These insurgents made a mistake of not covering themselves from aerial observation.
Remote firing pits/vehicles and multiple tubes in action with a fixed limit of rounds dropped before scooting is also a good general rule of thumb,
particularly when you have not timed out the typical response delay on airpower overhead.
This in turn brings in an airstrike. Professionals would use defilade or concealed positions. Even if they are trying to launch mortars and getting
the hell out fast, the aircraft immediately spotted them and dropped a bomb on them. Nobody on the ground can outrun a fighter bomber thats spotted
COMINT and a dedicated 'observer corps' (some inside the wire) can do a lot to alleviate the fighter bomber threat, sooner or later this will extend
to acoustic and optics systems which are cheap enough to be used by guerilla forces, whether they are standalone or AHM type systems with a secondary
The problem comes from the fact that mortars are short range systems and so you 'never know' when you are entering an area monitored by UAV and/or
REMBASS or equivalent UGS in attacking fixed targets which are about the only thing they are good for engaging.
This is what kills you because the effort to prepare a position may not be worth the extended exposure of doing so with a 6X3ft manprint key
Mortars are thus a dangerous game all-round when you don't dictate the engagement conditions. The best weapons for anti infantry use will almost
certainly come to be seen as UGV-based using the equivalent of knee-mortar 45-60mm caliber systems on elevateable installations where (several)
vehicles are in fact also selflevelling stable tables and simple compass driven pointing system with autocalc under remote control (Goliath as
The alternative being sacrificial systems as with fast-laid, preloaded, tubes using stacked rounds ala Metalstorm. Whether you implant ala posthole
digger-like fireworks tubes or 'deploy' them out the back of a moving jeep or cart or motorbike like a tossed newspaper, the BIG DEAL is that there
are enough of them to play MX Missile type games with ZERO human presence as the dominant signature driver during actual ops, the emplacement force
having prepped and left the scene, perhaps /days/ before.
First gen will likely require wires. Second gen will be able to exploit 'broadcast mode' crypted cellular networking. Third gen will be
airdeployable and able to function as independent hunter killer networks with both intelligent projectiles (to compensate for limited tube
articulation) and the ability to use remote sensors to cue the tubes, creating area or passage denial on a zero occupation basis of continual
Obviously, these offer the hope of a 'new kind of mine' to insurgents that can't afford to get close in emplacing an IED/ORM. But they may be
equally useful in allowing UAVs to spread themselves 'thin but not too thin' to seal off a border.
At some point, when dominant air superiority is lost to hunting weapons and heavy lasers, you may also see these or similar devices replace or augment
the mortar carrier.
For now, the smallest signature in warfare is always going to be the man who emplaces, rigs and operates a direct fire weapons system. But as forces
like Hamas and Hezbollah are 'required to become more civilized' they will likely lead the way in leveraging the fewest number of skilled operators
(training and asset value leveraged themselves) vs. the maximum in COE fires delivery which simply stacks the odds until the 'pros' can't stand in
the bleep storm of splinters. The pros themselves will then follow on the basis of 'what works' and the notion that they can afford to buy more of
any given counter (cheap ass UGV) so long as THEY do not bleed like stug pigs on TV. The value of offense being that, anything which FIRES at them
becomes targetable and once the ground is robotically secured, you can go in and find/disarm the individual autonomous threat systems under the
coverage of a local blanket jammer before leapfrogging your (much reduced) logistics tail on through to rinse and repeat the process.
So it will be that Guerillas fight like main forces (tech enabled) and high intensity units will be so labelled by the size of inventory they have to
expend in penny-ante small unit increments, just like guerillas.
mod edit: added quote tags
Quote Reference (review link)
[edit on 19-11-2006 by UK Wizard]