On the pages of our magazine, a special forces officer shares his opinion on the modern use of snipers in the Armed Forces. Perhaps some of his conclusions may seem overly harsh, but they are made on the basis of a rich combat experience. The issues raised in the material seemed to us very relevant, so I would like their discussion not to be limited to this edition number only. We invite everyone who is really interested in this topic to talk, especially the opinion of those who have real sniper shooting experience. The author's style is saved.
Well said. But this is only one forum for a young man who has decided to become a sniper, they say that not everything is so simple. In other forums, I have met a lot more. Some young inadequate recruits immature minds in a super-duper secret office. And these “immature minds”, having spit, ask: “Are there sniper vacancies?”. I think these minds will never get stronger.
The inquisitive young man must have such a picture before his eyes. Here he is alone with the right sniper rifle sneaks through the territory controlled by members of illegal armed groups (fascists, zombies, orcs). He has a razor-cheeked pimple of the “goblin” type, and his physiognomy is in divorce of camouflage makeup. And here he alone "performs" the person involved, finally seeing his face, distorted in anticipation of the imminent death. Nothing like? Yeah, the movie "Sniper" starring Tom Berenger.
Another romantic "sniping", who played on the computer in "Doom", and in "Contra", who ran with a paintball "bolt" and "executed" more than a dozen of the defendants, decides: here it is, mine! All the more spring - time to call. Where am i going To the army, to snipers! Yeah, right now. Well, let's start to be disappointed slowly?
Remove pink glasses
Sniper courses? Did anyone see the named courses? For example, in the civilian world? Naturally not. There are bullet shooting sections and the like. But there will not prepare a sniper. The coach in the section may be a real master of sports or even a champion and a good teacher. If you have the makings and abilities, then an athlete will train you, not a sniper. Skills, of course, it gives, appear experience handling weapons, determine the distance to the objectives, the calculation of amendments and so on. But experience, you see, specific.
You will shoot a sports rifle, this time. You will perform sports exercises, not on a live target, these are two. Your target will be either static or mobile according to the conditions of the exercise and will be at the established distances. You will be wearing a comfortable sports uniform, you will be well fed and well rested. Well, and perhaps you, as a well-trained athlete, will become a bit “melancholic”, and nothing will irritate you and distract from the conditions of the exercise. But the sport and the performance of the combat mission differ dramatically (about this below).
If you, who have experience in bullet shooting, were called up for military service and sent to specialized training (we have a couple of pieces left), no sniper instructor will train you PSYCHOLOGICAL! Does he need it? Where is the "Manual on the psychological preparation of the sniper?" There's no such thing. And all the trouble that wanders through the Internet as a teaching material is no good.
About heavy photo album
Again, back to the preface: "The sniper lives with his cargo ...". Here is a poor fellow! His photo album, you see, stands in front of his eyes, interferes with life. Is such a “photo album” possible in principle?
From the SVD, for example, the optimal range when lying down to hit the enemy's head is 400 meters. And who, even with a PSO-1 gun, can see a face at such a distance? What is the "photo album"? If someone has to shoot at a real goal, then he will most likely see a dark, collapsed figure - and nothing more. In order to shoot at the "subject-person", seeing his face, there are other snipers. And believe me, they serve in other structures, and not in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and even not in the MVD of the Interior Ministry. But we are still talking about the Armed Forces, so we continue to parse the preface.
Someone there coach said that after the "first" sniper broke and did not ask for a "paddle in the mountains." And why then did they even take him?
Imagine that the group commander broke after the first battle, the reconnaissance sapper after the first “uplift” got drunk with real results, the artilleryman went to the monastery after the first successful cover, etc. In my opinion, this is nonsense.
About Tom, our, Berenger
Okay, let's leave the preface. We will deal with Tom our Berenger. Cinema - it is cinema. Here is the hero of Tom received the task to remove the head of the drug cartel. Our hero is going to complete the task. Let's calculate what he carries with him.
Well, the first, of course, rifle. In my opinion, М24, if not, correct it. Its weight in curb 7 kilograms and about two hundred and sixty grams, it is with belts for transportation and with optics. Next, the ammunition for the task - at least a hundred rounds. NATO patron weight 7,62 Х51 – 15,7 gram. Total together with pouches for carrying another 3 kilogram. With Tom’s second weapon, we saw the good old M1911 A Colt. Weight 1 kilogram 120 grams. 100 cartridges for the 45 caliber pistol - another 1,5 kilogram. Signal and smoke rockets - 1 kilogram. Grenades, 4 pieces, - another 3 kilogram. Technical intelligence tools, say, binoculars with a built-in rangefinder - 1 kilogram. Means of communication. Since Tom is alone, he has a means of communication with the Center for Combat Operational Control. The terrain is mountainous and wooded, and AN / PRC radio stations operating in the VHF band will not work, which means you need something stronger. Take a satellite station with a previously selected channel. So, this will be AN / PSC-5, which is powered by two batteries, the weight of each kilogram is 2,04, and the station itself weighs about 2,8 kilogram. Do not forget about the spare batteries, which means plus kilogram 4. Well, the device accumulation, I / O, headset - another 1 kilogram.
Isn't it hard for you, Tom? But there is still a cape, a camouflage suit - this is 1,5 kilogram without branches and leaves. An individual first aid kit weighs a kilogram 0,5. Water, dry rations, replaceable socks, a knife with a survival kit, a rug, a poncho, etc., give another seven kilograms. And now we will count. I got under 40 kilograms. Considering the requirements of stealth, a valiant sniper is planted kilometers beyond 15 from the area where the task is performed. At the same time, he must be warmed with his feet, penetrate as close as possible to the object and destroy the subject. But in the cinema, we see a vigorous bison sniper who is absolutely not tired when moving in the humid atmosphere of a mountain-wooded area. In the frame only flirty divorces masking makeup.
How did the exploration of the object alone spend? How to penetrate? Oh, how the movie is beautiful, that's all!
But in fact? Have you tried to crawl on a hill with a load of at least 20 kilograms when the temperature is under thirty-forty degrees or even more? One man, of course, is less noticeable in the selva than the group, but also alone, if you are half Tom Berenger, and half by John Rambo, not much good will come of it. Too great fatigue, both moral and physical. Transition under favorable conditions on an unfamiliar route will last a day or more. It means that it is necessary to precisely coordinate and verify the subgroup of the withdrawal by the time, to verify the information from the informers and intelligence to the slightest nuances. Take into account a bunch of factors, including force majeure. The sniper, if he gets to the object in time and penetrates beyond the perimeter, then most likely he will not be able to shoot. For more or less successful elimination of the subject, based on the practice of various departments, at least a couple, and best of all, a group of four people is required. Then something will already look more or less plausible.
As a matter of fact
Well, now a little bit of realism. When did we still use snipers, exactly as it is drawn on some Internet forums - as a free lone hunter?
In the North Caucasus region? I remember the first Chechen campaign. I had a sniper in my group. Do you think I let him go somewhere for a few kilometers away on a "free hunt"? In fact, a scout with a banal SVD from the group departed a maximum of 100 meters and was always in sight or hearing. He worked on my target indications or on the one who noticed. Often to my cry, when I did not see the result: “Well, did you get it?”, Followed by a straightforward answer: “Yes, x .. he knows, he seems to have fallen.”
When conducting reconnaissance-fighting in urban conditions, I used a sniper in my whim, as it turned out later, correctly. When traveling in urban areas, he was always close to me in battle formation. Together with him was necessarily a scout. During the reconnaissance of any house, this couple did not go inside, it was used as a group of observations. The second reconnaissance left the station and binoculars, several jet grenades or RPGs. The couple watched the windows, insured exits. Sniper with SVD in the house is nothing to do. When conducting reconnaissance and search operations in a mountainous and wooded area, the sniper was at his regular place in the battle formation of the group. In other special units, as far as I know, snipers acted in the same way. Exhibited "on the chip" in the area of zazing or LDP of the detachment, but no one went anywhere alone. True, there were exceptions, this was the case for officers, but even those farther from the squadron did not leave. The second campaign was exactly the same. I am sure there will be a lot of people willing to challenge my opinion. For God's sake! Only I operate with facts.
Pro conditional sniper in a real combat situation
So, you are the commander of the group. You have a number of snipers. Will you send your scout, recruit or contract soldier, alone or together, to "execute" someone? The question is - who? Does the group commander really have information about some persons involved (leaders of illegal armed formations) in the zone of responsibility of the detachment? Hardly, or rather, it does not. It is good if the commander of the detachment and the head of the operational intelligence division have contact with the operative-agent groups operating in the area, with the “operas” from other agencies and departments that have their own agents. Then the information will be, but the unit commander is unlikely to be able to implement it, and the group commander or company commander even more so. In order to launch the Task Force for the fulfillment of a task, the combat command of a higher headquarters is necessary. And the order is signed by the head of the intelligence group and the chief of staff. It makes an order, of course, directed to the detachment, checks the head of the department. The order is not done from scratch. Study of the situation in the detachment's area of responsibility, collection of information from all sources, coordination in all structures, verification of information on several types of reconnaissance (radio, intelligence, aerial thermal imaging), information from local, information from other interacting structures, and so on. - this is what precedes the adoption of a specific decision. So, I have never made a single order to send a sniper (three times experienced). Yes, and other destinations too. I'm talking about my combat experience with 2000 until last, 2012 year. And if he had, he would have turned the head of the department at the temple and would have sent me ...
Well, if not sent? Imagine: for the sake of one person (even if the very-very trained sniper) you need to start an operational matter, coordinate covering the artillery lights, keep the group on evacuation in readiness. And the connection? He's a sniper, not a radio operator. And without it in any way, we do not have satellite small-sized stations, like Tom’s, which means we have to carry the ARC station. But no, you're going far away, but she is expensive, you still lose. Therefore, you are familiar with the P-159 with the T-240 classifying equipment and a set of spare batteries for it. And so on ... Considering the realities, our sniper, unlike the movie hero, will carry a kilo load of cargo under 60. But it is also necessary to plan helicopter departures. But, as usual, there is no weather, and the board was sent under the commander, because the sniper will go on foot. Do you think he will go? Not. After all, he, among other things, knows well stories about scouts murderers. About those who exterminate the locals, and those who like to gather ramson far from home and with a gun in their hands. He remembers that after a couple of clashes, the entire squad was overwhelmed by prosecutors and demanded to confess to criminal acts. The scout is now savvy, he is well aware that he has no legal basis for rushing through the forests and eliminating the defendants.
Therefore, our experienced sniper will peacefully marry the paravestics, equip one-hundred meters from one hundred meters from the camp, and will sit there for the entire time the group performs its combat mission, waiting for target designation from the commander.
What else? Why all the time I write about the SVD, because we still have samples that are in service. For example, VSS. Range - 400 meters. The weapon is specialized and not bad itself, but in the context in question the material probably does not fit much. There have been cases when, in the presence of several WSS and AU, in the RGSpN, very successful silent ambushes were carried out, but you must agree that for the “execution” the person involved must have a certain reserve both in range and in application possibilities.
Well, for the rest of the rifles. The B-94 weighs a kilogram 11,7, the sighting range is almost two kilometers with a 13 multiple-sight. And tell me, does this “fool” need to be carried in a group? It used to be dragged a couple of times, but they quickly refused. In the forest, a distance of two kilometers is useless. Yes, and a large-caliber rifle and specific. To work with her, a sniper must be taught. Long and hard. In the winter of 2000, the guys from the adjacent department went with us, namely the sniper pair. We reached the forest and stopped, they themselves understood that there was no point in going any further. This rifle is good for conducting combat operations in urban conditions, and as an anti-sniper weapon. She has good penetration, but our sniper, who currently serves only a year, doesn’t need anything at all.
CB-98 7,62 XXXUM caliber, made on the basis of the sports "Record", sighting shoots at 54 meters. The rifle is expensive, snipers need to be taught, and they serve only a year. What is the point? Still break or lose, and the result?
About foreign samples such as AV or HK, I generally keep quiet. Is there an alternative to inexpensive and simple, like five kopecks, SVD? Maybe there is. For example, the same Mosin rifle CBM. Cheap and angry. Overhang optics and designators, shoot and go ahead. Our cartridge 7,62 X54, sighting range 2000 meters, slaughter 3000 meters. I tried. Normally, for us go. If you can shoot.
During the Great Patriotic War
So, the North Caucasian period was dismantled. What's next - Afghanistan? I haven’t been there and I can’t judge about the work of snipers of special forces units. Although, I think, it was not much different from the actions in the North Caucasus region.
So where did the snipers work like the ones written in the literature and the films made? Of course, in the Great Patriotic War. Why? Yes, because the war was positional, there was a front line, a contact line of troops. Wherever she went - across the field, through the forest, around the block, around the house, she was. It was precisely clear: here our positions, here enemy.
And the snipers, both ours and the Germans, from where did you work? Right, or from their positions, or from the neutral zone. And this is incredibly profitable. For life support, communications, fire cover and the withdrawal of a separate sniper special costs are not necessary. The main thing - to get out secretly and disguise. If the front is frozen in positional battles, not moving in one direction or the other, then the work of snipers will be activated accordingly. I will not describe the features of camouflage, covert movement, measures to deceive and unseal the enemy, this is full of literature and the Internet. And in this situation, our fighters really had to lie for days in the cold, and in hunger, and in dampness, calculating their helper. It was much easier for them at war. An experienced sniper with a nastrelo for hundreds of "Fritz" could safely choose his goal, cutting off unnecessary in the form of small bipods - privates, columnists, etc., so as not to unmask himself before time. Our fighter knew that by killing an enemy officer, he had already fulfilled his duty, and no one would drag him to court and under investigation. There will not be an experienced fascist "peaceful peasant", from the need to get straightened shoulder straps and just wandering around the positions in search of a cow. War is war, where it’s clear where the others are, and where the enemies are. In the offensive, snipers usually did not go on the attack. No matter how long I shoveled the archives, I did not find any mention of sniper work in the development of success. I know for sure that they worked from their positions and elevations through the back of the advancing infantry. Thus, the Great Patriotic War is the only example of "lying for many hours in cold and hunger for the sake of a single shot."
About a platoon of snipers
What are the current realities of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, which have received the so-called “new look” in recent years? It turns out that in the states of motorized rifle and airborne brigades platoons of snipers appeared!
My question is: why? How do we now see the fighting in the event of a real big war or a simple local conflict? We are moving away from old dogmas. At numerous training camps, we, officers at the level not lower than the brigade commander, were shown “new methods” of warfare. For example, an airborne assault brigade is attacking by forces of several separate battalions in its front line, bypassing fortified sections and areas and breaking into operational space with the support of the assault aviation, helicopters and artillery. Hotbeds of resistance bypass the flanks and are left to be torn to pieces by high-precision weapons - artillery and bomber aircraft. Why then, with deep raid actions by battalions, snipers? How will this platoon be used?
In the conduct of defense turns out even more interesting. The line of contact between troops will now occupy a width not of several hundred meters, but of several kilometers, which is made up of artillery range of all links: from brigade to operational command, range of target destruction by rocket forces, mining lines, barriers, range of reconnaissance equipment and much more. Major exercises with a defensive theme just showed it. That is, the range of targets for snipers will already be outside 1000 meters. Based on the performance characteristics of the SVD, what follows? That's right, we need another rifle, the same B-94. Our defense industry will be able to provide all sniper platoons of brigades with long-range rifles? Unlikely. They still need sights, both night and day. Accordingly, we need our own training program for sniper platoons, surveillance and target designation devices, communications equipment, and much more. How will the separate platoon snipers be used? If you think logically - will be given to the company. Do they need a company commander, a platoon in their defense sector? They have their own problems full, and then there is still a sniper or a sniper pair, who pursue their specific goal - to destroy officers of any level, calculations of guns, snipers, signalers and all the rest. How, with the current uniform of the field uniform, to distinguish from a distance of more than a kilometer of the same officer? So you need to know him in person. It is much simpler here - with our commander, the signalman is constantly running. In adversary harder - because a portable antenna is mounted in the helmet. It is unlikely that the commander of a company standing on the defensive will know who is against him. Although if the brigade’s chief of intelligence and all the brigade’s intelligence agencies are really working, it’s not so difficult to get this information. But in person to identify the one who needs to be destroyed is already much more difficult.
So our sniper will be blaming everything he sees. That's just, I think, not for long. Taking into account the saturation of the leading edge with technical reconnaissance equipment, UAV observations, the sniper will most likely be found after the first shot, and either an unguided rocket from the drone, or a mortar gun, or even an artillery salvo will fly in on its position. Will the commander of the company rejoice at such "greetings" from the enemy?
Well, about the role of a sniper in the offensive and nothing to think about, given the above. After all, he will not even have time to choose a position, since his battalion will go forward to the flank, covering the fortified section, and will jerk further.
Control of areas of special attention in the zone of local conflict
I'll try to think it out myself, since the higher specialists do not explain anything to me about this. But I will still think about the units and units of the Special Forces with which I am best known.
So, in the special forces unit, we have a number of snipers or even a separate unit. We take the unit in addition to full-time reconnaissance snipers in groups. A special-purpose detachment in the area of settling a conflict, according to the decision of the group commander, is being cut into its area of responsibility. It is divided into areas of special attention, well, and those, respectively, are distributed among companies and groups. Accordingly, in the area there are settlements that are used by "partisans" of various stripes. It is necessary to eat, it is necessary to keep the connection, relatives, ideologists, liaisons will not live for months in dens in the forest. Yes, and the "partisans" themselves come to work for a short period, so to speak, "at the call of the pipe."
What i suggest Let's start in order
The area of special attention is the most ordinary: several settlements, mountainous woodland, full of trails, sources of water and everything else for the comfortable existence of "partisan formations." It is possible to make transitions, it is possible to build base areas, to equip places for making caches. He fought - and to the house, to relatives and his everyday affairs. Conveniently. Look at any map; you can select as many as you want. To prizhuchit movement of any illegal people in these places, you just need to block all entrances and exits, paths, paths and bridges leading from settlements. But it is not necessary to block as usual - a roadblock or a checkpoint, which in a month will lose its relevance, since there will be a lot of loosening: contracts, money, other ways, etc. As a result, the mode of operation and duty will soon be known to everyone.
Therefore, the outputs need to overlap covertly. I propose such a mikrovoinsky organism, as sniper group (SG). On the diagram SG are indicated by red circles. Typical composition of such SG:
- sniper, the main performer, he is a tool. It is possible to arm several types of sniper rifles from the SVD and VSS to B-94. His task is to destroy the identified defendants;
- The commander of the group, he is the main observer.
What is armed with small arms does not matter. His main weapon is surveillance devices. In the intelligence units of the United States Marine Corps, there is such a device as an optical reconnaissance station. This is roughly necessary for us. The opto-electronic device must have good resolution and be able to measure the distance to the target. But its main task is to fix a picture (take a picture in digital mode), automatically reconcile the “person involved” with the database available in the PDA (laptop) of the group commander, to issue the primary result of the reconciliation. If necessary, transfer the resulting picture in real time with minimal delays and high speed at the TLU squadron. For processing by an operational officer. To transmit via a repeater or, if there is a stable connection with the possibility of transmitting graphic data, to higher levels of government for a subsequent decision;
- signalman having a radio station with batteries, antennas. It organizes all types of communication, including the channel of transfer of graphic data;
- scout. His task - fire support, security, defense and so on.
Total four people with the necessary equipment and weapons. SG can work autonomously from five days to a week. Although it is better that the duty in its position area lasted no more than three days. The sniper and the commander will thus be replaced by the rest of the group for rest. And there are nine such sniper groups. Nine times three, twenty-seven days. It turns out almost a month, we add three days for unforeseen delays, weather conditions and difficulties of transitions of alternating groups. In total, there will be thirty-six fighters in 9 sniper groups composed of four people. All of them are reduced to one intelligence unit squadron. If the terrain and distances allow, you can not withdraw this detachment, but keep it at the very point of temporary deployment.
The rest of the combat formation of the detachment:
- fire support group. By the decision of the detachment commander, mortar calculations and calculations of large-caliber machine guns, including aircraft gunners and artillery spotters, can be included in it;
- communication group for data transmission, based on the terrain conditions and the presence of radio-visibility profiles of terrain and other;
- support team. In its composition should be a paramedic and, by decision of the detachment commander, any other specialist;
- WG SPF staff. She is engaged in reconnaissance "on herself", works with reconnaissance equipment, puts up mine-explosive barriers, organizes security and defense, meets the SG, if necessary provides fire support and return in case of unforeseen situations;
- The commander of the detachment and the operational officer, who are entrusted with the general leadership of the detachment, decision-making, communication with the higher management bodies.
If necessary, such reconnaissance detachments can be distinguished by calculations of small-sized radio intelligence or UAVs for better control of the situation in the area. Total somewhere turns out about sixty people.
The reconnaissance detachment is displayed by any means: air, ground or sea. Measures are being taken to conceal intentions, organizing consignments, establishing contact with the command and control center, with supporting units, after which the RO begins to fulfill the tasks of covertly blocking settlements.
Such covert blocking of areas in conjunction with the conduct of previously planned targeted activities by other departments can give a good result. "Guerrillas" will be forced to look for other areas and places of transition, their plans will be violated. Well, someone from the leaders can in fact be destroyed. But this is my personal opinion, with which you can not agree.
In conclusion, I note that snipers, in my opinion, are better to use, as always, as part of a unit, and only by target designation of the group commander (platoon), while not letting them go far from myself.
So the stories "about long hours of mud-laying for a single shot and the melancholic nature of the sniper, his particular psychological readiness to kill" are from the field of fiction, they have no relation to reality. Or does someone have a different opinion?