Pasdarans and Their Artillery Units subject logo: MILGAM
2006-07-14
Posted by: badanov

One of the issues we have had with Hezbollah has been, leaving aside for the moment their culpability in the murder of 241 US Marines in 1983, the presense of a considerable artillery park about 60 km north of Israel. We have been aware of that concentration of firepower since 2002, and we believe it has been there for sometime.

Now, with the missile attack on the Israeli port of Haifa is apparently an attack by Iranian Revolutionary Guards ( aka Pasdarans ) this changes the focus of this new war.

It may sound warmongerish, but we were hoping for a nice exercise of counterbattery fire by Israeli artillery for the purpose of getting some sense of Israeli doctrine in counterbattery operations.

Artillery to artillery duels have been in warfare for such a long time, but technology has changed so much in the last 70 years or so that the target acquisition elements of a major artillery command, such a regiment or higher ( in US terms, think maneuver divisional artillery ), you wouldn't recognize the TA units in today's modern artillery.

And doctrine in counterbattery is different from army to army. The US Army, for example, uses radar primarily for its target acquisition operations, essentially the same as the Soviets, except that the communications with the Soviets, which efficient, was still lacking.

We recall reading in a book about Soviet AirLand operations that Soviet mobile artillery units, such as those outfitted with the 2S3 and 2S5 armored artillery vehicle, figured their units had about five minutes to displace before counterbattery fire would arrive. That's not much time for a towed unit, the bulk of which composed the Soviet army of the 1980s, to limber up and move out and it considerabley reduced operational tempo even for mobile units if they have to constantly worry about moving after every mission.

But this Hezbollah artillery park is out of range of every modern tube artillery piece extant, and just barely in range of modern multiple rocket launchers, such as the US MLRS and LARS and the Soviet Urugan and Smerch artillery rocket systems.

IN WWII the primary means of target acquisition was sound and flash ranging, and that method is still in use in the modern Russian army. Both use two units in c,ose communication wich essentially range artillery noise and artillery flsh to guess location and range of artillery, feeding the data to a general support unit for a fire mission.

Now, with ground radar available, counterbattery operations are more accurate and more lethal.

We suspect that thge Israeli army would be more flexible using GSR and aerial means complete with laser designators, but at this point we will have to wait and see what will be done.

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