In modern warfare, air attack weapons play a decisive role in most cases. Accordingly, the role of air defense assets has increased. This is especially true of short-range anti-aircraft missile systems, whose combat crews are under the difficult and responsible task of destroying enemy air attack weapons that have broken through other lines of the air defense system. NVO observer Nikolai POROSKOV spoke with the Chief Designer of the anti-aircraft missile systems of the Izhevsk Electromechanical Plant Kupol Iosif DRIZE. On account of this company - the development of several world-famous and highly efficient short-range air defense systems.
- Dear Iosif Matveyevich, with good reason you are attributed to the creators of the scientific and engineering design basis for building military SAMs. Under your scientific leadership, the Krug, Osa, Thor, and their modifications were developed, mastered in production, and put into service by the air defense missile systems and air defense missile systems. And here “Torah” - 30 years, and “Osa” - all 45. How did their design come about? What dictated their improvement in different years?
- After the Second World War, aircraft with jet engines appeared, the speed and altitude increased significantly. The gun-laying stations, which provided information for controlling anti-aircraft artillery, were ineffective for dealing with new aircraft. Anti-aircraft defense received missiles, the probability of hitting air targets increased, and airplanes to combat air defense using radar began to nestle on the ground. In this case, the locators were wrong in determining the coordinates.
Combat shooting is conducted by the Tor-MHNUMXKM air defense missile system.
The task was to create a complex to combat low-altitude targets. This is how “Wasp” appeared, which allowed to fight targets flying at altitudes up to 25 m and at a distance of up to 10 km. The complex had a relatively long reaction time (from target detection to rocket launch) - 26 seconds. But low-flying targets could appear at a very short range, it was necessary to catch them, which required less reaction time. And a new complex with acceptable characteristics called “Thor” was created. Unlike the "Wasp", it was significantly automated, it used new types of radar, which reduced the reaction time to 5 – 8 seconds. This significantly increased combat effectiveness.
- It is clear that any weapon constantly improving. Are the recommendations from the troops taken into account - the wishes of the "consumers"?
- The task is not just to develop a complex, but to make it so that troops can use it. We are still following even the work of “Wasps”, not to mention modern systems, we extract information from the troops that may be interesting for us when creating new algorithms for the work of “Wasps” and “Torah”.
- What foreign assessments of your complexes are known to you?
- I heard and read only praise, negative I do not know. Abroad there are complexes "Thor" of the previous modifications, therefore, it is easy to evaluate. When compared with foreign counterparts, "Thor" is certainly one of the best.
- Not so long ago passed the test shooting anti-aircraft missile complex "Thor", which successfully hit the target in motion. On the basis of the materials received, programs will be formed that will allow “to use the movement” in different situations of the complex. What are these situations?
- This complex is designed to protect the ground forces, including during their movement. Therefore, the ability of the complex to shoot on the move, in a column of troops, is very important. Having stopped for firing at air targets, the air defense complex delays the movement of troops. This, of course, is undesirable, as the probability of their defeat increases.
Based on the results of tests of previous models, we took up the task of shooting on the go. The experience has yielded positive results, the ability to shoot on the move will be introduced into the previously released complexes - Tor-M2 and Tor-M2.
- That is, before the possibility of air defense systems was not?
- Before this shooting was possible only from the parking lot.
- Abroad there are complexes that shoot on the go?
- Missile - no.
- As far as I know, you are working on the marine and polar versions of the Tor system. What are the features of these models?
- There are various modifications of the complexes. In particular, made on a tracked chassis - for any off-road. For one of the countries made a complex on wheels. For specific uses of the complex, we consider various vehicles. At the exhibition-forum "Army-2016" will be shown a prototype of the arctic version of "Top-2MDT".
- The struggle between the creators of the means of attack and defense is eternal. Both those and others speak about the uniqueness of their offspring, their uniqueness. Who is right? Or the truth, as always, lies in the middle? And where is the middle, if we talk about your complexes?
- Both are right. Here there are new means of jamming, which are protection for attackers. We are exploring these tools and developing new methods for overcoming them. A few years have passed - new interferences have appeared, to which we also react, we are looking for opposition. This process is ongoing, as the continuous improvement of attack and defense.
The Americans created aerodynamic goals using stealth technology - a reduction in the reflective surface of the target, a change in its geometric shape, the use of a wash that absorbs radio waves. Hence the reduction of the target detection range. We, in turn, increase our ability to detect targets with a smaller reflective surface.
- I would not like to talk about this.
- Developers, creators of any weapon are simply forced to look at tomorrow. What new air attack weapons should be expected? Which of them are you already preparing to meet and neutralize? The sixth generation of aircraft is conceived entirely as drones. How do you take this into account when upgrading complexes?
- UAVs have lower characteristics than conventional aerodynamic targets: slower speed, greater vulnerability. But they take more. For this reason, our weapons must be multichannel in order to simultaneously hit several targets.
- Apparently, it is necessary to take into account the ratio of prices of the rocket and the UAV. The rocket is still more expensive.
- In relation to the simplest drone yes, more expensive. But we are working to reduce the cost of the rocket.
- Do you take into account in your developments the fact that the wars of the future are contactless, network-centric, hybrid? How are going to counteract the means of electronic warfare?
- When I talked about interference, I meant just EW. There are many methods to deal with them. For example, changing the frequency of radiation. Here again we see the confrontation of bullets and armor: the enemy has time to rebuild his disturbance in the same way as we do, or not. There is a way to extract useful information from interference and its use.
Complexes of the Tor family can be effectively used in the coastal defense system, covering the troops in the coastal directions.
- Is it possible on your complexes to counteract EMR - to an electromagnetic pulse, the source of which is a high-altitude nuclear explosion?
- Modern air defense systems are protected from EMP. Mostly using shielding, but there are other means and methods.
- In developing atomic and then nuclear weapons, Kurchatov and his team actively used intelligence data. Do you use intelligence data?
- I get information from higher-level organizations, and where it is from them, I do not know. Many confidential things slip in the open press. But we must bear in mind that in the open press there is both information and misinformation. We must be able to separate one from the other. This is possible in principle, since science is common to us and them.
- The C-300 air defense missile system exists in two versions - object and military air defense. It was a competition Bunkin and Ephraim.
- Both of them left, but the competition, as well as their glory, remained.
- But, however, the Bunkin C-300P (PMU) is much better known, it is more salable compared to C-300В.
- The military system is built on tracks, can be deployed in any terrain, can move, which C-300P cannot. Secondly, the characteristics of the C-300В were and still remain higher than those of a competitor - due to the use of both radio engineering and aerodynamic methods. System “B” is also exported to different countries. The system made for the Ground Forces should cost more due to the cost of expensive vehicles, due to the technical solutions to combat the interference that even the transport itself introduces. Nevertheless, the ratio of efficiency – cost is in favor of the military system. Her affected area is higher.
“But in the object defense, there is already a C-400, C-500“ at demolition ”...
- C-400 is only trying to catch up with C-300В ...
- Which of your foreign counterparts of your air defense systems cause you respect and, perhaps, fear? Have you met with the creators of foreign complexes Air defense, as did our weapons and aviation constructors?
- It's hard for me to compare. Americans, for example, do not create such air defense missiles, believing, apparently, that overseas you can exist without fear of air strikes low-flying targets. There is a good French complex “Crotal”, the Germans are working in this direction, but the results are not yet known. I met with foreign designers except at international conferences, arms exhibitions, but not one-on-one.
- Did the Vimpel Engineering Bureau make such a rocket for Tor-M2U that it hits the target rocket head-on? The developers of the complex itself and the rockets to it work autonomously or interact?
- CB "Vympel" - our co-contractors. I will clarify what you said. The complex has two modifications: Tor-MXNUMU with an old rocket, Tor-M2 with a new one.
- I met different explanations of the origin of the name "Thor". The first is from a geometric sphere, a toroid, a peculiar donut. It is said that this is how fragments of the missile complex fly at the target, hitting it. And how really?
- The Ministry of Defense for air defense systems of the Ground Forces at one time used the terminology of geometry: "Cube", "Beech" (reverse "Cube"), "Square", "Circle", "Thor" - a toroid.
- In the world, Soviet and Russian weapons are often copied, especially since some Soviet socialist countries were handed over technical documentation. Did this happen to your complexes?
- The Chinese copy the "Thor" of the first modifications. In the open press, they do not show their complex, therefore it is impossible to make any claims to them. We do not have a powerful service that could "recapture" our patent.
- Little stories. Before the “Storm in the Desert” the special forces of the multinational forces, using helicopters, penetrated into Kuwait, captured and took out the Osa anti-aircraft missile system with all the technical documentation. It was captured and the crew of the Iraqi military. What were the consequences of this event for you?
An important advantage of the combat vehicle of the Tor family is the tracked chassis, which allows the complex to be constantly in combat formations of army units. Photos provided by the press service of JSC "IEMZ" Kupol "
- There was no technical design documentation in Kuwait, and there could not be. There was only operational documentation.
- The following message took place in the media: at the beginning of 1991, during the hostilities, the Iraqi Osa anti-aircraft missile system shot down an American cruise missile. Did such an ability of “Wasp” surprise you?
- Why not shoot down? "Wasp" and is designed to work on low-flying speed targets. Such is the American subsonic cruise missile.
- This year Tor-M2 will replace the Osa-AK complexes in some Ground Forces units. The day is not far when “Wasp” is no longer needed. And then there will be only "Thor"? Or will there be some new air defense system? Vyacheslav Kartashov, Assistant Director General of the Dome for Military-Technical Cooperation and Government Orders, said: “Based on the available scientific and technical developments and taking into account the experience of creating the entire family of Thor complexes, we are working to create a promising, new short-range air defense missile system that will significantly exceed its performance characteristics what was done before. " Something can be said about the upcoming air defense system?
- Kartashov said everything correctly. We, the developers, are improving the existing complexes, but in what direction, with what characteristics the novelty will be, this is not for publication.
- The Tor system in a modular version can be placed on the roofs of buildings and structures, on hard-to-reach sites, trailers, semi-trailers, on railway platforms and even on low-tonnage vessels. In the winter of 2014 in Sochi, Thor ensured the safety of the Olympic Games. What experience was gained with it?
- At the Olympics, not the modular, but the usual tracked "Thor" was used. There is a model and modular "Torah", we offer it to foreign customers. Today we are negotiating (with our consultations) on the Rosoboronexport line.
- The creators of the new tank "Armata" say that its crew can fight in white shirts and for days. Is it convenient for the crew to fight in your complexes?
- Our complexes meet the requirements of the military. You can fight on them and in white shirts: there is an air conditioning system, ventilation ...
- The Osa complexes, which have not been produced for 20 for years, are still working effectively. That is, the potential for modernization is enormous. But "Osa" - analog complex, "Thor" - digital. Any elements of the "Torah" can apply when upgrading "Wasps"?
- It is already implemented. The modernized Osa is currently undergoing state tests. The life of the complex will continue. Work is underway on the "Thor". All this is done by a large team of Izhevsk Electromechanical Plant "Kupol" and its Moscow branch (SKB), which is developing advanced systems. We expect that in the coming years we will be able to significantly upgrade the short-range air defense system.