Officially, in our country, the day of the Air Defense Forces is celebrated from the Soviet times. In the calendar of army holidays, he appeared in 1975 year on the basis of a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. The official reason, they say, was not to be invented. By that time, the air defense forces had repeatedly manifested themselves as a real shield of the Fatherland, protecting the country and citizens from attacks from the air.
From the official document:
"For the great services of the air defense forces of the country during the Great Patriotic War and for the fulfillment of especially important tasks in peacetime."
Until 1980, the holiday of air defense troops was assigned a “fixed” date - April 11. And since 1981, the date has become “floating” - the second April Sunday.
When were the air defense forces first used? The answer to this question is obvious - in that historical the period when ground targets and troops were actually threatened from the air. First - with balloons, balloons and airships.
It is believed that the first use of anti-aircraft weapons took place during the war of the so-called First Coalition (90-ies of the XVIII century). We are talking about the anti-French coalition. In the historical notes preserved documents describing the shelling from the ground of the French observant balloon. The shelling was carried out by Austrians from artillery shells - from mortars with the maximum elevation angle of the barrel. The historical document describes the events as follows:
There was a decent undershoot of the nuclei, but the shelling forced the French ball to leave the airspace above the battlefield.
He was simply pulled back with ropes, after which the ball landed. This historical event describes an engraving:
An interesting fact is that after two years, the Austrian anti-aircraft artillery hit a French aerostat in the area of the Charleroi fortress, which at that time belonged to the Dutch. The balloon belonged to the French aeronautic company that existed at that time.
The first massive threat to the use of aircraft manifested itself during the First World War. It was then that not only aerostats and airships, but also airplanes began to work actively against ground positions (including reconnaissance). Moreover, they worked in the rear.
Historians know the approximate ratio of the presence of aircraft from countries that participated in the First World War. To its top, the leading European states had the following number of aircraft fleets:
France - 500, Germany - 150, Russia - 140, England - 65, Italy - 50, Austria-Hungary - 20.
As can be seen, the anti-German coalition had a significant advantage, including at the expense of hundreds of French aircraft. Another question is how effectively these French airplanes were used ...
Soldiers 5-th Army AO aircraft "Voisin" (weapons - machine gun "Maxim"). 1916
Here it is necessary to note such an important point as practical experience in the use of aeronautics during the war with Japan of 1904-1905. In particular, the means of aeronautics then used in the defense of Port Arthur.
Two years after the end of the Russo-Japanese War, the command of the Artillery Committee decides on the development of measures to fight controlled aerostats. After some time, a key principle was actually proposed for the operation of all air defense systems - hitting the target is not necessarily a direct hit of the released ammunition, since it is an extremely difficult task - it is enough to create ammunition that would be torn in the target hit zone. This option was proposed by N.V. Gerasimov, a military engineer of the Russian imperial army, who ultimately designed a gyroscopic rocket, but during the tests the ammunition revealed a number of shortcomings, including deficiencies in performance characteristics.
Modern Russian air defense systems are a real guarantee that the threat from the air is minimized. Behind the C-400 “Triumph” anti-aircraft missile systems there is literally a line of customers who appreciate the effectiveness of these Russian weapons. China, Turkey, India, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan.
Zamglavkoma VKS RF Lieutenant-General Viktor Gumenny notes the effectiveness of Russian anti-aircraft missile systems in Syria. From his interview with the departmental newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda, in which he noted that thanks to the air defense systems, Moscow and Damascus are aware of “every step” of the American coalition:
We receive from the forces of the air defense point of Syria all the necessary information about the air situation, including the actions of our and Syrian aviation when performing the missions assigned to them. Thanks to the established cooperation, we know about every step of the coalition aviation over the territory of Syria and we inform the military-political leadership of our country about this.
Other air defense and missile defense systems are also contributing to the security of Russia and other countries of the world. In particular, we can recall the transfer of the C-300 air defense system to Iran.
On the approach is a promising system C-500, the parameters of which are already interested in foreign "partners".
However, air defense is not only a technique. This is primarily people who can create such equipment, and people who can use it effectively to protect the air borders of the country. And these people have a professional holiday today.
"Military Review" congratulates all involved with the Day of the air defense forces of Russia!