Artillery Control: Rounds and Fuzing - Communication - United Task Force (UNITAF) Arma 3

P10-54 Artillery Control: Rounds and Fuzing

UNITAF / Arma 3 / Communication Procedures

Version 1 / 5min read / Updated Tue 25 Feb 2020 / 361 views

The following table of artillery round types and their effects is taken from the Chain of Command's "Artillery Module" manual for VBS1.


Round Types


  • High Explosive HE
    • is usually TNT or Composition B, and takes a PD (QUICK), VT, delay or Mechanical Time fuze.
    • Effective against personnel, vehicles, and structures.
    • HE/VT is also effective against stationary armored vehicles.
    • HE/Delay is good for targets under vegetation, and for flipping vehicles.

  • White Phosphorous (Willy Pete)
    • Bursts on impact, or in the air (with fuze time).
    • On bursting, the shell spreads burning white phosphorus, for marking, screening, obscuring and incendiary effects.
    • It is useful against vehicles, ammunition, POL and enemy observers.

  • Illumination
    • A base-ejecting projectile that expels a burning illuminant and a small projectile.
    • The parachute drifts over the area, and provides illumination for maneuver or adjusting fire (with continuous and coordinated illumination).
    • It can also be used to mark targets.

  • Smoke
    • The Artillery Module models improved smoke effects, that is, felt wedges impregnated with WP, which can provide 5-10 minutes of smoke over a large area.

  • Remote Anti-Armor Mines (RAAMS)
    • The 155mm howitzer can fire Remote Antiarmor Mines (RAAMS); Part of the Family of Scatterable Mines (FASCAM)
    • RAAMS typically spread over a 400m area, arm shortly after impact, and will trigger when armored vehicles run over them.

  • Anti-personnel mines
    • delivered via the Scorcher or similar artillery pieces

  • Copperhead
    • Copperheads are special 155mm projectiles employed by later versions of the M109 series and the M198 howitzer.
    • Approximately thirteen seconds before impact, the Copperhead's laser light sensor becomes active, and it uses fins to guide itself to the laser light source.
    • It fuzes on impact with a shaped charge capable of destroying or disabling armored vehicles.
    • Copperheads are best used against enemy command vehicles and centers, and other high-value targets.
    • Copperheads are ideally used in priority fire missions, and the reduced response time they bring.

  • Improved Conventional Munitions (ICM)
    • ICM is a base-ejection projectile with a MT fuze and a number of submunitions.
    • APICM grenades saturate the target area with shrapnel, and are highly effective against personnel in the open.
    • DPICM submunitions are capable of penetrating 2cm of armor, and have an antipersonnel effect as well.
    • DPICM is highly effective against personnel in the open and soft vehicles. It is also effective against armor.
    • ICM shells and sheaves assume a target with a 200m-radius. (instead of 100m for HE).
    • ICM should never be fired High Angle.
    • Arma 3 refers to these as 'cluster' shells.

  • Sense and Destroy Armor (SADARM)
    • Sense-and-Destroy Armor rounds are third-generation artillery shells carried by 155mm Howitzers.
    • They deploy two sensor-fuzed munitions which parachute over the battlespace, and scan (using radar and infrared) for suitable armor targets.
    • When they find such a target, they fire a penetrator to destroy or disable it.
    • SADARMs are highly effective, and are called as any other round. If they do not find a suitable target, they self-destruct.
    • The observer should ensure that no friendly units are in the area. SADARMs can be used effectively in CANNOT OBSERVE conditions, especially counter-battery fire.


High-angle fire from a Scorcher battery


Fuze Types


  • Quick Fuze
    • is a point-detonating fuze, and is used with HE and WP projectiles.
    • is effective against standing and prone personnel, armored and soft-skinned vehicles.
    • is useful for adjusting fire and engaging targets on ridgelines; but it is not recommended against entrenched troops or those on uneven ground.

  • Delay
    • A fuze delay functions 0.05 seconds after impact.
    • A fuze delay allows penetration of dense woods and light earthworks.

  • Time Fuze
    • has a mechanical or electronic timing device that functions a set time after being fired.
    • when used with HE and WP, should be adjusted to obtain an effective HOB; then these projectiles are useful against troops and vehicles in open and in trenches, as well as in rough terrain.
    • Because of the variations between fuzes, fuze time should never be used for High Angle fire with these projectiles.
    • Time fuzes are the only fuze used for Base-Ejecting projectiles (e.g., Illumination, ICM, SADARM) and smoke.

  • VT (Variable Time) fuzes
    • arm approximated 3.5 seconds before anticipated impact.
    • They then use a radio signal to determine the shell's proximity to other objects (especially the ground).
    • When they pass within a set distance of other objects (for example, 8 meters), the fuze functions.
    • HE/VT is effective against all targets that Fuze Time is, except that it is not recommended for targets under canopy, such as those in woods.

UNITAF Standard Operating procedures (SOP)
are adapted primarly from US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). Our written and audio procedures are a combination of the following primary source materials, as well as our own learnings, modifications and adaptations:
- US Army Techniques Publication, Infantry Platoon and Squad (ATP 3-21.8)
- Soldier’s Manual of Common Tasks Warrior Leader Skills Level 2, 3, and 4 (STP 21-24-SMCT)
- The Warrior Ethos and Soldier Combat Skills (FM 3-21.75 / FM 21-75)
- Leadership Development (FM 6-22)
- Dyslexi's Tactics, Techniques, & Procedures for Arma 3 (TTP3)

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