Huge attention of Washington and leading American armory corporations were awarded to the armed forces of Poland in just a few years after the beginning of the aggravation of the military-political situation in the small, but very complex and unpredictable European theater of operations. The proximity to the key positions of anti-aircraft missile brigades and regiments of the Air Defense Forces of Belarus and the Russian Aerospace Forces determines the constant "pumping" of the Polish Army and Air Force with the most modern modifications of Western strike missile weapons. For example, by the end of this year, the Polish Air Force will receive a direct supply from Lockheed Martin of 40 long-range tactical air-launched cruise missiles, which are intended to be mounted on the suspension points of F-16C / D multirole fighters.
In previous reviews concerning the level of threat to the Russian and Belarusian air defense systems from this contract, we determined that with a massive missile strike by all 40 JASSM at the same time, anti-missile defense in areas of one or a couple of deployed C-300PS battalions could be broken, and part of the unwrapped winged the rockets will follow to the coordinates of the indicated targets (the most dubious in this respect direction is the Belarusian HV); The situation with the air defense of the Kaliningrad and Leningrad regions is much more stable, where video conferencing is switching to more advanced X-NUMX-channel C-10 “Triumph” much faster than Belarus. But here the danger is not excluded, because the Americans have "trump" drones - false targets ADM-400C MALD-J, which create radar and computing means "Triumph", as well as calculating a complex puzzle in the form of a "dense cloud" from dozens of target simulators and real targets flying in a chaotic mixed order at an altitude of 160 - 20 m. Selection of real targets may take precious minutes, for which no-no, but a few missiles can break through. But JASSM is not the only modern threat from which our advanced anti-aircraft missile systems will have to, because it is much easier to notify the approach of these missiles because of airborne F-50C pylons, the combat work of the latter from a distance of several hundred kilometers will be fixed by DRLOI aircraft operators -16U. Not less of a threat to air defense weapons are tactical long-range ground-based cruise missiles.
For our part, this is the Iskander-M operational tactical missile system 9K720 with the low-profile P-500 long-range cruise missiles capable of penetrating the enemy’s dense missile defense system more than 500 km away from the front line. The most expedient deployment of Iskander-M near the borders of Eastern European countries participating in NATO, as well as in the South and North Caucasus and the Baltic States, where the proximity of strategic military facilities in Turkey, Georgia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland allows less than an hour completely suppress most of the command and staff facilities, destroy the main radio intelligence and air defense units in order to disorganize the front lines of NATO’s NATO forces as early as the initial phase of a possible escalation of the conflict, as they say, cheniya and interdiction of access and maneuver A2 / AD in action.
The importance of ground-based tactical missile systems has become so widespread in our time that programs for their development are being conducted not only in global and regional superpowers, but also in states such as Poland, especially since the latter has earned serious support from American aerospace giants such like Lockheed Martin and Rayton. Apparently, the result of such support was the promising small-sized ground-based cruise missile "Pirania" ("Piranha"), designed by the Warsaw Institute of Technology Air Force (ITWL). An image of this rocket was published, September 30, 2016, on news janes.com web page along with preliminary TTX of the designed product.
We have before us a small-sized subsonic long-range tactical cruise missile with a compact turbojet engine, whose engine nacelle is located inside the tail section, which significantly reduces the radar signature of the missile defense in the frontal plane (a similar scheme is used in the Iskander-M missile system, as well as family “Caliber”), but in contrast to the “Caliber” on the “Piranha” there is an oval air intake made of composite materials that is significantly extended from the body, which repeats the design of the TFR of the families BGM-500A-F «Tomahawk». This indicates that Raytheon was actively involved in the Polish program Pirania.
The Piranha cruise missile is a fairly small-sized means of air attack: its case diameter is 200 mm, the wingspan of the retractable wings is 800 mm, and the length of 2200 mm. The mass of the rocket is within 100 kg (the Pirania rocket is 12 times lighter than the BGM-109G and exactly 2,5 times smaller than its size, which means making an exact reduced copy of Tomahawk). Low weight and size make it easy to run it even from small, but prepared car platforms located on a standard off-road chassis. This gives incredible advantages both in the promptness of the transfer of the complex to a particular section of the theater of operations, and in its excellent disguise among ordinary civilian and military vehicles. For example, it will be much easier for operators of the radio-technical complex MRK-411 installed on ORTR Tu-214Р aircraft to classify a large launcher of the RSNO M142 HIMARS or OXK M270 ATACMS rather than with the keyboard installation of the Kyrgyz Republic "Piranha".
Now we come to the most interesting parameter of the Pirania rocket - its effective scattering surface. It is absolutely clear that it is not possible to accurately determine this indicator, without having data on the radio-absorbing materials of the hull, as well as on the prevailing radio-contrast metallic materials in the nose of the rocket. But being guided by well-known information on EPR of a similar size (20 cm case diameter) of aircraft, it can be said that it will be 0,015 — 0,02 X2 at best (taking radio-absorbing coatings into account), and therefore even the most sophisticated on-board Irbis-E radar ( Su-35С) or Shmel-M RLK (DRLOIU A-50U aircraft) will be able to detect it from a distance of no more than 95 — 115 km. "Piranha" - the goal is much more "complex" than the "Tomahawk" and even anti-radar missile HARM.
If during the launch of AGM-158A JASSM from the side of a tactical fighter, it will be easier to determine whether the attack was launched by detecting the attacking fighter in advance, and by JASSM with a larger EPR than the Piranha, then the ground launch from a small minibus or an off-road vehicle “Stealth” -drona, like “Piranha”, with radar tools will be very problematic. The only way to detect its launch is to use highly sensitive optical-electronic air-based surveillance systems with high-resolution cooled infrared matrices, since it is reported that Pirania will be equipped with a solid-fuel accelerator. The effectiveness of this method of detection may depend on such factors as the terrain from which the rocket is launched, as well as on the meteorological situation between the launching Piranha and the air-based heat finder.
It is known from official sources that the S-300PT / PS anti-aircraft missile systems can operate on elements of high-precision weapons with an effective dispersion surface of at least 0,05 m2, which may suggest the impossibility of intercepting Piranha cruise missiles using these modifications of the Three Hundreds . The elemental base of these versions of the air defense systems is indeed becoming obsolete: the analogue radio-electronic equipment of the 5Н63С combat control center (PBU) and 30Н6 multi-functional radar (MRS), in addition to the lower energy capabilities of the 30Н6, do make this picture believable. Under such conditions, one can only hope that Belarusian C-300PS, similarly to Russian ones, will receive a service pack to the level of C-300ПМ1. These complexes are capable of working on targets with ESR 0,02 xNUMX, where the promising Polish Piranha fit into.
A very serious disadvantage of the Pirania cruise missile is its low flight speed, which is about 500 — 550 km / h, but this is offset by the minimum flight height of 20 m, a small radar and infrared signature, and also a range of 300 km, which for a missile with a length of just over 2 meters is an excellent figure, almost reaching the American AGM-158A (350 km). The minimum flight altitude in 20 m creates serious difficulties for intercepting all modifications of the Osa-AKM troop landing system, including even the most up-to-date Belarusian Osa-1T and Т38 Stilet, since they are identical in TTX target detection station (SOC) and station target tracking (SCC) have a lower limit of lizirovaniya and shelling targets in 25 meters, and for confident destruction should be no more than 15-20 meters. So the ZRSKs of the Tor-M1 line with the 10-meter lower target interception threshold have a great advantage over Osas in combating goals such as Piranha.
The low altitude and high accuracy of the Piranha’s output to the battlefield are achieved by advanced onboard radio-electronic equipment, which includes: a radio altimeter, an inertial navigation system based on modern digital computers synchronized with a digital GPS module, and a tactical information exchange device with a command center for various radio communication channels, including satellite. In addition, the Piranha, flying at speeds around 0,4 — 0,45М, is capable of performing fairly high-quality local reconnaissance over a theater of military operations on its own trajectory, turning into a stealth UAV. The integrated compact on-board radar with a synthetic aperture mode (in the western SAR slang), which maps in detail the terrain of the earth’s surface directly below the Piranha flight trajectory, is responsible for this. The lower bound is for overcoming missile defense, the upper one is for reconnaissance. Together with the terrain, this weight, weighing only 20, will be able to provide NATO headquarters with photographically accurate radar images of our ground-based military facilities in the East European theater of operations if the latter are not covered by proper military air defense. Information on this radar, exactly as on the other most important network-centric Piranha nodes, is not disclosed, but it is known that in order to achieve a smaller circular probable deviation (CWO), it can be equipped with a combined dual-band infrared-ultraviolet homing head, the analogue of which is called POST-RMP , is installed on the Stinger-RMP complex FIM-2000C SAM.
Equipping this homing head provides for the possibility of using the Piranha cruise missile against mobile ground targets (armored combat vehicles, mobile elements of the air defense missile system and MBT) using infrared traps. The introduction of the ultraviolet channel allows the selection of real heat-contrast targets (from the infrared radiation of the engine) from the infrared traps. Also, a dual-band IR-UV homing head is capable of very efficiently capturing combat vehicles using optical-electronic countermeasure systems and coatings that reduce the infrared signature.
If we evaluate the Pirania cruise missile as a promising means of breaking through air defense and missile defense as a whole, the situation is such that calculations of a large number of modifications of modern military anti-aircraft missile and anti-aircraft missile and artillery systems run into problems with its timely detection and destruction due to the very small radar and infrared visibility. So, for example, modifications of the OSR “Osa”, including the version of “Osa-AKM”, will be able to fight this insidious “stealth” -racket solely due to the optical-electronic complex associated with the radar tracking system, at the same time when only the low-effective for detecting the IR channel in the forward hemisphere, the “Piranha” cannot be effectively detected by the SOC and SCC of old versions of “Wasps”. The same situation is likely to be observed with the old modifications of the Tungusska-M anti-aircraft missile-gun systems (prior to the version of the Tunguss-М1), where at the hardware level the possibilities of obtaining target designation from higher-level unified battery command Rangier type items, as well as radar devices. The more modern military complexes such as Tor-M1В / 2, Tunguska-MXNUM systems, Pantsir-С1, as well as long-range air defense systems of the C-1PM300 / 1 and C-2 type, which use more high-potential radar components, as well as in a set of uniforms. opportunities to combat this rocket will be a couple of orders of magnitude higher.
Nonetheless, about a dozen years after the adoption of the Piranha armed forces of Poland will be a major help in the formation of the NATO strike force at the western air borders of the CSTO, where we still have “gaps” and “impenetrable” areas with a radar field.