Military Review

Whose are you, flamethrower?

Whose are you, flamethrower?The use of flamethrowers, as the experience of the war in Chechnya and the almost forgotten Afghan war shows, raises a lot of questions. In particular, some provisions of the current combat regulations and manuals should be corrected, since the contradictory content of individual articles, to put it mildly, does not contribute to the achievement of the desired results in modern combat. There is a need to have another organizational basis of flame-throwing units, to deal with the tactics of their actions, to improve weapons and technical equipment. About how to approach this complex tangle of problems, argues the senior teacher of the tactics department of the Tambov Higher Military Command School of Chemical Protection, Colonel Igor Boyko.

Since the times of the Great Patriotic War, it has been carried out that flamethrowers operate directly in combat formations then rifle, and now motorized rifle subunits. The principle itself is correct, but in the present conditions it should nevertheless be more focused on the qualitative changes that have undergone a combined arms battle in recent years.

First of all, it is necessary to deal with the classification of typical targets for flamethrowing. They are divided by location (there are only ground, and why are there no others?), Degrees of protection (open, covered and armored), size (point, linear, area), nature of the activity (mobile, slow-moving and stationary) and, finally, in composition (single and group). It seems to me that it is cumbersome and confusing. Flamethrower such details to anything. Indeed, in these cases, he always uses the flamethrower in the same way, and then with one prerequisite: I see the target - I shoot.

Such information, if necessary, is only necessary for the general military commander so that he can determine where the application of this weaponswhich has recently become a powerful means of close combat, not of a special, but of a general purpose, is most effective. For example, in manpower, sheltered in field structures (bunkers or trenches) and buildings; on firing points (calculations machine gun, RPG, ATGM). Targets can be both pre-planned, and revealed in the depth of the enemy defenses. Other particular tasks are not excluded: distraction of attention, creation of hotbeds of fire, setting up a light landmark during the night by burning a highly inflammable object, etc.

Or see how the governing documents require the use of a flamethrower platoon, for example, in the offensive of a motorized rifle battalion. He is instructed to follow the line of advancing armored vehicles, no closer than 1 - 1,5 km, in units in cars. When the target appears, flamethrowers are called ahead, where they receive the task from the battalion commander, often through a messenger. It seems to be all right, but in fact difficult.

If the moto-rifle combat equipment “pulls” almost 25 kg (including a steel helmet - 2,5 kg, body armor - 12 kg, weapons and ammunition - 5 kg, personal protective equipment - 5 kg), then the flamethrower burden - due to the flamethrower pack in two times harder. Agree: you will not overclock with such a load. Even a trained person will need 20-30 mines to move forward. It is no longer necessary to speak about shooting accuracy, since the soldier is pretty tired. Yes, and they can kill him during rushes: the target is something noticeable! But the most annoying - during this time, the need for a flamethrower shot may disappear.

The proposal here is simple: the place for flame-throwing units to be determined no further than 200-300 m behind the attacking companies of the first echelon, as well as the grenade launcher. Thus, we will significantly reduce the time costs, and the rate of advance of the motorized rifle subunit will not be strayed by the seemingly “sluggishness” of flamethrowers.

There is something to think about in a defensive battle. Here, flamethrowers, as a rule, are assigned in pairs to the most dangerous areas. Although it is difficult to say whether they are great benefit. Shooting for manpower in a chain of jet flamethrower is like sparrows. Judging by the calculations, at best, one or two enemy soldiers will fall into the affected area of ​​thermobaric ammunition. And why not to strengthen its specific action and fragmentation? Thicken the walls of the capsule and execute them with a notch. I am sure that the mass of weapons will not increase much, but the combat effect will be significant.

Not so good RPO-A, as it was believed, and against armored vehicles. True, it hurts her very own, but the crew remains efficient and continues to fire from on-board armament. Therefore, it is most expedient to allocate a grenade thrower and a flamethrower man in a pair of “hunters” behind armored objects. The first of the RPG-7 stops it, and the second of the RPO-3 reliably ignites.

Both Afghanistan and Chechnya convincingly proved that it is time to revise the ownership of flamethrower units. Platoon not to give, but to have in the staff of the battalion. By the way, this has already been practiced in the Afghan war. Here is a typical layout: 18 manpower, 28 flamethrowers, 2 armored vehicles and X-NUMX small radio stations P-10.

I understand: now it is difficult to find people, equipment and weapons. But to solve the problem, as demanded by the tough tactical standards of the modern battlefield, is necessary. There are many winning points in this. Firstly, now the battalion commander will not have to guess whether he will be allocated fire-throwers for reinforcement or not, but will have at his disposal impressive strength. Under special conditions (when operating in the mountains, city), it will be possible in the shortest possible time to independently create assault groups capable of performing multi-dimensional tasks.

Secondly, the control scheme will be simplified. There will be no need for dual subordination (with the ensuing consequences): to the commanders of the “native” flamethrower company and battalion, to which a platoon is attached. It will be easier to organize communication with pairs of flamethrowers, since each of them will receive a standard radio device.

Thirdly, we should expect a more rational separation of ammunition. And two thirds of flamethrowing shots will be concentrated in the transport of the battalion.

And finally, it is quite permissible for the flamethrower platoon commander to assign the duties of the head of the RCB protection service of the battalion. Whatever you may say, an officer with a higher education is preferable here than an ensign who has even graduated from a special school.

My proposal does not deny the existence of flamethrowing units and subunits as part of the RCB protection troops. Moreover, in my opinion, they should be re-equipped. Or recently adopted for the supply of heavy flamethrower systems TOC-1. Or liquid jet flame throwers similar to LPO-50, but with improved technical and combat characteristics.
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  1. andrey9031
    andrey9031 23 August 2013 08: 31
    very loud. 2 times shot and shell shock, demobilization
    1. vkrav
      vkrav 1 September 2013 20: 45
      Yes, RPO-A, like earplugs in the kit?
  2. sq
    sq 23 August 2013 08: 50
    The article is good.
  3. roma-belij
    roma-belij 23 August 2013 08: 59
    We have been talking about the need to switch to the organization of actions in pairs of triples for a long time, but things are still there ...
  4. Nuar
    Nuar 23 August 2013 10: 25
    + of course, but there are two questions.

    1. Who is author? (Maybe on the browser - everyone knows each other, but I'm interested here - the title, position and how long it has been dealing with the problem).

    2. Have you guys ever heard about the transition from a division organization to a brigade organization? In Russia, soon the command of the tactical missiles will not remain, nor their own air defense, and the article proposes to expand the staff of the battalion. (a good idea - I do not argue, but what can I do - skepticism nibbles me ...)
    1. alex-cn
      alex-cn 23 August 2013 16: 29
      Incidentally - the American infantry battalion is almost 2 times larger than ours, and includes a company of weapons (I do not remember exactly weapons or heavy weapons).
      1. Nuar
        Nuar 23 August 2013 20: 26
        Quote: alex-cn
        the American infantry battalion is almost 2 times larger than ours, and includes a company of weapons

        yeah. only these are machine gunners (sometimes mortar men) - it is inappropriate for us to degrade to their level.
      2. svp67
        svp67 23 August 2013 20: 30
        Quote: alex-cn
        by the way - the American infantry battalion is almost 2 times bigger
        Basically, due to the rear, battle groups of battalions are close in combat capabilities ...
  5. yanus
    yanus 23 August 2013 11: 03
    Flamethrower platoons? Hmm ... Why shouldn't the motorized rifle squad be given, in addition to RPGs, an RShG or RPO "Bumblebee"? The principle of shooting is the same. If in a specific combat situation they are not needed, let them lie inside the BMP. She is always in the immediate vicinity.
    1. alex-cn
      alex-cn 23 August 2013 16: 33
      the soldier is already loaded, and also a flamethrower ..., however, if he presses it cool, then it is possible to drag it ...
    2. Avenger711
      Avenger711 24 August 2013 03: 24
      Yeah, until you get it, it will be too late.
    3. svp67
      svp67 25 August 2013 00: 46
      Quote: yanus
      The principle of shooting is one and the same.

      The principle is outwardly similar, but it varies, RPO has very strong features, so you need to learn to shoot from RPO, and it means spending ammunition, and this is a very big expense ...
  6. Terrible ensign
    Terrible ensign 23 August 2013 11: 35
    The article is old - the end of the 90s, the beginning of the 2000s. The Tambov "Chem-Smoke" no longer exists - the entire training base of the RKhBZ, it seems, has now been dragged to Kostorma and specialists are being trained ...
    The article is correct. In many respects I agree with Colonel Boyko (in terms of reasoning about the need to bring a specialized platoon of flamethrowers to the place of database maintenance
    I agree with Janus - the difference in the use of RPGs, RShG and RPO is not great ... You can safely train fighters to use.
  7. IRBIS
    IRBIS 23 August 2013 11: 47
    In the old full-time organization dshr MP in the control department were flamethrowers. Then they reorganized everything. RPOs, as a rule, were carried and used by snipers who did not directly participate in the assault but were engaged in the destruction of firing points from pre-prepared positions.
    The idea of ​​special units is not new in itself. However, I would prefer to have GPV in the company, the tasks and capabilities of flamethrowers, and their BC, are very limited and specific
  8. Iraclius
    Iraclius 23 August 2013 12: 51
    In the wake of the burdensome military reform with the transition to a three-tier system, no one will increase the staff of the battalion - I'm sure at 100%. At least in the near future.
    So the flamethrowers will remain attached units. The author himself shows in the article that there are not so many targets for flamethrowers in modern combined arms combat. In urban or mountainous conditions (caves, faults, etc.) - yes, it is. Well, I consider the words about equipping troops with jet flamethrowers - albeit advanced ones - simply an anachronism. As well as very controversial proposals for the creation of RPO with a fragmentation warhead. What the heck? Already have automatic grenade launchers. There you can shoot and a canopy, and bursts.
  9. beard999
    beard999 23 August 2013 15: 19
    It is not clear why the author excluded from the discussion thermobaric ammunition from standard infantry weapons. There is a hand grenade RG-60TB. To the under-barrel GP-25 / GP-30 there is a shot of VG-40TB. To RPG-7 there are shots with thermobaric warheads - TBG-7V and TBG-7VL, to RPG-29 there is shot TBG-29V. For ATGMs there are missiles with thermobaric warheads - 9M131FM and 9M133-F2 / 3. As a freelance weapon there are disposable RShG-1/2 and RMG, which can be given to fighters instead of RPG-26, RPG-27 and RPG-30.
    And flamethrower units, in addition to RPO "Bumblebee", may have other weapons: LPO-97, MPO-A, SPO-S "Varna", MGK "Bur", RPO PDM "Prize" ... In my opinion, the author has more problems far-fetched than real.
  10. alex-cn
    alex-cn 23 August 2013 16: 41
    maybe I'm wrong, but my opinion is that flamethrowers are most needed for battle in the village, in the assault group a flamethrower is almost needed, maybe even a knapsack. in other cases, you can get by with regular means.
  11. Eric
    Eric 23 August 2013 17: 33
    Quote: Scary ensign
    Tambov "Chem-smoke" no longer exists

    Yes, quite a while now. I remember the closing.
  12. GEO
    GEO 24 August 2013 06: 06
    I understand: now it’s hard to find people, equipment and weapons.
    Why would it suddenly? belay
  13. nnz226
    nnz226 25 August 2013 00: 35
    The reports about the destruction of another group of militants in the Caucasus are always surprising: they are always blocked, then they refuse to surrender, then the special forces will storm (!!!) and destroy the enemies. Often having losses, it's good if there are 300, or even 200. Question: why storm, if they don't surrender alive? A couple of "Bumblebees" through the window of a house or apartment with militants, and then using DNA to determine who was there ... And there is no need to storm! Moreover, there will be no losses!
  14. O_RUS
    O_RUS 25 August 2013 13: 18
    "... and already almost forgotten Afghan, ..."

    you would not use ... before writing an article. Shraybikus I will never remember about you and I don’t remember what you are. But I won’t forget the guys and the war.
  15. Vityaz68
    Vityaz68 13 September 2013 15: 48
    In the battalion where I served there was a flamethrower. I REMEMBER THE FIREPLAYERS ... soldier
    Now I see the rocket fire!