Gun data computer

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The gun data computer was a series of artillery computers used by the U.S. Army for coastal artillery, field artillery and antiaircraft artillery applications. In antiaircraft applications they were used in conjunction with a director.

Coastal artillery Military service branch equipped with artillery in defense of territory against attack from the sea

Coastal artillery is the branch of the armed forces concerned with operating anti-ship artillery or fixed gun batteries in coastal fortifications.

Field artillery artillery piece designed to deploy with army units in the field

Field artillery is a category of mobile artillery used to support armies in the field. These weapons are specialized for mobility, tactical proficiency, short range, long range, and extremely long range target engagement.

Director (military) computer that continuously calculates trigonometric firing solutions

A director, also called an auxiliary predictor, is a mechanical or electronic computer that continuously calculates trigonometric firing solutions for use against a moving target, and transmits targeting data to direct the weapon firing crew.

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Variations

FADAC M18 FADAC M18.jpg
FADAC M18
TACFIRE Communications Terminal Box FADAC gun computer.jpg
TACFIRE Communications Terminal Box
Azimuth the angle between a reference plane and a point

An azimuth is an angular measurement in a spherical coordinate system. The vector from an observer (origin) to a point of interest is projected perpendicularly onto a reference plane; the angle between the projected vector and a reference vector on the reference plane is called the azimuth.

In ballistics, the elevation is the angle between the horizontal plane and the axial direction of the barrel of a gun, mortar or heavy artillery. Originally, elevation was a linear measure of how high the gunners had to physically lift the muzzle of a gun up from the gun carriage to compensate for projectile drop and hit targets at a certain distance.

Bell Labs research and scientific development company

Nokia Bell Labs is an industrial research and scientific development company owned by Finnish company Nokia. Its headquarters are located in Murray Hill, New Jersey. Other laboratories are located around the world. Bell Labs has its origins in the complex past of the Bell System.

Systems

AN/GSG-10 TACFIRE TACFIRE firing computer.jpg
AN/GSG-10 TACFIRE
United States Army Land warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Army (USA) is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, and is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution. As the oldest and most senior branch of the U.S. military in order of precedence, the modern U.S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, which was formed to fight the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)—before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, and dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775.

Artillery class of weapons which fires munitions beyond the range and power of personal weapons

Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry's small arms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defensive walls and fortifications during sieges, and led to heavy, fairly immobile siege engines. As technology improved, lighter, more mobile field artillery cannons developed for battlefield use. This development continues today; modern self-propelled artillery vehicles are highly mobile weapons of great versatility providing the large share of an army's total firepower.

Digital Message Device

The AN/PSG-2 and AN/PSG-2B Digital Message Device (DMD) are portable data-entry terminals manufactured by Magnavox and used by artillery forward observers to communicate with artillery batteries to request and control artillery fire missions. DMDs were first fielded as part of the TACFIRE artillery fire control system.

The last TACFIRE fielding was completed in 1987. Replacement of TACFIRE equipment began in 1994.

TACFIRE used the AN/GYK-12, a second-generation mainframe computer developed primarily by Litton Industries for Army Divisional Field Artillery (DIVARTY) units. It had two configurations, division and battalion level, housed in mobile command shelters. Field Artillery Brigades also use the division configuration.

AN/GYK-12 obsolete 32-bit minicomputer developed by Litton Industries for the United States Army

The AN/GYK-12 is an obsolete 32-bit minicomputer developed by Litton Industries for the United States Army. The AN/GYK-12 is a militarized version of the L-3050 computer ruggedized for use in the TACFIRE tactical fire direction system. The design dates from the 1960s.

Litton Industries defense contractor in the United States

Litton Industries was a large defense contractor in the United States named after inventor Charles Litton, Sr., bought by the Northrop Grumman Corporation in 2001.

Components of the system were identified using acronyms:

Central processing unit Electronic circuitry within a computer that carries out the instructions of a computer program by performing the basic arithmetic, logical, control and input/output (I/O) operations specified by the instructions

A central processing unit (CPU), also called a central processor or main processor, is the electronic circuitry within a computer that carries out the instructions of a computer program by performing the basic arithmetic, logic, controlling, and input/output (I/O) operations specified by the instructions. The computer industry has used the term "central processing unit" at least since the early 1960s. Traditionally, the term "CPU" refers to a processor, more specifically to its processing unit and control unit (CU), distinguishing these core elements of a computer from external components such as main memory and I/O circuitry.

The successor to the TACFIRE system is the Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS).

Surviving examples

One reason for a lack of surviving examples of early units was the use of radium on the dials, which officially made them hazardous waste, and as such were disposed of by the United States Department of Energy. Currently there is one surviving example of FADAC at the Fort Sill artillery museum. [8]

See also

Related Research Articles

Self-propelled artillery Artillery mounted on a vehicle for mobility and protection

Self-propelled artillery is artillery equipped with its own propulsion system to move towards its target. Within the terminology are the self-propelled gun, self-propelled howitzer, self-propelled mortar, and rocket artillery. They are high mobility vehicles, usually based on continuous tracks carrying either a large field gun, howitzer, mortar, or some form of rocket/missile launcher. They are usually used for long-range indirect bombardment support on the battlefield.

Canon de 75 modèle 1897 1898 French 75 mm field gun

The French 75 mm field gun was a quick-firing field artillery piece adopted in March 1898. Its official French designation was: Matériel de 75mm Mle 1897. It was commonly known as the French 75, simply the 75 and Soixante-Quinze. The French 75 was designed as an anti-personnel weapon system for delivering large volumes of time-fused shrapnel shells on enemy troops advancing in the open. After 1915 and the onset of trench warfare, other types of battlefield missions demanding impact-detonated high-explosive shells prevailed. By 1918 the 75s became the main agents of delivery for toxic gas shells. The 75s also became widely used as truck mounted anti-aircraft artillery. They were also the main armament of the Saint-Chamond tank in 1918.

90 mm Gun M1/M2/M3

The 90–mm Gun M1/M2/M3 is an American heavy anti-aircraft and anti-tank gun, playing a role similar to the German 8.8cm Flak 18. It had a 3.5 in (90 mm) diameter bore, and a 15 ft (4.6 m) barrel, giving it a 50 caliber length. It was capable of firing a 3.5 in × 23.6 in shell 62,474 ft (19,042 m) horizontally, or a maximum altitude of 43,500 ft (13,300 m), the M1 can pierce 9 inches (228.6mm) of armor at 1,000 yards with APFSDS ammunition.

The Army Battle Command System (ABCS) is a digital Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) system for the US Army. It includes a mix of fixed/semi-fixed and mobile networks. It is also designed for interoperability with US and Coalition C4I systems.

M119 howitzer 105 mm howitzer of American origin

The M119 howitzer is the US designation for the L118 light gun, a lightweight British 105 mm howitzer also used by the United States Army. It can be easily airlifted by helicopter, or dropped by parachute. It does not need a recoil pit.

Gun laying

Gun laying is the process of aiming an artillery piece, such as a gun, howitzer, or mortar, on land or at sea, against surface or air targets. It may be laying for direct fire, where the gun is aimed similarly to a rifle, or indirect fire, where firing data is calculated and applied to the sights. The term includes automated aiming using, for example, radar-derived target data and computer-controlled guns.

M12 Gun Motor Carriage self-propelled gun

The 155 mm Gun Motor Carriage M12 was a U.S. self-propelled gun developed during the Second World War. It mounted a 155 mm gun derived from the French Canon de 155mm GPF field gun.

United States Army Field Artillery School

The United States Army Field Artillery School (USAFAS) trains Field Artillery Soldiers and Marines in tactics, techniques, and procedures for the employment of fire support systems in support of the maneuver commander. The school further develops leaders who are tactically and technically proficient, develops and refines warfighting doctrine, and designs units capable of winning on future battlefields. The school is currently located at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

M1131 Fire Support Vehicle

The Fire Support Vehicle (FSV) of the Stryker series provides automated enhanced surveillance, target acquisition, target identification, target tracking, target designation, position location and communications functionality. Targets will be transmitted instantly to the fire support system and shooter.

75th Field Artillery Brigade (United States) brigade of the United States Army

The 75th Field Artillery Brigade is an artillery brigade in the United States Army. It is currently based in Fort Sill, Oklahoma and supports the III Corps. The brigade is officially tasked to train and prepares for combat; on orders deploys to any area of operations to plan, synchronize and execute combined, and joint fires and effects. Integrate attached ground and air maneuver forces and on order function as a maneuver headquarters in support of full spectrum operations.

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SCR-610

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36th Field Artillery Regiment

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Project Manager Mission Command

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The Western Electric M-33 Antiaircraft Fire Control System was an X-Band "Gunfire Control Radar", for aiming antiaircraft artillery by computer control. Developed for mobility via 3 trailers, the "M-33 system could compute, for the 90-mm. and 120-mm. guns, firing data for targets with speeds up to 1,000 mph", and for targets at 120,000 yards had similar gun laying accuracy as "SCR-584 type radars" at 70,000 yards. The system included a telescopic "target selector" on a tripod near the guns for additional measurement of aircraft "azimuth and elevation data [to] be transmitted to the computer and utilized as gun directing data."

101st Airborne Division Artillery

The 101st Airborne Division Artillery (DIVARTY) is the force fires headquarters for the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The DIVARTY has served with the division in World War II, Vietnam, Operations Desert Shield and Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and in peacetime at Camp Breckinridge and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and Fort Jackson, South Carolina. The DIVARTY was inactivated in 2005 as part of transformation to modular brigade combat teams, but was reactivated on 16 October 2014 to provide fire support coordination and mission command for the training and readiness of field artillery units across the division.

The 434th Field Artillery Brigade is a training unit under the United States Army Fires Center of Excellence, a formation under TRADOC. The brigade conducts Basic Combat Training for new enlistees in the U.S. Army.

References

  1. Kempf, Karl (November 1961). "CHAPTER VI -- COMPUTERS FOR SOLVING GUNNERY PROBLEMS". Electronic Computers Within The Ordnance Corps, Computers for Solving Gunnery Problems.
  2. "Field Artillery Digital Automatic Computer (FADAC)". Department of Defense Appropriations for 1970, part 5. Hearings 91st Congress 1st Session 1969. HathiTrust. 9: 644–645, 647–648.
  3. Lieutenant Albert R. Milavec. "On FADAC Maintenance". p. 32 of "Artillery Trends" May 1968. "The FADAC is an all-transistorized, stored-program, general purpose digital computer ... Weighing approximately 200 pounds ... the FADAC components utilize approximately 1,600 transistors, 9,000 diodes, 6,000 resistors, 500 capacitors, and many other switches, transformers, and neon lamps."
  4. Department of Defense appropriations for 1965, pt.3, p. 283.
  5. "Field Artillery Digital Automatic Computer". p. 254 of Martin H. Weik. "A Third Survey of Domestic Electronic Digital Computing Systems". 1961.
  6. Datamation. F.D. Thompson Publications. January 1964. p. 61.
  7. "The United States Army | Fires Bulletin". sill-www.army.mil. "First Round Hits" With FADAC. September 1960. p. 9. Retrieved 2018-03-09.CS1 maint: others (link)
  8. "U.S. Army Field Artillery Museum - Home".