The destructiveness of artillery bombardments can be enhanced when some or all of the shells are set for airburst, meaning that they explode in the air above the target instead of upon impact. This can be accomplished either through time fuses or proximity fuses. Time fuses use a precise timer to detonate the shell after a preset delay. This technique is tricky and slight variations in the functioning of the fuse can cause it to explode too high and be ineffective, or to strike the ground instead of exploding above it. Since December 1944 (Battle of the Bulge), proximity fuzed artillery shells have been available that take the guesswork out of this process. These embody a miniature, low powered radar transmitter in the fuse to detect the ground and explode them at a predetermined height above it. The return of the weak radar signal completes an electrical circuit in the fuze which explodes the shell. The proximity fuse itself was developed by the British to increase the effectiveness of anti-aircraft warfare.
This is a very effective tactic against infantry and light vehicles, because it scatters the fragmentation of the shell over a larger area and prevents it from being blocked by terrain or entrenchments that do not include some form of robust overhead cover. Combined with TOT or MRSI tactics that give no warning of the incoming rounds, these rounds are especially devastating because many enemy soldiers are likely to be caught in the open. This is even more so if the attack is launched against an assembly area or troops moving in the open rather than a unit in an entrenched tactical position.
Other articles related to "air, air burst, burst, air bursts":
3 km from an explosion, the exact time of arrival being dependent on the speed of sound in air in their area, there would be more than ample amounts of time to take the prompt countermeasure of 'duck and ... To maximize building damage, an air-burst is the preferred nuclear fuzing height, which maximizes surface damage and results in fallout being dispersed ... For example in the Operation Crossroads tests of 1946, Test Able (an air burst) had little local fallout, but the infamous Test Baker (an underwater burst) left the test ...
... Air bursts are used primarily against infantry in the open or unarmored targets, as the resulting fragments cover a large area but will not penetrate armor, entrenchments, or fortifications ...
... The S T Daewoo K11 DAW (Dual-barrel Air-burst Weapon) is an assault rifle chambered to fire 5.56x45mm NATO rounds, as well as 20x30mm air-burst smart grenade from its overbarrel ... the weapon's integrated electronics to explode a few meters from the target, yielding an air burst effect capable of killing targets within a 6 m area and seriously wounding those within ...
Famous quotes containing the words burst and/or air:
“and wait and watch until
The fattening dots burst into nimble-
—Seamus Heaney (b. 1939)
“There is something about poverty that smells like death. Dead dreams dropping off the heart like leaves in a dry season and rotting around the feet; impulses smothered too long in the fetid air of underground caves. The soul lives in a sickly air. People can be slave-ships in shoes.”
—Zora Neale Hurston (18911960)