cluster bomb ban

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by BADAJOZ, Apr 15, 2007.

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  1. I'm certain Britain's potential adversaries are delighted with the idea... meanwhile your average hooah on the ground is not going to be very happy if he loses the capability to call in effective fires on enemy troop and armor concentrations and his widow sure as hell isn't going to be satisfied with the explanation that the RAF didn't obliterate the armored column that overran her husbands position because they lacked the proper systems to do so.
  2. They'll be banning guns soon, rumour has it they can sting a bit if they hit you!
  3. Not seen many armoured columns lately since GSFG went home. :D

    It is dumb bombs they have banded. They can still be used but the munitions must have a shelf life after being dropped so that you do not tip toe across them with you big boots. :wink:

    I have also heard it said on another thread or forum that most of these remaining munitions had reached the end of their self-life. An ATO would have better info. But it would seem pointless to send MLRS to Stan without sending any ammo, it would wouldn’t it? :oops:
  4. You've obviously never had to clear up after cluster-munition strike - which can and do continue to cause casualties well after the conflict has finished. The specific systems that are being withdrawn are virtually obsolete and lack any form of discriminatory fuzing.
    Systems of this type are questionable at best in the sort of operations we are engaged in - and have incurred UK casualties due to their use. They were designed for delaying third shock army when they came over the IGB and not designed to be dropped onto ground that we may want to occupy again.

    I know at least one widow and son who are not happy with the explanation of why someone tried to obliterate a position in Iraq using such a system

    Oh and before you ask I have never hugged a tree

    Nomex coat on

  5. It is a very strange idea to ban it as a munition.

    Kneedrop - As you've stated there are serious risks associated with its use and it is probably quite inappropriate in peace-keeping type ops (and in post-war Iraq). But, as professionals (within the British military anyway), the FACs are certainly aware of the implications and that will firmly dictate the decisions on the ground. The main one being (as you say) - what are we going to use this ground for after we've dropped all of the ordnance on it? The risks also reduce exponentially with limited life fuses....

    Yet cluster bombs are a very capable weapon system - if used properly and in the right circumstances. It is not simply a cold war throwback. If you're dealing with a load of Taliban advancing on you and you've got a 1000lb bomb or a CBU - I know what I'd want downrange as it produces a very effective area effect.....

    The example of the death during the ATO op in Iraq is very sad indeed - but if it had been a 500lb bomb that had failed to go off (as happened repeatedly with Argentine bombs in the Falklands) does that mean we should ban all bombs with any sort of delay arming fuse? All that would happen then is jets going down with their own bombs at low level - and 1 jet per bomb gets pricey after a while.....
  6. At the risk of receiving accusations of tree-huggery, do civvy kids matter?
  7. The right sub-munition warhead in the right hands and the right circumstances are the right weapon- absolutely!


    we have to quite careful what we are defining here - we are not getting out of the submunition game entirely - the stocks which are being disposed of specifically are the ones with no self destruct mechanism. Some of these natures we have not used since 1991 ( we didnt even bother taking some to TELIC ) and most of which have been superceded so it willl be no big loss. we will still retain a number of systems of this type. These systems were primarily designed in the anti-armour role, not AP, although their effect can be,if used inappropriatly, to create an unmarked, unfenced random AP minefield- which as leading signitaries of the Ottawa convention is not politcally acceptable and also leads inevitably to us taking casualties.

    The problem is sub-munitions can have a far higher blind rate than published by manufacturers. Even more modern versions with self destruct fuzing can have a very high blind rate. The older the stock almost invariably the more blinds you get. If in any doubt just speak to any of the, mostly Brit demining, guys who surveyed Lebanon post the recent unpleasantness which is now littered with them - many of which are the exact same models from the same factories that we are ditching. :wink:
    ( hmm note to self : ring Ari in Tel Aviv see if he wants any second hand clusters - he may be a bit short) :lol:

    BTW there is another benefit - instead of spending a fortune running on all this old rubbish beyond its end of life or replacing it we can have more money for stuff that may actually work.

  8. Actually... when we hit our limit of advance during Desert Storm (2nd ACR) the position we occupied at night happened to have been plastered with cluster munitions who's presence we remained ignorant of until morning. One fellow who had hopped off his Bradley during the hours of darkness to relay a message to another who's coms were down was quite shocked to see where his footprints were, he literally threaded the needle through the submunitions without realizing it.

    We did not have any incidents involving those but a couple weeks later we did have a jackass of a remf lieutenant from a differant unit manage to get his driver killed while hunting for trophys around some bunkers in our secter (he set off an antipersonnel mine.)

    Far as calling these systems obsolete... hmm... I disagree. While they are not suitable for low intensity or limited conflict, there are scenarios in which persistant munitions are definately required to close corridors. Dealing with a North Korean invasion of the ROK for example...