Russian anti-helicopter mines and foreign reaction
The Russian army is armed with a wide range of various mines for various purposes, incl. specialized anti-helicopter ammunition PVM or "Boomerang". This product is capable of effectively dealing with low-altitude targets and can be used to solve various problems. Weapon with a specific role naturally attracts the attention of foreign experts and the press - which leads to the appearance of interesting publications and even to the launch of special projects.
The PVM product was developed by the State Treasury Scientific Testing Ground aviation systems (GkNIPAS). In the transport position, it is a cube with a side of less than half a meter and a mass of 12 kg. This version of the mine is intended for installation by sappers. In remote mining systems, a modification of a different design is used - when folded, it has the shape of a hexagonal prism. In both cases, the side walls are hinged supports, with the help of which the mine stands in position.
The ammunition is equipped with an acoustic and infrared target sensor. With their help, the mine detects an air object, determines the direction and range to it. The warhead is cumulative, on a movable base with guidance in two planes. According to the signals of the sensors, the warhead turns in the direction of the target and "launches" an impact core into it.
According to reports, "Boomerang" detects the noise of the helicopter at ranges of 3-3,2 km. Automation is able to distinguish between aircraft noise and other sounds. The affected area is a hemisphere with a radius of 150 m. The possibility of wire communication between several mines is provided. In this case, the target is hit by only one mine and the overspending of ammunition is excluded.
In the July issue of the magazine of the American Ministry of Defense OE Watch (an analogue of our "Foreign Military Review"), an article was published "Russia Employing Little Known Aviation Mines" ("Russia uses little-known aircraft mines"). The reason and the main source of data for them was the April article “Mine for the“ flying tank"In the Russian newspaper" Military Industrial Courier ".
Referring to the Russian edition, OE Watch writes that mines appeared in the Russian army "capable of affecting the air situation." Russian tactics provide for the use of such weapons in different scenarios of hostilities. So, with their help, they plan to block airfields and landing sites, as well as protect important facilities and bridgeheads. The main characteristics and parameters of the min.
The magazine notes that PVM is capable of hitting only low-flying targets and only at a short distance. However, even in this case, they pose a certain danger and can complicate the work of tactical aviation in different situations. In all operations where planes and helicopters must operate at low altitude, risks and problems await Russia's adversaries.
A few days ago, the American Internet edition "1945" recalled about "Boomerang". In its article "Helicopters Beware: Russia is Deploying Anti-Helicopter Mines", it draws attention to publications in OE Watch and MIC. In addition, they gave estimates of anti-helicopter weapons and recalled some of the work of the Pentagon in this context.
On the basis of two previous publications "1945" studies the features, characteristics and capabilities of the Russian PVM mine. At the same time, attention is paid to the possibility of installing products in different ways, as well as to the high productivity of such a process. So, in 2018, during the exercises, a minefield with a length of approx. 3 km. Such a barrier can work for at least 3 months.
An important feature of the FDA is called the ability to fight not only helicopters, but also aircraft. First of all, we are talking about the placement of mines on the approaches to the runway. In addition, they point to the psychological effect of "Boomerang". Fearing mines, pilots can increase the flight altitude and get into the zone of confident air defense operation.
Attack helicopter AH-64. Its tactical role is to fly at low altitude. US Department of Defense Photo
1945 indicates that there are several problems associated with PVM mines. First of all, it is the possibility of such weapons falling into the wrong hands. For example, terrorists can use anti-helicopter mines to attack civilian airliners. In the context of combat use, it is unclear whether the Boomerang is capable of distinguishing between its own and enemy aircraft.
This situation is complicated by the fact that countries friendly to Russia can use aircraft produced by a potential enemy, the identification of which becomes a separate problem. Finally, the unwise use of mines by the allies can lead to negative military and political consequences.
The publication recalls that news about Russian anti-helicopter mines did not go unnoticed at the Pentagon. Back in 2017, the department began research on such weapons - their real potential and countermeasures.
Plans to conduct research work on anti-helicopter mines were approved in November 2016. In January 2017, the Pentagon opened a call for applications, which was allocated for about a month. Then it was planned to select a contractor who was to conduct three phases of research. As a result of all these activities, the army wanted to receive a certain amount of data on existing and possible threats, as well as ideas and concepts on the topic of countering them.
In the request for R&D "Anti-Helicopter Mine and Improvised Explosive Device Countermeasures" it was indicated that in recent years, special anti-helicopter mines have been created in Russia and Bulgaria to combat low-altitude targets. In addition, there are similar risks associated with improvised explosive devices.
In Phase I, the contractor was required to examine existing and expected samples and their aviation hazards. On the basis of these data, it was necessary to form new concepts of counteraction. Phase II provided for the development of a defense complex based on previously proposed ideas. It should have been designed and tested on one of the modern rotary-wing platforms. During the third phase, it was planned to develop the existing complex and make it the basis for the next project, already intended for use in the army.
Almost four years have passed since the launch of the research program, but its results are unknown. Any news and messages were no longer published. This may indicate a work stoppage - or about their continuation, but with all the necessary secrecy. Perhaps the situation will be clarified in the future, when a full-fledged experimental defense complex appears. Of course, if it is being developed.
Thus, at the disposal of the Russian army for a long time, an unusual weapon appeared that could drastically hinder the activities of the enemy's tactical aviation. The appearance of the Boomerang product did not go unnoticed and even became the reason for launching a new research program, the result of which may be helicopter modernization projects or completely new equipment.
It is possible that the Pentagon and researchers considered PVM and other developments in this area a real threat. In this case, they should already be working on the means of protection and counteraction. For example, it is possible to reduce the physical fields of the helicopter, through which the mine works, or to create false targets with an increased level of them.
It is obvious that the measures of a potential adversary to protect their equipment will not go unnoticed. This will lead to the appearance of modernized mines or completely new products - capable of ignoring false targets and detecting less noticeable real ones. As a result, a real arms race could begin in this area. And our country, which already possesses anti-helicopter mines, is in an advantageous position.
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