[FoRK] Mr. Rogers Neighborhood

J.Andrew Rogers andrew at ceruleansystems.com
Tue May 4 22:48:13 PDT 2004

On May 2, 2004, at 11:04 AM, Contempt for Meatheads wrote:
> Yeah, and...  missed clipping the link, but did anybody see the bits 
> about the Army repo-ing a few small-ass howitzers (and I mean small) 
> from a couple of ski resorts where they were on loan for avalanche 
> control?

The military also used to sell air-to-air missiles for avalanche 
control, which they launched from helicopters.  But artillery is cheap, 
only a few hundred dollars a shot, and delivers more explosive for 
vastly less cost.

The special thing about the 105mm howitzers versus the standard 155mm 
howitzers is that the 105mm's are highly portable -- you can strap them 
to a helicopter as is and drop them where you need them, ready to go.  
Moving 155mm artillery is a major logistical exercise all by itself and 
requires dismantling them.

The very high mobility of the 105mm is a major asset and a favorite of 
the Marine Corps, who travel fast and light.   The Army uses the 155mm, 
which was designed for the Cold War in a Battlefield Europe scenario, 
heavy, powerful, and not terribly mobile.  Having 105s rather than 155s 
will be a major improvement in places like Afghanistan, where you don't 
have real fixed positions in many places.

This is related to why Rumsfeld canceled the Crusader next generation 
artillery platform.  All the fancy tech in the world doesn't help you 
if you can't get it where you need it in a timely fashion.  Agility and 
mobility is a more valuable asset than brute force on a modern 
battlefield, particularly with improvements in precision.

j. andrew rogers

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