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Subject: Destructiveness of arty shells vs. bombs?
swami    3/21/2004 4:46:26 PM
Another question for you artillery experts: How much explosive power does a large artillery shell, say a 155 mm round, have compared to a 1000 pound bomb? I assume that since loaders have to be able to lift artillery shells, it is much less. Followup question: If artillery shells are much less destructive and less accurate (that is my hunch), will close air support phase out artillery in the future?
 
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gf0012-aust    RE:Destructiveness of arty shells vs. bombs?   3/21/2004 5:26:38 PM
I doubt it. Each theatre will be determined by who has dominance of the environment. CAS is not always possible in given environments (eg some areas like kashmir, Afghanistan, where air is vulnerable and does not have freedom of movement. Hence why both sides deploy breakdown 105's. There will always be a requirement for flexible solutions pertinent to the environment. By dumbing it down to single platform solutions, you create a single point of vulnerability.
 
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IsoT    RE:Destructiveness of arty shells vs. bombs?   3/22/2004 9:03:54 AM
Swami, as you said. Bomb weights 1000lb 155mm shell 100. Amount of HE filling in grenade is about 25% of the weight. (IF we are talking about HE grenades. WP totally different thing, as are "mine" grenades Not really "mine", but all explosive grenades, not much shrapnell, but loud BOOM. Seldom used these days.) As for the CAS. it will not replöace artillery in near future. as Aeroplanes are vulnerable, and have limited loiter time, and limited carry capacity. And in bad weather they don't fly. CAS is reasonably accurate these days, and will bring a lot of ordnance to bear. But artillery will be on target in three minutes no matter what the weather and it can stay and help you out as long as you need it. And single 1000lb bomb going off in one hectare is not as effective as 10 100lb grenades going off there. Artillery doesn't have to worry about AA missiles or AAA. Problem is that when you need arty or CAS really bad so does everybody else.. 8)
 
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Perfection Incarnate    RE:Destructiveness of arty shells vs. bombs?   4/12/2004 7:55:27 AM
Modern aircraft are not effected by the weather much at all. JDAMs are the preferred method of CAS these days, weather has no effect on them. LGBs on the other hand need a direct line of sight to the ground. THICK clouds could prevent this, but LGBs are mainly going to be used vs. moving targets these days (arty not used for that too much I assume)
 
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Thomas    RE:Destructiveness of arty shells vs. bombs? gf0012   4/22/2004 3:43:52 AM
good post. The combined arms concept forese much more cooperation on a lower level.
 
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Nichevo    RE:Destructiveness of arty shells vs. bombs?   4/23/2004 12:47:31 AM
Is it too evil to mention that artillery is far, far cheaper, both for weapons and ammunition, than JDAMs from an aircraft? (Dumb bombs are cheap but of course one often misses ;>) You don't always want to spend $50,000 to kill five guys in a Toyota. Not to mention that the shells tend to arrive faster than most aircraft; or that if there were an attack jet which could carry a hundred bombs, it would be shot down long before it dropped them all, whereas a hundred-round barrage from an 8-tube battery can happen in what, 5 minutes?
 
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hybrid    RE:Destructiveness of arty shells vs. bombs?   4/23/2004 4:46:05 PM
Normally the cost issue would be true, cept for the slight problem of range and getting the attacking system to theater. You cant always bring artillery into theater within range of targets. In those kinds of situations its actually cheaper to use air dropped JDAMs.
 
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fullamongo    RE:Destructiveness of arty shells vs. bombs?   4/23/2004 5:09:04 PM
Modern artillary systems are very accurate. The new C-5 155mm has a range of about 60km Racket batteries have even longer ranges are devestating against soft targets and are cheap
 
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B.Smitty    RE:Destructiveness of arty shells vs. bombs? - Nichevo   5/3/2004 9:35:49 PM
>>Not to mention that the shells tend to arrive faster than most aircraft<< Not when the shells, tubes, personnel, etc. have to be tranported via C-17 to an intermediate airfield and then driven or helolifted to the battle. In that case, $50k doesn't sound so bad.. (BTW, JDAM kits are more like $20k these days)
 
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Nichevo    bsmitty--RE:Destructiveness of arty shells vs. bombs? - Nichevo   5/5/2004 8:37:54 AM
true...if they're not deployed, they have to be deployed before use. however the troops themselves have to arrive likewise. Who wants to trade an unarmored HMMWV or two for a few tons of gun and ammo? I do, I do. I'll gladly walk rather than ride if I can have steel rain on command ;> Then again, http://www.fas.org/man/gao/nsiad-96-059.htm "The Army has no problem lifting the M198 with its medium-lift CH-47D helicopter, a system the Marine Corps does not own. The CH-47D can lift up to 22,000 pounds of cargo and easily carries the M198, its crew, and a limited load of ammunition, in all but the hottest weather. " At the least, self-propelled artillery should be as mobile as a tank or an IFV, even Crusader, and we canned Crusader and will go with something more like Caesar for now. And arty only has to arrive within 30-40 km of its target, and can command the whole area within its range in an almost instantaneous fashion. It doesn't necessarily have to climb into the mountains with the troops. And again, a tac bomber will have what, eight bombs max? (SDB will make a big difference to be sure, especially as they get to the 100 lb range (155mm shell class, hmmm). Artillery at Tora Bora/Operaton Anaconda could have made a big difference. It could have been lighter, say 105s instead of 155s. And you can airdrop 'em right into the Pankisi Gorge or wherever (duh, is that Georgia? Sorry, no atlas handy ;>). Not to mention fire them from a Spectre. Not to mention all the ammo types. Are you going to send a multimillion-dollar jet to drop flares? I'll give you this. Fit out a 747 with an enormous neverending supply of cheap SDBs (and a bomb bay) and fly figure eights at 30,000 feet over Tora Bora till nothing lives on the mountain. Get that price per bomb down to under $1000 (GPS costs under $100 these days) and have hundreds of them aboard a relatively invulnerable aircraft (i.e., altitude, which would work for a darned aerostat) and now you're talking. At equal prices (recipe for roast turkey: first catch a turkey), bombs would carry more weight of HE and could be more accurate than arty (I think the guided shells will never succeed bigtime). Again assuming weather permits, which at 30,000 feet will be most of the time. But putting weapons the size of an engine block and the price of a car under the wings of a little plane that can only get off a couple of bomb runs before it is shot down (I'd like to see an SA-7 or RPGs engage an artillery park at 10mi, let alone AQ arty try to do counterbattery fire), goes bingo fuel, has a bomb jam on the rack, drops bombload to engage bogeys, has the weather dirty up on it, or some other snafu. If you;re not going to have the A-10 then you need bomb trucks, the tac bomber is now obsolete (or is called the B-52). Airpower did not make the difference at Tora Bora. Artillery? It was never tried.
 
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Perfection Incarnate    RE:bsmitty--Destructiveness of arty shells vs. bombs? - Nichevo   5/5/2004 9:54:53 AM
The point about the RPGs and SA-7s doesnt really make sense, those are threats only to helos. AF planes armed with JDAM especially prefer to circle at 20-30 thousand feet, and could be probably a dozen km from the target and get the JDAM within a few meters. There's a reason none of our aircraft in Afghanistan were shot down....SA-7 range is probably half of the height of the planes...There was however a video of a near miss RPG fire at an F-18 that flew really low (dive bombing really) to taliban positions int he first few weeks of enduring freedom....the F-18 flew a steep angle down (guessing 60 degrees) and the RPG flew straight past it, within 10 yards of it at least......but that taliban guy is dead so i'll stop talking now (he had to be right in the bombsight)
 
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