American Supremacy and the Future Weapons of War
I’m watching Future Weapons on the discovery channel, hosted by a man who spent 10 years in the SEALs. I suppose he just couldn’t give up completely on the military and weapons, so he does a show about weapons ; ) This way, he can still get to test new stuff out even if he can’t get into combat anymore.
There were a couple of the featured weapons systems that civilians have perhaps only heard about peripherally.
Predator UAVs. Metalstorm weapons systems. M-107 Barret semi-automatic (Army probably calling it the X(8)(7) something) Thermobaric warheads. I think the last two were indirect artillery pieces. The MRSCI, Mercy, multiple rocket system. And the Indirect Line of Sight artillery piece.
The Mrsci fires a high explosive rocket over 65 kilometers (numbers are from memory, error included) at pinpoint precision. A smart bomb basically fired from a rocket system. You know those rocket systems, where you have like a truck bed with a 6 pack silo based rectangular box on the back, and it raises itself up and then there’s all kinds of dust and smoke when it fires. It looks like the crappy rockets used by Saddam in Gulf War 1, but this stuff is a lot more deadly because it is GPS guided. It also adapts such effective options as “delayed arming” which allows it to sink beneath a bunker (wood bunker, not concrete) and blow it up. Then there is the “airburst function”. Always the most lethal function against infantry.
So basically, if there’s an insurgent firing a mortar at your base, you can immediately fire a counter-battery shot at the location of the insurgent firing the mortars (trajectories calculated by computer models and sensors). This is why the insurgents tend to fire and then move, really really fast.
This precision rocket system is very good at blowing up wooden command bunkers. Where even normal artillery has trouble hitting because they’ve dug a six foot trench line in the ground and people are walking around in it. An artillery barrage would have to hit RIGHt on top of the command post, to blow it up, and even then it will only collapse the top portion. These precision rockets absolutely totaled that command structure. An airburst over an enemy mortar/artillery position totally eviscerates everyone in that general area, cause the shrapnel in the air becomes “englobed” and disperses along a sphere like trajectory. Think of having a big umbrella and anything under the umbrella gets hit by shrapnel that put fist sized holes in you.
This is simply the logical progression of GPS guided bombs. Now you can move a truck sized vehicle and have it blow people up from long distance. Since it ain’t a big 2,000 pound bomb, they can carry more of them and it doesn’t blow an entire neighborhood to kingdom come. So precision combined with limited collateral damage. good for urban terrain, which is why the US troops want them in Iraq.
There are two versions. The A version and the bigger, badder, more expensive B version. The A version looks like an oversized hand held electronic airplane. The B version looks like a freaking miniaturized Cesna. With 2 hellfires on it.
They were talking about how they used the Predator A in Kosovo to do intelligence work, look at the ground faster than a satellite can, get the info the commanders, send the info the pilots, and the target then becomes dead after the mission has launched. Then cause they were getting impatient with not enough kills, they started making these planes bigger so they could fly them around for 30 hours straight on overwatch, along with the fact that they can now carry hellfire munitions or basically anything weighing at 3,000 pounds. Osama’s third and second in command sure got surprised by these weapons systems.
So basically what we have here is the Leftist stereotype of video game warriors, flying multi-million dollar Predators from the safety of their base hundreds of miles away, shooting at people on a television screen (via sat uplink). From the mouths of Leftists, eventually they’ll get lucky and get something right ;)
Since the Pred B flies at 30,000 feet, you ain’t never going to see it. Yet it can see YOU with radar and optical imaging cameras. Once the National Guard put these to use on the Southern Border, they will know instantly where the drug dealers are coming from and the smugglers and basically everything else going on at the Southern Border. What did you expect from a multi-million dollar UAV that has been used successfully to blow up hardcore jihadist terroists as well as finding them in the first place? Using them on smugglers and drug dealers in Mexico, is called OverKill. Well, it would be OverKill if you armed with them hellfire missiles that is. But that probably won’t happen. Most likely the NG will use this as a training exercise to give their pilots more “hours” with the gam I mean the plane.
The Metalstorm system
Now the Metalstorm is fun. First heard about it from John Ringo’s Dance with the Devil book. Basically you put like 10 bullets lined up in one gun barrel, and then electronically detonate them all at once, starting with the first bullet. So what basically happens is, you pull the trigger on a Metalstorm weapon, 3 rounds exit the barrel and hit the target BEFORE RECOIL, and then the gun recoils. Talk about railguns. Basically this gives the weapon you are using “recoiless” accuracy. You can fire a burst, and still have that burst hit its target. The American version of the Arab “spray and pray” method. But a lot more efficient and deadly.
More coming up, taking a break.
Now the metalstorm I saw on Future Weapons came in a lot of different sizes. It wasn’t just a huge installation on the ground or mounted on a vehicle. They had 3 barrelred handguns using the metalstorm system. They really emphasized the fact that it won’t jam, that there are no moving parts other than the bulleting firing. With an air cooled assault rifles, you have the loading springs and the bullet casing jaming, the magazine from which the round comes, and so on. More parts, more malfunctions. With the metalstorm, if one bullet doesn’t fire, the bullet behind it pushes the first bullet out. That sounds dangerous, but then again the powder they use isn’t gunpowder, it doesn’t “explode” if you hit it hard enough. They stopped using those awhile ago.
Some ideas they brought up was that you could mount these on rectangular box tubes and lower them from the side of a ship to destroy incoming torpedoes. Or mount it towards the air, to destroy ICBMs or Tomahawk cruise missiles.
What they didn’t mention was the recoil and the ammunition consumption and reloading problem. It fires 1 million rounds a minute, so you’re going to be needing A LOT of ammo. Since there is NO magazine, you are actually carrying around separate barrels with you. That’s fine for a handgun, was they just made the magazine a tube that consists solely of bullets and just breech loads it in, with no magazine using verticle vullets. That is ironic. With the Henry Repeating rifle, they had to load the bullets behind each other, then the Mauser made it more efficient by loading it vertically, bullet on top of bulelt, which allowed pointed bullets to be loaded that were much more lethal than the round bullets the Repeater Gun was using. Those round bullets looks like a .38 special because it is really dangerous pushing a big pointed bullet behind the percussion cap of another bulelt, back in the days when they still used gunpowder and other unsafe derivatives.
The problem with reloading in my view is, for bigger gun arrays, they’re going to have to either use a mechanized system or they are going to have to use hand loading like artillery pieces. This is not even including lugging around the ammo. The weapon works great, the logistics suck ;)
I predict that the auto-loading indirect artillery system will be the solution here for anything other than small arms Metalstorm systems.
The regular M-82 Barret was a .50 caliber gun designed to destroy light armored vehicles like humvees. It was bolt action, using either 5 round box magazine or 10 round box magazine, not really sure. Anyways, a regular M-82 barret once fired, pushes you back several feet. Even for a strong man, firing 10 Barret .50 caliber rounds is going to really hurt your shoulder.
When they go into Afghanistan and Iraq, they wanted an semi-automatic .50 caliber gun that could fire “continuously” without having to use the bolt and lose the sight picture. However, recoil was a big problem. Even if you could make the .50 caliber semi-automatic, and that was the easy part, if the freaking gun threw you back several feet after you fired it (based upon your weight) then how are you going to fire it semi-auto? You can’t. So the designer, Barret (I think), totally redesigned the gun in order to have a weird sort of spring like barrel among other things I can’t explain. Anyways, this reduced the recoil down by 75%. So that the Future Weapons host, the former SEAL, was able to fire it one after the other. He commented that there was quite a noticeable difference in the kick of the weapon compared to the M-82 Barrets he had used before.
You should have seen the kind of damage a .50 caliber sniper rifle will do to steel, concrete, and human flesh targets. It is totally amazing and aweinspiring. Include terrifying if someone is shooting at you with it. This thing can reach over 2 miles, and make your body explode. It is an absolute terror weapon on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. The puny little SVD Dragunovs the insurgents used can’t even penetrate US body armor. One time some soldier got shoot in the head, and his kevlar armor stopped the Dragunov round. He thought he got hit by a rock. It was right in the middle of his forehead, or it would have been had he not been wearing the kevlar helmet.
People who talk about our troops not having good body armor cause IEDs blow off their limbs, are either totally bullshitting the american people or they are just plaint ignint.War