Page 1 of 7 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 123

Thread: Netfires - Tube Artillery - MLRS

  1. #1
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    AUT+RUS
    Posts
    87

    Default Netfires - Tube Artillery - MLRS

    Been doubting the future of 155mm tube artillery for quite some time now. Think that the 120mm mortar on the one end, and MLRS on the other will take a considerable bite out of the 155's mission. Couple of thoughts below on how Netfires fits in:

    M777 weight: 4400kg
    Average Crew: 600kg
    Typical pallet (45 shells, 60 MACS): about 2100kg (estimation)
    Weight for one hour of sustained firing (@ 3 rounds/minute = 4 pallets): about 13500kg
    Costs: USD3M for the M777, USD65k for a pallet of dumb ammo, USD80k for one Excalibur, USD260k for one hour of sustained dumb fire, or USD14M+ for one hour of Excalibur sustained fire (not including deployment and crew)
    2D Mobility: MTVR
    3D Mobility out: two CH-47 (gun, crew, ammo for one sustained hour)
    3D Mobility back: one CH-47 hauling back gun and crew
    Capabilities: traditional big boom shrapnel, cluster container, precision attack


    Netfires CLU empty: 650kg
    Netfires missile: 53kg
    Loaded CLU: about 1450kg
    Weight for one hour of firing (@ 3 rounds/minute = 12 CLU): about 17500kg
    Costs: hard to say - Javelin USD75k, Hellfire USD60k, Spike USD5k, PAM shouldn't be more than USD20k per. CLU say USD350k per, USD4.2M for one hour sustained fire (not including deployment).
    2D Mobility: MTVR with loader crane
    3D Mobility out: three CH-47 (possibly with at small all-terrain forklift) to deploy the CLUs (CLUs for one sustained hour of firing); or six UH-60 with CLUs as ext load
    3D Mobility back: one UH-60 with at least two guys to collect electronics packages
    Capabilities: precision attack
    Problem: sabotage, if unattended (same as with FCS' UGS)


    That translates into:
    # Role for 120mm Mortar: sustained (mostly suppressive) "dumb" big boom area shrapnel fire, short/medium range; precision mortar rounds will have a hard stand against PAM costwise, as with Excalibur only interesting if used sparingly
    # Role for M777: sustained (mostly suppressive) "dumb" big boom area-shrapnelling, medium range, flexibly deployed; Excalibur cost effective only if not used more than ten times per hour or so (per battery)
    # Role for Netfires: selective fire, precision attack, medium/long range, preferably road-deployed, optional unattended operation if airliftered to an unaccessible spot
    # Role for MLRS++: massed technical targets, area targets, salvo assault, long range


    Comments?

  2. #2
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    3,189

    Default

    155mm is better represented by systems like PzH2000, M109A6 or Caesar than by the specialty gun M777.

    ---

    Let's wait for what happens about the DPICM / cluster / dumb submunitions / explosive cargo round ban in 2009.

    Large calibres are less efficient for fragmentation effect per HE round weight than small calibres like 90-122mm and today also larger than necessary for guided munitions (which work fine in 120mm+ and probably already with 105mm+).

    A loss of DPICM would badly degrade 155mm performance (and also 227mm performance) and might lead to smaller calibres at least for the towed gun role.

    ---

    I expect MRLs to turn into missile weapons (guided & long range - both easier with rockets than with shells).

    My expectation for Netfires (or whatever is its current name) is that it'll be cancelled to save money.

    I'm not so sure about the future of guns - inertia will likely keep 155mm the premier calibre, even though that probably won't be optimal.

    Motars will stay what they are - albeit more often mounted than before.

  3. #3
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Estonia
    Posts
    3,817

    Default

    Got my doubts about replacing the M777 - The King of Battle.

    We've got Brits making them, Canadians buying them, and the Swedes (with their Iron Sled Bofors ) jealous of them.

    Between the Excalibur guided projectile, the 777's reputation in Afghanistan, and the all too recognizable howitzer "report", she will never be replaced by a steel tube and grunts
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  4. #4
    Council Member BayonetBrant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    260

    Default

    don't forget that 120mm mortars live at the BN level, which makes one of their key attributes "responsiveness". It can take a while to get 155mm rounds - or anything else - fired as an immediate suppression mission. But the S3 can grab the mike and get mortar rounds in flight inside of 2 minutes.
    Brant
    Wargaming and Strategy Gaming at GrogHeads
    Military news and views at GrogNews

    “their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of ‘rights’… and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure.” Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers 1959

    Play more wargames!

  5. #5
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Estonia
    Posts
    3,817

    Default Hmmm, responsive, but max range ?

    Touché !
    The 120 teams are quick and get to 6 clicks... The 155 to 24 clicks, albeit slower

    You can Run but you'll only die tired !

    Quote Originally Posted by BayonetBrant View Post
    don't forget that 120mm mortars live at the BN level, which makes one of their key attributes "responsiveness". It can take a while to get 155mm rounds - or anything else - fired as an immediate suppression mission. But the S3 can grab the mike and get mortar rounds in flight inside of 2 minutes.
    Last edited by Stan; 12-11-2008 at 07:05 PM. Reason: forgot the slogan !
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  6. #6
    Council Member reed11b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Olympia WA
    Posts
    531

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BayonetBrant View Post
    don't forget that 120mm mortars live at the BN level, which makes one of their key attributes "responsiveness". It can take a while to get 155mm rounds - or anything else - fired as an immediate suppression mission. But the S3 can grab the mike and get mortar rounds in flight inside of 2 minutes.
    Which is why I feel that PGMM's for the 120 (even 81 and 60's for that matter) would have great real world utility, and cost less then excaliber rounds. The negative is that 120's have limited self sustainmant ability compared to an arty battery.
    Reed
    Quote Originally Posted by sapperfitz82 View Post
    This truly is the bike helmet generation.

  7. #7
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Hate to be dense but I don't understand what this means:

    Quote Originally Posted by reed11b View Post
    ...The negative is that 120's have limited self sustainmant ability compared to an arty battery.
    Do you mean in logistic support?

  8. #8
    Council Member reed11b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Olympia WA
    Posts
    531

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    Do you mean in logistic support?
    Did I not just get done telling you to read what mean and not what I write?
    Yes I mean logistic support, especially ammo resupply. Of course I was an 81mm mortar man and the 120 is vehicle based so they may have a more robust logistical support.
    Quote Originally Posted by sapperfitz82 View Post
    This truly is the bike helmet generation.

  9. #9
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Estonia
    Posts
    3,817

    Default

    Reed,

    A little sarcasm is OK, but a more thorough response from the beginning would have precluded what you have concluded to be obvious.

    Not all of us were Eleven Charlies.

    Thanks in advance for your consideration while posting herein.

    Regards, Stan

    Quote Originally Posted by reed11b View Post
    Did I not just get done telling you to read what mean and not what I write?
    Yes I mean logistic support, especially ammo resupply. Of course I was an 81mm mortar man and the 120 is vehicle based so they may have a more robust logistical support.
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  10. #10
    Council Member reed11b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Olympia WA
    Posts
    531

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    Reed,

    A little sarcasm is OK, but a more thorough response from the beginning would have precluded what you have concluded to be obvious questions.

    Not all of us were Eleven Charlies.

    Thanks in advance for your consideration while posting herein.

    Regards, Stan
    No precluding on my part Stan, I was dinging myself on that post. The sarcasm was in referance to joke I made to Ken a few minutes ago on another post. I agree that my military terminology needs some refresher work.
    Reed
    Quote Originally Posted by sapperfitz82 View Post
    This truly is the bike helmet generation.

  11. #11
    Council Member Jason Port's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Cary, NC
    Posts
    26

    Default The value of options

    So, as a former 120 section sergeant in the cav, I posit that there is a home for each of these options. The 155 has an ability to drop some heavy heat from a fixed position, therefore giving it the ability to mass rounds and then pump them down range, especially in a FOB against an enemy without counterbattery.

    Conversely, the heavier rocket artilllery at the above Brigade level provides heavy rounds against specific targets outside the range of the 120 or 155. Cost makes them a high-profile system, and really limits their usage to critical targets, and only used by folks with birds and stars, thus keeping it out of reach of the platoon, company, and battalion.

    The 120, to Brant's point in the Infantry and the Cav are key tools to the lower echelons. In the Cav they are hip pocket close to the troop commander, and enable troops quick suppressive fires to assist the scouts keep from exposing their direct fire assets. Unfortunately, most RSTA/Cav troops have only two guns making it tougher to maneuver them. It is impossible to split the section and have security on the move, but it also means that during a route reconnaisance, the 1064 mortar carrier has to constantly be running like hell, emplacing and then running again, while the scouts and tanks outpace them. Further, it is harder to mass fires or do coordinated illumination missions with the two gun section as the resulting rounds pushed out are lower in count. Further, without a separate command vehicle in the heavy mortar section, coordination of vehicles, fires planning and fire direction computation is really an exercise in mental and physical gymnastics as the squad leader jumps into the drivers seat with the MBC and the section sergeant tries not to get in the way.

    Conversely, the larger mortar platoon with 4 guns and 2 command tracks and a supply truck (this info might be dated) enables splitting into three gun sections, which enables one to maneuver, while the other is still emplaced, making a movement to contact with immediate suppression a reality. These guys can run a broad spectrum of missions, which you will never receive through a request to division for artillery, when working at the company level. Further, the ability to have an FPF for the battalion front brings the shooters a warm and fuzzy feeling when bad things otherwise abound.

    Therefore, I submit that the home for the 155 can remain, the MLRS systems will always be in vogue because they are sexy to watch, but when you really want to lay some waste up close and personal, there is no better way than through the 120 mortar, with some kick ass fire direction control. My only recommendation to the current Table of Organization and Equipment would be to equip the two gun cav troop with a command vehicle (M113A3 or M577) in the mortar section to enable better fires planning, and better integration into the troop C2 cell under the XO. (if you want to know why the XO's 577 is a bad place, I will tell you later.) Assign the crew as the E-7, an E-5 FDC guy and an E-3 driver.

    The last thing I might mention is the Future Combat Systems, Rocket in a Box which provides a modular, easily deployable rocket which fires on demand, from a box. I don't know enough about it, but everything I have read seems to make this another sexy product which replaces already fine pieces of equipment. However, I might have said the same things about UAVs, but they pretty much do some great work.
    Last edited by Jason Port; 12-11-2008 at 09:00 PM. Reason: Rocket in a box comments
    "New knowledge is the most valuable commodity on earth. The more truth we have to work with, the richer we become."

    - Kurt Vonnegut

  12. #12
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default They do; the 120 requires transport and support vehicles

    Quote Originally Posted by reed11b View Post
    Did I not just get done telling you to read what mean and not what I write?
    Yes I mean logistic support, especially ammo resupply. Of course I was an 81mm mortar man and the 120 is vehicle based so they may have a more robust logistical support.
    and they are in the 120 Platoon itself and in the HHC Support Platoon. Poor Rifle Companies don't have that luxury -- though they did when we had the Mule (this one LINK and not this one LINK). Those put the M-Gator to shame.

  13. #13
    Council Member BayonetBrant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    260

    Default

    Brant
    Wargaming and Strategy Gaming at GrogHeads
    Military news and views at GrogNews

    “their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of ‘rights’… and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure.” Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers 1959

    Play more wargames!

  14. #14
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Estonia
    Posts
    3,817

    Default

    Let's bring out the real guns
    Attached Images Attached Images
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  15. #15
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Mine's bigger than yours...

    Fun times in River City...
    Last edited by Ken White; 02-13-2009 at 06:51 PM.

  16. #16
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    489

    Default

    Eight inches of love right there boy...

    I think the 155mm towed howitzer still has a place as do most heavy artillery pieces. Despite the talk about precision munitions, there is a real value in suppression, and that takes massing fires. It might not happen often in COIN, but for mechanized/maneuver warfare, I'd want to have some medium and heavy tubes behind me and making life miserable for the blokes in front of me.
    "Speak English! said the Eaglet. "I don't know the meaning of half those long words, and what's more, I don't believe you do either!"

    The Eaglet from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland

  17. #17
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Got those also...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ski View Post
    Eight inches of love right there boy...
    Shorter tube with muzzle brake.
    Last edited by Ken White; 02-13-2009 at 06:51 PM.

  18. #18
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    AUT+RUS
    Posts
    87

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BayonetBrant View Post
    don't forget that 120mm mortars live at the BN level, which makes one of their key attributes "responsiveness". It can take a while to get 155mm rounds - or anything else - fired as an immediate suppression mission. But the S3 can grab the mike and get mortar rounds in flight inside of 2 minutes.
    Yes, but one of the Netfires ideas is to have a couple distributed in the ops area and give the ground troops direct access, e.g. via relay-UAVs. Should be as fast as a Dragon Fire II mortar (or comparable system), but with longer range. Btw, Dragon Fire II without ammo is said to have the same weight as a Netfires CLU.

    @ towed mortars for cavalry: Funny idea. Luckily these days there are vehicle mounted alternatives like AMOS and NEMO (not to forget Nona and Vena), and the mentioned future Dragon Fire II.
    Last edited by Distiller; 12-12-2008 at 07:25 AM.

  19. #19
    Council Member Kiwigrunt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Auckland New Zealand
    Posts
    466

    Default

    Mine's the most sophistimacated.....
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Nothing that results in human progress is achieved with unanimous consent. (Christopher Columbus)

    All great truth passes through three stages: first it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
    (Arthur Schopenhauer)

    ONWARD

  20. #20
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The State of Partachia, at the eastern end of the Mediterranean
    Posts
    3,947

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Distiller View Post
    That translates into:
    # Role for 120mm Mortar: sustained (mostly suppressive) "dumb" big boom area shrapnel fire, short/medium range; precision mortar rounds will have a hard stand against PAM costwise, as with Excalibur only interesting if used sparingly
    FOG missiles like Spike also change the equation, as do cheap and effective 70 and 122mm GPS guided rockets.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

Similar Threads

  1. Retooling the Artilleryman
    By Jedburgh in forum Trigger Puller
    Replies: 127
    Last Post: 03-09-2009, 01:54 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •