Wednesday, October 10, 2018

King Of Battle

h/t 90 Miles From Tyranny

Army redlegs on M777 Ultralight howitzer practice Darwinian selection on notional
enemy.  Now with twice the rangey goodness as original recipe 155mm.

Dear Redlegs: "Fire mission!"
The Army has successfully fired a 155mm artillery round 62 kilometers - marking a technical breakthrough in the realm of land-based weapons and progressing toward its stated goal of being able to outrange and outgun Russian and Chinese weapons. “We just doubled the range of our artillery at Yuma Proving Ground,” Gen. John Murray, Commanding General of Army Futures Command, told reporters at the Association of the United States Army Annual Symposium.
This concept of operations is intended to enable mechanized attack forces and advancing infantry with an additional stand-off range or protective sphere with which to conduct operations. Longer range precision fire can hit enemy troop concentrations, supply lines and equipment essential to a coordinated attack, while allowing forces to stay farther back from incoming enemy fire.
A 70-kilometer target range is, by any estimation, a substantial leap forward for artillery; when GPS guided precision 155mm artillery rounds, such as Excalibur, burst into land combat about ten years ago - its strike range was reported at roughly 30 kilometers. A self-propelled Howitzer able to hit 70-kilometers puts the weapon on par with some of the Army’s advanced land-based rockets - such as its precision-enabled Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System which also reaches 70-kilometers.

For Common Core grads, 30km is 18 miles. 62km would be 37 miles.
The source notes the newest Russian systems tap out at 40 klicks, so the new setup bones everyone downrange, except us. They also note the use of drones as OTH FO enablers, exactly as was practiced going back to the early 1980s, including by the big guns on the refloated Iowa-class BBs. (That's right, sports fans, we were killing people with drones back to the Reagan era. We just started that out with the Navy's 16" guns providing the punch.)

Being able to accurately shell the shit out of enemy targets from 37 miles away is a game changer. (Presumably, someone may have a chat with Navy Surface Warfare about this development as well, once they get the Obozo-era idiots, civilian and commissioned, out of the warship design department, and go back to fielding surface warships, instead of fielding Floating Diversity Training Classrooms.)

Artillery never gets tired, can fly in all weather, can't be shot down, and can eliminate everything involved in an airstrike, airframe, pilot, etc., except the actual ordnance delivered. One howitzer can deliver as much hate on target as a WWII B17 did, in about 3 minutes.
A six-gun battery outperforms a B-2 strike as far as tonnage delivered (not range) in about  half an hour. And at a cost savings of a couple of billion dollars. Just saying.

Air strikes are great for deep interdiction. But they pale to artillery for all-weather around-the-clock reliability and volume, unless you're willing to stand up the entire SAC boneyard of B-52s and bring SAC back online.

And that means you won't have some ill-conceived Medal of honor factory Outpost at the bottom of Death Valley in some Turd World Trashcanistan being told on the radio "Sorry, you're outside the range fan of friendly fires, lump it, and good luck with staying alive in Fort Apache."

And yes, fellow ground warriors, infantry will always be the Queen of Battle.

And we know what the King does to the Queen.
This is why you want us on your side.
"Artillery lends dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl." - Lt. Graham, Major Dundee

 And with no apologies to George Carlin, consider the howitzer:
"I really want to f**k up those guys over there, 37 miles away, but I just can't quite get to them from here..."

Problem: Solved.


Badger said...

'Bout 3/4 through a Battle of the Bulge ref-quality work, "Snow & Steel" by Caddick-Adams, 700-odd pages (not to be confused with the Stalingrad novel of the same name). While historians have, uh, historically treated the reference point of the battle as Bastogne, there were a great many battles and small units contacts up & down the front that upset the very tight German timetable & largely f'd up Opn Herbstnebel from the get-go. I've lost track of the number of times, verified by battle reports and diaries of those on the other side who survived, the role of supporting artillery played the pivotal role that allowed the grunts to hold their line. Even the scattered pieces of a battery could perform Time-on-Target against a force in front of some meager Scout platoon & it was devastating to the Wehrmacht. "How ist das Time-on-Target?" Well Heinie we use a thing called 'math'.

This is fine news, as peer/near-peers still place pretty good stock in artillery. Thanks for sharing that.
"Yo! Freight train outbound."

Anonymous said...

mazing what happens when you have a CinC who's more concerned with killing our enemies and breaking their stuff than about making sure everyone has a latrine/head they identify with.....

Back when I was a Civil War reenactor I once crewed a period howitzer in a demonstration because the unit was short-handed. Even though we were firing blanks, you still didn't want to be downrange. We demonstrated this by firing at a big piece of paper stretched between two poles about 25 yards downrange, turned it into confetti.

I remember when the Iowa was put back in service, she was supposed to be stationed at the Homeport on Staten Island (I grew up there), but the explosion in the turret ended that plan.

Mark D

Anonymous said...

Righteous! We have finally surpassed the M107 175mm gun! Charge 3 got you 32 km, IIRC. There were about three US-owned places we could shoot that far. The Israelis used them far longer than we did. The M777 is a much better and more versatile piece, it pains me to say.
You rightfully state all of the advantages (including "lending dignity") of field artillery and NGFS. No brown-shoes to be held hostage and "rescued" by race-baiting "reverends".
A friend who was there said the only time Beirut was quiet in the day was after Iowa had shot into the Bekaa valley.
As for the long-overdue house-cleaning of NavSurfFor, let the press-gangs begin! We'll take all of those SJW bastards out to some prison-hulk in Baltimore harbor.
Boat Guy

Anonymous said...

Its all fine quality military hardware until its used on patriots, dissidents, and other enemies of the state.

Popular Front said...

The old Soviet Union was a great believer in artillery as Stalin himself once observed "A man with more than enough artillery may dice with the Devil and rise from the table a winner". He was right.

Eaton Rapids Joe said...

"...and go back to fielding surface warships, instead of fielding Floating Diversity Training Targets.)" Fixed it for you.

Anonymous said...

God bless the A10. I remember a Afghan army unit fleeing form Isis and not single round was fired from the US "donated" Artillery and the Afghans knew they were coming. things that make you go hmmm.