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Copperhead/Krasnopol/Excalibur - guided artillery

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posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 03:23 PM

The M712 Copperhead projectile was the first smart artillery round ever developed. Its accuracy is measured in centimeters, and its lethality is impressive. Copperhead is a cannon-launched, 155mm artillery projectile which guides itself to a laser-designated target.

and the russian version

Both the Krasnopol and Krasnopol-M are superior to the Copperhead in the areas of range, projectile weight, targets engaged, attack profile, and operational field handling. However, there is a 15% range difference (three kilometers) between the Krasnopol and the Krasnopol-M.

The indian`s succesfully used Both the Krasnopol during the last border skirmish with Pakistan - and field MANY units equipped with these guided munitions.

and finally to the next generation

Excailibur - Extended range GPS guided ordnance

The Excalibur 155mm Precision Guided Extended Range Artillery Projectile, also known as the M982 ER DPICM (Extended Range Dual Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions) Projectile, is the Army's fire and forget, smart munition. It provides capability to attack all three key target sets, soft and armored vehicles, and reinforced bunkers, out to ranges exceeding current 155mm family of artillery munitions.

As a footnote : copperhead was deployed during GW1 , but they found that a hellfire did the job just as well ; it was the indian`s with Krasnopol who found another use - acurate bunker busting with minimal collateral damage.

and for the record (of interest i feel) Iran also have a 122-mm MRL - laser guided rocket sub munition;

posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 06:50 PM
These are impressive, but the first two, Copperhead and Krasnopol (M), can be foiled, at what chance or percent, hard to say, since the sources did not mention such. Anyhow, both artillery guided shells must be laser-designated/target-illuminated. As such, they can be thwarted by laser warning detectors + countermeasures, or smoke canister laying a smoke cloud, simply moving into a smoky environment, etc.

The GPS guided munitions are certainly impressive, but likewise, can be thwarted by GPS jammers/jamming.


posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 09:35 PM
There is still much secrecy about these types of artillery weapons. But small details can be found in publications.

I would say that several types of seeker heads are used on artillery rounds.
Infra-Red (laser designated option)
Anti-Radiation (like a HARM)
Optical (TV image)
Millimeter Wave
And perhaps one other that I won't mention.
Or any combination of the above.
And in roughly the order they were invented.

I remember when the optical seeker came about. It was envisioned to be used as a basic TV picture, to show what was at the impact site. Transmitting back to the artillery unit, they would be able to see where the targets were located.

The concept when millimeter wave seekers came about, was that any big chunk of metal, would be unable to hide from a targeting device of this type. The seeker homes in on the attenuation of the metal. All metal reflects the radiation that is always in the environment. That reflection can be seen. The joke at the time, was that you could bury your tank under 10 or 20 feet of dirt, and it would still find it.

Anti-Radiation, of course, homes in on any radios or radars that are transmitting. The Soviets were one of the first with this type of seeker in artillery.

GPS is one of the newest, and has good accuracy.

Imagine the first shot, with a camera, that identifies the targets down range, and transmits that information back to the command center. With modern computers and software, a techie type could quickly designate which targets and which types of artillery rounds to send. Aided by the software, he would send selected seekers at matching targets.

The use of RPV's for intel and recon in the battlezone, tends to eliminate the need for the optics. But it's possibly still an item that might be used, as required.

The US Navy's intended use of 155mm AGS (Advanced Gun System) on the new DDX, gives an idea of what is possible. Able to out perform the 16 inchers of the old battleships, in range, rate of fire, and accuracy. Capable of firing 10-12 rounds per minute of precision guided munitions. Combined with the modern seeker heads and warheads developed. Intentions are to incorporate the US Army's 155mm XM-982 projectiles and the DTRA 5in projectile.

US Navy DDX AGS links:

[edit on 26-10-2005 by ZPE StarPilot]

posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 10:22 PM
That was a great and informative post, ZPE StarPilot.
Thanks for the information and commentary; very enlightening.


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