gatnerd

Military Guns and Ammunition

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This is intended for people interested in the subject of military guns and their ammunition, with emphasis on automatic weapons.

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APKWS Mini MLRS   Army Guns 20+mm

Started 5/9/19 by gatnerd; 7782 views.
EmericD

From: EmericD

5/9/19

gatnerd said...

Then the MLRS is parked somewhere within 5km of the target, while the infantry either drive or walk closer to the target. Then they laze the target, radio the MLRS, and they launch.

I think that Tony pointed out that the rocket is not "lock after launch", so you need to park your mini MLRS in direct view of the target so the rocket "see" the laser point before launch.

But maybe they included some inertial guidance capability so the rocket can be fired in an indirect fire fashion, then lock on target during the descending part of the trajectory (lock after launch)?

poliorcetes

From: poliorcetes

5/9/19

OTOH M230 and a good enough stabilization system would not weight so much and it could offer more shots and certain capability of indirect fire. Consider also a 81mm mortar self-loaded, of course

 

My point is that a Chinook could carry internally 4 THeMIS armed with different stations and offer an immediate support fire to a platoon

gatnerd

From: gatnerd

5/9/19

That's a good point; I'm not exactly sure. There are numerous mentions of the laser seeker having a range of 14km. I took that to mean that it can detect a laser from 14km away.

The DASALS seeker is actually 4 seekers, one on each fin. So presumably at least one is pointing towards the ground. And the seeker does not activate until 0.5 seconds after launch.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Precision_Kill_Weapon_System

So I figured that so long as the rocket is pointed in the correct direction of the target, once it gets airborne it should be able to "look down" with one of its wings sensors and pick up the laser and fly towards it.

However I don't know if that is the case.

ZailC

From: ZailC

5/9/19

All four "seekers" view forward (none of them "look down"), probably better to consider them segments of one assembly.

The spread of ground launching the APKWS isn't quite the game-changer its vendors are advertising, though it will place a premium on detecting and destroying designators (as opposed to counter-battery fires). It seems to me that given an adequate laser-warning system, software-only modifications to the APKWS would make it a dandy anti-designator weapon. 

Red7272

From: Red7272

6/9/19

autogun said...

I suppose it would be possible to send a separate illuminator aloft to designate the target, but that requires the added complication of having to operate a UAS in conjunction with the missile system.

I imagine the designator will be with the troops being supported.

In reply toRe: msg 11
Red7272

From: Red7272

6/9/19

ZailC said...

The spread of ground launching the APKWS isn't quite the game-changer its vendors are advertising, though it will place a premium on detecting and destroying designators (as opposed to counter-battery fires). It seems to me that given an adequate laser-warning system, software-only modifications to the APKWS would make it a dandy anti-designator weapon. 

Well the US has been flogging this ground launched rocket package for decades now without getting very far. For use from airborne platforms it obviously will work quite well, but in the ground role a 81 mm or 120 mm mortar would be a better candidate. The rocket will need drogue fins for its minimum range to be much less than its effective range. 

In reply toRe: msg 13
gatnerd

From: gatnerd

6/9/19

Looking at the burn rate for the 70mm rocket motor:

https://ndiastorage.blob.core.usgovcloudapi.net/ndia/2003/gun/hawl.pdf

The APKWS Seeker doesn't activate until 0.5 seconds after launch, at which point the rocket is already traveling 1000fps. 

As such, I imagine the seeker must have a fairly broad 'cone of detection' with some ability to look downward, as any type of upwardly angled launch (as we see in the previous Fletcher design) would place the rocket 300'+ in the air pointing upwards before the seeker activates. 

 

But, the Fletcher seems to work:

The FLETCHER 70mm rocket launcher system test firing took place late in May 2018 at an undisclosed location in USA at the specific request of an, also undisclosed, group of end users. The aim of the test-firing was to prove the concept of FLETCHER when used as a ground-based weapon system and to demonstrate the capability to a range of interested specialist users from across the globe. The test firing was a huge success, achieving a 100% target hit rate at ranges between 2 km and 5 km.

https://www.armyrecognition.com/eurosatory_2018_official_news_online/successful_test_firing_of_fletcher_70mm_rocket_launcher_announced_at_eurosatory_2018.html

autogun

From: autogun

6/9/19

gatnerd said...

The test firing was a huge success, achieving a 100% target hit rate at ranges between 2 km and 5 km.

I suspect that what this tells you is that the test ground was fairly level and uncluttered. It would be interesting to see an analysis of the effective range and hit probability of the system in a variety of circumstances, including moving targets which in average terrain would be appearing and disappearing behind buildings, vegetation, or even sand dunes etc.

 

  • Edited 06 September 2019 3:34  by  autogun
In reply toRe: msg 14
gatnerd

From: gatnerd

6/9/19

Turns out BAE spells out the exact specs:

https://www.baesystems.com/en-us/product/apkws-laser-guided-rocket

Our guidance section is designed to lock onto targets from over 3 kilometers away, keeping aircraft and laser designators at a safe distance from threats.
Innovative by design, the APKWS rocket includes advanced DASALS seeker optics located on all four guidance wings. Once fired, the wings deploy, and the optics lock in, guiding the rocket to the target  – delivering accuracy when it matters most. 
  • Wing slot seals protect optics from adjacent firings, sand, and moisture prior to launch to ensure no damage or debris inhibit the seeker from locking onto targets  
  • Optics lock onto moving or stationary targets in open or confined areas, supporting a wide variety of missions, and eliminating the possibility of a lost or uncontrolled rocket after launch
  • 40-degree instantaneous field of regard enables a broad capture area for the rocket to adjust mid-flight and stay on track to its target
gatnerd

From: gatnerd

6/9/19

"I suspect that what this tells you is that the test ground was fairly level and uncluttered. It would be interesting to see an analysis of the effective range and hit probability of the system in a variety of circumstances, including moving targets which in average terrain would be appearing and disappearing behind buildings, vegetation, or even sand dunes etc."

Yes, I'm sure that is the case, and that combat will be more challenging.

BAE claims a 93% hit rate from aircraft so far by US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Even a 50% reduction due to ground combat use would put it at 46.5% hit rate, which would be pretty fantastic. There really is no comparably accurate or effective weapon that can be mounted on small, helicopter delivered vehicles that I'm aware of. 

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