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June 16, 2006

New Artillery Round, the Saber.

Don't get me wrong, I like all this stuff. But...

Ry sends us this, which he titled "Puff piece for the Artillerist's Soul:

"The relatively simple design of Saber allows it to accurately fly to target with fewer moving parts; making the round highly reliable, very effective and importantly, lower-cost than the competition," said Dave Wise, General Manager, Advanced Weapons, ATK Mission Systems Group.

The test was conducted at the Yuma Proving Grounds, Yuma, Ariz. After exiting the barrel, the tail fin assembly deployed and latched as designed. After the fins were locked in place, the round's rocket motor ignited and completed a full burn.

The thrust provided by the rocket motor allowed the round to reach its 48- Kilometer objective. In previous tests, ATK has demonstrated the effectiveness of its INS/GPS guidance solution.

The increased range of Saber's boosted, ballistic trajectory flight path reduces the time from gun-launch to impact and supports the expanded responsibilities of Brigade Combat Teams.

The full thing is here.

Heh.

Yep. And we'll need/use fewer of them, because they're so accurate. And that will reduce collateral damage. And they have a smaller explosive charge (that rocket and fins hadda take up some space, yes?) so they'll be near perfect New Agey weapons and hurt only what they hit... a little bit. And that's okay, because we're now so accurate with this GPS stuff that, as the old Bryllcreem add says, "A little dab'll do ya!"

That's what the Smart Guys® say.

It really is a matter of balance. And things which reduce the amount of collateral damage, focusing it instead on the right targets, especially in crowded environments, is a Good Thing. The WWII Strategic Bombing Campaign approach to artillery, in anything less than Total War is really counter-productive. Both in terms of the GOG®, the Global Opinion Golem, and the "Three-Block War Paradigm" where you have to take responsibility for the areas you just pounded.

Of course, sometimes, when presented with a large target array - which, of course, will never happen to us again, the Smart Guys® all say so - blanketing things with high explosive is useful. Especially if they are scurrying around a lot.

But, we're never going to fight that way again. I've been told by Smart Guys®.

We've got all that kewl GPS stuff - which means we know where We are, we know where They are, and we'll let the GPS guide the weapon to the target - which we really do need to hit physically, because, after all, One Round One Kill® is the new mantra, and we have a very small explosion (see: collateral damage) and - all the Smart Guys® say so! We'll never mass fires on a target again. The GOG® say's That's Bad. "Close enough for hand grenades and horseshoes" no longer applies. The blast radius doesn't give you any room for a CEP of any size.

Yo, Smart Guys® - Do you know how cheap and effective GPS jammers are these days?

Just askin'.

Funny thing about Smart Guys®. They almost never have to actually implement this stuff with their a$$ on the battlefield.

Just ask the SECDEF about how all the Smart Guys® he went with got it in regard to OIF, the Aftermath. They did have Part I down, certainly. There was this problem with overall context outside the immediate specification.

Sometimes, heck many times, the Smart Guys® are right. But when they're wrong? That's when people like SFC Paul Smith pick up the slack.

I study this stuff for a living. I write reports that help or hinder projects like this.

SFC Paul Smith, and those like him, are always hov'ring in the back of my mind as I potter about my work.

So pardon my bear-just-outta-hibernation attitude when I read breathless stuff like this.

Just sayin'.

That doesn't mean you should quit *sending* it Ry.

It's all bloggable.