Enemies of the U.S. Army are now deliberately hiding targets behind mountain ridges, under bridges, in rocky crevices and other locations intended to elude state-of-the art GPS-guided artillery round attacks — complicating U.S. efforts to pinpoint and destroy targets.
Existing guided artillery rounds, often using GPS, Inertial Measurement Systems and advanced seeker technology, have been effective in combat for years, giving ground attack commanders expanded attack options. A precision-guided 155m artillery round, called Excalibur, first emerged in warfare in 2007.
The advent of these kinds of guided rounds brought artillery into the modern warfare era; historically, artillery was used as an “area weapon” to blanket enemy locations with incoming fire, enabling forces to maneuver. Excalibur, which was used with great success in Iraq and Afghanistan, introduced a new level of precision attack into ground combat. This not only allowed for greater stand-off distance but offered new tactical advantages to commanders seeking to eliminate targets in otherwise congested, dangerous or complicated environments.
Now, following years of combat, U.S. adversaries have developed tactics intended to thwart, stop or avoid these kinds of precision-artillery attacks, by placing assets and potential targets in areas less vulnerable to destruction by guided rounds — such as on the other side of a mountain or beneath a bridge.