Russian anti-aircraft gunners were brought together into a single contour. During the Kavkaz-2020 exercises, a new air defense control system was tested for the first time, uniting the complexes of all three types of troops: the Aerospace, Land and Navy, sources in the Ministry of Defense told Izvestia. This made it possible to create an impenetrable “protective dome” covering the airspace over the Russian army group at distances from hundreds of meters to hundreds of kilometers, experts noted.
Earlier, the defense department reported that during the Kavkaz-2020 exercises, the air defense actions were directed from a single center using an automated control system. After the target was detected by radars, information about the enemy was transmitted to the air defense on duty. Then they were distributed in real time between the launchers, and the command was given to open fire.
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“The old dream of the military is that the entire air situation, which is controlled by the air defense units of the Aerospace Forces, the Ground Forces and the Navy, should be integrated into a single system,” Aitech Bizhev, ex-deputy head of the Air Force for the unified air defense system of the CIS, told Izvestia … – And so that one boss is responsible for everything. If it was possible to implement this at the Caucasus-2020 exercises, it is a great success. With such a system, no one will shift responsibility for the situation, no one will be able to say that the air defense of the Ground Forces or the Navy did not work, etc.
According to the expert, the chief sees the whole situation and, having all the means at hand, distributes which goal to give for destruction to whom. This is important in both naval and land theaters of operations. The strategic exercises involved huge masses of troops and forces of the Navy. And all this had to be covered from air strikes. Not a single movement of military groupings without an air defense system today is impossible, because otherwise they are doomed to destruction.
According to the Ministry of Defense, during one of the episodes of the exercises at the Ashuluk training ground, the Pantsir-S, Buk-M2 complexes and long-range S-400s repulsed a massive attack of a simulated enemy. To simulate it, about two dozen high-speed target missiles were used. They were all shot down.
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In another two-sided training battle, two dozen aircraft of the Southern Military District, with their “friend or foe” off, simulated an air raid. At the same time, some of the combat vehicles moved at extremely low altitudes, skirting the terrain, while others flew at supersonic speeds high above the ground. The crews of various air defense complexes and systems trained to detect them in real conditions, take them for escort and conditionally destroy them with electronic simulated missile launches.
For maneuvers, not only land complexes were involved, but also ships of the Caspian Flotilla, as well as the Black Sea Fleet. His flagship, the cruiser Moskva, also took part in them. It is equipped with a naval version of the S-300F air defense system, which allows you to cover not only squadrons of ships, but also ground targets. The cruiser has already taken part in the operation in Syria and provided an air defense “umbrella” over the Russian bases in Khmeimim and Tartus.
“In Soviet times, the air defense forces controlled practically the entire airspace of the country,” Aleksandr Gorkov, the former chief of the air defense missile forces of the Air Force, told Izvestia. – However, then the system was disrupted, and until now, objects and directions are not always sufficiently covered, especially at medium and low altitudes. In the operational and strategic directions, the forces of the Aerospace Forces are not always sufficient to create an effective defense, therefore, the means of the Ground Forces and the Navy are connected.
The main task of the air defense of the ground forces is to cover the groupings of troops. But in peacetime, these units fill the gaps in the country’s unified air defense system that appeared with the collapse of the USSR, the expert emphasized.
Three different air defenses
– Technically, it is not difficult to bring the air defense of different types of the Armed Forces and combat arms into a single circuit. The corresponding algorithms are incorporated in the control systems that are being developed and put into service, – said Alexander Gorkov. – Such a contour includes the forces of aviation, anti-aircraft missile and radio-technical troops. There were similar developments in Soviet times. But with the current technical capabilities, it goes to a new level.
The bulk of domestic long-range air defense systems are concentrated in the air defense-missile defense forces of the Aerospace Forces. Among their tasks is the defense of the key administrative and political centers of the country, the most important objects of the economy and infrastructure, and command and control units against the means of aerospace attack. Their parts usually occupy stationary positions.
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The “main caliber” of the VKS air defense system is the S-400 long-range systems, which are rapidly replacing the previous S-300 models. Their regiments also include the Pantsir-S air defense missile system. There are also a small number of Buk-M2 and Buk-M3 medium-range complexes.
The Air Defense Forces of the Ground Forces must cover units on the march and in areas of concentration against threats of various scales – from small drones to ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads. Therefore, they are armed with complexes of various ranges and capabilities. All of them are united by increased mobility and maneuverability, which allows them to accompany tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, self-propelled artillery on the march and in battle.
Most air defense systems of the Ground Forces are short-range weapons. Among them are “Gibka”, “Tor”, “Tunguska”, “Osa-AKM”, “Strela-10” and other complexes.
But at the disposal of the SV there are also universal long-range systems S-300V4. This complex has little in common with the S-300 for the country’s air defense. It is installed not on a wheeled, but on an all-terrain tracked chassis and is capable of shooting down not only air targets, but also ballistic missiles.
The coastal forces of the Navy also have their own air defense systems. In terms of their missions and structure, they are similar to the air defense system of the Aerospace Forces and are also armed with the S-300, S-400 and Pantsir air defense systems. This technique covers the main naval bases, as well as the Crimea and the Kaliningrad region.