Wednesday, March 16, 2016

American Military Weakness!

In the comment section to the previous post Sven from Defence & Freedom makes some good points. He notes that, while in overall power projection the US armed forces may be unmatchable that the force structure itself (and many of the elements therein) have some issues. Among those he includes:

- infantry strength
- partially obsolete field artillery (L/39 field howitzers and SPGs with low RoF)
- few high-end fighters
- USN using plenty quite obsolete munition concepts
- questionable anti-tank defences (overreliance on Javelin)
- inability of services to design and introduce all-new combat aircraft, battlefield helicopter, armoured combat vehicle or even only all-new assault rifle since the mid-1980's (F-22 being the little-produced exception and F-18E/F if you consider it as all-new)
- lack of truly silent submarines (SSI instead of SSNs)
- poor mine countermeasures at sea
- naval AEW&C is painfully slow and hardly survivable
- sluggishness and incredible hunger for supplies of the U.S.Army
- lots of support aircraft (Boeing 707/ XX-135 series) are about to fall apart due to old age

Some of these I would consider more problematic than others. Infantry end strength, for example. The US hasn't had anything like sufficient infantry strength to fight an extended conventional war for decades now. That, however, doesn't suggest to me that the US needs more infantry maneuver units. It suggests to me that the US Army has neither the plans nor the intentions to fight an extended conventional infantry war. The problem I see with that is that the only real need for mass infantry would be in 1) a major land war with a peer foe. That would be the major powers, Russia, or China, and the probability of someone panicking and going nuclear makes such plans effectively suicide, or 2) a LIC/rebellion-suppression-type action. If we haven't learned from Iraq/A-stan that those are a mug's game for Great Powers, well...

Or take the low-rate-of-fire legacy FA systems like the M109 Paladin series (which is what I'm assuming Sven refers to as the "L/39"; the 155mm L/39 calibre system mounted on the M109 and its variants). Again, while I'm sure that the FA would have loved to field the Crusader system I'm not sure that rate-of-fire is a serious issue. Even when I was in the FA branch a decade ago the US was moving away from high-volume fires outside of the MLRS batteries to lower round-count FFEs based on first-round FFE. The need for putting a shit-ton of rounds downrange was already on the way out, and that was the LAST generation of fire direction software.

Infantry antitank weapons? Again; a peer conflict would be no more thinkable than it would have been in 1985, and everyone else's AFVs are a generation behind. Frankly, our ATGMs have sucked since we lugged around the M47 Dragon back in the 1980's. Total effect on US ground operations? Zero.

But...after that Sven gets to what I would consider real problems.

But not real problems that are the result of some sort of deliberate neglect of the US armed forces as opposed to the ridiculously awful procurement process. In other words it's not some sort of "the (Blank Administration) has gutted our military" problem. It's something that observers have noted since the Fifties that has gotten exponentially worse, and largely due to the Congressional need to get a piece of the action and defense contractors' needs to ensure unkillable programs. It is, as Sven points out in his comment, largely not an issue of pure budget SIZE but, rather, the increasing lack of the political process to make critical decisions about budget priorities.


Here's my question: can these problems be fixed, in the current political and geopolitical climate?

If so, what should happen? When you look at Sven's list, do you see anything that should be an immediate priority? What? And what should we do to go about solving the problem?

Or do you think that this is something that is just beyond effective solution at this point?


  1. The M777 is L/39 as well. It takes exotic munitions to get a competitive range from L/39 guns. The M777 gets hyped a lot, but fact is and remains that both 82nd and USMC are very weak in artillery firepower. The M109 has been overshadowed by MRLs in range for a long time, and the army that wanted no less than solid gold in the Crusader program now barely matches the French GCT of the late 1970's with its M109. The current M109 has hardly any commonality with the original M109, so they had half a century of incremental improvements with four decades of no improvement of range (other than from new munitions). Plenty major land forces of the world have SPGs that outclass the M109 and the U.S.Army could have purchased the PzH2000 at less than half of Crusader's price per copy 15 years ago already.

    I would prioritise the ATGM/infantry AT issue by making CKEM (APFSDS-like missile, very different from Javelin in all aspects) operational and available at least in small numbers (an air-deployable AT Bn minimum).

    The bigger challenges are the culture of throwing more resources at problems as the dominant approach and the inept and wasteful program management and ambitions in the development of platforms. I wouldn't prioritise these because I doubt these will be solved without most extreme events taking place.

  2. I agree on the real challenge; what Ike wanted to call the "military-industrial-congressional complex" has become horrifically inefficient and ineffective at both prioritizing military needs and focusing military expenditures. And I also agree that, short of something catastrophic, I can't see a way through this thicket. I hope that some of our other commentors have some inspirations, OTOH.

    On the FA hardware, though...I think you have to look beyond just the gun system and projos. The cannon artillery is really now an interlocking system of target acquisition, tactical fire direction, technical fire direction, and adjustment. Are the 155mm cannon systems outranged by several more modern systems? Yes. Does it appear to have made those systems combat-ineffective? No, largely because the FA units now have systems that allow for more rapid and effective target ID and first-round FFE as well as greater flexibility integrating all indirect fire platforms including CAS. The units that DO have major problems are the light infantry units; the 101st and 82nd in the USA and the Marine divisions, and I expect that DoD's "answer" would be that those maneuver units will rely largely on aircraft-delivered fires supplemented by their organic artillery rather than on artillery alone. Similarly there's still a lot of indirect fire support located at the corps level in the US Army. I suspect that this reflects a general emphasis on making fire support more of a technical rather than a tactical problem.

    On the infantry AT hardware...well, the US has never really had a good answer, IMO. For years we had the M72 LAW and the M47 Dragon, both kludgy expedients that never got the opportunity to kill an enemy tank so far as I know. The TOW system was typically (and still is, AFAIK) the infantry AT weapon of choice; it's what the infantry AT platoons in the airborne and airmobile HQ companies field as well as what were the "Delta Companies", the AT companies in the airborne brigades when I was in the RA. I don't see any real pressure from inside to move to a different system. I think a huge part of that is the mindset that "the answer to armor is armor" and the idea that US Army infantry will never work in a mech environment as a pure infantry unit as opposed to a armor-infantry company team or battalion task force. I think the other is the overall conviction that if a US infantry unit is engaged in anything less than a peer-conflict that the smaller stuff like the AT-4 backed up with the TOW systems will be enough to handle whatever random armor they encounter...and in a peer conflict there'll be all sorts of OTHER systems (like tanks, artillery, and CAS) to deal with enemy armor...

    1. Well, the famed synchronization/networking/comunication stuff in the U.S.Army isn't exactly a way out of the problem.
      Few brigades on a large theatre of war are only going to assist each other often if their arty has a fine range.
      Furthermore, Russian EW capabilities are knownt o be designed against Western-style warfare,a dn reports indicate Western observers are shocked by Russian EW in the Ukraine. Essentially, you can forget Firefinder radars and much of the radio comm including Blue Force Tracker if you're up against a peer opponent.

    2. Regarding AT: More than 40 years ago the Israeli wars of 1967 and 1973 shocked the West with an unprecedented destruction of tanks. Kursk was low intensity tank battle high intensity artillery duel battle comparison.
      1991 repeated the mass destruction of tanks, albeit in a Turkey Shoot.

      Now imagine the U.S.Army may find itself in a conflict in which it upgraded, 30+ years old MBT design burns out in droves. The army bleeding one or two tank battalion equivalents per day. Even a corps-sized force would find itself without much tank power real quick. What's left?
      The artillery is fine on rockets, but weak on SPGs. The infantry is small in numbers, a brigade might bleed half of its infantry in an afternoon fight for a large village. With MBTs few in numbers and AHs failing to cope with VShorAD, AT defences would be limited to Javelin (guidance easily defeated) and TOWs (easily defeated by reactive defences, and -2B still vulnerable to soft kill and hard kill).

      The army corps would be dominated by truck drivers (~20-25% of the personnel anyway) in a few days and show how well it can run in a dispersed, not-at-all-synchronized fashion.

      Forces with a poor teeth-to-tail ratio are very brittle. Back in WW2 most divisions that suffered 20% casualties broke and ran. Very few were stubborn enough to defend at 40% recent casualties.
      Nowadays with worsened too-tail ratios this might translate into brigades running after 10% casualties, and certainly running after 20% casualties.

      All those gadgets in dedicated fancy high-tech surveillance battalions and such are not going to help much once things go the wrong way already.

  3. Dont get me wrong; I see your point. In a peer-conflict these deficiencies would be major issues. But I suspect that this apparent lack of interest in upgrading these systems suggests an overall change of focus in grand strategy away from the "Battle of Fulda Gap". I think what's happening here is that the U.S. Army has decided that it's not going to throw itself against the onrushing Group of Soviet Forces in Germany, so the admittedly suboptimal FA and infantry AT systems aren't going to become a problem, and against the sorts of Second- and Third-world conventional forces the Army appears to have decided will be its primary missions the existing systems will be adequate.

    Whether or not that grand strategy is a good idea I don't know. Well, yes, I do; I think getting into a conventional shooting war with Russia or China would be a very bad idea. But the purpose of a military is to stave off the "worst" possible outcome if the worst possible event happens, and so you'd think that DoD would be concerned about not having the wherewithal to do that.

    But they don't appear to be. And that, I suspect, is related to an overall shift in strategic focus. So I think the larger question becomes "is this shift realistic/a good idea/likely to produce trouble in the future"? and the answer to that is...I have no idea.

    Anyone else willing to take up that cudgel?

    1. Then explain why there was the FCS program, for no doubt 1960's platforms and MRAPs would suffice to beat insurgents in fights?
      Wasn't FCS meant to equip a rapidly deployable force to beat regular armies with?

      Didn't they botch Crusader while developing it for conventional warfare? Comanche? DD(X)? FSCS? EFV? Why sixty years of failures trying to develop and introduce something as simple as an all-new assault rifle? Why still those overweight M240 interim machineguns?

      I don't think a politically-mandated disinterest in facing Russia and China is the reason for the deficiencies. I think the armed bureaucracy simply failed to do its job, and as a consequence symptoms of failure are piling up.

      (And a look at my blog proves that I see similar failures - particularly in our army structure - in Germany.)

    2. I'm perfectly willing to agree on the failure of the MICC to ensure effective weapons procurement and force structure. But my questions would be; why?

      If you (you the politician, the career officer, the defense contractor) are constantly confronted with the spectre of a dangerous peer foe wouldn't that tend, like an immanent hanging, to "focus the mind"? Wouldn't the opposite suggest that the same players are NOT seriously worried about meeting a peer foe?

    3. The interests of your family are more dear to you than the interests of your congressional district, right?

      The interests of your employer/peer group are more dear to you than the interests of the nation (or its alliance), I suppose. Less abstract and more near-term, too.

  4. I think it really depends on what you want your military to do. If we got rid of most of our treaty commitments, or made it clear the American Cavalry (so to speak) would arrive for 4 months, we could put the bulk of the Army and Air Force in a reserve status. No way that can happen politically today...


  5. "Here's my question: can these problems be fixed, in the current political and geopolitical climate?"
    No, it seems clear to me that the value of our military, as currently conceived and executed, is as entertainment for the mass of Americans and as a hugely wasteful jobs program and political patronage.
    It'll take losses in an American city followed by an unspinnable military defeat shortly afterwards to change that. We've made wasteful and ineffective military equipment and strategies more of a tradition at this point and that won't change until people get fired, and the only person getting fired for failing in America these days are NBA coaches.

  6. On the artillery front, I'll say that the M777 has some interesting benefits to it beyond simple range fan. It doesn't get a comparable range, but it does have the benefit of being light-weight enough to be choppered in via Chinook. So in theory, anywhere the 82nd or 101st go, it'll have artillery on the ground with them 'on the minute.' This tactic sounds better on paper than it is in reality.
    I recall in Afghanistan, the battle of Barg-e-Matal was heavily impacted by the lack of fire support for us. We planned on having aircraft at all times and that changed due to multiple unforeseen circumstances. Due to the remoteness of the village, the American force up there got pinned down and beat on for a while because the most they had were 60mm and 81mm mortars being fired line-of-sight. Those guys got pinned down and then everything went to shit until air returned. I remember looking at the map and saying, anything other than flying in a platoon of 105s should nix the operation. It wasn't possible and the promise of air cover was enough to ensure action regardless.
    Barg-e-Matal is a unique situation because it was so far from support and so challenging a terrain, but it is interesting to see how the US operates without fire support and consider what we'd do if the air force suffered a setback big enough to push them off the battlefield even for a short while.

    1. The French have artillery batteries with both 105 mm light guns and 120 mm (rifled) mortars. They choose to use whatever is more suitable for the mission. The U.S.Army has such an "arms room" concept in theory as well, at least concerning different mortar calibres.

      One of the 82nd's two biggest problems is that its artillery has no "arms room" concept. They should have air-deployable SPGs such as Caesar, M77 and 105 mm light guns for choice in their arty, and said arty should be much bigger. Someone should assume that one brigade should be deployable on the spot at any time, and its arty Bn should be sized according to what could be resupplied by air drops while following the rest of the deployment plan (such as deploying USAF forces etc.). As is, the 82nd is quite useless for actual (collective) defence because neither its AT nor its arty are trustworthy in a peer conventional land war context.

      This means the entire huge U.S. military couldn't deploy much more than air power within a week if Taiwan, South Korea or the Baltics were actually udner attack. The army couldn't deploy because its only quickly-deployable force is so weak on firepower, deploying it for more than 'rear area' object security missions would be irresponsible.

    2. I'll go even further than that and say that the 82nd is really a luxury that the US Army allows itself. The combination of MANPADS and more lethal ground fires makes an opposed airborne operation nearly unthinkable. That and the huge requirement for MAC airlift and CAS that a brigade-sized forced entry airborne operation would consume. It's no surprise to me that no US airborne unit has jumped into a hot DZ for something like sixty years (unless you count Panama, which really wasn't...)

      I think you're discounting XVIII Corps arty, Sven. DS artillery for US infantry brigades has always been the DIVARTY battalion and is for the 82nd DRB. But if the mission is thought to require additional FA assets they would be pulled from Corps, and could be.

      The lack of SP artillery is, again, linked to the problem with airlift. I won't disagree that having a light SPG that could be airlifted would be awesome, but for whatever reason the US has chosen to go with towed gun systems (largely, I think, as PFK points out, because of their air-portability).

    3. The ability to jump is imo more about path dependency (tradition) and ego than military utility, but the ability to be deployed forward without a safe forward airfield (into a quite safe LZ) has at least some value.

      By the way; XVIII corps field arty is a mere two firing battalions, and supposed to serve four divisions. Three of which are somewhat light and might be deployed before sealift arrives.

    4. One thing I would agree with you on is the problem with the light infantry mortars. maxing out the company at 60mm and the battalion at 81mm is an antique and guarantees that the weight of metal available immediately to the maneuver commander will never be enough. A move up to 81-120 would be great. But...I think the problem (at least what I think the Army would see as the problem) would be that the weight of the Class V basic load would go up an order of magnitude.

      As a grunt I'd say to hell with the logpac pukes. But as a civilian, and not having to worry about being outgunned I would say I understand why the Army sees that as a problem. As Al points out; it's difficult to imagine any conflict where the US Army isn't at the end of a very long MSR...

    5. Compare the current situation with what Germany had in WW2:
      Companies had 100% man-portable equipment (though tripods were carried separately)
      Battalions had 100% crew-portable equipment (though 81 mm mortars were at the limit of this)
      Regiments had 99% crew-movable equipment (exception: 2 heavy infantry guns 150 mm)
      This was a major factor in their ability to slip away from encirclements through woodland and rejoin the fight elsewhere without refreshing.

      An all-motorised and 100% motor vehicle-dependent force could have entirely different standards since the combination of long range and motor vehicle makes portability unnecessary for support equipment.
      It could use 120 mm mortars or even 105 mm gun howitzers (with 80° elevation capability and if need be dedicated fin stabilised HE to achieve the 400 m minimum indirect fires range of 120 mm mortars) as the smallest and battalion-level indirect fire weapons. The 105 mm's maximum range of ~20 km (without any munitions more exotic than ERFB-RAP) would be great for widely spaced battalion battlegroups:
      The fires of three 15 km spaced battlegroups could support the one in contact. With 120 mm, the battalion battlegroup would only receive non-organic fire support from higher up the chain (155 or MLRS), which may be insufficient because the 155 mm L/39 has only about 30 km range without exotic munitions (VOLCANO etc) and MLRS launchers may be loaded with the wrong munitions (and are unable to project smoke).

      The effects of light and especially commando mortars appear to be substitutable for by what Carl Gustav can do (the Bundeswehr used it for decades for ILLUM only) and what the still fairly new 40mmx51 MV (700 m range, can be fired from some underbarrel launchers) can do.

  7. Ever try to do the loading plan for a brigade, no less a division? Since the US has reduced their forward deployed forces, the forces that remain have to be capable of being transported. Of course, we could add hundreds of C-17s to the inventory to get the speed Sven points out we lack. Or, divert hulls from their "civilian" operations to transporting weapons systems, with obviously slower response time.

    Big thing is that no matter what "hot spot" the US may respond to, we are not only thousands of miles further away from the battlefield than our foe, but we cannot use land transportation to get there. Thus, "weight and cube" are very real concerns.

    1. One option is to give a brigade two TO&Es:
      A partial configuration witout MBTs, but with enough (efficient) bulletproof vehicles. 4wd cars and many trucks would need be commandeered by the army itself or by the allied host nation. This configuration could serve only in certain terrains, and would have limited offensive power.

      The full configuration would be reached after the heavier vehicles and mil spec trucks arrive, as well as individual reserve personnel (that has previously trained with this brigade) to fill the gaps that appeared. The brigade would be pulled out of the zone of operations and get two days to refresh and reform to the full TO&E.

      Besides; the U.S.Army is extremely inefficient concerning vehicle volume and drivers count. The idiotic use of gazillions of light trucks instead of much less alternative medium trucks is needlessly increasing the quantity of necessary drivers, lengthening convoys and convoy pass times and makes even the manoeuvre formations sluggish. The vehicle count per brigade could be reduced by more than a hundred motor vehicles.

  8. While I realize that the plural of "anecdote" is not "data"...

    When I was in the 82nd was had a plan for dealing with Soviet armor. It was called the "Airborne Anti-Armor Defense" or "AAAD". It went like this;

    Each unit - it was designed for battalions but if I remember correctly could be run on brigade scale, too - would find a wooded German hilltop or ridgeline. Us line dogs would dig in deep along the military crest, while our "Delta Companies" (the M151-mounted TOW unit assigned to each brigade) and the AT platoons of the HHCs would dig in behind the infantry. We'd wire and mine the hell out of the neighborhood and...we'd wait for the GFSG to roll into our AO.

    The idea was that our TOWs would ambush their tanks and we'd keep their infantry off the TOWs. That was pretty much it. What we'd do when they then rolled up with the traditional Soviet 121-gun salute, well, we tried not to think about that. Or what would happen if we couldn't find good terrain. Or concealment.

    So I guess my point is that 1) short-sighted tactical thinking isn't exactly new in the US Army, and 2) airborne and other light infantry units are not exactly useful in a mech-heavy environment. They're too slow on the ground and end up left behind in attacks and dead in retreats.

    1. Chief- Ah yes, the final throes of the infamous "Active Defense" doctrine. Totally indoctrinated by NATO's political object of "restore the border" and no more, Army battle doctrine was predominantly defensive. As a former Marine, being introduced to this in the Armor Officer Advanced Course was a shock. Our Tactics syllabus was 3 parts defense and one part offense, and the Active Defense was very light on regaining the offense. It was basically a doctrine of delay and attrit armor as best we could. Never did offer a clear picture of how the border would be restored, other than by buying time for everybody and his dog to arrive from CONUS to save the day.

      Employment of forces, such as light Infantry, had no basis in reality, and the various maneuver arms independently came up with their own approach, as no branch wanted to be seen as not being able to contribute. After all, if you couldn't come up with a role to play, you may fall out of the force structure.

      And yes, the TOW was the Darling Dandy, but, as you note, employment techniques were a bit weird. One classmate in AOAC suggested that all those Infantry TOWs be fired in a manner to create a monster tangle of wires that would tie up Ivan's infantry and make them easier for riflemen to engage effectively.

    2. The situation was very similar with German airborne doctrine, hence the Wiesel TOW carrier (and the Wiesel with 20 mm to deal with BMD and BTR).

      There's a huge resistance from pride against the idea that light infantry could be mere reinforcements to mechanised forces for closed terrains. Think of the deployability issue: An obvious possibility would be to create a hundred light infantry regiments meant to be nothing but infantry reinforcements to heavy forces that are in the warzone early on. It's such an offense to pride and smells so badly of "cannon fodder" that it's unthinkable officially. Still, it would address the deployability issues. Civilian aviation would suffice to deploy a hundred light infantry regiments in 48 hrs and to resupply them.

      Airborne forces all over the world rather make up nonsense doctrines than to admit that 90% of their utility in a peer conflict would be as infantry (NOT AT) reinforcements. They're "elite" if not "special", after all!

    3. I guess the answer to my question, "Ever try to do the loading plan for a brigade, no less a division?" is NO.

    4. Well, it's such a rare activity that in considered that question to be a rhetorical one.

      I participated in the creation of a different loading plan (for deployment by air) and I've seen parts of deployment plans for brigade-sized elements, but I don't see what you're trying to hint at.

      Afaik with airlift the restriction is often rather size than mass, though in public the mass of AFVs takes prominence regarding airlift.
      I also know that the hunger of the artillery for ammunition is often expected at 10 tons per SPG and day, with 25 tons per SPG and day being possible. The more arty and mortars one deploys, the more heavily weighs the munition resupply challenge. Quick deployment forces could lessen this problem by conducting mobile warfare (much fuel and relatively little ammo consumed), but this requires a deployment of a huge motor vehicle park in the first place.

      Finally, knowledge of how things are done under the status quo doesn't exactly grant a position of authority on how things should be done in the future if the status quo isn't fully satisfactory.

    5. I'd add that light infantry only really works as reinforcements if the tactical situation has slowed down to a walking pace. Airborne infantry has always had the problem that once on the ground it's as slow as the slowest private. In a mobile mech-heavy engagement it's just so many speed bumps.

      I agree that being able to force-entry is a real useful skill. But the actual need for that skill is pretty rare, and certainly not common enough to require an entire division of jump-qualified people. And outside of that airborne units are just light infantry; slow and lacking the sort of heavy weapons and equipment needed to stay alive and useful in an armor/mech bunfight...

  9. S.O. "Well, it's such a rare activity that in considered that question to be a rhetorical one." ??????

    A rare activity? Considering that only four maneuver brigades of the Army's 10 divisions and 6 separate brigades are forward deployed, it would be a bit difficult to do any mission planning without having the pans to get to where a battle might take place. Deployment planning and load planning have been significantly automated to account for the fact that the Army no longer has forward deployed units of significance.

    The principles of deployment planning are not, as you suggest, locked to the "status quo", nor were they on my watch. They are tailored to meet any scenario that the Combatant Commander might develop. One of the nightmares of OIF was Rumsfeld's constant diddling with the TPFDD to limit "boots in theater", disrupting load planning and sequencing, not to mention logistical support capability.

    1. Yes, rare. Roughly a million-and-half militay personnel in the U.S., seriously involved in planning division or brigade deployments; thousands. For a German; only one deployment of this scale in the last 30 years or so.
      So yes, it's a rare thing to do, and the question whether I did it seemed to be rhetorical.

  10. When I transferred to the Oregon Army Guard - a light infantry brigade, BTW - our primary mobilization plan involved moving to Ft. Lewis WA for trainup then overseas deployment to the ROK to fight Korean War 2. The "plus" was that we were trained bodies; the "minus" was that as light infantry we were not really much help other than in the very specialized sorts of missions light infantry is good at, such as holding difficult terrain or attacking in similar conditions.

    And our deployment plans were very much a skeleton, inasmuch as we had no idea where our port-of-entry might be at the time we were prepared to deploy, or whether the situation would allow us to be transported by ship (slow but more efficient) or air (quicker but expensive and vulnerable and dependent on having a functional airfield to land...)

    1. Chief- I would bet that the III Corps TPFDD would have been similar to what we did at 3rd Army. Mix of "named" units and "type" units. The former plugged into the sequencing and mode of transport as the initial deployment to get a desired force in place, and the latter based on the subsequent situation and state of training. Situation on the ground would dictate which follow on units and mode of transport and point of entry would be used. Let's say, for the sake of discussion, that III Corps had three light Inf Bdes in it's quiver. Which one (or two or all three) gets deployed to where, when and how is an issue that need not, and for OPSEC reasons, not be set in concrete in advance. Show up at the appropriate point when ordered to do so, and the Transportation Command people will point you and your gear in the right direction. Based on how tightly wound OPSEC might be, you may not even know where in theater you may be going until under way. Helmuth von Moltke, "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy."

  11. I just saw this:
    52cal for M777 for a 1,000 lbs downside. Simply using VOLCANO ammo would probably do the trick better.