Military Guns and Ammunition

Hosted by gatnerd

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; 8503 views.

From: gatnerd


"So how many million dollar mortars with another million in guided mortar bombs do you need to have scattered around to cover your operational area?"

You seem really hung up on the price. 

The thing is, waging war is an absurdly expensive enterprise:

"From 2010 to 2012, when the U.S. had as many as 100,000 soldiers in the country, the price for American taxpayers surpassed $100 billion each year."

That's $274 million per day.

So for the cost of 1x day of the war, we could buy 23,000x $12k guided MAPAM mortars.... enough to launch 50x PGM strikes a day for 460 days. 

By the time we run out of mortars we would have spent $126 billion on other operational expenses....


Shipping cost alone is absurd. It costs $36k in jet fuel just to fly a C130 from Germany to Afghanistan. Each C130 can hold, at max, 1000x 120mm mortars by weight; by volume its likely much less. 

So simply delivering 23k mortars (guided or dumb) tp A'stan would be a minimum of $828,000 in fuel, to say nothing of the additional cost of the airplane maintenance....

Once the mortars arrive, its then another $400 per gallon of gas to transport them to their respective firing locations:

And thats just the fuel cost. Then there's internal shipping to the battlefield. Trucks being hit by IED's or just damaged by the inhosbitable roads to get supplies to firebases. 

Then there are bases so remote that they can only be resupplied by helicopter/osprey. V22 cost per flight hour $82k...


The point being, if PGM allow you to use 1/5-1/10th the amount of shells you would need to use with unguided munitions, going with unguided shell is a foolish way to look for cost savings.


  • Edited 10 September 2019 2:34  by  gatnerd

From: Red7272


Patrol in middle of nowhere is fired on so they call in support. They don't actually know specifically where the enemy is so plastering the location with air burst dumb rounds makes as much sense as anything. If it's a compound then ROE won't allow them to fire on it anyway. If clearing the compound becomes the plan then reinforcement and drones and the on-call Super Tucano become part of the plan in case approval is given to attack the compound.

gatnerd said...

The thing is, waging war is an absurdly expensive enterprise:

And that is with the current 3rd rate equipment. Actually trying to field better equipment will drive that price up further. 

The only change I'm suggesting is more mortars in the mortar platoon and procuring a new fairly low tech vehicle mounted mortar system 


From: TarheelYank


Do you have any information on sniper locator systems?  Specifically the environments they work in, assuming they do work, and their size.


From: Red7272


Short answer is no.

Long answer is, that as far as I am aware, the number of actually useful systems is very small.

This is the blurb for a German system but it has little in the way of facts


From: poliorcetes


The last one is Spanish-made. By Expal, more preciselly

In reply toRe: msg 56

From: gatnerd


Ground based APKWS continues to be refined; a self contained unit for mounting APKWS + Laser designator to various 'technical' vehicles

L3Harris’ Vehicle-Agnostic Modular Palletized ISR Rocket Equipment (VAMPIRE) is a portable kit that can be installed on most vehicles with a cargo bed for launching of the advanced precision kill weapons system (APKWS) or other laser-guided munitions.


  • Designed to complement the low-cost, low-signature and availability of common NTVs and fit in any pickup or vehicle with a cargo bed
  • Installation can be completed in approximately two hours by two people using common tools
  • Can be configured to meet customer-specific requirements
  • Everything is on the pallet. Power supply eliminates the need for a 24-volt alternator on the vehicle
  • The WESCAM MX-10™- RSTA independent stabilized sighting system provides ISR overmatch
  • Can be equipped with APKWS or other laser-guided munitions

Telescoping aiming mast allows targeting with truck behind cover:

This would be a pretty fantastic system for Ukraine, as well as other smaller militaries relying on 'technical' type pick up trucks. 


From: taschoene


gatnerd said:

This would be a pretty fantastic system for Ukraine, as well as other smaller militaries relying on 'technical' type pick up trucks.

APKWS is apparently in the last big tranche of gear from the US to Ukraine.  It's not crystal clear what the launch platform is, but I suspect integration with aircraft is likely to be too time-consuming.  So a ground launcher is quite plausible.  And probably implies that there is a current US user (USSOCOM most likely).


From: gatnerd


Turns out the Vampire APKWS has been sent to Ukraine:

Interestingly its being billed not as a ground to ground weapon, but as an anti drone system:


From: Farmplinker


I suspect it will kill more ground than air targets.

In reply toRe: msg 59

From: gatnerd


APKWS continues to be upgraded, now with a multipurpose HEDP warhead.

HEAT APAM Warhead for Hydra Guided Rocket

Watch live fire testing at the Mile High Test Center in Sierra Blanca, TX May 3-5, 2022 for General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems HEAT APAM Warhead ...

Paired with the earlier shown proximity fuse (or ideally a multi mode programable fuse for proximity, point impact, or point impact delay) this will make for a really versatile little missile. 

The article lists current all in cost of APKWS is $27,500.