Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Where can I get one?

(up late with the baby again. This sleep deprivation is getting to be like Ranger school. wait, I mean Ranger school)

The Dept of Defense is working on an anti-mortar system called C-RAM (counter-rocket, artillery, mortar) system. This system would "shoot down" incoming mortar rounds to prevent them from hitting friendly forces. The end product may end up looking something like the Navy's Phalanx system which is designed to "engage anti-ship cruise missiles and fixed-wing aircraft at short range."
The current radar system, the Q-36 Firefinder, was not designed to protect troops this urban 360-degree battlefield in Iraq. It has several shortcomings like
1. the Q-36 can't stop the mortar from impacting, only tell you where the round will impact and where it originated from.
2. it's difficult to hit a couple of guys shooting a mortar with counterfire. Also, shooting into the urban area that the mortar was launched from usually just causes collateral damage and pisses off the local populace.
3, the radar only has a 90-degree field of view. It can't see the other 270 degrees to the sides and rear of the radar.