Military Review

Without wings, like without hands ...

Nowadays it’s hard to imagine a person who would like to challenge the role aviation on the battlefield. The experience of local conflicts in recent decades shows how effective aviation operations are in the fight against partisan and rebel armed forces.

In Afghanistan, our special forces developed a number of tactical techniques that made it possible to successfully fight against the Mujahideen. One of these techniques was the so-called "inspection actions." Although a more accurate name - flyby area of ​​responsibility. In essence, the overflight is the search actions of the reconnaissance group, which are conducted by patrolling helicopters in the area of ​​responsibility of a special-purpose unit in order to prevent the free movement of militants and their vehicles. As a rule, such actions were carried out in the daytime, since the helicopters were not equipped with special equipment, and the crews were not trained to sit at night on an unprepared platform. In addition, during the dark hours of the day, a curfew was in effect, and the combat helicopters that took off for a free hunt, finding any vehicle, could destroy it without inspection.

Without wings, like without hands ...

Helicopter landing on a limited area in high mountains

To make overflights by order of the unit was appointed one of the special forces. Her numbers ranged from 12 to 18 people. Armament and equipment - according to the state: machine guns, machine guns and surveillance devices. Ammunition took so much that was enough for a short battle. For communication within the group and with helicopters, the special forces had VHF radio stations, as well as signaling means, allowing them to identify themselves and give target designation to the “turntables”. However, experience has shown that ammunition is sometimes needed no less than when conducting ambush actions, and the radio station that provides a stable connection with the Center is not superfluous.

The group flew at least twice a day. The time was chosen arbitrary, but preference was given to morning and evening hours, when the opportunity to detect the enemy was greatest.

The route of the flyover to the group commander was determined by the headquarters on the eve of the forthcoming actions. Having clarified it, the commander asked the head of the intelligence information about the enemy in the area of ​​patrol. Outlining the dangerous areas where a meeting with the enemy is most likely, he planned high-altitude flight mode. After that, he set the task for the subordinate: at what time the group should be ready for landing in helicopters, who flies in the lead and who in the slave car, the procedure for leaving the helicopters, working and spare frequencies, call signs and signals, as well as the high command side . The commander himself took place in the pilot cabin of the lead helicopter. He coordinated the flight route and his high-altitude regime with his commander, indicated the areas of the most likely meeting with the enemy and his air defense zone, clarified the working frequencies and call signs, identification signals and target designation.

When circling, helicopters usually had the following order of battle. In front was a pair of Mi-8 with an inspection team on board, and behind it and a little to the right - a pair or a link of Mi-24 helicopter fire support helicopters. Having found a suspicious vehicle, the group commander, through the commander of the helicopter crew, gave the command to the twenty-fours to enter the target and give a warning turn. As a rule, the situation cleared up after that. A car with "spirits" accelerated, barely hearing or seeing the "turntables", while the militants themselves opened fire. In this case, Mi-24 began to work to defeat the enemy. Depending on the situation, the group commander decided to sit on one or two sides to inspect vehicles. While the Mi-24 continued to "process" the Mujahideen, the "eight" landed no closer than 300-400 meters from the object, in order not to please the enemy.

The first to leave the board were two machine-gunners, who fled thirty meters to the right and left. Choosing a position on the flanks, they covered the helicopter and the exit of the group. Then the rest of the scouts landed, rapidly ran away, organizing a chain of 150 meters along the front, and lay down in twos.

If the enemy did not resist, the machine-gunners took a position that allowed them to simultaneously guard the approaches to the helicopter and cover the actions of the inspection team. With them was the radio operator who maintained contact with the commander of the group, and if necessary could contact the Center. The group rose and moved to the object with a chain, approaching it by 70-100 meters. Here the scouts lay down, maintaining battle order, and the inspection team with the group commander under their cover approached the car.

If the "spirits" resisted, the group commander suggested Mi-24 to them. The commander constantly maintained contact with his own board, and with the commander of the “twenty-fours” link, controlling their fire. For communication, the militia radio stations “Romashka” or P-392 were used.
After completing the task and destroying the vehicle of the enemy, the group consistently returned to the helicopter. At first, the scouts of the seizure group departed, then the subgroup of the cover, and the radio operator, machine-gunners and the commander were the last to board ...

Evacuation Special Forces Group

The life of the whole group depended to a great extent on the ability to clearly organize interaction with aviation, since often “turntables” were its only fire support in the area of ​​operations. I think it will not be superfluous to bring the simplest method of targeting aviation to a target. This may be useful today for the special forces who are fighting in Chechnya.

In Afghanistan, a group of special forces, after conducting a successful ambush on a caravan of insurgents, often faced strong opposition from the guards or groups that provided the escort of the caravan. Often under the cover of darkness and with a cover-up of fire, the enemy tried to recapture the caravan. Then the scouts occupied a perimeter defense, and to repel the attack of a superior enemy, they called up helicopter gunships.

Having received a message from the Command and Control Center that the helicopters took off, the commander expected an approximate flight time. Hearing the noise of the engines of the approaching "turntables", he determined the approximate direction on them by compass and added 180 degrees to the azimuth obtained. By contacting the radio with the flight commander, he specified the flight path. When the helicopters approached so much that the pilots could observe the light signals, the fighters lit the flares (in the daytime they used smoke for this). Having received a confirmation by radio that he was being observed from the air, the commander proceeded to target designation. He informed the pilots of a course on the target and the approximate removal. To indicate the direction of the enemy used tracer ammunition. To reduce the likelihood of detection, they fired not by bursts, but by single shots at intervals of 2-3 seconds, then changed position. Further targeting was conducted regarding the gaps and the course of the helicopters. For example: “Air, I am the Earth. Worked to the left of a hundred with a flight of five hundred. " 100 and 500 is the distance in meters.

If the Mujahideen’s opposition was too bitter, the group commander asked the flight commander to call the next pair in advance and make a shift over the positions of the special forces. Air cover should be continuous ...

The Special Forces also closely cooperated with aviation when they were leaving the groups in a given area and evacuating them after completing the mission. Here, too, had its own nuances that are useful to know.

Before departure, it was necessary to coordinate with the helicopter pilots the measures to disguise the landing point of the group. The fact is that the "spirits" quickly understood that the special forces entered the ambush area either on the "turntables" or on the armor. Therefore, as soon as a helicopter landed somewhere, "spiritual" intelligence officers immediately went there. And to avoid detection, the landing site of the group was masked by making false landings.

Before the departure, the officer responsible for the landing indicated to the pilots the flight route, its altitude mode, information about the enemy in the area, the number and places of false landings. It is especially important that the landing of the helicopters for the real landing of the group was made from the first approach to the site. At the same time, Mi-24 should have followed the route further, creating the illusion of continuity of movement of the “turntables” system, and not become “in a circle” above the landing site, as it often happened before.

Groups tried to land in dry riverbeds, ravines and other places that provided stealth landing. The scouts left the "turntables" in a matter of seconds and, putting up observers, lay down before dark. The Eights, after the landing, were attached to the Mi-24 and then made several more false landings. Pilots were categorically forbidden to immediately gain altitude after landing a group, so as not to unmask the special forces.

An equally important stage in the actions of the group was the evacuation after the assignment. Choosing an ambush site, the group commander immediately picked up a platform for the landing of helicopters. He did this in view of the fact that evacuation may take place under enemy fire, which means that the ground must be covered from the direct fire impact of the militants.

Dimensions of landing sites for Mi-8

Many believe that the helicopter is able to sit down and take off anywhere. Far from it. "Turntables" can take off in a helicopter and in an airplane. In the second case, the board is able to lift a greater amount of cargo, but in both cases, a platform is still needed, the dimensions of which are influenced by various factors: height above sea level, air temperature, wind speed and direction near the ground. For example, the minimum dimensions of the landing area and take-off in helicopter in the zone of influence of the earth in the absence of obstacles on the approach should be 50 × 50 meters.

When landing helicopters, the commander first guides them to their location, after which they designate the site with signaling means in any of the following ways: "triangle", "line", "envelope", "rabbit trail", etc. When choosing a site, it should be remembered that the helicopter always sits against the wind.
And finally - about a very important, but controversial moment: who is the main one in the implementation of joint actions of aviation and ground forces. In my opinion, it all depends on who is currently performing the main task. Position and military rank in this situation do not matter. It is stupid if the commander of a helicopter unit in the rank of "captain" begins to indicate to the lieutenant, the commander of the special forces group, which car to inspect, and which one - not. As well as it would be foolish for the commander of the landing regiment to interfere with the control of the helicopter. In any case, you need to look for a reasonable compromise. And if it is not found, then the task will remain unfulfilled, and the lives of many people will be in danger.
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  1. Sasha 19871987
    Sasha 19871987 23 March 2013 10: 07 New
    yes, without these miracle machines no longer ...
  2. Stas57
    Stas57 23 March 2013 10: 10 New
    Good cars, even great ones! But this is not a reason for relaxed resting on the laurels of the Soviet aviation industry, we must work and create new and better ones and not lose our brand.
    1. avt
      avt 23 March 2013 10: 28 New
      Quote: Stas57
      Good cars, even great ones! But this is not a reason for relaxed resting on the laurels of the Soviet aviation industry, we must work and create new and better ones and not lose our brand.

      Well, to whom and to whom, and while helicopter pilots, thank God, you will not throw such a rebuke, although I want more. yes
  3. Sirocco
    Sirocco 23 March 2013 10: 49 New
    Not an article but a song laughing First of all, first of all, airplanes, and then girls, and then girls lol I recall the time of training when juices pressed from the handle of a cyclic step. laughing Helicopters are a swan song in the history of aircraft construction.
    1. Andrey77
      Andrey77 23 March 2013 16: 35 New
      The first thing we spoil the planes, but girls? And then the girls. :)
  4. shurup
    shurup 23 March 2013 11: 03 New
    Zer Gut! And I will not tire of repeating - communication! In all forms and at all stages. Permanent, but secretive. Organize and agree on how in advance.
    And a new transport vehicle is needed. So that each of the personal almost in all directions on the fly could. I’d better freeze and sometimes hang out on insurance, but I will notice and have time.
    Oh, how much the fleet is stuffed with technology, but still they put sailors with binoculars on the bridge. Although they howl, they stand stubbornly.
  5. erased
    erased 23 March 2013 11: 08 New
    This seems to be a shortened version of Kozlov’s articles. But the meaning is clear - infantry as special forces without turntables as without arms.
    One clarification - the special forces in Afghanistan carried out tasks unusual for him, because there was simply no trained light and mountain infantry in the SA. And the Airborne Forces could not cope with this task due to the same non-directivity.
    1. Andrey77
      Andrey77 23 March 2013 16: 41 New
      What special forces do you mean? The GRU SPn groups performed their tasks perfectly. 5 points.
  6. erased
    erased 23 March 2013 17: 52 New
    The task of the special forces did not initially include the fight against partisan formations, their goals were the launching positions of enemy nuclear installations, command posts, and communications centers.
    And that they fought well in Afghanistan is another story.
  7. WS
    WS 23 March 2013 18: 36 New
    And why were the police communication stations, were the police better supplied than the troops?

    Why was there no night vision equipment? Father served in 1969 ... 1971 already had night vision binoculars.
    1. s1н7т
      s1н7т 24 March 2013 11: 59 New
      We also had “Daisies” (we even went on guard), no one considered them militia. Probably, they were just there and there.
      Glasses and binoculars in the troops were, of course. The article is about the fact that the helicopters did not have the appropriate equipment.
  8. spok
    spok 24 March 2013 02: 43 New
    it’s for sure without aviation without communication, but simply without an army
    The collapse of the army continues
    Putin’s decree to increase the share of modern weapons will not be implemented!

    The fact of the failure of the rearmament plan of the army was indirectly acknowledged on Thursday by the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Federation Valery Gerasimov, speaking at the scientific-practical conference “Military Security of Russia: XXI Century”. The general said: “Through the implementation of the state armament program, the share of modern and promising weapons and military equipment will reach 2015% by 30”. I recall that the previous leadership of the military department promised that by this time the figure would be 70%.
    So in June 2009, Major General Alexander Shevchenko, head of the department for the operation, repair and disposal of armaments of the RF Armed Forces, stated: “By 2011, the share of modern weapons in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation will reach 30%, and by 2015 - 70%.” According to him, “by this time, the armed forces will have up to 200 units of constant combat readiness, which will be armed with new and modernized equipment and weapons.” And he said this not just like that, but based on plans written in such a directive document as "The state armament program for the period until 2015." However, later this task had to be corrected.
    Already in May 2012, our Supreme Commander-in-Chief informed us that the share of modern weapons in the troops should be raised to 70% only by 2020. Moreover, Vladimir Putin signed an appropriate decree that set the government this task. And now real life is making adjustments again. Representatives of the new leadership of the Ministry of Defense, almost immediately, were forced to admit that the state of the Russian military-industrial complex at the moment is such that they have to change the defense order plan and the armament program of the army until 2020. Naturally downward. And now, absolutely everyone understands that if by 2015 there will be only 30% of the new equipment in the troops, then our defense industry will not be able to achieve 70% in five years - this is not real. Although, however, one way to achieve such indicators still there. A few years ago, this was done in the Air Force. The number of air regiments was reduced, while the number of equipment was reduced: the one that was left newer, the rest went to scrap. But after such “optimization”, the Air Force commander could safely report almost about 100% serviceability of the fleet. If the new leadership of the military department is not ready to use such methods, then he will have to admit the bitter truth (in fact, it has already recognized it): the Russian army will have to fight for many years mainly with old Soviet weapons. By the way, according to military experts, today our troops have only 20% of the technology, which can be called relatively modern. At the same time, in the armies of NATO - more than 70% of it.
  9. Hudo
    Hudo 24 March 2013 21: 26 New
    Hearing the noise of the engines of the approaching “turntables”, he determined the approximate direction of them by the compass and added 180 degrees to the obtained azimuth.

    This is called the reverse azimuth, and did not add 180 degrees. hi
  10. SOUTH,
    SOUTH, 25 March 2013 01: 28 New
    I don’t remember exactly, but somewhere between the fall of 85 and the spring of 86 I saw an attack of two sides of the Mi 8 and two “crocodiles” of the Mi 24 on the green near Charikar, I will never forget that. American films are resting.
  11. zinander
    zinander 25 March 2013 20: 39 New
    Quote: Stas57
    Good cars, even great ones! But this is not a reason for relaxed resting on the laurels of the Soviet aviation industry, we must work and create new and better ones and not lose our brand.

    So it seems people work and create, even Americans buy ..
  12. mars6791
    mars6791 25 March 2013 21: 36 New
    An excellent article on the theory and practice of the interaction of aviation and ground forces (in certain conditions).