Ukrainian artillery: the true king of battle – TTG

Artillery aiming technology that works like the Uber app helped Ukrainians to destroy almost an entire Russian battalion in a single attack this week. GIS Arta, an advanced situational awareness system developed by Ukrainian programmers in collaboration with British digital-mapping companies, has cut the military’s targeting time from 20 minutes to one.

Similar to Uber’s ride-hailing technology, which locates a passenger and assigns the nearest driver, the system identifies a Russian target and rapidly selects artillery, mortar, missile or combat drone units that are within range. Real-time data from reconnaissance drones, rangefinders, smartphones, GPS and Nato-donated radars is fed into the system to pinpoint enemy positions. This is then processed by “shooting calculator” software that determines which weapons in the area are most suitable to carry out the strike.

The developers said yesterday that the system was used this week to distribute targets to units that unleashed one of the heaviest bombardments on the Russians since the war began. More than 70 tanks, armoured fighting vehicles and personnel carriers were obliterated in two days of coordinated shelling and airstrikes as they tried to bridge the Siverskyi Donets River in eastern Ukraine. Military analysts described the attack as a serious setback for Russian forces.

GIS Arta was developed by Ukrainian programmers who shared knowledge of digital mapping with British companies years ago. The system was integrated into the Ukrainian army in May 2014 after Russia invaded Crimea. A commander has access to an encrypted electronic map that displays the live data from the battlefield. After a target is confirmed, HQ chooses which unit to send coordinates to and it is under fire in seconds.

Aiming systems used by other militaries can take 20 minutes or more to fire after receiving a report of an enemy position but GIS Arta reduces “call to trigger” time to one to two minutes. The system operates contrary to the traditional Russian method of firing, which involves positioning artillery batteries in a single location. Instead, Ukrainian units can be scattered across the battlefield, threatening strikes from any direction. The system calculates when missiles and shells will hit the target, allowing simultaneous strikes originating from different positions, confusing Russian counter battery efforts.

The sections of the Ukrainian military that use GIS Arta cannot be disclosed, nor can information about the total number of targets it has identified. However, Volodymyr, one of the developers of the system, said: “I can tell you that the amount is a lot. Some of them you can see in the news. Russians can’t hide on the battlefield because we find them everywhere, even in Russia.” Victor, another developer, said: “If we are working with radars, we know not only the point where our enemy is, but also if it shoots, the radar can forecast the point the missile will target. While the rocket is in the air, we can warn our forces to leave.”

Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite system is being used to allow the artillery aiming system to continue operating securely. The GIS Arta team said they “appreciate Musk’s urgent assistance in solving communication problems in Ukraine” in the first days of the war.

https://veteranweb.asn.au/news/uber-style-tech-helped-wipe-out-almost-entire-russian-battalion/

Comment: I predict when this is over, US and other NATO artillery officers will be flocking to the Ukrainian artillery school. This and several other articles linked below describe an artillery battle management system that puts accurate fire on target within one to two minutes of target identification. And it’s done with guns scattered across the battlefield similar to what we call a time on target (TOT) fire mission. This makes Russia’s counter battery strikes extremely difficult to execute.

I was first intrigued by Ukrainian artillery capabilities from the accounts of the defense of Mykolaiv earlier in the war. There were several mentions of a smartphone app used by the locals, not trained forward observers, to spot for artillery. I figured this app enabled a user or users to message a nearby artillery unit with triangulated target data. But this app is probably an integral part of the GIS Arta system. 

This method of artillery employment is made even more effective by a heavy use of 152mm Kvitnyk and 122mm Karasuk laser guided artillery shells coupled with laser designating drones and ground spotters. This is why there are so many drone videos of single artillery strikes hitting targets with a first round hit. But even without these laser guided shells, the GPS spotting of targets by drones or ground observers fed into the GIS Arta management system allows widely distributed artillery pieces, also precisely positioned by GPS, to execute a TOT fire mission without the time consuming need for adjusting fire. 

And all this is made possible by Elon Musk’s Starlink network. At the beginning of the invasion, Russia knocked the existing satellite communication networks in Ukraine out of service. Without the quick deployment of Starlink ground stations and modifications in the Starlink satellite constellation, the GIS Arta artillery management system would be useless. No wonder Dmitry Rogozin and others have threatened Musk’s life. Both Ukraine and Starlink must have massive cyber defense forces in place to protect the GIS Arta and Starlink networks.

I saw a report a few days ago saying that the M777s we gave Ukraine did not have the latest targeting computers. I thought that was kind of a shitty thing to do until I learned about GIS Arta. The Ukrainian system certainly sounds as good or better than our TACFIRE and AFATDS. They’ve obviously learned to do just fine without those latest targeting computers, if that story is true.

TTG

https://raconteurreport.blogspot.com/2022/05/king-of-battle.html

https://root-nation.com/en/articles-en/weapons-en/en-modern-artillery-is-ukraines-superweapon/

https://twitter.com/TrentTelenko/status/1523791050313433088

 15,471 total views,  5 views today

This entry was posted in The Military Art, TTG, Ukraine Crisis. Bookmark the permalink.

77 Responses to Ukrainian artillery: the true king of battle – TTG

  1. Babeltuap says:

    Don’t need artillery. Taliban proved it. Fertilizer explosives and good old brown lamp wire spooled out 100M. Even further. Granted it did take a while but they got the W and sent us home humiliated. Ukraine Nazi’s unfortunately have too much flat ground. Nowhere to hide. Even if they had a symphony of artillery it will get smashed from above. But what do I know being a recent retired combat officer…meh. And now a terrorist for speaking truth.

    • TTG says:

      Babeltuap,

      The Ukrainian battlefield is covered with a lot of wooded areas, rivers, cities, small towns and villages and a lot of contiguous built up area. The Russians have yet to suppress Ukrainian air defenses.

    • Pat Lang says:

      babeltuap
      What MOS were you serving in? The GWOT was fought against guerrillas. You think he Russian Army is like them? That is truly fighting the last war.

      • Babeltuap says:

        Pat,

        I was an Engineer Combat Officer in the Army and in the Marines in the airwing in the 90’s in operations.

        I’m not some Russian shill either. Ukraine is mixing it up but end of the day whatever they shell is their own country. Some of it open fields but some not. There won’t be much left if they keep shelling their own country and Russia keeps doing the same. And who is going to keep paying this tab and beyond with our own domestic issues and we are not even on Taiwan yet.

  2. VietnamVet says:

    TTG

    I am hardly an expert but once I was the commander of a M113 personnel carrier when enough money was scrounged up to drive it along with the M60A1 tanks out of the motor pool. The driver told me to sit on top and not touch anything. Twenty years later, the only thing I remember of General William Westmoreland’s speech at the commemoration of the first US Army unit’s entry into Vietnam, was that every square foot of South Vietnam was covered by artillery fire from Landing Zones.

    Something more is going on in Ukraine besides “this is not the Red Army anymore”. In WWII, Desert Storm and the Iraq Invasion, mass mounted armor units could overrun trench defenses and breakout into the rear. Although there have been bulges, the Russian army has not broken through the Ukraine defenses in depth in three months.

    Satellites, drones and almost instant targeting apps appear to make massing of armored vehicles suicidal. This post explains why.

    The real problem is that both sides of this proxy World War III believe their own propaganda. They don’t see reality, let alone fix it. Neither is willing to sign an armistice and build an DMZ along the line of contact between Ukraine and Russia and end the war. Even if a nuclear war is somehow avoided, the cut off of energy and food from Ukraine and Russia are almost sure to cause upheavals in Europe and the third world. Sri Lanka doesn’t have the money to buy food or fuel. The USA is not immune. Another wave of coronavirus omicron variant is also starting to peak once again. There are shortages of goods and workers (e.g. baby formula and pilots) plus inflation right now. If the war continues, it is bound to get worse.

    • cobo says:

      “Neither is willing to sign an armistice and build a DMZ… and end the war.” I think this is perhaps evidence that this war isn’t meant to end. It seems a perfect opportunity to mire Russia in engagement after engagement using different levels of proxie until NATO has fully engaged the Russian military on multiple fronts (Transnistria, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, etc.). I believe NATO has the capacity to do this and win. And in the era of conflict with nuclear armed states, a steely hard eye would be kept on Russia’s nuclear forces all along the way. Wouldn’t it later in history books be considered a brilliant step by step strategy? And wouldn’t that prepare the world war for phase two, China – that we should have attacked twenty years ago.

      • TTG says:

        cobo and VietnamVet,

        There’s no need for a DMZ. Internationally recognized borders already exist. Now an armistice, that is needed. Russia would not be mired in this war if she withdrew behind her borders. She could not be mired in countless proxy wars if she just refrained from invading other countries. That would totally negate the clever strategy of multiple proxy wars you attribute to NATO.

        • cobo says:

          I really don’t know who is driving this project. I suppose it is the WEF/Davos crowd. They’ve just “broken with Russia” and admitted to decades of influence with Putin (I can’t find the original article posted on Politico this morning). They kind of had to do that, since it was leaking out everywhere the MSM don’t shine.

          I think there may be a rift. Some want to stage manage events into the hands of the globalists, and others want to k… a.. . I would prefer to go all out on empire ruled by western civilization – and go after those who have sold and are selling us out.

          In that space, I would see warfare return to its roots, the defeat of the opposition’s armies in the field. The leadership, military and military/industrial would be the fair game. Set the nukes and the civilians aside and see who remains standing and who falls. Everything else is fear-mongering to cower the folks back home.

  3. Pat lang says:

    What role does CB radar play in this?

    • TTG says:

      pl,

      I would think it would feed located targets into the GIS Arta database just like targets from drones or FOs. Then firing solutions would be fed to the best guns for that target for a TOT fire mission. I haven’t found any specific mention of CB radar. I did find an explanation of why using GIS Arta creates havoc with Russian CB from Trent Telenko. This data was from 2015-2016 when GIS Arta was first used.

      “UA artillery were not firing as batteries. They were firing as individual guns and launchers, then displacing immediately. Multiple individual guns & mortars of different calibers were shooting dispersed across a large area at the same target in the TOT manner.
      Given the following:
      1. A radar or laser range finder equipped forward observer with a GPS unit,
      2. A gun with a digital radio, digital artillery fire control computer and a GPS unit, and
      3. A digital internet data link radio communications tying them together.
      It then becomes relatively easy to program a multi-gun, multi-ammunition caliber time on target from whatever guns are in range. You can even call down multiple TOT barrages in a short amount of time using different guns for each barrage-strike on the same target.
      That meant Russian counter-battery radars were not seeing battery shoots. They were seeing lots of individual guns across the front, with multiple trajectories, shooting less than three shells, at the same or different targets, across a whole front. That was why the Russians were not killing a lot of UA towed artillery with counter-battery in the Summer of 2015 onward. Russian counter-battery radars were not seeing “worthwhile” battery sized targets for MLRS shoots.”

      • borko says:

        ttg

        if this video is any indication any target is a worthwhile target, if not for MLRS then for a mortar

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZXzMUxfR6c

        • TTG says:

          borko,

          I’ve heard about the problem with DJI drones sending all their data back to China. I imagine those signals can be hacked, or just monitored, by Russia. Could be the case in this video or it could be a case of being observed across the field in broad daylight.

          I don’t know how or if the DJI problem could be mitigated. There’s a Ukrainian drone unit, Aerorozvidka, that continues to use DJI drones despite the problem. Maybe coders, engineers and/or drone hobbyists have come up with a way to stop those drones from broadcasting their signals to anyone who is listening.

          https://dronexl.co/2022/03/21/ukrainian-drone-unit-aerorozvidka/

          https://www.newstatesman.com/world/europe/ukraine/2022/05/the-russians-simply-didnt-expect-it-ukrainian-drone-unit-is-the-new-face-of-warfare

          • joe90 says:

            “Maybe coders, engineers and/or drone hobbyists have come up with a way to stop those drones from broadcasting their signals to anyone who is listening.”

            Hobbyists, what next, pizza deliver people?

          • TTG says:

            Some of the best coders out there are self-taught hobbyists.

          • joe90 says:

            Some of the best pizza delivery boy are self taught, that is not a way to build a competent military.

          • TTG says:

            I’ve worked in the cyber realms of intelligence and IO for over 20 years. I’ve seen countless examples of self-taught experts in our ranks and in our enemies’ ranks. You display a pitifully close minded attitude towards autodidacts.

          • cobo says:

            I devloped software, network and device drivers, turn-key programs, and bleeding edge everything in the 90’s and early 00’s. I took our start up “WINcontrols” into one of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s business incubators, the Tri-Valley Technology Enterprise Center (TTEC), back in 2004. Back then, many of the best software developers were self-taught. I got stories…

          • joe90 says:

            cobo

            At anytime during that period were you responsible for conducting a war?

          • TTG says:

            joe90,

            For me that’s a yes. That included sustained combined arms, artillery heavy fighting, as well as intelligence/info ops against peer competitors. Through ALL that, the self taught shined.

    • joe90 says:

      The Russians are using it, it is part of their doctrine. Allegedly all BTG (still getting my head around that, that´s the old skool Soviet mech. inf. division shrunk down to a battalion?) “should” have it integrated. How many do? Only the Russians know. They do -2 fire, 1 holds back for CBF. Allegedly their art. has override command on targeting when it comes to such things. The Ukrainian don´t seem to have any/much. Understandably as turning it on is just asking for a lot of HARM.

      The M777 is just a widow maker. Shoot & scoot, NO.

      Also to TTG, when this is over and it is bar the killing, there will be no military schools in rump-Ukraine. At this point I don´t think the Russians are going to accept anything but complete capitulation. That is assuming rump-Ukraine is even a state. They may just build a wall around it and say “Your problem Europe”.

      • TTG says:

        Joe90,

        The BTG is just an ad hoc combined arms organization somewhere between our tank-mech infantry company team and tank-mech infantry battalion task force. In the invasion of Ukraine, the BTG has not lived up to its hype. Much the same happened when the OMG first appeared in Soviet doctrine.

        Moscow wanted complete capitulation from day 1. All I can say to that is, “How does it feel to want, mazza fakka?”

  4. Pat lang says:

    And this will work well against maritime targets if the weapon will bear.

    • joe90 says:

      No, due to 30 years of kleptocracy the best Ukrainian art, is at best Soviet era with off the shelf upgrades. Their ruling class have done nothing but loot their country. It´s a zombie state really.

      • TTG says:

        joe90,

        Your description is more applicable to modern Russia, which, in recent years, has consistently ranked more corrupt that Ukraine. The USSR had a much higher degree of autarky than Putin’s Russia.

        • tom67 says:

          More corrupt than Ukraine? Just an anecdote. Asked an executive on MAN in the Nineties why they build a plant in Belorussia and not in Russia. Answer: in Belorussia you only need to bribe one guy. In Russia you never can be sure whether not another guy will come along.
          Asked the same executive ten years later why they now invest in Russia and not in Belorussia. In Russia you need to pay only one guy and if he doesn´t deliver there´s a contract.
          I travelled across in Russia in 1992 with an old BMW and was held up at untold roadblocks. I was young and foolish and in retrospect was lucky to get out alive. From
          2007 to 2017 I crossed Russia three times from Germany to Central Asia with an L300 Mitsubishi 4wd bus and no trouble from anybody. I never dared to take the logical and shorter route through Ukraine. It was still like Russia in the Nineties.
          That is not to say that Putin didn´t miscalculate or that Ukrainians aren´t fighting bravely. But Russia has come a long way since the chaos of the Nineties and Ukraine has not. Bravery is no substitute for organisation and any visit to Russia will highlight the tremendous advances that Russia has made. I fully expect the Ukrainians to be slowly but surely to be ground down.

        • James says:

          TTG,

          Who has in recent years ranked Russia as more corrupt than Ukraine?

          The same people who hailed Mikhail Khodorkovsky as a hero after he bought 800 billion dollars of Russian oil fields for 200 million dollars … in a closed auction in which he was the only person allowed to bid … and then split the proceeds of his crime equally with British and American oil companies?

          • TTG says:

            James,

            Transparency International has been doing these rankings for years. Most other sites that rank corruption use their data.

      • Philip Owen says:

        Medvedeev’s Defence Minister Serduykov commissioned an audit of Russian military spending. It concluded that 60% of the budget was lost to corruption. Hence Serduykov lost his job and Medvedeev his 2nd run at the presidency due to resistance from the Stavka. Ukraine was probably worse in 2013 but not since.

        • Leith says:

          Shoigu came in as Defense Minister when Serdyukov was canned. Shoigu has lasted so long because he allowed Putin’s insiders, the oligarchs, and the generals to continue their misappropriation of the defense budget.

      • Leith says:

        The looting of Ukraine was done primarily by Yanukovych and by oligarchs beholden to Putin.

        Valeria Hontarieva reformed the financial system. She shut down 100 banks whose owners were using depositors funds as their own personal slush finds, and had been passing a percentage to Yanukovych when he was still in office. Which is undoubtedly why he can afford his palace in exile in Sochi.

        There were other reforms in the energy sector. Under Yanukovych $3 billion a year was being stolen from state owned NaftoGaz. That was stopped, along with the differential pricing that Russia was charging for gas exports.

        Some other reforms went after graft. An anti-corruption investigative department and a court that focuses on anti-corruption crime have been established. They introduced a new government procurement system that is reportedly one of the most transparent in the world.

        Did they clean up all corrupt practices? No, they have a way to go. But then so has every other country. Putin should learn from them. But that might cut into his own under-the-table graft. Can’t expect the Thief-in-Chief to refuse “gifts” from his oligarch cronies.

        • Fred says:

          Leith

          Is that the same Yanukovych that was driven from power in the ‘revolution’ backed by the Obama administration in 2014? If she (Hontarieva) was so great why was she saying that Zelinsky’s backer Ihor Kolomoyskiy was trying to knock her off a few years later?

          “International auditors had found a $5.5 billion hole in Privatbank’s balance sheet so the NBU nationalized it with taxpayers’ money. It was co-owned by billionaire oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskiy”

          Oh, maybe that was why.

          https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-ex-central-banker-gontareva-considers-seeking-political-asylum/30156131.html

          • TTG says:

            Fred,

            It’s the same Yanukovych who trashed the Verkhovna Rada approved EU deal in late 2014 in favor of a deal with Moscow which he arranged with Putin. That’s what set off the Euromaidan revolt that drove him from office. We helped it along, but didn’t cause it.

            Kolomoyskiy was/is probably the worst of the Ukrainian oligarchs. What truly distinguished him from the others was his anti-Russian stance. That didn’t stop him from ripping off Ukraine until very recently. He got Zelenskiy started probably because of his media ties, his Jewishness and anti-Russian/pro-Ukrainian leanings. Because of his being the king of Ukrainian corruption, he eventually had a falling out with Zelenskiy. He even suggested allying with Moscow before he disappeared, probably to Israel.

          • Leith says:

            Fred –

            Your link mentions that Kolomoisky was just one of 80 banksters she shut down. I read elsewhere (Sergei Plokhy’s book on Ukraine history) that she had closed 100 crooked banks.

            The DOJ under both Trump and Biden filed legal proceedings against Kolomoisky. I believe they have confiscated (or maybe it is still in court?) his real estate in TX, and his industrial holdings in KY, OH, & WV.

    • TTG says:

      pl,

      What the Ukrainian Army is doing with their artillery seems similar to our new doctrine, yet to be implemented, of multi domain operations integrating intelligence and combat capabilities across all domains, all services and all distances.

    • Leith says:

      PL –

      HIMARS would work damn well in sea denial ops against ships.

    • scott s. says:

      PL:
      Very interested in seeing what new USMC littoral regiments can get from this. Assuming Berger doesn’t get beat down by retired Generals and tankers.

  5. Fred says:

    Ah a link to ‘Raconteur Report’. Gotta love Aesop. Has he got a post on the Covid treatments sent to Ukraine? He was all over how the coof is/was gonna kill us all ‘it’s real!!!!!” and all that. Speaking of which, how many Ukrainian hospitals are overwhelmed with Coof victims? The same number of hospitals that were flooded with Afghanistan victims? Oh, wait, now we are on to the ‘monkey-pox’ being spread from the Rainbow Flag super spreader event in Europe.

    • JK/AR says:

      Well Fred, while I don’t particularly relish “defending” Aesop on this one particular it’s maybe an imperative.

      Let’s travel back in time to when The Lurgy was first getting guessed at. The particular being its origin. What made the most sense at the time, being as there did not seem to be any likely inter-species transmitter (the nonsense about it being spread by a ferret steak being laughable) the most plausible origin – at least within my discussion group – looked to be a lab-creation thus, a bio-weapon.

      (I believe if anybody handy with Colonel Lang’s archives is to hand there’s a very strong possibility that even I made mention of the fact I’d “updated my will” – just in case.)

      Aesop works, as I understand, in a California located Emergency Deparment[s] medical system. So, being California and Frenzy go together like ham and beans – in combination with the possibility there’s a bio-weapon afoot in the land – I for one cut him some slack on “the dire-ness” of that past immediacy. (Pointing out I never took any form of the available “vaccinations.”)

      Now where this artillery stuff is concerned I don’t possess even a smidgen of knowledge, much less expertise, so I shant be weighing in on the subject at hand. I will though, and freely, allow as Aesop can be .. oh, ‘unpleasant’ to do the ol’ backs-and-forths with. But his grammar is excellent.

      • Fred says:

        JK/AR,

        Aesop has worn out any ‘slack’ from that risk months ago. He’s flip-flopped on covid more times that Fauci and the WHO. He strikes me as a consumate BS artist.

        • JK/AR says:

          That’s a fair opinion Fred – and I don’t begrudge [us] that.

          “Flip-Flopped” on Coviditioness? Yup, undoubtedly (though whether Fauciostopheles or the WHO did, ‘I hae me doots’ as my English friends are wont to say).

          But the thing on that then is to differentiate that now.

          Totally different animal … or hoax as the case may be.

          Then : I considered Aesop full of shit (whether consummate as you choose depending on our shared understanding of the etymology of the word) But that was then. As I’ve said, Frenetic & California are synonyms.

          “BS Artiste”?

          Well maybe but then again ‘Art Appreciation 101’ was as far as I got. Hunter though seems to sell higher than Aesop’s ever managed though. For what that’s worth.

          • Fred says:

            JK/AR,

            If you insist differentiate, I’ll say Hunter has better FED connections than Aesop.

          • JK/AR says:

            Fred?

            I didn’t forget you above mentioning “Oh, wait, now we are on to the ‘monkey-pox’ being spread from the Rainbow Flag super spreader event in Europe” – And as I expect USG to be enlisting it in the latest iteration of the always dependable fear-porn.

            So I looked around:

            https://rwmalonemd.substack.com/p/monkey-pox?s=r

            (Basically, if one has been inoculated against smallpox one should be good to go.)

            Don’t let ’em get away with it this time!

  6. Leith says:

    TTG –

    Back in the late 1970’s there was a lot of talk about ‘distributed fires’ similar to the Telenko and Raconteur links. Not sure what happened to those early ideas. I would guess the comms at the time would probably not have been adequate to support it.

    Probably shut down by the FSCC doctrine gurus for fear of blue-on-blue casualties. The discussions I heard about it was in the 12th Marines, an artillery regiment stationed in Camp Zukiran on Okinawa. Maybe Kilo 4/11 knows?

    • TTG says:

      Leith,

      A problem we suffer from is the insertion of lawyers in the fire mission approval process. That and deconfliction with air missions in the target area. Ukraine is facing a fight for her survival. They’re not as concerned with the niceties of deconfliction.

      • Leith says:

        TTG –

        Like Ukraine, we will not keep lawyers in the fire approval process in an all-out war. They are there now only to prevent collateral damage in ops against ISIS, and formerly against the Talibs.

      • Leith says:

        TTG –

        Regarding deconfliction with air missions:

        That is a recent concern, at least from the perspective of old cusses like me. Perhaps it dates to the fielding of the USAF Theater Battle Management Core System. IIRC the term used in Nam was “Big sky, little bullets” when referring to CAS in the midst of artillery and mortar rounds.

        I wonder if there was ever an aircraft shot down by friendly artillery?

        • TTG says:

          Leith,

          In the scheme of this, the risk of accidentally hitting an aircraft with an artillery shell is pretty damned small. It’s the same with the risk of being hit by celebratory automatic gunfire. I still went looking for some solid overhead cover every time some crazy bastards started firing away.

      • JK/AR says:

        I’d appreciate TTG your expanding on this sentence:

        “That and deconfliction with air missions in the target area.”

        The niceties are beyond my grasp. Perhaps ‘finessing’ the better descriptive? Whatever the case in this, again, “something” seems amiss to my amateur eye.

        • TTG says:

          JK/AR,

          going back to the mid-70s, when I was first learning how to plan military operations, deconflicting use of airspace by artillery and friendly aircraft was always a consideration. Often there was a line beyond which you could not plan artillery fires (coordinated fire line or CFL?). Now individual artillery fire missions are deconflicted with individual aircraft locations and flight routes. As Leith pointed out, the chance of hitting an aircraft accidentally with an artillery round is small, but I’m sure pilots appreciate the deconfliction process.

          In a situation like Ukraine, where the survival of the nation is at stake, you don’t worry about such deconfliction niceties and the time that requires. You take your chance and FIDO.

    • joe90 says:

      We are not in the 70´s but yeah whatever, by July this will be over as will our disagreements.

    • Kilo 4/11 says:

      Leith, appreciate the shout out, but the reality is I know doodly about contemporary arty FDC. My last contact with the art was in an FDC bunker in ’69, and I was using a paper map and slide rule and computing range and elevation by eyeball. But the thrill of hearing that grunt on the other end of the line yell “6 KIA!! Raise 100 and repeat!!” is always fresh … I do remember some back and forth between our CO and a grunt about not being able to fire as close as that grunt wanted …

      If I were designing one of these TOT missions, I’d have the first volley be HE, the second air burst, and the third Willy Peter! Yes!

  7. Terence Reeves-Smyth says:

    Having following the Russian ‘military intervention’ into the Ukraine fairly closely since February I have found most ‘western’ reporters pretty hopeless for reliable information – there are exceptions, and one of these I would recommend is the ‘Dreizin Report’ – his assessments have proved to be been pretty much been spot on and he knows his military history and weaponry. He certainly does not mince his words either and his recent opinion of Scott Ritter is brutal (a few days ago). Today he discusses the Howitzer and I suggest it is worth the read:
    https://thedreizinreport.com/2022/05/22/whats-up-with-the-howitzers/

    • Mishkilji says:

      This guy is nuts. I guess all those Russian tanks are exploding on their own.

    • Babeltuap says:

      TRS,

      They are shelling their own country. Every shell that hits they are literally destroying their own home. Granted, some of it is in fields but not all of it. I can put this in perspective with Hurricane Katrina. Many areas have still not recovered and that was a storm from almost 20 years ago ok.

      Even if Ukraine does take back their country who is going to pay to rebuild it? They gave up most of their industries so that’s off the table. They won’t be paying. Are you going to pay? And with what? Our country has no money and can’t even keep their own welfare state afloat. Who is going to pay for it…meh.

      • JK/AR says:

        Eh Babeltuap,

        You’re unfamiliar with the Build Back Better brainstorm?

        • Babeltuap says:

          Biden is trying to get oil from Venezuela. A country that is about 1/8th of an inch from joining BRICS. They will be at the next BRICS summit. Just the fact that he even asked showcases the level of pathetic desperation.

          On top of that the CCP just banned officials (and their families) from having assets outside of China. Now why would they do that?

          Here’s the thing about “building back.” Demolition costs a lot more than actual building. They don’t have the coin or permits. Nevermind Russia doing their own build back better.

      • Philip Owen says:

        $380 Bn and more of Russian foreign exchange cash assets have been frozen. The right court can claim those as reparations for Ukraine. Not exposing more of these is why Russia wants payments in Roubles. There are also physical assets such as the yatchs. Finally there are overseas share holdings of Russian state companies and sanctioned individuals.

        Lawyers will make a fortune. It will be the Yukos Oil case magnified to an extreme.

  8. ked says:

    here’s an interesting CB radar system story.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AN/TPQ-53_Quick_Reaction_Capability_Radar
    all the neat programs & systems in the EW & Sigint / Masint regime of the past 25 yrs remind me of the plethora of combat AC churned-out around WWII through the end of the Cold War. maybe some of it actually works (honed in Iraq & Afg?) – maybe it IS a force multiplier. maybe the kleptocracy doesn’t pay non-gangsters & non-entertainers enough to stay home on the farm for nothing & watch the Dons party.

  9. Tidewater says:

    If Soledar falls this war could be well on the way to be going through some real changes.

    Soledar (‘gift of salt’) is a little ville that lies on the Severodonetsk- Lyschansk-Bakhmut highway, which I think is state route T-13-02. It is absolutely essential that this point be held by Ukraine in order for food and military supplies to be kept moving up to Severodonetsk and its garrison of thousands.

    Soledar is now reported on Twitter by a gutsy free-lance writer named Neil Hauer, who specializes in the Caucasus (Kavkaz), to be under heavy Russian/ allied artillery attack.
    (He says that he can be reached at neil.hauer@gmail.com).

    Hauer writes: “The area around Soledar is terrifying. Fresh artillery impacts on the road, incoming and outgoing fire very close at all times. Military vehicle and a handful of panicked civilians gunning it down the road as fast as possible, navigating shell craters on the way.”

    What has happened in the last so many weeks is that Russian forces have created a salient to the west after the very difficult house-to-house fighting in the fortress city of Popasna. Watching this salient steadily growing, at least on some maps, reminds me of Tom Wolfe’s cautionary example about using mixed metaphor: It looks like “the opening wedge of the trial balloon.” Well, it sort of works. In the last few days some five villages have suddenly fallen in this new western Popasna salient. And interestingly, there seems to be a column that might go southwest, and cut a major highway that runs north at a point further south.

    The Russians are now said to be about three miles from Soledar.

    ‘For want of a nail, the shoe was lost….”

    • Barbara Ann says:

      Tidewater

      I saw a thread a couple of days ago mentioning the importance of Soledar – or more generally the high ground above the Bakhmutka river valley that leads up to Siversk. It includes an all important topo map of the area. I agree things will look grim for the Ukies if Russia can gain & retain control over this territory.

      https://twitter.com/J_JHelin/status/1527678325489029127

      • TTG says:

        Barbara Ann

        Severodonetsk and Lysychansk have been holding for three months. Both are damned near surrounded and bombed all to hell. I don’t know why the Ukrainians are stubbornly holding on other than to let the Russians continue to beat themselves against the prepared defenses. At some point they’re going to have to fall back to Sloviansk-Kramatorsk line.

        • Philip Owen says:

          Given Ukrainian mobility and exposure to air attack, letting the Russians attack prepared defences seems a good idea to me. (Not a soldier).

          In other news, 240 former Polish T72 tanks have turned up (5th Brigade at Odesa). It’s not clear how trained the crews are. The 5th has allegedly been moved from reserve under training to active. They had 30 tanks previously. They need a bridge to bypass Kherson.

          • Leith says:

            PO –

            Typical tank brigade would normally have less than half of the 240 tanks mentioned. Could there be another brigade forming up there?

          • TTG says:

            The 5th Tank Brigade has three tank battalions of thirty or a few more tanks, so that brigade got 90 to 100 of those Polish T-72s. It’s mech infantry got the upgraded M-113s from The Netherlands. These upgraded M-113s have better armor, better engines and better transmissions than the original M-113s.

        • Steve says:

          TTG,

          I doubt rope-a-dope will work against constant artillery bombardment.

          I take it you haven’t seen the videos of of Ukrainian units refusing to soldier on claiming they’re under-resourced (weapons and manpower etc) and simply being used as cannon-fodder. I’ve seen a number of these over the past few days and will likely become contagious.

          Just how much longer will this be allowed to go on? Until Russia is on its knees?

          • TTG says:

            Steve,

            True, but it worked for three months in most of the same fortifications.

          • Steve says:

            TTG,

            That would be more or less correct if you believe the Russians were attempting to take Kyiv, a nonsense I found very difficult to believe. Not only that, they did so while being bombarded by heavy weapons placed in residential areas – according to the DIA – and resisted the urge to flatten the city despite that being exactly what the Ukrainians may have wanted for some reason….

            What’s worth thinking about here is the level of discipline required to use tactics in pursuit of strategy rather than destroying the strategic imperative for the sake of tactical gains.

            You may recall that Stan McChrystal attempted to have troops in Afghanistan be willing to take tactical losses if necessary to advance the strategic purpose of the war but as one mutinous battalion commander told the NYT, “….that isn’t sustainable.”

            Here’s why it is:

            https://www.defense.gouv.fr/sites/default/files/ministere-armees/Situation%20en%20Ukraine%20le%2024%20mai.pdf

            https://www.defense.gouv.fr/sites/default/files/ministere-armees/Situation%20en%20Ukraine%20le%2021%20avril.pdf

            It seems that force protection isn’t such a priority for the Russians.

          • TTG says:

            Steve,

            The Russians wanted Kyiv badly to topple the government. They found they couldn’t do it, the government wasn’t going to topple and gave up that objective. Given the status of their forces, that was a militarily sound decision. The same with Kharkiv and the entire NE of Ukraine. The Ukrainians never declared Kyiv or any other city to be open cities. They chose to fight for every block if need be. That’s how we got the level of destruction in Mariupol and many smaller cities. War does not require either side to stay out of build up areas.

    • Klapper says:

      The Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway 6 miles NE of Soledar, just south of the small village of Bilohorivka is under fire according to a Telegram video I watched a few hours back.

    • Kilo 4/11 says:

      Tidewater, according to the head of the Luhansk Regional (Ukrainian) Military Administration, Russian forces are not making real, lasting progress: “They [invaders] may succeed somewhere, but our guys are very motivated, they stay there, there have weapons. Today we have been defending for exactly three months. Three months have passed, and they [Russians] unable get through even a small part of Luhansk region. We will hold it as long as necessary, “Haidai said.

      https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-ato/3491096-sievierodonetsk-completely-controlled-by-ukrainian-authorities-haidai.html

  10. Tidewater says:

    Barbara Ann,

    Thank you and I totally agree. It just turns out that all these fucking places are really important.

Comments are closed.