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    Russian MRLS: Grad, Uragan, Smerch, Tornado-G/S

    jhelb
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    Post  jhelb on Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:16 pm

    GarryB wrote:Rockets and missiles are for different things, but these days the purpose has become blurred with guided rockets...

    So what's the future of guided rockets then or for that matter the future of rockets in general ?

    Will we see the evolution of :

    1. state-of-the-art guidance systems for rockets ?

    2. changes in aerodynamic shape ?

    3. any other advancement ?
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    Post  Isos on Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:28 pm

    jhelb wrote:
    GarryB wrote:Rockets and missiles are for different things, but these days the purpose has become blurred with guided rockets...

    So what's the future of guided rockets then or for that matter the future of rockets in general ?

    Will we see the evolution of :

    1. state-of-the-art guidance systems for rockets ?

    2. changes in aerodynamic shape ?

    3. any other advancement ?

    1. No because that would be costly. More like a good enough guidance system to have a 1m accuracy agaibst a vehicle.

    2. Little change to allow manoeuvrability. The rocket is still a rocket and would be launch 2 or 3 km away in the direction of the threat.

    3. Unlikely.
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    Post  jhelb on Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:31 pm

    Isos wrote:3. Unlikely.

    What about new type of warheads for rockets ?
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    Post  Isos on Tue Dec 24, 2019 4:02 pm

    jhelb wrote:
    Isos wrote:3. Unlikely.

    What about new type of warheads for rockets ?

    They already have HE, HEAT and thermobaric what else would they use ?

    Anyway guidance for rockets would benefits this one the most : s-25. 480kg with 190kg equivalent of TNT. 3km range. That would replace the use of dumb bombs for precision strikes.

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    Post  GarryB on Wed Dec 25, 2019 12:11 pm

    So what's the future of guided rockets then or for that matter the future of rockets in general ?

    Will we see the evolution of :

    1. state-of-the-art guidance systems for rockets ?

    2. changes in aerodynamic shape ?

    3. any other advancement ?

    First of all I am no expert, this is merely opinion.

    Rockets traditionally were an effective way of covering a fairly wide area in deadly fragments and blast, or chem or bio agents rapidly and that really hasn't changed much.

    If you have located an enemy group to an area it is still an effective way of dealing with them... ie you know they are in the forest but you don't have precise coordinates for them.

    This is more relevant to shorter range artillery rockets used in large numbers like Katyusha rather than V-2 or Scud or newer models.

    In terms of a terror weapon a low flying subsonic cruise missile with excellent accuracy is vastly more effective in war than a dumb unguided ballistic rocket, because in military terms you can hit specific targets with the CM, while the rocket is more of a psychological tool against an enemy.

    For artillery rockets adding cheap and simple but effective terminal guidance makes them more flexible and versatile but there will still be a use for unguided rockets that can cover an area in fragments... either to kill and maim or to stop them firing at you while others are doing something else and don't want to be interrupted.

    A helicopter landing force might start receiving fire from a flank direction... having a dozen helicopters turn and open fire with a barrage of rockets can protect the troops long enough for them to land and establish a position and start to work towards dealing with enemy on the ground... ideally you want troops to land safely and then be able to form up and move to an objective that needs to be taken, but plans don't always work out.

    In terms of guidance AI and video processing technology means even a simple cell phone level of technology and processing power can be used to capture video footage of the target area in front of the missile and process the natural light and thermal image of the scene and determine thermal shapes and compare them with a database of 3D thermal target shapes and work out for itself what is a target and act accordingly. Modern IR and video optics offer very high resolution and high quality images for identification...

    But the basics are also cheap and get the job done... a simple TV sensor can detect a laser spot on a target... an aircraft like a Hind or Havoc or Hokum can mark a target with a laser beam and then launch a rocket to hit that target easily enough... the added value of guidance in this case is that with unguided rockets a helicopter can generally destroy a truck or vehicle with 1-3 rockets... if you miss the truck it will likely land nearby and the explosions and fragments can often take the truck out anyway. To get the accuracy to hit that truck though you need to be relatively close because accuracy becomes an issue (when you can't see the target and are just firing at area targets of course accuracy is not important any more). The huge advantage that guidance introduces is that instead of 1-3 rockets against a truck you need one rocket only, but more importantly instead of firing at at 1.5-2km range, you can launch it into the air at 30-45 degrees from 5-6km away and then as it approaches the target lase it for the hit... it still gets the job done but the helo is much safer outside HMG range of the target... and a compact laser guidance kit makes it cheaper than using an ATGM which would be the only alternative and totally overkill for something with little or no armour...

    I suspect speeds will increase with new propulsion technology so rocket designs might change slightly in shape in terms of being more pointy at the front with a long full length gradual width increase continuing right to the rear of the rocket rather than a pointed nose and a cylinder shape we know and love...

    If they can get speeds high enough like high energy solid rocket fuels perhaps as well as scramjets then simple metal core penetrator payloads become alternatives against heavily armoured targets.

    There is potential for EMP warheads, and jammer warheads too, but I suspect the former being limited by size wont have an effective radius much greater than a conventional HE warhead and of course for structures EMP warheads make no difference... they only effect electronics.

    Anyway guidance for rockets would benefits this one the most : s-25. 480kg with 190kg equivalent of TNT. 3km range. That would replace the use of dumb bombs for precision strikes.

    The S-25LD show they are way ahead of you... and with laser guidance their range is about 10km...

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    Post  jhelb on Fri Dec 27, 2019 5:07 pm

    GarryB wrote:
    Rockets traditionally were an effective way of covering a fairly wide area in deadly fragments and blast, or chem or bio agents rapidly and that really hasn't changed much.

    If you have located an enemy group to an area it is still an effective way of dealing with them... ie you know they are in the forest but you don't have precise coordinates for them.

    Or develop a range of MBRL rockets with varying diameters , all of which can be launched from a common launch vehicle, like China's SR-5 system developed by NORINCO:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=62&v=1kY2f8NS1gI&feature=emb_logo


    If such a MBRL launcher can be developed by the Russia, then this will be able to launch rockets of varying diameters, like 214mm, 300mm & even 800mm BSMs like the ATACMS. Such a versatile MBRL launcher will then be in great demand for delivering non-contact beyond-the-horizon rocket artillery fire-assaults. Right now, having different types of vehicles & logistics-support systems for 122mm, 214mm & 300mm MBRLs hugely complicates their operational usage in the battlefield.
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    Post  GarryB on Fri Dec 27, 2019 8:13 pm

    It is something they already have... but to be honest I am not sure how useful it would actually be.

    In the field they currently have 122mm Grad rockets, 220mm Uragan rockets, and 300mm Smerch rockets and while their older launchers remain in service they seem to have introduced a few vehicles that can carry any of those rocket types in pallets.

    The point is that unguided rocket launchers use enormous volumes of rockets to do their job... now if you want to give them the option of different calibre rockets to use that triples the size of your logistic train to support your rocket artillery battery and supply enough rockets for the mission whatever it might be.

    I rather suspect instead the idea is that you have a unified modular launcher and then based on the mission and condition and location you select the rocket size that best suits and that is the rocket that is supplied... because each rocket calibre has a range of rocket types too so you need to offer a selection of rocket types as well as the volume needed for the mission... there is little chance of being able to offer that sort of variety in three different calibres and still remain a mobile force.

    The Russian military has introduced a new 5.45 x 39mm round with a very long heavy projectile that can be fired underwater. It doesn't mean every unit will now be issued with it to complicate logistics... naval units might be issued with one magazine with this ammo to allow firing into and in water at targets, but most ammo will be standard ammo.

    It will be the same with rockets... if most of the enemy are expected to be in armoured vehicles then anti armour submunitions will dominate the supplied rocket inventory and they will be used accordingly but plain rockets as well as other variations will also be carried for flexibility... they will have formulas and rules to determine what rockets they get issued with.

    We are talking about battlefield assets... a ground force having rockets to hit targets more than 200km away is just silly... that is more of a theatre strike capability and against a single point target something like Iskander and likely its newer longer ranged cousins would be much more suitable for that sort of job... an armoured division wont be attacking targets more than 200km away... how would it even detect such a target or know when to launch... that is silly.

    This is all off topic so I will move this to a more suitable section... (if you have any preference as to where it would better fit you can make a suggestion if you like).
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    Post  jhelb on Fri Dec 27, 2019 8:46 pm

    GarryB wrote:I rather suspect instead the idea is that you have a unified modular launcher and then based on the mission and condition and location you select the rocket size that best suits and that is the rocket that is supplied

    Does such a unified modular launcher already exists in Russia ? Or is something similar being designed ?


    GarryB wrote:The Russian military has introduced a new 5.45 x 39mm round with a very long heavy projectile that can be fired underwater. It doesn't mean every unit will now be issued with it to complicate logistics... naval units might be issued with one magazine with this ammo to allow firing into and in water at targets, but most ammo will be standard ammo.

    What's the name of this projectile ? So you are saying this is a new rocket meant for the Russian Navy ?


    GarryB wrote:This is all off topic so I will move this to a more suitable section... (if you have any preference as to where it would better fit you can make a suggestion if you like).

    I suspect this is probably the right place where you can move it

    http://www.russiadefence.net/t4810-russian-mrls-grad-uragan-smerch-tornado-g-s
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    Post  GarryB on Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:01 pm


    Does such a unified modular launcher already exists in Russia ? Or is something similar being designed ?

    It does in the sense that they seem to have two different truck platforms... one large with two pallets and one small with one pallet, where you can change calibre from 122mm, 220mm, and 300mm rockets by replacing the pallets.

    The different calibre pallets hold different numbers of rockets ready to fire but effectively the same vehicle battery could be loaded with any of the three calibres of rockets and of course for each calibre there are dozens of warhead types to choose from.

    What's the name of this projectile ? So you are saying this is a new rocket meant for the Russian Navy ?

    Sorry, no... I was talking about an underwater rifle round that is used by rifles to fire while underwater.

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    Post  jhelb on Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:56 pm

    GarryB wrote:
    The point is that unguided rocket launchers use enormous volumes of rockets to do their job... now if you want to give them the option of different calibre rockets to use that triples the size of your logistic train to support your rocket artillery battery and supply enough rockets for the mission whatever it might be.

    But in the video that I posted above of the Chinese SR-5 MLRS, different calibre rockets are being used because they are all guided rockets.

    GarryB wrote:It does in the sense that they seem to have two different truck platforms... one large with two pallets and one small with one pallet

    Which two ? BM 9A52-2 is one of those, correct ?
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    Post  GarryB on Sat Dec 28, 2019 1:21 am

    But in the video that I posted above of the Chinese SR-5 MLRS, different calibre rockets are being used because they are all guided rockets.

    The two rockets they are talking about are basically Chinese copies of the Uragan 220mm rocket and the Grad 122mm rocket... I don't really understand why you would want those two rockets together on the same vehicle.

    It really does not make sense.

    If targets appear at less than 40km both rocket types could be used but targets between 45km and 70km could only be engaged with the bigger rockets.

    You might say that if the target appears at less than 40km then you can either fire heavy rockets or light rockets at it, but effectively the main difference in the different calibre rockets is the number of ready to fire rockets...

    In this view the rocket launcher can carry two pallets of rockets... in this case 20 x 122mm rockets on one side and 6 x 220mm rockets on the other side.

    So effectively when loaded with 2 pallets of 122mm rockets this is a Grad system, and when fitted with two pallets of 220mm rockets it is an Uragan but with 4 fewer rockets because the Uragan carries 16 x 220 rockets and not 12.

    It is the Smerch that carries 6 rockets per pallet but they are 300mm rockets with a range of 120km.

    If you look on the first page of this thread at the fourth post that was posted by me you will see two Russian vehicles with pallets for rockets... the first is a light vehicle with one pallet obviously optimised for mobility and light weight and low cost. The second has two pallets, which would make it the equivalent of this Chinese vehicle. It could probably carry different pallets but I would not know why it would do that.

    I suspect the Chinese vehicle is fitted with different rocket pallets to show its capacity to use different calibres rather than any real operational capability.

    If you have a read through this thread we discuss some guided rocket options, but I am not sure we are totally conclusive regarding what systems Russia will put in to service...
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    Post  jhelb on Sat Dec 28, 2019 7:27 am

    GarryB, trans-loading would go down drastically with a commom use MBRL. Also, a common-use MBRL launcher for different types of rockets also comes with standardised test-equipment, thereby doing away with the need for rocket-specific equipment.
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    Post  GarryB on Sat Dec 28, 2019 10:32 am

    GarryB, trans-loading would go down drastically with a commom use MBRL. Also, a common-use MBRL launcher for different types of rockets also comes with standardised test-equipment, thereby doing away with the need for rocket-specific equipment.

    I like the theory, but in practise I think it is not as useful as perhaps some people might expect it to be.

    Hand loading is slow, but it means you can have a load out of different rocket warhead types if required, and in most war situations it is best practise to fire and then move. Once you get to a new location you can load and it wont really matter if it takes 5 minutes or 20 minutes because targets are not going suddenly appear or disappear... odds are most of the time they will be showering explosives on an attacking enemy over a fairly wide front, or waiting for the enemy to be defeated and be used to cover his withdrawal paths with HE, or an enemy armoured force might be discovered and need to be engaged to soften it up or weaken it a bit by smashing optics and aerials and making troops mount up armoured vehicles so they can be engaged full by long range anti armour units.

    The point is that the idea that they would sit empty and when a target is selected they choose the pallet with the ammo they want to use and load it and fire it are not realistic.

    Equally not realistic is the idea of firing a volley of rockets and then removing the empty pallet, and then loading a full pallet to continue firing is also unrealistic even in a place like Syria.

    During the cold war there was a czech or polish version of a grad that had an extra long chassis and a full reload of rockets sitting on the back so you fired your volley and could then load another 40 rockets into the tubes and fire a second volley within 5 minutes of launching the first volley and every western expert thought that was brilliant and why don't those stupid Soviets copy that and do the same with their grad vehicles. They didn't of course.

    During WWIII a Grad vehicle makes an enormous cloud of smoke and flame that could be detected by a deaf and blind person from 10km away... the last thing you want to do after launching 40 rockets per vehicle is to then stay still and reload the rockets and then fire again.... five minutes after your first volley you probably wont know if you hit the target or not so do you fire the second volley at the same place or somewhere different?

    If the first volley missed then your second volley will likely miss too but the enemies counter battery fire wont miss you.

    As such reload times are not really that important simply because compared to the amount of time it will take to move the entire battery after firing it can be done rather easily when you get to your new launch position while the HQ and comms vehicles are finding new targets for you to engage and trying to find out how effective the last attack actually was and if another attack is needed.

    With regard to transloading it is not different really... you have trucks that launch rockets and you have trucks that carry rockets for loading onto rocket launchers.. whether they are rockets individually sitting on a truck or packed into a pallet that is loaded as one piece makes little real difference... you could have ten trucks with ten different types of rocket, that is individual rockets or rockets in pallets.

    If you mix them up like that Chinese vehicle remember these are ballistic rockets so setting a launch angle for the 122mm rockets means you need to stop firing and change the launch angle if you want to fire 220mm or 300mm rockets at the same target and the totally different trajectory means they wont land at the same time either.

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