Indian Army Artillery

ezsasa

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The chap running Alpha defense has posed an interesting question about utility of 120 km arty round.
what does DFI think about this?
we did look into ramjet arty shells a few years back when that IIT-M project news came into public domain, don't recall if we dwelled into operational utility at that point in time.

-ideal instinctive answer would be always good to have hitting from long range standoff distances.
-at the bare minimum such a shell will be able to do the same role that a 81mm mortar does for infantry, that is to disrupt an incoming infantry advance.
-whether or not such a long range shell can be used for offensive purposes will depend on CEP and metrology information available.
-force the adversary to push their ammo depots and command bases more into the rear beyond 50 km from the LOC & LAC.

more thoughts welcome.
=========
120 KM Ranged Hypersonic Artillery Shell from Kalyani

 

Okabe Rintarou

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The chap running Alpha defense has posed an interesting question about utility of 120 km arty round.
what does DFI think about this?
we did look into ramjet arty shells a few years back when that IIT-M project news came into public domain, don't recall if we dwelled into operational utility at that point in time.

-ideal instinctive answer would be always good to have hitting from long range standoff distances.
-at the bare minimum such a shell will be able to do the same role that a 81mm mortar does for infantry, that is to disrupt an incoming infantry advance.
-whether or not such a long range shell can be used for offensive purposes will depend on CEP and metrology information available.
-force the adversary to push their ammo depots and command bases more into the rear beyond 50 km from the LOC & LAC.

more thoughts welcome.
=========
120 KM Ranged Hypersonic Artillery Shell from Kalyani

We won't have an all RAMJET round stockpile. Any arty regt will only ever have a set no. of RAMJET rounds. Rest will be conventional BB. This is because RAMJET rounds lower the explosive yield and thus damage dealt per round.

So would it lead to us placing our artillery at standoff ranges? No. Our Arty would still be positioned at a depth where it would have been positioned even without RAMJET rounds (except for some few specific missions that mandatorily require such a deep placement).

But using RAMJET rounds from medium field arty regts does open up further possibilities:-
  • Limited Counter-Battery role (earlier limited to rocket arty)
  • Limited interdiction of enemy C2 nodes, stockpiles and critical infra beyond the tactical battle area
  • Increasing frontage covered by each arty regt allowing higher firepower concentration due to interlocking fields of fire
The last one in particular, can be pictured through this ideal simulation:-
  • Usually we have one Arty Bde per Div, so say we have three Inf Bde, each supported by one Arty Regt each in the Div.
  • Assume they all have Dhanush howitzer with almost 40 km range with Base Bleed range.
  • Now say each Inf Bde covers a frontage of 40 km. And the arty is placed at a depth of (say) 30 km behind the front to protect against counter-battery by Paki guns (usually you'd place the guns at 20 km depth so that they'd at least be able to target enemy rear upto 20 km, which is the depth at which tactical battle area is considered, but lets say enemy counter battery forces us to deploy our arty at depth of 30 km).
  • That means there is very little overlap (around 2-6 km either side) between fields of fire of adjacent Arty Regts.
  • This means that if one Inf Bde momentarily requires support of more than one Arty Regt (maybe because its own supporting Arty Regt is suppressed by enemy counter-battery), then it can't really rely on other Arty Regts. of the Div that are supporting its adjacent Inf Bdes because they are out of range (unless they move closer).
  • But if the three Arty Regts have access to RAMJET rounds with even 80 km range (let alone 120 km), it can now hit enemy in the tactical battle area not just of the Inf Bde its supporting, but also the two Inf Bde adjacent to it.
  • So now if the Inf Bde in the middle has its own supporting Arty Regt suppressed and needs fire support, it'll simply call the other Arty Regts of the Div that are supporting its adjacent Inf Bdes and the response will be immediate. Because the other Arty Regts have the targets in range, they'll immediately provide fire support without having to move.
Obviously this is an idealized example, real situation is much more fluid and you don't draw perfect circle arcs, have uniform placements etc but the point still stands. RAMJET rounds allow us to better reinforce our frontline with rapid surge capability in indirect fire support. Earlier, it would have required physically moving two more Arty Bdes closer to the objective. Or placing our arty at shallower depths, thereby making them more vulnerable to enemy counter-battery.

In reality, it would also depend on IACCCS-Shakti system supporting such stuff, but I feel that is only a trivial software update away.
 
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karn

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We won't have an all RAMJET round stockpile. Any arty regt will only ever have a set no. of RAMJET rounds. Rest will be conventional BB. This is because RAMJET rounds lower the explosive yield and thus damage dealt per round.

So would it lead to us placing our artillery at standoff ranges? No. Our Arty would still be positioned at a depth where it would have been positioned even without RAMJET rounds (except for some few specific missions that mandatorily require such a deep placement).

But using RAMJET rounds from medium field arty regts does open up further possibilities:-
  • Limited Counter-Battery role (earlier limited to rocket arty)
  • Limited interdiction of enemy C2 nodes, stockpiles and critical infra beyond the tactical battle area
  • Increasing frontage covered by each arty regt allowing higher firepower concentration due to interlocking fields of fire
The last one in particular, can be pictured through this ideal simulation:-
  • Usually we have one Arty Bde per Div, so say we have three Inf Bde, each supported by one Arty Regt each in the Div.
  • Assume they all have Dhanush howitzer with almost 40 km range with Base Bleed range.
  • Now say each Inf Bde covers a frontage of 40 km. And the arty is placed at a depth of (say) 30 km behind the front to protect against counter-battery by Paki guns (usually you'd place the guns at 20 km depth so that they'd at least be able to target enemy rear upto 20 km, which is the depth at which tactical battle area is considered, but lets say enemy counter battery forces us to deploy our arty at depth of 30 km).
  • That means there is very little overlap (around 2-6 km either side) between fields of fire of adjacent Arty Regts.
  • This means that if one Inf Bde momentarily requires support of more than one Arty Regt (maybe because its own supporting Arty Regt is suppressed by enemy counter-battery), then it can't really rely on other Arty Regts. of the Div that are supporting its adjacent Inf Bdes because they are out of range (unless they move closer).
  • But if the three Arty Regts have access to RAMJET rounds with even 80 km range (let alone 120 km), it can now hit enemy in the tactical battle area not just of the Inf Bde its supporting, but also the two Inf Bde adjacent to it.
  • So now if the Inf Bde in the middle has its own supporting Arty Regt suppressed and needs fire support, it'll simply call the other Arty Regts of the Div that are supporting its adjacent Inf Bdes and the response will be immediate. Because the other Arty Regts have the targets in range, they'll immediately provide fire support without having to move.
Obviously this is an idealized example, real situation is much more fluid and you don't draw perfect circle arcs, have uniform placements etc but the point still stands. RAMJET rounds allow us to better reinforce our frontline with rapid surge capability in indirect fire support. Earlier, it would have required physically moving two more Arty Bdes closer to the objective.

In reality, it would also depend on IACCCS-Shakti system supporting such stuff, but I feel that is only a trivial software update away.
In that interview Baba Kalyani merely mentioned rocket assisted artillery rounds not any ramjet .. He said this in the context of the large chamber volume of the ATAGS being able to accommodate extra propellant . The ATAGS with its 48 Km range with normal rounds outguns anything the Pakistanis have by 8 Kms.
So your point on moving artillery further back to avoid counter battery fire is already a given.
And thanks for this write up the mutual support point is well thought out.
 

Okabe Rintarou

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In that interview Baba Kalyani merely mentioned rocket assisted artillery rounds not any ramjet .. He said this in the context of the large chamber volume of the ATAGS being able to accommodate extra propellant . The ATAGS with its 48 Km range with normal rounds outguns anything the Pakistanis have by 8 Kms.
So your point on moving artillery further back to avoid counter battery fire is already a given.
And thanks for this write up the mutual support point is well thought out.
Wait, they are building 120 km range round with rocket assist and not RAMJET!? But wouldn't that limit its effect at target significantly? RAMJET should be better since you don't need to carry oxidizer with it. Oh, well. At least IIT is working on the RAMJET shell.

ATAGS does have that range advantage, yes. And its not just 8 km. Most of Paki arty would be hard pressed to hit even 30 km with Base Bleed. Which is why I considered Dhanush in my example. With ATAGS, things change. But maybe not, if we take dispersion of the rounds in mind. And in which case, even Dhanush would have to be placed closer. In reality, all these things depend on actual field conditions, weather, altitude, the actual range tables, operational intel and objective, etc.
 

Love Charger

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Wait, they are building 120 km range round with rocket assist and not RAMJET!? But wouldn't that limit its effect at target significantly? RAMJET should be better since you don't need to carry oxidizer with it. Oh, well. At least IIT is working on the RAMJET shell.

ATAGS does have that range advantage, yes. And its not just 8 km. Most of Paki arty would be hard pressed to hit even 30 km with Base Bleed. Which is why I considered Dhanush in my example. With ATAGS, things change. But maybe not, if we take dispersion of the rounds in mind. And in which case, even Dhanush would have to be placed closer. In reality, all these things depend on actual field conditions, weather, altitude, the actual range tables, operational intel and objective, etc.
Do you pics of. 155 mm arty rounds used by Indian army
Made by ofb ?
Plus is there a special 155 mm general purpose round for bofors other than m107?
 

karn

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Wait, they are building 120 km range round with rocket assist and not RAMJET!? But wouldn't that limit its effect at target significantly? RAMJET should be better since you don't need to carry oxidizer with it. Oh, well. At least IIT is working on the RAMJET shell.

ATAGS does have that range advantage, yes. And its not just 8 km. Most of Paki arty would be hard pressed to hit even 30 km with Base Bleed. Which is why I considered Dhanush in my example. With ATAGS, things change. But maybe not, if we take dispersion of the rounds in mind. And in which case, even Dhanush would have to be placed closer. In reality, all these things depend on actual field conditions, weather, altitude, the actual range tables, operational intel and objective, etc.
He actually said this in the context of how in kargil they were given rush order of arty shells they made 60k shells in 5 months and then never got an order again :facepalm: .. but now they are designing their own rounds "Rocket assisted hypersonic rounds" upto 120km range. Could be ramjet who knows.
I'm not sure but cant the length of the arty shell be increased, its only the chamber that holds the propellant that is fixed right ?
It could also be possible that all the RAPS type shells are GPS guided . So they can pint point known areas like bridges also hit communication centers .. Glorious levels of counter battery fire ..
 
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Okabe Rintarou

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He actually said this in the context of how in kargil they were given rush order of arty shelly they made 60k shells in 5 months and then never got an order again :facepalm:
Wait, Kalyani made arty ammo in Kargil!? News to me.

.. but now they are designing their own rounds "Rocket assisted hypersonic rounds" upto 120km range. Could be ramjet who knows.
I'm not sure but cant the length of the arty shell be increased, its only the chamber that holds the propellant that is fixed right ?
Its not about the length. All up weight of the projectile would be limited by propelling charge, so you'd have to lower explosive filling to compensate for rocket/RAMJET weight.

EDIT: You can compensate for that though, if you use more potent explosive filling, say CL-20 maybe? But not sure if its cost effective and safe enough.
 

Dark Sorrow

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The chap running Alpha defense has posed an interesting question about utility of 120 km arty round.
what does DFI think about this?
we did look into ramjet arty shells a few years back when that IIT-M project news came into public domain, don't recall if we dwelled into operational utility at that point in time.

-ideal instinctive answer would be always good to have hitting from long range standoff distances.
-at the bare minimum such a shell will be able to do the same role that a 81mm mortar does for infantry, that is to disrupt an incoming infantry advance.
-whether or not such a long range shell can be used for offensive purposes will depend on CEP and metrology information available.
-force the adversary to push their ammo depots and command bases more into the rear beyond 50 km from the LOC & LAC.

more thoughts welcome.
=========
120 KM Ranged Hypersonic Artillery Shell from Kalyani

Soon 60-80 km range will become norm in artillery fire. The artillery engagement is expected to be pushed to range of 100-125 km with rocket assisted/ramjet.

For once we are not waiting for system to be proved by West or PRC before starting development.

  1. Cost comparison with MRLS - Tube artillery is always economical. Even rocket assisted.
  2. It is comparatively much difficult to track an artillery shell compared to rocket of MRLS by counter battery radars
  3. Tube artillery tends to be very accurate
  4. Tube artillery requires less logistic support compared to MRLS and are also readily across LOC and LAC deployed. We even have tube artillery infrastructure across IB
  5. MRLS systems are closely tracked due to their lethality.
  6. Number of MRLS is very less compared to Tube artillery
With M1299 normal engagement range is to be extended to 70 km by 2025. Higher range is need for an hour. PRC has similar developments

With advent of UAV and powerful EO and Radar sensors engaging ISR at range of 250 km inside enemy area has become very simple.

Uses cases (targeting)
  1. Enemy HQ (Even their GHQ)
  2. C2 infrastructure
  3. Communication Infrastructure
  4. Barracks
  5. Air defense assets
  6. Strategic assets (e.g. Jammers, ISR hardware)
  7. Bridges
  8. Logistic Infrastructure (ammunition storage)
  9. Counter Battery Fire (against Tube Artillery and MRLS)
  10. Enemy Vehicles Deep inside enemy territory
One of the biggest advantage of such round is the physiological.
It will be demoralizing for the enemy if they know we can target them with our artillery but their artillery will not be able to respond.

One advantage of extremely long range artillery

 
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Hari Sud

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Soon 60-80 km range will become norm in artillery fire. The artillery engagement is expected to be pushed to range of 100-125 km with rocket assisted/ramjet.

For once we are not waiting for system to be proved by West or PRC before starting development.

  1. Cost comparison with MRLS - Tube artillery is always economical. Even rocket assisted.
  2. It is comparatively much difficult to track an artillery shell compared to rocket of MRLS by counter battery radars
  3. Tube artillery tends to be very accurate
  4. Tube artillery requires less logistic support compared to MRLS and are also readily across LOC and LAC deployed. We even have tube artillery infrastructure across IB
  5. MRLS systems are closely tracked due to their lethality.
  6. Number of MRLS is very less compared to Tube artillery
With M1299 normal engagement range is to be extended to 70 km by 2025. Higher range is need for an hour. PRC has similar developments

With advent of UAV and powerful EO and Radar sensors engaging ISR at range of 250 km inside enemy area has become very simple.

Uses cases (targeting)
  1. Enemy HQ (Even their GHQ)
  2. C2 infrastructure
  3. Communication Infrastructure
  4. Barracks
  5. Air defense assets
  6. Strategic assets (e.g. Jammers, ISR hardware)
  7. Bridges
  8. Logistic Infrastructure (ammunition storage)
  9. Counter Battery Fire (against Tube Artillery and MRLS)
  10. Enemy Vehicles Deep inside enemy territory
One of the biggest advantage of such round is the physiological.
It will be demoralizing for the enemy if they know we can target them with our artillery but their artillery will not be able to respond.

One advantage of extremely long range artillery

60 to 80 km conventional artillery is not a norm today or tomorrow. It is rockets which when fired by an artillery gun will give that range. The key is how to light up the rocket/artillery shell after it leaves the barrel of the gun and the electronics inside the shell to withstand 4000 atmosphere of pressure.
 

karn

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Dark Sorrow

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60 to 80 km conventional artillery is not a norm today or tomorrow. It is rockets which when fired by an artillery gun will give that range. The key is how to light up the rocket/artillery shell after it leaves the barrel of the gun and the electronics inside the shell to withstand 4000 atmosphere of pressure.
M982 Excalibur has already achieved range of 70 km.
ATAGS has also demonstrated around 60 km of range with BB shells.
 

Hari Sud

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M982 Excalibur has already achieved range of 70 km.
ATAGS has also demonstrated around 60 km of range with BB shells.
‘Both these shells are rocket powered to add to the distance. Difficult to make and difficult to aim, except too much marketing for the Excalibur, it is yet to succeed in war. Forget Ukraine…. Where most NATO supplies are pure marketing effort. Imagine winning a war with 6 French guns and 8 German guns and 22 supplies so far with American M777.
 

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