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Subject: Artillery to easily counterd ?
Sucari    10/11/2006 7:35:18 PM
For uses on an active-battlefeild is artilerary to easily counterd ? Milimeter radar can track incoming shells, and almsot imidiatly fire a rocket response as return fire, destroying the offending artilerary.
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ArtyEngineer       10/11/2006 10:59:06 PM
If Artillery is used incorrectly it does leave itself open to counter battery fire.  However the system I work on can get 10 rounds away in 2 minutes, be dsiplaced and on the move again < 2 minutes after the last bang.  considering time of flight can be over 2 minutes the battery can be up and moving before the last round lands.ack
Consider also the fact that the radar systems used in the artillery location role to not tolerate contiuous usage vary well, and also have a limited arc of scan.  For this reason they spend most of their time in standby mode.  By the time they come on and are cued to the correct azimuth (Possibly by a passive acoustic system) the last rounds of the fire mission are in the air and the firing battery is displacing and preparing to march order.  Tracking radars also need to catch a round in the upward and downward portion of the trajectory to back process and calculate the most accurate firing location. 
This location then needs to be fed in to the opposing forces targeting system, and a fire mission generated for whatever unit is tasked with the counterbattery mission.  This mission then has to be sent, processed and fired,  assuming an equivilent time of flight for the counter battery rounds, the targeted unit is 5 minutes or more down the road from its firing point before the incoming rounds start landing.
So the answer to your question is an emphatic NO, Artillery is not too easily countered for an active battle field.
Artillery is the KING OF BATTLE, and dont forget it!!!!!!!!!
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Carl S       10/12/2006 2:33:24 AM
The serious problem with ounter battery radars is that they put out a signal that can be DF'd all the way to Siberia.   Its quite possible the rounds the CBR identifys will have one end of the trajectory at its location.
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neutralizer       10/12/2006 6:14:40 AM
Of course there aren't very many of these radars, particularly the very capable ones.  There aren't many countries with the design skills and there are also manufacturing challenges for some key components, so for the foreseeable future they'll be thin on the ground.
Its actually a 'shoot and scoot' competition between guns and radars, and there are far more guns than radars, although the most capble radars, eg COBRA, can locate a few dozen btys in one go, if they all fire together.  Of course radars aren't the only means of locating guns.  Given a bty posn, even if its not attacked immediately with CB fire it is possible to track the subsequent movement of the battry by airborne radar (eg JSTARS, ASTOR, SK7) or even UAV if you're lucky.  UAVs will sometimes find btys as well.  Then there's sound ranging, probably not quite as accurate as radar but the modern systems (eg HALO/ASP - not sure if there are any others yet) is very useful, particularly for telling the radars when to switch on. 
The final point is that this 'dual' (guns, etc vs radars & CB) will be happening in both direction if both sides have similar capabilities, this could be very 'interesting'.  However, if you're a third world country with lots of men and basic guns, etc, then if you are faced by any of the half dozen or so most advanced western armies (US, UK, GE, FR) then you are going to get done over big time.
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reefdiver       10/12/2006 11:55:01 AM
Perhaps within the next 10 years, there will be an M-THEL like system that fits on a Stryker or NLOS-C base and takes out counter battery rounds... 
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Sabre       10/12/2006 12:50:31 PM
It will be interesting to see what happens when anti-artillery lasers (or other weapons) that can actually shoot down artillery shells in flight become truly mobile (and affordable). My guess is that artillery will continue to be far cheaper than the defensive measures, and an enemy could just buy a great number of guns, and a large stock of cheap ammunition. Counterbattery fire will be cheaper than anti-artillery weapons, so most armies may just opt to endure the few salvoes of incoming until the counterbattery fire hits and shuts it off. If directed-energy weapons (lasers, etc) come into widespread use, i.e., proliferate to the point that machineguns have today, then it should (by then) be trivially simple to hook them up to a radar system to allow some sort of anti-artillery capability... but I see that being in the far, far distant future. I wonder if an artillery shell can be made "stealthy"? Few of our potential enemies have effective counter-battery radars, so I doubt this question has seen much scrutiny.
In the meantime, the main danger to artillery is not ineffectiveness, but rather a politician's preference for aircraft, although artillery is all weather, day/night, immune to air defenses, and can remain "on station" ready to deliver ordinance 24/7. Aircraft make much juicier and sexier line items on a budget, the defense industry will never allow aircraft to become obsolete, but it would probably not worry as much over artillery. Of course, in the far distant future when directed-energy weapons are common, aircraft would find themselves suicidally vulnerable unless they flew quite close to the ground.
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reefdiver       10/13/2006 12:47:54 AM
One thing is certain - Excalibur and the course correcting fuze are going to greatly help the US and its allies in any artillery battle for some time. Far fewer shells will need to be fired in the shoot and scoot scenerio. With NLOS-C and the Pzh 2000 the multiple rounds simultaneous impact systems will also essentially allow one salvo to be fired before moving.  This has got to represent a huge safety factor from counter battery fire.
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reefdiver       10/13/2006 12:51:31 AM
I wonder if the military will ever try to develop a "HARM" artillery shell, using some of the guidance abilities of the Excalibur or course correcting fuze? This could help take out counter battery radar. Fire your first salvo, then fire a few  anti-radiation rounds.
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ArtyEngineer    Artillery Locating Radars   10/13/2006 4:18:02 PM
For anyone who is interested here is a link to Chapter 4 of FM 3-09.12.  Tactics Techniques and Procedures For Field Artillery Target Acquisition
I was incorrect withj my initial statement regarding the need to catch the round on the upward and downward portion of the trajectory, it would appear Fire Finder can do it with a Track just on the upward portion.">" width=404 border=0>
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ArtyEngineer    Additional Picture for Previous Post   10/13/2006 4:21:55 PM
Here is another good pic of the acquisition and tracking process">" width=404 border=0>
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Carl S       10/16/2006 3:13:56 PM
"Of course there aren't very many of these radars, particularly the very capable ones.  There aren't many countries with the design skills and there are also manufacturing challenges for some key components, so for the foreseeable future they'll be thin on the ground."
Even thinner on the ground than raw numbers might indicate.  Back in 1991 during Desert Shield/Storm The Iraqis activated one CBR.  It was quickly counter fired. Post battle US intelligence identified thirtysix Iraqi Army CBR sets in Kuwait & adjacent Iraqi territory.  Nearly all were in travel or stowed configuration.  None identified as set up for activation. 

(Source: US  Field Artillery Magazine.)
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