Military Review

The bird does not mind

The experience of African boers and Soviet cosmonauts may be useful in the development of means of defeating drones.

I read with great interest the articles devoted to the problems of countering unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). A lot of valuable information for reflection and for fruitful discussions.

I fully agree with the authors that the greatest problem for modern air defense systems is mini-, micro and nano-UAVs. Large vehicles are not a problem at all for military air defense because of their relative low speed and dependence in remote control maneuvering. Their ability to more sharp anti-aircraft maneuvers compared with aircraft provides an advantage only when protected from man-portable air defense systems. Such UAVs can be relatively successful for long-range attacks of a obviously technically weak adversary, as in Afghanistan and Yemen. The experience of the Georgian 2008 campaign of the year showed that fighters easily destroy even medium-sized UAVs. And large ones are only interesting as the beginning of the development of unmanned aerial platforms for exotic weapons of the future.

BLA's emerged, developed and improved as typical weapon guerrilla, sabotage and terrorist rebellions. They are conducted by mobile lightly armed units, the purpose of which is not to capture and hold territory, but to inflict maximum damage on the enemy, primarily in humans. In this way, a weaker armed man can achieve exhaustion and demoralization of the enemy. The stronger side is trying to destroy the militants with the least human and material losses for themselves, relying on their military-technical capabilities. It should be noted that the first and most important thing, for which all types of modern UAVs are being created, is reconnaissance in the enemy's position, target designation and fire adjustment. It is precisely these that are the most dangerous now small-sized UAVs, because they allow to deliver the most accurate strikes from long-range, protected and closed positions with minimal ammunition expenditure. Large drone drone - a threat only to those who do not have a full-fledged air defense. True, in recent times there have been opportunities for waging electronic warfare using drones. There are reports that one medium type UAV with EW equipment is capable of suppressing all radio electronics 10 kilometers around it. But such opportunities are hardly applicable in conventional front-line operations, because their own radio communications and radar will be suppressed. So it is more likely for specially planned operations of a front-line or counter-guerrilla nature.

Since the number of various insurrections and wars around the world is growing like an avalanche in our time, governments have quickly appreciated the Israeli experience in the use of UAVs and have begun to actively implement their armed forces in their practice. The Americans widely used drones in Afghanistan and Iraq, the British in the Special Airborne Service, the French equipped the Foreign Legion with these devices. NATO units in Europe are also intensely saturated with various UAVs. They are an indispensable part of the armament of private military companies.

The bird does not mindFrom this point on, I will start arguing with respected experts. Their approaches are that mass armies, which are approximately equal in armament and size, appear in the theater of operations, which create solid fronts and defensive lines. In our time, such events are impossible for many reasons. Therefore, I will confine myself to the remark that if a war would nevertheless follow this scenario, then the use of small UAVs would devalue by itself even without special means of protection against them. Experts themselves said that launch sites and control of such UAVs should be deployed in the front line or on the battlefield. So there is no need to protect themselves from these UAVs. It is enough, noting that the “bird” has flown out, to immediately start the launch pad from artillery or mortars, and there will be no one to control the drone, receive data from it and meet if it returns. But even if he performs his task, the unit, which is thus reconnoitered, must be quickly prepared for the usual fire attack, changing the location of those “items” that the enemy would very much like to eliminate. I do not think that in a platoon or company it is difficult to do.

The experience of confronting mass armies with the large-scale use of small UAVs was only in the last US-Iraq war, when they overthrew Saddam Hussein. The US Armed Forces then quickly seized dominance in the air, large infantrytank enemy groups, his army lost control and demoralized, after which the occupying forces occupied all the cities of the country. But then the Iraqis came to their senses, reorganized and started a guerrilla war in small mobile groups along roads and in cities. And, by the way, there were cases when they successfully used their small drones to control the fire of mortars and small-caliber MLRS on the chassis of high-speed off-road vehicles. And this tactic nullified everything that the American army originally achieved in Iraq.

Now directly on how to deal with small UAVs. In their articles, the authors considered many possibilities and potential technical solutions. I will begin with the analysis of these proposals. I will not consider the methods of electronic warfare against UAVs, because the current capabilities are a double-edged sword, as they can harm not only the enemy, and besides, they are complex and cumbersome.

I fully agree with the authors that it is necessary to intensively develop tools for the timely detection and tracking of UAVs, as well as reliable sights. And all this should be easy and small to miniature. As for the means of destruction of the UAV, then again there is something to argue about.

The authors solve the problem of the destruction of small UAVs in the context of frontal military operations, but do not take into account the multitude of objective difficulties that will fundamentally hinder the use of such UAVs in such situations. This includes the possibility of strong radio interference, placing smoke screens, the danger of fire raids at the UAV control station on the battlefield and in the front-line zone. I repeat that small drones initially paid off for battles with guerrilla units that did not have any way to protect against BLAH, except for quick withdrawal and primitive masking.

It is worth recalling that small UAVs can be detected by modern means only at distances that do not allow current anti-aircraft systems to be quickly prepared for effective shooting at such targets, but even if they succeed in firing targeted fire in time, the current UAVs are very bad at small UAVs. To solve this problem, it is proposed to create an entire air defense subsystem to combat small UAVs, equipped with many types of weapons specifically designed for this purpose. According to experts, for reliable destruction of micro and nano-UAVs, it is required to design weapons based on new physical principles (laser, beam, electromagnetic, etc.), to increase the detection range, you need to use towers, aerostats and helicopters with special radars. It is proposed to dramatically increase the density of anti-aircraft artillery fire, to develop projectiles with increased destructive ability, so that they would break apart near the UAV and create clouds of threads, needles, small fragments, use oculometric sensors, so that the anti-aircraft gun could directly control the fire of the gun ... It is said about electromagnetic guns and Missiles with powerful emitters, laser weapons. What can you say? On the one hand, it can be recalled that among other valuable qualities of small UAVs there is such as low cost in manufacturing and operation. That is, they can not particularly regret, quickly recovering losses. But the means of dealing with them are encouraged to develop, as if it is a strategic weapon. The application of all of the above will be at least an order of magnitude more expensive than those UAVs that must be destroyed. In addition, the development of all these tools takes an unknown amount of time and a lot of money. And when all the same it will do, you get something complex and cumbersome, immobile, with poor maintainability. Wouldn't it be better to follow the example of the NATO members, who for now are not at all concerned with the creation of separate subsystems for dealing with small UAVs.

I think that now we should solve the problem of saturating the Russian troops with domestic UAVs with the performance characteristics that are not inferior to the NATO models, creating opportunities for their continuous modernization and improvement. And the task of combating them should be solved without haste, based not on the theoretical needs of frontal operations on an army scale, but on the specific needs of mobile tactical groups, airborne units and special forces.

During the Anglo-Boer War in South Africa, the Boers successfully used their guns against the British to hunt elephants and rhinos. These heavy muzzle-loading smooth-bore guns were loaded with canister and, when fired, they successfully hit small enemy clusters at a distance from 700 to 1500 steps, that is, to 750 meters. The maximum altitude of the flight of the nano-UAV - 300, micro - 1000, mini - 5000 meters. In addition, all these UAVs can only work in clear, windless weather and are terribly vulnerable.

Birds in flight, as you know, beat fraction. Why not create a smooth-bore shotgun capable of sighting and heaping and launching a shot sheaf at a range of about 400 meters. Technically it can be solved. The barrel, of course, will be long, its channel should be narrowed accordingly to the barrel for accuracy and firing range. Required and ammunition of appropriate power. So that the “instrument” does not come out heavy, it is worthwhile to apply modern composites in its manufacture. So that the recoil when firing does not tear the shoulder and do not knock down, try to design a spring butt or make the barrel move like a gun on a gun carriage.

Now about aiming. Small UAVs are visually detected when looking towards 200 – 400, and from the side, 500 – 700 meters, and at an optical viewfinder - at 2 – 3 kilometers. It is quite enough to make a gun and capture the target. True, the shooting will be a sniper type, besides an optical-electronic sight, you will need a ballistic computer for speed corrections and other interference. In general, a gun with a big stretch will fit only for hunting nano-UAVs, and others only if they descend to the appropriate heights. But all these shortcomings are easily removed, if by the same principles to create multi-barreled anti-aircraft automatic guns for firing shot. Here and ammunition will be more powerful, and the trunks are longer. Sights and calculators - by itself. And installations can turn out light, compact, they can be put on SUVs or carts carried by pack animals. It is not necessary to do anti-aircraft guns, beating on kilometers. 400 – 500 meters sighting range is enough. And helicopters that correspond to them in speed, altitude and maneuverability let them hunt UAVs with greater flight altitude. And they shoot these UAVs from the same automatic shotguns as in ground anti-aircraft installations. This will be an adequate response to the problem of small UAVs.

There is information that work on a hummingbird-sized nano-UAV is underway in Israel. They are intended to detect and target high-precision weapons on very small groups and even single snipers and terrorists in Zelenka, buildings or terrain folds. Such "hummingbirds" should detect and even pursue their objects before they are destroyed. But there is a pattern: the smaller the UAV, the lower the ceiling with which it can operate effectively, the less its speed and mobility. I believe that the usual shotgun-shotgun, which many armies are already armed for close combat, will fit for hunting such “hummingbirds”. Only it is necessary to supply it not with framing, but shotgun ammunition for better striking.

The satirist Mikhail Zadornov has a reprise of how unlucky Americans spent a lot of time, money and effort to create a ballpoint pen for working in weightlessness, while our cosmonauts wrote without problems with pencils. It seems that in the issue of combat drones, we have changed places. Now from the American Agency for Advanced Study DARPA comes information on the development of smart bullets for 50-caliber sniper rifles. These ammunition are designed to hit small UAVs at long distances. To hit the target, simply capture it into the appropriate aiming device and shoot, and then the bullet will do everything itself. Such ammunition, of course, cost money, but it is much cheaper than drones.
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  1. corporal
    corporal 31 January 2016 06: 57
    Why not create a smooth-bore gun capable of aiming, heaping and hammering a shot-sheaf at a range of about 400 meters.
    Why not make a remote fuse for a normal 23-25-30-37-57 mm round for a charger, and shoot yourself at "normal" ranges?
    What a fraction to fence the garden? request
    1. Bayonet
      Bayonet 31 January 2016 07: 31
      Quote: Corporal
      Why not make a remote fuse for a normal 23-25-30-37-57 mm round for a charger, and shoot yourself at "normal" ranges?

      Yes, the lack of everything is like that ... We can with a shot! smile
    2. Sirocco
      Sirocco 31 January 2016 08: 04

      Well, or as in nature, The falcon beats the dove, and the Eagle does not disdain the fox. Put a shotgun on such a drone, and go on the hunt))))
    3. Yarhann
      Yarhann 31 January 2016 18: 00
      Yes, already in the foreign countries there are anti-aircraft guns of a caliber of about 50 mm, such as a modern shilka for guarding the ground forces using purely ballistic artillery, a larger caliber gives a greater range of accuracy and the ability to use OFS ammunition as well as ammunition with a radio fuse. That is, theoretically, such a technique can destroy small UAVs - the only problem with such air defense systems is the target designation of the on-board computer system to capture the target and determine the distance to it - and in principle, small UAVs are not a problem to destroy - but those anti-aircraft defense systems that most countries of the world have small It is very difficult to destroy a UAV - even the most ancient ZUShki will be good here, but even so, automation and the speed of hitting the target are needed.
  2. ImPerts
    ImPerts 31 January 2016 06: 58
    And so that a smart bullet can maneuver, it will have to be attached to it
    engine, accelerator, or some other bullshit. Otherwise, this "smart" bullet will not reach the "stupid" UAV.
    As a result, we get a mini-rocket.
    The author failed to order the asymmetry of the American response. Failed.
    1. tchoni
      tchoni 31 January 2016 07: 13
      a smart bullet, like an adjustable projectile, changes its trajectory by changing the center of mass. she doesn’t need any engines.
    2. corporal
      corporal 31 January 2016 07: 14
      Quote: ImPerts
      And so that a smart bullet could

      Maybe even like a might ...

      1. ImPerts
        ImPerts 31 January 2016 07: 42
        Yes Yes Yes. The target must be firmly fixed, otherwise the "smart" bullet will not have enough energy to chase the victim. But if you come from the rear, you may not be able to recognize the victim as a goal.
  3. buzerrezub
    buzerrezub 31 January 2016 07: 13
    why not use real birds against 'birds'. Any bird of prey can cope with a small UAV. Well, a flock of crows can 'drop' not only a UAV, but a whole Boeing in flight. Dogs, dolphins and seals have been taught, then birds can. True, the same crows can, along the way, shoot down their UAVs ...
  4. tchoni
    tchoni 31 January 2016 07: 26
    The author voiced a very interesting approach. only a solution with a separate shotgun looks very ambiguous. in the end, the volley fire of the commander’s target designation promises to be more effective at a distance of up to 700 meters. Alternatively, you can offer the development of special ammunition for grenade launcher.
    And, one more thing, the big problem in the tactical link will be not defeat, but the detection of small UAVs. and here it is worth turning to the acoustic reconnaissance, as the most budgetary solution to the problem
  5. AlNikolaich
    AlNikolaich 31 January 2016 08: 26
    The thing is that micro-drones are hardly noticeable in all ranges, both in acoustics, and in radio and in heat ... And the task of destroying them is very urgent and difficult. And, as it were, means of destruction, while surpassing targets in terms of cost ...
    On the other hand, there is a topic on the creation of kamikaze UAVs with a charge of the F-1 grenade level! During mass production, the UAV's elemental base will be low, so you can slap the vehicles over the sea. And for the enemy DRGs, various partisans and others, a swarm of such devices will bring so much bunt that you will be fucked! And there is practically no means of struggle ...
    1. your1970
      your1970 31 January 2016 14: 32
      if it’s radio control - who doesn’t allow you to create a drone that goes along the command line to the operator (with the combat load of the F-1). Firstly, it will be simpler (kamikaze-only one way), secondly less costly, thirdly effective-no operator no enemy flyers for a while ...
      1. your1970
        your1970 31 January 2016 14: 56
        Moreover, apparently, it is only necessary to fight with the operators in general. Means-missiles (according to the anti-radar principle), the scheme worked out - just less long-range, less explosives, weaker guidance system, smaller sizes, hang on helicopters or on land launchers. And without an operator -all these nano / mini / micro themselves will fall from the sky.
        And any increase in range in order to protect the operator will require more powerful transmit / receive equipment — which automatically increases the weight of the UAV and eliminates the nano / micro class ...
  6. Mountain shooter
    Mountain shooter 31 January 2016 08: 34
    There are shells with radio fuses. When detonated, they give a sheaf of directed "arrows" in the direction of the target. The gap looks like a broom in the sky (maybe seen during the shooting). It is with such ammunition to supply something like Saiga, only larger, AGS, for example, with a special grenade. Only the machine needs an appropriate one, and a sight.
    1. clidon
      clidon 31 January 2016 11: 40
      And how will you shoot this thing for a kilometer?
  7. PKK
    PKK 31 January 2016 08: 37
    Two combat options, but I won’t tell you about the first one. You can still make UAVs like fighters of your own kind. Throwing something on the enemy pilot’s propeller is not difficult. UAVs are often launched to open enemy firing points. Everyone is too lazy to start firing at bird and immediately get an answer. Therefore, fighters are more useful.
  8. ML-334
    ML-334 31 January 2016 08: 46
    In my opinion, it should be a resin-based aerosol that hardens when the temperature rises from the UAV. I do not pretend to be a chemist or a physicist, it’s just my vision, so it’s more convenient with minuses.
    1. Razvedka_Boem
      Razvedka_Boem 31 January 2016 13: 01
      Female hairspray ultrafast fixation ..) mosquitoes them good to extinguish in the summer)
  9. sa-ag
    sa-ag 31 January 2016 09: 04
    And what will the shooter do if he is attacked by a swarm of UAVs, and from all angles, the fight will be especially interesting if a couple of switchblade UAVs come from the side of the Sun? It seems that the losses will be on both sides, but they will not be comparable
    1. Razvedka_Boem
      Razvedka_Boem 1 February 2016 18: 52
      Then everything will be adult-like ..) You don’t think that you’ve posted everything in tyrnet ?.)
  10. andrewkor
    andrewkor 31 January 2016 10: 14
    And I read that the first American drones were commissioned by a well-known aircraft modeller. I don’t remember my last name. You can assign mini-drones to shoot booth shooters !! ??
  11. Mavrikiy
    Mavrikiy 31 January 2016 10: 21
    Against UAVs only UAVs. It has no intelligence equipment large reserves of fuel. In the end, speed and charge are required. Ram and yours do not dance. By the way, cheaper rockets.
    1. sa-ag
      sa-ag 31 January 2016 10: 36
      Quote: Mavrikiy
      Against UAVs only UAVs.

      Well, yes, they knock them out
  12. Mavrikiy
    Mavrikiy 31 January 2016 10: 40
    I am touched by the photo war with a gun, in a helmet, full equipment and like a kid with an airplane. About 50 years ago I also ran, only the toy was cheaper.
  13. Lord blacwood
    Lord blacwood 31 January 2016 11: 38
    UAVs are very important in modern warfare, in Afghanistan they tracked the movements of the enemy and even destroyed armored vehicles. This greatly interferes with the actions of the partisans. And in Iraq, the partisans did not have unity, therefore, apart from some uprisings (which the US forces suppressed) they could not do anything. It was with the help of UAVs that the United States tracked the movement of insurgents in Baghdad, and today the Russian Aerospace Forces are successfully using UAVs in Syria, which report ISIS movements near the positions of the SAR aircraft.
  14. Free wind
    Free wind 31 January 2016 11: 51
    Yeah ..... the Boers really occasionally, just occasionally used old guns, the Roers looked especially interesting, with a forged hexagonal barrel, but with buckshot and at 100 meters it is problematic to shoot anything, and even more so for 200 or more, the author got a little excited. American operators of attack drones and some reconnaissance aircraft are currently in the United States and operate their vehicles from there, that is, covering the launch site will not get much. A couple of soldiers simply launch an airplane into the air and serve it. And there are also ground attack drones, for example, the amers have a "fire ant", a little larger than a stool in size, armed with two anti-tank missiles and a machine gun.
  15. Razvedka_Boem
    Razvedka_Boem 31 January 2016 13: 02
    Not a fraction, but shrapnel.
  16. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 31 January 2016 15: 41
    A rare example of an absolutely illiterate technical article.
    The author does not understand what he is writing about. It's hard to argue
    because EVERYTHING is wrong.
    ... automatic shotguns, shotgun-shotgun ... multi-barreled anti-aircraft
    automatic shotgun cannons ... I - pass. laughing
  17. Reptiloid
    Reptiloid 31 January 2016 16: 28
    By means of a UAV, what I read from a childhood of science fiction writers came true: Robert Sheckley, Stanislav Lem, Harry Harrison, Robert Asprin. They also talk about how to deal with them: ONLY BY ANOTHER FRIEND !!!!!!!
  18. TOR2
    TOR2 31 January 2016 17: 38
    A nano-UAV the size of a hummingbird is certainly cool, it's just interesting how long it takes for it to work. smile Sooner or later, you will still have to fight this type of threat. First, you need special modules for such complexes as "Thor", "Shell", "Pine". Detection of objects with low radar signature is performed by a laser locator, and destruction using a microwave installation. On these complexes, there is a microwave installation from where to power it and, in terms of weight, such a thing is not very light. Moreover, such a "shot" will be cheaper than a UAV. Secondly, it is necessary to somehow secure the units that operate in isolation from the air defense systems. Everything is more complicated here. For the "electronic shot" you will need power, and this will pull an increase in size and weight. If you create special ammunition, then it will be too expensive. Probably optimal in this case is to create a portable installation with dimensions approximately equal to the "Cornet". The operator installs the small arms on the frame, which is in the list of the complex program. Further, the machine takes over on duty in automatic mode. If a UAV is detected, the complex proceeds to destroy it based on the range and type of weapon.
    1. clidon
      clidon 31 January 2016 19: 57
      A nano-UAV the size of a hummingbird is certainly cool, it's just interesting how long it takes for it to work.

      British PD-100 is designed for 25 minutes of flight

  19. Robert Nevsky
    Robert Nevsky 31 January 2016 19: 03
    When he was a pioneer, drones were designed in a circle on aircraft modeling ...
  20. VSkilled
    VSkilled 31 January 2016 20: 37
    The hardest part is finding.

    Especially if it is "the size of a hummingbird."

    Or maybe - no need to detect?

    Small UAV - small heat capacity - quick heating during heat supply.

    Heat can be supplied in the locator beam. Any electronics are always conductors. Conductors are antennas in which induced currents can kill electronics.

    Any screens are also heated and begin to shine in the infrared range.

    No electronics will survive in the microwave. And the grandfather of the microwave is the locator.

    A powerful locator uniformly "shoots" with its beam the entire controlled airspace. Blindly. "Gigawatt" in impulse. With a step, obviously smaller than the size of the "hummingbird".

    The only minus: real live birds - will also be fried. Straight - like in Munchhausen. Just that apples - not stuffed ...
  21. Former battalion commander
    Former battalion commander 31 January 2016 23: 48
    What the author was carrying was not clear ... With whom he polymerized the same that he offers it is unknown - EMPTY BOLT! A lot and about nothing!