Author Topic: Air Defence appreciation  (Read 10949 times)

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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Air Defence appreciation
« Reply #150 on: July 08, 2017, 13:01:23 »
WW1 - SE5A - 880 kg - 222 km/h - 1x 81mm mortar bomb hand delivered - piloted

WW2 - Typhoon - 6010 kg - 663 km/h - bombs, rockets and bullets - piloted

Cold War - Su24 - 43,755 kg - 1315 km/h - bombs, rockets and bullets - piloted

Or, if you prefer

Cold War - A-10 - 23,000 kg - 706 km/h - bombs, rockets and bullets - piloted

Current - F35A - 31,800 kg - << 1930 km/h - bombs, rockets and bullets - piloted

And that is the threat evolution that the Air Defence Community, in my opinion, has been focusing on. With consideration given to other stuff like helicopters and SSMs.

In the meantime technology is making it possible to eliminate that type of platform entirely from the enemy's arsenal and still leave him with ability to target you with PGMs launched from 500 m or 5  km or 500 km or intercontinentally.  And do it cheaply and often.
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Offline Colin P

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Re: Air Defence appreciation
« Reply #151 on: July 10, 2017, 11:34:25 »
We exercised this at the battery level until 2012, while the 4th still practices those skills using the MANPAD simulator. In reality, the threat you noted at the beginning of your post, being UAS in an African scenario, would be more in line with a gun system vice a MANPAD as the MANPAD would have extreme difficulty acquiring a target smaller than a TUAS. As the future system MAY be a MANPAD, C-RAM, or medium system or a combination of the 3, MANPAD training would provide "some" usefulness, but would be akin to training field gunners on a 105mm and then throwing them into 155mm detachments or a HIMARS det and being like, "meh, close enough, you get the principles".

Further, the "need to protect the front line" may not really be that whatsoever- AD priorities are based on types of air threat, systems in the IADS, and Criticality/Vulnerability/Recuperability of the target. GBAD is part of the IADS, which is a true "system of systems" so MANPAD very well may not be the appropriate system for engaging the anticipated threat. If the Air Defended assets are more in the rear (Fd Batteries, MLRS, BSA/DSA, etc) than the true planning factor becomes "line of weapon release" AKA, where the aircraft needs to be to use the projected weaponry it has (AT missiles, guns, etc). If the Stand off of a Hinds weapons is 10 KM and the AD system has a range of 8, than the AD system needs to be 2km in front of the asset to actually defend it.

MANPADs, in and of themselves, are no magic bullet and provide in most ways a very limited capability with some significant advantages (short range relative to the line of weapon release, generally poorer TA systems, more difficult to integrate into a positive IADS vice flexibility, economy (they're cheap), and mass). As the future threats are anticipated to be 1) UAS 2) Munitions 3) aviation than it doesn't make sense to buy just a MANPAD which isn't especially effective against threat 1 and 2, but good at 3.

As for plugging into the IADS, that is done via the ASCC, so I am not entirely sure what a MANPAD system would do to change anything whether we are in a high comms or low comms environment (Positive (high comms) vice procedural (low comms). I can guarantee that both are part of the current AD WO and AD Officer courses being taught at the RCAS.

I mentioned the Manpads as they have the smallest “Footprint” in regards to procurement, storage and vehicles. I would like to see a gun system to provide coverage for the frontline for smaller threats and deny the area to hostile UAV systems. The .50cals are likely all we have at the moment and perhaps issue AA sights and high angle mounts for non RWS guns is the baby step for now.
I see 2 gun systems that seem offer a layered approach and not sure which missile system would compliment that. I have previously argued that some Reserve units should be tasked as AD units, starting out with smallish guns 20-35mm guns and Manpad simulators.

 Both can be fitted on a LAV by the looks of it.
http://www.military-today.com/artillery/skyranger.htm

This system would also useful to provide coastal defense to a remote naval base, making it more deployable
http://www.military-today.com/artillery/draco.htm



Offline Cdn Blackshirt

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Re: Air Defence appreciation
« Reply #152 on: July 10, 2017, 11:51:06 »
The CV90 has a 40mm AA turret
 and the Koreans have an interesting turret called K30 Biho which has a gun-missile combination, which might be options depending upon max turret weight on the LAV 6.
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Air Defence appreciation
« Reply #153 on: July 10, 2017, 12:47:46 »
The CV90 has a 40mm AA turret
 and the Koreans have an interesting turret called K30 Biho which has a gun-missile combination, which might be options depending upon max turret weight on the LAV 6.

Let's just hope the bad guys haven't watched this movie yet :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHq3y20HhRk
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Air Defence appreciation
« Reply #154 on: July 10, 2017, 13:48:03 »
Quote
o at the Army USA Show in Washington DC EOS unveiled its new R-400S remote
weapon system, as shown in Figure 2. The R-400S has been specifically developed to
provide 30 mm firepower in a high precision weapon system, weighing less than 350 kg.



http://media.abnnewswire.net/media/en/docs/76134-ASX-EOS-764562.pdf

Could something like that not be married to the Trophy system to respond to incoming aerial threats?  Or linked with a local EO or Radar detection system?

Purpose of the exercise to upgrade the Battalion's heavy machine guns to give precise fire control, improve anti-air capabilities, improve ground fire support and increase the survivability of the gunner by separating the gun from the gunner.

350 kg in Self Propelled mode - light enough to be transported in a CH-146.   Remove the power pack for the wheels and mount on a trailer for towing behind a UTV and it will be lighter and more deployable yet.
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Air Defence appreciation
« Reply #155 on: July 10, 2017, 22:52:54 »


http://media.abnnewswire.net/media/en/docs/76134-ASX-EOS-764562.pdf

Could something like that not be married to the Trophy system to respond to incoming aerial threats?  Or linked with a local EO or Radar detection system?

Purpose of the exercise to upgrade the Battalion's heavy machine guns to give precise fire control, improve anti-air capabilities, improve ground fire support and increase the survivability of the gunner by separating the gun from the gunner.

350 kg in Self Propelled mode - light enough to be transported in a CH-146.   Remove the power pack for the wheels and mount on a trailer for towing behind a UTV and it will be lighter and more deployable yet.

And if I was the OC of the local defense rifle company I'd ride it around smiting things like an avenging angel ;)
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline Cdn Blackshirt

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Re: Air Defence appreciation
« Reply #156 on: July 11, 2017, 01:59:03 »


http://media.abnnewswire.net/media/en/docs/76134-ASX-EOS-764562.pdf

Could something like that not be married to the Trophy system to respond to incoming aerial threats?  Or linked with a local EO or Radar detection system?

Purpose of the exercise to upgrade the Battalion's heavy machine guns to give precise fire control, improve anti-air capabilities, improve ground fire support and increase the survivability of the gunner by separating the gun from the gunner.

350 kg in Self Propelled mode - light enough to be transported in a CH-146.   Remove the power pack for the wheels and mount on a trailer for towing behind a UTV and it will be lighter and more deployable yet.

If I was on the ground, I think I would be a little hesitant to have that much unfuzedsolid ammo going up in the air, knowing gravity would dictate it also would come back down.  I'd much rather programmable 35mm or 40mm ammo going up and smaller tungsten pellets coming back down.

By the way, was poking around the Thales website and they've got some really interesting pre-configured integrated systems which include sensors and multiple weapons including 40mm gun and multiple low-level missile alternatives, where you could buy off the shelf and away you go. 

 :salute:
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Offline Bird_Gunner45

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Re: Air Defence appreciation
« Reply #157 on: July 11, 2017, 08:42:37 »
No Infanteer,  I am not confusing co-ordination levels.

On the other hand co-ordination is at the heart of this discussion.

The environment is target rich in ballistic missiles, guided missiles, autonomous missiles, Micro-Mini-Maxi UAVs, vertical take of and land and fixed wing, single use and recoverable - and I haven't mentioned traditional threats like Helos and Fast Movers.

BG45s GBAD battery is going to be deployed 8 km forward of the High Value Asset that he is defending.  I hope for his sake that there is an infantry battalion between him and the ATGM gunner targeting him.  And that they can do their job rather than having to hunker down under their SKOP kits waiting for the skies to clear.

I get that life is messy but the issue is one of managing to accomplish mission in spite of alligators rather than waiting for the swamp to drain.

I don't consider it an acceptable response to say that you lot in the front line should not have an effective means of protecting yourself against threats directed your way.  Space is zero.  Time available is comparable.  Waiting for someone to prioritize the immediate threat to your mission, your men, your machines and yourself does not, on its face, appear to me to be an effective course of action.    There aren't enough Infanteers as it is.  Let alone allowing the available numbers to be attrited by smart, cheap munitions.

The reaction time needs to be reduced - and apparently the technology exists to reduce the reaction time to 0.5 milliseconds.  Can you squeeze the PTT button in that length of time?  Let alone form a complete sentence, have it acknowledged, discussed, prioritized and a decision taken as to whether to spend the money to protect you, and allow you, your machines and your men to carry on with the mission, or hold on in case the Brigade CP is actually threatened by a Fast Mover - some day.

See, I actually think that a sky clear of fast movers is infinitely more likely than a sky clear of 40mm grenades on autopilot.

At the coal face those decisions, that process of getting inside the enemy's OODA loop, demand localized decision making ability and also demand localized response capabilities.
We'll start at the start...

1. Yes, obviously if a GBAD element was deployed in front of the defended asset (8 km was the example) in the case of a BSA, DSA, airfield, etc than there would be a force protection element there. That's why "normally" GBAD is deployed TACON to infantry bns... they coordinate local defence and the Bn commander can, if he or she chooses, put assets in the larger bubble. That said, the detachments will defend themselves (hence the "AT" on the end of ADATS... the AT function was designed to improve survivability not as an actual secondary capability).

2. Priorities are based on threat, criticality, vulnerability, and recuperability. The threat is key as the primary objective of GBAD is to defend against non-fast movers but to provide a "back-stop" to the fast movers (countering jets of all varieties are the primary function of the Air Force and these can be engaged relatively far out in a positive IADS as airfields will be identified in the Air IPB process. The reason infantry tend to be lower on the priority list is because they tend to score lower in vulnerability and higher in recuperability, in that infantry can hide from a threat easier than a field battery and are more replaceable than guns, CPs, MLRS, etc.

3. You seem to be focussed on the fast mover aspect of this discussion, which to be honest, isn't the foreseeable priority. UAS, munitions, and aviation are the largest threats to the field force. UAS of all natures are the primary threat, imho, with munitions being next and aviation being the most dangerous.

4. It's the localized decision making that is the basic problem of giving untrained infantry units MANPADs. Unless they have the integration into the IADS, the training to identify friend or foe, and the ability to establish an effective AD protection area, than it wouldn't be effective and would likely endanger friendly aircraft (The RCAF doesn't even like the idea of qualified AD Sgts conducting engagements let alone a sort of qualified infantry Cpl). Further, how would IFF work for a UAS threat? How could someone in a trench line with no radar tell if a small or mini UAS was friend or foe? in your example, they would need to hop on a radio and ask the Bde HQ or would need to be tracking all of the ASCMs associated with their area. Your solution would actually greatly increase the time needed, not reduce it.

5. I agree with infanteer that you are confusing active defence of an AFV with air defence.

Offline NavyShooter

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Re: Air Defence appreciation
« Reply #158 on: July 11, 2017, 09:46:30 »
As a sidebar, I was out at Shearwater looking at one of the laydown areas the other week (looking for some RAS equipment with an LCMM) and came across 5x 40mm Bofors guns sitting, packaged/preserved on the tarmac for future disposition.

Need a bunch of recycled 40mm guns for Air Defence again?

;-)
Insert disclaimer statement here....

:panzer:

Offline Colin P

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Re: Air Defence appreciation
« Reply #159 on: July 11, 2017, 10:26:48 »
We'll start at the start...

1
4. It's the localized decision making that is the basic problem of giving untrained infantry units MANPADs. Unless they have the integration into the IADS, the training to identify friend or foe, and the ability to establish an effective AD protection area, than it wouldn't be effective and would likely endanger friendly aircraft (The RCAF doesn't even like the idea of qualified AD Sgts conducting engagements let alone a sort of qualified infantry Cpl). Further, how would IFF work for a UAS threat? How could someone in a trench line with no radar tell if a small or mini UAS was friend or foe? in your example, they would need to hop on a radio and ask the Bde HQ or would need to be tracking all of the ASCMs associated with their area. Your solution would actually greatly increase the time needed, not reduce it.


I suspect the infantry will learn to respond to any UAS over them after suddenly having bomblets dropped on them or accurate artillery fire, after which any UAS will be targeted with everything they have. So you can plan on having something to protect them or have everything that can point up shooting at the UAS anyways.

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Air Defence appreciation
« Reply #160 on: July 11, 2017, 10:52:33 »
If I was on the ground, I think I would be a little hesitant to have that much unfuzedsolid ammo going up in the air, knowing gravity would dictate it also would come back down.  I'd much rather programmable 35mm or 40mm ammo going up and smaller tungsten pellets coming back down.

By the way, was poking around the Thales website and they've got some really interesting pre-configured integrated systems which include sensors and multiple weapons including 40mm gun and multiple low-level missile alternatives, where you could buy off the shelf and away you go. 

 :salute:

Actually, that is a 30mm auto-cannon.  I believe it used to be called the ASP.  So fused ammunition is not impossible.
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Air Defence appreciation
« Reply #161 on: July 11, 2017, 11:08:25 »
I suspect the infantry will learn to respond to any UAS over them after suddenly having bomblets dropped on them or accurate artillery fire, after which any UAS will be targeted with everything they have. So you can plan on having something to protect them or have everything that can point up shooting at the UAS anyways.

Thumbs up on that one.

Integration.

In land operations, as I remember it, coordination starts in two-dimensions.  The x and y axis.  The OPI is given responsibility for everything in his/her arcs, boundaries, lanes.  Call them what you will. But one does not encroach on one's neighbour's boundaries.  Only Higher gets to do that.

Is it too much to ask that you stay out of "my" airspace without asking my permission? Apply the same rules to the z axis as are applied to the x and y axis. Frankly, I would prefer to see nothing in the skies over my head rather than trying to figure out if this one is shootable or that one is going to have chunks falling of its wings.

With respect to the AFV vs Corps discussion:  I would argue that the it is the same discussion but at the micro-level vs the macro-level.

What is the impact on Combined Armed operations if the infantry accompanying the tanks suddenly have the tanks detonating incoming rounds over the heads of the infantry?  Or do the AFVs have to give up their "right of self-defence" when they are working with the infantry?

The issue becomes one of overlapping bubbles and who is responsible for what goes on in that bubble.

My inclination is along the lines of Colin.  You don't want to be shot out of my sky stay out of my bubble - unless you ask permission.


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Offline Bird_Gunner45

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Re: Air Defence appreciation
« Reply #162 on: July 11, 2017, 11:09:22 »
I suspect the infantry will learn to respond to any UAS over them after suddenly having bomblets dropped on them or accurate artillery fire, after which any UAS will be targeted with everything they have. So you can plan on having something to protect them or have everything that can point up shooting at the UAS anyways.

If they A) know the UAS is there and B) can see the UAS.

Realistically, a MUAS would be launched from 3-5 km away by a recce or other infantry/armour unit as an intelligence gathering asset and would not be, itself, used to direct artillery fire. Assets above MUAS (SUAS to HALE/MALE) would be detectable on radar and would be pushed as targets to GBAD via the ASCC. As the majority of these systems require runways (particularly above SUAS), move slowly, and move in predetermined patterns (generally straight to a target and then loiter in a circular pattern) they could be engaged from anything from GBAD to Fast Air.

In general, the planning factor would see MUAS as the primary UAS that would target infantry type units with SUAS and higher being used more for Counter battery and other fires.

Having an entire battalion of infantry firing into the air doesn't seem particularly tactical since the noise alone would give away the position. It would seem that taking passive measures would be more optimal with warning provided by the ASCC (as per doctrine).

Offline Old Sweat

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Re: Air Defence appreciation
« Reply #163 on: July 11, 2017, 11:22:23 »
And we may be resurrecting Air OP tactics of loitering behind cover, popping up to identify a target and/or observe fall of shot and evading fast air by manoeuvring behind cover. It was possible for a fixed wing light aircraft to survive and even more so for a light helicopter in a hostile air environment.


Offline Cdn Blackshirt

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Re: Air Defence appreciation
« Reply #164 on: July 11, 2017, 11:33:32 »
So just to re-cap:
1.  Individual Infantry with unintegrated MANPADS is a non-starter.  By definition then, we need to start looking at an integrated-networked system as a base.
2.  There is general agreement that small UAS providing targeting information is a far greater threat than fast movers like enemy jets.

In the above context, is it not possible to focus on what systems make the most sense, what numbers we'd need them in order to resolve the agreed-upon threats, and how they would best be deployed in our forces?


 :salute:

P.S.  With VTUAV's that can pop-up to obtain target information and then drop out GBAD ranges, I'm wondering if we shouldn't be integrating a MALE UAV like Predator B with light air-to-air missiles (in addition to their more traditional Hellfires) so that enemy UAV's are being spotted from both above and below.  I believe early model Predators were actually tested with Stingers, so it most likely can be done, if it is deemed a requirement.
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Air Defence appreciation
« Reply #165 on: July 11, 2017, 13:18:25 »

2.  There is general agreement that small UAS providing targeting information is a far greater threat than fast movers like enemy jets.


ISIS, and other naughty middle eastern based chaps over the past decade or so, may disagree with you, especially right after a 2000lb JDAM strike :)
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Offline Cdn Blackshirt

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Re: Air Defence appreciation
« Reply #166 on: July 11, 2017, 13:46:36 »
ISIS, and other naughty middle eastern based chaps over the past decade or so, may disagree with you, especially right after a 2000lb JDAM strike :)

I meant "to us". It's more of a threat "to us".   :warstory:
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Offline Colin P

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Re: Air Defence appreciation
« Reply #167 on: July 11, 2017, 14:20:16 »
If they A) know the UAS is there and B) can see the UAS.

Realistically, a MUAS would be launched from 3-5 km away by a recce or other infantry/armour unit as an intelligence gathering asset and would not be, itself, used to direct artillery fire. Assets above MUAS (SUAS to HALE/MALE) would be detectable on radar and would be pushed as targets to GBAD via the ASCC. As the majority of these systems require runways (particularly above SUAS), move slowly, and move in predetermined patterns (generally straight to a target and then loiter in a circular pattern) they could be engaged from anything from GBAD to Fast Air.

In general, the planning factor would see MUAS as the primary UAS that would target infantry type units with SUAS and higher being used more for Counter battery and other fires.

Having an entire battalion of infantry firing into the air doesn't seem particularly tactical since the noise alone would give away the position. It would seem that taking passive measures would be more optimal with warning provided by the ASCC (as per doctrine).

There is lots of video out there of how other “less organized” armies are using UAV, drones in combat, generally they are either overhead or within 1,000m of the battle. They are being used to direct infantry, vehicles or artillery in real time to maximize their attacks. The response must be very immediate, literally you have about 10-20 minutes to destroy the drone to prevent it from carrying out its mission and at a cost of $500-$1,000, they might have multiple ones ready to go if one is shot down and the mission is worth it. Now the commercial drones can be disrupted by jammers for now, but it won’t take long for someone to work around that, so one needs to assume that we will have to shoot them down, while at the same time working on electronic suppressors. While the .50cal could be used in a twin or quad mount, likely better to have 20mm-25mm as a minimum to get the reach and hopefully some proximity fuzed rounds, to improve hit rate.

Offline Cdn Blackshirt

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Re: Air Defence appreciation
« Reply #168 on: July 11, 2017, 17:04:34 »
Colin P:  "While the .50cal could be used in a twin or quad mount, likely better to have 20mm-25mm as a minimum to get the reach and hopefully some proximity fuzed rounds, to improve hit rate."

Me:  Just looking at effective ranges, those types max out at about 2,000 m, while the 35mm and 40mm are good for 4,000 m.  Depending on the environment, I'm thinking that extra range may be worth the larger dedicated platform.
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Re: Air Defence appreciation
« Reply #169 on: July 11, 2017, 20:11:20 »
Is it too much to ask that you stay out of "my" airspace without asking my permission? Apply the same rules to the z axis as are applied to the x and y axis. Frankly, I would prefer to see nothing in the skies over my head rather than trying to figure out if this one is shootable or that one is going to have chunks falling of its wings.

...

The issue becomes one of overlapping bubbles and who is responsible for what goes on in that bubble.

My inclination is along the lines of Colin.  You don't want to be shot out of my sky stay out of my bubble - unless you ask permission.

If I have the doctrine right, there is only one sky and one piece of air space, and it belongs to the joint force commander.  He appoints the Area Air Defence Commander (AADC), who ensures that friendly airpower (arguably the biggest strength of NATO/Western forces) can operate without getting blasted out of the sky by friendly forces.

Read JP 3-30 if you want to understand the system.

http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/new_pubs/jointpub_operations.htm

http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/new_pubs/jp3_30.pdf
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Air Defence appreciation
« Reply #170 on: July 11, 2017, 21:49:48 »
There is lots of video out there of how other “less organized” armies are using UAV, drones in combat, generally they are either overhead or within 1,000m of the battle. They are being used to direct infantry, vehicles or artillery in real time to maximize their attacks. The response must be very immediate, literally you have about 10-20 minutes to destroy the drone to prevent it from carrying out its mission and at a cost of $500-$1,000, they might have multiple ones ready to go if one is shot down and the mission is worth it. Now the commercial drones can be disrupted by jammers for now, but it won’t take long for someone to work around that, so one needs to assume that we will have to shoot them down, while at the same time working on electronic suppressors. While the .50cal could be used in a twin or quad mount, likely better to have 20mm-25mm as a minimum to get the reach and hopefully some proximity fuzed rounds, to improve hit rate.

Forget guns.... there's a golden opportunity to reintroduce 'combat falconry' to the Art of War!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhDG_WBIQgc
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Offline SeaKingTacco

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Re: Air Defence appreciation
« Reply #171 on: July 12, 2017, 01:06:45 »
If I have the doctrine right, there is only one sky and one piece of air space, and it belongs to the joint force commander.  He appoints the Area Air Defence Commander (AADC), who ensures that friendly airpower (arguably the biggest strength of NATO/Western forces) can operate without getting blasted out of the sky by friendly forces.

Read JP 3-30 if you want to understand the system.

http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/new_pubs/jointpub_operations.htm

http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/new_pubs/jp3_30.pdf

You have it correct. Normally COM JFAC manages airspace issues in the JOA on behalf of the JFC through the Airspace Control Plan (ACP). There is only one airspace and only one plan. That said, sub areas can be delegated to whomever it makes operational senses to do so. Often, control of the airspace below a certain altitude will just be passed to the LCC because it just makes sense to do so.

Offline Bird_Gunner45

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Re: Air Defence appreciation
« Reply #172 on: July 12, 2017, 10:16:40 »
There is lots of video out there of how other “less organized” armies are using UAV, drones in combat, generally they are either overhead or within 1,000m of the battle. They are being used to direct infantry, vehicles or artillery in real time to maximize their attacks. The response must be very immediate, literally you have about 10-20 minutes to destroy the drone to prevent it from carrying out its mission and at a cost of $500-$1,000, they might have multiple ones ready to go if one is shot down and the mission is worth it. Now the commercial drones can be disrupted by jammers for now, but it won’t take long for someone to work around that, so one needs to assume that we will have to shoot them down, while at the same time working on electronic suppressors. While the .50cal could be used in a twin or quad mount, likely better to have 20mm-25mm as a minimum to get the reach and hopefully some proximity fuzed rounds, to improve hit rate.

The .50 cal is out of service, so that might be an issue.

As for the UAS, yes, you are right and that is exactly what had been discussed previously. However, there is an infinitesimal chance of a MUAS being visually seen and SUAS can stand off up to 2 km away (Scan Eagle as an example could do 2 km comfortably) so is unlikely to be seen by an inf coy or other sub-unit, let alone engaged. AAAD is still a thing, but people need to be realistic about this- without a radar/ADSI any firing unit would be of dubious value, if not a danger to friendly assets. SO unless early warning is pushed down to the sub-unit by the ASCC via the IADS than there's little to no chance of detecting these AVs.


Offline Bird_Gunner45

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Re: Air Defence appreciation
« Reply #173 on: July 12, 2017, 10:18:56 »
If I have the doctrine right, there is only one sky and one piece of air space, and it belongs to the joint force commander.  He appoints the Area Air Defence Commander (AADC), who ensures that friendly airpower (arguably the biggest strength of NATO/Western forces) can operate without getting blasted out of the sky by friendly forces.

Read JP 3-30 if you want to understand the system.

http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/new_pubs/jointpub_operations.htm

http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/new_pubs/jp3_30.pdf

 :goodpost: