Sep 8, 2021
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A new minefield system has been tested in Russia

Impassable field

Sources in the military department told Izvestia that tests of the installation of an intelligent minefield system were completed this summer. Testing was carried out as part of special exercises that took place at the Mulino training ground. The results were considered successful. The novelty includes an automated control system (ACS), as well as two complexes – an engineering system for remote mining “Agriculture” and a minelayer UZM-K “Klesh”.

Depending on the tactical situation, the ACS decides where to place the minefields, their configuration, as well as what types of mines to include in their composition. Further, the command enters the UMZ-K and ISDM combat vehicles, which already directly perform the task.

Sources clarified that “smart” minefields will be created in separate episodes of the strategic exercises “West-2021”. Starting next year, this technology will be tested in exercises of all levels.

Joint exercises of the Engineering and Airborne Troops, as well as the military police were held at the Mulino training ground on July 30 this year. During the training, the remote method of blocking mining was used for the first time. Obstacles were set up so as to lead the enemy into an ambush. During the maneuvers, military engineers used promising ammunition, including the PTKM-1R anti-roof mines.

Work on the creation of remote mining systems on ground platforms in Russia began quite a long time ago. This was provided for in the current state armament program, said military expert Viktor Murakhovsky.

“Its importance is not only in the absence of the need to directly install the product in the ground, as, for example, on a trailed mine-laying machine,” he explained to Izvestia. “But also in the fact that the products are used in such an intelligent configuration that allows them to be programmed and automatically map the minefield. And then, in fact, remotely control its capabilities: starting with the configuration of the detonation and ending with setting the time of self-destruction, in the event that, for example, our troops need to pass this area. At the exercises on engineering support of troops, which took place on the eve of the “West-2021” starting in September, all this was worked out in practice and gives our troops new opportunities both in defense and in offensive.

“Agriculture” and “Tick”

Tests of the remote mining engineering system (ISDM) “Agriculture” were completed last year. Outwardly, it looks like a multiple launch rocket system. On the eight-wheeled armored chassis of “KamAZ” are mounted two packages of 25 missiles loaded with mines. Each container can be armed with anti-personnel and anti-tank ammunition in any proportion.

The system sets up minefields at a distance of 5 to 15 km. At the same time, she can set a different configuration of the obstacle, including with passages for her troops.

“Agriculture” was equipped with a satellite navigation system, a computer and a meteorological station. All calculations for shooting are done automatically. The system transmits the coordinates of the mined mines to the command post. There, a minefield is displayed on an electronic map.

The minelayer UMP-K “Klesh” is now at the final stage of testing. The vehicle weighing 15 tons without ammunition is made on the basis of the KamAZ-43501 “Patrol”, has a light bulletproof booking. Ammunition is located in a semi-open body, separated from the driver’s cab by armor plate. Six launching devices are installed on special rotary bases with vertical guidance mechanisms. In the stowed position, they are located vertically, with their trunks up. When preparing for battle, they are deployed in the desired direction and shoot.

In one pass, UMP-K can install from one to three rows of minefields. It takes the crew no more than 15 minutes to equip a minefield.

Modern remote mining systems can use smart mines. In particular, POM-3, which can distinguish a person from an animal and hear footsteps against the background of vibrations from passing equipment. The anti-tank PTM-4 is equipped with a non-contact magnetic target sensor and for detonation it does not need an armored vehicle to hit it with a wheel or a caterpillar – the mine is triggered under the bottom.

The PTKM-1R anti-roof mine is equipped with a sensor capable of detecting a target at a distance of 150–250 m. When an armored vehicle is in the affected area, a submunition is launched. It takes off several tens of meters, detects the target with a thermal imager and hits the object with a shock core made of hot metal.

All modern engineering ammunition is equipped with self-destruction systems. If the enemy did not go to the minefield, after a certain period of time it will become unusable. This eliminates the danger to local residents and their troops.

The strategic exercises Zapad-2021 will be held from 10 to 16 September at training ranges in Russia and Belarus. These maneuvers are carried out every four years. Almost all military units of the armed forces of Belarus and a large grouping of the Western Military District, including the forces of the Baltic Fleet, airborne units and special forces, are attracted to them.

This year, one of the main tasks in the exercises is the fight against irregular formations. Due to the limitations of international treaties, the Zapad-2021 exercises are inferior in scale to those held in the Central and Eastern military districts. In 2017, 12.7 thousand military personnel, up to 680 units of weapons and military equipment, about 70 aircraft and helicopters and 10 ships took part in them.

Roman Kretsul, Anna Cherepanova

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