The instructional section of the Army Competency Assistance Fund “Come Back Alive”, which trains infantrymen, tankers and gunners to fire from covered positions with the help of the ARMOR program, has been operating since September 2015. During this time, the specialists of the organization handed over thousands of tablets with this software to the troops, thus preparing hundreds of tank and AFV combat crews to make indirect fire calculations.
In the conditions of a full-scale war with the Russian Federation, the demand for this weapons tactic is huge, because the enemy often has an advantage in the means of defeat, which means that tanks and AFVs often cannot come into direct or semi-direct fire to fire – they can be destroyed by the occupiers’ equipment. Therefore, such a program, on the one hand, is able to save the lives of Ukrainian soldiers, and on the other hand, it reveals the potential of Soviet weapons in a new way and turns them into a deadly tool for the enemy.
The other day, “Come Back Alive” instructors Vadym Mordanov and Andriy Moruga conducted training with tankers of the 28th separate mechanized brigade named after Knights of the Winter Campaign. With the help of the software, about a dozen crews mastered or polished the skills of firing from closed firing positions from a tank at a distance of 10 kilometers or more. At such a distance, Ukrainian tankers are beyond the reach of AFV fire or enemy tanks, anti-tank weapons, which are the main threat to this type of weaponry in classical use. Separately, it is also worth highlighting the features of the tank gun, which is sufficiently accurate and at the same time creates almost no sound when fired, so the enemy does not hear the “exit” and learns about the “arrival” already at the moment of the hit.
The classes were attended by tank commanders or their gunners, that is, direct software operators. Many of them are familiar with both the technique of shooting from covered positions and the instructors of the Foundation, because they served in the army from 2014-2016. They use the course to refresh their knowledge, polish their own practical skills, and then pass them on to their subordinates or peers. For beginners, this is an opportunity to master a safe for the crew and at the same time effective means of destroying enemy equipment or positions.
According to the brigade’s experienced tankers, firing with a high trajectory is constantly used in the unit on their section of the front to suppress the platoon and company strongholds of the Russian invaders, and quite successfully.
Comment: From some of the comments I’ve read, this is not a new technique. Someone commented that it was “not an unusual practice in the Second World War by the Canadian Army using Shermans.” Another said it was widely used in the Korean War. It’s new to me. I have seen the 1st Battalion, RAR use mortar sights and aiming stakes on their tripod mounted M-60 machine guns in an indirect fire mode. That’s some serious plunging fire.
The widespread of this technique with ARMOR app on tablets clearly increases the availability of indirect fire capabilities to Ukrainian infantry. That app saves a lot of time and FDC heavy ciphering. A tank company with their auto-loader 125mm guns could put out one hell of a FPF. But a lot depends on the availability of 125mm HE shells. Has the Ukrainian arms industry and other East European countries churned out enough ammunition to make a difference?