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John Kettler

Big Changes to & New Capabilities for TOW ITAS

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Was trying to find the SAA (Safe And Arm) distance for TOW when this popped up in the search results. If it says what I think it says, it would appear that the familiar wire guided TOW missiles are gone altogether, this in direct response to Shtora, since Shtora is helpless to jam a secure RF data link. The switch to RF guidance also eliminates issues TOW has long had with brush snagging the wires, firing across water obstacles near the launcher, etc. Moreover, all but one of the versions are now Aero, which means they can get out to over 4500 meters in the same time it used to take to reach 3750 meters. ITAS has become a beast with a host of capabilities it never had when I was in the business. Among other things, it can see twice as far as before, has a laser ranger/designator with a range 10,000 meters, supports ISR, is fully equipped to do FS/CAS functions and is netted into FBCB2! The below document has not only photos and text, but very nice cutaway renderings of the entire TOW family. Not sure how many of these things are depicted in the game.

TOW WEAPON SYSTEM TUBE-LAUNCHED, OPTICALLY-TRACKED, WIRELESS-GUIDED
(TOW) FAMILY OF MISSILES
IMPROVED TARGET ACQUISITION SYSTEM (ITAS)
Close Combat Weapon Systems Project Office

https://www.msl.army.mil/Documents/Briefings/CCWS/TOW PEO Website Brief.pdf

Regards,

John Kettler

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I like the sneaky change from Wire-Guided to Wireless-Guided. I've always enjoyed the comma soup of DOD names...

Sounds like a good thing for TOW reliability, though I'm always skeptical of radio links. I guess it's not too different from SALH, but I still have that gut doubt!

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Been looking into this topic a bit since our discussion of that barrage.

How is it exactly the TOW-2B ATGM has enough surface area to discharge 2 EFTs able to catastrophically kill modern armor? So far I have been unable to find a good design diagram. Is it simply that top armor is really so thin?

I was also quite delighted, when looking up Explosively Formed Penetrators, to learn that the Orion propulsion system also used this principle. This type of nuclear bomb spacecraft propulsion system figures heavily in Neal Stephenson's Anathem novel.

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@steepdate  Another Stephenson fan.....Good show!  B)

Snowcrash is still one of the finest cyberpunk romps ever written.

You used to be able to download comprehensive specs of the Orion craft online (it's been taken down since).....Some of us did.  ;)

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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akd,

The TOW 2B Aero RF photo tripped a synapse and reminded be an issue with TOW depiction in game. TOW's exhaust nozzles are mid-body, not the rear, making the current graphics flat out wrong. Believe BFC needs to fix this. But this is really relevant only at launch, for the burn time, for the early model at any rate, was only 1.5 seconds!  Newer data (Figure 5-14) shows a burn time of ~1.7 seconds for the TOW 2B, then the newest missile in the inventory.

Andy,

Here's a useful read on Project Orion. You may be interested to know I once met at a lecture met a nuclear physicist who worked on the then super secret ANP and NERVA programs, to name but two. His name is Stanton Friedman, MSc. He graduated from that place which has no connection whatsoever with nuclear matters known as the University of Chicago!

Regards,

John Kettler 

Edited by John Kettler

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akd,

1 hour ago, John Kettler said:

The TOW 2B Aero RF photo tripped a synapse and reminded be an issue with TOW depiction in game.

I remember a time in which a typo was all but unheard of for me, let alone grammar and syntax errors. These days, it seems as if getting out a single coherent, properly typed sentence is an achievement to be celebrated. For the record, I had to fix three mistakes simply to get this far! I frequently don't capitalize the first word in a sentence, use the wrong verb tenses, hit the Space bar and tack the last letter on the end of the previous word onto the front of the next,  mangle words (spellchecker often doesn't catch those but dings me on correct ones) and even write gibberish. What I was trying to say is "The TOW 2B Aero RF photo tripped a synapse and reminded me of an issue with TOW depiction in the game." Fervently hope all the typo and grammar issues are temporary downstream effects from my TBI. If not, it's a trend I don't wish to ride! Can't blame this mess on typing on my phone, either. You should see some of the texts I unwittingly send out, not realizing how bad they are until reading a message thread.

Andy,

Illustrative of what I was saying just now to akd is I've now discovered someone identical in every respect to me somehow left out the Project Orion link intended for you. Sorry about that!

http://www.islandone.org/Propulsion/ProjectOrion.html

Regards,

John Kettler

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About safe arming distance for TOW, I recall Stryker TOW in Iraq was often used as minimum distance during urban infantry support work. I believe the report said... 90m?

I read somewhere that the guidance change to TOW was forced on the military because the US no longer had a domestic supplier of the thin copper wire spools necessary for the wire guidance. The squash head 'bunker buster' rounds are actually old remanufactured TOW1s. If we were willing to contract the wire spools out to Chinese companies we would have been able to continue with the old guidance. I believe Iran still manufactures the Toophan, a reverse engineered TOW with wire guidance but even they've switched over to laser guidance for the Toophan 5. A lot of the jihadist TOW kill videos you see on the internet may very well be the Iranian Toophan.

TOW gets used REALLY rarely in this game. I recently hunted it down to just remind myself it was still in the game. Its got the big ITAS optics box. CMSF TOW is the oldstyle kind.

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7 hours ago, MikeyD said:

TOW gets used REALLY rarely in this game.

I've noticed that too. There have been many occasions when I wished my Brads would unleash a TOW or two but didn't. I did see one incident in the last game I played a week or so ago that stuck in my mind. A Bradley fired a TOW and while it was in the air, the Russian tank it was aimed at spotted the Brad and fired a round back at it. Being that the cannon round was much faster even though fired later, it hit the Brad just before the TOW arrived. That, however, did not save the tank. The TOW, though now unguided, was close enough to continue its trajectory and finished the job assigned to it. The result: mutual murder.

Michael

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Michael Emrys,

What a remarkable event!  My response is musical, to be precise the refrain from the song in the video. Would have to characterize your TOW feat as perhaps the ultimate Parthian shot. Fidelis ad mortem, though that wasn't the initial plan!

Regards,

John Kettler

Edited by John Kettler

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Yes, I know of Stanton Friedman John.....To be fair I prefer to take my Orion info from Freeman Dyson and NASA/USAF's own files.  ;)

https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19760065935.pdf  (you may need to refresh the page to get the document to show)

There used to be a lot more documents in that series, but they've been removed from the NTRS server.  :mellow:

I saved a copy. :)

But we've wandered very far from TOW missiles, into realms that aren't really appropriate here, so best left, eh?  :ph34r:

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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Andy,

The sole point of mentioning him was to say that I met someone who worked had on several other classified nuclear propulsion projects, but I don't know if that list included Orion. Essentially, your talking about Orion tripped a memory synapse, if you will. Since memory is associative, an experience I had decades ago came to mind. Rest assured I have zero intent of saying anything else. Thanks for the link. May take a peek later. Wonder why most of the information was removed. Did you try The Internet Wayback Machine? I think Orion would be a very bad substitute for TOW, starting with flattening the launcher! As for Freeman Dyson, the Dyson Sphere both blew my mind and enchanted me simultaneously. Reminds me of a certain OST episode in which Bones left the ship for a time.

Regards,

John Kettler

 

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Andy,

Good place for it, especially since I guarantee you most people have never heard of Project Orion. I recall being practically stupefied when I read the explanation of how it worked. The notion that someone could come up with such a thing, still less figure out how to build it, was incredible, though I did see the rather obvious issues attending a terrestrial launch!

To get back to TOW ITAS, what do you make of this radical shift in capabilities for both items? Noted with interest the admitted range of TOW 2B Aero RF in the Army pub is drastically exceeded by whopping 5200 meters BFC lists for it on page 91 of the CMBS Manual. This finally gives TOW not only parity with various Russian TLGMs of 5000 meter range but a slight range advantage, one perhaps usable by virtue of that 10 kilometer range LRF/LRD now installed on the ITAS.

Regards,

John Kettler 

Edited by John Kettler

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On ‎4‎/‎9‎/‎2017 at 2:19 PM, MikeyD said:

About safe arming distance for TOW, I recall Stryker TOW in Iraq was often used as minimum distance during urban infantry support work. I believe the report said... 90m?

I read somewhere that the guidance change to TOW was forced on the military because the US no longer had a domestic supplier of the thin copper wire spools necessary for the wire guidance. The squash head 'bunker buster' rounds are actually old remanufactured TOW1s. If we were willing to contract the wire spools out to Chinese companies we would have been able to continue with the old guidance. I believe Iran still manufactures the Toophan, a reverse engineered TOW with wire guidance but even they've switched over to laser guidance for the Toophan 5. A lot of the jihadist TOW kill videos you see on the internet may very well be the Iranian Toophan.

TOW gets used REALLY rarely in this game. I recently hunted it down to just remind myself it was still in the game. Its got the big ITAS optics box. CMSF TOW is the oldstyle kind.

LOL... If I were the Chinese or Iranian bidder for the TOW wire spool, I'd be sure to put a few weak spots in a lot of them. Not all, and not at first: sampling and all that...   :)

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