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Steel_Hamster

Artillery question.

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In the mission editoer there are two choices. Either artillery calls by dedicated spotter-units or free for all. Which is used in real military operations? Art observers (both infantry and vehicles) are rare, and they would probably be used up pretty fast in an allout conflict and I guess other units often are the ones who call for support.

Would a tank or infantry unit have the radios to call for artillery?

How does it work in SB if you chose the "art calls for all"-setting?

Does it set a higher priority for dedicated observer units?

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Yes, FOs and COs have a much reduced call for fire time in the queue (and the XOs, if their COs are out of action).

Books that I'm currently reading about the current operations in Afghanistan and Iraq indicate that usually all the patrols and outposts in the field have their spotter with them. The question is whether you want to simulate a scenario with seriously overstretched forces like what the British experienced in 2006 in Helmand, or a more conventional disposition.

In the first case, let everybody call for fire, or whenever you create an infantry platoon, add a dismounted FO team to that platoon. In the latter case you could eventually restrict it to FO units, but then you must make sure to have at least one, often two or more assigned to each company. The company which is in the battalion's Schwerpunkt (main effort) would eventually have more observers than those guarding the flanks ... unless you have ONLY artillery spotters to guard the flanks, which can happen too.

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Another question on FASCAM - since radar is capable to detect artillery strikes and the place of their origin ("counter battery fire"), can radar differ between regular artillery projectiles, and FASCAM strikes? I mean can a FASCAM strike by any means be recognised early, by radar or differently (without somebody running into the minefield)?

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I don't think so. Im not sure something like a Q-36 or Q-37 see the rounds at that point in their trajectory or would be able to detect the submunitions.

As for how many FASCAM rounds a unit would normally carry I believe this would normally be a pretty low number. As I recall, FASCAM deployment is usually controlled at a pretty high level to coordinate it in the battle plan, and since it takes a pretty large number of rounds to create a dense enough minefield, the FASCAM rounds are probably delivered in numbers to the specific unit as the situation requires it.

Mog

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Yes, FOs and COs have a much reduced call for fire time in the queue (and the XOs, if their COs are out of action).

I'm not actually convinced of the merit of this one. There is no difference in the processing time if Squadron 91 (FO) comes on the radio with a fire mission request, or if Red 2 (A staff sergeant tank commander) comes on the radio. The real advantage to having an FO around is that they are more up to speed with unusual requests so that the fire mission can be more appropriate to the target (eg sheaf, shift-from-known-point, special munitions requirements, etc). In terms of simply telling guns "put HE/ICM/Smoke/whatever at this grid", there is no difference in either accuracy or speed, at least in the US.

NTM

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I'd like to redo the whole model of the command hierarchy one day, with definable delays between each level and also a proper model for attachments, detachments, both for the entire mission or just certain phases of it, where you could either define (as the mission designer, or during the planning phase) whether a certain platoon leader will have direct access to calls for fire or if they would require permission from the CO, and of course a proper model for the accuracy of determining one's own position and the location of a target (bearing, range).

Then again, starting work in that area will probably lead us into the abyss of replicating OneSAF, and I'm not sure if that actually is an advantage. :o

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Another question on FASCAM - since radar is capable to detect artillery strikes and the place of their origin ("counter battery fire"), can radar differ between regular artillery projectiles, and FASCAM strikes? I mean can a FASCAM strike by any means be recognised early, by radar or differently (without somebody running into the minefield)?

I shouldn't think so, Sub-munition carriers only explode metres above the ground.

And if theres a unit under them they already know about it, so no point radioing them if you could detect Subs.

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There is no difference in the processing time if Squadron 91 (FO) comes on the radio with a fire mission request, or if Red 2 (A staff sergeant tank commander) comes on the radio.

Well, in our army at least, the gun position isn't on the common net. The FOO has at least two radios so he can talk to the gun line and talk on the sqn, coy, BG, whatever net.

When you want fire, you talk to the FOO. He then relays the fire mission to the actual guns.

The FOO's first instinct is to get eyes on your target and run the mission himself - he is the expert, after all, and the mission will go much faster if he is running the whole show. Plus there's no need to clog the common net with the fire mission if the FOO has eyes on.

But if the FOO cannot see the target, then it is up to the caller to send corrections and run the mission - but all the commands pass through the FOO on the way to the guns. This slows the mission down somewhat, but it also provides a second brain to vet the mission.

Some of the FOOs I've worked with will let you get as complex with the mission as you want; as long as you know what you are doing they'll let you run with it. But if you start to lose the plot or if you're ridiculous they are under no obligation to relay your exact mission to the guns. So if you ask for 25 rounds in effect or for FASCAM on a lone BMP... that ain't going to the guns.

It's somewhat FOO-specific, but some will read back your all-arms call for fire with the details of your mission as he is sending it to the guns, so:

FIRE MISSION, Grid 123 456, direction 3200, 3 x BMP-2, 1 x T72, dismounted sections stationary in open radius 100, neutralize ASAP for 5 min

might come back to you as

FIRE MISSION BATTERY, Grid 123 456, direction 3200, 3 x BMP-2, 1 x T72, dismounted sections in open, 25% VT 25% DPICM, 4 rounds in effect, adjust fire

so now you know the ammo mix, number of tubes, and number of round per gun you're going to get.

If you get:

"Target not identified, send corrections, over"

he can't see it and it's your shoot. But if you get:

"Target identified, out"

He's got it and you probably won't hear from him until he is ready to FFE.

If it is your shoot, all the corrections go to him first, then from him to the guns, so that slows things down.

By the book, recce units have Tp freqs and the FOO is on Sqn. So if 43C wants a fire mission, it it supposed to go the the Tp Ldr who then relays to the Sqn net. That appears to be an Armour School-ism though.

DG

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