M109A6 HOWITZER (PALADIN) OPERATIONS

APPENDIX K

PALADIN FIRING SAFETY

K 1. General

Firing safety is paramount and every secondary check is designed to ensure rounds fired impact and detonate on the desired target. Target location and verification of target location are the most important segments in fire mission processing. The POC has the responsibility to verify target location at the battery level. Targets must be physically plotted and checked to ensure it plots safely and does not violate any fire support coordination measure. The following techniques aid the FDC in ensuring that all target grids are cleared for safe engagement.

K 2. BOXED SAFETY

Safety is computed IAW the standards of FM 6-40 and can be derived from Automated Range Safety. The FDO computes safety from a surveyed grid within the designated firing area. The safety data is valid for howitzers firing within a 500 meter radius of the surveyed grid. Using the RDP the FDO maximizes his safety box by determining his own limits within an approved impact area. The FDO determines minimum and maximum quadrants. The min and max quadrants are sent to the howitzers FM digital on a SYS;PTM. The section chief enters the data into the AFCS. Minimum QE is entered into the AFCS as loading elevation. Maximum QE is input as maximum elevation. The FDO must specify charge using this technique. He must select the optimum charge to fire based on the tactical situation. Every mission sent to the howitzer must be checked, and the specified charge must be forced down to the howitzers. The left and right limits are input on the move order message format. The POC must check and resolve intervening crests.

(See figure. K-1.)

Figure K-1. Boxed Safety

K-3. UNBOXED SAFETY

** **This technique requires the FDO to shrink the perimeter of the selected impact area 300 meters to account for probable errors. The minimum quadrant to fire is computed using the lowest optimum charge to the closest minimum range of the impact area. The POC transmits minimum QE to the howitzer using the SYS;PTM format, and the section chief inputs minimum QE into the AFCS as load elevation. The FDO does not send the howitzers a maximum QE. Not sending a maximum QE, allows the platoon to fire high and low angle fires without site violations on the howitzers and enables firing of different charges per mission. The FDO determines the left and right azimuth limits using the outermost edges of the shrunken impact area. The limits are sent to the howitzers on the movement order format. All data is safe as long as howitzers remain within a 500 meter radius of the occupation grid. The following are key points in unboxed safety. (See figure K-2)

- MIN QE is computed using the lowest optimum charge.

- MIN QE is input as load elevation.

- Left and right limits are sent on the movement order format.

- Multiple charges can be fired.

- Impact area is reduced by 300 meters to allow for probable errors.

- Howitzer pairs work within a 500 meter radius.

Figure K-2. Unboxed Safety

K-4. COMBAT SAFETY

Combat safety is similar to unboxed safety with the following exceptions:

- The MIN QE is computed to the minimum safe line( FLOT/BDE CFL).

- Left and right limits are computed to the brigade boundaries.

- The POC must check intervening crests.

(See figure K-3)

** **

Figure K-3. Combat Safety

K-5. ILLUMINATION SAFETY

** **Illumination safety is similar to boxed safety and is computed using an approved safety box in an impact area. Computations are made IAW the procedures in FM 6-40. The FDO computes minimum and maximum quadrants. Maximum QE is computed using range to impact. The POC transmits the calculated data/Safety T to the howitzers via SYS;PTM. The chief records the data but does not enter the Safety T limits into the AFCS.

The key points are:

- Similar to boxed safety.

- Illumination Safety T is sent to guns via SYS;PTM.

** **- Howitzer section chief does not enter Safety T data into AFCS but records the data.

(See figure K-4)

Figure K-4. Illumination Safety