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Are safe cluster weapons/alternatives possible?

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posted on Aug, 11 2006 @ 07:56 PM
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There was an item in the news today about Israel attempting to purchase M26 rockets from the US (227mm MLRS rocket, cluster bomb warhead, unguided) for use against Hezbollah rocket launchers.

Cluster munitions have a reputation for being extremely effective against sof-skinned area targets such as rocket launchers and other artillery positions. The downside is the high dud rate (UXO = unexploded ordinance)... you're effectivley "minning" the area you attack. This is bad news for anyone who tries to enter the area after an attack - both civilians and your own troops.

The US Army actually stopped manufacturing cluster munition warheads for its 227mm rockets because they couldn't get the dud rate below "acceptable levels."

So first question: Is there an alternative to cluster weapons? Either air-burst warheads (i.e. 250lb bomb wired to a proximity fuze) or some alternate "area weapon" that could be as effective against those kinds of targets?

Second question: can we build a more "reliable/safe" cluster/sub-munition (safe = only kills the people we want to kill)? I could see eliminating the danger of UXO making these weapons less controversial.

Some ideas for "safing" cluster munitions:

* Use TATB, a chemical explosive that's nearly impossible to detonate accidentaly (shock/friction sensitivity is listed as "none"). This should reduce the threat of UXO by eliminating the risk of accidental detonations.

* Electronic fuzes: electronic systems can be more reliable than mechanical systems, and once the battery drains the munition is "inert" - no pent up mechanical force threatening to set off the bomb should it be dropped/mishandled.

* RFID tags: odd one yes, but giving the bomb a reliable way to indicate it's location should make cleaning up UXO much easier. Coin-sized active RFID tags can operate for years, be detected from 300+feet away, and only cost a dollar or two.

* Count the explosisions: we've got a number of compact/cheap/simple microphone based systems that can identify the source/type of explosion... so why not listen and count how many of your submunitions go off? You know how many munitions you fired... subtract the number that exploded, and you know exactly how many duds you need to look for when you start clean-up work.

Artillery positions could probably carry their own sensors. Air-dropped cluster bombs could be fitted with a microphone/sensor, a processor, and a cheap satellite link (carried in the bomb/dispenser) to report back the success rate.


Well, that's it for ideas, thanks for listening, and as always, feel free to comment/critisize/etc.


EDIT: whoops, one last question: does anyone know the dud rate for standard iron bombs?

[edit on 11-8-2006 by RedMatt]




posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 05:27 AM
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RedMatt,

>>
There was an item in the news today about Israel attempting to purchase M26 rockets from the US (227mm MLRS rocket, cluster bomb warhead, unguided) for use against Hezbollah rocket launchers.
>>

Buy a GPS guided round and then give it better TLE assurity/update with whatever followons to the Mastif/Scout systems of 1982 they now have available (Heron?). I would also recommend a heavy investment in robotic UGBs (like Terminator HKs) so that, now that the sheep have nominally fled the smaller towns, you can send in unmanned patrols to slaughter the heroic shahiden. Maybe even take a few pictures of them enjoying the fruits of their plunder 'by default'. Israel are collectively such a bunch of idealistic fools for not counterexploiting human nature this way. Make these common men 'holy warriors' FEAR being alone. And then show how debased they act when they are forced to live with that fear and particularly the thought of going to Allah at the muzzle of a robot which was never alive to be called an infidel.

>>
Cluster munitions have a reputation for being extremely effective against sof-skinned area targets such as rocket launchers and other artillery positions. The downside is the high dud rate (UXO = unexploded ordinance)... you're effectivley "minning" the area you attack. This is bad news for anyone who tries to enter the area after an attack - both civilians and your own troops.
>>

Too Damn Bad. I've seen pictures of 'Israeli Girls Signing Artillery Shells' and 'Palestinian Boys Bringing Water to Hezbollah Rebels.'

The only point of either of which is that the stupid should die together to make it easier for the smart to inherit what they leave behind. Combatants and civies do not belong in the same frame. Once they are, _whatever_ kills them is no longer the driving 'moral factor'. Only that they chose to stand together to begin with.

This is a war to a finish and ONLY as soon as we stop pretending otherwise, will we be able to setup the opening moves to reach the endgame on our terms.

>>
The US Army actually stopped manufacturing cluster munition warheads for its 227mm rockets because they couldn't get the dud rate below "acceptable levels."
>>

The Mine Treaty is moronic. IEDs are nothing if not antipersonnel mines, even if the charges are sometimes HUGE. Indeed, nobody hurls Geneva or Hague articles at the insurgents when a triggered device goes off, killing innumerable civillians in a market or playground. If we mined the crap out of every Iraqi highway and installation as an approach/area denial measure, would we be equally guilty of using 'excessive force' because the threat has to _come to us_ to get popped?

Wars are about assassination and murder, the only real sign of morality is inherent to you doing your best to keep YOUR side's innocents from unnecessary death by staying the hell away from them as a military force. As soon as they admit to being weaker by hiding within a collateral mass, the only thing you can do is PUT PRESSURE on that exact point of collocation so that the threat doesn't develop a habit of increasing the death count under the mistaken belief that they are saving a few effectives.

Indeed, the more you hurt the other side's collaterals, either because their so called 'warriors' hide among them like goats between the sheep. Or as a direct attack on home and hearth logistics (the way we beat back the Native Americans into eternal POW status), the faster you convince both enemy and civillian CSS elements that their paths must separate back into discrete forces so that they cease losing their POLITICAL JUSTIFICATION FOR FIGHTING as fast as they are the cheerleading and logistics support. Only a moron would fail to see the present campaign as anything but what it is.

Let them yell. Hope that they yell LOUDLY enough to hear themselves and put 1+1 together in returning those soldiers or their bodies before their voice fades from history.

>>
So first question: Is there an alternative to cluster weapons? Either air-burst warheads (i.e. 250lb bomb wired to a proximity fuze) or some alternate "area weapon" that could be as effective against those kinds of targets?
>>

While there are multiple 'electronic' fuzes in existence (every thimble nosed 500lb bomb with an FMU-139 is effectively an airburst weapon), this isn't the appropriate question. The questions you need to answer are:

1. Expense.
2. Reactivity.
3. Number of Aimpoints In A Given Sized The Target Matrix.

If I wanted to destroy a threat whose precise location I was not sure of, I would do so by saturating it's area of operation so that it couldn't function any more than I could. This costs however since I am essentially creating a 'deliberate minefield' )(shock, horror, they act like assassins and can't go back to planting olives the next day).

Short of this, I would cover the area with both air and ground apertures and then track ALL movement. This means piped bandwidth and intelligent display of perhaps a 1,000 sensors. Also not cheap.

The goal of the above would be to find not just the launchers but _their operating cycles_ as they are being reloaded. Thereafter to engage the crews as much as the tube. Preferably from less than the time it takes an artillery network to be handed coordinates and send a shell downrange.

Obviously, if they are using single rockets from single holes, several hundred feet apart (think fireworks mortars), you need to consider the possibility that no practical amount of clustering will cover the entire footprint and so you may need to record locations and engage them individually with the _smallest_ payload possible. Both to allow for multiple attacks from a given munition/sortie system and to enable at least a few load crews to be splatterd all over the faces of those whose hospitality they return to 'after a hard days work'. Making examples in a fashion which is sure to get the word out: "Don't get close to them, they are marked by the Israelis as well as by God!".

The obvious candidate for this being a UAV/Viper Strike combo but the VSM (which is powered with an alternative autonomous homing system) and SMACM/Dominator could also apply. As would a 'true UCAV' with the heavier GBU-39. None of which the so-clever Israelis have seen fit to fund on their own apparently.

>>
Second question: can we build a more "reliable/safe" cluster/sub-munition (safe = only kills the people we want to kill)? I could see eliminating the danger of UXO making these weapons less controversial.
>>

CBU-107 PAWS. When we went into Iraq in 2003, we avoided a repeat of the ODS incident (moron EOD teams 'dozer pile' unexploded ADEN bomblets on an airfield only to get themselves super-fragged when one or two finally timed off) by switching to inert flechettes to shut down some airports and retain an anti-TEL capability in urban collateral conditions. They are generally safe (not toxically coated or too hard to spot) when walked around but their kinetic impact remains sufficient to destroy rockets and launch tubes on initial impact.

Mind you, 3,750 'nails' is not an inconsiderable amount of cleanup on it's own.

>>
Some ideas for "safing" cluster munitions:

* Use TATB, a chemical explosive that's nearly impossible to detonate accidentaly (shock/friction sensitivity is listed as "none"). This should reduce the threat of UXO by eliminating the risk of accidental detonations.



posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 05:27 AM
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* Electronic fuzes: electronic systems can be more reliable than mechanical systems, and once the battery drains the munition is "inert" - no pent up mechanical force threatening to set off the bomb should it be dropped/mishandled.

* RFID tags: odd one yes, but giving the bomb a reliable way to indicate it's location should make cleaning up UXO much easier. Coin-sized active RFID tags can operate for years, be detected from 300+feet away, and only cost a dollar or two.

* Count the explosisions: we've got a number of compact/cheap/simple microphone based systems that can identify the source/type of explosion... so why not listen and count how many of your submunitions go off? You know how many munitions you fired... subtract the number that exploded, and you know exactly how many duds you need to look for when you start clean-up work.
>>

First, NEVER give a guerilla threat freebies in the way of either explosives or fuzing mechanisms. They will turn them back on you. Or sell them to TechInt teams in the region for exactly that purpose.

If you want to hunt UXO, sign onto a realistic UN 'guarantee system' to sponsor UGV disposal units (robotic armored rototillers) and UAV based (Lidar/UWB ground penetrating sensors) localization platforms for GPS precision positioning cleanup based on a given _bussing point_ flashback.

DO NOT tie the hands of your forces /before/ the job is done or you will end up paying to demine the bad guy before he can be convinced to become otherwise.

>>
Artillery positions could probably carry their own sensors. Air-dropped cluster bombs could be fitted with a microphone/sensor, a processor, and a cheap satellite link (carried in the bomb/dispenser) to report back the success rate.
>>

The footprint of a CBU, depending on how it's set to bus is upwards of 2 football fields. You need to do better than this for post-war cleanup because you cannot prejudge variable ballistics effects, weather effects, soil constituencies and other 'unknowable unknowns' to give you a reasonable search locii purely based on overlapping explosion counts. i.e. You need to literally be able to confirm a given plot of ground has been sterilized. Not rely on BLU detcounts.

Having said that, there is a munition delivered drogue designed to reel out behind a weapon to record detonation and take snapshot images as a function of standoff munition BIA beyond the limits of targeting FLIRs to precisely verify. If you showed junior gun bunny pulling rockets from behind the woodshed of the 'innocent family' putting him up for the week, you might institute some realistic cynicism in those who now take the Lebanese side without question.

But more importantly, you need to CONVINCE the people who are wailing that they only way they will /ever/ get relief from their own slaughter is to _pick a side_ and then make sure they understand the consequences of not picking the right one.

>>
Well, that's it for ideas, thanks for listening, and as always, feel free to comment/critisize/etc.


EDIT: whoops, one last question: does anyone know the dud rate for standard iron bombs?
>>

I doubt if you will ever get firm numbers on this.

First off, unitary weapons are usually a lot more robustly fuzed than CBUs. With both nose and tail options possible and a dual initiator-booster system to ensure the main charge goes off. From high altitude, the kinetic energy of a conventional (non penetrating, frangible case) weapon is also usually enough to cause at least a low order explosion/deflagration on impact with anything hard.

The problem being that all explosives have variable toxicity residues and particularly the later 'insensitive' explosives like PBXN-109 (duuuh, it's been awhile) have additive ingredients which, if not completely consumed by high order blast, will leave nifty # like IPDI in the soil which, in concentration, is rather, ahem, carcinogenic. Thus, forgetting 'humane war' concerns, Fed environmental stewardship of existing ranges, like the green-bullet controversy, may be another case of too little, too late, without a ma$$ive cleanup effort. As such, figures on how much ordnance may actually be out there as a result of 'duds' or other non-HO detonations is apt to be kept a secret for a very long time. I have read numbers as low as 1% failure but would put the actual failure rate in much the same level of 3-5% as a 'healthy' (in-date, recent design, optimal detonation condition) CBU. 7-8% happens when you drop into soft mud, sand or trees. 10-12% happens to high acceleration devices like artillery shells and rockets with limited safing. And 30-40% is usually some peacenik in the Coallition To Kill CBUs using 'local figures' on an ancient Mk.20 Rockeye dropped by a third world nobody whose aircrew graduated from a mailorder UPT academy.


KPl.



posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 11:56 AM
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Check out this one - a unitary warhead with the killing power of a 1,000 lb cluster munition:

www.defensetech.org...

There's a cool video of the thing doing some damage.

IF it performs as they say, this could replace cluster munitions (specificall the MLRS warhead) tomorrow, and engineers would not get killed cleaning up the UXOs afterwards.



posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 05:20 PM
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The easiest method by far for knocking out these rockets sites, would be for the Israeli F15C's to drop Fuel Air Explosive ordnance.

I don't know if Israeli UAV's are capable of tgt designation by laser but it seems to me that this would probably be the most cost effective method for defeating these rocket launchers and far from maiming innocent civilians, the resulting explosion[s] would flatten the area preventing Hisbollah from hiding the launch vehicles there.



posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 08:20 PM
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Hmmm... maybe I'm approaching this the wrong way: question being, how to beat the launchers?

I had thought counter-battery fire was the best way to take out a rocket launcher: if they're close enough to use Katyusha rockets, you're probably close enough to throw MLRS rockets back at them. I figured cluster munitions would be the best way to hit a large array and assure a "kill," becuase if they could accuratly target their rockets they'd ask for guided rockets instead.

Two questions then:

1. How accurate would counter-battery fire be (rocket vs. rocket/tube artillery - assuming you can't get an aircraft in position quickly enough to "spot" the fire)?

2. How much of a difference do cluster bombs make vs. unitary warheads as far as blast radius/area destroyed? I'd figure Israel would order M30 guided rockets if it could accuratly target the launchers. But if they aren't sure of what they're shooting at, would cluster munitions really make up the difference?

I've got the impression that Hezbollah is attacking using modified trucks/cobbled together mobile launchers for it's rocket attacks - drive up, aim, fire, run like hell. If that's true I doubt artillery-based counter attacks would be very effective because your targets drive away before the time your ammunition gets there.


On a separate, I don't see any reason to use air-dropped cluster munitions. If you already have an aircraft in position, there's no reason not to use sensors and guided weapons to make a single accurate attack, instead of throwing blomblest all over the place.


So as a new proposal for an anti-rocket reaction force: Starting with UAVs, something that can stay airborn for 24 hours. Pretadors would be nice, but so would something faster. Once a rocket attack starts, immidiatly return fire with M30 rockets + 155mm (whatever's handy and reasonably accurate) to scatter the attackers. Direct all availible (in the air and nearby) UAVs to the area, and hit the launch vehicles fleeing the scene (assuming you can get there in time).

Or just follow the truck back to where ever they reload it... then attack.

... but could Israel afford enough Predator-type UAVs to cover the border w/Lebannon sufficiently to use such tactics?

One final PS: does anyone know how much our 227mm (MLRS) rockets cost? I've been trying to find the $$$ but I don't think it's on the net.

Thanks again!b


[edit on 12-8-2006 by RedMatt]



posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 08:49 PM
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Originally posted by Wembley

Check out this one - a unitary warhead with the killing power of a 1,000 lb cluster munition:

www.defensetech.org...

There's a cool video of the thing doing some damage.

IF it performs as they say, this could replace cluster munitions (specificall the MLRS warhead) tomorrow, and engineers would not get killed cleaning up the UXOs afterwards.


Nifty design. I don't think I've seen an air-to-ground bomb designed specificaly for airburst effects before, but it'd be nice if we could replace our CBUs with something like this. It'd have to scale up though, MLRS is designed for 200lbs and something comparable to the Mk 80 series (250-2000lbs) could pack a massive punch. Bomb fragments will only fly so far, but you could have more/larger bits of shrapnel flying around... not something I'd want to be on the recieving end up.



posted on Aug, 13 2006 @ 03:57 AM
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Red Matt, counter battery fire only works if your proposed tgt stays firing from the same posn, after the initial barrage.

From what I've seen on TV and been told by close friends, Hisbollah fire then withdraw from rural fire posns but have been maintaining the fire posns in urab areas. Israel needs to have a flexible response to this and I firmly believe that in this case the use of cluster munitions would simply be overkill.

My suggestion that Israel use Fuel Air Explosives, leaves nothing to chance. They have the destructive power of a small nuclear device and can be used in rural situations as an area weapon, especially if fused for an airburst.

Where Hisbollah are shamefully hiding their rockets in urban areas, the IDFAF has the ability to drop munitioins with pinpoint accuracy and have demonstrated their ability to do so.

From the safety of our armchairs however, it is certainly easier for us to pass opinions on what Israel should do and should not do, and how she should go about it.

The Israeli Prime Minister is in a very difficult position: On the one hand, he must balance Israel's response to unprovoked attacks against the Homeland and the country's thirst for revenge, and the need to restrict that response but cause maximum casualties on the perceived enemies.

I for one, am glad that I do not have to make his decisions.



posted on Aug, 13 2006 @ 04:59 AM
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Originally posted by fritz
Red Matt, counter battery fire only works if your proposed tgt stays firing from the same posn, after the initial barrage.

From what I've seen on TV and been told by close friends, Hisbollah fire then withdraw from rural fire posns but have been maintaining the fire posns in urab areas. Israel needs to have a flexible response to this and I firmly believe that in this case the use of cluster munitions would simply be overkill.


I think I'd have to agree with you. I posted the question because I was curious if a "safer" design was possible... but based on the responses and thinking that prompted, I'd have to say we're best off not using cluster munitions. Combine area effects with UXO dangers and the potential for munitions falling into enemy hands... and there's really no good way to employ these weapons.


My suggestion that Israel use Fuel Air Explosives, leaves nothing to chance. They have the destructive power of a small nuclear device and can be used in rural situations as an area weapon, especially if fused for an airburst.


I picture FAEs as worse than cluster bombs when it comes to collatoral damage. The blast/heat effects "flow" around obstacles and basicly kill/severley injure anyone near the blast; shelter doesn't matter, if you share airflow with the target of the blast you're going to be a casualty. And the injuries caused (internal bleeding mostly) are much harder to spot and care for than shrapnel wounds. Add in the tendancy for FAEs to simply flaten structures (indiscriminate damage) and the potential for unignited fuel to act as a chemical warfare agent... and I really wouldn't want to employ FAEs.

I've seen an interesting alternate: plastic-wrapped bombs. The explosion vaporizes the casing (so no shrapnel) and HE creates a very brief overpressure vs. the sustained blast of FAEs. The result is lots of blast/heat damage in a very limited area, and extremely limited damage outside that area, with no risk of FAE style "toxic dud"ing... which sounds just about right for what we're trying to accomplish.

I like CH1466's suggestion of small munitions (ideally Hellfire/APKWS or Viper Strike) being fired/dropped from aircraft with a clear view of the launchers (larger LGB/JDAM type weapons which cause far more damage, wich means greater risk of collatoral damage in urban areas.). And if Hezbollah is willing to stay put long enough to get aircraft overhead... so much the better.


Where Hisbollah are shamefully hiding their rockets in urban areas, the IDFAF has the ability to drop munitioins with pinpoint accuracy and have demonstrated their ability to do so.

From the safety of our armchairs however, it is certainly easier for us to pass opinions on what Israel should do and should not do, and how she should go about it.

The Israeli Prime Minister is in a very difficult position: On the one hand, he must balance Israel's response to unprovoked attacks against the Homeland and the country's thirst for revenge, and the need to restrict that response but cause maximum casualties on the perceived enemies.

I for one, am glad that I do not have to make his decisions.


Armchairing is much easier, I agree. With heavy emphasis on that last sentance.



posted on Aug, 13 2006 @ 10:28 AM
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Originally posted by fritz
My suggestion that Israel use Fuel Air Explosives, leaves nothing to chance. They have the destructive power of a small nuclear device and can be used in rural situations as an area weapon, especially if fused for an airburst.


I think you're mistaken about the effects. Because they are blast-only, FAE have a smaller (but more intense) zone of destruction than shrapnel weapons which can cause damage out to hundreds of metres.

The 'small nuclear device' quote which is often used it highly misleading. Even Something like MOAB (which is hardly partical for counterbattery) would be a tiny fraction of a kiloton equivalent.



posted on Aug, 13 2006 @ 10:31 AM
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Originally posted by RedMatt
I've seen an interesting alternate: plastic-wrapped bombs. The explosion vaporizes the casing (so no shrapnel) and HE creates a very brief overpressure vs. the sustained blast of FAEs.


The idea has been further refined with adding dense metal particles -

www.defensetech.org...

= very intense destruction in a very small area, 'focused lethality'



posted on Aug, 13 2006 @ 11:41 AM
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Originally posted by Wembley

Originally posted by fritz
My suggestion that Israel use Fuel Air Explosives, leaves nothing to chance. They have the destructive power of a small nuclear device and can be used in rural situations as an area weapon, especially if fused for an airburst.


I think you're mistaken about the effects. Because they are blast-only, FAE have a smaller (but more intense) zone of destruction than shrapnel weapons which can cause damage out to hundreds of metres.

The 'small nuclear device' quote which is often used it highly misleading. Even Something like MOAB (which is hardly partical for counterbattery) would be a tiny fraction of a kiloton equivalent.


I have helped set up a range of about 500 square metres, with various targetry including Figure 11 and Figure 12, Sniper Tgts [head] vehicles of all shapes and sizes - including busses and trucks, and some buildings were filled with dummies - etc.

I will not specify which a/c delivered the ordnance but the result was similar to a small nuclear airburst. The entire tgt area was destroyed, with only fragments of the vehicle chassis remaining.

The explosion itself, was initiated by a searing flash followed shortly after by a very angry rumble. At the same time, a small doughnut ring shaped cloud formed above the tgt area with a small stem growing up through it, resulting in the more familiar 'nuclear' mushroom shaped cloud.

The MOAB also produces the characteristic mushroom shaped cloud, as does any explosion involving POL products.

In my opinion, it is the resulting fireball and cloud formation that gives rise to the 'like a small nuclear device' quotation, and certainly NOT the destructive power, although IMHO, it is pretty close.



posted on Aug, 13 2006 @ 01:12 PM
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Originally posted by fritz

I will not specify which a/c delivered the ordnance but the result was similar to a small nuclear airburst.


How small?



posted on Aug, 13 2006 @ 02:11 PM
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Some time ago there was this program which showed US Army testing (White Sands) of new generation MLRS systems. They were GPS guided and had an optional air-burst mode for anti personnel/anti set pieces use. It exploded a few meters from the ground effectively killing the enemy/system via overpressure/blast and shrapnel.

Lockheed GMLRS

[edit on 13-8-2006 by WestPoint23]



posted on Aug, 13 2006 @ 11:01 PM
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>>
I like CH1466's suggestion of small munitions (ideally Hellfire/APKWS or Viper Strike) being fired/dropped from aircraft with a clear view of the launchers (larger LGB/JDAM type weapons which cause far more damage, wich means greater risk of collatoral damage in urban areas.). And if Hezbollah is willing to stay put long enough to get aircraft overhead... so much the better.
>>

Early this morning a fellah down in Tyre was shooting video for CNN. His camera angle _SHOWED_launch points for two launchers doing cooperative scoot and shoot.

A bunch of rounds, a quick withdrawal, and by the time whatever equates to a modern day Firefinder shell tracking system has backtracked the rounds and put CBF on the launch point, everybody but the staked bait goats are out of the splash area.

Which is why you want to consider things like WASP and the FASM/Quicklook as GLUAVs-

web.mit.edu...
www.ilcdover.com...

Which put a persistent optical search mechanism over the suspect launch zones. And they either track the vehicles as they move out of area (though longterm movement brings conventional air power, or so IDFAF leaflets say). Or they wait for them to drive back out from under whatever (nearby) overhead cover they have hidden under.

The U.S. Army and Raytheon have gotten the similar parasite Silent Eyes down to about 10-15,000 dollars and with a pure-glide ratio of 11:1, they can keep them over a given area (checking SAR signatures for 'tank or decoy' status) up to 30 minutes. Extended fuselage, armed and microturbine versions of this system have also been considered.

As such, even if you have to preemptively suppress fires by constantly 'refreshing' expendable UAV coverage; I doubt seriously if you would be wasting more money than you would with constant barrage firing of 155mm onto empty launch points.

The Israeli's, who have taken the GLUAV concept down to the 40mm level with their Firefly M203 launched MUAV, should be well able to handle this kind of systems engineering.

At which point, the question becomes whether you want to continue to use direct fire followon engagement as your kill mechanism. Or go straight to a system like the 50,000 dollar Affordable Weapon with UADD dispensers in a 'multiwarhead design'.

www.navyleague.org...
www.designation-systems.net...
www.systems.textron.com...

Truth be told DARPA was looking at this in 1983-88 as a 'War Breaker' followon to 'Assault Breaker' system whereby we expected to hostage GSFG theater TELs to a minicruise system which, once launched could search wide areas autonomously using 'brilliant' terrain recognitive systems (don't search for vehicles in lakes etc.).

It's not a new idea.

But the combination of a much shorter ranging cruise weapon. Separable warhead cannisters. And possibly a dual catapult/rocket launch and _gear based recovery_ would go a long ways towards providing a hurryup UCAV which could cover for the IDFAF's incredibly egotistical and shortsighted fixation with manned systems.

LOOK at those range figures people. 840nm from a 737lb weapon. That's 27 percent of a Tomahawk CM. All because you have dropped the notion of slamming 750lb warheads into targets at 500mph.

>>
Where Hisbollah are shamefully hiding their rockets in urban areas, the IDFAF has the ability to drop munitioins with pinpoint accuracy and have demonstrated their ability to do so.
>>

If true, the Israelis should drop airlanded troops into containment rings around 'suspect firing areas' and then delouse them, one by one. Everytime a single Israeli soldier dies, 10 houses should be leveled by 'precision bombing' (Mk.82 with a decent HUDWAC). When they find the launchers everyone for a fourblock radius should be butchered and mounted on stakes and burned.

>>
From the safety of our armchairs however, it is certainly easier for us to pass opinions on what Israel should do and should not do, and how she should go about it.

The Israeli Prime Minister is in a very difficult position: On the one hand, he must balance Israel's response to unprovoked attacks against the Homeland and the country's thirst for revenge, and the need to restrict that response but cause maximum casualties on the perceived enemies.
>>

The Israeli PM is an idiot spending millions of OUR dollars for a sport war (2.5 billion dollars every damn year. 2.25 billion of which is for direct military aid).

Olmert _started_ this campaign based on the desire to get his men back without having to yield up terrorists in a hostage negotiation. We would be _outraged_ if American soldiers were kidnapped so that Gitmo's idiots could be let go. I find it an amazing insight into the weakness of the Arab/Muslim psychology that it's "Okay" to commit murder-suicide but if you /lock them up like animals/ then they suddenly feel 'oppressed'. It's a pure indication of just how twisted the recruitment strategy of mental manipulation is that these people will take the hopeless from the dregs of their own societies and say "Become a Jihadi. Become a Shaheed. Kill a Kafir who believes in Democracy. Shake Allah's hand and collect your eternity with virgins in Paradise." And having less than nothing to look forward to, these fools do exactly that. But if they are captured. THEN they suddenly 'deprogram' and start to feel sorry for /themselves/. Now it's no longer about nationalism or religion or terrorism, it's just inhumane treatment of 'prisoners'.

The Golan will never be returned. The rocket attacks prove why, even as the potential for splitting Israel under a heavy mechanized invasion remains. The Shebaa Farms will never be returned because the land effectively splits two Druzhe and Sunni villages (keeping them from butchering each other) even as it controls the approaches to Mt. Hermon. From which even the lightest of artillery can rain down hell upon multiple Israeli villages further down the valley. The Palestinian Homeland has already been yielded and look at the first thing the 'sovereign terrorists' of Hamas did: Kidnap /another/ Israeli soldier _from_ Israeli territory. Not as an army. But as rats digging tunnels.

It's not just an American truism that a good man doesn't pick a fight but a wise one FINISHES THOSE BROUGHT TO HIM.

These people cannot be trusted. They cannot be yielded to. If you want to finish the fighting in the ME, you had bloody well return to the stick which is the ONLY thing that the collective Arab will understands. Otherwise, they will continue to press and they will continue to push. Because it is in the nature of scavenger predators to take what they can get so long as they are not challenged.


[edit on 13-8-2006 by ch1466]



posted on Aug, 13 2006 @ 11:03 PM
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The entire world would be better off if Israel had never been created in 1948. Certainly the Arabs should not have been 'partition' punished for the war crimes of Germans. But it's a done deal now. And having LOST FIVE WARS the Arabs must put up with that. Or face being treated as enemy states _deserving_ of being overrun and left in tatters of national pride /again/.

And I am _still_ waiting for a _single_ Lebanese man, woman or child to stand up and say: "NO. I don't care who started it how many decades ago, or how many have died since, it was wrong to take those two men, and it was even more evil that it was done from OUR soil. Not Hezbollah's. Not Israel's. OURS."

Because there is a man/woman/child who deserves to have a country of their own.

OTOH, if you blame others for what you cannot control or accept responsibility for as actions that began and ended on your own soil, there is no justice IN YOU to deserve the balance of mercy /for you/.

Stand Up Lebanon. Talk back to those who enacted a crime, even if they nominally fight in your name or worship your God. Demand that the world hear you when you say: "Two wrongs don't make a right." Let us all hear Lebanon criticize Syria and Iran and _Hezbollah_ until they are shamed into returning those two soldiers.

Before anything else.

Until that happens, the Israelis should not make a farce of their actions thus far by saying "Now that we've murdered X-many civillians trying to suppress _Lebanese_ rockets firing from civillian centers, we are ready to quit." Because that means the lives of those two soldiers mean nothing. Even as it fails to acknowledge that Hezbollah IS Lebanon.

**Until Lebanon proves otherwise.**


KPl.

[edit on 13-8-2006 by ch1466]



posted on Aug, 14 2006 @ 03:25 AM
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ch1466,

Lets skip the part where we use military force for the purpose of mass murder. We tried that in WWII, and while it forced Germany to re-allocate it's resources towards defense that's not going to be an issue for Hezbollah (their principal support for both finance and arms is Iran, they can get by just fine without Lebanon). And past bombing efforts actually strengthened people's desire to fight... as seems to be the case now in Lebanon.

South Africa faced near-total isolation for aparthide, and what your advocating is far more brutal than what took place there. Israel would loose the international support it depends on for it's very existance. It's hypocritical that Israel must respond with restraint against unguided weapons launched at it's cities, but that's the rules they're stuck with.


So here's a more practical question: someone with zero military experiance (me) was able to predict the shoot-and-scoot tactics needed to dodge counterbattery fire. And CNN is apparently able to catch the launch vehicles in action.

So why can't Israel hit the launchers, if the tactics are already a forgone conclussion?

Sensors shouldn't be the limitation. We've got SAR, MMw radar, immaging IR, LIDAR, electro-optical systems... a combination of which should be able to see through any camoflage or folliage they might try to hide the launchers under.

Presense shouldn't be a problem. We've got UAVs that can handle 24-hour patrols with room to spare. "Parking" a sensor suite over likely launch positions should be simple considering there's no real air-defenses in Lebanon. Which would eliminate the effectiveness of shoot-and-scoot (scooting just makes you easier to sport with SAR doppler shift or IR from your running engine).

Which should make targeting the and destroying (just) the launch platforms fairly simple, even with something like Hellfires (which I know Israel has). And if you can kill the launchers after their first shot, or track them back to their reload points to destroy the entire logistics system, you could knock out Hezbollah's offensive capabilities altogether.

So where is Israel falling short? It seems like they've got the weapons... is the chain of command (kill chain? I think it's called) not able to react quickly enough to engage such short-lived targets? I know the US ability to rapidly "flex" fighters to new targets is something of a novel concept... does Israel lack this capability?



posted on Aug, 14 2006 @ 01:24 PM
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Right now the miltary is testing biodegradable exposives and casings. So that any unexploded weapons "rot" away. Will look for link.



posted on Aug, 14 2006 @ 02:53 PM
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Originally posted by Wembley

Originally posted by fritz

I will not specify which a/c delivered the ordnance but the result was similar to a small nuclear airburst.


How small?


Sub Kiloton, old boy. Don't know what that is in old money, but it did the trick! Loverly to watch - all from 1K away.



posted on Aug, 14 2006 @ 04:21 PM
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I've seen FAEs rated at ~15 times the explosive force of HE/Frag bombs. Part of this is composition: FAEs don't need to carry an oxidizer so the "mix" can be much more energy dense. The other factor is the duration of the blast, FAEs take longer to "burn" so you get a sustained overpressure vs. the brief blast given off by HE, and this causes much more damage.

An HE bomb kills you with the fragments it throws around. FAEs kill with heat and blast pressure... which is the same mechanism as nukes... so comparing the effects of the two is fairly accurate (though fortunatly FAEs give off no radiation).

One important thing to note, is that where an FAE goes off has a big impact on how effective it is. Anything that conaints the blast (walls, for example) will amplify the effects considerably... which is why even shoulder-fired FAEs can easily knock over a good-sized (unreinforced) building.







 
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