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Subject: How does guided arty work?
scholar    11/9/2004 4:34:57 PM
I just read that the US is firing guided 155mm shells out of howitzers at positions in Falluja. GPS. How does that work? Do little fins pop out of the shells? Or does the GPS simply guide the targeting computer on the gun itself?
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ArtyEngineer    RE:How does guided arty work?   11/9/2004 4:49:11 PM
Where did you read this? The XM982 excalibur munition (GPS Guided) is still in developement. I believe the only other 155 guided projectile in the US inventory is the "Copperhead" which has terminal guidance only, ie. requires a target to be laser designated. From talking to guys who used this munition in the first and second gulf wars its performance is less that satisfactory, considering the potential for "Collateral Damage" in an urban enviroment I doubt they would take the risk with this munition. Regarding how they work, Yes, both types use deployable canards to alter the flight of the projectile. Do a search for the XM982 Excalibur, there is some good info on the net about it.
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scholar    RE:How does guided arty work?   11/9/2004 4:59:00 PM
Here it is: The key passage: Using a global positioning system, each shell is precision aimed and fired at insurgent spots, while unmanned reconnaisance aircraft check whether the target was hit and feed back the information, Hamby told AFP.
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ArtyEngineer    RE:How does guided arty work?   11/9/2004 5:09:10 PM
OK, I suspect what is happening is that the target and gun coordinates are being assessed using GPS, this data is then fed to the Fire Direction Centre (FDC), which computes the fire mission and sends it to the Gun line. The Forward Observer (FO) which in this case in a UAV, assess impact coordinates, again using GPS, and feeds this back to the FDC enabling them to precisely walk the artillery on to the target. An important thing to note about GPS when considering its application to artillery is that it cannot tell you where you tube or projectile is pointing, only where it is on the surface of the earth in a given co-ordinate system.
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scholar    RE:How does guided arty work?   11/9/2004 5:25:51 PM
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ArtyEngineer    RE:How does guided arty work?   11/9/2004 5:28:46 PM
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Nichevo    RE:How does guided arty work?   11/10/2004 3:54:38 AM
That's gotta be it, they must be aiming via GPS with ballistic shells. But as long as you have a set of levels or gyros on the piece it should be able to orient itself. I do agree, shells are firing on GPS coordinates. What is the CEP at Fallujah ranges? What are Fallujah ranges? Could the Marines use my Nerf mortar? Says you need indirect fire. Ranges are probably low and for urban warfare, low launch signature is desired. I think I would have a winner. Everybody could carry one or a few instead of needing a dedicated mortar and crew, which can only fire one at a time. Would be a worthwhile load for demolition too (don't use smart heads please! But my warhead and all other pieces would be modular and if you just wanted to load up with a dozen warheads and a couple of fire control computers, you could, and some other guy could take a dozen boosters and strap them together for something big, or use them for incendiaries or torches or heat I suppose. But I digress).
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Nichevo    RE:How does guided arty work?   11/10/2004 3:55:18 AM
btw, scholar, you just beat me here with the same question ;>
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neutralizer    RE:How does guided arty work?   11/10/2004 8:32:48 AM
While it's true Copperhead was originally overated, the Russian equivalent is newer, is available in 155mm as well as 152mm and reportedly seems rather better. It seems that the Indians bought them for their FH77B and used them in Kashmir a couple of years back. The French have also tested them. Now, has Pres B done a bit of a deal with Pres P?
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scholar    How accurate is the present system?   11/10/2004 10:49:01 AM
With all the present GPS stuff being used in Fallujah, what is the likelyhood that a shell will drop where the grunt wants it?
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ArtyEngineer    RE:How accurate is the present system?   11/10/2004 12:09:24 PM
The likely hood is that by adjusting fire and with a decent muzzle velocity management system the fire will be very accurate. Im sure they are not firing at anwhere near maximum range, I would guess somewhere in the 9-10 km range, maybe closer. At this range they should be seeing impacts within 20 - 30 meters of the desired impact
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