Since the second half of the 60s, anti-aircraft missile systems began to play a significant role in the course of regional conflicts, significantly changing the tactics of using combat aviation. Now the side of the conflict, which has overwhelming superiority in the air, could not achieve a clear dominance in the theater of operations.
The Soviet C-75 air defense system, designed primarily to counter long-range bombers and high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft, proved to be quite effective against tactical and carrier-based aircraft. Although the share of American planes shot down in Vietnam, missiles are relatively small (according to crafty US statistics, the SRA was shot down a little more than 200 from 4000 planes), the very presence in the area of the combat departure of the SAMs required an increased level of forces and means to render opposition. As a result, significantly reduced the effectiveness of bomb attacks. It is also worth remembering that the main task of the air defense forces is not to defeat air targets, but to effectively cover the protected objects. The Vietnamese air defense forces coped well with this task, the American "air offensive" could not completely destroy the military and industrial infrastructure of the DRV and force North Vietnam to make concessions.
Last moments of American F-105
No less effective weapons In the Middle East, the C-125 low-altitude complex and the Kvadrat mobile (export version of the Kub air defense system) proved themselves to provide effective air cover for the Arab armies at the first stage of the 1973 war.
The wreckage of the Israeli fighter "Kfir"
Only emergency US aid allowed Israel to quickly compensate for the loss of the Air Force. Of the western anti-aircraft complexes in terms of the prevalence and effectiveness of combat use, only the American Hok air defense system could compare.
Taking into account the experience of the combat use of the air defense system in local conflicts in the USSR, work began on new-generation missile systems, which should have been able to simultaneously fire several targets and be placed on the mobile chassis with a short transfer time from traveling and standby to combat (and vice versa). This was due to the need to leave the firing position after the shooting before the strike of the enemy aviation group. So, for example, the standard coagulation time of the C-125 complex - 1 hour 20 minutes, was brought to 20 — 25 minutes. Such a reduction in the standard was achieved by improvements in the design of the air defense missile system, training, and coherence of combat calculations, but accelerated folding resulted in cable management losses, which did not have time to collapse.
Since the opportunities for improving the C-75 air defense system with single-channel radio command guidance for the purpose and the use of two-stage liquid-based missile defense systems have been exhausted, the need for a fundamentally new medium-range system has been identified. To this end, by the end of the sixties, sufficient technical prerequisites had been formed. Lamp technology was replaced by semiconductors, analog computers - digital computers. The introduction of phased antenna arrays ensured the rapid scanning of a radar beam with a “transfer” to the viewing sector, which is necessary for multichannel complexes. In terms of their mass-energy perfection, solid propellant engines approached the level of liquid-fuel propulsion systems.
All these innovations were implemented on the C-1978PT anti-aircraft missile system that entered service in 300 year ( Anti-aircraft missile system C-300P). The anti-aircraft missile forces received a new medium-range air defense missile system, designed to defend administrative and industrial facilities, stationary command and control posts, staffs and military bases from attacks by strategic and tactical aviation and the Kyrgyz Republic.
For the first time a system was created with full automation of combat work. All tasks - detection, tracking, target distribution, target designation, target designation, target acquisition, tracking, acquisition, tracking and missile guidance, evaluation of shooting results - the system is able to solve automatically with the help of digital computing means. The functions of the operator are to control the work of the funds and launch missiles. In a difficult situation, manual intervention is possible in the course of combat work. None of the previous systems possessed these qualities. The vertical launch of the missiles ensured the shelling of targets flying from any direction without turning the launcher in the direction of firing.
All elements of the anti-aircraft system were mounted on wheeled trailers, towed by cars. The structure of the air defense missile system consisted of 5B55 SAM systems with a radio command guidance system and a maximum damage zone in range - 47 km, the maximum damage height was - 27 km.
Initially, the C-300PT battery consisted of three PUs (4 TPK), a radar for lighting and an on-load tap-changer and a control cabin. In the middle of the 80, the system went through a series of upgrades, receiving the designation C-300PT-1.
A new rocket type 5ВХNUMXР with a range of up to 55 km, which was built on the principle of “tracking a target through a rocket”, entered service.
In 1982, the new version of the C-300PS was adopted by the Air Defense Forces, the elements of which were placed on powerful four-axle vehicles MAZ-543. Adopted in 1984, the 5B55РМ SAM, the range was increased to 90 km. It can simultaneously fire up to 6 12 targets with rockets at a pace of 3-5 seconds, while aiming up to two missiles at one target. Provided for shooting at ground targets.
The C-300PS mobile multi-channel anti-aircraft missile system consists of control means, self-propelled launchers (up to six), and technical equipment. Unlike C-300PT systems, which are mainly placed on prepared positions, C-300PS were designed for use with a maneuver on the ground. All the combat elements of the system, placed on the basis of a high-speed automobile chassis, ensure the transfer to the combat position from the march within 5 minutes without preliminary preparation of the position.
In the decade that has passed since the creation of the first C-300PT model, a new elemental base was created, providing the possibility of developing a practically new C-300PM system with high noise immunity and better combat performance. In 1993, the new 48H6E missile with a launch range of 150 km was commissioned. In this rocket, a combined guidance system is used — a radio command on the initial and middle trajectory, a semi-active one on the final one.
C-300PM serially delivered to the troops from the late eighties to mid-nineties. Unfortunately, the C-300PM air defense system was not built much, for the most part they were sent to the Moscow air defense zone, or for export. As a result, the main air defense systems in the air defense and air forces of the Russian Federation are the deserved C-300PS, most of which are in need of repair and modernization. Earlier C-300PT systems due to the full development of the resource are currently written off or transferred to “storage”. A further development of the C-300P family of systems was the universal mobile multichannel anti-aircraft missile system C-300PMU2 and C-400.
According to foreign data, around 3000 PU systems of the C-300P system were deployed in various regions of the USSR. Currently, various modifications of the C-300 ZRS, besides the Russian army, are available in Ukraine, in the Republic of Belarus, and Kazakhstan. Air defense systems of the C-300P system were delivered to foreign countries, in particular, to China, Slovakia and Greece. At the beginning of the 90-C elements of the C-300PT (without PU and missiles) were supplied for "familiarization" in the United States. What made it possible for our "partners" to get acquainted in detail with the characteristics of radio equipment and to develop countermeasures.
Satellite image of Google Earth: elements of a ZRS-300P satellite at a test site in the USA
Even at the design stage of the S-300P, it was supposed to create on its basis a unified system for anti-aircraft missile units of the Ground Forces of the Soviet Army and Air Defense fleet. However, in practice, complete unification did not occur. This happened for several reasons, the fact is that the main elements of the specific modifications of the S-300 system, in addition to the all-round radar and SAM, were designed by various enterprises on the basis of their own components, technologies and operational requirements. Moreover, the need for a military air defense system to protect important objects from operational-tactical ballistic missiles caused an even greater isolation of the first topic in the S-300P project.
One of the main tasks that have faced a long-range systems, is their use to combat ballistic and cruise missiles. Improvement of anti-aircraft systems is carried out in the direction of increasing the capacity to defeat the largest possible number of such targets.
ZRS C-300B (C-300B anti-aircraft missile system) was conceived as a front-line air defense system to combat various air attack weapons (EAS) —Lance and Pershing ballistic missiles, SRAM, cruise missiles (KR), airplanes, and combat helicopters — with their massive use under active fire and electronic countermeasures of the enemy.
The adoption of the C-300V took place somewhat later than the air defense system of the country C-300P. The first truncated version of the air defense system (which did not include the program review radar, the 9М82 SAM and its corresponding launchers and launchers) under the designation C-300В1 was adopted in the 1983 year. In the 1988, the C-300B anti-aircraft missile system was put into service in the full set of all its assets.
The S-300B SAMS system provided damage to aerodynamic targets at a range of 100 km and an altitude of 0,025-30 km, with a probability of 07, -0,9 with one rocket. Ballistic targets hit at an altitude of 1-25 km.
All combat weapons of the system were deployed on high maneuverability and equipped with navigation equipment, topographic location and relative orientation of unified tracked chassis. Also used for the self-propelled artillery installation "Peony" and unified on separate units with a tank T-80.
The adoption of the C-300В coincided with the beginning of the collapse of the USSR, which in many respects had a negative impact on the number of constructed air defense systems intended to replace the Krug air defense system. Full replacement in the ratio of 1: 1 did not happen. Compared with the air defense systems of the country C-300, the military C-300В was built approximately 10 times smaller.
The C-300B4 ISS is a further upgrade of the C-300B AOCS. It provides for the defeat of ballistic missiles and aerodynamic targets at distances up to 400 kilometers and altitudes up to 37 kilometers. The air defense missile system has increased combat capabilities achieved through the introduction of new components, the introduction of modern hardware and computing facilities, which has improved the technical and operational characteristics of the air defense systems. The effectiveness of the new version of the C-300B4 1,5-2,3 times more than in previous versions. In 2012, the modernization of all C-300В complexes to the С-300В4 level was completed, 2015 of the new С-3В300 division was also supplied to 4 and a new division was signed to supply 2015 to the end.
In 80-ies, the monopoly of the USSR and the USA as the main developers of medium-range and long-range air defense systems was lost. Work on the creation of such complexes began in Europe, China, Israel and Taiwan. Often, when creating an air defense missile system, developers relied on existing air-to-air missiles or ship-to-air missile systems.
In 1980, the Swiss company Oerlikon Contraves Defense created the medium-range anti-aircraft missile system Skyguard-Sparrow. It was a combination of two systems: the Skygard fire control system, previously used to control the fire of the paired X-NUMX-mm towed Oerlikon anti-aircraft installation, and the Sparrow air-to-air AIM-35 rocket.
During the course of combat operations, the Skygard / Sparrow complex reviews the space and identifies the detected targets using a survey impulse-Doppler radar with a detection range of up to 20 km. The target is accompanied either by the tracking radar or by an opto-electronic module. The maximum launching range is 10 km, the height reach is 6 km.
Anti-aircraft missile artillery complex Skyguard-Sparrow
A missile is aimed at a target using a passive infrared homing head (GOS), created on the basis of the GOS of the South African aviation air guided missile “Darter” of the air-to-air class. Capturing the GOS target (100 ° viewing angle) produces both when the rocket is on the launcher (before launch) and when it is flying. In the first case, the shooting is carried out on the air at a distance of no more than 3 km. To defeat targets located at a distance of 3-8 km, the second method is used, which is as follows. The missile launcher is launched at the interception point determined by the tracking radar, and flight control before the target is captured is performed using an on-board inertial measurement unit based on the program entered before it starts.
Launcher with 4 guides for missiles mounted on the chassis of a twin towed anti-aircraft gun. Rocket stabilizers open after its departure from the transport and launch container. Two pairs of rockets are located on the right and left side of the operator’s workplace. All equipment is housed in a unified cabin mounted on a two-axle towed trailer, armored personnel carrier or other chassis.
The Skygard system includes: aerial target detection radar, target tracking radar, an opto-electronic module and control panels for fire control system operators.
The most common configuration of the system consists of the Skygard fire control station, two paired 35-mm GDF anti-aircraft guns, as well as two PU SAM systems. Due to the fact that anti-aircraft guns overlap the "dead zone" of missiles, the system fully protects the protected space.
The Skyguard-Sparrow anti-aircraft missile system of various modifications is in service with Switzerland, Taiwan, Italy, Spain, Greece, Canada and Egypt. In many countries, the Skygard complex is used as a “clean” air defense system, without anti-aircraft artillery.
In Greece, the Skyguard-Sparrow complex was named Velos. It uses the RIM-7M rocket. From 1984 to 1987, 18 Skyguard-Sparrow air defense system batteries were installed in Egypt, which received its own name Amoun. In Spain, the Skyguard system was combined with Spada PU, with Aspide missiles.
In 1983, the Italian Air Force put Spada on combat duty, and in 1986, the Italian Air Force was already equipped with the 12 SAM. Four more complexes entered service by 1991.
The Italian all-weather medium-range anti-aircraft missile system Spada is designed for anti-aircraft defense of airbases, groups of forces and other important military and political-administrative facilities.
The complex is towed; radar equipment for detection of the operational control center and fire control center is housed in standard hardware containers that are equipped with special jacks for installation on the ground. Launchers, platforms with radar detection antennas and a backlit radar are also installed on jacks. The firing section consists of one control point and three container-type launchers (6 missiles).
With mobility comparable to that of the American Hawk missile systems in Italy, the Spada complex is inferior in range — 15 km and target height — 6 km. But it has a shorter response time, a higher degree of automation, noise immunity and reliability.
The Spada SAM system includes a solid-fuel rocket Aspide-1А with a semi-active seeker (created on the basis of the American Sparrow AIM-7E rocket), which is also used in the shipboard Albatros SAM.
For the transportation of Spada SAMs including 48 spare TPK with rockets, 14 vehicles are required, three of which must be equipped with mobile cranes. The complex is also airborne and can be transported by military transport aircraft such as C-130 or CH-47 Chinook helicopters.
Spada air defense system was repeatedly upgraded, the latest version of the complex with a range of 25 km was designated Spada-2000. In addition to the Italian Air Force, deliveries of this air defense system were carried out to Taiwan and Peru.
In the midst of 60-x, American specialists came to understand that the Nike-Hercules long-range air defense system in the future will not be able to meet the modern realities of aviation confrontation. This long-range and high-altitude stationary complex was created primarily to protect North America from Soviet long-range bombers.
After upgrading the missile defense and guidance equipment, the Nike-Hercules was able to redeploy, but in terms of maneuverability it was inferior to the Soviet long-range air defense system C-200, which had a large defeat zone.
In addition, the capabilities of the American complex to combat tactical aviation aircraft were very limited, it was single-channel, its noise immunity left much to be desired.
The US military wanted to get a multi-channel long-range complex capable of simultaneously firing several actively maneuvering targets, with the possibility of hitting ballistic targets, in terms of mobility not inferior to the medium-range air defense missile system "Hockey".
In May, 1982, the new ZRK under the designation Patriot (Modern air defense systems, Patriot) was adopted by the US Army. "Patriot" is primarily intended to cover the major administrative and industrial centers, naval and military air bases from all existing means of air attack. The complex is capable of simultaneously detecting and identifying more than 100 air targets, continuously accompanying eight selected ones, preparing initial data for firing, launching and targeting up to three missiles to each target. The anti-aircraft battery includes 4-8 launchers (launchers) with four missiles each. A battery is a minimum tactical-fire unit, which can independently carry out a combat mission.
Flight control Zour is carried out using a combined guidance system. At the initial stage of the flight, program control is implemented, at the average, a radio command command is implemented, at the final stage, according to the rocket tracking method, combining command guidance with semi-active. The use of this method of guidance has significantly reduced the sensitivity of the system to various electronic countermeasures, and also made it possible to organize a rocket flight along optimal trajectories and hit targets with high efficiency.
Start Zour MIM-104
PU is mounted on a two-axle semi-trailer and moves with the help of a wheeled tractor. The launcher includes a lifting boom, a mechanism for lifting the missile defense system and pointing them in azimuth, a drive to install a radio mast, which is used to transmit data and receive commands to the fire control center, communications equipment, power supply unit and electronic unit. PU allows you to rotate the missile in the container in azimuth ranging from + 110 to −110 ° relative to its longitudinal axis. The launching angle of the rockets is fixed - 38 ° from the horizon line.
When the complex is located on the ground, each sector of space is assigned to each of the launchers, and these sectors overlap many times. Thus, it is possible to achieve all-shooting, in contrast to the SAM, which use a vertical launching anti-aircraft missiles, which turn to the target after the launch. However, the total deployment time of the complex from the march is 30 minutes, which significantly exceeds the deployment time of the Russian air defense systems.
Soon after its adoption, the question arose of upgrading the Patriot air defense system, primarily with the aim of giving it anti-missile properties. The most advanced modification of the complex is the Patriot PAC-3. The last version of the MIM-104 SAM includes the destruction of air targets at a range of 100 km and an altitude of 25 km. ERINT missile missile introduced into the complex specifically for hitting ballistic targets has a maximum range of up to 45 km and an altitude of up to 20 km.
Due to the significantly smaller ERINT anti-missile missiles, it is planned to place it in the number of 16 units as part of the existing launchers (four anti-missile missiles in each MIM-104 SAMs container). In order to maximize the capabilities of the Patriot PAC-3, it is planned to combine launchers with MIM-104 and ERINT missiles, which will increase the firepower of the battery by 75%.
Satellite image of Google Earth: position of the Patriot air defense system in Qatar
The Patriot complex in various modifications is in service: Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Japan, Israel, South Korea and Saudi Arabia. The chassis complex "Patriot" have a different base, depending on the country. If in the USA it is, as a rule, automobile hawkers from Kenworth, then in Germany it is “Man”, and in the Netherlands - “Jinaf”.
The “Patriot” air defense system received a baptism of fire during the military conflict in Iraq in 1991. Placed on American bases in Saudi Arabia and on the territory of Israel, the Patriot SAM PAC-2 reflected the attacks of the Iraqi P-17 tactical ballistic missiles Scud. The first successful interception took place on January 18 1991 over the territory of Saudi Arabia. At the same time, the Patriot air defense missile system did not always sufficiently effectively hit the BR P-17, which often only slightly deviated from the original trajectory. Despite the shooting in almost perfect conditions (no false targets and radio interference), the effectiveness of the complex was low - around 0,5. As a rule, the shelling of targets was carried out by two missiles. When intercepting the Iraqi "Scuds" in most cases, only the corps was damaged, and not the destruction of a warhead with an explosive charge, which practically does not reduce the damage caused by firing at areal targets. Fortunately for the Americans and their allies, the Iraqi BRs carried combat troops equipped with conventional explosives, if Saddam Hussein decided to use WMD damage and the casualties could be much greater.
During the fighting, there were cases of defeat by "friendly fire", so, in March 2003 of the year, on the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border, the American battery "Patriot" was shot down by a British Tornado fighter-bomber. The last case of combat use was recorded in September 2014 of the year when the Israeli Patriot air attack system shot down a Su-24 bomber of the Syrian air force that invaded Israeli airspace.
In the domestic media, it is customary to speak of the “Patriot” dismissively and point out its real and perceived shortcomings as compared to the C-300P and C-400 family. However, it should be understood what to compare with. The US Patrik "Patriot" of the PAC-2 and PAC-3 modifications of which only in the US Army has more than 480 PU is really inferior in a number of parameters to the latest C-300PM and C-400 variants. However, there are still not many of these anti-aircraft systems in the armed forces, for example, the C-400 has been supplied with the 19 divisions located in Kamchatka. That if there is a 8 PU in the same division corresponds to a total of 152 PUs. The base of the air defense missile system of the air defense missile system consists of fairly worn-out C-300PS of production of the beginning-middle 80-s, which have no special advantages over the latest modifications of the Patriot air defense system.
To be continued ...