How the air defense strategy influenced the air defense systems in the USSR, the Russian Federation and the USA. C-300 vs "Patriot"

The ambitious idea of ​​the multichannel complex C-300 - a leader for years to come

The fact is that the C-300 complex was conceived from the very beginning in NPO Almaz named after A. A. Raspletin (now Air Defense Concern Almaz-Antey) as a very ambitious, fantastic strategic state project: a regiment radar with a phased antenna array, leading dozens of targets at distances up to 300 km, giving through KP computers (command post) instructions to six divisions with S-300 air defense systems, each of which can simultaneously shoot down to 6 goals. We can say this: it was the ambitious, somewhat fantastic requirements for the capabilities of the complex, the bold design of the design team and provided him with a long leadership. The project was lucky in the sense that the state did not leave it halfway, did not stop financing and provided everything necessary.

How the air defense strategy influenced the air defense systems in the USSR, the Russian Federation and the USA. C-300 vs "Patriot"

The peculiarity of the C-300 does not begin with the regimental, but with the division level. Each medium-range divisional air defense system (up to 45 km) was to become the first serial multi-channel air defense system in the USSR. Multichannel in the sense of simultaneous firing of targets: 6 of fired targets, 12 of guided missiles in the air (two for one target). And in this case, each air defense system should, if something happens, work separately, without regimental radar and CP.

The C-300 complex is characterized by the following technical innovations: automation of all processes (except for deciding to fire at a target), short response time, noise-resistant communication lines with automatic frequency tuning, redundancy and fast switching of radar frequencies, flexible use of several different radars in one complex ( different ranges and operating principles), the flexible composition of the regiment - a different number of divisions (from 1 to 6), the vertical launch of powerful solid-fuel missiles (guided missiles were developed by the ICB “Fak” l ") weighing 1,5 tons, a length of more than 7 meters, speeds of up to 2,1 kilometers per second, and with a long warranty period of storage in containers.

Hence the unique properties of C-300: the destruction of a low-flying target by a rocket by striking from above at extremely low altitudes (only 25-10 meters above the ground), the possibility of hitting targets flying at speeds of up to 4 sound speeds, the ability to destroy ballistic missiles at a record height (up to 27 km) . After long and difficult trials (not everything went smoothly), the C-300 complex began to be mass-produced since the 1975 of the year, was adopted for service in the 1978 year, in the 1980-s it has already become the basis of the country's air defense.

Initially, the complex supported working with 3 types of missiles: special missiles (Type C) with a nuclear warhead (it was quickly removed from service), command (type K) - without a radar guidance head, but with a large explosive charge (130 kg), with half- active guidance (type P) - equipped with a radar receiver for homing, have greater accuracy, but less explosive charge (90 kg). The range of missiles has been increased from 45 to 75 km. Numerous tests and training exercises with "live" targets showed: a rocket explosion at 15 meters from the target is guaranteed to destroy a target like a fighter / cruise missile. In most cases, the rocket explodes even closer: at 3-7 meters from the target. Occasionally, missiles hit the target directly (and manage to report it to the air defense system).

Later, the arsenal of missiles expanded, as well as new types of C-300 complexes appeared: in addition to the initial (positionally transported) version of the C-300PT (to which I was related by virtue of my ASL), the tracked version of the C-1982PS arose in 300 ( self-propelled), and then in 1989 a quick-deploying complex was adopted for service on the new C-300ПМ element base (mobile), in 1997 it was modified to the “С-300ПМ2 Favorite” with an expanded range of missiles and a record target interception range (up to 195 km), which began to enter the troops only in 2012 year.

Even in this 2019 year, an intermediate (between the obsolete C-300PS and the too expensive new C-400) complex called the Vityaz C-350 (tested in the 2013 year) with an increased number of missiles at the launcher was adopted to reflect massive raids.

Simultaneously with this evolution of C-300 for air defense by another team (Design Bureau named after M.I. Kalinin), the development of C-300В (military) options for army air defense (front-line air defense of covering the battlefield) on tracked conveyors: C-300В, С -300В1, С-300В2, С-300ВМ "Antey-2500".

For large fleet ships, the third design bureau (VNII RE, the former NII-10) developed the S-1980F (naval) Fort complex in the 300 years, then the S-300FM Fort-M with missile range up to 200 km.

It seems to be understandable why C-300 is so popular in our country and abroad. However, there is one "BUT», Regarding doubts about the combat effectiveness of C-300 for external customers.

C-300 paradox: has never been used in battle, but is in demand in the world!

The most unusual fact about the combat merit of the C-300: it has never been used in real combat. Although he participated indirectly in military conflicts (for example, he recently played his role in the civil war in Syria). How, then, to explain the desire of many countries to buy a complex that, for 40 years, has not passed the baptism of war?

Only the simple fact that no one dared to attack the countries and objects covered by C-300. C-300 defended them without a single combat shot, without a single victory. C-300 defended all this time (about 40 years) of the USSR and the Russian Federation, 20 has been protecting China for years, and more than 10 has been protecting many other countries. The fact that these countries were not affected by the war is also due to the С-300 complex. Why is that?

Let me give you an example from another area (which I came across somewhere on the Internet): in one city in the summer, all residents were in a fever of news about apartment thefts - they happened several times a day. The author of the article conducted his own research in his and neighboring houses. As a result, he found out an amazing fact: not one of the apartments where the owners had a dog and / or officially registered weapon was not robbed. The apartment with the dog is easy to determine, but the effect with the registered weapon suggests that the thieves had a database from the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Why did thieves avoid such apartments? Because both a powerful dog and firearms are fraught with danger, which is completely unnecessary for experienced thieves. Nobody wants to get a portion of fractions or buckshot in the stomach - this is both painful and unpleasant, often just fatal. It’s not worth it to go if there are apartments nearby without such “surprises”. Similarly with C-300: why run into such a "pig in a poke", which can be very unpleasant, if not fatal surprise, if you can choose a victim without C-300 at all?

In this, C-300 resembles nuclear weapons: after all, countries that possess nuclear weapons on ballistic carriers are simply not at risk of attack - it is too dangerous! Similar история and with C-300: it is scary to attack where the C-300 is on round-the-clock duty because of the very possible heavy losses in expensive aircraft and professional pilots, but the success of such an enterprise is far from guaranteed. Roughly speaking, C-300 without a single shot protects the possessing countries with its unique combat capabilities, its image, inspires fear even without confirmation of its qualities in battle.

A little about buyers C-300

Which countries bought export options of C-300? Algeria, Venezuela, Vietnam, Iran, China, Greece, Syria ... Shipments to Egypt are expected soon, a contract with India is still possible. The first buyers appeared at C-400 (China, Turkey).

Which countries did you want to buy C-300, but could not?

1. Cyprus under pressure from the United States in 1997-2007 sold C-300 Greece on about. Crete (having received in exchange tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, howitzers and several Tor-M1 air defense systems).

2. Iran. The first attempt to buy C-300 in 2007-10 failedBut the second in 2015-16 was a success.

3. Turkey. The first tender attempt was unsuccessful for C-300 (and the tender itself was canceled after the victory of the Chinese clone C-300 under the name HQ-9), but Turkey was able to buy C-400 this year, which simply put NATO in front of an unpleasant choice: to expel Turkey from NATO in disgrace or to wait for Turkey to leave NATO itself with a proudly raised head.

By the way, all the arguments of the Americans that C-400 in Turkey are allegedly dangerous for NATO because this complex is there "incompatible with NATO standards"Or in Turkey, Russian specialists using C-400 will learn to detect and fly new American F-35 fighters (also ordered by Turkey) with radars, it’s just ridiculous: what when these fighters fly over Norway right at the borders of the Russian Federation (or in the Baltic Sea) our complexes will not learn how to detect and track F-35 ?? Or do you forbid Norwegians to fly on F-35 at the borders of the Russian Federation? Why then to the Norwegians these fighters not flying because of secrecy? Show them in the museum? One would like to say: do not invent fairy tales, make an export air defense system at or better than C-400, offer your allies - then there will be no problem with Turkey ...

Which countries received C-300 from the USSR and continue to use them? This is Croatia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Azerbaijan ... Why do they still continue to use them (even without being allies of the Russian Federation)? Because they do not have money and the desire to switch to something else, which is more expensive and not necessarily better. Some of these countries experienced conflicts on their borders, which, however, never turned into air raids.

Moreover, for a number of countries, C-300 analogues were developed and put on stream, either created through cooperation with Antei NPO as a complex KM-SAM Cheolmae-2 in South Korea in 2015 (which then led to the development in Russia of the S-350 air defense system), either by purchasing a license for the production of С-300ПМУ1, as in China with a licensed complex (HQ-15 "Hongqi-15", HongQi-15), or by copying techniqueAs in China created the HQ-9 / HQ-9 complex ("Hongqi-9" - HongQi-9) based on C-300 (, причем он Already sold by China to Morocco, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Or like in Iran, where in 2019 the year was created suspiciously like C-300 complex Khordad 15.

The funny thing is that and The USA secretly acquired for 6 million dollars in December the 1994 complex, either C-300ПМУ, or С-300ПТ-1 in Belarus. At the same time, one should not forget that before and after this incident, the Americans could get a lot from C-300 from Croatia, from Slovakia, and from Greece, which has long been a member of NATO.

They could not get anything useful for copying from this transaction, since the American approach to both radars and electronics (at the lowest, elementary level) is different, and the structure of the connections of C-300 nodes and elements is as if deliberately confused to the limit - even studying the interaction of elements is very difficult. And then: what kind of normal American manufacturer admits that C-300 is better and will start to copy it stupidly when you can create something of your own? Moreover, Americans from the 1982 of the year have their own Patriot air defense system ("Patriot") with a rich history.

Why is the American analog of Patriot not quite the analog of C-300?

Compared with the C-300, the American Patriot MIM-104 (Patriot) SAM is less famous here. But in the West, in NATO countries, in Japan, he is just very famous, as he participated in at least three real wars and constantly defends the sky of Israel. That is, unlike the C-300, the Patriot air defense system was tested in real combat operations and proved to be in battle.

In print, media and the Internet, many copies are broken on the subject of which is better: C-300 or Patriot. I can’t add new arguments to this endless debate, I’ll only notice that the Patriot was developed by Raytheon at about the same time (tests began in the 1976 year), but was initially designed for a shorter range and height of defeat, it was not focused on defending borders countries, and to defend objects or troops on the battlefield. From the very beginning, the Patriot had slower missiles (1,8 km / s), smaller in size (but more precisely, due to the constant reception by the missile of the radar signal reflected from the target and its transfer from the missile to the air defense system), it had a slight advantage in multichannel (up to 6- 8 targets and up to 24 missiles aimed at them), however, its variants have a somewhat long deployment time, as they are placed on trailers. The Patriot is slightly cheaper to use, this SAM was not originally designed for the country's air defense, to protect airspace on the borders of the United States - mainly because of the differences between the American air defense concept and the USSR / Russian air defense concept. Therefore, it is not entirely correct to compare these two complexes, although their design has general principles, because their designers often followed similar paths.

The status of the battle-tested for the Patriot complex has both good and bad sides: during the 1991 war in the Persian Gulf, this air defense system had problems with the destruction of old primitive short-range Scud short-range ballistic missiles (according to some reports, about 25% of such missiles in Saudi Arabia and about 33% in Israel). Sometimes these problems led to mass deaths. Moreover, not all problems can be attributed to the human factor, technical problems due to service disruptions, bad weather and placement / application errors, misses in the work of combat crew due to the complexity of the target’s flight — some of the errors were caused by incorrect technical and software solutions, for example, poor synchronization of time in different elements of the complex (every 100 hours of uninterrupted operation led to deviation of the system clock by one third of a second) The Americans and Israelis improved a lot in the Patriot system after these failures and over time it got better (in 2003, 9 from 9 missiles were intercepted over Israel).

But recent experience with the Patriot complex in southwestern Saudi Arabia came out again not very successful, right up to firing rockets "Patriot" of the Saudi capital (one missile of this air defense system abruptly “went off course” and hit a residential area instead of a target;


Another rocket exploded / self-destructed in the first kilometer of flight.

As a result, the Husite partisans manage to strike at airbases, airports, which seem to be covered by Patriot divisions, with their own and Iranian ballistic missiles. destroy one Patriot installation with cheap Iranian drone Qasef-2K. Perhaps it is in brave partisans with ballistic missiles. Previously, only in computer games did the developers' imagination allow an unrealistic combination: partisans with ballistic missiles. Now it has become the truth of life and even a routine. Although specifically in these cases, the matter is probably still not only in them and in the Patriot complex, but in the Saudis using this complex, with unknown preparation.

By the way, I would not be surprised if, when comparing American and Israeli calculations of the Patriot air defense system, it turns out that the Israeli military, both in general training and in real combat experience, is a cut above their American counterparts. How can this be?

It’s very simple: Israeli air defense is constantly on alert, the calculations of the same “Patriots” in Israel often destroy drones and missiles flying towards them, sometimes airplanes - combat work is quite specific and directly related to the hourly defense of the air borders of a small country from real enemies.

Whereas the Americans are either training at home at training grounds with previously known false targets, or they are using Patriots divisions in areas where US expeditionary forces deploy in rare conflicts and US invasions abroad, when in fact a weak adversary can’t really oppose the US to the sky. Accordingly, the approach of the American Patriots ’calculations to the service is more formal, less connected with the real danger of defeat and death of the calculation, has nothing to do with the defense of the US borders (they are too far away, often just from the other side of the Earth).

But what about the use of "Patriot" for the defense of US borders directly? How is the Patriot air defense system used there?

The strangest thing is that the answer is: does not apply ...

Differences between the US Air Defense Strategy and the USSR / RF Air Defense Strategy

Not only the Patriot, but also other air defense systems in the USA have long been no longer used for round-the-clock combat duty, for the defense of the US borders, airspace on the borders or around important American sites, cities, and ports. It sounds strange, but the United States (in fact the most powerful military power in the world) does not use its best multi-channel air defense system in the country!

American air defense of the country relies entirely on defense from enemy aircraft with the help of fighter aircraft, which is controlled on the basis of 127 data from military radars deployed throughout the United States. (And a massive retaliatory nuclear strike in the event of an enemy missile strike). And this makes its own sense: Americans since the days of the USSR are not so much focused on the defense of their own country, but on controlling ... all over the world at once. Simply put: if, with the best army, navy and aviation, the USA can suppress any countries, then why should the Americans tightly protect the entire air border of their country and Canada, as they tried to do since the end of the 50's with the help of expensive large stationary air defense batteries range? After all, instead, you can control those countries that are potentially dangerous for the United States (from military bases not far from them), pre-suppressing any dangerous creeps for the United States far from the US borders!

This concept had a definite meaning, it worked for several decades against the USSR, which could not and did not want to control the whole world, did not even have the ability to block numerous US bases, and therefore, from the 70-ies it was striving with all its might with the help of radars and numerous complexes Air defense (such as C-200 and C-300) control the entire perimeter of the Soviet borders and the Warsaw Pact countries (widely using air defense fighters only in sparsely populated polar regions), hoping in case of which to stop American aviation at the borders.

The American concept of active defense (rather, even attack) on very, very distant lines and weak control of the air borders of their country by the US Air Force radar and fighter aircraft took shape in the 70 years too. Such a concept did not require the development of a serial S-300 air defense system at all, nor did it require dozens of such systems to be deployed at the borders in the round-the-clock operation. Instead, American defense gradually moved away from the 1975-79 year. the old concept of the polar DEW radar line and placed farther south in Canada and the USA stationary air defense systems long and ultra-long range development 50 years (265-174 batteries of the Nike-Hercules air defense system и 9 battery base SAM "Bomark" ) to new medium-range mobiles, but only to protect their bases and troops abroad - this role went to adopted by the Patriot MIM-1982 system in the 104 year. And before and now about half of all Patriot complexes deployed in the territories of US allies in Europe, South Korea and Japan, the Middle East. And everything was fine until this concept gave a terrible, but logical (and not completely realized by many) failure after the collapse of the Soviet Union - 11 of September 2001 of the year.

Unexpected collapse of American air defense concept

To understand the horror of the defeat of the United States (and the US Air Force's powerlessness) during the September 11 terrorist attacks, it is necessary to study the very planning of terrorist attacks. By chance, in the summer of 2017, I caught my eye the notorious Xnumx classified pages of the US intelligence report on the investigation of the September 11 attacks. I studied this issue from a political point of view and from the point of view of planning attacks, wrote about it Articlethen expanded the narrative in terms of air defense and air traffic control. I can say without exaggeration that I myself was amazed at the results of my research.

The truth turned out to be much worse than conspiracy theories ... The conclusion is very unpleasant: foolish terrorists could not have come up with such a complex and accurate plan - to plan it, you need certain specific knowledge in the field of civilian air control, air traffic control in the US sky, and in the field of interaction between air traffic controllers and air defense USA, and in the US airspace defense scheme. Simply put, the attacks were planned by those who possessed this special knowledge and understood the whole essence of the work of air traffic controllers and US air defense. Alas, after the attacks, many unpleasant facts were kept secret, hidden by the US military itself, leading politicians, and, most unpleasantly, by the US special services (which, in theory, should "serve and protect" their country, and in case of failure, investigate and avenge those responsible for tragedy). The attention of the public and experts was distorted by a flood of crazy conspiratorial ideas, lies, stuffing, newspaper chatter, and the Bush administration’s dominant media dominance, propaganda directed for some reason against ... Iraq. Only in the middle of the summer of 2016, when the 28 pages from the first report of the special services to the U.S. Parliament on 11 of September were declassified in the USA, it became clear who could have such special knowledge, who could draw up and implement this plan with treachery unprecedented in the world.

As early as 2002, US intelligence agencies drafted more than an 800-page report at the request of the Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry (JICI) of the US Parliament on the events of September 11. Immediately 28 pages numbered 415-443 ( from this report were classified. Secret by decree of the President of the United States, George W. Bush. What for?

Then, what exactly on these 28 pages contains the sensational data of the FBI investigation, which directly and unequivocally indicate that the attacks were prepared by Saudi intelligence agents Omar al-Bayumi (Omar al-bayoumi) and a bin Laden fan, a certain Osama Bassan (Osama Bassnan - p. 415-417, 438, 423), as well as diplomats and consular workers of Saudi Arabia: Fahad al-Fumayri, Saleh Hussein (Shaykh \ Fahad al-Thumairy, Saleh al-Hussayen - p. 417-418). These Saudis in the United States funded, directed, arranged for the terrorist kidnappers of the 11 airliners on September 2001 in a flight school (p. 421-423). These people rented and prepared apartments for terrorists, bought them telephones and helped to get a new place. And they even arranged a meeting with the future kamikaze with the local imam-Islamist Anwar al-Awlaki, who became the confessor of the “fighters for the faith”.

From the point of view of planning, it is Omar al-Bayoumi who is interesting, who is interested in his professional skills. He worked as a specialist, and then as an accountant in the civil aviation administration of Saudi Arabia from 1976 to 1993., At the same time he worked for the Ministry of Defense. The king’s minister of defense and aviation, Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, the godfather of the Saudi Air Force, was his boss. Also, this prince was chairman of the board of the national airline of Saudi Arabia (Saudi Arabian Airlines). Omar al-Bayumi himself advised the kingdom's Department of Defense on air traffic control until 1994, and then lived in the United States. But at the same time, he maintained ties with the government of Saudi Arabia, with the chief of the Saudi Ministry of Defense, responsible for air traffic control. He received thousands of dollars from the Ministry of Finance of the Kingdom of 20 for unnamed services. He studied at technical schools in the United States, and, submitting documents for admission in the 1998 year, he presented a certificate of tuition for the government of Saudi Arabia.

Obviously, both specific knowledge and a convenient moment for an attack by terrorists (from 19 suicide bombers are an absolute majority, 15, were just Saudis) they could get from their Wahhabi fellow tribesmen: Saudi civil aviation specialists who worked / studied in the USA, Saudi spies, diplomatic / consular officers of Saudi Arabia, Saudi military attaches, and Air Force officers with connections in the US Air Force trained there including the use of fighters in the field of air defense. As they say, with such allies no enemies needed! Therefore, the very mysterious 28 pages of the combined report of the US special services were hidden from the public, and therefore they were disclosed by Obama as skillfully and imperceptibly on the eve of the most scandalous presidential election (15 July 2016 year, the day when Trump announced the name of his vice president, 4 days before the official recognition of Trump as a candidate). All the long 14 years of disclosure of the contents of these 28 pages have been demanded by the relatives of the victims of the attacks and US senators.

Most importantly: the one who ordered the attacks on September 11 was guided not by the familiar combination of numbers 9 / 11, but by the fact that it was the best day for an air attack in the northeastern United States: the vast majority of pilots and fighters were recalled from there to the joint US-Canadian Air Force maneuvers called Northern vigilance in Canada and Alaska (against you know who you are). Covering the entire continental United States (from ocean to ocean) were only ... 14 fighter (of which only 6 pieces are in 15-minute readiness). New York and Washington, where all 4 terrorist targets were located, defended total 4 fighter.

Moreover, the US Air Force and Air Defense on this day in the morning planned the next "virtual" combined staff maneuvers and air defense training Global Guardian + Vigliant Guardianaccompanied by a bunch of false targets on radars (computer generated). The conditional seizure of the airliner also entered into the introduction to these maneuvers, which initially caused a regular reaction among the air defense operators "Well, this is the plot of the maneuvers, it’s not serious!"And as the song says:"... and the city thought, maneuvers were coming"- alas, for the city of New York it turned out sideways.

The first pair of F-15 fighters from an air base in the Boston area was simply late for the destruction of skyscrapers in New York (moreover, when the pilots arrived there, they still did not know why they were sent there!). The second pair of F-16 fighters from an air base in Washington itself, obeying the confused commands of the Navy's operators, somehow flew to the sea (as for the usual training to repel the attack of cruise missiles from the sea), and then just did not have time to return to Washington and defend the Pentagon - the military center relics of the USA ...

What does the C-300 and the Patriot air defense system have to do with it?

And despite the fact that neither the US capital nor the Pentagon were covered by either air defense missiles, or even a pair of soldiers with MANPADS. This is an omission was fixed after a few years: three NASAMS air defense missile systems were placed in a triangle around the US capital (Norwegian Advanced Surface to Air Missile System) medium-range (up to 15-40 km) joint Norwegian-American production. Even for the headquarters of the leadership of all US armed forces, for the Pentagon, protection with the help of the Patriot air defense system was considered unnecessary ... and too expensive.

Well, all the "extra" Patriot air defense systems - those that are not used in the USA for training and maneuvers (inside special training grounds) that do not guard American bases and allied cities far from the US borders (about half such Patriots) - those "Patriots" they are simply stored in 4 warehouses in the United States: these are Fort Sill, Fort Bliss, Fort Hood and Redstone arsenal. They have been kept there for years and do not use for combat duty on an ongoing basis in the country. In this sense lesson 11 September did not go for the future American air defense. It is understandable: the United States is still trying to control the whole world, which means that the country's air defense strategy does not need constantly combat-ready air defense systems at the borders of the United States.

I am not saying that U.S. air defense could have shot down planes hijacked by terrorists had the U.S. air defense in September 2001 in the New York and Washington area been equipped with combat-ready air defense systems on round-the-clock duty (as was the case in both the USSR and the Russian Federation). Still, in such a situation, in order to give a morally difficult order to “shoot down a passenger plane”, the iron will of the air defense commander and permission from the very top, from the commander in chief (such permission in the Russian air defense adopted by law in 2006finalized at the level of regulations in 2019 year), as well as a clear miscalculation of the situation by dispatchers and the military, impeccable fast communication from radar operators to the very top and again down to the air defense commander. But with the SAM, the Americans would at least have a chance.

With fighters, they simply did not have this chance ...

Thus, we see that the right choice in the 70s of the whole country's air defense concept for the USSR led to the creation of a very ambitious complex project of the S-300 multi-channel air defense system, which overtook time. Which, since the 1980s, has not only reliably guarded the air borders of our country, but also allowed for over 40 years to develop and sell this complex abroad, bringing a peaceful sky and confidence to other countries that bought C-300.

And we see the opposite result for the USA: the choice of a different concept of air defense of the whole country led to the creation in the USA of the Patriot air defense system, which is not needed by its armed forces in its homeland, inside the borders of the mainland USA (it is idle in warehouses) needed only for US bases outside the borders of the country. Perhaps this is the reason for his average success (even taking into account the combat use) against the background of the success of the S-300 air defense system family.
Pavel Tyapkin
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