- Even before being accepted for supply by the UMTK "Adjutant" managed to take part in a significant number of tests and exercises. Thus, the relevance and relevance of the complex was fully confirmed. What factors are caused by them?
- Yes, indeed, almost all Russian air defense systems have already been used against the targets of our complex. And not only Russian ones - the complex took part in a number of foreign shows and tests.
Being a long-term manufacturer of combat and technical means of air defense systems of the "Tor" family, we know firsthand the range of tasks that require solution in terms of organizing combat training of crews. Largely due to this, the UMTK 9F6021 "Adjutant" was conceived and developed, the appearance of which is due to a number of factors.
Firstly, recent military conflicts have shown a noticeable increase in the role of UAVs in combat tactics. Meanwhile, until relatively recently, they were not taken seriously, and when training air defense calculations, target complexes were used that imitate completely different means of air attack, primarily shock Aviation and high-speed cruise missiles. For a long time, work against UAVs was not taken into account, and, in fact, there were no targets simulating the raid of small, low-speed SVN.
Secondly, there was a general obsolescence of the target vehicle fleet, not only morally, but also physically. For example, over the past several decades, the Saman target missiles have been used as one of the main target assets in the Ground Defense Forces.
These complexes, converted from combat vehicles of the Osa air defense missile system, have a number of advantages and, first of all, a high target speed. But, the complex itself is more than forty years old, and the 9M33 missiles, which are used as targets, have not been produced for over 20 years. That is, they have already reached the limit beyond which their use ceases to be effective and safe, and quite soon it will cease to be possible at all. Restoring the production of targets based on the 9M33 SAM "Osa" is inexpedient. Even if we assume that it will be possible to recreate the entire technological chain (which is extremely doubtful), the very idea of producing a disposable target missile worth several million rubles is futile. And given the complexity of further maintaining the equipment and the base chassis of the combat vehicle used to launch missiles, the average cost of each launch increases significantly.
And finally, the third factor: during the implementation of the GPV 2011-2020, the troops have already received a large amount of modern military equipment, including air defense systems. But modern target complexes began to be created with a significant delay. And as a fact, today, when conducting training and combat firing, it is sometimes difficult to achieve a real degree of imitation of the characteristics and maneuvers of modern and promising air attack weapons.
The combination of these and some other factors determined the relevance of the development of the Adjutant complex by IEMZ Kupol JSC and, as a result, significant interest and demand in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.
- What are the main distinguishing features of the "Adjutant"? What makes it a new generation target training complex?
- It should be mentioned right away that the UMTK 9F6021 "Adjutant" implements a completely different philosophy than in the old target complexes. The word “training” is the main word in the phrase “target-training”. Targets of the "Adjutant" can (and should) be used many times, their main purpose is primary training and constant maintenance of the level of combat training of the calculations of anti-aircraft missile systems for detecting, tracking and simulating shelling of various air targets. And only targets that have completely exhausted their resource are used for shooting during live firing. This allows, due to a sharp decrease in the average cost of the target, to multiply the training time and, accordingly, the quality of the preparation of air defense calculations.
At the same time, the targets of the complex imitate precisely modern air attack weapons, and also simulate the tactics of their use. Today, many types of air defense systems are capable of carrying out anti-aircraft maneuvers: they perform nose-up, dive, "snake", flight at extremely low altitude - all these maneuvers are also capable of reproducing the targets that are part of the UMTK "Adjutant", while the target flight path can be very complex. The basis of modern tactics of air attack is a massive raid - and the "Adjutant" is able to simulate it: one mobile ground control post is capable of creating a complex target environment with the simultaneous participation of six targets of different types.
The means of air attack are constantly being improved - in response, both the air defense technology and the means of preparing combat crews must be improved. In general, we can say that the UMTK 9F6021 "Adjutant" is an integrated approach to solving the problems of creating a complex target environment, which makes it possible to realize the possibilities of imitating a wide range of modern and promising air defense systems and continuously changing tactics of their use.
- How difficult is the "Adjutant" in operation?
- This is an extremely easy-to-use complex. And this was one of the most important conditions for its creation. The complex does not include any explosive elements - gunpowder, compressed air, etc. The launch is carried out using an elastomeric catapult with an electric tensioner. Deploying the UMTK on the ground takes less than two hours, and a trained team does it in less than one hour. The crew consists of eight people, of whom only the commander is an officer, the rest are "contract soldiers" and "conscripts". Primary training of technical specialists from the crew is carried out in the form of two months of theoretical training and two weeks of practical "raid". This is a truly military complex - mobile, autonomous, safe and accessible to almost every soldier to learn and operate.
- Are there any spheres of application of the UMTK "Adjutant" in addition to solving the problems of preparing calculations for air defense weapons?
- Certainly. Here is just one example: often this or that enterprise or research institute needs a target complex or simply a UAV to solve any of its tasks for the practical verification of newly developed equipment using a real air object. At the same time, for one or two test cases, a target complex or UAV is forcedly purchased, which are not used in the future and "hang" on the balance of the enterprise, occupy warehouse space, etc. We, with the help of the UMTK "Adjutant" funds, offer a range of services for a wide range of types of targets and the procedure for working with them. In this case, the customer pays the cost of the target only if it is destroyed in the process. If not, only the cost of the service is paid. And this approach has already been appreciated by a number of our interested customers.
- IEMZ “Kupol” traditionally starts modernizing its products even before they are put into service. Probably, UMTK "Adjutant" also did not break this tradition. In what directions is work being done to further improve the product?
- Of course, work to improve the UMTK 9F6021 "Adjutant" is being carried out continuously. And this is due not only to factory traditions, but also to the fact that, firstly, today the market of weapons and military equipment dictates a dynamic pace of constant development and modernization of both existing products and the creation of new models; secondly, by showing an interesting product on the market, we have created a precedent by showing a promising path for the development of target complexes. And on this path already are "catching up" who, without thinking twice, are trying to simply copy our developments. We can consolidate our position in this market segment only by continuously improving our products, proposing new developments and expanding the scope and methods of application.
- In what directions is the development of the complex going?
- Firstly, we are planning to increase the species range of targets. If now our complex works with five types of targets, then in the near future two more types should be added to them. This is a small-sized aircraft-type jet target that can perform a number of interesting functions that are not available for other types of targets. And the second target is a high-speed one, with a flight speed of about 250-300 m / s. This is an extremely large-scale work, the main difficulty of which lies in the fact that, despite the high speed, the target must be fully integrated into the complex, including in terms of the elastomeric ejection launch, and also remain suitable for reusable use. Initiative R&D work on new targets is quite active. Today, we and our fellow co-executors are already at the stage of test flights, in 2021 we plan to carry out a full cycle of flight tests and refinement of products based on their results, and in 2022 we will present the products "for judgment" to military specialists.
The second direction is the integration of the UMTK "Adjutant" into the existing and future automated control systems. Today in this area, the process of digitalization is actively going on, the transition to modern methods of displaying and transmitting information, improving anti-jamming systems, etc. UMTK "Adjutant", of course, should not be an isolated, standalone means of preparing air defense calculations, it should be integrated into a single information space with modern means of combat control, such as, for example, "Polyana-D4M1". In addition, our complex needs to "learn" to work "in pairs", that is, the two complexes must act as a single whole, with a multiple increase in the number of simultaneously controlled targets - not six, as now, but twelve. All this will greatly speed up the speed of decision-making, expand the ability to simulate complex group raid scenarios. In general, this is the future of any target complex. And in this direction we have good developments, allowing us to be sure that the task of integrating the Adjutant UMTK into a single information space with various reconnaissance and control facilities, with the transfer of information about targets in the air in real time to them, will be successfully solved.
Also, various types of payload targets are being worked out, which are part of the UMTK. For example, this year, during the exercise of motorized rifle units, a helicopter-type target was used as a towing vehicle for a target simulating a quadcopter. At the same time, anti-aircraft fire was fired not at the target itself, but at the model towed to it, which greatly reduces the cost of conducting exercises with live fire and real target destruction - not a target is spent, but a cheap model.
And, finally, the most important task is the transformation of the UMTK into an interspecific target complex capable of solving the widest range of tasks, including in the interests of the Russian Navy and Aerospace Forces.
- How difficult is the task of creating a UMTK, for example, for fleet? What design changes might be required?
- This is a rather difficult task. Firstly, we are talking about working in a very aggressive environment. The ingress, during operation, of drops of saline solution (which, in fact, is sea water) can lead to rapid corrosion and failure of its individual components and assemblies. The problem becomes especially urgent when we consider that a target simulating an anti-ship missile system must fly as close as possible to the water - at a height of several meters. This imposes its own requirements both on the choice of structural materials for targets used as part of the naval UMTK, and on the target architecture, which should provide for the protection of working units and assemblies from drops and splashes. The second difficulty is to ensure reusability. While this is not a problem when ships are operating several miles from the coastline on targets taking off and landing on the shore, training and exercises on the open sea require solving the problem of splashing down the target or landing it on the deck of a ship. On the whole, it should be noted that it is unlikely that it will be possible to solve all the tasks of "chilling" the UMTK at once, and we are set for a phased "exit of the Adjutant to the sea. Work in this direction is already underway, in the summer we presented our complex to the command of the Pacific Fleet, "Adjutant" aroused serious interest. Very interesting meetings and consultations are planned for December this year, which, we hope, will become one of the first stages in the creation of a sea version of a universal target training complex.
- How many targets per year are required to ensure the preparation of the Russian army's air defense missile systems? How capacious is this market segment? To what extent is the UMTK "Adjutant" able to "cover" the existing needs for targets?
- Currently, the mass media gives different meanings, sometimes at times different from each other. In our opinion, the figure of 800-1000 targets is the average annual requirement for air defense equipment of the Ground Forces for all types of targets used for testing, training, training and combat shooting. And we consider these figures to be the real benchmark, the parameters of which we consider in our marketing and production policy for the coming years. But I must immediately note: we do not have and have never had a task to "single-handedly" satisfy all the troops' need for air targets. First of all, because for us the main reference point is the real needs and tasks of the troops, which require the use of the widest range of targets. Indeed, in addition to our ideas, there are other interesting Russian developments that can and should take their rightful place in the programs for the preparation and training of air defense systems. And we were initially focused on working together in this direction. Actually, for this purpose, the UMTK was designed as a complex with an "open architecture" - that is, the complex is ready to work not only with a target of its own manufacture, but also to work on integrating targets from other developers and manufacturers into the UMTK 9F6021 "Adjutant"