Significant changes in views on the conduct of hostilities and the role of rocket and artillery weapons (RAV) in them occurred at the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century with the formation of the concept of network-centric warfare. At the same time, Russia is lagging behind in this area from the world level. Scientists actively working on this subject within the framework of the Russian Academy of Rocket and Artillery Sciences (RARAN) present their views on the state of the Russian RAV and the priority directions of its development.
Missile and artillery armament is a very conservative type of armament of modern armies. For more than 600 years, the development of the RAV proceeded in an evolutionary way: the firing range increased, the power of ammunition increased, the accuracy of their delivery to the target and the rate of fire of artillery systems increased. At the same time, the basic principles of using this weapon for centuries remained unchanged, in fact extensive - massing the fire, concentrating it on the most important goals, engaging batteries, divisions, regiments, brigades, whether traditional barreled or more modern rocket artillery, to accomplish the fire missions.
The famous song “from hundreds of thousands of batteries ...” is, of course, an artistic exaggeration, but, perhaps, only an order of magnitude. So, in the classic book on stories The artillery published in 1953 under the general editorship of Mikhail Chistyakov provides data on the number of artillery on the Borodino field (around 1200 units) in all countries participating in the First World War (25 000) and attracted to the storming of Berlin (more than 41 000). At the same time, the annual production of guns and mortars of all calibers in the USSR reached 120, 000 units.
The rapid post-war development of rocket weapons made its own adjustments to the views on the role of the PAC in combat, but in all the leading states, any type of home-based missile systems with a long range of fire were considered primarily as carriers of nuclear weapons (the exception was anti-aircraft missiles and anti-ship missiles ).
Analysts Vladimir Slipchenko and Ivan Kapitanets have attributed the so-called fifth revolution in military affairs to the appearance of nuclear weapons in 1945. The nuclear-arms race between the United States and the USSR that followed World War II led to the creation of national strategic nuclear deterrent forces (SNF) and the establishment of approximate parity between countries. Upgrading the SNF triad and maintaining the combat readiness of the strategic nuclear missile shield still remains the main task of the State Armaments Program (GVV-2020).
Significant changes in the forms and methods of using PAB occurred at the end of the 20th century with the development of concepts of conducting air-ground operations, building reconnaissance-impact (reconnaissance-firing) complexes. The main requirements for artillery were complexing with reconnaissance and automated control means, speed of deployment / collapse at firing positions, planning and preparation for firing, the possibility of effective use of high-precision ammunition (VTB). Since that time, there has been a lag of the domestic RAV from the world level. If the first generation of these ammunition with semi-active guidance systems was not inferior to foreign analogs, then domestic VTB with autonomous guidance systems are significantly inferior to them, as are automated control systems (ACS) for troops and weapons, in particular for ACS of rocket forces and artillery (RV and A) .
Changes in views on the conduct of modern military operations (the transition to sixth generation wars) and the role of RV and A in them took place at the turn of the XNUMXst century with the formation and implementation of the concept of network-centric warfare and the establishment of the hegemony of the US army in NATO. Most of the countries of the North Atlantic Alliance, including the United States, do not modernize heavy artillery systems: self-propelled howitzers on tank chassis, tracked multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) and missile systems of the ground forces (ground forces), heavy flamethrower systems, etc. At the same time, high-precision weapons (WTO), armored combat vehicles of various types, highly mobile artillery systems on wheel bases artillery reconnaissance, communications and automated control equipment.
The sixth generation wars are often called contactless wars, which implies that, unlike the fifth generation contactless nuclear wars (there were no such wars in the XX century and the probability of their occurrence in the XXI century) is insignificant or they will be waged with precision weapons in non-nuclear equipment . As an example of such a contactless war, the NATO campaign in Yugoslavia (1999) is usually given, but it solved a limited number of tasks and did not aim at either destroying the enemy’s armed forces or controlling its territory. More indicative are the military actions of the United States and the coalition forces in the Persian Gulf from 1991 to 2003 a year.
At present, the United States and its allies are close to changing the strategic balance of forces not by building up strategic nuclear weapons and not even by deploying anti-missile systems that reduce the effectiveness of the retaliatory strike (although much attention is paid to these areas), but by applying covert massive, rapid disarming strike with precision weapons on domestic means of strategic nuclear forces. This is an extremely expensive event requiring coordinated actions of all types of armed forces, orbital grouping, engaging global control systems, reconnaissance, electronic warfare, etc. Yes, the cost of high-precision weapons themselves is very high (the price of a Tomahawk cruise missile is over a million dollars and promising hypersonic rockets could reach tens of millions).
The sad experience of the USSR, which tried, without sparing means, adequately responded to the strategic defense initiative of US President Ronald Reagan, who began building aircraft carriers similar to those of the US, trying to maintain the quantitative balance of nuclear missile weapons with the whole world, shows the futility of such a path. No decent asymmetric response to these and other 80-ies of the last century was found.
Today, in our opinion, the development of tactical nuclear weapons RV and A of low and ultra-low power can be such an asymmetric answer. Modern technologies allow you to create it in the calibers of the main artillery weapons, promising high-precision multi-purpose missile systems and rocket launchers of the MLRS, while the possibility of its use by terrorists is almost completely excluded, even if such munitions fall into their hands. When making a principled decision on the development of tactical nuclear weapons, it is necessary to clearly declare that it can only be used to repel external aggression and only on its territory. Of course, such a decision will cause sharp criticism from the neighbors of the Russian Federation, the countries of the “nuclear club”, accusations of lowering the threshold of nuclear war, etc.
The answer can be only one - this measure is necessary. Even the full implementation of the LG-2020 and the permanent reform of the Armed Forces (VS) of Russia will not provide them with the possibility of waging a sixth-generation war with any serious adversary. Figuratively speaking, the capabilities of the RF Armed Forces-2020 will be enough to conduct several counter-terrorist operations simultaneously. Probably for "peace enforcement" of the border state with an army of thousands of people in 20.
But it will be clearly not enough to fight against a technologically equal, but significantly outnumbered enemy (the PRC army - more than 2,3 million people, with a mobilization reserve - more than 30 million) or with the opposing side, approximately equal in number, but far superior technologically (US Army - a little less than 1,5 million people, European NATO countries - a little more than 1,5 million military personnel).
The military-political and economic situation forces Russia to tackle the controversial dual task - to ensure nuclear deterrence, that is, to be within the framework of fifth-generation wars, and at the same time prepare for future wars, sixth-generation wars.
The above-mentioned Vladimir Slipchenko very convincingly showed that the presence of SNF did not prevent a single war in the second half of the 20th century, did not help the United States to win in Vietnam, and the USSR in Afghanistan, but we suggest correcting the conclusions from these facts.
We should not completely abandon nuclear weapons and devote all our efforts to the development of high-precision weapons, network technologies, information confrontation systems and other components of the sixth generation war. It is advisable to shift the emphasis in nuclear deterrence to the creation of a new generation of tactical nuclear weapons, which is cheaper, less vulnerable, even in the context of this war, which can serve not only as a regional but also as a strategic deterrent for the aggressor, since it is hard to imagine that without a ground operation aggression against Russia.
Of course, at the same time it is necessary to develop in the most active way all technologies, types of weapons, military and special equipment (VVST) connected with preparation for wars of the sixth generation, to take appropriate organizational and managerial decisions. The complexity of implementing an extensive set of measures within the Armed Forces, and in fact on the scale of the domestic defense industry complex and the Russian economy as a whole, significantly complicates the transition of the entire military structure of the state to new, network-centric principles for constructing, using and developing VVST.
At the same time, in the field of rocket and artillery weapons, there are prerequisites for the creation of highly efficient, adaptive reconnaissance-strike (reconnaissance-fire) contours (modules) capable of functioning as in existing (inflexible, rigidly connected, with limited capabilities for reconnaissance and information support) systems management (for example, a unified tactical level control system) and in perspective network-centric systems.
It should be noted that in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, until now, there is actually no intelligible concept of building a PAB system, the transition to a new SV structure extremely aggravated this problem, at the same time creating the prerequisites for its solution. In particular, certainty appeared with the calibers of the barrel artillery, the composition of the artillery groups of the Ground Forces, narrowed the range of promising transport bases for the RV and A SV. Serious consideration is required to reduce the type of the RSZO, anti-tank and anti-aircraft complexes of the SV, the need and direction for the further development of operational-tactical missile systems, the creation of promising types of missile weapons, including tactical nuclear weapons, to ensure the functioning of the RV and A SV formations in a single intelligence and information space.
Along with the solution of conceptual problems of RAV improvement, including means of tactical nuclear deterrence, special attention should be paid to the development of fundamentally new systems of these weapons, new systems for throwing ammunition, building them on different physical principles, using nano- and neural network technologies when building promising RAV complexes and tools intelligence information support.
The National Security Concept, the Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation and other fundamental documents of our country define the tasks of the state in the field of defense and formulate the main provisions of the military-technical policy. First of all, it is the development and improvement of the armament system and the defense-industrial complex, as well as military-technical cooperation coordinated by objectives, resources and expected results, ensuring the solution of the tasks of the country's defense and security at the required level. In the same documents it is declared that the equipment of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation should be made only with weapons that are not inferior or superior in their characteristics to foreign models. Thus, in the 21st century, Russia, in its military-technical policy, relies on intensive technical and technological development of the state and the Armed Forces. Among the priority areas considered the development or creation of the following weapons systems:
At the extended board of the Ministry of Defense 27 February 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin reaffirmed the priority of these areas, highlighting the task of creating combat robotics, including unmanned aerial vehicles. The head of state emphasized that “over the next two years, a system of advanced research and development in the field of science and military technologies should be created”, while it is necessary to strictly follow the parameters of the State Armaments Program until 2020.
The implementation of the basic directions of the military-technical policy of Russia, the real transition to the concept of conducting the so-called network-centric hostilities, the priority development of high-precision (high-intelligence) weapons require the urgent solution of a wide range of problems: organizational, technological, industrial, military-political and a number of others.
The problematic issues of the development of domestic RAV and its production in the required quantities can be grouped into five main blocks.
Conceptual problems - solving them will require clarifying the Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation and carrying out comprehensive research and development to develop concepts for the development of the Armed Forces in general and RAVs in particular.
Problems of fundamental and applied science - there is a need to clarify the list of basic and critical military technologies and the most important military scientific and technical problems of basic, prospecting and applied research, as well as better coordination of research of the Russian Academy of Sciences, research organizations of the Ministry of Defense of Russia, research institutes and industrial design bureaus.
Design problems - to solve them, the R & D system should be improved in the interests of the Russian Ministry of Defense and the material and technical base of research institutes and design bureaus.
Production and technological problems - the solution of this most difficult block of problems should be carried out within the framework of the relevant federal target programs, national technological platforms, etc., in close connection with the LG and state defense orders.
Organizational and legal issues include a wide range of issues related to the structure of the state’s military organization and the defense industry, property rights, taxation, financing, training, foreign economic and other tasks, the solution of which requires improving legislation.
Without solving all these problems, it is impossible to create an effective military structure of the state, reform the Armed Forces and equip them with modern, especially promising, weapons, including rocket and artillery.