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Thread: Netfires - Tube Artillery - MLRS

  1. #21
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    Last edited by Distiller; 12-17-2008 at 07:28 AM.

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    Council Member reed11b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Distiller View Post
    # 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

    Comments?
    Where does this PGMM being more expensive then PAM or any other precision munitions come from? Mortars are already in the TO&E, training for them already exists, no restructuring to include PGMM capability and every cost analysis I have seen shows PGMMs to cost the least per round! Somebody please explain this to me, for I am obviously confused.
    Reed
    P.S. Thank You Fuchs, perhaps you are now un-confused..hehe
    Last edited by reed11b; 12-17-2008 at 07:51 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by sapperfitz82 View Post
    This truly is the bike helmet generation.

  3. #23
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reed11b View Post
    Where does this PGMM being less expensive then PAM or any other precision munitions come from? Mortars are already in the TO&E, training for them already exists, no restructuring to include PGMM capability and every cost analysis I have seen shows PGMMs to cost the least per round! Somebody please explain this to me, for I am obviously confused.
    Reed
    *confused*

    Do you mean "Where does this PGMM being more expensive then PAM..."?

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    Quote Originally Posted by reed11b View Post
    Where does this PGMM being more expensive then PAM or any other precision munitions come from? Mortars are already in the TO&E, training for them already exists, no restructuring to include PGMM capability and every cost analysis I have seen shows PGMMs to cost the least per round! Somebody please explain this to me, for I am obviously confused.
    Reed
    P.S. Thank You Fuchs, perhaps you are now un-confused..hehe

    Per round. You need 20+ 120mm mortars to cover the same area as one CLU, or ten+ 120mm mortars to cover a PAM perimeter.

    Edit: As far as I'm aware, it was a requirement for PGMM to stay below USD20k per round?

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    I'm just thinking how Netfires would have changed the Georgian-Russian August war. I think those Russian columns exiting from Roki tunnel would look like road to Basra.

    How would look like August 2006 war, if Hezbollah would use Netfire-type precision guided munition instead of Katyshas? No terror campaign against civilian targest, just precision strikes against conventional enemy ...

  6. #26
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaur View Post
    I'm just thinking how Netfires would have changed the Georgian-Russian August war. I think those Russian columns exiting from Roki tunnel would look like road to Basra.
    That doesn't mean much.
    The South Ossetia War was a 1960's war apparently. Pretty much all modern technology could have had a huge impact if applied properly in that conflict.

    The primary lesson of that war is in my opinion the importance of the human element (again), especially morale and ability to keep fighting after loss of communication. The Georgians failed miserably and no affordable modern technology would have saved them.



    Guided missiles (especially the subsonic ones) have a weak spot when facing a modern conventional opposition: They're expensive.
    Their significant price and high effectiveness enable and justify a capable defense. You cannot defend very cheap munitions with high-tech equipment without going broke, but you can do so if you know that your adversary cannot buy huge quantities of the equally expensive offensive munition.

    Missiles like Netfires will soon be (or are already) on the target list of battlefield air defense assets, just like all kinds of low and medium altitude drones.

    The technology advance for offensive weapons will be countered by an improvement of defensive weapons and in the end there won't be much 'revolutionary' change and no silver bullet, but an even worse infantry/others ratio and a larger (so-called) defense budget.

    How would look like August 2006 war, if Hezbollah would use Netfire-type precision guided munition instead of Katyshas? No terror campaign against civilian targest, just precision strikes against conventional enemy ...
    They had long-range ATGM missiles and it didn't seem to change their methods. Their attacks were political, and they chose the correct tool for the purpose.
    I doubt that their strategic thinkers want many dead Israeli at all. They win the PR battle much easier if the Israeli actions are disproportionate.

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    Fuchs said:

    That doesn't mean much.
    The South Ossetia War was a 1960's war apparently. Pretty much all modern technology could have had a huge impact if applied properly in that conflict.
    As far as i understand Georgian artillery/air force pounded Russian armed forces during first 24h. The biggest problem was accuracy (quality), not quantity.

    The primary lesson of that war is in my opinion the importance of the human element (again), especially morale and ability to keep fighting after loss of communication. The Georgians failed miserably and no affordable modern technology would have saved them.
    This is true. I understand that Netfires is more compact (easier to manage) accurate and cheaper, than (this case Georgian) artillery/tank batallions and air force squadrons. Georgians started to fail due to the many reasons. My point is that US trained during several years hundreds and hundreds of Georgians. I understand that the purpos was counter-insurgency, but if just small part of this effort could be used to train Netfires batteries, the 2008 August would show different result.

    Guided missiles (especially the subsonic ones) have a weak spot when facing a modern conventional opposition: They're expensive.
    Their significant price and high effectiveness enable and justify a capable defense. You cannot defend very cheap munitions with high-tech equipment without going broke, but you can do so if you know that your adversary cannot buy huge quantities of the equally expensive offensive munition.
    I was talking about using this weapon against Russians and Israel. First showed very poor skills. Israel reveived rocket pounding till the last day of conflict. Of course there are available several effective systems, but I suspect that they are not avaialble for every unit in the theatre of war.

    Missiles like Netfires will soon be (or are already) on the target list of battlefield air defense assets, just like all kinds of low and medium altitude drones.

    The technology advance for offensive weapons will be countered by an improvement of defensive weapons and in the end there won't be much 'revolutionary' change and no silver bullet, but an even worse infantry/others ratio and a larger (so-called) defense budget.
    Here we talk about defence-offence capabilites cycle. I suspect that advancement in technology will soon make rocket fly faster, unpredictable trajectories etc. I think that Netfires 1. generation is more promising than present day anti-tank chopters.


    They had long-range ATGM missiles and it didn't seem to change their methods. Their attacks were political, and they chose the correct tool for the purpose.
    I doubt that their strategic thinkers want many dead Israeli at all. They win the PR battle much easier if the Israeli actions are disproportionate.
    Burning Merkava company could be mental boost for whole generation of followers.

    If your enemy has conventional superiority in the theatre of war, Netfires could be one of the best solutions of indirect fire to weaker side. You don't have to hide your MLRS/155mm artillery colums/logistical tails from enemy's air force. I suspect that signature of Netfires is much smaller than MRLS/155 and this is good concealment against enemy's CB/CF. For FCS Netfires is just one possible indirect fire weapons with precision munition, but for small states in small geographical areas this may be just only concept available (that can survive another day).

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    Council Member reed11b's Avatar
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    I guess I just still fail to see the unmet need that NETFIRES fills. Using existing systems (155/excaliber, Mortars/PGMM, MLRS/G-MLRS) or even developed but unfielded system (E-FOGM) all seem to be capable of delivering the same effect while costing much less. Not just per munition, but in fielding cost and in speed of integration with the units using them. Shoe-horning new systems into the already diluted and scattered BCT concept are only going to further the BCT's logistical and manpower challenges. Existing systems already have an effective SOP that could handle precision fires support with very minor changes. SOP's and training and support for NETFIRES is going to have to be developed from the ground up. Worse, the very nature of NETFIRES is going to make centralized control (i.e micromanagement) more likely to happen then not. Am I mad man screaming in the wilderness or do others share my concerns?
    Reed
    Quote Originally Posted by sapperfitz82 View Post
    This truly is the bike helmet generation.

  9. #29
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    It seems to be a redundant and therefore unnecessary program to me as well.
    The mode of operation (launch from possibly even unattended containers) seems to be a NCW concept from a clean sheet, not like something that fits into an existing gap.

    EFOG-M, Brimstone and 120mm mortars could do the same job without much development cost (and that are just the most obvious -not the only- hardware alternatives).

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    Default I think your concerns are valid but I also think

    that a new weapon with those capabilities has promise to do more than may be readily apparent at first glance.

    Thus I'm inclined to welcome the weapon while worrying about the micromanagement probabilities.

    However, not too much worry. Given our current over-officered Army, that micromanagement will occur in peacetime regardless -- you have too many smart guys with authority sitting around with too little to do. It will also occur in low intensity conflict like Iraq and Afghanistan * for the same reason but it will not be a problem in major conflict because the officer:enlisted ratio will change radically and everyone will be too busy to meddle. That's when Netfires will be valuable. Think of it as the F-22 for ground forces...

    * With an apology to all who've been engaged in a heavy firefight in either place. When the bullets are cracking overhead or hitting your cover and you're getting splattered with body parts, there is no low intensity to it...

  11. #31
    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Hi Reed, Fuchs,
    In a previous life back in part of 2004 and 2005 I got to play at one of the operations officers within the FCS experimental element at the Fort Knox UAMBL (their battle lab). While I have some issues with the way the experiments played out, the people that were under the experimentation BDE itself - really spent some quality time thinking about how we'd put these various technologies to work. It was initially commanded by COL Roy Waggoner, a real no kidding Infantry leader with a great deal of operational experience (the 25th, the 75th and some other fine units). COL Waggoner demanded we do our best to influence the development of those technologies by being critical of the claims made be developers and by those (in uniform and out) who advocated for them. He also demanded that we scrutinize other claims and highlight what we believed were DOTMLPF shortfalls in the FCS O&O.

    So myself and the other OPs officers and staff got to both do the planning and then fight the formations in the sim in a number of scenarios. We became pretty knowledgeable on the pros and cons of each system and its munitions. We accounted for all the systems you mention except for E-FOGM. We also had to account for the B-LOS (Beyond Line of Sight) munitions fired from the MCS, and the ARV.

    There were indeed quite a number of shortfalls in FCS - and I think we've hashed them out on a number of threads - and I know down at Bliss they were still working hard to ensure the Army gets its money's worth. However some of the systems were useful no matter what the conditions. The rockets in a box Jason Port refers to was one such system. Netfires was what we referred to as the overarching fire control system which allowed you to do coordinated planning, deconflict & prioritize fires, get visibility on assets and inventories, and a host of other things (some of which I was not wholly keen on).

    The rockets in a box though initially was going to come in a couple of variants. One got scrapped last I heard - it was in the "high technology risk" category. The other though, PAM (precision attack munition) promised to do things that no other artillery I'm aware of can do - if the developers pulled it off. I'm not sure if they did, so I will not comment further on PAM. The combination of overall system's characteristics opened allot of possibilities. While I like mortars and the big guns - I'd like to have a couple of boxes of these in my kit bag too. As Ken mentioned, I'm not worried about the micro-managing of these - that is largely a leadership issue, and if it were to occur it would occur regardless of the system. Or you could look at it this way - if the higher echelon CDR has something else to pad his reserve, he is less likely to be digging into your pockets

    Best, Rob

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    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
    # 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?
    Why the 120mm when you have 105mm howitzers? Longer range, more shell-fuse combinations, more lethality, and you can tow with a HMMWV. If you need a few dumb booms to get somebody's attention you have 60's and 81's. Seems like reinventing the wheel.

  13. #33
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Because; (1) the Infantry commander owns the

    Quote Originally Posted by Gringo Malandro View Post
    Why the 120mm when you have 105mm howitzers? Longer range, more shell-fuse combinations, more lethality, and you can tow with a HMMWV. If you need a few dumb booms to get somebody's attention you have 60's and 81's. Seems like reinventing the wheel.
    120s which are (2) more accurate within their effective range and (3) have a far larger bursting radius / do more damage than the 105. Not to mention that in a dire emergency (4) the 120 can be hand moved and (5) can easily be deployed in a lighter and more mobile vehicle than a HMMWV [to include internal carriage in a CH47 or CH53]. Plus (6) there's a guided round, the M395 LINK [This is old, they've been deployed since then, 1m CEP w/ laser]. Other rounds are on the way.

    With nr. (1) above being the big Kahuna of those reasons...
    Last edited by Ken White; 12-30-2008 at 03:24 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    120s which are (2) more accurate within their effective range and (3) have a far larger bursting radius / do more damage than the 105. Not to mention that in a dire emergency (4) the 120 can be hand moved and (5) can easily be deployed in a lighter and more mobile vehicle than a HMMWV [to include internal carriage in a CH47 or CH53]. Plus (6) there's a guided round, the M395 LINK [This is old, they've been deployed since then, 1m CEP w/ laser]. Other rounds are on the way.

    With nr. (1) above being the big Kahuna of those reasons...
    BINGO, nailed it one. It is one of the reasons I am a big proponent for developing PGMM's for the 120's the 81's and even the 60's.
    Reed
    Quote Originally Posted by sapperfitz82 View Post
    This truly is the bike helmet generation.

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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default At the end of the day I'm reminded...

    Even in the age of precision weapons, real human beings -- complete and complimented with flaws -- are often left to fight the battles and, administer the peace.
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  16. #36
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Default Not many PGMs !

    There are only 3 actual 120mm LG Bombs that I aware of. I am not aware of any that are in service or combat proven.

    Point being, the Israelis have a whole family of very light and very easy to use laser designators, one of which is in service with USMC. I was looking at one the other day. Takes 30 mins of training to use!
    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.
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    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    There are only 3 actual 120mm LG Bombs that I aware of. I am not aware of any that are in service or combat proven.

    Point being, the Israelis have a whole family of very light and very easy to use laser designators, one of which is in service with USMC. I was looking at one the other day. Takes 30 mins of training to use!
    Wilf, there are dozens of projects - and have been since many years.
    The today American PGMM effort has its roots in a German 120mm LG bomb project of the 80's and is the best known (together with Swedish STRIX and UK Merlin) guided mortar munition.

    That's a language barrier and public relations issue.
    Almost nothing happened in the U.S. about guided mortar bombs, but a search for "guided mortar" in google yields almost entirely U.S.-related results. That's ridiculous.

    I've seen a list dating back to IIRC '99 that listed dozens of guided artillery and mortar munition projects, including from countries like Bulgaria and India.
    Americans talk a lot about their weapons projects even years before they yield production examples or a cancellation - other countries work silently on their hardware. IIRC many munitions on the list (HDD search is working) had SAL guidance.

    Here's a short and old list that I found with a quick search:
    http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/row/ADHPM.htm

    Even the Russians alone have two systems in in service allegedly (Kitolov and Gran) in 120mm with SAL guidance.

  18. #38
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Wink Refine your search technique

    Putting 'Guided 120mm mortar' in Google popped up on the first page entries from Sweden, India, China and the US.

    The M395 is in limited operational service in Afghanistan. Both Sweden and Switzerland have adopted the Strix so it is in service though Ii suppose one can quibble about the operational aspect...

    The M395 is an ATK product, derived from the Diehl and Lockheed Martin cooperation on the Bussard PGM -- that ouight to be common knowledge. No one is denying that Diehl was the originator (except the ATK company that would now like to sell it to anyone who'd buy it and is wary of German export controls...).

    As Fuchs said:
    "...Americans talk a lot about their weapons projects even years before they yield production examples or a cancellation - other countries work silently on their hardware. IIRC many munitions on the list (HDD search is working) had SAL guidance.
    Too true -- one of the many adverse impacts of a dysfunctional Congress...

  19. #39
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    You cheated by adding "120mm" to your search

    I attempted to recover the table in .htm that I remembered with several google searches and found almost exclusively U.S.-related results.

  20. #40
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Google's weird...

    Your search should've turned up the British Merlin (81mm)...

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