Photo Of The Day

The Heavy Gustav, Hitler and generals inspecting the largest caliber rifled weapon ever used in combat, 1941

The Heavy Gustav, Hitler and generals inspecting the largest caliber rifled weapon ever used in combat, 1941

Great Gustav: The Biggest WW2 Weapon

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North Korea invade South Korea?…not likely and they’ll lose

The Vuurwapen Blog links to a fascinating article about the ability of North Korea to make good on their promise to turn Seoul into a sea of fire.

In short the prospects aren’t great. The report is highly?technical?but really fascinating.

Three Primary Factors

  1. Range ? Only about 1/3?of Seoul is?presently in range from artillery along a DMZ trace.? The northern reaches?of Seoul within?artillery range have much lower population densities?than Seoul proper;
  2. Numbers ? Even though KPA has a tremendous number of artillery pieces, only a certain number are?emplaced?to range Seoul. ?KPA can?t?emplace?every weapon?near Seoul or?the rest?of North?Korea?s expansive border would be unguarded and even more vulnerable.? Moreover, an artillery tube immediately reveals its location as soon as it fires. Therefore only about two-thirds of artillery will open fire at a time.? The rest are trying to remain hidden;
  3. Protection ? Artillery shelters for twenty million people exist in the greater Seoul metropolitan area.? After the initial surprise has worn off, there simply won?t be large numbers of exposed people. Even during the initial attack the vast majority of people will either be at work, at home, or in transit.? Few people will be standing in the middle of an open field with no protection whatsoever available anywhere nearby.? Read more »

Photo of the Day

Word of the day

from Wiipedia – Sabot

A sabot ( /?se?bo?/ say-boh or /?s?bo?/ sab-oh) is a device used in a firearm or cannon to fire a projectile, such as a bullet, that is smaller than the bore diameter, or which must be held in a precise position. The term is also applied to a battery stub case, a device used similarly to make a small electrical battery usable in a device designed to employ a larger battery; see list of battery sizes. The name “sabot” comes from a French word for wooden shoes traditionally worn in some European countries, also called clogs.


Wednesday Weapons – Pocket Artillery

from The Firearm Blog:

If, like me, you regularly need to defend your desktop against assaults from nefarious wine glasses and coke bottles, then the?Pocket Artillery?mini-cannon is for you. These CNC-machined blackpowder cannons have a stainless .177 caliber barrel and colored anodized aluminum base.

The website is takingpre-orders for $29

Wednesday Weapons – I want it!

There is an Abbot FV433 for sale on Trademe at the moment. Just what the Whale needs. From Wikipedia:

FV433 Field Artillery, Self-Propelled “Abbot” is the?self-propelled artillery variant of the?British Army?FV430 series of?armoured fighting vehicles. Using much of the?chassis of the FV430 but with a fully rotating?turret at the rear housing the 105?mm gun and given the vehicle designation of FV433.

Its correct designation was “Gun Equipment 105mm L109 (Abbot)”. L109 was little used, probably to avoid confusion with 155?mm?M109 that entered UK service at about the same time. FV433 used a different configuration of power pack to other vehicles in the FV430 series.

This would be awesome for a campaign vehicle or just sitting in?the?backyard, even better is I have my WTR licence.

Abbot FV433


Wednesday Weapons – Peace through Superior Firepower

from The Brigade

Peace through Superior Firepower

Friday Firepower – M109A6 Paladin

from The Brigade

Friday Firepower – Aussie Artillery

The Brigade has some awesome high-res photos of Aussie Army Artillery guys in Afghanistan. I love the shots with rounds just exiting the barrel.

“These shots where taken at the opening of the ANA School of Artillery in October. We spent two and half months mentoring and teaching the ANA to get to this standard, that is live fire utilising all three disciplines, fire support, fire direction and the guns. The ANA were mentored by the Australian Army and the Singaporean Armed Forces.”

It looks like the gun is the?D-30, or?122-mm howitzer D-30 (GRAU index 2A18), which is a?Soviet howitzer that first entered service in the 1960s. It is a relatively light and handy weapon despite being heavy enough for sustained long range fire in the field. The D-30 has a maximum range of 15.4?kilometers, or over 21?km using?RAP ammunition.

Aussie Artillery in Afghanistan

Wednesday Weapons – Mobile Artillery

Artillery is often thought of as a blunt weapon, but with the development of smart rounds like Excalibur true pinpoint accuracy is becoming available, changing artillery from an area weapon to a surgical weapon.

One of the biggest problems with artillery though is its sheer size and general lack of mobility. In modern warfare it is important to be highly mobile for a number of reasons. One is survivability, counter battery radar and? fire systems mean getting a round off may well be your last if you are fixed to one position. For this reason there are now some very interesting developments in mobile artillery, and not all of these develops are Western in origin.

Out of the box thinking is making some pretty devastating weapons systems. Here in NZ it is generally thought that 105mm howitzers are all we can realistically deploy, yet we haven’t deployed an artillery battery in combat since the Vietnam war. With some of these systems i am going to highlight mobility allows the thinking around deployable artillery to expand considerably. All weapons systems shows are NATO 155mm compatible.

First up the ZUZANA – 155?mm Self-propelled Gun Howitzer is a modern Slovak artillery system and automatic loader for loading of both, a projectile and charge. It is based on the DANA 152mm self-propelled howitzer. The system features long range, high accuracy and rate of fire, prompt preparation for firing and high level of mobility ensured by a modified TATRA 8×8 chassis. Design of the gun enables to use any NATO standard 155mm ammunition available on the market. The Fire Control System enables for a Multiple Round Simultaneous Impact (MRSI) mode. One of the unique features of ZUZANA is that the gun is mounted externally in between two totally separated compartments of the turret. This makes the system extremely safe for its crew that is completely out of reach of any potentially dangerous mechanics of the gun and autoloader plus the crew is protected from the gases generated during firing.

The Israeli ATMOS 2000 (Autonomous Truck MOunted howitzer System) is a 155?mm self-propelled (SP) artillery system manufactured by Soltam Systems.

The system is long range, fast moving, truck mounted with a High firepower and mobility, rapid deployment, short response time, operable in all terrain areas. The system is Integrated with a fully computerized systems, providing an automatic control, accurate navigation and target acquisition, the system is offered with various gun calibers, in order to meet different customer requirements.

With a 155?mm/52 barrel, a 41?km maximum range can be achieved, using Extended Range Full-Bore – Base Bleed (ERFB-BB) projectile, 30?km firing the NATO L15 High Explosive (HE) projectile and 24.5?km firing the older M107 HE projectile. The ATMOS 2000 carries a total of 32 155?mm projectiles and associated charges and can be operated by a 4 man crew, consisting of two loaders positioned one either side at the rear. The system provides a rate of fire of between 4 and 9 rds/min. (please forgive the gay music in the video)

The Panzerhaubitze 2000 (“Armoured howitzer 2000”), abbreviated PzH 2000, is a German 155?mm self-propelled howitzer developed by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall for the German Army. The PzH 2000 is one of the most powerful conventional artillery systems currently deployed. It is particularly notable for a very high rate of fire; in burst mode it can fire three rounds in 9 seconds, ten rounds in 56 seconds, and can fire between 10 and 13 rounds per minute continuously, depending on barrel heating. The PzH 2000 has automatic support for Multiple Rounds Simultaneous Impact (MRSI) for up to 5 rounds. The replenishment of shells is automated. Two operators can load 60 shells and propelling charges in less than 12 minutes. PzH 2000 has also been selected by the armies of Italy, Netherlands and Greece, and more orders are probable as many NATO forces replace their M109 howitzers.

Those are all awesome weapon systems. Obviously too the prices vary on all, with the German system being the Mercedes Benz system. However mobility is valuable and coupled with the lethal 155mm round the system becomes a devastating fire support tool. MRSI too is a force multiplier, anyone who has been a gunner or in need of the services of a gunner is going to love the MRSI system. The soldiers on the receiving end are certainly going to be calling for mercy after a strike from a battery of howitzers equipped with MRSI capable guns.