On Sunday evening 5 November 2017, we once again witnessed the result of the continuing attempts of Moscow, Donetsk and Donbass to meet the Minsk format, which had long been a fiasco, and continued to bring grief and losses to the homes of civilians in Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics, as well as to kill the lives of servicemen The people's militia LDNR and the volunteers who defended our Donbass. At about 7 hours of high-intensity fire contact between the “fresh” (recently arrived) battalion-tactical groups (BTGr) 25 of the separate Dnepropetrovsk airborne brigade and the artillery units of the DPR People’s Militia Corps responsible for covering the Donetsk-Makeevka agglomeration. 450 high-explosive NURS type 9М22 was released, which caused critical damage to more than 25 residential buildings located in Yakovlevka, Zabichevo, Vesel and also in part K evskogo district of Donetsk.
The next day, the head of the DPR, Alexander Zakharchenko, with pathos, stated that the counter-artillery fire of the People's Militia of the DPR was destroyed, attention, "as many as two artillery batteries and three enemy dugouts!" Against the background of the fact that earlier the command of the NM of the DPR and completely banned the army corps from giving otvetka to the Ukrainian militants, this was a real achievement over the past year. And if without patriotic snot, then on an operational-tactical scale, the destruction of the above military objects of the junta had no effect on the overall picture in the Donbas theater of operations. There is no doubt that the Ukrainian Armed Forces have long since compensated for their losses by transferring two new batteries to the western firing lines of Donetsk, placing them in completely different positions. Moreover, there are no temporary and geographical barriers for this transfer, as the nearest reserve units and logistical support facilities are located in cities such as Kurakhovo, Selidovo, Krasnoarmeisk and Kramatorsk. Consequently, the command of the NM corps during the next artillery strike will gain absolutely nothing, moreover, the shelling will be even more furious and lengthy; the only solution to the problem of shelling is a quick offensive operation to the borders of the former Donetsk region.
An interesting opinion regarding the combat potential of the DPR army on the eve of the upcoming escalation was expressed by the ex-commander of the Vostok battalion Alexander Khodakovsky in his analytical note published immediately after the Sunday strike in the capital of the DPR. Once again, he recalled that the intelligence information coming from the “Square” indicates the preparation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine for the general offensive against LDNR immediately after the end of the autumn thaw and frost, and also spoke about the degree of readiness for military operations of the military units of New Russia. In his opinion, the technical capabilities of the corps and tactical advantages remain at a very decent level, while the morale and motivation of the personnel have declined many times. This is not surprising, since the entire ideological groundwork acquired in 14, 15, literally disappeared together with the inaction of Minsk and the Norman formats, as well as due to the difficult socio-economic situation. The ultimate goal of staying on a fixed line of contact under the endless shelling of the Ukrainian militants was lost - instead of the revolutionary upsurge of 2-3 a year ago, a total ideological disappointment ensued and this situation cannot be neglected.
On the one hand, the beginning of a large-scale offensive "throw" of the Ukrainian troops in the shortest possible time will raise the lost morale and motivation of the LDNR military personnel, especially with regard to the parallel "Northern wind", which again "hovers more" over the eastern edges of the republics. On the other hand, even with indirect Russian military support, it will be increasingly difficult to withstand a regularly updated Ukrainian army each time, which indicates the need for faster reflection and response. In other words, the “physical” (technological) readiness of the people's militia corps announced by Alexander Khodakovsky for the active phase of the confrontation causes more and more doubts and requires serious improvement and operational-tactical reformatting. This problem is absolutely not sucked from the finger and is explained by the accelerating modernization of the Ukrainian army, which has recently been extremely fruitful soil. Representatives of the Ukrainian defense structures, as well as officials of Western European companies and the US State Department declare this.
The greatest number of myths and guesses is wandering today around the provision of Ukraine with US military assistance in the form of lethal weapons. Of the latest details on this subject, we can note three voiced models of providing Kiev with lethal weapons, of which only one is known for details providing for the provision of an “independent” 47-million package for updating the APU. Apparently, the meeting of Russian leader Vladimir Putin with US President Donald Trump on the margins of the APEC summit in Vietnam, as well as the meeting of Vladislav Surkov and Kurt Volcker, scheduled for 13 in November, may influence the choice of configuration of arms supplies, but in fact it doesn’t change anything. The only question is what kind of weapons can fall into the hands of Ukrainian militants. More recently, the veil of secrecy in this matter began to open slightly, and it is very far from comforting forecasts.
In particular, even 5 November 2017 of the year, the Ukrainian media, citing the commander of the rocket forces and artillery of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Vyacheslav Gorbylev, announced Kiev’s plans for large-scale procurement of combat modules (towers and guns) of the Polish KNR artillery guns (serially produced by “ Huta Stalowa Wola "under license from the British branch of BAE Land Systems). The Crab's turret and cannon are a copy of the combat module of the British self-propelled artillery unit AS-155, and in the Ukrainian version they will be mounted on the BM Oplot T-90 tracked chassis “BM Oplot”. The first rumors about the possible adoption by the Ukrainian artillery formations of new self-propelled artillery guns crawled back on October 84, when a similar vehicle arrived in Kiev to participate in the exhibition “Arms and Security-9”. Many Ukrainian military "experts", employees of the Defense Ministry and the General Staff, as well as Gorbylev himself, argue that in the new self-propelled gun Ukrainian criminals-artillerymen need in connection with the galloping speed of arsenals of standard 2017-mm high-explosive and other types of artillery shells, as well as moral obsolescence of SAUs such as 152C2 “Acacia” and “Hyacinth-S”. In part, this version is true (huge losses of arsenals during large-scale detonation in warehouses near Mariupol, Vinnitsa and Balakley, as well as the gradual deterioration of units during aggression against LDNR), however, the main hitch lies in a completely different point.
We are talking about the NATO caliber of the gun, which is 155 mm, which already says a lot. First, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are finally rebuilt to the “artillery standards” of the North Atlantic alliance; and this, in turn, forces us to begin actively purchasing 155-mm artillery ammunition from manufacturers in Western Europe and the USA. Secondly, for the first time, the Armed Forces of Ukraine will have artillery weapons adapted for high-precision 155-mm M982 Block IA-2 "Excalibur" active-rocket projectiles, the 250 units of which can be purchased as part of the 47-million grant from the US military aid offered by the State Department and the Pentagon and already reviewed by US National Security Advisor Herbert McMaster. New lethal weapons, including those reviewed by our previous works of the FGM-148 "Javelin" and "TOW" ATGM, could fall into the hands of Ukrainian militants immediately after the adoption of the US defense budget by the Congress on 2018. Let us consider what tactical problems artillery units of the LDNR People’s Militia Corps may encounter after entering the Crab Armed Forces armed forces armed with Excalibur.
Firstly, it is on the 50% a long range of the M982 Block IA-2 "Excalibur" in comparison with the existing and even promising active-reactive and guided projectiles, which are in service with not only the Novorossia air forces, but also the Russian Army (60 vs. 40 km, respectively). If we compare the Excalibur with such corrected projectiles as the Krasnopol-МХNUMX (39 km) ЗОФХNUMXМ, the gap in the radius of action is even greater: the brainchild of Raytheon Missile Systems and BAE Systems Bofors surpasses the domestic clever ammunition 1 times! In simpler language: “Crabs”, purchased by the Ukrainian junta, deployed in Krasnoarmeysk (at a distance of 25 km), will be able to fire at the central districts of Donetsk, being outside the range of D-2,4, “Msta-B” and the Uragan MLRS. How do you like this prospect?
Another extremely important tactical and technical point is that the “Excalibur”, used from extreme distances, will not allow the counter-battery radar of artillery reconnaissance NM DNR to accurately determine the location of the positions of the new Ukrainian SAU “Krab” and deliver a counter-battery strike by, for example, multiple launch rocket systems 9K58 Smerch. Even if the artillery batteries of the DPR army equip with the Zoo 1M radar-attached radar, they can detect the approaching 155-mm Excalibur only with 20 - 24 km, i.e., on approach. Due to the fact that the projectile is controlled by the nose aerodynamic rudders, it can deviate significantly from the initial trajectory typical of conventional high-explosive fragmentation projectiles for the 40 km from the point of the shot and the mathematical algorithm for calculating the projectile exit point will be for the Zoo 1M computing facilities ineffective and invalid. Accurately calculate the location of the artillery battery firing the Excalibur is possible only when looking for the M982 on the ascending branch of the trajectory, when the projectile does not correct the flight path, and for this you need to be at a distance of no more 25 - 26 km from the active artillery positions of the enemy.
In the current conditions of Donbass theater, this, unfortunately, is not yet feasible. This is precisely the danger of the introduction of 155-mm artillery guns with all the ensuing consequences. And it can happen very soon! The M982 Block IA-2 circular deviation is from 20 to 10 meters, which poses a huge threat to LDNR gunners. In fact, the entire defensive republic of the barrel and rocket artillery can be eliminated with impunity in just a few days from a distance in 50 - 60 km.
What countermeasures can be developed against Excalibur? Undoubtedly, these are powerful electronic countermeasures operating in decimeter L-wavebands (at frequencies from 1 to 2 GHz); It is in this wavelength range that the radio navigation satellite system GPS channels are located (frequency range 1176,45 - 1575,42 MHz). To serve an excellent service here can mobile electronic intelligence complexes / EW R-330ZH "Resident", which, according to information previously found on the network, have already been transferred to the LPRD people's militia corps, and this is very encouraging. A quick means of counteraction can be considered as a quick change of the positions of artillery batteries of the LDNR armies during counter battery operation, especially at night. But even this will not help if in 30 - 70 km from the front line a high-altitude strategic reconnaissance drone RQ-4A with the well-known call sign UAVGH000 will be patrolling: its onboard side-view radar with AFAR AN / ZPY-2 MP-RTIP will accurately detect new positions of SAU Republican armies. Since the above radar operates in the centimeter X-band (8-12 GHz), then the electronic countermeasure for Global Hawk will require other, for example, Krasukh complexes.
Models of similar mini-confrontations of Western high-precision weapons and Russian countermeasures on the lands of Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics can be considered and “chewed” to infinity, the facts remain facts: Kiev will receive a lethal weapon by the spring of 2018; the headquarters of the “Square” has already outlined priorities in the types of weapons. Moscow, Donetsk and Lugansk, it remains only to consider a preemptive move in this dangerous and unpredictable "game." And if this move gets stuck in the quagmire of “peace treaties”, it will be practically impossible to outplay the Ukrainian Armed Forces without direct military support from Russia.