Russia claims that Su-57 fighter has found a weak spot in the US Air Force
MOSCOW, (BM) – Military expert Alexei Leonkov in the Zvezda weekly talks about the principles of building network-centric structures, without which it is impossible to consider an army modern, capable of conducting effective military operations, learned BulgarianMilitary.com. And also about artificial intelligence, the place of which in the army systems is rather modest due to its “infancy”.
In particular, the expert paid a significant place in the publication to those aspects of the Russian fifth generation fighter Su-57, which commentators do not pay attention to, focusing on stealth and characteristics of the radar.
Leonkov claims that a “co-pilot” is present in the cockpit of the Russian fighter. The expert, after revising the features of the fifth generation fighter, most of which were invented by the Americans exclusively for their aircraft, leaves five most important criteria:
- low visibility in radar and infrared ranges (stealth);
- high maneuverability, including the ability to take off with a short takeoff run;
- advanced avionics;
- multifunctionality – the ability to hit air, ground and surface targets;
- network centricity, that is, integration into a single combat network (the concept of a “battle cloud”).
In contrast to the American F-35 fighter-bomber, the Russian aircraft most satisfies the requirement of network centricity. This announcement is based on the fact that the Su-57 began to take on its final appearance when the National Defense Control Center of the Russian Ministry of Defense took up round-the-clock combat duty. Accordingly, each fighter, after being put into service, must become an element of this powerful network structure. Bidirectional communication is supported by the use of digital broadband channels.
In the United States, of course, there is also a similar information system for global combat control, which should ensure the conduct of network-centric combat operations. It’s called the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) or Joint Defense Infrastructure System. However, the system does not work, despite vigorous attempts to “revive her”. The system constantly gives out malfunctions, which in wartime conditions can be too expensive.
Leonkov believes that the Americans were too clever here, they tried to achieve results that are unattainable for the current level of technology development. Namely, artificial intelligence has been introduced into JEDI at various levels of this structure. Moreover, AI was endowed with very high powers. Through the use of sophisticated self-learning algorithms, the AI must “grow wiser” enough to take over the establishment of the combat work of the American armed forces.
But punctures often follow the American military when organizing not the most complicated processes. One of these punctures, which ended in a major scandal, is directly related to the F-35 aircraft.
The aircraft manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, has long praised the ALIS (Autonomic Logistics Information System) integrated logistics system, in which each aircraft orders the necessary spare parts and consumables (rockets and bombs) via the Internet. All this had to be done automatically, without human intervention. ALIS was supposed to simultaneously increase the efficiency of delivery of the necessary equipment and reduce organizational and transportation costs. However, everything turned out exactly the opposite.
When things came close to collapse, ALIS was shut down, replacing it with the simpler ODIN (Operational Data Integrated Network) program. However, the prospects are still vague here, since a small part of the planned F-35 is still in operation in the world.
So the servers of the grandiose JEDI system are spinning, information is chasing through secure communication channels, programmers are constantly improving codes, but there is no practical result.
The Russian military AI is not shy. However, they still trust him to solve local problems. These include, in particular, the function of not only informational, but also executive assistance to the pilot of the Su-57, which Leonkov calls “co-pilot”.
The aircraft is equipped with a fundamentally new set of onboard equipment. In particular, it provides an overview of the all-aspect combat situation, which is solved by using several radars with a total all-round view. The “co-pilot”, without distracting the pilot from solving operational tasks during air combat, not only supplies the necessary information, having previously processed and concretized it, but also partially takes over the defense of the aircraft. Of course, he does not fire rockets or perform anti-missile maneuvers. But he is in charge of electronic defense systems – an electronic warfare system, which with a high degree of reliability reflects missile attacks of an air enemy, as well as attempts to intercept the aircraft by ground-based air defense systems.
At the same time, the “co-pilot” also operates outside the cockpit of the Su-57 – in the information system of the tactical link, but this link in the information sense is connected with larger network-centric units. Thus, the aircraft not only transmits valuable information to other weapons, but also receives support – both informational and combat – from pilots of its level, from ground-based air defense and electronic warfare systems, ground-based radio reconnaissance stations and AWACS aircraft, complexes of ships of the Russian Navy, satellite constellations.
At the same time, this entire network works in such a way that there is an optimal distribution of targets between tactical units, which include the Su-57 and all types of air, ground and naval weapons. The result is a monolithic powerful structure that thinks during the battle, although Leonkov avoids using the term “artificial intelligence” in vain.
Such a structure for organizing weapons is necessary, which follows from the history of the US anti-Iraqi wars at the end of the past and the beginning of this century. The strategy used by the Pentagon consists in the priority destruction of the layered air defense system by means of a massive attack, in which several thousand air attack weapons are involved – tactical and strategic aircraft, air, land and sea-based cruise missiles, and drones.
To stop such an air armada, it is necessary to oppose it with a “thinking defense”, which is all types of weapons combined in a network-centric structure.
In a modern aircraft, these qualities must be evaluated first. And not to guess on the coffee grounds what will happen if “our” and “their” fighters meet one on one.
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