Note. Since there can be many decisions on the basis of 57 mm caliber and projectiles with controlled detonation, a certain convention will be adopted within the framework of the article - to call them collectively "Baikal".
What is the advantage of guided blasting shells?
The fact is that to destroy an aircraft (aircraft), it is enough to destroy elements weighing only a few grams. As an example, we can consider the GGE (ready-made submunitions) of the BUK missile that shot down a Malaysian Boeing.
As we can see, the largest elements weighing 8 grams are capable of piercing a large passenger airliner (taking into account the corresponding amount of explosives).
Of course, it is not planned to shoot at such large targets from the cannon air defense, and to defeat aircraft of a smaller size, striking elements weighing from 1 to 3 grams are quite enough.
With all this, the mass of the traditional 30-mm projectile used in the cannon component of the Pantsir is as much as 380 grams. The question is "why"?
The fact is that the less the mass of the projectile or striking element, the faster it loses its kinetic energy and the more it is exposed to external influences (wind, etc.), which has a detrimental effect on accuracy.
In order to hit any aerial target at an altitude of 2 m and the same distance, the projectile must fly about 000 km. And to destroy it, 3 PE with a mass of 10 grams is quite enough, that is, the final mass of the payload will be about 3 grams.
The rest of the mass of the projectile is, in fact, "ballast", the only purpose of which is to provide range.
Now let's consider an alternative solution from the German company Rheinmetall.
Photo: Oerlikon Contraves / rheinmetall-defence.com
A shell of a slightly larger caliber than that of Tunguska and Pantsir (35 mm versus 30 mm), is made in two versions with different mass and number of striking elements:
PMD062 - for larger targets, mass 1 GGE 3,3 g, and the total amount in one projectile 152 (it is noteworthy that the diameter of the "bullet" 5,45 - for understanding the scale),
PMD330 - for light drones, weight 1 GGE 1,24 g, which allows you to place inside already whole 407 pcs.
Moreover, both shells have the same total mass - 500 g.
The mass of the Baikal projectile in the caliber 57 mm is approximately 2800 g, which means that PE can be placed in it much more. In theory, one should focus on the quantity from 600 to 1 600 pieces, depending on the size of the PE. But for the sake of simplicity, you can take 1 as a number that is convenient for perception and close to the average. In this option, there is still a margin 300 g for explosives, which can be useful in a slightly different version of the ammunition when detonating and spreading PE in different directions, which can be useful for hitting manpower inside shelters.
Such a calculation allows you to take a fresh look at the effectiveness of the cannon complexes - Tunguska, Shilka and Pantsir (its barrel).
Since the defeat of an air target at such distances is a highly probabilistic event, classical cannon complexes achieve acceptable (at least somehow) performance by increasing the density of the salvo.
However, in terms of density, it turns out that where Shilka fires 1 rounds, only 000 projectile with a controlled detonation in 1 mm caliber will be needed.
Consequences of hitting a PE 35-mm projectile
Based on this, it is possible to evaluate in a new way the stock of BC announced in the presentations - from 80 pcs.
This is equivalent to 80 striking elements, while the armor of the Shell is only 000 shells.
Well, the legendary Shilka took maximum 4 shots with her.
In terms of practical rate of fire, traditional solutions also turn out to be much worse. So, for example, the total rate of fire of two Pantsir's cannons is 5 rounds per minute - the Baikal will send the same amount of PE to the target in just 000 seconds.
Without a doubt, if "Baikal" existed by the time the operation began, then Syria would have become the finest hour of this module.
Among other things, the conflict in Syria is characterized by the widespread use of large calibers, as well as the use of artisanally modernized civilian models of vehicles as highly mobile firing points.
For example, installation in the back of a pickup truck ZU-23 (range 2,5 km) or ATGM TOW (4,5 km) is especially popular.
Statistics on the use of ATGMs is approximately as follows:
As of January 1, 2016, approximately 1 ATGM launches from anti-government groups were recorded in Syria, of which approximately 250 belong to the TOW ATGM and more than 790 to other systems.
According to other estimates
In January 2016, 46 launches were noted (of which 22 were TOW), in the period from February 1 to February 20, the militants used 64 ATGMs, which is the maximum figure for the same period since October 2015.
As a result, the fighters have the ability to quickly move into position, fire on government forces, and then leave just as quickly. At the same time, militants widely use homemade drones, which are also extremely cheap to manufacture.
Under such conditions, the Baikal module could become a very versatile tool, which would determine its tactical usefulness.
The combination of performance characteristics of the gun makes it ideal for destroying lightly armored pickup-type targets as quickly and cheaply as possible.
When using armor-piercing ammunition, the module is able to "shoot" almost any sample of light armored vehicles available to terrorists (and not only), and it is also more economically feasible than using an ATGM.
Protection from shahid-mobiles
The tactics of using shahidmobiles is especially popular among terrorists. Here is one of the illustrative episodes: Shahid-mobile blows up a soldier of the Russian Socialist Revolutionary Federation (18+)
Both stationary targets (roadblocks) and small mobile units are attacked.
The artisanal armor of such shahidmobiles allows them to withstand hits from large-caliber machine guns. A gun tank and ATGMs can destroy it, but the chance to miss a maneuvering target remains great (as it happens in the video - the tank misses).
Of course, defense can be organized differently, when a tank and two ATGMs insure each other.
However, the energy and rate of fire of the 57th caliber solve this issue much more simply - the ability to penetrate, and at the same time provide a high density of fire, which guarantees the destruction of the Shahidmobile.
What is the rate of fire of the module?
The practical rate of fire of "Baikal" is of particular concern.
It is necessary to understand that it is technically possible to realize a rate of fire of up to 300 rounds per minute, as was done back in 2015 during the development of the naval version.
However, the first problem to be faced when realizing such a rate of fire is barrel overheating. In the marine version, it was planned to use outboard water as a coolant, since there is an abundance of it in the sea. Therefore, you can endlessly take a cold one, and simply pour a hot one overboard without bothering with the cooling system, as in the case of a closed-loop system.
Obviously, such a solution is not suitable for overland options.
Another problem that the land platform may face is the relatively large power industry.
So, for example, the variant with placement on the BMP-3 (weight up to 20 tons) has a declared rate of fire of 120 rds / min. But shooting does not mean hitting - if the carrier is not heavy and stable enough, and the height of the tower is too high, the gun will, in simple terms, swing the entire platform. That will make it impossible to target long-range (over 3 m) shooting at such a pace. As a result, aimed shooting will become possible only in the mode of fire with a low rate of 000–30 rounds per minute.
It will not be superfluous to mention that previously a 3-mm gun was installed on this platform (BMP-100) 2А70... A classic shell to which it has the following parameters.
That is, the muzzle energy does not exceed 470 kJ, while the 57 mm cannon gives out all 1 kJ.
BMP-3 with cannon 2А70
On the other hand, using a heavier and more stable platform solves this problem.
Therefore, one of the first applicants for the module can be considered BMPT Terminator.
Photo: Kirill Borisenko / Wikimedia
However, the problem of high muzzle energy, apparently, does not concern everyone. So, for example, Ukrainian gunsmiths welded a cannon from the S-60 to the 80's body (the vehicle weighs only 13 tons).
The module "Baikal" will look more organic on the BMP "Armata" T15. However, such a decision cannot be considered as an option for at least some significant saturation of the army with this weapons... At least for the next 5-10 years.
Another way to solve the problem of large energy is to implement the idea in the format of a stationary firing position, a variant of which is shown in the photo below.
A budget option is also possible in approximately the following design: on a gun carriage from the D-30, with 1 barrel and the possibility of manual guidance.
This solution will allow transporting the weapon on an external MI-8 sling, including to commanding heights, which will dramatically increase the firepower of the mobile airborne forces and special forces landing at these positions.
Various options and their combinations are also possible here. However, the following looks optimal - an optical-electronic sighting complex is installed on the machine itself, which captures and tracks targets, and in the absence of a radar station, detection.
The radar station is provided in two versions, installed on the complex itself and remote.
The operation of the optoelectronic complex cannot be detected, unlike the operation of a radar station, which can be very useful in a number of situations.
If the installations are used to protect an object from air attacks, the complexes are placed along the perimeter. Radar stations are also installed separately to provide target detection. And when the enemy uses ammunition that hits the radar stations, the installation itself remains intact, and after the destruction of one station, another can turn on, etc.
At the same time, something like this would be very useful to calibrate such an air defense system on the ground:Why the US Armed Forces use microplanes.
If the installation is supposed to be used as a mobile air defense system, the decision to turn on the radar station will be made by the commander based on the combat situation.
Tank support missions in Syria
With vast experience in urban battles, Syrian tankers speak very positively about Soviet tanks. However, one significant drawback was still identified - the lack of an internally controlled machine gun. In conditions when snipers are actively working on tanks, knocking out triplexes, there can be no question of leaning out of the tower.
At the same time, experience has shown that tanks are extremely vulnerable between shots (about 8-10 seconds). This time is quite enough for the enemy to shoot at the tank from the RPG (though not always accurately).
Therefore, the tank is in great need of cover from the "second line" - for these tasks, a vehicle capable of firing 1-3 "preventive" shots at the supposed positions of the militants in the specified period of time, or aimed if, trying to burn the tank, the enemy himself will discover.
Thus, such a vehicle will have to have a BC that is 2-3 times larger than that of a tank, which is exactly what the versions based on Baikal would have.
Everything that was said before about work on air targets is fully true for the defeat of enemy manpower. The only difference is that the issue becomes more urgent.
The fact is that shooting at an air target is aimed. While a significant part of shots at a person are carried out rather "in the direction of the enemy."
Having discovered himself and realizing this, a person takes all actions in order to avoid defeat and leave the line of sight - he can fall to the ground, crawl to the bushes or to some kind of shelter.
Or another situation, more typical for the conflict in Donbass - the observation post discovered a sabotage group of the enemy and entered the battle, adjusting the fire of the main forces. In this case, the main forces will fire, again, in the direction of the enemy, working according to those landmarks that the advance group will tell them.
In such situations, a projectile with a controlled detonation, having inside 300 g Explosives (explosives), are much more effective than conventional shots, since they provide a large area of destruction by shrapnel, including behind shelters (for example, by exploding behind a trench, or striking a person who is in a building out of line of sight, lying or to the side of the opening).
It will look something like this, only more powerful.
For comparison: defensive grenade F1 forms about 300 fragments with an average weight of 1,7 g.
Explosive in the amount of 60 g is enough to destroy manpower with these fragments within a radius of 100 meters.
In terms of the number of explosives and fragments, the projectile is close to the MON-50 mine, which provides a continuous defeat of enemy manpower at a distance of 50 meters. Of course, this result can only be achieved in the case of a directed explosion.
In our case, since the scatter will occur in all directions, it is appropriate to speak of a radius of 15 meters. At the same time, the lethal effect will remain up to 30 meters. The hit itself is simply not guaranteed.
Obviously, this is more than enough to destroy all living force located, for example, inside the room. Just like in MON-50, you can miss by 15 meters in a moving light vehicle and at the same time hit people inside. At such a distance, the effectiveness of light anti-fragmentation protection, designed, as a rule, to protect against fragments of RGD-5 and VOG-25, remains questionable.
Modernization potential of Soviet cars
In Russia, in 2016, there were about 2 T-500 tanks in storage, armed with a 55-mm cannon (versus modern calibers of 100-120 mm). Serial production of cars ended in 125. It is no longer possible to pull this tank to a level comparable to modern models (in terms of armament and armor) by means of adequate cost (which, however, does not prevent the Syrians from continuing to fight on them). However, its parameters are excellent for a machine operating from the second line. Replace the 1979 mm cannon with controlled blasting, hang some remote sensing and screens, put a birdhouse on top with a 57 machine gun and you will get an excellent tank support chariot.
The tank is also notable for the fact that it does not have automatic loaders; for these purposes, a loader is provided, which in Syria will be an undoubted advantage - replacing a crew member is easier than repairing the automatics. Loading can take place in clips of 3-4 projectiles, the weight of the clip will be in the region of 20-25 kg, which allows one person to easily cope with this operation.
Example of a 4-round magazine for a 40-mm cannon
At the same time, there is enough space in the tank to accommodate more than 100 57 mm shells.
As you can see in the video below, there is a lot of space in the tower (especially for Soviet tanks), and if you replace the cannon with a 57 caliber, it will become even more.
Causes for Cautious Optimism
In one of the previous articles on aviation, I wrote that in this area Russia for a long time did not pay due attention to the issues of ground handling of its aircraft fleet: How military aviation works.
But in the case of "Baikal" in this direction there are clear shifts - a special transport vehicle has been developed to facilitate the process of recharging the modules.
The body of this self-propelled crew is chock-full of ammunition and means to facilitate their loading into combat vehicles. Among other things, there are 592 57 mm projectiles, 2 cartridges in a 000 tape (7,62 boxes), and two sets of 10 caliber assault rifles with ammunition battery (you never know someone will need it on the front line).
A separate item that raises questions is 24 "aerosol munitions" in two packages. It is not entirely clear what is meant. Perhaps "smokes"? (If someone knows more precisely, write).
And also there is a set of spare parts and accessories.
SPTA-O - consumables designed to keep each machine in constant readiness during its operation. Spare parts for a single (individual) set of spare parts and accessories can be used by the driver (driver-mechanic) on the way to troubleshoot.
Quote from www.compancommand.com
The entire body is armored in class 4, that is, 5,45 and 7,62 must hold, if not point-blank.
That is, it is better not to substitute the car once again. You need to understand that this machine is not intended for transporting personnel, as, for example, MRAPs... The body is completely filled with ammunition and the weight that can be allocated to armor is very limited because of this.
According to the developer, preparations for replenishing the bookmaker take 5 minutes, and the bookmaker itself is replenished in 20 minutes.
Loading of the transport vehicle itself takes two hours. Apparently, time is spent on opening the transport containers in which the shells are transported.
Photo of the 9T260 vehicle based on the Urals from the Central Research Institute Burevestnik website
This module has great prospects for use in various options for solving a wide range of tasks:
Defense fleet - the installation has every chance to replace the AK-630.
Object stationary air defense system (protection of any important objects), which at the same time is capable of working against ground targets. Moreover, it is in the naval version that this system can reveal its maximum potential (in view of the issues of energy and cooling).
Such modules will allow you to replace:
- tank support vehicles;
- a universal vehicle for reinforcing subunits, capable of effectively shooting down light drones, working on manpower (ATGM calculations, prospective observation posts and sniper positions), capable of effectively destroying lightly armored enemy equipment (armor-piercing shells), due to a significant advantage in armament. At the same time, the defeat of weakly armored vehicles (often in artisanal conditions) such as pickups is possible with standard fragmentation ammunition;
- a fire aid on duty for checkpoints and border outposts, including a helicopter-transported version.