Rocket Artillery vs Tube Artillery

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by civfanatic, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    As we all know, the Indian Army is currently lagging in the acquisition of new tube artillery. The IA wants around 3500-4000 pieces of towed and self-propelled tube artillery of the 155mm calibre. Given the present scenario, we won't be getting these toys until 2020.

    In rocket artillery, however, the IA and DRDO have been successful in building a substantial force. The indigenous Pinaka MRLS proved its mettle during the Kargil War, and an improved, long-range version of the Pinaka is under development. India also has a large number of 122mm Grad rocket systems, and we recently purchased the giant 300mm Smerch MRLS systems from Russia.

    In this thread, we can look at the relative pros and cons between tube and rocket artillery.


    • Rockets produce no recoil, while conventional artillery systems produce significant recoil. Unless firing within a very small arc with the possibility of wrecking a self propelled artillery system's vehicle suspension, gun artillery must usually be braced against recoil. In this state they are immobile, and can not change position easily. Rocket artillery is much more mobile and can change position easily. This "shoot-and-scoot" ability makes the platform difficult to target. A rocket artillery piece could, conceivably, fire on the move. Rocket systems produce a significant amount of backblast, however, which imposes its own restrictions. Launchers may be sighted by the firing arcs of the rockets, and their fire can damage themselves or neighbouring vehicles.

    • Rocket artillery cannot usually match the accuracy and sustained rate of fire of conventional artillery. However, they may be capable of very destructive strikes by delivering a large mass of explosives simultaneously, thus increasing the shock effect and giving the target less time to take cover.

    • Rocket artillery typically has a very large fire signature, leaving a clear smoke-trail showing exactly where the barrage came from. Since the barrage does not take much time, however, the rocket artillery can move away quickly.

    • Tube artillery can use a forward observer to correct fire, thus achieving further accuracy. This is usually not practical with rocket artillery.

    • Tube artillery shells are typically cheaper and less bulky than rockets, so they can deliver a larger amount of explosive at the enemy per weight of ammunition or per money spent.

    • While tube artillery shells are smaller than rockets, the gun itself must be very large to match the range of rockets. Therefore rockets typically have longer range while the rocket launchers remain small enough to mount on mobile vehicles.

    • The higher accuracy of gun artillery means that it can be used to attack an enemy close to a friendly force. This combined with the higher capacity for sustained fire makes cannon artillery more suitable than rocket artillery for defensive fire. It is also the only practicable system for counter-battery fire.


    Feel free to discuss these points and raise others.
     
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  3. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Rockets do produce Lots of Recoil, Pinaka system use hydraulics stands, While firing these 240MM, hydraulics stands support the vehicle`s strucher, BM-21 use a small 122mm which produce less recoil therefore their are no hydraulics stands besides BM-21 chassis can take over 20tons, hence, MRLS cant shoot while moving..

    Shoot & Scoot is good for MRLS, Specially as a counter arty unit, But we cannot say its a dedicated Shoot & Scoot system Coz after firing they need 20-30 mins for reloading ( BM-21 )..

    While firing MRLS, the vehicle must be in open, As it fires the rocket exhaust can damge other behind or destabilize the vehicle itself..
    The Good thing abt MRLS is it can pound 1000m at once, This ability suit perfectly as a counter arty, But also its dangerous coz it cannot make pin-point attacks as tube arty, therefore its a very dangerous system for friendly troops..
    Its Almost same as a tube arty, On WLR both can be detected less than a sec, And with eyes & ears you can pinpoint tube as well as MRLS..

    It can be done with MRLS too, As MRLS can also fire one round or two as situation demand..
    No, Tube arty use Shells and Charges separately ( FOR 152/155/130mm ), For less range u can put less Charge and for more range more Charge..
    Same can go for Rockets, As Warhead kept sepeartly and rockets are kept separtly, IA use updated Rockets with older Warheads also newer warheads..
    The tube length increase the accuracy also the range of the shell fired, But it cannot be compared with rockets, Rockets Science have very different aerodynamics than a shell fired from short and long barrel..

    A tube arty can be used both offensively also defensively, A tube arty can hit enemy with precision therefore it can save 100s rnds, No that is a bunker in kargil or Enemy tanks in desert, A Single 155mm have a kill radius of 50m, Mostly shrapnel do the Job!

    But While talking on moving enemy SPGH, Gun arty is inferior to MRLS as a single MRLS can pound 500-1000m, hence covering a lot of area where the vehicles can be..
     
  4. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    After reading this, I always wondered why doesn't DRDO mass-produce Pinaka enough to get it in all artillery regiments as well as extend its range and payload to 200-300 KM range so that we might not need to buy Smerch of foreign systems at all. Despite having domestic capability we are still needlessly buying from outside, filling foreign pockets.
     
  5. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    BEML producing lot of other product, Extra plants and workers needed..

    Pinaka 2 will have greater range, 70-100km..
     
  6. drdo is working on a longer version of pinaka with 120km range.it will most probably have some other name because therockets will have different speciafications(approx 300mm as against 214mm of pinaka).i think india should have atleast 12000 tubed and 2000 rocket artillery to fight a two front war.once drdo comes up with155mm and longe range pinaka them we can mass produce it.
     

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