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Cold-Launch MLRS technique to minimise launch signature???

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  • Cold-Launch MLRS technique to minimise launch signature???

    G`day gents
    Long time no post and no viewing!

    A question if I may to those of an artillery background (especially rocket artillery!)
    As an infantryman I am not oufait about all things artillery (especially so due to my army`s neglect of rocket artillery!).
    I am wondering, with rocket artillery`s telltail signature of its location on launching, could it be feasible to incorporate the modern 'cold-launch' technique to the likes of the BM-30 Smerch and M227 MLRS to go someways to minimizing this signature?
    Now I both know and appreciate the beauty of the simplicity of rocket artillery, as well as the of radar locating systems. But its just an idea I have been wondering for a while!

    Your knowledge and feedback will be appreciated.


  • #2
    I'm not by any means an artillery expert, so take this with a pinch of salt until confirmed.

    I read that the MLRS would move immediately after firing, so that the MLRS would be gone before the return fire would arrive. So even if the enemy knows the position with pinpoint acccuracy, by the time you can put a cannon round on that position the information is outdated.

    My guess is that this would only work if there is no platform present, for instance aircraft, that can fire immediately at the MLRS during launch.


    • #3
      Cold Launch just throws the rocket/missile clear of the launcher before igniting its main rocket motor. The only reason the concept exists because it allows silos or launchers without blast deflectors - which isn't a problem for MLRS. A cold-launch mechanism is also a huge structural investment for the launcher, to the point that it couldn't carry both the cold-launch system and the rockets. ;)
      Regarding minimization of launch signature, at best cold launch in a MLRS would decrease the dust cloud from kicked-up soil during launch - but it wouldn't make the launcher any less exposed to counter-battery fire, as that's about tracking the rockets flight path, not looking at visual signature.


      • #4
        A very belated thank you gentlman for your reply and input!!

        Some interesting and valide points made!!



        • #5
          MLRS batteries are normally posted far enough behind the forward edge of the battle lines so that their launch signatures are not visible. They're normally tracked by arty spotting radars.

          Enclosed is picture of a USMC HIMARS rocket system taken at the Holiday Bowl Parade. Sorry for the crappy picture, had to balance getting the picture and keeping my little girl upright on my shoulders.
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