Monday, 18 January 2016

Flight times for Homing Ammunition.

            When firing homing rounds they may take more than one turn to reach the target. Basic rules (B p.413) say to use any 1/2D figure as projectile speed but this doesn’t really work for small arms. The following values can be used instead to give a simple but reasonably realistic performance. Bullets get slower the further they get from the muzzle so for the second and subsequent rounds speed is generally halved.
            Projectiles that travel at 375 yards/sec or faster exceed the speed of sound, creating a very audible bullet-crack.

·         15mm micro-missiles and 30mm mini-missiles: 500 yard/sec. (Will usually hit in same turn that they are fired).
·         20mm micro-missiles: 400 yard/sec.
·         40mm mini-missiles: 295 yards/sec.
·         4mm and 10mm pistol/PDW: 350 yards in first second, 175 yards each second after. (The 4mm has a higher muzzle velocity but the 10mm retains more energy down range so for convenience average velocity is treated as the same for both). Muzzle velocity exceeds the speed of sound.
·         5.6mm and 6.6mm rifle: 600 yards in first sec, 300 yards each second after. (Higher muzzle velocity of the 5.6mm is balanced out by better sectional density of the 6.6mm so average velocity is treated as the same.)
·         7.62x39mm AKM/Maku: 500 yards first sec, 250 yards each second after. Generally these weapons use non-homing ammunition.
·         7.5mmMG: 700 yards first sec, 350 yards each second after. Uses a heavy streamlined bullet designed for target effect at long range.
·         9mm MAX and Subsonic Ammunition: Treat as 300 yards first sec, 150 yards each second after. Generally 9mm MAX weapons use non-homing ammunition.
·         Plastic Ammunition : Half speed of standard type (therefore Plastic subsonic ammunition is 150 yards in first second, 75 yards each second after.)
·         Supercavitating 15mm mini-torpedoes are move 25 for the first second, Move 40 for the next two.
·         Supercavitating 30mm mini-torpedoes are move 30 for one second, Move 80 for the next three.
·         Supercavitating ammunition fired underwater has 1/10th the speed of a normal round of the calibre.


Weapons: AKM and Maku

            At the dawn of the 22nd century the AK-47/AKM still continues to soldier on. Most of the weapons in active use are minifactured or 3D printed replicas, of course, but the Kalashnikov is still a common sight in many of the remoter parts of the world or even off-world. Some have even been forged by village blacksmiths rather than printed!

            For many users their choice may be due to tradition, practicality or conservatism. The AK was good enough for granddad and still does the job, so who needs a high-tech, far more expensive weapon? Many isolationist groups prefer weapons with cased ammunition that they can reload. AKMs are favoured by many ceremonial guard units, particularly if the weapon is also featured on the national flag. 

            “Maku” the street name for a version of the AKM that is manufactured illegally in many urban areas. It is readily recognized by its crude finish. The fore-end is usually a section of plastic pipe and the stock shaped scrap. Sights are often crude affairs and fixed. The foresight may be either mounted at the muzzle or the top of the gas tube. Rear sight also varies in position and may be either a simple notch or aperture. Despite its ugly duckling appearance the Maku is still an AKM inside.

            Note: I have changed the Damage of the AKM et al to 4d+4 to represent that compared to the 5.56x45mm the 7.62x39mm round often exhibits less spectacular but more consistent terminal effects.

GUNS (RIFLE) (DX-4 or most other Guns at -2)
  Name  Damage  Acc   Range  Weight  RoF  Shots  ST  Bulk  Recoil
AKM 7.62mm   4d+4 pi   4  500/3,100   8.7/1.8   10   30(3)   9†  -5/-5*   2
Maku 7.62mm   4d+4 pi
APHC ammo
  4d+4(2) pi-










Vehicles: Badger Armoured Car.

The Panyuan Badger is marketed as a full spectrum military vehicle, suited for all operations from peacekeeping and internal security to major theatre war. Many military regiments and installations include a few Badgers which are used for liaison, scouting and light patrol work. They are also popular with private security firms. Many police and sheriff departments hold a few Badgers for special situations. A variant modified for operations on Mars has attracted several buyers.

            The Badger is a compact four-wheeled armoured vehicle. Non-pneumatic tires are usually fitted and the vehicle has all-wheel steering and adjustable ground clearance. A hybrid-electric power system allows it to move very quietly with reduced thermal signature. The Badger has janus steering and gearing so can be driven with equal faculty in either direction. Because of this feature crews do not refer to the vehicle having a front and rear end but as having a “sloped” and “stepped” end. The sloped end features steeply angled armour that offers increased protection from fire, while the stepped end offers better visibility. The sloped end is driven by video pickups, with periscope backups. The well armoured sloped end has a single crew position. The stepped end has an armoured windscreen and two crew positions. Two armoured visors can be lowered over the windscreen. When open these visors shade the windscreen and keep snow and rain off. With the visors lowered the vehicle can be driven by video pickups and periscopes. Driving at speed is usually performed stepped end forward while approaching potential threats is made sloped end forward.


            The Badger has three crew positions, each having a mine-resistant chair that can be swivelled to face inward or outward for driving. Each crewman has controls that allow him to operate the weapons systems or drive the vehicle by video display. Headsets provide the crewmen with an augmented reality that creates the illusion that the hull of the vehicle is transparent. The Badger is provided with an AI so can drive itself or be operated remotely. Effectively the Badger can be thought of as a wheeled cybershell that can carry three to five people. In some poorly trained armies the AI does the shooting and driving while the crew act as observers and directors. There is an armoured door on each side of the vehicle. Each door has an armoured window further protected by a louvre-like grill. Each door is provided with a firing port. Two fold-down “jump seats” are provided for extra passengers, although the interior is cramped with five baseline humans present.

Various turrets are available. A popular pattern has a mounting for two .50 calibre machine guns or weapons of similar size. A typical armament might be a 30mm ASP cannon and a 10mm Emag. Automatic grenade launchers, lasers, electrolasers and water cannon are other options. Pylons on each side of the turret can mount launch tubes for missile systems such as the ILCAS-90 and ILCAS-170 which can be operated from within the vehicle. A co-axial firing port for ILCAS-40 munitions is also provided on the most recent models of Badger. This can be used to launch LLW projectiles or 15mm, 20mm or 30mm mini-missiles.

 Although the turret is unmanned an observation hatch is provided on the starboard side of the turret roof. This allows one of the crewmen to observe the surroundings “heads-up” from a high vantage point. The hatch can also be used for such tasks the firing of flares, throwing hand grenades or the launch and retrieval of flying minibots and millibots. Behind the observation hatch is a sensor mast mounting electro-optical and millimetric systems. The Badger can locate and designate targets for other weapons systems. The port side of the turret roof mounts a remote controlled weapon station equipped with several countermeasures launch tubes. The latter are fired automatically against incoming missiles. A threat detector is mounted each end of the hull at opposite corners. Some models also mount a 7.5mm machine gun on this station too, in a system similar to the Israeli “Bright Arrow”.  


Weapons: ASP 30mm cannon.

           The ASP was a 30mm cannon designed to fit any mounting that will take a .50 BHMG including the M3 ground tripod. The weapon is actually lighter than most 20mm and 25mm cannon. The ASP uses the same ADEN/DEFA 30x113B ammo as the M230 Chain Gun fitted to the AH-64 Apache helicopter. These rounds were found to be capable of penetrating the rear turret armour of a T-72 tank.
           Despite its impressive capabilities and potential orders for the ASP were not forthcoming. One is inclined to suspect that certain officers did not like the idea of HMMWVs and M113s outgunning Bradley IFVs!
           The ASP obviously had considerable potential as an armament for light vehicles or even cybershells. It was also an excellent weapon for countering such target too. TS-era production techniques such as minifactories and 3D printing allowed the ASP design to be recreated.

           The TS-era ASP cannon is a shade lighter than the original. The main difference is that the muzzle now incorporates a device to program the rounds as they are fired, allowing them to be airburst. This is used with a computerized targeting system that includes a laser range-finder (adjust Acc accordingly). Homing ammunition, using the same seeker heads as 30mm mini-missiles is also available. Standard round for the ASP is a HEDP round. New TS-era explosive formulations make these rounds even more deadly.
           The ASP is belt fed and usually uses 50 round belt sections. Muzzle velocity is 900yds/sec. Treat time of flight for homing rounds as 600yds/sec.

 Damage  Acc  1/2D   Max Range  Rof  eWeight  WPS   VPS  CPS  Pow
ASP 30mm HEDP   6d x 3(10) plus 3d[2d] cr ex










Weapons: TS-era Hydra Rockets.

            The TS-era enjoys considerable advances in computing and miniaturization. Homing projectiles as small as 4mm are relatively common. New compositions of explosives make smaller weapons more powerful. It is inevitable that such technologies be used to upgrade some older, well established weapon systems.

2.75”/70mm rockets such as the current Hydra-70 still see wide-scale use in the TS-era, gaining new capabilities from technological advances. They are generically known as “Hydras”, “2.75s”, “Seventies”, “FFARs”, “seventeen-pounders” etc even though they are now produced by a number of different companies under different brand names.

             Originally developed as air-to-air weapons the 2.75” Folding Fin Aerial Rockets (FFAR) have mainly been used in a air-to-ground role. Initially very little use of them in a surface-to-surface role was made, most attempts being field improvisations or prototypes. The efforts that were made usually used the rockets in an artillery role as a MBRL system. Eventually it was recognized that these weapons could provide useful additional firepower for light ground vehicles such as APCs. A faster burning motor better suited to shorter range direct fire applications became available. This gave rockets a higher initial velocity and flatter trajectory.

            In the early 21st century attempts were made to create cost-effective guided/homing versions of the FFARs, usually using semi-active laser homing (SAHL). By the TS-era low cost, effective homing systems become common so by 2100 nearly all FFAR encountered are likely to have seeker heads. The FFAR remains a useful weapon system for targets that do not require heavy weapons like the Jaguar missile but are more than a light cannon, mini-missiles or machine-gun can handle.

            FFARs are relatively simple weapons so cannot be used in vertical launch systems. They need to be aimed in the direction of the target before launch. For a ground vehicle this usually means some form of turret mount that can be aimed and elevated. Pods of FFARs mounted on the sides of AFV turrets are a commonplace. A number of other weapons are designed to utilize the same launcher systems. Aircraft may use fixed pods and turn towards the target before launch. TS-era FFARs can be considered to have Homing (Infravision) and can also be used in conjunction with a laser designator for the usual bonuses. Warheads weigh 10-17lbs. All Hydra rockets have backblast (HT4e p.147).

            FFARs need a launcher pod. This is usually either seven-shot or nineteen-shot. Lightweight pods are used on aircraft and UCAVs while armoured pods are used on fighting vehicles.  A single-shot tube and a four-shot pod is available for applications where weight is critical such as  light UCAVs. These smaller systems can be mounted on a tripod and fired remotely. Indirect fire artillery systems each carry the equivalent of several pods and are commonly mounted on light trailers or vehicles.

GUNNER (ROCKETS) (DX-4 or other Gunner at -4)
 Weapon  Damage Acc  Velocity  Range  Weight   RoF  Shots   ST  Bulk  Rcl  Notes
2.75” FFAR HEMP   6d x 12(10) cr ex + 5d x 4[3d+2] cr ex linked   12
  6d x 12(10) cr ex + 5d x 4[3d+2] cr ex linked   12
  80/21  10 19(10i)  22M
  1  [1]
Beehive  2d+2 cut       7 x 2,400         1   [1]
Marker rocket   Special (6d x 3 pi++)








[1] Weight is for empty launcher/one rocket.

[2] Creates 19-yard radius cloud lasting 1 minute. TS-era marker/smoke rockets are designed to be non-lethal. Damage given is for being hit by a rocket that has not detonated.

FFARs used for surface-to-surface indirect fire have a minimum range of 765 yards and a maximum range of 16,000.
            For the fast burn rocket motor used for direct fire from ground vehicles change velocity to 760yds/sec, minimum range to 30 yards and maximum to 5,000yds.

            A variety of warheads are available for FFARs. Pods mounted for direct fire on vehicles usually use HEMP along with a few flechette/beehive rounds for use against personnel and flying targets.

Firos-6 51mm.
            The Italian made Firos-6 51mm air to ground rocket is a contemporary of the 2.75” but was less widely used. The use of smaller and lighter UCAVs and concerns about collateral damage were to give the 51mm a new lease of life. A 51mm rocket is half the weight of a 2.75”. New explosive formulations made the small rockets more powerful and low-cost seeker heads made them more deadly. All Firos rockets have backblast (HT4e p.147).

            TS-era 51mm rockets weigh 11lb with a 6lb warhead and are 1.05m long. Velocity is 560yd/sec and maximum range is 7,200yds. RoF is 10/sec. TS-era Firos-6 can be considered to have Homing (Infravision) and can also be used in conjunction with a laser designator for the usual bonuses. 

            Note: 51mm rockets would be very well suited to a GURPS Car Wars game.

GUNNER (ROCKETS) (DX-4 or other Gunner at -4)

 Weapon  Damage  Acc  Velocity   Range  Weight  RoF  Shots   ST  Bulk  Rcl  Notes
51mm Firos HEMP  6d x 8(10) cr ex + 9d[3d] cr ex linked   12   560  70-7,200  30/11
  10   14(7i)  15M
  1   [1]

[1] Weight is for empty launcher/one rocket.

            Other warheads included HEI, fragmentation, chaff, smoke, marker, illumination and practice. The rocket is large enough to carry several hexes of cyberswarm.

            Launcher pods ranged from 12 to 48 rounds. Empty/Loaded weights for some 20th century examples were:-

14 rockets:     33/167
18 rockets:    60/211
28 rockets:    88/320

            Use of TS-era materials may decrease the empty weight.
            A 48 round launcher suited to mounting on light vehicles was offered as a surface-to-surface MBRL system and purchased by the Mexican marines for mounting on French-built ACMAT (4 × 4) cross-country truck chassis. Range is 7,200yds, Rof=10 and reload time 5 mins. Launcher weight is probably about 150lb.