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Aug 1, 2022
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Su-34 and Su-57 start hunting for HIMARS

The successful suppression of the fortified area of ​​the Armed Forces of Ukraine, built in the most powerful reinforced concrete infrastructure of the Uglegorsk TPP, was carried out by Wagner PMC units in a fairly short time and with minimal damage to the heat and power units of the facility. This was facilitated by accurate fire support from the units of the 1st and 2nd army corps of the LDNR, as well as the army aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces.

Ultimately, this will make it possible to minimize the period of restoration of the energy circuit of the Uglegorsk TPP, starting to use its colossal energy potential in the interests of consumers of the LDNR and Russia in the foreseeable future (within a few months). Meanwhile, a much more significant “trump card” of establishing control over this object is the receipt by the units of the Allied Forces of a number of operational and tactical bonuses in further offensive operations in the Artyomovsk operational direction.

In particular, we are talking about the possibility of accelerated liquidation of the strongholds of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Novolugansk, Semigorye and Travnev, which will allow in the next week and a half to begin “hacking” the 1st line of defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, passing through the fortified residential and industrial areas of the settlements of Bondarevka, Bakhmutka, Nikolaevka Second, Nikolaevka and Zaitsevo.

But first, the Wagnerites and units of the republican corps will have to eliminate the firing positions of the ATGM crews and mortar batteries at a 224-meter dominant height 1 km northwest of Semigorye, displace the enemy from the village of Gladosovo, and then go to the Bakhmutka riverbed. Against this background, from the southern operational direction, artillery and anti-tank units of the 1st AK NM of the DPR, stationed in Gorlovka, Rumyantsevo and Golmovsky, provide fire support to the Wagnerites and the Svetlodar group of allied forces. After establishing control over Kodema, units of the Allied Forces will be able to continue the offensive in the direction of Zaitsevo (in the northern direction) with the final exit to the southern flank of the Artyomovsky fortified area.

Pushing the enemy out of Zaitsevo will allow corps mortar batteries, equipped with 120-mm 2B11 mortars, to establish fire control of Ivangrad and all the southern environs of Artyomovsk, while motorized rifle platoons will be able to start regrouping and forming shock “backbones” to storm the southern suburbs of the Artyomovsk fortification. This fact will force the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to remove part of the artillery and motorized infantry units from firing positions covering the Soledar direction, as well as the M-03 highway, which will partially expose the 1st line of defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the area of ​​​​the urban-type settlement of Krasnaya Gora in front of the units of the 2nd Army Corps of the NM of the LPR advancing from Pokrovsky and currently storming the Belokamensky refractory plant.

An extremely positive factor is the long-range counter-battery support of our offensive “backbones” near Artyomovsk from the side of rocket artillery platoons of 300-mm MLRS “Smerch” or “Tornado-S” deployed in the vicinity of Stakhanov, which was witnessed by local residents armed with smartphone cameras. In the case of the use of 300-mm high-precision guided missiles 9M549 with a range of 120 km or corrected 9M55K1, with a range of 70 km and equipped with 5 self-aiming submunitions “Motiv-3M”, “Tornado-S” and “Smerch” are capable of inflicting precision strikes on columns of Ukrainian armored vehicles and mobile MLRS HIMARS launchers not only in the vicinity of Artyomovsk, but also in Slavyansk, Kramatorsk, as well as Selidovo and a number of other settlements turned into fortified areas.

Along the channel of the Seversky Donets from Seversk to Svyatogorsk, the operational-tactical situation is still unchanged. The units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine retain control over the southern bank of the river and a number of dominant heights located on it, which prevents the units of the Allied Forces from reaching the rear of the 1st line of defense, passing through Seversk, Razdolovka, Zvanovka, Kuzminovka, Sol and Soledar. There is also no noticeable progress in the Slavic direction: counter-battery duels are still observed on the sections Svyatogorsk – Sidorovo, Shchurovo – Donetskoe – Karpovka, Brusevka – Raygorodok – Slavyansk. Platoons and batteries of 155-mm M777A2 and FH70 howitzers, as well as mobile long-range 155-mm self-propelled guns PzH-2000, CEASAR, Krab, Archer and M109A3GN Paladin deployed in Slavyansk, Kramatorsk and Chasovoy Yar, continue to counter the offensive actions of the Allied Forces.

Moreover, in the course of reconnaissance operations by a motorized rifle platoon of the Russian Army, an attempt was made by units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to build a pontoon crossing from the southern to the northern bank of the Seversky Donets in the sector between Svyatogorsk and Seversk, which was quickly eliminated by the crew of the BMP-3 using a 30-mm automatic gun 2A72 and the main 100-mm 2A70 gun, as well as an infantry unit.

A much more alarming operational-tactical situation is observed today in the Nikolaev operational direction, where the ground grouping of the Russian Armed Forces (including motorized rifle and tank units, rocket troops and artillery, anti-aircraft missile regiments, as well as RTR / RER and EW units) two days earlier was deprived of the previous efficiency in the logistical potential due to the almost complete disabling of the Antonovsky bridge bed, as well as damage to the railway bed of the Pridneprovsky railway bridge.

Unfortunately, a night salvo of at least 12 M31A1 GMLRS guided missiles from two HIMARS mobile MLRS with the simultaneous launch of 10-16 “distracting” shells 9M27F / K “Hurricane” was still able to “oversaturate” the target channel of a limited number of S-air defense divisions 300PM2 / 400 and Pantsir-S1 air defense missile systems, ensuring a heap hit of at least 8 GMLRS shells on the canvas of the Antonovsky bridge. The deployment in the western environs of Kherson of several divisions of the Buk-M3 self-propelled military air defense systems, which have proven themselves in intercepting GMLRS shells, each of which has 36 target channels, to this day is associated with the threat of being hit by CEASAR and PzH-2000 self-propelled guns, the range of which today it partially covers all the western regions of Kherson.

And even despite the fact that the interception of 155-mm artillery shells with an EPR of about 0.03 sq. m using 9M317MA anti-aircraft missiles of the Buk-M3 systems is possible, it will occur at a distance of 7-12 km from the attacked division, because 9S36M target designation radars are able to detect such small objects at a distance of no more than 30 km, which is fraught with the arrival of large fragmentation fragments. And this is not to mention the economic counterproductiveness of using high-tech and expensive 9M317MA missiles against hundreds of 155-mm “blank” projectiles.

As a result of what happened, one of the spans of the bridge completely lost the ability to traffic most types of regular transport, not to mention heavy armored vehicles, self-propelled guns, engineering vehicles and launchers of OTRK and MLRS.

The well-established ferry crossing across the Dnieper, although it allows us to supply our Kherson regular group of troops of the Russian Armed Forces, but with a very limited throughput, which is fraught with serious consequences during the upcoming attempt to counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. This attempt, starting from the observed saturation of the Ukrainian mechanized brigades near Posad-Pokrovsky and Snigirevka with Western artillery, main battle tanks PT-91 Twardy from the Polish Land Forces (equipped with the Polish-Israeli SLA SKO-1M Drawa or more advanced French SLA Savan- 15M), as well as electronic warfare and counter-battery radar AN/TPQ-36/37, may follow in the next 5-10 days.

At the same time, distracting massive rocket and artillery strikes from Ukrainian units may follow both in the Melitopol and Volnakhsky, and in the Donetsk and Lisichansk directions. As for the direct “throw” to Kherson, the key role in it is given to the motorized rifle “backbone”, deployed and reinforced near Snigirevka. Having enlisted massive artillery / counter-battery support from the above-mentioned Western European long-range howitzers and self-propelled guns, this grouping can undertake an advance along the western bank of the meandering bed of the Ingulets River in the southeastern operational direction. In this case, our motorized rifle and artillery units will be forced to counteract the advancing formations from the eastern bank of the Ingulets without the possibility of safely building a pontoon crossing and forcing the river.

To effectively counter this grouping of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the widespread use of Smerch MLRS equipped with 9M55K1 and 9M55K rockets with self-aiming submunitions Motiv-3M and 9N268, which have infrared guidance sensors and warheads of the “shock core” type, will be required. Meanwhile, for the sufficient effectiveness of such high-precision Smerch ammunition, high-precision and timely target designation from airborne means of optical-electronic and radar reconnaissance will be required.

Their list may include both the Orion strike and reconnaissance UAVs, which fix the coordinates of HIMARS at any time of the day by infrared radiation from rocket torches using turret optoelectronic systems, and Su-34 multifunctional fighter-bombers equipped with suspended container radar reconnaissance systems UKR-RL “Sych”, capable of detecting and classifying columns of Ukrainian armored vehicles at a distance of 150-170 km. The start of the use of the Su-34, equipped with Sych container systems in radar (UKR-L), radio engineering (UKR-RT) and optoelectronic (UKR-OE) modifications, was announced two days earlier by RIA Novosti.

The same list of reconnaissance containers will also ensure the timely opening of the positions of promising NASAMS / -2 air defense systems delivered by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, capable of operating in a covert (passive) mode according to target designation from third-party reconnaissance assets of the Allied NATO Air Force and deployed to cover the actions of Ukrainian formations in the Kherson operational direction.

Airborne radars, as well as radio-technical and optical-electronic reconnaissance systems of the Su-57 5th generation multifunctional fighters, can demonstrate even greater efficiency and efficiency in opening the firing positions of artillery of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (including high-precision HIMARS and Vilkha-M MLRS). With N036B side-scan radar AFAR modules in the forward fuselage (integrated into the H036 Belka airborne radar), as well as OLS-50M optoelectronic stations in front of the cockpit lights and 101KS-N outboard systems, the crews of the Su-57 are able to days to monitor the surroundings of Nikolaev for the appearance of mobile PU MLRS HIMARS and other artillery. At the same time, vehicles can patrol at a safe distance from the likely deployment sites for Buk-M1 and NASAMS / -2 self-propelled firing systems (about 120-150 km).

When using exclusively passive optical-electronic means operating in the TV / IR ranges, the presence of the Su-57 over the Kherson-Nikolaev theater of operations will be hidden from American and British AWACS aircraft, as well as electronic intelligence aircraft RC-135V / W Rivet Joint loitering over Eastern Romania.

Evgeny Damantsev

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