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Mortar Mix


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You are the Team Comander of a mech heavy Team. 2 mech, 1 tank. Battalion has a Battery of 155's on Call. What would you like for your mortar support? 81's, 120's, 60's in every track? Didn't US Mech years ago have a dedicated 81 MM section at the co level?

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Where are we deployed to? Who is we fighting? What is my primary tasking? How many tubes can I have of each variety? How dispersed is the team? Are my mortars in tracks? If they are, are they old skool round hatch or nifty gun-mortar/load assisted? How many ammo tracks/trucks do I have? Do I have any nifty PGMs? What are my ROEs regarding organic tubes?

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Presuming the enemy is composed similarly to me, a battery of 155s is fairly useless- you want to mass a BN or 2 at the critical points, unless you can catch a stationary target for PGMs.

 

I want the BN to have a robust platoon (8-9 tubes- either 3 x 3 or 2 x 4, with dedicated FDCs for each section) of 120mm mortars- preferably something that can be fired under cover (from inside the turret) and based on the same chassis as the rest of my combat vehicles.

 

I want, under my own control, a section of 3-4 tubes of 120mm, same vehicle and capability.

 

1- I'm not going to kill many vehicles with them, but HE (and ICM, if available) are useful to make dead ground uncomfortable for staging in, and can mess up dismounts or unarmored vehicles.

 

2- Smoke/WP is great for limiting enemy visbility against most sighting systems.

 

3- I can use illum at night as a form of H&I

 

4- I can use illum even in day to mark targets, either as temporary TRPs for direct fire, or more likely for aircraft (FW and RW).

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One Part Portland Cement, one part hydrated lime, 3 parts masonry sand, all by volume. :P

Edited by rmgill
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Where are we deployed to? Who is we fighting? What is my primary tasking? How many tubes can I have of each variety? How dispersed is the team? Are my mortars in tracks? If they are, are they old skool round hatch or nifty gun-mortar/load assisted? How many ammo tracks/trucks do I have? Do I have any nifty PGMs? What are my ROEs regarding organic tubes?

 

 

 

Simon, I threw this in based on this scenario from Steel Beasts.

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RDBrg20u3s

Edited by John_Ford
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In that mech kind of world, why would you have anything other than;-

 

AMOS

 

Mortar Bty (Bn level), comprising;-

HQ Section :- Cmd/FO track, FDC track, 3x Ammo Carrier Tracks

3 Firing Sections, each;- Cmd /FO track, 2x AMOS, Ammo Track

 

The assumption is that the Bty will draw on Bn ISTAR, support and maintenance.

The battery can be bigger, this is the baseline I would go with. You could push out one or two sections(+) to support a detachment or mass all 3 sections as needed.

Big bombs are good when dealing with mech and with built up real estate. One of the more interesting challenges is how you would load the mortar tracks given the diversity in ammo choices. PGM, DPICM, HE, Smoke, ILLUM etc. This is one reason I like lots of ammo tracks. It's less to do with the total number of bombs, though mortars tend to go black fast. It's having enough of the tight kind of bomb at the right place and at the right time. A big box on tracks with loading assistance devices would work.

Burst enabled systems like AMOS allow the firing section to shoot like a Bty and Bty to shoot almost like a conventional Bn.

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Simon, there's no doubt that an autoloader provides clear advantages for mortars being used in the traditional fire support role (especially against an equal opponent with mortar-locating radar), but it also adds complexity, eats up space, and complicates the rapid switching of ammunition natures.

 

In a more general-purpose vehicle (like the Warrior shown above), a turreted mortar may be more often used in a direct rather than indirect fire role, and rate of fire may be less important. In these circustances, manual loading may be preferable.

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Using the mortar as a DF gun is kinda pointless when you have real tanks (we are ignoring the fact that some countries cannot field a decent HE round on their tank main guns,) They are much too valuable being mortars.

There is no substitute for the massive increase in ROF possible with dual autoloading tubes. it lets you either complete your mission and scoot or do stuff like TOT.

One benefit of the monster ROF is that you can use one or two sections to do a battery shoot while still keeping the third section for specialty munitions like PGMs.

The AMOS is the ne plus ultra of the mech mortar game. It is the logical step once you accept the added complexity of a turret and a track.

Ammunition expenditure with such capabilities is likely to be prodigious, mainly because you can.

 

Simon

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Using the mortar as a DF gun is kinda pointless when you have real tanks (we are ignoring the fact that some countries cannot field a decent HE round on their tank main guns,) They are much too valuable being mortars.

 

I was thinking more of circumstances in which AIFVs were fighting without tanks - either because they don't have any, or for political reasons, or because they haven't yet been able to get them to the theatre due to transport problems, or because the terrain is unsuitable (mountain tracks or bridges unable to cope with 70 tons). An MICV with a manual mortar turret could be an effective support weapon for other MICVs, offering a heavy punch in both direct and indirect fire (with the high angle capability being useful in urban fighting), with the options to fire PGMs indirectly or something like LAHAT directly. It would seem to be a versatile package.

 

The turret can be used by 8x8s as well - this Piranha can take 60 rounds.

 

 

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You don't need lots of mortars if you have a competant artillery arm which includes its C&C arrangements.

 

These days the CFF response time is no different because both are subject to airclearance requirements. Small mortars may have some value because their low lethality means they can be used closder to own troops.

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Smoke as a screening or self-protection agent may be past its time if you and opponent have thermals. So, back to arty and CAS, combined arms. Hauling a lot of indirect fire rounds over x terrain as a function will best be left to the arty to figure out. If a couple of mortar rounds will suppress, permit maneuver for a company, go ahead. Don't count on much more than that. Hard to justify mortars up front with maneuver companies, that's just the old heavy cav jealousy.

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Using the mortar as a DF gun is kinda pointless when you have real tanks (we are ignoring the fact that some countries cannot field a decent HE round on their tank main guns,) They are much too valuable being mortars.

 

I was thinking more of circumstances in which AIFVs were fighting without tanks - either because they don't have any, or for political reasons, or because they haven't yet been able to get them to the theatre due to transport problems, or because the terrain is unsuitable (mountain tracks or bridges unable to cope with 70 tons). An MICV with a manual mortar turret could be an effective support weapon for other MICVs, offering a heavy punch in both direct and indirect fire (with the high angle capability being useful in urban fighting), with the options to fire PGMs indirectly or something like LAHAT directly. It would seem to be a versatile package.

 

The turret can be used by 8x8s as well - this Piranha can take 60 rounds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

That would have been handy here. No dedicated FS Arty and co-located with maneuver elements. Especially when the Haji's were buggin out and you could have interdicted their retreat.

 

http://www.putlocker.com/file/9307BB46BAE2BE06#

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Smoke as a screening or self-protection agent may be past its time if you and opponent have thermals.

 

Unless you or your opponent have IR-obscuring smoke generators

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Wait....I thought we were fighting the Godless commie hordes in tank country with Class 70+ all the way. This is why I asked about the context.

It could have been fish out of water like Baghdad 2003 but the first things to go black were the 120mm mortars even then.

 

Thermal screening smoke is pretty common these days from smoke dischargers up.

 

The lure of organic mortars is that they are not artillery and you don't get told...."sorry, call back in 15 minutes, we are busy" . The redlegs will always resist these upstarts poaching their turf.

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Wait....I thought we were fighting the Godless commie hordes in tank country with Class 70+ all the way. This is why I asked about the context.

It could have been fish out of water like Baghdad 2003 but the first things to go black were the 120mm mortars even then.

 

Thermal screening smoke is pretty common these days from smoke dischargers up.

 

The lure of organic mortars is that they are not artillery and you don't get told...."sorry, call back in 15 minutes, we are busy" . The redlegs will always resist these upstarts poaching their turf.

 

 

 

Yup, at the risk of Hijacking my own thread. The Youtube video is what got me thinkin'. The episode of Bomb Patrol was something I saw later. No air, too far out for Arty, Some MORTARS would be real nice right now. This episode had me thinking about a section of armor would have been nice but then any organic Fire Support would have worked here.

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I believe the Corps bought some of the Maske multispectral grenades in 66mm variety. It is also available in 76 and 81 format. I am sure I saw a video of it at some show but cannot seem to find it.

 

This linky goes to a page showing a supersize screening solution called MASS for naval apps.

 

http://harvard.printingwalthamma.com/2011/12/24/watch-rheinmetall-mass-iir-laser-screening/

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Ken, it is in standard Sov use since mid/late '80s for tank mounted SGDs. Will have to look up for designation.

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Multi-spectral smoke, which covers both visisble and IR bands, is nothing unusual. The French Galix multipurpose grenade discharger system which is mounted on the Leclerc and other vehicles can fire the Galix 13 multiband screening smoke grenade (plus a variety of other types of rounds, like self-protection HE fragmentation, tear gas, stun and IR decoy).

 

There are similar screening-smoke projectiles for the artillery as well, like the South African Denel Assegia M2002:

"(...) The smoke provides screening against both visual and infra-red surveillance. Full infra-red obscuration is obtained 60 seconds after the start of cloud formation, with full visual obscuration taking from 60 to 90 seconds. The smoke composition characteristics and emission time can be varied to suit individual customer requirements (...)."

 

 

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The lure of organic mortars is that they are not artillery and you don't get told...."sorry, call back in 15 minutes, we are busy" . The redlegs will always resist these upstarts poaching their turf.

 

Clearly not a 'customer centric' unit. DS arty is paid to provide firepower and tactical elements to the unit they are directly supporting. If there is a priority problem then its a matter for the supported MAC and the battery comd to sort out.

 

!! Oh silly me, I forgot, the US Army isn't smart enough to organise matters that way. Just a LO flunky to a MAC two ranks senior.

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Multi-spectral smoke, which covers both visisble and IR bands, is nothing unusual. The French Galix multipurpose grenade discharger system which is mounted on the Leclerc and other vehicles can fire the Galix 13 multiband screening smoke grenade (plus a variety of other types of rounds, like self-protection HE fragmentation, tear gas, stun and IR decoy).

 

There are similar screening-smoke projectiles for the artillery as well, like the South African Denel Assegia M2002:

"(...) The smoke provides screening against both visual and infra-red surveillance. Full infra-red obscuration is obtained 60 seconds after the start of cloud formation, with full visual obscuration taking from 60 to 90 seconds. The smoke composition characteristics and emission time can be varied to suit individual customer requirements (...)."

 

Thanks, Tomas. I am well aware that things have progressed since I left active duty, but I am wondering how effective these are vs modern thermals? Having only played with thermals and never used them in ops, I'd like to know what one sees in thermals vs. these 'multispectrals.' IOW, just saying so does not necessarily work out in the field.

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...Thanks, Tomas. I am well aware that things have progressed since I left active duty, but I am wondering how effective these are vs modern thermals? Having only played with thermals and never used them in ops, I'd like to know what one sees in thermals vs. these 'multispectrals.' IOW, just saying so does not necessarily work out in the field.

 

Ken, I have heard effect being described as "same as very heavy fog" so pretty effective vs thermals.

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