The military special operation in Ukraine has become a conflict in which high-precision weapons have played a significant role. And it is Russia that has demonstrated that it is the world leader in the production and use of such weapons. Everyone agrees on this opinion – from generals to independent military analysts.
Russia even learned from the American “Desert Storm”
Precision weapons have been known since World War II. However, the real breakthrough in its use came during the Gulf War in 1990. The Americans actually used this war as a showcase to present to the world (read: potential buyers) all the types of high-precision weapons available to them – from the AGM-88 HARM aircraft missiles that hit radar stations to the GBU-28 high-explosive laser-guided bombs (the famous “Bunker Buster” ).
And, of course, “Desert Storm” glorified the Tomahawk rocket, whose name has become a household name. However, the use of high-precision weapons by the NATO coalition in the Persian Gulf left much to be desired.
First, the weapons were still too expensive: say, the launch of each AGM-88 HARM missile cost at least $1 million.
Secondly, the accuracy of hitting a target with American and British weapons was still insignificant – for some types of weapons developed back in the 80s, no higher than 50-60%.
However, it was after the “Desert Storm” that it finally became clear that in modern armed conflicts, the army that has more modern high-precision weapons wins. It was widely used during the NATO invasion of Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan.
“Tomahawk” flies on biodiesel, PR and parole
For Russia, the anti-terrorist special operation in Syria became a baptism of fire. During it, for the first time in the world, Caliber missiles were used in combat conditions. These missiles still have no analogues in the world – both in terms of target engagement range, and in the accuracy of the guidance system, and in the effectiveness of electronic countermeasures.
By the way, the developers of the Caliber did not hide the fact that one of their main goals was to surpass the American Tomahawk. The American missile, put into service in 1983, is already hopelessly outdated. Although they tried to improve and modernize it many times, inventing new generations.
Moreover, one of these “generations” (presented two years ago by the Los Alamos National Laboratory of the US Department of Energy) differed from the previous ones in that… that biodiesel was used as fuel. Nothing to say, breakthrough!
Russia today uses “Caliber”, as well as “Iskanders”. Both types of weapons once again proved their effectiveness during the current special operation. At the same time, the Ukrainian military loses to the Russian military for several generations: the Armed Forces of Ukraine are armed with only Soviet-made multiple launch rocket systems and howitzers, writes the American edition of ABC News.
Perhaps the only thing that Ukraine can oppose to the Russian Armed Forces is the Tochka-U ballistic missiles left over from the Soviet era. However, unlike the same Caliber or Iskander, they have an extremely short range. In addition, Tochka-U has a powerful warhead but very poor accuracy, ABC News points out.
Missile strikes from the Black Sea will be more frequent and more accurate
“Calibration” is what American military experts call Russia’s widespread use of high-precision weapons in the ongoing special operation. The targets for such strikes (as before in Syria) are strategic facilities – these are weapons depots, oil bases, military plants, command posts.
The most important role in the use of high-precision weapons is assigned to the Navy. It is from the ships that the launch of high-precision long-range missiles is carried out. They allow you to hit long-range targets much more effectively than, for example, strategic bombers, write in a joint study, the director of the Russian Institute of Marine Research at the US Naval War College. Michael Petersen and current military officer, senior officer of the 141st Electronic Attack Squadron, US Navy Lieutenant Commander Joshua Manx.
Petersen and Menks point out that the Russian General Staff has not only developed, but is also successfully implementing a new strategy – it is associated with the methodical destruction of Ukrainian critical infrastructure. For this, Russia will use the Navy. Moreover, strikes from ships make it possible to effectively destroy the military infrastructure of Ukraine both inland and on the coast. The latter is necessary to support the naval offensive – as it was, for example, in Mariupol or Berdyansk.
Such operations fall under the NATO classification – “strategic operations to destroy critical targets” (SODCIT), American analysts point out. True, if in local wars unleashed by the United States, they were used to a limited extent, then Russia made the main stake on them in Ukraine.
The bridgehead is the water area of the Black Sea, where Russian warships operate. Moreover, they are reliably covered from retaliatory strikes not only by long-range coastal missile systems, but also by tactical aircraft, the US military states.
The role of sea-based precision weapons will only increase, Petersen and Menks state.