Counter rocket, artillery, and mortar, abbreviated C-RAM or Counter-RAM, is a set of systems used to detect and/or destroy incoming artillery, rockets and mortar rounds in the air before they hit their ground targets, or simply provide early warning.
These 20MM rounds are fired so fast that it basically looks like a laser beam of giant bullets. That’s the basic concept of C-RAM systems — a laser beam of giant bullets that provide counter defenses against incoming rocket, artillery, and mortar fire.
C-RAM is effectively a land version of weapons such as the Phalanx CIWS radar-controlled rapid-fire gun for close-in protection of vessels from missiles. C-RAM is an initiative taken in response to an operational needs statement made by the Multinational Force Iraq in response to the high rate of casualties caused by attacks using rockets, artillery, and mortars in Iraq.
According to the U.S. Army, “the ability to counter IDF threats requires a holistic design approach.” There are too many components to count and all work together to create the C-RAM system.
It’s a 58,000-lb beast capable of firing 4,500 rounds per minute, though 300 rounds is all that’s typically needed to destroy its target. It takes a 35-ton semi trailer to contain the force of such power.
The C-RAM system is of great benefit to soldiers since it can not only detect the RAM launches, but it can intercept them as well. The interception is done with rounds of bullets that pierce the toughest armor. They can also operate on land or at sea.
The C-RAM can protect a “1.2 km square area from airborne threats with a 60 to 70 percent shoot-down rate,” according to Gizmodo. It has been around since the 1970s but has seen numerous upgrades through the years and many wars.
The job of the modern-day C-RAM is to watch for “inbound threats, to measure a possible target’s bearing, speed, and trajectory.”
In the event that a threat is recognized, a second system goes into place and eliminates the threat if it is within kill range. It will also alert neighboring troops of any danger.
In one of the videos, the night sky lights up after the sirens sound. Bright beams of light race into the sky like a laser show. When it is finished, there is nothing left of the enemy fire.
It is just as eager in the day sky to devour any threats. With a mind of its own, it awaits the kill, and nothing can stop it.