Protecting Helicopters

An interesting video from DSTL on one of their  research programmes

On the subject of research programmes, have a look here and see the difference between previous years when it was all focussed on dismounted close combat and counter IED

https://www.dstl.gov.uk/downloads/Defence%20Science%20and%20Technology%20Programme%202013-14.pdf

 

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Chris Werb
Chris Werb
October 31, 2013 11:28 am

One problem in modelling the threat is that your HMG operators are very rapidly going to end up much more experienced and effective than insurgent gunners simply due to the amount of training this system is going to give them. It’s perhaps a trivial analogy, but if you play a game like World of Tanks you soon learn to pull off lead deflection shots against fast moving ground vehicles, even using weapons with comparatively low velocities. Of course, if your threat detection and warning system and associated manoeuvres can significantly reduce the threat from the equivalent of an DShk gunner with >500 engagements under his/her belt, you’re really onto something.

M&S
M&S
October 31, 2013 10:53 pm

Combined Countermeasures Are Best.

In the 1980s, the Swedes developed HSSS which is the Helicopter Smoke Screening System. If you are taking laser directed fire across a flat grazing angle, this could deny SALH and beamriders adequate flash back, much like tank smoke mortars and make auto-track impossible from NOE by those tanks which are capable of it.

If that fire is directed above the horizon as guided top attack, HSSS will not save you.

However; if it is the target that is above the horizon, then it may well be able, through kinematic expendables firing into-bearing, to create a sufficient gauntlet of drawn obscurrent cover to give the missile or guidance post target tracker difficulty in picking out an appropriately _sky matching_ target-

Electrochromics and Isoluminent Camouflage
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWRQVyC-9e8

It may work even against ballistic threats by buring the real signature amongst the noise of associated kinematic motion.

Finally, if the mechanism is sufficiently advanced within a retractable aerodynamic cover during normal flight (see: MASS), it may have a sufficiently large magazine capacity to rotate and project intelligent intercept as MHTK type munitions similar to the more advanced models being pursued for APS tank defense.
To save the time spent in stabilization and lockon, pre or post launch, an off axis track handed by a GFAS sensor could be commanded to kinetic defeat of an inbound MANPADS if the seeker can be steered to target by the _differential_ of the bearing by which the GFAS sees both inbounds motor plume.
Against ballistic threats, given that the smart shooters wait until they can’t miss in target overflight and use route ambush advantaged firing lanes (looking down on chokes through mountain passes for instance) rather than attempt sitting-on-it point target defense; the question then naturally arises whether a defensive interceptor itself could be fitted with a simple flash detection and TVM’d onto target HMG as light AAA.
Lasers, as advanced through the Coronet Prince, Have Glance and Compass Hammer demos _still work very well_ on humans and don’t have to be set at power levels sufficient to blind so much as dazzle, just as they do on SWAT mounted muzzle flashers. A scintillant light source which makes it hard to focus the eyes on a fast moving sky-matched silhouette, particularly a distant one, is all it takes to drop SSPK, dramatically.
In the 70s and 80s such systems were limited because we didn’t have the miniaturization to combine eyesafe and high powersystem together with FLIR based autotrackers and gimbaled stabilization into a sufficiently small aperture package to generate geometric beam forming as raster overlaps. Today they do and it can be preemptive.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcOZvKRpy4Y
Illumination based on muzzle flash is not only a second-shot loser’s game but could (and did, on test animals) blow out the eyeballs. Such a condition is not necessary now with target classification (Oh look, he’s standing behind a DShK!) and preliminary rangefinding plus adaptive optics allowing threats to be engaged preemptively with no more risk than from a rheostated searchlight at night. The farther you are from the target, the more power but also the faster the scintilant scan to reduce eye risk. Laser scanned smoke patterns might also prove useful to create mirror or refractant effects in particular spectrums as part of an obscurrent system.

Apache GFAS in fact slews the entire weapon package into line and where this includes guided rockets as well as guns, it provides a suitable overmatch without necessarily having to go with an expensive ATGW response. Such a system could again be optimized for severely off track (going-away helo) shooters by use of a dedicated, dropfire, munition.

This last is criticale for while attack helicopter’s _never leave_ the cheapest of the trashfire threats as lowly as wires strung across chasms and rifles as HMG, they can be made to stress these systems ballistic capabilities by simply increasing altitutde as a reaffirmed understanding of what platforms like the AH-56 once attempted (hemispherical downlook engagement).

Done in SEA, using 3,500-5,000ft transits, this was found to remove air mobile units from all but the most accurate of 12.7 and 14.5mm gunnery unless active optical or radar tracking (Fliedermaus and Skyguard in my day, now likely much smaller) on a remoted mount were included. The penalty was a very large, loud, signature which gave considerable early warning of approach.

At these altitudes, exposure does increase as optical and acoustic tracking overlap but even guided fires have several seconds of climbout with which to deploy multiple overlaps of CM, including terminal hardkill and maneuver. GFAS provides at most a bottoming out of the collective and a torque skid option in the half-second or so of warning below 500ft.

And if you have altitude sector-cued hemispheric coverage via combined GFAS and EO turret it becomes natural for a weapon to drop, orient nad -then- boost, rather than having to defeat 3,000-4,000fps of motor impulse as with a guided 70mm shot. Or swallow 60,000 dollars of munition cost as a Hellfire.

All of which are important in hot and high conditions where your lift margin and VNe/RBS are pretty close and add incentive not to increase airframe risks by pointing the nose inwards towards target fire source from an orbit-CAS position.

Drop fire weapons don’t have to defeat more than forward airspeed of 140-170 knots to generate off-track maneuver headings and can potentially be made much smaller with either pure glide wing extenstion (ala BAT similar VStrike) or blip-glide (as Griffin) or turbine (as LAM or LOCAAS).

Use of RPAs as route scouts and onboard missiles as target terminal area pre-strike recce must also be considered in line with this there is absolutely no reason to fly a route which is infested with threats if you can come over a different hill and if a first-pass by a small eye-in-sky device can provide multiple designation aimpoints, you can effectively create shoot lists which are fulfilled as soon as you cross the LOS horizon.

People who troll for fire with thirty million dollar attack assets are people who need to be in a different MOS. Like chief bottle washer.

For transport aircraft, the situation is different because size, troop load and generally lower weapons as agility options in dealing with threats makes life harder. Here, the biggest issue has got to be simple avoidance. If the threat has 20 people to disperse as fire teams and hill sentinels based on activity alert indications of imminent attack and a helicopter doesn’t have to operate within a 5km circle around the objective, the number of _known_ landing zones it uses which might be underfire or at least eyeball is still pretty risky intenstive because the threat is on it’s home terrain and knows the best places to land a helicopter as a function of preregistered mortar suppression or even mines.
Take this out to a 10km circle and now the threat may know what’s out there but the PieR2 square of area is so huge that he cannot cover all of perhaps several dozen variant options because he doesn’t have enough people to eyes-on with.
Push this yet further to 20km and most local yokels aren’t even really familiar with the terrain space anymore and there are litteraly hundreds of sites where an assault or patrol can drop in.

And the threat won’t hear the chopper moving in either.

Of course your reactivity to a fleeting threat or one which poses an imminent risk to an already engaged friendly unit is lower too.

Which is why a smart soldier _drives_ to the sound of gunfire.

If you are mounted, you gain synergies of not just speed and coordinated approach from multiple axes but also heavy and even remoteable (R-Gator) weapons as scout options completely beyond those of the insertion platforms.
81mm Mortar or SPIKE missiles can put fires onto targets not directly seen while robotic UGV can seize and hold ground which the enemy can either expose himself to object to (splitting his defensive commitment) or allow you to advance without contest into their secured perimeter.

All of which helps the helos because the ride home isn’t risked if you can drive 20-25mph back to the extraction LZ. And the attack birds don’t have to press so hard if the unit is engaged because they have organic, heavy, fires of their own.

The ultimate risk here which people need to realize is that believing a threat is too primitive to do more than await your arrival to see-to-shoot at you ‘because they can’t afford any better’ is ultimately an illusorily false hubris of assumption.

In WWII, the Germans constructed a simple helical spiral of glass tubing into which two hypergolic volatile chemicals were loaded and held in place with a simple pair of plugs. The then forced at predetermined rates to eject the chemicals into a motor combustion chamber via a bottle of compressed which would propel the world’s first AAM, the Ruhrstall X-4, through the air.

They fitted it with either wire or radio control linkages and turned or scarfed the exhausts so that it spun, enabling just two active control surfaces to generate both pitch and yaw control via a slipring gyro which determined when to send the received guidance impulses via a series of sliding contacts.

In the nose, of the weapon was a small membrane which, when vibrated at a suitable Hz resonance against a contact needle by the passing acoustic vibrations of any of a B-17’s four Cyclone R-1820 engines, completed a detonation circuit which fired the warhead.

This level of Bohemian chemical and aeroengineering kludgery was necessary because Germany was nearly reduced to basic iron age industrial capacities by the on-going airwar as strategic material shortages.

Today, there is no such shortage and a person who purchased simple RC hobbyist turbine engines, a gyro stabilizer and coordinate autopilot from one of the quadricopters you can buy from Barnes And Noble and a simple electronics stereo equalizer set from Radio Shack could build from balsa wood a drone which would launch off a bungee chord catapult. Fly _over the horizon_ and use a simple acoustic sensor much like the German Kranich fuse to hunt down helicopters which they knew were operating in the area because local farmers dialed up their cell numbers and told them so. Or because they created an incident which -attracted- their attention.

Couple this basic level of capability with an industrial power like China or even Iran and North Korea, and the notion of what a MANPADS is could change overnight. As certainly would it’s range.

Remember, the SA-7 Grail was designed to hit _fixed wing_ aircraft operating at some considerable height and moving across or away from the plume-only seeker at a pretty good clip (some of the first victims were AC-130s in Laos, well above 10,000ft and 250 knots).

Vs. a lowly Apache or even a V-22, there is absolutely no need for 747 knots of overtake to down a receding target at some 12,000ft or 500knots target airspeed which is what the Strella is rated to. Half that will do just fine. If you have enough liquid fuel for a 5 minute flight to get there before crashing into either rotor with a handgrenade sized warhead.

The ultimate vulnerability of helicopters lies in their slow transit speeds as limited lift ability to clear the most primitive of pursuit threats. While clutter is nice, it only works so long as the decision interval is quick and non height/impulse biased to reattack.

Which is why hardkill lasers and MAWS/MLDS which also act as SAIRST will most likely become essential selfdefense aids for as much as against RW aircraft.

Ask yourself: Brave 200, KDAR-PAB/Harpy, MQM-105 Aquila, AGM-136 Tacit Rainbow. If these Cold War systems had not been doing their intended job of surveillance and SEAD, why would they -not- have been used to hunt helicopters?

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
November 1, 2013 5:59 pm

Good old Poth. He was one of the best Troopers I observed (in my Squadron, not my Troop), and went on to better things. Good to see he’s got a civvy job with DSTL that suits his talents. I expect he’ll be bloody good at it.

M&S, I can’t keep up with you. What are kinematic expendables? I thought I was doing well until I got to that bit. And just forecasting ahead, what on earth does “…And if you have altitude sector-cued hemispheric coverage via combined GFAS and EO turret it becomes natural for a weapon to drop, orient nad -then- boost, rather than having to defeat 3,000-4,000fps of motor impulse as with a guided 70mm shot. “ mean? Absolutely baffled.

Chris.B.
Chris.B.
November 1, 2013 7:53 pm

@ RT,

Presumably he means using an EO turret to observe the enemy from med-high altitude, and then having a Brimstone type weapon that would fall off the rail, orientate itself towards the target (laser reflection, etc), then fire, instead of firing a round that then has to manoeuvre to hit. Why you wouldn’t just turn the helicopter or whatever around and fire, which isn’t really that hard nor that especially risky against any enemy lacking AA weapons is another matter. $60,000 for the kill? Worth every penny.

jim87
jim87
November 1, 2013 8:30 pm

@rt, m&s
I think i understand but let me know if I’m wrong…
I assume the “drop, orient nad -then- boost, rather than…” means that the weapon drops and uses its own control surfaces and gravity to point in the right direction then fires it’s engines rather than coming out straight forward at 3,000fps and having to wrench itself round 80 degrees left and 40 degrees down consequently burning X% of its propellant for no reason.
it does leave the question of the “non-pod” carriage and release mechanism for your “boost after launch” 70mm weapon.

Now for a question of my own, what is , GFAS? I have acronym blindness in both my eyes so I need help

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
November 1, 2013 9:13 pm

@ Chris B,

Gordon Bennet, I don’t know. Simple soldier, me (hence the BD role since leaving, much the same, except with a credit card for entertaining).

No one in the UK Defence Industry seems to give any credence to simply slithering up unobserved to HMtQ’s enemy and silently delivering HMtQ’s bayonet into HMtQ’s enemy’s gut. It all has to be high-tech these days. Hint: quite cheap, we’re your’s for an extra Mars bar, and the boys from Wolverhampton don’t need to be the nerdy swots with A levels.

I dunno, seemed so simple when she paid me.

Re shooting Helio-co-Peters. Load up trace. Hosepipe until bits fall off. Eventually, target stops playing.

x
x
November 1, 2013 9:21 pm

@ RT

I was reading somewhere the other day that a brigade HQ in the 80s could actually cycle out orders in simple text quicker than an HQ can do today with all the modern IT.

Or something like that….

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
November 1, 2013 9:40 pm

x,

there is an enormous amount in what you say, although “corporate interests” in the Army part of the MoD would not wish you to say so publicly….

I have some insight, having been an SO3 G3 Ops in a Bde HQ in the very late 80s, later a Divisional G3 Ops wallah in the early 90s, then, for my sins, having been the SME input to the BOWMAN business case.

Normal SOP Battle Group attack pre-BOWMAN (i.e. Clansman, requiring encoding into BATCO) = 45-60 minutes. Do it with BOWMAN (i.e. encoded voice) = 20-30 minutes. Made the BOWMAN Main Gate Business Case a winner.

However, Cavalry style, pre-assign half a dozen 1800’s bugle calls to mean “left flanking, bags of smoke” or “right flanking, stealthy until rumbled” and other variations also meant we could do a BG attack in about 10 minutes even under Clansman conditions. There were several variations, and it only worked if everyone knew our bugle calls played over the radio. (Goodness, yet another argument against IXIONS’s “19342nd Corps of Unknown Battle-Grouped EU Wannabees”). Gen Patrick Cordingley, who I first knew as a Squadron Leader in Tidworth did exactly that on launching his 7th Armoured Brigade against the Iraqis in Gulf 1 – I heard his Bugler on the Div net, and knew that was my cue to call in some USMC F-18s on a depth target. And as I had dined in his house on several occasions, and danced (nicely) with his wife, and we both took part on a hockey umpire’s course 2 years before, I knew him well enough to trust him with putting my soldiers’ lives at risk.

We used to assign H-Hour to “Come to the Cookhouse Door, Boys, Come to the Cookhouse Door”. And then you’d go balls out at OPFOR.

x
x
November 1, 2013 10:23 pm
Chris.B.
Chris.B.
November 1, 2013 10:24 pm

@ RT,

Presumably if the helicopters involved it’s either too hot for a bayonet job, or there are no bayonets in sight.

And if we’re talking staff work, then oddly enough I’ve just been reading this: http://www.dodccrp.org/events/9th_ICCRTS/CD/papers/068.pdf

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
November 1, 2013 10:35 pm

Chris B,

don’t know, multiple permutations.

I do recall some disappointment on arriving on a couple of objectives to find nothing left to do, due to the efficiency of indirect and airpower. “I mean, FFS, we’ve been closed down for around an hour, been shot at relentlessly, taken God knows how much strike on the run in, had the gonk bags and rations in the bins shot to shit by MG from 1100 yards out, lost 3 of my forward optics, antennae blown away, and NOW you tell me they’ve got their hands up and want to be all peacefulness and light, just when me and Jeremiah*** want to give them the good news? Well, effing obblocks.”

*** Jeremiah was my bayonet, on several tours, Actually, several bayonets, but you get the point.

M&S
M&S
November 2, 2013 2:19 am
Reply to  Red Trousers

@ RT,
“M&S, I can’t keep up with you. What are kinematic expendables? I thought I was doing well until I got to that bit. And just forecasting ahead, what on earth does “…And if you have altitude sector-cued hemispheric coverage via combined GFAS and EO turret it becomes natural for a weapon to drop, orient nad -then- boost, rather than having to defeat 3,000-4,000fps of motor impulse as with a guided 70mm shot. “ mean? Absolutely baffled.”

Flare Types
http://www.valleyassociates.ca/storage/VAISC%20Esterline%20Infrared%20Decoy%20Flares.pdf

Presently there are three major kinds of expendable IR countermeasures, i.e. flares: Multi-Spectral, Aerodynamic and Kinematic. Multi-Spec pushes heat in two or more key bands which the detectors on a particular threat seeker have been cross doped to detect. Aerodynamic is designed to be dispensed in ‘formation’ like patterns whose spinning trails effects are so huge that they /mask/ the target. Kinematics are designed to actually fly along the target bearing and then diverge, creating tracking logic doubt as to which target is actually powered.

Helicopters are so slow that it is hard for them to generate sufficent separation vector with the EXCM bearing before the missile rejects the false target and snaps back to whatever is still in-FOV as the real McCoy. A combination cocktail of flare types which both obscures and kinematically draws off the seeker helps alleviate this.

Keeping in mind that staring seekers which have a huge number of detector elements rather than scanning a spinning mirror over just a few can image most targets in real time rather than as a function of a builtup raster image. And that of the many methods used to IRCCM reject flares, the most common are: UV shift in the optical specie as the pyrophorics generate a slight ‘tinge’, rise rate (how fast it surges to max temp emulation) and dwell time (how long the object remains in the seeker field of view).

Flares use in helos at low level is not always practical because of a number of issues related to burning hot carts impacting dirt but at higher levels they rapidly outweigh conventional IR jammers whose Omnidirectional output is both shy on power and frequently airframe masked (some missiles even ‘beaconate’ home-on-jam against systems like the ALQ-144). Directional and Coherent (laser) jammers do better but can be saturated or FOV’d as well. Flares and maneuver thus remain your always-on option provided there is enough time to get the flare to bloom and then do some of that pilot stink as burying the collective and pushing the cyclic hard over with a kick to the torque pedals to get the airframe out of the seeker head FOV at the same time you duck for mask behind the descending flare shower.

Original U.S. industrial effort was ‘Loralei’ which came under the ASTE (Advanced Strategic/Tactical Expendables) umbrella with the MJU-47.

The other’s basically covered what I was suggesting with a dropfire weapon

.B.,
“Why you wouldn’t just turn the helicopter or whatever around and fire, which isn’t really that hard nor that especially risky against any enemy lacking AA weapons is another matter. $60,000 for the kill? Worth every penny.”

Cost is always a variable to inventory size. Even if you are free to blow off high value ATGW on what are largely personnel targets, the question becomes how many of variant X you have to expend of what particular Hellfire or Brimstone model (AGM-114N and P have 210` engagement turn capabilities, earlier versions do not, Brimstone I only has MMW, Brimstone II has SALH); how close in you are (whether the missile can make the cutoff); how big a bang you need to finish the threat (AGM-114P uses a thermobaric warhead which is actually rather brutal) in proximity with friendly or civilian secondaries; where any other aircraft are in the orbit pattern; and what the time vs. angle off geometries are for putting the MTADS optics on the target before he finishes you.
Relative to this last, the one thing you have to keep in mind is that, so long as your ground track is tangentially oblique, he has to pull lead and leading on a target 1,500ft up and 1,500ft away @ 150 knots, even with 12.7mm means compensating for gravity as loss of muzzle velocity in such a way that you can actually end up needing to plan to hit the target on the /downside/ of a ballistic arc which means aiming above and -behind- the aircraft as it goes away, knowing that by the time the round gets there it’s going to be coming around the far side of wheel orbit.
Turn in on him and you solve all his lead issues while burying your nose in a fashion that (for a helicopter) can only mean further loss of speed and flat-plating of the airframe during the pullout. None of these are particularly good ideas when facing a static threat who has no motion to compensate for and is motivated by the fact that he can’t run away from the engagement like you can.
You may present a bigger profile than you would head-on, but motion generates aimpoint error. Stomp turning to put the weapons on folds that motion aroudn a very tight point in space which can volumetrically cluster previously fired rounds that would otherwise have fallen behind you.

@Jim87,
GFAS Gunfire Acquisition System
http://sitelife.aviationweek.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/13/1/ed69448e-4be9-4593-915c-679f4b27c7da.Full.jpg

Is the equivalent of a MAWS/MLDS (Missile Approach Warning System/Missile Launch Detection System) for small arms and RPG fire. If you have a proper downlook (i.e. not fixed to the front of the nose) acquisition sensor, GFAS can say: “Hey, look over there, they’re shootin’ at us!”, and give the pilot or CPG the option to command slew the FLIR turret to have a looksee. If they are indeed shooting at the aircraft, engagement then becomes a matter of dropping a weapon like VStrike, Griffin or even smaller ordnance which orients and fires a blip accelerator motor to arc across the offtrack distance while the helo either continues enroute or goes around the CAS wheel again.

Again, even adhoc AD threats aren’t stupid even as though can occasionally be tardy in acquiring the helicopter and bringing weapons to bear. If they can shoot you from behind, rather than face a 30X113 overmatch, they will. And if they have heavier weapons like the ZPU or DShK in a fixed siting, it may actually be the helicopter which is in trouble.

In yon olden daze and the tactic would be a rapid ‘dig’ maneuver to drop altitude, skid into threat bearing lay down salvo fire of 70mm rockets and/or guns. But we are no longer hunting T-72s through the weeds in open field combat conditions with scouts ahead and limited collaterals risk. Rather, we are flying two ships, at altitude, with civilians spread out for miles at our feet and often a troops in contact supporting condition which means we have to _stay in the wheel_. And so become predictable for threats that come to us or in fact start something up specifically looking to draw a crowd.

http://www.aviationtoday.com/Assets/Image/1__AH-64DoverBaghdad.jpeg

In such a for grins condition, the podded assembly I am thinking about is Vebal Syndrom-

http://en.valka.cz/viewtopic.php/t/67285
http://en.valka.cz/files/vebal_569.jpg
http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1983/1983%20-%202095.html

Which, as the conceptual inheritor of the SG-113/Forster Sonde notion of a laydown Anti-Armor bazooka. VBW was basically a pod containing a magnetometer, MMW radiometer and an IRLS assembly such that, when an aircraft flew down a road or over a battlefield it could track and categorize IR hotspots classifying them by mass and magnetic signature before releasing from the slanted front tubular magazine a French designed TGSM which would then wing it’s way over the target roof before deploying a dual charge HEAT.

My idea is similar, except that you put a small gimbaled optics system like this-
http://www.uavm.com/uavsubsystems/imagingdatasensors.html

In the front of the pod as an independent optics channel that is reflective of the likely engagement distances (thousands of feet rather than meters) and use it to mark targets for a system like this-

http://www.ausairpower.net/US-Army/GD-TGSM-Submunition-S.jpg

Which then does either a GPS or SALH homing sequence.

Properly designed, such a system would allow virtually any RW aircraft from an Ecureille to an X2 to perform as attack platforms without worry as to system weight or drag of a separate optics turret because the pod is it’s own weapons system. Using simple switchouts in preloaded (tandem stacked) munitions tubes, like sonobuoys, then provides for anti armor, general CAS (including multifloor roof penetration and MEF room blowout) and flak suppression, by warhead and perhaps seeker type.

Such a pod could also be used from MQ-1 and MQ-9 with the drone’s more powerful MTS downlook optics providing for higher-faster engagement.

So that scenarios like this-

Ambush At Najaf
http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArchive/Pages/2003/October%202003/1003najaf.aspx

Are not only suppressible but actually have alternatives to lower the risk of direct engagement to begin with (just knowing that there is a guardian angel waaaaay up there will tend to put some hesitation in the popup shooters because exposure to topdown sensor coverage is different to exposure to long-slant grazing coverage from the likes of nose mounted systems).

dave haine
dave haine
November 2, 2013 9:34 am

@ RT

Why ‘Jeremiah’?

(I can understand the naming- my lannie was called ‘pat’ after the then mother-in-law; easy to wind-up, f**king difficult to stop)

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
November 2, 2013 10:23 am

DH,

because Jeremiah the biblical prophet inspired weeping and wailing (apparently). I will cheerfully admit that it was hellishly conceited to name a bayonet anything at all.

Despite taking bayonet drills extremely seriously in peacetime (so much so that even my Colonel got worried about me, after I bought a pig carcass for my troop to practice upon in that golden summer before Gulf One – the troop NCOs thought I was completely off my rocker), I only ever once had to use one in “anger”, and even that was a cockup. I tried to take prisoner an Iraqi who didn’t want to be taken prisoner so he blatted off at us with an AK. I thought I’d reinforce the message by putting up Jeremiah to his throat. I managed to trip over something on the floor of his trench and ended up by sticking the damn thing 4 inches deep in his thigh. Bit of an eye-popping moment for both of us. Still, mission accomplished.

x
x
November 2, 2013 11:02 am

@ RT

I can only imagine a modern RN officer in the same fight. He would probably wield a transistor radio and would try to disable the enemy combatant by furiously twiddling the tuning and volume knobs. But only after a USN officer had shot the enemy combatant to pieces with overwhelming firepower……….

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
November 2, 2013 11:28 am

x,

that’s unkind about the Andrew. At the very least, PWO course graduates apparently know everything about everything, are ubermensch, and in at least one case, then go on to JCTTAT training which equips them to be better trained in close combat techniques than most of the Army.

Oddly, I was clearing some stuff from the attic a week ago and inside my old bergen was the set of boots I wore during Gulf 1, and there is a tear in the leather on the toecap of one boot. That’s the tear from whatever it was that I tripped over. Not quite in the league of Henry V’s pre-Agincourt speech of “…then will he strip his sleeve, and show his scars, and say these wounds I had on Crispian’s day”

x
x
November 2, 2013 11:50 am

@ RT

I am entitled to an opinion. And I do know what a PWO course entails.

If they are unhappy they can always unfriend me on MyFaceBeBook. Or go for the nuclear option and video a funny skit to the soundtrack of a Taylor Swift song and put it up on the YouTube…………..

dave haine
dave haine
November 2, 2013 3:11 pm

@ RT

I had a colleague like that- always found a reason to be in cabbage and carrying a bundook, funny really, as he was a supply officer. CO ended up posting him to ‘Tiswas’ (Tactical Supply Wing) in exasperation.

The funniest thing of all was that the Padre always outshot him on the range.

Chris.B.
Chris.B.
November 2, 2013 7:21 pm

@ M&S,

We don’t seem to have had too many problems with the supply of missiles etc for Afghanistan. It’s a problem that doesn’t really exist. As for the lead angles and AA fire, they haven’t had much of a problem with that either. Not least because even once the helicopter turns, unless it’s pointing perfectly straight at the target there is still a significant issue with lead angles and speeds for the chap on the ground to overcome. US fighter pilots over Italy back in WW2 found the simple application of a little bit of rudder while flying ostensibly straight was enough to cause major problems for people on the ground trying to lead them.

If it was such a big issue that required your new technology to solve, then why haven’t we seen Apaches, Cobras and Kiowas falling out of the sky like may flys? You’re trying to solve a problem that doesn’t appear to exist.