Nova Munição Termobárica

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Nova Munição Termobárica
« em: Novembro 16, 2005, 12:17:42 am »
http://www.defensetech.org/archives/001944.html

Marines Quiet About Brutal New Weapon
War is hell. But it’s worse when the Marines bring out their new urban combat weapon, the SMAW-NE. Which may be why they’re not talking about it, much.

This is a version of the standard USMC Shoulder Mounted Assault Weapon but with a new warhead. Described as NE - "Novel Explosive"- it is a thermobaric mixture which ignites the air, producing a shockwave of unparalleled destructive power, especially against buildings.

A post-action report from Iraq describes the effect of the new weapon: "One unit disintegrated a large one-storey masonry type building with one round from 100 meters. They were extremely impressed." Elsewhere it is described by one Marine as "an awesome piece of ordnance."

It proved highly effective in the battle for Fallujah. This from the Marine Corps Gazette, July edition: "SMAW gunners became expert at determining which wall to shoot to cause the roof to collapse and crush the insurgents fortified inside interior rooms."

The NE round is supposed to be capable of going through a brick wall, but in practice gunners had to fire through a window or make a hole with an anti-tank rocket. Again, from the Marine Corps Gazette:

"Due to the lack of penetrating power of the NE round, we found that our assaultmen had to first fire a dual-purpose rocket in order to create a hole in the wall or building. This blast was immediately followed by an NE round that would incinerate the target or literally level the structure."

The rational for this approach was straightforward:

"Marines could employ blast weapons prior to entering houses that had become pillboxes, not homes. The economic cost of house replacement is not comparable to American lives...all battalions adopted blast techniques appropriate to entering a bunker, assuming you did not know if the bunker was manned."

The manufacturers, Talley, make bold use of its track record, with a brochure headlined Thermobaric Urban Destruction."

The SMAW-NE has only been procured by the USMC, though there are reports that some were 'borrowed' by other units. However, there are also proposals on the table that thousands of obsolete M-72 LAWs could be retrofitted with thermobaric warheads, making then into effective urban combat tools.

But in an era of precision bombs, where collateral damage is expected to be kept to a minimum, such massively brutal weapons have become highly controversial. These days, every civilian casualty means a few more “hearts and minds” are lost. Thermobaric weapons almost invariable lead to civilian deaths. The Soviet Union was heavily criticized for using thermobaric weapons in Afghanistan because they were held to constitute "disproportionate force," and similar criticisms were made when thermobarics were used in the Chechen conflict. According to Human Rights Watch, thermobaric weapons "kill and injure in a particularly brutal manner over a wide area. In urban settings it is very difficult to limit the effect of this weapon to combatants, and the nature of FAE explosions makes it virtually impossible for civilians to take shelter from their destructive effect."

So it’s understandable that the Marines have made so little noise about the use of the SMAW-NE in Fallujah. But keeping quiet about controversial weapons is a lousy strategy, no matter how effective those arms are. In the short term, it may save some bad press. In the long term, it’s a recipe for a scandal. Military leaders should debate human right advocates and the like first, and then publicly decide "we do/do not to use X". Otherwise when the media find do find out – as they always do -- not only do you get a level of hysteria but there is also the charge of “covering up.”

I'm undecided about thermobarics myself, but I think they should let the legal people sort out all these issues and clear things up. Otherwise you get claims of “chemical weapons” and “violating the Geneva Protocol.” Which doesn't really help anyone. The warfighter is left in doubt, and it hands propaganda to the bad guys. Just look at what happened it last week’s screaming over white phosphorous rounds.

-- David Hambling
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« Responder #1 em: Novembro 16, 2005, 12:19:02 am »
http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2004guns/thurs ... ohnson.pdf

Os nossos militares que bisbilhotem este site...
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« Responder #2 em: Novembro 18, 2005, 03:05:20 am »
Já tinha referido esse artigo da munição termobárica, mas foi na parte dos Conflitos do Presente (Iraque a ferro e fogo). Brutal mesmo...

Também achei interessante este (mais uma vez àcerca do conflito iraquiano):

Citar
R2-D2 vs. Mortar Rounds

A common tactic of the insurgents in Iraq is to set up a mortar (often in a residential neighborhood), quickly pop off a few rounds at an unsuspecting US or Iraqi military base, and then get out of the area before any response can be made. Next to IEDs, mortar attacks are probably the most common threat faced by most American troops not actively involved in combat. Although most mortar rounds explode harmlessly, plenty of damage and many casualties have been caused by lucky shots.

Since the attackers are often making their getaway even as the first rounds start landing, it's very difficult to send a team of soldiers to apprehend (or kill) them even if the source location can be determined. And since the insurgents prefer to fire from built-up areas thick with civilians, a simple artillery barrage isn't an option. Mortars are small and fairly easy to use, which means that large numbers of operators are available and they can pretty much come and go as they please.

A number of things have been tried to counter-act the mortar threat. The AN/TPQ-37 Firefinder Weapon Locating System, originally designed to track incoming artillery rounds from long range, simply wasn't up to the job of picking up mortar rounds and calculating the firing location.

About the same time as that article appeared, another appeared on USMC.mil about a new system, the Lightweight Counter Mortar Radar, that was being tried out in Iraq with some success. The LCMR is used to track incoming rounds and feed target data to counter-fire units.

Getting back at those firing on you is all well and good, of course. But it doesn't stop the incoming rounds from harming you or your installation. And, as noted, the insurgents prefer to fire from the relative safety of civilian neighborhoods. They've learned that American counter-fire is quick and deadly, and the mortar teams that have survived have adapted their tactics to negate American firepower. So the military is working hard to find a way to shoot down incoming rounds.

Since laser defenses are still quite a way off, the Army has looked to an existing system to fill the need. The Navy's Phalanx CIWS system, an autonomous 20mm gatling gun capable of firing up to 4,500 rounds per minute, has been modified to defend ground units.

Known as "R2-D2" to Navy personnel, the Army is hoping to use these droids to defend bases. The program is called C-RAM, short for "counter rocket artillery mortar" system, and two test units arrived in Iraq last month.

R2-D2 is merely part of an integrated system. The previously-mentioned LCMR and the AN/TPQ-36 Target Acquisition Radar, the AN/TPQ-37's shorter-range brother, feed information on incoming rounds into R2-D2 and it opens up in an attempt to shoot them down. At the same time, a Hunter UAV is dispatched to the calculated firing position in an attempt to attack the attackers with laser-guided Viper Strike missiles or at least track them so they can be intercepted by ground forces.

The naval Phalanx systems fire depleted uranium or (more recently) tungsten armor-piercing rounds. On the high seas, all these heavy rounds falling to the surface aren't much of a problem. But in crowded urban environments this would present a very serious danger to friendly forces and civilians. So instead of using the AP ammunition, the C-RAM uses the HEIT-SD (High-Explosive Incendiary Tracer, Self-Destruct) ammunition originally developed for the M163 Vulcan air-defense system. These rounds explode in mid-air, raining shrapnel at the incoming rounds in order to destroy or deflect them.


Que acham da ideia?
"If you don't have losses, you're not doing enough" - Rear Admiral Richard K. Turner