Do you know the difference between a true patriot and a hurray-patriot? A patriotic cheer is laudable to praise everything that concerns his country, regardless of whether the subject of “praise” is a negative or positive phenomenon (“Our gopnik are the most gophnisty!”). A true patriot is not afraid to express criticism regarding certain aspects of life (in the broad sense) of his country, if these aspects are indeed problematic, and the coverage of these problems can, to some extent, contribute to solving them.
Personally, I never considered myself a patriot.
And now directly about sore. About ATGM, or rather, about the catastrophic situation with the models in service in Russia, and about our 20-year lag in this aspect from our “likely partners.” I understand that this is not the first article on this topic, however, in the presented material I will try to express a point of view that not only contradicts the hurray-patriotic position, but also takes into account the maximum possible number of aspects of the problem. All estimates given in this article are based on the use of exclusively open sources; All information is easily on the Internet if you wish.
Repetition - the mother of the doctrine, or again about the ATGM generations.
Before proceeding with the comparison of specific models of anti-tank systems, it is necessary to consider the issue of the generation of anti-tank systems, which are of fundamental importance for our material. In principle, about three (now, by the way, four) generations of ATGM are known to absolutely anyone, at least to some extent interested in the subject of modern armament of ground forces, but I’ll remind you briefly. ATGMs are divided according to the circuit diagram of the control system on the 4 type, which is commonly called the term "generation":
1. The first generation - ATGM with manual control of the flight path. Simply put, the operator with the help of a banal joystick fully controls the rocket's flight path. The main disadvantage is that a very high qualification of this operator is required, since one wrong move - and expensive ATGM will crash into the ground. Currently, the first generation of anti-tank systems are decommissioned in all developed countries.
2. The second generation - ATGM with a semi-active guidance system. The task of the operator is to retain the aiming mark on the target, and the aiming complex forms the trajectory of the flight independently. Compared to the first generation, the dignity is obvious - the operator does not need to move the joystick (not everyone can do it on a fairly masterly level), but simply look at the target through the sight.
3. The third generation - ATGW with the principle of "shot and forget." The task of the operator is to aim at the target, wait until its IR image is fixed by the SSN of the ATGM, click on the “Start” button and escape from the starting position (the last item is optional). The advantage is obvious - after the start-up, the operator does not need to be in the starting position, the ATGM will find the target that it has memorized.
4. The fourth generation - anti-burglary ATGM. So far, there is only one serial sample of ATGM of this type - the French MMR; to some extent, the Israeli Spike is capable of such tricks, although it is not specifically designed for this. The operator's task is to obtain information about the target for the PIC, to launch the ATGM, look at the variety of potential targets from the TV channel (view from the height of the ATGM flight), select an appropriate target from this variety and enjoy the spectacle. There are several advantages: the direct visibility of the target is not needed even during the guidance phase; you can adjust the flight of the rocket (or rather, choose the target); The combination of TV channel and IR channel provides high noise immunity.
So, dear readers of the material, you know, what's the catch of the situation with the development of promising areas of ATGM in modern Russia? That SUDDENLY we do not need ATGM more than the second generation. At least, in the opinion of those responsible for the formation of an order for R & D and conceptual programs for adopting new models. It is difficult to say who exactly is the carrier of such a strange view - representatives of the KB or the Ministry of Defense, as well as to comprehend their very strange argument.
The fact is that the third generation has a number of obvious and undeniable advantages over the second. We list the main ones.
1. For the use of ATGM 2-th generation, a necessary condition is the direct visibility of the target throughout the duration of the ATGM flight. That is, the ATGM operator after launching an ATGM is obliged to remain in its position (an ideal fixed target). The operator of the ATGM of the 3 generation can leave the position immediately after the launch, without waiting for the target to be defeated (and the arrival of a “response hello” from the crew of the vehicle for which the ATGM was launched).
2. The 2-th generation of ATGMs are resistant to optical interference just as much as the ATGM operator is resistant to them. The simplest smoke screen, fog, heavy rain or snow drastically reduces the chances of an 2-grade ATGM for hitting the target. The 3 th generation of ATGMs are resistant to optical interference as much as the IR-vision device integrated into the ATGM starting system and the GOS ATGM allows. That is, the smoke screen and other optical interference simply do not affect the accuracy of the 3 ATGM generation (which, like in the song “you can see everything from above” due to the specifics of the flight trajectory).
3. Anti-tank missiles 2-th generation "conducted" with the launcher. Destroy the launcher - means to interrupt the "maintenance" of ATGM to the target. The destruction of the same-generation PU-TGM of the 3-th generation does not affect the accuracy of the already launched ATGM, since he has his own gos.
We will try to penetrate the original logic of those individuals who still claim the superiority of the 2 generation of ATGM. Consider the main argument of the apologists of the 2 generation, proving that Metis ATGM and — especially the Competition — are more suitable for arming the Russian army than the potential 3 ATGM. Given that the 3 generation generation of ATGM is the “Javelin”, in this part of the material we will call the 3-generation ATGM “Conventional Javelin” and consider it to be a complete analog of the real Javelin.
The argument of the apologists of the second-generation ATGM will be given italic font, counterargument - the usual.
So, the dispute regarding generations.
1 argument. Second generation ATGMs have the ability to change the target after the launch, while the third ATGM is flying exactly to the selected target. The defeat of the selected goal at the time "after start-up" may already be impractical, because the target may already be hit by someone else during the flight of the ATGM, or a higher priority target may appear on the battlefield.
Counter argument 1. The speed of the ATGM flight is such that, in most cases, the attempt to re-guide will only lead to the fact that the ATGM leaves both the first and the second selected target. The range of distances at which the effective implementation of such a change of target is possible is extremely limited. We also do not forget that the field of view of the sight is somewhat narrower than the field of visibility of the naked eye, therefore, it will be difficult for the operator to search for some other target other than the chosen one. It is easier to work out the second start, which is also suitable for the 3 generation.
2 argument. An ATGM of the second generation is capable of working on a fixed target that does not have a contrasting IR signature, for example, a DOT. The third-generation ATGM cannot do that, because such targets are not captured by the GOS ATGM.
Counter argument 2. Not captured - and not necessary. Conditional Jvelin can work on a similar goal in the "grenade launcher" mode (without turning on the GOS), and the Conditional Spike does not know such a problem at all, because it has a duplicated control channel (if desired, the “Spike” can be operated manually according to the principle of the 2 generation). No one bothers to use two types of targeting on one launcher at once, which was successfully implemented by the Israelis. By the way, such a proposal was issued by the designers of the Cornet-D modification, but for some reason was rejected.
3 argument. ATGM 3-th generation requires time to prepare for the shot. GOS cools down the order of 30 seconds, and only after that you can “hammer” on it the IR signature of the target, which also takes a certain amount of time. Over these 30 + sec. the target may leave the visibility range of the ATGM operator. And this is in addition to the need to spend time on docking TPK with ATGM. In general, from target detection to launching an ATGM it takes up to a minute of time; however, the launch of the 2 th generation of ATGM can be carried out immediately after the target is detected.
Counter argument 3. There will be even two counter-arguments. First, the goal really can for 30 seconds. leave the field of view of the ATGM operator, but the 2 generation has no advantages here: the ATGM does not fly instantly, and, moreover, quite slowly. While he is flying, being controlled by the second-generation anti-tank missiles, the target can also leave the zone of visibility. As we remember, if the second-generation ATGM operator does not see the target, the ATGM will not hit this target (even if the operator has seen it before, but the 3-generation ATGM doesn’t have such a problem, the disappearance of the target from the operator’s view does not affect the guidance of the GOS ). That is, it makes no difference what to spend on 30 seconds for targeting, what to keep to the target: there is no advantage to the 2 generation ATGM. Secondly, it takes some time for the ATGM of the 2 generation to be brought into combat. Thus, it is in the armament of the Russian army ATGM "Metis-MNNXX" it is 1 seconds. (+ flight time to the target - to 20 seconds.), for the “Cornet” - about a minute (+ a few seconds to launch, + to 12 seconds to the flight). That is, in fact, the ATGM of the 10 generation does not have the advantage of operational efficiency (with the exception of the hypothetical situation, “already deployed, charged, waiting for the FIRST goal from a specific direction”).
4 argument. The cost of ATGM 3-th generation is much higher than the cost of ATGM 2-th generation, because IR-GOS - pleasure is quite expensive.
Counter argument 4. Again, there are two of them. First, the likelihood of hitting a target with a single launch of the ATGM of the 3 generation is still higher than that of any ATGM of the 2 generation. Therefore, when applying the ATGM of the 2 generation, not one but two or even three ATGM will be released according to the target; that is, more money will be spent on the defeat of one goal as a result, rather than using the 3 generation ATGM. The second: the probability of the destruction of the 2 generation by the enemy ATGM is higher than that of the 3, since The ATGM of the 2 generation is forced to remain in the line of sight of the target after the launch of the ATGM. The ATGW launcher itself, I remind you, is also worth the money, and even higher than the ATGM. I am silent about the fact that the life of the operator is a value to a somewhat greater extent than all these glands.
5 argument. The 2-generation ATGM is more anti-interference, because Now there are systems, "blinding" IR-GOS. Moreover, IK-GOS are known for the fact that they often “confuse” targets, suggesting other sources of heat on the battlefield.
Counter argument 5. Systems dazzling IR-GOS, currently have no special distribution in the ground forces - it is rather a "trick" of aircraft. As for the “re-capturing” of IK-GOS, I hasten to disappoint supporters of this version: GC Javelina does not look for sources of IR-radiation on the battlefield, but adjusts the ATGM course for the signature of a specific goal chosen by the ATGM operator. That is, there are no “other” sources of IR radiation for Javelin on the battlefield - only a specific target with a specific IR signature. The chip with shooting infrared traps, which works well against air defense missiles and air-to-air missiles, does not work here - unlike anti-aircraft missiles, the ATGM searches for not the most contrasting IR target, but a target with a specific IR signature. As for the “noise immunity” of the 2-generation ATGM - excuse me, the usual smoke screen reduces the effectiveness of any of them to zero.
Therefore, claims about the superiority of the ATGM of the 2 th generation over the ATTWS of the 3 th are, in fact, either a lie, or a deep delusion, or a conscious provocation and sabotage.
Javelin against ... whom?
For some reason, at present, a situation has arisen in which among sofa analysts (which, however, I myself am), when comparing the technical level and combat capabilities of weapons models, it is customary to compare not samples that are analogues of each other from different sides, but the most mass and "untwisted media" samples. In relation to our topics, i.e. ATGM, most often compare the American FGM-148 "Javelin" and our "Cornet". Such an approach is justified only from the point of view of comparing "top" (i.e., "according to the latest technology squeaking") samples, but it is not correct from the point of view of taking into account the tactical niche aspect of these samples.
For some reason, most sofa analysts forget that, in addition to the well-known criterion for classifying ATGM by generation, there is a criterion for classifying ATGM by tactical niche. You see, Javelin - this is an easy ATGM, in fact, weapon infantry level. For service and combat use of Javelina, it is enough to pay one person. The cornet is a heavy ATGM, and with all the desire it is not (in the portable, i.e. “easel”) weapon of the infantry unit. Do not believe it - try to place a full-fledged compartment with a machine gun, grenade launcher, sniper and Cornet’s calculation in the airborne unit of the BMP / BTR (which, among other things, unlike Javelina, it’s difficult to carry the 29 kg missile in TPC + 26 kg machine with scopes). So, if someone does not know, then our tactical counterpart of Javelina is not Cornet, but Metis-Metis, at least theoretically, can be served by one calculation number (although, of course, two bales at once - 17kg and 19kg - run across the battlefield for a long time to carry problematic ).
Therefore, if you compare Javelin with the Russian counterpart, then you need to compare it not with Cornet, but with Metis. Cornet himself is most likely comparable to his American classmate TOW (TOW-2), which is also a heavy ATGM installed both on equipment and on a portable tripod, in full analogy with his brother.
So, if the comparison of a “fly with a cutlet”, namely Javelina and Cornet, can somehow show at least the equality of the combat capabilities of these anti-tank systems (superiority in one parameter of one of them is “outweighed” by the superiority of the other in other parameters), comparison of Javelina and Metis is not at all in our favor ...
So, something about the "merits" of Cornet compared to Javelin.
1. The range of use of Cornet - 5500 m. Day and 3500 m. At night, and Javelina - 2500 m. At any time of the day.
Counter argument. In the European theater of operations, with rare exceptions (steppe), the visibility range of a tank-type target does not exceed 2000. Sense to create ATGW with a range of use in 5 km., If the tank with camouflage paint is not visible to the naked eye already from a distance of a kilometer? Especially nice in this regard is the assertion that some modifications of Cornet have more than a kilometer range in 8.
2. The armor penetration of Cornet is about 1300-1400 mm. for DZ, at Javelina - about 600-800mm.
Counter argument. Javelin attacks the target from above. In fact, it is enough armor penetration for DZ 200-250 mm for guaranteed destruction of any existing tankso with the available 600-800mm. Javelin has this indicator, excuse me, "with a margin." And here is 1400 mm. Cornet is no longer enough for guaranteed penetration of the forehead of the tower of Abrams in the modification M1A2 Sep v2 and Leopard in the modification 2A6, because Cornet can only attack in a straight line.
Sorry, no more merits. There are flaws, issued for the merits. Among such shortcomings there is so serious that I don’t even know in the Russian language an emotionally sufficiently capacious word to describe the mental abilities of the developers. Therefore, now there will be a small cry from the soul of the sofa analyst.
Dear designers of Instrument Design Bureau! I have a few questions for you.
1. Do you know what laser tag is? This is such a newfangled fun of office hamsters and others like them, which uses a “weapon” imitating a shot of a laser beam; at the same time, sensors are located on the “target” that pick up laser radiation and give a corresponding signal about the “defeat” of the target. Do you know how much such a sensor costs on any radio market? Take an interest at your leisure. And if you order in bulk from China - it is even cheaper.
2. Do you seriously think that our main potential partners, with their, for a moment, the first defense budget in the world in terms of volume, have no money to install wide-spectrum laser sensors on all armored vehicles? And at the same time and the simplest system, deploying the tower in the direction of the radiation source? And if there is at least minimal brains, also a system that tracks the launch point of the ATGM?
3. Do you seriously think that the phrase “a new woman gives birth to a soldier” is a guide to action when developing an ATGM guidance system?
4. THEN WHY (RIGHT, WHY), ON THE ROOT IT IS USED BY THE GUIDANCE SYSTEM WITH WHICH THE ROCKET IS BEHIND BY A LASER BEAM ???
And do not tell tales about "our pointing equipment keeps the beam at a distance of several meters above the target." Did everyone learn physics and math at school? In order to hold the beam (which, as is known, does not know how to bend) to keep it at a constant height relative to the target (and at the same time so that the aiming equipment knows exactly the moment when it is necessary to return the ATGM to the line of sight - otherwise it will fly over the target ), it is necessary to know the distance to this goal: we have a hypotenuse (emanating a beam from an ATGM sighting system), a short leg (height of the beam retaining over the target) and a long leg (distance to the target), we know the angle between the hypotenuse and the adjacent one ( long) leg m (as we ourselves are forming), is required to find out the length of the short leg; for this we need to know the length of the long leg (ie, the distance to the target). Does your equipment measure this distance? Optical rangefinder? Rope tape measure? Estimated "by eye"? I feel that after all a laser range finder, and then, excuse me, what’s the point in this “holding the beam over the target,” if the target is still irradiated?
Sincerely, couch analyst.
That is, the battle situation will look like this:
The calculation of the ATGM detects a tank, is aimed at the target, and launches. When a laser guidance system or a range finder is triggered, the enemy’s tank places a smoke screen (or goes beyond the nearest area fold), becoming visually unobserved for the ATGM operator. ATGM goes nowhere (- 60 thousand. $). And this is still a good option. The bad option: the tank catches the laser signal from the ATGM, locates the source of the signal and hits the ATGM with the calculation using the OFS (- 2 people, - the cost of the ATGM).
And now we will return to Metis. Given that, as previously indicated, Metis occupies the same tactical niche as Javelin, it is not unreasonable to compare their characteristics.
Javelin entered service in 1996. Metis - in 1978 (original version) with upgrades to 1992 (Metis-M) and 2016 (Metis-M1). Although Metis-M1 was developed much earlier, because for export he went back with 2004. That is, the Metis in the original version is much older than Javelina, and the modernization did not touch the principal guidance system.
What advantages does Metis have in comparison with Javelin? So, a complete and exhaustive list of these advantages:
The list is over.
The use range of metis is 2000m. compared to 2500. at Javelina.
The accuracy of Metis' guidance depends solely on the directness of the hands of the operator, which is difficult to predict in combat conditions. Javelin is less demanding on this indicator.
The armor penetration of Metis in the modification "Metis-M1» - 950 mm. for DZ, which is not enough not only to defeat the frontal projection of the "Abrams" М1А2 Sep.V2, but also for older tanks. In fact, in confrontation with an army of a technically comparable adversary with Metisami, you can only work against light armored vehicles. Regarding the armor penetration of Javelina, I have already said earlier - given that he hits the roof, he has more than enough armor penetration.
I will not even give a comparison of the other characteristics, everything is very sad there.
In essence, the “Kornet”, that “Metis” are good, high-quality ATGMs. For 1980's. In a modern war, in confrontation with a technically comparable adversary - they simply cannot perform their direct functions. It is guaranteed to hit a “tank” target in any projection, regardless of weather conditions and time of day, with minimal expenditures on the materiel and with a guarantee of the survival of the calculation - this is not about Cornet and certainly not about Metis.
That is why we need to urgently develop and adopt the next, third or fourth generation of anti-tank systems. Otherwise (God forbid) we can see a repetition of the situation of the Crimean War 1853-54, when the technical superiority of the then NATO was the most obvious reason for our military defeat.