The Russian Ministry of Defense has adjusted the requirements for a special-purpose strike vehicle developed on the basis of a military transport aircraft. Sources in the military-industrial complex told Izvestia that in addition to the 57-millimeter cannon, the arsenal of the Russian “flying gunboat” will also include guided aircraft weapons – precision bombs and missiles.
Cloudy prospects: what awaits Russian military aviation In the next four years, the army will receive more than 400 new and modernized aircraft and helicopters
This air transport is used to directly support troops on the battlefield. With artillery fire and ammunition strikes, it will destroy enemy infantry, fortifications and armored vehicles day and night in any weather conditions. The project called “Night Hunter” started back in 2016. In 2019, it became known that the An-12 should become the base for it (however, later it turned out that it did not meet the requirements for such a technique).
Currently, according to experts, this type of aircraft is only in the US Army – these are aircraft of the AC-130 Gunship family.
“There is still no confidence that such a machine is needed by our armed forces. The Americans created their AC-130 for the Special Operations Forces of the Russian Federation. It is still used to support special operations. Such aircraft are suitable for attacks on militants and terrorists, but they are absolutely not adapted to a war with a serious enemy, “military expert Vladislav Shurygin told Izvestia.
In modern Russia, there is experience in the use of armed transport aircraft. At the beginning of the new millennium, the modified patrol An-72P entered the border service in the Far East. They were equipped with a cannon and unguided rockets. The machines had a chance to use their weapons several times to stop intruders. In February 2001, one such plane was sunk by the Albatross-101, a poacher’s seiner, which refused to obey.
“A transport aircraft cannot be a full-fledged attack aircraft … A transport aircraft is a convenient target. He can only work on formations that do not have MANPADS and even DShK machine guns. He is not even capable of diving, which is why he will not be able to use many types of weapons. But on board an impressive arsenal will fit on board, ”Lieutenant General Valery Gorbenko, former commander of the Fourth Air Force and Air Defense Army, told Izvestia.
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Arsenal “Okhotnik”: transport aircraft will receive guided missiles