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Place this firmly in the "Bout goddamn time" rubric.

The 2006 War with Hezbollah was about the artillery park the Iranian supplied terrorist group had built up over several years; an artillery program I had repeatedly in this and other venues begged to be dealt with properly for many years.

When Hezbollah finally decided to cash in their artillery reserves in 2006, the IDF was left with two very poor options in counterbattery target acquisition: aerial observation, or traditional counterbattery techniques, such as ground strike rannging, sound ranging, flash ranging or simple observation.

In a war with an enemy which observes the rules, these would have been at least adequate, but with a terrorist army which thinks nothing of endangering non-combatants, or which receives active support of some of the local population, traditional means of dealing with artillery strikes were apparently not much of an option.

The way I read this article, the IDF had no, as in zero, effective means of using radar in gridding enemy artillery strikes. It seemed odd since I had read in 2006 that the IDF was sending rounds back downrange within a few minutes once the original launch was located, the only way of which could happen was with ground search radar of some kind. The problem the IDF was having was weapons laying was very poor with an unacceptably large circular error probable.

It does a military no good if artillery rounds can quickly go down range if they can't hit the target or even if they hit an unintended, non-military target.

These days of armed enemies walking amongst the population make fast as well as good of equal importance.

So the improvement described in the linked article is that the IDF can now send location data digitally to artillery units within seconds of locating an artillery strike, to enable artillery units to return fire quickly and accurately.

During the 2006 war Hezbollah units could wheel out a rocket launching rack, initiate a fire mission, then wheel it back under cover quickly, within seconds, all without fearing an effective counterbattery strike.

Digitally updating artillery laying gives the IDF a significant advantage in fighting conventionally armed terrorists such as Hezbollah without the fear of a mislayed artillery counterstrike hitting non-combatants.

Such an improved counterbattery system essentially gives the IDF a real offensive capability that did not exist before. It allows them to preserve aerial missions pools for more effective ground interdiction roles against enemy troops, and command and control systems.

It gives the IDF the additional advantage in dealing with a terrorist artillery park enabling the formation of ad hoc specialized artillery detachments, artillery hunting forces, with the single mission of killing enemy artillery.

But most importantly, it gives IDF commanders a big shot of confidence that the rounds artillery commanders send down range will find the enemy, and will go a long way toward tempering the ongoing war against Israel.

If this sounds like an informercial for counterbattery systems , I am very sorry for that. This artillery problem Israel has been living under for far too long is about to get a solution, pun intended,


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