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surpreme June 3rd, 2011 03:47 PM

Will modern warfare eliminate the use of artillery?
 
I would like to start a discussion on artillery what use is it in modern warfare? I use be cannoneer in the U.S. Army I'm starting to feel what the need of artillery now that you have so much technology especially aircrafts. The battlefield is not same like it was in the 20th century thing has change. You have satellites, GPS, computers, and you have more intell now than in the past also you have countries building more missiles now. The modern warfare is more mobile now so what will become of artillery? Personally I don't see what the role or use of artillery in modern warfare. Warfare is more airborne now with so many helicopter gunships. Who invest in artillery anymore? Beside N. Korea with over 11,000 artillery pieces. Also the 1st/320th FA of the 101st Airborne (air assualt) Division are doing more infantry base role in Afghanistan. Would love to have more opinion on this subject.

Waylander June 3rd, 2011 04:56 PM

Modern (I emphasize this word) artillery is as usefull as ever.

Battlefield management systems with integrated artillery networks in conjunction with modern sureillance systems like UAVs bring modern artillery into the 21st century.

In contrast to air power artillery is much more responsive and much less restricted by weather than fast or rotary air.
Against modern opponents artillery may very well be more survivable than fast or rotary air. Bringing a flight of fast movers into position over a heavily contested battlefield may result in lots of losses. Modern SPHs performing shoot and scoot fire missions out of well dispersed fire positions are hard to counter.
Ammunition like Excalibur or GMLRs are also nice performers when precision is important while stuff like SMARt is really dangerous for vehicles.

Aircrafts also can't perform continious fire missions or support own troops with smoke and illum.

Artillery has proven it's worth again and again in the conventional and unconventional conflicts of recent years.

STURM June 3rd, 2011 06:27 PM

For countries that can't afford integrated, networked forces comprising - armour, artillery, air power and ISR assets - artillery will still be their main and cheapest weapon of choice to inflict damage at long distances. Due to their price tag, artillery locating radars such as ARTHUR, Firefinder and COBRA are not being bought in bulk by non-NATO or 1st world armies.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Waylander (Post 221446)
Modern SPHs performing shoot and scoot fire missions out of well dispersed fire positions are hard to counter.

Why do SPH's when on fire missions tend to operate with their hatches open with ammo piled up behind the vehicle? I've seen photos of Israeli M-109s firing on Lebanon and Dutch PZ2000s in Afghanistan do it. Is it solely because of ventilation and the heat and the lack of counter battery fire?

surpreme June 3rd, 2011 07:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Waylander (Post 221446)

Bringing a flight of fast movers into position over a heavily contested battlefield may result in lots of losses. Modern SPHs performing shoot and scoot fire missions out of well dispersed fire positions are hard to counter.
Ammunition like Excalibur or GMLRs are also nice performers when precision is important while stuff like SMARt is really dangerous for vehicles.

Aircrafts also can't perform continious fire missions or support own troops with smoke and illum.

Good point there. That is right. If you don't have a good ADS what good is it when a fleet apache are coming at you like in Iraq in Desert Storm. The Iraq artillery was getting ate up. American units didn't recieve alot hit from Iraq artillery. Coalition forces did call in fire missions but in the Desert Storm mostly there were calls for airstrikes and apache units.

Waylander June 4th, 2011 03:15 AM

@Sturm
This practice is solely done because of lack of counterfire. It is just convenient to operate like this when you shoot alot of constant fire missions in a hot enironment. IIRC one Israeli crew paid the price for this during Lebanon '06 when a Hezbollah rocket hit their ammo pile by luck.

@Supreme
Using the Gulf Wars as an example is difficult. Using your argument all of the Iraqi equipment was useless for modern war. But the US had such a crushing superiority that all the Iraqi stuff was in danger of getting hit by fast or rotary air.
But coalition artillery was used heavily and to good effect during Desert Storm and Iraqi freedom.
Tube and rocket artillery helped to stop the Iraqi 3rd Armoured Division when it tried to cross the Saudi border and it softened up the Iraqi positions before the 1St US Corps hit the Republican Guard Divisions. These are just two examples of a lot of situations were artillery was used to good effect.

The same applies to Iraqi Freedom. Lots of fire missions done there and often enough more responsive and lasting than air strikes.

Ghgt99 June 4th, 2011 06:32 PM

I believe that artillery will not be eliminated by modern warfare.

Yes, there are planes and such, but they cannot provide smoke cover.

Artillery is also relatively cheap as a weapon for long distances.

My2Cents June 6th, 2011 09:16 PM

Airpower is great when you can get it (if you are army the request has to get bumped up 2 to 4 levels for approval for helicopters, and at least 2 more for Air Force fixed wing unless pre-assigned), can afford to wait, are not too close to the target. Airpower is also generally limited at night or limited visibility, or in bad weather. On the other hand, fixed wing airpower can strike much harder and at ranges that field artillery is ever likely to achieve, and helicopters supply extremely mobile artillery beyond the range of ground bound units.

Artillery support is more likely to be available and in sizes more appropriate for the jobs at hand. For artillery you have a choice of mortars (81mm) available at the company level, heavy mortars (120mm) at the battalion level, and 155mm howitzer and/or MLRS at the brigade level. Currently only the mortars lack PGMs, but that will probably be rectified with the next couple years. Precision Guided Munitions (PGMs) are what are important because they increase the effectiveness, and reduce the munitions requirement per target, of artillery by 10x to 20x. The other half of the equation is modern communications and targeting gear allows ever smaller units to direct supporting fires. Frankly, the military appears to still feeling their way with the new technology, which is possibly why they are holding back on precision guided mortar rounds. When PGMs do arrive for the mortars I expect that ammunition consumption will not drop by much, instead the tubes will be prioritized to support individual companies, platoons, or even squads, for a massive increase in low level firepower.

The systems complement each other, and you usually need both to get the job done right. ;)

My2Cents June 6th, 2011 09:24 PM

And lets not forget the latest addition, kamikaze mini UAV carrying warheads. There is supposed to be at least one that can carry a 1/2 lb. warhead (about the size of a small grenade) up to 10 miles and loiter for at least10 minutes, all for under $20,000 per unit (not including the reusable control unit). Can’t you think of some nasty ways to use a thing like this in a place like Afghanistan? :daz

Feanor June 7th, 2011 01:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by My2Cents (Post 221657)
Artillery support is more likely to be available and in sizes more appropriate for the jobs at hand. For artillery you have a choice of mortars (81mm) available at the company level, heavy mortars (120mm) at the battalion level, and 155mm howitzer and/or MLRS at the brigade level.

At least in the USMC company mortars are 60mm, and btln is 81mm. There are no 120s.

dragonfire June 7th, 2011 08:41 AM

Also very important to consider the terrain, you would find Artillery a very useful deterrent in border areas, mountainous regions. It was very effectively used during the Kargil war to dislodge entrenched intruders and to soften up targets before infantry assault.

The cost of operations would be lower than that of airborne ops, also sustainability is also higher, if advances in battery and counter battery technology are any thing to go by then Artillery would be in existence for much longer than anticipated, what with Electronics, computation advancements resulting in more accurate offensive and defensive firing.

kato June 7th, 2011 01:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by My2Cents (Post 221659)
There is supposed to be at least one that can carry a 1/2 lb. warhead (about the size of a small grenade) up to 10 miles and loiter for at least10 minutes, all for under $20,000 per unit (not including the reusable control unit).

For that kind of money you can just as well toss around terminally-guided 120mm mortar shells with the same precision - and a lot more bang. Or buy a 40mm automatic grenade launcher and a jeep to get it into position...

My2Cents June 7th, 2011 06:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kato (Post 221746)
For that kind of money you can just as well toss around terminally-guided 120mm mortar shells with the same precision - and a lot more bang. Or buy a 40mm automatic grenade launcher and a jeep to get it into position...

Yes, but can you send it to recon the back side of the hill to see if there is a target in the first place? And return for reuse if not? Or wait while that target is confirmed as valid?

The UAV has twice the range of the 120mm mortar, weights a less that the 120mm mortar round, not to mention the mortar to fire it, or the HMMWV to haul them both, over the terrain that they can barely cross, which is probably has mines/IEDs. The same applies to the 40mm AGL, except that it has on 10% of the range.

And can either 120mm HE round or a magazine of 40mm grenades fired at max range take out a sniper on a roof top without flattening the building and/or causing casualties over a wide radius? Don’t you think that it might be a little tough getting permission to fire in those circumstances?

Besides, once they realize what the things can do, think of all the fun you can by replacing the warhead with the extended life battery pack, buzzing them and watching them scatter, possibly outside the village where you can pound them with terminally-guided 120mm mortar shells and 40mm AGL fire.
:sniper

surpreme January 27th, 2013 11:31 PM

Just reading there is talk about eliminating artillery in the U.S. Army. I don't know how far this will go? Had a discussion will other army buddies they are saying the same thing there thinking about eliminating artillery. If anybody on here have anymore info on this I would like to know.

Rimasta January 30th, 2013 01:51 PM

Artillery is STILL the king of the battlefield
 
American artillery has always been some of the best on earth. Don't forget what Napoleon said, "God fights on the side with the best artillery." U.S. arty played a huge role in stopping the counter-attacking Wehrmacht in WW2, massive arty concentrations stopped the Chinese cold in Korea, the invaluable and timely fire firebases of Vietnam, the steel rain in 1991 and today with GPS guided rounds extending our range to 30 miles yes Artillery has a irreplaceable place on the battlefield. I could do a whole post about arty and a can of whoop ass but there it is Ina brief nutshell.

winnyfield January 30th, 2013 08:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by surpreme (Post 258447)
Just reading there is talk about eliminating artillery in the U.S. Army. I don't know how far this will go? Had a discussion will other army buddies they are saying the same thing there thinking about eliminating artillery. If anybody on here have anymore info on this I would like to know.

Source?


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