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Subject: Role of self propelled artillery systems
asv2003    8/24/2003 4:38:16 AM
1. Has the role of SP arty been undermined by the extensive use of missiles and the air force as was done in Iraq? 2. Can the arty systems based on high mobility vehicles really substitute the SP arty in tommorows battle field?
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Shaka of Carthage    RE:Role of self propelled artillery systems   8/24/2003 4:38:14 PM
1) No 2) Yes, but for light forces only.
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asv2003    RE:Role of self propelled artillery systems   8/24/2003 7:25:55 PM
Thanks Shaka I was actually doing an assignment wherein I am required to discuss the changing role of SP in the modern day battle field. I read a few interesting replies given by a few of you on this page and thought starting something which could give me some more insight into the issue. Could anyone help me out on this one please.
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gunner    RE:Role of self propelled artillery systems   8/26/2003 7:51:03 PM
"1. Has the role of SP arty been undermined by the extensive use of missiles and the air force as was done in Iraq? 2. Can the arty systems based on high mobility vehicles really substitute the SP arty in tommorows battle field?" 1. In my opinion, tube artillery was overshadowed by the air-power and MLRS media-party in both gulf wars. I don't think that it is any less relevant, however. Just less 'sexy'. In a more protracted war I think you would start to see tubes coming more to the fore, as in WW2, Korea and Vietnam, simply because they are cheaper, and give the soldier what he needs, when he needs it. If you think about the tactical uses of air and rocket/ATACMS, they are part of the airland 2000 idea of follow-on-forces (deep) strike (the airforce hates CAS and mudfighting, as we know), so it's the tubes and army aviation who will do the more close in work, away from the embeds and the glory :) 2. Arty really doesn't have to travel very far off-road to hide or fire, it isn't likely to assault enemy positions or to traverse a cratered, muddy trench system, and in fact is more likely to need to redeploy across a front or operational area at short notice. Factors which I reckon make a wheeled SP as effective as, if not more so, than tracked ones. Add to that the lighter weight and reduced running costs, lower maintenance and high commonality with your truck or LAV fleet, plus the (possibly) reduced civilian sensitivity to a non-tracked AFV, and any democratic gov't is going to feel the pressure to make that call.
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WinsettZ    RE:Role of self propelled artillery systems   8/26/2003 9:45:01 PM
1. Has the role of SP arty been undermined by the extensive use of missiles and the air force as was done in Iraq? Self-propelled arty has endured a reduced role but is still essential for tactical support. The airplanes and helis tend to deep-strike. Arty is much more responsive when deployed, so you can hit ambushers as they run away, rather then wait for fighters to appear. 2. Can the arty systems based on high mobility vehicles really substitute the SP arty in tommorows battle field? "High mobility vehicles"? It depends on their munitions. But as Shaka said, only for light forces, which really need light weight vehicles to achieve entry.
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Shaka of Carthage    RE:Role of SP artillery systems ... Thanks gunner & WinsettZ   8/27/2003 4:04:24 AM
The former entries are very good expanded answers, so no need for me to add to it. I'd just like to point out, that "wheeled artillery" (like CAESAR), I believe are extremely cost effective systems for nations that want SP artillery, but can't afford it, in addition to being a superior alternative to towed.
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Thomas    RE:Role of SP artillery systems    8/27/2003 4:30:57 AM
As far as I have been able to glean: SP arty will have a secured future in th following role: 1. ranges up to around 20 miles 2. grenades up 6" Because: a. they are quick getting into position b. its accurate up to that range c. beyond 6" the ammunition get to heavy and the fire rate too low. d. it can change objectives very fast I made a paper-study of speed. The higher speed of a Leopard 1 tank is compensated by the artillery range, so they are in position almost simultaneously. This valid for an area of about 20000 square km.
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gunner    RE: Helicopter close support (WinsettZ)   8/27/2003 12:40:50 PM
"The airplanes and helis tend to deep-strike" Agreed,this is the case right now, but it's not the role that will be envisaged for choppers in future army doctrine. This from How To Make War ( "August 2, 2003: Although the U.S. Marines did not lose any attack helicopters in Iraq, they had 49 of their 58 AH-1 and UH-1 choppers shot up so badly that they needed extensive repairs. The marines, like the army, use tactics that allow the armed helicopters to operate over fifty kilometers in front of friendly troops. This tactic has been around a long time without really being exposed to an enemy that is fighting back. The 1991 Gulf war had a ground battle that was over so quickly, against a demoralized Iraqi army, that the helicopters did not have much opportunity to get shot at a lot. But now the army and marines have both seen what a feisty foe on the ground can do to their helicopters. Before the fighting was over in Iraq, helicopter units commanders had changed their tactics, partly because of all the damage their machines were receiving, partly because the ground units were calling for more helicopter gun ships to provide "top cover" for them. This the gunships were happy to provide, as it gave them lots of targets, and a chance to work closely with the troops on the ground. This will probably be the official tactics in the future". Now I think this is due to the anti-armor emphasis given helicopters in the 70's, and set in stone with AirLand 2000. Since the enemy armor was not massed Soviet style at close range to allied infantry, the helo's had to hunt them far and wide - not really what I imagine anyone expected 15 or 20 years ago. The tac-air approach makes more sense for what is in effect a more flexible replacement of the WWII era Thunderbolts and Tempests. Suits the airforce too - they can play with shiny fighters that have no opponents and with elephantine bomb trucks that cost the equivalent of an African nation's GDP, safe in the knowledge that the worst attack they can expect is birdstrike, while the guys in green do the real fighting, down in the mud.
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WinsettZ    RE: Helicopter close support (WinsettZ)   9/1/2003 3:44:16 PM
Putting helis behind the troops surrenders a lot of their speed advantages, and turns them to a reserve "fast-reaction" force, moving to areas that receive sudden enemy contact and blast the crap out of them: or that they pull in the leash and make the helis operate closer, but still somewhat ahead of the main force.
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AlbanyRifles    RE:Role of self propelled artillery systems   9/2/2003 10:15:03 AM
I tried to rspoind to this last week while I was travelling but the server "burped" in the middle of my post. I'll try to resurrect my "elegant" response. SP artillery is definitely here to stay. It still has a key role to play well into the future on the modern battlefield. Some of the AAR comments from the DIVARTY Commander and his staff from the 3 ID made that very clear. Their 3 DS M109A6 155mm battalions fired an awesome number of rounds. Their corps FA brigade only had MLRS. The diviison felt they could not provide effective prep fires on some targets because there was no corps cannon battalion. Also what came out was that the 155mm fired a lot more HE/VT than was thought needed and less DPICM because of bomblets. The MLRS was used for suppression of enemty air defense very effectively (they did learn the lessons of the 11 Attack Regiment's abortion of an attack). No Apaches from the 1/3 Attack Battalion were shot down on their attacks ahead of the 3 ID. Some facts and figures: MLRS Desert Storm 189 MLRS (227mm) fired 9,660 rockets1 and 32 ATACMS Iraqi Freedom 50(+) MLRS (227mm) fired 414 ATACMS and 857 rockets 155MM Desert Storm 642 M109/78 M198 (155mm) fired 49,998 rounds of 155MM, mostly DPICM Iraqi Freedom 50(+) M109/ 5(+) M198 (155mm) fired 14,457 rounds 155mm, a lot of it HE Desert Storm Average response time was less than three minutes Iraqi Freedom Average response time was less than one minute Brought less artillery to OIF, but fired about 3 times as much per tube with much
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Thomas    RE:Role of self propelled artillery systems   9/3/2003 5:07:09 AM
I wasn't aware that response time was that awesome.
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