Ar­tillery Em­ploy­ment and Fu­ture Tech­nolo­gies

Syn­er­gised and or­ches­trated em­ploy­ment of all avail­able fire­power re­sources to shape the bat­tle­field and to de­grade the en­emy in con­tact and depth bat­tle en­tail­ing em­ploy­ment of mor­tars, guns and long range vec­tors in con­junc­tion with IAF to achieve de­cis

SP's LandForces - - FRONT PAGE - Lt Gen­eral Naresh Chand (Retd)

Syn­er­gised and or­ches­trated em­ploy­ment of all avail­able fire­power re­sources to shape the bat­tle­field and to de­grade the en­emy in con­tact and depth bat­tle en­tail­ing em­ploy­ment of mor­tars, guns and long range vec­tors in con­junc­tion with IAF to achieve de­ci­sive de­feat of the en­emy

THE CLAS­SIC AR­TILLERY WEAPON is the gun which has been un­der de­vel­op­ment since the 12th cen­tury. The aim of de­vel­op­ment of the gun al­ways was to de­liver heav­ier shells at longer ranges ac­cu­rately. The cur­rent cal­i­bre ac­cepted uni­ver­sally is 155mm with a range of 40 km. Apart from range, lethal­ity and ac­cu­racy, there are other pa­ram­e­ters like trans­porta­tion and mo­bil­ity; in­ter­op­er­abil­ity with other sys­tems; counter bom­bard­ment ca­pa­bil­ity; dig­i­tal tar­get­ing; re­con­nais­sance, sur­veil­lance and tar­get ac­qui­si­tion (RSTA) ca­pa­bil­ity and cost. The key pa­ram­e­ters out of th­ese which are at­tract­ing at­ten­tion glob­ally are im­prov­ing the ac­cu­racy and speed of de­liv­ery. Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of Ar­tillery Lt Gen­eral P.K. Sri­vas­tava, dur­ing a re­cent in­ter­ac­tion with SP’s Land Forces, com­mented on the shape of the fu­ture bat­tle­field and the role of Ar­tillery in it as fol­lows:

Likely Shape of Fu­ture Bat­tle Field.

The fu­ture bat­tle­field will be char­ac­terised by short and in­tense en­gage­ments; non­lin­ear bat­tles; si­mul­tane­ity of op­er­a­tions; in­creased bat­tle field trans­parency; syn­er­gized and or­ches­trated em­ploy­ment of fire power re­sources and em­ploy­ment of pre­ci­sion and high lethal­ity weapon sys­tems in a hy­brid war­fare en­vi­ron­ment. All of this un­der the over­all back­drop of a nu­clear, bi­o­log­i­cal and chem­i­cal war­fare threat.

Likely Em­ploy­ment of Ar­tillery.

The em­ploy­ment of Ar­tillery in the fu­ture in such a short and in­tense bat­tles will be char­ac­terised as un­der:

Due to high tempo of op­er­a­tions, there will be a re­quire­ment of real time sur­veil­lance and tar­get ac­qui­si­tion at all stages of bat­tle.

Syn­er­gised and or­ches­trated em­ploy­ment of all avail­able fire­power re­sources to shape the bat­tle­field and to de­grade the en­emy in con­tact and depth bat­tle en­tail­ing em­ploy­ment of mor­tars, guns and long range vec­tors in con­junc­tion with IAF to achieve de­ci­sive de­feat of the en­emy. There­fore Ar­tillery should have a bal­ance of guns (towed and self pro­pelled), rock­ets and mis­siles. There is also a need to have a va­ri­ety of am­mu­ni­tion and war­heads to achieve de­sired re­sults at the tar­get.

Ar­tillery will be re­spon­si­ble for de­tect­ing and de­struc­tion of en­emy ar­tillery and rocket po­si­tions.

The trend is to­wards pre­ci­sion so as to re­duce lo­gis­tic cost of each suc­cess­ful en­gage­ment.

De­pen­dence on ar­tillery to achieve favourable out­comes will in­crease.


Speed of de­liv­ery through au­to­ma­tion and in­te­gra­tion

This is achieved by au­to­ma­tion of the RSTA. Ar­tillery has al­ready de­vel­oped Ar­tillery Com­bat Com­mand and Con­trol Sys­tem (ACCCS-Project Sak­thi) which is a ma­jor com­po­nent of the Tac­ti­cal Com­mand Con­trol Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and In­tel­li­gence (Tac C3I) sys­tem of the In­dian Army. US Ar­tillery has the Ad­vanced Field Ar­tillery Tac­ti­cal Data Sys­tem (AFATDS) which uses “Fires XXI” com­puter sys­tem for both tac­ti­cal and tech­ni­cal fire con­trol. Due to the dual ca­pa­bil­ity of Fires XXI, it has re­placed the Bat­tery Com­puter Sys­tem (for pro­vid­ing tech­ni­cal fire so­lu­tions) and IFSAS/L-TACFIRE (for tac­ti­cal fire con­trol) sys­tems. Rock­well Collins has de­vel­oped the Joint For­ward Ob­server Mo­bile dig­i­tal joint fires so­lu­tion (JFO Mo­bile) which pro­vides dig­i­tal fires so­lu­tion, en­ables dig­i­tal calls for in­di­rect fires on ar­tillery, mor­tar and range sys­tems, is fully in­te­grated with AFATDS, en­ables tar­get­ing via a dig­i­tal sys­tem and fi­nal re­quest for fire sup­port via com­bat net ra­dio when re­quired, passes fire­sup­port re­quests to C2 sys­tems or di­rectly to dig­i­tally en­abled fire sup­port as­sets and can plan com­pre­hen­sive fire mis­sions. ACCCS, AFATDS and JFO mo­bile pro­vide fast re­ac­tion to fire re­quests, syn­er­gies all the fire power re­sources and in­te­grates into the army’s com­mand and con­trol net­work. There are plans for im­prove­ments to the M777A2’s Dig­i­tal Fire Con­trol Sys­tem. Se­lect US Army ar­tillery units will be equipped with the Joint Ef­fects Tar­get­ing Sys­tem (JETS) sys­tem which is a new hand­held de­vice that en­ables ar­tillery ob­servers and in­fantry sol­diers to pro­vide pre­ci­sion tar­get lo­ca­tions and can then pro­vide laser des­ig­na­tion for pre­ci­sion am­mu­ni­tion. The cur­rent sys­tem is Light­weight Laser Des­ig­na­tor Rangefinder which weighs 35 pound (about 11 kg) and con­sid­ered too heavy for a sin­gle gun­ner to man as com­pared to JETS which weighs only 5.5 pounds (about 2.5 kg).

Tar­get ac­qui­si­tion

Elec­tro-op­tic In­frared, radar and laser sys­tems pro­vide the army with ex­cep­tional bat­tle­field ca­pa­bil­i­ties, both by day and night. Indige­nous Weapon Lo­cat­ing Radar (WLR) Swathi pro­vides fast, au­to­matic and ac­cu­rate lo­ca­tion of en­emy weapons like mor­tars, shells and rock­ets at a range of 50 km. In­dia also has AN/TPQ-37 Fire­finder which is a mo­bile WLR sys­tem of Thales Raytheon Sys­tems. Its suc­ces­sor is TPQ-53 radar which in ad­di­tion to its counter-fire and counter- drone mis­sions, can also per­form short range air de­fense (SHORAD) role. Laser range find­ers pro­vide ac­cu­rate range to the tar­get.

Air­borne Sen­sors

UAVs have rev­o­lu­tionised RSTA and tar­get dam­age as­sess­ment due to their speed and reach. In­dia has also ac­quired Is­rael Aero­space In­dus­tries’ (IAI) Searcher and Heron UAV. Brief de­tails with some other ex­am­ples are:

Searcher. Searcher is a multi mis­sion tac­ti­cal UAV which can carry out the role of sur­veil­lance, re­con­nais­sance, tar­get ac­qui­si­tion, ar­tillery ad­just­ment of fire and dam­age as­sess­ment. Searcher has been con­stantly im­proved from MkI to MkII and MkIII. The Searcher MkIII has mul­ti­ple op­er­a­tional con­fig­u­ra­tions, SAR/GMTI (Syn­thetic Aper­ture Radar/Ground Mov­ing Tar­get In­di­ca­tor), SIGINT and EO/IR sys­tems. It has a max­i­mum alti­tude of >23000ft (about 7010 m), en­durance of 18h with a mis­sion ra­dius of 350km.

AAI Cor­po­ra­tion’s (an op­er­at­ing unit of Tex­tron Sys­tems) Shadow®.

The Shadow is des­ig­nated as the RQ-7B in US and op­er­ates at brigade level. It has range of about 125 km. RQ-7B trans­mits im­agery and teleme­try data di­rectly to the Joint Sur­veil­lance and Tar­get At­tack Radar Sys­tem, Ad­vanced Field Ar­tillery Tac­ti­cal Data Sys­tem and oth­ers sys­tems in near real time.

Pre­ci­sion Guid­ance Mu­ni­tion (PGM)

A PGM (also called smart weapon, smart mu­ni­tion, smart bomb) is a guided mu­ni­tion de­signed to pre­cisely hit a spe­cific tar­get. Dur­ing the Cold War pe­riod, the Soviet Union’s su­pe­rior tank force pre­sented a se­ri­ous con­ven­tional threat to US and NATO forces in Europe which was partly off­set by US nu­clear weapons but the re­quire­ment was to pro­vide a non-nu­clear off­set which started the evo­lu­tion of PGMs. The ex­pe­ri­ence of US Forces in Viet­nam also led to the con­clu­sion that PGMs can en­gage in­fra­struc­ture tar­gets like bridges and also cause less col­lat­eral dam­age. Other tar­gets could be radars, in­te­grated air de­fense sys­tems and com­mand and con­trol cen­tres within range. PGMs would be self guided and thus could be launched from a longer range when op­er­at­ing from an air­borne plat­form thus re­duc­ing the risk to the pi­lot and the air­craft. PGMs used by US Forces have been suc­cess­ful in the Mid­dle East and thus the ad­ver­saries have changed their tac­tics to in­clude use of widely dis­persed forces in ur­ban ar­eas thus re­quir­ing even more pre­ci­sion. PGMs is the area where ar­tillery can im­prove rad­i­cally to pro­vide dev­as­tat­ing, ac­cu­rate and al­most in­stant fire. As usual U.S. through De­fense Ad­vanced Re­search Projects Agency (DARPA) leads the field to de­velop PGMs to be launched from land as well as air. DARPA had been work­ing on many tech­nolo­gies like lasers, elec­tro-op­ti­cal sen­sors, mi­cro­elec­tron­ics, data pro­ces­sors and radars which would all be­come crit­i­cal com­po­nents of the the first PGMs.

In 1978, DARPA in­te­grated a num­ber of th­ese ef­forts un­der its As­sault Breaker pro­gramme which laid the tech­no­log­i­cal foun­da­tion for sev­eral smart-weapon sys­tems like the Joint Sur­veil­lance Tar­get At­tack Radar Sys­tem (JSTARS), which in­te­grated PGMs with ad­vanced ISR sys­tems; an Air Force air-to-ground mis­sile with ter­mi­nally guided sub­mu­ni­tions; the long-range, quick­re­sponse, sur­face-to-sur­face Army Tac­ti­cal Mis­sile Sys­tem, which fea­tured all-weather, day/night ca­pa­bil­ity ef­fec­tive against mo­bile and other tar­gets; and the Bril­liant An­tiar­mor Tank (BAT) sub­mu­ni­tion, which used acous­tic sen­sors on its wings to de­tect and tar­get tanks. DARPA also minia­tur­ized the GPS re­ceivers in the 80s which led to ad­vance de­vel­op­ment in in­er­tial nav­i­ga­tion. Other de­vel­op­ments were the Joint Di­rect At­tack Mu­ni­tions (JDAM) GPS kits, which gave un­guided or laser-guided mu­ni­tions high-pre­ci­sion ca­pa­bil­i­ties. Key to th­ese de­vel­op­ments were gal­lium ar­senide chips which en­abled the RF and mil­lime­ter wave cir­cuits needed in pre­ci­sion weapons. The self-guided, anti-ar­mour Javelin mis­sile’s suc­cess was due to its the two-di­men­sional ar­rays which made mis­sile’s seeker al­most fool proof. Other de­vel­op­ments in in­er­tial nav­i­ga­tion is Pre­ci­sion In­er­tial Nav­i­ga­tion Sys­tems (PINS), Mi­cro in­er­tial nav­i­ga­tion tech­nol­ogy (MINT) and Chip-scale atomic clock pro­gram (CSAC). PINS is an ef­fort to ad­dress the vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties of GPS nav­i­ga­tion like jam­ming, spoof­ing, blind spots, etc. by us­ing ul­tra-cold atom in­ter­fer­om­e­ters to re­duce the po­si­tional ac­cu­racy drift of INS by sev­eral mag­ni­tudes to achieve near-GPS ac­cu­ra­cies. MINT aims to cre­ate high-pre­ci­sion nav­i­ga­tion aid­ing sen­sors that di­rectly mea­sure in­ter­me­di­ate in­er­tial vari­ables, such as ve­loc­ity and dis­tance, to re­duce the er­ror en­coun­tered while in­te­grat­ing sig­nals from ac­celerom­e­ters and gy­ro­scopes. The CSAC pro­gram is de­signed to cre­ate ul­tra­minia­tur­ized, low-power atomic time and fre­quency ref­er­ence units that will achieve a 200X re­duc­tion in size and a 300X re­duc­tion in power con­sump­tion, with no loss in ac­cu­racy, as com­pared to the ex­ist­ing tech­nol­ogy. A pro­jected ap­pli­ca­tion is a wrist­watch-size, high-se­cu­rity UHF com-

mu­ni­ca­tor and jam-re­sis­tant GPS re­ceiver, but over­all CSAC could dras­ti­cally im­prove chan­nel se­lec­tiv­ity and den­sity for all mil­i­tary com­mu­ni­ca­tions. All th­ese tech­nolo­gies will at some stage be em­ployed di­rectly or in­di­rectly for ar­tillery PGMs.

The US Army’s Ar­ma­ment Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Cen­ter’s Mu­ni­tions En­gi­neer­ing Tech­nol­ogy Cen­tre deals with cur­rent and new gen­er­a­tions of Pre­ci­sion Guid­ance Kit (PGK) and Ex­cal­ibur, as well as the Ad­vanced Pre­ci­sion Mor­tar Ini­tia­tive (APMI—GPS guid­ance for 120mm mor­tars) and the Very Af­ford­able Pre­ci­sion Pro­jec­tile (VAPP) to in­crease ground force pre­ci­sion strike. Pre­ci­sion guid­ance tech­nolo­gies have helped con­vert­ing area sup­pres­sion weapons into PGMs/like Ex­cal­ibur, a GPS-guided ar­tillery pro­jec­tile ex­tend­ing the range and ac­cu­racy of cur­rent and fu­ture 155 mm how­itzers. The Army’s PGK, which re­places the fuse in the nose of con­ven­tional 155-mm ar­tillery, sim­i­lar to what the Air Force Joint Di­rect At­tack Mu­ni­tion did for “dumb” bombs.PGK pro­vides a Cir­cu­lar Er­ror of Prob­a­bil­ity of 50m for all ranges, de­pend­ing on the type of am­mu­ni­tion be­ing fired. There are plans to de­velop scal­able lethal­ity from non-lethal to lethal re­sponses which will re­quire more pre­cise tar­get lo­cat­ing de­vices and smaller mu­ni­tions. PGMs need re­li­able power sup­ply thus is an­other area of de­vel­op­ment is to pro­vide re­li­able and small sized bat­ter­ies which have a long shelf life. The fu­ture PGM will be hav­ing vari­able lethal­ity, can be redi­rected or ter­mi­nated in flight. It should be able to op­er­ate in any en­vi­ron­ment, with or without GPS and be able to change the type of ex­plo­sion to match the tar­get.

Non-Line-of-Sight Launch Sys­tem (NLOS-LS)

The NLOS-LS, pre­vi­ously known as NetFires and as the Ad­vanced Fire Sup­port Sys­tem, was a tech­nol­ogy demon­stra­tion pro­gramme fo­cused on be­yond line-of-sight fires for the Army’s Fu­ture Com­bat Sys­tem. It is planned for mis­siles in can­is­ter to be ver­ti­cally launched, with a com­mand and con­trol sys­tem in a box. The round in its launch can­is­ter is a com­plete en­tity. Be­ing in a box means NLOS-LS can be mounted on a Humvee or a truck, or set up on the ground. The NLOS-LS can be uti­lized in the Army’s Un­manned Sur­face Ve­hi­cle and in the Navy’s Lit­toral Com­bat Ship. NLOS-LS has two mis­siles. The first is a Pre­ci­sion At­tack Mis­sile (PAM), which was for­merly de­vel­oped by Raytheon Cor­po­ra­tion. The mis­sile trav­els at high speed for min­i­mal time to tar­get or to reach max­i­mum range. It has a vari­able thrust mo­tor, an un­cooled in­frared laser seeker and a multi-mode war­head. The PAM can be uti­lized for both hard and soft tar­gets. The sec­ond is a Loi­ter­ing At­tack Mis­sile (LAM), which has con­tin­ued to be de­vel­oped by both Lock­heed Martin and Raytheon. It car­ries a laser de­tec­tion and rang­ing (“ladar”) seeker, a tur­bo­jet mo­tor, and wings that ex­tend on launch. The mis­sile has a 70km range with a 30-minute loi­ter time. It is able to loi­ter over tar­gets of in­ter­est, do au­to­matic tar­get recog­ni­tion and at­tack tar­gets on its own.

Mag­neto Hy­dro­dy­namic Ex­plo­sive Mu­ni­tion (MAHEM) Pro­gramme

Ex­plo­sively formed jets (EFJ) and frag­ments and self-forg­ing pen­e­tra­tors (SFP) are used for pre­ci­sion strike against tar­gets such as ar­mored ve­hi­cles and re­in­forced struc­tures for which chem­i­cal ex­plo­sive en­ergy is used. The MAHEM pro­gramme aims for higher ef­fi­ciency by us­ing com­pressed mag­netic flux gen­er­a­tor (CMFG)-driven mag­neto hy­dro-dy­nam­i­cally formed metal jets and SFP with sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved per­for­mance over EFJ.

Multi-Az­imuth De­fense — Fast In­ter­cept Round En­gage­ment Sys­tem (MAD-FIRES)

This pro­gramme plans to com­bine the pre­ci­sion and ma­neu­ver­abil­ity of a smart mis­sile with the rapid-fire ca­pa­bil­ity of an ar­tillery shell. Raytheon has been con­tracted to de­velop such a de­vice. MAD-FIRES aims to in­cor­po­rate en­hanced am­mu­ni­tion rounds able to al­ter their flight path in real time to stay on tar­get, and a ca­pac­ity to con­tin­u­ously tar­get, track and en­gage mul­ti­ple fast-ap­proach­ing tar­gets si­mul­ta­ne­ously and re-en­gage any tar­gets that sur­vive ini­tial en­gage­ment.

High Ex­plo­sive Guided Mor­tar (HEGM)

The aim of HEGM is to pro­vide in­te­gral in­di­rect fire mor­tar mu­ni­tion to Ma­noeu­vre Bat­tal­ion and at Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions lev­els. The XM395 will en­gage tar­gets as close as 500m-6,500m thresh­old and 1,000 m-15000m ob­jec­tive.

Some ex­am­ples of cur­rent PGMs M982 Ex­cal­ibur.

This is a 155mm ex­tended range guided ar­tillery shell de­vel­oped by Raytheon Mis­sile Sys­tems and BAE Sys­tems AB. It is a GPS-guided mu­ni­tion, ca­pa­ble of be­ing used for close sup­port of within 75-150 m of friendly troops. It has a range of 40-57km and CEP of around 5-20 m.

M712 Cop­per­head.

This can be fired from a 155mm cal­i­bre gun , is fin-sta­bi­lized, ter­mi­nally laser guided, ex­plo­sive shell in­tended to en­gage hard point tar­gets such as tanks, self-pro­pelled how­itzers or other high­value tar­gets. It can be fired from many types of 155mm cal­i­bre ar­tillery guns like M777, M198 etc. The pro­jec­tile has a min­i­mum range of 3 km and a max­i­mum range of 16 km. For Cop­per­head to func­tion, the tar­get must be il­lu­mi­nated with a laser des­ig­na­tor. Once the laser sig­nal is de­tected, the on­board guid­ance sys­tem will op­er­ate the steer­ing vanes to ma­neu­ver the pro­jec­tile to the tar­get. Cop­per­head op­er­ates in two modes. Bal­lis­tic mode is used with good vis­i­bil­ity and high cloud ceil­ing. Glide mode is used with low vis­i­bil­ity and low cloud ceil­ing.

XM395 Pre­ci­sion Guided Mor­tar Mu­ni­tion (PGMM).

This is a 120mm guided mor­tar round de­vel­oped by Al­liant Tech­sys­tems. Based on Or­bital ATK’s Pre­ci­sion Guid­ance Kit for 155mm ar­tillery pro­jec­tiles, XM395 com­bines GPS guid­ance and di­rec­tional con­trol sur­faces into a pack­age that re­places stan­dard fuzes, trans­form­ing ex­ist­ing 120mm mor­tar bodies into PGMs. It has CEP of 5m at a range of 7000m.

M898 155mm Sense and De­stroy Ar­mour (SADARM) shell.

SADARM can be fired from a nor­mal 155mm ar­tillery gun. SADARM shell has a nose-mounted M762/ M767 fuse set to burst at 1,000 m above the tar­get for re­leas­ing two SADARM sub­mu­ni­tions. The sub­mu­ni­tion is ejected from the pro­jec­tile with the help of two para­chutes. Each sen­sor with the sub­mu­ni­tions has a milli- me­ter ra­diome­ter which scans an area of 150m in di­am­e­ter, tracks and guides the sub­mu­ni­tion onto the tar­get.


M777 How­itzer in ac­tion

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