Of course, it was our VKS that turned the tide, swinging the scales in the opposite direction and firmly pressing their bowl to the floor, hitting the main and key objects of the terrorists. At the same time, this whole process clearly shows how the current high-tech war differs from the war of yesterday, since such tasks are solved by a smaller outfit of forces that are beyond the power of large military formations.
As an example, we can cite the actions of our aviation in the zone of responsibility of the Damascus exhaust gas (one-third of the territory of Syria) in November-December 2016 compared to Syrian aviation and artillery. The share of artillery in fire damage was 73%, aviation of the ATS SAR - 14%, and aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces - 13%.
At the same time, the number of sorties made by the aircraft of the SAR Armed Forces was almost X times the number of departures of the aviation of the VKS RF, 8 and 652 of the departure, respectively. Roughly speaking, modern aviation operates 84 times more productively than the old, outdated, armed with the Syrians.
It can be seen that the main role is played, as before, by the artillery and the queen of the fields - the infantry, which accounted for 73% of the targets hit. Therefore, it will be interesting to consider a little more detail in the artillery component and, usually not as widely reported as beautiful and spectacular air strikes.
First of all, it should be noted that artillery fire is carried out from previously prepared firing positions, which are equipped in the same places, and practically no movement of artillery takes place, with the exception of the RSG artillery units that were able to create and successfully used mixed artillery units (SmAG ) to concentrate artillery fire, in order to effectively defeat enemy targets in their area of responsibility.
Not the most pleasant feature of the Syrian gunners is the lack of reconnaissance equipment, which allows artillery reconnaissance further than 2-4 km, which determines the main task of firing, “reducing the activity of illegal armed groups,” that is, if there is no activity from the militants the target has become unobservable.
Artillery is dispersed in areas of responsibility and areas of 1-2 guns at the firing position (combat vehicle, mortar). As a consequence, the use of artillery is carried out by 1-2 guns at a rate of 1-2 projectile at a target, which does not allow to achieve the required degree of fire damage and practically does not produce results in counter-battery (counterminet) combat.
At the same time, the preparation of data for firing and the correction of fire is carried out using the Battery artillery program, which can significantly reduce the time for calculating installations. The time spent on the calculation of proofs is from 10 to 20 seconds.
It should be noted the positive aspects of the combat use of Syrian artillery guns:
- The personnel of artillery units fully knows and uses in practice their duties.
- the developed artillery program allows in the shortest possible time, with the maximum accuracy to carry out the calculation of installations and to carry out fire destruction of the enemy.
- The personnel pay due attention to the maintenance of guns (combat vehicles).
- engineering equipment, security and defense of artillery firing positions is carried out in full.
However, the problems are much more.
Thus, the dispersed location of artillery does not allow creating an effective system of artillery fire, as a rule, artillery uses only one type of fire - fire on a separate target, which significantly reduces the results of enemy fire engagement.
A typical problem is the extremely low manning capacity of artillery units - not higher than 40%. Ballistic training calculations of guns that are outside the PPD (seconded) are not engaged.
There are no technical means of artillery reconnaissance (only binoculars, compass and rangefinders are available).
Amendments to the deviation of the initial velocity of the projectiles due to wear of the bore are not specified (there are no PZK).
Topographical geodetic binding is performed by GPS navigator, which gives a median error up to 50 meters. The terrain, as a rule, is poor in geodetic terms and is characterized by a low density of geodetic network points. The absence of meteorological stations in the artillery units makes meteorological training impossible. Corrections for deviations of weather conditions from tabular ones are calculated only for air temperature and atmospheric pressure, and in most cases the fire opens on topographic data.
The absence of a military contact line, the tactics of guerrilla war makes it almost impossible to control TGPs by means of a senior commander, as well as laying theodolite and bussel moves, making direct and reverse serifs.
The widespread shortage of artillery ammunition (up to 0,1 bk on the gun) is superimposed on the low quality of foreign-made ammunition. At the same time there are a large number of different batches of charges in firing positions, and the shots have different ballistic characteristics of even one batch.
The Russian group, being "sharpened" mainly for air support, does not have a large number of artillery ammunition, but supplies the Syrians with what they have, shipping them to about one and a half thousand tons of ammunition per month. But this is clearly not enough, so the Syrians have to very often use their own production of ammunition, made in artisanal conditions.
Mine production workshop
Production of shrapnel shells
Shrapnel Filling Ammunition
Forms for the production of mines
It is curious that amateurism is manifested in everything, not only in artillery, but also in aviation. The lack of a technologically advanced production of aviation munitions and trained specialists for their production does not allow the manufacture of aviation weapons of the required quality that can effectively hit specified targets. The use of Syrian-made munitions (manufactured by the “artisanal” method of a wide range from 50 to 1200 kg with unknown ballistic characteristics) affects the accuracy of the use of these ammunition. For example, horror fighters are also made into bomb-fighters dropped from helicopters on fighters.
Air Drum Bombs
Making a barrel bomb
Attachment option bombs
High-explosive aerial bombs for use with aircraft - analogue of Russian OFAB-250
Ammunition "barrel" 1000 kg, prepared for combat use in the cabin of the Mi-8 helicopter
Helicopter ammunition of various sizes prepared for suspension
Small caliber bombs with split warheads
Ammunition "barrel" weight 400 kg
Penetrating ammunition made from a gun barrel
Pneumatic feeder ammunition
Preparation of pneumatic feeder for use
Pneumatic feeder ammunition in action
Militants are also not asleep, and with ecstasy they indulge in the manufacture of all sorts of vunderväffles, having workshops mainly in the tunnels they have opened (about them in the next article). The armaments and ammunition made by the illegal armed groups sometimes have great destructive power, but because of their low accuracy they bring little efficiency and strike mainly civilian objects.
Making mortar mines
IED volumetric lesion
Installation for throwing homemade grenades
Homemade jet ammunition
Homemade installation for firing
Rapier guidance method
GPS pointing method
MLRS on pickup
Installing a helicopter PU NUR on pickup
Firing from the MLRS mounted on a pickup truck
Firing from a homemade mortar
With a decrease in the number of operating gangs and their mutual confrontation, the Syrian army had the opportunity to use artillery weapons more effectively, concentrating more weapons and MLRS in given directions and providing them with increased ammunition for regular shots. However, the “war of yesterday”, which is characterized by the massive production of deadly artisanal ammunition, continues and apparently lasts until the complete destruction of the organized structure of terrorist groups.