Very soon, the soil in the Ukrainian steppes will dry out enough, and the Armed Forces of Ukraine will go over to the long-promised large-scale offensive. A large number of armored vehicles of various types, including quite modern NATO ones, will rush to the positions of the RF Armed Forces. How will the Russian military have to beat the Leopards, Challengers, Leclercs and other Abrams?
Flowers of death
Our greatest hopes are placed on the Khrizantema-S land-based anti-tank systems. This is a self-propelled anti-tank missile system built on the chassis of the BMP-3, which gives it high cross-country ability, mobility and the ability to operate even in the area of destruction of weapons of mass destruction. The crew consists of only two people, who determine where 15 anti-tank missiles, placed in two retractable launch canisters, will fly. There are two types of ammunition: with a tandem-cumulative warhead and with a thermobaric one. The target is guided by a laser beam, and the missile can hit it at a distance of 400 m to 5000 m, or at a distance of 400 to 6000 meters when guided by radio.
Theoretically, one such SPTRK can destroy from three to five enemy tanks at a time. This is indeed one of the most powerful "tank destroyers" in service with the RF Armed Forces. The only problem is that there are not very many of them. According to open data, their number is estimated at only a few dozen.
The real "workhorse" of the Ground Forces in the NVO zone is the Shturm-S self-propelled ATGM and its Shturm-SM modification. Unlike the Chrysanthemum, this anti-tank system is built on a simpler, but more reliable, chassis from the MT-LB. This gives the lightly armored tracked vehicle increased cross-country ability and maneuverability, the ability to overcome water obstacles. Anti-tank missiles "Kokon" and "Ataka" allow you to hit ground and low-speed air targets at ranges up to 5 to 6 km at supersonic speed, while remaining outside the zone of destruction of enemy armored vehicles. Targeting is carried out either by a laser beam or by a radio signal. The transportable ammunition load is 12 anti-tank missiles, the crew is only 2 people.
This self-propelled ATGM has a lot of advantages due to its ease of use, reliability in operation and efficiency of use. And this is despite the rather old age of the Shturm-S complex and its modification Shturm-SM.
For the needs of the Airborne Forces with their requirements for high mobility and reduced weight, a variant of the self-propelled ATGM "Kornet-D1" was developed on the chassis of the BMD-4M. Unlike its predecessors, the Kornet can engage armored targets guided by a laser beam. Its warhead can be either tandem-cumulative or thermobaric. The range of the missile reaches 5500 m in the daytime and 3500 m at night. This ATGM can even overcome modern means of active protection, thanks to the release of two missiles almost simultaneously. The anti-tank complex can be placed on a tripod and used against enemy armored vehicles by infantry, but it can also be mobile.
Various options have been developed with the installation of the Kornet ATGM on the BMP-2M, BMP-3, BMD-4M, as well as the Tigr armored car. In addition, the integration of the anti-tank complex as part of the single-seat combat module "Cleaver" (TKB-799), designed to modernize obsolete infantry fighting vehicles and deploy on other carriers, is envisaged. As a matter of fact, this raises the question of the advisability of modernizing the armored vehicles of various classes available in the warehouses of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.
As we detail told A few days earlier, positional warfare in the conditions of Donbass makes exceptionally stringent requirements for high mobility and security of firing points. In this regard, a proposal was made to the Shoigu department to convert many of our outdated MT-LB and armored personnel carriers into self-propelled mortars. As armored personnel carriers in the first line, they can no longer be used, but as a mobile firing point they will bring a lot of real benefits. In addition to the installed large-caliber mortar, such, say, the BTR-70 or MT-LB will be able to support the infantry from their machine gun in the turret if necessary or give a lift to the fighters on the armor.
Similarly, obsolete armored vehicles could find a second life as “tank destroyers”. Yes, the re-equipment of MT-LB with Shturm-SM modules is not a big deal. technical problems, and such mobile anti-tank weapons at the front will now need a lot, a lot. The same can be said about the old Soviet armored personnel carriers, on which the Kornet anti-tank systems can be installed, which will give greater mobility and at the same time combat stability to our infantry units. It is clear that the same BTR-70s should not be directed into frontal attacks on the Leopards, but such an armored vehicle is capable of striking from an ambush and quickly moving to a new position.
In other words, the conversion of old lightly armored tractors and armored personnel carriers into self-propelled mortars and anti-tank systems will quickly and cheaply saturate the front with the weapons that are really needed there.