We present the second part of the work of domestic military scientists, devoted to the directions of development of rocket-artillery weapons (RAV). In the first were presented история and the current state of this weaponry (“MIC”, No. 34). We bring to the attention of readers an analysis of the prospects for RAV, taking into account the inclusion of new weapons and military equipment in a single intelligence and information space.
Practically all modern futurologists, including military specialists, note that the development of IT technologies has today acquired the character of a global information revolution, which has affected all spheres of public life - politics, economics, international relations in general, and the military confrontation in particular. The result of this process will be the formation of a new type of economy, a different information society and, accordingly, a different military structure of the state. The information revolution will have a decisive impact on the nature of prospective weapons, including RAW, and on the methods of their use.
It can be assumed that fundamentally new weapon systems, in particular bionanotechnological weapon, will appear, figuratively speaking, the day after tomorrow (although scientific and technical progress is unpredictable), but what to expect tomorrow?
The role of precision munitions
From the cited historical excursion (“MIC”, No. 34) it can be concluded that the field of use of barrel artillery weapons, at least cannons and howitzers of the main calibers of field and ship artillery, are gradually reduced. Let's try to argue this assumption.
The argument about the increasing role of precision-guided munitions (VTB) seems indisputable, as is the view on any missile-artillery system as a means of delivering a striking element (ammunition) to a target. The assertion that firing artillery with conventional (not high-precision) ammunition against protected, and even more so protected and movable targets is extremely ineffective, is perfectly supported by the well-known fact of less than one (!) Percent of those struck tanks from the moment they appeared on the fields of the First World War until the end of the Vietnamese company with artillery fire. Therefore, the development of guided artillery shells (UAS), which began in the mid-70s with the American M712 Copperhead, was caused by urgent need.
The problems faced by the developers of the KOPERHED UAS (and domestic shells of the Krasnopol, Centimeter, Kitolov types, all of which have a semi-active laser guidance system on the reflected beam from the target) are also well known. The main ones are related to the reliability of electronic components of the projectile control system during overloads up to 20000 g. This imposes strict requirements on the UAS structure (wall thickness, strength and other parameters). More favorable conditions for VTB provides the launch of rockets (rockets) with many times less overloads.
Another direction in the creation of VTB artillery is to equip projectiles or submunitions delivered to the target area with autonomous guidance heads (self-guided combat elements — SNBE) or target sensors (self-targeting combat elements — SPBE). However, the accuracy of firing uncontrollable projectiles, including missiles, is not sufficient for reliable capture of the target targeting ammunition (submunition) of the intended target, especially a mobile one. Consequently, the projectile must be equipped with a guidance system and then it becomes highly accurate in the light of the above definition.
Currently, this problem is solved by the leading states by equipping the projectiles with systems for correcting data from navigation systems (global space radionavigation — CRNS type GPS, Navstar or specially created local RNS) or according to ballistic stations. The experience of the development of the most famous projectile of this type in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past two decades, the American M982 Escalibur, revealed a number of problems, including the difficulty of determining the coordinates of an accelerated and rotating projectile with the help of CRNS. And in this case rockets and missiles have the advantage.
It must be said that modern and developed long-range UAS (60 – 80 km and more), for example, the French “Pelican” or the Italian “Vulcan”, are about 1,5 meters in length and are equipped with sustainers, that is, in fact, they are missiles launched from artillery barrels . Do they need such a multi-ton, bulky "launcher", moreover, as a rule, served by a sufficiently numerous calculation?
RAV Development Trends
Our forecast - a new generation of domestic 152-mm howitzers of the type “Coalition” meets the requirements of the present day and, after serving a decade and a half or two decades, will become the last generation of artillery systems of this type. At the same time, this conclusion concerns both towed and placed on the light chassis of similar howitzers, including the development of modern ammunition shells for them - guided, cluster, with multifunction fuses, trajectory correction, long-range, as well as modern KSAU ) included in the SSIS (single intelligence information space).
The prospects for artillery armament of tanks, other combat vehicles, and quick-fire small-caliber artillery (including anti-aircraft naval and ground, assault and army are not so clear) aviation), MLRS and mortars. Very briefly formulate our views on the prospects for each of these systems.
Held in the middle of 60's in the USA, it was not a completely successful experience of replacing standard M60А2 guns with the Schilel anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) launcher for a long time to prevent designers from using guns and especially Western ones. regular shells at a distance of up to three kilometers. Domestic designers had to compensate for the lower accuracy of tank armament complexes due to the development of tank guided missiles (TUR) launched through the barrel of a cannon, which ensured that a tank type hit a target with a probability close to one, at a range of six kilometers. line of sight. Currently, according to our data, the TUR is included in the ammunition package of all types of Russian-made tanks and Israeli Merkava type tanks. The prospects for tank guns depend on the general concept of development of armored weapons, and given that its main task is to defeat the observed targets, the range of alternatives is as wide as possible: from crowding out or parallel existence with rocket weapons to evolving laser guns or other directed energy weapons.
Similar tasks (defeat observable targets in the near zone) are solved by fast-firing automatic cannons (AP) with a caliber from 20 – 23 to 45 – 57 millimeters, which are currently used as additional weapons for air defense systems like Tunguska or Pantsir ), The Navy (such as "Dirk" or "Palash") and armored combat vehicles (BMP, BMPT, BRM, BTR, and others). The future prospects of the AT, as well as small arms (machine guns) of this class of vehicles, also directly depend on the overall concept of the development of armored vehicles. If we are preparing for hostilities with terrorists or the mass, not the most modern army of the enemy - such weapons must be badly. We act, God forbid, against a technologically advanced enemy - guided missile weapons are preferable. In the long term, both weapons and weapons will certainly displace directed energy weapons.
Multiple launch rocket systems, which are a type of rocket weapons, in the near and distant future, integrating with classical missile systems (for example, the unified American MLRS MLRS and the tactical RK Atakms), inevitably become more competitive high-precision (individual withdrawal of each rocket to the target area - the prospect of the coming years). As in the barrel artillery systems (especially interspecific), and especially in rocket artillery, a separate issue is the justification of a rational type of samples, which deserves in-depth discussion.
Mortars - infantry artillery, and it is precisely in this capacity that they can survive in the short term. Their main advantages are the mounted trajectory of shooting, simplicity, reliability, low cost, and relative lightness. 120-mm mortar is ten times lighter than 122-mm howitzers and once in 20 - cannons of the same caliber. The development of low-cost, high-precision mines with fairly simple control systems (the firing range is not very large) is currently represented as a “budget” alternative to anti-tank systems. Mina “Merlin” with a firing range of up to six kilometers, which has a probability comparable to that of the Milan ATGM of a tank, is exactly two times cheaper than the anti-tank missile system of this complex, the range of which is two kilometers, and the missile of the most advanced Javelin ATGM with 2,5 kilometer range seven to eight times as much mine. The improvement and constant cheapening of high-tech ATGMs as the main high-precision means of defeating the battlefield (the same Javelin rocket dropped almost three times since the start of production), as well as the emergence of alternative means of destruction, such as small-sized drone drums capable of detecting and hit the target behind the folds of the terrain, will lead to the transformation of classical mortars into a kind of launching system of high-precision weapons of short-range attack, possibly of container type and, probably, robotic
Priority of the information component
The robotization of all combat systems of the near future, including the PAB, is not a fashion trend, but an imperative. In addition to saving personnel, automated systems (robotization can be considered as the pinnacle of automation) work much faster and, as a rule, significantly reduce the number of errors by reducing (eliminating) the influence of the human factor.
The information revolution of recent decades has affected all aspects of human activity. With regard to the systems of warfare, it can be said that at present the information component in weapons prevails over the energy component. Figuratively speaking, it is more important (and more difficult at this stage) to scout an object, form, bring and, if necessary, constantly monitor the "form" of the target, that is, its condition and movement, than to disable this object with one or another type of weapon (weapon of destruction).
Today, missiles and artillery weapons with these weapons can have standard ammunition (you need a lot, you may not have enough for all purposes), nuclear ammunition (use is questionable), precision-guided ammunition (not enough and therefore not enough for all purposes).
Tomorrow, the destruction of targets in a single reconnaissance and information space will be carried out by the most accurate individual-directed ammunition (one object - one ammunition), including hypersonic (tens of kilometers - units of seconds). The principle of selectivity is being implemented - not all launchers of the anti-aircraft division will be amazed at once, but first and foremost a command post, possibly with electronic warfare devices.
The day after tomorrow, the targets will start to hit instantly with directed energy weapons (laser, beam, radio frequency, etc.) using airborne and space repeaters. Cyber weapons will also instantly disable all enemy control systems, and the selectivity of destruction using bionanotechnological weapons will reach the level of eliminating a particular "Corporal John Smith" by pressing a button.
While fantasizing about the distant future, I would like to believe that even the appearance of the idea of aggression in the head of “John Smith” will be corrected with a bionanosuperobot.
Basis for informed decisions
Returning to the current realities, it must be said that any technical analysis of the prospects, any forecasting of the directions of development can only give material for applied research, followed by the adoption of sound military-political decisions about the tasks and equipment of the Armed Forces.
The task, in our opinion, is a gradual, systematic, coordinated evolution of the RAV of the Russian Armed Forces in a promising combat system included in the means of warfare of all types and types of troops, operating in a single intelligence and information space, covering all areas of military confrontation - from space to the depths of the ocean and cyberspace.
Staging implies a rational choice of the volumes and directions of modernization of existing weapons and military equipment, ordering new models, optimization of the deployment of MFA forces and ammunition stocks, taking into account forecasted threats.
Plannedness consists in improving the RAV system in accordance with the general development concept (the new edition of which is to be developed and coordinated) and, possibly, the development concepts of missile and artillery weapons agreed with it, by type of Armed Forces and / or types of RAV, which must be implemented through the GWO, GOZ, state, federal and comprehensive targeted programs.
Coordination of the development of a missile and artillery armament system obviously consists in closely linking the proposed measures to improve combat weapons with development programs for all types of support and with the results of fundamental, predictive and applied scientific research, which this article is devoted to.