Defence Solutions For Artillery Batteries

Discussion in 'Land Forces' started by Kunal Biswas, May 20, 2013.

  1. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    These days the trend is towards lighter and more airmobile artillery (such as the French Caesar 155mm/52cal. SP gun), and away from the traditional heavy SP guns. That, of course, means lighter armor or no armor, making them nearly as vulnerable as towed artillery. The primary defense for artillery batteries has always been 'shoot and scoot'; remain undetected, fire a quick barrage, then change location before enemy counterbattery fire can destroy you.

    The problem is that the threat to artillery batteries is evolving quickly. The reaction time for counter-battery fire is reduced. Counterbattery RADARs can see rising shells and calculate the origin point and pass targeting info to the counter-battery fire unit before the first shells even impact. Also, with the advent of drones and other technological advances in recon and surveillance technology, artillery units are much more likely to be discovered and attacked while in transit or setting up. And enemy airpower is always going to go after artillery batteries as targets of opportunity if it happens across them. In addition, smart weapons used for counterbattery fire (like, say, NLOS) can find and destroy mobile artillery in transit after it has left its recent firing position. And with the increased use of specops teams, artillery units could be a juicy soft target for enemy raiders. The threat to artillery batteries is definitely increasing.

    This is obviously going to force a change in defensive tactics and equipment. The possibilities I see are:

    - Low observables. The enemy has to find your artillery batteries to destroy them. If mobile artillery can be invisible until they shoot, that would greatly increase their chances of survival on a conventional battlefield. Low IR and RADAR signatures, camouflage, and even lower noise emissions will be required. This can be done both in SP gun vehicle design and improved camo netting. Also, frequency-hopping comms make RDF efforts more difficult.

    - Air defense. I think all artillery batteries have at least some organic air defense assigned to them, even if it is just shoulder-fired SAMs. But with drones, stealthy attack aircraft and helos and smart missiles with loiter capability appearing on the battlefield, much more robust air defenses will be a must.

    - Counter-counterbattery defense. Since Iron Dome has appeared, the ability to shoot down incoming enemy shells has become a reality. As this technology inevitably becomes cheaper, smaller and lighter, it will likely become an integrated part of the defenses of artillery units.

    - Counter-surveillance. The enemy locates batteries using counterbattery RADARs. Giving artillery units an organic capability to jam enemy counterbattery RADAR would be quite useful. Also, since artillery units already operate drones to spot targets, it may be possible to arm some of those drones with anti-radiation missiles to attack enemy defensive and/or counterbattery RADARs the moment they begin emitting. They could even carry jamming pods to jam counterbattery RADARs and comms.

    - Increased mobility. The trend towards lighter, cheaper truck-based SP artillery has the unfortunate effect of decreasing the mobility of SP artillery, especially in very heavy terrain. Where there a only a few roads through extreme terrain, wheeled artillery will be far easier for the enemy to find. This also obviously limits where SP artillery can be deployed. The enemy can also cut the few critical roads fairly easily, especially if there are a lot of vital bridges on those roads. Units that can traverse rougher terrain faster will have increased survivability and areas of operation. This does not automatically mean switching back to conventional heavy tracked SP guns. I suspect that other unconventional, cheaper and lighter solutions will appear.

    - More sophisticated projectiles. We already have smart projectiles for artillery, but their capabilities are aimed at precision targeting. Imagine if you could fire shells off at an angle away from the target in a position masked by high terrain between you and enemy. The shell immediately changes course to head towards the target, which gives a curved trajectory that, once the shell appears on enemy counterbattery RADAR cannot be ballistically tracked back to the point of origin. And there is no reason we cannot eventually have low observables projectiles with a sabot to protect their anti-RADAR coating from barrel rifling. This kind of technology could make 'shoot and scoot' unnecessary in at least some cases.

    - Increased security. Because of the threat of enemy specops teams, I expect to see more organic ground security in the org table of artillery units going forward. Some commandos with just light ATGMs and mortars would wreak havoc on an artillery emplacement. Even a civilian spy with a cellphone sneaking through the woods is a deadly threat. Countering that requires a strong defense perimeter, good local surveillance and aggressive patrolling. That means more resources and troops. Small security drones, terrain sensors and smart mines beingdeployed around the artillery emplacement,and even armed robot sentries may start being a standard part of an artillery unit.


    I find the idea of future defensive measures for artillery to be fascinating. In our recent wars, artillerymen have mostly had the luxury of operating in relatively secure areas with little fear of being attacked, except by the occasional not-too-accurate rocket or mortar round. That may well not be the case next time. These are just some ideas I threw out to stimulate discussion of that. I will be interested to hear what experienced 'cannon cockers' have to say, along with everybody else who wishes to comment.

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    This is not my works but another member Ought Six at Mp.net, Its a very interesting though out observation i had similar but lost in time track :) , Though I wish to know what our DFI members think about this ..
    @Ray sir, @W.G.Ewald, @ersakthivel, @arnabmit , @Keshav Murali, @AVERAGE INDIAN, @Patriot, @SilentKiller , @cobra commando , @pmaitra , @WMD , @Neil, @civfanatic , @ladder, @asianobserve, @bengalraider, @captonjohn , @Damian, @militarysta

    And all others, This is a very interesting subject.. @[email protected], @sayareakd Sir.. , @DivineHeretic
     
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  3. Damian

    Damian Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    I would not throw away tracked, better protected (and heavier) SPGH's in future, and it seems that some armies do not wish to switch completely to truck based SPGH's.

    Well in fact we can also have a truck based SPGH with relatively good armor protection, just look at Czechoslovak vz.77 Dana and Slovakian Zuzana

    Swedish Archer is also difficult to call lightly armored tough not in the level of tracked SPGH.

    The truth is that there is place for towed, lighter wheeled and heavier tracked artillery. It is utter stupidity to throw away one or two in favor of one, believing that one solution, is solution to all problems.
     
  4. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    I think good army need all types of guns, towed, self-propelled, armor wheel, armor tracked and light weight.
     
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  5. DivineHeretic

    DivineHeretic Senior Member Senior Member

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    Good points.

    If I may add a few observations....

    1. Low observability: A vehicle in movement can be detected either by radar, the heat signature or the column of dust arising due its movement. The heat signature is due to the heat of the engine and/or the the crew and the heat of the outer body due to the Sun (note that in the third point, the heat stays long after the Sun is gone). The best solution would be to use a thermal camo paint, as described by @Damian in the Tank section.

    The dust problem is pretty difficult to solve, especially since Arty guns seldom operate alone. Large convoys are usually involved and they can kick up a dust storm.

    The radar tracking is the biggest problem. Especially with SARs, which can detect the metal of the vehicle/gun itself. Best way would be to use composites and/or design the vehicle as such that the gun gets concealed. Still, very difficult to, mask the vehicle, although the type of the vehicle can be hidden. No-onw would waste the AF to destroy a abandoned truck now.

    2: Air defence is usually provided, in the form of AAAs or as you mentioned, MANPADs, if the artillery group is large enough. In any case, the guns do operate well behind the frontlines and are provided cover, and thus gunships are less of a problem. The problem is that because several guns are required (at times in hundreds), a relatively small area gets saturated by guns, making a very appealing target for cluster munitions, especially the stand-off ones. They are currently impossible to stop.

    3: Counter-counter battery: I agree with your view, but wars are fought on cost-profit basis. But usually the best method to defeat Artillery defense is to overwhelm the guns. In any case, the IA uses the guns in massive formations, (400 in Tiger Hill alone). Such a large volume of guns and the associated enormous volume will overwhelm any Iron-Dome defenses.

    4: The primary reason the military loves the Guns is because they are cheap, easy to operate and have massive collective firepower. The Radar jammer could be a good idea, but it will substantially increase the cost of the artillery regiment/division. Also, a jammer will require a LOS to the tracking radar to be able to jam it which could be next to impossible from a safe distance in difficult terrain.. Not a good idea to place a ground based Jammer too close to the hostile radar btw.

    Of course, we will likely see the Arty regiments get their own drones for target spotting. Some of these can be easily converted to detect radar signals of a WLR, allowing radar destruction strikes from MLRS/ER-Arty etc. Or you could even place a jammer onboard them, though the power will likely be too low.
     
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  6. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    I believe that mobility should be always based on tracks, Track vehicles are not slow but there maintenance is high and fuel consumption too..

    Solution should be a well protected mobile tracked SPGH but should be low on weight, Perhaps a example is KWM donar which is light tracked SPGH compare to most in his league..
     
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  7. binayak95

    binayak95 Regular Member

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    Check this outt
    [​IMG]
    The NLOS cannon was a tracked decently armored and very fast. It was designed with Active Protection Systems and could do MRSI. I think its a perfect balance of all the points Kunal sir made.
     
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  8. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

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    Fort Bragg recieves the new M119A3 105mm Light Gun

    Artillerymen at Fort Bragg first unit in U.S. Army to receive digitized towed howitzer M119A3.
    Artillerymen at Fort Bragg, N.C., became the first unit in the Army to receive digitized M119A3 howitzers, which will make it possible for Soldiers to start firing rounds and evade return fire quicker in combat. The M119 is a lightweight 105 mm howitzer that provides suppressive and protective fires for infantry brigade combat teams.

    The upgraded M119A3 is equipped with a digital fire control system that includes an inertial navigation unit, guided-precision system technology and other features that will give the weapon the ability to determine its precise geographical location on its own.


    Artillerymen Fort Bragg first unit in U.S. Army to receive digitized towed howitzer M119A3 1805133---Army Recognition

    dont know much about artillery but...:;

    according to me digitization of system ..:: pinpoint firing and reduction of men needed for single battery could help a lot [ stand corrected ]
     
  9. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Barracuda is a good solution for hiding arty or MBRL and support vehicle from eyes, optics and radar so does thermal seekers, DRDO produce this and used by Arjun MBT..

    =================================

    One solution is to have guns cover in large area as single units which are connected via a communication network based on BMS, Things get harder for counter arty to counter multiple position separated by a large distance, In this way a simple unit in a formation can detect the enemy counter arty and can engage it as well, this gives counter - counter arty capability..

    ==================================

    In this case mordanisation is important and offensive power via third dimension which is air, In form of drones..

    ===================================

    IA already operate sercher-1 for arty, Bu it would be more interesting that drones themselves armed to engage enemy counter arty positions if needed..

     
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  10. binayak95

    binayak95 Regular Member

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    I have a strange idea. Why not use aerial artillery for special cases, like you know a 105mm RCL gun on a AC-130 spooky?? You can't hit it with Counter Artillery and once Air Dominance and SEAD has been achieved, it can wreak havoc on enemy armour and army columns??
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    What do u guys think @Kunal Biswas @sayareakd @DivineHeretic and all others?
     
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  11. JBH22

    JBH22 Senior Member Senior Member

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    ^first thing the AC-130U SPooky USA will never sell to anyone and this plane operates mostly at night to avoid anti-aircraft fire.
    Second to develop such a plane will require lots of time better buy a dedicated CAS plane such as SU-25 or the upgraded variant Su-39.
     
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  12. binayak95

    binayak95 Regular Member

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    Maybe we can develop an armed version with the Russians as a byproduct of the MTA??
     
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  13. JBH22

    JBH22 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Too much time to develop such a plane and frankly speaking do we really need such thing.

    US uses it to pound technologically inferior opponents India would be facing troops with minimum MANPADS at their disposal.
     
  14. binayak95

    binayak95 Regular Member

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    MANPADS won't be there if we use a bird like this to hit terrorist camps and infiltrators a-la Kargil and Tiger Hill. (Stingers were available in Kargil but with High altitude attacks, probability of hits would be minimised.
     
  15. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Its a good idea but one cannot make so many for so many arty batteries along the Border..

    The solution has to be small nimble and precious and at the same time affordable..

     
  16. DivineHeretic

    DivineHeretic Senior Member Senior Member

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    The AC-130 is primarily for use in Afganistan, Iraq, Yemen,Africa etc, i.e. Countries where counter air capability, both in the form of Interceptors or SAM is non-existant or unwilling/incapable of engaging the gunship. The USA brand does buy you that clout in some countries. In the face of even a reasonable SAM nerwork, these slow, large giants would have next to no chance of survival (note that counter measures are available). And moreover, their role is to support JSOC ops in hostile territory.

    We are very unlikely to find ourselves in a situation where we can use the Spooky, both the Pakistanis and the Chinese do have a reasonable stock of Manpads, even if we assume that DEAD missions have knocked out most of the SAM network. And the fact remains that you can't lose a $60-100 million AC to protect a SF section, unless they've captured Hafiz Saeed.

    And in any case, the the SF needing support will be better off with less conspicious support, in the form of MLRS or heli-gunships or even CAS AC or better yet the AURA Combat Drone. It would ensure that the enemy is unaware of the significance of your SF team and their objective. Note that where we are likely to operate is very much closer to our bases, allowing us to maintain fire support by other means and for a linger time than the Spooky.
     
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  17. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    one manportable sam hit and this will bite the dust, it looks good when you have COMPLETE air dominance and enemy dont have Manportable SAM.
     
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  18. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    this is much better system made on BMP



    [​IMG]

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    OFB 105mm SPG - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
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  19. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    This kind of drones may prove effective for arty batteries, these are mobile via trucks and can be launched from any terrain..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In a network centric environment these can be very effective force multipliers, Surveillance and strike UAV in one package that is too can take off from any where without Runways..

     
  20. JBH22

    JBH22 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Refer to Divine Heretic he gave a more technical presentation. US use this plane to pummel technologically inferior planes and a CAS plane is effective at low altitude a more like in the fight type plane therefore it should be robust and able to withstand hits.
     
  21. average american

    average american Senior Member Senior Member

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    http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/army/fm34-130.pdf

    Every weapon has its time and place.

    artillery is obsolete, especially field artillery, their sites can be located by satellites and drones and takeing out by powered glide cluster bombs a hundred miles away. Every country is technological inferior to the USA. We like it that way. When you can operate a one ton robot car for years on mars you will be our equal.

    You dont want to be there. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=BMYnWTd8v8M

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bg9uoI8RQKc&feature=player_embedded
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2013

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