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John Kettler

2S4 Tyulpan Smel'chak laser guided round has strange approach, but what about...

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One for the grogs. According to Lester M. Grau. of the US Army's Foreign Military Studies Office, Smel'chak uses a strange to me, likely others here, approach for firing a laser guided projectile.  In his most informative article based on Russian sources, Grau describes several aspects of using the munition, starting with the need to fire two or three conventional shots first to make sure the laser seeker acquisition basket is close enough to the target. So much for surprise fire! He also describes the use of a shot synchronization device which signal from the artillery position to the FO's special receiver for it which tells him when to illuminate the target. 

 

Krasnopol definitely uses the shot sychronization device and special receiver combination, but I can't tell from another very meaty FMSO article covering the system whether the multiple shots required to effectively use Smel'chak are also required for Krasnopol. The article states 1-2 rounds are needed for the engagement. I would welcome input on this and the above. Additionally, I commend the two FMSO articles to all the weapon grogs and students of military affairs. Believe the laser guided ammo allotments may cause disbelief and even dyspepsia.

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler

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Yeah, what he said. ;)

 

My learning curve on Russian laser guided artillery started last spring. I'm still in the flat section of that curve.

 

I had an imaginary idea of how a laser guided munition (LGM) should work, based on my knowledge of USAF LGB's. That's not a good place to start. Comms, sync'ing, baskets, arty training, ammo allotment, etc., are HUGE impediments.

 

If you want to drop rounds on a fixed location, starting with a briefing the night prior and having all in readiness about 6-8 hours later, then this is very good. Imagine a set-piece assault with a few critical defense nodes you want to knock out before your men go over the top (SAM sites, C^3 nodes, etc.).

 

 If you want to drop an FO team on the flank of a mechanized breakthrough and plink tanks, then this is not going to work.

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Lester Grau is a good author. At least his indexes do not drive you mad.

Grau/Glantz/Armstrong are/were one of the better authors on the Soviets.

Edited by ikalugin

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Guys,

 

I had the exact same thought about his name the first time I saw it. It's certainly apt, but it's actually doubly so, for "grau" is German for "gray," and that, sad to say is the nature of intelligence work or at least the ideal for field officers who recruit people to collect it! The last person you want, generally speaking, is a James Bond. Regret I clean forgot to include the link for the Krasnopol Threat Update by Walter Williams of of the US Army's TRADOC's Threat Support Directorate. I first became aware of Lester Grau when I came across his brilliant analysis of the first Russian attack on Grozny, an event which fully reflected the city's name. Terrible.

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler 

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