or otherwise goes down.
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XeReX    Problem re-phrased   1/11/2008 1:18:00 PM
Sorry Folks.... I guess I didnt put across the question in the right way. What I want to ask is that a number countries have deployed their artillery units in mountainous terrain. Engagement of targets by observers has peculiar problems in mountains due to obvious reasons. Obviously, the normal rules of ranging do not hold well in mountains because of uneven terrain and dead grounds etc. I have heard that Indian Army follows a separate procedure of adjustment of fire in mountains, which puts greater emphasis on study of layout of area, location of guns with respect to observer and special preparation of maps. A friend mentioned something that some procedure similar to establishment of elevation bracket as in assault fire, can also be adopted.
I am interested to study the problems faced in adjustment  of fire and procedures techniques of engagement of targets in mountains by various armies, but sp far I have not been able to find any links where I could find such information. Lets see what you all can offer this time....
Looking forward to your comments and input.... Any links will be appreciated....
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flamingknives       1/11/2008 1:57:27 PM
I any given military has not published its procedures in the public domain, perhaps there's a reason?
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flamingknives       1/11/2008 2:06:16 PM
You might try this:
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FJV       1/11/2008 2:20:07 PM
I only remember a few things reading about using artillery in mountains.

- That it is a huge pain in the but to haul artillery up a mountain, but once it's placed it gives large advantages.
- That recoilless artilery or artillery with less recoil is better for use in mountains, because to much recoil could cause the damn thing to move and fall of the mountain.
- That mortars with their high trajectory are also effective in mountains.


Maybe some better qualified people can comment?

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Carl S       1/12/2008 1:38:37 PM
All I can say is we paid attention to the vetical interval between the target and battery.  But, VI was routinely checked anyway, so nothing special about that.  As a FO I soon learned to watch for traces of dust or smoke rising abov a crest, which told me the shot had gone over.  Shorts were better than overs, and high angle fires worked only if the meterological section wa providing current & accurate data.  Vertical correction took a bit of extra practice.
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