A Ground Role for Hellfire, CRV7 and LMM?

Lockheed Martin has recently demonstrated the ability of its guided 2.75” rocket, DAGR, to fire from a wheeled vehicle off a combined Hellfire/DAGR pedestal mount.

H/T Sol

What is interesting about this is the combination of lightweight and heavyweight missile, each with a different maximum and minimum range, each with different warheads and of course, each with a different cost that can be used against a range of targets by lightweight forces.

I also like the desire to make better use of what is already in service.

The UK is unlikely to adopt the DAGR even though it is supposedly able to utilise any type of 70mm/2.75” rocket because we use the Magellan Aerospace CRV7 and with the introduction of the MBDA Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM) makes DAGR even less likely. BAE have also supplied their Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS ) to the USMC and these are being used in Afghanistan.

In the RAF and Army Air Corps the rocket of choice is the CRV-7, a seemingly old fashioned and unglamorous weapon that nevertheless is massively effective, very low cost and frequently used.

The manufacturers of the CRV-7 (Bristol (Magellan) Aerospace of Canada) have developed a low cost precision version utilising a simple laser homing seeker head from Kongsberg, additional seeker heads include GPS and Anti Radiation.

The CRV7 no doubt is the best of breed and with the addition of a low cost semi active laser homing warhead it would provide a useful extra capability for limited vehicular and airborne (helicopter and UAV) launch, with a range of between 1 and 12km.

It has been available for sale for a few years now but without any takers.

Magellan also developed a version for special-forces use that utilised a single tube launcher. This enabled the target to be designated using an airborne or ground based laser and the missile launched from behind cover.

CRV7 PG
CRV7 PG

Starstreak, an earlier incarnation of the LMM, has been seen on the THOR mount

Kongsberg have also shown a version of the Sea Protector remote mount fitted with a triple tube launcher for 70mm rockets and Aeslan, a version with two LMM launchers.

There are many combinations or on-board and off-board designators/optical systems, launchers and missiles all within easy reach.

These are all interesting combinations and something similar would provide both the reactive and adaptable UK force elements with a useful capability at a low cost by making use of what we have or available off the shelf.

 

READ MORE ABOUT UK COMPLEX WEAPONS

UK Complex (Guided) Weapons – Reference

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wf
wf
March 19, 2013 3:54 pm

Make the CRV-7’s beam riders, add a lidar for targeting, small surveillance radar for cueing, and you have a far cheaper RAM solution than Phalanx/Centurion, with a much higher rate of fire

Swimming Trunks
Swimming Trunks
March 19, 2013 5:04 pm

Very interesting. Idea is somewhat similar to the Ground Apache idea put for

Jed
Jed
March 19, 2013 5:13 pm

According to my feed reader, Gabby has an article which mentions RA use of SPIKE NLOS as a UOR by the name of EXACTOR – problem is when I point my browser to his site, I cant hit the page, so I cant provide you a link !

Guided CRV7 / LMM on RWS type mount would be really nice on some lightly armoured hovercraft for the RM (I am not giving up on my hovercraft obsession……)

Swimming Trunks
Swimming Trunks
March 19, 2013 5:16 pm

Very interesting. Idea is somewhat similar to the Ground Apache idea put forward by Carlton Meyer – throw in a 30mm chain gun?

Also from the G2mil site:

http://www.g2mil.com/bazooka.htm

6 wheeled atv is interesting; simiar to 107mm rocket carrier developed by the Chinese:

http://m16.photobucket.com/albumview/albums/hybenamon/LAND/ARTILLERY/CHINESE/type63_107mm_012.jpg.html

The towed trailer is also interesting. You could do something similar with the rear unit of a Viking/Warthog?

Mark
Mark
March 19, 2013 6:09 pm

” MBDA Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM)”. Is this new or is it the one made by Thales air defence?

Swimming Trunks
Swimming Trunks
March 19, 2013 6:43 pm
Mr.fred
Mr.fred
March 19, 2013 7:46 pm

It strikes me that the weight of the launcher is low enough to fit on a flatbed Foxhound or Coyote. Light recce fire support?

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
March 19, 2013 9:17 pm

Mr Fred, you speak great sense. Looks like a candidate for a weapons station on a Jackal, my preferred recce platform of choice, and more importantly, the rapidity of fire of rockets pretty well for the emergency situations that you don’t want to get into. Ideal range for that sort of usage would be 100 metres**** – 4 km, and reach out with a Hellfire from 2 km – 8 km. I think you might want to slim down the whole pedestal further, so 4 DAGR and one Hellfire at about half the bulk of what is shown in the video.

**** Easy enough to engineer. A big red emergency button disables all complex guidance on the rocket, a big iron sight on top of the launcher, swing it round and line it up by eye, fire and pray. Less than 2 seconds.

That said, whatever guided rocket works (CRV-77, DAGR, whatever).

I can see a troop of so-equipped Jackal per squadron in a semi-overwatch role. Close recce still (IMO) would benefit from a belt-fired AGL on an RWS and a heavy barreled Accuracy International sniper rifle pintle-mounted forward of the commander (and demountable for sniper-type use, although I don’t think recce need to do the full monty sniper course).

Mr.fred
Mr.fred
March 19, 2013 9:38 pm

Now if one was feeling clever, one could engineer an interface for some sort of suitable weapon that was compatible with the M299 launcher, thereby replacing one of the rails with a machine gun or cannon.

paul g
March 19, 2013 9:51 pm

don’t the little birds have a cannon on the pod? wait one i shall go a you tube-ing

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoq9hQbvJc0

last one is 12.7mm and 2.75 in one pod, the only decent high cal pod is the f-35 one!

but there is this!!

Observer
Observer
March 20, 2013 1:44 am

Interesting idea though I would actually prefer the Spike over the Hydra due to the attack profile. A FROG (Free Rocket Over Ground) fired straight at a target does not have the same kill probabilities as a rocket fired from above via helicopter striking down at top armour. On the other hand, that is probably something that only makes a difference against MBTs or medium weight scout tanks and the cost would probably be a whole lot cheaper.

“Best fit” in my opinion would be something like a 25-40mm cannon which would give the same effect as these rockets, tandemed with 2-4 top attack missiles for tougher targets, weight constraints limiting.

For vehicles with a lower weight limit and can’t carry a turreted 30mm? I would go with RT’s AGL for anti-infantry and 2 Spike launchers with reloads for the widest possible target engagement selection. AGL for infantry and B-vehicles, ATGMs for A-vehicles. Of course if a recce team was engaged by A-vehicles. it is a definate sign to get the hell out of there.

Observer
Observer
March 20, 2013 2:37 am

Er… might be guilty of a bit of parochialism, do the UK seperate types of military vehicles into A, B and C classes? (A-Armoured, B-Soft Skin etc)

Swimming Trunks
Swimming Trunks
March 20, 2013 1:23 pm

I’ve been doing some reseach on rapid deployment of light forces and some of my ideas are similar to those mentioned above. I’ll see if I can get something written soon.

paul g
March 20, 2013 3:48 pm

write it in binary, just in case the site hasn’t been sorted out!! (revenge the REME vids)

Peter Arundel
Peter Arundel
March 20, 2013 5:47 pm

Although I like the idea of ground launched, precision guided CRV-7 I’m not sure if it’s a practical weapon for anything but a fully armoured vehicle. Those rockets have a serious back-blast and the motor keeps burning long after it leaves the tube – unpleasant if you’re in an open vehicle. Better put on an armoured flat-bed like Streaker and kept several K’s behind the unit it’s supporting – a couple of 19 round pods would probably throw a similar weight of HE as a battery of light guns.
Rockets make more sense than guns once precision guidance becomes the norm. A gun is expensive and heavy but fires cheap ammunition with decent accuracy. A rocket launcher is cheap, light but fires relatively innaccurate ammunition. It is, however, much cheaper and easier to make a guided rocket than a guided shell so if you’re mostly firing guided projectiles then rockets are the way to go . . .

Observer
Observer
March 20, 2013 6:34 pm

True that it is cheaper to make a guided rocket than a guided shell, but guns also have some advantages a rocket system does not, especially the plain vanilla ones.

1) Cost: A single 40mm unguided shell is much much cheaper than a rocket for more or less the same effect.
2) Payload: Dozens of shells can be carried for the space and weight of a single rocket.
3) Versatility: Due to the higher ROF of guns and the increased ammo capacity, you can use them in a sustained suppression role against infantry as opposed to the once used, that is it nature of rocket pods.

If possible, I’d still go with 2-40mm guns on anything like an APC/IFV, but the smaller vehicles can’t take the weight, so these rocket systems might just fill a niche role in the light strike/recce vehicle layouts.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
March 20, 2013 7:18 pm

Javelin not a poor choice for a recce wagon, and it has the benefit that you can take it forward with you when you dismount (as indeed you can the AGL). To do your job properly, you need to be able to get out of a recce wagon quickly, go forward, but still have a reaction capability.

Slightly broadening the debate, if we are talking recce, I was always a fan of Col Jeff Cooper’s Scout Rifle concept (http://jeffcoopersscoutrifles.blogspot.co.uk ). A snap shooting, accurate 7.62mm (or .308 Win for you US heathens). 7.62 to put the f**ker down, and no namby-pambying around with 5.56. You can even get them in the UK for authorised purposes and a reasonable £1500 http://www.sportsmanguncentre.co.uk/product/344b434867b888d969889425/Steyr+Scout/ , which I just might do if I get my licence renewed.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
March 20, 2013 7:30 pm

…..also quite useful to have a sniper rifle, preferably a .50 in the troop. We used to put our troop marksman into a hidden overwatch position at check points in Bosnia, and have a metal jerrycan (empty) at the side of the road. Stopped all of the arty-bargy with the warring factions trying it on when we were wearing UN blue berets and they thought we had little option but to let them pass, normally in some clapped out 4x4s. Smack a round into a jerrycan from a firing point they can’t spot, they suddenly realise they don’t hold the whip hand, and I told them the next round was going into the engine block of their lead jeep. They’d normally turn around and bugger off.

Jed
Jed
March 20, 2013 7:49 pm

TD

Indirect versus direct – understood, but with 40mm CTA to be the standard weapon of the armoured infantry, and 12.7 and 40mm MG’s on “light wagons” for RT type people, backed up with Javelin, why do we need long range direct fire from Hellfire and / our very high velocity rockets ? Especially in the light of recent news about the extended operational range potential for Javelin.

Wouldn’t a guided mortar round with top attack potential, without requiring a direct line of sight from the launcher be better ? At least the infantry / recce types could tote it around themselves without the RA detachment necessary for SPIKE-NLOS.

The more I think about this, the less certain I am about the use case.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
March 20, 2013 10:53 pm

Somebody else’s line of sight will do just fine… Designating?
– Little Bird above
– infantry/recce men ahead
….

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
March 20, 2013 11:09 pm

Btw, do the 81 mortar rounds leave any space for HE, after inserting the intelligence?

Aren’t they 120 in the main, not ‘toted’ so easily?

Pete Arundel
Pete Arundel
March 20, 2013 11:29 pm

@Observer – you may notice that I was talking ARTILLERY and not light automatic cannon. Rockets, or rather, missiles, are a good compliment to the light cannon on MICVs because they are a lightweight, hard hitting weapon (though limited in ammunition) that can be used against targets that a 40mm round is not so effective against.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
March 20, 2013 11:34 pm

ACC,

it’s not necessarily the intelligence in the bombs you want to wonder about. I recall – with some shuddering – an exercise at BATUS in the late 80s in which a Scottish battalion formed the BG, and the CO was a bit mustard on his mortars. Every soldier had to carry 2 bombs for a longish approach march in the double green condom, and there was a Bn plan to drop the bombs off on the far side of the final river crossing of the South Saskatchewan river, which was wadeable at a ford, and the mortars would set up an FP on the final bank, pre stonking of the notional enemy, with a whole Bn’s worth of “lift” of ammo available. Cunning.

But Jocks being Jocks, there was serious whining about extra weight, and indeed it was a toughish tab of about 40 miles (me being safety staff, I had only my 24 hour gear, not the full CEMO). The Jocks did well, but clearly there had been some plotting. As we crossed the final river, wet to our chests, each and every one of them dunked the green condoms in the river as a protest.

The final attack went live, with what should have been about 1000 mortar rounds landing on various places of the objective, and always ahead of us. Blow me if most of them didn’t land behind us, chasing us up the hill. Soggy explosive does not launch mortar bombs as far as they should go.

Those were dumb mortar shells, and indeed dumb Jocks. But you have to aim off for that sort of behaviour, no matter how smart BAE or whoever declare the Gen 73 seeker head to be. It can still be defeated by a dunk in water.

Observer
Observer
March 21, 2013 1:03 am

My bad, missed the point where it was about artillery not direct fire. Agree that the light cannon/AGL-missile combo would give the best flexibility.

@RT

Interesting one about the 0.5, got to remember that as a problem solving solution.
Was it pointed out to the Scotts in the AAR that they got shelled by their own side because of the dunking? It would be great incentive for them not to do it again.

And THIS is why I read TD, would never have occured to me that wet rounds lose range, though it was obvious once pointed out.

What is a recce unit doing dropping stonks on a target? Recce weapons that go bang are for self-defence only, information is their main weapon. No call for firing indirect fire on the target which gives away their presence, and for self defence, the SPIKE and Javelin does the job perfectly well in a small package. So in main I’d agree that the rockets are of limited use as recce direct fire if you already have a gun/AGL-ATGM combo and go even further to say “long” range motars are not suitable for recce as it 1) is useless for their main job and 2) they can’t use it without compromising their security.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
March 21, 2013 6:59 am

Observer,

there was an enquiry afterwards, as you would expect, because of the serious safety breach. I think the conclusion was that – wrongly – they’d thought the mortars would not fire at all, and so spoil the CO’s plan. But they did fire, just not out to the full range.

paul g
April 6, 2013 8:12 pm

just thought i’d add this little snippet from defense industry daily;

BAE/GD APKWS
(click to view full)

April 2/13: APKWS guided rockets. Eglin AFB announces successful tests of the APKWS laser-guided 70mm rocket from an A-10C, marking the 2nd test from a fixed-wing aircaft (a Beechcraft AT-6B was the 1st). For the final A-10C test sortie, 2 APKWS rockets were fired at a surface target at altitudes of 10,000 and 15,000 feet. The first rocket hit within inches, and the 15,000 foot shot hit within 2 meters despite a 70-knot headwind.

The USAF used a US Navy rocket launcher, because the guidance section adds 18″ to the Hydra rocket. If the USAF continues to move forward with APKWS on the A-10C and F-16, they’ll buy the Navy’s modified launchers to replace their 7-rocket LAU-131s. The US Navy is preparing to qualify APKWS on the MQ-8C VTUAV, USMC AV-8B Harrier II V/STOL jets, and F/A-18 family fighters
Now those are pretty impressive figures for a fairly inexpensive system I don’t know why we aren’t getting onboard this. Note it’s another string the A10 bow, as much as people have shot me down for saying we could use a few (25+) A10’s i really wonder if we could get some mega cheap with the pentagon been told to tighten the strings. I’d happily bin tornado on a 1-1 basis to end up with a joint force of A10 and tornado for A2G freeing up typhoon to do it’s air to air stuff