28 of October 1948 was considered to be the day of the creation of army aviation when the first aviation squadron equipped with helicopters was formed in Serpukhov near Moscow. It marked the beginning of army aviation as a separate branch of the military. How does she live today, what problems does she decide, what does she see in the future? The Hero of the Soviet Union, the former commander of army aviation, Colonel-General Vitaly Pavlov, answered these and other questions to the newspaper "VPC".
- Vitaly Egorovich, what does this holiday mean - the Day of Army Aviation for helicopter pilots? How is it important for Russia and its citizens?
- For the personnel it is the day of formation, memory, strengthening of military power. Army aircraft in modern conditions includes helicopters. In 1948, army aviation was created and there were light aircraft in it that performed the same tasks that helicopters are currently carrying out. A year later, helicopters began to flow into these squadrons of army aviation. First Mi-1, and then Mi-4. Army aircraft was formed under the influence of the successful use of helicopters abroad, particularly in the United States.
In the middle of the 50-s, it was decided to create good helicopters. Two design bureaus, Mil Design Bureau and Kamov Design Bureau, were instructed to make a new helicopter. In one year, created Mi-4. In 1957, the Syzran Fighter School began to train and produce helicopter pilots.
Before becoming a native of the Ground Forces, helicopter aviation was auxiliary, transport, and light. The Arab-Israeli wars and the success of the use of helicopters influenced the fact that the helicopters became the main force of army aviation. In 60-s, our military helicopters were actively involved in the elimination of natural disasters, fires, rescue operations, for measures to localize and evacuate the astronauts. Later began to arrive Mi-8, Mi-6. Gradually the number of helicopters increased, shelves appeared. The war in Afghanistan was a key event in the role of army aviation. Helicopter units entered Afghanistan first among the first. Parts of the army aviation showed themselves brilliantly, they fought very skillfully. And the helicopter pilots themselves demonstrated miracles of courage and heroism, constantly risking their lives. In Afghanistan, there were first four and then five regiments. In each general army, army aviation commanders appeared. Afghanistan was a great school for pilots. Army aviation is truly the strength and pride of our country's air force.
- Aerobatic team "Berkuty" includes the best pilots of Russia, enjoys deserved respect, causes admiration for their skill at air shows. How much has this group been able to promote the interests of Russian aviation in the field of world trade in domestic helicopters and how much has it contributed to the increase in demand for helicopter purchases by our army?
- The Berkut group did not affect the purchases of helicopters by the Russian army, since they are carried out according to strict plans. As for prestige, prestige in the global market - of course. Although even before the formation of the group, we supplied helicopters to 80 countries. The creation of the group "Golden Eagles" is a unique event in world practice. I was with her in India, in Indonesia, and they gave a tremendous impetus, assisted in building relationships.
- In the Center for combat use and retraining of flight personnel of army aviation, pilots of the highest class are trained. In the process of study, they receive the title of "Pilot-Sniper" and "Navigator-Sniper". What path must be taken to become a sniper and that such a pilot-sniper can on the battlefield?
- The combat training center conducts system training and prepares first of all for combat operations. This is his main task - to test on his pilots what was invented in theory. That is, the main goal is to develop a methodology and hand the pilots to the pilots. It is necessary to master the basics and basics masterfully, at the same time make tremendous efforts and work, punctually carry out the course of combat training, have no prerequisites for flight accidents by their own fault and perform combat exercises of five points. Here are the basics for getting the title of sniper pilot. In addition, master flight skills at the first class level. It is also flying in the clouds, flying with limited visibility below the established minimum of weather. These pilots are real air aces of the sky and air combat.
- Is the Mi-28Н and Ka-52 protection system against the enemy’s air defense sufficiently perfect or must it be modernized? Can the anti-aircraft defense system of helicopters effectively deal with Stinger-type MANPADS with ground-to-air and air-to-air missiles?
- It is necessary to modernize. A perfect system is one hundred percent non-existent. We successfully defended Stinger missiles in Afghanistan - you can shoot traps, carry out a passive anti-missile maneuver. Any perfect technical solution is revealed a year later, the enemy is looking for opposition to our arms. This is a continuous struggle, in which the most important thing is not to stop there. Our helicopters have quite good chances against enemy missiles, there are missile attack detection devices showing the direction of the missile’s flight. It is important to instantly assess the situation, make the right decision and begin to respond.
- Does the “Crossbow” radar system give our helicopters an advantage in the fight against the enemy in the air and on the ground?
- Of course, but it should be improved.
- Has the tactic of using helicopters changed since the Afghan war?
- Tactics is a specific thing and constantly changing. For example, during the Afghan war, tactics were constantly changing according to the area where we fought. In the mountains - one tactic, on the plain - another. If we knew that Stinger or other MANPADS were being used against us, we used an anti-missile maneuver. Tactics are changing under the influence of computer methods, various technical innovations, and point methods are used to fight terror. The last war in the Caucasus showed that tactical methods and techniques developed in Afghanistan can be used along with new methods, such as a point missile strike.
- In the American army there are helicopters like Chinook CH-47. They are used by army aviation and marines. Do we have a need for such helicopters and what is the advantage of using them?
- Our Ka-32 helicopter, although old, has modern equipment. Therefore, it effectively performs the same tasks as Chinook. It is used abroad, for example, performs transportation and delivery of goods in conditions of increased complexity. Chinook has a powerful stabilization, this is his advantage. Domestic helicopter Mi-26 is American. He has an extra cabin downstairs, so one pilot controls the helicopter on its way to the facility, the other controls the helicopter during transportation, lifting or lowering the cargo. It makes no sense to make a helicopter on the American counterpart.
- On American helicopters CH Super Stallion is a system of in-flight refueling. It allows cars to be in the air all day. Does it make sense to install such a system on our helicopters?
- Americans have a different strategy for using rotary-winged cars. They have a need to transfer helicopters over long distances in sea conditions, if necessary - across the ocean. We, firstly, the airfields are at a convenient and sufficient distance for refueling, and secondly, the squadron, if necessary, accompanies the refueling helicopter, as a rule, this Mi-26. He can sit in the open field and on the ground to fill the entire squadron, which then goes into battle. We can operate without these refueling systems.
- What is the advantage, and what are the disadvantages of the Russian Mi-28Н and Ka-52 compared to the American helicopters, for example, the Apache?
- I must admit that we had a slight lag at one time, and then lagged far behind. I flew Ka-50 in 1991, in 90 we missed the time. We are lagging behind in electronic and some other technologies. At the same time, the Ka-52 has good chances, our helicopters are more reliable and more durable, this is beyond any doubt.
- Mi-35 - a unique Russian helicopter using bomb load and mine weapons. Does it make sense to supply all helicopters with bomb armaments, above all transport ones?
- I, being the commander of army aviation, refused to use bomb weapons on helicopters, because it is meaningless. On a helicopter to successfully bombing is unrealistic. He fights at an altitude of 200 meters, from this altitude when the bomb is dropped, her relative will be 50 meters.
- What are the current development of attack and multi-purpose helicopters by our industry?
- The problem is solved to bring to mind the Ka-52 and Mi-28 helicopters, as pilots see them, onboard equipment. Improve the system of protection, demarcation system, early observation or detection of an approaching enemy, night vision equipment so that the pilot, not including the headlights, can sit down at night and look for platforms.
- What, in your opinion, is the role of helicopters in modern warfare in the fight against tanks and mechanized enemy units?
- On the battlefield, this is an indispensable means of attack of the enemy. Perhaps the role of army aviation will decline, but not earlier than in 50 years. The reason for this - in the improvement of computer technology.
- It is believed that the helicopter squadron in combat power is equal to a mechanized brigade. In this connection, should we abandon the mechanized units or reduce them and rely on the sky cavalry - helicopters?
“No, I suppose that should not be done.” On some areas of the front, you can act without the use of helicopters, on others you can do without a mechanized brigade. Helicopters in this situation successfully operate with landing units or special forces.
- The American concerns Boeing and Sikorskiy developed a joint project of a two-seat Comanch helicopter, which was created under the doctrine of “2000 air combat”. This helicopter was supposed to have increased shock power, increased flight duration, it had to fight at any time of day and under any meteorological conditions. This project, which seemed to have a future, was abandoned by the Americans. Why?
- From a small light helicopter type Mi-2 or “Robinson” attack helicopter will not work, because it is light. And Comanch is a car from this series. A helicopter up to seven tons is light. You can not grasp the immensity. It is impossible to create a machine in a small volume so that it is both fast and impenetrable, and at the same time has such a weapon that sweeps everything out of its way. This is a desirable idea that was impossible to implement. No one excludes the possibility that the time will come when this idea will come true. It all depends on many factors, for example, new materials will be created, ultrastrong and ultralight, or a weapon will appear, the minimum in weight, but the maximum in strength of destruction. We are not going to make such a helicopter in the near future yet.
- Army aviation merged as a result of reforms in eight air bases. Are such associations convenient and do they allow to carry out combat missions effectively in the conditions of modern wars?
- They are ineffective and will be eliminated. I would suggest a return to the regimental system.
- Is stealth needed to protect helicopters?
- Invisible helicopter is not fully done. Stealth is not a panacea. The technology requires a huge investment. On helicopters, it is difficult to apply, because a lot of rotating units and parts. In addition, our old anti-aircraft systems detect and shoot down aircraft with Stealth technology. They distinguish them.
- What do you think about the prospect of mass use of unmanned helicopters in combat conditions, in particular in the American army there are several thousand of them?
- It is necessary to develop unmanned aircraft very intensively. Over time, it will replace combat missions with predetermined targets. But the helicopter with the pilots, of course, an unmanned vehicle can not replace. And the BLA will be able to strike at the sites, at a predetermined target, at command posts. Creating regiments of unmanned helicopters will depend on the number, perfection of these machines.
- Is it necessary to create armored cavalry units of the American type, combining tank, mechanized and helicopter units?
- The commander of our combined army or division has both tanks and an aviation helicopter regiment (army submission), each division commander has a combat squadron that includes Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters. It is not the name of the military unit that is important, we also have a combination of armored vehicles and helicopters. The army headquarters plans and allocates the necessary number of helicopters for the operation. If the division commander requires an additional number of rotary-winged aircraft, he turns to army headquarters for a specific combat mission.
- In the USA there are formations of army aviation divisions. Do we need such connections?
- In each district there are helicopter parts, and they are subordinate to the chief of the army aviation of the district. He has three regiments in three combined-arms armies, in each army there are three divisions, in each are helicopter squadrons, a total of nine squadrons of twenty helicopters. In addition, in the army - the control squadron. In one tank army - 120 helicopters. To control the helicopter units, there is no point in combining them into a divisional structure.
- Should the helicopter units be subordinated to the airborne divisions?
- Airborne troops should have several of their squadrons of transport helicopters to prepare paratroopers for combat operations. And for operations there is no need to create in the landing forces units of attack helicopters. The Airborne Forces will be used in the interests of the front or operation led by the army commander.
- We have developed experimental konvertoplanov, and the Americans have whole such units. Does it make sense for us to create similar units?
- Such units are necessary for the airborne troops and special forces; army aviation does not need them. Information about them should be classified.
- What should be the helicopter of the future, 5 and 6-th generations - its speed, flight range, the presence of a catapult, altitude, weapons, number of pilots, or will it be without pilots at all?
- The speed of rotary-winged cars, I can say with certainty, will never be more than 400 kilometers per hour. Theoretically, a helicopter cannot be made to fly at the speed of sound. It is impossible to saturate the helicopter to infinity, this is a machine and it is controlled by a person, it must comply with the level of the human brain and intelligence. The pilot and the aircraft must be one. The range depends on many qualities, including which fuel to use.
Altitude I climbed six kilometers, there were records up to eight kilometers, but this is not for mass use. To do this, you need oxygen equipment, it is extra weight. There is no sense for a helicopter to climb high, as it becomes vulnerable to missiles. To use the catapult you need to shoot the blades. It is impossible to quickly shoot all the blades at the same time, if one blade does not shoot out at the same time, the helicopter will tumble. The helicopter is a battlefield weapon and it will fly at an altitude of 300 – 500 meters. If something happens and the pilot decides to eject, this height will be equal to 300 meters. Mi-28 is designed for a rough landing. To land it, the pilot must hit the car with wheels on the ground, not sideways, then the crew will remain alive. Catapult will be applied occasionally, weapons improved. In the future, the usual cannon and machine gun will go into the past, perhaps they will be replaced by other types of weapons, such as laser or guided projectiles.
- What would you wish the pilots in connection with the Day of Army Aviation?
- Patience and health, hope for the best. I am sure that in the coming 50 years, army aviation will not only revive, but also increase its role both in combat conditions and in everyday life.
Pavlov Vitaly Egorovich October 21 1944 was born.
In 1962 – 1965 he studied in Syzran VVAUL. In 1976, he graduated from the Y.A. Gagarin Air Force Academy.
From July 1981 to December, 1982 performed international duty in Afghanistan, where he commanded a combat helicopter regiment. He personally participated in many dangerous operations, showing a pattern of courage, courage, ability to fully use the combat capabilities of aircraft equipment and weapons. He made 307 combat missions, having flown 567 hours.
In 1986, he graduated from the Academy of the General Staff of the USSR Armed Forces.
He was appointed deputy commander of the Air Force Air Force. From 1987 year - Commander of the Air Force Privo. In 1989 – 2002 - Commander of Army Aviation of the Land Forces of the Russian Armed Forces.
He worked as deputy director of the Rostvertol helicopter plant.
By the decree of the Presidium of the USSR Armed Forces of 3 in March 1983 of the year for the successful execution of the task of providing international assistance to the DRA, the courage and heroism shown at the same time was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union.
He was awarded the Order of Lenin, the Red Star, "For Service to the Motherland in the Armed Forces of the USSR" of the 3 degree and many medals, nominal weapons and the Order of Courage for fruitful operations in Chechnya. Honored Military Pilot of the USSR, pilot sniper.