Artillery Trajectory

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Chojun
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Re: Artillery Trajectory

Post by Chojun » 19 Dec 2011, 23:03

The only other problem with the MRLS is that when it is firing with ballistic trajectory, the turret looks like it's going to fall off the chassis XD

And just as an aside, am I correct in assuming that one of the main reasons for non-breech loading mortars is for mobility and simplicity?

Mortars don't use sabots, do they?

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Re: Artillery Trajectory

Post by zany » 19 Dec 2011, 23:09

stiv wrote:
I've noticed where IDF weapons fire across the ground is dumb - I think the MRLS does this
This change was made awhile back because someone didn't like the fact that MRLS fired in a very high (but kinda sorta ballistically correct) trajectory when firing on near-by targets - so it was made into a direct-fire weapon. Kind of dumb, IMHO. But then I like the whole gravity's rainbow thing.
:shakehead:
dumb is right

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Re: Artillery Trajectory

Post by lav_coyote25 » 19 Dec 2011, 23:17

Chojun wrote:The only other problem with the MRLS is that when it is firing with ballistic trajectory, the turret looks like it's going to fall off the chassis XD

And just as an aside, am I correct in assuming that one of the main reasons for non-breech loading mortars is for mobility and simplicity?

Mortars don't use sabots, do they?
no. sabots are strictly a cannon type shot profile. very straight trajectory, relatively speaking... :)

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Re: Artillery Trajectory

Post by Corporal Punishment » 20 Dec 2011, 11:53

Yes, muzzle-loader mortars are for mobility and simplicity. Firing only in the upper elevation range, mortars can divert recoil directly into the ground, eliminating the need for a heavy and voluminous gun mount. Thus, a mortar has only four components: Base plate, barrel, bipod and sight. The base plate lies on the ground and provides a steady footing. The barrel locks into the base plate by a ball joint so it can be tilted and rotated. The bipod is a fairly light part that serves to aim the barrel and takes no recoil force. The sight is mounted to the bipod, coaxial to the barrel. This setup allows only for muzzle-loading in the first place. And there is another advantage: The trigger has no moving parts. As soon as the shell is dropped into the barrel, it hits a rigid pin in the center of the barrel floor that ignites the percussion cap.
Today, there are three common types of muzzle-loader mortars:
Light grenade launchers, ~60mm caliber, carried and operated by a single soldier, organized in squads, integrated into infantry fighting companies.
Medium grenade launchers, ~80mm caliber, 3-5 man crew, organized in platoons, integrated into the infantry battalion's heavy company.
Heavy grenade launchers, ~100-240mm caliber (mostly 120mm), usually installed permanently on a armored vehicle by today, organized in platoons, integrated into the infantry battalion's heavy company.

No, sabots are not employed with artillery munitions. This is technically impossible since there are no cases to hold the sabot in place before shooting. Also, the muzzle energy and accuracy of mortars are to low for penetrator projectiles to be effective. There are othertypes of mortar and howitzer rounds to release sub-munitions though, such as bomblets or flechettes. You can even find penetrator rounds for howitzers. But all these variants are not considered DS munitions as the carrier is discarded through time-delayed detonation as opposed to aerodynamic drag.
Most of the time, sabots will be employed in APFSDS cannon munitions. There are also DS rifle rounds, commonly referred to as accelerator rounds for big game hunting.
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Re: Artillery Trajectory

Post by Chojun » 20 Dec 2011, 20:03

Interesting - your technical expertise is appreciated :D

I've always kinda wondered about Warzone's artillery/IDF weapon scheme. In real warfare, I would venture a guess that non-precision-guided artillery and mortars are used more for an area effect than for armor-piercing kinetic-energy penetrator type stuff (where sabots are used, where you indicated that they are not, which makes sense). Also, aren't most shells fitted with a proximity fuse so that they detonate above-ground for maximum effectiveness?

It seems that generally, Warzone could see much improvement to the Artillery GPM.

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Re: Artillery Trajectory

Post by Corporal Punishment » 20 Dec 2011, 22:43

Traditional artillery is indeed optimized towards area effect, commonly referred to as splash damage in RTS game terms. This was the state of art until the late 20th century. Contemporary mortars still employ this fighting style, given their role as infantry support weapons to suppress enemy infantry or chase them out from their foxholes.
Howitzers tend to become precision weapons nowadays. This is only partially due to guided shells. Such munitions are mostly used with older howitzers to prolong service time and save the expense of acquiring new weapon systems.
Up-to-date weapons like the german Panzerhaubitze 2000 employ longer barrels, real-time weather data and better computers to increase accuracy with unguided shells. This is so effective that the PzH2000 actually has a "inaccuracy program" built into the target computer that artificially creates hit spread, should area fire be requested. That said, a modern howitzer expects accurate target coordinates and usually achieves a uni-kill, which means the first shot hits. This is intimately connected to the shoot-and-scoot ability, meaning your self-propelled howitzer has already left it's firing position when the shell reaches the target. CB fire naturally becomes increasingly difficult with this.

As far as fuses go, there are several types for diverging applications. Proximity fuses are used for traditional area fire against infantry or infrastructure, so with mortars they are the predominant type. Howitzers always used both proximity and impact fuses to about the same degree, depending on the type of target. Impact fuses are employed for armor-piercing shape-charges, for example. A relatively new development are time-delayed impact fuses for use against concrete fortifications. They detonate the shell only after it penetrated the roof of a structure and reached the interior. Brutally efficient. And then there are the penetrator rounds for use against emplaced armored vehicles I already mentioned. No fuse at all, just a tungsten-carbide dart to ruin your day. Of course, cluster munitions also employ proximity fuses.
If you'd ask a artilleryman, I'm sure he could name even more fuses and their application. I'm just a ranger so from my point of view the type of munition used is secondary as long as the target I paint is destroyed. And ammunition selection is not something I need to worry about when it comes to my assault rifle. I have exactly one option.
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Re: Artillery Trajectory

Post by Chojun » 21 Dec 2011, 07:51

And also as an aside, it also makes me wonder how much of the 'painting' role is going to switch to the UAV, if it hasn't already.

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Re: Artillery Trajectory

Post by Corporal Punishment » 22 Dec 2011, 14:09

If we're talking barrel artillery, I guess not very much. These weapons are meant for support of front-line units. That is, they stand by until called upon by combat forces that need some hard nut cracked. In other words, the human spotter is there anyway.

With rocket artillery, this may be another matter. Systems like MLRS were dubbed 'Division's Shotgun' in the past because they were reserved specifically to the commander-in-chief of a division to be used when the battle went south somewhere. Their range was not much larger then that of howitzers, but they produced massive area damage by being not very accurate at firing a large number of cluster munitions. A MLRS battery would simply level everything in a 450m target radius, remnants of own forces included, every 5 minutes. The division has three batteries. You don't need a spotter for that.
But with the introduction of MLRS2 in 2011, this changes drastically. The upgraded system offers a range of 140km at point accuracy with GPS self-guided missiles. This, theoretically, allows it to be used as a cheap alternative to medium-range cruise missiles like TAURUS, BrahMos or Storm Shadow. It is easy to imagine a UAV patrolling a given area and call for a MLRS2 strike if a target enters it's sector. It would also be possible to sent a UAV to locate and paint a priority target which you know is somewhere in a certain area such a a high-level command post or a ammunitions dump. This is the traditional role of the ranger forward spotter. But while a man on the ground might need days to do it, the UAV can achieve the same thing in a matter of hours, possibly minutes.
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