Will the Russian “Alabuga” beat the American CHAMP? Rivalry "EMI-Killers"
We remember the last few days of the update as a real information explosion. news tapes of the leading Russian mass media, which, with their usual speed, notified observers about the development of a unique tactical missile under the Alabuga program, equipped with a microwave electromagnetic warhead. According to the statement of the general director of the developer company JSC Concern Radioelectronic Technologies Vladimir Mikheev, made back in 2014, Alabuga is a development work to create a microwave EMP generator capable, in the literal sense of the word, to burn out the onboard radio-electronic equipment of surface ships, ground units, as well as enemy aircraft at a distance of 3,5 km. Proceeding from this, one can easily assess the highest combat potential of a new product capable of disrupting the operation of enemy avionics at a distance of about 10-15 km and incapacitating it at a distance of 5-7 km. It should be noted that the new high-frequency electromagnetic suppression module should be easily unified with the majority of tactical and strategic cruise missiles existing and being developed in Russia for the most flexible use in theaters of war of the XNUMXst century.
The latest information surge occurred at the suggestion of the British resource Daily Star, which justifiably raised panic and equated the effectiveness of EMI equipment to the potential of nuclear weapons. Naturally, the well-known English tabloid, according to the old tradition, well went over the stick, but the essence remains the essence: the level of damage inflicted on the opponent’s electronics, with the exception of the destructive power of heat and radiant energy, is extremely serious. The hype spread to our media, “waking up” thousands of hurray-patriots, who suddenly began to assert that the West has nothing in common, and that we will win the conflict in any theater with the 100% probability. This opinion has not gone far from the truth, but there are some details that make it possible to express a more objective point of view.
If regarding the Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft missile and artillery complex, which intercepted a couple of XURGM9U Grad NURSs, we can definitely say that it has no analogues among foreign self-propelled anti-aircraft weapons, then it is too early to say anything similar about Alabuga, because A similar program called CHAMP ("Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project") has been conducted in the USA for several years now. For example, October 22 16, specialists of the corporation "Boeing", together with representatives of the US Air Force, carried out a successful test tactical missile CHAMP, which was able to completely suppress the work of computer equipment and other electronics in 2012 buildings-purpose. Electromagnetic pulses of an EMI generator were so powerful that in addition to electronics, even the standard lighting system, not to mention the video surveillance system, was out of order. Recently, it is extremely rare to talk about the CHAMP project, and this is not at all accidental, because the project is at the stage of fine-tuning, and possibly integrating EMI-generators aboard such long-range cruise missiles like AGM-7B or RGM / UGM-158E. It is precisely in the diversity of the EMI-generating cruise carrier rockets, as well as in the impressive list of aircraft for their base that the main threat to our RTR and air defense weapons, which are in service with the Aerospace Forces, lies.
If the future carrier of CHAMP will be the AGM-158 JASSM-ER, the US Air Force will have significant advantages over the Alabuga project directly in its flexibility of use. Here, everything consists of a huge number of carriers for JASSM-ER: they are both strategic bombers B-1B and B-52H, and tactical fighter types F-15E "Strike Eagle", F-16C Block 52+, including carrier-based F / A-18E / F "Super Hornet". The latter have an order of magnitude better ability to operate on a complex 2st century air theater. In particular, due to XNUMX times higher speed, the possibility of flying in ultra-low altitude mode and less EPR, tactical shock aviation can present sudden and very unpleasant "surprises" in comparison with strategic aviation. Placement on suspensions of JASSM-ER missiles with EMI “equipment” will further increase the degree of danger.
As for our “Alabuga”, here we see at times a more powerful microwave electromagnetic generator, which is able to completely destroy the enemy’s airborne, surface and air assets of the enemy within 1700 - 2000 m. This is a significant advantage over the Boeing product. At the same time, the problem of the Alabuga project is that only such carriers as the SKR 3М14T Caliber, X-555 or X-101 have an acceptable range for the domestic EMI module. The first ones are adapted for use from universal built-in launchers of vertical type 3С-14Э / КЭ and inclined 3С-14ПЭ (ship-based), as well as mine UVPU underwater basing (DEPL pr. 677 "Lada"), the second and third from the suspension assemblies strategic missile-carrying bombers Tu-160М / 2 and Tu-95MS. Consequently, only such tactical launch vehicles like the X-30MK35, X-34AD or P-59 with a modernized combat compartment can be used to launch the Alabugi from the Su-2CM, Su-31С and Su-800 multi-purpose fighter jets. As is known, their range does not exceed 280 - 300 km, and therefore there will be an almost fourfold loss in comparison with the USA JASSM-ER - carriers of the CHAMP module.
Against this background, instead of hurray-patriotic demagogy in the comments to the news reports, it would be good to think about developing a specialized ultra-long-range cruise platform rocket for the Alabuga project, which could be used from tactical fighter pylons and subsequently overshadow American JASSM-ER, and also as often as possible to look closely at the progress of the overseas program CHAMP, because the enemy does not stand still.
- Evgeny Damantsev