Mortar fire from aircraft

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
#1
As ever the yanks are spending money on bringing death, destruction and generally terrible vengance from above... Hopefully upon red force..

[lnk]http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/Mortars-from-Aircraft-The-Shadow-Knows-05226/?utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_source=did&utm_medium=textlink[/lnk]

In 2007, US Army RQ-7 Shadow battalion-level UAVs saw their use increase to up 8,000 flight hours per month in Iraq, a total that compares well to the famous MQ-1 Predator. Those trends have continued as workarounds for the airspace management issues that hindered early deployments become more routine. Some RQ-7s are even being used to extend high-bandwidth communications on the front lines.

The difference between the Army’s RQ-7 Shadow UAVs and their brethren like the USAF’s MQ-1A Predator, or the Army’s new MQ-1C Sky Warriors, is that the Shadow has been too small and light to be armed. Larger RQ-5 Hunters have been tested with Viper Strike mini-bombs, and RQ-7s will certainly be eligible for NAVAIR’s 5-6 pound Spike missile project. Meanwhile, as “CENTCOM Looks to Boost ISR Capabilities in 2008-2009” explained, UAVs can still pack a punch without weapons. UAVs can provide targeting data to M30 GPS-guided MLRS rockets, long-range ATACMS MLRS missiles, or GPS-guided 155mm Excalibur artillery shells – as long as those weapons are (a) appropriate and (b) within range.

Using an ATACMS missile to take out an enemy machine gun position seems a bit silly, but that’s exactly the sort of help that could really make a difference to troops on the ground. Precision weapons can also be dropped by fighters or bombers, but their $10,000 – $25,000 cost per flight hour is prohibitive, they require extensive planning processes to use, and their declining numbers affect their potential coverage and response times. With NAVAIR’s mini-missile still in development, and missions in Afghanistan occurring beyond artillery support range, arming the Army’s Shadow UAVs has become an even more important objective. So important, in fact, that it spawned a bright idea: what if smaller UAVs could carry and drop the Army’s 81mm mortar ammunition, which weighs just 9-10 pounds? Enter General Dynamics’ RCFC kit….

Contracts and Key Events

Dec 16/08: General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems announces that it has successfully demonstrated the ability to maneuver and guide 81mm air-dropped mortars to a stationary ground target after release from an aircraft. These test results build on previous pre-programmed maneuver flight tests successfully conducted by General Dynamics in 2007, and use the company’s patented Roll Controlled Fixed Canard (RCFC) flight control and guidance system.

RCFC is an integrated fuze and guidance-and-flight control kit that uses GPS/INS navigation, and clips on by replacing current fuze hardware in existing mortars.

Application of RCFC technology to 81mm air-dropped mortar s was sponsored by the U.S. Army’s Armament Research Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) at Picatinny Arsenal, NJ, in order to provide “Tactical Class Unmanned Aircraft Systems (TCUAS)” with a low-cost weapon option for rapid fielding. The Army’s 81mm mortars, for instance, weigh just 9-10 pounds each.
RQ7

 
#2
The Army’s 81mm mortars, for instance, weigh just 9-10 pounds each.
That's amazing. Our mortar bombs alone weigh that. If we were to buy the Yank mortars, think of the firepower we could have in a fireteam.
 
#3
putteesinmyhands said:
The Army’s 81mm mortars, for instance, weigh just 9-10 pounds each.
That's amazing. Our mortar bombs alone weigh that. If we were to buy the Yank mortars, think of the firepower we could have in a fireteam.
Puttees, I think it means just the bombs. The way i read it is that the mortar bombs are just dropped. They're not actually fired from a tube.

If this is the case what a total waste of time and money.
 
#4
Sort of defies the beaten zone principle of mortars!
 
#6
dingerr said:
putteesinmyhands said:
The Army’s 81mm mortars, for instance, weigh just 9-10 pounds each.
That's amazing. Our mortar bombs alone weigh that. If we were to buy the Yank mortars, think of the firepower we could have in a fireteam.
Puttees, I think it means just the bombs. The way i read it is that the mortar bombs are just dropped. They're not actually fired from a tube.

If this is the case what a total waste of time and money.
Yes, because they'll have loads of blinds. Because that little ball won't move out of the way.
 
#9
putteesinmyhands said:
dingerr said:
putteesinmyhands said:
The Army’s 81mm mortars, for instance, weigh just 9-10 pounds each.
That's amazing. Our mortar bombs alone weigh that. If we were to buy the Yank mortars, think of the firepower we could have in a fireteam.
Puttees, I think it means just the bombs. The way i read it is that the mortar bombs are just dropped. They're not actually fired from a tube.

If this is the case what a total waste of time and money.
Yes, because they'll have loads of blinds. Because that little ball won't move out of the way.
RCFC doesn't have a setback fuze with little balls. The geeks who fly them do but the fuzes don't 8)
 
#10
putteesinmyhands said:
Will they have to redesign the UAVs?

Like this:

Thats fine as long as the siren works as well!!!
 
#11
box-of-frogs said:
Sort of defies the beaten zone principle of mortars!
Agreed, but did you read the whole of the article above?

I think the 81mm mortar would be ideal for the task at hand, and if it can work then why not?

It has a good blast radius (200m effective range) and what better to drop on a machine gun position or similar, for the cost?

It'll certainly do the job in terms of damage.
 
#12
smudge67 said:
box-of-frogs said:
Sort of defies the beaten zone principle of mortars!
Agreed, but did you read the whole of the article above?

I think the 81mm mortar would be ideal for the task at hand, and if it can work then why not?

It has a good blast radius (200m effective range) and what better to drop on a machine gun position or similar, for the cost?

It'll certainly do the job in terms of damage.
:? Is it a very big 81mm mortar bomb?
 
#13
putteesinmyhands said:
smudge67 said:
box-of-frogs said:
Sort of defies the beaten zone principle of mortars!
Agreed, but did you read the whole of the article above?

I think the 81mm mortar would be ideal for the task at hand, and if it can work then why not?

It has a good blast radius (200m effective range) and what better to drop on a machine gun position or similar, for the cost?

It'll certainly do the job in terms of damage.
:? Is it a very big 81mm mortar bomb?
Well I stand to be corrected, but if my memory serves me correctly the damage radius is 200m? Shrapnel flies!
 
#14
I'm sure it's not that hard to make an 81 HE guided. Presume the aircraft would self designate if it was laser guided?

How many of these little UAVs do the yanks have? I'd still rather smash a tgt with a good solid 10 RFFE!!!!
 
#16
box-of-frogs said:
I'm sure it's not that hard to make an 81 HE guided. Presume the aircraft would self designate if it was laser guided?

How many of these little UAVs do the yanks have? I'd still rather smash a tgt with a good solid 10 RFFE!!!!
We tried it about 20 years ago with Merlin for top attack on armour. Turned out to be a white elephant.
 
#17
Dropping an elephant onto a Terry MG from 10,000 ft would work!

Anyway, what was the problem 20 yrs back? Technology not good enough / small enough?
 

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
#18
I suspect the 81mm round has a bolted on bit of kit a bit like those kits that make iron bombs smart and it costs only a fraction. I presume the loiter time suffers and I also assume that 81mm is just the job for urban combat when you worry about collateral damage a bit.

I KNOW that Putteesinmyhands was making an inciteful joke however when he commented in the second post.
 
#19
box-of-frogs said:
Dropping an elephant onto a Terry MG from 10,000 ft would work!

Anyway, what was the problem 20 yrs back? Technology not good enough / small enough?
Oh I like that idea! None of the problems with unexploded ordnance lying around for kids to pick up. The media will love it!!

Should we start a captive breeding programme for the elephants, or should we just drop fat birds on them instead?

Just think of the damage that a couple of chav porkers dropped from the sky could do.....
 
#20
Tartan_Terrier said:
box-of-frogs said:
Dropping an elephant onto a Terry MG from 10,000 ft would work!

Anyway, what was the problem 20 yrs back? Technology not good enough / small enough?
Oh I like that idea! None of the problems with unexploded ordnance lying around for kids to pick up. The media will love it!!

Should we start a captive breeding programme for the elephants, or should we just drop fat birds on them instead?

Just think of the damage that a couple of chav porkers dropped from the sky could do.....
Just got back from the U of K. Fat birds are the answer - try Central Ammo Depot Sarfend - enough ammo to fight Russia and China as well :twisted:
 

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