Military Review

US Department of the Army is studying the "underground wars"

Local conflicts in recent decades have a number of specific features that must be considered when planning operations. In addition, some features of modern wars impose special requirements on the equipment and structure of the armed forces. Not so long ago, the Ministry of the United States Army began to explore a new promising direction. At this time, the views of the military and specialists turned to fighting under the ground.

US Department of the Army is studying the "underground wars"

In mid-December, the US Army Department issued another request for information. In accordance with this document, any interested organization can provide the information available to the military about existing and prospective weapons or equipment systems suitable for conducting combat operations underground. It is noted that the request for information is not an offer of cooperation or an invitation to participate in any program. For now, the officials of the Ministry of the Army intend only to study the existing situation in the prospective area and draw the necessary conclusions.

The interest of the US Army Department in technology and equipment for the conduct of hostilities in underground conditions is due to certain features of recent conflicts. During the recent local wars, some opponents of the American army actively used various underground tunnels, etc. structures. It is noted that a large number of such objects are available and used in the Middle East. In addition, with the help of underground tunnels, organized crime smuggles in various cargoes across the borders with Mexico and Canada. To prevent such illegal activities and to effectively counter enemy armed groups, the US Army may need special units equipped with the necessary weapons and equipment and capable of working in the conditions of the dungeons.

The Ministry of the Army wishes to receive information about the existing and prospective systems that allow increasing the combat potential of the “underground” units of the army. Officials are ready to consider any proposals that meet the general requirements, and also do not contradict the restrictions imposed. It is particularly noted that weapons and equipment for conducting combat under the ground should not pose a danger to the fighters. They should not contain or use toxic components, and the application should not be associated with the generation of hazardous waste or the appearance of other factors from which the fighter cannot be protected.

One of the main requirements for promising systems is mobility. All components of weapons or equipment should be small in size and weight, which will allow them to carry alone. In addition, equipment and weapons should not prevent the soldier from moving. For example, the equipment of a fighter may include some climbing equipment, and a detachment may receive a robotic transport system.

Fighters must be protected from automatic weapons caliber 7,62 mm and hand grenades of the enemy. To do this, the composition of the promising equipment must include appropriate means of protection. Fighting in the confined space of an underground tunnel or structure associated with large loads on the organs of hearing. In this regard, it is required to provide appropriate protection.

The composition of the equipment of the soldiers must include various means of intelligence, allowing to study the situation and act in accordance with it. Fighters must in time find and recognize various threats, including chemical, nuclear and biological. Soldiers can use various gas analyzers, systems for analyzing the integrity of the surrounding rock, etc. to perform such tasks.

When operating underground, existing radio communication systems may have insufficient characteristics. For this reason, the Ministry of the Army requires to provide information about promising communication systems capable of working in underground conditions. The "underground" units require a communication system that provides voice communication, video transmission and information about the tactical situation.

To penetrate or exit a detected tunnel, soldiers must be able to use destruction systems. For this, explosive, mechanical, ballistic or thermal means can be used. As an example of such systems, mechanical or hydraulic tools for various purposes, primarily cutting, are given. In addition to tools for the destruction of equipment "underground" units should include protective equipment. It is particularly noted that the means of destruction should not be a danger to the fighters.

Life support systems should become a mandatory component of the equipment of the units. During the conduct of hostilities under the ground may cause a situation in which the surrounding air will be unsuitable for breathing due to low oxygen content or the presence of toxic substances. To do this, in the outfit of soldiers there must be air quality assessment systems, as well as personal protective equipment: gas masks or insulating breathing apparatus. In addition, the fighters need to be equipped with evacuation systems, with which they can quickly leave the danger zone.

Underground tunnels and facilities in which soldiers will have to act may not be equipped with lighting. For this reason, fighters must have their own light sources capable of providing acceptable usability. In addition, it is possible to include in the equipment infrared illumination devices suitable for sharing with night vision devices.

The fighters must have complete information about the structure of the underground structure in which they must work, as well as about access roads, evacuation routes, etc. "Underground" squad must have relevant information about the location of friendly and enemy units. To provide such opportunities, the detachment should be able to collect information on its own, using its own means of intelligence, as well as receive it from other sources.

Until the end of May 2014, the US Department of the Army accepts proposals from interested organizations. The latter are invited to send their proposals on those or other technologies that meet the requirements. The documents sent to government or commercial organizations are invited to describe how the equipment or technology offered by them can be used by the military in underground battles. In addition, potential contractors should provide a list of restrictions on using the proposed technology in combat conditions. Finally, the Ministry of the Army wants to know what tests and tests have already passed the proposed equipment or technology.

Now the US Army Department is collecting general information regarding a promising direction. The collection of information will be completed in the late spring of this year, after which the analysis of the received documentation will start. Thus, the first information about further work in this direction will not appear before mid-summer. Probably, after analyzing the data, officials of the Ministry of the Army initiate the beginning of a new program, during which the proposals received will be tested in practice. The deadlines for the completion of such works, for obvious reasons, are still unknown.

While the acceptance of documentation continues, the prospects for a new direction are not fully understood. It cannot be excluded that according to the results of the analysis of the collected information, the Ministry of the Army will abandon the existing plans and will not develop the means of conducting the “underground war”. However, another development of events seems more likely. Most likely, ministry officials will gather certain information that will allow for certain research and design work. If the proposed ideas justify themselves, then in the US armed forces may appear special units that can operate effectively in underground conditions.

The emergence of such units primarily represents a danger to various terrorist groups, with which the United States has been actively fighting over the past years. For example, in some provinces of Afghanistan, American soldiers had to fight against Taliban troops hiding in an extensive system of tunnels and caves. Similar systems, according to available information, exist in a number of other unstable regions. Thus, the work on the equipment of fighters for the "underground war" is the answer to one of the features of modern wars.

It should be noted that the possible creation of special units capable of working in underground structures, tunnels and communications, poses a certain danger to third countries. The defense doctrine of a large number of states implies underground placement of important objects: from command bunkers to ballistic missile mines. Thus, the goal of new American units can be not only terrorists hiding in the tunnels, but also important objects of the enemy countries.

So far it is impossible to talk about it with confidence, but in the future, special units capable of conducting military operations in the conditions of dungeons can not only become a means of combating an enemy buried in the ground like terrorists, but also perform various sabotage functions. Such capabilities of such units can be a serious argument in favor of their creation. This means that after the end of the reception and analysis of the documentation one should expect the appearance of messages about the beginning of work on a promising project.

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  1. nokki
    nokki 14 February 2014 07: 31
    With an eye on the fighting in our subway. Well, they don’t forget about the Chinese underground cities. Actively preparing Americans. you will not say anything ...
    1. Aryan
      Aryan 14 February 2014 17: 44
      yes shovel harder to knock on the ground to deaf
      You can also two electrodes in the ground
      But then the evil miners will come out and
      and shove a shovel laughing

      and on the topic after Vietnam, the Americans made some conclusions
      Yes, and tunnels of smugglers in Palestine, too, someone haemorrhoids
    2. The comment was deleted.
    3. waisson
      waisson 14 February 2014 22: 06
      I will add VIETNAM - AFGHAN I can’t say anything about the latter, but I suppose we had problems at the beginning of the underground war
  2. bear
    bear 14 February 2014 07: 46
    No, we decided to get to Russia from where it does not wait, from underground laughing
    They brought out moles of mutants for digging tunnels, they also plan to create units of combat zombies laughing from the population of Georgia, Latvia, and other zhopalizhih countries.

    In general, the plan is ready, it's time to start wassat
  3. Siberia 9444
    Siberia 9444 14 February 2014 07: 50
    Vietnam did not teach something! fool
    1. poccinin
      poccinin 14 February 2014 09: 32
      just Vietnam they remembered for some reason? I wonder why?
      1. Mairos
        Mairos 14 February 2014 10: 44
        Now partisanism is most active in cities, and in cities full of underground communications - that’s the whole answer.
        May the Force of Darth Maul be with us! wink
  4. Volkhov
    Volkhov 14 February 2014 08: 32
    Just a business trip to Israel - and a university degree in underground wars, the under-performing can stay to dig tunnels ...
    You can still go to the DPRK - they will easily learn to dig there.
      MACCABI TLV 14 February 2014 20: 01
      Quote: Volkhov
      Just a business trip to Israel - and a university degree in underground wars, the under-performing can stay to dig tunnels ...

      These examiners are from the special forces of combat engineering "Yaalom".
    2. The comment was deleted.
  5. JonnyT
    JonnyT 14 February 2014 09: 29
    And what is logical !!! Even during the Russo-Japanese War, our sailors dug underground tunnels to enemy positions and laid bombs near the enemy fortifications, and blew them up. The Japanese used small dogs as a means of warning, who sensed people underground and barked heart-rendingly! Also, undermining was done and sometimes it reached melee underground! In the Second World War, the Nazis couldn’t smoke ours from the catacombs, they poisoned them with gas, and they burned everything with no purpose! All German sonder teams from underground did not return! The Nazis failed to solve this problem. In the Sevastopol catacombs, there was a whole underground until the liberation of the city! I am generally silent about Vietnam. Syria, Libya, Egypt - there terrorists live only thanks to the tunnels, all the tactics around them are built! The Americans are right in doing that they are developing special means and tactics of fighting underground! And ours apparently wants to analyze the experience of others and work out counter-measures! And we already have special means, this is a sapper shovel, a gun r the main thing is people !!!
    1. igordok
      igordok 14 February 2014 21: 08
      Quote: JonnyT
      Even during the Russo-Japanese War, our sailors dug underground tunnels to enemy positions

      The underground war already during the Siege of Pskov in the 1581 year was.
  6. Captain green
    Captain green 14 February 2014 09: 39
    For some reason, I immediately remembered a variety of "main on the skeet", broadcasting about the branched system of tunnels under South America ...
    And so - are the specialists in the Viet Cong tunnels already all retired? IMHO ...
  7. anvar
    anvar 14 February 2014 10: 36
    Yankees always and quickly respond to everything, not surprised by their reaction to all this
  8. Duke
    Duke 14 February 2014 10: 54
    Vietnamese American. Further development of underground tanks will follow.
    1. Aryan
      Aryan 14 February 2014 17: 50
      dig deeper! underground aircraft carriers! wassat
    2. The comment was deleted.
  9. Horn
    Horn 14 February 2014 11: 09
    Morlocks return to their natural habitat ...
  10. just exp
    just exp 14 February 2014 11: 11
    Remember Vietnam?
  11. Vadim12
    Vadim12 14 February 2014 11: 33
    Like it or not, Americans are thinking about how to wage wars. It is impossible to say so firmly about Russia, we are often in the role of catching up. It would be necessary to switch roles.
  12. Gendzilla
    Gendzilla 14 February 2014 11: 54
    everything new is well forgotten old. I recently read a book by M.M. Filipov. "Besieged Sevastopol" about the Crimean War. It touches on the topic of the underground war a little. By the way, I have not even heard of this before.
    clipping from an article on this topic:
    "... Knowing the rules and peculiarities of mine warfare, the defenders led the auditory sleeves towards the French at two depths at once. The further underground the sappers moved, the harder it became: often, due to lack of air, they worked without candles, to the touch, they carried the earth into The galleries were flooded with groundwater. They worked for eight hours in three shifts. In addition to sappers, each shift was assigned up to 350 soldiers. Several times a day they stopped work: at these minutes they listened to the actions of the enemy, determining the direction of their mines. In the evening of January 22, 1855. d. the defenders electroplated the first explosion.

    During the seven months of the underground mine war, the Russians carried out 94 explosions, the allies - 121. The defenders consumed 761 pounds of gunpowder, the enemy - 4148. The underground mine war was also waged before the fifth bastion and redoubt of Schwartz. Russian sappers dug counter-galleries in front of the Malakhov Kurgan.

    On the fourth bastion, the underground mine war was led by staff captain A. V. Melnikov, the commander of the 2nd company of the 4th engineer battalion, nicknamed the "chief mole" of Sevastopol. He came to the bastion "on December 10 and stayed in the mines hopelessly and permanently until May 15, 1855". The shell-shocked and seriously ill A. V. Melnikov was replaced by the lieutenant, and then the staff captain P. V. Presnukhin, who directed the underground work until the end of the defense. Until the end of his days, A. V. Melnikov, {* 16} who became a general, “wore on the index finger of his right hand a gold ring depicting the fourth bastion, decorated with diamonds at the edges and an emerald in the center. Melnikov hid the origin of the ring, but everyone around him said that the ring was presented to him by French sappers who had sent him from Paris as an invincible "chief mole"
  13. NDR-791
    NDR-791 14 February 2014 13: 13
    Probably Rezun read. In one of the opuses, he was surprised at such an unexpected appearance of a whole metro system in our country. Like, they trained in the early thirties to dig tunnels behind enemy lines, and then something did not grow together and the metro went peacefully.
    ..suck. The Taliban will be back soon, all Shushara will flee from Afghanistan. Here Sashiki and throw a bone
    in advance, as once alkaide. A new generation will grow. And how to fight in a subway - let memoirs about the Berlin metro be read,.
  14. ZSP
    ZSP 14 February 2014 13: 28
    Reading the requirements of the US Army Department for development, I caught myself thinking))) that they suit Iron Man’s suit, here you have both protection and a source of energy, and weight is no longer relevant ...
    Well, in general, the idea is not a bad, promising, special unit for underground operations. Someone there still thinks ....
  15. spech
    spech 14 February 2014 13: 55
    Underground units require a communications system that provides voice communications

    well-forgotten old TA-57 wassat
    1. NDR-791
      NDR-791 14 February 2014 14: 05
      They forgot what it is, so let's not remind them !!! And let them dress in the suits of the Iron Homosexual, fill it with water and do not emerge.
  16. nekish
    nekish 14 February 2014 14: 17
    In the soldier, Good luck seemed to be about ours in Afghanistan, how they waged an underground war there.
    1. NDR-791
      NDR-791 14 February 2014 14: 34
      Yes! Ours took Tora-Boru "by hand" and at the same time from 30 km they shot through the entrances to the caves from D-10, and HIT !!! In 2001, the All-Democrats simply threw the same caves with jeydams with a complex filling. So they have no experience and never will. And it will be like in Yugoslavia - rejection of combat missions: "they can really shoot down there."
  17. vlad46
    vlad46 14 February 2014 14: 59
    Read - Underground Boat
  18. Gomunkul
    Gomunkul 14 February 2014 15: 16
    Underground tunnels and structures in which soldiers will have to operate may not be equipped with lighting.
    Not even a word, their generals are astute. bully
  19. max702
    max702 14 February 2014 18: 57
    Something a lot of the requirements they voiced and mutually exclusive, in my opinion there are three main.
    1 Enemy detection, seismic sensors, motion sensors, scanners and more.
    2 Means of destruction sharpened in a confined space.
    3 Means of reconnaissance and delivery of weapons. (Robotic systems, both flying and crawling, capable of independently moving through the ground.
  20. saygon66
    saygon66 14 February 2014 20: 19
    - In my opinion, in the book of Forsyth "Avenger" - "The Avenger" there are references to "tunnel rats" - fighters from the US 1st Infantry Division who tried to fight the Vietnamese in the dungeons ... There, the main problem was not the lack of advanced technology, but psychological stability of soldiers.
    -Somehow, my grandfather, who worked all his life in the mine, invited his father to "walk" underground (Dad just returned from Afgan), wandered for four hours at a depth of 30 meters (and this is not the limit). Summary: "So that I once again climb into this grave ..." Work underground and so is not sugar - 10 years of underground experience and retirement, and if there is also to fight ...
  21. yur58
    yur58 14 February 2014 20: 49
    Americans are preparing to fight wherever possible and where not. In the midst of the evil spirits, democracy will be steamed. No matter how hard they got.
  22. clidon
    clidon 14 February 2014 22: 27
    This is where you need to poke combat robots first. Limited space and poor visibility are only "at hand". And in comparison with a person, there is no claustrophobia, there are fewer restrictions on dimensions, etc.
  23. Sobolev1961
    Sobolev1961 16 February 2014 00: 10
    Fighting in the tunnels of the alpha and omega guerrilla warfare. Judging by the article, the Americans are very weak on this issue. Syrian rebels are much better. Finding and destroying a disguised tunnel for an unprepared fighter is an almost impossible task. and you need to not win without this partisans