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BAE Tests New Smart Munition

by Matt Cox on June 28, 2013

SGP_Guided_Flight_Test_61813 

BAE Systems and United Technologies Corporation recently completed a successful guided flight test of the Multi-Service Standard Guided Projectile at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

The MS-SGP was fired from a 5-inch 62-caliber Mk 45 Mod 4 Naval Gun System and all guided flight test objectives were achieved, test officials maintain. The guided flight test, culminating more than 110 MS-SGP subsystem tests, demonstrates the tactical capability to a range of 38 kilometers.

The MS-SGP’s maximum range is nearly 100 kilometers, with accuracy of less than five meters. The MS-SGP significantly enhances the capability of U.S. Army and Marine Corps field artillery and U.S. Navy Mk 45 gun systems.

BAE Systems is no stranger to precision-guided munitions. It began working on the highly successful, but expensive Excalibur 155mm artillery round in the early 1990s. Excalibur has a range of about 40 kilometers and can be guided by GPS to within five meters of a target.

 The Multi-Service Standard Guided Projectile is designed to provide a single solution for responsive, tactical fires for addressing stationary or moving targets for multiple U.S. or allied services at a fraction of the cost of current alternatives.

“Currently the U.S. and its allies are using significantly more expensive solutions to address fire support and tactical targets,” Chris Hughes, vice president and general manager of Weapon Systems at BAE Systems, said in a press release. “The projectile can provide the U.S. forces with an affordable, long-range, and precision gun-launched projectile to greatly expand our fire support capability.”

The MS-SGP is scheduled to be fired from an M777 towed howitzer late this summer.

 

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{ 83 comments… read them below or add one }

hibeam June 28, 2013 at 6:19 pm

We must not use this smart munition.. Just reading about it is harming innocent civilians in Pakistan. Put it on the shelf with the drones.

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wpnexp June 29, 2013 at 12:27 am

First we have never used artillery across the border with Pakistan from all the reports I have heard from. Second, I suppose you think a barrage of unguided artillery would be better then. Or do you think we shouldn't actually fight against bad guys, just let them go on killing wantonly? Now, innocent civilians are getting killed for two reasons only. Either they are supporting their terrorist families, and are harboring them in their homes or, the terrorists are forcing them to stay with them in order for civilian casualties to occur.

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JJ6000 June 29, 2013 at 11:24 am

….or, the CIA simply made a mistake and bombed the wrong target. Example: an unreliable source provides info on a target which is not properly assessed and happens to be a bakery. So, who's fault is this? The local militants or the people responsible for target selection i.e. the CIA?

Pretending that things like this don't happen is incredibly ignorant. With sustained military strikes mistakes get made and acting like the CIA should have zero responsibility for their mistakes is truly outrageous.

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RunningBear June 29, 2013 at 8:06 pm

Those that allow criminal acts by their neighbors are held responsible by the artillery round +/- 5 meters. Don't tread on me….I bite back! :)

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Bruce June 30, 2013 at 9:43 pm

Does that rule apply to US citizens as well?

Josh June 30, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Total number of civilians killed in US drones strikes so far in 2013: 0

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JoeSovereign July 1, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Number of US Citizens targeted for Illegal Summary Execution by Drone strike that have been publicly admitted by the US Government since 2009: 4

Free America July 1, 2013 at 11:40 am

You just made up a fake scenario and then claimed we are ignorant for not knowing it happens.

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JoeSovereign July 1, 2013 at 4:55 pm

It is just not mistakes. The US Government does not even acknowledge that the wives and children of suspected terrorist are collateral damage. They excluded from both the target list and the collateral casualties list. We routinely murder entire families because we believe a single member of a family is an enemy of the United States.

I am not against Drone Strikes but nobody should lose sight of how ugly a practice it is.

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Jason June 29, 2013 at 9:31 pm

Your confusing the policy with the munitions.

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Belesari June 30, 2013 at 12:00 am

Guys ya'll realize 90% of his post are random ramblings that don't even make sense right?

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Guest Reader June 30, 2013 at 9:44 am

All I can say to you Belesari is that the French in WWII never washed their cars with hot dogs and ice cream.

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Behr December 4, 2013 at 10:02 pm

They didn't ?

tiger June 30, 2013 at 2:03 pm

That is why I call him Dim bulb.

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Mitch S. June 30, 2013 at 12:00 pm

"Just reading about it is harming innocent civilians in Pakistan"

Seems to me "hibeam" is being sarcastic.
You know, saying something outlandish but meaning the opposite.
Not that there aren't fools out there who don't realize the better out weapon systems, the better we are able to reduce civilian causalities.

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Corps-FO June 30, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Are your panties binding HiBeam?

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STemplar July 1, 2013 at 2:40 pm

The ignorant savages being brain washed in the various madrasa in Pakistan are far more dangerous to Pakistani civilians than US artillery.

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joe July 1, 2013 at 7:02 pm

low beam you must have never had to call for fire before.

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Bunny dicks June 28, 2013 at 7:30 pm

Hell yea NSFS

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Belesari June 29, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Well not so much. 5in are fine for unprepared targets but aren't all that powerful other wise. We need something like the 8in Mk-71 gun for NGFS.

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Belesari June 29, 2013 at 6:17 pm

I don't think some people know what either of those terms mean

NGFS

Naval Gun Fire Support

NSFS

Near Shore Fire Support.

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tiger June 30, 2013 at 2:23 pm

While I like the long range & accuracy. I wish we had more than one or 2 mounts on a ship. I was just driving by the old USS New Jersey and her twin 5"/38's mounts . With a upgrade like that, She could fire from Camden, & hit the Atlantic City Casinos some 60 miles away. Think of that kind of rapid fire on call to a Marine??

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STemplar July 1, 2013 at 2:38 pm

With a CEP of less than 5 meters on these new PGS rounds we don't really need a high rate of fire, although l don't consider 20 RPM of 5in shells that can hit that accurately all that slow either.

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tiger July 1, 2013 at 7:17 pm

One gun is still only one gun.

Curt July 2, 2013 at 1:49 pm

These won't make 20rds per minute as they are loaded in two cycles, so at best, 10rds per minute from a Mk45. But still plenty fast enough for point targets.

USS ENTERPRISE June 28, 2013 at 8:04 pm

I like how this projectile is being given to the US military, but nearly all the measurements given to us in this article are in metric………

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Kiwini July 1, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Apparently you don't get much exposure to military personnel: that's the system by which the Armed Forces of this country usually describe the distance to target, especially in land-based situations.

Aside from a few exceptions (knots, mph, etc) the US military has been metric for a long time.

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blight_ July 2, 2013 at 10:10 am

Probably due to NATOification. Even the Brits stopped calling their guns by archiac units of "pounders", taking a hit for the cause just like us.

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@HarryInventor July 3, 2013 at 3:26 pm

FYI
B(ritish) A(erospac)E Systems is a British company.
Only the usa, along with a pair of other 3rd world nations, use outdated rubbish like inchers and foots. Do you use gallongs and fathoms too, usa? How quaint!

Nobody under 40 in the UK knows what an inch is.
We gave up using them in the early 1970s with the rest of the real people.
Do keep up, usa!

Probably why it takes a British company to show the usa how to do real engineering?

Never mind! Wave that faded and dirty 'usa#1' foam finger with pride… while you still can!

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Rest Pal July 5, 2013 at 5:38 pm

American engineering has become a joke now; the education system, a farce.

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deko July 7, 2013 at 9:07 pm

The US is in broad and rapid decline, no question about that. The sorry state of large system engineering is just a symptom. Moreover, most people in the country don't have the necessary education to understand it. The media has been filling the airwaves and the cables with cheap, shallow entertainment. You know the collective IQ of the Americans is in the toilet just by looking at the low caliber presidents they have put in office in the past 4-5 decades.

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brandy July 8, 2013 at 10:08 pm

well, QE2 might soon be able to formally reclaim the 13 colonies.

the London interests have already paved much of the way with their de facto control of the US via the Federal Reserve and the Treasury, among others.

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DB Cooper July 2, 2013 at 5:40 am

I thought the Navy was getting rid of the 5 in guns and going to 155mm's. If that's still true why are they wasting money on these tests using a 5 in gun? A 5in gun is 127mm and the army got rid of that caliber I think in the 60's. By just making the round in 155 that gives an extra 1 7/64 inches to add explosives.

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blight_ July 2, 2013 at 10:11 am

Are they? The only 155mm is the specialized gun system on the Zumwalt. That said, Lockheed Martin's LRLAP is being ported from the 155mm back down to the 5" as well…putting it into direct competition with BAE.

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d. kellogg July 2, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Exactly.
155mm naval guns will be niche weapons, specific to the Zumwalts, and ~just maybe~ some of the last Burkes that will be built may mount the "value edition" 155mm AGS Lite.
But a very large majority of USN and allies' ships will still retain the 127mm systems, and will still be firing them for decades.
Makes perfectly profitable sense to develop a guided round, utilizing proven technology, in a caliber that is very common, and will continue to be for some time.

Of more interest may be, nations looking for lighter weight solutions than 155mm for ground-based artillery, may be inspired (?) to pursue towed and self-propelled artillery utilizing 127mm naval-ammo-compatible guns.
If they're hitting 36km in tests, further refinements will definitely see that increased.
There are 155mm systems that struggle just to hit 30km, and with considerably less accuracy because 155mm guided shells are not in widespread use.
If the 127mm munition can be made cheaper than Excalibur, it's a win.

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JCitizen July 7, 2013 at 4:57 pm

On a side – it seems like I read a recent defense article that showed a new 155 or 175 mm artillery round being used in Afghanistan. The gun crew said they didn't use them but in special situations, of course, but it had the same capabilities, other wise I don't remember the range. It was definitely a lot farther than any ordinary round can travel.

wpnexp June 29, 2013 at 12:36 am

The question that I have are, how is it adapted to different caliber rounds, and how does the round get to 100 km?

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blight_ June 29, 2013 at 8:17 am

"The guided projectile is developed in the standard 5-Inch naval gun configuration and saboted 5-Inch variant sized for 155mm howitzers operated by the Army and Marine Corps. "
http://defense-update.com/20130627_5-inch-guided-

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Curt June 30, 2013 at 3:05 pm

And it is basically a GPS guided, gliding projectile after it leaves the barrel.

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allen June 30, 2013 at 9:39 pm

if you want the details just ask the Chinese. They have either stolen or bought the plans.

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DB Cooper July 2, 2013 at 5:42 am

Rocket assist.

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qman9000 July 11, 2013 at 9:18 am

By Bus?

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brownie June 29, 2013 at 11:07 am

The Chinese DEFEATED India in '62 in artillery duels at high altitude. The greatest # of casualties in WWII were the result of artillery and assorted tubed weapons (over 60%).

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green June 30, 2013 at 1:38 pm

That's not true. The Chinese defeated India in 1962 border war primarily through surprise, sound tactical maneuvers, and a disciplined, proficient ground force.

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brownie June 29, 2013 at 11:11 am

General Ridgeway stopped the Red Chinese Army (800k) onslaught in Korea in '51 by establishing 3 defensive artillery lines during the winter break in major hostilities. Artillery was the KEY in enabling the U.S. to stabilize the UN lines and stop the Red advance. From '51 to '53 there would be little movement.

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green June 30, 2013 at 1:48 pm

That's only partly true. Heavy aerial bombardment of PVA supply lines was the more crucial factor. The speed of the fearless and ferocious Chinese soldiers often rendered US artillery ineffective in stopping their wolf-pack charges.

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tiger June 30, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Let's give some credit to The Navy & Marine air doing the close air for saving the day.

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Curt June 30, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Your confusing 1950 and 1951. It was artillery in 1951

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blight_ July 1, 2013 at 8:54 am

Artillery is always the key, especially when you cannot break through quickly enough to escape artillery bombardment.

Tried and true, since 1914…

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JCitizen July 7, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Yep! They don't call it the King of Battle for nothing.

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Rob June 30, 2013 at 8:12 am

hibeam
You are a dumba–, smart munitions are the way to go. That is unless you are one of the individual's that's using a school or a hospital as a shelter and fire on our troops from those locations. You might want to change your user name to low beam.

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tiger June 30, 2013 at 2:11 pm

I like Dim bulb….

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Ses July 2, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Rob, you need to learn how to read the whole comment, not just the first half sentence. You must be government management someplace!

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SJE June 30, 2013 at 1:48 pm

Smart technology to save lives at low cost. Of course Lockmart is not involved.

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USS ENTERPRISE June 30, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Lock"mart" (suppose to be heed, but ya' know) is more aviation, so.

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SJE July 1, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Why do we tolerate ripoffs from aerospace contractors but not others?

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tiger July 1, 2013 at 9:42 pm

Solyndra ring a bell?

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SJE July 3, 2013 at 10:52 am

Yes. But there IS a stink about Solyndra. We need a similar stink about other wasteful contracts, especially when they are billions over budget.

blight_ July 5, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Not sure what the fuss is about. Solyndra bet on CIGS, but the Chinese thankfully bottomed out the solar panel market.

Well, take that back…who is thankful that an American company failed again?

hibeam July 1, 2013 at 12:30 am

Why do we need guided artillery when we have misguided apologies? We are sorry. That should be enough.

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Tribulationtime July 1, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Re$earch, all is Re$earch stupid!. They build the Xcalibur, and they have again all the way up. A $hame!!

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JoeSovereign July 1, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Are you saying we should have stopped all research after Xcalibur the sword? Because that is how quickly your weapons will be outdated if you stop all research.

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blight_ July 1, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Indeed, not sure I would want to go up against the PLA with javelins and slings either.

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Lance July 1, 2013 at 1:59 pm

So we working on laser guided artillery.

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STemplar July 1, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Called Copperhead, we've had it for decades.

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d. kellogg July 2, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Not as many were produced as some people may think, and they were very expensive, much more per round than Excalibur if we adjust for inflation (actually, I think just in sheer dollar value of its day, Copperhead was over $100K/shot…)

Seeing how many recent GPS-guided munitions have been fitted with a laser seeker to allow greater precision at target, it will be curious to see if future block increments of Excalibur, even this 127mm weapon, come full circle and gain a laser seeker built around the much more reliable technology of today…

Next step, as the tech base matures, is to develop a similar guided round suitable for 105mm artillery (not tank guns).

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JoeJFO July 2, 2013 at 1:04 am

As a 13F20L7 w/ 6 years in service, I can tell you the copperhead was a steaming pile of junk that was way overpriced. excal on the other hand, was awesome stuff. I often miss being in, if anything else to play with the new toys and being able to work with my joes.

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blight_ July 2, 2013 at 10:13 am

Bear in mind a lot of things we tried in the '80s were expensive because of the R&D involved (yay, R&D!)

If we were making a laser-guided arty round today it'd be a lot cheaper. We should just use up the remaining Copperheads, make GPS/INS/laser dual-guidance rounds and call it a day.

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Excalibur watcher July 2, 2013 at 6:48 pm

The problem with the Excalibur was the ability of the Israelis to hack the guidance programming and ruin the weapon!

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Den July 3, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Yep, Copperhead was expensive and complicated. Then again, it was in the bunkers and readily available while the other precision munitions were still Harvard Graphic (Google it; the precursor of PowerPoint) presentations. $40k a shot against moving $500k targets wasn't such a bad trade off when you were expected to fight more than five-to-one parity forces. Remember the TOW was still cutting edge technology and was out ranged by the targets it was intended to engage. BTW, I taught 13F and was 8 for 8 with Copperhead.

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d. kellogg July 2, 2013 at 11:05 am

Jebus H Cracker.
I wish this website had at least one credible dev/mod who would police up you bullsh*t posters from degrading this thread's original topic into one more political blame game of international conspiracies.
What could've been a great discussion has been reduced in the extreme to childish diatribe of "my country led by its evil corrupt wicked political system can beat up your country led by its evil corrupt wicked political system".

Stay on topic, please.
http://defense-update.com/20130627_5-inch-guided-

Miss distance at 36km: 1.5m. Nice.

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ohwilleke July 3, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Is there a price tag for the rounds? Based on prices for similar munitions, I'd expect a price per round in the low five figures, but a lower price from standardization would really be a big deal.

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d. kellogg July 5, 2013 at 5:19 pm

Contrary to hopes of lower costs, these guided rounds that have to be built tolerant of the cannon launch stresses are still expensive: Excaliburs curbed at just over $100K each when ordered thru Federal Logistics Sources within the last year.
But, as production rates increase and manufacturing processes are leaned down, the cost will drop (in the long run, the savings is also recognized thru reduced barrel wear on artillery because fewer PGMs can be fired in place of the massed fires and barrages of numerous unguided shells).
The key that might keep the AGS' 155mm LRLAP price down more favorably (seeing as it's currently just a niche weapon on what few Zumwalts the USN will get) will be how many of the components (and manufacturing processes) can port directly over to the 5inch munition.
Otherwise, missiles built on established production lines with known, proven tech, will still compete for price.

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JCitizen July 7, 2013 at 5:11 pm

It would be interesting to see a cost breakdown of what one howitzer round like that costs in comparison with the way it used to be done with six howitzers, (or maybe a battalion), with full crew, and shooting hundreds of rounds to kill the same or similar target. Of course they had to get closer too, so then you have to figure in counter fire losses of personnel and equipment. Attrition can get very expensive very fast.

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Brian B Mulholland July 14, 2013 at 8:05 pm

A five-inch round makes perfect sense for Naval use, but the last time I looked, the Army and Marines were not fielding howitzers in the 120mm or 125 mm. sizes. Will this round be fitted with a sabot to permit its' use in 155 tubes?

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steam add funds to wallet October 9, 2013 at 2:56 am

That is, I believed in you, in everything you SAID you stood for, even while you were simultaneously chewing me to pieces (like right out of John Lennon’s “Working Class Hero”);

as well as having been one of the most unique paradigms of obediently-humble submission

you dare now call “insubordinate,” just because I’ve FINALLY HAD ENOUGH, AFTER

HALF-A-LIFETIME, of being SNEERED AT, therefore, and if

only so much MORE GUTLESSLY as well as PREDOMINANTLY BEHIND MY BACK, as a PUSSY and

a KISS-ASS, even by my so-called “peers,” let-alone

you LITTLE TIN GODS with your GLOATINGLY-UNASSAILABLE TENURE.

Finally, for now at least, if you cannot bring yourself to congratulate

me for my candidness, I still like at least what you appear to

be enough to hope you’ll not feel too indignantly or just plain dismissively and mockingly

repulsed. , Icecap has 8 of the 11 scientists associated with it).

Reply

M. Sheets November 2, 2013 at 7:41 pm

"Steam" please keep posts restrained to "Crackers" category.

The new round is an exciting and useful development.

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blight_ July 1, 2013 at 8:51 am

It'll probably stand out under non-vis, but holographic display has a way to go before it translates into military use.

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SJE July 1, 2013 at 10:27 am

The problem is getting it to work at all wavelengths. Our closest peer adversaries all have various optics to see at different wavelengths.

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Chimp July 2, 2013 at 2:47 am

If you want to guarantee you have one gun, start with more than one gun (paraphrased).

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STemplar July 4, 2013 at 4:49 am

Yes but you miss the point, what does more guns get you? When you are hitting essentially everything you are aiming at and have the potential of 680 rounds in a Burke class magazine, how fast do you want to empty the ships magazine? One gun can do it in less than an hour. To say nothing of the fact more guns means less VLS cells, and honestly the real punch on any naval vessel is VLS cells.

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d. kellogg July 5, 2013 at 5:30 pm

They've yet to announce the actual warhead size of these rounds.
This informative article from the NavWeaps websites lists previous US 5inch munitions as having warheads (bursting charge) of around 7-10pounds depending on projectile.
http://navweaps.com/Weapons/WNUS_5-62_mk45.htm

Now add the precision of as little as 1.5meters, and that's the difference between hitting a tank in the engine deck or the turret roof: end result is still a dead tank.
Such precision also enables engaging various non-armored stationary command shelters, tents, etc….you artillery guys know what a 105 does to such targets. A 127mm shell alone is more than twice the weight of a 105.

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JCitizen July 7, 2013 at 5:03 pm

The contractors buying solar pvs. They are making out like bandits with the cheap supply of panels.

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