Russian "death zones": truth or fiction?
Over the past weeks, a number of Russian media outlets have published information that “in Russia, the military has created“ death zones ”that will become virtually inaccessible to any high-precision weapons, cruise missiles and drones". Izvestia started this business, others, as usual, picked it up.
In fact, it is really worth considering carefully how realistic and possible all this is. The difference between "created" death zones "and" will work out the creation of "death zones" still has a place to be.
As well as the raising of "hurray-hype" with or without reason in our country.
As usual, I urge you to start thinking with your head. And since our audience for the most part still served, it means that many will be able to draw the correct conclusions and explain to the sofa in the comments, if suddenly it will be (of course, will be) necessary.
The first thing that did not like in the reports was with what confidence many media outlets, relying on data obtained "from sources in the Ministry of Defense" or "sources close to the Ministry of Defense", began to tell their readers that maneuvers would begin next year, on which the relevant units of the respective troops will work out the creation of "impenetrable protection" not only over army facilities, but also over civilian infrastructure.
There is some surprise at how many informants the modern media have both in the Ministry of Defense and around it. At the same time, there is a firm belief that the sources for the most part are nothing more than fiction.
Those who understand this issue will not allow to lie, but as far as I know, the maneuvers that are carried out in the districts and which are included in the annual combat training plan, as a rule, are not disclosed to the media. Yes, at some of the maneuvers, the Ministry of Defense gives journalists the opportunity to be present, but you yourself understand that these are not all events.
I am convinced that events like those at which "death zones" will be created will do without the presence of media representatives. Firstly, filming such events in itself is rather boring, there are absolutely no dynamics and that very "beautiful picture" so desired by the screen viewer, and secondly, every step is controlled by the relevant services. There are too many secrets.
In addition, as some media wrote that in 2022 "maneuvers throughout the country" will take place - this is delightful. Simply because in April 2021 to be aware of the Plan for Operational Training of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation for 2022 ... But it seems to me that the plan has not yet been approved. If, by the way, it was developed at all. Considering that it is April 2021.
In general, if we turn to the definitions, then there can be no EW troops maneuvering. If we are talking (and we are talking about this) about military exercises, since maneuvers are bilateral large-scale military exercises, so let's take the definition of military exercises.
“Military exercises are the highest form of combat training and, at the same time, a control check of the field, air and naval training of personnel and command personnel. The exercises are aimed at acquiring and consolidating combat skills, combat coordination of large formations, formations, units and subunits for conducting combat operations, using weapons and military equipment, as well as practicing various tactical and strategic scenarios of a potential armed conflict "
It is difficult to imagine from such a perspective the hypothetical exercises exclusively of the EW troops. In general, EW subunits and units cannot carry out any independent maneuvers. In any case, for this they need the participation of other types of troops (which must be pressed), which automatically brings us back to the Plan of operational combat training of the Armed Forces.
But in the Plan, which is made up by military people, such terms as “cover of army, social and industrial facilities,” as colleagues wrote, are dubious. Rather, it would have sounded like this: "to work out the options for covering various means of a potential enemy from air strikes of the most important centers of state and military control, economic and industrial facilities."
The military origin of the quoted texts seems to me very, very doubtful.
And what then could the theory be about?
If we think in military terms, then about the construction of an effective anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense in a certain area.
This is very, very vital. And it is quite realizable, because indeed, to arrange an exercise, which involves all possible forces, where the goal of the exercise can be set the task of maximizing the effectiveness of air defense of a specific area.
And, of course, EW subunits and units will play a crucial role in repelling air attacks from a potential enemy.
I witnessed such exercises when an electronic warfare brigade and an air defense brigade covered the city of K from attacks by a regiment of Su-34 bombers weighed down by the Khibiny. We had a dynamic reportage on this topic two years ago.
I draw your attention to the fact that the electronic warfare brigade worked side by side with the air defense brigade. And in general, when it comes to repelling a serious and massive strike of a potential adversary, all types and types of troops that can effectively participate in this process.
That is, the operational-tactical aviation, and anti-aircraft missile troops. Naturally, nowhere without radio-technical troops. And in areas where there is a presence fleet, ship resources are also involved.
And when all branches and types of troops work in a single bundle and under a single command - that's when we talk about the existence of an effective cover zone from air attacks.
And here one should not idealize the EW troops as the ultimate truth. This is far from the case, electronic warfare systems are very vulnerable units, they are very easy to neutralize and disable.
In addition, in order to really create a real "dead zone" for absolutely all types of weapons moving through the air, it will take a lot of complexes.
What is the essence of electronic warfare? The bottom line is the disorganization of the enemy's communications equipment, interference with the operation of electronic means of coordination, and so on.
UAVs use their radio range. Airplanes and helicopters are our own. To work on the signals of navigation satellites, you need your own complexes. The radar frequencies of missiles and aircraft also differ.
There is no universal electronic warfare system capable of “knocking down everything that flies”. And it can't be. In the enemy's army, they are not stupid either, they are also working on countering electronic warfare in full.
Yes, the war on the air today is akin to the conquest of the air in World War II. And whoever wins the broadcast will have a huge advantage. It is a fact. Huge, but not critical. But in order to consolidate the invisible success, the practices of mixed electronic fire strikes are being successfully developed and are already being practiced. This is when not only their electronic warfare systems, but also artillery, missile troops, and aviation are being worked out using the detected communication and electronic warfare systems of the enemy.
And that makes sense.
Modern electronic warfare systems are quite capable of suppressing signals from enemy global positioning systems. This can make it very difficult to use some high-precision weapons systems, which cannot work effectively without GPS referencing. These are cruise missiles and guided bombs equipped with the JDAM system, which is more effective than laser guidance. In general, any "smart" ammunition that requires a reference to a coordinate system.
What if the weapon does not use GPS? How, for example, are the latest modifications of the same "Tomahawks", which work like missiles of the last century, on an inertial countdown, "remembering" their route in my head?
By the way, yes, while we do not have an effective means of electronic warfare against the Axes. In principle, only Krasukha-4 can knock off course, but under very specific conditions. Which are very, very difficult to create, since "Krasukha" is a very peculiar complex, with a bunch of advantages and a bunch of disadvantages. Of the latter - a narrow vector of impact and slow speed.
Opinion: it is impossible to create a "death zone" for absolutely all aircraft using only electronic warfare systems. You can set as many electronic warfare systems as you like around some object, and despite the fact that the ether seems to be “closed”, something will still break through. Or someone.
Therefore, if we talk about the fact that a really "dead zone" should be formed in the area of object X, then such a zone can be created. But not only at the expense of electronic warfare means, but also at the expense of anti-aircraft missile and missile-cannon systems of different ranges and necessarily fighter aircraft.
Let's try to sketch out such a "death zone" as it should look seriously.
1. System of radar reconnaissance and early detection.
The eyes of the "death zone", moreover, with the fastest transfer of information. The detection zone will have to be completed with radars of various types in order to repeatedly cover all ranges and get a complete picture of what is happening. That is, to see in all ranges, at all heights and targets of all sizes. And not only to see, but also to accompany.
2. The brain of the system: an analytical information processing system. Classifies targets, assigns importance and gives target designation to all possible means of destruction. And do it quickly.
3. Long-range and medium-range anti-aircraft missile systems. Everything is clear here.
4. Short-range anti-aircraft missile and cannon systems. For work, including for small-sized targets.
5. Aviation. Fighters and fighter-interceptors connected to the "death zone" control system.
6. As interceptors of small-sized aircraft, helicopters of army aviation can be used, respectively, armed with rapid-fire small-caliber weapons.
7. Electronic warfare equipment that can interrupt communication channels, disrupt the satellite orientation system, "light up" the radars of aircraft with all the ensuing consequences.
And here electronic warfare systems play the same important role as missiles and shells.
If we are talking about a "dead zone" for aircraft, mainly of small size, that is, cruise missiles and UAVs, it is an integrated approach that is very important here. And all links of the system should act against small-sized targets such as strike UAVs.
A cruise missile or drone with a tactical nuclear charge is a very difficult and specific target for any weapon. An airplane, fighter-bomber or bomber (we do not consider strategists, they will launch the same cruise missiles), despite the fact that they may have their own means of counteracting defenses, is a "calmer target" for the system than a small-sized target of a CD or UAV. Larger and less maneuverable.
In addition, both missiles and UAVs can contain maps of the area in memory and follow the inertial system. And then the defeat by means of electronic warfare becomes less likely. And here "Pantsiri-1S" and similar ZRPK can come to the rescue. The option that the Krasukha's high-energy beam will burn the control circuits is just as real as the Pantsir's anti-missile or cannon fire.
An integrated approach to the defeat of small-sized and highly maneuverable targets is the key to success in creating the so-called "dead zones". And the means of electronic warfare, whatever the journalists invented there, is just one of the components of the system, which is really capable of ensuring the creation of such a "dead zone".
"Death Zone" is not a bad notion, but ... If you look closely at the sketched diagram, there is absolutely nothing new in it. Everything is old and used up. The "Death Zone" is, unfortunately, just a nice move. To create a real "death zone" using only electronic warfare means is costly and imprudent. "Holes" in such a zone will be more than enough.
They did not hit or hit with a spread palm or a twig. They beat with a well-clenched fist or club. Then the result, as they say, will be on the face.
- Roman Skomorokhov