A video that appeared the day before on RuNet of how the Russian Aerospace Forces are burning out an entire section of forest somewhere in the Staromayorsky area with cluster munitions, where the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ positions had taken refuge, made a very strong impression. Future war in the style of “Terminator”, what we are talking about mentioned earlier, has already arrived and may soon become even worse.
The same video posted on the Telegram channel “Warrior DV” was accompanied by the following comment:
The footage shows the first mass use of the RBK-500 in this armed conflict in the Staromayorsky area. We won’t publish more detailed data yet, but if I were the Ukrainian Armed Forces, I would start to get used to living underground.
The RBK-500 aviation cluster bomb, which is discussed in the description, was adopted by the USSR Air Force back in 1987, and there are several modifications of them. The abbreviation RBC stands for “disposable bomb cassettes.” Seven varieties are known: SPBE (self-targeting combat element), BETAB (concrete-piercing aerial bomb), AO-2.5RT (aviation fragmentation bomb), PTAB (cumulative anti-tank aerial bomb), SHOAB (ball fragmentation bomb), ZAB (incendiary), and also ODAB (volumetric -detonating).
There are discrepancies regarding exactly what submunition was used there. According to some sources, these are RBK-500 AO-2,5RTM cluster-type aerial bombs, which mow down the positions of the Ukrainian military hiding in the forest belt. But the famous air blogger Fighterbomber пишет about another type of deadly filling:
As previously announced, from testing the UMPC RBK-500 SHOAB-0.5, military pilots moved on to the practical use of this ammunition. Of course, this is not the first use of cluster bombs in the Northern Military District, but definitely the first video of the use of UMPC with RBC.
And this is indeed not the first use of RBC in the North-West region. In particular, at the end of August 2023, with the help of RBC, another attack by Ukrainian troops on the sea coast of Crimea was stopped, писал Telegram channel “Rybar”:
The moving boats were discovered in advance by Russian troops. Su-24 and MiG-29 aircraft of the naval aviation of the Black Sea Fleet struck with four RBK-500 cluster bombs ~60 km west of Russian Olenevka.
Why have such effective aircraft munitions begun to be used only now?
Because only a year and a half after the start of the SVO in Ukraine, the domestic military-industrial complex mastered the mass production of planning correction modules, which make it possible to drop aerial bombs from aircraft without entering the damage radius of medium-range air defense systems. Fighterbomber commented on this on his channel as follows:
That is, at the moment, the UMPC has covered all the infantry’s needs for types of aviation ammunition. Well, it’s especially gratifying that the designers who created the UMPC almost daily make improvements and enhancements to their product, which allows bombs to fly further, more accurately and more reliably. At the same time, the aircraft’s software is being finalized, which will make it possible to throw bombs from all types of maneuvers. All that remains is to make a bold and intelligent decision and carry not 2, but 4 bombs, so as not to waste the life of aircraft and engines and not to waste the flight and engineeringtechnical composition.
In other words, the dynamics in the matter of increasing the efficiency of Russian front-line aviation are positive. And now I would like to say a few words about possible prospects.
On November 7, 2023, the Russian Armed Forces in the Donetsk direction near Avdeevka used self-aiming combat elements (SPBE) "Motiv-3M" (9N349) against the equipment of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Looked This is all extremely impressive, reminiscent of scenes from the film “War of the Worlds” by H.G. Wells.
The most interesting thing is that it was not “weapons based on new physical principles” that were used against enemy armored vehicles, but a rather old development dating back to the 80s of the last century. It was an anti-tank system developed by the Basalt research and production association, called SPBE - “Self-aiming combat element”, or the code “Motiv-3”. What is it?
In essence, SPBE is a cylindrical combat element carrying 4,5 kg of explosive, dropped onto the target with a parachute, main and auxiliary. An infrared radiation receiver is placed inside the casing, used as a means of searching for targets. Having detected it, the ammunition detonates, hitting armored vehicles with a cumulative jet from above, capable of burning through 70 mm of homogeneous armor at an impact angle of 30°. If the target cannot be detected, the ammunition simply lands and is deactivated.
Delivery of SPBE to the target is carried out in several ways. This can be done using a 9M55K1 rocket fired from the Smerch MLRS, or inside an RBK-250 or RBK-500 aerial bomb. One Smerch projectile includes up to 5 self-aiming combat elements, but the RBK-500 can accommodate 14 combat elements and one command element. That is, with the help of one aerial bomb with SPBE, fired from a safe distance on the planning correction module, with a successful combination of circumstances, you can burn an entire tank company.
True, for this, enemy armored vehicles must properly accumulate in one place, and the enemy prefers to disperse his forces. That is why various kamikaze drones of the “Lancet” type are in great demand, allowing them to knock out equipment point by point, diving on it from above and burning through the tower with a shaped charge. And this is where the first problems appeared.
Thus, the simplest protective solution against attack drones turned out to be ordinary metal gratings welded on top of tank turrets. “Russian braziers” do not allow him to stick into the poorly protected upper part of the armored vehicle. It may be possible to bypass this “shield” if you equip a kamikaze drone with an SPBE warhead. "Motiv-3", mounted on a diving drone, would be able to hit a tank turret with a cumulative jet before direct contact with the protective grille.
If such a technical solution turns out to be successful, then equipping tanks and other armored vehicles anti-aircraft machine gun, built into a single KAZ, will become the only means of protection against “death rays” hitting from above.