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Subject: Why don't we have smart artillery shells?
swami    3/21/2004 4:40:11 PM
We have heard so much about smart bombs coming from airplanes, but what about smart artillery shells? Wouldn't it be possible for forward observers to point lasers at targets, and for laser- or GPS-guided artillery shells to hit within ten feet? Are there technical limitations or is it just not cost effective? How is a falling artillery shell fundamentally different from a falling bomb?
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Mark F    RE:Why don't we have smart artillery shells?   3/21/2004 5:17:14 PM
There are already laser-guided artillery shells in active service and have been for about 2 decades. It doesn't work that well, but semi-active laser guidance is better than nothing for pinpoint precision. GPS rounds are in development with several ongoing programs in a number of different calibers. The first rounds should be going into active service within the next two years.
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CoolDude    RE:Why don't we have smart artillery shells?   3/21/2004 9:44:15 PM
Yea the laster-guided shell is called the Copperhead.
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boris the romanian    RE:Why don't we have smart artillery shells?   3/22/2004 3:49:11 AM
The Russian equivalent is also pretty cool, the Krasnopol round. It's more destructive than the Copperhead because it's a bigger shell. I think it also comes in 155mm (Krasnopol-M)..
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Mark F    RE:Why don't we have smart artillery shells?   3/22/2004 7:22:09 AM
Except that Krasnopol, like Copperhead, doesn't really work all that well. Copperhead BTW is 155mm. Krasnopol is available in the traditional Russian 152mm caliber and also 155mm to meet an Indian requirement.
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boris the romanian    RE:Why don't we have smart artillery shells?   3/22/2004 3:11:22 PM
I really cannot see how either Krasnopol or Copperhead can work anywhere near as well as LGBs, given the enormous forces they are initially subject to. I know Krasnopol is 152mm, but it is a bigger, heavier shell (it is longer, despite the 3mm less diameter).
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hybrid    RE:Why don't we have smart artillery shells?   3/22/2004 3:51:52 PM
Major reason is cost. The shell not only has to be accurate precision wise, but must also withstand forces exceeding 10,000 g's at firing. Toss in re-entry heating and cooling thermodynamics, spin, air layer buffeting, and you basically get a whole slew of problems that makes designing a precision rocket seem like a cakewalk. You can design and make precision guided shells like Excalibur and Copperhead, but the problems you end up with mainly come down to cost (for instance Copperhead costs about half a mill to build each, Excalibur currently $93,000 but may be reduced to $10,000 if enough are made, this is compared to the cost of $120 bucks for an average 155 mm shell or about $20,000 for a JDAM)
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Siddar    RE:Why don't we have smart artillery shells?   3/23/2004 11:38:11 AM
US seems to have programs for smart rounds for all it artillery types but 105mm guns and 60mm mortar. The navy is working on ergm for 5inch and 155mm guns while army is building excalibur for 155mm guns these two programs are probaly going to be merged togeather soon. The goals of these systems are gps guideance extended range 100nm for egrm and target search and location by excalibur. Also there is work under way to make gps guided version of the standard mlrs rocket this would have around 80km range. It would be very simalar in precsion and payload to airforces SDB bombs. This system seems to be real comptition to excalibur in that it carrys a larger warhead and because of lesser G loading at launch it should be cheaper. There are also guided round programs for 81mm and 120mm mortars im not sure if 120mm rounds made it into production but they were prototyped at least. Special forces want the 81mm rounds in service asap so they should be in the next year are two. Last is netfires a lite wieght rocket system that can fire anti tank missisles in ether a gps guided mode are a second version in a UAV recon then kamkazi mode. This system would be mounted on armored vehicles are HUMVEE are as a stand alone container brought in by helocopter. It really is only matter of cost that has held up wide spread deployment of these systems.
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rocketpower    Guided MLRS   4/11/2004 10:14:27 PM
There is a GPS guided rocket for MLRS family called GMLRS. It basicly takes a normal M26 rocket and straps a GPS reciever on it with controllable fins. It requires a M270A1 (newever variant of M270) or Himars because it needs to get GPS preload from launcher. Nice thing is that it works just like a unguided MLRS rocket. once the M270A1 computer is updated it work exactly the same. It improves accuracy to around 10 meters and boosts range out to 60km. For a more advanced smart weapon check out the BAT (brilliant anti-armor technology) submunition. The BAT is deployed from an ATACMS missle (launched from MLRS). Nice thing about BAT is you don't need an FO or laser designator. Just point ATACMS missile in right area and the BATS each select a target and actively home in. The BATS are mean, smart, and can aquire targets by movement, heat, or sound.
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doggtag    RE:Why don't we have smart artillery shells?   5/3/2004 10:41:09 PM
Doesn't anyone know about the SADARM (Sense And Destroy ARMor) 155mm "skeet" round? It seems to be pretty "smart" to me...
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Texastillidie    RE:Why don't we have smart artillery shells?   4/4/2005 12:58:12 AM
The current generation of U.S. Army smart artillery shells are called "copperhead" rounds, and are available for 105mm and 155mm cannons. Practically all artillery being used in Iraq at the present time is "smart", because it is being used near civilians. This stuff is way-smart. A 155mm (6.1 inch)shell from a Paladin self-propelled gun can hit the turret of a moving tank at 7 miles (at night). Texastillidie
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