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The Bofors article in the Cosantoir...

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  • The Bofors article in the Cosantoir...

    Hi all
    Had a look at the abovementioned in the latest issue and found it intriguing.....that gun can fairly throw those empties out, can't it! Wouldn't do to survive an air raid and then get clouted by an ejected cartridge......they claimed it could engage F16-type targets successfully. Can it traverse fast enough? Can the gun be used successfully without radar? Does it have a combat record, that is, as a partner with the Giraffe or some other kind of gunlaying radar?

  • #2
    I had the "fortune" of being brought to see an AD Bty setting up in a field during camp. I'm no expert on cloudpunchers, so all I say here is from what I saw that day, and have learned from talking to people in the AD. The EL70 has 2 electrical traverse speeds (named high and low, shockingly). On high the gun will traverse through 360 degrees in less than 2 seconds. Firing parallel to the direction of travel of the target, it could easily engage an F16

    The EL70s were originally designed to be used with the gun crew laying onto the target, and had sights for this purpose. I'm open to correction on this, but I understand that since the introduction of Flycatcher they don't use these sights anymore, and if the Flycatcher breaks they have a (useless) battle sight

    The type (in the form of the L60) was used in WW2 in Britain for AA defence. The EL70 is basically a L60 with an electric motor, longer barrel (70 calibres compared to 60) and equipment mounted to aim the gun remotely, using the Flycatcher

    Giraffe is the radar used to guide the RBS70 missiles

    Criticism of the AD:
    In my own work in Field Artillery, everything is aimed towards speed. As soon as you jump out of the truck, you are performing a set of operations to get your gun ready to fire as soon as possible. From what I saw on camp, the AD are in no such rush. There is a multitude of cables required to make the gun operate correctly in conjunction with the Flycatcher. From what I saw on the day, these cables were fitted in a slow, confused manner, with individual Gunners simply picking up spools and strolling across the field, with no order or speed in doing so. Also, when being shown the EL70 the AD Sgt informed us that the gun could be set up in 5 minutes, but they often had to wait up to 20 minutes for the Flycatcher to sort things out - the Lt in the Flycatcher said the radar could be ready in 5 minutes, but they often had to wait up to 20 minutes for the guns to sort things out. I'm not sure if it was the individual AD unit concerned, or if they were all hungover that day or what, but I was certainly not impressed with what I saw.


    • #3
      i was talking to a AD sgt, and he said that the reason for time it takes to set them up is that they need to be calibrated with each other, also if they get is wrong people get killed
      i.e rader telling gun to fire in the wrong direction. also if the gun moves around, and you are standing in the wrong place, mince meat

      i saw it been put into action on the square, and i was surprise by the amonut of set up required, then i saw the gun moving a high speed, wow, but very dangerous
      hurry up and wait, are you back yet


      • #4
        Barry: Aren't air defences usually pre-positioned? And do you have any idea how hard it is to calibrate a radar (I only know tha basics, but I can see how it gets difficult)? I dont think the AD is about speed, its about getting it right.


        • #5
          AD, unlike other artillery is used as a defensive weapon, rather than an offensive one, as the 105 or 25 pounder would be. You set up and wait for the enemy to try and break thru,rather than find their airbase and set up an aa gun on the perimiter to take down their departing aircraft.

          Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.


          • #6
            But at the same time, AD should have quick set up / tear down times as once an enemy aircraft finds itself targeted it is going to report the AD's position to their HQ. The AD will then shortly find themselves under anti-radiation (anti-radar) missile attack or direct attack.

            A Cadre NCO with the 2 AD, once told me that the Argentine AD forces based in the Falklands, during the war, had the highest casualty rate.


            • #7
              The flycatcher, in common with many other AA radars, gives off a signature like a beacon at distances far greater than the range of the guns.
              In practice its a sitting duck.

              As we were once told, all it takes to disable a battery is a sniper.....with a wire cutter.

              why the person with the wire cutter needed to be a sniper though......

              Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.


              • #8
                Hi all
                Thanks for the replies. Twenty minutes to set up and each side of the AD team blames the other? I think there's either a comms breakdown or the Boss needs to get both sides together and rethink the whole thing. Either way, it's far too long.It effectively rules out any kind of immediate crash-action to engage pop-up targets.Given that attack pilots are taught to expose themselves to radar as little as possible and fly a low-level attack profile, taking twenty minutes to get ready means that the attacker is back at base, bragging to his mates about how he lobbed a ton of bombs onto a Bofors crew, who were scuttling about pulling cables, rather than smouldering in his shot-down jet.Perhaps the PDF should deploy RDF AD with L60s to cover the L70 crews whilst the L70 lads get the tea on, the cables rolled out, the radar woken up,etc...
                regards and happy Christmas to all.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by GoneToTheCanner
                  Perhaps the PDF should deploy RDF AD with L60s to cover the L70 crews whilst the L70 lads get the tea on, the cables rolled out, the radar woken up,etc...
                  The PDF Bty of the ADR use RBS70, a missile system. The RDF Btys use EL70. As far as I know, all the L60s have been retired

                  The delay was not due to surveying the guns (which is controlled remotely by the Flycatcher) - the delay was due to slack (or nonexistant) drills. They don't have to be in the field and ready to go in 3 minutes, but a lot of time could be saved if they got the finger out and had everything hooked up as quickly as possible.

                  Edit: Post 666 -
                  Last edited by Barry; 24 December 2005, 17:40.


                  • #10
                    i dont think AD has to be that quick. A lot of the time they are defending targets like runways, hangers, HQ in the field etc.

                    I think more important is can the AAA put down enough fire to stop an incoming jet fighter, can it fire accurately, does the radar spot certain jets etc.

                    With AAA you need a lot of it firing a lot of ammo to work.


                    • #11
                      I find it hard to belief that these guns can shoot down "F-16 Type" aircraft. Typical run-in (Attack) speed for an F-16 is 480-540 nm per hour, roughly 8-9 miles a minute, it's HARM (High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles) can be fired from 150 KM out, once the radar is detected. Now, if it could shoot down the HARM missile on it's way in, that would impress the piss out of me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OSOK


                      • #12
                        All AD Batteries (including 1 AD Bty (PDF)) are equipped with the EL70. 1 AD Bty also has a RBS 70 troop.

                        The number 1 priority for aircraft is the AD defences - it is known as SEAD - Suppression of Enemy Air Defences. If an AD Bty can't tear down quickly once they have been identifed, move and set up at a new location rapidly, they won't last long.


                        • #13
                          Some additional info from an article in last years Cosantoir:

                          "The radar system........has an effective range of 20km in detecting any air target, from high-speed aircraft to slow moving or hovering helicopters, drones and terrain-following missiles. ............... If the radar needs to be shut down for fear of Anti Radar Missiles, there is a TV camera bore sighted to the radar.

                          (Note US Navy F-14 aircraft also use a TV camera with radar. The Maverick missile also uses TV camera)

                          The radar has extensive electronic counter-counter measure (ECCM) capabilities, as well as other anti-interference features. .........

                          The system is more effective if all three guns are fired at once........The Flycatcher's Fire Control System has brought the EL/70's effectiveness of target acquisition and destruction from 5% to 90%. To maintain maximum effectiveness the Flycatchers operator must input weather details that have been received from the Metrorogical Office, including air pressure, humidity, wind speed direction, etc, allowing the radar to calculate the speed and position of the acquired target. There is also a muzzle velocity antenna located on the front of the EL/70 to record the muzzle velocity of the first ten rounds leaving the barrel, allowing the Flycatcher to aim off accordingly.

                          Max horizontal range: 12.5km
                          Max vertical range: 8.7km
                          Effective vertical range: 4km

                          Targeting speed: up to 1,800km/h
                          Vertical targeting speed: up to 985ft/sec "

                          Note: Current Suppression of Enemy Air Defence weapons like HARM all depend on RF homing for guidance and are vulnerable to emission control (EMCON) countertactics. However the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) project is adding to the HARM Block VI Missile capability by demonstrating technology for RF homing integration with an active millimeter wave terminal seeker to provide a counter-shutdown capability. Fielding this capability could be in the 2005 timeframe.

                          However the system with three guns each firing 5 shells per second coupled with good EMCON tactics has some chance of defeating incoming missiles up to HARM Block VI, especially if they are using BOFORS 3P all-target prefragmented, programmable, proximity-fuzed ammunition.
                          It is totally immune to ECM and has extremely high tactical flexibility, the Bofors gun systems will be able to operate in a heavy ECM environment and combat many types of targets.
                          Programmable for optimized effect and tactical flexibility
                          Immune to ECM
                          Powerful prefragmented shells
                          Long fuze triggering distance
                          Maintained fuze triggering distance even at long ranges
                          Available with PBX-explosives and LOVA-propellant

                          After HARM Block VI with a combination of high rate of fire and good radar tracking and targeting the Flycatcher system may still have some chance of survival. Hopefully it'll never come to that.
                          Last edited by sledger; 25 December 2005, 19:33.


                          • #14
                            Hi all
                            Well then, it also begs the question: should the DF have a short-range point-defence weapon, like a land-based GAMBO, of 20-30mm calibre, or even 12.7mm, to provide even a token defence whilst the heavier kit is being set up. It takes very,very little time to get a towed or vehicle-mounted 20mm gun in action, even if it's only aimed by the Mark 1 eyeball.If it's one thing attack pilots hate, it's light AA, spewing out lots of rounds.Puts them of, so it does. As an example, a friend of mine was in Yemen, when they had a little war. The gunners defending a refinery, where he worked, used to fire enthusiastically, if not very accurately, every time the opposition sent a MiG-21 or SU-20 over. They used the ZU-23 and DshKa multiple-barrel guns and had loads of ammo to fire off. The enemy jets soon realised that, to survive, they could only lob their ordnance from outside the range of the guns, which meant that accuracy went out the window. On the other hand, a refinery is a big target...


                            • #15
                              The AD train in the use of the .5 HMG and the GPMG in AA roles