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Rocket Artillery vs Tube Artillery

Discussion in 'Indian Defence Industry' started by Bad Wolf, May 10, 2011.

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  1. Bad Wolf

    Bad Wolf Major SENIOR MEMBER

    Jan 11, 2011
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    As we all know, the Indian Army is currently lagging in the acquisition of new tube artillery. The IA wants around 3500-4000 pieces of towed and self-propelled tube artillery of the 155mm calibre. Given the present scenario, we won't be getting these toys until 2020.

    In rocket artillery, however, the IA and DRDO have been successful in building a substantial force. The indigenous Pinaka MRLS proved its mettle during the Kargil War, and an improved, long-range version of the Pinaka is under development. India also has a large number of 122mm Grad rocket systems, and we recently purchased the giant 300mm Smerch MRLS systems from Russia.

    In this thread, we can look at the relative pros and cons between tube and rocket artillery.

    * Rockets produce no recoil, while conventional artillery systems produce significant recoil. Unless firing within a very small arc with the possibility of wrecking a self propelled artillery system's vehicle suspension, gun artillery must usually be braced against recoil. In this state they are immobile, and can not change position easily. Rocket artillery is much more mobile and can change position easily. This "shoot-and-scoot" ability makes the platform difficult to target. A rocket artillery piece could, conceivably, fire on the move. Rocket systems produce a significant amount of backblast, however, which imposes its own restrictions. Launchers may be sighted by the firing arcs of the rockets, and their fire can damage themselves or neighbouring vehicles.

    * Rocket artillery cannot usually match the accuracy and sustained rate of fire of conventional artillery. However, they may be capable of very destructive strikes by delivering a large mass of explosives simultaneously, thus increasing the shock effect and giving the target less time to take cover.

    * Rocket artillery typically has a very large fire signature, leaving a clear smoke-trail showing exactly where the barrage came from. Since the barrage does not take much time, however, the rocket artillery can move away quickly.

    * Tube artillery can use a forward observer to correct fire, thus achieving further accuracy. This is usually not practical with rocket artillery.

    * Tube artillery shells are typically cheaper and less bulky than rockets, so they can deliver a larger amount of explosive at the enemy per weight of ammunition or per money spent.

    * While tube artillery shells are smaller than rockets, the gun itself must be very large to match the range of rockets. Therefore rockets typically have longer range while the rocket launchers remain small enough to mount on mobile vehicles.

    * The higher accuracy of gun artillery means that it can be used to attack an enemy close to a friendly force. This combined with the higher capacity for sustained fire makes cannon artillery more suitable than rocket artillery for defensive fire. It is also the only practicable system for counter-battery fire.

    Feel free to discuss these points and raise others.
  2. RET71


    May 10, 2011
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    These two things really do different jobs in terms of blowing things up via indirect fire. Just look at the biggest believers in either form of artillery of all-time: the Soviets. They didn't choose one over the other. Wisely, they understood an army needs both.

    Rockets are much better for putting a big mass of firepower on a target all at once. They are also better at dispensing sub-munitions. However, as you pointed out, they are usually less accurate. Tube artillery is better at sustained fire, more accurate and cheaper (unless one is talking about a very cutting edge robotic gun or using a PGM shell, like Excalibur or (worse) something laser guided).
  3. JKA


    Dec 15, 2014
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    Country Flag:
    Russia have most then China and maybe India then USA of 1330.

    Towad Artillery have since 1940's in defence but how many today most?

    A quiz.
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