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Subject: Afghan arty
neutralizer    2/21/2007 2:52:47 AM
There's a news item and video clip on the UK MoD website for 20 Feb showing three Afghan Army 122mm D30 firing in support of UK marines, having been trained by UK arty. This raises some interesting questions on the reasonable assumption that they were using predicted fire, which seems likely. Note that Vietnamese arty firing in close support of ANZAC forces in SVN was unheard of and I suspect it was fairly rare for US. It invites the question about data and methods. For example the prospect of Russian FTs being used seems unlikley, firstly because UK soldiers would probaly have difficulty teaching them and secondly because it would imply the NATO (probably UK in this case) meteor sect proding a Russian met message. The deduction is that there are NATO format FTs for D30 or a computer is being used with aeroballistic data to support the NATO modified point mass model. The last time I heard of western fire control equipment with Russian guns was Iraq using FACE during the Iran-Iraq War. I can't believe this was the only instance. Any other information anywhere?
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Carl S       2/21/2007 8:14:27 PM
I would not want to guess.  Translating Soviet erra firing tables into some modern ballistic computer program is certainly doable.  But there were also specialists in the NATO arty comunity who had a working if not expert knowledge of shooting with Soviet artillery.  (At one point in my career I had to get the manual on converting Soviet grid locations to NATO grids off the shelf & do that.)

So it could have been done either way.  Personally I'd have done both if in charge of the project.   Knowing several different methods of finding the firing solution make you a better arty guy.  ; )

Perhaps there is a hint in the Journal of Royal Artillery or similar professional pub?  
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Yimmy       2/22/2007 4:55:30 AM
How old do you reckon those guns must be?
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00_Chem_AJB       2/22/2007 5:13:09 AM
The D30 went into production in the early sixties, I'm not sure when it was halted, so those guns could be 30 or even 40 years old.
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Carl S       2/22/2007 8:30:28 PM
It takes only a day or two for a team of decent ordinance mechanics to completely overhaul a cannon.  The tube & attached breach block can be changed in a couple hours, with generous breaks for refreshments.
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jbapk1       3/1/2007 12:09:33 AM
Presumably all the former Warsaw Pact countries that joined NATO probably already worked these problems out?
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Carl S       3/1/2007 7:52:58 PM
Discussed this with a much older Red Leg.  He reminded me the weapons intel folks at Ft Aberdeen shoot Soviet cannon for eval & have worked out the basics of interoperating the firing tables & other necesities.  Of course neither of us knows if the Aberdeen solutions were suitable for training Afganis or anyone else.
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neutralizer       3/2/2007 2:57:45 AM
As I said, Brits had delivered FACE to Iraq in the 80s, presumanbly for use with Sov types guns among otehrs.  They also sold a handful to China (who fairly obviously reverse engineered the 20+ year old design. Which doesn't answer the qustion of Afg.
Re fmr WP, they ccan quite happily keep using theirold gear.  The only actual interoperable interface (assuming no-one is trying to exchange STANAG 5620 type FS msgs) is Direction in mils (which size?), but the other issue is the reversed XY coordinates which needs a bit of re-programing of the FC computers.
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