The aerospace forces of Russia will be able to deploy airfields in an open field. This will be done by unique military units – special engineering and airfield battalions. At present, the question of the formation of such units in each air army is being worked out. If necessary, they will equip an unpaved strip and build the entire infrastructure for receiving helicopters and airplanes. According to experts, this will make it possible to quickly transfer aviation to any area where it is needed.
The first separate airfield engineering battalion was deployed on the basis of the State Flight Test Center. In August, he took part in maneuvers in the Southern Military District, building a field unpaved airfield. In the future, such units will appear in all armies of the Aerospace Forces, sources told Izvestia in the military department.
According to the results of the exercises, the actions of this unit were recognized as successful and the issue of the formation of such military units in each air army is currently being worked out, the interlocutors of the publication explained.
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Engineering and aerodrome units are equipped with everything necessary. They can equip a full-fledged airbase right in the field: moisten and roll soil for the runway (runway), equip parking lots, deploy fuel storage tanks and equipment for servicing aircraft.
Temporary airfields can receive any helicopters and various types of aircraft – up to two-hundred-ton cargo Il-76. The soil strip is treated by water-washing machines before receiving aircraft.
“We are returning to the old experience,” Lieutenant General Valery Gorbenko, former commander of the 4th Air Force and Air Defense Army, told Izvestia. – There were such battalions in Soviet times. They were tested by the Great Patriotic War, where they played a serious role. I had three such battalions in my army. However, during a difficult situation, the armed forces began to reduce everything, including these units. But they are necessary. We have planes that take off from the ground. But the runway also needs to be prepared for the landing and takeoff of cars.
According to Valery Gorbenko, earlier each aviation regiment had both a main basing airfield and a field airfield – the so-called jump airfield.
– This is especially true in modern conditions, when airfields are marked on maps and everyone knows where and who is based. It is quite another matter when planes take off for a combat mission and then land on a field runway, the expert noted.
In recent years, the leadership of the Ministry of Defense and the command of the Aerospace Forces have been paying much attention to issues related to the operational transfer of aviation groupings from one direction to another. In addition, technologies are being developed that make aviation less dependent on fixed airfields. Since the beginning of the 2010s, aircraft during the exercises began to regularly land on highways. At first, these tasks were performed by fighters and bombers. Two years ago, the An-26 military transport aircraft landed on the highway for the first time.
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Starting this year, infrastructure is being created for the rapid deployment of mobile air bases in the Arctic. They will serve as transfer points for helicopters. The vehicles will be able to refuel there, undergo minor repairs and replenish the ammunition. The basis of the mobile airfield is Mi-26 helicopters capable of carrying up to 20 tons of cargo. When equipping an air harbor, one vehicle becomes a tanker, and the other is used as an ammunition supply point. In addition, it houses the equipment necessary for the landing of other vehicles, auxiliary equipment and a shelter for personnel and crews.
Last year, the aviation of the Baltic Fleet tested the first mobile airfield. During the special tactical exercises in the Gulf of Finland, engineering services built a complete infrastructure on the island of Gogland with five seats for combat and transport helicopters. All equipment and technical means were delivered by one Mi-26. The temporary airfield was ready to receive and service the aircraft within a few hours after the start of work. If necessary, such facilities will be able to receive all types of military and transport helicopters of the Navy, as well as some front-line aircraft.
Earlier Izvestia reported that special covers made of special polymer materials will be sewn for the latest Su-57 fighters. They will shelter Russian fifth-generation fighters in their home areas, making them invisible to the enemy’s aviation optoelectronic systems and radars. In addition, the covers will protect the body and sophisticated electronic equipment from bad weather. Such a shelter will be especially relevant when basing vehicles outside stationary airfields. Deliveries of products will begin in 2021. Each aircraft will receive more than a dozen covers – separately for the wheels, lower, central and rear fuselage, wings, cockpit, nozzle, stabilizers, air intakes and other parts of the structure.