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January 17, 2010

Shot from Guns

Michael Yon: "The artillery shots are not like a normal rifle bullet
wherein the projectile is crimped to brass that contains gunpowder.  Instead, the 155mm projectile is selected and the fuze is set.  On the ultra-accurate (and expensive) GPS-guided “Excaliber” projectile, the coordinates are set in the fuze using a handheld electronic gadget that is placed over the fuze like a little snowcone, which wirelessly transmits the data to the guidance system.  There is no exaggeration saying that an Excaliber round could destroy a parked car twenty miles away on the first shot.  The accuracy is incredible, given all the unpredictable winds and other factors the round will encounter during it’s flight through the sky – which literally could be shot on from a crystal clear mountain, taking the round far higher than the summit of Mt. Everest where it could pass through winds going different directions and at very high speeds, snow, and then down through a hailstorm and finally through rain.  Imagine the quick temperature changes from a hot-shot in the desert up to airliner altitude.  The tracking and guidance computer must be able to handle all that – and fast -- after being shot from a cannon." -- Spitting Cobra

Posted by Vanderleun at January 17, 2010 10:34 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

That's what I used to do for a living. Man, did Yon make me miss it. There's really nothing quite like blowing things up for a good cause. we didn't have GPS-guided ammo when I was in the Army, so we did lots of math for each fire mission. Even when we got fire-direction computers, there was still a lot of manual calculation.

The 155mm guns are good, but "back in the day" we had 8-inch howitzers too. Those rounds were twice the weight of 155mm. Anyone on our crap list who got to eat some of those big things sure knew we weren't playing footsie. Awesome stuff.

Posted by: Donald Sensing at January 17, 2010 1:59 PM

In the Nam, we usually worked way outside the FS umbrella.

Always had a soft spot for the "Tom" and SP8 guys when we were in their range. Pee bringers they were. Save our butts more than once.
VW 1/5 SF

Posted by: Vermont Woodchuck at January 17, 2010 3:16 PM

Reverend -

I served at Battalion and Battery level. Oh, there was a stint at Regiment, but only between deployments. 0844 - we do it all! Free Doughnuts and Coffee (but mostly Survey/Embark/Training/NBC/PMI for me...) 155 (M114 and M198), 8" SP, and closed with Bravo 1/11, the Beastmasters out of Pendleton.

We had Copperhead. Even got to shoot one, once. I was just leaving when the first GPS units hit the field.

What a world this is become, eh?

Posted by: TmjUtah at January 17, 2010 7:28 PM

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