Thursday, March 31, 2011

GPS Mortars: 100% Accurate, 50% of the Time

As new technology is released into Afghanistan the Army has a great press release system. The latest weaponry making the news rounds and heading over to Operation Enduring Freedom are the 120mm GPS Guided Mortars. The military likes a fancier tag line, so please call them Ammunition Fielded Accelerated Precision Mortar Initiative Cartridges. The APMI acronym is a good way of fitting that into your twitter post. 

The larger round provides more space for the needed electronics as well as more bang for your buck. It will also allow troops to hit prime targets without an air strike and still provide a huge impact. The GPS Mortar is supposed to be more than 50% accurate in hitting a round target with a 10 meter radius. 

An overall theme touting the mortar are the lives saved for both civilians and armed forces. There is also a big money saving aspect, since you will not need to fire as many mortars when you are hitting the target earlier on in a fire fight. 

I thought a football diagram would best show what kind of area we are looking at for pinpoint accuracy in hitting a 10 meters radius target. Plus for our non-metric audience, we like to break it down into easy to read units. If you are trying to hit Osama on the 50 yard line with 100 mortars, more than 50 of said mortars will fall somewhere between the respective 40 yard lines on each side or slightly beyond. 

What is not clear is when the mortar misses Osama on the 50 yard line outside that 50% accuracy, is it hitting the stands or just a sideline cameraman. This is certainly not an attempt at morbidity, but I hope it gets the point across. I assume that since it is typically on target that any misses won't be in the nosebleeds.  The round will also be able to reach the target with such accuracy at 4 and a half football fields away.

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