Crimea was reinforced with high-precision artillery. The Ministry of Defense has strengthened the protection of the peninsula with 2A65 MSTA-B howitzers. They can fire not only conventional shells, but also corrected ammunition. Such weapons with high accuracy hit any target at a distance of tens of kilometers. Thanks to them, gunners will be able to reliably cover the coast and even become a threat to enemy warships. MSTA-B was tested in Syria, where it showed good results.
MSTA-B howitzers have already entered service with the units deployed in Crimea, sources in the military department told Izvestia. Currently, the personnel of the artillery units are mastering them.
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The guns were added to the arsenal of the 8th separate artillery regiment. In addition to unguided ammunition, the systems ammunition contains ultra-precise, laser-guided Krasnopol missiles, for target designation of which the Orlan-30 drones are used.
As Izvestia previously reported, this drone was successfully tested in Syria and at the Center-2019 exercises. From 2020, its serial deliveries to the troops begin. At the end of 2019, the Ministry of Defense demonstrated the Orlan-30 with a laser designator (LTS) at the Luga training ground, when the Day of the Missile Forces and Artillery was celebrated. The drone is capable of directing other types of “smart” ammunition, including the “Brave” mines from the 240-mm self-propelled mortars “Tulip”.
The successful use of Krasnopolis in Syria was previously reported by the Ministry of Defense. In 2018, the military demonstrated footage of the destruction in Idlib by a guided projectile of a group of militants who organized a drone attack on the Russian Khmeimim airbase.
Several videos were posted on social networks demonstrating the operation of target designation drones and the use of guided missiles. They depict the defeat of several dozen targets of militants in the area of the Euphrates River and in Idlib.
“In conjunction with UAV target designators, Krasnopoli are especially effective,” military expert Dmitry Boltenkov told Izvestia. – Previously, it was necessary to have a gunner near the target. This is far from always possible, especially if the object is behind enemy lines. You cannot “illuminate” the ship with a laser when it is far from the coast. Now, on a dangerous mission, you can send a drone with a laser center: it will not interfere with ground obstacles and the terrain.
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With such equipment, the artillery regiment is able to fight much more effectively not only against ground targets, but also participate in repelling amphibious assault forces. One guided missile “Msta” can accurately perform a task that requires spending hundreds of ordinary ones, the expert explained.
“Orlan-30” in outline resembles the widespread reconnaissance UAV “Orlan-10”. But with a weight of 31 kg, it is almost twice as heavy as its predecessor. This allows it to carry high quality day and night optics along with a laser rangefinder-designator. From a distance of several kilometers, the drone is capable of aiming a projectile at a separate armed pickup truck or firing point. It is also designed to adjust the fire of artillery and MLRS with conventional ammunition.
– The Russian grouping in Crimea is constantly growing – in proportion to the increasing activity of the United States and NATO. And the flights of American B-52 strategic bombers in the Black Sea, in fact, accelerate this process, ”Colonel Vladimir Anokhin, vice-president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, told Izvestia.
On September 4, three US strategic B-52H bombers flew from the UK towards the coast of the peninsula. Accompanied by Ukrainian Su-27 fighters, they several times demonstratively approached the Russian borders in the Genichesk region by several tens of kilometers.
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At the same time, a pair of RC-135V / W reconnaissance aircraft of the British Air Force and a drone were on duty over the Black Sea off the coast of Crimea. An operation of this magnitude was carried out for the first time in this century. On September 14, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry issued a statement that NATO strategic bombers would fly over the Black Sea to contain Russia on a regular basis.
According to the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation Sergei Shoigu, now regular flights of aircraft of the NATO countries have begun with imitation of the delivery of missile strikes on Russian territory, including the use of a large number of aircraft.
The head of the military department also noted that the presence of the alliance’s warships in the Black Sea has also become permanent. The Russian military department regularly reports on the tracking of them and the escort of NATO aircraft in the region with its fighters.
The United States and NATO regularly declare their non-recognition of Crimea as Russian territory and their full support for Ukraine’s position on this issue, as well as the need to “contain Russian aggression” in the Black Sea.
The 8th artillery regiment located near Simferopol is a new unit. It was formed on November 19, 2014, although the unit’s origins can be traced back to the Soviet 301st Artillery Brigade.
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After being transferred to the Ukrainian army in the early 1990s, the unit located in the Crimea was transformed into the 301st coastal defense artillery brigade. After several reforms, it became the 406th separate coastal group of the Ukrainian Navy.
After the reunification of the peninsula with Russia in 2014, most of the gunners remained to serve in the newly formed regiment. It was headed by the former commander of the Ukrainian group, Dmitry Kozachenko. Now the military unit is part of the 22nd Army Corps of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.
Together with Msta-B howitzers, the regiment received armored multi-axle tractors KAMAZ-63501AT for towing them. The vehicles increase the mobility of the artillery and allow it to quickly move hundreds of kilometers on normal roads.
As Izvestia previously reported, the regiment’s rocket artillery was also renewed last year. Honored MLRS “Grad” was replaced with the newest “Tornado-G”. They have an increased range of fire and the ability to work as part of an automated artillery control system. In addition to howitzers and MLRS installations, the unit is armed with self-propelled anti-tank complexes “Chrysanthemum-S”.