Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTP)
The Army Tactical Missile System (Army TACMS)
Family of Munitions (AFOM)


 

CHAPTER 4
ARMY TACMS BLOCK I AND IA EMPLOYMENT

This chapter supplements other chapters in this TTP with those employment considerations that are unique to Army TACMS Block I and Block IA.

Both Block I and Block IA missiles are effective against a variety of soft stationary targets on the battlefield. The target set includes, but is not limited to the following target types:

The most important differences between Block I and Block IA are range, payload, guidance, and default munitions dispense pattern size. Table 4-1 compares these differences.

Table 4-1. Comparison of Army TACMS Block I and Block IA Missiles

 

BLOCK I

BLOCK IA

RANGE (km)

25-165

70-300

PAYLOAD (M74 grenades)

950

300

GUIDANCE

INERTIAL

GPS AIDED INERTIAL

DEFAULT PATTERN SIZE

LARGE

MEDIUM

There are three dispense patterns for Block I and IA: small, medium, and large. The Block IA’s large dispense pattern should not be used for effects missions since analysis has shown it to be ineffective against some targets. It can still be used for suppression of enemy air defense missions. An AFATDS 98 or FDS versions 10.023 and 11 equipped computer determines the most effective dispense pattern based on target size, target type, and desired effects. The commander may direct these be changed based on the current situation and factors of mission, enemy, terrain, troops and time available (METT-T). Currently, the FDDM is the only computer that can process effects-type targets for these munitions.

The Block I's inertial guidance navigates the missile to the commanded target location within a small radial error. Block I missiles depend on data (alignment transfer) from the launcher's inertial navigation system for their initial position and azimuth data. Generally, the time since the launcher's last position update is the biggest factor in the accuracy of the alignment transfer data. The M270 launcher crews must ensure that launcher position updates are current to provide the most accurate launcher location data to the missile. The M270 launcher technical manuals and FM 6-60 specify the launcher position update requirements. The Blocks IA, II, and IIA missiles employ a GPS augmented inertial navigation system that provides greatly improved accuracy. The Block IA will be fielded with Improved Position Determining System (IPDS) launchers until they are replaced with the M270A1 launchers. The Block II and IIA will be fielded with the M270A1 launcher. There is no need to conduct a position determining system update with the IPDS and M270A1 launchers unless a failure occurs in the launcher GPS or drive encoders. Any M270 launcher can fire the Block I missile.

Fielding of Block IA does not change the process of detection, fusion, and correlation of targeting information in response to the commander’s mission. The increased range of Block IA also extends the targeting effort and coordination challenge with other agencies. Sensors include: national/strategic long range airborne surveillance systems, long range unmanned aerial vehicles, or Special Operations Forces operating deep in enemy territory. Intelligence reports from aircraft pilots returning from deep strike missions are an additional source of targeting information. Many sources of targeting information report their information directly to processing facilities supporting corps or EAC. The information is correlated and/or fused with other intelligence information to produce targets. The collection and processing of such intelligence data must be expedited. The DOCC should send warning orders to executing units quickly following the attack decision confirmation.

The execution of Block IA missions follows procedures similar to Block I. The corps or JTF typically retains centralized control of targets with long dwell times. The DOCC normally will use decentralized execution for certain high priority targets with relatively short dwell times. Sensors (or their processors) send trigger events or fire commands for decentralized execution targets directly to the appropriate echelon (FA Brigade or MLRS battalion). The executing command center confirms that the target still meets the attack guidance. If so, they send the mission through subordinate echelons to the launcher. Unnecessary processing delays must be eliminated since targets authorized for decentralized execution are usually very time sensitive.

Fire support planners exploit all fire support assets to maximize the advantages of increased range, responsiveness, and effectiveness the Block IA provides. Communications nets (voice and data), linkages, and subscriber lists require careful management to ensure timely and responsive flow of information, and to accommodate changes in the operational and tactical situation. The echelons planning the use of Block IA must have near-real-time (NRT) access to all available sensors and/or their products for timely and efficient employment of Block IA. Dissemination of intelligence products may require use of tailored communications links and decision aids to expedite the target data to the firing unit quickly. This is especially critical when engaging high priority short dwell targets such as surface-to-surface missile (SSM) transporter erector launchers (TELs) or multiple rocket launchers (MRLs).

Mission planners should pair units with Block I against those targets within the missile's range. This reserves the Block IA missiles for longer-range targets. The Block IA time of flight to maximum range is approximately the same as Block I to its maximum range.