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Archive for the ‘weapons’ Category

The Quantum Behavior of the 5.56×45 NATO Round

Posted by picard578 on May 24, 2017

Wandering Through The Night

Almost since introduction the 5.56×45 NATO has exhibited the qualities of Schrodinger’s Cat, simultaneously being an ineffective battle round while simultaneously being terribly effective to the point where people keep trying to ban it for civilian use. Thousands upon thousands of words, and hours of argument, for both sides have been spent on the subject.

The 5.56 naysayers routinely pull out ballistic tables and show all sorts of lovely numbers about energy in foot pounds remaining at range: http://usacac.army.mil/CAC2/MilitaryReview/Archives/English/MilitaryReview_20120831_art004.pdf and it should be noted that this article makes the “post hoc” fallacy that the 5.56×45 is inadequate because the M14 EBR program was used. The author makes no analysis of what the mix ratio was, and how those rifles were employed, and other tactical considerations. In Afghanistan the SEALs of Seal Team 10 often considered the 7.62×51 inadequate as a sniper rifle platform since they had the 300 Win Mag…

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Posted in weapons | 3 Comments »

Naval mines

Posted by picard578 on May 1, 2017

Mines

Naval mine are a significant danger to both combat operations and transport of men and equipment over the sea. This is an especially important problem for the coastal navies, due to restricted areas in which they operate.Over 300 types of mines are produced by 30 countries, and many more have them in use. Mines cause damage disproportionate to their price, and anti-mine warfare efforts increase this price even more. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in weapons | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Modern artillery munitions

Posted by picard578 on April 16, 2017

Introduction

Munitions are used for fulfilling the primary task of artillery, which is destruction or neutralization of enemy army, as well as enabling or supporting the ground maneuver by suppressing enemy defenses. First munitions were spherical stone projectiles, launched from ballistae and catapults. Identical projectiles were also used by first gunpowder artillery. Those were typically around 8 cm in diameter. French navy used basalt, which has higher density and hardness, to achieve increased hitting power; those projectiles could penetrate ship’s wooden sides at 200 meters. Stone projectiles were also used as incidendiary projectiles by coating them with lime, followed by resin. These were superseded by lead, which was easy to shape due to low melting point. In early 13th century (cca. 1221.), Chinese were using explosive ceramic projectiles, launched from catapult or a cannon. These were filled either with gunpowder, or a combination of gunpowder and metal shrapnel. In Europe, projectiles from bronze or iron were also used. These could be homogenous, or filled with gunpowder; earliest percussion fuzes – using flint to create the spark – appeared in 1650. Another type of shot was canister shot, which was used against combat for infantry at close range, and was particularly effective against linear formations of Middle and early New Ages. But when linear formations disappeared after American Civil War, canister shot was replaced by shrapnel, which utilizes time fuze and detonates in the air. During the 19th century, two main types of fuzes were used, time delay and impact fuzes. Time fuzes were combustion types, consisting of a burning fuse train, ignited upon firing. There were various designs, but all were only accurate to approximately the nearest 1/2 or 1/4 sec at best. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in technology, weapons | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Radar in counter-battery role

Posted by picard578 on April 1, 2017

Artillery is dangerous because it is hard to find, hard to destroy, and has the ability to very quickly attack targets via indirect fire. Importance and difficulty of finding the enemy artillery was noticed early in World War I; French were the first to try to locate the enemy artillery, by locating the gun flash produced when firing. This was hard to do if the artillery was far away (reflections had to be used) and unreliable. This it was quickly replaced by sound detection techniques, which were also adapted by British and German militaries as well.

The basis of this technique is a row of 6-7 microphones in a 12 kilometre line. Since the sound spreads in the circles, microphones all detect the sound of a gun at different times, which allows calculating location of the origin of the sound. Original system was based on ordinary stopwatch and telephone cable or radio link, but it worked very well. Similar, but automated, system is in use today. Such system has major advantages in that it is low-cost and completely passive, making it very hard to find and destroy. However, it also has numerous disadvantages. Atmospheric state determination is crucial for its correct operation. The refractive index of air has to be found along the entire sound path, and wind affects system’s performance. Up until the appearance of GPS, setting up the system was also very difficult. Due to these and other issues, it is an inherently defensive technique, difficult to use in rapid movement (albeit it is possible to have two teams of “sounders” alternately set up the line ahead of each other). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in weapons | Tagged: , , , | 12 Comments »

Bicycle at war

Posted by picard578 on February 21, 2017

History

First bicycles (“Penny-Farthings”) were tall and dangerous to ride due to propensity for causing inadvertent sommersaults. These bikes were first tested in war by the French, used by dispatch riders and scouts during the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1871, while Prussians still relied on push cycles. This conflict destroyed the French bicycle industry, and further advancement was left to United Kingdom and United States. It was English inventor John Kemp Starley who developed the “safety bicycle” by applying the invention of drive chain. In 1870. Italians introduced bicycle to their bersaglieri troops. Trained to carry dispatches, they averaged 12 miles an hour across open country. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in weapons | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Light combat vehicles with high-calibre weapons

Posted by picard578 on February 1, 2017

Requirement for wheeled armoured vehicles appeared between First and Second World Wars, and in 1930s Germany started serial production of such vehicles for its recon units. Widespread usage of wheeled armored vehicles only started after World War II. In 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, new generations of wheeled armored vehicles appear, responding to military requirements for increased mobility, protection and firepower. Still, wheeled armored vehicle development lags behind tracked AFV development due to their significantly inferior off-road mobility, inferior firepower and inferior protection due to lower carriage capability of configuration.

New lease of life wheeled vehicles were given as a result of an air-land battle doctrine, a response to 3:1 advantage in armored forces by the Eastern block. There are also requirements for infantry transport, quick strikes, anti-tank combat at low and medium range, anti-air defense, fire support etc. Light armoured vehicles are receiving large-calibre guns, anti-tank missiles and other heavy weapons, and are being integrated into combat units. Recon vehicles are adapted for frontline use in peacekeeping operations through improvements in firepower and armor, albeit at the cost of sacrificed mobility. Still, airborne forces typically lack sufficient protected firepower platform, especially since few to no militaries still operate light tanks that can be deployed via parachute. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in weapons | Tagged: , , , , | 22 Comments »

The 2016 DOT&E Report on the F-35 – David Archibald

Posted by picard578 on January 14, 2017

The role of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation at the Pentagon is to ensure that US weapons programs continue on track and that the weapons do what they are supposed to. His report for the 2016 year can be found here. The interesting observations in the report, with respect to the F-35, are listed following: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in weapons | Tagged: , , , | 46 Comments »

Hollowpoint bullets

Posted by picard578 on January 11, 2017

Hollowpoint bullets have been a very controversial topic for nearly two decades now. They have often been the focal point of the anti-gun campaign, despite not being anything new. Hollowpoint ammunition has appeared near the end of the 19th century, a time from which also dates the common nickname – “dum-dum bullets”, which came from the town of Dum Dum in India (near Calcutta), where British produced ammunition for rifles in .303 caliber. (It should be noted that actual “dum-dum” bullets were not hollowpoints, but rather soft-nosed projectiles, with flat nose exposing the lead core through the lubaloy jacket). For various reasons, including international bans, hollowpoint ammunition never found widespread usage in the military. However, it became very popular for hunters and in self-defense. There is an interesting anecdote about Winston Churchill, who was an officer in the Boer War. In his Mauser C-96, Churchill carried self-made hollowpoint ammunition. Boers would have executed him for utilising such ammunition, but he managed to escape.

Hollowpoint bullet usage started to get more widespread after 1960., when Lee Juras developed hollowpoint bullets of small mass and high exit velocity. With that, he solved the issue of reliable expansion. As the reliability rose, so did the usage of hollowpoint bullets among both police and the civillians. Consequence of that was also increased interest of the media and general public in hollowpoint bullets, who quickly – and incorrectly – identified hollowpoint ammunition as a threat to the society. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in weapons | Tagged: , , , | 8 Comments »

Revolver or pistol

Posted by picard578 on January 1, 2017

revolver-or-semi-automatic

Introduction

For a hundred years now, there has been discussion between those who favour revolvers and those who favour pistols. While handguns have not been a major factor in wars to this date, psychological effect of possesing one should not be underestimated. In the last half a century, there have been no revolutionary developments in design and construction of either pistols or revolvers, so this thematic did not receive major attention.

Pistols can be non-automatic, where both reloading of the bullet and firing is done manually; half-automatic, where reloading is automatic but trigger has to be pulled for each firing; or fully automatic, where both reloading and the firing are done automatically as long as the trigger is kept pressed. Modern pistols are either half-automatic or fully automatic, with automatic pistols having the possibility of selecting either half-automatic or fully automatic operation. Some automatic pistols are equipped with gun-stocks in order to increase effective range of fire, from up to 50 to up to 200 meters. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in weapons | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

A-10 Thunderbolt survivability design

Posted by picard578 on December 11, 2016

When the A-10 was about to be introduced, USAF leadership used the exact same arguments to prevent that as they are using now in an effort to kill it. They saw merely a clunker that flew at 300 knots or less, an anachronistic dud unfit to operate on the modern battlefield where it was to kill Russian tanks. In fact, the A-10 would never had been introduced if the USAF was not engaged in the budgetary battle against the US Army. Army was about to introduce the new attack helicopter, the Cheyenne. Cheyenne was a compound helicopter, designed to overcome the inability of normal helicopters to achieve higher speeds when necessary, and its high price would see financial resources redirected away from the US Air Force and into the Army’s purse. USAF would have none of it, and it decided to finally take responsibility for the close air support mission it was supposed to do anyway, and so introduced the A-10. Technical requirements were outlined mainly by Pierre Sprey after talks with surviving US and German pilots who carried out close air support in World War II and the Vietnam war, while the overall effort was directed by the Colonel Avery Kay. More heavily armed, survivable and less expensive, A-10 easily killed off the Cheyenne, and the USAF never placed any orders beyond the first batch. In fact, the A-10 was the first and the last US fighter designed for close air support. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in weapons | Tagged: , , , , , , | 31 Comments »

 
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