Launcher for new ammunition
A promising jamming system designed for mounting on armored combat vehicles has been developed and is being tested. In terms of its composition and principle of operation, it is similar to the widespread system 902 "Tucha", but it uses a new protective ammunition with wider capabilities.
New generation system
The development of a new means of protection for armored vehicles was announced on June 4 by the state corporation "Rostec" and the Central Research Institute Tochmash, which is part of it, which created this project. Basic information about a promising product, some of its characteristics and information about current work are disclosed. In addition, photos and videos from the field tests have been published. At the same time, the name of the sample has not yet been disclosed.
Official reports mention that the new ammunition was created to protect armored vehicles from various high-precision weapons enemy. When a threat is identified, a combat vehicle must shoot such a product in the right direction, after which a combined aerosol-dipole curtain is created.
The process of shooting grenades
The appearance of the ammunition has not been disclosed. At the same time, it is indicated that it is made in a caliber of 76 mm and weighs 2,8 kg. The product uses a new pyrotechnic composition, due to which the density of the created curtain is increased by one and a half times. The ammunition, together with the appropriate launchers, can be used on any types of armored vehicles, providing an increase in its survivability and stability.
By now, the new protection system has managed to enter field tests. Moreover, the shooting with experienced ammunition was already considered possible to be shown to the public. By the end of the year, TsNII Tochmash and Rostec plan to complete state tests, the results of which will determine the future of the new development.
In August, the new ammunition will be shown to the military at the Army-2021 forum. Rostec State Corporation believes that this product will attract the attention of potential customers. In particular, foreign armies planning to develop their armored forces may be interested in it.
Rostec and TsNII Tochmash have not yet shown the protective ammunition itself and do not disclose most of the information about it. At the same time, its main features are named, the launcher, the process of firing and the formation of a curtain, etc. are shown. All this already makes it possible to draw up a fairly detailed picture.
The launcher of the new type resembles the serial "Tucha", but differs in appearance and design. The shown sample is built on the basis of a box-shaped body, on which mortar barrels of 76 mm caliber are fixed outside. An interesting feature of the system is the short barrel length. However, the mortar can be longer, and its breech is located inside the body. The barrels are positioned with a certain elevation angle and with horizontal retraction - for shooting in a wide sector.
The rig shown has four shafts placed at the same level. Probably, other configurations with a different number of launch mortars and with other options for their location are possible.
An obscure protective ammunition is made in a caliber of 76 mm and weighs 2,8 kg. From the announced data, it follows that this is a compact, but rather heavy grenade with a combined charge. It is based on a completely new pyrotechnic composition that forms a denser curtain for protection in the visible and infrared ranges. Taking into account the development and spread of radar, miniature dipole reflectors have been introduced into the product.
Outwardly, the work of the new protection system does not fundamentally differ from the use of the "902" product. The carrier armored vehicle fires off the ammunition, it moves away a certain distance, after which it is undermined. The pyrotechnic charge disintegrates into separate elements, which, falling to the ground, burn out and form a dense cloud of smoke. Separate dark elements can be seen against the background of the white curtain. Probably, these are reflectors for countering electronic systems.
It should be recalled that in the recent past, the Central Research Institute Tochmash reported on the development of a promising complex for the protection of armored vehicles from guided weapons. It was planned to include attack detection tools and a control system, as well as protective aerosol ammunition. Perhaps the new system presented the other day has the most direct relation to this project. However, then it was only about optical-electronic countermeasures, and interference with radars was not mentioned.
It can be assumed that tests of protective ammunition were carried out using advanced control systems and other new equipment. In this case, it cannot be ruled out that not only firepower will be shown at Army-2021, but also the entire range of protection.
At the moment, the main means of optical-electronic countermeasures on domestic armored vehicles is the 902 "Cloud" system in various modifications. It includes the necessary control devices and 81 mm smoothbore mortars. The number and method of placement of launching devices are determined in accordance with the characteristics of the carrier. Various versions of detection and warning sensors and shooting controls are also used.
"Cloud" uses smoke grenades 3D6 (M) and 3D17. These are products with a caliber of 81 mm and a length of 220 mm, weighing from 2,2 to 2,34 kg. The grenade is fired at a distance of up to 300 m, after which it is blown up and forms an aerosol curtain. The size of the cloud and the time of its formation depend on the type of shot. 3D6 products provide masking only in the visible part of the spectrum; 3D17 have a wider range and also block infrared radiation.
The "902" system was adopted in 1980 and since then has occupied the place of the main means of its class in our armed forces and in a number of foreign armies. "Cloud" has long established itself from the best side, but its capabilities no longer fully meet the current requirements.
Mortar systems "Tucha" on the tower tank T-90A
Its main disadvantage can be considered the ability to protect only from optical surveillance equipment. At the same time, the design has a high modernization potential, and its characteristics can be improved solely by creating new shots.
A complex approach
However, the new project of TsNII Tochmash does not provide for updating the existing sample. Was created its own launcher for the new ammunition and the development of other units is possible. This comprehensive approach has its advantages. First of all, the task of creating a new protective ammunition with improved characteristics was successfully solved, and a significant contribution to this result was provided by changing the caliber and form factor of the product. This was followed by the development of other components.
Prospects for a new protection system, for obvious reasons, have not yet been determined. However, it can be assumed that the army will take an interest in such items. For all its advantages, the old "Cloud" no longer corresponds to the typical threats of the modern battlefield and needs deep modernization or replacement. The new project from Rostec and Central Research Institute Tochmash offers an effective and modern solution to this problem.
According to the results of state tests, which are scheduled to be completed by the end of the year, the new protective ammunition and related equipment may receive a recommendation for adoption. The result of the future "Army-2021" may be orders from third countries. Thus, a great future can await a new Russian development. However, one should not hope that it will be able to replace existing analogues in the shortest possible time. For a long time, the army will have to use the Tucha system - not the most perfect, but massive and well-mastered.