On January 13, the German edition of Bild published an article entitled “Unsichtbare” Flugzeuge und schwimmende Militärbasen: Die Superwaffen der Gegenwart (“Invisible” Airplanes and Floating Military Bases: A Super-Weapon of Modernity ”) authored by Niklas Renzel. As the name suggests, the article is dedicated to the newest models. weapons and military equipment, created in different countries and embodying the latest successes of the military industry.
The epigraph to the article is the aphorism of the British writer Martin Amis: a weapon is like money - no one knows how much it will be enough.
Faster, higher, worse. When it comes to developing weapons for war, the human mind has almost no limitations. At all times, certain armies had weapons that gave a serious advantage and did not leave the enemy a single chance. The Bild publication intends to consider super-weapons from different eras, and in this article draws attention to modern designs.
N. Renzel recalls the events of the last century. In the 20th century, mankind survived two world wars, which claimed more lives than all other conflicts combined. It was hoped that peaceful coexistence would follow military catastrophes, but it did not justify itself. After World War II, the Cold War began. The USA and the USSR were now at enmity with each other, but did not bring the matter to an open clash. At the same time, the arms race and nuclear confrontation brought the world to the brink of disaster several times. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Cold War ended, but conflicts in different areas continued. The current asymmetrical wars are a new challenge for armies.
During the First World War, aircraft carriers first went to sea and solved combat missions. During World War II, such ships became a strategically important factor. Today, floating military bases with thousands of people on board are unique tools for power projection.
The United States, Britain and Japan were the first countries to master the full operation of aircraft carriers. At first, these were ships rebuilt from ships of other classes, and in the early twenties, the first special-built aircraft carriers appeared. Hitler's Germany formed plans for the construction of aircraft carriers before the start of the Second World War. She wanted to build two ships of the Graf Zeppelin type, however, shortly after the start of the war, construction actually stopped.
Aircraft carriers played a crucial role in the Second World War Pacific Theater, where the United States and Japan fought. Carriers of the time were very different from modern ones. So, they had only a straight flight deck. The corner deck, which made possible simultaneous takeoffs and landings of several aircraft, appeared later. Not less important innovations were takeoff catapults and arresting gears.
The largest fleet of aircraft carriers at the moment is available in the United States. Their Navy has 10 such ships project Nimitz. The lead aircraft carrier, after whose name the entire series has been named, has been serving since 1976. This means that the first ships of the project had become obsolete to a certain extent. In this regard, in the next two decades, the oldest aircraft carriers will be replaced by new ships of the project Gerald R. Ford. The lead ship of this type has already been handed over to the US Navy, another one is under construction. The third will be laid in the near future.
In addition to the USA, 12 countries also own aircraft carriers: Egypt, Australia, Brazil, China, France, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey and the United Kingdom. N. Renzel writes that the Russian aircraft carrier, due to its dilapidated condition, may encounter problems of a technical nature. At the same time, China and the UK are building modern ships with high performance.
T.N. smart bombs and missiles are able to independently find a target and point at it. Specialist analytic organization RAND Corporation George Nakuzi, quoted by Bild, believes that high-precision munitions completely changed the nature of the fighting. During World War II, armies needed hundreds of bombs to destroy one factory, but now only a few ammunition is enough to solve the same problem.
One of the advantages of precision weapons, experts believe, is a sharp reduction in collateral damage and civilian casualties. The most important component of such capabilities is satellite navigation such as GPS. Without such means of determining the location, in the opinion of N. Renzel, modern weapons would not be so effective.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Unmanned aerial vehicles are already considered one of the main means of warfare in the future. The first experiments in this area refer to the 1931 year, when the British biplane aircraft Fairey III with remote control became a target for training fighters. Now, UAVs of different classes and types are part of the basic equipment of many armies. They are able to observe at a long distance from the operator or carry and use weapons.
The newest aircraft carrier in the UK - HMS Queen Elizabeth. Photo by Steve Parsons / AP Photo / dpa
A UAV is able to quietly reach a given area and stay there for hours, observing. It is much easier and cheaper than using manned aircraft. The signal from advanced opto-electronic devices can be transmitted to the operator via radio, including using communication satellites. For example, US drones operating in the Middle East were driven from bases in Nevada, Texas or California.
Supporters of unmanned systems indicate that the use of such equipment allows to protect operators. The control panel is at a great distance from the aircraft, and therefore its operators are not at risk. The crews of the "traditional" aircraft, in turn, are exposed to danger during departures. When using precision weapons, both manned and unmanned aircraft show high combat effectiveness.
Opponents of the UAV have concerns about lowering the threshold for the use of lethal weapons. In addition, the use of such technology may be contrary to international law. In some cases, UAVs were sent to attack terrorists in the territories of third countries without formal notification or declaration of war. So, the United States uses its reconnaissance drones over the territory of Yemen. There are attacks by armed groups in Pakistan, which have no justification from the point of view of international law. In addition, there are known deaths of civilians as a result of the use of drone drone.
Unmanned aerial vehicles are most actively used by the United States. They use such equipment for reconnaissance and surveillance, as well as for hunting terrorists. UAVs are in service in other countries, in the UK, France, Israel, Russia, etc. Western defense experts are concerned that China has begun developing its own drone drone. According to several assumptions, the DPRK has launched its project.
According to the manufacturer, Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor is the best fighter in the world. It is a fighter of air superiority that promises complete control over the sky. N. Renzel believes that there are several factors that ensure the superiority of F-22.
Due to the use of so-called. F-22 stealth technology can hardly be detected by enemy radar equipment. It has high maneuverability and is distinguished by a serious combat potential in the context of air combat. Also, the machine is capable of attacking ground targets, although in this case it carries a relatively small ammunition load. A fighter, without using afterburner chambers, is capable of speeds of the order of M = 2.
The development of the F-22 aircraft began about 30 years ago, but until recently it was not able to participate in real combat. Only recently, within the framework of the fight against terrorists in the Middle East, such aircraft carried out several strikes against ground targets and thereby proved their combat effectiveness.
As the author of the publication “Bild” notes, now critics of the Raptor project have fewer arguments. Now they will have to give up their doubts that F-22 will ever be used in battle. Indeed, these planes were never used during the conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq, which caused controversy even in the Pentagon.
One of the problems of the F-22 project was the excessive cost of the work. Each production aircraft cost 189 million dollars. Taking into account the associated costs (project development, pilot training, operation, etc.), the cost of each machine reached 400 millions. Thus, any serial Raptor was more expensive than a new football stadium in Munich. The total cost of the F-22 program is 77 billion dollars.
In the recent past, many American commanders considered the F-22 fighter to be a relic of the end of the Cold War. However, later, China began to build up its military power, and Vladimir Putin’s Russia shows its strength in Ukraine. In such an environment, many are beginning to see miracle weapons in existing fighters that can fight new and old enemies.
In the bomber field, the United States was also able to get outstanding results. Until now, the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit strategic bomber remains unsurpassed. This inconspicuous aircraft was created at the final stage of the Cold War; It was intended for the quick and secret delivery of nuclear warheads to enemy rear facilities.
Soldiers of the cyber armies of the Bundeswehr. Photo by WOLFGANG RATTAY / Reuters
B-2 was built according to the “flying wing” scheme and has special forms, due to which it remains invisible to the enemy radar. The machine is controlled by two pilots. She is able to fly without landing to 11 thousand. Km. When adopting each of the aircraft Spirit, without taking into account the cost of development and weapons, cost about 700 million dollars.
Unobtrusive bomber participated in the fighting in Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya. In order for the existing fleet of B-2 aircraft to maintain the required capabilities and remain in the ranks, a modernization program is planned. 10 billion dollars is planned to be spent on updating two dozen cars.
N. Renzel recalls that now in battle they win not only with the help of missiles, tanks and fighters, but also with the use of computer systems. Such a “weapon” is notable for its relatively low cost, and tracking its actions is associated with certain problems. To monitor enemy troops, as well as to monitor its infrastructure, you can use virus software. The ultimate goal of such actions, as in the case of traditional weapons, is to weaken the enemy by any available means.
J. Nakuzi of RAND Corporation recalls: computers are everywhere, and it’s almost impossible to protect yourself from cyber attacks. Therefore, no matter what protection programs are created and used, there is already a new malicious software that is ready to launch.
Computer attacks have long become a reality. So, back in 2016, Bild learned from the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution that the Russian special services of the FSB and the GRU carried out targeted attacks against state and non-governmental organizations in Germany. Such attacks use significant resources and great technical capabilities.
To protect against missile attacks from armed groups such as Hamas, Israel created the “Iron Dome” anti-missile defense complex (“Kipat Barzel” or Iron Dome). Mobile defense systems deployed near cities at risk of becoming a missile target.
The launcher of such a complex is a metal box with a height of about 3 m, inside which the 20 anti-missile fits. Due to its small size, the launcher can be transported by existing army trucks. The battery of the "Iron Dome" is worth 50-80 million US dollars. The interceptor missile costs the army 50 thousand. The battery includes a radar station, fire controls and three launchers.
MOAB Bomb Description
The complex’s radar finds an enemy missile already in flight, and this is followed by the command to launch an anti-missile missile. A three-meter rocket weighing 90 kg is displayed at a calculated meeting point where it hits enemy ammunition. There are some limitations. Thus, the Iron Dome cannot repel a massive missile strike. In addition, it is known about the existence of the order, according to which the antimissile can only be launched in cases where an enemy missile could fall on an Israeli settlement.
The Israeli army reports that Kipat Barzel intercepts 85-90% of missiles launched by armed groups. The complex affects ballistic ammunition with a range from 4 to 70 km.
"Father of all bombs"
In 2007, Russia first tested the world's most powerful non-nuclear bomb, which immediately stuck the nickname "Father of all bombs." Aviation the ammunition showed a power equivalent to the explosion of 44 tons of TNT.
This product is a thermobaric bomb equipped with a special liquid or combustible powder. First, an explosion sprays a combustible substance in the surrounding space, and then the resulting aerosol is ignited. The explosion of such a bomb creates a giant fireball, burning all combustible objects and destroying buildings. Bomb mass 7 t is proposed for use by bombers.
A little earlier, the United States created the Mother of All Bombs - a product of the GBU-43 / B Massive Ordnance Air Blast. 13 April 2017, this bomb was first used against a real target. In 19: 30 local time, the United States Air Force raided terrorist targets in northeastern Afghanistan. The bomb destroyed the tunnels, which served as a shelter for terrorists. 36 militants were eliminated, civilians were not injured. The product GBU-43 / B can be considered the most powerful bombs ever used in a real operation.
Like no other project, China’s “Dongfeng” (“East Wind”) rocket shows China’s aspiration for leadership in its region and in the world. The DF-21D system is said to be a ballistic missile designed to destroy enemy ships. According to some reports, this rocket can not be programmed before launch. All the necessary data can be transferred to it after entering the atmosphere, which allows you to attack moving targets.
According to the Bild publication, the DF-21D rocket is able to reach speeds of up to 12 thousand km / h and fly to a range of up to 1500 km. The existence of the DF-21D project was known for a long time, but until a certain time official Beijing did not specify its details. With a certain delay, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party told about the possibilities of the new rocket.
The idea of creating a ballistic anti-ship missile capable of attacking aircraft carriers emerged during the Taiwan crisis of the nineties. A little later began the development of weapons with such capabilities. A few years ago, the finished rocket DF-21D entered service. If this rocket is really capable of what its creators promise, it can be an important milestone in the field of rocket weapons. However, the real characteristics and capabilities of the anti-ship "East Wind" are still unknown.
From the moment they appeared on the battlefield a century ago, tanks caused fear and horror. Their size and firepower impressed the enemy and forced them to respect themselves. To date, the role of tanks has changed, but armored forces still remain the basis of almost all the armies of the world.
During the times of asymmetric warfare, the profile of the combat work of tanks changed. The fight of tanks with tanks is still relevant, but armored vehicles need other qualities to fight terrorists. It should have improved protection, more powerful weapons and improved means of masking.
Experts believe that the main novelty of the last time in the field of tanks was created in Russia - this is the main tank T-14 "Armata". The armored vehicle received an uninhabited tower, completely controlled from the consoles in the cockpit. The 125-mm smooth-bore gun is capable of making up to 12 rounds per minute and firing various projectiles, as well as guided missiles with a range of up to 8 km.
The military weekly Army Times, which N. Renzel refers to, claims that the Russian T-14 tank differs from the American M1 Abrams family of cars with a more powerful gun and improved mobility. According to the data of this edition, the combat weight of the "Armata" is 48 t, the maximum speed is 80 km / h. The American Abrams can only develop 64 km / h.
However, the newest Russian tank has not yet shown itself on the battlefield, while foreign armored vehicles actively participate in wars. Both the American Abrams and the German Leopard 2 passed the test of actual operation and combat. The author of the German edition notes that the latter was repeatedly declared by experts to be the best modern tank used in real battles. In various comparisons and empirical "contests", the Leopard-2 armored vehicle regularly outperforms its competitors from the USA, France and the UK.
Unsichtbare article Flugzeuge und schwimmende Militärbasen: Die Superwaffen