By David Crane
david (at) defensereview (dot) com
Image(s) Credit(s): Lockheed Martin
February 28, 2022
Wavell Room recently published a very interesting article on about fighting in the “deep” using rocket artillery, and DefenseReview (DR) finds the author’s (Simon Middleton) argument compelling. Basically, he’s arguing that “deep battle” in infantry warfare should be conducted using rocket artillery divisions using multiple rocket launchers like the M270 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS), High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) and Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) systems. These systems would be controlled and directed by “Special Observers”, who would use their expertise to locate, target and destroy “high value and high pay-off targets”. The argument for using Special Observers is that they’re significantly more reliable than other methods (UAS/UAV, GPS, electronics, etc.) in a combat-degraded environment.
The rocket artillery/missile ammo discussed includes the alternate warhead and the M31A1F1 GMLRS-U ER (extended range) rockets, ATACMS munitions, and Precision Strike Missile (PrSM), which would be augmented by HEAT rounds employed by an Exactor (E2) battery, to take care of close support. Intriguing.
Anyway, that’s the lethal stuff. Middleton goes on to discuss China’s electromagnetic pulse ballistic missile that’s effective at 3000km, and Russia’s Direct-Ascent Anti-Satellite (DA-ASAT) missile that took out a Russian satellite in November 2021. So, as you’re neutralizing enemy personnel, you can also neutralize their strategic and tactical communications…all with rockets/missiles!
Basically, the piece argues that a properly equipped and utilized rocket artillery/missile division employed correctly can effectively revolutionize maneuver warfare, and thus revolutionize infantry warfare. The article even gets into weaponizing social media to locate “specific high value individuals, or as a discrete method of communicating.” In other words, warfare would continue into the cyber domain.
It should be noted that Middleton’s a “Fire Support Team (FST) Commander and Troop Commander at 5th Regiment Royal Artillery – The Army’s Surveillance, Target and Acquisition Regiment.” So, he’s not exactly unbiased. However, his argument’s still very interesting, and compelling…and definitely worth reading.
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