Armed Forces - a6a3 - Artillery Formations: Divisional Artillery Group (DAG) - Artillery Fire Missions



The Royal Artillery provides the modern British armoured formation with a protective covering on the battlefield. The close air defence assets cover the immediate airspace above and around the formation, with the field artillery reaching out to 50 kms in front, and 60 kms across the flanks of the formation being supported. An armoured formation that moves out of this protective covering is open to immediate destruction by an intelligent enemy.

An armoured or mechanised division has it own artillery under command. This artillery usually consists of three Close Support Regiments, with a number of units detached from the Corps Artillery and could include TA reinforcements from the UK. In war, the composition of the DAG will vary from division to division according to the task.

Armoured Divisional Artillery Group (DAG) - Organisation for War

Armoured Divisional Artillery Group (DAG) - Organisation for War


(1) This is a diagram of the artillery support which may typically be available to an Armoured Division deployed with the ARRC. Expect each brigade in the division to have one Close Support Regiment with AS 90. Artillery regiments are commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel and a battery is commanded by a Major.

(2) The number of batteries and guns per battery in an AS 90 Close Support Regiment has changed post SDR 1999 at four batteries of six guns per battery in the UK Regiments, and three batteries of six in the Regiments stationed in Germany. In war, all batteries will have eight guns each. AS 90 Regiments now train with 105 mm Light Guns prior to deployment on operations in Iraq or Afghanistan.

(3) The locating Battery in the Depth Fire Regiment may have a metrological troop with BMETS, a radar troop with Cobra and a UAV troop with Phoenix.

Area Air Defence (AAD) is provided by Rapier.

The staff of an armoured or mechanised division includes a Brigadier of Artillery known as the Commander Royal Artillery (CRA). The CRA acts as the Offensive Support Advisor to the Divisional Commander, and could normally assign one of his Close Support Regiments to support each of the Brigades in the division. These regiments would be situated in positions that would allow all of their batteries to fire across the complete divisional front. Therefore, in the very best case, a battlegroup under extreme threat could be supported by the fire of more than 128 guns.

The term Offensive Support Group is the term used when units other than artillery provide fire support:


A square brigade (of two infantry battalions and two armoured regiments) will probably have a Close Support Regiment of four batteries in support, and the CO of this regiment will act as the Offensive Support Adviser to the Brigade Commander.

It would be usual to expect that each of the four battlegroups in the brigade would have a Battery Commander, acting as the Offensive Support Advisor to the Battlegroup Commander.

Squadron/Company Groups in the Battlegroup would each be provided with a Forward Observation Officer (FOO), who is responsible for fire planning and directing the fire of the guns onto the target. The FOO and his party travel in equivalent vehicles to the supported troop, to enable them to keep up with the formation being supported and are usually in contact with:

(a) The Gun Positions

(b) The Battery Commander at BGHQ

(c) The Regimental Fire Direction Centre

(d) The Company Group being supported

Having identified and applied prioritisation of targets, the FOO will call for fire from the guns, and he will then adjust the fall of shot to cover the target area. The FOO will be assisted in this task by the use of a Warrior FCLV or, in the future, an MRAV OP vehicle containing the computerised fire control equipment which provides accurate data of the target location.

Given a vehicle with its surveillance and target acquisition suite, the FOO can almost instantly obtain the correct grid of the target and without calling for corrections, order 'one- round fire for effect'.