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Subject: What became of battlefield rockets?
Yimmy    11/1/2006 1:44:40 PM
I don't mean akin to MLRS, or tactical rockets such as FROG, I am refering to the old 1800's type battlefield rockets whereby small rockets were fired off rails as short range artillery in similar roles to mortars and small field guns. I know more recently we have had recoiless rifles, like the wombat, and shoulder fired weapons like RPG's, but would not field rockets add greatly to a battalions firepower, in a smiliar way that GPMG's in the SF role and mortars do? I know systems such as Hydra rockets have been tested on tripod type mounts, but why have they never been adopted? If mortars provide indirect HE onto the target, and SF GPMG's suppress the target, I would think field rockets would be good as a direct fire bunker buster, and be good for providing counter-battery fire onto enemy SF GPMG's etc. In the Falklands, this role was undertaken by Milan platoon, however surely Milan type weapons should be saved for enemy armour, with a large caliber field rocket more suited to dealing with entrenched enemy. I also know of the cheap version of Spike, as a non-expensive way to deal with cars etc, but the munitions are still expensive, while being guided isn't really needed for a dug in enemy. I was thinking more of a GPMG tripod, with the gun cradle replaced by a large tube, perhaps slightly larger than TOW size, shooting rockets with a similar unit price to a mortar bomb. Thughts?
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Herald1234    Carl Gustav   11/1/2006 2:39:53 PM
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flamingknives       11/1/2006 3:25:50 PM
I can think of a few reasons why rockets aren't particularly desirable for general infantry support:

1) Signature: Rockets have a very large firing signature, which isn't beneficial for long-term battlefield survivability.

2) Size: Rockets use significantly more propellant to launch a similarly sized warhead a similar distance when compared to tube weapons. This propellant has to be packaged and carried to the frontline.

3) Cost. Each rocket needs its own nozzle to get decent performance. These are somewhat more expensive than gun-launched projectiles and you need a new one each time.

4) Accuracy. Rocket accuracy over 500m is not very great, although tales abound of LAW being used out to a kilometre. Hitting a bunker sized target isn't going to be that easy, especially if its windy.

5) Hydra-style rockets. These things are still burning as they leave the tube, so it would give the operator a face-full of high temperature, high velocity exhaust.
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Yimmy       11/1/2006 6:06:47 PM
These are what I'm talking about. 107mm launchers made by Iran." width=640 border=0>" width=640 border=0>
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Yimmy       11/1/2006 6:08:33 PM
Hell, those sight units even look suspiciously similar to the C2 sights we use on our GPMG's and mortars for non-line of sight grid fireing.
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YelliChink       11/1/2006 6:28:37 PM
Iran's new wonder weapon? It looks like something similar to Chinese PF98 120mm heavy anti-tank rocket. That thing don't have much range.
I kind of confused by Yimmy's suggestion. I don't understand if it is an unguided long range, direct fire weapon, or an area suppression weapon.
If it is the former, Russian's Kornet E provides an excellent example of what that weapon might be. As for battalion area suppresion weapon, I really don't think they have transport capability to sustain that kind of fire order.
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TAC II       11/1/2006 6:33:43 PM
Aren't these launchers more suited to guerilla/insurgency type warfare?
Thinking of how more difficult it is to make "proper" artillery, this kind of system may not be a choice of what performs best on the battlefield, but of what is easiest to make in quantity with the means at hand.
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YelliChink       11/1/2006 6:43:12 PM
who would forget about these: Onto M50 106mm recoiless rifle carrier." width=800 border=0>
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Carl S       11/2/2006 8:49:28 AM
Rockets are suitable for 'one shot'' area fires.  The launcher & a few rounds are realtively light.  When you need large quantities of ammo hitting accuratly to truely nuetralize a target then mortaars, cannons or guided misssles are more effcient.   
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Shirrush    107 mm rocket launchers   11/3/2006 3:57:14 AM
These single or double-tube 107 and 122 mm rocket launchers are next to useless in a battlefield, and even in the type of trench warfare favored by Iran and its proxies, these things do not have much effect against a moving or/and armored force since they lack the accuracy and the explosive power to do much more than a lot of noise.
These are more accurately described as terror weapons. Aimed at unprotected civilian installations from a camouflaged and defiladed position, and fired remotely with a simple electrical system so as to avoid their operators the inconveniences of counter-battery fires, such rockets have recently forced almost a million Jewish and Arab Israeli residents of the Galilee into hot and stinky bomb shelters for 34 days.
The 107 mm rocket has a range of up to 7 km I think, but some "Grad"- type 122 mm rockets can fly 40 km, and hurt children and old people in Safed when fired from the Nabatyeh plateau, well inside Lebanon.

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