Tube Missile Artillery: How do they find their targets?


Nethappy

NO WAR PLS
VIP Professional
yeah...in here the artillery is basicly a midd section between 'security classes' in school and prison...and way too often I hear the expression dum, dummer, gunner...
But people in military forums tend to forget that not all military is beeing fighter pilot or some SAS member. Artillery still is the main factor of any conventional land war, in terms of destroying the enemy. Infantry just advances and controll the area after artillery (and in some occasion, air support) have crushed the enemies moral backbone.
Golly it cool, was just joking mate.
Hey not just SAS, any SF and infanty should value their artillery boyz. We move in to control stuff, but our real firepower come from the artillery and air support without them we have little if any chance of winning a fight.

Well in modern warfare, the infanty usually move in frist then call on for pin point fire support from the artillery. As wide area artillery strike normally cause to much collateral damage which is normally unacceptable in modern low intensive warfare.
 

Gollevainen

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but its notworthy that as todays european armyes move more towards 'cirisi-response' and other disguised 'lets-occupy-some-poor-thrid-world-country' type of operations, traditional artillery comes as immobile and expensive branch. Recent news of sweden completely retiring its artillery arent good news. Artillery is pretty much sience, and thougth it mostly requires brute force and good build mens, it requires much brain and mathemathical skills and If the whole tradition is suddenly cut off...there migth not be change to reviela it, when needed.
 

isthvan

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Gollevainen said:
but its notworthy that as todays european armyes move more towards 'cirisi-response' and other disguised 'lets-occupy-some-poor-thrid-world-country' type of operations, traditional artillery comes as immobile and expensive branch. Recent news of sweden completely retiring its artillery arent good news. Artillery is pretty much sience, and thougth it mostly requires brute force and good build mens, it requires much brain and mathemathical skills and If the whole tradition is suddenly cut off...there migth not be change to reviela it, when needed.
Retiring artillery is completely dumb… They don’t understand that you always have to have some kind of support available for the troops… And artillery is still most cost effective way to do that, not to mention that it has best response time… I believe that future of artillery is great especially whit new Caesar type guns and Excalibur and Krasnopol types of grenades… So Golly don’t be afraid, there will be few more generations of grunts making jokes about you artillery boys;-)
 
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Nethappy

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but its notworthy that as todays european armyes move more towards 'cirisi-response' and other disguised 'lets-occupy-some-poor-thrid-world-country' type of operations, traditional artillery comes as immobile and expensive branch. Recent news of sweden completely retiring its artillery arent good news. Artillery is pretty much sience, and thougth it mostly requires brute force and good build mens, it requires much brain and mathemathical skills and If the whole tradition is suddenly cut off...there migth not be change to reviela it, when needed.
Retiring artillery??? That the stupidest i any government or arm force can do.
Artillery is ancient, but it always have it value on the battlefield, there arn't going be anything better then traditional artillery when it come to quick fire support. Some would argue air support could do the job, but most countries aren't like the US they dun have enough plane for the job. There going be a future for artillery if any country really care for their solider.
 

duskylim

Junior Member
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Dear Goll (hope you don't mind the nickname),

Here in the Philippines, we get a little basic infantry training in high school, then the more serious stuff in college. There's a saying that in the military you don't volunteer for anything! I think generally it's good advice - you never know what craziness the officers will think of next.

I took mechanical engineering in college and if you have a little advanced math training the officers pressure you into joining the artillery. At the time I thought it would be nice to have the actual experience of firing real guns so I joined. Our organizational system here is patterned after the American system so the officer is the master gunner (the man who commands the gun) and the fellow who does all the calculating neccesary (me) is his assistant gunner.

We have eight (8) other men assigned as "cannoneers" who help to move the gun around. They are picked from anywhere as they only have to be strong and willing. The officer controls the weapons traverse wheel, and I control the elevation wheel. I also get to pull the firing lanyard (a short rope that triggers the gun) when the order to fire is given! The actual American organization calls for just six (6) cannoneers but as we are a smaller people we just add more men.

Our standard weapon here is the American M-1, 105 mm howitzer, usually World War II vintage. It weighs 2.5 tons and is towed into action by a six-by-six truck. It fires IIRC, a "case-type, variable-charge, separate-loading ammunition" of which the standard round is high explosive, which weighs 33 lbs (about 15 kilos). Unlike most other pieces, it does not have a separate firing baseplate, so that you must be particularly careful as you set up for firing. It also has a limited amount of traverse, only 30 degrees total (15 degrees left and 15 degrees right), so if the target is beyond these limits you tell you cannoneers to move the trail left or right.

The gunner (officer) and assitant gunner (me) get to ride in front with the driver and the rest of the men ride behind with the ammunition. Ahh, the good life! This was a major perk for me, as most of the time the infantry moves around on foot! We got to ride and our truck was never far away. The complete battery includes the guns and their crews, our trucks and a communications team (with their own jeep) . The battalion also has a survey and reconnaisance team, as well as the forward observers and liason guys.

As to your question about aiming I think what your referring to as a collimeter is the surveyor's transit (theodolite) used by the artillery survey team to lay out our position exactly on the maps. The instruments we used were mounted directly on the piece. We did most of our firing by map, as we don't have any advanced gun-laying systems here. Everything is manual. We recently got a battery of Singapore 155 mm gun-howitzers, but the're special and not standard weapons.

Best Regards,

Dusky Lim
 

lazzydigger

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Hi boys.

As a ex-grunt, we loves the artillery. We are also dreaded about them. Enemy fire or "friendly fire" Air burst shells are mightmares.

I haven't got any chance to to play with the big boys. But as grunt we all required to be trained with "all arms call for fire" and Mortar handling. Mortar is the mean fire support at Australian company level. It is light, effective. The set up of the mortar is still quite manual here in the OZ land.

Once the base plate is layed. poles are set up according to compass. and location is ploted on the map via compass ( I know.. this method is old.. but it works. GPS can be used too, if u can get them).

Most 82mm shell don't have Eyes, it just controlled by the number of gunpowerpacked and trajectory. It is up to infantry or artilleryman attached to patrols. Poor bugger have to sling a rifle and crawl in mud just like the rest of us. No truck/rover for him.

Once fire support is needed, grunt give the relative location to their position. base will plot it on map, and give cordinates to lead gun. normally 3 test rounds are fired to "step" on target. Once "fire for effect" is given, it will be a nice show. Phrosphor air bursts are particularly nasty.

We grunt are the eyes for the gun. This is why Australian troop casualty in vietnam is so much lower. lots of combat patrol at section level to seek out enemy position, call to rain some fire, and leave with out a trace. They never know it coming.

Cheers
 

Gollevainen

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Hi duskylim...

I was normal conscript in Finnish army and served in the artillery regiment of one of our three rapid-reaction brigades. The regiment had three training batteryes and one NCO school. (so it was in practise, a battalion) I was in the fireposition battery which trained the actual guncrews. We first practised wiht soviet D-30, 122mm howitser weighting some 3 tons. But our main weapon (in wartime) was to be the new finnish 155mm/52cal gun-howitser weighting about 14tons.

Our guncrew consisted 1 NCO as a gunleader (similar as your master gunner), aimer (which is propaply same as your assistant gunner) which I was, Loader, The guy who puts the ammunition to the chamber, charger, ammunition man 1&2. As aimer, i controlled all the traverse and elevation wheels and the aiming devices. The gunleader just checked that the numbers where correct. Gun leader mainly operated the radio and led the crew. In our longest firing camps, our gunleader had to go audition to some Finnish TV series, so as aimer I was seccond to command and i become the gunleader.

the other roles were only theorethical and the guys changed their roles according to their moods. Whit the 155mm, the aimer operated all the hydraulics and was supposed to drive the gun (it had APU)...but as i didnt have driving license, some other guy drowe the gun...which was actually more faster and flexible system.

But otherwise that sounds rather familiar to our lives....we didnt marched or skiied much, mainly drove whit our cross-country trucks...i sitted also in the front (expect when our gunleader wasent making his TV career, the platoon leader was with ours, as we were the number one gun)...a pleasent thing when we moved from our garrison to the long lapland firingcamp of 900km...My brother who served in the battalions HQ survey team had to spend the whole trip in the back of the lorry...


But of the gunlaying system, the collimator was special auxillary tool whit the fixed guns aming device...some brilliant russian innovation. There was the surveyteams theodolites and idea of firing basicly with the map almoust horrifies me...but guess its due the differences between Finlands and Philiphines civil infrastructures and carthocraphy.
 
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Nethappy

NO WAR PLS
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lazzydigger when did u quit service?

Despite this old method is still in use, most grunt unit nowaday has a GPS and a laser-range finder in the squad, it provide much more accuracy cordinates and at time allow frist round hit possible.
 

duskylim

Junior Member
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Hi Guys!

The Philippines may have the weakest and poorest armed forces in the region, (Cambodia and Laos are poorer in per capita GNP but because of the past wars have probably more equipment), so we have to make do. There is no way we can replace artillery with aircraft as we even can't maintain our airforce. Humiliatingly enough, the AirForce only held a parade during their anniversary as there were no viable aircraft to fly!

When I joined the field artillery, we first trained on mortars; specifically old US Army surplus 81 mm battalion mortars. Thats right! In the Philippine army, mortars larger than 60mm are organic to the artillery not the infantry! The base plate is immensely heavy and is made from a very rough and crude cast iron. The mortar tube itself must be 20 kilos or more and an ugly black ball is cast into it's base. The only smooth and machined part is the bipod assembly.
The goniometer (panoramic telescope) was attached to the bipod.

If you think about it, the mortars were good for training us. Firstly, they were plentiful and easier to handle. Second everything is smaller and lighter. Third, the principles, techniques and even appearance of the goniometer we used were the same as for the howitzer. And lastly, (probably most important) they were much, much cheaper to shoot. I would recommend them for training budding artillerymen.

The Philippines is a tropical country and we have only two types of weather, dry (like a desert) and wet (monsoon). During the dry season its easier to move about because the ground is very hard and can bear a lot of weight. During the wet season, operations are nearly impossible due to flooding and mud, mud, mud.

Most of the time, the guns stay on or near the roads, so that movement and resupply are not a problem (and not just resupply for the guns, especially for the gunners!). Still because there are old (WW2 vintage) and not well maintained (hard to get spare parts), accuracy is only fair. We do not make the ammo, so we shop around (last time I heard we bought Pakistani made ammo).

And yes Goll, we had to rely on maps. Lucky enough the main map-making facility is operated by the Army (called NAMRIA National Mapping and Resource Information Center, endowed by the Germans!) so we could get good scale maps. Just look how they did it in WW1 and WW2. We even used an old US Army manual for training!

Best Regards,

Dusky Lim
 

Gollevainen

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So mortars goes whit the artillery. That migth be reasonable whit small and 'poor' armed forces. In here the 81mm were trained in the infantry battalions, but the 120mm's thougth part of the infantry battalion organisation were trained in the artillery regiment. But our 'real' artillery mens branch-dignity called total refusal to feel 'kinship' to the mortar mens. they were as bad 'opponents' to us as were the engineers...in the weird internal picking order...

The poor conditions are the agony of all artillerymens. In here the ground is muddy in the summertime and hard as a rock in wintertimes...not to mention about the actual rocks that you need to dig bellow the guns trailing legs...But about the support, exspecially like you mentioned, the support of the men is extremely important issue, at least from the actual mens perspective. Our food always arrived to the battery's HQ and we had to send few guys to fetch the food to the entire grew...and the HQ ususally was about mile away from the guns...Did you have the same propelm?
 

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