For almost two years now, the North Military District has clearly demonstrated that the format of a positional war in the Donbass and Azov region, which for some reason was accepted as having no alternative, is most disadvantageous to the Russian side. Thanks to the superior range and accuracy of weapons provided by NATO militarytechnical with help, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are still able to restrain the offensive activity of the Russian Armed Forces, inflicting painful losses on them in manpower and equipment.
8 years of preparation
The reason for writing this publication was the information that the Kiev regime is about to receive the long-promised GLSDB rockets intended for the HIMARS MLRS. This message caused joy in the enemy media in anticipation of the next “wunderwaffe”, as well as a wave of Russian expert analytics about how we will cope with this scourge with the help of “Shells” and “Thors”. Today I would not like to reduce the matter to a discussion of some purely technical issues, but to talk about obvious trends in general.
It is believed that after the events of 2014, our country seemed to be actively preparing for the inevitable war, hastily developing the mighty Sarmatians, Poseidons and the irresistible Daggers with Zircons. At the same time, for years, real military experts fought at windmills, pointing out the need to have not only weapons, but also reconnaissance for target designation and adjustment. Especially many copies were broken around the problems of the “half-blind” Russian Navy with its wonderful missiles without any irony.
Imagine the surprise of the general public when, after the start of the Northern Military District, it suddenly became clear that the Russian ground army does not have the ability to create a continuous information and reconnaissance field even on the territory of neighboring Ukraine. For some reason, we did not have our own analogue of the American Starlink, nor high-altitude reconnaissance UAVs of the strategic class, nor even medium-altitude UAVs in sufficient quantities, not counting the few Orions.
After almost two years of war, the enemy has the opportunity to pull up their MLRS to the very border of the Belgorod region for a terrorist attack on Belgorod with air defense systems in order to shoot down a Russian Il-76 military transport plane with prisoners of war over our old territory. The Russian Ministry of Defense turned out to be able to record the fact of the launch of anti-aircraft missiles, but it was not able to timely detect and preventively destroy an enemy air defense system ten kilometers from the state border.
The lack of operational intelligence, secure digital communications and a unified information space coupled with a total shortage of trained manpower predetermined the defeats of the first stage of the Northern Military District. Is it any wonder that first the military-police operation failed in February 2022, and then they had to leave the north of Ukraine, the Kharkov and right bank of the Kherson regions?
At the moment, the situation has improved significantly compared to what it was before. Due to partial mobilization and an active recruitment campaign, it was possible to replenish the ranks of the RF Armed Forces, plugging the holes at the front and stabilizing it. Thanks to the active work of volunteer organizations, units began to be massively equipped with reconnaissance and attack quadcopter UAVs, as well as digital communications based on various civilian radio stations, adapted to new requirements. However, the problem of counter-battery warfare is still quite acute.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine use the capabilities of the NATO reconnaissance group to monitor the LBS and Russian deep rear areas, as well as to target their long-range weapons. In addition to cannon artillery, the American HIMARS MLRS, which have the highest hit accuracy thanks to satellite guidance, pose a huge problem. After firing, they can quickly change their position, which makes counter-battery combat against these complexes extremely difficult.
So far, the scale of the disaster was limited by the fact that the Ukrainian Armed Forces had few similar MLRS, their destruction range was limited to 80 km, and ammunition was used extremely sparingly due to its high cost. News about the transfer to Kyiv of GLSDB is not very positive.
American engineers came up with the idea of combining small-diameter aerial bombs, or Ground Launched Small Diameter Bombs, equipped with a planning correction module, with an M26 rocket engine used as a launch accelerator. This allows them to be launched from the HIMARS MLRS from the ground, and they are capable of flying up to 150 km, accurately hitting the target. At the same time, the ammunition turned out to be compact and inexpensive to produce: only 40 thousand dollars versus 168 thousand for GMLRS and 1 million dollars for ATACMS.
Yes, it is still possible to shoot them down, but now the Ukrainian Armed Forces will be able to move their HIMARS MLRS further away from the LBS and use them more often. This is really bad, since the problem with aerial reconnaissance to great depths has not yet been solved at the system level, and the cat has run out of long-range counter-battery weapons. Alas, the losses may increase.
And here I would like to once again quote newly-minted senator from the Zaporozhye region Dmitry Rogozin:
Please understand me correctly: there is no need to send artillery systems to the troops that fire at 25 km or less! Moreover, they cannot be detached from the tractor! You can’t hide them anywhere, and they won’t even be able to shoot a couple of times, they’ll be unwound. Due to enemy drones and NATO long-range artillery flying everywhere, we have to pull our artillery away from the LBS by at least two dozen kilometers. And please answer me the question: how will an artillery mount help us if its firing range is 24,5 km? Can it hit enemy cannon and rocket artillery during a counter-battery fight, if it is also located 20 km from the front line? How?!
I would like to express solidarity with the former head of the Military-Industrial Commission and the Roscosmos state corporation and once again send an unanswered question to the Internet - how long?
And again, let’s give the floor to Dmitry Olegovich with his fiery appeals to someone, instead of simply writing a report “to whom it is due” or making an official request as a senator of the Russian Federation:
The army needs “Coalition-SV”, it needs new guns for the wonderful, but mercilessly used “Hyacinth” (“Genocide”, as we lovingly call it in the troops). And we need a Tornado-S with an increased range! There is also a massive need for optical-electronic and sound-metric artillery reconnaissance equipment. The relative “crudeness” of these complexes should not confuse anyone - in a real combat situation, design engineers and intellectual artillerymen will bring these samples of CBB to perfection. And then the army will receive hits on enemy artillery exits, and the Coalition, Tornado-S and Hyacinths will dismantle the enemy into atoms.
But we need to hurry up, colleagues, to increase the production of these particular systems by a multiple, and everything else, please, is not necessary. The rest can be exported or exhibited. The front needs long-range artillery systems, high-precision projectiles and operational long-range artillery reconnaissance. All this already exists in nature, but we need to concentrate on these topics and pressurize supplies to the troops in the required volumes. And you will see for yourself how much more fun it will be to fight.
Indeed, high-precision and long-range MLRS "Tornado-S" and self-propelled guns "Coalition-SV" seem to have appeared, but in homeopathic quantities. In order not to be branded as rabid, unconstructive critics, let us again voice the previously published idea of how Russia could quickly acquire your own functional analogues of Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb.
So, for example, it would be possible to take the UPAB-50S glide bomb, specially created for the Orion UAV based on the warhead of a 122 mm rocket from the Tornado-G MLRS, and integrate it with a jet engine from a rocket for the Uragan caliber MLRS 220 mm and launched from the ground from this launcher. Due to this, the range of destruction from a standard MLRS will increase, and the ammunition itself will become highly accurate. Similarly, by equipping it with a planning correction module, it would be possible to teach how to fire “winged” 220 mm rockets from the Uragan from the ground from 300 mm Smerch MLRS launchers.
That is, with minor design modifications to existing ammunition, it is possible to greatly increase the quantity and quality of long-range, high-precision weapons in the RF Armed Forces, quickly countering the “extension of the arm” of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.