Most modern scientists, based on an analysis of thousands of years of experience in the development of civilization, conclude that humanity is currently moving from the fifth to the sixth technological order. The emergence of new technologies has always influenced the nature of the development of weapons, and the nature of wars, military theorists in this regard indicate the readiness of the leading countries of the world to wage wars of the sixth generation. With the adoption of an automatic weapons, tanks, airplanes, the centennial concept of wars of mass armies of the third, “Napoleonic” generation was replaced by the concept of the ongoing incessant wars of the fourth generation, which are based on the actions of the ground forces, large masses of people, military equipment and artillery. From the atomic bombing of two cities of Japan at the end of World War II in 1945, it is customary to count the beginning of the concept of waging the fifth war - the nuclear missile generation, fortunately, with the mentioned exception, which was not realized in practice.
Ways of development
The military conflicts of the late XX - early XXI century with the active participation of the US and NATO allies revealed two main tendencies of the sixth generation of wars - contactless war (it focuses on high-precision weapons) and network-centric war (priority reconnaissance and control systems). Both of these concepts are undoubtedly coordinated with each other and, thus, we can talk about the wars of the sixth generation in the form of reconnaissance-strike (fire) actions of the armed forces in conflicts of any intensity.
In this historical aspect, we consider the changing role of artillery in the wars of the past and present, and also express our view on the development prospects of the RAA and its use in the almost inevitable, unfortunately, wars of the near and more distant future.
Before the appearance of missile weapons during the Second World War (the famous V-1 and V-2, the anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles Wasserfall, the Little Red Riding Hood X-7) and multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS - the modern name no less famous guards Katyusha mortars and their many analogues) barrel artillery systems reigned supreme on the battlefields (field artillery), sea open spaces (ship artillery) and in the air (aviation guns and machine guns). To this we can add that the fight against aviation was carried out by artillery systems of land and sea air defense.
For centuries, all the above-mentioned artillery systems developed in similar ways — to increase the firing range and the power of ammunition, they continuously increased the caliber, barrel length, and projectile mass. Even not counting the unique samples of ground artillery of the “Long Gustav” or “Dora” type, the ground artillery reached quite “sea” calibers (the Russian SM-54 howitzer - 2А3 - had a caliber 406 mm, and the 2Б2 mortar - 420 mm). The actual Russian naval artillery stopped at the same calibers (gun B-37 with caliber 406 mm with a mass of projectile more than 1100 kg). The Japanese Yamato battleships, 460-mm, were equipped with the most powerful guns in history (the firing range reached 50 km, and the mass of the projectile exceeded 1,5 t).
Similar ways of developing antitank artillery (from the typical pre-war caliber 25, 37, 45 mm anti-tank guns "grown" up to 100, 122, 152-mm), anti-aircraft artillery (probably the SM-27 and KM-52 the most powerful anti-aircraft guns were developed in USSR at the end of 40-s, they had an 152 caliber mm, horizontal firing range - more than 33 kilometers, reach height - almost 25 kilometers, rate of fire - 10 – 15 shots per minute) and even aircraft armament (fighters that had to start a war mainly machine guns, to its completion was equipped with 30, 37, 45 mm and even 57 mm rapid-fire guns - the H-57 gun, designed by Alexander Nudalman for the MiG-9 fighter).
Large-caliber anti-aircraft systems successfully passed the tests in the middle of the 50-s, but did not go into mass production, since in May the 1955 of the C-25 Berkut anti-aircraft missile system was adopted. Anti-tank artillery was more fortunate, despite the creation in the beginning of the 60-s of domestic anti-tank missile systems (ATGM) "Bumblebee", "Phalanx", "Baby" and their rapid development - the world's first smooth-bore anti-tank gun (PTP) T-12 (2А19) was adopted by the Soviet army in 1961, its modernized version MT-12 is still in service, more powerful 125-mm PTR "Sprut-B" (2A45М), standardized in ballistics and ammunition with tankline and ammunition with tank system and X-ray technology and ammunition with ballistics and ammunition with tank system and X-ray technology and ammunition with ballistic and ammunition with tank system and X-ray technology and ammunition with ballistics and ammunition with tank system and X-ray technology and ammunition with ballistics and ammunition with tank system and X-ray technology and ammunition with ballistics and ammunition with tank system and X-ray unit ammunition and X-ray unit design equipment. type D-81, adopted, but this It is not actually produced (its self-propelled counterpart Sprut-SD was mass-produced for the Airborne Forces).
Powerful and extremely massive (the weight of the battleship's three-gun turret was several thousand tons) shipboard artillery mounts of large caliber from the post-war period have been successfully replaced by missile systems (anti-ship missiles, cruise missiles for firing at ground targets, etc.). In fact, a modern Navy ship from barreled artillery systems has only anti-aircraft guns of caliber not exceeding 30 mm, and some types of ships are equipped with multipurpose automatic guns of calibers from 76 to 130 millimeters.
In modern aviation, only fast-firing small-caliber automatic guns (20 – 30 mm) also remained, and this was done solely to destroy ground targets with army (helicopters) and partly front-line (attack aircraft and some types of fighter-bombers) aircraft. Similarly, air defense systems of various range are used in the air defense system of objects and troops - from portable complexes (the well-known American Stinger-type MANPADS and the domestic Strely and Needles exceeding them in many respects have a range of several kilometers) "Patriot", "Aegis", domestic C-300, C-400, C-500, capable of hitting both aerodynamic and ballistic targets at ranges of several hundred kilometers) and only in a number of short-range systems small-caliber automatic guns are used (ZRPK of Tungusk, Pantsir type).
We will not be in a hurry with the conclusion about the futility of barreled artillery systems or about the further reduction of their areas of application (we will return to this trend below). Let us briefly dwell on the other main elements of the PAB system, namely, the means of ensuring the combat use of this type of weapon. Among all types of support (logistical, maintenance and maintenance, etc.) we single out the most important for combat use - reconnaissance and information (RIO).
RIO is usually understood as the system of the actual means of reconnaissance (that is, the set of means of obtaining information about the enemy) and the system of information support (all types of communications, data transfer, accumulation and processing of information, decision support, etc.). Traditionally, the reconnaissance system is divided not only by the areas of operation of reconnaissance assets (aerospace, air, surface / submarine, ground), wavelength ranges of sensors used (radar and radio, optical or optical-electronic, sound-heat, seismic, hydroacoustic, etc.), troop units of command (strategic, operational-strategic, operational, tactical), but also by subordination (or belonging to the armed forces), in particular, the artillery reconnaissance system (A R) with its own means of obtaining information, points of information processing and management of the AR system. This situation has developed historically, since it was the artillery that many centuries ago had the opportunity to shoot beyond the limits of direct visibility of the target from the position, it was necessary to know exactly where this very target was.
Then, naturally, having learned where the target is located, it is necessary to convey this information in a form suitable for use by the artilleryman to it, and then to the artilleryman to be able to calculate where to bring the gun and how much “to put gunpowder” to get into it. Therefore, the urgent needs of providing artillery firing greatly contributed to the development of exact sciences, primarily mathematics and mechanics, ballistics, theories of computation, information transmission, ultimately cybernetics and modern information technologies. It is not surprising that the first devices that facilitate the calculation of firing installations appeared precisely in artillery (some of them, such as the nomogram fire control device, were still preserved in domestic artillery units, of course, as a backup, American officers only trust electronics). The first complexes of control automation equipment (KSAU - in modern terminology) also appeared in artillery formations and rapidly developed, following the development of information technologies.
Unfortunately, the lag of domestic developments in this area is well known (they argue only about the lag time - ten years, 20 years or forever), and we, completing the historical excursion, smoothly approached a brief analysis of the state of the Russian RAV, its intelligence and information support system, problems of its development and the planned ways to solve them.
Igor Sheremet, who until recently was in charge of national military science, gave the most complete picture of the state of the Russian RAV, the problems it faced and the proposed ways of developing this type of weapon. He, in particular, notes that the available possibilities of using RAV in the mode of reconnaissance and fire operations with the implementation of modern methods of defeating enemy force groups are currently limited, with the main reasons for the current situation being:
Of course, it is also fair to assert that at present the improvement of artillery weapons is carried out in two directions:
However, these two areas are common to the development of any complex technical system, the question is in the depth and direction of modernization of existing samples and how promising the samples under consideration are and what the samples of the new generation are. We will express our views on the development of PAB a bit later, but for now let us return to the analysis of the condition.
The state of the RAA in general and the MFA RVAA in particular do not meet the requirements of modern military operations, as was shown by the events five years ago in the Caucasus. First of all, the state of the RIO system and, in part, the lack of certain types of high-precision munitions (VTB), the low characteristics of a number of samples and, unfortunately, often the inability to use existing VTB due to insufficient training of personnel is unsatisfactory.
Obviously, without the presence of high-precision (and high-performance) ammunition (for short, ammunition will be understood as all barreled and rocket projectiles, mines, grenades, and missiles of various types) it is impossible to build a modern PAB system. Without going into the subtleties of the interpretation of the not very successful domestic term “high-precision weapons” (WTO), we will call high-precision any attack element that has the ability to controllably change the trajectory and / or the moment the combat unit (AF) is triggered. This definition includes, of course, conventional ammunition with remote fuses, with the indispensable condition that such a fuse has elements of “intellect” and is able to choose the moment of operation depending on the conditions of approach to the target. It should be noted that we just do not have multifunctional “smart” fuses.
For future precision weapons and precision munitions, the future and this postulate are not disputed by almost anyone, the problem at present is to determine the ratio of precision and conventional ammunition at each stage of the development of RAV. Considering the rapid development of the element base, computational tools, sensors of various nature, their miniaturization and the constant reduction in the cost of production, there is no doubt that in the foreseeable future all RAV ammunition will be highly accurate in the sense given above (except for small-caliber shells and bullets, which, incidentally, , also not obvious).
Today, the domestic artillery reconnaissance system includes only ground-based reconnaissance equipment of various types - radar reconnaissance of ground-moving targets, radar reconnaissance of firing positions of firing means, radio reconnaissance complexes, sound-heat and reconnaissance-signal complexes, portable optical-electronic reconnaissance and surveillance devices, including laser range finders target designators, specialized mobile reconnaissance points equipped with radar stations, LDC, day and night reconnaissance devices. The nomenclature of funds of the AR seems sufficient, their characteristics, of course, differ, but in general they are not much inferior to foreign analogues, the main problem is the lack of an effective system for managing intelligence, collecting, processing and bringing intelligence information. Attempts to create artillery reconnaissance command posts (PUAR), integrated intelligence processing points (PKRI) are a movement in the right direction, but their effectiveness is drastically reduced by the lack of consistency in developing both the general system of command and control of troops and weapons, including the smallest - unified lines of information exchange, high-performance computing tools, standardized mathematical and software, etc.
Thus, we come to the main, in our opinion, problem - the lack of a true system in the development of the RAB and moreover - the lack of a clear concept of a phased construction of the Armed Forces of the XXI century and, accordingly, the construction of their most important component - the rocket forces and artillery.
This common problem of building modern aircrafts has found concentrated expression in the current state of the ACS by the troops and weapons in general and the subsystem of automated control of MTA and in particular. Without going into details that are interesting only to specialists, let us note a couple of points - the work on creating an automated control system of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, of which, of course, smaller and smaller control systems, PURs, Pouars, and CSAUs must be set, is not shaky, but the general designer The ACS of the RF Armed Forces has not yet been determined. Various means of reconnaissance are quite actively developing; nowadays, many different companies are engaged in “fashionable” unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) - as a result, dozens of really different products are obtained with different lines of information, protocols, sensors, ground control and information processing points (for UAVs) .
The right task - the formation of a single intelligence-information space (SSIS) - is very far from its decision and requires, in our opinion, tough organizational decisions in the first place.
What measures are being taken within the framework of the current HPA and are planned in the new, as well as in the State Program for the Development of the DIC to improve the RAV system?
A single military-technical policy in the development of rocket and artillery weapons is seen in the creation of balanced weapons in a limited range of calibers, common to the ground forces, airborne forces and the navy (the basis laid in the ground forces is the transition to the two main calibers of the 120 and 152 mm artillery, mm the entire RAB deserves separate consideration); in the development of a basic combat platform (model) within the framework of each type of armament with the creation on its basis of elements of a unified family of models; in complexing the means of destruction, reconnaissance, control and assurance of fire; in the development of means of maintenance and repair of RAV complexes.
It should be noted that the solution of these issues and the full implementation of the tasks of the SPV-2020 will not allow the creation of a truly promising RAB system that can function effectively within the framework of the sixth generation wars. To determine the appearance of promising and modernized PAB systems, armament complexes and military equipment, the development of conceptual directions for their development for the period up to 2025, it is necessary to conduct comprehensive studies.