The Greek phalanx is known to many. But who among us thought that the greatness of the states of ancient Greece, including the empire of Alexander the Great - Ancient Macedonia, rested in many ways on a qualitatively new order of infantry - on that phalanx itself?
I draw the attention of readers that our overseas "collegiums" recognize the following: "The concept in which the laws of the emergence of qualitative, fundamental changes in the methods of warfare and military actions were discovered and disclosed was developed by the Soviet military theorists and received the name of a revolution in military affairs ( RVD). This term was first used at the official level in the report of the Office of General Assessments of the US Department of Defense at the beginning of the 1980s ... ”.
In the article "Understanding of the modern revolution in military affairs through the prism of military history," the author uses the definition that was formulated in the scientific work "The driving forces of the revolution in military affairs: 1300 - 2050", written by Williams Murray. According to the author of the book, “a revolution in military affairs implies the presence of qualitative changes in tactics, operational art and strategy, organizational structures, doctrinal and guiding documents, as well as the emergence of innovative technical and technological solutions that, in their entirety, allow us to speak about the emergence of new conceptual approaches to the conduct of war and hostilities, new forms and methods. " More capacious, precise and elegant, in my opinion, you will not say.
In addition, the author of the article pays special attention to the preparation and conduct of "guerrilla war" - asymmetric actions. Popular wisdom very accurately noticed that the thinking that gave rise to the problem is unable to solve this problem. Unfortunately, we are dominated by the adherents of the old - traditional military art, so talking about the development of the theory of this method of warfare, like the WFD, causes horror even among advanced interlocutors. They, as a rule, suggest not to frighten decision makers (decision makers), but to speak more gently: "the evolution of military affairs," "anti-terrorist actions" and the like. At present, I have not heard a single forecast that would justify the possibility of the start of a world or nuclear war. And if we recall the methods of conducting armed conflicts of our time, then we can trace the pattern. Practically all of them began with conducting information and then air operations (actions), which should have been:
- to demonstrate determination to achieve political goals through armed struggle;
- reduce the defense potential of the victim, including breaking her will to resist.
After that, those who resisted began to snap back in ways that were far from the classics of military art. In the People's Republic of China and Belarus, this method of warfare was appreciated and understood! We, who actively used partisan formations since the days of World War 1812, “burned themselves,” participating directly in a large number of conflicts, including in Afghanistan and Chechnya. And unlike the Americans, we either cannot, or do not want to understand, comprehend this experience and the method of warfare. This is a very interesting topic; I will return to it in the “General Line” section.
In this article, a lot of attention is also paid to the development of robotic systems. It is now in our Armed Forces and the military-industrial complex of Russia (DIC), one of the most fashionable topics. I will give her quite a lot of attention, since I have a feeling that when developing them, the history of creating the automated control system of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation will repeat, with all the ensuing consequences for us - the taxpayers. Therefore, I ask at this point to pay attention, especially to the thesis: "... the process of creation and implementation (of robotized systems — note S. Skokov) can be effective only if there is feedback between the consumer and the manufacturer." When we get to the answer to the question “what to do?”, The opinion of overseas colleagues will confirm the correctness of our proposals.
In all my reflections on the need for RVD in the Armed Forces, the red line is the thought that modern technology and technology have fundamentally changed our world: do not change anything in the theory and practice of military affairs - it means ignoring the law of dependence of forms and methods of armed struggle on its means . What will happen to those who ignore the laws, I wrote above. Revealing eleven principles of this dependence, the author helps me in my work. In subsequent publications, I will give my own examples, but these principles, formulated by the American military theorist, will also significantly strengthen my argument.
In his work, the author confirms the presence of a number of factors that imply the formation of conditions for conducting the WFD. In essence, they are not new and are constantly discussed by experts. In my opinion, the main ones include:
"... Accelerating merging, integration of automated technical equipment and military equipment provides manufacturers with an unprecedented degree of freedom in the development and improvement of complex systems."
"In order to improve the armament and military equipment with which the ground forces units are operating on foot, it is necessary, first of all, to determine the current state of military science and technology."
"One of the characteristics of the revolution in military affairs is the asymmetrical nature of the conduct of military operations, resulting from the symmetrical confrontation of the parties."
"The cycle of development of revolution in military affairs begins when one of the warring parties or the coalition develops qualitatively new technologies."
"The emergence of new technologies or tactics requires that the opposing side, which does not have the advantages of these technologies or tactics, change the methods of warfare in the shortest possible time. Only two options are possible here - or an attempt is made to copy successful models (technical, doctrinal or organizational) or countermeasures are being developed ... "
"The modern military revolution is based on system integration weapons and automation technology ... "
"The degree of autonomy, methods of application and the number of tasks to be solved will increase, become more complex during the improvement of technologies, as well as in the course of the evolution of methods of combat use developed by the opposing sides or potential opponents."
"In addition, it is necessary from a scientific point of view to approach the problem of optimizing the organizational and staff structure of the units, to study possible combinations of weapon systems necessary for the most effective accomplishment of combat missions."
"Advances in information technology and automation of management processes have dramatically changed many aspects of civil society over the past two decades."
It only remains to add that the article "Understanding of the modern revolution in military affairs through the prism of military history" itself will be posted on my page in parts, starting from tomorrow - it is very great for the format of LiveJournal.
Understanding the RVD through the prism of military history
For the past ten years, the U.S. Armed Forces have been predominantly counter-partisan, while the armament and military equipment available to the ground forces remained virtually unchanged or remained the same for the period. And at the same time, the armed forces successfully approached the beginning of another revolution in military affairs. Advances in information technology and automation of management processes have dramatically changed many aspects of civil society over the past two decades. In the civilian sector of the economy, technical and technological development has become super-fast (especially when it comes to the mass distribution of consumer electronics), while military technology developed and introduced into military training practice of the troops gradually and step by step.
Caravaggio "David with the Head of Goliath" (1607 - 1610)
Today it is not at all clear who will win in a future war. Is there anyone who can, to the limit, ensure total informatization and automation of all processes during the preparation and conduct of hostilities? Or the one who will be able to recognize the threat in time and counter the asymmetric methods and methods of conducting military actions?
"And David put his hand into his bag and took out a stone, and threw it out of the sling and struck the Philistine in the forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on the ground. So David defeated the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and He killed him; but the sword was not in the hands of David "(Old Testament, First Book of Kings).
It so happened that Western and American military theory proceeded from the fact that the preparation and conduct of war (military operations) requires enormous financial and material costs. Weapon systems such as a main battle tank or fighter aircraft aviationallowed to achieve a certain level of technological superiority over potential opponents. The US military and political leadership has traditionally regarded the technological and technological superiority of its own weapons systems as a guarantee of protecting national interests. Based on the nature of combat losses in recent wars and armed conflicts, it should be recognized that the most important task today is the modernization of weapons systems, which are armed with units operating on foot. This is a strategic task for the US Armed Forces in a protracted confrontation with illegal armed groups and terrorist groups. At present, it is quite obvious that a likely adversary, having realized the technical, technological and organizational superiority of the United States, having understood the asymmetric nature of possible future hostilities, will himself resort to asymmetric forms and methods of warfare, as well as non-standard technologies, in order to achieve his goals.
The only way to localize asymmetric threats faced by the armed forces in recent military campaigns is the brutal and resolute suppression of an adversary operating asymmetrically and using non-standard technologies. If conditions are created under which the rebels and terrorist groups cannot act openly, then this gradually dissolves their material base, as well as the faith of the local population, that the rebels are a real and effective military force. Obviously, compared to American civil society, the enemy may not be so sensitive to civilian and military casualties, but after a certain threshold is overcome, local civilians’s support for terrorist acts and direct military actions is significantly reduced, which will inevitably push the enemy to use another tactics of action and reduce activity. However, the strategy of counter-partisan struggle is not the subject of research in this article; more detailed information is contained in the relevant guidance documents (for example, in the field charter of the US Armed Forces FM 3-24 "Counter-Guerrilla Struggle" of December 2006 of the year). Here we only note that the strategy of the counter-partisan struggle will be reduced to the complete suppression and destruction of the militants due to the use of all the existing technical and technological advantages. To seize the initiative on the battlefield and then retain it in conditions where the enemy uses asymmetrical methods of warfare is very difficult, and sometimes even impossible. If the ground forces did not seize the initiative on the battlefield, the enemy in some cases gets the opportunity to set the pace of combat operations. This situation can be leveled at the expense of a sharp increase in the number of troops in the theater of operations, i.e., due to the concentration of troops. However, an increase in the contingent inevitably entails a sharp, sometimes unacceptable increase in the costs of its maintenance, maintenance, material and technical support, and so on. In addition, an increase in the density of combat orders increases the likelihood of the destruction of troops by fire on systems designed to destroy group targets (artillery fire, explosions in minefields and improvised explosive devices). To ensure the domination of US Army units on the battlefield, consistency of their actions is required, as well as technical and technological superiority, equal to the superiority of the US Armed Forces in aviation and combat armored vehicles, which provides the armed forces with air and ground domination on an operational and strategic scale.
In order to improve weapons and military equipment, which are equipped with sub-divisions of ground forces operating on foot, it is necessary, first of all, to determine the current state of military science and technology. Proof that small arms have reached the limits of perfection, can serve the fact that modern samples of American small arms are only slightly higher than the samples that were used about 100 years ago. Among some Afghan tribes, the preference is, for example, not the AK-47 assault rifles, but the very old Lee-Enfield rifles, created back in the 1902 year. So it turns out that the soldiers who participated in the Spanish-American war 1898 of the year used small arms in battle, which according to some of its characteristics (firing range and initial bullet speed) were not much inferior to modern models. However, compared with their predecessors, the US military has an advantage over the enemy, which is in the level of combat training, in the presence of reliable communication between the units, as well as in the ability to deliver high-precision fire strikes, thereby suppressing the enemy. Direct financial investments in the improvement of the characteristics and the empowerment of the military, who are on foot, are directed for the most part to the field of combat training. The quality and combat effectiveness of troops is achieved through a sharp intensification of operational and combat training of troops. Although intensive combat training can significantly increase the combat effectiveness of troops, it will never bring the same moral and psychological superiority over the enemy, like more sophisticated and powerful weapon systems. The ability in combat conditions to hit targets at a distance of more than 100 meters, to move under enemy fire and get closer to him in any weather conditions (even at night and with minimal visibility), can be decisive in mastering the initiative on the battlefield. But more often than not, the enemy is well aware that the soldiers of the United States Army, operating on foot, have weapons that are comparable in quality and combat effectiveness with the weapons of the rebels. From the point of view of the militants, this means that there is a certain parity, and the possibilities are aligned precisely at the tactical level.
The concept, in which the laws of the emergence of qualitative, fundamental changes in the methods of warfare and military actions were discovered and disclosed, was developed by Soviet military theorists and called the revolution in military affairs (WFD). This term was first used in the United States at the official level in a report by the Office of General Assessments of the United States Department of Defense at the beginning of the 1980s. It was used to describe, characterize qualitative changes in the communication system, tactics, material and technical support, as well as in a public organization. In this article, the author uses the definition that was formulated in the scientific work "Driving forces of revolution in military affairs: 1300 - 2050", written by Williams Murray. According to the authors of the book, "a revolution in military affairs implies the presence of qualitative changes in tactics, operational art and strategy, organizational structures, doctrinal and guiding documents, as well as the emergence of innovative technical and technological solutions that, in their entirety, allow us to speak about the emergence of new conceptual approaches to the conduct of war and hostilities, new forms and methods. "
One of the characteristics of the revolution in military affairs is the asymmetric character of military operations, resulting from the symmetrical confrontation of the parties. As such an example, when a revolution in military affairs gives rise to the asymmetrical nature of military actions, one could cite the fascist invasion of France in the 1940 year or the war between the United States and Iraq in the 1991 year. In preparing and repelling the fascist invasion of France, the Allies relied entirely on their technical and numerical superiority over the German Armed Forces. However, the latter were able to inflict a crushing defeat on the Allies, while suffering relatively small losses of personnel and equipment. Such efficiency is explained by the presence of a well-developed, innovative theory of conducting an aggressive and transient war, which was called a "blitzkrieg" (lightning war). This theory included the integration and mutual linking of aviation and artillery operations with the actions of armored and mechanized troops, as well as a powerful first strike with armored formations and units. Today, this theory is largely embodied in the "tactics of combined arms combat." During the first Iraqi campaign, a quick victory over an adversary of the US armed forces was achieved thanks to technical and technological superiority, high quality combat training of personnel, as well as the presence of a well-developed doctrine of warfare. It is thanks to this that after the successful completion of the first stage of the operation (achieving complete air supremacy), the ground forces managed to achieve victory in the land.
The cycle of development of the revolution in military affairs begins when one of the warring parties or the coalition develops qualitatively new technologies. The party that first masters and masters the technologies that form the basis of the revolution in military affairs gains substantial superiority over the adversary. If the advantages of new technologies are obvious, other participants in the conflict seek to develop their own analog technologies in the shortest possible time and master their mass production and implementation. So in the interests of increasing the combat effectiveness of troops, weapons systems are constantly being improved. At the present stage of development, only a few economically most prosperous powers or their coalitions can afford to deploy incredibly expensive and technically complex weapons systems. The cost of modern warfare is constantly increasing. However, this thesis is not axiomatic, since the incredibly rapid spread of low-cost and high-quality computing and automation equipment provides a high probability that fundamentally new weapon systems will become available to countries or non-governmental organizations that have very few financial and material resources. Especially the likelihood increases when the process of developing and creating high-quality products is based on information contained in open sources, as well as on the basis of widely used dual-use technologies on the global market.
The gradual and evolutionary increase in fire destruction capabilities, the technical characteristics of weapon systems cannot be considered a revolution in military affairs. For example, if an individual fighter has a large power reserve, which provides him with a slight superiority over the enemy in aerial combat, this does not at all signify a revolution in military affairs. But on the other hand, if the new fighter was able to force the opposing side to concentrate aviation at remote aerodromes, and the ground defense air defense units fulfill the task of protecting the airspace, then we can say that the appearance of a qualitatively new fighter radically changed the way war was waged. military affairs. It is curious that revolutionary changes in tactics (operational art or strategy) and in organizational and staff structures most often occur faster than technical and technological innovations appear. Thus, the tactics of the fascist troops, implemented during the military campaigns against Poland, France and the Soviet Union at the initial stage of the Second World War, were quickly adapted by the Allies - almost immediately after it proved its effectiveness and effectiveness.
The WFD can be considered as a technological or organizational (doctrinal) equivalent of the initiative of one of the parties to the conflict. The revolution in military affairs inexorably pushes one of the opposing sides, which has not yet mastered technological or organizational innovations, to oppose. The emergence of new technologies or tactics requires that the opposing side, which does not have the advantages of these technologies or tactics, change the methods of warfare in the shortest possible time. Only two options are possible here - either an attempt is made to copy successful models (technical, doctrinal or organizational), or countermeasures are being developed to minimize the effectiveness of the opponent's innovations. It should be understood that without the adaptation of revolutionary technologies or tactics created by the enemy, or without the development of effective tools to counter them, the lagging side is inevitably doomed to a speedy defeat.
The modern revolution in the military is based on the integration of weapons systems and automation technologies that operate thanks to semiconductor integrated circuits. In addition, the improvement of tactical and technical characteristics of weapons systems due to the emergence of qualitatively new materials, as well as the increased degree of integration of modern complex systems ensured the achievement of a synergistic effect, which, in essence, constitutes a revolution in military affairs. Among the techno-technological solutions that form the basis of the modern revolution in military affairs, we can mention high-precision guided weapons systems, as well as weapon systems equipped with automated (computerized) target designation systems that are integrated with optical-electronic guidance systems. High-precision munitions, the guidance system of which is equipped with a GPS global positioning system receiver, allow the projectile to be aimed at a target in the final part of the flight path, which simultaneously reduces the number of munitions needed to destroy the target, and also drastically reduces the associated losses. Fully automated systems, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are used for conducting reconnaissance and for launching missile strikes against enemy ground targets that do not have modern and high-quality air defense systems. The most difficult and slowest process of automation is in the tactical level of the ground forces; automation of command and control processes in groups that directly maneuver in battle goes extremely slowly. Some remotely controlled ground-based robotized systems have already made it possible to significantly expand the capabilities of servicemen acting on foot on a par. However, compared with unmanned aerial vehicles, their combat effectiveness and utility is much less. Ground-based robotized systems were used primarily to perform tasks of remote inspection of the terrain, assessment of the situation (intelligence), which in one degree or another could threaten personnel. Armament was installed on some robotic systems, which made it possible to use them as weapons of fire (albeit in very limited, cramped conditions).
A distinctive feature of the next WFD will be the ultimate saturation of the battlefield with systems operating on integrated circuits, which will ensure total informatization and automation of all processes during the preparation and conduct of hostilities. It is logical to assume that the positive experience of using automated systems in airspace (unmanned aerial vehicles) should be transferred and scaled into the combat practice of units operating on the ground. The degree of autonomy, methods of application and the number of tasks to be solved will increase, become more complex during the improvement of technologies, as well as in the course of the evolution of combat methods developed by the opposing sides or potential opponents. The complexity and complexity of combat operations on land fully explains why the automated, remotely controlled systems are so slowly being introduced into the combat practice of the ground forces. The complexities of creating fully ground-based autonomous automated systems become apparent when ground combat is compared to air combat. The air combat space in which unmanned vehicles operate undoubtedly contains both targets (enemy targets), and obstacles — other aircraft of their troops. However, for the most part, airspace is an absolutely empty space in which there are no obstacles. The first automated (remotely controlled or fully autonomous) aircraft include rockets - a simple cruise missile was essentially the first drone. The prototypes of the first unmanned aerial systems were developed during the Second World War as a weapon of intimidation, they were ordinary aircraft, equipped with the most primitive autopilot systems for the time being, carrying a warhead on board, as well as with accuracy sufficient only for hitting area targets (for example cities). The algorithms by which the automated systems used in the sea battle worked took into account the phenomena arising in the area of separation of water and air environments. Most naval weapons systems can only reach the target by air, under water, or at the junction of two environments. Thus, the creation of automated combat systems for action in water space is complicated by the characteristics of this space, t. e. such systems are more difficult to develop than unmanned aerial vehicles. Anti-ship remote-controlled projectiles (prototypes of cruise missiles) were first used by German troops, and somewhat later by American forces during World War II. In the air and sea spaces, remotely controlled or autonomous systems can operate, maneuver relatively freely, t. because they are prevented from moving by a minimum amount of natural or artificial obstacles. However, for ground-based robotic systems, everything is somewhat different. Natural or artificial obstacles are the norm, and the space suitable for the implementation of the maneuver is often too small, compressed and is the exception rather than. When analyzing the routes of movement of robotic systems, it becomes quite obvious that they have to overcome all obstacles in their path in order to achieve the goal. In addition, the problem of lack of space for maneuver is the problem of perception and understanding of the situation.
History is a kind of social science laboratory; it is also a laboratory of wars and armed conflicts. The success or failure of military philosophy or strategy is proved by time, by the course of history. Similar rules apply to the lessons that are drawn from wars and conflicts, as well as to the synergistic relationships that are established between the methods of warfare and means of armed struggle. As we approach the next turn of the revolution in military affairs, which will be based on the emergence of qualitatively new technologies, it is necessary to carefully study specific historical examples related to the evolution of ideas about firing, maneuvering and using weapons of mass destruction. This will allow to draw some lessons that may be applicable at the present stage of development.
Part I. Artillery
God is on the side of those who have better artillery.
At the very beginning of the XIX century, artillery pieces were cast from bronze and cast iron. Bronze was relatively light, wear-resistant, durable, but very expensive material, while cast iron was heavy and relatively cheap. During this period, most of the field guns were made of bronze, which ensured high maneuverability of troops. Whereas siege weapons and coastal artillery pieces were cast from cast iron.
Roger de la Frene "Artillery" (1911 g.)
The author of the article "Understanding of the modern revolution in military affairs through the prism of military history" rightly draws a direct analogy between technological and biological evolution, which can be represented as an S-shaped curve that is system-wide in nature. The last section of such a curve (saturation zone) can be either a sharp fall or an exit to the asymptote, that is, either the extinction of the system, or the final occupation of its own niche with subsequent minor changes.
At the end of the XIX century, all the basic elements characteristic of modern field artillery guns were created (the exceptions are mortars today, as well as guided and unguided rocket weapons). It is possible that with the use of information and communication technologies and automation, we really came to the development of artillery asymptotes. But what incredible possibilities these technologies can give!
During the American Civil War 1861 – 1865, the technologies in metallurgy improved significantly, which allowed for the production of a fundamentally different quality iron. As a result, most of the artillery began to produce iron. Although the bronze 12-pound guns were the most common during the civil war, the US armed forces thereafter never used bronze guns during wars or armed conflicts. Metallurgical technology, called the Bessemer process, i.e. the process of redistribution of liquid iron into cast steel by blowing compressed air through it, allowed not only to improve the quality of steel, but also to reduce production costs, which led to the massive use of steel in the manufacture of artillery and other weapons systems.
Improving the quality of materials and production technologies have significantly complicated the design of new weapon systems. For centuries, rifling in the barrel bore allowed us to solve the problem of increasing the accuracy of shooting, stabilizing the flight of a bullet. In the middle of the XIX century, the technology of cutting the bore became widespread. The grooves in the barrel channel provide for the transfer of a part of the kinetic energy of the bullet to the rotational moment. As a result, accuracy is improved, the bullet stabilizes in flight, but this somewhat reduces the initial speed of the bullet, as well as the effective range. It is for this reason that artillery guns with a rifled barrel bore lagged behind in mass distribution from rifled small arms for several decades. Along with this there were serious difficulties associated directly with the production technology. During the Civil War 1861 – 1865 three-inch rifled guns were actively used along with large-caliber smooth-bore artillery.
William Trego "Horse Artillery, 1865" (1893 g.)
Exact processing on the machine of large-sized products, carried out on an industrial scale, provided the next wave of innovation. The first prototypes of small-caliber rifled artillery, charging from the breech, were created in small numbers at the very end of the civil war. However, until the Battle of Sedan, held in 1870, the advantage of the new type of guns was not confirmed and recognized. Four-pound field guns caliber 80 mm, produced at the German Krupp metallurgical enterprises and used by the Prussian army, had a greater range of fire and rate of fire compared with the French guns, charged with a barrel. Another innovation was the invention of the mechanism of absorption of recoil: now the gun could fire, while remaining on the battery, at the initial position, i.e. From now on, it was not necessary to return the weapon to its original position after the rollback, which inevitably followed the shot. The first artillery gun in which the hydropneumatic anti-recoil mechanism (kickback mechanism) was used was the French field gun caliber 75 mm, first used in the 1898 year. This system was so perfect that it remained in service for more than 40 years. In addition, the explosive that was used in the ammunition to this gun, belonged to a new type of substances that have received the general name smokeless powder.
At the end of the XIX century, all the basic elements characteristic of modern field artillery guns were created. With the exception of mortars, as well as unguided and guided missiles, the entire field artillery of the beginning of the 20th century had distinctive features, first used in the French 75 caliber mm gun. This and all subsequent guns had a high-quality rifled steel barrel, coupled with a recoil absorption mechanism; Also in the ammunition used a powder of a fundamentally new type (high explosives). It cannot be said that the artillery guns stopped in their development and were no longer modified. It would be more correct to say that all the elements of this weapon system became immutable, permanent, and the engineering art, aimed at improving the artillery guns, began precisely after that. An analogy can be drawn between this period of development of artillery and the evolutionary biological explosion in the Cambrian period, which was marked by the appearance of a huge number of biological types and forms of animals, the enormous spread of life and the filling of biological niches. It was a period when new species appeared in large numbers, but at the same time a great many of them simply died out. By the end of the Cambrian period, only a few, very few species were able to successfully evolve and capture most of the biosphere.
Drawing an analogy between the emergence and development of new biological species, as well as the development of artillery, it can be argued that initially two main lines of artillery systems were distinguished - these are field artillery and howitzer guns. Field guns were distinguished by high accuracy and the possibility of direct targeting; they fired at the flat trajectory, and the initial velocity of the projectile was much higher than that of the howitzers. The high accuracy and initial velocity of the projectile allowed the use of field artillery guns as kinetic weapon systems. And this is in addition to the fact that the projectiles fired from the guns, delivered the explosive (bomb) directly to the target. Nevertheless, howitzer artillery had advantages that overlapped in some areas the advantages of field artillery. Howitzers fire at a high-altitude ballistic trajectory from closed firing positions, most often the gun crew does not see the target. Thus, the space over which the howitzers are capable of firing is limited by the firing range, whereas in field artillery it is determined by the field of view (optical sighting device). The advantages of howitzers multiplied when it is planned to conduct massive fire. All howitzers, in the area of which the target is located, can deliver a concerted blow to it. In order to conduct a concentrated, massive fire from field artillery guns, they must be placed in a single line and that each gun at the same time saw the target. Field artillery was effective in the 19th century, when linear tactics prevailed, and the battlefield was extremely compressed, relatively small in size. With an increase in the range of the weapon systems and the damaging ability of the ammunition, the distances between the opposing sides and the size of the battlefield increased. At the same time, field artillery became less effective and more vulnerable than howitzers. Modern cannon artillery most often falls under the definition of "gun-howitzer", because able to fire direct fire. However, the use of howitzers for direct fire became possible only with the introduction of new innovations.
In addition to overcoming purely technological limitations in the production of such artillery systems for the rapid deployment of production required considerable material resources and powerful motivation. The main incentive was the needs of the troops who fought on the fronts of the First World War. At the beginning of the war, French artillery consisted mainly of 75 mm guns; the heavy howitzers were subordinate to the commanders of the army corps, but this was not enough to have a decisive effect on the battlefield. German artillery consisted mainly of lightweight X-guns of caliber 77 mm, medium howitzers of caliber 105 mm, and also heavy howitzers of caliber 150 mm. In terms of staffing, artillery units had divisional and corps submission. In reality, they submitted to the division commanders and their subordinates. It should also be noted that the concepts of "light", "medium", "heavy" howitzers changed their content during the war, during the evolution of artillery systems. Before World War, it was believed that the 105 mm caliber gun was “medium”, and the 150 mm caliber was considered “heavy”. After the war, the guns of the same calibers began to be called "light" and "medium". The increase in the size of the guns led to changes in their classification.
The first battles showed all the advantages of howitzers compared with field artillery guns. German artillery was able to carry out massive fire from the natural shelters and folds of the terrain, suppressing French batteries and positions. In this case, the French artillery could not, in essence, answer. After the completion of the first stage of the invasion of France and the transition from a war of maneuver to war, the position command began to look for possible options for technological improvement of artillery systems and methods for their use. Howitzer artillery was able to achieve the goal and destroy the enemy's manpower, located in the fortifications and trenches. The field artillery guns, firing on a flat trajectory, had high accuracy when defeating vertical targets, but for defeating horizontal targets (for example, personnel in the trenches) they were ineffective. At the very beginning of the war, defenses, shelters from mounted fire, as well as closed defenses, provided the staff with a sufficiently high level of protection against shells of most types of artillery. The only technical solution to this problem was the creation and massive use of artillery with more ammunition power, as well as greater firing range. Howitzers began to quickly displace field artillery guns. Increasing prevalence began to receive heavy weapons, which were previously subordinate exclusively to the highest military command. Initially, the German troops were in an advantageous position compared to the French troops, because their doctrinal documents provided for the massive use of howitzers. Siege artillery was used to grind enemy defensive positions. Sometimes an excessive increase in the caliber of guns led to an equally rapid decrease in their effectiveness. Two guns, the Big Bert and the Paris Cannon, can serve as examples; both guns were made in Germany. However, it was not only Germans who suffered with giantomania - the British, the French and the Austrians also created tools whose caliber exceeded 300 mm. At the beginning of the war, the Germans had only two guns of the type "Big Bert" caliber 420 mm, just ten guns were built. In shells, the flight range of which was up to 12 km, a time-delay detonator was used; The gun was extremely effective in the siege of fortresses, fortifications. However, there are too few examples of successful use of this super-heavy weapon. The low rate of fire of the gun (about ten shots per hour) did not allow it to be used effectively when conducting fire training. And for hitting targets in the deep rear of the enemy, these guns also did not fit, because possessed a short range of fire.
Gradually, both sides moved to a positional war, when defense in depth erupted. At the same time, the forces and means of the defending side are scattered over large areas, material resources are delivered directly to the front of the deep rear, which reduces the likelihood of accurately identifying targets - for super-heavy artillery it becomes harder to identify targets and hit it. In addition, super-heavy artillery is more destructive than other howitzers, which makes them the most desirable target for the enemy and reduces their survivability. Another drawback of super-heavy artillery systems is the difficulty in material and technical maintenance, as well as in the preparation of a firing position. All of this, in combination, suggests that super-heavy guns are inferior to heavy howitzers (for rate of fire, maintenance, etc.) in counter-battery wrestling. In addition, much more resources were required to create super-heavy systems. If the guns of the “Big Bert” type were the largest in caliber, then the “Paris cannon” of caliber in 211 mm had a fantastic firing range - up to 120 km. However, the maximum rate of fire reached all 20 shots per day. This name was given, because used by the German side to bombard Paris; served as a deterrent weapon and had extremely low combat effectiveness, dragging off a large portion of resources.
At the final stage of the war, the Allies were generally satisfied with the state of affairs, the quality and sophistication of their doctrinal documents, the forms and methods of waging war. At the same time, the German side, who was defeated, clearly understood the need for reform. Both opposing sides understood the full significance of artillery in battle. After the signing of the peace treaty, severe restrictions were imposed on Germany, including the number of guns (it was allowed to have a small number of field guns, as well as howitzers with a caliber less than 200 mm). Because of the need to comply with these restrictions by the beginning of the Second World War, fascist Germany had fewer guns than the concept of warfare developed by that time. When, right before the war and at its initial stage, Germany began to actively increase the number of ground forces, production facilities did not have time to fulfill plans for the supply of artillery pieces. As a result, the German divisions lacked artillery throughout the war. France had a strong influence on the development of the US Armed Forces, because during the First World War, the US Armed Forces were much smaller than the European armies in size, and were also in a worse position in terms of weapons and technical equipment. Thus, the classification of guns used in French artillery during the First World War, was adopted and inherited by the field artillery of the US Armed Forces. In accordance with it, light and medium-sized guns include 105 mm and 155 mm systems, respectively, this classification has been used in the US Artillery until now.
During the Second World War, the main changes in artillery are associated primarily with changes in the methods of its use, with changes in tactics. Of course, technical changes also occurred - the role of self-propelled artillery, including protected armor, significantly increased, the total number of self-propelled guns increased. However, the basic forms and calibers were determined, established in the course of the previous world war, it was then that they reached their perfection. Significant losses in the initial stages of the First World War can be explained by the fact that the battle plans were considered as something once and for all given, unshakable. Artillery and infantry actions were consistent, but consistency was achieved through early planning. In this case, an infantry attack could begin earlier than planned and without taking into account whether the artillery is capable of crushing the enemy. Artillery salvos and flares could be used to indicate changes in command plans; telephone communication existed between different headquarters, but it was too unreliable. Messengers were considered in the First World War as the most reliable means of communication during the battle. The first radio stations appeared only at the end of the war, but they did not receive mass distribution and use until the beginning of the Second World War.
Wireless communication radically changed the way artillery was used. The command was able to control the situation, understand the dynamics of the battle (operation), and also distribute the available resources on the basis of operational necessity. At the tactical level, forward-looking observers were attached to the linear units and units that performed the maneuvering, who could communicate directly with the artillery units and units. Thanks to wireless communications, attacking troops could promptly request fire support, detect targets and adjust artillery fire on them, receive fire support from closed firing positions (while the accuracy of firing was fantastic compared to the previous era). Radio communication allowed to conduct a massive fire from the distributed (spaced apart) firing positions, to carry out the transfer of fire on request. The super-heavy siege weapons of the past war were too cumbersome, little mobile, as were the artillery units concentrated in large numbers in one place. The mobility of artillery complicated the counter-battery struggle, increased the survivability of the units. Radio communication radically changed the understanding of the principles of warfare - there was a rejection of plans for operation, battle or battle, which were previously considered to be unshakable, although their successive implementation sometimes led to disastrous consequences.
During the Second World War, engineers managed to slightly increase the range of fire, but the problem of a radical increase in the range of fire has not been resolved since the end of the previous war. Designers for this task tried to select various combinations of barrel length, structural materials, weight and size characteristics. However, the marginal possibilities have already been determined and established. The increase in firing range was lost, accuracy deteriorated due to the statistical variability of each individual ammunition, which in turn is related to problems of standardization of ammunition, the quality of gunpowder, the quality of steel from which the barrel is made, as well as meteorological conditions. What can we say - only the most advanced modern artillery ammunition, which are able to track their own movement and change, adjust the flight path, are able to overcome the deviation of the projectile after each shot. Improvement of materials led to only minor improvements in the weapon system — the weight and size characteristics decreased, the initial velocity of the projectile increased. But the biggest changes were associated with increased speed and accuracy of firing. The first specialized electronic computer was created for the needs of artillery to calculate the ballistic parameters for the guns. Calculations were recorded in the table and helped in the conduct of artillery shooting. The exponential growth of the number of used computers allowed to move from laboratory research to the practice of creating and using computerized fire control posts for artillery batteries, and then to the introduction of computing equipment for each weapon. The process of automation of artillery systems (loading, targeting, etc.) coincided with the process of automating artillery firing as such, both processes went hand in hand.
The hydraulic system, which allows you to change the position of the howitzer barrel, has evolved into a fully automated artillery system. Currently, two such systems have been created that can be considered the height of perfection, when viewed from the point of view of using automation and computerization, and when viewed from the height of the next revolution of the revolution in military affairs. These are the German self-propelled artillery PzH2000 and the Swedish Archer ("Archer") - 155 mm fully automatic weapon systems that are capable of receiving fire missions, loading, aiming and firing without the participation of humans. Setting PzH2000 has a firing rate of up to ten rounds per minute - this is the highest possible indicator at present. In addition, thanks to an improved mechanism for adjusting the position of the barrel and special powders used in projectiles, the system is able to work on targets in the "barrage of fire" mode, in which several projectiles fired at different trajectories from one gun simultaneously hit an areal target. One gun of this type is capable of performing tasks that were previously assigned to a whole artillery battery. Further development of the howitzer will occur precisely in this direction - the design of fully automated guns will be improved. As for the artillery as a whole, it is logical to assume that the next round of its development will be associated exclusively with a sharp complication of the design of ammunition, with an increase in their accuracy due to integration with target recognition and guidance systems, increasing the range and speed of flight, and so on.
Part II. Seven principles that determine the technological component of the revolution in military affairs.
Feedback or dialectic connection. At first glance, this principle lies on the surface and is extremely simple, but it must be clearly and unambiguously formulated: feedback exists between weapon systems and application tactics (dialectical communication). Since weapons systems are created in order to meet the predicted needs of the troops, methods of using weapons systems are improved as new systems are introduced into the combat practice of the troops. One of the possible consequences of this thesis is that the warring parties are in constant search for better methods of preparing and waging war (military actions), they are competing with each other. The main task of the parties is to maintain the balance of power, parity.
The main dialectic principle of development in Hegel’s German classical idealism is the so-called dialectical triad - “thesis - antithesis - synthesis”. From the point of view of dialectical materialism, this scheme allows to interpret development as a contradictory process, carried out through the removal of contradictions at the highest stage of this development.
I believe that it is appropriate to draw a direct analogy with the law of the dependence of the forms and methods of armed struggle on the means of its conduct — it fits perfectly into the framework of the dialectical triad and has been repeatedly confirmed in practice. The emergence of new weapons systems makes it necessary to develop new forms and methods of armed struggle, and vice versa, the development of new concepts and theories based on the forecast of the development of technologies forces manufacturers to make efforts and create a qualitatively new equipment that meets the needs of the troops. The author of the article "Understanding of the modern revolution in military affairs through the prism of military history" also draws the same analogy.
Another logical conclusion is that such a state of affairs inevitably leads to an imbalance in the existing system of relations, when one of the parties achieves an obvious advantage in some indicators. Then the other participants in the conflict seek to adopt these organizational, technical, technological or tactical advantages as quickly as possible in order to restore the balance of power and get away from the asymmetric nature of the confrontation. It should be emphasized that at the initial stage of work on the creation of promising models of weapons it is very difficult to clearly imagine what the serial model will look like, the finished product.
[I believe that currently in the Russian army, the law of dependence of forms and methods of armed struggle on its means of control is completely ignored: we are trying to get ahead of everyone in the development of the theory of warfare - the theory of "Central network operations", but at the same time we have no material basis for the implementation of this theory. Read the article Assessment of the situation in military affairs - part one - S. Skokov]
Development of new construction materials and substances. There are physical limitations imposed by the capabilities of weapon systems and predetermining them. The basis of these restrictions are the physical properties of materials. Without the development, synthesis of new materials, the improvement of the technical characteristics of weapon systems will be extremely slow. In addition, often these improvements will be achieved by worsening other parameters. As an example, we can give a compromise that developers have to look for between the mass of products and the range of action. In order for the gun to have a greater range of fire, it is necessary either to increase the period of acceleration of the projectile due to a sharp lengthening of the barrel, or by increasing the volume of the chamber to increase the power of the powder charge, pushing the projectile itself.
The M777 field towed howitzer of the 155 mm caliber has a 40 percent weight less than its predecessor, the M198 howitzer of the 155 mm caliber. At the same time, the new howitzer has equal or superior tactical and technical characteristics. Reducing the mass of the product while maintaining or even some improvement in performance was possible due to the fact that engineers decided to use titanium instead of steel in the manufacture of individual units and assemblies. Similarly, there are limitations on the chemical energy reserves of high explosive fragmentation ammunition or the flammability of materials based on hydrocarbon compounds.
The complexity of the design of weapons systems. Improving the tactical and technical characteristics of weapon systems is possible due to the complexity of their design. So, precisely due to the complexity of the design cluster munitions were created. The use of cluster munitions with combat elements of the cumulative fragmentation effect of DPICM allowed us to simultaneously increase the area of effective destruction and concentrate the shock wave. However, the complexity of the product design inevitably leads to its appreciation. The cost of a more complex weapon system will always be significantly higher than that of a simple complex.
In addition, complex systems usually require more resources for maintenance, the probability of failure of such systems is high. The use of complex weapons systems can also give unexpected results. Unexploded cluster munitions, for example, can hit civilians after a conflict has ended. And during use in combat, cluster munitions strike area targets and can also hit civilians and vehicles that have been (moved) in the shelling area. Solving these problems is only possible due to even more complex systems. In turn, this may lead to side effects of the second order.
Optimization. Over time, all weapons systems converge to one of the most optimal design. Such a kind of convergence leads to the fact that the states-participants of coalitions develop uniform standards and requirements for weapon systems, with reference to artillery systems it can be said that uniform calibers are emerging. Moreover, the design of weapons systems is optimized based on the requirements for their ballistics and the power of the projectile (striking ability). To destroy a particular type of target, an appropriate type of ammunition is needed. Projectile drag is a function of the shape and cross-sectional area. The kinetic energy of the projectile is a function of mass and velocity. To these facts one can also add the need to place the gun on a mobile platform and the need to fire at a distance of several tens of kilometers.
In addition, relevant restrictions are being introduced related to transport infrastructure capabilities. It is at this stage of the creation of weapons systems that the basic technical indicators and characteristics are determined. Russian gunners preferred self-propelled guns caliber 152 mm, while the countries participating in the North Atlantic Alliance - guns caliber 155 mm. However, for the average man these systems are almost identical, it is almost impossible to distinguish between them - neither the installations themselves, nor their ammunition.
The speed and accuracy of weapon systems. It is due to the high speed and accuracy of weapon systems that effective target suppression is achieved. Modern highly automated artillery guns, equipped with computer systems, can calculate data for fire shooting with an accuracy that is limited by statistical error. Automation of artillery firing followed immediately after automating the process of supplying ammunition and loading, as well as after automating the process of adjusting the gun. Thus, the world's first fully automated howitzers, the German installation PzH2000, appeared.
The appearance of such automated systems was predictable; moreover, their appearance was predetermined by the entire logic of the development of artillery systems. It can be assumed that such a positive experience of deep modernization of systems will be used to improve other artillery systems. Ultimately, the rest of the artillery will follow this path.
Avoiding extremes when creating weapons systems. If optimization is a search for a balance between the various desired tactical and technical characteristics, then when creating non-standard weapon systems, in which an individual characteristic is excessively enhanced, most of the other technical characteristics are sacrificed. Perhaps the most striking example of this is the "Paris Cannon" - a weapon that was completely ineffective in terms of achieving practical goals. The gun was inactive, the rate of fire was extremely low (on average, it was about one shot per day), although it could fire at targets located at a distance of 130 km. However, the maintenance of the gun required considerable resources, whereas its efficiency was extremely low - only about 300 people died from the shelling of Paris, i.e. even as a deterrent weapon it was ineffective. In addition, under the influence of propaganda, the French population viewed the German cannon as a manifestation of the enemy’s extreme cruelty: the network effect when using the Paris Cannon only increased the motivation of the French population to fight, and their moral and psychological condition was not undermined.
The use of commercial technology. The most advanced computer and communication technologies, starting from the middle of the 20th century, were invented in the interests and used by the military. But in the second half of 1970, the computing and communication systems created by commercial companies were not inferior in quality to the products of the military-industrial complex intended for the US Armed Forces. The technologies that provided the introduction of computing systems in each howitzer were created precisely in the civilian sector of the economy. It is obvious that a civilian person equipped with a smartphone has more reliable access to a communication network and the ability to receive satellite images of the earth’s surface than a modern American soldier equipped with standard communication facilities. And since the efforts to reduce this technological gap are not visible, it can be assumed that it will only increase.
[This problem - the problem of the technological gap between the civil and military sectors - is discussed in the publication Assessing the Situation in Military Affairs - Transformation of the Control System in Schemes - S. Skokov]
An analysis of the development of field artillery was made earlier (see Understanding the WFD through the prism of military history - part I) to demonstrate the influence of qualitatively new technical and technological solutions on the methods of preparing and waging war (military actions). Seven principles that determine the technological component of the revolution in military affairs were identified and consistently revealed. The following two examples contain four more principles that also define the WFD. In the historical concept of conducting an all-arms battle, the first two principles were first formulated - destructive action and information. This will be discussed in the next part of the article.
Part III. Tanks and maneuver warfare.
Tank engine is the same weapon
tank, as well as its main weapon.
tank, as well as its main weapon.
As a second historical example, consider the concept of maneuvering wars, which over time evolved into the concept of all-arms combat and is a fundamental, basic concept today. The technological embodiment of this concept should be considered as just one weapon system - the main battle tank - a fusion of armor, the highest mobility and firepower. The evolution of artillery was considered in the first part of the article, and the basic principles that determine the technological component of the revolution in military affairs were described in the second part of the work. It will also reveal the evolution of tanks, without which it is difficult to imagine a modern combined-arms battle, and the example of this evolution reveals two more principles that determine the technological component of the WFD, the destructive ability and information.
Mariusz Kozik "Tank"
"During World War II, fascist Germany launched the production of super heavy tanks, the mass of which reached 70 tons. These machines were incredibly effective in confrontation with light, medium and even other heavy tanks, but they were oversaturated with the latest technology and failed due to imperfect technology and damage more often than from damage caused by the enemy. "
The refusal of individual armor protection occurred with the advent of large bows, and then small arms. The efforts expended in wearing such heavy armor were no longer justified by their protective properties — it simply did not make sense to wear them. So, metal armor, strong enough to protect against a bullet hit, was only suitable for wearing for short distances. But time put everything in its place: in the 20th century, individual armor protection became a mass phenomenon and first spread among servicemen of mechanized units and units, although the overwhelming majority of generals were generally against this, as the cost of mass mobilization armies, which by definition should cost as cheap as possible. [I should note that one of my colleagues who, in his youth, was engaged in prospecting and reburial of the fallen Soviet soldiers, said that he had repeatedly raised the remains of our soldiers who had cuirass or, according to the terminology of the war years, steel breastplates. Probably, wearing a cuirass was very common when taking powerful enemy fortifications or when fighting in urban environments — S. Skokov]. In addition, during the First World War, gun shields appeared, designed to protect artillery calculations. Thus began a new era of creation and mass introduction of armor protection. Before the outbreak of World War II, military theorists were convinced that protection of personnel from the ever-increasing power and density of fire could be achieved through the construction of concrete protective structures and earthworks. Reducing the cost of production of the main structural material of most weapons systems - steel, as well as the fact that the field artillery worked at the most advanced, forced the designers to reconsider their views and develop at least the minimum necessary protective shields that can withstand the penetration of small arms.
As noted earlier, the technological evolution of weapons systems during the First World War is clearly visible in the example of howitzer artillery development, which has undergone constant changes. Then there was an active search for the most effective, optimal technical and technological solutions. As another example, can serve as a tank. This weapon system was first used by British forces in the 1916 year; The tanks proved to be effective, although they had a large number of technical flaws and had serious difficulties in overcoming the natural obstacles on the battlefield. This technology was emulated, copied by the coalition allies and the German side: in France, they reacted to this direction with great enthusiasm, whereas in Germany only a few machines were created. At the very end of the First World War, the Allies in their concepts and guiding documents finally consolidated the role of the wedge for the tanks, with the help of which during the operation (battle) it was supposed to open, crack the defensive orders of the enemy. According to these concepts, infantry units and subunits were to follow the tanks, penetrate the gaps and develop success, expanding the gaps in the enemy’s defenses, penetrating into the depths of his positions. Essentially, in modern combat, when conducting a planned attack, tanks are used in the same way for the same purpose.
During the Second World War, a kind of "Cambrian period" was associated with an incredibly rapid evolution of the concepts of waging a war of maneuver: armored and partially armored military equipment appeared on the battlefield in large numbers. Tanks with several towers were delivered to the front; tanks armed only with mounted machine-guns — they were used exclusively to fight the enemy’s manpower; self-propelled guns also appeared, protected by armor only on the sides of the car and with an open top. Armored cars, infantry tanks, amphibious tanks, self-propelled guns - all this was used during World War II with different degrees of intensity, efficiency and mass character. During the war, the armed forces of fascist Germany created and used more 20 of various types of armored vehicles, not counting artillery systems and anti-aircraft artillery systems. Britain and the USSR produced 15 armored vehicles, while the USA produced 14. This number includes independent systems, not modifications. Such a large number of weapon systems was made possible thanks to the rapid development of technology. As soon as one model of the tank was put into service, and the country began its mass production, the design offices immediately began developing the next machine. But another reason for this diversity was the fact that the tactics of using tanks was still poorly developed at that time. At that time, it was not yet possible to find the optimal ratio between the thickness of the armor protection, the caliber of the gun and the engine.
At the first stage of the Cold War, the sides used tanks that remained in large numbers after the Second World War. During the Korean war, the northerners used the Soviet medium tanks T-34, the Allied forces - light tanks M24 "Chaffee", which were inferior to the first in their characteristics. Superiority in armor protection and firepower tank forces of the US Armed Forces achieved only when Patton heavy M46 tanks were deployed in units. It is interesting to compare the masses of machines: М24 - 20,2 tons, Т-34 / 85 - 35 tons, М46 - 48 tons. From the point of view of the theory of combat operations by armored forces, larger tanks had competitive advantages: they could carry a larger-caliber gun, had thicker armor protection and a more powerful propulsion unit. But there were certain limitations: after a certain limit, the size and weight of the machine became its drawbacks. Of course, the tanks used during the war in Korea were not the largest. During World War II, fascist Germany launched the production of super-heavy tanks, the mass of which reached 70 tons. These tanks were incredibly effective in confrontation with light, medium and even other heavy tanks, but they were oversaturated with the latest technology and failed due to imperfect technology and damage more often than from damage caused by the enemy. The M41 tank, which is lighter and more modern than the M46, was also used during the Korean War and at the end of the conflict was named the Walker Bulldog (named after one of the American generals killed during the war). This car then for many years was in service with many countries; some armed forces exploited it until the 1980s.
During the Cold War there were two main types of tanks - light and heavy. To make the tank mobile, mobile and light, it was necessary to sacrifice security (the thickness of the armor decreased) and the initial velocity of the projectile — it also decreased. The designers of the American light tank МХNUMX "Sheridan" tried to level the low initial speed due to a sharp increase in caliber (usually on machines of this type such large guns were not set). The caliber of the implement was 551 mm. At the same time, the targets were affected by the chemical energy contained in the high-explosive fragmentation projectile. But on the other hand, I had to sacrifice the rate of fire, because it decreases with increasing caliber. The low initial velocity of the projectile reduces the effective range of the tank, which, combined with a low rate of fire, creates certain difficulties with the defeat of mobile targets. During the Vietnam War, the M152 "Sheridan" tanks showed their high effectiveness as a means of fire support for infantry, but weak armor protection made them too vulnerable to mines and anti-tank grenade launchers. This machine was operated until the 551-s.
For a tank, speed, security and armament are important at the same time. The new and more powerful engine allowed the M1 Abrams tanks to carry stronger and heavier armor and a more powerful weapon at a faster speed than ever before. The technologies created at the next round of the revolution in military affairs made it possible to create and massively introduce a computerized device that provides and controls barrel stabilization, an automated guidance system. Thanks to this, a tank was created that was capable of hitting highly moving targets on the move, at the same time at distances when these targets could not strike back. The Abrams M1 tanks were most decisively used during the first and second Iraqi campaigns of 1991 and 2003 against Soviet-made Iraqi T-72 tanks; they made full use of their technical and technological superiority over the enemy. According to the commander of one of the tank divisions of the 24th mechanized division, one M1 Abrams tank managed to destroy three T-72s in one battle, although the American tank was deprived of mobility because it was stuck in the mud. At the same time, his armor protection was also able to withstand accurate hits from each of the enemy’s tanks. The speed of the weapon system (tank) directly affects its mobility, mobility. But the extremely large needs in material and technical services, in the supply of fuels and lubricants can also adversely affect the mobility of weapon systems. In order to provide fuel for tank formations and units during both Iraqi campaigns, a huge amount of fuel was needed, delivered to the front line with the help of a whole fleet convoys. During the 1991 campaign, there were cases when units and subunits could not fulfill their combat missions due to lack of fuel.
[Here I allow myself to disagree with the author. A few years ago, as part of our military delegation, I had the opportunity to attend one very interesting international event, which was organized on the initiative of the NATO command and was held on the territory of one of the linear parts of the German Army.
Essentially, this meeting could have been dubbed "a gathering of tankers" and, of course, I was most interested in American officers who had combat experience from the first and second Iraqi campaigns. They eagerly made contact and expressed their opinions on the widest range of problems, answered our questions, and argued. Thus, the officers who took part in the first campaign claimed that the T-72 was at that time one of the best in the world: the tank, in their opinion, was ideally suited for operations in the desert terrain, withstand extreme operating conditions, had a good survivability, but in terms of the effectiveness of weapons, it was not inferior to their machines and could easily fight an equal fight.
It was after analyzing the combat experience gained in the first war in the Persian Gulf that the American command decided to carry out a deep modernization of the main battle tank M1 Abrams. It turned out that the car was not adapted for operations in the conditions of the desert terrain, it had a number of significant technical flaws, and individual units and assemblies often failed. It should also be noted that, in the opinion of the same American tank crews, during the second campaign of the Ground Forces, the United States was armed with a qualitatively different tank.
In short, it is perfectly acceptable that the M1 Abrams, unmoved by reason of breakage, was able to stand in battle with three T-72. But this, in my opinion, should not be explained by the technical superiority of one of the parties, most likely, the blame in this case was the notorious human factor - the extremely low preparation of Iraqi tankers, low morale and the complete lack of will to win.
By the way, the survivability of our remarkable T-72 tanks — and many military experts have already written them off to the dustbin of history — you can read the publication by Aleksey Khlopotov. The Syrian tank T-72 withstood. - S. Skokov]
Another significant drawback of heavy tanks MNNUMX "Abrams" is their transportability, readiness for the transfer. After the end of the Cold War and until the end of 1, the US Armed Forces were able to significantly increase the pace of military operations. Since the requirements for personnel have increased dramatically, the difference between the number of resources required for the deployment of personnel, and the resources needed for the deployment of tanks, has become one of the important problems of military planners. Owning the world's best heavy tank MNNUMX "Abrams" does not guarantee that it can be used in battle, because there are certain difficulties with the delivery of these weapons systems to remote theaters of military operations. In accordance with the governing documents, the United States Armed Forces must ensure the deployment of troops in a remote theater within two days. But in reality, with the transfer of tanks, problems may arise - they can “draw” on the battlefield within a month, if they are delivered at all. The Chief of Staff of the US Army, General Eric Shinseki (Eric Shinseki) in 1990 year formulated additional requirements for the readiness of troops to transfer (for armored vehicles). Ultimately, this led to the US Army beginning to introduce and adapt the Stryker armored fighting vehicles as the main ground fighting vehicles.
Chase Stone Stryker
Changes in the foreign policy situation and the balance of power in the world have become the causes of the global transformation of the US Armed Forces: in the new conditions, when the bloc confrontation lost relevance, it was necessary to solve the tasks of expeditionary wars with the maximum degree of efficiency, therefore, to search for the most appropriate organizational structures and new models weapons and military equipment. In a short time, the transition of the formations, units and controls of the United States Army to the brigade structure was carried out while simultaneously equipping them with new types of weapons and military equipment.
It is likely that the difficulties associated with the transfer of tanks - heavy and requiring serious maintenance of vehicles - to remote theaters during the conduct of expeditionary wars made a significant contribution to these radical transformations. At that time, it seemed to the command of the US Army that a whole line of Stryker armored vehicles would qualitatively improve the combat effectiveness of units. However, it is quite possible that at the same time it was an attempt to create a fundamentally new machine for conducting combat operations in urban environments: on the one hand, mobile, and on the other - with sufficient firepower and security.
The evolution of artillery systems can be traced to changes related to the optimization of these weapon systems, the creation of new construction materials, the structural complexity of systems, the appearance of deviations from the norm, the use of commercial technologies, as well as the increased maneuverability of the systems. The disappearance of a large number of models of tanks that did not show high combat effectiveness clearly illustrates the search for optimal solutions. After World War II, the tanks acquired their final form, found their optimal form; developers and military scientists sought to develop various combinations, the relationship between security, weapons and mobility. As the quality of construction materials improved, the technology itself was improved. The security and armament of German heavy tanks produced at the final stage of World War II made these vehicles perfect for the destruction of enemy tanks, but their very large size made them unreliable and difficult to maintain. Thus, another important principle that has been revealed when studying the experience of mass use of tanks during world war and confirmed by the practice of other wars and armed conflicts is the principle of sufficiency of the damaging effect (s) of the weapon system.
Sufficiency of the damaging effect of the weapon system.
One of the most important characteristics that ensure the superiority of one weapon system to another is the ability to destroy the opposing weapon system. During the Arab-Israeli war 1973, the Israeli forces managed to hold the Golan Heights with the help of two armored brigades and attached artillery units, while the Syrian troops opposed them to five divisions: the ratio of the number of tanks at the beginning of the conflict was 180 Israeli against 800 Syrian. On one destroyed Israeli tank accounted for up to six Syrian. Of course, there is such a thing as operational and combat training of troops. Of course, the training of the Israeli troops was better. But the reason for this success lies in the fact that Israeli heavy tanks “Centurion” (British-made) were more reliably protected than the lighter Syrian T-55 and T-62 tanks (Soviet-made). This does not mean that the Centurions were invulnerable to the Soviet machines, but they were more protected and had a great destructive effect. Israeli tanks could fire from long distances, and the hit of the projectile almost always led to the destruction of the target. If the enemy succeeded in lining up the Centurion, then there was a high probability that the tank would retain its functionality and be subject to rapid repair. The insufficient damage effect of the Soviet T-55 and T-62 tanks did not allow them to hit the required number of enemy tanks in order to break their defenses. Striking ability is a key factor that can never be ignored. Armor protection increases the survivability of the weapon system, but after all, the high mobility of the system provides for increasing its survivability. Masking and tactical techniques also contribute to increased survivability. In the end, the damaging effect, the damaging ability affects survivability, but if the machine does not have an adequate damaging effect, then nothing can compensate for this drawback - neither booking, nor disguise, nor mobility.
The military campaign of fascist Germany against France 1940 of the year clearly illustrates the importance of the sufficiency of the striking action of the weapon system, as well as the relationship between the striking action and the flexibility of the use of weapon systems. After the division of Poland between fascist Germany and the USSR, the German side carried out the transfer of formations and units of the Air Force and Army to the western strategic direction. The task of retaining and defending the territories of Eastern Europe, which were conquered by Germany, was actually not at that time. The German armed forces numbered more than 3,3 million people (the same amount in the aggregate was in the Western countries, which then formed the anti-Hitler coalition). But at the same time, the number of tanks from the Allies reached 3 300 units, while the German side could push no more than 2 400 machines. In addition, the Allies greatly outnumbered the enemy in terms of the number of guns (as mentioned above, the Germans were unable to reach the planned numbers of guns before the end of the war): the ratio was 2: 1 in favor of the allies (14 000 guns against 7 400). Parity was achieved in the number of fighters designed to gain air supremacy, but here it must be recognized that the quality of German aircraft was higher. The numerical superiority of the ground forces, multiplied by the closest interaction with the formations and units of the air force, made it possible to overcome the shortage of artillery, as well as the general lag behind the allies in the number of tanks. The Germans with high efficiency used direct aviation support of their units and formations, the German aircraft effectively suppressed the artillery positions of the allies, which were not covered by antiaircraft artillery at that time.
The training of the German troops was carried out on the basis of the provisions of the military doctrine, which provided for the need to conduct decentralized, adaptive, maneuvering actions. The French and British commanders used a more centralized command and control system, which predetermined their preferences in the methods of conducting military operations: the allies considered it more expedient to deliver massive fire strikes at the most important points. Fascist Germany had a certain advantage, since it started the war first - it could immediately impose conditions on military operations. This circumstance prompted the Allies to try to adapt the German organizational and technological advantages to their own combat practice as soon as possible. However, the same circumstances allowed Germany to seize the strategic initiative from the very first days of the war and occupy most of the territory of France and hold it until the very end of the war. The Allies used their tanks as a means of supporting infantry units and subunits; and although the Allies had more tanks, they could not concentrate on one direction. The overwhelming majority of French tanks were organizationally part of tank battalions, which were attached to infantry divisions. Consequently, they could be distributed among the relevant units of this infantry division.
During the war for France, several million troops were concentrated along the front line, stretching only a few hundred kilometers. The French command decided to concentrate on creating a deep-echeloned defense, and all along the front. In response, the German command decided to break through the enemy defenses in several places, concentrating their main efforts on them. They managed to do it on the territory of Belgium and the northern part of France. The first staggering success of the German troops disoriented the Allied command and forced them to overestimate the capabilities, the numerical strength of the enemy troops. The most obvious advantage that allowed the German troops to overcome the Allied defenses was the quality of internal combustion engines, which ensured greater speed and maneuverability. In the course of this war, there were cases when the German mechanized formations and units were significantly ahead of their own infantry formations and units, which constituted the overwhelming majority of the entire group of forces. This happened immediately after the breakthrough of the Allied defense and during the development of success. Spatial gaps between the advanced mechanized units and parts of the Germans, which had gone far ahead, and their infantry, could be used by the allies if it were more flexible and dynamic. Another advantage of the German group was that they were able to achieve air supremacy in the shortest possible time (it was provided during the entire campaign, which lasted only four weeks).
German troops won not at the expense of better and more sophisticated equipment (although this statement is quite true with respect to aviation), not at the expense of more advanced tanks, cars and cannons. They turned out to be stronger than the Allies in organizational, mental and tactical terms. By the time the Allies decided to stop the resistance, the French armed forces had a larger number of the most modern tanks at that time, which were not inferior to the German in quality and even surpassed them in most parameters. The German command possessed more flexibility, was capable of more dynamic actions, since the basis of everything was the doctrine of agile general combat. The only area in which the Germans had a qualitative and decisive superiority over the Allies was communication. On each armored vehicle, the German Armed Forces installed radio stations, which allowed the command to more effectively manage forces and means, to quickly adapt to changing conditions on the battlefield. The radio stations made it possible to promptly inform the commanders and staffs about the state of affairs at the front line, about the location of the enemy and their troops, as well as the direction of impact from the enemy. In addition, the radio stations allowed the commanders of ground formations and units to request direct air support from the troops. Wireless radio allowed to synchronize all elements of a general combat. Radio stations have reduced the time interval between the collection of intelligence information and the decision to fight on this information. Possessing such superiority in communications, the Germans were ahead of the Allies at the tactical level in the battle control cycle. Due to this, the speed and flexibility of adapting the German plans for combat to the tactical situation was ensured, which the allies could not afford.
The possession of information is one of the key principles that determine the technological component of the WFD.
The war for France 1940 of the year is a historical example of how information superiority over the enemy turns out to be the decisive factor. The strength and power of the army lies in its unity, the ability to act as a single whole. In the absence of a reliable connection, any army turns into a collection of individuals. Throughout history, the pace of the operation only increased. A detachment or a platoon that does not have a reliable connection with the higher levels of management, have in store only a plan for the battle, as well as an order to synchronize and coordinate their actions with the actions of other units in time and place. That's precisely because the provision of communication is one of the most difficult technical tasks when we talk about the use of autonomous robotic systems in the tactical level. Remotely controlled systems cease to function in the absence of communication. It is possible to increase the combat effectiveness of subunits in the current conditions only by improving the quality of situational awareness of personnel and providing direct access to remote fire support. One of the main tasks of the troops in projected conflicts will be to ensure reliable communication between their units, units and subunits, as well as the violation or complete destruction of the enemy’s communications system.
The author of the article is Major Benjamin Hübschman (Benjamin Huebschman) - the head of one of the operational departments of the Intelligence and Security Command of the US Army, which is responsible for the development of promising organizational and staff structures of the ground forces (researcher). He participated in military operations against Yugoslavia and Iraq. During the second Iraq campaign, among other senior officers of the staff of the United Central Command of the US Armed Forces, carried out the overall management of psychological operations.