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Special Report

Ballistic Testing and Instrumentation

Ballistic Testing and Instrumentation Why accurate instrumentation for ballistics matters in warfare and how this changes in 21st century counter insurgency The ballistics of ISAF weapons in Operation Enduring Freedom Lessons learned from Operation Enduring Freedom for future ballistic instrumentation to improve security and drive the peace process

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Published by Global Business Media


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special report: BALLISTIC TESTING AND INSTRUMENTATION

SPECIAL REPORT

Ballistic Testing and Instrumentation

Contents

Ballistic Testing and Instrumentation Why accurate instrumentation for ballistics matters in warfare and how this changes in 21st century counter insurgency The ballistics of ISAF weapons in Operation Enduring Freedom Lessons learned from Operation Enduring Freedom for future ballistic instrumentation to improve security and drive the peace process

Foreword

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Martin Richards, Editor

Ballistic Testing and Instrumentation

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Paul Everington, MD MS Instruments PLC

Introduction

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The evolving threat Published by Global Business Media

Published by Global Business Media Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org Publisher Kevin Bell Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks Editor Martin Richards

Testing of the materials Testing of the ammunition Testing of the weapons Future combat system modernisation programmes Key issues that test laboratories need to consider when specifying ballistic test systems

Why accurate instrumentation for ballistics matters in warfare and how this changes in 21st century counter insurgency Taliban weapons, ammunition and their use Taliban Marksmanship: “pointing is not aiming”

Senior Project Manager Steve Banks

The AK-47 and Taliban ammunition

Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes

The ballistics of ISAF weapons in Operation Enduring Freedom

Production Manager Paul Davies

Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

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© 2011. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. Full details are available from the Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

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Marushka Dubova, Defence Correspondent

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How the AK-47 compares with the M4 Changing Rules of Engagement The new big theme “strategic patience”

Lessons learned from Operation Enduring Freedom for future ballistic instrumentation to improve security and drive the peace process

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Meredith Llewellyn, Lead Contributor

The European perspective The view from South Asia The Afghan perspective Force Reintegration Cell (F-RIC)

References 13

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special report: BALLISTIC TESTING AND INSTRUMENTATION

Foreword

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allistic testing and instrumentation is a highly specialized field of central importance to every army who needs to know how its kinetic weapons behave in combat. And it is a field that is increasingly regulated by the Swiss ISO (International Organsiation for Standardisation). Effective defensive protection for soldiers and their vehicles needs to be measured by internationally recognized standards to regulate the arms industry and calibrate marketing assessments. NATO is playing an increasing role in doing this. The first part of this special report looks at the importance of the testing of materials used in the manufacture of weapons and ammunition, in light of the changing nature of ballistic protection systems. It covers various methods of testing depending on the weapons and ammunition being used, as well as discussing system modernization programmes and key issues that test laboratories need to consider when specifying ballistic test systems. The report will then examine the motley range of assault rifles facing ISAF in Afghanistan and the way they are used, because this can tell as much about the effectiveness of the weapon as engineering measurements. What comes across is the calculating way the opposing forces use knowledge of the terrain and awareness of the limitations of their weaponry to harass and kill ISAF forces. To use inaccurate weapons to shepherd a well armed dismounted platoon into an ambush or onto an IED, is an effective tactic to challenge a technologically superior force. Finally, the report makes an assessment of ISAF riles and carbines used on operations and the way that ballistic test results have been put on one side in favour of modifications of the M-4. It goes on to argue that technically superior weapons do not always lead to dominance in counter insurgency because of the importance of protecting civilian lives and the enforcement of this through changes in the Rules of Engagement, which govern the circumstances when an ISAF soldier may open fire on an opponent. In an important end piece there is a snapshot of what other European and Asian countries are doing to modernize their small arms provision and protection for the soldier in an era of increasingly limited budget for developing new technologies and products even to protect frontline troops. And in an optimistic final paragraph there is a quick look at the progress made towards encouraging Afghan fighters to lay down their arms and engage in the peace process and reintegrate.

Martin Richards Editor

2 | www.defenceindustryreports.com


special report: BALLISTIC TESTING AND INSTRUMENTATION

Ballistic Testing and Instrumentation Paul Everington, MD MS Instruments PLC

In recent years, the type of weapons being used against uparmoured cars and ballistic vests has changed markedly. Whilst criminals mainly used pistols and lower-velocity weapons, the increasing insurgent activities in Afghanistan and other conflict zones, with higher calibre weapons, has required an improvement to the existing protection systems.

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Figure 1– windscreen hit by 25 bullets

Figure 2 – Triangular hit pattern

Figure 3 – Vehicle fitted with Nimbus

he majority of civilians, and indeed many professionals, consistently refer to ‘bulletproof’ cars and vests. This is a misnomer, as any armour system will be defeated if hit by sufficient firepower. In 2004, we were consulted by someone who had been the victim of an ambush in Baghdad. His vehicle had been hit by around one hundred 7.62mm bullets, with twenty five striking the rear windscreen. Only five went through the glass, as it was armoured to the B6 level. Unfortunately two of the bullets that penetrated the glass injured the victim. We were asked whether the insurgents knew the weak-spots of the vehicle or had some specific intelligence about the protection systems. The standards that define the protection levels require the firing of bullet natures in a triangular pattern of known dimensions. This means that provided the material is not penetrated after 3 shots have been fired in the prescribed pattern, then the sample has passed. What happens if more bullets are fired, or they strike in a tighter pattern? It is not possible to continually thicken the protective materials and, whilst there have been some exciting developments in new materials, the increased weight of the vehicle would render it unusable. It is because of this sort of problem, that counter-measures against ambush, Illegal Vehicle Check Points (IVCPs), and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) are being developed. These are designed to be deployed from within the vehicle as primary protection is removed if the ‘seal’ is broken by opening the doors. Products designed to be resistant to projectiles are constantly developed to be lighter, thinner, more technologically advanced and to improve their ease of use. There is no point having the www.defenceindustryreports.com | 3


special report: BALLISTIC TESTING AND INSTRUMENTATION

The majority of civilians, and indeed many professionals, consistently refer to ‘bullet-proof’ cars and vests. This is a misnomer, as any armour system will be defeated if hit by sufficient firepower.

door of an up armoured vehicle being so heavy you cannot open it! Manufacturers are constantly looking for new materials to use. In fact old materials such as silk are currently being investigated, due to its known properties of being extremely strong yet very flexible and lightweight. Its tensile strength is comparable to that of high-grade steel (1500 MPA). Spider silk is about a fifth of the density of steel; a strand long enough to circle the Earth would weigh less than 500g. Spider silk is also especially ductile, able to stretch up to 1.4 times its relaxed length without breaking and can hold its strength below -40 °C.

The evolving threat As ballistic protection systems improve, the weapons used to attack them are developed further. Whilst many Governments are undertaking a lot of work on better weapons systems, the insurgents are modifying their attack strategies. There have been many high profile improvements to vehicles as well as the wide range of ballistic vests and general clothing. All of these developments are to provide armour protection against Small arms fire, IEDs, cannon, artillery, missiles and air assault weapons, including nuclear and biological attack. This armour protection is for the individual, vehicle or building.

in 2007, UK MoD encouraged a move towards formal accreditation of ranges to the ISO17025 standard. Wiltshire Ballistic Services was the first range to be UKAS accredited to this standard, and is the only MoD approved range to hold this accreditation. Yet currently, bullet and stab-resistant vests are certified to a standard defined by a body that is itself an unaccredited test facility. Interestingly, they reserve the right to certify a very limited number of other test facilities (most of which are not independently accredited). This causes confusion, a serious shortage of test facilities – leading to delays in getting new developments in service – and an artificially high testing cost. To test bullet resistant materials, a universal receiver is used due to the high volume of rounds being fired. A laser sight is used for total accuracy, as the shots need to be specific to the standard being tested against, and a shot in the wrong place can be costly in terms of test samples.

Testing of the materials There are International standards, Country standards and Specific standards from individual defence departments worldwide, dependent upon their perceived threat. UK, USA, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Italy, Australia and France all have their own. Most standards vary to some degree or another and there is more than one standard for the various products such as Glass, Steel Armour, Helmets, Body Armour. So which is the most appropriate one for the test? This is a difficult judgement; typically the user or customer specifies the standard dependent upon the use or market they are trying to sell to. The testing process can be complex, time consuming and costly. Customers often develop these materials and test at their own facilities using highly accurate velocity measurements systems, but the velocity of the projectiles also has to be very carefully controlled to ensure that it is within the requirements of the standard. Before supplying the material, they will require independent certification of their product to these standards; however which test facility can provide this certification? Until recently, ballistic material testing was just done by anyone who wanted to do so. However 4 | www.defenceindustryreports.com

Figure 4 – Ballistic vest under test

When a vest is tested, it is wrapped around a clay dummy. A bullet of the correct type is then shot at a velocity suitable for the classification of the vest. Each shot should be 7.6cm away from the edge of the vest and almost 5cm away from previous shots. Six shots are fired, two at a 30-degree angle of incidence, and four at a 0-degree angle of incidence. One shot should fall on a seam. This method of shooting forms a wide triangle of bullet holes. The vest is then turned upside down and shot the same way, this time making a narrow triangle of bullet holes. To pass the test, the vest should show no sign of penetration. That is, the clay dummy should have no holes or pieces of vest or bullet in it. Though the bullet will leave a dent, it should be no deeper than 4.4cm. The process of any testing in principal is the same: you fire a Bullet or Fragment at a known velocity and mass at a sample. (Or you drop a defined Knife onto a vest with defined energy). The various standards define its acceptance or failure criteria. The common acceptance criteria are known as a V50 figure. This is a velocity/ ammunition specific characteristic that the


special report: BALLISTIC TESTING AND INSTRUMENTATION

The process of any testing in principal is the same: you fire a Bullet or Fragment at a known velocity and

fitted to automatic targets, considerable savings in ammunition costs, as well as trials time can be achieved. An ammunition manufacturer will also want to measure the pressure in the gun barrel. This was originally achieved using copper crushers but is now done using piezoelectric transducers. These tests are done by the manufacturer on random batches at either a testing centre or with equipment of their own. Constant testing means high standards are upheld and developments can be made to new ammunition. Both national and international standards are set for ammunition.

mass at a sample. sample will stop 50% of the rounds vice versa 50% of the rounds will penetrate. This seems a strange concept. Surely a wearer of a ‘bulletproof’ vest would like one that has a V100 i.e. stops all the defined bullets.

Testing of the ammunition Professional shooters want to be assured that the ammunition they are using is going to shoot accurately. Through experience, a sniper will know how to adjust his sight to allow for wind direction, elevation or a moving target. However, the sniper cannot take into account the possible inaccuracies of the bullet. They need to know that the velocity, dispersion, yaw and pitch are not going to affect the shot. For those manufacturing ammunition, testing is to specified tolerances. No projectile can be made to be perfectly matched to the one before or after, so acceptable tolerances are defined by standards. There can be a change in tolerances depending on the grade or quality (price) of ammunition. The tests most often used to grade ammunition are velocity, dispersion and pressure. Velocity is typically the best indicator of ammunition performance, and this has to be undertaken with considerable accuracy so the ballistic performance of the ammunition can be properly assessed. Recent developments have produced equipment that can measure velocities to an accuracy of up to 0.01%. This sort of accuracy is essential in ensuring rapid progress from development to in-service use. New developments bring their own challenges, so confidence in the accuracy of testing is vital. Dispersion measurement was typically done on paper targets, however automatic targets are increasingly being used to expedite the test process and improve accuracy. Some automatic targets can achieve a shot resolution to better than 0.5mm. By the use of Moving Aiming Marks

Figure 5 – Guided missile showing yaw (650m/s)

As well as taking the above measurements, manufacturers of large calibre ammunition and missiles may want to see the projectiles in flight to examine the performance of drive bands and see sabot stripping. A Flight Follower is used to achieve this, and recent versions have motorised heads for rapid deployment and remote adjustment. If a photograph ‘speaks a thousand words’, the benefits of a video of a projectile travelling for 100m or more, at speeds in excess of Mach 3 is incalculable.

Testing of the weapons Weapon manufacturers assume their ammunition has been tested appropriately. Instead of a universal receiver being used, the gun being tested is placed in a specially designed clamp to minimise the effect of weapon movement on the measured parameters. Unfortunately it is difficult to keep the weapon completely still, so allowances are made within the defined standard. The only practical tests of the accuracy of a weapon are velocity and dispersion. An integrated approach to test instrumentation is vital in making consistent measurements. With each shot fired, the range of environmental conditions that might influence the performance should be recorded. Comprehensive solidstate outdoor meteorological systems and indoor climate monitors have been developed to simplify the process. This also enables the manufacturer to perform ‘desktop testing’ of a www.defenceindustryreports.com | 5


special report: BALLISTIC TESTING AND INSTRUMENTATION

different parameter in the future, if earlier trials have recorded a full range of data.

Future combat system modernisation programmes The development of a new product is undertaken to defeat a known, new or perceived threat to the military o r e n fo rc e m e n t Figure 6 – Met Station agencies. A typical (no moving parts) example is the threat of IEDs in Afghanistan. New protection concepts are being urgently developed and they are being tested to the existing standards without regard to whether these standards are now appropriate for the task. However it is better to test to something, to set a level of acceptance. It is vital, however, that an international or national body be set up that unifies the acceptance criteria internationally, for all such requirements. Many standards still call for ammunition natures that are obsolete, and only very recently have moves been made, by a small number of test agencies in Europe, to introduce more recent ammunition for the proper testing of new materials. Key issues that Test laboratories need to consider when specifying ballistic test systems The laboratory needs to identify the threat, what the material is trying to defeat, and most importantly, what are the acceptance criteria that the user of the equipment will be satisfied with. An experienced test facility will be able to test any material to any standard that is required of it. Other areas for consideration by the test establishments are confidentiality and security of information and the dissemination of the results. Generally the customer defines the required standards. However there will be times when the customer does not know. In these cases the test establishment may suggest the most appropriate ones for the samples under test. To ensure the user/customer is confident in the results of the testing, it is important that the test establishment is approved to carry this out. Accreditation to the ISO17025 standard is essential, to ensure that Levels of Uncertainty are adequately defined and minimised. The Author is Managing Director of MS Instruments PLC, Director of Wiltshire Ballistic Services Ltd and Chairman of the Ballistic Tool Kit. 6 | www.defenceindustryreports.com

Many standards still call for ammunition natures that are obsolete, and only very recently have moves been made, by a small number of test agencies in Europe, to introduce more recent ammunition for the proper testing of new materials.


special report: BALLISTIC TESTING AND INSTRUMENTATION

Why accurate instrumentation for ballistics matters in warfare and how this changes in 21st century counter insurgency Marushka Dubova, Defence Correspondent

In the wars of the 19th and 20th century in Europe and America the need for ballistic superiority was critical to prevailing in the next war.

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he search for the next development in weapon technology and ammunition was seen as axiomatic to dominance on the battlefield. The must-have acquisition for commanders was always the more accurate musket or rifle that could shoot further, with greater accuracy, velocity and lethality. However, even in the 19th century the superiority of the “better weapon and ammunition” has not always been critical to winning. In the American civil war the smoothbore rifle musket, which had a longer range and greater accuracy than its predecessor was frequently used by soldiers untrained in its new capabilities. “The rifle’s minié ball had a parabolic, or arclike, trajectory that created two killing zones. The initial one was at close range when the bullet first passed through the point of aim, and the second was much farther out when it dropped back through. As a result, there was a wide gap between the two points where the bullets sailed over the enemy’s heads. Civil War soldiers were not trained to estimate distances accurately, and in the heat of battle they frequently fired too high because they forgot to adjust their sights as the enemy came closer.”1 The capabilities of a weapon are more than ballistics; they are the sum of the weapon itself, its ammunition, the training of the soldier and the tactics on the battlefield.

Taliban weapons, ammunition and their use In Afghanistan it is revelatory to look at the weapons, ammunition, marksmanship and tactics of Taliban forces, the so-called OPFOR (Opposing Forces) to the American

led ISAF. How the Taliban use their AK 47’s and other small arms is critical to assessing what ISAF forces are taking on. Predominantly, Taliban forces use AK-47s or Kalashnikovs. This weapon is a selective fire, gas operated 7.62x39mm assault rifle, developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov and know as the Avtomat Kalashnikova (AK). It weighs 3.8 kg when loaded. It was manufactured and distributed from 1947. It can be used for automatic or semi automatic fire. The fixed stock version went into production and was used by the majority of Warsaw pact forces and their allies. The basic weapon has been modernized periodically through the 50s to the 70s.2 Its reputation for reliability comes from its ability to operate without maintenance in all conditions with considerable reliability. However, many of the weapons used by the Taliban are not the original Warsaw Pact versions either left behind by the Soviet invasion (1979-89) or bought on the international market, but Khyber Pass models reverse engineered in the small Pakistani arms workshops in the border areas. These are often copies or copies of copies made from available recycled materials: railway rails, scrap motor vehicles and other scrap metal. The quality of many examples found by ISAF forces in the field ranges from as good as a factoryproduced example to dangerously poor. Similarly, the ammunition for these weapons is frequently made from a variety of powders or even old film, which contains nitrocellulose, a key component of smokeless powder, an unreliable mixture.3 Some other AK-47 variants found in Afghanistan are manufactured in Albania, www.defenceindustryreports.com | 7


special report: BALLISTIC TESTING AND INSTRUMENTATION

Bangladesh and China the Type 56 clone or copy of the Soviet version. The other weapon that ISAF forces have found on searches is the AMD-65 assault rifle, a shortened, folding-stock Hungarian variant of the Kalashnikov that has been distributed together with its ammunition by the United States to Afghan National Police forces since 2007. This weapon has a shortened stock and anecdotally poor accuracy and unreliability with a tendency to jam. It is thought that the brevity of the six-week training period of the Afghan Police and the reality that many newly trained Afghan Police officers go absent without leave during training or soon after graduation has resulted in many of these shortened AK-47’s and their ammunition filtering into the arsenal of the general population. 4 Annual ANCOP attrition was at an annual rate 52.9% in November 2009. Since the Ministry of Interior implemented significant pay reforms in December 2009, which resulted in improved retention of ANP, the annual rate was almost cut in half, to 24% in November 2010.”5

Taliban Marksmanship: “pointing is not aiming” In his blog At War for the New York Times, C.J. Chivers describes watching the Afghan National Forces train and the way the Taliban fight. His observations are revealing. First, many Afghan fighters have untreated and untested sight conditions such as myopia or cataracts having lived in a harsh, dusty and sunny environment without sun glasses. Secondly, when fighting many point their weapons without aiming resulting in general suppressive fire rather than accuracy. This produces an excessive reliance on automatic fire from what is in reality an assault rifle. Such is the confidence in the low risk of accuracy of much Taliban fire that anecdotally some ISAF soldiers appear not to worry about potential sniper fire and frequently walk upright when potentially within range.6

The AK-47 and Taliban ammunition Thirdly, the inherent weakness in the AK-47, that the muzzle tends to rise during automatic fire increasing the angle of fire, leads to further inaccuracy: the bullets travel over the target’s head. Finally, as Chivers notes, the age and provenance of Afghan ammunition influences accuracy and therefore lethality. Many of the older Taliban rifles are dirty, poorly maintained and have mismatched ammunition: “Different factories, nations and decades (produce ammunition that) can have different 8 | www.defenceindustryreports.com

Many of the weapons used by the Taliban are not the original Warsaw Pact versions either left behind by the Soviet invasion (1979-89) or bought on the international market, but Khyber Pass models reverse engineered in the small Pakistani arms workshops in the border areas. characteristics that affect a bullet’s flight. Different propellants, for example, change muzzle velocities and therefore change a bullet’s trajectory. Moreover, as ammunition ages, it can degrade, especially when exposed to moisture over time and to extremes in temperature.”7 The result of this combination of factors is a lower level of lethality from small arms fire for ISAF troops in Afghanistan than in the recent Iraq campaign, and a rising lethality of IEDS from 16% in 2002 to 58.41% in 2010, while small arms exchanges have a relatively lower risk of lethality.8


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The ballistics of ISAF weapons in Operation Enduring Freedom Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

“Blood cannot be washed away with blood.” An Afghan proverb

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he M16 rifle, now replaced by the M4, is the rifle of ISAF forces in Afghanistan. Produced by Colt Defense LLC since 1963, the M-16’s design rights are now in the hands of the US Army. The US Army still uses versions of the M16 made by FN Manufacturing LLC, but stopped buying them when it decided to field M4s to all deploying combat units in 2006. There are many modifications of the weapons but the M16A2 rifle entered service in the 1980s, chambered to fire the standard NATO cartridge, the Belgian-designed M855/M856 cartridge. The M16A2 is a select-fire rifle, with semi-automatic and three-round-burst fire, incorporating design elements requested by the Marine Corps. There was Congressional concern that the M4 was not the best weapon and it was extensively tested in 2007. It is light at 3.1 kg with 30 rounds. However, in sandy and dusty environments it requires frequent and regular maintenance to prevent jams. In tests on a ballistic measurement range in a sandy and dusty environment, the results were interesting: “After firing 6,000 rounds through ten M4s in a dust chamber at the Army’s Aberdeen test center in Maryland this fall, the weapons experienced a total of 863 minor stoppages and 19 that would have required the armorer to fix the problem. Stacked up against the M4 during the side-by-side tests were two other weapons popular with special operations forces, including the Heckler and Koch 416 and the FN USA Special Operations Combat Assault Rifle, or Mk16.” The further weakness of the M4 showed up in urban operations in Iraq where in combat inside buildings and closed locations, American forces preferred a shorter weapon and picked up pistols or shorter barreled weapons.9 Further, many soldiers add personal modifications to their weapon. But despite this the Pentagon was confident about the M4.

““The M4 carbine is a world-class weapon,” said Brig. Gen. Mark Brown, the Army’s top equipment buyer, in a Dec. 17(2007) briefing at the Pentagon. Soldiers “have high confidence in that weapon, and that high confidence level is justified, in our view, as a result of all test data and all investigations we have made.”10 The British Army fields the SA80 as a selective fire, gas-operated rifle. It has been re-engineered to use the American 5.56x45mm M193 cartridge. Most rifles are fitted with SUSAT (Sight Unit Small Arms Trilux) optical sight manufactured by Thales Optical in the UK, with a fixed 4x magnification and an illuminated aiming pointer powered by a variable tritium light source. It has been tested to ISO standards (International Organisation for Standardisation).

How the AK-47 compares with the M4 In a straight ballistic comparison of the two weapons there are relative merits and demerits for each weapon. To compare the M16 and the AK-47 sometimes gives the AK47 advantages. The Kalashnikov fires a larger 7.62mm round and is perceived to have greater stopping power. “The M16 and the shorter-barreled M4 fire smaller, 5.56mm rounds. The Kalashnikov can fire its entire 30-round magazine with a single pull of the trigger. The M16 tops out at three-shot bursts. The American gun has less recoil and greater range”11

Changing Rules of Engagement But the range, velocity and lethality of relative weapons has to be linked to the Rules of Engagement given to armed forces on how soldiers are permitted to fight. If those Rules of Engagement limit use dramatically to reduce the risk of casualties among civilians, who may also be fighters, the relative lethality of a weapon becomes more questionable. Since www.defenceindustryreports.com | 9


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2001 when the American led ISAF forces invaded there has been a question over the best way to win “the hearts and minds” of the local Afghans while rooting out violent insurgents. The traditional Afghan hatred of foreigners on their territory is a given, so the death of innocent Afghan civilians as a consequence of improving the security of a region is obviously counterproductive. Under the ISAF command of Gen McChrystal, the former Commander of Special Operations, new tough Rules of Engagement were introduced in 2009. This was called Standard Operating Procedure 373, the ISAF Guidance for Escalation of Force. This focused on the central importance of reducing civilian casualties and establishes tactics, techniques, and procedures for doing so by requiring platoon commanders to seek higher authority before escalating force. As was reported by BBC news at the time it was difficult to implement.12 “It takes training and discipline not to fire back if you are fired upon,” says Lt Col David Wakefield, the Task Force Helmand spokesman. “The natural thing for soldiers is to give heaps back if they come under fire, but now we look to manoeuvre instead if we can, because it is crucial not to jeopardise a single civilian life.” Instead of classically using the tactic of surprise to give military advantage, in operations against the Taliban, villagers are being warned in advance of the Operations that are about to take place. Civilian protection is the key focus of the counter-insurgency strategy. But this policy of “courageous restraint” was controversial among the troops on the frontline. Lt Gen Sir Nick Parker in a media statement at the time said: “In some areas we have over-corrected and we have to absolutely make sure we bring that gently back into line. Our soldiers have to be committed to the very challenging fight that they are in, they have to have all the tools at their disposal and they have got to feel free to use them in the right way, but what we must do is not alienate the population.”

The new big theme “strategic patience” However, since General Petraeus took over as Commander of ISAF in the summer of 2010, there has been a shift away from “courageous restraint” which was criticized by some soldiers as endangering their lives to the advantage of the opposing forces. General Petraeus has a new big theme of “strategic patience”. In guidance that saw McChrystal’s restraint as too limiting, Petraeus offered a reinterpretation. 10 | www.defenceindustryreports.com

Since General Petraeus took over as Commander of ISAF in the summer of 2010, there has been a shift away from “courageous restraint” which was criticized by some soldiers as endangering their lives to the advantage of the opposing forces. “Destroying a home or property jeopardises the livelihood of an entire family – and creates more insurgents” and that “large scale operations to kill or capture militants carry a significant risk of causing civilian casualties and collateral damage”. These things, he argued, carried the risk of sowing the seeds of Western demise in Afghanistan and that success would only be achievable if troops displayed the courage needed to risk being killed in order to spare civilian casualties and even property.” A British interpretation of the contrast between “courageous restraint” and “strategic patience” was illuminating: “General Petraeus believes in getting all elements in place through a slow strategic build up but he also prizes the importance of momentum by walking through the streets and taking them on.”13 So the new Rules of Engagement limit the use of a weapon, whether superior in ballistic capability to the opponent or not. Thus relative superiority becomes meaningless if the soldier is not permitted to fire.


special report: BALLISTIC TESTING AND INSTRUMENTATION

Lessons learned from Operation Enduring Freedom for future ballistic instrumentation to improve security and drive the peace process Meredith Llewellyn, Lead Contributor

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nstrumentation is inherently about “the art and science of measurement and control” according to the International Society of Automation in Canada. Added to that, ballistics is defined as the science of designing and accelerating projectiles so as to achieve a desired performance14. Control on the battlefield is about dominance and western technologists pursue the goal of improving offensive capability of small arms and the defensive protection available to the dismounted soldier so that he may prevail in battle, if not the war. Small arms acquisition and soldier protection are both vast and complex fields where each national army differs slightly in its approach to acquisition according to budget constraints and requirements in the field.

The European perspective The German army has learnt a specific lesson from its experience in Afghanistan. Lt. Col. Rausch said at a conference on modernization that the current approach of the enemy is typically to engage friendly force with long range small arms weapons, even at ranges exceeding 300m which requires the capability at the infantry section level to engage selected targets at ranges at up to 600m. He commented, “Reports from theatre say that the target effectiveness of 5.56mm standard rounds at ranges exceeding 300m is insufficient. Troops in theatre use the 7.62mm MG3 machine gun to engage enemy targets at ranges greater than 300m. Furthermore, some designated marksmen at squad level have been equipped with 7.62mm G3 rifles with telescopic sights for the engagement of individual targets. In the medium term, the German infantry needs follow on weapons to replace the MG3 and the G3 rifle.”15 He noted two long term trends: “Firstly the active

To meet the “dire need” for cordon and search operations they require a light, waterproof, small, user-friendly device with polarity, brightness, gain, recital movement and focusing and auxiliary Infra Red illumination. and passive protection of our forces of the soldier and the vehicles mostly against IED attacks and sniper fire and secondly, direct and indirect fire support capability at ranges of between 600m at squad level and 8Km at battalion or regiment level”. The British view from DSTL was to look at protecting the soldier on the battlefield by effective integration of known technologies to ensure technical coherence, Mark Helliker, www.defenceindustryreports.com | 11


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Team Leader, Physical Protection Group, DSTL argues that the burden equation, bringing together factors such as thermal burden, loss of agility, bulk, weight and lack of integration is not as well understood as it might be.16 Part of this is ballistic assessment. DSTL is working on a Behind Armour Blunt Trauma (BABT) rig and refining the development of STANAG 2920.

The reintegration of former fighters into the civilian population

The view from South Asia The perspective from Pakistan from Lt Gen. Muzammil Hussain, Inspector General Training and Evaluation (IGT&E) is that the key issue is night vision equipment. To meet the “dire need” for cordon and search operations they require a light, waterproof, small, user-friendly device with polarity, brightness, gain, recital movement and focusing and auxiliary Infra Red illumination.

The Afghan perspective The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is currently hosting a total ISAF force of around 130,000 personnel of which about 9,500 are British. These troops are committed to improving the security of the country and training up the Afghan National Security Forces. As at July 2010, ANSF strength was approximately 134,000 (ANA) and 116,000 (ANP). All these troops will be armed with American bought weapons and in the case of the ANP the shortened Kalashnikov Hungarian AMD-65. More importantly, rather than constantly adding to the Afghan arms arsenal, new statistics are being released about soldiers who have been disarmed and are putting down their weapons. In November 2010 ISAF briefings offered a figure of 60,000 former combatants who have been disarmed. The reintegration of former fighters into the civilian population is now an important part of the counter insurgency strategy.17

Force Reintegration Cell (F-RIC) Under the GIRoA ‘s current strategy backed by ISAF the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program (APRP) continues to take fighters out of the fight. Such is the importance of pride and dignity in Pashtunwali culture that great efforts are being made to encourage the use of phrases like “joining the peace process” and active participation in local government rather than surrender. The process of prevailing in counter insurgency is more than having superior weaponry that can out shoot the opposing force. As the Afghan proverb says: “You can take my shelter, my food, my home, even my life, but don’t take my dignity.” 12 | www.defenceindustryreports.com

is now an important part of the counter insurgency strategy


special report: BALLISTIC TESTING AND INSTRUMENTATION

References: 1

 The Rifle Musket in Civil War Combat: Reality and Myth. By Earl J. Hess. Modern War Studies. (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, c. 2008. Pp. [viii], 288. $29.95, ISBN 978-0-7006-1607-7.)

2

Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AK-47

3

 At War blog January 31, 2011, 12:37 PM New York Times Taliban Gun Lockers: The Rifles of Rural Ghazni Province By C.J. CHIVERS

4

At War blog January 31, 2011, 12:37 PM New York Times Taliban Gun Lockers:

The Rifles of Rural Ghazni Province By C.J. CHIVERS

5

NATO media backgrounder on Afghan National Security Forces

6

The New York Times: At War blog: April 2, 2010, 7:00 AM The Weakness of Taliban Marksmanship by C.J. CHIVERS

7

The New York Times: At War blog: April 2, 2010, 7:00 AM The Weakness of Taliban Marksmanship by C.J. CHIVERS

8

http://icasualties.org/

9

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/the-usas-m4-carbine-controversy-03289/

10

http://www.military.com/NewsContent/0,13319,158468,00.html

11

 “AK-47, M-16 Have Pros, Cons”. Miami Herald. June 4, 2007. Retrieved 2010-09-24

12

BBC news Thursday, 28 January 2010

13

 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/7852684/Gen-David-Petraeus

14

Wikipedia

15

http://www.soldiermod.com/volume-6/ifd.html

16

http://www.soldiermod.com/volume-6/dstl.html

17

http://www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/B73D295A-C358-4E15-B9FD-FB299E47748/0/tlmnovember2010.pdf

www.defenceindustryreports.com | 13


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