This is intended for people interested in the subject of military guns and their ammunition, with emphasis on automatic weapons.
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I don't know much about realistic costs, but it does seem like a fair amount of work is going into lowering costs for sensors.
This method by DARPA looks like its trying to create a 'standardized' seeker that could be used across multiple platforms, increasing economy of scale and lowering costs.
BAE Systems tested the seeker during the first phase of DARPA’s Seeker Cost Transformation (SECTR) program. The SECTR seeker integrates with a wide range of weapon platforms that use munitions and can operate in day or night. It enables autonomous precision guidance via passive electro-optical and infrared sensors in environments where GPS navigation is unavailable or unreliable.
“Low-cost, precision munitions are critical to our customers, which is why we’ve developed a flexible seeker that radically lowers the cost typically associated with precision guidance,” said Mark Meisner, a chief scientist at BAE Systems. “The SECTR program is allowing us to deliver advanced sensing and navigation capabilities for munitions to warfighters faster.”
The seeker’s open architecture enables highly accurate, competitive, low-cost munitions to be capable of navigating and locating targets in limited-access and denied environments. It provides these munitions with quick-reaction capabilities while meeting stringent cost, size, weight, and power requirements. The open architecture also enables rapid seeker integration into current and new weapon systems.
"The javelin is still going to be better than this in some key ways, but at $75k a pop you can get two of these spikes for the price of one pike!"
Yes, the Javelin seems like the better dedicated Anti Tank system due to the further range and top attack profile.
But the low cost, low weight, and self contained nature of the Spike SR makes it a more versatile GPMM - General Purpose Mayhem Munition - for infantry.
Not ideal for modern tanks (although could defeat APS with salvo fire), but perfect for attacking IFV's/Lesser vehicles, anti-structure, long range anti personnel, and general destruction.
Seems like it would be the perfect 'resistance weapon' for somewhere like Taiwan or Cyprus that has a credible need of repelling / bleeding a superior invasion force.
Tanks would suffer from these in MOUT, where they can be attacked from above and/or rear.
In MOUT, dumb RPGs may suffice.
In MOUT, dumb RPGs may suffice.
Yup, about to say the same thing. Pz 3 is the best of it's kind.
Right. I actually quite like the spike SR so long as people don't try to replace jav's with it.
Well, yes, but actually no. At least if you want a weapon that is safe and reliable in all weathers and conditions. You could make a system that works* for a low price but it would be a cheap system. You wouldn’t necessarily know what capabilities** you weren’t getting either. * for a given value of “works” ** things like “functions in the rain”, “doesn’t accidentally go off when you are using your radio” or “doesn’t loop back onto operator”
That's a rather condescending response, while vaguely hand-waving away my point rather than countering with any substance.
If you're asserting that cost reduction on those scales cannot be achieved while simultaneously meeting military specifications, I'm afraid we'll have to agree to disagree. Cost of hardware (such as thermal sensors) have fallen more than one orders of magnitude since the early 90s, expansion of infrastructure driven by the consumer electronics industry has also driven down costs of hardware, and when combined with advances in software have become capable of incredible things. There's nothing in there that entails sacrificing safety or reliability, if anything it can be made more reliable.
Refleks said...That's a rather condescending response, while vaguely hand-waving away my point rather than countering with any substance.
It was intended as a lighter tone than perhaps it came across. Maybe I misread the tone of your initial post which could be taken as accusing every arms manufacturer as incompetent and corrupt, with no more substance than my response.
Refleks said...Cost of hardware (such as thermal sensors) have fallen more than one orders of magnitude since the early 90s,
You can indeed get surprisingly cheap thermal imagers these days. I have one that clips onto my phone. It’s not a patch on a good (and hence expensive) one, and that goes a long way beyond image quality when new. Operating Temperature range is a big difference between consumer electronics and hardened gear.
As another example, my bargain bin Bresser binoculars aren’t nearly as good as my Zeiss ones, but they do more or less the same job.
Refleks said...expansion of infrastructure driven by the consumer electronics industry has also driven down costs of hardware, and when combined with advances in software have become capable of incredible things. There's nothing in there that entails sacrificing safety or reliability, if anything it can be made more reliable.
When all this hardware is designed for consumer use, there are many factors that impact safety or reliability. Part of the improvements in performance is down to making parts of the hardware smaller, which directly impacts physical and EMI robustness.
My point, as much as anything, is that you can make a cheap guided munition that will work in certain situations but there are reasons, which are not immediately apparent, why military stuff is expensive. If you could convince contracting militaries to accept less evidence of safety then you could bring the price down, but many of those requirements are hard won, in both materiel and human cost.